Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is one of those post-apocalyptic books that gives you all tReview first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is one of those post-apocalyptic books that gives you all the scary details of what life would be like if the world took a turn for the worse, without being over-the-top and over-dramatic. Pfeffer creates a story where readers get to see what life is like as the apocalypse happens, rather than after. Addicting, emotionally stimulating, and an excellent example of character growth, Life As We Knew It is a must read for fans of the apocalyptic genre.
Miranda, the protagonist, tells us her story through journal entries. I have to admit that I'm not the greatest fan of this style, simply because it can either fail miserably, or benefit the story. Thankfully, Pfeffer's novel sits in the latter category. I think that having Miranda tell us her story through her limited point of view made the events feel more real. If the story was in third person, or omniscient, then the mystery of how the world deals with its destruction would be boring and predictable.
If we were ever unfortunate enough to find ourselves in a similar situation, then Miranda's story might be the best way to prepare ourselves. Perhaps this is because she is so naive at the beginning of the novel, believing that everything is unfair and that things will be fine by a certain point, that we can relate to her. After all, when something changes, don't we all wish for it to end quickly? Do we not expect things to eventually get better?
Miranda's family is one of billions surviving a horrible catastrophe and much like in real life, the novel focuses on her life, because really, there is no way to document how everyone else is doing in the world.
Well-written with a few editing errors sprinkled here and there (which I will attribute to her being only sixteen, though I don't know if that is the true purpose), Life As We Knew It is full of moments that makes the reader put the book down and question what s/he has now and what s/he could stand to lose.
Death is a frequent visitor in the novel and, much like the characters, the reader may start to understand why death comes, rather than question, or challenge it.
Pfeffer's novel manages to explore existence and life in one of the most chaotic scenarios possible. Life is precarious and Pfeffer captures it within the pages of her book, changing her readers' lives as well.
This was a completely different read for me. I'm so used to books taken place after the death of Earth, that it took me by surprise how I never thought about the people that suffered along with those who survived.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally charged novels. If you enjoy a hint of romance, but mostly character growth, then you might like this one....more
Ah, Patrick Ness, you have made a new fan over here in Ontario.
The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first installment of the Chaos Walking trilogy, telAh, Patrick Ness, you have made a new fan over here in Ontario.
The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first installment of the Chaos Walking trilogy, tells the story of a young boy who lives on a planet that the characters refer to as "New World", as opposed to Earth being "Old World" (though in fact, we are never quite sure if "Old World" is in fact Earth, but that's a different matter). The boy's name is Todd Hewitt and he is a citizen of Prentisstown, a devilish place plagued with men who harbor horrible thoughts. The bigger problem with this town? Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts, which is kind of creepy and disconcerting when one reads the scribbles that Ness offers as a window into the characters' minds. Todd and his talking dog, Manchee, set off on an adventure throughout New World so that they can escape the horrors that await Todd when he turns fourteen and effectively becomes a man.
This novel took me for a ride, at first I found the writing hard to follow, not because of the storyline, but because of the intentional spelling errors. However, once you get wrapped up in the seductive story you soon begin to grow accustomed to the writing, almost becoming a member of Todd's little group.
Possess by Gretchen McNeil is a creepy story of a girl with psychic abilities that help her ridThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Possess by Gretchen McNeil is a creepy story of a girl with psychic abilities that help her rid people of demonic possessions. At first I was a bit skeptic of this novel, especially since it dealt with demons, exorcisms, and religion (I laughed when I watched the exorcist, so please try to understand my skepticism). But I was pleasantly surprised.
"Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity. Rule #3: Do not engage. Rule #4: Do not let your guard down. Rule #5: They lie.
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king."
McNeil's novel was a quick paced, fun read, though of course it had only a few flaws.
1. The protagonist, Bridget, was a bit stubborn and annoying. Characters would tell her that she needed to do something but she would protest instead of acting. Even near the end when she needs to pay attention, she still stubbornly fights against the facts. This annoyed me because of how naive and ignorant she was acting. This occurred several times.
2. Okay, sorry for this spoiler, but it's a pretty obvious thing: Bridget's mother and her love interest's father are in love. I'm not really disturbed with this, but others might not be so accepting of the fact that Bridget's soon-to-be boyfriend's father will be her step-father if her mother decides to marry him.
3. Though it isn't so obvious that it disrupts the story, there are some editing mishaps. Every once in a while I ran into awkward sentences that made me re-read the sentence twice to understand what was intended.
4. A bit predictable, but still a fun read.
1. The eerie tone was awesome. It was consistent and expertly done.
2. Ignoring the protagonist's annoying behavior, the other characters were intriguing.
3. The world created by McNeil is interesting because of how effectively she uses diction to create fear and intrigue for the reader.
4. McNeil's story is creepy as hell, which is incredibly hard to do effectively in a novel. But she uses a simple thing like an animal haunting a home and makes it a scary experience for the reader.
