Poignant. That’s the word that resonated with me after I finished this novel. I liked the story and I thought Williams did a beautiful job of capturinPoignant. That’s the word that resonated with me after I finished this novel. I liked the story and I thought Williams did a beautiful job of capturing sweetness in some of her characters but still featuring the harsh and compelling core of the novel. It was a pretty heavy topic to handle and Williams did a good job of creating a balance and not making the story too dark. It was a little hard to read some parts, but it wasn’t so gritty or disturbing that I felt uncomfortable.
I liked Lacey and really wanted her to succeed and I was also sad she had to grow up faster than normal and deal with such weighty issues. I wished I could have reached into the story and plucked her out and into a better life. There were a couple of scary moments where I wasn’t sure how things were going to end. I’m glad I read this, but I’m hesitant about recommending it. I don’t think it’s a book for just anyone.
Initial thoughts: Well, I'm afraid that even though the book kept me up late into the night reading the story, I just wasn't completely in love with tInitial thoughts: Well, I'm afraid that even though the book kept me up late into the night reading the story, I just wasn't completely in love with this story like Divergent or Ship Breaker. It just had some elements that fell flat.
Review: Over all, this was a pretty dramatic and interesting read. I started it right after the slew of Dystopian books came out and I was definitely looking for something along those lines. Under the Never Sky offered an interesting take on society. I wasn’t sure how realistic it felt, but it didn’t bother me or get annoying. Although there were sections of the book that seemed a little out of place.
I found some of the romantic aspects of the story annoying. I wasn’t totally buying how the relationship between Aria and Perry. Okay, okay, okay, I have to stop real quick and just harp on Peregrine, ahem, Perry’s name. I could NOT get over how ridiculous the name PERRY was for a guy. I don’t know why, but it just struck me the completely wrong way and I almost couldn’t take him serious because his name was PERRY and he actually preferred to be called that. What? Hello? Really? I could not get over that. I don’t know why I had such a strong reaction. Crazy. Anyway.
At times I was annoyed with how the story progressed because it didn’t seem to follow a coherent structure. And even though I got there were things at work behind the idealistic society’s front and sinister things were afoot, I never had this compelling need to know what was going on or why things were so important. I kind of had a partway interest in finding stuff out and was more fascinated with the fact that Peregrine went by Perry. (I know, I know, I’m fixated on that. Sorry. I’ll stop now.) But even though I felt like there were obvious gaps and strange developments, it was still an engaging story and I read it from start to finish in a relatively fast time because I wanted to know how it ended. I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel though.
Initial thoughts: Interesting premise, the blurb reminded me of a Shannon Hale book and I really intrigued by the retelling of The Ugly Duckling. TheInitial thoughts: Interesting premise, the blurb reminded me of a Shannon Hale book and I really intrigued by the retelling of The Ugly Duckling. The author definitely created her own story and world. There were elements I liked: the story, the twisting plot, but there were also a few things that I felt could have been done better: character relationships, parts of the plot that didn't make sense.
This novel had such an interesting premise – a world that had forgotten how to make chocolate! It was very fairy-tale-esque and reminded me a little of Shannon Hale’s Bayern series, but it was different. I liked the story and I thought it was pretty sweet, but there wasn’t a lot of depth, maybe? I’m not sure that’s quite the word I’m looking for. I would have liked for the story to be expanded upon. It was an engaging and fast read, I just would have liked more. Maybe I just was expecting something different based on what I read on the back cover. If you’re looking for something simple and fun in the fantasy/fairy tale department, this is a good book to check out. I just didn’t fall in love with it.
I really enjoyed this story. I liked Fer a lot and felt her actions were brave without being rash or misguided. I also thought this book did an EXCELLI really enjoyed this story. I liked Fer a lot and felt her actions were brave without being rash or misguided. I also thought this book did an EXCELLENT job of having realistic consequences/evil elements WITHOUT being too dark for the age range. It was a good balance of story, character, and magical elements and just the right amount of mystery to draw readers right into the story. I liked the world and wanted to go there myself. I also thought the evil aspects were handled well and weren’t too frightening, but still packed a punch. You knew the stakes were high without biting all your fingernails off in frustration. It had an odd assortment of characters too, but I found them intriguing. It was a bit of an odd book, but that only made it more endearing to me. Definitely something I’d recommend, especially for younger readers who love high fantasy and fairies with just enough adventure to keep things interesting.
This book was just blasé. It followed the format of the tale most people are familiar with, though it added some small details to make it slightly difThis book was just blasé. It followed the format of the tale most people are familiar with, though it added some small details to make it slightly different. But it wasn’t enough to feel fully fleshed out. Overall, I was not impressed with the story or the characterization and I never really felt like I was inside their heads or cared too much about their feelings. That sounds a little harsh, but what I’m trying to say is that I wished there was more depth to this story. I had a hard time liking it because it didn’t feel like I was getting the whole picture. Not a recommend.
Not as funny as Curtis's other books. Though I did have some serious cover love for The Mighty Miss Malone. I liked how well the two dominant colors cNot as funny as Curtis's other books. Though I did have some serious cover love for The Mighty Miss Malone. I liked how well the two dominant colors complimented each other and Miss Malone strikes a compelling pose that speaks volumes. Love that attitude. But sadly, I didn't fall in love with the story. It was different from what I had expected. And while it still had the typical Curtis flair, there was something missing. I was expecting it to be as hilarious as The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 or Bud, Not Buddy...but this novel wasn't as humorous. Frankly, it was a bit of a let down. Not that I'd tell people to avoid it or anything like that, but it didn't do a lot for me. I liked it and thought the story and characters were original, I just wasn't a huge fan.
From the get-go, Pretty Crooked looked like it’d be an Ally Carter type book and for that reason I was intrigued. But it largely paled in comparison.From the get-go, Pretty Crooked looked like it’d be an Ally Carter type book and for that reason I was intrigued. But it largely paled in comparison. The characters didn’t feel fleshed out and by the time I got to the end I was really, really, REALLY ANNOYED with how things were resolved. It felt cheap...like the whole story had been meaningless. It bugs me when people do illegal things and then have basically no consequences. I read the entire book hoping it wouldn’t end badly, but I still had this sinking suspicion I wasn’t going to like it. The value system for Willa’s motive and aspirations seemed kinda petty and superficial. She didn’t seem capable of making good choices and I could only shake my head at her decision-making through out. I didn't understand where she was coming from and I thought most of her actions were faulty. And that ending. SO FRUSTRATING. Not something I’d recommend.
I was pretty excited to pick up this book after I noticed it was by Vivian Vande Velde. She was one of my childhood favorites. And I will admit I didI was pretty excited to pick up this book after I noticed it was by Vivian Vande Velde. She was one of my childhood favorites. And I will admit I did do some cover judging. I saw the cover from afar and figured I probably wouldn’t want to read it. It was only when I got close and saw the author that I snatched it up. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like this book.
It was a disappointment. And I had really liked Heir Apparent - Vande Velde’s other virtual reality novel. Though this featured a different aspect and even had some darker elements. And normally I would have been all over that, except it fell flat in this story. I thought it was strange to have the older sister dealing with these issues and then them being trapped in this kid’s game. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the younger sister helping her sister, as bad as that sounds. I was annoyed with both of them and especially wanted the older sister to get a hold of herself and get them out of the game. The virtual reality aspect was also tediously juvenile and I kept waiting for something good to happen. While this book was a disappointment for me, it won’t keep me from checking out Vande Velde books in the future, though I’d tell readers to steer clear of this book.
Initial thoughts: So sweet and so sad all in one. Good!
Review: I kind of fell in love with this book. It had the sweet essence and personality of pasInitial thoughts: So sweet and so sad all in one. Good!
Review: I kind of fell in love with this book. It had the sweet essence and personality of past Newbery winners like Savvy and The Underneath. That being said, I was not at all surprised when it won the Newbery Medal. I had even been thinking it might be a contender while reading it. I think the author did a good job of handling a tough topic with grace and aplomb, taking children into this world without making it too gritty or hard to handle.
That being said, there were a few situations I thought were just a tad bit too “real.” I’m not really sure how to describe it, but there were some events that were more depressing, or made me pause for longer reflection. They didn’t stop me from enjoying the book, but they did stop me from giving it my highest rating. I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and loved seeing the world through the eyes of these two remarkable creatures. I think The One and Only Ivan is well on it’s way to becoming a modern class. Definitely a recommend, but please note, if you cry easily, you’ll tear up while reading this story.
I actually liked this book a lot more than I expected. I was in love with the cover, but reading the synopsis made me a little wary. The story was comI actually liked this book a lot more than I expected. I was in love with the cover, but reading the synopsis made me a little wary. The story was completely different from what I expected and that was good. I enjoyed seeing the story progress and was interested in the characters and plot, but at the same time I don't think it's something I'd highly recommend. I liked the dystopian elements and the mystery that shrouded much of the story, even if I did want to know what was going on, it kept the suspense going. If I happen across the other books in the series I might pick them up and read them, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to find them. Though I did think the romance was a bit of a stretch. It felt a tad forced and parts of it were a little creepy since Sam was supposed to be her guardian. Maybe that was just me though.
I’m kind of a sucker for anything having to do with books/literature. Especially if it’s bookception – a book within a book. So yeah, I was totally piI’m kind of a sucker for anything having to do with books/literature. Especially if it’s bookception – a book within a book. So yeah, I was totally piqued by the premise of this book. I liked the characters and I was definitely interested in seeing how they would get out of the mess they were in. I enjoyed seeing the world and how it operated as everyone was a story character and had a very specific role to play. There were parts that felt a little forced, and that did jolt me out of the story at times. But for the most part I read it fairly quickly and enjoyed it.
One thing that was a little annoying: the ending. It was TOTALLY a cliffhanger. Which probably would have been severely more annoying if I had been in love with the story. But I wasn’t distraught because I hadn’t been planning on reading the sequel. So when it ended abruptly I wasn’t dismayed, just a little startled. Though I can see other people reading it and being exasperated with the lack of closure. Also, since it’s geared towards younger readers, I can see them impulsively wanting the next book. I mean, it’s hard enough for me to control my reading impulses as a twenty-something-adult when it comes to books in a series. If I love a book I really just want to forget everything I’m supposed to be doing and sit someone comfy and read until I have finished every. Single. Last. Word. This book was enjoyable, but not remarkable. I can see other people liking it though.