Month: September 2017

Kim’s Thoughts on Thirteen Reasons

I reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why last year. My review for it is here. Now it is Kim’s turn to review it.  We have very differing opinions on this one, which is what I love about book reviews.  One person can have one opinion and the next person have a totally different opinion! We all go through life with different experiences which affects how we feel about a book!

Author: Jay Asher
288 Pages
Published: October 18, 2007

Book Summary from Amazon:

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars
Kim’s Review:

I started out this book hating Hannah Baker. A typical selfish high school girl who refused to think about anything other than how life affected her. But my hate has digressed to a simple dislike, the way I dislike most teenagers in general. Because that’s what this book is about: typical teenagers who think that life revolves around them. I was a teenager once and I spent 3 years teaching teenagers. I was bullied in junior high and high school, some of it aggressive, some of it passive. But I have no sympathy for Hannah, or for any of the characters in this book. That’s life! Life isn’t far, so get used to it! Hannah wasn’t the only coward in this book, I’ll admit that. Honestly the only 2 characters I liked were Clay and Mr. Porter. I understood Mr. Porter because I’ve been in his position. He’s not completely off the hook, he probably should have probed a little more, but I refuse to blame him for Hannah’s choice because that’s not fair, just like life. It just amazes me how dramatic teenagers are! And looking back at how dramatic I was before real life kicked me in the butt! If Hannah thought high school boys making a big deal about her ass was a reason she should kill herself, well then she really never would have made it out in the real world! And she never actually said no. Of course the guy was wrong and a pig, but she didn’t say no. What was he supposed to think when she didn’t resist? He’s a teenage jock! He thought she enjoyed it! And oh no! Her friends stopped hanging out with her! Do you know how many friends have come and gone in my life? And how many of them hurt me on their way out?

This is a book about a bunch of stupid teenagers. Nothing more, nothing less. And each generation of teenagers gets dumber and dumber. They are coddled, given their safe spaces, allowed to do whatever they want, never held to a high standard, and they’re all idiots. Whatever happened to “growing up is hard”? My parents told me that. And suicide never once entered my mind in high school. I tell any teenager I know that high school is tough, growing up is tough, life is tough. Just hold your head up, take each problem as it comes, and enjoy the good times, because you’ll have plenty of those too. Normally, I would ask, “where are her parents?”, but in this case, all they really could have done was to tell Hannah that’s she being overdramatic. Her suicide should never have happened because there was no real cause. Teenagers being teenagers. And if teenagers don’t learn to deal with that kind of stupidity, you’ll either have this situation or them growing up to be stupid adults.

I would never allow any kid I know to read this book, in fact, I wouldn’t want most adults I know to read this book. This book teaches that teenagers are whiny, self-centered, and always looking for the easy way out. Nearly every situation in this book is one that we all face on a daily basis. Suicide shouldn’t be a concept that anyone should even consider, let alone introducing it to a kid. I think this book was written for teachers, because I have no problem saying that teachers can never be too aware. Or parents, who never grew out of their teenage ways and try to take the easy way out by letting their kids raise themselves. I’ve seen too many of both groups. But I’ll admit, I read this book in 24 hours because it intrigued me, it was written very well, and I liked the anticipation.

First Line Friday #38

Today’s First Line Friday is a book one of my friends sent me. She ran into the author and was given the book. I have not been able to read it yet, but wait…. There’s vampires in this one! I might have to try and read this one.

The words came out of the blue.

Like everyone else living in Haven, seventeen-year-old Sophie Harkness is an Immune – a carrier of the genetic mutation that protects her from the virus Hitler unleashed upon the world more than half a century ago. A virus that wiped out most of humanity and turned two-hundred million people into vamps. But after her best friend is brutally murdered and several attempts are made on her own life, Sophie becomes determined to find answers to what seems to be a conspiracy running generations deep. And when she questions the peace treaty that keeps her small community protected, Sophie begins to discover terrible truths about herself and what it means to be human in a world ruled by darkness.


One Plus One

Author: Jojo Moyes
432 Pages
Published: March 31, 2015

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

Kim’s Review:

Another great book by Jojo Moyes! I got through this book very quickly. I enjoyed the story and had a hard time putting it down. It was an easy read with lots of emotions! I fell in love with little Tanzie and all of her quirks. She’s definitely smarter than I was at that age, but I identified with her eagerness to learn and to do well with her schoolwork. I can also identify with being different. Although Nicky accentuates his differences with mascara and eye liner, there’s still the underlying message of “why try to fit in when you were born to stand out.”

Moyes managed to capture that without making her characters whiny and childish. And Jess is a downright inspiring character! Until the pile of wrong has completely engulfed her, she never lost her optimism, she never lost faith. Her theme seemed to be “everything’s going to be fine, everything will work out.” I really liked her! Ed is not my favorite leading man, but he and Jess had a nice chemistry. The sexual tension was subtle and that kept Jess from looking like the chick who jumps into bed with every man that comes along.

By the time the book was over, I was emotionally invested in the characters’ lives. I cared whether or not Tanzie got to the Olympiad, whether she won or not. I cared whether or not Nicky’s tormenters were caught and punished. I cared whether or not Jess and Ed managed to identify their feelings and decided to stay together. After reading Me Before You, I didn’t know what to expect at the ending! Thankfully, I didn’t completely break down in tears with this book, but I did get a little misty. The only reason I gave this 4 stars, is because of the timeline. A true love story in less than a week smacks of trashy romance novel to me. But I still loved this book, I enjoyed reading it, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a heartwarming, emotional story.