YVO’S SHORTIES #77 – A Tragic Kind Of Wonderful & Ghost Boys

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a title I picked up on a whim and another I needed for the #ownvoices prompt of the Beat The Backlist EPIC Bingo challenge. A Tragic Kind Of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom turned out to be a slowburner, but the rest of the story made up for the slow start. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes blew me away. Definitely a must-read.


Title: A Tragic Kind Of Wonderful
Author: Eric Lindstrom

Genre: YA, Fiction, Contemporary
First published: December 29th 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Finished reading: January 15th 2019
Pages: 353

“I can’t bear the thought of how they’d look at me, and treat me, if they knew how many pills I take every morning just to act more or less like everybody else.”


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This is one of those titles I picked up on a whim without a proper reason of doing so. I do remember enjoying his debut in the past, so that might have had to do with my decision to pick up A Tragic Kind Of Wonderful… Although it might have been the cover itself as well. I have to say that this story was a slowburner for me. It took me a while to get into the story and get a proper feel for the plot and characters. The warming up was slow, but once I did my feelings soared. There is just something about Eric Lindstrom‘s writing and character development that will manage to win you over even if you think it won’t happen. I can really appreciate how bipolar disorder is put in the spotlight with the help of this story, and it was interesting to see how it was portrayed in both Mel’s character and those around her. The chapter introductions were a nice touch, and I just loved how romance only played a tiny part in the story (and mostly innocent at that), leaving room for the important things to be properly developed and discussed. I could really appreciate that! It was interesting to see how things ended and while there are a few high school cliches involved, somehow they didn’t bother me that much. Slow, but sweet and definitely worth the read! Mel will be able to turn around your feelings, David is adorable and the bipolar disorder seems to have been very well handled!


Title: Ghost Boys
Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Genre: MG, Fiction, Contemporary
First published: April 17th 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: January 16th 2019
Pages: 224

“Only the living can make change.”


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I first heard about this book when it was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards last year, and to be honest I’m surprised this little gem hasn’t received more attention and love. Ghost Boys is such a powerful read! With race problematics and discrimination sadly being all too real even today, this is such an important book for middle graders and adults alike to read… The topic itself is brilliantly handled, well developed without things becoming too political or dull. The power behind Ghost Boys is the twelve-year-old Jerome, who gives the fatal consequence of racism a face and will make your heart break. The division between the dead and alive chapters was very cleverly done and gives the story an original twist as well as a paranormal touch. I really liked the idea of the other ghost boys, the inclusion of different ideas about life after dead and the incorporation of historical information was very well done. The writing will draw you in right away, your heart will ache for Jerome and those close to him and you will feel the powerful message behind the story long before you reach the final page. This is a story of what sadly is still happening around the world and something ‘only the living can change‘. A true eye-opener and a very important read anyone should read.


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BOOK REVIEW: When We Collided – by Emery Lord

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Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Finished reading: July 31st 2016
Pages: 352
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“Even the constellations can see us now: we are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know.”

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I know a lot of bloggers are big Emery Lord fans, but I have never actually picked up any of her novels so far. Now I’ve finished When We Collided, I know this is going to change. Contemporary romance is not really my genre, especially if it’s too cheesy, but this story is definitely one of the exceptions to that rule. First of all, I loved the writing style! The prose and fast pace made When We Collided into a very quick and entertaining read and the only reason it took me this long to finish it is because I forgot my kindle when I went away during the weekend… Because the story reads like a train. The character development is well done and I really liked the main characters. Vivi and Jonah are just adorable together, and I love little Leah! The POV switches each chapter between Vivi and Jonah, and I like how the chapters complement each other. Also, I can really appreciate the whole bipolar angle. It’s a very important topic in the first place and Emery Lord did a great job of both incorporating it into the story and showing what it’s like having to live with the disease. The many artsy references are great as well! If you like a good contemporary romance novel with a ‘serious’ twist, I can definitely recommend When We Collided.

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Jonah has been struggling to deal with his father’s dead himself, but his mother is so down she cannot even get out of bed… It is up to him and his older siblings to take care of the younger ones, as well of the family restaurant. It’s easy to say life hasn’t been easy during the last few months. Things change when he meets Vivi when he takes his little sister Leah to a pottery workshop. Jonah would never have thought a girl like Vivi would pay attention to him, let alone be interested in him… But Leah is less insecure and invites her new friend over for dinner. Jonah and Vivi never expected their summer to be like this, and it is definitely turning out to be a summer that will change their future forever…

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Although it’s not my favorite genre, I can still really appreciate a contemporary romance story as long as it’s well written and not too cheesy. When We Collided is one of them. I fell in love with both the writing style and the main characters (especially Jonah, Vivi and Leah). I did feel Vivi was almost too ‘bubbly’ and cheerful at points, but that was until I reached the part that explained her character. I liked the ending as well: it was kind of refreshing! I would definitely recommend this novel to fans of the genre.