Tag: Jessi Kirby

Review: The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

Posted September 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Other Side of Lost by Jessi KirbyReviewer: Rowena
The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
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Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.

I got this book for review ages ago and Jessi Kirby is good enough that I got the book for the sole reason that she wrote it. I didn’t have to read the blurb or read other reviews on the book, I just wanted to read it because Jessi Kirby has not let me down yet and her streak is still alive because this book was good.

The Other Side of Lost follows our protagonist, Mari Turner, as she goes from being a popular internet influencer to finding out and learning all about who she wants to be, in an effort to honor the death of her cousin Bri.

When we first meet Mari, her life was plastic and completely fake. She knows all of the tricks to taking the perfect picture to showcase a life that is picture perfect, even if it’s completely false. She’s even got a fake boyfriend who is in love when the camera is on but once it’s off, so is he. Mari is trying to keep up with the demands of being perfect, even if it’s only for her fans and when she turns 18, it hits her really hard because it’s the first birthday that she will be celebrating without her cousin Bri in the world.

Mari and Bri were the best of friends. They were born on the same day and they grew up together. They did everything together but as they got older, they started growing apart, mostly on Mari’s part because she was much more interested in building her audience and Bri was all about the adventure. She lived her life to the fullest and was still planning on the big adventure her and Mari were supposed to do together when they turned 18. When an accident kills Bri before she could go on their epic hike, leaving Mari behind to deal with loads of regret and a huge heaping of guilt that she didn’t make things right before Bri died.

Mari’s journey starts when she gives up her IG account, her sponsors and all of the perks that come from being an internet personality for Bri’s hiking pack and goes on their epic hike on her own. She learns a great deal about herself, becomes reacquainted with Bri through her travel journal and really comes into her own while completing the biggest hike she ever did.

This book made me laugh, made me cry, and it put me back together again and though Mari frustrated me continuously throughout the book, I still really enjoyed the adventure we were able to go on with Mari. Jessi Kirby does a fantastic job of making us (the readers) a part of Mari’s journey and not simply a bystander. I was right in the thick of things with Mari and I felt my feet hurt when hers did and I was giddy right along with her as she was getting to know Josh and I felt her exhaustion at the end of each day. So even though I thought it was pretty unbelievable that with absolutely NO training, she finished hiking the John Muir trail, I still really enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a satisfying personal journey of a story, this will definitely fit the bill. Kudos to Jessi Kirby on another fabulously written book.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5


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Review: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Posted April 9, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

things we know by heart
Rowena’s review of Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby.

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

Jessi Kirby delivered another winner for me.

Quinn Sullivan’s boyfriend dies and his organs were donated to those in need of them.  In an effort to I don’t know, move on from his death, she writes letters to each of the recipients of Trent’s organs and hears back from everyone but the one guy that got Trent’s heart. She can’t move on, not knowing where Trent’s heart went so she does a little digging and her digging leads her to a nearby coastal town where she comes face to face with Colton Thomas. The guy that got Trent’s heart.

She wasn’t expecting to run into him and she definitely wasn’t expecting to strike up a relationship with him but all of that happened anyway. She thought if she knew who had Trent’s heart that that would be enough to jump start her life again but life has a way of throwing things that we aren’t expecting into our lives and the more time she let herself spend with Colton, the more she fell…for him.

Quinn was pretty great as the protagonist. As each day passed and she starts to live her life again with someone new, the guilt and the grief is felt. I felt it all. When she is depressed over losing her best friend and her first love, I was right there with her. When her curiosity drove her to do some pretty intense things (cyber stalk Colton’s sister’s blog, driving out to look at Colton, etc…), I was right there in the car, urging her to go. Going through each day wasn’t easy for Quinn, developing feelings for a new boy wasn’t handled lightly by Quinn and I thought Kirby did an excellent job of describing everything that Quinn was feeling and going through.

I thought that her relationship with Colton happened gradually and I really enjoyed seeing them get closer and closer. Every character in this story felt genuine and real. They were very three dimensional from Quinn to Colton to Colton’s sister and everyone in Quinn’s family.

Out of everyone in the story, I connected with Quinn the most because her feelings and her grief took me back to a few years back when I lost some really important people to me. It’s not an easy thing to go through and you want to move forward with your life but it’s hard. You have your good days and you have some really bad days but like Quinn, you have to learn to push through the bad days and I just really liked seeing Quinn come into her own.

Overall, this story was a fantastic addition to Jessi Kirby’s backlist. It was enjoyable, it pulled at your heart strings and there were light moments that will bring a smile to your face. There were a lot of times where Quinn could have come clean about everything she knew about Colton and she chose not to. Those times drove me crazy because when the shit finally hits the fan, it hit the fan so hard that my heart shattered for Colton. I remember saying out loud, “Damn, drama!” but alls well that ends well and this book definitely ended well.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby.

Posted May 20, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Golden by Jessi Kirby.

Main Character: Parker Frost
Love Interest: Trevor

Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

l’ve read all of the books that Jessi Kirby has out so far and I haven’t hated any of them.  I really like her writing style and that didn’t change with this book.  Once I started this book, I didn’t stop reading until I was completely done with this book.  I was so wrapped up in what was happening, what was going to happen and what we were finding out about every character in this book.  From Parker to Trevor to Parker’s best friend to the dead couple.  It all made for such an interesting story that I kept right on reading until I was done.

So in this book, Parker Frost is a senior in high school and she’s gearing up for a speech she’s got to give to win a scholarship to Stanford. She wants to get that scholarship, mostly to get her Mom off her back but also because she’s worked very hard for it.  Her best friend isn’t as brainy as she is but Parker loves her anyway.  On top of the scholarship thing, she has this fierce crush on Trevor Collins.  She’s had that crush for so very long but for some reason, she won’t go there.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that all the girls want him and he hasn’t shied away from their attention but from that very first scene with them together, the chemistry sizzles and I thought it was adorable.

Parker is a T.A. for a teacher who has his senior students write in a notebook about who they are now and what they hope to be in the future.  After ten years, he mails the notebooks to those students and Parker is tasked with putting the next batch of envelopes together for mailing out.  While she’s going through the envelopes with the notebooks, she comes across the notebook that belonged to a young girl who died ten years ago named Julianna Farnetti.  Julianna Farnetti was part of the golden couple back in the day.  She was memorialized all throughout town so everyone knows who she was.  She was Shane Cruz’s girlfriend and though their bodies were never found, they never returned to town so the memorial went up.  There are billboards up with their pictures and everything.  Parker grew up knowing all about it, she even remembers her father being part of the search and rescue volunteer group that went out looking for the couple.  So when she comes across the notebook, she has no idea what to do with it and with her best friend’s voice fresh in her mind, telling her to do something memorable and daring before they graduate…she takes the notebook.  And she reads it. And she finds out things that nobody knew about Julianna Farnetti.  Except for Orion.

This book takes place as Parker is trying to read as much as she can about Julianna Farnetti in this notebook that she wrote in years and years ago and it also takes place while Parker is finding out what she wants for her future and not just what her Mom wants for her future.

Jessi Kirby is a great writer.  She writes great stories with great characters that really come alive for me when I’m reading her books.  Every time I pick up a Kirby book, I know that I’m going to be just as invested in the book like I was with every other book that I’ve read by her.  I’m a total fan of her work and I hope she writes forever.

In this book, Parker was a really likable protagonist and watching her try to figure out what was happening to her and what happened to Julianna and Shane had me turning the pages so fast it was hard to keep up with myself.  The romance is extremely light but it’s there and it adds to an already impressive story that will be a hit with fans of Kirby’s previous works and fans of contemporary YA.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5 

This book is available from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Book Watch: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Posted October 12, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.

I saw this book over at YA Bliss so thanks for the heads up guys! It comes out on May 14, 2013 and I can’t wait to read it.  I’ve read the first two books by Jessi Kirby and enjoyed them so I’m really looking forward to reading more by her.  The blurb sounds like a good one too.  I’m all about mysteries and taking chances.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Simon Pulse. 
Pre-order the book: Amazon 
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby.

Posted July 26, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Rowena’s review of Moonglass by Jessi Kirby.

Main Character: Anna
Love Interest: Tyler
Series: None
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother’s mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.

Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.

But when learning more about her mother’s past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.

Jessi Kirby has definitely won me over with this book. She’s on my auto-buy list now. I read and adored In Honor when I read it last month and she made a fan out of me with this book. I’m all about summer reads and this book was definitely that. Kirby does a great job of pulling the reader deep into the story of Anna and she did a fabulous of job fleshing Anna’s character out. Anna was a complex character going through some very intense things and it was a treat to get inside her head and be a part of her journey.

So this story follows Anna as she makes her way to the town that will be her new home. Her mother passed away a few years ago, so it’s just her and her Dad but lately, things haven’t been as peachy as they used to be. Her Dad moves them to a small beach town called Crystal Cove, which is the town where he met her Mom. He got a promotion that came with a move and he took it, uprooting Anna from the only place she’s ever lived. Anna’s not happy about the move, since it was right before the start of her senior year but she goes along because what other choice does she have?

Over the course of the book, you see Anna coming to grips with her mother’s death, with the move and with the divide between her and her Dad. While she’s growing, she learns things about her parents and their pasts. Things she never knew and things that help her understand them, in a way that only being there in Crystal Cove could have done. She joins the cross country team and makes some friends that help her really move on from her old life. What I enjoyed most about this book was that you could see the change in Anna with each page. I thought Kirby did a great job of letting the story unfold in a way that kept things fresh and kept the reader interested. I read every single word and I wanted to because the writing flowed nicely and the scenes pieced together until the entire story was told and when it ended, I had that happy sigh thing going on and that’s how I know that I’m well satisfied with a book.

I really enjoyed getting to know Anna and seeing her come into her own. I loved the relationship between her and her father as well as the relationship that blossomed between her and Tyler. Tyler was a great love interest and my only complaint about this book was I could have done with more Tyler (but that’s just me being greedy). I really enjoyed the bits and pieces we got of Jillian and Ashley and thought they were wonderful additions to Anna’s new life in Crystal Cove.

Overall, this book was great and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I definitely recommend this book to fans of the author and of other authors like Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti and Deb Caletti. It’s a good read.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Simon & Schuster.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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