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

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

seven deadly sins book tag

I’m back with another tag. I wasn’t really tagged in it, per se, but it looked fun. I found it on Frankie’s blog. If you haven’t checked her blog out, you seriously need too. Her reviews are fun and witty. Props, as always, to the original creator!

I’m also doing this tag because I’m currently in the midst of reading Harry Potter. I want to do a series overview of it so that’s why there is the lack of book reviews. I’m also reading a Sarah Dessen book and I got an ARC for Keep You Safe which I will be starting that as well. Don’t worry, once I knock out HP, I will be back with lots of reviews! In the meantime, enjoy this fun little book tag.


Greed: What are you most expensive and inexpensive book?

My most expensive book is Illuminae. It was actually a gift from my sister for my birthday!

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My least (new) expensive book is Blue by Danielle Steel. It was a measly $8USD. I would have put my thrift store books but I can’t remember which one was the cheapest.

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Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness? 

Easy. It is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. The hype surrounding it is real and I don’t want to be disappointed.

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Wrath: Who is an author you have a love/hate relationship with? 

Nicholas Sparks. There are a lot of his books that I adore but I really hate some of the endings that he does. They seem really pointless and hurt my heart. Luckily, my favorite, Safe Haven had a good ending.

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Gluttony: What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?

Harry Potter, no questions asked. I have been re-reading it over and over again. I compare everything I have read to Harry Potter.

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Lust: What traits do you find attractive in fictional characters?

Personally, I like a sense of weakness. I like it when the character knows that they are weak in some areas and they work on fixing those problems. I always think of Neville when I think of weak characters. He knows that he is weak but he also knows his strengths as well. He works on those weaknesses and gets better and becomes a kickass wizard.

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Pride: What book do you talk about in order to sound intelligent? 

Hmmm, to be completely honest. I really don’t do that. I talk about all the books I’ve read, not to sound intelligent, but because I enjoy talking about books.


Envy: What book would you like to receive most as a gift?

I would love love love the duology of Six of Crows or the Ravenclaw Harry Potter book set. Each are super crazy beautiful and I wouldn’t turn them down.

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Tag

Anybody who wants to do this! This was a fun tag and it made me think quite a bit about my answers.

xxlacy

 

the night circus

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

 

This was an interesting book to say the least. I do see why people are into magic realism. It really is a wonderful genre. But it’s not something I would want to read all the time. This book was something special, though. It was beautifully written and flowed perfectly. There was just the right amount of mystery and the right amount of…well everything. It reminded me of A Star Touched Queen. with the beautifully flowing writing.

I was slightly confused at first because this book starts with two different periods of time that slowly merge together. Once I figured that out, the book became a lot easier to read. I actually really liked that aspect. It’s definitely something that you don’t see a whole lot of. I do wish that the game was explained a bit more thoroughly, however. I wanted to know everything about the game and why it came into existence. But I’m one of those people that insists on knowing everything.

As beautiful as this book was written, I found it hard to connect to the two MC’s, Marco and Celia. I was rooting for them as a couple but separately, I just couldn’t connect with them. They just seemed kind of two dimensional. Again, maybe it’s a me thing. I prefer character driven stories than plot driven stories. And I’m not entirely sure if this was a character driven book, a plot driven book or neither.

It sounds like I didn’t like this book but I really did. I can’t get over the writing and how wonderful it flowed. I just found it really hard to connect with the characters, both the MC’s and all the side characters. There were kind of a lot of side characters so I got slightly confused. It also didn’t help that I started the book really confused because I didn’t read the chapter beginnings closely, which was my own fault.

I will say this though, it was SO MUCH MORE BETTER than Caraval. I mean, it was a 100 million times better. This book didn’t lie to me for the sake of lying, which I will forever be salty about. And even though I didn’t connect with the characters, they were so much more better what Caraval came up with. I mean seriously, why is Caraval even a book? I usually don’t rag on a book so hard but it upsets me because Caraval had a lot of potential and it just flopped.

Overall, this book was good. I liked the writing and I liked the concept. The Night Circus sounds like a badass circus that I would love to attend. The descriptions even between the “chapters” made me want to find the nearest circus. I just couldn’t connect with the characters which is why it has four stars instead of five.

 

xxlacy

my favorite genre // part 2

I decided that since I haven’t finished a book in a while, I would do another my favorite genre post. I think this helps you guys get to know me better and what to look out for in my reviews.

Today, I think I will talk about YA. Yes, I know that YA is a very broad genre so I’ll narrow it down to YA dystopian. For those that don’t know, dystopian is (according to Google) relating to or denoting an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

What started my journey into dystopians was the Hunger Games. Super cliche, I know. Basically everyone starts out their dystopian journey with the Hunger Games. It’s like a staple in the YA world. Regardless, the book was recommended to me by my dad, who doesn’t read YA a whole lot. So that is saying something about the power of that book.

I think what I like best about the dystopians is the different world and how people live in it. I like reading about the underdog that rose up from the bottom to attempt to take out the terrible government. Katniss and Violet (from the Gender Game series) are the two that really stand out for me as those underdogs that are fighting for what is right.

Another reason I enjoy YA dystopian is I love information. I love learning about every aspect of the totalitarian government. I love learning about how they got there. Those info dumps that most people don’t like are the things I generally love.

If you are looking into starting your dystopian journey, I would immediately suggest The Hunger Games and The Gender Games. The Gender Games is like the Hunger Games meets sexism/ sexist inequality. They are both very fast paced novels and you will easily breeze through them.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading a little bit about one of my favorite genres. What are some good YA dystopians you enjoy? I would love to hear about them so I can add them to my TBR list.

 

xxlacy

the diary of anne frank

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

note: if you follow me on Goodreads, this is the same review. I felt that I wrote the Goodreads review so well that it deserved to be on my blog. 

 

How does one even begin to write a review on something such as this? This is someone’s personal diary. You can’t judge someone for bad sentence structure or poor choice of words or lack of dialogue. I’ve seen some negative reviews about this book and I can’t help but want to ask them if they even read the book.

My heart absolutely bleeds for Anne Frank. She has so much potential. It was obvious to me how bright and intelligent she was, even with her flaws. I think, had she lived, she clearly would have made something of herself. Perhaps we would be reading her books instead of her diary.

It just floors me that the Holocaust even happened. I mean, how could someone, just one human, cause such a mass amount of murder? How in the world could that one person even talked people into doing such terrible things to their own countryman and countrywomen? As a psychology major, I try and understand people and try to understand how they work and what makes them tick. I don’t think I even want to understand how Hitler’s mind works. I think I would be frightened of what I would find.

As I type this, I can’t help but think we are in the midst of something similar to the Holocaust. Of course, people aren’t being executed. I mean the beginnings of what led to the Holocaust. But I think of Trump and his Muslim travel ban and I can’t help but draw similarities. As someone who has studied the Holocaust (but am in no way, a pro) and what led up to it, I see a lot of the same things. To give one example, Trump uses fear, like Hitler did, to do what he wants and gets away with it.

Okay enough about Trump because otherwise we would literally be here all day. I just want to make a few more points about this book before I wrap it up.

I admire Anne’s courage. The fact that she was able to hide for 25 months and be in somewhat good spirits is amazing. I don’t think I would have been able to last even a month. The potential fear of getting caught would drive me to craziness. She took in all in stride and that is extremely admirable.

I felt so much pity for her. What was supposed to be the best years of her life were spent in hiding. I couldn’t help but feel bad for her when she chastised herself for wanting to go outside and be with friends while millions of Jews were being rounded up daily. I wanted to reach through the book and tell her she had every right to feel that way. You can’t expect a teenager to not want these things.

My last point I wanted to make is that she was so close to being liberated. I’m talking less than two months and she died. She could have made it had the Allies come just a little bit earlier. Every time I think about this, I can’t help but almost cry. Two months!

This book has revitalized my love of learning about World War II. Be on the lookout out for more of these books because after I finish my huge amount of books, I will be checking out a lot of WWII books.

 

note: I know that there is a movie on this book as well as countless documentaries on this book. If it’s a popular idea, I could try and find the movie adaption on Netflix and review it. Let me know if that would be a good idea and if you all would like it. 

 

xxlacy

the girl with the dragon tattoo

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

trigger warnings: rape and incest

 

This book has been in TBR pile for years before I even joined Goodreads. I had seen bits and pieces of the Swedish movie and had seen a trailer for the American version of it. I had friends that told me that this book was pretty good and I think even my dad recommended it to me at one point. Needless to say, this book was a constant in my life.

I regret wasting so many years. But at the same time, I don’t think young me could have handled what this book had to offer.

This is about Mikael and Lisbeth. Mikael is a financial journalist who has just been convicted of libel for printing a false story about a big financial mogul. Lisbeth works as a freelancer for Milton Security, gathering information about different people for a variety of clients. Mikael is tasked to find out what happened to Henrik Vanger’s brother’s granddaughter and to do this, he enlists the help of Lisbeth. What Mikael and Lisbeth find is so much worse than they could have imagined.

Lisbeth’s POV was my favorite. She was very interesting and I couldn’t help but feel nothing but pity for this poor thing. Life had dealt her a pretty crap hand. The way her mind works is incredible, though. Everything she does, she measures out all the possible consequences and determines the best course of action. It has to be exhausting living life like that but that is what is best for her. I could easily see myself as friends with her.  I hope that in the next book, we get more of a backstory with her. We only got a taste but I’m dying for more

Mikael’s POV was decent. I was incredibly intrigued with the task he was assigned to do. Mikael had some flaws for me, which nearly prevented me from fulling love this book, even though I shelved it under favorites on Goodreads. I’m a weird creature. Some of the choices he makes were dumb and he lived life like he was constantly in fear, which got old especially after having Lisbeth’s POV. He complained of things that he could easily change but chooses not too. But he has enough good qualities about him that I still want to read the next book.

The plot itself is very slow burn up until about the last 20%. But I think with this particular book, slow burn works well. It’s a mystery surrounded in mystery. We learn everything from Mikael and Lisbeth so we are left to only speculate what is going to happen. There were several times where I thought I had figured it all out but Stieg Larsson said NOPE and completely turned the tables on me. I thin mysteries are slowly becoming a very preferred genre with me.

To address the trigger warning I mentioned above: there are two different rape scenes. Each are very graphic so please read at your own risk. The incest is mentioned in passing several times towards the end but it’s not as descriptive. Still, please read at your own risk.

 

note: I haven’t seen the movie like I mentioned above but I will plan on watching it very soon. As soon as I do, you can sure bet that there will be a review about it. There is a strong chance that I will watch the Swedish version even though I don’t speak a lick of it. That version of the movie is more likely to follow the book because Hollywood can’t read. I’m looking at you, director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

 

xxlacy