Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg Kason. Review and guest blog about being an expat in Hong Kong.

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: July 29th 2014
Pages: 337
Source: Publisher

Susan is a young American woman from Chicago, who suddenly get's the chance to do her master's degree in China. Having an interest in China for long, she doesn't hestitate and grabs this amazing opportunity with both hands. It is at the university in Hong Kong when she meets Cai, who is also studying there. Their relationship starts when they start living together in a dorm room. After a few months he proposes to her, and they marry. Susan has found the man of her dreams in Cai, and from the start she tries to be the good Chinese wife Cai expects her to be.

But soon little things start to change and little bursts starts to appear in the cement of their marriage. Cai is renting movies, the filthy kind, and Susan is ofcourse very bothered that he watches them in her presence. Cai is starting to setting his own needs higher then those of his wife.“I know what American wives are like. I also know what Chinese wives are like. And then there’s you!” When Susan tries to step up to him, he loses his temper and gives her the silent treatment for days. Susan though tries to keep him happy and makes excuses for his behavior. She even excuses him when she finds out he has be unfaithful to her and she has got an infection from it, She expects that things will get better when they move to San Francisco, where they have bought a house and eventually their son is born. But Cai has problems finding a job and adjusting to the American way of live. Things got even more worse when Cai's parents are coming over from China to live with Susan and Cai for a year. They have their own set of idea's of what's good for their son, which all not all the best idea's to set a healthy eating and sleeping pattern for him. And Cai is blaming all on Susan. Cai is going out almost every night, while he blames Susan for going away when she does. Susan even receives strange calls from unknown woman at her house, asking for Cai. When Cai threats to go back to China and take their son with him (with the treath of keeping him there as China hasn't signed the The Hague Convention for parental child abduction) Susan starts to see that she can't live like this anymore with Cai and has to stand up for herself and the wellbeing of her son for once and for all.

Good Chinese Wife is a moving and impressing memoir about a woman who is under the thumb of her abusive husband.  You see how Susan struggles with standing up for herself and how difficult it was to live with Cai. I sometimes wondered though why she let it pass for so long, and didn't seek help earlier, as her internal alarm bells ringed for a long time that something was very wrong in her marriage. Luckily her parents come to stay after Cai's parent's return to China, and they also see Cai's behaviour and advise Susan to seek counselling, something Cai also refuses to start. With a memoir with this topic, the danger lures that it relies to much on misery, but this book doesn't fall into that.  I thought it was very brave of Susan to keep up so long with Cai, and how she steps up for herself in the end is just very courageous, I did wonder though if it was the cultural differences that made this a bad marriage or it was just the wrong, wrong man which can be found everywhere. I also liked the different backdrops of the book that the author described very vividly, especially Hong Kong. Overall, I was very impressed  by Susan's story and I truly recommend this book to everyone interested in Asia.

Guest blog by author Susan Blumberg Kason about living as an expat in Hong Kong.
I first became interested in Hong Kong when my grandparents traveled there when I was young. After they brought me a wooden jewelry box, silk dragon slippers, and a satin Chinese jacket, I was hooked. But when my high school trip to China canceled our stop in Hong Kong due to high costs, I was determined to make my way there one way or another. I ended up living in Hong Kong for five years.
I’ve been back in the US for more than a decade now, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about those years in Hong Kong. So what was so magical about living in Hong Kong? I’ve put together eight highlights. (Eight is a good luck number in Chinese culture. It rhymes with wealth!)

1. Hong Kong has the most convenient public transportation. 
As an undergraduate, and later graduate student, I couldn’t afford the high cost of buying a car in Hong Kong. But I wasn’t alone, as most Hong Kong residents do not own cars. There’s no need! I remember first learning the train and subway routes. I also loved riding the double-decker buses. On Hong Kong Island, I enjoyed taking the charming old double-decker trams. And my favorite way to cross the harbor was to ride one of the old green and white Star Ferries. Hong Kong is a public transportation dream come true! 

