January 2017 Wrap Up!

January Wrap UpHey guys!

 

Another month has come and gone. It’s been a great start to the new year. I quit one of my jobs. It’s a long story, but it was for the better! Not too much has happened this month as I am in money saving mode for my Euro Trip in April/May! I can’t wait. But that means no unnecessary book buying. I guess I will be paying the library a visit soon!

Let’s take a look at what I got down to this month on the book blogging side of my life!


Wrap Up Books I've Read

What We Pretend to Be by Shaun David Hutchinson – January 1st, 2017

Frostblood by Elly Blake – January 3rd, 2017

I See You by Clare Mackintosh – January 16th, 2017

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins – January 24th, 2017

Bravest Warriors Volume 3 by Joey Comeau – January 25th, 2017

Bravest Warriors Volume 4 by Eric M. Esquivel – January 25th, 2017

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis – January 26th, 2017

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine – January 28th, 2017

A total of 5 novels + 1 novella + 2 graphic novels!

Other books I’ve started:


Wrap Up Reviews

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine – 5/5

Frostblood by Elly Blake – 4/5

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins – 3/5

I See You by Clare Mackintosh – 3/5

(Click the links to read the reviews)

Reviews Coming in February:


Wrap Up Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday

At the Edge of the Universe – January 4th, 2017

Empress of a Thousand Skies – January 11th, 2017

A Conjuring of Light – January 18th, 2017

The Hate U Give – January 25th, 2017


Wrap Up Top 10

Top 10 Tuesday

N/A


Wrap Up Awards

January Awards

N/A

January Achievements

800 Blog Followers  January 2017

32,500 Blog Views – January 2017

13,000 Blog Visitors  January 2017


Wrap Up Book Tags

Ruler of Books Tag – January 27th, 2017

This or That TagJanuary 29th, 2017


Wrap Up Discussions at Dawn

N/A


Wrap Up Cover Reveal

January 2nd to 15thBIG REVEAL: Shadowcaster

January 16th to 22ndBIG REVEAL: Iron Gold

January 23rd to 29thBIG REVEAL: ACOWAR 


Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge

CLICK HERE

40 Books / 40 Reviews

January:

  • I See You by Clare Mackintosh
  • REVIEW: I See You

Total: 1 Book / 1 Review


And that was January. Phew. That was a big month and I am glad I could get a lot of reading done! See you guys in February!

Until next time,

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Weekly Cover Reveal Recap | January 23 – January 29

Weekly Cover RevealsHey guys!

Here are the covers that were revealed during the week of January 23 – January 29. Click the author to hop on over to their GoodReads page to add it to you’re TBR!

This was a big week for reveals. Hope ya’ll enjoy.

FANTASY / SCI-FI

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR #3)

Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

May 2nd 2017

A Court of Wings and RuinLooming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (Untitled #1)

Published by Sourcebooks Fire

September 5th 2017

Mask of ShadowsSallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Published by Feiwel & Friends

September 26th 2017

33158561For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

True North by L.E. Sterling (True Born Trilogy #2)

Published by Entangled: Teen

April 4th 2017

True NorthAbandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

CONTEMPORARY

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Published by Crown Books for Young Readers

October 17th 2017

Dear MartinJustyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In that media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Release by Patrick Ness

Published by Walker Books

May 4th 2017

31194576Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

July 25th 2017

31450675Sebastian Alvarez is just trying to keep it all together: he doesn’t want to flunk out of high school, he doesn’t want his best friend, Kyle, to get into even more trouble, and he doesn’t want to lose his Ma to cancer. Then he meets Birdie Paxton, a Valedictorian in a science pun t-shirt, and the spark is instant and undeniable. Suddenly, he’s not so worried anymore. But before they can exchange phone numbers, they’re pulled apart.

What they don’t realize is a horrifying tragedy links them — a tragedy that will unfold in unimaginable ways.

When they reunite, they fall hard for each other — but how will the tragedy affect their lives and their love story? Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash is a story of love, loss, and hope.

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Published by Delacorte Press

July 11th 2017

What To Say NextSometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT:I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID:In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Published by Simon Pulse

September 26th 2017

starfishKiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

September 26th 2017

A Short History of the Girl Next DoorThe unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

Humorous and heart-wrenching, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is perfect for readers who fell in love with All the Bright Places’ Finch or Stargirl’s Leo.

