Saturday, July 19, 2014

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It
by Sarah Mlynowski
Pages: 336
Published: March 11th 2014 by Delacorte Press

Description: Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.


One fall morning a group of high school students are set to get their flu shots for the fall. However, there is a problem. The flu shots ended up giving them the ability of ESP. They can read each others minds. The story is centric around students of homeroom 10b. There are 23 students and 21 received the shot. This is a story of Tess who is in love with her best friend Teddy (no Espie), Olivia who is extremely shy, Pi who is the second smartest in the class, Mackenzie and Cooper who have been dating forever, and a few others. 

Now this book isn't going to be for everyone. If you look at the logic of the book, yes it doesn't make sense. How can someone write a novel when everyone can read each others minds. I though this book was a cute read. If you go into not expecting much from it, then you will enjoy it. If you're looking for a book that isn't going to be complicated, but enjoyable this will be it. 

The book is told from a point of view of an Epsie and we don't know who it is. At parts it can get a tad confusing, but getting past it, it works. Every character I enjoyed reading about. I did have a favorite and that was Olivia. 

Don't Even Think About It is a great guilty pleasure book. I was a little excited to see that this was book one because how it ended you wanted to know more of what was going to happen. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Matieu

The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Matieu
Pages: 208
Published: June 3rd, 2014 by Roaring Books Press

Summary: Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.


The Truth About Alice is a story about Alice Franklin. She goes from being one of the popular kids to one of the most talked about and gossiped about. Somethings happen at Elaine's party that get branded on Alice. Rumors start to fly, and when the death of Brandon happens even more lies about Alice get spread. Each chapter is a different point of view and how gossip originates. The chapters are told from the point of views of Kelsie, Alice's former best friend, Kurt who is a nerd and befriends Alice when no one else would, Josh who was Brandon's best friend and apart of the accident, and Elaine who is the most popular girl in Healy High. 

I LOVE this book. Sometimes when I read books there are one or two characters that I find myself disliking but that wasn't the case with this book. I loved every single character and loved how each chapter told their point of view and how they started or dealt with the rumors surrounding Alice. 

I finished this book quickly because I kept wanting to find out what happened. Would Alice ever find out who started the rumors about her. Sometimes when you leave the ending of the book hanging the way this book did you get frustrated a little bit because it's an awkward place to end, and you as a reader, want more. However, I found the ending of this book perfect. I am glad it ended the way it did. 

This is a great contemporary novel for YA and goes with the category of Hate List and 13 Reasons Why. Those I also enjoyed. The Truth About Alice will go into my own book collection. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard

That Time I Joined the Circus 
Author: J. J. Howard
Pages: 259
Published: April 1st, 2013 by Point

Summary: Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake--and facing a terrible tragedy--Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn't there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.


That Time I Joined the Circus is a story of Lexi who gets a call one evening that would change her life. She is resorted to finding her long lost mother. Last address she had was a circus down in Florida.  To her disappointment and lack of surprise, her mother isn't there.  Lexi joins the circus that her mother left. she makes friends, learns to cop with a tragedy as well as cope with a bad decision she made before leaving NYC. 

There is a lot I could say about this book and how much it disappointed me. It had such a great promise, but it did not deliver.  If you want full details, you can always contact me and ask. I do not wish to bash the writer, but I will say the cover is gorgeous. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box 
By Josh Malerman
Pages: 262
Published: May 13th, 2014 by Ecco

Summary: Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn't look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.


Bird Box is a story about Malorie who witnesses the world go to pieces. It all starts with someone seeing something and then going completely mad. Not thinking much of it at first, she doesn't fall into the hype. She doesn't start to panic until the hysteria falls on US soil and she witnesses it with her sister Shannon. Responding to an ad in the paper, Malorie; who recently found out she was pregnant, adventures to a house where she will live for four years. The housemates: Tom, Don, Cheryl and Jules all accept Malorie into their home. While she lives there, they have curtains on windows and always wearing blind folds. After an event at the household, Malorie finally adventures out into the new world and finds a new safe place to raise her children. 

I had two main reasons for picking up this book. One it was compared to The Road which is one of my favorite books and also I was looking for a good quick horror book to read. I wanted something different. I got one of those reasons. I do see the comparisons to The Road, but it's not quite like Cormac's. This is a book in it's own right. 

The story jumps from Malorie leaving the house and to why she left. It was organized enough so you didn't get lost with the jumping back and forth. It ran smoothly. I had a difficult time enjoying any of the characters. Malorie annoyed me especially when she was calling her child 'boy' and 'girl' the whole time. It felt she had no sympathy for them. I saw the point of this at the very end of the book, but I couldn't get past that. 

When I was looking for a horror book, I definitely got it with Bird Box. I found myself only reading it during day light because some parts where terrifying and graphically detailed. I don't get scared easily when it comes to novels, but this was one that did it for me. It was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be scared and questioning my familiar black shadows. 

This book is DEFINITELY not for everyone. I would say if you can handle The Road or some of King's horror books then you will be fine reading Bird Box. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Roomies by by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Pages: 297
Published December 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Summary: It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.


Roomies is a story about life in between high school and the start of college. It documents those last few moments that you have with family, friends and who truly matters in your life. Roomies follows the story of Elizabeth or Eb and Lauren as they email each other back and forth to get to know each other before college. Before they realize they are relying on each other through their summers ups and downs and what they thought was completely weird turns into a surprised friendship. 

I enjoyed this book. I never went to college, but some how I still found myself attached to Elizabeth and Lauren and their experience. Maybe it's because I feel I missed out on this portion of my life, or the characters were that relateable. Either or, this was one of the few books where I enjoyed every single character. There wasn't a character I didn't like. 

I like how they started out just emailing each other and then found themselves building this friendship over time. They go about their lives and rely on each other in their times of need. 

The only thing I did have to complain about the book was I wanted more at the end. It cuts off at a cliffhanger, and it's like ugh. I wanted a little more from that, but after the initial let down of the end, I felt it was a good place to stop. It could have dragged on. It also leaves room for a sequel if they so desire. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

Alice I Have Been
By Melanie Benjamin
Paperback, 345 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Bantam

Summary: Part love story, part literary mystery, Melanie Benjamin’s spellbinding historical novel leads readers on an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole, to tell the story of a woman whose own life became the stuff of legend. Her name is Alice Liddell Hargreaves, but to the world she’ll always be known simply as “Alice,” the girl who followed the White Rabbit into a wonderland of Mad Hatters, Queens of Hearts, and Cheshire Cats. Now, nearing her eighty-first birthday, she looks back on a life of intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. First as a young woman, then as a wife, mother, and widow, she’ll experience adventures the likes of which not even her fictional counterpart could have imagined. Yet from glittering balls and royal romances to a world plunged into war, she’ll always be the same determined, undaunted Alice who, at ten years old, urged a shy, stuttering Oxford professor to write down one of his fanciful stories, thus changing her life forever.


Alice I Have Been tells the story of Alice Liddell and her relationship with Mr. Dodgson who later is known for Lewis Carroll. It starts off with 7 year old Alice being taken by Mr. Dodgson to in her 80s where she prefers to believe Dodgson is part of her past that she wishes to remain in her past. The story also goes into detail about her love affair with a soon to be king. We watch Alice grow up and how difficult it is for her to shake the image of Alice. It's a part of her past that she wishes to ignore, but the world does not let her forget.

I LOVED this story. I have always loved Alice In Wonderland spin offs, but this is a much different spin off. It has a little bit of truth to it and isn't about wonderland itself, but how wonderland became and how wonderland was soon forgotten. While this book may not fit everyone. The relationship between Alice and Dodgson could be turned off because of their huge age difference but also remember that during that time it was normal. If you put that behind, then this book is a fantastic read.

You find yourself feeling sorry for Alice as she goes through so much in her life, and how she never changes as a person. She suffers love loss and death multiple times. It raises a question on what exactly happened that made Alice hate Carroll so much that she completely washed him out of her history every chance she had.

It was beautifully written, and highly recommend if you're a Alice in Wonderland fan.

Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Liv, Forever
by Amy Talkington
Pages: 280
Published March 11th 2014 by Soho Teen
Author Website

NOTES: I was given this novel for a honest review by NetGalley

Summary: When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.


Liv, Forever is a story about Liv Bloom who makes it into an elite boarding school on the east coast. The boarding school is rich with history and legends. Liv meets Malcom and on their first day they that they met they shared a special connection. However, Liv also starts a friendship with Gabe. One night Liv and Malcom are hanging out and that night something terrible happens. Liv dies. During the book you find out what exactly happened to Liv and how she connects with the past of Wickham Hall.

I have a lot of feelings for Liv Forever. I originally was going to toss this book aside because I couldn't get into it like I had hoped. HOWEVER, I found myself sticking to it and I was glad that I did. I didn't want to put it down. I don't remember the exact point where the book grabbed me and sucked me in. I normally don't read paranormal romances, but I loved Liv, Forever and want to purchase it for my own book collection. I did like all the characters especially Gabe. I liked the friendship that he and Malcom had at the end of the book.

I did have some minor issues with it. Liv is originally from Vegas and it gets hot and humid. During the novel the author constantly said how she wasn't used to humidity. The other issue I had was that it was "instant love". It's a popular trend in these books, but it was something that will always bug me. I did like Liv and Malcom, but the instant part was a little difficult to get past at first. Once I stopped caring so much about that it was enjoyable. This would be a book I would recommend to other people.

Paradigm (Paradigm #1) by Ceri A. Lowe

Title: Paradigm
Author: Ceri A. Lowe
Pages: 382
Published: June 13th by Bookouture
Author Website & Twitter

Notes: This was given to me by NetGalley for an honest opinion.

Summary: What if the end of the world was just the beginning? 
Alice Davenport awakens from a fever to find her mother gone and the city she lives in ravaged by storms – with few survivors. 
When Alice is finally rescued, she is taken to a huge underground bunker owned by the mysterious Paradigm Industries. As the storms worsen, the hatches close.87 years later, amidst the ruins of London, the survivors of the Storms have reinvented society. The Model maintains a perfect balance – with inhabitants routinely frozen until they are needed by the Industry. 
Fifteen-year-old Carter Warren knows his time has come. Awoken from the catacombs as a contender for the role of Controller General, it is his destiny to succeed – where his parents failed. 
But Carter soon discovers that the world has changed, in ways that make him begin to question everything that he believes in. As Carter is forced to fight for those he loves and even for his life, it seems that the key to the future lies in the secrets of the past...

This is a story about Carter and Alice. It jumps between the two. Alice is a 12 year old girl who witnesses
the storms from the beginning, and Carter is a 15 year old kid who sees the effects after the storms many years later. Carter has been under grown for many years, and comes back in what he hopes to a new position but he finds out that he came back for a much bigger reason.

Unfortunately I could not finish this book. I tried. I loved how much detail went into this book from the author. You could tell that she spent a lot of time on it, and with her own creative world. However, I was waiting for that spark. That point in the novel that hooked me. I got almost half way through, and it didn't do that to me. I could see parts where it might for someone else, but I didn't find it.

I don't really see this as being a young adult novel. It's too detailed and too long of chapters, but maybe a new adult. Other wise, the author has good potential.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Disconnected by Lisa M. Cronkhite

By Lisa M Cronkhite
Pages 200
Expected Publish: June 3rd 2014 by Poisoned Pencil

Notes: This book was given to me through NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Milly has a huge problem on her hands.  She is being bullied by Amelia Norris. Day in and day out, Amelia torments Milly and even threatens to hurt her, but she can’t tell anyone—not a soul.  Milly’s reasoning—she does not want anyone to know where her tormentor lives.  They only share one thing in common.  Both co-exist as one in the same body. Milly is so disconnected from her past that she feels compelled to find out what truly happened to her when her parents were still alive.  After a mysterious fire, she and Grandpa George move into Aunt Rachel's Victorian home where Milly then begins to unravel puzzling clues to her family history. Through dreams and scattered memories, Milly journals her breaking story, trying to cope by putting the shattered pieces back together, all the while resisting with her inner demon.  Amelia is determined to cut Milly out of the real world—literally.Milly starts to wonder who her real family is after stumbling across Aunt Rachel’s notebook—having the intuitive sense that something terribly awful is missing.  All she had thought to be true now seems like one big lie.


This story is about Milly who suffers black outs and past demons that she is trying to figure out what happened. She is also bullied by a girl named Amelia. Amelia thinks the worst of Milly and she struggles with her harsh criticize daily and at times Milly tries to break free of Amelia and sometimes those lead to dangerous things.  

I could not finish this book, sadly. It had so much potential. Dealing with depression myself I often read these kinds of books because it's a good thing for teens to read about and how a lot of them do struggle with this daily. Lisa had a great idea. Something was off. I wish I could put my finger on it, but this goes in my DNF pile.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Listeners by Jo Cole

The Listeners
By Jo Cole
Pages: 239
Published May 7th 2013

Summary: Rebecca Porter is a pretty average teenager—except for the fact that she sometimes blacks out and wakes up in other people’s bodies.

THE LISTENERS follows the parallel stories of Rebecca and Ethan, two teenagers who have the amazing ability to listen to the thoughts of others and control their actions.

When Rebecca learns that she’s been tasked with protecting Ethan from completing a mission that will cost him his life, she'll stop at nothing to protect the life of an innocent stranger. But how do you save someone that doesn't want to be saved?

Combining nonstop action, a crush that can read minds (so unfair) and relentless paranormal suspense, THE LISTENERS makes it clear that the battle against evil requires both mental and physical strength.


The Listeners is a story about teenager Rebecca Porter who finds out that she has a gift. She finds out that she can hear people's thoughts and she can also control their actions. We also meet Ethan who is much like Rebecca, but Ethan is on the other side of the country and soon to get himself into a lot of trouble. Rebecca's goal is to help Ethan not get into trouble while trying to figure out her feelings as she finds out her crush "hot Kevin" is not exactly who he says he is. They have more in common than she thinks. 

I really enjoyed the Listeners. The chapters switch off between Rebecca and Ethan's point of view. They also throw in John Dunn's point of view. This was a small thing that bugged me. I wish there was a couple more chapters of John's point of view instead of just the one. It would have balanced out the book a little bit, but it would have also been nice to see his point of view at the end. I guess it could be a good idea for a novella. 

Though the ending did become predictable, I really enjoyed the book. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed myself. I felt like I didn't waste my time reading it. I was happy to find out that this book is a series because it leaves you with a cliff hanger. I suggest reading this novel right before the other one comes out so you're not craving more and you have to wait.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Touch by Francine Prose

By Francine Prose
Pages: 227
Published June 16th 2009 by Harper Teen

Summary: What "really" happened at the back of the bus?

Did they, or didn't they?

Did she, or didn't she?

"Something" happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard--something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes "news." With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.

From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes an unforgettable story about the difficulties of telling the truth, the consequences of lying, and the most dangerous twist of all--the possibility that you yourself will come to believe something that you know isn't true.


Touch is a story about freshman Maisie who growing up has been friends with three boys Chris, Kevin and Shakes. They have been friends since diapers. Things change when Maisie moves to live with her mom, and comes back her freshman year. She grew up and the boys do not know how to handle the change. One morning, things take a turn on their friendship. Something happens on the bus that causes the friendships to be questioned and tested. Maisie struggles with what really happened and what she wanted others to hear. She deals with the torments of classmates and her own friends. She also tries to struggle with the personal gain of her own family members.

I enjoyed Touch. Sometimes you read so many different young adult books that it’s nice to read a young adult story that touches on a difficult subject. You see how things in Maisie’s world got turned upside down and how she struggled to come with the truth. Some points in the novel I wanted to throw something at kids in her school because of how cruel they were. Such a sad truth that teens act this way at times. I wanted to strangle Maisie’s step mom. She was on her own crusade in making history with Maisie’s case when Maisie just wanted things to go away and she can go back to her life.

I like that Maisie did get closure that she needed with Shakes. She realized what they had become and that things will never return to how they once were, but things were said that made their friendship close on a good note.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn

The Last Summer 
By Judith Kinghorn
Website  and Twitter
Published: December 31st 2012 by NAL/Penguin USA
Pages: 433

Summary: Clarissa is almost seventeen when the spell of her childhood is broken. It is 1914, the beginning of a blissful, golden summer - and the end of an era. Deyning Park is in its heyday, the large country house filled with the laughter and excitement of privileged youth preparing for a weekend party. When Clarissa meets Tom Cuthbert, home from university and staying with his mother, the housekeeper, she is dazzled. Tom is handsome and enigmatic; he is also an outsider. Ambitious, clever, his sights set on a career in law, Tom is an acute observer, and a man who knows what he wants. For now, that is Clarissa.

As Tom and Clarissa's friendship deepens, the wider landscape of political life around them is changing, and another story unfolds: they are not the only people in love. Soon the world - and all that they know - is rocked by a war that changes their lives for ever.


The Last Summer is a story about an upstairs / downstairs relationship between Clarissa and Tom Cuthbert. Clarissa first meets Tom when she is just seventeen years old and have a romance that isn’t what Clarissa’s mother wants. Throughout the novel, you live the affair that Clarissa and Tom carry out throughout their whole lives. Clarissa struggles through her life trying to please everyone else but herself and during this struggle she suffers; not only with her heart but physically as well. 

Overall I enjoyed this novel. I loved how the novel started off with Clarissa’s innocence and we got to watch her grow into a woman at the age of forty by the end of the book. The only downfall to this growth was that I felt it made the book drag on. It was always about her longing for Tom and wishing to be with him, and her struggle of being unable to do so. 

I did enjoy reading the times Clarissa was with Tom. I also did enjoy her relationship with Antonio. I believe that was when Clarissa was truly allowed to be herself. She stopped caring what her mother wished, and it was nice to see that finally come out. Such a shame it happened much later in the book. Antonio was the perfect person at the perfect time for her. 

I loved how Judith writes and describes things. It has been a long time since I’ve wanted to sit with a blank notebook next to me while reading to copy down quotes or passages that I enjoyed. The Last Summer was full of them. My favorite was this 

"No, there's nothing to be afraid of, other than the stars, the universe, and the sense of being infinitesimal."

Overall, this book was enjoyable. Definite recommend to those who like historical fiction or Downton Abbey.

The Rule of Thre3 by Eric Walters

The Rule of Thre3
By Eric Walters
Published January 21st 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 405
Eric's Website & Eric's Twitter

Summary: One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival


The Rule of Thre3 is a story about sixteen year old Adam who one day at school experiences a shut down of electronics; computers, cell phones, and anything in the 21st century loses it's power. While at first it seems like it just be their side of town, the students find out that the electronic shut off isn't just on their side of town. It's across the globe. Adam's family and town struggle with their new way of living with out communication, and find the best way they can to survive. 

While this book didn't really grab out at me, I felt like it wasn't a complete waste of my time. Sometimes when books don't pop out at you, you feel you want that time. This series definitely has potential once I stopped comparing and just enjoy the book for what it was. I compared it too much to Revolution's general set up, but there's a lot of difference between the two. The writing is great for a young adult novel, and the writer knows a lot of background for what was needed in the novel. 

A couple other things that bummed me a little was that Todd and Adam didn't have a lot of time together. I though their banter was great, and when it died out towards the middle of the book I wish it stated. They went their separate ways as jobs needed to get done, but I think it would have been great to have the banter keep the humor in between. They were thrown randomly together in the book at times, but I wanted more of their friendship to unfold. The other issue I had was that I didn't find a character that stood out to me. I usually find at least one that I enjoy, and this I didn't. 

Overall, I found this book enjoyable for a dystophian read. I will definitely read the second one. I'm hoping this is a series that gets better with each book in the series. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan

Title: 4 to 16 Characters
Author: Kelly Hourihan
Pages: 314
Published November 7th 2013 by Lemon Sherbet Press

* This was given to me thanks to Lemon Sherbet Press & Netgalley for an honest review.

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.

4 to 16 Characters is a story of Jane who loves being online and creating fake personalities mixed with her own reality to not face her own world. 

I hate to admit this, but I related to Jane A LOT in this book. A few years ago I was apart of the very popular fandom of LOST, and would often role play characters from the tv. While I didn't do the fan fiction writing of it, the role play was very much in the same sense. I was glued to my group of online writing fans and we would talk about the show and talk about up coming lines we would have in the writing group. It was a lot of fun at the time. It's something that was a lot of fun, and allowed you to connect with other fans in the same fandom. Unlike Jane, I didn't have multiple personalities online. Just the one I was writing in the group, and when I was talking "out of character" I was true to who I was. 

I thought this book was entertaining and a quick read. This was told through emails, posts, and other forms of online which makes the book quick.  The only thing I would complain about is that the adults had voices like children. Sure the father did lose his wife and was a drunk, but how it was written he sounded like a whiny teenager. Overall, not a bad book. Enjoyable. 


{Arc Review} And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Title: And We Stay
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Pages: 240
Published: January 28th 2014 by Delacorte Press

* This was given to me by NetGalley for an honest review

Summary: When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

Unfortunately, I could not finish this novel. This subject is not written a lot in YA and it should be addressed. However, when reading And We Stay, I felt that Emily's voice was much younger than a 17 year old. She felt more like a middle schooler. I give props to Hubbard for tackling a subject that is difficult, and as mentioned.