The Things We Can’t Undo: #LoveOZYA Review

38402124The Things We Can’t Undo by Gabrielle Reid
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOzYA
Publication: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank you Gabrielle
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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There’s no backspace key for life’s decisions.

Samantha and Dylan are in love – everyone knows it. So it’s no big deal when they leave a party for some time out together. But when malicious rumours surface about that night, each feels betrayed by the other.

Will Sam make a decision she can’t take back?

Triggers: sexual assault/rape & suicide.

I was a little shell shocked upon finishing this book. I was captivated from beginning to end and the book is terrifically done, but it does deal some heavy hits. The story highlights and deals with: mental illness, suicide, rape, (what is) consent, friendship, and the importance of communication. While also touching on: social media (the possible backlash and dangers), parental pressure and expectations, social pressure and expectations, cultural pressures and expectations, underage drinking/parties, dating and first times/loves.

Yep heavy stuff! But Gabrielle Reid has done a brilliant job of containing it all in a captivating story and format that discreetly educates. It is set in present day Sydney and told in the duel POV of Dylan and Sam. The story is told using the inclusion of diary entries, text messages, forum messages and twitter feeds from the characters. I really enjoy it when authors do this as part of the story telling. It seems to be the in thing to do, very now and I love it. Gabrielle has, not only told a good yarn with an important message, she has created a time capsule of how the world is now, not unlike how Puberty Blues is a time capsule for the late 70’s.

I think this book could be a great tool/way to get teens talking about consent. Both main characters were easy to connect with and I found I could relate to both on some level. Yes, the mother in me wanted to jump into the pages at times and shake the crap out of some of the characters, but that was mainly Sam’s parents.

Gabrielle did a guest post on my blog back in May where she talks about her book, the issue of consent and her intentions behind the character Dylan. I urge you to take a look at it, CLICK HERE, and of course the book itself.

I have two sons, yes itty-bitty babies now, but one day they will evolve into hormone fuelled monsters and I hope I can instil in them the knowledge and understanding necessary to make sure the scenarios in this book never happen to them or someone they care about.

GABRIELLE’S LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

The Things You Can’t Undo on: Goodreads | Ford Street Amazon AU

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Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

I was Here by Gayle Forman


Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

My Thoughts

I will just say that Gayle Forman is a phenomenal writer; this story flowed beautifully and was extremely easy to read. I received this free advance reading copy of ‘I Was Here’ thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia, with its official release being the 1st February.

…he has this expression on his face –it’s the particular contortion when fury meets guilt. And I know that look. I see it every day in the mirror.

Throughout this book we see Cody struggling to come to terms with the sudden and surprising suicide of her life long best friend Meg –Meg who she’d always held up on a pedestal –and struggling to come to terms with being left behind. Cody’s pain is natural and it feels real. Cody is wracked with the “it’s my fault” syndrome and is desperate to find someone to blame. In her effort to deal, she digs deep into the life that Meg tried to hide, enlisting the friends she meets along the way and uncovering some very disturbing truths.

To start off with we see Cody push everyone away. She is weak, scared, and a pretty crappy friend. But slowly we see her step out of her comfort zone and come to life with the determination (as she sees it) to avenge her fallen friend. We see Cody finally come to terms with Meg’s death and finally have the courage to forgive Meg and exonerate herself.

The romance between Cody and Ben is very cliché and unnecessary, but Cody’s love for Meg and her growing friendships with the other characters are more than strong enough to pull the story along.

Lastly we see Cody move on with her life, taking the lessons learnt with her.

I give it **** Four Stars (It’s quite a hard book to review as it’s a hard topic to deal with – I really don’t think my review has done the book justice).

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