MYSTERY / HORROR / THRILLER

Girl in a Bad Place by Kaitlin Ward

Published by Scholastic

2017

Girl in a Bad PlaceMailee and Cara take care of each other. Mailee is the star of their high school’s plays; Cara is the stage manager. Mailee can’t keep her life together; Cara has enough organizational skills for the both of them.

So when the girls are invited to visit the Haven, a commune in the mountains near their suburban Montana town, it seems like a cool new adventure to go on together. And it is, sort of — until Cara starts spending every waking minute there. Mailee isn’t sure if she’s losing Cara to the Haven or just losing her, but either way, she doesn’t know what to do about it.

Then Cara asks Mailee to come visit the commune and tells her the news: She’s decided to move to the Haven permanently. Mailee knows in her heart, in her gut, that this is a terrible idea. The Haven just feels like a bad place. And when she discovers that the “welcome ceremony” involves a three-day hike to some cave, Mailee is sure: They aren’t safe in this Haven. But is it already too late to save her best friend . . . from herself?

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers

October 17th 2017

A Line in the DarkThe line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

COVER REVEALS WITHOUT SYNOPSIS


Are you looking forward to any of these books? Let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned for next weeks cover reveals!

Until next time,

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This or That Tag

this-or-that-tagHey guys!

I was tagged by Amanda from My Books Opinion Site, so you should check out her blog! A lot of great content.

Rules

  • Mention the creator of the tag (Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks)
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Choose one of the options, you don’t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  • Tag (10) other people to do this tag to spread the love!

Reading on the couch or on the bed?

Bed

bed-read

I don’t get much reading done when I’m in bed because, hello, it’s just so damn comfortable. BUT I do prefer it over reading on the couch because there are way less distractions. No TV, no parents talking, no constant movements.

Male main character or female main character?

Male Main Characters

male-main

This is rare in young adult fiction. But my reasoning behind this, is that I can relate more to male characters than I can to female characters. When I read a book with a female main, I tend to connect more with the male side characters/love interests. Maybe that’s just me!

Sweet snacks or salty snacks?

Sweet Snacks

candy

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some chips and popcorn once and a while, but I am definitely more prone to picking up the sweet stuff. Cookies, candies, gummies etc.

Trilogies or Quartets?

Trilogies

trilogy

Sometimes there just isn’t enough story to make it a 4 book series. But if there is, then I don’t mind. Trilogies do seem to properly pace books though.

First Person POV or Third Person?

Third Person

book-throew

I read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi so it makes sense and reads better when they are in third person. I feel like contemporaries suit the first person narrative more.

Reading at night or in the morning?

Morning

morning

I am a morning person as uncommon as that is. I wake up really early thanks to my biological clock and tend to get a lot more done too. Especially when it comes to reading, my mind is more awake and alert in the morning than it is at night.

Libraries or Bookstores?

Bookstores

bookstore

Sorry libraries, I do want to get into you more, but bookstores will always win. I love the atmosphere of bookstores from the smells, to the shelves! I never feel more at home than I do when I enter a bookstore!

Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?

Laugh

laugh

As much as I try to find a book to make me cry, I still haven’t accomplished that. Maybe I am just too cold hearted. But gimme me a comedic book and I will be laughing out loud. Mamrie Hart (Youtuber), and Mindy Kaling have some awesome funnies you should read!

Black Book Covers or White Book Covers?

Black

black-book

I like dark aesthetics. I mean the majority of my wardrobe is black, navy, and grey. So if all the books came in black covers, I think it would match my personality better!

Character Driven or Plot Driven?

Plot Driven

plot

I like when stories have a purpose and are going places. With a properly written plot driven story, you can still see some great character development. This is probably because I am a huge SFF buff.


I TAG YOU

Emma | Olivia | Flo | Maria | Lois 

AND EVERYONE ELSE!

Until next time,

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Ruler of the Books Tag

Ruler-of-Books-Tag.gif

Hey guys!

This tag was created by Ariel Bisset and I was tagged by the lovely Vivian from Inked In Pages! Go check them both out, they’re amazing!


IF YOU WERE THE RULER OF BOOKS…

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU MAKE EVERYONE READ?

Duh… the Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes. This will be a requirement for every citizen in my kingdom to read and be knowledgeable in.

WHAT WOULD YOU ABOLISH IN BOOK CONSTRUCTION?

All these books fell flat for me and would be demolished in book construction in my kingdom. No one should waste their time reading these!

WHAT AUTHOR WOULD YOU COMMISSION TO WRITE YOU ANY BOOK?

Pierce Brown 2

Pierce Brown of course! He is the amazing author of the Red Rising Trilogy and the soon to be published Iron Gold Trilogy. He can write any book and I will read it diligently!

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU DEMOTE TO THE LIBRARY BASEMENT TO MAKE ROOM FOR NEW BOOKS?

These books weren’t horrible… but they aren’t ones I am going to keep on my shelf if I need to make room for new books. Sorry not sorry!

WHAT COVER ARTIST WOULD YOU COMMISSION TO MAKE A MURAL?

Who ever is the lovely person behind the beautiful covers for Cinda Williams Chima’s books would be painting murals left right and center in my kingdom. I mean look at these covers guys!!

WHAT CHARACTERS FACE WOULD YOU PUT ON A COIN?

These two right here. Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series! My first ever ship will be displayed on my kingdom’s currency!

WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU AWARD THE “RULER OF BOOKS” 2016 PRIZE TO?

It’s a tie between these two. Don’t make me choose.. that’s not nice.


I TAG YOU

Emma | Olivia | Flo | Maria | Lois 

AND EVERYONE ELSE!

Until next time,

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I See You by Clare Mackintosh | REVIEW

reviewsI See You by Clare Mackintosh
Published by Berkley Books on November 29th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

I See YouEvery morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her…

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad s twisted purpose…

A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train the one smiling at Zoe from across the car could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move.

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

First Line:

The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟      MYSTERY 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟     THRILLS 🌟🌟🌟


I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a fictional mystery/thriller about commuter habits. It follows a woman, Zoe, who sees her picture in the classifieds for the dating service. Everyday is a new woman, and most are starting to be linked to violent crimes. Trying to get to the bottom of this mystery, Zoe has to keep a watchful eye wherever she goes. You never know who might see you.

The Good

Suspect Chapters

My absolute favorite part of I See You is the suspect chapters. After we get one chapter from Zoe’s perspective and one chapter of Kelly’s perspective, we get the creepiest monologue type chapters from the suspect behind the creepy website. Some chapters he/she details what our lives are like, from our commutes, to our habits, etc, other chapters he/she explains the reasons behind his/her actions.

Mackintosh does a fantastic job making them creepier and creepier has the story goes on. They add a sinister element to the overall storytelling. Without these chapters I don’t think the story would flow as nicely as it does!

The Last 80 Pages

Sadly I felt the story dragged on at a rather slow pace with a lot of filler chapters that add very little to the overall mystery. But the last 80 or so pages of I See You are thrilling and fantastic. I am sure this is the case in most mystery/thriller type books, but it was one reveal after another that had me on the edge of my seat.

Mackintosh knew what to reveal when to reveal it. I was constantly second guessing myself and screaming out in protest. I have never been so angered (in a good way) from a mystery/thriller.

The Big Reveal / End

It’s suffice to say that the person I thought was behind it, sadly was not. I pride myself in figuring out who the big baddy is quite early on. Gathering my own evidence and marking certain things I believe to be important to the overall mystery are my favorite things to do when reading! But that big reveal (and I mean the big reveal… read it and you’ll know what I am talking about), was shocking to say the least.

Mackintosh was planting seeds all along, but I just never picked up on any of them. Or maybe I just didn’t want to believe what was right in front of me the whole time. The last suspect chapter creeped the hell out of me. I liked that the end isn’t really the end. Ambiguous endings are some of my favorites!

The Bad

Bland Characters

I tried really hard to like the main characters of I See You, but I just couldn’t. Zoe was annoying, whiny, and a bit of a mary sue. She plays the victim card to a T and her motives in the end are so out of character for her that I was left confused. Kelly on the other hand was a little better, but not great. She pries into people’s life, thinks her opinions are what’s right, and had no sense for authority and rules. Her backstory is a bit on the heartfelt side, but I just could not connect with her at all. And why was everyone sticking their arm out for this lady? She couldn’t have been THAT worth it.

I did take a liking to Nick the detective in charge though. Let’s have more books about that guy!

