Hysteria was one of those books I picked up at a local booksale, placed on my shelf, and proceeded to gloss over for the next year or so. And yet, atHysteria was one of those books I picked up at a local booksale, placed on my shelf, and proceeded to gloss over for the next year or so. And yet, at a time when I was trying to downsize my shelves (and gave away a lot of my unread books) I kept it. Mostly because of the plot synopsis. You get a lot of things in young adult, but not a lot of them involve murder. Specifically, the main character murdering someone. This is an established fact from the beginning of the novel. Mallory's boyfriend Brian is dead, and it's her fault. There's no racing to clear her name or finding some way to escape jail. That's already happened (the not going to jail part, at least). It's been ruled... a "justifiable" homicide (or something along those lines), because Brian broke into her home and she was defending herself. Hysteria is the focus of what happens in the weeks and months after Brian has killed, and Mallory is the town pariah. Her parents are afraid of her, Brian's mother is stalking her, and no one looks at her the same way. So she's sent to the boarding school her father attended, and tries to start over anew.
This is what I actually enjoyed about the novel: Mallory's trauma. It felt... real. Granted, I don't have any experience in this type of trauma, or any for that matter. But Mallory is haunted by Brain's death. She sees him. Hears his heart beating as she tries to fall asleep. Dreams of killing him over and over and over every night in her sleep. At the beginning of the novel, little cracks appear, and as the story goes on Mallory slowly begins to fall apart. And, it doesn't help that someone at her new school knows her secret, and makes it a point to let Mallory know that they can get into her room, slash up her clothes, and people will still blame Mallory. Or, is everyone else right, and Mallory really is losing her grip on reality?
There's a lot of twisty relationships, backstabbing, and secrets, everything you'd expect of a prep school novel. But there's real heart to it too. And I really enjoyed reading it. ...more
I've had Scarlet for over a year now, and I can't believe it took me this long to read it. New characters Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne are introduced toI've had Scarlet for over a year now, and I can't believe it took me this long to read it. New characters Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne are introduced to the story, blending seamlessly with Cinder and Iko's tale. Plenty of action, some actually touching romance, and heartpounding stakes made Scarlet a wonderful read, and I can't wait to read Cress. ...more
The Luxe is a sweeping tale of the social elite of the late 1800s, and the various problems (mostly romantic) they find themselves in. The story startThe Luxe is a sweeping tale of the social elite of the late 1800s, and the various problems (mostly romantic) they find themselves in. The story starts out with the funeral of Elizabeth, introducing you to the characters of the story, and then takes a jump back in time, when Elizabeth is still alive. From there, Anna Godbersen weaves a story of romance and intrigue, with all of the characters' lives being hopelessly intertwined. All the while, there is a lingering question at the back of your mind: why is Elizabeth dead? I thought it was a really good read, and I enjoyed getting lost in the characters' lives, and I am looking forward to see what happens in Rumors...more
An Ember in the Ashes is a sweeping fantasy which follows two characters: Elias and Laia. Laia is a lowly Scholar, the lowest class in their conqueredAn Ember in the Ashes is a sweeping fantasy which follows two characters: Elias and Laia. Laia is a lowly Scholar, the lowest class in their conquered lands, and Elias is a Mask, an order of elite warriors. Despite their different status in life, both long for freedom from the Empire, and their paths are brought together. The writing is fast paced, the characters well thought out. I hesitate to call this young adult, because the stakes are much higher than you would normally expect, and the tale much darker. At the beginning of the book, Laia's parents and older sister are dead, and within the first chapter her grandparents are killed in front of her and her brother is taken prisoner. Elias, on the other hand, is forced to train at a military school for Masks, where students endure whippings and beatings and are forced to kill. There is action, but a lot of the book is the characters' internal struggle as they try to fight for their freedom, and realize who they truly are. I really enjoyed An Ember in the Ashes, and I would've given it 4.5 stars if not for the love triangle. Which in this case was actually a love square. I would have been fine with some romance. It seems natural that there would be feelings between Elias and his best friend, Hel. But Elias's sudden surge of feelings towards Laia felt forced. I understand that they're some type of kindred spirits, but I would have preferred it if they had formed some bond of everlasting loyalty or something, which slowly grew into a romance. That being said, I'm glad that one love triangle got cleared up (I assume), but I'm not looking forward to watching the other one play out in the second book. ...more
Bright Before Sunrise is the definition of a quick, summer romance read. It follows Brighton and Jonah through one day of their lives, and chroniclesBright Before Sunrise is the definition of a quick, summer romance read. It follows Brighton and Jonah through one day of their lives, and chronicles their shifting feelings towards each other. Jonah is the new kid at Cross Pointe. His parents just divorced and he's been uprooted from his life in Hamilton, and is standoffish and not interested in making friends. Brighton has lived in Cross Pointe all her life, knows everyone and cheerily invites Jonah to every volunteer event. Jonah (of course) immediately hates her, pinning all of his resentment for Cross Pointe and his new life there on Brighton. However, unbeknownst to him, Brighton has her own motivations that run deeper than being the most popular person at Cross Pointe. They don't begin at odds, but they're not on friendly terms either, and throughout the course of one evening they learn more about each other, and even begin to understand each other. This book was a quick read, that I was able to get through in just two days. It's told in first person and switches perspectives between Brighton and Jonah. It allows you to get insight into both of their emotions, which was important given how reluctant they both are to show how they truly feel. The night is a roller coaster of events, told at a fast pace with natural dialogue and intriguing characters. The only thing I didn't like was (view spoiler)[the fact that Jonah gets with Brighton immediately after breaking up with his girlfriend. It's not for Brighton or anything, but it seemed a little unnatural to me how he suddenly realizes that he's unhappy with his ex-girlfriend. I would have preferred that he waited a bit, but then the whole allure of the entire book taking place over a single night would have been ruined. And, the fact that she accused him of cheating without even listening to him and turned everyone against him counted against her. But I still thought he should have had a longer mourning period. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>...more
It's 1:33 am, and I have just finished Up to this Pointe, 29 hours after starting it. This is the first book I've started and finished in 2016, and I'It's 1:33 am, and I have just finished Up to this Pointe, 29 hours after starting it. This is the first book I've started and finished in 2016, and I'm happy that to say that I wholeheartedly give this five stars.
I first got this book because I had a coupon for Barnes and Noble, and I wanted to buy something Contemporary YA. Something fun, maybe a bit of romance. Up to this Pointe caught my attention because of its cover art, and the way "pointe" was spelled. I picked it up, saw that it was YA contemporary for sure, had a hint of romance, and (an added bonus) was about ballet, and also had to do with a teenage girl going to Antarctica. Which was an intriguing combination. The book opens with "The thing about Antarctica that surprises me the most? The condoms. They're absolutely everywhere." And I then decided to buy it.
Up to this Pointe follows Harper Scott (no, not like To Kill a Mockingbird, descendant of one of the explorers of Antarctica, and aspiring ballerina. The story is told in time jumps, with chapters alternating between San Francisco (the "beginning" of Harper's story) and Antarctica (where she is now). I honestly love this format, and I think it was the best way to go for this book. We know from the start that Harper's quest to become a ballerina is doomed to fail (why else would she go to Antarctica?) and yet it's engrossing to see how she got to the point (ha) in her life where she felt the need to go to our beloved southernmost continent. And of course, we get to see how Harper's life is now in Antarctica, and where she's going to decide to go from there.
Why do I give this book five stars? The characters are well thought out, the dialogue is written naturally, the story is interesting and definitely original, Harper (as well as the other characters) is funny and thoughtful without being pretentious, the author describes San Francisco in a way that made me fall in love with it... and Harper's journey hits close to home. I'm currently waiting anxiously to hear back from colleges (only two more weeks now) and it's all I can think about. It's out of my control at this point, and it's nice getting to see someone dealing with issues very close to my heart right now, and essentially coping (or not coping) with their world collapsing around them. All her life, Harper has held the singular belief that she has to be a member of the San Francisco ballet company, and it just doesn't work out. But she still has options. And it's reassuring to see that... if things don't pan out the way I hope they will, it's not the end of the world. And it's nice knowing I won't have to go all the way to Antarctica to realize that.
Earlier Review (as I was currently reading it) I know it's kinda dumb to start my review when I'm only 50 pages into the book, but I'm really liking it so far, so here it goes. Bought this book on a whim today (thanks B&N coupon) and so far I really like it! The writing is great, and it's told in time jumps. Not totally disconnected ones, but the ones that say "this is where I ended up" (which for Harper is Antarctica) and then "this is how it all started" (San Francisco!) and kinda leave you guessing about why she ended up where she is and what's gonna happen now. I just really enjoy the format because it leaves you with two big storylines to figure out, and it's a lot of fun if it's done correctly. I knew going in there would be a romance, and (slight spoilers) thank goodness it's not the jerk who keeps insulting her. I really like all the characters so far, and if I like this one enough I'll be purchasing Six Feet Over It as well! P.S. The title is a pun on three different levels (She's on the southern point of the earth, she does pointe in ballet, and she's explaining how her life got to be this way) and I love it so much. Also the tagline ("she had a plan. It went south.") is a pun as well. I think I'm in love with this author. ...more
I have just finished Elisabeth Hewer’s Wishing for Birds and I have to say I am completely in awe of it. I have been following her for quite a while kI have just finished Elisabeth Hewer’s Wishing for Birds and I have to say I am completely in awe of it. I have been following her for quite a while know and have anxiously awaited a publication of her poems, and now it’s finally here and has surpassed all of my expectations.
Although this collection of poems is only around 70 pages long, they pack such punch that they stay with you as any 300 page novel would. The final lines of each poem are a thing to behold, adding new meaning and revealing truths almost too painful and powerful to read. My favorite thing about Elisabeth Hewer’s poetry has always been the raw emotions behind her words; there’s an anger and a desperation that has always resonated with me, and lingered long after I had finished reading. The same is absolutely true of this book; everything is so raw and so real, even the happier moments she describes.
But it’s the lows, the star crossed lovers doomed to failure, the anger at the world and the disappointment in the self that really leaves its mark. They leave you aching, with the feeling that someone has just peered into your soul and said exactly what you’ve always been afraid to, and now that it’s been uttered you don’t know exactly where to go. “Finding Ariadne,” “Girl / Sea,” “God Should Have Made Girls Lethal,” “Weights,” “Personal Statements,” and “Stalking Past Selves” particularly resonated with me, and were so powerful and moving and wickedly good that I almost didn’t know how to feel afterwards. I felt like a mess of tangled emotions; there’s even relief as you read her poems, and you realize not only does this capture exactly how you feel, but you are overcome by the wonderful feeling that someone else is experiencing the same thing. Even though it might not be the most positive, it’s always nice to feel as if you aren’t alone....more
I read this but I guess for some reason I never rated it? Until now. This is the final book of the Heroes of Olympus series, a continuation of the PerI read this but I guess for some reason I never rated it? Until now. This is the final book of the Heroes of Olympus series, a continuation of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, a set of books I loved so much as a child. And I really wanted to love this too, I did. But I couldn't. There were so many problems with it. Leo (need I say more?), the whole way all of the seven were downplayed (and many, many important plot points left unaddressed, like Frank's stick), the fact that the supposedly huge battle that the entire book series has been leading up to was started by (view spoiler)[Percy's nosebleed(hide spoiler)], and then said battle lasted only like ten pages (don't quote me on this; I remember it was incredibly short but I don't care to go back to check), and the fact that (view spoiler)[no one died. Like at all. I mean, Leo technically died, but then Rick Riordan took a cop-out and summoned him back to life. I personally thought it should have been Jason to die, even though he's my favorite. I mean the way he was torn between the two camps, totally unsure of where he belonged? His loyalties were split, and he would be the perfect one to bring them back together. His death would be a wake up call to all the demigods and they would all realize that Gaea was the one they should really be focusing all of their efforts on, not each other. (hide spoiler)] The only redeeming quality was the inclusion of the Nico and Reyna chapters. But as much as I loved them, with already seven other main characters, it's kind of pointless to focus on them and their drama without drawing away from the main adventure. I would've loved a short story/novella being released afterwards from their points of view though, because their chapters deserve to be appreciated. tl;dr: I am disappointed in this book, I wanted so much more, but Nico and Reyna were a nice touch. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A summer reading assignment for AP english. It was interesting, well researched and laid out in an easy to understand format. Overall, I enjoyed readiA summer reading assignment for AP english. It was interesting, well researched and laid out in an easy to understand format. Overall, I enjoyed reading it. ...more
Neal Shusterman is one of my favorite authors because of his detailed world building and thoroughly thought out and varied characters. I've read and lNeal Shusterman is one of my favorite authors because of his detailed world building and thoroughly thought out and varied characters. I've read and loved the Unwind Dystology, I read Everlost about a year ago, picked up Challenger Deep a few months ago, and now I've finally got my hands on Everwild. It's an all-around exceptional book. While Everlost served as an introduction to the world, while Everwild shows you what happens when the Afterlights try to push their limits. Skinjacking, ripping, Everlost's rules and even the edges of the Everlost map are explored deeper in this book, as well as the motivation of the characters and how far they're willing to go for what they believe in. Everwild certainly did not disappoint, and I have high hopes for Everfound as well. ...more