Tag Archives: right in the feels

Book Review: Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Ginny Moon

Ginny Moon

4 stars

Meet Ginny. She’s fourteen, autistic, and has a heart-breaking secret…
Ginny Moon is trying to make sense of a world that just doesn’t seem to add up….
After years in foster care, Ginny is in her fourth forever family, finally with parents who will love her.
Everyone tells her that she should feel happy, but she has never stopped crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.
Because something happened, a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…

I love a book with a unique narrator and this one certainly had a very unique narrator in Ginny Moon. This was a book that was so easy to start, thinking I would read a few chapters before going to bed, and then suddenly it was three am and I was turning the last page. Ginny Moon’s unique voice made this a book that was impossible to put down and one that will be memorable.

The story unfolded in a way that gave the sense that the author has personal experience with autism. Ginny was written in a way that never made her feel less than or like there was something wrong with her. She simply was Ginny Moon. She loved Michael Jackson. She need to have nine grapes with her breakfast. I thought the author did a great job showing Ginny’s frustration at not being able to make the adults understand her, as well as the adults’ frustrations at their inability to make Ginny understand when she was doing something dangerous.

The book also showed the love of a family, that family doesn’t have to be blood-related, and how a family can change with a new addition. The family dynamic was the second most intriguing aspect of the book(with Ginny Moon being the first) and was a huge part of the reason I kept reading until the very last page even when I should have gone to bed. This is a book I can easily see myself recommending to anyone looking for a great read.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1 Comment

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reviews, talking books, ya books

Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

May has been full of TV cancellations, cliffhangers, and character deaths. I am consoling myself with books.

Currently reading: Project Semicolon

Finished reading: They Both Die At the EndGinny Moonthis-is-how-it-happenedSigns point to Yes

Reviewed: gentlemans-guideArt of starving

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Little WrecksWho's that girl to read

Ginny Moonthis-is-how-it-happened to review

Books read it 2017: 81

Debut authors read in 2017: 24

2 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reading recap, talking books, TBR books, ya books

Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

Every time I think it’s getting warmer so I can start to read outside, Mother Nature tricks me and it gets cold again. And rainy.

Currently reading: If Birds Fly Back

Finished reading: dividing-edenavengedThe Gauntletdreamfall

Reviewed: Girl out of waterEliza and her monsters

What I’m hoping to get to next week: gentlemans-guideArt of starving to read

avengeddreamfall to review

Books read it 2017: 73

Debut authors read in 2017: 21

2 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reading recap, talking books, TBR books, wrapup, ya books

Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

Well, hockey playoffs didn’t last too long in this house. More time to read:)

Currently reading: dreamfall

Finished reading: Four weeks Five PeopleGirl out of waterEliza and her monstersAntisocial

Reviewed: WarbringerDefy the Stars

What I’m hoping to get to next week: avengedThe Gauntlet to read

Girl out of waterEliza and her monsters to review

Books read it 2017: 69

Debut authors read in 2017: 21

6 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reading recap, talking books, TBR books, wrapup, ya books

Book Review: Vigilante by Kady Cross

vigilante

Vigilante

Release date: March 28th 2017

4 stars

It’s senior year, and Hadley and her best friend, Magda, should be starting the year together. Instead, Magda is dead and Hadley is alone. Raped at a party the year before and humiliated, Magda was driven to take her own life and Hadley is forced to see her friend’s attackers in the classroom every day. Devastated, enraged and needing an outlet for her grief, Hadley decides to get a little justice of her own.
Donning a pink ski mask and fueled by anger, Hadley goes after each of the guys one by one, planning to strip them of their dignity and social status the way they did to Magda. As the legend of the pink-masked Vigilante begins to take on a life of its own, Hadley’s revenge takes a turn for the dangerous. Could her need for vengeance lead her down a path she can’t turn back from?

I’ve read a lot of books dealing with this topic recently but I thought this one managed to still stand out with its revenge plot and with the addition of self defense classes. I liked that the book didn’t just deal with Hadley’s revenge but with Hadley’s own guilt about that night and her finding a way to move on after her friend’s death. It was the story of Hadley wanting to make sure no other girl was hurt the way Madga was and that no boy would get away with hurting another girl.

