Book Review: Bullies like Me by Lindy Zart

img_9796-1Bullies like Me
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 2016

Genre: Young Adult

I received an ARC from Lindy Zart in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

If you can make it out of Enid High School alive, you can make it through anything.

Alexis is the new girl at school, and she’s ruthlessly bullied. Hopeless, and drowning in her present reality, she takes pills—lots of pills. She’s sent to a mental health facility, where she meets a boy. Only the boy can’t save her, and no one can save her from herself.

Nick has secrets. He wants to open up to Alexis, but there’s the dead boy who haunts him. In his dreams. While he’s awake. He wants to be brave, but he can’t tell her about his past, and he can’t leave the facility.

Melanie rules over the school, until a nobody named Lexie tries to disrupt her reign. She won’t allow that. She also can’t stop it. She plummets into notoriety, but she’s determined to take them all with her. The girl, the boy, and their secrets.

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My Thoughts

This is absolutely my favorite Lindy Zart book thus far. Her words are real, empowering, and fear-inducing at the same time. Lindy tells the truth, whether we want to hear or it not, voicing what needs to be said in a world battered and broken. This book is not just another for the shelf. It’s a confession, a confirmation, and a lesson. This book will stay with me for quite some time. As soon as I finished this book, I had to take a moment to breathe. From the very first page to the end of the author’s note and closing my Kindle app, my heart was jumping at a rapid rate; I’m certain my neighbors could hear the intense drum beating in my chest. Lindy slayed me with this book. I got it. I felt it. I believed it.

I don’t typically highlight in the books I read, but there were so many that struck me. Lindy’s word choices are deliberate, each one a note to a very somber song that loops in your head long after the radio shuts off.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, but quickly found myself buried in the pages, engrossed in each character’s story and point of view. I felt Alexis’ inner demons trying to claw their way out, Nick’s darkness twisting and pulling, and Melanie’s persistence and blindness. 

I’ve dealt with bullying. Not to anywhere near the extent of this book, but I remember taking on the role of the “bully to the bullies” in junior high. I didn’t actually bully anyone, I simply stood up for those who were being bullied. I distinctly remember two times this happened. I remember one of my friends walking down the hall between classes, a massive stack of books in her arms. This girl was someone often found at the butt of someone’s joke. I was across the hall from her, going to my next class, when I saw another kid, infamously known for being a jerk, walking up to her with intent written across his smug face. His hand went up into the air, and I remember hurrying across the hall to stand in front of him, a blockade, staring up at his six-foot-plus frame. “Don’t even think about it.” Standing over a foot shorter than this bully, I felt to height difference, not rank difference, no fear. And he backed away. I don’t know what happened after that. I just remember the books staying in her arms. The other time I remember is when I was walking through the school after hours, waiting to go to some activity, or perhaps just leaving one. Two of my male friends were about to fight each other, or maybe it was a friend of mine and someone else. Whatever the case, we were in a stairwell, just us, no one around for what felt like miles, and suddenly they were going at each other. Shoving this way, pushing that, fists flying, words and spit spewing. Without thinking, I jumped in the middle of it and split them up. Just me.

I don’t know why these moments stand out so much, especially after so many years. One thing I know is bullying is a problem. I’ve been bullied, harassed, abused, all at varying levels and at different points in my life. I’ve dealt with wondering about the meaning of my own life, the worth of existing. I’m still here. Not everyone is. Not everyone comes out stronger. We need to all take action, to stop bullying. Be there for each other. Love is so much more incredible than hate.

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 5/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5 Stars
Ending – 5/5 Stars

Total: 5 Stars

Links
Universal Buy Link
Amazon

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BookBlogWriMo – All the rest

Better late than never, right? ;P

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My favorite male character? This is an easy one: Ponyboy from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. He’s a noble and loving character who doesn’t match the rest of his group. Every time I read this book, I feel the same pull toward him that I have since my very first read in 5th grade.

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Favorite pairs are as follows:

  • Xander and Skye in Never Let You Fall/Never Let You Go by Michele G Miller (the third book is an upcoming edit! I’m so excited.)
  • Hunter and Morgan in the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan (this is only the first set of books in one book that I’ve linked. The whole series is a great one to check out!)

