Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

cd680-tttThis feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I have added several books to my shelves recently. I added a few library books to my shelves as well, so those will hang around for only a few weeks.

Go forth and check out the books I added this week!

Library Books
BJDODS
SA2WINTERGIRLS
Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1) by Lori Goldstein
-I’ve heard both good and bad things about this book, but I’m head over heels in love with the cover-
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
-I’ve heard mostly good things about this book, and it definitely looks like something I’ll love-
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
-My FAVORITE Sarah Dessen book. So, so, SO good!-
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
-I had my eye on this book before, but it was Corey Ann Haydu’s vehement insistence that I read this book, that won me over-

Review Books
TASOAHTSP
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jan Bennett
-I’m very hopeful for this book. It looks like something I’ll enjoy-
The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey
-Suicide pact + sister books! Eeeeeep! Things that I love. I have high hopes for this book-

Gifted
THLOMP
The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
-One of my FAVORITE books of 2014. A million thank yous to my Secret Sister for sending it to me-

Bought
UtLTop Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015c1d84-thob
Under the Lights (Daylight Falls #2) by Dahlia Adler
-I am so excited to read this book. I’m in LOVE with that cover-
Paperweight by Meg Haston
-One of my favorite books of 2015. It was utterly gorgeous & I needed a finished copy-
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
-I fell in love with The Kiss of Deception and I knew I needed to pre-order The Heart of Betrayal-

Let me know if you added any of the same books on your list this week. Also don’t forget to leave the links to your post in the comments below.

Stacking the Shelves #78

 This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, and it’s a way to show what we’ve added to our shelves recently.

Wow, this is my first official Stacking the Shelves post from my new home. Well, new home as in, the blog is now on WordPress, but you all know I’ve been blogging for 2 years.

This week, I added one book that I preordered and 2 books I got from the library that I’ve been excited about (Already read & reviewed Saint Anything!)

I added two books from Edelweiss & one book from NetGalley.

I also got one of my favorite books from 2014 from my Secret Sister.

 Bought
UtL
Received for Review
-Edelweiss-
Stacking the Shelves #78 CBTM
Underneath Everything by Mary Beller Paul
Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

-NetGalley-
Stacking the Shelves #78

No Such Person by Caroline B. Cooney

Library

SA2DODS
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Gifted

THLOMP
The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

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Book Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review
It’s no secret that I haven’t really clicked with Sarah Dessen’s books. I’ve tried several of them and except for The Moon and More, none of them have been to my taste for various reasons. I had heard this one was different, darker, and that made me curious. Everyone who knows me, knows that I prefer my contemporaries to be dark as opposed to fluffy.

That’s why Saint Anything really worked for me.

Yes Sydney really drove me crazy, but it was not unexpected given Dessen’s usual plot point of having a quiet female character who never speaks up for herself. Sydney’s older brother, Peyton is in jail after being involved in a drunk driving accident in which he paralyzed the boy. Sydney has always felt like she’s invisible and it gets even worse as she watches her parents deal with this.

Especially her mom. Wow, her mom was a tough woman to like. I mean, I knew it was probably hard for her to know that her son had caused such a serious accident, But she becomes so focused on trying to “fix” this, when there really is no such thing as fixing it. Even her husband, Peyton (yes there are two Peyton’s in this story, father & son) isn’t as obsessive as she is. As much as Julie Stanford believes that getting the whole family involved will help her son, this is jail, not the PTA.

Let’s not forget the creepiest guy in the entire book. Ames. He was Peyton’s best friend in prison and now he’s constantly around the Stanfords, sucking up to Julie, and creeping Sydney out. Does she tell her parents how much he creeps her out? Nope, and that really bothered me.

“It wasn’t like he had ever done anything to me, so I felt like it had to be my problem.” 

I wanted to strangle Sydney so much when she said this, because it didn’t matter if he had ever done anything to her. She had a right to feel however she felt about him, even if he never touched her in any inappropriate ways. That is such a teachable moment for girls, especially young girls. They need to know that it doesn’t matter if a guy never did anything to them. What matters is that they feel uncomfortable around a certain guy.

Case closed.

Peyton doesn’t tell her mom or her dad about her misgivings about Peyton. She doesn’t want her mom to lose him. Ames had been her mom’s rock during the latest crisis with Peyton.

“He hadn’t done anything except creep me out. And that wasn’t a punishable offense.”

Just being creeped out by him is reason enough to not want him around.

“Especially since I had nothing specific to point to, just a feeling. Everybody has those.”

Um, no Sydney, they don’t, and if they did, most people would speak up about them.

