eARC Graphic Novel Review: Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo, Lilian Klepakowsky

Goodreads: Eat, and Love Yourself
Publish date: 21 April 2020
Publisher: BOOM!Studios
Genre: Graphic Novel
Panda Rating:

A story about Mindy, a woman living with an eating disorder who has to learn how to love herself again.

In pursuit of the perfect body, Mindy buys the low-fat diet products and the glossy magazines which promise the secret to losing weight. One night, while perusing the aisles of the neighborhood convenience store for a midnight snack, she finds a new product. A chocolate bar called “Eat and Love Yourself”. On a whim, Mindy buys the curious candy, not knowing that with every piece of chocolate she eats, she will be brought back to a specific moment of her past — helping her to look at herself honestly, learn to love her body the way it is, and accepting love. Perhaps, she will even realize that her long lost high school best friend, Elliot, was more than just a friend…

Trigger warnings: Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, body shaming, binge-eating, purging

I got extremely excited when I saw this cover and read the synopsis. The comic covers an extremely important topic that is such a personal issue for so many people who have struggled with their weight, and loving and accepting themselves. So I’m pretty sad to say that the story gave me pretty mixed feelings and that ending was especially disappointing because it was so abrupt. I checked to see if this was a series but I couldn’t find any information on it. I’m kind of hoping that Mindy’s journey will continue but I have a feeling it won’t?

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eARC Review: What the Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde

Goodreads: What the Other Three Don’t Know
Publish date: 03 March 2020
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Panda Rating:

Will I still be loved if I show people who I really am?
Four high school seniors. Four secrets about to be told.

If Indie had it her way, she would never choose to river raft with three other high school seniors, mostly strangers to each other, from her journalism class.

A loner, a jock, an outsider, an Instagram influencer. At first they can’t see anything that they have in common. As the trip unfolds, the unpredictable river forces them to rely on each other. Social masks start to fall as, one-by-one, each teen reveals a deep secret the other three don’t know.

One is harboring immense grief and unwilling to forgive after the death of a loved one. One is dealing with a new disability and an uncertain future. One is fearful of the repercussions of coming out. One is hiding behind a carefully curated “perfect” image on Instagram.

Before they get to the end of Hells Canyon, they’ll know the truth about each other and, more importantly, learn something new about themselves.

I requested this book because of the strong Breakfast Club vibes that I got from the synopsis but I was a little underwhelmed by the story. I really appreciated the author’s note at the start but I found it difficult to connect with the characters and I wasn’t all too sure about how I felt about the writing style.

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Friday Favorites: Books Set in High School

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favorites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: favorite books set in high school. I don’t know whether to rigidly or loosely interpret this prompt because while I’ve read a lot of books about being a high school, I don’t think I’ve read that many where the story is set in high school? Am I overthinking? Probably. I choose to blame my high anxiety and stress levels from this week because y’all, it has been a freaking week and I’m so glad it’s over! 😭 Here are some of the ones I could think of:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I feel like this is pretty self explanatory! THUG has received so much hype and all the praise, and it 100% lives up to it. This was one of my top reads last year. It’s a hard hitting and emotional story that I think everyone needs to read at least once in their life!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Who doesn’t love a good fluffy YA romance? I was skeptical AF when I picked this book up; sure, it sounded like a fun read but it also sounded like it’d be full of potentially bad corny/cheesy YA writing. I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself and actually picked it up because I was pleasantly surprised by it! Yes, it’s cheesy & super fluffy, but it’s the perfect feel good summer read, and I’m not sorry that I loved it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Yo, this book. I think this is one of the only books I’ve ever reread (not because this is my favorite book of all time, I just don’t reread as much as I want to) but I think that it made me cry even harder the second time around, despite knowing exactly what happens!

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I didn’t put this book down until I finished it in the wee hours of the morning. This was a great YA thriller and I loved every second of the Breakfast Club/Gossip Girl/How To Get Away With Murder vibes! I’m not a newbie to thrillers but this one seriously had me wondering whodunit for a good 50-60% of the book, after which it really started to fall into place and while it was slightly outlandish, the truth was also totally fitting!

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir. This was my first book of 2019 and even though it didn’t take the route I expected, I really enjoyed it. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to grow up in such a super conservative and religious household, let alone one that’s broadcast nationally. A lot of people said it reminded them of The Duggars, but I had no idea who they were, but that didn’t mean I enjoyed it any less/more. But apparently a lot of the family dynamics and even the “scandal” was reminiscent of this real life family.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Okay, I really don’t know if this one counts but I’m making it count because this was became a favorite of mine very recently. I honestly loved everything about it and I wrote a bit of a gushing review for it that you can read here.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This was the third Rowell book I read and it just solidified her as a favorite for me. When I read this a few years ago, it felt like it was the first time I encountered a male protagonist/love interest with a non-Asian female protagonist. Is that sad? Maybe I’m just not well-read enough? 🤷🏻‍♀️ Either way, it was surprising but I enjoyed it! Both characters had deep-seated issues that were heartbreakingly relatable, but I loved how their relationship started and grew, and I was so there for their love story.

BONUS: The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. These are the books set in high school that are still sitting on my TBR but I’m predicting that I will love them when I finally get to them–which is going to be soon because they’re also on my reading list for pride month! Yay! Have you read any of these books?

What are your favorite books set in high school? Do any of my faves make your list? Feel free to leave me recommendations in the comments!