Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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“Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
                                                                                                                                                          The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: be a weapon. Or be a warrior.”

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Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

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Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt – with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

 Review by: fmarie0112
        When I first started reading this book I instantly though I wouldn’t like it. The main character, Kate, was judgmental and got on my nerves. It was obvious that some of the other characters in the book felt the same way and many times I found myself cringing because of what she had said. I just kept thinking about how embarrassed I would be if I had acted that way. After a few chapters of this I almost wanted to stop  reading the book, but I continued to read the book and I’m glad that I did. As the story progresses you get to see Kate grow and become more understanding, while not letting go of her personal beliefs.
        Kate grew up in a very conservative Christian church and she followed the rules set forth by her religion very strictly. Initially this was one of the things that bothered me because she did not only followed the rules but she also acted as if she was forcing her belief upon others. When her friend Emily got an abortion due to an unexpected pregnancy she was practically shaming he for her decision. Ultimately, this caused Emily and Kate to get into a fight that resulted in them not talking for most of the summer.
        When Kate goes to camp she is faced with many fellow counselors who also don’t follow her strict beliefs-here are boys are girls sleeping in the same cabins! A counselor lying and breaking the camp rules! As the story continues Kate is faced with these many dilemmas and she struggles to understand how she could be friends with people who do not share the same beliefs as her. Should she just say quiet and let others live their lives as they please or should she voice her beliefs as she always has? This is a constant struggle for Kate as she exits her sheltered life and enters the real world. I enjoyed watching Kate grow as the story goes on (despite how frustrated I was with her in the beginning) and I grew to respect her for staying true to her herself, not giving into peer pressure and not abandoning her beliefs.

The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

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Review by: fmarie0112

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start . . . until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a preschool where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

Then there are the visits from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her, “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Where should I even begin with this review? I don’t know how to put my feelings towards this book into words. Between the “other worlds” and time travel and seemingly supernatural being, “grandmother,” this book leaves you trying to understand how all the pieces of the book will fall together.

Usually when you read a book you can understand what direction the book is headed, you’ll almost know what’s about to happen before the characters do. Emily Henry keeps you confused, wondering what the outcome will be, similar confusions felt by the characters. At no point are you positive what will happen next or do you figure something out before the characters do. This is what makes you keep reading until you reach the end.

I loved the book, but a fair warning, its slow in the beginning. Initially I found it hard to get started because it took a while for the main events to unfold, but once they do I definitely struggled to put the book down. Also, the book talks about some relatively complex theories about what “time” really is and time travel. When I was reading this I found it a little difficult to understand what they were talking about and I had to reread it a few times. I still don’t completely understand how these theories work, but I got the general idea and it didn’t get in the way of my understanding of the plot. Overall, I would probably give this book a 4/5 rating but I would encourage you to read it and form your own opinion on it.

A Walk In The Sun by Michelle Zink

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Review by: fmarie0112

A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink follows Rose Darrow through her eventful summer on her family farm. Her mother had recently passed away and ever since, Rose’s plans for the future have been completely altered. Her once-attentive father is consumed by grief, and her friends are getting ready for the adventures that come after high school. Rose resigns herself to hold her small world together – until a ranch hand is hired to help out over the summer.
Bodhi Lowell left home as a kid and hasn’t looked back since. Years of working farm jobs has given him the one thing he wants most: freedom to travel without answering to anyone. He’s already looking past his job at Darrow Farm and plans on leaving in September – until he meets Rose.
Neither Rose nor Bodhi can deny the sparks flying between them, but with the end of summer looming, they must decide if it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
I read this book in one day on a road trip to New York. It is the first book I have read by Michelle Zink and I have to say, I wasn’t sure about reading it at first. While I wasn’t initially positive I would like the book, I gave it a try anyway and I was not disappointed. The author does an excellent job of capturing the progression of the relationship over time. In the beginning, Rose is uncomfortable around Bodhi. Due to her mother’s death, she finds it difficult to get close to anyone. But over the course of the summer, Bodhi is able to get Rose to open up. ultimately, he will be the one to help Rose truly recover from her mother death. I would highly recommend picking up this book, it is an easy read and can be found at your local library.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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Review by: fmarie0112

I have only read a handful of Sarah Dessen books, but every time I pick one up I am never disappointed. All of the books I have read by this author have been extraordinary and The Truth About Forever is no exception. The story follows the summer of a young girl named Macy. Macy has her whole summer planned out – working at the library, studying, and spending time with her mother, sharing silent grief at the traumatic loss of her father. One thing she didn’t plan on was landing a job at Wish Catering, with the chaotic crew that feels more like family. Or digging up feelings of the past with the renovation of the families old beach side cottage, left untouched since the death of her father. Or Wes, an artistically talented boy with a past. But Macy soon discovers that the things you expect the least are sometimes the things you need the most.

This book addresses many issues, such as death of a parent, parental stress, peer pressure, and self-expectations. They way that Sarah Dessen skillfully expresses how these obstacles make the character feel and how she ultimately overcomes them creates an interesting plot and character development that makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next. The Truth About Forever would receive a 5/5 rating from me, as would many more of Sarah Dessen’s books. Her stories leave you on the edge of your seat, unable to put the book down until you’ve finished. I would highly recommend you give this book a shot, as well as anything else written by Sarah Dessen.