DNF: August and Everything After

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Title: August and Everything After

Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Pages: 320

DNF at page: 83

Synopsis: A girl goes off to the shore to stay with her aunt for the summer. She’ll be a senior next year, and graduating, moving on with life. But she has no idea what to do with the rest of her life, let alone after graduation. She meets a musician at the beach, who is in somewhat of the same boat.

My Thoughts: I had to go look up the synopsis of this book. Of what I did read, I still couldn’t even think of single thing that happened…but for there was music involved. I’m not big on the music scene/musician plots, and it’s hard for me to get into this book. I made the mistake of looking at some other reviews, and heard that it’s pretty fast instalove, and those 2 combined I just couldn’t keep interested. I didn’t get very far before I found I hadn’t picked the book up in a week, nor could I remember anything I read.

I appreciate the chance to review this ARC copy from NetGalley.

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Book Review: The Raft

RaftTitle: The Raft

Author: S.A. Bodeen

Genre: YA Adventure/Survival

Release Date: August 21, 2012

Pages: 231

My Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: A 15 year old girl who lives on an island of Hawaii jumps a flight home from the big island, a flight she has taken many, many times before. Only this time, something goes wrong, and the plane goes down. The co-pilot saves her, by throwing her out the door, and into a life raft. This is a harrowing story about the fight for survival on the open ocean.

My thoughts: I loved this. I really love the survival type stories, though. It doesn’t get the highest of high ratings, and I can somewhat understand most of the comments on why someone doesn’t like this. She makes some stupid decisions. Really, though, nothing really jumped out at me, like, Okay that’s just stupid of her, except for one instance where she is literally starving to death, and she finds a dead seal, and is cooking a piece over a fire, and literally won’t eat it because “she doesn’t want to live that badly”. Like, really?! But otherwise, I mean, she’s a teenager, and who would expect them to know what to do when their PLANE CRASHES. haha Anyways, I felt her reactions and the depiction of floating along the ocean for days was pretty realistic, as far as my own meager experience can understand.

Book Review: Cascading Petals *Trigger Warnings*

CPTitle: Cascading Petals

Author: Jane C. Brady

Genre: YA? Romance

Release Date: December 7, 2017

Pages: 259

My Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: A senior in high school is a loner, bullied all her years of school. She has no friends, and no allies to turn to. The new boy proves not to be so shallow, and they become friends, showing Jewel that she is not alone, and even strong enough to help others that feel they’re in the same kind of place.

My Thoughts: By the end, I really loved this book. It took a bit at first to be hooked. I felt, at the beginning, that the situation we are dropped into, with a senior in high school being so severely bullied, for seemingly no reason, was a bit unrealistic.

Jewel is constantly bullied all her years of school. This is despite her being beautiful, smart, and coming from a good, healthy family, and a large enough school, that not everyone knows everyone else. In small schools, I can *maybe* see a situation like this (at the start of the book, Jewel’s status in school) happening, but I feel it’s very unlikely. There’s seemingly NO reason for anyone to not like this girl! She’s written this way purely to make the plot work. After the first quarter to third of the book, the cheesiness and unrealistic details are finally not so prominent, and it gets much better.

One thing that irks me a bit is this “insta friend/love-ship” desire. The new boy initially runs into her at a coffee shop by accidentally grabbing her coffee, instead of his own, and taking a drink of it. He immediately apologizes, buys her a new one, and while waiting, he asks a total of 4 questions, 2 of which concerned the coffee. The other 2 were about if she went to the local high school, and if he’d see her around later. All of which she was very stand offish, and answered with short, one word answers, and left. Anyone else would have written it completely off and figured nothing of it, but for some reason, he’s *enthralled with this gorgeous girl* and can’t stop thinking of her. Pah-lease. AND THEN, the barista just informs this random stranger of her full name!!! On the first day of school, when they run into each other, they make easy, joking conversation like they’re friends already. They just come into that easy friendship way too easily and quickly for reality. And I don’t know why, but I did not like it at all. ANYways…

There are **MAJOR TRIGGERS** for bullying and suicide, also a little self harm.

For my minimal knowledge in such subjects, I feel like this book does a really good job of showing how bullying can affect teenagers, and how that alone, just words or direct injury, can lead someone to committing suicide. It also covers, at least a little bit, how suicide is a selfish thing that doesn’t consider the pain of those on the outside goes through, afterwards.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for free, in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Summer Constellations

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Title: Summer Constellations

Author: Alisha Sevigny

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Pages: 264

My Rating: 4.25 stars

Synopsis: A teenage girl growing up in a campground, with her single mom and little brother, is heartbroken when she finds out that they may have to sell their property due to hospital debt. Her little brother is now recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a very serious nerve disorder. She befriends the possible-future-developer’s son, who conspires against his father in order to try and help her save the campground. She’s not sure she can trust that his intentions are sincere, both with his opposition to his father, and her heart.

My Thoughts: This was so sweet. I really loved the setting of this story! It takes place in a campground, up in the mountains and forests. The story is a bit unlikely, as there is definitely instalove, and the whole, possible future-developer’s-son falling for the teenager (especially so quickly) thing is a bit unbelievable.

Also, his actions and behavior and being-able-to-do-everthing-ness at only, what, age 21? Nah. But it’s not in your face either…I still enjoyed the story!

I loved most of the plot, there’s a lot of facets that come together well in the end! Only starting at the second-to-last chapter did it get a bit cheesy. All lovey-dovey perfectness and everything came together just a *tad* too easily at the very end. Without spoiling: the whole helicopter thing? For real?! Like, why would his cousin even do that, at THAT moment. Cheese factor! Still debating on if it’s a 4 or 4.5…4.25 would be great, really.

I received this ebook for free, in exchange for a review, from NetGalley.

Book Review: The Wicked Deep

WDTitle: The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Pages: 308

My Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: The town of Sparrow is cursed. 200 years ago, a trio of sisters were drowned, punished for being witches. Every year since, the sisters return and lure boys into the water and drown them in revenge. No one knows how to stop them. And only 17 year old Penny sees what others may not: how the sisters keep their clutches in the town, and how to end the curse.

My Thoughts: OMG. Soooo good!!! This story is completely captivating. It’s a slow release of information throughout the entire storyline, steadily connecting the pieces of the plot to fill in the missing holes. I love how there’s the main perspective, with shorter, usually single, perspectives of other characters dispersed throughout the book, to give us just a tad of info from the past. Instalove? Maybe so, but not distateful ( but I’m not usually a hater of it). I think, with how the story ends out, it makes sense, really. I just loved this all around. For once, in a looong time, I have absolutely no hesitation at giving a 5 star rating!

Book Review: The List

listTitle: The List

Author: Siobhan Vivian

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: April 1, 2012

Pages: 336

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis: In a normal high school, a list is posted anonymously, at the start of each year, listing the prettiest and ugliest girl in each class. Of course, there are repercussions, and no one to blame. Each of the girls respond differently, and this is their story, from each of their perspectives.

 

My Thoughts: I had tried to listen to this as an audio book a couple years ago, but I’d DNF’d it (and since found, I’m really just NOT an audio reader!). I then happened across it at the library and picked it up. Fast read, and interesting despite the teenage angst and drama. I very much liked seeing the different perspectives. I might be getting old, but I don’t feel like EVERYONE would have been so enthralled with this list, but maybe I’m forgetting what high school was like. lol It was good though, captivating til the last chapter but I feel like it just ended abruptly. I wish it’d have finished out the result of what happens between the girls, given us a final ending.

DNF: Strange the Dreamer

StDTitle: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Pages: 536

DNF at page: 41

Synopsis: An orphan boy is being raised by monks. They do not allow stories, but one old and senile monk tells him about an ancient town named Weep. He ends up running away and then living, and growing up and working, in a library.

My Thoughts: Slow going in the first 40 pages. It was interesting, but hadn’t hooked me in yet…when I wasn’t reading, I couldn’t remember about what I’d read, and I couldn’t get through it too quickly. I’m not one to read deeper fantasy, and had already, previously, DNF’d Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone as well. I picked this one up to read with an online book club, but it’s just not for me, when I seem to enjoy and get through other books faster.