Saturday, 10 September 2016

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

30 comments:

  1. Weĺl this girl once walked up to me at school and told me that my slam poetry inspires her. It legit made my day.

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    1. I'm glad that she went ahead and told you. And it's cool that you do slam poetry! :D

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  2. Wait, I've recently came across a book under the same name but a different author. :D

    This book sounds so unique. The idea of words appearing on one's limbs is so strange but I can see how that would go on to affect a person as some words tend to have everlasting impact- in this case literally.

    I guess one of the nicest compliment I've got is when a friend of mine said that being round me motivates her. XD People saying things like that makes me want to be a better version of myself.

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    1. I think this might be a common name? Due to the saying ;) It really was a unique kind of premise which is why I decided to read it myself. You are so motivating <3 You've encouraged me to do two book challenges for two years which I wouldn't have done otherwise ^^

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  3. This sounds like a fascinating book! I'm excited to read it.

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    1. It's well worth doing so, I highly recommend it :D

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  4. I hadn't heard of this book before, but it sounds very intriguing - the idea of people's words showing up on the main character's body could be really powerful. To this day, I still remember things that certain people in middle school said to me that were mean - words really can be more permanent than people realize.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I think the author handled the idea very well and really made it have a resounding affect on the reader. And yes, words really can be.

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  5. Sounds interesting story and premise of the story.

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    1. It's a really good read so I hope you pick it up!

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  6. Middle school is tough and I'm glad there are books like this to help kids get through it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. It can be a tough time! I would definitely recommend this one to kids during that school period.

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  7. Wonder is among the many books I have on my TBR pile. I'm glad this book would resonate to the young readers it's intended for.

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    1. You definitely should read it as soon as you get the chance ;)

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  8. I abhor bullying. I didn't really get bullied per say, but there were a few mean girls in my school. My sister did, though, and it got to the point where she didn't want to go to school. She was already out a lot due to her epilepsy, and she got teased for it. Kids can be so cruel. It stopped after my mom talked to a few of the parents but my sister still kept to herself. Words hurt more than punches.

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    1. It's so sad that it happens and like you, I strongly hate it. It's so unfair that others treat kids that way. And yes, words can really affect and change you. So sorry to hear that happened to your sister :(

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  9. This one sounds both cute yet touching as it deals with bullying and how words can affect you both physically and emotionally. I think the idea of this being set in a middle grade book is rather refreshing since kids are bullied all the time and most books don't really deal with that subject. I'll be adding this one to my list for sure! Great review!

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    1. It really is sweet but it goes deep as well and manages the balance between the two perfectly. Yay! Hope you enjoy it when you read it :D

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  10. Am always interested in reading new - to me - authors.

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    1. I'm always looking for new authors to appreciate as well ;)

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  11. My granddaughter is almost 11 and loves to read and I"m always encouraging new authors Rosanne rosans4@comcast.net

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    1. I think she would really benefit from reading this novel ^.^

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  12. This looks like a great read, thanks for sharing!

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  13. I think I will really enjoy this. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  14. I would love to read this. The author is new to me.

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