Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

About

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.
In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

My Thoughts

I really liked this book. At first, I thought Nick was a boy but she’s not, her name is Nicole. In the first couple pages, I thought she was a gay brother to Dara. Then it becomes clear.

I really like the character Nick. She’s smart and knows herself. Dara on the other hand, I liked alright but it was mere toleration to see where the story was heading. It’s an interesting story, told from both Nick and Dara’s perspectives. When you get deep into the story, you may realize something isn’t quite right with Dara but you never expect it to be because Nick has taken over her identity after the car accident.

So after the car accident happens, Nick can’t accept that Dara has died. So she takes over Dara’s identity, all while still being herself. It’s a crazy, crazy thing but so brilliant in the writing. Oliver tricks you until it comes out in the very end what’s happened. After Nick saves the little girl who was missing for 10 days, it comes out that she thought she was looking for Dara this whole time. It’s twisted and just plain crazy, but it hooks you and you just have to know what happens.

I did have a problem with the parents. I know they’re going through loss also, a horrible loss of losing their daughter. But it’s like they forget to take care of their daughter who is still alive. The mom is popping pills, the dad is a drunk now…The only person who tries is the step mom who is painted as a lunatic and bad person- because she tries. It’s just frustrating. The reason Nick is so messed up is because the parents are just as messed up and not seeing a shrink either. Family therapy, anyone?

It was a great book though. It’s one that you have to know what happens because even though you think you know, you just don’t until the very end.

4 out of 5 stars!

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My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

About
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It was a really great story about a much too often shied away from topic, suicide. Aysel, whose name I didn’t know how to say until she explained it to a classmate, is a teen who really needs help. And the reader just knows that there’s something not right with her right away. Even though her reasons for her depression and suicidal thoughts are somewhat understandable, you still are screaming at her to tell someone, tell her mom or teacher. I mean it is sooo sad!

Aysel’s father murdered a young man, who was like the hero of the town, and is now in jail. Her life is messed up because people still talk about it, even 3 years later. And since her last name is the same as his, people relate what happened to her and then automatically assume the worst about her. But really, I think it’s in her head. I think she relates what happened to herself and she thinks the worst of herself. Which only increases her depression and reasons to commit suicide.

When she meets Roman, it makes you cringe a little because you’re like, no, you don’t need to commit suicide- you need to talk to someone and get this whole, I’m like my father, idea out of your head.

In the end, she not only saves Roman from his attempt at suicide but she saves herself from the thoughts in her head. They get help and they fall in love with each other.

4 out of 5 stars. Great YA book

The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

About

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

My Thoughts

I liked this book okay. Caggie is in understandable pain and sorrow after losing her kid sister. The thing is, she’s very guarded to the reader. not only was there a wall around her to her family and friends, but also to the reader. In order to like a character and love a book, recommend a book- the main character has to be relatable and open. Caggie is not. When she meets Astor, you just know something’s not quite right with him. And Caggie’s best friend and brother even tell her he’s not right in the head. But she doesn’t listen. I think that’s how it goes though, people tell you something you know in your heart is right, but you don’t listen cause you just know you’re right.

It all comes to a head and Caggie FINALLY realizes, ‘hey, Astor is bat shit crazy’ at the lake house when he sets the house on fire. Yea. It took until that point for her to get it.

It’s a quick read if you have a couple hours. I really like YA and this is a book I would recommend for those who are dealing with grief.

3 out of 5 stars.

Feral by Holly Schindler

About:

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley.

My Thoughts

This book really captured my attention from the get go. The book tells about both Claire and her life and Serena and her death. When you meet Claire, you like her because she’s a good person. Smart, studious, pretty. But her over-ambition is just going to get her in trouble. And it soon does. She is beaten almost to death by a gang because of a news article she wrote that was picked up by a news media outlet also. The gang beats her because she exposed a drug ring at the high school.

She survives the beating after months of rehab and healing. Her father takes a job in Peculiar, MO they move so she can return to school. She then encounters some strange and peculiar (haha oh yes, I did) people and things. One of the most unusual things are the feral cats that are everywhere. She meets a couple of her classmates right off and one of the them, Becca, sort of adopts her as her new best friend.

Serena you find out has disappeared. And no one has heard or seen her since school let out unexpectedly due to a snow storm. Serena was a member of the school newspaper and was working on a myth related to the school. Claire takes over the article and research to see if she can find out what happened to Serena. After a lot of research, she determines that Serena might have been on to something. Claire ends up stumbling upon a different secret as well during one of the school’s dances. A student and teacher are having an affair…that’s why Serena was killed! Apparently, her killer didn’t intend to (riiiiight) and it was all an accident.

It’s definitely a good read, and a quick read. The feral cats are creepy as hell, which adds to the mystery of the story.

4 out 5 stars!

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Back Cover:

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

My Thoughts:

This is a very cute book about a high school girl who works at a grocery store as a cashier. She is very isolated from others because of her overprotective mother and her type 1 diabetes. She doesn’t discuss her diabetes with people and few know she has it.
The story at first is a little slow, she seems a little anal with all her lists and the way she is. But she’s sweet and cute, and a lot self conscience. Her job is one that she likes and she has a MAJOR crush on one of the bag boys. The story really picks up when the store manager accuses ‘the younglings’ of stealing almost $10,000 dollars from a donation box for a Christmas drive they are holding. Because they are held for about 3 hours after closing, they really start to get to know each other. Plus, they figure out who actually stole the money! Helping the police catch him too.

The one ‘problem’ I had is after accusing them of stealing the money, holding them against their will for hours and hours, and being a complete douchenozzle, the manager offers them a free bakery item as an apology. Umm, excuse me…how about a raise? or a day off?

4 out of 5 stars. Very cute read and quick.