Monday, February 27, 2017

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth-Reshelved Books

Hello fellow readers!

I hope everyone had a great February and is ready for March!  (If any of you live on the East Coast like we do, it's been unseasonably warm... Not that we're complaining! Hopefully March brings more of the warm weather).

This month I bring all of you a review of The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson.

I read about this book in People, it had been mentioned it in one of their January issues as a book recommendation (I believe it was one with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds on the cover).  Having read books from People book recommendations in the past, I knew that this book had great potential to be a good read. (If you ever get the chance to check out their book recommendations, you really should.  People has a little more than just celebrity gossip!)

The story takes place in an affluent town (money, expensive cars, divorcees... those kinds of things) in California.  It follows a new teacher (Molly Nicoll) and shares the stories of several of her students.  Starting off during their eighth grade, when the loss of a fellow classmate occurs.  This is a pivotal turn as it molds the rest of the story.
Exposing the roles that each of Molly's students played in the untimely passing of Tristan. 

Each student has a different story that is narrated individually, in addition to a night at a party that is shared.  The progression of the novel makes sense; it starts with Cally/Calista and it ends with Cally/Calista.  Each chapter has a title like "The Dime" or "The Sleeping Lady" (these titles reminded me of the The Breakfast Club-- the Princess, the Brain, the Basket Case, the Athlete and the Criminal).  Each student having a moment of their life showcased. Some of these moments are intertwined and others seem like snippets. 

In some ways, this book reminded me of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher -- a high school student who has to deal with the suicide of a fellow classmate and carrying around the guilt that is associated with feeling responsible  for their death. (Just the adult version of that premise).

Out of the eight students that we learn about, I would have to say that Dave is favorite and that Andrew is the one who I liked the least. I found Abigail's story to be the most uncomfortable and I felt like Emma's story was a little out of left field.  What and who Abigail gets herself involved with is something of taboo -- student and teacher relationships are quite scandalous.  In fact, its a fine line that Molly finds herself dangerously close to crossing.  I wouldn't say that the issues Johnson gives her characters are those that are far-fetched, I feel like these are common troubles that teenagers frequently encounter.  

What was neat about this book was that Johnson not only tells the story of the student, but also the tale of their teacher. We get to see how Molly views her students and her fellow colleagues. We also get to see her section when she learns about the story of Tristan and how everything isn't always how it seems. 

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth was a page turner for sure! People did not let down or disappoint with this book recommendation either!  

This is another book that I highly recommend -- Four (4) coffee beans out of five (5) for this 
awesome read! (:

See you all in March!

~ Jillian

Monday, February 13, 2017

#RelationshipGoals Readings: Reshelved Books (Valentine's Day Edition)

Hey guys!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I am posting a review on not one but THREE books that are centered around romance and relationships. 

Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody
The Improbable Theory of Zak and Ana by Brian Katcher
The Romantics by Leah Konen

Those three books circle around relationships and love (for the most part... Boys of Summer also deals with death and it affects those who lost their loved one) AND all three books handle the topic of family (on a side note: I realized that family was a commanding topic as well once I was editing this review - this is a comment from Editing Jillian).

As a collective whole, I am giving these three books together twelve (12) coffee beans.
Continue reading down below if you'd like to see the review breakdown!

Scrapbook stickers and washi tape stripes are by Reflections. 
I bought them last year (2016) at Michael's.

Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody: 3 coffee beans out of 5

This book... I thought it was a little odd in terms of the writing style.  The book was centered around three friends; Grayson, Mike and Ian.  Grayson, Mike and Ian developed and fostered their friendship at Winlock Harbor during the summer months (hence the title Boys of Summer).
This is the last summer before the boys go off to college in the fall and it's the summer of major change- change that is influenced by tragedy. 

Grayson got into a major accident, the result of his parent's separation and divorce; affecting his abilities to play football in college.
Mike broke up with his girlfriend (Harper) of six years, changing his plans for once the fall rolls around.
Ian suffered great loss with the passing of his father, who was a SGT in the Army; and is having a hard time coping with the loss and the change in his mother's behavior as she tries to cope too.

As the book progresses, each boy finds a girl that he is interested in and the reader gets to see their relationships bud and how they unfold. The reader also gets to see how the dynamics of each boy's family progresses.

The content in the book didn't bother me. What annoyed me was that I was reading a book where three guys were the narrators and I felt like they were speaking like teenage girls. (Granted, I was a teenage girl back 10 years ago and I don't know how teenage boys think but I don't think that they would think like this!). Like why would a teenage boy go out and buy a whole new outfit, buy cheese and crackers and build a tent outside; never less GOOGLE romantic date ideas?! All to impress a girl who is a teenager herself! 

My heart went out to Ian, I was proud of how Mike was able to pick up and move on, and Grayson... Well, I wish he was a more forthcoming in his decision. But if he did that, then there wouldn't be much of a story on his end and no character progression (or digression at times...)

All in all, I don't think that the book was bad... It just wasn't my favorite book of the three that I am reviewing here.

I am giving this book 3 coffee beans out of five. 

The Improbable Theory of Zak and Ana by Brian Katcher: 4 coffee beans out of 5

I am going to start this review of by asking (you'll see why I'm asking this later on in my review).... Is anyone going bookcon this year?! NYC!! HEEEYYYYY! If you are, comment below! Jess and I are going so we'll see you all there! (Did anyone see that Chad Michael Murray is going to be there talking about his new book??! *swoons*)

Moving right along....

