Love is the Higher Law | Review

*bit of a long post*

Love is the Higher Law | Available for Purchase: Amazon.com « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Pages: 176 pages, hardcover
Received Copy: Paperback copy, also signed by author

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . . .

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.

Just last weekend marked the 15th year anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States in: New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, PA. I was invited to meet with a friend on the 9/11 date to spend two days in New York City and in doing so I decided to finally read David’s novel. I bought Love is the Higher Law few years ago when he did an author visit at a local bookstore. It was right near the anniversary and he explained some of the sights he witnessed and also notes this at the end of the book. I thought it was most appropriate reading on the day we remember all of the lives lost, innocent and the brave ones who died saving others.

I read the book on the train, well what I could–there were some loud talkers who ended up breaking my concentration from time to time and I also went in and out of periods where I was overwhelmed with emotion and kept tearing up. I was in high school so I remember more vividly than others who might’ve been younger at the time and also living in New Jersey which wasn’t as far away from NYC as opposed to where I live now. While reading Love is the Higher Law I could relate on various levels of the characters in their feelings, even though I wasn’t a New Yorker or someone extremely close to the situation, that day left a mark on everybody who was able to witness it.

Claire, Jasper, and Peter are coming from different viewpoints on this tragic day–Claire at school Uptown, worried about her younger brother, and getting word from their mother. Jasper has slept through the entire morning in Brooklyn only to be awoken by a phone call from his parents in South Korea to hear of the news, and Peter who skipped school to hang out at a record store and see the effects from Midtown. All present at a party a few nights before, they’re all thrown into the mix Claire and Jasper meeting just by chance, developing a friendship with him and eventually Peter who is a fellow senior such as herself. Peter and Jasper who were supposed to have their first date September 11th, but the day postpones things giving a bad vibe on their meeting. Looking at the devastation and destruction these characters start looking at their lives in a new perspective and realizing they don’t exactly understand what’s happened but know they are forever changed. Thinking deeply, caring more, and an array of emotions helps shape their lives now.

It’s a short read and it’s really interesting from a YA point of view–a time when teens already have so many emotions, to put this new level upon them having the characters examine their lives. I might read it again next year on the date, haven’t decided but I’m glad I have it on my shelf because I haven’t seen a lot of books on the subject like David notes in his final acknowledgements in the back of the book. And again, as someone who was a bit younger than the main characters but still able to witness the impact of that day is really fascinating to read.

The picture above does no justice on how truly amazing this sight was to see in person. The overwhelming emotion of patriotism, love, sadness, anger, and sorrow you have looking at the new skyline and the lights that shine brightly for not only all of the victims but the loss of the buildings which represented a part of the city as well. The sun set beautifully that night and my friend and I watched the sky turn from bright reds, to cotton candy pinks and blues, to a dusty gray, to finally the darkest black to show the twin lights.


I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this on social media at some point, but I’m sharing it again:

For the life of me I can’t remember my first period schedule but, it was our first year using a type of blocking scheduling at our high school. Day Whichever had XXX class first period (driving me crazy I can’t remember), then Driver’s Ed with Mrs. Collura who was BFFs with my English teacher Mrs. Hults–their classrooms were next door to each others, and third period was French II with Madame Cardell…ugh! She was such a useless teacher. I’m getting off topic but I had to set the scene. We started early at my high school, morning bell was at 735am, and classes started 750ish, so I was already a quarter to halfway done with second period.

Mrs. Hults called on our phone system to Mrs. Collura to turn on the news. Most classrooms did have TVs, albeit not modern but would work well enough, and when she did, I believe both towers had been struck by the planes at that point. Either it was just the one, or the second happened in moments that I wasn’t paying attention because I kept thinking ‘Wow, this is just like a movie!’ Not looking at the severity of it nor the sheer magnitude of what happened. Mrs. Collura told us we were probably witnessing history, little did she know how right she would be. Those moments watching the towers burn are forever engrained into my brain. At that point, class ends and it seemed determined by staff that we really shouldn’t be watching the television and try to get back to our classes but within the switch from Driver’s Ed to French, word around school was that the Pentagon had been hit by a plane as well. We watched a little of the coverage, I honestly don’t remember the towers falling or if I watched it live. I think at that point we weren’t allowed to know much else as students but I started going into panic mode.

