BLOG TOUR: My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

CoverGenre: Science Fiction/ Realistic Fiction

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing.


Book Synopsis 

In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet makes the trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to Harlem, where she’ll spend a few weeks with her father while her mother deals with some trouble that’s arisen for Ebony-Grace’s beloved grandfather, Jeremiah. Jeremiah Norfleet is a bit of a celebrity in Huntsville, where he was one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA two decades earlier. And ever since his granddaughter came to live with him when she was little, he’s nurtured her love of all things outer space and science fiction–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, both of which she’s watched dozens of time on Grandaddady’s Betamax machine. So even as Ebony-Grace struggled to make friends among her peers, she could always rely on her grandfather and the imaginary worlds they created together. In Harlem, however, she faces a whole new challenge. Harlem in 1984 is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and her first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that gritty and graffitied Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.


Playlist

“Harlem Shuffle” by The Rolling Stone

“Welcome to New York” – Taylor Swift

“Hello Brooklyn”- Beastly Shuffle

“My Girl”- The Temptations

“Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

“Another One Bites the Dust”- Queen

“Never Gonna Give You Up”- Rick Astley

“Parents Just Don’t Understand “- Will Smith


Final Thoughts

Ebony is an imaginative twelve-year-old girl who is spending the summer away from her Grandfather. Her Grandfather is described as a person who started Ebony’s love for using imaginative space tales to handle situations she’s facing. Her Grandfather Jeremiah Norfleet is a famous African American who integrated NASA. Ebony must learn to adjust to the new culture associated with living in Harlem with her Father for the summer. Ebony’s imaginative personality has her friends in the area describing her as weird and quiet. Her once best friend, Bianca, is now a foreigner to her as they continue to argue over differences during her trip. Ebony’s fascination with space, her Grandfather, and Star Trek leave her labeled as an outcast. Will she learn to try to fit in for the summer, or will she continue to struggle with adjusting to the area? Will she break out of her shy shell for a bit to let someone other than her family?

This book is written in a way that combines the imaginative tales between a granddaughter and Grandfather. It showcases the special bond between the two. Jeremiah Norfleet facilitates an environment filled with an imagination that stays with Ebony even through her travels to New York City. I love the comic strips inserted into the novel. The images provide a visual view of the descriptive text. Ebony reminded me of myself when I was younger, but of course, growing up in the 90s was different than growing up in the 80s. However, I was raised by my grandmother, who was born in the 40s, which allowed for exposure to 80s culture. It is a challenge for someone to fit into an area where they feel they don’t belong regardless if members of their race live in that area. The more you read the novel, the more you understand the symbolism behind the title. I assume the ice cream sandwich is black on the outside but white on the inside. That is a standard description of the black community associated with someone who is deemed as being caucasian on the inside but looks black. The term is dubbed to anyone who doesn’t fit in, speak the same lingo, or like the same the music. I love that the author incorporates the challenges faced by African Americans in Harlem during that period and how she develops Julius, Ebony’s Father.

If you’re interested in reading a novel that highlights uniqueness, imagination, and focuses on an African American/Black family during the 80s in Harlem, then this is your book. I recommend this for all upper elementary and middle-grade youth.


Author Bio

bi Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults, including Pride and American Street, a finalist for the National Book AwardShe holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely !


You pre-order  copies of this book from Penguin Random House

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

 

This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews

BFCC194B-FF14-4BD0-BEFD-99A94E2A6266

Genre: Adventure Fiction/ Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Juvenile/ Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.

 


Final Thoughts

This charming graphic novel told from the perspective of a group of young boys who make a pact never to look back regardless of how tough the road ahead gets. It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, where the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. [taken from synopsis] This is the first year that Ben and his friends decide to follow the lanterns down the river to see where they end up. No one has ever completed this task. The group of boys make a pact with two rules: no one turns for home, and no one looks back. Ben and his friends start the journey but slowly they turn back one by one leaving been with Nathaniel. Nathaniel tries so hard to fit in with Ben and his friends, but he falls short. However, he doesn’t let that ruin his childlike personality, and he doesn’t let it stop him from trying to be friends with Ben. In the end, Nathaniel is all Ben has as they follow the lanterns to the end. These two will encounter their greatest adventure, build friendships with unexacting creatures, and find out how brave they are. Will they find out where the lanterns end or will they get lost trying?

