April 14, 2016

Thanks for the Trouble - Tommy Wallach

Young Adult
  • Pages: 288 
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
  • Release Date: February 23, 2016 
  • Goodreads / Amazon

“Was this story written about me?”I shrugged.“Yes or no?”I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?
Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

What sounded like an exciting story set in a hotel with original characters turned out to be a bizarre mix of fantasy and reality that barely starts in a hotel. Zelda's character just ticked me off. It didn't make any sense, she had no depth or convincing qualities. As much as I loved Parker, the fact that I was mistakenly convinced that he was an unreliable narrator and I kept hoping that this would turn out to be a "We Were Liars" type story, inevitably made me question his sanity. The conclusion may be the only redeeming part of the book yet it still didn't make up for the fact that I barely enjoyed it. Definitely not a book for realistic fiction lovers or readers hoping for love story.

December 2, 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness

Young Adult
Pages: 352 
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd 
  • Release Date: August 27, 2015
  • Goodreads / Amazon

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?
The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?
What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

An interesting blend of awesome and WTF?
This story was a baffling mix between excellent character relationships, tackling mental health, and bizarre satire fantasy. As a realistic fiction lover and psychology student, for me the strong points was how the book talked and dealt with mental health and how the relationships between the characters were so deep and entwined. The fantasy part almost made me give up in the middle, if I am completely honest. It was just so weird to have them talking about real issues one second and then all of a sudden mentioning vampires or zombies or cat Gods. I suppose it would make it fun for some people and the 'danger' factor did help the story some.

The ways Mikey dealt with his mental situation, the help he sought and the descriptions of how he felt were incredible. I would re-read for those parts alone. The sibling bond and the friendship between Mikey and Jared was equally awesome and profoundly heart-warming. So it does pack in the message that with any sort of craziness, the relationships between people make it all worth it.

Overall, an interesting and unusual way of brilliantly addressing mental health and bonds yet including some fun in between. I would recommend for mature teens just because it's not action-packed and the younger crowd may get a bit bored.

November 17, 2015

November 9 - Colleen Hoover

New Adult/Romance
Pages: 320 
Publisher: Atria Books 
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Goodreads / Amazon
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

This was an absolute earth-shattering whirlwind and I'm still trying not to be blown away. 

I often find myself wondering what makes a superb book. Great writing? Narrative techniques? Literary devices? An engrossing story? Three-dimensional characters? A well-done plot? 

Does it need them all? But actually, all it needs is to wake up feelings and emotions in the reader. It's that simple. There are books who do that through writing, others that blow you away by using literary devices spot-on, and others, like this one, that pull you from reality for a few hours and completely immerse you in its magnificent story. 

I had high, very high expectations from Colleen and damn straight she delivered. 
With a punch even. 

November 9 made me fall in love, laugh, smile, be IN SHOCK, then all over again. By the time I closed the book I was in awe of its plot and I just wanted OMG NEEDED MORE. 
Going into straight into favorites.