Highly Illogical Behavior

26109391Title: Highly Illogical Behavior
Author: John Corey Whaley
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Genres: Young adult, LGBTQ, Mental illness, Contemporary

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.


Review
Plot: This books is mainly a “coming of age” story about Solomon. ‘Sol’ struggles with his mental health and is extremely agoraphobic. This isn’t where teenagers like to stay in their rooms. This is a boy who has a panic attack at the thought of walking out the front door. But in spite of this, he actually isn’t that upset about it. He likes the little world he lives in, for better or worse. Then in comes Lisa. She hears about Sol and decides to make him her little project as a psychology student. This honestly really bothered me.  The fact that she takes this human and turns him into a good story for college just doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe if she had talked to him about it and made sure it was alright. Or even just his parents or another adult or SOMETHING. But she basically just decides “hey, here’s a good opportunity for some real life psychology experience” and goes for it. As someone studying psychology, this really bothered me. But that aside, it opens up the door and Sol slowly learns more about himself and starts thinking about the world outside of his house. Aside from my issues with Lisa, I thought that this was a really well written book about mental illness. You really learn to love Sol and want him to heal. I thought it was endearing and it definitely made me cry. 

Characters:
Sol- I really liked his character in this story. I thought he was a very lovable, yet sad character. I know people who struggle with very similar problems so this hit home to me. He portrays anxiety is such a real way that I loved it! He was also very aware of his issues. He wasn’t confused about his mental illness, and he knew exactly what he needed to do when problems arose. He’s also a really cute nerd and I liked that. 
Lisa- As I suggested before, I didn’t really like her. I think this was a little bit the point, was that Lisa wasn’t perfect either. She wasn’t this perfect girl curing Sol, she had her issues as well. But I just really didn’t like her throughout. She would get annoyed that Clark was spending time with “her project” and would get weirdly jealous at times.
Clark- Loved how nerdy and cute he also turned out to be. At first, I thought he was going to be this stereotypical boyfriend, but he actually was really cool and nice to Sol. He cared a lot about him in the end.

Cover:
Honestly, this is one of the best covers I’ve seen for a book. I like how he’s standing in this very black, boring room (a room in the book) and the outside is all colorful. And to me, this isn’t because the outside world is magical and better, but because it’s a lot to take in. To Sol, the world is just too much and it’s overwhelming. I felt like the cover was not only just cute, but really meaningful when looked at again. 

Closing Thoughts:
Overall, I really liked this book. It wasn’t my favorite and I wasn’t raving about it at the end. But it was cute and it told a good story. I have been really tired of the genre of “sick/dying/mentally ill teens trying to find love” and this wasn’t that. It was realistic and more about friendship than love. This is probably my favorite and more authentic mental illness work of fiction I have read. Not too dramatic, not too boring. It did take me a while to get through because the pacing felt a little strange. Not really slow, just weird. But it’s a short book and an easy read. I did cry though, so probably prepare for that if you’re a crier. 

Where to find John Corey Whaley:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Stalking Jack the Ripper

28962906Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series:  N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Genres: Historical fiction, young adult, mystery

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


Review
Plot: Stalking Jack the Ripper is a very interesting story. It reminded me of a historical ‘criminal minds’ in the way that they were trying to understand the motive and mindset of Jack the Ripper. It follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who has a morbid curiosity for the dead. There isn’t really anything wrong with her curiosity except for the fact that she is a young woman in the 1800s. She is trying to solve these murders while also sneaking around from her own family. I will say the story started a bit slow for me. I was extremely excited to read this book because there were so many elements I was interested in. But it took me forever to get through the first quarter or so of the book. I’m not completely sure why, but it was just very slow. But there was a point where things just completely sped up for me. It took me about a month to read the first 50 pages and then I read the rest in about two days. The ending wasn’t a complete surprise to me, but it definitely was what I hoped was going to happen.
Characters: Audrey Rose- Her character was fantastic! Audrey Rose had such good character development throughout the story that I really admired. From the beginning of the story, she is a headstrong and brave girl. But there are times where she seems a little naive and stubborn. It’s clear that while she means well, she doesn’t always make the best decisions. But throughout the book she goes from a stubborn girl to a brave, smart girl. There is a scene where she finally tells off her father and it was so empowering.
“Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir” (pg. 224).
That scene just completely shifted Audrey Rose’s character for me. Not only did she have a strong mindset, but she finally stood her ground. Throughout this whole book Audrey Rose grows stronger and more confident in her abilities as – not a woman – but a person. I loved it.
Cover: The cover of the book is fairly basic for a young adult book, but it did draw me in enough to pick it up. I think the London streets in the background and the font of the title is a good fit. A girl on the cover is fairly overused, but I thought that with the knife it looked nice anyways.
Closing Thoughts: This book surprised me in the best way. In the beginning it was slow and just lacking something. I was really bummed about this because it had so many elements I was interested in. But as the story progressed, it got much quicker and more intense. I had a really hard time putting this book down once I got into it. I even had one of those nights were I stayed up way too late on a school night reading this – something I haven’t done in a very long time. I think that Maniscalco wrote this book very well. At the end of her book, she talks about what exactly was fictitious and what parts were true. I thought this was incredibly interesting because I’m actually interested in Jack the Ripper himself. I think that you should all give this book a try because it definitely was a good read! 
Where to find Kerri Maniscalco:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: April 16-29

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

April 17:

33280983Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus’s quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love. (Source)

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Girl In Pieces

Trigger Warning: This post discusses self-harm and suicide, along with other tough topics.

29236380Title: Girl In Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Genres: YA, Mental Health, Contemporary
Rating: B

Summary

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.
(Source)


Review
Preface: I would like to start this review out by saying this book is a little bit of a special case. This book deals with some very difficult topics. The main topic being severe self-injury. There is also drug use, sexual abuse, and pretty much every sad topic you can think of. Normally I don’t like to put “trigger warnings” on things, but this book can be difficult at times to read. I especially advise caution if you struggle with any of these things- especially self-harm/suicide in particular.
Plot: This book’s plot is a rollercoster of emotions. It is written in a very disjointed and weird way. The “chapters” are short, almost like journal entries. But that almost makes it seem more personal. The story starts out with Charlie being in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt. Originally, I thought this is where the story was going to take place. Surprisingly, this was only a small portion of the story. After she can no longer stay there, she moves to Arizona to be with her friend, Mikey. Thus begins the journey of trying to figure out how to live a normal life! She gets a job working as a dishwasher and meets an interesting cast of people, including the bad boy Riley. Soon she gets caught up in Riley’s troubled life and paired with her own, things don’t go so well. In this story, things just get more and more sad as the book goes on. You think it can’t possibly get any worse and BOOM it goes and gets worse. This book doesn’t leave you feeling very optimistic about life, but it is an emotional journey to tag along with.
Characters: Charlie- Charlie is just overall a mess. She starts out the story as a (selective) mute and eventually learns to speak. Then she’s a mess of trying to figure out how to be a person. It is a little bit hard to adequately review her. She’s not meant to be a good, strong leading lady. She’s constantly doubting everything and is scared of pretty much just leaving her room. She finds a way to make all the bad decisions while trying so hard to be good. Charlie is not really a hugely relateable character, but one that feels real. And I’m sure there are those out there that can relate more than I can. I could on a smaller level, but not quite to that extent.
Riley- I wanted to talk about Riley for a little bit. I hated him throughout the whole book. There was never a moment where I went “oh yeah, this is a good idea.” He was poison for even the most stable person, and stable Charlie was not. Near the climax of the book, he really shows how evil and terrible he can be and my heart just bled for Charlie. However, I understand that what Glasgow was trying to do was show the destruction of addiction. He wasn’t necessarily himself during that horrible time. And at the end of the book, she tried to give him a little redemption and show that there was hope for him. I’m just glad that they didn’t end up together somehow. It was a healthy way to have some closer. Although I did just kind of want to hit him a little bit.
Cover: The cover is definitely what drew me in. I could tell exactly what kind of book it was going to be just from the cover, and I think that says a lot. The cuts through the title really just hit me as powerful for some reason. It made me buy the book right there in the store, something I don’t often do.
Closing Thoughts: Rating this book was difficult for me. The book itself wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It took forever to read and didn’t really keep me hooked the whole time. Plus, reading this I’ve learned that there really is such a thing as too sad. It just felt like she put every sad story/issue in this book. And while it addressed a lot of issues, it was hard to handle all in one book. In contrast, I really liked how emotional it was. I, personally, have struggled with some of the things in this book and I think that’s why I liked it a little more than the average reader. I think if you like these kinds of emotional, sad books, you’ll enjoy this book. Just take it little bits at a time so you don’t overload yourself with sadness. And I also recommend that if you are struggling with things like self-harm, it may not be the best book. It definitely is triggering at times and isn’t the best to read if you are in recovery. But I think it leaves you with a positive message in the end that is good overall.
Where to find Kathleen Glasgow:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: April 9-15

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

April 11:

25314447Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given. (Source)

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Spring Update!

update flowers 2 final

Hello all! I am sorry I have been gone for a while. I’m a college student and things got very stressful for a while. Winter quarter was not my best quarter. However, I am back to the blog and I’m trying out new things!

  • I have decided to stop rating my book reviews. I am really bad at accurately rating things because I want to give everything a good grade. Going back and looking I’ve realized I gave a lot of books much higher ratings than I should have. Now I’m not going to rate them, I’m just going to tell you what I honestly think about them. The last review I posted was written that way, and the future ones I am working on are as well.
  • I have been reading a lot of really interesting books for school and I think I am going to start a new segment reviewing specifically what I read for my school classes. Not textbooks really, but the more interesting books I was assigned throughout my classes. I won’t talk about them all (because some are real boring and not something I want to write about), but I’ll highlight the key ones that really make important points or I learned a lot from.
  • I want to work on my blog in general and make it even better for you all. I’m not totally sure what is to come, but there will hopefully be some changes throughout the year to make it even more fun!

So that being said, I just wanted to let you all know I am working on things and have many more plans for this blog. I know there aren’t many of you even reading, but I want to keep you updated!

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: April 2-8

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

April 3:

33128455Steph Bowe is back. Night Swimming is a love story with a twist, and a whole lot of heart.

Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.

Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?

But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris… (Source)

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The Awakening

Coming April 4, 2017

coverTitle: The Awakening
Author: D. J. Torres
Series: The Nature of Gods #1
Format: Early release PDF
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary

When gods and goddesses abruptly overthrow Earth, humans are given two choices – worship or die. Desperate to survive, Olivia and her family devote their days to fulfilling the will of the gods. But the wrath of the gods is insatiable and unpredictable. With her hope crushed, Olivia is resigned to her bleak fate . . . until she meets Nature.

Immediately, Olivia knows this charismatic girl with color-changing eyes isn’t normal. Nature looks like a teenager yet she has the power to control the weather and converse with animals. Nature opens Olivia’s eyes to a hidden world that had always existed in harmony with her own. However, know-it-all butterflies and mystical creatures aren’t the only secrets revealed as Olivia discovers the dark plan of the gods.

When Nature decides to confront the gods, Olivia is catapulted to the forefront of humanity’s battle for survival. Olivia must rely on her courage, strength, and newfound gifts as she faces monster-infested pathways and ever-looming traps. But does she have enough courage or skill to battle brutal gods eager to rule the world and dole out punishment to anyone who defies them? Nature and the world depend on it.


Review
Plot: I thought the concept of this book was really interesting. It is basically about these ancient gods coming back and demanding they be worshiped yet again. I personally find religion of all kinds very interesting, so I was excited to read a book about various gods. Without giving too much away, this book follows Olivia in her struggle to survive through this. It almost felt like the beginning of an apocalypse, but with gods which was interesting. I will say that the plot was fairly basic in that nothing completely new was done. I could almost entirely guess what was going to happen the entire time, and that gets a little boring to me. However, the way it was written kept me reading. The middle got a little jumbled up to me, and I stopped reading for a while, but the ending brought me right back. I definitely think that the plot is basic, but well written.
Characters: Olivia – The problem with Olivia is that she was just too basic for me. She was the cliche unpopular girl who gets bullied. Of course, this does happen a lot in real life, but it felt unoriginal. This is just how I felt about Olivia overall. However, I feel like she does grow in a really relatable way for young girls. And I think that the way her and Nature interact is a very good dynamic.
Nature – I think that Nature was way cooler honestly. I know that was her purpose, but she just seemed so strong and I loved reading about her. I almost wished the book was solely from her perspective, but I don’t know if that would’ve been as good. I think she really brought out the good in Olivia and gave everyone a lot more character. I also love how she just perfectly embodied the magic and beauty of the world.
Cover: The cover of this book is perfect to me. It just looks creative and magical and cute. If I was a young girl looking for a book, I would have definitely been drawn to this. It looks like something someone drew themselves, but not in a bad way. It just gives the book more heart than if a stock image of a girl would’ve been used.
Closing Thoughts: I think overall this books was very well written. I really like Torres’ style of writing and it kept me entertained throughout. I think if you’re very picky about your books and you want something completely and totally unique, this isn’t the book for you. But if you want something just very simple, easy, and completely fantasy then this is for you. I also want to point out that this is for younger readers (around 12-15) so it was a little young for me. But keeping a younger mindset while I read this made it much better. I think 12 year old me would have loved this book! Overall, I think Torres did a very good job and I recommend younger readers pick this up on April 4th!
Where to find D. J. Torres:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: Jan 29- Feb 4

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

January 31

29772863In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure — with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series. (Source)

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Weekly Releases: January 22-28

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

January 24

30312837How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For 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?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time. (Source)

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