The Things She’s Seen

by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Winner of Australia’s prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults

Shortlisted for Australia’s Indie Book Awards

 

This book looks slim and comes in at just 208 pages but it a packed through story that grabs the reader instantly. The story is told is written and in verse formats. When you are in the main part of the book you get regular written format. When you are listening to Catching’s story you get it in verse format. The story is told by many view points Catching and Beth Teller are the main characters but really the whole cast of characters are equally important. This story unfolds immediately.  The reader follows Beth, Beth’s dad, Catching and Allie through the small Australian town trying to solve the reason behind the fire, the murder of key figures and maybe the disappearance that happened 20 years ago. Could they all be connected? This ARC copy is full of wonderful quotes that I highlighted and hope they stay in the final copy.  The story highlights magical realism, true crime, the treatment of the Aboriginal people and heartbreaking pain a parent goes through after losing a child. A heavy hard hitting YA book that is perfect for readers from middle grade through adult.

 

About the book: This brilliantly written thriller explores the lives–and deaths–of two girls, and what they will do to win justice. Sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year!

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he needs to reconnect with the living.

The case takes them to a remote Australian town, where there’s been a suspicious fire. All that remains are an unidentifiable body and an unreliable witness found wandering nearby. This witness speaks in riddles. Isobel Catching has a story to tell, and it’s a tale to haunt your dreams–but does it even connect to the case at hand?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf for sending me a copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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The Stars Beneath Our Feet

by David Barclay Moore

 

 

 

A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death.

It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward. 


His path isn’t clear–and the pressure to join a “crew,” as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape–and an unexpected bridge back to the world.

I’m not sure how to review this one. The Stars Beneath Our Feet was such a hard read, not in a bad way. It was a very emotional book and the reader really feels for Lolly and all he is going through. I can’t even imagine how most 12 year old’s would process losing a sibling. The grief process and his interactions seemed real to me.  I really think that for some this book will really touch them and stay with them. It was a little harsh to read  at times and made me really uncomfortable. I think that is what the author was going for?  I will say there is some language in there that might upset some readers, I know it did for me.  However sometimes those are the ones that really get people talking and discussing issues that need to be on the table. Overall it was a good book on topics and subjects I haven’t read many books about and not sure if there are many like this in the middle grade reader genre. I know there are many in the YA genre so I’m glad there a book for middle grade. That being said I could see this crossing over and some YA readers liking this book as well. While the main character is 12 it didn’t read as a young middle grade.  I think that this will be a very buzzed about book and up for many awards. I’m glad I was able to read it.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of The Stars Beneath Our Feet. All thoughts and opinions are our own and not influenced by the free book.

10 Things I Can See From Here

by Carrie Mac

 

 

10 Things I Can See From Here deals with a lot and I mean a lot in just 320 pages. At times I felt like I was getting way to much information about every body else but not a whole lot about the main character Maeve. Maeve has a lot on her plate but throughout the book I think she handles it pretty good considering her anxiety and panic attacks. 10 Things I Can See From Here was a good book that at times the characters and their decisions drove me a bit bonkers. How could they not see Maeve needed their love and support – she was what comes first not what they wanted! Maeve’s step brothers and stepmom were awesome and really without them in her life I’m not sure she would have had any loving support that she needed!

 

 

summary: Think positive. Dont worry, be happy. Keep calm and carry on. Maeve has heard it all before. Shes been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it were something she could just talk herself out of, its not. When Maeve is sent to Vancouver to live with her dad, her very pregnant stepmom, and her twin six-year-old half brothers, she struggles to rise to the challenge.

Vancouver brings a wide array of new worries, but Maeve finds brief respite—as well as even more worries—in Salix, a local girl who doesnt seem to worry about anything. Though the summer includes catastrophes than even Maeve could never have foreseen, she is able to reach inside herself to find the courage to be there for the ones she loves.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf for sending me 10 Things I Can See From Here. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.