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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review: Be True to Me

Be True to Me

byAdele Griffin
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Historical
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Synopsis:

It's the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.
Told through the alternating perspectives of Jean and Fritz, as they experience feeling like an outsider and first love.




Be True to Me by Adele Griffin is a refreshing summer tale about love and power.

This book is about two girls. There is Jean, the privileged and typical Sunken Haven girl, and Fritz, an outsider. They are both in town for the summer. When Jean meets Gil, a young apprenticing businessman, she falls in love. Gil meets her on the island where Fritz starts to crush on him. Who will come out on top in this love triangle?

I really loved the setting of this story. It was set on Fire Island during the summer of 1976. It is a rich island. The whole story was filled with a description of the setting. I don't usually read books about really privileged people so this was an interesting read.

Fritz and Jean were both really interesting and full characters. I started out liking Jean more. It could have been that they started out the book by using her perspective, or it could have been for some other reason. However, as the story went on, I found myself on Fritz's side. Jean turned into a whiny brat, and Fritz was the more mature character.

As both girls were pining for Gil, I got kind of irritated. It was a love triangle that I didn't really like, and the main downfall of the book. The thing that kept me reading was the vivid storyline and drama. I mean, especially Jean couldn't seem to get over the fact that Gil didn't want to spend every waking moment with her.

The ending of this book was amazing. I am going to try not to spoil it. Needless to say, you need to read this book. I rushed through the ending and found myself with a whirlwind of emotions. It made this book the easy four stars it is for me.

Overall, this was a good book with a lot of tension.




 "It was deliberate.  She'd seen me.  She was cut-and-plunge intercepting."
I like this quote from Jean because it shows how dramatic and self-centered she could be.
"Lessons are one thing.  But nobody can instruct that killer groove of tennis, the gut and soul of how to chase that ball all over the court, how to let your body free itself to take its chances."
I love this quote from Fritz, and it is probably my favorite one.  It doesn't just fit for tennis but talks about skills in most any sport.
"We'd hit it off like bang-firecrackers.  Anyone working the lunch shift at the yacht club could have seen that."
I liked how this quote showed how easily Gil and Fritz fell in love.
"I stomped up the stairs and slammed my door.  In my room, I dropped onto my bed and stretched out like a starfish.  Tucked in on my bookshelf across the room, my Mrs. Beasley doll stared at me with her demonic bespectacled eyes."
The wording in this quote from Jean is what I like the most about it.
Adele Griffin is the highly acclaimed author of almost thirty books for Young Adult and middle grade readers.

Her works include the National Book Award Finalists Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Oodlethunks series for younger readers. Her latest novel The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a YALSA Best Book of 2015, an Amazon Best YA Book of the Year, a Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Romantic Times Finalist for Book of the Year, and a School Library Journal Top Fiction pick. Her latest novel Be True to Me is publishing in June 2017 with Algonquin Books.





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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading The Hate U Give, and it portrayed many difficult issues.

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Star was such a relatable character. She was awesome, and made me sympathize with her. I felt that she went through some very real issues and acted like an adult through them, which was cool.

Khali's death made this book so interesting because black deaths by police force is a huge news topic now days. He was an unarmed black teen who was shot and killed for not fully respecting a police officer. With it being such a trending and pressing issue, it was interesting to see how the author would write it.

Starr has to learn to speak out about what happened to her friend. She had to take risks, and maybe even have people hate her for what she said. She wanted people to know that police brutality wasn't fair, and that Khali didn't do anything wrong.

Overall, this was a great book that everyone should read because it is very relevant.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Every Last Word

Every Last Word Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all, sorry for posting this review so late. I really meant to write it, and even tried one time, but it deleted before I could publish it. Then I ended up taking a break from the blog for a little bit. Now I am back and ready to write some reviews.

Every Last Word was an amazing book.

Summary from Goodreads:
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

I thought that Sam was a very relatable character. She had her group of friends, but still had a hard time fitting in. She also suffered from OCD, and it was interesting reading about it.

The plot was absolutely amazing. Sam met Caroline, a strange girl who she had never seen before. They secretly became friends, and Caroline took Sam to the Poet's Corner. Here, Sam is able to speak her mind and find something that makes her happy.

A.J. was such an awesome character, and I loved his relationship with Sam. He was sweet.

The ending of this book almost brought me to tears. It shocked me. I was like "Wow", and I couldn't stop reading. It made me question everything about the book.

I know many people criticize this book for being too fake. I agree that it wasn't totally realistic, but it was a very touching story if you weren't really looking into the OCD aspect too much.

Overall, this book was great and kept me thinking.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review: Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Girl in Pieces left me speechless!

Summary from Goodreads:
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

This book was kind of strange at first. It focuses on a girl living in the slums who is now in a rehab center. She was a cutter and almost got killed by some rapists. I thought that Charlotte was crazy at first, but then I realized that she just wasn't living the perfect life we read about in many books.

Charlie soon gets out of the mental hospital, and is forced to live on her own. She moves away, and gets a job working in a coffee shop. Things aren't easy, and she is tempted into her old way of life many times.

Some things are too tough for Charlotte to handle. She works with a man who is as damaged as she is, and not good for her. I really liked Charlie's character though. She was really realistic.

I have read some reviews that said that they didn't like the writing style in this book. I personally found it the best part of the book. It was vivid and very deep and touching. There were a lot of descriptions. It was the thing that kept me reading, even when the plot was slow.
The plot could be very slow. The book seemed to go on forever, but it eventually resolved.

The ending of this book was amazing, and kept me reading. It was happy and sad at the same time.

Overall, this is a great book that deals with some tough issues.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thirteen Reasons Why was a really touching book.

Clay Jensen was still reeling from the sudden death of Hannah Baker, a fellow classmate when a box with his name on it shows up on his doorstep. It is from Hannah, and it contains tapes, which contain the 13 reasons why she killed herself.

This book is a very important book for everyone to read. It talked about many reasons that teens commit suicide. This book faced many tough topic.

Clay was a cool character. Hannah was also a cool character. I couldn't understand why she killed herself at first, but as the story progressed I realized. The reasons were deep and scary, but they were things that teenagers really deal with.

I thought that Hannah was very relatable. She fought with things like not fitting in, and getting in with the wrong people. She realized that nobody is there for you forever. She saw high school as it really is, and not how most books portray it.

I think that everyone should read this book, because it showed some of the reasons that Hannah committed suicide.  Some of the reasons were things many of us do to people every day, and those things drove her to suicide.  We should think about what we do and say to people more

The tapes were a cool way to portray the story. They were dated and made the story even creepier. There were thirteen tapes, and each one showed a reason why Hannah went downhill.

Clay's reaction to the tapes really added to the story. His reactions were real. Hannah's voice on the tapes also was very spooky, and she seemed really depressed, and sure about her decision.

I just started the T.V. series, and I think it is almost as good as the book.

Overall this was a touching book that teaches important lessons about suicide.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thirteen Reasons Why was a really touching book.

Clay Jensen was still reeling from the sudden death of Hannah Baker, a fellow classmate when a box with his name on it shows up on his doorstep. It is from Hannah, and it contains tapes, which contain the 13 reasons why she killed herself.

This book is a very important book for everyone to read. It talked about many reasons that teens commit suicide. This book faced many tough topic.

Clay was a cool character. Hannah was also a cool character. I couldn't understand why she killed herself at first, but as the story progressed I realized. The reasons were deep and scary, but they were things that teenagers really deal with.

I thought that Hannah was very relatable. She fought with things like not fitting in, and getting in with the wrong people. She realized that nobody is there for you forever. She saw high school as it really is, and not how most books portray it.

The tapes were a cool way to portray the story. They were dated and made the story even creepier. There were thirteen tapes, and each one showed a reason why Hannah went downhill.

Clay's reaction to the tapes really added to the story. His reactions were real. Hannah's voice on the tapes also was very spooky, and she seemed really depressed, and sure about her decision.

I just started the T.V. series, and I think it is almost as good as the book.

Overall this was a touching book that teaches important lessons about suicide.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Meant to Be

Meant to Be Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meant to Be is a sweet contemporary romance.

Summary from Goodreads:
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for - gasp - the wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's the queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her ... well, pocket. Julia also believes in fate, and that Mark, her childhood crush, is her MTB - her meant-to-be.

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts ... from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to live a little along the way. And thus begins a wild-good chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

I wanted to read this book because I loved the author's other book, Being Sloane Jacobs. Meant to Be looked like another sweet romance. It was so much different, yet so similar.

I thought Julia was an okay character. She seemed way to uptight to be a teenager. I don't think I have ever seen one THAT uptight. I mean, there are try-hards, but Julia was just crazy obsessed with being in control of everything. I could relate to her not wanting to break the rules and go to parties, but it seemed kind of unrealistic. Julia never really stood her ground like a mature teenager should. She was also kind of nuts about her MTB Mark. She has barely ever talked to the dude and she still believes that he is her one true love. Once, she starts breaking rules, she is just stupid about it. I mean, who would seriously keep texting this stranger that you gave your number to at a party? Overall, Julia seemed very planned and one sided.

Jason was Julia's polar opposite. He was a party boy, and not afraid to break the rules. He was funny to read about, but seemed a little too daring. He was inconsiderate and didn't care if he got it trouble. However, I did see his sweet side and his appeal.

The whole Paris setting really added to the book. It gave it a plot structure, and made it more than just a love triangle.

I loved the irony in this book. It seemed like it was written just as a lesson, and it worked.



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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review: Happy Again

Happy Again Happy Again by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Happy Again was a really cute ya novella.

Summary from Goodreads:
Ellie O'Neill and Graham Larkin fell hard for each other when a misspelled email address unexpectedly brought them together. Now, over a year has passed since they said goodbye with the promise to stay in touch, and their daily emails have dwindled to nothing. Ellie is a freshman in college and has told herself to move on, and Graham has kept himself busy starring in more movies, as well as a few tabloid columns. But fate brought these two together once before—and it isn't done with them yet.

I would initially like to state that I have never read the first book in this series. I do want to, and when this was available at my public libraries online site, I checked it out for a quick read. I hope to read This Is What Happy Looks Like someday soon.

Ellie seemed like a cool character. She was just an average teen who had dated a movie star the past summer. Now she is isn college and focusing on schoolwork, When her rroomates ask her if she wants to go to NYC with them for the weekend, she reluctantly agrees. There, she runs into Graham.

Graham was the always portrayed perfect movie star. He was cute, flirty, and way to good to be realistic.

The romance was short and sweet, and I thought the plot moved well.

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