Category Archives: Book Reviews

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘Who We Are Instead’ by Kyla Stone

“It’s all frivolous, meaningless. The only things that matter are already gone or almost gone. Already put aside in my safe, tidy compartment of lost things.”- Lena from ‘Who We Are Instead’

 

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book called ‘Who We Are Instead’ by Kyla Stone, which was provided by for review by ‘Paper Moon Press’. This is a very interesting book that touches on themes of loss, love, family, & finding your purpose in life. Fair warning this book does discuss mental illness, child abuse/neglect, drug/alcohol use, undetermined rape self-harm, & suicide, so if these issues are triggering to you, please don’t read this book, or proceed with caution. Now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

‘Who We Are Instead’ follows the dual perspectives of sisters Lena & Lux McKenna as they are forced to confront their individual personal demons when their father has a heart attack & is given a very small window of time to live. Lena must return home from her arts college where she is studying photography, & take on her role as “the responsible one”, while trying to resolve her issues with 18 year old “wild child” Lux. As we learn more about Lena, we see that issues from her childhood have cause her to become a more guarded & introverted person. Contrary to Lena, Lux has no desire to succeed in school, likes to party, smoke, do drugs, & drink a lot, & also leaves home for weeks at a time without informing anyone as to where she’s going.

 

So now we’ve reached the big question, is this book worth your time? Honestly the answer is a very loud yes! In this book we not only get to experience both girls perspectives, but also get a very strong sense of who they are as people, what has shaped them, & what’s important to them. We also get romance plots for both girls, & get introduced to Lux’s AMAZING childhood friends. I also really like that all of the characters we meet are flawed in some way of another, & the author does not attempt to redeem each of them which unfortunately does often mirror our own world very closely. With Lena & Lux’s stories we see how similar past experiences can cause different reactions in each person. We see that some people fight the past they are given to create the future they desire, while others run from their past in order to numb the pain & protect themselves. ‘Who We Are Instead’ gives us a very realistic & gripping tale of what can happen when a fractured family finally shatters, while also leaving the ending as ambiguous & open to promise as Lena & Lux themselves are. Definitely a 5 star read that’s will give you all the feels, but as also make you think about these very important issues.

 

 

Keep up with everything Kyla is doing here:

Twitter:https://twitter.com/kylastonebooks?lang=en

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KylaStoneBooks

 

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Facebook, Twitter, Kyla Stone, Paper Moon Press, any and all producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: ‘Where We Were’ & ‘Four Of A Kind’ by Kellie Sheridan Book Review

“…it feels a little like it was during those days and weeks after we were born— like we’re all still part of one greater whole. The older we get, the more we all stretch into our own identities, but I still love the reminder that we started out together”. -Reagan from ‘Four Of A Kind’

 

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a new book review courtesy of Patchwork Press. Today we’re going to change things up a little bit by reviewing 2 books in 1 blog post. I was given the AMAZING opportunity to not only review the 1st book in a new series, but also the prequel novella. Because of how the books are written, it just makes more sense to give you all of my thoughts in 1 review so you can truly know if this series is for you. So 1st up we’re briefly discuss the novella entitled ‘Where We Were’, followed up by the 1st main book in the series called ‘Four Of A Kind’, both written by Kellie Sheridan. So now on to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

In ‘Where We Were’ we meet our 4 central characters: 14 year old quadruplets Reagan, Reece, Reilly, & Rhiannon Donovan who are in the process of moving from their home in Richmond, Virginia to a small town in another state called Fairview. Throughout the book we get alternating chapters in which each girl narrates what’s going on in each of their lives in the final weeks before their move. This novella does a really great job of showing us each girl’s individual personality, as well as what their sister’s think of them through the use of a quote before each chapter begins. ‘Where We Were’ perfectly sets the stage for the beginning of ‘Four Of A Kind’, which is told from Reagan’s perspective & begins once the girls have moved to Fairview. We immediately see that the entire town has such a fascination with the girls’ birth, that they are minor celebrities in town. The story follows the girls (through Reagan’s eyes) as they deal with typical teenage drama such as friend & relationship issues, as well as trying to find their own identities in a town that watches their every move.

 

So now that you know the plot, let’s look at the book a little closer. First of all , Reagan is one of my new favorite protagonists. She is relatable, interesting, and most of all someone who you don’t mind spending the entire book with. She wasn’t a perfect character, but she was the kind of person that you can definitely see yourself befriending in real life. Now let’s move on to the love interest Kent, the son of a local reporter. Thank goodness for Kent! It is SOOOO hard to find a love interest in young adult literature that is loveable. They do exist, but they’re hard to find. I know that we are all tired of the bad-boy, the rebel with a heart of gold, the emotionally/physically abusive guy that our protagonist falls for because they’re “wounded inside”, basically the ‘you should never actually date this guy trope’. With Kent we don’t see any of this, instead we get a nice, friendly guy from beginning to end, he respects Reagan & honestly always seems to want what’s best for her. I thought that at some point he would turn on Reagan to help his mother write a scandalous story about her & her sisters but he never did. Needless to say there is definitely a great need for more characters like Kent in young adult literature. Next I really want to compliment  the author on her awesome writing style. Although the story is told from Reagan’s point of view, you really feel like you get a sense of each sister’s personality. In both stories each sister is instantly identifiable, & none of them feel as if they get lost in the plot. We also get some diversity through the character of Reilly when we find out that she’s a lesbian. Although this is not thoroughly explored, it also doesn’t feel like a tacked on label in order to check the diversity box, but instead a real part of who the character is. Honestly there is so much that I can & do want to say about this book, but I would have you here all week. This is one of those truly great books that you instantly know will be one of your favs as soon as you finish it, & this definitely made this author an auto-buy author for me. With all that said I HAVE to give these books a 5 smiley face rating because I will DEFINITELY be re-reading them again this year, & look forward to reading the sequels that are already out, & any additional books in the series that are released in the future.

 

Keep up with everything Kellie is doing here:

Website:http://www.kelliesheridan.com/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/Kellie_Sheridan

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/user/SnarkyBird/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/snarkybird/

Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/kelloish/

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to kelliesheridan, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Kellie Sheridan, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

 

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘Ten Birthdays’ by Kerry Wilkinson

Us adults are frequently suspicious of the young. You see it all the time on the news, hear the whispers on the streets. It’s always seen as such a terrible thing that young people are gathering with their friends, wearing strange clothes, saying words we’ve never heard, listening to music we don’t like. We forget so quickly that you’re us and we’re you.” – Poppy’s mom from ‘Ten Birthdays’

 

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a very interesting new book by author Kerry Wilkinson called ‘Ten Birthdays’, which was provided for review by Bookouture. This book was released in May of 2017, and is a coming of age story about a British teenager. So let’s get to why you’re all here, the book review! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

‘Ten Birthdays’ follows the life of Poppy Kinsey as she evolves from a 16 year old teenager, into a 25 year old woman. On her birthday, Poppy receives one of 10 letters her mother wrote for her before her death on Poppy’s 15th birthday. At first Poppy is not sure if she wants to open the letters because it brings painful feelings to the forefront of her mind however, she eventually does read the 1st letter, and for the next 9 birthdays reads one letter a year. Throughout the story we see Poppy’s life change as she deals with friendships, relationships, and finding her purpose in life. Along the way poppy’s mother gives her life advice and tells her stories through the letters she wrote, and thus is able to stay a constant force in Poppy’s life.

