During a Personal Development lesson that was talks about female reproduction, periods, the pill, and how it all works out, the teacher says something...moreDuring a Personal Development lesson that was talks about female reproduction, periods, the pill, and how it all works out, the teacher says something that will change 15-year-old Megan’s life. Of course, it is possible be pregnant and still have periods.
From that point on, everything changes for Megan, because she finds out she’s five months pregnant. How did this happen? What is she going to do? What will the father say? What will her Mum say?
This book is pretty good! It focuses mainly on Megan and how she’s thinking and feeling, and what she’s going to do, and less so on what happens to her physically, but it was good! You have no idea how often I wanted to slap her Mum. She was so nasty, insulting and unsupportive, it was just so awful. Reading this book as a 22-year-old, I wanted to give Megan a hug and knock her Mum’s lights out, but if I had read this book at 15, or maybe younger, it would probably have scared me. It could work that young readers may decide to be extra careful because they wouldn’t want their mothers talking to and treating them like that. It was awful.
Claire, Megan’s best friend, also needs a slap. She enjoyed the drama of it all, and didn’t think enough about Megan’s feelings. It was because of her that everyone at school found out and treated her so horribly. She kept pestering Megan about what she was going to do, and had she told her Mum, she just wasn’t helping at all.
I liked how we got to read the conversations with the social worker, Susie. Through those conversations, everything was explained bout what Megan’s options were; keeping the baby or having it adopted, and what either choice would mean for her as she is 15. Not only does Megan get this information, but so does the young adult reader. I thought it was clever.
I think it would have been better if there was more on what happened at antenatal classes and doctors appointments. It would have been cool to see how Megan reacted on seeing her first scan, and all these other things. However, Megan’s feelings on being pregnant were brilliantly portrayed.
"I’d have given anything to have my own room. I really needed it now; I felt the need to pace about, to shout, rock backwards and forwards and generally cry, yell and make a fuss about what happened to me. And another part of me wanted to get right inside myself and be quiet, try and sort things out in my head." P 29
There were no sex scenes in the book, as it happened before the book started, but it’s a pretty good story that deals with an outcome of unprotected sex. Over all, Megan is a pretty good book, and maybe good as an introduction to the topic for younger readers. I liked it.(less)
The fourth and penultimate book in the Belgariad series, and things are starting to come to ahead!
Ctuchik destroyed himself when in an effort to keep possession of the Orb, making certain that Belgarath succeeded in reclaiming it. Now with Errand, the young innocent boy with only purity in his heart Zedar used to steal the Orb, under their protection, Garion and his friends make their way to Riva, picking up Ce'Nedra on the way. The Orb must be returned to it's rightful home in the Hall of the Rivan King, and Ce'Nedra must present herself before the throne on her sixteenth birthday to be the bride of the Rivan King, if he returns, to meet with the agreement set out in the Accords of Vo Mimbre. Garion believes his part in this adventure nearly at the end, but the Prophecy has not yet finished with him.
This is the book where it all comes together! All hints lead to here, and all loose ends are finally brought together. This is the book where we finally discover what Garion's destiny is, right along with him - though so many hints have been dropped throughout the previous three books, if any reader is surprised by what happens in this book, I'd be bowled over. It's where things really start to get interesting, and you can see exactly where this story will lead, and it's so exciting!
In Castle of Wizardry, we once again meet two characters we only see very briefly at the end of Magician's Gambit, Taiba and Errand. Taiba was a slave kept by the Murgos. She was born into slavery, and has known nothing but cruelty her whole life. She has a very unique view of on morality which drives Relg insane; when life is cruel, you take joy whereever you find it. Despite the hardships she's had to suffer, she's a strong woman who has a strong sense of self-worth, and will not be made to feel ashamed for what was done to her. Errand is the young boy of about four who carries the Orb - the only person who can. The Orb will kill anyone who has any ill-intent in his heart. Errand can only say one word - "errand", hence that is what the others call him as he responds to the word. He is always trying to pass the Orb on to someone else, making the others believe he has been told by Zedar he has an errand which is to pass the Orb onto someone else, Zedar meaning Torak. Errand is completely trusting and loving of all, and has no idea what danger or evil is. He is a complete innocent, and the cutest little boy because of it.
Ce'Nedra comes into her own at the end of this book. She realises she has a part to play as well, and isn't just along for the ride. She comes to understand just what the Prophecy requires of her. Ce'Nedra is still very much the same girl, but she puts aside the girlish whims and desires, and becomes a very capable - if nervous of her role - young woman. She does what needs to be done, despite what she believes it will ultimately mean. But in her heart she knows it's necessary, even if ever step she takes breaks her heart. Love is a powerful motivator.
Castle of Wizardry ends with the ball in motion, heading inevitably towards it's conclusion - the meeting between the Child of Light and the Child of Dark. What the outcome of that meeting will be no-one can say - but it's going to be cataclysmic!(less)
Nick has been on the run for as long as he can remember. His mother stole a charm off of a very powerful magician before he was born, and he wants it...moreNick has been on the run for as long as he can remember. His mother stole a charm off of a very powerful magician before he was born, and he wants it back. He and his older brother, Alan, move around the country with their deranged mother to escape the magicians and the demons the magicians send after them. But then Alan gets a demon mark - a mark that leads to possession and then death - when he tries to help two other teenagers who are in trouble. Nick is the only person who can save him, but that gets harder to do when he starts to think Alan is hiding things from him.
I liked this book, but it doesn't match up to all the hype surrounding it. It just wasn't very "wow!" to me, like I expected. The novel starts off wuite slow; it only starts to pick up after three or four chapters, and the chapters aren't short. I actually ended up putting the book down to read some others I was excited about.
When the book did start picking up, it got to half way through the book before anything, in my opinion, really happened. When things did start happening, though, it gets quite intriguing. Nick has all these questions about Alan's strange and secretive behaviour, and there's how they go about trying to get rid of the demon mark.
I didn't like most of the characters, though. Nick is too angry, aggressive, selfish and insensitive, which bugged the hell out of me, but is explained by the end. Alan was too sensitive, and Mae ws too much of a girl in my opinion. Jamie was best, with his sarcastic sense of humour shining through when he was most scared - which was pretty much all the time.
I did find the ending very surprising; you're left guesing all the way through, but this ending is not what you expect. Still, when the book ended, I was left a little unsatisfied, a little "is that it?" Although it's an urban fantasy, I don't feel there are enough fntasy elements that we actually get to see, as most happens outside the group of people we follow. I was pretty underwhelmed, but I will be checking out the sequel, The Demon's Covenant when it comes out next year. A good book overall, but not as amazing as I expected.
