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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

The Upside of UnrequitedThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun read and Molly was such a fun character! While she didn’t have a lot of confidence in some areas (kissing boys), she still seem to be confident in knowing who she was – a girl who was crafty, loved Pinterest and loved her family.
Her twin sister Cassie was also a great character and I would have liked to hear more from her…. watching her relationship develop with Mina was great but a bit more detail from the inside of that relationship would have been awesome!
The family relationships were a strong theme and Molly & Cassie’s mums were super cool and the story ending with a wedding was exactly the perfect ending.
If you want a book that covers first love, first kisses, family, friends with a bit of craft and humour thrown in – this book is for you.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Children’s for the ARC via NetGalley.

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The Inexplicable Logic of My LifeThe Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh wow! Reading this was like being on a rollercoaster of emotions. Such beautiful writing that had me connected and a part of the story and loving the characters, and then all of sudden having that feeling of a block of cement in my stomach while my heart broke a little with the tragedies that were unfolding.
I absolutely loved Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’ and I had high expectations of this one. And while the writing was beautiful, it did take me a little while to get right into the story and realise what it was all about.
Sally (Salvador) was a strong character who just about always did the right thing and because of this, it was a little heartbreaking to see him struggle with his identity and where he fit in.
Samantha and Frito, Sally’s two friends were fantastic characters, each having their own demons to battle but in the end, this group of three friends had such a strong relationship it was hard to think of anything stopping them.
And the basis of their strong relationship was Sally’s father, Vicente. Yes, he wasn’t perfect but he came damn near close to being. How could anyone not be positively impacted by him.
Overall, this was a perfect read, it left me feeling differently about the world and also left me feeling love and hope.

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group for the ARC via NetGalley

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A List of CagesA List of Cages by Robin Roe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a two sitting read – I just couldn’t put it down. Julian and Adam were both equally interesting characters who I wanted to know more and more about. Julian, who broke my heart many times in many ways….struggling to get through life and dealing with the shit that he had no control over. And Adam, a seemingly happy-go-lucky guy who didn’t have many concerns and was just a flat out nice guy who everyone loved. Together they made a great pair. Adam’s friends were great secondary characters who I felt myself fitting into when they had lunch in the cafeteria or danced at a party. The story development went along at a good pace and I was full of hope for Julian….hope that he would get away from the evil that was surrounding him. And then part two happened. I was not expecting that and I held my breath for so many pages, turning and turning them trying to get to a good place.
The last part of the story saw Adam reach his breaking point and his group of friends trying to adjust to not having him around in his usual way.
The story affected me deeply, it is a 4 1/2 star read which will stay with me for a long time.
Thanks to Disney Book Group/Disney-Hyperion for the ARC via Netgalley.

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The Edge of EverythingThe Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A snarky teenage girl, adorable younger brother who sometimes can’t leave the house, 2 awesome dogs, lots of snow……. and a few murders, a version of hell called the Lowlands and bounty hunters who come to claim souls….. I would not have thought I would be saying I really enjoyed this one!
It was so easy to read and the range of characters was the thing I loved most. The relationship between Zoe and her younger brother Jonah was so good….. it had the perfect mixture of how much he annoyed her through to how much she loved and would do anything for him.
I also loved the relationship between X and Banger and Ripper, I think I enjoyed the story most when it was coming from the Lowlands…… it was an interesting world and something I haven’t read before.
One thing that I found I wasn’t that interested in was, Caving. It was part of the story, something that Zoe did and the thing that her father died doing….. but I just found that I wasn’t interested in reading about this at all so I did skip through a little bit.
I will definitely be buying a copy of this when it comes out so I can re-read, and am really looking forward to book two…..
Thanks to Bloomsbury USA via Netgalley for this copy.

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Words in Deep BlueWords in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book reminded me of how much I love books, how much I love stories, how much I love words and how much I love book shops. It also reminded me of how awesome it is to connect people with their next favourite book (I love working in a library too!!)
Apart from reminding me of all of these things, I was brought into the world of Rachel who I absolutely adored and just wanted to give a really big hug to – so many times. Leaving her mum to go live with her aunt in the city where she grew up sounds like a good idea until she realises that she has been given a job in the local bookstore which is owned by the boy she once declared her love to – and never got a response. She is brave and kind and funny and she held onto her grief and kept it all to herself, until she couldn’t.
Henry, said boy whose family owns the bookstore is at many times, a total idiot (once you have read the book you will know exactly what I am talking about!) and I was scratching my head and talking to the book saying, “Henry you are so smart…. why are you being such an idiot…..” But he is also a loveable, goofy, book boy. He feels things deeply and is the best person to be on the sometimes never-ending feeling hunt for the right copy of The Walcott Poems. I know he will find it one day, he is not the type to give up.
And George, Henry’s amazing sister George. So tough and confident and snarky and yet so soft, innocent and breakable all at the same time.
Henry about George, ‘Sometimes I think she likes post-apocalyptic fiction so much because she’s genuinely happy at the thought that the world might end.’
I think it was George who finally broke my heart as I was reading.
I loved the Letter Library and am determined to find a way to develop one in my local library and I feel very good about being a reader who likes to underline passages and sentences and I can’t wait to start writing notes in books, leaving a piece of myself in them (I will try not to do this in library books though!)
This book was a whole lot of awesome. Family, friends, grief…. love and books. When I had finished reading and had wiped away the last tears and smiled at the memories, I immediately looked up TS Eliot’s Prufrock and Other Observations, and then read The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock – what a great way to end.

* 8 August – first comments: Undoubtedly my favourite book of the year. My heart broke more than once and the words were those which I wanted to wrap my arms around and keep close.
Review to come soon.

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Because You'll Never Meet MeBecause You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books that are written as letters, I love books about friendship, I love books that are a bit quirky and lead me into the unknown, and this book ticked all of those boxes.
When I read the blurb I couldn’t even imagine a story with one boy who is allergic to electricity, who is pen pals with another boy who not only has a pacemaker but also has no eyes, but the story was very easy to read and the characters were real and I believed every thing that happened. Watching their friendship grow through their letters was heartwarming and at times a little heart breaking. There was a small mystery that, when partly solved at the end was satisfying but I didn’t get a ‘OMG, WTF’ feeling. I finished the book feeling hopeful and even happy, keen to follow both boys to see what they get up to next.
Not at all what I was expecting when I started, but by the end, I firmly believe that anyone can be a superhero!

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Every Last WordEvery Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a book that I read quite quickly and was written in the style that connected with me straight away. I really liked the main character and lived the story through her eyes, which I am glad I did because when things started to become clearer at the end of the story, I was as surprised as Samantha was. I fell in love with Poet’s corner and what happened in this room was great – I wanted to go there myself.
I don’t have any in depth experience with OCD but I found this story was a thoughtful and honest representation of living a life with OCD. There was definitely some intense stuff to work through but also enough positive situations and moments to balance it out.

Review based on free digital copy from NetGalley with thanks to Disney Book Group.

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