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I’ve committed very few book sins, most notable being dog-earing pages and skimming pages to finish a book I wasn’t terribly into.

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I am thankful for all of the authors who share their words with me. If I were to pick three today who have impacted me in some way, I’d have to go with:

  1. Michele G Miller – For those who have followed me for a while, took a peek at my other pages on this blog, or know me personally, then you know why Michele is someone I am thankful for. She took a chance on me a couple years ago and asked me to edit her books. Since then, at least seven books later, she’s become a great friend, an inspiration, and a great partner. Her books always bring me to a new place, and it’s been amazing watching her grow over the last few years.
  2. Lindy Zart – There is not a single Zart book that I don’t jump on to read before release. Her books have made their way onto my blog in one way or another. There’s a little something for everyone and every mood. I enjoy reading through all of her literary endeavors and being friends with her on Facebook. Zartian for life.
  3. J.K. Rowling – I grew up with the world of Harry Potter. I looked forward to every book release and then the movies. I still love to escape to Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, turning the pages like it’s my first time reading the books again.

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My favorite cover right now is that of Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost by Michele G Miller and Mindy Hayes.

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N/A. I haven’t really read anything with a forbidden love, at least nothing that stands out.

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I tend to just travel the internet and see what’s going on. I receive emails from various authors and book blogs, follow pages on Facebook, and generally try to keep an eye out on what may come across my path. It’s worth noting that I am fairly passive in my book news searching, though. If it falls into my lap, I’m aware, otherwise I’m too busy to keep up-to-date.

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See favorite authors response from above.

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Haha, I tried thinking of this for quite some time and in my sleepy haze all I could think about is Ginny Weasley through the Harry Potter series. Her transformation from first book to last is incredible, and she was always one of my favorite characters.

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I want to continue working on this blog, improving and enhancing what I have. I will be working toward a more scheduled approach at posting here. I also plan on launching more information regarding my editing services. In general, I want to read more and take more time away from life outside and go on more literary adventures.

This year’s BookBlogWriMo was hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 21 onward.

I am thankful for easy bedtimes, a lit tree, hot cocoa during cold weather, having a job, soft tissues, pictures, music, my husband and little one, shoe boxes filled with memories, and my family and friends.

Cover Reveal: Bullies Like Me

Title: BULLIES LIKE ME

Author: Lindy Zart (www.lindyzart.com)

Cover Artist: Sprinkles On Top Studios

Genre: YA

Release date: January 5th, 2017

Pre-order the eBook through Lindy at a discounted price: https://goo.gl/forms/QdQ7vg6g3xyPA4My2

Blurb:

If you can make it out of Enid High School alive, you can make it through anything.

Alexis is the new girl at school, and she’s ruthlessly bullied. Hopeless, and drowning in her present reality, she takes pills—lots of pills. She’s sent to a mental health facility, where she meets a boy. Only the boy can’t save her, and no one can save her from herself.

Nick has secrets. He wants to open up to Alexis, but there’s the dead boy who haunts him. In his dreams. While he’s awake. He wants to be brave, but he can’t tell her about his past, and he can’t leave the facility.

Melanie rules over the school, until a nobody named Lexie tries to disrupt her reign. She won’t allow that. She also can’t stop it. She plummets into notoriety, but she’s determined to take them all with her. The girl, the boy, and their secrets.


BookBlogWriMo Day 17, 18, 19, and 20

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The answer to this prompt is definitely one that keeps cropping up throughout this month’s posts: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I was moved beyond anything as a fifth grader reading this book. I wanted nothing more than to become a writer at that point in my life, but I didn’t know if I could do it. My mother passed this book on to me, knowing I needed something beyond the lower reading level books I was getting in school at the time. I needed something to make me think, to inspire me. S.E. Hinton was not much older than I was when she wrote The Outsiders. Not only that, but the book put me into a book coma for a long time after, I’m still not sure I have woken up from it.

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To be honest, my book event goal is to finally get to a book event. I’ve been a book blogger for three years now, and I still haven’t been to a book event. Unless you count the Facebook ones, but I’ve even hosted those, so they’re nothing new.

Other than simply getting to one, I really want to go to Utopia. One of the books I edited for Michele was actually nominated for Best Editing at this particular book event (Into The Fire – a great read! I highly suggest it.)

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Some of my favorite adaptations from book to movie are:

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I tend to have some pretty significant emotional reactions to books. Some of the books that have made me cry are:

This year’s BookBlogWriMo is hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl. If you want to sign up at any point, jump right in!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 17, 18, 19, and 20

I am thankful for our toddler footy pajamas, chocolate cream pie, pictures, and love.

BookBlogWriMo Day 9

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I do not personally write in my books. I enjoy the adventure and love the personal feel of reading through the story, however I understand why some people do. I prefer to write out my thoughts in a review instead of in a book. I actually cringe at the thought of writing in one of my books. I have, however, used Post-It Notes randomly for things I want to remember, but that’s about it.

This year’s BookBlogWriMo is hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl. If you want to sign up at any point, jump right in!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 9

I am thankful for colorful, bleed-proof pens. My planner has hope of being more successfully used and filled with such colorful goodness at my fingertips.

BookBlogWriMo Day 8

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I tend to be pretty picky when it comes to books, and there are a few things that really get on my nerves when I’m reading a story:

  • Bad Editing*: This is a big one. It doesn’t help that I’m an editor*, so my eyes automatically zero in on the issue areas of a story. It’s rare that I’m reading an indie book and finish without finding any kind of issue. It is so important to have an editor, preferably one who is not the author. It’s damn difficult to edit your own literature with an unbiased eye.
  • Cliches: Oh my goodness. Please, stop with the whole “I’m secretly a witch, but didn’t know it until I turned 18, and now I’m coming into my powers and need to save the world.” There are only so many time I can read about the geeky hot girl who manages to charm the pants off the six-pack toting, cocky jock. Or how about the actually super gorgeous teenager who thinks she’s just a mundane no one and needs convincing from the guy on the corner. Disclaimer: There are times when I love these types of stories. Heck! Some of my favorite ones carry these tropes within their pages, but trust me when I say there’s a good way to write these, and a predictable one.
  • Overt Sex: I don’t want to read books filled with sex in every other chapter. Sex is not a character, unless the character is addicted, and then that could be done in a much more creative way. I don’t want to purchase a book expecting plot, only to find the plot is mostly driven with sordid sex scenes. That being said, I don’t steer clear from reading books with these scenes, of course.

This year’s BookBlogWriMo is hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl. If you want to sign up at any point, jump right in!

*Funny enough, I didn’t edit this post. I decided these posts will just be for my own zero-pressured joy, so please pardon

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 8

I am thankful for hope in times of darkness.

The Charmed Life of Taryn by Lindy Zart

CLOTaryn Cover.jpgThe Charmed Life of Taryn
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 2016

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

I received an ARC from Lindy Zart in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

On the day Taryn Smith turns eighteen, her life changes-and not just because she can now legally vote. A black-eyed man with a chilly aura accosts her, and a stilted breath later, she’s abducted by a man who claims he’s a Manang; a half-man, half-angel being who lives in a world called Urian. Side note: he may or may not be sane.

Sent to a mansion in the middle of a grassy field surrounded by forest, and partnered with a black-haired, blue-eyed man with a surly nature who makes her heart spin, Taryn trains. For what, she doesn’t know. She’s told she’s someone special; a Charmed, and the key to winning in a battle of worlds about to collide. Only problem is, she can be a weapon of good, or a weapon of bad.

 

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My Thoughts

Another one on here from Lindy Zart! I was very excited to read The Charmed Life of Taryn, and Lindy did not disappoint! Between Taryn’s feisty personality, Creed’s cockiness, Luke’s mysterious manner, and the hodgepodge of other characters, this whole story plays out like a great television show. I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this novel the most, as it’s been a while since I’ve read something in this realm by Lindy. There are well-thought out twists and turns in this story, some romance and flirting, strong females, and an intriguing storyline. 

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4 Stars

Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eXdTMo
Amazon CA: amzn.to/2eZ0qCQ
Amazon UK: amzn.to/2dTbalh
Amazon AU: amzn.to/2eXf1j5
Kobo: bit.ly/2eD3Xd1
BN: bit.ly/2eiud9r
iBooks: apple.co/2eXcXYE

 

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