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Read This Month | August 2014
Missing: Inland by Kat Rosenfield and Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, which were returned to the library.

Read This Month | August 2014

Missing: Inland by Kat Rosenfield and Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, which were returned to the library.

Track: Shake It Off
Artist: Taylor Swift
Caption:

This song kind of fits Speechless by Hannah Harrington but mostly I just wanted an excuse to share this song.

(via marina-n-the-ellie-swift-lights)

Source : marina-n-the-ellie-swift-lights

Speechless: Hannah Harrington

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Speechless; Hannah Harrington. 268 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.

This photo does not do this book cover justice. It is beautiful. The paper is textured with a bit of a sheen, and the letters are embossed. It perfectly encapsulates the theme and idea of being of speechless. So. Beautiful.

The story is pretty ok too. The story starts before Chelsea has decided to take a vow of silence with the events that lead up to it. I thought it would be more of a secret-of-why-is-kept-til-end-of-book situation, which would have made things a ton more dramatic (like the cover), but it still works. Since Chelsea’s narration is in first-person, readers don’t really feel like she’s speechless since all we read is her thoughts. Chelsea takes this time to surprisingly meet new people and sort through her feelings. She goes from being popular to being bullied, so there’s a lot to process. Even though she was mean, she has a hidden inherent goodness, so she’s not completely unlikeable. It’s your basic mean-girl-falls-from-grace story where she finds new friends on the social ladder and questions her past life, but that doesn’t mean it’s a boring read. It’s a good book. Maybe not as beautiful as its cover, but still good.

My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking & Going With Your Gut: Hannah Hart

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My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking & Going With Your Gut; Hannah Hart.

I usually don’t review things that aren’t novels BUT I have to make an exception in this case because HANNAH HART WROTE A BOOK. Hannah is my favourite Youtuber (and favourite person that I don’t know). She hosts a show on Youtube called My Drunk Kitchen where she drinks, cooks, and teaches valuable life lessons. She also posts other videos that focus on comedy and life and awesomeness. She has written a book featuring recipes, puns, and life advice. 

A lot of the recipes reflect My Drunk Kitchen-type cooking, so don’t expect to find complex dishes in here. The food relies more on improv, creativity, and quick-fixes. The book takes the dishes as starting points, jokes about them, and then relates them to important life lessons that include cooking, relationships, and family.

This book is truly Hannah. If you are familiar with Hannah, you will know this book takes everything she loves, finds important, and has spoken about and encompasses them into one beautiful tome. If you’re not familiar with Hannah, though, I also encourage you to read this book. The humour, heart, and advice are pretty universal. 

Also puns. Lots of puns. I don’t understand how people don’t like them, they’re my favourite form of humour. So proud of Hannah, this book is amazing!

I don’t know if it’s because one of my best friends (we are also part of a trio) is moving far away this weekend or what but I am getting weirdly invested and emotional while reading the Internet Girls series. Yeesh.

I just got yolo (by Lauren Myracle) after pre-ordering, and to prepare I’m reading the entire Internet Girls series. Starting with the 10th anniversary edition ttyl, I’m noticing a ton of references to current technology and pop culture, which is new compared to the original version. I may eventually make a post noting all/some of the differences, because some editing was done to the messages as well. Verrry interesting.

Bad Kitty: Michele Jaffe

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Bad Kitty; Michele Jaffe. 274 pages. First in series.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

Meet Jasmine,1 forensic supersleuth,2 aspiring Model Daughter,3 and friend to animals.4 One second she’s trying to enjoy her Vegas Vacation,5 the next she’s tangled up in an outrageous adventure and has to outwit a crazed killer before he ends ten lives, one of them her own.6

1 Hi! That’s me!
2 I. Wish. 
3 Emphasis on aspiring. Current status: failing.
4 If friend means “unsuspecting victim” and animals means “one very bad kitty.”
5 And meet the cute guy at the Snack Hut. I have priorities.
6 Meep! But I guess it winds up okay since Kirkus Reviews says: “Inventive, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny, with an enjoyably twisty ending.” They wouldn’t say that if everyone died, right? Right?

