Posts By: Lizzy

May 02

Deposing Nathan – Blog Tour!

Book Tours 0

 

Deposing Nathan – Blog Tour!Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley
Published by Page Street Kids on May 7, 2019
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.

Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn’t that easy or convenient—just like Nate and Cam’s friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept himself. But Nate—armed with a fierce moral code and conflicted by his own beliefs—started to push back. With each push, Nate and Cam moved closer to each other—but also spiraled closer to their breaking points.

 

Purchase Links:

GoodreadsAmazonB&N – iTunes – Bookdepository – KoboGoogle Books

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I am so excited for this book! I think it is SUCH a needed story. I’ll have a review coming out at a later date. You can check out the rest of the book tour over here on The Fantastic Flying Book Club’s page. Also be sure to enter the giveaway below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Zack Smedley was born and raised in southern Maryland, in an endearing county almost no one has heard of. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UMBC and currently works within the field. As a member of the LGBT community, his goal is to give a voice to marginalized young adults through gritty, morally complex narratives. He spends his free time building furniture, baking, tinkering with electronics, and managing his obsession with the works of Aaron Sorkin. DEPOSING NATHAN is his first novel.

Where to Find Zach

Website – Goodreads – Twitter – Instagram

 

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May 01

Can’t Wait Wednesday #2 – Wild and Crooked

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #2 – Wild and CrookedWild and Crooked by Leah Thomas
Published by Bloomsbury YA on June 4, 2019
Pages: 448
Goodreads

Critically-acclaimed author Leah Thomas blends a small-town setting with the secrets of a long-ago crime, in a compelling novel about breaking free from the past.

In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence's name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym . . . or face the lingering anger of Samsboro's citizens, who refuse to forget the crime.

Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. A Samsboro native, he's either known as the "disabled kid" because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself.

When Gus meets Kalyn, her frankness is refreshing, and they form a deep friendship. Until their families' pasts emerge. And when the accepted version of the truth is questioned, Kalyn and Gus are caught in the center of a national uproar. Can they break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?.

Wild and Crooked (due out June 4, 2019) first caught my attention because of that beautiful and adorable cover. Also it sounds a little bit dark and a little bit hopeful and a whole lot intriguing. I also love that the main characters, while a guy and a girl – apparently remain platonic! YES SEE IT IS POSSIBLE. Thank you.  Anyway, I’m sure it will be awesome and I can’t wait!

 

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May 01

The Sisters of Salem – Cover Reveal

Book Tours, Books/Writing 0

Not going to lie, I was attracted to this series ENTIRELY by the gorgeous covers! And then the synopsis totally hooked me…I have the first one downloaded to read on my iPad!



The Sisters of Salem
Tish Thawer
(Witches of BlackBrook, #3)
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: Summer/Fall 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.

After facing a relentless foe, three sister witches are forced even further back through time to a place that holds just as much sorrow for them as it does joy.

Returning to their origins in 1685, the trio races to save not only their mother from the clutches of their new enemy but also to secure the future they’ve worked for centuries to build.

Avoiding their younger selves is a necessity that proves difficult, especially when one sister isn’t sure she wants to leave the past behind. Faced with love and loss, these witches are forced to endure the burning times again, and one wrong step could alter history and their future forever.

Add to Goodreads

Previous books in the series:

 

Author Bio:

2017 – #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)
2017 – Top 100 Bestselling in Paid Kindle Store (Witches of Blackbrook)
2015 – Best Cover – Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Readers Choice Award – My New Favorite Book Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)

Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Arizona with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.

You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

A common FAQ: “How do you pronounce her last name?”

Answer: Think “Bower” or “Thow-er”. It’s Persian!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Apr 30

Read a Series in a Month!

Books/Writing 0

Read a series in a month? Say whaaaaat? YEP! I’m going to try it. And I’m going to try it with a series I’ve put off for a long, long time. Thanks so much to Because Reading for coming up with this idea and hosting!

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The Rules

  1. Pick 1 series. Yes, just 1. Announce which series you’ve picked on your sign up post and link it back here.
  2. Read EVERY book in the series. You don’t have to read novellas or short stories, just the core books.
  3. Read them all between 12am (your time) May 1st and 11:59pm (your time) May 31st. They MUST be marked (on Goodreads) as started and finished in the month of May to count.
  4. Enjoy bragging to everyone about how you’re all caught up on whatever series you read (AKA – have fun)! Use the hashtag #SeriesinaMonth

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So, my series is…drumroll please…

I was 18 when the first book came out, and, being the young English major that I was, I turned up my nose. Fast forward several (ahem) years, and I realize how much of an idiot I was – not for disliking the idea of Twilight, which I’m still suspicious of, but for book-shaming anyone and forcing myself to read only classic or literary books. So.

I’m going to be recording my progress on my Instagram stories (my first time really using stories for anything so don’t laugh too hard at my awkward self), with reactions/quotes/etc., and I’ve put them in Highlights so you can start at the beginning if you wish. It should be…entertaining. I’m notoriously hard to please when it comes to romances, and from everything that I’ve heard over the year I feel like I’ll probably still be doing a lot of eye-rolling as I read these. But, I kind of felt like I needed to read them, since they’re one of the first series that was really marketed for a YA audience and they helped kickstart the genre. A lot of people have told me I’m not missing much, but still…I feel the need to see for myself, almost as a rite of passage. Haha!

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If you’re playing along with the Series in a Month challenge, leave a comment with what series!

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Apr 30

May 2019 New Book Releases

Books/Writing 0

It’s time for the May new books post! I have not…erm…read any of the books I pre-ordered for April yet. But I had finals this month so I think I will make up for it in May. Also there are SO MANY amazing books coming out in May I had a horrible time narrowing my pre-orders down to just five.

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All covers link to GoodReads!

  • The Bone Charmer – basically necromancers and prophesies, and a bad-boy romance hinted at. Futures told in bones. Um, yes.
  • Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors – I’m a Jane Austen junkie, and I looooove retellings. I was ready to buy it just knowing that, but then this sentence, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep” totally sunk me. I can not WAIT to read this!
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek – a mobile library in Depression-era Appalachia and the woman (with a physical “disfigurement”) that makes it her passion. This strikes so close to home, I feel like weeping. I only hope it’s as good as it sounds.
  • There’s Something About Sweetie (Dimple & Rishi #2) – EEEEEEK finally!!!! I absolutely loved When Dimple Met Rishi and I am so ready for this companion novel. Also the girl on the front just looks so HAPPY, I can’t stand it!
  • Stepsister – a Cinderella retelling where the stepsister CUT OFF HER TOES. OMG. I must know what happens. I must. Holy hell.

And a few more I wanted to mention but didn’t get to pre-order:

  • The Wise and the Wicked – this sounds delightfully witchy and atmospheric (magical realism). I have a feeling I may still end up buying it when it comes out, because my library hasn’t deigned to get it.
  • No Place Like Here – a very short little book (according to the Kindle page count of 230-odd), it sounds like a cute, fluffy summer read.
  • Dark Shores (#1 in a new series) – Pirates, soldiers, secrets, and grand adventures. Yes, yes please. I’m always hoping that I will find a new epic fantasy series that I can totally love.

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What books are you most looking forward to for May? Any of these?

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Apr 29

The Cold is in Her Bones

Book Reviews 1 ★★★

I won an ARC of this in a GoodReads giveaway (my second, in HOW many years of entering)!

The Cold is in Her BonesThe Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 22, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads three-stars

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla's whole world is her family's farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she's forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Girls who run from what frightens them don’t get what they want.

The Cold is in Her Bones is a loose retelling of Medusa’s story. I was expecting a lot more Greek influence, to be honest, so I was a little disappointed. It feels much more like a fairy tale of the British/German type, and the setting is very obviously inspired by that era, not ancient Greece. Maybe it was just me! Oh, and I was expecting snakes of the creepy variety. Um, there’s ONE. Well, one at a time. And they’re CUTE, not creepy.

A specific place or time is never given, so it feels sort of like a historical and sort of like a fantasy world. The writing itself is intriguing, though it seems a little jerky at times. In the beginning we start off with one character, and then we never see her again until much, MUCH later. So that was a bit odd.

Overall, this is a story of a girl, Milla, growing into herself and not only accepting herself, but seizing her personhood with both hands and lighting up her world. She refuses to be a “good girl” – though not at first. At first she, like many of us, is sad that she cannot be the daughter her parents want and tries very hard to please them. I absolutely loved how she eventually realized her own power and potential and threw off all the societal expectations.

I really wasn’t sure what to make of the old woman, or Milla’s brother, or even what I was supposed to think of Milla’s parents! It was just all very…well, “floaty.” I felt very much like I was drifting along trying to puzzle the pieces together. I felt really sorry for Iris and, much like Milla, only wanted to help her.

I would read something by this author again. I just think this story needed a little more direction and polish. The writing was good and the tone was great. Just…needed a little more.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

three-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Apr 28

Sunday Post #6 – Just Breathe

Books/Writing 0

Hey everyone! Back with another Sunday Post update, via Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I’m trying to be consistent with these, since I’d like to get back into it regularly as a way to wrap up. I’m totally patterning mine off of Kimberly’s, at least for now.

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Final exams were this week! It was…well, pure hell, to be honest. I stress so hard and my anxiety levels go through the roof. I already got the grade back on the chemistry one, and it was ok, so now I just have to wait on the rest. Oh, and I have one more to actually TAKE on Monday. Phew. That’s pretty much where all of my energy and thoughts have been this week.

Oh, our oldest pupper graduated from level one obedience class! It was, apparently, exhausting.

“I’m sooooo tired, Mama…can’t you get ready for bed faster?” Well, I don’t know, could you be any cuter? 

Last Week on Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • The Cold is in Her Bones – YA historical/fantasy review
  • Deposing Nathan – YA modern review + blog tour
  • May 2019 New Book Releases

Around the Blogosphere

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

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Apr 25

What Angels Fear (St. Cyr #1)

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

What Angels Fear (St. Cyr #1)What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr, #1) by C.S. Harris
Published by Berkley Books on October 3, 2006
Pages: 410
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars
three-flames

It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

Now a fugitive running for his life, Sebastian calls upon his skill as an agent during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence. In the process, he accumulates a band of unlikely allies, including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn, who broke Sebastian's heart years ago. In Sebastian's world of intrigue and espionage, nothing is as it seems, yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy, as well as to Sebastian's own salvation....

What Angels Fear is the first in C.S. Harris’ Regency mystery series, which as of this writing is at fourteen books. STOP THE PRESSES! I’ve found a new favorite historical series! Ok, so I’ve only read the first one but I am completely head over heels and am spending WAY too much time searching for a copy of the out-of-print hardcover. Ahem.

“Life is full of scary things. The trick is to not let your fears get in the way of your LIVING.”

Feels

Creepy, atmospheric, complicated, and even a little bit sexy! So many red herrings, so many things going on…and people with so many different layers to them. Holy cow. The murder mystery here is gruesome and horrible, and through the course of the book I really came to care about the victim and desperately wanted some justice for her. The overall tone was very gothic and at times creepy but not overly so.

Characters

Sebastian is SUCH an intriguing person. I love heroes and heroines that are somewhat morally gray, and he definitely falls into that category. He’s 28 years old, has never had a happy home life (though his family has always been gentry and he’s never wanted for creature comforts), and endured things during the war (possibly DID things during the war) that no human being should ever have to go through. Not all of his story is revealed in this book, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about him and his very strange family in the next installments. OH! He has some rather different physical abilities, that had me doing some serious side-eyeing when I first started reading…but what do you know, the author actually based them on an real genetic syndrome found most often in people of Welsh descent. AWESOMESAUCE.

Kat – an Irish-born actress with whom Sebastian has a history – is an equally fascinating character, and I really hope she appears more in the later books. I love how she’s made her own way in the world, regardless of what society says about her or how she should conduct herself. She really seems to have a heart of solid gold and is someone I would love to get to know better.

Tom is a street urchin who basically adopts Sebastian despite his best efforts to dislodge the boy. Convinced that Sebastian won’t last a day on the streets (being gentry, after all) without his help, Tom quickly endeared himself. I just want to scoop him up and hug him. And feed him.

There is a slew of interesting side characters as well! I’m hopeful some of them may become more prominent in the later books.

Setting

First of all, while C.S. Harris actually has a Ph.D. in history and the telling of the story definitely feels like it drops you into historical London, some liberties have definitely been taken with the language. Also, the main female characters in this book have some VERY modern ideas of themselves and their rights – which I thoroughly enjoyed, but is probably not very historically accurate. I’m not a historian myself, by any means, but the rest seems fairly true to the time period. There are cramped alleys, injustice, starving children, and grave robbers.

Plot

There is a LOT going on here, no joke. Political intrigue, sex scandals, murders (yes, plural), family secrets, broken hearts…AHHH! I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Of course the main focus of this book is on the murder of the young woman found dead in front of a church altar, and Sebastian’s quest to prove that it was NOT him that killed her, but there are so many other threads woven through this book that are just as fascinating as the whodunit.

Flame Rating

3/5 flames! Sebastian and Kat still practically steam whenever they’re in a room together, and there are some sexy scenes (without being very detailed about specifics). They have chemistry and don’t want to admit it…until they do. Hah!

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5/5 stars, and I can’t wait to get to the next one! See what happens when you start reading some backlist books? Highly recommend if you like historical fiction, a good whodunit, with a little sexual tension thrown in.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Apr 24

Can’t Wait Wednesday #1 – The Girl in Red

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #1 – The Girl in RedThe Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Published by Berkley on June 18, 2019
Pages: 304
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon

It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....

Cue ALL the flailing. OMG, a feminist retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and by CHRISTINA HENRY?!?

I have been sold on anything Christina Henry writes since I read her dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland.

Also, check out this fabulous UK cover. I might have to buy both.

What do you think? Will you be reading this?

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Apr 22

All We Could Have Been

Book Reviews 1

All We Could Have BeenAll We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter
on April 23, 2019
Pages: 304
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads

Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.

Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she's related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live?

This is a powerful look at the assumptions we make about people. Lexie's emotional journey to separate her brother's horrific act from herself is stunning and heartbreaking. This is Lexie’s story and journey—not her brother's—and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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For all the ways I want to disappear and not let people see me, it still cuts me every time they don’t.

All We Could Have Been was a very emotional book. While it is YA, it tackles some very adult themes and thoughts – maybe because the main characters, while still teenagers, have both experienced life events that forced them to grow up very quickly. It seems to be marketed as a thriller, which isn’t entirely accurate as it mostly focuses on the aftermath of a crime rather than the events around the crime. There are some flashback sort of memories about it though, so I guess maybe that’s why…YA thriller seems to be a hard genre to pin down.

Feels

I hurt so much for Lexi. For Marcus, too, but mainly for Lexie. She has been so scarred by her brother’s actions and the hatred that people in general turned on her family after his crime, that she has (as many of us do) started to believe it of herself.

You ruin everything, I remind myself. There’s nothing you can keep safe. 

Lexie’s parents have tried, but they’ve been dealing with their own trauma, and haven’t entirely kept up with their very nearly adult daughter. Their best advice to her is to lay low, not attract attention, and please-for-the-love-of-god maybe consider not color coding her clothes to the day of the week. Despite sending her to a therapist, they seem to have no grasp of how important coping mechanisms are to Lexie, even something as small as clothing colors.

I also caught a case of the feels for Lexie and Marcus together. They aren’t the most romantic couple – their relationship is built more on a need for support and understanding that they can’t seem to find from anyone else. While I wouldn’t ever *recommend* a romantic relationship based on such, the fact is that it happens often, I’ve been IN a relationship like that, and sometimes it is what people need at that time. Such relationships may not be the most lasting, but they have their place.

Lexie grew SO MUCH in the course of this story. She’s not perfect, or “fixed” as some might be inclined to call it, but she makes so much progress. She keeps trying. Which, as anyone with depression or anxiety can tell you – IS HUGE. Sometimes it is so difficult to keep trying.

Characters

Aside from Lexie, there is an entire cast of other interesting people! This made me really happy because often secondary characters are so similar I can’t remember who is who or did what.

  • There is, of course, Marcus – who is supposed to be this bad boy with a horrible reputation, when all he really seems to be is a kid who did what he had to do to survive and ended up getting swept under the rug by the school system.
  • Ryan is Lexie’s first real friend at her new school, and he has a secret too, but one that’s entirely personal. View Spoiler » I really like Ryan, until about the middle of the book, when he does something that seems entirely selfish and unreasonable and very out of character, IMO. Meh.
  • Chloe – Chloe is somewhat petty and self-centered, but she has a respect for human feeling that a lot of people don’t. I can respect her, in the end, even if I didn’t really like her.
  • Aunt Susie – I love adult characters that I can empathize with. This is probably less of a big deal for the intended audience of All We Might Have Been, but as an adult reader I totally felt a kinship with her. She is Lexie’s mother’s sister, and while she is trying to be the “parent” figure Lexie’s parents want her to be, she ends up treating Lexie more like an adult. Huge props.

Setting

Most of the book takes place in and around Lexie’s high school – the one she’s starting at the beginning of her senior year in hopes she can make it 160 days. Normally I’m annoyed by school settings, but this one didn’t bother me, I think because it was much more character focused than it was on any particular setting.

Negatives

Mainly Ryan’s abrupt character switch in the middle of the story. I felt like it was unnecessary and really sad – and very NOT in character for him. It really dampened the entire rest of the book. Also in the beginning there is some weird, over-the-top descriptions that really threw me for a loop…I think maybe the author was trying to get Lexie’s sort of dry, sarcastic humor across but it really just felt strange.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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