Book Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

17797364And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Pages: 240 (Hardcover)

good good

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

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

opinion

 

When I read a novel where the main character has gone through some serious shit, I expect a few things. I expect a relatable/likeable character who has quite a few flaws. I expect a lot of emotion and confusion and above all, a lot of sympathy. I expect to love this book and feel as if I am apart of the story, that, this horrible thing that happened to the protagonist actually happened to me. I want to be in their shoes. And We Stay gives me a narration that left me more tired than anything.

And We Stay is written in the worst possible way. It’s third person present tense for crying out loud! It’s so simple and detached, the events that Emily goes through didn’t feel real to me in any way. Everything is told instead of shown and I couldn’t feel anything towards Emily and her life, even when she has sudden flashback about Paul, Albeit beautifully done, felt too simple and boring for me to care about too much.

Jenny Hubbard does know how to write beautiful poetry though. At the end of each chapter, readers are left with a beautiful poem that’s probably the most touching thing about the novel. The idea for this story is also very creative and intriguing. It was the mention of a shooting that initially drew me to the story and I enjoyed the few flashbacks where Paul is mentioned and the shooting because they are so very interesting.

Overall, Emily’s life is horrible. And my biggest problem with the novel isn’t the actual story idea but the execution of it. If the story was told in first person and maybe if it was all told in verse, it could have a great novel. I absolutely love gritty novels about horrible events that happen to teens. The story idea is awesome but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone because I felt so apathetic towards most of it.

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

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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.

2013 Book Challenges: June Edition

I FINALLY HAVE ONE FOR THE SOPHOMORE CHALLENGE! YES!

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 9

Total:53

The Archived (The Archived#1) by Victoria Schwab

Winger by Andrew Smith

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Archlight (Arclight#1) by Josin L. McQuein

Kindness For weakness by Shawn Goodman

Taken (Taken#1) by Erin Bowman

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 2

Total: 7

Taken (Taken#1) by Erin Bowman

Arclight (Arclight#1) by Josin L. McQuein

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:0

Total: 11

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 4

Total: 9

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Winger by Andrew Smith

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Kindness For weakness by Shawn Goodman

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 1

Total: 1

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

How are your challenges going? Send me links so I can check them out!

Favourite Book Quotes of The Week#25

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

17302690Favourite Quotes:

1. Everybody dies, dudes and dudettes. That’s the name of the game.

2. “Everybody’s got troubles, you know that? The world’s a universally sad and fucked-up place. People hurt, all of them. You beginning to get that? Or do you still think it’s just you, man? Only you that suffers? Like You’ve been singled out?”

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

13580928Favourite quotes:

1. “The things that are the most precious to us are sometimes the most secret.”

2. Sleep every chance you get. Eat every chance you get.

3. “Someday you will know that the heart is not always as wise as it is strong.”

4. The biggest lies you tell are for yourself.