October: Books I’ve Read Recently

"Books I've Read Recently" is a series where I, Penelope Gomez, will do a monthly wrap up of the books I've read throughout the past month. In this series I will give a brief synopsis of the story and then give the book a rating out of 5 stars. 5 stars being the best and 1 star being the worst!

I will then give a brief description of why I chose to rate a book a certain way.

So without further delay lets get into the "Books I've Read Recently," and as always leave a comment down below and tell me which of these books you've also read, or plan on reading next.

Books I've Read Recently

What Goes Up, book cover

What Goes Up by Christine Heppermann

When Jorie wakes up in the loft bed of a college boy she doesn’t recognize, she’s instantly filled with regret. What happened the night before? What led her to this place? Was it her father’s infidelity? Her mother’s seemingly weak acceptance? Her recent breakup with Ian, the boy who loved her art and supported her through the hardest time of her life?

As Jorie tries to reconstruct the events that led her to this point, free verse poems lead the reader through the current morning, as well as flashbacks to her relationships with her parents, her friends, her boyfriend, and the previous night.

My Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

I have like a real bone to pick with this novel. First off the cover was amazing, the artwork inside was amazing. I loved the short verses and page layouts for the novel a lot! The only thing that really irked my soul about this book was that it wasn't much of a book… I was emotionally invested in this story and it was like someone just stopped writing all of sudden. This book was only 164 pages long and that was like reading the prologue, but not getting to read the actual story! This book completely hooked me and just threw me back out into the ocean! I left this book feeling incredibly irritated. This book was like finding a new TV show and it getting canceled after season 1. Do not read this book if you cannot stand for ANY of your questions to be answered. To me this book was not even close to being finished. I was emotionally invested in this book and the plot, and then it just didn’t go anywhere. Christine Heppermann is an incredibly talented writer, but if I’m being honest I don't know how this book was even published. I think this book needed like a good solid 200 pages more. There was definitely more to this story. I 10000% loved what I read though, like it was a SOLID start. I just wish there had been a bit more. What I did read was definitely 5-star material, I just had to mark it way down for the lack of an ending. It just felt so unfinished.

Ask Me How I Got Here, book cover

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places.

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

Ok, so after reading What Goes Up, by Christine Heppermann I had to give her writing another shot. Like I said the other book was so good and enthralling, it just didn't have an ending!!! I liked her writing style so much I just had to immediately pick up this book. Basically in this book we follow a young girl named Addie. In this book Addie ends up with an unwanted teen pregnancy. She has to make a hard choice and decides to have an abortion. Addie, I feel like she ended up regretting her decision to abort and ends up going through a deep depression immediately afterward. We basically follow her in the months after her abortion and her whole life is just going badly. She has basically given up on everything in her life. She has lost complete interest in her hobbies and is struggling deeply with her mental health. It was a well thought out read, and rather thought provoking. Again this book was written in short verses and was an incredibly quick read. Christine Heppermann really knows how to reel her readers in and hook them. She writes some really well developed characters and emotionally invests her readers in their lives. I really love Christine Heppermann's writing style and this book had a much better ending than her What Goes Up novel. This book had a solid ending and had a lot of closure for the main character unlike in her other novel.

Three Things I Know Are True, book cover

Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

The reminder is always there—a dent on the right side of Jonah’s forehead. The spot you’d press when you felt a headache coming on. The bullet tore away bone, the way dynamite blasts rock—leaving a soft crater.

Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun. Now Jonah needs round-the-clock care just to stay alive, and Liv seems to be the only person who can see that her brother is still there inside his broken body.

With Liv’s mom suing Clay’s family, there are divisions in the community that Liv knows she’s not supposed to cross. But Clay is her friend, too, and she refuses to turn away from him—just like she refuses to give up on Jonah.

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

This book was not the most action packed or a fast paced read, but it was incredibly thought provoking. It was a very deep and meaningful read in my opinion. In this book Liv and Jonah have always been friends with the boy across the street, Clay. One day Jonah and Clay are exploring Clay's attic when they find a loaded pistol. Only Jonah doesn't know that the gun is loaded and jokingly points the gun at his head and pulls the trigger. Jonah miraculously survives but is forced to be completely bed ridden for the rest of his life. Jonah went from being a hyper-active teen boy, so full of life, to bed ridden and unable to even speak in a matter of seconds. Jonah must now go through life attached to a machine that helps him eat, a machine that helps him breath, a machine that constantly monitors his vitals. This group of kids once so close has now been torn apart by their feuding parents. Liv, Jonah's sister must now adapt to life without her brother, and without her best friend Clay according to her mother; only she doesn't want to. She and Clay begin secretly meeting down by the river and grow even more attached to one another now that Jonah has ceased to exist outside of the confines of his room. Jonah's health is rapidly depleting, but at the same time Liv is falling in love for the first time. This book really just tugs on the heart strings as we follow Liv through this harsh reality that is her life. Even though her world was falling apart, her connection to Clay is her only silver lining. It was just such an emotional and heartfelt read. This book was also written in short verses, my favorite type of read! This is one of those books that sticks with you, you don't read it and instantly forget it. I will say it was a little heavy at times, but over all a really, really good read.

The Girl From the Sea, book cover

The Girl From the Sea by Molly Ostertag

Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan's biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl.

Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn't seem so stifling anymore.

But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they're each trying to hide will find its way to the surface...whether Morgan is ready or not.

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

This book was incredibly sweet. Think little mermaid meets LGBT+. In this book we follow a girl named Morgan. Morgan has been secretly "living in the closet" her whole life. She has dreams of moving away and "coming out," but only once she has moved away. Morgan doesn't think her small town and group of girl friends’ could handle her "coming out." One day Morgan falls down a cliff and into the ocean. On her way down into the water, she slams her head into a rock and almost drowns. Morgan assumes she "dreamed" being rescued by an ocean girl and even goes as far as to kiss this beautiful "figment of her imagination." Only the next day she realizes is wasn't a dream and this girl Keltie could seriously ruin her hopes of not being "outed" until she gets to college. I really enjoyed this wacky plot line, but I will say I definitely enjoyed Keltie's character more and wished she had been the main character over Morgan. Morgan in my opinion was kind of a selfish and self-centered main character. She takes her family for granted and stomps all over her long term friendships and their feelings. Whereas Keltie was kind of a fun character. She's a free spirit and doesn't really care about other people's opinions. She is perfect for Morgan, because she gets Morgan out of her comfort zone. I just kind of would have liked to see this story told from her perspective. She's an "ocean girl" and I think it could have been a fun twist on an already fun book! Either way this book was still a 10 out of 10. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish.