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Book Review – My Heart And Other Black Holes

my hearts and other black holes

Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health

Length: 302

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am going to put a warning here like I do at the start of any book I review that revolves around suicide. I have very strong, negative views on the matter. If you, or anyone you know, or even if its a topic you sympathise with, you may not want to read my review. I will do my best to not sound like a jerk, but I generally cannot understand and have little sympathy on the matter. I apologise in advance. If this sounds like something you will not handle reading about, give this review a miss.

But just because it’s cowardly doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be easy.

I like the plot of this book, despite the rant I just gave. I think it was an interesting way to have people meet each other and take their journey together. The ending for these kind of books is generally predictable and I knew at least part of the result even before I cracked open the book, but learning how they came to be where they were at the start of the book, and how they changed between then and the end is something that interests me. I read these kind of books to try and get a better understanding on why some people commit suicide, but sadly this book didn’t help change my opinion or enlighten me in anyway like All The Bright Places did. There were a number of things that annoyed me too much to really make me have a better understanding about what people with depression go through, and it was really very predictable.

In these moments, it always feels like my skin is too thin, like everyone can see right inside me, can see my empty and dark insides.

The writing style was probably my favourite part of the book. I am sure that you can see that by the number of quotes that I snuck into the review. I found many of the words to be very captivating and they were the things I connect to the most in terms of understanding. If the plot and the character development had of been more of to speed with the way things were explained or written, this book would have gotten a higher rating from me.

Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.

While I felt for Aysel and understood why she had the kind of feelings that she did, I didn’t connect with her like I did Roman. Roman to me, was genuinely suffering to the point where he was drowning, his issue was that he was unsure of how to swim in his emotions. Which ones to let go, which ones to hold on to, and whether or not he was allowed to feel any different. Aysel, while still having to deal with really traumatic things, I didn’t feel like they were things couldn’t let go of. That if she had just opened her mouth, things could have been better for her. There were things people go do and say to help her through what she was going through since a lot of her issues stemmed from other people, unlike with Roman where he had to come to those conclusions on his own because his issues where with himself.

Saying all that though, Roman made me far angrier than Aysel did at times. The way he acted because of his feelings, made him a manipulator, and just generally an complete selfish ass for the most part. He needed Aysel for his own reasons, and didn’t much care about hers for a long while. Confusing isn’t it? In terms of who I think I liked better as a person, it was probably Aysel, but in terms of actually understanding why they had come to the decision that they have to die, its Roman.

SPOILER – I didn’t like the way Aysel got over her issues really either. Yes, love can help you overcome many things and can help you get through dark times in your life. Did it have to be the romantic kind of love? It would have been much better story to me if it was just his friendship and his understanding that helped. If it lead to more later, that could have been cute, but it wasn’t gradual enough for me. – END SPOILER

I think I will end this review here before it gets much longer. I am not sure really who I would recommend this book to. If you want a romance book, this is not for you. If you want something that is a good representation of how depression actually is, I do’t think this book covers that really either. But I suppose that the book did raise some interesting ways to think about life and death. If these kinds of books interest you, I would read for the writing and the pictures it creates, just go into knowing that its probably not the best one out there.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – Looking For Alaska

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Title: Looking For Alaska

Author: John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 271

Rating: 3 (3.5) Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I have to say, I am not following this John Green banned wagon that everyone else besides me seems to be partying on. Besides The Fault In Our Stars, I have not really liked any of his books that I have read. I did round this book up to a 4 star but upon further reflection put it down to a 3 because I have read better things on the 4 scale. I hold up in hope though that when I get to Paper Towns I feel some of the love again.

This review will contain spoilers.

I like the overall plot of this book. We meet this whirlwind of a girl, Alaska, and get swept up in her just over-the-top behaviour and then she dies in a car crash and people are left remember. Our main character Pudge is then left to deal with his feelings for her which never went anywhere other than one stolen kiss the night before she dies. Because in his mind he had built her up to this wonderful goddess like creature, and then after her death he realises she was not as perfect as he was making her out to be.

This is the part I like. The dealing with the realistic aspects of human nature, how we are generally not all good and bad, and just because you may love someone, or that someone has died, doesn’t change those things and we need to remember and love them despite those aspects. The parts of the plot which were very generic and cliché to ‘how teenagers act out’ were less than desired though.

