Quick Poll

Because I don’t always remember to blog, I have a quick poll for you guys!

Would you rather:

A) Watch YouTube videos

Or

B) Listen to PodCasts

I still plan on posting here and maybe incorporate my blog into other social media aspects of my life (whenever I get my life together, ha!)

So please comment below your answer!

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What If It’s Us

I stopped by my local bookstore and asked if they had any unclaimed ARCs…and got my hands on this guy!

I’m excited to crack it open and get started.

What are you reading this week?

Currently Reading: Fawkes

fawkes

I’m not sure if I’ve posted a “Currently Reading” before, but here it is! I don’t know the full Guy Fawkes story, so I know parts of this may be lost on me, but I’m here for the journey!

Paraphrased from Goodreads: Its about Thomas Fawkes, who is turning to stone, with the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

There are wars going on. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back

Far From The Tree || Book Review

FarFromTheTree

Title: Far From The Tree

Author
:  Robin Benway

Publisher
: HarperTeen

Genre
: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Teen Fiction

Page
 Count: 374


Synopsis
 from Goodreads:

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

Let’s Talk About It:

What an absolutely amazing contemporary! I went into it knowing that it has gotten rave reviews but I was amazed by how fantastic this story is!

I don’t feel I even have the words to express how fantastic this book is. It is touching, emotional, and somehow heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time.  I went back and forth from crying from sadness to crying from happiness all throughout the novel.

JennaMarbles

It starts with Grace who is an only child, but she’s always known that she was adopted. But shortly after she gives birth to her own daughter while she’s still in high school, and gives the baby up for adoption, she decides that it’s time to start looking for her biological mother.  And its through this that she learns that she has two biological siblings – an older brother  (Joaquin) and a younger sister (Maya).

Maya is very blunt and very outspoken about everything. Shes grown up as the only brunette in a red headed family, so shes always kind of felt like an outsider in her own family. Especially since her younger sister was born not too long after their parents adopted Maya. We learn that her family is going through a very hard time because of her mothers alcoholism, so learning that she has other family comes at just the right time.

Joaquin hasn’t had the luck that the other girls have had. While they were adopted into loving homes as babies, he spent his life in and out of foster homes. He’s learned not to let his guard so that he doesn’t end up disappointed or hurt. So he tries his hardest not to let anyone get too close, even after meeting Maya and Grace.

Through the book, we get a deeper look into each of the siblings emotional and relationship issues, but it also shows us how much they have in common. But little by little, they let their walls down with one another and try to help each other deal with their issues.

My Rating:

I gave Far From The Tree a solid 5 star rating. I would 100% recommend this book to absolutely everyone! It was a really well written book. If you’re a fan of the tv shows Parenthood and This Is Us, or you just enjoy anything family centered then this is the book for you!

Listen To Your Heart || A Review

ListenToYourHeart

Title: Listen To Your Heart

Author
:  Kasie West

Publisher
: Point

Genre
: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Page
 Count: 336


Synopsis
 from Goodreads:

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Let’s Talk About It:

This book was extremely adorable. I’ve never read anything by Kasie West and if her other books as are cute as this, then I’m sold.  A perfect summer read and the writing was simple and it made the book all the more enjoyable.

This book follows 16 year old Kate Bailey who is an extreme introvert that prefers not to be in the spotlight. She didn’t want to sign up for the podcasting class in her school or even expect her podcasting club theme to be chosen but it happened anyway and now shes on of the hosts of the podcast and expected to give advice on air. Theres a little Sleepless In Seattle vibe because theres an anonymous caller- who everyone has taken to calling ‘Looking for Love’. I love Sleepless in Seattle so I was here for it.


My Rating:

I gave Listen To Your Heart 4 stars. There were a few things that I didn’t like but they’re expected when reading contemporaries – like instalove, pretty ending all wrapped up in a bow… honestly I don’t mind those. The plot itself was light and sweet, there were a few “conflicts” but nothing too deep. Based on this book alone, I’d most definitely read other stories by Kasie West.

Speak || A Review

Speak

Title: Speak

Author
:  Laurie Halse Anderson

Publisher
: Puffin

Genre
: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction,

Page
 Count: 208


Synopsis
 from Goodreads:

“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Let’s Talk About It:

There are no doubts that it is a very important book for the subject it deals with. We need so many more books on this subject that I think would actually “speak” to me.

So something happened at a party to Melinda and she stops speaking. She is not popular in school and her friends have started to cut her out of their lives. They don’t want to see her anymore as they find her “not speaking” behavior strange but they don’t really try to figure out the reason for this. They just accept it (great friends they are). To me, her parents don’t really care to ask why either. They’re just upset that she doesn’t speak. She does have an art teacher that helps her break out of her shell and forces her to dig deeper inside herself and deal with emotions.

She eventually does start to come out of her shell and start expressing herself but I was kind of a little late for me. The story was good, however, and people that go through this type of thing need love and support, not ignored.


My Rating:

I gave Speak 3 stars. I didn’t absolutely hate it but I also didn’t love it like most did. I can definitely see how important this book is but honestly I was bored and felt disconnected until the last 30-ish pages. But I also realize that this book needs to exist because these things do happen and need to be discussed.

You’ll Never Know || Book Review

You'llNeverKnow

Title: You’ll Never Know

Author
:  Katie Cross

Publisher
: THHS Publishing

Genre
: Contemporary, Chick Lit

Page
 Count: 250 (ebook)


Synopsis
 from Goodreads:

Rachelle Martin is a hot mess.

After losing 110 pounds, she expected to be happily flirting her way through countless dates, not lost as a college dropout. Now that she’s arrived at her ideal weight, why isn’t she happy?

When an injury prevents her from running her dream race, she realize she can’t run from her ghosts anymore. Rachelle must take the one step she’s sworn she’d never take: professional therapy.

Can Rachelle push herself through pain and let go of the past? Or will her demons continue to haunt her one bad decision at a time?

You’ll Never Know is the unforgettable novel in the groundbreaking Health and Happiness Society series. It tackles the false idea of conditional happiness and the exhausting path to self forgiveness.


Let’s Talk About It
:

I absolutely love these books that are part of The Health and Happiness Society series!! I could NOT stop reading this and read it during every spare moment I had. Waiting on water to boil? I was reading. Target run? Sat in the car for an extra 10 minutes and read. You’ll Never Know is the 3rd book in the series but works as a stand alone as well. There are characters from the other books, but its not completely necessary to read those before diving into this one (although I HIGHLY recommend it!)

The thing I loved the most about this book was how raw and real Rachelle’s emotions were. There were many times that I was right there with her, having had the same feelings myself. The ladies of The Health and Happiness Society let her have those emotions but told her what she needed to hear without it being sugar coated (see what I did there?? Yeaaahh??). I think we all need that kind of honesty in our lives.

Certain parts of the book were predictable but not in a bad way. I feel like when you read contemporaries it just comes with the territory.

You’ll Never Know takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Rachelle struggles with trying to figure out who she is without labels. She has to dive into events of her past and also deal with current issues. Her therapist asks questions that everyone who has struggles should ask themselves.


My Rating:

Overall, I gave this five out of five stars and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been gushing about it to my friends! Its kind of a grown up Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with a sprinkle of The Biggest Loser. If you are in the mood for a contemporary read this summer I highly recommend this one. Also look for the other Health and Happiness Society books by Katie Cross. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

Moon River || A Review

MoonRiver

Title: Moon River

Author
:  Amber D. Tran

Publisher
: Mountain Girl Press

Genre
: Contemporary, Young Adult, Literary Fiction

Page
 Count: 222


Synopsis
 from Goodreads:

In this debut novel from author Amber D. Tran, a tale of adolescence and heartbreak unfolds. Nine-year-old Abigail Kavanagh first meets Ryan Mills during the summer of 1999. A shy and awkward boy, Ryan hides behind his wide-framed glasses while Abigail is determined to learn everything there is to know about him. The next few summers are filled with birthday parties, adventures in and around the West Virginian mountainsides, and late night conversations where they share their most secretive and personal thoughts.

Their friendship starts to crumble when Abigail befriends the attractive and musical Lilly Anderson, a girl who is also interested in uncovering the mysterious nature surrounding Ryan. However, everything comes to an end the summer of 2004, and Abigail must decide if her new journey is worth traveling alone.


Let’s Talk About It
:

First let me say that the synopsis does not fully describe how much of an emotional rollercoaster this novel is about to take you on. It was hard at first for me to get into this book, I think because I had just read an an action filled dystopian and my brain was having a hard time adjusting to a different story.  But once I got wrapped up in the emotions and feelings, I was eager to see where it was headed and I loved it!

My Rating:

I’m going to give Moon River a solid 4 rating. I enjoyed the journey the story took me on and I loved how the author fully describes all the love and angsty feelings of a young love.