Neverland by Shari Arnold [ARC]

Livy’s little sister Jenna had leukemia. After Jenna passes away Livy, her mother, and her father each choose to deal with it in their own way. Livy spends her spare time at the Seattle Children’s Hospital reading to the kids who are still there. Her mother makes herself busy with a re-election campaign. Her father stays in his office listening to Simon and Garfunkel. They’re each having a hard time dealing with this loss, but when Livy meets a mysterious boy named Meyer, she starts to feel happy again for the first time since Jenna. But he doesn’t always answer her questions and she doesn’t know if she can trust him–even though she desperately wants to.24809194

I’m from the Seattle area (as some of my lovely readers may already know) so I was looking forward to reading a book set near my hometown. The premise of the book was interesting. I usually steer away from books dealing with loss because–I’ll be honest–I just don’t like being/feeling sad. After reading this book, though, I do recognize that there’s something cathartic about reading about that kind of loss. You feel the same things that the characters feel, but it’s not as devastating as it would be if it actually happened to you.

I’m really sad to say that’s about the only thing I liked though. Livy was an okay character, but she seemed really weak to me (and not just because she’s mourning her sister). She just seemed to have a weak mind. Meyer and Sheila could get her to do basically anything that they wanted and she could never stand up to them for long. That’s something that really bothers me about some characters (girl characters in particular). It’s just like…stick to your guns! You know? If you don’t want to do something, just tell them you don’t want to and then DON’T DO IT.

On the other hand, most of my issues are centered in Part 1 of the book. I liked both Parts 2 and 3 much better. The writing seems to come more alive and the characters and plot are more interesting.

Overall, I’d say it’s just an okay book but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some people just love it. I’m willing to admit that this book could just not be my thing. Readers should be aware that while the book is fairly light in tone, it does deal with some heavier issues such as death and managing loss. If you’re still interested in reading this book then head on over to this link to pre-order before it comes out on April 7th.

Overall Rating: 2
Violence: None
Sexual Content: None
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. One party scene with teenage drinking.

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

#ReadingMyLibrary Challenge: Week One Update

I haven’t gotten very far in the books that I checked out…shame shame, I know. But I’ll get to them! I just have to get through an ARC first and then I’m good to go.

This week’s challenge topic is:

Tell us a little about your library (include a picture if you can!).

In my sign-up post I already showed pictures of my current local libraries, so I thought I’d talk about the library that really started it all for me: The Kenmore, WA library.

Now, at the end of my senior year of high school they finished constructing the shiny, NEW Kenmore Library, but the one that I grew up going to was anything but glamorous. It was a portable. Literally. You know those portable classrooms that they stick in high school parking lots to make room for more classes? That’s exactly what the library was! It smelled the same and it was very small, but it was one of my favorite places to go as a kid. I can still recall the smell…not anything bad, but kind of musty and old. It just smells like my library. Here’s a picture of the building from Google Maps taken August 2011 (just two months after the new library was completed). It’s hard to see with all the trees, but I think you can kind of get the idea of what it was. The black garbage sack in front is actually covering the old King County Library System sign.


Man, I loved that library. The librarians knew me and my siblings by name and they always asked for our library card number when we were checking out because they knew we had it memorized. If I went in alone they always asked how my family was doing. I dreamed of working there in high school, but because it was such a small library, there were never any openings. This is where I fell in love with reading, books, and libraries.

I think I’ve only been to the new library two or three times (I left soon after it was completed for college), but it’s beautiful. There are a ton of windows and the whole space is open and bright. There’s a parking garage now to accommodate more patrons. It looks modern and new and is easily five times the size of the old library.


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Libraries have always been and always will be safe places for me. I cannot imagine living somewhere without a local library. Unfortunately, I think a lot of local libraries are suffering from a lack of funding. Now, I’m definitely not asking anyone to go out and donate money, but what I am asking is for people to find your local library. Get yourself a library card. Get your kids library cards. Check out some books, or movies, or CDs. ANYTHING. Just use your local library.

(Pictures of the new library were all taken by Lara Swimmer and can be found here)