Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Wrap Up

How is everyone this month? I'm still trying to wrap my head around another WHOLE MONTH being gone. I'm so behind (especially on blogging stuff) I don't even know where to start. Anyway, onto the wrap up!

I know it looks like I read a lot of books, but I read SO MANY comics this month. I picked up my first comic (ever!) and ended up just reading more and more. I also then ventured into graphic novels, which I have a huge stack of (so that's probably what you'll see in next month's wrap up tbh)

Favorites: Ms. Marvel, Slaughterhouse Five, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Caraval
Rereads: Fahrenheit 451

Music: Lin-Manuel Miranda got a Spotify and has been making playlists and they are giving me life
Movies: I saw Hidden Figures for the second time and I AM STILL NOT OVER THIS MOVIE OKAY
TV: Binged season 4 of The Mindy Project. Honestly, this show is such a hot mess, but I still keep watching.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nowhere Near You {by Leah Thomas}

Title: Nowhere Near You
Author: Leah Thomas
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Series: Because You'll Never Meet Me, #2
Genre: YA Contemporary/SciF
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
source: NetGalley

Ollie and Moritz might never meet, but their friendship knows no bounds. Their letters carry on as Ollie embarks on his first road trip away from the woods--no easy feat for a boy allergic to electricity--and Moritz decides which new school would best suit an eyeless boy who prefers to be alone.
Along the way they meet other teens like them, other products of strange science who lead seemingly normal lives in ways Ollie and Moritz never imagined possible: A boy who jokes about his atypical skeleton; an aspiring actress who hides a strange deformity; a track star whose abnormal heart propels her to victory. Suddenly the future feels wide open for two former hermits. But even as Ollie and Moritz dare to enjoy life, they can't escape their past, which threatens to destroy any progress they've made. Can these boys ever find their place in a world that might never understand them?

Oh, how much I enjoyed reading Ollie and Moritz again. I was entranced by the first book, and while this wasn't quite to the level of that one, I still loved it so much. It was so good to see my faves again, as well as a whole cast of new characters that I loved getting to know.

Ollie has finally left his home in the woods on a mission to find more of kids like him, and tell their story. Moritz has to decide where to continue his schooling. Both of them have completely uprooted their lives, their only constant being the letters they write to each other.

Again, it takes a very talented writer to write an entire book in letters, and Leah Thomas is that. Both voices were very distinct, and you really got to see their character through the letters. While Moritz's letters were in present time, Ollie's actually lagged by a couple months at first. This wasn't confusing though. It added a sense of mystery and intrigue to what was actually happening, and I found myself wondering what was happening. While the beginning was a bit slow for me to get into (mostly because I forgot some Important Things that happened in book 1 and was a bit confused), once I got into the groove, I found myself needing to know what was happening.

This is a story of Ollie and Moritz finding their place in the world, and with each other. They have both seen some pretty bad things, but they are trying to figure out how to move on and live life. I found myself looking forward to Moritz's parts more in some places, but I still enjoyed both sides of the story that was being told. I also loved the new characters that we got introduced to and their stories.

So, in short, I loved this book. It's a story about messy lives and messy relationships and living and I adored it, just like I adore Ollie and Moritz.

Leah Thomas:

Twitter | Goodreads

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful {by Eric Lindstrom}

Title: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
source: The NOVL

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.
As the walls of Mel's compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst--that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she's been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.

Unfortunately, this book fell a little flat for me. I enjoyed Lindstrom's debut, and I was looking forward to this one, but it just...wasn't very memorable. Even trying to review this a short time after reading, I can't remember much that stood out to me, I'm sorry to say.

Writing: The writing this time around was not page-turning. While I did fly through it, it was more because the book was short and simple to read. The prose wasn't very lyrical or attention-grabbing. It was, however, easy to follow and get into the flow of the story.

Characters: Unfortunately, the characters pretty much all fell flat for me. I would have loved to see Mel more fleshed-out and complex. I think her friends, as well as her mom and aunt, were great additions to the story, but the were two-dimensional and just...there. These characters could have been so much more, and brought so much to the story. I couldn't bring myself to be interested in the drama of what happened between Mel and her ex-friends. While I did like David, the love interest, he too fell flat. I didn't get any swoony vibes from him, and the relationship between him and Mel felt forced and off.

Plot: The story starts off very slow. I didn't think it was too hard to get into, because the story is easy to follow and easy to read. But I felt the ending was too rushed, trying to fit in too many things and tie up too many loose ends at once. I think the part that interested me most was Nolan, her brother, and the story surrounding him, but we don't get much of that. The story is more about friendship and her bipolar disorder, than it is about the romance (which I always appreciate).

Depiction of Mental Illness: Mel has bipolar disorder. While I can't talk to the accuracy of the rep (if you know of any #ownvoices reviews, link 'em my way), I do think it is so important to have this rep (if it's done well, which I think it was). Mel is on meds, and goes to therapy, and I think it is so important for kids to see this and realize it's okay. Mel also has a few different coping methods we see throughout the book, and I think it was good that we got to see those as well.

The book was light and enjoyable while reading it, although not very memorable after the fact. While it had potential, and I was so hoping to love it, it ultimately fell a little flat. I appreciated the representation, but truthfully there wasn't really much else going for it.

Eric Lindstrom:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads