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Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Perfectionists

Oh. My. God.

These books remind me just how happy I am to be out of high school and no longer a teenager..

So what in the hell possesses me to continue reading from the YA section?!

Alright, I'm giving The Perfectionists two stars for two reasons:

1) It's basically PLL 2.0
2) It's terrible

 We get a group of 5 girls who are casually planning the hypothetical murder of their classmate, Nolan (don't even get me started on the name; I swear to God I even typed out Noel trying to remember it because they're literally the EXACT SAME CHARACTER.)
Nolan ends up dead, just moments after all the girls were last seen with him, in the exact way they discussed. So obviously they're instantly guilty and start traipsing all over crime scenes and breaking into house and ruining their lives, because what else would a group of high-class prodigies have to do? 

Annnnnnnd that's the whole premise of the book.
Sound familiar?

I  read Pretty Little Liars as Sara Shepard was writing them. 
I only picked up this duology because I wanted to read it before watching the show (obviously I have a problem, let's move past it). But the similarities are so striking....

Let me just break it down for you:

-There's a weirdo teacher sexing up all this female students.
-This teacher is also into old movies and photography.
I'm sorry, are we all picturing Ezra Fitz?

-There's a girl with scars all over her face.
-How she got those scars takes FOREVER to be mentioned.
Does this maybe sound like Jenna Marshall? 

-There's a foreign kid who shows up out of the blue.
-There's a doctor who for some reason gets weirdly personal with patients.
-There's a dude in love with his brothers girlfriend.
Now, these are all separate characters but um they all sound like Wren to me.

This just wasn't original in any way, shape, or form.
It was basically the exact same book with some of the characters switched.
But since I want to watch the show with my bestie, I'll be reading book two very soon.

Looking for the rest of the series?
The Good Girls (The Perfectionists #2)

Looking for other YA books by Sara Shepard?
Ali's Pretty Little Lies (PLL prequel)

Looking for adult books by Sara Shepard?
The Heiresses

Monday, March 18, 2019

Love Letters to the Dead

This book was suggested to me a few years ago via Stephen Chbosky's Goodreads account. It caught my eye in the library a few days ago and figured I might as well give it a shot....


It was good, but not exactly memorable.

Starting a new school is hard; it's even harder after your sister has died.
Laurel is starting high school, trying to find herself, and forget about everything that's happened in the past. 
The death of her best friend, role model, and older sister May, really messed Laurel up. She feels guilty about her death (which is super annoying because we don't find out what happened until the last 100 pages).

Mrs. Buster gives an assignment to write a letter to a dead person.
Obviously Laurel should have written to her sister, but instead decides to write to Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, and many others. She's almost using these letters as a diary of sorts, a way to get everything off her chest. She chose these people because she feels like they might understand what she's going through. She can relate to the things they're singing about, the movies they're in, and her love for them.

But what she doesn't realize is how tragic their lives really were...
She doesn't grasp the reasons they aren't here anymore.
She tries, she really, really does. But she just seemed so shallow about the whole thing.
The most annoying thing to me was that in each letter she re-describes some aspect of their life, THAT SHE'S ALREADY MENTIONED IN A PREVIOUS LETTER.

This was such a sad book to read, but not in the bawling my eyes out way, but in the tragedy of it.
Shit got tough for Laurel and she didn't handle it very well.
None of the teens in the book handled their problems very well, if we're being honest.

I mean, this book was written in 2014....
I just felt like this had a very '70s type vibe to the way the characters were portrayed.
Now that may just be where my mind took it but regardless I wasn't thrilled with this book at all.

Monday, March 11, 2019


I just want to give all these kids a hug.
The media was so involved with their lives that sometimes people forgot that they were just kids!

We all remember what happened at Parkland.
February 14, 2018, a gunman walked onto the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus and took the lives of 14 students and 3 staff members. 
(To stay in tone with the book, I will not be mentioning the gunman's name.)
Because of that moment, an entire generation began talking about gun reform. The Parkland kids wanted nothing more than to put this topic in the media. They wanted their peers to not be killed while trying to get an education. They wanted their congressman to understand that this is not going to stop happening until people start listening to those affected by mass shootings.

But these are KIDS.
They're teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18.
Young kids lost siblings.
Parents lost children.
Students lost teachers.
Teachers lost students.
Friends lost friends.

Instead of the traditional grieving process, these kids set off to make a movement.
March For Our Lives (MFOL) was born because of that fateful day.
These kids were in the news, on national tours, receiving international awards.

Every waking moment of their lives were now focused on one thing:

Dave Cullen spent almost a year with the kids from Parkland. He saw how hard they were working to make a change. He saw how dedicated they were to getting their message to the world. He believed these kids were going to be huge, and he was right.

MFOL started a movement that kept gun reform in the media far longer than anyone had ever seen before. They wanted people to listen to them and would give it their best shot. They organized marches, rallys, walkouts, die-ins, and national tours. They spoke to congressmen, talk show hosts, politicians, activists, but most importantly, they talked to other teens. They partnered with urban city kids who were less concerned about getting shot AT school and more concerned about getting shot GOING to school. These kids wanted to focus all their energy on gun reform, in the hopes of this never happening again.

I was so nervous going into this book.
Dave Cullen is such an amazing nonfiction story teller.
The story he told here was how March For Our Lives came about.
He wasn't here to talk about "it."
He wanted to show how a group of teens could start a movement.

Want to learn more about March For Our Lives?

Looking for other books on Parkland?
Parkland Speaks
Looking for other books by Dave Cullen?