Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard. Steffi is a selective mute. Rhys is a new student that’s deaf and the two of them use sign language to speak to one another. They become friends because of the sign language commonality and their relationship eventually becomes more. This coming of age story contains quirkiness, humor, families that do the best they can and all the insecurities of growing up and being a little different. Young adult content shows the reality of sex and all the awkwardness that can go along with it. 5 stars for the lovable, complex characters!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Adina takes music lessons from Arjun in his apartment. Arjun is twenty-five and Adina has a crush on him. She’s also fearful of her possibly life threatening genetic test results. Adina is being tested for the same disease that her mother suffers from. Tovah, Adina’s twin, will be taking the genetic test for Huntington’s disease also. Their mother was diagnosed four years ago and she struggles with the effects. The girls have Jewish heritage from their mother and while Tovah embraces it, Adina doesn’t. I like how Tovah explains why she believes God didn’t cause their mother to have Huntington’s disease: “God has limits, humans have free will, and the natural world isn’t ruled by a higher power”. So, in other words, God doesn’t make people have illnesses. The sisters seem to be complete opposites in everything they do and believe and with their actions and choices.
The story’s complexity deals with heritage, Huntington’s disease, twins with extreme differences, genetic testing, coming of age, sexuality, relationships, culture, religion and family. 4 STARS for this debut novel with a lot of depth!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker. Rilla lives with her grandmother. After her father dies, she’s unsure about college because she worries about leaving her grandmother and she wants to keep her father’s fishing business going. The story is a bit odd but starts to pick up around chapter four when Rilla meets Sam on the small island where he’s doing research on an archeological dig. Sam knows about the Malaga Island history and he shares his research with Rilla. Rilla is worried that she’s following her mother’s footsteps because she’s seeing a ghost and hearing her voice. Rilla’s mother talked to the water people and she left her family when Rilla was very young because she wanted to keep her family safe. All Rilla knows about her mother is that she waded into the ocean with heavy rocks in her pockets weighing her down and then she admitted herself into a mental institution. Rilla has kept the apparition to herself and continues to do so until she grows comfortable enough with Sam to confide in him. She also needs his help to keep herself safe and to figure out the ghostly mystery. Little by little, the two of them piece together the visions and the island’s history and uncover a tragic event that connects Rilla and her family to Malaga Island. I love it when authors share their research with readers and explain their reasoning behind the story they’ve created. When a book is based on historical facts, I always want to dive into the research and study the truth that helped create the fiction. 4 stars for an intriguing story that pulled me into a lesser known part of American history.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon! Prejudice and pushy parents are a part of every culture and Dimple is tired of her parents shoving the culture of India down her throat when she just wants to be a young adult American. Her dream is to become a web developer. she’ll be attending Stanford in the fall but for the summer she’s attending Insomnia Con-six weeks of learning web design and development. Little does she know that her parents have prearranged a meeting with the young man they want her to eventually marry, Rishi. She knows nothing about Rishi and her parents kept her in the dark while Rishi’s parents told him everything. Rishi doesn’t realize that Dimple has no idea before it’s too late and they have a disastrous first meeting. They end up being partners for Insomnia Con and get the chance to know each other without the pressure from their parents. Dimple and Rishi have more in common than they could have guessed and they end up being very compatible. I think it’s creative and funny how they dubbed the small group of rude, arrogant rich kids, The Aberzombies and it made me smile every time it was mentioned in the book. The story of Dimple and Rishi is fun, eye-opening, romantic, full of friendship and loyalty, inspiring and, at times, heartbreaking. Beautifully written, entertaining and worth 5 stars!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary by Emma Chastain! Chloe is nervous about starting high school and is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. Her freshman year turns out to be nothing like she imagined and so much bigger than she could have guessed it would be. Through the year, Chloe has crushes, makes friends and learns how to grow and still hang onto lifelong friendships. She’s also involved in drama, some she causes and some she’s blameless for. Her dad is a solid part of her life, while her mother turns out to be selfish and flaky. In the span of that eventful year, Chloe matures and ends up being a sophomore willing to share her painfully gained wisdom with her underclassmen. 5 stars for an entertaining realistic fiction read for young adults!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review The Shadows We Know By Heart by Jennifer Park! My first reaction was surprise and curiosity as I read the first chapter. The story involves a young woman and her family who recently moved close to the woods after their son, Sam, died. Leah, her brother Matt and their parents don’t discuss their loss, but they each deal with it in their own way. Leah ventures into the woods, even though her family forbids her to enter them. She makes a surprising discovery, a human male among the Sasquatch she’s been observing. A tragedy occurred when Sam went camping with the neighbors, Reed and his father. The father was killed and his body was found, but no one ever found the two boys. The two families have tried to move on but the search for the boys has continued for years, which Leah knows nothing about. The mystery unfolds as secrets come out into the open. The story is very interesting and better than I expected. 4 stars for a twist on the uncommon!
One Cut by Eve Porinchak is a nonfiction story on riveted.com. This true telling of a young man’s death brings all sides into the light and shows how complicated seeking justice can become. The media attention and heresy escalated the case that didn’t have much solid evidence. Regardless of the lack of evidence and even the fact that the young man driving never left the vehicle, they were all still charged with homicide. The book felt one sided and I believe it was written that way to help show the injustice of the entire case. I read it and still haven’t come to any conclusions about where the guilt should be placed and I can’t imagine the jury’s frustration with this case; 3.5 stars.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley! The book opens with an excerpt from “The Fight with the Dragon” by Friedrich von Schiller, translated by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton 1852. I found the excerpt and its implications to the story interesting. The area has been attacked by hostiles, as the warning siren is telling the city. The students and teachers at the school are heading to the shelter. Maia sees a terrified young girl under a jeep. Maia feels the need to save her, since she is now an effigy and has been for forty-eight hours. That’s when an Effigy mentor died and Maia took her place. There can only be four effigies at a time. Earth, fire, ice and wind are the four effigies at a time. When Maia meets Saul, I was instantly intrigued by his silver hair and mysterious ring. There’s more to Saul and his ring than Maia realizes. The Effigies are a type of super hero with flaws and attributes just like regular people. The mystery goes beyond someone just being a villain. The plot is intense, interesting and full of twists. I give 4 stars for this science fiction adventure!