 

Although you would think that this story would be very sad, it is actually more of a coming of age story, than a story of loss. Anyone who has had someone close to them pass away can relate to Poppy’s mixed feelings of love and sadness in regards to the letters her mother left her. Also, I really enjoyed the fact that Poppy is not your stereotypical happy protagonist, and because of this faces struggles and consequences for questionable decisions throughout the course of the book. You find yourself constantly rooting for Poppy, and interested to know what the next year of her life will bring her. I also like that the book shows the difficulties Poppy and her two childhood best friends Mark & Freya face as they grow older and make decisions that determine who the kind of people they will grow up to be. Lastly, although there is not a lot of diversity in this book, Freya is bi-racial (her mother is Jamaican and although the book does not actually describe her father, it does allude to the fact that he is white). Because of all of these factors, I would definitely give this book a 4 smiley face rating. It is a very enjoyable novel that you will not want to put down, and I definitely hope that we will get a sequel one day because I would love to continue to see how these amazing charterers’ lives turn out.

 

Keep up with everything Kerry is doing here:

Website:https://kerrywilkinson.com/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3508219.Kerry_Wilkinson

Twitter:https://twitter.com/kerrywk/

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFUm43PslwDRf0_4nz6MD9A

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kerry.wilkinson/

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Kerry Wilkinson, kerrywilkinson.com, Goodreads, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Bookouture all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

 

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘Songs About a Girl’ by Chris Russell

“I didn’t care what had happened. I didn’t care if I got hurt. Because the truth was, I was falling for him, irretrievably, and there could be no turning back”.- Charlie from ‘Songs About a Girl’

 

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a book review of the first book in a new series called ‘Songs About a Girl’ by Chris Russell. This book was provided for review by Flatiron Books (a division of Macmillan Publishers), and was released on July 28th, 2016. Just so y’all know this will be a spoiler-free review so let’s get to the fun part of this blog, the book! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

This is a story about a 15 year old girl named Charlie who is given the opportunity to photograph the biggest pop band in the world Fire&Lights. Although Charlie is a quiet, shy girl, she is quickly is pushed into the spotlight after a photo of her with one of the guys from the band is leaked. At 1st Charlie decides to distances herself from the band, but when she finds a connection between their new lead single and poetry in her deceased mother’s old journal she can’t ignore investigating a possible connection. The harder Charlie looks for answers about her own past, the more she experiences the dark side of fame and fandom.

 

I’m going to start off by saying that the premise of this book was super interesting. We live in a time where reality & gossip shows allow us to feel closer to our favorite stars than even before. Also, with the addition of social media we’re able to join fandoms & feel a community around our admiration. Although ‘Songs About a Girl’ is marketed (rightfully so) as a One Direction fan-fiction, it really does speak to the current celebrity-centric culture we all live in. Although this isn’t a new topic, I really liked the way Chris Russell showed his love for fandoms in this story, but also showed the consequences of what can happen when they cross the line. I also really liked the characters he created. Charlie is a relatable protagonist, her bff Melissa is the fangirl in us all, the guys in the band are interesting and fun to read about, even the “villains” & more minor characters serve their roles well. The problem however, lies in how all of this comes together. In the end this story is a One Direction fan-fiction at its core which can either be a good thing or a not do good thing. If you really like romance & One Direction then you’ll probably love this book, but only if you really really love both of those things. Personally I’m a fan of both but this story just didn’t click with me. The whole time I kept getting distracted by who inspired which character and it took me out of the story too much. The big twist was very predictable (and I’m horrible at predicting this stuff so that tells you a lot), and the love triangle was solved to quickly (I know, I know, a lot of us have asked for this but a little more tension is always nice). Also, the mystery surrounding Charlie’s mom felt unnecessary & ultimately seemed like it could potential get in the way of the romance between her & the guy she chooses at the end of the book. I feel like this book serves a very niche market which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but because of this forces me to give it 2 smiley faces. This is definitely a quick, light summer read that you can try out if it sounds interesting, but because it doesn’t have a very vast market appeal I can’t recommend it for everyone. However if you do read it & love it, then book 2 is already out, and book 3 will be released later this year!

