Format: Paperback

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Posted May 15, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Bad Romance by Heather DemetriosBad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.
Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.
Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Emotional.
Cringe-Inducing.
Intense.
Realistic.

I’ve lived this book. Perhaps not to some of the extremes Gavin went to, but I’ve been the other half of a verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative relationship. After one daughter and four years of my life, all I can do is reflect and learn from that experience. This book was so uncomfortable at times. At one part I even had to stop and vent to my friends in a chat about it. I dreamt about it. It consumed me for the two days I was reading it. It is most definitely a love story in reverse.

Some people doubt the reality of abusive high-school relationships, but they exist. Some people define abuse by physical touch. This book demolishes those two misconceptions. Gavin Davis is the epitome of a heart throb in Grace’s, and many other females’, eyes. He plays the guitar, has perfect hair, and seems tragically romantic whenever he attempts suicide after a breakup. When Grace falls, she falls hard. She’d been secretly crushing on him for years and reached out whenever he was in residential therapy. Once he was back, they quickly became a major part of each other’s life. He told her she was the only one who understood him. He was her knight in shining armour when it came to her overly-strict parents and rough home life. The red flags are everywhere, it just took her, like many, seemingly a lifetime to see them. By then she’s in too deep.

Beyond the story and message itself, I adored Demetrios’ writing style. I’m already adding her other books to my TBR because it just spoke to me. I loved the pop culture references, like Beyonce lyrics. I loved her character development. Grace was so well-rounded and alive. Her best friends, Lys and Nat, were people you could imagine knowing. It really added to the story.

I loved this book. It hurt at times, but I loved it. I’m thankful for it. I think it’s incredibly important and therefore I give it all the stars.

*Note-I think this could be intensely painful for past abuse victims and those who have dealt with suicide or suicidal thoughts.

After reading the book and writing this review, I stumbled upon this slam poem. It’s breath-taking and perfectly meshes with this story. Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MXRAZ4pjZo

five-stars

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali

Posted May 5, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky AlbertaliThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
on April 11, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.
There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
Right?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Upside of The Upside of Unrequited was one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was maybe one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. However, it wasn’t an easy read or a comfortable read. I saw myself in Molly so much. I was Molly growing up. Maybe a lot of me still is. It was painful and difficult to see so much of my high school experience laid out on the page. Especially when it wasn’t particularly happy.

Molly is fat. She is mistreated by her peers because of it. Molly and I were the same down to our humiliations. In the story, there was a particular incident in the lunchroom that causes Molly anxiety and her sister rage. I won’t spoil what Molly’s was but I will tell you mine. They are very similar and it breaks my heart that it still happens today. One particular way my peers bullied me was to call out numbers when I walked. If I ran or jumped the numbers got higher. After a day or two someone enlightened me to the fact that they were predicting the score of the earthquake I was causing on the Richter scale.

People online have reviewed Molly as desperate or this book as a Fat girl loses weight and finds love book, but that isn’t it at all. Everywhere we turn, girls are told that they should love themselves for who they are but also that they aren’t loveable if they aren’t thin. Fat people don’t deserve love and affection and they shouldn’t hope to find any until they lose the weight.

Everything Molly felt was just like my heart was on the page. This was true in her feelings about her weight and her feelings about romance. When I was that age, I ached for romance in my life but at the same time I didn’t feel like I deserved it. MOLLY DOESN’T LOSE ANY WEIGHT. She doesn’t even try. It’s not even about her weight because she loves herself the way she is. She wants other people to get with the program and I loved her for it.

This book was complex and perfect. I loved how Molly struggled with herself too. She both wants a special romance all her own and also is afraid it will never happen for her. She’s scared to hope and frightened that she doesn’t deserve it.

This book is for every girl out there who has miserably watched her friends shop for hours in a store where nothing fit.

five-stars

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The One Memory of Flora banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr Published by Philomel Books on May 2nd, 2017 Genres: Fiction, mystery, Contemporary Pages: 304 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life. With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home. […]

Posted May 2, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Arc Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Arc Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh Series: Flame in the Mist #1 Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace. Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets […]

Posted April 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Joint Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

Joint Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th 2017 Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, romance Pages: 320 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right? Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not? Dimple and […]

Posted April 10, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Arc Review: Exo Project

Arc Review: Exo Project

The Exo Project by Andrew DeYoung Published by Boyds Mills Press on April 4th 2017 Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult Pages: 455 Format: Paperback Source: the author Buy on Amazon Goodreads This fast-paced, sharply written multiple-perspective YA science-fiction debut opens on a future Earth ravaged by solar radiation. Desperate for money to save his sick mother, seventeen-year-old Matthew agrees to participate in the Exo Project, a government plan to save the human race by flying across the galaxy in search of a habitable planet for resettlement. He thinks he’s been given a death sentence: 100 years in cryostasis, followed by a quick death on some barren world. But then he lands on Gle’ah, discovering the strange, beautiful creatures who live there, including Kiva, the captivating teenage girl who leads her planet’s matriarchal society. Kiva views Matthew as a threat and for good reason—if he tells Earth that he’s found a suitable planet, it will mean the end of her people’s way of life. But then Kiva and Matthew discover an emotional connection they never expected—and as they begin to delve into the secrets of Matthew’s mission and the dark truth behind the seeming paradise of Gle’ah, the choices they make will have consequences for both of their worlds. I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion […]

Posted April 4, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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First We Were IV

First We Were IV

First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 25th 2017 Genres: Thriller, Young Adult Pages: 448 Format: Paperback Source: the author Buy on Amazon Goodreads It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.A secret society – for the four of us. The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that. Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.We wanted revenge.We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to. Our invention ratcheted out of control.What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion. I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fancast This is my first time doing a fancast. It was a challenge for me, but I ended up really enjoying it. I hope you enjoy my picks and I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree! Graham Graham is described as strawberry […]

Posted April 3, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Special Feature / 3 Comments
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Rockstar Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Rockstar Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1 Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 416 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place. Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary. Her life might well be over. In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t […]

Posted March 29, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 0 Comments
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Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic James

Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage by Vic James Series: Dark Gifts #1 Published by Del Rey Books on February 14th 2017 Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved. Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. A girl thirsts for love and knowledge. Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? A boy dreams of revolution. Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts. He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy? I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. […]

Posted March 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Review: American Street

Review: American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi Published by Balzer + Bray on February 14th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream? I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My favorite part of this book was the voice of the narrator, Fabiola. She’s a teenage immigrant from Haiti whose mother gets detained when they attempt to come into the country. Her mother sends her ahead to Detroit where her aunt and cousins are waiting for them. The story is of her journey to get her mother released and her first few months as […]

Posted March 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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