Twisting and turning, never knowing exactly how it all plays out until the end and then, incredible! It was fascinating how things were presented and...moreTwisting and turning, never knowing exactly how it all plays out until the end and then, incredible! It was fascinating how things were presented and as I sifted through the readings to grasp the details of the lives of the three girls and how they are connected, their stories I cannot get enough of. Such detail and told with such conviction, their stories grabbed at my emotions and pulled me in. There is Amber, who has spent the past three years inside a Juvenile Detention Center. Amber finds contentment in her new surroundings, and she takes great pride in her job of pushing the library cart around to her fellow inmates. Amber was a complex character for me as I thought she downplayed herself as she wrapped herself up in the happenings around her. It broke my heart to see this but her love of books gave me hope that someday, she will break free. Violet, oh the dancer, Violet. She’s going to Juilliard and can’t be more excited about this fact. Dancing consumes her life and she got on my nerves from the beginning. Her I’m-good attitude and the fact that she ditched her best friend really had me riled. How she had any friends really baffled me. Then there is Ori. Ori and Violet were best friends. My heart went out to her: her flare on life and her attitude was very optimist, what wasn’t there to love about her. Even thrown into a hostile situation, Ori remained calm and composed and she could create change if given the opportunity. There is so much to love about this book and to put my finger on one reason is hard. I loved the stories that each character lives contained, they were complex and so far-reaching. I loved the mystery element of this book and how the book never really had one direction, it twists and turned many times and it was like a puzzle. I loved the characters and what they stood for, who they were or what they wanted to be. I loved so much more too. I received a copy from the book from NetGalley and Algonquin Books in exchange for an honest opinion. (less)
Meringue, she’s trying to fit in with her new surroundings. Since moving last year, she is now the minority amongst her friends, and the financial sit...moreMeringue, she’s trying to fit in with her new surroundings. Since moving last year, she is now the minority amongst her friends, and the financial situation at home is meager. Hoping to earn some cash, she gets a job at a pizzeria but the job is not easy money. There’s corruption as illegal drugs enter the picture. I have mixed reviews about this book as there were parts about the book that I loved and parts that I would have liked to be different. I didn’t care for the tempo of the book. The beginning of the book, we learn about Meringue and her life and there are a couple instances that points to illegal activity but not much. There’s little that pushes that thought into our minds that something is not right in her world, to wake us up and notice. In the second half of the book, bam! Everything I had been waiting to occur transpires and I wished that some of these events had occurred throughout the whole book to add tension and drama as I read. This book progresses quickly; I was just hoping the whole book would be flying at the same speed working on the synopsis. The stereotypes that are addressed are what they are, they happen and unfortunately they happen to everyone. The character of Meringue, she was such a rounded individual. She was a fighter, she got broken with life a few times but she never gave up when her innocent world quickly became corrupt. (less)
You don’t really need to read book one to understand what is going on in this second book as the author gives enough background information in this no...moreYou don’t really need to read book one to understand what is going on in this second book as the author gives enough background information in this novel to get you up to speed. Written in the same style, this novel takes right off from where we left the characters in book one. I thought there were less creepy details in this novel as it dealt more with Mattie and her relationships and her endeavors. I liked the details of the ghostly apparitions that appeared to her which I read about in the first book and I missed them. Those details gave the book the creep factor which added to the books intensity. This second novel is more complex and I thought perhaps a couple times Mattie was over-her-head in spirits and demons. But it’s hard to keep your focus when you dealing with manifestations and guys at the same time. Mattie is finally finding her girl side but it seems to be getting in the way with what is really going on in her life. As the spirits seek out Mattie, both physically and mentally, she’s drawing in more individuals into her strange world. Mattie has always been afraid of telling people her secret, but we all know that everyone has secrets.
