Monday, December 16, 2013

Goodbye 2013: Hiatus untile 2014 + Changes

Source
I've been meaning to write this post for a very long time. At first I wasn't sure what I was going to say but after some time, I've come up with a plan.

2014 is going to be different. I'm not the best at managing my time but I've slowly been getting better at it. I want to do better in school (thank you sucky math; those who say you don't have to take math in college, they lied!) and better at this whole blogging thing.

I've been thinking about quitting blogging all together and I've realized that I don't want to. It's a decision I've been thinking about and a few changes are going to be made:
  1. Ratings: They're going away on the blog. GoodReads and Amazon will have ratings but this blog's not going to rate books with numbers anymore! Instead, I'll have a "Final Thoughts" which is going to be a paragraph summing up my thoughts about the book. 
  2. Recommendations: Yes, No, Maybe, With Reservation will also be at the end of my reviews so you can see if I'd recommend it to anyone.
  3. Conversational reviews: When it comes to reviews, I always try to make them sound as professional as possible without having them sound like book reports for class. This doesn't end well because I don't want my book reviews to sound like that. I want to have conversations about the books I read with my readers and fellow bookworms and it's hard to do with weird sounding reviews. 
  4. Discussions: I love a good discussion and I've already got lots of ideas for posts! There'll probably be a discussion post every week!
  5. Posts on certain days: I've never been a person who had to put up a post everyday. I reapplied a long time ago that it would not work for me. So I'm coming up with a schedule that will hopefully work! I won't have it set in stone; after all, I get bored with the same thing easily. 
  6. New review style: I'm going to be experimenting with different styles in hopes of finding one that really works. I've found that with the paragraph style, my paragraphs tend to be really long and arduous. 
I'm hoping to read 100 books by the end of the year and those reviews will be up next year. Thus far I've read 87 books, not all of which have been reviewed. I haven't changed my mind on participating in memes but I'm going to be brining back Old is Gold and I also want to bring back my challenges: Diversify YA, Classics, and the NA challenge

And for the last thing: Goodbye 2013! It's been a crazy year for me. Not only did I end my high school career, I began my college career. While my first semester ended and I didn't finish it as strongly as I had hoped to, I'm looking forward to the next semester. I do know that I'll be taking a lot of credit hours so weekends and my e-readers will have to help me survive.

I hope everyone has a great new year! 

Monday, December 09, 2013

End of the year Readathon: #ReadingCram

 
I should have signed up for this earlier but I had my last exam on Saturday and I just got home on Sunday! When I saw this challenge on The Reader's Den blog, I knew I had to sign up! Of course, I found it today so here's my late entry!

The End of Year 2013 Read-a-Thon #ReadingCram is hosted by Jenny from Juliababyjen's Reading Room and Dana from Dana Square and will run from the 9th of December to the 22nd of December.

Why should you participate?
1. To chisel off some of your TBR pile. 
2. Do all the fun challenges and win some prizes. 
3. Encourage others to read like a speed demon (and yourself) + reading with others is loads of fun.
Please tweet using #ReadingCram to stay updated and to share what your reading.

My TBR:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: When I saw this at my university's library, I picked it up.
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding: I love the movie and this is so perfect for me! Austen + Pride and Prejudice is the best pair ever!
Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding: Ditto above.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: My sister has read this book and raves about it all of the time. She's not the biggest reader so when she recommends something, I try the book!
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: Ditto.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: My brother lives by Rick Riordan. He owns all of the books in this series, he loves them this much. My brother is less of a reader than my sister and even I'm a fan of Riordan's. So why not?
The Demon King by Cinda Chima Williams: I own this book but I have yet to read it. My brother got really excited when he saw that I have it since he'd not only read the entire series, he loved them too!
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: My current read. It's gotten rave reviews all over the blogosphere so I'm hoping to love it as much.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen: If I had this book, I would be reading it RIGHT NOW. But sadly, the book hasn't come in at my library (YAY! So glad I can once again use the library!) so as soon as I have it in my hands, I will be going into my reading cave! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blog Tour+Giveaway: Review: Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding

Hey, everyone! I'm so excited to be a part of the blog tour of Amy Spalding's wonderful novel INK IS THICKER THAN WATER!

Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding 
Release Date: December 3, 2013 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: For preview via Publisher for blog tour  
Find it: AmazonBarnes& NobleGoodreads
For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.
Review: 
Since I like to be honest in all of my reviews, I'm not going to hide my thoughts on this book. I didn't think I'd love this book as much as I did. Nor did I expect Ink is Thicker than Water to be full of so much heart and realistic aspects of life. While I thought the summary gave everything away, I was pleasantly surprised at the twists and turns of this book. This is my first book by Amy Spalding and I know it won't be my last. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown 
Source: NetGalley via Publisher 
Some say the seaside town of Echo Bay is cursed. They may be right. When a game of truth or dare spins out of control, three beautiful teen girls start receiving mysterious dares containing hints to dark secrets long buried. For artsy outcast Sydney Morgan; perfect, popular Caitlin "Angel" Thomas; and queen bee Tenley Reed, the truth is not an option.

This is no party game-it's do or die.

And it's their turn to play.
Review: 
When I first heard about this book, I thought of Pretty Little Liars. Echo Bay sounds like Rosewoods and the girls like Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Aria (obviously, sans one). Obviously, there are differences but for me, Truth or Dare seemed too much like Pretty Little Liars to take it seriously. Furthermore, I couldn't help but compare the two books when it came down to it. So in turn, I didn't like Truth or Dare as much as I had hoped to like it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press 
Source: NetGalley via Publisher  
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.
Review: 
If we're going to be honest (which we are), you don't expect much from a book when it's title is Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. It might sound harsh or mean but it's the truth. Sadly, I wasn't as enthralled by this book as I had hoped to be. The characters were boring, annoying, and underdeveloped and the plot was all over the place. This is not Katie Alender's debut novel (she wrote the Bad Girls Don't Die series) so I won't hide the fact that I expected a lot more from this book.

Monday, October 07, 2013

A Call for Books, A Call for Help

[Source]
Hello everyone! How's it going?

I'm going to begin this post by stating a disclaimer: I don't usually have posts like this on my blog. No one paid me to make this post. This is all done by me.

Now that it's all said and done, I'd like to ask you (yes, you!), dear reader, to do me a favor. Look around your bedroom or study or any room in your house and tell me how many books you find there. You might have one book around or maybe five or maybe even ten! Now when I look around my dorm room, I have seven books from home and various other textbooks scattered here and there.

Well, children here (where I go to school; for privacy reasons, the name will not be stated on this post) in South Carolina have less than one book per household. Actually, I have a statistic for you: 1 in 300 kids here have at least one book in their house.

1 in 300 kids have at least one book in their house. 

Now I ask you to think back to when you were in elementary school. Did you have books in your house? I bet if you're reading this post, you either had books in your house or ways to get books to read. 

The children here don't have that privilege. It's a very poor school district where my university is located. For one of my classes, we have to donate books as a class and one day, we go and read these books to elementary school kids. But I wanted to do more for them. I HATED the fact that so many children didn't have books of their own when I am so fortunate to have so many.  

Which is where you lovely, amazing people come in. We're all part of a community that loves books and we all want to promote literacy and reading. I need your help. These kids need your help. 

All I am asking is for you to donate any gently used books you might have lying around that you no longer need. 

Requirements:

*No board books 
*All books must be age appropriate (6-10 years old) 
*No religious books any kind!
*Gently used or new! They should be in good condition! 
ALL BOOKS WILL BE SENT TO A P.O. BOX IN THE USA!
The last day for me to receive books is OCTOBER 28! Please send books so they can arrive by October 28! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Want the Friendships

There are bloggers out there who are jealous of the ARCs people receive. Others wish they had as many page views and blogger A or B. And I'm a jealous blogger too, in all honestly.

I'm jealous of all the friendships people in the book blogging community have. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Friday Five (2)

What is The Friday Five? Find out here!
on a Saturday! 

1) The college work has begun and I don't like it. If we think about it though, we've been in school all our lives. It's a little weird thinking about it. I've only been in school for about one month and a little bit more and all of it is crazy busy! 

2) I almost had a panic attack but luckily I didn't! I did cry a lot which sucked ass but I'd rather cry any day when compared to having a panic attack. 

3) I haven't read a book in weeks! I've been super busy with school, friends, drama and well, life. I have wanted to read books and I know I'm going to have to give up a lot about blogging but that's okay! 

4) I have been obsessed with OneRepublic and I've been introduced to lots of new music! For those who know me, I listen to music in two languages so it can be tough to be up to date with English songs but somehow I manage. 

5) I am running out of scheduled posts and I feel like many of the new posts will be discussions. Basically, I'm not reading as much as I would like and therefore, I'm unable to write up reviews. It's a large endless cycle that I wish I can get out of soon! 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

NA: Less Angst and Drama?

I'm not a fan of NA. I'm not even going to say why but I'll link to three posts written by Nicole at WORD for Teens as to why I feel this why: Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3. But that's not what I'm here to talk about.

