Showing posts from February 24, 2019

People Like Us

People Like Us  by Dana Mele (375 pages) Overview: There's a girl dead in the lake. Kay and her friends are the ones to discover her body after a school Halloween dance, and they're immediately at the top of the detective's suspect list. While no one else has anything to fear, Kay has a long history with police questioning and suspicion, and she's terrified of finding herself in the same position again. Then she gets an email with a link to a revenge website that claims to have been made by Jessica, the girl that they didn't even know till they found her body. But as the website intensifies and orders Kay to betray her friends one by one to keep her secrets under wraps, Kay begins to realize there's something more sinister at play. Overall: 4  Characters: 4 Kay is an interesting character. Guilt plagues her and informs nearly every action in her life, but once she gets to boarding school, Bates, she transforms into a quintessential mean girl with a whole p

Into YA with Nikki Barthelmess

Today, the wonderful Nikki Barthelmess is here to chat about her new novel, The Quiet You Carry , which comes out on March 5. If you haven't heard about the The Quiet You Carry , I recommend you check out my review of it to provide a little context for the interview.  1. In the unfolding of Victoria’s story, you expertly point out points in the foster system where its flaws and procedural issues lead to it being just as hard and ruthless as it’s portrayed in movies and television, but you also humanize it beautifully, showing the good intentions beneath the struggle. Was it important for you to show the softer side of the system with Connie’s evolution and the relationships between the foster sisters? Is there a change to the system that you think would allow people like Connie to make her realizations sooner and make transitions like Victoria’s less traumatic? I think, in general, most people aren’t all good or all bad. Even those we consider villains, tend to see themselv

The Quiet You Carry

The Quiet You Carry  by Nikki Barthelmess (March 5) Overview: Victoria never thought she'd end up in foster care. She's in her senior year, nearly eighteen, when she's suddenly brought to a foster home after being put out of the house, and she's not even sure what happened. All Victoria knows is that what her father claims she did is a lie, and she's getting punished for his actions. Victoria wants out of her rigid foster life and the tiny Nevada town she gets dumped in, but, as time goes on and she awakens to her reality, she realizes that home might not be where she wants to return after all. Overall: 4.5  Characters: 5 Victoria has grit. Even when put in one of the worst situations imaginable, she keeps her head up and keeps working toward shaping her future. As she loses one thing after another, she constructs new in its place. She stays remarkably understanding and open, and her focus is strong despite dealing with probable PTSD. Those around her are hel

On The Come Up

On The Come Up  by Angie Thomas (447 pages) Overview: Bri is going to be a rapper... not like her father, legendary rapper, Lawless. Despite what everyone says, Bri's going to be a rapper all on her own. Unfortunately, she doesn't get the chance to influence her own narrative. When she releases her first song, "On The Come Up", it ignites a media firestorm. There's questions about whether it incites violence, and there's even a petition to get the song taken down. Meanwhile, Bri is dealing with the rival gang of her Aunt's coming after her because they also misunderstood the song. Bri has a dream, but there's plenty to stand in her way. Overall: 4.5 Characters: 5 Bri is happy to invite you into her world. She has best friends, her mom and brother, her grandparents, and the church ladies to deal with. The characters around her are rich and fully fleshed out, even if they're only in a couple scenes. Bri is bold. She doesn't hold back, and,