Tuesday, August 2, 2016

REVIEW: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Viking Books
Source: Miami Dade Public Library
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sydney's handsome, charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always dominated the family, demanding and receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention. And when Peyton's involvement in a drunk driving episode sends him to jail, Sydney feels increasingly rootless and invisible, worried that her parents are unconcerned about the real victim: the boy Peyton hit and seriously injured. Meanwhile, Sydney becomes friends with the Chathams, a warm, close-knit, eccentric family, and their friendship helps her understand that she is not responsible for Peyton's mistakes. Once again, the hugely popular Sarah Dessen tells an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.

Holy cow, guys! I hate that Sarah Dessen always makes me love all of her books. Especially this one. I seriously couldn't put it down. We start with a little bit of back story about Sydney and her brother Peyton's criminal background. As can be expected, her brother's history has detrimental effects on more than just him. It has left lasting effects on his entire family, including Sydney. She finds herself feeling ostracized and wanting to get away. This is where the story starts to take off. Once she meets the Chathoms, they slowly begin to change her views on herself, the situation with her brother, and her life in general. 

Sydney has a really hard time adjusting to the devastating actions of her older brother, Peyton. She feels left out and ignored by her parents and blames her brother and his actions for that feeling. She also has a hard time dealing with the fact that her parents have seemingly forgotten and ignored the little boy that was severely injured and paralyzed due to Peyton's actions. This gives Sydney a feeling of guilt because she feels that someone should care about the boy that had his life changed forever. 

I was a bit iffy with my feelings about Sydney's parents, particularly her mother. I had a hard time relating to her because I had the same feeling that Sydney had: they shouldn't forget about the little boy who was injured. I felt like she was being so selfish by ignoring the event and ignoring Peyton's role in everything. On the other hand, I also understood that was just her way of coping with the whole situation which makes me feel for her a bit. I didn't really care for her father at all. He seemed kind of insignificant and wimpy throughout the book.

The real MVP of this story is the Chatham family! From the moment we meet Layla we know that she is someone important in Sydney's life. She's such a free spirit and never judges Sydney for any of the things that Sydney judges herself on and it's so beautiful to see their friendship bloom. Then there's Layla's older brother Mac...can you say swooooooonnnnn!!! Anyway, Mac is the perfect older brother to Layla and and even more perfect boyfriend to Sydney! He's so kind and caring to everyone he meets it's refreshing to see. Mrs. Chatham plays a pretty large role in Sydney's life too but on a much smaller scope. Although her scenes are small in comparison to Layla and Mac's, her role is pivotal in allowing Sydney to release all the guilt she feels because of her brother, and helps her to reconcile her relationship with her brother in a way her parents could never do. Can I just say I freakin' love that family!!

So overall, I have to say that of all the Sarah Dessen books i've read, this one was by far my absolute favorite and I think everyone should get there hands on a copy and read it! I'm 1000% sure you'll love it as much as I did!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Quotes (#29)

We made it through the week guys! I'm so excited because this is the calmest weekend i've had in a while and even though I have finals coming up in two weeks and I should be studying this week i'm going to enjoy my freedom and go hard starting Monday! You know, because I think i'll lose my mind if I don't lol So let's get some quotes started and just know that these quotes do not reflect my current mood but I just love this book so much and haven't quite moved on yet. So here we go :)

“The future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything.”  ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

“You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.”  ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

“I’d done the right thing. I always did. It just would have been nice if someone had noticed.”  ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

“Just because a person isn't talking about something doesn't mean it's not on their mind. Often, in fact, it's why they won't speak of it.”  ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

“It was a weird kind of loneliness, feeling that some of my closest friends didn’t actually know I existed.”  ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

“That’s the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.”  ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

“It didn't matter that I'd done none of those things. With shame, like horseshoes, proximity counts.” ― Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything

Happy Friday, Swooners!

Monday, July 25, 2016

COVER REVEAL: Alpha (Mackenzie Grey #3) by Karina Espinosa

SHIFT (book 1): http://smarturl.it/49zrvq
CAGED (book 2): http://smarturl.it/hzfe3y
ALPHA (book 3): TBA

About the Author:
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels, and a Senior Contributor for HollywoodNewsSource.com. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram, and live-tweeting during episodes of The Walking Dead and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Quotes (#28)

Morning Swooners!

I'm feeling so exhausted today and I didn't have any time to have my coffee this morning. Looks like it's going to be a looooooonnnnggg day! Let's get into these quotes.

“Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it.” —Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” —Anne Frank

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” —Maya Angelou

“Usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. "I'm okay" we say. "I'm alright". But sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can't get it off. That's when you realize that sometimes it isn't even an answer--it's a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced.”—Markus Zusak

“So he tasted the deep pain that is reserved only for the strong, just as he had tasted for a little while the deep happiness.” ― F. Scott FitzgeraldAll the Sad Young Men

“I felt her absence. It was like waking up one day with no teeth in your mouth, you wouldn't need to run to the mirror to know they were gone” ― James DashnerThe Scorch Trials

“The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.” ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Friday, June 24, 2016

REVIEW: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Received from Publisher 
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*This eARC was received from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way *

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

So this is my first Jennifer Donnelly novel and I have to say that I absolutely loved it and can't wait to get my hands on more of her work. Historical fiction has never really been my cup of tea, but when it has a young adult feel like this one it definitely hits the spot. Jo Montfort is a bright young woman with a bright future. Even though her family has mapped out her entire life, she always has the urge to do and be so much more than what she is. I find that she has to constantly hold back her true self. Jo stands out as a rebel with a penchant for trouble and when she meets Eddie Gallagher she finds herself becoming the person she was always meant to be.

Jo has such a brave and strong personality and it got to shine bright every time she was investigating with Eddie, but there were some situations that I feel like she really could have avoided if she had just listened to him instead making her own decisions. I loved that Jo had so many big dreams for herself during a time when her freedom was so very limited. I especially liked that there were so many strong females available for her to be so heavily influenced by. The tragedy behind her fathers mysterious death was just as frustrating for her as it was for me because there were so many factors that we learned and in the end it's like she didn't even know her father all that well. I always feel bad when characters find out harsh truths about a person they loved.

I have to say that my absolute favorite character was Fay. I feel like Fay was such a real depiction of what it's like to have a hard life in any time period. She was such a strong character and a little bit scary in the beginning but once you got to know her you saw how fiercely loyal and protective she was. She saved Jo more times than I can count and the friendship they form over time was my favorite relationship to see. Fay needed a real friend and Jo needed a reality check so the two of them were able to learn so much from each other. I also loved that Fay wasn't forgotten in the happy ending department because of all the characters in this story, no one deserved it more than her.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for any Historical Fiction junkie and even all YA lovers because this book was the perfect mix of both!