Thursday, June 4, 2015

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean, middle child between two sisters, has a crush. Sadly, that crush is on her older sister Maddie's boyfriend, whom she's admired since before they were dating. Maddie breaks up with him before she leaves for college, and something pretty crazy happens. Lara Jean has kept love letters hidden in a hatbox of all the boys she has had a crush on in the past, from Maddie's boyfriend to schoolmates, even her used-to-be friend Peter from middle school. One day, the hatbox disappears and all of the letters get mailed out! Now Lara Jean has to deal with the consequences. Her sister's ex receives his and confronts her, confessing he liked her first too, but in a panic she tells him that it doesn't matter because she's dating someone, and that someone is Peter. She then makes a pact with Peter that they will pretend to date because it will help her smooth over the letters (Peter finds his kind of funny but was slightly offended about a mention of his kissing skills), and Peter will use the fake relationship to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. Of course, hi-jinks ensue. It was a cute, quick read, if you like sappy teen rom-com style books, you'll like it. I enjoyed it a lot. There's actually a sequel coming out so I'll read that too!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

This is a difficult book to review. It was great, and powerful, and amazing, but the subject is delicate, and that is suicide, specifically teen suicide. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga features a teen girl named Asyel whose father has committed a horrific crime and is now imprisoned, and she feels so much guilt and pain from this that she decides she no longer wants to live. She also feels like she needs to have a backup, a suicide partner, and so she finds one online, and meets up with him to discuss their plan. Her partner, Roman, is, as she puts it, not the typical suicide candidate. He was a star athlete at his school, very popular, and seemed to have a loving home life. Asyel find s out that just because someone looks like they have it all doesn't mean they do. They decide on a date, a month from their meeting, and begin hanging out, and in turn, learning more about each other, about their pasts, and about their reasons for wanting to leave their lives behind. Jasmine Warga explains that she wrote this book after her own life was touched by losing a friend to suicide, and her story puts suicide in the perspective of teens, you truly feel for these characters and makes yourself more aware of those with depression and suicidal thoughts.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255