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After her brother’s death, a teen struggles to rediscover love and find redemption in this gripping novel.Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.
TRUTH I decided to read Waiting because I had read many positive reviews on this site by people I respect. Thank you. And here I am wide awake at 1:40 am writing my own review. Because this begs to be done NOW!Waiting left me speechless. Yes, I knew before I started reading that it was about a beloved brother who had died and how his death impacted his entire family – his mother, father, and sister. But wow. This novel will break your heart because you feel the heartbreak of London, Zach’s sister and the narrator, who feels so much guilt that it jumps off the page. The story is told in verse, sometimes quite detailed, sometimes sparse, but always packing a load of emotion and depth and drama that keeps the story moving forward quickly.I was deeply touched by the wonderful friends who came to London’s rescue, making sure she knows she’s loved and cherished and alive. I appreciated each one of them, got a sense of their personalities and flaws. In many ways, they were much wiser than some of the adults, particularly London’s mother who is so damaged, so vicious in her pain, that she has not an ounce of kindness or love to give to London. London’s father also is broken, but less so, since he relies on faith to get him through every difficult waking minute.My only suggestion would be to read this during the day, because here I am, exhausted, unable to sleep because I can’t stop thinking about these characters. I highly recommend this novel for all, but especially to librarians and teachers and those who might feel a loved one is at risk with depression. It will definitely appeal to Ellen Hopkins fans who have read Impulse.This is an important novel. Don’t miss it.
Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren’t what they seem.
Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can’t have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever.
Charlie may be in over her head.
Links to find Megan online:
The rules for swimming are simple:
Rule #1: There is no lifeguard on duty.
Since her mom died three years ago, nineteen-year-old Zosia Easton’s been treading water. Living at home. Community college. Same old Saturday nights. So when her father breaks the news he’s taken a job transfer—and by the way, it means renting out the house that’s been her refuge—a summer in Tokyo feels like it just might be a chance to start swimming again.
Rule #2: Beware of unexpected currents.
Finn O’Leary has spent God knows how many years trying to drown out his past. Juvenile detention. Bad decisions. Worse choices. He’s managed to turn it around – MIT, Dean’s List, a sexier-than-thou body with a smile to match – at least on the surface. When his mom asks him to spend the summer with her, Tokyo seems as good a place as any to float through the summer.
Rule #3: Swim at your own risk.
Everyone’s heard of sushi. But beware the green stuff. Wasabi will clear your sinuses faster than you can “Oh my God, that’s hot!”
In SWIMMING TO TOKYO, Zo is a little bit of a control freak when it comes to food. And, well, no wonder because, while the food in Japan is amazing, it can also be a little…surprising.
Then there’s takoyaki. It looks pretty good. What can be bad about deep-fried…octopus balls? Besides, um, the octopus? (It’s actually not that bad once you get over the surprise.)
Of course, for those who like their octopus straight up, there’s nothing like a tentacle or two in a bowl of ramen.
Sometimes, though, you just want your noodles sans sea creatures. Yakisoba, a popular takeaway item, is perfect. It’s especially great for lunch at your desk, as it’s good warm or cold.
Another popular lunch item is the bento box. It’s a “set lunch” that usually involves some kind of fish, some kind of noodles/rice, and some kind of vegetable.
For those who need more substance and a little bit of spice, katsu curry is a big hit. The curry is a little sweet and veers more towards the Chinese curry than Indian curry flavors (imagine that). This was one of my faves when I lived in Tokyo.
Brenda St John Brown
Still haunted by nightmares of her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder-something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn’t do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.
But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn’t think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.
A compelling summer romance, Sea marks the arrival of a stunning new voice in YA.
What a magnificent YA novel by Heidi Kling. SEA will sweep you up and hold you to the very last page. An impressive book about the power of a tsunami and the impact on the human beings who survived and picked up the pieces. This is a beautifully written, sensitive story that brings you front and center to the horrific aftermath we saw on TV after the tsunami in Indonesia. The MC, Sienna, is a fifteen-year-old who travels to Indo with her father to help some children in an orphanage. Sienna has her own painful history to deal with, which is interwoven into this story – the fragility of life and the power of love are two major themes. I dare you not to be moved!
When Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen, they believed they’d be together forever. They never dreamed that three days before their wedding, twenty-year-old Ben would suddenly die from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. Grey would have spent the next two years simply going through the motions if it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger. He’s the only one who understands her pain … the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered.
While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, Jagger is the only one who sees her strength, and vows to always be there for her-even if it’s only as her best friend. As much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. But when Grey finds out that Jagger has loved her since before he even knew what love was, it might prove to be too much for her to handle.
Grey soon realizes their chemistry is undeniable, and they learn that admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?
(I love it!!!)
Author Megan Abbott
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.It wants the truth.
STOP.Seriously, don’t read any further if you don’t want to know my reaction to this novel.Because this book will grab your mind, body, heart, and soul.Okay, I warned you.A Monster Calls SHOULD be read in one sitting. It’s so powerful, so painful that it feels like a gaping wound right where your heart is. I only read one review on Goodreads and I knew I had to pick up this book. The author of that review said she cried and cried. I braced myself.I picked up this book knowing that it would tear at my heart, make me think. About life. About death. It’s a book about holding on and letting go. It’s about control and losing control. It’s about lies and truths. As I said, I braced myself. Only once did I get misty-eyed. I didn’t want to cry. But when I finished the last page I paced my living room floor. Dry-eyed. A book like this MUST impact the reader in some way because seriously if it doesn’t, I truly would wonder if stone exists in place of a heart. But the real question is what do you DO with a book like this?I say gobble it up. Take it in. Hold it close. Then. Let. It. Go. Live life with meaning and purpose. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. Work on letting go of old hurts. Turn your dreams into action. Don’t just talk. DO! Because all we really have to hold onto is what we do in the here and now. I realize it’s not an easy way to live all the time. But this book reminds us that life is precious. We can’t waste it. That WE are responsible for finding meaning to our own lives and making something special out of it. That’s how I see it. I did warn you.
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story that reads like a modern-day Two for the Road. Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever. One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.
Did you like the quirky characters in ELEANOR and PARK by Rainbow Rowell? If so, you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the characters in ONE PLUS ONE.Jess is raising her daughter Tanzie and her ex-husband’s son Nicky on her own. She struggles to make ends meet, working two jobs and is barely able to pay her bills. She cleans houses for a living, is a bartender at night, and makes Tanzie’s clothes. Nicky wears makeup and dyes his hair blue/black goth. Jess lives day by day, sometimes minute by minute, trying desperately to keep her family together. She has this odd optimism that is contagious. One that keeps her going, despite every reason to feel disillusioned and pissed off at the world that seems to knock her and her kids down. Nicky is bullied and beaten, Tanzie is a genius at math, but even with a 90% scholarship to a top private school that would help her thrive, there is no money for the remaining 10%.And then Ed comes into Jess’s and the kids’ lives. Ed is awkward and miserable and has many quirky issues of his own. Yet, he’s perfect for this family. He’s perfect for Jess and Jess is perfect for him. But it’s not so easy. He’s had several crappy relationships and plenty of betrayals in his lifetime. He seems to have everything, when Jess doesn’t. But that depends on how you define wealth. These two work. Except . . . Well . . . you’ll have to read what happens.Like other novels by Jojo Moyes, ONE PLUS ONE addresses issues of “class” and money, people who have money and people who do not. Money—its importance, what it can buy and not buy, how it separates us, what happens when it’s lost, how true love trumps money—is definitely a central theme of Jojo’s novels, including SILVER BAY, ME BEFORE YOU, THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER and THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND. I highly recommend them ALL!ONE PLUS ONE adds up to PERFECTION. Here’s eleven reasons to read it:1. Hope. When everything seems like nothing is going right, there are glimmers of hope and moments of incredible optimism and goodwill. This is a novel that renews the human spirit.2. The portrait of a family. This is an unconventional family, but a family nonetheless. 3. Love can be shown in many different ways.4. Some people deserve second chances. Some do not. Not everything is always fair, but in the end, we can only hope things work out. Giving up is never the answer if something is truly important.5. Sometimes parents are just lousy parents. Accepting it isn’t always so easy, but when you do, there can be peace.6. Life is messy and complicated and people make mistakes. Own them.7. It may seem like you don’t fit in ANYWHERE, but this world is made up of many, many, many different people. Eventually, you’ll find your tribe – people who think like you.8. Being different/unique is GOOD!9. Money is important, but it can’t buy love or happiness. (Duh.)10. We might need to stand up for ourselves, but it’s even better when we stand up and help someone else.11. ONE PLUS ONE isn’t a novel you’ll forget easily. It’ll stick with you a long, long time. Perhaps you’ll have a moment in your own life that challenges you, then you’ll think about these characters and find strength to work it through with the same optimism and strength Jess was able to muster. If so, a person will know that as long as there is life, there is hope of a better day, a chance at making amends, a chance for love, friendships and family. Whatever it might be, I think anyone with even a drop of optimism will find some great gems to hold onto from this novel!Thank you so much to Pamela Dorman Books for a review copy of this novel.
Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.
Definitely recommend for those YA romance readers out there!Absolutely loved Melissa Walker’s poignant bittersweet romanceUnbreak My Heart.
SPOILER: (READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION)
[It's about a smart girl named Clementine who falls in love with her best friend Amanda' s boyfriend Ethan. Ethan and Clem have a lot more in common than Amanda and Ethan, and it's pretty obvious that these two would be much better off together. I don't want to spoil what happens between Clem and Ethan—you have to read the novel yourself—but I will say that the way Melissa portrays it, is dead on. Why is it that the girl is always blamed for these things and the guys get off pretty much scot-free? And why is it that a girl's self-esteem ends up in tatters?
I must say, I love Clem's parents. They're just good people. The novel takes place over a summer. Clem's family sails down the Illinois River meeting wonderful people along the way. Clem is still reeling from what happened with Ethan. Plagued by guilt, she holds herself to such high standards, that she can't forgive herself for destroying her friendship with Amanda.
Author Melissa Walker
Along comes James who is sailing the same route with his father. James has his own heartbreak, but he deals with it differently than Clem. They change each other’s summer, giving new perspective to what it means to truly care about another person. (hide spoiler)]
END OF SPOILER!
This novel is chocked full of some powerful messages. One that may not be obvious is that friends need to communicate better and not make assumptions, especially when it comes to boys. If Ethan had been my son, I would have been on his case so fast and demand he “man up” and take responsibility for his actions. Guys – listen up. If you like someone more than the girl you’re with, break up with her! It’s not okay to treat another person this way!