This is another book I first read a long time ago and was absolutely smitten with. I loved Jasmine’s quirkiness and I loved the footnote format. Again, this time around both of these things seemed like a bit too much, but they still made for a highly entertaining book. Jasmine is naturally inquisitive, which naturally gets her into a lot of trouble. She is fascinated by forensic science and solving mysteries, so when she gets tangled up with a celebrity’s cat, she wants to get tangled up in figuring out why this celebrity is hiding. The lively narrative voice and all of the characters make for an amusing and enjoyable read. Though the end seems kind of random, this is a funny and dramatic mystery.

Avalon High: Meg Cabot

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Avalon High; Meg Cabot. 288 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

Maybe it’s not where Ellie wants to be, but if you have to start at a new school, Avalon High is typical enough: There’s Lance, the jock. Jennifer, the cheerleader. And Will, senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy.

But not everyone at Avalon High is who they appear to be…not even, as Ellie is about to discover, herself. As a bizarre drama begins to unfold, Ellie has to wonder, what part does she play in all this? Do the coincidences she’s piecing together really mean—as in King Arthur’s court—that tragedy is fast approaching for her new friends?

Ellie doesn’t know if she can do anything to stop the coming trouble. But somehow, she knows she has to try.

I remember loving this book when I first read it six years ago. While this time around I found Ellie a little too peppy for my liking, I still enjoyed the book. Not as much as I remember, but I’m a lot more critical of books now. Seems I’ve read too many and am less easily impressed. Hard life.

Anyway, I like this modern take on King Arthur’s court. Cabot is a great writer and brings life to all of her characters, which I appreciate. I want to read the graphic novels just to see what happens next.

Tangled: Carolyn Mackler

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Tangled; Carolyn Mackler. 308 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

The good girl, the jock, the beautiful one, and the geek. Tangle them together, and the unexpected happens.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all in Paradise. When they meet, they have no idea how they will all connect—or that their chance encounters will transform each of their lives.

The secrets we keep, the risks we take, and the things we do for love: Four months after it all begins in Paradise, none of them will ever be the same.

The four characters all see each other while on vacation at Paradise. Each character narrates one month, starting with that vacation. While each of their lives is different and they each have their own struggles and heartaches, each character plays a role in each other’s lives. Reading each month is kind of like reading a mini-novel, as the story is set up, the problem turns into a full-blown struggle, and there is some kind of conclusion. That’s not the end of each character, though, as they have small parts in each story. It’s a great way of featuring different stories and viewpoints within one book, and I think it’s successful. I liked seeing how each character affects the other, but also the parts of the characters’ lives they don’t share with anyone. There is so much more to everyone in the world than what we see and think we know. I like how this book addresses that.

Just Another Girl: Melody Carlson

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Just Another Girl; Melody Carlson. 221 pages.

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:

Aster Flynn wants a life of her own.

At seventeen, she’d like to date, hang with friends, maybe even find a summer job. Instead, she’s stuck at home with her younger sister - who seems to get needier by the minute. Her older sister is about, well…herself. And Aster’s parents… Don’t even ask.

But things are about to change. Or so she hopes. Enter: a cool guy and some new friends, and Aster is ready to get out and grab a slice of normal life.

But will her family get in her way?

Aster has a lot of responsibility. Her parents are divorced, and with her father not in the picture, her single mother thrusts the complete care of Aster’s younger sister, who has a mental disability, to Aster. Her older sister is selfish and has no compassion, so Aster’s life is entirely devoted to her younger sister. Within the first few pages I felt so bad for Aster, because everyone in her family treats her awfully. Taking care of her sister is a huge undertaking, and she has to do it all by herself, so she doesn’t have any friends or life outside of her home.

Throughout the summer Aster meets a few new people and fights for some freedom. She faces struggles, learns a lot of lessons, and tries to find a balance for her family. The book has some Christian undertones, but they’re not overly distracting. It all works. I liked reading this book and watching as Aster learned and negotiated for herself. I don’t like how she sometimes refers to her sister or that readers find out what her disability is so late into the book, but for the most part I enjoyed reading this book a lot.