Poet Anderson . . . Of Nightmares is a different kind of read for me. My tastes are geared more toward realistic and romantic fiction, but it was thePoet Anderson . . . Of Nightmares is a different kind of read for me. My tastes are geared more toward realistic and romantic fiction, but it was the contrast to my normal reading preferencse that made this book so appealing. I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a chance on this fantastical story and enjoyed it immensely.
Poet Anderson . . . Of Nightmares is filled with action and danger. It is imaginative and intense. It's thrilling and scary, and even I got some of the romance that I enjoy so much in the books I read!
What I liked:
*The descriptions of the dreamworld and the waking world - they were vivid and detailed that it was easy to visualize where everything was happening *The backstory of how the brothers came to the Eden hotel - there is a purpose to all of it *The idea that you are braver in your dreams - you're more bold and read to take chances *Samantha Birnam-Wood (see above - read it and you'll know what I mean) - she is brave and headstrong. She is forced to keep up appearances because of her father, but she knows who she is and makes her own path. She does what she wants. *The many lively characters - they all have strong personalities and while they may have small parts in the story, they are memorable. *Jonas's love for his brother. Even with everything that Jonas learns about being a Poet and what happens to Alan he never gives up on him. *The amazing, yet creepy book cover
I would have loved to listened to an audiobook of Poet Anderson . . . Of Nightmares. The story lends itself well to being narrated with the huge cast of characters. I'm excited to know that there are graphic novels associated with this story and can't wait to check those out too. The edition of Poet Anderson that I read came with an audio CD and poster adding to the multi-media experience. So awesome!
Poet Anderson . . . Of Nightmares is interesting and compelling. It's an experience to read - a real page-turner. I think this book would appeal to fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs as well as fans of Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series. Highly recommended!!...more
I should have been better prepared for the heartache captured within the pages of this book. Not After Everything involves suicide, verRating 4.5 of 5
I should have been better prepared for the heartache captured within the pages of this book. Not After Everything involves suicide, verbal and physical abuse, and bullying, and even knowing these things prior to starting the book, I still wasn't prepared for all of the emotions I would experience. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to stop because I had to know that Tyler was going to make it out okay.
Not After Everything shows that we all deal with grief in different ways. When you top that off with fear and guilt and shame, you can get a confused, lost, sad, person who acts out like Tyler did. What he experienced was too much to handle on his own and it overwhelmed him. It was overwhelming to read. The scenes with Tyler and his father were the hardest to read. They were unimaginable and devastating, but quite often they are someone's reality. I found myself fighting back tears. Other times, I just let them flow.
Throughout the story, there are people who enter Tyler's life who show him compassion and want to help him. They offer him some hope. Once he begins to be more honest with all that his is experiencing, he becomes vulnerable is able to embrace the generosity and sincere concern.
I loved Jordyn's character. There was such an honesty to her in the way she interacted with Tyler. Knowing his reputation and their shared history, she was guarded in offering him her friendship. She has her own story to tell and we get to know it as she begins to grow closer to Tyler. As they became closer and their friendship started to become more, it's apparent that their love story wasn't going to be simple, but I was enthralled reading every page of it.
From this review, one would think that this is the saddest book that I'd ever read and one might question why would anyone want to pick up such a sad book. To that I would say, I like sad books. I like books that make me feel vulnerable and emotional and overwhelmed. And I would also say that Not After Everything isn't just sad. There is humor and hope, and SO MUCH LOVE that it is also overwhelming. And maybe, just maybe, I couldn't find the correct words to express that here. It's a book that I'm glad to have read and hope it finds its way into the hand of readers just when they need it. It is definitely a recommended read!...more
This Ordinary Life is the second novel by author Jennifer Walkup, but it is the first novel of hers that I've read. I wanted to read this book becauseThis Ordinary Life is the second novel by author Jennifer Walkup, but it is the first novel of hers that I've read. I wanted to read this book because of its focus on the relationships between Jasmine and her brother Danny and Jasmine and her mother. I am drawn to stories about families and this one appealed to me. I also liked that there was potential for romance, and the main character is a high school radio host which sounded like a fun job/hobby, so I had to give it a chance.
