When I listened to this audio book, I laughed, I cried and my heart was literally broken towards the end. Even though it ends on a good note, there isWhen I listened to this audio book, I laughed, I cried and my heart was literally broken towards the end. Even though it ends on a good note, there is just so much emotion packed into this little novel, it’s unbelievable. It’s one of the books that’s told from the perspective of a child but it’s meant for older young adult or even adults. The main character is only ten years old but has experienced more than a lot of adults have which is why My Sister Lived on the Mantelpiece deals with such heavy issues.
Let’s talk about why My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is one of the best audio books I’ve ever listened to. 1. The cat is a big deal the in book! I mean, he’s literally one of the main characters and one of the reasons why I cried so much. 2. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is narrated by David Tennant! I mean, come on! I loved having David Tennant’s voice in my ears! It’s like he was reading this story to me and to me only! I love him. So, naturally, this story takes place in London (you know, David Tennant and his lovely British accent) and follows the life of Jamie and how his family has been coping five years after one of his sisters was killed in a terrorist attack. I could not believe how well Pitcher handles the issue of terrorism with also having Muslim characters. There is so much grief and anger and sadness and just an overwhelming feeling of emotion throughout the novel. And David Tennant pours all these emotions and more into his voice which made me feel everything even more!
I grabbed a copy of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece at ALA in 2012 and was kind of avoiding it because it thought it targeted a much younger audience than YA. Boy was I wrong and I’m really glad that I decided to listen to it on audio. There was a point when I was literally crying my eyes out while I was driving because there are so many feeling throughout this book. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read/listened to this year and I highly recommend it!...more
I first heard about this book from a booktuber that I watch! Her name is Katie and her channel is called ChapterStackss. She’s one of my favorite bookI first heard about this book from a booktuber that I watch! Her name is Katie and her channel is called ChapterStackss. She’s one of my favorite booktubers to watch and I trust all her book recommendations! So when she said that The Ruins was one of the most terrifying books she’s ever read, I knew I had to get my hands on it and read it as soon as possible!
I really love horror and I mean books that are actually scary! I love Stephen King and Joe Hill so I knew The Ruins would be right up my alley! The book is great! I love that I had no idea what was waiting for the characters out in the jungle and I literally had no idea how this book was going to end. And let me tell you, there is no happy ending anywhere in sight. I loved that about the book! Not every book has to have a happy ending or a light at the end of the tunnel! And that’s OK. Some situations are just so dire that there is no hope.
I have been wanting to visit ancient native American ruins for a really long time now. I have my BA in History and I studied a lot of the native cultures and I would love to see what remains of the those ancient tribes. But this book was so terrifying! It didn’t scare me in the sense that I was afraid to go to sleep or anything like that. It made me afraid to travel. The Ruins isn’t going to stop me from traveling but if I ever do make it down to the ruins in Mexico, this book is always going to be in the back of my mind!...more
I made the mistake of reading Red Queen and Red Rising at the same time. Oopps! In my opinion, you can’t read them both at the same time without lovinI made the mistake of reading Red Queen and Red Rising at the same time. Oopps! In my opinion, you can’t read them both at the same time without loving one and hating the other. Red Queen came out on top even though I started Red Rising first. If I had not been reading Red Rising when I started reading Red Queen, I would have thought that Red Queen was a completely original idea and this whole new world that she built. I’m not saying that she ripped off Red Rising, I just think it’s crazy how two people can have almost the exact same idea! I ended up really enoying Red Queen and not finishing Red Rising!
I love that Red Queen is a mix of dystopian and fantasy and it’s not something I’ve read much of. It felt very different from a lot of books I’ve read. I usually shy away from dystopian because it just seems way overdone in YA but I read a ton of fantasy so to have these two genres smushed together seemed really awesome! BUT, there were some holes in the plot that just seemed, well….silly. The biggest one that stand out to me was the whole thing about Mare’s cover story. Mare is the main character and when the king and queen discover that she is a red with “abilities” they create this whole cover story saying that she is in fact a silver but grew up among reds not knowing who she really was (I’m not really spoiling much because all this happens in the first one hundred pages). I don’t know how the other silvers were supposed to believe that! Mare grew up among reds who have a really rough life and we’re supposed to believe that she never scrapped her knee or cut her finger somehow and discover that she has silver blood!?! That just seems silly.
The romance was also kind of silly in Red Queen. I would say that it is a love triangle but it is in fact a love square! She has three love interests! Which just seems pretty ridiculous. And the names in this book are even more ridiculous! Most of the characters have these really off the wall names while a few others have just regular names like Lucas and Evangeline. I want to read a book that is full of average Joe names like Mary and Fred and George and Melissa. But I digress.
Other than those weird aspects of the book, I really liked it! The plot was fascinating and the whole thing had me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. And there is a huge twist that I did NOT see coming at all! It’s often said throughout the book that anyone can betray anyone which is totally true and the biggest theme in Red Queen. I would say it’s definitely worth picking up and reading....more
Fat Girl Walking is definitely one of the funniest books I’ve read this year! Brittany Gibbons does not hold back when it comes to telling the good, tFat Girl Walking is definitely one of the funniest books I’ve read this year! Brittany Gibbons does not hold back when it comes to telling the good, the bad and the gross stories of her life. I loved every page and if your looking page turner that makes you laugh out loud in public them look no further.
As someone who has always wanted to lose twenty pounds or so and always feeling like I don’t look like the other girls, I really related to Brittany’s life story. I wouldn’t go to the point of saying that I was fat shamed or people made fun of me to my face because I was a little chubby but it’s definitely hard going through life being on the curvy side.
She’s quite remarkable for all the work she has done to promote body positivity and for just help the world in general accept fat people for who they are. She wants people to know that she loves being herself and being in her skin and that she’s fat and that’s just the way it is. She also does a lot of work to promote women’s equal rights and helping to empower women and girls. She is a great role model for any woman to have.
I highly recommend Fat Girl Walking for all people, men and women. It help women see that they’re not the only one experiencing weird things during pregnancy or weird random thoughts throughout the day and it’s also a good insight to men for how a lot of women feel. So pick it up for the chance to peek inside Brittany’s brain!...more
I had been eying Lock In by John Scalzi for quite some time because one of the girls in book club suggested we read it for May! I was pretty excited bI had been eying Lock In by John Scalzi for quite some time because one of the girls in book club suggested we read it for May! I was pretty excited because I knew I wanted to read it and the synopsis is totally alluring! And I highly recommend you read the synopsis because you start the book or else you might find yourself a little bit lost like myself. If you do find yourself a little bit lost and confused, don’t give up because everything is explained pretty quickly!
Lock In takes place sometime in the near future after a disease similar to meningitis has swept through the world, leaving almost half the population locked in their bodies. Something happens in their brains that leaves them comatose. Scientists had developed a hardware system that can be implanted in their brains that allows their consciousness to be in a robot. The main character, Shane, is locked in and uses a threep (robot) to get around and he has now become an FBI agent and it’s basically the first week of his job. But a lot of unrest is happening between the locked in community and the government and very unusual crimes and murders are being committed.
What I really loved about Lock In is that it’s a science fiction novel for those who don’t have much experience in reading science fiction. One of the main reasons why I don’t read sci-fi all that often is because I don’t like to get bogged down in the science. Lock In focuses more on the mystery of the story and only briefly hints on the science and the technology that’s helping those who are locked in. Lock In is super fact paced and had me turning the pages because I couldn’t figure out the mystery! Although, that’s usually the case with me. Even if you’re weary of sci-fi, I highly recommend Lock In to those who love a good mystery and adventure!...more
Mosquitoland by David Arnold is a beautifully written, contemporary novel about a girl named Mim (Mary Iris Malone) and who is on a journey to, what sMosquitoland by David Arnold is a beautifully written, contemporary novel about a girl named Mim (Mary Iris Malone) and who is on a journey to, what she believes, is going to help her mother. But what she discovers at the end of her road trip is completely different. Even though Mosquitoland is a coming of age story, the road trip is a hilarious adventure full of twists and turns around every corner!
