For readers around the globe. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Nothing Left to Lose

The bittersweet ending to my current favorite series.

It's the last book, so beware of spoilers.

Brooke's gone, Boy Dog is with the FBI, and John's on his own again.
This time he ends up in Lewisville, Arizona following a lead. A women drowned in her own living room, no water nearby, but somehow drowned. Seems like the work of a Withered, which is exactly what brought John to this little town. Luckily, he has an advantage.... the dead old woman worked at the mortuary and now they need someone to fill her shoes. Obviously, John is the perfect candidate and he definitely inserted himself into all of their lives the day of he funeral. But that night he has a run in with a Withered or two and quickly realizes that this town needs him.
 John is almost like a regular 18 year old (minus the whole mortuary thing), hanging out at hipster pizza joints and couch surfing; well until his new boss realizes the FBI is looking for him. Like always, his fire setting caught their attention and they sent a full team out looking for him.

This book is probably the slowest one in the series, which I totally understand.
But honestly, I don't like John on his own. He's always had someone to bounce ideas off of and in this one there wasn't any of that. He didn't have a lot of drive left in him, in my opinion anyway. There was no connection to any of the other characters like there was before. Nothing was tying him to Arizona, yet he stayed anyway.

Either way, I'm glad I read it.
I've been besties with John Wayne Cleaver for the past nine months.
I am happy.

Looking for the rest of the series?
Mr. Monster (book two)
Next of Kin (novella)
Over Your Dead Body (book five)

Monday, September 17, 2018

People Kill People

Disclaimer: this book deals with sexual abuse, suicidal ideation, and gun violence.

Now, that that's been said.... lets get down to business.
Ellen Hopkins took a chance on this book, and wrote in a new and unique way. Instead of her usual free verse poetry style, she led us straight into the skin of the characters with poetry sprinkled throughout. But the amazing thing that she did.....
 
She made violence the narrator. 

Which is amazing.
People Kill People is told through 6 POV's: Rand, Silas, Daniel, Cami, Noelle, and Ashlyn.
Of course, each of their lives overlap in one way or another in classic Hopkins style. Each of their stories are sprinkled with whispers of violence. The idea that they could even think of committing a crime is something they all regularly struggle with. So lets break down all the characters.

Rand: 19 years old, married to Cami, father to 3 year old Waylon. Aspiring police officer. Violence is the voice of his childhood. The abuse he endured while growing up has shaped him to become a police officer....but only to get revenge on the man who hurt him.

Silas: Teen leader of the TradYouth white supremacist group, regularly uses derogatory terms to explain his "white is right" motto. Violence rears his ugly head towards anyone who is "illegal" and Silas uses it to his advantage.

Daniel: Homeless, Honduran, and half brother to a white supremacist. His mother was deported which caused his father had to announce his secret life to his actual family, who didn't handle it so well. Once his father died, his new family showed their true colors. Which caused violence to slither into Daniel's psyche and make him beyond paranoid of people leaving him.

Cami: 19 years old, married to Rand, mother to Waylon. Stay at home mom life just wasn't the life she was hoping for. She wasn't ready for this life. But when a robbery goes wrong and all her money is stolen, she's suddenly in debt to a very important man. A man that her husband doesn't know she's in business with. Violence shows up (in my opinion) as a way of protecting her and Waylon on their daily errands.

Noelle: Overweight, disabled teen trying to find her voice in the world. After her accident, she lost all of her hopes and dreams. She could never do the things she wanted again and that caused for some serious depression. You guessed it, that's how violence found a way into her life.
 
Ashlyn: Turned on by violence, deals in sexual acts to get the things she wants and needs in life. But when she meets up with her cousin, Tim, she gets caught up in the TradYouth lifestyle. But she's not quite sure what she wants. Violence snuck in during a house party and left her in a jail cell. 

I completely loved the way Ellen Hopkins wrote this book.
It was new, exciting, and definitely had me flipping through the pages.
However, I didn't click with the characters as much as I usually do in her books.
Now don't get me wrong, the story was FANTASTIC and extremely relevant in our current society. But that's obviously what she was trying to do.. she put more development into the story and the connections in the story than she did in the characters themselves.

Looking for more books by Ellen Hopkins?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Girls

After staring at this book for a couple of years, I finally picked it up.
There was so much speculation around this book. I heard great things about it, but I also heard awful things about it. But honestly, I'm standing right on the 50/50 line. I see both sides.
It took me way longer to read it than I expected. I was intrigued by the story, mostly because it's loosely based on The Manson Family, specifically the Manson Girls (as if the title didn't give that away). But the writing was kind of bland in my opinion. There's so many interesting aspects of the Manson Family that I feel the author could have touched on. Life on the ranch, living in a commune, free love, and impending doom. But instead, she chose to focus on a girl who was barely involved.
We follow Evie from her uptown neighborhood to the rundown ranch. She was lonely, rebellious, and looking for love which is why she instantly falls into Suzanne's gaze. Suzanne is basically Russell's lead girl. She's enthralled by him and in tune to every little thing he does. Soon she and Evie become inseparable. Well, until Evie gets caught breaking into her neighbor's house with the other girls. The trance is soon broken and Suzanne knows she has to drop Evie before the night of the murders. 
That's basically the gist of the book.
Which is kind of why I'm so disappointed.
This book had so much potential and it really, really let me down.

Looking for other books on Charles Manson?
The Family

Thursday, September 6, 2018

That's Not What Happened

Six hours was all it took for me to read this entire book.

That's Not What Happened takes place three years after the massacre at Virgil County High School. Three years where the survivors have dealt with the secrets they've been keeping. Three years since Lee lost her best friend. The story is told mostly through Lee's perspective with letters from the other survivors sprinkled throughout. The book is actually meant to be the letter Lee writes as a way to explain the truth. She knows what happened to Sarah that day, she knows the rumors are just rumors. But she didn't try to stop them three years earlier.

A lot of the survivors letters deal with grief. How each person handled the past three years varied drastically. Some are using their story to better their futures, some are using their story as a cry for help, and some are using their story just to be heard. The truth needs to be out there for everyone to see. That dreadful day won't ever get any easier, but maybe putting thoughts into words on paper will help everyone cope a little better.

Initially I bought this book because one of the characters, Sarah, has striking similarities to Columbine victim, Cassie Bernall.Cassie was reported to have stood up for her faith before being killed..she became a martyr in her community. However, it may not have happened the way everyone thinks it did; which is why this book grabbed my attention. I thought, maybe, it would be a fictionalization of Cassie's story. Which in a way, it was; but the author never mentions Sarah is loosely based on Cassie.

Regardless, this book was absolutely phenomenal.