Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mysteries (it's the Sophie show!)

Goodreads blurb: Nine months. Two weeks. Six days. 
That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?

I did not figure out the mystery in  this book before they told me the answer, and I feel like it kind of came out of left field. I was much more focused on the relationships happening between Mina and Sophie and Trev.  I feel like my kids who like mysteries will want to know who killed Sophie. The ambiguous romantic relationships will confuse the ones who want a clear cut romance, so it’s not for them. The drug abuse angle will interest a different crowd.  

Sophie and Cassie go missing, Sophie shows back up but can't remember anything about that night or even her life.  Cassie’s body is found; she’s been murdered.  Who did it? Everyone is a suspect, especially Sophie.  Why can’t she remember what happened?  

The mystery kept me guessing who did it the whole way through.  I suspected everyone and even wondered about mental illnesses.  I could see what I was pretty sure were clues,but it wasn’t until the end of the book when everything fell into place for me, as it did for Sophie.  I’m glad I bought this for the library; it should be very popular.  

This is a slim little book that packs a powerful punch about bullying, and rumors. What really did Alice do? The story is told from the points of view of her friends, enemies, and bystanders. It would be a great companion book to 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  The multi points of view might be easier to follow in the audiobook, which has multiple narrators.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Better than they look

I thought this would be an icky, fluffy, sappy romance novel from the cover. I mean--look at it--huge romantic moon, clinching couple, and a perfect tree.  But what I got was two complex characters (Jonah, and Brighton) with interesting back stories, and a friendship turned romance.  So yes, the romance is there, but it's not the same old, same old.  

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

On her birthday, Minerva, a 16-year-old singer/songwriter, hears from the father she has never known and her placid life is turned upside down.  

Get Happy is a quick read, interspersed with song lyrics/poems that are written by Minerva during some of her down times, or times of great contentment.  While not a stand out novel for me, it was a good exploration of removing oneself from the mire of complacency. Minerva realizes that the adults around her aren't perfect, and she must figure out who she will be when she strikes out on her own.  The journey can be painful, but bright spots along the way can ease the hurt, on the way to maturity.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Breaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais

Goodreads summary:

Sphinxie and Cadence. Promised to each other in childhood. Drawn together again as teens. Sphinxie is sweet, compassionate, and plain. Cadence is brilliant, charismatic. Damaged. And diseased. When they were kids, he scarred her with a knife. Now, as his illness progresses, he becomes increasingly demanding. She wants to be loyal--but fears for her life. Only the ultimate sacrifice will give this love an ending.

Sphinxie--”I always felt stupid when I was around him.  I was simply too ordinary, while he was this vision of talent and good looks, whirling through life and dazzling everyone with his greatness.  I never really hated him for making me feel less than him; I was just in awe of him, ….” (p 13)

Cadence--”Everyone loved Cadence’s eyes, people were always saying how beautiful they were, how unusual.  How completely out of the ordinary.  Sometimes, I thought, ordinary is better.  It was the first time in my life that I realized something could be so unusual that it was broke, so out of the ordinary that something was wrong with it.” (p 16)

All through this book I was worried about Sphinx.  She was so much under Cadence’s spell, the seemed to lose herself to him.  I don’t see this book having wide appeal, unless one is interested in stories with sociopaths as characters.  But it doesn't get into the person's head  as much as one might like.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Althea & Oliver by Christina Moracho

Two best friends, two roles:
The crazy one,
The normal one.
They need each other, to know who they are,
Where they fit in the world.

But what happens
When one needs the other more?
When roles seem to be reversed?
When one disappears?
What then?

Unknown future…

This book broke my heart over and over, yet I could not stop reading it. I'll be thinking about this book for a long while. And the more I think about it, the more I remember.  One of the things that shocked me so much was the casual drug and alcohol use.  I realize that many kids are just like Althea and Oliver and their friends, but I wasn’t used to seeing it in a novel this way.  I had a hard time breaking up with this book.  It took me a few days to be ready to read another one.  Even though I had some already started.  

My favorite character quotes/descriptions:

Althea--”Oliver has always suggested that she try lacrosse or field hockey because she might enjoy a sport where she is given a stick and instructed to wield it against others, but she isn’t interested in teamwork or strategy.”  (p. 21)

Oliver--”Oliver’s what everyone calls a ’smart kid,’ the kind you show your math homework to so he can check the answers right before class starts.” (p. 28)

Coby--”He’s the kind of guy who just keeps showing up until no one remembers who was friends with him first, so when you figure out you don’t like him, you don’t want to say anything, because you’re afraid you might offend whoever brought him along.” (p. 97)