Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Review: The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

Title: The Haven
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Series/Novel: Novel
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 224
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Year Published: 2014

"For the teens of Haven Hospital and Halls, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surronds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in 2020. But the Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease  that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs- and memories. 
But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they've been told is a lie? What if the Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shilah starts asking dangerous questions?"

My Rating: 2.5/5

Why is this rating so low Sidny? Because it was a good premise but not well executed. I read alot of dystopian. I know what I like and this book just wasn't meant for me. I found it hard to pay attention and while it was a short I had a lot of trouble reading it. It was supposed to be a quick read but took longer to read then other longer books I had read this month. I hope to read more books like this just written a bit differently with characters i found more interesting. This being said the setting in this series was interesting to me I just wanted more from what I thought I was going to be reading. I wouldn't really suggest this book to anyone, but if anyone probably someone younger than me. So under 21.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

I found that this book was interesting in premise but didn't follow through with the way it was written. I wasn't ok with how like The Island this was. I also wasn't ok with the use of characters or the lack of knowledge about the outside world. Although we know some things about the world based on the internet I just felt no connection to anything. I was interested in the idea of clones, but just disappointed. I did enjoy the slight things throughout the book based on literature and the learning that the Terminals have about things of the Whole. I also thought that that was an interesting premise. Ps what's in the Tonic????

Shiloh: She's so strung out on the Tonic that I couldn't relate to her, but I thought it was really interesting how she observed the Terminals after. How she noticed things around her and the way they were being used. Also that she had an out of body experience.

Gideon: I found him hard to trust near the end especially because I found that he was too close with Dr. King.  I also think that it was weird how he stepped away with Ann. I was confused. 

Abigail: She's so strong and I wonder what happens to her.

Daniel: Screw you!

Dr. King: And also you! I understand that he has a God complex. It's scary to think that this could happen and that he honestly seemed to think that he was doing the right thing. I wish that I didn't think it was a possibility, but....

Final Line: "She opened her arms to me."

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Title: I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Series/Novel: Novel
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 270
Year Published: 2015
Publisher: Speak
First Line: "The day after Meg died, I received this letter:"

"It's like she was my sun, and then my sun went out...
When her charismatic best friend, Meg, drinks a bottle of industrial strength cleaner alone in a motel room, a piece of Cody dies, too. Meg was everything to her. How could Cody not know? Determined to find out what really happened. Cody begins a dangerous search to the shadowy fringes of Meg's life where she discovers some unsettling truths about friendship, secrets, forgiveness and love."

My Rating: 4/5

I'm having trouble deciding what to rate this book as I felt so many things throughout reading it. During the first half of the book I found it full of mystery and wondering. I felt along with Cody as she sifted through a life she really didn't know anything about. I was curious about how it happened and more so the why. I have a family history of mental illness and until I was an adult I didn't realise that that's what mental illness looks like. This story is more than sad, it's more than heartbreaking. It's a realisation that sometimes we just get blindsided. We don't know what's going on with everyone around us. It's so easy to get caught up in ourselves and what we need. It's interesting to see it through someone else's eyes and discovers as they discover.
I would warn anyone looking into this book it has a suicidal triggers and I would suggest it for 16 plus.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

So this book was something that I had trouble rating as it was so filled with emotions and wasn't sure about how I felt with it. I was unsure about my feeling toward the theme of depression, as well as how the characters affected me throughout the story. For anyone who hasn't read this book this book has suicidal triggers.
It follow the story of Cody, who in a way feels left behind by her best friend Meg who commits suicide. Cody has no idea how Meg could do this, because they haven't spoken for a few months. As Cody is at home cleaning house and feeling like she's stuck in a rut, Meg was in college meeting new people and having a completely different experience.
The setting was interesting to me because I also live in a small town and I understand small town stigma. If you see the same people everywhere you want to keep your secrets to yourself. It's useful but also horrible and I think that Gayle Forman really captures this. 
I also would like to note that not everyone's suicide is evident and if you need someone to talk to there is no shame in going to a doctor. Mental illness is an illness no different than heart disease or diabetes. 

Meg: So Meg is a character we only get to interact with after she's parted. We learn about her life through investigation and by what people around the main character are saying. I was interested in how she chose to end her life and was hoping that someone else was involved so I wouldn't have to ask the hard questions such as Why? What happened? 

