Tuesday, November 27, 2018

DNF Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Usually I love books with LGBTQ+ themes. The genre is one of my favorite things to read. I had heard a lot of hype surrounding Boy Meets Boy, so I decided to give it a chance. It was my first David Levithan book. Unfortunately, I did not like it at all. I ended up DNF'ing the ebook at about 15%. I also tried the audiobook, and made it one third of the way through before DNF'ING it.

There were so many reasons why I didn't like this book. First and foremost, all of the teenage drama was incredibly annoying. The main character drove me crazy with his insecurities. The one third of the book that I did read was mostly him gossiping about his friends to his other friends, and playing the "Does he like me, does he not like me, I'm not going to ask him, I'm just going to freak out about it" game. It got old real quick.

The last thing that really bugged me was that the book just wasn't realistic. It was almost like David Levithan had never been to a high school before. Maybe it's because I'm from the Midwest, but we definitely did not have cliques of drag queens walking around together when I was in high school. You were lucky if you knew one drag queen in school, but most of our schools didn't have them. We also didn't have a lot of openly LGBTQ+ kids that people treated respectfully, or everyone was nice too. Most of them were bullied and ridiculed instead of praised. Maybe that's changed in the almost ten years since I've graduated, but from having friends that have kids in school, I know it hasn't. I wish high schools were more open to the LGBTQ+ community, but around where I live they're not. Maybe that's different in other parts of the country. All of that kept taking me out of the story, and ruining my immersion. Seeing the main character face adversity, and not let it get to him would have helped with that.

I did not like Boy Meets Boy at all. I typically love LGBTQ+ books, but this one just wasn't for me. I will try reading more of David Levithan's books in the future because I do own most of them. It might be a little while before I try another one though. I'm a little intimidated because I didn't like this one, and it was my first book of his. I hope it's just a fluke, and that I love his other books. 

I give Boy Meets Boy: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://www.davidlevithan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/David-Levithan-139042149485971/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11664.David_Levithan

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill

An all-consuming love affair.

A family torn apart by scandal.

A young author on the brink of greatness.

Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
 For those that have been following my blog for a while, you'll know that my major goal this year was to get my TBR all caught up. As we near the end of the year, that looks like it's a goal that I'm going to be taking into 2019 with me. Anyways, I recently decided to read Hideous Love because it had been on my TBR for a couple of years. Unfortunately, it was just okay.

Hideous Love had some interesting parts, and some boring parts. Unfortunately, the boring outweighed the interesting. I didn't know anything about Mary Shelley's life prior to reading this book, other than she wrote Frankenstein. I'm not sure how historically accurate Hideous Love was, but I found it very interesting that she fell in love at such a young age, and experienced so much in life before she even hit her mid twenties. She was a very strong, admirable woman. She survived more hardships in her twenties than most people do in a lifetime, and never let it get the best of her.

Other than learning little tidbits about Mary Shelley's life, the rest of the book was entirely boring, and slow. There was a lot of gossip about side characters and putting them down, which I didn't care for at all. I could have cared less about the rumors about who was sleeping with whom. When those parts happened, I found myself skimming through them, or rolling my eyes. I just wanted to get back to the interesting facts about Mary Shelley. I also didn't like the way her husband treated her at all. I thought it was a selfish, pompous asshole that put his needs above hers, especially when she really needed him. In fact, I think Mary might be the only character in this book that I actually liked.

All in all, Hideous Love was just okay. I'm glad that I read it because it puts Frankenstein in a whole new perspective for me. However, it's definitely not something that I would pick up again to re-read. I think if someone wants to learn more about Mary Shelley, I would encourage them to pick up a biography of her instead. I know I'll definitely be reading one when I come across it in a book store or library. 

I give Hideous Love: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  https://www.harpercollins.com/author/cr-104712/stephanie-hemphill/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StephanieHemphill.author/

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

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.

Madeleine Kuderick's gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

 (Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
 One of my main goals in 2018 is to lower my tbr to a more reasonable number (I know, let's all look at that goal and laugh. It will probably never happen). Audiobooks have been helping me do that a lot recently. I discovered that the audiobook of Kiss of Broken Glass was only about 2 hours, so I decided to listen to it in my downtime. I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it.

Kiss of Broken Glass is one of those books that I probably would have passed on reading had I not discovered the audiobook. Contemporaries are something that I have to be in the right mood to read, so i read them far and few in between. I'm glad I read this one though. As someone who used to cut when I was a teenager, I found Kenna to be a completely relatable character. I identified with her struggles a lot because I had a lot of the same thoughts and feelings when I was her age. When she describes some of the things that she felt while cutting, I felt like she was describing my story.

The only thing I didn't like about Kiss of Broken Glass was Kenna's friends on the outside. I thought they were incredibly toxic people. I'd like to think that after what happens at the end of the book, she gets a new set of friends.

I really loved Kiss of Broken Glass. I'm happy that I finally decided to give it a read (or in this case a listen) after all these years. I don't know that I feel comfortable recommending it to any specific group because it can be potentially triggering for some people due to self harm. Just know what your triggers are, and if it turns out to be something that won't trigger you, it's definitely worth a read. 

I give Kiss of Broken Glass: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  http://www.madeleinekuderick.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madeleine.kuderick
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kuderickwrites
Tumblr: http://kuderickwrites.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7536051.Madeleine_Kuderick

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
 I love Rainbow Rowell's books. I've read most of them, and have liked every single one I read. I read Fangirl a few years ago when it first came out, and recently decided to re-read it because it had been a while. I loved it just as much during my second read through.

Usually in my reviews I like to list the positives and negatives, but there wasn't a single thing I disliked about this book. Cath was a great main character. I loved how relatable she was. I could definitely see parts of myself in her, such as the antisocial tendencies being around people, and being a total nerd.

Another thing I loved about Cath was the relationships that she did have with the few people she was close to. The relationship between her and Levi is one of the cutest that I've read in YA fiction. They were absolutely adorable. I also loved seeing the relationship between her, her sisters, and her dad. No matter what was happening they were always there for each other. Even when they were arguing, she dropped everything to be there for them when they needed it.

Fangirl is definitely my favorite Rainbow Rowell book that I've read. Reading the book a second time just made it that much better. I can't wait to read Carry On, the Simon Snow fan fiction that Cath was working on throughout Fangirl. I'm sure I'll love that as well.

I give Fangirl: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.rainbowrowell.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rainbow.rowell.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rainbowrowell
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rainbowrowell/
Tumblr: http://rainbowrowell.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4208569.Rainbow_Rowell

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.