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Book – Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

every exquisite thing

Nanette is a soccer star, a good student, and unlike the rest of the girls at her school. She is the type of girl who eats her lunch in a classroom with her favorite teacher, because he gets who she really is. So when he gives her a copy of The Bubblegum Reaper Nanette is hooked. Soon she meets with the author (Booker) of the book and wants to ask a million questions. The character in the book gets it. Nanette knows she should be happy with the life laid out before her, but she wants something different. She hates the game she is good at. She doesn’t want to sleep around like all of her so called friends who call her names. She knows the difference between right and wrong, but she needs help to get to a place where she can be okay. Booker introduces her to Alex, a boy who writes poetry and also loved The Bubblegum Reaper. Not long after she and Alex become a couple, Alex introduces her to Oliver, the kid he saves from the bullies on a normal basis. Together the three of them decide to get to the bottom of the Bubblegum Reaper in real life. When Nanette’s world goes haywire, Alex ends up in jail and she ends up in therapy where she starts referring to herself in the 3rd person.

Okay so I can’t describe the eloquent extremities of this story in any reliable way. I have tried on multiple occasions, but this story is too odd and too in depth to provide an adequate description. Unproductive Ted…need I say more? I like the odd story now and then that has a moral to it and this one is right up there.

Book – Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

something in between

Jasmine is a national scholar, cheerleading champion, and extemporary student.  Her life is on track to go to a top college and become something great, but when she gets the awards letter for being a national scholar her parents drop the bomb that the whole family is in the country illegally. They don’t have green cards. With no documentation Jasmine can’t accept the free ride to her top choice college. Plus, if anyone in the family does anything wrong the whole family could be deported. All this is happening just as her relationship with Royce, a congressman’s son, is starting to take off. With the fear of deportation looming and Royce’s dad against undocumented immigrants staying in the country, Royce and Jasmine may not get to stay together and Jasmine’s whole family may be sent back to the Philippines, where she and her two younger brothers don’t even know the language.

This is written in a way that makes me hate this book. It’s far too long. Jasmine is too perfect, she has no flaws and doesn’t act like any 18-year-old I have ever met. Plus, the way she keeps dragging Royce around like a puppy I thought the story would have been better from his point of view. Poor Royce being broken up with because Jasmine is always in her head and overthinking things like every teenager out there. I take it back, Jasmine does have a flaw, she is horrible to Royce!

 

Book – The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

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Dill, Lydia and Travis have all been raised in a small nowhere type of town. Travis had an older brother who died for his country. He is not the type to get in fights or play football, but rather the type to read fantasy novels and talk about the books on online forums. His father is abusive and he just wants to find a way to get out of his life. Lydia has loving parents and she has a popular blog and twitter account. With so many followers to her fashion page she never shares any information about her two best friends. Dill is the son of Minister Dillard who was arrested, not for the poisonous snakes he made his followers hold or the poison he made them drink, but rather for the child porn he watched. Dill’s mother, being an avid follower of her husband believes that Dill is behind it. With money issues Dill has been working to try and help his mom with the bills, but in his spare time he writes his own songs. Together these three friends are facing their senior year and figure out what they are going to do after high school.

I got mad at the author at one point, and if you read the book you can probably figure out what I’m talking about. This is a book I would not normally pick up, but I’m very glad I did. It is a powerful story about finding your way in this world and not letting anyone hold you back from it.

Book – If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

if i was your girlAmanda is new to town. She is spending her senior year of high school with her father. She just wants to fit in and be a normal girl and have a normal life. But she is coming to town with a black eye, having just been jumped in a bathroom in her old town. But a fresh start is what Amanda needs. Her plan is to keep a low profile and move to New York as soon as she can, but when she gets to town she finds friends and even a boyfriend.  Grant is a perfect boyfriend, but Amanda has a secret. One that if it gets out could destroy her and all the relationships she has made since coming to town. Amanda was born Andrew.

Well then, … I listened to the audio of this and I have to say that while I felt it moved slow and that some things could have been expanded upon and others avoided, this book made the issue of a transgender girl in high school trying to start over, come alive for me as a reader. Knowing little, to nothing, about transgender issues I felt this book approached the topic in a way to make the reader understand the main points about what it is like for someone who is transgender in this day and age. I’m sure it didn’t cover half of the things that someone like Amanda would really go through, but it made me think, and that really is the point of the story I believe.

Book – The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

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So yes to Romeo and Juliet, but a much better ending then a double suicide.

Frankie saw her boyfriend get beaten to death and could do nothing about it. Since then she can’t remember the killers face, but her life has spiraled and now she was arrested for drunk driving. Forced to change schools (no tolerance policy at her private school) she is now living with her dad, an undercover cop, and go to public school where she meets Marco.

Marco is a street racer who has been in trouble ever since his dad bailed on him and his sister. Marco has had a hard life. His mom died and his dad turned to stealing cars after his professional racing dream went up in smoke. Marco’s dad left his younger sister in a crashed car to die while being chased by the police. They haven’t seen him since so Marco now raises his sister on his own and has to find a way to pay the bills.

There is no doubt that Frankie and Marco are attracted to each other, but with Frankie’s dad out to catch car thief’s and the past coming back to haunt Frankie, these two have a world of pain to go through.

Book – Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Sloane disappeared and now Emily has been given a to do list. Sloane only leaves these when they will be apart for a long while, so Emily gets it into her head that if she finishes the list, she will see Sloane again. The only problem is that most of the things on the list are things she would never do. Hug a Jamie…kiss a stranger…go skinny dipping… So when the Mr perfect of her class, Frank Porter, offers tho help her with the list she finds a way to make it through the summer without her best friend, but she never expected to fall for him.

This is a really cute book that kept me with the story the whole way through. I wanted to know where Sloane had gone the whole way through, but I did feel like Emily should have held off on getting so close with Frank, not knowing the situation with him and his girlfriend, but Frank never really talked much about it. Plus who leaves their best friend with no notice? I thought it was great that so many people wanted to help her complete her list. And the romance that developed starting from friendship was just perfect. Overall one of my favorites!

Book – Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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Told from the point of view of 4 people who all boarded the ship that was the worst naval disaster in history. A pregnant Polish girl, a Lithuanian nurse, a German sailor, and a Prussian art restorer and thief. These four people aren’t the only stories told in this book. Through the eyes of these 4 people many stories are told about the war and the horrors that many faced. The loss of over 9000 lives (mostly children) when the Russians torpedoed the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff that was transporting civilians, children and wounded soldiers.

A tone of the new books this year are all historical. And World War 2 is something that so many hit on that I’ve had my share of books on this topic to fill a lifetime, with that said…This one had a whole different take on the war. I never knew about the sinking of this ship. Turns out that part really happened. thousands of people died and it was worse the the Titanic! The different points of view really made the story. The German being an idiot, the secrets that the Polish girl and the Prussian are hiding gave the story an heir of mystery. I was more interested in the blind girls story and the wandering boys, but I thought the story was great. It worked the way it was written.

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

It’s been a while since I last posted a book review, so I decided to go Jane Austen-ish with a book I loved! Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

love lies and spies

Juliana wants to talk to publishers about getting the scientific book (about a lady beetles) she and her father have been working on published. Spencer is an undercover spy for the war office who investigating a local family who is leaking secrets to the enemy. By chance these two meet while Juliana has ended up on the side of a cliff, holding on for dear life, hoping for a farmer to rescue her, not a gentleman. As Juliana and Spencer get to know each other they have hatched a plan to help their friends become a couple, but in truth it is Juliana and Spencer (who had no intentions of falling in love) who get closer as the mystery unfolds.

I smiled and laughed through this book and wish there were more books like it in this world. The characters felt real and interesting to me, even set in a historical time period. Yes some compare Juliana to Emma, but I think it was a sweet romantic story about two people who had no intention of falling in love.