2 1/2 stars. Interesting premise but ultimately falls flat in execution and the aspects of hacking and politics were too absurd to suspend disbelief :2 1/2 stars. Interesting premise but ultimately falls flat in execution and the aspects of hacking and politics were too absurd to suspend disbelief :(
If you like my reviews, check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
I read Paper Towns a couple years ago and I absolIf you like my reviews, check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
I read Paper Towns a couple years ago and I absolutely loved it. My first John Green novel was Looking For Alaskaand my second was Paper Towns . It's been a few years since I originally read this novel, and I wondered if it would still hold up in my memory.
John Green's novels tend to follow the genre of smart, witty teenagers in coming of age stories. Paper Towns is a mystery novel, as Q goes on a quest to find his crush, Margo, who he finds effortlessly cool and mysterious.
Green does a great job at taking stereotypes and archetypes that each character fits into, and breaks them down over the course of the story.
I've always like the ending, which I won't spoil, that Q's idea of Margo is shattered and ultimately, putting people on a pedestal will always lead to disappointment. It's not an idealistic ending, but I've always liked it.
This was a book I discovered at BEA, at the Editors Buzz Panel, that wasIf you like my reviews, check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com!
This was a book I discovered at BEA, at the Editors Buzz Panel, that was one of the five books being pushed for Fall 2015. I'm a very picky reader when it comes to Contemporary, and it's rare for me to be so swept up in the Contemporary genre, since it tends to follow the same predictable formula.
Everything, Everything tells the story of Madeline, who has the rare, incurable disease, SCID, which makes her pretty much allergic to everything in the outside world, and keeps her living indoors, breathing filtered air and eating carefully cooked meals, with only the company of her mother and her nurse, Carla. One day, a new family moves in next door and Maddie catches the eye of Ollie, who is just as interested in her as well.
The novel is told through doodles, emails, plane tickets, IMs, and various drawings of Maddie's thoughts along with the traditional first person prose of Madeline, the main character. The drawings and various others mementos were clever story-telling devices and never distracted from the story but added to Ollie and Maddie's story.
We learn a lot about Maddie and Ollie's family life and while there is a certain element of instant attraction, you see why the two of them are such good friends and lovers and click so well.
I was really surprised at how much I loved this story, especially the twist at the end, and the author brings a much needed fresh and intelligent addition to the YA Contemporary genre. I completely recommend it and it's definitely one of my top picks for the year.
Everything, Everything is set to release on September 1st and is available for pre-order here.
*Disclosure: the review above contains affiliate links. Find out more here. Thanks for reading! ...more
If you like my reviews check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
*I was sent a copy by the publisher in exchange forIf you like my reviews check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
*I was sent a copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I was interested to read Every Ugly Word since on the surface, it's an average contemporary about a teenager dealing with her tormentors but it has a supernatural? Science fiction? twist.
The concept is super intriguing and I wondered how the author was going to handle the story and if the future self in the mirror was a metaphor or a coping mechanism for Ashley.
Ashley was a fantastic character and I liked her right off the bat and sympathized with her struggles. I didn't feel pity for her, which is important because everyone around her saw her as pathetic and less than and I liked how the author put the reader in Ashley's shoes instead of making the reader see her like the rest of the characters saw her.
Ashley's bullies were terrible as expected, but instead of hating them outright, I felt sorry for them. We didn't learn too much about Finn, Dex and Karyn's backstories, but it says a lot about them that they would consistently bother Ashley all the time.
Ashley mentioned that she changed her phone number twice and they still kept harassing her with text messages on top of bothering her at school. That's a lot of commitment to bother with someone you think is such a loser. Don't they have to study, or go out, or watch the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal or something? Do they have lives at all? They need to do better.
I didn't like Matt at all and while I understood why Ashley cared about him and vice-versa, I think Ashley should have left him in the dust along with her other classmates. Matt didn't deserve her at all after being such a coward.
The different scenes between the present therapy room in the hospital switching over to the past was an amazing technique and the author weaves between them effortlessly. The twist and everything leading up to it was fantastically done, keeping the tension and the pace and while I had my guesses, I didn't guess what was coming.
My only complain (and this might be semi-spoilerish) is that (view spoiler)[the alternate timelines and resulting time paradoxes were a little confusing at first (hide spoiler)] and the origin of the mirror wasn't explained, but I could suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy the story to the end.
*Disclosure: the review above contains affiliate links. Find out more here. Thanks for reading!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review by the publisher.
When I first heard about this book, I thought it was going to be a nonDisclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review by the publisher.
When I first heard about this book, I thought it was going to be a non-fictional account of various rich kids that have been featured on the blog that shares the same name, Rich Kids of Instagram.
I've heard of the blog before (but have never personally visited the site) and I went through it in preparation of reading this book and the blog is a collection of sons and daughters from families of the 1% that shamelessly show all the expensive toys they own.
I was surprised that this was a fictional account based on the blog and was more in the veins of Gossip Girl and The A-List. There's a vast cast of characters telling their stories in third person dual perspective and the writing has this real sense of tone about itself (like Gossip Girl) while every character has their own voice within themselves. This is something difficult to achieve, let alone make entertaining and the author does it well.
Unfortunately, all the characters are basically a revolving door of "I'm rich, but miserable in some way! But I'm still super rich!"
Not to say that just because you have money (especially money you haven't earned yourself) life is happy and perfect, but all the characters were pretty much carbon copies of one another in terms of what they go through in the novel. The author had a missed opportunity to drive home a message at the end of the story and comment on these characters and the lives they live.
Overall, I wished this was more insightful than what it was but it's an easy and fast read for summer.
The Merciless is the debut novel by Danielle Vega that came out last summer with much buzz attached to it. With its promise of stand alone horror and flashy hot pink cover with a gold pentagram on the top, could you blame everyone for being curious about it? The cover and the subsequent marketing campaign for this novel was brilliantly clever.
The Merciless is definitely entertaining, the writing is sharp and imaginative and the story moves quickly throughout, without losing its pace. It's not an innovative horror novel by any means, sort of just a slasher flick as a novel.
This being a slasher flick, er, novel, it suffers from the same problems of it's film counterpart. The characters have little to no character development and most of them rely on archetypes and stereotypes. Sofia, the main character is painfully, painfully, unaware and naive, thinking that if she assists Riley in the torture of Brooklyn, just a little bit, that Riley will back off.
Sometimes, the author goes too far for shock value and it comes off as try hard. You can tell that the author wrote certain scenes with a certain glee since some readers can't handle more graphic scenes and it felt like 'look how far this story can go, look how crazy this is!'
The logistics of the ending weren't explained too well and any moral metaphor was also thrown out the window for a splashier ending.
This stand alone is entertaining and doesn't provide any sort of deeper meaning nor does it try to be, and as a lover of horror, it was pretty fun to read. If you don't like horror or any sort of graphic violence, I would skip this one.
I've heard a lot of great things about this novel, that it's hilarious,If you like my reviews, check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com!
I've heard a lot of great things about this novel, that it's hilarious, witty and generally amazing and heartfelt. I finally got the chance to pick it up and read it since I plan on seeing the film that is adapted from this novel (Book and Movie Review will be up later this week!)
I read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl on a weekend, and it's a quick and easy read. The narrator, Greg, has everything figured out on how to remain invisible and ordinary in his high school while making strange, and in his own words, awful films with his only friend, Earl.
This novel makes it very clear that this is not a standard cancer story, where the two main characters fall in love and the reader, which is us, will leave feeling fulfilled and enlightened on incredible life lessons on love, life, and cancer.
You can tell early on that Greg is insecure and incredibly defensive on how insecure he is and how much he depends on other people's opinion of him. He undermines everything he feels and experiences, especially when he experiences emotional distress.
For this genre and topic, I suppose that the narration is refreshing but I felt that this blasé attitude was not only a character trait on the main character but an extension on how the author wanted his novel to be perceived.
The entire novel is devoid of any meaning, and the characters are one-dimensional wooden stereotypes.
For example: -The eccentric dad -The over worrying mom -The crazy teenage little sister -the black best friend with a wrecked family life and low-income status -the sweet and quiet cancer patient
The jokes were repetitive at times and it felt like the author was trying really hard to push home in big bold shiny letters that THIS IS NOT A TYPICAL CANCER STORY.
The plot, all of the secondary characters, including Earl and Rachel, were ignored in terms of character development and Greg didn't really grow as a character either. Greg is in a different place than the start of the book, but having a high school senior go to college is not some huge leap of the imagination.
Overall, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a fast read but fell flat in terms of plot, character development, and anything else that makes a good story. I'm giving it three stars because the writing is great, and the parts were the story is told as a script work fantastically. Earl and Greg's friendship and exploration of the films they both loved was great to read.
I would recommend this novel to the nihilist in your life who thinks that they are smarter and more worldly than they actually are.
The whole time I was reading this novel, it read like Maureen Johnson got cocky with her abilities as a writer and the whole story was a self 2.5
The whole time I was reading this novel, it read like Maureen Johnson got cocky with her abilities as a writer and the whole story was a self indulgence for her quirkiness and ultra hip references to Harry Potter and Morrissey. It was missing the emotional connection of her previous novels and it just felt like a literary flexing of the muscles that didn't exist. Also this could have worked as a stand alone novel since most of the main central conflicts were resolved and stretching it out is just a quick money grab, nothing more. ...more
This was way too boring. I felt the author was trying to be very careful not to piss off his liberal family and his evangelical classmates and tried tThis was way too boring. I felt the author was trying to be very careful not to piss off his liberal family and his evangelical classmates and tried to make up for it with cynical comments and jokes that fell flat. I wish he would have hit a lot harder with Liberty and attempted to get into the university life better than settling for facebook for social research. ...more
What an original novel *eyeroll* It's basically their lives fictionalized. Nothing really irritates me more than that. If you don't have a original idWhat an original novel *eyeroll* It's basically their lives fictionalized. Nothing really irritates me more than that. If you don't have a original idea, don't write a book about yourself and what you wish your life to be or what seems "cute" and "fun." As much as I enjoy both Elle and Blair's channels, this is a stupid attempt at being authors and making money. They're not authors, just bored, oblivious 20 year olds. ...more
**spoiler alert** ALSO CAN WE PLEASE HAVE MY FLAWLESS QUEEN BE IN THE MOVIE ADAPTATION AS AMY PLS
Five stars for character Four stars for story
I had no**spoiler alert** ALSO CAN WE PLEASE HAVE MY FLAWLESS QUEEN BE IN THE MOVIE ADAPTATION AS AMY PLS
Five stars for character Four stars for story
I had no idea what I was getting myself into reading Gone Girl. The very much hyped, critically acclaimed novel intrigued me going in but as with any novel that has a lot of hype surrounding it, I was wary if I was going to like it. Gone Girl ends up being set up as a classic murder mystery but with a ~twist. I thought the twists were going to be something different than it turned out being. (With Amy setting up her own death as punishment for her husband's failures in their marriage). Early in the novel, I think around chapter two, I started not to trust Nick. It wasn't an exact phrase but it was this feeling creeping up that he was hiding things from us or from himself. This was confirmed when Nick admitted that he had already told the police five lies in his first conversation with them. Nick clearly is an unreliable narrator not only to the reader and maybe to himself and that made the story that more exciting to watch unfold. You think that he did it, it's obvious that he did it but it's also too obvious, too easy so you're waiting to see where this particular puzzle piece fits in within the larger picture. While Nick didn't kill or have anything to with his wife's disappearance, looking back in context, you can tell he was a bit relieved to be rid of Amy and clearly didn't act like a normal person at all during the investigation.
Nick is a misogynist, unreliable, cruel, selfish, DELUSIONAL, saying he really really loves his mistress then a couple pages later pretty much admitting he doesn't. SO MESSY
Amy is just as bad as Nick with her doling out punishments with the wrath of an angry god. She's a self entitled sociopath who uses her intelligence to manipulate things to how she sees fit. Inconsistent and delusional as Nick in her narration.
Continuing with Amy, I noticed a sadness in her pov away from her diary entries. She's intelligent but clearly miserable and unfulfilled in the way her parents and husband treat her. Her plan of killing herself shortly after makes me think she's a lot sadder than she presents herself to be and hides it under a veil of revenge. It brings up the question if her being a sociopath is a born trait or just something she acquired as a child, as a means to survive.
I think they're both pretty terrible no matter but I liked Amy a little more because reading about ruthless, ambitious, intelligent villains who will do anything (and do it right) to get their way is just SO FUN.
Also with some people not liking this book because you didn't like the characters, the characters weren't meant to be likable or antiheros. I know that some people don't like to read stories with unlikable characters and that's fine but in my opinion, I feel like that really limits the kind of stories that can be told and read if the guideline is that the main characters have to be likable. Flynn presents these characters in a very psychological way, so you can understand how dark some people can get.
A cool, entertaining summer read. Four and a half stars. ...more
I never like stories that include clichés and the jocks and the blond bitches rule the school thing but its simplicity in the setting of the novel andI never like stories that include clichés and the jocks and the blond bitches rule the school thing but its simplicity in the setting of the novel and some of its characters is understandable and doesn't make to much of an annoyance and fuss in the story. Jarrod is so annoying, though.His disbelief was refreshing in a way, i guess, from the usual believing everything and not questioning the paranormal in many novels. It suited his character and her and Kate went really well together and i enjoyed reading their dynamics together and i could feel the subtle connection between them which grew as the story went on. I loved where the direction of this novel progressed. The first chapter is very boring and clunky and threw me off and I've noticed a lot of people say the same thing. Other than that, this was such a pleasurable read and I recommend it. ...more
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is a novel about pageant beauty queens who crash on a desOriginally read July 2011. Unfinished.
Reread again June-July 2013
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is a novel about pageant beauty queens who crash on a deserted island. Very standard trope, yes, but Beauty Queens is a novel that deals with identity, beauty, feminism, womanhood, sexuality and friendship.
This novel is a lot to take in at first, (for me anyways) the first time I read this a few years ago, I got overwhelmed and confused and quit reading. I still think that it's a lot to take in at first but you quickly get used to its style, with commercial breaks, sponsor commentary and those infamous footnotes which were hilarious and I love how constant jokes kept getting mentioned throughout the story (such as Boyz Will Be Boyz, the Captains Bodacious and Lady 'Stache Off)
The second time around, I read along with the audiobook which was a big reason why I loved Beauty Queens the second time around. You definitely saw the author's vision in what she was trying to accomplish plus in the audiobook, she put distinct voices for all the characters and in general, was funny as hell. I especially loved Tiana's little comments between discs.
It's very easy to think based on the cover and blurb that this is just another cutesy, shallow YA story about girls who are sheltered and have non consequential problems and cliche tropes. Although this has plenty of desert island tropes, it's all done intentionally and even mentioned by the characters themselves. Libba Bray uses satire and comedy to make jabs and several points about media, consumerism, feminism and misogyny in media.
All the characters are wonderfully developed and are really a realistic platform for the struggles that women do face in this world and how sadly, in terms of how society and culture views women, has not changed much.
It wasn't surprising to me since I already knew all of this but it showed that society still treats women like objects: there's a certain standard you have to meet and even if you meet that standard, you are still worthless because you are a female. You're weak and lesser than and to challenge that means that you are not a 'proper' woman and that you are 'bad' and 'other'. A particular brilliant commentary of this sexist mindset is that after Mary Lou got head and realized that her pleasure was nothing to be ashamed of, a corporate message showed alternate scenes that would have been better than the one just read. All objectified women and ruthlessly VIOLENTLY punished the woman who stood up for herself and/or asserted her sexuality. It was perfect.
This is a book that everyone should read because the messages presented in it are incredibly enlightening and important. It's funny, tongue in cheek and displays a lot of hilarious satire about materialism in America.
The Lying Game is the new series from Pretty Little Liars writer Sara Shepard. I do watch the show but I haven't read the series nor do I really intenThe Lying Game is the new series from Pretty Little Liars writer Sara Shepard. I do watch the show but I haven't read the series nor do I really intend too (I'm content with just the TV show.) I have heard from other people who do read the books how fun and interesting the twists are and I was really intrigued to read The Lying Game.
The Lying Game is about Emma, a foster child who finds out she has a long lost twin sister in Arizona named Sutton and she might have been murdered and finds herself living her missing sister's life and finds out that whoever took her sister or killed her has set her eyes on Emma.
I wasn't excepting nothing too deep or mind blowing, just a fun read with some OMG twists but I just did not get into this AT ALL. The writing was terribly amateurish which surprised me considering this is not Shepard's debut. Nothing really happens in this installment and the revelation at the end was mildly interesting but all the characters were transparent and one dimensional and the storyline with Ethan bored me to tears.
I wouldn't recommend this book unless you usually read cutesy YA and love Pretty Little Liars but if you were looking for what I was looking for (which is a fun mystery with a twist) you're not going to get it. ...more
I couldn't do it. The writing was mediocre and lacked passion and tone. It was one long, drawn out, monomous narration mixed in with unccesecaryDNF.
I couldn't do it. The writing was mediocre and lacked passion and tone. It was one long, drawn out, monomous narration mixed in with unccesecary scenes and lack of interesting characters all around. ...more