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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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ALMOST is everything I look for in YA. Great characters, story, and of course the kind of love that gives me butterflies and has me yelling "kiss! kiss!" at the characters. I love how the author shows us how Jess's struggle with the past and how she grows and gets stronger throughout the book (the younger sister was great, too) So many teen girls have dealt with this or a similar situation and I admire the author for addressing it and then showing that there's healing and hope. And then there's the secrets Gray's been holding in and how he deals with it. Gray Porter is sweet and cute and a great guy. The love story is totally sigh-worthy. I could go on and on about all the amazingness of this book, but I'll just say read it, read it, READ IT!!!
What makes this a great read is the emotional struggle Jess goes through trying to appear normal while she is plagued by nightmares of a night she can't remember. Grey has his own secret. He knows what happened to her and wants to help her get over being almost raped. Both characters are beautifully drawn in this book, and a romance blossoms between the two.
I have to admit I'm a James Bond kind of girl. I want the explosion, dead body, or car chase at the beginning. But every once in a while someone recommends a book I have to be patient with, not one of my better traits. During the first third of the book, the author eases you into the story, introducing the characters, who are easy to connect with for the journey. After that, the conflict ratchets up when Jess is almost caught in the lie she has spun, and from here, it's a lightning fast read. You won't be disappointed with this heartfelt story. I couldn't put it down once the fireworks went off. I'm looking forward to see what the author writes next.
I was really surprised by how much I loved this book. There's no vampire slayers, werewolves, sneaky, shape-shifting fairies, evil bad-guys trying to take over the world, or even anyone with superpowers. Almost, it's just a quiet story about real kids who are facing the most powerful things of all: Falling in love for the first time. Being with the person you were destined to be with... I could not stop thinking about Jess and Gray.
I also loved the character Gray. How he vows to never hurt Jess, no matter what. His commitment to that really does make your heart beat fast. And Jess is so cool because she's not perfect. She's just trying to deal with her life and her problems like everyone does. She made a deal --a contract--with a boy. She never expects to fall for him...or for it to be so scary and wonderful to trust someone. I laughed, (the friends and sister are good also). I cried and I smiled a lot as I read this book. It's only got two kisses between Jess and Gray, but that's enough. They are perfect first kisses. Wow.
If you like books that sweep you away and make you sigh, or books that make you think about how just a few minutes can change a life forever, and of course, if you like falling in love, I say, read this book. One day, I want to fall in love for real. And I honestly hope it feels like how I felt in this book.