I have read many, many "diary" books written by YA - about social issues and I have to admit that this one was one of the more harrowing and raw reads...moreI have read many, many "diary" books written by YA - about social issues and I have to admit that this one was one of the more harrowing and raw reads.
I think what freaked me out the most was that Mary Rose seems to go from 0 to 100 in only a few pages. She starts off being a relatively normal teenager, with regular worries and suddenly seems to hurl herself into a complete world of debauchery. What amazed me was that she seemed almost clueless about the harmful effects of her choices.
She rarely questions why she does something, in fact, she seems to look forward to doing more. She never seems to have any qualms or worries about her choices, which progress into drugs, sex and other acts.
I also question the role the adults in her life play. Granted this is her diary but very rarely are her parents mentioned and when they are, they simply also seem clueless. I am left to wonder - where these all clueless people? Really?
The entries are mesmerizing, especially those concerning her health. The progression of her addiction is obvious and she certainly fits the description of an addict.
I am not a prude and I understand addiction, but it felt to me, at times, as though something was missing here - I think it was a voice of reason SOMEWHERE in this poor girl's life.
It must be horrible to be a YA in today's world and even more difficult to be a parent. However, books like these are very important and this one does not shy away from the reality of what poor choices can bring.
It seems to be, throughout this entire book, that Mary Rose desperately needed to feel loved - this was a common thread throughout her entries - my heart goes out to her.(less)
Okay, I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with this book. While I am completely and totally engaged in the storyline, I find myself g...moreOkay, I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with this book. While I am completely and totally engaged in the storyline, I find myself getting so irritated at the main character - mainly because she seems completely incapable of sharing ANYTHING with absolutely anybody.
I cannot count how many times I have literally "talked directly to my Kindle" and yelled at Brynn(tastic LOL). I have gotten myself completely intertwined in her story and now, when she needs to start offloading some of her pain - every sentence is "I want to share, but i can't" grrrrrr, so frustrating.
It is always a huge sign for me when I get so mad and involved with a main character in a book I am reading - it means I am loving the book, although I admit to not loving Brynn at times. I am not sure if the author planned on bringing out all these emotions in the reader of if its just me - but wow, its working.
If I had to write a very short review of this book it would be "wow". I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge fan of "stranded in a disaster/mother...moreIf I had to write a very short review of this book it would be "wow". I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge fan of "stranded in a disaster/mother nature goes nuts" type of read (yes, I know its not an actual genre, but I just made it up LOL).
Pandemic is THE perfect read for anyone who is looking for that creepy yet hopeful plot line where you know that everything written on the page is VERY plausible, while, at the same time, hoping (praying) that it never actually happens to you and just basically stays on the written page.
Author Ventresca does a terrific job of introducing her characters and setting up the premise before throwing the reader into a catastrophe that is all too real. Unlike many dystopian type books - there are no zombies, undead or walking corpses and this was such a relief. Rather, this book is a story about what happens if we are hit with the next powerful plague, something as seemingly insignificant as the flu.
The book pulls no punches and nobody is sacred, in fact, I felt for the main character Lil who will have to go through so much and may not in fact survive it all (no spoilers sorry!).
Written extremely well without being gross or too detailed, this book kept me reading page after page, in fact, I found I could not put it down, especially once people start to get infected.
I love the resilience of the main characters, even when they are asked to make some very tough choices and this book made me do some serious thinking about what kind of person I would be in this type of emergency. I also like how Lil learns some very important lessons throughout the storyline.
The only two things that were a bit of an irritant to me where the Mr. B. plot line which may have worked well in the beginning of the book, but dragged the story down a bit after that, especially when Lil keeps the whole situation a secret, way past when it should have been. Also, the whole "relationships" thing with two of the characters was not necessary to the story as I kept asking myself "really, that's important at a time like this?".
Otherwise, the author hit it right out of the field with this one and I was so mad when I kept seeing the % on my Kindle inch its way up and up - it meant the end of an absolutely terrifying but brilliant book. (less)
I was lucky enough to get this book through Net Galley.
I love reading books that focus on social issues and this one definitely fit the bill. Lexis v...moreI was lucky enough to get this book through Net Galley.
I love reading books that focus on social issues and this one definitely fit the bill. Lexis voluntarily heads to a christian summer camp in order to have her "gayness" removed from her.
My very first thought as I read this synopsis was "do they actually still do that?" followed immediately by "they can't think this will work right?". I believe that the strength in this story is just that - it makes you ask some hard questions. Yes, this is a work of fiction, but it is so deftly written that you could actually feel as though you are reading someone's memoirs.
I thoroughly fell in love with Lexis. She was in a tough spot and tried to do all she could to "save" her mother, while, in the process, killing her own soul.
This book was written with compassion and did a wonderful job of showing just how much of a struggle people with gender issues go through.
I also thought it interesting that the author chose to write very different characters, with very different points of view of their own sexuality - but they were all there for their own reasons - which singled out in a word "survival".
The book was compelling to me and I would have given it a 5 star review if not for an event that happens about 3/4 of the way through which kind of made me stop and think "wow, that was so not necessary". I also thought that this particular event was also wayyyyyy over the top and did not really add to the book.
This book is not my usual type of read but I heard such wonderful things about it that I jumped on the opportunity when Harper Collins Canada offered...moreThis book is not my usual type of read but I heard such wonderful things about it that I jumped on the opportunity when Harper Collins Canada offered me a copy.
Shyima was a slave and this is her story - of survival and of her new reality - the good and the ugly.
This book was compelling to read and very, very hard and raw. I found myself being sad, horrified and disgusted, all the while I also felt myself rooting for her, at first quietly and then out loud and its rare that a book actually has me "talking back to it".
While the actual story is the main storytelling in the book, I found myself looking for subtext - and there were many - for instance how "everything would turn out if only she could get to the other side of this horrific situation", yet, when we read about Shyima's attempts at fitting in to the "regular world" we see that things are not quite as perfect as she thought (hoped) they would be.
I also felt so sad when reading her letters to her captors - what a nightmare situation.
This book is also about hope and about believing that you can turn any situation as a learning one.
I really enjoyed this book but was surprised that it was directed at YA. I would say that this is a must read for YA and adults. (less)
Absolutely one of the most difficult and raw books I have ever read on eating disorders to come under the word "fiction".
Colby finds a picture that wi...moreAbsolutely one of the most difficult and raw books I have ever read on eating disorders to come under the word "fiction".
Colby finds a picture that will send her family and life into a downward spiral - with a family that does not know the meaning of the word selfless, this book will pull at every emotion you have - which for me, means suffering along with Colby as everybody in the world berates, laugs and totally disrespects her because she suffers from binge eating.
Suffering from the same eating disorder, I have to say that the author hit the feelings "right on" when describing the hell that a person goes through, thanks to an eating disorder. I found myself getting angry at Colby's family - how can anyone live through such horrible behavior? and I found myself yelling at Colby for not standing up for herself and not finding her voice. This aspect of the story made me mad and pissed me off.
However, the rest of the story is so true - and the writing so honest that I will be asking a few people in my life to read this book - to better understand what eating disorders are about. I am so proud that the author chose to acknowledge binge eating as being a disorder - so little has been written on this aspect of eating disorders and I want to give the author kudos.
This book was good. Actually, I like all the "Anonymous" books and this one touches on the subject of homosexuality.
David is a high school football su...moreThis book was good. Actually, I like all the "Anonymous" books and this one touches on the subject of homosexuality.
David is a high school football superstar with a friend who turns out to be anything but "the best" friend he thought he would be.
I like this book because it doesn't make everything pretty. This book really shows you the inner struggle David has about "coming out" - especially with a mother who thinks that anything but heterosexuality is acceptable by God and a father who drinks too much and is clearly a "goold old boy".
I loved that while reading this book, I actually felt as though I was going through all the fears and emotions David does - from acknowledging to himself that he likes guys, to finally caving into his sexual and emotional needs. Nothing is easy or simple, but this story is well done and gives us just enough to get a clearer understanding of how difficult sexual orientation can be.
I am one of those people who has been bemoaning the fact that good chick lit is almost gone. Fortunately, I do, on occasion, come across a book that I...moreI am one of those people who has been bemoaning the fact that good chick lit is almost gone. Fortunately, I do, on occasion, come across a book that I somehow "missed" in my quests for "all things chick lit" and Confessions of a Call Center Gal is certainly one of those books.
Firstly, although I have never worked in a call center, I have always wondered what it must be like. In my role as a Human Resource Manager, I have had to hire several people during my career, but I have always shied away from positions where I would have to deal with "call center" hirings and, after reading this book, I will definitely be staying away.
The author does a wonderful job of showing us the "real" reality behind working in this type of environment and she does it with honesty and humour.
I found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue and actually went back to reread a few passages that I thought were very funny or, in my opinion, insightful.
The main character Maddie is alot of fun and gets herself into situations that were absolutely hilarious (and at times) touching to read about.
Reading this book was a joy. The only "somewhat" negative comment I would like to make is that I thought that, at times, the author went into too much detail about a situation. Otherwise, a great, great chick lit read that made my week! (less)