This book is gorgeously written and is incredibly poetic in its depictions of first love and coming of age. Almond does an excellent job of retellingThis book is gorgeously written and is incredibly poetic in its depictions of first love and coming of age. Almond does an excellent job of retelling the Orpheus myth by honoring its classic roots and still keeping it relevant. I have a feeling this is going to be a major award winner and could possibly snag the Printz....more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! As of late, I’ve been reading more and more YA books about mental illness and I truly tCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! As of late, I’ve been reading more and more YA books about mental illness and I truly think that this is a subject that isn’t widely publicized enough. Challenger Deep is a beyond heartbreaking novel and I’ll even go as far as saying it’s perfect, a word that I don’t toss around lightly. Neal Shusterman has written numerous fantasy novels, but CD shows that what he really excels at is invoking readers’ emotions and writing books with heart. This is easily one of the most important novels ever written and Challenger Deep just might be Schusterman’s magnum opus.
Caden Bosch is drowning in himself and he’s losing sight of what’s real and what’s just in his head. He thinks classmates are trying to kill him, that nothing makes sense anymore and that the world is going to swallow him whole. Readers are brought aboard a pirate ship on a journey to the Challenger Deep and this is a trip they’ll never forget.
Neal Shusterman expertly balances Caden’s reality and the world he’s created, making readers question what’s really going on. This novel has a healthy dose of the real world and the fantastical one, both of which were finely crafted and imagined. I found myself immersed in both sides of the story and I enjoyed seeing how the two worlds were interwoven into each other.
Schizophrenia is something that’s real and it’s a disease that most of us are clueless about it. Neal Schusterman does an excellent job of shedding light on this terrible disease without unloading a textbook worth of info on readers. Caden Bosch’s character truly captures the fear, the unknowing and the danger that comes with schizophrenia, making Challenger Deep a difficult book to read.
Neal Schusterman’s son, Brendan has schizophrenia and this novel includes drawings his son made during schizophrenic episodes. There is so much depth in this novel and I haven’t seen mental illness captured in a way that has felt so raw and horrifying ever. This novel turns schizophrenia from something alien into a personal demon that’s frighteningly easy to understand.
This is not an “issue” book, it’s a journey of self-discovery and recovery. Challenger Deep shows the struggles that those with mental illness deal with on a daily basis without stigmatizing it. As informative as this book is about schizophrenia, this book is about Caden and not his disease. Caden is not defined by his disease ever and he’s never shown as someone who’s anything lesser because of his mental illness. Though Caden’s family doesn’t quite understand him, I’m truly glad this novel shows how important a support system can be for those in the Challenger Deep.
I’ll admit it, this novel made me bawl. I found myself so involved in this book and in the life of Caden that I couldn’t help but cry and cry for him. I cried for him because no one seemed to understand how he was drowning, not even himself. To say this book is powerful feels like an understatement because every words booms with importance and it should be treated as something sacred. This book could save lives, it could be the lifesaver that readers can cling to as they fight the currents of the world.
Read Challenger Deep and give it to friends, family members and co-workers, you never know who might be in need of help. This book should be in every school and library because it’s a beacon of hope that so many could benefit from. I can’t praise this book enough or stress how necessary of a read it truly is....more
I didn't find this book funny, but I did find it incredibly charming and adorable. I totally related to Josh's social awkwardness and was relieved toI didn't find this book funny, but I did find it incredibly charming and adorable. I totally related to Josh's social awkwardness and was relieved to see an organic representation of it....more
This is such an important feministic book about growing up, society, love and acceptance. Highly recommend it, I just hope the movie maintains the impThis is such an important feministic book about growing up, society, love and acceptance. Highly recommend it, I just hope the movie maintains the important values and messages....more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! This One Summer recently won a Printz Honor and Caldecott Award, two of the most prestiCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! This One Summer recently won a Printz Honor and Caldecott Award, two of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. In fact, this is the second time a graphic novel has ever won the Printz (the first being American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang) and it’s a groundbreaking achievement for graphic novels who are usually not recognized as literary. I can definitely see why this one has received such acclaim with its gorgeous artwork and the fact that it discusses important issues, but at the same time I desired more. This graphic novel merely touched upon these issues and its story didn’t really have much momentum.
