Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

"How can you believe someone to be beautiful and amazing and just about the most magical person you’ve ever known, when it turns out she was in such pain that she had to drink poison that robbed her cells of oxygen until her heart had no choice but to stop beating?"
― Gayle FormanI Was Here

In an attempt to find solace, reason or justification, Cody embarks on a journey to find out why her best friend, Meg took her life.

Meg's laptop holds many of these secrets and Cody uses it as an investigation tool. She uncovers aspects of, Meg's life she knew nothing about. The most troubling data Cody stumbles across is a website that Meg, frequented. It is a website to help others commit suicide.

Cody is determined to make contact with the individual with whom, Meg interacted with the most. This proves to be more difficult than she initially anticipated but when contact is achieved, Cody is determined to place full blame on the anonymous person behind the screen.

I Was Here is a fast, engaging read with some romance thrown in along the way (FYI: The story could have done without the romance). The ending is predictable yet sweet. This is a book about forgiveness, self- discovery and grief.

Suicide is a difficult subject to tackle and Forman does it with grace and understanding.

Grade: B+

If you are suicidal, don't hesitate to reach out for help. YOU matter. YOU are loved.

National Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a crisis hotline call for support. 1-800-273-TALK

You can also visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website. Click HERE for more info.

If you are LGBT and are thinking of taking your life contact you can call 1-866-488-7386
or visit the Trevor Project HERE

Monday, March 23, 2015

Long Hill Home by Kathryn Pincus

A crime along the banks of the Bandywine River, entwines the lives of strangers. The cast of  diverse character's lives will forever be changed by an act of malice.

Kelly Mallory is our victim, she is a successful lawyer, mother and wife. Chad McCloskey is a teenage boy who is falsely accused and imprisoned for the crime against Mallory. Maria Hernandez an illegal immigrant who witnesses the crime and struggles on whether or not to report it.

Each story is given it's own unique voice and chapter. You will easily empathize with Kelly, Chad and Maria. The legal speak is easy to understand and the story flows freely. Be prepared to be entertained and go on an emotional journey. 

I only had one slight issue with this novel. It is an issue that distracts me when I read any novel that uses the words prison and jail interchangeably. They are very different things -- a simple way to put it is this. Jail is short-term and Prison is long term. It doesn't take away from the story but if you are like me and it drives you nuts -- it will cause a slight shift in the way you read the story.

Grade: A

Friday, March 20, 2015

*** Perfect (Pretty Little Liars, Book 3) by Sara Shepard

“She knew too much. -A” 
― Sara ShepardPerfect

Perfect starts off a bit slow but builds up. Secrets are unraveled and "A" continues to torture Hannah, Aria, Spencer and Emily. Each girl continues to struggle with the past, while living in the future. Their individual secrets haunting them and causing turmoil in their personal lives.

The Rosewood PD is investigating further into the death of, Alison Dilaurentis. The girls are once again being questioned about the night, Alison disappeared.  A video taken by, Aria is leaked and is circulating in the press putting more limelight on the girls and Alison's death.

Spencer discovers a horrible secret and Hannah gets a clue that might just reveal the elusive "A". 

Expect some repetition of events and  story line's you are familiar with. This isn't the strongest or most interesting book in the series. It is more of a filler book that leaves you with a cliffhanger.

Grade: C+

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer

 “Come here, baby sister," she whispered, and despite the terror twisting inside Levana's stomach, her feet obeyed. "I want to show you something.”
― Marissa Meyer,

Queen Levana's story is finally told! It is absolutely riveting! Fairest is a little treasure trove of a book that falls between Cress and Winter (which is due out this year!). You need to read CINDER, SCARLET and CRESS before this one or you will be lost

Fairest is all about, Levana and how she became Queen. Meyer, humanizes her villain character and makes her sympathetic. There are moments when you actually like, Levana. Yes, like her! Levana is still sneaky and cruel but you find out why. 

Levana's tale is sad, which makes you understand her nefarious ways . If you want to know the story behind her scars and how she came to rule, pick up this book now.

Grade: A

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

“I'm not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I'm not sure that I want to wake up.”
― Gayle Forman,
If I Stay

This book has been sitting in my to be read pile for over a year, maybe more. I just kept moving it down the pile and I have to say, I'm glad I finally took the time to read it.  It actually took no time at all --- just a couple of hours.

The book is narrated by, Mia. She is only 17 years old and one ordinary, February day, her life is changed. She is in a tragic accident and her very own life is suspended in time. She can see everything going on around her but can't communicated with others.

Her corporeal body lays in a hospital, hooked up to tubes. Her life is on the cusp of death and she has to make the choice to stay or leave. A series of flashback moments take you through important parts of her life, the birth of her brother, the moment she decided to play the cello, playing her cello and the relationhips she has with those she cherishes the very most.

The story flows off the pages beautifully and you can almost hear, Mia playing  Yo-Yo Ma's II. Andante con Moto e Poco Rubato From Three Preludes and Beethoven's - Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69. 

Forman weaves a tale of loss, love, heartbreak and life. A emotional read, that will keep you turning the pages.

Grade: A-

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes in an interesting look at what goes on behind the scene's of a crematorium.

Doughty is an excellent story teller and gives an interesting historical account on embalming. She gives insight into the way different cultures handle death and the current funeral traditions in, America.

Caitlin doesn't hold back. There will be moments that break your heart (such as the cremation of babies) and moments that make you realize that the cremation process is nothing like you ever imagined. It is dirty, awkward and sometimes a little funny.

Expect some squeamish moments, human bodies are messy and dead ones are the messiest especially if decomposition has set in.

This read is oddly fascinating and clears up questions you didn't know you had!

Grade: A

Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult

Zoe and Max have spent thousands of dollars in trying to conceive a child. After Zoe's most recent miscarriage her life starts to fall ...