Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Funeral Flower by Michelle Jester

Title: The Funeral Flower
Author: Michelle Jester
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary:

Devastated by the death of her grandfather, six-year-old Kelly Rodgers barely manages to cope with the profound loss. Already facing issues at school, she finds herself spiraling deeper into despair, when a fateful interaction through the fence in her backyard gives her hope. In the years following, Kelly realizes that life’s tragedies can be dealt with through acceptance; until another series of agonizing events leaves her heart in pieces.

Finding herself thrown into new surroundings, Kelly embraces her life and resolves to never fall in love. That decision is easy to keep until her junior year when she is drawn by an unavoidable attraction to the new guy, tormented James Delaney. The moment he looks up at her and smiles, her body betrays her. And he notices. She is determined to avoid him, but soon Kelly is forced to face the inevitable truth: She doesn’t want to avoid James… and he won’t let her.

Even though tragedy always follows love.

This book is intended for mature audiences due to critical subject matter.

Note: Due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


 

book-review

God, I love this book so much.

The Funeral Flower has all the tropes that I love in one book. It has the dysfunctional family, the sibling bond, the friendship that spans over years… basically what I always search for in books. That is also probably why I couldn’t stop reading once I started. I read everything in one sitting.

It was so hard write this review without giving too much away or give people spoilers.

In the beginning, I thought something magical was going to happen in this book. Well, something magical did happen, but not the way I thought it would be. This book gave me so much heartache, melancholic and angst-y feelings, but it also made smile and laugh. Some people might not like the book or thinks it progresses slowly, because it is the kind of book that covers pretty much Kelly’s life from when she’s 6 years old until she’s 20 years old.

I would recommend this to people who loves YA as well as NA. I think YA readers would enjoy this too because the majority of the book was when Kelly was in her teenage years. I know I used this book as a reference a lot lately—oh well—but this book really give me the same vibe I get when reading Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. (I took away 1 star because the people I shipped didn’t end up together) but I still love how it ended though. I love the true love concept.


Author Bio:

I am a hopeless romantic (I think this is the most important thing to know about me). In addition, I live in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with my husband and high school sweetheart. Together we have a son and daughter.

Throughout my life writing and photography have been my main creative outlets. Especially when I am stressed, I know I can go to either of those things and pour out that anxiety into something good and productive.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Book Review: NemeSIS by Susan Marshall

33828534._UY648_SS648_Title: NemeSIS
Author: Susan Marshall
Published date: 4th April 2017
Published by: Blue Moon Publishers
Genre: YA, Middle Grade, Contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Summary:

Dad has moved out and Mom has checked out, leaving the door wide open for the beautiful, erratic Rachel to torment her “loser, loner” younger sister, Nadine. With her family in full meltdown mode, Nadine is alone, trying to cope with Rachel’s increasingly unpredictable moods. Friendless, but determined to turn her life around, Nadine meets Anne, who introduces her to field hockey and to her hot twin brothers, Matt and Cameron.

As Nadine’s star begins to rise, however, Rachel plots to bring her back down, and the tension ratchets up when Rachel starts dating Matt just as Nadine is getting to know Cameron better. When Matt’s interest starts to fade, Rachel goes into overdrive. Is Nadine ready to risk it all in a final showdown with her sister?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Continue reading

Book Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

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Title: The Art of Being Normal
Author: Lisa Williamson
Genre: Teens & YA, LGBTQIA
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Published: 31st May 2016
Available Edition(s): Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374302375
Source:
Netgalley
Date read: 9th June 2016
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

I received an e-galley of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Summary:

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long , and soon everyone knows that Leo used to be a girl.

As David prepares to come out to his family and transition into life as a girl and Leo wrestles with figuring out how to deal with people who try to define him through his history, they find in each other the friendship and support they need to navigate life as transgender teens as well as the courage to decide for themselves what normal really means.


First of all, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for The Art of Being Normal for the opportunity to receive the ARC of this book.

When I requested for this book on Netgalley, I never thought I would like it so much. While I’ve read lots of YA LGBTQ+ fiction, it’s mostly about gays and bisexuals (sometimes pansexuals and asexuals). This is the first time I read about transgender in a real, published book.

The book is told in David (Kate) Piper, and Leo’s POV in alternate chapters. The book started from David’s point of view.

My heart breaks a little after reading the first few pages of the book. David only have two friends, was bullied at school for being different, and although it was unintentional on his parents’ part, he thought his family likes his sister more than him. It’s like he was living in his sister’s shadow and I can’t but feel sad for him because he’s like a ball of hurt.

That new school year, Leo Denton transferred to David’s school. I wasn’t sure how their lives are going to intersect at first, because they are not even in the same year, and Leo didn’t seem like he wanted to make friends with David at first. My question was answered when Leo saved David by punching Harry, the bully from David’s year.

From this point on, I couldn’t put the book down. I finished this book in one sitting. David’s problems were pretty much straightforward; trying to come out to his family that he’s a girl in a boy’s body, and trying to fit in. In this book, I guess, it was Leo that intrigued me the most, especially about the mystery about what happened in February.

I know that it was most probably connected to why he transferred school. I thought it was because he decided to come out that he’s a trans, but boy was I wrong. It was much more that that, and I was appalled by how cruel teenagers could be when they are bullying their peers.

I think what I love the most in this book is the friendship, and also David and Leo’s relationship with their family respectively.

Essie and Felix, David’s best friends are funny, and the fact that they are protective over David just warms my heart. I also like David’s character, him being persistent and not giving up trying to befriend Leo. I think that David and Leo helps each other grow as a person. And I like to think that David and Leo’s relationship grew more in the end, especially after the alternative Christmas ball that David’s best friends and Leo organized.

At first, I wasn’t that fond with David’s family, and Leo’s mom. David’s sister was a pain in the backside sometimes, but that was normal. But his parents… Although they are nice, they seemed to fuss more about Livvy than David. However, it was nice when David finally came out to them, they were supportive about it, and took the time to read all of the research that David has done. And his it was nice that his sister was there for him when it counts.

Leo’s family, on the other hand, is a bit difficult. I like his twin sister and younger sister, Amber and Tia respectively. They seemed protective of him, and Amber’s one of the two people that Leo is comfortable opening up to. And as I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t too fond of Leo’s mom. Leo and his mom always seemed to clash, and okay, at first, I was stereotyping her a bit. A single mom, who had a lot of ex-boyfriends, smokes, and goes out at night when she’s not working. I thought she didn’t really care about Leo. Boy was I wrong. When his family thought he was missing, his mom was worried sick about him. Revelation was made at that moment, a revelation that made me ashamed for judging too quickly.

I guess the saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is true after all.

In conclusion, this coming-of-age book is a fun read, and also an eye opener. It talks about sensitive issues, and mentions diverse characters. I love that it has wonderful character development, and teaches us that things are not what it seems sometimes. I also love that romance wasn’t really a big part in this book, instead it focuses more on David and Leo’s relationship with their family.

I rate this book book 4.5 out of 5 stars, and highly recommend it to everyone.


So, have you read The Art of Being Normal? Tell me what you think about it.