Cody: I feel how she might feel about getting left behind. It must have been hard not to be angry with Meg and with herself for not realising. And then to finally let Ben in that must have been difficult. I also think that it was interesting to see her trying not to fall for Ben and then moving into him as they connect over Meg. I won't lie that I was angry with her for going after Ben, but I also understood it. I hope that with time she learns to live her best life. 

Alice: She's so chipper and I do think that her and Meg and Cody would have made better friends over time. I was interested in how much she knew about Meg, but sadly she hardly knew her at all.

Ben: I think that he has a bad track record. I don't think that he'll change his spots, but one can dream. I don't know maybe I'm just too old for this girl falling for the bad boy shit.  It just made me angry. But learning about his dad and watching him support Cody was heartwarming. I am intrigued about how that turns out though.

The Garcias: Tell your kids friends about their mental illness. They need to know. They shared so much with Cody that I was surprised that they didn't share this important part of life.

Trisha: She kinda comes full circle in the end which makes me happy. But it's sad that it took so long.

Final Line: "Megan Luise Garcias: I WAS HERE"

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Review: The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

TItle: The New Hunger
Author: Isaac Marion
Series/Novel: Warm Bodies Series (Book #1.5)
Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Fiction
Pages: 170
Publisher: Emily Bestler Books
Year Published: 2013

"The end of the world didn't happen overnight.
After years of societal breakdowns, wars and quakes and rising tides, humanity was already near the edge. Then came a final blow n one could have expected: all the world's corpses rising up to make more.
Born into this bleak and bloody landscape, twelve-year-old Julie struggles to hold on to hope as she and her parents drive across the wastleands of America, a nightmarish road trip in serach of a new home. 
Hungry, lost and scared, sixteen-year-old Nora finds herself her brother's sole guardian after her parents abandon them in the not-quite-empty ruins of Seatle.
And in the darkness of a forest, a dead man opens his eyes. Who is he? What is he? With no clues beyond a red tie and the letter 'R,' he must unravel the mystery of his existence- right after he learns how to think, how to walk, and how to satisfy the monster howling in his belly. The New Hunger is a glimpse of the past and a path to an astonishing future..."

My Rating 5/5

Although it's been a while since I read Warm Bodies, I saw this book on Book Outlet and it reminded me of the first novel. I looked back at the review and remembered why I had loved that book so much and decided to purchase this novella. It was an interesting read and it really went in depth about the characters you learn more about in Warm Bodies. I thought it was interesting to revisit the story and to see how the characters came to be who they are in the first book. This being said, I would not read The New Hunger before Warm Bodies if you are just beginning the series as it spoils the end of the first book. I also found that this book really shows the coming together of characters and the falling apart of the world in a vivid way that was far different than what I remembered from the first full book. I think that it helped pull me back into the series and I look forward to reading the next book in the series which is set to come out in 2017. I hope to see more of the characters and how they tackle the crumbling (or by this point crumbled) world around them.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

So it's been about 2 years since I read the first book in this series and was surprised to find a novella on bookoutlet. I purchased it after rereading the review and spoiler along with some other finds. When I got it I realized how quick of a read it would be and read it quickly after a day at the lake. It was a great quick read for anyone looking for one and while it was a prequel to Warm Bodies I would not suggest reading it before the first book as it spoils the ending.

This novella tells the story of Nora, R and Julie as they come toward a final destination where they all will eventually meet. It's interesting to see how each of them had a different lifestyle during "the end." Obviously R's perspective is different from Nora's or Julie's but it was still an itneresting point of view to take in such desperate times. I also found it's writing to be more spooky than in the first book. In the first book I noticed that the story was more wrapped in horror than in humor which really brought me back to being interested in this series. The end is disturbing to picture without the graphic writing, but with it I held on Isaac Marion's every word.

Nora: Her character makes so much more sense now that I know her background as well as her struggle through the uprising of the end. I was devastated to see her try to explain why her parents had left to her little brother as well as when he was captured. Although I knew it would happen eventually I wasn't quite ready for it when it did.... nice more Marion, nice move.

R: What an interesting perspective!?! I was especially sad to see how he came to be a zombie but it doesn't answer all my questions about what happened to those he was found with... what had happened before things had gone terribly wrong, I wonder.

Julie:It was tough seeing her humanity slip away as she had to kill to stay alive. It was also sad to see her hope get destroyed over and over again, but I was glad to see what her family had been through. If I reread the first book, I think it will help me to appreciate their characters even more. 

Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "Earth has a few more revolutions to make."

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book Review: Alien Love Story by A.K Dawson


Title: Alien Love Story
Author: A.K Dawson
Series/Novel:  ????
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 125
Publisher: Unsung
Year Published: 2016
First Line: "Someone shoved a pencil into Dan's left nostril."

"Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn't some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he's lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feel lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop.
But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she's a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien.
Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive under-loved imagination?"

My Rating: 3/5

This story was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. I found that it was filled with emotion while it tried to keep light with humour. It shows a story of a boy who is dealing with grief, love and things beyond all of our understanding. I thought that this book was a good premise but found it hard to enjoy to start with. I found that the main character was hard to connect to but the idea behind the grieving far more interesting. I also think that this story really reminded me of The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. It had the same idea of wondering what is real and what isn't. I hope that this book is followed by a sequel. 

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series/Novel: The Selection Series (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 323
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2013

"The Selection began with 35 girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever- and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen? 
America is desperate for more time but the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want- and America's chance to choose is about to slip away."

My Rating: 4.5/5

This second book in the Selection series was interesting and I enjoyed how soon it picked up after the first book. It was easy to move from one book to the next and a decently quick read. I enjoyed the story line and the plot but found the characters more troubling and in some cases very frustrating. The exploration of the Dystopian universe was further looked at in this novel and it provides interesting themes to the Dystopian genre. I found the way the characters interact in this universe to be the most interesting.
This being said this book is filled with twists and turns that will drive readers crazy (in the best way) to the end, wondering how America will ever chose and what her choice will mean for the rest of the series. I look forward to continuing the series and have ordered the rest online from my closest bookstore.
I would suggest this series if you are interested in reality tv as well as dystopian universes. It has managed to capture my interest for both of these reason, and I am hooked.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Elite by Kiera Cass

So I spent a day off up at the lake completing this book and what a perfect day it was. I read the last one hundred pages quickly and then sat there thinking about when the next 4 books of the series will arrive at my P.O. box. Don't worry ladies and gents 8 days is all.
So this installment showed America in the Elite for the Selection. In the last book we see that she's excited to be involved in the competition and the Elite springs straight back into it.
The plot, along with all the twists and turns in this second book were interesting, but I must say I found myself rather annoyed with America. Her indecisiveness drove me crazy and I was actually hoping that someone else would win about half way through. That being said, I was drawn back in by the end with possibility that she would go home. The palace becomes more of a familiar setting and Illea's history becomes more clear as well in this second book. I look forward to see what will happen next in The One.

America: As I mentioned above I found her character to be to indecisive. I do wonder how she will get through the rest of the competition when she can't seem to make up her mind. If she really loved Maxon wouldn't she let Aspen go? He let her go? I don't understand how this is so difficult. I also don't trust either of the men though. Especially when Aspen brings up things that he has heard. I do wonder what else she might have found if she continued to read the first kings journals. I hope that she smartens up but I doubt it.

Maxon: I wish that he wasn't falling for other girls but I understand why he does. But the thing with Celeste.... not ok in my books. I did feel horrible when I found out about his father. Especially in the situation we found out in. I wasn't surprised when he said that he didn't trust America and that she would have to gain his trust because she's really treated everyone around her as though there are not consequences to her action.

Aspen: I don't like him. I don't trust him and I don't want him... solid mah. He's just kind of there like an obstacle that America keeps running into instead of crossing over. He might make someone else very happy but he needs to back the heck up especially after what happened with Marlee.

Marlee: Holy crow! That was horrible. I can't believe that they were moved down that quickly and yet I'm surprised that Aspen and America never got caught. Marlee must really have loved this man to go through so much pain to be with him. Wouldn't it have been easier to just get kicked out and then find him after all is said and done? Too much champagne I suppose.

Celeste: I hate her but I understand why she's such a sly brat. She's always gotten what she wanted so why not now.

The King/Clarkson: Who could beat their own child?!? It doesn't seem to matter that he is full grown but I understand so much more about Maxon now than I ever did before.

The Queen/Amberly: What a sweet and kind woman, I wish she would stand up to her husband.

Kriss: She'd make a great queen but I find her to be to attached to soon to Maxon. He's not her's just yet and the fact that he has no problem making out with Celeste proves it. He needs something more.

Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "If I had them, there was no way I could lose."

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Change of Name/URL

Hello there readers. For anyone who is following this blog, this upcoming Friday, July 8th, 2016 I will be changing the url of this blog. This blog will be titled as the blog is titled . I hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading,

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series/Novel: The Selection Series (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 327
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2012
First Line: "When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic."

"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.
The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't even want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."

My Rating: 5/5

This book is the first book in the Selction Series that has just wrapped up this year to my understanding. I bought this book a while ago and was a little wishy washy when I read the cover. I was unsure whether it was something I would really enjoy or if it was something that was very popular main stream but just not for me. This story follow America who is in a caste, or as I thought of it level that is closer to the bottom then the top. After applying to the Selection, which she is sure she will never be accepted to, America is moved to a castle filled with competition, rebels and elegant lifestyles. 
I really enjoyed this book and am glad that I was in the city when I started it as I was able to buy the second book to the series. I really think that America is a strong and relatable character. She is friendly without being overly affectionate. She has characters she also loves and those she doesn't, which really gives her character dimension. I also found the world interesting as it explains aspects of the world through flowy writing rather just abrputly in a way that just throws off the story. I am extremely excited to read the next book in this series and may ignore my TBR for a while to finish the series... 
I would suggest these books to anyone interested in romance, ya and dystopia. It's an interesting take on all these genres.

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: The Selection by Kiera Cass

As I mentioned in the review I was questioning whether or not to pick up this book when I bought it. This series had wrapped up earlier this year and everyone was talking about it. I was wondering whether it would be to filled with romance, but I found that Kiera Cass tells this story with flow and a sense of humor that bode well with the dramatics in this story. The universe in which this story line takes place is in a post America setting in a country called Illea which is ruled by a king and queen. The country is also filled with castes or as I like to call them levels 1-8. The first one being royalty, the last being the homeless and other jobs in between. Those below a level 4 have a difficult life, but those in the high end either don't realise their blessing or don't care too. It follows America SInger who is a five, in love with a six. She is a musician and her family barely has the money as artists to make it by. Aspen, a six is a labourer or servant for anyone who is willing. After applying for the Selection to be 1 of 35 to marry the prince America is selected (which is deemed unlikely). After this she is swept into a world of jewels, glamour and riches beyond her imagination.
I thought the world was quite well thought out. It showed the country's history without doing it in a strictly fact way. It shows it through conversation throughout the book which was a perfect amount for me.
I also found the characters astounding. So full of life that I was able to picture them perfectly.

America: She is so sweet and smart. She is willing to stay when she is so unsure and is the strongest during the rebel attacks. I also found that she really is dynamic. Although she gets angry as any other character she is filled with humour and so many emotions that are perfectly placed. I think that she would make a great princess but in reality it has to be something she wants. I hope that she leaves Aspen, because he's a sack of garbage in my oh so humble opinion. That being said I would understand if she doesn't because of how much he has meant to her. I think that she deserves to be happy and may have done a tiny cheer when she said she wasn't picking one of the men, she was picking herself. I thought that was beautiful. I'm excited to see what happens next now that she is Elite.

Aspen: I think he's a real jerk, but I guess we all make mistakes. It's hard to forget your first love, but I do wonder if he's using America. It makes me worry for her but if he's not it makes sense that they may get together. If he is honest and not with other girls that's awesome. 

Maxon: I like him but why Celeste. I know he explains it but still she's such a brat. I hate her. I think that he makes America happy without trying and they share more than a physical connection. He is smart and cares deeply for his people which helps to make a good king. I'm excited to see what else will happen in his quest for a wife.

Marlee: I wonder what she doesn't want to go back to. I was sad to see her break down about her connection with Maxon, but I also understand why she was so upset.

May: Reminded me so much of my younger sister.

Celeste: Spoiled brat, I hope she gets kicked to the curb because it's so unsatisfying that she's still there. Urgh. I hope that Maxon eventually can see through her. 

Moments to Remember:
Please note I read this while on a road trip so none of them got marked. But still fantastic writing.

Final Line: "I pulled back the covers and leaped into the morning."

Thanks for reading,