Monday, 26 June 2017

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

7747374 

 Series: Lorien Legacies
Author: Pittacus Lore
Page Count: 440
Published: August 3rd, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

When his planet is attacked by the Mogadorians, John escapes, with a few others, to Earth. However, the Mogadorians also made their way to Earth, and are planning on destroying it, just as they did his planet. Now John must wait for his legacies, or powers, to develop, so he and the remaining aliens from Lorien can defeat the enemy once and for all.

But first, he needs to remain safe and hidden, because while the charm put on those who escaped has them numbered by order of who can die next, the first three have been killed, and he is number four.

After having this book recommended to me by a few friends, I had to pick it up when I found it in the thrift shop (it seems I find all the best books there!). I didn't think I would like it very much, because I prefer the paranormal, with creatures such as vampires and werewolves, over aliens, but I was surprised to find myself hooked on this novel. 

There was a lot of tension, with John being on the run, having to move away and assume new identities very often with his guardian, Henri. I really liked this aspect of the book because it provided a dangerous atmosphere, which I always love. John's life was on the line, and his every move had to be careful and cautious, which, of course, he failed at doing. 

That brings me to the emotional aspect of the story. Whenever he made a mistake and almost exposed what he was, I was always worried that he'd have to leave and start all over again, which would have been a shame, because of course he meets a girl. While it seems a bit cliche, the romance in this book was actually well done and as a reader I found that it added to the emotional aspect and even the tension because John had even more reason to be careful, with more at stake.

There are sad parts in the book, and parts that are almost sad but not quite. I won't give away what happens, but near the end, I was really sad by what John had to face, and I almost cried! The ending itself is jam-packed with emotion and action, and it all leads up to a great ending. It makes me want to continue the series, to see what happens next. John is a likeable character, and his story isn't over yet. I want to know what challenges he faces in the future, and Pittacus Lore's writing style, the plot, and the great combination of emotion and tension has made me long for the sequel! I can't wait to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, I have a long line up on my to-read pile, but the sequel has definitely scored a spot on the list.

I recommend this book to YA readers who like books about aliens. If you want to read a book with action, emotion, and tension, this is a great pick for you.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

My Book Buying Addiction


I just want to warn everyone that I talk about some upsetting stuff like abuse in this post. If you'd find this triggering or unsettling, you might want to skip this post. For those who choose to leave now, I'll see you next week! Have a great reading weekend.

 ~~~

Hey everyone! So recently BookOutlet had a sale, and I got a $5 coupon, so I splurged on some books. However, I already own literally over a hundred unread books!

This is not unusual for me. I have a book buying addiction. There are so many books that I want to read, I can't keep up. And when I take a look at my finances and realize I have some extra cash to treat myself, the temptation is irresistible.

As far as I've seen, I'm not alone in this. Many other bookworms are addicted to buying books, even if they have tons of unread ones already on their virtual or physical bookshelves. However, I think that this addiction is a bit different for me than it is for other people.

Sorry if this gets a bit dark! Anyways, I lived with abusive guardians for ten years. When you're a young kid, just starting to understand who you are and who you'll become, the way that those taking care of you treat you is going to affect you profoundly. When you're being called un-repeatable names from the age of six to the age of sixteen, told that you're *insert negative quality here* on a constant basis, and have your opinions policed, this is absolutely going to result in some issues. Throw in some physical stuff as well and you've got a recipe for disaster.

What does this have to do with my book buying addiction? Well, some of my horrible deviant opinions must have come from the books that I read! Often, standing up for myself or breaking down was blamed on the books that I read. Somehow, there was a connection between me reading about vampires and me being depressed or thinking for myself. I don't see the connection, because there probably isn't one. After coming to this conclusion, my guardians decided to pack up all of my books, and hide them from me. I bought most of those myself. I was around fourteen when this happened.

This is where my book buying addiction, and my attachment to books, started.

I had to start my book collection all over again. I began hoarding books. I'm honestly surprised they didn't raid my room again. I bought books whenever I possible could, even if they didn't look particularly interesting. I became obsessed with taking care of my books. I was so careful not to bend the cover at all or bump the side of it against my bookshelf's corners.

When I finally moved out, I did get my other books back, thankfully. However, this resulted in me having double the amount of unread books!!

So now here I am, with some of those books still unread. Yet I keep buying books. And yes, when I put my books away, I am always careful that the covers don't bend and the screws holding the shelves together don't scrape against them.

Here are some of the books that I bought so long ago that I still haven't read!


Archon (The Books of Raziel, #1)     Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)     Everlasting (Kissed by an Angel, #5)    Tempest Rising (Tempest, #1)


There are more, of course. But if I listed all of them it would take waaayyyyy too long!

So there's also the issue of guilt. I feel really guilty whenever I buy a new book. It's not like I've done anything wrong, but these guardians liked to make me feel guilty for everything possible. So that's carried into my current life and habits. For example, after my latest BookOutlet order, I felt so horrible guilty that I got a stomach ache. Yeah, not fun.

I'm getting better with this. After all, its just books! It's not like I've bought anything wrong. It's harmless, and I can spend my money how I'd like.

So, that's the story behind my book buying obsession. Hopefully, the reasons behind other peoples' book buying addictions aren't as sad. I hope I haven't upset or annoyed anyone with my sharing.... I just think that after all this time blogging, I've kept so much to myself that it's not obvious who I am as a person, that I might seem like an empty individual just churning out reviews on the internet. I want people to see me as who I am, and I want to let people know that if you're dealing with anything and need an ear, I'm here!

Let's end on a positive note, shall we?

This summer has been nice so far for me! I've had lots of time to read. I've also been making lots of art.

What I want to know is, what are you doing with your summer so far? Any plans?

And of course, tell me all about your book buying addictions in the comments below!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Hourglass by Claudia Gray


6421588


Series: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Page Count: 339
Published: March 9th, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
  5 Stars ★★★★★


Bianca has escaped from Evernight Academy after a fight between the vampires and Black Cross. Now, she and her boyfriend, Lucas, are living with Black Cross, which is made much more dangerous by the fact that Bianca is actually a vampire. If Black Cross finds out, she could be tortured or even killed. 

While keeping her secret is hard enough, things become even harder when Balthazar is taken prisoner. Pretending to hate him, she and Lucas must now consider not only how to escape themselves, but how to rescue Balthazar as well. 

Things don't exactly go as planned, and Bianca struggles with the possibility of becoming a full vampire. She knows what kind of existence she'll have to live with if she goes through with it, but what will happen to her if she doesn't?

The third novel of the Evernight series really blew me away. It dealt with so much at once, including Bianca's relationship with Lucas, her love for her family and her struggle with her vampire nature. Everything seemed explored very deeply, and whenever I picked this up, I was totally captivated. 

Claudia Gray made this book especially emotional, particularly during the events near the end of the book. I will admit, I did cry a little (it seems I've been reading many tear-inducing books lately!) and I really, really need the next book. As soon as humanly possible. 

The level of emotion near the end shows how immersed in Bianca's world I found myself. I think the best part about this series is the relationships between the characters, not only Bianca's romantic relationship with Lucas but her friendships with Vic, Raquel, and especially Balthazar. After reading the first three books, which are written in Bianca's perspective, I honestly feel like I'm friends with these three too! Everyone feels so real, and the way that they care about each other is often touching. 

Bianca is one of my favourite characters in YA fiction because she is so strong. She is able to adapt to change quickly, she's passionate, and she's determined. She never truly gives up. I'm sad to know that there are only a few more books left in the series for me to read, because I just love everything about this series!

Aside from stirring up emotions, I found the ending of this book to be quite the cliffhanger. I can't wait to find a copy of Afterlife, though I'll probably wait a while to read it because I don't want to get closer to finishing the series!

Readers who like YA novels with vampires will appreciate the Evernight series. If you want a main character who is very likeable, and if you like reading about strong friendships and bonds through tough times, this series is for you!

Friday, 16 June 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read this Year so Far...



This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is favourite / least favourite book read so far in 2017


Least Favourite

 Neuromancer

Oh this was so easy.... Neuromancer for sure. I had to read this for school. It was soooo painful. I wrote a mini review on Goodreads, I'll post it for you guys:
" 1.5 stars

Where to begin?

Well I guess first I'll say that I read this because it was required reading for English class. If my grades did not depend on me finishing this book, I would not have continued reading it after chapter two.

Every time I picked this up, it was only a matter of time until I felt like my brain was bleeding.

I have no idea what the point of this book was. The writing style was hard to follow and it was just...confusing.

So why did I add that .5 stars? Well, the author was pretty good at writing descriptions. Some of the aspects of the society in this book were interesting.

But overall I really wish we could've read another book for class."



Favourite

 Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)

So I decided to ignore sequels read this year because there are quite a few great sequels I read that could claim this spot. There are many awesome books that I've read so far, but I have to choose Mask of Shadows for this one.  While it wasn't five stars, it was four which is still really awesome. Plus, I was really emotionally invested in this book because I am so excited to read about fellow genderfluid people! 




Are either of these books on your to-read list?

Monday, 12 June 2017

Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James


11603886


 Series: N/A
Author: Syrie James & Ryan M. James
Page Count: 410
Published: January 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
  4 Stars ★★★★


Claire goes to school at Emerson Academy, and she's hoping that she gets to stay there to graduate high school. She and her mother move around a lot, and Claire wants to stay for a while near her friends and crush for once. Things are changing for Claire, though. She's been having visions and she knows things that she shouldn't ... The idea of possibly being psychic scares yet excites her at the same time.

