THE HATE U GIVE By Angie Thomas

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
THE HATE U GIVE By Angie ThomasThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published by Balzer + Bray on 2/28/17
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Short and Sweet

Starr witnesses the wrongful murder of her best friend Khalil who was shot by a police officer. Starr is the only person who knows what happened and she’s left wondering if she should speak up or be quiet.

Characters

Starr: Our main character. Starr is raw and true to herself and honest. She’s the voice I needed I ended up loving her while reading this book. Starr is clearly going through a hard time after seeing Khalil die but that’s not the only friend shes lost. I loved seeing Starr make decisions about what she should do and with every decision I was proud of her I knew she was scared and didn’t feel brave but she was, she spoke out even when it scared her and that spoke volumes about who she is.

Romance

There’s not much romance, mainly because that’s not the focus of this book. Starr does have a boyfriend and the relationship was interracial which had Starr questioning things after the shooting. When Starr and Chris were together I thought they were cute he called her fresh princess based off the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Quotes

“A hairbrush is not a gun.”

“Because there will always be someone to fight. Maybe it’s my turn.”

“I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

My Thoughts

~ We’re taken to the heart of Garden Heights in this book. Violence, gangs, and drug dealings are the norm here. But a shooting that is making national headlines, thats not so normal.

~ Starr has to balance her two lives, Starr from Garden Heights and the Starr that goes to Williamson a predominately white school on the other side of town.

~ I loved Starr’s family and how they were supportive of her decision to either speak out or not. Each family member has their own problems and I grew to love them and was just hoping nothing bad happened to him.

~ Things were tense and I was worried about Starr’s family and friends and their safety, there was violence, threats, and riots.

~ After what happened so much changed Starr had to figure out who was the good guy who was bad, who to trust, who is actually a friend and who’s not. I felt for Starr so many of the dynamics she knew changed after the shooting.

~ Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give this book tackles important issues like race and authority in a black community.

Overall

This is the most honest and heartbreaking account of what is going on in America right now. This is an important book and I think everyone needs to pick it up. I have nothing bad to say about this book and I want to commend Angie Thomas for writing this book its amazing and it’s not a topic that has been talked about in young adult books. I found myself crying at times but then smiling in the next few pages because of the love and support that Starr was shown. The Hate U Give is indescribable and a book worth reading!

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I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL By Gretchen McNeil

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL By Gretchen McNeilI'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Balzer + Bray on 10/18/16
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

Short and Sweet

After dealing with the constant bullying through their high school years Beatrice and her friends Spencer and Gabe, are ready for a change during their senior year. Beatrice comes up with a formula that involves reinventing herself and her friends to become more popular and join the “It” crowd. But when a new girl takes Beatrice’s boyfriend away from her Bea thinks it’s time to undergo one more change, one that involves her becoming a manic pixie dream girl. While Bea goes through her transformation she’s learning that maybe these changes weren’t necessary.

My Thoughts

~ Bea and her friends were outcast and I liked seeing them make more friends, and Bea’s formulas were interesting.

~ While I was reading I noticed that Bea reminded me of Kevin from Mean Girls they both love math, I swear she’s a girl version of him.

filmeditor kevin gnapoor mean girls mean girls movie kevin g

~ I’m also glad that Bea learned that she didn’t have to chase after a boy who wasn’t worth it.

~ We see Bea grow a lot during this book she goes from changing herself to realizing that just being herself is enough.

~ It also taught me what a manic pixie dream girl is, thanks for that!

~ There’s a lot of diversity in this book which was nice, and we also get to see Bea’s life at home which is split between her mom and dad.

~ Bea, has some amazing friends, but I felt like sometimes instead of helping she made things worse for them.

Overall

I loved this book. I love all of Gretchen McNeil’s books! It was funny and adorable. The characters were enjoyable except for Jesse (he wasn’t worth it). Bea learns that she can be herself and that’s what people really like her for, she also finds a little romance along the way during her journey. Definitely read it if you want something light, funny, and romantic.

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DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY By Brodi Ashton

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY By Brodi AshtonDiplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
Published by Balzer + Bray on 9/6/16
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity . . . it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—which would ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school—and realizes that access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish Ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s big chance to get the full scoop. Except Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it will destroy the boy she just might love?

Short and Sweet

Piper Baird has always wanted to be a journalist. When Piper gets a scholarship from Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, and she knows that this will give her an opportunity to win the Bennington scholarship. Once Piper arrives at Chiswick she quickly realizes that the journalism program is way more competitive than it was at her public school. Now Piper knows that to win the Bennington she’ll have to write an exposé  no one will forget.

My Thoughts

~I also didn’t mention above that while at Chiswick Piper meets Rafael one of the many students at the academy that has diplomatic immunity. Rafael is at the center of most of the scandals and secrets so Piper uses this as an idea to write about the kids at her school who have diplomatic immunity for her exposé.

~ Piper was not an easy character for me to like and I think by the time that there was a reason for me to feel bad for her I didn’t, because of the decisions she made. Piper was pretty heartless and brash at times and I understand that winning the Bennington was important to her but it was like she was using Rafael’s friendship to learn his secrets and use them in her story.

~ I forgot to mention that Rafael is Piper’s love interest. So while she’s writing this story and getting more information about him and other kids with diplomatic immunity she begins to develop feelings for him.

~ One thing I didn’t like was the stereotypes… I’ll just leave it at that.

~ The subplot and plot just ruined this story for me, they didn’t take off and there wasn’t really an ending to anything.

~ I liked the ending but by then it felt like it was to late for me to actually like the book, so I basically like the last 10% of the book.

Quotes

~ “Pipper Baird. Clumsy, torn pants, western-style rider, astute, easy smile, tendency to speak her mind, even if it’s rude.”

I love this one the most Rafe stops talking to her but the Bennington is more important than his friendship

~ “Since it’s the season of gratitude, I would sure be grateful if you’d just start talking to me again and give me a story.”

Really?!

shocked really big sean cell phone bad text

Overall

There were some moments I enjoyed and others I didn’t, but I just wanted more from this book in the end.

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TEN By Gretchen McNeil

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

TEN By Gretchen McNeilTen by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Balzer + Bray on 9/17/13
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Short and Sweet

Ten is the story of ten teenagers who are invited to a secret house party on a secluded island over the course of a three-day weekend. Expecting to have a fun time at the party, best friends Meg and Minnie decide to go, despite Meg’s reservations. When the two arrive at the island and party house, things begin to go awry. After watching a video ending with a chilling message, “Vengeance is mine.”, the teenagers start getting picked off one by one by an unknown killer, and at this party, there’s no one you can trust.

What I Liked

~ Ten Teens on an island for three days and one killer that they have to avoid. Its so good and the suspense and having to try to avoid a killer on an island, there’s not a lot of places you can hide.

~There were some twist that I wasn’t expecting and let me tell you the killer is one smart cookie.

~Meg is a very likeable character. She’s always there for her friends, always wants to help out, and her instincts were on point. Especially when it comes to murders around her she didn’t do anything idiotic that would get her killed.

What I Didn’t Like

~This question is irrelevant when it comes to this book.

Overall

TEN is one of my favorite novels! If you want a novel with secrets and betrayals, shocking moments and terrifying conclusions, TEN is definitely the book you should buy and read!

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GET DIRTY by Gretchen McNeil

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

GET DIRTY by Gretchen McNeilGet Dirty by Gretchen McNeil
Series: Don't Get Mad
Published by Balzer + Bray Genres: Young Adult
Source: Author
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ReviewedbyDani

The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.
The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.

Get Dirty starts where Get Even left off. I loved Get Even but Get Dirty blew me away. I love all of the characters and I was just rooting for them to figure out who’s behind all of the murders and torment. I was trying to figure out who is responsible for everything and when I thought I had the person, I was wrong.  I was shocked when I found out who the villain is.  I wasn’t expecting it and I was blown away by Ms. McNeil’s crafty writing. I read this book in 2 days.  I simply couldn’t put it down. I love these books and would definitely recommend this series to my friends.

Get Dirty is a WONDERLAND Hit earning six Cheshire hearts for it’s thrilling plot.

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