5. This isn't the first book in a series! Do you know how refreshing that is?
This was definitely one of those novels that was a surprise. If you want to get spooked, while enjoying an interesting story, then you should check this one out. I will definitely be looking forward to McNeil's work in the future....more
I have a separate list for books that I am weary of reading, usually because of the great revieThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I have a separate list for books that I am weary of reading, usually because of the great reviews and hype about them. Anyone else would say: "Hey, if they're popular and have great reviews, why wouldn't you want to check the book out?" But in past experiences I've gone into books solely based on the recommendations and five-star ratings on book sites, and more often than not, I was left sorely disappointed.
Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky, thankfully, did not fall into the disappointment pile. This book was really, really good. Perhaps one of the top ten for me this year. Though the synopses of her book made me pause and contemplate if this was a book to read or pass, I'm glad I jumped the gun and read it anyway.
Let me just say that there are about four different covers for this novel, the one I've posted on this review (on my blog) is my favourite one because it shows BOTH of the characters, rather than just the female protagonist (since both her and the male protagonist have a say in the story). Rossi is a stunning writer and, cliches aside, I can see her making splashes in the YA literary world.
"WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers."
I only have one negative point about this novel:
I can't fathom how such a great book can have such a cliched and annoying ending. I've seen awesome novels greatly affected (negatively) by bad endings. I know Rossi is just building up tension for the sequel and such, but I personally think she could have taken a different route.
Also, this is such a copout for the next installment. It gives me the impression that the authors who do this (Kimberly Derting did something similar with her latest Body Finder novel, ugh) have no other way of attracting the reader's attention for the next novel because they may be running out of ideas.
Rossi's use of (view spoiler)[ending the novel with another character (usually in power) threatening one (or more) protagonist to create tension in the second book had the opposite effect on me. Her choice to have her character be manipulated by the antagonist made me wary of the next installment in the series. (hide spoiler)] I've seen it done before and it isn't always a success.
The positives, of course, are much greater in number.
1. I loved the world that Rossi creates in her debut novel. It's elaborate and creative.
2. Rossi's writing is fluid and beautiful, allowing the reader to effectively see into her imagination.
3. The character development was superb. At the beginning, Aria describes Perry as only a secluded person can describe someone new to her. Her fear and distate is so clearly stated that I felt bad for Perry, but he doesn't describe her any better. What I liked though is how slowly the two begin to see each other differently, until the point that they realize they're both just humans, whether one has special powers or not. This is powerful to me because it shows great character development and it teaches the reader an important lesson: we are all human, despite where we are raised or how we are taught. Though Aria's character at the beginning frustrates me, but her actions were plausible because of how she was raised.
4. Though it is nearly impossible to write a completely unpredictable novel, Rossi kept me at the edge of my proverbial seat. She didn't stop all the way through the novel... until the ending, but for that you'll have to reread my negative point about this novel.
Will I read the sequel to this, even though I obviously loved Under the Never Sky? I'm not sure. Again, the ending has me cringing with uncertainty as to where Rossi is going to take this monster of a cliche ending. Will I read any future works by Rossi outside of this series? Most definitely. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
When I first jumped into The Fault In Our Stars I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into, considering that so many people were recommendingWhen I first jumped into The Fault In Our Stars I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into, considering that so many people were recommending it to others and that it had such an unbelievable rating. I've fallen into the trap of people recommending popular books that left me wondering why they were so successful in the first place many times before. I will admit, this was the first time I’d ever read a John Green novel and even though I have a friend who is always parading her love for him whenever we see each other, I’d always been reluctant to read any of his books... you know, on the chance that I might find out that I do love his writing and join the ranks of admirers breathlessly awaiting his next novel. But, in all honesty, I’m happy I read The Fault In Our Stars before his other novels, because now I know what Mr. Green is capable of.
Hazel is a survivor of stage IV cancer, through the invention of a fictional drug. She expects to live the life that she has been given by watching reality television, reading, and sleeping. But, when her mother decides that Hazel should attend a support group for child cancer patients her life changes in unimaginable ways. There, among the other kids in the “literal” heart of Jesus, Hazel meets Augustus Waters, the one boy who shows Hazel that there’s more to life than what she believes there to be and that she should use every moment of it.
This review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7 Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral is a young adult novel that tells a story throThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7 Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral is a young adult novel that tells a story through a scrapbook full of photographs, chat logs, and notes. The moment I saw this book I knew it was something special. The cover alone shows the emotion that the two characters share before things turn sour.
“After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As readers flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, they see a girl on the precipice of disaster.”
I found it easy to get lost within these pages and watch Glory's descent into madness.
Since it's my first time really reviewing books like this one, I'm going to jump straight into the positives and negatives.
1. The ending made me a bit confused. I know that the synopsis on the back of the book says that the ending should hint at Glory's madness and that it should question whether everything that has happened actually happened, but honestly, I only grasped a bit of what was intended. I had to think about it after I read the book and even now, as I write this review, I'm still pondering the ending. But if a novel affects me like this, would this truly be a negative aspect?
