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Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica HesseGIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse Book Review
Publication Date: April 5th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations

Book Summary: An unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times

The missing girl is Jewish. I need you to find her before the Nazis do.

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person—a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Meticulously researched, intricately plotted, and beautifully written, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice in historical fiction.

Book Review Overview:

  • Just another World War II book? NO!
  • I loved Hanneke because she’s a flawed protagonist
  • I learned new things about WWII and the Holocaust!

I was in the middle of a reading slump when I picked up GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first since this book was compared to Number the Stars. I don’t take comparisons to what I deem as a classic very lightly. But from the very first page, I already knew I was going to enjoy Girl in the Blue Coat immensely.

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , | Words 481 words



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All We Have is Now by Lisa SchroederALL WE HAVE IS NOW by Author Book Review
Publication Date: July 28th 2015 by Scholastic Point
Rating: – Poor

Book Summary: What do you do with your last day on earth?

Just over twenty-four hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city’s quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people’s wishes—and gives them his wallet full of money.

Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day—maybe even their own.

Book Review Overview:

  • A light apocalytpic novel with the feel of a contemporary novel
  • Failed to make a connection with the characters
  • The premise of the plot doesn’t make sense at all

In just over 24 hours, an asteroid will make impact with earth. All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder follows two teens who decide to make the most of their last day on earth by making people’s dreams come true. With the constant onslaught of post-apocalyptic/dystopian worlds, it’s refreshing to see a light apocalyptic novel with the feel of a contemporary novel. I like the idea of the characters embracing life during their last moments and living it to the fullest.

Vince and Emerson are two homeless teens living in Portland, Oregon. Emerson is a runaway, who left home after she could not get along with her mother’s new boyfriend. Her best friend, Vince, is a foster kid who decided to leave the system and try living on his own. Unfortunately, I failed to make a connection with either of these characters. The lack of connection made it very difficult for me to empathize with their problems.

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Two Stars - , , , | Words 480 words



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The Start of Me and You by Emery LordTHE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord Book Review
Publication Date: March 31st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Rating:  – Acceptable |

Book Summary: Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened–when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her–the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club–simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Book Review Overview:

  • Wished that the cast of characters was more diverse
  • Full of friendships; these characters were actually nice to each other
  • Super cute romance

In THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord, it’s been over a year since Paige’s 2-month boyfriend died drowning from an accident. Ever since, she’s been known as That Girl. She’s determined to overcome her trauma and to move on, she makes a plan that includes: get back to socializing with her peers, date again, participate in more extra curricular activities, and most importantly, get over her fear of drowning and swim again.

While I’m not usually one to constantly gripe about the lack of diversity in book publishing, I couldn’t help but complain this time around. I honestly almost stopped reading THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord after the first fifty pages because I just couldn’t help but feel that the novel was so white-washed. There could have easily been a minority character in the novel without having it become a race-centric novel. It just gets really disheartening after a while to read a fun, contemporary YA when everyone is white. Like where’s the cute romance for Asian teens? Why can’t my younger self have a high school romance? // End rant.

But despite the lack of diversity in THE START OF ME AND YOU, I ended up liking the book a lot. One of the things that I enjoyed the most out of this novel was the fact that it was full of positive, reaffirming friendships. These girls and guys are just nice people! And the few times where they aren’t so nice to each other, they own up to it and they apologize for their horrendous behavior. I have to say, it was refreshing to read a novel where teenagers are treating each other with respect.

The romance in this book is a bit predictable, but that’s okay because the journey is where all the fun is at. From the beginning, it was obvious to me whom Paige was going to end up with, and I spent the whole book gleefully waiting for it to happen. It’s one of those romances where it’s obvious to everyone in the novel but the couple.

I honestly didn’t think I was going to like this book at all, so I’m glad that I read all the way through. The lack of diversity in the novel really kills me though, and this book would have been a 4-star read if the characters had been more diverse. The romance was adorable and I loved how their relationship progressed over the course of the book. I’ll definitely read more of Emery Lord’s books in the future!



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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , | Words 766 words



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