Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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Goodreads Summary:

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

My Thoughts:

This book is so short, so it is a very quick read. This book is so important. This is not my culture at all, but I think it is so important to read about different cultures. Justyce is a great character. He is trying to be the best he can be, despite what is going on in America, and despite where he comes from. You can tell he wants to change the world, and is actually smart enough to do so, but he doesn’t have everything figured out, so that makes him feel real. This is a tough book, it is not a fun and quirky story. I did love it. I love books that touch on real issues, and this one is beautifully written. I love how the book is mostly dialogue. There are no long detailed paragraphs. I don’t think it needed that. I love that this book talks about racism and classism so realistically.

Quotes:

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you. When it comes down to it, the only question that matters is this: If nothing in the world ever changes, what type of man are you gonna be?”

“People often learn more from getting an undeserved pass than they would from being punished.”

 

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

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Goodreads:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“With more twists than a bag of pretzels, this compelling family saga may make you question what you think you know about your own relatives.”
Cosmopolitan

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

My Thoughts:

Haunting. I could not put this book down. I read it in about half a day without putting it down at all. This book is so dark. I like dark. I know a lot of people won’t be a fan, because of the disturbing aspects of the book. The fact that most of the characters act like everything is okay, is going to be hard for people to accept. I got this book for free from blogging for books. Wow. Okay so the main character is Lane. She is hard to like. But it is also hard to fault her, when her childhood and life is so fucked up. I did love Allegra though. She is the manicpixiedreamgirl. All of the Roanoke girls have a fucked up childhood. On top off all the dark history and suicides, is the mystery of Allegra’s disappearance. I did ship Lane and Connor and was glad that they were able to end up together. I like how the story is told in different time periods, and how there are different chapters on each of the Roanoke girls. The ending surprised me, which isn’t common for me. Overall loved it.

Quotes:

“You can’t outrun what’s inside of you. You can only acknowledge it, work around it, try and turn it into something better. I may not know exactly where I’m headed, but this time I’m choosing my own destiny.”
“…sometimes you have to hurt people just to prove you’re alive.”
“We’re all fucked up, Lane, one way or another. It’s only a matter of degree.”
“Sometimes it’s a revelation, even to me, how much more comfortable I am with cruelty than with kindness.”
“No one had to explain to me the power our childhoods had over us, even when we fought like hell against them.”
“I understand how sometimes you have to pass the pain around in order to survive it.”

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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Goodreads Summary:

#1 bestselling author John Green returns with his first new novel since The Fault in Our Stars!

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

My Thoughts:

I grabbed this at the library when I was checking out some other books, and truth be told I had not even heard of it, but I was intrigued by the cover and the title. AND OMG I GOBBLED IT UP. I read it in just a few hours, because I literally could not stop reading it. I LOVED IT. I have not read any John Green books, but I do own a couple, and I am going to need to read these right away because this book was just so fucking good.  This book did make me questions things I thought I knew about OCD. This is the second time in as many weeks where I have heard of these “intrusive thoughts” (our main character calls them invasives) and this is something I actually have that I didn’t even know what a thing. I learn more from fucking fiction novels about my own health than I do from real doctors that I see. Fuck. Anyway. I love the explanation of the title. Aza is perfect. She is stuck in her head and dealing with invasives and trapped in thought spirals. Her OCD is one of the most honest portrayals of mental illness that I have read in contemporary fiction. She also very clearly has depersonalization disorder, but neither of these diagnosis are mentioned. I thought that was a little weird. The way she makes you experience her OCD with her is brutal and shocking. I out loud yelled at her about putting fucking hand sanitizer in her mouth. I am so glad she got caught, because girl you need help. Also a nod at Lexapro which I was taking and totally helped me, but like Aza, felt like well I don’t really need it anymore, because I should just get to be who I am and not have to use medication. This book made me call and get an appointment with my doctor. I need help too. I fucking hate her best friend Daisy. How dare you write your friend into your fac fiction (and lots of star wars talk because she writes Star Wars fan fiction, and I could not care less, I never watched the movies) that is so fucking mean. Maybe you need an outlet to deal with how your best friend is mentally ill, but to make her the garbage character in your stories that thousands of people apparently read. Fuck you. Write that shit in your diary or private blog. Not for thousands to read. Rude AF. Davis is so cute though. He was such an adorable character. I loved all the metaphors, and why can’t I find a therapist like hers. I need someone like that in my life. I actually emailed a bunch of new therapists in the area and am trying to find someone new. I am not going to give up this time. Thanks book. I like that Aza doesn’t just “get fixed”, and that being with a guy doesn’t change her, because none of that shit is realistic with mental illness. This book was amazing. I yelled, I cried, I loved it.

Quotes (it’s really hard to limit this because this book was just so FUCKING good):

“Your now is not your forever.”

“We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

“You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”

“True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.”

“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”

“The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.”

“Actually, the problem is that I can’t lose my mind,” I said. “It’s inescapable.”

“It’s a weird phrase in English, in love, like it’s a sea you drown in or a town you live in. You don’t get to be in anything else—in friendship or in anger or in hope. All you can be in is love.”

“One of the challenges with pain–physical or psychic–is that we can really only approach it through metaphor. It can’t be represented the way table or a body can. In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.”

“Our hearts were broken in the same places. That’s something like love, but maybe not quite the thing itself.”

“And we’re such language-based creatures that to some extent we cannot know what we cannot name. And so we assume it isn’t real. We refer to it with catch-all terms, like crazy or chronic pain, terms that both ostracise and minimise. The term chronic pain captures nothing of the grinding, constant, ceaseless, inescapable hurt. And the term crazy arrives at us with none of the terror and worry you live with.”

