What about Will by Ellen Hopkins Book Review

Book Description

Twelve-year-old Trace Reynolds has always looked up to his brother, mostly because Will, who’s five years older, has never looked down on him. It was Will who taught Trace to ride a bike, would watch sports on TV with him, and cheer him on at little league. But when Will was knocked out cold during a football game, resulting in a brain injury–everything changed. Now, sixteen months later, their family is still living under the weight of the incident, that left Will with a facial tic, depression, and an anger he cannot always control, culminating in their parents’ divorce. Afraid of further fracturing his family, Trace begins to cover for Will who, struggling with addiction to pain medication, becomes someone Trace doesn’t recognize. But when the brother he loves so much becomes more and more withdrawn, and escalates to stealing money and ditching school, Trace realizes some secrets cannot be kept if we ever hope to heal.

Review

CS: Addiction, Suicide Attempt, Sexist comments

Thoughts and Themes: I don’t recall reading any other books by this author but I am familiar with the books. I picked this one up because of the synopsis and since it is written in prose, I knew it would be a quick read which is what I was looking for. I am really glad that I picked this one and can’t wait to read more from this author.

This book deals with several tough topics such as absentee parents, prison, addiction, rehab, and more. I believe that they do this in a way that is appropriate for the age range that it is intended for.

In this book, we get to see not only how opioid addiction affects Will but also how it affects those around him such as his brother, Trace, and the rest of his family. In this book you get to see how Trace is trying to hold everything together and fix things that are out of his control, you get to see how his brother’s addiction is impacting him and how he feels throughout the progression of this addiction.

This book also shows the importance of having a support system in place for all ages. Through this book, you see the importance of Trace having a support system so that he doesn’t try to carry everything on their own. We get to see how important Will has a support system is and what happens when he pushes that support system away. We also get to see Trace realizing how important it is for his dad and grandfather to not be alone as he and his brother get older. We also see how Trace cares for Mr. Cobb as he realizes how he must feel being alone now, and also how he feels for Cat since she’s new to town and alone.

Characters: In this book, you get to meet several characters through their interactions with Trace. You get to meet his dad, his dad’s girlfriend, Lily, his friends, Bram and Cat, his brother, Will, his neighbor, Mr. Cobb, and a few others briefly.

One of my favorite parts of this book is the friendships between Trace, Bram, and Cat. I really appreciate how Cat is able to relate to Trace because her brother went down a difficult path that unfortunately leaves him in prison. I thought that being able to see Cat and Trace have this connect them shows how books that deal with these topics need to exist for younger children because they also deal with tough subjects. I liked how Trace points out the importance of having friends that supported him and never left his side throughout Will’s addiction.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was the adults who were a part of Trace’s life especially as his parents were absent. I understood his dad’s need to work and how that affected the amount of time he had for his children. I really liked the role that Mr. Cobb plays in this story and how he is a trusted Adult for Trace. I thought it was great to see how much Trace learns from Mr. Cobb and how much realizations come from this time he spends with him. I also like the way Lily fits into Trace’s life and how she doesn’t force him or Will to embrace her or think of her as a new mother.

Writing Style: This book is written in prose and told in first person through the perspective of Will’s younger brother, Trace who is 12 years old. I really enjoy books that are told in prose as you get to see a story be told in a different manner. I also really enjoyed getting this through Trace’s perspective because we get to see how addiction affects a child and what he needed during this time.

Author Information

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of CrankBurnedImpulseGlassIdenticalTricksFalloutPerfectTrianglesTilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.

Like most of you here, books are my life. Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of me. Balance is my greatest challenge, as I love my family, friends, animals and home, but also love traveling to meet my readers. Hope I meet many of you soon!

Nightbooks (2021) Movie Review

Streaming on: Netflix

Length: 1 hour and 43 minutes

Genre: Mystery, Family, and Suspense

Director: David Yarovesky

Writers: Mikki Daughtry(screenplay by), Tobias Iaconis(screenplay by), and J.A. White(based on the book by)

Stars: Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, and Krysten Ritter

Follows Alex, a boy obsessed with scary stories who is imprisoned by an evil young witch in her contemporary New York City apartment.

Vivo (2021) Movie Review

Streaming on: Netflix

Length: 1 hour and 39 minutes

Genre: Animation, Adventure, and Comedy

Director: Kirk DeMicco

Writers: Kirk DeMicco(screenplay by), Quiara Alegría Hudes(screenplay by), and Peter Barsocchini(story by)

Stars: Lin-Manuel Miranda(voice), Ynairaly Simo(voice), and Zoe Saldana(voice)

Vivo, Sony Pictures Animation’s first-ever musical adventure featuring all-new original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, will take audiences on an epic adventure to gorgeous and vibrant locations never before seen in animation.

Boss baby: Family Business (2021) Movie Review

Streaming on: Paramount+

Length: 1 hour and 48 minute7

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Marla Frazee (based on the books by), Tom McGrath (story by), and Michael McCullers (story by)

Stars: Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, and Amy Sedaris, etc.

The Templeton brothers have become adults and drifted away from each other, but a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach is about to bring them together again – and inspire a new family business.

Spies in Disguise (2019) Movie Review

Movie Description

Streaming on: HBO Max

Length: 1 hour and 42 minutes

Genre: Family Features, Animation, Action, and Adventure

Directors: Nick Bruno and Troy Quane

Writers :Lucas Martell(inspired by: the animated short film “Pigeon: Impossible” by) Cindy Davis(screen story by) Brad Copeland(screenplay by)

Stars : Rachel Brosnahan(voice), Jarrett Bruno(voice), and Claire Crosby(voice)

When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world.

A Week Away (2021) Movie Review

Movie Description

Streaming on: Netflix

Length: 1 Hour and 37 Minutes

Directed by: Roman White

Genres: Drama, Family, Musical

Stars: Kevin Quinn, Bailee Madison, and Jahbril Cook

Nowhere left to go, Will Hawkins finds himself at camp for the first time. His instinct is to run, but he finds a friend, a father figure, and even a girl who awakens his heart. Most of all, he finally finds a home.

Under Shifting Stars by Alexandra Latos Book Review

Author Information

Alexandra has considered herself a writer her entire life. In fact, she won an award when she was only five years old for her story about a “dorphaned” bear. As a kid she liked climbing trees, walking to the drugstore to buy notebooks for her next story, and forcing family members and friends to act in her plays. 

Alexandra graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance, but after a few stints in various treasury departments, she quickly realized the finance world wasn’t for her (the stocks app is still the most under-utilized app on her phone). She returned to university to earn a Bachelor of Arts in English and a certificate in Technical Writing. Though she still picks up a technical writing contract here and there, her true passion remains creative writing, which she manages to fit in between taking care of her kiddos.

Alexandra has published Young Adult and New Adult fiction. She’s currently working on an Adult novel through a grant process with Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She lives with her husband, two (soon to be three) tiny tornadoes, and two black cats, one of whom thinks he’s a dog.

Book Description

This heartfelt novel for fans of Jandy Nelson and Adam Silvera follows twins Audrey and Clare as they grapple with their brother’s death and their changing relationshipswith each other and themselves.

Audrey and Clare may be twins, but they don’t share a school, a room, a star sign, or even a birthday. Ever since their brother Adam’s death, all they’ve shared is confusion over who they are and what comes next.

Audrey, tired of being seen as different from her neurotypical peers, is determined to return to public school. Clare is grappling with her gender fluidity and is wondering what emerging feelings for a nonbinary classmate might mean. Will first crushes, new family dynamics, and questions of identity prove that Audrey and Clare have grown too different to understand each other—or that they’ve needed each other all along?

Review

Thoughts and Themes: From the start of this book I really enjoyed listening to it and was glad that I decided to listen to it rather than read the physical book. I love this book as an audiobook because it feels like you are there with each of the characters.

I really like the way this book goes through Clare trying to figure out her gender identity and sexual orientation. I liked the scenes in which Clare is using google to search for things and we are told exactly what she finds on the site. I really enjoyed how Clare figuring things out for herself is handled and how the complexity of grief is mixed into it all. I thought it was great to see how she begins to separate her grief from who she is and realize that her grief has nothing to do with how she identifies.

I really like the way that each of the character’s feelings are addressed throughout this whole story. I like how we see them go through the process of grief and how these feelings are addressed at the ending of the story. I liked how we get to see not just Clare and Audrey have feelings about their brother’s death but their parents also shares their feelings too.

Characters: This book centers around two main characters who are twins, Clare and Audrey. Both of these characters are very different from each other and these differences keep them from being close to each other. You also get to meet their parents along with some of the twins friends.

I liked seeing the way that Clare and Audrey’s relationship changes throughout the book and how we see the reason that Clare has certain reactions to Audrey. I thought that it was interesting that Clare blames Audrey for their brother’s death but doesn’t realize that Audrey also blames herself.

I like the relationship that Clare has with Taylor and how that relationship helps her figure things out for herself. I like how they ease into their relationship and how their is no negative reactions to this relationship from the people who matter to Clare.

I also really enjoy Audrey’s relationship with Calvin and how she goes back and forth with her feelings about him. I like how messy the relationship begins and how he responds to her actions. I liked that through this relationship we see what autistic dating looks like for one person and I loved that Calvin likes her and explains things differently than the way she sees herself.

Writing Style: This book goes between both two different perspectives in the first person. You get both of Audrey and Claire’s perspective through this book which is something that I really enjoy. You get both of these perspectives and I like that both of the voices of the main characters are distinct.

The narrator of the story is really good and easy to listen to. I like how each of the girls is voiced by a different person so they have a distinct voice. I also like that you can hear the emotion in each of the character’s voices and that each character has a distinct voice. This is one book that you can just listen to and get lost in because of how it feels that you are in these scenes with Clare and Audrey.