Thursday, February 1, 2018

Two Young Adult Tear-Jerker Mini-Reviews

These are two YA books that I read and cried even as I enjoyed them more than anything this January.  All of them got 5 stars from me.

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover:
Published:  October 3rd, 2017
Source:  Purchased paperback/listened to digitally downloaded audiobook from Library
My Rating:  5 stars

I purchased this book when I finally got the chance to meet Colleen Hoover, one of the authors on my must-meet list since I first read one of her books about two years ago.  It was a little later before I finally got around to reading this, because I really wanted to listen to the audiobook from the library, even though I owned a physical copy of the book.  The characters were all so unique and they just jumped right off the pages.  This was one really messed up family. But we start out not knowing exactly what all those issues are.  And then this guy named Luck shows up, and I loved him!  He made me laugh so much!  Although later in the book he does do something that made me very angry.  The book just got weirder and weirder as it went.  The craziness just piled on to this family. And then it took a turn I totally didn't see coming!  One that had me in tears and at about 35% in the audiobook, I gave up and just picked up the book to start reading.  I can read so much faster than it takes to listen to the audiobook.  Halfway through she had me sobbing so hard I could barely see through my tears to keep reading.  ANd I had to stay up and read, couldn't go to bed without getting past a certain point.

A couple things that I loved, there's a funny fact in the book about how you can't hum when you're holding your nose closed.  I want to know who actually read that part and didn't then actually try it.  I admit it, I tried!  Then there is a quote about not trusting an overconfident person, and I totally agree with that 100% from all my past experiences in life.  And because I just have to share it, here is my picture with Colleen Hoover!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Miss Me Not by Tiffany King:
Published:  November 11th, 2012
Source:  Purchased ebook
My Rating:  5 stars 

This is one I downloaded because there is a page in my romance author coloring book.   Now, honestly, the picture in the coloring book doesn't quite match the way the story was.  I loved the story though. So many wonderful emotional scenes to this story.  While the other book I read by the author, The Write Stuff, was more New Adult, this was really YA.  I wish it was one I could purchase for my school library with school funds, but I would have to order it from Amazon with my own money and then wait to get my district to catalog it.  This book was so good that as I was reading it, I would tell myself just one chapter before bed, but before I knew it, I'd read way past the time I had meant to go to bed because of work the next day.  I loved Dean, and totally felt for Madison.  Really a great read.  It does deal with suicide and depression, so that is important for those who need trigger warnings I guess.  Oh yeah, here is my finished page from the coloring book.  You can see it looks kind of sweet and cheerful, and honestly this was a pretty dark story, lots of tears on my part!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Madison Hanson's past demons have given her a shadow of an existence with little hope. With the sudden tragic death of a fellow student, Madison questions her own life choices, and is now forced to evaluate everything she thought she believed in. 

When fate intervenes and partners her with Dean Jackson, a popular "all around good guy" from school, Madison gets a glimpse of a life that is filled with sunshine that has the power to break through the darkness she has cloaked herself in. 

With Dean's help, Madison discovers a desire to finally step out of the shadows, and embrace life and all its gifts.