The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver Blog Tour Post

I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.

Author Information

Born and raised in a small North Carolina town, Mason Deaver is an award-nominated, bestselling author and designer living in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Besides writing, they’re an active fan of horror movies and video games. As you can see from the photo above, they’re a big fan of plants as well.

You can find them online at various places,
Instagram – @mason_deaver
And their website – masondeaverwrites.com

Book Description

When Liam Cooper’s older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationship with his two best friends.

Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through, for the better, and the worse.

This book is about grief. But it’s also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I’ve been reading a lot of books on grief lately and I really do enjoy how different each of them are. I like how each book deals with grief but the characters all deal with it differently, and these books normalize the grief process.

I really liked that this book shows us multiple people grieving the loss of Ethan, and the way that people who have different relationships with the deceased grieve. I thought it was important to see Liam’s reaction to his brother’s death, and see how he treats others because of this. I thought it was important that we see Liam be insistent that no one could possibly understand how they are feeling, and not allow anyone to try to understand them.

Something that I also really liked in this book was how our main character is non-binary but that isn’t what the story centers around. I think we need more stories where Trans characters just get to live and the story isn’t focused on their coming out. I also really liked that all of our characters were LGBTQ+, it really just was great to have this representation through each of the characters we were introduced to. It also just reminded me of how often times LGBTQ+ people tend to flock to each other for safety and comfort.

Characters: There are a few characters that we get to meet through their interactions with Liam. The main characters that we are introduced to were Liam, Marcus, Vanessa, and Joel. Through this story you are also briefly introduced to Liam and Ethan’s parents, and also briefly get to meet Ethan when the book flashes to the past.

I really liked how this book shows Liam’s friends reactions to them grieving. I like how we get to see how they don’t know how to respond to him pushing them away and how Liam gets angry for this. I thought it was good to only see Liam’s perspective of this because it kind of lets you think about what the others must be feeling.

I liked the way that Liam and Marcus’s relationship developed but it never gets beyond them just being their to process their grief. I think that this relationship that they develop with each other is needed for both of them to move on. I love that this relationship is able to provide Liam with answers that it seems that he needs but there are also moments in which I am angry with the way Liam treats Marcus. I think Liam is so angry with the death of his brother that he takes it out on those around him and its really frustrating to watch.

Writing Style: This story is told in first person through Liam’s perspective and it goes back and forth between before and after Ethan’s death. I liked getting a chance to see how things were before Ethan died and seeing how his relationship was with Liam. I thought this was a nice addition to see the impact that his death had on him but also to see why Liam was feeling pressured to know be their parent’s golden child.

I also liked getting to read this story only through Liam’s perspective because we don’t get a chance to see others grieve. We get a chance to see Liam’s thought process and his opinions on other’s grieving which I thought was a nice addition. I think this made it so that the focus really was on Liam rather than other people and them learning that other’s are going to grieve differently and he has to respect that.

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.