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Random Body Parts By Leslie Bulion

Random Body Parts By Leslie Bulion
Publication Date:  1 March 2015 by Peachtree Publishers

Disclaimer: I received a copy c/o the Publisher via Netgalley (through the ‘Read Now’ option).

Goodreads

Summary: Witty and nimble verse about body parts pairs with whimsical drawings in this informative, fun collection. It begins with an invitation to solve a series of poetic riddles: Of course you have a body, / But do you have a clue / Where all the body parts youve got are found / And what they do?

Each poem that follows poses a puzzle in verse (with a sly wink and a nod to Shakespeare) and provides hints for uncovering the body part in question. Sidebars further educate readers about the anatomical subject in question, while appended notes offer a crash course on poetic form and a few facts about the Shakespearean works that inspired the verses.

Captivating lines such as rumble, grumble, roil and rumble, / Acid burn and slurry tumble (from the poem that refers to the stomach) should spark readers interest in poetry and human biology alike. A glossary for science terms is included in the back matter.

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Random Body Parts was pretty fun. They’re simple witty poetry and basically describes different parts of your body. Random Body Parts would probably be more appealing to kids, given the charming and colourful illustrations and also comes with useful scientific information about the body parts on each page. If my siblings were a little younger/older (both my siblings are much younger than me!) I would definitely share this book with them and read it together with them. The book would make for a good quiz/guessing game, wherein if you hide the scientific info at the bottom you could guess what body parts each poem is about!

It’s definitely appealing and the poems are simple enough to understand. I did enjoy the little poetry notes at the end of the book which explains how each poem was written and where the inspiration came from. It’s definitely fun poetry tidbit and brought out the inner Lit geek in me.

All in all, a wonderful short book of anatomy poems. Random Body Parts is available on Netgalley as a Read Now book (at the time of writing) — so get reading!

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The Wicked + The Divine Vol 1: The Faust Act By Kieron Gillen

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 1: The Faust Act (Issues #1-#5) By Kieron Gillen
Published 12 Nov 2014 by Image Comics

Disclaimer: I received a copy c/o the Publisher via Netgalley (through the ‘Read Now’ option).

Goodreads

Summary: Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5

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The Wicked + The Divine is really different than anything I’ve read before. It is exactly as the summary says — it’s about twelve gods who are powerful and worshiped, and how a click of their fingers can cause deadly destruction. It’s told through our main character, Laura’s POV. Laura is a huge fan of the gods, to the point where she wants to be one of them. She develops a relationship with Luci and later finds herself embroiled in trouble, biting off more than she can chew.

I really did enjoy The Wicked + The Divine. I do feel like it has a lot to offer and the storyline is definitely interesting. However, the beginning (and some other parts) were a little difficult for me to understand, making it hard for me to really enjoy the book until much later. The beginning arc I felt weren’t entirely explained and eventually kind of got lost in the whole mess of things going on — and trust me, there is A LOT that is going on. But I’m glad I pushed through and read on because the plot gets interesting and certainly a lot easier to digest once you familiarize yourself with everything.

Aside from the plot the graphics is absolutely divine. I loved the artwork and the colours used throughout and the covers, my goodness, are so beautiful. I’ve been curious about a The Wicked + The Divine for a while now, so I’m definitely glad I got to read this while it’s up on Netgalley. The edition available on Netgalley collects issues #1-#5 and is available through Read Now (at the time of writing). If you can get your hands on the first volume, I would say give it a try and don’t be discouraged if you get confused. It does get better, you just need a little patience to push through!

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The S Word By Chelsea Pitcher

The S Word By Chelsea Pitcher
Published 7 May 2013 by Gallery Books

Goodreads

SummaryFirst it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie’s looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she’s caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie’s own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

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I can’t make up my mind about The S Word. On one hand I enjoyed it, but on the other, it wasn’t really that great.

The S Word had a lot of potential to be good, great even, but the execution was lacking and in some ways perhaps even too much. The S Word mainly focused on the suicide of Lizzie Hart and is told through the eyes of her best friend Angie. The synopsis looked promising and the book had a great opening and read like a mystery novel.

But the thing that kept The S Word from being great for me is the romance. Towards the near middle of the book it felt like the book has derailed off from being about bullying, Lizzie’s suicide and slut-shaming, but focused on Angie’s love and relationship with Drake and it put me off just a little bit. I found Drake to be creepy, with the way he behaves and his constant need for Angie’s attention despite no longer being together annoyed me.

The romance between Angie and Drake was integral to the story, it was important for readers to know how much Angie loved him and how it played a part in Lizzie’s death. BUT, it came to a point where I just quickly skimmed through it because I get it, y’all were in love.

Romance aside, I felt like there was something about the author’s writing that made it difficult for me to pull through. I don’t know if it was the attempt to emulate a real teenager, I can’t exactly pin point it but it was a little bit hard for me to enjoy the dialogue and the way it was written. Certain things felt a little bit forced, and others came off as awkward (case in point: Drake and the awkward way he shadows Angie…)

There are a lot of important themes in this book aside from bullying and slut-shaming, such as the obvious suicide theme, cross-dressing, rape amongst others. I think that despite the issues that I had with the writing and the romance, I feel like people should still give it a shot and come to their own conclusions about it. The book does shed light on many real life situations and can certainly start a conversation.

The S Word does have a good solid plot and the mystery elements of the book is fantastic. I would suggest you not be put off by the mixed reviews online, nor be swayed by the writing because the book does make a good conversation starter, especially towards the end — its got me gripped into my seat.

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Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher
Published 18 Oct 2007 By Razorbill

Goodreads

Summary: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
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Thirteen Reasons Why is incredible, horrific and sad all in one.

I took my time finishing Thirteen Reasons Why. Thirteen Reasons Why was difficult to finish — not because it was terrible, but because the stories were painful. Thirteen Reasons Why is told through audiotapes made by Hannah Baker, a young girl who killed herself. And through these tapes, she tells thirteen stories of why she chose to kill herself.

I felt that reading it slowly helped me absorb the story better, that I could really experience what Clay was expeirencing and really feel his heartbreak. The story itself is fantastic. The problems were realistic, and in some cases, seemed so minor, but you later realize the gravity each of these problems hold. I loved how the story intertwined with each other, and how each of these people mentioned in the book played such an important part to the story.

I love Clay, and I love that he was a character that was described by Hannah to have had no fault, and yet, you could see so clearly how he played a huge part in Hannah’s death. Some of the stories really made me sick to my stomach, particularly Bryce, and I think that’s how Hannah (and the author) would have wanted you to feel.

I can definitely see myself re-reading this book in the future and recommending this to everyone I know. It’s certainly a book that is important and should be read by the masses. I truly believe that Thirteen Reasons Why can save lives and open our eyes to the serious consequences of our actions and words, even if we don’t think it’s that serious or meant it. I’d love to read this again in audiobook format where I’m sure the experience would be even more heart wrenching. Poignant and important, Thirteen Reasons Why is a definite must read.

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Smile By Raina Telgemeier

Smile By Raina Telgemeier
Smile #1
Published 1 Feb 2010 By GRAPHIX

Goodreads

Summary: From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

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I am in love with Smile.

Smile is such a simple story, but possesses so much depth and elements that many can easily resonate with. Smile begins as a story that follows the author’s long and draining four year dental journey and her progression as a teenager from middle school to high school.

The story is presented as a graphic novel, where the pictures are simple, clean and coloured. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book because it helped me really visualise Raina’s traumatising dental drama and brings across the emotions very well.

The book begins with Raina at the dentist to fix her overbite problems, but later ends up injuring her two front teeth when she trips and falls. As her four year long dental journey begins, Raina also begins having to deal with boy trouble and terrible friends.

One of the main thing that Raina struggles with is bullying. Raina has terrible friends: they call her names, make fun of her, expose her secrets and are generally very unsupportive and awful. But the thing that makes me love Raina is that despite all of that, she stays strong and eventually finds real friends that support and love her.

I felt a lot for Raina and I could definitely resonate with her on so many levels, starting from terrible friends to having that first crush. In a way, it felt like I was watching my own story come to life (sans the dental issues). It was extremely heartwarming in the end, when Raina was able to lift her face and find her smile again.

Smile is a middle grade book, and certainly one that I would recommend everyone of all ages to read, especially the younger ones. Smile is one of those books I wish I read in my teenage years and would have definitely enjoyed. I feel like Smile could potentially help a lot of growing kids realise that things will be okay and that it is okay to have braces, and if you have friends that are constantly bringing you down, you should leave and not put yourself in that toxic situation.

I am so glad that I stumbled upon this gem of a book and in light of Anti Bullying Week next week, I am definitely going to be recommending this book to everyone.

Smile is an all-round heartwarming book with touching elements that will definitely make you want more.

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Anti Bullying Week: #AntiBullyReads TBR

If you haven’t heard already, I’m participating in the #AntiBullyReads Read-a-Thon next week from 17th to 23rd November. Again, I highly encourage everyone to participate and start a conversation. You can check out my announcement post here with all the full details, including links to the original announcement post by Sarah. 

I’ve managed to narrow down my TBR list to five books from the list and I know it will be a bit difficult for me because I am in a bit of a slump (as always) but I think that the fact that these books will help to create a buzz and bring awareness about bullying is very encouraging and I definitely want to try and push myself to read them all.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Winger, This Song Will Save Your Life and Eleanor & Park, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be really good books to read. I’m also a huge fan of Burn for Burn, the first book in the Burn for Burn trilogy and I’m super excited to see how the story progresses. And lastly, I haven’t heard too much about The S Word but I am pulled in by the synopsis and definitely curious to see if I’ll enjoy the book.

If you are participating in the read-a-thon, let me know what you’re reading and tweet along with me over at @prettybookmarks and be reading buddies!

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Anti Bullying Week: #AntiBullyReads Announcement

In light of Anti Bullying Week, the wonderful booktuber Sarah Churchill has decided to create a read-a-thon for it. As the title suggests, we will be reading books that are related to bullying and start a conversation. This issue is definitely something that I feel so strongly about and I encourage everyone to participate in it and really talk about the issue. To find out more information, you can watch Sarah’s announcement video and head over to the Goodreads Group for book suggests and to leave your TBR links.

I’ll be doing my own TBR pile in a separate post soon!

#AntiBullyReads Read-a-thon
17 – 23 November 2014