Another Place by Matthew Crow – An ARC Review

another place

A small town. A missing schoolgirl. A terrible secret. And one girl’s fight to survive.

Sixteen-year-old Claudette Flint is coming home from hospital after an escalating depression left her unable to cope. Released into the care of her dad, she faces the daunting task of piecing herself back together.

She may look unchanged; but everything’s different. The same could be said about her seaside hometown: this close-knit community seems to be unspooling in the wake of the sudden disappearance of one of her schoolmates, Sarah.

As the police investigate and the press dig around for dirt, small town secrets start to surface – and Claudette must do everything in her power to keep her head above water.

Another Place is a novel about lost girls – and the meaning of home.

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Another Place is a book that requires two reviews. It requires this one, where we allude to all the greatness that is Another Place in a vague and amusing manner because the book doesn’t come out for another two weeks and even though we love talking in spoilers, WE DON’T LOVE SPOILERS BEFORE ANYONE HAS HAD A CHANCE TO READ THE DAMN BOOK.

And it require the review we have yet to type where we discuss all our deeper thoughts on a book which we can’t help, but compare to The Deviants.

We’re not comparing the two novels because they’re carbon copies of one another, but because they’re in the same vein of literature.

Another Place and The Deviants are Young Adult Contemporary novels that have honesty and tragedy twined together at their cores.

So, the first thing we noticed was the voice of our narrator Claudette. She has a quality to her voice that gives her life off the page because she’s truthful and frank and flawed in her character. She’s had years of carrying the weight of hopelessness on her shoulders before we meet her and we think she’s quite resilient.

It takes so much inner strength to piece yourself back together again and again knowing that one day sooner or later, you’re going to fall apart once more and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

We’ve seen a great uptake in the depicting of people with bipolar in the last few years. From Shameless US with Ian Gallagher to here with Claudette Flint. We’ve seen more and more characters battle with depression and we like the fact that we’re seeing this.

We like that we’re seeing disorders and mental health on the page and on screen because it’s illuminating.

By page thirty three of Another Place, we were tearing up. Our small and shrivelled heart had expanded to feel emotion for a fictional character and it was wonderful in a tear stained, puffy face kind of way.

Don’t look at us. We’re ugly when we cry.

We’re the first ones to complain about the fact that so often Young Adults are smoothed out to an extent that it’s hard to see the emotional upheaval and the roller coaster that is teenage life. There’s no cursing. No fighting. No close up and frank sexual references and it’s a little nauseating seeing such wholesome characters sometimes.

So, we were shocked that we were shocked when we got what we wanted.

Claudette curses. Claudette is brutal and direct. She and her best-friend have barely any boundaries. Claudette tells you what she wants and when she wants it.

She has a love/hate relationship with her Dad’s girlfriend that was hilarious because it was so blatantly obvious that the two of them care about each other. There were exchanges of sarcasm and wit and it was immensely refreshing.

This book is quite possibly a five star read and we’re saying that having read it weeks ago and forgotten for more than a few hours the other day what and who Another Place was about.

There’s so, so much for us to talk about when it comes to what Matthew Crow has written and we’ll talk about it all later, in three weeks, when you’ve opened up your copy and raced through the thing are dying to to talk about all the juicy little details that are practically gossip worthy and make you want to burst.

WE WILL TALK ABOUT ALL OF THAT THEN, BUT FIRST…

LOST GIRLS.

There’s an investigation going on in Claudette’s hometown because there’s a missing girl and terrible secrets hidden under picturesque beach views. There’s a missing girl and a race to find her,

But

There’s also a race for Claudette to find herself. Interestingly with this book being lost doesn’t just mean being physical lost or lost in life. It means both and sometimes, as you’ll discover, piecing oneself back together means forgetting the pieces that made you who you were and finding the pieces that will make you someone you probably never expected to be.

(Isn’t that just inspirational?)

To conclude, it is in our not at all humble opinion that you need to buy this book and read this book and tell others about this book because we want it to sell well and be received well and we want Kleenex to wonder why so many people are buying boxes of tissues only to discover that all those new customers are bookworms and then for everything to make sense.

Kay? Kay.

Thanks for reading our review!

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

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Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

fishbowl

Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.

Goodreads

Disclaimer: We received this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Bloomsbury) This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: Dying man auctions his life on eBay? Yes please

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The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

answer

AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes toa screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.

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The Deviants by C. J. Skuse

deviants

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

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Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

shiny broken

June, Bette, and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan’s most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice.

June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?

Goodreads

Disclaimer: This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned. If you haven’t read our review of Tiny Pretty Things you can read it here and then come back.

Why we chose it: We really liked the first book.

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