This is a hard review for me to write. The thing is? It should be hard. Eating disorders, racism, and homophobia should never be a light topic in any...moreThis is a hard review for me to write. The thing is? It should be hard. Eating disorders, racism, and homophobia should never be a light topic in any situation. This is a heavy book and, for a lot of people, it isn't going to be a their cup of tea. Perhaps the most distressing thing is that, for all that we talk about anti bullying? Hate is still alive and well in far too many lunch rooms. This is one of the better books I've read in the recent years that truly tackles these subjects. Immense in it's realism on the subject matters it tackles, M.B. Mulhall deserves every award in the book for not taking the easy route on this. It's gritty ,and at times very hard to handle, but the way Mulhall crafts the story allows it to be the punch in the face it should be.
It's been over 24 hours since I finished this book and I'm still grappling with myself and my need to do this book the kind of justice it did for the kid who's scared to come out of the closet, the kid who feels the immense pressure to be perfect, or the kid who walks with their shoulders hunched, hoping to God the student body won't tear them down for something so far beyond their control such as race or sexual orientation. Still I'm going to attempt to do this book some semblance of justice.
Ian has a lot of secrets. From his home life to his sexuality to the way he stays in his weight class. He's breaking under the stress. Underneath all that baggage though? Ian is a great person. He will do anything to protect the people he loves. Even if it means he'll take the fall for it. In the beginning, he has one good friend and, luckily for Ian? Clay is a good friend. Clay has his moments, just as we all do. He's human. he has moments where he is an ass and he says things that no one should ever say about another person, even if it is over jealousy. But, in the end, bro are bros because Clay's got Ian's back no matter what.
I want to make it clear that this Ian's story. It's about his struggle with his parents, his future, and trying to be true to himself. His home life isn't ideal, it's clear his mother loves him but, as often is the case? His mother is loyal to his father. No matter how much she loves her son, she'll never choose Ian over her husband. Ian's father is a leech on society who is content to live off the system while reliving his glory days. Discontent with the way his life turned out he is determined to have Ian live as he does. He wants him to quit school, a constant mantra of his was something along the lines of '8 years was enough schooling for me, why do you need more.' He constantly tried to tear his son down for 'not being good enough.'
Ian needs control. However when twins Julian and Mei Li come into town? It turns his entire world upside down. It makes the lines he's set for himself blur. For the first time in his life he's attracted to another man that's in the same school as him. And the town Ian lives in is very narrow minded and very white. I'm not saying that all towns are like this, but I know a lot of towns here in the south that are just like it. Justin and Mei Lei are treated awfully from the get go and Ian's ex girlfriend targets her from the minute they lock eyes.
I loved the friendship between Ian and Mei Lei and how it progressed. I also loved how it was a completely separate thing from what he had with her brother. She became like his sister in a way.
Something very very wonderful about this story is that is was not just about the romance. I said before that it was Ian's story and I was serious. This is about his battle with himself and against his outward demons. That being said? The romance was omg steamy. I definitely had to fan myself a few times.
I did like the end result of the book. I liked the resolution. It showed that, even in a narrow minded place, there are still a lot of people that see the person, not the orientation.
Whether the reader realizes it or not? Ian was lucky in so many ways. Not everybody else is.
It's a great book. I hope you'll pick it up. I promise it's worth every word.(less)
PostApoc reads like an acid trip gone poetic in the middle of a concert you're not entirely sure you're at. It's haunting, thought provoking, and mess...morePostApoc reads like an acid trip gone poetic in the middle of a concert you're not entirely sure you're at. It's haunting, thought provoking, and messy.
Liz Worth creates a world that is so gritty and profoundly disturbing that I could hardly stomach it. In fact I challenge any other author to write this world in any other way than the flowing stream of consciousness of Ang's, the narrator's, mind. It's such an awful reality, getting worse and worse, going back and forth from present day to the past and never a better future. And throughout the entire book you're halfway wondering if any of this is even real. Maybe Ang is on a trip, maybe she's delusional, hell maybe she's in a psych ward and I just don't know.
It was surrealism at it's best. Words painted like melting worlds gone wrong across paper in a book that simultaneously made you want to wake up, run away, from it's nightmare-esque landscape and keep keep looking on in morbid fascination to see what happened next.
