Sticks & Stones [Review & Giveaway]

Sticks & Stones [Review & Giveaway]
Hello there!
Title: Sticks & Stones
Author: Abby Cooper
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published Date: 12th July 2016
Rating: 5 Stars         
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Synopsis: A feel-good middle grade debut with just a hint of magic about a girl
who has a rare disorder that makes the words other people say about her appear
on her body.

Ever since she was a baby, the words people use
to describe Elyse have instantly appeared on her arms and legs. At first it was
just “cute” and “adorable,” but as she’s gotten older and
kids have gotten meaner, words like “loser” and “pathetic”
appear, and those words bubble up and itch. And then there are words like
“interesting,” which she’s not really sure how to feel about. Now, at
age twelve, she’s starting middle school, and just when her friends who used to
accept and protect her are drifting away, she receives an anonymous note saying
“I know who you are, and I know what you’re dealing with. I want to
help.” As Elyse works to solve the mystery of who is sending her these
notes, she also finds new ways to accept who she is and to become her best
self.

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Review: I
wasn’t quite sure to expect when I started to read Sticks & Stones. I had seen it compared to Wonder by R.J. Palacio which I had only finished reading months
before starting this one. It made me incredibly wary because that novel was so
unique and incredible, I was entirely sure this one shouldn’t be compared to
it. It would have some pretty big boots to fill.
But this one was pretty different from Wonder, and I think it can stand quite
alone. Wonder is based on a physical deformity while this one was based on a
fictional condition which wouldn’t happen in the real world. The center of this
novel is the cruel things people say, why they say them, and how that can
affect us. Because when someone says something nice about Elyse, it shows up on
her body. And when they say something cruel, it turns up too. Now, I know this
seems like it is only a verbal issue but it turns into physical too. Because
when someone calls you UGLY and that’s planted on your arm, you don’t exactly
want to flaunt that around. I found it incredibly clever how Cooper managed to
cross the bridge between verbal and physical bullying in that manner.
I also really liked the characters in this one. You have
nice characters (overly nice ones, in some cases), cruel ones and also those
who kind of fall into the grey area in between. The novel is set in a grade of
school where the children are all growing up and changing, which adds some
spins to this novel as well. It was mostly about the relationships between
people and the motives they each had behind doing things. Which is why the
secondary characters really made this novel for me. We got to see their
situations and backstory too, which was exactly what we needed.
It was also interesting to see that same method of
knowing the backstory and their motives applied to Elyse’s family. Her father
is pretty distant, while her mother is overly close. I was curious as to why
things were like that, and as the novel progresses you learn more and more. It
was so intriguing and kept me turning pages.
This is a middle grade book, so occasionally it did have
that young feel to it. But I didn’t really mind at all. At times I felt like it
kind of shifted into the YA feel for a little, and then back to MG which ended
up being pretty confusing, but that was the only vague issue I had with this
novel…
It was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it
to all kids who are entering into secondary or high school, as well as to any
age who want to learn the importance of the words we say and why they matter so
much.
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Gif Summary: 


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Giveaway: Win one finished copy of Sticks & Stones. Open to US & Canada only. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: What’s the nicest thing anyone has
said about you?
Olivia-Savannah x

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