Dear Evan Hansen, The Novel

39088507Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: October 9th, 2018
Publisher: Poppy
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, High School, Mental Health, Suicide, LGBTQIA+, Romance


REVIEW:

This was my first time reading a novel based on a play. And you know what? Even though I had no idea what to expect and had mildly bad experiences with novelizations in the past, this was quite the positive experience.

It becomes obvious after the first couple of chapters that this story was modified to fit the novel format because of the way certain scenes unfold or the text itself, but that only adds to the specialness of the book. Continue reading

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What Made Maddy Run – Kate Fagan

33296283What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Non-fiction, Biography, Sports, Mental Health, Psychology, Suicide


BLURB:

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today. Continue reading

Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suicide, Friendship, Family

BLURB:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss. Continue reading

Review: Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Won
Publication Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Point of View: 1st Person & Male
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Suicide, Death, Love, Friendship, Music

BLURB:

A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend’s suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you’ll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it’s only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that’s always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it’s about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

Continue reading