**I'd like to add that I wrote this review after I finished the book earlier in the wook, and since finishing it, I have been thinking a lot about the book. Perhaps my review is a bit harsh when it comes to the characters. I think I might actually like them all, in their own way. I think I was just a little disappointed when I originally wrote the review.(less)
On the face of it, Leslie is a normal, healthy, well-adjusted fourteen-year-old girl. She goes to a good school, has a great friend in Cavett, and a m...moreOn the face of it, Leslie is a normal, healthy, well-adjusted fourteen-year-old girl. She goes to a good school, has a great friend in Cavett, and a mother who loves her to the moon and back. She should be happy, yet she’s not. She would be, she thinks, if only she were thinner. But “thinking thin” becomes a dangerous obsession and Leslie’s weight drops to five stone, threatening to destroy her and the whole fabric of her family life. Only by realizing that this condition is an illness – and one that has its roots in a deep problem – can Leslie hope to survive. From Amazon UK
This is such a brilliant, heart breaking but wonderful novel! I have no idea how I can possibly do this book justice with this review.
The book starts off a little slow. Leslie has started a new school, she makes a friend, and we see she has some issues with her mother. The issues run all the way through, but I must admit that I don't fully understand what her problems with her mother are. Sometimes she seems to love her desperately, and other times she wants to shout at her mother, but I can't see myself what her mum has done wrong, even though the novel is in first person. This may just be me, maybe it would be clearer to others. But the issues that she has she goes through in her internal monologue, and it's just heart breaking to see her chop and change so quickly from desperately loving her mother, to blaming her with such fury.
It's also heart breaking to read about Leslie developing anorexia. It starts with stomach flu. She loses a few pounds, and her jeans aren't as tight, so she decides to go on a "diet" - that involves eating hardly anything. Everyone compliments her as she loses weight, so she loses more and more. Though she doesn't know it at the time, the anorexia is the little dictator in her head, berating her over how greedy she is, telling her she's fat, but she's strong, and she can go without. The little dictator is merciless.
It gets to the point where how much food she's not eating, how much she weighs is all Leslie thinks about - until she can't make it to the bus stop to get to school because she is just so weak and tired. Reading it all made me feel so empty, like I was the one who hadn't eaten. I can't explain it, but I was just so effected by this story. She ended up wanting help, but it seemed like she didn't know exactly what help she wanted. When hospitalised, she wouldn't eat right and had no desire to put on weight, but she was desperate to be helped. It was just so hard to read. And every time I read Leslie saying "I'll know when I'm thin enough because I'll be happy", it was just so upsetting.
What also made this book extremely powerful was the fact that it was semi-autobiographical. Deborah Hautzig was suffering from anorexia, not yet cured, when this book was originally released. She was experiencing it as she wrote it. It's just so, so sad. This is the one book I have read for this month where there is no resolution. Does Leslie get better? We don't know. But she's getting help - and that's the point where Hautzig was at when she wrote the book.
This is a brilliantly powerful and poignant book that just took my breath away. It's just brilliant, and one I think everyone should read.
As soon as I saw this book on the shelf, I knew I had to have it. Without knowing what it was about. Had to...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
As soon as I saw this book on the shelf, I knew I had to have it. Without knowing what it was about. Had to have it. Last year at work, we had a beautiful window display for Rob Ryan's picture book, The Invisible Kingdom. It was so, so beautiful! And I knew, when I saw This Is For You, I had to have this book for my own, knowing it will be just as beautiful. What I didn't expect was for This Is For You to be so deeply moving!
Everything in this book is papercut - words and pictures cut from paper. Every single page, and there are 64 pages of these intricate, detailed, stunning images. The time and effort that had to have gone into this book is astounding. This Is For You isn't just a book with a cool story/message, it's a complete work of art. Although each image links to the one after for the story, each image is a completely singular thing of beauty. You're reading the story, but you're also amazed by the art!
And then there's the story. It's pretty much a love letter from the narrator - and considering it mentions papercutting, I would assume perhaps, actually, the author - to some unknown person, the person they will end up being with. Think Michael Bublé's "I Just Haven't Met You Yet", in some ways, it's along similar lines. It's a love letter of hope and joy, of yearning and looking forward to no longer feeling "empty" once they're big heart finally holds someone else's too, and of the complete joy that, despite still feeling empty, knowing that emptiness will be filled. With love. It's an absolutely exquisite story; uplifting, full of hope, and profoundly moving.
This book is too beautiful for words, and I absolutely must get my hands on every other book Rob Ryan has written and collaborated on. I am completely awe-inspired.(less)
Continuing to re-read this trilogy, and I'm still loving it!
The Ruby Knight picks up right where The Diamond Throne ended. After talking to the late King Aldreas' ghost, Sparhawk now knows the only way to save Queen Ehlana after she was poisoned is to find Bhelliom, the sapphire jewel carved into the shape of a rose. Infused with the power of the Troll Gods, Bhelliom is practically invincible, and can do anything. However, Bhelliom has been lost for around give centuries. Sparhawk must again go out to find Bhelliom, which was last seen in the crown of King Sarak, who died during the Zemoch invasion 500 years ago. Travelling with his companions to Lake Rendor, where the majority of the battle took place, they discover a creature of darkness sent by evil Sytric Elder God Azash hot on their heels, the search becomes more desperate to find Bhelliom, before it falls into the wrong hands.
Sparhawk's journey is long, and with each month that goes by, another knight dies, handing over his sword to Sephrenia. Sparhawk begins to get frustrated and melancholic, and finds he has doubts about their journey and what it will accomplish. Is it just a fool's errand? Will they ever find Bhelliom, and will they even find it in time to save the young Queen? The danger is somewhat amped up in this book with various groups of people trying to hinder their search, and it's absolutely wonderful!
In this book do some of the events I remember take place. Fights with senseless people, raising the dead, an encounter with a crazy woman with insatiable blood lust! It's just incredible! I love the moments when Flute finally speaks and astounds them all, and when they discover the truth about who she is. And I love how we get to know some of Sparhawk's companions better. In The Diamond Throne, he is joined by Tynion, Bevier and Ulath, three brilliant Knights from the other three orders of Church Knights, and they're such great characters. Bevier is so devout and proper, but has no problem loping off someone's head if the situation arises. Ulath is strong and quiet, but has exceptional wit when he does speak, and works wonders when it comes to getting their enemies to comply. Tynian is like Kalten, another humourous, happy-go-lucky Knight, but built as big as an ox, and just as intimidating with a sword as how he looks.
