ARC review: keep you safe

to read a blurb about this book from Goodreads, click here


Also, I’m sorry that this is incredibly long. I am very very passionate about vaccines and this book was all about that. I had a lot to say obviously. 

A super special thank you goes out to Goodreads and Harper Collins publishing/ Mira Books. Thank you so very much for allowing me to read this book beforehand. Please note that this is an uncorrected proof that I read. So some things I mention might not be in the final version of the book and that they are totally subject to change! 

My copy was also a paperback. There currently isn’t an option for the paperback edition on Goodreads. 

Expected publication for this book is August 22nd. 


Wow! I mean, I am just floored with what I read. From the first page to the last page, it was an incredible, thought provoking book. I mean, I am at a loss for words. And that twist at the end. I can’t even believe it.

Okay, let me get my thoughts in check. I took notes on this book, as I always do. It filled up the whole page plus on the side. That is how much I had to say about this book. Knowing me, I will forget to mention half of it. But I shall do my best. I also don’t want to give a lot away. I don’t know what the policy is on reviewing ARCs so I will try my best.

I’m not going to lie. Not even 20 pages in, I was mad. I was so mad that I had to put the book down and read Harry Potter to cool off. I was so infuriated with Madeline and her family. I’m not giving anything away, because it’s on the back of the book, by saying that she chose voluntarily not to vaccinate her kids due to what she and her husband read online about the MMR vaccine. For those that don’t know, MMR stands for measles, mumps and rubella. The HPV vaccine was also mentioned which prevents cervical cancer.

In case you guys didn’t know, I am a huge proponent for vaccinations. It is one of things I am seriously passionate about besides mental health and LGBT rights. I was vaccinated as a child and I’m totally fine. I got the HPV when I was older and the only thing that was bad was I had sore arms for a couple of days. I know that these vaccines SAVE LIVES. There is NOTHING you can say that won’t convince me me otherwise. Yes, there is always that slim chance that someone could get sick from the vaccines but that percentage is tiny. I get so angry seeing outbreaks of diseases that are totally preventable and were nearly eradicated because of people who buy into the debunked study that vaccines cause autism.

That is another thing that really grinds my gears. Anti vaxxers are so worried that vaccines cause autism that they would rather let their child run the risk of getting a horrid disease such as polio (which can cause deformities while the child is growing) than deal with a illness that is can be managed when caught early enough. Is autism seriously worse than polio, cervical cancer, measles, etc etc etc??? Let me answer that for you. NO. NO it is not!

Alright, stepping down from the pedestal. But seriously, this book will make you angry, as you can clearly tell from my little rant above, if you are on the side that I am on. I think Melissa Hill was trying to show both sides of the story. on vaccines And I totally understand that. In fact, she really did a good job of doing it. Much to my dismay, I did start to feel pity for Madeline. I didn’t understand her reasonings why she didn’t vaccinate her children nor do I approve of it, but I felt bad for what she was going through. Obviously not enough to side with her. And I obviously disapprove of it. But still, that pity was there.

I’m going to end it here because I don’t want to give everything way. I really highly suggest that you all read this book when it comes out which is in August. This book has a lot of positives, such as the multiple POVs from everyone involved. It didn’t become too much and I actually enjoyed getting the different thoughts from people. I really can’t see any downsides to this besides maybe you’ll get angry like I did and have to put the book down for a little while. Work through that anger, as I did, and I promise that you will like this book and everything it has to offer. I’m so glad that I won the giveaway and got a chance to read this book!

 

xxlacy

mid year book freak out tag

I’m so behind in tags that I have been tagged in. It’s awful. I’ve been neck deep in the world of Harry Potter and I have no regrets about it. None. Not even a letter (5 pts to your House if you can guess the reference!)

Anyway, I was tagged in this by the oh so lovely Frankie. Seriously, she is such a doll for tagging me in things all the time. I totally appreciate the love. I seriously recommend you guys all go follow her blog. She is constantly posting fun and interesting things and her reviews are spot on all the time!

Anyway, this is the mid year book freak out tag. Can you believe that it’s June, almost July, already? I mean it feels like just yesterday it was my birthday (I was born in January). This looked like a fun tag so here I go! Props, as always, to the creator of this tag.

I’ve decided to not use pictures because otherwise this thing will be monstrous. However, I shall post Goodreads links to all the books. 


Best book you’ve read so far in 2017

Easy peasy. Scythe. If you follow me on Goodreads, you saw my gushy review and it was probably extremely incoherent due to me fangirling. I mean, this book was everything. I adore dark and creepy things so this was right up my alley. It’s basically a retelling/dystopian view of the Grim Reaper. Not going to lie, after watching Supernatural, my interest in the Reapers intensified. This book delivered. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go read it. I won’t be mad.


Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas. I had read Throne of Glass earlier this year and I was anxious to know how my Chaol and Celaena fared. I was also dying to know if Celaena actually became the assassin she claimed she was in the first book. I had even considered not finishing the series because I was just getting so frustrated with Celaena. I got some answers but am anxious to continue the series.


New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Follow Me Back by A.V Geiger. It seems like it’s a good book with representation for agoraphobia. Plus the blurb on Goodreads says it’s told through tweets, direct messages and police transcripts which reminds me of Illuminae. Which is a favorite book of mine.  So hopefully I will be able to read it soon.


Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Merciless 3: Origins of Evil by Danielle Vega. Technically it comes in July which is technically the second half of the year. I am super stoked! I read the first four chapters and I need more of it. I read the first two and this is an origin story explaining why the first two books happened. I adore origin stories so I can’t wait!


Biggest disappointment

The Mistress by Danielle Steel. The blurb made it sound like it was going to be a matter of life and death. Instead, I just got a guy obsessed with a girl who was basically a toy for a rich Russian. It wasn’t like anything that I thought it was going to be and it was just upsetting. Not one of her better writings.


Biggest surprise

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. This book received a lot of hate and criticisms. And I mean a lot. Because of all the criticism, I thought I was going to hate the book and regret spending my limited funds on it. Instead, I adored it. I saw why people got upset about it but I didn’t think it was a super huge issue. I think a lot people took things out of context (kind of reminds me of the Black Witch, which I haven’t read. I’ve just seen a lot of reviews about it.)


Favorite new author

Alison Weir. I read a couple of her books last year and read a lot more this year. I am so amazed at her attention to detail. In all her books, she notes that she tries to stick with the original story as much as possible and only takes liberties with things like conversations. She does a lot of historical fiction and is currently writing a six part series on King Henry VIII’s wives. So hyped!


Newest fictional crush

Ha, can I say Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series? I don’t really develop crushes on fictional characters anymore. I just really want to be friends with Lisbeth. She is so cool and awkward, just like me. I need more awkward friends in my life. So maybe it would be a friend crush?


Newest fictional character

I’d say Evie from The Diviners series. I really love how spunky and sassy she is. I’m still really hoping that my ship works out. I have never wanted a ship to work more than Evie and Sam. Because of her, I’m a bit more interested in the 1920s. I can’t wait for the third book even though the covers are getting progressively more and more ugly.


Book that made you cry

Illuminae and Gemina probably were the ones that made me cry ugly tears, which were hard to hide since I was at work. I mean really, what kind of author puts me through all of that? It was awful but I was so damn hooked. I’m being intentionally vague because spoilers. But yes, read those books if you want to cry.


Book that made you happy

The Royals series by Erin Watt. I know I know. There are a lot of things wrong with it but damn, I love a happy ending. The trials and hardships that Ella and Reed went through made my heart hurt but I also really enjoyed the happy times as well. The series ended well for me and that made me happy.


Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I’m going to have to answer with Illuminae again. Because once you took off the dust jacket, you see all this awesome writing from the actual book. I adore writing on books like that. There is just something so cool about the different fonts that are available to us and how it can be used to cover almost an entire book without looking overwhelming.


What books do you need to read by the end of the year

I need to catch up on the following series:

The Gender Games

The Kingfountain series

Throne of Glass series

Traci Crosswhite series

Crossroads saga

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty series

The Red Rising series

I’m sure that there are more series but these are the ones that stick out to me at this moment. I also need to get Origin by Dan Brown, the third Merciless, and Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir. There is clearly a lot more. I mean look at my TBR on Goodreads. It’s up to 250 books despite me trying to keep in under control. Because I am extremely lazy, I’m not going to link this section to Goodreads.


Favorite book community member (blogger, booktuber and bookstagrammer)

I know it says favorites but I don’t like playing favorites. It makes people sad. So I’m just going to say if you want to do this, go for it. If you tag me in it, cool. If not, no biggie. I like to keep tags fun.

 

 

xxlacy

lock and key

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here.

 

When I started this book, I was worried that I had finally outgrown Sarah Dessen. I used to read her books constantly when I was younger. They spoke to me because they were about problems that teenagers dealt with. I felt like I could relate to them. And in a way, I did. Even if the teenagers were whiny and cried a lot. I was a whiny teenager that cried a lot so I felt like I had a lot in common.

But I wondered, would I be able to relate to Sarah Dessen now that I am 24 years old?

In some ways, yes, I have outgrown Sarah Dessen. But in other ways, no. This book didn’t really help me decide but I enjoyed it anyway. But I wasn’t super wowed by it. I’ll explain further.

