Tag Archives: 4.5 stars

Book Title:
This is Really Happening
Book Author:
Erin Chack
Page Count:
240
Publishing Date:
April 25th, 2017
Publisher:
Razorbill
Date Read:
April 13th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack provides a collection of personal essays for the Snapchat generation.

Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.

She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it's her first kiss ("Sean's tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.") or her struggles with anxiety ("When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan").

Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer, including learning of her mother's own cancer diagnosis within the same year, and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid "un-normaling" everything.

My Review

This is Really Happening is a heartbreaking, witty, and fun collection of essays from Buzzfeed writer Erin Chack – stories that will both make you sad and brighten your day, both make you cry and make you laugh.  There are … Continue reading

4.5 stars
6 Comments
Book Title:
Spill Zone
Book Author:
Scott Westerfeld
Book Illustrator:
Alex Puvilland
Book Series:
The Spill Zone, #1
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
May 1st, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Nobody's ever really explained the Spill. Was it an angelic visitation? A nanotech accident? A porthole opening from another world? Whatever it was, no one's allowed in the Spill Zone these days except government scientists and hazmat teams. But a few intrepid explorers know how to sneak through the patrols and steer clear of the dangers inside the Zone. Addison Merrick is one such explorer, dedicated to finding out what happened that night, and to unraveling the events that took her parents and left her little sister mute and disconnected from the world.

My Review

For whatever reason, I don’t read too many graphic novels.  I’ve read the entire Scott Pilgrim series and loved it so much, but I hesitate to pick any others up, because I’m not sure if they’re really my thing or … Continue reading

4.5 stars
3 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
How to Make a Wish
Book Author:
Ashley Herring Blake
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
April 26th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.

One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again. How to Make a Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time.

My Review

Last year, I had completely fallen in love with Ashley Herring Blake’s debut novel, Suffer Love, and this year, I’ve fallen in love again with her second novel, How to Make a Wish.  This is probably one of the most … Continue reading

4.5 stars
9 Comments
Book Title:
Just Another Girl
Book Author:
Elizabeth Eulberg
Page Count:
256
Publishing Date:
March 28th, 2017
Publisher:
Scholastic
Date Read:
March 24th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

You resent her. You can't stand her. You might even hate her.

But you don't know her at all.

Hope knows there's only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that's how the universe works, even though it's so completely wrong.

Parker doesn't feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they'd never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn't making it any easier. . . .

In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls -- and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide.

You think you have an enemy. But she's just another girl.

My Review

This book had so many promising points that it completely fulfilled – a feud between two girls for the same boy, learning to understand others who may be dealing with more than you could ever know, and Rube Goldberg machines. … Continue reading

4.5 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Someone Like You
Book Author:
Sarah Dessen
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
June 1st, 2012 (Reprint)
Publisher:
Speak
Date Read:
April 17th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

The world is a terrible place not to have a best friend.

Scarlett was always the strong one.

Halley was always content to follow in her wake.

Then Scarlett’s boyfriend died, and Scarlett learned that she was pregnant.

Now Halley has to find the strength to take the lead and help Scarlett get through it.

Because true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

My Review

Okay, so this is the first book by Sarah Dessen that I’ve read, despite the fact that I’ve been reading young adult books for like 15 years now and the sheer amount of books that I’ve torn through in that … Continue reading

12 Comments
Book Title:
10 Things I Can See From Here
Book Author:
Carrie Mac
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
February 28th, 2017
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
March 1st, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

Think positive.

Don’t worry; be happy.

Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

My Review

As someone who has suffered from severe anxiety and panic disorders since I was young, I was really excited to pick up this book, because it features a main character who pretty much worries about everything all the time, and … Continue reading

16 Comments
Book Title:
We Are Okay
Book Author:
Nina LaCour
Publishing Date:
February 14th, 2017
Publisher:
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
February 13th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

My Review

I love books that are loaded up with plenty of emotion, but even more than that, I love character driven novels that feature a main character and supporting characters learning more about themselves, growing as individuals, and dealing with everyday … Continue reading

4.5 stars
8 Comments
Book Title:
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Book Author:
Eric Lindstrom
Publishing Date:
February 7th, 2017
Publisher:
Poppy
Date Read:
February 7th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

In the vein of It's Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.

As the walls of Mel's compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst--that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she's been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.

My Review

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, we get a look into a sixteen year old girl’s life as she deals with bipolar disorder.  It’s an eye-opening experience for those who might not know much about it, and for those who … Continue reading

4.5 stars
8 Comments
Book Title:
Because of the Sun
Book Author:
Jenny Torres Sanchez
Publishing Date:
January 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
Date Read:
January 11th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

From the backyards of suburban Florida to the parched desert of New Mexico, Because of the Sun explores the complexity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the healing that can begin when the truth is brought to light.

Dani Falls learned to tolerate her existence in suburban Florida with her brash and seemingly unloving mother by embracing the philosophy Why care? It will only hurt. So when her mother is killed in a sudden and violent manner, Dani goes into an even deeper protection mode, total numbness. It’s the only way she can go on.

But when Dani chooses The Stranger by Albert Camus as summer reading for school, it feels like fate. The main character’s alienation after his mother’s death mirrors her own.

Dani’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew she had. The awkwardness between them is palpable. To escape, Dani takes long walks in the merciless heat. One day, she meets Paulo, who understands how much Dani is hurting. Although she is hesitant at first, a mutual trust and affection develop between Dani and Paulo, and Dani begins to heal. And as she and her aunt begin to connect, Dani learns about her mother’s past. Forgiving isn’t easy, but maybe it’s the only way to move forward.

My Review

Aside from being absolutely obsessed with the beautiful cover of this book (those colors mixing together, and the simple silhouettes of the people and water tower in the background) I was also drawn to the synopsis for this.  Because of … Continue reading

6 Comments
Book Title:
A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Book Author:
Samantha Mabry
Publishing Date:
April 12th, 2016
Publisher:
Algonquin Young Readers
Date Read:
April 5th, 2016
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

My Review

A Fierce and Subtle Poison is one of those rare books that is as beautiful and captivating as you imagine it will be, based on that gorgeous cover.  Once you pick this book up, it’s going to draw you in, … Continue reading

4.5 stars
4 Comments