Wow. Every Word was definitely not what I expected. If you are a little unsure about whether you want to read thiSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Wow. Every Word was definitely not what I expected. If you are a little unsure about whether you want to read this book–especially if you weren’t a crazy fan of book 1, let me persuade you otherwise. Every Word is powerfully absorbing and possesses just the perfect amount of intrigue, action and romance. If you love crime novels, this book is most certainly for you.
The book starts off not long after Every Breath and we are once again drawn in Rachel’s mind. Within the first few pages, Mycroft has flown to London with Professor Walsh to the scene of a carjacking crime. Rachel, knowing Mycroft’s dark past, is furious that he left without her and immediately takes a flight off to London right after him. One of my few problems with Every Word rose here. I found it really difficult to believe that Rachel managed to grab a flight without her parents permission to London within the matter of half a day. I know Rachel was frantic and needed to make sure Mycroft was okay, but not informing your parents and going off with your older brother’s girlfriend just doesn’t really sit too comfortably with me.
Despite my niggle, I adored Rachel’s character. She’s not perfect, but she’s brilliantly strong minded and determined. She can be helpless and sloppy at times, but that just shows how realistic she is. She may not be kick-ass physically, but she totally is in her heart. Ever more ideal, was Mycroft. We get to know more about his past and demons–things to do with his parents’ death in London when they died in a carjacking accident–I feel like I can connect with Mycroft’s character much better here. He’s an extremely complex and damaged character, and that’s what made me appreciate him so much.
It’s always a relief when the author doesn’t decide to make a wonderfully ideal romance into one with drama and a love triangle. Ellie Marney, I love you. Why? Because Marney doesn’t make us deal with all that crap. The romance in Every Word was kept authentic and it’s love-triangle free and pointless-drama free. I won’t lie and say that there’s no drama but it’s place in the book is believable and necessary to keep things realistic. I think what sold me on the romance was how it really did feel like a teenage romance. Personally, for many contemporary novels I’ve read, the romances just don’t feel genuine. This isn’t the case here. Perhaps the romance did come a little too strongly in some areas, but hey, I’m not complaining.
Equally thrilling and absorbing, Every Word is even better than it’s predecessor. Highly recommend this to fans of crime novels or someone who’s just looking for a series that will capture their attention immediately.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!!...more
This review is completely spoiler free for the series (and all spoilers are hidden in spoiler tags).
Books like Every Move restore my faith in YA series enders. Why? Because I’ve just had the worst luck with series enders lately. *cough* Ashes to Ashes, In the Afterlight and Isla and the Happily Ever After *cough* But enough of complaining, let’s talk (or just ramble, in my case, as I’m experiencing a book hangover currently) about the fabulousness that is Ellie Marney’s YA romantic mystery thriller series.
I think one of the best things about the Every series is how I had the opportunity to see it grow – slowly – but in large, brave steps. (Now, let me pamper this review with some nostalgia because why not?) When Every Breath (the first book of the series) first arrived on my doorstep back in 2013, I literally had no clue what to expect. The reason why I picked Every Breath up was simply due to this one tag-line: “what if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?” Back then, I didn’t even know Sherlock (yes, I know, so tragic) but knowing how popular and well loved the TV show was to my friends, I gave it a go... and found myself pleasantly surprised. (So yes, thank god for Sherlock.) Just reading this last instalment made it so obvious how strongly this series has developed. I admit – I wasn’t the hugest fan of Every Breath, but Ellie Marney totally won me over in Every Word, and Every Move left me thinking of ways to kidnap her so she can write books for me every day. (So… that escalated quickly.) What I’m trying to say is: each book got consistently better than its predecessor, and the success of this series really shows it.
Rachel and Mycroft have a special place in my heart. They’re both (very) stubborn and imperfect, and I love them even more so because of it. Can I also just take a moment to praise Ellie Marney for how well Rachel’s PTSD was dealt with here? I absolutely loved this new aspect that was taken aboard here, and I felt that it was drawn out realistically. Talking about realistic things, Rachel and Mycroft’s romance remains to be one of the most authentic and wonderful teen romances I’ve read about. Too often, romances in YA books are overdone with cheesiness; but nope, this is never the case here. It’s evident how much they care for each other, and the two brought me to the brink of emotional tears so many times in this book. RACHEL AND MYCROFT – I SHIP IT. HARD.
(view spoiler)[Also, EVERY TIME RACHEL CALLED MYCROFT ‘JAMES’ MADE MY HEART CRY. I just… IT’S TOO MUCH. Stop being so amazing, seriously. (hide spoiler)]
Every Move would’ve been 5 stars for me if it weren’t for the love-triangle-that-wasn’t-a-love-triangle. I don’t want to scare anyone off, but there is a new character introduced in this book called Harris and well, he ends up being this potential love interest that just lurks in the corner while PISSING ME OFF. NO ONE TOUCHES MY SHIP, OKAY? It’s never truly acted on, but it’s obvious that there is something there. Okay I’ll shut up now before I spoil anything.
