Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Book Shelf: Styx & Stones by Carmen Jenner

A heartbreaking mature YA novel from the author of the bestselling contemporary romance, Harley & Rose.

Cancer sucks … and then you die.

Alaska Stone is everything I've ever dreamed of.

For years, I’ve watched her in the halls, wanted her, but she never knew I existed.

Not until she walked into my chemo session.

For me, it was love at first sight.

For her? It might take a little longer.

But hey, it’s not like we’re on a deadline or anything.

More info on Goodreads....


Styx & Stones is a heartfelt and poignant YA read from bestselling author Carmen Jenner that will bewitch readers with its moving and emotional storyline and tangible, genuine characters.

Seventeen year old Styx Hendricks thinks cancer sucks and why shouldn’t he? He beat it once and now its come back worse then ever. Chemo makes him weak and sick and Styx is so over putting poison in his body. There’s nothing in life to be positive about….until Alaska Stone walks into his chemo session. Alaska has always been Styx’s dream girl and it seems like a cruel twist of fate that she’s finally noticing him when things seem so grim but Styx is determined to prove to Alaska that there are things more important than dying, and living—and loving—is the most important of them all.

I knew heading into this novel that Carmen Jenner was going to break my heart. How could she not? Anyone who has read Harley & Rose knew how Styx’s story was going to end. There wouldn’t be a “happy ending” for this lovable dork, but Jenner surprised me by the amount of wonder, sweetness and joy she packed into this novel—Styx & Stones is a story about true love, exploration and living in the moments you have, especially when your future isn’t guaranteed. And I think it was absolutely beautiful.

Styx & Stones unfolds through the dual perspectives of main characters Styx Hendricks and Alaska Stone, switching back and forth between them throughout the novel. Both Styx and Alaska have sharp, distinct voices and Carmen Jenner explores a tough topic—kids with cancer—in a very respectful, genuine but entertaining way. This story is actually really fun. Until the final few chapters, it’s often easy to forget how dire our protagonists situations are as they spend time together.

Styx and Alaska are adorable and awkward and just honestly normal teenagers facing the biggest fights of their lives. They’re also falling in love; in the middle of all the pain and uncertainty and fear they’re facing, they slowly find unexpected friendship and love with each other. It’s really sweet seeing them stumble through their feelings and I feel like Jenner did this so perfectly. There’s an innocence to their romance as they experience physicality with each other and tenderness as they fall in love. It’s heartbreaking knowing their time together will be short, but uplifting too as at least they have experienced love during what little time they have.

I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers, but there were aspects of this novel I really wasn’t expecting; both good and bad. I was expecting to have Styx break my heart, but Alaska was unexpected and given how much I came to love these two quirky teens, seeing their pain was heartbreaking and emotional and gut wrenching….BUT the very ending of Styx & Stones is also very hopeful so I will forgive Carmen Jenner for the emotional roller-coaster she took me on.

Beautifully written, thoughtful and moving, Styx & Stones is a powerfully told novel that allows readers to experience a whole spectrum of emotion as Carmen Jenner proves that she can write anything---adult, NA and now YA-- and knows how to get the most out of her readers with Styx & Stones that in my opinion deserves to right up there with The Fault in Our Stars and A Walk To remember as one of those timely, spectacular stories.

Source: Sent for review by author (Thank you Carmen!)
Publisher: Published by author
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Buy: Amazon
Final Thoughts: I loved this novel and thought it was beautiful--I highly reccomend a read!

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