logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: realistic-fiction
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-21 04:50
Coach helps teen turn his life around...
Ghost (Track) - Jason Reynolds

 

 

Like, for me, the best way to describe it is, I got a lot of scream inside.

- Chapter 3

 

Castle Crenshaw is in the seventh grade and he is always in trouble, mostly fighting. He doesn't take any crap. But, he sees a team running track in the park, proves he can run faster, and the Coach asks him to join. Castle (nicknamed Ghost) runs fast because he needed to. One night his father chased his mother and him out of their apartment. His father had a gun and was shooting at them. So, Ghost doesn't have it easy, and he doesn't always make the right choices, but this team and more importantly, the Coach are his chance for a new direction.

 

This book is a quick read, written for middle-grade students. The character of Ghost seems real; he is angry, embarrassed by where he lives, and has no father figure. The Coach becomes an important part of his life, not just on the team, but in helping him to make better choices and do the right thing.

 

I read this book for my Multicultural lit class. 

 

Recommended to:

Readers in grades 6-8, especially boys.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-17 03:14
WHO SHE WAS BY: STORMY SMITH
Who She Was - Stormy Smith

 

   There were so many different facets of Who She Was that I appreciated. I'm feeling listy so I'm going to just go ahead and change things up for this review a bit. Oh, Who She Was, how I enjoyed thee, let me LIST the ways...

 

  1. 1) The relationships.

good friends

 

Of course I will start with the most obvious example of this. Charlie and Trevor. Stormy Smith somehow blended two of my favorite contemporary romance themes, hate to love and best friends to romantic love, into some kind of hybrid with Charlie and Trevor in Who She Was. I loved that there was so much history between the two, and they already a kind of intimacy, but at the same time, after so much time had passed since they were last close, paired with growing up and dealing with all the curve balls life has thrown their way over the years, they were also like strangers coming together for the first time. I'm sure that you yourself have experienced that strange phenomenon of running into someone you used to be very close with when you were younger after a long time has passed. They're the same in a sense, but also this completely different person with new quirks, beliefs, issues, etc. that make them someone new too. I really enjoyed watching them get to know each other again, along with seeing clips from their past and seeing how much they have grown and changed and were still changing along the way.

 

 

Okay, so with the obvious out of the way, I also have to mention my appreciation for the side characters as well. I really dislike when characters simply exist to make the main characters shine even more. That was not something that happened in this story. Darcy and Sam were so great. I liked that they were important to this story in their own right, and they each also had their own little story going on in the background. They were growing and shining right along with the main characters. And bringing important and fresh perspectives along the way.

 

 

Lastly for this column, I would like to point out how very well done the hard relationships were done as well. The unhealthy ones that people struggle with throughout life. I feel like sometimes the severity of these relationships are muted in books like this where you expect the budding romance to be the main focus, and many times these other relationships are merely scratched at the surface to further the romantic plot. I appreciated the time taken to analyze these relationships in this story. The consequences, the burden, the way they can shape the person you are and are becoming. They are important too, and their voice was loud and clear.

 

 

2) The music.

 

beatsheart beat

 

 

Music, to me, has always been an important thing in my life. And not because I play it. I learned hot cross buns on the recorder and heart and soul on the piano, but I never quite made it into the musician category. Music is important to me for the sheer fact that it moves me. It has been forever linked with the way I feel. I have a huge appreciation for it, and my tastes are eclectic. So many times you can tell my mood simply by what I am playing in the moment. I have music that speaks to my rage on a bad day, music to soothe when I am feeling chill, music to amp me up and get me in that party kind of mood, etc. And music is linked to so many memories throughout my life. I vividly remember learning to roller-skate with my Walkman (yes, I am that old) to Billy Idol's Mony, Mony. I remember doing the Macarena, Hustle, and Electric slide at my middle school dances, all be it terribly because I have no rhythm but it has never stopped a gal from trying and having fun. Brown-eyed Girl is reminds me of summer nights grades 1-4 and the dad garage band that would play this song every year literally out of a garage during our block party. First concert to first kiss, so many amazing things have been imprinted in my brain to the sound of an unforgettable melody. So, yes, the music being such a core part of this story, and so very important to the characters, it was moving to me. I loved the way they sometimes communicated best with each other through their music. And ultimately, I really respected the way that they choose to define what the music meant to them and how they'd like it to fit in their lives.

 

 

3) Location, location, location.

 

des moines

I want to go

 

The author's personal connection to the setting of the story was apparent in this story. The passionate way she describes the place with such detail really enchants you. I love that you can have that very real connection with this story too. Like this is a place you can visit and see what the characters have seen, and maybe even feel what they were feeling about this place too. I can honestly say that Stormy Smith has successfully added another destination on my personal list of places I would like to visit one day, Des Moines, Iowa. So thank you for that, Stormy.

 

 

 

4) Giving a voice to a taboo subject.

 

talk

 

I don't want to be all spoilery here, so unfortunately I can't really talk much about this particular subject. BUT it is a reality. And I really respect the author for having this element in her story. One thing I truly believe in this life, is there are no taboo issues. That's not to say there aren't issues that require some extra thought and care, but I don't truly believe any subject should be kept quiet or not discussed. Discussion is a good thing. Even the difficult topics, my god ESPECIALLY those. THINK about these things, LEARN about these things, TALK about these things PLEASE. Maybe if we can do that more, some of these things would happen just a little less.  So, thank you, Stormy. Thank you for including this in your story. Thank you for taking such care and consideration with a difficult subject that many people shy away from.