Hadley was dealing with a lot of guilt over, in her opinion, being a horrible friend both on the night Madga was raped and afterward. She had to see the four boys in class every day, joking, walking around because there had been no consequences for what they’d done to her best friend. When the opportunity arose for her to humiliate one of the guys, I could understand why she took it. She wanted justice for her friend and if the court wouldn’t do it, she would.

I really liked seeing Hadley reluctantly reaching out to other girls and slowly realizing she had new friends. It had been just her and Madga for so long that Hadley didn’t really interact with many other people. I liked the group of girls she started to hang out with, girls she convinced to join a self defense class and who were more than willing to help Hadley keep other girls safe. The self defense classes were a great addition as it gave very good advice and it allowed some very important points to be addressed in a natural situation.

With the book being so short, the main focus stayed on Hadley’s revenge and guilt, which meant a lot of the supporting characters didn’t get a lot of opportunities to develop. There were a few things I had to overlook, like Hadley being able to so easily get away with being the Pink Vigilante when she was targeting the boys who’d hurt her best friend, but it wasn’t hard to do(no more so than accepting a pair of glasses or a hood can hide Supergirl or the Arrow’s identities).

This is an important book and the way it was written, especially the self defense classes, was great in the way where I could picture the moves the girls were doing without needing graphics.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

2 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

February Wrap-Up/ March TBR

We’re now two months into 2017 and I’m loving all the books that are coming out.

February Wrap-Up:

nemesis Nemesis – Brendan Reichs. 3.5/5 stars. I liked the darkness and the twists but it felt a little too uneven in the pacing.

wayfarer Wayfarer – Alexandra Bracken. 4.5/5 stars. Review. I enjoyed this one even more than the first. The addition of new characters plus more focus on characters from the first book were fantastic.

conjurers-riddle The Conjurer’s Riddle – Andrea Cremer. 3/5 stars. Other than the Nightshade series, I’ve had a hard time getting into her books and I just can’t put my finger on why.

kings-cage King’s Cage – Victoria Aveyard. 4/5 stars. Review. I liked this one more than Glass Sword but still less than Red Queen. I did think that, despite the slow pacing, it did move key points of the plot forward and it had some great character moments.

goodbye-days Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner. 4/5 stars. Review. This book was heartbreaking, terrifying and one to remember.

secret-path Secret Path – Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire. 4/5 stars. This is one I recommend pairing with the CD while reading for the best experience and most impact.

just-another-girl Just Another Girl – Elizabeth Eulberg. 3/5 stars. Review. I really liked the concept of this book but I just couldn’t get into one of the POVs no matter how hard I tried.

heartbeats-of-wing-jones The Heartbeats of Wing Jones – Katherine Webber. 4/5 stars. Review. I loved the dynamics between so many of the characters and the hint of magical realism.

etiquette-and-espionage-big Etiquette & Espionage – Gail Carriger. 3.5/5 stars. I liked this more than I thought I would. It’s a fun read.

piper-perish Piper Perish – Kayla Cagan. 3/5 stars. I found I cared more about the supporting characters than the main character so it made the story a little hard to get into.

strange-the-dreamer Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor. 4/5 stars. Review. I loved the magical world and the characters. It is the type of book I find better to read slowly because it’s very intricate and could be easy to get lost if I read too fast.

star-cursed Star Cursed – Jessica Spotswood. 3/5 stars. I think I would have liked it more if I had skimmed through the first book before starting this one. It was so long since I read the first that I got a little lost.

vigilante Vigilante – Kady Cross. 4/5 stars. This was definitely one of those hard to read books that feel so important as you’re reading. It makes a lot of good points that won’t be easy to forget(and shouldn’t be).

curtsies-and-conspiracies Curtsies and Conspiracies – Gail Carriger. 3.5/5 stars. Still a fun series. Lots of action.

queens-of-geek Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde. 4/5 stars. Really cute and easy to relate to. I loved getting to see the two POVs of two girls having very different experiences at the comic convention and loved seeing all the references.

things-i-should-have-known Things I Should Have Known – Claire LaZebnik. 4/5 stars. I absolutely loved the dynamics between the main character and her sister, the two brothers they become friends with, and thought the author did a good job depicting the struggles the main character’s family was going through.

the-guy-the-girl-the-artist-and-his-ex The Guy, the Girl, the Artist, and his Ex – Gabrielle Williams. 3.5/5 stars. This was a really fun book to read and I enjoyed the heist. It crammed a lot into its few pages, maybe at times a little too much.

