Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Everything Everything

Everything Everything: Nicola Yoon
Pub Day: September 1,2015
Synopsis: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I don't know if I am more excited for this one because the synopsis or because I will be seeing Nicola in September at the Decatur Book Festival

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

*Pic and synopsis courtesy of GoodReads

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thanks and Love for #OTSPSECRETSISTER

I accidently stumbled across #OTSPSECRETSISITER on Twitter, and I am so glad I did. SS is hosted by the ladies @galsonthesamepage. It is a project meant to spread cheer and love in six month increments amongst bloggers and bookish people. I have always been a book person but am the only one amongst my small group of friends so I never have anyone to talk and fangirl over books with. Finding this community on Twitter has been amazing, and done amazing things in my life.

Some things I got from this wonderful program:

*Become more confident.

*Was encouraged to start this blog from seeing all the support between the members of SS

*I have started talking more to people, and met some new friends. Many that I hope to get together with IRL one day. A few of which being Chelsea, Lauren, Lisa, Kelly, Stefani, Maura, Mariah, Henny, Sara, and Emily. There are tons more people, but these are the ones I’ve chatted with the most so please don’t feel left out. J

*Got to help out Andi with some books for her classroom

*Enjoyed spoiling Jessica with cards, books, junk food, and happy thoughts over the last 6 months, And now have a new friend in her.

*Have the joy of knowing there is someone out there that I may or may not know that is thinking about me. Taking the time out of their busy lives to learn about what I like and finding their own way to spoil me. Someone that finds the greatest cards, I wish I knew where she finds them because they are perfect. Just the fact that there is a person out there that doesn’t have to care but does is a wonderful feeling. I cannot wait to find out who she is so I can send some love right back to her.

*Was able to witness the sharing of joy between everyone else involved in this program,  Shows that there still is some good in this world

*Introduced to so many different authors and books that I don’t know if I would have found on my own

Overall this is a absolutely wonderfully awesome program that Amy, Alyssa, and Brittany work so hard on. I am so thankful that I stumbled upon this program and was able to join. I’m going to miss my sisters from this round but look forward to the next round to spread more joy and love.

Some of the greatness I received from my Sis! Check out those cards are they not great!

Who ever you are thank you for thinking of me every month, and please reveal yourself soon so I can properly thank you!!  


Thursday, July 23, 2015

None of the Above: I.W. Gregorio

I listened to this via Audible audio. The narrator was wonderful but I cannot wait to read it in physical form. This is a very important book that I believe everyone should read. The more people that read this book the more understand of people this world can become. I will be the first to admit I learned a lot from this book; it cleared some things up that I thought I understood but really had no idea about.

None of the Above is the story of Kristin who is a typical high school senior with great friends, is the star of the girls track team, and has a wonderful boyfriend. When her Homecoming night doesn’t quite go as planned she heads to the doc and learns she is intersex. This means she is a female but has male chromosomes.  She has to come to terms with what this means for her life now and for the future. Unfortunately before she has the chance her secret is reveled, and of course high school immaturity strikes. This infuriates me, because I have been on the wrong side of this kind of immaturity. My heart ached for Kristin and I wanted to jump into the pages and explain some things about life to the students at her high school. There were many times people in traffic probably thought I was crazy because I was yelling at my radio. Unsurprisingly because of this immaturity Kristin goes into hiding, until with the help of her doctors and her lovingly helpful father she finds a support group that helps her understands and come to terms with her diagnosis. Once she comes to terms with everything herself, she learns how to get her life back on track.

This book is written in a way that handles everything very well. Nothing is glossed over, and I. W. Gregorio has really done her homework on intersex diagnosis, and people that have been diagnosed.  I really only had an issue with the schooling thing. It is stupid but you do not loose scholarship money for getting a GED, at least not where I am from. Other than this minor issue I loved this book.

Basically all I have left to say is Go Read This Book!!!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Books

This is my first TTT, I find it very fitting that it happens to be about Diversity in books. I have always liked reading about different people in different situations but even more so lately with all the things going on in our world. In my opinion if you don't try to understand other people points of view how can you know if you agree with them or not. Even if you don't agree we would be in a better place if people tried to understand each other. Diverse books help with this a great deal.
Since I haven't had the chance to read as much this year as I would like to I decided to do this post in two parts. Five diverse books I have read and Five that are on my TBR.


1) Faking Normal: Courtney C. Stevens
 Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

2) None of the Above: I.W. Gregorio

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

3) Luna: Julie Anne Peters
 Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

4) Say What you Will: Cammie McGovern
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.
When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

5) After: Amy Efaw
An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .
Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made. Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there's only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

To Read:

1) More Happy Thank Not: Adam Silvera
In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again--but he's still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he's slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.
When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron's crew notices, and they're not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.
Why does happiness have to be so hard?

2) Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Becky Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

3) Written in the Stars: Aisha Saeed
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

4) I'll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
5) Grasshopper Jungle: Andrew Smith
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.
To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

What other diverse books should I add to my TBR?
   Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Synopsis courtesy of GoodReads.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Extraordinary Means: Robin Schneider

Extraordinary Means is a very interesting story. No one really thinks of tuberculosis as being a disease that could come back. I don’t really understand why, especially after seeing all the other disease that has made reappearance over the years. Ebola, measles, why not TB? Anyone that does anything medically related has to have TB tests to see if they are a carrier or have been exposed somehow, which means someone thinks it is possible for TB to become an issue.  I am glad that Robin took this story on and wrote it in such a way that shows a TB outbreak is possible but doesn’t have to be scary.

I am not normally a fan of duel POV in books but it works really well in this book. It is very easy to keep up with who is talking and the story moves at the right speed that the duel POVs is the best way to tell this story. Lane and Sadie are both diagnosed with TB and are sent to Latham House to be “cured”. Latham House is a boarding school for kids with TB where they get around the clock care, school, plenty of rest, but are not shunned like they would be in the outside world for being sick.  

Sadie and group of friends are the “popular” kids at Latham. They break the rules, live life to the fullest they possibly can, and pretty much ignore all. Lane starts at Latham with the idea that he isn’t really sick, that he can still do everything in his plan to be a Stanford student next year. Then he meets Sadie. Once they overcome their history, Lane joins the “popular” kids and realizes what his life has been missing.

Latham House is full of growth, knowledge, and possible futures for all who attend. Some just don’t know it yet.



Friday, July 17, 2015

Rites of Passage: Joy N. Hensley

I read this book via Audible Audio. I was unsure what to expect from it because I had heard such mixed reviews about it. I loved it. The story, the writing, the narrator for the audio book, was all wonderful.  There were days I would leave for work early just to have extra time to listen; this book is just that good. If you love contemporary or just like a good story you must check out Rites of Passage.

Sam McKenna gives us a look inside the military world and how some personal can be accepting to change while others not so much. Sam comes from a long line of military men so when Denmark Military Academy changes their bylaws to allow women to attend the Academy she feels it is her duty to care on the family tradition and attend. An entire summer of hardcore training and a lifetime of military pressures do not prepare her for what awaits on campus. Being one of 4 girls at Denmark is tough but nothing Sam cannot handle with the help of a few new friends and her brother.

Overall this book has everything you could want in a book. A great story line that makes you cheer for woman kind. An amazing leading character and funny but aggravating supporting characters.  A little bit of a love story, with bits of drama. I mean really what else could you ask for?!?

Rites of Passage is a definite 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine This is a post where we share an upcoming release we cannot wait for. Mine is:

The Truth About Lies: Courtney C. Stevens
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Synopsis (from GR): Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.
As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past

Why I'm Waiting:
Courtney C. Stevens is an amazing writer, she really knows how to reach people through her words. She can relate to her characters better than anyone I have ever read. This is her second release, it is a different type of story but I know it will be just as wonderful and touching as her first.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Fill-In Boyfriend: Kasie West

I had high hopes going into this one. I was under the impression it had everything I loved in a good book. Friendships, love stories, family, and a normal world story. I was not disappointed. This is a great contemporary with all the usual suspects. Kasie West knows her stuff.

Gia is the popular girl with the perfect life, or so she thinks until her boyfriend breaks up with her at the worst time. Prom. So what’s a girl to do but find an actor of course.  Fill in Bradley and Gia rock the prom then go their separate ways and Gia thinks all her problems are solved and she can go back to perfection. But she forgets about Jules the resident mean girl that is trying to overthrow Gia’s perfect world. I understand the whole mean girl aspect and how every story has to have one but Jules is a new kind of mean. She strikes me as more of the underdog that thinks the only way to get on top is being a witch. I just want to smack her, and ignore the supposed rough life she has had.

But anyway. Gia learns her lessons and sees her wrongs and everything is perfect. Right? I mean what isn’t perfect; she has a full ride to UCLA, parents that never fight with her or each other, friends, and is popular. What else could a girl ask for? Well Gia may not realize it to begin with but she could ask for a lot, and throughout this book she discovers and starts to achieve this. My only complaint really is that there could be slightly more depth to the story. It is great the way it is but I could use a little more overall.

 I still give this a solid 4/5.

My road trip essentials: Peanut MnMs and cheddar and sour cream chips

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Faking Normal – Courtney C. Stevens

Faking Normal is a very heart wrenching, gut punching story, but one that everyone should read at some point. It tells the story of Alexi who is dealing with something horrible that happened to her recently, but like my teens facing horrible situations she doesn’t really know how to deal. Her family is preoccupied with her sister’s upcoming wedding and their lives in general so they don’t notice the harm she is causing to herself. Yes she has friends but she hides the situation from them easily as they are normal teens that overlook things that don’t directly affect them. The only thing that really keeps her from going crazy is her closet, the counting of vent spaces in her ceiling, and Captain Lyric. Captain Lyric is a mysterious person that uses the same desk as Alexi, on a daily basis that writes to each other through music lyrics. Alexi thinks he could be her saving grace, but then the Kool-Aid kid surfaces.

The Kool-Aid kid also known as Bodee has his own problems but he still sees that something is not right with Alexi and she needs help before it is too late. When he comes to live with Alexi and her family, due to his own situation, he gets Alexi talking and gives her the courage to finally tell her family what happened so she can get the help she needs.

I will admit I had guessed the cause of Alexi’s depression, but I had no clue as to the person that caused the depression. I was ready to crawl into the book and hurt someone on Alexi’s behalf.  By then end of this book I was crying tears of irritation over the hideous circumstances that the last person you would expect put Alexi in. Tears of happiness that Bodee and Alexi were able to help each other with their situations and tears of relief that Alexi was getting the help she needs.  

This book is one of the absolute best debuts that I have ever had the chance to read. Courtney Stevens has a way with words that many just can’t pull off. She really seems to understand the way teen’s minds work and can sound like she is speaking from their mind with ease.  Her writing style is wonderful and I look forward to reading many more stories from her.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Hello! Welcome to my world

Hey guys! My name is Sara and I'm new to the Blogging world. I have always been a reader and plan to be one for life. Mainly a YA contemporary chic but I'll give anything a chance. I look more at the book than genre.
Thanks for checking Reading the Blues Away out and come back for more! I promise I'll get the hang of this eventually. :)

As I am new to this blogging world feel free to share your tips and/or tricks. Don't want to step on any toes so if you see something I should credit someone for let me know and I will gladly fix it. :)