Posted in Books

Book Review: What The Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde

About the Book

Will I still be loved if I show people who I really am?  

Four high school seniors. Four secrets about to be told.
 
If Indie had it her way, she would never choose to river raft with three other high school seniors, mostly strangers to each other, from her journalism class.
 
A loner, a jock, an outsider, an Instagram influencer. At first they can’t see anything that they have in common. As the trip unfolds, the unpredictable river forces them to rely on each other. Social masks start to fall as, one-by-one, each teen reveals a deep secret the other three don’t know.
 
One is harboring immense grief and unwilling to forgive after the death of a loved one. One is dealing with a new disability and an uncertain future. One is fearful of the repercussions of coming out. One is hiding behind a carefully curated “perfect” image on Instagram.
 
Before they get to the end of Hells Canyon, they’ll know the truth about each other and, more importantly, learn something new about themselves.
 
What the Other Three Don’t Know is a poignant and gripping YA novel about the unlikely friends who accept you for who you really are and the power of self-acceptance.

About the Author

SPENCER HYDE spent three years during high school at Johns Hopkins for severe OCD. He is the author of the YA novel Waiting for Fitz. Spencer worked at a therapeutic boarding school before earning his MFA and his PhD, specializing in fiction, short humor pieces, and essays. Spencer and his wife are the parents of four children.

My Review

An ARC of the book was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There were a lot of good things in this book, addressing the prevalent issues that teens face today. This was one of those coming-of-age stories where, amongst the whirlwind and uncertainty of being a teen, the main character learns valuable lessons and experiences incredible growth.

I will be honest, the beginning was a little bit slow for me. It wasn’t horrible to the point where you simply couldn’t carry on, but it took a while for me to figure out the plot and where everything was going.

The characters were developed well, and although they did represent stereotypes, I liked how Hyde added that extra edge and perk to each individual, bringing out that theme of how everyone hides something about themselves that others don’t know. And how that’s something that rounds out each of us and makes us unique. Specifically, I appreciated the character Shelby, as she shows the vulnerabilities behind being a content creator/influencer, and reminds us that we should sometimes unplug from our devices as there’s so much still to learn through being in the moment.

The main critique I have is that the themes and lessons in the story were kind of just blatantly stated; most of it was written out in character reflections. I can handle that to a certain extent, but I feel that its much more effective when its presented in a nuanced way, so that the themes are under the surface and detectible by the reader on their own.

Also, personally, I would have liked to see Indie’s mother’s death developed in a more impactful way. I think it would have a greater effect on the reader if we were able to feel more emotionally connected to the death–perhaps through more description on Indie and her mother’s relationship and why they were so important to each other.

The ending was very beautifully written. I love books that leave you with a reflective tone, and it matched really well with the river scenery. While there was some of that “telling” instead of “showing” I referred to in the last paragraph, the ending was overall refreshingly well done.

This book comes out March 3rd, 2020, so be sure to get it when it is released!

Posted in Life

Expectation v.s. Reality: A Day in the Life of a High-schooler

Have you ever watched those TV shows or movies where they make high school seem so exciting and jam-packed with drama that you just want to be there right that moment and watch from the sidelines in real life? Yep, me too. That’s what I thought when I was starting high school. Now looking back, boy was that fake, haha. 😛

Continue reading “Expectation v.s. Reality: A Day in the Life of a High-schooler”
Posted in Life

My 21 Day Morning Challenge Journal + Challenge Directory

Welcome to the 21 Day Morning Challenge!

I’m not really a morning person, although I really would like to be, so I came up with this challenge as a way to help myself work towards my morning goals. But I didn’t stop there. I knew I wouldn’t follow through if I just did the challenge by myself, so I got fellow blogger Nellé to help me create this challenge, and invited you guys to create your own perfect morning routines so we could all live our best mornings. And now it’s time! I’m so excited to kickstart this challenge to start forming great habits and achieve my goals! Are you?

If you haven’t yet read my post on morning routines, you should do so first to get some context on the challenge. There are instructions there on how to join, as well as useful freebies and downloads if you’re interested. I’d be so happy to have you along for the ride!

This post will be include my personal challenge journal (where I update you guys on my daily progress) as well as the Challenge Directory (where I will list everyone participating so you can go show some support to fellow challengers). In addition, I’m creating daily mini-challenges that you can target each morning to make the most of the challenge! These will be posted here and updated daily-so check them in the evenings to find the challenge for the next morning!

Continue reading “My 21 Day Morning Challenge Journal + Challenge Directory”
Posted in Life

The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Morning Routine: Find Success and Satisfaction-With Printables and 21 Day Challenge!

When you crack open a book, play a Youtube video, or read an article on the “habits of highly successful people”, you’re bound to find something about a morning routine, particularly something on how successful people wake up early.

So for longest time, I was one of those people who would try getting up early, only to quit and mess up my streak within a few days. I realized that I needed a system. A full drawn out blueprint that would step-by-step, bring me towards my goal and keep me accountable. Following tips on other blogs about waking up early and doing morning affirmations weren’t enough. This goal was a lot more complex than that.

I decided to experiment, to find a system that worked for me. I read books and articles, pulling the most important tidbits of information that would actually produce change. These elements helped turn my want into action, and I’ve complied everything together here.

In this post, I will be sharing how you can create your perfect morning routine, even if you’re not a “morning person”, and with that, find success and satisfaction. Trust me, if you implement this, your mornings will never be the same again.

Please go check out my new blog at happilyhedy.com if you enjoy this post!

Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Morning Routine: Find Success and Satisfaction-With Printables and 21 Day Challenge!”
Posted in Books

Book Tour: Total Blueprint for World Domination by Jolene Stockman

As a teen, I know I go through moments where insecurity hits, or you sit there wondering what will happen next in your life. And when some monumental decision comes, I’d approach it with a 9 foot long stick. Teens are in the stage of life where they’re trying to figure out how they want to present themselves to the world, their purpose, and their future. They’re trying to build good habits and get rid of the bad ones. And oh man is it hard.

Total Blueprint for World Domination by Jolene Stockman was a great book that provided helpful guidance for me. This is my stop for the blog tour for this book, organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. This post will cover my review of the book, along with an excerpt and special author interview!

Continue reading “Book Tour: Total Blueprint for World Domination by Jolene Stockman”

A Flutter in the Heart

I really don't want to feel this anymore.

Only sometimes.

A war between the brain and heart,
sense and sensibility,
real and imagined.
It seems to tear everything up
from the seams.

All it takes is one glance.
Swift, quick,
seems like a blur.
Eye meets eye.
A quiet smile-only, you can't see.

And then it starts again.
Posted in Books

Book Review: Teenage Journal: A Poetry Collection by MayAPoetBe

If you know me, I’m a huge fan of poems. Writing poems has been a way of self-expression in times when you think your feelings can’t simply be said out loud, or let out in a different form. Sometimes the most sensitive topics can be brought to life through a poem, and this is exactly what happens in Teenage Journal.

Continue reading “Book Review: Teenage Journal: A Poetry Collection by MayAPoetBe”