12 Things To Do Before You Crash & Burn is a very quick read, taking me only about an hour. But it’s also a bit of a dull read. The story revolves...more12 Things To Do Before You Crash & Burn is a very quick read, taking me only about an hour. But it’s also a bit of a dull read. The story revolves around James “Hercules” Martino spending the summer after his father’s death at his uncle’s house. To keep him busy, Herc’s uncle gives him a list of 12 things to do in his boring Baltimore suburb, but Herc’s preoccupied with a girl he barely spoke to on his train ride from his hometown in NYC.
As far as plot goes, 12 Things To Do Before You Crash & Burn is somewhat lackluster. It’s a good book for reluctant readers, and definitely geared more towards a male audience, but Herc’s list of 12 things lacks purpose. He goes here , there, and chases this idea of a girl everywhere, but I never felt the connection as to why. Things just happen, but they don’t seem to matter.
The story behind Herc’s nickname is a nice touch and adds some depth to the main character, but all in all, 12 Things To Do Before You Crash & Burn remains a rather slow and predictable book. If you’re looking for something to read quickly, in one sitting, then this is a good one to pick up. Proimos injects some good humor that many readers will eat up, so if simple, teen male read is what you’re in the mood for, this one will certainly satisfy.(less)
First Day on Earth is very quick read, but it packs a lot of punch in its 150 pages. It’s also quite different than what I expected. It seems...more4.5 stars
First Day on Earth is very quick read, but it packs a lot of punch in its 150 pages. It’s also quite different than what I expected. It seems like it’d be an alien book, but it focusses so much more on humankind and our existence with one another. The main character Mal has pain etched all over him.
The simplicity of Castellucci’s writing and character dialogue evokes even more emotion because it’s real. Mal is an angry, bitter, broken kid with a great heart and Castellucci shows the reader just that. He becomes no more and no less than who he is and I love that about him. Despite his father abandoning him, despite his alcoholic mother, despite being mocked and bullied, Mal is a wonderful, caring human being.
And Mal isn’t alone. He meets Hooper, a seemingly homeless, but very happy guy, and they become friends. Along the way Posey – a girl Mal’s had a crush on forever – and Darwyn – the constant cool kid tagalong – join their group to make four. The banding together of this group of outcasts (Posey isn’t exactly an outcast, but feels it all the same) is endearing and heartwarming.
We see Mal, Posey, and Darwyn struggle with basic human need to fit in. Then we see Hooper not even attempt to fit in, but still fit so well with them. The ending leaves the story open up to interpretation. It leaves the reader with the task of deciding whether or not extraterrestrial life exists or whether this goofy, fun character was really just a weirdo with a great spirit.(less)
In the age of Facebook and smartphones, it’s almost difficult to remember a time when every American household didn’t have at least one computer. But...moreIn the age of Facebook and smartphones, it’s almost difficult to remember a time when every American household didn’t have at least one computer. But that’s exactly the life that Emma and Josh live. 1996 was the year of Toy Story, but for these two used to be best friends, now awkward moment neighbors, 96’ is the year they discover their future selves; all thanks to AOL and the appearance of a website with profiles that very much resemble themselves and people they know.
As far as the premise goes, The Future of Us had me sold. Back that with talented authors Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, and I was more than eager for this book. I’m happy to say that the book had all the aspects I had looked forward to, but it didn’t blow me away.
Emma can be quite whiny and annoying at times, complaining that she has to change what she believes is a horrible, unhappy future, and all based on her future self’s random postings. In 200 characters or so, Emma decides that her future sucks, but since she’s still in 1996, she can change that. And does so more than willingly.
Josh, on the other hand, is much more wary of changing the future on purpose. He’s laid-back and more level-headed than Emma. He also has that pining away for a girl who doesn’t want him thing down pat. Readers will like him and feel for him. I know I did.
The Future of Us is a fast read, with short chapters that alternate between Emma’s and Josh’s POV. At times, it tries too hard to be 90’s and it never manages to actually do that. Still, it’s fun to see Emma’s utter confusion about what Harry Potter is and why it’s one of her favorite books, as well as her future self’s excitement over a night of Netflix and Glee. If you’re looking for a quick read that will entertain you, The Future of Us is sure to do just that.(less)
Shatter Me is billed as a The Hunger Games meets X-Men, but I don’t really think it’s either of those things. It is an entirely unique, thrilling, emo...moreShatter Me is billed as a The Hunger Games meets X-Men, but I don’t really think it’s either of those things. It is an entirely unique, thrilling, emotional, beautifully written story about a girl who happens to be able to kill with a single touch; but also who happens to be one of the most selfless human beings left in the world. Juliette’s society is not unimaginable and that makes it just a little terrifying. Her world has been decimated by disease, by human disregard, and for the last three years, she has been cast aside as a freak, a psycho. Locked alone in a cell, she yearns for a life where birds fly through the sky and she can feel the touch, the love, of another.
He becomes her cellmate, her unwanted, but irresistible counterpart. They grew up together, but were never really close. Now he’s her savior and the only person who has ever been immune to her touch. Their relationship is deliciously tangible and heated. Tahereh Mafi amps up the tension again and again, until the reader is sitting along with Juliette, desperate for Adam’s touch. Their chemistry explodes off the page in the best way possible. There’s this shower scene that is the definition of sexy. And trust me, sexytimes are very sexy.
The society that Mafi has created lends to Juliette’s character, along with the plot. There is never a dull moment, thanks to the pulse-pounding action and Mafi’s short, clipped sentences. Her writing style makes every single occurrence, every single emotion, all that more urgent. Discovering what happened to the world, how the Reestablishment fits in, and Warner’s plans for Juliette will leave the reader on the edge of their seat. The addition of Kenji, Adam’s fellow soldier, brings color and humor into an otherwise drab landscape. His innuendos and sly remarks add to the overall impact of Juliette’s disparate world.
Juliette on her own –as she is so used to being – is strong, despite her past. Despite the hatred that has latched itself onto her being, despite being spit on, hit, destroyed time and again, she clings to her passion for life. For humanity. She could easily give in, give up. She could just as easily retaliate, what with powers that continue to elude her, but all she does is care. She’s strong, badass, but never cruel. The complete opposite can be said about Warner, the antagonist. Except I could never hate him. Hell, I even felt for him. Several times. While Juliette still views the world with hope and positivity, Warner’s vision is skewed to only see the negative, and thus, do whatever he needs to in order to survive. No, in order to thrive. He’s a villain all right, but one damn sexy villain. I said it before, sexytimes are sexy. And please don’t let them stop.
The story is riveting and brilliantly written with an impressive cast of three-dimensional characters and an original storyline that plays out so completely. I’m eager for the next installment, but 100% content with the no cliffhanger ending. Trust me when I say that you’ll be hearing plenty about this book in the coming months. Mafi’s writing is exquisite, dropping the reader into Juliette’s mind and taking us along on her journey. Juliette’s only just begun to discover the person she’s going to be and I long for the opportunity to see her grow.
Shatter Me is a pound down the doors, scream at the top of your lungs, give me more, give me more kind of good. If you don’t read it, you’re out of your mind. When you do read it, you’ll go out of your mind. But you’ll be better off with the latter option because you’ll have experienced something so awe-inspiring with its beauty that you’ll be drooling for more. Tahereh Mafi is a masterful wielder of words, entrancing the reader in Juliette’s story from page one and then never letting go. (less)
The Pledge combines the best aspects of future dystopian societies and presents it in almost a fantastical way. This future society has very distin...more3.5
The Pledge combines the best aspects of future dystopian societies and presents it in almost a fantastical way. This future society has very distinct classes that must adhere to certain rules, including only understanding Englaise and the language of their class. Derting’s world-building is excellent, if not very detailed. The first half of the book is quite information heavy and drags a bit, but once you hit the halfway mark, it takes off.
Charlie is a family-oriented girl and her adoration for her sister is one of her greatest qualities. I can’t help but love a character who adores his/her younger siblings. Angelina, Charlie’s four year old sister, isn’t around all that much, but she’s infinitely fascinating. Each scene she’s in made me want to know more about her.
Derting weaves history into her storytelling in such delectable ways that the reader yearns for more. I’m not much for history – in any form – but Derting’s way of dropping history into her character’s everyday conversations flowed perfectly and never felt like too much at once. I wanted to know more about Charlie’s world, about the queendom and the class system, about the soldiers, and those prepared to fight against their society. I wanted to know about all of it.
With an immensely interesting world and plot, I thought I’d be hooked. And I was, to a degree. Charlie’s constant preoccupation with Max – the mysterious guy she meets – in the midst of everything, grated on me though. I never saw him as anything other than a little too confident and never felt that connection that Charlie does. With everything going on with Charlie and around Charlie, I couldn’t see how this guy was dominating her thoughts. So the love interest aspect fell short for me, but the rest, the queen and the queendom, the class system, and the languages, all intriguing and well done.
The Pledge isn’t quite the dystopian I had hoped it would be, but it is still very much worth the read. Many people are going to wholeheartedly disagree with me about the love interest, and I get that; but I felt like the love interest aspect dominated too much of the story when there were much greater things to focus on. One thing I do love is – as far as I know – this is a standalone and it ends as a very complete story, with, maybe, the possibility of a companion novel somewhere in the future.(less)