I think my biggest issue with this story was the fact that I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, around the middle of the book I was really feeling for them and connect with the struggles they were having, but it was the same kind of feeling that get when I hear a news story about something bad has happened to people I don’t know. It doesn’t last.

For me the writing style was fine. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t so bad I wanted to claw my eyes out either. There were a few things I would call ‘try hard’ where they seemed to be through in there just to try and force the story to be more exciting or edgy and ended up failing. But I did like the last sentence thing that popped up throughout the book. I don’t know if any of them were actually true, but those kind of things I find interesting anyway so I liked the way they were weaved in to help tell the story.

This is the second book from a males perspective that I have read of John Green’s work, and thus far I don’t think I like the male perspectives from him. I loved TFIOS, but I hated An Abundance of Katherines, and this fell in the middle. Does he have more books from a girls perspective? I would like to pick one of those up next if he does to see if that makes a difference, or if TFIOS is just on its own.

I would recommend this book to people who have read other John Green books and have liked them so that they can see where he has come from, because I believe this was his first book, correct me if I am wrong though. If you have read a few Green books though and haven’t really been interested in what was going on I would give this book a miss.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

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Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 188

Rating: 5 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am having such a good run of books lately and this book is no exception.

I found this to be a very honest telling of what high school can be like for some. Its  great big mess no matter who you are, you have dramas that you sometimes don’t even realise you have, and everything is just really hard in ways you don’t understand. Charlie has all these issues in his own way, and it is him dealing with these issues that makes up the plot. I use he word plot kind of loosely because there isn’t really a plot to the book in the sense that there are no huge and dramatic things that push the story along.

The story is presented to us through letter format where Charlie is writing to a friend who is unnamed throughout the book. I have no idea who this person is supposed to be. I think I missed some clue in the listening/reading to of this book because it seems like others worked it out but I am still in the dark. Despite me not getting the hints I really liked the way it was presented. I don’t normally like letter type stories, I am currently failing at reading two separate ones, but I found this super easy to follow and I enjoyed it.

Character wise I thought everyone had depth and were interesting in their own ways. I liked Charlie but I found him a but frustrating and just could not understand why he did some things the way he did them. The ones I liked the most were Sam and Patrick. I ADORED these two characters. Their energy for life and the way they feed off each other and breathe life into Charlie is just awesome. I could have just read a book about them.

The only negative right now that I can think of other than some stupid Charlie choices, I would suggest not doing the audio book for this one. The voice that was used is really annoying and ‘geeky’ voice while suiting, I found it very distracting at times and think it would probably be more enjoyable to just read the book.

I would suggest this book to anyone who likes a high school based book about people coming to understand themselves. While it was amazing, I don’t think this book is for everyone.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Speak

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Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 208

Rating: 5 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Ok, this book is going down as 1 of the top 3 books I have read this year. I basically breathed this book in and I hope to never ever let it go.

When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.

Its so brutally honest about the way life can be in high school, and deals with a very serious topic without undermining it or making light of it. You can feel the main characters strength grow as she learns to deal with what has happened to her life and you just never want her to stop talking. I cannot accurately portray my feelings in such a small place. It more than moved me. So please forgive me if this review doesn’t accurately tell you anything, and its just me going on about how it made me feel the entire time.

All the characters had their purpose. No matter who you were/are in school, you can recognise each of the characters that were presented to you. The friend who for reasons beyond your knowledge, have undergone a personality change and no longer speaks to you. The friend you know is only with you until someone they consider better comes along. And then of course the pack mentality of the group, going along with a story and accepting it as fact without ever knowing for sure all the details because they have not spoken to all the people involved.

While not all characters in this book are featured a lot and then could be considered ‘underdeveloped,’ they all serve a purpose and are not just in the book to build word count. So to me this provided a book of well developed and interesting characters.

The plot of the story is what really got me going. The entire time I hurt for our main character. Being so widely hated and tormented, even by people who were supposed to be there for her, over something she was completely in the right for. But from memory no one she would have told because they were supposed to be there for her even asked her why she called the police to come and break up the party. Of course then one outcome is her probably feeling guilt about and shame about what had happened and then not speaking up about what happened.

