I ACTUALLY FINISHED A BOOK! I know that sounds silly, but I am so excited to finallyOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
I ACTUALLY FINISHED A BOOK! I know that sounds silly, but I am so excited to finally be pushing out of this three month long reading funk. I’ve been so devastated that I haven’t been wanting to read. I don’t even think that’s a totally accurate statement. Let me rephrase: I’ve HATED the thought of reading. I haven’t been interested in it at all. I actually started to get worried that I would never want to read another book again. BUT I READ ONE! AND I LOVED IT!
If you read and loved Try by Ella Frank, then you are going to fall head over heels in love with Take. It is 100 times better. The writing, the characters, the plot, the drama….everything is SO much better than the first book. When I read Try earlier this year I remember that I liked it, but I also did skim it. It wasn’t something that I read straight through mostly because I thought that it was far-fetched and a little silly. There is nothing far-fetched or silly about Take. It is just HOT.
One of my biggest complaints with the first book was with Tate’s character. It’s not that I didn’t like him, but I also didn’t overly love him. I was actually a really big fan of Tate’s character in Take, which is an example of some crazy awesome character development. And, of course, Logan was just as hot as ever. I was also really interested in some of the supporting characters that were introduced (both new and old.)
What I really liked about this book was how it still held predictability, but it also took a different course than the first book. The drama was more intense, the heartbreak more shattering, and the heat was more well…hot. I’m really interested to see everything progress even more in the third book because let me be the first to say that Ella Frank has some serious writing skills.
There are two reasons why I’m docking this book half a star. 1. It did get a little rushed at the end. 2. I’m still not on board with how quickly Logan and Tate fell in to their relationship. It was adorable when the “I love you’s” started to come out, but it was also really uncomfortable since it was mentioned several times in this book that they had only known each other for so many weeks. I don’t understand why their story is being so rushed. As a reader and a fan of these boys, I want to see their relationship progress into months and years…not just weeks. I’m willing to read about those gaps of time and I’m really disappointed that I’m not seeing them. This book felt like a span of around 2-4 weeks, and I wish that there would have been several months to read about.
The ending of Take has a huge cliff hanger. I honestly didn’t expect to leave off where it did and now I just want the next book RIGHT NOW. Everyone needs to go read this series! It is so good!...more
It was so weird for my to physically hold and read to this book because it’s the first oneOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
It was so weird for my to physically hold and read to this book because it’s the first one I’ve read. I listened to the first two books on audio and I swore I was going to do the same with this one because they’re such good audiobooks. When I received an email from the publisher asking if I would like a copy and to join the #Isla campaign, I just couldn’t resist. I knew that I had to get my hands on this book because lord knows when the audiobook is going to come out. Let me tell you that I was not disappointed. This book was amazing!
What I love about Stephanie Perkins’ writing is that it’s so realistic. She doesn’t play that boy meets girl and they fall in love and all of the emotions are so exaggerated compared to real life. All of the books in this series are definitely romantic and feature the characters falling in love, but it’s so much more than that. The characters that Perkins develops act like how I would expect kids their age to act. They have those enhanced emotions and the petty drama that a lot of contemporary authors either ignore or exaggerate too much. I love the realistic quality that Perkins brings to these books.
I remember when I listened to Anna and the French Kiss on audiobook and Isla was introduced at the very end of the book, and I remember thinking that Isla and Josh would eventually get their own book. I was so excited to learn that I was correct. Isla and Josh are, by far, my favorite couple in this entire series. Not that I didn’t love Anna and St. Claire and Lola and Crickett, but there was just something uniquely special about Isla and Josh. Not to mention that Josh is probably my favorite character in the entire series. I’m really devastated that I don’t have more to read about them.
There did come a point in this book where I started not wanting to read it because I anticipated sudden doom. I knew that something bad was going to happen, and I honestly was not looking forward to the ending of this book. I don’t want to give anything away about the ending, but I will say that I was not disappointed in the ending at all.
Another thing that slightly bothered me was something that was mentioned in the first few chapters that really felt like a spoiler alert. I don’t want to say what it is because that will give away a big chunk of the book. However, I was really annoyed because I knew that that was going to happen at some point during the book. Obviously, it did happen. I kind of wish that Perkins would have maybe made that more of a surprise than to just leave the reader wondering when it was going to happen.
