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Search tags: coming-of-age
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review 2017-07-25 22:58
Book Review of Hope by Jennifer Gibson
Hope - Jennifer Gibson

Jessie has managed to defy the odds, overcoming a severe hearing loss and achieving a Black Belt. She seemed to have it all, a handsome and devoted boyfriend, success as a karate instructor…until now.

 

On the cusp of graduating from high school, a shocking injury changes her life. With her heart shattered and her faith destroyed, she finds herself headed in a new direction all alone. As she leaves for college, she needs to find the courage to conquer her self-doubt and rediscover hope before it’s too late.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the forth book in a series that follows Jessie, a teen with a hearing impediment. I really enjoyed this story!

 

Jessie McIntyre is a character I could relate to easily. She has faced many difficult challenges over the last few of years, what with being bullied at high school, competing at Karate tournaments and earning her black belt, as well as learning to deal with her extra hearing loss after her accident. Now heading towards college, Jessie is finding life even more complicated. Will she overcome the obstacles placed in her way? And can she find out what her destiny has in store?

 

It has been two years since I read and reviewed the third book, Destiny. However, when I heard that this book had been released, I quickly purchased a copy, as I was curious to find out how Jessie was getting on. This story continues on from book three and is told through the eyes of Jessie. I was quickly pulled into the lives of the characters once more and taken on a huge emotional roller coaster ride. It was lovely meeting her again, I missed her.

 

It has been a pleasure watching Jessie's character grow throughout the series. I have also enjoyed watching Jessie and Ethan's relationship grow closer over the series. They have had their ups and downs, as most couples do, but I love the way they interact; you can almost feel their love for each other, it's that palpable. But after a sparring accident causes a rift, Jessie finds herself facing a life altering choice.

 

Jessie is accepted to an art college and this see's her leaving home and spreading her wings a bit. This also introduces us to a new character, Jackson. I am not a fan of love triangles and I was worried that this would be the case in this book. However, I needn't have worried. Jackson is an art college student too, and rents a room in the same house as Jessie. They soon become fast friends. He also happens to be gay.

 

As I said above, this book is a roller coaster ride of emotion and I felt each one that impacted on Jessie. This book is full of love, joy, anger, fear, sadness, loss and, most especially, hope. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion, so I suggest you keep a tissue handy just in case. Jessie finds herself facing many challenging situations and trying new things. I especially enjoyed the fencing and Bo scenes. I am not a sporty person (though I love swimming), but these scenes are written with authority as the author obviously has an interest in these sports and either has extensive experience or knowledge of them as well as Karate. There is also a spiritual feel to the story that I enjoyed. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings; sad that it ended but happy at the way it concluded.

 

Jennifer Gibson has written an intriguing and interesting YA story based in truth. I found the story a quick read. I love the way the story flows from scene to scene; it's extremely fluid and the descriptions were described in such a way that I could picture them with ease. This is an author I have added to my favourite authors list.

 

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 12 to 16, and to adults who love reading younger YA romance or coming of age novels. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-07-24 17:50
Review: "The Craving" by Z. Allora
The Craving - Z. Allora

 

~ 3 stars ~

 

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review 2017-07-21 22:09
Figuring out who you are
Roller Girl - Victoria Jamieson

The only exposure I've had to roller derby is through the film Whip It which admittedly is more than some people. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to read more about it especially when I saw the cover of today's book. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson follows a middle schooler named Astrid who (after going to a roller derby bout) decides that she will be an all-star roller derby girl. However, there are a few hiccups in this plan. (I was going to tell you what they are but I decided it would be better for you to discover them yourself especially since they make up the backbone of the book.) This is a story all about discovering what you're made of, adolescent friendship, and perseverance. It's pretty much middle school wrapped up in one volume + crazy rollerskating antics. I should also mention that it's a graphic novel with truly epic illustrations which were done by the author (I love when that's the case). Overall, I thought this was a fast paced, angsy book that captures what it's like to be a preteen girl who is obsessed with . It's a fun book, guys. If you have any middle grade readers in your life that love sports I think they'd really like this one. 8/10

 

And since I've done this with a few other author/illustrators I thought I'd include a blog post that Victoria Jamieson did with some sketches from the book. Here's a sample:

Source: Victoria Jamieson Illustration

 

And here's what you can expect from the finished product:

Source: books4yourkids

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-07-20 20:22
Breakup support is really just friends supporting one another...
The Breakup Support Group - Cheyanne Young

 

 

Book Title:  The Breakup Support Group

Author:  Cheyanne Young

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  YA, Realistic Fiction

Setting:  Texas

Source:  eBook (Hoopla)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

(this link will take you to my tumblr post with video)

I Wanna Dance With Somebody the Glee Version  --A high school version of a song, for a high school story…and this song feels like it's about finding someone new to "dance with" after a breakup.♫

 

 

 

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

2.8/5 STARS

C-

 

My Thoughts

 

This is a super cute read for a preteen girl or any girl looking to get over being dumped by some boy.  Did I feel this was something that might occur or happen in real life, probably not…but the life lessons TBSG is trying to impart are present and for the most part, solid. 

 I read this mostly because of reading challenge I'm doing where I needed Character names, and it really scored on that front for me.  With both a I name for female with Isla Rush and U Name for Male with Emory Underwood.  Sometimes, reading challenges get me into some fairly awful books and this one wasn't one of those…it was an easy breezy read.

 

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot: 3.8/5

Main Characters:  3.8/5

Secondary Characters:  3.8/5

The Feels:  3.8/5

Addictiveness:  3.5/5

Theme or Tone:  3/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  3/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  2/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  I don't think so, unless it turns out to be just what I need for a reading challenge.

 

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review 2017-07-12 15:02
The Book of Dahlia, by Elisa Albert
The Book of Dahlia - Elisa Albert

Dahlia Finger is kind of an asshole. She's 29 and spends her days sprawled out on her couch, smoking weed and watching movies, funded by her well-off father. One night she has a seizure and learns that she has a brain tumor. Though no one will actually say it, she doesn't have long to live.

 

This is not one of those novels of illness where there's redemption ahead or that's supposed to make you hopeful and grateful for life (beyond not having a brain tumor). For that reason, I appreciated and responded to it. Unlike all the books on cancer Dahlia and her parents buy in bulk that say "you can beat this thing" if only you have the right attitude, in effect making you responsible (and to blame) for your own illness, The Book of Dahlia illustrates how we as a culture fail to deal with mortality. Though it's not addressed specifically in the novel, I personally wonder how much that American idea of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps is at play, which easily translates into victim-blaming when one can't.

 

One of the platitudes often given regarding illness and healing is that a sufferer must let go of old resentments and anger, that these can make or keep one sick. As Dahlia considers and recounts her past, it's clear she has almost nothing but resentments, from a mother who essentially abandoned her family to the older brother, once close, who took out his own pain on her in the cruelest ways. Throughout her life she's plainly asked for help and been ignored. Maybe it says something about me that I couldn't blame her for her stubbornness in forgiving and forgetting. It feels like the only way she's able to have any agency during her illness.

 

If this sounds grim, it's not, or not only! Dahlia's voice is often funny, enough to make me laugh out loud while reading. Her humor may be bitter, but that suits me fine. At the end of the book there was a reading group guide that asked more than one question about whether one is able to sympathize with her; I absolutely could. I often like female characters in popular culture that others find abrasive, though I often wonder how much it's about gender.

 

The toughest and most affecting aspect of this book was the relationship between Dahlia and her older brother. As a younger sister myself, I'm always interested in and more sensitive to depictions of that dynamic. It broke my heart to read about the turn their relationship takes, how long Dahlia holds out and has faith in him, even insulting herself to get ahead of his insulting her. I both wanted and did not want Dahlia to forgive him. It made me want to call my own brother and thank him for not being a dick!

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