Monday, June 29, 2015

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last WordRelease Date: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Series: None
Format: Arc
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon  


If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.


Wow...Just...Wow! I am still reeling after finishing Every Last Word only a few hours ago. Tamara Ireland Stone wastes no time immersing us into Sam's life and her battle with OCD. Kicking the story off with a heart-wrenching scene with her friends. This book had me from page one all the way until I turned to the last. I was completely hooked! I laughed(Thank you, Sydney), I cried and I even swooned a little...Okay a lot(Thank you, A.J.).


I've read books that have tackled rape, drugs, bullying, school shooting and more but this is the only time that I have read a Young Adult book that tackled OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and all I can do is applaud Tamara Ireland Stone for bringing such an overlooked illness to the surface. The story may have been fictional but the facts of the illness were not. Stone delivered this story in such a delicate way. She didn't outcast Sam, she didn't make her a victim of the disease, she made her a fighter; a young girl trying to get a grip on her life and learn to control her illness rather than have it control her. I saw Sam as a strong, vibrant character the whole way through. The true definition of a fighter!

Caroline, oh Caroline. What an epic character you were. You reminded me a lot of a good friend of mine and I will always look back on your character fondly! Your quirky t-shirts. You unconditional support. You were a true friend. Thank you for reminding us to embrace who we are. To embrace our weirdness and to shine. To not worry about pleasing others, just live as our truest self.

Where do I even begin to describe Poets Corner? How I wish a place like this existed when I was in high school and how I wish a place like this existed for others. A safe place for them to go and express themselves without worry of being judged.

To quote Caroline: "Poets Corner will change your life". She didn't just mean that for Sam or the other fictional characters. She meant that for us too, the readers. Poets Corner will change your life!


Friday, June 26, 2015

The Longest Ride Q&A with Nicholas Sparks today at 1pm!


Today iTunesmovies and Twitter are joining forces to bring you an epic event with my author husband *clears throat* I mean Author Nicholas Sparks! You clearly, most definitely DO NOT want to miss out on this epic(did I say that already?) event!

Fans are asked to tweet with the hashtag #AskLongestRide

I will be joining in, so I hope you will be, too!

Share this with your friends, family, readers, neighbours, pets, anyone that you think may enjoy this event...And let's face it, that will be everybody!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy SummerRelease Date: June 1st, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 290 Pages
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author:Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon



"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.""Okay.""Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?""Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.  

“Weeping is not the same thing as crying. It takes your whole body to weep, and when it's over, you feel like you don't have any bones left to hold you up.”   --Anna

 
I did it!! I finally read Twenty Boy Summer! This book has been sitting on my bookshelf since it's release year...2009....I know, horrible right! Six whole years that this amazing, heart-wrenching, hilarious, beautiful novel sat waiting ever so patiently to be read, and that time has finally come and sadly is now gone...
Do you believe that some books are meant to be read at a certain time in your life? You stare at it on your shelf for months or in this case, years and know that you need to read it but just never pick it up until one moment, you do; and all of a sudden all that waiting makes sense. All that time that went by was exactly how it should have been because these characters were meant for this part of your life. I can't be alone with this, can I? I truly believe some books are meant to be read at a certain part of your life, and that is how Twenty Boy Summer was for me. Yes, I may be 10 years older than the main characters in this novel but that doesn't mean that I didn't relate to the strong bond of a friendship, the heartbreak and the discovery of who you're meant to be.
As blurbed on the cover by Jo Knowels, this book will break your heart and piece it back together again, just like the sea glass pictured on the front. That statement holds so true! I devoured this novel in just 2 days(if not for real life getting in the way, it would have been just one sitting). I simply couldn't let this book go. I got completely immersed by Frankie and Anna and their story's. Both are left raw and empty at the death of Matt, Frankie's older brother and Anna's first love, only one thing is weighing heavy on Anna, Frankie had no idea her brother and best friend were seeing each other before his untimely death. Anna is left having to be the strong one for Frankie and her family when she, too misses Matt in a soul-crushing way.

Although Matt's physical presence is brief, his spiritual presence is strong and consistent throughout the entire novel. That is not an easy writing feat: To take a main character and introduce him only to quickly remove him, but have his presence still remain a strong part of the novel, not easy! I could easily see what Anna fell in love with Matt. He was kind, funny, passionate and had a beautiful way with words. He was an intellectual and wise beyond his years.

Your heart will remain wide open in this book until you complete the last sentence. I'm struggling with this review because I just want to really get into every single thing I loved about this novel. Frankie and Anna's hilarious and at times painfully raw moments. Red and Jayne, Sam and Jake...I am totally team Sam by the way! Everything about this novel was an epic win! I am so glad I finally plucked it off my shelf and read it, now I urge you to do the same...that's if you haven't already, if you have then give it re-read and visit this amazing story and beautiful characters.

A heartbreakingly beautiful story of 2 best friends trying to move forward after a tragedy and in the process discovering themselves.

 
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