Saturday, June 29, 2019

Short and Simple Reviews: Wild Bird, Love & First Sight, and The First Time She Drowned

This is a place for books that I didn't fully review.
Maybe I listed my likes and dislikes, had a little short paragraph, or a few sentences to convey my feelings on the book, but whatever the "review" is, all of them are short and simple. (hence the clever name)

This week I have a couple of books I listened to on audio thanks to Audiobooksync. Audiobooksync offers two free downloadable audiobooks every week during the summer, so check that out if you're interested.
Wild Bird

3:47 a.m. That's when they come for Wren Clemens. She's hustled out of her house and into a waiting car, then a plane, and then taken on a forced march into the desert. This is what happens to kids who've gone so far off the rails, their parents don't know what to do with them any more. This is wilderness therapy camp.

The Wren who arrives in the Utah desert is angry and bitter, and blaming everyone but herself. But angry can't put up a tent. And bitter won't start a fire. Wren's going to have to admit she needs help if she's going to survive.

In her most incisive and insightful book yet, beloved author Wendelin Van Draanen's offers a remarkable portrait of a girl who took a wrong turn and got lost--but who may be able to find her way back again in the vast, harsh desert.
  Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

This book features a teenage girl, Wren, being forced by her parents to attend a Utah wilderness camp after she gets into the wrong crowd. The book immediately starts with Wren being taken in the very early morning with no clue what is happening. There's a lot of denial on her part, and anger. Throughout a large part of the beginning, Wren yells at everyone and whines for help, not that I blame her. She has no idea how to survive in the Utah wilderness and she does have good reason to be upset. It was great, though, to see throughout this book how much she grows and changes. This book mostly takes place inside Wren's head, as sometimes not a whole lot happens in the wilderness, but it was interesting seeing the pieces fall into place as she slowly tells us what made her parents send her to the camp. One really great thing about this book as well is that there is no romance! This is a YA book where a teenage girl becomes self-reliant and changes without any love interest trying to "help" her. Overall this was a pretty decent read and great on audio.

 I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing

Love and First Sight

Love is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

  Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Despitory

I really enjoyed the narration in this book. The MC, Will, has a very instinctive voice that is prone to humor. It worked really well on audio. The premise of this book was also interesting, a blind teenager that might be given an opportunity to see. I thought it discussed interesting ideas, not only things that what a procedure like that would do and how it would actually affect the brain, but I really liked how the characters discussed things like art in this book. Will was born blind so he had never seen art before, of course, so it was interesting how Cecily tried to explain it as well as how Will tried to explain things to her. The main reason why I could not give a full four stars is Will frustrated me later on in the book. Will feels "betrayed" by Cecily not telling Will about her appearance. I sided more on Cecily's side than Will's and I think Will overacted. Honestly, why does her appearance matter all that much to him?

 I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing

The First Time She Drowned

Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically—since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage. As Cassie plumbs the depths of her new surroundings, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is real? And more important, whose life must she save?

This is a very powerful and heart-wrenching read. I listened to this book on audio and while it was wonderfully narrated, I wouldn't necessarily recommend the audio. This is not a happy book and is, in fact, a very depressing read. If you want to feel gut-wrenching sadness while during your chores, go ahead and listen to the audio. I could clearly hear and feel the emotions of Cassie. There is so much betrayal and sadness in her life, she feels like she is drowning in it, but her toxic relationship with her mother keeps reappearing. Cassie's mother would most certainly not win any mother of the year awards and every time I thought that things must get better for Cassie, whether in her flashbacks or in her present, things kept going downhill. I'm glad that the book ended on an optimistic note, but there was a moment where I was worried that she was becoming her mother. Overall, this was a good book and it's unfortunate that there are teens who have lives like Cassie's.

 I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it

No comments :

Post a Comment