Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

25484508Edition: Paperback, 480 pages
Published by: Simon & Shuster UK, 7th May 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Family, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5 stars

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

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This is my third Morgan Matson read and this one gave me alotta emotions. I don’t deal with emotional books very well. I was literally bawling my eyes out.

Second Chance Summer is about seventeen year old Taylor Edwards, whose family isn’t particularly close because everyone is so busy but then one day she and her family received devastating news that her dad has cancer. So her parents decide to spend one last summer together at their lake house. Taylor hasn’t been back to the lake house in the last five years. She never wanted to come back because she has bad memories and last time she was there, things did not end well.

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Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

17838528Edition: Paperback, 528 pages
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children’s, 3rd May 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3 stars
Completed: 30th July 2016

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

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The Unexpected Everything centres on our main character Andie, who is the daughter of an important Congressman. Andie has everything planned out for the summer and Andie always plans to stick to a plan. Andie is a very smart and logical character. She’s independent and a straight-A student who has a pre-med internship lined up for her but everything comes crashing down when her father is involved in a political scandal. This causes her summer plans to inevitably change and finds herself walking a lot of dogs and also meeting a boy named Clark.

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This is only just my second Morgan Matson read and what I like about her books is that she does a great job of balancing serious issues with fun, summer themes. It also focuses on genuine friendship and family, giving the story a more emotional impact, than just it being about a boy.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson”

Book Review: One by Sarah Crossan

25366338Edition: Hardcover, 448 pages
Published by: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Genre: Children’s, Disability, Family, Fiction, Poetry, Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Completed: 18th June 2016

Grace and Tippi don’t like being stared and sneered at, but they’re used to it. They’re conjoined twins – united in blood and bone.

What they want is to be looked at in turn, like they truly are two people. They want real friends. And what about love?

But a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead for Tippi and Grace. One that could change their lives more than they ever asked for…

This moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

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One tells a unique story about conjoined twins, Grace and Tippy. They have both have a pair of arms, hearts and lungs but they are joined at the waist, thus only having one body – so the coordination seems like a big mystery. The story begins with Grace and Tippy’s parents struggling to afford home schooling fees because their dad has been laid off. As a result, they are forced to attend an actual public school for the first time.

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Review: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

27879068Edition: Paperback, 272 pages
Published by: Indigo, 2nd October 2015
Genre: Cultural, Family, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Social Issues, War
Rating: 5 stars
Completed: 27th December 2015

Written by Malala for her peers, this is the girl behind the Nobel Prize-winning icon.

Film tie-in edition with HE NAMED ME MALALA, released 6th November, which tells Malala’s story from Nobel Peace Prize to netball courts. The film has now been shortlisted for an Oscar in the Documentary Feature category.

Malala is the most significant teenager of the twenty first century. She was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on 9 October, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause. She was shot point-blank on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive.
Now she is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.

This is the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world-and did. It will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles, and the determination of one person to inspire change.

‘It’s a searing and personal portrait of a young woman who dared to make a difference’ PW


I don’t watch the BBC News anymore (when I should do!) I have to excuse myself for being behind on the loop. So the first time I heard about Malala Yousafzai was on Teens React. All I knew from the video was that it was about a girl who got shot by the Taliban for speaking out for girls’ right to an education. She survived the shot and since then has continued her campaign and won many prestigious prizes including the Noble Peace Prize.

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Continue reading “Review: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick”

Review: Saint Anything By Sarah Dessen

23009402Edition: E-Book, 430 pages
Published by: Penguin, 5th May 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Family, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5 stars

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and – lately – concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac: gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.


MY THOUGHTS:

I read a lot of contemporaries. I would say it’s my favourite genre, but why have I not read a Sarah Dessen book? She is the Queen of Contemporaries. Summer @Xing Sings persuaded me to read a Sarah Dessen book and here I am.

“I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn’t shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That’s the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.”

Sydney has always lived in the shadow of her older brother, Peyton. Peyton is the golden boy of the family, he’s charismatic and has always been that kind of guy that everyone wants to be. Sydney didn’t mind being invisible and just accepted how it is. As time went on, Peyton gets involved in drugs, alcohol, rehab and police arrests. He eventually got cleaned but then relapses in a drink and driving accident that fatally cripples a fifteen-year-old boy and now faces a jail sentence. Because of this, Sydney’s invisibility increases. Continue reading “Review: Saint Anything By Sarah Dessen”