Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
I've heard so many people talk about this book, and I decided to dive into it without knowing a single thing about it, and I loved it. I don't know how well I can even explain my love for this book, but I shall try.
The characters: I loved both of these characters. The story was told in a dual perspective Nastya and Josh. They are both very different people with very different experiences, yet they both have issues that they are dealing with. Josh has lost everyone he has ever loved, so he struggles to make relationships with people. Nastya has gone through something terrible and hasn't spoken a word in over a year. These two characters, while their circumstances and their relationship seems unlikely in real life (but not that unusual in fiction), were so realistic. They weren't perfect by any means, they were real people and because of that, it made it so easy to connect with them.
I found the plot to be so interesting. it was similar to another book I had read but it was so much better with the way it dealt with that. This book, while prone to some of the more popular book tropes in YA, was so unique and beautifully written. It was very fast paced and captivating that I didn't want to stop.
But my favourite part about this whole book, was that the romantic relationship, was so well paced!! This was no "love at first sight" type of romance. Their relationship was built on trust, and it developed over time. Seriously, I applaud Millay on this because it seems to me that I haven't read a book where the two main characters don't fall completely in love and go through what seems like an endless amount of events within the span of 2 or 3 weeks, in a very long time. This just made the romance, that much more realistic and made me love the characters even more.
Honestly, the key word for this book is realistic, because that's what it is. It''s not a fairy tale, it's not a happy little love story where everything just falls into place. These characters actually develop and change and work through their struggles like normal people would. Of course not every aspect of this book is very realistic, but it is a fiction book and these sorts of unrealistic plot points are needed in order to keep the reader interested. Which mind you, I was completely interested and invested in this story. If I didn't have work or other commitments, I would have knocked this out in one sitting for sure. I also want to mention that the ending of this book, was fantastic. I loved how it didn't just wrap everything up with a HEA, and I loved how it didn't end where everything was fine again. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It made the book SO REALISTIC.
My only issue with the story was revealing of a major plot point. I felt like this twist (if you could even call it that), had such a big build up that when it was revealed, it didn't feel like a revelation at all. This is in most parts because I knew right when I started the book, and I find it difficult to believe that other's who read this book, didn't know as well. Throughout the story, there are little snippets from Nastya's diary entries, and from that you know something has happened, but for me I thought because they were pretty much spelling it out for you, that it must be even bigger. So when it was revealed to be what I thought it was originally, I was somewhat let down. Having said that, I think considering everything that happened, this book did a fantastic job of portraying the raw emotion and actions of not only the main character, but of family members and friends.
Other than that, if you want a really good YA contemporary which deals with some tough themes in a very realistic manner, read this book. I cannot recommend this enough and I cannot imagine there would be anybody who wouldn't like this book. I'd say it's nearly impossible (but I'm sure there'd have to be at least one person)
I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.
And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor’s office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.
April won’t let Jonah go without a fight.
He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?
That blurb makes this book sound completely different and it kind of annoys me. It makes it sound like April is the only person who knows about Jonah's issues, but everyone knows about them, but they're all too in denial about it to do anything. I think that if the blurb wasn't so far off the book, and I actually knew what I was getting myself into, I might have enjoyed this book more. But alas, the blurb is crap and therefore, I thought the book was pretty average.
This book was just OK. To be honest, I didn't really like it, and the more I think about it the less I am liking it. At first I liked the main characters but then some things happened and it just got too ridiculous and unbelievable for my liking. I think it does discuss a very important topic, on that seems to have become quite popular in YA lately and that is mental illness. At first I didn't know how accurate it was but I have been told since that it was pretty accurate in terms of the mental illness itself. The other stuff, not so much. If you want to read a book about a 15 year old know it all in a completely unrealistic relationship in unrealistic circumstances, this book might be for you. But honestly, I do think that there are other books out there that can do a better job of portraying mental illness and do it in a more realistic way. So overall, I wouldn't recommend this, however this is my opinion so feel free to take it with a grain of salt.
And that is where the non-spoilery review ends and the somewhat spoilery review starts. You've been warned.
There were quite a few things I didn't like about this book. Firstly, I really did not feel like this book, and what actually happened in this book was very realistic considering the age of the characters. I'm not talking about the mental illness itself, but of how everyone was reacting to this mental illness. April who was only 15 mind you, seems to think that she can cure Jonah's SCHIZOPHRENIA. She acts like such a immature child who thinks she knows it all, and gets away with it because the parents just let her do whatever she wants. For example, when Jonah first gets admitted into hospital, her mother actually says she isn't allowed to go visit him, but then she visits him daily and the mother doesn't say a thing.
My other thing was I really didn't like Jonah's mother. In the blurb it says that she locks him up in his room or something along those lines, but in reality, she knows exactly what's going on yet she doesn't do anything about it, and then complains about how she was too late.
