Category Archives: Abuse

Book Avengers: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Hello and welcome to our February Book Avengers post!  Today we are featuring The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  As you know we are at a crossroads in America with the amount protests, election questions, etc.  Now I personally cannot discuss candidates or say anything that is for or against someone due to my IRL work but I can discuss books!  What better way to keep our nation’s current turmoil fresh in both my mind and others by reading books that show the strength of persons when they are limited in their rights?  Keep reading to find out what we thought of The Handmaid’s Tale and what we selected to pick from for March!

handmaid

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

 

 

 

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

serpent

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

SOURCE:  ARC via publisher

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The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

accident

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

 It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

SOURCE:  ARC from publisher for review

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

leonardIn addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was—that I couldn’t stick around—and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

Source:  egalley via LB/Netgalley

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If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

FMA broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Source:  egalley via St Martin’s Griffin/Net Galley

Bonus:  2013 Debut Author Challenge, 2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Story Breakdown: 

After being taken by her drug addicted mother ten years ago Carey and her sister Jenessa are found living in the woods alone.  Brought back to live with her father and his new wife, they try to adjust to living a normal life outside of the woods and come to terms with what was done to them.

Character Highlights:

Carey –  The entire book is told from her perspective which though informative I think it would have helped better under Jenessa, her father, and even her step-mother and sister if we could have seen how these same situations were affecting them.  For going through what was done to her and still want to fight for a life she’s stronger than almost any character you will find.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m not going to lie after reading this book I think I need to take a step back from my “issues” books.  This was system overload on the amount of physical, mental, and sexual abuse that Carey and her sister had to go through.  Her mother being mentally unstable and a drug addict would leave them for months at a time and when there would use them in horrible ways.  On top on all that she then brainwashed them to think that Carey’s father was the person in the wrong.  It was all too much.  It’s a very powerful story, but definitely not for the faint hearted.

3.75/5

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder

ffuRae’s always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet.  But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her…and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier.  And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

Source:  borrowed from library

Bonus:  2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Story Breakdown:

Rae is juggling school, friends, work, and a not so perfect home life.  Feeling a bit like she is just “there” she meets Nathan.  Right away their relationship is not a stable one and we watch as Rae’s story alternates between flashbacks starting when she first met Nathan, her poetry used as a release for her emotions, and her current thoughts while she is in the hospital after some sort of attack.

Favorite Quotes:

Maybe, just maybe, a reader would feel a little less alone in the world.

Character Highlights:

Rae – This girl has had a hard life.  But I guess when all you see are damaged and unhealthy relationships you don’t have much to go on and you become insecure on many different levels.

Nathan – Very possessive to start.  IMO a grade A douche but none the less a broken guy and what girl doesn’t have some part of her that wants to fix that?  It’s the mothering instinct and its hard to break.

Overall Thoughts:

I’ve really stepped up on my reading of contemporaries but I’ve noticed that I tend to pick books with “issues”.  It hurts to read so many books as of late which I know mirror so many real lives.  Women choosing the safety of a terrible marriage to bad men than their children’s happiness and safety themselves.  Those sort of negative situations really affect the way kids grow up and handle things for themselves.  There was also quite a bit of poetry used in this book.  I’m not a fan of it but I do see the purpose it played in the story.  Though there are tough moments to read and it is a tragic story, ultimately it was a happy ending.  If you like books with life lessons and realistic situations then this is a definite for your TBR list.

3.75/5