Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson | Book Talk

10:09 PM Ally M.G. 1 Comments

Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson

*I was given this book by NetGalley and Dundurn for an honest review*

I was first attracted to this book by the simplicity of the cover. 

Finding Hope explores the lives of Hope and Eric; siblings that reside in a small town. Lumsville is town where nothing happens and everything is boring. Except for Hope and her family. Her brother is a meth addict and her family is slowly falling apart. Hope momentarily escapes this madness through her poetry, hoping for a chance to escape.

The opportunity comes, and Hope packs her bags and heads to Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student ready for a fresh start.

At first, Ravenhurst is better than anything Hope could've dreamed of. But as quickly as it started, her life at Ravenhurst goes spiraling down of control. With roommates, online boyfriend, school cliques, and her meth addict brother.

When I first began the book, I was not sure how I felt about it. The beginning was rocky, because there was no sense of a timeline. At one point I was not sure what time it was. The constant change of point of view from Eric and Hope I was not sure if it was weekend, weekday, morning, day or night. 

Even though the beginning was strong, straight to the point of whom the characters were and what their stories were. But once Hope arrives to Ravenhurst time seems to flow better. 

I was very intrigued by Eric, watching him go from high and semi-sober. (Kinda like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) The change in his train of thought demonstrated his two state of being of high and not high. Nelson does a great job showing the destruction drugs inflict on someone. She also did a marvelous and slow reveal of why Eric turned to meth. Why he chose to escape into a mentality of constant high.

Hope was raw. You really see her darkness through her poetry. Her poetry through out the story really gave the reader what she is really feeling and going through. She was easily manipulated which got her bullied by the Ravenhurst clique. This intense bullying made her weak, and nearly saw suicide as the only option. 

Great portrayal of how abuse can emotionally destroy someone and cause their life to go on a downward spiral.

This book is not for everyone, and I would not recommend it to a lot of people.

There is drug abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and suicide thoughts. This can be a trigger book, and for those who suffer any of those thing should not read this book unless mentally prepared.

Finding Hope was raw. It was different. The subject matter was something new in the world of YA. It was short and heavy.

I wish we could have read more about Eric when he was put into rehab.

Rating: 4/5
Release Date: 04/2016


Winter by Marissa Meyer | Book Talk

1:07 PM Ally M.G. 1 Comments

This is the final installment of Marissa Meyer’s series: The Lunar Chronicles.

The Lunar Chronicle is a retelling of the classic fairytales of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. This story is told several hundred years in the future at the Eastern Commonwealth (East Asian, but mainly China). We follow the story of a young cyborg girl named Linh Cinder (get it? Cinder = Cinderella).

You follow Cinder’s story as she learns about who she truly is and what she must do with this new information.

-Spoiler from here on-

Winter, the fourth and final installment, of The Lunar Chronicle is 800 pages long! Well 827.

Cinder and the Rampion crew successfully kidnapped Emperor Kaito, and they begin planning their revolution to overthrow Levana and rescue Scarlet in the process.

“At some point, we have to stop planning and start doing. I think that time is now”

I personally feel that Winter was the strongest of the four books. All the characters went through a significant amount of development: emotionally, mentally and physically (for some).

I do not want to give a big summary about the story, because I expect that you have already read it or planning on reading it. So I am just going to freak out about it and hope to have you freak out with me.

The Rampion crew grew so dependent on each other and you can really see how much they care about one another.  Cinder, Kai, Scarlett, Wolf, Cress, Throne, and Winter wanted one another to be safe…and well not die. And they all gave their best to make sure Cinder ascended the throne.

Though sometimes I felt their plans went too smoothly many times. I am happy it all went well…but this is a group of teens and “college” kids overthrowing a Queen in Luna. In reality, the world does not work that way, but the Rampion team always had their plans be successful 90 percent of the time.

Sneak into Luna, smooth, but Cress was left in the castle. Scarlet and Winter sneak out, smooth, but Cress was left behind. Start a revolution, smooth. Winter gets the plague and needs a cure, smooth. Destroy Levana, smooth, but Cinder gets stabbed.

As someone who did not read Fairest, the truth about Cinder’s mom, was mind blowing. But it did not excuse Levana actions!


“Broken does not mean unfixable”

I would also like to mention how stressful this book was. I congratulate Marissa Meyer for being capable of causing me to go through a roller coaster of emotions.

There were several moments that I started trembling so bad that I had to put the books down. Like when Cinder fell into the lake. There were also several cute “doki doki” moment like the scene with Thorne and Cress in that party wink wink

I am happy with the ending of this series. I can’t wait to read the epilogue!

Rating: 4.5/5


Why I Read Books

10:00 AM Ally M.G. 2 Comments

 Sometimes I get praises or questionable looks about why I read so much. Sometimes I am too scared to say that it is an escape from reality.

Nothing against non-frequent readers, but reading helps the mind and you become a better person.

I did not officially become an avid reader until I was in middle school during the insane vampire craze the YA industry was going through. Vampire story here, vampire story there. I did not have humble beginnings, but those beginnings allowed me to have an escape and be someone else for a couple of hours.

Reading a book is an experience. You take on a new name, obtain a new life and go on an adventure you could never have in reality.

There are stories where you learn magic. Stories where you slay mythical monsters. Stories where you find yourself. Stories where you go on a spiritual adventure. Stories where you have to save the world.

The stories are endless.

The world is endless.

I read books to learn. I read books to become someone better. I read books to become a villain. I read books to fall in love. I read books to escape.

Instead of watching films or TV series, I read. Instead of exercising and doing sports, I read. Instead of being productive, I read.

Reading is just another form of entertainment in the world. It is the form of entertainment I enjoy the most.

Nothing can beat this view.

Currently Reading: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Dear November: A Letter to Myself

11:40 PM Ally M.G. 0 Comments

It is half way through November, meaning the year is nearly over! (OMG). How fast does time go by? Hella


I wanted to talk about life, and by life I mean books. (Which is life…along with food)

No, seriously.

Recently, Facebook threw in my face a really old picture of me due to the throwback nonsense it does.

It was a picture of me four years ago. Dear sixteen year old me.

God, that fringe…that cardigan…that everything. What was I thinking? (I wasn’t…clearly).

Seeing that girl in that picture brought back a lot of memories that I have locked away and tried to erase.

Seeing that girl in that picture blew me away, because that girl would not believe anyone if they told her what she would become and who she would lose.

Dear Sixteen-year-old Me,

You are terrified and confused. You do not want know what you want in life, to the point that you question if life is even for you. Believe the words, “It will get better”, because it honestly does. So much better.

You grow confident, how the hell did you do it? I don’t know, but it happened. When someone makes a comment about you, you look at them in the face and smile. You no longer let it eat you up. You are aware of who you are. Your faults and your gifts. You have the weirdest smile; your tongue sticks out a little…embrace that. Practice in front of the mirror and laugh at yourself.

College will come, and it will not be as scary as you made it out to be. You stayed home, and that's okay…because you met the most wonderful group of individuals and created a cult with them…and you, my dear, as the Queen (metaphorically).

You will lose your best friend. I know. The girl who you’ve known since you were 13, the girl who made you feel not so alone. She leaves. And it is okay. But god it is going to hurt. You are going to cry, you are going to feel like someone tore a part out of you. A big gapping hole. Empty. The parting is gradual, but you feel it. You try, so hard, to make it work, to keep the friendship, to make her keep talking to you. You are going to cry till your eyes burn. You are going to rip some art and photographs up. You are going to write letters that you will never send. Until you write one saying goodbye. There is when you finally let go of those strings.

It will hurt like hell, but it is okay because remember this cult I mentioned…well it is not a cult I was being dramatic. It is a group of people and together (including you darling) create the Magic Kingdom of the Piano Lounge at FIU. I know, hard to believe…you will be part of an actually group of friends who adore you even when you are pain to be around.

There is Mom…she well…is mom and she is your support line, she is the reason you are as strong as a diamond. The moment your confidence falters, even a smidge. She picks you up before you can fall and pushes you forward.  There is your reading buddy, thanks to her you will read about 50 books in a single year and made you realize your real dream. There is your Knight, she will be the person who shows you that when a friendship dies a new one blooms (also, your real mom swears you are in lesbians together) because you will be super lovable to one another. There is Thor, he is a giant teddy bear and he makes you realize that being nice is better than being bitter. Then there is the Creator, he made all the happen. He is the reason we all grew so close, because he got sick. Keep an eye on him. Protect him.

There are more people you will meet and they will challenge your life in a positive manner. They want the best for you just like you will want the best for them. This fills that hole that she left you.

You even grew closer to your parents. ( I’m not lying, I swear!)

You grow in a strong independent woman who is like 75% sure what she wants with themselves. You become this girl.

Crazy right? I know. I can hardly believe it. Sixteen year old me, thank you for not giving up on yourself even when you wanted to. Than you for deciding to become the girl I am now.

Oh, and you go to Japan, which is pretty cool.

Twenty-year-old me

Incredible what one picture can do. Now I am excited who I will become in four more years. Give me a couple years, I have great plans ahead of me.

 Currently Reading: Winter by Marissa Meyer ( It is stressing me out! a good way)