Tag: Young Adult

Thirteen Reasons Why


Author: Jay Asher

Published: October 18, 2007
Dates Read: July 9-13, 2016

My Rating: 4 Stars

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.

My Review:

Thirteen Reasons Why is a powerful book. I listened to the book in audio form which was the perfect choice. You get the reasons why Hannah committed suicide from her in her own voice. I found the choice of cassette tape very interesting and different!! I didn’t realize that teenagers knew what cassette tapes were!! (I may have missed the reason why cassette tapes were used as I was listening to this while I was driving in the car). The narrators who performed Clay and Hannah were PERFECT! They expressed all the emotion the characters had. You could really feel the torment Clay had as he listened to the tapes and wondered why he was sent them. The anguish and anger he felt towards the end. Hannah as well.

The whole story comes down to the ripple effect. And each story is connected to the other. Some of the reasons/stories were better than others. It was sad in some ways as you know from the beginning that Hannah did commit suicide. Her story comes in her own words, but you have to wonder how did no one see the signs that she showed of a girl in trouble. By the end of the book you can feel how much Clay has changed.

I recommend Thirteen Reasons Why and definitely recommend the audio form. Audio is the perfect medium for this book!

If You Could Be Mine


Author: Sara Farizan

Published: August 20, 2013
Dates Read: January 8-14, 2016

My Rating: 3 Stars


Book Summary from Amazon:

This Forbidden Romance Could Cost Them Their Lives

In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they had before, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants in the body she wants to be loved in without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

My review:


***Some spoilers***

The cover is what first drew me to If You Could Be Mine.  It is simple, yet has so much meaning.  When I read the premise, it also interested me and I found it a good book. I listened to the audiobook and it was a short 5 discs. The book was more about being gay/lesbian than transsexual in Iran, as Sahar is actually not transgender. I wondered how the book was going to end, and I was happy with the ending. At times Sahar seemed very immature and also quick thinking about the consequences to what she might or might not do. That comes from her being young.

Also, Nasrin was not very likeable. To me it also seemed like she didn’t love Sahar as much as Sahar loved her. So, I wondered as I read the book that if Sahar went through with the change and became a man would Nasrin accept him since Nasrin was already betrothed to another at this point. And why would Sahar not tell Nasrin her plans on having her gender changed?  That is one thing I really did not understand through the whole book.  If you are planning a change like this- why not tell Nasir to see what she thinks. AND again, she was betrothed to another at this point. To me it seemed like a losing battle for Sahar.

This book does give you an idea of what homosexuals and transgender individuals go through in other countries that are more oppressive than the US. The book is short, about 250 pages. It is a good read for such a short book. I would recommend the book.


Author Spotlight: Shandy L. Kurth


Courtesy of Shandy L Kurth

I have read all but one of Shandy Kurth’s books. I have enjoyed them all. They all have a sense of “realness” and grittiness to them. Her books are Young Adult (The main characters are young adults, but the writing may not be suited for Young Adults. There are adult themes and language in her writings.) My favorite is her Built on Fear series: Devastation and Isolation.  I read those two books long before I was reviewing books in any way. I will need to read them again so I can review them on this site.

Shandy’s Writings:
Devastation (Built on Fear #1)
Isolation (Built on Fear #2)
Slipping (a short story)
It Can Always Get Worse
On the Right Side of the Line

I am going showcase her short story Slipping and her novel On the Right Side of the Line in this Author Spotlight. Now, I wrote these reviews long before I ever planned on having a website, so they do not do Shandy or her work justice. Please give Shandy a change and check out what her work is about!:



59 Pages in Kindle
Published: November 27, 2012
Dates Read: October 23, 2015

My Rating: 4 Stars

Short Story Summary from Amazon:

A Young Adult Short Story

I think I’m losing my mind. The alternative would be that I’m seeing ghosts. If I’m going crazy, I should check myself into a nuthouse as soon as possible. But if I’m not… if she’s really a ghost, listening to her could mean the difference between life and death.

My review in 2015:

I enjoyed this short story. We are thrown into Miles life and we don’t know if he is going crazy or not. His mother and sister died in a car accident and he starts seeing his sister. I couldn’t put it down. I would have liked the story to be longer.

**Slipping is FREE on Amazon for Kindle and also Barnes and Noble for Nook



On the Right Side of the Line
176 Pages in Kindle
Published: July 30, 2013
Dates Read: July 15-19, 2015

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

**Contains adult language

I thought I knew where I was going. I had my life all planned out. It had been mapped for me since I was ten. When I turned fourteen, I became a Raven, just like my big brother. It was a lifer thing, not something you could walk away from. I moved up the ranks quickly, just like everyone thought I would. Now at eighteen, I was close to the top. I could break thumbs with the best of ’em and and bust heads with the best. I was a force to be reckoned with. Yeah. I had it all together before that one event tore my life apart, and that one girl got me all confused.


My review in 2015:

This is the third book I have read by Shandy L. Kurth and my first book I have read dealing with gangs. After the first few chapters it was hard to put down!

Valen is a great character! He is conflicted, but wanting to do what’s right. Most of the books I read are read are from the female perspective, so this was a refreshing change for me.

The book felt realistic and was gritty. Towards the end I had no idea what was going to happen. I had a few thoughts, but they were wrong. It seemed like Shandy may have had experience with gangs or did her research on them.

I will be reading more books by Shandy L Kurth!


************Please give Shandy L Kurth a chance and look into her writings!