If you want a series to thrill you, if you want a series with amaze you with it's brilliantly flawed characters, if you want a series to blow you away with it's plot line and romance, this is a series I highly recommend.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!~
I'm thinking 3.5 stars for now. BUT I DUNNO. I must spend some time sorting out my feelings. But a basic rundown:
+ i didn't like abby at the start becI'm thinking 3.5 stars for now. BUT I DUNNO. I must spend some time sorting out my feelings. But a basic rundown:
+ i didn't like abby at the start because she was awfully judgemental and rude towards people who play baseball. it was addressed in the book later on, but it still bothered me for a while there + abby and alice's friendship is GOALS. also yay for bff not just being around as a plot device. alice had a life of her own, too. + diversity! + the romance is kind of a slow burn, which is my favourite kind. but i didn't exactly have a lot of feels and this is probably because i wasn't a huge fan of abby and zeke as individuals in the first third of the book. regardless, the romance was uber adorable and i'm sure others will love it more than i did + this isn't just a romance (though it is romance-centric) - it also deals with anxiety, lies and secrets
I would recommend this for people who want a lovely contemporary that's light but also has some substance!
I haven't been updating my Goodreads lately (mostly because life has been super busy lately + I've been doing less reading, and most books I've been rI haven't been updating my Goodreads lately (mostly because life has been super busy lately + I've been doing less reading, and most books I've been reading have been rereads) but I did read Legend earlier in December! Super kickass and unique. It's been a long time since I loved a dystopian. Why didn't I pick this up earlier? WHYYY??...more
I started reading this one last year but I somehow completely forgot about it, which now I am kicking myself because GOSH THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND WHY DI started reading this one last year but I somehow completely forgot about it, which now I am kicking myself because GOSH THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND WHY DID I EVER PUT IT DOWN.
These Shallow Graves is my favourite Donnelly book yet - her writing is nothing short of spectacular, her characters are full of life and contains a thrilling mystery at its core. If you love a good historical fic, I cannot recommend this one enough. ...more
Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks is one of those super cute, swoon-worthy contemporaries that you can pick up atSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks is one of those super cute, swoon-worthy contemporaries that you can pick up at any point in the series, and love them just as much as the next person. For me, I started reading her books since Racing Savannah (book 4) and this book, Jesse's Girl is undoubtedly my favourite one up to date. While the first 5 books have all been about sports, this one is different in the sense that the two leads are musicians.
Things that I loved about Jesse's Girl:
1. A strong-willed female main character. In another world, Maya could have totally been my best friend. She's a really quirky girl who dresses like in the eighties, and really values trust and loyalty in a relationship of any sort. I loved her passion for music, it was definitely one of the first things that struck me about her. She may be lacking in self-confidence, especially after finding out that her crush actually never liked her back and that the band she created no longer wanted her as lead guitar, but I loved her strong-will and clear vision of pursuing music as a career by herself, and not by using her new relationship with Jesse, big time musician, as a handicap to get her there. Saying that I admire her is one helluva understatement.
2. Greatest family dynamic ever! If I were to ever list my top ten favourite family relationships, Maya's family would definitely be on that list. Family plays a huge role in this book and it seriously just had a lot of feels from it. I love how warm and supportive Maya's family is, and how every one can argue with each other but you can still see how much love they have for each other. THINKING OF IT JUST MAKES ME SQUEEE AND HUG MY KINDLE. Also: Maya's older brother is actually Sam, one of the main characters from Catching Jordan, so fans of the first book will surely be over the moon. I found it seriously amusing and adorable how protective Sam was over Maya. BROTHER OF THE YEAR, PEOPLE.
3. One cute as heck romance with witty banter. I've always had a love to hate relationship with celebrity/normal person romances because they can be melodramatic as fuck. Thank God that's not the case here because I am so. done. with that kind of drama. That is not to say that there aren't instances where for example, Jesse thinks that Maya is using him to get to her dream as a musician - but it's never as full blown or ridiculous as some books can portray it. Their relationship is healthy, realistic and also sex-positive which is always another huuuge plus.
4. YAY LGBTQ characters! There are some LGBTQ+ supporting roles in this novel which are so cute. I totally ship, Maya's best friend, Dave with Xander. THEY ARE SO CUUUUUTE. There are also nods towards other LGBTQ+ people as well, so THANK YOU Kenneally for all ze diversity!
My only gripe is that I felt like I predicted most things that were going to happen in this novel from the very beginning, but in the end, it's not a huge deal for me because of how brilliant all the other components were.
Miranda Kenneally's contemporaries are the ultimate reads for the summer, and Jesse's Girl is no exception with it's amazing cast of people.
If I were to list all the reasons why I think everyone should read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, we'dSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
If I were to list all the reasons why I think everyone should read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, we'd be here till we all were just a pile of skin and bones. Since I don't want that to happen, here's just 5 of the main reasons why Sarah Ockler's new book is glorious:
1. It's a contemporary novel that's a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid. Do I need to say more? Surely that has already got you jumping up and down in your seat because that's exactly what I did when I first laid my eyes on that synopsis. And trust me, the execution of it is absolutely spot on, and Ockler's beauteous writing only makes this even more joyous to read. Honestly, I just didn't want this book to end, and it's been quite a while since a book has made me feel that way!
2. There's a POC main character. HELL YES THAT'S RIGHT PEOPLES. Too often, we get books that are dubbed "diverse" because there's that one unimportant, side character that is of a different racial background. But not here, people. The main character, Elyse, is a person of colour and she completely lost her voice because of a recently tragic accident. That, is what I call a diverse book. I did take a little while to be fully engaged in Elyse's narrative, but when I did, my heart truly broke for her. Her whole world revolved around singing, and when she lost her voice, that door down that path just slammed her right in the face.