Also, what sort of doctor would let some kids 15 year old BOYFRIEND sit in on a meeting discussing CONFIDENTIAL information. None that I want to go to that's for sure. And this happened more than once in the book. I understand that Jonah wouldn't leave unless he knew she was in there, but they could have easily sent her out of the room once he was gone. It might be understandable if they had been in a relationship for more than a few weeks, or if they were engaged or something but no, it's just his 15 year old girlfriend who is absolutely clueless to everything. So in this meeting, the doctor actually tells the mother (and the girlfriend) his suspicions that her son is having hallucinations and whatever else it was (I can't remember). And what really annoyed me, was the fact that the girlfriend knew, the mother knew, yet they told the doctor to shove it and that they didn't want his help. instead they take him home because they can help him better than any doctor could. Honestly, if your son was acting the way Jonah was acting, thinking that the government is out to get him, yelling to himself all the time, hearing things no one else can hear, would you not get him help? and when a doctor actually tells you what is wrong, would you not DO SOMETHING?! I honestly cannot get over that, and I don't know if people in these situations actually do this, but I really hope not.
The one thing I did like about this whole book, was the ending. I really liked how it didn't end in a happily ever after, and that was the most realistic thing in this whole book. After he tried to commit suicide and he got the new therapist that was actually helping him, the book got way better. And it was frustrating because when he was starting to get better, you could almost feel how much April resented it. So I was so happy when he broke up with her (and not just because I didn't like her).
And that's all I have to say. I'm still pretty annoyed at this book. I don't regret reading it, but I definitely would not read it again.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: eBook, 336 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Acquired from: iBooks
I'm so annoyed because I couldn't think of just one more book to be excited about to make it an even 10! But it is what it is, so here are all of the books that I am most excited to read in 2016! I will be mentioning the books in order of publication.
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijmkamp
I've been wanting to read this for a while now. it sounds like a really depressing book, but for some reason I like that. Basically this book takes place in a school where a shooting is taking place. From what I've heard it is told in four perspectives and each person has some relation to the shooting. I don't know, it just sounds really interesting. It's also told within the span of 54 minutes and I really like reading books that go by time.
Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
This book sounds simply amazing and I seriously cannot wait. It's about a girl who loves books and wishes her life could be a book. But alas, she lives such a boring life that could barely pass as a contemporary. But then she meets some guy and she turns to the books for advice, and obviously I don't know what happens next but it sounds right up my alley!
The Siren by Kiera Cass
I loooooved The Selection series, so I have to read this, there is no question really. So I don't know anything about this book apart from what I've heard and what I've heard is that it's about a Siren (duh), but Sirens aren't allowed to come into contact with the humans or something bad will happen to them. So I think I can see where this is going, but I'm still so excited for it, you don't even know.
Never Never by Collen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
I read part one a few months ago and absolutely loved it, but I've been waiting until this books came out before reading the second instalment because I really don't think I can wait to read it. I've even pre-ordered this book on iBooks, that's how serious this is. I never pre-order books FYI. I wouldn't even know how to explain this book, so I won't, but you should definitely read the series.
The Glittering Court by Rochelle Mead
If Pretty Little Liars and The Selection had a baby, this is what it would look like... I think. It's not normally something I would read, but the synopsis sounded alright so I'll give it a go. And who knows, maybe I'll find myself a new favourite series.
When We Collided by Emery Lord
It's a story of opposites attracting, some tragedy and then some happiness and then apparently the guy goes all Bella in New Moon and becomes a dare devil and that's where the synopsis ends. That's a pretty bad explanation, I'm sorry. But I want to read it, and it doesn't come out until April and that's that.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
I might be the only person who hasn't read all of Morgan Matson's books (I've read Amy & Roger and loved it), but I saw this book and thought it sounded really good, so I got excited. I can't remember exactly what it's about, but there's a girl and a boy and some family drama and some dogs. And I love dogs so I'm sure I'll love this.
Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins
This is another anthology of 12 short stories, but this time they are summery ones! I'm not as excited for this one as I am the others, mainly because there are a few authors in here who Ihaven't heard of or don't really like the genre they write. But I really enjoyed My True Love Gave to Me so I'm going to trust Stephanie and give this a whirl too. I'm intrigued to see if they will be contemporary short stories or fantasy/dystopian ones, because the authors in there don't usually write contemporary as far as I know. We'll see!
PS I Like You by Kasie West
This is another one of those "I haven't read her other books but this one sounds really good" books. This girl basically starts exchanging notes on a school desk with an anonymous person, and then she finds out it's a guy so she freaks out. but then she finds out who it is and apparently it's the last person she expected so now she doesn't know what to do and who knows what happens next because it doesn't come out until JULY!! Are you intrigued? Because I am!
That's all of them! I hope you've found some books to be excited about, or not either way. That's all I really have to say about that, so I'll go now. Thanks for reading!
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