All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for the opportunity to read and review All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. All the Bright Places cannot be described with one word. This book is tremendous in heartbreak, coping skills, love, loss and grabbing life and enjoying it while you can! The best line of the book is on page 23, “Some people hate him because they think he’s weird and he gets into fights and gets kicked out of school and does what he wants. Some people worship him because he’s weird and he gets into fights and gets kicked out of school and does what he wants.” This statement sums up the reputation of Theodore Finch. Finch is a mystery to everyone. Finch and Violet share the narrative through alternating points of view. Finch struggles with depression and Violet suffers from survivor’s guilt. Violet’s sister died in a car accident not long before the story begins. The awkwardness and humor between Finch and Violet pulled me into the story and made me love both of their characters! When the two were paired together for a class project, their lives intermingled in many ways and they helped each other grow and enjoy life. All the Bright Places is a beautiful story of loss, love and what comes after. I appreciate that the author approached the stigma of needing help and the people we all know as fakers. The author’s notes were soul bearing for her and she discussed difficult topics that tend to be overlooked in our society; way to face the tough parts of human nature! 5 stars for this highly recommended book.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the opportunity to read and review Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon! Madeline suffers from immunodeficiency and has many life restrictions because of this. She stays home twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Her mother is a doctor and goes to work while Nurse Carla takes care of Madeline. New neighbors move in next door and Madeline can’t hide her curiosity. The teenagers that moved in next door, Olly and Kara, bring a bundt cake to be friendly, but Madeline’s mom has to turn it away. Olly ends up dropping the cake afterwards. He notices Madeline watching him and sets the cake on his windowsill and dresses it up to give it personality. Olly has a wonderful sense of humor and he makes Madeline’s life more interesting. Her life blossoms after seeing Olly and she can’t feel contentment like she used to. The illustrations are fun and bring extra life to Madeline and Olly. Everything, Everything is one of those books that cannot be put down and I fell in love with all of it: the story, the energetic characters, the dysfunctionality of family, the humor and the romance. A wonderful young adult book worthy of 5 stars!

Other Breakable Things by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read Other Breakable Things by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood! The beginning dropped my heart into my stomach. Immediately after, the story goes back three years and shows a mother waking her son, Luc, because there’s a heart available for his needed transplant. Back to the present beginning with Chapter One and Evelyn’s point of view. Then the chapters alternate between Luc and Evelyn. Evelyn has returned to town with her mother and, once again, they live with Evelyn’s grandmother. Luc and Evelyn were friends three years ago and when she moved away they kept in touch fairly well, until the past four months when Luc hadn’t replied to any of Evelyn’s emails. Luc has been dealing with transplant recovery and therapy but he doesn’t want Evelyn to pity him, so he doesn’t explain this to her. He has kept his sickness from her and she has no idea why he doesn’t feel well and no idea that he has undergone transplant surgery. While reading, we learn about what Luc has been through and what Evelyn’s life has been like. They have both kept things from each other. Now they try to rekindle their friendship and both want to be more than just friends, but they are afraid of scaring the other one off if they share their secrets. Luc doesn’t feel that it’s fair to Evelyn to become involved when he’s not sure how long he will be around and Evelyn has always kept her problems to herself. Little by little, they overcome their obstacles and are able to spend time together on an adventurous road trip to Oregon. I grew to love Luc and Evelyn and cared for their future together. Other Breakable Things is a wonderful love story with a heartfelt touch and appreciation for how short life can be; 5 stars!

The Last True Love Story

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“Received an advance reader copy for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely! “The point of living is learning how to love.” This quote from The Last True Love Story sums up the plot perfectly. Teddy is visiting his grandpa, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Teddy is full of integrity and loyalty and he shows this as he helps keep bullies off of his friend, Corrina. The two of them take grandpa on a road trip and it isn’t always easy going. Some swearing (the “f” word); just a heads up. This beautifully written story of a grandson trying to help his grandfather relive and remember his best memories before Alzheimer’s disease takes the memories away for good, is a touching story. A family theme with love being the most important of all. Romantic and inspiring, also. 4 stars.