Whatever it is? It's been a long time since a book has made me go: Look at yourself, look at your life choices. What do you want to be? What do you want your reality to be?
I'm not saying this is everyone's cup of tea. In fact most people will probably not be able to appreciate the wonderful nuances and creeptastic anti-fantasy of this book.
But if you're willing to give it a chance, holy shit. You'll fall in love.
Waiting For Romeo is the sequel to the deliciously intoxicating Running From Romeo. I've been anxiously awaiting this book since I devoured it's prede...moreWaiting For Romeo is the sequel to the deliciously intoxicating Running From Romeo. I've been anxiously awaiting this book since I devoured it's predecessor. And I wondered, could Diane deliver a sequel as good as the first? The answer? Diane definitely can.
In, the first book we get a very real look into the mind of a survivor. This book is no different. However it focuses less on what Emilia's overcome and, rather, how she continues to move on.
Emilia, as always, is a wonderful character. She's a very real character. She isn't perfect, but she's inspiring. She keeps going, she's self aware, and she's got a good heart. I really liked that we saw more of the kind of person that she is.
Bryn is a character I've heard a lot of people fuss over. I'm stating now that, not only do I love Bryn, I have many friends who act just like her. Bryn isn't wishy washy. She's concerned about her best friend. She loves Emilia and she's protective. Emilia is head over heels for Logan. Bryn has to navigate that. She can't dump all over the relationship. She can warn her, but if one of your friend's significant others did something sweet for them, you can't deny you'd gush a little too. She's a fierce and loyal lady. And I have to say that 'cunt punt' is a very interesting concept.
Logan...oh how I adore your resolve and your follow through. I just wish we had seen more of his backstory. I wish we'd seen more of Logan as a person. We see him through his love for Emilia, but we don't get to see him past that. I would really love for there to be another book where Emilia deals with the fallout from this book and we find out how Logan received and overcame his demons.
I have to say that I'm very thankful that it took Emilia a long time to trust Logan enough to be intimate. I feel like it was a definite nod of respect to survivors. At no point is Emilia's trauma ever trivialized. That is done too much in society today. I was relieved this wasn't portrayed in the book.
Overall it's a great book. I would have love to see more depth though. The plot moved at this breakneck pace. It left me breathless and I'm surprised Margaret (my NOOK) doesn't have a cracked screen from how quickly I tried to turn the pages.
In the end, Waiting For Romeo is full of romance, great dialogue, conniving psuedo-villians, real villians, and the antics of 'of age' (as in over 21) college students. The twists are great and the foreshadowing is wonderful. I can't wait to see what Diane does next. Perhaps one more book in the Romeo series Diane?(less)
Review: So I don't like crime novels. I love procedural shows and I enjoy observing people, but I don't really delve into this genre. However L.K. Hil...moreReview: So I don't like crime novels. I love procedural shows and I enjoy observing people, but I don't really delve into this genre. However L.K. Hill wrote the book so I was like, ehh I'll try it.
L.K. Hill is an alarmingly talented and evil woman.
Because once again I am frothing at the mouth for a sequel. Once again I want to hit something because I have too many questions and I want to tweet to the heavens and back that if you don't read this book and like it I question your sanity.
This book is triggering. I'm not even going to go through the list, but if you're squeamish of anything taboo you need to steel yourself before reading it. (And no I'm not going to tell you not to read it because this book is THAT FREAKING GOOD) However, the triggering material is dealt with tastefully and with respect to the matter of which it pertains to.
Kyra is an amazing, multi faceted character. I love being inside her head, viewing her thought process. She's observant and she understands people. I mean this woman understands people on a mentalist level and you don't even realize it until the middle of the book. She's smart, resourceful, and gritty. She's got steel in her spine. This is the woman that I think we need to see more of in fiction. She's not the girl who allows herself to collapse when the world around her spirals. She handles her business...and then, like any human being, collapses afterwards. It's an admirable trait.
Gabe is a solid beginning for a character. Though we see into his mind and we are given glimpses into his machinations, we don't really know him yet. This is his story too, that much is clear. However, how much of it is his we have yet to learn.
The secondary characters are likeable and fleshed out enough that you can feel for them, fill in their features and give them personality. In fact, this entire book is rife with imagery that gives you a specific mental picture of what kind of world we're being drawn into.
