Everything I’ve Never Said – Samantha Wheeler – University of Queensland Press – Published 1 October 2018
Ava would like nothing more than to tell her family she loves them, particularly her big sister, Nic. But Ava has Rett syndrome – she can’t talk, can’t nod her head, can’t even point at a communication card. She understands everything, but no one understands her.
When tragedy strikes her family, Ava becomes even more determined to talk. But it’s not until she meets occupational therapist Kieran and new friend Aimee that she is hopeful for change – and to find her voice at last.
Everything I’ve Never Said is beautifully written and so very easily captured my heart. I loved the idea – giving voice to the voiceless, and the honest, heartfelt truth and reality behind the words is undeniable.
Ava would love to talk to her family. She’d love to tell them she likes pink not purple. She’d love to say that she would rather watch teen movies than kid shows. And she’d really love to tell them that she loves them. But Ava has Rett syndrome and so Ava can’t move her body the way she would like to, can’t nod, blink, wave and certainly can’t talk. When tragedy strikes her family and throws life into chaos, Ava knows she must talk, must help save her family. With the help of new friends, Kieran and Aimee, Ava just might have the chance to find her voice and tell the world, tell her family, everything she’s always wanted to say.
How We Roll – Natasha Friend – Farrar Straus Giroux – Published 5 June 2018
Quinn is a teen who loves her family, skateboarding, basketball, and her friends, but after she’s diagnosed with a condition called alopecia which causes her to lose all of her hair, her friends abandon her. Jake was once a star football player, but a freak accident—caused by his brother—he loses both of his legs. Quinn and Jake meet and find the confidence to believe in themselves again, and maybe even love.
I devoured How We Roll in a matter of hours. I enjoyed this sweet story, with its gentle message of resilience, bravery, acceptance and friendship.
Quinn is ready for a new start, and her family moving to a new town for her brother, who has autism, to attend a new school, provides Quinn with the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button. Leaving behind the nasty rumours and ex-best-friends, Quinn uses the new school and new wigs to hide her alopecia. But old habits die hard and Quinn finds it hard not to be weary of her new friends. When Quinn meets Nick, an angry teen who lost both his legs in an accident, she connects with him, even if she doesn’t reveal her full story.
I Am Still Alive – Kate Alice Marshall – Viking Books – Published 24 July 2018
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive–for now.
Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.
I Am Still Alive is a pulse-pounding survival novel, epic and wild. There is no better beginning to an action adventure story than the character informing the reader that they are still alive when they should be dead. The prologue certainly gets the heart racing and it had me hooked on Jess’s story.
Before, Jess has been flown to the middle of nowhere to live with her dad. Injured from the car accident that killed her mother, the last place she wants to be is living in the wilderness with a man she hardly knows. After, Jess is alive – barely. She must rely on her basic knowledge of the forest to build shelter, hunt for food and survive, with nothing but her dad’s dog, an empty rifle, a bow and quiver of arrows and her wits.
The Season of You and Me – Robin Constantine – Balzer+Bray – Published 10 May 2016
Cassidy Emmerich is determined to make this summer—the last before her boyfriend heads off to college—unforgettable. What she doesn’t count on is her boyfriend breaking up with her. Now, instead of being poolside with him, Cass is over a hundred miles away, spending the summer with her estranged father and his family at their bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey Shore and working as the newest counselor at Camp Manatee.
Bryan Lakewood is sick of nevers. You’ll never walk. You’ll never surf. You’ll never slow dance with your date at prom. One miscalculated step and Bryan’s life changed forever—now he’s paralyzed and needs to use a wheelchair. This is the first summer he’s back at his former position at Camp Manatee and ready to reclaim some of his independence, in spite of those who question if he’s up for the job.
Cass is expecting two months dealing with heartbreak.
Bryan is expecting a summer of tough adjustments.
Neither of them is expecting to fall in love.
If the publishers had left the summary at that first paragraph I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book. A girl getting over a heartbreaking breakup…that alone is not enough to make me want to read a book. But a character coming to terms with a tough, life-changing situation such as, say, never walking again, is much more my thing.
Unfortunately, the focus of the book was much more on Cassidy’s story of heartbreak and her inability to let go of her ex. I enjoyed Bryan’s chapters, liked him as a character and wished the book was more focused on his journey, but I just could not relate to Cassidy. Poor, whinny, heartbroken, devastated, I-just-can’t-say-no-to-him Cassidy. If you are looking for a strong, resilient heroine look elsewhere. Continue reading