🌿 Hi guys! I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend ❤️, here I bring you another edition of my double book reviews and this time, I have two super different stories but equally interesting and easy to read. Both are ARCs, so I want to thank both the author, Alexander Raphael who has provided me with his book to review, and NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy also to give my honest thoughts about. I’m really grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to read ARCs, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you, I hope you enjoy it! 🌿
Title: The Summer of Madness
By: Alexander Raphael
Published: February 23rd, 2019
Genre: Adult | Romance
Buy it: Amazon
In the summer of love, or rather of madness, a whole set of stories are emerging. But there is one that has got everyone talking. When Kurt decides to win back his ex-girlfriend with the help of a literary classic, he sets off a string of events that will build to a dramatic finale.
|| Goodreads ||
Before I begin, I want to thank the author, Alex, who has provided me with a copy of his work, which means a lot to me. Even so, my opinions are always 100% mine.
I really think it’s super difficult to talk deeply about such a short book and it’s also difficult to have a super meaningful experience, BUT I think it’s a really good idea, it reflects and tells the story of a young man whose girlfriend left him because he was always playing video games and now he’s super regretful and feels that he neglected her, so he finds himself in a journey to re-conquer her, going every day to the same place to read her favorite classic book. This story becomes publicly famous and many people begin to go to the place to learn more about this love story.
It was very fun, entertaining and quite smart because it shows a somewhat crazy love story with an unexpected ending and that’s a very good mix. I think it’s very easy in addition to visualizing the story in your mind and it’s really easy to move through it, you finish this in less than an hour and it leaves you with a feeling that you’ve read something that was worth reading, you know? which is always great.
I highly recommend it if you like classic books and you’re a hopeless romantic & especially if you want to read something short and entertaining that will surely fill you with feelings and you can’t put it down until the ending.
Title: It’s My Life
By: Stacie Ramey
Publication: January 1st, 2020
By: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA | Contemporary | Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
If she wants a future with him, she’ll have to make peace with her past.
Jenna’s never let her cerebral palsy get her down. But when she discovers that her condition was actually caused by an injury at birth, she’s furious with her parents, who withheld the truth. And as they push her to get yet another difficult procedure, Jenna feels her control over her life starting to slip.
Enter Julian, Jenna’s childhood crush. He’s just moved back to town, and he’s struggling in school, so Jenna reaches out to him—anonymously— to help. Soon, their conversations are about so much more than class. She’s falling for him all over again, hard and fast. But would Julian still be interested in her if he knew who she really was? And can she find a way to take back her own narrative before she pushes away everyone she loves?
|| Goodreads ||
Diversity/Representation || Ceberal Palsy main character & Dyslexic character
From the beginning, this book called my attention due to the representation, since I’d never read about a main character with cerebral palsy, I thought it would be something very interesting for me to read. I ended up enjoying it, I think it’s a book that despite touching a super-serious theme has the ability to be quite light to read, which is great. It also has adorable scenes and a great family support system. However, it has some weak points that need a little more work and I’ll talk more about them later.
In the book we follow Jenna, she’s a young woman who suffers from cerebral palsy and after she finds out that her condition was caused due to a bad praxis, she’s furious with her parents for having hidden it from her. Soon she must also face a new intervention and all this makes Jenna feel that her life is getting out of her control. When Julian, her childhood love, returns town, Jenna begins to send him messages anonymously to help him with his homework, but soon their conversations become more serious and a stronger feeling begins between them. Jenna starts to have doubts about what she’s doing, and wonders if he really wants her once he discovers who she really is.
I think that a type of book where the main character suffered from a condition such as cerebral palsy should be taken very seriously and give it the place it deserves, I’m very happy to have run into this type of book, I must admit I was totally ignorant about this condition, so I think I’m a little bit wiser now, which is always a good thing. Beyond that, I’m not in a position to criticize the rep due to my ignorance on the subject, so based on the author’s note, which so gently leaves us at the end of the book, it shows that she’s an informed person since she has worked with children suffering from cerebral palsy, so I think it’s great that she clarifies that to us. It was super painful to see Jenna going through all those treatments and to see all those devices that she uses to improve her quality of life, but it was eye-opening as well.
There’s a huge romantic weight in this story, it’s pretty much focused on it, it’s a very adorable romance, but there are scenes where I think Jenna could be somewhat obsessed with Julian and they made me uncomfortable, these scenes are all about senseless jealousy, you know? but leaving that aside has super sweet and adorable moments that made me smile. The rest of the relationships in the book are very positive, which I’m very grateful for, the relationship with her family is very supportive and loving, (it’s also very interesting to see how much the family is affected when a family member suffers from cerebral palsy), and also presents a very beautiful friendship relationship.
Medical Emancipation is touched upon, which I think is super interesting since I haven’t read much about it. I think it’s a subject that although it’s taken very seriously at the beginning, it doesn’t have the necessary depth or seriousness, I think it’s touched very lightly and that’s why it was unable to have a strong impact for me.
Something super curious and that I think adds another dimension to the story, is the fact that she has another self in her head, as another healthy version of herself, and whenever she has a difficulty she returns to that scene in her head and she revives it with her healthy self, “Jennifer” she calls it and we see how she would react to each situation. I think it’s very smart, and it also gives us the opportunity to get to know Jenna better.
Sadly I don’t have much to say about the characters, because they don’t have a great depth in their personalities or lives, the only one we focus on is Jenna, and although I like first-person POV, I would have liked to know more about the other characters. Another thing that was annoying for me was the transition between chapters, which is done very abruptly and when another chapter begins you almost feel lost by a moment, there are also very strange time jumps and all this doesn’t help the plot flows well.
In summary, I think the idea is to give us a look at the daily life of a person with cerebral palsy and I think that’s really well achieved, has very solid moments like the family relationship and some of Jenna’s internal thoughts, that help us to know her more. But on the other hand, it has weak points that need more work such as the transitions of the chapters and the deep and development of the secondary characters. Anyway, it’s a book to highlight due to its representation and I would recommend it, no doubt, it’s very easy to read and it will leave you thinking.