Posts Tagged: ARC

Friday, June 26, 2015

Audiobook Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: None of the Above by I.W. GregorioNone of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Published by Balzer & Bray on April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, YA
Source: HarperCollins Audio
Buy on Amazon

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

This is the second book that I have read that covers the topic of intersex, and it was very good. I love learning new things, and though I already had a small bit of knowledge, I did learn many new things. What I really enjoyed about this was that you are discovering things along with the MC. It was interesting to see her discovering this about herself at her age, not knowing that there was anything different her whole life up until that point. There were some great side characters, then some not so great ones too. I wish it had been a bit more deep and packed more emotion into it, but in general I was very pleased with it.

Kristin is a pretty popular girl, and a track star. She has great friends, and a fantastic boyfriend. That is, until they try to sleep together and it’s not as she expected at all. When she goes to the doctor, they discover her condition as intersex. Meaning she is outwardly female, but also has some male attributes. Hers happen to be testicles, but they are inside. Upon discovering this, she keeps it quiet. She doesn’t even know what to think. When it does get out, she is treated horribly by people at school. Man, did it make me angry at times at the things people did or said to her. She falls apart for a while, but I was happy to see her pick herself up try to continue on with her life. She knows all along that she is still the same person, but all the ridicule and bullying from others really pushes her down, until her friends both new and old help her back up.

This book did get my emotions going, but not as much as I would have liked. I love being emotionally invested with the characters and story, but this one only got me halfway there. I think that listening to the audiobook of this helped though. The narrator was fabulous. I have listened to other books narrated by her, so I was pretty confident that I would enjoy it. She does a good job at putting the emotion into the characters while she is reading and making you almost feel like they are the ones really telling you the story. I think that the way the book is written is what takes away from the emotional impact. Not that it’s not a good book, but I felt like the one thing it was lacking was really making me feel. I really liked this in audiobook format though.

I think that it’s awesome that we are getting more and more YA books that cover topics that aren’t generally talked about or written about. It makes me happy to know that there are starting to be more books that cover so many topics that you would only learn things about through research, not an enjoyable fiction book. I have recommended this to many people already. I can’t say enough about the importance of these types of books. I hope that we continue to see growth in the number of books covering a wide variety of topics like this and many others.


4 Hot Espressos

Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Posted by on 06/09/2015 • 14 Comments

A sweet, feel-good kind of read, Hello, I Love You transported me to Korea with its highly descriptive and atmospheric writing.

I had a good time reading this novel, the romance is cute and full of chemistry, buuuut (you knew it was coming) the hot and cold nature of their relationship for a good 90% of the book does get frustrating. Even though Grace ends up having a reason behind her inability to trust and open up her heart, I couldn’t help but find myself annoyed at her sudden bursts of coldness. She was so blind by what transpired in her past – which we only find out about at the very end – that she becomes this cold-hearted bitch every time they actually start to get close. She…

Review: Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler

Review: Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler

Posted by on 06/04/2015 • 3 Comments

Going into this, I thought it would be a typical story about the sweet looking celebrity who is really a nightmare, and in a way it was, but it was so much more than that. I loved that it is told from Holly’s POV, who is ghostwriting Daisy’s book. I did find it to drag a bit, but I really did end up enjoying it. I admit that I did almost give up a few times early on, but I am happy that I continued on. It really goes inside the life of a young star and what happens all around them. We  see that even if Daisy is horrible, it’s because of her fame and how everyone treats her. She’s not really all that bad of a person. And…

Review: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Review: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Posted by on 06/02/2015 • 10 Comments

I have loved every book by Stephanie Kuehn so far, and this one is no exception. Her books are so… bizarre and unique and wonderfully compelling. You feel as if you’re being played with, as if the book is making sure you’re never quite certain of what’s happening, except for the fact that it’s terrible and disturbing and wholly messed up!

In Delicate Monsters we’ve get ourselves 3 perspectives, and while I fear this would be a bit much – multiple perspectives can be so tricky – it ended up being the perfect choice for this story. Each perspective is very much distinct, with voices you could not confuse for another even if you tried. We meet Sadie first who we quickly learn is trouble. She’s angry and bored with…

Review: Blood Will Tell by April Henry

Review: Blood Will Tell by April Henry

Posted by on 06/01/2015 • 0 Comments

I love a good mystery, and I did enjoy the first book in this series. I guess it’s not really a series as much as companion novels, but whatever. This was actually a really cool one since you actually know rather quickly who the killer is, but all evidence points to the wrong person. So instead of trying to figure out who did it, you are trying to find out how it all points to someone who is innocent. Much like the first book, this is told in numerous POV’s, which took me a bit away from the story, but it also gives you a full picture of what is going on. I have to say, I had no clue how in the world the evidence could be possible until…

Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Posted by on 05/25/2015 • 5 Comments

I really enjoyed this book. Yeah, the MC’s fall for each other rather quickly, but I thought it was a great read. I liked that it covers addiction, insecurities, and being true to yourself. There is a lot of depth to this book underneath all the craziness of it. It’s a harsh world where people are constantly being judged for how they look. This book shows us that. Laurel is okay being a bit curvy and not all skin and bones, but her friend has always been insecure about her weight. Boy TV star Tom used to be chubby and had an embarrassing public break up. He’s there to work, Laurel is there for her friend. They both don’t take Solu, and find quickly that it’s a good thing. They…

Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Posted by on 05/21/2015 • 7 Comments

This book was quite fun. I loved the whole Genie idea, but having them live in the real world among others. I thought that the twist on how wishes work and how their powers worked was really cool. This is not your typical Aladdin type tale. It’s got all sorts of secrets, teen romances, drama, and fun. I really liked getting to know the characters and the history of the Jinn. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but it was definitely one that I enjoyed and am excited for the rest of the series.

Azra was a character that I liked getting to know. She has never embraced her destiny as the other Jinn do. In fact, she just wants to be normal, even though that will never happen. She…

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Posted by on 05/18/2015 • 13 Comments

So far it’s 2 for 2 for this author. I read and fell in love with The Beginning of Everything last year, and even having high hopes for this one I was not one bit disappointed.

This time we’re taken to Latham House, a place where the sick are sent to try and get better. A place that is pretty much like a very morbid summer camp. Told in alternating point of views, we first meet Lane who’s on the road to achieving his goal of going to an Ivy League school. He’s a straight A student who’d rather study than have to deal with TB. Getting sent to Latham means losing the perfect GPA that he’s been working so hard for. In a way it was incredibly sad…