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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We Were Beautiful

by Heather Hepler

 

We Were Beautiful was really good and a fast book to read. I finished this one in about 24 hours, reading off and on every time I had a few minutes. I even downloaded the ebook from Hoopla so I could read before bed. This book made me wish I was part of a big Italian family living in Brooklyn and working in the family bakery/diner. I loved all of Mia’s NYC friends, Fig was such a great character I really would read a whole book about her. Sarah, Sebastian and Cooper were really likable as well and overall the dynamics were spot on and really has the reader wishing they were their friends as well. I well developed story about forgiveness, family, tragedy and moving on, allowing people in and sometimes we have to forgive ourselves before we can let that wall down.

About the book: It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in a car crash that killed her older sister, Rachel, and left her own face terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and guilt so powerful it is quickly consuming her.

As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the café down the street. There she meets Fig—blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious—who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends—including Cooper, the artistic boy who’s always on Mia’s mind—she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.

Over the summer, Mia starts to learn that redemption isn’t as impossible as she once thought, but her scars inside run deep and aren’t nearly so simple to heal … especially when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the awful night Rachel died.

Thank you Blink Publishing for sending me a copy of We Were Beautiful. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

 

I Do Not Trust You

by Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz

 

When I saw the blurb on netgalley for this book I thought it sounded amazing. I mean you have an ancient relic – catacombs of Paris – Forest in Norway and so much more. Sounded like some non stop action/drama with a mix of archaeology. The characters were like able and well developed. The story line was very well written and they did go on an adventure that is for sure. My issue was with the lack of action. They went on this amazing adventure to solve a mystery with a relic but the action was lacking. If you go in thinking it will be an action packed Indiana Jones book it might disappoint you. If you go in thinking I’m going to read a good book that I will like just a slow-moving story line with less action and traveling adventure than you will love it. I think my issue was I was expecting one thing but read something a bit different. Overall I still thoroughly enjoyed I Do Not Trust You and told my high school reader she should add this one to her TBR list. Sometimes things are not what you’re expecting but that isn’t a bad thing. The cover is beautiful, the story is good and solid and I liked the characters. This was a solid 3.75 stars for me and I’m glad I was able to read it.

About the Book:  Memphis “M” Engel is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long-lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.

Ashwin “Ash” Sood is a little too posh for M’s tastes, a little too good-looking, and has way too many secrets. He desperately wants the ancient map M inherited from her archeologist father, believing it will lead him to a relic with the power to destroy the world. M obviously can’t trust him.

Equally desperate to find the relic for reasons of her own, M forms an uneasy partnership with Ash. From the catacombs of Paris, to a sacred forest in Norway, to the ruins of a submerged temple in Egypt, together they crisscross the globe in their search. But through it all, M can never be sure: Is she traveling with a friend or enemy?

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin Press for allowing me to read I Do Not Trust You. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Not Even Bones

by Rebecca Schaeffer

Publication Date: September 4 2018 ( Our local Barnes and Noble already has them out and has very few copies left. The cashier told me they can’t keep them on the shelf. They put out a few and they are mostly gone. My Teen bought a copy after reading the ebook ARC. I’m not sure why they are out but Go Run Grab a copy Now!!! )

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Buy Links (I don’t receive any money I just loved the book so much) AmazonBarnes and NobleChapters Indigo

Betrayal Is A Bloody Business

 

WOW! Not Even Bones was so creepy good I was really taken by surprise by how this story was written. I really think it is a first for me of this kind. The author doesn’t hold back in dialogue or descriptions. I’ve read a lot of books about Supernaturals or in this case they are called UnNaturals. The girl Nita is a strong girl who makes an uneasy alliance and takes no prisoner’s so to speak. She does things she wouldn’t do on a normal day but sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to in order to survive and escape from a very deadly situation. Yes there is a tiny bit of romance I guess??? I really think it’s just they are good friends but maybe there is something more. The author includes all kinds of UnNaturals everything from unicorns to unnaturals who can heal, glow or feed off of other’s pain. The story explores unnaturals human trafficking and selling of body parts. I guess you could say it parallels what happens in the real world today. My favorite unnatural was the pink dolphins of the Amazon. Mirella was really great and one I was routing for. I saw on GoodReads there is a book 2! I hope I don’t have to wait a year for it to come out. I will say it is gory and bloody but if you can get past that it is a really great book and one my teen and I devoured in a few days time.

About the Book: Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.

Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out — dissecting living people is a step too far.

But when she tries to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place — because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she won’t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again.

Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she’s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to read Not Even Bones. All thougts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Midnights

by Sarah Nicole Smetana

 

For me The Midnights was good and enjoyable. The cover is eye catching and makes you want to pick that book up at the bookstore or library.  I think high school teen me would have eaten this book up and loved every moment of it. Mom me was just wanting to step in and tell her stop doing some of her risky behavior stuff. It is full of family, hope, loss, grief and finding yourself again, and music. If you are not a big music lover or listener than this might not be the book for you. Susannah and her dad share a bond through the music he creates in the garage studio. She feels close to him and loves being a part of his world, even though sometimes he is so wrapped up into his own world he doesn’t even notice he has a family. The unthinkable happens and her whole live is turned upside down and she is going to have to find who Susannah is again. The Midnights is full of teen angst and learning and growing. Would I suggest this to YA readers? Absolutely, I will caution that this book is very YA and not for middle grade readers like some YA books. The book contains more adult situations that younger YA readers don’t need to read about just yet. Having said that I think that being a bit more adult YA makes this a great book for an adult who maybe wants to give YA a try but not wanting a younger feeling book. This book is perfect for John Green and/or Sarah Dessen fans. The Midnights would be a great book to read over spring or summer break, and I hope you like it. I can’t wait to see what the author writes next.

About the book: Susannah Hayes has never been in the spotlight, but she dreams of following her father, a former rock star, onto the stage. As senior year begins, she’s more interested in composing impressive chord progressions than college essays, certain that if she writes the perfect song, her father might finally look up from the past long enough to see her. But when he dies unexpectedly her dreams—and her reality—shatter.

While Susannah struggles with grief, her mother uproots them to a new city. There, Susannah realizes she can reinvent herself however she wants: a confident singer-songwriter, member of a hip band, embraced by an effortlessly cool best friend. But Susannah is not the only one keeping secrets, and soon, harsh revelations threaten to unravel her life once again.

Thank you Booksparks and HarperTeen for allowing me to read The Midnights. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Layover

by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer

 

 

Layover was an OK I liked it and it reminded me alot of a chick lit book for YA genre. I had issues with it as a mom that just bugged me. However even my teen had some of the same issues. First off it has these kids just up and throwing away their phones with very little contact with their parents. They are just supposed to accept that their kids are going to not show up to Christmas vacation because they are getting a divorce. The kids hang with a friend, steal his credit card and car and have a grand old-time at Disney Land, and in the end really face no real punishment. I ended up giving it 3 stars because it was bubble gum book as I would call it. The story was well written but I just couldn’t connect with the characters. My teen gave it a little higher 3 stars but said if I pulled the crap they did I would be have been grounded for life. 🙂 Yes you would so remember that.

About the Book: One missed flight was about to change their lives forever….

Flynn: At first we were almost strangers. But ever since I moved to New York, Amos was the one person I could count on. And together we were there for Poppy. (I mean, what kind of parents leave their kid to be raised by a nanny?) I just didn’t expect to fall for him—and I never expected him to leave us.

Amos: I thought I was the only one who felt it. I told myself it was because we were spending so much time together—taking care of Poppy and all. But that night, I could tell she felt it, too. And I freaked out—you’re not supposed to fall for your stepsister. So I ran away to boarding school. I should have told her why I was leaving, but every time I tried, it felt like a lie.

Thank you Crown Book for Young Readers for sending me Layover. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Land of Permanent Goodbyes

by Atia Abawi

 

How do I begin to describe the incredible journey this book will take you on. It is heart wrenching  raw story. It doesn’t hold back any punches the author describes the horrors of war, living in a constant state of violence while trying to stay alive. Tareq is just a normal teenage boy living a life that no teenager or anyone wants to live. He lives in Syria where he has seen bombings, lost friends, seen his beloved city torn apart literally and figuratively. He still has his family: mom, dad, younger brother, little sister and twin baby siblings and grandma lives with them as well. All that changes in the blink of an eye when bombs are dropped on their apartment complex. Dad was at work and rushes home to find the devastation. The dad decides it’s time to leave and head to Europe while the family he has still can. Part one is graphic and very raw. He witness’s an execution and beheading. I had a hard time reading it, I had to put it down at times. It made me mad, sad, uncomfortable but I should feel all those emotions. If I didn’t I’d be very worried about me. No one should have to witness that. I kept picking it up because I was wrapped up in the story and I had to know what happened to Tareq. I wanted to make sure him and his family made it to safety. Part two of the book enters a new cast of characters. Some are aid workers and you get a backstory for one in particular. She went to Greece for a vacation but got so moved by the refugee’s that she put college on hold and joined an organization that helped the refugees once they made is safely to shore. Alexia is a very likable girl with a heart of gold. You also get to meet two girls from Najib and Jamila they are escaping Afghanistan. They are all that they have left of their family. They are trying to make it Germany to live with an aunt. They become fast friends with Tareq and his younger sister Susan. Maybe all hope isn’t lost, they forge a friendship and maybe even can fall in love during all the despair they are experiencing.  The romance was nothing so don’t worry this isn’t a YA romance novel. This is a refugee story like none I’ve read in the YA genre. I know this story will stay with me. I can’t get Tareq, Susan, Najib, and Jamila out of my head. This author is new to me and she has written another book called The Secret Sky that I’ll be checking out. This is YA, usually most YA can be for a middle grade. It is graphic and a very real raw story so if your middle grade reader wants to read this I’d read it first. I’d give this to a 9th grade and up no problems. This would be a book I think everyone should read at some point. The author gives a very realistic peek inside the life of a refugee and what they go through to survive and find a place they can call home after losing everything near and dear to them.

About the Book:  Narrated by Destiny, this heartbreaking — and timely — story of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria is masterfully told by a foreign news correspondent who experienced the crisis firsthand.

In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future.

In the wake of destruction, he’s threatened by Daesh fighters and witnesses a public beheading. Tareq’s family knows that to continue to stay alive, they must leave. As they travel as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece, facing danger at every turn, Tareq must find the resilience and courage to complete his harrowing journey.

But while this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of all wars, of all tragedy, and of all strife. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss. Destiny narrates this heartbreaking story of the consequences of war, showing the Syrian conflict as part of a long chain of struggles spanning through time.

 

About the Author:

 Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. Her first book for teens was the powerful Secret Sky, about forbidden romance between different ethnic tribes. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Conor Powell, and their son, Arian, where she covers stories unfolding in the middle east and the surrounding areas.

 

Thank you so much Penguin Teen for sending me a copy of A Land of Permanent Goodbyes for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.