Review- Unspoekn by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Details

Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers
Published:  September 11, 2012
Genres:  YA, fantasy, paranormal
My Rating: 3.75 Stars

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GoodReads Blurb

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met… a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My Review

So, fun story about me. I have a terrible habit of calling famous people I follow on Twitter and Facebook “my friend.” In no person am I guiltier of doing this than Jared Padalecki from Supernatural. In the last few years I have said “My Friend Jared” and then talked about the Always Keep Fighting Campain as if a person I actually know was involved in it. I’ve been called out many a time. One memorable one being my mother saying to me “You don’t know anyone named Jared.” Although one time he did like a comment I made on a Facebook Live he did and therefore we are friends and I will fight you.

So I feel a weird connection to Kami. I  have never talked to other people in my head or heard other people’s thoughts, but still. I felt an understanding with Kami.

There were parts of this book that I felt didn’t exactly make sense. I felt that Holly and Angela accepted Kami’s explanation that flesh and blood Jared standing in front of them is the same Jared that Kami’s been talking to in her head too easily. I also felt the romances were a little forced. But overall I enjoyed this novel.

There’s a lot going on in this book, murder, magic, mystery, people that can read one other person’s mind, animal sacrifice, breaking and entering. And for the most part, it’s laid out pretty straightforwardly. I feel like some of the dialogue is wonky, but I think it may be a “language barrier” between American English and British English. There are parts of Harry Potter dialogue that still make no sense to me.

This is a good modern Gothic novel, which after reading some Victorian Gothic novels, I enjoyed seeing how those themes aged through time. I liked those elements that I’ve seen in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in a brand new story. Even my least favorite element, Cousin Marriage, survived. Stop marrying your first cousins. I have seen so much cousin marriage in media the last few months it’s getting a little weird. Everywhere I look COUSIN MARRIAGE.

I like the mystery, the who and why. I think it’ll be an interesting series as I continue reading it. I think there is a lot to explore. The history of the town and Lynburns is going to be interesting as it continues to unfold. I recommend this novel to people looking for something a little creepy and odd. It was a fun quick read.

Have you read any of The Lynburn Legacy? What did you think?

Until next time Internet

 

Deanna

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

The Details

Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Published:  January 3, 2012
Genres:  YA, romance, contemporary
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

12478533 GoodReads Blurb

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances… a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life… and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last.

 

Review:

I loved this story. There is something about it that struck me personally that I connected so much with Hudson and her life. I’m not a figure skater or have my life figured out, but I do love baking cupcakes and miss reading signals from boys is a specialty of mine. While reading this book, I texted my friends and kept saying “How does Sarah Ockler know my life!?!” It’s a really cute, thoughtful book I think many people can relate to.

The book is mainly about a girl trying to figure out what she wants from life. She used to be a figure skater, a very good figure skater, but after her parents had divorced, she hung up her skates to help her mom out with her brother and the diner than her mom runs. Hudson hates waitressing but feels like she has to do it. Hudson takes on a lot of side responsibilities. She cooks desserts for the diner, mainly cupcakes. There are a bunch of super cute cupcake recipes spread out within the books. I still want to try some of them out. Hudson also decides to take out helping out the school hockey team, teaching them the basics of skating, much like how football players take ballet for better footwork. She teaches the boys the finer points of skating to help them during their games. On top of all that, Hudson is secretly working on a new routine to win a scholarship for college.

Hudson does so much that some of her other responsibilities get left behind. She’s not doing as much as she should at the diner or at home. Her friendships suffer. Although her best friend is kind of a douche and doesn’t see that Hudson is struggling and just is a jerk about Hudson not spending time with her.

There is brilliance in the way that Ockler is able to write Hudson’s juggling and losing her battle to keep everything going. Sometimes a person takes on too much, and Hudson realizing that is such a huge, pivotal part of the book. It’s an awakening in a way, that was probably the biggest thing I took away from it.

This book was a very quick read, enjoyable in the way that I find many a YA romance. There is something about finding that first love that gets me every time.

