Review/ All The Bright Places

Review/ All The Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Penguin on January 8th 2015
Pages: 388
Goodreads

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have been dying to read this book ever since it came out and I have to send a huge thank you to SocialBookCo (if you click on the bold text it will take you to the page so that you can buy the book at the lowest price along with many other books they have available) for sending the book to me to review.

When I got the book I knew this was going to be one book that I didn’t want to devour quickly so I paced myself. Wow what an incredible read. I am still sitting here days after finishing it thinking about the book and Violet and Finch. I have to be careful in what I write because I don’t want to give out too much of the story which I honestly have a problem with sometimes. I tend to write more then I should.

This was Jennifer Niven’s debut novel. Honestly what a debut it was. I knew going into the book that it was going to be an emotional roller coaster ride and it was. Its been awhile since a book has made me tear up.

The book is told in the perspectives of Violet and Finch. Both are seventeen year old kids going to high school. Violet is still grieving the lose of her sister who was killed in a tragic accident who is basically having a hard time going on with life and she is a popular girl and Finch is what the kids at school consider a freak a social outcast. But what others don’t realize is that Finch is truly a funny, smart, a little kooky and creative. I think if people actually got to know him they wouldn’t think he was a freak.

No secret the book begins with Violet attempting to  kill herself from the bell tower at her high school but Finch kind of gets in her way because he is doing the exact same thing. From this moment a bond forms between the two. I actually was enjoying this bond because I think they were both there at the right time for each other. Could this friendship turn into something more?

Finch basically has become engrossed with Violet and I don’t know if that’s because she was there when he was about to jump and he took that as a sign not to? So when they are in science class the teacher announces there will be a class project and he basically demands for Violet to be his partner. The project is forcing the kids in the class to wander around Indiana and find unique things about the state that they would consider hidden gems. Which I think is a great idea and more teachers should do this type of project with their students.

So through the course of discovering Indiana Violet begins to have feeling for Finch. This book is definitely a great book to read if you want to discover some hidden gems in Indiana. I have to admit I thought this was cute and special although I do have to say that these two have issues and really I even though they were good for each other they weren’t if that makes sense.

I just have to say that Jennifer Niven did a fantastic job on this debut novel. Finch and Violet have turned into my favorite characters and its been awhile since I have had favorite characters that I am still thinking about. She managed to tackle a very serious issue and she handled it with sensitivity that this book needed. I would not have a problem reading future books of Jennifer’s if they are anything like this.

 

Review/ Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Review/ Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel SavitAnna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Published by Random House Children's Books on January 26th 2016
Pages: 240
Source: Book From BEA 2015
Goodreads
Genres: Europe, Family, Historical, Holocaust, Orphans & Foster Homes, People & Places, Young Adult

A stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel set in Poland during the Second World War perfect for readers of The Book Thief.   Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see. The Swallow Man is not Anna’s father—she knows that very well—but she also knows that, like her father, he’s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness. Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.    Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit’s stunning debut reveals life’s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities.

I received this book for free from Book From BEA 2015 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I picked up Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit during BEA 2015. I was drown into the cover when I first spotted it. Its very simple but I think eye catching at the same time.

As I sit here trying to write my review I am still thinking about the book. So I will have to be careful with my review because I don’t want to give the story away and I tend to have a habit of doing that. Don’t you just love it when I book holds onto you?

I went into the book not knowing what was going to happen and reading it I realized it was being told during the war and I wasn’t sure I was prepared for that because I find those kinds of books very difficult to read. I do have to say its not that bad and its really not the focus of the book but you do know a war is happening. I think that is why I enjoyed the story more.

There is quite a few characters in the book but the main are Anna, the Swallow man and then a guy named Reb. I have to say that the Swallow Man and Reb were complete night and day but it worked and it balanced the two of them out and I think despite their differences they were looking for the same thing, acceptance. They both loved Anna and would do anything to protect her.

The book begins in 1939 in occupied Poland. Anna is seven years old. Anna’s father is a linguistics professor and he has to attend a lecture that has been mandated by German authorities and we all know what that means and where this is going. He leaves Anna with a friend of his but when he fails to return home he forces Anna to leave. Anna has no where to go because the door is locked in her apartment and no one will take her in.

On the streets of Krawkow she sees a tall elegantly dressed man who manages to charm Anna when he has a swallow land on his finger. He takes her under his wing so to speak and before long they become traveling partners. The books spans over a few years because we see Anna is growing up.

The Swallow Man taught Anna how to survive and they did and it wasn’t all sugar coated and happy you could see the struggle they endured with sleeping outside in harsh weather conditions, hiding from the enemy, the day to day struggle of blending in when they went into a city and the fight for food and how they would only eat once or twice a day. I think these are all live lessons that saved Anna in the end.

Reading the book you realized how different the world has become. Anna and the Swallow Man were able to cross man borders and patrols with no problems and the only one who had documents was Swallow Man. There was only one point in the book they encountered a problem and that was crossing into Russia but even through the gunfire no one was seriously hurt and they all remained together.

As I was reading I felt like I was traveling with them and I could picture the group traveling together.

For me the ending end like their could possibly be another book but I’m not sure but I would like there to be because I am curious to what Anna is doing and where she ended up along with the Swallow man.

 

Review/ The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Review/ The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina BivaldThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on January 19th 2016
Pages: 400
Source: Book From BEA 2015
Goodreads
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Humorous, Literary

The International Bestseller #1 Indie Next Great Reads January 2016 #2 LibraryReads January 2016 Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor -- not much else to do in a small town that's almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she'd start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together and change everything.There's a book for every person ... and a person for every book.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald was a book that I picked up at BEA 2015 and its been sitting on my shelves since then so I was really happy that I could finally dig into this book. I believe it was Lucy from Moonlight Gleams that told me about this book and I am happy that she did tell me about it because I really enjoyed reading this.

The main character Sara. lives in Sweden and use to work in a bookstore until it closed. During that time she was corresponding with Amy from a little town in Iowa called Broken Wheel. Sara has traveled to Broken Wheel by the request of Amy to spent two months together. How much fun would it be to meet a pen pal you have had that shares the common interest of books? I would have loved that.

Upon arriving in Broken Wheel Sara discovers that Amy has passed away. At first Sara doesn’t know what to do and the people of Broken Wheel kind of take her in because that is what Amy would have wanted them to. Sara is uncomfortable at first because honestly who wouldn’t be staying in a person’s house who is no longer there and you haven’t even met?

As the book progresses Sara is starting to meet the people of Broken Wheel. She realizes that they are a unique kind of people where it seems like everyone is there to help each other and have their backs and you can see Sara starting to fit into the town. I loved how every character in the book played a role in it and it all blended so well within the story.

For Sara she has a passion for books and loves to read. Not a lot of people share that kind of passion in the town and the only other person who loved books just as much as Sara was Amy. Gradually Sara begins to think that she needs to find a way to give back to the town for their kindness and perhaps this little town needs a bookstore. Sara brings it up because Amy actually had a empty building just sitting there waiting to be used and Amy has a ton of books that could fill the little store. (This is what I should be because I have a ton of books)

With the towns permission Sara goes a head to prepare the store but due to her visa she is unable to work to sell the books but she can give them away or lends them to the people of the Broken Wheel. At first its not a hit because no one likes to read and they are puzzled at how much and long Sara can seat and read for.

Gradually word starts to spread in the next city called Hope that Broken Wheel has a book store. I think out of curiousity they come to check it out but are quick to point out that no one from the town is ever there so with a little help of the town they set out to prove the people of Hope wrong. Can they pull it off?

As the weeks slip by the people of Broken Wheel begin to realize Sara’s visa is about to expire and they don’t want to loose her so they have to come up with a plan to make her stay but will Sara stay or will she want to go back to Sweden to be with her family?

This was a fun and pretty easy read and I did enjoy it. I think Sara is some one I would be friends with. I would be curious to see what kind of books she would recommend to me because she had that knack about her of giving the right person the right book.

Review/ Unslut A Diary & A Memoir

UnSlut by Emily Lindin
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on December 29th 2015
Pages: 304
Source: ARC From Publisher, Book From BEA 2015
Goodreads
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Bullying, Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Juvenile Nonfiction, Social Issues, Women

When Emily Lindin was eleven years old, she was branded a “slut” by the rest of her classmates. For the next few years of her life, she was bullied incessantly at school, after school, and online. At the time, Emily didn't feel comfortable confiding in her parents or in the other adults her my life. But she did keep a diary. Slut/UnSlut is adapted from Emily’s much-acclaimed blog “The UnSlut Project” presenting unaltered excerpts from that diary alongside split-page commentary to provide context and perspective.

I received this book for free from ARC From Publisher, Book From BEA 2015 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I picked up this book at #BEA15 purely by luck and I thought at first this wasn’t the book for me because I normally don’t read this kind of stuff but I decided to give it a chance and I managed to breeze through this in two sittings. This is a debut novel.

The book is basically told in a diary format that Emily wrote when she was in grade 6.  The story begins with Emily in grade 6 and it follows her through grade 7 and 8.

Emily is your typical girl trying to fit in with her peers and how one little mistake has labelled her a “slut” in her school. I am trying to remember when I was in grade 6 if we were like that and I honestly don’t remember maybe I just wasn’t hanging out with those kinds of kids or not. Then again I can’t really compare my experiences with kids now a days because its completely different and I have to say that I honestly don’t think I could handle being a grade 6 now. What I went through some thrity years ago is different from what kids are going through now.

Kids can be so nice but yet so cruel. Why are they so quick to label kinds with names and titles that just aren’t right and appropriate? Things like this carry over with these kids and they hold on to that stigma for ever and we need to teach our kids that this isn’t right.

We as parents need to make communication between child and parent very important and stress that no matter what good and bad we are there to listen and help them out.

 

Review/ This Is Where It Ends

by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire Goodreads
Genres: Action & Adventure, Bullying, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Violence, Young Adult

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve. 10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class. 10:03 The auditorium doors won’t open. 10:05 Someone starts shooting. Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

I think this has to be one of my favorite books that I picked up at #BEA15 last year. Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. It grabbed a hold of me from the first page and it still sits with me today. Just be prepared if you pick up this book to read you will need a tissue. This is a fantastic debut novel.

This Is Where It Ends is told in the point of view of Claire, Tomas, Autumn and Sylv. A new semester has started at Opportunity and the Principal Trenton is giving her regular speech that the kids all know pretty much by heart.

Claire is not in the school for the assembly because she is part of the track team and she is out running the track with her team mates when the sound of gunshots forces them to stop. They try to get into the school but its locked so she comes up with a plan to find out what is going on so she puts everyone in groups.

Inside the school Tomas and his friend Fareed are also not in the assembly because they are breaking into the principal’s office trying to find out some information on a kid named Tyler who has left the school and is due to come back. They are in the office and when they realize something is up the go and look out in the hall way and that is when they hear gun fire. Quick thinking they decide to call the police. They are told to get out of the school but Tomas can’t leave because his sister Sylv is in the assembly. He will do anything to protect her.

I don’t want to give to much away about the book because you know what its about. Everyone is surprised at how the shooter is and I think had there been a little more to the story before hand you might have had the chance to figure it out.

I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from this author.

 

 

Review/ Ghost

Review/ GhostGhost on October 24, 2015
Pages: 290
Buy on Amazon
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

Ghost has been living his life under one rule…never fall in love, never get too close, never get tied down to just one woman. Focusing solely on his club, he is able to remain unattached and free…. until a girl from his past is dropped in his lap. She was a line he swore he’d never cross. And now, in order to obtain an alliance his club needs, he’s forced to use her in ways he’d never imagined.

