Book Review | Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love

Format:
ARC
Publication date:
December 18st 2018
Publisher:
Henry Holt & Company
Source:
Received from publisher.

Review:
Anthology collections that are short stories or essays can be difficult to review at times, however reviewing an anthology of letters from real teens that are answered by authors in story form with a sprinkling of advice is something I haven’t done until now. As the title suggests, Dear Heartbreak has teens write in to authours about their heartbreaks and about the not so pleasant side of love which is unfortunately something we do not often see in non-fiction that is geared towards teenagers. I love this idea as it was a unique twist on the typical advice columns.

The authours’ personal experiences and stories lead to plenty of compelling reading material. Kekla Magoon’s response to a teen who is surrounded by people but still feels lonely, tiled “If You Call, I Will Answer” resonated the most with present me as I’ve also found it to be true that occasionally you need to be the one to reach out whether it’s when you need help or whether you just want company. The other piece that stood out to me from this collection was Gayle Forman’s response to a teen who wrote in initially about heartbreak however it turned out to be about experience. In “The Teacher of All Things”, Forman is able to write back in a way that shows she understands the teen and is able to emphasize with their desires without coming off as condescending or preachy. I also love that she recommends travel as a way to gain new experiences as I could not agree more!

In spite of the fact that I’m no longer a teen, this anthology still spoke to me and helped me to come to terms with my past experiences. I still remember as a teen and kid feeling lonely, confused and heartbroken as I faced constant rejection and felt socially isolated all while trying to find friendship and acceptance. As a result, seeing the raw vulnerability from teens and a few of the authours broke my heart and made me tear up several times while reading their stories. 

Dear Heartbreak is a collection that I wish I had as a teenager in high school. In terms of advice there isn’t anything that stands out in this book, however a list of resources is provided at the back of the book for those who need more. Otherwise, for people, particularly those in high school who feel like no one sees, hears, loves and/or understands them this book is like one giant, warm hugs.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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Book Review | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

sixofcrowsAuthour:
Leigh Bardugo
Format:
E-galley
Publication date:
September 29th 2015
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Company
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
The decision to pick up Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows in the summer came after I found myself reading loads of contemporary fiction. I felt that I needed something “different” and “different” was what I ended up getting.

While Six of Crows is set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy you do not need to have read her previous series to enjoy this one since I never read any of her books before Six of Crows nevertheless I still loved Six of Crows. The premise of this book gives us the point of views of various characters, though it focuses on a crew of six characters lead by the enigmatic, Kaz who is the leader of a major street gang called “the Dregs”. Each character has their own tragic back story, and in particular I thoroughly enjoyed getting acquainted with Inej, Nina, Matthias on top of learning more about Kaz and his motivations. And while I’m generally not a fan of the fantasy genre, I’m a sucker for books that contain a heist of some sort and a team where the members have a complicated but entertaining dynamic and rapport that works for them. That being said, my favourite aspect of Six of Crows was all the ships in the book. I love how there were no love triangles in the book since all the characters were all broken and had plenty of issues beforehand.

I don’t often say this, however in my opinion Six of Crows warranted all the hype it received. You just need a bit of patience at the beginning, since it initially starts off a bit slow, and it wasn’t until a few chapters in that the story started to pick up for me. However, once it did pick up it quickly became an extremely thrilling, that kept me on the wanting to turn pages to read what happens next. My only complaint now after finishing the book is that I must to wait another full year for the second and final book in this duology

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Early Book Review | I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

meetyouAuthour:
Heather Demetrios
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 388 pages
Publication date:
February 3rd 2015
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
When I first heard of this book, I immediately wanted to get my hands on a copy as PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a subject that is extremely significant to me. Fortunately I received an ARC of this book, and I ended up doing a read along of this book with another book blogger, Tiff.

I’ll Meet You There is a book told from two perspectives, one which is Skylar Evans who cannot wait to leave Creek View and set off off to college while the other point of view is from Josh, a young man who is a Marine who has now come back to Creek View after losing a leg from his time in Afghanistan. This book was definitely not quick paced however it was an extremely character driven story which in this case worked to its benefits as both the protagonists are compelling individuals.

Initially while reading this book, I was not the biggest of Josh as he annoyed me a bit at first especially seeing how he treated other people nevertheless I found the chapters that were from his point of view extremely intriguing the PTSD recollections were incredibly vivid to the point where you can almost feel him struggling. On the other hand, I liked Skylar from the start even though she had her own personal issues I could honestly emphasize with what she was experiencing. In addition I liked her friendship with Dylan and her relationship with Marge who acted as another mother figure for Skylar when she needed one and her actual mother was not able to be there for her. I suppose out of everybody, Dylan would probably be my favourite character in this book for the reason that she’s the one who gives Skylar tough love and advice when no one else can. Finally while I initially was unsure of Josh, he did gradually grow on me to the point that I was actively rooting for him and Skylar to come together as a couple since the two of them are a great deal better off when they are together than when they’re not.

I’ll Meet You There is not your typical, light-hearted contemporary YA novel. It is however an emotional read concerning two troubled individuals that tugs at your heart strings and stays with you even after you have finished reading.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.