Books Young Adult Fiction Personal Effects

Personal Effects Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/68/84/dc/_pe-cover-from-goodreads-1337183581.jpg
 
3.7 (2)
 
3.8 (2)
942   0
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
September 11, 2012
ISBN
0763655279
Buy This Book
      

After his older brother dies in Iraq, Matt makes a discovery that rocks his beliefs about strength, bravery, and honor in this page-turning debut.

Ever since his brother, T.J., was killed in Iraq, Matt feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life — failing classes, getting into fights, and avoiding his dad’s lectures about following in his brother’s footsteps. T.J.’s gone, but Matt can’t shake the feeling that if only he could get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. But as Matt searches for answers about T.J.’s death, he faces a shocking revelation about T.J.’s life that suggests he may not have known T.J. as well as he thought. What he learns challenges him to stand up to his father, honor his brother’s memory, and take charge of his own life. With compassion, humor, and a compelling narrative voice, E. M. Kokie explores grief, social mores, and self-discovery in a provocative first novel.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)

I knew going in, that this would be a tough book to read but I wasn't prepared for the strong emotions it would evoke. It's well written and moving, with complex characters that will tug at your heartstrings.

Matt is a guy who is dealing with his grief over the loss of his brother, T.J., and fighting a daily battle just to survive in his own home. (To say his Dad is "abusive" is putting it lightly.) Matt's pain and anger comes through loud and clear in his voice and my heart went out to him right from the start. He struggles with how to put one foot in front of the other, and when he discovers the truth about T.J., my heart broke right along with his. There's a twist in this story that, like Matt, I did not see coming, but he faces it head-on with courage and strength.

Shauna was another character I enjoyed. I found her selflessness and unconditional love refreshing. I liked T.J. too, even if I didn't agree with all of the choices he made, but it was obvious that he had the best intentions where Matt was concerned.

All of these characters made an impression on me in one way or another, and I'm glad I read it. I think an Epilogue would've been a nice addition, just to see where Matt (and a few others) were a year or so down the road.





Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Jen, Editor Reviewed by Jen, Editor October 12, 2012
Last updated: October 13, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (415)

Compelling, Gut-wrenching Debut.

I knew going in, that this would be a tough book to read but I wasn't prepared for the strong emotions it would evoke. It's well written and moving, with complex characters that will tug at your heartstrings.

Matt is a guy who is dealing with his grief over the loss of his brother, T.J., and fighting a daily battle just to survive in his own home. (To say his Dad is "abusive" is putting it lightly.) Matt's pain and anger comes through loud and clear in his voice and my heart went out to him right from the start. He struggles with how to put one foot in front of the other, and when he discovers the truth about T.J., my heart broke right along with his. There's a twist in this story that, like Matt, I did not see coming, but he faces it head-on with courage and strength.

Shauna was another character I enjoyed. I found her selflessness and unconditional love refreshing. I liked T.J. too, even if I didn't agree with all of the choices he made, but it was obvious that he had the best intentions where Matt was concerned.

All of these characters made an impression on me in one way or another, and I'm glad I read it. I think an Epilogue would've been a nice addition, just to see where Matt (and a few others) were a year or so down the road.





Was this review helpful to you? 
Matt has enough to deal with. His father is very controlling and overbearing, more so since the death of Matt's mother. Matt must do well in school, work a job, control his anger, and most of all, join the military. Since Matt's brother, T.J., has recently died while serving in the military, it's not something Matt is really interested in. He's having a lot of anger management issues, especially when kids in school spout pacificistic rhetoric. His father barely mentions T.J., has taken down pictures, and won't let Matt have his brother's things. When several foot lockers of T.J.'s possessions are delivered to the house, Matt goes through them and finds, among other things, passionate letters from a woman named Celia, along with pictures of a young girl whom Matt believes to be his brother's child. With the support of his childhood friend (who is quickly becoming more of a girlfriend) Shauna, he plans a road trip to meet Celia and try to understand more about his brother's life, despite the fact that he is missing exams and work, and his father doesn't want to go. He ends up learning much more about his brother than he ever expected, and is able to come to terms a little bit more with the way that his family has been falling apart.

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

The Horrible Cost of War

Matt has enough to deal with. His father is very controlling and overbearing, more so since the death of Matt's mother. Matt must do well in school, work a job, control his anger, and most of all, join the military. Since Matt's brother, T.J., has recently died while serving in the military, it's not something Matt is really interested in. He's having a lot of anger management issues, especially when kids in school spout pacificistic rhetoric. His father barely mentions T.J., has taken down pictures, and won't let Matt have his brother's things. When several foot lockers of T.J.'s possessions are delivered to the house, Matt goes through them and finds, among other things, passionate letters from a woman named Celia, along with pictures of a young girl whom Matt believes to be his brother's child. With the support of his childhood friend (who is quickly becoming more of a girlfriend) Shauna, he plans a road trip to meet Celia and try to understand more about his brother's life, despite the fact that he is missing exams and work, and his father doesn't want to go. He ends up learning much more about his brother than he ever expected, and is able to come to terms a little bit more with the way that his family has been falling apart.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Plot 
 
3.5  (2)
Characters 
 
3.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
I would recommend this because of the subject material of the book. I think despite the ending a lot of people could really learn something from reading Personal Effects.

I won a copy from YABookCentral; Thank you :)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Sam Reviewed by Sam February 02, 2013
Last updated: February 02, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (9)

Personal Effects

I would recommend this because of the subject material of the book. I think despite the ending a lot of people could really learn something from reading Personal Effects.

I won a copy from YABookCentral; Thank you :)

Was this review helpful to you? 
I had been anticipating reading Personal Effects since I first discovered it, so I was very excited to finally read it. It was everything I expected and more! Personal Effects is such a heartfelt and emotional story, and a real tearjerker. I feel as though I should start doing some type of tissue rating system since I have a tendency to turn into a sobbing mess while reading emotional stories. I even had to stop reading several times when I couldn't see through my tears. This really is an amazingly well written story, and has so many parts that felt true to life.

The protagonist, 17 year old Matt, has been having a difficult time since his brother, T.J., died in Iraq. His father is a real hard ass, overbearing and controlling, and does not do emotions. Therefore, Matt has to internalize his anguish and heartbreak and not let his true feelings show through. Matt is always walking a tight line and trying his hardest not to set his father off. Since the story is told from Matt's POV, the reader can really sympathize with what he is going through.

Matt reacts to situations with such real emotions. I could feel his pain and frustration as he slowly and methodically goes through T.J.'s personal effects and attempts to make sense of what he finds. Matt realizes that he must open his mind to new possibilities. The discoveries also make Matt take a look at himself and the life he is actually living, and the life that he really wants for himself. He must make some difficult choices as he processes the loss of his brother.

Matt went through a tremendous change during the book. He learned how to stand up for himself and what he wanted. He was able to make decisions that helped him deal with and move past his grief. And he took charge of his own future. I felt that Matt came out of this a stronger and better person.

I really liked the romance aspect, even though it was mostly one sided. Matt has feelings for his best friend, Shauna, whom I really loved. She is funny and sweet, and is so supportive of Matt. Their scenes together are so hot! I loved when they were together, but I was glad that the romance didn't overshadow the bigger story.

Overall, I thought Personal Effects was an exceptional book, and I really enjoyed reading it. It is a story about loss, grief, discovery, and acceptance. This is a great contemporary, and I can't wait to read more from this author.

ARC provided by Candlewick Press via NetGalley.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Sandra Hake Reviewed by Sandra Hake October 14, 2012
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Exceptional Book

I had been anticipating reading Personal Effects since I first discovered it, so I was very excited to finally read it. It was everything I expected and more! Personal Effects is such a heartfelt and emotional story, and a real tearjerker. I feel as though I should start doing some type of tissue rating system since I have a tendency to turn into a sobbing mess while reading emotional stories. I even had to stop reading several times when I couldn't see through my tears. This really is an amazingly well written story, and has so many parts that felt true to life.

The protagonist, 17 year old Matt, has been having a difficult time since his brother, T.J., died in Iraq. His father is a real hard ass, overbearing and controlling, and does not do emotions. Therefore, Matt has to internalize his anguish and heartbreak and not let his true feelings show through. Matt is always walking a tight line and trying his hardest not to set his father off. Since the story is told from Matt's POV, the reader can really sympathize with what he is going through.

Matt reacts to situations with such real emotions. I could feel his pain and frustration as he slowly and methodically goes through T.J.'s personal effects and attempts to make sense of what he finds. Matt realizes that he must open his mind to new possibilities. The discoveries also make Matt take a look at himself and the life he is actually living, and the life that he really wants for himself. He must make some difficult choices as he processes the loss of his brother.

Matt went through a tremendous change during the book. He learned how to stand up for himself and what he wanted. He was able to make decisions that helped him deal with and move past his grief. And he took charge of his own future. I felt that Matt came out of this a stronger and better person.

I really liked the romance aspect, even though it was mostly one sided. Matt has feelings for his best friend, Shauna, whom I really loved. She is funny and sweet, and is so supportive of Matt. Their scenes together are so hot! I loved when they were together, but I was glad that the romance didn't overshadow the bigger story.

Overall, I thought Personal Effects was an exceptional book, and I really enjoyed reading it. It is a story about loss, grief, discovery, and acceptance. This is a great contemporary, and I can't wait to read more from this author.

