Tag Archives: bullying

Review of How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather



(Free stock images found on pixabay.com)

Goodreads synopsis:

It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself. 
My review:

Five out of five stars

This has been one of the best books I have read this year. It’s has been months since I’ve read something and stuck with it. There’s a funny story with how I came to have this book. I was actually on Facebook and came across the book trailer. I ended up sending the book trailer to one of my really good friends, who loves anything involving the paranormal, because I figured she would be interested in the book. Months later, I come to find out that she actually bought me the book for a Christmas present! I was so stoked and couldn’t believe she got it. 

I was so engrossed in this book that I really didn’t want to put it down. This book has a nice flow to it and well written storyline. It follows a teenage girl, who alongside her step mother, move back to Salem Massachusetts, where her family originally come from. As soon as she moves to town, strange things begin to happen. The townspeople begin to believe that she is the one to blame for all the strangeness happening, as well as the students who are direct descendants of those hung during the Salem witch trials. 

I found this book so interesting to read because the author compared the behaviors of people during the Salem witch trials to that of bullying in modern times. I never thought of this as a parallel until the author explains this in the Authors Note. It is intriguing how similar these events are in how one/many can accuse something of something, convince others (whether true or not) and isolate the person being targeted. 

I enjoyed how suspenseful the book was because you had no idea who the “bad guy” was in the story. It was fun to try and piece together the clues and to figure who was committing all the gruesome events throughout the book. There was never a dull moment when I was reading this and I almost wished it never ended. The story flowed very smooth and you felt as though you were a part of the events that Samantha experience and not as though you were simply reading a story. The author also includes actual historical people and events, such as what occurred during the Salem Witch Trials during the 1600’s). 

 I am looking forward to reading the second book that the author is currently writing. 

Oh and very cool side note. The author is actually the 12th descendent to someone that lived and played a big part in the Salem Witch Trials. Definitely read his book if you’re a fan of paranormal and historical fiction! 

Author websites:

Goodreads

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Buy Links for my children’s book Tate’s Tale

Here are the three buy links so far for my children’s book Tate’s Tale!!

Synopsis: 

Ever had a goal in mind that you have set to accomplish? Well, here is the story of Tate, the fastest dog in the neighborhood. Join Tate, alongside her friends and family as she sets out to accomplish her goal in… Tate’s Tale!!!

CreateSpace

Amazon 

Barnes and Noble


ARC Review of The Survival Guide to Bullying by Aija Mayrock

Hello Readers!!

Here is my first review for one of the ARCs I got when I attended this years BookExpo at the Javits Center in New York City.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

NEW, updated edition! Written by a teenager who was bullied throughout middle school and high school, this kid-friendly book offers a fresh and relatable perspective on bullying. Along the way, the author offers guidance as well as different strategies that helped her get through even the toughest of days.

The Survival Guide to Bullying covers everything from cyber bullying to how to deal with fear and how to create the life you dream of having. From inspiring “roems” (rap poems), survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes, this book will light the way to a brighter future. This updated edition also features new, never-before-seen content including a chapter about how to talk to parents, an epilogue, and an exclusive Q&A with the author.

*Quotes that I have made edits for were from the Advanced Reader Copy obtained from BookExpo. Some may or may not appear in the final version. I was also given permission to use these quotes from the author as long as I state that they are from the Advanced Readers Copy*

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My Review:

I gave this ARC 5/5 stars

I will start with how I came across this book. On the second day of the BookExpo, I think I was waiting in line to get a book signed by Jennifer E. Smith for Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between, a girl behind me asked me if I was a blogger. I told her I was and helping out one of my favorite authors, Sophie Davis. I asked her if she was a blogger, and to my total surprise, she told me she was an author. I was so shocked, because she was in her late teens. As it turns out, it was Aija Mayrock, who wrote her debut novel, The Survival Guide to Bullying.

This topic is very near and dear to my heart, which I will explain shortly. She told me that her signing would be the next day, which I clearly would be going to. I ended up being the first person to her signing. She was kind enough to sign another copy to the elementary school that I worked in because bullying unfortunately can begin at a young age.

Now to my actual review.. hehe..

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I typically read fiction books, because non-fiction books always remind me too much of school. However, what interested me about this book was that it talked about the topic of bullying and the fact that it was written by a teen who had personal experience with bullying. This book is very unique due to this, because most books that are written about bullying are done by adults and researchers in the field.

I liked that Aija included information and research in the field, as well as personal experience with bullying. Intermittently, she included with she called “roems” or rap poems about her experiences. I for one, LOVED this. There were so many lines in each of her “roems” that I easily related to. I did not experience the same degree of bullying, but I did experience and feel the pain loneliness and isolation that came about during the time I was in school.

Even though it has been at least 10 years since I was in high school, reading this book brought about feelings of what I experienced and long forgotten about. I am okay with this because it takes so much strength to get through being bullied. Aija says  in one of her “roems” “I had to suffer to realize that I am tougher than I thought I was”. Of course feeling lonely and isolated for so long isn’t on mine or anyone’s top priorities, but I feel as though without suffering in some way, you may not realize what you are truly made of.

 

Aija gives such amazing and incredible advice throughout this book and can reach out to young people who are currently experiencing bullying or anyone who have had previous experience with bullying. I would highly recommend this book to teens, adults, parents, teachers, librarians… and pretty much anyone. I would also recommend this book to those with and without personal experience with bullying because both sides can learn so much that you may not have realized in the first place. Please be sure to get this book, which comes out June 30, 2015.

To me, I think this video is a reflection of what it feels like to be isolated. Its Numb by Linkin Park. I had personal experience during the 1:41 part when the main girl in the video goes to sit with the other girls at lunch and they all get up. I do not wish that onto anyone, and I hope that my readers and fellow bloggers don’t choose to make someone feel this way


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