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text 2017-03-03 13:44
Book Review
OCD Love Story - Corey Ann Haydu

Words cannot describe how amazing this book was. It has a combination of romance, comedy, and drama. From it's quirky jokes to it's meaningful lines, this book is sure to find a warm place in your heart. I literally couldn't put this book down, it kept me fully immersed in the story. I felt like I was sitting in the chair right next to Bea, and in the car with Beck. If you need a book to read, I would recommend this one. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu gets 4.5 Aaron Smiles out of five!

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review 2015-09-21 03:52
Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
Rules for Stealing Stars - Corey Ann Haydu

Before you even ask, yes I did sob a bit during the reading of this book. It's nearly impossible to read a story like Rules for Stealing Stars and not have some deep feelings. This is a story about sisterhood. About family. About the fact that sometimes a family can seem like they're holding it together, but inside they're each falling apart. If you love magical realism and contemporary Middle Grade stories, you're going to fall in love with this book.


I have a soft spot for stories about children. While most people see the pain that parents exhibit when a family is broken, they forget that the children feel it even more clearly. Looking at an an ailing parent, at the depression and anger that they're dealing with on a daily basis, is hard enough. Looking at that same parent through the eyes of a child is even harder. Imagine remembering what your family once was, and wondering if it will ever be that way ever again. Not knowing whether to love that person, or to pretend they don't exist to stop the hurt. Is it any wonder that I got emotional? I think not.


Really, it was the sisters themselves that made this story for me. Eleanor, Astrid, Marla and Priscilla (Silly to her sisters), were such beautifully rendered characters. Each one dealing with this unstable part of their lives in such a different way. Eleanor choosing to run away from it. Astrid choosing to loose herself in her hobbies. Marla, trying so hard to change things and internalizing her fear. Finally, poor Silly and her inability to understand why her sisters didn't want to rally together. I watched as she did her best to figure out where she fit in this broken family, and I felt her hurt.


So what of the magical realism? Well, it's definitely there. Corey Ann Haydu does a rather excellent job of bringing a bit of magic into the world of these girls. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about this addition. I won't spoil, but it felt a little unbelievable. This is coming from a reader who opens herself to pretty much anything. However, the more I read the more I realized how perfectly the concept that Haydu was weaving into the story fit. Sometimes you don't know what you need until it's right in front of you. That's exactly what Silly and her sisters soon came to discover.


Rules for Stealing Stars is sweet. It's sad. It's full of the kind of feelings that will make you want to curl up to stop the heartache. It's a gorgeous story, and one that I'm very glad that I read.

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url 2014-12-05 22:55
The Summer I Wasn't Me - Jessica Verdi
I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson
Life by Committee - Corey Ann Haydu
For Real - Alison Cherry
Perfectly Good White Boy - Carrie Mesrobian
Bleed Like Me - Christa Desir
Complicit - Stephanie Kuehn
My Best Friend, Maybe - Caela Carter
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review 2014-07-30 19:22
Review: Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Life by Committee - Corey Ann Haydu

Paul & Cate:

Tabitha’s relationship with her parents in this book was my favorite part of Life By Committee. There wasn’t really any reason other than the fact that their relationship with their daughter was so refreshing, and they were more like friends than anything else. They had Tabitha when they were sixteen, and she’s sixteen - so I’m assuming they’re in their early thirties. Which is so young. My only reservation when it came to their relationship is that I wish it had been explored more. There is a bit of tension, and it was never fully resolved. But other than that I loved the parent-daughter relationship.


UPDATE: I almost forgot about how Cate and Paul are both avid readers and make sure that Tabitha never loses sight of how important reading is and drag her away from her computer at times.


“This one here’s my best friend. We’ve got something special. Cate and I have very separate relationships with her. Like it should be.” - Paul talking about Tabitha. (pg. 188)


Life By Committee (LBC):

  1. Tell a secret, you’re in.
  2. Get an assignment, must complete to stay in group and have secrets kept.
  3. New secret every week to stay an active member.


Everything about LBC was super intriguing. Tabitha stumbles upon this website during a time where she needed something to keep her going. The group essentially pushes its members to always go to the next level, to challenge themselves and see where it may lead them. And at first it’s great. But with each new assignment, the stakes are raised and it gets to a point where you’re not sure if this is really what’s best for the people involved. Over time, the assignments started to effect not only Tabitha, but the people she’s closest to. There was this one scene in the coffee shop where I was literally about to throw my book because things were getting so screwed up. And Tabitha realizes it. But she can’t not complete an assignment - because her secrets could be made public.


Even writing about it now is making me jittery.


Everything isn't black and white:

I really shouldn’t have liked Tabitha as much as I did. But she was a really compelling character and it was hard not to like her. I’m not justifying the things she does in this book, but I could see where she was coming from. She actually believes that the things she’s doing aren’t that bad and that everything will work out in the end. I also really felt for her because her “friends” dropped her because she decided that she was interested in her appearances and boys. She still liked to hangout with her family, and active read - she just had other interests as well.


Life By Committee has easily become one of my favorite releases of 2014. I have a few minor reservations, but nothing that could change that verdict. It’s a book that I’m already planning to buy when it’s released as a paperback, and I will then be rereading it because Corey Ann Haydu’s books are the kind that deserve to be reread.

Source: tabithasbookblog.com/2014/07/30/review-life-by-committee-by-corey-ann-haydu
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review 2014-07-18 14:47
OCD Love Story
OCD Love Story - Corey Ann Haydu

From Goodreads: When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down...and she might end up breaking her own heart.


I admit. I almost gave up on this in the very first chapter. It didn't grab me and with a huge backlist of books on my Kindle...it would not have been a disaster to put it on the back burner, or give up all together.


But I decided to read the second chapter, and then I found myself hooked. And probably even more hooked. I'm not sure if it would be in bad taste, but this book was compulsively readable.


What I liked: I liked how real this book felt to me. When I realized it was about a pair of teenagers with OCD, I kind of thought that this book would gloss over the mental illness, or make it seem glamorous. Anything to make it not seem as serious as the topic would be. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book did nothing to gloss over the illness. In fact, I felt extremely uncomfortable reading this book in many places. I just wanted to yell at Bea, to try to get her to see reason.


What I didn't like: I think the first chapter was definitely lacking. I almost stopped reading because I just could not get involved with it. I didn't feel like there was any connection to the first chapter to the rest of the book. Yes, it introduced Bea and Beck but not in a way that wa the ONLY way for the two characters to get started.


There were also a few subtopics in the story that didn't quite get the resolution or explanations that I craved. 


Overall, I really loved this book. I loved Bea, even when she drove me crazy and I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her as hard as I could. 

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