Sometimes marketing strategies for books end up working against them. My biggest problem with this story was the misleading aspect of the cover and blSometimes marketing strategies for books end up working against them. My biggest problem with this story was the misleading aspect of the cover and blurb. If I feel like reading a romance, I grab a romance. If I feel like reading something else, I will grab something else. The fact that they've tried to sell this out as a romance instead of a very character-driven book about a conflicted conniving boy, enraged me. If it weren't for my expectations, I'd have enjoyed this story a lot more.
So I will save you the trouble. First ignore the cover, and the text about bot meets girl. Jesse aka Sway is one of the coolest characters I've ever read. He's bad-mouthed, offensive, selfish and blunt. He's also at conflict with himself. And somehow, through it all, I loved him as a character. The staging of the scenes sometimes bothered me because we are pulled from somewhere and suddenly placed somewhere else without a straight pattern of what is going on. Jesse spills pieces of his life at a slow pace, which might make readers dislike him without the full picture. But the sole fact that he develops heart-warming friendships with a disabled kid and a bitter old man in a nursing home, speaks volumes.
The array of secondary characters was also part of the strengths of the story. Carter, Joey, Fake Grandpa and especially. Pete. I loved Pete. He was almost as outwardly shelled as Jesse yet somehow one of the cutest characters ever.
Overall, through my anger at the deceiving presentation and the lack of romance, and despite the fact of getting bored several times during the middle part of the novel, I closed the book with a satisfied smile and found myself really liking many aspects of it. I will attempt to read something else from this author because she definitely has a knack for writing exceptional characters. ...more
I really, truly loved this one. It's not as amazingly written as my favorite Epic Fantasies but nevertheless, it was great. Maybe just because it's fiI really, truly loved this one. It's not as amazingly written as my favorite Epic Fantasies but nevertheless, it was great. Maybe just because it's first person narration, told from Sage's point of view (not all of it, but you will see that as you go) and normally high fantasies delve a little more into a poetic writing when written in third person. But Sage's voice seemed very modern and witty, which was one of the things I loved about him. So, by no means am I saying that the writing is less than great, it actually flows neatly and the voice is very gripping. I've been pondering on how to review it because I'm not sure if it's YA or MG.
Either way, it felt YA to me. I absolutely adored Sage and I fell in love with the book even more near the end, and that left me thirsty for the sequel. I seriously cannot wait. This will be one of my most-wanted next year. Nielsen manages to give us a narrator that keeps us entertained while withholding bits of information, in a rather brilliant way. We find things that Sage has done throughout that he has never mentioned, and at first this bothered me, but ultimately I saw the amazingness in it.
While there is not too much world-building in this one, because the boys are prisoners, I felt comfortable in their world and I expect to see a lot more insight to the Kingdoms in the next one. Chapters are very short making this a very easy read.
What I liked the most, besides Sage? Shocking twist. That's always a big plus in a book. Count this in your Fantasy list for this year! ...more
So unusual and original. A very different take on epic/life-changing road trips. A wonderful journey, though: deep and heart-felt and hopeful. There'sSo unusual and original. A very different take on epic/life-changing road trips. A wonderful journey, though: deep and heart-felt and hopeful. There's something wonderful about authors who can write contemporary so amazingly realistic, and yet very original. I loved the premise of this. A girl band? Going on tour? Even though they totally suck? And told through the fresh and yummy point of view of their friend-who-is-a-boy?
I admit that at first I felt it was kind of slow and not very gripping, but I loved the writing from the very first sentence. The fact is that the premise makes it wrongly seem like it will be simply a fun book. And it's more than just a fun book, it has depth and emotions. I've mentioned before how I love male PoV, specially when it involves a weird bad girl, a la Looking For Alaska.
The biggest bump I found was trying to match the Beverly in the book with the one Colby is in love with. It's a story about endings, and facing the future. So Colby and Beverly's friendship we glimpsed through memories. During the whole book Beverly is cold and distant, and yet, I guess the writing was just good enough to make me feel there had been that special friendship. And one of the things I loved the most was Colby's relationships with the other girls in the band, Meg and Alexa. He was just so awesome. Loved his character!
At some point I was just so involved and having so much fun, and just wrapped up so much in this awesome idea of a road trip for a tour even though you couldn't be less famous (or talented for that matter), that I was just eager to read the whole thing. And the ending was so great and magical and unexpected that I ended up overseeing all my previous "bumps" with the story.
I haven't read Hold Still, but if it's anything like The Disenchantments, I'm sure I'll love it too. ...more
Even though I shy away from supernatural elements in YA, time travel is just one of my favorite themes in literature. Besides the time travel bit, theEven though I shy away from supernatural elements in YA, time travel is just one of my favorite themes in literature. Besides the time travel bit, there's not really any other supernatural elements (or maybe this qualifies as Sci-fi?).
Tempest is narrated by Jackson, and male narrators are one of my favorite things to read. He's in college and experimenting with his time-travel freakish and mostly boring ability, because he cant go back very long and he cant change anything when he does. Until the day some dudes burst into his girlfriend's dorm and shoots her in the head right in front of him. Then he's thrown back two years in the past and gets stuck there.
Even though the writing was not rich or outstanding in any way, and it was even sometimes a tad confusing, the plot was mind-blowing and INSANELY AWESOME. What Julie Cross lacks in rich writing, she makes up for with her absolutely amazing ability to thread a thrilling plot. It's almost impossible to put down, and as a reader, I was so glued to the story because the plot kept just spitting out twists and surprises everywhere.
The mix between time-travel, male narrator and being CIA related makes me quite certain that this is a book for male readers as well. Yes, it does have it's splash of romance but the sense of adventure is in every page. This would make an amazing on-screen adaptation, and I'm glad the rights have been already bought because I cant wait to see it come to life.
It's also one of the few Young Adult books I've read where the character is actually in college and not in high school (at the beginning at least). The cover, even though it's gorgeous, had me a little wary because it looks a lot like Hush, Hush's cover, and like I said, I'm a reluctant paranormal reader. But once I established this was NOT like the typical paranormal romance recipe, I knew I would enjoy it.
This is a wonderful debut and start to a series that will appeal to teens and college students and also to realistic and fantasy readers alike....more
Wow. SO INTENSE. Bursting with tension, some scenes were just so engaging and so emotion-filled that they'd leave me drained. Definitely an unusual dyWow. SO INTENSE. Bursting with tension, some scenes were just so engaging and so emotion-filled that they'd leave me drained. Definitely an unusual dystopia, very different from book one, but incredibly well done. :) *REVIEW SOON*...more
The story is so mundane and relatable that it's hard to pull away from. David is a master of words and it was exhilarating to<3 <3 <3 <3
The story is so mundane and relatable that it's hard to pull away from. David is a master of words and it was exhilarating to read a bit of his wisdom. I just want to have this as a manual of life, of relationships and my reminder that love is everywhere :)...more
WHOA. Dark, compelling, unbelievably haunting and unimaginably brilliant. I was dizzy from being inside Evan's mind. His character is so utterly palpabWHOA. Dark, compelling, unbelievably haunting and unimaginably brilliant. I was dizzy from being inside Evan's mind. His character is so utterly palpable that it was scary. I've always loved anything that has to do with 'dangerous' girls. That sort of mysterious, dark and troubled female character that is just as messed up as she is magnetic. Sort of like Alaska in Looking for Alaska. And Ariel's character was mind-blowing. From inside Evan's head she was so many different things, so many different people and yet, I could just picture her perfectly. I was probably as drawn to her as any of the other characters.
I think 'gripping' is an understatement. It was almost physically painful to pull myself out of the book. Such magnificent writing with a relatively simple plot, but it was given in these bits and pieces, photos and moments, memories of half-conversations, taunting the reader until the very last page.
Some parts were even creepy, some pictures and scenes would give me goosebumps but just resulted in me being more and more invested. It was a delicious thrill-ride. I wish I had the time to read it in one sitting because it followed me around when I wasn't reading.
If you like dark, life-shaking contemporary fiction or if you want to read a thriller that will keep you GLUED to it, read this!...more
I've mentioned quite a few times how much I love male narrators. When the story is told from a male POV, the story instantly becomes more fascinatingI've mentioned quite a few times how much I love male narrators. When the story is told from a male POV, the story instantly becomes more fascinating to me. Sometimes, I secretly think no woman can really write it like a man can. But then I read Hannah Moskowitz and Holly Black and Swati Avashti and now... Trish Doller. Travis' voice was simply Travis' voice, nothing more or less. Being able to see through Travis' eyes has been amazing.
Travis has returned home from Afghanistan and is facing the fact that home is not really home anymore. It doesn't feel welcoming or... normal.
It's not often that we find stories like this: emotional, raw, but at the same time witty and fresh. And yes, with some delicious sparkles of romance in between. Something Like Normal is the kind of book that sucks you in with its vividness and fun moments, and then gives you understanding, becoming one of your most memorable reads. This book is more than a wonderful debut, and Trish is an author to look out for, she has a talent worth envying.
I loved this book so much. I especially love Travis. He's the type of character we don't read often: flawed yet perfect. The story deals with many issues, like PTSD, but does it without becoming dark or hard to swallow. So this one is light while still being profound. It's the perfect kind of Summer read that's not fluffy at all but will warm your heart. I highly recommend it. ...more
I was truly blown away by this book. 'I loved this book' is an understatement. I had a tingling, unsetSo... different. And weird. And yet so... REAL.
I was truly blown away by this book. 'I loved this book' is an understatement. I had a tingling, unsettling sensation in the pit of my stomach throughout the whole story. I was literally transported to the confusion and drama of teenage years, but from inside a boy's mind. The male POV the author did was overwhelming—so accurate, it's scary. This book will mess with your head... an emotional roller-coaster for which you've better hang on tight.
Told in first person, we experience Chase's life and feelings and pain, while he struggles to understand life, and his role in his family which is falling apart. I knew close to nothing about sign language and people who deal with hearing disabilities, and the families who deal with deaf children. So reading about it was new to me, and I have to admit, kept me up at night. It was that good. Plus, Chase's emotions were so tangible... just, wow. I'm pretty sure I had never experienced such vivid distress and actual trembling while reading, especially in a contemporary read.
The characterization was utterly amazing. All the characters felt unbelievably real. The writing was fantastic, but as happens in such powerful books, it was awkward at times to serve the purpose of the story. As frustrating as it is —when one reads without understanding whats going on —I believe it's made to be that way to make the reader as confused as the character is. If that was the purpose, it pretty much worked perfectly with me.
In this very unusual read, sex is present and freely expressed. No sugar-coating at all.
If disturbing, mind-blowing, overwhelming and absolutely AWESOME books are your thing... you NEED to read this book. I highly, highly recommend it....more
I wasn't a huge fan of the first book. It was rather slow and bland for me. But I did LOVE the world-building and LOVED Cassel, and knew without a douI wasn't a huge fan of the first book. It was rather slow and bland for me. But I did LOVE the world-building and LOVED Cassel, and knew without a doubt the potential the next book could have. Mixing peculiar powers with crime family? Brilliant. Making them public and delving in the politics of it all? Even more brilliant. The first books of a series are always tricky, either they're absolutely amazing and you wonder how the author will top that, or they are so into laying the layout (if that makes sense) that they fall flat. White Cat was very interesting and had a bunch of great aspects but the plot felt slow going in my opinion.
Red Glove was just the opposite. So many shocking surprises and so much new creepiness and twists that I was blown away. As you know, I'm not a fan of paranormal. Which really means, I'm not a fan of the paranormal recipe. Holly Black does never follow any kind of recipe. She just aims to shock the shit out of the reader and manages an amazing male pov in the process.
This book was smart above all, which many paranormal stories seem to lack lately. If you've read Holly, you know the awesomeness of her writing. The characters were utterly real and all seemed to have grown out of whatever they were stuck in the first book. But the plot was simply fantastic. It's the kind of book that reluctant male readers won't be able to put down. And us females, seeking cleverness and avoiding auto-romance (or what I call 'love at first page') will be delighted in Cassel's world. And swooned by him too.
I have to add that Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) narrates the audio version and he is unbelievably amazing. He's THE perfect voice for Cassel and makes this book even more fantastic than it is! Can't wait for more!...more
I was expecting this to be good, obviously. But, wow, I was not expecting it to be THIS good. I have this weird obsession with a pair of movies that nI was expecting this to be good, obviously. But, wow, I was not expecting it to be THIS good. I have this weird obsession with a pair of movies that none of my friends like and I find fascinating. Before Sunrise and Before Sunset marked me in a way few movies have. Because I believe we've all been there, at least I have. In magical days of just hanging out with someone and being right where you want to be. One day that changes things. When lives come together and blur the lines between the past and the present. When truths inevitably come out stirring lives. Conversations and moments, silences and looks, just being next to someone and being... happy. And this book made it all come back, in book form, which made it feel even more perfect.
After being separated for three years, Adam and Mia have taken completely different paths. But seeing each other again and being together for one day, changes that. The story is told from Adam's pov, and turns out that Gayle Forman managed to do Adam's voice so amazingly well done, that I sort of forgot all my former empathy for Mia, and dove into Adam's mind, feeling his hurt and his attempts to hide them as if they were my own. It never felt forced, he never seemed weak or unlike himself. Her writing became to me so clearly Adam, that I still crave another book with his voice. He is an amazing narrator, plus he still kept his yummy hotness and multiplies it.
The writing, the plot, the events, the setting; everything worked perfectly to create one of the most beautifully romantic and utterly real books I've ever read. The emotions bloomed out of the pages. Depth is the word that describes it. The depth of the characters, the depth of the story, the depth of the feelings and interactions. Everything stirred up more feelings, more words than the ones that were written. I felt a whirlwind inside of me. And darn, that is something very hard to achieve in an avid reader. This book with its all-over depth and gut-wrenching emotional baggage, completely surpassed my love for If I Stay. This story ruined all other love stories for me. And ruined me.
These feelings, this book, this story... they will always haunt me. These feelings linger just like our own feelings. The tension was so palpable and the story was so memorable that I doubt I will ever read such a majestic book again. I have my hopes, though.
Given the fact that no matter what I say, it will never be enough nor will it ever do the book justice, I think YOU should read this. ...more
So deliciously haunting and gripping that I could not make myself put it down. I stayed up reading and ended up shocked and amazed when I closed the bSo deliciously haunting and gripping that I could not make myself put it down. I stayed up reading and ended up shocked and amazed when I closed the book. I'm a big fan of Lisa's writing, because she goes to the point without being all gooey or overdone.
It's an unusual storyline, hard to relate but easy to imagine, and the fact that there's so much more going on than what we can appreciate from Ethan's narration makes it more mysterious. There's a certain point where you might predict the big twist, but it's still surprising how it's done. I loved the writing and sometimes I loved Ethan, but I did feel we had a bit of an unreliable narrator (which, if done on purpose, was amazing!) because we would be thinking so many things at once and sometimes would be wallowing on such an unimportant matters for the moment that I never felt he was being absolutely honest.
I loved how compelling it was, I loved the characters, Gracie more than any other, and I love how the resolution was so thought-provoking and will stay with me like few books can. I want to say so much more, but I feel that whatever I say I'm spoiling the book a little. What I do want to say is that, if I could inject the book with something, I would just give it a bit more emotion. Sometimes it felt that yes, while Ethan was indeed struggling, the full emotion of it didn't quite come through. I guess when you're done reading it and had time to think about it, you can understand why some emotion is lacking, but still.
Overall another amazing novel from Lisa McMann that everyone should read....more