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!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

ARC Review: Ignite by Lily Paradis

*I received a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review*

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: After her father’s untimely demise in a mining accident and her mother’s abandonment, Lauren Lindsay is no stranger to loss. She’s used to living life for one person: herself. That is, until another family tragedy thrusts three children into her care and uproots her life in ways she could never imagine. Lauren's first instinct is to run, until she meets their striking, mysterious neighbor Dean Powell. Their immediate chemistry and his connection with her late father just might be enough to keep her in town long enough to uncover pieces of her past that she never had answers to. Dean’s shady past and her reluctance to trust him could cost her the life she's always been searching for, but will she run back to her old life? Or will she choose to stay and live the life her father always imagined for her?

My Thoughts: So at first I thought this book was going to be New Adult, which is definitely not my style. I was about to email the publicist and say "no thanks" when I got an email saying it was young adult just with slightly older characters. I'm glad I read it! This book was good. I'm not a massive fan of romance, so it got to be too much at some points, but otherwise it was a good book. I found it to be a pleasant read. If you're interested, check it out now!

Final Rating: 8/10 stars!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I have to admit, this was an impulse buy. I was alone in the airport and trying to kill time so I grabbed this. Mind you, I had seen it at my local indie before, but I wasn't sure if I was interested. I'm still not sure if I'm interested and I've read the book. This isn't YA, but I read mostly adult fiction and like to share my reviews of some of those books.

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Don Tillman, genetics professor, is getting married. Or he will be, when his sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey yields a candidate (see: the Wife Project). Designed to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the vegans, the late arrivers, Don's questionnaire is, for the socially challenged academic, the most logical method to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie Jarman. Don quickly disqualifies her as a potential wife but is drawn into Rosie's quest to find her biological father (see: the Father Project). When something like a friendship develops, Don must confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie and the decidedly unscientific conclusion that sometimes you don't find love, it finds you.

My Thoughts: I feel like I've read a lot of Australian books lately. I'm not sure if that's true. Anyway, this book was okay. It was pretty slow and didn't beg me to read it. I even left the book at my mom's house for a few days and felt nothing. Normally I'd be dying to get back to whatever book I'd started. It was just not an extraordinary book. I think I'll read the sequel though, because everything's more interesting with a baby. If you're interested in reading this I would suggest borrowing it from the library, because if you read it you probably won't again.

Final Rating: 6/10!

Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Limitation Placers in Francesca's Life: St. Sebastian's - Pretends it's a coed school by giving the girls their own toilet. The Psycho Girls - The only female companions to be found at St. Sebastian's: Tara Finke, ultra-feminist; Siobhan Sullivan, former "Slut of St. Stella's Academy"; and Justine Kalinsky, impossibly dorky accordion player. The Sebastian Boys - Thomas Mackee: Specializes in musical burping. Probably dropped on his head a few times as a baby. Will Trombal: Perpetually frowning, smug moron with no personality. Now, if only Francesca could stop daydreaming about him. Mia - The Queen of the Limitation Placers, Francesca's vivacious mother. Thinks she knows what's best for Francesca and makes her attend hateful all-boys school; until the day she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is.

My Thoughts: This book was a tad hard to get into. That being said, once I got into it it was great. I know that I said Jellicoe Road was hard to get into, but that was a result of confusion, whereas this was a result of lack of interest. Thankfully, the book wasn't a bit cliché. I do wish the author had given Will more life. His character was utterly flat and static until the very end of the novel. I felt like I knew nothing about him other than the fact that he was Francesca's crush. The character development in this book was very average, not good, not bad. Francesca's mother was an interesting character. Excepting the characters, I enjoyed the novel.

Final Rating: 7.5/10 stars!

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

I found out about this book a few months ago, but was apprehensive to buy it because I rarely purchase hardcovers. Luckily, I discovered Book Depository a couple weeks ago. I promptly ordered six books and Love Letters to the Dead was one of them.

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: Sometimes the best letters go unanswered. It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain -- he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May -- so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people -- Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse...It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love -- and her shattered life. But the ghosts of Laurel's past can't be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them -- before they consume her.

My Thoughts: This book made me feel so many things. I felt heartbroken about Laurel and May. At some points the story was a tad hard to follow. I do wish more was said about how Laurel was before May's death, because it focused mostly on May's personality. It was hard to tell if Laurel had always been edgy, like May, or more of a goody-two-shoes. Either way, I enjoyed this book. It wasn't extraordinary, but it was a quick and easy read. I love when books make me feel sad, excited, or any other emotions. All in all, if you're looking for something that will tug at your heart, go for this. If you are looking for something that will really make you think, then this is probably not the book for you.

Final Rating: 7/10 stars!

ARC Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

**Thank you to Penguin for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review.**

I should begin this review by saying Meg Wolitzer is one of my favorite authors. I read The Interestings at the beginning of the summer and loved it. I can honestly say there were tears streaming down my face by the end. I was so so so excited when I heard she was writing a young adult book!

Back-of-the-Book Blurb: If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She'd be watching old comedy sketches with him. She'd be kissing him in the library stacks. She certainly wouldn't be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, supposedly life-changing class called Special Topics in English. But life isn't fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead. When a journal-writing assignment leads Jam into a mysterious otherworld she and her classmates call Belzhar, she discovers a realm where the untainted past is restored, and she can feel Reeve's arms around her once again. But, as the pages of her journal begin to fill up, Jam must confront hidden truths and ultimately decide what she's willing to sacrifice to reclaim her loss.

My Thoughts: As Sylvia Plath is a huge part of this novel, I decided to read The Bell Jar after finishing Belzhar. I definitely think Belzhar helped me think more deeply about The Bell Jar. Belzhar was an excellent read. It was stunningly original, which is a quality that is often missing from young adult books. I was certainly not expecting the ending. The ending was amazing, as was the rest of the book. I have nothing but good things to say about this book. The characters were lovely and had tremendous growth throughout the novel. I highly recommend you hit up your local indie on September 30!

Final Rating: 9.5/10 stars!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

ARC Review: Random by Tom Leveen

This book comes out August 12, so be sure to pick it up!

Back-of-Book Blurb:
Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It's a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line. He asks for a single thing - one reason not to kill himself The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he'll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can't help but thing the caller is a fraud. But what if he's not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death. With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a strange - and maybe redeem herself - leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything.

My Thoughts: I could not put this down! It was a quick read for me - I picked it up after finishing my homework and set it down right before dinner. I was really not expecting the ending which is certainly a nice change! These days so many books are predictable and that makes reading them a much less enjoyable experience. Anyway, this book was great. The story really shocked me and certainly kept me interested until the very last page. In fact, I wish it was a longer book! I would definitely recommend this book to any YA fan. There isn't much I can compare it to, but as long as you like young adult fiction, you'll like this book. Tom Leveen keeps it packed with electric bursts of emotion and it's packed with amazing characters. Leveen's character development in this story is extraordinary. I really loved this book.

Final Rating: 9/10 stars!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review: Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

I have to admit, I didn't think I was going to like this series. However, I have enjoyed books by both Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian before so I figured I'd give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised.

Burn for Burn (Book 1)

Back-of-Book Blurb: Lillia, Kat, and Mary are not friends. In fact, they barely know one another. But a chance encounter in the girls' room proves they have something big in common. The girls have all been hurt--by a bully, an ex-friend, an almost boyfriend--and now they want payback. They hatch a scheme to work in secret, to help each other right the wrongs. Forget waiting for karma. They're taking matters into their own hands.

My Thoughts: This book was really good! I didn't think I would continue with the series when I began the book but now I've read the second, Fire with Fire, and I'm dying to read the third, Ashes to Ashes, which comes out September 16! The Jar Island atmosphere added to the story. It's a story about revenge, but it isn't the typical story. It's new and fresh and unique.

Final Rating: 9/10 stars!

Fire with Fire (Book 2)

Back-of-Book Blurb: I'm not giving a blurb for this one because it'll spoil the first book!

