The first book in this trilogy completely messed with my mind, and this one went even deeper. As Mara deals with what her abilities mean and starts ha...moreThe first book in this trilogy completely messed with my mind, and this one went even deeper. As Mara deals with what her abilities mean and starts having flashbacks to her grandmother's life in India, she is also trying to act "normal" and only shows her true self to Noah. She does this so that her parents won't commit her to a residential treatment centre. She ends up in a day program with other troubled young people. Mara doesn't feel right about the program. She senses that the other students have abilities like hers, and something seems off with the director, Dr. Kells. As Mara continues to have experiences with Jude, her life (and the lives of her family) are in jeopardy. Noah and Mara try to untangle the mess and mystery and end up in the middle of a situation that is much more major and intense than they realized. I really like Mara's character and the development she went through. I also liked her relationship with Noah (although the drama surrounding kissing was blown out of proportion). Lots of drama, lots of suspense, and an overall great read. I couldn't put it down, even though this isn't my normal genre to read in!(less)
In this final chapter of Allyson and Willem's journey, we get more details about the reunion to end all reunions and a celebration of a successful jou...moreIn this final chapter of Allyson and Willem's journey, we get more details about the reunion to end all reunions and a celebration of a successful journey. As Willem and Allyson find each other (and find themselves), they share their stories with each other and everyone else involved in their search for each other.
I LOVED this. I was so sad when I finished "Just One Year" because I wasn't ready for Allyson and Willem's story to end. This extra chapter perfectly captured all of the emotions and coincidences that brought Allyson and Willem together (both times) and also completed their story while still leaving their future up to your imagination. Thank you Gayle Forman for writing this!(less)
I love Deb Caletti books...and this one was no different. The writing was poignant, the setting acted as a character, and the characters were deep and...moreI love Deb Caletti books...and this one was no different. The writing was poignant, the setting acted as a character, and the characters were deep and well-written. Tessa and her pot-smoking, irresponsible father embark on a spontaneous road trip as a way to deal with Tess's mothers tragic death from cancer. Tess and her father both have their demons to exorcise and their relationship to mend as they head out and end up on Parrish Island (in the San Juan's). As Tess forms a relationship with the grandmother she never knew and explores Parrish, striking up friendships with an unlikely cast of characters at the library, she finds healing in places she didn't expect. She falls in love with Henry Lark, but realises that there are secrets hiding beneath the surface. She finds hope and purpose in saving the "Last Pixiebell" - her mother's plant that is dying. To say Tess is on a journey is an understatement, but it's in her journey that she starts to heal and realise what she wants her destination to look like. This book so reminded me of Sarah Dessen's stories. There was such a depth to the story and characters that set it apart from regular YA books. I loved how symbolic the "Last Pixiebell" became and how the story took on interesting and unique avenues. Tess's pain and the actions that result really touched me and I became completely emotionally invested in the story and didn't want it to end. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the Henry Lark storyline. I felt that the romantic road this took (and the results) didn't quite fit and didn't seem believable. One of my favourite parts was the important role the Parrish Island Library took and the passion the characters had for books, information, etc. (less)
Sarah Jordan is no stranger to adversity in life (she battled and beat cervical cancer), but on the night she gets engaged to James, a campfire envelo...moreSarah Jordan is no stranger to adversity in life (she battled and beat cervical cancer), but on the night she gets engaged to James, a campfire envelops her tent and she is severely burned. As she recovers and returns to life, she is forced to deeply examine herself and her decisions, battle depression and definitions of beauty. When she starts physical therapy with Vasili, she is introduced to his niece, Anastasia, a child who has also been burned and is also battling cancer. As Sarah is welcomed into this Greek family, she starts to heal and recover on the inside.
I flip-flopped back and forth in terms of whether or not I liked this story. There were parts of the story I loved and parts that I hated. Sarah's character was a bit all over the place, and there were tangents the story (and individual conversations) took that didn't fit and interrupted the flow of the story. I loved the Anastasia storyline. Grey was successful at dredging up deep emotions surrounding this plot line and I was sad when this part of the story ended. The whole James storyline was just weird. His character was deeply bi-polar and I didn't exactly understand what he added to the story. I did enjoy Ella and Sarah's friendship, and I think that the issues Sarah dealt with are relevant and fitting. The writing just didn't seem to bring everything together and it was a disjointed experience for me. (less)
Amelia is a fifteen year old girl living in Sydney, Australia. She lands a job as a cashier at Cole's and meets Chris, a 21 year old uni student who c...moreAmelia is a fifteen year old girl living in Sydney, Australia. She lands a job as a cashier at Cole's and meets Chris, a 21 year old uni student who captures her attention. The book is told from both of their perspectives as Amelia deals with her huge crush on Chris and Chris struggles with how drawn to Amelia he feels. The story has lots of literary connections as the two discuss history, politics and literature. I didn't get this story all that much. I did appreciate the struggles both characters felt when it came to family roles, identity and decision-making, but I didn't see the connection between the characters and the ending, while understandable, didn't seem realistic. The book was gritty (in a good way) and the references to a possible "fairy tale ending" didn't fit for me. (less)
Charlotte spent four years of her life with her kidnappers. As an adult, she still struggles with the pain and grief those years cost her. When she en...moreCharlotte spent four years of her life with her kidnappers. As an adult, she still struggles with the pain and grief those years cost her. When she enters Bryce Bishop's life, everything changes, healing starts to occur, and life finally starts to change. This was a very multi-layered book, as Henderson's novels often are. There was a lot going on and a lot of depth to the characters. There was enough suspense to keep me going through the book, since it was a little too long and there was too much time spent on the details regarding coins, art, and finances. Things got a little lost through those details. Other than that, this was a very fulfilling read with characters that I got really attached to and a plot that kept me thinking!(less)