2. Why does Glory disappear? This is one thing that bothered me at the end because I don't think it was fully explained.
1. I am so used to prose that this was a new and slightly scary experience (at least when I first began reading it). Unlike other novels that use the concept of pictures within a storyline, Chopsticks relies on pictures, drawings, and other media techniques to tell a story. I thought this was sucessful and I loved the way they easily told a story without prose.
2. Though the ending was slightly unclear, the story was easy to follow.
3. The romance was sweet and it hinted at what was happening to Glory's mind. I loved watching everything come together until the end.
4. The hints and suggestions of lunacy were interesting to decipher. I think this is the type of book that needs to be looked over more than once to truly see the beauty of it.
5. I'm happy to say that the quality of the media presented was excellent. Nothing was grainy or low quality printing.
I'm excited to see what else Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral will produce in the future!...more
I've been looking forward to Roth's latest installment, Insurgent, in the Divergent series forThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I've been looking forward to Roth's latest installment, Insurgent, in the Divergent series for almost a year. I was a bit wary because of how some series kind of die out as more books are added, but I put that fear aside when I finally got my hands on a copy.
Needless to say, I devoured Roth's novel.
Not only did I like it more than the first installment, but I found that it was stronger both in writing and character/setting development.
Of course, there were small mistakes here and there, but no book is perfect.
1. The romance between Four and Tris was so tumultuous this time around! Whereas in the first novel Tris's budding romance with the fellow former Abnegation member saved her and helped her develop, I found that the near-destruction of their young romance in the second novel was kind of depressing. I mean, sure, nothing is perfect when you're a teenager, especially when it comes to romance. I was getting a little frustrated when they kept fighting over the smallest things when there were so many more important things going on around them. If I had to pick the weakest part about this novel, it would be that.
2. There were some editing errors, but Roth addresses this on her blog here.
1. The cliffhanger. I know that some may see this as a negative, but the fact that Roth could get such a mass reaction over her ending is impressive. Not only did she write an ending that was not in the least bit cliche, but she made it open to so much interpretation that I commend her. I remember looking at the book when I reached the end and thinking, "That's it?! That's it?!" Yeah, way to go Roth.
2. The character development was brilliant in this installment. Whereas Roth just briefly explains who is who in Divergent, she makes her characters bloom under her pen in Insurgent. Tris specifically had more depth and it was easier to see what she was experiencing and how everything was affecting her. It kind of reminded me of Harry Potter in The Order of the Phoenix because he too had to deal with PTSD, and I felt her pain in her actions and thoughts just like with Harry.
I also loved the fact that Four wasn't perfect and he too was being affected by the conflicts around him, which seeped into his relationship with Tris--it wasn't a lovey-dovey relationship, but one that reflected the environment they were in. I admit it grated on my nerves that these characters couldn't be more romantic like in the previous book, but I also understand that this is realistic considering the context of their situation.
3. The dystopian setting was awesome! The description was brilliant and almost completely different from the previous book, especially since this time around we're taken all over the city rather than just remaining in dauntless (excluding the occasional adventure here and there.)
4. It was like Roth took all the negative criticism about Divergent and improved greatly while writing Insurgent. I was impressed.
5. Though a little predictable, there were a lot of surprises.
Basically, as you can note, I loved this novel. Will I read the next installment in the series? Hell yes. To not do so would be a kind of reading sin for myself. Of course, I'm a little worried and curious to see how she tackles the third book and if it will live up to this successful sequel, but I can only hope. ...more
When I first started reading “Three Cheers for Chunky” by Mike Ronny I wReview first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I received a copy for review
When I first started reading “Three Cheers for Chunky” by Mike Ronny I wasn’t sure what to expect. On one hand, it was a relief to read and review a short story, on the other hand—I haven’t read a short story since last spring, and that was for school. On that note, however, I found Ronny’s short story to be a fun, light read with a surprisingly strong message.
Chunky is, well, overweight, as his name would suggest. He is challenged by his coach to go beyond what he would normally do when faced with a sports-related dilemma. Chunky is a character that many of us can relate to, since we tend to stick to what is easy and well-known. Very rarely do we take risks, and if current literature isn’t proof enough, we tend to stick to the sidelines and hope for the best.
But not Chunky. Thanks to his coach’s prompting, he goes and pushes himself to his limits. I liked the coach, he was well-known in the world of the story, but he wasn’t snarky, or rude. He earned the respect given to him and that is obvious in the heartfelt conclusion.
Though Ronny’s story is short and sweet, it was a quick read. The dialogue is colloquial, adding to the authenticity of the situation. Also, instead of weighing the story down with needless descriptions and backstory, the reader is given the most important facts, hints about Chunky’s life, and enough information to make the reader wonder what will become of Chunky.
I recommend this short story to anyone who needs a reminder that sometimes hard work pays off. That we have to push ourselves beyond our limits, sometimes for others, but mainly for ourselves. Also, this story may prompt the reader to remember those who’ve changed his/her life in some way. ...more