Making the world better one review at a time.
This is the story of Lennie, a teenage girl who is coming of age after the untimely death of her older sister. Unsure how to cope, Lennie ends up in a passionate solace seeking romance with her sister's boyfriend. This relationship is further complicated by the arrival of the boy of Lennie's dreams. The novel takes you along with Lennie on a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking journey as she struggles to find her place in a world without her sister.
The character development in this book is phenomenal. Lennie's voice is brave and humorous. Julia Whelan perfectly captures this voice - from Lennie's teenage sarcasm to her deepest longings. The secondary characters, Lennie's grandmother and her pot-smoking Uncle Big, lend heartwarming charm to the narrative as they support Lennie the best way they know how.
If you like gritty young adult novels that don't shy away from mature content, you will love The Sky is Everywhere. It is written for teenagers but its themes of falling in love and coping with death will resonate with readers of all ages.
I had a little trouble getting into this book at first (hence the four stars), but once I did I was swept away by it. I even won a "weekend warrior" badge for spending all day Saturday listening to it!
How does this book make the world a better place? It will remind you of how precious life is. Hazel and Augustus, the teenage protagonists who are battling terminal cancer, live more life in their short months together than many people live in years. Their diagnoses urge them on instead of holding them back. They appreciate the fragilitiy of life in a way that we all should, but only those touched by illness often do. Together they experience friendship, love, adventure, loss and ultimately death. Listen to this book and think of the people who are precious to you, then call them and tell them you love them. It's the kind of book that inspires you to do that.
ADDED BONUS!! At the end of the audiobook you get to listen to an interview with author John Green. Green talks about the book, the characters and even his thoughts about what happens to characters after a book ends. He also reveals that there is a version of this audiobook where he is the reader, for those of you who love to listen to authors narrate their own work.
To conclude, whether you are a young adult or an adult who is young at heart, you will enjoy listening to this book. It will remind you of how beautiful life can be, even - or especially - in the face of death.
The Chosen One is the story of Kyra, a thirteen year old girl who was raised in a polygamous sect by her father and three mothers along with an abundance of brothers and sisters. Despite her unusual circumstances, Kyra has dreams that any thirteen year old girl could relate to. She is in love with a boy whom she hopes to marry one day. This dream is shattered when The Prophet announces that Kyra is to marry her 60 year old uncle instead.
Kyra must now face some heartbreaking choices. Does she honor the word of The Prophet or follow her own heart? Is she prepared for the devastating consequences of choosing the latter? You will hold your breath as you watch Kyra struggle to choose between family and freedom. You will want to weep when you realize, along with Kyra, the high price that her freedom will cost.
This book is beautifully written and narrated. Writer Carol Lynch Williams perfectly captures the voice of thirteen year old Kyra and narrator Jenna Lamia brings Kyra to life.
ADDED BONUS: At the end of this book, you will enjoy an interview with Williams that covers topics ranging from finding Kyra's voice to Williams' writing process to her advice for other writers. If you enjoy reading YA fiction or aspire to write it yourself, you cannot miss this interview.