Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Never Be Alone by Paige Dearth book thoughts

Title: Never Be Alone
Series: N/A
Author: Paige Dearth
Published Date: March 30th, 2018
Publisher: Fiction With Meaning LLC
Source: Netgalley
# of Pages: 414
Format: Ebook
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Days to Read: 7
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
My review on Goodreads: Here
My Social Media: Youtube | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Instagram

Goodreads Synopsis

Young Joon's parents died, her foster family is dangerous, homelessness is her only option.

Joon had a good life with her parents--she was loved and cared for the way all eight-year-olds should be. Then, one horrible day, her parents died, and she was put into the foster care system.

When Joon is placed with a single mother, Aron, and her two sons, nothing could have prepared her for the cruelty and brutality she would be subjected to over the next four years. When things escalate and her foster brother Deen threatens her, Joon takes to the streets to escape the viciousness of her foster family and start her life over.

On the streets, Joon finally finds comfort with a group of homeless teenagers. But things are never what they seem, and there is always a price to pay for safety on the streets. NEVER BE ALONE is a story of homelessness but hopefulness, as Joon's relentless determination eventually helps her find her place in the world and make a difference.

My Thoughts

TW: Homelessness, Fire, Rape, Abuse, Child Abuse, Death, Murder, Homophobia, Drugs, Prostitution, Fatphobia

It's hard to know where to start. I loved Mean Little People by Paige Dearth, review here. It was heart-wrenching and the hardest book to get through i've ever read, but as the publishing name suggests, it's fiction with meaning. It's all stuff that happens in real life, with the author having dealt with child abuse herself said she hopes that awareness through fiction creates prevention.

It took me a bit to really get into the story however I think that was a factor of 1: Me preparing myself knowing how much Mean Little People shattered my heart and how hard it was to get through and 2: It's told in what I think is third person POV though I realized through-out the story it really was the best way to write this one. It didn't take away the impact at all and I really got to know the characters.

Joon loses both her parents at just 8 years old. She is put into a foster home with an awful abusive foster mom and 2 foster brothers (one is nice but unable to do anything as he's a kid too but feels sorry for Joon, the other is a monster just like his mother). She starves Joon, beats her, constantly calls her ugly and fat and is just beyond awful to poor Joon. Joon ends up being one of the many kids that the system fails and lets fall through the cracks. There were so many tears through-out this book.

At 12 years old she runs away. A lot happens to her while living on the streets, just trying to survive. She meets some nice (and some bad) people. She learns harsh realities. And despite everything she goes through her resilience and kind heart shines through. Yes it all affects her and deeply. She struggles. But she also wants a better life and to do something good with her life, to help others also in awful situations. She doesn't want others to feel what she has felt.

Tony Bruno is a character from Mean Little People that also shows up quite a bit and has an important role in this story. From his POV it basically leaves off where Mean Little People ended however I don't think reading this first will spoil anything. They can be read in any order and work as standalones however I loved seeing Tony again and knowing his backstory. On one hand i'd saying knowing his backstory gives him more depth in this one but I also would say, as this story has more hope to it, reading this one first could also work better for some. Either way I highly recommend both though please be in a good head-space before you do.

One of the people Joon meets, a good one that becomes a best friend, is Lulu. Lulu ends up very sick and I strongly related to her thanks to being disabled and in chronic pain. I'm afraid to say too much and spoil it so i'll be vague but I do want to say I felt it was done with sensitivity and realistically. Was it hard to read at times? Oh hell yes! But that's because I know what those feelings are like, I feel them every freaking day! I know what it's like and it strongly mirrored my own experiences and thoughts. For once, in this respect, I felt seen. Though I haven't went through the exact things Lulu has. It'll make more sense when read.

I did also read, as someone with depression and ptsd, Joon as having dealt with depression and ptsd.

There is also a wonderful gay couple.

This book tackles a lot of real life issues and I loved how everything was handled and it makes you think. Yes it made me cry, it made me angry, it was at times hard to read, it's harsh realities that shouldn't be realities but are and need to be talked about and seen if there is to be change, it made me feel, relate, and see stuff through another's eyes. Joon has been through more as a child & teen than most people in a lifetime, but there are also people in the real world that go through the exact same stuff. This book is also full of hope though. Through the good people Joon encounters, the love of those people and what they end up meaning to Joon and vice-versa. This book leaves off on a note of hope. In a nutshell it's honest, real, horrifying, important and hopeful. This is one of those books i'd recommend to everyone.

Friday, June 1, 2018

May 2018 Wrap Up

What I read and reviews

The title of each book is linked to my review on Goodreads

Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner (377 pages) Rating: 5 stars

F/F Romance, Mermaids, Awesomeness all around!

Cum for Bigfoot by Virginia Wade (42 pages) Rating: 4 stars

I found it amusing ok? ...Don't judge me :p

Heaven by V.C. Andrews (440 pages) Rating: 5 stars

It's official, I love V.C. Andrews!

The First Evil by R.L. Stine (166 pages) Rating: 3.5 stars

Murder, Cheerleaders, Fear Street. Predictable but enjoyable.

Snowballin': I Fucked Frosty by Auralie Vierge (15 pages) Rating: 4 stars

Snowman porn. Parody of the monster porn genre. Absolutely hilarious!

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant (128 pages) Rating: 4.25 stars

Killer Mermaids!

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (440 pages) Rating: 3.75 stars

More Killer Mermaids! Slow paced but enjoyable. Loved the characters. Diverse. Some wonderful commentary and quotes. Got sucked in.

The Nameless City by H.P. Lovecraft (23 pages) Rating: 4 stars

First H.P. Lovecraft story. Weird. Atmospheric. Reptiles. Creepy.

Edgar Allan Poe - An Appreciation by W.H. R. (8 pages) Rating: 4 stars

I actually am reading the Lovecraft and Poe stories in collections for them but the collections are over 1,300 pages so i'm counting what I can separately...because I can. Anyway I enjoyed learning a bit about Poe.

Dance in the Vampire Bund Volume 5 by Nozomu Tamaki (229 pages) Rating: 5 stars

I am still loving this manga series! Vampires, action, conflict, awesome lovable characters, SO MUCH YES.

Other things i've read in May

The New Voices of Fantasy Edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman

Read 55% so far of 338 pages so about (186) pages. Enjoying some stories, not all but am enjoying it over-all.

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories edited by Stefan R. Dziemianowicz and Robert E. Weinberg

Still working on this through-out the year. Read (60) pages.

The Complete Grimm's Fairy-Tales

Still working on this as well! Read (51) pages.

Never Be Alone by Paige Dearth

I have started this and so far read 28% of 414 pages so about (116) pages.

Also wanted to mention I read this cute webtoon that's still on-going Strawberry Seafoam by Bryan Golden that i'm loving so far! Pages not counted.

Total Pages Read and counted: 2,281
Average pages per day: 73.58
Average Rating: 4.25

Stuff I watched

Supernatural, iZombie, My Little Pony

Youtube Videos Posted

T5W Rewind: Top 5 Diverse Characters
April 2018 Wrap Up
Recent Reads #34-36
T5W Rewind: Graphic Novels
Recent Reads #37 Cum For Bigfoot + Guilty? Reads Discussion
Am I a guilty Reader? Tag
T5W Rewind: Books I won't read ever
Recent Reads #38-40
T5W Rewind: Books I would Recommend to New Readers
May 2018 Nocturnal Reader's Box Unboxing
May 2018 Book Haul
Recent Reads #41-45

Have you read any of the same books or watch the same shows? I'm still not caught up on iZombie but i'm getting there. I am caught up on Supernatural and My Little Pony as of writing this. I can't wait until Season 14 of Supernatural!

What have you done or consumed media-wise in May?

May 2018 Book Haul

The usual disclaimer: Just a collection of books i've gotten in the past month one way or another. As for the large collection of free Ebooks thank you Instafreebie, Bookbub, Book Cave, newsletters thanks to Instafreebie, people on Goodreads mentioning free ebooks etc.

Physical Books

Paid for Ebooks

Free Ebooks

What books have you gotten recently? Have or have read any of these?