Genre: Historical


Friday, June 30, 2017

A Powerful Novel about Grief: The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by 2 Comments

A Powerful Novel about Grief: The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano
The Girl with the Ghost Machine
Lauren DeStefano
Genre: Grief, Historical, Middle-Grade
Publication date: June 6, 2016
by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

GoodreadsPurchase
What if a machine could bring back the ones we love? From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a captivating middle grade of loss, love and hope.

In this beautiful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Lauren DeStefano tells a story of love and loss, and what it means to say goodbye.

When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.

Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.
-A copy was provided by Bloomsbury USA Childrens for review-

Back in the day, everyone would rave about DeStefano’s YA series but I never really got around to reading the Wither series. Years later, here I am raving about DeStefano’s middle grade series. I honestly cannot imagine if her YA books could be any better or honestly, if any YA book could even tackle grief the way DeStefano does in every single one of the middle grade books I’ve read by her.

So probably there is some book out there that does grief better BUT THATS NOT THE POINT OF THIS REVIEW. The point of this review is so that I can sing The Girl with the Ghost Machine praises because series, this book hits you right in the fucking feels.

Emmaline Beaumont’s father starts building a ghost machine when her mother passes away but in his drive to bring her mother back, Emmaline’s father forgets about her. For two years all he does is work and work on this machine, never leaving the basement and almost forgetting that he has a daughter who needs him. The Girl with the Ghost Machine isn’t a book about how he is a terrible father though (even if it easily could be and her dad IS kind of terrible.) It’s about grief.

That old saying that time heals all wounds?

It’s actually kind of BS. Time will most certainly not heal all wounds if someone doesn’t develop proper coping mechanisms in regard to grief… But also, I am probably not the best person to talk about grief in general.

I could definitely be more specific about The Girl with the Ghost Machine. I could tell you the writing is so mesmerizing (and tbh, I am half tempted to use some cheesy metaphor to accentuate that point), I could tell you that Emmaline is truly a formidable heroine and that the secondary characters in this book are all amazing, or I could just vaguely mention those details so you might be tempted to figure out why it is I am writing this bizarre non-review.

Perhaps this book just brings out the weirdly pretentious review-writing in me. The Girl with the Ghost Machine, after all, is more literary fiction than not and I ~am~ a lit major…

The point isn’t though that I am a lit major or that this book turned me into a pretentious asshole, it is that The Girl with the Ghost Machine is an absolute winner of a book and I am truly disappointed that it isn’t getting more hype. If you aren’t in tears by the end of the book, you’re probably a monster and you should probably go get your emotions checked out.

I am rambling now so I will stop but mark my words and READ THIS BOOK. Then please come cry with me about it because I am tired of being sad all by myself.

4.5 Stars
4.5 Hot Espressos

Blog Tour: Lemons by Melissa Savage

Blog Tour: Lemons by Melissa Savage

Posted by on 06/01/2017 • 1 Comment

Lemons is an unaccepted gem of a novel. It sounds all cutesy because on the surface it is about two kids searching for Bigfoot but really it is a novel about grief and family. Lemons is about redefining family, dealing with loss and also friendship (because the best ship is a friendship.)

Here are 5 reasons to read Lemons

1. Bigfoot. Whether or not you believe in Bigfoot, it is an interesting conspiracy theory and I love all the fun Melissa Savage clearly had with it. She has done her research and it shows in her writing.

2. Lem. I LOVE LEM and I love how complex her character is. I love that she isn’t just the ‘odd ball’ or a typical, displaced child trope. Lem manages to ‘fit’ in (and not in…

Playlist for The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman + Giveaway

Playlist for The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman + Giveaway

Posted by on 02/02/2017 • 6 Comments

Hello and welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman AKA the book I created my goodreads OTP OF PAIN shelf for. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dark Days Club last year but fell head over heels for The Dark Days Pact. In this book, Goodman really upped the stakes and basically put me through hell :’) It was great. Basically, you need this series on your TBR and to help you do that, I put together a playlist that ~I~ think describes the book/series.

THE PLAYLIST

Feat angsty music + some songs that might not be the best fit BUT SINCE I AM MAKING THE PLAYLIST, you’re stuck with them 😉 Also making playlists is H.A.R.D. If you click on the little thing on…

Blog Tour: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

Blog Tour: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

Posted by on 01/19/2017 • 5 Comments

The Warden’s Daughter is honestly unlike anything I’ve ever read by Jerry Spinelli. When I was in middle school, Stargirl was one of the most important books in my life so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from a historical middle grade novel written by Spinelli. There is still very much the ‘old Spinelli’ in this book but I can definitely see that he has grown and developed as a writer since I last had the joy of reading a book by him.

The Warden’s Daughter is a heartfelt story of loss and just the general need to find one’s place within the world. Cammie has always felt a little incomplete because she never had a mother growing up. She has made it her summer goal to claim a mother…

Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

Posted by on 09/30/2016 • 2 Comments

The Airborn series was one of my favs ever growing up so I was immediately like YAAS to Every Hidden Thing but then I saw it was pitched as Indiana Jones meets Romeo & Juliet and was like double YAAS. WHO CAN RESIST THE COMBO of a childhood fav author and INDIANA JONES MEETS ROMEO & JULIET? Not me obviously. Anyway, I loved this book and that is all you’re ever going to need to know in your life. BYE NOW. See you again someday.

.

.

.

*comes back reluctantly to finish reviewing this book*

Every Hidden Thing is fucking amazing brain candy but just because it was brain candy does NOT mean it was easy to read. This book is set sometime in the 19th century (probably late 19th…

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

Posted by on 03/30/2016 • 5 Comments

I don’t usually read anthologies and I find it even harder to review them because there are so many stories and so many different feelings about the stories.

But, A Tyranny of Petticoats did say it was about badass girls and who doesn’t want to read stories about badass girls? If you don’t you have come to the wrong place so toodooloo. It was nice knowing you.

So, I read the stories. I didn’t love all of them yet here I am, reviewing the anthology as a whole. The thing is, whether or not I loved every single story is beside the point. What makes this anthology special is the diversity in it. I think historical fiction has a tendency to privilege white voices over other voices just because that is…

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Posted by on 01/20/2016 • 9 Comments

Passenger AKA the much awaited, highly anticipated time travel romance. I had hoped it would be everything I wanted, I had hoped I would swoon and die because cuteness, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Passenger was by no means a bad book, I just had a hard time relating to the character and getting behind the romance (which is kind of a big deal given that it is a time-travel romance.)

Etta is really my biggest problem with the book. It isn’t that she is fundamentally flawed, I just couldn’t get behind her as a character. Her privilege, growing up the way she did and in the century she did, is so blatant and her ignorance of it really bothered me. Being with Nicholas did make her realize that she was…

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Posted by on 12/23/2015 • 14 Comments

I am a bookworm (hopefully there are no doubts about that) so a book that featured an evil library definitely got my attention. Ink and Bone also had a lot of hype surrounding it and some of my most-trusted peeps loved it. When I finally dove in, I was expecting my mind to be blown and it wasn’t necessarily blown but there is just something about this book. It’s really really slow but it is also really fucking amazing.

If you love fascinating villains, this book is for you. The Library is the villain here. The library essentially controls the world so there is definite dystopic quality to this book but don’t be turned off by that if dystopias aren’t your thing. The library isn’t some mindlessly evil villain….