Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Monument 14 trilogy by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 Trilogy

By:Emmy Laybourne

| Amazon | Goodreads |
[ Summary ]: Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

“Laybourne’s debut ably turns what could have been yet another post apocalyptic YA novel into a tense, claustrophobic, and fast-paced thriller.” (Publishers Weekly)

When Dean raced out the door to catch the school bus, he didn’t realize it would be the last time he’d ever see his mom. After a freak hailstorm sends the bus crashing into a superstore, Dean and a group of students of all ages are left to fend for themselves.
They soon realize the hailstorm and the crash are the least of their worries. After seeing a series of environmental and chemical disasters ravage the outside world, they realize they’re trapped inside the store.
Unable to communicate with the ones they love, the group attempts to cobble together a new existence. As they struggle to survive, Dean and the others must decide which risk is greater: leaving… or staying. 



“Sometimes, when you'd least expect it, the grief would chop your legs out from under you.”  






I finished the Monument 14 trilogy in January. I've owned the trilogy for years and just never felt like picking it up. But in December 2017, I really wanted to read some dystopian so I finally picked it up.
The books follow a group of kids who get stuck in a Walmart like superstore when a hailstorm hits which is basically the start of the deterioration of the Earth. I've heard very mixed things, so I wasn't expecting much when I started reading it, which was probably what got me to give it a higher rating than I expected.

There are quite a few characters in the books, and they are all under the age of 18. There is a group of high school kids, and a group of elementary kids. We follow Dean who is portrayed as a nerdy "outcast" of sorts. He was kind of a judgemental character to read from, if I'm totally honest. He has a tendency to judge different girls on how they dress and the guys on how they look. All of the characters were pretty stereotypical. We had the hot jock who was dating the beautiful popular girl who Dean the outcast was secretly in love with, so on and so forth. While I usually find this to be a very problematic situation, I didn't get that vibe in this series. 

I enjoyed the development of some of the characters. I say some because very few actually developed. Dean becomes more of a respected protagonist which I was really rooting for. 

The writing was simplistic, and easy. It flowed well and kind of read more like a middle grade than a young adult. Which leads me to say that this series is a fantastic bridge between the middle grade and young adult genres, especially for boys. I am constantly recommending this book to parents who are looking for series for their sons. 
  

Overall, I do think this was fun and easy series to read. I was entertained and never felt myself getting bored or stuck. If you're interested in reading the series then I suggest you do it! But it isn't anything to run and purchase right away.


















Review: I am The Messenger By Markus Zusak

I am The Messenger

By: Markus Zusak

| Amazon | Goodreads |

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That's when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That's when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?


"Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of" 







This is the first Markus Zusak book I have read, and now I am determined to go read The Book Thief because wow.
Ed Kennedy is a normal, boring, and lives a very uneventful life. Until he stops a bank robbery which causes a playing card with addresses listed on it to show up in his mailbox. He becomes the messenger and is sent on a journey he'll never forget.

I'm not going to lie, Ed confused me. He is a 19 year-old guy but I felt like I was reading from a 36 year-old's point of view. All of the characters in this book were real and normal. Ed wasn't this over-confident, annoyingly cocky male character. He was someone I could feel for and I enjoyed. 
  
I was just in love with the message of this story. Small things that you think may be so minuscule they don't couldn't possibly matter, can end up changing someone's life.

This book makes you think. That's the most important aspect of this novel. It makes you think. About people, places, and yourself. No one really knows what someone else is going through. You may think you have an idea, but you really don't. 

You also can do so much more than you ever believed you could. If everyone goes out of their way to do a kind act for another person, our world would be such a better place.

This book took me a few weeks to get through, which isn't normal for me. I usually read a book every 2 or 3 days. And I don't honestly know why it took me that long, other than the fact that I was constantly thinking about people in my life and in my community that may deserve more than what they're receiving out of life. I just think this is a beautiful, quirky, and thought-provoking novel that anyone would enjoy.  









 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Review: The Hazel Wood By Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood

By: Melissa Albert

| Amazon| Goodreads |
A BIG THANK YOU TO MY WORK FOR GIVING ME AN ARC OF THIS!
[Summary]: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.


 “Look until the leaves turn red, sew the worlds up with thread. If your journey's left undone, fear the rising of the sun.” 





 I want to start off by saying if you're looking for a "happily-ever-after, damsel-in-distress, prince-saves-us-all" fairytale, you are shit out of luck with this book.

The characters in this book were interesting, and I had this feeling while reading that these characters were real. Alice is not an extremely likeable character. She's impulsive, defensive, and can be extremely bratty. But between all those flaws, we have this young girl who needs people no matter how bad she wants to believe she doesn't, she struggles just like all of us do time to time, and she cares more about people than she likes to let on. "Hell is caring about other people."

 The side characters were all the more interesting. Finch constantly broke my heart and sewed it up again. He is lovely, and believable yet someone you question throughout the whole story. I couldn't love these characters more.

The writing was beautiful. I don't know what it was that I fell in love with specifically, but the way Albert words phrases and discusses characters was just enchanting.

I will say that the story can be slow. There are parts of the novel that I just forced myself to keep reading because it was holding my interest, but then once the plot picked up again I was fine and invested again. I think it's a matter of opinion overall because what I think is slow is not necessarily what my sister thinks it slow. Or what other people think is considered slow.

The fairy tale aspect was phenomenal. I was so intrigued with the world(s) and I just felt so nostalgic for stories I never read before. I cannot wait to get a finished copy on my shelves.

Overall, this novel is going down as one of my favorite of 2017 and most likely 2018. I recommend this to anyone who loves fairy tales and wants something just a little different.



 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

By: Bryn Greenwood

| Amazon | Goodreads |       

  [Summary] :  As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.






                                                                                                                         

“Feeling dead was better than when my heart hurt. Sometimes I thought it might burn through my ribs while I was asleep, and smolder in the sheets until the whole house caught fire.” 



 
This novel 110% killed me.

We follow a plethora of characters, we read from numerous people's points of view, and we learn more about these characters than you ever would ask for. Wavy is 8 at the beginning of the story and we follow her for 15 years through her hell of a life. This young soul has been through more than most of us can say.

I was a little hesitant to jump into this novel. I had heard fantastic things from numerous bloggers that I trust and I finally just bit the bullet and jumped into the book without a second thought. And I am so happy I did.

To start, the characters were incredible to read about. None of them were lovely, relatable, or fun to read about, but they sure as hell were incredible. Wavy is a quirky, intelligent, kind young girl who you feel for throughout the whole book. She has scenes that are hard to swallow and difficult to understand, which gives you all the more feels.

Her parents both deal (and cook) meth which pushes Wavy and her little brother to the back burner. 

Enter the ever so lovely Kellen.

The more controversial aspect of this story is 8 year old Wavy falling in love with Kellen, a much older gentlemen. While their relationship starts out more paternal, it soon blossoms into a romantic relationship. Which, of course causes the book to contain a tad bit of pedophilia. However, you find yourself rooting for this nontraditional relationship.

While the characters were my main focus, the writing also was beautiful. I couldn't put the book down because of how alluring the writing is. Greenwood had a way of making you cry with tears of joy as well as sorrow. She forced you to fall in love with Wavy and Kellen in way that makes you feel slighty guilty for loving such a difficult relationship.

The story was very character driven, with very few plot points to move the story along. I think this is what truly made the novel so beautiful.

While the story makes you feel uncomfortable and unsettled, it also makes you feel a longing for a love like Wavy and Kellen's. The story is every bit as fucked up as it sounds, and I am not touching on the screwed up pedophilia as much as I probably should because there is so much more to this novel than that. And if you can look passed this aspect and dive into the story, you will not be disappointed.

I highly highly recommend this to anyone not only thinking (but hesitant) of reading this, but anyone looking for a story about love, life, and all those ugly and wonderful things in between.


The only reason this book did not get 5 stars from me was purely because I was nervous to rate such a controversial book 5 stars.













 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

August 2017 || Book Recommendations

For this month, the topic of book recommendations is oldies!!! “Oldies” is any book published before 2010! If you are not familiar with what this means, here is the Goodreads group run by Trina and Kayla Rayne. I have 6 books to share with you today, so let’s get started!!


Cracked up to be by Courtney Summers: [published in 2008] This is such a short little novel, yet packed with tons of feelings. This is also on my contemporary recs (which I just now realized oops) so I won’t go too much into detail since I already talked about it... 








In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: [published in 1965] This is a nonfiction true crime that reconstructs the murder of the Clutter family in 1959. The unique thing about this book is that it talks about the Clutter family, the crime scene, and the murder, but it also talks about the suspects background and how they came in contact with the family. It was an extremely interesting read. I was intrigued by the suspects the most because I love criminal minds type of stuff. It was interesting to try to understand their minds. If you are looking for a nonfiction yet interesting read, I highly suggest this read. I loved it, and it really made me fall more in love with true crime.



Ice Hunt by James Rollins: [published in 2003]. This book is a little different than anything I have ever talked about on here. It’s an adult sci-fi that follows a diverse and large cast of characters. A research team discovers an ice station in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and they have no clue who it belongs to or where it came from. The issue they have, is that they discover something alive inside the ice station that kind of defies all natural laws of life. The book is kind of thrilling at times, but it also has some political aspects. Personally, I enjoyed the political aspects. They honestly kept me intrigued and I found myself really enthralled with them. If you are someone who really loves sci-fi thrillers but not the political aspect, I still recommend this novel. The politics come into play in the end, so it’s definitely not political throughout the novel.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss: [published in 2005]: THIS BOOK. HOLY CRAP, THIS BOOK. I honestly don’t have enough amazing things to say about this novel. It’s one I think you have to go into blindly. I will say it’s about a novel called The History of Love. We read from different points of view, one being a 14 year old girl. This book is beautifully written. It’s heartbreaking, beautiful, quirky, and hilarious all in one. I highly suggest it for any contemporary lover, and anyone needing a little something different. It’s going down as not only one of my favorite reads of the year, but also one of my favorite reads of all time.




The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks: [published in 2008]: Nicholas Sparks is an author I feel will be pretty popular among this topic because of how popular his books published before 2010 are. This is one of my all time favorites. We follow Veronica “Ronnie” who hasn’t spoken to her father since her parents got divorced. Her mother decides Ronnie and her little brother should spend the summer at their fathers beach house. Ronnie tries to fight her way back to New York, but soon changes her mind when she meets Will. This story is a beautiful one about love, family, and loss. I cry every time I read it, and watch the movie. If you have not read this yet, I highly suggest giving it a shot.


The Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon: [published in 2008] This book has kind of not so good reviews on Goodreads, but trust me when I say it’s fantastic. I’ve reread this book too many times to count and it never gets old. We follow Rhonda who witnesses a kidnapping take place at a gas station. She inserts herself into the investigation, and as it unfolds she is reminded of her childhood friend Lizzys disappearance. She realizes that these may be more connected than she had thought. It jumps back and forth between past and present. I think this book is incredible. I always feel uncomfortable when i read this book, and not bad uncomfortable. I just always feel a little off when reading it, and that’s one of the reasons I love it so much.



If you would rather watch me talk about this books HERE is my youtube vid (and channel so you all should subscribe) 🙃 But thank you for reading, and I hope you find one you love!! <3

Sunday, August 6, 2017

July Wrap UP || 2017

                                


                                      

So July was not my best month. Unfortunately. I did read some really freaking great books, but July was an extremely crazy month. I got a new job, quit an old job, really started to figure out stuff for school, and spent a lot of time working on my paintings and focusing on myself instead of reading. Also, after I finished Cress I ordered Winter & Fairest off of Amazon (with prime & 2 day shipping) and the books didn’t come for a WEEK. Me being insane, I didn’t want to read anything between Cress & Winter so I didn’t read for a whole week, which put me behind quite a bit. Anyways, here is the wrap-up!! Thanks for reading!






We All Looked Up By Tommy Wallach: So this book... I went into this whole novel expecting so much. I was thinking it would be this beautiful coming-of-age story about these kids discovering who they are and figuring out their lives. And unfortunately, that is not what I got. To start, I did enjoy the writing for the most part. I was entertained enough to finish the book, but I struggled with how I felt about it. The characters were interesting enough, and the plot was what really kept me going. There was a huge plot point that took place towards the end of the book, and I didn’t even realize it happened! Which kind of says a lot. Overall, I didn’t hate it but it was a disappointment. [review]

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson: Matson is one of my auto-buy authors. I own all of her books, and every time she comes out with a new one I purchase it right away. To start, that cover! If you don’t think it’s beautiful then you’re lying. I was really intrigued by this book to see where it went, considering how long it is. I wanted to know what all the items on the list meant, where Sloane actually disappeared to, and if Emily actually completed this list. I fell in love with the friendship because it really reminded me of me and my best friends friendship. I am way more introverted than my best friend who is exactly like Sloane. So I really identified with Emily and I admired how much she developed throughout the story. If I’m honest this is probably one of my favorite contemporaries of the year. [review]
Easy By Tammara Webber: This book is phenomenal. I went into it not knowing anything (as usual) and I was blown away by how much I truly loved this novel. First, Webbers writing is freaking amazing. I don’t even know how to describe it, but I am in love with the writing. The first chapter opens up pretty heavy. I will say there is a pretty big trigger warning for sexual assault. But the book is just so brilliant. It is for sure one of my favorite new adult novels. [review]
 Cinder by Marissa Meyer: WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS SERIES. I am so disappointed in myself for not reading this series sooner. Like holy moly, this is such a fantastic series. I was surprised by how much I really love this series because I honestly though Cinder was such a weird premise. But I had no idea what I wanted to read, so I just decided to read Cinder and I fell in love. This book is not my favorite of the series, but I did give it 5 stars. It was a 4 star read until the end twist happened and I was blown away.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: So this is by far my favorite book in the Lunar Chronicles. The characters we are introduced to in this book are some of my favorite characters of all time. Thorne, who is such Jack Sparrow-esque character, Scarlet who is so stubborn, hard-headed, but loving, and Wolf who I just wish I had in my life. I just fell more in love with the world, the characters, and the whole idea of this series after I finished Scarlet. I could read about this guys all day everyday. Meyer has such a brilliant way of weaving plot points from one book to the next and it’s amazing.
Cress by Marissa Meyer: Once again, this book is phenomenal. I want to go into more detail, but I think I might do a whole post on the Lunar Chronicles once I am finished with it. Anyways, this book is entertaining and fast-paced, and we meet Cress and we find out so many different things and it’s fantastic. I honestly don’t have enough great things to say about this whole series and I cannot wait to finish it. 


I read some fantastic books in July and I am so excited (and hopeful) to read more than 6 books in August. We shall see how it goes!! Happy reading! <3












Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy

By: Tammara Webber

[Summary]: When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night - but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.




“Love is not the absence of logic but logic examined and recalculated heated and curved to fit inside the contours of the heart” 

I knew next to nothing about this book. I bought it for really cheap at a bookstore, and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it so I decided to finally pick it up. I was nervous the book was overhyped, and it wouldn’t be as good as everyone was saying, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this book.

First off, Lucas. Maxfield. I am in love with this boy. I am more in love with who he is instead of how he looks, but that’s beside the point. He is such a sexy, mysterious, and caring guy. I can’t get enough of him. Jacqueline kind of annoyed me a little bit. She’s a music education major, which I respect and she cares a lot about her relationship with Kennedy. But missing classes for two weeks? No. I just don’t get it. For some reason that really bothers me. I mean, girl get your priorities straight. 

I really enjoyed the plot, as well. The book opens up pretty heavily with the sexual assault, and I was nervous that the whole book would be everyone turning against her. But, it’s not. I liked how realistic the sides were, and how nice of a support system Jacqueline had throughout the story. I think the plot progressed well, and I never found myself bored or uninterested. Sure, some parts were slow but that’s what you get when you read a romance. (Not bashing on romance, I’m just saying that romance books are typically slower). 

I think my favorite character out of everyone in this story was Erin, Jaquelines roommate. She was so funny but strong willed. She was such an incredible character, and I am really excited to read the spin off novel that is all about her.

I cried during this book. I swooned, I loved, I laughed. And the writing!! This writing was incredible. It was what kept me reading, to be honest. I loved everything about this book, but the writing was just phenomenal. I am really happy that I read this book. 

If you’re looking for a new adult novel, I suggest this one. It’s sexy, intense, romantic, and all around a beautiful novel. I am looking forward to reading more books by Webber!!




















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