Review: What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard

What I Lost is so well done. It’s the story of Elizabeth and her anorexia, which has landed her in rehab. Alexandra Ballard does a great job of explaining anorexia as an illness. I had a friend who struggled with anorexia in high school, and so many of the behaviors included in this book brought that experience back for me. When Elizabeth enters treatment, she is determined to get out as quickly as she can, so she can get right back to her old eating habits. But over time she has experiences and meets friends that help her realize that she is not healthy. There […]

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Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

I am a sucker for camp stories, so of course I loved The Name They Gave Us. Lucy is a pastor’s kid. She’s always been good. She’s dating the perfect gentleman, and they’ve done nothing more than kiss. But when Lucy’s mom’s cancer comes back, she gets angry. Everyone’s platitudes aren’t cutting it anymore. It’s just not fair. She starts swearing, and her boyfriend can’t handle it. It’s seems a little crazy, right? Unless you grew up in a conservative church, this part of the story might be ridiculous. I completely got it. Lucy’s mom persuades her to take a last-minute job at a camp for […]

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Review: Rules for 50/50 Chances

Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

This book had more substance than I was expecting. I knew going into reading it that it was about a young girl’s decision of whether or not to find out whether she has the gene for Huntington’s disease. What I did not know is that it is also a contemporary inter-racial romance. I was happily surprised. McGovern handled both subjects very well. Rose’s mother is slowly dying from Huntington’s disease, and since she’s almost 18, she can decide for herself whether or not to get tested for the gene. She’s an amazing ballet dancer, and she’s having trouble deciding on colleges since her future health is […]

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Review: Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti by Olivia Wildenstein

Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti by Olivia Wildenstein

This book was a bit of a struggle for me, but I ultimately enjoyed it. I bought this book on Kindle for my phone, and then I ended up purchasing the Audible add on because I couldn’t make myself read the book. The main character Duke is incredibly obnoxious. He’s just too “cool” and guy-ish. I had a hard time reading from his perspective. He develops a crush on the principal’s daughter, the goth girl, despite his better intentions. And then he finds himself involved with her younger brother, who is dying of brain cancer. The story was right up my alley. I enjoy books […]

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Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe is the quintessential contemporary YA novel. It had everything I love about young adult fiction, which is to say, it has very realistic, very raw thoughts and emotions of two teenagers. Jack is living with prosopagnosia and trying to keep it a secret. He cannot recognize the faces of anyone in his life, including himself and his family. He uses other visual clues – hair color, pronounced ears, etc. to identify people, but he sometimes makes mistakes, which dire consequences. Libby used to be American’s Fattest Teen. She had to be extracted from her house with a crane after she suffered […]

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Review: The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges

The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges

I enjoyed The Form of Things Unknown, but ultimately it isn’t a story that will stay with me. Natalie and her family have moved to Savannah to stay with her grandmother, who has schizophrenia. Natalie herself has just been released from a mental hospital after a brief stay following a bad experience with ecstasy. Her brother, who attends the college in town, convinces her to try out for a summer theater program. She lands the part of the fairy queen in A Midsummer’s Night Dream and begins hanging out with the theater crowd, including Lucas, a boy she knows from the mental hospital. They’re practicing in a really old theater, and […]

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Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Based on that description, I thought this book would be funny. I was expecting a girl who was given a second chance at life having to make amends with those she’d hurt after telling the truth or playing some pranks when she thought she was going to die. I did not expect a girl who seems upset by the prospect of not dying. The book is told in “Now” and “Then” type fashion, so when Alice goes into remission, you don’t know what she’s done, so it was slightly realistic that she was unhappy about her continued state of being. (Although nothing would make me […]

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