Alec is new at Emerson Academy, but friends and grades are the least of his worries. He's run away from his duties watching out for the spawn of angels, and making sure that those who have turned dark stay in line. He doesn't plan to meet Claire, or to fall for her. But with the possibility of imprisonment if he's found, and his sudden new mission to track down a Nephilim, meeting Claire, and discovering what she is, complicates everything.

It had been a while since I'd read a book about angels, so I figured I'd give this one a try because I'd picked it up so long ago. I was very impressed with the story and the characters, and I thought the romance was really sweet.

I enjoyed the author's use of angel myths, including the Nephilim. While forbidden romances can be cliche at times, I thought that this angel romance was forbidden in the best way possible. It wasn't too far fetched of a conflict, but I thought the problems that the characters faced were sufficient enough that their worries and fears truly made sense. This book had the perfect balance between conflict, romance, and everything else. 

Alec's rebellion against what he'd spent his life doing was one of the best parts of this story. I love when characters rebel or go against what they've been taught to believe, and Alec really fit this criteria. His courage to take a stand for himself and try living a new life at Emerson Academy was admirable, and his feelings for Claire were sincere. Alec was my favourite character because he was just so interesting, he had such a complex past with so many hopes for the future. 

I also find Claire a likeable character, and I enjoyed reading about her powers and visions and how they developed. Claire's friends played an important role supporting Claire in this tough time of her life, and I appreciated that they didn't abandon her when things got really crazy. The characters in this novel were very enjoyable to read about, and that's what made this book so special and interesting. 

However, I truly wish that this book had been longer. It doesn't seem that there's going to be a sequel, and with the ending that Forbidden had, I've found myself rather disappointed. That's the thing that took off a star for me. 

Overall, a great read. Fans of angel stories will like this book, especially if you're looking for a book that doesn't revolve solely around fallen angels. Those who like forbidden romances, especially those in YA, should give this book a try.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Pride Month Books

June is LGBTQ Pride Month! In honor of pride month, I have decided to talk about LGBTQ books that I have read, want to read, and are currently reading.




LGBTQ Books That I Have Read


Switch   Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1) 


Symptoms of Being Human

 If You Could Be Mine   Pink

Captive Prince is a gay romance that I won off of Goodreads! I really enjoyed it. Switch features a bisexual boy dealing with biphobia in his community. If You Could Be Mine is a bittersweet story of two girls in love in Iran, and Pink features a bisexual girl in an Australian setting. Symptoms of Being Human is my favourite out of all of these because it's about a genderfluid person, and there are so few books about us genderfluid folks! 

LGBTQ Books That I Want to Read

 Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out  Seven Ways We Lie

 Brooklyn, Burning   Carry On

 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  Two Boys Kissing

There are lots of LGBTQ books that I want to read as well! A few of them include Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Seven Ways We Lie, Brooklyn Burning, Carry On, Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Two Boys Kissing. There are sooooo many more that I want to read, but this post would never end if I listed them all! 


LGBTQ Books That I Am Currently Reading

 Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)   Unnatural (Archangel Academy, #1)

I'm reading two LGBTQ books at the moment, Mask of Shadows and Unnatural. Mask of Shadows is from Netgalley while Unnatural is from the thrift store! I am so excited to be reading Mask of Shadows because there are so few books with genderfluid people in them, and to read a fantasy book with a genderfluid protagonist is super awesome! 
Thoughts

I guess I just have some general thoughts to share on LGBTQ books! I'm really glad to see more and more books featuring LGBTQ characters being released every year. Whether they are main characters or side characters, I always get excited! 

I also like that there seem to be books that don't focus on coming out. While books about this are still awesome, I love to read about LGBTQ people just existing in daily life, whether that be in a contemporary setting or in a magical fantasy world. On that note, I've seen some comments and reviews about Mask of Shadows, my current read, concerning the fact that the focus of the book isn't the character's gender identity. They just happen to exist as a genderfluid person. Some readers have said that they don't see a point to having a genderfluid character if this isn't essential to the plot, and that they think the genderfluid part is kind of ridiculous (um, ouch?). People seem to lack the understanding that genderfluid people....casually exist.....like everyone else.....and every second of every day isn't focused on our genders! Gasp! And so our genders don't have to "add" to the plot. Does every book with a female protagonist have to be about 'girl power'? No? Then why should all representation of nonbinary people have to be all about that one aspect of the character? Just some food for thought. 

On the other hand, that's not to say that books that don't feature LGBTQ people are bad! I love many books that star cisgender, heterosexual people. However, as an LGBTQ person, I like to see characters like myself in novels and stories. 

So, that's it for this post! Tell me about your favourite LGBTQ books, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. Are you currently reading any LGBTQ books? Have you read or want to read any of the books that I've mentioned today? 

Happy Pride Month!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice

Series: N/A
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Page Count: 400
Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

Britt is going on a trip with her friend, planning to backpack in the surrounding nature, and maybe even impress her ex-boyfriend, who dumped her unexpectedly months before. When she and her friend drive into a blizzard, she has to seek shelter in a nearby cabin inhabited by two men, Shaun and Mason. At first they seem friendly, but it soon becomes clear that something just isn't right. 

