REVIEW: THE ROSIE PROJECT by GRAEME SIMSION

REVIEW: “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I don’t think I’ve ever been as amused with a character as I was with Don Tillman! He’s so methodical, so rational, and so brazenly unique – and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He eats the same thing each week (and has done calculations to ensure he’s getting the proper amount of calories), takes lightning fast showers (because why would it take a long time?), and takes nobody’s feelings into account when speaking. This guy is a beautiful example of someone living with Asperger’s syndrome, and I was HERE👏🏻FOR👏🏻IT👏🏻.

Simsion did an incredible job of capturing the thought processes of Tillman’s character and allowing the reader to get into his head. Even though Tillman didn’t necessarily have a lot of redeeming qualities, I found myself rooting for him throughout the book to find happiness.

Most importantly, Simsion showed us that people with Asperger’s are people too – which seems redundant and obvious, but important all the same. I’m the first to admit that sometimes I don’t know how to act around someone who’s wired a little differently than I am. Rosie’s character shows us how to love someone who may strike us as strange, appreciate their differences, and embrace their unique self.

REVIEW: LIES by TM LOGAN

REVIEW: “Lies” by T.M. Logan: 4 out of 5 stars

This book was exactly what I needed – it was fast paced, twisty, and full of surprises that kept me on my toes until the very last page!

My favorite traits of this book were the short chapters with cliffhanger ending paragraphs. I found myself constantly saying to myself, “Just one more chapter” and reading five or six more. I took off one star because of the lack of believability of the plot line. While I loved the twists and turns, at some point, I think Logan went a liiiittle too far into a rabbit hole of lies.

Overall, this book is a good read and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something that will keep you engaged until the very end.

REVIEW: NOVEMBER ROAD by LOU BERNEY

REVIEW: “November Road” by Lou Berney 2/5

Have you ever had to push through a book because you were buddy reading it? That was me in the beginning of this one.

The number of fingers I’m holding up is the number of stars I had to give November Road, my September BOTM pick. If I could give half stars, I would probably give it 2.5, but the rules of mathematics would force me to round up…and I definitely couldn’t round it up to 3.

This book contains the mother of all road trips in a fascinating time period, around JFK’s assassination. Lou Berney does a decent job of capturing the essence of America at that time and what it was like to be caught up with the wrong crowd, as well as what it would be like to be a housewife. He weaves together three unlikely characters that have difference backgrounds and endings, making for a page turning plot and a lot of twists.

I gave this book two stars because it started out so confusing and slow. I could barely wrap my head around what was going on with each character – there were a lot of them, and their stories were murky at the start. I had no idea how any of them went together, what their significance was, and if it was worth investing any time in. However, because it was a buddy read with @smballou, I pushed through, and in the end I was happy that I did. I learned to love at least one of the characters and it opened my eyes to what life was like during that time frame period.

Despite a generally good story and some interesting characters, the confusion in the beginning and the gore was enough for me to bump it down to a 2.

REVIEW: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by JOHN GREEN

I knew as I read this book that I would have a difficult time writing the review…and here I am. John Green, you’ve done it again. You’ve broken me apart in a way that few writers can.

This story focuses on Aza Holmes, a high school girl struggling with debilitating anxiety. She struggles to get through each day as she navigates her high school career, trying to feel as normal as possible but internally battling with her demon. Along with Aza, we meet her best friend, Daisy, and an old friend that becomes a new friend, Davis. We get a walk inside Aza’s head as she wages a war against herself and the urges in her head telling her to do things that she may not want to do, but feels like she has to do.

This story hits home for me. While I did not struggle with anxiety like Aza’s in high school, I struggled (and still struggle) with it after I had my kiddo. Every second of every day, a fight of reality vs. anxiety/depression, and John Green captured this battle perfectly with an insiders look on how anxiety can run a person’s life. “True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.” Oh, how right you are, Mr. Green.

Aza’s anxiety, albeit a bit extreme, really gave us a look into the world of mental illness in a way that few young adult contemporary novels can. I loved how Green made Aza’s character acknowledge her illness and attempt to mentally fight with it, because that’s the reality for so many people.

REVIEW: FIERCE FAIRYTALES by NIKITA GILL

Thank you to Hachette books for a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thankful to have you as a partner. Happy pub date to Nikita Gill and thank you to her for this collection of truly fierce poems and stories.

REVIEW: Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill  ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This is my first time reading a book of poems and short stories, so it is safe to say that it is not typically my genre of choice. After reading this one, I can safely say that I LOVE the poetry – the short stories just maybe aren’t for me.

The poems in this book all have a beautiful underlying lesson, and I found myself wanting to write down quotes to share with my growing kiddo (toes of said child pictured above). This book focuses a lot on female empowerment, respect, and living your life the way that you want to live it – not the way that society tells you to. I loved the fire behind Gill’s words and I could feel her passion leaping off the pages in several spots throughout the book.

While I loved the poetry, the short stories were a stretch for me. Gill chose to expand on fairytales that we grew up hearing (think Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel, etc.) and gave them her own twist. While I found myself wondering if maybe they were a bit overthought, I did appreciate some of the ideas she had. My favorite was “Lessons from the Not-So-Wicked Witch for Dorothy”. It addresses that “beauty without kindness and bravery is just a pretty, empty shell” – something that we all can take to heart.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I think the target demographic for it will rave over it.

REVIEW: THE LIGHT WE LOST by JILL SANTOPOLO

My heart is broken into a million little pieces and I hate Jill Santopolo for it. Or I love her for it..you decide.

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This story is fast paced despite having taken place over 13 years, breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly frustrating. I found myself totally invested in Lucy and her happiness, falling in love with her passion for her work and her pursuit of happiness. I feel like she is someone that I know – someone who found a big, great love, and when it was lost, she never got fully over it. And every time she thinks she is past it, she realized that she definitely is not. I think a lot of us can relate to that feeling…the feeling that you’ve moved past someone/something, but then those old feelings creep in.

That feeling is what got me hooked on this book. I probably could have read it in one sitting if time allowed, but responsibilities happened. At the end of it, I felt so many feelings that I had no idea I could feel from the plot twist thrown in. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen..but I definitely didn’t expect it. My heart was crushed in the best way possible and I can’t recommend this book more.

REVIEW: TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by JENNY HAN

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.” – Lara Jean, “To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before”

This book was the fun, flirty, fulfilling read I needed after reading some thrillers that really made my head hurt. This is my first book by Jenny Han and it most definitely won’t be my last. I’m already about to break my self imposed book buying ban to buy the sequel..sorry not sorry, folks.

I think what I loved most about this book was the main character, Lara Jean. She is quirky, witty, and everything that I was as a teenage girl. I see so much of myself in her in her reluctance to go to parties, her nervousness around boys, her slight fear of the more popular crowd, and even her fear of driving. I love how candid and unashamed she is about each of these traits. It’s refreshing to read a book with a main character that I could relate to. I felt like I was right back in high school with Lara Jean, awkwardly sitting on the arm of a couch at a party because there’s no room for us.

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The unique concept of this book had me excited until the very last page. I read a lot of young adult fiction, and it was nice to read something with a little different of a storyline than the conventional boy meets girl storyline. While we all love a good love story, it can get annoying to read something where you can predict the ending halfway through the story. Instead, I found myself guessing what was going to happen until the very end – and honestly, still guessing since I am trying to find the sequel in a store near me TODAY!

The writing style of this book makes more a quick read, and I especially loved how the chapters were not too long. It gave me the ability to say, “One more chapter” without committing 20 more minutes that I didn’t have to reading.

This book lived up to all of the hype in my opinion – everything I wanted it to be and more. Thank you, Jenny Han! Now, I’m going to wait for my local bookstores to open so I can find the sequel in stock…