Book Review: I’ll Meet You There

imyt

Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Genre: YA Contemporary
Released in: 2015
Pages: 388
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis: Skylar grew up in one of those towns, those rinky-dink, one stop, nothing-for-miles towns that traps everyone there with it. Skylar is determined to get out, Now that her best friend has a baby, and is pretty much destined to stay there the rest of her life, her other best friend and she make a pact to keep each other strong, and both make it out and make something of themselves. The only way to do that, besides going in the military, is to get into a good college, which they both did. Summer after graduation should be a fun time, last moments with friends, and anticipation of the future. But for Skylar, it’s anything but…her mom loses her job and starts dating some sleazy guy, who gets her drinking again. And then Josh is back in town, having escaped via the Marines, but an accident while deployed has landed him back here. They worked together at the motel before he left, and he’s working there again…he’s different, and Skylar (and every one else) notices.

My Thoughts: I had a bit a slow start. I wasn’t really caring for these characters and general actions and initial impressions, at first, but the small town aspect got to me. I grew up in a small town too, it brought me a little bit of nostalgia.

Right off the bat, we are introduced to Josh, who is a Marine who had been deployed and sent home due to an injury. This hits me a little bit close to home, as he mentions buying from locals in Kandahar while deployed…my husband is in the Air Force, and he was deployed about 8 years ago to Kandahar as well. He heard all kinds of bombings, but thankfully, his job kept him inside a building in their compound, and never had to leave. The fact that this book describes Josh’s experiences there, in detail…that made it a little hard to read, for me.

Sky was slightly frustrating in the fact that she worked so hard to get into school with a full ride scholarship, and then considered not going to take care of her mom, who didn’t even want to be taken care of. Any other kid would have been gone so fast…it’s hard to understand why she struggles SO MUCH with this.

I do like the romance….it was a slightly faster burn, but not one they jumped into and I wouldn’t call it instalove. I felt like they both struggled with decisions regarding the other, and if they should or shouldn’t pursue, and that it was pretty realistic for this type of situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this, especially after the first quarter to third went by, and I got sucked more into the story!

Advertisements

Book Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks

omfb

Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Genre: YA Contemporary
Released in: 2017
Pages: 291
My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31752165-the-one-memory-of-flora-banks

My Thoughts: UGH. This is so hard to rate! The first part of this book was so hard to read, almost painful! I almost DNF’d it around 60-100 pages in, but by that point, I wanted to find out if they would EVER tell us the details. In the end, they did…but it didn’t really make the book any easier to read.

The first 60 pages were so rough…the repetitiveness of her, reminding herself, or rehashing things she did know…it was hard. But I mean, that’s what it was like for her, so I understood it. But what I didn’t understand is some of her beliefs and decisions she made, from the one real memory that stuck out to her. Just because she remembered it, she believed things, and then made decisions to do major things, based on that belief…and it was just, TOTALLY impractical. Even for her. I just find it REALLY hard to believe that there’s not some other kind of mental health issue going on, besides her cold-turkey going off meds.

And her mother?! Don’t even get me started. URGH!

Painful…so painful to get through this book, but intriguing enough to get me to finish it in one day. Now, I have to decide what to rate it. :/

Book Review: What She Left Behind

wslb

Title: What She Left Behind
Author: Tracy Bilen
Genre: YA Mystery
Released in: 2012
Pages: 236
My Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis: Sara’s mom finally gets up the courage to leave her abusive father and take her too. But then her mother disappears. Sara is afraid to leave, herself, still hoping to find out what happened to her mother. She is afraid her father may have done something…and might again.

My Thoughts: This book is frustrating to read. All the signs point to a specific outcome, yet this girl is just completely oblivious. I mean, I get not wanting to think bad about a parent, but even she wonders if this outcome happened, yet keeps making excuses to keep going on her own oblivious path. I mean, really, in the end, it’s probably a good thing, but I don’t know how NO ONE else ever sees anything wrong with her dad…if he is that far gone. What really made him be like this?! Also, I want to know how it all went down…how did Daddy figure out their plan? Makes no sense how he just always knows all the secrets. It makes it frustrating, just like the Brated horror movies where the girls can run, and Michael walks slowly behind, yet always catches them.

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

qkt

Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Released in: 2017
Pages: 307
My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis: Steffi is selectively mute. She can only talk to certain people, or in certain places or instances. But the principal introduces her to a new student, he thinks she’ll get along with…because he’s Deaf, and she knows sign language! Steffie finds that she doesn’t mind communicating in sign so much, it’s a lot easier than verbal speaking. But her parents worry that becoming closer and closer to Rhys, her only friend in school, could actually be making things worse, making her world even smaller, and preventing her from improving her therapy, even though, when she is with Rhys, she can open up and talk out loud in ways she hasn’t before.