What I really liked about this book is the character growth. That is what really sucked me in. Every single character, whether it was a side character or a main one, had some sort of growth. And I love that. I hate it when characters are stagnant in a book. How can they accomplish anything if they don’t grow?

Ruby, I think, had the most amount of growth. She had been sent to live with her sister after her landlords found out that she was living alone, underage. Her flaky mother took off and left Ruby to fend for herself. Ruby had a bit of bad relationship with Cora, her sister, at first. She accused Cora of leaving her in the mess and abandoning her and her mom. But the truth slowly comes out and suddenly Ruby’s world isn’t the same. She had to learn what it meant to have a family.

The growth that Ruby had was incredible. She started out as a teenager so angry and sad for being left and completely set on being independent. Ruby’s mother instilled a lot of really bad thoughts in Ruby and it took her a long time to get over that. She viewed help as a sign of weakness and vowed to never left anybody help her. Slowly, through the help of Jamie (her brother in law), Cora, Nate, and others, she learned that help isn’t so bad and that family can mean more than one thing.

Nate was a good side character and a good love interest. I wasn’t totally wowed by him but he had charm and was good for Ruby. He made Ruby question a lot of her decisions in life and that was good for her. Nate essentially forced Ruby to rethink what it means to have friends and people that care about you. In turn, Ruby taught Nate that help is okay and it’s okay to talk about what is going on in your life.

Overall, this was a good book. I was surprised to find that I liked it as much as I did. I think the reason I didn’t love it was because I wasn’t super emotionally involved with the plot. It took me way longer than it should have to finish this book and I think it was just because I didn’t connect with the plot very well. In all honesty, there really wasn’t a plot and the plot I did find, kind of plodded along slowly. Maybe it would have helped if I didn’t read Harry Potter during this book but probably not. Overall, not a bad piece of work by Sarah Dessen.

xxlacy

happy father’s day

It’s father’s day! I wanted to take this time to talk a bit about my dad.

It was because of his dad, my grandpa, that I got into reading. Unfortunately, my grandpa is no longer with us but my love for reading that he instilled within me never died. Dad made sure to keep that love alive, in memory of Grandpa. I am so grateful that he did.

With my dad, I can talk about different types of books and he actually gives them a chance if I recommend something and vice versa. Although he still thinks I’m silly for loving 50 Shades. He is totally into YA, which is awesome, and he was one of the reasons I started reading the Hunger Games. I started reading more classics because of him because he likes to discuss those with me. And in turn, I started getting him to read Illuminae, which I am hoping he likes!

I am so bad with expressing myself with words so I’ll just end it here. Curse my awkwardness.

Thank you, Dad. You are truly one heck of a guy. ❤

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ps. Hail to the Redskins! It’s our favorite team. This picture was on Thanksgiving. I’m wearing his sweatshirt and he is wearing the jersey I got him. 

xxlacy

pride month

I have decided to write a blog post that doesn’t really have anything to do with books because this is a month close to my heart. This month is pride month for the LGBTQIA+ community. I am so proud to say that my hometown had their first ever pride celebration this weekend. I was unable to go due to work but I am so incredibly proud of my community. I think it was pretty successful. I am awaiting the results of how many showed up.

As you may or may not know, I live in Iowa. Iowa was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage but for the most part, we are an incredibly conservative state. So sometimes, I come across a lot of hate and discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community. My high school was not very accepting of those in that community and it was really quite sad. I tried my best to stand up for those and I was oftentimes accused of being a lesbian.

I am straight but I am proud supporter the LGBTQIA+ community. My very best friend in the entire world is trans. He is female to male. I’m not going to lie, it did throw me into left field. I had no idea that he felt the way he did but you know what, I’m still going to love him and he is still my best friend. I just wanted you guys to know that and know that is one of the reasons this is an important month to me.

I just think it’s incredibly important to support those in the LGBTQIA+ community. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, trans, asexual, bisexual, whatever. It just breaks my heart to see so much discrimination and hate. It bothers me even more that religion seems to be one of the massive reasons to hate. I’m not Christian but if I remember correctly, Jesus taught everyone to love everyone. So I get so mad when I see people use religion as an excuse to be nasty. Don’t do that. Just be a damn human being and be nice.

Words can’t express how I felt with gay marriage was finally legalized. But now with the current President, I don’t know what is going to happen. I hope that we can continue to move forward. But no matter what happens, please note that my blog is a safe space. I do not discriminate and I will not tolerate those that discriminate. You are free to be whoever you want on my blog.

I’m sorry that this sounds incredibly disjointed. I have a hard time putting my passions into words. And supporting this community is one of my passions. I was hope I was able to get my feelings across about how important this month is.

Happy pride month!

 

xxlacy