This One Summer tells of two friends as they navigate of a summer in which they try to find themselves. What ensues is swimming, watching horror films, talking about boys, eating Twizzlers and a bunch of other activities. While I did like the characters especially Windy, not enough went down in this book and there wasn’t really a plot perse. I wanted to feel something, but I just couldn’t because there wasn’t enough heart and emotion in this story. Even when the novel ended, I didn’t feel any sort of closure and the lacking of a formal conclusion irked me to no end.
Even when This One Summer discussed issues like divorce, teen pregnancy, falling out of love, it just didn’t push these issues far enough. When it did talk of these issues, it was with grace and I was extremely intrigued but it just a taste of what I wanted. I felt that the authors held back on their readers and as a result, this novel just doesn’t feel true or as poignant as it could’ve been.
Artistically, This One Summer is a huge success, but the story just wasn’t developed well enough for me. I’m interested in reading the authors’ other novel, Skim, in hopes that it has a stronger story....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Every once in a while there is a book that you read and it’s all you can think about, All Bright Places is that book. JenniferSeen at Bookish Antics! Every once in a while there is a book that you read and it’s all you can think about, All Bright Places is that book. Jennifer Niven has written a powerful book that has changed my view of the world and I don’t think I’ll view mental illness the same way ever again. This is a rare novel that has the power to spark something within us and ABP needs to be read.
Theodore Finch is the weird kid, the one that everyone knows of but no one actually knows a single thing about. Violet used to be an outgoing girl with a popular online magazine called Germ, but then her whole world was turned upside down when her sister died. Now Violet is “damaged” and everyone acts like she’s a fragile vase that’s on the edge and is one tremor away from shattering. When these two find each other on the roof of their school, both ready to die, the two decide to save each other. The two are paired upon a school trip to document “the natural wonders of Indiana” and nothing will ever be the same.
Jennifer Niven hasn’t just written characters, she writes people. Finch and Violet are beyond realistic to the point where they are not just words on a page, they practically jump off the page. Finch and Violet aren’t normal, their lives are messed up and a psychologist would probably have a field day labeling them with stigmas and mental disorders. Their lives are beyond complicated, they’ve had more hardships in their lives than anyone (let alone a teenager) should have to deal and yet they find beauty in the simple things in life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just a pair of sneakers on a tree or a ball with paint on it, Theodore and Violet try to find the beauty in each and every moment of life.
Mental illness is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized health issues there is because most people don’t understand how severe mental illness is. Depression and other forms of mental illness aren’t just things you “get over” and I think All Bright Places conveys that properly. In one scene in the novel, a character remarks how it’s unfair that people with mental illness are treated much harsher than people with physical illnesses. There was just something so profound and moving about that scene that just stuck with me and it just seemed to capture the theme of this book so well.
The romance in All Bright Places is touching, beautiful and radiant, I love this couple oh so much. Readers will fall in love with Theodore and Finch a hundred times over, desperately hoping this couple will get a chance to be together. The relationship is natural, sweet and it gave me that exhilarating feel that only comes with first love. Separately each character is broken, but together they make each other feel more complete and less lonely.
All Bright Places will fill readers with hope, love, happiness and will ultimately make them cry. The ending for this one is such a tearjerker, making me bawl out my eyes and Niven really knew how to hit me with the feels. After finishing this book, I couldn’t properly function and I just sat and thought about everything that went on. The ending is heartbreaking and painful to read, but it was so well-executed and necessary that Niven definitely deserves props for it.