I have read one other Sarah Ockler book, Twenty Boy Summer, and I’ve discovered via GoodReads that she has a couple more books. I’m going to have to scoop them up. When a writer can write first love and understands the immense stress that teenagers go through trying to juggle everything, their books are definitely worth looking into.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of love who are looking for a book that is about more than just love the story. It’s a really great book.

Have you read Bittersweet? Or any other Sarah Ockler? Let me know what you thought!

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

 

Review: The Infinite Moment of Us

The Details

Publisher:  Amulet Books
Published:  August 27, 2013
Genres:  YA, romance, contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars

17290266Goodreads Blurb

For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now… not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them…

Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers

MY REVIEW

I enjoyed this book. However, there were some unfinished storylines and some problematic issues that I had that keeps this book from being four stars from me. It had so much potential, but I feel like it fell flat in many spots where it could have really shined.

It reminds me of Judy Blume’s Forever, only not quite as good. I mean, Forever is probably the best sex and relationship YA book ever to exist. The Infinite Moment of Us tries, and to be honest, it does hit notes of a teenage relationship in mid-2010’s, but not enough of them.

There is a fair amount of slut shaming. There’s a character named Starla, she’s promiscuous and has a rough past. I felt reading the book that both narrators, Charlie and Wren, looked upon Starla as something to be pitied. Wren and her best friend both discussed how Wren was much better than Starla because Starla was known to get around whereas Wren was clean and pure and wholesome and from a good family. I know this is a thing that happens in high school. It’s how girls talk to and about each other, but because of other elements of this book the Starla is dirty and Wren is bright and clean aspect of it is very unhealthy and gives the wrong impression to a reader about what is and isn’t acceptable.

There are some anti-feminist things, which doesn’t bother me, except compounded with the virgin/whore dynamic between Wren and Starla. Wren’s best friend, Tessa, talks to Charlie about how “girls like to have sex.” I saw it as more how Wren would want a sexual relationship, but it can be read both ways. Some of the reviews if this book that I read on GoodReads talked about how weird this was, for the boyfriend to go to the best friend. However, in my experience, girls talk to each other about this kind of stuff in a way that they don’t with significant others. Charlie is just trying to learn about Wren, so he goes the source, the best friend. Is it super weird, yes, but still teenage girls talk to their girlfriends about a lot of things. I would imagine if someone wanted to know more about me, they would go to Jen or my other close friends. I would assume it would be to find out what kind of food I like and what items of Harry Potter and Supernatural merchandise I already own so they can buy me a present and not about positions, but who knows?

Tessa talks about a male dominated, male aggressive kind of relationship where the girl is submissive and does what the guy wants. Your sex life if up to you, but to think that there is only one way to have this kind of relationship isn’t okay. In Starla’s relationship with Charlie, Starla is in charge. It was very clear that Starla set the rules for the relationship. This to me plays a little into the “good and bad” relationship that is woven throughout the book. Tessa’s description of the kind of relationship that Wren would want makes Charlie believe that everything he and Starla were was wrong and even dirtier. Girls shouldn’t be like Starla, they should be like Wren. Girls can be both.

There are some, it’s not graphic, but its detailed, depictions of sex acts, and the only part of that that really bothers me is that Wren wants to have unprotected sex. It’s made to seem like a good and understandable decision. These characters are 18 years old and graduate high school at the beginning of the book. Unprotected sex probably isn’t a good choice. This is a Young Adult book, and is obviously targeted to older teens, but just say yes to condoms.

There are some storylines that don’t have a resolution, Starla’s in particular. There was so much more that could have been done with Starla. I left the book wanting to know more about what happens to her, how she comes out of these events. I feel so bad for her. I wanted to protect her, which I really don’t feel was the point of her character, but nonetheless is how I felt walking away from the story. I feel like there is a potential for a second book which would wrap this up, but as of right now there isn’t. There are so many loose ends that it would make sense to have a follow-up.

I feel like there is a potential for a second book which would wrap this up, but as of right now there isn’t. There are so many loose ends that it would make sense to have a follow-up. There was a complete story but it read like (this is going be the weirdest analogy ever) during the writers strike when most TV shows had shortened seasons. Storylines were introduced in the first half of the season, then the strike happened, so those storylines weren’t picked up again and forgotten. There are just a lot of loose ends.

All in all, I did enjoy this book. I like the way Lauren Myracle writes, but there were pieces of this books that just don’t sit right with me after thinking about it for a few days. I mean if I didn’t hyper-analyze it to write a blog post about it I may have enjoyed it more, but thinking about book critically was something I was doing before I wrote about them online. It felt like there was a much bigger book planned and pieces got cut out but that whole storyline wasn’t removed, does that make sense?

I felt slightly let down by this book, I didn’t have the highest of hopes because of the mixed reviews on GoodReads, but I still think there was a greater potential than what ended up happening.

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

 

 

 

Blackmailed Cousin Marriage for Revenge and Other Things.

Let me begin by saying I enjoyed listening to this Wuthering Heights. I found it frustrating and weird as all heck, but I enjoyed it. Also, this book is 170 years old so spoilers. There are also some Harry Potter spoilers within.

One of the thoughts I had most often listening to this book was “Why is everyone so terrible.” Maybe all people with money were just terrible people in Victorian England because I thought the same of Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, I don’t know. My second most common thought was “I wonder if JK Rowling based Snape of Heathcliff because they are basically the same human being.”

Let’s begin what I’m sure will be a long winded journey with why I dislike Snape really quick before I move into a discussion of Heathcliff. Snape’s motives throughout the whole 7 books of Harry Potter is his “love” of Lily Potter. Because he “loves” Lily so much, he has to be a jerk to Harry. If Snape had stayed the same way he was in the first book, cold, but still moderately helpful, I think he would have been fine. However, as Harry gets older and –to Snape– became more like James, Snape becomes crueler and crueler to this teenage boy because he felt wrong by the boy’s mother over 20 years earlier. Listen, Snape, you called your best friend a racial slur in front of a bunch of people and then got mad that she didn’t want to hang out with you anymore. Chill. On top of this, his treatment to Neville –and Gryffindors in general– is petty high school crap that a 31-year-old man (as he was in the first book) is still be hung up on. It’s time to move on. Snape is an interesting character, a well-written, great character, but he was a terrible human being.

And now Heathcliff, who got mad that his adopted sister didn’t wait for him after he ran away and instead married a man of means that I think she loved– in her own way– so he was manipulated every situation possible to steal land and make the heirs of his adopted family miserable.

From what I got out of the book, Heathcliff was a street orphan in Liverpool, so Mr. Earnshaw saved him from being Oliver Twist (or possibly kidnapped him) and brought him home to live with his family which has two children approximately his age.

As he grows up he falls in love with is adopted sister Cathrine, and she falls for him. However, this is Victorian England and marrying into a good (read: rich) family is important. As Heathcliff realizes that he will never marry her, he runs away to do who knows what, perhaps join the army, and when he returns Catherine is married to the neighbor boy Edgar Lindon. Heathcliff is so angry about this that he moves into his childhood home where his adopted brother, Hindley, lives and through some means gets his brother to mortgage his house through Heathcliff so that when Hinley dies a short time later, he gets the house. Heathcliff then decides that he will treat Hinley’s son, Hareton, like a servant kind of– a farm hand, which from what I understand is how Heathcliff grew up for the most part. He deprives this young man of growing up to be a gentleman like his father and grandfather, as his family name should allow him to be. Because of Heathcliff, Hareton doesn’t learn to read or write and never gets any kind of schooling.

Heathcliff was never particularly pleasant, but the way he treated Hareton really started to turn me against him.

Out of spite (?) or possibly hatred, Heathcliff married Cathrine’s sister-in-law. In his mind, he is formulating a plan to get the house that the Lindon’s live in. I cannot for the life of me figure out why he wants it so much. He does discuss wanting to get rid of it, and all thoughts of the Lindon family along with it, but I don’t understand.

After Cathrine dies in childbirth with her daughter, Cathy, Heathcliff’s wife realizes that his is not just a misunderstood misanthrope but a terrible human being, and leaves him, several months later giving birth to Heathcliff’s child that she (not confusingly) named Lindon.

It should be mentioned that Cathy is described as looking much more like her father than her mother, except for her eyes, she has Cathrine’s eyes. (This will be important later)

Mrs. Heathcliff dies, and Lindon is sent to live with his uncle, Edgar, and his cousin Cathy. However, Heathcliff discovers that his has a son and decides to take him, even though Lindon had never known his father and knew his uncle and Heathcliff didn’t like children. Because to Heathcliff, Lindon is his property and Heathcliff is obsessed with wanting what is his.

Some time passes, and for whatever reason, young Cathy falls in love with her first cousin Lindon, and Cathy’s father forbids her to see him, but Heathcliff manipulates everything until Heathcliff basically kidnaps and imprisons Cathy while her father is on his deathbed until she agrees to, and then formally marries Lindon her terminally ill cousin. Heathcliff does this because he knows Cathy’s father is dying and that in his will he would pass down the house and lands to Cathy. If Cathy is married it will go directly to her husband.  THEN Heathcliff locks her in a room so she can’t go see her dying father so she can’t tell him that she’s married to Lindon so that he doesn’t have time before dying to change his will.

Then Lindon dies of tuberculosis, and Heathcliff gets the Grange!

This is the part where the Snape stuff really started to hit me.

Heathcliff arrives at his new property, The Grange, and dismisses the servants and decides what he wants and what he doesn’t want to keep. One thing that Heathcliff personally takes is a portrait of Cathrine that was part of a pair with her husband that hung in the parlor. Listening to that part, reminded me so much of Snape ripping apart the photo of the Potter Family and the piece of the letter he found with Lily’s signature from the house in Godric’s Hallow. Heathcliff is forcibly removing Cathrine from her family. Heathcliff also does this super creepy thing where he breaks into her coffin and breaks the side of it so that when he dies, he can have his coffin fitted to it. Which reminds me of the scene in the Deathly Hallows movie where Snape cuddles the dead body of Lily while baby Harry cries in the crib behind him.

Hareton, Hindley’s son that became Heathcliff’s ward, still lives at Wuthering Heights working as a farm hand at this point in the story. Hareton and Cathy now both live there living under Heathcliff’s thumb as he sometimes violently attacks and berated them for existing in his presence. Much like Snape does to Harry. I equate Cathy with Harry and Hareton with Neville a lot in this part of the story. Hindley was never kind to Heathcliff, but I never felt that he was cruel to him. They were just guys that didn’t like each other. Hindley was jealous that his father favored Heathcliff when they were children, but they are now adults. However, after Hindley dies, Heathcliff makes sure that Hareton will have nothing. That he is nothing, the same way that Snape, time and time again, cuts Neville Longbottom off at the knees as he tries his hardest to do everything his teacher says. Like Harry and Neville, both Cathy and Hareton have the power to change the course of things in the book, and in the end, they both, in their own way do.

There comes a moment late in the book where (first cousins) Hareton and Cathy (who are now secretly courting) are reading by the fire, and they look up at Heathcliff. Heathcliff is struck by the fact that they have the same eyes. Cathrine’s eyes, because they are first cousins and these are apparently the family eyes. I’m sure that along with the extra arms their children will have also have the same eyes. STOP MARRYING YOUR COUSIN! Cathy marries all of her cousins. Like go into town and meet someone you are not related to.

Sorry, anyway, Heathcliff looks into these four eyes and sees Cathrine’s eyes and it changes him and then he, like, starves to death because of the ghost of Cathrine. That’s how I understood it.

Snape and Heathcliff both feel that this incredible wrong was done to them by the women they love. I do feel like Heathcliff has an actual argument for this one because Cathrine did say that she would marry him and then changed her mind when she realized they wouldn’t have any money. But to hold onto that for over 20 years and then take it out on children who had nothing to do with it because you can’t take it out on the actual person because they are dead is gross inexcusable behavior. Snape, as I mentioned above, does the same thing. He takes out his grievances with his former classmates and former members of the Orginal Order of the Phoenix out on the second generation, his students who he is responsible for. It’s not cool, and I don’t understand why people excuse abusive, manipulative behavior because of “love.” It’s not love anymore, it’s creepy obsession.

Hareton was very young when is parents died, and unlike Neville, never knew much about them until he was in his early twenties when Cathy tells him that the house he lives in what his father’s family house. Heathcliff, from the time Hareton was around 5, systematically strips away everything about Hareton’s heritage.

