I feel SO SO SO embarrassed that I am writing a review for this beautiful, amazing,This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I feel SO SO SO embarrassed that I am writing a review for this beautiful, amazing, gorgeous book (I CAN'T HELP BUT RAVE ABOUT IT) right now, but I guess better late than never, right? Anna Pitoniak's The Futures is a memorable book that I urge so many overachievers like myself to purchase. Why overachievers, you ask? BECAUSE THIS IS AN ADULT BOOK ABOUT A COUPLE WHO ARE IN LOVE BUT ARE TRYING TO GET THEIR LIVES TOGETHER. This book is my dream book and life: I desire to live in New York City, to attend an Ivy League college, to make myself proud and fall in love. This book basically is the remnants of that. We have two characters who are partially similar and partially different. Julia and Evan both hold qualities that I can personally relate to, and I loved reading their two perspectives, sneaking peeks on what they think of each other.
The amazing thing about this book is that it is so damn real. It expresses the problems of growing up so well (even though I have personally never experienced these troubles yet). As I hold this book in my hands right now, I slowly am dying inside because I want to live all of those emotions again. I felt so much sadness, happiness, frustration—literally the hugest mix of emotions possible while reading. I literally want all of the writing pieces that Anna Pitoniak has produced in my hands. NOW. She made this whole story so descriptive and lively that I felt that I was actually living in New York City. I have visited the city of dreams twice and it IS the city of my dreams. It was described so elegantly, making me want to catch a plane and fly there instantly.
"What kept everyone going was the dream: store windows on Madison Avenue, brownstones lit golden in the night, town cars gliding across the park. Imagining what it would be like when you got there, someday. Manhattan felt like a dazzling life-size diorama. A motivation to work harder, stay later, wake earlier" (4).
This amazing piece of art (this is a hundred percent artistic work) is all about a couple who fell in love at Yale—Julia and Evan. Julia is from a rich family and has dreams that are immediately decided for her when her husband, Evan, decides to move them to New York City so he could work for a hedge fund. Immediately, his once-calm life is taken away from him and he has to live with long days and short amounts of time at home with Julia.
THIS BOOK HURT ME SO MUCH BECAUSE I FELT SO BAD FOR JULIA. She had such a boring life for the majority of the book and she was BOUND to be happy again. Thankfully, I must say that the ending was pretty fabulous if you ask me. THIS WHOLE BOOK WAS PRETTY FABULOUS. I loved the pacing, plot, setting, romance—EVERYTHING. This does contain adult subject matter, but any YA contemporary lover would surely fall in love with Evan and all of this.
The Futures is the perfect read for a millennial. Reading about a couple's life in New York City really makes us appreciate the beauty of the city, though it also makes us become scared of the future. Many of us constantly wish for our lives to 'get together' faster, but in this case, moving on is quite scary as hey—WE'RE ALL ALONE. I'm in love with this beautiful read, and I'm sure everyone else will too.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thanks so much!*...more
Prisoner of Tehran is one of those books that I will j/>This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
Prisoner of Tehran is one of those books that I will just never forget. I read it A LONG time ago (not kidding; it was November 2016) but it is so raw that I feel like I just read it last night. This was one of my English class' required reads, and I expected to like it less because (A) I watched a movie about someone escaping Iran, which was AMAZING, but I didn't want to experience the same kind of storyline again and (B) the cover is definitely not the prettiest. Nevertheless, I adored it and I couldn't wait for all of my friends who had English class after me to pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did. Marina Nemat is a lovely writer who writes like she experienced all of this not too long ago. It has been quite a while, but you can feel the pain and sorrow in every word she writes.
I actually was fortunate to "meet" Marina (she came to speak at our school) and it was a perfect experience since I can hear the thoughts of the brilliant author who changed my life. Everything she told us was life-changing. She spoke about inclusion and diversity, and how we (this generation) are the key-life-changers of the world. When she spoke, she made it seem like we are able to conquer anything. It was amazing to see her in real life and (sadly) see how affected she still is after all of her traumatizing experiences in Iran.
Prisoner of Tehran starts off pretty normally. We readers feel the tension because we know that there are going to be (many) rough moments throughout this story, but we first learn about Marina's life before the Islamic Revolution... before things changed and got her into prison. I'm going to make a generalization here: we constantly think that people who take big risks in life are only in the movies, or are one of a kind and come along once every few generations. Marina showed that she thinks she is an ordinary person though took a risk to speak up. Because of speaking up, Marina ends up in the notorious Evin Prison and her life changes from there. She has a life sentence, but she occasionally feels that death is the best way out of her troubling life. Ali, one of the prison guards who beat her, begins to come into her life more and more, and we see that the tensions between the relationship of a captor and captive become clear and kind of... interesting.
The people who Marina talks about are characters, in reality, as this is a novel, but we have to keep in mind that this story is as real as ever. It's a beautiful story that moved my whole class and I, and a story that told us about someone's life in somewhere across the world. Marina now lives in Canada, half an hour from where I live, and it's amazing to see how successful she has become. She was first successful with having courage to do what she did, but she is now even more courageous to tell her story. I felt such a connection to this book like never before and I seriously am so thankful that I was able to analyze it and pinpoint every literary device Marina uses because why not? She is a writer who easily told her story but left some important messages in between the lines.
This is such a lovely story and I wish that Marina would make a film based on her story. She is such an influential woman who mastered the art of writing with this memoir. I never knew much about the Islamic Regime in Iran, and in the midst of learning about this woman's life story, I learned so much about that. ...more
You can't even imagine how long it has taken me to write this rmore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
You can't even imagine how long it has taken me to write this review. Eight months, maybe? Nevertheless, I LOVED it. This is the second graphic novel memoir that I have read, and it was so intelligent and unique. It definitely gave me a new outlook on the Iranian Revolution, an event I previously read about in Marina Nemat's Prisoner of Tehran (if you read that and enjoyed it, then this will be just as good). Persepolis is an outlook on crises in the Middle East, and I completely recommend it for anyone of any age. We often hear about what the governments' roles are in these types of situations, however we have limited information as to what citizens are enduring. Marjane Satrapi provided us with this information, and I have grown a bigger sympathy for people because of this memoir. It has made me a better person, I can admit.
Persepolis paints a picture of Marjane's life and how she overcame the many struggles she faced. It's a deep story that is much more than what meets the eye. I adored it so much and found that the graphic novel style imagery just made the book's plot fly by faster. And to be quite honest, the book itself was absolutely in-depth to the point that it felt like fiction. Marjane's story felt like something an author wrote to make readers intrigued. However, this is valid and legitimate, proving that people's lives can be so complex to the extent that we feel that it is totally unreal.
now feel intrigued to read more of Marjane's writing - I want to see how her story continues and how she became the person that she is. It's not everyday where you get to read a story like this, and I feel quite lucky that this book was chosen as a required read for my English class. It boosted my interest, simply because it is a graphic novel (and I once had an Archie phase so this made me nostalgic in a way) and because it was promising. It holds a unique topic that our world needs to talk about more often. It's an influential, inspiring story that can teach everyone that all we need is a little hope, that no giving up should ever occur or else that'll tear us down.
Marjane's writing was also easy to read with bits and pieces of depth that is up for interpretation and analyzing. I love analyzing books as I read, so I definitely found many hidden messages in between the lines. I just can't get this out of my head, so I actually am going to request the sequel from my local library so I can see the continuation. It's SO good, and I feel like we need to raise awareness of these unknown books. GO MEMOIRS.
I am begging you to pick this up. IT IS WORTH IT and one of the best books I have read in English class. There's just so much to talk about, so let's have a discussion about this!...more
Death and the Maiden is warped - it has a truly messed up plot that makes you/>DeathThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Death and the Maiden is warped - it has a truly messed up plot that makes you ponder about the relationships people have, but, at the same time, its warped-ness just makes it beautiful. Otherwise, it would have been a completely ordinary play that has a dark theme. This is a play that I will remember for the rest of my days. There's so much to analyze in Ariel Dorfman's writing that we can spend AGES going through it, trying to understand it all. I need to look Dorfman up and find more of his writing - it's addictive, to be quite honest.
I read this play a loooooooong time ago, but what I know I loved about it was the fact that it was so deep and carried an important message: we need to speak out. In addition, it was beautifully written and stayed true to its Chilean culture. It seemed that Dorfman had put a lot of thought into writing this story and making it fit for each of us. There were moments when I wanted to vomit because of the detailedness of Dorfman's writing and Paulina's actions, and times where I wanted to cry out because Paulina's character development was unbelievable. She began her story as a surprisingly tough woman who progressed to have feelings and understand her husband better.
You see, I read this in school and we even acted it out. That was the difficult part - but it also helped us understand the story and meaning much more. I cannot write so much without spoiling, but, short story short: YOU NEED TO READ THIS. It is deep and gory, but hey - it has a beautiful ending that will make you want more.
Read this, fall in love, hate Roberto (you'll find out who he is), and be amused. This is a play with three AMAZINGLY CRAZY characters who are each so different yet alike. It's a literature masterpiece....more
CALIFORNIA LOVEEEEE. *plays the song by Tupac* That's a song that immmore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
CALIFORNIA LOVEEEEE. *plays the song by Tupac* That's a song that immediately pops into my head when I think about Juliana Romano's First There Was Forever. I cannot really think about the direct lyrics, though Romano's debut does take place in California, the land of dreams, Beverly Hills, drama and daily doses of sunshine. I don't think anything gets better than California. When I read this book, I just came home from California, so I was enduring some kind of post-trip depression where all I wanted to do was hop on a plane again and travel to the place where I am happy. (Not that I'm not happy anywhere else but... it's a happy land). First There Was Forever was raw and so meaningful.
The important detail to note here is that it, the novel, displays the realism of teenagers and their mentalities to an interesting extent. And by an interesting extent, I mean an over-exaggerated extent. I'm a teenager living in the twenty-first century, and I can tell you that the only reason why I did not give this book a perfect rating was because I was disappointed with the fact that the characters in the book were showcased as people who only cared about boys and partying, and of course, a little bit of friendship drama here and there. It's kind of wrong, and I felt all iffy about the whole situation. I definitely felt that it was real, but I cannot personally relate to any of the characters and situation because it's all just out of my realm.
This does, however, portray friendship and the problems of being a teenager. Our protagonist, Lima, undergoes the time of her life where she realizes that she needs to change her way of thinking and friend group. I can personally relate to that, and I bet many other teens can, too, because there's always that period of our lives where we feel that we just don't belong somewhere. And when we find that special group of people who we slide in with, it all works out. Lima was a protagonist who was so energetic and special; she was shy to the others, though reading about her life from her eyes made the book even better. Seeing that she was slowly climbing out of her shell to become more confident in her shoes was remarkable. I LOVED SEEING THIS DEVELOPMENT.
This isn't your typical girl-falling-in-love-with-her-BFF's-crush novel. It's more than that. It's something you can fall in love with very quickly and feel unable to let go. It's 400 pages of awesomeness and a rich plot that you won't be able to forget about for ages. I especially loved the whole story because it's summery and fluffy; it also incorporates themes that take you to a deep level of consciousness, if that is even possible. It's just deep, beautiful and full of drama to the point that I felt the fast pace in me as I read. It's been a looooong time since I read a book this quickly.
In a quick sentence: I adored Lima and Nate and despised Hailey with all of my might. She was your typical mean girl who you just wanted to depart the plot.
First There Was Forever has been sitting in my shelf for months, perhaps even a year before I decided, "Hey! This might be the perfect time to pick it up!" This is the kind of book that was not written solely for teenagers; anyone is able to find something here that they will enjoy. I am SO SO SO eager to pick up Romano's Summer in the Invisible City and see what her setting of NYC has in store for her characters. I'm lost for words; this is phenomenal....more
Are you dedicated? Do you have your future set up before you? Dmore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
Are you dedicated? Do you have your future set up before you? Do you love diversity? What about romance? What about family issues? Julia Day has just delivered all of those things, including the best protagonist possible in a contemporary-romance novel, diversity, using Indian characters, and a new atmosphere for readers, since The Possibility of Somewhere stems from the perspective of Eden, a girl who lives in a trailer park, who doesn't have a mother but a stepmother, and who doesn't know if she will be accepted to head to the university of her dreams, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I found myself absolutely relating to some of Eden's struggles, and I found that this novel was a book specifically created for teenagers like myself, teenagers who would call themselves overachievers, teenagers who enjoy reading about a variety of topics that many authors shy away from, including diversity in a contemporary-romance. I haven't seen that for a long time, and when Julia Day first announced Ash's character to be Indian, I cheered. I was so interested in reading about his family and their customs.
The Possibility of Somewhere lacked a few things here and there, but I am still struggling to comprehend what exactly was missing. That's why I decided to rate this four point five stars out of five complete stars. Everything, practically, was perfection. I was so excited to win an advanced reader copy of this, became more excited when it arrived in the mail, and now am the most happy that a person could be. After reading many meh-feeling books, this brightened my day(s) completely. I felt like I needed to run off and find myself a beau like Ash, someone who is similar to myself, and talk about our struggles. Occasionally, without it sounding absurd or creepy in any manner, I felt like Eden related to me perfectly and that she was speaking my voice and all of that yadda yadda yadda. Julia, thank you for creating a character who is unafraid to show that she's curious and intelligent. Agh, I WANT TO READ THIS AGAIN AND AGAIN.
This is about a competitive romance, *twiddles eyebrows* specifically the romance of Ash and Eden, although it seems that they totally hate each other at first. YAY, NO INSTALOVE. Ash is set to go to Stanford, where he feels that his whole life is set out in front of him by his parents. They don't want him to go to Stanford, they would rather see him on the East Coast. Eden, on the other hand, is laying out her future by herself, with no help from her father and stepfather. She is set to become her class's valedictorian and with her perfect GPA, she feels that she is able to leave her hometown and trailer that she lives in soon. They have a mutual hate relationship at first, both competing for the same thing constantly, being put in groups together, and later finding out that they're fighting for the same scholarship.
BUT THEN THERE'S A ROMANCE. An unexpected romance for sure, if one hasn't read the synopsis prior to reading. I seriously adored Ash and Eden together. THEY'RE THE NUMBER ONE BEST COUPLE. People say that opposites attract, but after reading this, I found that people sharing the same interests are even more likely to find some greater connection between themselves. They were together through the good and bad and all of that stuff. More than anything, I just wanted them to stay together throughout everything, even when it seemed that they were close to splitting because of some differences. I seriously had tears towards the end, because I just felt what the author was writing—about the romance, themes, everything.
Since Eden is the narrator of this whole gorgeous story, we have to deal with her family more than Ash's, though we do get a few sneak peeks of his, too. I felt so bad for Eden—you cannot understand. Her father is a racist, bad-mouth, who acts like he's drunk all of the time (although I'm sure that he wasn't intended to be), bad-mouthing Eden and never supporting her with anything that she achieves or wants to do in the future. He thinks that her passion for teaching children with special needs is useless, and would rather have Eden still living at home. HOW? I still don't know. I ached for Eden at these moments where her past before her stepmother came around, and it just hurt when she had no one by her side.
HIGH-FIVE FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. We get to initially know Eden as a "mean-sounding" girl who doesn't have any friends. She eats lunch by herself, but is super involved with everything she does. She's smart, has a perfect GPA, works in the computer lab, and babysits two adorable children who I wish I would get to know. She does have these personal inner demons that she doesn't really want to admit to, but once she meets the new girl in school, Mundy, they grow a bond that Eden would do anything to keep. Eden grows so much more confident with herself and mentality—she begins wearing clothing that shows more of herself and begins acting like the person that she wants to act like.
I FREAKED OUT ABOUT THE ENDING/AIRPORT SCENE. I couldn't stop going crazy. If you would like to see a Nicholas Sparks approved ending, you have to read this. I would have to call that the most addicting, impressive part of the whole novel because I just needed some things to work and to be beautiful and wonderful. I won't spoil what actually happened, but let me tell you: I was pretty impressed/ecstatic. But I must say, this is a novel I just couldn't put down. Lately, I have been able to leave a book for a few hours, but with Day's debut in YA, I just felt that I needed to have it in my greedy hands 24/7.
The Possibility of Somewhere has a stunning cover that makes me want to run to the bookstore right now and grab a finished copy, and I just cannot stop fangirling over the romance and characters. Julia Day has just created the most lovely mixture of a novel. It seemed so perfect as if it were a recipe. Now, since I would like to write a novel one day, please: let me know what this recipe is and if it is easy to prepare.
*A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Before I even begin, I have to thank Kristina from Gone Pecan for a copy of this gorgeous story when I met her at BEA!
Kindred Spirits is a short story tBefore I even begin, I have to thank Kristina from Gone Pecan for a copy of this gorgeous story when I met her at BEA!
Kindred Spirits is a short story that is about sixty pages long, yes, but it is simply more than just a short story. As usual, Rainbow Rowell has impressed me and has had me fall in love with a new set of characters of hers once again. PEOPLE. I would definitely love to see a full-length novel of Elena, Gabe and Troy and their Star Wars adventures. This story, made especially for World Book Day, is so realistic (focusing on the new Star Wars movie) and it's all about fangirl-ism, Rowell's best.
I hate Star Wars. Please don't come and claw at me. I'm just not into those intergalactic space movies that are senseless. They're full of info-dumping and weird plotlines. I didn't mind that Rainbow has created three main characters who are obsessed with these movies, because I have other obsessions, like her books. This short story should be printed out and handed out to every Star Wars fangirl. I appreciated this, but imagine them.
This is not only about Star Wars, though. Rainbow Rowell, as always, creates a background story for her protagonist, Elena. Elena is having issues with her parents—that's evident. She seems to have this anxiety-like condition where she overthinks everything and what people think of her. I can totally relate, occasionally. AND AT THE END, SPOILERS PEOPLE (I NEEDED MORE FROM HER AND GABE). This is just a cute story that made me gush late into night and makes me want to own everything that Rowell has ever touched. She's so magnificent.
64 pages, in fact, is just not enough. I WOULD KISS THE GROUND THAT RAINBOW HAS WALKED ON. Kindred Spirits was just utter perfection and as usual, I feel like I can't move onto something else. ...more
One month ago, I was fortunate to attend BookExpo America 2016 anThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Dear Friends and Fellow Reviewers,
One month ago, I was fortunate to attend BookExpo America 2016 and was especially fortunate to grab a copy of Iain Reid's newest novel (by the way, he's Canadian in case that makes things even better for reviewers like me!), I'm Thinking of Ending Things. This was highly anticipated by me and I was meaning to grab a copy of this one as soon as I stepped onto the show floor during that amazing experience. Fellow book lovers, this could easily be your next favourite book of all time. Pull the covers up, grab a cup of coffee (to help you stay awake), turn your phone off and just live in the whimsical mind of Iain and his story that really resembles a lot of other psychological thrillers I've read, but is completely different at the same time. ITOET is unlike your usual read; I was so damn scared that I actually had to put the book away for the night and continue it the next morning.
I WAS SCARED. There was this weird part where the main character (we never discover her name) is sleeping in her room and she wakes up, finding that there is a man outside of her window, and she only sees his torso because he is so tall. I thought that I would pee my pants. I don't think I'll ever forget about that scene, honestly. And those kind of memorable scenes or excerpts are the ones that stay with you and have you believe that the book is more beautiful than one can ever imagine. Yeah, there are a lot of complaints that the bookish community has been giving in terms of the beginning being very loooong, but WHO CARES? This is a short story in general and we readers are just left shocked by the end.
"Getting to know someone is like putting a never-ending puzzle together. We fit the smallest pieces first and we get to know ourselves better in the process." (61)
This is a simple, but complex story at the same time. We have two main characters and they legitimately are just stuck together for the story. The majority of the plot takes place in Jake's car, and the main character, who we eventually discover to be his paranoid girlfriend, is in this car with him, heading over to his parents' house. The parents actually have nothing to do with the story, but they just add that extra creepy vibe to this all. Wait until the high school. That's where my eyes came out of their sockets, kind of. Involved with creepy paintings/photos, abandoned high schools and eerie janitors, this all makes so much sense when we put the puzzle pieces together. This is the kind of story that high school English teachers would want their classes to analyze and write those five-star essays on. There is so much to talk about in relation to this completion of beautiful pages.
You are not reading this book for the romance, but for the completion of the story and how a mastermind like Iain Reid is able to put a story together like this. There are plot twists and such a twisted ending that I am still in shock to this very moment. You realize that there are several meanings to this book and we must pay very close attention to the format, because IT MEANT SOMETHING ALL ALONG. The title does too, of course. I couldn't help but wonder where this was being taken place, and then I realized that Canada was probably the answer, and I got the chills again. It's horrible when you read a book so close to home. *shivers*
"What if suffering doesn't end with death? How can we know? What if it doesn't get better? What if death isn't an escape? What if the maggots continue to feed and feed and feed and continue to be felt? This possibility scares me." (83)
I am in love with this story. Of course, I would never want it to occur in reality because that's just sickening, but I loved everything about it. Being the first book I picked up after returning home from BEA, I am so satisfied and so obsessed with the ending and everything that this book has to offer for readers. Honestly? This is not YA, but there isn't a ton of mature subject matter except for the creepy-jeepy stuff. I'm scared to this day, but I guess that the only thing we could do is move on. Agh. And then we have the overflow of life lessons here and I realize that I cannot trust anyone and now I'm starting to shake and become overwhelmed and... that quote I cited above is started to get me a little more tense. No worries, though. You haven't read this one so I'm betting that it doesn't affect you like it did me. Once you know the meaning...
I'm Thinking of Ending Things is both a suicide note and also something more. We are not reading it because our main character is not named and we do not know much about her except for the elements of depression and stress that she deals with. I AM SO SHOCKED AND MESMERIZED BY IAIN'S WRITING THAT I JUST WANT TO MEET HIM AND TELL HIM HOW AMAZING HE IS. I'm sure you would think the same. So, I'm thinking of ending things right now. (Ending the review, obviously).
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*
Love your fellow fangirl,
MiChElLe (The messed up letters were TOTALLY not meant to spook you. Or were they?)...more
The Couple Next Door has one of those titles that will spin around in yomore!*4.5This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
The Couple Next Door has one of those titles that will spin around in your head day after day, night after night, really making you freaked out in terms of your neighbours and the people you think you know well. Seriously, I am freaked out this right second, and as I am writing this, it is pure daylight outside and things are happening. Unlike some of the negative reviews out there, which are stating that this mystery/thriller novel is disappointing, I found this to be pure awesomeness and I am still shaking with goosebumps all over my arms at this very moment. Unlike all of the happy, cutesy contemporaries I have been reading in the past few weeks, this is a mega dark story that is not so much about the "thriller" aspect, but more about the psychological part of a human and how we are capable of doing just about anything to reach our goals. If characters like this were able to conquer their wishes in these ways, then I am sure that I am able to do anything. Ugh, that phrase I just typed couldn't get more cheesier, I feel.
You think that this is just about baby Cora, a six month old baby who is somehow kidnapped from her house. The inner works of Lapena's mind and how she constructed this story was definitely focused on Cora and her disappearance, but I would say that trust and family workings are two major themes that come about in the beginning, middle and end of this fictional novel. I will definitely go out and recommend this to my mom, who doesn't read too often, but does seriously enjoy thrillers and mysteries. I would honestly go out and watch a remake of this book, turned into film. I could just picture who the actors would be and how moving this story would become for everyone, even to those who struggle to pick up a novel because they just don't enjoy it.
There are many stories/films out there focusing on missing individuals, kidnappings and sick, sick events that makes us wonder how they are even implanted into someone's mind, but there is nothing even close to what Shari Lapena has now accomplished—a book that makes you think that this is all about murder and weird, absurd people, but instead is something bigger and broader, and more personal, all at the same time. It's so difficult to explain this addicting novel to someone without spoiling it all. I must say, this is a true suspense novel, because I just felt the suspense inside of me, stirring and flowing like the longest river out there. Lapena kept revealing things one at a time, and at many points, we readers are stuck with hopelessness, unsure of what the real truth is, because everything seems hidden. I expected this to be a story where the answer will be revealed on the last page, as many psychological thrillers are, but instead, answers were revealed all of the time. Some even in the first few chapters, pulling us closer to the good stuff.
The concept can be very personal, depending on who the audience of readers are. Lapena focuses on a couple, Marco and Anne, who are happily living their lives with their newborn six-month-old daughter, Cora. Anne comes from a wealthy family, where she has always been given everything that she needed in life. Her parents never really approved of her marrying Marco, but she didn't care—her love for him was too strong. One night, Marco and Anne attend a dinner party next door, leaving Cora in her crib, checking on her every half hour. When they decide to head home, they find Cora missing, and the whole book comes together and the events begin.
I loved reading this because it was absolutely addicting. The only flaw I spotted was the fact that I was fooled in the middle of the book when something gigantic was revealed and I feared that everything would just be filler from then on. I don't like being fooled in that way, honestly, and I kind of got upset over that and expected the plot to fall downhill from there. Everything else, including the writing, pace, characters (even though I despised some of them) were perfect. This book could have been perfect, except for that minor itch in the whole outcome of the story.
I guess this could even hit you harder if you are a parent. I have no experience, so I don't perfectly know exactly what Anne was especially feeling, but I was hurt. This made my stomach ache because you just don't want to ever hear of this kind of scenario. LEAVE THE POOR BABY ALONE. *cries* I just kept biting my nails and praying that Cora will be saved and never be left alone ever again. This is the first abduction story dealing with a child that I have read about, and I bet that now that this is released, the world will go crazier than ever for these kinds of stories. Beware the future knockoffs that'll form, because this is the absolute original one. This will definitely stand as one of my most favourite reads of the year, especially for its originality and how my attention span acted up throughout the period of time that I spent reading this.
I love the cover, I loved everything about this, and I am certain that you will adore this as much as I did and more. I'm kind of feeling a little freaked out about my own neighbours, now that I think about it. Honestly? You'll be freaked out about everyone/everything and be extremely paranoid and never be the same person anymore after completing this. At least, that's what I'm currently feeling, and I am truly hoping that it'll subside, especially after reading some happier stories with absolute happy ever after endings. Warner Bros, Universal, Sony—whatever—pay attention to the raving reviews of this novel and MAKE A FILM ALREADY. BUY THE RIGHTS. WHATEVER YOU OUGHT TO DO. Now, please. *smiles weakly*
*A finished copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
B.A. Paris' Behind Closed Doors is the book I have been recommending the most to every persmore!B.A.This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
B.A. Paris' Behind Closed Doors is the book I have been recommending the most to every person on this planet (ie. all of my friends and teachers, even) and it is the best psychological thriller I have ever read, seriously, alongside In a Dark Dark Wood. I am in love with the quick pacing, messed-up characters (excluding Grace, of course), plot twists, suspense, flashbacks, ending, everything. I'm amazed by it all, and I still, to this day, cannot imagine how Paris was able to construct such an electrifying story that still gives me goosebumps and chills when I think about the sickness of Jack's character and how poor Grace had to deal with it all. This is unbelievably beautiful, remarkable and seriously amazing. WATCH THIS BECOME A MOVIE. I SWEAR. If I was a multimillionaire, had the time, had the education, knew people and actors, I would turn it into a movie by myself, if everyone else was dumb and couldn't do it on their own.
This was the second book I read from BEA this year, and I decided to pick it up during my psychological thriller phase right after. Well, a friend of mine was reading it after I gave her a copy, and she was going nuts. So I decided that it was my turn to experience such a messed-up story. Thankfully I decided to pick it up at that time or else I would have been miserable before I did my exams because I would've not read a good book. I flew by with this in a day and I couldn't stop reading because I NEEDED JACK TO DIE, GO TO JAIL OR ROT. One of the options. I NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. I say that when I write every book review, but with Behind Closed Doors, I am serious. I would have gone psycho if I wasn't able to read the ending and enjoy it as much as I did.
One sentence to describe this psycho story? It's sick. Not in that teenage-boy-slang-way, but in a literal way. It's so messed up that Jack will haunt you at night, and you will be afraid to fall in love. Some authors make falling in love and marrying your true love so beautiful, so real, so easy, but B.A. Paris does the opposite and I seriously now don't know what my future will look like because I don't think I'll be able to trust any man. *looks at my dad cautiously* Hah, no, I'm kind of kidding, but I am still literally scared. I look at the cover of this literary brilliance, and I get scared like that.
I honestly expected this to be an abduction story. I thought that Grace would get abducted or something like that, thrown in a cellar. I wanted to lightly skim through the synopsis so I wouldn't initially make theories and predict how Grace would be able to save herself from this horrifying forced marriage, in a way, so I didn't know what I was coming into. I finished this so quickly, and I wanted to continue reading it forever and ever. Like now, I need to read all of the good adult thrillers: The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Good Girl, anything. Just send me psychological thrillers. If you know me well, you'll know that this book falls in my favourite genre of books. I LOVED THIS TO DEATH.
"Go on, go and tell that person over there, or perhaps that one over there, that I am holding you prisoner, that I am a monster, a murderer. But first, look around you. Look around this beautiful restaurant I have brought you to, and think, think about the delicious food you are eating and the wonderful wine in your glass. Do you look as if you are a prisoner? Do I look as if I am a monster, a murderer? I think not. But if you want to go ahead, I won't stop you. I'm in the mood for some fun" (153).
I just wanted to hand you all an example of how sick Jack is. At the same time, I loved him, because without his screwed up personality, the book wouldn't be what it was. Basically, the plot revolves around Grace and Jack, who are a married couple in England. Grace is being held prisoner, unable to be free in the riches of her own home, stuck in a tiny room where she suffers constantly. She has a little sister, Millie, who has Down's Syndrome, and Grace soon discovers that Jack married Grace so he could have a way to get to Millie, who is vulnerable and easy to scare. Grace struggles with herself, and doesn't want her frantic husband to get to her sister, who is currently living in a boarding school.
The question that lies as you read this book is: how will Grace be able to tell the world that she's being held a prisoner, that her husband is a monster, with someone believing her? You certainly will not guess the answer until the end. That's why I love these kinds of books. The best authors keep it so secretive, so addicting until the last page where there is a hidden message and you need to reread the page over and over again until you completely understand what the author is trying to get at. B.A. Paris is one of those best authors.
I seriously recommend this to everyone, lover of thrillers or not. I am even telling my mom to read this, who rarely reads. You just keep guessing towards the end, and by the end of every chapter, we readers end up thinking that Grace has the chance, that she's able to conquer her battle and finally be able to leave Jack, but then, she doesn't. This proves how us humans are monsters, how there are messed up people wherever you go, and how we must be cautious, how we cannot trust anyone. I have always been told to never trust anyone a hundred percent, and that statement certainly works with anyone, young or old, and even in fiction.
I FELT SO MUCH PITY FOR GRACE. She is such a sweet, successful young woman, and it hurt me reading about her deterioration because of her husband, and how she was unable to be with her sister, friends, anyone. It killed me inside. This whole book did, and I needed to get into contemporary romance afterwards because this made me so emotional afterwards.
Behind Closed Doors will make you (1) cry, because you'll love Grace's character and only want the best for her and her sister, (2) never want to close your doors again—that's pretty self-explanatory, (3) scream, because of Jack's psychopathic-self and (4) fan yourself, because it's a wild ride and it's so damn good. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL RELEASE DAY WHERE THE WHOLE WORLD WILL FALL IN LOVE. I feel like re-reading this or finding another psych-thriller to read right now. B.A. Paris, you are my favourite author.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review! Thank you so much!*...more
I WANT TO GO TO JAPAN SO BADLY. After reading this precious thing by Cecilia Vinesse, I rmore!IThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I WANT TO GO TO JAPAN SO BADLY. After reading this precious thing by Cecilia Vinesse, I realized that like New York City, Tokyo is the city of dreams. Or in other words, the city of my dreams. It is a place that never sleeps, it's gorgeous, and the food described by Vinesse was just extraordinary. What else could we possibly want from this book? The only thing I would ask for is to have a sequel where we read this story from Jamie's perspective. Don't get me wrong, I adored Sophia's character and the class that she had—Jamie is just a heartthrob and I want to read more about him. Seven Days of You is a fast-paced story that tells the story of a girl who is about to leave everything she has ever known and move to the States. This was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2016 that I finished in a few hours because it was just THAT CAPTIVATING.
I get so much wanderlust reading books because I want to travel around the whole world. One of the obvious reasons why Seven Days of You was so intriguing was because of the setting: Tokyo, Japan. It is quite rare to find YA that takes place in Asia, let alone Japan. It was so interesting reading about the city life and how the teenagers in Japan, specifically Sophia and Jamie, live. It was a huge culture shock for me, and I have come to realize that I want to be go there so badly. ANYWAY, excuse me for my excessive fangirling. I also want to be part of the book for Jamie, duh.
You see, it has been like fifty years since I last put this beauty down. That was in California, six months ago. IMAGINE THAT. That's why you should expect a short review where I just am skimming over things; this was extremely delayed. As you can tell, I read this beauty while on vacation and I was so overwhelmed with how good it was. This is a short read that made me feel that I was wherever Sophia was. This is such a touching, descriptive book that made me believe in love. Occasionally, contemporary romances can be boring to the point that I felt that the objective of the author was to actually make his/her characters fall in love, though, in this case, Cecilia Vinesse mastered the art of love. This was a raw, moving story that made you feel the emotions Sophia was feeling; when she was afraid to leave the place she grew up in, you felt her fear. There is nothing better than an author writing a book like that.
I loved Sophia's character for her originality. I often find chick-lit protagonists to be quite self-immersed and selfish, only for the reason that they do not want to give love a chance for various reasons. Then there are the protagonists who dealt with a difficult situation and a guy randomly pops up in the middle of their lives and they decide to leave everything and just go for the situation. Sophia was none of that; I cannot even describe her characters in words because she was just that unique. The concept too was especially unique; you will never find a book that is so beautiful and real, taking place in a matter of days. It made me feel rushed to get up and experience life to the fullest. THIS BOOK MADE ME FEEL PHILOSOPHICAL, OKAY? Little Brown made the best decision to publish this story. It's unlike anything I have ever read before.
This beauty is like 2016's Anna and the French Kiss. I strongly encourage you to pick this up, read it in a sitting with your laptop by your side so you could research last-minute flights to Tokyo and to find out more about the authentic Japan. Indulge in Cecilia Vinesse's debut novel about pure, authentic love. I'm sure that no one will regret it.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Holy gumballs and watermelons. (Excuse me, but I'm currently chewing on a piece of watermelon gum,more!HolyThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Holy gumballs and watermelons. (Excuse me, but I'm currently chewing on a piece of watermelon gum, so don't mind me) I'm trying not to sob and break down all over again in front of my computer again, so let's just get this started once more. Never did I ever expect to adore Lara Avery's The Memory Book as much as I did. Seriously? It is the best 2016-published book I have read, yet. It is one of my most favourite books ever. Why? Because it changed my life and made me want to write, aspire to follow my dreams, fall in love, appreciate life and appreciate memories, because they don't always last. And I'm not referencing diseases necessarily. Yes, our heroine, Sammie (who I adore and want to be my best friend and antisocial activist), does have a disease, also known as Niemann-Pick Type C, but not every person needs to lose their memories like that. I love books that are researched, raw, real and emotional. Lara Avery just explained Sammie's story well, and not in a 50-50 scientific-emotional split for YA readers. It was more than that, perhaps more emotional or more scientific and I can't even imagine how this was all constructed.
I rarely (okay, occasionally) say this, but this book is perfection. There is not a single thing wrong with it, there are no flaws. Okay, perhaps I missed a grammar mistake, but even though I read an uncorrected proof, I saw no flaws. The Memory Book left me aching for something more, something to turn to the next day (I finished this at midnight) when I felt sad. Okay, this book was already sad, so I don't think things can get sadder.
This book is a teenager's worst nightmare. Or at least, my worst nightmare. We have a protagonist (Sammie) who has her whole future planned out, kind of like I do. She wants to go to NYU (well, it's happening), become a lawyer and live in New York City. She's valedictorian, has worked so hard for that role, and things are becoming the way she wants. Most of all, she wants to leave her small town outside of Hanover, New Hampshire. (DARTMOUTH, GUYS!) It's our worst nightmare when something gets out of hand and your life automatically changes and heads in the worst direction. I felt so much pity, guilt for Sammie, knowing that her future is at stake, that things that she wants to happen won't ever happen because of her condition.
This book is what you think it is: it is a memory book of Sammie's. She unexpectedly discovers that she has Niemann-Pick Type C after being unable to move her eyes up, and this book is written from her perspective where she records her daily life in a document in her computer. She falls in love with her longtime crush, Stuart, and becomes friends with her old friend again, Cooper. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE, THOUGH. The plot was fast-moving and things couldn't stop happening. There were moments where I had to take a breather and actually calm down after what was happening all the time. I read this in a sitting or two (because of interruptions), GUYS. THIS IS A GOOD SIGN.
"Sometimes life is really terrible. Sometimes life gives you a weird disease. Sometimes life is really good, but never in a simple sort of way. And when I look back, I will know I have tried" (70).
So yeah, there's a love triangle: Sammie is torn between Coop and Stuart. I kind of saw what occurred coming, but I wasn't sure. I WOULD BE TORN, MY FRIENDS. Coop is the adventurous, hot, caring guy who will always be there to give you a ride somewhere and make out with you on the way there. *twiddles eyebrows* Stuart is the mysterious writer (who I also love) and he's so smart, philosophical and agh, I'm in love.
The Memory Book is written so lyrically and so realistically. I felt Sammie's strong voice speaking to us readers. Avery informed us about Sammie's condition in such a way that is not like reading an article on the internet; it's coming out of a victim's heart/mouth, being written with so much realism. I also loved the setting of this whole story—it makes me want to go to Vermont/New Hampshire even MORE. I've always been thinking about Dartmouth University, and this is the best experience of reading about a university—in a YA novel.
We see this transition of Sammie's condition throughout the book. She undergoes these scares that literally scares us readers too, because we know that the worst is yet to come. Things became drastic, and my feels went out of control. I was so intrigued/tired by the time that I finished this book that I couldn't cry even when I really was in the mood for. MY LIFE WAS OVER. I COULDN'T DO IT ANYMORE.
"It's like, take my body, fine. I wasn't really using it anyway. I've got this enormous butt on ostrich legs, the hair of a "before" picture, and weird milky brown eyes like a Frappuccino. But not my brain. My true connection to the world" (12).
The Memory Book has been anticipated by me for a long time, and I can see why everyone is awing over the emotion. This is simply gorgeous, perhaps the most gorgeously written book ever. It's poetic, and has this vibe that many emotional books struggle to maintain. John Green and his lookalike authors (by means of writing, I mean) need to take a few tips by my new favourite, Lara Avery. I need to read A Million Miles Away. STILL SOBBING HERE.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
I am the biggest psychological mystery/thriller fan on this planet. I have been recommendemore!IThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
I am the biggest psychological mystery/thriller fan on this planet. I have been recommended Mary Kubica's books time after time because they are just my kind of book. There is always suspense, always something that a reader doesn't know until the end of the story. Don't You Cry was the uttermost perfect suspense story. I mean—it wasn't perfect, but Kubica added suspense so perfectly that it was my favourite part of the story. This book is so complex that your head will hurt for a few hours after reading. You won't be able to forget anything that happens in this book for ages afterwards. I only recently noticed that my memory concerning the plot of Kubica's 2016 release was a little foggy. But who cares? If you forget, some voice inside of you will be begging you to re-pick this up again and enjoy Quinn and Esther's story that takes readers on an 'adventure' all over the Midwest to find out where Esther went.
I love books that are about missing people. Not that I would ever wish something like this to happen to someone, but I love the concept and length of these stories. I love how authors create many characters who end up falling into the web of suspense. I love how some authors, like Kubica, create characters who do not rely on the police for a search for the missing person. It shows that these stories are so complex that even your average person wouldn't be able to solve them. I am not a huge mystery fan, but when characters/concepts like these are introduced, I'M IN. Don't You Cry was a book that made me feel so emotional and confused with the world. Kubica added so much vagueness in the plot (in a good way) that I became so perplexed and weirded out, just like the weirdness of the story.
It's interesting how we readers were able to get to know Esther more, even though she was missing for the whole story. We also read the perspectives of Quinn, her roommate, and Alex, a guy who works in a coffee shop in Michigan, a few hours away from Chicago. You would think that these people have nothing to do with each other, but BOY THEY DO. And it's totally unexpected. It's not what you're probably thinking at the moment: "that dude Alex must be the kidnapper! But wait, he's too young!" The second part of that sentence could be true, however. *giggles* I WAS SO SHOCKED WITH THE ENDING AND THE PLOT AND THE CHARACTERS' REACTIONS TO EVERYTHING AND... well you could say I was shocked with the whole book. I did never ever expect the story to end the way it did. I guess it's fate for me to enjoy Kubica's writing now, as I was just so impressed.
The only reason why I wouldn't give this impressive story a 5 star rating was because I WAS SO CONFUSED. I guess the ending really is meant for us readers to interpret. You can make it whatever you want! ...more
Hope Jahren has just converted me, has just converted me into loving research and planThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Hope Jahren has just converted me, has just converted me into loving research and plants and all things that have to do with the ground that we walk on, the smells that we smell and the things that we see. I mean, I have always been a science fanatic, been interested in the field of science and labs and all of that cool stuff that Hope expresses about in this whole non-fiction research-based novel. Lab Girl has just opened a new light for me, and showed that hey, women and girls can be interested in these kinds of things too, and we can all make a living out of it. I'm probably not going to go into the field that has to do with plants, but Jahren explains many things that have to do with science as a whole. If you are interested in modern events or themes, such as feminism, being eco-friendly, caring about the Earth and traveling, this is perfect for you. If you're like me, and adore taking breaks from ordinary fiction and deciding to begin reading non-fiction, this is a perfect start. Lab Girl is simply adored by myself and I would recommend it to everyone out there for a nice read with a cup of lemonade by your side. Don't forget a swirly straw to patch things up, too!
I'm not the gardener in my house—my mom is. I've always enjoyed nature and taking photos of the world and the things I see, though. Jahren has caused me to appreciate more of the things around me, and I believe that she hadn't meant to, either. This is no way was a self-help book where readers were supposed to learn 100% from the author and the things that she studied and believed in. Instead, this was a book about Jahren—it's a memoir, if you would really like to know. It's a memoir that has Jahren's special touch and is not one of those books that you'll find anywhere. It's not similar to a memoir written by a celebrity where they talk about their struggles. This contains some of Jahren's struggles, of course, as we all struggle from time to time, but a lot of this was focused on Hope's passions and job and career, and how much hard effort she put in to succeed and make things happen. I learned so much about the world, about Hawaii, about different flora, about universities that she attended/taught at, and I would certainly like to see this at this year's Goodreads awards come December. I imagine it being a high bestseller already, and feel so fortunate to have read it before it was actually released.
This was absolutely fabulous, from my perspective. Jahren knows exactly what she's doing when it comes to writing or talking about science and all of that. She gave so many explanations that seem absolutely correct, that have so much meaning to them and made me want to read forever and want to do something different with my life, other than medicine or your ordinary science fields. We got the ability to learn about her family, friends, the people who changed her life during her long journey towards PhDs and all of her accomplishments that still wow me. I feel inspired now to go out and follow her on all of her social media accounts and catch her attention. She is one strong and amazingly intelligent woman. Women rule.
"My mother believed that there was a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and that doing it wrong meant doing it over, preferably a few times".
I now will never, ever take down a tree. I will never think about saying, "that plant is ugly" or "what's the use of having a garden?" I know that if I did think that, this book would somehow try to fit itself in my life once more. This is a fabulous memoir that I just want to recommend to everyone, and perhaps, eventually, read it again and again for more laughs, and seeing more of Hope from a different perspective in a different period of time. (Did I mention that I shipped her with her research partner? Truth: they did not get together. This is not a story about love!)
"People are like plants: they grow toward the light. I chose science because science gave me wha I needed—a home as defined in the most literal sense: a safe place to be".
Lab Girl is a seriously easy book to read because it's coming straight from Hope Jahren's mind—she seems so easy to talk to, so naturally, she writes as if she's speaking straight to someone. It turned out very lovely, and teaches us to appreciate nature and the amazing people around you, all of these ideas being proved by science. She explains her discoveries, and the many accomplishments that she has gained, without making them sound too big of a deal. (THEY ARE ASTONISHING THOUGH.) The astonishing things for her, are plants.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Time for a letter to one of the books that changed my life forever, guys! I only tendThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Time for a letter to one of the books that changed my life forever, guys! I only tend to write "letters" to books that have affected me as a person and as a whole. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is one of those books. I can see why the world went crazy.
Dear My One and Only Special Book,
I expected much worse from you. When I began reading Young Adult Fiction, I was introduced to you and your movie (which was fabulous as well), but I had doubts. A book about a boy and a tiger, both stranded on a float-boat-thing in the middle of the Pacific where there are fantasy aspects? That didn't seem like quite my cup of tea. And then, tenth grade rolled around and my friends, who had English first semester, couldn't stop raving about you. I began to anticipate your arrival into my heart more and more. (That also couldn't sound even more cheesier). They kept telling me about how there is a big shocker at the end of you and how our teacher explained it amazingly. I COULDN'T WAIT.
I read you almost in a night, in a sitting. I finished you before the rest of my class did, and I couldn't stop squealing with my best friend about the ending and everything. I would like to share your plot with the rest of Goodreads and the blogging community, if you don't mind.
"Richard Parker has stayed with me. I've never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart."
People. Life of Pi is just absolutely beautiful, remarkable and it changed my life. It carries such a powerful message of hope and realism, stuck in a story that focuses on animals and how we humans act like them constantly. We've seen this animalistic comparison in other classics (because I would certainly call this gorgeous thing a classic, but not in an old, rusty kind of way) like William Golding's Lord of the Flies, but this was just completely different and intriguing. Honestly, I prefer books that present a specific concept in a more modern setting that is relatable for me. I rather have an instant connection with a character than a wicked setting. Pi Patel is our amazing hero, who definitely represents the characteristics of a hero well. He is living a normal-ish life, living in Pondicherry, India, where his father owns the Pondicherry Zoo. Pi has always had this connection with animals, and he is immediately torn apart when his father announces that their family is moving to Canada.
This is where the craziness occurs. The family heads onto a ship, which sinks, and Pi is the sole survivor. He spends days at sea, with three animals: a monkey, a hyena, and Richard Parker, a tiger who Pi has an amazing relationship with as the book progresses. Agh, how I wish I could endure the same feelings as I did while reading.
I did not read this book because I was required to at school. I know many people personally who actually did not even finish this book because we discussed it (at little too much) at school. YOU'RE NUTS. If you are thinking of putting this one aside and not reading it, then I'm not talking to you, my friend.
Life of Pi is mesmerizing, I honestly felt like it was a dream after I finished it. What's amazing is that we have one sole protagonist, and we never get tired of him. Yann Martel also plays with the format of the book he's writing, occasionally telling the story from his own author perspective, and moving on to Pi's perspective. It's like a diary, though there is also more to it. Martel also experiments with splitting the book into three parts, one being a retelling of Pi's past and future, while the other two being the "Better Story" and the other as "Dry Yeastless Factuality." You will understand that better while reading the book. One story is more imaginative than the other, though the ending of this story seriously gives readers a good finish, a satisfying finish where we will not be asking any more questions. Everything will be answered for us, and somehow, we will be believing in God more than ever. Or at least, I found myself in that position.
"Life will defend itself no matter how small it is. Every animal is ferocious and dangerous. It may not kill you, but it will certainly injure you. It will scratch you and bite you, and you can look forward to a swollen, pus-filled infection, a high fever and a ten-day stay in the hospital."
Yann Martel's use of imagery in inexplainable. It's impossible for me to describe how he does it. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph, we find ourselves seeing that there is a background story to it all, and that Martel utilizes specific words for specific reasons, to show something. My English teacher occasionally over-analyzed things which got me a little frustrated (specifically sentences that reference colours and whatnot) but I must admit that this is the book that has the most depth in it.
YOU HAVE TO WATCH THE MOVIE TOO. A big applause to the directors, producers, screenwriters, media workers and actors for doing a stellar job on making this gorgeous story come to life. I honestly didn't have any complaints, except for the obvious taking-away of specific details from the plot. You cannot even guess how the imagery looks in the movie. It's exactly how I pictured it, funny when looking at the fact that most films that are based on films are horrible. (*cough* Divergent *cough*)
I adore you, Life of Pi. I have so many friends that adore you too, and I WOULD LIKE TO RECOMMEND YOU TO THE WHOLE WORLD. Everyone, grab a copy of this and the movie, and spend a few days (or binge it all into one) and enjoy. Thank you, Yann Martel and the publisher....more
HECK YEAH.Gemina by the fabulous best sci-fi-author-duo, Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, is justmore!HECKThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
HECK YEAH.Gemina by the fabulous best sci-fi-author-duo, Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, is just as GOOD AS Illuminae. THAT IS A WONDERFUL HONOUR. Listen, folks: I am not the kind of person who admires high science-fiction with blasts of spaceships, weird technical terms, intergalactic fighting and communicating between different planets and ships. A few years ago before the idea of this series ever existed, I would have never wanted to pick this one up. NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS. Now? I admire these authors so much for putting so much difficult work into writing this series, and how they so intelligently mastered the format and characters. The Illuminae Files is one of my favourite series to read because of its super-awesome format and how every time, we are introduced to another batch of characters (who always do fall in love), emails, IMs and the coolest classified files that will make you feel as if you were a chief on the Hypatia or whatever space shuttle is flying through space, carrying a huge population of people whose lives are on the stake and in the hands of teenagers.
THIS SERIES IS SO DAMN COOL AND KICK-ASS AND *INSERT FIFTY THOUSAND ADJECTIVES HERE* I cannot help but fangirl. I have been waiting a year to read Gemina after Illuminae ruined my life (in a good way, obviously), and after waiting in that mega-huge line at BEA this year, filled with ecstatic fangirls such as myself, feeling doubtful that I would end up getting a copy, I HAVE IT IN MY HANDS. I honestly recommend this series to every sci-fi fan out there, even if you're sick and tired of the usual dystopian phase that many YA authors are still stuck in, even though the best, like Ally Condie, are done writing books like that. THIS IS JUST AWESOMENESS. I rather read the third book of this series than have pizza for a year. It's that big of a sacrifice for me. This is waaay better than many contemporaries that seemed promising, but ended up letting me down in the end.
For this sequel, things are better and badder when we are thrown into a new ship, called the Hypatia, where our previous protagonist (Kady)'s dad (Issac Grant) is on and is a chief. THANKFULLY WE GET TO HEAR FROM KADY AND EZRA AGAIN. This time around, we are introduced to a set of protagonists, Nik and Hanna, who, just like Kady and Ezra initially, have issues. In this case, Nik has this mega-crush on Hanna, who is the rich daughter of the station commander. Whenever Hanna wants something, she basically gets it. Nik, on the other hand, is orphaned, and the only family he knows of is his cousin, Ella. Their family is known for their previous crimes, and Nik is doing whatever it takes to clear that image of himself from the world, and especially from Hanna, whose attention he would like to catch. The thing is, Hanna is already dating someone, Jackson, who already has some secrets of his own. The romance isn't the worst issue of them all, though: THE HYPATIA IS INVADED.
Seriously, it gets chaotic from there. The BeiTech strike team is the most outrageous horrible team on the face of the universe. I hated every member with all the hate that I have inside of me. But don't fret, it was healthy hate. Hopefully. You guessed what happens from there—Hanna and Nik ought to join forces and save their home, alongside other characters who stunned me appearance after appearance, including Ella.
"Hurting she might be, but Hanna Donnelly was raised by a man who thought talking military tactics was a fun way to spend daddy-daughter time. And judging by the set of her jaw, she's ready to change the rules of the game" (161).
There is no way that someone could classify Gemina as a quick read. IT'S FREAKING HUGE. I never wanted Hanna and Nik's story to end, even after those 600+ pages of details and encryption. Although there was a mix of formats, many documents that I still am wondering how Kaufman and Kristoff were able to create, so much was happening all of the time. I occasionally get a little antsy when I realize that an author (or authors) is taking a long time to write a novel, but the wait is well worth it for this sequel. But seriously: HOW ARE KAUFMAN AND KRISTOFF ABLE TO WRITE THIS HUGE BOOK IN LESS THAN A YEAR? It is released in October, and I received a copy of it in early May. That means that it was probably written so quickly. I am shocked.
The best thing in this novel are the characters. Every character has a strong role in the story, and although Hanna and Nik are really the heroes, I would call everyone's addition something. I loved Hanna even more than I loved Kady in the first book, and guess what? We even get to see the two kick-ass girls communicate with one another as Kady tries to contact her father, who is with Hanna occasionally as they try to fight BeiTech. I really felt for Hanna and Nik, especially during the moments after page 505. THE PAGE 505. I THOUGHT... well, I won't spoil it, but your jaws will literally drop to the ground. What you think happened... well, it didn't, and the whole outcome of this book has to do with its title.
When Kaufman and Kristoff info-dump, it's not that they do it horribly. They do it wonderfully. I often get worried when reading sci-fi because I expect a ton of info-dumping in terms of the world that the characters live in and so on. Without the information given to us in this novel, I would have been so confused, because honestly? You need a huge attention span to read this story, as well as the first novel in The Illuminae Files. This isn't an easy book to read. I began reading it last week, but decided that it wasn't the right day for it because I would need a nice, quiet setting to binge-read it all, not small bits where I won't be connected to the characters and world-setting. We kept being introduced to new characters, new ideas that our intelligent "squad" came up with in order to save themselves, but it felt natural. I never was confused. I would seriously like to give Kaufman and Kristoff an enormous round of applause, because damn—it's so difficult to perfect information in science-fiction these days.
Just like Illuminae, I have to rate Gemina four stars for the same reason: occasional boringness. This was a heart-pounding novel, but the first hundred-fifty pages of the story were action-less. We quickly are introduced to characters who will play big roles in this story, like the BeiTech team, but it was all filler. I needed the deaths (sadly), I needed the heart-pounding moments where I began to wonder if I would even survive after finishing the book. It came, only after a few shockers splatted out at us. I still loved this, either way. We needed a good beginning, because Hanna and Nik are characters who did not have a place in Illuminae. Oh! And I wish The House of Knives (and everything about Nik) was explained better. *tear rolls down cheek*
"There's this moment, this tiny moment, in between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time the death arrives, there's just you and it and everything you're about to take away. It's too big. It goes forever" (248, extracted from IM messages).
I just want to stroke the cover for the rest of my life, buy fifty copies of this series and send them to all of my friends who are non-book-nerds. Anyone could find something to love in this whole series. It is best that you read Illuminae first, but I loved how this is a continuation and not a direct sequel to Kady and Ezra's story slash romance. Thank goodness they got an appearance, or else I would have began to freak out. Literally.
WHEN WE DISCOVERED WHAT GEMINA REALLY IS, I FREAKED OUT. It's so intelligent, so imaginative and seems so real. Brace yourself for parallel universes, interesting calculations that are not random in any way, MEANINGFUL ILLUSTRATIONS THAT ARE ACTUALLY PUT THERE FOR A REASON AND NOT FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT AND COOL ALIEN PREDATORS. If my parents really knew what this series is about, they would think that I'm nuts because I always refuse to watch sci-fi films like Star Wars or Star Trek, that have similar concepts. BOOKS ARE ALWAYS BETTER, WHOOPS.
Hanna and Nik are destined to be the world's best fictional couple. I LOVE THEM TOGETHER SO MUCH. I have noticed that with this series, romance is not everything, thankfully, though it is a big part that makes the teaming-up-together work well for the characters. We see a romance bloom in the later part of the book, where things don't end well with Jackson and Hanna and she realizes the truth behind everything he has ever told her. I wanted to punch that guy in the face ever since we were introduced to him.
Gemina is seriously a beautiful addition to the YA fiction world. It's just as good as Illuminae, and although there is a minor bit of boringness in the plot itself, I would just fade that away and look at the bright side of things: everything else! Hanna and Nik had the most adorable relationship, and everything else was perfect. This is the most intelligent book you'll read this year. Pre-order it, enjoy it and let's make a club and wait for the third book all together! But most importantly, thank you Amie and Jay for this beauty. I STRONGLY APPRECIATE IT.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Everyday, I take steps, leave my front door (most of the time, haha), eat, drink (WATER PEOmore!Everyday,This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Everyday, I take steps, leave my front door (most of the time, haha), eat, drink (WATER PEOPLE) and do homework. That is my reality. Everyday I like to pick a book up and devour it, reading a different author's perspective on a different subject every single day. Life goes by, things happen, good or bad, and we have to move on in order to stay sane. Last week, I received a beautiful, pristine copy of Jewell Parker Rhodes' Towers Falling in the mail, after anticipating it so long, not only because it is set in my favourite place in the world, but because NO middle grade author has ever conquered such a magical, difficult situation in their stories: 9/11. I have rarely even heard of fiction being based off on this tragic massacre that stunned the world on an "ordinary day" in September of 2001. I was only a year old, but after I discovered this particular moment of history, watched the videos, read survivor stories, and was immediately introduced to this event that changed the way our world rotates today, I was changed myself. Imagine how a class of ten year olds, who, if they look out of their classroom window, can see the remaining reflection of the Twin Towers, react to finding out the truth. It's remarkable, and Jewell Parker Rhodes stunned me with this middle grade, beautiful poignant story.
Towers Fallingis not just for ten year olds, like my sister. It is not just for teenagers who decide that they would like to read a book (with a beautiful, precious cover) that falls under the middle grade category. It is not just for librarians who will surely recommend the story to their young visitors. It is not just for parents who will like to read about an exemplar of what to tell their own children. This story is for everyone, young or old. We see so many current issues exemplified and implied in the two hundred and forty pages that I am still mindblown to this current moment.
"We all bleed red. And all good stories are, by their nature, diverse because they are about individualism, uniqueness."
This is quote, quoted by the author in a speech of hers on the importance of diverse books. I firmly believe that it is true, that it makes so much sense. This is not only a diverse book, formed with three main characters (Deja, Sabeen and Ben) who all have different ethnicities, but it is also a story of belonging, hope, commemoration. I have so much praise for it and I believe that every child deserves a copy of this story. It impacts you as a reader so much, giving you emotion for Dèja, who has dealt with homelessness in the past, being a young girl who does not understand much about the world. It is so difficult for me to even try to compare this to any other middle grade book I have read; it is truly one of a kind, and those kinds of books come in one in a million chances.
This is not the book for a parent to give their child to have them understand 9/11. No. I would say that in order to really feel the impact of this story, a reader must have a little knowledge of this event. I am going to have my sister read this story and see how it impacts her, checking to see if it hit her the same way as me. That'll be some kind of psychological study for me to research. It is so easy to feel smitten with the characters that Jewell Parker Rhodes incorporates to this story. We know that in the end, it is about Dèja, her family's story, and what they have overcome, but we also receive an equal amount of screen-time between Sabeen and Ben. I love this trio of characters.
I like that this is real, that this is not a story that seems fictional to any extent. This is as real as stories go. I love the values and the emotions that I endured; tears were brought to my eyes several times and this was absolutely captivating. Knowing that there was a big secret in Dèja's family, I knew I had to keep reading, and instead of going to bed, I would be able to understand what really happened.
"I turn away from the screen and look out Ben's window. It's beautiful. Birds, trees, sky, and clouds. What would it be like having a plane crush through like a missile? Destroying the world?" (98)
Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy of this glorious novel. This is truly inspiring, for authors to write like, and for readers to feel gratitude. With a perfect EVERYTHING, Jewell Parker Rhodes deserves the highest possible award for this beautiful story. You cannot go wrong or point at anything. It is as nourishing as a cup of water after being in the Sahara Desert, although I do not even know what that is like, I can only imagine, and that's what Jewell did with her vision here: imagine, but form a real story.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
*SOME SPOILERS OF THE WHOLE SERIES EXCLUDING THIS NOVEL ARE BEmore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
*SOME SPOILERS OF THE WHOLE SERIES EXCLUDING THIS NOVEL ARE BELOW. BE WARNED*
Two years ago, I was a book-obsessed teenager (as I still currently am), but I had a different interpretation of Kiera Cass' The Selection trilogy. The thing is... I thought it was over.The One came around, we discovered who Prince Maxon picked out of the girls, and I was just so satisfied. I was so happy, had tear stains on my face, and I couldn't stop cheering because THE ENDING WAS THE BEST. After that, we readers were surprised with The Heir, a new addition to the series taking place from the perspective of Prince Maxon's daughter, Eadlyn. I loved the last book so much, and I seriously saw it as one of my most favourite books of 2015. After that, we were left in such a cliff-hanger that I just needed right away. What can I say now? This was our final goodbye with America, Maxon, Eadlyn, Aspen, and the rest of the crew that we have grown to love over the years. This was such a great finale, but the one thing that bothered me was THE PREDICTABILITY.
I SWEAR TO YOU: I SAW THE ENDING COMING. From the first book, the connection was real and I had this feeling that it would be him. I deep-down certainly knew that Eadlyn would pick him. That's what frustrated me a little—I loved the man that Eadlyn picked in the end, but because she had to pick him in this book, I felt that things were so rushed and there was no time to have any kind of rising-up-climax-thing. I saw it coming. I think many people were predicting the same ending as I was, or else Kiera Cass wouldn't have paid attention to that character. I'm frowning.
I loved this book, I seriously did, but the minor detail that freaked me out the most was the predictability and the lack of focus to relationships. This is a five-book series solemnly based on love and relationships, mimicking The Bachelor/Bachelorette so much that it's unexplainable. A five-book series does deserve some interesting parts that readers did not expect. If we expected it, then what is the serious point of reading the series? I apologize for my rant.
"I hope I've done right by you. As an official, as a friend. You're the closest I'll ever have to a daughter, so that matters to me" (127).
THAT WAS MY FIRST LOVE ASPEN, GUYS. In case you didn't know, when I read The Selection, my initial true love was Aspen, not Maxon. Things changed a little afterwards because Cass spent time moderating Maxon's character and making him swoon-y. I just love the characters in this series. We get snippets from ones we haven't lost, ever, like Aspen, his future wife (who I shall not name), Maxon, Eadlyn's brother, Marlee, Lucy... everyone. I just love the people of Illéa. And what was extremely important for me was how Cass spent time making a setting for Eadlyn. Times have truly changed in Illéa since the time of Maxon's Selection, and there was a huge focus on Eadlyn becoming queen in this novel. We see her taking care of political roles, as well as finding out things about herself, which I really admired.
Whoever said that Princess Eadlyn is arrogant and selfish is completely wrong. I love Eadlyn's character, and how she carries her head high (because she deserves it) alongside the fact that she has a similar attitude to America's. Of course, she has her father's kindness. *heart flutters*
The relationships that Eadlyn has with others, besides her love interests are remarkable. She is such a caring person and that made me respect her more. She was close with her siblings, with her maid/helper, with Aspen, with Marlee, with her mother... she made time for everyone and it was intriguing to read about how she grows up in this novel. There is a huge character development in her case and that was pure loveliness.
"Maybe it's not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it's the last ones" (159).
As always, Kiera Cass gears her stories towards the romantic side. Although this finale wasn't solemnly focused on relationships—as I mentioned beforehand—it surely was focused on making things work. Kiera Cass quickly got rid of the men in the story that we knew Eadlyn wouldn't ever have a chance to be with for the reason of the lack of connections, and I enjoyed that. I read some earlier reviews stating the opposite, and feeling like it was just a way to end the story quicker. I feel that that could be true, but it didn't upset me.
What makes me sad the most is that this is over. We will not get un update on Eadlyn and her new life just as we did with America, we will never meet Eadlyn's children and see how America and Maxon would be good grandparents. This was way too short. But it's fine either way, I guess. THE ENDING MADE ME SO ECSTATIC, EVEN IF I SAW IT COMING. My heart couldn't stop racing and I just wanted it to happen. That's a definite good sign.
The Crown deserves all of the positive ratings, all of the awards because I am just so completely satisfied with the finale to all of Eadlyn's whereabouts, and I am in love with this series. It ended off so well with America's story, and continued that way with Princess Eadlyn, and her steps towards becoming queen and ruler of Illéa. Most of us who have read Cass' stories know that there is no such thing as second-book syndrome. That is the definite case here. Now, I think we're all going to wait around like in a campfire and wait until Cass releases some word on Eadlyn's future. Ah, how lovely would that be!...more
This is a bundle of joy. I have been meaning to get a glimpse at these emoj/>ThisThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
This is a bundle of joy. I have been meaning to get a glimpse at these emoji-Shakespeare retellings that all les bloggers have been talking about lately, and since I have never really known about A Midsummer Night and what it promised for readers, I was thanking the library gods that my local branch had picked this one up. There are many, many reasons or situations that will enforce you to pick this book up. And of course, as I always do with books that I enjoyed, I will tell you why and when to.
This is your ultimate Shakespeare go-to.
If you're a HUGE Shakespeare fan (as I am), and if you're just looking for a quick read that will take you (and your vocabulary-emoji skills) a quick amount of time to read, this is perfect. I could seriously say that it was. I wish that I had read the original play beforehand so I could compare, but I seriously bet that Brent Wright did a magnificent job creating a redo of the epic story that everyone has been talking about for centuries, literally. It does not seem like this is fiction. Wright includes IM messages, notes, secret conversations between the characters and group messages that spun me around. It seemed like I was hacking into Shakespearean characters' phones and reading what they were up to. I felt easily connected to the characters and that some were even relatable to. Not the donkey, though. Not the donkey.
The abbreviations and emojis add an extra spin of magic.
So there are fairies. Marriages and engagements that are going wrong. Girls hiding their secrets about who they actually love deep down. But one of the best ways that all of this bizazz was expressed was through the use of emojis. YES. It was such a modern, hip but still original use of the story that we all have heard of and had on our TBR lists for years. You need this 112 paged novel if you're one of those people who cannot read the original playwright, because I totally understand.
I made ships.
Ships do not always work when we're reading a legit classic that was set in the sixteenth century or whatever. But I honestly found people (HERMIA, DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER!) who should be together and everything was so wonderfully placed together that I adored it.
I sincerely recommend picking this, or any of the other emoji Shakespeare books up, no matter what kind of reader you are. It's a quick, fast-paced half hour read that will leave you giggling and going to buy all of William's books online, Amazon Prime shipping to your house with drones. It's that chaotic and gorgeous....more
Kasie West has just stunned us all with P.S. I Like You. Just like everything else she hasThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Kasie West has just stunned us all with P.S. I Like You. Just like everything else she has written, this is a contemporary romance that is so cute, impressive and addicting. I am in love with the concept solely because it focuses on romance in a different way than your usual author. IT'S A CUTESY SCHOOL SETTING. Sure, we normally find ourselves reading about characters in a school setting, but this was different. This went away from your typical school cliques, and dove deep into the world of pen pals and anonymous messages. Although it was predictable, THAT WASN'T THE POINT. The way West spun the story out was the most important thing that I took from this whole book, and that's what I found the most impressive. To this day, I am unable to identify how this concept came to life. Can we please make a movie out of every book that West writes? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
This book wasn't just about love. It was mostly about a teenage girl named Lily and her high school life. She was battling so many issues throughout the whole book concerning her family, friends and crushes - and it just seemed so real. Some authors are unable to create a contemporary romance chick-lit novel that seems real or valid, but Kasie West always seems to do that, and I just can't help but wondering... how? Every book doesn't follow the same formula of bookish magic, which is what confuses me. Every time, we are introduced to new characters, issues, settings, ways of falling in love. Although I cannot relate to the love part, her writing gives me hope for love. AND SOMEHOW THERE'S ALWAYS SOME KIND OF SUSPENSE ATTACHED.
The suspense was the best part of the novel. I read this going on a road trip, and I found that the pacing of the book progressed at the same rate as my trip did. I felt like I was a fly on the wall when reading this... Lily's life was so realistic that I'm silently hoping that I could be best friends with her. She just seems to be my kind of person.
At this moment, I wish that I could talk about the love interest. HE IS MY DREAM BOOK BOYFRIEND. I'd like to keep this spoiler-free, so let's just say that the relationship West created between Lily and this mystery guy is unbelievable. Opposites do attract... somehow, and I wish I could understand the mechanisms as to why.
P.S. I Like You is a memorable, adorable story that will just make you smile. It is easy to read, mostly because it is laid out in an interesting fashion with a fun setting. It makes a dream that school is not only about homework, assignments and friend drama. It could definitely be a setting for a true (not cheesy) love story like this. PLEASE GRAB THIS while I grab Kasie's new books. I need them all!...more
Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series just keeps getting better and better. EVERY. SINGLE.more!MirandaThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series just keeps getting better and better. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I love how us readers can expect a new novel as a part of the series every July—it's the best part of the summer when Sourcebooks Fire releases the new novel right in time for my birthday. This time around, we have an amazing protagonist who is the captain of the soccer team and falls in love with an older boy who doesn't have the best reputation. Defending Taylor introduces readers to a new group of characters in our uttermost favourite setting, the Hundred Oaks. We are able to read parts where we hear from some of our favourite characters from the past like Annie and Jeremiah, and are able to read a story that will hit us just as hard as everything Miranda has written in the past. This was a literal masterpiece that every contemporary romance lover would enjoy.
What is the best part of the Hundred Oaks series is that you could read it in any order. Every part of the series is a new addition that has nothing to do with the one released the year before. Soo... I am seriously recommending picking this one up first because it definitely is one of my favourites. We have an overachieving protagonist (who kind of reminds me of myself), a love interest who to this day I still freak out over (even though I read this book six months ago) and a beautiful story that I surely will not forget. This was definitely one of my favourite books of 2016, as Kenneally's are year after year.
SO. This time around, the story revolves around a relationship between two people who are basically on opposite sides of the 'spectrum,' or society, as you may like to call it. Taylor is the daughter of the Tennessee senator, while Ezra is her brother's best friend. It's just... awkward. But love works surprisingly sometimes, and who cares? We readers all wanted it to work. And it did! THIS WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL AND HEARTWARMING AND *insert fifty million positive adjectives* Defending Taylor does have to do with sports and high school life, though it also has to do with being a teenager and coming of age. I appreciate books like this so much because it reminds me that in life, we have so much growing up to do. This was like a love letter to teenagers who are undergoing struggles concerning what they would like to do with their futures. Nothing can get better than this.
Defending Taylor is the master of all contemporary novels. It's fast-paced, causing you to finish it in a matter of hours. Read a chapter, and you'll call yourself intrigued. This is THE BEST.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
Thanks to the lovely publisher (and author of course), I have discovered my new favouritmore!ThanksThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
Thanks to the lovely publisher (and author of course), I have discovered my new favourite read of 2016. K.A. Tucker has continuously made me intrigued to read her books, coming from a fellow Canadian author who knows exactly how to captivate readers with her romance and suspense skills. This time around, He Will Be My Ruin really turned out to be my ruin. It turned out to be everything for me. Everything I expected from this fabulous author and much, much more. I found myself unable to put this beauty down, which does not happen often.
While on vacation this time around, I decided to take all ARCs with me. ARCs that publishers specifically sent to me—not BEA ones. He Will Be My Ruin was one of the steady, monotone ones that caught my eye. I read K.A. Tucker’s words before, and somewhat enjoyed her stories. When I looked at the books that I chose one day when I finished a book previously, this one specifically caught my eye because of the setting. New York City, my fellow friends! Dealing with endless amount of suspense and plot twists as well as unforgettable romance, I could not have asked for a better put-together of an adult thriller. This is absolutely memorable and deserves all of the critics going crazy, film offers and positive reviews. I kind of felt dead without Maggie and this story afterwards.
"A quick glance out their peephole and they've seen our faces, I have two choices: I either leave, or step inside. If I leave, will my secret stay safe with him? Taking in a deep breath, I step inside."
You see, I was even planning to format this review into “The Highlights” and you guessed it, “The Lowlights.” But I reminded myself that there were not any lowlights. This story was written to perfection. Every word, phrase, chapter was written with passion and you feel the suspense throughout. Readers see flashbacks back and forth from different perspectives—from Maggie and Celine’s—we cannot even configure the true ending to the mystery, or how things will turn out by the end. The biggest thing that whacked my mind? HOW WE THOUGHT WE KNEW, AND THEN WE DID NOT. My oh my, authors are just so talented with making you think that your prediction is correct, and then it turns out that it is not, and then that it actually was by the end. But you cannot give yourself any more credit since you changed your mind. There’s this whole establishment that I went through. And many others will go through the same thing.
After you have heard me being very light on the true nature of the story, I think it is time that you hear the master plot that Tucker has put out into this world. It is about a suicide, but turned murder. Celine Gonzalez committed suicide in her New York apartment, and her ultra-rich best friend Maggie discovers this after a phone call from Celine’s caring mother. Maggie is thrown into the city that she never liked, going to search through all of the things Celine left behind, knowing that her best friend would have never committed such a thing when she simply had it all. She had boyfriends, a job she loved, an admission to a college that she dreamed of, and she seemed happy. Knowing that it is too good to be true, Maggie searches. She meets Celine’s neighbours, friends and people who she connected with prior to her “murder.”
"Now he's exploiting it. That must be what he does—he uncovers your secrets, your fears, your flaws—and he uses them against you. He did it to Celine. And now he's doing it to me.
Tucker deals with many things in her story. She throws in prostitution and the sex trade, as well as friendship problems and trust. Even when people are adults, they could never be fully trustworthy. There are so many life lessons taught here as well. Readers were part of Tucker’s mystery, which made things interesting. I played along, making theories and trying to answer questions that stirred in Maggie’s mind. I connected to the characters and found that I could relate to Maggie especially so, so well. It’s the absolute best when you’re reading a book and you could feel the character doing something that you would do in their situation, too. Maggie was kick-butt and always there to save the day, even if Celine was gone. I loved her so much.
We had two love interests that Maggie deals with throughout the novel though both turn out to have their disadvantages. There’s Jace, the utter-rich son-of-a-senator boy who works at the same building as Celine did. Then we have Grady, the building super who seemed to be the complete opposite of Jace. Maggie fell for both, and ended things off on different terms with the two. It truly was satisfying but gross at the same time, seeing what these guys were capable of doing. I guess that us just shows how everyone has their own secrets and how many are willing to keep them to do treacherous things in the end.
The novel was written superbly. I read this super quickly, unable to put it down and let the characters go without stopping. THE SHOCKS WERE REAL AND I AM STILL TRYING TO GET OVER THAT ENDING, YOU KNOW? I bet that I will never read a book like this again.
He Will Be My Ruin ruined all of the other psychological thrillers out there for me because this one shot them down. K.A. Tucker planned out the treacherous ending, gave it to readers and did so much more with our minds. I cannot help but continuously rave about this story and ask for more. Where is my futuristic sequel and continuation of Maggie’s story, I ask? This made my life so much better. Agh.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*...more
The Cellar is the scariest book that I’ve read in ages. And by scary, do nmore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
The Cellar is the scariest book that I’ve read in ages. And by scary, do not expect horror or anything of that kind. Natasha Preston delivered the most thrilling, action-packed, adrenaline-churning story, more crazier than her cult-based Awake, more life changing than any psychological thrillers I have read… ever, practically. Get ready to pee to your pants, ask for more, and even perhaps never look at flowers the same way anymore. Yes, it is one of those scarring stories. Only stories like these seemed to just come out of the movies. This is freaking reality, my friends. You never know what kind of people that the world contains until you confront them, and after that, you just cannot look at the world the same way anymore. Geez… I literally sound creepy myself.
The Cellar features our outgoing main character and protagonist, Summer, who is living a great life with her happy family and boyfriend, Lewis. Everything is going swell until she goes out to a party, looking for a friend in the park where a man confronts her, throws her into a white van, and next thing she knows, is thrown into a cellar in the basement of his house and is named “Lily,” living with three other girls with similar names. Violet, Poppy, Rose―some of them seem possessed by the actions of this guy―Clover, and her world collapses around her. In the meantime, her family and boyfriend are mourning, trying to search for clues, knowing that their daughter/sister/girlfriend would never leave without saying anything. As the days pass, Summer would never let Clover touch her, or even look at her. Little does she know that her world is going to change forever.
The ending was corny, okay? But then again, I cannot imagine another ending to come about in any other way. It is just not possible for a beautiful, abrupt story to destroy readers’ emotions to the biggest case possible. No spoilers, I promise. The rest of the story flowed in ways that I could not have imagined or pictured in my head again without picking up the book once more. It was fast-paced, but had those little itty-bitty moments during scenes where the author knew that readers would want more detail and inside gossip on the truth. I always adore reading a book where I know the answer, the answer to the mystery while there still is a group of people who do not. In this case, it was the loved ones of Summer. I couldn’t help but squeal and scream to tell the people what to do. It was seriously a glorious experience.
“He kicked her hard in the stomach, making her scream in pain. Something cracked, and I pressed my fist to my mouth as a wave of nausea hit me. I slumped down on the sofa and crawled back, curling back into a ball.” (248)
Summer seemed to be talking to me. Just me. Not to sound selfish or anything, that was the perfect reading experience. I felt her fear, her longing for Lewis and the life she once had, the way she wanted to get out of there, the courage and strength she kept throughout to know that she will eventually get out. I loved her character. It is hard to realize that she is not out there, that her story does not exist because it seemed the most realest novel ever. And with the mix of the mystery, thrill, plaguing of suspense, it all made complete sense and there was no mystery at all.
I even began to like Clover by the end. Not for his psychopathic behaviour, but also for his character and what he contributed to the story―his weird doings made it all fifty billion times better. (Not that I would promote his doings or anything. HE IS OUTRAGEOUSLY INSANE.) This story turned out fantastic by the end. I found myself continuously surprised with everything that occurred in the novel, never having to seek for more. Lewis was adorable, I loved his personality and not being able to distinguish what he’s feeling since he’s so secretive but… CARING. It all works out, I tell you.
You will pee your pants. You will not be able to sleep at night. And there's also a slight chance that you will go ahead and buy every book that this amazing author has written. Did I also mention that there's a sequel out that's supposed to be (not as) good? I am still debating whether it is the right thing for me. But seriously, this contained so many themes that are found in realistic stories, and it was ultimately perfect. (My favourite flower was Poppy. She was so kick-butt. But then we saw where that went.)
It's sad that you cannot live with a specific book forever and have it contain the same dosage of romance, mystery, whatever it is. I want my wishes to come true, and only (at the moment) with this precious story by Natasha Preston. It is not your typical mystery-thriller, but more importantly, it is not the expected. In fact, it is the unexpected but in a perfect way, and I would recommend it to all forever and ever. I will never, ever, head to my basement ever again without holding someone's hand. But that someone's hand will definitely not be Clover's hand....more
Searching through my local library's catalogue a few months back, I was searching for the perfect novel that is shorter, but to the point to help me wSearching through my local library's catalogue a few months back, I was searching for the perfect novel that is shorter, but to the point to help me with research for a Canadian History essay on medical advances in the twentieth century. Mona Gleason's Small Matters was the perfect read for my research, and it is one of the best non-fiction research-based books I have ever read.
Written in multiple chapters with notes and appendices to support information, this is the perfect base for anyone—researchers, students or those with curious minds. Instead of learning just about American culture and medical history, Gleason provided readers information about Canadians in the twentieth century, including children more specifically, since there is not much information available on databases.
Mona Gleason provided real life stories taken from interviews with victims of different sicknesses and hardships during the early 1900s, as well as information about hospitality, statistics and conditions of the modern world back then. Small Matters is no small matter or novel—it is an easy read that provides much needed history and descriptions to those curious. ...more
This four point five star rating I am handing Heidi Heilig's demore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
This four point five star rating I am handing Heidi Heilig's debut time-traveling adventure romance (add in whatever genre you can think of and this book has it) is not exactly what it seems like. Honestly? Forget about that four point five and picture this book as a perfect ten. The Girl From Everywhere was mystical, dashing, magical, stunning and just oh-so-good, unlike my initial expectations. PEOPLE. I find that it's better to expect the worst than the best, even in reality. I initially expected a boring, un-understandable read for me with this one, but I flew through it in a sitting, and after it was over, I picked up my library copy and held it against my heart. (I get a little cheesy when I like a book so much). Oh, and why should you treat this as a perfect rating? Because the book was practically perfect. I will touch on a minor thing that set me off from granting this five stars, but it barely affected me in any manner. By the way, I just noticed the girl in the water on the cover of this book after reading. I LOVE THOSE SURPRISES. That's mega-cool.
The Girl From Everywhere has such a perfect title for the 443 pages that are stamped inside of this beautiful cover. It explains our heroine, Nix, so well. I'm so giddy with this book that I don't even know where my review should really begin. This is definitely one of the best books I've read this year, and perhaps ever. I cannot fangirl about it more than I already have and will.
For some reason, I expected this to be bad. Why? Because in the past, I have never enjoyed books about time-traveling mixed with historical events and myths. Okay, first of all, myths are rarely incorporated into YA these days, so that's a first... or second. Heidi Heilig writes about something that's deep in her heart, and I bet that she is seriously passionate about: Hawaiian culture. HOLY LEIS AND PINEAPPLES. I love Hawaii, I want to go there so bad. I mean, I always wanted to fly to the island of Oahu, be lei-ed (or whatever they call it), yell "Ohana means family" and say Aloha to every person I meet there. But now? This book introduced Hawaiian culture to me and it was so interesting to read about the most gorgeous islands in the world... back in the day, specifically in the nineteenth century.
HOW DOES HEIDI DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY? There's so much diversity in The Girl From Everywhere that I cannot stop squealing. We have Kashmir (HOLY I LOVE HIM, I'LL GET TO HIM SOON), who is from Persia when Nix and her father, Slate, find him, and there's also Bee, who is African. Bee's a crew member on The Temptation, the ship that Nix and her father time-travel or Navigate with. She's lesbian too, which shows us how DEDICATED this book is. I loved reading about each and every place that Nix Navigated to, including New York City and how she retold events from the past when they went to Scandia and how they saw dragons in the Baltic Sea.
"It was only the nervous shifting of his eyes that hinted at discomfort, but not with the city, nor with being on land. With his own skin. No matter where we went, he never felt at home. I recognized that feeling. I'd inherited it" (35).
Basically, The Girl From Everywhere is about our heroine, Nix, whose mother died when she gave birth to her. Her father, who is the captain of the ship that they, among others, time-travel, or Navigate with, called The Temptation, has never gotten over the fact that his true love is gone. He and Nix travel through time using maps that they find, going back centuries or millenniums into the past. Now, they are on the search for Nix's mother back in the past in Honolulu, Hawaii. That scares Nix, because she knows that she could possibly disappear if they do find her.
I was on the edge of my seat for the whole novel. Although it's about five hundred pages long, I couldn't stop reading from the moment I began the story. Heidi Heilig writes so casually, yet absolutely lyrically and different, perhaps more poetic than I would've expected. I loved everything about this story, how it teaches readers about culture, myth and the beautiful parts of loving life. I wish that I could GRAB ALL OF THE MAPS AND NAVIGATE MYSELF. It's a different twist on time-travel, and it's for a good reason.
You see, I always need some kind of description of the gears of time-traveling in a book I read. That's so important for me. Heilig did not info-dump on us, making up some weird explanations for why what Nix and her father do works. It was brief, yet unimaginable because no author has ever explored a bookish world like Heidi had.
I don't understand the issues people had with this glorious story. It was racing, perfectly paced, and now? My life depends on the sequel. Honestly, a sequel isn't needed because the story ended off perfectly and we readers could imagine a continuing ending that works, but THERE IS ONE COMING AND DAMN, I NEED IT. I NEED HARPERCOLLINS TO SEND ME A COPY ASAP. I'LL TAKE A MANUSCRIPT THAT'S ALL WRITTEN OVER, IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES. Or, I could ask my favourite couple, Nix and Kashmir, to personally deliver it. *twiddles eyebrows*
Nix is your dream definition of a heroine. I loved her personality, and how she dealt with the situation she was in. She had every right to be confused and feel discomfort with her life, because she was taken away from what was supposed to be her future. It was interesting for us to get a first-hand look at the life she would've had if her father hadn't began Navigating for Nix's mother in the past, in nineteenth century Hawaii. She wasn't one of those protagonists who hated everyone around her for unexplainable reasons, you know? I found myself totally relating to her wanderlust, and NOW I WANT TO TRAVEL. People with severe wanderlust, this book is for you to take a trip with.
"Paradise is a promise no god bothers to keep. There's only now, and tomorrow nothing will be the same, whether we like it or not" (390).
KASHMIR AND BLAKE. Guys, we have a slight love triangle here, but unless you're really affected by them, you'll be fine. Blake is a character we are introduced to halfway through the novel, and he is living in the Hawaii that Nix visits with The Temptation. He hides this secret that he is also a mapmaker, and Nix is immediately drawn to his mysteriousness. I would be, too. I loved Blake and his mysterious character, but honestly? My heart is for the gorgeous Kashmir. Kashmir is Nix's best friend, and they have known each other for a long time. He is also a thief, and helps Nix's father to all of the deeds that Nix herself would never want to do. AGH. My heart flutters like hell when he's in a chapter. I need them to be together. She's kind of torn between the two, and I wonder how the next book will patch things up. AND GUYS. THE ENDING? Nix is well... *SPOILER* stuck with them both. Hah. *SPOILER ENDS*
So what I had a slight issue with was the ending itself. That was just chaotic and I found that it happened so fast that I didn't know what exactly happened. I still don't even know. I don't know how Nix's father made the decision that he did, and I had to go over the last chapter or so a few times, but it still was foggy. I need a greater explanation, PLEASE. But that's cool, fine. I LOVE THIS BOOK, OH EM GEE.
The Girl From Everywhere is one of the most stunning debuts I have ever read. WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (who cares about the love triangle? It works!), a heroine who is one of a kind, and a plot slash story that I cannot get out of my head. This book seems like a dream, I can't believe I was so fortunate to read it, because it's unlike anything that my brain would ever come up with in a million years. Who knows? Maybe I could Navigate into 2017 and grab a copy from the amazing Heidi herself. THAT WOULD BE THE BEST....more
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | noun | 1. a book that is the pure definition of sumore!TheThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | noun | 1. a book that is the pure definition of summer and everything that it holds. 2. a book that features tons of cute dogs where readers grow overly attached to them. 3. a beautiful story of friendship, real love and all of the good stuff in life.
Morgan Matson is my favourite contemporary author of all time, residing with John Green in my golden shelves of awesomeness (one day, I vow that I will actually possess this shelf), but if you know me, you mostly likely already knew that. The Unexpected Everything was probably my most-anticipated read of the year, and it definitely reached its expectations, though a tiny bit on the lower side. As usual, Morgan's writing drags, just like mine tends to do when I'm in school, writing an essay and I discover that I can't stop overdosing on words. That's exactly what happened in this case, and what has happened with every single book by Matson. When I first saw the page count, 517 pages made me feel giddy, overly excited. Honestly? How could a YA novel that is all contemporary-romance stem towards a 500+ page count? You have to be an amazing writer, which Morgan is, but you also have to have this idea that doesn't get boring and that could progress into this greater page count.
The Unexpected Everythingwas expected for me to enjoy. I just knew that I would love it. Dogs? A nerdy-cute love interest? A girl who's smart and obsessed with school? A book that is written throughout a period of a whole summer? These all looked like things that I would love about this book, and it seriously is true. This was such a good read. Now, I don't know how I would be able to live a summer like our protagonist, Andie, had, because that was just chaotic (and awesome at the same time), and as always, I just loved the mentality and extra moral that Morgan adds to her stories time after time.
Before we get to anything, we NEED TO discuss the puppies/dogs. I actually never had a clue that Morgan's story would revolve around dogs. At all. I just thought the cute dogs on the cover huddled around the model (who is supposed to be Andie) were just a nice addition. EVERY DOG MENTIONED, I WOULD JUST GO BACK TO THE COVER. Guys, you see the adorable, big, fluffy white dog? THAT IS BERTIE. NOT "BIRDIE" (that made me laugh out loud honestly), but Bertie. He is the cutest thing on Earth and I seriously was so overly-attached to him that I want to name my future child Bertie. (Even if I have a girl) Bertie is "Clark's dog," without stating any spoilers. I love him. And Clark. But especially Bertie.
"Books were everywhere. Not in haphazard piles—there was absolutely nothing about this place that seemed haphazard—but there were floor-to-ceiling built-ins on all sides of this very large room, and they were absolutely rammed with books. It was the kind of room—big couches, comfy chairs—that you would expect a TV in, but I didn't see one anywhere. All I could see were books" (116).
I would also like to thank Morgan for appreciating books. A big theme of this story is booknerds and loving books in general. Our protagonist, Andie, never really reads unless it's school-related (HOW DARE SHE?!), but once she meets Clark, secret book-nerd/author, her appreciation grows. Morgan also adds in excerpts from what would be Clark's books, which I also formed a bond with. Man, this author just makes readers bond with everything/everyone!
Basically, this story is so relatable. Not about dog-walking or the romance between Clark and Andie, but because of Andie herself. I LOVED HER. Andie is the daughter of a Congressman, who is a single father after Andie's mother died from ovarian cancer. She loves school, plans on going into pre-med, is looking into internships, plans everything out, has her life planned out, and has a great group of friends who always support her. It sounds perfect, right? Her internship fails. Her father doesn't act like a father. Her relationships only last three weeks. Her summer job is dog-walking. I loved how Morgan looks at imperfections and creates the summer of a lifetime (with many flaws) for Andie and her friends. Friendship was a hugely important theme of this story, and I loved how tight-knit Andie's group was. Toby, Bri, Palmer, Tom and Clark all had their own personalities which made this a really fun read. I couldn't just pick my favourite character. They were all astonishing.
As Morgan had in every book of hers, especially Since You've Been Gone, romance is a big factor, but not everything. That is why I like to call Morgan's stories real and inspiring, because they closely live up to the lives of teenagers. BUT THE ROMANCE WAS REAL. Candie, Ark, whatever ship name you would like to provide the two, they were perfect for each other. Clark was just the happiest, most hilarious fictional boyfriend of any heroine and I just loved how awkward he was and how quickly he did become comfortable with Andie.
Cheers to the father-daughter relationship and how Matson keeps implanting the fact that Andie's life isn't perfect. I must admit, I hated Andie's dad for the first half of the book, but he kept making me smile and laugh. I have to praise that precious relationship, you know?
"We said our good-byes and headed out shortly after that. I got into the Mustang, running my hand over the steering wheel for just a moment before checking the time and realizing I had to get going. There was someone I needed to meet" (516).
So at times, this book dragged. It became boring and I just wanted that boring phase to get by before the good stuff came around. There were those every now and then, and I honestly wanted this book to be perfect, and to be honest, it wasn't fully. But I still loved it. IT'S TOO LONG, ALTHOUGH I LOVE MORGAN'S WRITING. If this were fantasy... that'd be a different story.
If only I had a summer like this... *sighs* Cheers to dogs, Bertie, romance, pizza, scavenger hunts, road-trips to tell someone you love them, Diet Coke and fantasy novels! As always, I am so impressed with Morgan Matson's work and this is the reason why I read contemporary-romance: to get in a specific mood. Now? I need to go to the pool and kind of wash my brain a little because it hurts. Five-hundred-and-seventeen pages in a row (basically) does hurt your head....more
Holy footballs. Yes, my friends, this book is weird. Yes, it comes wimore!This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
*4.5 star rating*
Holy footballs. Yes, my friends, this book is weird. Yes, it comes with a twist and is debatable for some people. Yes, I told my friends about it and they were a little scarred by the concept. Yes, you need to read it. Yes, I adored it. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn had me hooked into reading this book from the moment when I spotted the cover for the first time on Goodreads, ages ago. This is a book that touches upon all of the concepts and themes that many Young Adult fiction authors are afraid of touching upon on today, in our prejudicial, judgmental society: feminism, sex, first love and absolute rawness. I would be lying if I said that Firsts wasn't amazing, that it didn't give me everything I wanted in a book like this, that I didn't feel some instant connection to our heroine, Mercedes, and her weirdness. Her confidence. Her development. This, by foremost, is the best contemporary debut I have ever seen. Okay, that's a little exaggerated, but that's how my mood is.
I read this two months ago. Two months ago, I was the same person. So please do not think that my opinion has changed. It didn't. Firsts is just such a compelling, real story that is like a guide for feminism and for girls, that we have the power and capability to do whatever we want, that we shouldn't be used as objects or as different people. Equality, people. I haven't ever been such a strong feminist or have been interested in learning about women's rights, but after Flynn's impressive story, I feel like I need to read a book or two... or fifty about it. We have a real story. That's the thing that I loved about this book the most. You see, the synopsis makes this sound completely absurd and not right, but depending on your opinion of things or situations like this, you could be in love with this like I was.
Firsts contains a heroine, Mercedes, who is basically letting virgin boys test their "skills" (I am blushing typing that out because it sounds so weird) on or with her. It's messed up, yeah (it's cheating, yeah) but it gives her this confidence that she could help out, somehow. Her mother doesn't have a care in the world of what Mercedes does, and unlike her perfect-Catholic best friend, Angela, who is in a long-term relationship and is very happy, she still undergoes this confusion with the relationships that she wants to stay, specifically that with this HOT guy named Zach. At the same time, Mercedes is super-smart and is hoping to get into MIT. Basically, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn throws this interesting plot into a high school setting where we readers feel this crazy tension that her secret will be exploded into the hallways and she will be called everything that a girl will never want to be called.
I love how the synopsis (thanks, St. Martin's Griffin!) calls this book an one-of-a-kind read about growing up. These kinds of things affect every teenager everyday. Yeah, I would never in a million years do the things that Mercedes does (except for applying to MIT and making out with Zach!), but we see this stereotypical image of teenage girls all over the place, on social media and beyond. Why not take a stand? I mean, everyone has this different image of themselves. Many use their physical beauty as a way to boost their confidence, others intelligence, others physical abilities such as sports. For Mercedes, it was sex. And what a funny thing, her nickname is Mercy.
So girls, this is your anthem. You will be instantly addicted to this story, I know I was, and I can't stop thinking about it until this day. There are steamy scenes that make your heart turn inside out from time to time, and then we see a side of Mercy that begs for that cute romance that many teenage girls aspire to have. I find that authors these days like to speed things up for their characters, making impossible things happen to them during high school, where I am unable to relate to any of it all because I know that I will never do those things, but this book contains those different themes and such that I, myself, could relate to. Flynn touches upon everything: sex, school itself, drama, slut-shaming, friendship, actual love, forgiveness... perhaps everything that we could possibly think of. All of these themes affect us in one way or another, and I just love how they were blended in; I couldn't stop reading.
Now, I am going to dedicate this paragraph to Zach. AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH GBOGEIUBGEIGFJIIRYQUHRW OMGGG! I wish I could upload a video of myself fangirling here. No, I would never do that, haha. But.. I loved the relationship that he and Mercy had and my heart can't stop squirming and I cannot stop freaking out. I wish there was a novella from his perspective because it seemed that he liked Mercy from the start of the book and AHHHHHHHHH! *calms down* I apologize. Anyhow.
The only thing that I could pick at in this novel is the beginning portion where I wasn't so sure what would occur with Mercy's character, but that quickly subsided. Let's just blur that whole sentence out so we could pretend that there wasn't a thing wrong with this book. Speaking of wrong, MY FRIEND REALLY UPSET ME WHEN SHE THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS DUMB. If you think that this book sounds/is dumb, get out. *laughs and pats you on the back*
Firsts is easily a favourite for me, and I need to buy my own special copy and surround her with my golden books. I read this thanks to my library, but it's time for me to get my own personal guide. Girls of all ages (no, I'm kidding, of a certain age) GET THIS BOOK. Read it and love it and kiss it and hug it because I'm telling you, there is no other book like this in the entire universe. I am so ecstatic to read Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's next books in the near future!...more
This book is life, honestly. I seriously could not believe that I loved it so much! You know whmore!ThisThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
This book is life, honestly. I seriously could not believe that I loved it so much! You know when your expectations blow you away and you discover that a book was just so freaking amazing when your initial reaction was down the toilet? Yeah, that is what happened with Faith Gardner's Perdita. It's mesmerizing, but not full of fantasy as I expected it to be. Sure, our main character, Arielle, sees ghosts, but it is not the main point or theme of the novel. In fact, it is just a small itsy-bitsy plot addition that made readers and myself want to continue reading. It was full of racing, heart-pounding moments where I, myself, wanted to solve the mystery and help the characters deal with the grief that they have been going through, in multiple layers—like a top-tiered cake.
This was a story that had many layers, when you think about it. No, seriously. There was romance (a gorgeous one, in fact), a paranormal mystery and loss. Everything that is the worst possible situation in your life was switched and crumbled into this beautiful story. I adore this cover, the water lily making the book seem so dark with a few rays of light making me feel better. This is a special book, no doubt about it.
"It's not easy having a shrink for a mom—she's rarely home, and when she is, she's got all sorts of theories about my behaviour. Most if not every one of those theories often leads back to what I "could do better" and ways I "could improve." Fun stuff. Anyway, I could definitely improve my being a teenage scaredy-cat, apparently." (20)
Arielle was the absolute highlight of Faith Gardner's tale. Her attitude was contrasting, different than every other protagonist's personality with a whip of her own thing going on. She was naïve, but in that interesting way that did not give the answer and solution of the issues in the book out to all readers from the fiftieth page or so. It is a quick, juicy read that made me tremble, need a blanket, and a cup of good ole hot chocolate to warm me up because MAN, that was overwhelmingly scary. I find that I am being shocked quite a bit lately with these new thrillers coming into my face. Egh.
This mystery made absolute sense. When Gardner flashed the answer to readers' eyes and when Arielle herself solved it like a good Nancy Drew, I understood why. I find that authors sometimes are not the best at keeping a secret for a long time, and hints are given out throughout the whole story. This? Nada, nothing. And I loved it. I was not here reading it so I could find the answer myself and then rant for the whole review, saying that it was given away. No sir-ee. The answers were put out, we discovered a little more insight on the side characters who seemed too suspicious for this story to go on without them, and the story moved on, sadly.
I'm not looking for a sequel, but for more by Faith Gardner. Her writing instantly flows with the mood and themes of the book. The clip at the cover of the novel, "Is a dead girl trying to reach her?" has nothing to do with the story, and although that was a horrible mistake, it did shock me to see how much I actually enjoyed the story. The romance was there, I fell in love with the characters and the way the events progressed as I flipped through the pages. More contemporary novels should be like Perdita, it is a guideline, in fact, for enjoyment.
"I could go. I can imagine it. I could hop on the back of his motorcycle and we could ride to another state. Somewhere snowy in the winter, somewhere nestled in pine trees, some small town where no one knows who the Delaneys or the Dells are. We could get jobs, GEDs. We could start a life together. We could be so happy." (219)
It is so realistic, as you could see from the quote above. It is absolutely difficult to mix a contemporary with paranormal and hope for the best... but Faith did it. And I seriously recommend this book to all, wishing for everyone to give it a chance (GIVE IT LOVE) and adore it as much as I did. It was truly magical. Wooo!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a finished copy to review!*...more
This is just the most genius bundle of authors all together. E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracmore!ThisThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
This is just the most genius bundle of authors all together. E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski are all contemporary favourite authors of mine who just did it. I expected amazingness, but this honestly blew me away. Being published again after years with a brand-new modernized cover that seems to fit the mood that the book presents absolutely, this was fabulous. We have a road trip tale that fits the mood for any time of the year, whether it is the dead middle of winter (in my case) or if you're on the beach. These fabulous ladies talk about the Waffle House, Disney World and the smallest police station on the planet. What more can a girl ask for? (Romance is also included, in case you were wondering).
How to Be Bad did not necessarily teach me how to be bad, you know? Parents, please do not be discouraged with giving this book to your teenage daughter. These girls are rebels but so amazing that you could not help but fall in love with each of their distinct personalities. This is a carefree, feministic novel about the power of girls and how we do not need a man to be labelled as free or caring. These girls drift away from the norm, from being girls in a small town in Florida, to girls driving around with a different meaning than they originally expected.
Three girls. A road trip that seems kind of forbidden. Romance comes along the way and amazing things happen. In three abrupt sentences, I could describe the plot of this book very quickly but it actually has more in it than we expect. Jesse, Vicks and Mel do not know much about each other (mostly) and they all work together at their local Waffle House. When Vicks misses her boyfriend too much and decides to all head to Miami, they head for a trip of a lifetime.
"Beer is not my friend. Beer made me not a friend to my friends. Beer made me not my own friend." (157)
(That quote is hilarious). THE PLOT OF THIS BOOK. PEOPLE—I READ THIS IN ONE EAGER SITTING. I could not put it down, my feels were exploding all over the place and I just wanted so many things to additionally come from this novel. It was practically perfect. You never know what amazing novel will come to you until you read it. Agh. Now, let's round off the main chicks into three paragraphs because I just love them all.
Jesse: Jesse is that girl who is ready to come out of her shell. She is extremely religious, and us readers see that throughout the novel. Whenever she does something, she decides that she has to look at her decisions from a religious perspective. She is the one who initially decided to make the road trip thing happen. She takes her mom's car, and makes everything happen. I didn't like her character too too much compared to Mel especially, but her story is touching.
Vicks: The absolute badass of the group. She has reasons for what she does and even though I cannot imagine myself as her (no guts, people) it's interesting to look up to her.
Mel: I love her. She's innocent and just has that right attitude to make readers intrigued to every page/word of the book. She made my experience of the book ten times more fantastic.
"There's this thing the rain does in Florida. It trickles for a few minutes, and then the sky goes suddenly black and before you know it, you're standing in a waterfall. It's not even cold out; the water can be warm." (167)
How to Be Bad was that book that I became so obsessed with after. I need a sequel, a million sequels that will warm my heart. Myracle, Lockhart and Mlynowski all jumbled something that I cannot get over. This was exhilarating, and every single moment is the perfect image of a contemporary novel. I would give this an Oscar or book award. TEENAGE GIRLS, RUN FOR THIS. WHO RUNS THE WORLD? GIRLS....more
It's been a few weeks since I last finished reading this novel and its last beautifulThis review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!
It's been a few weeks since I last finished reading this novel and its last beautiful pages (every single page was honestly beautiful), but I still feel like I'm living in 1890's New York City with Jo Montfort and her family, grieving over the loss of her father and exploring the city. I cannot get over how amazing These Shallow Graves is and was. Easily, I would like to classify this as my most favourite book of the year, and perhaps, one of the best books out of my whole life. This is perfect, beautiful, and I am blessed to have a review copy of it and have gotten it signed by the ah-mazing author who started it all. Jennifer Donnelly, this is your best work yet, and I have read a few books by you. Keep writing historical fiction, and I would ADORE IT if you continued this series and if you let me read more about Eddie and Jo's future in the city where the American dream really began. Agh.
I cannot stop fangirling and freaking out over how amazing this was. From the smooth, precious cover that screams out "mystery" and "beauty," to the fact that Krista Marino, Jennifer's editor, has written a letter inserted in the novel explaining how she loved editing this story and loves everything about it, there is nothing that you cannot love about the story... besides the deaths that occur. I finished this in a day, slowly devouring it all and being unable to put it down. To be honest, I normally finish books in a few hours, but this took me like 10, because I just wanted to enjoy the writing and didn't want to let it go, because I knew, from the start, that this is a standalone novel.
These Shallow Graves began with a boom. We are immediately thrown into Jo Montfort's rich, spoiled world where everything she has ever desired is given to her. Most especially, we are immediately thrown into the world of Jo's thoughts, and how she is a happy feminist, trying to hide her thoughts from her family, because she knows they wouldn't approve. Jennifer Donnelly expresses the theme of feminism throughout, and most especially, the theme of achievement. Jo, our lovely heroine, had huge dreams, and alongside the fact that she is trying to solve the mystery behind her father's death throughout the story, she is finding her place in the world, in the city where these dreams are granted to those who seek them.
The pacing was fabulous. It seemed as if it was completely natural, but I knew that deep down, Donnelly planned the whole story out, planning out Jo's character development and how she would spend time with Eddie to fight crime in New York City. The plot was exceptional, and I was never bored—ever. It was racing and I legitimately wanted to bite my nail-beds off. I was that anxious throughout, because I felt that something could happen to Jo and her family at any moment.
"Eddie flooded her senses. He made her giddy. He made her ache. He filled her a hunger that was new and deep and dangerous" (124).
This story takes place in the glorious city of New York, where the Montforts are rich and live a luxurious life. Out of nowhere, her father is killed, and at first—it looks like a suicide. Seeking out information, Jo meets Eddie, a young journalist who works at the newspaper agency that her father owned, alongside her uncle. They go out into the dangerous parts of the city, even though Eddie warns Jo not to, and she eventually discovers that she'd rather live poorly and happily, than rich and unhappy with the life that her parents have planned out for her, like marrying a man who she has known for her whole life, but barely feels anything for, except for friendship.
Jo is my most favourite heroine. HOLY GRAVES (that was an intended pun), SHE HAD SO MUCH INDEPENDENCE AND A PERSONALITY THAT NO ONE CAN BEAT. I love reading about girls who take a stand in their lives, and this takes place in an era that I have never read about before, but have always wanted to read about. Jo feels that other journalists are such inspirations for her, and that is something new and improved in YA fiction, because instead of a mother or sister, Jo looks up to someone in the same profession field that she would like to work in.
I have been putting off this review ever since I finished it because I knew that I would write until the world ended. The characters, the plot, the setting, the timeframe, everything was so magnificent. Yay for the minor characters like Fay who surprise us, initially looking like people who Eddie and Jo shouldn't trust, later impressing us with their kindness and love for helping people out. Now, let's move on to Eddie. HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY. This guy makes me blush every time he speaks and I just cannot help but fall in love with him. I have realized that I have a thing for journalists right now. Eddie is the perfect companion for Jo and oh my gosh, I just adored him and her together. The romance wasn't everything, but it was something so powerful that was specially created to fit the story.
This is historical fiction created with so many interesting tweaks about setting and society—I was addicted. I loved the way society worked at the time of this story, I honestly feel like I was so connected to the posh lifestyle of Jo. We see a jump from place to place, learning about the area of SoHo that Jo and her family live in, and even landmarks that we currently know of today in the city that never sleeps. Adding moments where we learn about prostitution and crime at the time, I couldn't help but want to read more online afterwards.
"He pulled her close and kissed her again. In his arms, she no longer knew where she was or who she was, only what she wanted—him. The strength of her feelings frightened her. This passion was the wind that would push her off the cliff and leave her broken on the rocks" (179).
I would like to warn future readers of a love triangle. That did not bother me at all, and honestly? It clicked and worked. Jo is torn between a man who she doesn't love, but who could provide her with all of the luxuries that her life currently has been giving her, as well as a good reputation for her family, the Montforts, or a man who makes her so happy, shares the same passions as her, but who isn't rich at all. I think we all know who the winner here truly is.
GOSH AND THAT ENDING? THAT WAS ACTION-PACKED AND EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED. I was seriously shocked because Donnelly kept fooling us. On one page, we were sure that Jo would choose her life to go one way, but then things change suddenly and she ended up choosing the best thing of all. Jennifer ends up leaving us off with an open ending, leaving us to dream about Jo's future and what would happen next. Sometimes, those are the endings that work.
These Shallow Graves deserves all of the possible book awards, and I just wish that it got more publicity, all of the publicity ever. Everything is beautiful about it and I am so grateful that I cherished my experience of reading it slowly and wonderfully. This is a time-traveling experience for every teen reader—an experience where we are thrown into the best setting possible, in the best time era, with an electrifying romance, with the best ending, and a plot twist that will practically blow your brains out. I am not giving you any other choice but to go and pick it up right now. This is #1 for everything. CAN I REREAD IT NOW? I am undergoing a severe case of post-book depression.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*...more