Review: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

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Book Title: Delicate Monsters
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Published Date: June 9th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Review
I would love to just spend a day in Stephanie Kuehn’s head because she is freaking brilliant and I cannot imagine what it’s like in her head. She manages to come up with captivating characters with fucked up morals. If I ever need a book that will mess me up completely, I’ll reach for Kuehn’s books and do a reread.

Saying I enjoyed this book sounds weird because the book was really dark, but I love dark books and I really did enjoy this one. I was expecting something a bit more gory. Especially given what people had told me about certain parts of the book. There were some disgusting things in the book. There’s one particular scene that made me squeamish, which is strange because I’m normally not squeamish at all.

I was expecting to struggle with the three POV’s this book had. But I didn’t. Sadie, Emerson and Miles were interesting characters. Characters that made some really bad choices (I’m looking at you Emerson) But they were characters that I wanted to know more about and I love that feeling.

Sadie was always angry, always cruel. Even from a small child, she never had anything  nice to say and it was her father that noticed her cruelty. She was very much a sociopath and sociopaths have always interested me. In Delicate Monsters, we learn exactly how messed up she is and I found her so fascinating. In the beginning, I liked her POV the best, but I slowly grew to enjoy the boys’ POV’s.

Emerson seemed normal, but it’s not until about halfway through the book that we start to learn that he’s not normal. in fact, he’s a sick boy with horrifying proclivities. Yet again, I found him fascinating. His family history was interesting. He still cared about his younger, and sickly brother, so there’s SOME kind of humanity there.

Miles was also very interesting. I kept wanting to know why he was so sick all the time. I kept wondering who was responsible for it. My suspicion turned out to be wrong, so apparently, I’m still not good at figuring out any twists. Someone needs to teach me how to figure them out. He had a lot of darkness inside of him, but I still felt like he had some sort of humanity.

I still don’r know if I even understand this book. It’s the most confusing book of Kuehn’s and it’s also my least favorite. I still recommend it, and I still recommend this author because she’s so brilliant. 4 stars to this book that kept me guessing, and made it impossible for me to read anything else that night.

Review: The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

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Book Title: The Crown
Author: Kiera Cass
Publish Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book 5 in The Selection series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book.

Review
I gotta admit I am really sorry to see this series end. No it’s not the next literary masterpiece, but it’s book crack and it’s a good escape from reality when it’s needed. And reading the final book in the series was exactly what I needed in order to de-stress. I loved Eadlyn in The Heir and I kept hoping that I’d continue to love her in this book.

I did still love her, but not as much as I did in the previous book. I did enjoy watching her heart slowly warm up to the possibility of finding a love like her parents had. She had been so reluctant to it before, so seeing her evolve was really awesome to see. Seeing her take on more responsibility was great too.

The book was really short, especially for it being the end of the series. I was hoping that it wouldn’t feel rushed, but unfortunately, in some parts, it did feel rushed and that bothered me because I didn’t want it to feel rushed. I wanted the story to unfold at the same pace the previous books in the story did. The ending was a lot more rushed than I wanted it to be. Really Cass could have spread the ending out over a chapter or two.

I do recommend rereading The Heir before you read The Crown. I really wish I had. Mostly so I could keep the different suitors in my head. I did have a couple standouts in The Heir and they continued to be standouts in this book as well. Several of them, in different ways than I ever expected. I am not going to say who she picked (if she picked anyone) I will say that it was a pretty good ending to a series that so many fellow bloggers call book crack.

Blog Tour: Half in Love With Death by Emily Ross

HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH

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Half in Love with Death
by Emily Ross
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: December 18th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

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Synopsis
It’s the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline’s life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She’s invisible to her parents, who can’t stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish.The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister’s older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline’s desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her.Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess’s disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we’ll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again.Inspired by the disturbing case of Charles Schmid, ‘the Pied Piper of Tucson’, Half in Love with Death is a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.

Review:
I was a little iffy on this book when I first saw it. It didn’t look like something I’d be into, so I passed on it. Later, when I looked at the synopsis, I was very intrigued.

I took a chance with this book because normally historical fiction is not what I reach for when I want to read. However, after a slow start, this book hooked me in and did not let go of me the rest of the book. It was the kind of book you need to be patient with because it was a bit slow in the beginning and I found myself frustrated at both the pacing and the characters.

I think that’s why it took me so long to read a book that’s not even 300 pages.

Caroline was a fascinating character to me. She was maddening, but she also clearly loved her sister, so she was in a near constant state of conflict. Her parents were cold and distant with her. Maybe that was part of the 60’s parenting thing, I have no clue. Caroline also had boy problems. She had Billy, but she also starts falling for Jess’ boyfriend, Tony.

But is Tony innocent?

As the book continues, things get very creepy and questions begin to arise about Tony, about his friends and about whether or not Jess is actually in California like everyone else seems to think she is.

This book was a slow start, but it ended up being very enjoyable and it left me questioning everything and even wanting more after I finished reading it. I am giving it 4 stars because outside of the slow start, it was a VERY enjoyable book and I’m really glad I took a chance on it.

About the Author
EMILYROSS
Emily Ross’s YA mystery/thriller HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH is forthcoming from Merit Press(12/2015). She received a 2014 MCC Artist Fellowship finalist award for fiction, and is a graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program. When not writing she works as a web developer and is the mother of two millennials. Find out more at http://www.emilyrosswrites.com/ or https://twitter.com/emilyross816.

Giveaway Link
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Review: Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Book Title: Killer Instinct
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
Series: Book Two in The Naturals series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review
I loved the first book in this series and I could not wait to start in on the second book. I was a bit worried about the second book not being as good as the first one. Sophomore slump and all that. I was excited to see what was in store for Cassie, Dean, Lia, Sloane and Michael.

Especially Cassie and Dean. Cassie went through a rough patch at the end of The Naturals. After Locke, after the bombshells that were leveled on Cassie I was worried. I was worried that she would spiral out of control like so many others would do if they were in a similar situation.

But I was also curious about Dean. We had learned that his father was in prison as a serial killer. Serial killers fascinate me and Dean being the son of a serial killer was really interesting. I wanted to know where it went.

So Dean was definitely fascinating in this book. The way he pulled away from Cassie and the rest of the inhabitants of the house was hard to read because they just wanted to help him, but he wasn’t receptive to their help. The interactions with his father were so fascinating, the interview had me hanging on every word on the page.

“Because if you’re a part of Dean’s life, you’re a part of mine.”

That, right there, is so very creepy. It’s the kind of creepy that could bring nightmares.

I did enjoy this book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first one. I adored the first one, but I only liked this one. I wasn’t as invested in this one as I was in the first one. I will be giving it 4 stars. I am still excited to see where this series goes next.

Review: Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

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dbff7-rf5050cBook Title: Rules for 50/50 Chances
Author: Kate McGovern
Published Date: November 24th, 2015
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Genre: YA Contemporary
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Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life’s uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

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

Review
This book was totally 100% up my alley. I love reading about and studying rare genetic diseases. Had my math abilities been good, I would have probably gone into genetics. That’s how fascinating I find this stuff. So when I first read the synopsis for this book I got really excited.

I don’t know if I’m more excited about the diversity of this book or about the strong family presence. Can I pick both? Because I want to. Caleb, Rose’s love interest is African American, her best friend Lena is Asian. I loved that about this book. Her parents were still together despite her mom’s illness. That, right there, was amazing to see So often spouses ditch their ill partners because they don’t want to deal with what’s ahead.

Not to mention Rose’s grandma was in the picture. She was helping Rose’s father (her son) care for his wife. I have a close relationship with my own grandma so I loved how present Rose’s grandma was in her life.

I think the one real negative thing I’d have to say about this book was that I didn’t love the romance. Caleb bugged the hell out of me. I know he was constantly stressed out since his mom and two sisters all had Sickle Cell Disease, but sometimes he treated Rose like crap. Yes, she didn’t always treat him well either, but I think this was a case of two teenagers who had a lot of stuff on their plates. Stressful stuff that would have made most adults short tempered. The romance usually felt really forced to me and I was definitely disappointed by that.

And the ending was really anti-climatic for me. I was disappointed by the ending. I was hoping for a different ending. I felt like I didn’t get a whole lot of closure to the story. I wish I could say more about it, but I’m trying to avoid talking about spoilers. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am glad I read it. I am giving it 4 stars.

Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

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Book Title: Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Published Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Contemporary
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an e-ARC from Balzer & Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review
I loved Julie Murphy’s debut, Side Effects May Vary, so I was excited for this book. I was so excited for body positive messages, and confidence building.

What I wasn’t expecting was how funny Willowdean was. There were parts throughout the book that had me laughing until my sides ached. She had such a healthy outlook on her own life. Her weight wasn’t an issue for her, unlike for her mom. Her mom truly believed that because of Willowdean’s weight, she’d never find a boyfriend, never be truly happy.

“News flash Mom: A man will not cure my troubles.”

Yet, Willowdean does want someone to kiss, to cuddle and to be romantic with, whatever that entails.

“I want a person to kiss hello”

Willowdean also begins to feel awkward around her best friend Ellen. Ellen is preparing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time. Willowdean sees it as this really big thing that’s about to happen for her best friend, and she feels left out in a weird sense. Like Ellen is so far ahead of her.

“Having sex doesn’t make you a woman. That is so freaking cliche. If you want to have sex, have sex, but don’t make it this huge thing.”

Willowdean also had an aunt Lucy who died before the book began. Lucy had been significantly obese all her life and had never been unable to lose the weight.

Aside from their weight issues, there was something else that tied Lucy and Willowdean together: Dolly Parton. I love country music but I had never listened to a lot of Dolly Parton’s music until I read this book. Now I’m on a serious Dolly Parton kick.  Ellen and her family were also fans of Dolly Parton. That was part of what brought Willowdean and Ellen, together.

Willowdean’s mom was so insistent on getting rid of Lucy’s things at certain parts in the book and it really mad me mad and it made me upset to see Willowdean so upset about it. I really wasn’t a huge fan of Willowdean’s mom whose name I am totally blanking on right now.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. I tried to see what Willowdean saw in Bo, and he just didn’t appeal to me. I did love his step mom Loraine, though. She was warm, inviting and accepting of Willowdean. I’m not a fan of love triangles at all and this one was weird because Willowdean was bouncing back and forth between Bo and Mitch. I hated the way she treated Mitch. It was like he was her backup guy, someone she turned to when she didn’t think things with Bo would work out.

I also was not a huge fan of how Willowdean treated Ellen when she also signed up for the beauty pageant. I understood why Willowdean wanted to have just this one thing to herself, but I also understood that Ellen wanted to participate. They both had a hand in that ugly fight that began long before the pageant even started.

I did like the friends that Willowdean made. Hannah, Millie & Amanda. They were the social outcasts of tiny Clover City, but each of them was brave enough to try something new. To try and break the barrier of what is considered beauty. I do think Amanda was my favorite though. She was the most reluctant to do the pageant, but she did it anyway.

I did enjoy this book, and I’m really glad the pageant wasn’t a huge part of it. I know I’m probably the minority in that. I am thrilled that accepting yourself, loving yourself and friendships were such big parts of this book. I am going to give this one 4 stars. I do think people should read this book.

Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle

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Book Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moira Fowley Doyle
Published Date: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Genre: YA Paranormal
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.

But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.

Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.

A haunting, untethered, addictive read that perfectly captures that time in our lives when our hearts crack open and the raw secrets of our true selves burst forth—whether we are ready or not.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review
What did I just read?

I’m not even kidding about this. I’m so utterly baffled with this book. I am feeling all sort of things about this book. Good things, definitely.

I know the back of this book said that it was for fans of We Were Liars, but I was not a fan of We Were Liars, so I was worried that this book wouldn’t work for me. Bu I was willing to give it a shot.

I gotta say that The Accident Season was very compelling, and there were characters in this book that were interesting, quirky and they were characters that I was excited to learn about. I wanted to know more about them and what makes them tick.

I got more and more invested in the book as I kept reading. I wanted to know what was really going on. I wanted to know about Alice, Cara, Sam & Elsie. I was curious to know if this was all in Cara’s head or if all of this was actually really happening.

As I kept reading this book, I thought it was similar to Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn. Both of those aforementioned books, we didn’t find out what was really going on until the very end. That was also true with The Accident Season.

I am going to give this book 4 stars because I really enjoyed the book overall. I didn’t know what to expect with it, but I am really glad I read it. I love books that keep me wanting more and that’s exactly what this book did for me.

Review: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5 by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Throne of Glass series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me.

Review
Since there were 5 novellas encased in this book, I’ll be reviewing them separately.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
This first novella introduces us to Arrobynn, Celaena, Sam and several other characters. We then watch as Celaena and Sam work to free the slave ships. I wasn’t all that enamored with this one. It was cool what she and Sam did, but, I don’t know, I was kinda hoping for more.

The Assassin and the Healer
I loved this one. I loved seeing a different side to Celaena. Yrene was my favorite secondary character and I loved watching her transform from a weak, quiet girl to a tougher, bolder girl. All with Celaena’s help. It showed me that Celaena was able to be multifaceted.  I loved seeing that she had a heart.

The Assassin and the Desert
In this book, we meet Ansel, another secondary character who I loved. I actually loved seeing Celaena want a friendship with another girl. The ending was utterly crazy, and twisty turn-y. I didn’t even expect it. I guess that’s the mark of really awesome twists. I think I liked this novella the best, although I really enjoyed all of them.

The Assassin and the Underworld
Holy hell, this one made me angry. I wanted nothing more than to kick Arobynn’s teeth in. At the very beginning of these novellas, I thought he was a good person. I didn’t realize how much of an asshole he was until this novella. By the time this novella was over, I was utterly livid with him. I did love watching Celaena slowly fall for Sam. They were adorable together and I loved them.

The Assassin’s Empire
This novella destroyed my feels. Oh my god, I suspected what would happen, but I was so hoping I was wrong. I hated reading about what was happening. I hated it for Celaena. She went from being a girl of strength, both mental and physical, to a girl who was only a shell of herself. What a character arc!

The writing was beautiful. I don’t even know how Sarah J. Maas does it. She manages to weave together a gorgeous story with beautiful writing. I will be giving this book 4 stars. If you haven’t read the series yet, I’d recommend you read The Assassin’s Blade first.

Review: One by Sarah Crossan

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Book Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
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Book Link: Goodreads

Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.

 
Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
 
Review:
I had been wanting a YA book about conjoined twins for well over a year, so when I saw this one, I pounced on it. I was a little nervous about it though because of the writing style. I’m normally not a fan of novels that are in verse, but considering the subject matter, I decided to give it a shot.
 
I am so glad I did, because it was really good, and even though it was written in verse it didn’t read like it was. It read like it was written in typical novel fashion. I think it was probably because it was written as a free verse novel. 
 
Another problem I normally have with novels written in verse is that I can’t connect to the characters very well. That was not a problem this time around. I loved Tippi & Grace and their personalities were different, and interesting. They were captivating and so very fascinating. 
 
They shared friends. 
 
I really loved Yasmeen. She was so good for them and she accepted them without question. She was a wonderful friend throughout the entire book. And Jon was another friend of theirs. He treated them normally and like Yasmeen he didn’t even seem to see that they were conjoined. That wasn’t an issue for him.
 
I was really glad that there wasn’t a whole lot of romance in this book. There were hints of it here and there, but this book was mostly about two sisters who had been joined together since before birth. You know me, I’m a sucker for sister stories.
 
I do wish we could have seen more of their younger sister, who they had nicknamed Dragon. I felt crappy for their mom as she was desperately trying to hold down the fort. Their dad was no help as he was unemployed and spent most of the book drunk, leaving his wife to deal with the mounting hospital bills and her constant worries about Tippi and Grace.
 
Oh, and make sure you have kleenex. I needed it several times while reading the book. There are definitely feelsy moments throughout the book.
 
I ended up really enjoying this book more than I thought I would, and I definitely think there needs to be more books about conjoined twins. I find the whole concept fascinating and am so thrilled that I got to read this book. I am giving it 4 stars and I definitely recommend it to fellow YA Contemporary lovers like myself.

Review: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

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NOSBook Title: Not Otherwise Specified
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Published Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

The latest powerful, original novel from Hannah Moskowitz is the story about living in and outside communities and stereotypes, and defining your own identity.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review
There is such a shortage of bisexual main characters in YA, so when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it.

I liked Etta’s voice almost immediately, and I was able to connect with her in a way that I haven’t been able to connect with many characters. I’ve struggled with not fitting in. I struggled for 5 years with the realization that I was interested in both men and women.

Not to mention I have other health issues that set me apart from other people. So feeling like an outsider is not a new feeling for me.

Etta found this group of people who cared for her and accepted her as she was. Now that was a great thing to see. Mason, James and of course, Bianca. Bianca she had met in group for their eating disorders and James was her brother and Mason was the guy that Etta was sort of attracted to.

I still cannot figure out why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was wanting to. I think a lot of it had to do with Bianca and even Etta’s relationship with her. First of all, Bianca was fourteen. What the heck was she doing around a bunch of seventeen year olds. I know Etta was just trying to support her, and be there for her, but there were times that the friendship would set off alarm bells in my head.

And yet, I know what it’s like to not have anything in common with people your own age. I know what it’s like to relate to someone older or younger than you. So while sometimes I’d get weirded out by the friendship between Etta & Bianca, usually I understood it. So I was sometimes conflicted.

I thought the character development for Mason & James was not as strong as it should have been and normally, I’d consider that a book’s downfall, but in this case, I was enamored with Etta’s voice, so I was willing to overlook certain things, like the character development not being as strong for these two as I was hoping.

All in all, I did enjoy this book. It was an enjoyable book, but I wish I had loved it like I wanted to. I am giving it 4 stars and I do recommend this book for people who want diverse books, because this one fits that bill to a T.