New Reads Monday — Week of August 12

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What’s new in YA this week?  Find out here!

1. Go buy Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock now!  Wanna know why?  Read my review!

2. I can’t wait to see how The Shade of the Moon turns out.  Although I still need to read the 3rd book in the series!

3. Fire With Fire and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea both look SO good!

Which books are YOU excited about?

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock — Book Review

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The Deets

author: Matthew Quick

released: August 13, 2013

format: e-book, hardcover

pages: 288 pages

publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Read: July 19

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com •  Author’s Website  

Book Type: YA, coming-of-age, contemporary, realistic fiction, tough/emotional issues

The Down-low

In 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.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out. (From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

A modern day Catcher in the Rye, Matthew Quick captures the complexities of what brings a person to their breaking point.  Rather than show a school shooting, we get to see the mind behind the mask, the lost soul so desperately seeking some form of human interaction.   This emotional-charged and haunting tale proves once again Quick is a master in his craft.  Your heart will break for Leonard Peacock in this poignant novel of bitter despair and hope against all odds.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

I feel like this book is an ode to Holden Caulfield.  In fact, I highly recommend that English teachers read this book and offer it as a response to Catcher in the Rye.  There is so much that I could say about just how much this book affected me.  On the surface, my heart broke deeply for Leonard.  Obviously he had a rough life and we see that from the very beginning of the book.  But beyond that, we get to see Leonard as a broken human being who is desperately trying to form human connections.  Leonard is awkward and deeply troubled, and yet he still wants what everyone has.

We see Leonard go through his birthday craving those connections, giving off a vibe that frightens everyone he comes in contact with.  Leonard’s mind is broken, and as a first person narrator, we get to see that first hand.  When done right, this allows us into the troubled mind of the narrator, able to really truly understand what it is like for him.

As a person who was awkward once (well, still, but I’ve come to terms with my nerdiness), I emotionally connected with Leonard.  And as a parent, I found myself wanting to give him a hug and tell him that he was a person who mattered.  And the other characters that Leonard comes into contact with were so masterfully crafted — the teacher who saw beyond the shell that was this broken boy, the neighbor who taught Leonard to appreciate things like old movie stars, and the absent parents who were so caught up in their own lives they didn’t see the fragile and truly pained child that was right in front of them.

I sat down to read Forgive Me, and did not get back up until I had finished.  The deep emotions that Matthew Quick is able to tap into was frighting.  I spent most of the book in tears.  This is a book I highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of Catcher in the Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, or Looking for Alaska and one I won’t soon forget.

Overall

Five point Five Stars

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Hello {august}, Goodbye {july}

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Hello Goodbye is a monthly feature here at Such A Novel Idea.  The idea for this feature came from the lovely Emma Snow who did a lovely recap of June!  Go visit her blog, it’s fantastic.  Hello Goodbye is a monthly feature highlighting a few of my favorite things from the past month. Enjoy!

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Ahh, July.  This was the first July in YEARS where we haven’t all wanted to die from extreme heat.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been more hot days than not, but we got some weather (aka rain, rain, rain) that helped keep us in the 90’s.  So July was full of fireworks, reality tv (HELLO Big Brother), and of course BOOKS!

Favorite Books

July was a great month for reading.  I read SO many great books, but I’m going to highlight three!

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

I got to read this book early (THANK YOU Atria Books & Netgalley), and it was even more amazing than I thought it was going to be.  Read my review!

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Another great one from Netgalley.  I had my eye on this book and NG sent it out to me for being a Wellness Challenge member.  I read the book in a matter of hours and could not believe how much it affected me.  I will have a review out for it soon, but just know it is a modern day Catcher in the Rye.

These Broken Stars

I seriously got so, so lucky this month on Netgalley.  I have had major angst over wanting to read this book, so when Disney-Hyperion said YES, I did a little happy dance and got a lot of stares.  Did I mention I was in public? No? How awkward, but I didn’t care!  And this book is now my favorite of 2013.  I recommend it to every person who likes YA and can’t wait to review it (and own my very own copy of it in December!)

Favorite Music

I also was lucky in this area… SO many great new songs to listen to.  Here are a few!

Daughter

The first time I came across this amazing band was on the season finale of Suburgatory.  And then Amazon recommended a song from their new cd, If You Leave, called Youth.  And I was hooked.  I bought the entire cd, which is gorgeous. Such a lucky find!

Youth by Daughter

Shadows settle on the place, that you left.
Our minds are troubled by the emptiness.
Destroy the middle, it’s a waste of time.
From the perfect start to the finish line.

And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones.
‘Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.
Setting fire to our insides for fun
Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong
The lovers that went wrong.

We are the reckless, 
We are the wild youth
Chasing visions of our futures
One day we’ll reveal the truth
That one will die before he gets there.

