Faking Normal by Courteney C. Stevens

GOODREADS SUMMARY15726915
HarperCollins | Hardback, 336 pages
February 25th, 2014
Young Adult | Fiction
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars


“The power of Bodee is in the way he reads me, sees through me, and then understands the truth behind the facade. No one can ride tragedy like a pro surfer while I drown.” – Chapter 9, page 95


Alexi and Bodee has absolutely nothing in common; they walk the halls barely acknowledging each other, and they exist in the opposing sides of the social hierarchy. But when Bodee’s mother died in the hands of his father, their relationship changed from not having one into something where they became each other’s panacea. Alexi seems to be the only one who could reach him in his perpetual quiet existence, while Bodee seems to be the only one who knows when Alexi’s need to retreat from the world becomes too impossible to ignore. Hand in hand, Alexi and Bodee will find a way to face each other’s demons.

Alexi can’t hide from her what had happened to her in the summer; not even in the closet where she harms herself. But if there’s one thing that makes her forget, it’s the messages she receives from a mysterious boy in fourth period. Messages that come from song lyrics that seem to reflect how she felt, and what she needed at any given time. I like this element of Alexi’s story. The mystery surrounding the lyrics writer gave me a break from gnashing my teeth to powdered form. If I can forget how one particular aspect of story made me so hopping mad, I  say this book would’ve been a solid four stars. But I can’t. Even now, merely a week after I read this book, it still makes me mad to think about it.

I really hate it when a relevant issue gets lost in the background noise of the story: the dating rituals of teenagers. Alexi’s inability to say, no. Alexi’s sister’s and friends’ seemingly petty, vapid, more often poisonous treatment of her, and the way they dismissed her just irritated me to no end. There was a couple of times when I stopped and breathed for minutes just to get through this book. Otherwise, kindling would’ve been in its future. There is also one instance when she was [spoiler] almost raped by a boy [spoiler] and was thankfully stopped, but told those who saw that it was all a mistake. Are you fucking kidding me? Oh and the kicker? Bodee just took her word for it like it was no big, when he saw what happened! Ugh.

As much as I should’ve been more sympathetic, I really couldn’t with a Mary Sue character. And Alexi was a big pushover. I get it, you know? I get that she’s physically, emotionally, and mentally traumatized but in light of what had happened to her, the carefree attitude she had with the boys around her, and ultimately how she let everyone ran roughshod over her, just didn’t make any sense. I don’t know about you, but if I’d been in a situation that became the root cause of my trauma, I would be wary of being in the same situation again.

How do I really feel about the book? Well, I say, I think there’s a good chance that you will probably have a much more pleasant time reading this than I did. There is an issue here that the author handled poorly, in my opinion. I feel that with all the insipidity that happened in the background, I was distracted by how much it angered me. I do like the kinship between Alexi and Bodee, and the mystery of “Captain Lyrics” was a nice touch. Over all, the book’s intended meaning got buried amongst the trivialities of high school life. Unfortunate, really.

 

 

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Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

Goodreads Summary18051087
Simon Pulse | Hardcover, 272 pages
February 25th, 2014
Young Adult | Contemporary Romance
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

Apathy sucks.

Have you ever read a book that you felt absolutely nothing about? It was as if I was reading a textbook, but reading a textbook would’ve been better because at least then, I was learning something as I go along. This book, unfortunately, is only good for one thing: it’s meant to boost your reading goal number for the year. It was a fast read that hardly appealed to my empathy, with a plot line that held so much promise, but sadly disappointed.

As many childhood friendships go, Avery’s and Nora’s fizzled as they grew further apart. Years later, and while Avery flitted in the spotlight of the high school social caste system, Nora remained in the periphery of her glow. Neither girls minded the widening distance; after all, they share a common bond as they were both adopted, and once upon a time also shared the dream of finding their respective biological parents. As Avery’s adopted family raise her in a relatively happy home, she lost interest in it altogether. But Nora remained in pursuit until a lead resulted in heartbreak.

Nora committed suicide.

She left Avery a notebook that held an account of how to find her mother; guilt-ridden, Avery proceeds to venture on her own quest with a purpose of honouring her death. With the help of Nora’s friend, Brody, they set out to trace the mother that gave her up for adoption. But what started out as a way to honour Nora’s memory quickly morphed into a selfish agenda of a means to get into her dream college.

There wasn’t much you can walk away from reading this book, and for a story involving suicide, the writing was emotionally ineffective. It’s really hard to like a book if the main character failed to garner the reader’s empathy, and this is the biggest fault of this book. Avery lacked any believable emotions, and if she did show any, it felt much too contrived. Nora showed more depth in the very little time she was in the novel than Avery did the entire book. And as far as romance goes, sorry, there wasn’t much of that either.

Overall, Year of Mistaken Discoveries is a book you can do without. No depth, no emotions. You’ll be better off reading your friend’s status updates on Facebook.

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Freak Boy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

17261129GOODREADS SUMMARY
Farrar Straus Giroux | ARC, 426 pages
October 22nd, 2013
Young Adult | LGBTQ | REALISTIC FICTION
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

This is a free verse novel about the startling reality of a boy who found himself lost inside his own body. Brendan Chase has a girlfriend, a star wrestler, and a teenager normal enough to heed the call of his rioting hormones. But nobody else knows the war his mind wages against his body. His fascination with the woman’s anatomy altered from  curiosity to abject desire; a desire that had little to do with sex and more to do with the allure of having softer body, a curvier silhouette, and hair that falls like a curtain of silk. It’s not about an excuse to wear dresses; it’s about finally being comfortable in his own skin. Much like any coming of age novels, Freakboy shows the painful reality that sometimes, accepting one’s self could mean pitiable isolation.

On the periphery is his girlfriend Vanessa. She’d unconscionably given up her friends for Brendan, so when he gets into his moods, she feels isolated. But maybe if they have sex, they’ll bridge the gap that starting to widen as his depression gets worse and rampant? She doesn’t know his state of mind; he doesn’t share, and she’s afraid that when she finally gives it up, Brendan will lose his interest altogether.

Then there’s Angel; a transsexual who believes that no matter how difficult life was for her, she’s still lucky. She believes in paying it forward. So when she sees Brendan and saw the tell-tale signs of a boy on the wayward path, she offered what no one would at the time when she was headed in the same direction: friendship and understanding.

I’ve read many LGB books in my short life, but never books about T. Freakboy gave me an insight as to how much harder it is when you wake up every morning feeling like you want to peel the skin off of your own body to reveal who you exactly are. Brendan’s desperation to find himself was made palpable by Clark’s stark prose. It’s a pain in his chest that claws at the reader rather emphatically.

“Far beyond
feeling mean
at the thought
of making them guess
all I feel
is a forever
dull ache
that will
probably
exist
for as
long as
I do.”

You can feel the loneliness, and the abject terror that he’ll never figure out where he belongs. Unlucky for Vanessa, she got caught in a chaos of Brendan’s soul searching. While I didn’t agree with the way he strung her along, I can’t say that I would’ve done it any other way. The truth is, how do you tell your girlfriend you wanted to be a girl? Especially after you had sex with her? It was inevitable heartache all around.

All in all, I wished for a better ending. As much as I love the ambiguity of it all, I feel, it just wasn’t enough. This novel is relevant, and provocative. It offers hope that no matter how desperate you may think your situation is, somewhere out there, someone has it worse than you. But most importantly, you are only alone if you chose to be alone.

This post is my contribution to the LGBT Month LitFest hosted by Cayce of Fighting Dreamer and Laura of Laura Plus Books.

LGBTMonthbutton180

 Also, a big thank you to Miss Wendy of Midnight Garden for this copy.

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Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Dial Press | Trade paperback, 327 pages
GOODREADS SUMMARY
July 4th, 2013
Young Adult | LGBT | Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

At a time when AIDS is a disease the world was just waking up to, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is the story of a fourteen-year-old girl coping with the recent death of her most-beloved uncle. A painfully shy girl who’d had to live in a world where everything that was good reminded her of him. On the surface, you’ll wonder how someone would take his death so hard. But see? You need to understand the relationship between uncle and niece. What June felt for Finn was a love deeper than what nature dictates. On Finn’s side, I would even go as far as to say he considered her as his daughter. However, that’s only adding more confounding elements to what’s already a muddied emotional bond June has with her uncle. 

It is about grief, and finding the means to transform the debilitating heartache into something positive and well meaning. So she shifted her focus onto Toby, a mysterious man who knew her uncle Finn better than she knew him. The story culminates into a love just as profound; she would learn to accept the many facets of love, and find comfort in the thought that love is something that can’t be defined. 

This is one of those few novels that had rendered me speechless. It explored a love that was both forbidden and against the law. There wasn’t anything physically immoral that happened, but June’s feeling toward her uncle was scandalous just the same. Towards the end, June realized that it was possible to love two men just as equally. It’s still a love that’s difficult to explain, however.  It’s one of the best things about this book: the innocence of June’s perspective and how she sees the world was quite inspirational. Though it was tainted by what she’d had to accept about AIDS, her detachment as she told her story makes for a sometimes unsettling honesty. 

It took me to an era where AIDS was feared as the Black Plague. It introduced me to a girl who was every bit courageous as she was scared. She let the world run her over; tell her the only person who thought her worthy was her uncle, and when he died there was no one else. 

This is an emotional book; where a reader would be defenseless against the onslaught of feelings the characters would provoke. It’s a book full of lonely people trying to live life the best they can; trying to ignore the gaping hole left by a person that the readers would only know posthumously. And even though he was dead, his presence overwhelmed the pages of the novel. 

June does not have a typical young adult voice; it wasn’t wrought with all the pains of growing up. The aloofness about her was a choice, and certainly not one that she held a grudge against the world. This distance was prevalent as she told her story. But for once, I wasn’t pushed further away from her plight. 

Finn’s story could make your tears roll down your face unaided, Toby’s story would make you howl at the sadness of it all. Theirs is a story that lasted years, and yet seemingly unfinished. There was so much love that simply couldn’t fit in one measly book. 

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Out of this Place by Emma Cameron

Out of this Place by Emma Cameron
Candlewick Press | Hardcover, 402 pages
YA Realistic Fiction, Verse
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I am a fan of verse novels. Sometimes, I prefer sparse words over wordy novels. It doesn’t take long for me to get into the meat of the story. In this case, three stories. Three friends on the cusp of adulthood, deciding how to live out their future. I mean, sure, it’s not the most original jump off for a coming of age novel but each of their plight is not that easy to plan out.

This book tackled a whole slew of issues characteristic of the usual YA realistic fiction.  Surprisingly enough, it didn’t hit me with the angst that I’d expected from such a novel. In fact, I think that some discerning readers would consider it as a negative point because it will not necessarily move them to tears. But, I digress. Who says a book must make you cry to be good, anyway? Out of This Place had just enough emotional pull to incite your sympathy and hope that in the end, the characters will get a lovely happy ending.

Luke, the straight A student has to decide whether or not to stick out the rest of his high school life or pursue a scholarship that would enable him to work and go to school at the same time. Money is tight, so he needed to find a job. His family life is as calm as a dove. In fact, he worries more about his two best friends than he does his parents: Bongo, the abused and Casey, a prisoner at her own house. He’s also in love with her but he could never have the courage to cross that line just in case his already skittish friend pushes him away permanently.

There’s also Bongo’s story which is on the surface is the direst of the three. Abused, uncared for with no decent prospects to speak of. He’s on a downward spiral to nowhere: drugs, alcohol and had to contend with a heavy-handed stepfather. All he ever wanted was a chance to get his brother back from the ‘system’. From one foster family to another, Bongo’s dream is getting farther and farther away. He too, is in love with Casey but he refuse to do something about it because he could never hurt Luke, his best friend.

Casey’s life was a never-ending days of suffocating parenting that led her scheming for ways to check out. She can’t breathe; she can’t move a muscle without the approval of her father. She schemed and lied to get a job for money she would use to leave the tyranny of her father. When she found her wings, she met people that treated her with love – love that her own family seem reluctant to dole out. Out there in the world and on her own she also found love of a different meaning – or what she thought was love.

Three kids too young to face the realities of life. But if there’s one thing they all have in common, is that their trio of friendship and love is all they would need. There’s no love triangle here, folks. So no need to worry if you’re not into that sort of thing. The romance between them wasn’t really explored. It’s mostly friendship, camaraderie and love akin to that of siblings. They looked out for each other as much as they could.

If there’s one thing this book has in common among its Aussie compatriots, is its ability to tell a gut-wrenching story that ends exactly how you’d hope it would end. My only problem though is exactly that, the book has ended even though I’m left wanting to read how their lives turned out. Over all, Cameron can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. She perfectly captured what it is that made Aussie contemps worth spending considerable cash for. I, for one, am adding her on my list of Aussie authors to watch out for.

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Anywhere But Here by Tanya Llyod Kyi

Unreachable character, unenjoyable read
________________________________________

Anywhere But Here
by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Simon Pulse | ARC, 309 pages
I’ve had my fair share of books that feature a grieving character. I can admit to being extra generous when they rebel – become uncaring versions of themselves just because they’re dealing with some pretty explosive emotions without an outlet. Cole had the same epiphany. He knew he can get away with a lot simply because he was grieving. People gave him a pass. And you know what? I extended the same courtesy because there was no way to know what he was going through unless you’ve been there yourself.

To be honest, I did a lot of teeth-gnashing while I was reading this book. It wasn’t only Cole that gave me migraine. It seems like everybody in this book couldn’t figure out what the hell to do with their own situations. From a supposedly grieving father who turned to alcohol and a stripper for comfort, right down to a Cole’s new girlfriend who lets him treat her like a doorstep, I really didn’t know I had it in me to finish the book. But here we are – here I am, perhaps on the verge of ranting over a book that I couldn’t fairly judge. I couldn’t because Cole and I didn’t have a forgiving moment. I couldn’t give him time to sort his shit and he couldn’t give me the maturity that I needed him to show so I can give him the empathy he so needed.

I will not be the first person to admit to being an emotional reader. I have a hard time separating how the characters made me feel and how the writer made me feel. For that, I ran the risk of being blind to how well a book was written. The characters made me so mad that I simply couldn’t judge the book based on technical merits. I just can’t.

Should I apologize? I think not. I’ve never believe in ever apologizing for disliking a book nor should the authors apologize for writing what they write. Free form art and all that.

But thank you, Simon & Schuster for sending me this book. I’m sorry I couldn’t give it a fair chance. I did finish the book but I can’t say it was an enjoyable experience. And yes, I realize it’s not supposed to be, given the severity of what was tackled here. Of course, readers are only supposed to immerse themselves in a book and not take the characters’ actions personally. For this book, I just couldn’t help it.

I tried to find ways to like Cole. He tried so hard to redeem himself. But he just kept dancing around issues and his emotional bullshit without really addressing them. And it pissed me off. He kept using a girl who comes off as smart but ends up being just another dumb bimbo who lets a hot guy reduce her self-worth to nothing.

The dad was just ridiculously stereotypically tacky. He cheapened his dead wife’s memories. I think it’s what pissed me off the most about this book: women played roles that didn’t really amount to anything. They were nothing but sexpots and baby makers and perhaps that’s not the author’s intention but that’s pretty much what they were in this novel.

My rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

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Book Inspired Poetry [2]: Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

Smoke [Burned, #2] by Ellen Hopkins
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Margaret K. McElderry
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
___________________________________

Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?
________________________________________________________________

Choking on emotions
on my way to work,

gutted and raw over a
book. 

Two girls –
victims of violence
and circumstance.
Courageous and fearful
of what lies ahead.


Some say truth shall set you free
they’d beg to differ,

vehemently disagree.
The truth they know
will become their prisons
cages of public scrutiny and damnation.

The religion they know
harbours liars –
instilling false hope
in exchange for silence.

But how long

can they hide behind
their veils?
Scorn from a society
with which they were failed.

In the end it’s one or the other
facing consequences
of a lie to protect one another.

NOTE:

I read this book a while back and couldn’t help but write a poem about it. That’s just the kind of influence Hopkins have. You’re either rendered speechless or you’ll find yourself writing poems about her book. And while mine is not in the same class as her writing, I’m pretty proud and glad of what Ms. Hopkins was able to incite. Truth be told, I was on a writing slump before I read Burned and I think that’s why I’m doubly appreciative of her writing.

Five stars said everything I felt about this book. Trust me, my poem and words were paltry compared to the swirl of feelings inside me. She left me feeling raw, like I just have been through an emotional upheaval.

These two books were the only ones of Ms. Hopkins’ works that I’ve read so far and I’m a little awestruck by how real and honest they were. If this series is to continue on, I’d be grateful. But if Hopkins decides this is it, then I’ll be happy too. Truth is, I’m satisfied with how their lives turn out; I’m not going to question all the seemingly impossible scenarios and convenience of how it ended. Regardless, I’m content and happy and there’s not a thing in the world that could make the story better.

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Burned [Burned, #1] by Ellen Hopkins

Raw and unflinchingly honest
__________________________________

Burned
by Ellen Hopkins
Margaret K. McElderry Books | Paperback, 531 pages
Written in verse form, Burned is the story of a Mormon girl who started to question a religion that validates domestic abuse as a way for a man to keep his “woman in line”. As if blood, bruises and broken bones will stop her from committing the gravest of sins (like existing or breathing). It’s a window to a rigid religion that – true or not, whether unfounded or justified – is truly harsh and frighteningly real. Sadly, this is an occurence that happens everyday and not just in the seemingly pristine communes of Mormonism but everywhere else in the world.

In a way, and through books, I’ve seen Mormons on either side of the spectrum. Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison, for example, made me open the door when they come knocking to spread the word (seriously). Here, LDS practitioners are portrayed as the most kind-hearted, generous, honest, proclaimers of God’s love. But Hopkins’ book shows what happens when the doors are closed. What we see are humans battling demons in their heads, indescribable violence against loved ones, and the painstaking methods they’d go through to live the lies.

But what spearheaded the story was a teen’s sexual awakening that she thinks is a sin. A dream of being touched, of being kissed by the most popular boy in school. It all seems harmless enough but not if you’re a Mormon. Pre-marital sex is frowned upon in Catholicism as it is in LDS. When one of the popular boys in school starts paying Pattyn attention, she was in awe and more than a bit willing to make that dream into a reality. He plied her with alcohol and drugs, taking advantage of Pattyn’s hunger for attention from the opposite sex. Soon enough, the dream becomes a nightmare when her father caught them in the act together.

Pattyn’s story didn’t really start until she was shipped off to Aunt J’s ranch. A few weeks in, hope, peace and happiness begins to bloom in her chest. Aunt J is a kindred spirit who left the religion by circumstances similar to Pattyn’s; she meets Ethan, a boy who looks at her without the prejudice of her past. But if you’re familiar with Ellen Hopkins’ works, you know it’s rare for her characters to be basking in the glow of happiness. Sooner or later, she’ll let you know that there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Nor would her characters have a happy ending. She’ll only give you enough glimmer of hope until you’re sucked in the vortex of angst that she’s created.

This book was my introduction to Ellen’s works. It was raw, honest and harsh. Her words, though sparse, said so much – showed too much. Flesh hitting flesh, cracking bones with each blows and crimson blood so red you’ll be seeing it when you close your eyes. Emotions so real you’ll feel every crushing pressure in your chest. Anger, fear and love. And most of all, that frustrating question that will tumble over and over in your head.

Why?

That’s the power of Hopkins’ words.

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Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield

Vikki Wakefield – yet another reason to love Australian authors
____________________________________

Friday Never Leaving
by Vikki Wakefield
Simon & Schuster | ARC paperback, 317 pages
This, in essence is what Friday Never Leaving is about.
I am Friday Brown. I buried my mother. I ran away from a man who buried a swimming pool. A boy who can’t speak has adopted me. A girl kissed me. I broke and entered. Now I’m fantasising about a guy who’s a victim of crime and I am the criminal. I’m going nowhere and every minute I’m not moving, I’m being tailgated by a curse that may or may not be real. They call me Friday. It has been foretold that on a Saturday, I will drown…

