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Book Review – Holding Up The Universe

Title: Holding Up The Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 388

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world – theirs and yours.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin for sending me this book for review!

Now before I get into the actual review I sort of feel like I need to put a disclaimer on this review. I look on goodreads and I see so many people raging about this book, which seems ridiculous to me, but here we are. These are my opinions from the perspective of someone who is not seriously overweight, has not been home schooled, has no physical issues, and has NO RESEARCH on any of the issues that were discussed in this book to compare and see if they are in fact accurately portrayed.

Now that we have that rubbish out of the way, lets move on.

Much like her other book I really enjoyed Holding Up The Universe. I really enjoy Niven’s writing style and I think that she covered the topics within the book very respectfully in terms of how serious they are.

I really liked the overall theme of the story which was basically to just love yourself, and to improve yourself if you feel you need improvement and not because of what others may think would be the better you. Not only that, it also has great message that I think we as humans tend to forget a lot of the time and that is to not judge or torment or follow along with the wrongful treatment of another human being because they are different to us.

I enjoyed our main characters Libby and Jack. and thought they were very well developed and flushed out. However these were really the only characters where I thought this. All the other characters were just sort of floating around them, coming in and out of the story when something needed to be said or something needed to happen then they would fade back out again. They were not bad exactly, just not really important to the story as individuals.

Libby was a very strong characters and I loved how she was okay with herself most of the time. She was able to see how far she had come as a person and then be able to love what she had and flaunt the hell out of it despite the comments of others. Jack I liked but a lot of his issues I think could of been solved if he had of just opened his mouth about his condition at any point in time. The things he has to deal with are hard, and I cannot really related to it on that kind of level, but I feel as though he was just making it so much harder on himself by at least not telling his family. In this regards though I did like how he referred to his mum as “mum with hair up” or “mum with hair down.” Even he and Libby’s falling out at a certain part in the book would have been avoided if he would have just gone oh yeah Libby I remember who you are from before! There, so many problems solved.

This was another book I picked up as an audio book because I needed to just get it done. I didn’t mind the actors and the only real issue I had with it was that the lady who was doing Libby put on a soothing voice for her and she just sort of took it way too far. It was so ‘soothing’ that she sounded like she was heavily medicated for the whole book, but I did get used to this by the end it was a good listen.

So I think this is where I am going to leave you today. For those of you who read ATBP and enjoyed it I think you will also like this one and pick it up! For those of you who haven’t read her other book yet I think you should probably pick that one up first before this one. That one was a bit more interesting with more things happening and its probably a better place to start to get used to the topics and writing style, where this one is much more mellow.

 

Till Next Time…

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Top Ten Tuesday – In One Sitting

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 I Read In One Sitting

Now I don’t know if I read all of these in one sitting the first time, and some of them I probably took naps or snacks in but basically was just a disgusting mess until I finished them.

1. On the Jellicoe Road By Melina Marchetta. Really at this point I think you guys expect to see this book on every list.

2. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Not the first time, but I have done it before.

3. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. Every single one of them. There was like a week there when I just smashed through all the books.

4. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I smashed the audiobook of this.

 

 

 

 

5. Losing it by Cora Carmack. Romance books are the easiest to do in one sitting.

6. Beautiful Mess by Lucy V. Morgan.

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I know I got through this in a day because I actually borrowed this book from my cousin and I wanted to make sure I finished it before I left the state.

 

 

 

 

8. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. So short and so good.

9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I flew through this little shortie.

10. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. I got through it in one sitting because I had the event and I wanted to actually have read it before going.

 

 

 

 

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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Book Review – The Sun Is Also A Star

Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 344

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank the Penguin for sending me a copy of this book for review!

I am of two minds about this book. On one hand I didn’t mind the story and don’t regret reading/listening to it, but on the other if I had of known prior to going into the book that it was just about a day filled with insta love I probably would have given it a miss.