I think that Jasmine is an incredible character. She's responsible (because she has to be), but she finds power in her voice and lets people know she's had it with their BS. She has expectations of others and doesn't want to accept less. There is a confidence about her that is admirable and this made me really like reading her story.
Another thing I like about This Ordinary Life is the support that Jasmine has from other people. She is the responsible person in her household, but she does have supportive people around her - friends, their parents, and teachers. And she accepts their help. She knows she can't do it all herself and while she wants her mother to be more of a mother, she relies on others to help her out when her mother isn't present. She is a teenager and shouldn't be expected to do it all on her own.
Even though the romance between Jasmine, aka Sunny, and Wes isn't the main focus, I can't help but mentioning how much I love that part of the storyline. After the disastrous end to her previous relationship, Jasmine has declared relationships off limits, but "Then she meets Wes" . . . He makes her laugh and helps her through all the hard times, and her shows her how he can be a friend to her. Some of my favorite moments were their back and forth bantering texts to each other. This added humor to the story which could get heavy at times.
I really enjoyed This Ordinary Life for its story and the characters. There were times that the story was a bit slow, but it didn't hinder my overall reading experience. I would have liked more scenes Jasmine and her best friend Frankie because it was nice to read those parts where you saw Jasmine more as the teenager that she is.
The Cover: I love the colors and the images. The New York City skyline, the record, and the headphones make an impression and provide a glimpse of what the story is about. If I saw this cover in the bookstore, I would be convinced to pick it up and check it out.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves YA contemporary and stories about families.
I'm always excited when Heidi McLaughlin comes out with a new book. When THIRD BASE was announced it immediately went on my TBR lisRating 4.5 out of 5
I'm always excited when Heidi McLaughlin comes out with a new book. When THIRD BASE was announced it immediately went on my TBR list. I don't read many sports themed books, but when I do they are usually about football which I think is funny because I don't really like football. But growing up, I was a fan of baseball because it was one of the few sports that I understood. THIRD BASE is heavy on the baseball (it's not just about a guy who happens to play baseball) and readers who have some understanding of the game will appreciate the effort put into the story to make it authentic.
Ethan Davenport is one interesting character. He's young, athletic, funny, and there is a sweetness to him too. He has his hang-ups which can turn him sour, but overall he's a guy you'd like to know. Some of my favorite scenes were the bantering, bickering, razzing times between Ethan and his teammate Travis "Kidd". They had me laughing out loud with their jabs at each other.
I liked reading about the relationship between Ethan and Daisy. At times, it was passionate and intense, but other times it was touch and go and even heartbreaking. I could feel the mutual admiration between them and when things went on the downward slope, all I could hope for was for them to fix it. While Daisy wasn't Ethan's first love, their love was still a young love and real.
I missed the alternating character perspectives that I'd come to love in Heidi's books because I found myself wanting to know more about Daisy. Ethan was intrigued by her and in awe of her while I did get to know her through Ethan, I wanted to know her thoughts about everything that was happening between them.
Reading THIRD BASE makes me want to rekindle my enjoyment of baseball and go back to the ballpark and catch a game or a few. I really liked reading Ethan and Daisy's story and while THIRD BASE is a stand-alone, it does come with the tag line THE BOYS OF SUMMER. I can only hope that I'll get to meet more players on the team!
When I finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I was content with how it ended with the children riding off into theRating 4.5 out of 5
When I finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I was content with how it ended with the children riding off into the sunset. At the time, I don't think a second book to the series was announced, but I wasn't desperate to know how the story continued. I could imagine how their story would continue without the need for a new book. So when Hollow City was released, I held off reading it. This was purely due to my personal reading preferences and nothing against the story or the writing, I just wasn't into it at the moment. It wasn't until book 3, Library of Souls, was announced that I found myself wanting to revisit the peculiars.
As soon as I started reading Hollow City (well, listening to it), I was back in their world and I questioned why it took me so long to go back there. It's funny when that happens. I alternated listening to the story and reading it and that help to raise my enjoyment level. The audiobook brought more life to the story than what I was giving it while reading it. I find that I need that sometimes when a story is filled with many characters and Hollow City definitely is.
Like the first book, I loved how the pictures were used in the storytelling. One of my favorite parts of reading the book is learning the story behind the image on the cover. The images are unusual and sometimes really creepy and most definitely enhance the story. I looked forward to coming across one of the images as I read. (While listening to the audiobook, I would grab my physical copy of the book so I could see the new peculiar or the setting described.)
The plot of Hollow City kept me engaged and when I wasn't reading it, I found myself eager to return to the story. The peculiars were put in many dangerous, life-threatening situations and found that their abilities were necessities and not just oddities. It helped them find their purpose. Many new peculiars were introduced with powers and a unigueness of their own. And there are a lot of unexpected turns to the story.
Hollow City is a fantastic contuation of the series. I feel silly that it took me so long to read this book, but I won't make the mistake of waiting to read Library of Souls. In fact, I've already started reading it. (Spoiler: AND I'm loving it!)...more
Restless Waters had a hold on me and I WOULDN'T stop reading until the very end, even if it was 3:30 in the morning. It is intense and emotional and cRestless Waters had a hold on me and I WOULDN'T stop reading until the very end, even if it was 3:30 in the morning. It is intense and emotional and complicated, full of everything I love about Jessica's books. I loved it! Fans of Left Drowning will love it too.
Rating 4.5 out of 5 Into the Dangerous World, set during the Reagan Era of the early 1980's, is a thoughtful story of a teenager coming into her own asRating 4.5 out of 5 Into the Dangerous World, set during the Reagan Era of the early 1980's, is a thoughtful story of a teenager coming into her own as she deals with the recent death of her father. The story is driven by Ror's need to create art, be expressive, have purpose, and find her place in the world that hasn't had a place for her until now.
The illustrations add depth to the story and helped express the confusion that Ror experienced from losing her father. She tried to make sense of his last words to her and she ultimately realized that she needed to make her own meaning. The vibrant graffiti was significant to the story and I would have loved to see some of the illustrations in color.
Ror is a new favorite character. She's courageous and daring and she speaks her mind - vocally (loved it when she gives Trey "real talk" or through her art. As confusing as her relationship was with her father, he also taught her to be independent, self-reliant, and imaginative. I enjoyed reading about her and knowing her thoughts and her fears. I would have liked more interactions with her sister. They were different in many ways, but there was a fierce level of protection and concern for each other.
Some Favorite Quotes:
"A wild cry of surprised joy strained at my throat. Doors flung open in my head -- I wanted to eat paint, let it zing out my fingers, get lost in the colors in this room. Felt like I'd been waiting to breathe. Here was air." (pages 44-45) - When Ror attends public school for the first time and sees all that she has access to in her art class. It expands her ability to create, be expressive, and to be alive.
"I drew like people breathed. I drew because if I didn't, I'd die. I drew to follow the shape of the world, so I could understand how it worked and why I was here. All right, fine, I drew because it made other kids like me --" (page 55) - An expansion of the previous quote, but also her art gave her the feeling of acceptance. She was different and it gave her an opportunity to be liked.
"I'm not scared to fight, Trey. Or dance. Or whatever. I just want to know what I'm fighting for. At least tell me that." (page 237) - She needed a purpose if she was putting herself in danger. She needed to know the reason for all of the conflict and confrontation and if it was something that she could stand up for.
Into the Dangerous World is a fantastic story and I want to read more books like this one! And if this book ever becomes a full-color graphic novel, I would want to read that version of it too. I loved it!...more
Signs Point to Yes is cute, full of awkward, and a read in one sitting book. I really enjoyed Sandy Hall's first book, A Little Something Different, bSigns Point to Yes is cute, full of awkward, and a read in one sitting book. I really enjoyed Sandy Hall's first book, A Little Something Different, because of it's quirk and how much it made me laugh and knew upon finishing it, I wanted to find out what this author would deliver next. Signs Point to Yes, brought just as many smiles and laughs. The mix of humor, snark, and seriousness, balanced out the story, and made for a fun read.
What I loved:
*The hilarious moments with Teo's three younger sisters, with Keegan as the "ringer leader". Man can those girls get rowdy. They bring a lot of humor to an already funny story *The friendship between Jane and her sister Margo. Jane saw Margo as the favored child (allowed to make mistakes), but this summer they've become confidants. They need each other more than ever. *The shyness of Jane and Teo when they are around each other. I found it to be really sweet. It was easy to recognize that they liked spending time together, but they were tentative and a bit unsure. Their romance was a slow progression, but watching it build and grow was adorable. *Teo's storyline and the search for his father, the relationship with his mother and stepfather, and his role in his family. *Jane's ability to recognize that college may not be the right choice for her and she wants the choice to figure out what is right for her. It's good to question her future and not take the assumed next step - college. *The use of the Magic 8 Ball - so much faith was put into an object of chance. I remember having one and always wanting the "right" answers. *How the book's title comes about. And how it's not just from the Magic 8 Ball
I thought I was going to HATE Ravi. He's a jerk to Jane. He thinks too highly of himself and horrible things about her, but Jane holds her own against him (she doesn't take his crap). Then when I found out why their rivalry began, I realized how ridiculous it all was (and they did too) and I couldn't help but laugh.
"I think we're a lot alike, Jane Connelly," he said. "I think maybe we are too," she said after a while. - a moment of recognition that they could be more than just friends
"That was supposed to be romantic," he said mournfully. "Like on the roof. I was going to be the right person." - after a hilariously failed first kiss attempt.
I liked Signs Point to Yes a lot. I may not have had the same, oh-my-goodness, I loved it feeling that I had after finishing A Little Something Different, but it kept me laughing and entertained. It was a great way to spend a few hours of my day. Would I recommend this book to other readers? Yes, definitely....more
I first heard about Placid Girl when I received a publicist review request. Initially I didn't accept the request even though it soundeRating 4.5 of 5
I first heard about Placid Girl when I received a publicist review request. Initially I didn't accept the request even though it sounded like kind of book I would LOVE. I'd committed to too many reviews lately and I'd read a lot of books about musicians. (I have a weakness for them.) It was after I read some high praise blurbs and a few more promotional posts for Placid Girl, and that oh so tempting Read Now option on Netgalley that I decided to read it. I figured that I'd get to it when I got to it. Well, I got to it sooner that I expected and realized that I shouldn't have been so blasé about it, because it is a really compelling story. It was humorous and mysterious, and it taps into the complexities of social media and celebrity worship.
This book had me from the opening scene where Hallie is in a state of terror from stage fright. While the story and the characters hooked me, no doubt about it, I have to admit, it took a while to get used to the writing style. I can't pinpoint why it seemed different, but I would notice that I'd reread a few passages over to grasp the rhythm and get into the flow. Eventually I became used to the style and wasn't distracted from the story.
I loved reading about Hallie and discovering the different facets of her personality. She's a badass drummer with enviable talent, who loves her place behind the drum kit, but not necessarily on stage. She is confident when playing the drums, but she has many doubts in most all other aspects of her life. She's not always the best of a friend to Sarah, and you don't immediately know why. They have some stuff that they need to work out, but her current stance is to avoid conflict, which, of course, builds tension between them and puts even more strain on their friendship.
What I loved:
*How the story portrays the connection of music and emotion, and sometimes, obsession *The song lyrics at the beginning of each chapter *Hallie's explanation of a crush and how, for her, it's more about admiration and wanting to be the person than actually being with the person *A perfectly timed pun *Hallie as she begins to empathize with other people (through her new friendship with Steve). Her obsession with Haze makes her very narrow-sighted creating a tunnel vision and she doesn't always realized what is going on around her. More often though, she obsesses over Haze so she doesn't have to deal with the heavy stuff going on in her life. *Creepy moments that kept me guessing - there are too many of these (not really, I loved them)
Some favorite quotes:
Early on in the book: " . . . every time I sit down to write lyrics I feel like a liar. Like I don't know anything about living at all so who the hell am I to make some kind of grand statement about it that people can also dance to?"
Near the end of the book: "We're too young to look this sad. We should try to do all this living five years from now when we're ready."
The second quote is very telling. The characters go through a lot and in just a few days she's changed and feel like she's aged. (She got the experience, "living", she was looking for in the previous quote.)
More favorite quotes:
"My use of innuendo is painfully obvious. I blame my chronic virginity."
"It's funny what a little dirt will do to your image."
"But you don't need me to tell you who you are. You know it."
I highlighted a bunch more quotes throuhout, but these are my favorite.
Placid Girl will entertain readers and keep them on edge until the very end. Anyone who loves music deep in their soul will see a piece of themselves in Hallie. I know I did. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to more books by Brenna Ehrlich.
