Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon




  • Release Date : September 1st 2015
  • Genre : Contemporary
  • Pages : 320
  • Publisher : Delacorte Books For Young Readers

To Madeline Whittier the world is a stranger. She has been confined to her home for 17 years. She suffers from a rare illness that makes her allergic to...everything. She has classes, the internet and mom to keep her connected, but when a troubled family with a curious boy moves next door she realizes she could have more.

I went into this novel thinking it would focus on a romance between Olly and Maddy, but the story focuses more on Maddy's coming-of-age. 
 For me this book was all about Maddy and the romance didn't quite do it for me. I  was more drawn to how Yoon wrote Maddy's inner conflicts. As the reader you know the risks she takes to be normal are bad for her, but you still want her to take the chance.

This book used more than  prose to tell the story; we get e-mails, illustrations, snippets from Maddy's book blog and IMs.  I think we are starting to see more mixed medium novels like this, they are sort of a modern twist on the epistolary novel. I tend to stay away from stories written all in IM so I liked how this was a blend. I'm actually curious what the word length of the prose is in this book. The way the story eventually plays out I kept thinking this would have made a great YA short story.

Maddy has a strong connection with books and runs a book blog so in a way this book is set up to be a book blogger's book. The ending I think will also give you a little to think about

In the spirit of nothing exist in a vacuum I have to say that  I was surprised when reading the acknowledgements that this book was done in conjunction with Alloy books. In the past I haven't had great experiences with their books and this one stood out among the rest.

A little bit romance, a lot of coming of age. Everything, Everything is an enjoyable book to throw in your bag for an end of the summer read. I can't wait to see what Yoon comes up with next.



Side Note

Can I say how great the title of this book is ?  I mean it's made for positive reviews. It's like a drinking game to find review that say this book has "Everything, everything" or (as I was tempted to do) that Madeline learns she can have "everything, everything"

Also that comma in the title is going to make this book hard to search for.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

YA Mini Reviews

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater ( Audiobook)
When Kat's review mentioned that this book throws away all of pretense of being anything but fantasy, I braced myself going in because I like the contemporary aspects of this series.  While I was at BEA I talked to a lot of people about my experience listening to this and my verdict was . . . this book got so weird.. . good weird but weird. All the characters you expect and some new ones that will have you changing everything you thought you knew. Patton's performance was on par, but I can't unhear some of his cringe worthy singing. Stiefvater is the queen of quirky characters, mysterious settings and bracing readers for the unknown.  ★ 




Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn
Sometimes I feel like Kuehn makes it intentionally hard to describer her books. Delicate Monsters follows three severely emotionally unstable teens against the backdrop of the lush Sonoma wine country and explores the delicate relationship between wealth, happiness and sanity.

Khuen's writing  is amazing as ever as she creates this gritty and complex story. She uses an  omniscient third person narration that is also super unreliable so I spent a lot time just trying to keep up with what was really going on.

Much in Kuehn style this book ends with a character having a big realization toward end, but it didn't have the big pay off it did in her two previous novels.

This book also has some borderline disturbing content.  I mean the end of this book is like the best worst episode of Law and Order SVU.  - 


Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters (Audiobooks)

When teen athlete Swanee Durbin suddenly dies from cardiac arrest her non-conformist  family and girlfriend Alix are left to pick up the pieces. Alix decides she will never let go of Swanee, but when she discovers suspicious texts from another girl on Swanne's phone she starts to realize everything they had might have been a complete lie.

This book hits all the notes you would expect it to as Alix discovers who this other girl is. Very little in this book surprised me. This book does provide a great snapshot of how teens deal with love, loss and relationships in the 21st century. Like how do you put someone away when their Facebook is still there or what's the power of a text message when you don't know who is on the other end ?

Despite the in-your-face-angry title, this is a predictable, quiet and straight forward YA that is nowhere near as sinister or mysterious as the cover would lead you to believe .- 


Sunday, August 16, 2015

6 YouTubers Who Totally Need Book Deals


This year so many YouTubers published books...which is no surprise considering the audience YouTube has enabled content creators to grow.  Here are six YouTubers I'd like to see get book deals next!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I'm Signing Up For ARC August !

I'm joining ARC August for the first time ! ARC August is hosted by ReadSleepRepeat.org and is all about reading those ARCs you have sitting around.

Rules

It may be a physical ARC or eARC but it MUST be an ARC
  • Yes it can be an ARC that has already released; as long as it’s an ARC I’m not going to nit pick really
  • HAVE FUN WITH THIS! Feeling like you are being “forced” to read is the best way turn a fun event into a yucky obligation.
  • Update post! I personally will do a post for each Saturday in August but that’s just me. You can update once a week, every other week or once for the whole darn event. This update can be in the form of a blog/tumblr post, vlog, link to your “ARC August 2015″ shelf or even an instagram pic! I want to make this as easy and low pressure as possible for you.
 I've got a few ARCs to get through but I'm starting small with just two books, I may add more if needed. Here are the ARCS I plan to read



Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (September 1, 2015) (320 Pages)
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (August 25th 2015) (384 Pages)

What's on your plate ? If you want to sign up go here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fairest ( Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer


  • Release Date: January 27th 2015
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Drama
  • Audiobook Hours: 6 hours and 36 minutes
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
I've never DNFed an audiobook, but let me tell you Fairest came *this close*. It wasn't so much that  the book was bad it just didn't have the heart or fun I've come to expect in this series. The plot threads and world building elements are so great and that hold the series together started to unravel for me.

Fariest gives us a snapshot in the life of  Levana as her sister Channary becomes Queen . The Lunars (or at least the aristocratic ones)  are shown as cruel, jealous and vain. Levana and Channary are like the anti-Frozen sisters, with songs like "Do You Want Build A Fire and Brutally Mutilate Someone" and "Love Is An Open Door. . . With Mind Control" and last but not least "Never (Never) Let It Go."

The thing is that so far in the series we've spent very little time on the planet Luna,  giving it somewhat of a mystique. This book waves this element away and plops us right into the world of the Lunar court like it's not a big deal that we are there.We get very little world building or understanding of life on Luna. 

We know from the other books that Lunars have the Lunar gift, the ability to change their appearance with glamours and perform mind control. This gift is what causes  a lot of the fear of Lunars on Earth but on Luna everyone can do it, it's common place. Levana changes her appearance multiple times and people don't know who she is. I don't understand how  this can be commonplace. How is there no anarchy ? How does anyone know who anyone is ? It's just kind of hard to believe.

I also found the "wink wink nudge nudge" to characters and events in the series was a bit exhausting and took away from Levana's story.

On the flip side I'm glad Meyer didn't try to completely  make  Levana sympathetic, I think it's fair to say there is some ambiguity of how much of  Levana's hardships are dropped on her and how much is her own doing.

I was glad to find this audiobook was actually 5 hours 33 minutes long and the rest was the first few chapters of Winter. Oddly enough I did like how well Fairest flowed into the first chapter of Winter. It sort of informs the way  you see Levana in the opening scene, but that alone is not enough for me to recommend you to read it.

I never read novellas or prequels because I always get the sinking feeling they are published for the money. This one just didn't sit well



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Unboxing Book Riot YA Quaterly Box #02


Last week I sat down and opened up my YA Quarterly Box from Book Riot.com. This box featured a set of YA contemporaries with female leads as well as some fun bookish accessories. I'll reveal the items below and you can watch me unbox it here

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Audiobook Review: Fake ID by Lamar Giles


  • Release Date: January 21, 2014
  • Genre: Contemporary/Thriller/Mystery
  • Length: 7 hours 58 minutes
  • Publisher: Harper Audio

In Lamar Giles debut novel, new kid in town Nick Pearson finds himself mixed up in a murder with a side of corruption. As Nick searches for answers to a murder that could upend all his secrets he dodges bullies, crashes a party and tries to keep his parents together.  Move over Veronica Mars, Nick Pearson is on the case.

Lamar Giles writing is clever. He lays out tension, plot and conflict in front of you while still sneaking in a bit of misdirection. He has a great way of ending chapters on mini cliffhangers and you just HAVE to know what happens next.  I totally did not see the ending coming. I was like "what !?" This isn't really a spoiler but. . .literally anyone can die. Which takes the tension up to eleven

I listened to the audiobook performed by William Harper. His performance of Nick hit the snarky and clever dialogue perfectly. It's the kind of quick asides and clever lines I liked in Holly Black Curse Workers series. Harper has a great range for voices for the male characters,  but he could get awkwardly high pitched the end of sentences. His narration was solid overall but his performance didn't hit all the marks.

One thing I wanted from this book were more positive female relationships. None of the girls in this book get along with the main female character. All the "other girls" are shallow accessories to the cool boys. I grabbed Giles' second book (read: not the follow up to Fake ID) at BEA, so I'm curious to see how he writes a female protagonist

I'm so excited that there is more to this series, Giles left a lot to work with. This was one of those great ambiguous endings that left so much to be explored.

Fake ID is a solid debut with an audiobook that has a great grasp on humor but misses a few performance beats.

This book has me searching for more YA thrillers, if you have any recs leave them below.


Side Note

Here it goes. . . I think  Fake ID is such a generic title, I mean he's in WitSec so it's not like he's just pretending to be someone else. Also the WitSec angle is really played up but to me it wasn't the most interesting part of the story. I mean Nick has to solve the mystery behind an initiative called Whispertown, that would have been a more intriguing title.

Also, Nick rides a bike almost everywhere I think having a bike on the cover would have said something about the character.


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