Tag Archives: courtney summers

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

I like to read books before I go to bed. It helps me fall asleep.

This is Not a Test is not a book you want to read if you want to fall asleep. It is subtle, yet brutal. Contained, but devastating. It will break your will to sleep before you’re able to put it down.

“This must be what Dorothy felt like, I think. Maybe. If Dorothy was six scared teenagers and Oz was hell.”

Six teenagers stuck in a dark and desolated high school. The living dead desperate to find a way in. Their resources are not renewable, and their struggle to survive escalates to epic proportions when the fight for life and death finds its way inside. For Sloane Price, this is the perfect chance to purge herself of her past – or, to give up, and give into the ghosts that continue to haunt her. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

 

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Eddie Reeves’ father committed suicide, but she doesn’t know why. There seems to be no reason – he was a famous artist, a talented photographer, and had a loving family, most importantly, her. While entrenched in her grief Eddie meets Culler, his former student. They form a dangerous attraction and embark on a mission to piece together the broken picture of her father’s death.

Another powerful book by Courtney Summers. Like a punch in the stomach, Fall for Anything surprises the reader, seizing them and forcing them to feel Eddie’s anguish. I think the writing – and the emotions evoked by the writing – were enough to justify giving this book 3.5 stars, even though I’m not sure if I actually liked it at all.

I did not like the plot in this one as much as Summers’ first two novels. Sure, if one of my family member’s passed away I would be overcome with despair and angst, but I do not think I would travel around with some strange twenty-year-old who randomly takes pictures of me. I also predicted the twist about halfway through the novel, which may have lessened my enjoyment when it occurred.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll end this review by saying that I wish Summers’ had focused more on the aspect of recovery rather than the descent into depression Eddie experienced.

Here are two quotes from the beginning of the novel that exemplify Summers’ writing talent:

“I imagine diving under, swimming down, down, down with my eyes open and not being able to see anything in front of me. Not even my hands. I imagine forcing myself farther down, until I feel weeds everywhere, brushing the sides of my arms, my feet, and then I’m surrounded. Tangled up in them so bad the lake would have me forever. I imagine drowning and what that would feel like, if I’d be scared. If I’d let it happen or if I’d fight it. I read in a book once you can’t drown yourself. Your body will fight to survive, whether you want to or not.

But I don’t think it’s the same when you jump.”

“Sometimes I feel hunted by my grief. It circles me, stalks me. It’s always in my periphery. Sometimes I can fake it out. Sometimes I make myself go so still, it can’t sense that I’m there anymore and it goes away. I do that right now.

I go so still the thing inside me doesn’t know I’m there anymore.”

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Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 4/5 stars.

After reading this and Cracked Up to Be, I think that Courtney Summers is like a darker, less innocent version of Sarah Dessen. Actually, Summers is so great she deserves a young-adult category of her own. While Dessen intricately weaves her writing with detail and finesse, Summers tragically tears through any presumptions of the reader and rams them with raw emotion.

I hated this book so much. It was unbearable how much I wanted to reach into the pages and slap each of these girls hard across the face. I’m aware that I’m a fifteen-year-old boy, but the things the girls do to one another is absolutely wretched – some of them probably could have gone to jail for the crimes they committed. If one were to look for a prime example of why teachers and school officials need to keep a closer on eye on teenagers, this book contains an amalgam of reasons. It was almost animalistic, or purely inhuman how indecent these characters could be.

And yet, yes, there’s always a yet – I could not put this book down. I had to witness what was going to happen next, and not to use a cliche, but it was exactly like awaiting a car crash and then not being able to look away from it.

Although this looks like stereotypical chick lit, it made me think a copious amount. These girls are cruel and cantankerous, so shouldn’t they deserve what they get in return? But then again, does anyone deserve what Kara, Liz, Michael, and finally Regina was forced to go through? I felt unusually sick when I started empathizing with the characters, but Summers made it too easy to do just that.

Not the most eloquently written review, but Some Girls Are triggered tumultuous emotions that will last for a long time. Readers will watch mesmerized as Regina battles her former friends – even as they raze each other to the ground.

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books