The Secret Sister is the second book by Brenda Novak that I've read. I first discovered her books when I read This Heart of Mine of theRating 4.5 of 5
The Secret Sister is the second book by Brenda Novak that I've read. I first discovered her books when I read This Heart of Mine of the Whiskey Creek Series. I enjoyed her style and storytelling so much that I wanted to read more. The Secret Sister is the first book of the Fairham Island series.
I was drawn to the mystery of the story the most. The family is keeping a lot of secrets, trust has been broken, and love denied. There are multiple layers of the truth covered in thicker layers of lies and everyone has seemingly remained tight-lipped. As Maisey begins to undercover the truth, she realizes she may not like what she discovers. In these moments, I really felt for Maisey because she was struggling with her broken marriage, her overbearing and controlling mother, and her troubled brother, Keith.
The relationship between Maisey and Keith is one of the most complex and complicated relationships of this story. Maisey has returned to Fairham Island because Keith needs her and has asked her to return. He is struggling with his addiction and mental illness, but isn't completely forthcoming with everything that troubles him. Maisey tries to help him as best as she can. During an emotional moment between them, she says:
"The future doesn't have to be a reflection of the past," . . . "We'll get through the coming months together. It'll be okay now that we have each other." (p. 15)
Maisey tries to stay true to her word, but Keith begins to test her resolve and he increasingly becomes more volatile as the mystery of the secret sister begins to unfold. Their relationship was another driving force of the story and was always changing.
As I said, I was intrigued by the mystery and that is what kept my turning the pages, but I LOVED reading the relationship between Maisey and Rafe. Rafe is introduced as the bad-boy with a wild past, but he is ANYTHING BUT THAT. He is kind and tender and responsible and respectable. (Well, he did have a little bit of the bad-boy still in him) I really enjoyed the romantic aspect of The Secret Sister and how the relationship was developed over the course of the book.
As a first book of a series, many characters are introduced through Maisey's encounters as she makes her way back to her hometown. One of my favorite characters was Dinah. She offered some humor to the story that had a lot of heavy moments. She's definitely someone who would have a lot of tales to tell and I hope that one of the books of the series will focus on her.
The Secret Sister is a great introduction to a new series. I enjoyed the complexity of the story, the family dynamics, and the romance. I can't wait to meet the other people of Fairham Island and find out what other secrets are being kept in this small town....more
I've always thought that Ellen Hopkins's books were important, necessary, and relevant. Tricks and now, Traffick, definitely fall into those categorieI've always thought that Ellen Hopkins's books were important, necessary, and relevant. Tricks and now, Traffick, definitely fall into those categories. When I first read Tricks years ago, I remember feeling the harshness of the stories and the horrors of what the characters Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody had to experience. While it may have been difficult for me to read, I reminded myself that it was inspired by true stories of real teens who experienced them, and my discomfort didn't matter.
It had been five years since I'd read Tricks and I decided to read it again before reading Traffick to reacquaint myself with the characters. As I reread, I found that it wasn't necessary because the characters had a lasting effect on me. Even after all that time, I'd remembered each of their stories and who they were. While Traffick could be read as a standalone (if the reader wanted to), details of their lives portrayed in Tricks are revisited, I really think the books should be read together.
One thing that I liked about Traffick were the poems before each character section. Many of them were from the perspective of a family member, partner, or friend of the main character. It offered more insight to what they thought about what was happening with the main characters Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody. Tricks was very much about the individual, and Traffick is more about the community the character exists within. This change is paramount in each of the character's individual stories because they are learning that they can rely on other people. People who want to help and who can be trusted really do exist.
Traffick included more characters who are victims and survivors of sex trafficking. While some of their stories seem similar, the details are individual, the people are individual, and that makes each of their voices relevant. They are relevant. They are not just a statistic. They are not just part of a larger issue. They are important and they matter.
When I finished reading Tricks years ago, I didn't realize how much I needed to know what happened to Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody. But after finishing Traffick, I'm glad to see their stories come full circle and find out how their situations have changed. I'm sure that it will have a lasting effect on me just as Tricks did. Traffick is an important book that I hope ends up in the hands of many readers. It is a necessary, highly recommended read....more