Review: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Book Title: Charm & Strange
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . 

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. 

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. 

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Disclaimer: I received this book for my birthday from a fellow blogger.

Review:
This book is going to be so difficult to review for multiple reasons. It took me on a wild ride that had so many twists and turns and no real answers until the very end. Throughout most of it I was confused, not sure exactly what was going on and sometimes it read much like E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars Not the writing itself but the tone and the location.

This book is written in alternate time periods. Flashing back to that fateful summer and then flashing ahead to current time. Unlike other books, this time period switching was easier to keep track of. It didn’t confuse me. Maybe because the setting was different and the people were different, I’m not quite sure.

I had questions throughout the entire book. I was sure that the secret that Andrew held was something and by the end of the book I had been taken in a completely different and unexpected direction. As I thought about the book and how little clues had been dropped throughout, I realized that the clues were all there, I just was focused on some other reason for Andrew’s behavior. This book requires you to be completely open minded and aware that things aren’t always how they seem.

I thought the character development was well done and that we got to see each of the characters have their own voice and personality.I do wish we had seen more of Siobhan, as she ended up being more important than I ever thought she was.

It was a good book and overall I really did like it,but I think making it longer would have helped. As much as I liked the ending, it sort of seemed rushed to me.I understand not wanting to make it too long and bore the reader, but making it too short can leave some things lacking.

I also didn’t have the feels in this book. Normally I would have expected some sort of feels but nothing this time around. Which is weird as I normally cry during pretty much any book. Not this time. This time I spent most of the book completely confused which makes sense given the way this book was laid out. So I’ll be giving this book 4 stars. Was it great? Yes. Was I pretty damn confused through most of the book? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes I would. It was an enjoyable book that forces you to keep your mind open.

Cover Reveal: After The Storm by Marie Landry

Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis:
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.

When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.

Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…

Waiting For The Storm is available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble as well as Smashwords.

Excerpt
Charlotte’s watching me closely. Her gaze is almost like a physical thing, cloaking me in its weight. She pushes back from the table and excuses herself, saying she needs to use the washroom. Dad and Ezra don’t seem to notice that the tone of the evening has shifted; they start talking about some movie that’s coming out in a few weeks. I excuse myself and follow Charlotte to the bathroom.
She’s standing at the row of sinks, staring into the mirror. The sound of the door closing makes her jump, and she meets my eyes in the glass. 
“What’s up?” I ask.
She shakes her head. “It’s nothing. I’m just…having a moment.” She laughs, but it sounds tearful.
I walk over to the counter and lean against it, facing her. “Talk to me. What’s going on? What happened out there?”
She blinks rapidly, and I know she’s fighting tears. I pray she doesn’t cry or I’m sure I’ll start, too. “Sometimes I still miss her so much it’s like an actual ache. Right here.” She rubs the knuckles of one hand over her heart. “I’ll be going along, having a great time—like tonight—and then all of a sudden something will remind me of her and it’s like I can’t catch my breath. It doesn’t happen all the time. Usually when I think of her it makes me happy in a sad sort of way. Does that make sense?”
I nod, unable to speak.
She nods too. “So I get this happy-sad feeling, and I can think of all the great times we had together, and it’s fine. But other times…other times, it’s almost like losing her all over again, and it hurts so much I feel like I’m going to implode.”
She grips the counter and I realize she’s shaking. I pull her into my arms, and for a second she shakes even harder, but then she relaxes and starts crying quietly. “I miss her too,” I whisper into her hair, feeling my own tears start to flow.
I don’t know how long we stand there, wrapped around each other and crying. I hardly ever cry, but this is the second time this week I’ve had a meltdown. It’s like I stored up all my tears over the last few months and they’re coming out in a flood now.
Author Bio:

Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece. She’s a hopeless romantic, an unapologetic eavesdropper (occupational hazard), an equally unapologetic squeeing fangirl, and a lover of swoonworthy book and TV characters. For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie any time! 

Connect with the author:

Stacking the Shelves #30

This weekly feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

This week was just full of awesome book things. I ended the week with 10 new books. 7 are review books. I won 2 books and I bought a book at Costco on Friday. 3 review books were from Edelweiss and they were all highly anticipated books so I am super excited to get started. 4 of the review books were from NetGalley,and I have already read one of them (if you follow me on Twitter, you probably know which one)

I was going through a bit of a reading slump this past week. Nothing was interesting me so I had a rough reading week.Near the end of the week, it definitely picked up.

