Monday, February 18, 2019

A Danger to Herself and Others

A Danger to Herself and Others
Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book

Only when she’s locked away does the truth begin to escape… 
Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there's been a mistake. She didn't need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn't a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is going to use her persuasive skills to get the staff on her side.Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place.
Bookworm confession: I am a cover judger. I don't write off books that don't initially pull me in from their cover, but a beautiful cover definitely draws me in and will pique my interest immediately.  A Danger to Herself and Others has such a stunning and inviting cover. Its simplicity right down to the font gives a great representation of the tone of the novel!

Behind that beautiful cover is the haunting story of Hannah, a seventeen-year-old girl who is being institutionalized following the accident of her best friend and roommate, Agnes, who fell from their dormitory window after a game of Truth or Dare. A desperate Hannah fights to share her side of the story of what happened so she can return back to her regular life.

This book definitely has a Gossip girls meets Girl, Interrupted vibe. Hannah's life before entering the institution was very posh. She traveled to luxurious places with her successful parents and was on the road to an Ivy League school. But, once inside the institution while she awaits her hearing, she is just another patient. She has no upper hand and no special privileges. As Hannah adjusts her story begins to unfurl and a whole new story begins.

I love that the Young Adult genre is bringing more awareness to Mental Health. Alyssa Sheinmel did a remarkable job at crafting Hannah's character and penning this dramatic novel. There are other patients in the facility and the author represents each with great sensitivity and authenticity.

Her writing style brings Hannah's story to life before your eyes. A Danger to Herself and Others is a heartbreaking recount of what happened between the night of Truth and Dare to the present. A beautifully written and shocking reading experience that you'll devour.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Release date: December 7th, 2018
Publisher: Independently published
Genre: Fiction | Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 314 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the book: Purchase

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

“What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.”  

Excuse me while I just have a quick beverage after finishing this book...

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Costco can't even stock the amount of wine that you'll need while reading this book! Whoa boy! Buckle up!

Do you remember(or maybe it was just me) how you felt when you heard that the creator of Glee, Ryan Murphy, was the same creator of the American Horror Story series? I remember watching Murder House and thinking: "The mind of Glee created this?!". That is exactly how I feel about this book. The Colleen Hoover mind we've all fallen in love pulled a major plot twist on us! Bravo, Colleen Hoover, bravo!  

Verity has all of the CoHo qualities we love: Endearing characters, an irresistible plot and a beautiful, flowing writing style that just makes the entire package addictive. Be sure to carve out a block of time when diving into this one, because you will not be able to put it down. Food, kids, work, will all come second when it comes to dividing up your time when reading this!

Verity starts off with a bloody bang, and the dark and twisted just continues deliciously on from there. Colleen Hoover does a spectacular job at pacing the story. She gives you just enough in each chapter to tempt you to keep on reading. The CoHo spell is cast over you and you much rather be reading than anything else! If you do, for whatever reason, have to put the book down, you'll be left thinking about it constantly until you can pick it up again. 

Verity is a mind-bending rollercoaster. It is a racy, wicked and taboo ride. Your knuckles will turn white from your grip on the book. Your gut will twist and you'll cringe. Once of the best reading experiences, I have ever had! You've been warned!

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.
Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.
“We are all drowning slowly in the tide of our opinions, oblivious that we are taking on water every time we open our mouths.” 

It's rare that I am at a loss of words. Seriously, just ask my fiance, family, and friends. I usually have no problem gabbing about the book I just read. However, I am really struggling with this one. Not because I disliked it, the complete opposite in fact. A Spark of Light left me speechless. I am left struggling to find the words to explain to you how spectacular this book was. 3 words come to mind when thinking about this book:  Breathtaking. Spectacular. Heart-stopping. 

I wish I could just end the review here. Really, that's all you need! However, I'll try to explain why you should read this book immediately. 

It's no secret that I am a big Jodi Picoult fan. She is one of my auto-buy authors; I'll buy whatever she writes without caring what it's about. A Spark of Light just may be my favourite book of hers yet, and that is saying A LOT! 

A Spark of Light brings us a dynamic character cast and a very compelling storyline. The characters and their stories will have a very powerful effect on you. This novel tackles Abortion. Another amazing Picoult quality is how timely she is with her books. Abortion has always been a debate. However, it is even more important today, and this book is very relevant. Whether you agree, disagree or are indifferent, you will be left considering all the perspectives in this book; and will be left pondering long after you've put it down. 

I also loved the unique delivery. A Spark of Light is told in reverse. It really gives you a better glimpse at the characters, and how they all ended up at the center on that day. 

Impeccable writing, unforgettable characters, and very relevant subject matter, A Spark of Light will definitely spark something deep within you. Emotions will stir and questions will be raised. It is an intense story that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Release Date: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 272 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: AmazonCA | Amazon

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a T├Ątowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
“If you wake up in the morning, it is a good day.” 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the traumatic true story of Lale. A Jewish Slovakian who is transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. He is given the job as the tattooist that marks the prisoners with their numbers. It is at this camp where Lale lay eyes on Gita, a female prisoner at the camp. The agonizing details described in this book will leave you sick and angry. The horrors that people endeared at the hands of Hitler's reign is nothing short of monstrous and vicious. Despite these heinous acts Lale and the other prisoners find it in themselves to stay hopeful. Despite being ripped from their families, and not knowing the fate of their loved ones, they left themselves open to love and established a family within the barbed wire of the camp. 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a love story, yes, but it goes beyond that. It is the harrowing tale of survival and resilience. It shows that even in the darkest of moments, a vast blackness that is trying to eat you up whole, you can still find beauty. You steal moments to tell jokes, laugh and hope.

