Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn


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Title: The Darkest Lie
Author: Pintup Dunn
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Pages: 287
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Year Published: 2016
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "It's time to view the body."

"The mother I knew would never do those things. But maybe I never knew her after all."

Clothes, jokes, coded messages... Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six month ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe's been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she's volunteering at the school crisis hotline- the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe's lingering suspicions about her mom's death resurface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn't just a matter of restoring her mother's reputation, it's about saving lives- including CeCe's own..."

My Rating: 3/5

I would like to start with the fact that this book has triggers for sexual assault, assault, depression and suicide. Going into this I didn't realize that it was a thriller/mystery so when I started to read and those aspects came to light, it threw me off reading this book. That being said, I sped read the last half of this book due to the mystery and my interest in "who done it". I think that while this book was an interesting read, it wasn't all I wanted it to be and the mystery aspect (while entertaining) didn't turn out to be as shocking or surprising as I hoped. Overall this was just an OK read for me, but I would be interested to read more works by the author.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

This novel wasn't at all what I expected. When I'd heard of this book it had been described as a contemporary, which is the romance aspects I suppose it is. But other than that it's a sexual thriller. I don't know if that description makes sense to anyone but me. But here we go. Throughout this novel, we follow CeCe whose mother committed suicide after a student came forward stating that she had sex with him. Even after the mystery aspect is put out there this book does a strange thing where it switches between a love triangle and how bullied CeCe is mixed in with the idea that this suicide was likely a murder. It also seemed when reading the description that CeCe and Tabitha (her mother) were quite close but we see little evidence of this throughout the book itself. Needless to say, this wasn't my favourite book although I look forward to reading some of the authors other works. 

Characters:
CeCe: I think that while she was an interesting character to read from, she was very gullible at many plot points. As well as the fact that she seemed more interested half the time in boys than solving what happened to her mother. Ah to be a high school senior again...

Tabitha: For me, this was the most hard-hitting part of the book. It showed the things that her mother had kept from her daughter. Times of abuse, depression and the rumours that spread about her. I think that she was the most developed character throughout this story.

Sam: He was alright. He kinda had the whole Clark Kent thing going for him. Nerdy, but buff. I also appreciated that he wasn't willing to hurt everyone to get his story. I can admire that. 

Liam: Ok this is sick, but I wish that his backstory had been expanded on so we could learn more about the way his father treated him related to Tabitha and how he came to the idea to one-up his father. 

Tommy: Shows what a "small" rumour can actually do.


Memorable Moments:

Final Line: "Let them stare."


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


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Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 328
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Year Published: 2013
Format: Audiobook

"Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough... Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises... Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds- smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try."

My Rating: 5/5

This is my first Rainbow Rowell book and wow, I loved it way more than I thought. This story is an important one to hear and more than just a cutesy romance. It's so much more than that. It's giving hope to true love and trying to believe in something bigger than ourselves. This is ridiculous sounding as I read it back, but if you've read this book you'll know what I mean. Or maybe you won't. But this story really just hit me hard. It made me feel too many things, so many that I haven't in a long time while reading a contemporary. I can't wait to read more by Rainbow Rowell and feel more of the feels. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Review: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


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Title: Anna and The French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series/Standalone: Anna and The French Kiss (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 372
Publisher: Speak
Year Published: 2013
Format: Audiobook 


"Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theatre, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Etienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken- and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?"

My Rating: 3.75/5

This book was a fun little contemporary. I think what really makes or breaks this series for a reader and lucky for me I really liked the majority of our characters. They were relatable in more than a few ways. For example the idea of moving on from high school to college, drinking, finding your true friends and learning who you really are. 
That being said, I think the cheating aspects of this book is troublesome. Especially if people are idolizing the relationship that Anna and Etienne had. I understand aspects of why the relationship took place the way it did, but other aspects were troublesome. The idea of teens thinking that the first part of this relationship is healthy bothers me. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Book Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi


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Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series/Standalone: Shatter Me Series (Book #3)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 408
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2014
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "I am an hourglass."

"The fat of Omega Point is unknown.
Everyone Juliette cares about may be dead. now Juliette is the only one standing in The Reestablishment's way. But to take them down, as well as Anderson, the man that nearly killed her. Juliette needs the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-- about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-- was wrong."

My Rating: 5/5

This is what some thought would be the last installment in a trilogy, but the jokes on us the series has been continued to a 6 book series. So who knows if what I thought would be an ending will continue to be the ending. I know that a lot of people are not a fan of this last book (which is interesting to me because it has a very high rating on Goodreads). I think that this ending is exactly what I hoped for. I found myself having to put this book down and pace during the stressful times in this storyline. Our characters have changed so much since the first book which readers either love or hate. I'm clearly on the love side of this series. I can't wait to continue on with the next book coming out this upcoming spring. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Here we all thought this was a trilogy and then Tahereh Mafi pulls out 3 more books! I can't wait. That being said I'm content with the ending and the way the love triangle ended in this series. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Adam and I have a lot of thoughts about how these next three books might undo the process of Juliette loving Warner. That might just be my panicky fangirl thoughts. Tahereh's writing is beautiful and soul-crushing. The descriptions in this series are terribly beautiful  (does anyone know what I'm trying to say?). I would also like to note that these books do contain a few intimate relationship details (although they are not phrased in a way that makes it completely apparent). Just in case you are a young reader and not interested in sexual aspects of a relationship.
I loved these first three books and plan to continue with the series as soon as possible.

Characters:
Juliette: Her character growth was amazing to witness and an important message to all of us. That we're allowed to change and grow into different people. Although, it was painful to watch her have to explain this to those around her time and time again. I think that she truly became a badass character in this novel and kicked so much ass! I can't wait to see what happens next in her story.

Aaron/Warner: Yes he has had to make severe choices and his reasoning is not an excuse for many of his actions, but I do still love him. As problematic as it may be. I really enjoyed learning more about his life and how he became who he was. I can't wait to see how their relationship continues in the next book. And yes I'll be incredibly mad if they don't stay together.

Adam: Let's all be honest, he was a real dink in this book. He was rude and obviously didn't care that they had already broken up. He was acting so selfishly for the majority of the book that I had a lot of trouble finding a redeeming quality about him. 

Kenji: He's a sweet guy and I love his dynamic with Juliette (especially because she had a guy best friend... it's the 21st century people). He's sweet and playful but still has enough emotion to be a realistic character in my mind. 

Castle: I really think that he took being pushed down from leadership rather well. No not the best, but pretty ok. I was impressed. 

James: This kids life is totally going to expand into these next 3 books and I can't wait to see what happens to him and around him. 


Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "'I can't wait to watch them try.'"


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Book Review: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan


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Title: The Titan's Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Series/Standalone: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #3)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology
Pages: 320
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Year Published: 2008
Format: Audiobook (Own a physical copy)

"It's not everyday you find yourself in combat with a half-lion, half-human.
But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive."


My Rating: 5/5

I've been writing that this whole series is a reread for so many reviews and that it's getting old, but just know this is the same. I am rereading these books after about 6-8 years so it's a very different perspective I'm taking. This book really stepped the series up for me. We see that our main character has grown, and I found that he was even more relatable in this book (which is saying something because I'm a 22-year-old woman, not a 14-year-old boy). I thought that this book was action packed and full of turns that I only saw coming because of my memory. I can't wait to continue to listen to the audiobooks (I'm loving the narration). Unfortunately, I have to wait for the 4th book to be available from overdrive but I will be getting to it soon.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

I've enjoyed this reread like crazy. There is my disclaimer. I'm loving this series more and more as I read through it and watch as Rick Riordan's writing grows (and that's saying something because the first book is pretty amazing). I think that our characters grow so much in this installment in the series. This is the first book where we visit the camp in the winter and see once again how serious the conflict in this story is becoming.

Characters:
Percy: He's grown up and learned how to take responsibility for his actions. That being said he has a lot more growing up to do in order to continue on in the series. I also hear that he appears in other series so I'm curious to see how he changes that way.

Annabeth: We don't see as much of her in this book which was an interesting way to take the story. It gave us a chance to be introduced to different characters and see how she affected Percy.

Artemis: I was very interested in her portrayal in this story. I loved that she was so badass but was willing to admit that even she needs help sometimes.

Zoe: I cried in a public place when I realized that she was really gone. It's so frustrating to see such a strong female character get knocked out of the story. I understand why it had to happen and it's so thoughtfully planned out, but it doesn't mean that it didn't pull at my heartstrings. 

Thalia: I never saw her becoming a huntress but at the same time it makes sense. She seems to fit in well, even though she is argumentative. I hope that we still get to see her character throughout the rest of the series. 

Grover: He's growing on me again. He's a sweet guy, even though at times a little naive. 

Nico:  I remembered who his father is about 3/4 of the way through this book and that's gonna throw a wrench into Percy's plans.

Luke: Still a dick, but maybe a hypnotised dick?


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi


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Title: Unite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series/Standalone: Shatter Me Series (Book #1.5, #2.5)
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 197
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2014
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "I've been shot."

"Juliette will not stand alone
In a battle that will decide the fate of her world...
In Destroy Me, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45, refuses to let her go.
In Fracture Me, Adam, Juliette's first love, will do anything to get her back.
These two explosive novellas are available in print for the first time. Unite Me also features an exclusive look into Juliette's journal and a preview of Ignite Me, the conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series."

My Rating: 4/5

So after finishing Ignite Me I needed more of Warner's backstory and wanted to see aspects of the story from his perspective. I know that he is not the nicest character and many people don't enjoy his character aspects. I think that this story is quite a redemption for Warner as well as Adam. I think novellas really add different aspects to the story and I can't wait to read the next book.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi


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Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series/Standalone: Shatter Me Series (Book #2)
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 461
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2013
Format: Physical Copy (Own It)
First Line: "The world might be sunny-side up today."

"tick
tick
tick
tick
tick 
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her- people with gifts- and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks its right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart- and Adam's life."

My Rating: 4.5/5

So after having a sick day, I was able to binge read this book after not reading it for a whole week and just kind of staring at it. Not because this book wasn't a fun or interesting read, mostly because I was ready to lay down and watch Netflix. This story really picks up right where we left off at the end of Shatter Me, and continues to explore the rebellion in this world. I think that this story is so interesting to me because our main character is exploring parts of the world at the same time as we are. I also think this story has an interesting idea of redemption for some of our characters. It made me wonder where the final story will go.
Before I read the last book I will be reading the novella compilation.
 Ps. Anyone else see that they are continuing this series? It's making me nervous about finishing these and then having to wait to read more.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny