Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Loose Ends List - Carrie Firestone

From the Publisher: 
It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.

Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.

With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.

My Review: 
The Loose Ends List was utterly perfect. While processing her emotions, Maddie and her family are on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise around the world. Though their experiences definitely aren't practical for the average, the emotions they experience while tying up loose ends and having grand adventures are for everyone. I knew I would cry, but I laughed so much more than I anticipated. This book is about so much more than losing a loved one, and I look forward to recommending it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

If I Fix You - Abigail Johnson

From the Publisher:
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .

My Review:
The strength displayed by Jill when she wakes to a goodbye post-it note from her mother is inspiring. Throwing herself into her work, Jill finds ways to move on during one hot Arizona summer. She tries to fix a lot of people and eventually discovers how to fix the most important people in her life, herself included. I would give this one 4.5 stars. It definitely demonstrates we don't always know what goes on behind closed doors and takes a look at relationships - both good and bad. Great for the Psych reading list.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

From the Publisher: 
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

My Review: 

As a high school librarian, I pretty exclusively read YA lit. After Me Before You was highly recommended by a student (and waiting on a hold list all summer), I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Recorded Books Audiobook versionMe Before You was every bit worth the wait. The variety of narrators (Susan Lyons, Anna Bentinck, Steven Crossley, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, and Owen Lindsay) absolutely brought a heart-wrenching narrative to life. I found Louisa's character so likable, and I enjoyed the bickering banter between Louisa and Will. Though I anticipated blubbering at the end, I felt comforted by the hope Louisa discovers in future possibilities. I look forward to seeing how the film interpretation holds up against the book.