“Most adults are just hollowed out. You watch them try to fill themselves up with booze or money or God or fame or whatever they worship, and it all rots them from the inside until nothing is left but the money or the booze or God they though would save them. Adults think they are wielding power, but really power is wielding them.”

“Worrying is the correct worldview. Life is worrisome.”

“People always talk like there’s a bright line between imagination and memory, but there isn’t, at least not for me. I remember what I’ve imagined and imagine what I remember.”

“We always say we are beneath the stars. We aren’t, of course—there is no up or down, and anyway the stars surround us. But we say we are beneath them, which is nice. So often English glorifies the human—we are whos, other animals are that—but English puts us beneath the stars, at least.”

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”

“I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.”

“Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really – just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body”

“In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how it felt. It felt like we were in some place your body can’t visit, some place with no ceiling and no walls and no floor and no instruments”

“I would never slay the dragon, because the dragon was also me.”

“It’s so weird, to know you’re crazy and not be able to do anything about it, you know? It’s not like you believe yourself to be normal. You know there is a problem. But you can’t figure a way through to fixing it. Because you can’t be sure, you know?”

“I couldn’t make myself happy, but I could make people around me miserable.”

“Dr. Karen Singh liked to say that a unwanted thought was like a car driving past you when you’re standing on on the side of the road, and I told myself I didn’t have to get into that car, that my moment of choice was not whether to have the thought, but whether to be carried away by it.
And then I got in the car.”

“I guess at some point, you realize that whoever takes care of you is just a person, and that they have no superpowers and can’t actually protect you from getting hurt.”

“Imagine you’re trying to find someone, or even you’re trying to find yourself, but you have no senses, no way to know where the walls are which way is forward or backward, what is water and what is air. You’re senseless and shapeless—you feel like you can only describe what you are by identifying what you’re not, and you’re floating around in a body with no control. You don’t get to decide who you like or where you live or when you eat or what you fear. You’re just stuck in there, totally alone, in this darkness. That’s scary.”

“You feeling scared?”
“Kinda.”
“Of what?”
“It’s not like that. The sentence doesn’t have, like, an object. I’m just scared.”

 

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

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Goodreads Summary:

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, binding them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My Thoughts:

I love love love the title and the cover. Delia and June are BFFs and then they quit talking to each other. The next year Delia burns herself to death, and there is a memorial at the school for her. Her boyfriend claimed she was murdered, so June investigates to find out what really happened to Delia. There were a lot of twists and turns in this book. I am writing this review almost a full year after reading this, and I am having trouble remembering everything about it.

 

 

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Goodreads Summary:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

My Thoughts:

This book was so fucking good. I love the writing style in this book! This book is told in three points of view, and is full of whimsy. I really like books that are told in multiple POVs. Midnight is such a cute, sad character. He puts up with Poppy and, just no. Speaking of Poppy, she is a sociopath or something. She is so mean, She’s basically the devil. Wink is Midnight’s neighbor who reminds me of Luna Lovegood, if Luna was also evil. She is the whimsical one, who is basically feral. She believes in magic and her mom reads tarot cards. And she is also a fucking psychopath. Poor, poor Midnight. AND Oh the plot twist. Honestly I felt so bad for Midnight, and then on the other hand I was like get the fuck out of there you complete and total idiot. Anyways I loved it.

 

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

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Goodreads Summary

How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

My Thoughts:

A lot of the bloggers I follow LOVED this book, but I don’t get it. Sid goes on a ski trip with her classmates, and meets a cute older guy on the ski lift. She decides to sneak out, against her friends advice, to meet him at a party. When she gets to the house, she finds out there is no party (the guys gives excuses) but he wants her to come in for a movie. She thinks the guy is cute, and is really excited to have the attention from him. She decides to go in. Once there he drugs her drink and rapes her. She wakes up the next day, and makes it back to the ski lodge, where she doesn’t tell anyone what happened, but gets in trouble for sneaking out and going to a party. She ends up having a lot of emotional problems from the rape, and from keeping it a secret. She starts to develop anorexia as a way to control her life. She ends up meeting Corey, who is labeled as a loser and a stoner, and it turns out he is a really great guy. She learns a lot about him, and through that learns a lot about herself. She eventually is able to come to terms with what happened to her, and the rapist is brought to justice (not because of her, she reads it in a newspaper), and tell her friends and her mom.  This book tackles a lot of the themes I enjoy reading about in realistic fiction like eating disorders and abuse, but it fell flat for me. Meh.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

My Thoughts:

This book was so cute. I loved it. When this book came out I feel like every book blogger I follow was recommending it, and it sounded interesting, but it took me FOREVER to read it. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? It was so good. Worth ALL of the hype. Simon is adorable. The romance aspect of the book was so cute. Simon and this online person, Blue, are too much. Blue is someone who goes to Simon’s school, but he doesn’t know who it is. The entire book you are guessing who Blue really is, which is fun. I love reading the emails back and forth, because I am super nosy, and because they were just so stinking cute. Simon has a really great friend group, except for Leah. I think she was a bitch. Overall this was a great coming of age story.

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

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Goodreads Summary:

Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back–a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

Liz Coley’s alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing—and ultimately empowering—page turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

My Thoughts:

This book is about Angie who is kidnapped when she is 13 years old. 3 years later she shows up at her house, mysteriously returned with no memory of the past three years. As it turns out Angie gets dissociative identity disorder to help cope with being kidnapped. Angie doesn’t experience any of the cruelties that happened to her, because her alters took care of her. The story was very good. This book deals with a lot of tough issues including mental illness and rape. Not only the rape she experiences while being kidnapped. There is childhood trauma from prior to the kidnapping. I love how the book has the cabin that the alters and talk to each other at because this resonates with me. I don’t have a cabin in my head, but there is a hallway and at least one room. I also liked how she knew there were some alters but didn’t know about all of them, because that is realistic for me.Very good book.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver Review

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Goodreads Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

My Thoughts:

Funny use of the word altered in the summary.  I am going to ruin this book with spoilers so don’t read this if you don’t like spoilers. This book was great. The writing is impeccable. This is another haunting story about DID. This is a book I couldn’t stop reading. The book is told in the point of view of each sister. Nick is the older sister who is the perfect sister. Bookwormish and over achieving. Dara, the youngest is the party girl. Of course there is a love triangle with each girl falling in love with the same boy and it ruins their sister-ship, and everyone’s friendship with the guy. Of course. Then there is a car accident that changes everything. Each sister has the same view of the other one, they both think the other is more loved, more perfect, and better than themselves. I did think the beginning of the book was a bit slow, and the plot twist was expected for me *spoiler coming up*
because I knew that one of the sisters had DID, but I just didn’t understand how that was possible because the book didn’t seem to discuss it. BUT DARA FUCKING DIED IN THE CAR CRASH! and so that means Nick has been living as both sisters after the crash, because she develops DID. WHAT THE FUCK. That was out of left field. Love the way it was laid out. Plus there is a whole side plot of a missing 9 year old girl, and an underage porn site that has something to do with Dara and a club.

other people’s words say more about me than i ever could

“I contain multitudes.”
― Liz Coley, Pretty Girl-13

“Normal is a word invented by boring people to make them feel better about being boring.”
― Lauren Oliver, Replica

“A strange and baffling truth: that the people we’re supposed to know best can turn out to be strangers, and that near strangers can feel so much like home.”
― Lauren Oliver, Replica

“People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted

“The difference between how you look and how you see yourself is enough to kill most people. And maybe the reason vampires don’t die is because they can never see themselves in photographs or mirrors.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted

“A motion picture, or music, or television, they have to maintain a certain decorum in order to be broadcast to a vast audience. Other forms of mass media cost too much to produce a risk reaching only a limited audience. Only one person. But a book. . . . A book is cheap to print and bind. A book is as private and consensual as sex. A book takes time and effort to consume – something that gives a reader every chance to walk away. Actually, so few people make the effort to read that it’s difficult to call books a “mass medium.” No one really gives a damn about books. No one has bothered to ban a book in decades.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted

“Most people would never admit it, but they’d been bitching since they were born. As soon as their head popped out into that bright delivery-room light, nothing had been right. Nothing had been as comfortable or felt so good. Just the effort it took to keep your stupid physical body alive, just finding food and cooking it and dishwashing, the keeping warm and bathing and sleeping, the walking and bowel movements and ingrown hairs, it was all getting to be too much work.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted

“That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing.”
― Lauren Oliver, Vanishing Girls

“Funny how things can stay the same forever and then change so quickly.”
― Lauren Oliver, Vanishing Girls

“I guess that’s the really nice thing about disappearing: the part where people look for you and beg you to come home.”
― Lauren Oliver, Vanishing Girls

“The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil on the highway. It’s a miracle, they’ll say with an expectant look, as if you’ve been given a big old gift and you better not disappoint Grandma by pulling a face when you unwrap the box and find a lumpy, misshapen sweater.

That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing.

The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live, either.”
― Lauren Oliver, Vanishing Girls

“That’s the problem with therapists: you have to pay them to say the same dumb shit other people will tell you for free.”
― Lauren Oliver, Vanishing Girls

“I’ve learned, in my tragic little life, that memories are like water. Not solid, like some people think. Once something happens, it isn’t set it stone. It can change.

You can make yourself believe anything if you lie to yourself enough.”
― Dawn Kurtagich, The Dead House

“They think I don’t exist . . . they think I’m like a disease. I’m infecting [her].”
― Dawn Kurtagich, The Dead House

“I hate that I’m so easy to let go.”
― Dawn Kurtagich, The Dead House

“I am a prisoner of my skin. My bones are my cage.”
― Dawn Kurtagich, The Dead House

 

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

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So I have decided to go ahead and write about some books that I am reading, because fuck it, and Sadness doesn’t own book blogging, and I feel the need to prove wanting to write whatever the fuck I want on my own thing, but on the other hand I feel like I obvi don’t need permission.

This book is about a girl named Domino who lives on the street who has DID. She has an alter named Wilson, who is a much darker personality than Domino. She gets picked up (not kidnapped or anything) by this woman named Madam Karina who runs a girl’s entertainment place in West Texas. Domino chooses to go with her, and then since Madam Karina seems nice to her, she decides she needs to perform better and better, so that she can move up through the levels of the house, and get in better favor with Madam Karina. Also at the house, along with a bunch of bitches, who all have their own reasons for being at the house, is Cain. Domino decides to leave the house, but discovers that leaving isn’t really an option, and has to figure out how to escape. I really liked this book.  This is the first book I have read about DID and even though it is fiction it was very interesting to read about.  The room inside of Domino’s head where she talks to Wilson, is very real to me, I have a room in my head that Sadness sleeps in, so that was pretty realistic.

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty

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Goodreads:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

My Thoughts:

My #otspsecretsister bought me this book as one of my gifts.  I read it right away, but it has taken me FOREVER to review.  I read it on the plane to and from my vacation to Cancun.  I love Sherlock Holmes, I watch all of the shows and movies of late, and recently read Warlock Holmes.

Lock and Mori is a really interesting book.  It is about Sherlock and Moriarty as modern day high school students. Moriarty is James Moriarty, a girl!!, who goes by Mori.  She meets Sherlock, who she dubs Lock.  He challenges her to solve a string of murders with him, the only rule is they have to share all of their information with each other.  Sherlock is exactly how you would imagine high school Sherlock to be, observant and odd. It’s so cute how he starts falling for Mori! Swoon! It’s not hard to solve the case and figure out who the killer is from an early point in the book. Despite this, the book is very interesting, and it’s cool to see how everything tied together.  I’m excited to read the next book in the series. I love how this book is told from Mori’s POV. It tells all about her home life, with a drunk and abusive police officer father (her mom died.) The entire book is dark with the growing relationship between Lock and Mori being the only bright spot in an otherwise very dark tale.  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and normally I loathe Mycroft in all of the portrayals I have seen him in, but I found him to be delightful in this book! Watson was also in the book, but only briefly, so I expect to see them both in future installments. I am concerned for the couple because they are mortal enemies in the other Sherlock Holmes renditions I have seen. I don’t want to see Sherlock get crushed by Mori, but I do anticipate that to happen eventually.

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Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

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Goodreads Summary:

Never date your best friend.

Always be original.

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

My Thoughts:

This book is about Dave and Julia, two average high school kids who vow to never have a cliche high school moment and come up with a list of Nevers, things to never do. Julia decides they should do everything on the Nevers list, and Dave goes along with it because he is in love with her, and because she is his best friend.  I was a bit frustrated with the relationship Dave and Julia have.  You know Dave is in love with her for forever, and she is oblivious.  It is just a bit annoying because she is the one who decided they should do the Nevers list, which does include never date your best friend. Hello! Obviously that is going to be an issue. She acts totally out of it until he ends up getting a girlfriend, and then, she is all, Oh wait I love him too! GRRRRRRRR. I didn’t like her AT ALL.  Julia lives with her two dads and has a weird relationship with her mom, who she longs to be with and impress, but is kind of too wild and free to be bogged down with a daughter, so you can really see why Julia is the way she is.  It did not make me like her any more though. I didn’t like how they ended up treating each other, and just

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FRUSTRATION. They frustrated me soooooo badly. PS I did really like Gretchen though! She was sweet and Dave totally should be with someone like her, even though he handles the entire Julia situation completely wrong.  High school boys, am I right?

 

 

The author sent me this book for free, because I won a contest on Twitter. This is an honest review. See my review of Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid here.

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White Lines by Jennifer Banash

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Goodreads Summary:

In 1980s New York City, seventeen-year-old Caitlin tries to overcome her mother’s abuse and father’s abandonment by losing herself in nights of clubbing and drugs, followed by days of stumbling aimlessly through school.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Sex, drugs, and rock & roll! What’s not to love? I was very excited to read this book. I prefer gritty, realistic fiction and thought this book would be right up my alley.  It was just meh for me though.  Cat is a 17 year old club kid living on her own in New York.  It sounds like every kids dream, but after being abandoned by her father, and dealing with an abusive mother, going to the club is her only escape from her mind.  Her father gets her an apartment of her own, but she still has to deal with abandonment issues, and her insane mother, who she can’t just cut off, as much as she would like to.  I did picture the movie Party Monster with all the club parties they talk about in the book. I LOVE that movie btw!

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I didn’t ever connect with Cat.  I feel like the characters should have been better developed.  Overall there wasn’t much of a plot, other than Cat’s downward spiral.

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Bomb by Sarah Mussi

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Goodreads:

I’m Genesis Wainwright. I’m a sixth-form student. I come from Somerset. My mum is the best mum in the world. I play the guitar (badly). My best friend is Holly. I’m searching for answers to the Meaning of Life. I believe in True Love. AND I’M IN LOVE WITH NAZ. I want to be a performance poet. And I’m crazy about motorbikes.

I can remember everything.

Except last night.

When Genesis goes on a blind internet date, she just wants to get over her ex-boyfriend Naz. She just wants someone to like her again. But when Genesis wakes up the morning after the date, she can’t remember a thing. She doesn’t know where she is, or how she got there. And she can hardly move because she is strapped into some kind of body armour …

Before she has time to figure it out, she receives an order through an earpiece stuck in her ear. And then a voice sounds in her head: ‘You have been chosen for an assignment … The vest you’re wearing is packed with high explosives. And with one mobile call we can detonate it.’

To her horror Genesis has become an agent of mass destruction, a walking weapon in the hands of a terrorist cell.

The countdown to detonation has begun: Genesis must re-examine everyone and everything she loves and make terrifying choices … in the face of certain death.

A gutsy, compelling and chilling thrill-ride.

My Thoughts:

This book was amazing.  Such drama! Such suspense! Genesis is a typical teenager who goes on a date to get over her ex, and wakes up in a nightmare.  I think this is really scary, especially with online and mobile dating, you really never know who you are meeting with! She had no recollection of the night before, and wakes up having no idea where she is.  She’s also strapped into some body armour that is very heavy and uncomfortable, and she can’t take it off!  Shortly after waking up, she gets a voice in her ear, where an earpiece is glued and impossible to remove, giving her orders, and letting her know, that she is strapped into a bomb.  There is so much action in this book, so there isn’t much in the way of character development. I never connected with Genesis.  I found her a bit vapid and annoying.  I hated all of her life poems.  They seemed silly and pointless.  I also didn’t understand why she would go to her friend and not have the friend go to the police right away. That makes literally no sense.  And her ex being trained military, and getting involved but also NOT GOING TO THE POLICE makes no sense to me! I know that it sounds like I am being very negative, and that I didn’t like the book, but I really did.  There is so much suspense and action that I really did enjoy the story.  I wish it had an epilogue so that we would know what actually happened!

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Things I Just Had To Know About Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag

Shooting Stars Mag

Today we are lucky to have Lauren of Shooting Star Mag and Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance!
• Give us the history of you. (family life, where you’re from, etc.)
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My name is Lauren and I’m from Kentucky, though I’ve never been on a horse in my life and I don’t really have a southern accent. I’m the youngest of three kids. I have a brother (who is married and has a girl, a boy, and another girl on the way) and a sister who is seriously one of my best friends. My mom is one of my other best friends. We’re all very close.

• When did you start blogging? Was this your first blog?

I started blogging in 2007 and yes, ShootingStarsMag was my first blog. The Mag stands for Magazine, because the original idea was to have “issues” but the person I started the blog with, Keaton, and I decided setting it up like a regular blog would ultimately be easier. We focused a lot on music at first, but I started finding book blogs, and Keaton and I had met in an online book club, so we slowly started adding in books. Now, the blog is about 75% books and 25% other lifestyle and entertainment, because I like a little mix of everything.

• What made you start blogging?

I was in an online book club and that’s where I met Keaton. We decided to start the blog together. She’s actually the one who set up the blog on Blogger and made the official email, as she knew more than me at the time. She no longer blogs with me, but the beginning of ShootingStarsMag was a lot of fun and we had a lot of help from other book club members who did reviews and interviews with us.

• How did you come up with your blog name?

I actually came up with the name. I liked the idea of Shooting Stars because we wanted to focus on artists (and eventually authors) who weren’t completely main stream. We wanted to help spread the word and get them new fans, and I hope I’m still doing that.

• How long were you running your blog before you started getting many followers?

I have no clue to be honest. We started the blog in 2007 and we never had a ton of followers. I feel like that has grown more in the past few years. I started to use social media more and figure out more ways to help spread the word and get noticed. It’s definitely helped. I like having people reading the blog and leaving their thoughts.

• Walk me through the process that you went through to get your blog to where it is today.

It was definitely a long process, though it didn’t take that long for us to start adding books to what we were already writing about. Over the years, the people who have helped have definitely changed. Now it’s me and my co-blogger Alicia, who I met through a fellow book blogger years ago. I’m still growing though! I love books and reading, but I’ve always wanted to feature other topics, so I hope to continue to do that.

• How many books do you read in a month?

I’m not sure, to be honest. It honestly changes month to month, but I suppose on average, it’s about 10 books a month. I’m not a terribly slow reader, but I’m not as fast as I wish I could be!

• What book did you read most recently that you loved, and would recommend to everyone?

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It depends on what type of books you like! If you don’t mind m/m romance, then definitely Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn. Such a beautiful novel. If you really like graphic novels, I’d suggest the Saga series as I’ve recently finished the last collection that is out.

• What are the top questions you get asked by your readers?

I’m not sure I really get asked that many questions! I know some people seem to think my name is Mag because of my blog title, but Mag is short for magazine. I don’t mind this though, because it’s kind of like being given a nickname!

• If a new blogger came up to you today, and you only had a few minutes to talk, what would be your best blogging tip?

My blogging tip would be to look at as many blogs as you can and figure out what you do and do not like, and then make the blog you’d most want to read.

• Have you ever liked the movie more than the book? Be honest!


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I tend to see more movies based on books without having actually read the novel, than having read the book beforehand. I don’t know if I’d say I like the movie better than the book, but I do love the film A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (and it’s a movie where I DID read the book beforehand).

• Are there any popular books you know you would never read (i.e. 50 shades of grey, tell us which one)?

Definitely not 50 Shades of Grey! Hah There are probably a lot of series out that are popular that I know I won’t ever read, but the one I can think of right now is The Mortal Instruments. Just not interested.

• Any new blog features you are working on?

I’ve been recently trying to do Bridge the Gap more. This is where I focus on books that were published by authors NOT from the United States. Other blogs can do this too, if they like. If you’re not from the U.S., then of course U.S. novels would be your Bridge the Gap books, but any other country too.

• What are 5 items you never leave home without?

Money/card, gym lanyard so I can get in, lip gloss, usually my Kindle, and facial wipes (usually for after the gym).

• Anything else you would like to add?

I also blog at Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance (www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com) which focuses on LGBT+ news and entertainment (which does include book reviews!).

Stalk Lauren:

Blog
Other Blog
Twitter
Instagram

 

Thank you so so much for being here Lauren!

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PS: Is there anything you would like to know about Lauren?

Penguin Random House Book Buzz

A few days ago I visited my local library and went to the Penguin Random House Book Buzz hosted by Robert Haddock.. It was really informative.  I didn’t know that the two publisher merged a couple of years ago and formed the largest publishing company!! Robert said they should have made the name Random Penguins to be more fun! Who doesn’t love random penguins?

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Continue reading “Penguin Random House Book Buzz”

I haven’t felt like reviewing books lately.. part 2

So I haven’t felt like reviewing any of the books I have read lately. I am not even sure I can remember enough details of any of them to review them.  Some of them are from way back in January.  Instead of reviewing each book, I am going to list them here and let you know whether I think it is worth taking a glance at. Part 1 here.

Continue reading “I haven’t felt like reviewing books lately.. part 2”

T10T – 10 Books For Every Realistic Fiction Lover Should Read

Top ten Tuesdays

This week’s prompt is 10 books every ______ should read.  So I chose 10 Books For Every Realistic Fiction Lover Should Read

Continue reading “T10T – 10 Books For Every Realistic Fiction Lover Should Read”

I haven’t felt like reviewing books lately..

So I haven’t felt like reviewing any of the books I have been reading lately.  In fact, I have been dreading it so much that I have around 10 books that I have read and not reviewed!! I am not even sure I can remember enough details of any of them to review them.  Some of them are from way back in January.  Instead of reviewing each book, I am going to list them here and let you know whether or not I think it is worth taking a glance at.

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This is an anthology of short zombie stories, including stories by Max Brooks (World War Z, Zombie Survival Guide) and Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead).  I loved every story in this book.  Some much more than others, but basically they were all winners.  I am going to keep a list of the names of the authors so I can check out their other works.  This was a great book to break up my reading slump after reading a bunch of books that I DNF.

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This is a book I DNF.  It is about Ryan who records a tape of himself talking about his mom’s death, and all kinds of things like a diary, back in 1993, and about Ameliah who finds the tape in her grandmother’s home 20 years later.  I thought the premise sounded really good, but I could not get into the story at all.

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I got this book for free from the author.  I did not like it and DNF.  I was excited to read a book about a Marvel super hero that I wasn’t very familiar with.  The Hulk is not one of my faves, and tbh I didn’t even know his cousin was the She-Hulk (aka Shulky.)  This tells the story of Jennifer Walters who is lawyer by day, and crime fighting She-Hulk by night.  I really couldn’t get into the story at all, even though I was really interested in the book. It just wasn’t for me.

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This book was seriously good! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because the premise sounds a little weird.  It is 1996 and Emma gets an AOL cd so she can connect her new computer to the internet (remember those? I used to get them from the store for free and glue them to the wall shiny side out, and I had an entire wall done like that) from her neighbor and former best friend Josh. When she connects, she gets on the internet, and her Facebook page comes up. Which is super weird because Facebook has not been invented yet. First Emma thinks it is some kind of elaborate prank, but soon realizes she is looking at the future.  She and Josh continue to check their Facebook pages and make changes to their lives that affect their future.  The book was really well written, and the characters were relate-able.  It was interesting to see how ridiculous they thought Facebook is, I mean why would anyone let everyone know everything they are doing all the time, and who has 300 friends.  Worth checking out.

I received this book for review from the publisher for free.  This book was just okay.  I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan.  A lot of the stories were hard to get interested in for me.  My favorites were Paying Old Debts by Gerri Leen and The Shadowless by Rati Mehrotra.  Not worth buying for just two good stories.

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This is a cute picture book for kids.  Carole P. Roman sent this to me for review.  I love her books for kids. The Captain No Beard books are super cute with lots of lessons for kids.

I got this book for free in exchange for a review.  I think the pictures are cute, but I don’t think the book is worth purchasing.  The book is so limited with the kiddos just learning to say the word water.

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I love these books by Carole P. Roman. I did get this for free in exchange for a review.  I reviewed some of the other books in this series here. I love how the books teach you about the culture and language of other countries.  It follows the same format of the other books, starting with a map of Italy, then talks about the capital Rome, and the history, then what name you might have if you were Italian. The book then talks about how to say a bunch of words in Italian, and they are written out phonetically so that you can pronounce them, and it talks about the food you might eat.

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I was so excited to read this book, because I love dystopian novels, and it has a lot of big name authors like Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, and Orson Scott Card.  BUT I didn’t love it.  I had a very hard time getting interested in the stories. I guess I love YA dystopian and stories about zombies and that’s it.

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I reviewed another book in this series here. I liked the first book better than this book, but this one was good also.  It is worth a read if you like fairy tale retellings!

8PS: What are you reading? What do you do when you don’t feel like reviewing books? Are there any books I DNF that you think I should try again?

 

 

 

 

Doomed (Damned #2) by Chuck Palahniuk

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Goodreads Summary:

Madison Spencer, the liveliest and snarkiest dead girl in the universe, continues the afterlife adventure begun in Chuck Palahniuk’s bestseller Damned. Just as that novel brought us a brilliant Hell that only he could imagine, Doomed is a dark and twisted apocalyptic vision from this provocative storyteller.

The bestselling Damned chronicled Madison’s journey across the unspeakable (and really gross) landscape of the afterlife to confront the Devil himself. But her story isn’t over yet. In a series of electronic dispatches from the Great Beyond, Doomed describes the ultimate showdown between Good and Evil.

After a Halloween ritual gone awry, Madison finds herself trapped in Purgatory—or, as mortals like you and I know it, Earth. She can see and hear every detail of the world she left behind, yet she’s invisible to everyone who’s still alive. Not only do people look right through her, they walk right through her as well. The upside is that, no longer subject to physical limitations, she can pass through doors and walls. Her first stop is her parents’ luxurious apartment, where she encounters the ghost of her long-deceased grandmother. For Madison, the encounter triggers memories of the awful summer she spent upstate with Nana Minnie and her grandfather, Papadaddy. As she revisits the painful truth of what transpired over those months (including a disturbing and finally fatal meeting in a rest stop’s fetid men’s room, in which . . . well, never mind), her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning. Satan has had Madison in his sights from the very beginning: through her and her narcissistic celebrity parents, he plans to engineer an era of eternal damnation. For everyone.

Once again, our unconventional but plucky heroine must face her fears and gather her wits for the battle of a lifetime. Dante Alighieri, watch your back; Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.

My Thoughts


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Throwback Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

 

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher”

Throwback Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky”

Throwback Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie”

Throwback Review: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Augusten Burroughs is the author of the bestselling trilogy, Running with Scissors, Dry, and Lust & Wonder. Return to the memoir that started it all.

The true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus.

So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family, and befriending a paedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock-therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs”

Throwback Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid”

Throwback Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown”

Throwback Review: For Real by Alison Cherry

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

No parents. No limits. No clue what they’re in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister’s shadow. While Miranda’s life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it’s Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They’ll outshine Miranda’s fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life… or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what’s for real?

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: For Real by Alison Cherry”

Throwback Review: Faking Faith by Josie Bloss

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Dylan Mahoney is living one big unholy lie.

Thanks to a humiliating and painfully public sexting incident, Dylan has become the social pariah at her suburban Chicago high school. She’s ignored by everyone–when she’s not being taunted–and estranged from her two best friends. So when Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist Christian girls, she’s immediately drawn into their fascinating world of hope chests, chaperoned courtships, and wifely submission.

Blogging as Faith, her devout and wholesome alter ego, Dylan befriends Abigail, the online group’s queen bee. After staying with Abigail and her family for a few days, Dylan begins to grow closer to Abigail (and her intriguingly complicated older brother). Soon, Dylan is forced to choose: keep living a lie . . . or come clean and face the consequences.

My Thoughts:

Continue reading “Throwback Review: Faking Faith by Josie Bloss”

Throwback Review: Cupcake (Cyd Charisse #3) by Rachel Cohn

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

When Cyd Charisse moves from San Francisco to start a new life in New York City, she leaves behind her family — and her true love, Shrimp.She wants to find a cool job, the city’s best caffeination and most perfect cupcake, and a hot new love. But the reality of CC’s new life hits some unexpected obstacles, including a broken leg that renders her immobile; the joy and aggravation of sharing an apartment with a roommate who’s also an older brother; and a tasty selection of guys — none of whom measure up to Shrimp.

Then, just when CC starts to get her new life on track, her old love returns. Shrimp has given up on his plans to live and surf in New Zealand and arrives in NYC with nothing to do other than to be with CC. And this time CC is determined that she and Shrimp will not repeat their old mistakes.

This third book about reformed hellion Cyd Charisse is just as unforgettable as “Gingerbread” and “Shrimp.”

My Thoughts:

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Throwback Review: Shrimp (Cyd Charisse #2) by Rachel Cohn

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

Sassy Cyd Charisse returns in Shrimp, the “compelling…and light-hearted” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) sequel to the sharp and funny novel Gingerbread.

If Cyd Charisse knows one thing, it’s that Shrimp is her true love. Shrimp, the hottest pint-size surfer-artist in San Francisco. That boy (as her mother called him), who was the primary cause of Cyd being grounded to Alcatraz, formerly known as her room. The boy who dumped Cyd before she left home to spend the summer in New York City.

Now it’s the start of senior year. Cyd has changed, but maybe Shrimp has changed too—and maybe Cyd and Shrimp will need to get to know each other all over again to figure out if it’s for real. Can Cyd get back together with Shrimp and keep the peace with her mom? And can she get a life outside of her all-encompassing boy radar?

This sequel to Gingerbread has all the sharp humor and searing attitude of the original, which ELLEgirl praised as “not just Another Teen Novel” and Teen People called “unforgettable.” In Shrimp, Cyd might be a little older and a little wiser, but she’s still the same irrepressible free spirit determined to find her own way in the world, on her own terms.

My Thoughts:

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Throwback Review: Gingerbread (Cyd Charisse #1) by Rachel Cohn

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

“I will be as wild as I wanna be.” After getting tossed from her posh boarding school, wild, willful, and coffee addicted Cyd Charisse returns to San Francisco to live with her parents. But there’s no way Cyd can survive in her parents’ pristine house. Lucky for Cyd she’s got Gingerbread, her childhood rag doll and confidante, and her new surfer boyfriend.

When Cyd’s rebelliousness gets out of hand, her parents ship her off to New York City to spend the summer with “Frank real-dad,” her biological father. Trading in her parents for New York City grunge and getting to know her bio-dad and step-sibs is what Cyd has been waiting for her whole life. But summer in the city is not what Cyd expects — and she’s far from the daughter or sister that anyone could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

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6th Annual End Of Year Survey – 2015 edition!!

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This is my first year participating in Jamie’s End of Year Survey, although I read hers every year.

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Throwback Review: Damned (Damned #1) by Chuck Palahniuk

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I previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  See some that I have already posted here.

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Goodreads Summary:

The newest Palahniuk novel concerns Madison, a thirteen year old girl who finds herself in Hell, unsure of why she will be there for all eternity, but tries to make the best of it.

The author described the novel as “if The Shawshank Redemption had a baby by The Lovely Bones and it was raised by Judy Blume.” And “it’s kind of like The Breakfast Club set in Hell.”

My Thoughts:

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Need by Joelle Charbonneau

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Goodreads Summary:

“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”

Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

My Thoughts:

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The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

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Goodreads Summary:

A mysterious graffiti artist, an anatomy-obsessed artist, and a night bus that will bring the two together.

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

My Thoughts:

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Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin

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Goodreads Summary:

Ruby’s mom is in prison, and to tell anyone the truth is to risk true friendship in this novel from the author of The Summer Before Boys that accurately and sensitively addresses a subject too often overlooked.

Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes is about to start middle school, and only her aunt knows her deepest, darkest, most secret secret: her mother is in prison.

Then Margalit Tipps moves into Ruby’s condo complex, and the two immediately hit it off. Ruby thinks she’s found her first true-blue friend; but can she tell Margalit the truth about her mom? Maybe not. Because it turns out that Margalit’s family history seems closely connected to the very event that put her mother in prison, and if Ruby comes clean, she could lose everything she cares about most.

My Thoughts:

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Femme by Matte Bach

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Goodreads Summary:

Academics have never been Sofie’s strong point; she’s too busy spending all of her free time with her boyfriend, Paul, the captain of her Surrey high school’s soccer team. When her English teacher implements a new program that pairs her with straight-A student Clea, Sofie worries about how Paul will react to her hanging out with the only out lesbian at school. Sofie is as surprised as Paul at how close she and Clea quickly become.

When Sofie discovers that Clea is planning a road trip to check out some American colleges over the winter break, she invites herself along, causing more issues with Paul. But it’s only after a college student asks if Sofie identifies as a “femme” lesbian that she starts to question her own sexuality and her relationship with both Clea and Paul.

My Thoughts:

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You by Charles Benoit

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Goodreads Summary:

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.

You’re just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can’t be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late?

Think fast, Kyle. Time’s running out. How did this happen?

My Thoughts:

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Flesh and Bone by William Alton

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Goodreads Summary:

A literary novel for young adults that deals with a despairing teen uncertain about his sexual preferences who turns to drugs, alcohol, and unreliable friends for solace.
Told in a series of images and fragments, Flesh and Bone is a raw and real portrayal of a teen struggling to find love in his life. When Bill’s father leaves and he and his mother move far away to live with her parents, his whole world implodes. His grandparents are cold and distant, his mom is distant both physically and emotionally as she deals with her own struggles, and his dad is just gone. Bill explores his sexuality with multiple partners as he searches for love and compassion and turns to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain of loneliness. Flesh and Bone is a powerful tale that sheds light on the dark places of the soul.

My Thoughts:

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Misdirected by Ali Berman

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Goodreads Summary:

Misdirected is the story of fifteen-year-old Ben, who moves to a small conservative Colorado town where his atheism seems to be the only thing about him that matters to everyone. His classmates bully him for not fitting in, his teachers don’t understand him, and with his brother serving in Iraq and his sister away at college with problems of her own, Ben is left on his own to figure things out. Being a teen is tricky to navigate when you’re an outsider, and Ben struggles to find his place without compromising who he is. He rebels against his teachers, he argues with his classmates, and he rejects what others believe, bringing the reader with him on his enlightening journey as he learns the value of challenging accepted beliefs—including his own.

My Thoughts:

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Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons

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Goodreads Summary:

Told through a series of larger-than-life snapshots, a hilarious memoir in essays about love, sex, marriage, motherhood, bikinis, and loving your body, no matter what size you are from the acclaimed blogger and body image advocate.

Brittany Gibbons has been a plus size her whole life. But instead of hiding herself in the shadows of thinner women, Brittany became a wildly popular blogger and national spokesmodel–known for stripping on stage at TedX and standing in Times Square in a bikini on national television, and making skinny people everywhere uncomfortable.

Talking honestly about size and body image on her popular blog, brittanyherself.com, she has ignited a national conversation. Now in her first book, she shares hilarious and painfully true stories about her life as a weird overweight girl growing up in rural Ohio, struggling with dating and relationships, giving the middle finger to dieting, finding love with a man smaller than her, accidentally having three kids, and figuring out the secret to loving her curves and becoming a nationally recognized body image advocate. And there’s sex, lots of it!

Fat Girl Walking isn’t a diet book. It isn’t one of those former fat people memoirs about how someone battled, and won, in the fight against fat. Brittany doesn’t lose all the weight and reveal the happy, skinny girl that’s been hiding inside her. Instead, she reminds us that being chubby doesn’t mean you’ll end up alone, unhappy, or the subject of a cable medical show. What’s important is learning to love your shape. With her infectious humor and soul-baring honesty, Fat Girl Walking reveals a life full of the same heartbreak, joy, oddity, awkwardness, and wonder as anyone else’s. Just with better snacks.

My Thoughts:

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Throw Back Thursday Review – Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark

TBTI previously had a different book blog, and I had a bunch of problems with the hosting company I used for the blog, and all of my content was deleted.  I managed to salvage some of my reviews from back then by compiling what  I wrote on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles review sections.  I will be posting these reviews under a new blog post called Throw Back Thursday Reviews, until I have posted them all on this blog. 🙂 See some that I have already posted here.

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My Thoughts on Melt by Selene Castrovilla

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Goodreads Summary:

Based on true events, MELT is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. MELT will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.

MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism?

Told in dual first person, Joey’s words are scattered on the page – reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?

My Thoughts:

I don’t think I would have picked this book up if I saw it on the shelf, based on the cover.  It seems like it trying very hard to draw parallels to The Wizard of Oz, but other than the quotes, and the main character’s name, I didn’t really see it.  I tore through this book in one sitting, because I wanted to know what was going to happen with Joey.  I groaned when it ended, because so many things could have happened! That’s not a bad thing though.  I like how the story is told from both points of view, and you can see how different they are, especially since the characters are so different.  I didn’t like how they fell in super instalove, and both felt something special and amazing and all before they even talked to each other.  At first I thought (because of the Oz thing) there was going to be some magical component and they were connected because of this, but that isn’t the case.  I still don’t understand the Wizard of Oz being in the book, other than the author was apparently reading it at the time she was told the true story behind the book. IDK.  Joey though, poor Joey.  His story is heartbreaking, and I love the writing style she used to portray his thoughts.  Other than their pretty ridiculous love at first sight, Dorothy and Joey aren’t really the story in this book.  The story in this book is Joey’s home life and how his dad (a police officer) is an alcoholic, and a mean one at that.  It is about the abuse that goes on behind closed doors.  It is about turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. It is about not standing up for someone because you are afraid.  It is about family. I got this book for free from Netgalley for review.

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PS: How do you feel about dual points of view?  I think it can be awesome when done well.

Stones by Polly Johnson

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Goodreads Summary:

Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.

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TLC Book Tours: Review The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

tlc tour hostReviewTLC Book Tours has provided me with a free copy of The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson to review for today’s post.

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