Heathcliff manipulates everything around him to get petty revenge that in the end doesn’t matter. At the very least, Snape tried to protect Harry as a part of Lily. He did a terrible job except for the one time that he saves Harry from falling off his broom in the first book, but Snape and Heathcliff are focused on childish revenge fantasies that in the end don’t matter. The “wrong” in both cases were over 20 years prior. Nothing good comes of holding on to these kinds of things. It turns you into a bitter, angry person. That accomplishes nothing in the end.

Have you read Wuthering Heights? What did you think of it? Did you pull any parallels to a modern story?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

 

Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

The Details

Publisher:  Harper Teens
Published:  MArch 14, 2017
Genres:  YA, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
My Rating: 5 Stars

 

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Good Reads Blurb

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast

My Review

I am new to the fairytale retelling trend in YA lit. To be honest, before starting this blog I was unaware it was a thing outside of the Cinder Chronicles, which as I mentioned in my post about Cinder, I was anxious about reading because I didn’t want to be disappointed by it. When this book appeared in my uppercase book box in March, I was nervous about it. Beauty and the Beast is such a huge thing in the first quarter of 2017 with the live action movie and such. But then I started to see the reviews by my fellow bloggers, and I was less nervous about this book.

What I loved is that it doesn’t follow the Disney version of the story that is so well known. I listen to the Myths and Legends podcast (side note if you are interested in old stories and origins of myths and stuff listen to this podcast it’s really fun) and a while back he covered the Beauty and the Beast origin stories. This story is truly a tale as old as time, it has origins from all over the world. Spooner’s version focuses mainly on the Russian version but has elements of the French version, which for the most part is the version we are familiar with.

Because of the Myth and Legends podcast, I have learned a lot about Russian Fairytales: the stories of Prince Ivan and his brothers. Russian fairytales are very different than western stories, Spooner intertwines them into her story seamlessly. It was one of my favorite elements of the book.

Another thing I loved were the journal entries by the Beast between chapters. For the most part, the story is told through Yeva’s experience, but through these little half-page entries, we learn about the Beast from the Beast.  It was a very interesting way to show his character development as the story continued.

I did feel that the ending came very quickly. The rest of the story is slower paced, but when we get to the last third of the book, everything happens very fast. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, and it was still highly enjoyable– one of my favorites this year– but I think that it could have benefited a little from more at the end.

Overall, I found this book extremely well written and told a beautiful story about acceptance and love. It is worth picking up if you haven’t already.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Until next time Internet,

 

Deanna

Bumped series-Dystopian Pregnancy

 

I love Megan McCafferty. I loved her Jessica Darling series something serious. She is such a great writer. The premise of these two books is weird, but they are extremely well written.

 

 

 

These books are about a time in the not too distant future, like 2100-ish maybe sooner, where women are affected by a virus that destroys the reproductive system and makes it impossible for women over 19 to have children; so teenagers do. Men are also affected by the virus, but their role in the book is much less a part of the story.

Parts of these books remind me a little of The Handmaid’s Tale. The girls that have the babies don’t get to keep them. They are paid surrogates that take drugs so that they don’t become attached to their pregnancies. There is a weird fame that comes with being able to produce children. Girls as young at 11 or 12 are essentially told to “go pro” to have children for couples in their 20’s and 30’s who want children. There is a whole culture around it. These girls are put on this very high pedestal because they have to “save humans” by having these children.

The two narrators are twins that were separated at birth: Melody who was raised in the world where girls become very famous for creating children and Harmony who grew up in “Goodside” a culture that I equate with Amish-style living.

In Harmony’s world, the Bible is a big thing. They arrange marriage around 13 and are expected to follow the rules of their culture without question. They have children and raise those children themselves.  She was raised by a woman who has raised 47 other children.

In Melody’s world, she was raised in “Otherside” her parents run seminars about how the world needs these girls to produce babies and the culture around the teen pregnancies are saving the world.

Something I found interesting about this story, is that unlike many dystopian stories where were hear about the outside world where everything is different, we get to see it. Many times the main character is completely unfamiliar with the world outside their society, they only know about it and escape into it blindly. In this story is told in dual narrative, Harmony is from outside of society. She in escaping into the world that Melody lives. We, as readers, are not discovering the “outside”  we are learning about it from someone from there. We are also learning about the main society through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know how it works.

I liked the dual narratives. The differences between the girls and their motives. I think that there is a fuller story told this way. We get to see the positives and negatives of both the worlds. Both girls are not completely convinced that they are living the best way. They understand that there has to be a better way to fix the situation that is happening in the world. There has to be a better way to fix the population than making teenagers famous for having babies. There has to be a better way than arranged marriage.

There is a vocabulary that is interesting throughout this book. Melody’s half more than Harmony’s. I greatly enjoyed that, because it forces the reader to become a part of this world to read it. You need to understand the fame game and what bumping is and how their world works. You need to immerse yourself in it to continue the book.

Harmony’s narrative in the first book helps the reader to discover this foreign world as she does.  Harmony’s motives are finding her twin sister and family. Throughout both books, it is very clear that all Harmony wants is a family. She wants her sister; she wants to meet her birth parents.

These books are weird, to be sure. Parts of them can be very unrealistic it’s not dystopian in a way that The Hunger Games are dystopian or even The Handmaid’s Tale. The world seems to take celebrity status and turns it in an unexpected way. The focus isn’t on people who can act or sing but fertile teenagers. Honestly, it doesn’t seem super far fetched because of the celebrity culture we live in, who is popular and what is popular changes so quickly. We now get excited for famous people who are having babies. We feel invested in their story somehow. I mean, April the Giraffe? I know I was a little bit too invested in that. I got three separate breaking news alert emails and a breaking news alert on my phone when she was in labor and after her son was born. I did not subscribe to any kind of special giraffe alerts, this was the actual news alerting me CNN and two local news channels.

I think it would be easy to see a crisis and try to fix it in a way that very quickly turns very problematic, like the Bumped stories. There is an interesting aspect of this story that is what you believe verse what is expected. Melody and Harmony are so different because of how they were raised and have very different motives in both stories, but there is this connection between them that is so much more than just being twins. Throughout this story, the two girls know each other for a little more eight months.

I have mixed feelings about these books, they are well-written and interesting, but the storylines are odd. It takes a bit to get acclimated to the world. I think they open an interesting discussion. I am all about books that start discussions.

I would love to know if you have read these books? What did you think if you have?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

 

 

 

 

Book Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

The Details

Publisher:  Harper Teens
Published:  January 31st, 2017
Genres:  Contemporary, YA, Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars
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 GoodReads Blurb

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead, it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

My Review

I cannot review this book without first addressing the unlikely scenario that the first third of the book centers around. There is, literally, no way to be locked in a public building. There are regulations that make that impossible. This is not a Novalee Nation from Where the Heart Is staying at the Wal-Mart on purpose. This is 2017 two people locked in a public building that if it doesn’t have emergency exits can’t be opened from the outside but an alarm sounds when you exit it, it is not up to code, and it’s, literally, illegal. There is a way out. It also seems illogical that a public library would not have a landline. Every library I have ever been in has landlines, their technology is mostly from the early 2000’s. If there is one place that still has landlines it’s a public library.

It feels so go to let that out.

Ignoring this, I really liked this book. I found Autumn very relatable. I suffer from anxiety similar to Autumn. I understand her. I understand her overwhelming sensations. I have also had a Jeff. That guy that seems so right, but when you step back and look at it the whole relationship is easier to see. Dax is interesting. He seems very genuine and understanding. He’s a great foil for Jeff.

I can see how someone reading this book would see everything Autumn says and does are completely ridiculous and over-reacting, but that–for me– was what made her so real. Her inner narration, the panic, thinking people will hate her, all of it is what happens in my head. It was cool to see that kind of character not be a joke.

This is a wonderfully cute romance book. I love YA romance novels. They are probably my favorite thing to read. This was a great addition to the genre.

This was my first Kasie West book. I’ve seen a lot about her books on the internet. I wasn’t sure I would like this book because of the locked in a building that should be easily escapable thing when I read the blurb after I opened my February Uppercase box, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was written. I’ll be picking up more of her books in the future.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna