“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.
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“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.
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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!
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“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.
Hello people of the internet!!! Today we have the pleasure of being apart of the cover reveal for Young Adult author Katie McGarry’s latest amazing book entitled ‘Only a Breath Apart’ which will be published by Tor Teen on January 22, 2019. If you haven’t heard of Katie McGarry’s previous work, then you HAVE to check out her book IMMEDIAELY (seriously her books are the best you can thank me for this recommendation later). So know that you’ve seen how gorgeous the cover is (and seriously that is such a beautiful cover I honestly can’t wait to give it a place of honor on my shelves), you probably want to know what the book is about right? Don’t worry I have y’all covered! Ready? Ok here we go!
Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most. Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done. Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.
I mean honestly we all know that this will be on EVERYONE’s TBR in 2019 so definitely keep your eye out for it. Now even though this book will be available for sale on January 22, 2019, it is currently available for presale through any of the links below, and I HIGHLY recommend you pre-order this one, because once you read 1 Katie McGarry book, she will be an auto-buy author for you!
Pre-order ‘Only a Breath Apart’ here:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2M6S24K
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2tnkyXZ
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“Maybe this is the definition of a summer fling? Finding someone you can be with like this, uninhibited. Not bogged down with thoughts of the future. Not bogged down with thoughts of much else outside of this moment and us.”– Finley from ‘You Before Anyone Else’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we will be reviewing the book ‘You Before Anyone Else` by Julie Cross and Mark Perini. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this amazing book earlier this year and am super excited to share this book with you! If you`re looking for a story with drama, heartbreak, love, and so much more, than this is the book for you. Are you already super excited? Yeah you are (just so you know, this will be a spoiler free review because y’all NEED this book in you life…like seriously you do)! Ok let’s jump into the review. Ready? Ok, lets go!!!
‘You Before Anyone Else’ is a YA romance which centers around teens Eddie and Finley as they navigate the difficult world of modeling in New York City. One night they meet at a party and thus begins an intense journey that will teach them both about love, sacrifice, and what it truly means to find happiness. On the surface `You Before Anyone Else’ seems like a very basic and predictable YA romance novel. Finley, the good girl who knits in her spare time and helps her disabled father care for her younger brothers decides to shed her image by hooking up with “edgy, bad boy” Eddie and then moving on with her life. However, life has a way of wrecking plans, and once you begin to learn more about these characters you see that they both have deep, personal scars that cause them to always make decisions that are in the best interest of those around them, instead of figuring out what they actually want. ‘You Before Anyone Else’ is told in alternating points of view so we get a chance to see the story from both character`s perspective. This can be a very difficult storytelling devise however Cross and Perini pull this off perfectly. Honestly this story will make you laugh, cry, and instantly take you on a beautiful journey that you never want to end. I would definitely give this book a 4 out of 5 smiley faces and suggest that you pick up your copy now…as in this very second…the links are below, honestly what are you waiting for?
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about a topic that has sent the internet into a frenzy this past week. If you loved the ‘Harry Potter’ books then get your wands ready because we’re going back to the wizarding world. Now for most of us ‘Harry Potter’ mania has never fully gone away, and has continued to live on in the form of theme parks, fanfiction/fanart, and so much more. In October of 2015 we were told that the ‘Harry Potter’ universe would continue in the form of a stage play which would open at the Palace Theater in London, England on July 30th, 2016. Now needless to say, a lot of fans were upset because unfortunately not all of us can travel to London just to see a Harry Potter play (no matter how awesome that would be!). Luckily on February 10th of this year, it was announced that the play’s script would be available in book form on July 31st, 2016 (aka Harry Potter’s birthday) in both print and digital download. So now I know y’all are all super excited right? Right! So let’s jump into the plot of the play. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
So far we know that this story will take place during the time of the epilogue of the final book/movie (or 19 years after the final battle when Harry, Hermione, and Ron are 17). In this play we will see Harry as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, who has to deal with the effects his past has on his new life. We have been told that we will also get to learn more about Harry’s parents, “an untold piece of Harry’s story” (which I’m guessing is either his life before the 1st book, or in between where the 8th book ends and this story begins). The story will also revolve around Harry’s son Albus, who is beginning his 1st year at Hogwarts, and will have to deal with the weight and expectations that come with his family’s legacy. Needless to say this book has already reached the #1 spot for pre-ordered books on Amazon, and will definitely do very well when it’s released. So what do you think people of the internet? Are you excited to learn more about Harry and his friend’s/family’s lives? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
•All photos and information used in this blog belong to Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Arthur A. Levine Books, Little, Brown Book Group, Universal Parks & Resorts, Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films, 1492 Pictures, Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, David Yates, David Heyman, Mark Radcliffe, David Barron, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, theinquistir.com, 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
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an amazing channel that’s a little different than what we usually discuss. I think the coolest thing about YouTube that draws us all to it is that everyone is able to find interesting, entertaining people who share our interests and obsessions. Whether you love amazing covers, unique beauty/hair tutorials, hilarious comedians, or anything in between you’ll find the perfect channel to subscribe to. Today we’re going to talk about an incredible Booktube channel called abookutopia (which features a seriously entertaining self-proclaimed book-o-holic named Sasha) so if you love books and/or anything book related then you’re going to want to keep reading. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Sasha’s ‘Divergent Book Trailer’, which was uploaded on July 11th, 2013 (you check out this video below) is a really fun skit that all Divergent fans will love! Sasha does a great job of showing that not only is she very knowledgeable about this amazing book, but she also has the ability to instantly mesmerize her audience and keep us interested throughout the video. In a world where most people have a VERY short attention span (I mean honestly why do you think we love Vine so much), it’s interesting to find someone that makes you want to watch their videos and not worry about the length of the video. The next video that we’re going to talk about is Sasha’s ‘Interview with Melissa Landers!’, which was uploaded on May 28th, 2014. This is a really fun interview to watch because it is extremely well executed, and demonstrates Sasha’s natural on-camera charisma and fun-loving nature. She has a lot of other really interesting interview with various authors on her channel so I would definitely check them all out!
The next video that we’re going to talk about is Sasha’s ‘If You Like This…| BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS!’ video, which was uploaded on February 5th, 2015. If you are a HUGE book lover (c’mon you know everyone reading this blog post should have their hand up in the air right now…yes you too), then you’ll want to watch this video on replay. In this video Sasha picks a really interesting and diverse group of books, and not only tells you which books you should check out that are similar to these books, but also why they’re similar. The final video that we’re going to talk abut is Sasha’s ‘My Playster eBook Library Tour!’ video which was uploaded on December 7th, 2015 (you can check out this video below). In the past few years everything we enjoy has gone digital and mobile, from handheld/mobile video games, to our music, movies, and even books. Unfortunately sometimes we are just so busy that we may not have time to actually pick up a physical copy of a book and let our inner bookworm go wild. Luckily, e-books solve this problem by allowing us to take digital copies of our favorite books with us anywhere through the use of a phone, tablet, and other devices. In this video Sasha tells us all about the website playster.com, and goes through her personal Playster eBook library. if you want to check out a new site where you can find e-books, movies, music, and games, or if you just want recommendations on new books to check out, then this is the video for you!
Keep up with everything Sasha is doing (and reading here):
Goodreads: sasha alsberg