Before French ended I gathered up two quarters so I could call my mom. With the knowledge I have of Philadelphia now that I live so close and actually working in Center City, I understand the layout and the surrounding towns. I didn’t realize back then that my sister’s attendance at St. Joseph’s University isn’t near the heart of Philadelphia if damage was done but at that time, you honestly didn’t know which piece of news you would hear next. We could all agree that this day, destroying those buildings had a huge impact on markets and big businesses who set up shop in those towers. My dad worked in the financial industry at the time and would seldom have to take the PATH train in right underneath the towers. I never really knew whether or not he would have to go to New York or not until after the fact and he came home after his day. Needless to say I ran to the payphone at school and was able to get a hold of my mom who told me my father wasn’t in NYC today, and my sister should be fine, no reports in Philly so she’s relatively safe.

The weirdest part of that day was hearing some surrounding schools were dismissing kids early. As millennials do, we were sorely disappointed our school wasn’t one of them. The rest of the school day was a blur, everyone and their mother tried to teach us when all we could do is discuss the morning and if there were other revelations we hadn’t heard about. Some kids were called to report to the office over the loud speaker having us all look at each other and morbidly wonder what had happened. A lot of classmates had parents who worked in NY/NJ right where everything happened and you could only imagine.

My neighborhood was next to the high school and I remember walking home, turning on the television seeing every station was reporting the coverage–Nickelodeon, MTV, local news stations, etc. all broadcasting. I came home exhausted and fell asleep listening to the news; I just couldn’t take it. The anxiety for everyone, the anxiety for the people I knew hoping they were okay, the country, the tears I shed when I came home. What’s pretty crazy is my mom would always tape her soap operas on the VCR when she worked. Guiding Light on CBS at 10am, Days of Our Lives on at 1pm on NBC, she recorded a bunch of the coverage that I still have the VHS tape recording history live on TV.

The next year, a family friend and native New Yorker took my sister and I on a day trip to the city. We walked by Ground Zero and the enormous holes in the ground just left you speechless. The construction going on to rebuild, the Missing people’s pictures up and American flags everywhere was a sight to see. Not only that but it was quiet–just so very quiet for the city that never sleeps.

 

That was my day, my recollection of September 11th, 2001. Parts of it mirror what Claire, Jasper, and Peter experienced that day. Obviously on a more emotional level as I didn’t live as close as they did, but the perspective is there for sure. To learn more information on the events & to donate, check out the 9/11 Memorial website http://www.911memorial.org

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🎶It’s Just Another Motivation-Monday🎶 (2)

Sorry for the title, and now you’ll have that song stuck in your head forever and ever. My apologies 😉

Ah, another week, not many left in 2015, but we are in the here and now and it’s time to embrace what little left we have for the year. I recently had some job progress with a few interviews so PLEASE CROSS ALL EXTREMITIES SO I MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE AT ADULTHOOD AGAIN! << I’d really appreciate that as much as possible. With that said, I’m trying to stay positive and also something fun to give a little back with what I can.

Today’s motivation:

*image via Pinterest, Buzzfeed article

For all the craziness that goes on, I slowly am trying to remember that we’re all worrying about things, we all are succeeding, we’re all failing at something, we do this daily and it’s important that we have a little faith to get us through our worst times. Even if we feel like we’re at rock bottom (yeppppppp *waves to everyone up above*) we can be thankful for what we have and how we’re handling that.

« ALSO – PLEASE SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING «

A small gesture can make a world of difference

Source: Little Girl Who Lost Her Parents Wants Christmas Cards

TL;DR ^^^^ I urge everyone to read this link and send this beautiful, brave girl a Christmas card this year!! I can’t wait to send her one (my cards are pretty awesome this year) and I know she will love it!
Her address is:

Safyre
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306
USA

Have a great week everyone and hope you’re all enjoying the holidays!

Side note: I was recently on What Sarah Read’s blog for her Home For the Holidays feature! Check out my post and go read some of the other awesome bloggers sharing their holiday favorites and classics!

xo Linz aka The Kid

My Motivational Monday version

Taking on this idea of #MondayMotivation, I wanted to put my own spin on things because I need some hardcore motivation. I feel like overall my brain never stops and by doing this I become overwhelmed and paranoid and this is clearly problematic. It’s problematic because I don’t accomplish anything. At that point I start to realize this, I get frustrated, then the stream of tears start and I want to curl up into a ball and hope that in my next life I become a domesticated pet who just eats and sleeps all day.

So in order to get myself in gear I’m starting to face some perspectives:

  1. Next week is December. DECEMBER, PEOPLE!! Where did 2015 GO?!!
  2. 2016 is the year I turn, *gulp*, 30. Yes, 3-0. I’m terrified (see above’s first paragraph of how things are right now)
  3. Because of item #2, my health needs a vast improvement…mentally and physically.
  4. Stop waiting and start doing. Like #1 states, it’s already almost the end of the year, and I’m going to officially get a start on it…for 2016 that is!
  5. These all lead up to something new I’d like to try…

I tend to do this thing on Twitter where I tweet because I’m so overwhelmed I need the pick-me-up or my need to vent, but I have a habit of tweeting in a sort of “Oh, woe is me”. It’s not cool. Who knows how many people notice it or if they don’t. Again, probably my paranoia, but I want to take this and turn it into a positive.

The Instagcollage photo I made represents all my current traffic jams (clockwise from top right):

  • I need to start appreciating the little things. I get so heavy with what I don’t have that I can’t remember what I DO have! It’s so crazy and very important, not because Thanksgiving is days away–granted, that shouldn’t be the only time you reflect what you’re thankful for, but it’s something that’s a good reminder.
    • Sure I don’t have that job that the chick I lightly stalk on social media because she has my dream EVERYTHING, and I would love to switch places with her in a heartbeat, but I can’t and I won’t because there’s probably something else she could very well look at in my life and think the same thing.
  • do what you love is much easier said than done. I don’t know how some do it. I don’t know how they harness the power to overcome so much and become successful. I’m unsure of how to reach my true potential and I fear this more and more every day. What’s hurting me most is that I focus on this too much and I need to just take what I can get even though this is tough to swallow because I think the best I can be is doing something that I absolutely love and have passion forThis is what gets me in trouble because I don’t know how to accomplish it, and the more time I pretend I can do it, the more time I lose because I’m getting nowhere.
  • extravert, sensing, feeling, judging. I really need to look at the qualities I already have and put them to good use, put that positive spin and go with it. These are my Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test results and I don’t know what to do with them.
  • my health and wealth. My friend ran her first marathon yesterday and I felt sad I wasn’t running with her. While I’m nowhere near her pace when it comes to running or have her dedication, this was the first race I watched and didn’t participate in. My 5Ks are cakewalks now. Do they still feel like they’re the longest runs ever? Meh, I have some days where it’s nothing and some days where it feels like forever. I’m out of shape. I only have one half marathon under my belt and I’m not okay with that. Forget about what running does to my body physically, mentally it does help me feel stronger because it’s one thing I have achieved before that makes me feel good. My diet is another thing that 2016 has to be ready for. If I want to run my marathon, I at least want to lose 50 lbs to get there. I need to feel lighter and be lighter, my body will thank me for this in the long run.

After all this is said and done, my new idea is that I can’t get myself down. Things have to change. What’s important is that I recognize this and starting small counts. For every time I feel the need to post my “Oh woe is me” I want to try and find an inspirational quote and hopefully I will start to get that motivation ball rolling that I so much desire. Let the first motivationally speaking commence!

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Remembering the Artist She Was

I remember where I was when I was told to discover her, I remember where I was when I had gotten word she had died.

The guy in my Small Groups Comm Studies class was cute and he and I had struck up a conversation about music. I bragged about having a diverse and plentifully-filled iPod and he grabbed a hold of it and laughed…a lot. He might have seen that I had a few Barbara Streisand tracks (thanks, Mom) and this track that might, well, most definitely was the theme song to….Baywatch. I was totally embarrassed but that’s when he said, “You know, you should check out some real artists like LCD Soundsystem, Lily Allen, or Amy Winehouse.” After that debacle, I headed home for a weekend and downloaded all the Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse I could get my hands on…that was back in 2006.

*

It was summertime and I was listening to my iPod on shuffle while taking an afternoon shower. I’m not sure what I was doing before then, probably being lazy and enjoying a peaceful time alone. My family had all been down to the Delaware beaches and I wasn’t able to take time off because of my job. I regret that I don’t actually remember the actual track I had heard while showering. I’m thinking it was Just Friends from her Back to Black album–I know it was a slower track, a subtle track that is good relaxing, in-the-background music to listen to. With the shower off and a towel now on my head, I naturally ended up looking on my Twitter feed to read the tragic news. Amy Winehouse had been declared dead and unresponsive….July 23, 2011.

Film: AMY
Director: Asif Kapadia
Run Time: 128 minutes
Productions: On The Corner Films, Universal Music, A24
Release Date: July 3, 2015 (limited release)
Summary: The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks.


When the trailer debuted, AMY sent chills down my spine. Obviously being a fan of her work and voice, I took the trailer more to heart than others who happened to see it in a commercial or as a filler preview. The haunting ending panning out to show a montage of pictures making up Amy Winehouse’s face–the music stripped, leaving the echoing vocals for her “Back to Black” track gives a spectacular creep factor and sadness. A feeling of tragedy and a sense of sorrow. I was determined to make my way to theaters even though I knew it would probably break my heart.

I finally had the chance to see the film and I wanted to share with you my thoughts. For some, when you say Amy’s name, you typically get an eye roll, a scoff, a pssh, a generalization about how she was a hot mess that had a crazy drug problem and got what she deserved. For others, you can see the sadness on their face because they realized that Amy’s voice was out of this world, out of this time because she could give some of the greats a run for their money! In watching this documentary, I was shown more proof on how some people are made for the limelight and some are just tragic artists who end up crumbling under pressure.

With a rocky childhood of her parents eventually splitting up and an absentee father, Amy admits in voiceover interview that her dad never showed up for anything of importance and when her parents officially ended things, she decided she was going to do whatever she wanted. This set up a path of wanting and needing a certain love, her father until the bitter end seemed to take what Amy gave but never returned the favor. Mitch Winehouse is painted as a father who steps back into her life just as she’s coming into her own as a successful singer and mysteriously is present for the big wins, BRITs, GRAMMYs, television show documentaries that really don’t have Amy’s approval. To see that unfold is tough because you see this raw talent and you just want to hug her and say you have something that is amazing, don’t get sucked in–be better than your demons.

To see her relationship and obsession with Blake Fielder, who inspires her songwriting–between breakups, makeups, marriage & divorce, he seems to be the leading factor into her spiral.

In the beginning, Amy’s friends show a side of her only wanting to purely be an artist, becoming one of the greats purely for music. She does maintain this notion throughout the film telling of her career but hooking up with Blake just as she was on the rise ended up being very dangerous. She smoked cigarettes, she drank, and she definitely smoked weed–that is abundantly clear to the audience but Blake introduces her to crack, eventually heroin is thrown into the mix as well as other highly fatal drugs. Learning about this on top of Amy’s very slim figure, you find out about her bulimia and the drug cocktails she takes never mixes well within her system.

The struggle for her rehabilitation is so sad because on the night of her GRAMMY win, her friend quotes her as stating that even though she’s sober things aren’t remotely enjoyable because there’s no drugs. It’s so upsetting to hear because you again see this girl with such talent, her voice is stunning–the notes she hits, high and low, raspy and sensual, drugs she have never brought her down. The fame and drugs took the heaviest toll on her body and in the end it seems like she was more willing to give in because the struggle would be forever.

The real treasures in this film are her pure moments: her first club performance, the first property she buys with her big-girl paycheck, the GRAMMY wins, her happiness and awe working with Tony Bennett, and lastly her songwriting. For other music documentaries that I’ve seen it’s amazing to see an artist put a melody to words, Amy was truly talented in this way. Her lyrics hit the listener hard, they’re eloquent, they’re solid, and they can leave you with an array of emotions.

I feel like I’m now just rambling because again, I’m a fan but I really do recommend you seeing this film if it’s playing in your area. Her music was genuine and unlike any other artist within the last however many years. Her sound is unique and soulful and she deserved more out of this life than being remembered as another tragic member of the “27 Club”. While the word “vulnerable” was thrown around many times throughout the film, that was more towards her demons and addictions but she’s actually a really strong person. Before the craziness, she developed a sense of throwback style, bringing back ’50’s style chic, pin-up girl tattoos, cat-eye lashes, and the biggest beehive hair you ever did see. She was cool and defiant in her own way. Strip away the pressure to produce, the paparazzi, to keep up the success, and her struggle, you’ll see what I see.

I also wanted to leave you with a few tracks that are my absolute favorites that she sings:


This track has an extra long instrumental but it’s the only one that was her recording…it’s my FAVORITE track!


If you ever followed the British Football scene, this song is so spot on for the WAG-lifestyle! It’s sassy and a very fun track


Just a haunting track and well worth the listen 🙂

If you’ve seen it, did you like the documentary? Tell me some of the artists documentaries you’ve seen before that you’ve loved and would recommend!

xx Linz aka The Kid

If you know of anyone that battles with drug use or an eating disorder please let them know there is help!

National Eating Disorder website:
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

References for Drug Addiction:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/where-can-family-members-go-information

**GIFs & movie poster images not personally owned**

Top Ten Tuesday: Rough Reads edition


September 30: Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read (because difficult of book, subject matter, because it was cringeworthy– however you want to interpret), the weekly topic provided by The Broke & Bookish

Throughout my years of reading, I have noticed there are a few areas and subject matters that just really either hit home or I just get so enthralled in the story line that the characters’ feelings transfer into my own and I can read things so personally. My hard limits are usually best friends falling out/betrayal, lying on a big, grand scale/question of morality, and most importantly: bullying/neglecting others. Reading these topics can typically rock me to my core because I’ve either experienced these topics or I feel morally obligated to fight for these non-existent characters. They’re not real, but when I read the words that make these story lines come alive, I feel like I need to be on their team, on their side.

Here are some of my rough reads…even to think about some of these titles get me going, LOL!

Each of these titles had friendships rocked to the core and having been in similar situations, there’s nothing worse then giving your trust to someone and having things thrown in your face. Backstabbing. Severed ties. Bridges never mended.


There is nothing more that I hate, than a group of individuals who think they need to make up the rules of exclusivity. I’ve been a victim of it, I still witness it in current friendships and it’s really the saddest thing. Seeing someone stoop so low to keep control of a group of people because they have “influence” which is nothing more than mean-ness or low self-esteem. It irks me in real life and on the pages I read.

 

Just as much as the mean girl behavior gets me going, bullying is just plain unacceptable. Feeling the need to belittle someone for reasons you deem the sense of entitlement over another is pretty despicable. Especially those who are just their own different self. Those you are quiet. Those whom keep to themselves. Those who don’t wear the “right” clothes. Those who may have a different skin color. Those who are a different kind of popular than the clichéd expected cookie-cutter mold. People who are individuals for themselves scare those who like to conform and it’s just pathetic to see and I want nothing more than to help those. **Note that these titles actually deal with legitimate suicide or suicidal thoughts….as you can imagine, bullying is the root of the evil of thinking death is a better way out then to deal with the incessant torture. That’s how severe this behavior can be…pick up a newspaper you’ll see the real life repercussions.

 

So yes I actually have nine titles and not 10 but I put these two books (which makes the grand total of 11 titles) were hard books because of the overall heighten stages of these books:

Heir of Fire because you find out how MORE EFFED UP THE KING IS, meanwhile SO much shit goes down I just….my emotions were RAGING, literally at almost every character for what they had been put through…oh god, I have to stop because I can’t let my mind go back there again

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, again, because this book is EPIC. Like, battles everywhere, people good and bad just perishing and fighting evil in the face…there’s just a BUNCH of drama that makes you need to put the book down, but keep on reading, and then put the book down so you can grab a box of tissues because you will cry your eyes out for the last 200 or so pages of this series. It’s the finale of all finales. It’s a tough read, why? Because childhoods end. A story world created a magical place that has to now come to a close even though it breaks your heart to let it go on without you.

 

What are some of the titles that were difficult to read through? A few of these books aren’t even on my shelves anymore, that’s how much of a tough time I had reading them.

 

Until next time, Linz aka The Kid 🙂

 

*images not mine–no copyright infringement intended 

Side Effects May Vary: Review

In early February I wanted to participate in a ARC tour that I saw via my Twitter feed, for the blog On the Same Page (former LitLushes). I was looking forward to joining and started right up as soon as the book arrived in my mailbox. I had seen it’s title pop up on my social media but wasn’t actually sure what the plot was about.

Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Pages: 336, Paperback
Received Copy: ARC tour at On the Same Page/Literary Lushes blog courtesy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

.  .  .  .

Side Effects May Vary features Alice, and her guy best friend’s, Harvey, lives that weave through past and present scenes as well as his/her points of view throughout the novel. Alice is a sophomore who gets the shock of her life when she gets told that she has cancer and the outlook for her future seems short. She’s in the prime of her teenage life: Prom, learning to drive, love, friendships, college decisions to look forward to–which now have all come to a halt because of her ailing health. Alice relies on Harvey, her best friend to lean on, and help her carry out some revenge on a not so nice ex-boyfriend and the school’s popular, bad girl as well as Alice’s nemesis. In the process Harvey and Alice have their friendship lines blurred and strengthened all throughout the book.

Overall this was a tough book to rate because I wasn’t much of a fan, but here goes…

Things I liked:

the Cover…
It’s colorful and very appealing to the eye. While looks may be deceiving, I knew looking forward to a heartfelt book that I wanted to invest my time in reading.

the Book Length…
I don’t think the book needed to be any longer than it should’ve been. Definitely just the right amount of pages–maybe a little more to the ending to thicken it out.

Things I didn’t like:

the Characters
Honestly, I don’t believe any of the cast of characters had any redeeming qualities about them. It’s difficult to immerse yourself in a story when you don’t enjoy either protagonists–they kind of drove me crazy. I could probably break down each one but I won’t. I also couldn’t identify myself with any of the characters, not on any real level. Yes I may have the desire to act out like Alice, be desperate like Harvey but in the end, their behavior just didn’t flow very well, I just wasn’t much of a believer.

S
E
M
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S
P
O
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the Ending
With everything that had happened to both Alice and her behavior and Harvey in his naivety, I had hoped the ending could save this and maybe for some readers it did get better, but for me, I stillwas not into it.

 

While I participated in the ARC tour, I still wanted to give my opinion. Truthfully I do not want to be a blog catered to just reviewing everything that I loved reading–I feel it’s important to focus on the good and not-so-good. Unfortunately, I haven’t had to write many not-so-good reviews–this is really my first. But the important thing is I want to give an honest opinion. I say if you were looking forward to reading the book you still should! I’d most likely borrow it from a friend or get it from the library in case you’re still skeptical and don’t end up liking it. Hopefully this wasn’t too harsh–there are tons of books that I fall head over heels reading and some just don’t appreciate them like I do, which is okay…I may be side-eyed and judging you, LOL, but I get it. You do have opinions too. I’d love for you to have the same respect for mine as I do for yours.

If you read it, let me know what you thought about it….did you like it? Agree or disagree? Thanks in advance!
Linz xx

Winger by Andrew Smith: Review

The following review is for a MUST READ! (I knowwwww, I’m WAY behind the times, but the point is, I read this awesome book and so should you!!)

*glasses not included*

*glasses not included*

Winger (Winger #1)
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 439, Hardcover
Received Copy: Personal Library

Synopsis: (via Goodreads)

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Winger is a tale of a dorky teen who copes with the classic problems of fitting in, not only in high school but in life itself–and I absolutely loved the humor and a bit of heartbreak. The fresh perspective of Ryan Dean West, a fourteen year old who is actually a junior at a boarding high school for the wealthy, made me wonder if I actually have the mind of a teenage boy because I understood it completely! The timeline of the story starts from Ryan Dean’s arrival in O-Hall (the dorm for the problematic students, 99% boy population, 1%  female population consisting of creepy-possible-witch teacher, Mrs. Singer) until right after Thanksgiving of the same school year. Don’t worry…a sequel is promised and don’t fret, no cliffhanger for book #1! The illustrations/comics/charts that Ryan Dean provides are an awesome bonus into a literal translation for his thoughts for some of his situations.

Things I Liked:

Humor. . . .
I most definitely enjoyed Ryan Dean’s POV and how he’s stuck between little boy adorable and having big “figurative” balls in all of the shenanigans he gets himself into. As well as the perverted conversations that never stop, no matter what gender or how old, things are always taken to the next level.

the Language. . . .
I liked how Andrew Smith wasn’t afraid to be authentic. To be have this written from the mind of a growing boy. Boys are crude. Boys are mean. Boys are masculine. And this shows through the day to day language in high school and with friends and was present throughout the whole novel.

the Story. . . .
I loved the trials and tribulations between Ryan Dean and those he encounters throughout the story. His epic nights with Chas Becker–fellow rugby teammate and douchebag extraordinare, the pining and flirting he does for female and best friend Annie Altman, the perversions with best friends JP and Seanie, and the incredibly beautiful friendship he makes with Joey Cosentino (which is my absolute favorite!).

Sentence-Structure. . . .
Ryan Dean-has-the-most-epic-run-on-sentences-you-will-ever-encounter-in-a-book-and-I just-fell-in-love-with-them!

Things I Didn’t Like:

I really didn’t have any aspect of the book that I didn’t love. I know that it took me a little while to get fully engrossed. I definitely was captivated from the beginning–but I think real life as well as my intense book-a-thon I read right before starting Winger which might have taken away my reading momentum and tired me out. Other than that no other complaints.

Overall I have to say, this book is a must for your bookshelf! My typical reads are a little bit of love and romance, a little alternate universe, possibly a downer story or two, vampires and magic, mystery and suspense, and obviously all of the falls under the YA lit genre. And even though I have a decently diverse appetite for YA lit, I think most will read this and finish it thinking, “Wow, I’m really glad I made the decision to read this.” I also think the story stays with you. While I usually get more involved with characters than the average reader, one particular scene in this book has stayed with my and I don’t know if I’ll forget it. I still have the heaviness from what I read and I kind of like that. The author did their job, helping you bond with their story and characters.  Own it in some form–but most likely go for the physical copy because the drawings are just so awesome–much better when it’s viewed on paper instead of digitally 😉

Until next time….and if you’ve read the book share your thoughts! Did you like? Were you not as impressed with the story as I was? Comment down below!

xx Linz