ARC provided by Candlewick Press via NetGalley.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • YABC Book Haul - March 2015

    We are super excited! The March 2015 YABC Book Haul is here! Over 100 books of pure awesomeness.  This month, Clint from the Nerd Riders is hosting along with his special guest, Loki. What are your favorite titles in this month's YABC Book Haul? Let us know in the comments below ...

  • INSURGENT - Drive Through Movie Review

    *****NO SPOILERS***** Yay! It's another #YAMovieDay and this one is HUGE! YA lovers all over the world have been eagerly awaiting the big screen arrival of INSURGENT. Does it live up to the hype? Here's what the Nerd Riders think.  QUESTION: You are Divergent, but only in two Fa ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Strike by Delilah S. Dawson + Giveaway (US Only)

      Hello, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for STRIKE by Delilah S. Dawson, releasing March 2016 from Simon Pulse. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Delilah:   If you've seen the HIT cover, you know that it's utterly unique ...

  • Giveaway: Public School Superhero by James Patterson (US Only)

    PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts Illustrated by Cory Thomas In stores March 16, 2015   About the Book In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling ...

  • An Ember in the Ashes - Character Trailer and Giveaway!

    On April 28th, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES will hit the shelves of your local bookstore. The staff at YABC are super excited about this story! Here's a peek at the synopsis:   I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.   THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL CO ...

  • CINDERELLA - Drive Through Movie Review

    *****NO SPOILERS******* Yay! It's another #YAMovieDay and The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, share their thoughts on the highly anticipated Disney live action film CINDERELLA.      QUESTION: If you could ask for one thing from your Fairy Godmother, what would ...

  • Author Jodi Meadows' Top 5

    Today we welcome Jodi Meadows, author of THE ORPHAN QUEEN and the INCARNATE trilogy, to the blog. She's giving us her top five reasons why she loves fantasy. We love fantasy too (especially Jodi's new book THE ORPHAN QUEEN, which is basically Batman meets Game of Thrones with some swoon thrown in ...

  • Giveaway: City Love by Susane Colasanti (US Only)

    City Love by Susane Colasanti Release Date: April 21, 2015   About the Book Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls ...

  • Giveaway: As White As Snow by Salla Simukka (US Only)

      As White As Snow by Salla Simukka Release Date: March 3, 2015   About the Book The heat of the summer sun bakes the streets of Prague, but Lumikki’s heart is frozen solid. Looking to escape the notoriety caused by the part she played in taking down Polar Bea ...

  • Giveaway: Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves by Ann Angel & Various Authors (US & CAN Only)

      Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves Written by: Ann Angel Kerry Cohen Louise Hawes Varian Johnson erica l. kaufman Ron Koertge E. M. Kokie Chris Lynch Kekla Magoon Zoë Marriott Katy Moran J. L. Powers Mary Ann Rodman Cynthia Leitich ...

  • THE DUFF - Drive Through Movie Review

    *****NO SPOILERS***** The Nerd Riders just saw an early screening of THE DUFF and are here to give you theirYA review.  Question: Would you rather be a DUFF or the DUFF's friend?      ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin + Giveaway (US Only)

      Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin, releasing October 6, 2015 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Ryan:   ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Category: Kids Fiction
When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging, bewitched river, only Ned survives. Villagers...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
When Aidan and Maggie find a fairy cross while rock-hunting with their grandfather, it's just an oddity. But when they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this unforgettable teen romance that fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti will devour, Quinn Sullivan falls for the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I'm Not Her that's "Just right for fans of Sarah...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins is sassier than ever in this page-turning follow up to Rebel Belle, perfect...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Order
Category: Young Adult Indie
Lana Crewe is a strong, fiercely driven seventeen year old living in a village ruled by fear. With their king...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique"...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Does it get better? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because...
 
4.0
 
3.0 (1)
Does anyone ever see us for who we really are? Jo Knowles’s revelatory novel of interlocking stories peers behind the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
When you live in a volcano, ride to school in a helicopter, and regularly see your dad on the news...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
It all starts with one little lie… Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of...
 
3.7 (2)
 
3.7 (1)
Category: Kids Indie
The goal of The Quaint and Quizzical Cosmos series is to introduce deep human history to kids in a fun...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Michael is unsure about most things. Go to college? Enlist in the military? Break up with his girlfriend? All big...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian. When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Ever since her mother died Aimee Pittman has dreamed of attending college in her mom’s home country of Neahovia. When...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the same vein as Gayle Forman's I Was Here comes a novel from the gifted author of Faking Normal,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This Book is Gay
A funny and pertinent book about being lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, transgender or just curious - for everybody, no matter...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Montecitoimage.png
Category: Young Adult Indie
Montecito, a place where generous trust funds and secrets are plentiful. This dramatic series has many twists and turns, all...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Twelve-year-old Alistair Cleary has washed up on shore. But where? It seems to be Aquavania, the magical realm where children...
 
0.0
 
4.0 (2)