The writing style was also very very powerful. Melinda’s voice as the narrator goes from being someone who is just as ‘normal’ as everyone else. At no point does she try to sway you really like or hate herself or anyone else more than the other, she is just getting through school the best way she can think of. But then at other parts of the story the narration/writing goes spiralling down with her in her moments of panic and fear that she has yet to really work through. As someone who has in the past and will probably will for the rest of my life, suffered from panic attacks, I felt for her. Most her moments happen in public and I cannot imagine feeling something like that coming and trying to make it so no one notices how badly you are struggling for breathe and your heart beating so fast it hurts.

I am getting better at smiling when people expect it.

If it was not clear I think everyone should read this book. Some of you won’t like it. You may think the topic is over done and that Melinda is freaking out over nothing. Well she isn’t and you should get a new perspective. This is a topic that needs to be read about in this way. The subject matter isn’t in there to try and add ‘depth’ or something to our main character. Its there to tell a very true portrait of how these things can be, and thusly everyone should at least give the book a go so that people can be that little bit better educated about not jumping on the voice of the crowd without knowledge, about how this can effect people. Its a quick read and very worth it.

Read it.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – An Abundance of Katherines

an abundance of katherines

Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 213

Rating: 2 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun – bit no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am going to keep this review rather short and to the point, because I really don’t have that much to say about it.

I really didn’t like this book, and after all the good things I hear about John Greens writing and the fact that I really rather enjoyed TFIOS, this book was a huge disappointment.

There are a couple of things that kept this book from being dropped to a 1 star for me. The first one is that there were a few moments that made me laugh out loud, and I really liked the relationship between Colin and his one and only friend Hassan. They had a really easy and relaxed back and forth that made me believe they have been friends since the moment they met, and together they were really quite funny and nice to read about. This is where my enjoyment ended sadly.

I hated Colin as a character. Everytime he opened his mouth he was complaining about something. He reeked of self loathing that came from no where and had no justifiable to be crying like a little ****. It was just self pity. He had no real troubles. He is probably one of the most annoying characters I have ever read about. If I was a girl dating a guy like that and he just blurted out all that rubbish all the time but then didn’t make any effort to fix any of his so cold problems or seek help for his apparent issues, like Colin, I would leave him too! The rest of the characters I never really formed any kind of attachment to. Hassan was probably the character I liked the most, because he was just so happy most of the time. Great balance to Colin.

The plot line of the story could have been a great kinda easy ready story. You got dumped buddy? Ok then lets go on an epic road trip and hook you up with some randoms! Thats like a summer romance kinda story, and I like good summer romance stories. We didn’t get this though. We just got a lot of math. So much math. We had the road trip adventure story was floating around in the background, but everytime I was actually getting into the story Colin would be like I HAVE TO WORK OUT LOVE WITH MATH. I have to do a math graph for every one of my failed relationships. I have to create a formula that works out when a relationship will end because they all will! It was completely disorientating and just plain not interesting.

I am going to end this here because if I talk about anything else or let myself go on more, it would just be ranting. I already deleted some rants that were not needed. Encase it wasn’t obvious, I do not recommend this book, even if you have liked other John Green books. I feel there are far better ones to try.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Saint Anything

saint anything

Title: Saint Anything

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 417

Rating: 3 Star rounded down from 3.5

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Description/Synopsis:

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was sent this book from by the wonderful people over at Penguin. Thank you so so much! This is another book I probably would not have picked up if not for you guys. You are always making me expand my reading base and I love you for it.

Contemporary books are a huge thing right now and each of them seem to be taking on their own little twist in telling their stories. This books little twist is that is is on the more normal side of lifes drama. Yes, it has a character in there that goes to jail, but each family has its own drama that is just as much an issue as something else is to another family. You cannot compare dramas if you haven’t experienced it. But its more the after effect, how the little things function from there on out.

I really liked this book. I did. I found the writing style to be super easy and quick to get through, and I the characters to me were all really well developed. I connected with Sydney and her conflicted emotions on all the situations she was going through. I completely understood all her feelings and every action she did. I also completely agreed with everyone else in their thoughts and actions too except her parents. I can understand her mother, and think her dad was a bit useless right up until the end, but I still think her mum was just crazy. An understandable crazy and a needed drive for the overall plot but still. I loved every member of the Chathams family. Layla is an awesome friend.

