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Posts Tagged ‘grief’

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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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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The Foretelling of Georgie Spider (The Tribe, #3)The Foretelling of Georgie Spider by Ambelin Kwaymullina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great end to this amazing series. This series has made such an important and positive impact on my life and my feeling of connection with the world around me. The characters are strong and brave and the story is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching while also being full of inspiration and hope. Ashala is a girl, a teenage girl but she is also everything. She holds this story together, connecting all of the pieces until everything is interwoven. She is the rock that holds Ember and Georgie together, who each are important in their own right, with their own stories and their own connections and Ashala is the strength of what people, and the earth can be. I cried a few times during this last story, grieving for people, animals and the land and the evil that was in full force reminded me so much of our current world, but I still finished with a sense of hopefulness.

“…this man. There were thousands like him, in my time. People who could wrap foul deeds in righteous words. Men and women who made it acceptable for others to give voice to their hate and their petty desire to hurt or humiliate or exclude.” pg. 413

“…..global interconnection of those who choose compassion over intolerance, courage over fear, and love over hate. Perhaps this could be the real world.” Author note

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Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this in two sittings because it was very easy to read, and a bit hard to put down. I wasn’t too sure about the story being about a girl who has a disease which basically means she is allergic to everything and can’t leave her house – new neighbours moving in are always fun but really, what could happen – if she can’t leave her house.
But so much happened. So much.
Olly was a great character who happened to be funny, smart and a parkour expert, who also struggled with living in an abusive household.
I found Maddy to be what I would expect for an 18 year old girl who has not allowed to leave her house because she could, you know, die. She was sweet and funny and loved books (Her spoiler alerts for her book reviews throughout were great!)
I love the book, ‘The Little Prince’ and was quite taken with Maddy’s love of it, and the references to it throughout the story such as, ‘Do you remember when we read The Little Prince together for the first time? I was so upset that he died in the end. I didn’t understand how he could choose death just so he could get back to his rose. I think I understand it now. He wasn’t choosing to die. his rose was his whole life. Without her, he wasn’t really alive.’
So as the story went on I was preparing myself to have my heart broken and to shed a whole lot of tears and then the end came so suddenly and it kinda knocked me sideways.
It is not the kind of book that I will read over and over, but I am very glad that I did read it and I will be getting myself a copy when it is published – my review copy didn’t have all of the illustrations, lists, charts etc.

Copy provided by NetGalley.

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I'll Give You the SunI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At this moment, I don’t really have the words to describe this book, or actually, the way that this book made me feel.
I am so in love with the writing, to the point of feeling like I should never write another word because it will be a waste of words, but then I also I am so in love with the writing, to the point that I want to lock myself away and scribble as many words as I can.

The writing, the story, the characters…. they blew my heart to smithereens, and then gently placed me back together, before once again breaking my heart. The love that was in this book was so strong. Brothers and Sisters, Parents and Children, Friends, Lovers. So many types of love that were all powerful yet vulnerable.

I loved reading the alternating chapters of Noah and Jude equally and after the story, after the broken pieces and the false truths, the ending was perfect. Some words to sum up, ‘You can’t help who you love, can you?’ pg. 291

Extra special moments were Noah’s ‘art titles’ and Jude’s wisdoms from Grandma Sweetwine’s bible

Noah:
‘Self Portrait: Last sighting of Boy and Balloon blowing West Over Pacific’
‘Portrait, Self-Portrait: The Boy who watched the Boy Hypnotise the World’
‘Portrait: Mom Sleepwalking into Another Life’

Jude:
Tears of mourning should be collected and then ingested to heal the soul.
Nothing curdles love in the heart like lemon on the tongue.
To reverse destiny, stand in a field with a knife pointed in the direction of the wind.

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All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I didn’t really read the blurb of this one before i started and so wasn’t sure exactly what it was about. I started it and was enjoying it – the characters, the dialogue, the family interactions and the school setting. I liked Violet (not so much at first but she soon grew on me) and I really liked Finch and I totally fell for the way their relationship developed – it gave me all the good feelings. And then all of a sudden I realised I loved these two characters and their relationship and I was invested in them, I felt like I was inside the story, feeling what they were feeling…. and I can’t even say anything more at the moment, except I wish I had been of been concentrating more on Finch while reading the book, but instead I was going on this ride with Violet and so everything that happened to her, it felt like it was happening to me.
I love it when a book can make me feel so much and I hate it when a book can make me feel so much.

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This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you want a book with a great story and fantastic characters, a book with twists and turns and edge of your seat tension and thrills, a book with grief and friendship and love, as well as a few spaceships thrown in, then this book is for you.
I loved the story and while it was about war and the two sides of war and what desperate people will do during war, it was also about the good people who have compassion. That was only one part of the story though!
Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac, each from different sides, end up discovering that something is not as it seems and together they fight their way to uncover the truth. The ending was awesome and I can hardly wait now for book three.

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