The Survival Guide to Bullying and Road Rash Mini-Reviews

Monday, 26 October 2015
The Survival Guide to Bullying, by Aija Mayrock
Publication: August 25, 2015, by Scholastic
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Aija Mayrock, a 19-year-old girl, offers a fresh perspective on bullying. In her book, "The Survival Guide to Bullying" - written by a kid for a kid, Aija offers support, guidance, and direction to her reader.
Aija, herself was bullied in middle school and part of high school. She shares with her reader the different approaches and strategies that helped her survive and thrive. Aija writes about how to handle bullying, cyber bullying, dealing with fear, personal safety, and ultimately creating the life that you dream of having.
From inspiring Roems (rap/poems), Survival Tips, personal anecdotes and quick quizzes, this book is an easy guide to light the way to a brighter future for teenagers.
Aija handles the issue of bullying with great sensitivity and a fresh perspective. She speaks the same language as her peers, making the book very relatable for kids and teens.

My Thoughts:

Thankfully, I've never been bullied. Thankfully, I've found this book by the inspirational Aija Mayrock. I'm thankful for a lot of things that this book gave me and other readers, and as I'm writing this review, it's Thanksgiving which also leads us in this awesome grateful, thankful spirit of the year. The Survival Guide to Bullying is witty, interesting and captivating. It teaches you how to find yourself with adorable roems (Aija's version of raps and poems that she personally wrote herself) as well as quizzes, step-by-step tutorials and her personal experiences. It's rare to find out about someone's inner experience of bullying since it sometimes is so tragic, but I believe that we should all be thankful for this book.

Although it is written by an amazing teen, this book is for everyone. It could be for someone who had dealt with bullying in the past and would like to read about what they should've done when things were happening and changing their lives, it could be for kids or for teens. There's something in this beautiful guide that's for everyone, even if you're just curious about the writing and what to do kind of thing that I'm here for. It's such a remarkable, interesting guide. 

In case you haven't noticed already from what I told you about this book, Aija is a fabulous writer, you could seriously tell. From this guide/novel, you'll discover her true personality and see why she's an amazing person and author. She puts all of herself into this novel and isn't just here to tell her story, she's here to help others. She's motivational and I'd definitely eventually like to see fiction being written by her, because her attitude is positive and different. More people need to discover this story.

The Survival Guide to Bullying may not exactly help you, but it's definitely there for you to help others. Being a bystander is horrible, and this guide is motivational and inspiring, as well as interesting. We don't usually get to read about a first-hand experience of young people getting bullied except in fiction, but that's plain fiction. This is non-fiction and like a memoir with so much more. Aija's story is here, waiting for you to pick it up and recommend it to everyone you know, young or old. Woo!

Publication: February 11, 2014, by Knopf BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted

After being dropped from one band, sixteen-year-old drummer Zach gets a chance to go on tour with a much better band. It feels like sweet redemption, but this is one rocky road trip—filled with jealousy, rivalries, and on-stage meltdowns. Mark Parsons has written a fast-paced, feel-good novel about a boy finding his place in the world, in a band, and in the music. Zach is a character teens will stand up and cheer for as he lands the perfect gig, and the perfect girl.

My Thoughts:

Books about guys who can play the guitar/instruments in a rock band and with a male protagonist are my guilty pleasures. I'm kidding, I'm not guilty of enjoying them at all. Why would I be? Mark Huntley Parsons' Road Rash was one of those books that sat on my shelves for years (I think it was two) and I couldn't stop being excited for it in a way so I just went for it. Plus, I wanted to clear my shelves of books with not-so attractive cover schemes. But aside from the not attractive artwork, it was a well-written novel that gave me the feels and left me the happiest person ever. 

If you decide to read this, I'm just letting you know one thing that's pretty straight-forward: This is a freaking awesome road trips filled with guys who know that music warms a girl's heart. It's the truth. *wiggles eyebrows* It's a great coming-of-age story that's easy to read and has a fast-paced plot, but kind of doesn't provide much in between. I had the odd smile and giggle, but don't expect any hardcore themes as I once suspected that this would have.

"Anything new is an adventure. At least for a while. But then the novelty wears off and you're stuck dealing with whatever's left, good or bad. In this case, what was left was the simple fact that I'd been fired from my band. Again." (313)
This is a book that would probably turn into a film and be awesome. It's kind of like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, in a way—it's cheery and hilarious in a way that doesn't always involve laughing, but more of the writing, though it has that deeper meaning that not every reader sees by the end. It focuses on romance in some aspects, but not too much of it until the later portion of the novel. It's interesting and captivating, and I guess that I wouldn't trade my experience for anything because I'm glad that I got to read some lyrical writing with legit lyrics of the band the main character, Zach, is in.

This is a legit indie novel. And by indie, I mean it has some kind of hipster flow and awesomeness to it. The main character, Zach, is charming, but has his stubborn own way of doing things that surely involves lies and flaws, causing readers to have a mixed feeling of him. He lives by doing what he loves and weirdly following his dreams when it's so difficult to do what he does in reality. But then again, I may be thinking about this toughly since reality is not a book, right?

Cheers to an interesting novel that made me smile! This doesn't occur too often but when it does, I feel happy and cheery. I need more of Mark Huntley Parsons' sass, and that's what this book was: utter sassiness. The characters and the whole story gives readers a burst into what it's like to work in the music business and how a teenager could follow his dreams and just have fun, because that's what life really is about. Go for it if you're the kind of reader who practically reads all of YA contemporary, just like I do. 

Do you think that a lot of books deal with teenagers in the music business, like Zach was? What's your impression of that?

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