My Girl

It’s been ten years since Paige lost her daughter Chloe and it’s been 2 months since she found her husband dead in the bathtub. Numbing her pain with pills and wine, Paige is reluctant to let go of her past. Stumbling upon her husband’s hidden gun, she starts to uncover his secrets. Putting herself in danger, she’s blind to the truth. Her life isn’t hers to gamble. 

Jack Jordan brings to life a tale of murder, suicide and addiction. He successfully got inside of a woman’s psyche and delivered to the reader, a woman on the brink of self destruction. My Girl is a enticing thriller with quite the unforeseeable plot twist. I devoured this book in the span of a couple hours. A quick read worth every minute. 

I do wish there was a bit more depth to a couple of the characters that show up later in the book. But regardless, My Girl caught me; hook, line, and sinker. 

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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Just Juliet

5/5 Stars

Just Juliet

By Charlotte Reagan

Published on September 16th, 2016 

“Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian.”

Charlotte Reagan brings to life a vibrant tale of young love, diverse sexuality and hilarious teenage banter in “Just Juliet.” This story is neither gloomy nor cozy but rather an affectionate story that could be…real life. There are no major signs of teenage angst or overly zealous plot lines in this book. There is however, a real and raw truth that I believe many young adults can identify with.

While the main character fights with her own sexuality, her love interest Juliet, is a lesbian. Staying close to the story is a young gay couple, whom I absolutely adored. There are varying degrees of parental involvement, to cover any part of the spectrum involving coming out to an adult.

This simple yet enchanting tale of young love and varying degrees of sexuality is exactly what I wish I would have had to read a decade ago. I wish that I could have read this, before coming out to my friends and family. I may have been less dramatic about my approach, but I digress. I am thankful that this book is available to teenagers and young adults who may be struggling with their situations.

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

The Automation

4/5 Stars

The Automation

By Anonymous, B.L.A and G.B Gabbler

Published by S.O.B Publishing

Published on September 23rd 2014

“Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The humanoid Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons…”

I chose to take an excerpt from the author’s description of the book simply because this book is near impossible to describe. This work of fiction is filled with peculiar characters of the human, automation and God variety. The main character isn’t necessarily the main character, the narrator isn’t just the narrator and as the reader, you’ll be involved in this story whether you like it or not.

“The Automation” is written in the most unorthodox style I have ever seen. At first I absolutely hated it, please don’t talk to me as I’m reading; I want to be lost in the story, not involved in it. Why is the narrator talking to and about the author? What the hell is going on here?

As I dived farther into the story, I found myself totally engrossed in the plot, invested in the bizarre characters and then in fact, wishing there was more when I turned the final page. I particularly enjoyed the air of mystery that surrounded the narrator and his unusual way of telling this story. Like I said…unorthodox.

I only really had two issues with this book and the first can’t be helped. There are a crazy number of footnotes from the “editor” and reading The Automation on a kindle, I was unaware of them until the end. I felt that I missed out on some of the humor that was set in place. The other issue is with a certain character that I felt missed the mark a bit. Dorian starts out in the story with certain personality traits and by the end of the book he was a totally different person with no explanation as to why. I felt that he was forced into being something that wasn’t natural to his character.

If you’re up for a bit of an adventure and okay with not knowing the whole truth until then end….and maybe not even then….well…you know the drill.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

LGBTQ Stats

5/5 Stars

LGBTQ Stats

By; Bennett Singer

Published by The New Press

Expected publication January 24th 2017

 

“Twenty years ago it was impossible to imagine the president of the United States embracing same-sex marriage or Bruce Jenner transitioning to Caitlyn Jenner, an open transgender woman.”

LGBTQ Stats is filled with a plethora of information. With how much society has grown to accept people of all sexualities and genders, this book is essential for many types of people. Topics range from discrimination in the work place to education and from immigration to criminal justice. There’s even accounts of how much criticism the USA has gotten from countries who sentence same sex couples to death. I particularly was interested in the changed regulations for gay men regarding giving blood as well as President Barack Obama’s role in the new decision.

For the journalist, the activist, the advocate, the lawyer or the reader, LGBTQ Stats is filled to the brim with statistics and information, in just over 200 pages.

 Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Unforgettables

4/5 Stars

The Unforgettables

By G.L Thomas

Published September 12th 2016

The Unforgettables is a breathtaking tale of comic books, best friends and first love. Felicia is a strong-willed and good natured teenage Haitian girl; alter ego Sidekick Supreme. Paul is beautiful, artistic and music loving boy; alter ego The 8th Wonder. These two friends share a love of comic books and nerdy fun but are completely opposites when they walk through the doors to school. Can their friendship survive the school year?

I was absolutely blown away at how much I enjoyed reading this book. I love how self-assured Felicia is; she knows her strengths, knows her weaknesses and doesn’t give a hoot what anyone thinks of her. Teenage girls can be so mean and I love seeing how Felicia interacts with the “mean girls.” Then there’s Paul…oh Paul…a strong, kind boy who sticks up for Felicia and also shows us what it means to love unconditionally. There were a ton of examples of teenagers having healthy conversations about intercourse with each other and their parents. I couldn’t love this more.

The comic book aspect of this book was fun and quirky. I loved the alter egos that Paul and Felicia assign everyone. I adore this tale of first love and how things can quickly become blown out of proportion. G.L Thomas did an amazing job of showcasing how teenagers can assume the worst without ever getting a proper explanation. The authors brought to life just how diverse families can really be.

With that said, I have to mention one more thing. G.L Thomas added in a few supporting characters that made my heart soar. One particular family made up of a gay couple, one of their ex-wives, their son and their trans daughter. This blended family may not have been a huge part of the book but the fact that they were included gives me more hope for the books that the younger generation is going to have access to. This also gave way to the open dialogue between an eight-year-old Kevin and his family. He says, even at a young age, that he doesn’t feel like he was born to the wrong gender, just that he likes other “girly” things too. His family accepted this and would have accepted any other answer as well.

G.L Thomas, thank you for this wonderful book that opens up so much dialogue between teenagers, their friends and their parents.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Only Daughter

3/5 Stars
Only Daughter
by Anna Snoekstra
published by Harlequin (US & Canada) 
Pub Date 20 Sep 2016

 In the year 2003 a sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winters has a pretty normal teenage life. She’s working at a fast food restaurant, shop lifting with her best friend and enjoying the company of boys. That is until she starts blacking out and bizarre things start happening around her; the blood in her room, people acting strange and the sense that someone is watching her. Yet none of these things alert her to an impending doom.

A little over a decade later Rebecca is replaced. A woman who is so desperate to avoid being arrested claims to be the missing girl from eleven years ago. The new Bec takes over a stranger’s life and seems to have no trouble fitting in at all. She plays with her twin brothers, hugs the mom and crushes on her best friend’s boyfriend. However, the new Bec soon realizes she’s being followed and whoever played a part in the real Rebecca’s disappearance is still at large and she’s in real danger.

Only daughter is a mix of psychological and sociopathic craziness. I picked this book up and didn’t do anything until I turned the very last page. I had absolutely no idea “who-dunnit” and I suspected everybody. The characters were very well developed and the plot was sound.

The only issue I had was the lack of explanation at the very end. I feel that the author rushed the ending and I would have preferred more analysis of the psychological aspect of a few characters.

If you’re ready for a quick and twisty thriller, Only Daughter awaits you.

Thank you to netgalley for this book in exchange for an honest review

Girl Mans Up

5/5 Stars

Girl Mans Up

By; M.E Girard

Published by; HarperCollins

Published on September 6th 2016

 

Girl Mans Up is a stunning tale of one girl’s journey to discover who she was meant to be. Penelope (who refuses to go by anything other than Pen) dresses like a boy, acts like a boy and hangs out with a group of boys. Her Portuguese parents say she’s disrespectful but her friends say she’s loyal; both of these are just meaningless words to Pen. As she discovers who she truly wants to be, Pen realizes she’s going to have to man up.

Girl Mans Up is absolutely riveting. Stepping inside of Pen’s head as she figures out how she views herself and who she wants to become, I fell in love with her. Often times girls who dress “like boys” are viewed as something more. Exclamations are frequently made such as “Oh she must want to be a boy” or “maybe she feels like she was born in the wrong gender” and even as far as “she must want to have male body parts.” Sometimes this is true but more often than not, said girl is just more comfortable in boys clothing.

Without adding a label to this type of girl, I’ll say from experience, it is hard to make people understand why you want to dress a way that isn’t “the social norm.” How can you convey your feelings when you don’t even understand them yourself? For this reason, I applaud M.E Girard for stepping up to the plate and giving young people an insight into one girl’s inner dialogue. Our youth today are growing up in a different type of world; a world where it’s becoming more and more acceptable to be different. Being able to connect to a book that shows you it’s ok to be different is absolutely imperative to the LGBTQ youth who are growing up in a different world than we did a decade ago.

I implore you to read Girl Mans Up if for no other reason than to chance being able to understand someone who may be different than you. As Blake would say, “this wins everything,” and I’ll add that M.E Girard wins at life.

Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade

4/5 Stars

Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade

By; Gary Chapman

Published by Northfield

Expected Publication Date – October 1st 2016

Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade takes the phenomenon that struck the world, The Five Love Languages, and merges it with The Alzheimer’s journey. Author and creator of the The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman, teams up with Edward G. Shaw and Debbie Barr to create a book for anyone affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Together this team of a healthcare provider, a relationship expert and a caregiver will bring you into the world of this disease and show you how love can make a huge difference in the person with Alzheimer’s and their loved one’s lives.

My nana is one of five siblings and falls right into the middle of them, age wise. Her oldest sister has advanced Alzheimer’s, at age 87 and I saw her for the first time in eight years this past weekend. The next oldest sister is the healthiest 86-year-old I’ve ever seen in my life. She’s still traveling the world and running a resort with three cabins. My nana, at age 85, is one of the healthiest people I’ve ever met. She was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The next sibling is their brother and at age 84, he’s the healthiest of them all. Finally, the youngest sister, who is now 82, seems to be doing just fine.

There is no rhyme or reason to Alzheimer’s disease; it affects millions of people worldwide. Spending time with my family this past weekend really put things into perspective for me. I had a basic idea of what to expect with my nana’s diagnosis, but I was ill prepared to see how far her sister had progressed within the confines of the disease. It shook my whole world apart, to witness where my nana is inevitably headed.

Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade came to me at the perfect time. This book is filled with advice that I believe will alter the path of my interactions with my nana. It showed me how to love through the disease, how to find out the best course of showing love and affections, as well as gave me insight on how to make the future better. I plan to use this book through the course of our journey; use it as a resource and guide as needed. I’ll promptly be buying a copy for my mother to read, who is the caregiver to both of my grandparents.

If you know anyone who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or if you are the caregiver or loved one to the affected person, I high suggest picking up this book. I firmly believe this will help you on your journey and show you how to interact with your loved one to make the most of all your time left with each other.

Thank you to netgalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

June

4/5 Stars

June

By; Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Published by Crown

Published on May 31st, 2016

June is a brilliant story that alternates between the past and the present. In 2015 Cassie is on a hunt for the truth; what secrets had her grandmother hid from her? How did she become an heir to over thirty million dollars? Why had a man she’d never met name Cassie his sole heir? How did this man’s two daughters find their way into Cassie’s deteriorating mansion? In 1955, June and Lindie find themselves in the middle of plenty of scandalous events, which lead to a connection that will affect Cassie sixty years later.

I absolutely adored reading June. The varying stories, from past to present, alternated so eloquently. Whenever the story flipped back to the past, it put me in exactly the spot I needed to be as to not disconnect me from the story. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore delivered a vibrant world both in 2015 and in 1955. The parts of the story set in the past, have me yearning to have lived in that time period. Whittemore graces the reader with stunning imagery while invoking intense emotions throughout each phase of the book.

I had my theories as to what was going to happen by the end of the book. A few of them were correct, a few dead wrong, but there were also things that I NEVER saw coming. Looking back, I should have been aware, as Whittemore did a striking job foreshadowing the events that were to take place.

I encourage you to pick up June and follow Cassie Danvers on her journey to seek out the truth. Can you find the truth before she does?

Thank you to blogging for books for a copy of June in exchange for an honest review.

Our Chemical Hearts

4/5 Stars

Our Chemical Hearts

By, Krystal Sutherland

Published by G.P Putnam’s Sons

Published on 10-4-16

A stunning tale of new love, “Our Chemical Hearts” is filled with equal parts first love and heartbreak. Add a dash of mystery and sprinkle on some silliness and you have a perfect recipe for disaster and ruin. But isn’t that what young love is all about?

I adored the premise for this book. It felt like The Fault in Our Stars meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The main character, Henry Page, is both likeable and strange. The way he narrates the story makes it easy to follow and become deeply invested in his world; he’s just weird enough to relate to. As far as his love interest, (Grace Town) there’s a bit of mystery that surrounds her. However, by the end, as the author starts to reveal Grace’s secretive ways, I wasn’t at all surprised. I was hoping for a bigger plot twist or wow factor.

Krystal Sutherland writes in a way that you can’t help but fall in love with her characters and the world they live in. In all honesty, my favorite character was Lola or La. I could use a whole spin off of this character in my life. She is the epitome of a bad ass high schooler and I want more of her.

I appreciate the story that was told in Our Chemical Hearts. The revelation that you should not fall in love with the idea of things but rather, fall in love with the things themselves. Especially for the younger generations, where things are always changing, it’s important to remember what is real versus what is simply a perception.

I received a copy of Our Chemical Hearts from First To Read in exchange for an honest review.