Monday, November 30, 2015

ARC Review: The Trouble With Destiny; Lauren Morrill

Release Date: December 8, 2015

I was given an e-copy of the Trouble With Destiny by the people of Random House on Netgalley. 

This is my first book by Lauren Morrill and I don’t think I could have picked a more relatable one for me. Being a band person to the bone I found great humor in this book picking out the characters all bands have. Such as: the goofy percussionists, the series woodwinds, the bossy drum major, just to name a few. Lauren does a wonderful job at really showing how band people are and that tension between them and the other groups at school.

Liza is the drum major of her high school marching/concert band. When she finds out the band is about to lose funding she set the band up to go on a cruise to compete for a $25000 grand prize.  All they have to do is beat their biggest competition, the Athena’s her high school’s show choir. Liza chooses not to tell the band about why they need the money, which turns out to be a big mistake. All the stress from keeping such a big secret causes Liza to melt down when things start to go wrong as soon as the ship leaves port. Liza has to do something fast before she lets the whole band down. Can she do it? Or will she let the frenemy and boys get in the way. 

The Trouble With Destiny is a wonderfully cute quick read. Which I like but I kind of wish there was a little more substance to Liza and her story. I will definitely read this book again though, very enjoyable.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Just One Day: Gayle Forman

I read this via audio from my local library, and the narrator was perfect. I thought I knew what I was getting into but I was wrong on so many levels. This story was so wonderful, and not at all what I was expecting. I can’t wait to get to the others. 

Allyson is the definition of “good girl”. She acts, talks, and works like the perfect daughter. Everything her parents want from her, all the plans they make, she follows along because that is who she is. Right? It only takes one day for Allyson to decide if the “good girl” is really who she is. Allyson and her best friend Melanie take the trip of a lifetime; a European tour, after graduation.  On the last night of the tour Mel plays sick and they break away from the tour, which leads to the start of Allyson’s change. The girls watch a street play where Allyson meets Willem. The next day fate; or maybe an “accident”, throws Allyson and Willem back together. They decide to take the one day Allyson has left and run away to Paris. For just one day. 

I can relate to Allyson in so many ways. I too am always the “good girl”, I have done everything in my power to please my parents. As Allyson learned I know everything isn’t enough. Once this fact becomes known a person can really grow, and learn who they really are. This book does a wonderful job of showing that life doesn’t always go as one plans for it to, but if you don’t let the curve balls bring you down. 

 As Willem points out life is full of accidents. Everything happens for a reason. One accident leads to another accident and that is your life. Without that first accident your life would be completely different. So don’t be afraid of life, of accidents, or of change. Yes, life is hard and some life events are more complicated or hurtful than others. In the end it will all be okay. You may not get the ending you always hoped for but you could definitely get a better one than ever imagined.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Quotes

If you know anything about me you know I love quotes. Life quotes, inspirational quotes, funny quotes, if it has quotation marks I'll probably love it. Saying this it will be hard to believe that I don't keep a quote journal while reading.  (I really should start this I know) I do make mental notes of quotes I like while reading though, even if I can hardly ever find them again. Well this week I went back and found some of my favorite quotes I have read this year, which was really hard to narrow down.

Here we go!

1)  "I figured I would shoot the bullets out of my nostrils so I left it upstairs" - Four  From Insurgent the greatest quote ever!

2) "“White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default.” - Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Becky Albertalli  Not a truer quote out there.

3) "Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it." -  Nurse Carla Everything Everything: Nicola Yoon

4) "But today is better than yesterday. And this hurt is still a hole in me, but it's a shrinking hole."- Faking Normal: Courtney Stevens

5) "There are some things in this world you rely on, like a sure bet. And when they let you down, shifting from where you've carefully placed them, it shakes your faith, right where you stand." - Someone Like You: Sarah Dessen

6) "Sometimes pain is so unmanageable that the idea of spending another day with it seems impossible. Other times pain acts as a compass to help you get through the messier tunnels of growing up. But the pain can only help you find happiness if you can remember it." - More Happy Than Not: Adam Silvera

7) "Love is about the good moments, but it's about holding on to each other during the difficult ones, too. Coming out on the other side, weathered but still holding hands, isn't easy. It's the most difficult thing there can possibly be, but I know now it's the truest test of love there is." - Written in the Stars: Aisha Saeed

8) "All decisions are different in hindsight. Maybe all we can do is make the best decisions we can in the moment, using the best information we have right then." - Breathe Annie Breathe: Miranda Kenneally

9) "You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an ocean in a drop." - Rites of Passage: Joy Hensley

10) "If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting. You want change, make some." - The Lies About Truth: Courtney Stevens

I'm always looking for more quotes so link me to your post or share your favorite quotes in the comments.

*Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Written in the Stars: Aisha Saeed

I had the honor of meeting Aisha Saeed at the Decatur Book Festival before reading her book. Listening to her speak about Naila’s character and the story she was trying to tell before reading it for myself made the book that much more touching. I will admit I don’t know much about Naila’s culture so I’m not going to say I don’t agree with it. Her culture and beliefs are different than mine and that is perfectly okay. I will say it was interesting to learn about the culture from Naila’s point of view, hearing if from someone living it makes it easier to “see”. 

Naila lives in America; and she has her entire life, but her family is still enforces their Pakistani beliefs. They live in a community with many other Pakistani families, have weekly get togethers, and still practice arranged marriage. Naila believes things will be different for her though, because her parents are allowing her to follow her dreams for college and medical school. When her parents catch her with an unapproved boy everything changes.

Naila’s parents plan a summer trip to Pakistan to visit relatives, to remind Naila of where she comes from, her beliefs, and how a Pakistani girl’s life should be.  But the trip takes a turn that Naila did not see coming. How will she survive this change? Will her boy from home be able to help her or is her life doomed to her parent’s choice?

Written in the Stars is a beautiful, touching, unwrapped truth of a story. I learned more than I could have imagined from this story. From the culture to the language used I am beyond glad that this book exists. Everyone should read it at some point.