"Through the window, I see the ocean of trees, now in slow motion: each trunk, an anchor; each treetop, a rolling wave; a thousand coiling branches, leaves, sharp pine needles. My own reflection in the window is ghostlike, translucent. I am part of this Sea of Trees, this landscape blurred."
Please tell me that the cover of Mosquitoland reminds you of the movie Little Miss Sunshine? Because it totally does for me! I love that movie so this cover definitely drew me in! Even though now I totally understand the cover after reading the book, the cover in general is just awesome! Mim is such a great main character! Lately, in YA, I’ve been finding young sixteen year old main characters a little annoying and winny for my taste; maybe because I’m getting older. But I just loved Mim! I lover her grunge thrift store style, the journal she carries with her everywhere and her unstoppable drive to complete her mission. The only problem with Mim is her perspective of life and what’s going on around it is totally skewd. But Mim’s journey back to her family is the purpose of Mosquitoland.
I love the physical journey aspect of Mosquitoland! I’ve always been a sucker for a road trip book and this is still a road trip but in a very unusual sense. And the characters that she meets along the way are very usual indeed.
I gave Mosquitoland 4 stars because I just didn’t feel like a 5 star read to me. While it’s a memorable book, I can’t go as far as to say that it’s one of my favorite read this year. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves YA contemporary!...more
I always have a hard time with graphic novels like Trees. The creators have built a really big world, a lot of characters and a lot of different storyI always have a hard time with graphic novels like Trees. The creators have built a really big world, a lot of characters and a lot of different story lines, which is clear from reading the first volume. But unfortunately I found myself pulled in so many direction and my attention torn between all the characters and their stories, I was forgetting what had happened once I got back to that particular story line.
So basically, like ten years ago, a bunch of alien trees landed in random spots all over the world. And these trees literally did nothing for ten years. People have tried to study them but the trees don’t let anything land on them. But now, suddenly, ten years later, things start changing. It’s so hard to write a review for this because I don’t even know what is going on in this story. I couldn’t even tell you where it might be going! But I really believe that works in it’s favor because now I want to read the second one so I can at least see what happens next!
If you’re just starting out reading graphic novels I would NOT recommend you read Trees. If you’re going to read a graphic novel for the first time, read Saga or Lumberjanes. Whereas Trees seem like it’s going to be a very involved, convoluted story that will no doubt have me on the edge of my seat, it just has a little bit of a slow start. Saga or Lumberjanes have a lot of action right off the bat and are super easy to read in one sitting. I’m excited to see where Trees is going to go and I will definitely be following the story in the future!...more
I was first introduced to Noelle Stevenson when I picked up the first issue, not volume but issue, of Lumberjanes. That was about a year ago and I'veI was first introduced to Noelle Stevenson when I picked up the first issue, not volume but issue, of Lumberjanes. That was about a year ago and I've pretty much been stalking her ever since because Lumberjanes is absolutely fantastic! Noelle Stevenson is a great writer, and after reading Nimona, it's clear that she is also a great artist.
There are a lot of great aspects of Nimona but first I want to concentrate on the fact that in most stories there are clear cut heroes and villains. Nimona throws those stereotypes right out the window! The reader is introduced to Blackheart as the villain right off the bat and the reader is led to believe that he is evil and that he is plotting some kind of plan to overthrow the king. But as the story goes on the typical hero/villain roles are not so clear and I ended up changing my mind on who the "good guys" were. Nimona also alludes to a homosexual relationship between Blackheart and Goldenloin. Although it's not very clear cut, I got the feeling that there was more than meets the eye.
Nimona is a really great main character but she is so mysterious! She is this shapshifter who can shift into any other living creature and she literally just shows up out of nowhere! We're not even sure if her human form is her true form or if she is something else entirely. I really hope that Nimona is going to be a series because I'm really interested in Nimona's origins!
I love graphic novels and Nimona is going right up there with all my other favorite graphic novels and comics. If you're read Lumberjanes but not Nimona or vice versa, I know you will absolutely love Nimona and Lumberjanes!!...more
When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Pasadena Loves YA, I had honestly never heard of Sarah Tomp or her novel My Best Everything. ButWhen I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Pasadena Loves YA, I had honestly never heard of Sarah Tomp or her novel My Best Everything. But since I love discovering new authors and reading contemporary, I knew this was a book I had to read! And let me tell you, I’m so glad I did!
My Best Everything is the story of Lulu, who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and wants nothing more than to leave her small town behind and follow her dreams to college in California. But when her father loses her college money, Lulu decides she will do whatever it takes to make it there, even resorting to stealing a still and making illegal moonshine. She enlists the help of her best friends Roni and Bucky. But since they really have no idea what they’re doing, they turn to Mason, the town bad boy who also knows all of moonshine’s secrets. Lulu and Mason become really close over the summer and their relationship develops into a pretty hot romance.
All four characters start the beginning of the summer believing they know what the future holds for them and they all have certain plans in place. But as the summer goes, they all begin to learn more about themselves and they’re true wants and desires are revealed. They’re character is really tested and the situations they found themselves in really revealed who they really are. Which in most ways to really good but in others was bad because it meant the end of some relationships and friendships.
During the whole moonshine business and every time they would sell some, I was on the edge of my seat hoping they didn’t get caught and all end up in jail! It was very riveting and kept my attention til the very end. I’ve always been a big fan of books that wrap-up really nicely at the end and I don’t need to wonder what happens next for the characters. My Best Everything has an open-ended ending so of course I would have liked to know exactly what happens to Lulu and Mason but since the book is from Lulu’s perspective, I guess she doesn’t even know what happens to Mason.
I haven’t seen My Best Everything on blogs at all and I think more people should be reading it. Especially those who love contemporary....more
Wow...heart....shattered. All the media shitstorm surrounding Andrew Smith last month really intrigued me to pick up one of his books! Of the four thatWow...heart....shattered. All the media shitstorm surrounding Andrew Smith last month really intrigued me to pick up one of his books! Of the four that I had to choose from, I decided to read Winger and I’m really glad I did! Winger is very uniquely written and is a strong contender as one of my favorite books of this year so far!
Winger is told from the perspective of fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West who attends a very prestigious boarding school and is two years younger than his who junior class. To top it all off, in the beginning of the school year, he has been put in the dorm that is just for those who have a certain amount of school violations and he’s roommates with a senior whom he really hates. Everything is about to change for Ryan Dean not only in his academic life but the events that occur his junior year shape him into the person he will grow up to be.
The whole book is absolutely hilarious most of the time. Even though Ryan Dean is basically a genius, he is a complete idiot when it comes to friendships and relationships with girls. And he makes bad decisions almost all the time. Not only is Ryan Dean meeting and becoming friends with students he didn’t really know before but the readers are able to become acquainted with these characters and get to know them as Ryan Dean does. A major aspect of the book is this rival between some of the members of the rugby team (Ryan Dean plays rugby) and some of the members of the football team. This rivalry and hatred between these two groups of students comes to a head at the end and it’s just absolutely heartbreaking. It was one of the most astonishing moments I’ve experienced as a reader. I get chills just thinking about it.
Winger is another great YA book told from the male perspective which is one of my favorite things to read in YA. If you have never read an Andrew Smith book I suggest you rectify that immediately and pick up Winger!...more
I got about 100 pages in and it was just so boring! DNF
When I first heard about The Sin Eater’s Daughter, I was so excited for it to be released! I ev
I got about 100 pages in and it was just so boring! DNF
When I first heard about The Sin Eater’s Daughter, I was so excited for it to be released! I even think it was one of my most anticipated books for early 2015. I even pre-ordered it on my Kindle! I hardly ever pre-order anything anymore! Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book! And it was such a let down. I was literally counting down to when I reached one hundred pages so I could give up on it. I noticed on Goodreads that readers either love it or hate it. My main complaint about The Sin Eater’s Daughter is that nothing happened. Over one hundred pages and barely anything had happened. The Prince returned home, her main guard got since and she got a new guard. That’s it! That is literally everything that happens in the first one hundred pages besides a little back story of the kingdom and how she came to live in the castle. I was bored to tears. I put it down after one hundred pages, I will not finish it ever and I don’t recommend it to anyone.
Surprisingly, Emmy & Oliver is the first book that I’ve read by Robin Benway. And, clearly from my rating above, it was quite the enjoyable experiSurprisingly, Emmy & Oliver is the first book that I’ve read by Robin Benway. And, clearly from my rating above, it was quite the enjoyable experience. Robin Benway has taken a difficult subject like kidnapping by a parent and has written into a beautiful book about repairing relationships, rediscovering friendships and figuring out your place in the world.
I’ve actually never read a book about a child who is kidnapped by one of their parents. It’s a very interesting topic and something that happens a lot in the United States. Oliver, the main characters, is clearly very torn between his two parents. His dad, who raised him for the past ten years but also lied to him constantly and his mom, who never stopped searching for him and never gave up hope that they would be reunited. So it’s this very interesting dichotomy of two parents who loved Oliver so much and believed they were doing what was best for him. But he was definitely pitted between the two of them.
Ever since Oliver was kidnapped, Emmy’s parent’s have been way overprotective and pretty much don’t let her do anything. She started surfing but has kept it a secret from them for over three years. Knowing her parents, she thinks they’re going to make her quit. So Emmy basically has this whole other life that her parents don’t know about and I really didn’t like that part of the book. I’m a big believer in honesty and secrets and lies always make things who horribly wrong. Emmy definitely need to give her parents more credit than she did.
Overall, I really enjoyed my first Robin Benway book. I’m going to go back and try to read her earlier books because I’ve always her good things about them. Emmy & Oliver is a great contemporary and shows the dark side of parenting but also has a happy ending. And I’m a big fan of happy endings!...more
Flunked by Jen Calonita is a really fun and different take on the whole fairy tale realm. Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel are the “rulers” of thisFlunked by Jen Calonita is a really fun and different take on the whole fairy tale realm. Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel are the “rulers” of this fairy tale land and they have somewhat reformed a couple of the lands most terrifying villains. And in order for them to prevent the making of more villains, they have formed a school that help wayward children and teens and puts them on the right path.
Gilly, the main character, is caught stealing on several occasions. She steals to help feed her family after Cinderella took the glass slipper design (that Gilly’s father made) to her fairy godmother to be mass produced whenever Cinderella wants. Gilly is the oldest of many siblings and really feels the responsibility to help provide for her family and the only way she knows how to do that is by stealing semi-expensive things from the wealthy, selling them and buying food for her family. But after getting caught multiple times, she is shipped off to the Fairy Tale Reform School. But when she gets there, not everyone is as reformed as they say they are.
I expected a little bit more adventure and a little bit more mystery. I know that Flunked is a middle grade novel so it’s not supposed to be too serious in the sleuth but I just felt a lot of it was obvious. But on the other hand, one of the characters totally surprised me and I would never have guessed what he revealed! So, while at times is was a little bit slow, more towards the beginning, the ending was pretty good and there was a lot of action.
Overall, it was a pretty cute book and a series that I will definitely be keeping up with. Flunked did a really great job of building up this alternate fairy tale world that I think a lot of middle grade lovers will like! It sounds like subsequent novels will be really fun to read!...more