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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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16 03, 2017

Review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

By | March 16th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

girl in pieces book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

Charlotte Davis was a homeless addict who dealt with her pain by cutting herself, until that no longer sufficed and she tried to commit suicide. Committed to a psychiatric facility to heal and to try and learn to deal with some of her issues, Charlie seems to be recovering slowly, but the facility is expensive and what little family she has left in the world can’t support it anymore, so she’s sent away. A friend in Arizona takes her in, but that’s only the start of her journey, as the wounds of her past are never far from the surface. She has to try and hold down a job, find a place to live, navigate romantic drama, and most importantly–not cut herself. But the stress of not having enough money and of bad relationships with damaged people push her to the edge. Can she survive, or is Charlie too wounded to allow herself to heal?

15 08, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

girl against the universe book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

I had no idea what I was in for, going into Girl Against the Universe. Paula Stokes hits on the tough issues—OCD, PTSD, teen stress and anxiety—all with poise and tasteful humor. Girl Against the Universe had me laughing, tearing up (because I cannot remember the last time I cried over a book—shame!), and quickly turning pages all through this year’s summer vacation.

Maguire is cursed. Or at least has horrible case of bad luck. From being the only living survivor in a terrible car wreck to house fires and crashing roller coasters, the universe clearly has it out for her. To keep those she loves—and innocent strangers around her – safe, Maguire decides the best thing is for her to hide her life away in her room.

9 03, 2016

Review: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

By | March 9th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Depression & Mental Illness, Family, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

we are the ants book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I feel like I’ve been reading the same kinds of young adult literature for the past couple of years: romances, fantasies, and sci-fis. While We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson can be considered a YA lit sci-fi novel, I didn’t see it as such. I saw Hutchinson’s writing style as a breath of fresh air, adding humor and sarcasm to the genre.

Henry Denton doesn’t live the most enchanted life. Having a chain-smoking single mother, loud and slightly stupid older brother, old and dementia-ridden grandma, mixed with the general anxiety of being a gay teenage boy in the rich part of town doesn’t leave a good taste in Henry’s mouth. When the “sluggers,” aliens who’ve abducted Henry before, give him the opportunity to either end the world or save the world,

24 12, 2015

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

By | December 24th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, For Teens, Friendships, Gift Ideas, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

every last word book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

What does it mean to be normal? At what point can we stop hiding our true selves to allow others to know our idiosyncrasies? Can we keep our friends once they know we are not perfect? Tamara Ireland Stone addresses these and many more teen angst (or ‘life angst’) questions in her lovely novel Every Last Word.

Samantha (Sam) McCallister is your standard sixteen year old, on the surface. To the casual observer in the school hallway or cafeteria, Samantha is popular, pulled together, appropriately funny, a member of the elite Crazy-8s, and is someone to envy. Sam knows different. The Samantha she presents to the world is like a costume worn throughout the school year. In the summertime, away from the Crazy-8s, Sam is relaxed, in control, and self-assured. Amongst her

29 10, 2015

Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston

By | October 29th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |6 Comments

Rating:

paperweight book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

Stevie is a 16-year-old who feels trapped at an eating disorder treatment center–she has been there ever since she was involuntary admitted by her father. The treatment is supposed to last 60 days but Stevie has plans of her own. On the 27th day, – the anniversary of her brother Joshua’s death – she plans to escape and end her life so that she can join him. It’s the only way she feels her brother will forgive her, and the only way she can forgive herself.

The premise of Paperweight is fantastic, the title is interesting, and the cover is beautiful. The presentation itself is appealing but the book didn’t completely live up to my expectations.

The book overall is quite dense, told mainly in monologue and with no real sense of action. The constant flashbacks often abruptly take readers from present to past and

7 08, 2015

Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

By | August 7th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Rating:

made you up book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

When you are reading a book where the main character is the first person narrator, and this person tells you from the beginning that they are schizophrenic, it follows that you are going to have quite a time trying to discern if what this narrator is telling you is real or not. But that’s exactly what you get upon starting Made You Up; Alex herself tells you she’s crazy, and even her medications aren’t helping. Still, she is determined to finish out her senior year at a new high school.

Alex starts out the year with a single friend, and even he doesn’t know her secret. Though it’s something she struggles with everyday, Alex doesn’t need the entire student body knowing about her mental illness. And from what she’s seen of her conniving classmates, once

6 06, 2015

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

By | June 6th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Friendships, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

kiss of broken glass book coverPublisher’s Description

In the next 72 hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for 72 hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for a mandatory psychiatric watch. There Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems …for a moment.

Reviewed by Benish Khan

Kiss of Broken Glass is Madeleine Kuderick’s debut novel about sensitive topics like self-harm, cutting and depression. Kuderick does explore some different aspects of cutting