From the beginning, this book hooked me in and didn't let go. The emotional aspects of this book were spot-on. The mystery was unpredictable, with a k From the beginning, this book hooked me in and didn't let go. The emotional aspects of this book were spot-on. The mystery was unpredictable, with a killer that I wouldn't have originally suspected, and some complicated motives behind the murder. I loved this book so much, and I highly recommend it.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Reading this book through Sophie's perspective was sometimes a painful experience because half of the book took place after she had been through Mina's death, and it was obvious how much it had hurt her, and how much she missed Mina. The complexity of the relationship between Mina and Sophie is showcased throughout the book, both in their interactions before Mina's death, and in Sophie's thoughts after Mina's death. Mina and Sophie were best friends, but they both also wanted to be more than that. Despite this, it wasn't that simple, because Mina was more reluctant to begin a romantic relationship than Sophie was. Mina worried about the reactions of the people in their small town, and her own family's reactions as well. It didn't help that her brother, Trev, liked Sophie, too. After Mina's death, it is clear that Trev wants a relationship with Sophie, but she is still in love with Mina.
Sophie's drug addiction aspect was dealt with in an interesting way in the book as well. Sophie had become addicted to OxyContin, which was prescribed to her after she was in an accident at the age of fourteen, and was injured in her leg and back. She had to take the pills so often to keep the pain away that she became addicted to them. One of the most horrible things about her addiction is that it causes people to blame her for Mina's murder, because the killer had planted pills on her. People think that they were there so that Sophie could pick up some drugs, but at that point, she had already become clean. She had spent time with her aunt to kick her drug addiction, and she had not used once since then. She told her parents that after the murder, but even they wouldn't believe her, so they her to rehab to stop a drug addiction that she no longer had. It clearly hurt her to have her own family not even believe her about that.
The murder mystery is well-written and an important part of the story without detracting from the emotional character interactions and development. The night Mina was killed, she told Sophie that she was meeting somebody for a news story. When she got out of the car, the person waiting to meet her shot her. Officials in the town aren't really actively looking for her murderer, since they all assume it was Sophie's drug dealer, and Sophie isn't naming any names. Of course, it's not Sophie's drug dealer, since she doesn't even have a drug dealer. The murderer and the motives are revealed by the end of the book, and they are complex, dealing with many hidden secrets that people have. These would all be spoilers, though, so I can't really delve into them.
If you like YA contemporary and murder mysteries, read this book....more
Dahlia Adler is officially one of my favorite authors of all time. I have read all her books so far, except for Last Will and Testament, which I willDahlia Adler is officially one of my favorite authors of all time. I have read all her books so far, except for Last Will and Testament, which I will be sure to read soon. I loved three of the four and very much liked the other. I just want to keep reading more Dahlia Adler books, because they are seriously so good. Everything about this book was just so good. The characters were fully developed, the voice was strong, and the pace was great, making it easy for me to speed through this book.
My favorite thing about this book was, without a doubt, the Cait Lizzie Frankie friendship trio. They were supportive of each other, and I loved how it was clear that they really knew each other, including random details about the other's lives from before they knew each other. Also, I loved Lizzie and Frankie both so much in this book, so I now definitely need to read their books. The interactions among the group were often hilarious.
This book also dealt with some family issues. Cait's dad is marrying his receptionist who he got pregnant. He also scheduled the wedding for the day of the lacrosse championships against Cait's wishes. Cait isn't happy with him for this. He also is moving all the way across the country and wants Cait to transfer to a school in California, which isn't what she wants. The book shows the contrast between Cait's relationship with her dad and her sister, Cammie's, relationship with him. Cammie doesn't care if she ruins her relationship with him because that already happened a while ago. She has been against their dad for a while. Cait, on the other hand, had a good relationship with him, but it is becoming messed up by the choices that he makes in this book.
The romance was good, but it wasn't my favorite thing about this book. Mase was a good guy though, and I did like seeing the development of his romance with Cait occurring for the second time. The situation was awkward at first, due to him dating her new roommate. I thought this was dealt with realistically in showing his relationship with Andi vs. his relationship with Cait and the differences. I also thought the problems between Andi and Cait due to this were dealt with well and made sense.
I also really enjoyed the plot with Jake. He was Cait's friend and a really nice guy. I really liked him and their friendship. There was a period of time that they pretended to date to hide that he was gay. They were really good as friends and supportive to each other and to their relationships.
If you like NA, or even if you don't like the usual NA, read this book....more
This was certainly a unique book because I've never read a book set in Antarctica before. I really liked the development of the characters throughoutThis was certainly a unique book because I've never read a book set in Antarctica before. I really liked the development of the characters throughout this story, as well as getting to read a book in such a unique setting.
