ARC Review: We Come Apart

We Come Apart

 

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

 

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started this as I had not read anything by Crossan before but the premise sounded amazing. I was not prepared to be hit directly in the feels. When I finished this, I was ugly crying and I regret nothing.

Short recap: Nicu, an immigrant from Romania who is being forced into an arranged marriage, and Jess, a teen with a very troubled home life, cross paths in an unusual way. As they become closer their dark secrets are revealed. Just how far are they willing to go to help each other out of their bad situations?

This story hit me right in the feels. Hard. The writing style too me a minute to get used to but once I did, this story flowed. It was beautiful, emotional, heart shattering, and raw. I loved every minute of this story. It is told in alternating POV so when it was Nicu’s chapter, the broken English made me feel as if he were sitting next to me telling me his story. It felt real. It felt believable. It was captivating. It made me connect to him even more. Same with Jess’ chapters. The horrors that girl went through on a daily basis hurt my soul. I wanted to save her myself. These two together just worked. Nicu was trying to escape his parents and the arranged marriage they are setting up. He does not want to marry a stranger, he wants to live his own life. Jess wants to escape her abusive stepfather and enabling mother. Together these two try to save each other from what could be a terrible future. The ending is one I did not see coming. Just when I thought I had it figured out, Crossan threw a wonderful curve ball that knocked me for a loop. Well done!

This is a very quick read but it is a powerful story. Crossan did a fantastic job of breathing life into her characters, as did Conaghan. This is not just a story of two teens trying to run away from a bad life, it touches on heavy, serious social issues like domestic violence, racial profiling, and racism. Some of the comments made toward Nicu were hard to read. That may be because things like that are said every day whether we realize it or not.

I hope everyone gives this story a chance. It is an important and current story. I think this is one that needs to be told. It is about transcending barriers and testing friendships. As I mentioned, this was an emotional read and it has stayed with me long after I put the book down. Please, add this to your TBR. Read it and come back to talk to me about it. Let me know your thoughts.

 

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Books Left Unread #82

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)

 

This has been on my TBR for quite some time but as always with fantasy books, it sits waiting for me to be ready to read it. If you couldn’t guess… that hasn’t happened yet. Have you read this one? If so, let me know.

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Review: The Memory of Light

The Memory of Light

 

I had such high expectations for this book but it just did not work for me. I feel bad giving it a low 2 star rating but I could not get into this story.

Short recap: Vicky is a teenager having a very difficult time with her life and as a result she tried to kill herself. Many issues pushed her to this decision but she is not willing to openly talk about any of them. She is forced into a treatment facility for the help she needs.

For a book that deals with teens trying to commit suicide, this was not an engaging story. I never connected with any character or the story itself. It did not read like a work of fiction, it read like a textbook chapter on teens with depression. Vicky’s character was not a relatable character so it forced me to really keep my distance. I was not given the opportunity to connect with her or any character because I was never given the chance to see exactly how depression affected her. I read about all of her interactions with doctors, psychiatrists, and some of her friends but those barely scratched the surface of the problem. Maybe there was more to Vicky’s depression than her mom’s passing, her father remarrying, and her nanny being forced to retire and move back to Mexico. Those are all significant events but I was not given the chance to see exactly how they all compacted so much to force Vicky to try to take her own life.

I went into this hoping and expecting an emotional tear jerker of a story but instead it was really, really boring. I know it is a serious topic but I truly believe it was not delivered properly. It was not believable in my eyes. I can’t say I have ever read an article or heard a doctor say they would take suicidal patients outside of the facility to their own personal farm as a form of treatment. Especially teens that just tried to end their life five days beforehand. I also don’t believe a doctor and/or facility would let said suicidal patients (teens or not) leave the facility to attend a family dinner. I won’t go into it too much about how I also don’t believe a facility would house both adults and teens on the same floor of said health facility. I could keep going but items like the ones above gave me even more cause to not enjoy this book.

The one thing this author did correctly was put a whole cast of diverse characters together. I commend him for that. They were portrayed very well so I cannot fault him for that. What I can fault him for is not delivering a book about a serious topic well. I appreciate that he included “advice” on how to fight depression and how he included talks of how real peer pressure can be to a teenage girl. But that’s about as far as it goes. Stork got the informational part of depression and possible suicide right, but he didn’t quite capture the human/emotional element of it.