We only really have two characters worth mentioning because all the rest barely mean anything to the plot of the story and they are our main characters Natasha and Daniel. Two very different people that are both on the verge of life altering events and through a collection of random events end up spending the day together in the city and pretty much instantly fall in love. Specially on Dan’s part. In saying that though I think I liked Daniel more as a character because I felt he was more honest and a upfront and generally happy character.

While the insta love plot annoyed me greatly, i did really like the way this book was written. We get perspectives from a few different people other than just our main characters throughout the story. In these perspectives you get little tid bits about the random people Nat and Dan encounter in their day of travels and how each of them are connected and how each one of their days is potentially going to affect Nat and Dan’s and why. I found this really interesting because if it had not of been for these moments I would not have given any of the other characters any thought, and it made the story much more interesting to get these random bits of knowledge.

Now because this book was given to me by publishers and I had taken so long to pick it up i decided to get myself an audiobook of it so I could listen to the story while I drive, which is a lot of time. For the most part I liked the audiobook, the actors did a good job of distinguishing between characters. However it took me quite awhile to get used to the characters that were heavily accented. I just don’t find them easy to listen too and it was so sort of forced that it kept getting me out of the rhythm of the story. This was something I got over by the end though.

The ending of the book is really what made the plot for me though. I won’t go into in detail, but for a moment there I didn’t think it was going to end up where it did and I was internally (and a little externally) screaming because of it, but it got there thank goodness.

I think that is where I am going to leave you for this one. For those who are not yet totally sick of insta love, I think you will enjoy this book. For everyone else though I think you will be alright just picking up a different book.

 

Till Next Time…

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Sunday Shopping – OwlCrate January Unboxing

Little Prince Tea from First Edition Tea Co.:

Cost – US – 2.58, AUD – 3.35

Shipping – US – 6.18, AUD – 8.03

Thoughts – Eager to try but not completely hopeful.

Would I Buy It – Probably since I am not a huge fan of most teas.

Soap Book from TeaSoapBooks:

Cost – US – 7.21, AUD – 9.37

Shipping – US – 14.47, AUD – 18.82

Thoughts – While I normally only buy liquid soap I think I would have gotten one to test out.

Would I Buy It – Probably.

Bookmark from Lexy Olivia:

Cost – US – 8.24, AUD – 10.71

Shipping – US – 9.78, AUD – 12.72.

Thoughts – I think its so cute even though I have no idea where the quote is from

Would I Buy It – Yes and some other things from her shop too.

Phantom of the Opera Magnet from Sweet Sequels:

Cost – They don’t normally seem to sell magnets so this is a one off.

Thoughts – I am not a Phantom of the Opera fan so its not really something I am interested in.

Would I Buy It – Nope.

Calendar from Obvious State:

Cost – US – 24.71, AUD – 32.13

Shipping – US – 11.28, AUD – 14.66.

Thoughts – While cute it doesn’t quite suit my needs in terms of calendar.

Would I Buy It – Because I don’t like all the designs and the there is no space for writing I would not buy it.

Roseblood by A.G. Howard:

Cost – US – 15.29, AUD – 19.92

Thoughts – Not normally something I would pick up since I don’t like the story it was derived from.

Would I Buy It – Probably not.

What I Paid For The Box: US – 49.98, AUD – 69.21

Box Worth: US – 99.74+, AUD – 129.71+ 

Final Thoughts: Probably my least favourite one thus far but I will continue to buy.

Not the best one I have gotten before but I am still happy with the value and the overall experience so I shall continue to buy.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – Vassa In The Night

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Title: Vassa In The Night

Author: Sarah Porter

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 296

Rating: 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

So how do I even begin with this book? I knew it wasn’t going to be something I would normally have picked up and if it wasn’t for Owlcrate I might not even have heard of it.

Really my emotions are so over the place with this one. Its magic realism story. I thought the magic was bestowed by a curse but in actual fact the magic had always been there and as sort of quietly acknowledged but ignored at the same time. Then it falls upon certain places of the world to make the nights last days, time dragging on, but the days would be of normal length.

