Monthly Archives:: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

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Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins
Rumble
Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Contemporary, Verse, YA
Publication date: August 26th 2014
by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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“There is no God, no benevolent ruler of the earth, no omnipotent grand poobah of countless universes. Because if there was...my little brother would still be fishing or playing basketball instead of fertilizing cemetery vegetation.”

Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.

Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.

No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.
-A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada for review-

Having been introduced to the world of verse writing by Ellen’s Crank series, I was excited to read some more of her work. While the Crank series will likely always remain my favorite, Rumble was very emotional and touches on important issues.

Ever since his brother committed suicide, Matthew and his family seem like a lost cause. We’re introduced to this broken, angry teenage boy who, despite his flaws, burrows into our hearts from the very start. His brother’s death has made him extremely angry – angry at his parents for not accepting his brother’s homosexuality, at the kids that bullied him, at god for turning his back on him. It’s a very angry novel, and one that is miles deep with a level of maturity that would make this best for upper YA readers. As expected, Ellen has painted honest characters who feel incredibly authentic. There’s no sugar coating in this story. It’s raw, it’s dark, and we get a close, intimate look at Matthew’s fall into this depression brought on by guilt and blame.

One thing I was wary of when I read this blurb was the religious mentions – it sounded like an extremely religious novel which usually does not work for me, but I still had to try it anyways. For those feeling the same, don’t shy away from this book for that reason. There are religious themes in this story, yes, but it’s integrated so well in Matt’s character and larger-than-life questions that it becomes a natural part of this story. Mostly it comes from Matt’s essay that he wrote with anger in his heart, on which he denies the existence of a higher being – how can there be when there’s so much hate in the world? It does make you think, and I was really intrigued by his point-of-view, to be honest. It’s with the help of this essay that we really get to delve deep in his character and understand the rage he feels; as if he was betrayed by life itself, by his faith. And as with all good character-driven novels, Matt really grows throughout the story. He slowly comes to terms with the cards he was dealt in life. He’s a character who many will be able to relate with, and with a voice that makes you understand his perspective as well as his anger.

There are several layers of story in this novel. Aside from suicide, religion, sexuality, and Matt’s depression, we also touch on PTSD and the effects of war in Matt’s uncle’s story. This was maybe not totally necessary to the overall story, but it gave us a poignant side-story with a character who seemed to actually understand Matt. He became a sort of rock that was holding Matt together. It also ended with a sudden, tragic turn of events that I hadn’t expected. I do think the ending overall was a tad hurried, and things resolved a bit too conveniently for my taste.

I love how emotionally invested Ellen can make me with her fantastic prose and incredibly genuine characters. I also love how she tackles difficult, even controversial topics; she tells it like it is. If you see life through rose-colored glasses, this author may not be for you.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Authors We Own The Most Books From!

Authors We Own The Most Books From!

Posted by on 07/29/2014 • 14 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we list top bookish things. Note that Giselle and Jenni often decide to split it and each do a Top 5.

Hello, our names are Giselle & Jenni and we are author hoarders! Jenni

 

Ellen Hopkins: I officially own every book this woman has out.  I was a fast fan after reading the Crank series so I went out and got all of the others.  Even though I haven’t loved all of the others as much as I did the Crank series I still always get really emotional from all of her stories. Jennifer Brown: Brown is another one that I hoarded upon reading my first book by her.  I get…

Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Posted by on 07/28/2014 • 12 Comments

When you want a book to escape reality for a few hours, Let’s Get Lost is what I would hand you. A road trip, intriguing characters, wild adventures, and, of course, a healthy dose of romance – this is the perfect beach read!

I’ve read a few road trip books and this one is just as much fun, yet different in many ways. We follow Leila’s trip to Alaska, but we follow it through others’ eyes – the story is told using the point-of-views of the people she gets to meet during her trip. I found this very unique and it allowed us to get to know Leila through different perspectives. We start with Hudson who quickly becomes the love interest. I can see why some have different reactions towards…

Jenni’s Stacking the Shelves [July 27]

Jenni’s Stacking the Shelves [July 27]

Posted by on 07/27/2014 • 16 Comments

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring new additions to our bookshelves.

Hiya! I always want to put in this first paragraph what is new with my in my personal life but I really don’t have a lot going on right now.  I did manage to get over a pretty bad reading slump this past week (Thanks to Bekka who recommended me Jellicoe Road. If you have this book unread on your shelf READ IT NOW. Thank me later.) I did manage to get some good books this week, so here they are!

 

From Simon & Schuster Canada I got Girl Defective and Beauty of the Broken.  I’ve already read Girl Defective and while it wasn’t my favourite novel…

Fresh Batch (New Releases July 27th – August 2nd)

Fresh Batch (New Releases July 27th – August 2nd)

Posted by on 07/26/2014 • 7 Comments

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

Flavor of the week:

Let’s Get Lost Adi Alsaid Publication date: July 29th 2014by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads Purchase

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that…

Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Posted by on 07/25/2014 • 13 Comments

Even with the great premise and creepy as heck scenes throughout, I can’t say I liked this one much, unfortunately. Though this is all due to the writing, and if you’re a fan of it you will have a much better experience with this book than I.

The writing is one that, although may work for some, I could never get used to. The narrative voices (plural because I “think” there were more than 1, but I’m not 100% sure…) are in 3rd person which is always harder for me to connect with regardless, but in this case even more so because of this particular all-knowing perspective the author adopts. Then when you add in the fact that the perspective changes – often abruptly without a chapter change or even…

Review: Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Review: Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Posted by on 07/24/2014 • 10 Comments

What an interesting book this was to read for someone who has an online presence. Granted, my online presence is nothing compared to the thousands upon thousands of fans beauty vlogger Torrey Grey had in this book, but I do put myself out there for the public just as she did in the novel. Can’t Look Away was a pitch perfect contemporary that features a lot of honesty, a sweet romance and just enough heartbreak to really pull at your heartstrings.

We meet Torrey Grey right after her family moves from Colorado to Texas. They decide to make the move shortly after Torrey’s younger sister, Miranda, is hit and killed by a drunk driver. From the very first pages of this book I knew that it was going to be…

Book Girls Don’t Cry… Or Like All of the MC’s

Book Girls Don’t Cry… Or Like All of the MC’s

Posted by on 07/23/2014 • 14 Comments

Book Girls Don’t Cry is a feature where we will discuss/vent/advise on a bookish topic. This feature is co-hosted with the lovely Amy at Book Loving Mom.

We are back with yet another collaboration between myself and the lovely Stella from It’s Too Late To Apologize.  This time around we are talking about unlikeable characters in books.  I was reading a book recently and was talking to Stella about how much I hated the MC and how much I was loving the book overall and she was pretty floored by that whole concept so we had to vlog about it! Hope you enjoy!

 

Can you get down with a book even if you don’t like the main character? We’re looking for topic suggestions for future BGDC posts! What would…