 Slow Pacing

Like I stated above, a lot of I See You was filler nonsense that wouldn’t really affect the outcome of the story. There was more convenient solving of the mystery then there was thrills. At some points I was just reading to get to the end. I was losing interest pretty quickly.

Thanks to the last section of the book, it redeems itself!


After reading this, I have come to realize that I too am a creature of habit. I take the same train car, and exact same seat to work everyday. Who knows who is watching me? Will I break these habits? Probably not…

Let me know what you guys thought of I See You by Clare Mackintosh! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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#SomeoneIsAlwaysWatching

Clare MackintoshClare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine.

Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her début psychological thriller I Let You Go. She is currently writing her second novel, out next year.

The Hate U Give | Waiting on Wednesday [#41]

Waiting on Wednesday

Hey guys!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

So here’s what I’m waiting on this week!


The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 28th 2017

goodreads

The Hate U GiveSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Why I’m Waiting

This is a very important book that needs to be read. Coming out during a time when it is very much needed. I can’t wait to read it.

P.S. Angie Thomas is a debut author!


What has you guys waiting this week? Let me know down below!

Until next time,

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The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins | REVIEW

reviewsThe You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 24th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 608
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The You I've Never KnownFor as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

** Received an ARC from Simon Schuster Canada for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **

First Line:

To Begin

Oh, to be given the gifts

of the chameleon!


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟      ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟


The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins is a contemporary YA written in prose about a girl living someone else’s life. What she doesn’t know is that her mother didn’t abandon her, but her father kidnapped her and that’s the reason they have been constantly moving around the country. (Sounds like a spoiler, but it’s not… it’s in the synopsis).

The Good

The Writing

The You I’ve Never Known is not only the first Ellen Hopkins book I’ve read, but it is also the first book I have read in prose. I didn’t know what to really expect from it, but I was completely enamored by it. I thought it was a unique way to tell a story and I will definitely be on the look out for her other books/other books written in prose.

Hopkins knocks it out of the park with her very real and raw writing style. We not only read Ariel’s emotions, but we feel them on an authentic level; something I find hard to do when it comes to contemporary novels. We see Ariel for who she is deep down, and that’s a testament to Hopkins’ talents for the written word.

Bisexuality Exploration

It is rare to find a young adult contemporary that explores bisexuality. The You I’ve Never Known does a spot on representation of it. Ariel struggles to find herself throughout the course of the book. She knows she is attracted to guys, but she also has growing feelings for her best friend Monica. Everything her homophobic father as drilled into her brain about her lesbian mother has left a huge block in her mind against it.

Hopkins doesn’t brush it off as “just wanting to have fun,” or “being greedy and not wanting to choose a gender” like the many people that have preconceived notions about bisexual people. She shows that it is possible to love more than one gender and that their is nothing wrong with that. Ariel goes on an emotional journey of self discovery and ultimately comes to terms with herself.

Dual Perspectives

I loved that The You I’ve Never Known is told in dual perspectives. We get an insight on both Ariel and Maya’s lives and the trials and tribulations that they have to overcome. While Ariel’s perspective is written in prose, Maya’s is written in a letter style. This adds a layer of depth to the story overall that I quite enjoyed!

Hopkins takes you on a journey about love, abuse, and self discovery through these two girls. It was nice to see the two stories intersect with each other as the story unfolds. It ends quite ambiguously which I liked. Let’s me know that there is more to their story that doesn’t necessarily need to be told.

The Bad

Slow Moving

I felt The You I’ve Never Known was extremely slow moving. There were bits and pieces that I felt could have been left out of the story to move it along a little quicker. What interested me the most about the story was the aspect of being kidnapped and not even knowing it. Sadly, Ariel doesn’t find this out until page 406. That’s a long way to go to finally start picking up speed in my opinion.

No Plot Twist

So what drew me in is also what I didn’t like about The You I’ve Never Known. Had the synopsis not spilled the details about Ariel being kidnapped by her father and her mother’s never ending journey to find her, might have made for a major plot twist.

Put it this way, we got a dual perspective of two teenage girls whose stories will eventually intersect. It would have been perfect if we didn’t already know the major plot line of the story.


If this is your first Ellen Hopkins book, then I recommend you pick up her other highly acclaimed stories before this one, but if this isn’t your first Hopkins rodeo, then I think you will quite enjoy this step in her literary career! Let me know what you guys thought of The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Ellen HopkinsEllen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.