Review: 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

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I’m going to start off by saying that I am sad. Sad because of how good this book could have been… And I feel like that is just the entire theme of my reading this year. I swear I say this for at least one book every month: IT HAD THE POTENTIAL AND THEY SHOULD HAVE WORKED IT OUT A LOT LONGER BEFORE PUBLISHING IT.

So I got an ARC of this book from NetGalley and was super excited to read it. I mean look at that cover, one of the prettiest covers I’ve seen in a while. It started off really good but in the end I had to rate it 2/5 stars.

This book is about a girl named Tessa who got into a car accident with her grandma which resulted in her being temporarily blind for can you guess? 100 days.

Tessa is a poetry blogger and so in an attempt to help her feel a little bit more normal again, her grandparents try to run an ad in the newspaper to find someone who can help her type the poems and publish them onto her blog.

In comes Weston, an amputee. He’s decided that this is the perfect opportunity to be treated like a completely normal person for the first time since he lost his legs. He asks Tessa’s grandparents to not tell her what has happened to him and together they work together as Tessa slowly recovers from the accident.

I’ll start off with the things that I did enjoy about the book:

The story was very sweet at times. I appreciated how close Tessa was with her grandparents and that she had a close group of internet friends that she found through her blogging. I also really liked Weston’s family aspect and how close he was to his brothers.

The writing was really pleasant to read and it was so easy to read that I flew through multiple chapters at a time when I actually had a chance to sit down and read this. I also liked that it was a pretty straightforward story with really no dilly dallying around the plot. It was short and got right through it all.

Also these are very small issues but if you’re looking for a book about blogging, this isn’t it. They basically talk about Tessa’s blog a total of three times. And it’s an extreme case of insta love.

And now… We get to the really big issues I had.

Both Tessa and Weston had extremely traumatic things happen to them. Tessa was in an accident that caused her to lose her vision and Weston had to have both of his legs amputated after getting an infection. And they were both left to just deal with the aftermath of that by themselves… I mean yes, they had their families but they never went to therapy, they never talked about therapy, it just didn’t happen.

When something traumatic happens your entire brain chemistry can change. The mental consequences of events like these are horrifying and I’m absolutely appalled that you could clearly see that both of these characters were suffering with PTSD like symptoms and yet were not ever treated like it was something that should be taken care of or evaluated. I mean Tessa had the chance of never being able to see again and they just decided “okay she can just learn how to deal with that if she doesn’t get her vision back”.

I mean, what would have happened if she didn’t get her vision back (which also I found that her getting her vision back immediately on Day 100 was so trite and predictable, really didn’t like that). If she had been permanently blinded she would have lost all hope that she had at her chance of recovery. That would have been devastated and her already fragile mental health would have been destroyed. I just think that the entire aspect of mental health was poorly written in order to have this incredibly preachy underlying message about how we all need to suck it up and get over our issues.

Here’s more on that, first with a quote:

“Everyone’s always treating me like I need help- and, sometimes, it’s hard to resist giving in. It’s hard to resist accepting what the world says about you… That you’ve got a disadvantage, a flaw, a problem. Because these days we’re told that it’s okay to let our problems control us. It’s okay to be the victim. It’s okay… because you have every right to be miserable.” I shook my head slowly, sweeping the room with my gaze.

“But I want to tell you that it’s not okay. It’s not okay to let your problem stop you from doing anything you want to do. It’s not okay to be your problem… because you’re a person”

I mean like the line on the cover says… “When life knocks you down… Get up” it just breaks me knowing how many people out there want you to feel like you are not allowed to feel the way that you feel. No, you can’t live every single day of your life miserable but you can’t go around acting like everything is peachy keen, sometimes you are the victim. Sometimes you are completely broken down. Sometimes you feel like giving up. And you know what? I’m here telling you that that is okay. We can’t possibly have everything together all the time.

Sometimes, our handicaps, our hurts, our abuses… Sometimes they win. And no those problems are not who we are but they are a part of us and we can’t ignore them in order to make everyone else around us think better of us. Sometimes we get knocked down and we can’t get back up again for a while. And I really, really don’t appreciate how this book preaches to the fact that we shouldn’t feel bad for what is wrong with us. I’m sorry but I will never be fully strong. I will never fully win. And I am incredibly angry that this book is trying to tell me that I am pathetic, yes it makes me feel pathetic, for feeling the way that I do.

There’s another line very early on in the book that says something along the lines of “no one ever sees the light by being told that someone else is dealing with something darker” and THAT is what I wanted to see more of. I have been told time and time again in my life that there are people out there that have it worse than me and that I’m not allowed to feel the way that I do because of that. I don’t know if I’m just being overly sensitive but it really hurt me to have Weston talk the way that he did despite never doing anything for himself to get help about his mental health other than deciding that he needed to essentially “man up” and just do whatever he wanted no matter what anyone else thought.

I just don’t understand how this author can go from writing a beautiful line like that to preaching that we aren’t allowed to be miserable about what is wrong with us. Especially because right after that quote Weston basically plays the victim saying that he can’t possibly be with Tessa because he’s an amputee. It just made no sense to me. I mean if Weston doesn’t want people to treat him like his handicap then he can’t act like that when that finally comes up.

I just think the story overall was so immature and absolutely poorly told in both cases of disability. I really wish that I hadn’t read this book because I know I’m going to get angry every single time I think about it.

I think that this book puts out a really entitled message and I’m really disappointed. This is not a book that I would recommend. I really wish that this book had been different.

I also wanted to share a link to another review that touched on some things that I didn’t talk about here. You can find that here.

If you are interested in reading it yourself, you can pick up a copy at this affiliate link

Mid Year Book Freakout Tag

I know, I know… It’s August. I should have done this tag in June. But honestly y’all, when have I ever been committed to doing anything in a timely manner. The answer is never. Like I try, I really try, but it usually doesn’t happen. I mean have I told you yet that my best friend and I do this thing where we never give each other birthday/Christmas presents on time? I think the record is six months after the fact?

ANYWAYS………..

Without further ado, here is me, doing my first tag:

At the time of writing this post, I’ve read a total of 30 books. I’d really like to double that number (at least) by the end of the year. Though I am starting school at the end of this month so I guess we’ll see how well that actually goes.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019.

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Lilac Girls by Mary Hall Kelly

This is a book that is going to have me thinking about it for years to come. I know that a lot of people have very mixed opinions about this book but I for one absolutely loved it. It just showed me yet more perspectives of the devastation and horrors of World War II and I can’t wait to pick up Mary Hall Kelly’s second novel.

I picked this book up on a whim when it was one of those “Buy 3 get 1 free” books at Barnes and Noble and it had been sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year. Books like this always take me forever to read and yet I love them so I’m really glad I picked it up!

I reviewed it here.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.

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So the only sequel that I’ve actually read so far this year was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I will also probably be reading this a second time this year if I ever get around to finishing my reread/annotation of the Throne of Glass series because I plan on doing the same to the ACOTAR series.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

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The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

I’ve read most of Sarah Dessen’s books and I bought this newest one not long after it came out but it’s still sitting unread on my bookshelf. I’m planning on reading all of her books soon but not sure how long it will take me to read. I was thinking of reading them in publication order but I haven’t quite decided yet! Something about Dessen’s books just feel like home to me. They’re so familiar and soothing to me in a way that I can’t really explain and because of that I really want to read this because I know that it will let me forget about all of my own problems for a while.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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Since everyone is cancelling her, I would just like to say PLEASE GIVE ME AN ARC. The more that people try to complain about this book the more I want to read it. Honestly I am in a huge mood for dark and twisted stories and I can’t wait to get my hands on this. I haven’t read one of Leigh’s books since the first book in the Grisha trilogy but I did love that at the time so I’m looking forward to this one.

5. Biggest disappointment.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

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ugh. That’s all I want to say about this book anymore. If you want to read my full thoughts, you can look at my review here.

6. Biggest surprise.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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I think I need to go into all books knowing absolutely nothing about them from here on out. Full review linked here!

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Casey McQuiston

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I love the way she writes characters! Red, White, and Royal Blue is a new favorite and I’m so looking forward to her new stuff. Also she’s a hoot to follow on Twitter!

8. Newest fictional crush.

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Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones! I read this back in January and I don’t actually have many fictional crushes. I don’t really have crushes in general anymore but I do remember enjoying Howl. I really need to reread this already. And I need to watch the movie!

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Clark from The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson could also be an answer but he’s not technically a new crush because I didn’t actually read that book for the first time this year.

9. Newest favourite character.

The entire cast of Red, White, and Royal Blue. Honestly none of the other characters in the other books I’ve read this year have truly stood out to me. But the personalities behind each and every character in RWRB were so genuinely unique and special and I loved that.

10. Book that made you cry.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman was a close second but TOoL made me actually bawl while I was at work and I had to try and clean myself up and pull it together every time a customer came in.

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Radio Silence though was such a cathartic read, I related to the characters on such a deep level that it really got to me. If I had read this book in high school I’m sure it would have meant even more to me. My review can be read here.

11. Book that made you happy.

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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This book had me literally squealing from happiness on multiple occasions. And the more Casey talks about her new book I cannot WAIT for that to get closer to release. In depth review at this link.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta

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Absolutely love the cover of this book! Still need to read it though.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

All of the ARCs that I have received through NetGalley so far… I’m a really bad person and fell behind because of mental health being a nightmare. But other than that, here are the books that I need to read:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Daisy Jones and the Six

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After I Do

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I just need to read those last three books by Taylor Jenkins Reid in order to do the blog post I was planning on for those. I keep going to pick them up and then not actually going through with opening them up to read them. Moments like this when I wish I could listen to audiobooks.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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I am such a fake Maureen Johnson fan… Guys I still haven’t read Truly Devious and I am distraught. Though it might be in my best interest to wait until the last book comes out and then I can binge read them. WE SHALL SEE. And granted it came out when I was not reading or following anything book related but still!!

A single Jane Austen book

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Because I started that reading Jane Austen blog series waaaaay back when and still have yet to read a single page of one of her books!

Harry Potter 3-7

I think I talked in my Mid-Year Blog Goals post that I wanted to finally finish my Harry Potter quote series before the end of the year. So that means that I have to read 3-7 by December and compile all the quotes for those posts.

This list could be like about 100 books long but I think I’ll leave it at that. There are a lot of other books that I really hope to get to this year but I’ll have to see how well I can figure out balance once classes start. Fingers crossed I get through any of my anticipated books 🙂

Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Last night I finished reading Sadie by Courtney Summers. I’d seen it a few times in various BookTube videos and was intrigued by the cover, 100% a judging the book by the cover situation, and checked it out from my library’s digital collection.

This book is written in an unconventional format told in two perspectives. One perspective is that of a podcast, titled “The Girls”, unfolding the story of Sadie and her sister Mattie as the host gathers more and more information. The second perspective is of Sadie herself, one of the missing girls. I’m a really big fan of stories that have odd formats, it makes it more intriguing to read and so when I saw that this was partly told through a podcast format I was even more excited to read it.

I for one, went into this book knowing nothing about the plot and I find that for mystery/thriller/crime type books that’s really the best way for me to go. If I know too much about the story I find myself trying to predict every twist and turn and end up ruining the book for myself. However, if you do want to know what the book is about here’s the blurb from Goodreads 🙂 –

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

After reading it, I decided to rate it 5/5 stars. There were very few bits that I found myself disliking and I honestly really enjoyed how it ended. I know that there were a lot of people taking off entire stars from their reviews because it was such an open ending but I felt like it was perfect. We don’t always get the endings in life that we want, nor does that happen in books. It felt more realistic to me than if we would’ve had some big happy ending. I felt that justice was served and that was really what Sadie had set out for to begin with. I’m trying to keep this vague to keep from spoiling it too much.

Content warnings for: pedophilia and sexual abuse, assault, murder

I think that this book did a really good job of showing just how hard it is to survive in small towns where no one ever seems to really succeed. That class difference can cause so many issues and is extremely painful to read about. It was really hard to read about how hard Sadie tried to provide a good life for her little sister. How hard she worked to protect her over her lifetime and it broke my heart even more as I read further into the story and found out more and more about the backstory of Sadie and Mattie.

If you are a fan of audiobooks I would recommend picking this one up. I read that it was a full cast audiobook and with the podcast aspect I think that would be a really cool way to experience that. If you’re a fan of true crime type podcasts at all I would recommend checking this book out. It was not an easy read in the slightest but it was such a good story that I know that I’m going to continue thinking about it.

This book was dark and sad and truly a story worth reading. If you’re interested in picking up a copy of your own here are a few links:

Amazon // Barnes and Noble // Book Depository