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Search tags: realistic-fiction
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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 2017-07-03 02:16
Opening line: I just moved. Not from one town to another, but from one end of the couch to the other end.
Underwater - Marisa Reichardt

 

 

Book Title:   Underwater

Author:  Marisa Reichardt

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Realistic Fiction, YA

Setting:  Pacific Palms, California

Source:  Kindle eBook (Library)

 

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

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

Drowning (Face Down) by Saving Abel  --Obviously, this song goes with the cover and title of the book, but it also has lyrics that really embody this story.

I think I'm drowning

Can someone lend a hand?

Can someone save me?

'Cause I don't think I can♫

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

4.7/5 STARS

A

 

 

My Thoughts

 

 

That's what Morgan has written down and hung on her wall, right where she can see it, in case of an emergency.  

Anxiety is it's own kind of monster…one that brings you down and doesn't let you up.  The only way to conquer it…well…facing it, and staring it down on your terms, at your own pace, no matter how hard it is.  Also, I have to say that sometimes having a little help in the form of an understanding and guiding professional can help too.  For this story; that's Brenda, and she rocks.  This book, for me, portrays anxiety in a very honest style.  With a real, heartfelt story, genuine characters, and a easily imagined (despite not wanting to imagine it) storyline, this book really resonated with me.  I actually have found myself really clicking with the realistic fiction genre, lately.

 

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.7/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  4.5/5

Addictiveness:  4.3/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.3/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  4.7/5

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yeah.

 

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review 2017-07-03 01:56
Ghost
Ghost (Track) - Jason Reynolds

Ghost by Jason Reynolds is the first book in a planned middle grade series focusing on "a fast but fiery group of kids who have a shot at the Junior Olympics, but have a lot to prove first - to each other, and to themselves."  Castle Cranshaw  (aka Ghost) hails from the poor part of town and as we discover in the first chapter, his Dad is in jail for attempting to shoot his Mom. Ghost is nicely done, and I think would be compelling to a middle grader who liked realistic fiction or a young African-American who loved to run.  While this book is well reviewed by Teachers and Youth Librarians I respect, I found the story arc that little bit too predictable to an adult for me to rate it higher than 3.5 stars.

 

Volume 2 in the series, which focuses on a different member of the team, is expected out at the end of August

 

(Read outside of Booklikes-opoly because it was due back to the Library).

 

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review 2017-06-23 12:00
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Windfall - Jennifer E. Smith

I was really hoping that this book would be my next favorite, but it ended up being kind of blah. I'll admit, I was really only interested in this book because the cover is freaking gorgeous. Those colors just spoke to me and I really hoped that the story would be as beautiful as the cover.

 

The main issue with this book is that it's predictable. Imagine the cliche story about someone winning the lottery and you have this entire book nailed. It has all the elements that someone would usually come up with from the extravagant spending of money, wanting to do something nice for the mom, a gambling father that isn't around, and one best friend in love with the other. Add in the token gay best friend, the fact that the main character is an orphan and I'm sure you could figure out the main plot, if not the entire book.

 

Unfortunately, the predictability of the story wasn't the only downfall. The main character, Alice, was very hard to connect to. She was perfect in every way imaginable, and not in the good way. She spends a lot of time volunteering at soup kitchens, teaching a child to read, and doing various other charitable things. When she is offered a portion of the winnings, without hesitating she turns it down. What kind of person turns down that kind of money, at least without thinking about it first? She then thinks that she has the right to judge how Teddy spends his money and looks down on him for not immediately donating it to charity.

 

The romance was also quite bland. You're supposed to root for Teddy and Alice, but honestly I didn't really care for either of the characters. Teddy was not the greatest friend and it was hard to see why Alice was in love with him. As I said before, Alice spends a lot of time telling Teddy what he should do with the money and it almost felt mom-like, which isn't something you want in a relationship that is potentially romantic. 

 

The redeeming qualities of the book were not many, but they were strong. Strong enough to keep me reading and make me nearly cry. Alice has been through a lot due to losing her parents. There was an underlying theme of belonging throughout the book, that really should have been the center focus. The moments between Alice and her relatives were poignant and heartfelt. Seeing Alice's character develop and accept that she no longer had her parents was something I would have liked to have more of a focus on that.

 

While this isn't my favorite book, it wasn't bad by any means. I wish that certain things, like the romance was less of a focus and there was more of an emphasis on family.

 

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review 2017-06-20 00:18
Save Me a Seat
Save Me a Seat - Gita Varadarajan,Sarah Weeks

Save Me a Seat is a recent middle grade book co-authored by veteran Sarah Weeks and newcomer Gita Varadarajan.  While not explicitly discussed in the interviews, I believe the two authors met at a Teachers College Writing Workshop directed by Lucy Calkins and that the collaborative project may have been born during the workshop. 

 

The book features alternating chapters of the first week of 5th grade from two viewpoints, Joe (written by Ms. Weeks) and Ravi (written by Ms. Varadarajan).  Joe has lived in the same small town in central NJ all his life.  Ravi has just moved to the US from India.  Taking place over the course of a single week, the boys find common cause and the seed of a friendship as they are both targets of their class bully, an Indian-American kid named Dillon Samreen.

 

There were many moments of humor and realistic tween emotions throughout Save Me a Seat. I also liked the clever way the book used food as a framing.  However, I didn’t fall in love with the story or the characters. While seeing yourself represented in books is important, I thought it was just too convenient that Joe’s defining characteristic is a learning disability.  And there were times that the moral lessons of looking beyond the surface to find potential friends were just a bit too blatant for my adult eyes.  As I read, I kept wondering if this is a book kids would really be attracted to on their own or if it was written to be a parable and the basis of lesson plans and won’t find many readers outside that context.

 

Read for Tomorrowland 34 in Booklikes-opoly

 

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