Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell was a tear-jerking, warms-the-heart book. The short prologue, narrated by Park, brings the feeling of loss into the story and made me wonder what happened to Eleanor. The first page jumps back to 1986 when the story begins. A lot of this story hit home for me – being the new kid at school (I attended 33 schools from 2nd to 11th grade), riding a bus full of rude strangers, not having a place to live or a home where you feel wanted. I had to take a break from the book for a while to get my cheerfulness back. Alternating points of view between Park and Eleanor help the reader understand how each of them are feeling and the struggles they are both dealing with. Park and Eleanor come from different lifestyles and different family dynamics. Eleanor and Park are good for each other and their beautiful relationship left a mark on my heart. 5 stars for this young adult realistic fiction romance!

Chasing Truth

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for the arc of Chasing Truth by Julie Cross! Wow, what a ride! This adventure, mystery, thriller, romance, young adult story held my attention from beginning to end.

Chasing Truth is cleverly written, with complex main characters and side characters, and mysterious because the main character has hidden agendas and a secrecy surrounding her. I like Ellie (Eleanor) with her clever, quick wit and the fact that she seems to care about people and also values integrity in others. Ellie’s friend, Simon, supposedly committed suicide but the investigation into his death is ongoing. This book is hard to put down and I just wanted to keep reading, but alas, life needs to be lived;).

I loved this line, “This makes me hate him 2 percent less, which is useful when I have to pretend not to hate him”. I laughed out loud! It’s priceless! Out of context, this line doesn’t make much sense, but when you get to know Ellie and how she is dealing with her con-artist background while trying to be normal, it makes great dialogue!

The mysterious background of Ellie and the mystery surrounding Simon’s death kept me riveted throughout the book, 5 stars!

The Problem with Forever

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The Problem with Forever by Jennifer Armentrout pulled me in from page one!  This complex book tells about the present situation of two previously abused teenagers and the protective relationship between the two of them. Mallory and Rider have known each other since they were small and living together in a foster home.  By page thirty-nine, the amazing way that Rider took care of Mallory when they were younger got to me and I began all-out crying because it was so touching.  The Problem with Forever deals with some tough issues and the author handles these issues with dignity and kindness.  After reading this story, I felt inspired and like my soul had been lightened.  It’s like therapy!

This is the first book of Jennifer Armentrout’s that I have read, but it will not be the last!  I am very impressed with her writing and I have a feeling that this realistic fiction book will stick with me for a very long time.

 

Going Down in Flames

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the ebook of Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon! Going Down in Flames is the first book in a trilogy about dragons. Bryn discovers that she is a dragon on her sixteenth birthday and, if that’s not enough, she is told by her parents that she will be shunned by other dragons because they cross-bred. Bryn’s father is a Red Dragon and her mother is a Blue Dragon. This makes Bryn a mix. Cross marriages are forbidden, so when her parents fell in love with each other, they ran away from dragon society because they felt as though they had no other choice. Bryn is forced by the Directorate (the governing organization of Dragon society) to attend dragon school and is placed in the Green Dragon dorms in exchange for letting them “study’ her scientifically. Bryn’s life is threatened more than once, conspiracies fly and new acquaintances are made and friendships are built. Going Down in Flames is a fun beginning to a series with a lot of potential!

Poison Princess

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Poison Princess by Kresley Cole is the start of an amazing series. This book contains many genres, such as dystopian, supernatural, romance, adventure, mythology and fantasy. Poison Princess immediately intrigued me with the feeling of doom in the first chapter. I was pulled into the story because it is interesting in so many ways; the Louisiana culture and language and the fantastical and mythological pull around Evie. I love the Cajun vocabulary lessons and culture and I think I felt at home with it because I lived in Louisiana during an impressionable age while growing up. I lived in several areas of Louisiana between the ages of nine and twelve. The Cajun references made me smile and sometimes cringe because they were spot on.

The author changes the point of view from Evie to the kidnapper for the prologue and one other chapter. This strategic writing gives readers insight into the enemy’s world. Clever, Kresley Cole! There is a bit of swearing and sexual innuendo that I will warn students about, but I absolutely love this book with its dynamic characters and I plan on reading it again and finishing the Arcana Chronicles series as soon as possible.

Pieces of You and Me

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the arc of Pieces of You and Me by Erin Fletcher! Pieces of You and Me is an enjoyable book with teen angst, family struggles, realistic situations and romance. Chase, “the moved away and returned guy”, has been to nine schools in five years. He left town quickly in seventh grade when his mother separated from his alcoholic father. Chase felt like he hurt his then best friend, Rylee and worries that he won’t be around long enough to rekindle their friendship. Chase struggles with priorities and has to decide what is the most important. Rylee has mixed feelings when she realizes Chase is back in town. She also misses the wonderful friendship they shared.

Erin Fletcher’s writing is perfect and she brings the main characters, as well as the supporting characters, to life!

I can relate to Chase because I attended thirty-three schools in nine years, from second grade to a junior in high school. Moving often is a difficult issue affecting every part of a person’s life. Regardless of the reason for the moving, being the new kid gets old quickly.