Tag Archives: novel in verse

ARC Review – Girls Like Me by Lola St.Vil

28114572Title: Girls Like Me

Author: Lola St.Vil

Rating: ★★

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school. When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn’t want to tell him who she is. But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails. 

 

Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!
Sam’s Review:

Girls Like Me was a book I came out coveting from the #TeendsReadFeed event hosted by Raincoast. With its adorable cover and its interesting pitch, I thought this would book would be a grand slam for me. I love books about underdogs, about people don’t necessary fit into the molds of society, who want be loved, but there was a lot about this book that simply didn’t work for me.

First off, I really didn’t understand why this novel was written in verse. I like to think when a novel is written in verse that it’s attempting to highlight something specific by using the style to explore whatever it is they are attempting to show. In this novel, I found I just never connected with the use of verse. It was there but it didn’t evoke any real meaning or feeling for me. Also the sections that were written entirely in text message? Those were simply painful to read, and while I am sure teens likely do text that way, I had moments where it was hard to decipher what some of the short hands even meant.

The other thing is that I wanted to love Shay and I wanted to root for her, but the book was missing something there as well. All we know is that she’s bullied and she fat, but neither of these aspects are really explore because this is all we are really told about her character. We don’t actually know much about why she is bullied (although in truth, it is high school and sometimes bullies bully for the sake of it), but it just felt like something more was needed to make me connect to her on that emotional level, which I just felt like I never got reading this book. Being emotionally connected to characters is important to me, and I felt like Shay was very distant and very closed despite this being her personal thoughts.

The other thing I wish this book had pushed harder and started to before it fizzled off was looking at being “body positive.” It was there, then it kinda disappeared and I felt like the messages that the author was trying to convey started to get lost and over showed by Shay’s romantic feelings, which is totally fine, except that I don’t feel like I really got to know the guy she was falling for.

While I felt horrible for the way Shay was treated in the novel and the names she was called, I feel like this book was missing the spark for me to cheer for her when she does fight back. This isn’t a bad book at all, and I do think there will be readers out there who will connect emotionally to Shay’s story, I just wish I had been one of them.

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ARC Review – One by Sarah Crossan

23524610Title:  One

Author: Sarah Crossan

Rating:  ★★★★★

Synopsis: Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.

Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy of this book!

River’s Review:

Soooo when you read this you might discover that you’re a horrible person and this book might make you realize that and how you should try harder to be a better person. I went into this book expecting to hate it. The subject is not something that I am familiar with or even really want to learn more about in particular. I’ve read one other book by Crossan and didn’t like it at all. And to top it all off it’s written in free verse. When it popped up on Edelwiess I didn’t download it and I only read this because it showed up in one of my bundles from Harper. So I decided to read it and get it out of the way and… I ended up reading it in two hours.

This book will suck you in and make you feel like a bad person because we are all those assholes that stare at the weird looking girls. I can’t even watch body deformities in animated medium. I think if this was a movie or TV show or documentary I wouldn’t be able to watch. I am being honest. But I also think that maybe I should keep a more open mind and try to understand more. To look past the physical. As I said, we are all those assholes who stare. It takes a very good person to move past that. There aren’t a lot of people like Tippi and Grace’s friends. And those guys were awesome.

The writing in this flows so well. It’s hard to read and easy to read. It’s hard to swallow and at times very funny. There are some gut wrenching moments and heartbreaking moments and you can’t help but cheer for the twins. You can’t help but love her family and her friends.

This is the story of two girls who are joined at the hip. They have lived their entire lives like this and it is normal for them, for their family. They deal with normal issues like their father’s struggle with alcohol and their younger sister’s body issues. They go to school and make friends and drive a car and even fall in love when they know that they shouldn’t. They don’t think their lives are wrong or unnatural or even tragic like others do. They thing normal things like cancer and world hunger are tragic. Being alive and living life with someone you love isn’t tragic to them.

This is the story of their first year at a normal school. After money dries up and the two can’t continue to be home schooled they are forced into the world. And they do well! They make friends, meet boys, go on adventures.

Only something changes.

And they have to make the ultimate choice: stay together or separate.

Read this book. Don’t be an asshole.