The Start of Me and You: A Book Review

Knowing what happens is different from knowing how it happens. And the getting there is the best part.

Book: The Start of Me and You

Author: Emery Lord

The Start of Me and YouBlurb:

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?

My thoughts:

Right now, I am rooting around somewhere deep in my brain for the perfect word to describe this book. Genuine. People, there is nothing affected or unnatural about this book. It is the very honest, very natural story of a teenage girl. (Period, no semi-colon or ellipsis).
Yes, she was the girlfriend of the boy who drowned. But that’s not her whole identity. After all, they only dated for two months and the story begins a year after his death. Really, the only thing lingering about him is her swimming phobia, and random strangers in her small-town walking up to give her their condolences. Yes, she was sad for what could have been. And she felt it was a terrible tragedy to have someone close to you die in such a horrible way, but she’s moved on with her life. (Unlike some other YA protagonists I can think of after break-ups. *Cough*Bella Swan*Cough*).

If you’re looking for a book about a ‘broken’ heroine healing due to the love of a persistent white knight, look elsewhere. Paige isn’t broken. Sure, she has problems. For one thing, her happily-divorced parents are dating again (and Paige is too mature to hope for a Parent Trap ending). Another, her Grandmother is slowly wasting away due to Alzheimers. Three, she’s mildly jealous of her best-friend’s charisma and presence (especially since her long-time crush seems to be crushing on her). But there is no white-knight on the scene. Yep, Max is cute- but for the most part he acts in friend capacity.

And this is really the strong point of the book: the friendships. This book explores what friendship means, and the friendship between Paige, Tessa, Kayleigh and Morgan is one of the most natural ones I have seen. Sure, there are hiccups down the road (how could there not be when each and every one of them have such distinct personalities?). But, the girls always have each other’s back.

In friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.

I haven’t really talked about Max at all, have I? What can I say, Max is adorable. As a fangirl, I loved all the references he made. He encourages Paige to be more confident, to go-for-it (whatever it may be). I think one of the things I love about the romance in this book is how comfortable Paige is with Max.

Ryan Chase was my eighth-grade collage, aspirational and wide-eyed. But Max was the first bite of grilled cheese on a snowy day, the easy fit of my favorite jeans, that one old song that made it onto every playlist. Peanut-butter Girl Scout cookies instead of an ornate cake. Not glamorous or idealized or complicated. Just me.

Another thing I need to mention, the grown-up’s in this book are pretty awesome.
Ms. Peppers:She plays the role of the cool English teacher (as long as you don’t make jokes about Dr. Pepper and Mr. Salt in front of her).
Max’s mom is portrayed to be incredibly strong. And Grandma, Mom and Dad are all supportive and understanding. It’s really great to see such relatable adults in a YA book.

If you want a honest, sincere and genuine book- this is the one for you. This book will make you smile, and you’ll put the book down your heart a little bit warmer, and your head brimming with possibilities.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Other Books Like This: 45 Pounds More or Less, Fangirl, The Art of Lainey

Quotables:

“Our little nerd,” Kayleigh said, pretending to dab at her eye. “All grown up and competing against other nerds.”

Before I could tell them I was fine, Morgan’s arms engulfed me and Kayleigh was right beside us, pulling Tessa in, too. I could pick out their scents–the soft vanilla of Morgan’s perfume and the floral of Kayleigh’s hair and the spearmint gum that Tess chewed any time we were outside of school. With our arms around each other, I almost believed that strength could travel between us like the heat of our bodies. Nothing, not even sadness, could be greater than the sum of us.

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Made You Up: A Book Review

Please don’t let this be a delusion. Please let this be real.”

Book: Made You Up

Author: Francessa Zappia

Made You UpBlurb:

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

My thoughts:

This book made me bawl. Like a baby. Before I began to read this, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to have to second guess whether everything I saw was real or not. I couldn’t imagine having to take pictures so I could pore over them later to evaluate whether that Nazi gas mask was a figment of my imagination or not.  I couldn’t imagine being unable to trust myself. I couldn’t imagine ever being strong enough, brave enough to accept a mental disease but determined to make my way through life with it. I couldn’t imagine it then, but now I don’t have to. Because, people Ms. Zappia already did that for me via Alex.

“Was everything made up? Was this whole world inside my head? If I ever woke up from it, would I be inside a padded room somewhere, drooling all over myself?
Would I even be myself?”

As an unbelievably brilliant but unreliable narrator, Alex’s definitely one of my favorite heroines of 2015.  She has depth- and she’s so sincere, your heart will break for her over and over again. But at the same time, she’s so plucky (I’m sorry to use such an old-fashioned word, but it’s really the only one that works) and determined to work past her mental illness, that you have to admire her too. She’s kind of a bitch, so it’s hard to feel sorry for her. But it’s so easy to like her, to care for her (and what happens to her) and to love her.

“You know a school is run by stuck-up sons of bitches when it doesn’t even have a bike rack.”

Though this book is about schizophrenia (A mental disorder triggered by a breakdown which leads to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation), it’s not all about a girl who’s suffering from a disorder. Alex is a real girl who exasperatedly loves her little sister, engages in prank wars, baits mean-girls and forms strong friendships.

As for the romance- Oh my god, I’m still fangirling over it! There is no insta-love and there are no love triangles (which we’re all very grateful for, I’m sure). Miles (red hair,blue eyes and a possible sociopath- which is really rare to see in YA love interests) and Alex are imperfect characters- not broken characters who need to fix each other, just imperfect ones- who gradually fall in like and then in love with each other. They both combat aspects of their personalities they dislike in themselves, but just being around each other brings out the most beautiful parts of their character in a very natural way. Together they’re unabashedly nerdy, sarcastic, witty, supportive- and altogether, perfect.

“Dear Asshole : Thank you for keeping your word and believing me. It was more than I expected. Also, I’m sorry you were inconvenienced by my gluing your locker shut at the beginning of this year. However, I am not sorry that I did it, because it was a lot of fun.
Love, Alex.”

If you want a book that will really make you feel, something that’ll end with you throwing the book away, collapsing into tears and then lovingly picking up the book again to read it sometime when you’re stable again- then this is the book for you. If you want something that explores perspectives and reality- then this is the book for you. If you want something beautiful, profound and heartbreakingly compelling -this is the book for you.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Other books like this; Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Hatelist by Jennifer Brown

Quotables;

“People say teenagers think they’re immortal, and I agree with that. But I think there’s a difference between thinking you’re immortal and knowing you can survive. Thinking you’re immortal leads to arrogance, thinking you deserve the best. Surviving means having the worst thrown at you and being able to continue on despite that. It means striving for what you want most, even when it seems our of your reach, even when everything is working against you.”

“I didn’t have the luxury of taking reality for granted. And I wouldn’t say I hated people who did, because that’s just about everyone. I didn’t hate them. They didn’t live in my world.
…But that never stopped me from wishing I lived in theirs.”

“Intelligence is not measured by how much you know, but by how much you have the capacity to learn.”

“Believing something existed and then finding out it didn’t was like reaching the top of the stairs and thinking there was one more step.”

“There were three of them, all with rapiers, and she had only a dagger. It would have been a wretchedly uneven fight, if she were human.
It was still a wretchedly uneven fight; it was just uneven in her favor.”

Book: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound

Blurb:

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

My thoughts:

I really don’t know where to start with this book. I mean, I thought Cruel Beauty was good but when I was done with this book I think I just sat stupefied, my mind a blank vacuum. And I mean that in the best way possible. This book is a mashup of Red Riding Hood and The Girl With No Hands (off the top of my head, I can’t figure out which fairytale that was-but don’t worry, the story had some elements which gave me an eerie sense of deja-vu). Normally, I have no patience at all for Little Red. I don’t mean to sound callous, but if you’re a little girl and a wolf tries talking to you on your way to Gramma’s house, then you start screaming and run to the closest crowded place. Jeeze, isn’t that the whole point of Stranger Danger? But Rosamund Hodge did something miraculous in Crimson Bound- she made Red Riding Hood relatable. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a hero? And which teenager hasn’t felt that ridiculous bit of hubris that we could save the world- or if not that, at least change it for the better? I have to admit, my answer to both questions is a ‘not me’. But I’ve learnt that sometimes, our harmless attempts to save the world end up hurting ourselves. And sometimes, talking to a creepy stranger in an attempt to figure out how to defeat his master ends with a pervert taking away what makes you human and dooms you to the life (or maybe, just an existence) of becoming a creep like him. And the result of this situation is one badass but relatable heroine who’s into self-flagellation (I’m weird because I’m majorly into figuratively self-flagellating protagonists. What can I say?  Their internal monologues are always interesting.)

Like always, Rosamund Hodge keeps the romance interesting, a little crazy and profound. Okay, make that a lot crazy and a very slow, sweet romance (I know, who would’ve thought?).There’s a confused sort of love-triangle, but even if you don’t like love triangles,  don’t immediately strike this book off your  list; the romance is so twisted and the characters are so confused about each other, you’ll end up liking it. And the writing is impeccably deep. Some lines or paragraphs will just strike  somewhere deep in your heart.

Be warned: Here lie intrigue and betrayal. Let me just say, I  saw those betrayals coming about as well as Rachelle did- which is to say, not at all. And those betrayals… they gutted me absolutely. If you like the kind of  books which will turn you inside out with their devastating plot twists (that you would have totally seen coming, if only you hadn’t been so absorbed in the story), then you will love this books to bits. You will love it even as the tears are running down your face. That’s a promise.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Quotables:

“This is the human way, she thought. On the edge of destruction, at the end of all things, we still dance. And hope.”

“Mademoiselle, you are very kind,” he said to Soleil. “But I did not lose my hands for the purpose of making you feel special.”

Other books to Read: Cruel Beauty, Juliet Immortal

Red Rising: A Book Review

Book: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)

Blurb:

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

My thoughts:

Any sci-fi fans out there? Any dystopian fans?
If you’re anyone of these, you’re going to love this book.
With absolutely no emphasis placed on worldbuilding (despite the amazing and complicated world that Pierce has created) you’re going to be thrown in head-first, just like Darrow is.
What happens when you find out that your whole world- no, your whole universe is a lie?
If you’re Darrow, then you infiltrate the upper echelons of the liars to bring out their hypocrisy and to snag their power. And you lie your ass off.

After his wife is executed, the only thing Darrow wants is revenge. The Sons of Ares transform him physically from a lowly Red to an upper-caste Gold. As he enters an institution to turn Gold born children into war-machines, space ship commanders and all-around masters of the universe, he’s thrown into a very dangerous game (modelled after life) where he’s forced to kill, to lead and to betray.

And as he forms strong friendships with his enemies-the Gold, he struggles with his own identity.
His own sense of communism is offended by how many liberties he and his friends take- but at the same time, he knows these liberties are the only things which allow him to survive.

This book deals with people. How to lead people, how to betray people and how to trick people. Darrow is a strong main character prone to flashes of anger and somewhat naïve at the beginning. The supporting characters- his wife, Mustang, Trey, Julian, Caleb, Roque, etc. are fleshed out character with real ambitions, real friendship and real betrayals.

The writing in this book is stupendous. Sometimes crude, sometimes flowery- always powerful.

Pick this book up and you’ll have 382 pages of action, violence and drama.
This dystopia is better than the Hunger Games and more exhilarating than Divergent. Read it.

Overall Rating: 4/5


Quotables:

“Funny thing, watching gods realize they’ve been mortal all along.”

“ ‘I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.’ ”

“Personally, I do not want to make you a man. Men are so very frail. Men break. Men die. No, I’ve always wished to make a god.”

“Promises are just chains,” she rasps. “Both are meant for breaking.”

Sloppy Firsts: A Book Review

Book: Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling Book #1)

Author: Megan McCarthy

Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1)

Blurb:

“My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? . . . I don’t see how things could get any worse.”

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment–from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

My thoughts:

This book confused me. There’s no other way to put it.
No wonder when it’s written in the form of a 16 year old’s diary. Yeah, life confuses me too.
It was a jumbled, confused mess of thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts were hopelessley shallow and petty and made me roll my eyes (I’m a teen I do stuff like that), while at other times I could relate with the MC so much I wanted to cry and then there was the occasional stray thought which was so introspective and profound that I could actually understand why she had been labelled a genius.
But throughout this book was raw. Raw and organic -which makes it sound like some healthy kind of food. Her writing was as tangential as mine (typical teen mind, I guess) but there was something beautiful about the fact that it was so unedited.
Fake friendships (I thought this was particularly interesting dealt since it dealt with both sides-being the untrue friend and being betrayed by someone else), being true to yourself (whatever that may be),parental expectations, appreciating the irony of life, unrequited crushes, missing friends, the consequences of drugs and manipulation- this book dealt with it all. And very poignantly, that too.
I don’t know if I liked this book, but I can’t deny that this book made me feel.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Vicious: A Book Review

…because having superpowers doesn’t make you a great hero.
Or even good.

Vicious

‘Vicious’ by V. E. Schwab (the pseudonym Victoria Schwab writes under when the book is less young adult and more gritty, dark and intense) is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read.To be honest, I’m nervous about doing justice to the book in this book review.
My problem: How do you capture about 500+ words of sheer awesomeness in about 500 words?

Story in short

Two pre-med students. Best friends and room mates. Brilliant, arrogant, ambitious.
Hidden jealousies. Rivalry.
Then- a thesis.
A theory that works.
An experiment that works too well.
And now, they both have super-powers.
But there’s something vitally human missing in them too.

Ten years an d a jailbreak later-
Two sociopaths- each convinced they’re less evil.
Two sociopaths and their superpwers.
Two sociopaths determined to see each other end.

The question is: How does it all end?
The more important question is: Who are you rooting for?

The Cast:

The whole cast of this production is certifiable…If the certificate was for the asylum, of course.
Right from the villain to the ‘protagonist’ to the supporting characters (read: sidekicks or lackeys) all of them are deeply and intensely insane.
Eli who goes by the name Eli Ever (he likes alliteration, folks) is firmly convinced that God gave him the task of killing  removing ( sorry, killing just sounds so messy)  all the other extraordinary people (people with superpowers) because they’re plain WRONG.
His sidekick/love interest/ manipulator (God only knows who or what she is), Serena hates the thought of  her little sister being ‘wrong’ so much, she’s willing to have her boyfriend murder her (the sister that is).
The aforementioned sister’s name is Sydney. She’s a necromancer who looks up to Victor with almost puppy-like devotion. The hero-worship (haha, no pun intended) is seriously unhealthy.
Our protagonist Victor (riiiight… the guy who has no compunctions about killing, torturing and lying to achieve his goals) is out to ‘get’ the villain. The two had a serious bromance going on, but becoming EO’s totally killed that.
Matt, Victor’s friend (not his bodyguard) is a buff,non-violent, criminal hacker (trust me, he really is). He’s the closest to normal but come on, if he’s hanging out with this group he can’t totally be right in the head.

The Writing:

Vicious is hands down the creepies book I’ve read in the last 365 days. It surpassed the Madman’s Daughter and even Unwind on the Shivers-Down-My-Spine Scale. And I loved every single second of it. Maybe even every fucking word.

Part of what makes this book so compellingly creepy is the fact that it’s written in 3rd person POV with several flashbacks. Normally, I shun these things like I would shun the plague or a misogynist.  But not only did Mrs. Schwab make it work-  she actually made me admire the writing style ( I am so jealous. I wish I could write like her).
The third person POV and the flashbacks gave us just enough information for us to get a good idea of the background and thoughts of the characters while allowing us to be detached enough to identify with ALL the characters; I’m  a bit horrified actually that I could relate to people so mentally disturbed.

No young adult author (although I would hesitate to call this book young adult since there’s all of one character who’s below the age of 20 and she’s 12) is as good as Victoria Schwab in hitting that perfect balance between lyrical and efficient. Take this quote for example:

…something about Eli was decidedly wrong. He was like one of those pictures full of small errors, the kind you could only pick out by searching the image from every angle, and even then, a few always slipped by. On the surface, Eli seemed perfectly normal, but now and then Victor would catch a crack, a sideways glance, a moment when his roommate’s face and his words, his look and his meaning, would not line up. Those fleeting slices fascinated Victor. It was like watching two people, one hiding in the other’s skin. And their skin was always too dry, on the verge of cracking and showing the color of the thing beneath.

Holy crap, right?

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone else who’s so supremely good with the plot twist. Mrs. Schwab has a tendency to write out a huge build up which has you on the edge of your seat and forces you to draw some pretty obvious conclusions.  Then, she suddenly yanks you out of your seat by refuting everything you thought was true with a plot-twist. It’s brilliant and kind of sadistic (trust me, I don’t use these words lightly after reading this book) .

Vicious is Megamind (the movie), Steelheart and American Psycho on stereoids. It creeped me out totally and absolutely.
But then, I loved it totally and absolutely too.

Ratings:

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Ending:5/5
Plotholes: I’d have liked a more hashed out backstory for Eli but other than that, this story was flawless.
Would I read another book by this author: Are you kidding me? Yes!

Overall Rating: 5/5

Pearls of Wisdom from the Book:

“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”

“The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren’t always protracted, heavy with meaning.”

“―We could be dead- said Eli.
―That‘s a risk everyone takes by living.”

“Anger flared through him, but anger was unproductive so he twisted it into pragmatism while he searched for a flaw.”

“I don’t want to be forgotten.”

Confronting Change: A reponse to Mountain Dew’s #RiseAgainstFear Challenge

” Do one thing everyday that scares you.”

Ever since I did a project on Eleanor Roosevelt in 3rd grade, she’s been a role-model. She was charismatic, fearless and bold- all things that I want to be (but I desperately fear I’m not).  I’ve done my best to follow this quote.

Doing one thing everyday that scares you can be a daunting task, but like all tasks, it gets easier with practice. I’ve deliberately pushed myself into doing things which scare me; stepping out of my comfort zone in tiny steps.

If you include pre-kg and nursery schools, I’ve been to 10 different schools. Considering I’m in 10th grade, that’s pretty impressive (or weird- you choose). Sometimes I switch schools despite the fact that I’m living in the same city. It’s all part of the master plan: to confront change.

Change is something that, by definition, humans are scared of. But it’s true- Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. So, I guess it’s up to us to get ourselves used to change, to learn how to cope with our life altering.

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
– The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Changing schools frequently is my attempt to get used to change. Every time I switch schools, I desperately miss friends (who promise to keep in touch and are actually pretty good at keeping their promises) and am overwhelmed by the thought of having to make new friends, deal with new teachers  and starting over again with a tabula rasa (blank slate). Does it get easier after 10 switches? No- not really. Every school is different, with different groups of people and different priorities and while I’m acclimatizing to it, I face a lot of uncertainty. There are tears, there are regrets and of course, there’s second guessing. For the first few months (sometimes a whole year), I’m constantly wondering “Did I make the right choice.”

I still don’t know. It’s impossible to guess what might have been (I think Aslan said something similar in Prince Caspian). But then along with the tears there is laughter to balance it out and with the old regrets come new and great friends. Every school and every set of friends and teachers has helped me shape who I am- for better or for worse.

Change is scary and the idea of confronting it is even scarier but I promise it gets easier. Change  is inevitable and it’s something we have to learn how to deal with.

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”
– Thirteen Reasons Why

Change and overcoming the fear which comes with change is a major theme in young-adult books. Here are a couple of must-reads about change and about learning how to overcome it.

  1. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  2. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
  3. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
  4. Hatelist by Jennifer Brown
  5. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

These books will inspire you to  go ahead. Confront change; Rise above your fears.

This post was in response to the Mountain Dew challenge #RiseAboveFear.
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