The Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Book Tag

I stumbled across the Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Book Tag on the Bookshelves & Paperbacks blog and loved the idea instantly!  So here are my ice cream themed reads 🙂

Vanilla Caramel Fudge: Pick a light, fluffy contemporary

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.25.49 PM

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally is a really cute, light contemporary read for days when you don’t want your book to drag your mood down.

Mint Chocolate Cookie: a new release that you wish everybody would read

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.43.05 PM

A Step Toward Falling is a book I can’t promote enough! It gives a super accurate depiction of people with disabilities, has a great storyline, and ends takes on tough issues while still being able to have light and sweet moments.

Karamel Sutra Core: a last book in a series that you were completely satisfied with

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.26.21 PM

The One is an example of over eating something super sweet.  Everything wrapped up so perfectly with little conflict that I was a little disappointed.  Even the love triangle ended up not really being a thing because one of the guy’s had one foot out the door.  This book is an example of overindulgence in this ice cream metaphor 🙂

Cherry Garcia: an ending that was bittersweet

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.26.40 PM

Harry Potter was “the series” of my childhood. I loved how it ended, but was sad to see it was all over.

Strawberry Shortcake: a book containing your OTP of OTPs

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.33.31 PM

Mac and Sydney’s relationship is one of my favorites. They don’t have instant chemistry that jumps off the page from the moment they meet and their relationship isn’t the sole focus in either of their lives.  I like how they look out for each other, and their relationship feels a lot more natural than some depicted in other YA novels.

Milk & Cookies: two authors that if they collaborated, they would go perfectly together

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.26.04 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.27.15 PM

If Laurie Halse Anderson and John Green wrote a book together, I would have that thing preordered months in advance.  I think their writing would compliment each other really well, and would love to see them work together someday.

Boston Cream Pie: a book that had you turning pages late into the night

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.27.34 PM

I’ll have a review of this book up soon! With the alternating chapters from different times and perspectives, I’ll Give You the Sun does a great job of keeping information from readers until the perfect moment, making this an ideal page turning read.

Chocolate Therapy: a book that makes you feel better after a long day of life

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.27.54 PM

Having read this before and knowing how things turn out, Ugly Love is the perfect book to make me laugh, cry, and just expel all my nonsense emotions after a long day 🙂

Coffee, Coffee, buzzbuzzbuzz!: a book not yet released that you can’t wait to get your hands on

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.28.13 PM

I read Ink and Bone earlier this fall and really enjoyed it.  I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens to these characters in Paper and Fire.

A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.43.05 PM

“Friendships are complicated. Friends have power. Friends can break your heart.”

A Step Toward Falling

by Cammie McGovern

Rating: 5/5 Stars

     A Step Toward Falling is a contemporary dual perspective novel that chronicles the lives of two high school girls who have both been affected by a bullying incident.

     Emily is a high school student who witnesses Belinda, a student with developmental disabilities being assaulted and walks away without acting.  Now she and Lucas, another bystander who failed to act, must complete community service at a center that serves people with disabilities.  As time passes Emily begins to feel like she is making a difference in the class, but still feels guilty about the night of the attack.  When Belinda returns to school Emily makes a plan that she hopes will show Belinda how sorry she is and also give Belinda some positive attention that is long overdue.  As new information about the night of the attack comes to light however, Emily begins to second guess how to best help Belinda, and wonders if she is going to end up hurting her more in the end.

     Belinda has not returned to school since she was attacked.  She has fallen into a routine of watching Pride and Prejudice repeatedly hoping to rediscover the comfort she used to find in watching her favorite movie.  She used to believe that there were people like Mr. Darcy in the world but now she isn’t sure.  While her grandma and mom are very understanding and don’t mind that she is taking time off from school, Belinda knows she has to go back.  As Belinda tries to return to her school routine, she begins to understand that things have changed.  She needs to learn to adjust to new roles in her classroom and also finds that she may have some new friends to help her with all of these changes.

Review: This is McGovern’s second novel that I have fallen in love with.  She has a wonderful way of making people with disabilities her protagonists without making the conflict of the novel center around their disability.  Did Belinda’s disability play into how she recovered or reacted to her attack? Of course, but it wasn’t the only motive driving her actions or determining the next plot point.

     I loved the complexity of the feelings and people in this story.  This is seen best through the inaction of Emily and Lucas, despite neither of them being “bad kids”.  They froze, and despite their parents and peers telling them that it isn’t their fault or there is nothing they could have done, it’s not true.  Despite their mistakes at the beginning of the novel however, Emily and Lucas show great maturity in accepting their punishment and doing everything they can to improve the lives of the people they are meant to be serving.

    I cannot recommend this book enough! Whether to learn more about people with developmental disabilities, or just to read a YA book with great themes, character growth, and a heartwarming message.

Top 5 Friday: YA I Can’t Wait to be Published

This Friday I’m talking about the 5 books I am most excited to read in the coming months.  These all sound really unique and interesting, I can’t wait to finally be able to read them!!

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.45.17 PM

A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis – released October 6th

A Madness so Discreet is about Grace Mae, a patient at an asylum at the turn of the 19th century.  While most people write Grace off because she is institutionalized, Dr. Thornhollow recognizes the intelligence under Grace’s madness.  After transferring her to a more humane institution, Grace works as his assistant in the crimes he investigates.  As Grace gains more hope about her future an unknown killer threatens to take it all away.  This looks like it will be dark and sure to keep me on my toes!

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.43.05 PM

A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern – released October 13th

I loved Say What You Will by McGovern and look forward to her second novel.  This book is about the consequences and lessons two high school seniors learn after witnessing a fellow student being attacked and not taking any action to help her.  They are assigned community service hours at an organization that serves teens with disabilities, in the hopes that they will learn more about people who are like the girl they were unwilling to help.  This is such an important topic that everyone needs more exposure to. I am excited to get McGovern’s take on it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.43.32 PM

Front Lines by Michael Grant – released January 26th

This is a alternative history of World War II where women are subject to the draft.  It follows three girls who have enlisted and describes their trials and they fight Germany in Europe.  This sounds really intriguing and I am interested to see how Grant approaches not just the difficulties of war but also the social judgement and discrimination these girls may face as a result of doing a job that does not fit the gender norm of the time period.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.44.09 PM

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto – released February 2nd

This novel takes on the Wild West in a steam punk style.  Westie is a young women who has grown up with a mechanical arm after losing hers in an attack on the Wagon Trail.  Revenge also has an aspect of magic to it, although I am not sure where it comes into play.  I’m excited to read about this protagonist who has an extremely tough exterior and seems very independent.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.44.42 PM

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine – released February 23rd

This is a fantasy retelling of Snow White.  Lorelai is an outlaw who must use magic to overthrow the queen and her stepmother.  The Huntsman in this retelling, is a prince from a neighboring kingdom, named Kol, who needs the queen’s magic in order to avenge his family’s death.  After meeting and realizing that neither is what they expected, Kol and Lorelai must figure out how to achieve their conflicting goals without the queen’s knowledge.

OTP Playlist

I was challenged by Bookish Freaks to make an OTP playlist and here is what I came up with:

 

Lilac & Taver – These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

After the Storm – Mumford and Sons

 

Arin & Kestrel – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Poison & Wine – The Civil Wars

 

Hazel & Augustus – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Growing Up – River Run North

 

Amy & Matthew – Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Stubborn Love – The Lumineers

 

Kristen & Darren – None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Invisible by Hunter Hayes (covered by VictorP)