Review: The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun Hutchinson

The Five Stages of Andrew BrawleyThe Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun Hutchinson

Published January 20th 2015

“Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.

Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.

But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.

But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.”

I’d never heard of this book prior to seeing it on Pulse It and the cover was kinda cool so I picked it up right away. I was pleasantly surprised with this book but at the same time, I was a little disappointed.

The overall premise for The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is pretty sad. There was a few lines that I smiled at but for the most part, this book just made me sad. I felt so bad for the characters and even sadder knowing that some things that happened in the book, happen in real life.

This whole book was just a big ocean of emotion. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is a book that will weigh on my mind for the next few weeks and I’ll always remember it as being really sad. I can’t say I enjoyed reading this book because I didn’t. This book is a really great book but it’s not something I enjoyed reading. It was just so sad.

I had a hard time connecting with the characters because I couldn’t relate to a lot of the thing they’re were going though. It made it hard to really feel for the characters deep down. I felt bad for them but at the same time, it was kind of a disconnected sad.

There was something about the writing that felt a little impersonal, for lack of better word. It felt distant and a little cut off from the characters. This could be some way of the author trying to get some deeper meaning or something to the reader but I just didn’t get it.

Overall, this is an amazing book. It’s so emotional and something that the Young Adult genre needs right now. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley has added to the YA genre and has made a difference. Maybe this isn’t the most enjoyable book but it’s incredibly important. I’d like to see more people taking about this book because it’s beautiful. It may not be one of my personal favorites but I highly recommend checking it out. I’m definitely going to be getting a print copy of this book in the future.

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Review: Lali of The Lill by Adi Mandal

81szny-U6bL._SL1500_Lali of The Lill by Adi Mandal

Published February 14th 2015

“Lali must face her fears and begin the journey to The Lill, a treacherous journey built around lies. In seeking for the truth about her past and future, she must leave Krei, the young man who loves her more than his life, and learn to trust Theon, a stranger who claims he is the only one who can help her.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. The synopsis sounded pretty cool and it has some really good reviews but I didn’t want to get really high hopes. But this book was surprisingly fun.

The first quarter of this book had me really confused and I felt like not everything was fully explained. I felt like I had started in the middle of the book or I had skipped the first book in the series. I was able to push past that and the last half of the book was fun and exciting.

The writing style was pretty good. I feel like the late half of the book was when the author really got into a great pace. I think the nest book will be even better.

The main character was good. She could kick a lot of butt and she didn’t take any crap but there was a line or two in the first few pages that stuck with me for the rest of the book and I couldn’t quite get past it.  “Her long, black hair was rarely combed. Her lips had never felt the smooth tip of a stick lip balm. She hardly checked herself out in the mirror because that was simply not on her ‘to do’ list.”
These few lines are implying that women can’t care about how they look and be fierce warriors. A girl can still use various kinds of makeup, can care about how she looks, wear girly dresses and heels, and still be a tough female. Lipstick and dresses do not make a girl weak or less able bodied.
I had a really hard time getting into the character after those lines so I was never able to connect or relate with her.

The concept was my favorite thing this book. There was a lot of great ideas and some really nice execution of those ideas as well. There was a scene towards the beginning of the book that reminded me of the Thunderdome scene in Mad Max with Mel Gibson. That one of my favorite scenes in this book.

Overall, this book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but in a good way. I really enjoyed the writing and the concept and even though there was a thing or two that I didn’t really like, I still enjoyed reading this book.

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Review: Benjo by Shira Ohayon

25115530Benjo by Shira Ohayon

Published April 2015

“Jordan is the hot young starlet who has appeared in several successful films. While she is just in her early 20’s, Hollywood is hers for the taking.
Benjamin is her older leading man. A well-respected and successful actor in his own right, he is also known for dating – and ditching – his co-stars.
Even as sparks fly during their first encounter, their mutual attraction is undeniable. On set, their chemistry sizzles.
But in “real life” things are a bit more complicated.
For one thing, they are each dating other people. Then there’s a considerable age difference. Should they be content with a good working relationship? Can they be just friends? Should they even attempt taking their friendship to the next level?”

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’d never heard of it or the author. The reviews were really good but I was still unsure. However, this book was surprisingly great.

The writing style was really wonderful. It was straight forward and really refreshing.

The characters were also really wonderful. They’re were really original and, I can’t stress this enough, very well written. These characters blew my mind. They seemed real and normal.
There wasn’t really any insta-love, just insta-chemistry. Which, coming from someone who hates insta-love, I was totally okay with.

Overall, this was such a fun, quick read. I really enjoyed the characters and the writing style.
I would have liked a little bit time to get to know the characters because the book started so quickly and I didn’t really get a chance to get to know the characters separately, as individuals. But really, this book was such a great surprise. If you’re looking for an original romance with really great characters, I recommend picking up Benjo.

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May Book Of The Month!

We’d like to welcome Spring with our May book of the month : The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides

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Summary: “The Accidental Highwayman is the first swashbuckling adventure for young adults by talented author and illustrator, Ben Tripp.

In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows….

Fans of classic fairy-tale fantasies will find much to love in this irresistible YA debut by Ben Tripp, the son of one of America’s most beloved illustrators, Wallace Tripp (Amelia Bedelia). Following in his father’s footsteps, Ben has woven illustrations throughout the story.

“Delightful and charming. A swashbuckling adventure in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson”

We decided on this book due to the fact that Spring seems to be a bit of a whimsical time and we love love love fantasies and fairytales and what a better time for that than the month of May!

So please join us in reading this book by using our new hashtag of  #MonthOfHighways so no matter where you are, dirt road, paved street, highway or even in the air, take a pic with you and your copy of The Accidental Highway and tag it. With each Instagram and Facebook and even Tumblr post we’ll use those tags to compile them into a list for another book giveaway! Please, if you’re using our tag on facebook make sure you’re following and like our page!

 

Review: Trust in Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

trsut in meTrust in Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published October 22nd 2013

“Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up – he can’t get this feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. What will it take to help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?”

This is a New Adult novel.

I read Wait for You last week and I absolutely loved it. It was fun and full of fluffy but at the same time, it was an eye rolling romance. The plot was awesome and I loved the pace. I thought that Cam was such an interesting character and I was so excited to be able to read the same story from Wait for You but in Cam’s perspective. I didn’t really have any expectations so I can’t really say if Trust in Me is better than I thought I would be or if I’m disappointed.

Cam as a character is surprisingly wonderful. He’s not controlling, bossy, or even a little bit possessive. I looked long and hard for some sort of controlling or possessive trait but he had not a single one. He treated Avery like an adult, like she was his equal. He let her make her own decisions and never tried to change her mind when he didn’t agree with her. And because of that, Cam will forever be one of my favorite characters in literature. If more male characters were like him, the Young Adult and New Adult genres would be way more advanced. I wish I could tell every author in the world to look at the outstanding character that Jennifer L. Armentrout has created and learn something from her.

Reading the same story twice but from different perspectives is really interesting. It fun to see little things that would mean more to Cam than it did Avery and vice versa. I’m not sure who’s perspective I enjoyed reading from more because both characters are so vastly different. I could relate more to Avery but Cam has a really great way to seeing the world. Jennifer Armentrout nailed writing from both gender’s  perspectives.

At times I felt a tiny bit bored because the dialogue would be really repetitive. It’s unstandable because it is the same story but it was also a little annoying because I had just read Wait for You just days earlier. A few times I would speed read the dialogue because I knew what was being said. I should have given myself a bigger gap between each book.

I definitely think that Trust in Me could stand on its own. You don’t have to read Wait for You before Trust in Me.

Overall, I really enjoyed Trust in Me. It was extremely interesting to read from a guy’s perspective and Cam is such a great character. . It was fun and full of fluffy but at the same time, it was an eye rolling romance. The plot was awesome and I loved the pace. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone looking for a quick, fun NA read.

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Review: Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

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Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Published October 2nd 2012

I was really drawn to this book because of the super cool cover and I thought the synopsis sounded pretty cool. I didn’t really have any expectations going into this book and I’m glad I didn’t.

This book starts off a little rough and never completely recovered. I was taken aback at how suddenly this book starts off. It goes from 0 to 60 in half a page and I was very surprised by that.

The characters were alright. I wasn’t in love with any of them but I didn’t completely hate them. Eve was a pretty cool character but I was never really rooting for her. I can’t put my finger on what exactly it was that put me off but there was just something, or lack of something, that just didn’t do it for me.
Solo was a weird character. I was either “meh” with him or I was rolling my eyes at his dumb choices because he was a love sick puppy.
Aislin, Eve’s best friend, was really over the top and annoying. She was full of cliches and I wasn’t impressed with her roll in the plot.

I felt like the romance in this book was forced and unnecessary. I wish Solo would have been a female character because that would have been so much cooler. Eve, female Solo, and a better written Aislin on a mission to take down the bad guys. That would have been a much better concept, in my opinion.

There was, for some reason, two plot lines in Eve and Adam. 1) Eve is creating the perfect boy. 2) Solo is trying to take down Eve’s mom’s company.
I don’t know why there was two plot lines but it would have been better to have just one. And either would have worked just fine.
And even though this book is marketed with the plot line of Eve creating the perfect boy, it wasn’t actually that big of a part of the book. I wish that would have been a bigger part of the book.

Overall, this was a pretty okay book. I enjoyed reading it as long as a didn’t become to critical and start to question everything.
Once I started noticing all the flaws, it started to fall apart. The last 80 pages had me in a permanent state of “what the heck?”. If you’re looking for a quick read that doesn’t have too much of a big picture and has some cool sci fi elements, Eve & Adam is probably is good book for you.

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Review: The Seeing Stone by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

519048The Seeing Stone by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

Published May 1st 2003

“The Grace kids are just beginning to get used to Aunt Lucinda’s strange old mansion when Simon suddenly disappears. Jared and his sister have to rely on the help of a mischievous house boggart, a nasty bridge troll, and a loud-mouthed hobgoblin to get him back.”

 

I read the Spiderwick Chronicles back when I was quite young, maybe eight or nine. My sister and I read the crap out these books (we must have read them 15 times, no joke) and I’ve been wanting to revist this series and the wonderful fantasy world that Holly and Tony created for a while now but I’ve finally gotten around to it.

The writing partnership of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi is remarkable and this series is by far some of the most well written literature that I’ve ever read.
The three main characters, Jared, Simon, and Mallory, are so relatable and realistic. I can relate to each of them in a different way and I think most readers will feel the same.

I felt like The Seeing Stone had expanded a lot of the world that was created in this series. Readers get a lot of new information on new creatures and a new character is introduced. The Seeing Stone is a lot faster paced than the first book.

I loved the illustrations and artwork a lot. There’s wasn’t really any descriptions on the creatures so I had to rely on the illustrations a lot.

Overall, I loved this book and I highly recommend this series to readers of all ages. It’s such a great fantasy series and it’s amazingly well written. I can’t wait to continue rereading this series.

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Recommendation Friday #5

rec fridayHi everyone! Taylor here with our fifth Recommendation Friday! This week I’m recommending one of my favorite books of all time.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

How My Summer Went Up in Flames is about a girl named Rosie has been having a rough time. She set her cheating ex-boyfriends car on fire and her parents aren’t happy about it. Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with their neighbor Matty and his two friends. Rosie and the three boys set out on a road trip across America and all sorts of madness ensues.

This is such a fun read. There’s so much humor that I was laughing out loud though out most of the book. I read this book back in 2013 but I still remember how much I loved it. 80% of this book had me laughing and smiling. I love road trip books so much and How My Summer Went Up in Flames is one of my favorites. It’s hard for me to believe this is Doktorski’s debut book.  It’s so awesome in every way.

If you like books by Morgan Matson, this book should definitely be on your TBR. It’s witty, fun, and really enjoyable.

 

Review: After by Anna Todd

afterAfter by Anna Todd

Published October 21st 2014

“Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessashould hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?”

A couple of my friends had read this book and said they loved to hate it and that they couldn’t put it down.
I was insanely curious about this book and I got an e-copy of it and started it right away. First, I’m so glad I don’t have a print copy of this book because if I had to look at it on my shelf, I would poke my eyes out.

This book is extremely poorly written to the point that I couldn’t even take it seriously. I was laughing so hard at how amazingly crappy the writing. At some point, it stopped being funny and I wanted to throw my phone down a well so I wouldn’t have any evidence that I had ever read this book.

The characters are without a doubt, the worst fictional characters that I’ve read about in years. The only book that I can compare After to is Modelland by Tyra Banks.

The cover of this book is pretty awesome but what’s inside is incredibly horrible and I hope I never have to read anything like this again. When I was about %4 into this book, I learned that After is a fanfiction of
Harry Styles. I’m not really a fan of One Direction’s music so I don’t know a lot about Harry Styles but I once I knew After was fanfic, I could tell it was about Styles. I personally don’t think fanfic should ever be published because it’s not original material so that was a big deal breaker for me.

Overall, I hated this book and I hope I never have to read anything like this ever again. I’m sad that I wasted my time on this book but I’m also glad I read it because I’ve wanted to read this book for a while now.
I wish I had something positive to say about this book besides the cool cover but I can’t think of one good thing. It was so poorly written that I was almost in tears because it’s just so bad. I don’t want to say I’d burn this book but I also wouldn’t save it if it spontaneously combusted.

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Review: The Field Guide by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

The Field GuideThe Field Guide by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

 

Published May 1st 2003

“It all starts when Jared Grace finds their great uncle’s book, ‘Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You’ and the Grace kids realize that they are not alone in their new house. Now the kids want to tell their story but the faeries will do everything they can to stop them.”

I read the Spiderwick Chronicles back when I was quite young, maybe eight or nine. My sister and I read the crap out these books (we must have read them 15 times, no joke) and I’ve been wanting to revist this series and the wonderful fantasy world that Holly and Tony created for awhile now but I’ve finally gotten around to it.

The writing partnership of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi is remarkable and this series is by far some of the most well written literature that I’ve ever read.

The three main characters, Jared, Simon, and Mallory, are so relatable and realistic. I can relate to each of them in a different way and I think most readers will feel the same.

Overall, I highly recommend this series to everyone of any age. The Field Guide is such an outstanding start to a series and I can see myself rereading this book a hundred times and still enjoy it just as much as the first time.

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