As soon as I read the synopsis for Gilded Cage, I was excited. Even as it sounded a bit like all the dystopian books that came out a1.5 out of 5 stars
As soon as I read the synopsis for Gilded Cage, I was excited. Even as it sounded a bit like all the dystopian books that came out a few years ago, I loved the idea of it being set in an alternate modern day England. However, I quickly became, honestly, kind of bored with the book.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what doesn't work, but I think the biggest thing is that almost nothing really hits you. There's a lot packed into the book. A lot of characters. A lot of points of view. A lot of things that could be really interesting, but that aren't developed enough to give them the punch they need. Part of the problem is that we're switching point of view every chapter, and we're following stories in a couple of different places. Just when moments start to gain real momentum, the chapter ends and we're shifted to another part of the story. By the time we get back to that character, the momentum is gone. You have to play catch up.
This is worst with Luke's chapters. His involvement with the rebellion quickly becomes the most interesting storyline, but his is the only point of view involved that we get. While I see why the other POVs are involved, I could have done with a book that follows only Luke and probably been happier reading. Otherwise, I think the only other character that interested me was Silyen. Because his motives are completely inscrutable, you don't know what he's going to do. Maybe give me Luke and Silyen?
The romance is also a little upsetting. Abi is a slave. Jenner, even without any powers, is her master. Romance here is just a no. It gives me the icks and I don't like it. It also feels a lot like instalove; even though a lot of time passes that I'm sure they spend a lot of time together, we see very little of it, so their "attraction" feels baseless.
I'm sad not to have liked Gilded Cage because I was so excited by the premise. I'll probably give a look to the sequel when it comes out later this year, because I'm curious, but my interest may not go any farther. I read the whole book, but it was hard to get through for me, honestly.
I adored Julie Buxbaum's YA debut, Tell Me Three Things, so when I was offered the opportunity to be on another blog tour for her se4.5 out of 5 stars
I adored Julie Buxbaum's YA debut, Tell Me Three Things, so when I was offered the opportunity to be on another blog tour for her second YA novel, What to Say Next, of course I jumped! And while this book is rather a different read, it's just as delightful as her first.
Kit is reeling from the sudden death of her beloved father in a car accident. She doesn't feel like herself. She doesn't feel like pretending to be the person she was before the accident. On the thirtieth day after, she can't take anymore, so she sits with David Drucker, thinking he will let her be in peace. David is perhaps the class oddball; he navigates the halls with headphones, and he doesn't speak to much of anyone, keeping his thoughts and observations in a notebook. As the two form a friendship, their worlds are rocked--in more way than one.
There's so much to love in this book! I have to start with the friendship between Kit and David. There were times I wanted to holler at Kit because she didn't understand David--but I can't say I would have either, I just had the luxury of being in his head. But as they become friends, Kit begins to understand David and how he works, and David starts to understand the nuances of Kit. There's a lot in the synopsis about the two "solving the mystery" of Kit's dad's accident, but it really doesn't play much into the story, except in one or two moments. To me, most of the story is Kit coming to terms with her dad's death and David coming out of his shell.
However, the true highlight of What to Say Next is David. I'm about the farthest person from an expert on Autism, but being in his head seems quite authentic from my limited knowledge. (I'd love to know from someone with experience!) He's not diagnosed, but he's definitely on the spectrum somewhere. He's sweet, brutally honest, and completely genuine. Being in his head is truly fascinating, and something that made the book memorable and even more of a joy to read.
Well, did I like What to Say Next? I feel as if it might be obvious that I loved it! Not only is it a touching story to read, but Buxbaum weaves in a lot of nuance and emotion that can often be lost in your typical YA contemporary romance. Read both of her books now!...more
You know, How to Break a Boy was an interesting read. I expected something different from what it was, certainly something lighter a3.5 out of 5 stars
You know, How to Break a Boy was an interesting read. I expected something different from what it was, certainly something lighter and more straightforward, but I can't say it's not worthwhile.
At times, How to Break a Boy is actually hard to read. There are moments when Olivia is making the worst choices I could imagine, and I just wanted to smack her. It's hard to read about a character who is so different and who you know is making the wrong decision, but who believes she's making the right one. It's not that she's unlikable, especially by the end of the book, but Olivia truly doesn't know who she is--and I think that's what makes it worthwhile.
By the end of the book, Olivia still doesn't know who she is, but she's working on it. She's done so much to hurt people, but she's figuring it out--and that's why I think How to Break a Boy is interesting. It's the story of a girl who realizes her life is far from what she thought it was, and she breaks down in that realization. It's kind of like watching a train wreck, because you can't look away yet it's hard to endure.
But I really liked the romance! Whit really is exactly what Olivia needs, and you hate to see him get hurt. Moments between them are hard to read as well, because I just wanted Olivia to really open up and just give up on her vendetta against Adrienne.
Problem is, I think there are people who won't like the "mean girl" aspect of it. Olivia and Adrienne are truly awful to others and one another. The book doesn't make excuses for them, but it's hard to imagine they--Adrienne especially--have a good understanding of just what they're doing.
How to Break a Boy is a fascinating read. It's one I don't think will be for everyone, but it's a great character study of Olivia, warts and all. I'll definitely be looking for more from Laurie Devore.
I think I've said a few dozen times how contemporaries really aren't my bread and butter, right? But even I can't resist the call of4.5 out of 5 stars
I think I've said a few dozen times how contemporaries really aren't my bread and butter, right? But even I can't resist the call of a book that sounds as good as The Sun Is Also a Star, especially after hearing the raves people had for Everything, Everything.
And The Sun Is Also a Star is a rather magical read. I think you have to suspend some of your disbelief to really buy into it, but when you do, you'll fall in love with Natasha and Daniel just as quickly as they fall in love with one another.
I loved the format most, I think. The glimpses into the other character's lives, how their interactions with Natasha and Daniel affect their decisions and create truly momentous changes, is so affecting, and brings the book to another level. These are the kinds of things we don't think about, in books or in our own lives, but I loved realizing it, seeing how those changes could make all the difference. Even as The Sun Is Also a Star is a about Natasha and Daniel's day together, falling in love, it's just as much about how those people they're coming in contact with are affected by them. This is not to mention all of the little chapters about things mentioned, like Eyes, or even some of the scientific concepts Natasha mentions. Each intertwines into the story and plays off whatever's happening at the time--and it's spectacular.
The Sun Is Also a Star is at its heart hopeful. Hopeful that Natasha and her family won't be deported. Hopeful that Daniel will find his way out of his parent's expectations. Hopeful that those we meet along the way can make a difference.
For someone who doesn't particularly enjoy the genre as a whole, The Sun Is Also a Star is an unarguably beautiful book. The best books are good no matter what your opinions on the genre are. Read it!