 

Keep up with everything Chris is doing here:

Website:http://www.chrisrussellwrites.com/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/chrisrusselluk

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/chrisrusselluk

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/chrisrusselluk/lko

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/c/chrisrusselluk

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Chris Russell, chrisrussellwrites.com, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flatiron Books, Macmillan Publishers, and all other publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘Sky’ by Ondine Sherman

“This tree,” he touches a leaf, “is for Sky’s mum. She was loved greatly. And will be missed terribly. And tonight I honor her for raising a brave daughter who spoke up for the voiceless.” – Oliver from ‘Sky’

 

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about a book called ‘Sky’ by Australian author Ondine Sherman. This book was provided for review by ‘The Author People’, and was released on June 27th, 2017. Ondine Sherman holds a BA in Communications from The University of Technology, Sydney & an MA in Environmental Education from Macquarie University. She is an Ambassador for ‘Action for Dolphins’ & Director of Conservation for ‘This is My Earth (TIME)’. She has been nominated for several awards including: ‘Australia’s top 10 Community Leaders’ by News Limited & Microsoft’ & Cosmopolitan’s ‘Fun, Fearless, Female’ Award in 2012. Ondine previously released a memoir entitled ‘The Miracle of Love’ in 2013, in which she discusses her experiences parenting twin sons with a rare genetic disorder. So now that you know all about Ondine, let’s discuss ‘Sky’. In full disclosure this will be a spoiler free review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

This is a young adult novel about a 16 year old girl named Sky, who moves from Sydney to the countryside with her aunt Paula & uncle Dave after her mother passes away from cancer. Sky feels out of place in her new surroundings due to the fact that she doesn’t have a close relationship with her aunt, doesn’t know anyone else in town, is starting out at a new school close to the end of the school year, and is a passionate vegan. Once at school Sky decides that she wants to be popular so she decides to hide her veganism to accomplish this. Sky’s teacher tells her about a contest that the other kids are participating in with a cash prize of $200, so Sky decides to do her project on Chickens, in hopes that she’ll win the contest so she can buy a fancy dress to wear to her school’s year end gala in order to fit in with her friends. Sky soon adopts a dog named Bella and through a dog training class at a local park Sky  begins to connect with an attractive classmate named Oliver (who the lead popular girl Marissa also likes). Sky decides to interview the owner of a local chicken farm for her project, and is horrified when she sees how badly the chickens are treated. This sets Sky on a path that will force her to pick between the new life she is trying to build for herself and the ethics she was raised with.

 

So now we’ve reached the review part of this post, and I will say that there are some things about this book that I liked and some things that could’ve been better. Firstly I did like the veganism premise of the book because it was interesting and informative. I also really liked Sky’s aunt & uncle because they were kind, loving, and extremely patient with Sky throughout the book. Lastly, Oliver & Lucy (a girl that Sky befriends later in the book), fit into their roles of love interest and eccentric friend well, but the author really does a good job of humanizing mean girl Marissa into a character you can understand. However although ‘Sky’ offers a lot of good things, the most glaring issue with this book lies with the character of Sky herself. Although Sky is young and obviously dealing with her mother’s death, she makes some questionable decisions throughout the book that make her unlikeable & unrelatable . She’s also very cruel to her aunt & uncle, but still expects them to help her and doesn’t apologize to them until the end of the book. Speaking of the end of the book, ‘Sky’ ends with a really sweet scene, but then an epilogue is added at the end that literally ends with the sentences “I stare at the tickets hoping that an answer will magically appear. What should I do?”. This is my least favorite type of open-ended conclusion. Now let me say that I don’t mind open-ended conclusions, but I also don’t like when an author leaves us without a real ending so the possibly of a sequel is higher (an example is the way 13 Reasons Why season 1 ended). It is perfectly possible to have an open-ended conclusion that leaves the foundation for a sequel, but also gives the reader a satisfying ending, and unfortunately ‘Sky’ failed to do this. There are so many other things that could have been improved on in this book (the epilogue alone has a few more issues), but I can’t really discuss that because I don’t want to get into spoilers. Unfortunately I do have to give ‘Sky’ a 1 out of 5 smiley faces because it had so much potential, but could never quite live up to my expectations of it.