2. Hong Kong is a great restaurant city.
As a student and later an entry-level copy editor, I ate very well in Hong Kong with little money. I loved the variety of Chinese restaurants alone! There were Chiu Chow and Cantonese restaurants from southern China; Beijing noodle places; Shanghai and Ningbo restaurants; spicy Sichuan and Hunan restaurants; and many others. Dim sum is very popular in Hong Kong, and I often enjoyed this Chinese brunch on a weekly basis. When I was pregnant with my oldest son, I craved starchy Italian pasta. That was no problem because Hong Kong has many western restaurants, too. I also enjoyed the Indian and Middle Eastern greasy spoons. 

3. Hong Kong is a great shopping city. Although the days of the 24-hour suit are over, Hong Kong is still a wonderful place to shop.  I must say, though, that I had a great time getting a suit custom-made during my first year in Hong Kong. My roommate and I shopped for fabric at a market. We then took a bus to a very local (ie, not an expat area) part of Hong Kong where we met with a tailor in her small apartment. I went back for a fitting before she finished the suit. It was a great experience! I also enjoyed shopping for people back home. After I bought my mother her first pair of gold Chinese character earrings, she often put in similar orders for friends and coworkers.

4. Hong Kong is beautiful.
In Good Chinese Wife, I write about Hong Kong’s stunning skyline. Ultra-modern skyscrapers line the northern part of Hong Kong Island. With the harbor in the foreground and the mountains in the background, there is nothing quite like it. I also love the colorful neon signs that illuminate Hong Kong at night. Before I moved to Hong Kong, I didn’t know much about the rural areas, but grew to love the verdant mountains and pristine countryside, not to mention the many outlying islands. 

5. Hong Kong is fabulous because of its people.
During my first year in Hong Kong, some of my American classmates complained about pushy and impatient locals. But I quickly developed an affinity with the savvy and smart Hong Kong Chinese. Unlike in China, where people stared at me every time I purchased something or even walked down the street, people in Hong Kong just let me be. They were used to seeing foreigners. It’s because of the industriousness of the Hong Kong people that their city is as modern and vibrant as it is today.

6. Hong Kong is a safe city.
No matter what hour of the day or night I wandered the streets or rode public transportation, I never felt unsafe. The only crime people in Hong Kong have to worry about is pickpocketing, but that happens everywhere. There were some gang fights when I lived there, but it almost never affected innocent bystanders.

7. Hong Kong is a diverse city.
Although Hong Kong is 98% Chinese, the other 2% is very diverse. There are sizable British, American, Japanese, Filipino, and Indian populations, as well as African, South Korean, Australian, other European expats. 

8. Hong Kong has many fans.
This only became apparent after I left Hong Kong, but it seems that no matter where I go or whom I meet, I always find other people who love Hong Kong. They may have been expats, too, or perhaps have traveled there for work. And of course friends who were born and raised in Hong Kong have a special place in their hearts for their homeland. When I think about it, I’ve never met a former Hong Kong expat who hasn’t loved living there. It’s a special place and there’s nowhere else quite like it. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

At Your Service by Jen Malone

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/ Aladdin M!X
Release Date: August 26th 2014
Pages: 272
Source: Publisher
Age Range: Young Adult

Thirteen-year old Chloe Turner's goal in life is to make the young guests  happy at the respected posh St. Michèle hotel in NYC, where her father works as a concierge. And she has the real talent for it: no one else you can call to organise a special artifact from a museum for an African wedding party. A wealthy French father and daughther are checking in one day at the hotel, and another challenge for Chloe: how to keep her happy and busy. She tries everything: a rehearsel with the Rockettes, and to organise, as the father said Zhe perfect birzdaay. But some guests are never satisfied. So when its announced that Prince Philip and Princess Caroline of Rosenstein and their three children will stay at the hotel during their stay in NYC, Chloe's brain already is running in circles, now she can really say farewell to stay a junior concierge as she expects this a little bit a task too difficult for her.

