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Mini Mondays – The Girl on the Train, We Were Liars, The Silver Linings Playbook

Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 323

Rating: 4 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I feel bad that this review is ending up in Mini Mondays this week. It is in no way a reflection on how I felt about the book, I really enjoyed this book, but a reflection on my laziness and lack of a good memory. Always review your books straight after you read them kids!

I don’t know if I can say that I liked any of the characters, I don’t think you are supposed to like any of the characters, but I think they were really well written. At first I was a bit disgusted with Rachel, but as the story went on I felt more and more sorry for her. I wont go into why obviously but my god I would totally sort of loose my mind too and fall down some kind of emotional well also if I was in that situation.

Plot wise I wouldn’t say it was completely a surprise where the story went, but god I was taken on a ride with the story. I was surprised a lot, and I was still sitting on the edge of my seat even when it wasn’t. I was so eager to see what was going to happen next and constantly wondering how on Earth everything was going to work out for all those involved. It was creepy because I could really see something like this happening. Despite the fact I can’t remember enough for a full review, but I really enjoyed it and if you like thrillers or mysteries I would recommend this book to you. Not as crazy as Gone Girl but interesting in different ways.

Title: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult

Length: 225

Rating: 4 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.

Another book I really liked ending up in Mini Mondays but this one is not here because I don’t remember enough. Its here because If I really tell you anything about this book its going to ruin it and I don’t want to do that. Just like everyone before I am going to say that you should go into this book not knowing anything. Even me saying that is too much. The only people who can truly experience this book are those who have never heard of it and pick it up and read it. So don’t even read on really.

I really liked this book, but it annoyed me at the same time. I knew something was going to happen and I was just constantly waiting for something to happen. The writing really plays into this. It was very segmented and very dramatic and it took me a moment to get into the flow of the writing. It creates a lot of extra mystery and I was just sitting there going yes I know hurry up and tell me.

I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Up until this point I only sorta cared about the characters because they were getting on my nerves with their tight lipped ways. Then I cared a lot. The ending also made me so angry. I was furious at it, but I can’t say why. So anyone who has read the book please message me because god I want to rant and rant and rant. In saying all that though I liked the story and it was worth most the hype it was getting. If you think you can handle the both beautiful and irritating writing style then I think you will enjoy this book. Go forth and read.

Title: The Silver Linings Playbook

Author: Matthew Quick

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Length: 289

Rating: 3 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

So this Mini Mondays ended up having a theme of books I liked but didn’t have enough words for to write full reviews for.

This book isn’t something I am going to scream from the top of a hill for people to read. I found the writing style sort of flat, and despite it being a relatively short story it did drag at times for me. There was a lot of sport talk which really doesn’t interest me at all. The only part of the sporty scenes I liked was seeing how Pat reacted to different things or people or how it affected his frame of mind.

But it kept my interest because I found the idea of it really interesting. The thought these two very broken people coming together and basically just frustrating the other one until they sort of help each other out was a good idea. I didn’t really feel like I connected to them or feel as though they connected to each other as much as I think they were supposed to.

I found all parts relating to Pat’s interest in Nikki deeply unnerving. This kept me going, this sense of unease because I had to know where it was going, even if it didn’t really end up going anywhere. Pat is a really mentally sick human to obsess on Nikki the way he did, and I both feel sorry for him and want to keep him at a distance because it made me uncomfortable. In an interesting way.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil

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Title: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Author: Melina Marchetta

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 405

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Bashir “Bish” Ortley is a London desk cop. Almost over it. Still not dealing with the death of his son years ago, as well as the break-up of his marriage.

Across the channel, a summer bus tour, carrying a group of English teenagers is subject to a deadly bomb attack, killing four of the passengers and injuring a handful of others. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

The suspect is 17 year old Violette LeBrac whose grandfather was responsible for a bombing that claimed the lives of dozens of people fourteen years ago; and whose mother, Noor, has been serving a life sentence for the part she was supposed to have played in the attack.

As Bish is dragged into the search for the missing Violette, he finds himself reluctantly working with Noor LeBrac and her younger brother, Jimmy Sarraf.

And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more Bish realizes that they may have got it wrong all those years ago, and that truth wears many colours. Especially when it comes to the teenagers on board the recent bus bombing. Including his daughter.

