Book Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

16667645

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 189 (Hardcover)

good good

Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.

Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.

opinion

I think what made this book so interesting is that it’s told from the perspective of the illness and how it matures and takes more and more of Mike everyday. It’s different and creative, making me feel like I was the illness itself. Unfortunately this novel is barely 200 pages and because of this, it moves far too fast. Eating disorders are things that I know well and I was expecting a heart wrenching, gripping, fast-paced story about the ups and downs of it. Instead I just felt like I got a longer version of an anorexia pamphlet.

The characters feel very flimsy and childish, going from best friends to complete enemies in only a matter of days. It’s not very realistic. I was also hoping for a more sadistic protagonist who, not only told Mike what to do but told him horrible things about everyone around him. The protagonist albeit creepy, isn’t creepy enough for me. I was hoping for a lot more from this book that I just didn’t receive.

Something that I really liked is the writing style because it’s told from the illness and it gets stronger and stronger and kind of knows everything there is to know about Mike Wells. Chapters are extremely short which also helped make it a very short read.

A Trick of the Light is overall, just like a brochure on anorexia and how it progresses. Even though it’s told in a unique light and way, it’s far too short to leave any lasting feelings and to really connect with it. Still, I recommend this to anyone who wants to refresh their mind on this disorder or just enjoy these types of novels in general.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds
2.5 Mess Up Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Advertisements

Book Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

16238699

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Publisher: Egmont USA

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: July 23, 2013

Pages: 288 (Ebook)

A Really Awesome Mess

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin’s summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents’ divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog– and Emmy definitely doesn’t. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Egmont USA  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

As the title says, this is a mess. But not an awesome one, more of a sloppily done one. There is so much that’s just horribly wrong with this novel that I get mad just thinking about it. Very little in this novel actually makes sense. Very little. And that made me really sad because I actually had really high hopes for this one.

The book skips over really important stuff like Justin’s relationship with his mother and step dad and there’s more telling rather than showing in the story.  It’s also obvious that every single one of these characters are underdeveloped especially, Emmy. That girl is just all over the place with her problems. She’s supposed to be angry (she’s in the anger management group for crying out loud!) yet, not once does she spaz out and yell and hit anyone when they don’t allow her to do what she wants. All of the characters have problems but they feel very half done, like the authors didn’t research these problems enough or very well. And even though I don’t mind romances in these kinds of stories, the romance in A Really Awesome Mess is very contrived. Everything about the relationship between Justin and Emmy feels very fake to me and it annoyed me to no end the way Emmy is around Justin, like he’s her world. *Rolls eyes*

But believe it or not, I did enjoy a few things about this book. I loved that Justin’s dad walked in on him doing the dirty. It’s funny and adds in the light mood the book was trying to mix in with the serious topics. Justin as a character starts off pretty strong and he’s the only reason I kept reading to the very end because his story is one that I can relate to. But other than Justin and his problems, I didn’t find anything else likeable about this novel.

I’m so disappointed with A Really Awesome Mess. Books about teenagers and depression and all that serious stuff speak to me! This book has put me in a bad mood and I don’t recommend this to anyone because it’s poorly executed and isn’t researched enough that also has a romance that could have gotten two stars out of me if it didn’t have.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Skin By Adrienne Maria Vrettos

3.6/5-The beginning of this book really drew me in with the intense feeling of something bad yet exciting about to happen.

(Summary From Goodreads)

I’M TELLING YOU THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ASK. I’VE GOT IT ALL HERE, GROWING LIKE A TUMOR IN MY THROAT. I’m telling you because if I don’t, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn’t count because when he asked, he didn’t even listen to me answer because he was listening to my sister’s heart not beat with his stethoscope. I want to tell. It’s mine to tell. Even if you didn’t ask, you have to hear it. 

Fourteen-year-old Donnie’s older sister, Karen, has always been the one person in his life on whom he could totally depend. But as Karen slowly slips away in the grip of an eating disorder, Donnie finds himself alone in facing the trauma of his parents’ faltering marriage and his new life as an outcast at school.

Donnie makes it his responsibility to cure his sister’s illness and fix his parents’ issues, letting every part of himself disappear in the process. It is more important — and somehow easier — to figure out if today is a day when Karen is eating, or to know if Dad and Mom are sleeping in the same bedroom, than to deal with his own problems. In the end, though, Donnie must decide whether to float through life unnoticed, or to claim his rightful place as a member of his family and of the world. This powerful story from a brilliant new talent introduces a memorable boy in Donnie, who, from his funny and painfully honest point of view, describes a harrowing year that leaves both him and his family forever changed.

(My Opinion)

Told from the perspective of Donnie, this story was interesting. The idea was pretty interesting because it wasn’t told from Karen’s perspective, but from Donnie’s and how it effected him. Some of the characters were funny and easy to read about while others were boring. It felt like a toss-up between them and which one I would be reading and liking. The ending didn’t seem good to me since it was so typical and bland I didn’t care for it. I wished Adrienne Vrettos could have done something unexpected for the ending.

Skin was a disappointment because some of the funny parts weren’t that funny and the sad scenes weren’t sad at all.Everytime there was a flashback,I was waiting for information about the first chapter. I wish that Donnie stood out more because it didn’t seem like there was anything special about him or what he was doing for his family. I didn’t like that half of the characters didn’t have that much background and weren’t well-organized.

The writing style didn’t bother me which was a good thing. I liked how she described the beginning with Karen and Donnie and the ambulance all huddled around Karen’s body. It was so intense, I loved it. Skin is a book that started in the middle of the story then goes back to the beginning and then back to the middle and then the end. I loved that it started in the middle since not very many books start there. The relationship between Karen and Donnie is like most relationships between siblings with the constant fighting and unpredictable moves. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with an eating disorder. Also for people who feel like they disappear silently into the background, lost forever.