Book Review: Meridian (Arclight#2) by Josin L. McQuein

17798031Meridian (Arclight#2) by Josin L. McQuein

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Pages: 458 (Hardcover)

good good

Marina thought that she had solved all of the Arclight’s mysteries. She had found her own history—that she was one of the Fade, that she never should have been human. She knows that the Fade who surround the Arclight don’t want to be the humans’ enemies at all. She knows that the leader of those inside the Arc, Honoria Whit, never told the whole truth. But there is so much more that Marina is just discovering. There are more survivors out there. Only Marina—and her friends, all of whom have connections to the Fade they’d never known about—can lead her people to them. But there are also darker dangers, things that even the Fade fear. And Marina slowly realizes she may never have been “cured,” after all. The sequel to Arclight, Meridian is an intense, action-packed page-turner about the lines we draw between right and wrong, light and dark . . . and the way nothing is ever that black and white.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Greenwillow Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionAll I can truly say about this book, is: I really hope that there will be another book and I cannot wait for it. It seems weird that I would even enjoy this series as much as I have considering all of the clichés and annoyances it has. But I just can’t get enough of it and it’s mostly because of one of the love interests. He’s actually perfect and amazing and I love him so, so, so much. But as a whole, I was pretty disappointed with this book and I’m hoping that the next one (hopefully) is done a lot better and leaves all the predictability alone.

I think that McQuein’s biggest struggle with this series apart from how predictable it is, are the character and how lacking most of them seem to be. After I finished reading Arclight, I was expecting the characters to really stand out to me since the awkwardness of being presented a new world was just about over. Yet, they stayed the same, forgettable and not at all moving in any way. The relationship between Marina and Tobin is strained. Whenever they’re together, I felt like McQuein wanted to remind readers that Rue isn’t the only guy in Marina’s life and that she cares about Tobin also (insert extremely awkward and misplaced kissing here). Another horribly done thing in the book is the dual perspective. Some authors can do it, but most can’t and although I could distinctively tell which character’s perspective I was reading from, I didn’t like how useless his voice is. I got close to no information on him or really got inside of his head.

Beside all of that, I did like Meridian. I liked the writing, same as the first one and I love how well McQuein’s attention to detail is. She soothingly puts in a ton of description into things especially the trip to the Cube which I could easily picture in my head. Like I mentioned before, Rue plays a huge part in my rating for this book. His character excels where other do not. I was rooting for him, from cover to cover and I looked forward to his sarcastic-but-not-really manner. His complete devotion to include everyone and respects decisions yet leaves no one behind pulled at my heart and this is why he’s awesome.

Meridian is not as good as it could be but I still liked some things about it. I’m giving it a pretty high rating because of Rue and how much I enjoyed him. It’s like how some people feel about The Real Housewives it’s so dumb but you just love it despite its flaws.

Still, I recommend this book to anyone who has read the first. And if you haven’t read this series yet, but trust my judgement and the fact that I usually don’t take to any love interest, read this series! Rue is too awesome and I love him.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

18852053Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: August 26, 2014

Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

good good

Leon Harris isn’t exceptional and he isn’t popular. He’s the kind of guy that peaked in middle school, when once upon a time he was in the “gifted” program and on the fast track to Ivy League glory.

Now, a high school senior, he’s a complete slacker who spends his time hanging out in a third-rate ice cream parlor with his best friend, Stan, a guy who (jokingly, Leon thinks) claims to be Satan. Committed to his sloth, Leon panics when he finds out that Anna, the love of his life aka middle school girlfriend, might be moving back to town.

Determined to get his act together, Leon asks Stan for help. Stan gives him a few seemingly random and mysterious assignments. Date a popular girl. Listen to Moby-Dick, the audiobook. Find the elusive white grape slushee. Join the yearbook committee.

