Hello, Of Spectacles and Books readers (or OSB's as I like to call you..ha!). I'm Caitlin. I blog over at Nothing Rhymes with Caitlin--I couldn't tell you what kind of blog I have, because it's always changing. But one thing I can agree with all of you on is books, and when my lovely high school friends, Amanda, asked me to guest review, I jumped at the chance!
Amanda sent me a little book by author Katie Finn, and I agreed to read and review after reading the synopsis, thinking it would be a light, summery read.
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: May 13th 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 3 stars
Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.
Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.
being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?
Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago--including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh--to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already. (Goodreads)
Sounds steamy, right? Well, you'd be...kind of right. I'm just going to throw it out there that I didn't really like this book. I was right in the fact that it's a light, summer read--and I'd possibly recommend it to the 12-15 year old set, but I was bored. And maybe that was her intention, but I found it just a tad too elementary, which not every YA author does (thankfully!). I also guessed the ending within the first few chapters, so that does damper the experience a bit.
Without giving away information, I'll stick with the topic that jumped out at me (and is in the synopsis!)--which is forgiveness. Do people actually hold grudges? In the case of Gemma's antagonist, Hallie, she does. In the real world though, do you strew around in situations and not dole out forgiveness? I know that sometimes, I just don't. I can remember being "wronged" in middle school, in high school, and even in college, and I vividly remember my mother telling me more than once that women (even though this totally applies to me as well) don't grow up. Once a mean girl, always a mean girl--you just get better at hiding it.
In regards to our heroine (ugh, I don't know if I'd really call her that...), Gemma, is she able to hide it? The answer is yes. You find out that her secret--the reason Hallie hates her--has been hidden for years, and is only revealed at the last possible moment. And Hallie? You find out, through different situations that she's never forgotten. She never decided in her head that yes, that situation totally sucked and Gemma sucked, but they were 11 and she needed to rise above. She sat and stewed and planned for 5 years before taking Gemma down. FIVE YEARS. I don't think I'd have any sort of energy to do that--to take on all of that anger. I feel as though I'd burst.
So right now, that's my challenge to you lovely creatures. Forgive. Don't let ugly things stay in you and in your life. Say "yes, that was awful, but I can't stay here. I can't stay and think about this for the rest of my life." That's how villains are created. That's how life goals become about jealousy, hate and grief. That's not a way to live life. The shouldn't even be an option. Don't let it.
Let light in. Even though it all sucks for a time and a season, and it may suck for longer than that, but like my main man Dumbledore says, "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light." You can get through anything--there's this crazy amount of joy, redemption (which Gemma tried to find/us/bring around), and grace in you that you might not even know about. That doesn't show it's head util you need it. Life's funny that way, sometimes it forces you to be a better person than you thought you could be. That's the best part about life.
About the Reviewer:
Hi there, I'm Caitlin--blogger at Nothing Rhymes with Caitlin. I have two art degrees, sometimes I use them, but right now, by day I'm in the fitness world, and by night, I paint, get truly lost in Netflix, and hang out with my guy. I love words, running in marathons, the Denver Broncos, and cheeseburgers. My happy place is the Half Price Books clearance section or the mountains of Colorado. I hate ben people are ugly on purpose, cooked vegetables (the texture is disgusting), and being hot. And I hope that one day, my childhood dream of becoming a ballerina will happen! (it won't... I'm a terrible dancer haha!).