Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews on books, movies, and more.

IT

The remake of IT by Stephen King came out recently and being the fan that I am, I had to go see it. Part of me was a little skeptical because of it being a remake, but I was absolutely blown away. Bill Skarsgard’s performance of IT was too good for its own good. The beginning scene with Georgie blew away the originals’ by a long shot. I actually had to cover my eyes.

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Picture Via IGN.com

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the original, but I think the remake showed more of IT in a gruesome and cruel way. Before I saw the movie I compared both Tim Curry’s IT and Bill Skarsgard’s IT. First, I thought the new one looked stupid. I didn’t think he looked scary, nor did I think he looked inviting. The whole point of IT was to look inviting to children. Curry’s portrayal looked way more inviting to me. Then I saw the beginning scene and knew I’d be having nightmares for the next week.

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Picture via www.express.co.uk

I don’t know if it’s the smile, the big blue eyes, or the way he talked to Georgie that was creepy. Maybe it’s a mixture of both. All I know is that when I watch the movie again, I’ll have to skip over that part.

Even though IT as the clown was creepy, he wasn’t as bad as the fears he’d appear as. Beverly’s bloody scene in the bathroom was pretty crazy. I thought IT was going to pull her down the sink drain. Another really good scene was when Ben’s in the library and the headless guy chases him around. I don’t know about anyone else but if I saw a red balloon go by and it’s obvious no one else did, I’m not following it. I’m not after the trail of Easter eggs when it’s not Easter, and I’m not going into rooms I don’t belong in. That’s just me, though, and we can’t all be like that. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a movie/book.

Despite that most people hate when movie remakes come out (mainly because of the cool graphics that’s added), this remake was really good. I can relate it to Carrie in the sense that all of them were great. The graphics added to IT were just incredible. It wasn’t too much or too little, either. They did a really good job at making it look the time period that the story takes place.

I really liked the chemistry between all the actors. I’m usually not into movies or TV shows that surround children. The storylines and other things that I look for in my entertainment don’t involve kids very much. However, these children outdid themselves in their parts and really made the movie. I especially liked Finn Wolfhard’s portrayal of Richie. I’ve become a huge fan of a child actor for the first time and will be watching everything he’s in for the rest of my life/his acting career.

Richie is my favorite one out of the bunch. I feel like he’s the Ryuk of Death Note. The character that says what the viewer is thinking the entire time. Even though I’m not a fan of F-bombs, they placed Richie’s’ perfectly throughout the entire film. He was one of the last boys to be attacked by IT. I think that was because his fear was clowns. If all IT had to do was show up as himself that wouldn’t be as fun. I looked forward to seeing how IT would scare him and was very impressed by the results. Of course, I can’t tell what it was so you’ll just have to see.

Overall, IT was a fantastic movie and the makers did an incredible job. I now know why Stephen King is so proud of it. It’s really exciting to know that there will be a sequel which is a better idea. You can’t fit a 1,200-page book into two and a half hours.

Cover picture via youtube.com

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

One thing I always liked about City of Bones is how it emphasized knowledge and how it changes you. In the end of the movie, Clary tells Jace that everything’s change. She can’t see the world as the same anymore. When Jace replied, my heart stopped. It was the most amazing answer ever. He said, “The world hasn’t changed, you have.” That is so true.

A lot of the time we learn things about ourselves and others that change the way we see something. When you find out your significant other cheated on you, your heart breaks. You lose trust and sometimes can’t even look at them. In that moment they didn’t change. You did. When we see someone help an old lady cross a street, or someone buy a homeless man food, the same thing can be said. We view it as, “There are still good people in the world.” However, images of kidnappings, murders, thieves, and hate hit us.

We can go from feeling hopeful for the human race to feeling like we shouldn’t exist. Again, the world didn’t change, you did. Those things will always be there. Lies, cheating, murder, hate, love, joy, peace, and war are a part of this world. People change, but the world never does. Our whole world revolves around us and the way we view things. Racism, sexism, stereotyping, etc. It won’t ever go anywhere, but we do. We grow, learn, teach, accept, and won’t tolerate. It’s a part of who we are.

Clary is a fifteen (almost sixteen) year old girl that lives her life normally. She goes to school, comes home, hangs out with her best friend, and loves her mother. There isn’t anything really exciting about her life. Except for the nights that she’s able to visit a club called Pandemonium. Clary loves this place for the clothes, people, and atmosphere. Of course, her best friend, Simon, can’t stand it. He’s more of a nerdy, awkward guy that only tags along because it’s what Clary wants to do.

Then she witnesses a murder there. The worse part is that no one else sees it. Not because no one else is there, but because no one else saw the three teenagers lead a guy into a backroom. They’re completely invisible! But why can Clary see them? Because she’s hiding a secret. The only bad part about it is that she doesn’t even know what the secret is. Now realizing that the stories she was told as a kid about monsters and heroes were real, consumes her. And the dark shadowhunter that caused a bloody battle is leading straight to her. Who is she really and why can’t she remember?

I was in high school when I read this series for the first time. I couldn’t stop flipping pages. The most frustrating part was that I could only read so fast. I fell in love with each character for a different reason and felt real empathy for everything they went through. That had never happened to me before. This series has definitely earned its title as my favorite book series.

I also like the Christian background that it has involving angels and demons. In this world, they are physical beings that have to be fought in a war. In real life, they aren’t physical beings. We have to fight our demons spiritually. I liked how Cassandra brought that aspect of our lives into a physical form.

My favorite characters are Alec and Magnus. It’s not because they fall in love and I think it’s cute. I like them because of how witty they are. Magnus is supposed to be this crazy powerful warlock (which he is) and he is a giant teddy bear. He’s sweet and kind. Being willing to help a shadowhunter isn’t something most “Downworlders” (werewolves, vampires, warlocks) are capable of. Alec is a sweet guy as well. He is kind (except when he realizes there’s something between Clary and Jace) and considerate. At first, he’s made out to be a total douche. I’m not saying that he wasn’t one, but he had his reasons. I don’t take him as being someone that likes change.

Alec has a secret of his own. It’s life changing and scary. HIs world doesn’t accept this kind of secret. I feel like we all have secrets and life changing things about us that we’re afraid to let out into the world. Plus, once it’s out you can’t ever go back.

Would I recommend this book series? If it wasn’t obvious already, yes. I totally would.

Image via fandomnews.wordpress.com

Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

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Taken from Goodreads.com

The first time I read this book (in high school) there were a lot of things that I’d missed because it was exciting to read. It brought a whole new kind of vampyre that I found incredible and I just wanted to read more and more. From mystical tattoos to special affinities, it was incredible and have me falling in and out of love with characters in every book.

Zoey Montgomery, a sixteen year old girl who lives in Tulsa, has hated her life ever since her mom married the “Step-loser.” She’s forced to live in a house where she is the “Bad kid” just because she doesn’t bow down to him and his God complex. He completely changed her mom into something she totally isn’t and expects Zoey to comply with everything he says, too. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, her boyfriend (heath) that she’s known her whole life is a football star that thinks drinking until the sun comes up and being dumb is cool and her best friend (Kayla) is a rude and sassy girl who secretly wants Heath but can’t make that obvious to her best friend. Then Zoey’s life completely changes when the mysterious hooded figure shows up and marks her.

Suddenly, she is now a vampyre fledgling expected to leave everything she knows behind and live in a vampyre school and create a new life for herself. No longer is she Zoey Montgomery, she’s Zoey Redbird. And as Zoey Redbird, she is to deal with boyfriend drama, make new friends, do homework, take town the most poplar and selfish girl in school all while trying to figure out why the vampyre goddess has marked her with full vampyre tattoos and pray that her body doesn’t reject the change. Not to mention learn who she can trust and who she can’t and find out why she is seeing the “Spirits” of the supposedly dead fledglings that rejected the change. Woe is Zoey!

Neferet’s Curse

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House of Night Wiki (Found on Google.com).

When Neferet had told Zoey a bit about her past human life I had wanted to know more. How did Neferet become the Vampyre woman she was in the series? I have to say that this novella was the best one out of the four. It’s only about a hundred pages but it had me hooked the entire time. I laughed, I got mad (mostly at her father), and I was super surprised. It’s definitely one of those situations where you know what’s going to happen but you don’t know when. It was fun to watch her go from a little girl to a survivor. She was willing to do anything to survive her situation, even if that meant manipulating her loved ones. It’s crazy what changes take place in people based off of our own life experiences.

[SPOILER ALERT]

The ending was the best for me. When Neferet’s father becomes jealous of her new boyfriend and assaults her, he acts as if she feels the same way for him! I can understand Neferet’s newfound anger and insanity that she gets. She comes to her boyfriend and his family for help and then gets marked right in front of him. He abandons Neferet, claiming that it is just too much for him to deal with. We can all relate in a human way to what she had felt at that time. Then, when power and strength presents itself to her, she goes after her father to kill him. What made my anger boil is that he looked at her like she was still his little girl and spoke to her like he worried about her. “I knew you’d come back to me.”

Neferet had two choices. She could, have left it all behind and continued her new life as all the other vampyres had done, or she could have taken another road and took her revenge. She chose her revenge and I think that is where her curse comes in. She became something truly unique and special, but she couldn’t let what happened go (not that any of us blame her). So when she killed her father, the darkness in the world attached to her and made a home with her; just like they had done to Kalona through his anger and jealousy. Hence, Neferet would be cursed with the darkness as long as she held onto what had happened.

It was truly an amazing book and just like Kalona’s Fall, it ended too soon.

Kalona’s Fall

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I remember feeling many things for Kalona during my obsession with the House of Night series, and those “things” were always half and half. Some of the time I loved him and other times I loathed. It’s always very difficult to hate a villain when they are like Kalona; when you know that they have bad intentions but it’s only because of the betrayal they have felt by someone they once loved. During the entire time that he was in the series I only wanted someone to come along and show him what being good is like, but the answer always came back as, “If even Nyx wasn’t enough how could anyone else be enough?” And with that, my next question always followed.

What happened to Kalona? Because I haven’t read them in forever, what I remember reading might be wrong. We know Nyx casted him from the Otherworld, but I’m pretty sure that he said it was because he got too close to her and loved her too much. The problem with a character like Kalona is that questions of who he is and where he came from always crossed my mind.

With this novella, Kalona’s Fall answers all the questions that we H.O.N. lover’s craved the answers to. Who is Kalona? Where did he come from? How did Nyx really feel about him? What did he do to her? The only problem I have with it is that it ended too soon. I wanted to read about how the human villagers cursed him to spend eternity trapped in a cave with a woman he thought was real, but was only a trick to lure him away.

Other than my personal issues with it ending so soon, I absolutely loved it and would love for P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast to continue his story.

Picture taken from House of Night wiki (Found on Google.com).

Matrix: Oil Wonders

 

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I first discovered these products when I received samples of the shampoo and conditioner as part of an early birthday present from my best friend’s mom. Before using these samples I had never known that it was possible for a hair product to make you feel like you were in absolute Heaven. Their textures felt so light and were so soft that they glided through my hair. Before I was even out of the shower I could tell that there was a difference in how my hair felt and looked. My curls are less frizz and have more shape and bounce, and they are so shiny! Not to mention the smell is so clean and refreshing. As soon as I used it I had to have some in my life.

You can find Matrix Oil Wonders at www.matrix.com/oil-wonders, or you can also find it at JCPenny. I had it ordered from Amazon for one of my birthday presents.

The Dr. Teals System

Ever since I got hurt at work a few years ago I suffer from a lot of pain in my back, legs, and feet. There have been some days where I dread leaving the house because it’s so severe I have trouble moving. I’m only twenty-two and have to be careful because I can hurt myself while doing the simplest things. Earlier tonight I went to take off my jacket and pulled a muscle in my shoulder. While I was at a neurologist appointment I went to stretch and threw it out, and then did it again when I tried to adjust myself in the chair at my dentist appointment the next day. Because my pain has gotten a lot worse, I have found a massage therapist which has changed my life completely.

But what do I do when I’m not shelling out money to see my massage therapist? (I’m asked this question a lot by others who have pain, too). My answer is the Dr. Teal’s system. I was a little skeptical when I was first buying it. I knew the Epsom salts would make a difference, but I questioned the body wash and lotion. How would those work when they would spend so little time on my body? I have to tell you how amazed I was.

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When it comes to the shower gel, I liked to run the scrubby over my body a couple of times, paying extra attention to my problem areas which are my legs and back. As for my feet, I sit down on the floor of the shower and massage them with the soap. This makes an even bigger difference in how they feel afterward. Ever since I started my stretches, the shower gel is enough to make my back relax, and even my legs feel better for the most part. But because I have more pain in my feet after work I have to do more for them which makes my legs feel better the rest of the way.

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This is where the bag of Epsom salts come in. I have a foot bath that bubbles up that I use, but before I got it I just filled a big bowl with warm water. All I do is pour a bit of the salts in and voilĂ ! I am instantly relax and my feet come out feeling so much better and so much softer!

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The icing on the cake is the lotion. I briefly massage it into my feet, legs, and lower to mid-back. I feel so relaxed after all of this that I just want to lay in bed and do nothing. The fact that I chose the lavender-scented set probably has something to do with that though. It’s also available in Eucalyptus and mint, milk and honey, chamomile, and many more. They have different systems for whatever you are looking for (such as working out).

You can find these products at your local Walmart (like me!), CVS, Target, Walgreens, FredMeyer, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ulta Beauty, Rite-Aid, Publix, and Kroger. I’m sure you can also find it online.

The power of Epsom is incredible. It’s truly a gift from God.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

In this book, Thursday Next, is a literary detective that investigates missing and stolen pieces of literature. When someone steals Martin Chuzzlewit, the original manuscript by Charles Dickens, Thursday finds herself stuck in a deadly investigation unlike any she has ever had before. Thursday Next encounters many things in this altered reality including seeing her future self and experiencing a portal that her uncle invented that allows someone to open a doorway into literature.

I ended up not reading the book to the end, which really upsets me because I wanted to like it so bad. It was good, but not enough that I wanted to read it until it was over. I really liked the altered reality and how it was different from what I heard the ’80s was like. (Spoiler Alert) I also liked how in this reality Jane didn’t see Mr. Rochester at the end of Jane Eyre, so she changed the ending while she was in the story.

I may try to read it again at a different time because the concept is awesome and I’d like to make it through the whole book.

Top 10 R.L. Stine Must Reads

When I was younger, I couldn’t stand reading. I didn’t know how my sister could sit for hours and read the books that she did, and whenever a new Harry Potter book came out it sickened me to think about myself sitting and doing it. However, because I was in school I had to read books as part of assignments and for the Accelerated Reader requirement. My favorite books to check out were the Goosebumps because they were short and not complicated. When I reached 8th grade, I did the unspeakable–I picked up all the Harry Potter books and read them in just a couple of weeks. This was the start of the many lives that I have lived.

Since discovering my love for reading, R.L. Stine has been one of my favorite authors. It wasn’t Goosebumps that did it for me, but his wonderful Fear Street Saga books. And from this point on I had what I called my “R.L. Stine addiction.” This consisted of several months of me going to my school library and checking out five different books at a time and bring them back within two days (this also included goosebumps).

But out of all his books I can’t just pick ten and say these are the best, and I’m not going to try to. This is just my current list of the ones that I consider some of my favorites that have completely captivated me throughout my teenage years and even now. If you find one or two that you haven’t read I highly suggest checking them out!

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Cheerleader’s: The First Evil

Bobbi and Corky Corcoran are two sisters that have just moved to Fear Street, and are enrolled in Shady-side High School. They also happen to be very talented cheerleaders that make the team with no questions asked. While on the way to a cheering convention, the bus gets into an accident, causing the captain to be thrown from the bus. However, she seems perfectly alright without a single scratch.

Then strange things begin to happen and cheerleaders start to die one by one. Why are they dying? Who is responsible? Is it even a person? What’s going on?

These were my first Fear Street Saga books that made me fall in love with R.L. Stine. I originally decided to read them because of their covers and the fact that I thought killing cheerleaders was funny. I had no idea the deeper meaning that this plot had to offer me. I also ended up really liking Bobbi and Corky, and this made it a lot more fun to follow them all throughout the next ones. If you are a person that has my original idea, or you are into the supernatural, I highly recommend these books to you.

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The Betrayal

Fear Street is cursed, and with how many horrors happen in this small area, that’s no secret. Everyone says that it’s because of the Fear family who once lived there, but why? Who is this Fear family and what happened they made such evil come about to everyone who lives there now?

I didn’t discover this series until my sister told me about it. She found out that I was reading the cheerleaders and instead of answering my questions about the Fear family, she pointed me into the direction of the books that talk about it. Each decision that was made by a fear that led to their demise from the beginning. I found that I loved these books more than any of the Fear Street Series because of their family history. I especially like when it gets to Sarah Fear.

It has a lot of lessons about making the right choices, and the consequences that come with choosing out of anger, greed, and jealousy.

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The Wrong Number

Following the story line from the first book, The Wrong Number, Jade and Deena are best friends that were framed for a murder last year, and now they are both receiving pranks calls. Could it be the killer who may be getting out of jail soon on a “technicality,” or is someone else, who knows what happened, watching them?

A lot of people I talked to actually liked the first book more and felt that the sequel was easy to depict. However, I loved it. Maybe it was the fact that I read the second one first, but I felt that it had a good amount of suspense and the climax was amazing!

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The Cheater

Carter Phillips is a rich girl who believes that she has the perfect life even thought her mother forgets she even has a child most of the time and she is constantly having to live up to her father’s standards. She excels in everything except math, and of course this would be her ultimate downfall. When Carter is desperate to pass her math achievement exam so that Princeton will accept her as a student (to impress daddy), she recruits the help of Adam Messner for one simple request in return: a date.

Unfortunately, Adam wants a lot more than just a date and soon his control over her becomes unbearable, but Carter can’t do anything about it because if she does, he will tell everyone about him taking the test for her. So what is Carter to do?

I absolutely loved this one because it showed the power that people will have over you if you allow them to. As well as the mistake Carter realized she made thinking that you could just buy your way into getting something that you want and not face the consequences. People take advantage of you just like Adam does to Carter. Sorry, honey, but the real world isn’t perfect, especially on Fear Street!

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Broken Hearts

Josie and Melissa are two friends that live their lives like every other teenager does, but they live on Fear Street so life is about to get complicated. Approaching Valentine’s day, threatening Valentine’s start to appear. Who is sending them, and will they succeed?

I read this particular one twice that year. Once when I was a new 8th grade and then again during Valentine’s Day. I know, “Who reads a horror story about Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day?” Well the answer to that is me because at the time I couldn’t stand that holiday. In fact, most people my age didn’t like it.

I loved this one because of the suspense that it had; i literally couldn’t put it down. I had a hunch on who the killer was, but I was wrong and I never saw it coming who the actual killer was.

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What Holly Heard

Holly is a teenager in Fear Street that is a gossip queen, and is always looking for a new secret to hear and share until she hears something she shouldn’t have. Now someone is trying to keep Holly and her friends quiet.

Holly reminded me of a couple of girls I went to school with. Always had a boyfriend, and even when they lost interest, they stayed with him until there was another one who came along. They were always butting into other people’s business so that they could spread it around (you always had to be careful what you said), and actually got excited when other people were in pain.

I liked this book because it showed the psychotic side of teenagers that most people don’t think exists. I grew up around people that thought that because I was young I didn’t have an opinion and wasn’t intelligent enough to understand “adult” subjects like politics and religion. But as we all should know, your teenage years is one of the most important times for your development and growth. We go through so much during this time that it’s not surprising when we see that another kid just couldn’t take it anymore and hurt themselves, a boyfriend’girlfriend, family member, or another student.

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Bitten: Dangerous Girls

Destiny and Livvy are two sisters that fell in love with the same boy while away at summer camp, but have come back only to find that they are no longer the same girls they once knew themselves to be. The sunlight hurts them, there is a hunger that never goes away, and there’s a strong desire for blood they can’t explain. They’ve become vampires and must now find a way to cure themselves, but when one sister choose the life of darkness, it’s up to the other one to save her. Can she?

