Audiobook reread complete! Still a great story, though narrator tended to get shouty at times. Like, chill out, dude. Shouting does not equal vehemencAudiobook reread complete! Still a great story, though narrator tended to get shouty at times. Like, chill out, dude. Shouting does not equal vehemence....more
Earthquake totally brought its A-game! This book was suspenseful and action-packed, anRead this review on my blog! --> Earthquake by Aprilynne Pike
Earthquake totally brought its A-game! This book was suspenseful and action-packed, and at times, very swoony too! Aprilynne Pike did a great job at making this big story easy to follow. It could have easily become a big mess but she makes all the magical and scientific aspects easy to follow.
I still didn’t feel any connection to Logan/Quinn, which I was hoping to get more of in this book if he’s supposed to be the love of Tavia’s life. I won’t say what happens, but things get complicated when a certain someone returns. Meanwhile the virus is still spreading among humans and Tavia and Logan end up in the hands of the Reduciata first, then Curatoria. There she’s able to work on finding a cure and in all kinds of things are revealed. BIG SECRETS! Though ones I’d suspected.
Action, suspense, and swoony moments made this follow-up a win! ...more
For me, the thing about historical fiction that always grabs me is just how much I inRead this review on my blog! --> Brazen by Katherine Longshore
For me, the thing about historical fiction that always grabs me is just how much I invest in the characters. Especially when it’s derived from actual history. I’ve always loved history and always loved losing myself in imagining what peoples’ lives were like then. I first fell in love with the Tudor era after watching The Tudors series on Showtime. If a character intrigued me enough I would spend time googling them and reading their Wiki page (because we all know that’s the most accurate internet source for history!). I’m by no means a fanatic, but I enjoy it in the moment I’m being consumed by it.
I never thought to look into King Henry’s son because in the tv series, he dies as a young boy, so imagine my surprise to have him be the love interest in Brazen. And I didn’t recall Mary Howard at all from the show. I know! I really shouldn’t be using the show as a point of reference but not having studied this in school or anything, it’s the only thing I can go from, okay?? Okay.
There’s so much at stake in Brazen and it makes for quite the page-turner. Mary and Fitz’s marriage is arranged, so they don’t really know each other, but there’s an instant pull between the two that only grows stronger as time goes on. They’re hardly ever together, even after being married, but they get to know one another and fall in love inspite of the separation. It was one of the most sweetest, strongest relationships I’ve read. I completely believed in their love for each other and I wanted them to have their happily ever after, even knowing that was unlikely because, hello! It’s The Tudors!
Another amazing part of Brazen was the friendship between Mary, Madge, and Margaret. Those girls went through so much together and their relationships were tested often. There were a lot of positives and even some sad disappointments in the end. You’re also going to read about people you know something about: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and so on. You actually get to see Anne Boleyn’s execution in Brazen through the eyes of Mary, who in this book is friends with her. I loved that aspect of this story.
Brazen completely stole my heart. The characters set up shop in my heart from page one and stayed there until the last page. The writing was so enthralling and moving. This was my first Katherine Longshore read, but it won’t be the last....more
Here at Gone with the Words, we claim TEAM BELOW! Oh, yes. They said the Above is hot and IRead this review on my blog! --> Atlantia by Ally Condie
Here at Gone with the Words, we claim TEAM BELOW! Oh, yes. They said the Above is hot and I was all noooooooo, sir. I live in Texas now and I know hot and do. not. want. more. So I signed myself up for the Below.
It’s true. I’ve always wanted to live under the sea, like Ariel, and I was at one point fascinated with underwater cities/ruins. So of course I’d choose the Below! Once I started reading and learning all about it, I knew I’d made the right choice.
There were so many neat things down there! Now, the people running the show? Maybe not what they seem. The story is always building up, always moving. With Atlantia being a standalone book, Ally Condie did a great job with the pacing.
Rio was an interesting character because she’s taught to pretty much make herself invisible for certain reasons, but her personality is not that at all. She’s brave and confidant. There’s a little bit of love story, but it’s definitely not the focus of the book.
Rio’s mission to follow her sister and make it to the Above drives this story, and the secrets Atlantia and the people ruling it are keeping are a bit of a mystery. Not every is as it seems, so it definitely kept me reading to find out the truth of it all....more
Zodiac begins on what appears to be a normal day in space high school. Rhoma, or Rho for sRead this review on my blog! --> Zodiac By Romina Russell
Zodiac begins on what appears to be a normal day in space high school. Rhoma, or Rho for short, seems like a pretty cool chick from the start. She’s a drummer and she’s in a band with her best friend, who happens to be a Sagittarian (good choice, Rho! *says the fellow Sagittarian*). Then, BOOM! Their lives explode and they’re thrust into things they probably never imagined they’d be taking part in, especially Rho.
There’s a lot of things going on in this book, from the start. After the incident, Rho is made Guardian of House Cancer because it’s written in the stars, she begins to train with her childhood crush, and she discovers what and who it is that is wrecking havoc on the galaxy. Sometimes I just wished she’d slow down, but I understood that they were in a dire situation the whole book. And poor kid. She struggles with not being taken seriously by her advisors and the other Guardians most of the time. All she really wants to do is help. I thought Romina Russell did a good job demonstrating just how young and not ready to lead Rho was at times. I mean, Rho is only 16 years old and was about to graduate from the Academy. While her actions and thoughts felt young to me, they also felt true.
The concept was one of the things that really made me want to read this book. I don’t really know what I was expecting it to be like, but I like the world Romina has created and what I saw of it. Each planet is distinctly unique and specific to their zodiac sign. We don’t get to explore each one thoroughly but Rho talks a lot about them. Maybe we’ll see more in future books in the series.
So there’s a love triangle in this book. I know many of you are probably going to be like WHYYYYY! And I can’t tell you why, but I can tell you that it wasn’t badly done. I liked both love interests, but I wasn’t in love with either. Mathias is older (22) and protective of Rho. They disagree a lot, but it’s coming from a good place. Hysan is closer to her age, charming, and nice. They’re both cute, duh. And they both want what’s best for Rho. I thought she connected with both in different ways, but I can’t say whether one is better than the other, so, sorry I’m no help there. I like that no matter how crazy the world is at any moment in this story, there’s also time for luuuuuuurve. There’s kissing and maybe more! hehe
I thought the story was done really well. There’s a lot of it! But it didn’t make my head spin, which is good. And the last few chapters are SAD, y’all! There’s this moment near the end that I was not expecting and really hope is not really what it appears to be.
Zodiac brings lots of action, suspense, space-jet-setting (yeah, I just made that up), and romance, of course. I think it’s a good start to a very promising series....more
Tease by Amanda Maciel was such an interesting perspective, inside the head of the bully. ItRead this review on my blog! --> Tease by Amanda Maciel
Tease by Amanda Maciel was such an interesting perspective, inside the head of the bully. It was a thought-provoking, uncomfortable, and challenging read for sure! It was also unputdownable for me, in the way you can’t make yourself look away from something awful about to happen. It was good read!
Amanda Maciel writes a character so challenging in Sara because her actions against Emma are just awful, but then you see her at home with her two little brothers and how caring she is with them and you forget for a moment how awful she acted. Sara is also kind of a whiny brat, she’s childish, and for a long time she refuses to accept any responsibility when it comes to Emma. All these things didn’t make me dislike her as much as I just felt sorry for her. She just seemed so lost and unhappy. Her boyfriend treated her badly too. Those times they were together just broke my heart. And her best friend was THE WORST. Just THE WORST.
There were a lot of things that made me reflect about my time in high school. I think I saw a lot of myself in Sara. Not the bullying parts, but the difficulty in being myself no matter what, and having the bad boyfriends, having those friends that brought me down instead of lifting me up. And I saw myself in Emma too. Her wanting to be friends with the in-crowd but only being able to find an in through the boys in the group. Being called awful names because of boys even though we were just friends. Jealousy in high school can cause so much pain. I definitely felt it, both the jealousy and pain. Thankfully things never escalated beyond the name calling, which was always behind my back anyway.
Basically, if you’re a girl, you’re most likely to relate to SOMETHING in this book. And if you’re a boy, it will hopefully make you realize how damaging your actions and non-actions can be. This makes it a great read because it can reach many, no matter what side you’re on.
But back to the story…
I thought the ending showed everyone’s true colors. It showed that people can change for the better in the face of tragedy, some more than others, but it certainly makes an impact.
Amanda says in her author’s note that one of the reasons she wrote this book was because she’d like to believe that girls like Sara aren’t vicious enough to bully a peer in hopes they kill themselves. I’d like to believe this too.
I wish bullying would go away altogether. It breaks my heart! And it breaks my heart for my daughter, who already has to deal with mean girls in the 6th grade. Lets just love and encourage and embrace. And lets teach our kids to love and encourage and embrace....more
You guys!! Open Road Summer was everything! Just, ALL THE THINGS I LOVE. And it was the perfect way to start September and say BUH-BYE to Summer! Yeah, I know we “officially” have Summer until September 23rd, but not in my mind! Anyway, all this to say, perfect book at the perfect time is perfect. Thank you, Ginger and Bloomsbury for sending it to me!
The thing I loved most about it was the strong female friendship. Dee and Reagan have a strong, uplifting, super fun friendship. They get each other, they’re there for one another through good and bad times, they’re like sisters really.
Next, let me tell you about this Matt Finch fellow. He’s basically the most adorable human being on Earth. I loved the chemistry he has with Reagan. Their moments together were just a joy to read. And he’s SUCH a good guy! The things he’s so considerate about with these girls just stole my heart.
Getting a behind the scenes look at what being on tour with a superstar would be like was so exciting! I will not lie to you… I did picture Dee as Taylor Swift, and Reagan as her best friend whose name I don’t remember, aaaaand Matt as Joe or Nick Jonas…at first! It only lasted for a minute and then I could see them as their own person, which was a lot better. I also loved that they all had good family relationships, even Reagan, whose family may have not been perfect but they love her plenty.
Emery Lord’s writing was spot on! No words were ever wasted in this story. Everything fit perfectly and moved along seamlessly. I also found it very easy to relate to. It made me feel like I was in the story and part of this group of people. It was just fantastic. I can now add her to my list of favorite contemporary authors. Do not miss this book, you guys!...more
Side Effects May Vary is a really well written debut from Julie Murphy. I thought the writing was incredibly honest and emotionally raw, which made feeling what these characters were feeling real. That anger that Alice feels, the love Harvey can’t shed, all so raw. This was probably my favorite part of this book.
I found the characters a little harder to warm up to. They were complex and made mistakes, which made them real, even when I couldn’t really fall into like with them. But I don’t have to feel like I can be besties with them or feel like I want to totally make out with them to appreciate them.
Alice is an emotionally distant person, even before things in her life change. And after, she’s so angry. And Harvey is the opposite, giving his emotions over without a question. They both grow so much and get to understand one another better by the end, but it was a rough road getting there. There were times when I wanted to tell Alice off or try to make Harvey stand up to her earlier. I did like the parents in this book, even though they’re not in the forefront a lot. I was really intrigued by the glimpses of their lives, their problems, their history. We don’t really get into much of that, but I wanted to know more about them.
In short, Julie Murphy nailed it. Side Effects May Vary is complex and the writing is really great. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future....more
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski has been reviewed beautifully by so many people out there, so when it came time for me to review it, I knew there was no way I could even try. Not in that way anyway. So I began thinking of ways for me to share my love of this book with you guys! And being that it's Tuesday, the day I normally do Top Ten, AND also the release day of The Winner's Curse, I figured I'd combine the two!
ALSO!! Thanks to the Fierce Reads team for these awesome graphic quotes!! I loved putting them together for this post!