Fans of the whole series need to be prepared to blush and smile your widest smile toward the very end of the book. I’m sealing my lips, but I will say that SOMETHING happens that will leave you squealing [;
Overall, I loved this book. Stephanie Perkins is one of my all time favorite contemporary authors and I really do hope she take this series further sometime in the future. I know that I would love to read about Kurt and about Isla's little sister Hattie, whether that be their own story together or two separate stories. I feel like there is so much more that needs to be written about these characters and I really hope that eventually becomes part of Perkins' plans....more
It's been a couple weeks since I've read this book, so my review might not be perfect and in depth.
The one thing that absolutely stands out about thisIt's been a couple weeks since I've read this book, so my review might not be perfect and in depth.
The one thing that absolutely stands out about this book is Logan. Oh my goodness. Hello, Logan! He is the definition of sexy. And he had this bad boy attitude, yet with a sensitive side that he tried to hide at all possible times, that built him up that much more. I thought that his relationship with Tate could be a little awkward at times. That's probably because I didn't overly love Tate, though. Discounting that slight hiccup, Logan made this story.
On a negative note, it seemed pretty far fetched for Tate to all of a sudden realize that he was gay. No, that doesn't sound right when I read it on the screen because that sort of stuff does happen. Let me rephrase: It wasn't far fetched that Tate realized he was gay so late in life, it was how quickly he acted on it after being so against it for like a week. I would have liked to see more of a building chemistry romance between Tate and Logan. Their actions and routines started to get repetitive within the story. Some editing and character building would have fixed that right up.
Another thing is that I thought there could have been more of a plot. Don't get me wrong, the sex was hot, but I really wanted to see more cute moments between Logan and Tate. Since Logan was such a strong character, I really wanted to see more of his vulnerability and more moments that made me want to grab my heart and swoon. There were moments like that! I just wanted a little bit more to the storyline.
Overall, I actually really enjoyed this book. I can't wait until the second book comes out this summer. It's definitely a hot and powerful read, and I dare you not to fall in love with these men!
I originally picked up Dark Companion for two reasons: the gorgeous cover, and the comparisonsOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
I originally picked up Dark Companion for two reasons: the gorgeous cover, and the comparisons to Jane Eyre. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy some parts of the book, I was left mostly underwhelmed.
Things I liked:
The writing! It was really lovely and well-done, and had very Gothic, dark tones which appealed to me a lot. The book could definitely be a little creepy (and weird) at times, especially when the author was describing the gloomy, dreary school, but it worked. Sometimes it risked feeling a little too gloomy and drab, but all in all, the writing was a plus.
I also really enjoyed reading about some of the characters, with the exception of a few. Jane herself was kind of hit-or-miss with me…sometimes I felt myself empathizing and cheering her on, and sometimes I wanted to slap her upside the head (especially the way she let some of the others treat her). The best characters for me, however, was her best friend, Mary Violet, and the love interest, Jack. Mary Violet in particular was hilarious, with her quirky poetry and odd way of speaking/behaving. Jack was kind of an oddball, and while I’m not sure he’ll go into my list of favorite book guys, he was interesting and well-developed enough.
Things I disliked:
Lucien, or Lucky as he was called. Oh my gosh. He was so creepy, so abusive, and so weirdly possessive. I hated the way he treated Jane, and even worse, I hated that she let him! For a good chunk of the book she practically worships him, which I absolutely couldn’t stand, especially when his brother Jack was clearly the better choice.
Speaking of Jack, the romance wasn’t all that great either. Jane spends most of the book fixated on Lucky while ignoring the obvious signs that Jack is into her, in a kind of forced love triangle that didn’t really work (mostly since Lucky was a creep and clearly not a viable choice). And then when she finally does open her eyes and realize that Jack has been there all along…it feels really sudden and rushed. There was definitely some sweet moments between the two of them, but I just wasn’t feeling it, despite really liking Jack’s character.
And lastly, I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but basically the plot gets really weird really fast at a certain point, once Jane starts to figure out what Birch Grove’s big secret is. It was a little (okay, a lot) strange and I’m just not sure how much I’m willing to roll with it. Especially where Lucky is concerned, yuck! Again, I can’t say much…but I will say that it was definitely a little disturbing.
All in all, while there were some aspects of Dark Companion that I thoroughly enjoyed, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was a little too creepy in some parts and a little too bland for the rest of it. Some people might totally love it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea....more
I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. HOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. Her Shiver series just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t really enjoy any of the standalone novels she’s written either. So despite ravings on Tumblr and Goodreads about how amazing The Raven Boys was, I went into it pretty hesitantly and with low expectations…which were completely blown out of the water!
The Raven Boys is a pretty intricately woven story about a girl named Blue, a non-psychic born into a family of psychics. And for as long as Blue can remember, she’s been told that when she kisses her true love, it’ll kill him. That’s when she meets Gansey, along with the rest of his friends. He’s rich, a little condescending, and everything Blue despises, but something about him makes her want to know more. And then the adventure really begins, as she’s drawn into the crazy world of the Raven Boys, full of long lost kings, ancient Welsh mythology, psychic magic, leylines, and some unexpected romance too.
In case you couldn’t tell by the description, this book was like NOTHING I’ve ever read before. Props to Maggie Stiefvater, because she’s officially converted me to her side. There’s so much goodness about this book, I don’t even know how to begin.
I guess I’ll start with the characters! As the narrator of our story (somewhat, it’s told from multiple perspectives), I adored Blue. She’s feisty, quirky, sharp-tongued, and smart as hell. I think the best way to describe her is prickly, but with a heart of gold. The thing I loved the most about her was how she’d call people out on their BS…she didn’t take crap from anyone, no matter who you were. And the rest of the cast was just as flawless. The boys themselves each had such vivid, well-woven personalities that practically leaped off the page. They felt like real people to me, which was so wonderful. Adam was the most precious (and heartbreaking) character I’ve ever read about…he was so bitter and resentful, but so sweet and gentle at the same time. Ronan was fierce and cruel, but you could practically feel his dedication and protectiveness of his friends. Noah was so quiet that he practically became invisible among his boisterous friends, and I just wanted to wrap him up in a blanket.
But oh my gosh, you guys. Gansey. Gansey. I’ve never loved a fictional character as much as I loved him. And I know I say similar things a lot, but I mean it this time. You know how sometimes you just connect with a character on such an emotional level? That was me and Gansey. I felt his pain, I understood what he was going through with his own internal demons, I cried over him. He was rich and privileged and a little bit oblivious to his own occasional tendency towards being condescending, but he meant well. He cares so fiercely for his friends and wants nothing more than to keep them all together and happy. He’s charming, smooth, but somehow down-to-earth at the same time. God, he’s just fantastic. He’s so incredibly real…but all of them are, really, and that’s what makes this book especially stand out.
The plot itself was the only tiny downfall. While it was fascinating and I had no idea what was going on…that was also the problem: I had no idea what was going on. Not for all of it, mind you, but there were definitely parts where I was like…umm…wait, what just happened? The thing was, it was so complex with so many different storylines that at times it felt like a bit much. BUT, by that point I was already so invested in the characters and the story that I didn’t even care!
All in all, this book is amazing. It’s hugely character-driven, which normally I don’t like, but you can’t not get invested in their lives and backstories. It’s also told from multiple points of view, which I also normally don’t like, but it worked in The Raven Boys. Please pick up this book immediately, guys, you won’t regret it! The plot is unique and full of magical goodness, the characters are utterly real and layered, and the writing is beautifully lyrical and sweeps you away.
This one is worth buying!
Look for my review of the second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, coming soon!...more
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess tells the story of Ileni, a young sorceress who once was the most poOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess tells the story of Ileni, a young sorceress who once was the most powerful in all of the Renegai, but has begun to slowly lose her powers. Deemed somewhat useless by her society, she is sent to become the new magic tutor for a clan of assassins that live deep within the cavernous mountains of God-knows-where. Her goal is to find out what happened to the last two tutors before her time runs out, and despite the trauma of losing, essentially, her identity in the form of magic, she’s determined that only her own death will stop her from solving the mystery.
I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Death Sworn is ‘hmmm’. I’m kind of conflicted, because this is one of those books where 75% of it was fascinating and suspenseful, but it then kind of takes a nosedive in the last quarter. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but I wish that it could’ve finished off what started as a very strong run a little stronger.
Not a whole lot happens in the plot itself, which takes place entirely within the labyrinth of caves where the assassins live and train. I mean, stuff happens. And it’s definitely exciting and full of action! But sometimes it felt a little less like a complete story arc and more like a bunch of disjointed events as Ileni struggles to stay alive among the assassins from day to day. Still, it was interesting enough, and I devoured the book pretty quickly. Plus, when the killer was finally revealed, I’m happy to say that I definitely didn’t see it coming!