I gave this graphic novel five stars, mostly due to the character development, the adventure, the realism, and the plot. The illustrations allow the reader to feel transported into the world of the story. The story flows wonderfully, and there is a hint of turmoil as the two main characters face an impasse. In this story, Ben developed as a reluctant character, and Nathaniel is the fearless character. The different character personalities allow for a humorous adventure as the two learn to break out of their shells. If you’re looking for a graphic novel filled with adventure, new friendships, and humor, then this is your book. I saw this book in a comic book store and felt like I had to read it. The story is appropriate for upper elementary to middle school.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely


You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon  | MacMillan | IndieBound 

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

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Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★

I purchased a copy of this book from my local comic book store. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.

 


Final Thoughts

This graphic novel told from the perspective of the main character, Marjorie, a young girl who is carrying the weight on her shoulders. Marjorie is running her family business while her father still grieves for the loss of his wife. Marjorie continues to try to navigate the woes of a small business, school, her younger brother, and her father. Simultaneously, a ghost named Wendell is trying to navigate his life as a ghost. Wendell’s life unexpectantly collides with Marjorie’s as he stumbles into the land of the living. In particular, he stumbles into Glatt’s Laundry and creates chaos when trying to do the right thing. Marjorie is trying to keep her family’s laundry business afloat as a real estate mogul, Mr. Saubertuck, tries to sabotage her business. When she thinks things can’t get any worse, she meets Wendell, a ghost, who’s making her life more challenging than it needs to be. As the two try to navigate their current predicaments, they must both work together to save the Glatt’s Laundry and get Wendell home. Will Wendell ever truly come to terms with the way he died? Will Marjorie let her mother’s death hold her back? Marjorie and Wendell must both face their pasts before they can truly move forward. Will the two work together to deal with their pasts, or will they let it consume them?

This graphic novel is easy to read and age-appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary and middle grades. The author does a great job highlighting the challenges of overcoming a loss from different perspectives. The book showcases how adults and children deal with grief differently. It also showcases the challenges of overcoming your fears that have derived from a loss. The younger audiences may enjoy the character, Wendell, as he takes a lighter approach to deal with his loss. I mostly give this book four stars because I felt the story was a bit lackluster and could have been developed more to highlight more characteristics associated with grief. The author had a great opportunity to tell this story in a way that is both relatable and imaginative but I felt it fell a little short. Overall, this book was both heartbreaking and humorous.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely


You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | IndieBound

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly

AF7DF41A-0E42-48CD-910F-3525D62A0D5FGenre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade/ Juvenile Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.

 


Final Thoughts

The graphic novel starts from the narrator perspective, then transitions to the viewpoint of Suee, the main character. Suee is a mature twelve-year-old girl who was transferred to Outskirts Elementary after her father’s job transfer. She is a very individualistic girl who prefers to be a loner at her new school until she passes by a room and hears a voice. Suee tells herself that she doesn’t need friends, then a voice from the school’s exhibit room says that it will be her friend. Suee follows the voice into the room then wakes up sometime later in the nurse’s office with no memory of how she got there. And to make matters worse, her shadow appears to be alive.

Everything was fine until she went into the exhibit room, and her shadow came alive. Now everyone in her school is starting to look like a zombie and are being called Zeroes. The strangest thing is that the students called Zeros are missing their shadows. Suee must work together with another student to figure out what is happening to their classmates shadow and what her shadow is hiding.

This graphic novel is easy to read and age appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary school or advanced readers. This book was a fast read, and the younger audiences would much enjoy the sarcasm the main character eludes and the hint of a mystery. The characters were developed in a way to provide a little bit of a backstory of each, but the story could have been developed a bit more to offer a bit more details. I do commend the author for the history provided at the beginning, the backstory of the main character, and the cliff hanger at the end. I felt the plot could have been developed more to provide a little more character development and a chance for the main character to make more friends. However, I hope that this was only the first book and that there would be more in the series.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! 


You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |Abrams Books

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

We Were Beautiful by Heather Helper

07B8E370-7E57-43C8-865D-FED924181DADGenre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Shelf Location: Young Adult Fiction

Rating: ★★★★.5

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.

 


Final Thoughts

This book is told from the perspective of Mia Hopkins, a fifteen-year-old teen girl trying to navigate her life after a tragic event. Mia’s life was healthy before a terrible accident left her family in disarray and her with both emotional and physical scars. Mia had a happy family and a sister that loved her until one night she can’t seem to remember. Mia and her sister were involved in an accident, but Mia can’t seem to remember what happened. She also can’t seem to look at herself in the mirror. Her family struggles to come to terms with the accident, and Mia must figure out a way to heal on her own. In an attempt to help her come to terms with the crash fully, her father sends her to live with her grandmother for the summer. Will this summer away help Mia heal or push her to her breaking point?

This book was absolutely heartbreaking, but it was very well written. The author does a great job diving into the challenges of overcoming loss and showcasing the complexity involved in the grieving process. However, I thought it was a bit cliche that Mia found a group of friends that all had scares of their own. It felt like everything fell into place for Mia. I personally wanted a bit more drama and turmoil, but that doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth behind each character, including the supporting characters. I wanted to learn more about her mother and grandmother’s relationship, but that would be great for a second novel.

If you’re looking for a contemporary realistic fiction novel that is heavy with emotion, then this may be the novel for you.


You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Zoondervan

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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Source: https://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/In-a-Dark-Dark-Wood/Ruth-Ware/9781501193484

Genre: Suspense Mystery Thriller

Shelf Location: Adult Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I purchased a copy of this book over a year ago and it has been sitting on my shelf since then. I was browsing my collection looking for something to read on my flight to New Jersey. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This book told from the perspective of Lanora, the main character. Lanora is a writer who has decided a life of seclusion is better than facing the past she tried to keep hard hidden.  Somethings cannot stay hidden forever; she realizes this as she receives an invitation to old friends hen (bachelorette party). She hasn’t spoken to Clare in over ten years, and now she is getting invited to her hen. Against her better judgment, Nora goes to the hen. The story continues with twists and turns that left me on the edge of my seat. The plot started to unfold from the moment

However, I figured out the plot halfway through the book. I felt the book could have been developed more and wished the supporting characters played a more significant role in the overall plot. I also, felt the plot was a bit lackluster, but this is because I watched an extensive amount of Lifetime thriller movies as a tween. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and the backstory associated with the main character and Clare.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in a thrilling mystery that takes you for a loop throughout the story. The author uses a vast amount of details to help create a real thriller environment in the story.


You can purchase copies of this book:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Simon & Schuster

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

62EE8900-9E96-4F61-96C6-67F2DA565280Genre: Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Print 344
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Author:  Erika L. Sanchez
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I borrowed from my local library.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 


Goodreads Synopsis

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?


Final Thoughts

This book starts with Julia losing her sister in a terrible accident but ends with a well-developed plot twist. Julia is a junior in high school who has the brains and individuality to lead the world astray. She is the black sheep of her family and continues to feel this way even more after losing her sister. Julia’s sister was considered perfect. Always willing to stay home to cook with her mother, went to school, and remained in town to work a receptionist job. Julia is the complete opposite; she is rebellious, loves alternative music, loves to read, and enjoys time alone. She wants to go to college in another city and pursue an English degree. Her mother, dealing with the loss of her sister, continues to push Julia telling her why can’t she be more like her sister Olga. Her mother continues to berate her for wanting to go out to parties, hang out with her friends, or resemble a lifestyle of a rebellious teen.

To make matters worse, her father is mute and ignores her, she is behind in school, and she feels something is missing about her sister. As Julia copes with the loss of her sister, and the pressures of her mother, she works to uncover the secrets of her sister. While doing so, she discovers the secrets of her mother and father. She realizes that some secrets are better left as secrets; otherwise, they ruin the lives of those that are living. Can Julia learn to deal with the disappointment from her mother, the silence from her father, and the pressure to perform? Or will she crumble in the process?

The author does a fantastic job with the development of the main characters and the supporting characters. The story of Julia and her sister Olga shed light on the challenges of migrating to the United States. I loved the fact that I was able to read about her parent’s migration story. I felt that added to the story and the development of Julia’s character. The author’s realistic approach to telling this story emphasizes the emotions; I felt the same feelings the characters did. I highly recommend this book to any middle schooler or high schooler who has parents that migrated. I also think it is essential to encourage people of all races to read this book to inform them of the challenges immigrants face.

This book does contain content associated with suicidal (including suicidal thoughts), mental health, depression, and anxiety. Proceed with caution when reading this if you have experienced any of these or know someone who has.


To view purchasing options and other books written by this author,  click this link Here


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

1732D3C0-E7C8-418C-AD2F-2BC512C50558Genre:  Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Print 250
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 


Goodreads Synopsis

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy—and Tyler’s secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world.


Final Thoughts

Twisted is another novel written by Laurie Halse Anderson that follows the life of Tyler. Tyler was your average high school geek who had no friends until he made a mistake that would not only ruin him but could’ve cost him his future. To please his overbearing father, Tyler agrees to attend a work event for his Dad’s company. While there, Tyler runs into a classmate who hates him and his sister, Tyler’s crush. Following his Dad’s company’s party, Tyler grows closer to his sister and his crush. Tyler will face many challenges in this novel which include accusations of assault, his father, and self-doubt. Laurie Halse Anderson dives into a different perspective by shedding light on dealing with emotional abuse and the stigma’s associated with growing up male. Tyler’s father is emotionally abusive and controlling. His father aims to control everything in the family which takes a toll on each member. Everyone in Tyler’s life sees him as a threat except for his friends, mother, and sister. Even after an incident occurs, that somehow leads to Tyler accused of a crime he did not commit. His life is a series of unfortunate events, pressures from his dad, and the challenges of high school. Tyler lets the weight of life almost push him to the brink of leaving. Tyler must learn to stand up for himself or lose himself in the process.

When does it go from being a good parent and wanting what’s best for your child, to being a controlling father? Is there a line and who’s going to tell you when you cross it as a parent?

The author takes a unique approach to tell the story of a controlling father and how one person can change the dynamic of a family. This book focuses on forgiveness, anger, self-doubt, and personal discovery. Halse Anderson takes the time to develop each supporting character and intertwine them as the story unfolds. I felt the plot twist lacked development and I wanted more light shed of his father’s emotionally abusive tendencies. I did feel the author truly captured the emotions of the family as they dealt with the father. Each moment in the story felt real and when the characters cried, so do I.Halse Anderson showcases the obstacles associated with growing up as a male.

This book is intended for mature ages, upper middle school, and high school. If anyone is a victim of emotional abuse, this book does contain items that may trigger memories. I would recommend this book for any developing male looking to gain a better understanding of the stressors associated with a “pushy” father. Halse Andersons dives into stigma’s associated with being male.


To purchase your copy of this novel you can visit this link to view purchasing links

http://madwomanintheforest.com


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

4A836698-1066-4C5A-A39D-990D4CB69D07Genre: Adult Mystery/ Thriller Fiction
Pages: Print 328
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Author:  Matthew Sullivan
Rating: ★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 


Goodreads Synopsis

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left.


Final Thoughts

The cover of this book is what caught my attention. This book focuses on the story of Lydia Smith, a longtime bookseller. Lydia has a passion for reading and during her time at her job she has built friendships with members of the community. The story opens with Lydia working a night shift at the bookstore, following the completion of the closing procedures she notices a missing patron. Lydia also hears a noise that doesn’t sound too promising. Lydia finds the absent customer, but when she locates him, he isn’t alive. A longtime regular customer has hung himself in the Western fiction section of the bookstore. As she struggles to come to terms with the customer’s sudden suicide, to make matters worse, she finds something sticking out of his pocket that somehow connects her to him. Lydia must unravel a new mystery while also digging up a past she has tried so hard to forget. With the help of an old friend, she uncovers more than what she bargained. In this whodunit-style mystery novel, the author continues to litter the pages with turns and twist at every page as you try to uncover the truth.

Matthew Sullivan did an excellent job with the suspense in this novel. However, I would have liked a bit more added to the end of the story and more of a backstory on the main character’s history. Also, a few parts of the story felt a bit too dramatized for my taste, and I would have liked a more realistic approach to the interactions between Raj, Lydia’s old friend, and Lydia. This book is excellent for fans of mystery novels and older teens. The violent scenes are mild, but it can be a traumatic read for some. The authors take a tame approach to describing the challenging scenes that involve murder. For victims of suicide, this book has triggers as it tries to dive into the reason why the customer, Joey, committed suicide. If you’re looking for a mystery with a lot of twists and turns, then pick up a copy of this novel.

To view purchasing options and other books written by this author,  click this link https://www.matthewjsullivan.com


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

fullsizeoutput_15ebGenre: Young Adult Poetry
Pages: Print 304
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. Please note I share a piece of my personal experience with sexual assault merely to emphasize how this book resonated with me and how I feel connected to the storyline. 


Goodreads Synopsis

Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.


Final Thoughts

I purchased a copy of this book because it is my most anticipated read of 2019. I connected with the main character in Speak and wanted to read her poetic memoir. I was expecting nothing less of raw emotions, honesty, and empowerment. It’s hard to review a memoir due to it merely being about the author’s life. You can only review the writing style and look at it from an editorial purpose only. I kept this in mind when reading this memoir.

Overall I thought this was a well written, compelling, poetic memoir that provided insight on the challenges faced by this author. After reading this, I understand what an emotional obstacle it is to write about something so real. I understand the true emotional turmoil of reliving the same day over and over again and trying to find ways to cope. The author takes a unique approach to tell the story of her life in three parts. The first part of the book talks about her mother, father, and sister — this where we learn of the rape that leads her to create the characters in Speak. We also learn how she coped with the struggles of her parent’s marriage, the ghosts of her fathers past, and the rape that shattered her from within. The author delves into the relationship between her parents, her schooling, and her ghosts. In part two, we take a journey on how she spoke about Speak in schools. We learn that some schools tried to censor her book, saying that a book about sexual assault did not belong in a school. Halse Anderson wanted to share this book with everyone, to promote the concept of consent, and to be a voice for those who were afraid. We learn about how she created the character names in the novel and the challenges she faced while writing it. In part three we learn the fate of her parents and the closing remarks.

This book focuses on the challenges of being a victim of sexual assault and how one story can touch many. Halse Anderson showcases that there are many people out there with a story to share afraid to speak up. She highlights the injustices associated with being a victim of rape. One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

Forgiveness

study that number,

and no matter what it is,

forgive yourself

because no, my friend.

you are not overreacting

not one bit.

It is hard to forgive yourself and try to move on because the ghost from your past still haunt you. I recommend this book for any teen but be mindful for any victim of sexual assault; this may contain some trigger words. I had to put the book down a few times to take a break before I could complete it. To anyone battling the demons of your past, it will get better, and it’s not your fault. Some moments I still feel like that six-year-old girl watching her favorite cartoon on the television. In the moments those memories resurface, I take a deep breath and try to come back to the present. To the author, you did a fantastic job with this book and your others, and I say #metoo Laurie Halse Anderson.


To purchase your copy of this novel you can visit this link to view purchasing links

http://madwomanintheforest.com


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com for book reviews.