Books

Creating Your Own Revenge

You Must Not Miss

You Must Not Miss

By: Katrina Leno

I don’t know what sold me on this book more the idea that a desperate girl’s fantasy world actually becomes reality or that line on the cover, “Imagine the perfect revenge.”

Okay probably 60% revenge and the rest the fantasy world.

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Books

If I Was Your Girl

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If I Was Your Girl

Author: Meredith Russo

Grade: A

If I Was Your Girl follows the story of Amanda as she moves to a new town to live with her father for the first time in years. There she meets new friends, settles in and even finds a fantastic love interest. Only Amanda has a secret- mainly that she used to be a boy called Andrew.

Amanda is a great character. It’s easy to admire her strength and resilience. I also really liked that in this book people weren’t just written off as irredeemable assholes. (Though there are a couple.) Yet for the most part it was actual human beings, in many cases with secrets of their own, capable of change and acceptance.

There is a scene I really liked with Amanda’s mother where she admits that she does indeed mourn her son. I don’t want to give too much away but I found that very moving and human. It’s sad to think that so many people in real life don’t move onto the accepting part and would rather just mourn. But I digress.

In the author’s note in the back she admits she takes some liberties with Amanda’s story. Like how easily she passes and how she’s able to get the surgery, the drugs and everything else so young. And I’ll admit as a reader there are some elements that would make me roll my eyes otherwise. (Everyone pretty much falls all over Amanda the minute she walks into school. Grant is Prince Charming whose hiding things and a history that somehow only put him in a better light.)

Yet I think because of the tension within Amanda’s character and her past it still worked for me and balanced out in those terms. I admit I pretty much read this whole story expecting horrible things to happen and while there’s some of that it really is a story about strength, character and acceptance.

I will definitely read more from this author in the future.

Recommend: Yes. 

Books

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Author: Matthew Quick

Genre: YA Serious

Grade: A

It’s Leonard Peacock’s eighteenth birthday. He has big plans. He’s going to deliver gifts to the four people he considers important to him. Then he’s going to off his former best friend Asher and kill himself.

It feels like sometimes subject matter you want to stay away from has a habit of finding you. Or maybe you find it because you need it. I wasn’t big on starting this book but I’m really glad I did. Leonard Peacock is not the easiest character in the world. You feel sorry for him because no one remembers his birthday and his parents are to say the least, not good.

He’s precocious. He’s adorable. He’s needy. He’s rude and obnoxious. In his interactions with people you can see he is both insightful and leaving a lot to be desired. Overall though I liked Leonard. Despite his intentions there was never a point in the book where the character didn’t seem believable. Probably the most moving parts throughout the book were the letters from the future that Leonard had written to himself, part of a school assignment which when you consider he didn’t want a future said a lot.

The interesting thing about this book is that despite it’s bleakness there’s still hope. Leonard’s parents might be absent but for once it was nice to see the teachers given due credit. He has a hero in Herr Silverman. But his English teacher also picks up pretty quickly on the problems and the guidance counselor at least attempts to make contact. Plus there’s his old neighbor who cares about him. He’s not alone. There’s hope here.

Also Leonard has real problems. It’s really heartbreaking to read why he’s doing what he’s doing and I liked the fact that the book doesn’t shy away from that either. Leonard needs help and when it comes down to it no one denies or belittles the fact that he might very well need a lot of it. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m going to put some trigger warnings down at the bottom that might… 

 Recommend: Yes. This book is a really well written, fast read and Leonard is a lead who keeps you engaged. It’s got horribly dark subject matter but it never loses it’s humanity or it’s hope. I might have chosen this to fill out one of the Great Imagination challenge blocks but I’m really glad I read it.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Discussions of murder, discussions of suicide, bullying, rape, child abuse, abandonment, and drug use.