L.K. Hill once again writes a book that is intricate and detailed, starting a whole other series that most authors will probably froth with envy over once she's complete. I don't even know how to accurately describe this book. I just know that it has that potential, the same one Interchron has, and the same one that has spawned any epic and critically acclaimed series of the decade. I look forward to more. I probably would pay her bills for a year and give her extra money so that she could finish this series and let me read it. I don't have those means however.
I can find nothing lacking in this book. L.K. Hill is as talented as ever and I, as a reviewer/reader/amateur writer, am at odds with my awe of this series and quality of the writing as well as being rabid for the next installment, and caught between utter fan worship-belieber level-devotion and hating her more than a little bit for consistently being this good.
Hats off again Liesel. Again you have set up a perfect first novel for what I fervently hope will continue to be a fast paced and gripping series.(less)
-Originally given 3.5 stars, but I refuse to lower that to 3 because goodreads, wonderful site that it is, h...moreCrossposted at my book blog: Vicariously!\
-Originally given 3.5 stars, but I refuse to lower that to 3 because goodreads, wonderful site that it is, has not made a way for us to give half stars-
Do not ever doubt my love for this book. Never. Because, while it was a hard start for me (small complaints: the dialogue seemed stilted, imagined, and not real, I didn't like the pacing), but I got to page 44 and that was it. Two hours later I was done and staring at Margaret (who is my NOOK) aghast.
Cause I how can I even describe this book?
If you know anything about me, it's that I like heavy subjects. I like exploring them, picking apart situations, and pondering. Joel(my ex-coblogger and pseudo-brother) will tell you in a hearbeat that I'm a 'Lifetime Movie' who 'talks like she's in Dawson's Creek.'
This book was just a couple points short of hitting that sweet spot of perfection of me.
Emilia, and I will argue this so hard don't test me, was such a real and relateable character for me in more than one way-some of them painful. I like that stuff was hinted at about her insomnia, but not revealed until later. Some might argue, but it made me feel like *I* was getting to know her as well. And the way things were dealt with and explained are so plausible it's not even funny. I found the insomnia, night terrors, and subsequent explanations hard to swallow, but more because I knew that it could happen-and has to many people. I could have done without the giggling every ten seconds.
Logan, oh my Lord! When my only complaint about someone is that they sound too good to be true? (But that ending OMFG) He was amazing, but I there's so much that wasn't said, that was only hinted at. I need it explained. He pushes at Emilia, who clearly has trust issues (and for good reason, not that he knows this til much much later), but doesn't really explain his past. His 'explanations' are matter-of-fact. I don't doubt them, they're said with an interesting type of conviction. What kills me is what is implied by that conviction, which is that there is so much to the story and he doesn't either a)feel like talking about it or b)doesn't trust Emlia to react how he wants her too. Which, I mean, makes him just as realistic as her.
And let me touch on this. We don't really know about who Logan was before other than what little he said and the examples Sebastian and Seraphina respectively set. Other than Emilia's continuous musings we don't know. I want that. I want to understand the relapse, Sebastian's awful attitude toward Emilia, and I just need further explanation.
The reason these characters are so relateable is because they are beautifully flawed.
I loved Brynn and getting to know her what little I did. She was an awesome confidant and best friend, fierce to the end. Their relationship was vastly reminiscent of my few very dear ones. I would have liked to know more about the other characters in the story, but this isn't THEIR story. This is Emilia and Logan's.
Here's the thing though: I loved this book.
Yeah, alcohol flowed abundant and the friends I have that drink that much are alcoholics, as well as it was rich in terms of surroundings and what their financial situations were. And Logan was very akin to Logan Echolls via season 3 of Veronica. There were plot holes and the writing could have been less flowery, words more varied, and sometimes more descriptive.
But it was good. Hat's off to you Diane. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book. :)(less)
***I gave this book a 4.5 on my blog. I refuse to knock it down to 4 stars just because goodreads do...moreReview cross posted at Amazon.com and Vicariously!
***I gave this book a 4.5 on my blog. I refuse to knock it down to 4 stars just because goodreads doesn't have half stars.***
I'm going to breathe for a minute. I just finished reading this beautiful baby and the nostalgia that's waxing poetic in my head is completely overwhelming.
Can I just say that I'm hella thankful for the beautiful people in my life? The many Sadi-like creatures that make my days lovely and beautiful?
