Books

Only Nikolai Could Live Up to His Hype: King of Scars

King of Scars

King of Scars

By: Leigh Bardugo

Grade: A

King of Scars was in my top three most anticipated books of 2019 and it didn’t let me down! Though that ending…

Just a warning there are spoilers in here for the Shadow and Bone trilogy and for Six of Crows (especially in terms of fatalities in those books.) So if you were planning on reading them and don’t want to be spoiled don’t read this.

I also think you probably should read, at least the Shadow and Bone books, if you want to to get the full feeling of King of Scars.

Continue reading “Only Nikolai Could Live Up to His Hype: King of Scars”

Books

Sadie’s Journey

Sadie

Sadie

By: Courtney Summers

Grade: A-

“I can’t take another dead girl.”

“We have more story than time to tell it- but I suppose that’s true for all of us.”

I received Sadie from Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Continue reading “Sadie’s Journey”

Movies

Stories, Strength & Survival in The Breadwinner

the breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Directed By: Nora Twomey

Grade: A

“Stories remain in our hearts even when all else is gone.”

And this is a beautiful story, based on a book by Deborah Ellis, about a young girl in Afghanistan who must pretend to be a boy simply in order to keep her family afloat.

Continue reading “Stories, Strength & Survival in The Breadwinner”

Books

A World Without You

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A World Without You

Author: Beth Revis

Grade: A

“You are not one person. You are a different person in each moment of time.”

Bo believes that he can travel through time. He believes that the special school for troubled youth his parents sent him to is to help him learn to control his superpower. So when his girlfriend dies he is convinced that she’s really stuck somewhere in time and if he just masters time travel he could save her.

“Doesn’t she understand that the only thing that gives the candles purpose is burning them? That what makes flowers beautiful is the fact that they eventually die?”

Another book that just called out to me. I’ve often thought this- that the people I’ve loved aren’t really gone but left behind. Time moves forward without them but if only it could be bent, broken, manipulated then we could see them again. Save them. Sometimes I can see them so clearly that I almost believe it would be possible.

Yeah, so for me this was a bit of a weird book because I related so much to Bo. And in many ways he’s so understandable. Who doesn’t or hasn’t wanted at one point in time what he wants?

It’s very well written. I liked the supporting characters quite a bit. There is a bit of go between where you do wonder if maybe Bo is right about his life. On a personal level of reading at a certain point for me it was a little too much down the rabbit hole. Bo is a very troubled character and the more the book goes on the more hopeless his situation seems.

Which if you’re relating to a character like I was that’s a fairly uncomfortable feeling.

The other part of this story is told from the POV of Bo’s sister Phoebe and I found her an understandable character but a little harder to connect to. One thing about the brother and sister dynamic and the school itself there were not a lot of helpful adults in this book for some kids who very much needed them.

A World Without You is not just about mental health but grief, suicide, depression, endless hope, family and the many choices and paths a life can follow.

“She missed them in a deeper way, because she knew she’d never see them again. It wasn’t that she was gone from them, it was that they were gone from her.”

Recommend: Yes. I think mileage will vary with this one. It’s a personal book for me but overall I found it very worth the read and could maybe even be helpful in some cases.

Books

You Were Here

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You Were Here

Author: Cori McCarthy

Genre: YA

Grade: A-

“Do you guys know what a Gordian knot is?” Bishop asked. “Some people think it represents time. A tangle of sorts, but basically, it implies that anything that happened is still happening. That the past is never gone. The future already exists. Spirals upon spirals.” He cleared his throat. “So really, everyone who was ever here is still here. In a sense.”

Five years ago Jake Strangelove died in the blink of an eye while he was doing something he had done a hundred times before. Grief carries on and his younger sister Jaycee, her ex-bestfriend Natalie and Jake’s friend Mik are still unable to put the past behind them. Jaycee still wears his clothes and one summer she’s determined to follow the path of dares and footprints that he left behind, with the help of her group. All while dealing with the usual issues that come with graduation, moving on, and the painful reality of living past the people that you love (in more ways than one.)

This was one of the books I picked up recently that I hadn’t heard a thing about before hand. It’s a very personal thing but it appealed to me on so many levels. Time, grief, memory, living ghosts, not being able to remember while at the same time not being able to forget.

I also liked (which may be the wrong word) Jake’s death. A lot of times you get these big or typical things in books that do often happen all the time but this one was brutal because it was so… realistic. But that’s basically what it boils down to when someone dies suddenly. One minute they are here and the next second they are not and everyone left behind has to make their ways.

So personally, for a lot of reasons I was feeling this book. I also think it helps that in terms of the grief and loss they don’t really present any easy answers or any long-term answers except maybe have good friends and people around you.

Now the book does drag in places and I thought the end could have been less stretched out. (Did we really need the trip to the hospital? I don’t know.) Bishop is a character whose mostly told through single-page artwork. I liked him but we don’t ever really get the insight into him like the others. Zach and Natalie’s relationship was an interesting one. I was almost rooting for them even as the other part of my brain was thinking, “No, you two should definitely not be together…”

All in all this is a solid one that packed a lot of emotions in for me. I would definitely read something from this author again.

Recommend: Yes. I’m going to try in the future to just go to the bookstore and pick up some random books that look good without knowing anything about them because it worked out well for me this time!