 

 

wrap

 

 

So yeah, those are a few of the things I really liked about Who She Was. I did struggle a bit towards the end of the story when I felt like some of the things the characters were doing seemed uncharacteristically profound for them. I get that they were growing as people and learning, but it felt a little like them being suddenly hit with this deep wisdom beyond their years, rather than more steadily paced realizations, or maybe wo many huge breakthroughs didn't kind of seem to happen so close together that could have made it seem a little less out of character. It almost felt too neatly wrapped for me. I would have loved to see these characters maybe keep a few things unresolved, or rather just not resolved yet. I didn't think there was a need to have it all so prettily packaged at the end. But the flash forward at the very end was pretty gosh darn sweet and I was happy for that addition to the story. All in all this was a very enjoyable read, and I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!

 

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-14 11:53
THE MAN I LOVE by Suanne Laqueur Review
I love this author's writing style. I read wonderful stories all the time, but the actual craft of writing from this author continues to blow me away.
 
Erik and Daisy meet and fall in love in college. She's a world class ballerina, and he does the technical design. Everything is going wonderful for them. Their romance is perfect. School is great. By all signs, the future is nothing but up, up, up. After a tragedy, it's impossible for them to get back on track. This is the journey of their love and despair and the eventual finding of themselves. It spans many years.
 
I didn't read anything about this story before starting it. Every emotion hit me hard, and I had to ride it out fully. I want to go into detail about all my feels at each point, but I don't want to spoil anything. Just know that you aren't going to want to put it down, but you may have to a few times to wipe your eyes. It's beyond beautiful. It broke my heart at times and overfilled it others. The Man I Love is not to be missed. Exquisite. Moving. Defining.
 
Website:  http://fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.blogspot.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fangirlmomentsandmytwocents
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/fgmamtc @fgmamtc
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/hankstoni @hankstoni
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+ToniHanks
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/hankstoni
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/19424370-toni-fgmamtc
Tumblr: http://fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fgmamtc @fgmamtc
Bloglovin':  https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/fangirl-moments-my-two-cents-12245601
Wordpress: https://fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.wordpress.com/
LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/profile/ToniFGMAMTC
Booklikes: http://tonifgmamtc.booklikes.com/
Literrater: http://literrater.com/tonihanks
Blogger: http://fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.blogspot.com/
Booktropolous Social: https://booktropoloussocial.com/index.php?do=%2Ffgmamtc%2F

 

Source: fangirlmomentsandmytwocents.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-man-i-love-by-suanne-laqueur-review.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-12 02:29
Red - Audiobook review
Red - Alison Cherry

 

Interesting premise: in the town of Scarletville, having red hair is all that matters. Felicity is popular and she has it all. She has gorgeous red hair, loyal best friends, a hot boyfriend, artistic talent, and it looks like she will win the Miss Scarlet pagent. But then she receives an anonymous note. Someone knows her secret: she dyes her hair, and has been doing it her whole life. It's her junior year in high school, and if anyone finds out she's a fake, she could lose everything.

 

So, it seems a bit silly that red hair could be that important, but there is always something, especially in high school. Money, looks, power, that "something extra" that the popular people have and the rest of us don't. 

 

The story is well-written and the narrator is good. I guessed the end (or most of it) long before it actually happened, but I still enjoyed listening. It was a bit of a stretch for Felicity to change so quickly at the end, but it wasn't terrible.

 

A funny thing, it doesn't occur to Felicity that in the outside world red hair isn't a big deal. She is also worried about how she will get out of Scarletville and go to college if she doesn't win the pageant. At one point, when someone points out she might be able to get a scholarship or other money for college, Felicity insists her mother won't let her take it, she would think it was charity. Her mother is clearly single-minded. Since Felicity was first born, her mother has been preparing her to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Felicity doesn't care about the pageant nearly as much as her mother does. Talk about living through your child.

 

This is a young adult novel and maybe teens will get the hint that superficial things aren't as important as they sometimes seem.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-09 05:12
Friends come in unexpected ways....
Making Friends with Billy Wong - Augusta Scattergood

 

I didn't know why so many Chinese people lived here and I sure didn't understand why one school needed to be better than another school or why you couldn't go to whichever school you wanted to. If I paid attention and listened, maybe I'd find out.

- Chapter 6

 

Azalea doesn't want to spend the summer with her grandmother, who she barely knows. But, her grandmother is injured and needs help, so her parents take her there and leave her for the summer. Azalea doesn't like meeting new people and she doesn't do well with strangers. A bunch of local kids come to the house to help with her grandmother's garden, so she is forced to interact with them. She meets a strange delinquent boy, a nice Chinese boy, and a stuck up girl who wears dresses to help in the garden. But, people are not always what they seem, and friendship comes when you least expect it.

 

Azalea is a great character who does her best to do the right thing. She comes to town to help her grandmother but ends up finding friends she didn't expect.

 

The book is inspired by true accounts of Chinese immigrants who lived in the American south during the civil rights era. It is told from two points of view, Azalea's in prose, and Billy's in verse. It's a cute, well-written book that will appeal to boys and girls who enjoy realistic or historical fiction.

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?