The plot though nice was where this story lost me a bit. It was slow and for me, just too mellow. Remember that comment I made about not being able to compare situations unless you have had them yourself? I am in that wonderful situation where I can. A member of my family, one in the inner circle, went to jail for six months for use, making and selling of drugs. The before, during and after of my life were greatly affected by this as well as for people outside my family. This person took someone who was pretty much a stable clean person, put them onto drugs which then destroyed their life, which they then ended. Something they had to do twice because the first time just left them in a wheelchair. Unlike Sydney though, this wasn’t something I felt much guilt over.

So as you can see, the plot for me was just a tame reflection of some of the things I have gone through so to me the plot just wasn’t gripping enough. I can fully see this book being more interesting to others though so I suggest it to anyone who likes a bit of contemporary.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Ashes of Life

ashes of life

Title: Ashes of Life

Author: Erica Lucke Dean & Laura M. Kolar

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 268

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?

All Maddie Barrett wanted was for her parents to get back together, but an icy road took that dream away. Afterward, Maddie is riddled with guilt that she can’t share with anyone. Feeling angry and alone, she lays all the blame on Alex.

Alex and Maddie must find a way to move past their pain—shared, yet separate. Thrown together in an untenable arrangement, they fight through a frozen landscape of sorrow and redemption while redefining love, forgiveness, and family.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This blog is partly brought to you by the good folks over at Red Adept Publishing. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in this wonderful blog tour!

When I went into this book I had literally no expectations. I was going through a slump and I really had zero interest in reading anything, but my day on the tour was not far away and I just had to get it over and done with. Wow. Just, awesome. While this book was not enough to completely shake the slump it was enough to actually make me angry that I am experiencing one. I flew through this book and didn’t want to put it down at any point.

The plot of the story itself was pretty simple, but I think that is just what I needed from a book. Something that wasn’t too complicated but something that many people can relate to. In this book we are taken on a journey of two women, one who has lost her new husband and now has to deal with raising his daughter, someone who has never given her a kind look let alone a kind word, and a teenager that has just lost both her parents and is forced to live with someone she blames for them not getting back together. The plot of loss is something that everyone can relate to and it is always in these times of loss that we seem to be faced with changes we never thought we would have to deal with. I really liked the writing style in the overall story. It was really engaging.

My favourite scenes in this book would have to be the moments, specially early on, where things seem to be going well for a change for our two main characters, one such example is when they are both going through David’s (husband and father) belongings. They finally seem to be connecting but then something simple breaks the reprieve and they are forced right back to the beginning. These little moments of moving on and actually happiness/acceptance are the parts I liked best.

Its the characters themselves are what really left this book at a four star rating for me. Yes I understand they are going through grief and I guess its completely realistic that they may do/act/say the way they do at points. But I still didn’t like those parts. I didn’t get this ‘guilt’ Maddie was feeling. She was just being an immature brat. I know most kids would probably want their parents back together, but divorce is a super common thing now-a-days and I think she could of handled it way better. I also thought that Alex made some SUPER bad choices. I wont go into one of them, but the other is that she moved on way too quickly. I know she thought her husband was going to leave her and go back to his ex but she got over that super quickly.

Other than that I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I get to be apart of its tour. I would suggest this book to anyone who is in the mood for a contemporary read. I would not suggest it to someone who has just gone through a loss recently or is not in a place where they are ok with it, because the subject matter might be a bit too close to home.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender

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Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Author: Leslye Walton

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Length: 301

Rating: 5 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book was the kind of book that grabs hold of you and changes who you are as a person ever so slightly. I went into this book with literally no expectations. I bought this book because I thought the cover was stunning. That was it. I actually didn’t think I was going to like it so much because there are so many things that could just be wrong with a book like this. A girl born with wings in an otherwise normal world. If the writing wasn’t good a story like that can fall apart before it even starts. But the writing in this book swept me up and carried me away to places I could not have imagined.

To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth—deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl.

This is a small to average sized book and it contained so much yet nothing went to waste. I thought this book would start right off on Ava, go straight into the strangeness of this girl. Instead we get Ava telling us how her life came to be right up until the very end of the book, starting off with her grandmothers parents, then moving onto her grandmother and her siblings lives, then her mothers, and finally hers and her brothers, going through all the things that lead them to the places they ended and the strangeness that seemed to flow within the family genes. Ava and her brother Henry were not even born till the very end of chapter nine.

This book contains so many characters that it would take me a very long time to mention them all, and normally in a short book like this many characters often feel flat or underdeveloped and just overall pointless to the story. This is not the case with tis book. Every single character that is mentioned in this book and been expertly woven and told and serves a purpose the story. The is no needless information given at any point in this story.

I don’t even really know what I can say about this book. The entire story had this magical feel and atmosphere to it that made you want to keep reading. It moves slow, but you don’t even notice, You can see where the story is going for Ava. Its not like its a secret, it says it on the very first page with to my great misfortune, I was once mistake for an angel, and in the synopsis with whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration and build to a devastating crescendo. You know where the story is going from the very start. When I saw this part of the book coming I read it in twenty minute segments because I just didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t want to believe it and I didn’t want to experience that level of sadness. But I knew I had to if I want to see the conclusion of the story so I pushed through it. Poor poor Ava, and poor poor Henry. I feel as though Henry is this books readers inserted within the story. He knows whats coming, and we know whats coming, but no one else does and as we see it all unfolding and scream out to be heard, to warn, no one understands us and by the end there is nothing we can do because its already happened.

There is only one character I truly hate for what he inflicted, and its not hard to guess who that person is. But the whole of Ava’s life seems to be her dealing with people who cannot look past the pigeon like wings that protrude from her back, and how if someone other than herself had of just seen her as the girl she was and treated her thusly, all of this could have been avoided.

I acknowledged Gabe and his attempts of flight the way a legless child might view a hopeful and misguided parent buying a house full of stairs. After awhile, when Gabe offered me a morning greeting, it didn’t feel like he was greeting me but rather a giant pair of wings; no girl, just feathers.

This is a story about love in all forms, with complete and utterly heartbreaking honesty, sometimes so honest that you just don’t even want to acknowledge it. It is a story about the choices we make in life and where they lead us. How life can be a horrid waste, where obsession can lead, the effects desire can have, and how everything you know your life to be could have been different if you had of just chosen a different path, or accept the one that was placed in front of you.

She laughed for her wasted, difficult life that never had to be wasted or difficult in the first place.

This story is sad, happy, intoxicating, and just so unbelievably beautiful its enough to crush the soul. It came upon me slowly like everything comes upon you with this book, and it wasn’t until I realised I was having so much trouble reading up to the section that I undertood just how much I love this book and how much it has forever effected me. I have not felt like this about a book since On The Jellicoe Road and this book has soared to the top of my all time favourite books list.

If you haven’t guessed already, I think everyone should read this book if they are at an age where they can properly understand the meanings portrayed within its pages. Because of this book, Leslye Walton has been places on my ‘must buy’author list and I cannot wait to see what she brings the world in the future. I just… I just can’t get over it. To anyone who has read this book, please come to me and discuss the ending. I have so many feelings and for the first time after reading a book I feel as though if I don’t discuss it with someone I might explode. It causes me physical pain.

 

Till Next Time…

2

Book Review – Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Title: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Glbt

Length: 303

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received an advance readers copy of this book by Penguin and I want to thank them so very much! This is not the kind of book I would normally pick up at all since the content generally doesn’t interest me all the much. I don’t mean that in a hateful kind of way or anything, its just when it comes to romance I like to be able to relate or place myself in the story in some way and since I am not interested in the same sex, nor a male, I would never have picked this book up if they had not sent it to me, and I would have missed out on what a gem of a book it really is!

I found this book and the story line to be exceptionally cute and adorable. At many points I was laughing out loud and smiling so much that my face hurt with the extra workout it was getting despite the fact it is a story about a boy who gets blackmailed and is then exposed to be gay despite the fact that it should have been his thing to decide when to come out and did everything the blackmailer wanted. I thought Simon was a very realistic character and everything that was happening to him struggle wise was relatable in some way or another. I undertsood why he made all his choices and I felt all his pains. I actually really liked him as a character and found him to be just so incredibly funny. The line about the socks just absolutely killed me.

Leah’s also into slash fanfiction, which got me curious enough to poke around the internet and find some last summer. I couldn’t believe how much there was to choose from: Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy hooking up in thousands of ways in every broom closet at Hogwarts. I found the ones with decent grammar and stayed up all night reading. It was weird couple of weeks. That was the summer I taught myself how to do laundry. There are some socks that shouldn’t be washed by your mother.

Just so damn funny.

I like pretty much all the characters. They all had their moments of enjoyments. I did think that a lot of them were seriously flawed though. I mean Nick and Leah are supposed to be his best friends but when the thing with the tumblre issue they knew about it but didn’t say anything to him about it all and they had all the opportunity to do so. I also think Leah was just very selfish about how the whole thing played out. Marty is the biggest jerk that ever did live.

I liked Blue most the time and while I cannot related to what he was going through I could still kind of understand what he was feeling. Despite that though I thought he was pretty weak. Poor Simon is going through hell and he chooses to avoid him for awhile because he was afraid of what might happen. I did really like him though and and I was really happy to see that he was who I thought he was all along.

I down point for the story I think was that it was trying to be more meaningful than it actually was. Trying to teach us things that don’t really need to be taught in this day and age. I know I cannot understand the struggles that a guy person may be going through, so I might be completely wrong and I don’t want to offend anyone, but with each generation we are becoming more and more accepting of everyone and the generation this book is aimed at is just generally pro equality. The blackmail thing is sucky and coming out is a thing that is personal to everyone who has to go through it even if they really shouldn’t anymore, but lots of people in the book make it as though being gay is still a big deal, when I think in general it isn’t. Its just more people, just like all the other people in the world. We are all different, and thats not anything bad for the most part. Specially who we choose to love.

Anyway, thats enough of my rant. I really liked this book and I am so glad that I read and I am forever thankful to Penguin who like to send me books outside of my comfort zone. Its one of my favourite things I have read this year I think.

 

Till Next Time…

0

Book Review – Kissing In America

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Title: Kissing In America

Author: Margo Rabb

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Length: 390

Rating: 3 Star

Publication: 26/05/2015

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Description/Synopsis:

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I went into this book with pretty low expectations. I wasn’t even planning on reading it because I thought it would be silly but since the people at Penguin (THANK YOU!) were lovely enough to send me an advance copy I decided I might as well pick it up.

It was about as silly as I thought it would be though. At no point was I surprised by any of the actions or events that took place.

This book is about a girl called Eva who shares a kiss with a boy and now thinks they are both madly in love. Then the boy must move across the country. How will Eva survive without him when they were so madly in love? Well she will go visit him of course! But how will she do that? She has a mother that doesn’t public transport or the world in general and neither of them ever plan on getting on a plane again. I know! She will see some competition where said boy lives and then drags her best friend into it, making her join up so that Eva may get a kiss again. Will the boy still be there by the time they arrive? The answer: Nope.

I didn’t really like any characters of the characters. They were all just so one sided, had horrible personalities and have no development whats so ever. Eva is annoying and stupid and oozes teen angst the entire book. Its pretty much about Eva crying about loss, obsessing on the couple of kisses she had with this guy and how in love they are, and drama she creates herself. She is also just a terrible friend. Her mother is just a horrible mother, forever thinking about herself. She does one thing I liked in the book and it didn’t happen till the end. So I will give her one point of growth. Eva’s aunt Janet is just plain wrong. The only reason she is in this book is for shock value. Annie (best friend) and LuLu (stupid name) and Eva’s father are the only ones I liked two of which you don’t really focus on because Eva is too busy with herself and the other is dead.

I read in a review that this book is just filled with strong female characters. WHERE. Yes there are lots of female characters but they are in no way strong besides being strongly annoying.

I feel like this book was trying to be way more deep and meaningful than it actually turned out to be. At the moment the bookworld is filled with books about loss and love and the struggles of just being a teenager, and being written in a time when there are so many other and better ones this book fails to stand out in the crowd.

After all my b****ing and moaning I did enjoy some parts of this book I enjoyed or I would not have rated it 3 star. It did have some laugh out loud moments and some very cute moments here and there. These fluffy moments were enough to bump it up from a 2 star, but in no way good enough to carry it higher.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy the self destructive drama of teenagers. Anyone else I would suggest giving this book a miss because there are much better ones of this nature out there and there is not enough time in our lives for all the books we must read.

 

Till Next Time…