Overall, I wanted more from this story. I feel Stork could have told a more compelling story if the treatments used were a little more realistic. Also, add the human element and allow readers to connect with the characters. I wanted to be able to relate with Vicky but it never happened.

 

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Sunday Street Team: Internet Famous (Excerpt and Giveaway!)

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Goodreads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31145123-internet-famous?ac=1&from_search=true

Preorder Links:

Amazon- US:  http://amzn.to/2o2dg88

Amazon – UK: http://amzn.to/2po6ZUm

Barnes & Nobles: http://bit.ly/2oZLWv5

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2oT3xFb

 

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danika-Stone/426003857425751?fref=nf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Danika_Stone

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danika_k_stone/

linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danika-stone-99783769/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmYNXyohrKMkIgsWLLbMjEA

Tumblr: http://danikastone.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authordstone/

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Synopsis (GR):

Internet FamousHigh school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

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Excerpt: 

Madi stared at her mother, the seconds ticking by.

“You’re kidding, right?”

Around them, the sunny May afternoon continued on like nothing had happened. The spring air hummed with the rumble of lawnmowers and motor vehicles. Children laughed on the playground. A bee buzzed. Madison Nakama was oblivious to all of it. Her chest ached like the time she’d fallen off the top of the monkey bars and her body had forgotten how to breathe.

This time she’d been pushed by her mother.

“Mom,” Madi pleaded, “please tell me this is a joke.”

“No joke. I’m going.”

Madi’s eyes darted to the playground and the brick-fronted buildings behind it, seeking out her sister. Spring had arrived in upstate New York. Around the park, crabapple trees hung heavy with pink blossoms, the blue sky dotted with perfect silver clouds. Her fingers clenched, claw-like, around the cell phone in her hand. This is so bad! So freaking bad!

“It’s been in the works for a while,” her mother said, “but I got the confirmation yesterday.”

“Confirmation. Right.”

“I’m…” Her mother shifted uneasily on the bench. “I’m leaving at the end of the week.”

Madi jerked. “As in this week?!”

“Oxford has an undergrad summer course they’d like me to co-teach. It starts June 1st. I want to have the paperwork done and be settled in the apartment before—”

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Madi’s shock rolled into sudden anger. “This is like some— some kind of awful joke!”

Julia gave a long-suffering sigh. “For goodness sake, Madison, you’re a senior in high school, not a child, so please stop acting like one.”

“But you’re running away!”

“No one’s running anywhere.”

“Driving. Flying. Whatever!”

Madi glared at children laughing on the equipment. Over on the swing-set, her sister Sarah—looking younger than her fifteen years would suggest—swung back and forth. Her lips were pursed in focus, eyes half-closed. It was as close to a smile as Sarah ever got. The swing’s chains screeched in time to her motion. Watching her, Madi had the unsettling realization that while the pin had been pulled, the grenade had yet to go off.

But when it did…

“Look, it just sort of happened.” Julia Nakama’s voice was barely audible above the happy din of children. “And while I know this must be hard for you—”

“You know nothing about how hard it is!”

“I know what it must seem like,” her mother said, undeterred. “But Wells only approved my secondment yesterday. And as soon as your father and I talked about the move I—”

“Dad knew about this?!”

Squeak… squeak…

Her mother leaned closer. “I understand you’re upset about this, but please lower your voice or—”

“Or what? You’ll leave?”

“Madi, please.”

Squeak… squeak…

Madi stared at her sister, willing her angry tears to disappear. This couldn’t be happening to them. Not now! Not when Sarah was finally settled into a good routine.

“I know this is hard to hear,” her mother said. “But opportunities like this don’t come along every day. When you’re older and you’re building your own career, you’ll understand.” Squeak… squeak… “Madi, are you even listening to me?”

She spun. “Listening to what? You’re leaving!” Her eyes narrowed. “Again.

Her mother’s smile faded into frosty annoyance. “Calm down. People are staring at us.”

Squeak… squeak…

“Calm down?! How am I supposed to ‘calm down’ when you’re taking off?!” Madi’s voice grew shrill and she stumbled to her feet. A nearby mother turned in surprise. “You said you wouldn’t do that! You promised us—you promised Sarah! And now you’re doing it all over again!”

“Madison, please!” Her mother’s fingers clamped around her wrist and she tugged her back down to the park bench. She smiled apologetically at the onlookers, shrugging as if to say: Sorry about this. My teen’s just being a teen. You know how it is. Madi could almost hear the laughter.

Squeak… The repetitive pattern slowed and Madi caught her sister’s eyes across the playground. Squeak… Sarah frowned. Squeak… Madi looked away.

“You need to keep your voice down.”

Madi jerked her hand back and crossed her arms. “Yeah, well, you need to keep your promises.”

Julia sighed. “You’ll understand when you’re older. Families and careers are never easy to balance—” Her voice faltered. “Especially with our challenges. But I can’t keep putting this off. Teaching at Oxford is an opportunity I’ll never get again.” She stood from the bench, brushing invisible crumbs from her slacks. “Now get your sister. We need to leave.”

Madi grabbed her pack and stood. “Why don’t you get her yourself since you’re so certain about everything?”

A nearby woman gasped. Julia’s face drained of color. She stepped in front of Madi, blocking her from onlookers.

“We’ll talk later. Go get Sarah.”

Madi lifted her chin. “No.”

Her mother let out a hissing breath as her fingers snaked around her daughter’s wrist. “Now I don’t know what you think you’re playing at, Madison, but you will go get your sister or—”

“Why is Mom hurting your arm, Madi?” a voice asked.

Julia released her daughter and stumbled back. Sarah stood behind them, watching with that unwavering gaze she always had.

“I-I’m not.”

“Yes, you were. I saw you,” Sarah announced. “You were talking to Madi, and then Madi started frowning, and she yelled at you, and then you yelled at her, and then you grabbed her arm and—”

“I’ll be in the car! Hurry up girls. We’re already late.” Julia bolted away, dodging wayward children. She didn’t look back.

Madi threw her arms around Sarah, hugging her younger sister. Sarah tolerated it for the count of three, then began to squirm.

“Thanks for saving me,” Madi said as she released her.

Sarah didn’t smile. (She rarely did.) “Why is Mom mad at you?”

“She isn’t.”

“Yes, she is.” Sarah spoke with certainty.

“No.”

“I saw her, Madi. You were talking, and then you started frowning and—”

“I dunno, Sarah. Mom’s just—” Madi’s shoulders slumped. It wasn’t in her heart to tell her sister the truth: Everything in their lives had just changed yet again and Sarah would be the one to suffer for it. Instead, she forced a brave smile. “Mom was just ready to go. She asked me to get you, and I said no.”

Her sister seemed to consider that for a moment, and Madi wondered if she’d now have to explain why she’d refused to get her. Questions, with Sarah, continued until she was satisfied. It was part of the reason she was so gifted academically.

“Okay then,” Sarah looked up the street where their mother had disappeared. “So Mom’s ready to go home?”

“Yeah. You ready to leave?”

“Uh-huh,” she said, and looked back at the swing. “It was a good day.”

Madi didn’t answer. Couldn’t. In seconds, Sarah was down the street, leaving her to follow. Madi glanced down at her phone, forgotten in her hand. In the last stressful minutes a new post had appeared on her dashboard. Her throat ached as she read it.

internet famous

With a sigh, Madi hit ‘reblog’.

This was the worst possible day in a long string of them, and her sister, Sarah, didn’t know the half of it.

 

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About the Author:

unnamed (9)Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

 

 

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Rafflecopter Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Stops

Name Post Type Date Blog URL
MAY
Christine Mood board 22 Tine Reviews

https://tinesreviews.wordpress.com/

Jordan Interview 23 The Heart of a Book Cover

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Fatima Guest Post 24 Fafa’s Book Corner: https://fafasbookcorner.wordpress.com/
Bianca Interview 25 The Ultimate Fangirl https://notoriouslaylow.wordpress.com
Brooke Review 26 The Cozy Little Book Nook

http://thecozylittlebooknook.weebly.com/blog

Heather Guest Post 29 The Hermit Librarian

http://thehermitlibrarian.wordpress.com

Cilla Review 30 Paved with Books

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Jamie Review 31 Books and Ladders

http://booksandladders.blogspot.com/

JUNE
Nicole Lynn Review 1 Boundless Bookaholic http://www.boundlessbookaholic.com/
Breanna Guest Post 2 Recommends Book

https://recommendsbook.wordpress.com/

Emily Interview 5 Little Book Wyrm http://www.little-book-wyrm.com
Amber Excerpt 6 Bookstackamber

