Posts By: Amy

Monday, August 03, 2015

Review: The Fall by James Preller

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Review: The Fall by James Preller
The Fall
James Preller
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: September 22nd 2015
by Feiwel & Friends

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Through his journal a boy deals with the death of a classmate, who committed suicide as a result of bullying.

The summer before school starts, Sam’s friend and classmate Morgan Mallen kills herself. Morgan had been bullied. Maybe she kissed the wrong boy. Or said the wrong thing. What about that selfie that made the rounds? Morgan was this, and Morgan was that. But who really knows what happened?

As Sam explores the events leading up to the tragedy, he must face a difficult and life-changing question: Why did he keep his friendship with Morgan a secret? And could he have done something—anything—to prevent her final actions?

As he did in Bystander, James Preller takes an issue that faces every student and school in the country, and makes it personal, accessible, and real.
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-

I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of books about suicide and bullying lately. I suppose it’s a good thing because that means that there are more and more books out there covering the topic. Even though they all cover the same topic, the characters and situations are much different though. In this case it’s told by a boy who was kind of friends with the girl who committed suicide. What I mean by that is that he would secretly talk to her and hang out with her, but wouldn’t admit it out of fear of being judged. Of becoming a victim of the same bullying that she goes through. He is afraid, and after her death he needs to come to terms with things. We get to learn the story of their friendship and see how he is dealing with the aftermath of it.

Sam is a good kid. He just struggles with the same pressures that most kids do. When everyone at school is doing something, or thinks someone else is a social outcast, it’s hard to go against them out of fear of becoming a victim yourself. The most popular girl is mean and awful to Morgan, so the whole school instantly picks on her. There is a website that people post really mean things on. Including Sam. It’s part of what he is supposed to do. If the card gets put into your possession, it’s your turn and to not do it is to become one of the bullied yourself. Sam doesn’t want to, but he also wants to stay in good with the ones who run the school. What makes it harder is that he is friends with Morgan, but only in secret. He really does like her, but can’t let anyone find out. After her suicide, he writes a journal and talks to the school counselor. He needs to get his thoughts in order. Find himself. He really does have a good heart, but his revelations about how he behaved is a bit too late.

This was a heartbreaking account into a hidden friendship with a girl who is depressed. Someone who can’t take much more of the bullying and emotional pain. She thought that her friendship with Sam was true until he is too embarrassed to be seen with her. He tells her he can’t take the ridicule of what they will do or say to him at school. Morgan is the one who is bullied harshly, but he doesn’t see that she is hurting.He doesn’t understand that he was being a coward until it is too late and she’s already gone. He also see’s that she was anything but a coward. She faced everything head on and never showed that it hurt her. How he tries to redeem himself, for her, and for all affected was heartfelt and beautiful. I didn’t realize the emotional impact this book had on me until the very last sentence when it brought tears to my eyes. This was a heartbreaking and beautiful story about friendship, bullying, and the aftermath of all of it.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Review: The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Review: The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Posted by on 07/30/2015 • 4 Comments

Wow, this book was so cool!! The first 400 pages or so are all just drawings. Gorgeous artwork. It seems odd that it’s just picture after picture, but surprisingly, it tells an amazing story. I have never read 400 pages of a book so quick!! The first part of the book is set in a totally different time period than the second part. The second part of the book is set in 1990 I believe. This one is written, not told in pictures. It is not a seemingly different story as the synopsis explains. In fact, it is pretty easy to see how the two are related, but in a really interesting way. I loved discovering how the second story all fit with the first one and was drawn in….

Review: What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

Review: What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

Posted by on 07/27/2015 • 2 Comments

Going into this I was hoping it would be a great horror/mystery, but it didn’t wow me. Yes, it had its creepy parts and a bit of mystery to it, but most of the story just wasn’t keeping my interest. It does cover some pretty awful topics such as rape and sexual abuse. I thought that part of it was good. (Not good in that I enjoyed it, but in the way it covered those things so well.) There is also cheating, which I really can’t stand. I know that it happens in real life, so I get that it is in books too. I just don’t care to read about it. It makes me really hate the characters. I did like the mystery behind Banana Man or whatever he…

Review: George by Alex Gino

Review: George by Alex Gino

Posted by on 07/23/2015 • 2 Comments

What a wonderful book!! This is a MG book about a transgender girl and I can not give enough love to this. So many younger kids may know that they are not in fact the gender they are born, and this is the first book I have read that is targeted toward younger kids. George is 10 years old and she is a girl. She knows she is, but no one else does. I know from discussing with people that this may be a book that rubs some people the wrong way due to the targeted age, but I think it’s perfect. For people to say that it’s too young and that kids that age don’t know, I think that is ignorant. No one can tell someone what they feel…

Review: Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Review: Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Posted by on 07/21/2015 • 5 Comments

There are plenty of books out there about suicide, bullying, and mental illness. I am drawn to them and love reading them. I think they are important. I think that it’s great to have books on topics like these for people who may be going through similar situations, know someone who is, or just because you like to be able to spread awareness about it. What makes this one different from a lot of the others that I have read is that it isn’t told from the victims POV. It’s not told through the bully’s POV. It isn’t even told by someone outside of the situations POV. It is told by someone who isn’t quite one of the direct bullies, but also isn’t just a random person. In fact, she…

Review: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Review: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Posted by on 07/09/2015 • 7 Comments

This book left me wondering what the hell I just read, but in a good way. Told in a few different POV’s you get a lot of what is going on. You get to see things from each person directly involved. This is one messed up and weird story that kept me going page after page. The characters have some major issues and I loved seeing what would happen next. This book definitely messes with your head and at the end you are left going WTF did I just read, but it was also really good!!

Sadie has some major issues. She really needs help. She loves to cause trouble. Cause pain. Mess with people’s heads. She has been thrown out of the school she was in because she almost…

Review: The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian

Review: The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian

Posted by on 07/06/2015 • 4 Comments

I always am up for a good mystery/thriller so when I saw this I was all about it. I haven’t read the other books from this series, but it didn’t matter. It seems that each story is its own. After reading this though, I am definitely interested in going back to read the previous ones. It wasn’t a super suspenseful mystery, but it did have that chilling factor to it. It is told from numerous points of view, and that was what kind of disconnected me from it all. I did enjoy it though. We not only have Jack the Ripper to worry about in this, but a new killer named The Harvest Man. The characters were interesting, but how this is told, I never really felt an attachment to…

Review: Loves Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins

Review: Loves Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins

Posted by on 07/01/2015 • 5 Comments

The main reason why I wanted to read this book is because I freaking adore Ellen Hopkins. Also, it sounded good. This is not YA, and it’s not your typical Ellen Hopkins book. This one is not written in verse like her others. It does however have some beautiful poetry throughout. It still was a good solid story though, and as always, it was a great read. The characters were great and there was a bit of hidden mystery to them. This book is about learning to love and trust and so much more. It was not intense or super exciting, but a slow story that pulls you along making you need to see where things are going.

Tara is a woman who is well off. She’s been married…