12 December 2015

Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

"They Said It Was An Accident...Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:
You're welcome.Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren't the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer's every move..." (Barnes and Noble)
From the very first pages of Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne, I was sucked into a mystery. At first glance, Kevin's accident seemed like an accident. It's not until Sawyer gets the message in her locker and a detective shows up at her house that the accident seems like it may not have been an accident after all. Each chapter drew me further into Sawyer's mystery and I found my self trying to solve the crime. The culprit completely surprised me!

I give Truly, Madly, Deadly 3.4 dragonflies. I really enjoyed the book and I felt for Sawyer, but I am not sure I would want to re-read the book now that I know the ending.

08 December 2015

Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

 When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned-- something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Krisitn's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self." (book jacket)

Kristin's journey through her diagnosis is not an easy journey. She has to decide whether or not to have her internal testes removed, who to tell (if anyone) and home school or traditional school after her secret is leaked. When Kristin's secret is leaked, her high school piers start to make her life a living hell and her track season is jeopardized because of complaints from other schools about her intersex status. Kristin's life seems to fall apart, but a few people stick by her side throughout her journey.

I picked up None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio shortly after I finished reading George by Alex Gino (my review of George can be found here), and I was curious. I.W. Gregorio's debut novel was a great way for me to delve into a world in which I have no practical knowledge. Growing up I had heard of people who were intersex (which there was a more offensive word used then), but being a person who was born a woman, I have female hormones,  I had no practical knowledge of this condition. Being able to learn with Kristin about her body was really cool.

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4 dragonflies. I think None of the Above is an excellent book to use as a way to approach the issue of intersex people. Thankfully I have not had to deal with the issue in my personal life,  I can't imagine how difficult it must be, I'm glad that the intersex community can have a voice through None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio. For more information on intersex, check out Gregorio's website.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

"He told me he loved me and I believed him.
When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole — a handsome, funny sports star who adores her — she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate . . . someone who truly loves and understands her.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, and increasingly violent threats.
As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose — between her "true love" and herself." (Barnes and Noble)
Alex Bradford has spent the last few years planning a trip to Colorado with her best friends Bethany and Zack. The trip to Colorado is supposed to give Alex answers about her mother's death. However, Alex's relationship with her best friends becomes strained when she starts dating Senior transfer student, Cole Cozens. At first Alex's relationship with Cole seems okay, it's only when his jealousy for Alex's relationship with Zack starts to show that she realizes something isn't quite right. Alex is so deep in her relationship with Cole that when the abuse turns physical, she immediately starts making excuses to herself about what happened. Alex finally gets the courage to tell when it is almost too late.

My thoughts:
Bitter End had my attention the entire time I was reading. I didn't want to put the book down because I had to know if Alex was going to be okay. I needed to know why Cole switched schools suddenly. I needed to know more. There were moments as  I read Bitter End when I could feel my heart racing with anticipation. I wanted Alex to be safe.

I think there are a lot of girls (and guys) out there who are in the same situation as Alex. There are so many unhealthy relationships out there, having a book where someone finds a way OUT even if it may come at such a costs is great.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown has earned 4 dragonflies.


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