Review: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

28575699A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: Poppy
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Contemporary, Mental Ilness, Friendship

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BLURB:

In the vein of It’s Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.

As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst–that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are. Continue reading

Review: If You’re Lucky by Yvonne Prinz

28110860If You’re Lucky by Yvonne Prinz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Mental Illness

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BLURB:

When Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe that Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating Lucky’s girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: Did Fin murder her brother in order to take over his whole life?

To uncover the truth about Lucky’s death, Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head. But as her suspicion grows, her mental state becomes more and more precarious. Is Georgia’s mind playing tricks on her, or is the entire town walking into the arms of a killer who has everyone but her fooled? Continue reading

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

23341894Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: June 16th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Poetry Contemporary, Swoon Romance, Mental Illness, Friendship

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BLURB:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear. Continue reading

Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

25988934The Memory Book by Lara Avery

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Romance, Dementia, First Love, Family

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BLURB:

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.

Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned. Continue reading

Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

28101540Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Romance, Agoraphobia, OCD

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BLURB:

Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up. Continue reading

Negative Review: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

25014114History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publication Date: January 7th, 2017
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Life and Death, Grief, Romance, Friendship, Coming-of-Age, Mental Illness

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BLURB:

OCD-afflicted Griffin has just lost his first love, Theo, in a drowning accident. In an attempt to hold onto every piece of the past, he forges a friendship with Theo’s last boyfriend, Jackson. When Jackson begins to exhibit signs of guilt, Griffin suspects he’s hiding something, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth about Theo’s death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth—both in terms of what he’s willing to hide and what true love means. Continue reading

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

22297294Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publicatio Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Sports, Family

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BLURB:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday (#11)

New+WoWWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly post created by Breaking the Spine that features our most anticipated books to be released.

Having read Adam Silvera’s first novelMore Happy Than Not (see review here) – I’m extremely excited for his next novel to be published which will be LGBT themed also!

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday (#10)

New+WoWWaiting On Wednesday is a weekly post created by Breaking the Spine that features our most anticipated books to be released.

I haven’t done a Waiting on Wednesday post in a year, so I’m very excited to share one of my most anticipated 2016 releases! Scratch that, it’s a 2017 book. Why do I hate myself? Continue reading

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

25663637When We Collided by Emery Lord

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: ARC
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Illness

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BLURB:

We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever. Continue reading