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.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dark Inside (Dark Inside #1) by Jeyn Roberts

Title: Dark Inside
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Pages: 368
Published: September 2nd 2011 by Macmillan Children's Books
Amazon & Barnes and Nobles

Summary: Since the beginning of mankind, civilizations have fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs...and now us. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening: An ancient evil has been unleashed, and it's turning everyday people into hunters, killers, and crazies. This is the world Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael are living in--or rather, trying to survive. Each is fleeing unspeakable horror, from murderous chaos to brutal natural disasters, and each is traveling the same road in a world gone mad. Amid the throes of the apocalypse and clinging to love and meaning wherever it can be found, these four teens are on a journey into the heart of darkness--and to find each other and a place of safety.
This story takes place in modern times and around a few different characters lives through the end of the world synopsis. You have Aries who was on her way to play practice, Michael who was driving with his friend, Mason who received some tragic news and Clementine who was at a town meeting when things happened. An earth quake took over the world, and you either survived or you didn't. If you survived you became one of them the "Baggers" or you fought to survive. 

I have been on a dystophian kick lately, and I loved this book. Each chapter is told from the point of views of Aries, Mason, Clementine, Michael and Nothing. You watch each of them survive the destruction, and each work their way towards each other. 

The writing was so different from many young adult books. It often felt that it should be geared towards adults. There was some scenes that some would not be able to handle if you have a weak stomach. You watched characters fight for their lives, and also fight the demons in themselves. I would recommend this in a beat for someone who likes dystophian type books and looking for a quick and easy read. I kept think how interesting this would be turned into a film or tv show. There wasn't a single character I didn't like. 

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487
Published: January 1st, 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
Barnes and Nobles

Summary: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Beatrice Prior is from a dystophian Chicago where there are five fractions. At the age of sixteen, everyone takes a test to determine which fraction they will spend the rest of their life in.  Because of some choices children no longer speak to their parents, or the parents no longer wish to speak to their children because of the choices that they make. Divergent is the first part of the story of Beatrice, who changes her name to Trice when she arrives in her new fraction, initiation process. 

I despised this book.  It has been on my Goodreads list since I joined the site, and I finally got around to reading it. It took me two weeks to finish, and it was a struggle to get through it. I don't understand the hype of the story, and let alone, why everyone is sectioned off into fractions to cause a war. The characters were all a dull and so was the romance. This book falls into the 'I can't' category along with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Both just make me boil.