I Found You by Lisa Jewell | REVIEW

reviewsI Found You by Lisa Jewell
Published by Atria Books on April 25th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

I Found YouIn a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

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4.5 Stars

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

Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟            MYSTERY 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟     SUSPENSE 🌟🌟🌟🌟


When Jesse asked me if I’d be interested in reading a novel and reviewing it for his blog, I was pretty excited and honored to be asked. When he told me it was a psychological thriller, well, I couldn’t wait! I have to admit, I am a bit biased when it comes to this genre. Though, I can usually solve the murder or mystery before I reach the half way mark of the novel. However, this one threw me for a loop!

I Found You takes place in a small town outside London, England, Ridinghouse Bay, where Alice lives with her 3 children. One day she notices a man sitting in the rain, out on the beach. She’s intrigued by this, worried for him and approaches him.  Meanwhile, in London, Lily sits and waits for her husband to come home from work, but he never does. In 1993, Gray and Kristy are enjoying summer vacation with their parents in Ridinghouse Bay. Each chapter is based on a specific character’s perspective as well as a specific year, 1993 to be exact. The author goes back and forth between present and past time, which eventually, the two connect. I really do enjoy reading novels that change from one side of the story to another, it keeps you guessing. By about chapter 9 or 10, I thought to myself, “Oh, well isn’t this obvious!?” Boy, was I wrong!

It’s very clear that Lisa did not want this to be another take on “Gone Girl” or “Girl on the Train”. She differs from those stories by really going into detail about the characters, by making you feel like you are in 1993. And do I dare say, by making you feel sorry for the characters involved.  A part of you thinks Alice is insane for helping a stranger with memory loss, yet, you want too want to help him and find out who he is, why he’s there and what happened to him. Not to mention poor Lily, newly living in London from the Ukraine, whose husband never came home and is nowhere to be found. And, well, I won’t tell you why I feel sorry for Gray and Kristy, I’ll let you find out why.

The author’s writing also allows you to fall in love with the characters. There were many times when I wanted to be Alice and help this poor man. I also wanted to be her best friend, shake Alice and say, “Are you crazy!” I wanted to be Kristy and Gray’s mom and yell, “Absolutely not, you are not going to a party!” Yet, at the end, I wanted to push this man, with memory loss, and Alice closer together so they could live happily ever after. It was a real emotional roller coaster!

I read this novel within a week. It was easy to read and very enjoyable. I couldn’t put it down, I just had to find out who this man, with no memory, really was! The author uses very descriptive language which helped me visual the water at the beach, the peacock, the big white house, the dogs, the town, and each character. Based on her writing it was easy to picture each situation. I hope this book turns into a movie, it would be great.


I look forward to reading more of Lisa’s novels. I believer her writing to be wonderful. With thirteen previous novels, I think I better get started.

I hope you enjoy I Found You as much as I did.

Until next time,

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#TwoDecadesOfSecrets

Lisa JewellLisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | REVIEW

reviewsStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 544
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

Strange the DreamerThe dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

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4 Stars

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

First Line:

On the second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      WORLD 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is a fantastical world where gods have come to rule over the people. Centuries of oppression and heinous actions led to the slaughter of the gods, but some of the godspawn remain. Now it is up to our hero, Lazlo, to figure out a way to get rid of the last what they left behind.

My Likes

Fantastical World Building

It’s been a long time since I was so enamored by a fantasy. Strange the Dreamer was so beautifully built that I was in awe. From the mesmerizing descriptions to the extensive history of Weep, Taylor manages to capture her world in the imaginations of her readers.

Like the title of the book, I felt like I was dreaming while I was reading it. It was so magical how she was able to capture the beauty of ones wildest fantasies and put it into words.

I quite enjoyed the city of Weep. It’s been stuck in the shadows of the citadel for so long that it’s been wiped out of all the memories of the world by those gods. I can’t wait to find out what else is in store for us readers.

Complex Plot

The plot of Strange the Dreamer was so complex that I did have trouble following it at first. But once things started to become clearer, I couldn’t help but be swept up into the mysteries of the Weep. This book is equal bits humorous, sorrowful, joyful, and magical.

Taylor did a fantastic job putting this all together on page. Everything about it felt so real in my mind. Even when I was trying to poke holes in the plot at some points, Taylor was ten steps ahead and addressed everything I thought didn’t add up. I was quite surprised at that!

 

Beautiful Writing / Characterizations

Strange the Dreamer wouldn’t have been as magical and real as it was if it wasn’t for the exceptional writing. There is such a fantastical element to Taylor’s writing that keeps the reader in awe from start to finish. The way she puts sentences and paragraphs together just shows she is a master at her craft.

Everything that she wrote served a purpose. It wasn’t just beautiful and lyrical; it meant something. Taylor created characters that we can all identify with, even if we don’t have the blue skin to match. Lazlo and Sarai were both very much human in every aspect. They just wanted to live and to love like everyone else. I found their scenes together to be remarkably beautiful.

 

My Dislikes

Rough Start

I found it significantly hard to get into for the first section of Strange the Dreamer. I was confused at parts, and bored at others. I wish it was a little more streamlined from beginning to end. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it at first, but luckily things began to pick up once they made it to Weep.

I understand Taylor was just trying to set up her story, but it got lost on me.


I highly recommend this one if you like fantastical worlds, gods with powers, and intricate plots. Let me know what you guys thought of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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#DreamsChooseTheDreamer

Author 150Hi there! I’m a writer of fantasy books for young people, but my books can be enjoyed by adults as well. My ‘Dreamdark’ books, Blackbringer (2007) and Silksinger (2009) are about faeries — not dainty little flowery things, but warrior-faeries who battle devils. My first young adult book, Lips Touch, is a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award! It’s creepy, sensual supernatural romance. . . about kissing.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See | REVIEW

reviewsThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Published by Scribner on March 21st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 384
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneLi-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

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4 Stars

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

First Line:

“No coincidence, no story,” my a-ma recites, and that seems to settle everything, as it usually does, after First Brother finishes telling us about the dream he had last night.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      ATMOSPHERE 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See is a historical fiction about the love of a mother/daughter, adoption, cultural customs, and most importantly tea! This one was a bit out of my element and typical reading genre, but I thought I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised!

My Likes

Cultural Diversity

What I found the most eye opening about The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane was everything we get to learn about the Akha people of the Yunnan village. The majority of the villagers make a living from harvesting tea leaves. These are a people that are heavily ruled by superstitions and strict customs. So when Li-yan, our main protagonist has a baby out of wedlock, she must stay hidden and eventually give the baby up for a adoption or risk banishment.

See does a great job with the research it must have taken to put this all together. Weaving two very different stories about culture and diversity is a great feat!

Beautiful Writing

There was an immensely lyrical prose to the writing of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. It has beautiful descriptions and the writing of it was quite immersive. Everything about the way See wrote this book seemed quite authentic and created a unique cultural tone that you don’t find very often when reading.

From beginning to end the prose was able to keep me engaged and wanting to know more about the culture and customs of the Akha people!

Tea Talk!

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is heavily influenced by tea. Not just any tea though, but Pu’re’ tea. I found it immensely fascinating to learn so much about tea that I didn’t know before reading this book. We get to learn about the growing of tea leaves in the Yunnan village, as well as tea customs and traditions such as serving the tea and the economical effects it has on the Akha  people.

See must have done a great deal of research on this subject and it truly reflects in the way she incorporated it into the story!

My Dislikes

Lagging Pace

Towards the middle of the story things started to drag a bit at a snails pace. There were areas of the story that I began to skim because I felt they didn’t add anything major to the overall story line.

Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane!