Tell the truth. Shame the devil. Bish can’t get Violette LeBrac’s words out of his head. But what he may get is some sort of peace with his own past as the worlds of those involved in two bombings, years apart, collide into the journey of his life.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. Sorry it took so long to publish!

I am going to apologise straight off the bat if anyone finds this review lacking depth. I am reviewing this a while after I read it and I find thriller books hard enough to review the day after I have read them. I held off writing a review for this book because I found it hard to come up with words for it and its not any easier for me now.

This book is very different from everything Marchetta has written before, but you can still feel that it is her writing the words. She is there in the way that the story unfolds, that she is more interested in the way terrorism or racial profiling affects certain families more than people on a grand scale (even though she does touch on this).

I really enjoyed the plot of this story despite the fact it is not something I am normally interested in reading, there is enough of this kind of thing just happening in our world for me to read about. I liked the different perspectives that we were given and the way we are made to question just about everything, In saying all that though I do feel like a few things were shoved down my throat more than what I would have expected from Marchetta’s writing style.

I also really liked the characters. I liked Bish the most even though I think he was a little bit hopeless at times. Marchetta is great at crafting just real characters who you can relate to and like despite how flawed they are. One small thing that I found annoying with the characters in this book though was just how many of them there were. There were a lot and each of them basically had there own plot/backstory being weaved into the main plot line and at times it became a little confusing or hard to keep up with them all.

And I think that is where I will leave the review for today. If you like Marchetta and thriller books or political stories then you would like this book and I suggest you read it. If you have not read Marchetta before and are just looking for another thriller then you may want to read some more reviews before picking it up. She has a certain style about her and if it had not been her writing it I don’t think I would have liked this book as much.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Top Ten Tuesday – Fantasy For Every Age

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Books for Fantasy Readers of Every Age

I am switching it up a little bit this week, by recommending my favourite fantasy books from each age group.

Childrens

1. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

3. Bad Beginnings by Lemony Snicket.

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Young Adult

I have chosen to leave things like Throne of Glass and Harry Potter off the list because they are super obvious choices.

1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.

2. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

4. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

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Adult

Now I am cheating more than a little here, because I haven’t read any of these books, but they are up the top of my reading list so they ight as well be on everyone else’s list too. I chose to leave Lord of the Rings off of this list because its an obvious choice.

1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

2. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

3. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

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Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

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Till Next Time…

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Mini Mondays – Midnight Embrace, What She Left, Sprout of Deception

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midnight embraceTitle: Midnight Embrace

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Adult

Length: 378

Rating: 2 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

When I thought back to the times I first read the Amanda Ashley books I have, this is the one I remembered liking the least. Now that I have read it again I can clearly see why. The characters were very simple and very cliché. The story repeated itself so often I started counting how many times things popped up. I hated how he was always going I wont leave you but then two seconds later he would say I’m a monster get away from me. She was such a weak characters because she was supposed to be ‘innocent,’ but she should have been stronger. Then to top it all off the ending was very rushed.

Also, only people who have read the book will understand this but what on Earth happened to the horse?!

The only reason why this book got a 2 star was because I liked some of the romance sections in it, and has a nice poem at the very start of the book. I would not recommend this book to anyone, there are far better Amanda Ashley books, or just romance books in general out there.

what she leftTitle: What She Left

Author: T.R. Richmond

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 380

Rating: DNF 25%

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Thank you Penguin for sending me this book for an honest review!

The first thing you will notice here is that I didn’t give this book a rating. This my first DNF (did not finish) review and I am feeling a bit iffy about it. I am sad I cannot say I got further than 1/4 of the way through the book, so I thought it would only be fair if I left the rating off these reviews because didn’t finish them.

One of the reasons I only got 1/4 of the way through is that I just couldn’t get into the format of the way it was written by using articles from the news, internet, peoples laptops, letters and what not. I found it really disorientating and the information these articles were giving us I just found really boring.

I did really like the idea of the plot and I really wanted to get into it. If anyone has finished this book, PLEASE tell me if you had these issues at the start and that I just need to push through. I feel bad about it too cause it was an ARC too D:

81NJh0tcJDL._SL1500_Title: Sprout of Deception [The Hangman’s Replacement 1]

Author: Taona Dunisani Chiveneko

Genre: Mystery, Cultural

Length: 492

Rating: DNF 30-50%

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am pretty sure I got this book in a goodreads giveaway years ago, so I just want to say thank you to the author for giving me the book.

