Every Last Word

Every Last Word

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“I’m going to show you something that will change your whole life.” -Tamara Ireland Stone, Every Last Word

 

 Book Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Goodreads Book Description: 

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Valeria’s Book Review: 

This book was absolutely beautiful.

The very aspect of the story, and all the characters involved made me love it all! I wish I would have read this book sooner .

Everything around Samantha is perfect, everything except for her. Samantha has dealt with her own struggles from a very young age. Her thoughts and her OCD consume her everyday, and sometimes she doesn’t have the control that she wishes she could. She’s not herself, and between lies to her own friends she has to hide her real self from everyone, including them.

Until she meets Caroline. Things will never be the same the day she becomes real friends with her. Someone who she would never be caught walking down the hallway in school.

“You look around at the people in your life, one by one, choosing to hold on to the ones who make you stronger and better, and letting go of the ones who don’t.”

Caroline takes Samantha to Poet’s Corner, where a hidden room in school holds sanctuary for those who need it the most. Upon arriving there she also meets AJ, who she knew from grade school and can’t stop looking around for him during school.

“Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.”

After Samantha is introduced to Poet’s corner, her life begins to change for the good. She feels at peace, and even at home protected by words that she so desperately needed when her mind ran off with all sorts of thoughts. She begins to see a different way of looking at life, and who her friends really are. Especially with the help of her psychiatrist, Sue, is when she sees that she likes this new Samantha, even if it means hiding her away for a little while longer.

 

“I have a tendency to overthink things, especially when it comes to my friends, and I don’t know…I take things too personally. I mean, it isn’t always them . Sometimes it’s me. I just don’t always know when it’s them and when it’s me, you know?”

Caroline is another major character in the story, and someone who impacted Samantha’s life for the better. Her impact shaped who she was becoming to be. Caroline was the little voice in her head that gave her the courage and will to move on and do things that she normally wouldn’t do herself; and if poetry was the answer to it all then it definitely helped her, and shaped her to move forward.

“The trick is to recognize your mistakes, take what you need from them, and move on.”

 

This book was very well written and emotional. The book was never slow or dragged on, and the characters were amazing…especially the twist at the end that will practically have you jumping out of your seat.

We were able to get glimpses of many of those characters in the story, especially those in Poet’s Corner which I absolutely loved! But I liked how Tamara makes you feel that you could relate to them so easily because of all the different personalities we see. This book made me open my eyes and see how many individuals struggle in their daily lives and we have no idea about it. It could be with anything. Someone somewhere I struggling and they too are looking for that inner peace with themselves, Like Samantha, to be brave enough and have the courage to stay sane sometimes in such a  chaotic world.

“I’m merely reminding you to embrace who you are and surround yourself with people who do the same.”

I will say that I related to Samantha a couple of times throughout this book. Especially with the whole concept of overthinking and having your thoughts run wild is something that I work on myself, and Sam taught me that regardless of what she is going through, she is strong and capable of overcoming anything. Even if it means distractions for better, like with Poet’s Corner.

“What you see … And on the other side: It isn’t me.”

I highly recommend this book, go grab your copy today!

 

 

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Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why

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“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”-Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

 

Book rating: 4 out of 5

Goodreads’ Book Description:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

 

Valeria’s Book Review:

Sometimes you don’t really know how much you affect a person until it is too late. Whether you realize it or not, the people that surround us, see us and see how we treat them. If we are kind, mean, disrespectful towards them…whatever it may be, they see it and never forget it.

A touchy subject that not many people talk or want to talk about, is spoken throughout the book.

“I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.”  

Hannah Baker has committed suicide.

“But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.”

We see throughout the book the reasons as to why she did what she did. And by recording these tapes and having them passed around to those 13 names on her list that had some involvement in it, she explains the reasons that made her mind up to committing suicide.

The story is told through Clay’s POV.

Clay had a major crush on Hannah, but he never got the chance to tell her how he really felt. She was gone too quickly, only making him feel worse after receiving the tapes knowing that his name and story is on one of them.

What could he have done? What did he do that made Hannah write his name down on the list?

They both saw each other at school and work, but he never had the courage to talk to her. Until the night of the party, that changed both Clay and Hannah’s life. Clay realized that night when he finally shared a moment with  Hannah, that it was more than a crush what he felt for her. Hannah felt good and at peace with Clay, but she realized that the rumors that were spread about her only seemed to be adding up to be true that night. Her actions left both her and Clay stunned by pushing him away, only hurting her feelings more.

“I wanted people to trust me, despite anything they’d heard. And more than that, I wanted them to know me. Not the stuff they thought they knew about me. No, the real me. I wanted them to get past the rumors. To see beyond the relationships I once had, or maybe still had but that they didn’t agree with.”

Clay cared about her. He wanted to be there for her, but by Hannah pushing away he couldn’t do anything because it was too late.

Along with Clay’s thoughts and actions throughout the story, we also get to read Hannah’s recordings of every tape in every chapter. Jay Asher did a great job by allowing us to see how this whole situation has affected Clay, and how he feels when he listens to what Hannah went through in her own world. The style of writing, and how he incorporated it all, with  going back and forth with both of their POV’s made it so much more heartfelt and intrusive as to what they felt.

“He looks out into the empty street, allowing me to sit in his car and just miss her. To miss her each time I pull in a breath of air. To miss her with a heart that feels so cold by itself, but warm when thoughts of her flow through me.”

Many people are just not comfortable with speaking about these things, and with this book we feel for Hannah. We might not fully understand her decision to doing so, but we get a sense of what she believed and thought that lead her to do this. And we can feel her pain and ache of the people that she trusted, or believed in someway, somehow to be a friend to her but only ruined her in the end.

“Sometimes we have thoughts that even we don’t understand. Thoughts that aren’t even true—that aren’t really how we feel—but they’re running through our heads anyway because they’re interesting to think about.”

It really is a sad and tough subject to read. The thought of someone going through this, and thinking these things, especially at such a young age breaks my heart. I know it might be hard to believe, but this is the reality of some people. Many people do go through this and we really don’t know because those feelings are being masked or hidden to not show anyone else. And all you could do, like Clay, is see the final results of that and not be able to do anything to save them…

“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own.”

 The whole concept of the story is to never judge someone. Never assume what someone is going through in their own life. Everything might seem fine on the outside, but you never know what happens behind closed doors. Be kind to one another. Everyone is fighting a battle.

“A lot of you cared, just not enough.”

Overall, this was a good book. It has so much depth and emotion, and it is very well written and detailed. Jay Asher does an amazing job at allowing us to feel the same emotions that both Hannah and Clay feel. I highly recommend this book!

And don’t forget to catch Jay Asher’s new novel What Light out now!

 

 

Take Me On

Take Me On

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“I will always hold you, I will always love you and I will always be right here.” -Katie McGarry, Take Me On

 Book Rating: 5 out of 5

 Goodreads’ Book Description:

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

 

Valeria’s Book Review:

I’m a complete sucker for romance books and once again Katie McGarry stole my heart with her final novel in The Pushing the Limits series.

West and Haley both made me see how strong and willing a person is to go through life  with your partner in crime, even when times are hard.

This book kept me on the edge and made me want more as soon as I finished it.

The writing, the style and the story will get to you! Katie McGarry’s writing is simply perfection. I can’t emphasize enough just how much she makes you feel the same pain, joy,  or even sadness as the characters do when you read her books. She does such an amazing job at making you feel everything and every emotion all at once.

In this last book of the series she gives us two strong and willing characters that have so much going on in their own personal life’s…so when both Haley and West cross paths, you know it’s for a reason.

“We’re strong together, Hayley. Stronger then we are apart.”
“I don’t feel strong,” I whisper.
“Then I’ll be strong enough for both of us.”
My fingers dig into his shoulders and I cling to him.
“I love you.”

 

Haley’s life is not easy. After her father lost his job and their family lost their home, they had to make some changes and move into her uncle’s home. Living with her uncle is pure hell, and things only seem to get worse for her…But Haley is both strong and smart, and she is willing to do what she can to stay positive and not let anyone bring her down, regardless of the circumstances that life throws her way.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think and even though the silence is new, the loneliness isn’t. How is it possible to have been surrounded by people and never feel complete?”

West Young is a complete troublemaker. He looks though and scary on the outside, but he’s a troubled boy with his own family problems.

“I don’t go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me.”

After stealing money form his sister Rachel, he can’t stop blaming himself for the car accident that she was involved in. He runs away from home, leaving everyone behind. He thinks he’s doing good by running away from his problems, but only to find that Haley will now be one of them too. After a couple of guys try to hurt her, West comes into her defense and stands up for her, a complete stranger, and is willing to take a match in her name.

Without knowing a single thing about her, West is willing to protect this girl at all costs. And Hayley will do what she can to help him and herself as well.  Now the bad boy rich kid and the former fighter will have to stick together to get through this situation that they  are both now involved in.

“She’s probably right on both counts, but there’s something dark in her eyes. It’s the same shadow I see whenever she stops me. “You’re worth fighting for.”

But as time goes by, Haley can’t stop staring at West every time they train together.She knew that by accepting to teach him, it would only be a matter of pure business. She couldn’t afford to fall for a guy like him again. But West, being the complete hottie and smart ass that he is, only eludes her more and more without even trying, by showing his true self to her…and there is nothing she can say or do to stop her heart from wanting him.

“West Young. My West Young. The guy who fought for me when Conner and his friend tried to jump me. The guy who took on a fight to help save my family. The guy who held me while I mourned my own losses. That’s West Young. The man I’m falling for.”  

A story of trust, friendship and love these two main characters show us just how much one person can really mean to us. Regardless of what we have in our own lives, there are others who are suffering just as much as we are, and we don’t realize it.

“We crossed beyond friends the night we spent in your room and you know that. Fuck, Haley, there isn’t a moment that we haven’t been into each other and I’m not the only one in the room aware of it.”

West Young stole my heart. He was willing to do anything to protect this girl. And without trying he broke down her walls slowly. Both characters are strong, guarded but caring people. I admire Haley and what she has gone through with her own family. As you read through this book, you are able to feel and see firsthand just how important the meaning of family is and why we should appreciate what we have before it is gone.

 

“I’m in love with you. I’m in love with you and I don’t know how to make you feel better. I’m in love with you and I shouldn’t be. I’m in love with you and once you figure out who I am, you’re not going to love me. I’m in love with you and I seem to fuck up the ones who love me back.”

 

I highly recommend this book…not only because it is one of my favorite YA series, but because these books transport you into their own world, both teaching us and making us feel the story and hardships of what people go through in their lives. What I love the most is that you are able to escape reality when it comes to this series, and fall in love with all the different characters and their traits  as well.

Thank you Katie McGarry for this AMAZING series! I will always cherish these characters, and I know I will be rereading them again and again in the near future!

 

Check out her new book in the Thunder Road Series that comes out January 2017!

http://katielmcgarry.com/page/Long-Way-Home.aspx