Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.
Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda
The Helsing Corps only showed up when someone didn’t stay dead.
Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.
Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke
Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see.
Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
No matter how far she jogs, Annie can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive.
Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.
Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
All the Bright Places
Jennifer Niven
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: January 6th 2015
by Knopf Books for Young Readers

GoodreadsPurchase
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
-A copy was provided by Random House Children's Books for review-

This is the sort of story that kinda sneaks up on you. You’re not sure what kind of book it is at first – especially if you’re like me and don’t brush up on the blurb beforehand. It seems intense and gritty and even a tad confusing. You notice right away that the characters are definitely messed up with deep rooted issues they need to work on. Then there’s romance and profound conversations and soul searching and what seems to be a light at the end of this dark, dreary tunnel. Then, BAM!

BAAAAAM!

Well ok don’t get too agitated, it takes a while until reality crashes down – almost at the end, really, but it basically changes the whole meaning of the book. At least it did for me. One thing this book does is open your eyes to the realities of living with a mental disorder. A label. A thing that you can’t see or control, but it defines you – if you let it. You’re never quite sure what’s wrong with Finch, but you know there’s something, and it’s unstable. He’s had a rough childhood, raised by abusive father and a mother who seems to not really question his bizarre behaviours. It’s incredibly sad, really. Heartbreaking and eye opening. He’s so messed up, yet no one cares enough to even realize this is bigger than simple teenage angst.

Despite his issues, Finch can be so spontaneous and fun, he sees the good in things, makes life into an adventure. He’s definitely a compelling character; intelligent and blunt. His strangeness made me like him all the more. He doesn’t know who he is, so he tries all kinds of styles – from 80s Finch to badass Finch. He doesn’t let the side glances and rumours get to him all that much, he takes every day in stride and that made me respect him. Though I assure you he doesn’t take any crap either. He can take care of his own, even if he goes a bit on the extreme at times. Violet is also a very well developed characters, but I didn’t find her quite as interesting as Finch. I also had a hard time distinguishing her voice from his during the POV switches. I had to keep reminding myself which perspective we were reading. I also found it very odd that she was the only one in her family who seemed to be affected by grief. Yes she lost a sister, but her parents lost a child mere months ago and you would never have known. For how caring and involved they were it felt unrealistic to me. That’s the only part I would raise an eyebrow at, however. The rest of the novel is written with such raw power, such realism, that you can truly insert yourself in these character’s lives and feel what it feels like to be so… broken.

The only other minor complaint is that the pacing could be off at times. The story would come to a halt and make you wish the shoe would just drop, you know. But then it does… I do highly recommend it for contemporary fans. The novel as a whole is emotionally gritty, character driven, and psychologically intense – I mean think about it, it’s got a fragile narrator who can’t even be trusted to live.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Fresh Batch (New Releases December 21st – 27th)

Fresh Batch (New Releases December 21st – 27th)

Posted by on 12/20/2014 • 6 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

This Shattered World Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner Series: Starbound #2 Publication date: December 23rd 2014by Disney-Hyperion

Goodreads Purchase

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for…

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Posted by on 12/19/2014 • 22 Comments

Well, what do you know… I actually found myself enjoying this one, despite my initial reservations.

If I could briefly describe this book, it’s Red Rising by Pierce Brown Set in a Castle-Turned-Into-X-Men-Academy. And trust me, it’s way cooler than it sounds. And it already sounds way cool.

It’s a premise we have seen before – in fiction and in history: the people are divided into two classes, the rulers and the ruled. The first are the Silvers, who enjoy the luxuries of life and have various abilities (reading and controlling minds, manipulating elements, healing); we also have the Reds, who toil and work their lives away for the latter, oppressed and living in extreme poverty. And we have Mare Barrows, a Red who finds herself wielding Silver powers – an anomaly, a mistake,…

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Posted by on 12/18/2014 • 13 Comments

We’ve all been asked something along the lines of “What would you bring with you on a deserted island”, but for Anna and TJ, this is not rhetorical anymore. And unfortunately they didn’t even get that choice. All they have on the island they’re stranded on, is what has floated in from their plane crash. A suitcase full of mostly useless stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Stories like these really make you appreciate everything we have, here. The choices that we have. For Anna and TJ, they’re only hoping to survive from one day to the next.

One thing I appreciated from this novel is that it isn’t overly dramatic. There’s not a new crisis in every chapter, they don’t have near death experiences and close calls every 3 pages….

Review: The Awesome by Eva Darrows

Review: The Awesome by Eva Darrows

Posted by on 12/17/2014 • 14 Comments

This book was all sorts of fun!! I just kind of want to flail and gush over it. It is full of humor, most of it inappropriate. I found myself laughing out loud plenty of times while reading it. The characters were fabulous. Maggie’s mom was one of my favorites, and I loved their “pet zombie”. Really, they have a Zombie, but it’s not actually a pet. Anyways, they are monster hunters and people know monsters of different variety do exist. There is a whole crazy vampire storyline that happens, and it’s totally hilarious. (Well, not all of it since vampires are scary, but whatever. Let me spazz here.)

Okay, so Maggie is a monster hunter. She started doing it when she was 13 years old. It’s a family…

Inspirations for This Shattered World & Giveaway!

Inspirations for This Shattered World & Giveaway!

Posted by on 12/16/2014 • 20 Comments

[Banner Image Credit: Amie Kaufman Facebook Page] I was a huge fan of These Broken Stars when I read it a few months ago, and I’m really excited to have the blog tour for this second book stop by the blog today. I’ve got both authors over here talking about the inspiration behind Starbound! Here’s a bit of info on this book first:

Guest Post by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

What Inspires Us The question “how do you come up with your ideas” is hands down the most frequent question we stumble across when talking to readers. As much as we’d love to say “from the corner mart,” the real answer is that inspiration comes from everywhere. It comes from…

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Segdwick

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Segdwick

Posted by on 12/15/2014 • 19 Comments

This is one of those books that I really have no clue how to review. The writing was beautiful and lyrical, and the stories were intriguing and kept me interested, but I feel like maybe I wasn’t smart enough for this book. Now, I’m not a stupid person (I don’t think anyways), but I just didn’t get it. I liked how we start way back in time with the first story, and progress through time and even into the future in the next three. I enjoyed seeing how each previous story tied into the next. I just didn’t quite get it all. I can’t really explain it. I understood what the spiral means and signifies, but how the stories were told had me scratching my head.

The first story…

Giselle’s Stacking the Shelves [December 14th]

Giselle’s Stacking the Shelves [December 14th]

Posted by on 12/14/2014 • 11 Comments

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books we got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week. Can you believe there’s only a bit over a week left until Christmas? Eek! And then shortly after that we’ll be in 2015! Hope you’re all set and for the holidays and that you have a wonderful time with tons of food (which to me is the best part >.<). So let’s see what I got in books in the past week

BOOK HAUL:

I received for review:

*Thanks to Disney Hyperion, Random House Canada, and Macmillan Children’s for these pretties!*

I also got a bookish Christmas pressie in the mail this…