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)
754   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 (404)

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 (8)

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

  • #ReadISLA: Team ANNA, LOLA, or ISLA?

        Hello YABCers, today we're picking teams! If that isn't reason enough to choose TEAM ANNA, here are a few more...   "I'm a little distracted by this English French American boy masterpiece." Me too, Anna. Me. Too.      " ...

  • Map Reveal: Winterspell by Claire Legrand + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hello YABC! Today we have a special kind of reveal for you! Today we're super excited to celebrate the map reveal for WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand, releasing September 30, 2014 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Before we get to the map, here's a note from Claire: &n ...

  • #ReadISLA Flashback: Lola And The Boy Next Door

      Hey guys, today we're hanging out with Lola and Cricket!   Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is ...

  • YA Authors as YAs: The Megan Whitmer Edition + Giveaway (US/Canada)

      Welcome to the latest YA Authors as YAs interview! Our goal? To prove that your favorite authors — no matter how AWESOME and COOL you think they are — were once awkward, weird, and they geeked out about fandoms and guilty-pleasure music JUST LIKE YOU when they were teens. ...

  • Check out the trailer for PADDINGTON!

      PADDINGTON   We're so happy to bring you the trailer for PADDINGTON, based on the beloved children's book by Michael Bond, arriving this Christmas!   You know you need a good dose of *bathroom* humor this morning, right? Enjoy! And keep your eyes peeled for PA ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Charmed by Michelle Krys + Giveaway (International)

      Welcome to this week's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for CHARMED by Michelle Krys, releasing May 26, 2015 from Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Michelle:   ...

  • #ReadISLA Flashback: Anna And The French Kiss

    Bonjour ami! Je suis heureux que vous soyez ici, j'aime votre visage!   Okay, so, my French is a little rusty, but fingers crossed that I just said,     Hello friends! I'm glad you're here, I like your face!   Today, w ...

  • #ReadISLA

      Hello YABC! I had a BLAST hanging out with Isla and Josh this weekend! See? They said to say, Bonjour! My initial thoughts? ISLA is intense, heart-wrenching romantic perfection! Have you checked out the ISLA chapter sample? If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! ...

  • It's live! Cover Reveal: Soulprint by Megan Miranda (US only)

      Happy Almost 4th of July, YABCers! Today we're super excited to reveal the cover for SOULPRINT by Megan Miranda releasing February 3, 2015 from Bloomsbury. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Megan:   Hi there, YABC readers! I’m so excite ...

  • Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare Prize Pack Giveaway (International)

      Today we have a guest post giveaway by M.G. Buehrlen, author of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE. Go forth and enter and win! Hey YABCers! Today feels like a pretty fine day to have a giveaway. And who better to give awesome things away to than the awesome reviewers who help spread ...

  • Excerpt Reveal: Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan

      Hey YABCers! Today we bring you a special treat – a chapter excerpt from THE FOG OF FORGETTING by G.A. Morgan! So grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage, sit back, and enjoy a few pages of 100% totally free fantasy reading.  Before we get to the excerpt, here's a bit ...

  • #ReadISLA Campaign

    Hello Fellow YABCers! I am BEYOND excited that YABC was asked to participate in the #ReadISLA campaign as we eagerly await, ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, the third companion novel in Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS series!   From the glittering streets of Manh ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Can you fall in love with a voice? This witty romance, told entirely through phone calls, chronicles the tale of...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Valentina Cruz no longer exists. One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Clyde has worked for Mr. Wilkshire for a very long time. Life is comfortable in his keeper's chateau—until Mr. Wilkshire...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
THE SELECTION changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. Now, only one will claim Prince Maxon’s heart… It’s swoon meets...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect and REAL. The boy of her dreams. And when he brushes past her, he whispers her name. Annabelle Manning...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fallen ebook COVER RGB-reduced.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Six witnesses ... One deadly fall. No one will ever be the same. Football jock Marcus Wilson had...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
In the hierarchy of magical beings witches reign supreme. Unlike trolls who need rocks to cast their spells or mermaids...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Some kids are just born in a tangle. At sixteen years old, Sawyer Jackson hasn’t seen much beyond...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Shardheld, the third and final book in the great Shardheld Saga, epic fantasy for both Y.A. and Adults. Muus’...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place. In...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction includes 33 original short stories and poems that spark the imagination, twist the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Futuredaze 2: Reprise: fifteen of the best and most brilliant young adult science fiction stories, written by the hottest SF...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wish You Weren't
Category: Kids Indie
Marten doesn't believe in the power of wishes. None of his have ever come true. So when he makes an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the bestselling author of Catching Jordan comes a brand new contemporary YA you won't forget. The finish line...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Will Moore has been Missy Jamison’s best friend for years, and until recently, she hadn’t considered going "there" with him...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
When Penelope the Fox drops her heart into the sea, she’s swept off on a perilous journey, dodging sharks and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)