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Review: The Hate U Give

Review: The Hate U GiveTitle: The Hate U Give
Author(s): Angie Thomas
Genre(s): Contemporary, YA
Pages: 447 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

My Thoughts

I read The Hate U Give for book club. I have been a supporter of the BLM movement from the get go. However, reading The Hate U Give was a very eye-opening experience. I learned a lot. I learned that I’ve lived a very sheltered and, subsequently, safe life. I learned that being a BLM supporter isn’t enough. And, I learned that supporting BLM for the wrong reasons is just as wrong as not supporting it at all.

I thought Starr was a great character. I never realized how tough it was to live in two different worlds or even that there was a need. My naïveté shined through as I read her and Khalil’s story. I’m now wondering how many insensitive comments I’ve made without realizing it.

Never has “white privilege” meant more to me than it does now. Thanks to The Hate U Give, I want to do better. I want to be better.

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Review: By Your Side

Review: By Your SideTitle: By Your Side
Author(s): Kasie West
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 346 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

My Thoughts

I decided to read By Your Side because I needed a fluffy romance, but I got more than I bargained for.

I found I had so much in common with Autumn. Not so much my high-school self, but my current self because of her anxiety disorder. I suffer from depression and anxiety and it’s amazing how much your body plots against you. West did such a great job of showing that in Autumn. I almost wonder if she or someone she knows has an anxiety disorder.

I also loved watching Autumn and Dax together. I loved watching their friendship blossom and it turn into more.

This has happened with both contemporary novels I’ve read by Kasie West. The novels start out so-so. I like them, but I think I’ll only give them three stars. But by the end of the novel, I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the story that I can’t help give the book five stars. I now wonder if this will happen with all her books. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

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Review: Finnikin of the Rock

Review: Finnikin of the RockTitle: Finnikin of the Rock
Author(s): Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Pages: 417 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

My Thoughts

I read Finnikin of the Rock for May’s book club. I was looking forward to it the entire year. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed.

I started Finnikin of the Rock at the beginning of my reading slump. I was worried I wouldn’t get into the story and finish it. I needn’t have worried. I was engrossed in the story right from the beginning. I ended up reading the book in less than a week.

I really liked the concept of the story. And, I loved following Finnikin and Evanjalin on their adventure to uncurse their kingdom. It was fun to meet all the different characters and experience all the different countries in the land. I really liked Finnikin and Evanjalin and I loved their connection.

I like that the story ends in a way that I don’t have to read the sequels if I don’t want to. I probably will, though, because I enjoyed the world Marchetta created.

Review: Anne of Green Gables

Review: Anne of Green GablesTitle: Anne of Green Gables
Author(s): LM Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Genre(s): Classic
Pages: 384 (Hard Cover)
Source: Own
For: Readalong
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

"She'll have to go back." Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead--a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.

My Thoughts

I read Anne of Green Gables as part of a readalong because I had never read it before. I was worried I wouldn’t like it because classics and I don’t always get along very well. I needn’t have worried because I adored Anne and her spunk.

I can see why this coming-of-age story is a classic. Anne of Green Gables is endearing with its quaint setting and memorable characters. As I said, I love Anne. She reminded me of myself, other than of her being ever the optimist. (I’m definitely not an optimist.) Like her, I love to name plants and inanimate objects anthropomorphizing them. I’m extremely talkative and competitive. I love fiercely and tend to hold grudges even though I try not to. I quite related to her.

I also loved the secondary characters, some more than others. Matthew was my favorite. He was such a kind soul, always looking out for Anne. I wish we had gotten to know Gilbert more. View Spoiler » And, even though I was often frustrated with Marilla’s no-nonsense ways, I even liked her because I knew she loved Anne.

I’m glad I can say that I’ve finally read Anne of Green Gables and I look forward to reading at least the second book in the series at some point in the future.

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Review: The Marriage Pact

Review: The Marriage PactTitle: The Marriage Pact
Author(s): Michelle Richmond
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 433 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

My Thoughts

I decided to read The Marriage Pact because I had heard such good things about it from other readers and my hold from the library came in fairly quickly.

I really enjoyed reading The Marriage Pact even though it was very over-the-top. Each time I put it down, I wanted to pick it up again so I could find out what happened. It made me glad The Pact doesn’t exist in real life. Or, does it? 🎶dun dun dun🎶

I really enjoyed the setting of the bay area, especially since I just traveled there last month. It was fun visualizing all the places they talked about in the novel. And, I really liked Jake and Alice. I rooted for them from the get go.

The only reason I’m giving The Marriage Pact three stars is because I felt the book was a little too long and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be. All in all, though, it was an entertaining thriller.