Review

The Names They Gave Us

The Names They Gave Us

The Names They Gave Us
by Emery Lord

Published May 16, 2017 by Bloomsbury

Source: Purchased


1

Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.

Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.

It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized. [summary from Goodreads]

2

Emery Lord has been one of my favorite authors for a while now, but this book really just cemented her into YA royalty. This is one of those rare books that is so perfect in every way that you just…don’t really know what to say about it other than it will make you feel. so. much. 

Lucy finds herself starting off the summer freshly dumped and questioning her faith after learning that her mom’s cancer has come back. Religion and cancer can be topics that immediately turn people off to a book, but I assure that this book is neither a “cancer book” nor a religious book. Lucy’s faith is explored in an honest and complex way as she tries to navigate believing and trusting in God (in a totally progressive way) alongside wrestling with questions like how God could allow her mom to get sick again. I found the doubt she experienced totally realistic and a great aspect of the story.

The setting and characters of this book were all so absolutely perfect. I am obsessed with Camp Daybreak and wish I could spend a summer there myself. I loved the family of camp counselors that Lucy found herself a part of. Every character added something really special to the story and I just fell absolutely in love with everyone.

If you haven’t jumped onto the Emery Lord fan-wagon yet, then you have no idea what you’re missing out on. And if you have read her, well, then you know! She’s writes with a phenomenal voice that pulls you deeply into the story. Seriously…by the last page, I am so not ready to leave! To anyone and everyone who is reading this post: read this book. You will be glad you did.

34

Like I said above, this is my absolute favorite new Emery Lord novel. It is the perfect mix of summery contemporary feels with a story that will make you laugh, cry, and wish you were spending your days with Lucy at camp. Must read!

Untitled2

Top 10

Top 10 Most Wanted: May 2017

There are seriously SO MANY awesome books coming out this month. Every year, the start of summer seems to be when most of the books I want to read for the whole year come out. Maybe because I tend to like books filled with romance and lake towns and long summer days? I’m excited to start stocking up….but my wallet is not. These are the books at the top of my wishlist this May!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Release Date: May 2

I’m sure I’m just one of many anxiously awaiting the conclusion to Lara Jean and Peter’s story! I loved book 2 even more than book 1…so hopefully that trend will continue? This is the perfect sugary-sweet YA contemp that I can’t get enough of.

 

 

 

The Names They Gave Us

The Names They Gave Us
Release Date: May 16

Emery Lord’s newest novel sounds like exactly my cup of tea! I’m super interested to see her take on faith/religion and how that ties into the story. I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews about this one! I’ll be meeting Emery at her Austin event next month so I’ll have to wait to get my hands on this one, but it is sure to be worth it! *hearteyes emoji*

 

 

Girl Out of Water

 

Girl Out of Water
Release Date: May 2

I’ve lived in both settings of this book (Santa Cruz and Nebraska) and love when I can relate to the characters that way! This sounds sweet and summer-y with the right touch of family drama and non-fluffy stuff.

 

 

 

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Release Date: May 30

Just look at this cover! It is one of the cutest things I have ever seen! K Dramas, a father-daughter relationship, and diversity secure this book’s spot on my May Most Wanted list!

 

 

 

In a Perfect World
In a Perfect World
Release Date: May 23

I’ve been a fan of Trish Doller’s work for a long time, and this one looks like it could be her best yet! I love books that are set in another country/culture and have never read something that takes place in Egypt before. I can’t wait to dive into this adventurous romance!

 

 

 

 

What books are you most looking forward to this month? Have you read anything I’ve mentioned yet? 

 

Untitled2

Review

Let’s Talk: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided

When We Collided
by Emery Lord

Published April 5, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
352 pages

Amazon | B&N

Source: Purchased


Untitled

Vivi and Jonah meet in the small town of Verona Cove, California. It’s a picturesque summer town on the northern California coast, where people are either vacationers or ‘townies’ who you’ve known your whole life. Jonah is a townie with a huge family, who recently lost his father and is now responsible for caring for his three younger siblings. Vivi is staying in town for the summer while her mother paints, and is Jonah’s opposite in so many ways. She is a loud, take-charge, force of nature, who sweeps Jonah up into her path (with little say from him). Jonah is soon along for the ride as Vivi deals with her secret mental health issues over the summer.

Untitled3

 

Emery Lord is an auto-buy author for me, and I knew When We Collided would be anything but a disappointment. It’s definitely a heavier book than her first two were, and while it does cover the very serious topics of mental health and grieving the loss of a family member, there is also a whirlwind romance that you will get swept up into just as much as Jonah and Vivi did.

Jonah and Vivi are two polar opposite characters. Jonah is quieter and more focused. He is dealing with the loss of his father and the subsequent depression that keeps his mother from taking care of her six children. He’s trying to keep his father’s restaurant afloat and is doing the best he can to pay the bills, care for his younger siblings, and help his mother. Vivi, on the other hand, is a bright ball of light that came barreling into the story. She moved into town after a bad decision caused some major friend drama in her hometown, and refuses to be ignored with her bright red lips and eclectic fashion taste. When she meets Jonah at the pottery shop where she works, she seems to just decide that Jonah would be part of her summer and he gets swept along into her life.

I know many people have described Vivi and Jonah’s romance as instalove, but I didn’t see it that way. It does happen very quickly, but I can totally see Jonah’s character kind of ‘going along’ with Vivi — she’s beautiful and new and interesting and something to take his mind off the stresses of his own life.

I liked that the reader doesn’t really know what is going on with Vivi’s health until the end. We know that she is supposed to be taking pills every day (which she’s not), but we don’t know why. This really allows you to get a picture of the way bipolar disorder affects Vivi, and how it changes her personality and alters her choices.

I feel as though I learned so much about mental health and bipolar disorder through this book. Yes, Vivi is overwhelming. No, she’s not someone I would want to be around all the time. But that is what made her real and why I breezed through this hefty novel in two sittings. I had to find out what happened to her and Jonah, and I got just as caught up in the whirlwind that is her life as Jonah did.

Emery Lord is a master of words and the writing in this novel is absolutely beautiful. This is Lord’s best and most important book to date. It opens up such great conversation about mental health, and is a groundbreaking book in YA. I am a better and more educated person for having read this book.

Untitled2

scale - like

 

love danielle

Top 10

Top 10 Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

top10tuesdy

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Broke and the Bookish, and today we will be talking about our top ten characters who also love books!

Every Last WordThe Start of Me and YouAlong for the RideHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)The Princesses of IowaTo All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

Every Last Word | The Start of Me and You | Along for the Ride

Harry Potter | The Princesses of Iowa | To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

This topic was actually kinda hard for me, so I could only come up with the best six. Do we have any of the same picks? Let me know in the comments!