Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

The Field Guide to the North American TeenagerThe Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh did I love the journey of Canadian Norris Kaplan, hockey player, Haitian American, snarky, and moving to Austin, TX. His guidance counselor asks him to keep a journal of his observations of this new world, thus the title of the book. His ruminations, his real life interactions into the high school world, and just life in general all go into the field guide. Funny most of the time, but Norris' thoughts and mouth continues to get him in trouble. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry

Echoes Between UsEchoes Between Us by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tom Doherty Associates and Tor Teen for the advance reader copy, Echoes Between Us by awesome YA romance author, Katie McGarry, in exchange for an honest review. I love the way this story unfolded; cool guy Sawyer and weird Veronica are new neighbors since his mom is renting the first floor of V’s house. But both of their personalities hide enormous pain in their lives; Sawyer’s divorced Mom (along with absentee Dad) have put him in the awful position as caretaker for his 6- year-old sister and his mother (she drinks on weekends) but this has caused Sawyer to develop a secret, dangerous addiction. Veronica (V to her friends) believes in ghosts; she sees and talks to her dead mother all the time. I rooted for Sawyer and Veronica! Katie McGarry has written a hard-hitting story about teens with haunting secrets; parents who don’t care (Sawyer) as opposed to a close family relationship with their teen (Veronica), and high school friendships that are fierce to their core; I loved every word in this novel! Both Sawyer and V have friends they totally depend on but these friends do not like seeing the new closeness between V and Sawyer. As they work on a class project together about the existence of ghosts; Sawyer and Veronica open up to one another, becoming very attached. This poignant, mesmerizing, gripping novel reminded me of one of my favorite Katie McGarry novels, Crash Into You, with Isaiah and Rachel, my very special protagonists. I could not stop turning the pages. Katie McGarry is a gifted writer for teens and is totally delivers with real themes, current topics, and contemporary issues they want to read! Highly recommended.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Curse So Dark and Lonely(Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't wait for the 2nd book, so happy this will be a series & I can revisit with Harper, Prince Rhen, CommanderGrey and the villagers of Emberfall!!! I loved everything about Harper; she is fearless, courageous, protective of others, loves her family, and will not let her cerebral palsy define her. I rooted for her to break the curse, fall in love with Rhen, and vanquish the monster. Rhen and Grey stole my heart with their resolute yet resigned support of one another. I also loved the alternate worlds of D.C. and Emberfall, the fantasy, the changes in Harper, Rhen & Grey as they unite with their plot (alliance) with Harper as the Princess of Disi, bringing armies to strengthen Emberfall's borders. I loved the thrill of this retelling of Beauty and the Beast; I stayed up way late to finish this awesome read that gave me so many highs and lows, so much hope just to have it dashed (hated Lilith), Brigid Kemmerer's lush language, her story, her world building were just breathtaking and so enjoyable for this reader!

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Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

ShoutShout by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was so so much and MORE!!! Whether you have read SPEAK or not this book deals with so much more than Melinda's story; it is Laurie Halse Anderson's story and also any person who has been sexually violated. In the audiobook version Laurie's voice resonated with so much truth, anger, empathy and wonder. Everyone needs to read this memoir of Laurie's rape, her family life growing up, her writing and the many stories she has from her readers. This call to action shows the readers how the culture of rape has not changed.

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Even If Your Heart Would Listen: Losing My Daughter to Heroin by Elise Schiller

a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44540937-even-if-your-heart-would-listen" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px">Even If Your Heart Would Listen: Losing My Daughter to HeroinEven If Your Heart Would Listen: Losing My Daughter to Heroin by Elise Schiller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My heart ached as I read Elise Schiller's account of her daughter, Giana's life with her illnesses of asthma, her drug addiction and her sudden death from a heroin overdose. With the world gripped by opioid addiction, Elise's heartfelt agonized story is needed. There is much agony and anger that goes along with addiction and this book tells the truth about what Elise feels, what she learns and how she is continuing to deal with the loss of her daughter.

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Friday, November 15, 2019

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet #1) by James Ellroy

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1)The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this mystery as a part of the Springfield Township Library Book Club taking place Thursday 11/21 at 7PM. This will be my first time participating in this book club. I liked this mystery but I did not love it because the 2 main characters were not likable; Bucky and Lee were fighters and become partners investigating the gruesome murder of Betty Short, also fighting each other, and finally a bizarre spiral that destroys Bucky and Lee as they investigate the murder and find out more than they want about dirty cops, lying partners and double crosses. This book was too dark for me but I felt compelled to keep picking it back up; did I like Bucky---not by the end but I hoped he would save himself. Unlike the true story, this book has the mystery solved and boy was that very strange but almost everything in this detective mystery made me cringe.

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The Toll (Arc of the Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)The Toll by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh the narration of this awesome 3rd book in the Arc of a Scythe series was my favorite & it is because of Greg Tremblay's superlative narration of so many wonderful, awful characters!!! This final book was a nail biter with so much going on with The Toll, The Thunderhead, Scythe Anastasia and Scythe Lucifer (loved them!!!) and don't forget awful Goddard and his belief in himself alone!!! Shusterman wrote such a great series (just like his Unwind Dystology), I will read anything he writes because he is that good- his worlds & words suck you right in!!! While the world is dive bombing--- forces (Goddard) are working against the Tonists while Grayson (The Toll) travels the world helping the Tonists; all I can say about this book & series is---it is MASTERFUL, ENJOYABLE, THRILLING and a MUST READ!

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