OwlCrate: April 2017

Hey dudes! It’s that time again, you know… OWLCRATE TIME! These boxes have become my favorite part of every month, except for May – because school is over and I get to go home for the summer in two weeks, and that sort of trumps an OwlCrate because summer = unlimited reading time.

In case you don’t know what the glorious OwlCrate is, it’s just like Fandom of the Month only.. better? I don’t know, I love them both. OwlCrate gives you a new release in the Young Adult world and a bunch of bookish stuff centered around a specific theme. It’s a subscription box that is worth every little penny – count on that. (You guys can sign up here)

I was really excited for this month’s box. When I got March’s, there was a little card in the bottom explaining the next month’s theme with a small sneak peak. So yeah, I screamed a bit – a lot, actually. It was so, so worth it. Any guesses? Yes? No? Maybe so?

This month’s amazing, wondrous, loveable theme was….

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Girl Out Of Water

“For a second, I’m transported back in time, born once more into the water, everything fresh and new yet also filled with an overwhelming sense of home.”

Title: Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura Silverman

Series: Standalone

Publication:  May 2nd 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 320

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.


Why I Loved It:

  • This book was a much needed breath of fresh air, for starters
  • It’s cute, sweet, and ooey-gooey yet also so powerful with its ideas of family and belonging and what home means
  • Lincon. Just saying.
  • FRIENDSHIP! Ugh, I identified with Anise so damn much. As someone attending college out of state, I have such a hard time keeping in touch and I pretty much hate myself for it. Anise struggled to maintain her relationships with her friends back home after she was gone, she was just so busy. This part really hit home with me.
  • Home isn’t a place, it’s people – and I couldn’t agree more.
  • Strong father-daughter relationship, it was pretty awesome. I miss seeing parents in YA who aren’t overbearing or absentee stereotypes. Genuine familial relationships = happy Sammi
  • Is it too much to say I loved this book simply because I loved this book?
  • ROAD TRIP
  • Such a strong family bond, I mean – Anise spends the whole summer taking care of her younger cousins and her aunt. She complains, but wouldn’t we all if we were torn away last minute from our year long plans to do this? She complains, but she cares, and it shows. I loved seeing her grow and seeing her interact with her cousins. This book made me miss my family, in a good way.
  • Learning new things can be terrifying, I was glad to see how Anise tackled the challenge while also acknowledging how outside of her comfort zone she was. Role Model material guys.
  • The writing was so beautiful, I mean, just look at that quote? I’m in love, seriously.

Overall:

If you’re looking for a cute contemporary that’s both tooth-hurty sweet and an emotional ride, Girl Out of Water is the book for you.


Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

“Living a lie is painful, and doesn’t do anyone any good. I had to be true to myself, because, either way, God would know if I was lying.”

Title: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

Author: Isabel Quintero

Series: Standalone

Publication: October 14th 2014 by Cinco Puntos Press

Pages: 284

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.


My Thoughts:

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces covers a wide variety of topics: fat shaming, multiculturalism, identity, rape, rape culture, abortion, death, drug use, sexual orientation. The story covers many topics, but it does so in a way that both highlights the issues and relates them to teens. It paints a broad canvas with vibrant, innovative, and much needed colors.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces follows, Gabi, a self-proclaimed – mother shamed – fat girl who is just trying to finish her senior year of high school. Readers follow her from months before the new school year till graduation, privy to the regular drama and the not-so-normal events that people forget are daily occurrences in some teen’s lives.

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#ReadADessen Campaign: Dreamland

Hey all you lovely folks! I’m so excited to be participating in the #ReadADessen countdown/campaign as one of many  #PRHPartner’s. Today’s post is going to be a fancasting of Dreamland – one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books. In addition, the bottom of this post will contain a link to the huge giveaway going on as part of the count down. YOU CAN WIN A WHOLE SET OF SARAH DESSEN BOOKS!

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Wrecked

These lists are about… point of view. Who tells the story. Ms. James gives us a list of narrators and Mr. Bockus gives us a different one. All in an attempt to grasp that great, elusive, bothersome thing: the truth. I wonder, Richard, why Mr. Bockus doesn’t want you to tell his side of the story?

Title: Wrecked

Author: Maria Padian

Series: Standalone

Publication: October 4th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 368

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.


My Thoughts:

Wow. I had to step away before I could even begin to sit here and try to write these words. I’m still not sure if what I have to say can be articulated through words alone. Wrecked is powerful, poignant, and provocative. It is the kind of book I needed to read in doses, I often found myself wandering away and trying to process the sheer magnitude of what I was reading. Wrecked is the type of book that demands to be read.

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

“Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community.”

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 12th 2007 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 230

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.


My Thoughts:

The Absolutely True Dairy of a Part-Time Indian follows Junior, a fourteen-year-old Spokane Indian boy as he tries to find a place where he belongs. Junior was born with hydrocephalus, or as he calls it water on the brain. This disability caused him to have a large skull, a stutter, and seizures. Juniors disabilities have made him a target on the reservation where he lives, and when Junior has an outburst on his first day of school, his teacher advises him to leave the reservation. Junior decides to transfer to Reardan with the support of his parents, but those on the reservation begin to view him as a traitor. When he transfers, Junior joins the basketball team, which he, surprisingly, excels at. Arnold, or Junior as he prefers to be called, is caught between two worlds and identities: the reservation and the affluent school he now attends.

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RoseBlood

Maybe this place can help me do that, and then I can finally look forward to my future. Because I’m starting to realize there’s something worse than stepping up and facing your fears – and that’s living as if you’re already dead.

Title: RoseBlood

Author: A.G Howard

Series: Standalone

Publication: January 10th 2017 by Harry N. Abrams

Pages: 432

Source: OwlCrate

Summary from Goodreads:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.


A Gif List of Thoughts and Feelings:

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