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review 2017-09-13 03:18
Book Review: The Smallest Thing
The Smallest Thing - Lisa Manterfield

Don't forget to keep the tissues nearby, this story will leave you with a lot of emotions. This is such a heartfelt story about how tragedy can bring people together and tear them apart in the most dire circumstances. Emmott is every 17 year old growing up in a small town just waiting for the day they can start their "real" life, and then real life shows up in a very unexpected way.

 

There are so many roller-coasters in this telling tale about a small village impacted in a most severe way. I really enjoyed going through it with Emmott and watching her blossom with understanding as her preconceived notions of life are challenged in every way. 

 

I would highly recommend this to readers who don't mind facing the realities of life and death and enjoy a well crafted coming of age story. 

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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review 2017-09-07 13:58
Review: Ann, not Annie
Ann, Not Annie - Sage Steadman

I have to say that the blurb is slightly misleading here, there are some heavy themes going on in this story that I think are most appropriate for an older young adult audience. That being said, I really enjoyed Annie's character. Friendship, family and grief are all strong themes and they blend together beautifully in this well crafted story. 

 

Ann isn't quite sure where she fits in at her high school and we are taken on a journey with her through navigating the complexities of high school friendships and family drama. I really enjoyed Ann's quick wit and sarcasm and her character felt very real. Dealing with a tragedy that shakes up your whole world view is daunting and we learn a lot about Ann and her strength throughout, but of course no good coming of age story would be complete without some major bad decisions along the way. 

 

There is much to be said about grief and the many forms it takes. The raw emotions that Ann and her brother Tommy share made me tear up. So many emotions running high and relying on each other was the best thing to do and it really showed a realistic view of siblings. The family drama that is ongoing in the background of story is heavy, but necessary. It was an important part of Ann's story and it was nice reading something that felt very personal. 

 

All in all this was a well written story with a characters, don't let the romance tag fool you, this story is about a lot more than dating. I recommend this to readers older than 16 because of some of the content, but I definitely would pick up a copy today. 

 
 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.
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review 2017-08-30 03:21
Book Review: Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats - Carla Rehse

This book is just what I needed to get me out of my reading slump. I joined bout of books last week in an attempt to motivate myself to get some reading done and I'm glad I picked this lovely gem to focus my efforts on.

 

First off, Gracie is awesome. She's a no nonsense and all nonsense girl all rolled in one. Sometimes the name dropping of all the different designers was a bit distracting from the story, but I understand it was necessary to build up Gracie's over the top, only child, rich kid connections. Despite her background, I think Gracie's character was well rounded and a lot of fun. 

 

Asher and Willow round out the trio of misfits and their interactions with Gracie made me laugh out loud. They have seen their share of tragedy and frustration at such a young age, but are empowered and stubborn enough to try to change the way things are. I would love to read a book from Willow's perspective because I think it would be full of sarcasm and wit. 

 

For keeping me entertained and turning pages, this book gets a glowing 5 stars from me. It was well written, fun and just the right amount of seriousness to bring it to a conclusion. I would highly recommend it. 

 
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review 2017-05-31 19:00
Book Review: Grace and the Fever
Grace and the Fever - Zan Romanoff

Where to start? I knew this would be a great read as soon as I started it. Grace is a pretty typical teenager who happens to be obsessed with a boy band. As someone who once had N'Sync and Backstreet Boys posters all over my wall, I immediately related to her interests. Unlike her friends, Grace never outgrew her love of Fever Dream and it caused her to grow apart from them.

 

This coming of age story really covered a lot of relationship issues that young adults deal with and I really enjoyed getting to know Grace through all of them. While the main focus was on Grace's interactions with Jes and the band, reading about her navigation through her friendships was equally important. This book tackles some basic parenting/friendship issues but also goes through the online identity stress and of course, celebrity privacy issues. It sounds like a lot, but the story was well rounded and a very fun read.

 

There is so much going on with Grace as she meets her idols and subsequently gets pulled into their world, it was refreshing to feel the nervousness and trepidation she experienced. The author does a wonderful job of pulling you into the moment and running away with it. I didn't want to put the book down.

 

The celebrity lifestyle comes with a lack of privacy and a lot of its own subculture. Jes' character was realistic and full of surprises. His acknowledgement of his lack of "regular" experiences hit me right in the heart. Adolescence is such an important part of growing up and a rock start lifestyle definitely isn't a normal youth experience. I imagine most young stars would relate to those feelings.

 

I would highly recommend this book to YA readers, especially those who really enjoy a story about coming into your own skin and learning from some hard life lessons.

 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I was not monetarily compensated and my opinions are my own*

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-28 02:19
Book Review: Seeds of Eden
Seeds of Eden - Richard A. Watson

Full disclosure, I totally missed the "part 1 of a series" in the title of this so I was not expecting a cliffhanger ending. So be warned, you may have to wait a bit to get some resolution from these characters. That being said, I would also recommend this as a YA book as opposed to New Adult audiences. I will explain why in a moment.

 

Let's start with the things I really enjoyed about this novel. Based on the description I was expecting some intrigue and revelations and it did not disappoint. This fresh take on reincarnation and some prominent religious figures gave the story depth and kept me turning the pages. If you are looking for a bit of historical fiction with your paranormal romance, this is definitely the book for you.

 

A few things that I enjoyed less: the high school drama/immaturity of the main character. Now hear me out, I love a good YA story, this was not advertised as such so when Evey and Helen fight over Conrad it felt out of place and a bit annoying. I did like that Evey questioned everything that was being thrown at her and didn't take anything at face value. She asked a lot of questions and didn't go into full blown hero mode ignoring all other factors, which made her much easier to relate to. She grieved the losses and wasn't ready to move on, and asked for help when she needed it.

 

Conrad's character felt a bit creepy at times and I wasn't really rooting for him by the end of the book. Despite his history with Evey and the Concilium, the way his romantic interests came to light was a bit awkward. I cannot pinpoint exactly what bothered me about it, maybe the fact that he remembers their history and Evey doesn't, but it left me feeling uneasy.

 

As I stated earlier, I think this book would be better categorized as YA instead of New Adult, given the maturity level of several main characters, but I would still recommend it. The ideas and storytelling are new and interesting and I'm still mildly curious what will happen in the next book.

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