April 30, 2016

Jerkbait by Mia Siegert


Even though they're identical, Tristan isn't close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other's lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can't escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie's future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie's secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

For starters, I was offered an ARC of this book and I was thrilled. Being a huge hockey fan, there is no way I could turn down a new YA book that features a LGBTQ hockey player. So here I am having finished this book and am bringing you my thoughts on it.

This book was real. It handled a lot of deep topics, but it didn’t drone on and somehow kept the mood someone light. Some parts of it were hard to read because of the harsh reality of it. A lot of kids have to go through life feeling like Robbie, and it isn’t fair. It was also interesting how this book dove into bullying and how friends may not be all that they seem when things are going well. 

The relationship between the twins is an interesting one. They aren’t close, but they are at the same time. Maybe they are just close from being related at the beginning, but it continues to grow from there. It was really nice to watch how their relationship progressed.

The story line with Jimmy was kind of cheesy and reminded me of YA books that would come out when the internet became a popular thing for kids and teenagers, but that’s okay. It is easy to look past that with the rest of the book.

There was a lot of character development, but I also feel like the book could have been stretched out a bit more and they could have gone deeper. Maybe hear a first person account from Robbie.

Jerkbait is an addicting read. My total read time on it was probably around 3 hours. I couldn’t put it down once I started it outside of having to sleep. Honestly, I need a sequel. If you make it to the end of this book, you will know why. So many things I need to know.

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: "High school was a time for everyone to be miserable"

"But it wasn't like that in real life. Best friends never fell in love. Couples who were best friends only became best friends after they got together." 

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April 28, 2016

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
I know this is supposed to be a mystery or thriller novel, but sometimes those can be very fun to read. If you pick up this book expecting it to be fun and exciting while keeping you guessing and on the edge of your seat, well. . . choose a different book because this one is not that.

Girl on the Train can best be described in one word as: FRUSTRATING. The plot is frustrating, the characters are frustrating, everything about it is frustrating. Every single character in this novel is a whole different level of crazy and I found myself just wanting to shake them back to reality!

The twist was a…twist, but I figured it out before the reveal. That isn’t the worst thing because I didn’t guess it halfway through the book. It still kept me guessing a little, but it became more obvious before the actual reveal.

I think, overall, I can say that I enjoyed this book. . . I think. I am still undecided on it. I am glad I read it, but I don’t know that I would recommend it to my best friend to read… If you are intrigued by the plot, pick it up. But it can be passed over and you won’t be missing much.

3/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head”

“Maybe it was then. Maybe that was the moment when things started to go wrong, the moment when I imagined us no longer a couple, but a family; and after that, once I had that picture in my head. Just the two of us could never be enough.”

“I’ve always liked to drink. But I did become sadder, and the sadness gets boring after awhile, for the sad person and for everyone around them. And then I went from being a drinker to being a drunk, and there’s nothing more boring than that.”

“I don’t believe in soulmates, but there’s an understanding between us that I just haven’t felt before, or at least, not for a long time. It comes from shared experience, from knowing how it feels to be broken.”

“I want to drag knives over my skin, just so that I can feel something other than shame, but I’m not even brave enough to do that.”

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April 2, 2016

The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper

Right after high school, Joe Goffman left sleepy Bush Falls, Connecticut and never looked back. Then he wrote a novel savaging everything in town, a novel that became a national bestseller and a huge hit movie. Fifteen years later, Joe is struggling to avoid the sophomore slump with his next novel when he gets a call: his father's had a stroke, so it's back to Bush Falls for the town's most famous pariah. His brother avoids him, his former classmates beat him up, and the members of the book club just hurl their copies of Bush Falls at his house. But with the help of some old friends, Joe discovers that coming home isn't all bad--and that maybe the best things in life are second chances.
This book had the typical plot line of a person that hasn’t been to their hometown in awhile. They have to go back for a tragic reason, and they end up rediscovering themselves.

Now, just because this has been done quite a few times, it doesn’t mean that the book was boring. Quite the opposite, really. It took me a few chapters to really get into the book, but once I hit that point, I didn’t want to put it down.

It is hard to talk about the book without talking about everything that happened to Joe when he went back to his hometown.

Without revealing anything, I will say that the characters were all very interesting. They were all so DIFFERENT. Commonly, you will find some background characters blending in with each other. But each character in this one had their own personality, and it was a very character driven novel. As I said, the plot has been done many times before. The characters are what set this book apart from the others.

It also tackles many tough topics: homophobia, suicide, death, and many more.

4/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “Everyone always wants to know how you can tell when it’s true love, and the answer is this: when the pain doesn’t fade and the scars don’t heal, and it’s too damned late.”

“When you’re eighteen, time isn’t nearly as crotchety and relentless as it becomes soon thereafter, and eight months is nothing less than a lifetime.”

“It’s almost like they knew it would never get any better for them than it was right there. And for me, it was the time I spent with you. And for the last seventeen years, that time was the ball in my trophy case that I could look at every day and find some measure of comfort, of happiness remembered.”

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