As each task brings Leon one step away from slacker city and one step closer to Anna, he starts to wonder if maybe he shouldn’t have promised Stan his soul after all…

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionAlways assume that a person named Stan is actually named Satan. That’s probably the first thing I picked up from this book. Oh, and that the Dark Lord is a complete ass. Play Me Backwards is a fun book about love, friendship, and knowing the difference between being a teen and an adult. I had a lot of fun reading this, and I really really REALLY want to go on a slushee adventure now. Definitely going on my high school grad bucket list to do. This book actually made me look back to what I was like when I was fourteen and all of my goals and expectations. I’ve changed a lot in those almost four short years but not in the way that I would have thought. This is one of the reasons why I could connect with Leon and why I think a lot of other people will be able to as well.

Right off the bat though, the book jumps into an albeit humorous, very long info-dump on the relationship between Leon and  Stan/Satan and how they became friends in the first place. And it’s not the only time that readers are forced to chew down a lot of information in one bite. It happens kind of a lot but I liked that even though Adam Selzer had a has a hard time expertly putting in some of the characters’ pasts into the story without boring readers, he at least makes it funny. If it weren’t for the humour, I really do believe that I would have skimmed through just about all of the references to the past. Another thing that I didn’t like is the middle of the book where everything just seems to kind of stand still. Things happen, sure, but it’s not things that matter. I truly did not care about Leon’s relationship with Paige though it took up a huge chunk of the story.

Play Me backwards is still a fun novel. I loved the writing. I know I say this a lot, but I usually love reading books in a male perspective better than a female solely because the writing is a hell of a lot more relaxed with a dash of humour in it. The random but awesome assignments that Stan gives Leon are great. I loved how much fun Leon has going around doing them. Moreover, the relationship between Leon and Stan is well done. I loved the journey that Leon goes through to improve himself and just how willing Stan is to help him. The characters are full of personality and enthusiasm (or lack of) that’s really realistic in teens. Adding onto this, Stan is amazing. He’s mysterious and plays his part well as the Devil.

If you don’t have a bucket list already, I suggest that you start one. Especially if you’re not a teenager. You must go on a slushee adventure and do at least one disaster dinner from an old cookbook. This book inspires random, weird, and awkward but in a way that’s relatable to most, if not all teens concerning their parents, friends, and grades. It was easy for me to love the book and laugh along with it. I recommend this one to everyone to read even if it’s just to pass the time. It’s kind of a jem, guys.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

3.5 Interesting Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#55

favourite

A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment/link telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

17460553Favourite quote: Love is a funny thing. [...] Eventually, it becomes a matter of scale. When the good outweighs the bad, you stay. When the bad is the only thing you notice anymore, you think about your future, or what’s left of it, consider options.

Meridian (Arclight#2) by Josin L. McQuein:

17798031Favourite quote: A body seems a solitary thing until each cell inside it gains its own voice, and when all shriek in terror at the same time–when they all dim to nothing after that last brilliant flare of emotion–perception of the whole can never be the same again.

Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

18852053Favourite quotes:

1. You show me a man who wants more out of life than an easy job that provides unlimited candy, and I’ll show you a greedy bastard.

2. Show your ass, save the world.

3. Maybe falling in love is just about finding someone who is willing to put up with most of your shit if you put up with most of theirs. Making two puzzle pieces fit together, even if they weren’t exactly from the same puzzle. Maybe all of that, “my whole world is on fire” thing is something else.

4. Love is like a maze of mirrors. No map can help you through it because you can never quite tell where you’re going. Also, you’re likely to see sides of yourself that you normally don’t.

5. Love is the feeling that your life is finally about to begin. But that’s one thing when you’re younger and think being an adult will be awesome, and another when you know it’s all about busting your ass to have a stainless steel kitchen and shit.

6. Everyone always says that when you’re a teenager, your highs are higher and your lows are lower. I was still a teenager, but I could see the end in sight.

Book Review: The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy#2) by Mindee Arnett

17910091The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy#2) by Mindee Arnett

Publisher: Tor Teen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Tor Teen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionWow is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this book. But it’s not the kind of wow that’s like, wow. This book knows how to pack a huge punch. It’s also not that wow that’s like, wow. This book is pretty great. It’s more like:

From boredom. It seems to be an ongoing thing with this series. I liked The Nightmare Affair enough to warrant it three stars but I can’t give this one anything higher than a two because I was so bored out of my mind that I had to stop reading it for two months. Partially because I had exams and family issues but two months is a very long time. There’s just so much wrong with it that I could hardly care.

The story starts off pretty slow and ends pretty tiredly. The reason for this that there’s so much time spent planning and talking and Dusty pretty much going, “who should I like now? Paul? Or Eli? Who? OOOhhhhh! Aaaaaahhhhh!” Adding onto that, the romance is very dulling. Nothing happens with it yet, for some reason, it plays a big part by never-dying down. It’s unnecessary and stupid. Both guys suck. The characters are still not as well-developed as they should be and many events that take place feel far too coincidental and contrived for me to actually believe them every time.

Surprisingly, I did find that I liked a few things like the writing. For the most part, it’s smooth and I hadn’t actually realized the book was going in close to no direction until the middle. Also, at the end, the very (or second) last plot twist, I was not expecting and I liked that Arnett kept me guessing even if it wasn’t for the whole novel.

The Nightmare Dilemma really let me down. I was expecting more since the first book was so entertaining but I didn’t get what I wanted. I only recommend this book to people who have already read the first book and can swallow down the second to hopefully reach better things. However, I do recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun fantasy that’s pretty funny and entertaining (the first book).

2 Boring Clouds

2 Boring Clouds

Book Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Hepperman

20483085Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Hepperman

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre:Fantasy and Poetry

Release Date: September 23, 2014

Pages: 128 (Hardcover)

good good

Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Greenwillow Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionPoems are awesome and I love seeing them more and more in the novels I read. Poisoned Apples has a story that will connect with most people. I really liked some of the poems, especially the ones that are modernized retellings of some very classic tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Beauty and the Beast. Overall, a fun, very short read that takes no time to finish at all.

Although for the most part, I liked this book, I didn’t like how random it is between the good parts. Some of them are very short and about nothing more than, like, Abercrombie or something. Adding onto that, in the middle, the book starts to dwindle down and I found myself skimming through some of them to get to the better, retellings parts.

Poisoned Apples is a short read. I breezed right through it in less than an hour. From the stories that I did enjoy, I liked them also because of their freakiness and the art work that goes with them. The hands acting like trees and water and whatnot is very cool and caught my attention.

I understand that some people believe that life is a fairy tale but I loved how Hepperman decided to make these retellings as realistic as possible and adding in problems that many people face today. I recommend this one to anyone looking to read either some short poems or fairy tales.

3 Clouds

3 Clouds

Book Review: Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

18632219Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: August 5, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

A year ago Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction — and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real … including Carly at their favorite cafe. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah — where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk — she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

Dovey’s running out of time and torn between two paths. Will she trust her childhood friend Baker, who can’t see the threatening darkness but promises to never give up on Dovey and Carly? Or will she plot with the sexy stranger, Isaac, who offers all the answers — for a price? Soon Dovey realizes that the danger closing in has little to do with Carly … and everything to do with Dovey herself.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Simon Pulse for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

When I see reviews for Servants of the Storm that use these words or ones like them, I always tilt my head and mentally say,

Because Servants of the Storm is a lot of things but amazing isn’t one them. Instead I would it’s more…confusing and lacking than anything. I went in excited but finished it with, well actually, I liked the ending but for the most part, I was half asleep.