The Improbable Theory of Zak and Ana follows a boy named Zak and a girl named Ana (Duh. As if you didn't get that from the title...) and how one night can make you fall for someone.

Zak or "Duke" is forced to join Quiz Bowl, something he is quite reluctant to do but totally necessary if he wants to pass a required class to graduate in the spring. 
Ana is a high achieving student and captain of the Quiz Bowl, who is less than thrilled to learn that Zak is the new member on the team....

Lucky for Zak, he gets to spend time with the girl he is smitten with! Sadly for Ana...she's that girl and she has NO interest in Zak.

After competing in a day of quiz bowl, Ana's younger brother Clayton decides that he is going to attend Washingcon, the convention where Zak "should" have been spending his weekend, not at the Quiz Bowl competition (See why I asked you guys about bookcon?!).

It is at Washingcon where Zak and Ana go on an adventure to find Clayton before morning, when Mrs. Brinkham would find them missing thus jeopardizing Zak's final grade and Ana's parents finding about their Tom Foolery. 

The main focus of the book is around the adventure Ana and Zak share at Washingcon (The adventure is what makes the book!) All I can say is poor poor Zak...  You're left wanting to know what turns are going to happen in the plot, who Zak and Ana meet at Washingcon, where the last Clayton spotting was! Katcher made Zak to be a lovable character, one with terrible misfortune but a guy who was able to provide laughs.  

The reason why I gave this book four coffee beans out of five is because I could NOT stand Ana! There were times during the book that I thought she was getting better and I was starting to like her and then her character would do something that annoyed me and I was off put by her again.  I would be thinking "WHY Zak?! WHHHYYYY?!? You can find someone different! You could do better! You sound like such a cute guy, PLEASE find someone better!". 

In the end, Katcher wrote a book that had an interesting story line.  The situations that Ana and Zak encountered were unimaginable and crazy but you could laugh with some of things Zak got caught up in (which I think was from his laid back personality). The end of the book also made me happy for Zak and Roger.  

The Romantics by Leah Konen: **5 coffee beans out of 5**

If you want to read a lighthearted book about romance that is absolutely adorable than THIS is the book for you! And yes, "absolutely adorable" is a technical term (;

I loved this book! I loved Gael Brennan, I loved his adorable little sister Piper, Sammy Sutton and I loved how Love was the story's narrator. 

This book follows 17 year old Gael Brennan on his quest to find love and the trials and tribulations that he encounters along the way. You also get to meet three very different girls: Anika, Sammy and Cara.

With Love as the narrator, the reader is taken on a ride where you learn about the different types of romantics and how Love is able to influence certain situations and thoughts.  (Not to mention, there are cute little illustrations within the some chapters.)  The reader also learns that Love peeks in on already established relationships and ensures that the love is not lost... for the most part (if you read the book, you'll get what I mean). 

As for Ms. Konen, she wrote a story that was easy to follow and fun to read.  It was hard to put the book down! Finishing it was bittersweet but the ending was a happy moment for Gael (which is what you were rooting for after what he had been through).  I am looking forward to reading her other two books (hint hint: stay tuned for those reviews in the near future!). 

Happy Valentine's day!

~ Jillian

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Jars of Glass by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler - Reshelved Books

Hello Everyone!  

Surprise, surprise... I haven't posted this as "Currently Reading," but I did finish another book.  So here I offer you my review of the young adult novel Jars of Glass and my For the Love of Dewey Rating of 4.5 coffee beans.  

My boyfriend had noticed that I was looking for this book on a recent date night outing to our local used bookstore.  When I couldn't find it, he surprised me with an e-bay copy!  (Yes, I am a very lucky girl.) I'm pretty sure that this novel is out of print, which is a shame because it really is quite captivating.  

This novel takes place in Maine, and tells the story of a family that is barley functioning and staying together.  The two teenage daughters and their four-year-old brother (who was recently adopted from a Russian Orphanage and doesn't speak much English) live together with their dad above a funeral home.  We don't know much about what happened to their mother, but we do know that although she is still alive, the family mourns her loss as though she no longer is.  Through flashback stories of fairytales full of beach glass slowly unraveling to show glimpses of today, we learn the girls' mother suffered from untreated schizophrenia.  Barkley & Hepler keep the reader guessing what exactly happened to the girls mother, as well as if the family can ever heal and become whole again.  

I really liked how this novel tackles the topic of mental disorders, but places the disorder on the parent rather than the teenage character.  Done this way, Barkley & Hepler show a family dynamic of how everyone is effected by mental disorder and how everyone thus has to find a way to heal.  

I'm going to go back to writing my term papers now.  Please feel free to comment below with what you are reading, and if you're bored, check out our Instagram @fortheloveofdewey!  


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur - Reshelved Books

Happy Thursday Reading Everyone!

I recently finished Rupi Kaur's book of poetry entitled Milk and Honey.  And when I say finished, I mean devoured.   For those of you who don't know, I dabble in writing poetry.  Actually, I had gone to school for it.  I've even gotten a couple published (one recently), but for the most part they stay private and only manifest every now and then.

Kaur's poetry is raw and and emotional.  It tells the story of heartbreak and abuse, but it also tells the story of strength and healing.  One thing that stood out to me was how Kaur constantly refers to herself in lowercase form of "i," mimicking how she sees herself, or rather how the scarring of her soul has made her see herself.  

Milk and Honey p. 194

*5 out of 5 Coffee Beans!* 
I only wish that this book existed when heartbreak tried to break me.