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QBD Reviews: Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff

unleashed

This was an odd but good little story, I love quirky characters and I love quirky story lines but I don't think I can really deal with two of them together.

Jonathan Unleashed is a coming of age story for those just starting out as grown ups. If you feel like you've lost your way, this might be a nice story for you to read.

Essentially, Jonathan misses the point a lot. I actually hated his motives for marrying Julie, and he disliked her as much as everyone around him who was telling him he was making a mistake. Julie is horrid, Jonathan's parents made me angry. Max and Greeley were the stand out characters, loved them both.

An aspect I particularly liked was the kiss between Jonathan and Greeley. It was out of the blue, but perfectly placed and I think plays a pivotal part in Jonathan being able to find himself.

The dogs were a fun way to deliver the story, they were the catalysts (dogalysts?) of the plot and I love them both. Puppiiiiiieeeeesssss!

Not what I expected from Rosoff, but not unwelcome in my reading adventures!

Leave Me: Our September Book of the Month

LeaveME

Leave Me is a story of the pressures of motherhood. The pressures put on us by others, but more specifically the pressures we put ourselves.

Maribeth Klein finds herself in the position most mothers’ do, she has to juggle it all: work, friends, a husband and kids. But when she almost dies of a heart attack, her life is turned upside down.

The first thing I thought to myself when I heard about this story was I’m not sure I could like a story about a mother leaving her kids. But I was wrong. While this is the key plot line, it is only the beginning.

This story starts with Maribeth’s narrow perspective fuelled by stress, pain and selfishness. But as Maribeth reflects on memories and tries to reconnect with her husband, you learn more about her and her loved ones. As Maribeth learns to see past her anger and her own opinions, you start to see the situation from others' perspectives.

Gayle Forman will toy with your emotions in this story about the mistakes we make when emotions run high and we can’t see past ourselves, when we forget to appreciate and communicate with the ones we love.

An easy read to get lost in these school holidays.

QBD Great Reads: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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Oh wow! Such an emotional story. I had similar feelings reading this story as when reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I loved both stories, as both made me cry – in a good way – and I was emotionally invested in the characters.

This young adult contemporary novel is about Mia, a young 17 year old who plays the cello. She has a boyfriend Adam who plays in a rock band and her family are also musicians. Even though her family loves music Mia feels somewhat separate from them as she is drawn to classical music - which is distinctly different from the rock concerts they love.

If I Stay is told over a period of 24 hours from Mia’s perspective, mixing present time with flashbacks of key moments in her life. Very close to the beginning of the novel Mia and her family are involved in a severe car accident. If I Stay, told through the eyes of Mia as she has an out-of-body experience while her physical body lies in a coma, takes readers through Mia’s decision as she is forced to choose whether to stay or let go.

What I really loved about this story was the voice of Mia. It was believable and I found it a really good vehicle with which to tell the story. Mia could see all that was happening to her yet she wasn’t a ghost (she couldn’t walk through walls) and as she was in limbo she could not be heard. Having Mia remember her life (quite literally having it “flash before her eyes”) was a great way to hear from everyone else in the story as well as knowing what was happening in the present. One of the funniest scenes was when Mia’s boyfriend Adam was trying to get into the ICU to see her but was blockaded by a nurse as he was not family, so he brought in a rock star as a diversion – hilarious!

If I Stay is by nature a sad book - there were two sections in particular where I couldn’t read the words through my tears. However, it is also uplifting and overall such a good story! The main message to take from this novel is that love, of all kinds, endures. Definitely a recommended read.

~Kerryn, QBD Northland