Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

 

Goodreads Summary:

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

Review:

Let’s get started.

I’m not sure if I liked how cyberbullying and racism was dealt with in this book. Maybe my perspective is different because I am a part of the minority, but in my eyes the main character didn’t fully realize the wrongness in her comment, but then I also don’t think cyber-bullying people is the key to making a person realize their wrong doing. That just leads to them becoming a victim too. Most of the book dealt with Winter being a victim, than about racism. I wish more had come out of the severed friendship with one of her friends. Then we could have really talked about racism. It was nice though that she realized that it is not easy for those that don’t look a certain way. That scene at the gas station I applaud.

Overall, I think it was a good attempt at raising awareness, but it felt short. This won’t stop me from reading future books by Leila as I like some of her past novels, I just don’t like how she handled the sensitive topics in this one.

Rating: 2.5 of out 5

Note: I received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program.

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Reviews, Special Review, ya contemporary

ARC Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

Review:

Why doesn’t anybody love me as much as I love them?

Arden, arden, arden. I know how you feel. I think everybody at some point in their life asks themselves that same question, and it is such a Leila thing to make a book around that question. (FYI, have been a huge Leila Sales fan ever since I read This Song Will Save You Life. Sales fan for life!)

We start of TTSAO with Arden taking the blame for something her best friend Lindsey did, but this time it’s not something small, but big. It is something that will have serious repercussions to her future, and that starts the domino effect which brings us to her asking herself the question if we love others more than they loves us?

SPOILERY SECTION

Now that you’re warned let’s begin. Sales takes us on a journey that helps us see why we may think we love others more than they love us. The journey really begins when Arden discovers the blog “Tonight The Streets Are Ours” written by Peter who asked himself the same question she had asked herself moments ago. Every post she reads makes her evaluate her life, her relationships, and along the way helps her see why her mother left, why her dad is the way he is, and why Lindsey acts the way she does. Sales teaches us that we can get burnt out if we only take care of others and not ourselves.

Sales also brings to the readers attention something called a blank check. A blank check is basically something we give someone. They can cash it whenever they want, how many times they want, whatever the favor may be.

I will finish this review of with a quote towards the end of the book.

“I used to think that loving somebody meant sacrificing anything for them. I thought it meant writing a blank check. I thought it meant that you would die without each other. But it turns out that Peter was right about that, too: death and a broken heart are not the same.” -Arden

GO BUY OUT YOUR COPY TODAY! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

Banes & Noble | Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Emma @ Miss Print which she obtained at BEA 2015 for review consideration. 

Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

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Goodreads Summary:

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

My Initial Thoughts:

At first I thought… a book about a girl that is suicidal?! I didn’t want to read it, but the whole DJ thing intrigued me cause I LOVE music. Then Kayla was like read it for me first and I was like OKAY! 🙂

Review:

You can say I read this book in two parts. I read the first half about 3 weeks ago and the other half tonight, and it was a good idea. Why? I coincidently stopped reading right before it all went down in the story. Anyways, let’s get down to business.

The main character, Elise, is not your typical suicidal girl. She is not craving attention. She just wants someone to see her and not just ignore her. I think we can all relate to her. We have all felt invisible at some point in our lives. What struck a chord in me were her habits and ways of dealing with life (not her suicidal tendencies, but how she dealt with life after her attempt).

My second year of college was a hard one. I was tired but wired a lot of the time. At night I would walk around campus, past midnight, trying to tire myself out so that I could sleep a few hours. I would put on my headphones and try to forget the world around me. Elise and I are so similar in that way because she would do the exact same thing to tire herself out, it was weird. I was like… how does the author know this I did?! I didn’t come across a underground party, or learn to DJ, but it was surreal to see a little of myself in Elise.

This story is so powerful because it shows us that this life is worth living. Yes, this world may suck at times (or a lot of the times) and we may not be happy with the cards life gave us, but we can make the best of it. The main message of this book is “Do not settle on being ordinary, be extraordinary”. We can all do that in our own individual ways if we try.

I really wish we got to see more of Henry though. That’s my only complaint. 🙂

Rating : 5/5