Novels like this only come along once in a lifetime and All Bright Places is truly the real deal. This is one of the best contemporary novels I’ve ever read, as well as one of the best novels I’ve ever read period. One should expect great things from Jennifer Niven because she’s extremely talented and this is an absolutely perfect YA debut. This is the book that everyone will be talking about and it’s sure to be a popular book club pick....more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! After reading Jeanette Walls’s superb memoir, The Glass Castle, I began to find memoirsCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! After reading Jeanette Walls’s superb memoir, The Glass Castle, I began to find memoirs about people with unusual upbringings intriguing. Once I saw the title of Schmidt’s memoir, I knew I had to read this book and I loved how dark and unusual it sounded. I’m in awe of Jason Schmidt — words can’t describe how headstrong and mentally strong he had to be overcome this life. Life dealt Schmidt a terrible hand, but he always tried to make the best of what he’s been given.
A List Of Things That Didn’t Kill Me is an amazing story about growing older, acceptance, family and love. Not only does this memoir tell of a time not so long ago when AIDS was rampant and homophobia was more prominent than it is today. Jason Schmidt grew up in an unhealthy environment where he was told to never tell the straights, the normal people about his family life. Schmidt didn’t have the necessities that most of you have and his childhood was full of tragedy.
There a lot of ups and downs in Jason Schmidt’s life and I still am amazed that he turned out normal in the end. There’s no way I would have been able to survive all of the ordeals that he went through unscathed. I would have lost it and though Schmidt does goes off the edge a bit, for the most part he keeps himself together for himself and his father. Even though his father is a total jerk, he still loves him and does his best to protect him all along.
Jason’s father is a piece of work, but he tries to be a good father to his son. Even if it means teaching your son about drugs and sex from an elementary school age, he did what he thought was best. He was far from the “straights” he hated and he was unconventional, but it’s hard to hate him. Even if he was abusive and unbelievable, I couldn’t hate him and I really wanted to, but I just couldn’t. His dad clearly had something wrong with him and his own messed up way he was trying to show affection for his son.
A List Of Things That Didn’t Kill Me is at times difficult to read, but overall it’s an intriguing and uplifting story of hardship and ultimately success. I loved reading Jason Schmidt’s story and I have a feeling he has a lot more to tell and if he does, I’d definitely read it....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Every Breath is easily one of the most buzzed about books in the book blogging community. It seemed that everyone was talking aSeen at Bookish Antics! Every Breath is easily one of the most buzzed about books in the book blogging community. It seemed that everyone was talking about Mycroft and Watts, so I just had to see what all the hype was about. Ellie Marney’s debut novel is extremely addicting and entertaining, it’s also a well-plotted mystery and romance. This may not be the most original retelling out there, but it is one that I’d highly recommend.
I’m glad I didn’t read the description for this one before starting this book because it reveals way too much. Do yourself a favor and skip it, you’ll thank me later. All you need to know is that this book takes place in Melbourne, Australia and that the duo is investigating the murder of a homeless man. It’s best for you to just discover everything else alongside the characters and it’ll make the big reveal that much better.
I was initially turned off by this book because of Mycroft who is a bit of an antihero. Mycroft is essentially a juvenile delinquent: he smokes, is constantly in trouble at school, resists authority at any given opportunity and doesn’t understand what rules are. After reading about so many bad boys in YA, I was tired of reading about this archetype, but I soon realized that Mycroft is more than a label. Marney manages to make his character complex and troubled without sacrificing emotion and realism for a split-second. Readers will want to understand this enigmatic character and get a peek into his back story to see why he’s like this.
It’s interesting how Watts was the character I liked more at the beginning of this novel, but by the end I was utterly obsessed with Mycroft. Watts is brave, loyal and compassionate; she lets herself be dragged into Mycroft’s investigation not because she has to do it, but because it’s the right thing to do. I have a feeling that readers will love Watts and she’s certainly an interesting take on the classic Sherlock character.
The mystery in this novel is expertly crafted and Marney really channels her inner Arthur Conan Doyle in the writing of this novel. All of the classic mystery elements that are present in Doyle’s novels (and the countless adaptations) are in Every Breath: the red-herrings, the suspense, the deductive reasoning, etc. I do wish that there was a bit more of a connection to the Sherlock Holmes novels aside from the characters’ names and a few references. Though this novel’s plot revolves around the mystery, it’s not really the focus of this novel and it’s overshadowed by the romance, which is both troubling and a plus in my mind.
This is a romance oriented novel and everything takes the backseat to Mycroft and Watt’s relationship. I loved both the friendship and romantic dynamic the two characters have together, but a part of me wanted the mystery to be more prominent. The romance is excellent and the tension between our couple is electrifying, but I love a good mystery and that’s what one expects from a Sherlock-based retelling.
Every Breath wasn’t quite what I expected from a Sherlock retelling, but it was what I needed to read at that given moment in time. EB is a bit on the lighter side, but that doesn’t lessen how much I enjoyed this novel and how ready I am to read the next two books in this series. Those who love BBC’s Sherlock should definitely check out Every Breath while they wait for the next season to arrive!...more
Check out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways & more! Dear readers. The fault in Zac And Mia is not in the writing or the romance, but in the chCheck out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways & more! Dear readers. The fault in Zac And Mia is not in the writing or the romance, but in the characters that Betts creates. Novels like this rely on the readers to establish an emotional connection with the characters, but I never really felt any strong emotions to them or the plot. Part of my issue with connecting to the characters is that I feel as if I've already read a better rendition of it -- The Fault In Our Stars, a novel that I fell in love with almost automatically. Zac And Mia does set itself apart from TFIOS at times, but it never really managed to impress me.
The beginning of Zac And Mia made me feel as if this would be a novel that I would love with its brutal, yet honest portrayal of cancer. Zac is concerned with his chances of survival based on statistics that he's collected and he's accepted that his odds aren't bad. Betts definitely did her part to make this novel feel authentic because she doesn't gloss over some of the more technical (and medical) parts of cancer treatment.
I didn't quite like Zac or Mia to be honest and that is the root of all of my qualms with this novel. They were just characters to me and Betts never made them feel like they were anything more than that -- Zac and Mia were just splotches of ink and that's it. Zac is pragmatic and Mia is extremely cold, but I wanted more than that; I wanted to love these character and feel empathic towards their plight, but I couldn't. I'm an extremely sensitive person and the fact that this novel couldn't even make me feel anything for these characters was upsetting. I expected to cry or at least tear up at least once during this novel, but I just couldn't.
Despite my lack of connection to the characters, Betts is a talented writer and she truly creates an intriguing setting. This novel takes place in Australia and everything feels so true to the Down Under. I'm not Aussie by any means, but I loved the slang and how this novel didn't take place in America like the majority of novels that I read each year. Though the setting doesn't make much of an impact on the novel, it felt nice to read about an exotic location.
Zac And Mia is quite predictable and many of the moments in this novel felt very "Nicholas Sparks-esque" or that they were inspired by TFIOS. I knew what direction this novel would go on early on and I wasn't impressed with how the plot was executed. The ending was quite disappointing and I really didn't enjoy how this novel concluded because it felt like a cop-out and was the obvious route.
I'd hesitate to recommend Zac And Mia to my friends and readers who've already read TFIOS will likely be disappointed with this novel. I would read another novel by A.J. Betts in the future and would give her another shot because I do feel as if she is a promising writer. Zac And Mia is a well-written novel, but it doesn't quite have the heart and passion that I expected. ...more
Seen at Bookish Antics! The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley is easily one of the most important novels I’ve read this year. This is a novel about dealingSeen at Bookish Antics! The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley is easily one of the most important novels I’ve read this year. This is a novel about dealing with pain and grief, falling in love and accepting yourself; making this novel universally relatable and poignant. Hutchinson has written an unbelievably important novel that will hit readers hard emotionally and ultimately fill them with hope. We need more books like Andrew Brawley out there — books that are so raw and powerful that they fill readers with zest and the desire to make a difference in the world.
