No Big Deal but…

I completed my Goodreads Book Challenge for this year already! 45 books…I definitely plan on reading more.

Fantastic news! Go me! Yay me! I’m awesome!

Do you have a book challenge for the year? How far along are you?

M

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

About

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

My Thoughts

This book was SO GREAT! I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good, emotional read. It’s also a good love story!

Sydney is a young girl whose brother, Peyton, is in prison for almost killing a young boy while he (Peyton) was driving drunk. Her parents freak out and now Sydney, who is a good daughter, sister, friend, is the one being put on lock down- which is the way it always happens it seems.

Sydney starts a new school and to procrastinate from going home, she starts to go to the little pizza place across the street. That’s where she meets the Chathams and makes a new best friend, and eventually, a boyfriend.

Sydney is a good, strong female character for this book. She tries desperately to overcome what her brother has done. She also wears the guilt of what he’s done more than anyone else. Her parents are clueless. Her mom is too preoccupied trying to get ‘golden boy’ Peyton out of prison or at least a reduced sentence. Her parents are clueless as to how Sydney feels or what she needs. I really had a BIG problem with her parents. They sort of redeem themselves in the end, but not really. They are selfish and bad parents.

Layla is the best friend that Sydney meets at the pizza place. Her parents own the restaurant and she does the register while her brother does deliveries. She is such a character! A great one! She was probably my favorite character in the book. She was independent, full of life, and knew her own mind. Plus, her obsession with french fries was so hilarious. She would definitely be a great friend to have. Her brother, Mac, is the ‘once upon a time I was fat kid but now I’m hot but don’t know it’ character that Sydney crushes on almost instantly. She and Mac end up together and this tears Sydney and Layla’s relationship apart for a split second because of the deception. Sydney helps Layla get out of a bad relationship also- that guy was totally freaky.

The title ‘Saint Anything’ comes from Sydney’s admiration of Mac’s saint necklace he wears. He gives her one to wear but doesn’t know who the saint is, and so Sydney dubs it her ‘Saint Anything’ necklace.

5 out of 5 stars! Dessen writes magic!

Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth #2) by Stacey Kade

About

After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare—former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead—finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this—ugh—“helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.

Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is—ahem—willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.

My Thoughts

I read the first in this series when it came out and was unaware there were more in the series until I was browsing the library. I really liked the first one and was pleasantly surprised when I found the rest of the series.

That being said…

It’s a typical high school love story- boy meets girl, boy likes girl…but you know, the girl is dead. A ghost. So that makes it interesting. Alona is your typical mean girl. Pretty. Popular. Stuck up. Totally the opposite of Will. Will is a goth. Black clothes. Not very happy go lucky. And he sees dead people and talks to them. Just your average Jo-schmo.

The thing is, their dynamic is perfect together. Will teaches Alona how to not be such bitch anymore in her spirit state and Will learns how to stand up for himself both to humans and ghosts.

Will learns the truth about his dad’s death and what his late night meetings really were. It’s definitely interesting to see how spirits affect Will and Alona too.

4 out of 5 stars. Good, quick read. Young adult readers will like it.