These men are on the run from the law, and they demand that Britt lead them off the mountain, taking her hostage. Britt soon finds that she is not the only girl who has run into trouble on this mountain, and as tensions rise, she doesn't know who she can trust. Will she survive? Or will she die at the hands of her kidnappers, or the blizzard?

I'm a fan of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series, so when I saw that she had written a contemporary, young adult thriller, I was super excited. The idea of being trapped in a blizzard on a mountain, uncovering gruesome mysteries and fighting for survival, simultaneously terrifies and intrigues me, so naturally, I had to get this book. 

To be perfectly honest, I found the beginning a bit hard to get into. This wasn't due to the pacing, I think the pacing was actually really well done, but rather the characters. It took me a while to actually like Britt, the main character, and as for her best friend and ex-boyfriend, I never really liked them at all. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't like Britt at first, I think it was a mix of her narration and her fixation on her ex-boyfriend, but thankfully as I got further into the book, she became much more likeable. 

Her kidnappers, Shaun and Mason, brought an interesting dynamic to the story. Shaun, once revealed as a criminal, is completely unlikable in every way, and it isn't necessarily because of his criminal actions. As a person, he was deceptive and impulsive, and as a villain, he truly unnerved me. The idea that there are people like Shaun, real people, actually out there in the world.... Then there's Mason, who isn't really like Shaun at all, though Britt remains suspicious of him throughout the novel. Mason was written as a mysterious character, somebody with secret intentions, and I appreciated the little mystery of who exactly Mason was that was weaved into this story. 

I did have a bit of a problem with Mason's character at times, and this ties into some of my issues with Britt, as well. There was a bit of romance, or infatuation, in this book, but it just seemed out of place. I've read lots of books with kidnapping, mystery, and romance all mixed together nicely, but the romance in this book made me roll my eyes. I won't explain too much, as I don't want to spoil this for anyone, but I really believe that the romantic aspect could have been handled in a much, much better way.

One thing that I really did enjoy about this book was these memories or flashbacks of Britt's life that the reader gets every now and then. It helped me to understand Britt a little bit better, and it helped me to change my mind about disliking her. I feel that without these memories or flashbacks, this book wouldn't have been as enjoyable. 

The thing that made me truly appreciate this book was the twist at the end. While Britt and the reader are playing a guessing game throughout the whole book, the ending made me believe that one theory was true, and then the next page, it was like all the evidence just shattered and pointed to a completely different conclusion. Those last few chapters were a serious roller-coaster, and I had to stop myself from speed-reading through them to find out how it was all going to end. As for the actual ending, I think that it was a nice way to end the book, and while it played with some of the things that I had issues with earlier on in the novel, it wrapped things up nicely. 

Altogether, this was an awesome read. Thrilling and filled with mystery, I was not disappointed. While there were a few issues throughout the book, the twist ending certainly made up for it.

I recommend this to fans of young adult thrillers. If you like books that make you keep reading late into the night, play a guessing game with your mind, and offer devastating twists and turns, this book is for you.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Thoughts About Book Blogging: Part 2

Hey everyone! I'm back with more thoughts about book blogging.

In my last post, I discussed social anxiety, self-esteem, and my ever-growing to-read list. Be sure to check it out if you haven't yet!

While there are many things that I love about book blogging, there are some things that I don't really like at all. Blogging actually gives me anxiety, beyond the previously mentioned social anxiety. I'm afraid to say something that people won't like, and then get bullied for it. For example, if I enjoy a book that others really hate, especially if they believe they hate it for "righteous" reasons. I fear being harassed! That's part of why I added a comment policy on my blog. I'm a bit reassured by the 'block' features on Twitter and other sites, that I could use if need be, though I'd rather not.


You could say this anxiety is tormenting me.... (Instagram)


I'm really tired of seeing such hatred in the book community. I wish people would just leave each other alone. It's such a simple solution.....enjoy the books that you enjoy, while others will love the books that they love! Sometimes, others will adore a book that you hate, and that's life. But hating on others based on their opinion of certain books, the reaches of fiction in the real world, and other ideas is absolutely unacceptable and I am so disappointed in the way that people have been targeting each other lately. 


We post blue against bullying! (Instagram)


There are some great Instagram tags for those of us against bullying to show our support for a kind and respectful book blogging environment, and those that I use include #booksnotbullies and #onwednesdayswepostblue . A safe, online environment is important, especially for those of us who love to express our thoughts on the awesome art that is writing! No matter what kinds of books you read, big or small, fiction or non-fiction, young adult or adult, fluffy contemporary or terrifying horror, you and I should be able to read whatever we want in peace! 



 When you're tired of the world, cuddle cats! (Instagram)


I've considered going on hiatus, or even giving up book blogging because I am so tired of what's been going on lately. But I love blogging. I love sharing my thoughts about books. All of the awesome things I discussed in my last 'thoughts about book blogging' post remain true despite all this drama, and if I give up, the bullies win! So it appears that for now, I am here to stay .

 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2)


Series: Gemma Doyle
Author: Libba Bray
Page Count: 576
Published: December 26th, 2006
Publisher: Ember
  4 Stars ★★★★

Gemma is going home for the Christmas holidays, and she's happy to know that her friends will be in the same city, so they can spend time together. This time is spent exploring the realms once again, seeing their dear friend Pippa once more, and eventually, searching for the Temple. The Temple must be used to bind the magic of the realms, and while Gemma agrees with this idea, others do not.

Gemma must deal with magical conflicts, family issues, and a young man named Simon for whom she might be developing feelings. Of course, nothing can be so simple when it comes to the realms and Gemma's life itself, so she has to face the dangers of London and shocking revelations. 

This sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty was very enjoyable, as with the first book I loved the mix of magic, bits of romance, and the historical setting. Returning to Gemma's world, and the realms, proved to be a magical experience once again. 

The introduction of a new love interest created a new situation for Gemma, and it seemed to bring a love triangle, adding to her tensions with Kartik. As a fan of love triangles, I certainly approved, and I think the ways that both Kartik and Simon were so different from each other really added to Gemma's romantic struggles.

Of course, I can't forget to mention Gemma's friendship with Ann, Felicity, and the now deceased Pippa. It continues in Rebel Angels, and the girls work through differences of opinion, uncertainty, and strain on their friendship together throughout the book. Their loyalty to each other, including going along with lies to benefit the other, added another dimension to the characters and therefore to the book itself, making this a great read. 

This lost a star because I feel like it was a bit too long. There were times when scenes seemed to really drag on and on, and I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. I truly believe that this book could have conveyed all the important pieces of the plot, along with information concerning the various subplots, in a hundred pages less than the actual length of this book. 

Overall, this sequel to the first book in the Gemma Doyle series brought me back to the magical, historical world of Gemma and the problems that she must overcome. While parts seemed to drag on, the book was enjoyable and I will most likely read the last book in the series. 

I recommend this book to fans of YA historical fiction. If you like historical fiction with magic and a bit of romance, this book must be added to your to-read list.


Friday, 26 May 2017

50/50 Friday - Deepest/Most Shallow Book in the Contemporary Genre



This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is deepest/most shallow book in your genre of choice (message/fluff). 


Most Shallow

 Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery

Getting the Girl by Susan Juby was pretty shallow. I read it a long time ago, but I remember it being more humor-based than anything else.

Deepest

 Dreamland

There are several candidates for this position, but I had to choose Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. Abuse is a really serious issue and this book portrayed an abusive relationship, and at times broke my heart. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)


Series: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Page Count: 359
Published: February 21st, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  3 Stars ★★★


Aristotle doesn't have many friends. A fifteen year old boy living in Texas, the summer provides a welcome break from school. He meets Dante at the pool, when he offers to teach Aristotle how to swim. They start a close friendship that both will cherish and that will withstand misfortune, distance, and growing up.

The main characters in this novel, Aristotle and Dante, were definitely enjoyable to read about. The story itself is told through Aristotle's eyes, so the reader gets to know him a bit more than Dante. Aristotle is surprisingly mature for a fifteen year old, and he's dealing with his own issues at home, including his father's memories of the war, and his brother's absence. Dante, on the other hand, seems to have a simpler life, with a professor for a father and, as with Aristotle, a Mexican identity.

However, this book didn't really have a plot. The whole thing seemed more like a journal written by Aristotle than a novel. There didn't seem to be any main story line besides growing up, making friends, and discovering oneself. I personally prefer books with more defined plots, lots of action, or at least a central conflict. But this book lacked these elements. Even as a contemporary novel, it was almost boring at times in comparison to other contemporary books.

The dialogue between Aristotle and Dante was, in my opinion, unrealistic. Sure, they can be mature for their age. But the way they were speaking didn't seem typical of fifteen year old boys, even mature ones. I felt like I was reading dialogue between two university students, at times. While I'm not a fan of stereotyping people, particularly based on one's age, there's no denying that the behaviors common in teenage boys generally do not include pseudo-philosophical ideas or flowery language, as observed in this novel.

I can't say too much about the ending of this book without spoiling it, but I will say that I think the ending was rushed and unrealistic as well. Very little, through Aristotle's eyes and thoughts, was expressed throughout the book to even hint that the book may end this way. Considering that it concerns a fairly important part of Aristotle's identity, I was really disappointed that the book ended this way, or, that the author failed to include any hints or ideas throughout the book that may have pointed to such an ending.

On the positive side, I will say that I appreciate that this book tackled some tough subjects such as hate crimes, and it did so pretty well. I found myself devastated when one of the characters found themself targeted by bigots, and Aristotle's descriptions of the situation really tugged at my heart.

Overall, a contemporary novel with some interesting characters, but it falls short. There was lots of potential for this book to be absolutely, five-star level amazing, but the lack of concrete plot and unrealistic dialogue took away from my reading experience.

I recommend this book to fans of young adult books, contemporary novels, and stories about friendship.

Find Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe on Goodreads


Monday, 15 May 2017

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3)


Series: Darkest Powers
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Page Count: 391
Published: April 6th, 2010
Publisher: Orbit
  5 Stars ★★★★★

Chloe and her friends have taken refuge with Andrew, a man from Simon and Derek's past who is part of an organization against the Edison Group. The teens fear that the Edison Group will kill them, especially Derek, because their genetically modified powers seem to be out of control. But the Edison Group aren't the only people who think that they are dangerous: individuals in Andrew's group agree that they might be better off with the Edison Group. 

Their problems aren't just a matter of life and death. Chloe is dealing with some personal issues as well, such as her attraction to the two brothers. While she doesn't want to break Simon's heart after all this time, she can't deny that her attraction is leaning towards the werewolf boy, Derek. With their lives and their hearts at stake, the group has a lot to lose. 

In the conclusion to the Darkest Powers trilogy, Chloe doesn't know who she can trust. 

This is the third book I've read by Kelley Armstrong, and it certainly won't be the last. As with the first two books in this trilogy, I was absolutely captivated by the story of Chloe, a young necromancer, struggling with her powers and her feelings. 

As usual, Chloe's narration remained sincere and genuine, her voice making her identity as a fifteen year old girl certainly very plausible. I also like that she is portrayed as quite mature for her age, and that she deals with her problems generally in a very serious, thought-out way. She is a likeable character for sure, she's the kind of paranormal, teenage girl that readers of all ages will be cheering on from start to finish, from the first page to the last. 

Her friends, Simon, Derek, and Tori, return in this book as well. Tori is still a bit annoying, of course, not exactly getting along perfectly with the others, but the way that she changes and becomes more cooperative reflects the danger that she and the others are facing. Simon and Derek, brothers, and Chloe's love interests, remain unique and likeable in their own ways, and just as important to the story as they were in the previous two books. I really love both of them, but this book made me lean more towards Derek, just as Chloe did. The author did a great job of making me understand Chloe's feelings and choices, both related to romance, and unrelated to it as well. 

This trilogy made it possible for me to understand what it is like to be pursued by a scary organization! Yes, the characters' fear was very real, very important, and incredibly well portrayed. This made the book not only a paranormal romance, but suspenseful and thrilling. Chloe's struggles were an adventure, and I have to say that I'm sad that the trilogy is over. 

I recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes paranormal romance, especially if you're into young adult. If you want to read a book featuring a necromancer, this is a great pick. 


Friday, 12 May 2017

50/50 Friday - Character You'd Want / Not Want to Meet




This is a meme hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is character you'd want / not want to meet


Would not want to meet

 Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

I do not want to meet Vaughn, or anybody like him. Rhine's father-in-law from Wither is very creepy and just all around one of the least likeable characters, especially as you read book two (at the moment I am reading book three and I still hate him).

Want to meet

 Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1) Nevermore (Nevermore, #1) Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

I'd want to meet several characters. These include Skulduggery Pleasant, Varen / Pinfeathers, and Sam / Grace. Yeah I know, I was only supposed to choose one. If I had to choose only one it'd be Skulduggery but I can dream of meeting many more, can't I?

Would you want to meet any of these characters? Who would you dread meeting? Also, who else struggles with choosing just one or two books when participating in these kinds of memes? :P

Monday, 8 May 2017

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

 Series: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Page Count: 404
Published: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  4 Stars ★★★★

Celaena is an assassin, living in a nation where a king has taken over, banned magic, and enslaved criminals like herself. One day, she is summoned from her work in the salt mines of Endovier and brought to Dorian, Prince of Adarlan, where he asks her to be his Champion in a competition for the King. Thinking of escape and a life beyond the salt mines, and eventually the castle, she accepts. 

She is brought to the castle, where she trains and takes part in tests against other Champions, leading up to a final duel to determine the winner. Much is at stake, if she loses, she may be sent back to Endovier. But her opponents are turning up dead, horribly mutilated in the hallways of the castle. Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, trains and spends time with her, and along with Prince Dorian, he thinks he might be dealing with feelings for the assassin. But romance will only make things more complicated for Celaena, as she realizes that more is going on in this castle than it seems. 

So originally when I saw this book, I didn't have much interest. I'm more into urban fantasy, vampires, werewolves, all that good stuff. After constantly seeing praise for this series, I finally gave in and decided I'd give it a try. 

I actually really, really liked this! I'm so happy that I ended up buying a copy, because if I had borrowed this from the library, I'd just end up getting myself the book anyways because it's the kind of book that you have to own, you have to see it on your shelves, you have to buy the next in the series, not just borrow it. What I mean is, it's the kind of book that even if it's not perfect, I enjoyed it enough that I'll probably end up re-reading it at some point. 

So I absolutely loved the world of Adarlan. I hated what the king had done, but the descriptions of the setting, and the history, seemed so real and well thought out. I was captivated by the people of Adarlan, and the royals, and the castle! Everything just seemed to make perfect sense in context, I never had to re-read passages to understand why something was going on, or even what was happening in the first place, as I often do with fantasy stories. Overall the setting was just amazing. 

And then there are the characters. Celaena, the main character, Adarlan's Assassin, was interesting, and likeable, and while I didn't like everything that she did, I always liked her. She was extremely determined and strong. I also have to mention that she was fairly feminine, which I appreciated because I've noticed that a lot of the more bad-ass characters, even female ones, are portrayed as masculine, therefore frequently equating masculinity with true bad-ass-ery. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being masculine, but to have a character be a nice mix of masculine AND feminine, with the feminine side portrayed as just as important as the other sides of her.... it was a nice change. 

The love interests, Chaol and Dorian, were both likeable as well, just as they were different. I thought they both had their qualities and I could see why they liked Celaena, and why she might like them both in return. I also like that they weren't just "ornaments" on the sidelines....the narration gave the reader a look into their thoughts every now and then which helped me to understand them better! I really appreciated this as well.

The other Champions, and the mysterious deaths, brought some suspense and tension to the book. Cain, a particularly unlikeable Champion, really stood out from the others (for obvious reasons), however this wasn't always a good thing, in my opinion. I won't say much because I don't want to give it away, but the way that the author focused on Cain....I knew what was going on with him chapters before the truth was revealed. 

Nehemia, the princess of Eyllwe, happens to be visiting the castle when Celaena is taking part in the competition, and they develop a friendship. This friendship brought out the softer side of Celaena, in my opinion, because she had empathy for what Nehemia and her people were dealing with concerning the King and his army, and this connection brought them together in ways that I thought made the book even better. The mix of romance and the love triangle with this friendship made for a great balance between the two forces, so the level of romance wasn't overpowering, but it remained significant enough for me, as a romance lover. 

I had a bit of an issue with the pacing at times. Some of the scenes seemed a bit drawn out, which annoyed me, and dropped this book from a five star read to a four star rating. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this fantasy novel. I loved that the main character was bad-ass and feminine at the same time, I think that the love interests were well written, and I loved the friendship between Celaena and Nehemia. While the pacing was a bit too slow at times, the mystery behind the Champions' deaths kept me reading. I am excited to read the next book!

I recommend this to those looking for great young adult fantasy reads. Even if you're not a big fan of fantasy, you might change your mind after reading this book!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

2017 YA Releases that I am Excited to Read!

Hey everyone! I've noticed many intriguing 2017 YA releases discussed lately, and all of the hype has made me add a bunch to my to-read list! I thought I'd share a few that I am especially excited to read (when I finally get the money and time....).

So, in no particular order....


Caraval (Caraval, #1)


Caraval. The name rolls off the tongue nicely, don't you think? There was so much hype over this book, that I had to add it to my to-read list. The cover is lovely as well! 



The Beast Is an Animal


The Beast is an Animal. This book sounds deliciously dark and unique. I also really like the title and the cover. It might seem from all my ranting and raving about beautiful covers that I judge books based on their covers...I promise I don't! I just can't resist a cover like this. Or an intriguing title. I just can't!



RoseBlood


RoseBlood. So this is a retelling of the Phantom of the Opera so of course I am going to want to read this. I love the Phantom of the Opera! I've also read some spoiler-type comments that make this book seem like something I would really enjoy.



Royal Bastards


Royal Bastards. I've recently gotten into fantasy books with royals and drama. This one sounds interesting because it includes crime and going on the run! 



Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)


Mask of Shadows. A genderfluid protagonist? Check! Fantasy world? Check! Lovely cover? Double check! Yeah, I'm reading this book. Not to mention that I was just approved to read it from NetGalley so....


What 2017 releases are you excited to read? Have you read any 2017 releases so far this year? What did you think?


Monday, 1 May 2017

Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Still Waters

Series: N/A
Author: Emma Carlson Berne
Page Count: 212
Published: December 20th, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  3.5 Stars ★★★

Hannah has planned a secret trip to her boyfriend's family's lake house. She's hoping that having time alone with him will give her the courage to say that she loves him, and that they can spend some romantic time together before he leaves for college. But her boyfriend, Colin's, reaction to her surprise is less than enthusiastic. He starts to act uncomfortable and unsure, and Hannah becomes more and more worried as they drive to the mysterious lake house. 

When they arrive, it doesn't take long for Colin to start acting like another person entirely. Surrounded by eerie wilderness, with the nearest town almost a ghost town, Hannah wonders if she should fear for her safety. One thing's for certain... this trip is not turning out as she had planned. 

I love creepy books! The synopsis of this story made it seem similar to some kind of horror movie, with the haunted cabin in the woods, or the crazy murderer hiding in an abandoned building, waiting for naive teens to come along and act as prey. I made little theories on what would happen before I even opened the book. My theories didn't really come close to the actual conclusion of the book, which to be perfectly honest, I found a little bit disappointing. 

So first, a few good things about this book. I liked the characters. I liked Hannah, and while she wasn't the smartest at times, I thought she made the book seem a bit more realistic. In such a scary situation, nobody is going to be absolutely at their best, their minds are going to be running wild, they're going to be panicking. So, when she screwed up or made a less-than-stellar choice, I actually liked it because it made her seem more real, more like a person I could meet walking down the street than a super-intelligent, always prepared, basically fantasy-based person, that I read about in a lot of other books. 

I also think that the author did an amazing job with the descriptions. Descriptions of the settings, in particular, were very well done. The creepy atmosphere was conveyed effectively and added to the mysterious and sinister feel of the book, including descriptions of the almost ghost town near the lake house, the forest, and the lake house itself. 

I did have some problems with the book. First of all, the whole ghost town thing? While I thought it was interesting, it didn't really serve much of a purpose in the book other than to provide a creepy atmosphere. I kept waiting to find out how the town would connect to the story overall, but there didn't seem to be a truly important connection. This was kind of disappointing. 

I also had issues with the explanation behind Colin's behavior. I can't say much without spoiling it, but I will say that the way that past events had been covered up seemed a bit convenient, almost too easy. Colin's condition was explained way too easily in the end, and the idea that things could go back to normal, or what seemed like normal, so quickly just didn't make sense to me. 

Altogether, this was a story with a creepy atmosphere and an interesting mystery. While I had some issues with the ending and the importance of some of the settings, I liked that the main character seemed realistic and I enjoyed the descriptions of the settings. 

I recommend this to those looking for young adult thrillers. If you're interested in a short book with a creepy atmosphere, this book is for you.


Friday, 28 April 2017

50/50 Friday - World You'd Like/Not Like to Live in


This is a meme hosted by The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books!

This week's topic is world you'd like to live in / world you'd not like to live in


World I'd like to live in 

 Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3)

I'd like to live in Night World! I mean, I might be a vampire! That'd be amazing.


World I would not like to live in

 Glow (Sky Chasers, #1)

Living in space? Nope nope nope nope nope. I could not live in the world of Glow.....the idea of living in a spaceship far from my home planet sounds terrifying.


If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be? Do you find the idea of living in a spaceship as unnerving as I do?

Monday, 24 April 2017

Proxy by Alex London


Proxy (Proxy, #1)

Series: Proxy
Author: Alex London
Page Count: 384
Published: June 8th, 2013
Publisher: Philomel Books
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

In the City, there are patrons, and there are proxies. Patrons pay proxies to take on their debt, which includes punishments for misbehavior and crimes. Knox is a wealthy teenage boy who has lived a privileged life, especially compared to Syd, his proxy, who lives in the poorer area of town. 

Syd has spent almost his whole life being punished for Knox. He's having a fairly normal, if slightly unfortunate day: he's had to give blood for his patron, he's been outed as gay, and he has offered to help fix a peer's gadget at no cost. Things change when the Guardians come for him, and he is sentenced as a criminal, because Knox's recklessness has killed someone.

Syd decides that he won't throw his life away for a thoughtless, wealthy patron, and he escapes the Guardians. After stumbling across Knox, they go on a journey, hoping to save Syd, and maybe to change their society's entire system, too.

I've increasingly found myself drawn to sci-fi and dystopian fiction. Finding a dystopian novel with an LGBTQ character was a pleasant surprise, and finding this novel at the thrift store brought an extra smile to my face. I can truly say that this book was almost perfect, with my main issue being that I wished that it was longer! 

The world that Syd and Knox lived in was described in such detail that it seemed like a real place. Everything from social norms, to social classes, to the legal system was clear and connected and made for a great reading experience. Worlds where everything just fits together nicely, like this one, are the best fictional worlds, in my opinion. 

The differences between Syd and Knox made this book even more interesting. Knox was super wealthy and privileged compared to Syd, who lived his life dealing with punishments for Knox and swimming in debt. The juxtaposition of the situations of these two characters was especially important when it came to the way that the author switched perspectives from chapter to chapter: the book was in third person, but the situations of the two boys, especially when they were separate, were described and explained from their eyes or thoughts. 

Both characters were likeable in their own ways, though I preferred Syd over Knox. Some of the side characters, such as Syd's friends, played important roles as well and created twists and turns in the story, which of course kept me reading on! The fear that Syd felt, being pursued by people with lots of money and power, was absolutely understandable and brought a special kind of suspense to the page. 

The ending was super emotional for me. I can't say much without giving it away, but the twist....I have to read the next book, I need to know what's next for this world!

I recommend this book for people looking for sci-fi or dystopian books with LGBTQ characters. If you like young adult books with themes of power and rebellion, this book is for you.