REVIEW: HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE

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PUBLISHER: Penguin

DATE PUBLISHED: 6th October 2016

PAGES: 388

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SUMMARY: 

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world – theirs and yours.

WRITING STYLE:

This book is told in the first person from the alternating perspectives of Libby and Jack. The different character voices were very distinct and internal thoughts in italic print allowed an easy flow of the story. I particularly liked the lists from Jack, provided a view of his character development through the book.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:

The two main characters of Libby and Jack are both flawed and have major issues going on in their internal lives. Libby’s development is of acceptance of self and gaining friendships. Jack has a big secret from those close to him and his friends are less than savoury. Jack’s character slowly develops through his relationship with Libby.

THEMES: 

Self Acceptance: Acceptance of self and what makes you unique is a strong guiding theme for both Libby and Jack. Both characters face major crises and through their development the characters aim for self acceptance.

Bullying: Bullying is a major element of this book. Many of the characters face bullying from the point of view of the victim and the on lookers. The outcomes of bullying and support of others is a guiding element of the story.

Family: Both Jack and Libby’s families play a large part in this book. Libby’s father is her support system and their relationship is amazing. Jack’s relationship with his family is more complicated but plays a major role in his character development.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: 

I really liked this book. The overall themes and message that was the focus of the book really resonated with me. The flawed characters and overall development of these characters left me considering the book for hours after finishing. This book is a stunning book winding through the dramas of high school life, on the path to acceptance.

If nothing else is taken from this book then this message should be:

You are wanted…. you are necessary… you are loved. 

 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Keep Calm and Read On,

Kati

REVIEW: A SEMI PRECIOUS CHRISTMAS

 

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Publisher: White Rose Publishing

Date Published: 1st December 2015

Pages: 105

 

 

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SUMMARY:

 

On a bright, crisp December morning, jewelry store manager, Peridot Keaton-Jones, arrives at work expecting to find her beloved uncle, Marty. Instead, she’s greeted by the muzzle of a gun pressed to her temple. When thugs assault her, threaten her life, and steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, Peri can only pray her uncle is late to work for the first time in his life.

Christopher Lane is a TV news cameraman in the right place at the right time. He witnesses the heist, calls the police, and offers help when Peri needs it most. She can’t deny her attraction, but is he really her hero, or is he just after a story? And with Christmas right around the corner, can Peri and Chris avert a holiday disaster?

 

WRITING STYLE:

 

This book is told in the first person from the perspective of Peridot (Peri). The plot was fast paced and this quick, little read was a fun read.

 

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:

 

Peri’s character develops after the robbery through the development of her relationship with Chris. Being able to trust someone else and going through a robbery and terrifying experience.

 

THEMES:

 

Family: The strong connections of family, particularly in the festive season are a prominent element of this book.

 

Spirituality: The spirituality of the characters and Christianity play a large role in this book.

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

 

This cute holiday read will get you in the mood for Christmas. With strong a strong spiritual plot and some heartwarming and harrowing situations this book is truly a gem.

 

🌟🌟🌟

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Keep Calm and Read On,

Kati

2016 NETGALLEY READING CHALLENGE

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As I’m sure a few of you know (If not you’re about to find out), I joined Netgalley back in August. So far I’ve sent in 6 reviews of Galley’s that I have received. I wanted an extra push to read more Galley’s and send in reviews. That is when I found this challenge.

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This is the 2016 Netgalley Reading Challenge and it is hosted by Fictively. The aim of this challenge is to get your feedback ratio closer to the 80% that is recommended by Netgalley. There is five levels for this challenge and I have chosen:

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I will need to read and review at least five more Galleys by the end of the year in order to meet this challenge.

I would like to note that if you look on the right hand side of my page you will see a section titled “2016 Netgalley Reading Challenge” in my Categories section. If you click on that you will be sent to all my reviews and my sign up post for this challenge. This will hopefully make it easier for people to find.

Below I have linked the reviews of the galleys I have already read and I will update this list as I go:

Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Captain Sinbad by Graham Diamond

The Songbird Thief by Skye Allen 

Going the Distance by Mila Rossi 

Summer of Irreverence by Catherine Goldstein 

A Wizard’s Forge by A.M. Justice 

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Are you a member on Netgalley? Did you know about this challenge? Would you like to know what Galleys I am planning on reading and reviewing next?

Keep Calm and Read On,

Kati