Friday, November 21, 2014

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Title: Since You've Been Gone

Author: Morgan Matson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Date Published: May 6, 2014

Genre: YA fiction, contemporary, romance, realistic fiction

Pages: 464 (hardback)

Age Range: 12+


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. There's a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Wait…what?

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.

Go Skinny Dipping? Ummm...No?


OHMYGOSH! Have you ever read that perfect book that embodies every single perfect thing in the universe? If not, then Since You've Been Gone is that book. And if you have, read this book anyway, because you will change your mind.

First off, since I know we're all thinking about it: But Since U Been Gone/ I can breathe for the first time/ I'm so moving on/ Yeah, yeah/ Thanks to you/ Now I get/ What I want/ Since U Been Gone.  You're welcome. And yes, Kelly Clarkson was my soundtrack for this book.

Now to the book, the characters were perfect. Emily was absolutely real and realistic. She embodied the awkwardness that teenagers suffer from, and I could actually read the book as if Emily was me. Frank Porter..*dreamy sigh*.. He was a genuinely good guy through and through, sweet, caring, honest, the works. Honestly, I think that I'm gonna marry Frank Porter. Please? Collins was another amazing character, and he was more than just comic relief. Dawn was a great character too, and I could see my best friends reflected in her over and over again.

I loved how Emily and Frank became good friends before anything else, and I also loved how they didn't have a gushy love story. They didn't have long make-out sessions, and that was something that I appreciated- I like kissing as much as the next girl, but too much is... well, too much. I never had to worry about Frank trying to seduce Emily, or vice versa, because they were just friends and that was something that made the book so much better.

The book was full of cute little additions. The postcard from Sloane, the playlists from Frank and Emily, the bumper stickers. All these little touches made the book so quirky, light, and cute. I mean, I totally feel Emily with the whole country music and 80's pop thing. They're both severely underrated genres of music. Just sayin'.

The overall plot wasn't anything new, but it was amazingly done. It was fun to see Emily's growth from a huge introvert, to a slightly smaller introvert who had done wacky, put-of-the-box things. The story was really about Emily's growth without Sloane, and her growth with a new batch of friends.

All in all, this book was fantastic. The only thing I would've changed was if I could see what happened between Dawn and Emily because I was dying to see if everything worked out in the end. This book was released earlier this year, but it has already made the top of my favorites list. I've also heard great things about Morgan Matson's other books, so it's time to see what other awesomeness she has written.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under the Never Sky

Series: Under the Never Sky Series #1

Author: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: HarperCollins

Date Published: December 4, 2012

Genre: YA fiction, romance, sci-fi

Pages: 400 (paperback)

Ange Range: 13+


Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive. A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption.


At first, I was really confused. The beginning of the book is kinda hard to get into, it's pretty slow, and it's really confusing. The first plot line that we run into with Soren and Paisley took a lot longer to play out than I expected. After Aria got kicked out of her home, things really started to pick up.

Aria was...iffy. I didn't love her, I didn't hate her. I was able to feel empathy towards her character, but she got on my nerves a little bit. Her connection with Perry was actually pretty sweet and it made her have more body to kinda lackluster character. Perry was my favorite character by far. He's different than everybody, but he's also very relatable. The whole relationship between Aria and Perry was just so sweet. Roar was another amazing character, and I kinda want to see him and Aria together....even though that probably won't happen. :(

The prose was.....weird? I wished it would've been through first person, not third.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Insurgent Teaser Trailer

Insurgent Teaser Trailer is out!

 I'm going to have to read it before I see it when it comes out next year ;)

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Retribution of Mara Dyer

Series: Mara Dyer Trilogy #3

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Date Published: November 4, 2014

Genre: YA fiction, thriller, romance, action

Pages: 470 (hardback)

Age Range: 14+


Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived


After waiting two years, it's finally arrived. The final installment of the Mara Dyer Trilogy is here! 
Being the book-geek that I am, I went to Barnes & Noble the day it came out to get my signed copy, and have been reading it since.

Hodkin turned up the violence in this final book, displaying Mara as this killing machine without regret or remorse. Mara isn't the same person when she wakes up--which I kind of struggled with because the reason why I loved the series so much had a lot to do with Mara's personality and how she saw the world. But she wasn't the same; the writing was different because she saw things differently, therefore I found it easy to put the book down.

But that didn't last. It takes Mara awhile for her personality returns, but it does, though, not without a painful consequence. Though she does manage to shake out of her dazed, ruthlous murder state, she isn't completely the same. Though I can't imagine who would be after seeing the things, or doing the things that she has.

I was disappointed by the lack of Noah Shaw in this book, but when he did arrive he sure was worth the wait. Like seriously, I went from sad to horrified, then I was blushing and overwhelmed by Noah's speech to Mara...*gleeful sigh* It was just too sweet and swoon-worthy. Noah is definitely a character I will miss reading about.

All the characters were great really (what I really mean is, the good-guy characters were great). Stella was just a throw-in character to me. She didn't really grip me, or hold my attention, so it made no difference to me when she left. I really believe that she was just written in so there was another survivor from Horizons.

Now Jamie on the other hand...Jamie is one of my favorite characters in the book. He was like the glue of the entire operation. He was witty, funny, sarcastic; pretty much the clown of the group. I enjoyed his presence in the book. He was a good addition to the series. Without him, it would have been too dark, hopeless and heartbreaking. He was also a factor that kept Mara (relatively) sane. He made her feel more in-touch with her mortal self.

Overall, I thought the writing was great. Everything was spaced out and thought through on Hodkin's part. I also liked how the writing transitioned even though it was kind of dull for me in the beginning. I thought the ending was genius. I loved all the (good-guy) characters. (The bad-guys got what they deserved). And I like how uncertain the future is for Noah and Mara.

You will love him to ruins.

For those of you that ask: "What was Mara's real name?" we aren't supposed to know. That was the whole point of the ending! Read the first page from the first book, then go back and read the ending of the last book. Michelle planned the trilogy's end. We aren't supposed to know Mara's real name, and we're never going to. And I am okay with that because I understand why she didn't tell us. I get the ending and I thought it was genius. Hodkin planned this series really well and I admire her for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Author: Jesse Andrews

Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks

Date Published: May 7, 2013

Genre: YA fiction, humor, realistic fiction, contemporary

Pages: 304 (hardback)

Age Range: 15+


Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.

Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl must abandon invisibility and make a stand.


  Here comes another cancer book... Surprisingly, this book was not a 'cancer book' like The Fault In Our Stars, or My Sister's Keeper. Instead, it was more of a story about the growth of friendship between Earl, Greg, Rachel, and the other characters.

All of the characters were stunningly real. Each character covered a part of today's society, and it was something that I hadn't expected to find in a book featuring cancer. Rachel was your ordinary girl, except she had contracted leukemia. She played her part to a T, she was real, and she was raw. Greg was perfect for being the narrator of the book. His prose was light, hilarious, and kept you from bawling your eyes out. Earl was the real instigator of change in this book, he was the least likely person to be a main character in a book like this, and I loved him for that.

The fact that this book didn't make me cry gave it bonus points. Honestly, I'm tried of depressing cancer books, and I loved that Greg reflected those feelings when he said, “I learned nothing from Rachel's leukemia.” That meant that we were allowed to feel throughout the book without waiting for the huge moral of the story. Without waiting for the deep life lesson that we should take away from this story.

The humor in this book was out of place. Hearing about Greg's love life, or lack thereof, didn't fit in with your normal cancer book, and that's why this book was so perfect. It wasn’t about the cancer, it was about growth and regular life and emotion.

All in all, I love this book. Would I read it again? Definitely. Don't get me wrong, I love The Fault In Our Stars, but it's nice to see a fresh view on the regular 'cancer book'.