After the initial few chapters, I was expecting the excitement to keep going and for a little bit, it did with Dovey seeing things and everyone telling her to ‘just take the pills’. I got really excited. I was expecting some classic southern mystery with curses and spell and dolls and creepy ass people! It quickly became clear that my wishes would not come true once the love interest goes all gooey-eyed for Dovey. Yes, believe what you will, but there is insta-love in this book. The guy owes her nothing, yet helps her even though he knows he’ll be in major shit and can’t stop staring into her eyes. Actually they can’t stop staring into each others eyes because it’s ‘just too hard to look away’. With that being said, I was not a fan of the romance because it’s really useless. It’s all staring into eyes and Dovey saying every fucking page, “Isaac’s hot” or “He’s so gorgeous I can’t look away,” or even fucking, “He’s so mysterious with the way he looks.” Every. Fucking. Page. Moreover, the characters are just plain bad. They’re forgettable and aside from their annoying phrases, I couldn’t relate to anything about them and found myself indifferent to their fates. Especially Isaac. When first introduced to him, he seems legit, mysterious and odd yet he loses all coolness once he jumps at the chance to help Dovey and tells her everything as well as helps her. The more he talked, the more I wanted to slap him. Another problem I had is with the relationship between Carly and Dovey because it felt contrived and fake to me. There’s hardly any examples or flashbacks to the good times, only small remarks about Carly’s sassy attitude and that’s it. I had a hard time believing that they were ever close. Furthermore, once Dovey is told about this mystical world of demons, she takes it all in stride and doesn’t seem to care. At all. I know that a lot of people believe in this stuff but the fact that Dovey never believed in those things in the first place but doesn’t seem to care or even react or really question all of it annoyed me and I just couldn’t believe it.

Nonetheless, I did like the first few chapters. Settling into this book and its atmosphere, I was expecting something that will leave me with goosebumps and if Dawson kept up the same way with the first few chapters, I think she would have reached there. I also, shockingly, liked the ending even though it’s not the most original, I did like it because it really did fit with the story. But it also fit in Insidious soooo…..

Servants of the Storm starts off pretty great. It’s intense and creepy but quickly falls on its ass and ends up not getting back on its feet. The characters are typical as well as the stupid romance that is completely useless and forced. I was either bored and angry reading most of it. The unrealistic approach to everything left me far beyond disappointed and I don’t recommend this book to anyone unless you’re in the mood for something that’s a bit southern black magic but the tiniest bit of it and don’t mind crappy, pointless things.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#54

favourite

A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment/link telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

18698816Favourite quotes:

1. When someone falls in love with you like that, he stops being your friend. He stops caring about your friendship and he only cares about wanting you to love him back.

2. We take it for granted.

We forget stuff along the way, sure, but mostly it’s little stuff. We forget where we put our keys or we forget to turn the curling iron off or we lie awake in bed in the middle of the night, convinced we left the stove on Convinced we left the front door unlocked. Convinced we forgot to set the alarm.

As we grow up, we accept that our memory gets worse. Sometimes we can’t remember what day it is. Sometimes we can’t remember if we washed our hair already. We stand in the shower dripping, unmoving.

[...]

Older still and now other things start to go. We cannot remember our children’s names. We call them every name we can think of until we get the right one. We know we’re right because they finally answer us.

3. The people we love get under our skin and crawl through our veins and find their way into our heart. They choke up our blood flow and mess up our breathing and tangle themselves through our bodies like wire. Like razors, like fire.

We remember them even when we don’t remember them. We try to forget. but it’s pointless.

Even amnesia. Even comas and brain damage and traumatic shock. Whatever makes us not remember, we still remember. Our minds flounder like fish but our bodies…

Our bodies remember.

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

17334538Favourite quotes:

1. Sometimes a choice isn’t a simple yes or no, but the truth made visible, strong enough to hold up a world.

2. Given a choice, it seems like pity would be easier to bear than mockery, but that’s not true. Mockery hardens defences; pity slips through, finding the softest places you have, and slices to the bone.

Pity will break you, every time.

3. If people love you because you’re perfect, what happens when you screw up? Constant perfection was its own kind of pressure, I realized, and felt an unexpected rush of sympathy.

Let’s get Lost by Adi Alsaid

18812437Favourite quote: “When you don’t have any reason to think of days as weekdays or weekends, you start to realize that all days are pretty much the same. And that kind of gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. It’s a lot easier to seize the day than it is to seize  a Tuesday. You have errands on Tuesday. On Tuesday you eat pizza again. Your favourite TV show is on Tuesday, you know? But the day…”

“The day is all just hours you’re alive for. They can be filled with anything. Unexpectedness, wildness, maybe a little bit of lawlessness, even.”

The Young World by Chris Weitz

13590919Favourite quote: It’s strange that you can be in love with somebody while hating so many things about them. Like how she doesn’t seem to be able to be serious, about anything, ever.