After Andrew Brawley’s parents and sister died in a car crash, he’s felt immeasurably guilty and has confined himself to the hospital. When Andrew meets Rusty at the hospital, he slowly falls for him but the problem is that Rusty has a lot of baggage. Rusty is the victim of a hate crime and was burned alive by a bunch of homophobic teenagers at a party. The only problem is that Death is after the two of them and Andrew thinks he’s destined to bring tragedy.
Though this book revolves around terminally ill teens, this is not an ‘issue book’, this is a novel about love, life and death. Hutchinson doesn’t recycle any of the trite scenarios that we’re familiar with from other novels about cancer patients. Nor are any of the characters the typical caricatures that we’re familiar with from those novels. These characters are real people with personalities so powerful that these kids are forces to be reckoned with despite the fact that they’re “damaged”.
I think one of the most important things about this novel is the relationships Andrew has with the adults in his life. Most YA novels seem to ignore that adults even exist, but in this novel they play a fundamental role and help dictate the flow of the plot. Drew has a beautiful relationship with Arnold who acts as a father figure and provides Drew with the rock he needs. In addition, Drew finds solace in the nurses who are the angels of the hospital spreading joy in such a bleak place.
The Patient F graphic novel was an interesting addition to this story as it helps parallel Drew’s life. Not only was it thematically and important to the plot, but it was also extremely entertaining to read. The illustrations are extremely well-drawn and help complement the story extremely well, bringing life to Drew’s story in a whole new medium.
I’m so glad that I didn’t pass this book off as another TFIOS wannabe and that this one caught my eye because The 5 Stages is a deep, moving novel that will resonate with readers. Hutchinson really surprised me with this one and it’s damn near perfect. Fans of Winger and It’s Kind Of A Funny Story will find Hutchinson’s latest to be something incredible. With a superb romance, touching personal drama and important thematic messages, The 5 Stages should be moved to the top of your to-read pile....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Sometimes a book just instantly clicks with you and Belzhar was just that book for me. I was immediately drawn into Jam’s conflSeen at Bookish Antics! Sometimes a book just instantly clicks with you and Belzhar was just that book for me. I was immediately drawn into Jam’s conflicts and her life at The Wooden Barn because of how organic and realistic it felt. Though Belzhar experiments with otherworldly elements, it never loses touch with reality and manages to be extremely touching and captivating. Meg Wolitzer understands teenagers and this translates into genuinely drawn out characters and relationships.
Jam is sent to The Wooden Barn after suffering through the traumatic loss of her British boyfriend. Jam doesn’t think she will ever get through this bump in the road and she is surprised when she is chosen to be apart of an extremely exclusive class called Special Topics. Through this class, she manages to be apart of something far grander than she expected and is transported to a fantasy-like world.
Readers will definitely be divided on Jam’s character, but I will quickly jump to her defense. Jam spends the beginning portion of this novel mourning the loss of her boyfriend and lamenting what could’ve been. It feels like the world is over for Jam and some readers may be annoyed with how her relationship seems to dominate her life. The thing is that Jam is only 16 and that it was her first relationship with a guy, plus she expected him to be the one. Losing the one you love is extremely difficult and I empathized with Jam right from the start.
The Special Topics class was an enigma that I loved to read about and it gave me Breakfast Club feels. Here in this class, misfits from different backgrounds and social standings are united because of a common unifying force. The teacher, Mrs. Quenell was a force to be reckoned with and I loved how Wolitzer shed light on her while still leaving much of her character a mystery. I would’ve loved to learned a bit more about Mrs. Q, but what we did learn about her was fascinating.
The relationships that form between the characters in the Special Topics class was one of my favorite aspects of the book. I always love when outsiders come together and defy society in their own way by just being themselves. Reading about the characters supporting each other and giving each other the courage to face their pasts was something special. Each character has their own unique story and it felt liberating to watch each character make themselves vulnerable in front of their class and face their thorny pasts.
Belzhar is a fantasy world in which the characters live in a state of ecstasy where the past no longer can haunt them. We all crave our own Belzhar and Wolitzer explores how people always want to live out a fantasy and hide from the real world. Though the journals are never fully explained, I think this was the best outcome for this novel. There was something so magical and fantastic about them that explaining them would help destroy their enchanting effect.
One of my sole issues with Belzhar lies in the way this novel is resolved because it felt too good to be true. Wolitzer ties up the loose ends in this novel so quickly that the ending feels like it isn’t incomplete and that it was overly simplified. One of the major conflicts of this novel is solved almost effortlessly and it killed me to see such a clever plot-line being reduced to such ridiculousness.
Belzhar is a clever novel that explores what it takes to put ourselves back together after a tragedy. Meg Wolitzer has impressed me with her YA debut and I’ll definitely be checking out her adult novels. Belzhar is a strange mix of fantasy and coming-of-age elements that surprisingly worked; it’s rare for a novel to live up to my expectations, but Wolitzer’s latest definitely didn’t disappoint....more
When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Lemony Snicket; devouring A Series Of Unfortunate Events and anything else I could findSeen at Bookish Antics!
When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Lemony Snicket; devouring A Series Of Unfortunate Events and anything else I could find by the elusive mastermind. When Snicket tried to branch off from his middle-grade books with Why We Broke Up, a Printz winning novel that critics loved, I was surprised to see how irritated I was by it. I decided to give Handler another shot and We Were Pirates sounded like it was totally my drift: a book about PIRATES with a glowing blurb by Neil Gaiman and that explores humanity in a comedic way. I was initially charmed by this one, but I quickly grew tired of this book despite it’s short length.
What happens when a teenage girl gets tired of ordinary life? Gwen quickly joins a man with Alzheimer’s and her outgoing friend on a journey to steal a ship and pretend to be pirates. This novel also explores the lack of a relationship between Gwen and her father, Phil who’s fed up with the cards he’s been dealt.
What could have been a smart comedy, turned out to be a dull, silly novel with little substance. The characters lack the vivacity that was apparent in Snicket’s novels and are extremely unappealing and unsettling. I really disliked our entire cast of characters and couldn’t find anything redeeming about them. To make matters worse, We Were Pirates borders on offensive making fun of Jewish people’s noses and perpetuating various stereotypes when describing characters. Even though Handler is Jewish himself, it was totally uncalled for and inappropriate, but then again I probably shouldn’t have expected more from the racist man who makes watermelon jokes. Anytime Handler used a stereotype, it just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
This book clocks in at under 300 pages and is relatively short, but it felt much, much longer. The opening of this novel went by at a decent pace, but after that I kept turning pages and pages without making much progress. Each page was a bit of a struggle to get through and I found myself dreading continuing. I eventually decided to skim through the rest of the book and the ending was predictable and poorly constructed. I truly feel as if I had wasted my time reading this one and this novel was nothing like I expected.
We Were Pirates is a boldly offensive and unsuitable depiction of humanity’s desire for adventure and how Alzheimer’s affects the lives of friends and family. I think it’s time for me to accept that Handler’s novels aren’t for me and that I shouldn’t bother with them anymore. I’m truly upset about how terrible this novel was and I just can’t get over that Snicket / Handler wrote this.
Lauren Oliver has always been one of my favorite authors because she really knows how to capture the beauty of life. Vanishing Girls is the most accurate, wonderful depiction of a relationship between two sisters and is such a heartbreaking literary experience. This is a lyrical, gorgeously written novel that I couldn’t stop reading and I fell in love with both Nick and Dara almost immediately. I can’t express the avalanche of emotions I felt while reading this book, but I just know that it was something special.
Nick has always been a shadow compared to her sister Dara who’s much more outgoing and wild. Despite their incredibly different personalities, the sisters have always been close until the accident that tore them apart. Now the sisters are distant and Dara becomes a mystery to Nick, then Dara and a girl named Madeleine Snow goes missing. Nick will do anything to get her sister and Madeleine back, even if it means finding out the truth.
It’s rare to find a book in which there’s a positive female friendship, especially in YA. Most YA books are big on slut shaming and displaying female relationships as something negative and horrible, so it’s a relief to see such a refreshing relationship. Oliver claimed that Nick and Dara are based the relationship she had with her sister, something that I totally can see. The sister relationship is totally on point in this book, capturing both the highs and lows of such a bond honestly. Oliver really shows the strength of family and how there is no more powerful unifier than blood.
Despite everything, I really liked Dara even though she makes one questionable decision after the other. Between smoking, drinking, making poor decisions at parties, Dara continues to make mistake after mistake and yet, she’s my favorite character in this one. She’s one of the realest teenage characters in YA because she acts like a honest-to-god teen. She’s far from perfect, wears her flaws on her sleeve and is looking to fit in, to be loved. I also felt for Dara because it’s not easy being a twin and she desperately wanted to be see as someone so different from Nick that she lost sight of herself.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I’ll read ANYTHING Lauren Oliver writes. Her prose is as perfect as always, but I missed her flowerly language that she used in the Delirium series. Here her writing is still gorgeous, but it’s much more practical and less purple, something that was a bit disappointing. It’s still incredibly easy to get lost inside VG because she writes like a master and knows just what to say to make readers’ hearts flutter.
Vanishing Girls is one of those books that rely on a big twist at the end and this can make or break the book for readers. I wasn’t exactly pleased with this ending nor was I particularly angered by it like others. I’ve seen this ending before and in some cases it’s worked, but here it just felt odd and made the ending feel lacking.
Between Panic and Vanishing Girls, I’m really so happy that Lauren Oliver has returned to her contemporary roots. I’m super excited to read Before I Fall and Oliver’s middle-grade offerings because I can’t get enough of her writing. Vanishing Girls is an emotional, well-written novel that will overcome readers with emotion from start to finish. Fans of her previous books will find themselves immersed once again in Vanishing Girls....more
Check out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways & more! Let's Get Lost is the book that people are comparing to Paper Towns and claiming that it'Check out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways & more! Let's Get Lost is the book that people are comparing to Paper Towns and claiming that it's up to par with John Green's novels. Those are pretty big shoes to fill and though Alsaid definitely gives this book his all, Let's Get Lost just isn't as witty and inspiring like I expected it would be. Let's Get Lost feels like it's trying way too hard to read like a John Green novel, but it comes across more like a cheesy 80's film where the director wants viewers to come out feeling like they've learned some important moral. It's not that I don't love these kinds of films, but Let's Get Lost feels overly sentimental and repetitive.
Leila comes into the lives of Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia by chance, but in doing so she manages to make a difference in each person's life. Leila only means to pass by on her way to the Northern Lights, but she makes a larger impact than she intended. Though Leila gets a little lost lost along the way, she manages to find herself on her journey.
I really enjoyed the first two parts of Let's Get Lost, but then it became apparent to me that each story was extremely predictable and followed a similar formula. Lalia would meet each teen by accident, they would go on an adventure, the teen would learn an important lesson and then Leila would go on her way. It just became too repetitive and I felt like I was reading almost the exact same story 4 different times; there's so much Alsaid could've done with this unique method, but the story of each teen was rather cliche and wasn't fulfilling enough.
I felt like Alsaid was trying to teach readers life lessons in this coming-of-age tale; he had good intentions, but I felt like it was a bit too preachy, cheesy and out of place in this book. Yes, the characters are learning about life, but Alsaid seemed to try to stretch these teachings unnecessarily and make them feel overwhelming. I love finishing a book and feeling as if the author made an impact on my life, but I don't like feeling an author is shoving their philosophies upon on me.
The romance in Let's Gets Lost feels incredibly awkward and misguided because it's all based around insta-love. After meeting Leila for one night, Hudson foolishly decides to throw away his college education and future for some girl he just met. I'm a romantic at heart, but I can't root for a relationship that's so nonsensical and ill-advised. Hudson worked so hard for 17 or so years to get a full-ride to college and then he just throws it away for some one night stand -- this book doesn't send a good message to its readers with the romance between Hudson and Leila . I hoped that Alsaid would display their relationship as teenage lust that could possibly turn into love, but he decided to make it seem like it was true love and was worth costing Hudson his future.
I loved the four teens with their realistic, fascinating personalities, but I couldn't believe in Leila for one second. Leila's character is a ridiculous archetype (the manic pixie girl) and it appears that Alsaid was promoting this stereotype. I would love to believe that there would be someone like Leila who's willing to give up their time to help people and go on adventures at every given opportunity, but it just doesn't feel genuine. I think that Alsaid took the manic pixie girl character a bit too far and never took the time to develop her character beyond the basics. I wasn't really satisfied with the ending to her story and it just didn't feel right to me because it didn't me enough closure.
Let's Get Lost is a well-written book that is definitely quotable, but it failed to impress me with its story-line or characters. Alsaid is definitely a promising author, but I'd like to see him write something that is quite different from Let's Get Lost -- preferably something that isn't intended to read like a John Green novel. I was entertained by Let's Get Lost, but some of the messages in this book about love and life felt unreasonable and ridiculous. ...more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! I didn’t know much about this book when I first requested it, all I saw was the title,Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! I didn’t know much about this book when I first requested it, all I saw was the title, cover and the fact that Andrew Smith (one of my all-time favorite authors) blurbed it. I’m so glad I was impulsive because Simon is easily one of the best YA debuts and contemporary books I’ve ever read. Becky Albertalli has tapped into territory that’s not frequently explored in YA at all: coming out to the world and she does it with humor and unflinching honesty. Just reading Simon has made me realize how refreshing diversity in YA (in terms of sexuality and racial) can be and how necessary diverse books truly are.
Simon Spier is gay, but no one in the world seems to know that besides an online friend whose pen name is Blue. All Simon wants is to be done with hiding who he is and to go out with Blue, but things get complicated when someone gets a hand on one of his emails. Soon Simon is being blackmailed by a guy named Martin into becoming a wingman or else everyone will know he’s gay.
Simon vs. is one of those books that is beyond important, this is the type of book that could change someone’s lives. Even in 2015, life for GLBTAQI+ individuals isn’t easy and it’s important for people to see themselves in literature to know they’re not alone. Many teens are afraid to come out and I think a book like Simon could give people the courage to show the world who they really are. We need more diverse books and I truly hope there are more books like Simon that are going to be published in the future because the world truly needs them.
I was smiling nearly the entire time I was reading Becky Albertalli’s debut because this book is seriously adorable and hilarious. Simon is an incredible character and his voice is extremely distinct and realistic, evoking one of the most realistic depictions I’ve ever seen of a teen. It’s extremely easy to empathize with Simon and almost immediately I fell in love with his character. All it will take is one email to make you obsessed with Simon and Blue and to make you ship them.
This book doesn’t shy away from truly showing all different shades of the high-school experience. This entire book shows the ups and downs of being a teenager in a proper light, without tampering with it at all. From laughing along with Simon’s awesome friend group to dealing with bullies, this book shows the triumphs and struggles teens deal with. Even though Simon does deal with animosity, he has his friends to help him along the way and readers will wish they were apart of Simon’s little crew.
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a remarkable novel, one that will resonate with readers long after they’re finished reading. Also be sure to have a healthy stack of OREOs on hand because you’ll definitely be craving those frequently while reading. This is a book that will hit close to home for many readers and it’s my hope that Albertalli doesn’t ever stop writing. Simon is a gift to the YA world and it’s going to be a hit with so many....more