The royal family arrives with their entourage, and it turns out they are quite nice people, especially their three children want to be treated as normal as possible. The three children: The fourteen year old prince Alex (which is quite a charming guy!!) and two princesses, Sophie and Ingrid want a grand tour of the hotspots of NYC, with her best friend Paisley in tow But during the tour, one of the girls goes off on her own and they can't find her anywhere. A search through all the mayor spots in NYC takes of to track her down before the international press gets words of this and Chloe can say farewell to her junior concierge position. This search also might prove that Chloe can keep her head cool in the most stressful situations, even when a nice chemistry between you and a prince is starting to bloom up..!

I can absolutely see this book being made into a TV movie or series on the Disney channel. At your service is a highly entertaining read for young readers, but I am pretty sure older readers will enjoy this one a lot too (I certainly am glad I picked this one!) Chloe is so mature for her age and is the expert for all fun things for kids in New York City From the opening lines, Chloe's voice is crisp, funny, and whip-smart.. The children who where staying at the guest where also marvelous to read about: Alex was the charming young prince that develops a special friendship with Chloe. Sophie was the younger, preppy sister and Ingrid the older one who wants to get rid of the protocol and her bodyguards.  If you love New York City, this is the book for you as it gives you a grand tour through all of the city. I just loved everything about this fun, fun middle grade book!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date:July 8th 2014
Pages: 256
Source: Publisher
Age Range: Young Adult

It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.

Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.

Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…

I am still not quite sure what to think of this book. Somehow the story and the characters where a little flat and one dimensional. It felt like just another girl -dates- bad boy story for me. It was a  simple plot that followed both Harper and Penn's relationship. They make mistakes, act dumb to each other and haven't ever really dated before so they're forced to learn the ropes of the dating world together. I would have loved to have seen some more character depth for both obut i guess for a fluffy summer read it fit the bill.

I was hoping to like this story which I was very drawn to by the cover when I requested it, but it left me with a feeling of ''that''s it?''

Friday, July 18, 2014

You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date:May 22nd 2014
Pages: 372
Source: Publisher

Maddy, Ben and Robert are best friends since childhood. Their bond is unbreakable.
The story takes the reader to different periods in their lives, starting from the point that they are nine years old till they are twenty-six.
The three friends go on a high school trip to Paris together, and that's the point where love comes in and their unbreakable friendship start to loose up. Ben and Maddie have always had the most chance of falling in love, as they even had a sort of secret code language. But then Maddie and Robert start dating, and Ben has to watch from a distance that what he thought would be his future girlfriend, goes to someone else. He starts dating Alice, and they even make plans to marry. But then he realises that marrying Alice is not the best plan. But Maddy already made her choice, who is standing beside her at the wedding altar?

This book is so cute and romantic! Maddy, Ben and Robert are characters that feel like your own friends. They where very real and believable. The story jumps from Maddy, Ben and Robert's pov, so the reader get's a deeper look into their deep friendship and the love that blooms up between Maddy and Robert. Maddy maybe has the most difficult decision to make and I think she made the right one. Ben's love for Maddy is unconditional but he is broken when he finds out Maddy didn't chose him. A lot of emotion is going on in this story, but it never becomes too much or annoying. I thought it was one of the best contemporary books I have read in a while, and though the cover may look like it,  this is not a romantic comedy but a story with a lot of layers and depth. This is the book you might want!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thirty Sunsets by Christine Hurley Deriso

Publisher: Flux
Release Date:July 8th 2014
Pages: 240
Source: Publisher
Age Range: Young Adult

To Forrest Shephard, getting away to the family's beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian's obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest's relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia's rumored eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia's finicky eating isn't at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest's world is turned upside down as her family's darkest secrets begin to come to light.

