More Than We Can Tell Review // An Important Story About Abuse

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Contemporary | YA
Goodreads rating: 4.32
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected.

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review

I’ve been putting this review off for a few days, not just because I was too stressed and tired because of schoolwork, but also because I don’t really know what to say. More Than We Can Tell is an important book, and a well written one. There are many good things about it, it just didn’t blow me away or resonated that much with me (or maybe my expectations were a little bit too high?

There are not enough (ya) books in my opinion that deal with abuse, let alone properly*. The way Rev was written felt real to me – I felt his fear in my bones and whereas I haven’t gone through what Rev did, I did find the way he was written relatable. His father is never normalised nor does the author try to get you to symphatise you with him, but she does show us that he’s still a human being, which is so important. Whenever someone is accused of abuse you get the old ‘but they’re so nice!!’ ‘i know them they would never do that!!’ which is exactly the point. Abusers aren’t just going to go around with a big neon sign that says ‘I HIT MY PARTNER/KIDS’. They don’t go around wearing a cape cackling and rubbing their hands. You can’t identify an abuser on the spot 

* I mean in my opinion there actually ARE a lot of books with abusive relationships in them but they’re normalised and romanticised instead afjhsbdg

Another message I really liked was that pain is not a competition. We so often feel that way, especially because a lot of us are brought up with the idea that it can be a lot worse. And of course it can be! But that doesn’t make whatever you’re going through any less valid.

I liked how Rev and Emma were able to confide in each other and how their relationship developed. While they do start to form a crush fairly quickly, it starts with a friendship and supporting each other in what they’re both going through. I’m also okay with quick crushes, because those are realistic**. Declaring your love to each other after like day is not. And that doesn’t happen! They’re just a boy and a girl who like each other. That’s it. Also, while the romance is a big part of the book, both Rev and Emma have their own arcs and the romance doesn’t overshadow that.

** Considering my best friend is a real life Clover from Totally Spies I can vouch for this

Both Rev and Emma tend to push people away – Rev because of his abusive father and Emma because of her absent father and controlling mother. It felt like a realistic touch to me, and I like that despite that they still manage to work out their relationship. It takes some work and there are some arguments, but in the end it works out. I also liked that despite that they both had some great relationships in their life. Emma has been horrible to her best friend, and she knows this and hates herself for it. Yet Cait understands that she’s been going through a lot and after Emma apologises, they still work it out.

Then there’s Rev’s best friend Declan, who is such a sweetheart? He’d drop EVERYTHING to be there for his friend which is such a great thing to see since we barely see friendships like that between boys.

Also Emma built her own game!! I always love to see gamer girls in fiction (we do exist!!) and this gal even built her own game? She learnt to code as a little kid and is just a complete badass. Yet there were still some flaws in her game! She was constantly improving it, which is realistic.

While there’s a lot of good things about this book, in the end it just gave me a three-star feeling. I have no idea why, which is really frustrating, but I’d definitely recommend this book.Have you read More Than We Can Tell? Are you planning to? What are some good ya books that deal with abuse? Let me know in the comments!

Mini Reviews: Forever and All The What Ifs

DON’T FORGET: TONIGHT #YOUNGWRITERSCHAT 9 PM CEST

Genre: Ya | paranormal | romance
Series: The Abandoned #1
Goodreads rating: 3.92
My rating: ★

summary

Rich, popular Kate Hewitt destroys lives at Sussex High. Mute, violent Kev Anderwaith hasn’t been to school in months. On the day Kev does return, Kate is shocked when the overgrown, social outcast sits next to her in class and claims they’ve both lived previous lives, and keep finding each other, throughout the centuries, falling in love every time.

review

Guess why I downloaded this one. It was free. Come on, we’re all weak to free books right? And I’ve always been a sucker for stories featuring previous lives. Unfortunately this book is all over the place. Kate doesn’t remember her previous life and hates Kev, the next second she’s in love with him.

Kate was incredibly unlikable, and I had no idea why Kev, a genuinely nice guy, would fall in love with her. He remembers their past lives, and apparently Kate was nice and caring in her previous life, but that’s not who Kate is in this life. Yet Kev’s in love with her, and I have no idea why. These two have no chemistry, which is kind of crucial when your plot revolves around people who keep falling in love with each other every time they’re reborn.

Throughout the entire book it just felt like it was about their romance, then suddenly towards the end the author decided to introduce some kind of demons which felt really out of place and spoiler: of course Kate, without any memories and training, manages to kill one without much difficulty. 

All in all, I really wouldn’t recommend it (but it’s probably still up for free on Amazon and it’s really short so if you’re interested check it out! Besides don’t let my negativity turn you off if you want to read it)

Genre: Ya | contemporary
Goodreads rating: 4.45
My rating: ★★★

summary

Ashley Morgan is trapped. She’s spent the last three years of high school being groomed to follow in her father’s footsteps. It’s a future she’s unsure of. Yet she tries her hardest to avoid her father’s disapproval while keeping the peace for her high-strung mother and autistic brother. Whenever her fears fester, Ashley works harder.

At the start of her senior year, Ashley reluctantly joins ACT an after-school community service club that is in disarray. The members argue. The advisor sleeps. And Lucas Malone, the club’s president, conjures unwanted memories of freshman year and his disastrous attempt to ask her to homecoming.

Ashley tries to remain uninvolved, but with each success in ACT she gains the confidence to face her future. She sets in motion plans that force her to choose between the bright future her father’s mapped out or an unknown path of her own design. When the moment comes to make her choice, she’s plagued with doubt, because what if … she gets it all wrong?

review

If you’ve dealt with (psychological) abuse you may find this book a bit triggering. I did at some points, so you may want to stay away from it. I seriously considered to quit it, but I continued one and I’m glad I did. I really like the ending of the book, though obviously I can’t give it away, so spoiler section:

Ashley is kicked out of her house and at the end of the book, she hasn’t seen her family in quite some time. Her father is never excused for his abusive behaviour, and we’re shown that her mother isn’t perfect either. I felt that the ending was quite realistic, though I hoped that her mother would leave her father and take her back in. That wasn’t who her mom was though. I think I expected that to happen because I was comparing Ashley’s situation with my old one, instead of really thinking of who her mom was and what we had learned about her through Ashley’s grandparents. Because of this I never thought that Ashley’s mom was the one who broke contact with her parents, instead of her husband forcing her to. 

It was empowering to read about Ashley standing up for herself, her relationships with her brother, new friends and counselor were fun and heartwarming to read, though I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the romance. It was cute, but something bothered me, though I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. All in all, a short, fun read. While at times it felt really light (like some of the cute romance scenes or when Ashley’s friends are joking around – seriously those girls were my favourite part. Like one of them dated a lot of guys, and while they joked about it, they never slut shamed her or made her feel uncomfortable. They knew that she would laugh at their jokes), it also dealt with some heavy topics in a right way. As someone who can relate to Ashley, I think the author did a good job.

Oh and this one was also up for free on Amazon and if it still is I really recommend it.

Have you read one of these? What did you think? If not, what have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

dashandlily

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Goodreads rating: 3.85
My rating: ★★

summary

I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.
At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept. Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect distraction he’s been looking for.

As they send each other on a scavenger hunt across Manhattan, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet…(Goodreads).

review

I was actually looking forward to reading this book. Something cute and light, possibly funny. Instead it was extremely boring most of the times and a lot of the jokes weren’t funny at all in my opinion. I have to admit that I did laugh a few times and there were some deep thoughts Dash and Lily wrote down in the journal that I liked, thus the two stars rating.

Where to start? The book is told in alternating POVs. One chapter is told by Dash, the next by Lily. I immediately disliked Dash. He was very pretentious, a bit of a douchebag and why the hell would you say ‘happy Hannukah’ to someone you know isn’t Jewish, just to see how they react? And it’s not a one time thing. He likes doing that. I find that a bit disrespectful, but okay. Also it didn’t feel like I was actually reading about a 16-year old. I know John Green’s characters can also be seen as pretentious (i.e. Gus), but they do still act like teenagers. They have their moments of silliness that you know you’re reading about kids. Not with Dash.

Then there’s Lily. She was slightly more likeable, but while Dash felt too old, she felt too young. Maybe it’s because her entire family and her grandfather’s friend are all very protective of her so she doesn’t get out much, but I really felt like I was reading about someone younger than sixteen. I also didn’t get the whole Edgar Thibaud thing where she suddenly had a thing for him and then decided to go drinking. It felt like it was just added to show that she has flaws, makes mistakes and isn’t perfect. It just didn’t feel right to me, but maybe it was just me. Neither characters felt three-dimensional to me, nor did they really go through any character development.

The two characters didn’t really have any chemistry. They might have been good friends, but instead it turned into a romance. A romance that felt too rushed to me (like Dash points out in one of his chapters, it’s very easy to lie to someone through the journal. So um, how well do you know each other??? You’ve met in real life three times. One of those times, one of you wasn’t even sober. Spoiler: Yet you’re already kissing? Thank God there wasn’t a declaration of love.

Now for the plot. I expected the journal to play a slightly bigger part. I expected the dares to be more, well, daring. Going to see a movie?? Okay, so it’s a bad one, but still. To Madame Tussauds? Uh, those aren’t dares. And Uncle Sal a.k.a. Santa Claus creeped me out. And then Lily defends him by saying it wasn’t anything sexual, he just likes hugs. THAT WASN’T A HUG. The problem I have with it, is that it was passed off as a joke, while not only it wasn’t funny but disturbing, it was sexual. Thus why it’s wrong to pass of as a joke. Another ‘joke’: or at least I think it was supposed to be a joke, at some point two officers are introduced called ‘Officer White’ and ‘Officer Black’. Officer White is black and officer Black is white. Har har. So funny. I’m not sure if it’s racist (part of me wants to say yes, but maybe I’m overreacting?), but I sure find it a weird sense of humor.

I’m wondering the same thing, Snape

So no interesting characters, no interesting plot, no funny jokes, and a lot of the times it felt like nothing was happening. It was extremely dull and I just couldn’t wait to finish it so I could be done with it and pick up something else. I’m extremely disappointed, as I expected a fun read. Not necessarily something like Rainbow Rowell or Stephenie Perkins would write, but at least a 3-star rating book. At least the cover is pretty!

Have you read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares? I hope you had a better experience than I did! Let me know in the comments!

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Music Monday: Crush On You

Or maybe more like Music Thursday? Oh well!

Music Monday is a bi-weekly link-up hosted by Bridget from Stay and Watch the Stars. The theme is ‘Crush’ and Bridget said it could be either a romantic crush, or like a ‘crush your enemies’ kind of playlist, so I decided to make two playlists! To make it clear which one is which, I decided to call the romantic one ‘Crush On You’.

My playlist

CRUSH ON YOU-5

Sooner – Andrew Allen

Teenage Dream – Boyce Avenue

I love the original, but this cover is just so cute.

On My Mind – Brad Kavanagh

CAN WE TAKE A MOMENT TO FANGIRL ABOUT THE FACT THAT BRAD KAVANAGH FOLLOWS ME ON TWITTER LIKE I CAN’T EVEN PROPERLY PRONOUNCE HIS LAST NAME

Be My Forever – Christina Perri ft. Ed Sheeran

Outlaws – David Lambert

All About Us – He Is We ft. Owl City

I Won’t Say (I’m In Love) – Hercules

You – Hollywood Ending

Someday – IU

This song is so beautiful and cute and Dream High <3

I Must Be Dreaming – The Maine

Ships In The Night – Mat Kearney

The Hourglass – The Morning Off

Perfect For Me – Show Me The Skyline

I See The Light – Tangled

Did I Mention – Descendants

Did I Mention I’m obsessed with both this song and movie

So far it’s been impossible for me to create a playlist without any Disney haha. BUT! My Crush Your Enemies playlist is Disney-less. I think. I’m very tempted to add Be Prepared (because it’s a great song and even greater to listen to while crushing thy enemies). If you’ve made a playlist for Music Monday, share it with me in the comments!

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Review: The One by Kiera Cass

theone2_Fotor

Genre: Young adult, dystopian, romance
Series: The Selection #3
Goodreads rating: 4.21
My rating: ★★★★★

summary

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants (Goodreads).

review

While I knew how this was going to end (and not just because of The Heir), I still immensely enjoyed this book and I have to say this is my favourite in the series (so far, as I haven’t read The Heir yet). I definitely didn’t expect the book to go in certain directions and there were plot twists that I did NOT see coming at all.

My face at a certain moment

The girls became really close in this finale which really warmed my heart. I absolutely love friendship (a lot of the times even more than romance) and to see them all finally trust each other and have fun- I LOVED IT.

Here’s a list of things that I loved:

  •  Things being resolved. Highlight for spoiler: I loved that most characters got happy endings. You know, the ones who survived and were nice and all. I still don’t really care for Aspen and I think Lucy could do better but oh well. As long as Lucy is happy.
  •  The plot twists (there was one plot twist that I did think of during the first two books, but I didn’t think I was actually right!)
  • The action (more than in the previous two books, and I loved it)
  • As always the writing style. Kiera Cass’ books just read so easy and fast!
  • The rebels were finally really part of the plot. In the previous two books the rebels were just… Well, they were just there. They didn’t add much except a bit of drama.
  • Finding out more about the rebels
  • Minor spoiler: Celeste. Highlight: During the first two books I was so hoping that there would be more to her and YES THERE WAS.

Short list, because I don’t want to spoil too much (and I waited way too long to write this oops). Again, The One is in my opinion the best one in the series and I can’t wait to read The Heir to see what happens next. I really hope we’ll see some of the old characters besides the obvious ones make an appearance.

Have you read The One yet? If so, what did you think? I’ve heard mixed reviews about The Heir, which makes me a bit nervous (I haven’t read/heard any details, as I didn’t want to know anything, especially not having read The One yet, but I do know people who loved the original three books were disappointed), so what are your opinions on The Heir? Let me know in the comments!

– The Writing Hufflepuff