Coral || An ARC review

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Borrowed, Bought or ARC: This was an ARC granted to me through NetGalley and the publishers. I am very thankful for this opportunity. All thoughts published below are my honest and true opinion.

Where did I get it?: As stated above, I got this from NetGalley.

Author: Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Genre/s: Teens & YA

Number of Pages: 384

Release Date: November 12th 2019

There is more than one way to drown.

Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved—yet tragic—fairy tale, Coral explores mental health from multiple perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

This was the first book I read after coming back from my honeymoon where I stayed in the Little Mermaid rooms at Disney World. I had requested it before we went away and I just didn’t get around to it before we left but I am so glad I made it a priority. This book is amazing. I feel like I related to each and every one of the characters in some way. I loved how touching and serious this book is as it covers mental illness and how it is viewed in society. My favorite part was how all of the stories tied together into one.

The one thing I will say is, please be cautious of the trigger warning that the author gives in the front of the book. While I was in a good place while reading this, if I had not been I could have been triggered by some of the things in this book.

Have you read Coral yet? Do you plan to? Let me know!

The How & The Why Review and Favorite Quotes || Blog Tour

This is my first ever blog tour and I am so, so excited. I can’t imagine a better book to start off with honestly. Thank you to FFBC and the publishers for this opportunity.

Click the banner to see the rest of the blog tour schedule. I am so glad to be doing this with some of my favorite blogging friends.

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Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens,including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE,MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton andJodi Meadows), THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and the upcoming novels. THE HOW AND THE WHY and MY CALAMITY JANE (also with Ashton and Meadows). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, two cats, one crazy dog, two kids, and mountain of books.

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre/s: YA, Contemporary

Number of Pages: 464

Where can you get it?

Amazon

Books A Million

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Apple Books

Kobo

Google Books

Release Date: November 5th 2019

I am so glad that I read this book. I really enjoyed it, I sat down and read it all within a few hours (only stopping to go eat dinner). I have had a really crappy month with getting through books but I had no issues with this one at all. I loved the way the book flowed from S to Cass through real time and the letters.

I can only imagine that if I was in S’s shoes, I would have done the same thing. Personally, my parents got pregnant at young age and even though sometimes, our relationships can be rocky, I can’t imagine growing up in a different family. But also I am now five years older than my mom was when she had me and I can’t imagine becoming a mother and having someone who completely depends on me. But I also can’t imagine being a part of the baby’s life and not being their mother.

I also loved that this book showed multiple sides of adoption. You had Cass who was born in the States and who was adopted in the States and could visit where her biological parents had been. She was also adopted as a baby before any of her memories could form. But you also have Nyla who was born in Liberia and was adopted at age three, after losing her family in a civil war. She knows she had a life, a culture and even a different language but now she can’t remember any of it. This book also talks about opened and closed adoptions and some of the differences.

Another thing that really drew me into this book was the overall friendship of Cass and Nyla. The deepness of their friendship is rooted in their shared experience of being adopted and being able to have someone to talk to about it but there were so many other things that made me fall in love with their friendship. I think it might be because Nyla reminds me of my best friend/sister who is also Mormon (therefore doesn’t swear or drink caffeine), loves musical theater (thank you again Amanda for bringing me Wicked) and she ALSO went to school in Idaho (I know Nyla doesn’t but it was a similarity). I love that the Nyla and Cass are similar but still have their own personalities. They blend into each other’s families and even when they fight and say horrible things, they give second chances and understand when to push the other.

I really don’t have anything bad to say about this book. It ends openly so we can imagine what happens next which I’m not a huge fan of in general but not everything can have a perfect little bow to tie it up with so I won’t knock it for that.

So for the blog tour, I was assigned to pick out my favorite quotes. Some of them might not make sense out of context but during reading they stuck out to me.

Again, I really loved this book and I am so grateful to have received an ARC and be a part of this blog tour!!!

His Hideous Heart || Review

Happy Halloween y’all! Welcome to the review of the only spooky book I read this October.

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Author: Dahlia Adler (editor)

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Published on: September 10th 2019

Number of Pages: 252 (without original tales) 470 (with original tales)

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Borrowed from my public library (but intend to buy my own copy)

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of October 21st 2019.

Amazon: $14.45

Book Depository: $15.02

Barnes and Noble: $15.19

Books-A-Million: $15.95

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

I really only picked up His Hideous Heart because I know my fiancee, Alice, loves Edgar Allen Poe. I requested it sometime in September and got it about a week before this post was written. For a brand new book, I say that’s pretty good, especially since it had to come from a neighboring county.

I will be the first to admit that I am not very familiar with Poe’s work, though I should be because I was born in Baltimore and Alice loves his work. We’ve talked a few times about visiting his house in Baltimore but just haven’t. Maybe in 2020. But let’s focus on the book huh?

I’ve only ever read The Raven and AnnaBel Lee and that was because they were required in school. I struggle a lot with “older” writings because of the wording so to have the tales told in a way I can easily understand was great. I love that they chose 13 tales because it makes it a little extra spooky. My two favorite tales were Night-Tide, which is based on Annabel Lee, and Lygia, which is based on Ligeia. They both feature WLW relationships which was a total and welcome surprise and I would buy this book for those two stories alone.