I found Thirty Sunsets a very nice in-between read. The story was entertaining to read, altough it didn't move me very much. Forrest isn't on the good side with her brother's girlfriend Olivia, but then she finds out something about Olivia that changes her point of view. The other storyline with her and Scott was very grim. 
Secrets just filled this book. I felt that there where some secrets I understood why they kept them to themselves but there was a couple where I felt that they needed to know. Even though nothing should change, it is better for a person to find out from that person rather than hear it from someone else.

It's a fast summer read set against the background of summer. I recommend it to fans of contemporary YA authors like Sarah Dessen. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Written In The Stars by Ali Harris

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date: June 5th 2014
Pages: 450
Source: sent by publisher for review

The wedding day of Bea Bishop is finally there; but when she stands at the altar to marry Adam, she is accidentally knocked down twice. When she wakes up and the wedding continues she sees her old flame Kieran standing there on the side, she starts thinking. Here is where the story takes two different turns. In one world she is marrying Adam, in the other one she runs away, leaving Adam at the altar and meeting up with Kieran again.

The reader get's to learn more about the history of Bea and Kieran, which involved a tragic accident at the beach, and where Kieran's brother sadly died. Bea still feels quilty about this as she is confirmed his accident was her fault. In the other world she is married to Adam and they are settling their live together around their demanding jobs.Back in the other world, she get's a lot of help from her best friend Milly, who moves to New York temporarily and she get's to be the house-sitter. She also get's a new job at a flower shop. Bea is also on a search for her father who left when she was little, and together with  Loni, her mom, she goes on a search for hem as they found out he lives in India now.
But who will she choose in the real world in the end Adam of Kieran?

 I had second thoughts about the two stories overlapping each other in this book. I found it hugely confusing to find out what was the real world for Bea and what was not and to keep the two worlds where the stories are set in, apart. The author did not make very clear in which world the chapter took place and if it was in the past or present. In the end everything comes together but you wonder why the author didn't choose for just one world for Bea, that would make the story a lot more clearer. The story of Bea is of someone who finds out where she stands and what she wants in life. Is it her old boyfriend or marrying the succesful Adam? She came over to me as a bit of a cliche character in chick-lit, as most of the main characters in chick-lit are wrestling with this topic. I therefore didn't find it a very original story, I had the feeling I have read similar stories earlier again and could see what was coming next. Also I found the story too long, especially when there wheren't that much plot twist to keep you interested as a reader Somehow it didn't have the sharp plot of Ali Harris previous book The First Last Kiss, but I hope the next book by Ali Harris will again.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Traveling Tea Shop by Belinda Jones

Publisher: Hodder
Release Date: May 22nd 2014
Pages: 316
Source: Publisher

Laurie loves a challenge. Especially if it involves anything beautiful, baked and frosted. The brief is simple: With three other women, Laurie will board a London bus - kitted out as an English tea shop - on a deliciously different road trip of the USA.  Traveling with Laurie are Pamela's mum Gracie and her stubborn teen daughter Ravenna.
Their mission: To bring home-grown classics like Battenberg, Victoria sponge and scones to the land of cupcakes, whoopie pies and gold-leafed chocolate sundaes. 
And to show them how a real cup of tea is made. All of the women have their own secrets and heartaches to heal. As well as a grand appreciation of cupcakes, there's also the chance for romance...

The Traveling Tea Shop is a delicious read that takes you all over the United States, introducing the reader to some lovely local pastries and cakes. The character of Laurie was adorable, she had some troubles with her sister that are also focused on in the book. She is very organised and a professional in baking. There is a tiny romantic side story in the story, but I was not very impressed by it. The story just flows along during their tri through the US and doesn't have any major plot twists or progression in the characters. This book provided a lot of fun local facts and inspiration for places to visit on the East Coast of the States (mostly cake places.) and it helped me discover loads of new cakes that I didn't even know existed! I enjoyed all the real-life recommendations and facts provided including the movie, book and Broadway recommendations, and the interesting facts about how certain dishes are made. Make sure you got a sweet pastry and a cup of tea when you start reading this book, it will definately give you cravings for that!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Books To Pine For

Books To Pine For is a frequent blog post on Marjolein Reads about new book and books that are coming out later this year. Yesterday my eye fell on some very interesting new YA and middle grade titles:

Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner
Point, Scholastic, pub date Aug 26 2014
Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world implodes.
Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?

Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers
Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic, Pub date Aug 26

THE PARENT TRAP comes to the digital age!
When Ruth Quayle used a special app to search for pictures of herself online, she found dozens of images of "Ruth Quayle" -- and one of "Ruby Starling."

When Ruby Starling gets a message from a Ruth Quayle proclaiming them to be long-lost twin sisters, she doesn't know what to do with it -- until another message arrives the day after, and another one. It could be a crazy stalker ... but she and this Ruth do share a birthday, and a very distinctive ear....

Ruth is an extroverted American girl. Ruby is a shy English one. As they investigate the truth of their birth and the circumstances of their separation, they also share lives full of friends, family, and possible romances -- and they realize they each may be the sister the other never knew she needed.

Written entirely in e-mails, letters, Tumblr entries, and movie scripts, FINDING RUBY STARLING is the funny and poignant companion to Karen Rivers's THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ME.

Promposal   by Rhonda Helms
Simon Pulse, February 10, 2015
Prom should be one of the most memorable nights of your life. But for Camilla and Joshua, some elaborate promposals are getting in the way. Will they be able to land their dream dates in time for the dance?
Promposal (n.)—an often very public proposal, in which one person asks another person to the prom, eliciting joy or mortification.

Camilla can’t help hoping her secret crush, Benjamin, might randomly surprise her out of the blue with a promposal. But when she’s asked to prom by an irritating casual acquaintance—who’s wearing a fancy tux and standing in front of a news crew—she’s forced to say yes. However, all hope is not lost, as a timely school project gives Camilla a chance to get closer to Benjamin...and it seems like the chemistry between them is crackling. Is she reading into something that isn’t there, or will she get her dream guy just in time for prom?

Joshua has been secretly in love with his best friend Ethan since middle school. Just as he decides to bite the bullet and ask Ethan if he’d go to prom with him, even if just as friends, he gets a shocking surprise: Ethan asks Joshua for help crafting the perfect promposal—for another guy. Now Joshua has to suppress his love and try to fake enthusiasm as he watches his dreams fall apart...unless he can make Ethan see that love has been right in front of his eyes the whole time.The road to the perfect promposal isn’t easy to navigate. But one thing’s certain—prom season is going to be memorable.

Lost in Paris by Cindy Callaghan. Aladdin, Simon & Schuster. March 17, 2015

Ooh la la! Gwen ends up on a Parisian scavenger hunt—with a cute French ami—in this M!X novel from the author of Lost in London.
Gwen Russell is thrilled to hear she will be heading to Paris with her family. Even though the main reason for the trip is to see her three older brothers play lacrosse, Gwen and her Mom have plans to tour the city when they can.
As soon as they land, Gwen is swept up in the city she has always wanted to see, and even meets a très cute boy named Henri. If that wasn't enough excitement, Gwen finds out that her all-time favorite band is playing a one-night only concert in Paris—and there are tickets available to the sold-old show for three lucky people. The catch? Fans who want a golden ticket have to work for it via a scavenger hunt around the City of Light.

Through cryptic clues blasted out every day through a special website, Gwen and her new friends find themselves in a race against time—and against other die-hard fans—as they scramble to landmarks throughout Paris. And it turns out the concert tickets might not even be the biggest prize...