I tried. I really did. I picked this book up and put it back down so many times. It got to the point where my kindle couldn’t even remember where I was up to at times so that’s why I don’t know at exactly what point I was in the book before I stopped it all together.

The first character we are introduced to I didn’t mind. I was interested in getting to know him and what he was going to have to go through with his new life. The story just got so ridiculously boring and slow and I didn’t care about a single thing that was being said or was happening. I think I might have moved onto another guy, but he was only slightly more interesting.

This lack of interest in a character and what was happening, combined with the fact that I just generally didn’t ever understand what was happening with the plot made this book a no go for me. What does a carnivorous plant have to do with hiring a hangman? It made no sense and didn’t have a point to me.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Lifeboat

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Title: The Lifeboat

Author: Charlotte Rogan

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Length: 337

Rating: 3.5 Star rounded down to 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she’d found. Will she pay any price to keep it?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

“Almost unbearably exciting – you’ll gulp it down in a single sitting.” – Kate Saunders, The Times

I went into this book with great expectations. The idea of people plotting the death of each other while they sit next to them plus that blurb had me seriously thinking of a fast pace evil kind of story.

This isn’t what I got.

While it was a seriously solid story, it was really really slow. The people in the boat are stuck out at sea for three weeks. Three. We get a recap of pretty much everyday and sometimes the night as well. By day five part of me was wishing the boat would sink. There were interesting bits within the story and there was plotting a death, but I found that the book was more about Grace’s thoughts on the human condition and what being in this situation was doing to everyone. Not the actual plotting. While these thoughts are interesting, I didn’t need two weeks of them (luckily they pretty much skip the third week).

The structure of this book was pretty good up until the end where I don’t know how I felt about it. At the end of week two the boat story breaks off and goes into a few chapters on how it all plays out for Grace in court. Once this is over, we then go back and experience the rescue, then we go back to how her life turned out after the boat. While this structure thing isn’t a huge issue, I don’t understand why it was done. I found it a bit disorientating to the story. I cared more about how they all get saved than if she was going to go to jail or not.

One thing I think fell really short with the story was the characters. I felt no connection to any of them. The parts of the story and the characters I was most interested in were parts I was never going to get any answers to. I really wanted to know more about Henry, how he got Grace on the boat, and all that drama with the ships communication device and Blake and Hardie. Henry mostly though, I thought he sounded pretty interesting.

So yes, the story while interesting in the sense that it was good to see how people freak out in those situations, it dragged on for me and left out a bunch of questions unanswered. If you are interested in slow paced historical fiction with a little bit of drama, give it a go, but if not perhaps give it a miss. I fell asleep reading it a couple of times.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – A Whisper of Eternity

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Title: A Whisper of Eternity

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Adult

Length: 352

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

He Will Not Lose Her Again

When artist Tracy Warner purchases the rambling seaside house built above Dominic St. John’s hidden lair, he recognizes in her spirit the woman he has loved countless times over the centuries. Drawing her into the fascinating, seductive world of the vampire, he aches to believe that this time she will not refuse his Dark Gift. But when Dominic’s ancient rival appears in Sea Cliff, hungry for territory and power, Tracy becomes a pawn in a deadly game. To save her—and the passion that burns between them—Dominic must offer…A Whisper of Eternity.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Once upon a time this book used to be one of my favourite not trashy but still not serious enough to be called not trashy romance book. I think this is why it stands at 3 stars right now. A few years ago it would have been a 4 or a 5, in a few years it might be a 2. But for now its a 3.

The writing in this book is not the best in all the word, I have most certainly read better. There are even a few grammatical things within the book and they drive me up the wall. It really does surprise me how my taste or just general experience of books has changed so much since starting this blog. I thought the writing was great a few years ago. If you don’t notice these kind of things though the plot is enough to keep you going.

The plot is not the most original thing in all the world, specially now a day. Very old and very strong vampire falls in love with a normal girl who thought he was dashing and handsome, serious and ever so slightly scary. Girl also meets a boy who is the completely opposite but still attractive. Someone who is fun and generally makes the girl feel good but for some reason just isn’t what she is looking for. How this book differs from this kind of standard plot is that he has known and loved her in past lives. I know there are a few of these kind of books out there, but this is a rather old one so I will let it feel slightly original. They meet in each life and fall in love, but before he can reveal what he is to her and have her not be frightened, she dies somehow. Upon each death bed he reveals that he is a vampire and offers to turn her so that she can live the rest of her life with him, but each time she refuses and dies leaving him to spend years waiting till they find each other again. Will this be his last time chasing her across the ages?

The characters themselves are interesting enough. Tracy I like in the sense she does a lot of things I like, such as being an artist, likes the beach and to read. It is also very nice that she isn’t what I would call stupid. Dominic is a very sexy man. Sometimes he is rather dense and stubborn as seems all strong powerful men in these kind of books. Also rather controlling. That weakness aside, I love him. I think the name Dominic is a very sexy one purely because of this book.

The rest of the characters in the book are a bit less to be desired. You meet them but you don’t really get much of them. But I have read some more from her vampire romance books and it seems that she does things a little like Kresley Cole, they seem to pop up in other books so perhaps I will feel like they matter and were not just there for content later on.

And there we have it. I like this book well enough, but some of this enjoyment might be stemming from past affections. If you enjoy a trash book that doesn’t have much sex in it this is one you might want to checkout, but if not you might be able to miss it.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – A Game Of Thrones

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Title: A Game Of Thrones [A Song Of Ice And Fire 1]

Author: George R.R. Martin

Genre: Fantasy, Epic, Adult

Length: 801

Rating: 4 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Description/Synopsis:

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Wow. Just wow. I cannot believe how long it took me to finish this book. Depending on what I have to do that, I can normally easily finish a book between 200-680ish pages in a day. This book is about 800 pages. One would think that it would take me at most a couple of weeks to finish. Well, it took me about 6 months. I’m really quite ashamed of how long it took me. The size of the book was very daunting to me and while I was reading I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, and that’s part of the fun I get out of reading. The progress. I had to start leaving my bookmark in where I started reading so I could see how far I had read that day.

Now I did see the TV series before I started the book. This kind of makes it hard for me to talk about the book without referring back to the show like I normally would. So I think I will do this a bit backwards and compare the books to the show and do a review on it later. Maybe.

Now I don’t think I would have gotten through this book at all if it were not for the show. There are so many people with strange names and some of them are very similar, and If I hadn’t of seen the faces they put to most these names in the show I think I would have gotten really really lost very early on in the story.

The characters In the book were a bit more flat to the ones in the show. I don’t know if it is because I knew what was happening to all of them already but I found the way they were presented in the book less dramatic/interesting. This is not to say that they were not good, they were. I got to understand more about why they do the things they do which is just left out in the show. For example I don’t hate Sansa as much anymore because of reading her chapters. I understand her better, though I’m still not happy with the things she does. That all being said though they are all really well constructed characters, they know who they are and so do you. Because of the show though I has issues picturing them at their actually ages. When I remembered how old they were some of the things really shocked me.

When it comes to the world building I think they did a pretty good job at keeping it true to how its described in the book. They only really left out some of the more completely impossible kind of things like the journey up the Aerie steps, I can see why they altered that a bit. But there is stuff both in the plot and the world building hat is left out that is just stunning even if it wasn’t completely needed.

I guess I just loved the extra details I got from the book that were not in or were not conveyed in the show in all regards. The character sections were my favourite though. I think reading this book would have been easier if it hadn’t of been quite so large and was maybe broken in half. Maybe then it wouldn’t have appeared quite as dense as it was. It was still a good read and had sections of it me glued to the book.

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Book Review – The Poison Garden

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Title: The Poison Garden

Author: Sarah Singleton

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 283

Rating: 1 Star

Description/Synopsis:

It is the 1850’s, and a young boy, Thomas, leaves his family to be apprenticed to a pharmacist, at the behest of his dead grandmother. He also inherits a magical box from her, which provides him entry into a mysterious garden. But while visiting it, he sees a ghostly vision of his grandmother, who tells him she was poisoned, and warns him that he must find the person responsible, and save her precious garden. For she was one of five members of an arcane guild, each of whom cultivated an individual garden, mastering the art of poison, perfume and medicine. The guild members jostle for power as, one by one, they are murdered …

Can Thomas solve the mystery, before he in turn is threatened?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

My opinion of this book is not great. Within the first couple of pages I was getting annoyed with the style of writing and found myself drifting off while reading and thinking about other things, and it took me far longer to read because I kept putting it down and trying to find something else to distract myself so I didn’t have to keep reading. But, I hate to leave a book unfinished and I committed to trying to post a review each day, so I pushed myself through it.

The contents of the book is described in way to much pointless detail that you dont get to form your own opinion or idea, and it happens way to fast for me. You get have barely started reading before major stuff starts happening, and though this can often work in some books it is not the case here. I felt as if I was being rushed through because the author themselves was already bored and was trying to get to the end of the book. Because of this rushed feeling you don’t get to connect to any of the characters. When bad things happen you don’t care because why should you? You haven’t gotten to feel any warmth or connection to them, you have just been told “This is this guy,” and then they just remain some random you know of but don’t give a damn about.

This feeling of disconnectedness could also be contributed to the pore dialogue. The conversations feel forced the entire way through, and for me they sealed the deal when it came to not caring about the characters. Towards the end I started to feel something, my head was focussed on the story I was being told and I wasn’t looking to see how many pages where left, but then some forced dialogue reared its ugly head and I was pushed outside of the book again. Things are danced around in a too obvious way, or they are just too plainly laid out for all the world to see. Conversations don’t seem natural (or feelings or reactions for that matter), and I felt as though I was reading school students running through a scripted play for the first time.

That being said however I did love the idea behind the book and feel it has so much untapped potential which makes the failings stand out that much more for me. Gardens which are all connect but all apart, which shape to your imagination and inner most ideals, and are boundless to restrictions of simply ‘good’ or ‘evil’ magic/abilities sounds like a fantastic concept that should have been looked at it more detail. I so desperately wanted to know more about each garden, to spend more that 10-30 pages I was given exploring each garden world.

This one book could easily have been an awesome series if it wasn’t so rushed.

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Book Review: That Was Then This Is now

 

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Title: That Was Then This is Now

Author: S.E. Hinton

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult

Length: 154

Rating: 5 Star

Description/Synopsis:

Does growing up have to mean growing apart?

Since childhood, Bryon and Mark have been as close as brothers. Now things are changing. Bryon’s growing up, spending a lot of time with girls, and thinking seriously about who he wants to be. Mark still just lives for the thrill of the moment. The two are growing apart – until Bryon makes a shocking discovery about Mark. Then Bryon faces a terrible decision – one that will change both of their lives forever.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS 

I thought this would be a good book to start off with because I read it years ago and wished to read it again.

This book is heartbreaking. 

Want to know the reason why it took me years to read it again? Because I cried my eyes out when I finished it the first time, that it has taken me this long to be able to read it again. The heartbreak was still there when I reached the end, but it was a memory of the original heartbreak. I didn’t cry the second time around, but I was close to it.

The characters are are very well developed making you feel everything they do, which I dont always find is possible with such short books, but it achieved completely here. It very raw in its emotions, and uncensored in censored kinda way. The lifestyle is one that is brutally harsh and often unpleasant to think about, but the author doesnt stoop to using lots of swear words though there are plenty of occasions when they are walked around. The author leaves the mentions ‘foul’ speak open to interpretation, like she does with just the right amount of the settings and the rest of book. Hinton gives you enough to help form the image she wants, but not enough to wreck the experience of using some of your own imagination. 

Though by the title name, and the general style that we found from Hinton’s first book The Outsiders (which I will review once I tape my copy back together) we can kind of guess that the story isn’t going to end happily, but what happens is still unexpected and enough to make one cry. 

A small touch I really enjoyed about this book is that made me enjoy it just that little bit more, the setting is the same from The Outsiders and you get to see a glimpse of the old main character Ponyboy Curtis once again, but he doesnt take over the story. Because of this I recommend that you read the first one before this even though they aren’t related, you might just get that something else out of it.

The only bad note I have to say about this book is that there were just a couple of phrases/wording issues that I had to go back and read a couple of times because they didnt flow very. 

So in conclusion READ THIS BOOK!! Its a great short read that will alter your soul.