My God. I honestly cannot remember the last time a book touched me the way If I Stay did. I'd been hearing positive buzz about this book for quite a wMy God. I honestly cannot remember the last time a book touched me the way If I Stay did. I'd been hearing positive buzz about this book for quite a while, but for some reason or another I hadn't made the time to pick it up. Boy, was I kicking myself for having waited so long to read it.
If I Stay is the story of a young woman who, after a terrible car accident, is abruptly torn from her comfortable, easy life and loving family and forced to make an unbelievably difficult decision - whether she can stay without them. I don't want to tell you too much about the plot, because a.) I don't want to ruin it for you and b.) talking about it makes me cry. I will tell you that this book is so incredibly moving that when I'd finished, I literally put my Nook down and cried for five minutes straight (at least). And man, was it was an ugly cry. If I Stay has a way of making you feel so profoundly grateful for every last moment in your life - it reminded me of my mortality in a subtle, heartbreaking way.
In some way, the feeling I had when I closed the book reminded me a bit of The Book Thief. I wasn't sad about what happened in the story so much as I was moved at how the story made me think of my own life. I found myself constantly thinking about what I'd do if I was ever put in that situation, and God, I don't know if I could be quite as brave as the narrator.
If I Stay is a reminder of how short and innately sweet life is, and about how at the end of the day, or at the end of your life, the one thing you are always going to want to hold on to is the cherished memories of the people you love. The people who make life worthwhile. I'm going to cry again just thinking about how this book evoked those memories for me. I called my parents just to tell them I loved them. I made sure to tell my little brothers how much they mean to me. I gave my husband an extra kiss goodnight, and told him how thankful I was for his presence in my life.
Also, the writing is simply lovely. Forman takes teenage love, teenage emotions, teenage dreams and writes about them in a way that is accessible to every age, and is still believable. The language is beautiful, the pacing perfect. It's a short book, (about 200 pages) but I honestly don't know if my heart could have taken any more.
I highly recommend this to anyone who reads to feel something, and not just for entertainment. I loved it and I think you will, too! ...more
I have been waiting for this book for MONTHS! It came out last week and I devoured it in a few hours. I just could not put this baby down!
All of theI have been waiting for this book for MONTHS! It came out last week and I devoured it in a few hours. I just could not put this baby down!
All of the rave reviews I've been reading everywhere are well deserved, and I find myself agreeing with the reviewers that said this book is as good as The Hunger Games. Yeah, I said it. I know that's a lot to live up to, but I was that impressed. And as much as I hate to compare books that really are very different, this book has inevitably been compared to HG because a.) Dystopia. Duh. and b.) it features a kick-ass female heroine. But that's pretty much where the similarity ends. This book is good because it's good, not because it's anything like the Hunger Games.
It's awesome. Just awesome. The story is unique, compelling, fast-paced. The characters are crisp and complex. Emotional depth is packed high from start to finish and the writing is wonderful. The love story is secondary to the actual plot, and I totally dug it. In fact, I find that most YA books that I really LOVE feature issues that don't revolve who is going to take the heroine to the prom, but instead focus on deeper, more meaningful struggles, like who the heroine wants to be. This book accomplishes that with flying colors.
Also? Veronica Roth is only 22 years old. TWENTY TWO years old, people! I had that in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading this book and let me tell you, you should too. Her writing is clean and mature, and I really had a hard time believing that this was a debut novel. Many kudos to you, Ms. Roth.
Really quick, let me tell you a little bit about the concept:
Society has collapsed and been rebuilt. The remaining people (in this case, living in Chicago) have been divided into different factions based on their dominant personality traits. For example, people who value peaces are sorted into Amity; people who are selfless are sorted into Abnegations; and so on. However, people who show more than one dominant personality trait are labeled Divergent, and that's where this book begins.
It's action packed and exciting, just an absolute treat to read, and I KNOW that ya'll are going to love it. I am SO going to be recommending this book to everyone I know. ...more
OMG! I loved this book! It's a lovely, classic-style fairy tale that has tons of potential for a film. It's written simply, and yet the characters areOMG! I loved this book! It's a lovely, classic-style fairy tale that has tons of potential for a film. It's written simply, and yet the characters are endearing and charming. A totally fun, lively read.
It seems like it's been ages that I've been looking forward to this book!
After I finished reading Book 3 to the Mortal Instruments series, City of GlaIt seems like it's been ages that I've been looking forward to this book!
After I finished reading Book 3 to the Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass, I never imagined that there might be a fourth book. The book ended so cleanly, with everything wrapped up with a nice little bow and I was quite satisfied with the way things ended up. Clare could have ended the series right there. However, soon after finishing City of Glass I was promptly informed that Clare was working on a fourth book to be published in April of this year - I was definitely surprised, but also excited to see where else she took Clary, Jace and the rest of the gang. The characters in this series are great, and I really enjoyed the first three books.
City of Fallen Angels was much better than I expected it to be. I'll be honest, I was worried that Clare was simply trying to bank on the success of the first three books and wasn't ready to let this money-maker go yet, hence the unexpected promise of three more books. I was worried that the potential for drama and excitement with these characters was all used up. I shouldn't have worried. This book was just as fast-paced, filled with wonderful sarcastic tet-a-tet between the characters that I've come to love, filled with mystery and intrigue. It was just an all-around good time. I have to admit, it wasn't quite as good as City of Glass - I felt like this book was more of a set-up for the next two books.
There were quite a few racy (excellent!) scenes between Jace and Clary, which I loved! But really, the best parts of the book were the banter between Jace and Simon. Hilarious! I laughed out loud a couple of times. I came to like Simon SO much more in this book and am finally attached to his character.
As is Ms. Clare's custom, the book ends on a ridiculous cliffhanger, which, while frustrating, ensures that I can't wait for the next one.
So, I think if you liked the first three MI books, the 4th installment won't disappoint you. ...more
Shine, by Lauren Myracle, is definitely a book that you don't want to miss! I received an ARC to review from Amulet Books and though the premise, franShine, by Lauren Myracle, is definitely a book that you don't want to miss! I received an ARC to review from Amulet Books and though the premise, frankly, seemed a bit depressing, I just knew from the cover (yes, I have book cover ESP - deal with it) that it was going to be something worth checking out. Seriously, isn't the cover gorgeous? I want to frame it and hang it in my house.
Okay, back on subject - why you need to check out this book. Shine tackles a difficult subject that has been featured in the news over the past few years, which never ceases to enrage communities, and me personally - hate crimes against gays. The backdrop for this story is a very poor mountain town in North Carolina - everyone in this town knows and looks out for each other, and yet when one of their own, a young, gay teen, is beaten and a gas nozzle shoved down his throat, the citizens of the town either turn a blind eye or make excuses, claiming no one in their town could do something so horrible. Cat, our narrator, knows differently, and she makes it her mission to find out the secrets lurking beneath the town's quiet exterior.
Shine is incredibly powerful, heartbreakingly honest, and beautifully written. It's anything but sugarcoated. The characters are crisp and believable, and the plots unwinds at an agreeable pace. Myracle takes tough subjects (hate crimes, teen drug use, rape) and compels you to look at them in their rawest form. Cat is a likable narrator and relates her experiences without any fuss or drama, and the language is just lovely. I really didn't have any complaints about this book. Two thumbs up.
I think the only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that it is a bit depressing. Don't get me wrong - I really, really liked it. But there are a few scenes that force you to get uncomfortable - and there isn't anything wrong with that - it's just not my cup of tea. I'd still highly recommend this book. Oh, and lucky for you, it's already out! It was released on May 1st. Go get it! ...more
I received an ARC of this book from Harper Collins.
I've gone through a string of YA paranormal books recently, and not all of them have been worth myI received an ARC of this book from Harper Collins.
I've gone through a string of YA paranormal books recently, and not all of them have been worth my time. However, this one was actually much better than I expected it to be. Don't you just love it when that happens? I was expecting fun, YA fluff; decent writing; love triangles -- you know, the usual stuff. It was definitely fun, YA fluff, but good caliber.
So yeah, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is pretty good - nice pacing, characters that are vibrant and fun, a plot that hasn't been done a thousand times before. And I really enjoyed the story. I've always been a fan of Greek mythology, and this book interweaves bits and pieces of different myths in an interesting, original way. As the title suggests, the conflict in this book is your typical starcrossed lovers deal - and what I liked most about this book was that the relationship seemed to evolve more naturally than most teenage love affairs that seem to spontaneously manifest without rhyme or reason. The characters actually had time to get to know each other, and even their fighting seemed realistic. And Lucas is definitely swoonworthy! Love.
A fair warning: the ending is a huge cliffhanger. It drove me a little crazy, actually - I absolutely hate it when you, the reader, know a vital piece of information, while the characters are totally in the dark. Don't you just hate that? If only they had that one tiny piece of the puzzle, everything would be solved. That aside, this book was a great time and I'll definitely be picking up the next book in this series when it comes out. ...more
This is a cute little paranormal romance about a part-angel who falls in love with an angel assassin. It's a typical forbidden romance kind of story,This is a cute little paranormal romance about a part-angel who falls in love with an angel assassin. It's a typical forbidden romance kind of story, which I usually seem to enjoy. The idea of angels being heavenly protectors is entirely reconstructed in this book and I liked reading Weatherly's fresh perspective on angels. The main characters, Willow and Alex, were both intriguing narrators with unique voices - I liked reading about them on their own, and in fact, my only problem with this book is that, at times, their romance was a bit too melodramatic and sugar-coated for my taste. It had all the trappings of young love, but the way their relationship progressed seemed rushed and I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes a few times. The writing could have been stronger, but it wasn't bad.
The ending was pretty great. Very climactic and intense - loved it!
Overall, I liked this book. I'd recommend it to YA readers who are looking for a light, fluffy book to get through in a few hours. ...more
I'll be honest. I've been DREADING writing this review.
I was SO looking forward to this book. I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I loved McCI'll be honest. I've been DREADING writing this review.
I was SO looking forward to this book. I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I loved McCafferty's Jessica Darling series and I couldn't wait to read her first attempt at Dystopian fic, one of my favorite genres. Imagine my absolute delight when I received an Advanced Review Copy of this bad boy.
As you've probably guessed by now, this book was a huge disappointment. McCafferty's writing is still there. Funny, sparkly, witty, and everything else that made Jessica Darling so fun to read. However, the premise for the book, while intended to be satirical, just did not work. AT ALL. The idea is simple, albeit far-fetched. For some unknown reason that is not developed (some kind of virus), humans somehow lose the ability to procreate after the age of 18. Why 18 is the cut-off date is never discussed. So, as a result, teenagers become a hot commodity for their wonderful gestational abilities, and are hired to make babies for older adults who can pay to adopt them.
I should have known just how committed McCafferty was going to be to making this new dystopian society realistic. Her writing is always current, full of social commentary - why wouldn't a dystopian society be the same? However, the society that we're landed in is just.... ridiculous. I get it, it's supposed to be a satire - the idea of children, no - babies, having babies and being absolutely obsessed with sex is supposed to be exaggerated. I just couldn't get past how ignorant the characters sounded, nor could I ever really quite catch on to the (cheesy) invented lingo.
The characters - they were okay. The alternating narratives were jarring at times. Melody was far more interesting than Harmony, but quite frankly, I kept getting confused in the beginning by who was who because their names were so similar. Melody was smart and funny, and I liked her voice. I wanted to smack Harmony most of the time. The ending was much too rushed and not really resolved in any way. It felt... contrived.
::sigh:: I'm still so disappointed.
I'm still a huge fan of McCafferty's. I hope she goes back to writing Contemporary YA. ...more