The characters themselves were decent, but nothing special. Ileni was most definitely a very strong girl, both mentally and physically. She did whine a lot, but to me it felt less like whining and more like a young person going through the traumatizing experience of losing something that was once a part of her soul and identity. Still, there were times when I wished she would maybe just…not lament over it quite as much? And on top of that, she could be SO fickle, oh my goodness. I couldn’t even count how many times she went back and forth between being certain that Sorin was going to kill her and being certain that he’d never touch a hair on her head. Ditto between having a death wish and not caring whether she lived or died, and deciding to seize the day and live life to the fullest. Also I still wasn’t sure at the end whether she was still in love with Terris, the guy she leaves behind, or not?? His entire role in the story felt a bit useless and unnecessary, honestly.
As a male lead, Sorin was okay, but I couldn’t help but feel that their romance seemed a bit sudden in some parts. There’s definitely no insta-love or anything like that, but the shift from “We are enemies, though admittedly I am starting to care for you” to “You are a babe, let’s make out” seemed a bit quick. And then ugh, don’t even talk to me about his character development. I had so much hope! He started off as a killer with zero remorse or feelings, and it was so sweet watching him gradually start to think for himself and open up with Ileni…but then the ending happened and I just…ugh. I liked him, don’t get me wrong, but there were a few parts when I wanted to bash my head into the wall.
All in all, my feelings are pretty mixed about this one. I think it definitely is worth a read, just because the world-building is pretty awesome and it’s full of enough fast-paced action that you’ll get sucked in pretty quickly, but it probably won’t be going into my favorites list....more
Have you ever been around a handicapped person (either mentally or physically) and felt nervOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Have you ever been around a handicapped person (either mentally or physically) and felt nervous? Uncomfortable? Frightened? Disgusted? Maybe a little bit ashamed of yourself for feeling that way? If you have, don’t feel like the worlds worst person in the entire world. Chances are that most people have felt that exact way at least once in their life. The main character in Summer on the Short Bus, Cricket, feels that pain when she gets shipped off to a summer camp for handicapped children. To say she is uncomfortable and slightly disgusted is an understatement, and if she has her way she’ll be on the next ride out of freaksville.
Over time, Cricket begins to learn that being a little different doesn’t make you a freak or a weirdo. Yes, the kids at camp look different than she and the rest of the camp counselors do, but they are no less loveable or wonderful. They’re just like her on the inside. So what if they look different on the outside? Summer on the Short Bus is an eye opening novel that details just how important every human being is, whether “normal” or “abnormal”, and brings about the growth of one ignorant little girl and turns her into a believer.
This book….my goodness…….hmm…..powerful. That’s the word that I want to identify with this book. IT IS POWERFUL. And so freaking true! I’m ashamed to admit it (see first paragraph) but I also felt a little uncomfortable during my initial stages of this book. I felt uncomfortable reading about handicapped children. How awful of a person does that make me? The one thing that spurred me on and made me feel less like an asshat from Hell was Bethany’s constant message in this book that being afraid or uncomfortable around handicapped people does not make you a horrible person. It’s normal behavior. Quite frankly, it’s normal behavior because most people don’t experience that on a day to day basis. To put it frankly, handicaps are abnormal in today’s society as a whole and people fear the unknown. I’m happy to admit that I eventually grew to love every single member of that camp and wanted to hug every single one of them. It didn’t matter that they were handicapped or a little different! And that was the message that was constantly thrown in my face during this book. Those kids were normal people with a different outside. And I loved them. I loved this book. I loved the messages. Now look at me rambling.
The one thing that I wasn’t a big fan of (I lied, there’s actually two things) is the relationship between Cricket and Quinn. This book really didn’t call for a romance, and I felt that that whole thing kind of took away from the book. Not only were they super insta lovey, but I hated Cricket for 80% of the book (until she stopped being an utter bitch) and didn’t want to see her happy AT ALL. Their relationship took up a big chunk of the book that I thought should have been dedicated elsewhere. Another thing I didn’t overly like was the mystery that starts coming up toward the last half/end of the book. Again, it wasn’t really necessary and took away from the book. I thought that the whole thing should have been dedicated to the campers and Cricket’s growth. There were just a few too many different things going on in the story.
Summer on the Short Bus is a book that I would hand one of my students in a hot second. I think that it’s a book that every child should be forced to read for their own personal growth as human beings. Have you seen the way kids treat each other? Have you seen the way kids treat people, small or large, that have handicaps? HORRIBLY. That’s how they treat them. Believe me, kids will laugh at the handicapped children in this book at first, but they NEED to read/hear the messages that are repeated over and over in this book. This book is, yes, powerful. It’s also something that our society needs to read about. I loved this book. Screw the things I didn’t like….I just loved the overall message. More please!...more