Lale and Gita stole my heart. Their story is one that will be with me forever. The stories of the other prisoners will stay with me. And the stories of those that did not make it to share those stories themselves will forever be in my heart. 

Expectedly, this book will stir a lot of emotions out of you. You will cry and my god, you will get angry. But, that will all soften as you watch the relationship between Lale and Gita flourish. Their story is the rose that grew through the cement.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott

Five Feet Apart
Release Date: November 20th, 2018
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 288 Pages
Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Review

Can you love someone you can never touch?Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

“...I want to be fearless and free. It's just life, Will. It'II be over before we know it.” 

This. This book is exactly why I adore the Young Adult genre! A charming and captivating story about two teens trying to navigate their way through their lives and their diagnoses.

I went into this book blind. I was sent a Netgalley, and only knowing the genre I decided to dive in without knowing what the book was about. I don't know if that heightened my reading experience at all, but what I do know is that I devoured this novel. I could not, and did not, put it down. It followed me to the kitchen, to work, to the gym and to bed until I, sadly, finished it.  Do you ever just sigh after finished a book? Almost as if you're releasing a breath you didn't even know you were holding? That's exactly how I felt after finishing Five Feet Apart. 

Five Feet Apart is told through the perspectives of Stella and Will. Stella, who has Cystic Fibrosis and "enjoying" another stint in the hospital.Her home away from home. She knows every nurse and is a bit of a control freak when it comes to her meds and routines. Will, who has CF and B. Cepacia, is new to this hospital, though he is not new to treatments. His mother flying him all around the world for trial treatments, that have all eventually failed. He now finds himself at Stella's hospital for a new trial. Will is laid back, a little too laid back for Stella, and she quickly wants to reign in control and "help" Will with his medications and wellness regimen. The hitch? Because of their diagnoses, they must remain 6 feet apart, or they'd be at risk for deadly infection.  Stella and Will's friendship grows and their relationship blossoms before your eyes. You're given the pleasure of learning who they are individually, and then who they become together. 

With its beautiful writing and heartfelt storyline Five Feet Apart is not just a story about 2 teenagers. It is a story about growth resilience. It's about Stella and Will learning who they are, beyond their diseases.  I cannot wait to see this book come alive on the big screen! Check out the trailer below.

Monday, January 21, 2019

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 373 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

“Maybe it's better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a life of wrongs.”

Looking for a book that will make you ugly cry worse the Kim Kardashian? Then today is your lucky day! They Both Die at the End will have you sobbing into the ice cream that you are emotionally eating. 

Okay, all kidding aside, this was one of the most beautiful, well-written stories I have ever read. I laughed and cried. My heart broke, mended, then broke again.

Adam Silvera introduces us to two very different people. Mateo and Rufus, teenagers that both receive their alert and find one another via the Last Friend App. We then get the bittersweet pleasure of joining them on their journey together as they live the last day of their life to the fullest. Could you imagine getting a call notifying you that today is the last day of your life? Adam Silvera did a spectacular job at penning the emotions that would surge through you should you get that alert. The emotions for Mateo, Rufus and those around them radiated off of the pages.

Mateo and Rufus are not the only stars of this novel. There is a winning secondary character cast that compliments the entire novel. Each one adding so much to the reading experience that makes this book a wonderful, complete package.

Adam Silvera's writing is flawless and I am eager to dive into his previous work. I am an instant fan. He captured such raw intensity that made you feel as if you were right there, standing in the background, witnessing their stories with your own eyes.

They Both Die at the End is, honestly, the most genius book title. Though you know the outcome, nothing will prepare you for the ache your heart will feel. Both heart-breaking yet incredibly beautiful. It's the ultimate carpe diem.

I miss this book already. I will re-read this novel. Likely many times over, because I have made great friends in Rufus and Mateo, and I'll want to visit them from time to time. If you have not read They Both Die at the End that needs to be changed immediately! Though, be sure to hit up Costco and buy the biggest skid of Kleenex they have! You'll need it!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 367 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Local library
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. 
I am so late to the Colleen Hoover party but she has been on my radar for a looong time! Friends, bloggers, co-workers, everyone I know has raved about her. The first book I read from her was All Your Perfects, which I received for review in 2018. I was instantly hooked! I am now making my way through her backlog and decided It Ends with Us to be my next choice!

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Never, have I experienced such an emotional rollercoaster!

This book WRECKED me; I am not exaggerating one bit. I laughed, I cried and there were moments where I wanted to strangle the words right off the pages.

It Ends with Us is the definition of 'Just one more chapter'! I found myself devouring this book any chance I could and even contemplated canceling all plans and calling in sick to work just so I could continue reading...Who needs sleep right?

It Ends with Us is told from Lily's perspective. We learn about her first love Atlas, through 'Dear Ellen' diary entries, where she addresses her entries to Ellen Degeneres, and her new love Ryle Kincaid.

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The story of Atlas and Lily was both beautiful and heart-breaking. I could have read a whole book on just the two of them! And then we meet Ryle. Who is just as swoon-worthy. BUT, to keep this review spoiler free, that is all I am going to say about Ryle. You'll just have to pick up the book to find out for yourself.

Hoover does a spectacular job at drawing you inside the world of her characters. You feel almost intrusive as you are reading through their most raw and vulnerable moments.

And then we hit about partway through the novel

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I was a sobbing mess at times! And though I would never harm a book, there were moments that I wanted to toss my copy across the room.

I am now a proud Colleen Hoover fan! I cannot wait to read my way through her work and will eagerly await her future releases! It Ends with Us is both heart-breaking and heart-warming. It is not only a book about Lily and her journey, but a book about self-discovery. A story about a young woman navigating her way through life and finding where she belongs.

Have you read Colleen Hoover? Comment and let me know what I should read next!
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