3. It's not just a fluffy summer read - there's a lot of deeper messages interwoven. Don't be mistaken. This isn't your generic fluffy summer read with a cutesy romance and about a girl who finds herself over the summer break. This is not just about a girl whose dreams were ripped away from her - this is also the story of Sebastian, (the love interest's little brother) who is enamoured by chasing mermaids and is teased about it by all the other men around him; and at it's very core, this is a story about finding your voice again, your stand, in this ever-changing world.
4. There's a lot of swooning. Expect yourself to make some incoherent sounds that in reality probably sound like squawking. Why? Because Christian Kane. HE IS MINE, BACK OFF PEOPLE. I didn't like Christian to begin with because he's a player but you really do get to know him throughout the novel and I was shipping him and Elyse so SO hard before I knew it. Sarah Ockler certainly didn't forget to bring her fantastic romances to the table in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.
5. Also, this book comes with a lot of sex positive and pro feminism vibes. Sarah Ockler, my respect for you has only increased once again, because you addressed what many authors don't want to address. So THANK YOU.
In all, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a perfect novel for the summer with it's brilliant characters (main characters and sides), glorious ship, realistic portrayal of teenage sex and it's strong underlying message about finding your voice. This is what all contemporary novels should be like.
~Thank you Simon and Schuster for providing the review copy!~...more
With it's witty humour and cuteness in general, I can definitely see why Erin Gough's YA debut, The Flywheel, wonSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
With it's witty humour and cuteness in general, I can definitely see why Erin Gough's YA debut, The Flywheel, won The Ampersand Project. Just as some general knowledge, Melissa Keil's Life in Outer Spacewas the the winner from a previous year that Hardie Grant Egmont Australia picked up, so if you trust their tastes, then you should most certainly check this one out as well! I mean, seriously, who can go wrong with Aussie YA?
4 Reasons Why You Should Read The Flywheel
1. It's a LGBTQ+ themed Aussie YA contemporary. YUP. YOU HEARD ME RIGHT PEOPLES. THE BOOK GODS HAVE FINALLY GIVEN US WHAT WE'VE BEEN WANTING. Some more diversity + more Aussie badassery. Seriously guys, it's 2 in 1, who could ask for more? The way the diversity is represented in this novel is not only authentic, but it also messes with your emotions and made me wanna give Del a big big hug.
2. The main character is fantastically imperfect, but still an incredibly strong girl that I am in awe of. Due to Del's sexuality, she got a lot of crap from the people at school who tease and mock her on a daily basis. It didn't feel like a cliche situation where you have the mean and popular girls beating up on the small, for Gough creates such a believable high school atmosphere, which reminded me jarringly of the high school days at my old school.
3. The supporting characters have their own shining moments as well. More often than not, the supporting roles in books tend to get no backbone at all, but Gough ensures that this isn't the case here. I particularly loved Charlie as a character and the way he grew throughout this novel was something insanely amazing to see. Furthermore, yay for platonic girl/boy relationships! Charlie and Del's banter was a beautiful thing, guys.
4. The romance made me wanna squeeeeee! The adorableness is strong in this one, guys.
I would've liked to see Del and Rosa as a couple more in this book, but regardless, these two made me grin like a total fool.
In all, I fell in love with The Flywheel from the very first page. While I have a few tiny quibbles in regards to how irritable Del got, there's no doubt that I'll be stalking this author for her future novels. THROW THEM AT MEH.
~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~...more
Every Last Word is one of those books that had me wanting to smash it into a pulp from page 1, but had mSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Every Last Word is one of those books that had me wanting to smash it into a pulp from page 1, but had me sniffling a bit during the last few chapters.
This story follows Sam, a girl dealing who was diagnosed with Purely Obsessional OCD (aka Pure-O) at the age of 11. While she may look perfectly fine on the outside, each day she is battling with the uncontrollable thoughts that consume her.
I wasn't quite sure I picked up the same book as everyone else when I was a few chapters into the novel. Why? Because most of my friends gave this book 4 or 5 stars and there was I, reading along thinking that this was one of the worst books I've ever read on mental illnesses. And the main reason of that was because I HATE Sam (the main character)'s so called friends. They're the 'popular' and 'I-think-I'm-prettier-than-all-of-you' girls at school and every girl hates them and every guy loves them. Yeah, that kinda group. Hellooo, high school social hierarchy. Anyway, Sam's friends pissed me off. Majorly. So much that I was ready to just give up on the book altogether. Within their little posse, the 'main girl', Alexis (of course that's her name <.<), has basically created her own social ladder amongst the 4 other girls she calls her best friends.
"Not Hailey. You." [Alexis] pokes my collarbone. And now I know precisely where I reside on her social ladder: Second rung from the bottom. Hailey occupies the last one, and as soon as she learns I'm invited to Alexis's birthday and she's not, she'll know it too.
I actually find it comical how stupidly shallow their friendship is. It's so fake and well, childish.
"You have no idea how sad I've been, Samantha. I felt horrible not asking you. Even though our moms weren't friends in preschool, you and I were best friends in kindergarten!"
In short, Alexis had to choose 2 of her 4 friends to go to the spa with because her mom only got 3 reservations, so Alexis decides to choose the two girls she was best friends with first. And, since all of them met each other at the same time, Alexis chooses the two girls whose mums were friends with first instead. WHAT. THE. FUCK. If I only got three reservations to the spa and had more than that many close friends, I'd ditch the spa and go someplace else because friends > going to some fancy pants spa.
Surprisingly enough, this book did a 180 spin soon later and progressively got better. Sure, Sam still had these hella annoying and fake friends, but I started to get over that because we see less of them the more involved Sam becomes with her new friends. I particularly love Caroline, who is just such a supportive friend and funky girl that wears the best t-shirts. She also suffers from depression, though I personally would have liked to look into that a little more (but I totally get why the author did not). (view spoiler)[OH MY GAWD I CANONT BELIEVE THAT SHE WASN'T BLOODY REAL. I loved the twist but gah... WHY YOU DO THIS TO MY FEELS? I have trust issues now. (hide spoiler)]
In terms of the romance, I am really torn about it. AJ is really weary about Sam during the first half of this book because back in 4th grade, she and her 'friends' bullied AJ so bad that he feared his own name and had speech problems. If you know me, you know I love, love, LOVE the hate to love romance trope when executed correctly and well, this one just didn't give me the feels I was told I was gonna get. While I can see how AJ and Sam's relationship works, I just don't ship it hard.
I think Every Last Word is a very important novel to read. Sure, it's not too promising starting off, but by the end of the book, I can definitely say I knew a lot more about OCD than I started off with. It opened my eyes to see the whole spectrum of OCD - there isn't just one type and there are subcategories. I definitely recommend to read the acknowledgements for this book. I got a little teary just from that, and I love how much effort and dedication Stone took to make this story as genuine as possible. And she did a pretty damn good job, in the end.
I'd firstly like to point out that Emmy & Oliver is a really misleading title. While the title screaSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I'd firstly like to point out that Emmy & Oliver is a really misleading title. While the title screams a romance-dominated story, I would say it's anything but that. Sure, there is a hella adorable romance... but at it's core, Benway's story is one about friendship, growing up, making your own path in life, and more importantly, family.
"Sometimes love isn't something you say, it's something you do."
At it's surface, this book is about Oliver who is finally found 10 years later after being kidnapped by his father at the age of seven. And now he's trust back into his hometown and surrounded by these people that he has no recollection of, but everyone seems to remember him. And in particular, Emmy. Emmy and Oliver used to be the bestest of friends when they were younger - they share a birthday and are next-door neighbours, and while Emmy wants to go back to how they used to be, she isn't sure that's possible since they're both not the same people they were 10 years ago.
I fell in love with Emmy almost instantly. She's grown up for the past 10 years with a leash held ever so tightly by her parents since Oliver disappeared. And all she wants to do is follow her own dreams and make up her own mind. Surf, go to the college of her choice... She's undeniably independent and also a wonderful friend. I loved how thoughtful she was, but also sarcastic and embarrassingly awkward at the same time. After 10 years of not seeing her childhood best friend, and the first thing that she does? Pokes her tongue out and crosses her eyes. Honestly... what's not to love?
The world continues to spin even when we want it to stop, I thought. Especially then.
I really appreciated how this book highlights the importance of friendship. Despite Oliver disappearing, Emmy has always had Caro (Caroline) and Drew. They're both wonderfully complex characters that are each explored with so much detail, I feel like I know them enough to be my best friends. I seriously ADORED their dynamic, and it's one I envy. No joke.
I think this book deserves an award for just how brilliant family is portrayed here. And not just Emmy and Oliver's families. But also Drew's and Caroline's. Family is never going to be perfect, and that's why it is so special. I think it's about dealing with each other's shit, fighting and arguing but still caring for each other at the same time. I think it's about loving each other for the good and the bad and the worst parts. So thank you, Robin Benway, for such an honest reflection of what it can really be like.
"Mom," I groaned, covering my eyes with my hand. "People don't really date anymore, they just... I don't know, hang out together."
"Is that the same as 'hooking up'?" my dad asked.
"Oh my God!" Now I covered my ears with both hands. "Am I grounded? Can you just ground me? Hearing you two talk about 'hooking up' is cruel and unusual punishment."
Of course, I cannot finish this review without dedicating part of it to just fangirl over the cuteness that is Emmy and Oliver. Their romance takes the backseat in this one and reading it was like cotton candy. There's no instalove or stupid drama, thank God! Also, those flashbacks that were inserted every now and again? MY FEEEELS. I just felt like jumping into my kindle, to be honest.
I did cry reading this book. Surprisingly, most of the time it was just because how sweet and heartfelt this book was. But also sometimes because it was truly heartbreaking.
Emmy & Oliver is a highly important novel that zooms in on all the important things about growing-up, family, friendships and everything in between. It's incredibly bittersweet and honest, which is effortless in it's storytelling. And it's why I know it's a story I'll never forget. *hugs book* Cannot recommend this one highly enough, especially if you want to feel all the emotions.
~Thanks HarperTeen for sending me this copy for review!~
Two of my main reactions while reading this book:
This isn't just a romance book - Emmy & Oliver brings a lot of focus on family relationships, which I absolutely loved.
And I totally cried at the end. Not even crying... just full on bawling.
Veronica Mars is a recent addiction and addition to my oh-so-monotonous lifSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
This review is COMPLETELY spoiler free
Veronica Mars is a recent addiction and addition to my oh-so-monotonous life. As I write this review, it’s the last day of my summer holidays before I’m back at school for the new school year—and just less than two months earlier when the holidays started, I clicked play on the very first episode of the Veronica Mars TV series. I soon became absolutely smitten with the TV show (maaaaaaybe because of Logan Echolls) and I soon jumped onto the movie that came out in 2014, which is a continuation of the TV show. While I’d love for another movie to come out, I highly doubt my wish will come true anytime soon, but I do have these wonderful books to keep me company.
This is the second book to the Veronica Mars books, and it basically picks off after where the movie left off. For all you unfortunate souls who are unaware of who Veronica Mars is, firstly, I feel incredibly sorry for you. You’ll need to hurry off now and binge watch the TV show and movie (in that order) right now, because if you don’t, I’ll come after you with a paper shredder. That’s right, I’ll shred all your books. MWAHAHAHAHAHA. (I’m evil.) (Don’t convince me otherwise.) But anyway, like I was saying, if you don’t know who Veronica Mars is, she’s a Private Investigator who used to be a receptionist for her father’s Mars Investigations. Now they run the PI business together, and it’s truly the best thing ever—take my word for it.
While there’s no point in denying that the books (and movie, to be honest) don’t have the same magic that the original TV show possesses, we are still given another intriguing excerpt of Veronica Mars’ life. In this installment, Veronica’s caught up in an investigation that involves a claimed rape at Neptune’s ritziest hotel: The Neptune Grand. For what seems should be a simple case—to find the rapist—turns out to be much harder when there are mysterious pieces of information that don’t add up, uncooperative witnesses and barely any leads.
Despite the fact that I found the mystery here to be really engaging, it didn’t seem to be as twisted or as well built as the story line in The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Moreover, I did find myself rather bored at times. This book does spend more time dabbling here and there, and while I loved the further exploration of our beloved characters, it moved a little too slow for a typical Veronica Mars story, in my opinion.
Guys, we finally get our Logan back in this one! When I found out that he’d be back for this installment, I was over the moon. I love that their relationship is further explored here, and that they talked more about their pasts—especially those (achingly painful) 9 years. Their relationship is a flawed one, but beautifully so, and that’s what makes them so special in my heart.
If you love good mysteries, or if you are a fan of Veronica Mars, you need to read these books. We get to catch-up with our favourite characters as well as revisit some unexpected acquaintances too. Combine them in with a thrilling mystery and the best sassy dialogue, and there you have it—a classic Veronica Mars story. I do hope Thomas and Graham decide to write more installments because one thing’s for sure; I’ll never get sick of Veronica Mars! So keep ‘em coming.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!~...more
It's been quite a while since I picked up All the Bright Places, and still, I cannot conjure up the right words tSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
It's been quite a while since I picked up All the Bright Places, and still, I cannot conjure up the right words to review it. The only thing you really need to know before picking up this book is that the title is very deceiving. It is incredibly evil, you see, because this book is not about all the bright and happy things. Sure, there are uplifting moments but I'd be lying if I said this book was about all that. I'll also add that All the Bright Places has been described as The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park. Now, I hate X meets Y comparisons, and this one is no different. While I can sort of see the comparison, all three of these books are so different in almost every way possible, and that becomes evident once you read this novel (which I HIGHLY recommend you do).
Theodore Finch and Violet Markey may look like they have nothing in common at first, but when they meet at the edge of the bell tower, their lives are changed forever. The book immediately pulls you in because of the distinctly one-of-a-kind narrative voices that Finch and Violet possess. Everyone at school considers Finch a freak because of his strange behaviour and spontaneity. But underneath all that high school gossip, he's really just a fun and unique boy who views the world a different way. As for Violet, her narration is much darker. She may be a popular girl at school but she counts the days instead of living them. She's still grieving from her sister's death which is affecting her harshly and she no longer knows where she stands in the world.
I wonder what it's like to walk down the street, safe and easy in your skin, and blend right in. No one turning away, no one staring, no one waiting and expecting, wondering what stupid, crazy thing you'll do next.
With dual POV stories, there is the risk of the reader finding one POV more interesting than the other. Admittedly, I found that Finch's POV engaged me more--perhaps because I could empathise with him more than I could Violet. As a result, I wasn't 100% engaged with Violet's story arc, which was a shame. However, that is just a small quibble that I had, and soon got over with as the plot thickened and moved along. That being said, I did have another criticism which was that sometimes I was bored. In some places, a lot was going on, other times; not so much. I felt that the pace could have had more smoothing over. Other than that, this book was nearly without flaw.
I cannot finish this review without mentioning the prose. Jennifer Niven clearly has a gift, for her writing is utterly beautiful and caught me at the first page. I definitely won't be hesitating to pick up her future novels because this debut of her's screams even more potential for the future. Ms. Niven is an author that y'all need to be closely watching, because she's sure to break more hearts (heck, let's make that a million) further down in her writing career.
All the Bright Places will surely capture several people's hearts (and crush them slowly) with it's stunning prose, authentic characters and brutal honesty. This excellent debut is one that everyone should be giving a go, because honestly, this book is bound to surprise readers with the emotion that is poured over those pages.
Celine and I discussioned (that's a word) this on the blog and we both gave Hellhole 4 stars! Come and check out the awesomeness (and for a giveaway oCeline and I discussioned (that's a word) this on the blog and we both gave Hellhole 4 stars! Come and check out the awesomeness (and for a giveaway or two) here.
Things we discussioned: - How this was hella funny but also dark. And totally Gina Damico style - How hilarious Burg the devil was - And we agreed that he totally stole the spotlight here - We admire Damico's ability to create some great character growth - And talk deep stuff like being good and evil - We also discuss Max's mum (aka the deeper stuff) - And how we liked the romance but not so much that we shipped them like FedEx - We also admire how fabulous Lore is - Because she really is - And so is Gina Damico.
Three seasons of epic, one movie of pure awesome and now a book that willSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
A long time ago we used to be friends...
Three seasons of epic, one movie of pure awesome and now a book that will totally rock your world. I'm quite new to the Veronica Mars fandom. In fact, I didn't start watching the TV show until this book showed up in the mail, and I am so glad that it did. Before I say anything else, I highly recommend that you watch the TV show, then the movie, then read this book to have the full and proper VMars experience. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is the ideal novel that fans of VMars will eat up, for we are once again invited back into the world of mystery, parties, scandal and corruption.
I should probably mention that to those who aren't familiar with the series is that the TV series follows Veronica Mars when she was a teenager who worked at the receptionist (among other things) of her father's company--Mars Investigations--and now, nine years later, Veronica has become a Private Investigator herself and is now her father's partner.
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line picks up soon after where the movie ended with our favourite marshmallow, Veronica, a Private Investigator, who has just landed her first big case. It's spring break in Neptune and parties and unsupervised teens flood the beaches and just as the weather gets hotter, not one, but two girls go missing and it's up to Veronica to find them--but soon it becomes apparent that this isn't just a kidnapping case. With her father, Keith, still recovering from fatal injuries, Veronica has to take this case all by herself, and what she doesn't expect is that the case has emotional ties that hit closer to home than she ever expected.
Thomas and Graham did a brilliant job at recreating Veronica's world onto the pages of a novel. While it'll never be anything like the TV show or movie, I still ended up enjoying this greatly. Veronica Mars is still her sassy self but you can see how much she's matured over the years with the turmoil that she's been through. Veronica will always be a character I'll admire, and I love her confident attitude and independent mind.
I will admit that I still had a few minor reservations in regards to this book. I felt that Weevil's part in this book was redundant--even Dick's. I get that the authors wanted to have all of our favourite characters in this, but Weevil's sudden appearance during this novel was totally out of the blue and I didn't see the point in having him here. That being said, it was still really nice to have a cameo of him.
As expected, the mystery that this book was centred around was smartly crafted. I honestly, didn't see any of the twists coming and it managed to keep me engaged during the entire read. The critic inside me did find that the mystery unravelled too slowly, but hey, I wanted Veronica Mars and I got it; that's all that really matters.
In all,The Thousand Dollar Tan Line combined a thrilling mystery and our favourite characters in a cohesive manner to produce an original VMars story that left me wanting more. I am so ready for Mr. Kiss and Tell.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!~
I am a mess right now. Honestly, I have no idea where to begin because Corruption has my mind reeling. BSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I am a mess right now. Honestly, I have no idea where to begin because Corruption has my mind reeling. But let's start off with this: I will read anything this woman writes. I've read pretty much every novel written by Jess Shirvington with the exception of Empower (the last book to the Violet Eden Chapters) and each book gets better than the next; I can see this author's writing skills getting better and better with each book. And this latest series she's just written? Totally swept me off my feet.
I'm going to tell you a story about a girl who lost her dad and had her world fall apart. And then I am going to tell you the story about the woman she became.
Maggie's world came crashing down when the person she had always believed in and loved, betrayed her. Now, after being trapped in a dark room for weeks and weeks, she's more than ready to fight back. Maggie Stevens has become a female protagonist that I've become to idolise. Sure, she's a bitch at times, struggles to trust people, is always manipulating, but her inner strength, resourcefulness and witty remarks are what bring her on top. She isn't your typical kick-ass protagonist and brings a wagon-full of flaws with her, but it's hard not to love her for all her other qualities.
Corruption brings us constant heart-stopping action and an intense storyline. There wasn't once where I didn't feel like my hands were digging into the covers of the book, and yes, I finished this book in one sitting. Corruption, while is very much action-centered still explores all our characters more. We do get into finer details with Maggie's character--and her struggle with trusting people--but also her relationships with her family, Quentin and good ole' Gus. There's so much more character development in here, and each page was well spent.
Romance-wise, Jess Shirvington doesn't disappoint. Quentin and Maggie's relationship is a very fragile one, and I absolutely loved watching them try to mend it and make it stronger. The romance for me was a little overpowering and over-done, admittedly (just like in Disruption), but I'm not complaining! These two are full of swoons.
Now, it's time to talk about that terrible thing. ONLY, click the spoiler if you've read Corruption. (view spoiler)[GUS. GUS GUS GUS MY GUS. I didn't see this one coming at all, and my heart broke into so many tiny little pieces. I've always adored Gus and Maggie's snarky dialogue and their relationship, and I couldn't bear to see him go. I cried, there's no point in denying it. *sniffles* Just a random note, I was not happy about Gus and Maggie kissing, and then making it seem like Gus had non-platonic feelings towards her. I got pretty pissed, because I love their relationship and that did taint it for a while there. (hide spoiler)]
Corruption was exactly the kind of conclusion I was looking for. Full of action, absolutely thrilling and characters you can root for, this is definitely a series that I will be recommending highly of for several years to come. I am curious to see what Jess Shirvington has brewing for her next book, and there's no doubt that I will be reading whatever it is!
~Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~
It's been 3.5 weeks since I've read Magonia and since then I have bought this book for 2 people, recommended it tSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
It's been 3.5 weeks since I've read Magonia and since then I have bought this book for 2 people, recommended it to all of my friends, given away a copy as a Twitter giveaway and broken my book buying ban (that only managed to last 3 days) to buy myself the hardcover of the book. So I guess it's safe to say that I really really like this book.
They weren't kidding when they said that Maria Dahvana Headley's writing is comparable to the works of Neil Gaiman. Because Magonia? This book had me eating up each and every word.
If you look at the sky that way, it’s this massive shifting poem, or maybe a letter, first written by one author, and then, when the earth moves, annotated by another. So I stare and stare until, one day, I can read it.
Magnolia is about Aza Ray who is slowly dying. What I feared most was for this book to be about a self-pitying girl who would sit in the corner and wallow away about how her life totally sucks. But thank God, this is not that story. No - this is the story about a girl with a peculiar lung disease who soon dies and awakes in a completely new world where she can not only breathe, but also finds herself in the middle of a feud between two worlds. And to top off a completely refreshing story line that plays a lot with mythological aspects, we get an incredibly entertaining main character. Aza Ray is sassy, smart and funny without really trying. She definitely has that dark humour thing going on and I absolutely loved that about her.
I myself have never gotten my period, which I'm actually not too upset about. Postpone the misery, I say. It's because I'm too skinny, and have no luck gaining weight.
Clarification: by "too skinny," I don't mean Sexy Goth Girl in Need of Flowery Dress and Lipstick to Become Girl Who Was Always Secretly Pretty but We Never Saw It till Now. I mean: dead girl walking. Corpse-style skin, and sometimes when I cough, it's way gross. Just saying.
I was very surprised to find out that this book is actually in told in dual POV. While at first I found it really irrelevant for Jason (Aza Ray's best friend and possibly hopefully something else by the end of the book) to have his own chapters, you soon see why it's so necessary for his voice to be present throughout, and I seriously loved it. Jason is one of those really nice and sweet guys who are just so darn reliable and authentic. He's undeniably cute and loved how he was always looking out for Aza, but isn't just stupidly and blindly 'in love' and has no life apart from Aza. The guy has a brain and knows how to use it.
In general, I loved the world that Headley has introduced to us. It's ethereal, magical, and painfully spectacular. I loved the creation of a new Magonian race and the complexity and detail the Headley gave them. This author has an amazing imagination that I truly envy.
Magonia is definitely not a book you want to be missing. It is certainly going down as one of my top 15 of 2015, and I'm sure it'll make many of your lists as well. Read. This. Book.
~Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I have a very rocky relationship with Oliver’s books. While she caughSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I have a very rocky relationship with Oliver’s books. While she caught my heart with Before I Fall, Panic and the later books in her Delirium trilogy did not have me impressed. So I went into Vanishing Girls very much cautiously, and I ended up getting exactly what I was hoping for.
Sometimes day and night reverse. Sometimes up goes down and down goes up, and love turns into hate, and things you counted on get washed out from under your feet, leaving you pedalling in the air.
While Vanishing Girls might just seem like your generic tale of two sisters at a glance, you can trust Oliver to whip out something that is just so much more underneath the surface. While the central story-line is about the love between two siblings and how it slowly twisted into jealousy and loathing, there's also a nine-year old girl who goes missing in the midst of it all, and soon you discover that these two story-lines have more in common than meets the eye.
Vanishing Girls comes to life at Oliver's writing. No one can deny - Oliver has some real skills when it comes to putting gorgeous words onto the page. They definitely hold a poetic quality, and you can really tell by the quotes I've scattered across this review. Sure, her words a really simple, there's nothing all that fancy to them but there's this thing I like to call "beautiful simplicity" and Oliver's writing is exactly that. Heck, the epitome of that self-made term. If you're unsure of whether you'd like the plot, read the book for it's beautiful words, I promise you'll eat them right up.
Sometimes people stop loving you. And that's the kind of darkness that never gets fixed, no matter how many moons rise again, filling the sky with a weak approximation of light.
This tale is told in a very unique format. Oliver utilizes the 'before' and 'after' trope, as well as telling the story in dual perspective, so us readers can acquaint with both the girls - Dara and Nick. There are also newspaper clippings and other articles slipped in between chapters, as well as diary entries and emails. Basically, Oliver whips in anything that can be whipped in, and turns it into this magnificent tale that is told with so much poignancy and and depth.
Don't ask me how I know. I just do. If you don't understand that, I guess you've never had a sister.
Being an older sister myself, I found myself clicking with this story from the very first page. (Not that if you aren't a sister you won't connect with this story, it's just that I found that I could resonate with this story better.) Immediately, you can feel the tension and competition that is lingering in the air between these two sisters, but at the same time, there is this unconditional love that is always present. It's the differences that set us apart, and Dara and Nick really do prove that exact statement. These two girls, while they do share some of the same genes, are miles and miles apart in terms of their personality and interests. It's basically an invisible barrier between them, and the older they got, the wider that barrier seemed to get. I certainly think that Oliver did an excellent job at pulling of the sisterly dynamic. It felt plausible and just so very real.
In terms of the ending, I definitely didn't see it coming. Oliver brings a nice twist to the table, and makes this thriller a whole lot more thrilling and unique. Unfortunately, at the same time, the ending did lessen the book's credibility for me. I wasn't able to fully accept it, mainly due to how it unravelled. As the first half of this book is considerably slower than the second half, the change in pacing for the second half really threw me off, and consequently made the ending not give the impact that it was hoping to bring.
Beautiful writing, a gripping tale and a thrilling sisterly dynamic, Vanishing Girls is certainly my favourite book by Lauren Oliver.
~Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me this copy!~
The Start of Me and You was one of the few books that I read and actually finished during the months of August and September aka my huge life slump moThe Start of Me and You was one of the few books that I read and actually finished during the months of August and September aka my huge life slump month. I guess I really really liked this book, so much that I read this in one sitting, in fact. Emery Lord's newest novel is a beautifully written story that is bound to leave anyone who reads it with a huge smile on their face. It's got a powerful friendship theme going on, which was probably the strongest element of this book, and of course, a hella cute romance element as well. The romance in this one was really well developed and drawn out... so basically MAJOR SLOW BURN. Only one of my favourite romance tropes of all time. I obviously cried towards the end of this book, because anything remotely emotional will just get me going, heh.
Highly recommend this one. Sweet and gorgeous novel in and out....more
Verse books tend to be a hit or miss for me, and in most occasions, I've found myself completely suckSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Verse books tend to be a hit or miss for me, and in most occasions, I've found myself completely sucked into the story, The Realm of Possibility is another one of those verse books that just work.
I can't pretend to know what love is. It just is.
The Realm of Possibility is a bit like an anthology, for it follows multiple people's lives--a different person per poem. The author particularly focuses the teenagers' love lives and life problems. As expected of David Levithan, what's more is that we are given a diverse array of characters; and I can always trust this author to bring the best GLBTQ+ stories, that are not only authentic but also incredibly touching. Each poem was beautiful and powerful in their own right, and some of these poems have stuck onto me. I particularly enjoyed Gospelwhich was such a hopeful and empowering piece. In fact, I'd say it was one of my favourites of this collection. There are others that I liked too such as The Day and Tinder Heart, but honestly, all of them touched me in some way, and only authors like David Levithan can seem to do that with verse.
Another thing that I'd like to add is that not one poem follows the same type of free verse. Some poems only have 2-5 words per line, some are have full sentences per line, some use capital letters to show their unique-ness, some are just completely sporadic. I really loved that, because it kept me intrigued the whole way through with fresh ways of presenting the free verse. I guess that's what I love about free verse too, you can do whatever you want with it as there are no rules.
General consensus? I adored this book. If you haven't read anything David Levithan yet, you haven't seen the best of YA verse or GLTBQ+ yet.
~Thank you Text Publishing Australia for sending me this copy!~
Keep a close eye on Claire Zorn, guys, this author is going places. The Protected is my first novel by Claire ZorSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Keep a close eye on Claire Zorn, guys, this author is going places. The Protected is my first novel by Claire Zorn, and it blew me away. This story centers around fifteen year old Hannah, whose sister passed away a year ago and is still trying to pick herself and her family up from the wreckage.
Hannah’s life has never been easy. Before the accident, she was bullied, treated like nothing different to a toy, just prodded and mocked at. After the accident, the bullying stopped, but Hannah became sisterless, her father was severely injured and her once professional homemaker mother got depressed and hasn’t left the house since her sister’s funeral. Honestly, I don’t know how Hannah does it, how she managed to endure it all. I absolutely adored her narration, it’s full of wit and raw emotion, and totally sucked me into her head.
Friendship is such a strong element in Claire Zorn’s novel. Josh was the new boy at school and he was so accepting and positive towards Hannah. I don’t really see him as a love interest even though he sort of becomes one throughout the novel but his role as a best friend is of utmost importance. I loved how Hannah found hope and saw Josh as a way to rebuild and reorganise her life, Hannah and Josh’s friendship was palpable and well developed, and their conversations always left a smile on my face.
The Protected isn’t just told in the present. Hannah shows us her past before the accident during the time she was bullied and how she lost her only friend, Charlotte, till the time after her accident when suddenly all the bullies had backed off. I found it truly heart-breaking but interesting to see how one small thing could lead to so much destruction. We also get to see glimpses of Katie and Hannah’s sisterly relationship. Not all sister relationships are perfect, and I liked how their relationship was portrayed–their grudges and occasional bitterness towards each other–and soon we begin to understand Hannah’s guilt and grief ourselves.
Furthermore, I loved the writing and how beautiful and raw it was. I was completely immersed into Hannah’s world, I could feel every emotion, and understand every thought.
Can I talk about the setting for a moment? I loved it. I loved the heat and the setting by the mountains. Something about it just made everything feel more real.
I think Claire Zorn has found a place on my favourite Aussie YA list, the realistic characters and beautiful relationships have all dug under my skin. There’s no doubt that I will be picking up The Sky So Heavy sometime soon.
~Thank you UQP Australia for sending me this copy!~...more