A wonderful second novel, and loving where the final book is going - I've already picked it up. Really can't recommend these books enough!(less)
I've been a fan of Sarra Manning's for a while, but hadn't yet got to Pretty Things, so was excited to see w...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I've been a fan of Sarra Manning's for a while, but hadn't yet got to Pretty Things, so was excited to see when doing my research for LGBTQ Month that Pretty Things fit the bill, especially as it was already on my shelf. And just the other Manning novels I've read, Pretty Things is amazing!
The blurb makes it sound complicated, but it's not. Each of the four teens narrates the story in alternating chapters. Obsessed with fashion and make-up, and known for not being the brightest spark, Brie is thought of as a bit of an air-headed bimbo, but underneath the clothes and cosmetics, she has hazardously low self-esteem. Charlie, her best friend, is the only person that really knows the girl behind costume and understands her, the only one who'll really give her the time of day, and she's in love with him - even if he does force her to join the summer drama club. Charlie, however is gay, and has had difficulty finding a guy he really likes, and so when he does finally fall for someone at drama club, Walker, is pretty crestfallen to discover that he's straight. Walker is known for his promiscuity, and is loathed for how he treats girls, but what no-one knows is that he is constantly being disappointed and having his heartbroken by girls, finding out that were never the people they alluded to be. But then he meets Daisy at the drama club, who is so much more than just her beauty, and everything Walker has always wanted. But Daisy is a lesbian, a card-caring feminist, and has strong views about gay rights - though she's not as sure of herself as she seems.
Ok, that does sound complicated, but they all interact with each other and become "friends" with each other at the club, so with them all hanging out, it's easy to keep up.
Pretty Things is one of those books that deceptively looks like it's light and fluffy, but actually covers some serious issues in a way that is completely accessible. Manning has a wonderful way of channelling the teenage voice and using humour and sarcasm that makes it fun read rather than a serious issue book. It's awesome that Pretty Things can get readers thinking about such subjects without going down heavy paths.
And I suppose that's partly down to the fact that, despite there being two protagonists who are gay and another two straight ones who are in love with them, this isn't a book that is about sexuality. Sure, some characters struggle with the sexuality of others. And, ok, there are times when characters question their own sexuality. And yes, moments of experimentation. But Pretty Things is about four individuals and their experience with love - discovering love, working out what love is, unrequited love, basically romantic love in all it's forms - and their self-identity. In the author's note, Manning wrote:
"This is probably the bit where I say that Pretty Things is a serious story about the quest for sexual identity in four emotionally stunted youths. But it's so not. It's about love and how it bops you over the head when you least expect it."
And that's exactly how the story comes across. It doesn't matter what their gender is, what their sexuality is, or the gender of the person they fall for, it's about their feelings and their relationships with each other, and, as I said, about the characters as individuals. As Charlie says, "...being gay is not all I am. Why should who you sleep with define you?" (p106), something Daisy is just starting to figure out: "Maybe I should stop defining myself through the people I sleep with and trying to work out who the hell I actually am because I don't have a clue." (p312 - emphasis mine, not the author's.)
LGBTQ themes are not the only thing this book covers, I could have read it for Sex in Teen Lit Month and Body Image and Self-Perception Month as well as LGBTQ YA Month. Each character has their own issues with themselves, and varying views on sex - whatever their sexuality, and to have so many things covered makes for really interesting reading.
A fantastic novel, Pretty Things is a fun and sensitive story of love and self-discovery, and one I highly recommend.(less)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is considered a modern classic and highly acclaimed. Because of this, I have...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is considered a modern classic and highly acclaimed. Because of this, I have only just read it for the first time. I generally have problems with classics - not in enjoyment or some kind of snobbery, I just tend to have trouble understanding them. The classics that are from decades ago. However, I was never aware how recently Perks was written, and so overlooked it because of intimidation. This is just going to be another one of those books that's just too smart for me to get. Without ever really picking it up, I would see it on the shelves in book stores and look at it sadly, feeling inadequate and unintelligent because I wouldn't be able to read it.
Until I heard somewhere online it was - or could be considered - a YA novel. Then I picked it up and read the blurb. It sounded interesting, but still I put it back. It didn't really leave my mind though. I wanted to read it, I wanted to be able to read it. And when doing research for the upcoming LGBTQ YA Month I'll be having on my blog, this book was listed. Then I was sent an email from Simon and Schuster; they were republishing it, and it was also going to be coming out as a movie, and would I like a review copy? Everything in this paragraph happened over a series of a few weeks. Perhaps fate was telling me to give it a go, but I don't really believe in that kind of thing. I watched the movie trailer, and replied saying I'd like to review it. I picked it up Monday, a few days after receiving it, and coincidentally, this week is Banned Books Week. Perks is a banned book so, everything kind of happened around the right time. So I read it, finished yesterday, and oh my god, I have fallen in love! I don't think I have read a book so beautiful in my life.
First of all, I guess I shouldn't be so fearful of the word "classic" - so there are a few I struggle with, that doesn't mean I'll have problems with all of them! Perks was so incredibly easy to read and enjoyable, that my original intimidation just flew out of my head. I love Charlie, and I love this book!
Charlie is such a shy guy, and is so introverted. He is starting high school, he has no friends, and he is scared, so he writes letters to an anonymous person - "Dear Friend" - for someone to talk to, for someone to confide in, as he has heard this Friend "...listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist." (p3) The story is told through the letters that charlie writes to Friend as he experiences his Sophomore year.
The way Charlie views the world, his innocence, and the way he expresses what's normally kept internal, his thoughts and feelings - rather than it just being a narration, he's actually telling an anonymous someone - has captured my heart. He is so honest and real! He can be so unbelievably smart or he can seem a little naive and innocent with the things that surprise/amuse him, his voice just feels so authentic. And he is just so unbelievably thoughtful and kind, and very sensitive. From the very beginning of this book, it was set in my mind that Charlie is such a special guy. He's just one of those characters that you'll take into your heart from the very beginning, and won't ever allow to leave, because you adore him from page one.
The other characters in the book, especially Patrick and Sam, are great, but what's better is Charlie's relationship with them. From being someone who is so shy without any friends, who never had too many friends before high school as well, Patrick and Sam become very important to him. Step-siblings, they are both outside of the popular crowd, but not outcasts. They are seniors, so both two years older than Charlie - Charlie was kept back a year because of things that happened when he was younger - but they both take him under their wing and become fast friends. Although he seeks advice from them at times about things he's yet to experience, for their friendship, the age gap is never a problem and nor does it ever really feel like they are quite older than him. Charlie is just their friend, like and of their other friends, and is accepted in to their group with no questions. Both seem to feel a little protective of Charlie, not because of his age, but because of who he is, being so shy and such an outsider, and in their way, they show him what life is. It's the sweetest friendship I've probably ever read; it's clear how important both Patrick and Sam are to Charlie, but they really care about him too. It's heart-warming.
Generally speaking, Perks is a coming-of-age story, and it deals with all the things that are part of teenager life; first love, first sexual experience, experimenting with drink and drugs, dances and music, family issues, romantic issues, and the normal teenage angst, but it deals with it all in a sensitive way. I was surprised with how the drink and drugs was handled; it's not glorified, but nor is it condemned either, which I don't think I've read before. It just is what it is, Charlie experiments with drugs, and that's it. As Charlie is writing the letters, he doesn't get excited about it or think he's doing something bad, he talks about it like he talks about driving, it's just something that happened. But that's just who Charlie was.
As I said, generally speaking, this is a coming-of-age story, but it also covers a number of serious issues. Perks is quite short at 232 pages (my copy), but Chbosky manages to have a number of things seen through Charlie's eyes without the book feeling clunky or like it's been all crammed in. Either Charlie's experienced something, or it's something a friend has that is discussed with him,. Teen pregnancy, abuse, suicide, homosexuality, and a number of other subjects are covered, but dealt with in such a great way, through Charlie's unique view of the world.
Perks is an absolutely wonderful novel, a delight of a book. There is this speech towards the end of the novel made by Sam that will always stay with me, because it was just so powerful. Perks will break your heart, it will put the pieces back together again, and it will move your far beyond words. You'll cry, you'll laugh, and you will finish the book saddened that's ended, but uplifted by where Charlie finds himself. Perks might just be the best book I have ever read.(less)
Clary Fray's life changes forever after going to a nightclub one evening and sees a boy murder another - who's body disappears. Then when her mother d...moreClary Fray's life changes forever after going to a nightclub one evening and sees a boy murder another - who's body disappears. Then when her mother disappears, and she finds a monster in her house, Clary is thrown into a world of demons and Shadow Hunters, those who hunt them. Everything she knows is turned upside down, and with the return of th Shadow Hunter's worst enemy, Valentine, and the search to find an ancient relic of great power, the Mortal Cup, before he does, Clary discovers she is more than just an average girl.
I've seen reviews for the Mortal Instruments series for a fair while, and thought I would give City of Bones a go even though it didn't really appeal to me. This book has been sitting in my TBR pie for a few months now, and finally made my way to it. And you know what? I so wish I picked this up sooner!
As I hand write this review (I'm on holiday, and can't get to a computer right now), I've literally jus finished City of Bone and I am BUZZING! There aren't really any words I am capable of using right now to describe how good it is, but the fact that I feel the urge to shout and scream and jump about should give you the idea. City of Bones is that good! Someon pass me City of Ashes now!
It may sound odd, but this book reminds me of Doctor Who's tardis in a way; you know how it's bigger on the inside? Well it's kind of opposite with this book. City of Bones is a fair sized book at 442 pages, and the font is fairly small, yet it was such a quick read! And although a lot happens, it looks like I should have at least half the book still to read. My point is, I thought I'd be reading this book for quite a while (I'm not the fastest reader going), and that it may be a little tedious, but it took just two days, and was so exciting. I got through the book much faster than I thought possible for me - while on holiday!
The storyline at it's very, very basic isn't all that original; a group of teenagers fighting against an evil adult antagonist, one of said teenagers finding their life isn't what they thought. Sound familiar? Of course it does, you could apply this to any number of YA novels out right now, but this is just the bare bones of the novel. It's the meat of the book that makes this book so fantastic, and stand out from the rest!
Like the characters for example. Clary herself is awesome, funny, and strong when she's forced to be, but she is fairly ordinary as a person that any girl could relate to her. The other characters are also amazing! Jace, one of the Shadow Hunters, with his golden angelic good looks, arrogance and humour make him irresistible, even if he is a git at times; Simon, Clary's best friend, the most hilarious nerd I've ever seen read, you just wantto give him a big hug; Isabelle, another Shadow Hunter, beautiful and a right cow, and her brother Alec, just as good looking, but not the nicest bloke around. All of these characters and their individual sub-plots intertwine and ovelap with th main thread to creae a brilliant, and at times beautifully heartbreaking, story.
There are so many romantic threads weaving through this book, you're continually switching back and forth over who you're rooting for. The action in City of Bones is incredible, ad it really gets the heart pumping and the adrenalin rushing. Definitely edge-of-your-seat stuff. Simply amazing!
This book has jumped right up there with my favourites! Anyone who is umming and ahhing about reading this book like I was, stop hesitating and pick it up now. You won't reget it! I'll leave you with an image that should seal the deal: beautiful, gorgeous Jace, with a cocky smile, sitting astride a flying motorbike. Oh my. (less)
Raine benares needs to get rid of her link to the Saghred. With it, she has unlimited power at her disposal - and the evil Khrynsani shamans on her ta...moreRaine benares needs to get rid of her link to the Saghred. With it, she has unlimited power at her disposal - and the evil Khrynsani shamans on her tail. She has just arrived on the Ilse of Mid, hoping one of the mages of the Conclave can help her get loose of the Saghred's grasp. But she's followed by the goblins who want "their" stone back, and now amongst magic users are those greedy for power, who will go to any lengths to get it. And when spellsinging students disappear from the school on Mid, Raine is expected to find them.
I have no idea how I am going to manage to review this book bar these two words: absolutely amazing! I loved MLTF, but A&M goes above and beyond what I expected.
Quite literally, Lisa Shearin is a fantasy genius. That is it. I was bubbling over with excitement at each and every twist and turn that smacked me in the face - or rather Raine in the face. There is so much suspence in this novel, I sitting on the edge of my seat throughout most of it.
Well loved characters show their faces again in A&M, along with new people. As soon as you meet him, you love the goblin spell singer Talon. Ronan Cayle is pretty awesome too, in his strict teachery sort of way, and for someone who has control of the island, Justinius Valerian isn't bad either. The lovely Mychael and Tam are still here, but a new bunch of bad guys come out of the woodwork too, the kind you love to hate.
When Troy (a hugely overweight social leper) befriends Curt (a skinny homeless punk guitar genius), they both get much more than they bargained for. T...moreWhen Troy (a hugely overweight social leper) befriends Curt (a skinny homeless punk guitar genius), they both get much more than they bargained for. Troy's macho brother and ex-Marine father think Curt is just a junkie loser - but as Curt stopped Troy's suicide attempt, Troy can't just forget him. Curt recruits Troy as the new drummer in his punk band - but Troy has never played the drums in his life. When Curt's around, though, almost anything seems possible. An outstanding, heart-warming, funny, edgy, debut novel. From Amazon UK
This book is absolutely amazing! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. This book is so good, I just feel so light right now, high. It's just awesome!
The book starts off with Troy actually at the tube station, considering jumping in front of a train. But then Curt, who is sleeping rough on the platform, opens his mouth. From Troy's point of view, everything he does is funny to other people. He only has to sit down in the cafeteria and people laugh. While standing at the end of the platform, he tries to work out if his suicide would be funny. He imagines how he think it would be, and laughs. And then this homless guy says "You laughing at me?"
Four words. If Curt, the character, didn't utter those words, Troy would have probably jumped. There would have been no story. We wouldn't have seen how Troy's complete and utter lack of self-confidence and self-worth could have been turned around.
In the comments of Luisa Plaja's guest post, I commented on how I on't like how in some stories, girls' opinion of themselves changes because of a guy's interest. In a way, I still feel like that, but this book has changed that. Forget the girl is female and the guy is male, and they're attracted to each other. Someone is helping out someone else. In Angela Morrison's interview, she mentions how sometimes all people need is a good friend to gently help. In this book, that is exactly the situation. Curt helps Troy. Not by telling him he looks fine, or by changing the way he looks. But by asking him to join his band as a drummer. Now this is not just some random homeless person inviting him to join his band, it's Curt, Curt MacCrae, only the legendary guitarist who went to his school, who inspires awe in everyone who looks at him. And he has just asked Troy to just his band!
What ensues is a brilliant, brilliant story of Troy's change in attitude. He sees himself differently. Because of the belief and encouragement of people he has the utmost respect for, the way he sees himself changes; his weight, the way he looks - he realises, in the great scheme of things, it doesn't matter.
I have to say, I have the biggest lit-crush on Curt, even if he is a smelly homeless person. His life is complicated, and not something I can go into without spoiling the story. He talks in this strange way that is just so awesome and amusing, I grin whenever he speaks - it's complete nonsense most of the time, but it's brilliant! And he's deep, in this way I can't even explain, because I only barely just got what he meant myself, but it's amazing! And on top of that, he can play guitar and - I know it's a book, and so I can't technically hear him play - he's absolutely unbelievably good! And, well, I've always kind of had a thing for a guy who can play guitar (it's a failing I have, I'm trying to get over it ;)). I just love this guy! Simply because you need to see how amazing it is when Curt speaks, here's a quote:
'"You see, technically, and this is only in the technical sense, legal court orders and all, so, yes, technically I live with my father, but that's hard to do, really, so I don't. You know, mostly 'cause he kicked me out a couple times. And left. But that doesn't mean it's out of the realm of possibility that I could be living with my father..."' (p16)
I just love it! And you know what also helps? It's a book that has a lot to do with music. I'm a music fan, I'm a live music fan, I'm a huge fan of gigs at venues with new bands - and this book was full of it all! It's just brilliant! You can feel the vibrations, you can smell the sweat, you can feel the buzz! It's just amazing!
If you read my review of King of the Screwups, also by K.L. Going, you'll know that although I absolutely loved it, I had a bit of trouble getting motivated to pick it up once I put it down. I did not have this trouble in the slightest with this book! I always wanted to read it! I was hooked from the first words, and further hooked from the moment Curt speaks, and just dying to see what happened with the two of them and the band. Absolutely awesome!
I cannot recommend this book enough! It's six years old now, but one you should all definitely try to get your hands on! It's awesome, and it's going to stick with me for a while, just how deeply the two guys effect each other. It's now up there with my favourites, and I am just so glad I chose to read this book! I will definitely be checking out more of the novels by K.L. Going!
Words will never be able to describe how much I love this book! This is the book where the series really takes a strong turning point for me. Harry ha...moreWords will never be able to describe how much I love this book! This is the book where the series really takes a strong turning point for me. Harry has faced danger in the past, but not in such a huge scale.
There are the Dementors, which, even now, as an adult, I find really creepy. Harry hear's his parents being murdered by Voldemort whenever the Dementors are around. Prisoner Sirius Black, believed to be Voldemort's right-hand man when he was at his full power, has broken out of prison with the sole purpose of going to Hogwarts to commit murder. Everyone is terrified. All of which excites me and has me glued to the book!
The Dementors have got to be one of the best "creatures" in this series. As Lupin says when he and Harry discuss what the Boggart would turn into when it saw Harry, Harry fears fear itself. That's what the Demetors are, the embodiment of fear, fear personified. You never really know what they look like, happiness evaporates, and they bring terribly bad weather with them. What could be worse? It's the last one that I really like, the weather. Like the Dementors cause physical pathetic fallacy (for those who don't know, pathetic fallacy is a literary device in which the weather reflects the mood of the characters). It's not coincidence that the weather is fitting when the Dementors are around, the actually cause it. So clever! I love it! And how cool is it that the thing that will help most after being in the presence of a Dementor is chocolate? All those endorphins it releases, I imagine!
I also love Lupin. Lupin is just amazing! He is fun, he is kind, he's just awesome! Who doesn't want to have Defence Against the Dark Arts classes with Lupin?! They sound like the best lessons ever! He also brings some humour to the book with his Boggart lesson - Snape in women's clothing? Just brilliant! But so does Professor Trelawney. That women is completely barking, but I love her for it. And then you have Sirius, who turns out to be the most amazing person in the world, because he's Harry's chance of a completely happy life. That conversation when Sirius offers to take Harry in is one of the most emotional parts of the series, because for a few glorious minutes, Harry believes he will have a proper, loving family... and then it's taken away from him. So sad!
What I haven't mentioned in any of my previous reviews is Rowling's writing, but that's because it's effect is more obvious in this book. It's dark, it's scary, it's really quite creepy and at times very dangerous, yet as I turn every page, the magic Rowling weaves with her words is like warmth. I can't explain it any other way. No matter what's happening in the books, whenever I read a Harry Potter book, I am filled with warmth. They're also gold. I am unable to put into words what I mean by gold, but Rowling's novels are just warmth and gold, and reading them feels like coming home.
