Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf – Hayley Krischer [ARC Review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

“Ali Greenleaf’s story is complex and beautifully told; full of fury, heartbreak, and hope.” –Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and How to Make Friends With the Dark

Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different.

Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her.

Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean; she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he tells her it was a misunderstanding, she decides to help him make things right.

So Blythe befriends Ali, bringing her into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.

In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their friendship might not be built to last, it’s one that empowers each of them to find justice on their own terms.

Review:

Huge thank you to the Penguin Teen Influencer program, Razorbill, and Netgalley for providing this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I don’t really know how to review this book. Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is the story of Ali, who was raped by popular it boy Sean, and Blythe, who is the queen bee of high school and is Sean’s best friend. Hayley Krischer tells the story of Ali’s rape, the events that follow, and how both girls are forever affected.

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is quite hard to read at times. The trauma and emotions that Ali goes through are unimaginable but unfortunately so common. I had a very hard time sympathizing with Blythe at all, but I understand how the author was trying to show us another victim. Blythe is extremely unlikeable and I don’t agree with her actions but I do understand how she is a victim of Sean’s too.

This story is about rape culture in our society and the way victims are shamed and manipulated. It is a powerful story that shines light on a difficult subject. It at times made me sick to my stomach. But I am so glad I read Ali’s story. It is honest and heartfelt.

The author provides trigger warning and multiple resources for sexual assault survivors.

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is an intense, emotional, gut wrenching, and authentic story. While it can be difficult to read, this story is so important and powerful.

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is set to be released on October 6th.

Skywatchers – Carrie Arcos [ARC Review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

From National Book Award Finalist Carrie Arcos comes a thrilling, genre-bending mystery about the history of the Cold War and the UFO phenomenon. Perfect for fans of In the Woods by Tana French and Netflix’s Stranger Things.

The year is 1952. The threat of invasion from the Soviet Union has people in a panic. The government has issued a call to civilians to act as radar–and Teddy, John, Caroline, Eleanor, Bunny, Frank, and Oscar eagerly answer. As members of their high school’s “Operation Skywatch” club, they, along with others across the country, look to the sky in an effort to protect the country from attack.

But they’re not prepared for the strange green light they see when on duty, which looks like nothing they’ve been trained to look out for. So when the mysterious object lands in the forest, Teddy, John, Caroline, and Bunny go in to investigate. Then, they disappear.

In this thrill of a novel inspired by real events, one group of teens will come face to face with the UFO phenomenon and the vastness of the unknown as they try to save one another, and possibly, the world. A powerful exploration of what if.

Review:

Huge thank you to the Penguin Teen Influencer program, Philomel Books, and Netgalley for providing this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Prior to receiving the Penguin Teen influencer Fall 2020 ARC email I had not heard about Skywatchers by Carrie Arcos. The cover immediately caught my eye so I had to check the book out. I was super intrigued by the plot.

Skywatchers tells the thrilling story of a group of teens in the 1950’s who are a part of the “Operation Skywatch” club. Their job is to watch the skies for enemy aircraft. The club is pretty boring, at least until one night when a strange light appears in the sky. Four of the teens go to investigate, but they all disappear. The teens return, but all of their memories of the incident have been erased, and one of their group is still missing. Skywatchers is an exciting mystery that combines sci-fi and history.

Skywatchers was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the suspense and the mystery! The story took a turn for me once the teens started to regain their memories. I liked the way the author went back in time to reveal what happened to the teens. I liked the big reveal, but everything happened very quickly. The reveal, the climax, and then the resolution felt very rushed.

Overall I really liked this story. It was a fun mystery that is outside my normal realm of reading. I enjoyed the suspense and the sci-fi aspects. The ending was just too rushed and resolved too easily. However, it was still super fun and exciting!

Skywatchers will be released on August 18th by Philomel Books & Penguin Teen.