And if you’re still bleeding, you’re the lucky ones.
‘Cause most of our feelings, they are dead and they are gone.
We’re setting fire to our insides for fun.
Collecting pictures from the flood that wrecked our home, 
It was a flood that wrecked this… 

… and you caused it… 

Well I’ve lost it all, I’m just a silhouette, 
A lifeless face that you’ll soon forget, 
My eyes are damp from the words you left, 
Ringing in my head, when you broke my chest.
Ringing in my head, when you broke my chest.

And if you’re in love, then you are the lucky one, 
‘Cause most of us are bitter over someone.
Setting fire to our insides for fun, 
To distract our hearts from ever missing them.
But I’m forever missing him.

Amsterdam by Daughter

I’m a flying kite in the breeze just
Restlessly seeking images a child needs to help them sleep
I was thinking that I should see someone
Just to find out if I’m alright

Ellie Goulding – Dead in the Water

Another gem from television! This was used in one of the routines on SYTYCD. Lovely and haunting. ❤

If I was not myself
And you were someone else
I’d say so much to you
And I would tell the truth
‘Cause I can hardly breathe

When your hands let go of me
The ice is thinning out
And my feet brace themselves

I’m there in the water
Still looking for ya
I’m there in the water
Can’t you see, can’t you see?

You’ve seen this all before
Life left on the shore
We’re smiling all the same
You sail away again

MGMT – Kids

This is a throwback, but I came across it again this month.  Ironically, it makes me want to jump on the bed like a kid again.

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

The water is warm
But it’s sending me shivers
A baby is born
Crying out for attention
Memories fade
Like looking through a fogged mirror
Decisions too
Decisions are made
Decisions are made and not bought
But I thought this wouldn’t hurt a lot
I guess not

Favorite Movies

This is 40

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I can’t believe I waited so long to see this movie!  My husband and I (well, mostly me, but he tolerates my obsession) will watch anything with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.  The family dynamics in this movie were GREAT.  It definitely was a step up from Knocked Up.  Although it doesn’t beat my favorite PR/JS movie (I Love You, Man — duh!), I thoroughly enjoyed it.  And Leslie Mann is freakin hilarious!

Ruby Sparks

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This movie was on HBO, so I recorded it based on the title alone.  Sounded cute.  And THANK GOD I did, because it is now one of my top five favorite movies (along with Pride & Predjudice {2005}, I Love You Man, Amelie, and Love Actually).  It’s smart, funny, clever, haunting, and a mind-trip.  The best part is Zoe Katan (Miss Ruby Sparks herself) wrote the script.  Girl power!

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Calvin is a young novelist that everyone calls a ‘genius’.  He is smart, obviously, but suffers from severe anxiety and spends a lot of time alone.  He ends up writing about a girl he dreamed about who mysteriously comes to life.  Then there is the whole ethics part in how much of her is her and how much of her was created by what he wanted her to be.  Totally a great movie for people who like movies that make you think!

Favorite TV Shows

Big Brother Canada

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A friend I met during a read-a-thon mentioned that I may like BB Can and that there was a crazy ending to the finale.  Well, of course I went and got myself obsessed.  Now I am hoping we can have some kind of brokered deal with Canada so I can watch along with BB Can 2.

Dexter

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How’s it gonna end?  I have to admit, I will be sad to see another great series end, but I can’t wait to see what they come up with to say goodbye.

Favorite Things I Did

Became a Beta Reader

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I got an awesome opportunity to beta read Ghost Hold by Ripley Patton.  It was SO fun and challenging! I can’t wait to see the book come out in September.

Met Colleen Hoover

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This is probably the coolest thing I’ve gotten to do in a while!  Plus, meeting one of my favorite authors is on my list of “Things to Do Before I Turn 30”, so I can cross that off!  Colleen had a signing in a little town 45 minutes from me, and I knew I had to jump at the chance to see her.  The event was very relaxed, in a cute little coffee shop and I didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes to see her.  She signed all my books and when she found out about my blog, she gave me signed copies of three of her books to giveaway to you guys.  SO SO COOL!  I hope every author I meet in the future is as fun and nice as Colleen was.  Be sure to read my reviews for Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, and Losing Hope.  And visit Colleen’s website for more information!

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Things I’m Excited about in August

School Starts

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Yeah, yeah, I may sound a little crazy on this one.  For one, my son is going stir-crazy and I know the school routine will help make things a little easier for him.  And I am ready to get back into some classes myself.  Even though it is stressful, I love learning.  Plus, SCHOOL SUPPLIES!  I am a school supply nerd.

The Mortal Instruments Movie

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I’m ready to see another movie in the theater that isn’t a cartoon.  And I gotta admit, the trailers are making this one look like it could be a great adaptation!

Book Releases

InfinityGlass, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, and The Bitter Kingdom

 

Three of my most anticipated books are coming out this month.  AND two of those are series enders!

Well, that’s it!  I hope July treated you well.

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