Friday, September 26, 2014

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Faking Normal:
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.







Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens is one of those exceptional books that are extremely hard to review. With similar overtones to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, this book shouldered the weight of its content considerably well. It was utterly heart wrenching, the pages were filled with a haunting, emotional ambiance but by the end I was filled with an unexplainable sense of hope. I have thankfully never experienced the trauma that Alexi suffered, but I do know what it’s like to doubt yourself, or feel broken in some way. The heart of this book spoke to me with its insanely true-to-life characters and amazing storytelling from Courtney. This is not the traditional story of abuse with classic monsters lurking within every shadow; instead this book focuses on Alexi’s recovery in the aftermath. I think what a lot of readers might have lost along the way in regards to this book is that sometimes we (humans) “freeze” up. Life is never an easy journey (even a fictional one) and for the characters in this book terrible things happen, and their reactions are perfectly normal. Perfectly human.

The shame and pain Alexi feels for not “fighting against” or “saying no” to her abuser manifests as the self-harm she continually does to herself. Alexi is able to fake being normal and happy amazingly well, except there is one person who sees through her fa├žade: Bodee. After living with an abusive father and eventually losing his mother to the abuse, Bodee recognizes the pain Alexi tries to hide. The relationship between Bodee and Alexi begins slowly as a tentative understanding of each other, and ultimately turned into genuine deep affection. Alexi only trusts one person with her secret, and in turn Bodee trusts her with the truth of what happened that fateful day with his family. Their separate pain brings them closer together, and in turn it is only through their knowledge and compassion that they help each other to become whole again.

The ending was more than I could have expected and undeniably appropriate, and I do believe Faking Normal has caused a bit of a book-hangover for me.




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Future Favorites (183)

Future Favorites is an awesome blog feature created by Alex over at Electrifying Reviews. I post about a book that is yet-to-be-released that I can't wait to read!



The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Release Date: March 3, 2015 by Dutton Children's

Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story of his summer at a boys' camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Odds & Ends (8)


I love books, you all know that, but I thought that sometimes it would be nice to talk about other things that I love as well.
As usual, my lists are always in no particular order.

Favorite Book Memes found Around the Web







Sundays with Sarah (45)


To find out more about Sarah and this feature go here.


Amy here!

Just letting all of you (our lovely readers) know that Sarah is currently working on a film and will have a post for us as soon as she is able.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Forgotten Fridays (99)

I invite and welcome anyone interested to post their own Forgotten Friday and join in the fun! I feature a book that I have read and have forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Some books might recent reads and some might be older reads, but I hope this helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own TBR pile!


Dead to You by Lisa McMann
First Published: February 2010
Goodreads | My Review

Some memories are better left untouched.

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family.

It's a miracle... at first.

Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together.

But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked.

Something unspeakable...


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Thirteen (53)


Thursday Thirteen is a weekly meme with a simple theme: each Thursday you blog a list of 13 things. What kind of things? Any kind! Just come up with a list theme and run with it.
*All of my lists are in no particular order.*
 

Fall Crafts to Do with My Kids

With Fall just around the corner, I've been dying to do some fun crafting!


















Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why Haven't I Read You? (65)

Every Wednesday I’ll choose a book off one of my (many, many) shelves that I haven’t read for some reason or another, and include the first few lines from the first page.
Feel free to join in, and comment about the books I feature if you have read them!


Black funeral dress. Black heels. Black headband in my hair. Death has a style all its own. I’m glad I don’t have to wear it very often.

My dress, which I found after rummaging in the back of my closet, still smells vaguely of summer and chlorine. The smell is probably just a memory.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Future Favorites (182)

Future Favorites is an awesome blog feature created by Alex over at Electrifying Reviews. I post about a book that is yet-to-be-released that I can't wait to read!


The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: November 4, 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Odds & Ends (7)


I love books, you all know that, but I thought that sometimes it would be nice to talk about other things that I love as well.
As usual, my lists are always in no particular order.

(Book Cover) Artists I Love


Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland

Dopplegangster by Laura Resnick



Nightlife by Rob Thurman

The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gray

Storm Front by Jim Butcher



Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn

Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks

The Spider by Jennifer Estep



Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck

The Raven by Jeremy Bishop

Hexed by Kevin Hearne



The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M Liu

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong

Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus