Wednesday, July 24, 2019

REVIEW: Birthday by Meredith Russo - 4.5/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM 0 comments

Title: Birthday
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/LGBTQ+
Author: Meredith Russo
Publisher: Flatiron/Usborne
Publication: May 31st 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Owned Paperback
Birthday by Meredith Russo is the story of Morgan and Eric and how they traverse through life while trying to figure out who they truly are and who they want to be. 

Morgan was given the wrong body at birth. She knows she is supposed to be a girl but the universe didn't get the memo. But how do you tell everyone you are a girl when on the outside you appear to be a boy? And how do you go about telling people you are scared and confused when you live in a small football town in Tennessee? You don't. You can't even tell your best friend because you've already lost your mom and you couldn't handle losing anyone else. Oh, and your father happens to be the football coach in this small homophobic town. 

Eric is confused about his life too, but for different reasons. For one, his father is a very nasty person and all of his sons MUST play football and MUST get a scholarship. But Morgan's mother gave him a guitar before she passed away and he feels like music might be his real calling. He also knows he isn't gay but he has feelings for Morgan that a straight guy should never have. 

Meredith Russo is a very needed and very strong voice for the LGBTQ community. If you or someone you know is struggling with their sexuality or you just want to read a diverse book then I highly suggest giving her books a read. 

In the end, this book was painful but it's meant to be. When I got to the last few pages I also realized something. The entire book I thought that Morgan was scared to come out as herself because she was afraid to lose her father or Eric but now I think she just wasn't ready. Yes, she went through years of pain and she could have came out and Eric or Jasmine could have offered to buy her makeup or take her to get clothes but in the end, I don't think Morgan was ready for that step and that is also extremely important. You might be able to tell that someone is queer by looking or talking with them but if they aren't out it's not your job to try and bring them out. It's a massive process both mentally, emotionally and physically and you can be supportive but the person has to choose when the time is right for them and realizing that about this story made it even more impactful. You truly never know what a person goes through just to be themselves, just to be happy.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Monday, July 22, 2019

REVIEW: Heartwood Box by Ann Aquirre - 4.5/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Heartwood Box
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Suspense
Author: Ann Aquirre
Publisher: TorTeen 
Publication: July 9th 2019
Cover Rating: 4/5
Reading Format: Owned Hardcover
The Heartwood Box by Ann Aquirre is the story of Araceli and the small town her parents force her to move to so she can live with her Great Aunt while they are off reporting on dangerous activities in war-torn places. The best way I can describe this book is The Lakehouse meets Stranger Things. 

Araceli might have been born in the US but her entire life has been spent in very dangerous places while her parents fight to help people who can't help themselves. Her life has been nothing but active so being sent to live with her Great Aunt in some very White town will be very new to her. 

Upon arrival in this strange, stuck in the past town Araceli notices something strange. The amount of missing posters far exceeds the amount any town of this size should have. What could have happened to all of these people? But things get even more strange when she meets her Great Aunt and finds out her Uncle is among the missing. And things just keep getting weirder when Araceli finds a special box in her Aunt's storage room that appears to have special powers. Araceli wants to figure out what is wrong with this town but it isn't until her friend becomes one of the missing that she REALLY starts trying to put the pieces together and boy, oh boy, is this town even more twisted than she could have imagined.

In the end, this book was very intricate and I adored the storyline and all the characters were fleshed out very well. If you are looking for a book to help keep your Stranger Things feelings going then I highly suggest picking this up. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

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