Two Book Tuesday

SPECTACULAR READS!

51056342._SX318_SY475_Title: What Unbreakable Looks Like
Author: Kate McLaughlin
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2020
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

Lex was taken – trafficked – and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things.

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.

***TRIGGER WARNING***
human trafficking; sexual assault; violence; suicide; drug abuse

A raw, unflinching look at the journey of a teen rescued from sex trafficking. Lex was staying at a motel minutes from her drunk mother’s home when cops busted the place, saving the girls who were groomed into the life of prostitution. Now she must integrate into society without the help of pills and out from under her pimp, Mitch.

Obviously, this is a tough subject matter and I can’t comment on whether it was accurately portrayed, but I found this to be very vulnerable and incredibly gripping. If it wasn’t for her Aunt Krys, Lex wouldn’t have a safe place to stay. She had the ultimate support system that wanted to help her with everything she needed, even when she didn’t feel worthy or didn’t trust them. Zack and Elsa were such great friends and rocks that stayed by her side. I LOVED Zack as a character. I wanted even more with him.

Although this was a really dark and heartbreaking story, there was a tone of hopefulness throughout, even when Lex was at her lowest. I definitely recommend this book, but not for anyone under the age of 16, maybe even 17—an equivalent to an R rating.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

52770690._SX318_SY475_
Title: The Sullivan Sisters
Author: Kathryn Ormsbee
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: June 23rd , 2020
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

From the author of the “intense coming-of-age story” (School Library ConnectionThe Great Unknowable End and the “beyond refreshing…irreverent” (Booklist, starred review) Tash Hearts Tolstoy comes an introspective, atmospheric novel about sisterhood, coming-of-age, and learning that it’s never too late to reconnect with those you love.

Time changes things.

That painful fact of life couldn’t be truer for the Sullivan sisters. Once, they used to be close, sharing secrets inside homemade blanket castles. Now, life in the Sullivan house means closed doors and secrets left untold.

Fourteen-year-old Murphy, an aspiring magician, is shocked by the death of Siegfried, her pet turtle. Seventeen-year-old Claire is bound for better things than her Oregonian hometown—until she receives a crushing rejection from her dream college. And eighteen-year-old Eileen is nursing a growing addiction in the wake of life-altering news.

Then, days before Christmas, a letter arrives, informing the sisters of a dead uncle and an inheritance they knew nothing about. The news forces them to band together in the face of a sinister family mystery…and, possibly, murder.

The Sullivan Sisters is an unforgettable novel about the ghosts of the past, the power of connection, and the bonds of sisterhood.

I will never look at chocolate morsels the same…

First, this cover is absolutely stunning—so intricate and delicate, kind of like the Sullivan family. This family is hanging on by a thread and it all comes to a head on a road trip over Christmas. Eldest sister Eileen’s life is in shambles after finding a disturbing family secret two years ago. Uptight middle sister Claire believes her entire life is over after a major college rejection. Baby sister Murphy feels like the “spare tire” in her family, completely invisible. The three sisters reluctantly find themselves stuck in the abandoned home of a long lost relative where they are forced to learn things about their family they wish they never knew.

This was really good. The story’s perspective moved between the sisters while still being told in third person. The summary is a little misleading; while this was a mystery, I didn’t find this to be very thrilling. I wish I wouldn’t have guessed the twist so quickly, but I still really enjoyed this. Kathryn Ormsbee is a lovely writer and captured the Oregon Coast really well.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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