Book Review: How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? by Yvonne Cassidy

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How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? | Yvonne Cassidy | Jan 1, 2014
Hachette/Flux Books | 432 Pages | eGalley provided by Publisher


Seventeen-year-old Rhea Farrell carries the scars of a childhood accident in which she lost her arm. But she also carries scars that aren’t so visible–the loss of a mother she hardly remembers, the impact of her father’s drinking, and her confusion and pain around accepting her sexuality.

When Rhea runs away, she turns to the person she always wished she could confide in–her mother. And just like she used to do as a little girl, Rhea starts to write her letters–to tell her things she can’t tell anyone else, to share her fears, to ask for help. Rhea’s journey on the streets of New York brings her deeper into her mother’s past where she uncovers buried family secrets. And as she finds out more about the woman her mother truly was, Rhea also discovers just what kind of woman she wants to be.


Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be a homeless teen living on the streets of NYC in the years before the internet? What about a queer homeless teen? Or maybe a queer homeless teen with one arm? And she’s an orphan?

There’s a lot to think about in this book, as the main character Rhea has been through some major hardships. Her childhood was not exactly perfect, but when she has to give it up to live with her Aunt in Florida, she does not adapt well. She resents . . . well . . . almost everyone. When conflict erupts in her Aunt’s Florida home, Rhea sets out for NYC in search of answers and independence.  Continue reading Book Review: How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? by Yvonne Cassidy

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer + GIVEAWAY

Winter | Marissa Meyer | Feiwel and Friends
832 Pages | Paperback (via Book Depository) | Purchased


Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


I’ve previously blogged about my experiences reading the previous books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. In short, I think they’re awesome, especially the Chronicles’ first book. Continue reading Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer + GIVEAWAY

Texas Book Festival & Texas Teen Book Festival

It’s fall festival season again, and this year I’m wrapped up in fond memories. Even though I won’t be able to attend this year, Texas Book Festival and its YA-focused companion were both high points of my journey through 2014. It’s a shame I only decided to attend them the year before I moved out of state . . . So dear book lovers, if you are going to be anywhere near Austin TX this fall, and have any modicum of interest in either of these two events, I encourage you to go! And if you’re particularly excited, I also encourage you to volunteer. Volunteering is one of the best ways to quickly get to the core of what an event stands for. Volunteering at the TTBF last year is something I would do again and again, had I the chance. Don’t get me started, I could talk for days about it.

TBF logoTexas Book Festival

This year, the event takes place on October 17-18. It’s got a really cool atmosphere. While finding parking is a nightmare downtown, TBF actually blocks off several major roads by the capitol building to make room for the immense setup. Tents everywhere! Filled with books, booths, authors, and more. And there are food trucks! (Amy’s Ice Creams will be there, and that’s basically reason enough to go.)

The author lineup this year includes Adam Silvera, Taye Diggs, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, M.T. Anderson, and Lemony Snicket. At night on October 17, be sure to check out Litcrawl Austin, an event centered around world’s best pair: literature and alcohol.

Overachievers, sign up to volunteer here.

Don’t miss out on this one, you guys.

TTBF_LogoTexas Teen Book Festival

This year, TTBF takes place on September 26, returning to the beautiful St Edwards University campus. It’s much smaller than TBF, but no less grand. Buses of high school students come to see their favorite authors speak and sign books, and their enthusiasm gives the event an incredible energy.

Anyone who has a problem with today’s youth clearly hasn’t been to the Texas Teen Book Festival, where TEENS actually get excited about BOOKS. No, I’m not kidding you. It’s such a familiar phenomenon to me that I sometimes forget how invisible the intellectual teenager is to most of society.

Check out authors like Jenny Han, Nicola Yoon, David Levithan and Libba Bray, and don’t forget to stop by and get some new reading material from BookPeople.

Overachievers, volunteer by signing up here.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I hope everyone has been enjoying the end of the summer season and for many, the start of new semesters! 🙂