Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Can't Wait for More Than We Can Tell

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

More Than We Can Tell

By: Brigid Kemmerer

Expected Publication: March 6th 2018 by Bloomsbury Children's

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a heart-wrenching story of two teens with big secrets and a love that could set them free.

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Three Dark Crowns - Review

Three Dark Crowns (Untitled, # 1)

By: Kendare Blake

Published: September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen

416 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

I was instantly intrigued by the description of Three Dark Crowns. Three sisters with magical powers fight until only one is left standing to claim the crown and the throne. I was pulled in immediately. But once approved, I didn't pick this book up immediately due to the publication date being a few months in the future. As the publication date approached, I started seeing ratings come through and they weren't very high. My excitement level dropped immensely and I put off reading Three Dark Crowns. I did pick it up but only read a page or two before deciding that it wasn't pulling me in enough and putting it back down. I realize that's not enough time really to allow a book to pull me in or not, but I'm such a mood reader. I featured Three Dark Crowns in a couple of posts mentioning that I still needed to get around to reading it, and every person that commented on it told me that it had a slow start but that the book ends in a place where you want to know more. And that's exactly my experience with it.

Since several advised me to push through the beginning, I figured that I should do just that and give Three Dark Crowns another try. I don't think it helped that chapter 1 is about Katherine (the poisoner) who turned out to be my least favorite of the three sisters. Yet, it wasn't too long before I found myself interested in what was going on and how things would progress. Three Dark Crowns was interesting but not devouring. The book swaps between the three sisters. I feel like it was written in a way that perhaps Kendare Blake is trying to lead the reader to root for Arsinoe, but Mirabella ended up being my favorite I think.

Side note: Arsinoe...I kept reading this as Arisnoe. Ugh. I'm all about unique names, but I don't like when a name is so unique that I can't pronounce it correctly. I told Husband that I don't know if I struggle with a little bit of dyslexia or if I'm just trying to read too fast to stop and parse out names that I'm unfamiliar with. As such, I knew I was pronouncing her name wrong, yet I couldn't stop myself. And this took me out of the story so frequently while reading this book which I find entirely frustrating. So just a personal pet peeve.

Back to what I was saying, I could be wrong, but I felt like there were more chapters dedicated to Arsinoe than the other queens. I struggled with figuring out who to root for because I felt sorry for each of these characters. Katherine and Arsinoe are both powerless, although they and the families they're living with are both trying to keep that a secret from the rest of the island. Katherine should be a poisoner--meaning she should be immune to poisons--so she's regularly submitted to a multitude of poisons in hopes of bringing out her gift or at least developing a tolerance or immunity to them. She was subjected to cruelty often. Arsinoe is supposed to be a naturalist which means that she can make plants grow as well as have an animal familiar with some level of control over most other animals. But no familiar has ever show up and she's never made anything grow. Yet the family fostering her seems to genuinely love her and accept her as part of them despite not having a gift. Mirabella is the only sister who actually manages to access her gift. She's an elemental. She also seems to have been gifted to a fairly warm environment with her foster family. She has close friends. At the same time, the temple and the priestesses have chosen her as their queen over her sisters. Never before has the temple been so sided before. Yet the temple isn't as they appear. They have an agenda and Mirabella is a pawn. So you can see that each has something rooting against them which makes them endearing on some level. None of the sisters relish having to kill the others. Katherine is the one that might lean towards it the most, but that isn't surprising given the cruelty that she's been subjected to. None of the sisters seem inherently evil. So all that to say that choosing a side was difficult.

One of my favorite parts of any book is the hope that the main character will find love. And well...this wasn't a large part of Three Dark Crowns. Even though romance isn't required for me to enjoy a book, it does help immensely. Katherine is presented with Pietyr as a tutor to help her learn how to flirt with the potential suitors (all three sisters face the same suitors). Katherine can't help but fall for Pietyr and it appears that he feels the same way. Yet these two aren't supposed to be together. Knowing this up front kept me from connecting to the two as a couple. Arsinoe meets one of the potential suitors very early on and the two develop a definite friendship, but at this point it appears to be nothing more than that. And Mirabella meets and feels an insta-connection with a friend of Arsinoe who happens to be in love with Arsinoe's best friend, Jules. This was the relationship that I felt the most spark and connection to. However, moving forward for these two will be messy, and I'm not sure how much I can support it given that Joseph chooses to move forward with Jules. This area left me wanting a bit more. I hope that One Dark Throne pursues the romances a bit more.

Without discussing the actual events of the book in any more detail as I'm afraid I've probably given too much away as it is, I will say that there was one twist (betrayal) that I didn't see coming, and there was one twist that was supposed to be pretty substantial that I did see from early on. That left me with yes being intrigued and interested to see how things continue to play out, but perhaps not quite as dying for book 2 as I could have been. I do hope that One Dark Throne has a much better pacing and not such a slow start. Three Dark Crowns was enjoyable. I want to know more. But I wasn't dying to keep reading or to jump immediately into book 2 (although I did choose to go ahead and start One Dark Crown upon finishing this one). I liked the characters for the most part but struggled with deciding who to root for. In the end, Three Dark Crowns gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Three Dark Crowns? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Post - 260 & Stacking the Shelves - 196

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

On the one hand, I feel like we just can't catch a break. Little Girl started getting sick on Monday so that made for not the best week. Thankfully she's pretty much well now. On the other hand, I know things can always get worse. I thought she was better by Friday but when I picked her up after my doctor's appointment she seemed to have had a setback. AND of course Husband and I couldn't come out completely unscathed. Both of us seem to be struggling with something also. My throat and his nose. I got Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, # 5) by Richelle Mead on sale this week. I have only read the first book in the series, but since this one went on sale, I couldn't resist snagging it.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips (3.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, # 1) by Kendare Blake
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, # 5)

By: Richelle Mead

Published: March 30th 2010 by Kensington

281 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library (on sale $1.99)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals -- all child's play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding is a different story. Georgina isn't sure which is worse -- that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina's roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there's Simone, the new succubus in town, who's intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that's visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she'll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she'll discover who she can trust, who she can't -- and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity...

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Can't Wait for Say You'll Remember Me

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Say You'll Remember Me

By: Katie McGarry

Expected Publication: January 30th 2018 by Harlequin Teen

400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.

I mean, it's Katie McGarry...what else is there to know? What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, August 7, 2017

These Things I've Done - Review

These Things I've Done

By: Rebecca Phillips

Published: August 1st 2017 by HarperTeen

272 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A contemporary YA perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Jessi Kirby, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who accidentally caused her best friend’s death and, a year later, is still grappling with the consequences.

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.

So perhaps the "Before" and "After" section of the description should have been a warning to me that this book jumps back and forth chronologically, but I didn't pick up on that. And unfortunately, I struggle with books that jump around like this. I think that's because inevitably one storyline appeals to me more than the other which means whenever it is time to switch back to the other I'm disappointed and frustrated. And that was the case with These Things I've Done as well. In situations like this, the before is obviously leading up to the after and sometimes it isn't necessary to see the details of the before to figure out how we got to the after. But one positive side to this back and forth was the build up in finding out exactly how Aubrey was killed and what Dara's role was that would cause so much guilt.

Dara leaves town to go live with her aunt and uncle shortly after Aubrey's death and she spend her junior year there, but ultimately she decides that she needs to come back home for senior year to face what she's done. She's not exactly looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. Obviously, the kids at school aren't particularly welcoming to the girl who killed her best friend. But it goes beyond that. Aubrey's younger brother. Dara's own family. All of these relationships have changed and have struggled as a result of this tragedy.

I didn't dislike Dara at all. She's been through a terrible, life-changing event. And truth be told, anyone could have been in her shoes. Plus, I feel like anyone would feel all the things that Dara feels. I appreciated that she didn't fight therapy like we've seen characters do in the past. It was just part of her journey. Although, I kind of wish we'd been exposed to more of her counselling. Yet even though her guilt was understandable, it wasn't always easy or fun to read about.

Ethan, on the other hand, was beyond likeable and easy to read about. I enjoyed him in the before and in the after. It wasn't that he didn't struggle with his sister's death or find himself angry. It was kind of the opposite. The best thing about his character was how he chose to respond to his feelings.

I think I would have enjoyed These Things I've Done more if I hadn't read such other great books recently. That being said, I still really enjoyed These Things I've Done. It had a few flaws, but I wanted to keep reading for the most part. These Things I've Done gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read These Things I've Done? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Post - 259 & Stacking the Shelves - 195

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This past week has been another crazy one, but not just busy...also frustrating. A lot of little things piling up. Monday night Husband and I finished up painting our master bedroom. Tuesday we moved beds. (Long story short, we had previously used another room besides the master for our bedroom because the master isn't actually the biggest room, but we'll need the other room for Little Girl when Baby Boy arrives.) Also on Tuesday I was washing sheets for one of the beds and I have no idea what happened, but our washing machine completely shredded the blanket into lint. It wasn't a dry clean only blanket so it shouldn't have had any issues being washed. But our laundry room was flooded and leaking into the garage. And we've been so busy we haven't even had a chance to fix it. So Wednesday I loaded up the rest of our laundry (minus extras like sheets for the other bed) and went to my mom's. Of course, Wednesday night as soon as we got home from mom's, Little Girl threw up. We haven't figured our what's causing her to get sick yet as there isn't much in common between Wednesday night and last Friday night. Thursday wasn't exactly eventful, but it wasn't without frustration either. I did turn Little Girl's car seat forward facing. She met the legal requirements almost a year ago, but I was trying to leave her rear facing as long as possible due to added safety. However, I'm wondering if being rear facing is the cause of her throwing up. Friday I was in major cleaning mode. Little Girl spent the night with Husband's mom. And Saturday we had our annual volleyball get-together with our church family at our house. The only new book I got this week is a handlettering book. This isn't my normal, and I've never reviewed anything like this before. But I'm really interested in handlettering and can't wait to dive into this one.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: July 2017 EOM Wrap Up
Tuesday: Review of The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Saturday: Problems Only We Know # 7: Book Hangovers

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday (maybe)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Lettering With a Purpose (, # )

By: Brittany Luiz

Published: September 1st 2017 by Walter Foster Publishing

144 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Lettering with Purpose is a beautiful and thoughtful book for anyone interested in developing their own artistic alphabet. Whether you’re hoping to personalize greeting cards, or just enjoy the art, hand lettering is an uplifting and compelling craft to learn.

Aspiring artists and lettering enthusiasts will explore and deepen their understanding of this art form by delving into a variety of lettering techniques. You will also enjoy 100 reflective lettering prompts to spur the imagination and help readers answer the question: "What should I write?"

Your lettering journey will begin with lettering basics. This intuitive guide includes suggested tools and materials, the anatomy of letters, how to pair different lettering styles, and thorough tutorials on working with a variety of mediums. You’ll be creating striking layouts and compositions in no time.

Additionally, artists will find a wide range of lettering styles and techniques demonstrated step by step, including brush calligraphy, bounce lettering, and more, plus complete alphabet ideas that include reproducible practice pages that can be used to perfect their skills.

Once your artistic bones are there, move on to adding embellishments and flourishes! Add pizzazz to your work with frames, laurels and garlands, flowers, swirls, and more.

To cap it all off, a section of perforated pages at the back of the book contains fully illustrated frames, with blank openings so readers can fill them in with their own inspired lettered designs.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Problems Only We Know # 7 - Book Hangovers

I'm starting a new feature called Problems Only We Know. This is feature is meant to be funny--sarcastic at times-- that highlights on a few topics here and there that can be annoying or small inconveniences that only readers/bloggers will understand.

Let's talk book hangovers.

We all love those 5 star books.

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You know the ones to suck you in...

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and spit you out.

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Maybe it is an epic romance...

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Or an amazing new book boyfriend.

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Maybe a fantastic new world...

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Or twists and turns that you never saw coming.

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Maybe a storyline that breaks your heart into a million pieces...

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Maybe an epic happily ever after...

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Maybe it is a concept that you've never read or explored before...

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Whatever the content... you were blown away...

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You feverishly turned each page.

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You devoured every word.

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And then you came to the end.

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The end which left you reeling...or in tears...or happy as a clam...or hanging...

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And you're high off the experience of such a grand book.

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You're floating among the stars...

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Until you realize...It's over.

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And there will never be more to the story.

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And no matter what you read next... it can't possibly be half as good as what you just finished.

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And you crash.

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I know I'm not alone. You guys have experienced the book hangover too, right? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Can't Wait for The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

By: Cynthia Hand

Expected Publication: October 24th 2017 by HarperTeen

224 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn't.

And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Secret History of Us - Review

The Secret History of Us

By: Jessi Kirby

Expected Publication: August 1st 2017 by HarperTeen

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Gorgeously written and emotionally charged, The Secret History of Us explores the difficult journey of a teenage girl who must piece her life together after losing her memory in a near-fatal accident.

When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a car accident that almost took her life, she can’t remember the details about how she got there. She figures the fog is just a symptom of being in a week-long coma, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last several days of her life—she’s lost her memory of the last four years. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was.

As Liv tries to block out what her family and friends say about who she used to be, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance—and the only person Olivia inexplicably feels herself with. With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living.

I wanted to read The Secret History of Us because amnesia stories are so interesting. When I featured The Secret History of Us on my Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves post the week I received it, Jo commented that she has "always been intrigued by the link between memory and personality, how who you are can be based on what you've experienced - what you remember experiencing - and how you may change if you forget quite a long period of your life." And her comment hit the nail on the head for me. This is exactly why I wanted to read The Secret History of Us. Now I will say that the description of The Secret History of Us listed above is a bit misleading. Yes, Walker has kept his distance, and while Olivia has some inexplicable feelings surrounding Walker--mostly she feels a desire to thank him for saving her life--things aren't EXACTLY how the description makes you think they are. It's hard to explain how misleading without getting into spoilers.

The best single quote to give you a good idea of how The Secret History of Us starts out is:

-Today I learned that I'm eighteen years old, but the last birthday I can remember celebrating is my fourteenth. I graduated high school a month ago, but I've never been. I've stopped hanging out with one of my best friends in the whole world and I have no idea why. And I have a boyfriend--Matt--who I'm headed over heels in love with, but who I only just met today. He's a victim of the accident in more ways than one. A stranger. Or maybe I'm the stranger.

Olivia and Matt were involved in a car accident when a truck runs them off a bridge. Olivia is trapped in the car and Matt can't get her out. Thankfully, a boat was coming in about the same time as the accident happened and Walker was able to dive down and cut the seat belt trapping Olivia in the car. Once into the boat, Walker had to do CPR on Olivia which saved her life. However, being in a coma for a week and broken ribs from the CPR aren't her only injuries. Her parents are beyond relieved to learn that Olivia remembers who they are. And she remembers her best friend, Paige, but after Olivia has no memory of her boyfriend Matt, her parents start quizzing her to learn that she has no memory of the last 4 years of her life. Matt is devastated that the girl he's in love with has no memory of him or their relationship. Also as was mentioned in the quote above, Olivia has no memory of how she's no longer friends with Jules who was once one of her closest friends.

Understandably, Olivia's parents are anxious for her to get her memory back. But Matt is probably the most anxious of all. Not only does he want to get his girlfriend back, but he is struggling with some major guilt. He couldn't get her out of the car. He wasn't the one who performed CPR on her. He freaked out a bit when he heard her ribs breaking while Walker was performing CPR, and he's the reason why they were out driving the night of the accident. Olivia is slow to let Matt back in because what an awkward position to be in. You're told that you're in love with a stranger. Yet she doesn't know Matt at all. And she doesn't feel anything for him. But with Paige and her parents telling her what a great relationship they had and how much they loved each other Olivia feels like she owes it to Matt to try.

Another thing that bugs Olivia to no end when she wakes up is that she's no longer friends with Jules. She doesn't know why. And no one can really tell her. Even when she gets the courage to ask Paige, Paige doesn't really have much of an answer. I liked how Jessi Kirby worked this aspect. Without giving too much away, relationships don't always have to have a big explosion to run their course. There doesn't always have to be a huge reason why some people are only in our lives for a season.

But Olivia just can't reconcile the person she remembers being (at fourteen years old) with the changes that everyone around her is telling her that she's made. She's a vegetarian. She's no longer friends with Jules. She's in love with Matt. She no longer uses her once loved camera to pursue photography. And she can't reconcile the emotions she feels with the information she's given. She feels no connection to Matt. She misses Jules. She misses photography. She feels drawn to an old boat that she used to visit. And she feels like she owes much to the boy who saved her life.

There was so much depth to The Secret History of Us that is slowly worked out through the process of the book. Olivia learns more about herself--who she really is versus who she showed those around her. She learns that she was keeping some secrets, that she was in the process of changing again. And that she has more changing to do. She learns to trust her instincts. And she learns that just because love was present before, doesn't it mean it will last. And that where love has died, it can be rekindled and grow again.

Favorite quotes:

-pay attention to my attention.

...it's the worst feeling in the world to think that everyone who knows you has what they think is a good enough reason to lie to you.

-I try to remember the things that are fleeting, but carry something lasting within them.

My favorite quote is a bit lengthy and contains a little too much spoilers to share here.

I feel like my review of The Secret History of Us has been all over the place and has not done this book justice at all. I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it. I was hooked from the beginning--interested to see where, when, and if Olivia would get her memory back, why was she no longer friends with Jules, why was Walker so standoffish, would she remember or fall back in love with Matt, what happened in the accident that her parents didn't want her to know? All of these things. The Secret History of Us is the first book that's kept me awake at night because I couldn't put it down. I literally stayed awake past midnight to finish this book, and as a mother of a child under the age of two, staying awake when I can sleep is not something I do often. All of this means that The Secret History of Us gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read The Secret History of Us? What did you think? Let me know!