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My Heart and Other Black Holes • Estelle Reviews

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: February 10, 2015 Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray Pages: 320 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: depressing, suicide pact, family problems, friendship Format read: ARC from Alex @ Little Wing Book Reviews. (Thanks!) Summary: After trolling a website called Smooth Passages, Aysel […]

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March 3, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Alexa S. - My Heart and Other Black Holes was such a pleasant surprise! It was sad, true, but it was also hopeful. I really liked seeing how Aysel (and Roman) dealt with their circumstances, and it kept me reading till the very end!

February 20, 2015 - 8:40 am

Kim - It sounds so interesting, but on the other hand, I hate books that are too cheesy. Ugh, do I read this or not?
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

February 19, 2015 - 3:09 pm

Meg - Sounds like a very powerful read. It’s new to me, but definitely on my radar now!

February 19, 2015 - 10:56 am

Brianna - I think this book is flying under the radar a bit, but it’s an important, necessary read.

February 19, 2015 - 10:27 am

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - Great review, Estelle. I hadn’t read anything about this book before, including the synopsis, so this is new information for me! I think I want to read this one, though. I love these issue books. Thanks!

Estelle: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: 3/18/2014 Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray Pages: 336 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: cancer, friendship, romance, parental relationships, revenge Format read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss. (Thanks!) Summary: Alice and Harvey are two estranged friends who team up to complete her must-do list when […]

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March 30, 2014 - 10:20 am

brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Oh wow, very much of a winner! Being that person who puts off “cancer books” (it’s just not a topic that appeals to me a lot), I don’t even have this one on my TBR. I think you may have just convinced me!

March 19, 2014 - 10:56 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Oh this book. And this writer! How I adore both. I love that Alice is a character that is so easily hated, yet by the end of the story there’s a sense of understanding as to why she is this way. That right there is a testament to Julie’s writing. So glad you enjoyed this book.

March 19, 2014 - 12:05 am

Liz - I find it interesting that you identify as Harvey. I am probably some disgusting combination of Alice and Harvey–I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and am loyal when I want to be, but I know how awful I can be when I want to be. I want a boy like Harvey and I connected to Alice’s desire to stop being awful. Great review, Estelle.

March 17, 2014 - 11:34 pm

Alexa S. - I liked Julie Murphy’s writing a lot! I was swept up in Side Effects May Vary, curious to see how it would all end. Alice wasn’t particularly likable, but I could understand where she was coming from in a way. And Harvey deserved a shake or two, but I liked him a lot!

March 17, 2014 - 6:22 pm

Alice - I’m very much looking forward to reading this one sometime soon. It sounds like a really interesting story. It sounds like Alice is either a character that is hard to relate to because of her imperfections but I’m glad that that didn’t affect how you felt overall about this story. Not all characters are perfect!

Great review Estelle! 😀

March 17, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Lauren @ love is not a triangle - I’ve gotten very wary of ‘bucket list’ plot lines. But this one sounds like it was done differently. I’ve read a lot of mixed reactions to Alice’s behavior, but I’m glad that you were able to understand where she was coming from. The fact that you want to read this again is definitely a big plus! Great review.

March 17, 2014 - 2:28 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Side Effects May Vary is definitely a book I want to read, so I’m glad to hear you liked it. It must be quite a shock for Alice after she’s done whatever it is she does, to learn she will have to live with it a lot longer than she was expecting.

March 17, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I am such an Alice (not something I’m necessarily proud of, but at least I’m self-aware enough to realize it?) and maybe that explains why we’re friends? I am so mad I only found out about the God-Shaped Hole Thing after I read the book (I think I saw you or G mention it on Twitter) which I guess just means I have to go back and re-read it. There was something I thought of to say while I was reading your review but now I can’t remember. Sometimes I think I subconsciously challenge myself to leave the most random comments on your posts.

March 17, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Addison (Of Spectacles and Books) - I loved this book as well! I enjoyed the imperfectness of Alice. It made me relate to her more on a human level.

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi: Review w/Q+A

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi ( blog | tweet ) Publication Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: SourceBooks Pages: 304 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: HIV, theatre, tough family situations Format read: ARC provided by Publisher. (Thanks!) Summary: After a particularly bad day, Lucy escapes to the city with her best friends for some […]

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April 17, 2014 - 9:00 am

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi (YA Review) - […] The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: April 1, 2014 Publisher: SourceBooks Pages: 352 Target audience: young adult Keywords: family, obligation, homosexuality, “de-gaying” camp, summer Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!) Other RBR reviews by this author: My Life After Now […]

April 7, 2013 - 12:21 pm

Rather Be Reading Blog: Shelve It by Magan, April 7, 2013 - […] A review of Last Cut by Wren Handman + A review + Q&A With Jessica Verdi, Author of My Life After Now + A review of Golden by Jessi Kirby + A review of Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham + The […]

April 6, 2013 - 7:09 pm

Estelle - M, definitely still think it’s worth the read!

April 6, 2013 - 5:55 pm

VeganYANerds - I had no idea this involved HIV and you’re right, that is so rare in YA but it is something that should be talked about. I think I will still give this a go!

April 5, 2013 - 5:16 pm

Kelly (Another Novel Read) - What a great interview! I haven’t gotten a chance to read this book yet, but I definitely want to. It’s probably the first book I’ve seen that tackles a sexually transmitted infection, which is kind of surprising (as mentioned in the interview)! And I think she’s right; I’d love to see more transgendered characters in YA books.

April 5, 2013 - 2:07 pm

Alexa Y. - Someone else actually talked this book up to me because she really liked it! I don’t know if I’ll be reading this one anytime soon, but I do think it’s interesting that she decided to write about something that isn’t a common subject in YA books. Her answers to your questions are really good too though and have me intrigued.

April 5, 2013 - 12:51 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - Okay, Estelle, this is a fanastic review and Q&A. I first was alerted to this book by the super-pretty cover and I love the title. So naturally those things, along with the interesting subject, make me want to read the book. I love your thoughts, which are always honest, and I appreciate them! And this is a really fantastic interview. I loved the question about the original title because even before I got to the answer, I TOO thought WOW, THAT SOUNDS A LOT LIKE PREGNANCY!!!

This is already one that I want to read, and this is the first set of thoughts I’ve read about it, E. Loved them! Thanks a ton!

April 5, 2013 - 9:12 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I added this book to my TBR when I first heard about it simply b/c the story involved a teen who contracts HIV and I had never read a story about that. I agree with the author that it’s rare to find books that explore the topic of unprotected sex and the consequences of getting an STD. Though it’s not a glorious subject to read about, it does happen, and I think it could be beneficial for young readers to experience through literature.

I’m sad to hear that this particular story didn’t hold up very well, in your opinion. I think because it is such a tough subject, it’s got to be done just right to make an impact. As always, I appreciate your honesty in your reviews.