So anyway, on to the books…

Bought

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G.Howard

Received for Review

-NetGalley-
Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
Insanity by Susan Vaught
My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

The Disappeared Girl by Martin J. Smith

-Edelweiss-
On The Fence by Kasie West
In The End by Demitria Lunetta
Gifted
Won

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy #1) by Anna Banks
Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy #2) by Anna Banks

Let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you want to. Don’t forget to leave your Stacking The Shelves post/vlog links in the comments so I can make sure I stop by.

Weekly Blog Wrap-Up
Monday- Review of The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry
Tuesday- Review of Above by Isla Morley
Wednesday- Review of No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur
Thursday- No Post
Saturday- No Post

The Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

So normally I would have done this on Tuesday with everyone else but I had something else scheduled for that day. However this feature is still hosted by the ladies of The Broke & The Bookish no matter when I post this.

This week’s topic was The Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry. This post was both easy and hard for me as I cry a lot when I’m reading. So I may or may not be able to keep it to ten books. We shall see. I’ll try to keep them in order but no promises.
1.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling.
This book destroyed me. I cried so much and so hard that I was essentially hyperventilating on the floor of my (ex) best friend’s bedroom floor. I seriously considered sending JKR my therapy bill after this one. I mean…really Jo. Why kill them. Yes I’m being vague for the few people who haven’t finished the series yet.Chapters 32 & 33 did serious emotional damage.

2.

The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young
This book had me basically locked in a fetal position for pretty much the entire book. I loved it, I adored it and I repeatedly told people that it was my favorite read of 2013. I pushed this book so many times but also told people to load up on kleenex.

3.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
It’s been no secret that I loved this book. I’ve basically told everyone what an amazingly beautiful and heartbreaking book this is. It’s beautifully written and it made me cry so much. To the point of having to catch my breath between the sobs.
4. 
If You Leave (Beautifully Broken #2)
Okay first of all Courtney Cole is a goddess. She knows how to write wonderfully real characters that people can relate to. I loved this story as I could relate so well to Madison and what she experienced as a child. I understood why her childhood experiences made her tentative about love.Watching her realize that she was not going to be her mom and that she deserved love was beautiful and it filled me with a lot of hope.
5. 
Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Beautiful book about family and how you can overcome things. That just because you experienced things that no child should ever experience, does not mean you are “tainted” or “dirty” or unlovable. Watching Callie evolve from being fiercely loyal to her mom and suspicious of her dad and stepmom to realizing that her dad wanted only the best for her and her mom wasn’t it, was beautiful and at the same time, heart wrenching.
6.
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
There were two parts that I cried over but they were major parts that involved major characters. I remember finishing the book and just being heartbroken at some of the things that happened. It involved killing off my favorite male character (which I STILL haven’t forgiven Suzanne for) I am not looking forward to those parts in the book.
7.
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
This book was more than just another one of those “cancer books” It was a book about loyalty, family and friendship. I remember vividly, finishing my e-ARC of this and just sobbing so hard I was sure I was going to puke. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and gosh just so wonderful.
8.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
So I cried in this book as did many MANY other people. Yet it was funny too which I didn’t expect from a “cancer book” However the last 75 or so pages, I sobbed. It was so heartbreaking and at times I couldn’t believe that this was happening. At this point, I ran out of kleenex so I had to use paper towels.
9.
Pushing The Limits (Pushing The Limits #1) by Katie McGarry
I probably could have put this one further up on the list but I had forgotten about some of the others on the list. Or maybe my brain helped me forget how much I cried over this one. Not sure. Anyway, this book was beautiful and both Noah’s and Echo’s back stories were heartbreaking and pretty much caused a flood of tears through a good chunk of the book.
10.
The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Now this one doesn’t come out until April but I read it and loved it. I cried through a lot of it. The journey that Lexi goes through is inspiring that alone was enough to make me cry. Not to mention the crap that one of her friends’ goes through.

-Honorable Mentions-
Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #3) by Katie McGarry
I love Beth and reading her story was heartbreaking. She is so fiercely loyal to her mom which I understand because I am the same way. Yet she knows that her mom is an adult and she insists on making bad choices. My heart ached for Beth.
The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Beautiful writing and beautiful characters. I had managed not to cry until the very end and that’s when the tears started falling. These characters were great characters and I found myself rooting for the couple but also liking Josh’s best friend.
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Yet another amazing debut. Corey Ann Haydu managed to be raw and honest about OCD and the various forms it takes while giving us characters to root for, to smile with and to laugh with. OCD Love Story made me cry mostly because I know what it’s like to deal with OCD on a daily basis and Corey Ann Haydu portrayed it wonderfully. 
So there ya go. What books were on your TTT this week? Put your links in the comments and I’ll do my best to stop by.