I highly recommend this one if you want to broaden your reading horizons with more culture and diversity you wouldn’t normally get from the young adult genre. Let me know what you guys thought of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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#AFamilysDestiny

Lisa SeeLisa See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles. She lived with her mother, but spent a lot of time with her father’s family in Chinatown. Her first book, On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family (1995), was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book. The book traces the journey of Lisa’s great-grandfather, Fong See, who overcame obstacles at every step to become the 100-year-old godfather of Los Angeles’s Chinatown and the patriarch of a sprawling family.

The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale | REVIEW

reviewsThe Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The Beast is an AnimalAlys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

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4 Stars

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

First Line:

Way back in the beginning, there were two sisters.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     WORLD 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale is a dark and creepy fantasy about a girl who witnesses the soul eaters take away the souls of all the adults in her village. As she grows up she begins to feel like something dark is growing inside her. She is becoming what she should fear the most. To save the ones she holds close, she must fight the darkness and close it off forever.

My Likes

Dark and Creepy

If you are into a dark fantasy, then The Beast Is an Animal is the perfect book for you. From the plot, to the setting, to the storytelling. Everything about this book is creepy as heck. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that is does not shy away from it. There is very little light at the end of this tunnel.

Peternelle does a fantastic job getting into the dark crevices of your imagination. At some points I was wondering how she came up with such a unique concept.

Unique Story

The Beast Is an Animal has a unique tone to it. Although it’s dark and creepy, it’s not terrifying. But who would have thought that a story about soul eaters could be as captivating as this one was. I was rooting for Alys the whole time. I knew there was something off with her but she was able to handle and adapt to scenarios with ease.

Peternelle created a world and characters that are quite unique. The soul eaters will go down as the creepiest villains that I have ever read. I think a story like this one, being so unique, is one that will stick with you for weeks/months/years after reading it.

Beautiful Writing

To stray away from being overly frightening, the writing of The Beast Is an Animal was magnificent. Peternelle has such a beautiful and luscious tone to her writing that you can’t help but keep reading. It has an eerie vibe that creeps in through your eyes and flows straight to your subconscious.

The writing of The Beast Is an Animal will just suck you into the story.

My Dislikes

Snail Pace

So I’m not even completely tiffed about this dislike as much. But it does cover Alys’ life from the age of 7 until 16. So at times it can be a bit plodded and arduous to get through. It takes a bit to fully get things swinging with the plot and the set up would have been a bit smoother had it been sped up a bit more.


I highly recommend this one if you want a change of genre. This dark, creepy, fantasy is a fantastic read. Let me know what you guys thought of The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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#HeartAndSoul

Peternelle van ArsdaleI’m a book editor turned young adult novelist.I still love to edit, but I’ve discovered that I like to make up my own stories even more than I like to fix other people’s. It’s less stressful. Also, I’m controlling, and I pretty much get to say what goes in the worlds that I create. I live in New York City, where I own a Metrocard and drive as little as possible. I have perfect control over my feet.

Review: Driven by M.B. Mulhall | BLOG TOUR

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Driven by MB Mulhall
Published by Harmony Ink Press on March 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT+
Pages: 210
Format: e-ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo

DrivenEighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.

Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness–or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.

Oliver has two options: let the pain of his past swallow him and destroy all hope for the future, or move on to the new possibilities in front of him. Choosing to live won’t be easy, and Oliver might not be able to do it alone.

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3 Stars

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

First Line:

The quick-rising, breath-stealing frigid water in the drainage tunnel probably should have concerned hum, especially since he didn’t know how to swim, but Oliver felt it was karma finally coming to exact its revenge.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟      ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟


Driven by MB Mulhall is a young adult contemporary about a boy who is taken in by kind elderly ladies who want to help him out. He comes with a ton of dark secrets that creep into his everyday life. Mix that with the cute boy next door and we have a hankering for a good story.

My Likes

Multi-Level Characters

Driven houses many different types of characters. It has our troubled protagonist, Oliver, that just wants to move on with his life but his past keeps creeping behind every corner. The cute boy next door, Simon, who is still in the closet but begins to open up around Ollie. Of course we can’t forget the lovely ladies Vera and Tude, who have such big hearts to want to take Ollie in and help change his life for the better.

Mulhall does a great job making these characters jump off the page with varying levels of personality and backstory. Although the overall story can sometimes feel pretty cliche and unrealistic, the characters are what keep it grounded.

Cute Romance

I quite enjoyed the romance between Ollie and Simon. You can tell there were sparks shooting off the page every time they were in the same room. Even though they started off pretty rocky, we can see them grow closer chapter after chapter.

Mulhall was able to show off the cute charms that both boys have and it was hard not to swoon over the two. Although they don’t get much further than kisses, you can tell that this is just the beginning of a steamy relationship!

Quick Pace

Driven moves at a brisk pace. One of the highlights is how the story keeps going without being muddled by too much unnecessary back story. Everything seems to flow nicely.

Mulhall makes sure that there is never a dull moment which makes for a very quick read. If you’re looking for something fun and easy, definitely give Driven a go!

My Dislikes

Lacks Depth

Here lies the biggest issue I had with Driven. There was a huge lack of depth in a couple areas of the story. Driven’s over all plot lacks proper execution of sympathy. I never felt the emotion of sorrow for Ollie, which given all that happens to him, would seem to warrant some. I liked him as a character, but the lack of depth in the plot took away from that.


I recommend this for the contemporary lovers. Let me know what you guys thought of Driven by MB Mulhall! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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#EscapingThePast

M.B. MulhallMB Mulhall has been reading and writing since childhood; her love of stories so great it pushed her to earn a BA in Comparative Literature and Languages from Hofstra University. Wanting to share that love and inspire young writers, she also has an Elementary Education background from Georgia Court University.

Currently, her full-time job is working with developmentally disabled adults, and she gets her writing time in before or after hours.

She has dedicated much of her time not only to writing great stories but also to navigating social media and educating herself in the industry. She runs a successful blog sharing her writing challenges and advice with other authors.

Born and raised a Jersey girl, MB is often inspired by the beauty of her state and the people who visit its shores, snapping pictures and making up stories in her head to writing down at a later date. When not writing, she’s plowing through her cascading to-be-read piles, crafting, doing her nails, or watching Doctor Who.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | REVIEW

reviewsThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 464
Format: ARC

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

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.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

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

First Line:

I shouldn’t have come to this party.


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟      ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a contemporary YA about a girl who is witness to her best friend getting shot by the police. It’s been a while since I read such a phenominal contemporary. This book is quite relevant to the social injustice and rascism that is still occuring in America and all around the world. This book is about hope, it is about finding your voice and speaking up for right purpose.

My Likes

The Message

I can’t say enough how important the message from The Hate U Give is. Yes, an unarmed black teenage boy gets shot by a police officer, and yes, the police officer does not get charged with this murder. All of these things happen way too often in America, but it is not all that T.H.U.G is about.

Thomas writes a very real story, with real human emotions and characters that make you want to stand up and fight. This book is about hope. Hope for a better world in which minority groups are not targeted with violence. This book is about finding your voice. Finding your voice to stand up and fight for injustice. To stand up and vocalize what is wrong with the world we live in. The Hate U Give inspires you as a reader to do these things. It inspires you to a better human being. To empathize, to protest, and to stand up against corruption.

Starr

The Hate U Give would not be without the main protagonist, Starr. She is everything that is right about this book. She witnesses her best friend getting killed by a police officer and it frightens her. Throughout the The Hate U Give, Starr grows and is able to find her voice for activism through the actions of her family, friends, and community.

Thomas was able to capture and give life to Starr. I have never read such an real and raw character like this before. We see her go through the emotions, the silence, and the internal struggle of wanting to fight for what’s right, but at the cost of potentially endangering others and yourself. I can’t begin to experience what is like to be Starr because I don’t face the issues she does on a daily basis, but through the words Thomas has written I can learn and understand a piece of my world that often goes without being spoken about.

Hope for a Better World

Change does not occur overnight. Change takes time, and a lot of hard work to accomplish. The Hate U Give is apart of that change. Reading this book it has given me hope that we can fight for a better world. A world with where everyone can feel like they belong. Where all minorities are treated as they should be, like a human being.

And I hope that everyone who reads the words that Thomas has written here feels the same. I hope that The Hate U Give helps give a voice to someone who would have stood on the sidelines, and now wants to stand up for themselves and their communities. That is what is important. That is what the world needs, hope.

My Dislikes

Absolutely Nothing

The Hate U Give is a story that needed to be told. It is a story that needs to be read and passed along to as many people as possible. The Hate U Give is an important piece of hope that many people need in times of darkness. Thomas did a fantastic job writing this story and I hope you guys will give it a read!


I highly recommend this one for absolutely everyone to read. Let me know what you guys thought of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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Angie ThomasAngie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017.

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis | REVIEW

reviewsThe Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
Published by Penguin Australia on February 29th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The SidekicksThe Swimmer.

The Rebel.

The Nerd.

All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?

Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.

🌟🌟🌟

3 Stars

First Line:

“Oh, we’re not actually friends.”


Review

COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟

CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟      ROMANCE 🌟🌟

WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟


The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis is a contemporary YA about a group of boys who only had one thing in common, a friendship with Isaac. After Isaac’s death they each try to grieve in their own ways on their own. But what they don’t realize is that they need each other to fill in the blanks of their friendship to properly move on from this tragedy.

My Likes

Complex Characters

The Sidekicks follows the Swimmer, Ryan, the Rebel, Harley, and the nerd, Miles. Each one of them has a very different personality and story to be told. I was mostly intrigued by Ryan and Miles. With Ryan I was able to connect on an emotional level. I went through a lot of what happens to him when I was in high school. High school can be a very scary place, but even more so when a secret comes out before you’re ready for it to.

For Miles I was able to connect with him on personality level. Although I may look and dress like someone who is outgoing and happy go lucky, I am quiet and very to myself at times. For this reason I was drawn into Miles’ character because we get to see him break out of his introverted shell and see him open up to new friends and possibilities.

Emotional

Although we don’t get to know Isaac much, we get to live him through his friends in The Sidekick. He was able to connect and touch each one of them even though they are all vastly different from each other. That just shows the type of character Isaac was.

One of my favorite parts of the story is Miles’ section of the book. Kostakis does a fantastic job at making this section quite emotional. Through the ups and downs Miles seems to be the most affected by the death of his friend. He closes himself off from the world and we get to see him begin to rebuild a life with Isaac no longer around.

Fun Writing

I found the writing of The Sidekicks to be entertaining and fun for me. As this is a Australian YA novel there were words and phrases that really sparked my interest. This led me to doing a little research to learn what they mean! I liked how different but similar the lives of teenagers in Australia is compared to North American teens.

Kostakis was able to create three very different characters with separate personalities. There was never once where their inner dialogues confused me. They were all distinct and easy to distinguish between the three. A+ job!

My Dislikes

Not Very Exciting

For the story as a whole, The Sidekicks wasn’t that exciting. Although I was able to get through it, there were times that I lost interest in what was happening on the page. There was quite a bit of overlap because we get each character’s account of what happens during the days and weeks after Isaac’s death. This resulted in me not liking how repetitive it was getting.


If you’re a huge contemporary lover, then this is a story for you. But if you’re a casual contemporary reader such as myself, then I would pass on this one! Let me know what you guys thought of The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,

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#TheyWereHisSidekicks

Will KostakisPersonally, Will Kostakis is ready to catch a ball two seconds after it’s hit him in the face. Professionally, he’s thankful he’s chosen a career that requires little (if any) coordination. After dabbling in celebrity journalism and reality TV, he now writes for young adults.

His first novel, Loathing Lola, was released when he was just nineteen, and his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister’s Literary awards.

The Sidekicks is his third novel for young adults.

As a high school student, Will won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories.