• YA Contemporary Book Review

    Bad Romance

    Warnings: Gaslighting My Thoughts Bad Romance is a heartbreaking story about relationship abuse and self-loathing, and one of the most accurate portrayals that I’ve ever read. The book is exceptionally well-written, with developed characters that talked and acted like typical teenagers. It shows how trouble at home can drive a young woman into the arms an abuser, trapped in a relationship because of dependency. One of the things that worked really well for this novel is that it starts from the beginning when Grace met Gavin and how they fell in love. Too often with stories about abusive relationships the story takes place when things are already bad and nearing…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    Thirteen Reasons Why

    Warnings: Suicide, Bullying, Rape, Sexual Assault My Thoughts This is a difficult story to unpack and process. The book tackles suicide and a number of other incredibly heavy themes that are not easy to approach and talk about even though they are topics that do need to be talked about, and badly. The story is paced like a suspense novel and it made the book incredibly readable, but I can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing. On one end it’s good, it allows Hannah to talk about the different life events that impacted her and sent her spiraling into depression while simultaneously showing the effect that her…

  • Book Review

    The Hate U Give

    My Thoughts WOW. I’ve seen so much talk about this book and I was fearful that it wouldn’t live up to the hype but how wrong I was to worry. The Hate U Give is absolutely astounding and is one of the best debut novels I’ve read in a long time. This is such a great book about the teen experience in America and covers an extremely wide range of topics – the black lives matter movement, police brutality, racism, activism, gang violence, drug abuse, interracial dating, consent, infidelity, relationship violence, blended families, the duality between the hood and suburban life, the list goes on and on. The story starts…

  • Book Review

    Convenience Store Woman

    My Thoughts Keiko is a convenience store worker and, to the people around her, a bit of an oddball. She has worked part-time at the same store for her entire adult life with no aspirations to pursue a full-time career, she has no interest in romantic relationships or starting a family, she struggles with everyday social interactions, and most of all–she’s satisfied with her life. Keiko often feels out of place, like she has to put on a mask while interacting with others. She has difficulty understanding people’s motivations and feelings, she struggles to hold conversations and to navigate social norms, she has no interest in marriage, and she feels…