March TBR:

royal-bastardsupside-of-unrequitedthe-crowns-fatehundred-lies-of-lizzie-lovett

4 Comments

Filed under books, favorite book, reading recap, talking books, TBR books, wrapup, ya books

Book Review Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

goodbye-days

Goodbye Days

Release date: March 7th 2017

4 stars

Can a text message destroy your life?
Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.
Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?

I haven’t read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner but I’ve heard really amazing things so I was excited to see if this one would also be amazing. It didn’t take long to get absorbed into the story and for my eyes to start tearing up. I felt for Carver also immediately. It was a hard book to read, not because it was bad, but because the subject matter is all too real these days.

Carver was an easy character to relate to. The guilt and heartbreak and loneliness Carver felt after the accident as he struggled to grieve without three key people in his life that would normally be a huge part of his support system was so hard to read but also reflected just how close the four friends were. I loved getting to see the flashbacks to see the moments of friendship between them and it made it all that more sad when the present came back and they were gone. Carver’s journey of working through his guilt and saying goodbye to his friends was the main arc of the book and so well done.

I found it hard to get angry at any of the characters, even the ones who were unfairly blaming Carver. Everyone was grieving and looking for someone to blame. The sadness of the present was off-set nicely by the more humorous flashbacks, showing the friendship of the squad and showing just how important the four were to each other. I was so glad that Carver had people on his side in the present and those relationships were amazing as they progressed. I liked the sibling dynamic between him and his older sister, the kinship between him and Jesmyn, and Carver with Blake’s grandmother.

The book was so much more than I’d thought from the synopsis. It was a celebration of friendship, of a bond that went so deep it wouldn’t be forgotten. It was about overcoming guilt and moving on. It was about learning how to say goodbye to someone you didn’t want to say goodbye to. It was heart-breaking and heart-mending. It was brutally honest. It was all too real in a world where text messaging is such a popular way to communicate.

After this book, I will definitely be reading The Serpent King.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books

Book Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

a-list-of-cages

A List of Cages

4.5 stars

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

I had heard a lot about this book before I picked it up so there were some definite high expectations going into it. And this book every single one of them and surpassed them. It sucked me in, broke my heart, repaired it, had me laughing, had me crying, had me yelling in rage. It had great characters, great friendships, just everything I could have wanted.

The book alternated between the two POVs of Adam and Julian. Adam was a senior while Julian was a freshman. Julian had stayed with Adam and his mom for a while after his parents’ death before his uncle came forward and they lost track of each other. Their friendship, the protectiveness Adam felt toward Julian, was just amazing. They were very opposite with Adam being very open, outgoing, and people seemed to flock toward him while Julian was reserved, secretive, and sought to be alone. I loved seeing them reconnect and connect in new ways that was beneficial to them both.

I fell in love with the supporting cast of characters. Adam’s group of friends were so amazing. Definitely the type of group I would want to be in the middle of if I could. Some were more prominent than others but they were all around a good group of friends and often added a lightness when the plot was getting heavy. Adam’s mother was so present through the whole book and the guidance counselor also had an important presence. It was great to see adults caring about the boys to contrast the ones who didn’t care.

This book didn’t hold back at all. It took on a heavy subject that isn’t easy to write or read about but happens and handled it with sensitivity. What Julian went through was horrifying and he was failed by so many people before someone finally took interest in him for the right reasons. There were so many great quotes through the whole book and between the characters and the writing, I found it impossible not to get completely absorbed into Julian and Adam’s story.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

2 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reviews, talking books, ya books

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the-hate-u-give

The Hate U Give

Release date: February 28th 2017

5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

This book caught my eye because of all the attention its been getting and I have to say, it deserves all the praise and hype it had gotten. It’s a book that won’t be easily forgotten after finishing it, one that makes its reader think before, during, and long after reading it. I loved our heroine’s struggle, the dynamics between characters, and how it handled such a relevant topic.