On to the review.
This book. I felt like I was growing up all over again. Whitney is achingly familiar. She overthinks everything, doesn't feel good enough, and is just so damn willing to please. As Sadi says many times: Where's your spine girl? She finds it.
Whitney is an aspiring radio DJ running from her past, or rather decisions she doesn't want to overthink. She has a friend Leah and, don't we all have a Leah? She's that beautiful girl all the guys want and (seemingly) all the girl's want to be friends with. And Leah has a cousin named Sadi. Sadi's the girl that made Whitney feel about ten inches tall in college. She's all sharp wit and carefully conceived armour. So naturally all three of these girls meet guys.
I think we all can relate to Gabe, whose the guy that Leah runs to everytime her relationships fizzle out or even Marc, whose irritability with his business partner Todd is palpable in almost every scene they're in together.
The thing about Sadi and Whitney, even Gabe and Marc? They come off really human. They're very much so people you know, people you even see yourself in. Even Todd and Leah, more Leah than anything, come off as vaguely dimensional. Leah may be ridiculous and cardboardish as a human being, but as a character? I can name five women just like her that I've met or been friends with.
But guess what? This book was not about the romance! And guess what? It wasn't til the end of this book, where I realized everything seemed to have turned topsy turvy that I noticed that I hadn't noticed. I was far too busy watching Sadi and Whitney grow. I was far too busy watching their lives happen. Annnd maybe I was despising Leah twelve ways from Sunday.
The relationships that entertwine through the book are rich and satisfactory. Seeing not only the romantic and familial relationships, but the friendships come to fruition was like watching a tree grow. Seeds had been planted, nurtured, and they either flourished or died. You become invested in them. I became invested as if it WERE my life and not some book that I could put down. I cried with Whitney, I cried with Sadi, and I just felt.
It was exhilarating. I will never do this book justice in a review.
I cannot tell you enough about this book. I just think you should read it and sink into it like that hot bath you've been meaning to allow yourself. It's not a happy go lucky book. It's not a easy book. It's going to make you think, hurt, but above all hope. If you also happen to learn to see your reality a little better? I think the book's made the appropriate impact. PLUS it has an awesome soundtrack, which I'll be posting tomorrow.
No one likes growing up and I don't think it's ever an entirely pleasant experience. Finding people that are worth taking the journey with and finding who YOU really are? That's what makes it worth it. Well done Ellen. Well done. (less)
I love these books. It's predecessor, Go Ask Alice, had the same vibe as well. Both were about girls who got into a world they thought they could cont...moreI love these books. It's predecessor, Go Ask Alice, had the same vibe as well. Both were about girls who got into a world they thought they could control and ended up in way over their heads. I think that I related a lot more to the girl in this book (we'll call her Lucy) because it was set closer to my time in high school and I could remember a lot of the things in the book happening to my friends, if not myself.
It tackled the subject of peer pressure alarmingly well. It also handled addiction and the allure of it all very aptly. As I read about Lucy's friends spiraling into that world and saw how devastated she was that they were going on without her, that they didn't have time for her anymore, I felt her need to fit in. It was very visceral. Her ache to be accepted by the people she loved and her need to be a part of their world, even if it was at the expense of her relationship with her brother or her parent's trust, was very raw. I remember feeling that way at her age and at other points in my life. I remember being on parts of her journey not too long ago.
It's not easy to say no. Not when everyone looks like they're having so much fun or your friends are pressuring you to do it or when you may lose your very best friend to another crowd if you don't participate. And once you say yes? It gets harder to say no. You think "meh, what's one more time?" and do it again. Then you're offered something harder and it's better. You don't always get addicted to the drug. Sometimes you're just addicted to the high and willing to use whatever you have to to get back there. And THAT is more dangerous than any drug. That desperation.
Lucy's journey was harrowing. It squeezed the life out of me so many times. I'd have to remind myself to breathe in multiple different parts. And then the end. How it all ended? I'd love to say that this book was a scare tactic and it was being dramatic, but I've seen stuff like this happen for years and years. And I've seen it happen EXACTLY how it happened to Lucy. So read it as a cautionary tale.
I don't know that this exact story happened to a girl and that this is really her journal, but I've seen similar ones happen to friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers.
Can I say that I sat there thinking this for a good ten minutes after reading this book? Not to mention the following hour it took to ga...moreWow. Just wow.
Can I say that I sat there thinking this for a good ten minutes after reading this book? Not to mention the following hour it took to gather my words. And words come to me as easy as breathing. I always know what to say, it’s instinctual. I might not always say it, but I do. I think this may be the first time in my life that I may still be at a loss for words a hour later.
I just don’t know that I’ve read a book that’s ever…enticed me like this. Reading it the first time was insane. The second time? I absorbed it with the same fervor in which I began it. It took me less than three hours to devour this book. And here I am sitting, trying to sort out all the questions in my mind.
Let me begin by telling you: as far as first books go this is the ideal way to start out any series. You lead in with questions, very subtly answer them, but simultaneously leave the reader with further questions and several thousand conspiracy theories running around in their heads.
I will get killed for saying this, but I’m gonna, Liesel K. Hill has the potential for a Hunger Games rivaling series. I need this to happen. Cause I have faith that this woman could churn out an amazingly haunting series, that satisfies readers in ways Collins fell short. And I don’t know how I feel about feeling that.
The characters, while they all start in that semi-dimensional way, have so many arenas to grow through that it’s unreal. You feel for them in this haunting, almost reluctant way. And, at this point, you don’t even know what the cast’s motivations are in any way. The potential in these books is alarmingly amazing. I need the next book.
The plot is excessively intricate. It makes me feel like I’m looking at the scenery of a Studio Ghibli film. Nothing is superfluous. Everything has a reason and a place, even if it’s not revealed to you. I have amazingly high hopes for this series and Hill could not have written a better novel. I challenge you not to read this and be completely captivated.
Insanity. I think this book is so good that it’s driven me to a new level of insanity. Harry Potter ended! I was not ready for an obsession of this level to grip me ever again.
But it happened. Courtesy of Liesel K. Hill.(less)
I think, more and more nowadays, that our Hollywood illusions are being shattered. I don't know about the rest of you but, when I was young, I was und...moreI think, more and more nowadays, that our Hollywood illusions are being shattered. I don't know about the rest of you but, when I was young, I was under the impression that being famous meant you were happy, got everything you wanted, were rich, dated hot people, and that your life was perfect. What we're finding out is a much darker picture. Women are pressured and put under contract to maintain a certain look or weight. If they cannot do this they can be let go from their jobs or put under further pressure. When your health is lacking, a lot of studios still (this was a practice commonly done in the Judy Garland/Marilyn Monroe era) supply their stars with "uppers" and "downers to help them with the rigors and demands of their haranguing schedule. With people like Demi Lovato coming forward with their struggles with body image, drug abuse, and mental illness we're learning that her story is not the exception in terms of what she's been put through. What's exceptional is that she got help, came clean about her issues, and her career continued to thrive.
Willow was a big deal in Hollywood, until the fast life caught up with her. Faced with rehab or a grave? Willow "chose" rehab. Now she's got one last shot and on top of that? She's got no cash flow. She is at rock bottom and she has to keep this job. That means showing up on time and staying away from the party scene that was once her entire universe.
Cooper has his own baggage and the last thing he wants is to deal with another strung out actress. He's seen how that plays out and, no thanks, he's better off away from that world. Willow finds herself wanting to prove him wrong and pushing herself to exceed his, and the everyone else's, expectations.
Willow was a really interesting character to me. She'd led a very different life from mine, but I found myself relating to her on a very visceral level. It got to a point where Willow was genuinely trying, where she was figuring out 'hey I need to change and that girl I was isn't the woman I want to be.' It was great seeing her grow as a character. And it wasn't just driven by wanting to impress or be with Cooper. It got to a point where Willow just wanted to be good enough for her.
I also liked Cooper's arc. Don't get me wrong, this was definitely Willow's story. At the end of the day she was the most developed character. But Cooper's impact, the curveball that threw. It was definitely interesting.
And when Willow had to face her demons she did. It was not an easy thing, her kryptonite was underhanded in more than twenty ways. Willow didn't just try, she overcame. And she realized that part of recovery is realizing that it is something that you have to continue for the rest of your life.
A great story, a great ending, and an even greater message. There is no easy way out and there is no miracle cure. You work your ass off. In a culture that feeds off instant gratification, the only way to be sure is to be thorough. And Willow learned that and more.(less)