Harper's character development was a big part of this story. She didn't know what to do with her life when her ballet plan didn't work out for her. So she ended up going to Antarctica in a science program when she wasn't even interested in science. She ended up discovering a lot of things about herself there, like a direction for her future. I really liked seeing how she changed over the time spent in Antarctica. She really found out what she wanted from her life.
I enjoyed seeing some of the friendships in the book. Kate was Harper's best friend who did ballet with her. They had a plan to be in the San Francisco ballet company together. They both said some things that they regretted before Harper went to Antarctica. Their friendship wasn't just automatically better, but they had to work on fixing what had gone wrong. Vivian worked with Harper as another research assistant. She took a while to warm up to Harper, but once she did, she was a really good friend for her. Charlotte was the person who was doing the research that Harper was an assistant for, and she and Harper genuinely became friends during the book, and Harper was there to help Charlotte during some tough times
If you like YA contemporary, read this book....more
I really loved this book and how it dealt with so many things in a different way than I've ever seen before. It showed a rape victim who was surrounde I really loved this book and how it dealt with so many things in a different way than I've ever seen before. It showed a rape victim who was surrounded by support and refused to be seen as a victim. It showed cheerleading as something that takes a lot of athletic ability and should be respected for it.
Hermione is the main character of the book and she is a great one. She is raped at cheerleading camp, and she doesn't remember any of it. She doesn't let this define who she is. That doesn't mean that things are easy for her, because she still does struggle. But she doesn't want people to see her as "that raped girl." She wants to continue cheering with her team, and competing with them. She isn't going to give up because something bad happened to her.
One of my favorite characters in the book was Polly, who is Hermione's best friend. She is so supportive and is there with Hermione through everything. She is also the type of person who is very good and sticking up for people, and people are a bit intimidated by her, so they listen to her. I loved reading about the friendship between Polly and Hermione. And while most of Polly's story was shown in relation to Hermione's story arc, she also got her own story arc, which I loved.
I also enjoyed reading about Hermione meeting her therapist and her interactions with him. Even though she jokingly said he was the worst therapist ever, I think he was really good for her healing process. (Despite the comments that he made about cheerleading and cheerleaders). It was really important for her that she had someone who wasn't going to try to make their career out of writing books about working with her or something like that.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book....more
I am glad that this was a pick for Dahlia's Book Club, because I really enjoyed it and probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. This one was pretty cI am glad that this was a pick for Dahlia's Book Club, because I really enjoyed it and probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. This one was pretty cute and fun, while also having some serious moments. Overall, I didn't think this read too young for me. It seemed more like it was on the upper end of Middle Grade, since the main character was in 8th grade, and was a teenager.
I enjoyed how this really showed that being the president's daughter isn't necessarily an amazing experience. It shows how it can be lonely to be living in the White House with parents who are two busy for you. It shows how it can be hard to make friends at a new school because you can't tell if they genuinely are interested in being friends with you as a person, and not just because you're the First Daughter. Of course, I haven't had this experience so I don't know what it's really like, but it read very genuine to me.
I liked getting to read the fictional diary of Alice Roosevelt. She had quite the adventures in her days. I liked seeing how things that Audrey did paralleled the life of Alice, and how reading about Alice was really able to help her.
I liked the sweet romance that developed between Audrey and her friend from school, Quint. Since this is MG, the romance was not a big focus, and remained a friendship for a while. But once it turned into a romance, it was quite cute and light.
If you like MG and younger YA, read this book. ...more
This book has a different POV than any I've ever really read before. A lot of what I read is 1st person, but I have read other 3rd person books and thThis book has a different POV than any I've ever really read before. A lot of what I read is 1st person, but I have read other 3rd person books and this is in 3rd person. The ones that I've read before, though, have usually shown one character's POV in the whole book or in different sections, while this book changed POVs from paragraph to paragraph. This was interesting because I got to be in the heads of lots of characters. Also, the sexual tension between Kaede and Taisin was very strong throughout the book. It quickly became clear that the feelings they had were mutual, but neither would admit it for a long time, and I was just waiting for them to finally kiss. I shipped this ship a lot....more
This book was a quick read that I finished in one day. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, since middle grade sometimes reads a bit too young for me, but IThis book was a quick read that I finished in one day. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, since middle grade sometimes reads a bit too young for me, but I really enjoyed this. The mystery was engaging and kept me turning the pages. I also really enjoyed the friendship formed between Theodora and Bodhi. I also was quite surprised by many of the results to parts of the mystery....more
This book is told from the perspectives of several people who are affected by a high school scandal. 7 POVs are juggled in the book which sounds likeThis book is told from the perspectives of several people who are affected by a high school scandal. 7 POVs are juggled in the book which sounds like a lot (and is a lot), but the book does a good job balancing them all. The book deals with many issues, including drinking, drugs, sexuality, promiscuity, teacher-student relationships, and others, but each issue feels like it is dealt with well. I liked seeing how the stories of all the different characters ended up being interwoven neatly together....more
This book is technically outside of my typical genre for reading, yet I still loved it so much. My favorite part of it was definitely the relationshipThis book is technically outside of my typical genre for reading, yet I still loved it so much. My favorite part of it was definitely the relationships between the various characters in the book.
My favorite relationship in this book is the one between Cas and Swift. It is a slow burn hate to love, and hate to love is one of my favorite relationship tropes. The book deals with how they are in positions of different levels of power, which makes a relationship for them difficult. Swift is essentially helping holding Cas captive. And Cas's choices are tied to whether or not Swift will be allowed to live. And somewhere along the way, both of them fell for each other. It was a great progression to see when Swift kept Cas safe because she just cared about her own life and the transition to her keeping Cas safe because Cas's life matters to her. I shipped the two of them so much, though it wasn't always an easy and pain-free ship.
The world in this book is really interesting. It's a very aquatic world, with pirates and other ships that they attack. The whole thing with the sea monsters is also interesting, since they are trained to guard ships and fight off the pirates. There is a lot involved with the training of them sometimes. It is definitely not a safe job. Cas has been trained to do this job throughout her life, though she never intended to do it on a pirate's ship. She questions the morality of many things throughout the story, learning that maybe she's almost as bad as the pirate's and hypocritical in thinking that what they do is wrong and what she does is right.
If you like YA sci-fi or just books with good character relationships, read this book....more
I have mixed feelings on this book as a whole. There were things that I liked about it, and other parts of it that I had more trouble getting into. II have mixed feelings on this book as a whole. There were things that I liked about it, and other parts of it that I had more trouble getting into. I think part of this was because this isn't really my type of genre. I was more invested in the parts with Elian, Xie, and Greta, and the relationships with them. I especially loved the relationship between Xie and Greta. And I basically loved Elian as a character from the first scene that he stepped onto the page. So overall, I wanted to like it more, but I certainly wouldn't say I disliked it. There were times when I felt the pacing was a bit slow, and I wanted to put it down, and other times, I couldn't put it down because I was so invested....more
This is a powerful story that is very timely to issues of police brutality that often appear in the news today. This book does a good job showing the
This is a powerful story that is very timely to issues of police brutality that often appear in the news today. This book does a good job showing the issue from the perspective of both of the victim and a bystander trying to figure out what is right. This book will probably make you angry, when people in it defend someone who seems very clearly in the wrong, and it is a great book for how it was able to affect me so much in that way.
Rashad was one of the main characters, and was the victim of the incident. He was a good guy, who was buying some chips that he was going to pay for, and then he got beaten by a cop who thought he was going to steal. The reason the cop thought this was because some lady tripped over Rashad, so the cop assumed he must be hurting the lady, since he was black and his pants were sagging, so of course he must have just been a thug. Hopefully, you can tell that I think the cop was wrong in making this assumption. Assumptions like this are dangerous, as they can get people wrongfully killed. Luckily for Rashad, he lived, but he did have to spend several days in the hospital, with a broken nose and bruised ribs.
The other main character was a white boy named Quinn who saw the incident from a distance. I really liked the evolution of his thinking and how he really tried to do what was right. Seeing this was tough for him because the cop, Paul, was his best friend's older brother, who had been a role model to him in the past. His friend assumed he would be on Paul's side, but he wasn't so sure that Paul was in the right. But his family and other people close to him told him that Paul had a tough job and was just doing his job. I liked how Quinn didn't just blindly listen to their thoughts on the issue. Instead, he formed his own opinion.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book....more
I really loved this book. It was a fast-paced mystery, and once I started it, I just kept turning the pages because I couldn't put it down. I loved reI really loved this book. It was a fast-paced mystery, and once I started it, I just kept turning the pages because I couldn't put it down. I loved reading about how Julep was a grifter, because it's interesting to read about a main character who is doing something that isn't necessarily right, yet you can still love and root for that main character. I liked the vast array of secondary characters, and how you didn't always know which ones to trust and like. I am really excited to read the second book, especially since I hear that Dani will have a more prominent role in it, and I'm interested in learning more about her character....more