Book Review: George by Alex Gino

George

Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: August 25, 2015
Pages: 195
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): BE WHO YOU ARE.

 

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

 

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

 

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

 

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This book was so good. I feel like it should be mandatory reading for younger children, to help expose them to literature about transgendered people. These kinds of books will let kids know it’s okay to be who you are, as the first line in the summary says. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.

 

I read this book for #ReadProud. I ended up reading it in one day, because I didn’t want to put it down and it’s a pretty short book. I’d heard some great things about this book, and they were definitely all correct. George is such a great main character. I felt for her while she tried to let the world know that she was a girl, not a boy. Her story touched my heart, and I’m sure it’ll touch your heart too!

 

First off, I really love Kelly, George’s best friend. Kelly was always there for George and didn’t judge her like a lot of other people did in the story. Kelly encouraged George to try out for Charlotte’s part in the play, and even helped George be Charlotte after the teacher said no. Kelly encouraged George to embrace being a girl in other ways as well, and I have to say bravo to Kelly’s character. If it wasn’t for her, it might have been harder, and taken George longer, to embrace her true identity.

 

George’s mom kind of annoyed me for most of the book. She kept dismissing George’s words, kept dismissing George when she tried to tell her mom that she wasn’t a boy. She comes around towards the end, but I feel like she’s going to take a while to come to terms with this. I wish more parents were accepting of their children, no matter what. George’s dad isn’t really in the picture, and we only hear mentioning of him a few times. George’s brother Scott was a pretty great character overall. He’s a little brash at first, but he comes around to the idea of George’s true identity much faster than the mom.

 

Of course, some kids can be cruel. Kids like Jeff, Rick, etc. are why more kids don’t come forward with their true identities. It breaks my heart that kids, and even adults, have to endure that kind of pain. Bullying is beyond wrong; I know from firsthand experience, but my reasons for being bullied were different. No child should have to endure bullying. But despite being picked on, George prevails. The ending was absolutely perfect. I just know George is going to be okay, even if she experiences some ups and downs.

 

Before I finish the review, I just want to point out one line that really stuck with me. It was said about George and I think it fits perfectly: “My point is, it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination.”

 

Final note: Another amazing debut! I read this book for the #ReadProud challenge this month, and I regret nothing. You can buy a Kindle or Nook copy of this book for $2.99 right now. Go get a copy ASAP!

 

5 stars

March SST: Where You’ll Find Me by Natasha Friend Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. It was really cute! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 


Where You'll Find MeTitle:
Where You’ll Find Me
Author: Natasha Friend
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date:
March 8, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself… DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade “hanging out with different people.” DESERTED by her mom, who’s in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride. STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with. But what if all isn’t lost?


 

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I was happy to be a part of the Sunday Street Team for this adorable book by reviewing an eARC from Netgalley. This book was 4 out of 5 stars for me.

 

I really liked Anna as a main character. This book was more MG in my opinion, but Goodreads also classifies it as YA. Overall, it was a really great read. Anna’s trying to find her spot in her new life now that her best friend dumped her, and she’s stuck with her dad and her stepmother, due to her mother trying to kill herself. I’m not going to lie, the book was a bit dark. It deals with suicide attempts, with some bullying, with a child who is utterly lost about where she exists in this “new” life.

 

Anna’s best friend deserting her was one of the best things that could have happened to her, because she found new friends, who are actually there for her in her times of need. I kind of don’t like Anna’s dad, but he grew on me a little by the end. And the way Anna sees her stepmother changes drastically throughout the book, which is another change I’m glad for. There were quite a few hilarious moments scattered throughout the book, in addition to the heartache and the bullying/teasing so well-known to middle schoolers. I definitely don’t miss being thirteen years old.

 

There were moments where I wanted to slap at least one person, moments where I wanted to gush my happiness/relief, moments where I wondered what was going to happen with all the new people rallying around Anna. I think this book should definitely be read widely. It helps people remember what it was like to be in middle school, helps them remember how harsh preteens can be to one another. And it helps bring to light issues that a lot of people skirt around: mental illness, suicide, bullying, etc.

 

Final note: Natasha did a great job with this book. It’s a fast, enjoyable read that focuses on some hot topic issues. I’d highly recommend it.

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Natasha Friend–wearer of silly hats, lover of press-on mustaches, admirer of Gloria Steinem, devotee of well-named nail polish shades–is also an author. When she is not writing books, you will find her playing Wiffle ball, turning cartwheels, making chocolate-chip pancakes, singing, dancing, and wishing she was in a talent show. Natasha lives in Connecticut with her husband, three kids, and dog. Where You’ll Find Me is her sixth novel. Visit her online at natashafriend.com

 


 

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December SST: The Year of Lightning by Ryan Dalton Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received a PDF ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. The book is kind of a cross between MG and YA, leaning more towards MG in my opinion, if it wasn’t for the ages of the main characters. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The Year of LightningTitle: The Year of Lightning
Author: Ryan Dalton
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication date:
January 12, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): When 15-year-old twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert moved to a new town, they never imagined that the old house across the street could bring them so much trouble. A secret machine has reawakened inside, with the power to pierce time itself.

 

Meanwhile, lightning storms are breaking out all over town. They’re getting worse every week, and seem to enjoy striking kids who just want to pass science class and mind their own business. When Malcolm and Valentine discover a connection between the house and the storms, their situation goes from mysterious to crazy stupid dangerous. Someone is controlling the great machine, and their purpose is nearly complete.

 

In a race against time, the twins must uncover the chilling plan, the mastermind behind it, and the force that’s driving the deadly storms. They’ll hunt a powerful enemy that threatens their town’s existence, and the only clues are written in the sky.

 


 

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This book sounded interesting from the summary, so I was happy to receive a PDF copy in exchange for a honest review. It was a little slow at first, and I think some of it could have been cut/explained quicker, so the book wasn’t so long. Overall, it was a fun, interesting read. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Adventure type books like this one remind me of my Harry Potter love, at least a teensy bit. I think that’s why I decided to read this book, even though I’m not normally a huge adventure, sci-fi type person. I do like some fantasy books, but my major love is contemporary romance. Like I said, it was a little slow, but most of the characters I liked, and the book was pretty action packed at the end (and twisty!), so that made up for the slow parts.

 

Malcom and Valentine were pretty good main characters in my opinion. I had a little bit of a hard time relating to them at first, but by the end, I really liked them. I wasn’t a huge fan of their friends either, except John. Winter was okay, and I kind of liked Fred, but when he spoke, I kept thinking of Jamie Kennedy’s character in Malibu’s Most Wanted. I liked the older generation of people: Oma Grace, Walter, and Clive.

 

The beginning of the story is building up to the last 100 or so pages, where the action is fast and furious. I thought the book had a nice, cliffhanger-ish ending. It should definitely make readers want the next book ASAP. I want to find out what happens next with the gang, and see who is going to join in on the fun in the next book.

 

I felt like some of the issues with the twins could have been discussed a bit more. They were pretty much just swept under the rug, or ignored. A little less of the “chilling plan” and more on the twins personal lives would have been a nice touch. Maybe the book would have been 4.5, or 5, stars then. But regardless, I’d still recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and/or sci-fi books.

 

There are no book boyfriends for me in this book. A couple of the guys were okay, but there wasn’t really any romance going on throughout the book, at least not to the extent that I like to see. I didn’t really keep track of any lines while I was reading, except for this one: “Ten pounds of crazy in a one-pound box?” That one made me laugh a little bit.

 

Final note: It was a good book overall. Not a 5 star read for me, but 4 stars is still really good. I can’t wait to see what happens with everyone in the next book.

 

4 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Ryan Dalton is author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. His debut novel THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING will be released on January 12, 2016. Ryan splits his time between writing books during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he’s Batman. It’s a secret.

 


 

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