The moment you meet Kestrel you're intrigued by this girl. She's different and that's obvious from the beginning. She accidentally ends up at a slave auction and the things that catch her eye about Arin are so interesting, but what makes her bid is when it's mentioned he's a singer. Sold! But why, Kesterl?! Why the singing?? You'll have to read and find out. :)
2. Kestrel's Not Fronting
I loved that Kestrel would speak up to her father, and I loved that her father listened to her. He didn't bend to her whims, but he was fair, in my opinion. She's honest about her strengths and weaknesses and I appreciated that. Keep it real, girl!
3. The Slaves
The Herrans are a race that has suffered so much at the hands of Valorians. They took everything from them. Some even have to serve in what used to be their homes. It was tough to read. No amount of being treated "well" could ever make up for what they took. I think Arin is completely justified in his cause too. There's a lot of manipulation going on though! That kinds of stung....
4. The Valorians
Valorians to me seemed like flamboyant barbarians. They don't shy away from fights, duels, battles, war...but at the same time they lead lives full of pretty clothes and big parties. They are into high society and gossip and they were so oblivious of the fact that Herran people would want to take back their land. Kestrel is definitely different, and people notice because they talk about her, and not in a good way. They're dumb. She's awesome.
I loved Arin. He was smart, strong, honest, and honorable. But oooooh, how he could manipulate. Our girl didn't stand a chance, to be honest. I knew she'd fall for him instantly, but to get to Arin's heart, you basically have to almost die for him. Or maybe he just felt like she was an impossibility for him. Either way, he doesn't really get swoony until the last third of the book, I'd say, but it was glorious seeing him get there.
6. Realistic Fantasy
Did you know there was such a thing? I didn't. I wasn't sure how to classify this book...it reads like a fantasy novel, but there was no fantasy. So I decided to ask Marie Rutkoski on twitter and she explained about the Realistic Fantasy genre out there. I'm TOTALLY intrigued by it now! Hope I can read more of it. And the writing! I mean...it's just fantastically written. Plot, prose, characters...SO GOOD!
7. War, Huh...
"What is it good for? Absolutely nothing." But sometimes it's so that people can get their land and their homes back. It was pretty brutal, this rebellion. Watch out!
9. ALLLL The Praise
There's no shortage of people praising this book. Even I'm doing it!! For better breakdowns of this fantastic book check out the following reviews by ASHELEY | LAUREN | KIRKUS :)
10. The Ending
UGGGGH! I really didn't know how it would end but I was not prepared to have my heart wrenched!
I love when a series ends with a great battle and great love. Empower certainly had both of those things.
If you haven’t read this series, there will be spoilers for previous books but not Empower. You’ve been warned!
The moment I finished Endless I HAD to have Empower. Here in the U.S. Empower won’t be released until May 6, but LUCKILY it released in Australia on November 12, and LUCKILY Fishpond.com ships internationally, which allowed me purchase this one when it came out. :D
Anyway! I didn’t know what to expect after Violet left Lincoln and all of her friends two years prior. She was definitely not the same girl and her decisions weighed heavy on her every day, but she felt it was the right move. Her reasons are revealed and they made me sad for her. It was a rough, rough two years for her. So when she comes face to face with Lincoln I literally held my breath for his reaction. Well, Lincoln has changed too, and he was angry, but the pain was palpable from both of them. It was painful watching them struggle with their longing and their pain, but the payoff for suffering through it pays off in the end, I promise!
Another great source of anguish for me is Phoenix. I remember how I hated him at first, and now all I want for him is some sort of peace and/or happiness. I think Jessica Shirvington gave him the best chance at both of those things in the end. Steph is amazing as always. And she’s developed into this amazing, fierce character! I loved seeing her so involved in Grigori life. I missed Spence and Griffin a lot, since they’re not in this book very much. Josephine really surprised me this time around, which is a good thing because I really disliked her. AND! We get to know a few Rogue Grigori and I really liked them all, especially Gray.
I wasn’t expecting the setting of Empower to be New Orleans, but it totally worked! The huge battle in the end was so freaking intense and scary because I didn’t know how it would all end. I knew there would definitely be casualties but really, only one of those really hurt.
There were a lot of elements that came together to make this one heck of a finale. Hats off to Jessica Shirvington for totally delivering and for giving us one exciting book after another. ...more
The moment I read the synopsis I knew this would be a book for me. I love anything music related, especially when it directly involves the characters.
After getting to know Claire and reading more into the relationship she had with Jared and the reasons behind her breaking up with him, I felt just as hurt at his reaction and the song he wrote about her. I was like, “WTF, Jared! Maybe if you’d stuck around and listened to her reasons! GAH!” Anyway, I was totally Team Claire. I didn’t much like her parents. They loved her, but they weren’t the best. But I think they reacted like many parents would when your daughter, who’s been perfection in their eyes, starts dating a guy who they feel is not up to par.
Claire came out of all that trauma in pretty good shape though. While the song devastated her, then angered her, it didn’t break her. She started a band that was actually really cool and her own songwriting was coming along great. Now spending the summer in a small beach town, the last person she ever expects to run into is Jared, but there he is!
Things between the two don’t start off great. There’s a lot of old pain that seems to only cause new pain. And it doesn’t help that Claire doesn’t want it known that she is Jared’s ex. Especially since he starts sort of dating her cousin. Jerk! I didn’t really warm up to Jared until he and Claire finally started talking in a civilized manner. I began to understand him and in the end, I ended up liking him. I loved the parts where they would write music, together or separately.
Another Little Piece of My Heart was a fun romance. It was a perfect weekend read if you’re looking for something light and fun and a quick read. I look forward to more from Tracey Martin soon!...more
Wish You Were Italian was the type of book that when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. What would Pippa do next? Would she see Darren? Would they finally kiss? Would she (please!) forget about Bruno??? Where would she visit next??
While I could’ve devoured this book in one weekend, I stretched it out a little longer because I wanted to savor it. And yes, it not only made me want to desperately visit and explore Italy, it totally made me a gelato fan (Favorite? Southern Buttered Pecan by Talenti).
I loved how Pippa was young in so many ways, but mature and determined enough to explore Italy on her own, without her parents knowing. Was it risky and dangerous? Of course! Did I totally forget about those two things until her dad brings it up at the end? You betcha! And I really shouldn’t have so easily done so, considering I’m a mom and I have a daughter, lol. Oops. I mean, Pippa’s best friend and Gram knew where she was and she kept in contact with everyone by email mostly, so it wasn’t completely reckless. But anyway…I loved Pippa. She was sweet and funny and I was totally rooting for her to have the time of her life.
Pippa has two very different guys in the picture, but to her it’s clear who the real contender for her heart is. That doesn’t mean she gives in easily, but it does make for some fun tension between the two. No, there isn’t really a love triangle, so don’t worry. It’s not really like that.
I very much was a fan of Darren. I thought he was adorable and sweet and perfect for Pippa. Their relationship builds from friendship to something more at a good pace I think, but I was ready for them to just make out already. Ha! I did appreciate how Kristin Rae wrote Bruno to be a redeemable “bad” guy. He makes mistakes but he also makes things right. I also loved Pippa’s girlfriends, both back home and in Italy. Yay for positive girlfriend relationships!
Overall Wish You Were Italian was the perfect cute Summer read. If you’re in need for something that will make you smile this is the book you want in your hands....more
The Lair, which is the sequel to The Farm, Emily McKay takes us on such an intense ride. ThRead this review on my blog! --> The Lair by Emily McKay
The Lair, which is the sequel to The Farm, Emily McKay takes us on such an intense ride. The suspense is pretty non-stop in this one. They’re definitely never safe, so that cause me to bite my nails a lot while reading.
Lily and Carter bring on the emotions this one. They don’t know how to exactly fit in their roles and still protect one another. It’s a challenge for them, for sure! And it made me sad for them. Meanwhile, Mel, in the hands of Sebastian, is learning all kinds of new things. She isn’t the happiest of characters at first, but she definitely grew so much through the course of the book. By the end, she’s probably the most kick-ass of all. Sebastian, who really intrigued me in The Farm, totally surprised me in this one. I hope everyone is wrong about him because I’m still going to believe the best.
I like how Emily McKay keeps the action going in The Lair. There’s never a lull. It’s truly a page-turner. I should know, since I read it non-stop in one night! I definitely liked The Lair even more than The Farm, and I’m hoping the next one is even better. Can’t wait!...more
You guys...THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! I have no hesitation calling Stir Me Up one of my faRead this review on my blog! --> Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins
You guys...THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! I have no hesitation calling Stir Me Up one of my favorites of the year. That’s right! It is!
Here is just a list of the things I loved about this book, in no particular order:
1. Cami was so likable. She wasn’t perfect, but she was real and completely adorable. I loved that even though she was confused about what to do once she graduated high school, being a chef was non negotiable. She just had to convince her French chef father of this. I loved that we get to see her experience a lot of firsts with her first boyfriend that did not involve going all the way. I think it should be ok for girls to want to explore without having the pressure of having sex.
2. I loved the restaurant/chef life. Cami’s father owns a French restaurant. This is practically where Cami grew up and it’s now where she works. Top Chef is one of my favorite tv shows, and I’ve always been in awe at how these chefs create unique and beautiful dishes. I loved the parts where Cami was coming up with new recipes. She just put so much love into all her dishes. It was awesome.
3. I was glad to see a stepparent in such a positive light. We get a lot of no parents, single parents, or both parents, but we don’t often get to see how amazing a stepparent can be to a kid. Sarah Dessen did this very well in The Moon and More, and I was happy to see it in Stir Me Up. Not all stepparents are evil, but sadly we only get to see or hear or read about the ones who have done awful things. Here’s to amazing stepparents!
4. OMG...I LOVED THE BFF, TARYN! She constantly cracked me up with her texts. This book overall was really funny which I always appreciate. :)
5. Julian. Oh, mother of all things holy, this guy! Ok, so he starts of as such a jerk! So freaking surly, and understandably so, but geez! Buy, guys. Once he starts softening and getting back to his old self? He was amazing. Such an amazing, caring, and wonderful guy. AND HE WAS HOT! I loved how he took such care with Cami and how he wanted to make sure they didn’t hold each other back in any way.
6. The ending was so perfect in my opinion. It was the best way for both Julian and Cami to have a happily ever after, and I do believe these two have a forever kind of love. I can clearly see their future played out in my mind and I love what I see.
Those are the main reasons I loved this book, but really so many small details also contributed. I hope you guys will pick up Stir Me Up and give it a shot. It's actually on sale for $1.99 right now for both Kindle and Nook. I’m so glad my friend Estelle (from Rather Be Reading) said “You need to read this!” Thank you, Estelle! And thank you Sabrina, for writing such a great romance. :)...more
DAMN. This series is BY FAR one of the best angel series out there, you guys. The twists and turns, the love, the longing, just...ALL THE PASSIONS! This series has certainly surprised me with each book, each one being better than the one before.
In Endless, the stakes are high, the emotions are high, the longing is HIGH. The amount of different emotions I felt throughout completely blew me away. The best part is that I didn’t know what would happen each time I turned the page. I love when stories keep me guessing and keep me surprised. It is the best. THE BEST! Not all of the surprises will be good, mind you, as you may have guessed...but the most important part is that there’s SO MUCH LINCOLN in Endless! And let me also tell you, that the last few chapters had my poor heart on edge. Then it was flying high with happiness. Then it broke! See what I mean about the different emotions!? And that was just the last few chapters! Sigh... Now the wait for the last book, which will hopefully heal my poor broken heart.
Poor Violet is dealing with such emotional issues in this book, not just with Lincoln, but with Phoenix too, and her parents. And on top of that, she has to deal with the shitty politics and doucheyness of the Academy, who have summoned her for testing. One character that is always surprising me in this series is Phoenix. Of course, I hate him...but then I feel bad for him, and in this book, I did not hate him at all. His characters has always had the most depth to me, even when I hated him I could admit to that. He is complicated and sexy, sometimes evil and sometimes not.
We get a lot of answers in this book as far as Violet goes. The full extent of her powers have always been a mystery and we finally know what her purpose is, which was awesome. I always knew she was kickass, but damn, was she ever!
As some of you may know, this series, The Violet Eden Chapters, was originally first published in Australia. Well, they’re getting the last book a whole SIX MONTHS before we do in the U.S. So I went ahead and preordered the Aussie edition because I CANNOT WAIT SIX MONTHS. I can wait one, but not six....more
Soon after I started this book I realized it was going to be a sort of full circle stRead this review on my blog! --> Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Soon after I started this book I realized it was going to be a sort of full circle story for Willem. I must admit I had some expectations for this book. I thought it would go a little more like Where She Went, buuuuut it didn’t. It’s a really confusing feeling to expect something from a story, yet feeling this rightness at how it is actually told. I feel melancholy for what I wanted to happen and didn’t, but not so that it took away from how much I loved it.
Just One Year takes Willem and us on a globe-trotting journey of self-discovery, much like Allyson’s. Willem’s journey is just as emotional and freeing, just with more people and places around the world. But it was the parallel of the their stories that really made my heart race. The times where they were so close, yet not close enough! DAMN. We get to know about Willem’s parents and their story, which turned out to be a bit of a full circle for him.
It’s incredible to me how much a person can learn, grow, and change in a year. Willem had a lot of healing to do. His encounter with Allyson derailed his original plans, but it also made him stop running. And with him no longer running, he was able to realize how much he was hurting and how much he needed his family, especially his mother. The evolution of their relationship really made my heart hurt for both of them, but it also made my heart soar by the end.
*This paragraph may be spoilery to some, so feel free to skip over it.* I loved that Willem never gives up on finding Allyson, even when he gets discouraged, he doesn’t completely stop. And he ALWAYS thinks of her, always wants her there. I will admit that seeing him with other girls stung a little, in fact I hated it, but I understood it and it never changed his feelings for Allyson, which then made me feel bad for the girls, lol. So many conflicting emotions because of this book!
Gayle Forman has given us such a unique pair of books. I loved this. I loved how parallel they were. The ending of Just One Year is perfect. It’s not typical, but perfect for this story, for its readers. But now what do we do?! When will we get our next Gayle Forman fix?! I really hope it’s soon because I need more of her books in my life....more
Letters to Nowhere is a story about a girl, Karen, dealing with a lot of changes in her life, some extremely more difficult than others. Not only does Karen lose both her parents, and also is now living with her gymnastics coach and his son, but her body is going through changes that couldn’t have developed at a worse time. It’s a lot. Luckily for Karen, Jordan, her roommate/coach’s son, is there to listen and help her try to cope.
Karen and Jordan, while uneasy about one another at first, bond fairly quickly. They have both suffered the same kind of loss and grief, and Jordan feels like he can help Karen being that he’s been there. Jordan is one of the good ones, you guys. He’s hot, Ivy League smart, funny, and super caring. He did have a bit of a player streak when we meet him, but it appears he was only just waiting for the right girl to come along because he was nothing like that throughout the book. In the end, they actually end up helping each other through more than either of them could have imagined. Their chemistry was really sweet and I loved their stolen moments together. I did feel that their voice was a bit too mature at times, specifically Jordan’s. He just sounded older than his 17 years sometimes. Really, that was the only reason it didn’t get 5 stars, because otherwise, I absolutely loved this story.
While I LOVED Karen and Jordan, I was also really surprised by how much I enjoyed submerging myself in this gymnastics world that Julie Cross shared with us. I never knew I would enjoy it so much. It was really interesting learning how much work gymnasts put into their athletic careers and how competitions worked. Julie did a great job creating such a clear picture for us.
I hope Julie Cross continues to write more stories like this one. I’d actually really love a sequel to this book because I’d love to know how everyone turned out....more