My Thoughts: OMG OMG OMG. This book is amazing. I could not put it down. It's almost 200 pages longer than the first book, which I loved because I love long books. This book was so awesome and the ending just killed me. I'm dying to read Ashes to Ashes because I can't wait to see how this trilogy ends. I would definitely say this is my favorite trilogy! I love Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian and I hope they do more collaborations in the future.

Final Rating: 10/10 stars!

I'm not sure if I can wait a whole month to read the last book! I'm going to do some serious hunting for an ARC!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Wow. This book is really something. If all parents were as amazing as Dante's and Ari's respective parents I think the world would truly be a better place.

Back-of-Book Blurb: Dante can swim. Ari can't. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari's feathers are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself. But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other - and the power of their friendship - can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

My Thoughts: This book was great. I really enjoyed it. It is one of few very diverse young adult books. I think it will one day be praised as a very important book for young LGBTQ people. The writing by Sáenz was excellent.

Final Rating: 8/10 stars!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I love Markus Zusak's young adult books. I fell in love with The Book Thief a while back and decided to purchase I Am the Messenger a couple weeks ago. It's not quite as good as The Book Thief but it definitely has Zusak's flair to it.

Synopsis: Ed is a rather lame nineteen year old cab driver with not much going for him. Until he begins to receive aces in the mail and becomes the messenger.

My Thoughts: This book was great. It was hard to get into at first, but once I did I could not stop reading. Zusak is a truly magical author and his books are sheer gold. The writing style of this book is good and the sentences are well-formed. This book is great for fans of The Book Thief and young adult books in general.

Final Rating: 8/10 stars!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Winger by Andrew Smith

OMG!! I borrowed this from the library but I really wish I owned it. I'll definitely be buying it when it comes out in paperback in September.

Synopsis: Ryan Dean West is a fourteen year old junior at rich kid boarding school. He's left wing for the varsity rugby team. And he's in love with his best friend, Annie Altman.

My Thoughts: When I first began this book I thought it would be much better suited for boys. However, I continued and fell in love. This book is so well-written and it broke my heart. I stayed up for hours reading it because I couldn't put it down and when I tried to sleep I couldn't until I finished this book. Read this book now!!!!

Final Rating: 10/10 stars!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

I stayed up really late last night reading this! Definitely recommend it.

Synopsis: Lara Jean wrote a letter to every boy she ever loved and kept them in a hatbox her mother gave her. They weren't supposed to be sent, but when they are, her whole life changes.

My Thoughts: I got this book from the library because I am not supposed to be buying books but when it comes out in paperback I will definitely get it! This is a great book. I really enjoyed the story and the writing style. I will certainly be on the hunt for more Jenny Han books! If you're looking for a fun, interesting read pick this up at the bookstore or library!

Final Rating: 9.7/10 stars!

ARC Review: Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner

Hi!! I'm writing this from the past: July 14. Not really though, you're just seeing something I wrote a week and a half ago for the first time. That's because it's a review for an ARC! Can't Look Away comes out August 26, and I highly suggest you read it.

Synopsis: Can't Look Away is about Torrey, a YouTube beauty guru whose life is stricken with tragedy when her sister is hit and killed by a drunk driver.

My Thoughts: Donna Cooner did a wonderful job of showing the impact this terrible event had on Torrey and her family. You are able to see the transformation Torrey goes through as a result. The writing quality was very good as well. At some points the story was slow, and I didn't really appreciate some of the characters. I really enjoyed the Dia de los Muertos incorporation and felt it added some extra culture to what could be a bland story.

Final Rating: 7.5/10 stars!

Friday, July 25, 2014


Hi! I would love it if you would interact more! Reading my posts is great and I thank you profusely, but I want to know what you think. What books do you like? What do you think about the books I've reviewed? What books would you like me to review in the future? Leave me feedback in the comments of my posts.


Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This book made me cry.  It was so amazing.

Synopsis: Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother when she was eleven and taken to a boarding school by Hannah. Six years later, Hannah's gone missing and Taylor feels like it's her job to find her.

My Thoughts: This book was hell to find. No bookstores carry it, at least not where I live (Arizona, where we have nothing but cactus), so I had my local indie, Changing Hands order it. If I lived closer to the bookstore that would've been no issue, but I'm about thirty minutes from it. So by the time I finally picked up the book I was dying to read it. I'd heard about it on some website that had recommendations for young adults. In the beginning I was a little confused because the schools in Australia are clearly very different from ours here. I adjusted and it became a very lovely read. It was so sad and when I finished it I felt exhausted, as if I had gone through the whole ordeal myself. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Good luck finding it!

Final Rating: 10/10 stars!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ARC Review: Starry Night by Isabel Gillies

Synopsis: Wren, an aspiring artist, and her best friends planned on attending her father's Met party. Wren didn't plan on falling in love with Nolan.

My Thoughts: I'm sorry but this book made me want to slam my head against a wall.  Wren just made dumb decision after dumb decision. But, it did have some art elements I enjoyed.

Final Rating: 7.5/10 stars!

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Synopsis: Greg is an average high school senior who befriends Rachel, a fellow senior with leukemia.

My Thoughts: Even though this is a YA book, I didn't feel like it was intended for girls to read, in fact it did its best to drive me away. It was extremely vulgar at parts, which I did not enjoy. I'm not going to give it a final rating because I didn't like it. Normally I would still rate a book I didn't like but it seems unfair to rate this one. I definitely wouldn't recommend this book unless you're okay with quite offensive language.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just a few things...

Howdy! It's been a few days since I've posted a review but don't worry I am still here! I'll be posting a few tomorrow for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Impossible Knife of Memory, and Starry Night.
I'm currently working on a project so even though I'm still reading a ton, I'm not able to post as much as I like. I'll be finished with the project soon so I won't be gone too long. And I can always be reached at my email: Talk soon.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick

I read this book for free on! It's a great website so check it out! Right now the two free books are sci-fi which I'm not a fan of but usually they have some really great picks!

Synopsis: Caroline's grandmother is sick, probably dying. She's been by her side since her stroke and is looking for an escape, a way to escape her gram's illness and all the stress of everything. So when her BFF offers her a night out at a party she has to choose whether to stay or go. Suddenly, her life is split into two paths with different fates.

My Thoughts: Okay so this book is like totally Sliding Doors, am I right? Maybe I'm the only one that's seen that 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow film. It was a good book. Definitely interesting to see how one choice can define your life. The writing was not terrific, but that may be because there were two authors and sometimes co-authored books can get styles all mixed up. This was an okay book and I don't regret reading it, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Final Rating: 6.5/10 stars!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Goodreads Synopsis: For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

My Thoughts: I wanted to like this book so much. It was good. It was not great. I didn't really feel any emotions about it, not even at the end. The character of Grace would have added depth if her story line had been resolved.

Final Rating: 7/10 stars!

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Can you tell I love E. Lockhart? I do!!!!

Synopsis: Frankie Landau-Banks used to be quiet and geeky. Until she became a force to be reckoned with. This is the story of her transformation.

My Thoughts: This book started out slow, but it was worth it. It turned out to be a very enjoyable read. Just because Frankie doesn't have a sob story or big problem she needs to overcome, doesn't make this book any less great. She picked something and challenged it. I think this book can really help boost a girl's self esteem if she ever feels like there's something she can't do.

This book can be hard to find at bookstores so I would recommend ordering it or reading it on an e-reader.

Final Rating: 8/10 stars!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ARC Review: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

Okay, you have to admit, this is the weirdest concept of the book ever! A fictional celebrity biography? It's crazy, but Adele Griffin manages to pull it off. In fact, she pulls it off very well.

Synopsis: Addison Stone was an up and coming artist, before she died suspiciously at 18 years old. This fictional biography follows her troubled life through interviews with loved ones and photographs of Addison and her art.

My Thoughts: This book was awesome. The photos added so much. It really helped you picture Addison's life. Adele Griffin did an amazing job of writing in so many different voices depending on who was speaking in the book. If I didn't know better I would think this was a real biography. It reads like a novel but with all sorts of added goodies. Loved it! Be sure to grab it when it comes out August  12, 2014.

Final Rating: 8.5/10 stars!

Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

This is not a positive review, so if you loved this book I suggest you click off of this page.

Synopsis: Varsity tennis captain, Ezra Faulkner, was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before - before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

My Thoughts: First off, I have to say how glad I am that I did not buy this book. I checked it out at the library on a whim, I didn't know anything about it but just plucked it off the shelf. Later, when I was doing I little dig about it I discovered it has received quite a bit of praise. I, however, don't think it's necessarily deserved. The book was painful to work through. The writing was certainly not my style, as well. I wasn't crazy about the story, but it wasn't awful. This just isn't a book I'd recommend.

Final Rating: 4/10 stars!

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This was the first book I read this summer! Man, what a great way to kick off the summer. This book is excellent. I'm not really sure how to sum it up without lying, so I'll have to give you the official one.

Official Synopsis: A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.

My Thoughts: This book was too short! I wanted it to be longer. I really enjoyed it and was totally shocked at the ending. I'm loving the buzz it's getting. Some of the sentences were choppy but that is my only complaint. The story was amazing and very interesting.

Final Rating: 8.5/10 stars!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ARC Review: Blind by Rachel DeWoskin

This book caught my attention one day when I was picking up ARCs. The concept of it was totally terrifying and totally possible.

Goodreads Synopsis: Imagine this: You are fourteen, watching the fireworks at a 4th of July party, when a rocket backfires into the crowd and strikes your eyes, leaving you blind. In that instant, your life is changed forever. How do you face a future in which all your expectations must be different? You will never see the face of your newborn sister, never learn to drive. Will you ever have a job or fall in love? This is Emma's story. The drama is in her many small victories as she returns to high school in her hometown and struggles to define herself and make sense of her life, determined not to be dismissed as a PBK - Poor Bling Kid. This heartfelt and heart wrenching story takes you on Emma's journey and leaves you with a new understanding of the challenges to be faced when life deals a devastating blow.

My Thoughts: Rachel DeWoskin has a real gift for writing. Since I read Blind, I have been dying to find more of her books. The story in Blind was just so fascinating and different. It was a very unique idea and certainly unusual. I find it refreshing when young adult books are about something, like vision impairment, that many people struggle with yet those who don't know have it know very little about. The novel confronts the judgment and challenges Emma faces and how she reacts to them. Definitely pick this book up when it comes out August 7, 2014!

Final Rating: 9/10 stars!

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I heart this book! I totally fell in love with Noah the first time I read it. Not to mention that it features an American going to Cambridge Uni's vet school which has been my dream for like ever!!! I grabbed this book randomly off the shelf months ago and had to race back the next day to get the sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, which I will not be reviewing because it'll give away too many spoilers!

Synopsis: Mara doesn't remember anything about the accident that claimed the lives of her friends. All she knows after waking up in the hospital is what other people are telling her. She's not sure what to believe, and she certainly doesn't believe she can fall in love.

My Thoughts: This book was awesome! Sure, it's not perfect, but what book is? It kept me enthralled until the last page, when I jumped into the car to go pick up Evolution. I would definitely recommend this book. I'm not usually a fan of paranormal/not completely realistic young adult novels, but I really enjoyed this one.

Final Rating: 9/10 stars!

Just by the way, the final book in the series, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, comes out November 4! Michelle Hodkin has promised to sign every book from the first printing of the US edition.

Book Haul!

In the past few days I've gone to the bookstore twice, once to Barnes and Noble and once to Changing Hands. Here are the books I picked up (the ones I've read are italicized):

  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The List by Siobhan Vivian
  • ARC - The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
  • ARC - Starry Night by Isabel Gillies
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson*
*I was so excited about this! Changing Hands is a used/new bookstore so I was able to find a used copy of this book for only $9.50 that looks almost new. Plus it's signed!!!

Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

It's a well-known fact that I love Rainbow Rowell. I really LOVE her books. I'm dying to head over to my local indie, Changing Hands, to get a copy of Landline which just came out a few days ago. Before yesterday I'd only read Fangirl and Eleanor and Park but I had recently grabbed Attachments from the bookstore and was decidedly taking a one book YA break.

Even though Attachments isn't technically YA, I think most fans of young adults and especially fans of Eleanor and Park and Fangirl will love this book.

Synopsis: Beth and Jennifer are perfectly aware that someone is reading their work emails. This doesn't stop them from sending each other hilarious messages all day, every day. Lincoln can't believe this is his job. Getting paid to read other people's email? It's ridiculous. Until he starts to fall for Beth and realizes he's in too deep to tell her.

My Thoughts: This book was awesome! As always, Rainbow Rowell's writing skills are amazing. It's hard to believe this was her debut novel because her talent is SO IMMENSE. I can't recommend this book enough. It's adorable, but still serious. Read it! Read it! Read it!

Final Rating: 10/10 stars!

I will definitely be grabbing Landline ASAP.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

Every year right before Homecoming a list gets posted. It's a list that tells who the prettiest and ugliest in each grade. 8 girls, 8 stories. Each one is on the list for a different reason. 

This book was spectacular! It really makes you think about what defines "pretty" and "ugly". I enjoyed how the books switched perspectives every chapter. This helped because there was one character I didn't love, so I didn't have to hear much about her for 7 chapters or so. The story was interesting and kept me intrigued. I was even reading it while walking through the grocery store. The book was very unputdownable! Can't wait to read more of Siobhan Vivian's books. 9/10 stars!

Review: Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

This book was seriously addicting! I stayed up super late just to finish it. Okay, maybe midnight isn't super late, but I usually go to bed at 10. Unless I'm reading a good book, like Perfect.

Perfect is about four high school seniors and their paths to perfection. Cara, the good girl who might have different ideas about love than her parents would like. Kendra, who will do anything it takes to have the perfect body and face. Sean, who might be willing to play hard ball in order to reach his perfection. And Andre, who is living a completely different life than anyone would believe. This book was really good! The beginning pulls you in with characters like Cara and Kendra. However, I was completely disappointed with Andre and Sean. I found them boring and unoriginal. Even though it was a really awesome book, the fact that 2/4 characters weren't great brought down its rating. 7.5/10 stars!

Monday, July 14, 2014

ARC Review: Schizo by Nic Sheff

This book - out this September - was great! I felt like it gave a vey realistic view of mental illness.

Synopsis: Miles is completely unreliable as a narrator. This makes sense of course, because he's schizophrenic. Not to mention that he blames himself for his little brother's disappearance.

My Thoughts: This book is a psychological thriller that gives an amazing look inside the mind of someone with mental illness. Sheff's writing is reminiscent of a teenage and makes the book more honest. Check this book out when it's released in September!

Final Rating: 8.5/10 stars!

My little bunny

As you probably do not know, I was out of town from June 22 - July 11. Normally I would be delighted to get out of the literally burning hell that is Arizona, but the only drawback is that I have to leave this little guy behind.
Which is obviously never good!! He gets really sad when I'm away because his pen is in my room so people only visit him up there a few times a day. He has like 5 plushies to keep him company in his big room (16 sq. feet). The biggest issue with leaving is that when I return he is always angry! This is not a one time deal either, it's happened probably a dozen times, maybe more. Sometimes he stays mad for weeks! It may be unusual to think of a rabbit being angry or holding a grudge, but trust me, it's possible. Van Gogh is a major grudge holder! Which really stinks because he gives the cutest little kisses. But obviously he doesn't do that when he's mad! Hopefully I'll get back on his good side soon and he won't pee on my bed again!

Review: Positive by Paige Rawl

There are no words for how much I love this book. I JUST REALLY LOVE IT. It comes out August 26 and be sure to pick it up from your local bookseller! It doesn't even require a long review. I feel that everyone should read this book. It is necessary. Please read it and tell me what you think.

Paige was one of the good kids. She was a cheerleader, soccer player, and a good student. The only thing that made her the tiniest bit different was her HIV-positive status. This memoir was written with a raw honesty that is rarely achieved. But this book nails it. Paige's story is heartbreakingly true. The writing was spectacular and I read the whole book in one sitting. Even though I have an ARC, I know that I will purchase this book when it's released August 26. 10/10 stars!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

I'm not going to lie, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler made me bawl like a baby. However, this book just did not work for me. I was able to read it on, and honestly I'm thankful to not have wasted my money. #scandal is about Lucy, whose private moment with her best friend's boyfriend gets posted on Facebook, along with half the senior class's party pics. The story was slow and boring, and took way too much effort to work through. 6/10 stars!

Review: Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Can I just say that I cannot wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After?!?! If that gives you any clue to how I feel about these two books!

Anna and the French Kiss

Synopsis: Anna and the French Kiss is a charming novel about Anna, who is sent to boarding school in Paris (that's right, Paris!) for her senior year of high school.

My Thoughts: This book was amazing. I swear, I actually asked my parents to send me to boarding school in Paris after I finished it. It's a no for now, but who knows. This was such a great read. It left me filled like only a good book can. Highly recommend!!

Final Rating: 9.5/10 stars!

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Synopsis: Lola and the Boy Next Door is an adorable book about Lola, whose life seems to be going grandly until her mysterious next door neighbors move back in.

My Thoughts: I was worried that nothing would be able to live up to Anna but this book did! It's just as good as its prequel. I loved this book. Lola was such a lovable character. I loved the tie-ins with the characters from Anna and the French Kiss. It was great how it took place in San Francisco because it's such an interesting city. This is a must read.

Final Rating: 9/10 stars!

These books were both so cute! I bought them on Kindle because I couldn't find them in any local stores, but I really do wish I had them in print! Stephanie Perkins is a lovely author and I can't wait for Isla to come out in August. She really makes you fall in love with her characters (i.e. Etienne *swoon*).

Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Hiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!! *waves* Sorry for the absence! I was out of town/without my computer for three weeks. Anyway, I'll be posting rapid-fire reviews of YA books for a little while. It'll be a mix of some old, some new, and some advanced reviews. This is a review of Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern.

This book was excellent. It truly deserves all the praise it's been given. Say What You Will is about a 17-year old girl named Amy. She has cerebral palsy and just wants a normal senior year. So, instead of having adult helpers, she decided to have other students assist her. One of them, Matthew, has his own problems. He and Amy connect on a deeper level than either ever thought possible. Say What You Will was a beautiful depiction of teenagers and the problems they face. 9.5/10 stars!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Movie!

Thursday night I attended an early screening of The Fault in Our Stars called The Night Before Our Stars. The movie was extraordinary. I saw it again the next night. Tonight, I'm going again. 
The film was excellent. It was very faithful to the novel. Some of the changes however included: no Kaitlyn, no Caroline, and a slightly tweaked ending. Even with these changes it was a great movie. Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff are amazing actors. The end, with Gus' death, was very emotional and left me in a puddle of tears.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

I am not afraid to say that, yes, I am a fan of The Fault in Our Stars. I happen to really enjoy that it's a love story that is not overly obnoxious. It's also a book that has cancer without being a cancer book. Well, I won't give anything away, but I'm not going to lie; Isaac is my favorite character and I can't wait to see him on the big screen this Thursday (eeeekk!!!) 10/10 stars!!!

Favorite Books

I get asked what my favorite book is so often and I never know what to say! Usually I just pick one out of the list of books I love that is permanently written in my brain. Here's the list!
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!


Here is my little puppy Koda! He's five months old and we believe a Chow Chow, Saint Bernard, Bulldog mix.


Here's my little chinchilla named London. She's a sassy chinnie!

Van Gogh

This is my baby boy, Van Gogh. He is four years old and is a rescue bunny adopted from Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary. Can you tell where his name comes from?


Hi, nice to meet you! My name is Jordyn and I am a fifteen year old student living in sunny Arizona. When I am not cultivating my cactus garden and roasting eggs on the sidewalk (kidding on both counts!), I'm either reading or doing something animal related. I am the proud guardian of a four year old rabbit named Van Gogh, a two year old chinchilla named London, and a rescue puppy named Koda. I love to read all genres of books from contemporary fiction to science and math related books. I hope you'll enjoy this blog :)