Monday, April 8, 2013

A Place To Belong

"I didn't belong in this world anymore.
It's not that I wanted to be dead, 
I just felt like I should be...
It left me a lot of time to think, 
lots of time to get angry and feel sorry for myself.
To ask, Why me? 
To ask, Why? period.
I have a black belf in self-pity.
I was an expert in the field.
Still am.
It's a skill you never forget."
--Katja Millay, The Sea of Tranquility

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 448 pages
Publication Date: November 13th, 2012
Source: e-galley provided via publisher from NetGalley
Goodreads Description

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.e

My Thoughts

Oh. My. Gosh. I can't. I just can't. Holy Mother of Mary this book'm gonna ramble. I'm gonna ramble this whole freakin' review because linear thoughts are escaping me. I CANNOT express in coherent thoughts how much I loved this book. No wait, I lie. Past tense makes it sound like the action is over and it's not. I love this book. I am IN love with this book. For goodness sakes, creep my Twitter from March 12-14 and you'll see how absolutely obsessed I was with reading it. I also may or may not have gotten in a fight with a very good friend over it...WHAT?! He kept friggin' texting me while I'm trying to read! I was binge reading the last 20% of the book and he I finally had to tell him to leave me the eff alone for the next hour...needless to say he was not please...whatever. This book made me crazy in love, thank you Beyonce. The words, the emotions, the story, the feels!! Holy. hell. 

Ok, so the characters. Goodness me. Our two main character Nastya and Josh are phenomenal. They are both so lonely and dark and damaged but fiercely independent and strong. These two broken souls forge a friendship through odd encounters and unspoken really, emphasis on the unspoken. These two had me dying. My chest hurt. My eyes cried and it was just too much in the perfect amount...does that make sense? I can't even think of words to describe these characters. Trying to describe them in but a few words or sentences seems cheap and superficial to me. These two are better than that. They are complex and deep and just perfect in their own way. That's the best I can do. They deserve so much more and the only way to really know what I'm talking about is to read the book. I don't wanna say too much to avoid ruining any plot points but if you have not read this book yet I only hope you do (GO GET IT IMMEDIATELY) and fall half in love with these characters as I did.

Besides our two main players, the cast of supporting actors is so amazing. Drew-the best friend and resident man whore of the high school is a down and dirty comic relief. His one-liners of innuendo never ceased to have my cracking up laughing. Clay is just a perfect periphery character. Not around a whole lot but what he brings to the story speaks millions. Drew's family is amazing. There is a scene with Josh confronting them about something to do with Nastya and it totally spins a whole new perspective on people's intentions behind their kindness. I can see it both ways but the argument about it was so enlightening and rings so true in a way.

*phew* I honestly can do no justice to how well this story was written. So for the moment I shall use solely adjectives. Dark. Twisted. Sad. Funny. Heart-Wrenching. Soul Ripping. Inspiring. Love. Self-acceptance. Self-loathing. Strong. Honest. Raw. So.many.feels. I was texting a friend while reading and I legit told her I cannot finish the book...why? Because I was about to induce a heart attack. I was so wrapped up and absolutely engrossed in this story that I felt alive in it. I fell in love with this story. Legit wanted to curl up and snuggle with it. The words just make you feel like you are right there with the characters. I felt so much for Nastya and Josh that my heart was breaking for and with them. I seriously just felt so involved with their journey. Not may books do that to me. Literally make me feel fully transported. I felt like I lived it right along with them.

I can't explain it except the writing makes you feel. I loooooove books that do this to you. Connecting to the character's emotional plight is something I live for while reading. Understanding a character's frame of mind because you have been in a similar situation or emotional state. I connected with Nastya, NOT because I have been through a traumatic event but because I can empathize with the desperation of feeling lost and like you'll never really belong. I can understand what it feels like to be different. My heart was with this girl. AND so many inane and random things that she would say were SO like me it just got weird after a while. I think she is my book friend soul mate. Here is why: 

1. She threatened to punch people in the throat--I literally thought I was one of the only people that ever said this. My friends joke about my pseudo violence because I say this all the time. Loved her already at this moment.

2. When she is so full but says she always has room for cake--This is me to a T! My family always comments on how I would stab them (or punch them in the throat :) ) for a piece of cake. You can never have enough desserts. Sweet tooth weakness right here ya'll.

3. She named that cat Voldemort

4. She referenced needing an Invisibility Cloak at one point---To say I am obsessed with Harry Potter is an understatement

So for serious, there are more but after number 3 and 4 it just go creepy weird how all her little nuances were so similar to mine. Love love love.  

Not lying, I know I did not do this book justice with this review because it is THAT good. I read a lot of books like you all do. I like a lot, I LOVE a lot, I finish a lot very quickly because I enjoy them that much. But this book is on the level of Gayle Forman and John Green to me. Beautiful story telling. Amazing emotional appeal. Characters that you love and who will rip out your heart and soul in the best way. I lived in this world. I want to go back. And my reaction at the end?--->ERMAGOSH I THINK I'M GONNA EXPLODE A;LDKFJASD;LFKJSDAF A;LSKJ 

Ya know, for a girl who says she doesn't read a lot of contemporary, I have realized after reading this, that my favorite of all favorite books are contemporary...weird...

But for serious. This might be one of the best books I have ever read in my life. If you have not read are you waiting for?!

If you love beautiful writing, falling in love with words, and complex characters..this book's for you.


  1. An awesome review! I loved this book just as much, definitely one of my fave NA's ever.

    I loved Drew as well, it would be great to get a book from his POV ;-)

  2. Tell me how you really feel! LOL. Is there a HEA?

  3. Haha, awesome review! Sometimes these are the most fun to read. I'm happy you have found a book that gave you all these feelings! I quite like the sound of Nastya :D A cat named Voldemort <3


  4. Hahah, I remember when you were texting me. It was so neat hearing your thoughts while you were reading it because, while I know a lot of people that love this book, I don't think I know anyone that loves it more than you do. I loved the emotional depth in this book. There were so many feels that I didn't know what to do with myself half the time.


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