Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

My Thoughts: This was an excellent read. It went quickly and was so interesting. I love historical fiction and this is the best novel of that genre I've ever read. The story was quite sad but it introduces an intriguing topic in American history. I, for one, had never heard of these "orphan trains". Vivian had more depth than the typical 91 year old character. She's more than a frail and quiet woman. Molly was quite a round character as well and I enjoyed her. I would definitely recommend this book to any reader, young and adult.

Final Rating: 9/10!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10 Adult Fiction Books that Young Adult Readers Will Love

Here's a list of adult fiction books that I highly recommend for young adults and adults alike.

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

2. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

4. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

5. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

6. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

9. A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

10. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Monday, October 13, 2014

To Be Read: My October TBR Pile

Hi there! This is a really busy month for all sorts of things. I'm actually in London as you're reading this, but I'm writing it from my house on a Thursday morning. I have loads of book that are in my TBR pile, so I figured I'd share them with you. Some of them I already own, others I'm hoping I'll be picking up in London. (These are in no particular order!)

ARC: There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

Trouble by Non Pratt

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Hopefully by the end of the month I'll have reviews of all these books posted!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I've been doing loads of reading lately. Usually I don't have much time to read more than a few books a week, but I've gotten through quite a few this week due to being ill and home from school. Mind you, most of them aren't YA so I won't be posting reviews of all of them.

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Before Sloane, Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend - someone who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just...disappears. No  note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There's just a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane? Getting through Sloane's list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her - and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter - who knows what she'll find.

My Thoughts: This book is pretty good. It was enjoyable and funny, but it didn't feel like it was going anywhere. The ending left a lot to be desired. Frank, the love interest, didn't seem to be very developed which made him hard to like. And Emily, the main character seemed really unrealistic. I understand that she's upset about her best friend leaving, but what I don't understand is how she does not have any other friends or acquaintances. She didn't seem particularly quiet or introverted, so I was just confused as to why she didn't know anyone. Overall these two characters weren't that bad. The one character I really hated was Sloane. She seemed almost toxic to Emily and that made me quite sad. The story was quick but the flashbacks got really annoying. This book didn't really have much depth but made a boring day pass by quickly.

Final Rating: 6/10 stars!

Friday, October 3, 2014

ARC Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I got this book from the ARC review group I'm in and I was so excited! This book has so much press and it doesn't even come out until January! It certainly lived up to the hype.

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might die, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground—it's unclear who saves whom. And when the unlikely pair teams up on a class project to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, they go, as Finch says, where the road takes them: the grand, the small, the bizarre, the beautiful, the ugly, the surprising—just like life.Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's death. Soon it's only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a bold, funny, live-out-loud guy, who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet forgets to count away the days and starts living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

My Thoughts: OMG OMG OMG!!! This book was so good. It was spectacular. I sat down on my bed to read it and didn't look up until two hours later when I had finished. Tears were streaming down my face, it's that emotional/well-written/beautiful. The characters were awesome and I felt like I could relate to each of them at least a little bit. The book felt really genuine, which is very important when I read a novel. The ending was really something. I honestly loved this book. I've been telling everyone I know about it and getting everyone wanting to read it, only for them to find out it doesn't come out for three months. If you get the chance to read an ARC of this novel or you wait until it's released, read it! Read it when you're happy or sad or mad, just read it. Sit down and don't get up until you know all of Finch and Violet's story. Once you've laughed and cried with them, you'll feel a little more human.

Final Rating: 11/10 stars!!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Ahhhh!!! I loved this book, but first - thank you to the publicist for providing me with a copy for review!

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Matthew Turner doesn't have faith in anything. Not in family - his is in 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 forgiving all those he blames. 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.

My Thoughts: This book was excellent. I am a huge Ellen Hopkins fan and was super excited when I heard she was releasing Rumble. I loved this book. At first I wasn't sure if I was into it, and then I realized I'd read 100 pages in 15 minutes! This book had awesome characters and definitely made me tear up a few times. Read it!!

Final Rating: 10/10 stars!

Monday, September 1, 2014

ARC Review: This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol

*I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.*

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: This is how it begins...Five friends partying in the woods. A discovery that shows a disturbing vision to each. For Riley, seeing himself in bed with his long-time crush is a tantalizing reminder of all he can't have. Because Sarah is dating his best friend, and Riley's not about to betray his trust. Then, one of the visions comes true...and one of Riley's friends becomes the prime suspect in a gruesome murder. The others are determined to prove the police wrong, but Riley can't shake the hope that the visions were more than hallucinations. And that despite the cost, maybe he's seen how it ends.

My Thoughts: OMG. This book took me forever to finish. I'm not sure why because it was a decent book. It's a really weird concept but for the most part it works. The book was pretty slow but picked up at the ending. It wouldn't be something I would normally pick up to read but I'm glad I read it. It's always important to read books of genres you don't normally read in order to expand. You could realize you had been missing out on your love for Austrian science-fiction this whole time! Anyway...this book was good. I liked reading it and I do recommend it. So grab it at your local bookstore or book rental warehouse (library) on October 7!

Final Rating: 8/10!