 

Keep up with everything Ondine is doing:
Website:http://ondinesherman.com/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/ondines
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/ondinesherman/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ondineshermanauthor/
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Ondine Sherman, ondinesherman.com, twitter, instagram, facebook, The Author People, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘The Lives of Desperate Girls’

“There was something so tragic about the acts of desperate girls. My helpless heart wished that I could write a different ending to the story, that I could have kept Chloe from disappearing and delivered Helen safely home. But trusting the wrong person wasn’t the only kind of desperate act. Wishing for the impossible could break you just as swiftly.Whether you wanted someone to love you or someone to protect you, it was hard to be a girl in need.” – Jenny Parker ‘The Lives of Desperate Girls’.

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a Young Adult mystery book entitled ‘The Lives of Desperate Girls’ by Canadian author MacKenzie Common. ‘The Lives of Desperate Girls’ is MacKenzie Common’s debut book, and this copy was provided for review by Penguin Random House Canada. MacKenzie Common is an author who is originally from Newfoundland but grew up in Northern Ontario. I do need to add a trigger warning due the sexual assault that is present in this novel. There’s a lot we have to discuss about this book, but keep in mind that this will be a spoiler-free review so let’s get into it. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘The Lives of Desperate Girl’s centers around high school junior Jenny in the aftermath of the disappearance of her best friend Chloe. Jenny has always felt inferior to her friend due to Chloe’s wealth, popularity, and ease in social situations, in contrast to Jenny who is the exact opposite in all of these areas. Jenny has a hard time adjusting to life without Chloe, which is made more difficult when a local Indigenous girl named Helen is found murdered. Jenny soon begins to investigate Helen’s murder with a classmate named Tom, who has a reputation of being a loner in school. As Jenny finds out more about who Helen was as a person, she also learn more about her country’s history with racism, as well as the racism that still lingers to this day. Although Jenny is very dedicated to finding out who killed Helen and if this has anything to do with Chloe’s disappearance, she struggles with a big secret that she and Chloe have tried to keep buried for nearly a year. 
 
Now we’ve arrived to the question of whether you should invest in this book or not. I will start this off by saying that I had to give this book 1 smiley face because it had a lot of problems. One aspect of the book that I didn’t enjoy was the romance between Jenny and Tom. I definitely felt that their romance escalated quickly and then towards the end of the book his character became less and less important to the story so the romance seemed pointless. The mystery aspect of the book also lacked that element of immersion that made you feel that you were never really invested in the story. One positive aspect was the representation of Indigenous people due to the various Indigenous characters we saw throughout the story. I will say that this book does contain sexual assault as well as very strong language that is not appropriate for all ages so if this is trigger or offensive to you I would skip this one. All in all this book felt like it tried to tackle so many topics at once and because of this was stretched too thin to accomplish what it set out to do. 
Keep up with everything MacKenzie is doing:
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16262394.MacKenzie_Common
Website:https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2142145/mackenzie-common
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to MacKenzie Common, Goodreads, penguinrandomhouse.com, Penguin Random House Canada, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘180 Seconds’ by Jessica Park

YOU CAN’T REACH WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU UNTIL YOU LET GO OF WHAT’S BEHIND YOU“- from ‘180 Seconds’

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss a new book by author Jessica Park called ‘180 Seconds’, which was provided by ‘Skyscape’ and ‘Two Lions’ for review. Jessica Park grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has also previously written several books entitled ‘Clear, ‘Relatively Famous’, as well as the series ‘Left Drowning’ and ‘Flat-out Love’. This review will be spoiler free, so if you’re ready let’s find out whether you should add this book to your summer TBR or if 180 seconds of your time is more than this book deserves. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

