Thursday, December 26, 2013

Nonrated Book Review: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Title: Girl, Interrupted
Author: Susanna Kaysen
Pages: 168
Publisher: Vintage Books
Year Published 1993
First Line: “People ask, How did you get in there?”

“In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele- Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles- as for its progressive method of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.
Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a ‘parallel universe’ set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the last sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.”

Unrated Book Review

I’ve written a book review like this once before, As this book is a memoir of someone’s real story, I shouldn’t be rating their life. At least that’s how I feel about it. This novel deals with a lot of stigma about mental health and the idea of being crazy. I did feel like Susanna Kaysen did a remarkable job of explaining her illness, her journey and finally her stance on mental health. It is said that mental health is something that few recognize as true health from day to day. We use words like crazy, nuts, insane, etc without thinking about how we are affecting those around us. After reading this moving memoir I felt like I understood so much more about mental illness.

­­♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 41
“Was everyone seeing this stuff and acting like they weren’t? Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”

♥Pg. 53
“There were no takers for peppermint, chocolate was a big flavour. For spring they had a new flavour, peach melba. I ordered that.
‘You gonna want nuts on these?’ the new boy asked.
We looked at one another: Should we say it? The nurses held their breath. Outside, the birds were singing.
‘I don’t think we need them,’ said Georgina.”

♥Pg. 151
“If my diagnosis had been bipolar illness, for instance, the reaction to me and this story would be slightly different. That’s a chemical problem, you’d say to yourself, manic depressionLithium, all that I would be blameless, somehow. And what about schizophrenia- that would send a chill up your spine. After all, that’s real insanity.”

♥Final Line: “The girl at her music sits in another sort of light, the fitful, overcast light of life, by which we see ourselves and others only imperfectly, and seldom.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Favorite Books from 2013

For those who read often, you know that I don't read many brand new books. But I thought I would make a list of books that I read this book year that I loved. 
So let's start this!
1. Street Pharm by Allison Van Diepen 
This book was written in 2006. See I told you, not a new book reader. This was an awesome novel filled with harsh realities and I found it so hard to put it down. I'd suggest it for teens everywhere really. 
2. You Against Me by Jenny Downham
I loved this book. The second book I'd ever read by Jenny Downham and I couldn't stop the feels. If you like the feels, read it!
3. Eve by Anna Carey
I didn't realize it was so long ago that I started this series and now I'm about to end it. I loved this book and was just getting into my YA apocalyptic book phase (it's continued for a while now).
4. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
An amazing read for anyone who wants to sees a fantasy world and the future of all prisons. Seriously, fantastic.
5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Used a whole box of tissues for this one! Looking for a good thinking book?? This is a great one as long as you don't mind feeling the feels. 
6. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
The last book in the Hush, Hush series and one of the best last books I've read, especially since I'm usually the girl who hates to see a series. 
7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
First book I've ever read by John Green and certainly not the last.
8. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
This is one of those odd books that has a different way of writing and looking at it the first time I thought I would hate it and then BAM I zoomed through it in a week. Amazing!
9. The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor
This book helped me through a really tough time in my life and gave me hope for the future. A book for any girl going through a breakup. 
10. Stella Stands Alone by A. LaFaye
A great historical book about slavery that really hits readers hard.
11. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson
A thriller, page turner. If you're bored in the afternoon this is a great one to pick it up. Warning adult content. 
12. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
One of my favorites books from 2013. A hard hitting message by a unique narrator. 
13. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
An amazing first book about the what ifs of the world ending. Action packed and twists and turns. 
14. Red Glove by Holly Black
This was the second book in the curseworkers series and it was when I really started to love the world Holly Black had created. It isn't really futuristic rather its a different dimension sort of deal.
15. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
I don't usually read adult books, but this one I couldn't pass up. I read it and got caught up in the story line, the characters and the mystery of it all! If you want a page turner, check it out.
16. Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate
I liked this book way better than any other of the Fallen books. It definitely gives an insight to all the characters while keeping it interesting. 
17. Until It Hurts to Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard 
I actually won this book from goodreads, a give away put on by the author herself (shoutout). Anyways, it was moving, and teaches an amazing lesson. Anyone in middle school or high school should read it.
18. Rise by Anna Carey
I really loved this book! I just finished it this past month after reading the rest of the series. I would certainly reread them! Awesome! Check it out if you like post apocalyptic, sci-fi or fantasy. 