Friday Brown has lived her life as a vagabond, flitting from one town to the next on the heels of her mother. It was told that generations of Brown women have died by drowning in one way or another. So her grandfather – who married a professional swimmer, moved his family far, far inland. But like a mermaid stuck on land, his wife started disintegrating before his eyes. He then builds her a swimming pool. And everyday that she’s in the water, he’d worried and paced and watched her, making sure that she wouldn’t drown. Fate, however has other plans. She drowned on a Saturday. He buried the swimming pool and he hasn’t been the same since. Friday’s mother died from complications brought on by cancer. If you’d asked how she died, I’ll never tell. I’ll leave you to discover exactly how she died. 
Perhaps it was the life that she’s gotten used to, but the stability of living with her grandfather was like the proverbial body of water that’s threatening to drown her. She takes off in search of a father she’s never met and meets Silence, a boy who can’t speak. Through Silence, she meets a group of homeless kids in the care of half terrifying, half enigmatic Arden. And in the difficult life full of strife that she’s attempting to live, she finds meaning and purpose; family and love. Friends and enemies. Most of all, she’ll find a way to face the curse that had long since plagued her family.

If you are under the impression that this book has paranormal elements thrown in it, you’ll be wrong. There is just something supernatural about the way Wakefield wrote her story. Extraordinary characters, extraordinary stories. Silence, for one, will burrow himself in your heart and will hoard all the sympathy you have in your reserves. While Friday Brown may shy from forming any bonds with people, she’s also hungry to be a part of something. And that’s why she vacillates from staying or going.  Whenever she clashes with Arden or Darcy, or when she gets the creepy vibes from Malik there’s always something that freezes her on the spot. She can’t seem to leave.

This book is all heart; which to me is the defining characteristic of what I’ve known of Australian contemporary YA in the short time that I’ve been reading them. It’s gorgeous, dark and lovely, searing and devastating. Those looking for romance will also find something tender and sweet amidst the complex dynamics of the life in the squat. Highly recommended. 

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
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Wild Awake by Hillary T. Smith

Author takes readers on a bike ride journey into the weird
___________________________________

Wild Awake 
by Hilary T. Smith
Katherine Tegen | Hardcover, 375 pages
A phone call was all it took to destroy Kiri Byrd’s memories of her deceased sister.  Complacent to the fact that she died from an accident, she soon finds out the lengths that her family went through to keep the circumstances of how Sukey died from her. She’s idolized her since she was a child and never once did she let her family’s low opinion of Sukey muddle her memories until now. When a stranger called to tell her she needed to pick up all of Sukey’s stuff, she didn’t hesitate for one second. It was her last chance to claim a part of Sukey that none of her family ever bothered to know.

On her way to the last known place where her sister stayed, she meets a boy who’s got secrets of his own. Through friendship, love and music, Kiri and Skunk unknowingly embarked on a journey of truth, freeing themselves from the shackles of secrets that hindered them from truly living.

To be honest, this book was kind of hard to explain; emotional, mental weirdness abound. And it’s hard to tell you exactly where the weirdness comes from because it could potentially ruin the book for those who hasn’t read it. One of the characters has a mental disorder that I’ve never heard of and it’s become one of the reasons why it was hard to like this book. It was a bit far-fetched. But I can’t disprove just because I’ve never heard of it.

One of the things that I’m not a fan of was the excessive use of pot. I can’t really feel for a character or characters who smokes pot when they’re bored. I’m sorry to sound so condemnatory but that’s just me. It’s against my principles. So when Kiri and her BFF starts lighting it up, I get turned off. And boy, did they ever smoke it up.

Kiri was pretty psychotic with her piano practices. It was insane – a determination unlike nothing I’ve seen before in any characters. I’ve read quite a few books where characters are prodigies of music but Kiri is in a league of her own.

Parental units are absent. And when they’re there, they sound like two complete airheads. Sorry (not sorry). For someone as brilliant as Kiri, having them as parents didn’t make sense. If you’ve read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, you would know exactly what I mean. Mia Hall’s parents were actually musically-inclined. These two, however, make it sound like somebody else gave birth to Kiri and her sister Sukey – both artistic and brilliant in their crafts. I could’ve sworn they were adopted.

On the plus side, midnight bike rides seem so cool. Nothing like seeing your city in a whole different perspective. There’s something poetic about seeing it in the dark and with nothing but you and your bike against the elements.

Overall, I think this book needs a bit of patience. Kiri will test you but if you love punk rocker boys, Skunk is probably worth knowing.

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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