‘180 Seconds’ is about a college junior named Allison who lived within the foster care system until she was adopted at the age of 15. Due to what she experienced as a child, Allison is not comfortable forming strong bonds with people, which includes her adoptive father Simon. The only person that Allison feels truly close to is her childhood best friend Steffi. All of this begins to change when Allison unwillingly participates in a social experiment conducted by social media star Esben Baylor. The 180 seconds that this experiment takes sends Allison on a path to discover what love and friendship mean to her, as well as the realization that sometimes the strongest people hide the darkest demons.
Personally I really loved this book as a whole. Immediately we are introduced to a cast of interesting characters that show new layers the further into the story you go. Allison is a relatable, interesting protagonist that we see tremendous growth from throughout the course of the novel. Esben is also an interesting character that at first glance appears to be the stereotypical perfect love interest, but is later shown to have much more to him.  However one of my favorite characters had to be Allison’s adoptive father Simon. He is our diverse character in ‘180 Seconds due to the fact that he is gay however, Jessica Park does an amazing job to show that Simon is also fun, funny, and above all an amazing father (seriously this guy has a superhuman amount of patience). Although I did thoroughly enjoy this book, there were a few places here and there where the book lagged a bit and I felt myself skimming the pages a bit until the story picked up again. Although this didn’t happen often, I did have to knock my rating down from 5 to 4 smiley faces because of this. Also, this book does mention sexual assault twice in reference to two of the characters’ backstories so if you are triggered by this please proceed with caution. In conclusion I would say that this book is definitely worth the read due to its interesting mix of fun romance and deep emotional topics.
Keep up with everything Jessica is doing:
Website:http://www.jessicapark.me/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/JessicaPark24?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicapark/
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22159.Jessica_Park
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Twitter, Jessica Park, netgalley.net, jessicapark.me, Facebook, Goodreads, Skyscape, Two Lions, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Book Review of ‘Before I Let Go’ by Marieke Nijkamp

“She took my heart and held it safe. She promised to wait for me, with words that echo in my mind and tender touches that I can still feel on my skin”Corey from ‘Before I Let Go”.

 

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book by New York Times Bestselling Author Marieke Nijkamp. You may recognize Marlene’s name due to the popularity of her 2016 debut book ‘This Is Where It Ends’, as well as the editor of the anthology Unbroken: 13 Stories Starting Disabled Teens which will be released in the fall of 2018. Today we have the privilege of reviewing her latest book ‘Before I Let Go’, which was released on January 2, 2018 and was provided for review by Sourcebooks Fire. This will be a spoiler free review however I will discuss how the ending affected my opinion of the book. So now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

‘Before I Let Go’ is a Young Adult suspense novel surrounding the suicide of a bi-polar young teenage girl name Kyra in the small town of Lost, Alaska. When Kyra’s best friend Corey returns to Lost after moving away for several months, she begins to realize that the town is very different than she remembered. Corey is shocked to find that she is now treated like an outsider by people who have known her for her entire life, and feels that there is an aura of secrecy surrounding the town. However the thing that Corey finds the most shocking is the fact that everyone in town speaks very highly and lovingly of Kyra, despite the fact that Corey always saw that everyone in town mercilessly tease and abused Kyra her entire life. Corey begins to suspect that there is more to Kyra’s death than what she has been lead to believe, so she decides to investigate the story herself. Throughout the story Corey finds out dark secrets about the town and herself that she had never considered before. Corey also finds that she has enemies and allies in the town that will play an important role in uncovering the truth.