Today, I want to talk about a few popular NA books that feature characters that are more mature than ones in YA books, don't slut shame or stereotype, less angst and drama and so much more. If you can't tell, I'm so utterly confused that I can't even begin to describe it. **I'd like to point out right now that I've either finished these books or started by DNF them.**

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Am I Missing?

You know when you read a book that just about everyone else in the blogosphere has already read and loved...but you don't? Yeah. I feel like I get this ALL the time. I have no idea what is it but I end up not liking certain books. I'm always wondering if I read a different version than most people. Like, what about these books did they like but I didn't? As the title implies, what am I missing?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace

The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace
Release Date: September 8, 2013 
Publisher: Flux 
Source: Publisher via NetGalley  
Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things. Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.

There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.

Currently listening to: You Make Me Feel… by Cobra Starship

Review: 
This is a really hard book to review. I enjoyed reading this book but I also hated reading this book, both feelings equally strong. I’m going to be up front about it: The Truth About You and Me is about the relationship between a 16 year old girl and a 25 (later 26) year-old college professor. *Sigh* Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I also want to point out that The Truth About You and Me wasn’t a badly written book and the characterization wasn’t bad either. They were both done rather well. But. The subject matter brought up a lot of personal feelings and for the life of me; I couldn’t get behind this relationship and I couldn’t love this book as much as I possibly could have.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Friday Five (1)

This was supposed to be up last Friday but I had no internet and I was super busy so here it is! (Inspired by Sarah Dessen!)

The Friday Five

  1. I BEGAN COLLEGE and I LOVE it.
  2. I've made more friends in the last 10 days of college then I have in my four years of high school. People are amazing and nice and easy going.
  3. There is actually drama in college and it is the WORST. 
  4. People who say not to judge others judge others. I don't like people like that.
  5. I was never certain about the university I'm attending but I'm so glad I came. One of the best decisions I've made in a very long time! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Love Weird Names

1) Some common names 

I don't share my real name on the internet and Kailia Sage is a pen name I used when I wrote fan fiction. For the longest time, I thought I'd use my real name online. But then I realized that if people couldn't pronounce my name in real life, how would they get it online? So I went with Kailia Sage.

But after various posts about weird names, I realized something: I LOVE weird names.

Monday, August 19, 2013

MG Review: Jessica Darling’s It List by Megan McCafferty

Release Date: September 3, 2013 
Publisher: Poppy 
Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty's bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.

I hadn't even gotten to homeroom yet and I'd already discovered five hard truths about junior high:

1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn't know it yet.
3. It wouldn't be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

It's the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty's hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day.

Currently listening to: Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey 

Review: 
After reading and falling in love with the entire Jessica Darling series earlier this year, I was ecstatic when I heard that Megan McCafferty was writing a middle grade series centered around Jessica Darling! I began reading Jessica Darling’s It List (no, I am NOT typing that ridiculously long title) the second it showed up on my Kindle and after about an hour and half, I was done with it. The snarky, hyper observant, opinionated Jessica Darling we first met in Sloppy Firsts is back but this time as a soon to be 7th grader and she’s just as fantastic, except younger!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NA Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Wait for You by J. Lynn
Release Date: February 26, 2013 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (or HarperCollins?)  
Source: Bought  
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember

Currently listening to: Lightening by The Wanted

Review: 
I don't think it's a surprise that I don't like new adult. Most of the NA books I’ve read have been a big disappointment and I decided I wouldn’t read another one for a very long time. But when I found out that Jennifer L. Armentrout (aka J. Lynn) wrote an NA book, I put my opinions aside and I read Wait for You. And I’m happy to report that I didn’t absolutely hate Wait for You. It wasn’t the best book I’ve read but it was great entertainment.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: The Princess Diaries #1 by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries (TPD #1) by Meg Cabot
Release Date: July 1, 2001 
Publisher: Turtleback Books 
Source: Own 
She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...

News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)

Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)

Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty--no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

Currently listening to: Lightening by The Wanted

Review: 
I love The Princess Diaries movies with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews but for some odd reason, I never read the books. I love Meg Cabot and her work so one day, I was in the mood for a light, fun read and I decided to grab this book off my self and read it. Frankly, I was excited to see the differences between the book and the movie and yes, I do love the book, but I also love the movie just the same. The Princess Diaries was an extremely quick, fun, entertaining read and one I think many people should read.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Two Week Hiatus!

I hate doing this to you guys but I'm going to anyways.

I'm taking a 2 week hiatus. No, it's not because I'm tired of blogging or anything but simply, I'm going to be moving here in less than 48 hours and well, I need to prepare:
University
My university! 
No, I won't say what my university's name is but yes: I AM GOING TO UNIVERSITY! (Or college. Or whatever!)

I'm leaving my house for the first time in my life to actually live in a new place. Like, I'll be here for (possibly) the next four years of my life. It's scary and exciting and...yeah. 

Which is why I'm taking the break! I'll be moving into my dorm room on Tuesday and welcome week will begin on the 16th (I get to move in early because of this program I got in to!) and classes on the 21st! 

But fear not: I've got reviews and discussions posts and the re-intro to an old feature I haven't had on the blog for a while! I'll also be creating a new blogging schedule and no, there won't be posts everyday. But there will be a new intro to a feature (inspired by Sarah Dessen's) every Friday which will allow you all to know how I am doing in college! I'm taking the quality over quantity route! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Discussion: Am I Too Critical?

I haven’t done a discussion post in so long I thought it was high time I did one! This topic is something that’s been bugging me a lot as of late: Am I too critical of the books I read?

10 of the 65 books I’ve read so far this year were given 5 stars on Goodreads and some of them were rounded up from 4.5 (only 4 of them actually). ONLY 10 OUT OF 65 compared to last years 15 out of 83 (that’s a lot for me). Now that might seem like it’s not big deal but remember, 2013 isn’t over yet. I’ve got about five more months to read more books so the numbers could change. But the truth is: I highly doubt I’ll have more than 20 5 star reads for 2013. Which again brings up my question: am I too critical?


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Looking for Alibrandi Melina Marchetta
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
Release Date: April 1, 1999
Publisher: Orchard Books 
Source: Own 
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember

Currently listening to: Lightening by The Wanted

Review: 
I’ve been a big fan of Melina Marchetta’s after reading Jellicoe Road. I didn’t really have a drive to pick up this book but when I saw it at my library, I decided to pick it up because why no? Looking for Alabrandi was Marchetta’s debut novel and while it wasn’t as good as Jellicoe Road (or Saving Francesca), I enjoyed reading this book.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Jane Austen Love-a-Thon*

*Yes, it's a terrible name.

As of late, I haven't felt like reading anything. I read my common book for a college class but besides that, I haven't read a book in months. That is, until I found my copy of Pride and Prejudice and I instantly thought to read it. And anyone who has read Pride and Prejudice knows that you can't read the book without watching at least one movie adaptation. And it's Jane Austen.

So, that is where this post comes into play. For the next few weeks, I'll be reading all of Jane Austen's books and reviewing them here on the blog. BUT, that is not all. As you all know (and if you don't), I love watching adaptations so I'll also be watching the movies (or mini-series) after I read each week and of course reviewing them for you all!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Release Date: March 4, 2001
Publisher: Tor Books  
Source: Library 
Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all...
Review: 
I am a huge fantasy fan. Ever since Harry Potter came into my life, I've been addicted to all sorts of different worlds and creatures. Like many fantasy lovers, finding a great fantasy book can be hard. Some books can seem repetitive or just aren't up to par with the likes of The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. After Keertana loved Daughter of the Forest, I knew I had to read it. Not only is this book a fantasy book but it's also a re-telling, two things I absolutely love. Daughter of the Forest is one of the best fantasy books I've read in a long, long time and I know that it has become a favorite. The writing is beautiful, the protagonist is one I loved to pieces and every other element was fantastic. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Last Four Years

**I decided to take a break from blogging as soon as school let out so this is actually being posted today, on the 17th!**

This post is scheduled to be posted at 12 AM on Saturday, June 8, 2013 and at about 7:30, I'll be getting ready to graduate from high school. For some of you, it might not seem like a big deal and you're probably thinking that it's weird that I'm talking about it on here.

But the last four years have been very important for this blog. My graduation marks the official end to my high school days. The end of high school marks this weird time in my blogging career as well: I started this blog as a freshman in high school, about 17 days in to it actually, and now that high school is ending, it's ending this moment in my life and well, a moment in my blogging as well.

Honestly, I've changed drastically since freshman year and while it's not as evident unless you've known me for that long, I think the changes are evident in my posts.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyers
Release Date: February 5, 2013 
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 
Source: Library
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Review: 

Currently listening to: Tiptoe by Imagine Dragons 

**Spoilers have been whited out. Highlight to read spoilers!**
After disliking Cinder as much as I did, I was skeptical about Scarlet but I was assured that it would get better so I took a chance. Boy am I glad I did. Scarlet was an utterly addicting read with a snarky, strong willed protagonist, a sexy boy boy companion, and a plot that I actually liked. There were some issues with Scarlet, some bigger than others, but overall, I enjoyed reading Scarlet and I found that I didn't want to put this book down!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 3, 2012 
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
Source: Library 
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Review: 
The cover and synopsis of Cinder had me entranced. A futuristic sic-fi re-telling of Cinderella? Yes, please! Sadly, I wasn't happy with this book at all. While I enjoyed certain aspects, like the characters, it wasn't enough for me to love this book. I do have Scarlet, the second book in the quartet on hand and I'm hoping it's better.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

What’s True in a REAL Teen’s Life: The Bad Boy and The Nice Guy

**This was originally written a year ago and I've added to it!** 
DISCLAIMER: This is not the reality for ALL teens. There are just MY observations and MY opinions. Here are the realities (for ME anyways) when it comes to these clichés:

The Bad Boys and The Nice Guy


Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Review: When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
Release Date: June 4, 2013 
Publisher: Little, Brown 
Source: Publisher for Review via Netgalley 
Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.

Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
Review: 
I wanted to love this book so much. I began this book almost three weeks ago and I just finished it yesterday. It took me forever to like the book enough to finish and even though the middle of the book got considerably better, I’m not the biggest fan of When You Were Here. I loved Daisy Whitney’s previous two books but I wasn’t able to care for the characters in this book as much as I had hoped to.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Hyped Up vs. Underrated Books

I have a confession to make: When it comes to reading hyped up books vs. underrated books (or books not as known), I tend to be more critical of the hyped books.

I know, I know. As much as I try not to have opinions on books I have yet to read, pre-read judgments seep into my review. I honesty try to mention in my review if I had or hadn’t heard about the book or not but it is something that has been on my mind lately. Especially when it comes to the most recent, very anticipated release of Clockwork Princess.


Friday, May 31, 2013

My Recent Obsession with YouTube

Currently listening to: Tokyo by Imagine Dragons 

As you can see on my blog, it hasn't been updated in a while. I honestly don't have a good reason as to why. I can't say that it's because I'm cramming of exams (I have NO exams) or school work (I only have to go for 95 minutes tomorrow and possibly Friday). 

The read reason as to why I haven't updated is simple: YouTube

Every time I go on my computer, I want to write a review or a discussion post but I just end up on YouTube watching LOTS of videos! I've actually been watching a lot more British vloggers than American or from another country but I'm hoping to change that! So here are some of the vloggers I've watched (be warned, lots of vidoes and links!)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

ArmchairBEA: Literary Fiction

armchair BEA
Image from Nina of Nina Reads 
Hello, everyone! It's already day 3 of Armchair BEA and I am almost done with high school! So crazy!

Today's topic is literary fiction!

Armchair BEA: Blog Development + Genre Fiction

armchair BEA
Image from Nina of Nina Reads 
**I just saw today that this wasn't up! I'm not sure why it didn't but here it is now!**

Hello, everyone! Today's top is blog development and genre fiction!

Review: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling #1) by Megan McCafferty
Release Date: 2001
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Source: Library 
“My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? ... I don’t see how things could get any worse.”

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment—from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.
Review: 
You know when you read a really, really good book that’s been out for a while and after reading it you think, “gosh, why didn’t I read this book sooner?” Sloppy Firsts should have been that book for me but it wasn’t. I actually attempted to read this book in the 8th grade and got about 10 pages in before I quit it. Reading it this year, as a senior in high school, I loved and appreciated Sloppy Firsts so much more than in the 8th grade. Jessica Darling and I are really similar and I connected with her immensely and I know it’s because I’m more mature now and I’ve gone through four years of high school by now!  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA: Intro + Classics!

armchair bea

From the site!
How is it time for Armchair BEA already?! And as usual, I'm late! But as they say: better late than never! So here is my introduction post! Here are the 5 questions I answered for today!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Adult Review: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: January 31, 2006 
Publisher: Ace
Source: Library 
Mercy Thompson’s next next-door neighbor is a werewolf. She’s tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself…

Mercy is a shapeshifter, and though she was raised by werewolves, she can never be one of them, especially after the pack ran her off for having a forbidden love affair. So she’s turned her talent for fixing cars into a business and now runs a one-woman mechanic shop in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State.

But Mercy’s two worlds are colliding. A half-starved teenage boy arrives at her shop looking for work, only to reveal that he’s a newly Changed werewolf – on the run and desperately trying to control his animal instincts. Mercy asks her neighbor Adam Hauptman, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, for assistance.

But Mercy’s act of kindness has unexpected consequences that leave her no choice but to seek help from those she once considered family – the werewolves who abandoned her…
Review: 
I have become addicted to adult urban fantasy books, all of which I owe to my friend Keertana. Initially, when I was told that Mercy Thompson was just as good as the Kate Daniels books, I was skeptical. I rarely read adult books at the time and Kate Daniels had won over my heart. Surprisingly (or not), Mercy Thompson has also become a favorite. Though Moon Called wasn't as fast paced or action packed as I had hoped, I still very much enjoyed it. The world created by Patricia Briggs drew me in and kept my attention. I even loved all of the politics of the world. In all honestly, I have the next three books in this series and I can't wait for more!

Mercy Thompson is different from Kate Daniels in many ways. First, she's a mechanic and secondly, she's a shapeshifter (not a werewolf). Yet Mercy Thompson is just as kick ass as Kate but Mercy and I didn't connect right away. I felt it was because she isn't as spontaneous as Kate and she thinks more about how to handle a problem before just getting into the action. Maybe it was because at times, I found myself getting bored with Mercy. Either way, I wasn't as drawn to Mercy's story as I was Kate's. But Mercy is sassy and snarky and funny and I loved her voice but sadly, she can't top Kate Daniels. While it may seem wrong to compare the two, I can't help it! While I can relate to Mercy a little bit more, I can relate to Kate on a different level.

I should mention the plot because I expected it to be very formulaic and while it wasn't the most original, as I said, I liked the politics. I'm sure that I'll learn more about the world and how all of the rules work but for the first book, I was interested. Some aspects of the plot did surprise me but a lot of times, I was rather bored, which sucks. I guess I wanted more...action. Also, I wanted more romance! I liked Adam well enough but I just didn't swoon over him. There is also a hint at a love triangle so imagine my surprise about the utter lack of drama present! Along those times, how old is Adam exactly? I know age shouldn't be a big factor but he does have a 15 year old daughter and Mercy from what I know is in her twenties.

Overall, I liked Moon Called well enough. I will be continuing with the series and am hoping for the best but we'll see how it goes. I had some issues with Patricia Briggs writing as well since some of it was bland and boring and other things were too awkward. When an urban fantasy series becomes an utter favorite, it's hard yo not compare, as is the case with Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson.
Rating:
3.5/5
Cover Comments: 
What the hell is that? Moon Called (and ALL of Mercy Thompson books) has a cover that I would be ashamed to be seen out with in public. Honestly, it's dreadfully ugly and very stereotypical of adult urban fantasy books: some sexy girl whose boobs are showing and has tattoos and is in a defiant pose! Not to mention a sultry look on the girl's face! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Release Date: March 22, 2011 
Publisher: Philomel Books 
Source: Library 
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart
Review: 

Currently listening to: Bleeding Out by Imagine Dragons 

Between Shades of Gray is a hard book to review because I feel like there are two sides to this book. One said would deal with the lack of overall plot and character development while the other would deal with the historical context of this book. In all, I think Ruta Sepetys' debut Between Shades of Gray was perfect for the history lover in me but disappointing to the reader in me.

Really, there is no plot to Between Shades of Gray if you look at it. It's basically the story of Lena and her family's relocation from Lithuania to Siberia, as Stalin's forces grow stronger. While many historical fiction books I've seen have a plot where the character goes from point A to point B, this book doesn't do that. It's simply an account of a fictional girl based on actual fact. Or maybe it was just me? I didn’t see the “plot” in the general sense of the word. Of course, the ordeals Lena’s family faces could be considered the plot but it’s a muddled idea.

I’m going to take a moment to say that I actually did know about Stalin’s bloody regime (he killed more than 20 million people) and the disappearance of the Baltic countries (they became part of the Soviet Union after Hitler and Stalin signed an agreement) during this time. While my history teacher is to thank for this a little, I remember my 7th grade social studies teacher giving us one country in Europe for which we had to do a project. One of my close friends took Lithuania and she talked about the genocide and movement. But this book right here made the history nerd in me very happy. This might sound weird but I loved the maps and the routes taken by the people. For some reason, seeing the maps, reading this book, made it all seem more real. As if these terrible things did happen; they did affect people, no matter how much I wished it hadn’t happened. So many of the emotions in this book were honest and real and there were many universal themes: love, hope, and courage.

Lena was a character I both loved but also disliked. I didn’t hate her at all but I don’t think she developed as much as I had hoped. Sure, by the end there were changes to her character but overall, I think she stayed the same. While I will not deny that I almost cried reading this book and I truly felt for Lena, this is a book and I was a little disappointed.

The writing on the other hand was pretty much the most amazing part. Ruta Sepetys’ writing style is very lyrical and beautiful. Yet the writing wasn’t dense in the way that reading the book was a bore or felt like a chore (hey, rhyming!) Instead, the words flew off the pages and within an hour, I had finished this book.

Overall, the lack of plot and character development did effect how much I loved Between Shades of Gray. On the other hand, the historical aspect of this novel made up for whatever this book lacked. Honestly, I think everyone should read this book. It’s heartbreaking and cringe worthy. At times, I wanted to convince myself that such things didn’t happen in reality but the pure honesty of this book proved that I should truly be thankful for all that I have. Ruta Sepetys has become a favorite author with this book!
Rating:
4/5
Cover Comments: 
It's so simply and beautiful and such a great representation of the book. Oh, how I love this cover! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bout of Books 7.0 Sign Up & Goals+ Wrap Up


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I am joining Bout of Books Read-A-Thon! This was supposed to be posted yesterday BUT blogger hates me. So. Here it is!

Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: April 2, 2013 
Publisher: Poppy
Source: Publisher for Review via NetGalley 
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?
Review: 
I really, really wanted to love this book but alas, it wasn't meant to be. It's not that I didn't like this book, because I did. I just didn't love it as much as I loved TSPoLaFS or many of the other books I've read this year. This is What Happy Looks Like began off with a great start but less than half way through, it faltered.

The initial idea of this book sounded great but the execution was not as well done. For one, I loved the emails between Ellie and Graham. They were adorable and awkward at first but once the two of them meet, the romance fizzled. There seemed to be no chemistry between them once they met. And after they met, the emails almost disappeared. This was so sad because the emails were my favorite part of this entire book! Along those same lines, This is What Happy Looks Like didn't turn out to be about the relationship between Ellie and Graham, in my opinion. Their issues were basically about both of them getting over their family issues. Sadly, I didn't think this drama was necessary and the climax wasn't even a climax. I’d hoped to feel bad for Ellie because of everything she was going through but I never felt anything. The resolution to the issues she has with her father left me feeling cheated. After an entire novel of worrying and questioning, nothing happened!

Ellie and Graham as characters were an interesting pair. I was very indifferent to both of them. By the end of the novel, I concluded that they bored me. Ellie and Graham were both good people with good lives but with secrets. And they liked Charlotte’s Web, a plus, but what else? I felt like I didn’t know either of them enough to care about them. Again, after the two of them met, their personalities became bland. Reading the emails made me feel like both were snarky, funny characters but instead, they weren’t. As they were such boring characters, I can’t really find anything else to say about them.

Jennifer E. Smith’s writing had that sense of care freeness that I love in books like This is What Happy Looks Like. The writing was easy to read and thankfully Smith didn’t bog down the story by adding more information than necessary. I’m always afraid of info dumps when it comes to contemporary books. Even if the writing was good, I still didn’t care for the characters but I’m certain that had I liked Ellie and Graham (and the plot) a lot more, the writing would have been even more appealing.

Overall, This is What Happy Looks Like had a great premise. It reminded me of You’ve Got Mail, a movie I’ve always loved but sadly, it didn’t work for me. Yes, it was a quick read but I found myself simply flipping the pages, reading the book but not really absorbing it.
Rating:
3.5/5
Cover Comments: 
I actually like it! The font, the placing, and the yellow all work in favor of the book. Yet, for me, I found it misleading: the cover makes it seem like a cute, romantic book but I didn't find it to be like that.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May TBR Pile

May
Source

Currently listening to: Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch 

I was supposed to have this post ready to go by the 1st of May but I wasn't able to go to the library to get some of my books on hold. I had my AP Exam on the 9th so I was honestly more worried about that than anything else. Sorry, but school has a higher priority! But I do have some great books for May!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins
Release Date: May 8, 2013 
Publisher: Flux
Source: Publisher for Review via NetGalley 
A compelling US debut about family, forgiveness, and hope

Despite having a depressed alcoholic mother and a little brother who's convinced he's a dog, fifteen year-old Laurence Roach is trying to live a normal life. But when his mom doesn't come home after work one night, Laurence is terrified that child services will find out she's gone and separate him from his brother.

For two weeks, Laurence does whatever he can to keep her disappearance a secret. Spinning a web of complicated lies for friends, neighbors, and the authorities, Laurence even dresses like his mother to convince everyone she's still around. By following clues, the brothers are finally able to track down their mother's whereabouts. And that's when the real trouble begins in this powerful story about what it means to be a family.(
Review: 

Currently listening to: Skyfall by Adele 

Wow was 15 Days Without a Head a completely different than what I had expected. For one, I didn't think I'd become so protective of Lawrence as I did or that this book would make me happy for what I have. Gritty, honest, sad, and hopeful, 15 Days Without a Head tells the story of 15 year old Lawrence Roach whose mother is alcoholic. While the cover might seem misleading and the title sounds weird, this book is well worth a read.

Lawrence Roach has a terrible life. His mother is an alcoholic and spends most of her money on booze and not Lawrence or his six year old brother Jay. When she goes missing, Lawrence is so scared that child protective services will find the brothers and separate them, he tells no one about his mother's disappearance. At 15, Lawrence can handle so much more than I could ever imagine. From the very beginning, my heart went out to him. His love for both his brother and mom was evident and pure. The phone booth plays a large role in this story and I won't ruin it for anyone but believe me, half the time, I didn't understand why Lawrence did what he did. But the love he has for his family makes the reader want to root for him. It makes the reader want to jump right in and save him but in the end, the fact that he can save himself makes the reader even happier.

The plot is pretty honesty and realistic. For me, someone who has lived a fairly good life, I wasn't sure how to react to this story. I'm not an oblivious person to say the least and I know that poverty and single parent families exist but not having felt any of it personally made my heart hurt. I wanted so desperately to help Lawrence but then it made me think "am I some well to do girl trying to make myself feel better by helping people who might not have as much?" Maybe I was being ridiculous but in all honesty, I wanted to do something, anything, for Lawrence.

Along those same lines, I very much disliked his mother. I kept wondering how a mother could treat her children like this? How could she just leave them to fend for themselves? Yet again I was reminded by the fact that neither one of my parents drink a lot (my mom actually doesn't drink at all) so was I, once again, an over privileged girl feeling sorry for someone? I have had friends in this situation so I was being honest in my feelings but who knows? But in reality, a lot of single moms exist in our society. Some of my friends have single moms and they stay and take care of their kids and work. Honesty, I wanted to feel for her but I wasn't as sympathetic because I'd seen that single moms can be amazing parents all on their own.

If you can't tell, the characters really made this story for me. I didn't mention half of the supporting characters but every one of them had their own personalities and helped (or hurt) Lawrence in some way. I hope you all give this book a try because I know that it doesn't seem like a big deal but the story found between the pages of 15 Days Without a Head is one many teenagers face in society today.
Rating:
3.5/5
Cover Comments: 
It actually goes with the book! While it makes no sense right now, after reading the book, I understand the need for the phone booth! 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Nostalgia: TV Shows From My Older Years

Well, I posted about the shows I used to watch when I was much younger but I'm here today to tell you about 7 shows I watched in the older elementary school years all the way though middle school. 

So here are the shows from my older year

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

MG Review: The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
Release Date: September 4, 2012 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher for Review
I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot.

In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town--like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed--three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . .

As two very different worlds are woven together, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech celebrates the gossamer thread that connects us all, and the great and unexpected gifts of love, friendship, and forgiveness.
Review: 

Currently listening to: Animal by Neon Trees

Sharon Creech is one of my favorite author's. She wrote both Walk Two Moons and Ruby Holler, two books that have been on my favorites list since elementary school. I was beyond excited to read her newest, The Great Unexpected, and I'm guessing HarperCollins heard my plea. The Great Unexpected was everything I had hoped it would be: fun and light but emotional and deep at the same time. While I didn't love all of the characters, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially people with young children in elementary school.

Right away, Naomi, our primary protagonist stole my heart. She's young, of course, but there was this sense of maturity about her that made me love her even more. Even though she's an orphan, she tried to make the best of what (and who) she had. Lizzie, he best friend, on the other hand bugged me. She was the character i most disliked simply because she seemed to serve no purpose to Naomi or the other characters. She was Naomi's foil in a way but I'm guessing I haven't been around younger kids in a long time so that's probably why I couldn't stand her.

If you've ever read a Sharon Creech book, you know that she is amazing at weaving more than one story together. While it may seem that the two distinct stories and characters have nothing in common with the others, in the end, it all makes sense. In a way though, I feel like The Great Unexpected faltered to truly engage me. I knew that the characters would be connected in some way, I didn't find myself truly invested in their stories.

Overall, I enjoyed The Great Unexpected. Maybe it's because I'm a huge fan of Sharon Creech but I'd recommend this book to pretty much any middle grade reader, though on the younger spectrum. The plot structure for this book actually reminded me of Code Name Verity: nothing seems to make sense in the beginning and everything is random but in the end, all the little things come together.
Rating:
3.5/5
Cover Comments: 
LOVE it. If anyone hasn't noticed, middle grade novels have some of the best covers I've ever seen! Besides the bright colors being gorgeous, it represents the book perfectly! 
 
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