All The Bad Apples || Review

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Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Published on: August 27th 2019

Number of Pages: 320

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Borrowed from my public library

Where can you get it?

Again I do not make any money off of these links. These are just to make it easier for y’all.

Book Depository: $9.20

Books-A-Million:

Amazon: $13.49

Barnes and Noble: $14.39

The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. ‘This will be really embarrassing,’ I kept saying to my family, ‘when she shows up at the door in a week or two.’

When Deena’s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears – presumed dead – her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It’s just another bad thing to happen to Deena’s family. Only Deena refuses to believe it’s true.

And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions – but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.

At the time of me writing this, it has actually been about a week or two since I read the book so I am kind of sparse on details. I remember really liking it and I read through it pretty quickly. I really like the supporting characters more than the main ones but sometimes that happens and that’s okay.

I did really like the story and how it focused a lot on things that families might decide make you the “bad apple” or “odd one out” like pregnancy out of wedlock and being part of the LGBT community. I also liked the magical realism that this book had. I didn’t think that was something I would like and while it does sometimes make books harder to read, it really brings something extra as well.

Not Hungry || A mini ARC review

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Borrowed, Bought or ARC: This was an ARC granted to me through NetGalley and the publishers. I am very thankful for this opportunity. All thoughts published below are my honest and true opinion.

Where did I get it?: As stated above, I got this from NetGalley.

Publisher:  West 44 Books

Genres: Poetry, Teen & YA

Number of Pages: 200

Release Date: August 1st 2019

June is fat. June also has an eating disorder, but no one sees. When she doesn’t eat, her friends and family think they see a fat girl on a diet, not someone starving herself. When June’s secret is found out by Toby, the new boy next door, she is panicked. Then she learns he also has a secret. Everyone has their own little lies.

I was excited to read this book but for me, it being in verse form really took a lot away from the story. I felt like a lot things were glossed over (IE her mom, the relationship with Toby, Recovery). This would have been a great story if it was longer or not in verse form. I’m not even sure what Toby’s lie was? It just really fell flat for me.

Dare to Be You || An ARC review

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Borrowed, Bought or ARC: This was an ARC granted to me through NetGalley and the publishers. I am very thankful for this opportunity. All thoughts published below are my honest and true opinion.

Where did I get it?: As stated above, I got this from NetGalley.

Author: Marianne Schnall

Publisher: Tiller Press

Genre/s: Nonfiction, Teen & YA

Number of Pages: 208

Release Date: October 22nd 2019

Today, it is more important than ever that girls have the courage to be themselves. But societal pressures continue to push girls to conform—to look, think, and act a certain way despite their individuality.

From her most thought-provoking interviews with such influential role models as Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou, Amy Poehler, Kerry Washington, Sheryl Sandberg, Luvvie Ajayi, Arianna Huffington, Brittany Packnett, Natalie Portman, Stacey Abrams, and more, award-winning journalist Marianne Schnall brings together the most inspiring, captivating, and rousing quotes to shed light on the many ways girls can empower themselves. Representing a diverse group of women’s voices—from actresses, comedians, and musicians, to business leaders, elected officials, activists, and Nobel laureates—these words speak to a wide array of issues that young women are facing every day.

Dare to Be You is both rallying and uplifting, and is a valuable resource that conveys a timely and important message: When girls dare to be themselves—when they are fearless leaders, speak their truth, and believe in their dreams—they can truly change the world.

Did y’all ever read the Chicken Soup books? This book reminds me a lot of those books which I used to devour as a kid/young teen. This was just like that but without the longer stories. It was a quick read but I could understand how younger girls could gain from this. I think I am out of the age range that would best benefit from this book. I would recommend this for girls in middle school or early high school. It’s not bad in any means and the quotes/short stories from the women who shared are important for young girls to hear.

If Only I Could Tell You || An ARC review

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Borrowed, Bought or ARC: This was an ARC granted to me through NetGalley and the publishers. I am very thankful for this opportunity. All thoughts published below are my honest and true opinion.

Where did I get it?: As stated above, I got this from NetGalley.

Author: Hannah Beckerman

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Genre/s: Women’s fiction

Number of pages: 368

Release date: October 15th 2019

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other? 

All and all, this book was incredibly sad. Audrey has cancer and doesn’t seem to be getting better and her daughters are estranged for reasons Audrey doesn’t know. The relationship between Audrey and her granddaughters was what touched me the most.

In this book there were a lot of secrets. It definitely kept me on my toes with what was going on. For the first third of this book, I felt pretty confused about who was who and what was going on that had pulled the sisters apart. When they introduce the main conflict and what was behind the bedroom door, I was shocked. It almost felt like a suspense book since there are so many different sides to the story and everything is only revealed near the end of the book.

The conflict of this story centers around each person trying to protect one or more of the other characters but because of this, multiple misunderstandings occur which ultimately break the family apart. I think that everyone had their reasons for what they did and I don’t really blame any of them for making the choices they did. They all thought they were doing what was best.

This is the second book about cancer that I have read this month and honestly, I need a break. They are all so sad and heartbreaking. I hope to read some more upbeat books later this month.