I’m glad that I saved this book for this month. I wanted a book that kept the pages turning with a Halloween theme and this book was just the one. A q...moreI’m glad that I saved this book for this month. I wanted a book that kept the pages turning with a Halloween theme and this book was just the one. A quick read with nothing too extravagant: a bit detailed a times, some creepiness thrown in and a couple twists that I was not prepared for. That is a recipe for a great paranormal book. Mattie has been seeing dead people for a long time. Her usual reaction is to ignore these ghosts but when she now sees her foster sister who was just alive a few hours ago, dead, taped and bounded with a bullet hole through her head, Mattie cannot ignore this ghost. Her foster mother won’t call the authorities so Mattie takes matters into her own hands which means talking to the ghosts who she feels must be with Sally. It’s a race against time as the images and voices call out to Mattie for help but there is only so much information they can reveal. I feel transformed as I read the book, desperately watching as Mattie’s life crumbles. No lull time here or time for breaks, there seems to be something happening every step of the way, during this crisis. Mattie feels frustrated as to who could help her and who would believe what she has to say. She believes in what she sees and feels she must help them. My emotions are in havoc as things start to deteriorate, I loved this feeling when it all ended. I am ready for book two. (less)
This was one of the books I picked up on a whim, the cover got me, I admit it. Sixteen-year old Badi withdrew from his old high school with lots of is...moreThis was one of the books I picked up on a whim, the cover got me, I admit it. Sixteen-year old Badi withdrew from his old high school with lots of issues that he hopes to leave behind. An outcast, he’s angry with life, often bullied by others and he uses revenge upon his tormentors. With medical issues, Badi sees a medical professional who he says all the right words to so it doesn’t raise any red flags. His father changes their last name before the school year but with Badi, he got a whole new alias, he is now Bud Hess. It is as if, leaving his Iranian name behind would make his life any easier but it is only a name, a part of the person that Badi had now become and his troubles are not far behind. With such a wonderful start to the book, I was expecting the tempo to continue throughout the book but I found things starting to drift off. Bud tries at school but with his anxiety and his past creeping into his head, he struggles to stay positive and focused at succeeding at school. His history just won’t let go and it put him in disarray. Joining the newspaper, he hopes to find a niche, a place where he can belong. I enjoyed the authors writing style and language, it was the tempo and the adventures of the book that I wanted more of. The novel has some great points and with such a small book, it is a quick read. Tackling issues about school injustice, bullying, and inequality, I believe she was effective. (less)
“It’s 90.3, KZUK, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, you’re listening to Gabe at this late hour right here on community radio and I’m here for my list...more“It’s 90.3, KZUK, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, you’re listening to Gabe at this late hour right here on community radio and I’m here for my listeners. So turn it up and sit back and listen to some Def Leppard, those boys of the 70’s.” It’s Gabe turn to show his style, at least behind the mike he’s himself or who he thinks he has become. He’s telling his story beside his mentor, neighbor and great friend John who he idolizes. Few people know Gabe as Gabe, most people know him as Elizabeth but using his fifty minutes of air time, he’s finally found a medium for which he can express himself and he feels free. Gabe lives a dual life, a life he hopes to shed once high school is over in the spring. At home, his parents are adjusting to his new gender and his best friend Paige has known since grade school that Elizabeth feels more comfortable in the male role. Since hitting the airwaves, things become more gratifying yet more complicated for Gabe. There is this rush, this adrenaline that ran through my veins when Gabe took to the airwaves. Gabe becomes like a bird in the sky, carefree and soaring, rising higher and higher in the sky, each week as he prepares to on for his listeners. Gabe creates a theme for each week’s songs and his messages to his audiences become more open and honest as the weeks progress, he’s becoming free to be who he truly is. His show is remarkable with such energy and commitment. A Facebook site is created based on his show and he adds requests of his listeners to perform tasks to show their support to his show. These groupies, the Ugly Children Brigade suddenly become a part of his life. Girls, friends and unfortunately, threats now enter his life and suddenly, things aren’t all rosy. Someone rained on his parade… of course they did. I wanted so much to reach into the book and tell Gabe that he can’t please everyone, to just enjoy himself and enjoy the ride. He wasn’t hurting anyone. People can be so judgmental. The silver lining was John. He was an amazing person. His story runs deep in the book with his own life, his relationship with Gabe’s family and how supportive he is of Gabe. John helps Gabe get a job and helps him get auditioned for a talent show. John is left in the dark about Gabe’s true identity, like the rest of the world until later, which surprised me. So many great parts in this book, as Gabe truly comes to understand himself and the world around him.(less)