Tag Archives: 4 Stars

I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

what we left behindWhat We Left Behind by Robin Talley (Mira Ink, 22 October 2015)

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WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND is one of the truest love stories I've ever read in YA.

Tony and Gretchen met each other in high school and fell in love. They're the perfect couple and they've been together for almost two years when they leave for different universities – Tony to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU. They think they'll survive the long distance, but it's much easier said than done. Tony, who identifies as genderqueer, befriends a group of trans guys at Harvard and feels like this is where he belongs. He slowly figures out more about his gender identity, but he doesn't feel like he can talk to Gretchen about it anymore, as she won't understand him the way his trans guy friends do. Gretchen, on the other hand, is starting to wonder who she is outside of her relationship with Tony. Tony is too busy for Gretchen to visit often, and they begin to drift apart. Can they save their relationship – or more importantly, should they?

NB: Tony is written 'Toni' in the official blurb. When he and Gretchen first meet, Tony is presenting as female and has not yet started identifying as genderqueer, and he and Gretchen were known to everyone as a lesbian couple. However, over the course of the book Tony begins to identify as more on the male end of the spectrum than the female end and decides to adopt he/him pronouns and spell his name with a y instead of an i. Thus I believe it best to call him Tony and use male pronouns for him.

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I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ANOTHER DAY.inddAnother Day by David Levithan (Companion novel to Every Day) (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 25 August 2015)

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ANOTHER DAY is the companion novel to EVERY DAY, which details the story of A, who wakes up every morning in a different body, living every day in a different life. ANOTHER DAY is told from the perspective of Rhiannon, a girl whom A meets while in the body of Rhiannon's boyfriend, Justin. Justin isn't very good to Rhiannon, and all of Rhiannon's friends see this, but Rhiannon convinces herself that they don't really know. She loves Justin and she can't leave him. But one day, Justin is completely different. He skips school with her to go to the beach, and they have the most amazing day together. Soon, Rhiannon learns that it wasn't really Justin that day – it was someone else wearing Justin's body, and that someone else has fallen in love with her. As A keeps meeting Rhiannon in different bodies, Rhiannon can't help but feel their connection too. In ANOTHER DAY, we see Rhiannon struggling with her feelings for Justin and A at the same time, and fighting the difficulties of loving someone whose physical appearance changes every day and who can never stay in the same life for more than one day.

I've read EVERY DAY by David Levithan, but that was when it came out in 2012, and my book memory has always been terrible. (I honestly thought it came out like, five years ago, I remember so little about it.) So I am pretty much judging ANOTHER DAY entirely by its own merits, and I can't really tell you how well this book works as a companion novel, per se. But as a novel, I think it works pretty brilliantly.

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I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fans of the Impossible LifeFans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa (Balzer + Bray, 8 September 2015)

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FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE is gorgeously written and depicts something curiously new in YA: instead of your standard love triangle, we have three people who all have romantic and/or sexual feelings for each other in some way. And Scelsa handles this so deftly and beautifully.

Jeremy goes to St Francis Prep; an incident at school the year before has made him a loner who avoids talking to anybody else. But Jeremy loves art, and when he's encouraged by his favourite teacher to start an art club, he has to get ten signatures from other students. Mira's is the first one he gets. She's a new student at St Francis who suffers from depression. Her best friend is Sebby, a gay boy who lives in a foster home and doesn't go to school at all; the two of them met in the psych ward in hospital ten months ago, each with their own demons to battle. When Jeremy talks to Mira and Sebby for the first time, he feels instantly drawn to the two of them. Together, the three of them form an intense friendship and aim to live the impossible life: a defiant life of magic and magnificence in an otherwise sad and terrifying world.

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I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Accident SeasonThe Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (Corgi Childrens, 2 July 2015)

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An intriguing, beautiful, and haunting contemporary novel that blends very real and serious issues with paranormal elements, THE ACCIDENT SEASON should be more aptly named THE SECRET SEASON. This is a book about secrets – horrible ones, heartbreaking ones – and how we all drown in our own secrets sometimes.

Every year, towards the end of October, Cara and her family become far more accident-prone than usual. They fall and cut themselves and break their bones, and worse – as the deaths of several relatives have shown before. Whenever the accident season rolls around, Cara's mother wraps her children up in layers and tries to make the house as safe as possible with soft rugs and bubble wrap. This year looks to be no different at first – but as Cara starts to plan a Halloween party together with her sister, Alice, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, things get even stranger than usual. Is this the year they will finally break free of their curse?

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I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Penguin Books, 7 April 2015)

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SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA is a burst of sunshine in book form, and you need its happiness in your life. Trust me.

Simon is sixteen and gay and a lover of Oreos. He's been emailing this guy anonymously – he only knows this guy as 'Blue', and he knows that Blue is also gay and goes to the same high school as he does. Neither of them are out and, despite only being able to communicate by emailing each other using secret identities, they're slowly falling in love anyway. But everything goes haywire when one day, Simon accidentally forgets to log out of his email while in the school library. His classmate Martin Addison reads them and decides to blackmail Simon into helping him get closer to Abby, one of Simon's friends.

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