Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Wink, Poppy, Midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight

This novel was weird. Like imagine Lana del Ray singing at an Adams Family Reunion kind of weird. It was haunting.

It was annoying, too. We never find out what the MC’s real name is, she is just simply called River because that’s the name she calls herself in her head. Quite honestly, the whole book is about ‘River’ fangirling over a family of maybe witches. It reminded me of Twilight.

The summary from Goodreads:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Like? I read this novel a little while ago, and I didn’t post the review because I could not think of anything positive to say. The writing itself is good, but the story sucks balls, man. The cover is pretty.

So… yeah.

Sold on Amazon ($6.99) here.

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Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On

“Carry on, Carry on, as if nothing really matters…”-Bohemian Rhapsody, Queendownload3.5 out of 5 Stars

This book was a lot better than I thought. I’m apprehensive to reading things that are basically promo items for other books (cough, Fangirl, coughcough) or continuations of other series. I just don’t like them. I was also kind of confused because it is listed as a Fantasy novel, and I like Rowell for her Romance, but it turns out this is in fact another YA Romance, but because the main character is male, it is listed as fantasy. This is no fault of Rowell, simply the way publishing world works.

Summary from Goodreads:

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

It’s interesting to see an entire magical world built in one book. This book was supposed to the final book in a Middle Grade/YA Fantasy series, a la Harry Potter. This was well done. I just felt like some of the cliches that are often criticized in YA Fantasy were over looked here.

I get that this was supposed to be a companion novel, but it is still a novel. Some of the plot devices used were just…predictable and I feel like if it had been an honest to god attempt at a fantasy novel, it would never had made it past some unpaid literary agent intern’s slush pile.

The characters are what pulled this story through. Rowell is very good at characters and character development, but the relationship in this novel was just too forced. It was like, ‘well everyone knows it is going to happen because of Fangirl, so I don’t have to put forth much effort’.

So, I like it, but I didn’t love it. I saw every plot point coming from miles away, and the romance I love Rowell for was not entirely there. I will continue to read everything she writes though.

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So…

Reading is hard sometimes. Especially when you’ve gone through a slump and can’t find a book that sparks your interest. I was reading Carry On but because I didn’t read it fast enough, my loan from the library expired and I had to be put back on hold. I have it checked out again, and am going to finish it this time.

Wink Poppy Midnight I was really into, so much so that I took it to the gym on Friday to read on the elliptical. It was great, until I got a call on Saturday saying it had been returned to them, sopping wet. Apparently, it fell out of my bag on my way from the gym to my car and then it rained Saturday.  So I owe the library a new book. I’ve ordered it and am going to finish reading it before I hand it back over.

So the reviews may be long in coming, but they’re coming. Just stick with me y’all. The struggle is real some times.

Fiction Reviews, Netgalley/ARCs, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: “Denton Little’s Deathdate” by Lance Rubin

*The book was provided free by the publishers though Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Pub. Date: April 14th 2015

4.5 stars of 5 ★★★★★

Death can be weird. What with having to attend your own funeral, having everyone sitting around waiting for you to die, not to mention that sometimes you only get seventeen years, death can be a real downer. For Denton Little, a normal life is all he wants, but because science has provided the world with deathdate prediction technology (which is 99.99% accurate), Denton’s life has always been shadowed by his looming demise. So when the time comes to face the final countdown, Denton accepts his lot and tries to make the best of things.

…but then things start to get weird. Mysterious doctors appear, secrets about his dead mom bubble out, horrible grandpa cops start making trouble, and a weird rash/virus appear on Denton, his girlfriend, his best friend, and his best friend’s sister. The once calm Denton starts to question his serenity about death. Here’s the summary:

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that’s tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. Though he’s not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

This book was hilarious, entertaining, and interesting. The characters were one dimensional, but the story was very original, and honestly refreshing, because it’s nothing like the other *don’t trust THEM* type books out there. It’s by a male author, so there’s an attempt at making this into a “dude read”. I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of quirky reads.

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Review:”Kissing Ted Callahan and Other Guys” by Amy Spalding

*This title was provided free of charge by the publishers through Netgalley in return for an honest review. 
3 of 5 stars ★★★☆☆

Pub. Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

You want a cute, light read about a girl who’s spunky, awkward, and out for love or something like it and is willing to chronicling it with her guy best friend, then look no further. This book is similar in tone and feel to Louise Rennison’s books (albeit not as funny)and if there’s ever a movie version, our MC Riley could easily be played by Emma Stone. If you’re going to the beach and need a light read or feeling down and need a pick me up, this will meet your criteria. Here’s the summary via Goodreads:

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they’ll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she’s been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.

It’s super cute. Stephanie Perkins and Courtney Summers are mentioned in the acknowledgements. This is not a deep book or anything that will make you think. It’s basically “New Girl” in book form. What else do you need? Read this book and feel better about life.

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Update: What I Read in March…

update2015

March was a slow month for me. I read most of my To-Read list, but not all of it. April will be a better month. In March I read:

Mini Review: “The Last Flight of Poxl West” by Daniel Torday

Review: “Legend” by Marie Lu

Review: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Review: “Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld

Review: “Making History” by Stephen Fry

ICYMI: All the above titles are links to reviews.

Review: Denton Little’s Deathdate (Review coming in April)

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Review: “Legend” by Marie Lu

3.5 stars of 5 ★★★★☆

I thought I was over dystopians. Well, I was wrong. There’s just something so satisfying about tyrannical governments losing their sh*t all because of the actions of some normal, but extremely capable, teenagers.

Legend is fast-paced, original, and the book design is stunning. It’s rare that a book gets the approval to use different fonts for different character’s POV, much less different colors. That means marketing really liked this book. They though it was going to soar over The Hunger Games knock-offs back in 2011. That didn’t really happen, and you know why? Divergent was also published in 2011. Legend is a younger teen read, whereas Divergent is an older teen read, and for whatever reason, it eclipsed Marie Lu’s work and her series fell under the radar.

I think that’s a damn shame, too, because I see teenage boys( a demographic that it’s virtually impossible to get interested in reading) really enjoying this series.

This series is not unknown by any means, and it has gained popularity since the movie versions of THG, Divergent, The Giver, and The Maze Runner have piped interest into the genre.  I hope it continues to draw interest, because it really is an entertaining read for younger teens.

For those who are wondering, here’s the summary( via Goodreads):

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

I definitely recommend this series to folks that love dsytopia, but aren’t looking for anything too complicated. This is a straight the government is bad, we have the power to change that, and it’s going to be hard but worth it. I’ll be staying with this series until the end.

Here are the other books in the series:

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Review: “Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld

4.5 stars of 5 ★★★★★

At twelve years old, I started to write. I wrote novels, not poems, not diary entries, not short stories. I dreamed big.

To say it is my dream to have a novel published is an understatement. While some teenagers dreamed of being a world-famous actress, supermodel, politician, athlete, whatever, I was dreaming of being the next J.K. Rowling. I wanted people to tattoo my words on their skin. I wanted people to name their children and/or pets after my characters. I wanted worldwide acknowledgement of my writing talent. Why am I writing this in past tense? I still want these things.

In Afterworlds, Darcy Patel gets that dream. She’s a high school senior with million dollar advance on her first novel that she wrote in a month. That’s every young writer’s dream-every writer’s dream.

We follow Darcy on her journey to being published, and we also get to read her evolving masterpiece. As Darcy receives edits, as she learns new words, as people discuss her themes and plot, her novel changes and evolves. Her novel is not something I would have enjoyed reading(because most of the YA tropes were used–probably to make an example of her work compared to the other novel we get to read), but it was still intriguing. It’s really fascinating, and I really enjoyed Darcy’s process to publication in the YA world. Here’s the summary(via Goodreads):

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

If you’re interested in the publishing world, especially Young Adult book publishing, I recommend this book just for the (sometimes) real world publishing insight. Darcy is also an interesting character. While her novel is basically a mad libs version of a YA paranormal romance, her character is diverse and real. I also think it is interesting that Imogen’s book, of which we get to read the first chapter, is not as hyped as Darcy’s novel, but it is the more interesting, and better written of the two. I’d recommend it.

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What I’m Reading Now: “Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld

Yo, this is a good read. I was apprehensive because I read Uglies and was not impressed, but this is really good. I like the fact the I’m reading about a teenager who’s made a really stellar book deal and is afraid of screwing up, while I’m also reading her novel. It’s really cool. Thumbs up so far.