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Search tags: A-Short-History-of-Nearly-Everything
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review 2017-09-20 18:18
A Short History of the Girl Next Door/Jared Reck
A Short History of the Girl Next Door - ... A Short History of the Girl Next Door - Jared Reck

This book is worth reading, so go read it, but stop reading reviews because they'll probably spoil something. Don't read the description; it'll spoil something. (Those author comparisons… come on, whoever did jacket copy!) If you like YA, go read it.

 

Okay, that being said, now I will talk about this book in ambiguous terms that jump around the major event that happens a third of the way or so through. No apologies if you're intelligent enough to guess what happens. Here's the blurb:

 

Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this unrequited love story will appeal to fans of Jennifer Niven, John Green, and Jesse Andrews. 
Seriously, how can you see a person nearly every day of your life and never think a thing of it, then all of a sudden, one day, it’s different? You see that goofy grin a thousand times and just laugh. But goofy grin #1,001 nearly stops your heart? 
Right. That sounds like a bad movie already.
Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her, he implodes on the JV basketball team, and the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis’s English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about pissed-off candy-cane lumberjacks.
If this were a movie, everything would work out perfectly. Tabby would discover that Matt’s madly in love with her, be overcome with emotion, and would fall into his arms. Maybe in the rain.
But that’s not how it works. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse. 
After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, on the verge of spiraling out of control and losing everything that matters to him. From debut author Jared Reck comes a fiercely funny and heart-wrenching novel about love, longing, and what happens when life as you know it changes in an instant.

 

So this ends up being a premise I've totally thought about in a different fashion--the idea of who is important to you, but how many other people even know that you're important to them? Who has the right to grieve? Who has the agency to speak after certain events? (I told you there'd be spoilers. There's no way to do this.)

 

Matt is lovely and so very real and such a great boy character! Am I the only one who feels like boy characters are often one-dimensional in YA lit? I loved the way he interacted with all of his friends and especially with Tabby, and I loved the way that he dealt with the circumstances and lashed out and was vulnerable and real.

 

While a lot more YA deals with this than proportionally is realistic, I felt like I could see this community reacting and I could see the events playing out. From Matt's parents and family to the way he plays basketball and looks up to his teammates, I felt like Reck had really delved into the personality of every character.

 

This is so much better than All the Bright Places, and I highly recommend it for those who love tragic YA romances.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-08-14 06:23
Auschwitz: A Short History by Ben Stevens
Auschwitz: A Short History - Ben Stevens

Auschwitz: A Short History by Ben Stevens is a documentary style story. I gave it four stars because it was a straightforward account of history.

 

It is sad to remember the atrocities that took place. There were the "Einsatzgruppen - paramilitary 'death squads' who followed the regular German army into occupied territory before 'cleansing' it of anyone deemed racially or politically 'undesirable'. Previously, this had consisted chiefly of Einsatzgruppen soldier shooting unarmed men, women and children in the back of the head, or machine-gunning them in large groups, before hurling their bodies into deep trenches." There were 33,771 people killed in a massacre in Kiev in September 1941.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS53R46

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review 2017-06-07 21:55
Our Short History
Our Short History - Lauren Grodstein

Title:  Our Short History

Author:  Lauren Grodstein 

Publisher:  Algonquin Books

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"Our Short History" by Lauren Grodstein

 

My Thoughts....

 

"Our Short History" really deals with a subject that is somewhat hard to talk about...dying.  This author does a very good job in presenting this mesmerizing, hear wrenching told story. What will a mother do when she finds out that she doesn't have long to live [fighting stage IV ovarian cancer] and she has a son who was just six year old.  Karen writes a book for her son who was just six year old to be read by his older self.   This was definitely one of those 'tearjerker' reads.

 

What will happen when Jake ask hims mother to find his dad?  Now Jake wants to meet his father which presents problems for the mother,  Karen.  What will she do because there is a history that did not turn out well between Karen and Jake's father?  Will her sister still be able to take care of Jake as it had been planned now that the father has come into the picture.  This is a very emotional read that will give the reader quite one complicated relationships with all of these characters: from Karen, Jake, Jake's father [Dave] and Karen's sister. Now, I did say that this is sad story however, do be ready for a little humor at times, very absorbing and so memorable and even thought provoking in this mother-son relationship.

 

This author really gives the reader one beautifully well written story that is so very raw as her son 'resonates and Karen's bravery in facing her illness is so very admirable.  With that all I can say is that this story "Our Short History" was one story that I will not forget anytime soon.   I will say after all that had gone with between Karen and her ex boyfriend [Dave], her illness and her life she had not chosen for herself I could definitely  understand why she felt the way she did about this whole situation.  In the end we see that this wasn't about the 'life Karen had given her son but the live he had given her.'

 

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review 2016-09-15 12:27
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka

It was funny, admittedly, although not quite as hilarious as all the reviews made it out to be. I guess it just depends on your sense of humour. It took a little while for me to go into this, but once I had it was an enjoyable read - perfect for the holidays. 

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text 2016-06-17 11:18
Really funny and entertaining!
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka

The entire concept of this book is amazing, and it is really funny - but nothing like I expected. Imagine an old man who suddenly discovers new life through a buxom lady - but one whom the family think is after his money. They worry - and have good reason - especially when her relative arrive. Such characters! Why the tractors? It is part of a thesis the old chap is writing, and the short exceprts of this are even interesting in their own right and not boring.

I had the slight feeling the ending was perhaps a little hurried, and the approach to point-of-view was sometimes a little questionable, but such quibbles are purely academic, for the sheer enjoyment outweights them by far. If you want cheering up, just read it! It is one of my favourites.

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