 

So now we’ve reached the point in the review where I tell y’all if you should buy this book or not. Honestly, this book is a little difficult to recommend because it was a solid 5 star read until I reached the ending of the book. Now this book does have some problems throughout, such as the fact that Corey is not a very likeable protagonist because of the way she treated Kyra after she moved (which is made even worst by how mentally ill Kyra is, and the fact that Corey knows this but still treats her this way). The book also contains several pages where the writing suddenly changes to a script style (like a play would have) which was really jarring and completely unnecessary to the story because it didn’t tie in with anything. However a positive point of this book is that we do get to see a lot of diversity with the inclusion of asexual, pansexual, and homosexual characters, as well as a very detailed accounting of Kyra’s mental illness that helps us really understand and fall in love with her character. The author truly does an amazing job of pulling you into the mystery of Lost and keeping you engaged throughout every twist & turn that comes our way. Unfortunately this is all ruined by the ending of the book. As soon as Corey solves the mystery we reach the climax of the book and then the story just ends. It does not resolve, it just ends. After all of the build up and great storytelling that the author does, this ending is just so disappointing that it honestly ruined the whole experience of the book for me. Because of this, I have to give this book a solid 2.5 smiley faces out of 5, which truly saddens me to do because this story deserved so much more.

 

Keep up with everything Marieke is doing:
Website:http://www.mariekenijkamp.com/musings/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/mariekeyn
Insragram:https://www.instagram.com/mariekeyn/
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Marieke Nijkamp, Sourcebooks Fire, Twitter, Instagram, netgalley.net, marikekenijkamp.com, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: ‘The Sky Between You and Me’ Book Review

“Again
Once I whittle that number on the scale down
Which wont be hard since I haven’t been hungry lately
It won’t be hard now that I have a goal
Smaller
Lighter
Leaner
In the saddle
It won’t be hard
Because I’m willing to do whatever
It takes
To win.” -Rae from ‘The Sky Between You and Me’
 
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book that you should definitely add to your Goodreads reading challenge (yeah, yeah, I know that your TBR is already insane, but this book is worth the room. Trust me). So what is this amazing book you ask? I’m glad you asked people of the internet! Today we’re reviewing ‘The Sky Between You and Me’ by Catherine Alene. Not only is the story interesting, but will definitely leave a lasting impact on you once you finish it. I will try to make this review as spoiler free as possible, so if you’re ready let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Our story revolves around high school junior Raesha (aka Rae), a rodeo rider who dreams of winning Nationals just like her mother did when she was in high school. We are then introduced to Rae’s best friend Asia, Asia’s boyfriend Micah, and Rae’s boyfriend Cody. Everything in Rae’s life seems to be going well until a new girl named Kierra moves into town and begins to disrupt all of the order in Rae’s life. Throughout the story we learn that Rae’s mother died from cancer when she was a little girl and Rae always carried the guilt due to the circumstances of her mother’s death. Due to Rae’s growing loneliness because of Kierra’s presence in her life, as well as Rae’s father’s constant absence due to his job, Rae quickly falls into the grip of an eating disorder. She begins by just telling herself that she will lose a little weight in order to fit into her mother’s old riding saddle, however things get bad VERY quickly. Throughout the rest of the novel we see how Rae’s eating disorder affects her life, and the lives of those around her in both expected and unexpected ways. This is truly a powerful story with an amazing message of hope that doesn’t sugar coat the dark side of eating disorders.
 
I not only really enjoyed the plot of this story, but also the relationship between Rae and her father. You could really see the love that they had for each other, as well as his need to try to fill the void that her mother’s death has left in her life, and his terror when he feels as if he failed this task. I also really enjoyed the fact that Rae and her friends were from a small country town and enjoyed completing in rodeos. This was definitely a fresh change of pace from your typical YA setting. Lastly I personally really loved the fact that the entire story was written in verse, which added a unique vibe to the story. Although there was SOOOO much I loved about this book, there were some problems. Firstly I HATED Rae’s boyfriend Cody! He was a completely unlikeable character who made me want to slap Rae for even dealing with him. Cody openly flirts with Kierra every chance he gets, and is completely unsupportive of Rae, even when he finds out about her eating disorder. Also, the story definitely had sections that were very slow and boring, although this didn’t happen often, it definitely lost the book half a smiley face on it’s overall score. Lastly, I really wish that we had spent more time on the obvious connection between Rae’s mother’s death and Rae’s eating disorder. I know that eating disorders are very complicated matters and there is never a necessary “cause” of this disease however, I really feel that this event had a lasting impact on Rae and thus it would’ve been nice to dive more into that. In conclusion I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story and doesn’t mind books written in free verse. If you don’t typically enjoy this style of writing then this maybe a hard story for you to get through however, I definitely suggest that you give it a chance. Because of all of this, I give ‘The Sky Between You and Me’ 4 1/2 smiley faces (due to the slow parts of the story). This is definitely worth your time, and I suggest you pick it up right away!
Keep up with everything Catherine is doing:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/catherinealene
Website:https://catherinealene.com/
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15222129.Catherine_Alene
Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Sky-between-You-Me/dp/1492638536
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Catherine Alene, Sourcebooks Fire, Twitter, catherinealene.com, Goodreads, Amazon, netgallery.net, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Book review of ‘The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett’

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a very unique book. If you haven’t heard of ‘The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett’ by Chelsea Sedoti then you need to keep reading because this book will most likely make it on to your TBR list this year. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of this book however, I would never lie to y’all in a review and this book definitely has some issues that we’re going to discuss. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
 
‘The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett’ begins by introducing us to our protagonist Hawthorne. She is a young teenage girl who becomes fascinated by the disappearance of her classmate Lizzie Lovett. Hawthorne and Lizzie definitely fall into the stereotypical “loner” & “popular girl” roles and because of this Hawthorne hates Lizzie. Now as you’ve probably predicted, Hawthorne comes from a very eccentric family, except her brother who is your stereotypical popular jock who has a huge crush on Lizzie. Ok so now that we have our foundation set up, let’s talk about what I liked about this novel. Hawthorne. Yeah, that’s honestly all there is. She was a very witty, funny, and an all around enjoyable character (at first anyway, but more about that later). Now don’t get me wrong I don’t have a problem with stereotypical YA novels that follow familiar and predictable tropes however this novel just feels confused and disjointed. The plot begins as a mystery, then adds possible supernatural elements, then quickly changes into a romance (sort of), and shifts the initial mystery into a side-story. The ending is completely unsatisfying and doesn’t make a lot of sense, and the romance is awkward to say the least. I’m not going to talk too much about the “romance” because it would take another blog post to explain everything wrong with this relationship. We get introduce to Hawthorne’s love interest Enzo early on in the novel and he is completely unlikeable and uninteresting throughout the story. The entire time I was reading this story I just wanted to reach into the book and slap Hawthorne for wasting my time on him (she can be with him in off-screen land, but why do I have to suffer through this). Lastly, we land back on Hawthorne. Her character is my favorite and least favorite part of this book. She started off as such a unique, interesting character and turned into your stereotypical dumb, petty YA girl. It’s not often that we see new, interesting female characters in YA and it’s just so sad that the author ruined such a potentially great character.
 
So this leads us to what you’ve all been waiting for…the final thoughts. Honestly I HIGHLY suggest that you skip this one. It definitely gets a 1 out 5 smiley faces for the book’s lack of focus, uninteresting characters, and overall boring tone. Personally I only finished this book because I received an ARC and committed to writing an honest review. With so many other amazing YA books out there I wouldn’t waste your time with this one.
Connect with Chelsea here:
Website:http://www.chelseasedoti.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chelseasedoti?lang=en
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13990575.Chelsea_Sedoti
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Chelsea Sedoti, netgallery.net, chelseasedoti.com, Twitter, Goodreads, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, authors, publishers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for any book(s), mentioned in this blog post, all of the and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

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