Tag: Contemporary

Say What You Will

Author: Cammie McGovern
Published: June 3, 2014
218 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern’s insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Kim’s Review:

I really liked this book. This was one of those stories that after I closed it, I had to sit and just ponder. I’ve never been a good one with people who are disabled. I feel the pity and the discomfort and I know that they hate it when people respond to them that way, but unfortunately, I’m still working on it. This book elicits that kind of discomfort, but in an educational kind of way.

Many people have a hard time realizing that physical disability does not mean mental disability. Say What You Will does a good job of making that distinction. Amy has cerebral palsy and is always treated like either a fragile robin’s egg, or as mentally challenged. All she wants is to be treated like a regular teenager. Matthew has his own problems, but they’re easier to hide. But Amy seems to be the only one who understands him. The story is all about the roller coaster that is their relationship. Seriously, by the end, I didn’t know if I should cry, or smile, or just sit there with my mouth hanging open. I would suggest this for anyone who has a disability or those who know anyone with a disability. I would also recommend this for mature teenagers. Getting a look inside a person who could be considered an outcast is never a bad thing.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Lost for Words Bookshop

Author: Stephanie Butland
To Be Published: (Tomorrow) June 19, 2018
368 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 10-17, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

The Lost for Words Bookshop is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for fans of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop.

Jessica’s Review:
If you are a book lover in any way and/or an introvert this will be the book for you! The Lost for Words Bookshop is a character driven story and Loveday is our protagonist. She would rather spend time with books than people, so her job at the bookstore is perfect: In fact she has worked there for 10 years. She loves books so much she has tattooed first lines of various books on her body. She is a likeable nonconformist with a dark past that we slowly discover as the novel progresses. I also really liked Archie, the owner. Nathan is also likeable as well, he is a magician and knows all the tricks!

Don’t let the cover fool you, this book is not a lighthearted read. It has dark undertones dealing with Loveday’s past and you will experience a range of emotions while reading.

The mysteries of Loveday’s past and certain deliveries kept you wondering where the story was going to go. I really wanted to find out the answers! Loveday is our narrator and we see the story between the past and present, but it is clear and not confusing.

This was a highly enjoyable read and I recommend it, especially for the bibliophiles out there!
Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my copy: It was a pleasure to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US (Pre-order)
Amazon UK (already published in the UK)


Summer Constellations

Author: Alisha Sevigny
To Be Published: May 1, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: April 12-17, 2018

Book Description:

Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?

But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.

Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.

Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.

As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.

But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?
Jessica’s Review:

If Summer Constellations  had been published when I was a teenager, it would have most likely been one of my favorite books! It is a perfect summer read for a teen girl, especially if she is going camping.  I am not the target demographic for this novel, but I still enjoyed it!

There is the whole summer romance involved  and Julia is just the ‘normal’ teenage girl. I would have identified with her as a teen.  When she finds out her mom may be selling the only home she has ever known she is not happy at all. She works to try to do everything she can to prevent the sale from happening.  And then there is Nick…. Oh wow: Should she trust him or not? Is he just taking advantage of her situation to get what he wants? And what does he really want?????

I am not a quick reader but had this one read in a few days.  It is a quick and enjoyable read and I wanted to know what was going to happen. Was mom going to sell the campground or not????   I was rooting for Julia to be successful in what she wanted.  The middle did drag a little for me, but the ending made up for it being bittersweet and it really gets moving in the last 50 pages.

Sevigny really captured everything I loved in this novel.  She even did well with the realism with how mom felt with the financial situation.  You could feel how torn mom is about selling.  If you have a teen daughter, let her read this novel.

Summer Constellations is recommended. Thank you KCP Loft for my ARC copy!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Publication Day is May 3rd)