Book Reviews

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

“…, you will have to speak louder with bravery and dignity, to be heard. You will have to be willing to inform and to educate. And you will have to know when it is time to remove yourself from situations and disconnect from those who either do not understand or are unwilling to. You have to do what is right for you.”

Synopsis

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

(Provided from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This book was a gem and I am so sad I took so long to read it. First off, I LOVED the representation of asexuality. I can’t say if the representation was accurate but I personally learned a lot about asexuality and I appreciate the fact that there is a book like this out there.

This book is very character driven which I don’t mind. The story summed up is a lot of finding yourself and also accepting who you are. Feenie, Alice’s bff is insufferable. I did not like her whatsoever. She was the only character in this book I disliked. She was so selfish and mean to Alice.

I enjoyed learning about Alice’s family and how that has shaped her to be who she is.

Rating: ★★★★

This book was fantastic and I am so glad I finally read it.

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Book Reviews

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Synopsis:

1 hour, 43 minutes

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds. 

My thoughts:

Captivating. A story that will stand through time. I have read a couple of books told in verse and this one has to be my favorite. Jason Reynolds did an amazing job of showing the reader the impact of choices through time. If you are ever in a reading slump, this book will definitely get you out of it.

Rating: 

Book Reviews

The Weight of the Stars by Kayla Ancrum

A beautiful tale of friendship, love, and taking chances on the unknown.

First off, I would like to thank Kayla Ancrum for providing me with an ARC of her book. I am so happy I got a chance to read this before it hits the shelves.

Synopsis:

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .

In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page.

An Imprint Book

My thoughts:

I was instantly captured by this story. Ryann our main character, was one I loved and found myself relating to. Focused on her brother James, and his son Charlie, we learn about her family, and the hardships they have faced. Ryann does what is necessary to provide for them due to terrible circumstances. Alexandria, the new girl in town, becomes of interest to Ryann. Cold and angry, my first thought of Alexandria was one of dislike, however she quickly grew on me. Learning about her background, I would be as cold and angry as she is.

Together, Ryann and Alexandria learn about themselves, the truth of the past, and the importance of friendship and family.

Overall, I LOVED this book. I felt as though the reader got to understand the backstory of the main characters in a way that made you appreciate their differences. I also think that K. Ancrum did a great job of representing grief. I found myself rooting for the characters and appreciating their impact on one another. If you enjoy space, f/f romance, and friendship, this the book for you!

Rating: 

5/5 Stars

If you haven’t pre-ordered this book I recommend you do so.

The Weight of the Stars comes out March 19th, 2019.

 

Book Reviews

On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Renninson

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The second book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.

Synopsis: You don’t have to be a teenager to appreciate the humorous and often self-absorbed ravings found in 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson’s diary, but it certainly helps. Now fans of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging — Georgia’s first set of hilarious musings on life — can get another peek into the mind of this wryly inquisitive English lass in the appealing sequel: On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God.
As the title implies, Georgia has snagged herself a sex god in the form of Robbie, the boy of her dreams. Now that they’ve indulged in a bit of “full-frontal snogging,” Georgia turns her attention to advancing the relationship. But things quickly go wrong when she learns that her father’s new job may necessitate a move to New Zealand. Crestfallen, Georgia feels her life might as well be over. Then, miraculously, the dreaded move is cancelled, and things seem to be getting better — at least until 17-year-old Robbie decides to break up with Georgia because he’s bothered by the difference in their ages.
Borrowing freely from her mum’s closet and advice books, even as she’s steadfastly discounting everything her mum says, a crushed but determined Georgia comes up with a scheme to win Robbie back. As usual, nothing goes as planned, and life is further complicated by Georgia’s temperamental cat, Angus (who’s having a few amorous leanings of his own), and her baby sister, Libby, whose fascination with (and lack of control over) her bodily functions leads to several intriguing mishaps. Of course, there are other disasters, too: a quick-tan lotion that turns Georgia’s legs orange, a run-in with the aptly named Bummer sisters, and friends who insist on focusing on their own problems from time to time.
Who knew the angst of adolescence could be so much fun? This Georgia’s-eye view of teenage life is wonderfully egocentric and side-splittingly funny. And despite the occasional language barrier (a glossary of terms is provided in the back of the book), Georgia’s thoughts and experiences will prove universally recognizable to anyone who is, or has ever been, a teenager.

 

Thoughts: I had a difficult time getting through this one. I think part of it was I wasn’t really in the mood for it. There are parts of this book that made me laugh but a lot of comments about lesbians that someone could find offensive. I used to love this series when I was younger and is why I am rereading it. I think if I didn’t have the memories behind this series I would have probably rated it lower. I think I will continue with the reread.

Rating: 3/5

Book Reviews

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

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Around this time last year, I listened to Little Monsters by Kara Thomas on audio book & LOVED it. I decided to pick up Kara’s newest release The Cheerleaders.

Synopsis: There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

Thoughts: This book did a really good job at showing the effects of grief that Monica felt. We also got to learn more about Monica’s sister, Jennifer by taking us back 5 years ago & learning more about what really happened. We don’t find out what happened until the end, so it left me guessing. The entire time, I was really thinking that we knew who the killer was.. but boy was I wrong. I was captivated by the characters and plot. I loved the new friendship that Monica developed and I loved hearing a little bit more about Ginny’s side of things at the end. I am trash for all things Kara Thomas. I have one more book of hers to read and I cant wait!

Rating: 5/5