Thursday, March 31, 2016

Worth the Hype? Top 10 Books that are Worth the Hype!

We have all been there...We hear the thunderous chatter of avid readers RAVING about a book. We simply can't handle being left out any longer so we trudge to the book store, in the winter, uphill both ways, to purchase said book with our very last few dollars that we were saving for food, but reading is more important, right?! We can't wait to get home, get into our coziest reading clothes and curl up on the couch and devour this book so we can finally join this elite group of readers...Then you've finished; to say you were underwhelmed is a understatement. You are flooded with complete disappointed and irritated as to why this book didn't speak to you like it did to the others. You just want to hide away and speak about this moment to no one. 

It's happened to all of us! We are human. Different strokes for different folks, right? Well, having said all of this, I thought I would compile a list of the books that I think were totally worth the hype. Books that I was hesitant to finally read because I was terrified they wouldn't live up to the high expectations already created, despite my best efforts to keep an open mind. 

Books Worth the Hype, yo!

The Book Thief

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

I'll Give You the Sun

Looking for Alaska

Lost & Found

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Out of the Easy

I Was Here


Honourable Mention

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Have you read any of the books on this list? Did you enjoy them as much as I did? It's okay if you didn't! 

What books have you read that were totally worth the hype?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Some of the Parts by Hannah Barnaby

Some of the Parts
Release Date: February 16th, 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Series: None
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA

Sometimes bad things happen, and we are not the same when they are over.
For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she's okay. She’s managed to fool her friends, her parents, and her teachers so far, yet she can’t even say his name out loud: “N—” is as far as she can go. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful façade she’s built around herself:
Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. All at once, everything Tallie thought she understood about her brother’s death feels like a lie. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.

**May Contain Spoilers**

"When someone has died, one of the survivors says, "I'd give anything just to hear him say my name one more time" or "I just want one more day." This is absurd. Nobody wants one more day, one more sentence, or one more anything else. We want all of the days, as many as we can get. We are greedy in our unhappiness. We feel robbed and we want back what we've lost, and then some."

Some of the Parts appealed to me right away. I absolutely loved the cover art. Although simple, it relates to the story in the most perfect way. The synopsis promises a deep, heart-wrenching story that will tug at your heart strings.

Hannah Barnaby hits all of the right notes. I was drawn in immediately! She delivers a powerful storyline with a strong main character. We are introduced to Tallie and the horrific accident that took her brother right off the bat. Barnaby plunges you into the turmoil of Tallie and her family, trying to pick up the pieces after the death of her brother and their son. Tallie's parents both play a strong part in the novel. As a whole and each on their own. You learn a great deal about her parents and how each of them is dealing with this pain in their own way. It's almost as if Tallie is on the outside looking in. While her parents are trying to move forward and put the accident behind them, Tallie is focused on keeping her brother's memory alive, but is this for the best or will it only make things worse?

Tallie was a powerhouse! Although in a great deal of grieving, She was determined to go after what she wanted. She had passion and moxy. Although she was decietful in some of her schemes to get answers, she had good intentions. She just wanted answers. Having said that, I had trouble connecting with Tallie's relationships with Mel and Chase. I understood why she gravitated to each of them: Mel distracted her, while Chase could assist her in her mission. Yet, I found these characters lacking depth. Mel and Tallie are already friends once we begin the novel, but their relationship never really progresses after that. Perhaps that was the point? We meet Chase the same time Tallie does, and although his introduction gives promise, this was another relationship that lacked a little. Although their bond was stronger than Mel and Tallies, in my opinion, I still hoped that we would see more development. They just kind of met, and that was that, they were friends. I longed to learn more about Chase but there wasn't much backdrop focused on him.

I also wish their was more back story regarding Nate. Yes, we learn a fair bit about him but I wish we learned more about their relationship together rather than just through the memories Tallie had of him sprinkled in throughout the novel.

Having said that, these are just minor complaints and the story redeems itself fully! The author crafted a heart rendering story about a sister's desperation to keep her Brother's spirit alive, and perhaps, ease her guilt. Having a brother myself, this book definitely hits home with me. I could not imagine every going through something Tallie and her family had to face. It truly puts things in perspective and makes you feel grateful for what you have.

Some of the Parts is a powerful young adult novel that touches on real issues! I cannot wait to read Hannah Barnaby's future work and see what else she has up her sleeve!

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