All The Forever Things

“Everything about this moment is familiar. The silent communication between Mom and Dad as they shift the casket into the best position for viewing. The bereaved’s sighs, me sliding the soft soles of my shoes over the carpet, and the overpowering smell of condolences that have arrived from companies with names like Flowers R Us.”

Title: All The Forever Things

Author: Jolene Perry

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 1st 2017 by Albert Whitman & Company

Pages: 288

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Nothing is forever. Gabe knows that more than most girls. After all, she lives in a funeral home (it’s the family business), and she gets that everything in the world dies eventually – people, rumors, fashion trends, the nickname “Graveyard Gabe.” But her best friend, Bree, has been a constant in her life; it’s always been the two of them together. Until Bree starts seeing a guy who stands for everything Gabe thought they were against. How could Bree change her mind and go for someone like Bryce Johnson?

Now Gabe doesn’t know who her friend is anymore. And the only person who seems to have time for her is Hartman, the new guy, who is somehow not weirded out by the funeral home stuff (well, a little). Still, Gabe doesn’t want to lose her mind over a guy the way Bree has, so she holds back.

But a very strange prom night (driving the family hearse instead of a limo) will change what Gabe knows about friendship, love, life, and everything that comes after – forever and otherwise.


A Listical of Thoughts:

  • Nothing lasts forever, like my patience – which didn’t last long enough to enjoy this book.
  • Gabe is “woe is me,”  selfish, and and immature. The only interesting thing about her was that she lived in a funeral home.
  • Speaking of living in a funeral home, it was used to make Gabe a special snowflake.
  • The one enjoyable part was the aspect of friendship and the difficulties that come about when one friend starts a relationship.
  • Girl on girl hate makes me so mad. It’s time authors get beyond that as a plot point.
  • The book had false uniqueness. It was trying to be something other than the contemporary romance that it was by constantly reminding us that its heroine was quirky and not normal.
  • Romances are usually predictable, but this suffered from so much predictability that it stole all the fun away.
  • Long story short, I can’t figure out a single reason to promote or recommend this book.

Pretty Fierce

“My mother had once told me you couldn’t trust people who came into your life at the exact moment you needed them.” 

Title: Pretty Fierce

Author: Kieran Scott

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 4th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 320

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal or more special than her boyfriend, Oliver.

But when she’s jumped by a hit man, and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. With professional killers stalking their every move, can Oliver and Kaia protect each other long enough to uncover the mysteries of her past?


My Thoughts:

Pretty Fierce was one of those books where I went into it not knowing what to expect. I was intrigued by the synopsis, but I knew nothing and I had heard nothing about the book.  Boy am I glad I requested this book on Netgalley. Pretty Fierce is exciting, exhilarating, and a thrill ride in its own right. It’s fast paced, innovative, and surprisingly deep. Pretty Fierce is packed full of action, drama, mystery, romance, and all those little details that make spy films so enchanting. Pretty Fierce is aptly named — it’s fierce.

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The Book Thief

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Series: Standalone

Publication: March 14th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 552

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.


Thoughts I’m Still Processing:

  • The writing is so unfathomably beautiful. It’s like honesty, sarcasm, and lyricism had a love child and it grew up to be its own masterpiece.

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Blood Rose Rebellion

 

“I was different. But that difference did not mean I was weak or helpless…I could choose to see it as a gift. I could embrace my own power. I could change the world.”

Title: Blood Rose Rebellion

Author: Rosalyn Eves

Series: Blood Rose Rebellion # 1

Publication: March 28th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 416

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.


My Thoughts:

Filled with a highlight of gray areas when it comes to good and evil, Blood Rose Rebellion is a complex tale reminiscent of dystiopian novels like The Hunger Games and Red Queen. Sometimes, when I find myself getting so excited about a book, despite some of the disconcerting comments about why it was not finished by other bloggers, I get so so so excited that the idea of actually reading the book terrifies me. Its’s that way with any hyped book, though. I find myself devoured by it, unsurprising of course, but devoured none the less. Blood Rose Rebellion did just that. It pulled me in, under, and over. I found myself loving this book the longer I held it in my hands. Blood Rose Rebellion was a fantastic story about having to choose between a rock and a hard place.

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Letters to the Lost

“You can’t make your own path with your eyes closed.”

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 4th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 400

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.


My Thoughts:

Who needs Romeo and Juliet when we’ve got Juliet and Declan? I loathe Romeo and Juliet, and the only similarity (cause this is not a retelling) is that the heroines name is Juliet and that there is a romance involved. I have found my favorite Juliet, the name is saved everyone. Yay! I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I adore Brigid Kemmerer’s writing. I adore her Elementals series – so this was sort of new territory. Letters to the Lost is uplifting, poignant, and powerful. It is so much more than I expected, and I enjoyed every moment of exploration.

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Sold

“Trying to remember, I have learned, is like trying to clutch a handful of fog. Trying to forget, like trying to hold back the monsoon.”

Title: Sold

Author: Patricia McCormick

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 15th 2006 by Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 268

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother’s words— Simply to endure is to triumph—and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.


My Thoughts:

Lakshmi’s story is a betrayal of innocence and a violation of our most basic human rights, and it is a story that is all too common for girls like Lakshmi. Lakshmi is thirteen and trying her best to do her work and help Alma while her stepfather gambles away every penny the women make. When his gambling debt becomes too much for him to bear alone, he sells Lakshmi to a woman whom she calls ‘Auntie’ for less than four-hundred dollars.

“A son will always be a son, they say. But a girl is like a goat. Good as long as she gives you milk and butter. But not worth crying over when it’s time to make a stew.”

Lakshmi is lead to believe she is going to the city to be a maid for a wealthy family, a maid who will eat mangoes every day. She believes she is going to the city for an honorable job, a job with which she can support her family and even buy them a tin roof. She is tricked by ‘Uncle Husband’ into lying at the border crossing and then she is on her own. Uncle Husband doesn’t stay with her for long, and suddenly Lakshmi is being sold once again – this time to a brothel called “Happiness House”. Lakshmi doesn’t know what is going on, and by the time she realizes Mumtaz, the owner, beats her and starves her until deciding it’s not worth the trouble and has Lakshmi drugged and raped instead. It is heartbreaking. Yet, this heartbreaking tale is a reality for women and girls around the globe.

Sold details Lakshmi’s struggle to survive. Sold is unbelievably powerful with its sparse narrative and unapologetic voice.  The novel is as harsh as its subject matter, and it was not an easy thing to read – not in the slightest. There is rape, violence, slavery, and victimization. There is starvation, poverty, and suicide. It was brutal, as it should be. However, there is hope in the small moments. Hope in the gift of a pencil, of a boy who shares a story book, and of strange pink skinned men with business cards. The hope and naive nature of Lakshmi balances out the horrors within the narrative, for the most part. The hope remains, even when Lakshmi doesn’t see it. These girls endure, feeding off the smallest inklings of happiness and hope – a movie, a cup of tea, a friend. As Alma says, to endure is to triumph.

“Simply to endure is to triumph.”


Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Seven Days of You

I felt like I was hovering, lost between this second and the next, between all these different versions of myself that were scattered around the globe.

Title: Seven Days of You

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Series: Standalone

Publication: March 7th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 336

Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?


Let Me Show You My Feels:

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