Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review. The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Title. The Lies About Truth
Author. Courtney C. Stevens
Expected publication: November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen
From Goodreads. 
Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.
As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

This is the story of a group of friends who fell apart after a horrible accident that killed one of them and scarred another two. Like you can expect, this is not the sunniest story out there, and that's exactly why I picked it up.

I enjoyed the book; Sadie was a good main character, her journey through accepting her new condition, her scarred face and body, it was all so sad and hard to witness. I liked that she was real, and that her feelings and actions weren't sugar coated and instead portrayed in a realistic way. Or at least the way I thought a previously healthy and beautiful teenager deals with her new scarred appearance.

Sometimes I thought the book went a bit slow. This mainly because the truth about the "secret" gets dragged for most of the book. And when it finally gets revealed I don't think it made a lot of sense. Maybe because we didn't really get to know the character who the secret was about, so I don't think I cared much.

It was a story of acceptance and forgiveness. The accident broke more than Sadie's spirits, it broke a life long friendship and a couple of romantic relationships. It wasn't the smoothest ride over all those bumps, either. At times a bit slow, at times a bit expected, all the time worth reading.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Title: All The Bright Places 
Author: Jennifer NivenPublished January 6th 2015 by Knopf ADD ON GOODREADSYA Contemporary, romance, mental illness,Summary:Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

 I knew from the start that this was a book that dealt with suicide, which isn't an strange topic in Young Adult Literature and I have had my share amount of reading about it and experiencing it in the hospital. But you know you never really know everything about it, it´s impossible. It's a whole new world behind each case, each person.

At first I wasn't very into it. I liked the main characters enough. Finch seemed all over the place and his recount of things hinted his diagnosis at me right away. But it wasn't until he really began to tell his story that I became attached to him as a character. He wasn't a diagnosis anymore, he was a person and a ticking time bomb.

I feel like I could have liked Violet a lot more. To me she was a little bland and a little too passive. I know she was having a horrible time and I cannot begin to think how I would feel if I lost my sister, but I feel like I was just sitting there witnessing everything go to sh!t and it made me feel helpless and restless.

At the end it happened. And I guess it was inevitable and we all need to learn from it. Although it wasn't my favorite book on the topic, I will applaud and support every book that tackles on mental illness, especially in our youth. I don't have any statistics on where you live but when I did my Psych rotation I´d say around 50% of the people in the ward were teenagers. It literally shredded my heart. 

Talking to them you realize they know exactly the stigma that will follow them for most of their lives after they leave the hospital. These books are doing us all a favor. The more we educate ourselves the less weight we put on the shoulders of these people. So if I could advice you to give this one a try I would, even if it's no your cup of tea, at least it would be a good learning experience. I know it will stick with me. Now I can´t think of the wordThe JovianPlutonian gravitational effect without feeling like I´d burst into tears.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Title: Truest Author: Jackie Lea SommersPublished September 1st 2015 by Katherine Tegen BooksADD ON GOODREADSYA Contemporary, Romance, Mental Illness

 Truest was deep, and contradictory, and philosophical, and I don't think I have ever read a YA book with as many metaphysical dilemmas. So it´s safe to say I loved it.

I don't know what I was expecting because the summary does not share much, so I dove in practically blind. Turns out it's the story of small town girl, West, and her summer before senior year of high school, when she meets newcomers, the Hart twins.

The Hart twins are not only new to town, they are different, they are attractive and mysterious and West can't help her curiosity. She ends up befriending Silas first, and through her friendship with him she realizes something is not right with his sister, Laurel.

Laurel. She is kind of Don Quixote. Reminds me of a story in the Bible, in Acts 26, when King Festus says to Paul, "Paul, many letters turn thee to madness." Laurel read so much when she was a young kid that know she has a rare syndrome that makes it impossible to differentiate if she is living real life or a dream. And believe me, it is more dangerous and complicated than it sounds.

I really liked the whole philosophical aspect of the book. My heart swelled for Laurel and her confusion and sadness. What I didn't like was the way Silas and West's relationship started. I mean, I didn't like that West stayed with her previous boyfriend, Elliot, even when she started having feelings for Silas. I thought that was low and mean. But I did think Silas and West made a great couple, if only Elliot's feelings could have been spared it would all have been perfect.

And the saddest thing, was Whit's story. It was short, he is not in the book much but oh my, did that poor boy had it bad. I was almost in tears by the end when the unexpected thing happens and I thought it would destroy him.

So anyway. It was a well rounded, interesting story. It stepped away from the cookie cutter romance and introduced me to a world of analytical thinking.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review. Most Likely To Succeed by Jennifer Echols

Title. Most Likely To Succeed
Author. Jennifer Echols
Published August 4th 2015 by Simon Pulse
From Goodreads. 
As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.
To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…
As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake?

I'm always glad to be reading anything by Jennifer Echols. Even if this time it was bittersweet, the end of her Superlatives Trilogy. Nevertheless I composed myself enough to get trough this without slamming my head down on a hard surface and screaming 'Noooo!'.

I was really into the book from the start. After all this is about Sawyer, who we met in Biggest Flirts as Tia's Friend with Benefits. I loved Sawyer since I met him so of course I was thrilled about reading his story this time.

Turns out he liked Kaye, Student Council Vice President, Head Cheerleader and Overachiever, who would have never thought she'd end up with someone as *gasp* imperfect as Sawyer. At fist I thought she was a little bland but then I started to like her when she opened up about the struggles of being black in a society that still has a ton of misconceptions and traditions. After that I liked her a lot, even if she let her mother be so rude to Sawyer. I kinda hoped she would have tried a little harder to get her point across that Sawyer is a good kid. But you know, moms will be moms, they'd never understand.

Anyway. I loved that we got to see all our previous couples! And that we get to witness them be happy and still together and awesome. Specially Tia, I loved her and she was as wild and careless as ever, that was an extra plus.

I think I am pleased about how the book wrapped up, and the whole trilogy did too. It was fun, sweet, sexy and short. Perfect for the summer. But just like the summer, it ended. So I guess I will be moving on until the time comes when I get another Jennifer Echols book in my hands.