Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review; These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips

32711722Title; These Things I've Done
Author: Rebecca Phillips
Hardcover352 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by HarperTeen
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I've been starving for some contemporary jewel this year. So far this has probably been the busiest year of my life so far (and that's saying a lot) and I have read a whooping 4 books so far--and it's friggin April.

So I was desperately needing some good quality story to get me out of my funk. These Things I've Done turned out to be the miracle I was hoping for.

I didn't even expect it. I haven't even read a blurb for the book so I was on a blind date. It's so shocking to realize you are so compatible with your blind date (not that I have ever been on a blind date before, mind you) that I am still trying to make sense about what happened.

The book is about a tragic accident where a girl named Aubrey died. It's about the very different and heartbreaking ways the people closest to her, her best friend Dara and her brother Ethan, deal with it.

I saw someone comparing it to In Honor, which has sort of a very similar plot, but I disagree. I thought These Things I've Done was deeper, sadder and more realistic. I actually felt sad about Aubrey dying, which *never* happens. I mean, I am usually very aware that this is only a book and no one died, but this time I got sad anyway. I tend to find flashbacks annoying and repetitive, but in this book I really enjoyed them, and they made me care.

I was so happy about Dara, Aubrey and Ethan and their odd three-way friendship. I was literally so invested. Then I was devastated to learn that a friendship so awesome had crumbled apart so easily.

I loved Dara. She was such a likable protagonist, vulnerable with a side of fierceness. I loved her before, as that fearless girl who loved adrenaline, but I also loved her as a broken, sensitive kid who is full of guilt and confussion. Here's a hug for you Dara: *hug*.

And don't even get me started on Ethan, who handled things so perfectly, so maturely. He's a huge reason why this novel works so well.

Anyhow. I loved this novel. You can't change my mind about it. It's been put on my "read again" shelf. And you should try it too!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

33799302Title; Top Ten 
Author; Katie Cotugno
Hardcover320 pages
Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by Balzer + Bray
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Ah. Where to start? 

I honestly can't find the words because it almost pains me to say that I did not like this book. I will try to make sense of why now.

First of all; the format. What was up with that? The book jumped from time to time without much sense. We'd be reading about senior year and then summer of freshman year, then junior year winter and it wasn't confusing per se (well at least not ALL the time) but it was annoying and pointless. Throughout I kept wanting to fix the damned timeline.

Another thing was that I didn't quite connect with either of the main characters. Even their friendship made no sense to me or them it seemed. And not in a way that they shouldn't be friends just like neither of us know if they are friends just because they want to be together.

But my biggest problem with it, and I hate to say it but I will, is that I found it to be boring. I honestly think the book offered nothing plot-wise. I finished the book not 12 hours ago and I can't tell you what it was about except two teens realizing they are better off friends. I think it tried to add substance by exploring Gabby's mental struggle with anxiety and Ryan's concussioned brain, but it wasn't enough for me. 

For example, they played Ryan's injury a lot throughout the book, they build it up with headaches getting more and more frequent and even having his personality change because of it. I was hoping it will get explored at the end if he had ny consequences because of it, but at the end the issue is suddenly dropped like nothing ever happened. It left me feeling cheated. And I just thought that overall the story lacked depth. 

As always, this is only what I think and in no way reflects an absolute. So I invite you to form your own opinion by picking up the book from your local library or bookstore.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Someone Else's Summer by Rachel Bateman

Title: Someone Else's Summer
Author: Rachel Bateman
Publication Date: May 9th, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon
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I liked the premise of Someone Else’s Summer: girl sets off to do her dead sister’s bucket summer list and enlists the help of her sister’s best male friend. At first I thought the premise was simple and straight-forward and I was in the mood for some of that.

But then, things not always turn out how you expect them and the book had more layers than I initially thought. Now I am not a fan of books where they spend all the time reminiscing about a dead character I never met. That was one of my problems with this one too. Like how all the time Anna and Cameron would be: “You know how Storm was!” and I would be: No, I don’t know, move on please. But that’s just the natural progression of grieve, so I let it slide. Even though I just was told that Storm was great and I never got to see why.

Also everyone else, from the parents to the aunt to Anna’s best friend and her friend with benefits, everyone was supposed to be great and awesome. But I just couldn’t tell, none of them well developed enough for me to even glimpse their greatness.

What I really couldn’t let slide, though, was the lack of personality from both Anna and Cameron (and honestly, every character in the book). I felt like everything they ever did was defined by Storm, and I couldn’t really tell who either of them were. They also had strange mood swings that I could attribute to grief to, but that be cutting a lot of slack. For example, they’d be mad at each other in one scene, and then I would wait for the next scene to explain why they were mad but instead it was all “I got over my anger, I’m fine now.” I mean, seriously! Whatever.


However, I did think their road trip was fun. I liked to witness their adventures and felt like overall that part was entertaining enough to make the book worthwhile. And the plot twist by the end gave the story a new depth that made it better. But unfortunately, not much better for me. It had a lot of potential to be great but sadly, I think it fell flat. Though it might be great for some, so give it a try for yourself, it's a quick, light read.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel

Title: Lucky Girl 
Author: Amanda Maciel
Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Balzer & Bray
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You know I hate trashing books. That's just not classy. But I also hate not being honest. So I am going to take the easy way out:
This book was not for me.

I guess I just thought this book was going to be something entirely different. Somehow I pictured a story about redemption. You know, because the main character is supposed to be this super gorgeous girl, so I thought, I don't know, that the book would focus on agreeing why looks are meaningless.

But no. I basically had to sit through ten thousand paragraphs that were a variation of "I'm so gorgeous", "Everyone stares at me because I'm so gorgeous", "I wish everyone would stop reminding me how gorgeous I am". And I'm not even kidding. I was like, I got it the first time you said it can we move on?

But we hardly moved on so I basically endured the journey of "accepting that I am such a beauty" and then finding a boyfriend who doesn't care I am the prettiest.

And I thought, there has to be someone good in this book, some character has to be a little less shallow. But everyone, every single character at some point (mostly all the time) talks about the main character's beauty/gorgeousness. And I would have (maybe) forgiven it, if they weren't all so clueless and disappointing. None of them felt like characters at all, more like story fillers.

The only redeeming quality I found was the part about *SPOILER ALERT* the assault. The main character is assaulted and she goes through the very hard to read about but also very real process of realizing that, yes you were assaulted, and no, it wasn't your fault.

But honestly, this book was not for me. I wish I hadn't read it, if only for saving me the embarrassment of having to write a bad review. It's nothing personal, I'm sorry.

And lastly, I just want to say, don't let anyone else's opinion stop you from reading something if you are really interested in it. That's all. Peace.