September Pick of the Month: Beyond The Surface Book Club

Last month a fellow blogger named Indy and I started up the Beyond The Surface book club.

Beyond The Surface is a ya book club centered around mental health. Each month we read a new book centered around a different illness to spread awareness and to have a place to share our own stories.

This month the pick of the month is:

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson’s debut novel is a page-turning mystery with an emotionally-driven, complex character study at its core — like Rear Window meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.

When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?

So, why the Goldfish Boy?

Last month Indy chose for us to read My Heart and Other Black Holes which gave a look into depression and suicide and while I absolutely adored reading it, it weighed really heavy on my heart. The Goldfish Boy is a middle grade mixed with mystery and a boy who feels as though he cannot leave his home. Something about this story feels like it is a much lighter read yet the focus truly is on OCD and how it affects this boy. I have never really read a book like this one and I think it’s something we can all enjoy reading and discussing.

Discussion schedule:

September 8th: Let’s talk about OCD.. a post discussing OCD that will be posted here on my

blog and in the Goodreads group.

September 15th: an interview with the author or a book related post

September 22nd: book related post

September 29th: another book related post

September 30th: The Goldfish Boy Discussion

Join Beyond The Surface on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/235823-beyond-the-surface

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you are thinking of joining in to read The Goldfish Boy in September! This month is going to be a fun one.

-Till next time!

The List by Patricia Forde: A Review

The List by Patricia Forde

My Rating: 4 stars 

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Publish Date: August 8th, 2017

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review 

Pre-Order: Amazon

Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world. 
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

Musings: 

When I was in elementary school, my favorite teacher Mrs. Ohonion had the class read a little book called The Giver. The first time I read it I was stunned, awed by a discussion of humanity I had never pondered prior. The List has thus impacted me further.

This novel brought back some of my fondest memories and made me feel like a child once more. It reminded me of some of the moments that shaped the way I decided to view the world,  humanity, and how we connect to one another. I loved it. The writing was beautiful. The characters thoughtfully crafted. The message, the words, were the most powerful parts of all. 

Letta is a young apprentice to The Wordsmith an older man named Benjamin. Letta in my eyes, represents humanity. Her beliefs molded by her upbringing she at first only knows what are called the Desecraters as terrorists, mauraders, and a people of destruction. Yet, like all humans she possesses an Independent mind that allowed her to see her situation in a new light, and that is the beauty of being human. 

Letta is the kind of person I aspire to be. She does not let her bias affect what she knows to be right or wrong. She does not look at people and see them as anything less then what they are, human. When she is given a place of power she does not belittle others, she does all she can to help them, to be there for them, and that is the kind of person I wish to be. It’s hard to think that I could ever choose to do so many of the things she did. Society as she lives in has deteriorated and she is one of the many voices hoping for the future. 

Inside this story, the world was destroyed by climate change a radical mind named Noa built up an eden called Arch. In this eden, the only words spoken are from the list. A minuscule amount of 500 words allowed to be spoken. The result is a society conditioned to give in and forget the beauty of words. All controlled by a man who knows their power better than anyone else. 

The most imperitive part of this novel is words. What does it mean to limit them. What happens when it becomes extinct? What would we ever do if we were wordless? I love pondering words. The way we use them tailor the way we see the world and how the world in turn sees us. Without them, we would be nothing and could aspire to nothing, we could only be. This point is the cornerstone of what this novel stands for as well as what made me come to love it so much. 

A novel not so far removed from what society could be, it is one that challenges you to think about the type of world we live in and the type of world you would want create and to give you the incentive to do something about it. The world is ours. What has happened has past, but the future is created by our design. 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this review. The list is a novel I would highly recommend to all. Are you thinking about reading this book? What are your thoughts on The Giver style novels? If you have read this book, what did you think?

-Till next time!