Review: No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur

Book Title: No Such Thing
Author: A.M. Arthur
Release Date: February 17th, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: NA/LGBT/Romance
Series: Book 1
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links:  AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Twenty-two-year-old Alessandro Silva knows that returning to tiny Perch Creek to help his foster mother was the right thing to do. With no degree and a delinquent’s reputation, he’s lucky to have landed a job waiting tables. But not everyone is happy he’s back, and the only thing keeping his move home from being a total bust is his boss’s hot brother.

Jaime Winters spent most of his life watching the world go by, first from a series of hospitals and then from behind big stacks of textbooks. Studying is easier than facing the fact that years of heart failure means he’s still a virgin at twenty-three. Until the new waiter in his sister’s diner awakens desires he’d long ago given up on.

The last thing Alessandro wants is to fall for someone as fragile as Jaime. And Jaime may have a new heart, but he’s scared of what giving it to another person would mean. Their no-strings-attached, instructional approach to sex keeps emotion safely at bay, until a secret from Alessandro’s past forces them to confront their feelings in the present…

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:
When I read the synopsis, I just knew I had to read this book. Like Jamie I spent years of my life in and out of the hospital.Like Jamie I dealt with poor health due to my heart problems. Unlike Jamie I haven’t needed a transplant (knock on wood) Being ill with a chronic illness causes you to grow up fast in some ways but you are basically assured an immature social life.I related to Jamie big time in this book. He sought comfort in his books and school much like I did.

Jamie didn’t know how to suddenly emerge into the dating world because he had spent so much of his teenage years, sick and lacking the energy to do much. I know that feeling. I also know the feeling of feeling like everyone is lightyears ahead of you in personal milestones. Marriage, kids, owning a home etc.

Jamie wasn’t out to anyone except for his sister Shannon, who I loved. She was a total sweetheart but she also was willing to open up a can of whoop-ass on whoever hurt or even threatened to hurt her baby brother. Fiercely protective she was.

That’s why I was happy to see how she warmed up to Alessandro. From the beginning the attraction between Jamie & Alessandro was evident. Shannon herself noticed how her brother and her new employee looked at each other but aside from inquiring about how they were doing as a couple, she stayed out of it.

Oh Alessandro, I loved that you returned to help your former foster mom out. His devotion to family was so nice to see. His former foster father had recently died, so Alessandro was back to help Eunice and her two foster kids Tony & Molly.Tony needed a stable male influence around as he was easily swayed by older and cooler kids.Molly was a little shyer but she was a sweetheart underneath all of her fears.

This book was weird as I loved the relationship between Alessandro and Jamie but through a decent chunk of the book it was straight up erotica. Now I don’t mind erotica at all but I think that there was too much of it and it detracted from the story arcs for Jamie & Alessandro. 

Jamie’s arc was his growing confidence and his refusal to stay in the closet any longer. He also allowed himself to believe that he was worthy of love and that the vertical scar that ran down his chest as a mark of how far he had come. Alessandro’s arc was learning to allow someone into his heart and allowing him to lean on Jamie as he faced demons from his past.

At about 70% through it I was getting frustrated with the sexy scenes. But then something happened that totally turned the book around for me. It was at this point that I shed tears. I was heartbroken for Jamie and Alessandro and scared for them both throughout the rest of the book.
I am really conflicted on what to rate this book. I don’t think removing two whole stars is okay just because of the excess sex scenes, but I don’t know. Will I read the next book in the series? Yes. Did I enjoy the book outside of the sex scenes? Yes. I wouldn’t continue the series if it was a 3 star rating because a three star rating means (to me) that I am indifferent on the book. But I’m not. indifferent. So I’ll give this book 4 stars. I am excited to see where the series goes next.

Review: Above by Isla Morley

Title: Above
Author: Isla Morley
Publish Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link:

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the bestselling vein of Room and The Lovely Bones, a stunning and harrowing novel about a Kansas teenager who is abducted and locked away in an abandoned missile silo by a survivalist who believes he is saving her from the impending destruction of the world.

Blythe focuses on finding a way to escape until she discovers that she also has to deal with crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of her captor, and the persistent temptation to give up. Nothing, however, prepares her for the burden of having to raising a child in confinement.

Out of fear, she pushes aside the truth about a world her son may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to his life underground. But when fate intervenes, Blythe and her son manage to re-emerge, only to find themselves in a world even more terrifying than the one they left behind.

Riveting and unforgettable, Above is a beautifully written and compelling tale of survival, resilience, and hope.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
The concept was a really interesting one, and one that I do enjoy more often than not. However the execution was poor and it ended up being a book that I dreaded picking up. I hate saying that but it just let me down in a big way.

Dobbs works in the library that sixteen year old Blythe visits. When he appears in his truck driving along a dirt road alongside Blythe,she thinks nothing of it. Until she accepts his offer of a ride. From that moment on everything changes.

Soon she’s being forced to shower and shave…every part of her body. Soon she’s forced to lay with him intimately.Soon after that come children. Then years pass, some quickly, some agonizingly slow. Until one day she seizes an opportunity to get herself and her son out of there.

Things aren’t the same as they were when she was taken into the silo many years ago. Where houses once sat, now there is empty and barren roads. There’s suspicion surrounding her and her son and all Blythe wants is to find her family.  

Dobbs was a creepy guy from the very beginning and that didn’t surprise me at all. Men that do this stuff are often unattractive and creepy. That’s why they abduct female teenagers. They hope that those girls understand their belief that they are trying to save them. Men like this also feel more attractive when they have a pretty young female under their grasp.

I tried my hardest to feel sympathy for Blythe but I just couldn’t. It didn’t make sense to me why she would accept his offer of a ride. He’s a freaking stranger! I don’t care how small the town was, Blythe still didn’t know him. And his excuse that her brother was in an accident and he was supposed to fetch her? I call BS on that. That is an excuse that abductors use all the time.

Most of the book was a big fat bore-fest. The end of it got really far-fetched and I couldn’t buy it at all. Too many characters were in the last 30% of it and I got confused and bored.The synopsis calls this book riveting and unforgettable? Um no, it was boring and predictable and for me, very easily forgettable. This book is getting 1.5 stars from me.

Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

Book Title: The Summer I Found You
Author: Jolene Perry
Publish Date: March 1st, 2014
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romance
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Jolene Perry’s THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU, about a teenage girl trying to cope with her new diagnosis of type one diabetes and a teenage male veteran who is learning how to embrace his new life after losing an arm, who come together by using each other as an escape, only to discover through love and struggle that your life is what you make of it.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review: 
When I first started reading this, I was excited. This book seemed like it was right up my very eclectic alley. And it was, for the most part. Kate and Aidan are two seemingly broken people due to circumstances beyond their control. Kate’s Diabetes type 1 diagnosis and Aidan losing his arm in Afghanistan. I was really happy to see that they didn’t just fall into bed together. Their relationship started off as a friendship first which I think is really important. Especially for a lasting relationship.

So when they finally kiss, its an adorable moment that I wanted to savor for as long as possible.It was exactly how a first kiss should be and from that moment on I was completely rooting for them. That is an awesome feeling. Their chemistry sizzled off of my Kindle.I am normally not a huge romance fan, but this was exactly what I needed to get back into the romance genre. A sweet couple with demons to overcome.


There was really two things about this book that I didn’t like. Kate didn’t tell Aidan about her illness until it was almost too late. I’m not sure why exactly but maybe I have a different take on this since I have had my own health issues since birth, and I have never felt the need to hide them.I’m not surprised at all that Aidan was so mad at her for not telling him the truth.


The second issue is that Kate only started accepting the diagnosis after Aidan yelled at her. That really drove me crazy. It’s like she needed a guy who cared about her in order for her to accept her illness.I know some people will point to character growth but I can’t. I can’t help but wonder if Aidan wasn’t around, would Kate still have had this epiphany? I’m really not sure about the answer. 


Now Aidan had some wonderful character growth. I was so proud of him by the end of the book. I may or may not have cried at the end.He had gone through hell and had come out a better person by the end of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book but there were some things that I didn’t love. I also didn’t get serious feels from this book. That’s why I am giving it only 4 stars. I will need to read some more of Jolene Perry’s work.

Stacking the Shelves #29

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Hi everyone,I hope your week was nice without any sort of crap being thrown at it. I considered doing a STS vlog but I don’t have any physical books to show off this week so I decided not to do it yet. Plus I hate, HATE the way my voice sounds on audio.So I need to get over that. Maybe do a few practice runs first.
I am so completely excited about my e-ARC haul this week. I’ve been in limbo for many of these titles for a really long time. Like November for the Simon Pulse ones. Most of these won’t be read & reviewed until May or June, but 2 of them are earlier than that. One this month and one next month.
Oh well, onto the books.

Bought

Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
In Deep by Terra Elan McVoy
The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
The Art Of Secrets by James Klise

#Scandal by Sarah Ockler
Sometimes It Lasts by Abbi Glines

-NetGalley-

 

Hungry by H.A. Swain
The Body In The Woods by April Henry
No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur

Gifted
Won

So let me know if you have read any of these or if you are planning to read any of these. Also be sure to leave me the links to your Stacking the Shelves posts/vlogs.
Weekly Blog Wrap-Up
Monday- Review of Year Of Mistaken Discoveries
                Review of Cruel Beauty
Tuesday- Review of Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)
Wednesday- Review of Random (Going The Distance #1)
Thursday- Review of Impostor (Variants #1)
Friday-Discussion Post on ARC Envy
Saturday- Review of Skin & Bones

Review: Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

Book Title: Skin and Bones
Author: Sherry Shahan
Publish Date: March 1st, 2014
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Link: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Jack, nicknamed “Bones,” won’t eat. His roommate in the eating disorder ward has the opposite problem and proudly goes by the nickname “Lard.” They become friends despite Bones’s initial reluctance. When Bones meets Alice, a dangerously thin dancer who loves to break the rules, he lets his guard down even more. Soon Bones is so obsessed with Alice that he’s willing to risk everything-even his recovery.

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Warning: Could be a trigger book for those of you who have dealt with eating disorders.

Review:
Let me start off by admitting that I don’t know that much about eating disorders but the psychology behind them has always fascinated me. Not only that but I have been gravitating towards “tough subject books” So when NetGalley approved me for this one, I jumped at the chance.

When we first meet Jack aka Bones,he’s checking into the EDU with the support of his mom, dad and older sister Jill.Yes, Jack and Jill. I won’t lie. I really cringed at those names. Clearly the author couldn’t come up with anything more original.I did love that his family was intact and loving towards one another. That’s something that a lot of YA books don’t have.A family who is fully present in each other’s lives.

I loved, LOVED Bones’ roommate Lard. He was one of those guys who told it how it was. Sort of the tough love stuff.I could tell that Lard was trying to get better and he was not making excuses for what had happened.He owned up to it.That actually took Bones a long time. He didn’t own up to it until the book was nearly over.

Theresa, Mary Jane and Elsie were all in varying stages of recovery but as the book viewed them as only secondary characters, not much was delved into with them. Dr. Chu seemed like a very laid back guy.In a way that was great,but I wanted to see him give a little more guidance to these teens. I loved Nancy, the nurse. She exuded compassion,especially near the end of the book.

Of course I have to talk about Alice. She was the stereotypical dancer who needed to be thinner and thinner in order to preform to the best of her ability.She was one of the patients that was very similar to the way eating disorders are talked about in the media. Dancers are always under an immense amount of pressure to be thinner and thus lighter on their feet.It’s never really delved into as this book was more about Bones’ journey, but I have a feeling Alice’s struggles with the disease were from a combination of wanting to succeed as a dancer and wanting her very absent parents to notice her.

The one family session that was depicted in the book was beyond heartbreaking. It involved all the patients of the EDU and their parents. There was a chance to see the different family systems and try to figure out what had driven these teenage patients to the lengths that they were now going to.This part was the first time I cried while reading the book. I wanted to strangle Theresa’s mother so badly.I also wanted to wring Alice’s parents’ necks.It was infuriating and heartbreaking all at once. 

I loved watching the friendships develop, Not just same sex friendships either. The friendships between Lard and Alice and Bones and Theresa were slow to develop, but I loved seeing them.Opposite sex friendships are not widely seen in YA.The character development overall was top notch. I really felt like I got to know these characters individually.

The pacing and the editing was great. Despite the tough subject, I really enjoyed this one. The only issue I had was that the end didn’t get sewn up in a nice little bow. I still had questions about the book and it’s characters. It was a nearly perfect book that brought out all the feels in me. So I’ll be giving this one 4.5 stars.