January 26

Top Ten Tuesday: Happy Hour Hangouts

January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Freebie!!!! I sometimes struggle with coming up with a topic when the whole wide world of books is available to me. For those of you who know me, I love happy hour. It’s just a nice time to chill out with friends (and sometimes meet new friends along the way). So…..after much thought, I decided to give you my list of authors I’d love to go to Happy Hour with! Here’s who I’d enjoy getting to know a little better over cocktails:

Happy Hour YA

Alexandra Sirowy – I was able to spend some time with Alexandra at Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October of 2015, and I enjoyed the time I spent with her. She has a very unique background that I would love to hear more about!

Trent Reedy – I met Trent at the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October of 2014, and he is truly one of the kindest, most down-to-earth guys I’ve met. I was so touched with his personal story, and I enjoy following him on Facebook. I’m hoping our paths will cross again someday at some point.

James Klise – Another author I met at the Anderson’s conference in 2014. James gave me so much encouragement with my writing, and he will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve had the chance to see him again at an event since he is a local Chicago author. I would love to chat more with him about working with kids, writing, and books in general!

Jennifer Niven – As you know, I soooooooo loved All the Bright Places. I follow Jennifer on Facebook, and I just love her appreciation of her fans, her love of her cats, her awesome bookish office, and so much more. I’d love to get to know her in person!

Happy Hour

David Arnold – Truth time – I haven’t yet read Mosquitoland despite the rave reviews and the autographed copy that calls my name every time I walk by it. But…….David was such a pleasure to meet at Anderson’s 2015, but even more…..he is a musician who lives in Nashville! I also love following him on Instagram. His love for his family is so clear!

Bill Konigsberg – I also met Bill at an Anderson’s YA Lit Conference in 2015, and I LOVED his novel The Porcupine of Truth. He is such an amazing voice for LGBT teens everywhere, and he is such a down-to-earth guy. I’d love to get to know hiHappy Hour Adultm a little more!

Liza Palmer – Liza’s writing speaks to my soul, and I just want to get to know her more. When I’m reading her writing, I sometimes feel like she is in my head! I’ve loved both Girl Before a Mirror and Nowhere But Home, and I look forward to reading more of her in 2016.

Suanne Laqueur – I’ve gotten to know Suanne a little over the last year while I read and reviewed her books. I think her writing is simply stunning, and I love how she is so open about her own personal mental health struggles. I would love to sit down and have a drink with her sometime and just connect on a more personal level!

Cheryl Strayed – Wild was such a powerful read for me, and I love the honesty and frankness with which Cheryl conducts her whole life. She is a powerful voice for so many people, and I truly believe she is making a difference in this world with her writing.

Renee Rosen – One of my very favorite authors of all time, and she happens to be local. I became familiar with Renee on a fluke while going to see another author at an event. I immediately fell in love with Renee, her writing, and just her way of interacting with her fans. I think she is awesome, and I’d love to hang out with her more often!!

Who would you like to go to Happy Hour with?

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December 29

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Books I Can’t Wait For

December 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016. This one is pretty straight forward (although I’m cheating a bit with 11 choices) so let’s get to it:

January Releases

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian – I am quite a fan of Bohjalian, and this newest looks intriguing – a bachelor party gone seriously wrong. As a side note, if you don’t follow Bohjalian on Instagram, you should (he is seriously such a nice, thoughtful, family-loving, bike-riding guy).

Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur – I discovered the beauty of all things Suanne in 2015, and I am now a forever fan. Her writing is quite simply stunning, and I will sing her praises whenever I get a chance. This book is the third in her Fish Tales series, and I highly recommend all of them!

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin – I absolutely loved The Aviator’s Wife by Benjamin, and I am totally intrigued with the concept of this one – a 1950’s historical fiction novel about Truman Capote and his friendship with a society “swan”.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – This looks like another haunting novel involving a school shooting told from four different perspectives and covering a time span of less than an hour.

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright – A YA novel about a girl discovering the secret identity of her mother and her developing relationship with an English prince.

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan – A contemporary novel about a woman’s struggle to regain her own identity. I’m intrigued with the foodie aspect of this one.

February Releases

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon – I have never read a historical fiction account of the Hindenburg, and just by reading the novel’s synopsis, I know that I have a great deal to learn.

March Releases

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – This book is a mere 96 pages and is being published for World Book Day in the UK. I enjoyed Fangirl by Rowell, and I’m hoping to read much more of her in 2016.

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer – So I was totally drawn to this one based on the name and cover. Then I read the unique premise – a girl thinks her father is Kurt Cobain and that he is alive. Who isn’t mildly intrigued by this one?

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner – Another YA novel – this time with two misfits navigating their senior year of high school while trying to maintain their friendship.

April Releases

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey – A historical fiction novel set in the 19th century which features a nontraditional man and woman and their nontraditional relationship.

What books are you hoping to check out in 2016?

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December 20

My Favorite Reads of 2015

December 20, 2015

I thought I had hit a bad streak of non-blogging back in October, but I have just surpassed that with 3 weeks of nonblogging this month. It’s not that I wasn’t inspired – I simply just had too many other things to do! Winter break is now here, and I’m hoping to not only catch up, but get some posts done ahead of time for January! Wish me luck! Anyway, today I’m here to share my top reads of 2015 with you. These books were not necessarily published in 2015 – they were just the ones I read this year that I liked the most.

Adult Fiction

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I was so moved by this book, and I was equally disappointed with its sequel After You.

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur – Suanne was a new author for me this year, and I fell in love with the beauty and rawness of her writing. I also enjoyed the companion to this novel Give Me Your Answer True, and I will soon be starting her book that will be released in January Here to Stay.

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer – I was lucky enough to win this gem in a giveaway, and I am so glad! I was not that familiar with Palmer before this, and I am now a huge fan. I love her characters, setting, and story development.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – This is one of my favorite, heartwarming, easy-to-read books possibly of all time. I am still trying to get to the sequel!

Adult Nonfiction

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed – Oh my goodness….there are not enough words to describe my love for this one! After borrowing it from the library, I had to go ahead and buy myself a copy. I think that EVERYONE should pick this one up!

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – If you need a good laugh, then this is the book for you. I laughed out loud often while reading this one, and I love Brosh’s honesty and openness throughout!

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton – I am a huge HONY fan, and I check it out daily on Facebook. This book is the best of the best stories, and it will have you feeling all sorts of emotions along the way!

Young Adult

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – I think this is my favorite fiction read of 2015. I loved the characters and storyline, but I was really singing its praises because of the awareness it raises of mental health issues.

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg – I so enjoyed this very diverse read. Such great characters and settings. I was a bit surprised how much I adored this one.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman – This one is my dystopian shout out for the year. I loved the concept that Shusterman developed, and the writing was well done. I am still trying to get my hands on the audio of the next book in the series.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – This was another audio read for me, and it left me shattered. You will need a box of Kleenex for this one without a doubt, but it is so, so good. I will be completing a review of this one soon!

Middle Grade/Children’s

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling – I know that I am so late to the game on the Harry Potter mania, but I now get it, and I am so on board with the rest of you. I am going to be reading book #4 over my break.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – I was a little late picking this one up as well. I love the empathy and disability awareness that is highlighted in this one. Such a great book for kids to read!

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko – Historical fiction with a character with autism before autism was autism. This book was so good in so many ways, and I loved that it was set on Alcatraz!

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper – Another historical fiction read that I was moved by. If you are looking for a book on civil rights, then this would be an excellent choice.

As you can see, my reading is all over the place, and that’s what I like! There are so many amazing books in this world, and I don’t want to limit myself in any way. There are many runner-ups to this list if you want to talk more!

What were your favorite reads of 2015?

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November 17

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Book Quotes of 2015

November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So. As you know, I am a HUGE fan of quotes. I have a special notebook just for the fabulous quotes I come across so this was a fun TTT for me to do! I selected the quotes that have had the biggest impact on me so far this year:

“You are your most valuable asset. Don’t forget that. You are the best thing you have.”

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

“In choosing to be good, cautious, and efficient, I talked myself right out of amazing.”

Girl Before A Mirror by Liza Palmer

“Your hope lies in accepting your life as it now lies before you, forever changed. If you can do that, the peace you seek will follow.”

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“Choose the path of love and not fear. The choice you make out of love will always be the right one.”

Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone

“Perhaps I have chosen to be stuck here. Because we all choose our fate, whether or not we admit it.”

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

“Sometimes bravery is just doin’ what you gotta do.”

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

“Beauty comes from within, but first you must bloom. Live beautifully, my love, and flourish.”

“The Spark” from Propose to Me by Ellyse Roberts

“How could he have imagined love was anything but a force which made you your most authentic being.”

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

“You get to make your life.”

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

“…things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.”

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I love quotes so PLEASE share some of your favorites below!

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October 13

Top Ten Tuesday: Author Duos I Want To See Together

October 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together. This was a fun one to think about, and I can’t wait to see what other bloggers have come up with!

Renee Rosen and Sara Gruen

I’ve seen Renee and Sara appear together at a book event, and I have discovered that they are writing partners. I think both of them are extremely detail oriented, and it would be interesting to see what they could write together.

Chris Bohjalian and Jamie Ford

I have learned new facts from reading both of these authors, and I feel like they have similar styles in terms of their ability to teach through great character voices. I think together they could create an outstanding novel.

Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins

Both of these women are queens at suspense novels with unreliable female narrators. I can only imagine what their dark imaginations could come up with when combined.

Neal Shusterman and Suzanne Collins

Two of my favorite dystopian authors! I’d be curious what other worlds their combined creativity could develop.

Jojo Moyes and Jennifer Niven

Moyes and Niven wrote my favorite reads of 2015 so far, and I can’t even imagine the mind-blowing talent they would have combined. I bet I may never recover from a read like that!

Meg Wolitzer and Garth Stein

I’ve only read one book by Wolitzer, her YA debut Belzhar. Similar to Stein, she takes what could be a common storyline and gives it a special, somewhat supernatural twist. I’d be curious to see what they two of them could produce together.

Liza Palmer and Katherine Center

I loved all the quotes that I put in my quote notebook from both of these authors, and I would love to see them develop a contemporary novel together. I imagine it would be entertaining, funny, and touching all at the same time.

Billie Letts and Fannie Flagg

I always love a good novel set in the South, whether contemporary or historical fiction. These two ladies are two of my favorite Southern writers so why not have them write together.

Mary Kubica and James Klise

These authors are excellent at writing mystery novels, and I like to think about what twists and turns they could plot as a team.

Suanne Laqueur and Hanya Yanagihara

Both of these women are amazingly beautiful writers that tap into the dark depths of despair that people can fall into. A joint effort between the two could continue to bring so much awareness to mental health issues while sharing an amazing story.

What two authors would you like to see write a book together?

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September 15

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Authors

September 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: FREEBIE — your choice! I decided to provide all of you with a list of authors that I love, but that not many of you know about. I’m hoping to inspire you to check a few of these people out, because I think they are worthy of your attention!

Young Adult Authors:

Underrated YA Authors Collage

James Klise – I first discovered Klise at the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference last fall. He was so kind, and he motivated me to embrace the revision process of my first novel. I purchased his novel The Art of Secrets, and I loved it. James is a great guy and a great author, and as a bonus he is from the Chicago area.

Trent Reedy – I also met Trent at the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference. He was a keynote speaker who shared his moving life story. Trent served in Afghanistan, and I think he offers a unique perspective and voice in the realm of YA literature. I’ve read Words in the Dust, and I plan to read more of his writing soon. He is a truly great guy that we should all know about!

Adult Authors:

 Renee Rosen – I absolutely adore Renee, and I cannot praise her work enough. She is definitely my favorite historical fiction author, and I cannot wait for the release of White Collar Girl. If you haven’t already, you must check out Dollface and What the LUnderrated Adult Authors Collage 1ady Wants. Renee has an amazing ability to combine her extensive research into a readable story that you are sure to enjoy!

Rebecca Makkai – I was first introduced to Makkai when she was part of an event for Renee Rosen. I thought she was an intelligent and thoughtful person, and I bought a copy of her novel The Hundred Year House, which has a very interesting plot structure. I’m looking forward to reading her newest collection of short stories Music for Wartime.

Gabrielle Zevin – I loved The Storied Life of AJ Fikry! She has published both adult and young adult novels, and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of her before now. I hope to check more of her work out soon.

Suanne Laqueur – I was introduced to Laqueur’s work when I won The Man I Love in a contest. I have said this before on this blog, and I’ll say it again – Laqueur is an exquisite writer. Her writing is beautiful and memorable and simply amazing. I was happy to read a prerelease copy of Give Me Your Answer True, and I will read anything that she publishes in the future!

Jamie Ford – I first read Ford when my book club had Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as its selection. I learned so much about the Japanese internment in the United States, and I was eager to read more of Ford’s work. I picked up Songs of Willow Frost shortly after its release. I think Ford iUnderrated Adult Authors Collage 2s an excellent historical fiction author, and I hope more people take the time to check out his work.

Katherine Center – I really enjoyed Happiness for Beginners, and I look forward to reading so much for from Center. I love her message, and I added so many quotes to my quote notebook. Check her out if you haven’t already!

Chad Harbach – I thought The Art of Fielding was such a great novel that would appeal to a wide range of readers. You so don’t have to be a baseball fan to get into this one. I’m wondering if Harback is a one-hit wonder so to speak, because he doesn’t even have his own website. I’m hoping he will publish more, but until then, you can check out his big hit!

Graeme Simsion – Simsion is a recent discovery for me when we read The Rosie Project for my book club this summer. It was one of my favorite summer reads, and I hope to pick up The Rosie Effect soon!

What underrated authors are missing from my list? Who should I be reading that I haven’t yet?

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August 18

Top Ten Tuesday: My Auto Check-Outs

August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors (no matter the genre or what it’s about…you’ll buy it from these authors!). If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I don’t like to spend money on books, and I make use of my library whenever possible. Therefore, I’ve altered my topic to Auto-Checkout Authors. Here’s who I can’t wait to read (click on their name to be taken to their professional website):

Auto Checkouts collage 1

 

Garth Stein – Ever since I’ve read Racing in the Rain, I’ve made sure to catch up on all of Stein’s work, and I definitely catch his new releases. Although his most recent A Sudden Light wasn’t my favorite, he will still be a pre-release hold at the library for me!

Jennifer Niven – Even though Niven is a new discovery for me with All the Bright Places (my so-far favorite read of 2015), I plan to catch up on my backlist for her, and I will definitely be checking out any new releases that I can.

Cheryl StrayedWild spoke to me when I needed it, and I read everything I could find by Strayed after that. It’s been awhile since she’s had anything new published, but I am waiting patiently.

Neal Shusterman – He is a new-to-me author this year, and I have loved both Unwind and Challenger Deep. I’m hoping to wrap up the Unwind series in the next few months sometime.

Liza Palmer – I am soooooooo glad that I won a contest for Palmer’s most recent release for Girl Before a Mirror, which then led me to Nowhere But Home. I’m not sure I would have discovered her otherwise. I absolutely adore Palmer’s writing style, characters, and setting, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Auto Checkout Collage2

 

Suanne Laqueur – Suanne is also new to me this year, and I came across her work through another contest win (I’ve gotten so lucky on winning entries). I loved The Man I Love, and I was so excited to get a review copy of Give Me Your Answer True. Her writing is exquisite, and you don’t want to miss out on her powerful novels.

Khaled Hosseini – I have been so moved by the stories in all three of his novels, and I can’t imagine myself getting tired of what he produces. His most recent And the Mountains Echoed was not my favorite work, but I still enjoyed it.

Renee Rosen – If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know how much I adore Rosen, both her writing and her as a person. Not only will I read anything she writes, but I will also seek out any book event in the area that I can find. She is a master at taking her thorough research of a time period and blending it seamlessly into an engrossing storyline. I can’t wait for the release of White Collar Girl this fall. In the meantime, make sure you check out Dollface and What the Lady Wants.

Mary Kubica – Kubica has just made this list in the last couple of weeks following my read of The Good Girl. What a great suspense novel. I’m hoping to catch her very new release Pretty Baby soon!

Gillian Flynn – Another master of suspense that I look forward to reading. It’s been awhile since I’ve read something by her, and I need to get a fix soon!

Which authors can you not miss?

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June 30

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10 Books So Far This Year

June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015. Here are my faves so far (click on the book title to be taken to my review for each one):

Adult Fiction

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – One of only three 5 star reads this year. I can’t wait for the sequel in September.

Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur – Laqueur is a new author for me this year, and I am so glad I have found her. Her writing is so amazingly beautiful.

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer – A heartwarming read that is perfect for summer!

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – Another heartwarming read with a strong bookish theme.

Young Adult Fiction

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – I’m now a Shusterman fan, and this book gives his readers a glimpse into his personal life and his son’s struggles with mental illness.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman – I enjoyed the unique concept of this one, and the action will keep you engaged.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – Another 5 star read that I keep recommending to others. This is a must read for everyone!

Children’s Fiction

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’m officially on the bandwagon and in love with Harry and the gang.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper – A great book on the civil rights movement written from the perspective of a ten year old girl.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – A great book that helps children appreciate differences.

What are your favorite books so far this year?

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June 17

Quick Quotes! – Give Me Your Answer True

June 17, 2015 quick quotes

Check out my new feature – Quick Quotes! I provide you with several quotes from one of my favorite books with the hope that it will give you more of a feel for the book, inspiring you to pick up the book yourself! I will start with a book I finished recently that I absolutely adored the writing in – Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur. My quote notebook got quite the workout during this read, and now I’m going to share my favorites with you! I have found that different quotes strike you more depending on your life circumstances, but I hope that you enjoy these as much as I did.

“Her mind felt fresh, like the first wide-opened window of spring letting in soft, damp air.”

“The silence swelled and shrank. A quiet friend and even quieter enemy. She was grateful for a moment and hated the expectation within it.”

“She began to court forgiveness and found it a coy, elusive lover.”

“It hit her all at once. How for some people, the not knowing was a mere nuisance. For others, it was a dire strait.”

“I’m sorry, but his heart’s a stone now and you’ll never chisel your way back in.”

“Maybe the lover goes away but what you do for love stays with you forever.”

“Stripped of her holiday decorations, New York in January was a weary debutante after the ball, tired and disappointed with nothing to look forward to.”

“Wanting and doing are two different things and in the scenario, your not doing kicks want’s ass.”

“Like a horse switching at a fly she flicked off her fear.”

“The dance wasn’t a jacket to stuff her limbs into and make fit. It was a jacket that would self-tailor to whatever emotional color she wanted. But the emotion had to come first – good, bad, and ugly. And even ugly could be beautiful.”

“You were in love,” Rita said. “And love is never a finished thing.”

“It’s like he’s given myself back to me.”

Check out Give Me Your Answer True and share your favorite quote with me below!

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June 14

Book Review – Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur

June 14, 2015

From Goodreads:
Following her award-winning debut novel The Man I Love, author Suanne Laqueur now gives Daisy Bianco a chance to tell her story.

It’s been three years since an egregious error of judgement cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her. Alone and shattered, she attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the shootings at Lancaster, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the years at Lancaster with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they evolved without being resolved. Because when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

To put it mildly, I was THRILLED when Laqueur asked me to read an ARC of her newest book Give Me Your Answer True, a follow-up to The Man I Love. Below are my thoughts on this newest release by one of my new favorite authors:

On the Plus Side:

  • Laqueur is one of the most amazing writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and I am not exaggerating. It took me a little while longer to read GMYAT than some other novels because I had to keep stopping to copy quotes in my quote notebook – quotes full of beautiful images, raw and real emotions, vivid mental pictures. Her writing is truly exquisite and it is not to be missed! I think I may even do a whole separate post full of quotes from this book!
  • Although this novel is a retelling of her previous one, the plot is very different. I never felt as if I was reading the same book again. This follow-up puts such a different spin on events that you may be familiar with, and you will find yourself looking at certain things in a whole new light.
  • You will fall even more in love with Daisy, Opie, Lucky, and Will. I loved to see all of these characters grow as the novel progressed. There was no denying the major issues they were facing, and the struggles they went through to heal were very realistic. I enjoyed how their actions and thoughts shifted as their respective recoveries progressed.
  • I admire the awareness Laqueur brings to a variety of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, PTSD, cutting, eating disorders) and the process of recovery. She does not sugar coat what happens when suffering from mental illness, nor does she make healing look like a cake walk.
  • I loved the backdrop of dancing. It is so not a world I am familiar with, but I found myself very much drawn into the scenes and snapshots of what happens within this world.

On the Minus Side:

  • This is not really a minus, but a caution. You need to be very comfortable reading about sex and drug use. Laqueur’s writing is top notch, and the scenes she creates are very vivid. As with the first book, I had to set this one aside for a couple of days because it is so emotionally intense at times. There is a purpose to every scene that Laqueur includes, and I encourage you to keep reading even if you feel uncomfortable at moments.

If you haven’t yet read Laqueur, you need to run out immediately and do so. Her writing will move you like none other – guaranteed!

What did you think of Give Me Your Answer True?

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