Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Anything You Want Review

You gotta love a pregnant teenage baby mama drama.  Secret Life of the American Teenager was quite addicting when I was younger; I would sneak it when my parents were in bed since I wasn't allowed to watch it.
Anything You Want isn't like The American Teenager.
Centered around the guy's point of view, Taco (Yes, he actually goes by that) falls mad over heels with Maggie Corrigan.  So hard, that he gets her pregnant.  But with his failing family, the death of his mother, and his positive, upbeat, attitude, he is thrilled to have a family of his own. But every rose has it's thorn and Taco will have to learn what it actually means to be a father, deal with Maggie's parents, and juggle school and other responsibilities.

It took me a while to get past his name... Taco. Honestly, I still can't get past it.  Why, why, why name a character after greasy, mexican, food, that you can buy at a food truck? Maybe it's just my pretentious self talking but I like real, classic names.  Don't get me wrong, unique names are one of the best things about books, but... Taco? Over the line just a little bit.

Another thing about Taco that bugs the living crap out of me: His stupidity.  He and Maggie literally were having sex like two horses in a dark barn and through all of that, he didn't think once, "Hmm.. Maybe I should listen to what health class taught me and wrap it before I tap it."  He may be smart in the books but his common sense is out the window on a ski trip.  I provided two quotes to show as examples:

[Taken place after he (wrongly) calculates when he and Maggie conceived their child and gets the results that it was before they even had sex]: "Our love made Maggie pregnant when we were both still virgins. That's a miracle. That's destiny. Our child would be destiny's child." 

“You do it. You and Maggie Corrigan do it all the time. Again and again and again,” he said.
“Right. We like to celebrate out love.” I said.
“Jesus Christ, Taco. Is she on birth control?” he asked.
“No.” I laughed. “Why would she be?” As I tend to be delusional but not totally stupid, I began to think.
“Oh shit. Are you using condoms?” he asked.
“No. We’re not serious about it, okay? We’re just having fun.”

And he was being completely serious.

Despite being a complete idiot, Taco has heart, I'll admit.  Most guys would run away and leave the kid with the mother to deal with, or suggest abortion or something horrific.  Taco is actually excited, and takes up a job to help Maggie.  He truly loves her and his kid with a full heart. Sometimes I wonder how can he be positive ALL the darn time.  Seriously, it was annoying to read. It gave me some faith though in humanity, maybe if everyone could be like Taco, the world would be a happier place.

I liked what the story taught about teenage pregnancy and the sacrifices you have to make when taking up such a huge responsibility.  Sometimes, you have to put others first, even if you don't want to, for the greater good.

This story started out to be one of those, that a while through I didn't really want to read, but I was curious to know the ending. So I pushed through and actually found myself content with the ending.  Wasn't the best, but I had a warm, little feeling inside my chest at those last words. It was a sweet, cute, and many times weird, tale to experience, but I was glad I finished it.


I'll leave you all with some quotes I found to be enchanting and share-worthy from the book:

"So things were crap, and I began to lose the pep in my cucumber."

"I had to share a bed with Brad Schwartz, but it was a king-size (which was huge), so we didn't accidently wake up spooning with our hands on our muffins." 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ugly Review

I have read very few books centered around domestic violence, so when I was given the opportunity to review Ugly, written by Margaret McHeyzer I jumped on it.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate this cover?  The mascara tears dripping down her face, and the contrast of the eyes and hair makes you to want to hug the book and never let it go.  It's what initially attracted me (Yes, yes, I know "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Yeah well I did. Sue me).

Ugly is about a teenage girl named Lily (Hey look it's my name! And it's spelled correctly!) who hasn't had the easiest childhood.  Trying to juggle her alcoholic father's swinging moods and violence as well as put on the charade of normalcy at school isn't the easiest.
So imagine her happiness when she meets Trent, the first person to ever notice the invisible blonde haired girl.  But as the saying goes, it does seem we are attracted to ones like our fathers, but just because Trent has a little anger issues doesn't make him abusive?

Upon reading the first page, I was drawn in with curiosity and wonder on how this book would be written.  Most domestic violence related books I've immersed myself in had been choppy and hard to follow.  They mostly just had countless scenes of their parents hitting them, hospital visits, and finding a lover.  This book however, showed the emotional side to this kind of abuse in a raw way.
I admit, I wasn't totally hooked as I went through the chapters.  It may have been because I can't relate to any domestic abuse or negativity at all occurring in my home, but this book was very hard to relate to.  Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to know how a survivor feels or relate to the pain, but I expected to be able to get inside her head a little more than the author allowed.
The writing in the beginning was too, a little rough cut and sounded just like words to me, as if I was reading an essay with no feeling put into it.
It wasn't until I reached halfway through the story that I realized the voidless words from the beginning was how the character was feeling. Lily was a shell of her former self from all the abuse she had suffered in her life.  The void I was feeling was her.
I think the author could have added a little more drama in the story with Trent.  I would have loved to see him more at the end of the story than what was put.  Throw in a little plot twist with his mother as well.
The last half was filled with countless wonder and interest as I tried to predict what was to happen next.  As Lily found herself, the writing became more in depth and personal, just like the character.
I have to say it's probably my favorite story written with the domestic abuse topic and serves as a great reminder to others that what you see isn't always what is.

Your best friend could be having the perfect relationship with a boy who buys her everything and showers her with love.  When inside the house, he brings her gifts as an apology for beating her up the other night; and that broken arm she got while riding a bike? Was really from him shoving her down the stairs.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Give take for the few things that bugged me. I give it an overall 3.5/5 It was a good read, and I hope to see it out in paperback at Barnes and Noble someday.

I'll leave you all with one of my favorite quotes from the book,

“And if you were broken, you’d give up on life, so you’re not broken.” 
― Margaret McHeyzerUgly

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Good Girl Review

        Most of the time at my job at Barnes and Noble is spent looking at books and reading them profoundly when it's dead in the store... or when I'm bored.  Another part of my job description is setting up displays, so to my joy my manager gave me the delight in setting up the Psychological Thriller's Endcap. 
        That's where I found this beautiful gem known as "Good Girl." To be honest I don't get why it's named that, but I guess there's some mystery in that that makes me love the book even more.  
        The plot is about a girl named Mia Dennet who enters a bar to meet with her flaky boyfriend.  When he, once again, doesn't show (or else there wouldn't be any plot) and she is introduced to a new guy.  Colin seems like a good guy, one she can just hump-and-dump so to speak for the night.  But it ends up being the  worst mistake of her life.  
        I could go on to say the rest, but if I go on, I will speak of spoilers and go on a rant about the little clues and the huge plot twists contained in that magical book. 
        Let's just say it involves blackmail, paid-to-kidnap, and dangerous relationships in more than just the main character. 
        I had just finished reading the Girl on the Train and was looking for a book to match the hype it gave me.  Let's just say it surpassed my expectations.  The very last page is my favorite because, you think you know everything and it will all end like that and then BAM.  You are left completely flabbergasted and mind blown.  
        This book takes psychological thriller to a whole new level.  
        Definitely give it a 4/5