Book Review: “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Bookworm1102’s Review

I bought this book having heard so many good things about it. I was not disappointed.

This book deals with difficult subjects, subjects that often are not talked about because they are tough, such as racism. The book is based around Starr, a 16 year old girl who is with her friend Khalil when he gets shot by a police officer (who happens to be white). She is the only person, besides the officer, who knows what really happened that night, and the story is about her struggle to come to terms with what happened, and with her trying to fight for what she believes in. What she does and does not say could put her and her family in terrible danger.

I found most of the characters to be really likeable, with the exception of a few. Starr is the perfect protagonist. She was relatable, with the ideal mixture of serious and funny. Her family seemed to be a close knit family, they always looked out and protected each other, even when it put them in danger themselves.

I liked the relationship between Starr and Chris. They had their issues and arguments, but when Chris spent the whole night in Garden Heights, fighting along Starr and her brothers, it showed how much he really cared for her and that he did not care what others thought about them as a couple.

I would definitely highly recommend this book, as it deals with topics that, sadly, are very relevant in today’s society. There is also currently a film being made, and I am looking forward to watching that.

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Book Review: “Please, Let Me Go” by Caitlin Spencer

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Goodreads Synopsis

Please, Let Me Go tells the shocking true story of Caitlin Spencer, a survivor of sex trafficking in England.

From the age of 14, Caitlin was completely controlled, repeatedly raped, provided with alcohol, given drugs, sold and passed on to new gangs over and over again. The majority of her abusers were Pakistani men, who were blatant in their attacks upon her, often collecting her from school or home, to be taken to flats they owned, family homes, or hotels booked for the day, to be horrifically and systematically abused.

At a time when the abuse ring realities of young white women in Rotherham and other major English cities are coming to light, Caitlin’s story will appal readers – not just because of the degree of horrific attacks which were perpetrated upon her, but also because of the ways in which the authorities refused to act.

Caitlin speaks openly about what she has suffered, and also shows just how unwilling many people are to face up to what is happening in our midst, for fear of being called racist. By bravely speaking out, she will, hopefully prove just how deep these problems are and just how the abusers get away with it in plain sight of the authorities.

Bookworm1102’s Review

I always find it difficult to ‘review’ these type of books, due to the genre and nature of the stories. When I read these stories, it is always in the very front of my mind that this is not a work of fiction. This truly happened to somebody, and they were brave enough to speak out about what they went through, whether it is for a cathartic reason, to educate the reader or a mixture of both, or something else.

I am also reluctant to say I enjoyed a book of this nature, for the very reason that it is a true story, it did happen to somebody, and usually, the things the author went through, were pretty horrific. That being said, this book really opened my eyes as to what Caitlin went through, and what is still going on in this country, and many other countries across the world.

Caitlin was very brave to speak up against her rapists, and I am glad she has managed to escape, and that she lives with her two children. I understand, having read the book, not just the physical pain but also the emotional and mental pain that her attackers put her through, and to come through the other side of that, I really do believe that Caitlin is a very strong person.

I rate this book 5/5 stars!

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Book Review: “Charisma” by Jeanne Ryan

Goodreads Synopsis

A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller

Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late.

Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Charisma is a book I picked up because I read (and enjoyed) Nerve. Reading the blurb, I could identify with Aislyn, who suffers from awful shyness, as I am exactly the same with new people, groups of people or when I am the centre of attention. What I did not expect, however, was to also identify with Aislyn’s brother Sammy, who had Cystic Fibrosis, the same illness I have.

I thought Jeanne Ryan handled both characters well. I do believe that she concentrated more on the negative of shyness, and it came across a bit as if people who are shy are only ‘mediocre’, although I am sure it did not mean to come across this way. However, I feel that she handled CF very well, speaking from someone who completely understands the illness. To some people, she may have mentioned Sammy coughing too much, but that is very true to how CF works, it makes you cough a lot. I found it refreshing to see CF mentioned in a book.

As for the story and the book, I enjoyed both. It did start off quite slowly, but I believe that was to give the full impression of just how difficult Aislyn’s life was because of her shyness. Things did speed up after 80 pages, so I would definitely recommend sticking it out if you are considering putting it down beforehand. I wasn’t sure what to make of Jack. He just seemed like a boring guy. Evie, however, I thought was the best friend that everyone either has or deserves. She tried her best to help Aislyn with her shyness, and she was so supportive when everything kicked off.

I probably would have rated this 3 stars for the story and book, but I have rated it 4/5 stars due to the mention of Cystic Fibrosis.

Book Links

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

Guest Post: The Leftover by Brooke Williams

The Leftover cover

Goodreads Synopsis

A reserved wallflower discovers that reality TV is the perfect backdrop to develop her confidence in this lighthearted rom-com.

Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into going on The Leftover, a local version of the TV show Survivor, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Meanwhile, Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic.

With time away from his regular job and a dozen contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”

 

Book Links

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Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

 

About The Author

Brooke Williams is a stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. Brooke is a former radio announcer and producer who also did a brief stint as a TV traffic reporter. Now, she writes novels as well as articles, blogs, and copy for clients on a freelance basis during the one-hour a day her daughters allow her the time.

She has been married to her husband, Sean, since 2002 and they have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

Author Links

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