Tag Archives: Bullying

Books I’ve Recently Read

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard. I was instantly taken in by the story of Mare Barrow’s world being divided by blood. Red and Silver. Mare always thought she was a red blood, and reds arent’ treated well by the magical silvers. Yes, this is a story where she finds out she isn’t truly a red blood. She will be called a new blood, and with it comes powers that no red blood has every possessed. And she is thrust into the king’s court to be hidden in plain sight of the silvers.  This story is full of magic, betrayal, and yearning for love. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Glass Sword (Red Queen) by [Aveyard, Victoria]

GLASS SWORD by Victoria Aveyard. Well, obviously I had to read these back-to-back! And the sequel did NOT disappoint. After escaping a near execution in the first book, Mare discovers she is not the only “new blood”. She races against time to find as many as she can before they are murdered by the evil king. An uprising is coming! Oh, and a little love. And yes, I will be reading the 3rd addition to this series!

Below by [Lockwood, Ryan]

BELOW by Ryan Lockwood. Well, I’ll admit that I bought this hoping for a monster under the sea. When I realized the book was about humbolt squid, I was briefly disappointed. Check out the blurb that confused me:

In all his years as a professional diver, Will Sturman has never encountered a killing machine more ferocious than the great white shark or as deadly as the piranha. Now, off the coast of California, something is rising from the deep–and multiplying. Voracious, unstoppable, and migrating north, an ungodly life form trailed by a gruesome wake of corpses. With the help of the brilliant and beautiful oceanographer Valerie Martell, Will finds himself in a race against time to stop the slaughter–by a predator capable of devastating the world’s oceans.

Did you know that humbolt squid really changed colors under the ocean depending on their mood, or if they are hungry? How fascinating is that? They are also known as diablo (devil) squid and flying squid (because yes, they fly out of the water!) As for the book, the more I read, the more I couldn’t put the story down. It’s told from alternating POVs, even from the squid’s point of view! Whoa! But I must say, it might be a long time before I ever go diving again. LoL.

The Littlest Bigfoot by [Weiner, Jennifer]

THE LITTLEST BIGFOOT by Jennifer Weiner. For anyone that has ever felt like they don’t belong, this is a great story. What would you do if someone thought YOU were bigfoot? What would you do if you really met a young bigfoot? This story weaves a familiar tale of bullying, not belonging, with a fantastical take on bigfoots living among us. I cried and laughed. Definitely a good purchase. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Shatter Me by [Mafi, Tahereh]

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi. Just WOW! The way Tehereh writes the story is amazing. There were times I really wondered if the main character, Juliette, was really insane. Her words sometimes read insanely! But I didn’t get distracted by them, in fact, sometimes I found certain passages almost lyrical.

I won’t deny, I listened to the audio book with this one and I think it made the story come alive for me. It might’ve even made the repetition of various passages more likely to read as a broken mind. Juliette is locked up in solitary confinement with no human contact, not even guards visit her. She has a magical power she thinks is a curse, and is the reason she’s locked up. But when she suddenly gets a roommate who’s a BOY, things begin to get sticky. While the reality about her powers begins to unravel, she needs to decide if she’ll embrace it. The way this unlikely character becomes the hero of her own story is just breathtaking. Not sure why I waited so long to read this and I can’t wait to dive into the sequels!

And that’s what I’ve read lately. If you have a great recommendation, just let me know in the comments. Until next time, have a fantastic day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One For Sorrow BookPublisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.

While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.

***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Amazon | BN | Kobo| Google PlayGoodreads | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW

“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist

“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus

“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin

Author Links: Website | Facebook