After the recommendation from Ilikey Merey, and a conversation with a work colleague about it, Skim found it...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
After the recommendation from Ilikey Merey, and a conversation with a work colleague about it, Skim found its way into my hands thanks to aforementioned work colleague specifically for LGBTQ YA Month (thanks, Lily!). Again, not generally being a fan of graphic novels, I was a little wary, but found I really enjoyed it.
A boy from Skim's school, John commits suicide, and the school suddenly becomes obsessed with grief. Skim is witness to the "coolness" that comes with dragging out John's death - memorials, the "Girls Celebrate Life" group that's set up, the constant smothering of the one person who is actually grieving, John's ex-girlfriend Katie. Skim sees it all, but doesn't join in. She has enough going on in her own life - like falling in love with Ms. Archer, her English and Art teacher, and the recent awkwardness between her and her best friend Lisa.
This isn't a book about suicide, being a teen witch, discovering your sexuality, or friend problems. It's about life, the life of Skim, and these happen to be the things that are going on in her life at the moment. There isn't really a main focus for the story, but Skim's growing attraction to her teacher is the focus for her. Ms. Archer is cool; she listens to her, and they end up having conversations outside of class, smoking together, discussing the books being studied. Ms. Archer doesn't treat her like a child or a student, but a person who's opinions are valid. Skim is flattered by the attention, and she finds herself falling in love with her teacher. It's never discussed though; she doesn't tell Lisa, she doesn't tell anyone. Skim deals with it all on her own. It felt to me much less about Ms. Archer, and more about Skim's self-discovery and falling in love for the first time. It was sweet in the only way confusion about love can be.
The story as a whole is great. I can't really talk that much more about it without spoiling it, but I can say that it's a story I would have automatically picked up to read without hesitation if it was a YA novel rather than a graphic novel. If I had to criticise, I'd say that I'd have preferred there be more description when it came to feelings, and I'd like to know more about what happened at certain times; what led up to it, the aftermath, rather than just an image. I know a picture can say a thousand words, but perhaps a thousand isn't enough for me sometimes. An awesome graphic novel, and a great story!(less)
Chloe Saunders is just an ordinary 15-year-old - that is until she starts seeing ghosts. Ghosts that are appearing all over, horribly disfigured, aski...moreChloe Saunders is just an ordinary 15-year-old - that is until she starts seeing ghosts. Ghosts that are appearing all over, horribly disfigured, asking her for help. After one ghost chases her through school and Chloe reacts badly from being terrified, she is admitted into a group home for crazy kids. As she gets used to Lyle House, things seem ok. But then she gets to know the kids at the house better, and ghosts turn up asking for her help there too. Most of the kids have something in common, and Chloe starts to doubt that Lyle House us all it appears to be.
I cannot tell you how good this book is! The Dark Powers Trilogy is one story, meaning that The Summoning doesn't have a story that is resolved at the end, and you're left with a killer cliff hanger!
The Summoning is very much a first book. Most of it is setting the series up; Chloe finding out more about herself, about this "gift" she has, and about Lyle House. It's mainly learning, understanding, and finding things out. It all comes together in the last third of the book, where things are pieced together, and they realise there's something not quite right with the group home, but they're not entirely sure what. Then the action kicks in.
Although the first two thirds are the finding out stages, there's enough happening to keep your interest, to keep you intrigued. And the characters are awesome too. Like the kids in the home; Simon is beyond lovely, Rae is enthusiastic and bubbly, Derek is just so awesome under his quiet mean and moody act, and Liz is happy-go-lucky, but also kind of odd. And by the end of the book you're sitting on the edge of your seat, adrenalin running through you just like the teens in the book, and you can't read fast enough. I have an inkling of a love triangle in future novels which makes the story interesting!
This is really an awesome book, and I can't wait to read the next one, The Awakening, to find out what happens! This is the first book by Kelley Armstrong I've read, and I'll definitely be picking up her other novels. This is a must read!(less)
So I originally said that I wouldn't be moving straight on to The Belgariad series after finishing Eddings'...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
So I originally said that I wouldn't be moving straight on to The Belgariad series after finishing Eddings' Tamuli trilogy, but my Kindle was dead, and was taking forever to charge, so I decided to read this series instead as it was calling me. So glad I did! God, I love these books!
Garion is a young, oridinary boy living on Faldor's Farm with his Aunt Pol, the farm's cook. He loves hearing the tales of myth and legend; the stories of the Gods and the wars of the past, of how evil God Torak stole the Orb of power from his brother Aldur, and how the sorcerer Belgarath fought to get it back with men from Aloria. But they're all just stories, and nothing that will touch his life. Until one day the Storyteller arrives at the farm and urgently needs Aunt Pol to go with him to recover something that has been stolen. Something important. Whisked away from everything he knows, Garion travels with Aunt Pol and the Storyteller he calls Mister Wolf into the unknown - never knowing what they're doing, what they're trying to find, and why. Kings and nobles are met along the way, who treat Mister Wolf and Aunt Pol with the utmost respect, and Garion slowly comes to realise that these people may not actually be who he thought they were...
This book is the reason I read. Just let that sink in for a moment. If it wasn't for this book, there would be no blog, and I probably wouldn't have read all the hundreds of books I've read. This is the book that turned me from a non-reader to a reader when I was 12. This book changed my life.
Reading it again gave me such a profound sense of joy there are no words to express well enough. It's like being wrapped up in a familar warmth, in happiness and comfort and complete contentment. There's also excitement to read on, get to all the exciting parts I remember. I remembered almost every moment of this book, but, like I've found on other re-reads of this series, I can never exactly remember where one book ends and another book starts.
I remember from a previous re-read thinking that it took a long while for it to get to the point where they leave Faldor's Farm, and that not very much happened in this first book. What I had forgotten is how small a book Pawn of Prophecy is. I must have become much quicker at reading than I used to be, because at 258 pages, I flew through it. This time round, it felt to me that everything happened really quickly, but not in any bad way. With each word, each page, each chapter, I was getting closer to all the excitement I was so looking forward to, and loving every second.
Pawn of Prophecy begins what has become the epitome of what is high fantasy to me. The great cast of characters, the adventure, politics and intrigue, the magic. This story completely captures my imagination every time, and never fails to remind me of the wonders of reading. This book will always be close to my heart.(less)
People have raved about Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher throughout the whole time I've been blogging, but...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
People have raved about Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher throughout the whole time I've been blogging, but I had never read it. I always thought it sounded awesome, but for one reason or another, I didn't buy it until recently. And now I so wish I had read it sooner.
Clay comes home from school to find a package for him on his doorstep. It's full of casette tapes, but no message. When he starts listening to them, he discovers they're from Hannah Baker - who committed suicide two weeks ago. The tapes chronicle the thirteen reasons - the thirteen people - that caused her to take her own life. Clay is one of them. And now Hannah is going to tell him exactly how he affected her life.
This book is extremely powerful, and incredibly moving. It's told in a dual narrative, what Hannah has recorded interspersed with Clay's thoughts and actions as he listens. It's not alternate chapters, it's all together, Hannah in italics, Clay not. We listen along with him, we get some further context of what Hannah is saying from Clay's own memories. It's really hard to listen, because you know it's already happened, and yet as you read, you hope someone will help her. If Clay knew, he would have - this you know for certain because of the person he is, despite the mistakes he's made. It's just so incredibly sad that Hannah wasn't as honest until she had decided to end it.
This story revolves around bullying, but not as you expect. It's not in your face bullying. Some people may not even consider it bullying, because if you do... then perhaps you've been a bully yourself at some point, and who wants to be confronted with that? It's the small comments, the small actions, due to things you've heard or seen. You might make one comment. But if everyone is making a comment, and it's been happening for years? It can affect you. Rumours are a terrible, terrible thing. Especially when people act on those rumours. This whole story is a snowball affect of small actions leading on to much bigger things. Things that get worse. Things that become difficult to deal with, to live with. Things that you just don't want to have to think about anymore, causing feelings you don't want to feel. It was terrible reading this book, because at times, I knew exactly how Hannah felt. Small comments, small actions might not seem like much, but when it feels like everyone has turned against you... it's hard to deal with. It can feel like too much. And Hannah felt there was only one way to escape it.
As I said, it snowballs, and things get worse, much worse. The things she unwittingly involves herself in, the things she sees, the consequences of things she knows... there are some terrible, terrible occurrences in this book, and with everything else Hannah has going on in her life, I can understand how it all got on top of her, how it all felt like too much, and that she just couldn't deal any more. And Clay! Sweet Clay, having to listen to it all, finally understanding, but being unable to do anything, having no way to help, because it's happened already. There is nothing he can do but listen.
This book will change you, even if it's just a little. You will look at yourself and the way you treat others. You will question your behaviour. Because who is a saint, right? Who has never repeated what they heard? Who has never thought of - treated - someone differently because of what they heard? Who's life have you made that much harder by doing what, at the time, seemed like nothing? It's scary. Incredibly powerful, extremely thought-provoking, beautifully moving. I am in so much awe.(less)
When I was first sent this to review, I wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea. As you may have read, I'm...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
When I was first sent this to review, I wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea. As you may have read, I'm generally not a fan of historical novels, so that aspect didn't appeal to me, especially as it was about the First World War. And I wasn't too sure about Greg's fascination with the house either. The story just didn't much appeal to me. I decided to give it a go anyway. I'm so glad I did, it's awesome!
A budding photographer, Greg takes an interest in the dilapidated stately home Graveney Hall, seeing beauty where others see ruin. When he looks more into the history of the house and it's destruction, he discovers Edmund Pearson, the heir to the home, died mysteriously around the same time the house was destroyed in a fire. Edmund Pearson was a soldier in the First World War, and Greg is determined to find out what happened to him. As we learn more about Edmund's story, similarities between his and Greg's lives are brought to light; for neither boy lives a life without difficulty.
The Shell House is a dual narrative, going back and forth in time the roughly present day and First World War, following the lives of Greg and Edmund. Greg is a sixth former with an interest in photography who finds a new friend in Faith, the daughter of a Friend of Graveney Hall who are doing the home up, and discovers he's seeing his friend Jordan in a new light. Twenty one-year-old Edmund is fighting in the First World War, where he met Alex, the man who opened his eyes to what love is. He is struggling to work out how to live the life he wants, with Alex, when he is expected to come home, take over Graveney Hall, marry and produce a new heir. Edmund wants a life of love, but has been born into a life of responsibility.
Greg is a photographer, Edmund is a poet. So each chapter, depending on who's it is, is opened with a description of a photo - a photo Greg took, a photo that Greg would have taken if he had his camera on him, or a photo he's seen - or a poem written by Edmund. The photos and poems relate to what happens in each chapter, and they give you a fantastic insight into the personality and feelings of each character.
Although their stories are very different, both characters experience similar things. There are questions of sexuality and religion, which also plays a huge part in the story, for both characters. Edmund was a believer who lost his faith, Greg was an atheist who starts to question. I find it interesting how differently Edmund and Greg view their sexuality. Edmund lives in a time where homosexuality is completely unacceptable but has no issues with his sexuality and is happy in his love for Alex.
'"I'm not really joking," he said,turning his head towards Alex. 'I mean it. I can't imagine a future without you.'Alex looked down at him and said softly, "Nor I".At moments like this, Edmund had the sense of everything settling into place. This, then, was love - not love as his father wanted it, all tied up with property and respectability and procreation. This was love that demanded nothing but itself.' (p93)
Where Greg, on the other hand, lives in a time where people are more accepting (though, granted, not as accepting as we could be) but has such difficulty coming to terms with and admitting the things he's feeling.
'Into his mind, vivid and disturbing, slipped the moment yesterday morning in the changing room when Jordan had turned and looked at him. It had only taken an instant, but there had been a sort of connection. An exchange, an unspoken understanding. He had stared openly at Jordan as he stood there naked; he had gazed for too long, and Jordan had seen and not minded. Jordan's glance had seemed to say: I know. It's all right. God, what am I thinking? Is he - am I - does he think - do I--' (p176)
'Greg walked back slowly, kicking at leaves, thinking about Jordan. I am not gay, he told himself. Not even remotely. Just because I--Just because he's always on my mind. Just because I'd rather be with him than with anyone else. Just because it's enough to be together, not even talking. Just because he obviously likes me the same way.Again, Greg thought of that glance, of what had seemed like a current running between them. But what had Jordan actually said? Hi. Ready in a couple of minutes, if you don't mind hanging on. Definitely not the words of someone who had just experienced a blinding revelation. Male bonding, Greg decided, that's all.' (p178)
That's not to say Edmund doesn't have his own issues regarding his sexuality. His problems are more to do with outsiders' views and his faith.
'And Edmund, unable to reconcile his Church of England upbringing with what he had discovered about his sexual leanings, had been glad to discard God. Now, though, in his desperation, he yearned for the comfort of a father-figure who would listen and heed and intervene. He closed his eyes and tried to pray as he had never prayed before...Alex's suffering was a punishment for his homosexuality. And his own punishment was this: to be forced to stand by, helplessly, while his lover passed through torment and out of his reach.' (p115-156)
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is an abomination!" the Reverend Tillety quoted fiercely. "So it is written in the Book of Leviticus. And what is wrong in God's eyes cannot be made to seem right or justifiable, whatever the situation. I will not listen while you make excuses for your sin - if it is repulsive to me, imagine how much more repulsive it is to the Lord! You must realize, man, that not only is it morally repugnant, it is also a crime in the eyes of the law! Have you no shame?"' (p304-305)
These two passages show something I find really difficult to deal with. I myself am an atheist, but have nothing against religion and love people with strong faith. As I've been reading these books for LGBTQ YA Month, I've found myself worrying about young religious teens who are questioning their sexuality, and don't know how to reconcile what they feel with what they believe. I genuinely worry, because, god, what a position to be in! The thoughts they may be thinking! It hearts my heart, it really does. And then there are the religious people who treat gay people absolutely disgustingly, and they make me so angry! I may disagree with the views, but everyone has a right to their own opinion. However, no-one has the right to force their opinions and beliefs on another, whether it be preaching at me as an atheist, or scornfully telling an LGBTQ person that the way they live their life is wrong. It makes my blood boil. But back to the book...
There comes a point when conversations have to be had, and Greg can't keep his confusion to himself. Greg is flawed, he does some downright awful things at times, but it comes from fear and uncertainty, and I just wanted to give him a hug. Especially when Jordan comes out to him, and they have this conversation.
'"You didn't answer just now when I asked if you minded.""No. No, I don't mind. But if you're asking if I'm gay--"Jordan nodded, waiting.Greg shook his head. "I've never thought so. But it's doing my head in. I mean I fancy girls. I don't know any more - it's weird, all this--""All this what? What's doing your head in?""This is. You are. I think about you all the time." Greg's mouth wrenched itself into a grimacing smile; he shook his head, looking down at his clasped hands."What's funny?""Can't believe what I just said."'(p210-211)
The Shell House discusses faith and spirituality as much as it does sexuality. For the most part, despite what what I quote above, it's a separate discussion to what religion says about sexuality, it's more a discussion about whether God exists or not. There are so many different views shared, it's just so fascinating. Greg uses scientific advances and discoveries as reasons for there not being a God, but there are also thought out, believable arguments for the non-existence of God in Edmund's time, too, when scientific advancement is yet to come into play. It's less about religion, and more about belief, what each character believes to be true. Both sides of the argument are represented so well, I couldn't tell you whether Newberry is religious or not.
The Shell House is beautifully written. Some passages are just so deliciously put together, you want to read them out loud. Sometimes poetic, always gorgeous. The imagery is beautiful, and there are certain ideas the characters have, on love, on sex, on words, that really resonated with me because they are so like my own, but expressed in a way I would never have been able to.I have literally been copying out sections for myself, to read whenever I wish. If I was going to give this book one criticism, despite the beautiful language, Greg and Jordan used language that is a little old fashioned for present day; I don't hear teens saying "Blast!", "You little oik!", or "Damnation!" There is some swearing in the book, so it's not as if they're used instead of swear words. It just seemed a little strange and jarring.
The Shell House is an amazing story, about people, about a house, about love, sexuality and faith. A beautiful, wonderful story, and one I would highly recommend!
Blubber meets Steel Magnolias in this funny and honest story about body image and family.
Rosemary Goode is smart and funny and loyal and the best eye...moreBlubber meets Steel Magnolias in this funny and honest story about body image and family.
Rosemary Goode is smart and funny and loyal and the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But only one thing seems to matter to anyone, including Rosemary: her weight. And when your mom runs the most successful (and gossipy) beauty shop in town, it can be hard to keep a low profile. Rosemary resolves to lose the weight, but her journey turns out to be about everything but the scale. Her life-changing, waist-shrinking year is captured with brutal honesty and humor, topped with an extralarge helping of Southern charm. A truly uncommon novel about an increasingly common problem. From Amazon US
This was such a great story! Oh, I loved it on so many levels! Just so sweet and uplifting! Such an amazing story!
Reading the blurb, you would think that Artichoke's Heart is just about Rosie losing weight, and while that is what it's about, it's about so much more too! There are so many layers to this novel! It's also about friendship, romance, family, community, expectations... I could go on! Each of the layers does link to Rosie's weight issues in some way, but they also stand on their own. Will Rosie's unlikely friendship with a popular girl end up turning sour? Is there any chance the new jock could ever look at her? Will her aunt ever get off her back and stop being so insulting? Will her mother allow someone to help her take on the world? Will her mother's clients stop looking at her in that way? Will she end up making decisions for the right reasons, rather than because of other people? A lot goes on in this novel, but it's never chaotic. It all adds to the story, it all effects the main plot, and you're invested in finding out the answers to all the questions.
I loved how Rosie's attitude changed as the book progressed. I can't really go into this without spoiling the book, but there's a number of times where Rosie would realise something just doesn't matter, or she'd see things a different way, or someone would say something to her that opened her eyes. In some of these instances, even my attitude was changed. There is nothing more fantastic than reading a novel and having it change your perspective for the better and make you view yourself differently. This has happened a number of times for me over the course of Body Image and Self-Perception Month and I just love it! Even though I can't relate to Rosie's weight issues, I can relate to her general insecurities, and it's just wonderful to have been "helped" by Rosie's story.
I also loved the language! This story is set in the south, and being from the UK, at first the language was a bit odd to read Rosie refering to her mum as Mother all the way through the book, calling a woman she was close to Miss Bertha rather than just Bertha, and the colloquial spellings for the southern twang. However, the more I read, the more I loved it! I do love a southern accent, and it just ended up sounding really cute in my head.
There is so much I could say about this book, I could gush on forever, but I think a lot of it would be better discovered in your own reading - I really don't want to spoil this fantastic book for you! I do absolutely love it, and I will be reading more novels by Suzanne Supplee in future. You definitely need to pick this book up.
I'm going to leave you with one quote from the book that has stuck with me, "Well... when you look at a person's eyes or her smile, you can't tell how much she weighs..." (p253)