Even thought I write a lot about vampires, I’m not actually into reading the books themselves. I’ve only read two series other than this one that was about vampires. However, I loved Dangerous Girls because it had surprises around every corner and wasn’t your typical vampire book. Destiny actually wanted to be cured, and so instead of reading about a girl who turns into a vampire and has to live that way, you instead follow the life of a girl who’s one goal is to go back to a normal life as a human.

I also liked Taste of Blood, which is the sequel where she decides that her and her father are going to attempt to save her sister from having to live in that dark world, even though it is one that she has chosen. It reminded me of Zoe trying to save Stevie-Ray’s humanity in House of Night after she comes back to life. (But I read Dangerous Girls first).

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The Haunted School

Tommy Frazer is a young boy who has a new mom, a new school, and a new life. One day, he gets lost among the many rows of classrooms and starts to hear voices of other kids coming from behind the school’s walls, and just like any other kid in an R.L. Stine book, he falls into another world where he meets the students of a class from a different time! Some are good, but others are out to get them and turn them to the dark side. Dun dun dun…

This is one of my favorite Goosebumps because I felt that there was more depth. This was a real story compared to others that I felt were written just to write. I thought about this book a lot in my sophomore year when I started a new school in a new city that was really big. In fact, I thought that I was about to hear other student’s voices in the walls!

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Beach House

What happens when someone is committing murder, but can never be found? You may say, “That’s preposterous!” Well, in this book, it isn’t. There are two boys: one lives in the year 1956 and the other lives in the exact same place, but is from the year 1992. The catch? They are the same person travelling through time committing murders. But how is this possible?

I was confused when I first started reading this book because it flip flopped between two different stories, but eventually I realized that they were connected even when they were years a part. I’m not sure why the book captivated me so much. Maybe it was because it wasn’t predictable, it was exciting, and I never saw the conclusion coming. In fact, it’s one ending that I have never forgotten, even years later. I plan on reading this one again very soon and I suggest it to everyone. This is one that you will not regret!

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Welcome To Dead House

Amanda and Josh Benson are two kids that move to a new town called, Dark Falls. Immediately, they notice something wrong about the place. No one is in the houses, yards, or streets, and everyone acts very strangely. The house that they are going to live in is very old and looks like it was built forever ago. Soon, they realize that it was a big mistake moving there!

This was my first Goosebumps book, and also my other favorite. I loved that it had a cliche story line about the family of four that move into a creepy house in a new place and weird things start to happen, but that the end was different than anything else that I had seen like it.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes those type of plots and wants to see a different ending than what they are used to.

R.L. Stine is one of my favorite author’s because he takes the lives of teenagers (their habits, feelings, and desires) and shows how they can be their downfall. The girl who has to be in everyone’s business hears something she shouldn’t have, the girl who dates every boy she shes causes her to have a horrifying Valentine’s Day, the girl that just wanted to impress her father gives her an abusive and controlling boyfriend, etc.

He shows us that every decision we make in our lives have consequences and nothing is ever as it seems–especially when it comes to people.

All images taken from google.com 

What Happened To Goodbye?

After witnessing her parent’s awful divorce, her mother’s union with a new husband, and the news of twins being born into the family, Mclean Sweet decided to uproot herself and tag along with her father while he works. With this decision brings the chaos of never knowing where they would live and how long they’d be there, and for Mclean, who she would be. Mclean is a girl who pretends that she is a different person as she moves from city to city. But now, in Lakeview, all of this is about to change as she struggles to decide who she will be, and when she meets Dave, is being someone else what she really wants? Dave is sure that who he is falling in love with is the real her, as well as all the friend’s she has made, but are they really? For someone who has pretended for so long, does she even know who she is anymore?

My favorite parts in this book were the ones that had Dave. Not because of the fact that I was totally in love with him, but because when he was around it seemed as though Mclean had a grasp on life and who she was. She could be herself without Beth or Liz or Eliza and Lizbet. I also loved watching her transition from the person she thought she was to who she became, and with that, she learned more about her family and what life could really be like for her.

I strongly suggest this book to teenagers since it is about how finding who you are and being yourself is important. I also suggest it to anyone who likes a good, simple romance but wants to see the sweet transition leading up to it instead of all the passion. It was pretty incredible, in my opinion, and I would totally read it again!