Posted in 2014, July

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman

Published June 18th 2013 by William Morrow Books

181 Pages

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Nobles

Synopsis:

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

My Thoughts:

This book was, strange and bizarre, and often times quite horrifying to listen to. But it was one of the best books I’ve read this year.

I remember when this book came out, and all the hype that surrounded it, I remember being excited, reading the synopsis and immediately added to my TBR. But In the end I forgot about it, it got pushed to the side when I found more books to be excited about. It wasn’t until I had started the audiobook that I realized I had no idea what this book was about. I didn’t know what I was expecting but it certainly was not what Gaiman gave me.

Our main character who remains nameless, is back in his childhood town for a funeral when, he finds himself yet again on the Hempstock Farm a place he swears he hasn’t been since he was seven. As he sits in front of the pond or what Lettie calls the Ocean, he remembers when he was seven and when Lettie promised to protect him. And That’s all I can say without spoiling you.

While I loved this book, I had a couple of problems. I wish things were more explained, I still have so many questions that I will never get an answer for and that frustrates me.  Another thing that bothered me, which admittedly isn’t that big of deal, is that our main character is nameless. I hate when that happens, because it feels like I can’t connect to the character.  I also disliked that I couldn’t listen to this book at night on account that I’m a scaredy cat; there is a scene that involves a worm, that was unbelievably horrifying to listen to. Other than those things, I was pretty satisfied with this book.

 Gaiman’s writing was imaginative and memorizing, but also dark and terrifying. I personally would recommend getting the audiobook, Gaiman also narrates it and he does an amazing job at pulling the reader. I really have nothing more to say other than how amazing this book is!

I recommend this book to everyone, but if you have read and enjoyed the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this on as well.

Favorite Quote:

Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.

4-stars

sam

Posted in 2014, July

Review: The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder


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The Bridge from Me to You

Lisa Schroeder

Published July 29th 2014 by Point

336 Pages

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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Synopsis:

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible–something to truly believe in.

My Thoughts:

This book was absolutely adorable! I loved it so much!

Going into this book I expected a sweet, fluffy contemporary perfect for summer. And while it is a sweet contemporary read, it’s so much more than that. The Bridge From Me to You is about family, friendship, and doing what makes you happy. I laughed and I cried and I enjoyed every single second of it.

This story is about Lauren and Colby. Lauren is dealing with rejection and she’s trying to find a place where she belongs, and Colby is the star football player and everybody in the whole town expects him to bring home the State Championship trophy. Both feeling pressure, all they want is to be happy.

I loved these two characters with my whole heart! There were many times I wanted to just hug Lauren. She was so afraid and that absolutely broke my heart because she is this caring person who has just been hurt too many times. Colby was a sweetheart and I adored him. He’s a strong character and, who was just afraid of disappointing his father. Colby was a great friend and his friendship with Benny plays a major role in this book. This friendship was so honest, inspiring, and beautiful I found self wiping away a couple tears from time to time. It has been such a long time since I’ve seen such a friendship like Colby and Benny’s.

What I loved most was the writing. I liked that The Bridge from Me to You was written in dual perspectives. I liked that the chapters were short and that Lauren’s point of view was written in verse. I also loved the romance, it was realistic and slow. It felt good to read a book where the main characters weren’t already saying I love you in chapter five. Schroeder’s writing style was fast paced and lyrical, which was perfect for this book.

I recommend this book for fans of Friday Night Lights, and also fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series!

Favorite Quote

I don’t want to choose. Because the thing about choices? You get something while you lose something else. And if you choose wrong, you risk losing everything.
4-stars
sam
 
Posted in 2014, July

Review: #16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler


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#16thingsithoughtweretrue

Janet Gurtler

Published March 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire

283 Pages

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Synopsis:

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without

My Thoughts:

When I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to have it! It sounded like the perfect summer read & the synopsis reminded me of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, which is one of my favorite books. I wanted to love it, even reading I thought I was going to love it, but sadly I ended up kind of  hating it. The more I thought about it after I finished, the more I disliked it.

 The synopsis makes the book sound, fun and carefree, but it’s actually pretty depressing. Going into the book I obviously understood that it wasn’t always going to be a sweet, fun read; I mean our main character is looking for her father that’s bound to have some sad, emotional moments; I was expecting that. But how Janet Gurtler ended this book, was totally unexpected and depressing.

 To be completely honest the book was boring. There was just too much going on, Gurtler stuffed this book with so many side plots, I ultimately forgot what the book was actually about. One side plot which is basically what the book was based on, was so pointless and unnecessary I got frustrated listening about it.

 The characters in this book, were annoying and flat. Morgan was the most annoying character I have ever come across. She irritated me so much, it was constant whining and being twitter obsessed. Adam was as flat as a board and that’s pretty much all I have to say about him. The only character that had depth was Amy, I enjoyed her immensely and if she wasn’t in the book I would have stopped reading it. Amy was fun, enthusiastic, and honest.

 The way this book ended, is what really irritates me. I hate the end. In the last couple of chapters, Gurtler adds in yet another side plot. But this side plot was tragic, depressing, and it felt out of place. I felt like it was added In last minute, just for a means for Morgan to grow as a character.

Overall, this book was disjointed and a little confusing. Instead of following one plot, it was stuffed to the brim with pointless side plots. Majority of the characters lacked depth and personality, and the romance was mediocre and not the least bit believable.

2 stars

sam

Posted in 2014

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman


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Just One Day

Gayle Forman

Published August 20th 2013 by Speak

400 Pages

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Synopsis:

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! This book made me want to travel and see the world, and I connected with it so much, I just wish I had it when I was starting college.

This book definitely has a lot of mixed reviews, but so does every book. But what I realized when I was scrolling through the reviews was that, a lot of people went into this book thinking it was a romance novel and it’s not. It’s a boom about self discovery, that has romance in it.

Initially I went into it thinking I was going to read a cute, sweet romance novel about traveling the world. But what I got was a story about a girl trying to find herself, it wasn’t what I expected but God, it was exactly what I needed.

Allyson was lost, so lost that she didn’t even know. It took getting her heart broken and the fraying of the only friendship she ever had, to realize it. I loved watching her grow, stand up for herself, and gain confidence.  I loved that even though I was expecting a happy, clichéd ending, what I got was a happy, content, and confident Allyson, who realized she didn’t need anyone to make her happy, because finally she actually was. That’s probably why I love the end so much. She didn’t need him anymore.

Willem showed her how to be brave and confident, and I loved him for that. But when he was gone Allyson forgot how to be the girl she was when she was with him. In the end though, it was heartache that made her realize it was time to stand up for herself and grown. And I was glad that I got to follow her on her journey.

Just One Day is about self discovery, friendship, love, heartbreak, and life. It’s one of those books that sticks with you.

Favorite Quote:

Part of me knows one more day won’t do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.
5-stars
sam

Posted in 2014, Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday!


Throwback Thursday
The idea for this meme is to think back to memorable books from our childhood and to tell us why you loved them and you can even review them now.

If you would like to add your TT, please leave us a comment with your link and we will head on over to your blog and check it out!

Sam’s Throwback Thursday!

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 Crank

Ellen Hopkins

Published October 1st 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books 

537 Pages

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.
I read Crank when I was thirteen, and I absolutely loved it! I loved reading when I was younger, but then I stopped reading in about third grade. I have no Idea why, it was just one day I loved reading and the next I hated it. Throughout the years between 3rd grade and the beginning of High School, I read maybe 10 books that I wasn’t forced to read.

It wasn’t until my first week of high school, and my English teacher brought my class to the library to pick out some books; and the first book I saw was Crank. The cover of Crank instantly intrigued me and when I opened it and saw that it was written verse it made me want to read it even more. I remember going home and reading it all night until I fell asleep, and for days after I would spend any free time I had reading this book until I finally finished it. It was the first book I had read in a very long time that I could honestly say I loved and it rekindled my love for reading. Looking back though, I definitely would not recommend this book to anyone younger than at least 17.