She needs his protection, and she’s the one woman he can’t refuse.

When Ghost finds himself unable to keep his distance from her, will he be able to push his feelings aside and use her as a pawn for the attainment of his club’s goals? Or will he put the club and their lives at risk to follow his heart?

When lies and secrets come between them, can they overcome everything to find their own piece of heaven?

This is part of The Evil Dead MC Series, but each book can be read as a standalone.
Check out other books in The Evil Dead MC Series…
Outlaw – Book 1
Crash – Book 2
Shades – Book 3
Wolf – Book 4
Ghost – Book 5

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I should state right away that this can be read as a stand alone but I personally think I would have enjoyed the story more knowing more of a back ground history of the characters and the story line but that is just me.

With that being said I did enjoy reading this book and it has peaked my interest in the series now. So this won’t be a in depth review just because its book 5 in a series and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might be reading this.

Ghost is a member of the Evil Dead MC. Ghost is just going about his daily life when he accidently bumps into his once step sister Jessie who is on the run and her life is in danger because she over heard a conversation that she shouldn’t have. When she bumps into Ghost at a bar she tells him what is going on and he has taken it upon himself to protect her.

Ghost has a hard decision to make on how he will keep her out of harms way as well protect himself. He realizes that he has to keep her at arms length because of their past and he had already almost cross that line many years ago and doesn’t want to cross it again. Its hard for Ghost to do because she has been that one person he couldn’t get out of his head.

Growing up Jess entered Ghost’s live when he father married her mother. He always thought of her as his step-sister until one day when she was a teen when they kissed. In his mind he knew it was wrong so he left. Can he resist Jess?

Ghost will do anything to protect Jess so when he informs his brothers of what Jess knows they come up with a plan and this plan makes Ghost feel uncomfortable, will he risk Jess to protect her? With Jess being in danger when guns go off will Ghost realize just how much he truly cares about her?

This isn’t something that I typically don’t read but I have to say it was a nice little change in my reading.

Have you read this series? Is it something I should continue to read if you have read it?

Review/ Violent Ends

Source: Book Bought

Title: Violent Ends
Author: Various Authors
Pub Date: September 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 352

Source: Purchased a copy

In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others. But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day. This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates. Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA’s most recognizable names.

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When I picked up this book to read I have to admit its not what I was expecting. Violent Ends is written by seventeen various authors: Beth Revis, Kendare Blake, Christine Johnson, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Courtney Summers, Shaun David Hutchinson, E.M. Kokie, Mindi Scott, Blythe Woolston, Delilah S. Dawson, Hannah Moskowitz, Elisa Nadar, Steve Brezenoff, Tom Leveen, Margie Gelbwasser, Trish Doller, Neal & Brandon Shusterman.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the stories all blended together because of the various authors that took part in this. I will say that this was a page turner for me and I should point out at the back of the book you can see what authors wrote what chapter.

Violent Ends does not focus solely on the school shooting but in fact focuses on Kirby the shooter and the victims he has shot. Each character in the book that is involved tells the readers a little of their interaction with Kirby and how they viewed him. Kirby was thought of as a good guy who was social and had it going on by some and some thought Kirby was trouble just waiting to happen.

This is the first book I have read that deals with a school shooting that makes Kirby human and not some mad man who went on a school shooting spree. You never know what goes on in someone’s mind but with Kirby hearing about all these interactions and how he had to struggle on a almost daily bases made the mother in me come out and I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug and let him know things will be okay even though it feels like it won’t.

Its been a few days since I have read the book and it still sticks with me. I know not everyone will like everyone but I think as human beings we should be learn to just live our lives and not worry about what everyone is doing and trying to find ways to put everyone down. We have to remember that our words and actions towards someone has a long term effect.