Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tour: Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashely Little

Publication Date: September 15th, 2018
Publisher: PenguinTeen
Genera: YA, Contemporary 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She's hot, she's popular, she's a cheerleader and she's going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It'll all be hers. 

But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She's tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she's tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen's Disease, aka leprosy. 

Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can't even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM!

But it's during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen's Disease. She's becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she's on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn't like what she sees. . .

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review
Confessions of a Teenage Leper is a fantastic high school novel with a wonderful message. I would recommend this to all teenagers.

Abby's life in high school was perfect, she's popular, a cheerleader, and everyone wants to be her. But when Abby contracts leprosy after a long period of misdiagnosis, her whole life gets flipped upside down, and now she could never cheer again, and her so called friends won't even talk to her. 

I won't lie, I was really afraid in the beginning of the book that I would not like Abby at all, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did not hate her. Yes she was a bit annoying in the beginning of the book, but her overall character development and her story really made her into an amazing character, and by the end of the novel I absolutely loved her. The way the author wrote about Abby was perfect, she felt like a teenage girl, but still one that I could relate to.

Also, another huge reason why I loved this book was because you could tell how much work Ashley Little put into researching Hansen's Disease. As someone in the medical field, it is so common for people to just wikipedia something and assume its correct, but most of the time its wrong and it ends up bothering me the whole book. Fortunately, this book had lots of correct information that also teaches the reader a bit about the disease. Although I may be biased in my opinion on this one.

This novel is very fast pace. If you're an avid reader and have a bit of time, you can easily finish this book in a couple hours or so. While it was nice because it told the story and got to the point, while keeping the reader entertained, I do think there could have been a bit more editing and just a bit more world-building and more juice to the story. It ended just a bit too fast for me.

Overall, I absolutely love this book and the message that it sends. This is my first book by Ashely Little, but I will definitely be on the lookout for her future books. I highly recommend this one to students, or anyone interested in learning more about Leprosy. And a huge thank you to Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy for an honest review.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Series: Seafire #1
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Genera: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

My Rating 
4/5 stars

My Review
Seafire is empowering and completely captivating. This book was so hard to put down once you start. If you love pirate tales and strong female characters, this is the book for you.

Caledonia's only mission is to make the Bullets and their warlord pay for killing her family and her crew. Now Caledonia is the captain of her own, female run ship, and they will stop at nothing until Aric is dead. But when Caledonia's second in command, Pi, gets taken hostage, a rouge Bullet risks his own life to save Pi. In return for saving one of her crew, Caledonia lets the Bullet stay on their ship until he can be dropped off on shore. What Caledonia wasn't expecting was for the Bullet to tell her that her brother is still alive, and was taken by Aric. Caledonia must decide if the Bullet is trustworthy enough for her to believe his story, and if she's willing to risk her crew and ship in order to get her brother back.

There is nothing better than a strong and sassy female character, with a heart of gold for those she loves. Caledonia is such an amazing character! She is so hardworking and determined. She is constantly thinking of everyone on her ship rather than herself, and cares so deeply about everyone on the ship as if they were her own family. What makes her even better, is that she's constantly fighting an internal battle with her past demons, and feels responsible for any death that occurred under her command. This makes her a truly amazing, realistic and a very relatable character.

Every character on the Mors Navis is so unique. There are characters of different ages, backgrounds and talents. While there is a lot of people on the ship, the story focuses mainly on about 10 of them or so, the rest aren't mentioned too often, which makes it a bit easier on the character to help remember names and who each character is.

The setting of this story was perfect. Even though most of the story takes place on the water and on the Mors Navis or other ships, we still get tons of scenery and description. The amount of detail that went into this book and each description was truly amazing, I felt like I could see and even feel the boat, it was the perfect amount of description to make it feel realistic. You could tell just how much time Natalie Parker spent researching everything, her efforts could be seen and it made the book so much better because of it.

The pace of the story was fantastic. There is action from beginning to end, there is lots of character development and basically everything you could wish for in a pirate novel. While there wasn't any huge curveballs, the book still managed to surprise me here and there, and I was glad that none of my predictions came true for what was going to happen. It was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, I really enjoyed Seafire and I can't wait to read more from this series and this author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves pirate movies/novels or is just looking for an action packed YA with strong female characters. 

Happy Reading,
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