Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Young Elites By: Marie Lu

Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy and heart-tearing-out specialist, has returned with a new story about unlikely heroes. But this time, there's magic.

A decade ago, a horrible blood fever swept the kingdom of Estenzia and its neighboring lands. Any adult infected perished, while the children the did survive were left with strange markings and scars. The marked or malfettos as they are known commonly, are shunned for their markings. However, some of the malfettos received more than scars from the blood fever; a select few, known as the Young Elites, also received terrifying abilities. Abilities that make them extremely dangerous to those that would cross them.

image from Amazon
Adelina Amouturu is a malfetto. Hear one eye and silver hair make her stand out like a sore thumb, especially next to her beautiful sister Violetta. But when an a horrible accident brings about the death of her abusive father, Adelina realizes that she may be more than a simple malfetto. And she isn't the only one to realizes this.

The main thing I liked about this book was how complex all of the characters were. No one was any given thing, they were all complicated and unique, not quite fitting into the archetypes of traditional fantasy.

The main thing I did not like about this book was that it started a little slow for my taste. However, it quickly sped up. Also, as is expected from Marie Lu, there were a few scenes of GRAPHIC VIOLENCE that could be disturbing for some readers.

Overall, I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 13, 2017

We Are The Ants By: Shawn David Hutchinson

WARNING: MATURE CONTENT, READER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED!!!

image from Amazon
Henry Denton's life is less than ideal. His mom is working overtime in a job she hates, his jerk brother managed to get his girlfriend pregnant, his Grandmother is slowly loosing herself to Alzheimer's, and his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

Oh yeah, and he is frequently abducted by aliens, who just recently told him that the world will end in 144 days unless he presses a button. Unfortunately for the world, Henry is perfectly happy to sit back and watch it burn, what is there to save anyway?

A book about hope, sorrow, and love, We Are The Ants is a story that is haunting and humorous, sad and soulful, and will have you laughing through tears.

The main thing I liked about this book was the voice of the narrator. Henry has a sense of humor that is as funny as it is sad. He comes off the page as a real person, making the book that much harder to put down.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was the ending, buy hey, no spoilers.

Overall I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(I would also like to issue a potential trigger warning for this book. It delves deep into themes of depression and suicide as they are both major plot points in the book.)

I'll Give You The Sun By: Jandy Nelson

image from Amazon
Twins Noah and Jude have grown up as a single being. Noah is quiet and artistic, he prefers paint to people. In stark contrast, Jude is outgoing, cliff jumping and sculpting flying woman out of sand. Together, they are an unstoppable force, until they are split apart.

The early years - when they are 13 and 14 - are Noah's story. They tell about his dreams of getting into a prestigious art school, and how he is starting to fall for the new boy next door. Along with his loving mother, he see's the world through the eyes of dreamer.

The later years - age 16 - are Jude's point of view. She is the withdrawn girl who's only artistic ability is sculpting pots that always seem to shatter. She and Noah do not talk. With the help of a mysterious sculptor and a beautiful broken boy, Jude begins to mend her own life. But is it too late to rebuild the bond with her brother so that they are NoahandJude once more?

This book is a story of love, family, and grief. One that will remain in your heart long after you finish it.

The main thing I liked about this book was that it was a puzzle of sorts. You new the begging and end of the story, but you had to fill in what came in between. it really kept me on my toes trying to connect all of the dots.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it switched point of views. It is always annoying when you get really into any given story line, only to be forced to wait a whole chapter to find out what happens next.

Overall. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I do need to issue a MATURE CONTENT WARNING for this book. Read at your own discretion.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What Waits in the Woods By: Kieran Scott

What Waits in the Woods on Amazon
Jeremy, Penelope, Lissa, and Callie all venture into the woods. 4 nights, that's all it should be, then Callie will be home. Shopping in New York, with her mom. 4 nights in the woods, how bad can that be? She tries her best to stay positive but a mysterious laughing man, ghost stories, and a tumble of a bridge begin to shake her confidence. Lost and drenched the groups seeks refuge with a new comer, Ted. With friendships and relationships dwindling they follow their new guide skeptical, but trusting in their time of need. Foundations begin to shake when  it seems that an outside force is threatening their lives. What will it take to survive in the woods? Who will have strength to survive? Hidden secrets and lies may be the end of our protagonist. We may not want to know what waits in the woods...
The classic horror story for all those who absolutely love them. Filled with a wilderness adventure, lore like no other, and an exciting plot twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat. While I may not have loved this book, mostly because i'm not into horror, I just know you guys out there with an eye for the spooky sides of things will devour this new novel with a passion. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Highly Illogical Behavior By: John Corey Whaley

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Highly Illogical Behavior on Amazon.com
  16 year old Solomon hasn't left his house since the 7th grade. His condition is widely referred to as agoraphobia, the fear of going outdoors. In Solomon, like most cases, it developed from a panic disorder. He's carried this all his life, and in 7th grade he climbed in a fountain and decided he was fed up with it. He hasn't left his house in almost 4 years, and he's fine with it.
Lisa on the other hand is not. Ambitious High School Senior Lisa has her sights set on a future in psychology. But, to get into her future school she needs a project that sets her apart from the other applicants. This project being Solomon. She will go to any means to, "fix" Solomon and introduce him back into the real world. Through time Solomon, Lisa, and her boyfriend Clark all become insanely close, maybe too close? When jealousy and confusion strikes, tragedy threatens to pull the new found friendship apart. Will Solomon finally be able to rejoin the world, or will Lisa's attempts at help leave him damaged far worse than before.

Filled to the brim with a lovable cast of characters, everyone can find somebody to connect with in John Corey Whaley's novel exploring the interesting world of an Agoraphobic teenager. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece. Highlighting an interesting viewpoint on the complex and ever changing world of the American teenager, it leaves you breathless. 5/5 stars to John Corey Whaley's accurate representation of the fears of coming of age and growing up, all while dealing with the day to day pressures of the world.

Monday, September 18, 2017

All Fall Down By: Ally Carter

Product Details
All Fall Down on Amazon
The first book in the thrilling Embassy Row trilogy focuses on the return of Grace Blakely to Adria, home of Embassy Row. Grace is not crazy, despite popular opinion. Her mother was murdered, it wasn't an accident. The scarred man killed her, and now he's going to kill again. Grace pulls out all the stops to discover the Scarred Man's conniving intentions toward some important employee on Embassy Row. With the help of Noah the classic boy next door and official best friend, Megan the tech wiz, Rosie the acrobat, and Alexie her brother best friend since forever, she plans to foil the plots of the Scarred Man. But with secrets better left untold hiding in the shadows, danger lurks beyond ever cornor for our slightly insane protagonist. A past of loss, and a future not yet foreseen, what lies a head may be the downfall of Grace Blakely once and for all.

Full of colorful twist and turns All Fall Down is a classic government adventure novel. With a plot that engulfs the reader into a world full of corrupt politicians and unlikely alliances, you'll never want to put it down. Ally Carter does it again with this wonderful new edition, that is at home in any teen readers bookshelf.

The Honest Truth By: Dan Geminhart

Product Details
The Honest Truth on Amazon
The mountain was calling him, he had to run away, he had to.
Mark has cancer, he's dying and he knows it. Tired of the coddling, the sad smiles, the looks that are already grieving. He can't do it anymore, won't do it anymore. It's been on off for seven years. Seven years since the phone call that made his mother cry, seven years of treatments and doctors and headaches. He thought he was getting better, for awhile it was clear. But it came back again, and this time hes not sticking around. Armed with the will of a thousand, a backpack, 100$, and his faithful dog Beau. He's going to climb the mountain, even if it kills him

Jess's best friend has disappeared. She knows why he left, but she can't tell. They keep each other's secrets. You don't share secrets. She wants to help him, but doesn't know how to. She could tell the cops, they'd bring him home and he'd be safe. Or she doesn't say anything he can live his dream, or die trying. As the storm gets thicker, so does her dilemma.