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas
Sidny xoxo

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Book Review: Fearless by Francine Pascal

Title: Fearless
Author: Francine Pascala
Series: Fearless (Book #1)
Pages: 189
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Year Published: 1999
First Line: “Losers with no imagination say that if you start a new school, there has to be a first day.”

Fearless introduces us to Gaia Moore, a girl born without the gene for fear. Gaia's mother was murdered, and her father, Tom Moore, a famous covert antiterrorist mastermind, is in hiding. Now 17 years old, Gaia is living in New York City with Tom's CIA friend, George, and his wife, Ella. Gaia is a prime target for terrorists and is in constant danger, but she is trained in all forms of combat so she can defend herself. Like Buffy and Xena, Gaia Moore is a force.
But she is also a high school student, trying to be like everyone else. As her friendships develop, we see that Gaia is in many ways a typical teen -- when she's not busy getting herself into and out of dangerous situations, righting wrongs, avenging hurts, and solving mysteries.”

My Rating: 4/5

This book was a good read. Not to deep or anything, but enjoyable. It’s one of those books that makes you want to read the next one, but not to the point where you feel the need to pick it up immediately. As I was reading this book I found that this book would make a really good movie or television show, because as I visualized what was happening it played through my mind like a show. I didn’t have trouble imagining anything, but there isn’t a lot of in depth detail. I did like the idea of this book.  It was exciting and a really interesting concept.

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Fearless by Francine Pascal

I liked this book mainly because it featured a really strong female character. There’s nothing I like more than a female who isn’t afraid to take a stand, or to fight for what she believes in. And let’s face the fact that New York is a great setting for Gaia. Crime rates, and a charming setting compliments her character.

♥Gaia: Gaia is the ultimate main character. Literally fearless and out to make the world a better place made it not only an interesting story, but definitely something I’ve never read about before. I do like that she is naïve and inexperienced in the world of high school. It makes her more like the rest of us.  I do love that she’s just blunt with everyone.
Ed: I think it’s interesting that he goes after Gaia because she isn’t overly nice to him. Actually in the beginning she is straight up rude, but I can understand how he just wants to feel normal. I was surprised that he dated Heather, did not see that twist coming. I didn’t think he would be that superficial. But maybe his accident changed him. Hopefully he opens up about it later.
♥George: We don’t know much about him except that he was friends with her father, I do wonder how he became her house mate though. Why was she sent to him?
♥Ella: We have a bad a** over here. I knew she was a flirt for a reason but maybe she’s teaming up with Gaia’s father to train her in real world situations. My jaw was on the floor when she shot Marco, did not see that coming at all. She’s a character I’m interested in learning more about in the next book.
♥Sam: Ok he seems really dreamy, but also kind of a jerk. If you don’t feel something for the girl that your with, why are you still with her? I don’t think cheating is right and he has such strong feelings for Gaia, so it’s probably time to let Heather go, but the fact that she almost died a few days ago doesn’t quite set up a good setting for that kind of talk.
♥Heather: I think she’s a brat. She treats people like junk. I know that she had the right to mad at Gaia in the coffee shop, but at the party, the park and finally the hospital? She had no right to be so rude. The thing that got me is I imagine that she will bring up the fact that Gaia didn’t warn her for as long as she can.

♥Moments to Remember♥
♥Pg. 86
“Some friends of his from high school used to rate a girl’s attractiveness by what was known as the fire hose test. If the girl’s looks were all about makeup and hair and clothes, she’d look like crap if you shot a fire hose directly in her face from point-blank range. A genuinely pretty girl would still look good.”

♥Pg.  95
“’It’s a cool name ,’ she said.
‘You could marry me if you asked really nicely,’ he proposed.”

♥Final Line♥: “She was so tired of that girl.”

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review: Rise by Anna Carey

Title: Rise
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Eve (Book #3)
Pages: 310
Publisher: Harper
Year Published: 2013
First Line: “Charles rested his hand firmly on my back as we spun once, then again around the conservatory, the guests watching.”

“How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?
When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the happy, patriotic princess of The New America- and the blushing bride of her father’s top adviser- Eve’s whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb’s memory, and the revolution he started.
Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King’s court, she plots to take down The New America beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she’s called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion- killing her father?
In Rise, Eve must choose who to leave behind, who to save, and who to fight as Anna Carey’s epic tale of romance and sacrifice in the chilling dystopia of The New America comes to a stunning conclusion.”

My Rating: 5/5

This has been a tremendous series. One that teaches and makes the reader wonder about the future. The never ending what ifs that come with a future based novel make them such a fun read. Especially one filled with such great characters and concepts. The ideas in this book are fantastic and very well carried out. Thoughts are fully explained but not to the point where a reader gets bored. I have loved reading these books and this final one has finally given me just what I wanted. It is truly a 5. Anna Carey does an amazing job with her main character, making her relatable but not predictable, which I think for authors is a tricky task.  So thumbs up Anna Carey!

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Rise by Anna Carey

Thank goodness I get to write a spoiler for this book! I just had so much trouble keeping out spoilers in the book review. Ahh! Sorry for the craziness. So anyways, I big thank you to Anna Carey for writing such awesome books, this series has been amazing and I’m sorry to have it end so soon.  But oh what an ending it was! I loved the whole idea of this book. The last book that ended, ended on such a suspenseful note. And this book just answered so many questions from the past. Especially just in the idea of the setting changing and our main character growing up so much. Not so much in age, but maturity.

♥Eve: Mentioned above how much Eve has changed. She has finally come into her own and started to realize just how much of what the School taught her is a lie and that you can’t just go all willy nilly (ya I used it) trusting everyone. Especially in such hard times. My heart broke when I read that she was pregnant (guess that confirms exactly what her and Caleb got up to in that plane). I think it was one of those moments where anyone whose gotten into this series freaked the frick out. I didn’t think she would actually kill The King but when she finally did. Woah I was stunned, whoever makes the excuse that pregnant women shouldn’t do this or that in their condition should read some of this book. A great main character.
♥Charles: I think he is a really important character to include. In Once I thought he was just a rude rich boy, but he turned out to be more than that. Although by the end I think he realized that him and Eve would never be a happy couple that didn’t mean they couldn’t be friends. He also protected her multiple times. First with her pregnancy and then when she was caught with Moss. I guess you could say he grew on me.
♥The King: This guy has some major issues. Maybe the fact that he thinks he is saving all these people has gone to his head, but he deserved what he got. He might have loved Eve’s mother, but he didn’t have a good way of showing that love. He also seemed to feel the need to have things sent back to a different time. A time way before the plague when there were the many classes. Hopefully things run better now.
♥Clara: Another character that grew on me. She didn’t turn out to be stuck up, more stuck in a position she didn’t want to be in. I can’t imagine having your childhood sweetheart ripped from you and given to your cousin who just arrived from the wild. That thought really helped me understand some of her past character traits. But by the time they hit the dugout, she’s just another victim of the King in my eyes.
Beatrice: A sweet lady who helped Eve so much. Although she was the reason that Caleb got caught originally. I loved her and think that she would make a good mother to the girls from the School who know nothing but Teachers. Nothing of love.
♥Pip: I cried when she died. It was just another person that didn’t need to die at the kings hand. Indirectly sure, but still his fault none the less. And to have to spend her last days feeling like she wasn’t good enough for anything other than breeding… She deserved so much more.
♥Ruby: I think that she will be a good mother, although she didn’t have a choice about becoming one. She seems more the mothering type than Pip. You can see that in the way that she cares for Benny and Silas.
Moss: I didn’t see his death coming, but it was a necessary plot twist for sure.
♥Arden: I can see her being an awesome, kick-a** rebel leader, not sure if the role of president will be quite right for her, but who knows. She certainly would have a fresh take on things.
Caleb: I knew he couldn’t be dead! Ha!

♥Moment to Remember♥
♥Pg. 225
“I’d read when you missed someone you became them, that you did things to fill the space they’d left you so you wouldn’t feel so alone.”

Final Line: “‘I’m his wife.’”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Thursday, December 12, 2013


So if you've been following this blog closely, you'll realize that a few of the books on the Currently Reading and Coming Up Next side bar have been changed. I do have an explanation. 
I'm hitting a pretty busy time of the year, not to mention life in general. I don't have the time to read 600+ page books at the moment, so I'm going to try to keep to books under 400 pages for a while so I can post reviews and spoilers more frequently.
Hopefully this doesn't annoy anyone too much.
Thanks for being patient with me.
Sidny xoxo

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Review: Over by Anna Carey

Title: Once
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Eve (Book #2)
Pages: 354
Publisher: Harper
Year Published: 2012
First Line: “I started over the rocks, clutching a knife in one hand.”

“When you’re being hunted who can you trust?
For the first time since escaping from her School, Eve can finally sleep soundly. She is living in Califia, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America in the year 2041. But she was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at Califia’s gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out in the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand. Trapped inside the city walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past- and must confront the harsh reality of her future.
In this breathless sequel to Eve, Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.”

My Rating: 4/5

This review has been a long time coming, I read Eve in February of this year and had been meaning to see if I could find the rest of the trilogy and in my last book splurge I found and purchased them. This book is a great sequel to the first taking place about a month after the end of the first book. I think that this book while it was a good book, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. There were plot twists and good ideas, but the events were oddly planned out and didn’t run as smoothly as I would have liked.
On the good side of things, characters expanding were great and seeing so many other parts of the post-plague America really struck it home for me. I would recommend this read for anyone who is interested in apocalyptic reads, or futuristic. Probably around the age of 15+.
Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Once by Anna Carey

I have been meaning to do with review for a long time and tadah it’s finally happening! Once is the sequel to Eve by Anna Carey. I was happy to find that this book started out in Califia and that it didn’t stay there. It wasn’t a very exciting place it seems, though I would have liked to know more about the other escapees. It’s a pretty important spot and not one readers got to learn that much about. I did like reconnecting with some of the characters from the main book, and revisiting the school, it was a really touching part of the book. No lie, there were tears over here.

♥Eve: She’s grown out of her naïve, little girl phase and is starting to see how the world is now. I was so sad for her when she got to Califia and found out they planned on just trading her in anyways. What happened to human decency? Isn’t that what the trails about? I did think that the news she was the King’s daughter was horrifying news for her. After witnessing what happened to her peers because of him, being related to him would be horrifying, sickening really. My favourite part would have to be the moment of happiness with Caleb in that plane. There is nothing quite like falling asleep with someone you love there beside you. In the end, I think that she’ll be a great help to the resistance if she can be a good enough actress to sneak past her fathers eyes.
♥Arden: I love her, she has spunk and even though she barely made it to Califia she was ready to fight again for Eve and she did, the best she possibly could. Sad times where had when I read that they took her back to the school and put her in the birthing program (that makes it sound so scientific, but wasn’t sure how else to say it). She should have been brought to the city as well. She would have made waves. Not to mention she lost the first thing she’s loved since well ever as far as we are to know. Poor Heddy.
The King: I don’t understand how he’s still in power. I imagine mainly because these people just want something to believe in and he’s there, telling them everything will be ok, like a mother after a bad dream. All in all, the Outlands in his great city sound worse than the outside, but people aren’t allowed out so how would they know if things have gotten better since the last time they were outside. The fact that he just explains away the schools and the labour camps is another thing. Jerk!
♥Caleb: He is such a sweetheart. He believe in true love, that much is obvious. I don’t think that he is really dead, but it’s possible. The New America is filled with violence. So why not kill off anyone who gets in the way.
♥Ruby and Pip: We didn’t really know them all that well, but as readers our hearts go out to them all the same. Being used and abused is no way to live, but they have no choice, they are imprisoned. Hopefully they escape with Arden.
Charles: He doesn’t seem like a bad person, but I wonder if the only reason he’s marrying her is for the power trip. Could you blame him? King is a pretty good title and everyone else here seems to be greedy and just go for what they want so why not join the club. Hopefully things go according to plan.
♥Moss: This was a big shock for me. I just sat there and reread the sentence over and over! Great job Anna Carey. I do hope this character knows what he’s doing and doesn’t screw everything up. There is too much on the line for that.
♥Beatrice: Hopefully she finds her daughter, but I have a feeling that the King will not let that happen.

Moment to Remember
♥Pg. 160
“’It wasn’t a date,’ I said, an edge to my voice. I remembered that term from School; the Teachers had referred to it as part of the courtship period. They told us men sometimes acted like gentleman before revealing their true intentions.”

♥Final Line: “The ceremony was about to begin.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo