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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Say What You Will | Review

 

Heartbreaking and enlightening novel.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

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Published June 3rd 2014 by HarperTeen

Pages: 343

Format:Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Buy it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


Summary from Goodreads:

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern’s insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.


 

If one more book is compared to The Fault in Our Stars… (or The Hunger Games, for that matter)

I know every author wants to be John Green because he’s worth five million dollars at this point. But, just because a book is a teen romance, that does not mean it is The Fault in Our Stars. Also, if a book is dystopian, it is not automatically like The Hunger Games.

Okay?

NOT OKAY.

Now that we got through that, Say What You Will was a very different and enlightening read.

It follows Matthew and Amy as they deal with their OCD and cerebral palsy, respectively.

Amy has always been different. She cannot talk without a computer and she can hardly walk. It is her senior year of high school and Amy has just realized that she does not have any real friends. She decides to change that. Normally she has adults help her around but she decides to have different students help her. Matthew is one of them.

Matthew was just a normal kid but after the stress of his parents’ divorce a few years ago he started to do things. Things like washing his hands to his elbows exactly twelve times a day. Things like tapping every locker as he passed. Matthew has OCD. When he hears that Amy wants him to help her this year. he decides, what the heck, sure.

Amy was a really interesting character to read about because she was brilliant but she couldn’t even talk. She was really sweet with Matthew when she tried to help him conquer his OCD. Amy went about a lot of things wrong, though. She made many bad decisions regarding Matthew and also regarding her life. I felt bad for her because of her disease, but I forgot about it by the end. She just made many bad decisions.

I loved getting an insight into what cerebral palsy is. I had an idea, but I have never really known. It was kind of like Amy was just trapped in this incompetent body with an overcompensating mind. I know if I ever see anyone with cerebral palsy now, I will do my best to treat them no different than anyone else.

Matthew was an interesting character as well. he seems to be the opposite of Amy. He has a perfect body with an imperfect mind. A lot of the time, I felt worse for Matthew than I did for Amy. He couldn’t control his impulses and it cost him friends and a feeling of safety. I will definitely stop making jokes like, “Oh, I’m so OCD,” because it is a very serious disease.

The relationship was a bit lacking. You knew who you wanted to get together but things just kept popping up. Well, big problems. Huge problems. Amy and Matthew were very sweet, but their situations just didn’t mesh well a lot of the time.

There was a big part at the end of the book that was the main focus of the plot. It was something that made me go, “Oh, come on. Really?! REALLY?!”

It seemed kind of unnecessary (until it became the main plot). I just didn’t like the subject and I felt like it was pulling away from where the real focus should have been.

For those reasons, I give this book 3.5/5 starsIt wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t amazing. I would recommend this book for ages 14+ because of some mature content and older themes.

I loved learning about the two diseases. It really opened my eyes. I applaud you, Cammie, for bringing awareness to these two diseases.

Read this book if you’re looking for one you’ll read fast. Also, if diseases such as cerebral palsy and OCD interest you, you need to read this book.

Have you read any other books about mental or physical disorders? Tell me in the comments.

Your favorite fangirl,

Sarah!

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

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Of Scars and Stardust | Review

Most “OMIGOSH WHAT JUST HAPPENED” ending EVER!

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

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Expected publication: October 8th 2014 by Flux.

Pages: 336

Source: eARC from Netgalley

Format: eBook

Preorder it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she’s been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her “delusions,” Claire can’t seem to escape the wolf’s eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she’s ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella’s trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister’s disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella’s past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.


 

The thing that first attracted me to this book was the cover! It is beautiful! If a book has a bad cover, I don’t want to read it. I hate books with faces on the cover. I want to imagine what the character looks like, and this contaminates my imagination. I LOVE Stephanie Perkins but I hate her old covers!

annalolaThese make me want to throw up. (But read the books anyway because they’re SO CUTE!) OFF TRACK!

Of Scars and Stardust was very different. Having an unreliable narrator is always interesting but tough. We Were Liars and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer both had unreliable narrators. It is different to have to both focus on the plot and decide wether or not the narrator is crazy.

Read the rest of this entry

Tore Divided Love | Blog Tour

Tore-tour banner

Tore Divided Love
by K.D. Ferguson
Release Date: 06/06/14

Summary from Goodreads:
A future set in stone.

For eighteen year old Krissa Channing a government ruled pairing with Braiden Connor and a move to Headquarters were her set fate. Until Braiden’s sudden disappearance threatens Krissa’s entire future.

After months of endless worry, Krissa has an unexpected meeting with Duke, a perfect suitor that could offer her the future she’s always dreamed of. Just when she begins to regain hope, Braiden returns.

Now, Krissa must find where her heart truly lies. Torn between two loves, she must decide which of their worlds she belongs in. But is such a decision even possible when the choice rests between freedom and love? Read the rest of this entry

Isla and the Happily Ever After | Review

THIS IS THE BEST AND STEPHANIE IS QUEEN!

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Expected publication: August 14th 2014 by Dutton

Pages: 339

Source: Purchased (EARLY BECAUSE OF INCOMPETENT BARNES AND NOBLE EMPLOYEES! God bless them!)

Format: Hardcover

Preorder it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Or just buy it when it comes out in a couple days.

You can still preorder it from one of these independent bookstores and receive A SIGNED COPY and free stickers and buttons! Click here!

Read the first fifty pages here.


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.


In summary,
Read the rest of this entry

How to Save a Life (the book, not the song) | Review

Heartbreakingly beautiful novel that must be read.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Unknown

Published October 18th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Pages: 341

Source: Purchased

Format: Paperback


Summary from Goodreads:

Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

 

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems.


Okay, I don’t even remember when I bought this book but it has been on my TBR (to be read) shelf. I randomly grabbed it before my family and I went on a trip and that was a very smart decision.

I don’t know what I was expecting from this book. I didn’t reread the summary when I picked it up again so I didn’t know what to expect. The first thing I noticed was that the book was based in Denver, Colorado and my family is vacationing in Colorado so I was basically like

This book is in dual point of view, which was done perfectly. Jill’s father died ten months ago and she was very close to her father so she is greatly distressed by his death. She pushes everyone away; her mother, boyfriend, and friends. Jill is definitely not coping well, and her mother, Robin, copes in a very different way. Read the rest of this entry

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Quick and funny short stories.

Adventures with Ragweed by Linda Lou Crosby

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Published September 26th 2013 by Neon Lines.

Pages: 88

Format: Paperback or eBook

Source: Review Copy

Check out the Website

Buy the Paperback or Kindle version.


Adventures with Ragweed is a collection of humorous short stories filled with adventure and family themes. Ragweed is a tribute to the whimsical part of each of us. Follow this young teen and her best friend, Marney as they travel to Mexico for a fishing trip where the family is to shoot a pilot for a television show instead find themselves in an unexpected sea storm. Laugh out loud as Ragweed takes on the tennis elite at the country club or attempts to rearrange their perfectly cut lawns. Always one to learn new things, this young freckled face gal with the unruly blonde hair builds a float, rides a horse and grows a garden. Each task done with her own unique vies of the world. These stories are meant to entertain. It’s difficult to narrow it down to one specific genre as the book is a collection of short stories suitable for young adults as well as for an older crowd with a sense of humor. Family Relationships, Friendships, Essays and Humor are categories all presented within the pages of this book. May you enjoy each tale as much as Ragweed enjoyed living the adventures.


I don’t really read short stories at all, ever. But, I will read them occasionally to just read a quick funny story. That is what these stories were.

Adventures with Ragweed is a collection of short stories that follow the mischievous Ragweed and her best friend Marney as they wreak havoc on anything in their path. Not on purpose, of course.

You’ll read as Ragweed unintentionally causes misfortune on her unfathomably rich parents.

I particularly enjoyed the story in which Ragweed was in a tennis match because I’m always up for a good sports story!

These stories are classified as YA but they aren’t really YA. I thought Ragweed was eight or nine until a story said she was a senior in high school. Whoops!

They’re a great fast read if you’re looking for a good laugh. They’re also useful if you have younger siblings and want a story to read to them before bed.

So, read Adventures with Ragweed if you want a quick laugh or something to read to a younger crowd.

Your favorite fangirl,

Sarah!

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

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