YVO’S SHORTIES #174 – Dear Martin & Broken Hearts, Fences And Other Things To Mend

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two YA reads… One turned out to be absolutely fantastic (Dear Martin), while the other sadly failed to hit the mark for me (Broken Hearts, Fences And Other Things To Mend).


Title: Dear Martin
(Dear Martin #1)
Author: Nic Stone
Genre: YA, Fiction, Contemporary
First published: October 17th 2017
Publisher: Crown Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: July 4th 2020
Pages: 226

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you. When it comes down to it, the only question that matters is this: If nothing in the world ever changes, what type of man are you gonna be?”

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I already knew Dear Martin was probably have an impact on me after all those raving reviews, but I was blown away by just how much it hit the mark and left me reeling. This is such an important, powerful and absolutely heartbreaking debut and helps educate us just how real the American race problematics are even to this date. In the light of recent events, Dear Martin is even more of an eye opener and I cannot thank the author enough for getting Justyce’s story out in the world. I’m not sure where to even start describing this true gem other than with the words that this story shattered my heart into a million pieces, bulldozered right over those pieces and then left me raging at the injustice of it all in its wake. Dear Martin is a short, but immensely powerful and captivating debut and I literally read it in one sitting. The characters, the writing, the tackling of social injustice and race discrimination, the plot, the letters written to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr… It makes for a real firecracker of a story everyone should read. Dear Martin and its characters will stay with me for a long time without a doubt!


Title: Broken Hearts, Fences, And Other Things To Mend
(Broken Hearts & Revenge #1)
Author: Katie Finn
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: February 14th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Finished reading: July 9th 2020
Pages: 353

“It seems that thinking ‘things can’t get worse’ is an invitation for things to get much, much worse.”

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I confess that I have been meaning to read this one for years, and even my TBR jar ended up thinking it was long overdue. I was in the mood for a cute contemporary, and really thought Broken Hearts, Fences And Other Things To Mend was going to be a perfect fit… But I guess things weren’t ment to be. Things started out well as Katie Finn has a very readable and engaging writing style that makes it easy to fly through the pages. I initially really enjoyed this story, and was looking forward to see what would happen that summer in the Hamptoms… BUT. Things started to get really frustrating, as it was so clear what was really going on and I really just can’t believe Gemma didn’t realize what was happening right under her nose. Being able to see this ‘twist’ from a mile away as a reader was a huge disappointment, and I really didn’t like how the story and characters developed after that. I had problems with the credibility of certain aspects of the plot and the supposed ‘twists’, and that open ending was kind of a letdown too. I know this is part of a trilogy and the story will continue in the sequels, but still I wasn’t impressed when I saw the story was left hanging like that. And as I didn’t enjoy the first book enough, I don’t see myself reading the sequels and I guess I will never find out how things end between them. Oh well… Fans of the YA contemporary romance genre who don’t mind a cliche or two and a predictable plot will probably have a better time with this story though.


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WWW Wednesdays #276 – July 8th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I was in the mood for a cute contemporary so I decided to finally pick up my TBR jar pick Broken Hearts, Fences And Other Things To Mend by Katie Finn. I’ll also be starting the third Detective Jane Phillips book Deadly Vengeance by OMJ Ryan for the upcoming blog tour…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone (4/5 stars) REVIEW 27/07
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour!!

2. Opium And Absinthe by Lydia Kang (3/5 stars) REVIEW 12/07
I admit that it was cover love at first sight when I saw Opium And Absinthe, but I was completely sold as soon as I read the blurb. I’ve enjoyed Lydia Kang‘s books, including The Impossible Girl, in the past, and another historical setting with a medical twist sounded simply fantastic. I liked the historical setting, the Dracula element and the investigation into Lucy’s death as well as the medical details… But the slow pace, the repetitive and sometimes dull plot and constant focus on the substance abuse instead of a proper focus on character and plot development ended up being mostly a letdown for me.

3. Dear Martin by Nic Stone (5/5 stars) REVIEW 19/07
I already knew Dear Martin was probably have an impact on me after all those raving reviews, but I was blown away by just how much it hit the mark and left me reeling. This is such an important, powerful and absolutely heartbreaking debut and helps educate us just how real the American race problematics are even to this date. In the light of recent events, Dear Martin is even more of an eye opener and I cannot thank the author enough for getting Justyce’s story out in the world.

4. Entre Senderos De Lavanda by Mariela Gimenez (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 25/07
I read this book as part of the Masa Critica Argentina program through Babelio, and I had an excellent time with this story! It’s a contemporary romance read set in France with a wonderful cast of characters. I really enjoyed the building up of the different relationships despite the appearance of the love triangle, and I think this has to do with the fact that a lot of the focus is on familiar relationships as well as self discovery too. I wasn’t going to post a full review on my blog at first, but as I prefer writing my reviews in English first anyway before I translate them to Spanish, I decided to put it on my blog too in case someone is interested in a Spanish read.

5. The Cry Of The Lake by Charlie Tyler (2/5 stars) REVIEW 21/07
I admit that it was cover love at first sight for me, but I liked the sound of the blurb too… Sadly, I wasn’t too convinced by the story itself. The three different POVs didn’t complement each other but distracted instead, the plot itself felt too chaotic and unrealistic and I couldn’t warm to the writing either. The lack of information was confusing instead of adding the intended dose of suspense, and the characters themselves didn’t feel realistic and were hard to like. All in all not the experience I was hoping for.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I need to make my way through my August ARCs ASAP as we have started a huge home improvement/DIY project and once the painting/cleaning phase of the project arrives I probably won’t be having any free time/energy left to read. xD First up are two thrillers: Save Her Soul by Lisa Regan and Echoes Of Guilt by Rob Sinclair. I’ll probably take a break from ARCs in between with Fruit Of The Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras as I’ve been dying to read it… And I have a new TBR jar pick! Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. I can’t say I’ve had this one on my radar lately, and I’m not sure how long it will take to actually read it as I have a pile of other books I want to read first, but we’ll see how things go I guess.


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