This Week In Books #57

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book to get to Goodreads!

All the Forever Things Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Letters to the Lost

NOWAll The Forever ThingsJolene Perry– I’m hoping to get a good way through this book tonight. I really enjoy Jolene’s writing and it’s often deeper than you’d first expect.

THENFun HomeAlison Bechdel– I recently finished this book for Beth and I’s Banned Books feature. Look out for our review on Monday!

NEXTLetters To The LostBrigid Kemmerer– I’ve heard so much about this book. I’m intrigued!

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to let me know in the comments or leave me a link to post that you do! Happy Reading!

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR (2017)

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books on our Spring TBR.

I’ve started with 5 ARCs that I’m going to be reading first! I seem to have a busy start to April!

Follow Me Down- Sherri Smith

Follow Me Down

I have heard good things so far about this book. I hope to read it after my current read!

All The Forever Things- Jolene Perry

All the Forever Things

I enjoy Jolene Perry’s writing, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Letters To The Lost- Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost

I’ve heard a lot about this author although I’ve never read a book by her. Looking forward to them!

Goodbye Days- Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days

I’ve seen this one everywhere… intrigued!

The Upside of Unrequited- Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited

I’m nervous about this one as I loved the author’s debut so much!

On My Shelf

The Last Beginning- Lauren James

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

I have had this coming up for a few weeks now, but then other books have got in the way… you know how it is! I am really looking forward to this.

Heartless- Marissa Meyer

Heartless

I have mixed feelings about reading this book. I’m worried it won’t live up to my expectations.

Furthermore- Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore

Another highly anticipated one!

Don’t Touch- Rachel M. Wilson

Don't Touch

This one has been on my TBR for far too long. It’s time to read it…

The Book Collector- Alice Thompson

The Book Collector

My sister Beth, isn’t sure if I’m going to like this book, but I’ll give it a go!

What have you got on your Spring TBR? Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

Has To Be Love

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Albert Whitman & Company

Previously read by the same author:
The Summer I Found You
Stronger Than You Know

Synopsis:

Years ago, Clara survived a vicious bear attack. She’s used to getting sympathetic looks around town, but meeting strangers is a different story. Yet her dreams go far beyond Knik, Alaska, and now she’s got a secret that’s both thrilling and terrifying–an acceptance letter from Columbia University. But it turns out her scars aren’t as fixable as she hoped, and when her boyfriend begins to press for a forever commitment, she has second thoughts about New York. Then Rhodes, a student teacher in her English class, forces her to acknowledge her writing talent, and everything becomes even more confusing–especially with the feelings she’s starting to have about him. Now all Clara wants to do is hide from the tough choices she has to make. When her world comes crashing down around her, Clara has to confront her problems and find her way to a decision. Will she choose the life of her dreams or the life that someone she loves has chosen? Which choice is scarier?

Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed Jolene Perry’s writing, so when I noticed her latest book Has To Be Love, up on NetGalley, I had to download it. I have read the previous two books Jolene Perry has had published, so I was expecting a touching read. The synopsis that I read was not the synopsis included within this blog post. It didn’t mention our main protagonist Clara, being a survivor of a bear attack, so that was a surprise to me! I’m pleased to see that it is now included, as I think it’s such an important part of this story.

Clara has survived a bear attack which unfortunately killed her mother. Clara has severe scarring to her face. She is understandably very self conscious about the marks on her face. Clara has a dream to go to Columbia University (the University that her mother went to and adored) to study writing. Clara doesn’t expect to get in, but does, and wants to see if she can get her scars fixed before she goes. She can’t imagine how it will feel to have strangers looking at her scars. Clara has a boyfriend who she has known before the bear attack who absolutely adores her. He sees a future with her and wants to commit to her. He doesn’t know about her University offer. Rhodes, a student teacher from Columbia University, is introduced to Clara by her father. Rhodes compliments Clara’s writing talent. Clara has to make a choice between her dreams or a stable life with her very committed, loving boyfriend.

I did enjoy reading this story, and thought Jolene Perry portrayed Clara’s emotions and struggles is a believable way. I also enjoyed reading how Clara’s religious beliefs (she was Mormon) contradicted a lot of her feelings. With Mormon being the religion represented in this book, Has To Be Love did have quite a strong religious undertone, yet it didn’t feel like it was thrown into the reader’s face. It certainly didn’t come across as preachy, which some books with a strong religious undertone can.

I think the reason why I didn’t get on with this book as much as Jolene’s previous two, is that I didn’t feel an emotional connection to Clara. I did sympathise with what had happened to her, but for some reason didn’t really ‘get’ her. I still think this book is well worth reading, I just didn’t like it as much as her previous releases.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Not my favourite by this author, but a decent read nonetheless! 

Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters. I could mention so many wonderful books that do this, so it’s been incredibly hard to narrow it down!

Undone- Cat Clarke

Undone

This book has diverse characters and deals with suicide. I was absolutely blown away by this book, especially the ending. Oh my goodness!

A Kiss In The Dark- Cat Clarke

A Kiss in the Dark

There is a big secret involved in this story, but I don’t want to give it away. You’ll just have to read it to see why it’s got diverse characters!

Stronger Than You Know- Jolene Perry

Stronger Than You Know

This book features a wonderful character who goes through so much and grows massively throughout the course of the story. I will always recommend this book!

Golden Boy- Abigail Tarttelin

Golden Boy

This is another diverse and bloomin’ wonderful book. It revolves around an inter-sex character.

Gracefully Grayson- Ami Polonsky

Gracefully Grayson

A beautiful story which deals with prejudice and ignorance!

The Art of Being Normal- Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal

This book was recommended to me by several trusted book bloggers. I could see why. I think it’s a fabulously diverse book which has a transgender character at the heart of the story.

Pointe- Brandy Colbert

Pointe

I absolutely adored this book. The main protagonist is dealing with serious issues. It’s so well written!

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

This book deals with mental health/suicide in an incredibly raw, honest manner.

She Is Not Invisible- Marcus Sedgwick

She Is Not Invisible

Marcus Sedgwick’s book has a character who is living without sight. I think this is a beautifully written book.

Lies We Tell Ourselves- Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves

This book involves race and LGBT. It’s wonderful.

What are your Top Ten books with diverse characters/diversity? Feel free to leave a link to your top ten post and I’ll stop by!

Stacking The Shelves #123

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book title to get to the Goodreads page!

NetGalley:

Has to Be Love

I have really enjoyed books by Jolene Perry in the past, so I snapped up her latest book. It looks cute, but knowing Jolene’s books it’ll be emotional too!

Burn GirlThis book looks intense and emotional, but its synopsis intrigues me!

I Knew You Were Trouble (Jessie Jefferson, #2)I apologise if you have Taylor Swift in your head right now! I love Paige Toon’s writing and I’m intrigued to see how her YA series progresses!

The Mistake I MadePaula Daly is one of my favourite British thriller writers. I didn’t even look up the synopsis of this book before I requested it. I like her writing that much!

Bought:

Dream a Little Dream

I adore Giovanna Fletcher’s writing, so I dived into this book straight away. I’ve managed to write my review already (I’ll be pushing it to the top of my drafts) so I’ll publish my review early next week! I just want to spread the word for a perfect summer read!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave me a link to your hauls. Happy Reading 😀

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Dealing With Mental Illness

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten books which feature characters dealing with mental illness. I’ve decided to feature mental illness on my list this week, as I’ve recently been pleasantly surprised with how the topic is represented in literature. I’m not saying that authors always get it right, but it’s an important topic to be explored.

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads.

Undone by Cat Clarke

Undone

I really enjoy Cat Clarke’s books and Undone really impressed and shocked me at the same time. It deals with the aftermath of the main character’s best friend killing himself after being outed as gay.

Wintergirls- Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirls

Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer. I truly recommend her books! Wintergirls deals with eating disorders. It’s an incredibly powerful read.

Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak

Speak is the first book I read from Laurie Halse Anderson. The main character in this book is suffering after a terrible event.

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

This book is about depression and suicide. Handled in a very sensitive manner. Some of the descriptions are so powerful in this book. It really made an impact on me.

The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

This is yet another powerful read. The reader learns about the main character’s fall into mental illness. Highly recommended!

The Last Time We Say Goodbye- Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

I was really intrigued to see what Cynthia Hand’s contemporary work would be like. I was impressed. This book deals with the consequences of a family member taking their own life.

Perfect Escape- Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape

In this book, the main character’s brother suffers from OCD. She takes him away from his everyday life and his routines/rituals. They really go on a journey (cheesy, sorry! 😉 ) together. I loved this book!

The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

I haven’t seen the movie adaptation but I’ve read the book! It’s so interesting to see the world from the main character’s point of view. A thought provoking book.

Stronger Than You Know- Jolene Perry

Stronger Than You Know

I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. The main character suffers from panic attacks admidst other problems. She finds inner strength. I was touched by this book.

Pointe- Brandy Colbert

Pointe

Another beautiful book that completely exceeded my expectations. It deals with the aftermath of an eating disorder and the aftermath of terrible events.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What have you picked for your list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

 

Stronger Than You Know

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Albert Whitman and Company

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Summer I Found You

Synopsis:

After police intervention, fifteen-year-old Joy has finally escaped the trailer where she once lived with her mother and survived years of confinement and abuse. Now living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in a comfortable house, she’s sure she’ll never belong. Wracked by panic attacks, afraid to talk to anyone at her new school, Joy’s got a whole list of reasons why she’s crazy. With immense courage, Joy finds friends and grows closer to her new family. But just when hope is taking hold, she learns she must testify in her mother’s trial. Can she face her old life without losing her way in the new one? Will she ever truly belong in a world that seems too normal to be real?

Thoughts:

Sometimes a book like Stronger Than You Know is exactly what I’m looking for in a read. I thought the synopsis sounded intriguing and moving, so I went with it and requested this book. It didn’t take me long to read. I also appreciated how the author tackled mental health and anxiety. As a long term sufferer of anxiety, I could relate to the main character, even though I am lucky enough to not have experienced what she had. I think it’s really important that mental health is tackled in Young Adult literature as it is so common yet so rarely tackled. The story isn’t perfect, but I still think it’s a decent, quick read.

I loved Joy as a character. I couldn’t begin to understand how she felt after suffering such abuse at the hands of her mother and her mother’s terrible boyfriends. It’s characters like this, and people like this in real life that I find admirable. They nearly always find that inner strength in order to move on with the rest of their lives. I also loved how honest she was a character. She knew she wasn’t quite right yet and had a mountain to climb with her fears, but she started to move on and she was strong enough to acknowledge that it was going to take some time to find some normality.  She kept fighting because she wanted to move past her horrible upbringing and move forward with her new family. I just love that strength of character. She grew so much throughout the book. I love characters that develop so well.

Joy’s family, her Aunt, Uncle and her cousins, that she was placed with were also incredibly well written. I adored the pure love that her Aunt and Uncle gave her, despite not knowing the full story about what happened to them. It was lovely to read about someone placed with a family member and actually getting on with them. I also appreciated how the rest of the family had their flaws too. It was realistic!

Being ultra critical, healing and growing is all the book is really about. Therefore if you’re looking for a story with a bit more of a plot then this isn’t it. Stronger Than You Know is about healing after terrible incidents and finding out who you are with the love of family to guide you.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Perfect for fans of strong character development contemporaries!