Kitchen Chaos   by Deborah A. Levine, JillEllyn Riley .February 3, 2015, Aladdin.
Can their friendships take the heat? A trio of mothers and daughters will find out when they sign up for a cooking class from a famous chef in the first book of the Saturday Cooking Club series—it’s mother-daughter bonding and so much more! 
Liza and Frankie have always been best friends. But when new girl Lillian arrives from San Francisco, suddenly three’s a crowd. Especially after the trio is grouped together for a big sixth-grade social studies project—can they put aside their animosity long enough to succeed? When Liza suggests they all take a cooking class with the chef from her favorite cooking show for the project, the girls are on board, but they need an adult to take the class with them. It seems like the perfect opportunity to snag some quality time with their overscheduled, overstressed mothers…if they can convince them to sign up!

Several headaches and close calls later, the girls at last find themselves in Chef Antonio’s kitchen with their mothers in tow—but the drama is only just beginning!

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince by Serena Valentino. Disney, July 22 2014.
"A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp--like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince is an upcoming novel written by Serena Valentino, the writer of Fairest of All. Based on Beauty and the Beast, it serves as a prequel to the film, telling of the story of the Beast and how he became a monster, as well as the events that led up to the curse broken. 

These are the books I am very excited for to read, which books catches your eye the most?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Love Like The Movies by Victoria Van Tiem

Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: February 24th 2014
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher

Thirty year old Kensington Shaw is just a short time away from marrying her boyfriend Bradley. Bradley is the perfect guy. Smart, succesful, popular, her family adores him: even her mother, and that says a lot. So maybe after their marriage it is time to start that little family she always dreamed of..!

But..that week at the office, her ex boyfriend Shane walks in and throws all her plans upside down. He was away for seven years, he broke Kensington's heart back then and moved to the UK. Now he is i her office as an important client for the ad agency Kensington works for . Shane still can do something that Bradley somehow never didn't with her: Passing the tummy-flip test, big time. Shane never has forgotten Kensington, and uh oh, he tells her that he still loves her and declares even that he is the perfect man for her as they have one very important and special thing in common: their love for romantic movies. The ad agency truly needs his account, as it has big financial problems, but Shane has one thing he wants: living out ten famous romantic comedy movie moments with Kensington, then he will sign the important contract. But what about her soon to come marriage to Bradley?

Love Like The Movies is a very funny and entertaining read. It is a fun mix of romantic comedy and chicklit.  It was so much fun to read and to imagine Kensington and Shane re-enacting the scenes from the most famous romantic movies. Kensington is caught in the middle of which guy to choose, but during the story she finds out the true one. (and I will not tell who it is here..!) Kensington was a fun bubbly main character, dreaming of her future whit Bradley till Shane walks in the story. He is a very cute guy, which guy comes up with a plan to re-enact romantic movies in real life? I think he is a winner because of that! There was also a fun cast of side characters; Kensington's controlling mom and sister Ren, who just announced that she is pregnant, and Kensie's friends, who where just as bubbly as her. At some points the plot was at a point that I thought it was a bit over the top and beyond believable, and at a few points I got a little lost of the story. But beside that, it was a very cute, light and entertaining read.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date:June 3th 2014
Pages: 343
Source: Publisher
Age Range: Young Adult

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Before I started reading I had no idea what to expect of Say What You Will. Well, the book didn't dissapoint me, but it didn't blow me away either.

The character set up was good. It was very refreshing to read about a main character who is different. From personal experience I know how hard and  difficult it can be if you have a handicap. The author did a great job in portraying this, Amy was alone at some points before she met her new peer Matthew. They have something in common, and it makes them stronger when they become friends. That was great to read and how they just very a huge support to each other.

The plot itself was okay, it had it's weak spots, and I found it hard to stay interested untill the end. Mostly the plot was how Amy and Matthew get through their last high school period, and their choices for what comes next, which college to choose and if they will stay together when that happens. It didn't have any specific plot twist and just flowed along, that bored me at some points. But overall, the friendship and special bond of the two main characters made up for that.

If something in Say What You Will had gripped me a little sooner, it may have turned into a four-star read. But because it took so long for me to have any feelings one way or another, it falls somewhere to the middle of the scale.


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