• YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    The Place Between Breaths

    Grace, in turn, does her part, interning at the lab in the gene sequencing department daring to believe that one day they might make a breakthrough…and one day they do. Grace stumbles upon a string of code that could be the key. But something inside of Grace has started to unravel. Could her discovery just be a cruel side effect of the disease that might be taking hold of her? And can she even tell the difference? I expected this book to be a quick read and while the writing style is engaging I ended up taking my time to absorb this novel to try and understand the events that…

  • Memoir Book Reviews

    Heart Berries

    What an outstanding memoir, Heart Berries was unputdownable and is one of the few books that I would honestly read again. Terese’s prose is precise and strikingly beautiful even when she is talking about difficult topics. I read the book over the course of a day at work and I was fully absorbed in the author’s story. “I was not right to want to die. I didn’t want to leave my family. I liked my mind and its potential. I knew the type of burden I was. I was like my mother.” This book was a lot of things. It is a book about reckoning with mental illness and childhood…

  • Poetry Book Reviews

    Our Numbered Days

    If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing slam poetry or have never heard of Neil Hilborn before then I strongly urge you to check out some of his performances, particularly OCD and Joey. It will give you an idea of his voice and the strong emotional impact of his writing. “Love how you hate yourself sometimes, because goddamn, at least there’s still something to hate.” Our Numbered Days is a brilliant collection because it challenges readers to ask questions about themselves and take a look at their lives. Hilborn tackles some extremly heavy topics such as heartbreak, mental illness, depression, and suicide. Many of the poems are emotionally raw…

  • Josei Manga Reviews

    In Clothes Called Fat

    Noko is a binge-eater, she suffers from major depression due to crippling insecurity issues and the stress of being bullied at work. To cope with her depressive episodes she eats and eats and continues to eat until she can forget everything. As Noko’s binge eating spirals out of control so too does her weight, which makes her feel even more insecure about her body. Noko is trapped in a vicious cycle of shame over her body and gorging herself. She is emotionally dependent on her boyfriend, Saitou, who is manipulative and uses her. In order to solve her problems with other people Noko decides to lose weight, but in her…

  • YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    Bad Romance

    Bad Romance is a heartbreaking story about relationship abuse and self-loathing, and one of the most accurate portrayals that I’ve ever read. The book is exceptionally well-written, with developed characters that talked and acted like typical teenagers. It shows how a troubled home life can drive a young woman into the arms an abuser, trapped in a relationship because of dependency. Grace’s character changes gradually over course of the novel as her relationship with Gavin steadily spirals downhill. One of the things that worked really well for this novel is that it starts from the beginning, when Grace met Gavin and how they fell in love. Too often with stories…

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