What is your Throwback Thursday?

sam

Posted in 2014

Review: Mirror X by Karri Thompson


mirror xMirror X (The Van Winkle Project #1) by Kerri Thompson

Published on June 30, 2014 by Entangled Teen.

318 pages

E-ARC from publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Cassie Dannacher wakes up in a hospital over 1,000 years into the future after her space capsule is retrieved from space. She soon learns that 600 years prior to her arrival, the earth was struck by a plague, killing over half of the world’s population. Naïve and desperate, Cassie, who longs for home and is having trouble adjusting to the new, dictatorial 31st century government, is comforted by Michael Bennett, the 20-year old lead geneticist at the hospital where she was revived.

But why is Cassie in genetics’ hospital in the first place, and why do several of the people around her seem so familiar, including Travel Carson, the hot and edgy boy she is fated to meet? Soon she discovers there is a sinister answer to all of her questions – and that they want something from Cassie that only she can give.

My Thoughts

I do not think that I have been so frustrated with a book that I had been reading like ever! But it was a good frustrating!!! I could seriously feel my blood pressure rise while reading and had to put it down several times because I wanted to just jump on into the story myself and commit murder on a few characters! This book made me feel something and even though it was anger, it left me with a story that I definitely will not forget due to all the mixed up emotions that I had while reading!

Cassie wakes up 1000 years in the future when she is informed that the world that she knew is long gone and everyone that she loves is no longer alive. This is where I first starting having the heart palpitations but believe me…this was only the beginning! Cassie is literally kept a prisoner that is expected to just do what the government tells her even though their plan is so sinister!

I really enjoyed Cassie as a character and was enamored of her strength. If I had to go through even an ounce of what she did in this book, I definitely would have given up. I also love the fact that even though she didn’t want certain things to happen, she welcomed them with open arms because that is just what you are supposed to do and never in the book did she even have a thought of giving that up. (I cannot reveal what I am exactly speaking of because then you will all be spoiled!)

Next we have Michael and I liked him at first but the more the book went on, the more I was not so sure of him???? He had all these secrets that he just kept keeping from Cassie which really was annoying and added to my anger. The biggest ones were revealed right at the end and I wish that Cassie would have given him the boot! I just adored Travel and thought he was the man for Cassie:( He was sweet and really tried to make her happy!

I could probably go on and on about this book but that will deter all of you from reading it….so, go right now and hit up Amazon! I guarantee that you will be as frustratingly happy with it as I am! AND then, come on back and discuss it with me! I am dying to chat with someone about it! I can’t wait for the next in the series!!!!

5-stars

h.lee

 

Posted in 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West


on the fenceOn The Fence by Kasie West

Published July 1, 2014 by HarperTeen

320 pages

E-Copy from Edelweis with permission from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

My Thoughts

This was the first book that I had read by Ms. West, even though her books have been all over you tube & blog websites for a while now. This one just caught my eye and made me feel like I really needed some contemporary in my life.

There were certain parts of Charlie that I adored:

1. The fact that she was “just one of the guys” and could beat them down.

2. The fact that if she wanted something, she went for it!

Then, on the other hand, there were certain parts of Charlie that I really didn’t like:

1. The fact that she felt that she had to hide her awesomeness to get a boyfriend.

2. The fact that at times, she had no filter and little compassion for other people’s feelings.

I can’t say that if Charlie were a real live person, that we would be friends but, I do understand to some point the reasons of why she did certain things.

This brings me to Braden. Now Braden was almost perfect! Adorable I tell you! He was sweet and kind but had no problem telling Charlie what he thought, even if it hurt her feelings!

I enjoyed the fact that these two had a long history together that had started when they were young. They were friends first, then fell in love. Their fence chats were beautiful and helped the reader learn a whole lot more about these characters.

I also have to mention Charlie’s brothers here! They were awesome and hilarious! I really loved all of them but if I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be……Gabe! He just seemed to always have Charlie’s back and they were really close.

I did enjoy my first Kasie West read and thought this book was a really cute contemporary. I will definitely be checking out more from this author!

4-stars

h.lee

Posted in 2014, Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday!


Teaser Tuesday

 

This a weekly meme held on Tuesday’s that was created by Should Be Reading

Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Words from a Wanderer

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Words From A Wanderer is a timeless and beautiful compilation of notes and poetry. This book was created with hopes of uplifting and encouraging readers in many ways. There is a journal in the back of the book for readers and fellow writers to indulge in to keep the “conversation” going. Author, Alexandra Elle, wrote this book to shed light on the fact that indeed not all who wander are lost; some are simply still finding their way.

Teaser

“Love your neighbor, even the ones who do not show you the same courtesy. You can’t expect to receive love if you’re selective and not really willing to give it. What you put into the world, you will indeed get back, even if it’s not from the person you’re expecting it to be.” 

Leave your TT Links below!

sam

 

Posted in 2014, July, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday!


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This meme will be held every Thursday and will feature reviews and discussions on our favorite books as children.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

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I watched The Golden Compass when I was ten, and I immediately fell in love with the story behind it, so I bought the book ASAP.

I adored it because it was so fantastical! I loved Lyra, the main character, who is a strong young girl who seems fearless and dauntless. She is bold but reckless, and she was my hero. She is 12, and I remember at 10, wanting to be just like her.

I liked the whole idea of having your own daemon. It’s so unique and adorable!

The entire series, His Dark Materials Trilogy, is right up there in my golden childhood books, along with The Chronicles of Narnia.

kele

 

Posted in 2014

Quarantine: The Burnouts by Lex Thomas Review


quarantineQuarantine: The Burnouts (Quarantine #3) by Lex Thomas

To Be Published by Egmont USA on July 22, 2014

Source: ARC from publisher in exchange of an honest review.

272 pages

Lord of the Flies in a 21st-century high school setting.Welcome to Quarantine 3: The Burnouts , where readers of The Maze Runner, Gone, and Divergent go when they’re hungry for more dark, compelling survival stories.

When an explosion rocks David and Will’s suburban high school one morning, a deadly virus is unleashed on the school. After a year of quarantine, with no adults around, the students have created their own society. All of the social cliques have developed into gangs-The Nerds, The Geeks, The Freaks, The Sluts, The Skaters, The Burnouts, The Pretty Ones, and The Varsity-and each gang provides a service with which they can barter for provisions. Without a gang, it’s almost impossible to secure food, water, territory, or supplies. In the final installment in the Quarantine trilogy, the brothers are reunited on the Outside and it appears as if, for once everything is going right. But inside the school, Lucy is alone with no gang and no hope, until the Burnouts welcome her into their filthy arms.

My Thoughts

I LOVED the first 2 books in this series but they do not even compare to the third and final book! The Burnouts was explosive and a great ending to a horrific, yet intriguing apocalypse story.

David and Will are reunited at the beginning of this final chapter, which picks up right where the last book left us off. Will is thinking of Lucy and feeling guilty for leaving her behind but cannot bring himself to tell David about their relationship. He can’t hurt his brother’s feelings. Lucy is left with no group to belong to, she has been cast out by everyone around her and a surprise, makes her more week than she was to begin with.

There is so much action in this book that you have to pay attention closely to every page for fear that you may miss something. The reunion of Will and David had me a smidge teary-eyed. I loved David in the first book and adored Will in the second. I really cannot tell you which character I love more? I was really feeling emotional over Lucy.I was saddened by what happens to her in this book and to how low she actually stoops to not feel anything.

I can tell you that not everyone will survive and you will literally be blown away by some of the action of the characters. the writer was sure to show us just how low life in the school had become. If you enjoyed the first 2 books, YOU HAVE TO PICK THIS ONE UP!!!

5-stars

h.lee