Book Review: Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway

23315831

Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 23, 2015

Pages: 352 (Hardcover)

good good

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

opinion

I actually don’t know what to say about this one. It’s not a bad novel, it’s just…childish. Or at least it is during the beginning. Emmy and Oliver’s relationship has this huge ten-year gap because Oliver’s kidnapping and I think this is why I had such a hard time liking the story. Since he left when they were still little children, it just picks up where they left off. It’s all, “Emmy does this” and, “Oliver does that.” If stuff like this doesn’t bother you, it’s actually a great novel that’s very sweet, however if it does, maybe just skim until the middle.

Or even skim the first chapter because it’s the summary only more in-depth. Oliver left, there was a note, Emmy misses him. And although the story is Emmy’s, I feel like there should have been more to it. Like, Oliver talks about his life, about what he did during those years however, it’s hard to truly picture it since he only says snippets and then that’s it. I did feel for him and his pain however, I wanted to know more so that I could relate more to him. Also, the blow-ups that happen between Oliver and his mother happen too quickly. As a person who has gone through bad shit and seen my friends go through bad shit, parents just aren’t that quick to ground people over small things. Another thing that’s lacking is the town. Like, what town? There is no town. I didn’t get the small feeling of people watching his every move, the ‘think this way,’ or anything. It just fades into the background so whenever Emmy mentions something about their town, it’s always confusing because WHAT TOWN IS THERE?!

But Emmy & Oliver is a sweet novel. The characters are strong and witty, especially Drew who honestly killed me every time he opens his mouth. The relationship between Emmy and Oliver is cute. It’s more of a friendship than anything else and I enjoyed reading about it. I also liked the relationship between Oliver and his father. It’s not your typical one, it’s a strange and realistic relation between two people who need time to figure out their feelings. I got that and I loved it. One of the best relationships ever. The small in between chapters that tell of secrets and memories between Emmy and Oliver also helps paint the picture of how close these two were when they were younger. It put me in a memory of my own childhood where I would always make up weird sayings that only my friends and I understood. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think any of us actually knew what we were saying to each other but we still understood, deep down.

Would I recommend this book? Yes I would because it’s focused on more than just romance and I love that about books. Although the execution at times is sloppy and annoying, it does get its footing and tells an amazing story about time. So, yeah. Go pick this one up it’s cute and sad and summer friendly.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

3.5 Interesting Clouds

Book Review: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing#1) by Rhiannon Thomas

22535481A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing#1) by Rhiannon Thomas

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Retelling and Young Adult

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Pages: 337 (Hardcover)

good good

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

opinion

There’s a reason why not many authors write fairy tale retellings. It’s a hard thing to do. What’s even worse is when the fairy tale is the dullest one in the world. So no, I didn’t like reading A Wicked Thing and for readers with a low tolerance for boring shit, I don’t think they’ll like this one either.

It’s boring. From beginning to end, this book was my pal for lulling me to sleep. The writing is also really bad since it honest to God switches from how they would talk back in the day to how we talk ow. I had no patience for this and almost gave up on the book. Bad thing I didn’t because those uninteresting and underdeveloped characters from the beginning of story? They don’t get much better and Aurora is literally too annoying to give even a sliver of a fuck about.

Still, it has some good stuff. Not a lot, but some (thing). The witch part is well done, I felt the suspense and the creepiness. I was actually excited when the witch showed up and started making fun of everything. However, the witch doesn’t appear until the very end. That’s about it as far as stuff that I actually enjoyed goes.

A Wicked Thing was doomed from the start. Sleeping Beauty is a magical tale, sure, however, it’s quite dull and that makes it really hard to work with. I don’t recommend this unless you need some help getting to bed thanks to exams and stuff.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

 

 

Book Review: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

22456945Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre:Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

good good

Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

opinion

I’m in love with Hannah Moskowitz. I love her writing, her characters, the way that I feel like I personally know her solely from reading her books. I feel like she puts a lot of herself into her stories. Not Otherwise Specified isn’t… a bad book by any means. But it is a what the fuck just happened ? kind of book. From the setting to the dialogue, all the way to the fucking cover I just…