The Honest Truth is one of those books that pulls at the heart strings while keeping you on the edge of your seat. A neat new perspective from the eyes of a young boy battling Cancer. Dan Gemeinhart gave an interesting twist to the story by showing both the point of view of Mark and Jess. An excellent quick read for those of us wanting to taste the bittersweet side of life. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

In The Shadow Of Blackbirds By: Cat Winters

The year is 1918 and the world is at war. But back home in the US, the Spanish Influenza terrorizes civilians and spirit photographers are making a good deal of money off of the many mourners.

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Mary Shelley Black wants nothing to do with the many spirit photographers. She thinks that they are a bunch of frauds that only want money. But when strange things start happening to her after the death of a loved one, she finds that there might be more to spiritualism than she originally thought.

Now Mary Shelley must set off on a journey to find out the truth that surround these strange occurrences. Along the way must be careful not say the wrong thing.

Or catch the flu.

The main thing I liked about this book was the mystery aspect. It is difficult to predict what is going to happen next.

The main thing that I didn't like was that it was very slow to begin with. I almost gave up on it a couple times.

Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The 39 Clues: Doublecross: Mission Titanic by Jude Watson

This book is in the mystery and adventure genre. 

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Amazon.com
Amy and Dan Cahill are no longer the heads of the Cahill family. They wanted a life without all of the stress, and they got their wish. Ian Kabra, Lucian, has know taken over at just seventeen years old. He has connections to the most important and powerful people in the world. Ian has been waiting for this for years.
And he has already screwed up.

An old member of the Cahill family has invaded the organization, calling himself the Outcast. The mysterious man has given Ian a test. Four of the world's greatest disasters are to be re-created, and Ian has to stop them. If he doesn't stop them in time, thousands of people will die. But Ian can't do this alone. Back from their vacation early, Amy and Dan have come to help.

What I like about this book is that it had a lot of humor that a lot of the other books didn't have.

I don't really have anything that I didn't like about this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes By: Chris Crutcher

Amazon.com
Burned by her father Sarah has been an outcast for most of her life, Eric on the other hand has recently escaped the outcast life. Having slimmed down with swim team he has begun to integrate back into the regular world of high school. The truest of friends are slowly slipping apart when a catastrophe of massive proportions brings them back together. Sarah has suddenly become catatonic, one day she stops talking and won't move. Eric knows her father is horrible, but does he know how horrible? Sarah is petrified to the point of contemplating suicide. Eric must find a way to save her from her father's tortures and in the process find himself as a person. The only question is can he do it in time?

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a touching story of friendship and overcoming. All people are able to connect to some character in some way. In a way all the characters individual shortcomings and accomplishments are made in effect to the others. It is an exciting and heartfelt story that showed true emotion and emotional
extravagance.
  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Sun Is Also a Star By: Nicola Yoon

Daniel is on track to become a doctor, just as his parents want him to be. But is that really what he wants? Daniel is a poet, he likes to look at life as if everything happens for a reason. He likes having his hair long. He believes in love... On his last day of freedom before he becomes the perfect son his parents want, he intends to blow with the wind. Let fate take him where it may, and hope it knows what it is doing.

Image from Amazon
Natasha has bigger problems than worrying about love. Besides, she doesn't even believe in it. She believes in science: the things that can be proven with cold hard facts and data. She intends to spend her day desperately trying to prevent the inevitable, not meet a cute boy who is the polar opposite of everything she believes...

Daniel and Natasha do not plan on meeting one Autumn day in New York City. But when they do they set foot on an adventure of self discovery, acceptance, and love.

The main thing I liked about this book was that it tells more than just the main character's stories. It tells how Daniel's parents came from Korea, what is going through the mind of a security card that handles Natasha's things, and evan a brief history on African American hairstyles. It shows how much is going on in just one day for so many different people that you would never be able to just see.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was that it had to end! It was so good!

Overall I would give this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars.

(This book was mentioned as a book to read if you are a Hufflepuff but I'm a Slytherin and I loved it!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Before I Fall By: Lauren Oliver

image from amazon
Samantha Kingston's life was good. She had a hot boyfriend, a group of close friends, and was one of the most popular girls in school. Until one night when she went to a party, and Sam's life changed forever, or, more specifically, ended.

Then she woke up. And it was the same day.

Throughout the course of this book, Sam relives the same day seven times. With each time she is forced to redo the day, she learns something new about herself, the people around her, and how everything she does has it's own effect on the world.

The main thing I liked about this book was how it looked at human nature. Sam must change and reinvent herself to better effect the people around her.

The main thing I disliked about this book was that there were a few parts that were a bit hard to follow. It wasn't that bad in this aspect though.

Eleanor & Park By: Rainbow Rowell

image from amazon
Eleanor hates her step-father Richie. He kicked her out of the house for a year, drinks too much, and forced them to move to a dinky house in Omaha without even a bathroom door. Now Eleanor must start at a new school where her strange clothes make her an outcast. She would hate everything about Omaha, if she never met Park.

Park doesn't fit in. Though he has lived in Omaha all his life, being half-Korean makes him the odd one out. His dad thinks he's a wimp and so does his kid brother. Park can't wait to get his driver's license and get out. But one day there's a new girl on the bus, and she sits with him.

Eleanor and Park don't even start as friends, but slowly they begin to care for eachother. This beautiful love story takes place in 1980's Omaha, Nebraska and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips and warmth to your heart.

The main thing that I liked about this book is that it's just a genuinely happy book. Of course it still had some intensity and parts to make you tear up, but for the most part, it was very happy.

The main thing I disliked about this book was that it ended. The ending itself was also very frustrating.

Overall I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What book should you read based on your Hogwarts House?

 : I came across this article while spending my time absentmindedly scrolling through Pinterest. As a Slytherin, I have enjoyed the two books that I have read from this list (Heartless and Three Dark Crowns) and look forward to reading the third. I have also read one of the Ravenclaw books (Replica) and was satisfied with it. I hope this book can help you find your next great book. And finally, remember, draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

click here for full article

Angelfall by: Susan Ee

Product Details
Angelfall


The apocalypse has settled on Earth. The Angels have come and the world is taken into their deadly grip. Death and destruction reign true as humanity slowly slips into darkness. What the world needs is a hero but that's not who Penryn is, she is just a daughter of man, a human girl trying to survive. If life wasn't hard enough before the apocalypse it might as ell be hell now (literally). Her schizophrenic mother crippled her sister when they were very young. A disability like that gets you killed now-a-days. How is Penryn supposed to protect little Paige from Angels and Demons if she can't protect her from their own mother? That's one of the many questions Penryn asks herself when Paige is stolen by Angels. SHe must team up with a wingless vengeful Angel named Rafe to save her sister, and maybe just maybe the world in the process. But will she get there in time.

Angelfall is a thrilling apocalyptic novel with twist and turns at every page. An amazing cliff-hanger end accompanied by the growing hunger and suspense for what follows keeps readers on their toes awaiting the next book. The way what we know about religion and pop culture blend together to make this wondrous tale is beyond me. It's a swirling storm of family, trust, and daring. A resistance novel mixed with magic and  a moral. Truly fantastic.

Gifted by: H. A. Swain


Product Details
Gifted

Throughout the book we see the government trying to dictate who the citizens are. They use special schooling and medical procedures to decide who will be a popstar, a scientist, a warehouse worker, and a big shot. Who a person naturally is and becomes isn’t allowed. Society gets to decide not the individual. That is why we see rebellions more commonly known as “brain activist”. These people are fighting for their right to think freely and be who they want to be, not who they're told to be.The whole population is conforming to one man's idea of a perfect society. In this “utopia” your own thoughts aren’t even yours. They are patented and sold by Chason Industries. Only certain select members of the elite are able to afford ASA’s that allow them to become gifted. Without these procedures you are not allowed to have a career in anything. The big shot corporate manager of Chason Industries controls all of society and this cannot continue. It’s time people stood up for themselves and showed the world that their brains aren’t just there for the taking.


This book is one of the better books I have read but lacks a certain crucial piece of a story. It has no falling action and very little conclusion. It seems that the climax is practically the ending. You have this extreme build up to a moment of pure suspense and then are just dropped right into the end. It is one of my extreme pet peeves and bothers me greatly. 3/5 stars.

The Slave Dancer: by Paula Fox

Image from Amazon.com
Jesse Bollier was heading down to get some groceries for his mother... but on the way, he was kidnapped! When the canvas bag is pulled off of his head, it is revealed that he is on a ship. Purvis, a crewman, tells Jesse that he'll be playing his fife for kings and princes, but the sick reality is that he's really on a slave ship, and that he has to play to make sure the slaves don't die.

I personally liked the book. By all means, it wasn't my favorite [I was kinda forced to read it...], but it was still good. It had an interesting plot, and I actually thought it was real for a while [it isn't, it's just historical fiction].

I had a few problems with it, one being that it was kinda hard to keep up with the characters and who was who and what their motive was... seriously, how did the guy who befriended Jesse turn into a total jerk?

Either way... it was kind of confusing, but overall a good book.
I give it 3.5/5 stars.
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The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Image from Amazon.com
Jennifer E. Smith's book "The Geography of You and ME", is a fantastic book involving adventure,
action, and a riveting story of love.

The daughter of rich parents who are constantly traveling the world gets stuck in a NYC citywide blackout. Stuck in the elevator of her apartment building she meets Owen, the new superintendent's son. They have a connection filled night under the rare stars on the rooftop. Though their parents both make the move, Edinburgh to London, San Francisco, to Seattle, their connection doesn't brake. Will the two find a way to come back to each other? Only time will tell (but point zero in Paris might help too).

I would recommend this 5 star book to anyone who enjoys a good love story.

Need by: Joelle Charbonneau

NerdProblems
This book falls into the category of realistic fiction and a bit of romance.


“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”


At Wisconsin's Nottawa High School, there is a new . . . trend, you could say, going around. This is not just any "trend" though. This one can very well end with death, yet does anyone particularly care? Not really. Ask for anything that you can imagine, money, a car, a house . . . a gun. Need can get whatever you desire for a price, of course. All you have to do is complete a task and take a picture of it. Whether the task be break into someone's house or even kill someone, the task must be completed.


As this new trend rises, so does the body count.


What I liked about this book is that it gives you a lot of reasons to suspect a lot of different people so that it wasn't all that easy to figure out who was running the site.


I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Water for Elephants By: Sara Gruen

I was finishing my veterinary degree at Cornell when everything changed. All I wanted to do was work with my father at his animal clinic. I never planned on joining the circus. Or falling in love.

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Now I am 90 years old, or 93, I'm not sure. I'm stuck in "assisted living" with a bunch of men and women that have long since lost their marbles even though they are years younger than I am. No one could ever imagine my story. Sometimes, however, that's all I can do.

The main thing I liked about this book is how it switched time periods. There was an amazing story happening in the past while in the present, there is an equally compelling story. I also liked how the author used the present to wrap up loose ends. It was much better than simply saying what happened.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was, because this is an adult novel, it was very mature in spots. Read at your own discretion.

Overall, I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley Cerra

Image from Amazon.com
Jake Green is struggling with every-day middle school troubles. He's annoyed that he's not the cross-country team captain, mad that a new addition to the team gets that spot, and even more angry when his old friends start welcoming the new guy who stole his spot.

Then September 11th happens, and his whole world is changed. His best friend Sam-- a Muslim American-- is suddenly distant and suspicious as the community begins to suspect his family had something to do with the attacks. Sam's mother is paranoid and moody and suddenly seems to not trust her son. Sam's father is still traveling, even in the aftermath of the attacks. And Bobby-- the school bully-- is worse than ever. He's even starting to become physically violent. How will Jake cope in a world where everything seems stacked against him?

If the reader can stick it through the build up of the first 30 or so pages, the book definitely hooks you as the events unfold. After reading the teaser, I knew the book would be about 9/11, and I think I was just anxious to get to that part in the book-- this made the beginning feel a bit slow. Though the book is slow at first, I really liked the point of view that this books shares. Jake's post-9/11 fears and anger will really strike a chord with adult readers who remember the experience, and it will do a great job informing younger readers about the true effects of that day on average American citizens. It also gives a timely warning of what happens when we allow our choices to be tainted with prejudice and unfounded fears.

 I'd give this book a 4/5 stars!