School of Fish Out of Water (Undertow – A Book Review)

Undertow (Undertow #1)
Author: Michael Buckley
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated A for Aquaman approved.

 

First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.

Lyric Walker’s life is changed forever as is everyone’s in Coney Island when 30,000 warrior Alpha storm the beach shore. Now, a few years later, the small town has turned into a military zone and the government is ready to try an assimilate Alpha into society. Not everyone is on board with this.

Lyric get assigned to help with the integration by helping the crown prince of the Alpha, Fathom. While he is aggressive and resistant, she can’t help but to start falling for him. There’s something about him that isn’t all bad. It’s dangerous to feel this way though, for both of them.

More so, there is a greater threat on the horizon than the Alpha. The darkness that drew the remaining race to shore.

 

This was a wild and intensely action-packed book with tension seeping out of the cracks. I really enjoyed it! While I do get the Aquaman vibes, I do find this to be interestingly unique and original! The in-depth look at the Alpha is really nifty. They weren’t just some Adonis god-like race to melt at, though Fathom is pretty attractive hehe. Though they have some epic abilities, like controlling water and fast reflexes and mega strength as well as some unique weaponry. Fathom, the prince, can actually pop out bony swords from his arms. Alpha also take on the features and characteristics of creatures of the sea. It’s freaking awesome!

Scarlet Reader

Tenor

I loved all of the characters, even the assholes. They were all epic. Buckley really wrote some powerful people from the teens to the adults. I can’t find one I didn’t like, because even though there were characters I hated *cough* Mrs. Novakova *cough* it was for legitimate reasons! They were jerky, prejudice asshats. Just some powerful characters here!

I’ve also never read a book where Coney Island was the setting. It was wicked to get a close-up view. Crowded and mucky and not the Disneyland on the dock people imagine it is. In fact, Coney Island is turned into a scary place. (The cover art of it is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. And chilling. It’s that too.)

Scarlet Reader

The Tropix

The comical and honest look at racial lines in society was fantastic! Lyric gave such a great perspective on not only skin color, but culture, and with the Alpha, race. Diversity played a major role in this book and I really liked it. It was so well done and truly added more than just typical them versus us. It was everybody.

More so, the added element of domestic abuse and not just for humans but for the Alpha was heartbreaking. Both of these major themes expressed, in a sad way, that everyone shares these hardships in common. As well as these, they share their love for those they care about.

There was just so much more than I expected and I fell in love with this book.

Dead of Winter

There were many shocking twists and turns. I was caught off guard a few times. Being left guessing is one of my favorite things with a book and this one was successful. Unexpected romance, and expected, of course LOL. And the loss ripped all of it away. Stop ripping things and people I love away from me!

 

Overall

This is really different from other YA I’ve read. It’s humorous, yet filled with love and heartache. There’s such a real spin on this and it really added to the salty imagery. I can’t wait to be blown away in the next book. The ending really left me hanging! I have so many questions.

 

Quotables:

“There’s also this idea that the Alpha caused all the weird racism and xenophobia, too, but whatever. This part of town was always a hotbed of racial sludge, and the various groups never played nice.” (Lyric, p.34)

“When someone is grieving, even a kindness feels like a slap in the face.” (Lyric’s mom to Lyric, p. 265)

“What was I supposed to say to you, Bex? I’m half mermaid and I have the hots for Edward Scissor arms?” (Lyric to Bex, p. 308)

“Nothing will stop me, because I am bigger than the world; I make the sea tremble. I am a wild thing.” (Lyric, p. 376)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? 100 Years by Five For Fighting.

 

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Another Car Crash (Evercrossed – A Book Review)

Evercrossed (Kissed by An Angel #4)
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full bolt Half bolt

Rated M for meeeeehhhhh, I thought we were moving on.

 

First love never dies.

A year has passed since Tristan has passed on after helping his true love, Ivy. A year since he died. While he’s moved on to the afterlife, Ivy has moved on with Will. The two of them plus Beth have taken summer jobs at a bed and breakfast in Cape Cod. They hope to take this summer and forget the horrific events that happened. Sip lemonade and relax down by the beach. Good times, right?

It was, until Ivy died in a car accident.

Tristan thought his work was done, but he brings her back and everything changes. After waking up in the hospital, all she can think about is what she’s lost. While there, she meets, Guy, someone who also survived a near death experience and suffers amnesia. Though, she begins to get close to him, her friends begin to worry that he’s not what he seems.

Ivy can’t help it. Her memories of the past reignite her heartache, but can love be enough to save her this time?

 

Kissed by an Angel

Kissed by an Angel

Review here

 

So I really liked the start of this. It was quite promising in fact. Ivy seemed happy. Will is a great guy that I kind of wish I had. Beth is still quirky cute. And new characters! I’m winning!

 

And then I got confused. See, I pay attention to detail and as one of those, I got stumped. Time seemed to leap a great deal, but not really. A year right? That’s what I was told. A year has passed for Ivy since everything. Now, Kissed by an Angel was released in 1998. When I read the three-in-one book, I didn’t get any feeling that cell phones were uber popular. Now, here, Evercrossed, technology has jumped pretty far that apps and GPS are common. My brain was beffuddled quite quickly and it took me out of the book a bit. The connection between the time jumps don’t connect because I don’t imagine technology jumped that fast.

cringe - giphy

I hate to say it, but that alone really deterred my interest in this story. Keeping aligned with the timeline is very important to me.

I didn’t admire that yet another car crash is what put everything in motion. It just made everything feel replayed and boring. I went through that during the first run around, let’s move forward!

I must say, Ivy’s mom wins the away for being the character I can’t stand the most this month too. The way she comes across really grossed me out. She wants to buy Ivy ‘pretty’ things? That’s actually how it’s phrased. ‘Pretty’, as if what her daughter wears isn’t. As if she doesn’t pay attention to anything her daughter wants. It disturbed me something fierce.

I wish this book brought something fresh. After the way that Kissed by an Angel ended, I figured it would now head into something new, more deadly, magical, and breath-taking. This just turned out to feel like the same old same.

 

Overall

I’m sorry. I couldn’t get into this. It was all over the place and it actually doesn’t line up enough with its predecessor. The transition was pretty non-existent as well. I thought it would continue on with something even more in depth on the magic of angels. This more came off as a massive pile-up on fire. I was incredibly sad.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Dirty Little Secret by The All-American Rejects.

 

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Who’s Into Who? (M or F? – A Book Review)

M or F?
Author: Lisa Papademetriou & Chris Tebbetts
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

M or F - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated C for quirky cute with a side of crazy and a sprinkle of boy trouble.

 

I’m thinking this whole thing will make a good movie someday.

Frannie has a crush on Jeffrey. Frannie is really shy. So, Frannie gets her fabulous (and gay) best friend, Marcus to help her, by having him chat online as her because she’s too terrified to do it herself.

In the chat room everything goes well, she even gets a date. But, as Marcus keeps chatting the more he’s sure that Jeffrey likes him, not Frannie. His best intentions to help his best friend goes down a shady path. If he doesn’t turn back soon, his and Frannie’s friendship could be over.

But he really likes Jeffrey. What will he do?

 

I plucked this up because it was bright and mysterious, like a bright beacon that said, “READ ME”.

This book was cute, filled with awkward teen spirit. Frannie and Marcus are best friends. Frannie is the shy one while Marcus is the outgoing one, making them two peas in a pod of sorts. They really encompassed friendship and I loved that, especially their telepathy. Everybody wants that with their BFF. I’m VERY lucky to have that with mine. These two were inseparable and it made me all mushy.

I really liked these two’s chemistry, but I also liked the way all of the characters interweaved together. Granted, Frannie was sometimes annoying and Marcus was a little obnoxious, but that’s what made them them. There was a lot of individuality.

I was kept guessing as I read. The way that everything got mixed up between everyone was comical. Plus, all of the drama made me antsy. It really made this book a fast read.

Thumbs Up

This book had one of the most unique styles of writing I’ve ever seen. It was creative and kept me invested with its occasional chatroom structure. That really added to the story. It was entertaining and had me hold my breath from time to time.

And the title complimented the story so well. Not only does the POV move between Frannie and Marcus, but the book is also open about sexuality and how difficult and tricky it can be in high school. I think it’s great to address this factor. Dating is awkward enough in high school, but the hardships and pressure that it can have is stressful.

There were many little surprises even though the whole book was pretty predictable. I really like when a book does this. It’s like sprinkles on a cupcake. Simply delightful. The best part for me was the Coda aka the Epilogue. It perfectly rounded out the whole book.

 

Overall

A fun book to read and fast too. However, it wasn’t memorable. It got a good pass for being entertaining and filled with high school drama, but that’s about it.

 

Quotables:

“If silence speaks louder than words, right then Frannie’s silence was saying crush, crush, crush, which is different than hot for, hot for, hot for.” (Marcus, p. 5)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? One Love by Mariana’s Trench.

 

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Summer of ’82 (The Sacrifice Box – A Book Review)

The Sacrifice Box
Author: Martin Stewart
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - The Sacrifice Box

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Never come to the box alone.

Never open it after dark.

Never take back your sacrifice.

During the summer of 1982, five kids—Sep, Arkle, Hadley, Lamb, and Mack—all brought together under different circumstances. With nothing in common, they spend the summer together as unexpected band of friends. On the last day of summer, when they’ve been drawn to this mysterious box in the woods, they each put something into the box and the repeat the rules of the box.

The summer of 1986, the five haven’t spoken since the summer four years ago, but now, they wrangle together because something dreadful has happened. Somebody has broken the rules of the box. Now, the things they’ve given to the box are coming after them, trying to kill them. They have to figure out who before the evil within the box

You broke the rules. Now you’ll have to pay.

 

First off, if I love a cover, if it’s eye-catching, I have to gush about it, and that’s the case here. The cover is originally what caught my attention with this mysterious Stranger Things spin-off vibe with the red letter glow. The eyes staring out of the box at me were creepy too! Dark and ominous and such a classic feel. Definitely a fantastic work of art. Then after reading the inside slip, I was intrigued.

The 80s!! WOO!! A good time period. Before cell phones and computers. Geez, hard to think about that. While this book is set in the 80s and during the summer, (the best of the four seasons—fight me on it), the book takes place in the UK/England is what I’m guessing at because there weren’t major specifics, and I was just trying to pick it up from the description. The imagery brought to the story was vivid and lush, and I was soaking it up like a sponge (much like this plotting cat). Just stunning visuals. I could see it all so clearly like I was there.

Currently

I really enjoyed this book. It was quirky, filled with humor, friendship, and fun. Quite campy. Also, September Hope is an awesome name! Each of the five are interesting, but I didn’t feel very much chemistry. I couldn’t understand what really brought them together even outside of having nothing to do that summer. I’ve had plenty of summers where I didn’t have people to hang out with and I was all good with hanging out with myself. The intensity between them all was great. It added growth to the story, but I didn’t get very attached to any of them, and I love to get attached. Attachment makes the heart break or flood and drown you in emotions. I just didn’t get enough to make me feel much for the characters. If anything I felt bad that these kids were having a shit time after screwing around with bad juju.

The build-up to the sacrifice box and its evils were making me curious. Kudos on keeping me intrigued. It got gritty and horrific pretty quickly too. That, and hilarious. You can’t say you wouldn’t laugh a bit if your teddy bear was chasing you everywhere. I understand that that’s also creepy because that fluffy little sucker was vicious and just not right in the head, but I couldn’t stop giggling at times.

Scarlet Reader

While there were many mysteries that I feel like didn’t get quite figured out, I was still engrossed in this. It was fast-paced and unique and original. And, it was dimensional. While the current five struggle trying to figure who among them is responsible for putting them all at risk, you learn about the group that sacrificed to the box before them. I liked the fluctuation between both times. It added an interesting history. BUT. I will say this. It wasn’t important to have that history. Not in my opinion. It just beefed up the story, giving it some interesting flavor.

However, I won’t say that this is some profound book. There are a few moments that get you thinking, but it doesn’t extend into something deep.

As for the box?

Scarlet Reader - Sacrifice Box

Your guess is a good as mine. It’s the biggest mystery. Where it came from and where it’s going and what’s really inside, nobody knows.

 

Overall

This was both creepy and beautiful with a dash of funny. Granted, there are still a lot of questions that I have surrounding the box and these kids, I still thoroughly enjoyed this. I’ve also come to the conclusion that sometimes, there are things that will never be known. Does that bug me? Yes. Was it super imperative to the plot? No. That’s because the plot was deadly, but not solely fixed on being anything other than entertaining and it succeeded. LOL. A fun read.

 

Quotables:

“A crow on the thatch, soon death lifts the latch.” (Sep’s mum, p. 11)

“We’re all little miracles. Everything about us: all our stupid habits and our jokes and our weird faces, on a spinning ball that’s the perfect distance from the sun. And now here we are, you and me, sitting on top of a million years of history.” (Hadley, p. 137)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? In the Shadows by The Rasmus.

 

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Fall From Grace (Kissed by an Angel – A Book Review)

Kissed by an Angel (#1-3)
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Published: 1998

On Goodreads

Kissed by an Angel

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

25/25

 

A love beyond life…a danger beyond doubt.

After a tragic car accident that killed her boyfriend, Tristan, Ivy is barely hanging on. She can’t seem to move on and her belief in angels is gone. She doesn’t understand why she is alive and he is not. They had a love that was meant to be and now she’s empty. Her new stepbrother Gabriel is there to pick up the pieces, and maybe more…

But when Tristan comes back as an angel he struggles to reach out to Ivy. She’s lost. She can’t feel his presence at all. Through her friends, he hopes to make contact with her. It’s imperative that he does because her life is in danger. He’s learned that the car accident wasn’t an accident at all. Somebody tried to kill Ivy and they still want her dead.

Tristan will do whatever it takes to protect Ivy, even let her go and move on without him. First, he’s going to find out who killed him.

 

This book marks 25 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution. I’m a sucker for a sweet story with a side of forever and love. It’s a guilty pleasure. And it’s even better if there’s that element that makes it complicated. You know, like death.

           

Like The Vampire Diaries, this book hales from the 90s. I could actually see this becoming a show sometime. It’s got all of the plotlines to become addicting.

Lose your love.

Do anything to get it back.

Lose it again.

Move on.

Realize it’s all you ever needed.

Then, finale, after all of the pain and sorrow and hell you put everyone else through so you didn’t have to be alone in it, you two end up together forever…probably dead.

Let’s be honest, we thrive of that high-octane drama of betrayal and love and longing that twists the heart. We cling to our seats for it because it makes us feel.

I don’t know about anyone else who’s read this, but I got Elena Gilbert vibes. She and Ivy could be best friends in their brooding and mooning over their loves. The romance between Ivy and Tristan is certainly one of those forever kinds and definitely beyond the grave types.

Ivy was so broken hearted and I had a great appreciation for seeing her try to work through it. It didn’t just pass by like it was nothing. The heartache was deep. It was very realistic. And though it was realistic, it also dragged the story out a bit too much, coming off too repetitive at times. I was forced to do a dreadful thing. Skim in some places. Ick.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

Tristan, her great, true love, was such a heartbreaker (as in my heart broke for him) and a goofball. Totally sweet and everything you’d hope for in a good boy. The kind that hold the door open for you and lets you have his hoodie when you’re cold. Yup, that guy. Swoon, girls. He’s a keeper. And he’s now dead, so it’s also super freaking tragic.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

The side characters were an array of likes and dislikes. If I had to pick one that really grinded me up, it was Suzanne. She’s one of Ivy’s best friends and she acted like a real…argh! She got so jealous and petty about Gabriel, the creep, because that’s who she decided to get moony over. I got so fed up with her that I wanted to reach into the pages and smack her. Kudos on provoking that out of me. There’s one of those characters in every book.

This is a setting that we all know. High school. Home. Very simple and to the point. Very teen drama perfection. And don’t worry about the money because every family in this book was well off! It was the high school romance that we all know lasts forever that was important.

Sorry, dashed a bit of sarcasm in there. That romance is easy to get swept up in. The setting of the story just came out bland and the character interactions didn’t do well in coming out more important. In fact. It felt as if the setting wasn’t important at all, throwing the story off balance. It was just splashed in there like it was no big deal, which was strange since Ivy’s mother getting married led to a whole change of scenery and that’s a big deal. It all came across bland.

Scarlet Reader - GiferThe style is what I call classic. It’s longing and reminds me of CW shows. The drama is sky high. You get all of that ooey-gooey and heartbreak as well as a crap ton of frustration. This is also where ships began. I can just imagine how people would argue about who Tristan should be with and who Ivy should be with. And the OTPs, oh my.

The way chapters or books would end at weird place threw me off though. It felt as if they’d cut off in random spots like—Oh! This is as good a place as any! Buuuut, uh, no because instead of feeling the cliffhanger that I’m sure was intended, I felt confused. Some parts just moved too fast for me to get a handle on. It left me reeling and trying figure out—Wait, what happened? How? When? Huh?

I will say this. I got shocked a few times. There weren’t shock around every corner, but I got stunned good a few times! Like, whoa.

 

Overall

This was a sweet and tender book, well all three in the one. LOL. I can’t say I have a desperation to finish the series. I’m not clinging to dear life. But they were nice. I have the fourth one and look forward to reading it. In the end, when it comes down to finishing it, if I come across the final book then yay! if not then I’m not feeling too bad about it.

 

Quotables:

“One day she’d have the nerve to say it, all of the words out loud.”(Kissed by an Angel, p. 2)

“Your problem is that you take it all too seriously, Ivy. Romance is a game, just a game.”(Kissed by an Angel, p. 65)

“Ivy realized for the first time that the more you love, the more you hurt. What was worse, you hurt for him as well as yourself.” (Kissed by an Angel, p. 114)

“Life goes on, and you’ve got to get on with it!” (The Power of Love, p. 112)

 

 More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Sweet Creature by Harry Styles.

 

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Tea is at Four (The Hobbit – A Book Review)

The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Published: 1937

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - The Hobbit

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

20/25

 

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, in The Shire, is visited by a group of dwarves and Gandalf the grey. They seek a burglar for their travels to take back the Lonely Mountain from the dangerous dragon, Smaug. Gandalf assures the dwarves that Bilbo is the one.

Bilbo wants no part of this adventure. He likes his way of life just fine with his books, garden, and tea. However, convinced, he joins the dwarves on an unexpected journey he’ll never forget.

 

This book marks 20 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve always meant to read this book as well as Lord of the Rings. I’m glad to finally get the chance.

 

Where to begin!

I really enjoyed this. This is a classic for a reason. Light and humorous. Adventurous and filled with friendship. Non-stop action too. This truly was a journey I was not ready to get to the end of. From dumb trolls to escaping cunning elves and defeating the terrifying dragon, Smaug. The action was non-stop. This wasn’t the kind of story that had me holding my breath, but reading faster, eagerly.

Scarlet Reader

I have seen the movies and they were good. They even left me with that longing at the end with the beautiful score of music, but they don’t compare to the book. I am still surprised they made one book into three movies though. The book was beautiful in the way that it was simple rather than complex. It swept me away so easily.

The setting was brought to life with incredible imagery. Vivid in color and action. This is only a piece of Middle Earth, but it’s still stunning. And music. The songs in the book were so colorful and added to the story, making it lively and even joyous. Plus, it’s not a road trip without some tunes.

Scarlet Reader

I was thrown a little bit by the dwarves’ strong dislike for Bilbo. It’s worse than in the movies. They really thought of him as useless and a burden and it was heartbreaking. Although, it did make for great satisfaction when Bilbo proved them wrong even though he’s very honest about how afraid he is. As I’ve said before, it’s okay for the hero to be afraid. That’s when courage comes into play. Courage is when you push through those fears to the other side.

The dwarves were an interesting bunch. Quite lazy too. LOL. While a joyous bunch most of the time, they relied on Bilbo for nearly everything. Who knows what they would’ve done without him.

And Gollum! A lot creepier in the book. For sure. And I felt an even deeper pang of pity for him.

 

Overall

I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to get started on Lord of the Rings. Such a fantastic read that tickled my inner adventurer. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

 

Quotables:

“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.” (p. 51)

“Why, O why did I ever leave my hobbit-hole!” (Bilbo, p. 66)

“Third time pays for all.” (p. 233)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Long Time Traveller by The Wailin’ Jennys.

 

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Mind Over Phobias…and Curses (A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares – A Book Review)

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Semi Definitive List of worst Nightmares - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

A family.

A curse.

A greatest fear.

Esther’s family has been haunted by a curse. See, each family member dies from their fear. Dad is agoraphobic. Mom is terrified of bad luck. And her twin cannot be in the dark. All of this leads to Esther living an interesting life.Esther is searching for hers and has an ever-growing list of phobias that might be what she’s cursed with.

When Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, a boy she used to know, she is left stranded at a bus stop. He took everything down to the fruit roll-up and that list of possible fears. They make a strange pair, but Jonah is determined to help Esther through her list. Turns out, she may be afraid of the one thing she didn’t even think about. Love.

This book started out curious and intriguing and snowballed into me loving it a LOT. This was upbeat, yet personally heavy. An incredibly unique story not only about fears and approaching fear, but also dealing with anxiety and other mental illnesses. This book made them so vivid real. For people who don’t fully understand what it’s like, they’ll get a close up

Scarlet Reader - Perfect

There are so many more phobias than I have ever thought about. (Here’s a site where you can have a look for yourself-here.)My best friend has countless. I love her to pieces and always ALWAYS support her and encourage her that it’s okay. It’s no joke to make fun of a person who has them whether they are rational or not. They give people some serious anxiety. I always try to help her work on them, but it’s easier said than done. Mostly, I try be the comic relief. It’s not dumb or ridiculous. I worry about her, but I know she’s a toughie. There are just some things that affect us. I have a fear of spiders sometimes, but that’s because they think I’m a jungle gym. My fight with the dark is worse than an on again off again relationship. More than anything, failure and the thought that I am greatly unneeded, are what often haunts me. By unneeded I don’t mean being a needy human. No, I mean that I have no purpose on this planet and am useless. These fears and matched anxieties are ones I am working on overcoming every day. We should all work on overcoming our fears. Oh, and heights. Heights are tricky because I’m not afraid of climbing them. It’s the idea of falling from them. And I certainly WON’T divulge on my clown fear. They eat people, people! *shivers*

The characters were phenomenal. Seriously. BRAVA. complex, diverse, and opposite of each other. Esther was extremely awesome. From being determined to face her fears even though some of them are pretty scary to dressing up as inspiring characters, both real and fiction, she was brave, strong, and human. Whether she realized it or not, people were drawn to her. Jonah Smallwood, for example. Funny and kind, he was the hot sauce on her ice cream. Sounds gross, but trust me, it’s so GOOD! So spicy and sweet. A fantastic combination if there ever was one. He supports her with no cruelty or frustration or impatience that could be normally received from somebody who doesn’t have any understanding of what it’s like to feel an uncontrollable amount of fear that just squeezes tightly around you like a boa constrictor, taking the air right out of you. He’s even kind to her whole family, not judging or distancing himself just because they have their beliefs with their phobias. I completely melted.

Dead of Winter

The style of story was buoyant, like floating in an air balloon, or so I imagine-the balloon part. All floaty, though there’s that bit of nervousness because all you’re in is a human-sized picnic basket with a massive balloon and a blazing torch keeping it up. So, a little nerve-shaking. But, the view is impeccable. Completely breathtaking and totally worth it. This book is definitely breathtaking. Invigorating even, but I can relate to it so much. The rule-breaking, risk-taking, and life-changing moments were unbelievable. Lighthearted, yet intense and heartbreaking. Just magical with so many emotions so perfectly placed and written.

The ending left me with my jaw on the floor. While the exploration of mental illness was quite serious, I was still left shocked because there was a twist! I was guessing on and off throughout the book about Esther’s serious need to face-off with Death and by the end I was breathless. I had to read it twice. I can’t give too much away, but I was stunned.

mindblown

Overall

Tackling a real world issue in a light of bravery and determination. This wasn’t about love conquering all. It was about overcoming an all-consuming struggle. It encourages understanding for those who face not only fears, but actual illnesses that most people don’t believe

Quotables:

“God, so basic. I can’t decide what would be more tragic, dying at seventeen, or having the most cliché funeral ever.” (Esther, p. 9)

“Fears can’t become full-blown phobias if you avoid them, and phobias can’t kill you if you don’t have them.” (Esther, p. 60)

“Tolkien knew a lot of stuff, but he knew nothing about the dark souls of moths. No way a moth would’ve helped Gandalf. Least believable part of Middle-earth.” (Esther, p. 94)

“Murals were a well-known-gateway drug to feelings, and she couldn’t have any of that.” (Esther, p. 101)

“Depression was a real sneaky asshole.” (Esther, p. 147)

“Love was a trap, a sticky trap of molasses meant to bind two people together. It was a thing that couldn’t be escaped, a weight that people strapped to their own legs before they waded into the water and wondered why they drowned.” (Esther, p. 268)

“Everyone we let into our lives has the power to hurt us. Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t, but that’s not a reflection of us, or our strength. Loving someone who hurts you doesn’t make you weak.” (Eugene, p.315)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Lucky Day in Hell by Eel.

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