My Thoughts: This took me quite a while to get into. I felt like not really much happened in the first half, but the last third of the book picked up the pace.

I was really hoping to LOVE this book. I’d seen Becca with a Book talk about this book, she raved about it, and it sounded so amazing and something I would love. But with how hard it was to get into, I can’t say I “loved” it, though I did still enjoy it in the end.

One reason is that, with the author being British and it taking place in England, obviously the sign language in the book is BSL, British Sign Language. I grew up going to school with a best friend who was Deaf, as well, and so also have an ASL interpreting degree. When sign descriptions were mentioned, it was quite jarring to me to hear them described “wrongly”, because it’s not ASL. I love all the number signs above each chapter heading, but they are signed differently. I think this is one reason I can’t love the book too…it’s just different.

Also, there are a handful of items, places, shops mentioned without explanation of what they are. In England, those things would be normal. We lived in England for 4 years, so I knew what those things were. But if I had never been, or knew of shops in England, or language differences to American English, or what “a Celebration was”…I would not have quite understood, especially the mention of “a Celebration thrown at me, and hit me in the face”. No context around it to tell American readers that it’s a candy! lol

With those personal frustrations out of the way, I felt the book still ranked decently for me. I did not care for the lists constantly interjected into the ends of chapters. I felt most times, these didn’t add anything. But once I got used to the flow of the writing style, finally, I really, really enjoyed the back and forth conversation between Rhys and Steffie. It reminded me a lot of me and my friends in school, being in our own little bubble. I felt like most of the first half of the book, not much happened but for setting up the friendship and relationship between the two main characters. Which was bit long, versus how much of the book the actual climax took up. But I totally respect the climax…and I’m just going to say, I’m glad those parents all finally woke up. They were getting frustrating!

Contemporary-athon TBR

The first of 2 readathons in February (besides the month-long Readathin) that I would like to try and participate in is the Contemporary-athon. This is being hosted on Youtube by a few people, one of them being Julie over at Pages and Pens. It will take place from February 11th through the 17th, and has 7 challenges, as well as some giveaways to participate in.

I am going to show you what I hope to be reading, which ends up being about 5 books…which is a lot in a week, for me, but at least a couple of them will also count for the Readathin!

omfbimytwslbe&plcmtu

  • The One Memory of Flora Banks will fulfill my most recently acquired contemporary novel, and a book with blurple (blue and/or purple) on the cover.
  • I’ll Meet You There is doing double duty from the Readathin, and is a diverse contemporary with a picture on the spine of the book.
  • What She Left Behind is also doing double duty from the Readathin, being a dark contemporary book.
  • Eleanor & Park is a book I had on my 2018 TBR list but never got around to it.
  • The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up is a book that will be read in a non-traditional format (Kindle…it’s not often I read kindle books).

Depends on how this readathon goes, if I will be doing the second one. This is a lot in a week, and they are mostly not small books.

Bout of Books 22 – Day 3

Today’s challenge is Show Me Your Precious … Book, that is!

Everyone has a book that they love; now is your time to bring out your precious and shine. Share your favorite book (in whatever format you choose)! You know the one that has that beautifully illustrated map, or gorgeous writing, or whatever it is that draws you to it. Share with the world what makes that book your precious!

Thanks to Minx (@thegenreminx) for today’s challenge.

IMG_3295

I have 4 full sets of this book series, and working on the 5th (the illustrated editions). But I would have to say that this set is the one I’d pick, and this set over all the books on my shelves as the most precious! It is such a timeless story that can be enjoyed by any age, and it’s long enough, and full enough, to hold attention span. And THIS set is absolutely freaking gorgeous!! So yeah. LOVE IT SO MUCH.

Bout of Books 22 WrapUp

WRAPUP OF THE WEEK

Raft

Started # of books, and finished # of books.

 

Read # pages, and completed # of challenges.

 

Day 1 – Monday, May 14, 2018

Started & Finished: The Raft, by S.A. Bodeen
*Read: 231 pages
Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: 11 pages
Continued: Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*Read: 15 pages
Completed: Introduction #insixwords Challenge

Day 2 – Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Started: A Quiet Kind of Thunder, by Sara Bernard
Read: 1 page
Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: 15 pages
Continued: Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*Read: 11 pages
Completed: Year of You Challenge

Day 3 – Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: 14 pages
Continued: The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
*Read: 27 pages
Completed: Show Me Your Precious Challenge

Day 4 – Thursday, May 17, 2018

Continued:
Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: 18 pages
Continued: The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
*Read: 15 pages

Day 5 – Friday, May 18, 2018

Finished:
Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: # pages
Continued: The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
*Read: # pages

Day 6 – Saturday, May 19, 2018

Started:
Read: # pages
Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: # pages
Continued: The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
*Read: # pages
Completed:

Day 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2018

Finished:
Continued: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
*Read: # pages
Continued: The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
*Read: # pages