Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth

5 stars Fiction

I’m been wanting to read this book ever since I saw its cover many years ago and then, when I won a copy of it from a Goodreads Giveaway, I was excited. The book moved quickly yet it didn’t leave anything out. I hadn’t expected the hurricane of events that swept through the pages but it was the eye of the storm that walked into her life that scared me the most. That eye that looked so calm and who she thought was her answer. Her answer was actually another devil in disguise.

I knew this book would be difficult one to read based on the subject matter but there’s something about books like these that I enjoy. I feel it’s the energy these books deliver as the characters gain strength and control as the book progresses. It’s also their fight and spirit that they acquire along their journey. Alessa’s story, like our own, is unique.

As I met Alessa, my heart broke. She was still a child yet no one was looking out for her. She soon realized, she’d have to take care of herself and her own needs. This didn’t make her self-centered or hard, it made her resourceful. Not all of Alessa’s choices were great or “right” but they were what Alessa had at the time and what she knew.

I liked how the book told the story from different perspectives and how issues weren’t instantly solved. I wondered sometimes about Alessa’s choices but I’ve never walked in her shoes, so I couldn’t judge her actions. She did, what she did, so she see another day. The book moved quickly and I enjoyed that, we didn’t get blogged down in too much information about the events that were taking place. There were highs and lows throughout the book which keep the book moving along. I was not expecting that ending though. What was up with that?! As I started to read the ending, I had a feeling but I thought things would turn around but what the heck.

It’s a tough book to read but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read it. Thank you to the author and to Goodreads for my copy of the book. This review is my opinion of the book.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

5 stars YA

I can’t believe I haven’t written this review yet.  This book pulled me in and swallowed me whole! It had that spiral effect and as I saw Mickey spiraling down and down, I wanted to just cry. As I flipped the pages, I found myself yelling, cursing, and shaking my head at her because she was sinking and going under fast.  Someone had to save her, didn’t they?

They were both great students and softball players.  Carolina was the team’s pitcher and Mickey was the catcher, they made a great duo. Then suddenly, it happened. A car accident leaves both girls in the hospital, one teen more injured than the other. 

Carolina’s injury to her arm should be healed by the beginning of softball season but Mickey’s leg injury is more serious. With weeks of therapy ahead of her Mickey is determined to be ready, even if it about kills her.

With the best therapists beside her, Mickey begins pushing herself and her body. The lies begin rolling off her lips because there is nothing that can come between Mickey and her softball. Mickey discovers that the doctor’s prescription of Oxy helps with more than just pain and her bottle drains too quickly.  It isn’t too long before Mickey realizes that she is becoming, “one of those people” but she feels that her pain is just too much to bear without her meds.

It’s all the justifications that Mickey offers in this novel that makes this novel stand out.  How she rationales her continued drug use, the persistent lies, her bold behavior, and her future.  It’s a never-ending cycle, one that just escalates, if you really paying attention.   

This novel is a horrible look at addiction but also shows a very realistic side of it.  Surrounded by friends, Mickey begins to find another world to walk in as she finds her current world too difficult.  She needs to find a place that will accept the new Mickey and she can be herself. It’s sad how quickly she becomes a part of her new community.

I really liked this novel as it showed the effects of drugs on a person and their life.  For the most part, I thought it portrayed an accurate picture (although I have never gone through it myself).  I am surprised that her family and friends didn’t play a more active role in her life during this time as they knew she was recovering from her accident.  One of my favorite reads so far this year, dealing with this subject matter.