The Chatham clan really reminded me a lot of the Garrett clan from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I loved the Garretts, and I loved the Chathams just as much, maybe even more. Something about the chaotic family subplot really works for me. Maybe it’s because I have such a small family, and sometimes wish I had a bigger family.

Layla accepts Sydney even as she learns about Sydney’s family, and especially about Peyton’s troubles. Layla is no stranger to siblings who have troubles, as her sister Rosie has a drug past. There’s also Mac who has made eating healthier a priority, and their mom, who has MS and their dad who owns a pizza place.

I have never craved pizza as badly as I was craving it the entire time I was reading the book. Well pizza and fries.

I love stories about friendship, and Layla and Sydney’s friendship was golden. Layla is the one who Sydney confides in the most. About Ames, about Peyton, about her parents, about David Ibarra, but there’s one thing that Sydney can’t talk to Layla about.

Her growing feelings for Mac.

I loved the romance in this one. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the romance Dessen writes, but Sydney and Mac were awesome. Mac was swoony and Sydney grew stronger with him, which I absolutely loved. She started to realize there are other people who want her in their life without expecting anything from her.

Mrs. Chatham was awesome. She provided Sydney with a mother figure when Sydney’s own mother was too busy with Peyton’s troubles to pay any real attention to her daughter.

“Why do you feel like you have to shoulder your brother’s responsibility?”

Totally valid point because Sydney felt a lot of guilt. Guilt over something that was never her responsibility to begin with. It was utterly maddening to see her feel guilt for something her brother did.

“Because someone has to.”

Um yeah, like your brother.  Sydney needed to realize that it was not on her to shoulder this burden. It was her brother’s responsibility. Not hers.

Because this book was darker than most of Dessen’s previous books, I really liked it a lot. I enjoyed Sydney’s story arc especially because it was so important for her to realize that she matters, and her voice matters. The Chathams helped her realize that.

I am going to give this book 4 stars because it is my favorite Dessen book so far and it was captivating and interesting.

 

Stacking the Shelves #46

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Holy moly, this week brought me a lot of books. I got for from NetGalley and one from Edelweiss. I also got a book in a trade with another blogger, so thanks Lili! I also got 10 books from the library. I REALLY need to stop getting books from the library. My TBR is getting even crazier. Yet, my willpower continues to be zero.

Let’s see what landed on my shelf and in my Kindle this week.

Bought
Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
Random by Tom Leveen

-NetGalley-

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly
Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

Followers by Anna Davies
Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Gifted

Trade

Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl & Ali Benjamin

Won

Library Books

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
 

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor
Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

 One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Truth or Dare (Truth Or Dare #1) by Jacqueline Green

So let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you are planning to read them at some point.

Bloggers Mentioned

Review: 45 Pounds by K. A. Barson

Book Title: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K. A. Barson
Published Date: July 11th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonThe Book Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Disclaimer: This was a library book.

Review:
This book was hard for me to read, mostly because I never struggled with my weight the way Ann did. So it was hard for me to understand the struggle that she had gone through. However the more broader topic of fitting in was one that I definitely understood. I never really fit in as a kid or as a teenager because I have serious health issues. That kinda stuff makes you stand out, even if you try hard to fit in.

This book also touched on family dynamics and while I am a child (and adult) of divorce, my family isn’t as dysfunctional as Ann’s is. Ann’s father & stepmom treat her like garbage, even having her come over to their home under the guise of wanting family time with her, when really they just wanted her to babysit her baby half brother. That part infuriated me.

At home she has her mom and stepdad and two younger siblings, Judd & Libby. Her mom is seemingly “perfect” until Ann realizes the way her mom talks about food, particularly around Ann and Libby is dangerous. Libby is already worrying about getting fat and dieting and other dangerous food related things. Ann wants desperately to model healthy habits for her younger sister since apparently, her mom doesn’t want to. 

And of course, Ann has an older brother who we don’t really see much of until the very end of the book. I wanted to see more of Tony and was disappointed because I think there was a lot of backstory from his end that we didn’t get a chance to see.

Acceptance is a big theme here. Ann has to learn to accept the family she’s got, a friendship that is dead in the water. Accept that her mom is not perfect and that mistakes have been made. Most importantly Ann learns to accept her body for what it is and I think that is the biggest message for teen girls and even teen boys. 

Body acceptance is a big thing as a teenager and so many kids go the extreme route and it ends up being something they always struggle with. It was definitely an enjoyable book and because of that, I’ll be giving it 4 stars. I do think it should be required reading in middle school and high school, because it was a very important book.