Then this girl Vassa who is sort of part of the magical community makes the choice to enter the deadly magical BY’s (is that an American store i should know about? Or just a made up part of the book?) to prove something to one of her sisters, setting off a chain of events that she was always destined to set off.

I won’t go more into the plot because I feel like anything else might be spoilers. The part I think I have troubles wrapping my brain around in this book is that everything sort of is one thing, but isn’t that thing at the same time. Nothing is as it seems, and things seem very random but very organised. As you can tell I am having serious issues trying to describe this book! This was both the draw and I think the downfall to this book getting more than a 3 star from me. At times is was so disjointed or…. I guess you could say blurry in what it was trying to be or say that I was actually sort of pushed out of the story and was not as engrossed as I would have liked to be. These times I found very boring until I managed to weave myself back into the rhythm of the narrative again. In saying that though, the general arc of the story worked and I felt very satisfied with the ending.

Most of the main characters we are greeted with in this book are not human but something other. For the most part I liked the characters, even felt a bit sorry for ones that perhaps didn’t deserve that feeling. But because of this overall way this book was presented  I never really connected with any of them other than Erg, Night or the Swans. Night was something I really connected with in this book. While I loved Erg for how she was and thought the Swans were beautiful in their love and in their own sad stories, Night sort of hit home on a more deep level to me. Moon was my first word as a child, and I think I have always had a love, even if at times a fear instead, of the night. The fact that Night was a sort of mythical energy with emotions and understanding was stunning. That Night could be lonely, or reach our to comfort Vassa in Night’s own way was just actually lovely to read.

Why did it take me so many years to understand that Night is something you can talk to, something that might even decide to watch over you or kiss you just when you’re about to crumple from loneliness?

I think that is where I am going to leave this review. I am pretty sure than no part of it really made sense. My thoughts on the book may become more clear as I sit with it more and not so sleep deprived but I think this is a pretty good representation for anyone considering reading this book of how it is going to make you feel once you are done reading it. I tell you, I feel rather weird and mixed up.

For those considering a read, pay close attention. THIS BOOK IS REALLY WEIRD. You read parts and have serious WTF moments over what you read. If you read the synopsis and think hell yeah! then you will probably be fine swimming in its depths. If you read it and think hmm i don’t know about that, then perhaps you should go with your instincts.

 

Till Next Time…

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Top Ten Tuesday – Autumn TBR

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 On My Autumn TBR

Most of the books on this weeks list are ones publishers have sent me and I still haven’t read. Hopefully I snap out of my seemingly endless reading slump soon and I can actually get to them since a few of these are making a second if not third appearance on a TBR list.

1. Vigilante by Kady Cross. I can to read this one by next week!

2. The Impossible Story of Olive In Love by Tonya Alexandra. Super excited to get into this one.

3. Four Weeks Five People by Jennifer Yu.

4. Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes. Now we begin the list of things that have made more than one appearance on this list….

 

 

 

 

5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.

6. Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly.

7. Witches Kiss by Katharine Corr.

 

 

 

 

8. Demon Road by Derek Landy.

9. Heartless by Marissa Meyer. Finally one I want to read just for me! I want to read so so badly…

10. Eldest by Christopher Paolini. Bit of a cheat since I am currently doing the first one but as of right now I am enjoying it enough to pick up the next.

 

 

 

 

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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Feral Friday – Distractions

Hello friends! Today I am here to rant to you about my really bad procrastination habit!

Now let me take you on a journey on how my last week has been.

Over last weekend started with me actually being super productive. I had a tone of reviews I needed to write up and I nearly got all of them done, I also got a couple of videos filmed and pretty much completely edited. I was feeling bloody fantastic.

While I was doing all this writing and editing I was watching random things from youtube, as I like to do. While I work better without the TV on, I cannot work as long. I go a bit crazy. This though ended up being the downfall of my super productivity though as I discovered a series of gaming videos (yes I get a pleasure from watching others play games, its the thing I did most with my brother), and when they ended this started a deep burning desire to play said game.

So I went out and bought this still very early game with series glitches so that I can to play.

I have spent about 17 hours on in this week as well as going to work and not being home at all on Tuesday.

The fact that its glitchy means it takes me a very long time to doing anything in game, I died a lot (Im really bad at gaming guys) and this means I had to keep starting over, and so many other things just kept me in this world instead of blogging or reading.

I don’t seem to be able to play while all three of my housemates are on the computer though so perhaps the weekend will be productive for me again. I have been averaging an audio book a week lately but the latest one I am listening too is much longer than the others so I really want to at least get through a short book to keep me motivated. Perhaps I will set goals for my bad distracting gaming habit. Finish a book, get to play. Set up a week of posts, get to play. I suppose I shall see how I go.

I would like to point out that this happens with lots of things with me, not just gaming. I get obsessive super easily.

How about you guys, do you have this issue too? Or other annoying habits you know you should drop to do something more productive? Let me know!

 

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Thursday Tags – Inside Out Book Tag

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This book tag was started by Kristina Horner and its based off the movie Inside Out. Its pretty simple, just put a book along with each one of the emotions represented in the movie! Lets get started:

1377087942onthejellicoeroadcoverJoy – Which book brings you the most joy?

Would it even be a list if I didn’t sneak On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta onto it? While this book made me feel a lot more things than just joy, it was actually pretty depressing, but the fact I have it in my life brings me joy so I give this spot to it.

 

Mockingjay_novelSadness – Which book made you cry the hardest?

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. This one surpassed tears and just left me a hollow mess just standing in the shower trying to wash away the whatever this book did to me.

 

everything-i-never-told-you-original-imae2ffkwzr5r57xAnger – What book pissed you off?

Hands down this spot goes to Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. People say that its great because the characters are flawed and they are human, but these people had no good qualities. Why the hell would I want to read about people like that? You can be real but still have something good about them. ANYTHING.

Ava-lavender_march.pngFear – What book scared you more than anything?

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrorws of Ava Lavender. I loved this book, and it is not a horror, but despite the fact I knew where it was going I was so afraid to get there to the point I could only read the book 20 pages at a time and had to keep putting it down.

 

americangods_visual_05Disgust – What book grossed you out the most?

I don’t really get grossed out by books that much, so I think I am going to have to go with American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It wasn’t so much ‘gross’ but I was a bit disturbed by some of the things in this book to start with like a man being absorbed up a woman’s vagina until I got used to random things like that.

 

 

Till Next Time….

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Top Ten Tuesday – Loved But Not Reviewed

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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 I Loved But I Didn’t Review

So many. Just so so many. I am catching up on my review list though! I decided to leave off ones I have written a review for but just haven’t posted it yet.

1. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder. I have not read on with this series because I wanted to do this review first. Its one of my favourites but I still haven’t done it!

2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This one is the same as the above. I need to hurry the hell up.

3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I think I read this just before or just as I was starting to blog so it got missed over but I would love to read it again and give it a review because people don’t seem to talk about it as much as they should.

4. Nana by Ai Yazawa. This one is ot entirely my fault. I have notes for most of them but I lost my notes for the first four volumes somehow so I have to go through them again.

magic-study-2007 red_queen_book_cover_a_p thirteenth Tale Nana 1

 

 

 

 

5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. :\

6. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. :(

7. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. D’:

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8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I have no idea why didn’t review this book but at this point I might as well just read it again because I don’t remember it well enough.

9. Child Of The Prophecy by Juliet Marillier. I really regret not reviewing this book straight away, its going to be hard to review it after letting it set for awhile.

10. Blue Spring Ride by Io Sakisaka. I think this one missed out on a review because I was not home when I read it. Oh well I will just have to read it again :D

shatter-me-series child of the prophecy Blue Srping Ride 1

 

 

 

 

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. . .