Getting the pictures all uploaded to this page continues to vex me- so Instagram is still the best way to follow along with our adventures.
Here's a quick little recap of the 2nd leg of our trip, from Arizona through Utah and into Colorado. We had high temps of 108 (!!!), got to swim in a few different rivers, hike to waterfalls and even spent a fun (sort of) day in Phoenix as the truck got a quick tune up.
We visited the following parks:
North Rim of the Grand Canyon (consesus says this rim was far superior to the very crowded South Rim!)
Kaibab National Forest
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Capital Reef National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...
This was a really phenomenal book- it deals with what might be supernatural things, but the way they are framed, even as a reader you aren't sure what's real and whats not, whats happening in real life and what's happening in the characters heads. What is clear is that this book deals with the very real issue of mental illness and how it effects not just the person who is has the illness, but everyone around them
At the heart of the story are Kyra and Corey, best friends who were seperated when Corey's mom moved for a job. Left behind in the very quirky town of Lost, Alaska, Kyra finds herself very literally lost and alone, trying to cope with Bipolar disorder in a town that doesn't understand her at best and is afraid of her at worst. Kyra spirals out of control and without Corey there to ground her she takes her own life. Where the story really gets interesting is when Corey begins to dig into Kyra's death and discovers the town she once loved may have contributed to Kyra's death much more heavily then she thought possible. The town has changed and Corey is no longer welcome, but first she must survive a week in Lost while trying to preserve the memory of a friend she loved. This book takes a lot of twists and turns, but at it's heart is about 2 friends who lost their way and a community that wanted to assign meaning to an illness they didn't understand, even if it meant killing Kyra.
For me, this book has more meaning beyond being a really excellent story. As someone who has both anxiety and depression, it was easy to relate to Kyra, and to see the toll it can take on those around you who just don't understand. I could feel Kyra's frustration when she wanted people to just accept her as who she is, bipolar disorder and all, and still want to get better, to feel more "normal", to stop the swing from mania to depression, to feel like she belonged. All in all, Nijkamp does an amazing job taking very real issues that surround mental illness and the lack of understanding that can come with it, and weave it into a story that leaves you wondering about the secrets little town keep and the magic they cling to when they feel their world falling apart.
Knowing the outcome doesn't always make a choice easier...
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through... and who she can’t live without.
This book started off a little slow for me. I struggled at the outset to really connect with Addie. It seemed to me that her life was pretty run of mill, even if she had a wee bit of a super power, her daily grind was pretty mundane.... until... she's faced with a choice and we really see what her super power can do.
I don't want to give too much away here, so I'm only going to say that once Addie began to search her future so she could decide which path to take I was totally hooked. The twists and turns in both potential realities were great. Either one alone would have made a great book, the fact that West was able to weave together 2 entire plot lines is amazing. I couldn't put the book down, I just needed to know what was going to happen and what Addie would pick.
There are a few things in particular that I absolutely love about this book- One is that Addie is not looking for love throughout the whole book. In fact, she's actively avoiding it. Too often we see YA novels that center around "girl meets boy" and the romance that follows. In one timeline we see a girl has an awesome best friend and is skeptical when the school heart throb starts paying her attention. In the other we have Addie meeting Trevor and seeing him as cute, but also as perfect best friend material. She's not looking for the hook up, she's looking for a friend. I LOVE that first and foremost in the story is friendship and the support that can only come from good friends. Sure, love follows, but it isn't the center piece of the relationships.
The other thing I adore is actually just one line from Trevor, timeline #2 best friend, Addie explains her powers to him and when he realizes what she would have to give up to stay with him, who she would lose, he says simply "You don't pick this. This has to be a search. There's no way you would pick this. Everything will be okay." The reason I love this is because he doesn't even hesitate, he puts Addie first and knows that he could never ask her to give up the things would have to. He is willing to lose her to make sure she isn't hurt, but he also trusts that it will work out. There's no selfishness there and I love that. I was 100% Team Trevor from that moment on.
I'll apologize here because that was a pretty vague review.... I know that this book came out awhile ago, but West does such a great job intertwining the stories that I really don't want to spoil it for anyone. I'll just say that at the end of the book I was immediately crushed because I didn't get the resolution I wanted and then had book whiplash when I realized that there was a sequel (Split Second). Although I will admit I'm a little hesitant to read it because after that book it will really be over! In short- if you haven't read this one yet, go get it. It's totally worth it.
Home of the ramblings of an avid reader. In my spare time I also run, ride, teach, go on adventures and get into shenanigans.
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