Book Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Title: The Distance Between Lost And Found
Series: Standalone
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
How I got it: I bought it

SYNOPSIS:

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

 

REVIEW:

I had this book for a while and even tried starting it a couple of times before, but it was only last Monday that I really began getting to it. I started at half past midnight, right after I got home from work, and before I even realized it, it was already 3 in the morning and I’m already a third into the book. When I woke up that morning, I made a point to read another few pages before getting ready for my shift.

Something about Hallelujah and her plight just hooked me right off the bat. If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s her determinedly stone-faced attitude towards the bullying she was going through, which is what we saw at the beginning of the book. It takes a lot of strength and a lot of pain for that kind of thick skin to develop, and somehow, this thought made me really curious about Hallie and her story, and even made me start to care for her as a character.

The book opens with Hallie in a Christian Youth Group retreat, being bullied by a guy named Luke who obviously has a really strong effect on her. The reason why is not disclosed until further into the book, but before that we meet Rachel, the new girl who tried to befriend Hallie when she noticed her being closed off and isolated, and Jonah who used to be Hallie’s good friend but abandoned her after the thing with Luke began. Circumstances draw them all together, and then they get lost in the woods. Each day bleeds into the next and they are still hopelessly lost with only themselves to rely on for survival.

I can honestly say that the story took an unexpected turn after just a few pages. I’m not really sure what I was expecting but Kathryn Holmes gave me so much more. I really loved all the characters that came into a play because all of them were expertly drawn and none of them fell flat. I connected so much with Hallie in terms of how she dealt with her pain, how she retreated in her shell as the bullying became more and more vicious. The budding friendship between the three main characters felt real, and it felt genuine and as a reader, I’d like to think that it’s the kind that will last because it certainly felt like the type of bond that would as I was reading about it.

I think that the title is really appropriate — The Distance Between Lost and Found  — because that’s exactly where Hallie was in the book, in that long stretch of road between losing herself and finding herself once again. I think a lot of us have been there as well, which is why this book is really relatable. It took a lot before Hallie regained control of her own life. It took them getting lost in the woods before everything that happened had some sort of closure, but it was a journey I was glad to be part of, despite the parts of it that were harrowing for the protagonist and her companions.

All in all, I think that for a debut novel, this is a really, really strong one. It was touching and engaging, and it was poignant without trying too hard. I’m so, so glad I picked this book up and decided finally to read it after months of procrastinating. Needless to say, Kathryn Holmes is an author I’ll be actively watching out for.

I recommend this book for anyone who’s looking for something fresh to read, something insightful, and deep, and engaging. As for my rating, I give this book 5 coconuts and I will be adding this to my recommended page as well. :)

5coconuts

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Top Ten Tuesday (TTT #6)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and Bookish!

It’s been waaaay too long since I last participated, but I’m happy to be doing so this week. Since the topic for this week’s TTT is a freebie, I get to choose which top ten book related stuff I’m going to share with you all.

And I pick:
TOP TEN BOOKS THAT I HOPE WOULD BE ADAPTED INTO A TV SERIES OR MOVIE

It’s kinda long winded, but ugh. I’ve read so many books that I wish would get an adaptation, whether on the big or small screen, because I want to see the characters come to life beyond the confines of my mind.

So. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

    

1. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta — If you haven’t read this book yet, you have to do it now. Seriously. Listen to me, drop everything you’re doing, and pick up this book. It will be worth it.

2. Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers — This book inspired me to write a short story. Parker Fadley is such an unforgettable character and her tale is such a painful one. Go read my review of this book here.

3. Angelfall by Susan Ee — Angels, a bad-ass heroine, and a swoon-worthy romance. What’s not to like? Read my full review here!

4. The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker — I love this book so much, and the book that followed it. It’s about secret societies and dead girls and high school politics, sprinkled with a generous helping of mystery and rolled into one. It’s amazing.

5. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen — I am a Sarah Dessen fan and I’ve read almost ALL her books, but Dreamland is the one that hit me the hardest. I need this to be a teen flick, because I think so many people could learn from this story.

    

6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake — I have fallen in-love with a ghost. I didn’t think that was possible before Anna Korlov and this book. This needs to be a movie, asap.

7. Easy by Tammara Webber — Probably the only New Adult book that I ever loved. I can read this book over and over again and not get tired of it. I need a film version I can watch. I have a review, right here.

8. Pivot Point by Kasie West — I love the premise of this book SO much. Kasie West is such a talented writer and this story has so much potential. The sequel is also great. Please make a movie out of this.

9. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan — Witty heroine who don’t need no man, funny dialogue, unique plot, amazing world-building. This will be a great movie if it doesn’t get whitewashed.

10. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I Have To Kill You by Ally Carter — Spies. Girl Spies. Bad-ass girls who are not afraid of their femininity. Good role model for young girls. This book, this whole series specifically, is just A+ so good, would definitely recommend.

Phew! Finally done. That’s my Top Ten for this week! What’s yours? Let me know in the comments section below!

Happy reading! ♥

Waiting on Wednesday #2 – Winter by Marissa Meyer

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book event hosted by the lovely people over at Breaking the Spine, to shine the spotlight on the new releases everyone is eagerly anticipating. This week, the book I’m excitedly waiting on is:

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Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
by Marissa Meyer.

SYNOPSIS:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Is it winter yet? The fandom asks. November feels like a lifetime away. We need it to hurry. Not just because of Mockingjay Part 2 but also because of this book.

In this fandom, we don’t say “Winter is coming” with dread in our voices. Instead, we rejoice. Winter is coming! And so is our most anticipated book for this year! We’ve waited waaaay too long. You can’t blame us.

What is the book you’re waiting on? Let me know in the comments’ section!

Much Love,
Eena

Book Review: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

21853636Title: All The Rage
Series: Standalone
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
How I got it: I bought it

SYNOPSIS:

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town.

No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive


REVIEW:

Sometimes, I really hate Courtney Summers.

This is the third book of hers that I read. This is the third book of hers that hurt me.

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about a Courtney Summers book that makes you feel like watching a train wreck — knowing the inevitability of awful things to come but being powerless to stop any of it. This was how I felt while reading Some Girls Are. This was how I felt while reading Cracked Up To Be.

And now with All The Rage… I can’t decide whether to say it got better, or it got worse. Courtney’s talent definitely got better, with her undeniable ability to add a touch of humanity even to her most unlikeable characters, her talent of stringing words together that prevents a reader to turn away, even when the scenes unfolding on the page are just plain horrific. I wish I was immune from this magic touch of hers, but I’m not. And once again, I have ended up being viscerally affected by a Courtney Summers novel.

There is something terribly inconvenient about being a girl. And no, it’s not about having the parts that assigned us to this gender in the first place, although that’s not a small part of it. But mostly, it’s about how girlhood and womanhood are perceived by the world at large in this day and age. It’s about rape culture and slut shaming and victim blaming — all of which run rampant in a society struggling to correct itself, but failing, for the most part, to do so.

What is it like to be a survivor of rape? What is it like to be a survivor of rape in a community that refuses to accept the reality that something so awful can happen within the confines of their perfect, white picket fenced world? I said before that being a girl and a woman is difficult, but being a teenage girl is a hundred times more so. Especially in a world that is so eager to dismiss and silence young girls, a world that refuses to take a teenage girl’s cry seriously.

This novel is about the cost of telling the truth when you’re a young girl. This novel is about how hard it is to make society see a wrong, when it is a wrong they are willing to justify. This novel is about the price it takes before someone finally recognizes the truth they’ve been running from.

All The Rage is one of those books that will leave you speechless right after you finish it. It’s one of those books that makes you pray. I’ve been praying for someone to save Romy Grey, all the while acknowledging the fact that it’s not that easy. No knight in shining armor can take away the magnitude of what happened to her, not even her mother can help. Sometimes terrible things happen to people and it begins to define them, whether they want it to or not. It doesn’t help when people around you make it harder to forget it, make it all the more difficult to forgive yourself because they make it YOUR fault instead of the perpetrator, because it’s easier to believe that someone is lying, than to believe that someone you’ve known your whole life can do something so awful… like rape a girl.

Everything’s out of her hands now. All the things coming Ava’s way they won’t be able to control, things she won’t always ask for because she’s a girl. She doesn’t even know how hard it’s going to be yet, but she will, because all girls find out.

I think it’s a good thing someone decided to write about this, because no one talks about it enough. No one talks enough about how, until now, we blame girls for the awful things that happen to them. No one talks enough about the fact that it’s hard to be a girl, so hard that many of us have come to resent our body, to wish we didn’t have all these parts at all. We are being deconstructed until we are nothing but our body parts, and it is not a good feeling. Because we are so much more than that. And this book? This book makes sure that we are reminded of it.

The only thing I can complain about is how open-ended this book is. I hate the fact that there’s no after. I hate not knowing what happened to a character I’ve grown to care so much about, because even though I’ve never been in the same situations as her, I can identify with her. Because I am a girl.

Needless to say, this book hit me hard, like all the other books of Courtney Summers that I’ve read, but somehow, a little harder than the rest. Right now, in YA, Summers continues to be the only author who’s portrayal of high school and teen girl politics remain unparalleled. I think it would be safe to say that I am willing to read every book that CS would push out in the future, because she is just that good.

I recommend this book to everyone looking for a worthwhile read. As for ratings? No question. Five coconuts.

5coconuts

Hey hey hey!

I’m not entirely sure if anyone still remembers me, but I am glad to announce that The Crazy Bookworm is now back online and ready to get the blogging started again!

I am so excited to re-join the wonderful community of book blogging, and to celebrate my come-back, I’m going to start it off by reviewing a book by one of my most beloved authors.

It’s All The Rage by Courtney Summers.

From all the rave reviews that I’ve read on Goodreads, I can tell that this book is about to take me into an emotional roller-coaster. Courtney Summers has never disappointed me before. Remember when I reviewed her books Some Girls Are and Cracked Up To Be? It was basically just a few paragraphs of fangirling.

So needless to say, I am incredibly pumped to read and review All The Rage. If you’ve already read the book, NO SPOILERS PLEASE! (I’ve already read the prologue, actually. And I’m SCREAMING)

Anywho, I’d love to hear about what everyone’s been up to lately! What books have you been reading? What other interesting stuff has been going on that I have undoubtedly missed?

Let me know in the comments section!

Much love,
Eena.