Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Dear Mr. Knightley" by Katherine Reay

{{It’s a Wednesday, so not a Christmas review today. :)}}
About this book:

  “Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.
  After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.
  As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.”

Series: As of now, no.

Spiritual Content- ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; A Scripture is mentioned & discussed; A priest; Sam wants to believe God cares about her, but can’t; Mrs. Muir has a faith & talks about it a bit; Mentions of God & a lady drops hints about God to Sam, Sam says 40pages till the end that she believes in God; Mentions of prayers & blessings over food (one is written out); Mentions of pastors & churches; A mention of preaching & a sermon;
*Note: A mention of a demigod.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘darn it’, an ‘idiot’, a ‘forget you’, two ‘dumb’s, three forms of ‘screw up’, four ‘heck’s, four ‘shut up’s, five ‘crap’s, six ‘stupid’s; Mentions of curses that are cut off before actually said; Sarcasm; Remembering being strangled (border-line semi-detailed // detailed); Remembering beatings (semi-detailed); Bleeding, being hit, pain & a hospital (semi-detailed); Many mentions of abuse, hitting & being chained (semi-detailed); Mentions of fighting & bullies (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of nightmares (semi-detailed); Mentions of drugs, overdosing, gangs & crimes; Mentions of murders & deaths; Mentions of murder mysteries & gore; Mentions of self-harming; Mentions of prison; Mentions of hate & hating; Mentions of drinks & bars; Mentions of vomiting; A couple mentions of beating hope & life from someone; A couple mentions of wine; A mention of urine; A mention of cocktail parties; A mention of cigarettes; A mention of poker; A mention of a robbery & a gun pointed;
             *Note: sixteen mentions of working and/or going to Starbucks; A mention of Jane Erye being locked in a room with her uncle’s ghost.

Sexual Content- two neck kisses, a cheek kiss, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses, five semi-detailed kisses, a borderline semi-detail // detailed kiss, a detailed kiss; Touches & Hand holding (semi-detailed); Noticing & Smelling; Thinking of heroes in books (semi-detailed); Morgan says Sam is selling herself for school; Laura says Mr. Knightly would never cross a line with a woman; Hannah talks about & believes that you shouldn’t sleep with a guy if you’re not married to him; Girls talk about love, intimacy & regretting; Sam says she doesn’t know a friend you hasn’t slept with a guy; Josh invites Sam to stay at his place and she doesn’t know why she won’t do it...Sam gets to his door, but leaves after a jerk’s comments about it being a big night and says “not tonight”; Kyle (age 15) says he knows guys who have babies; Sam falls in love with the idea of being in love; *Spoiler* Sam’s father tried to sell her at age 15 to some guys saying they could use her and make a $100 “a pop” (she got away before anything happened) *End of Spoiler*; A date & getting ready for it; Talks about buys, proposals, & love; two ‘sexy’s; A mention of plastic surgery; A mention of hot & steamy novels; A mention of Outlander’s scenes & leaving a lady blushing for weeks; Mentions of cute guys & crushes; Mentions of boy crazy girls; Mentions of stealing girlfriends & holding on tight; Mentions of kisses, kissing, telling, & kissing scenes; Mentions of the “big night” and a stare that feels like he’s undressing her; Mentions of a guy wanting to be alone with Sam in her apartment & him inviting her to his; Many mentions & talks about; flirting; Many mentions of dates, dating, cheaters, boyfriends & girlfriends; Love falling in love & the emotions.
             *Note: A mention of actually beating around someone’s butt; A mention of “whip your butt” & “getting better at falling without breaking my butt.”; A mention of shaving; A mention of a girl on the streets being safer dressed as a boy.

-Samantha Moore, age 23-24

                                P.O.V. of Samantha in letters.
                                                        325 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
This book was hard for me to read…I’m not sure what to rate it. I’m an adoption & foster advocate, so all the abuse was very hard to read about. It wasn’t a happy book, to say the least. Sam was really different, she changed herself to be like the characters she reads about. I’m not personally a Jane Austen fan, so all the quotes I got, but they were still lost on me. I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Mr. Knightly, I knew who he was by opening chapter (*cough* Hallmark *cough*) and it played out how I predicted it would. My heart hurt for Sam because of her past, but mostly because she was trying to find herself in dating & books, while she should have found herself in the Lord. Not much Spiritual Content, which was disappointing for the length of all the Negative & Sexual Content. I have to say, though, I can see this book being semi-outdated in a maybe ten years due to the many mentions of modern stuff. (Starbucks, Outlander & Downton Abbey to name a few.) I’ll try other books by this author, but I really hope they’ll cleaner.

See y’all on Friday with a new Christmas review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

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