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Ardis Review 7 Pondering the Prose

http://ponderingtheprose.blogspot.com

Bayy Guest Post 8 Bayy in Wonderland

bayyinwonderland.wordpress.com

Annalisse Review 9 Hopeful Reads

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Sara Excerpt 12 A Gingerly Review

https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com/

Wren Review 13 The Litaku

http://thelitaku.blogspot.com/

Krystianna Review 14 Downright dystopian

http://downrightdystopian.blogspot.com/

Kathleen Interview 15 Books, TV, & More… Oh My!

kcmmp13.wordpress.com

Bonnie Excerpt 16 A Backwards Story

http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/

 

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Review: Bang

Bang

 

After reading and loving Lyga’s other books, I had high expectations for his latest novel. Sadly, I fall into the Black Sheep category because this was just an alright read for me (2.5 stars).

Short recap: Sebastian has grown up being told that he shot and killed his baby sister when he was only four years old. It was an accident but Sebastian cannot forgive himself for what happened, while everyone else around him cannot forget. As a result, Sebastian plans to kill himself and end the suffering.

The big, overall problem I had with this was the narrative (Sebastian’s POV) was not believable. He talks as if he is a college graduate yet he chooses not to apply himself at school. He is a good student but not special or gifted. Why should he go above and beyond since he is planning on ending his life? Speaking of school, why would his classmates still give him such a hard time over something that happened when he was four? No court in the country would hold a child that age accountable for their actions. Why did everyone pile the guilt on as if the event happened a month ago? There is also his friendship with Evan, who is supposed to be his best friend. How were they best friends if they had very little in common? Sebastian was quick to kick Evan to the curb to hang out with Aneesa, the new girl in town, so I would not and could not consider Evan a “best friend”. Let’s not forget about how apparently Sebastian really did remember everything that happened during that fateful evening with his sister yet he chose to act ignorant and clueless his entire life. Uh.. why? Why would he not talk to his therapist or parents about this? What purpose did it serve to lie to everyone for 10 years? (Don’t forget, Sebastian is only 14 in this story.)

Here is where things got really weird for me with this story and I basically checked out: Sebastian and Aneesa decide to start making pizza videos on YouTube.

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That’s right! In the midst of Sebastian making a life altering decision to kill himself, he decides to postpone ending his life to make pizza videos with his new friend, Aneesa, who happens to be Islamic. That plays a part in the story because several comments on the YouTube videos become hateful towards her and insulting. Sadly a good chunk of this story is dedicated to these two making videos over their summer vacation. Uh.. ok. Whatever. I can tell you that it really messed up the pacing of the story. It made no sense to me. He and his mother barely scrape by as it is so where does he come up with the money for the fancy ingredients for the pies? Also, how did he learn to combine such sophisticated ingredients if he has had no formal training? This mixed in with such a serious topic did not work. 

I personally feel this should have had a stronger impact than it did. Yes, there were some very serious topics to cover (gun violence, suicide, and Islamophobia). It really bothered me how that was all Sebastian could think about, all he could imagine, all he wanted to do – end his life. He carried the guilt with him everyday because nobody would let him forget. Even his parents blame him and that was messed up. His mother needed help but never got any. They had a lifetime subscription to their issues. But this mixed with the stupid pizza tutorials just made me not care.

I never connected with these characters or the story. My lack of emotion with the story kept me from caring what happened to anyone. The ending alone did not work with the story. It felt slapped together and rushed. It was missing something that should have been powerful and outstanding. What we were given was anything but that. I know I’m the minority with this story and I am okay with that. I hope others find a way to enjoy it because I certainly did not.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Because You Love to Hate Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Because You Love to Hate Me Edited By Ameriie

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

From Goodreads:

Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).”

I am over the moon excited to read this book!! Is this on your TBR? What do you think?

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Top Ten Tuesday: YA Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

YA Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start

 

A Beautiful Dark

A Beautiful Dark (A Beautiful Dark, #1)

 

 

Everneath

Everneath (Everneath, #1)

 

 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

 

 

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1)

 

 

Something Strange and Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)

 

 

Queen of Shadows (Let’s be real… anything by SJM)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

 

 

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)

 

 

The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

 

 

Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)

 

 

Birthmarked

Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1)

 

 

What series have you been meaning to start or have you wanted to start? Let me know!

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