Starr was an amazing character. She attended a private school in another neighbourhood so she felt like two different people. Sometimes she was Williamson Posh Starr and sometimes she was the real Starr. As one of the only black kids at her school attended by mostly rich white kids, she didn’t want to give them a reason to label her the ‘angry black kid’ as she said many times. She never saw herself as a hero as she struggled with how everything would change if she talked but how could she not when her friend was murdered. She was a character with a strong voice that was easy to feel empathy for.

I absolutely loved the supporting cast and how they were utilized in Starr’s story while still having their own voices. Starr’s mother who wanted to keep her family safe even if that meant moving out of their neighbourhood versus her father who felt like they had to stay to make a difference. Starr’s brother Seven who was extremely smart and college bound but wanting to stay local to take care of his family. Her friends and boyfriend who never knew the whole of Starr before. Whether they were supportive, trying to understand something they might never truly understand, or refusing to acknowledge a problem glaring them in the face, they all added something to the story.

The book was well over 400 pages but it never felt like it. It didn’t shy away from anything and it brought the emotions out full force. I ended up in tears more than once. It was definitely not an easy read and I didn’t expect it to be. I was happy it didn’t flinch away from the violence and that it was a read that wasn’t easy, that was ingraining itself even as the pages were turned. This is a book that should start conversations and was a very, very powerful read.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3 Comments

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reviews, talking books, ya books

November Wrap-Up/December TBR

It’s the last month of the year! How did that happen???!!!!

November Wrap-Up:

vanish Vanish – Sophie Jordan. 3/5 stars.

a million worlds with you A Million Worlds With You – Claudia Gray. 4.5/5 stars. Review. A great way to end this great series.

hidden-sophie Hidden – Sophie Jordan. 3/5 stars. An enjoyable series.

every-hidden-thing Every Hidden Thing – Kenneth Oppel. 3/5 stars. Review. Loved the concept but it was a bit hard to get into.

breathless Breathless – Sophie Jordan. 3/5 stars.

roseblood Roseblood – AG Howard. 4/5 stars. Review. Really enjoyed this twist on Phantom of the Opera. Great characters with an amazing supporting cast.

hamilton Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin-Manuel Miranda. 5/5 stars. Love the show, love the book. Loved all the footnotes.

tales from shadowhunter Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy – Cassandra Clare and friends. 4/5 stars. Like most anthologies, some stories stood out more than others but it was nice to go back into this world.

history is all you left me History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera. 4/5 stars. Review. Adam Silvera really knows how to create characters that I fall in love with.

nerve Nerve – Jeanne Ryan. 3.5/5 stars. Sometimes it felt like the action, the need to be fast-paced, impacted the growth of the characters.

before-i-fall Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver. 3.5/5 stars. I really wanted to read this before the movie comes out next year. I know the book will probably be better.

still-life-with-tornado Still Life With Tornado – AS King. 4/5 stars. Review. A book that has me wanting to read the author’s other books.

small-great-things Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult. 4/5 stars. Review. A very powerful read.

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them script edition – JK Rowling. 5/5 stars. Loved the trip back into this world. The characters were wonderfully awkward. Loved every minute of it.

ever the hunted Ever The Hunted – Erin Summerill. 4/5 stars. Really interesting world and really liked the main character.

dead girls society Dead Girls Society – Michelle Krys. 3.5/5 stars. Got drawn in more than I was expecting at the beginning. It took a little bit but once it got going, I was in.

kids-of-appetite Kids of Appetite – David Arnold. 3.5/5 stars. I heard great things about this one but I had a hard time getting into it. Might try it again to see if my thoughts change.

December TBR:

girls-in-the-moonsecret-of-a-heart-noterose-and-the-daggermoon-chosen

1 Comment

Filed under book lists, book-related, books, talking books, TBR books, wrapup, ya books