I don’t think I ever encountered a book by an author I loved that has had info-dumping, but Not Otherwise Specified has it to the max. I’m not even kidding. Sure there are a lot of witty comments that make some of the several info-dumping parts bearable but just barely. Also, the dialogue is really bad. It’s all cookie cutter edge with ‘he says’ or ‘I say’ ‘she says’. They say a lot of shit, I get it. Now make it interesting by adding actions. And I don’t know if it’s just me but all anyone talks about are eating disorders and theater and a dash of the LGBT community thus making the characters not as fleshed out as I would have liked. I got bored quite easily reading this one because I was waiting for something out of the ordinary. It didn’t really come. Anyway, the relationship between Bianca and Etta is so crazy and unbelievable that I had a hard time taking to it. Bianca barely talks and somehow, she’s clinging to Etta for dear life after like a month? Of course these scenarios happen, but I’m sorry there’s just so much planning that could have made it seem realistic. Bianca has too much to lose (I think) to just allow Etta into her life instantly.

Still, this is Hannah Moskowitz and after a while, the random-all-over-the-place-but-not-really-I-don’t-know writing didn’t stand out so much to me. In addition to this, Etta is such a handful, not only for the secondary characters but for readers as well but I liked her for the most part. She’s loud, confused, happy, and pissed off. I liked her because of how strong she is and how strong she makes the other characters. The struggle that goes on in the story is so true.  She tries so hard to work on herself, so hard to get her old friends back, to get healthy, to get in really that I felt for her. It’s so hard to really ‘fit’ in somewhere and I felt as if Etta is the memory for all of us, because I’m sure that everyone has felt like a sore thumb at least once in their life.

Let me say it again: I love Hannah Moskowitz and I believe that this love for her has made me second guess my thoughts on the book. I really want to believe that I got a faulty copy because it just didn’t work for me. Especially the cover, just looking at it makes me mad not because of the person on it, but just the fact that the publisher probably paid a lot of money for something that looks thrown together in ten minutes. It’s poorly photoshoped, poorly lighted, and just all around, poor colour choices. I know for a fact, they could have done better. But anyway, yes, I think I would still recommend it solely because it is Hannah Moskowitz and she’s awesome but Not Otherwise Specified is not that great. It’s a solid, ‘meh’ book with ‘meh’ characters and a ‘meh’ setting.

3 Mediocre Clouds

3 Mediocre Clouds

Book review: No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

22403036No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre:Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Pages: 272 (Hardcover)

good good

Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they’ve lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn’t know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn’t have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the “end of the world.” Because of course the end didn’t come. And now they’re living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl.

opinionLook, let’s just get straight to the point. Was I made by the end of this book? Not quite. Did I still have a lot of questions, like how some loser conned more than two dozen people into giving him pretty much everything? Fuck yes. But more than that, I was disappointed. I felt so underwhelmed by every aspect of No Parking at the End Times, even during the parts where there should have been a lot of religious insight,fuck, any kind of insight, I got nothing. You’re better off skimming a pamphlet on the ‘New World’ rather than read this book.

Why? Because nothing happens. And when something does happen, it’s 77% into the book, where no shits are given anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good build-up, leaving room for nothing but suspense however this is ridiculous. And when you pair a boring book and awkward writing that’s full of unnecessary words, well, the outcome isn’t pretty. Moreover, for a novel that has so much on the Now, there’s almost nothing on the Then part. The book is mostly surrounded on the decisions that Abigail’s father has made and still making, how his mistakes have caused the family to lose greatly. So when I was reading and found close to nothing, honest to God, nothing on what made him switch gears and decide to listen to Brother John, I couldn’t help but scream. Adding onto this, the characters aren’t fleshed out. Abigail, I could understand for the most part because I could relate to her but only to a point. Halfway done, I stopped caring about her as well as the other characters. They just don’t stick out, especially Brother John, who is supposed to be this magnificent man sent down from God. Obviously he’s not but I did not see the appeal of him. He always gave generic answers, didn’t read any fucking verses from the Bible despite always having it on hand, and all around, didn’t even act like he was really into it. As a con artist you have to at least fake to have your heart in it, this guy gave no fucks. Now, does that sound like a man two relatively responsible adults with two children would give everything to? It doesn’t to me, I still don’t understand where Bliss was going with him.

Nonetheless, there are some mediocre things that I didn’t mind. One of them being the Before chapters albeit short and mostly pointless because they tell only snippets of what happened, of how they got to California rather than giving the whole picture.

No Parking at the End Times might have been since most books about the Rapture don’t really go into after the ‘even’, only about two weeks later. What made me even more disappointed is the fact that the beginning is so good. Like, guys, it’s so good. It’s intense, mysterious, and exciting. I was giddy with pleasure (that died like two or three chapters later). Would I recommend this novel? No, like I said before, I got more information from a pamphlet, hell, even the damn internet than I did on the actual Rapture, or on anything religious. This should tell you something about how badly this book is written when I have to complain multiple times about the religion aspect of it. And I don’t even like religion.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: The Jewel (The Lone City#1) by Amy Ewing

16068780The Jewel (The Lone City#1) by Amy Ewing

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Pages: 358 (Hardcover)

good good

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

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

opinion

The Jewel is like a fake diamond, really. At first glance, it’s breathtaking and stunning however, the longer you stare at it, the more cracks and falseness it has.

The world setting is really half-assed, nothing is well explained. Violet, the protagonist is so dull and so naive that I couldn’t care at all what happened to her. Moreover, the insta-love is so forced and awkward that I couldn’t help but laugh. First of all, since the characters are forgettable at best, nothing happens except the usual save the girl crap which only makes the whole story awkward and stiff.

However, like I said, upon first glance, The Jewel is beautiful and intriguing. The writing is stiff yet it fits the story (since everything about the book is stiff as fuck).

Overall, this book is not worth the time. It’s interesting at first but quickly goes south. Even the ending is typical and stupid. I don’t recommend this book at all because there are much better novels to read.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

19367070Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Pages: 275 (Hardcover)

good good

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

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

opinionAfter finishing Kiersten White’s Mind Games series, I can say that she has a strange style It’s at first, really fucking annoying but starts to grow on you. And after reading, Illusions of Fate I say that this roller coaster of annoyance is a good thing because despite hating the beginning of her novels, I always come to enjoy them even if it’s a little which is what happened with this book. It’s all over the place but works itself out. It’s a solid ‘meh’ type of book.

I wanted a more believable world from White. The book and characters get boring fairly quickly in the story because nothing happens but planning for this and that. Also, the reaction Jessamin has when she finds out Eleanor and Finn can practice magic is so unbelievable it’s almost funny. Adding onto this, like I said before, the characters a bit boring. I wanted Jessamin to be a badass instead of only dipping her toe in the water that is badassness. She lets Finn do everything rather than doing it for herself. Moreover, the ending where Downpike explains everything felt forced and not something that would actually happen.

Still, the slow burn romance is actually really well done. As far as characters go, Eleanor is by far my favourite with her sassy tone. And of course the twists in the book are great, White doesn’t tell everything and I liked this because it’s on little things and  I barely suspected a thing.

Illusions of Fate is a solid book. All of my blogger friends like it as well. I wouldn’t say it’s amazing or inspirational but it’s something. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves gothic like stories with magic and evil guys.

3 Mediocre Clouds

3 Mediocre Clouds

Book Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

20306810Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Pages: 224 (Hardcover)

good good

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

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

opinion

I will always love short books because they can be read in an a short matter of time, like this, Kiss of  Broken Glass which only took my an hour to read. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that just because a book is short, doesn’t mean it’s any good.

The big problem, I believe is the way mental illness is shown in the book. I understand that not everyone is perfect and some people do think that cutting is ‘the coolest thing ever’ but I wanted the main character to actually change and learn her lesson instead of being a dumbass which she is from beginning to end. On top of this, the writing is stiff and I didn’t give two shits about any of the characters because of their one-sidedness.

The only upside is that I like that the book is in verse.

Kiss of Broken Glass is a really short book with boring characters, a typical atmosphere, and stiff writing. Since there’s not much time to add depth to the story, everything I read just felt like one huge info-dump. I don’t recommend unless you are in desperate need for something short.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds