Title: The Girl with More Than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Mental Health
Rating: 4.75 Stars
The opening to The Girl With More Than One Heart was interesting as we are introduced to Brianna who father had an undisclosed heart condition and he had recently died from it. Brianna around this time believes she had a second heart that speaks to get in her father’s voice but it doesn’t make sense to her. This might just be a child’s way of dealing with the loss of a parent especially one she is close to. Brianna used to be close with her mother before the birth of her brother, Aaron but since then she had been a lot closer with her father which might explain her reaction to his death. She is not just dealing with grief and loss but the impending feelings of loneliness which isn’t something someone that she should have to go through.
While middle grade isn’t the sort of thing I normally read I have been trying to branch out more. I picked it up mainly because it features a deaf main character and it is written by a sign language interpreter so the representation is going to be accurate. We are introduced to Iris who is named after a whale that beached on the day she was born and it was a connection she shared with her grandparents since they are both deaf. Iris has a hearing parent in her father and she also goes to a hearing school which causes some issues since she needs an interpreter there but he is funny and Iris goes out of her way to make him laugh throughout the day. Iris also likes to fix radios despite not being able to hear as it presents a challenge to her and she is good at it, however, the recent death of her grandfather and the moving of her grandmother into a retirement home has shattered the connection that Iris thought she has to the world and she is struggling.
In May I read 14 books and really enjoyed most of them and I’m looking forward to June.
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave 4.5 Stars – The opening to The Deathless Girl interesting and most definitely gripping, we are introduced to Lillai ‘Lil’ and her twin sister Kizzy who are part of a Travellers group with many others including their mother and younger brother, Kem. When the Travellers come of age the undergo their divining day in which their futures are read to determine their paths and the twins are unique as they were born under a blood moon. Kizzy hopes to be a seer or a bear-rider like their mother who has a bear named Albu that has been a friend to the girls since they were born. However, while they are out gathering mushrooms one day their camp is attacked with many being killed or burnt in their wagons including their mother but Lil manages to free Albu from his post and get the bear to take Kem with him before she and Kizzy are captured along with some other including Fen, the boy who loves Kizzy. They realise that these men are employed by a Boyar and they are being taken to him possibly as slaves and for Kizzy and Lil this means they will never get their divining day and learn what paths they should have taken in life. Already I am intrigued by the characters and the magic system and can’t wait to see more of it as the novel progresses.
May was a good reading month for me as I read 14 books and most were over 3 stars and I am hoping for it to be better in June with the summer reading mood.
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave – They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin. On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community. Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts. They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…
Title: Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding
Genre: Non-Fiction, Culture, Sex Issues
Rating: 5 Stars
Recently I decided to look more into rape culture since I am survivor of rape myself but didn’t have many issues in getting my case brought to court and getting justice like so many other women have had. Asking For It seems to break down what is rape culture, what rape myths are, why these things came into being and what we can do about them. The introduction and the opening chapter introduces us to what rape culture is and where it originated and the seven main rape myths. While Harding briefly breaks down these things she will go into further depth later on in the book. The rape myths are things many women and men have heard many times over the course of their lives, whether they have said it, had it said to them or heard about it from friends, family or colleagues. The fact of the matter is when you look at the numbers very few rapists are convicted, rape reports are low and statistically one in five women and one is seventy one men are likely to be raped at any given time and this will normally be committed by someone known to them. When you look at these bare facts even without going into depth it is hard to understand how rape culture can even exist but we have to take into account that over the decades victim blaming, slut shaming and many other things have prevented women from coming forward and getting justice for what was done to them.
Title: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games Book 2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 4.75 Stars
I read The Inheritance Games in September of last year and really enjoyed it but I am only now picking up the sequel because I was waiting for the final book to be released so I can read them closer together. The opening to The Hawthorne Legacy picks up where The Inheritance Games left off with Avery and Jameson trying to figure out how his grandfather knew that Toby who alive and why he picked Avery for the game. As Avery doesn’t want to be used by the boys she makes a bet with Jameson about who can figure this mystery out first and it seems that Jameson has a head start because he is a member of the family and has access to people that knew Toby that probably won’t talk to Avery. She is also dealing with the cold Grayson, the eccentric Xander and the seemingly uninterested Nash along with her sister, Libby who is doing more harm than good right now. Avery is still trying to adjust to this new life and she realises that Toby who she knew as Harry is already in the wind again but the purpose of the game seems to be finding him and bringing him back into the family and repairing the broken bonds here. There is also a secret surrounding Avery’s birth that needs to be solved since it seemingly went to the grave with her mother and her deadbeat father has now re-entered the picture.
I picked up The Truth About Alice because it seemed like a quick and easy read and while it was quick I read it in a couple of hours, the subject matter at times wasn’t easy. We are follow four students from Healy High discussing the scandal surrounding another student, Alice Franklin. The other perspectives are that of Elaine, Kelsie, Kurt and Josh, at one of Elaine’s parties Alice allegedly slept with two boys, Brandon Fitzsimmons, the high school quarterback and Tommy, a local whose leaving for college soon. Just a few weeks later Brandon dies in a car accident and the reason for the crash as Josh mentions to the police is Alice sending him suggestive text messages. So, Alice becomes not only the school slut but a killer as well in the eyes of her fellow students. When the rumour emerges because of Elaine, Alice goes to her best friend, Kelsie and denies them but Kelsie isn’t sure if Alice is telling the truth or not. Kelsie stops being friends with Alice to protect her own reputation which she has worked hard for but it means Alice has no one to support her now. Josh, Brandon’s best friend, was in the car when he died but survived and it is Josh who starts the text messaging rumour by accident to protect himself even though both boys were drunk at the time of the crash.
I haven’t read anything by Cassie Mint in the past but her Christmas themed novella seemed like a good place to start. I know this is holiday themed but I never have the urge to read these kinds of books during the holiday seasons for some reason so I am reading it in the summer. This novella only took me about 20 minutes to read from beginning to end so I would recommend the kindle edition if you can get it because it is so quick to read. The story is following Clara, a teenage runaway who is taken in by a bar owner named Jack who is the kindest, most caring person I have ever read about. He gives Clara a job and a place to live and when we meet her at the beginning of the story she is now 22 and has known Jack for several years and has a major crush on the older man.