MY THOUGHTS I kind of picked this book up on a whim. I already had a copy, since I was curiThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
MY THOUGHTS I kind of picked this book up on a whim. I already had a copy, since I was curious after reading Courtney Summers' other books, but I really decided to read the book after hearing some over-bearing mother try to ban this book. I thought this was ridiculous, and I'll touch up on that in my review, so I wanted to read the book. Call me a rebel. Anyway, this book was a really raw, realistic take on high school, bullying, and the social order.
Regina was one of the popular kids. She was one of the girls that everyone hated, but everyone was afraid of. When her best friend's boyfriend tries to rape her, word gets around, but instead of people thinking that she was almost raped, they think that she slept with her best friend's boyfriend. She's shunned outside of her group and suddenly she's left with no friends, besides a misfit named Michael that her group used to bully. Now Regina is the one being bullied, each day a new torment, while the people she used to bully herself watch.
This book is so realistic and it makes me glad that I'm both done with high school and went to a high school that, thankfully, situations like this were rare. Sadly, this is something that happens, which is why this book is so real. Which is why that mother upsets me so much. She was against this book because she found it inappropriate, but this book is true to life, and yeah, I get that you don''t want your kid to read certain things, but your kid is old enough to deal with these things and know about what kind of things happens to kids the same age. Also, this book carries certain messages and I found it very offensive that this book is considered inappropriate when many teens have gone through similar situations. Okay, rant over.
There are a lot of books out there featuring bullying and slam-shamming, which are important in YA books, but this one is different. This book features an unlikable main character. She was once a bully herself and circumstances cause the tables to turn and for her to be the victim, so you have a very different dynamic here. You feel sorry for her and horrible for her, but you're reminded quite constantly that she used to do the same to others. The question that is constantly asked within this book is whether she deserves this and Regina herself believes that she actually deserves it at many points.
To be honest, this book made me angry, though not in a 'this book sucks' way. I have issues with bullying books because they are the definition of unfair and I can't do anything about it. I wish I could stop what's happening, but I can't, and instead I just get angry over the unfairness. Maybe it's just me, and it doesn't harm my opinion of this book, but I just wanted to say that I spent an hour and a half in anger.
My main problem with the book, though, was the end. This book would've had a much higher rating if the ending was more satisfactory. I felt like the ending was resolved too quickly and easily, especially compared to the situation and how long the drama lasted in the book. I also didn't feel like it was finished.
IN CONCLUSION Overall, this was a very quick read focusing on a very tough subject. This book is very gritty and real, with a very different perspective than we are used to in these type of novels. I had issues with the ending, and my emotions, but overall I really do recommend this book to those who like to read realistic novels over tough subjects....more
I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
MY THOUGHTS This was a really quick read about a girl's journey of discovering her family and others on the way! This was such a realistic book with a sad, but happy story.
Dani only just met her father, only to have him taken away from cancer. It's a surprise when it's find the her father, Sam, left everything to her. Dani doesn't know what she's going to do with his house, but she flies over to say goodbye and ends up on a hunt to find more about Sam's past. Sam never knew who his parents were, and Dani is determined to found out, but she will be surprised to see what else she'll find along the way.
I got this book from Netgalley, as it looked interesting, only to find out that it was a sequel to a book called The Truths From Sam. This book, apparently, features the weeks that Dani spent with Sam before his death. I was worried that I would be confused, but I dived into this anyway. There are references to the other book and, in the beginning, I was that engaged in the book. I was sad by what happened to Sam, but I didn't know him. Eventually, I become immersed in this book. I loved Dani's journey and I began to know more about Sam through her.
I also felt like this book was about more than just Sam. Sam is a large focal point of the story, but I felt like this book was really about Dani. This is Dani's journey of finding more about Sam's family and her family, but it's also about her just finding her way. The beginning of this book is very sad, obviously, but it's so heart-warming by the end. I don't want to get details, but by the end I was crying tears of happiness.
As for romance, there is no romance whatsoever. This book is purely about Dani's journey and Sam. I actually loved this fact! It made this book so much more realistic!
IN CONCLUSION Overall, I recommend this book! I have not read the first book, but you do not need to read it to understand things, though I want to read it eventually! This book was a really quick read and left me with a happy feeling after the last page. If you want a great book about loss and discovery, this is a great read....more
MY THOUGHTS This book focuses on a group of ex-friends: Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe. After JoyThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
MY THOUGHTS This book focuses on a group of ex-friends: Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe. After Joy moved without explanation, the friends drifted apart. It's when the summer camp they used to attend has a reunion that the girls see eachother again and end up accidentally transporting 2 years into the part. To their last summer as friends. The girls have to recreate their past, and their last photo, in order to get back to the present. But how can they live in the past when their older now? And what if they change things?
I was actually surprised by this book. For some reason I thought they metaphorically transported in time, so I was expecting a full-on contemporary. I was pleasantly surprised by the time travel aspect. Yet, this book is still very realistic. I think a praise on the book "Sisterhood of the (Time) Traveling Pants" is an accurate way to describe this book. The friendship and the summertime feeling to this book reminded me of the Traveling Pants book, though there are definitely differences.
There is the fact that this book is very very slow-paced. It makes sense considering the plot, but most of the book is the friends doing their separate things. Not that it was dull or anything. It was interesting seeing the girls try to recreate their summer, and not really recreate it. I actually really did end up liking seeing their different stories. This book is mostly about friendship and second chances, so there is hope and lots of drama in this.
This book also follows each of the girls individually. It's in third person, but it's like we're seeing the POV from each girl. I'm not a big fan of third person and some might find the switches confusing, but I think this worked out for this book! I really can't see how we could've gotten the story in any other way. Now, I did have issues with the girls. They seemed much younger. In fact, it seemed like they completely took over their roles of being 15 again, which kind of bothered me. It's not a huge problem, but I kind of wish that they seemed more their age. Besides this, though, these characters did grow so much throughout this book, learning about things about themselves and their past.
As for romance, some of the girls have their romances in the book, but I don't think that's important. This book is, again, about friendship. Whether it's a past friendship or a current one.
IN CONCLUSION Overall, this was a great book with magical realism. I had issues with the characters and pacing, at first, but I grew into liking this book. I think this is a great summer read abouts second chances and friendship! I recommend this to fans of contemporary friendship reads!...more
MY THOUGHTS I kind of picked up this book without even knowing what it wasThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
ACTUAL RATING: 3.5
MY THOUGHTS I kind of picked up this book without even knowing what it was about. It ended up being a road trip book, which I actually love! This book, though, is more serious than more road trip books, which makes so much sense considering the subject matter. This book was still very enjoyable and I actually ended up liking this book.
Michelle lives in poverty with her siblings and single mom, who happens to do drugs. When her mom ends up in jail, Michelle struggles to get enough family to bail her out and to sustain her family. Then Leah and her stepbrother Tim come in. Leah is Michelle's half-sister, that she never met, but knew about. Their dad, Buck Devereaux, left both of their mothers and now he's dying in California. Michelle couldn't care less about Buck, but he supposedly has something that he needs to give her. All of them get into a rickety car to travel all the way to California.
Despite the light cover, this book focused on some more touchy subjects. I actually liked this fact, because it made this more incredibly realistic.
A large factor of this book that I liked is how diverse it is! Yes! This book has a POC MC! Michelle is a great MC. She has had to grow up quickly because of her upbringing and has kind of become another mom to her two siblings. I do not like the circumstances that has lead her to get into this position, but she is strong and she deeply cares about her siblings. Of course, like most people, she has flaws, but it only showed how real she was.
As for romance, there is a teeny tiny bit, which makes me happy. See, romance is okay, but I love it when it doesn't takeover the whole story and eaves room for the plot. The real focus of the book would be family, which is also something that is pushed aside in most YA. This book is all about family. There's Michelle's mom in jail, Buck (the dad that left when she was a child), and a road trip with her own siblings and a stepsister she just met. That's a lot, but I really think that the book dealt with it very well!
IN CONCLUSION Overall, this is a great contemporary featuring a different subject matter and an interesting look on family. I really did enjoy it, even though I didn't give it an enormously high rating. I really do recommend this to fans of contemporary reads! ...more
MY THOUGHTS This book is such a hallmark YA book that I felt like it wThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars
MY THOUGHTS This book is such a hallmark YA book that I felt like it was odd that I haven't read it yet. This book has so many fans, so I had very high expectations. Sadly, I wasn't really that impressed by this book.
I'm pretty sure every knows the plot of this book by now, so there's no need for me to rehash it. Mia is normal, then her dad tells her that she's a princess. Of course, Mia doesn't want to be a princess. I think what really bothered me about this book was just that A. Mia was a bit of a brat B. Not much happened.
Mia spends a majority of the book complaining about how she doesn't want to be a princess. I really don't see why she's so upset by this, she was kind of melodramatic. She doesn't just complain about being a princess, she complains about everything! I swear she complained about her flat-chest every chapter! I guess I can give some props just because it is a diary and those are basically for complaining about things, but she did bother me. I also didn't agree with some of her decisions. Eventually, I was less annoyed by her, but I don' think she really changed that much throughout the book.
Despite all the complaining, I do think that the diary format was interesting. It gave Mia a strong voice, bratty as it may be, and it made the book feel more real. As in, it felt like a high school freshman was talking. That's another thing that is different for me, I'm used to reading books from girls that are 16 or 17, not just starting high school.
I did like her friendship with Lilly, as well as her friendship with Tina, and all the other supporting characters. In fact, despite my annoyance with Mia, I do think that this was a short, fun little read. The plot and the characters added a very fun factor to the story. And, again, the diary aspect only added to that.
As for romance, there's some, but don't expect a lot!
IN CONCLUSION I'm aware that my review is all over the place, I kind of just dumped all of my thoughts onto this blank space. Overall, I was disappointed by this book. It was mostly just Mia complaining. Despite the fact, I still liked the supporting characters and this was a fun read! I'm meh about this book, but I still plan on reading the rest. I know that Mia will grow throughout the series and I would like to see that. The Mediator series, also by Meg Cabot, was like that. where I adored the last books in the series but wasn't that impressed with the first few. I also would like to ship things. Also, this book is NOTHING like the movie. A lot of readers are expecting Disney, but this book is not for young people. There is sexual language and what not in this book....more
MY THOUGHTS It took me awhile to get ended this book, but I ended up enjoying it!
This book is from the perspective of three characters: Rhiannon, Nicole, and James. Rhiannon's boyfriend just broke up with her, without explanation, and wants him back Nicole broke things off with her boyfriend, and is now chasing after a crush...on her math teacher. And James has always been best friends with Rhiannon, but does he feel for more? These characters will overcome challenges, as well as have some fun.
I read this in audiobook format while I was at work, so I basically listened to it for a few weeks. This fact made the book feel slow, but to be honest, the first part has a very slow pace. This especially worsens with the unusual formatting. You start with Rhiannon telling you what happened from her perspective in the first half of the week, then Nicole will give her perspective of the same days, then James. Then the process repeats itself for the last half of the week. It's a very interesting perspective, and I'm torn at how I feel about the same days being repeated. On one hand, it was repetitive. On the other, It added so much more depth and let me understand the lives of all the characters.
As for characters, I was meh about them at first. Rhiannon was especially irritating because of how she was hanging onto her ex-boyfriend, who is a a-hole. I was mostly upset by her moping and how I just knew that things would come back and bite her. Eventually, the characters grew on me and, in the span of only a week, they grew as well!
IN CONCLUSION Overall, I did end up liking this book, even though it took awhile. The format is hard to get used to and the pacing was a bit slow at first, but the last half really picked up and I loved the growth of the characters. To be honest, I think I would have liked this book more if I read it in traditional form rather than audiobook, but I still liked it. This was a very realistic read and great for fans of contemporary!...more
I received an ecopy of this book via First to Read in exchange for an honest review.
MY THOUGHTS I've read almost every Sarah Dessen book and this one has to be one of my favorites! It was absolutely beautiful!
Sydney has always felt like she was in her older brother's shadow, but for the past few years her brother has been in and out of holding cells and escorted home by officers. Then her brother drives drunk and hits a teenager on a bike, paralyzing him for life. Now Sydney is known as the girl with the brother in jail. Sydney decides to move to a new school, away from the whispers, and ends up becoming friends with a girl, Layla, whose family works in a pizza shop. She gets introduced to Layla's brother and Layla's friends and Sydney begins to feel happy again. But her parents are too preoccupied to notice anything but Sydney's brother.
What I love so much about this book is how much depth is within it. This book has the usual coming of age tale that I expect from Sarah Dessen, but there's so much more to it. It has a strong aspect of family. Sydney's parents, especially her mom, become very controlling of Sydney in this book, as if she is her brother. They also see Peyton, Sydney's brother, as a victim and even act as if Peyton is away at school, not in jail. It is very infuriating the way they treat Sydney, but it's very realistic.
Sydney begins to live outside her brother's shadow. She's at a school where no one knows her brother's past and she has friends that like hanging out with her. It's hard for Sydney to have a life like this because of her parents who always seemed like they liked Peyton more, especially now. We really get into Sydney's life and point of view. Her character is very realistic! She has her flaws, but she's the girl that will always do the right thing and will always be there for her friends. Something her parents can't see. It's very beautiful, though, seeing Sydney change and grow throughout this book!
There is a romance, but this isn't a romance book. There is so much more to this book!
IN CONCLUSION I love this book so much! I was so engrossed in this book! It was absolutely beautiful and it was amazing seeing Sydney and her growth! Really, I recommend this book for everyone!...more
MY THOUGHTS Wow. I actually read an adult book. For those who don't know me, which is probably everyone, I love to read Young Adult books. In fact, I'MY THOUGHTS Wow. I actually read an adult book. For those who don't know me, which is probably everyone, I love to read Young Adult books. In fact, I've read maybe 5 adult books in my life, out of over 1,000 YA books. So, yeah, I see this as an accomplishment.
Anyway, I unlikely was not planning to read this book. I saw the movie a few months ago. I usually hate watching the movie before the book, but it was my roommate's choice of movie so I just went with it. It wasn't until just recently when my local library had a challenge going on to read 5 books to either take place or were published in 5 different decades from the past hundred years (you could do this up to 4 times). I only had one more book to go to finish all 4 tickets and I had nothing in my stuffed bookshelf that would work. So, I asked my roommate, and she gave me this.
This book took me what felt like forever to read, but I do think this was a beautiful book. This book tells the story of Chiyo/Sayuri. At the age of nine, she and her sisters are taken, separated, and sold. Chiyo, as her name is at the time, ends up in a geisha home (there is a word for it, but I don't remember how to spell it). This book chronicles her life as she begins to train as a geisha and as she eventually becomes one.
The big interesting factor of this book, according to many reviews, is all of the Japanese culture. I really did like this aspect as well and it was obvious that the author did a lot of extensive research. Though, I felt like most of the culture in this book was the culture of those within the geisha lifestyle of those whom surrounded themselves with such. Also, the history within this book is particularly interesting. It details what it was like, for a geisha at least, in the years before World War 2 and after. The Depression was also a very defining factor.
If you have a problem with slow-pacing, then this book is definitely not for you. As I already mentioned, this book spans decades of this woman's life. The years from age nine to around her thirties are very detailed. The pacing did bother me a little bit, as I'm not used to books like that, but it makes perfect sense considering. This book is about Chiyo/Sayuri and her life, which can not be told in a very fast way. I actually do think it worked for the story.
My only actual issue with this book was the whole Chairman thing. The Chairman helps Chiyo/Sayuri with a very small act of kindness and after that, she kind of becomes obsessed with him. I could understand why, but it was particularly irritating since he never really paid any attention to her. He was also thirty years older and had a wife, but that didn't actually bother me as much just because of the fact that Chiyo/Sayuri wanted to, basically, be his mistress. Still disturbing though.
IN CONCLUSION Despite the whole Chairman thing, I loved almost everything else about this book. Sure, the pacing is a bit slow, but it does work with the book. This book is very realistic, historistic, and beautiful. I do recommend it to those who enjoy looks on different cultures and historical fiction.
I will say that, based on what I remember from the movie, it does follow the book :) ...more
MY THOUGHTS I will read basically anything YA, but I do tend to avoid books with teen pregnaThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
MY THOUGHTS I will read basically anything YA, but I do tend to avoid books with teen pregnancy or sports. Obviously this book focuses on the former. For awhile, I didn't bother to pick up this book, but for some reason I decided to go outside my comfort zone and I discovered this beautiful book.
This book is separated in before and after. Before, Reena has always had a crush on Sawyer, but it seems that he never really sees her, that he prefers her best friend instead. But one day he does and they develop a strong, but bumpy relationship, that leaves with Reena pregnant and Sawyer disappearing. Flash forward three years and Reena now has a beautiful daughter named Hannah. Reena is now used to her life and even has a boyfriend, when Sawyer comes back to town. Sawyer was completely unaware that Reena was pregnant and wants to fix what he broke, as well as get to know Hannah, but can Reena let him into her life again.
I think what makes this book really beautiful is how realistic it is. This book has very raw realism, but it only makes it more beautiful, if that makes any sense. This book is told via both before and after which only enhances this. It's very interesting because we already know what happened, from the after, but we only know the ending. Through the before, we learn so much more about the relationship and it makes everything more clear.
Reena is our main character and she's a great one at that. In the before chapters she has naive innocence, which does change as it goes on. In the after chapters, she's such a strong character. She's been through a lot in her young life, but she continues to take it. She loves her daughter and does a great job at raising her, as well as going to college classes and work. What's really frustrating is that nobody seems to see how strong she is, only her mistakes, and it takes awhile to get people to see this part of her.
I'm a bit torn on Sawyer. I liked after Sawyer, but before Sawyer was a bit of a jerk. He was a troublemaker and did drugs. Even though, it was obvious that he did love Reena. He just had his own issues. In the after, Sawyer has changed after traveling the country. He is no longer a troublemaker and he really is sweet. He really does want to fix things.
As for romance, I don't consider this a romance book. Yeah, it's about a couple falling in love, twice, but there's more to this book than that. This book is about how to love, but not only the romance variety. It is about family, bothe Reena's and Sawyer's, who distanced themselves after Hannah. It is also about Hannah. This book is also about being able to forgive and learning how to love again.
IN CONCLUSION Anyway, I'm getting a bit teary-eyed while writing this review. Overall, this was a very realistic, but beautiful read. I'm very glad that I reached out of my comfort zone and picked up this book! I already have Katie Cotugno's new book checked out from the library, so I hope to read that one soon!...more
MY THOUGHTS After reading How to Love, I needed to read another book by KatieThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
MY THOUGHTS After reading How to Love, I needed to read another book by Katie Cotugno! I didn't find this book quite as beautiful as How to Love, but I still found this book very engaging!
Molly Barlow has one big regret that no one will ever let her forget. When her and her boyfriend, Patrick, got into a fight, Molly ended up sleeping with Patrick's brother. Molly kept the secret for years, until her mom publishes a book that is "based on her daughter's complicated relationship with two boys". People connect the dots and Molly runs off to a boarding school. Now, Molly is back for the summer, 99 days, until she goes off to college. Everyone still remembers her as a slut and she's more than happy to hide away in her room watching documentaries.But the summer has bigger plans for Molly.
This book focused on a controversial issue: Cheating. This is something that I really despise when someone does, so yes, this book was out of my comfort zone. This book, though, shows the reality of slut-shaming. Yeah, Molly made a stupid mistake and might've made things worse by not telling, but while she did all of this, she didn't fully deserve what happened to her. She is called a slut, her house egged, her car keyed, for this one mistaken. Yet, Gabe, Patrick's brother, who is as much to blame as Molly, has nothing happen to him. Molly herself doesn't realize this truth and believes she deserves all this and it takes all 99 of these days for her to realize that.
Though, Molly does have many flaws. I was enjoying this book, loving it, until Molly made stupid decisions again. She saw what happened last time and I just couldn't understand why, when she's finally repairing things, would she make that mistake again. I thought she learned her lesson, but it takes another mistake for her to finally reach a point where she changes, hopefully for the better.
The romance in this book is obviously complicated. It takes love triangles to the realistic level. This complicated relationship is the main focus of the story, but this book is not about the romance. In fact, I wouldn't call this a romance at all. Calling it a love story would be laughable. Now, my thoughts on the two boys are different. I actually liked Gabe, which surprised me. Patrick, on the other hand, was a jerk. I understand his anger towards Molly in the beginning, but his actions later on in the book were ridiculous.
Lastly, this book has sort of an open-ended ending. At first, this upset me, but now I think it works the best for the book. I think it ended wonderfully.
IN CONCLUSION Overall, this book focuses on a very controversial subject from the viewpoint of a girl who still needs to learn from her mistakes. I actually enjoyed reading this book and despite Molly's unlikeable characteristic, I begin to root for her to find her way. I strongly suggest that everyone should read Katie Cotugno!...more
MY THOUGHTS Yeah, I'm a bit late to this one aren't I? This book is a huge mark in the YA woThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
MY THOUGHTS Yeah, I'm a bit late to this one aren't I? This book is a huge mark in the YA world and it come out 15 years ago, so the fact that I didn't get to this one now is very unusual. At least I got to it, right?
This book focuses on Melinda who just started high school and is a social outcast. She used to have friends, until Melinda called the cops on a party over the summer. Now, no one wants to talk to her. All the while Melinda is falling apart, trying to hide within herself what really happened.
The only thing I really knew about this book was that it's about rape. I think everyone in the book world already knew that about this book, since it's been out for 15 years, but just in case. I really do wish I could've gone into this book without knowing that, so I would be more shocked as I think that was the intent, but oh well.
I must admit, I was on the fringe on whether I should have given this 3 or 4 stars. I completely love the message behind this book and the writing is absolutely amazing. This book captures greatly how you can speak out about something and about depression as well. Really, this book does a great job at focusing on tough subjects. We need books like this out in the world!
It is very easy to feel for Melinda in this book, even without knowing what she went through. And, while I have never gone through what Melinda has gone through, she is relatable. My only issue with this book is just the pacing and overall non-existent happenings.This book is incredibly realistic and it captures Melinda's depression in an entire school year, and it makes for a slow book. Don't get me wrong, I really think this is perfect for the book, I just had some trouble with that.
IN CONCLUSION I can honestly see why this is practically considered a YA classic. It is a very sad book, and I hate thinking that girls (and some guys I guess, but mostly girls) have to go through this. The author did such a great job with creating such a realistic read with a tough subject....more
MY THOUGHTS I had really high expectation for this book. Adi Alsaid's last book, Let's GetThis and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd
MY THOUGHTS I had really high expectation for this book. Adi Alsaid's last book, Let's Get Lost, was phenomenal. It was fun, heartbreaking, and I adored it. So, of course, I was excited for more brilliance from Adi Alsaid, but this book wasn't what I was expecting. It's a good book and I like it, but it's not a 'new' book and certainly wasn't the funny, unique book I was expecting.
Dave and Julia are best friends and at the start of high school, they create a list of 'Nevers'. The list includes cliches that high schoolers often get into. Rules like, Never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, secretly pine for someone, run for prom king, etc. It isn't until the list is rediscovered senior year that they decide to do ALL of the things on the list. But Dave already has done something on the list, he's been pining for Julia.
I really like the idea of the Nevers and I was very curious to see how they would go about them all. It was indeed very interesting seeing how they did, since it's not like they follow the list exactly to a point, they randomly did things throughout the year and things happened because of them. While I wish this book could've been about the list entirely, it wasn't really the main focus, which I guess is okay. As I mentioned, they do things throughout the year, so it's not like they set out to do the list in a day or a week, that means that other stuff is also going on at the same time. I admit that I was kind of bored by the normal school life and things, but it did make things realistic.
I think that is a plus in this book, the realism. This book felt very realistic and, yes, that might have been why I was bored at points. The relationships, both romantic and friend oriented, were very realistic to a point that you don't see often in books. Many relationships, especially romance, are exaggerated in books. I felt this way in Adi's last book as well, so I can definitely say that he can certainly write realistic contemporaries.
Now, I was a bit bothered by how ironically cliche this book was, even know I shouldn't be. Why? I just get the feeling that this book was supposed to be cliche. The book is about two teens who are against being cliche teenagers, but in the end are they actually cliche? This is actually an important part about the book and I do believe that the cliche-ness was on purpose. Doesn't mean that I didn't groan at the cliche-ness at points.
IN CONCLUSION Overall, this is a good contemporary read, but it's not what I was expecting and not quite as good as Adi's debut novel. I love the idea and wish it was focused on that more, despite the fact that not doing so made things more realistic. If you enjoy such books, pick this one up, but I recommend Adi's previous book more.
MY THOUGHTS I had very high expectations for this book. It sounded completely creepy and I was excited to dive in! While I did like this book, it was definitely not what I expected and it didn't blow me away.
Grace has been through horrific things, one of which gave her the bulge in her belly. Now, Grace is in a mental asylum to hide the family secret. Grace has kept her voice locked away until one moment when she breaks, and is sent to the cellars. A visiting doctor discovers her, seeing the intelligence in her mind, the doctor takes her with him. She's to help him study crime scenes and find killers, with a serial killer possibly on the rise.
I admit that I go into books without rereading synopsis of the book, so I was thrown when the book changed setting. I was expecting the asylum to be the major setting. That's not a big deal, really. I found the crime studies interesting and I thought this book handled madness very well! Mindy McGinnis is a wonderful writer and I also thought that the historical setting was not only interesting, but well written.
Now, to get into what I wasn't expecting. The madness in this book carried throughout this book, but the plot was surprising to me. It felt like the plot kept changing. I can't really get into the changes, less there be spoilers, but it's hard for me to get into a book when my expectations keep changing.
The characters were great and I loved Grace's character growth, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters for some reason. This book was in third person, which I always have difficulty with (with the exception of fantasy books), so that's probably why.
As for romance, THERE IS NONE! A fact that I actually liked!
IN CONCLUSION Overall, I liked this book, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Still, this is a great historical thriller and a very interesting read....more
I received an ecopy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
MY THOUGHTS This was such a beautiful book and it brought tears in my eyes, but it wasn't just sad tears, there were tears of happiness in there as well.
Oakley's brother, Lucas, just passed away from cancer. Lucas wasn't just Oakley's brother, but her best friend as well, so the loss of him is hurting her and she doesn't know how she will ever get over it or if she ever should. Her mother decides that she and Oakley should go to California and live for Aunt Jo for awhile. While there, Oakley finds comfort from a notebook full of letters Lucas wrote to Oakley during his last days, but she finds other surprising in California. She ends up befriending a surfer named Carson who helps her heal, but does she deserve happiness? When Lucas can't anymore? And how can she get close to someone again, when she's eventually going to leave?
There are numerous books out there focusing on grief, but death is something that happens in the real world all too often and the grief that comes with it is very raw. This book features this so realistically. Honestly, this book is entirely about Oakley trying to live her own life again after Lucas's death, which is much harder than it sounds. She doesn't want to forget Lucas and she doesn't feel like she could live happily anymore. This was dealt with so well and, honestly, even I almost cried while reading this book (I was at work, so I couldn't full-out cry without raising a few questions).
The character development was spot-on. Oakley grows so much throughout this book. She was fearful of being happy, but she was also very fearful of growing close to anyone. This causes her to make some dumb decisions throughout this book regarding relationships. She closes herself off and distances herself from not only perspective friends, but her family. She does eventually grow to realize what she's doing wrong and that Lucas would want her to be happy, but it's such a tragically beautiful growth.
There is a romance in this book, but it's very slow and realistic. Carson, our love interest, is such a great guy and he's very sweet. He understands Oakley and does his best to help her. He honestly does care about her, something that takes Oakley awhile to realize. Also, the romance is not the bigger picture in this book, this book is entirely about Oakley and Lucas which makes the book even better.
IN CONCLUSION This was a very beautiful book about grief. This book did remind me very much of Sarah Dessen's style, with her coming of age tales and very raw books, but Chantele Sedgwick obviously has her own voice and she is a wonderful writer. I very much look forward to reading anything else she will write in the future!...more
I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
ACTUAL RATING: 3.5 Stars
MY THOUGHTS I usually don't go for thrillers, because most of the ones I read seem to be the same thing, but this was a very entertaining read and much more different that other thrillers out there!
Lexi and Ava are twins and were adopted after being found in front of their, now father's, restaurant. When they were young, they made up a third twin, a triplet, named Alicia. Alicia was to blame when anything went wrong. Now that the girls are older, they pretend to be Alicia in order to get guys. After the guy guy attempted to rape her, Lexi wants to be done with Alicia. Then, just a day later, the guy ends up dead. Another boy Alicia dated ends up dead and the evidence starts piling up. All of it pointing to Lexi and Ava.
First off, the idea behind this book is very interesting. Many people, myself included, have made up imaginary 'friends' as a child and put all of the blame on them. Lexi and Ava did this as children and then later decided to become her, using Alicia as an alternate identity. I disagreed with them doing this, although it does sound like fun, but I thought it was a very unique idea. Then add on the idea that Alicia may possible be real, and you have a very engrossing book!
Lexi is our main character and I liked her character. She isn't shy, but she's more reserved and she feels more free as Alicia, who isn't afraid of anything. Ava is more of a party girl. I liked their relationship. There definitely acted like sisters, as they didn't always get along, but they did love each other. I was annoyed with Lexi as she was so quick to point fingers at Ava. I know, all the DNA points at the two of them and she knows that she didn't do it, but I would think that she would have trusted her more.
The mystery was actually very surprising! I thought I had it all figured out, but in reality, I was completely wrong. I do think the book ended oddly. I don't know how to explain, but some of the revelations near the end felt off to me.
IN CONCLUSION If you want to read an interesting and surprising thriller, than this is the one! It was a fairly quick read and very different from other thrillers. I did have a few issues, but I still enjoyed it overall! ...more