Book Review: Blazed by Jason Myers

18668474Blazed by Jason Myers

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 528 (Hardcover)

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 Jamie uncovers life-changing secrets from his past when he’s sent to live with a father he’s never met in this gritty novel from the author of Exit Here. and Run the Game.

Jamie is invincible when he is high. His anger, his isolation, his mom’s manic mood swings—nothing can shatter his glass castle. But one brutal night upends everything, leaving his mom broken and Jamie betrayed.

Sent to live with a father he’s never met, Jamie is determined to hate the man he blames for his mother’s ruin. And he blocks out the pain with drugs, fierce music, and sweet, sweet Dominique. Except the more time Jamie spends at his dad’s, the more his mother’s scathing stories start to unravel. Who is he supposed to believe? And how much will he have to sacrifice to uncover the truth?

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

If you take away the shitty parents, all of the drugs, the romance and made the protagonist older, have siblings, less talented, and changed the setting, Blazed would pretty much be The Catcher in the Rye. Jaime is told to be this insanely smart and talented person and while he is mostly talented, I don’t think he’s that intelligent. If anything, he’s judgemental and a complete douchebag despite his circumstances. He calls everyone who doesn’t listen to indie bands and alternative rock, ‘phonies’ and ‘fakes’ (sound familiar?). He discriminates against women, saying that ‘we’re all just the same. stupid bitches that are out to destroy everything. Cold hearted whores, all of them’ (I’m paraphrasing but he says something along the lines.”   I’m sorry, but I can’t believe this book. It’s annoying in almost every way and half the book is completely useless.

First off, the writing style is choppy and confusing with nothing properly explained. There aren’t enough flashbacks to make the relationship between Jaime and his mother seem realistic and caring. Another problem are the characters and how lacking they are. Sure, they have some cool traits sometimes but for the most part, they’re underdeveloped and forgettable with close to no redeeming qualities just like the book itself. Everyone listens only to rap and indie bands, do a shit ton of drugs and then complain about how phony the world is. What’s even worse is how Myers sets the world up. San Francisco is a huge place, it’s not possible for every character to know and love every single band and every single book that’s mentioned here. It’s just not.

There is very little that I liked about this book. I spent so much time reading it, I had to find something that made up for the many days that I had lost. The chapters are very short. I also liked the bands that are mentioned, I have found a few new bands that I like. That’s all. Nothing else makes this novel a good read.

Blazed was such a wild card for me. I went in excited, the setting is wild and confusing. I would have been fine if it was only the writing that was that way. Unfortunately, it’s the whole book and I had very little patience for it but I somehow finished it. I hated it and I don’t recommend this book to anyone.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

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Book Review: In Deep by Terra Elan McVoy

18689736In Deep by Terra Elan McVoy

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: July 8, 2014

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

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Swim.
Push.
Breathe.
Swim.

Nothing else matters to Brynn as she trains her body and mind to win. Not her mediocre grades and lack of real friends at school. Not the gnawing grief over her fallen hero father. Not the strained relationship with her absent mother and clueless stepdad. In the turquoise water, swimming is an escape and her ticket to somewhere—anywhere—else. And nothing will get in her way of claiming victory.

But when the competitive streak follows Brynn out of the pool in a wickedly seductive cat-and-mouse game between herself, her wild best friend, and a hot new college swimmer, Brynn’s single-mindedness gets her in over her head, with much more than a trophy to lose.

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

I’ve been on the swim team. My school is the official swimming pool in Toronto so I know how insane it can get with everyone needing to win and swim and shit like that. In Deep had me excited. I rarely read books about swimming and whenever I do, I usually want it to be light and funny but with McVoy, I expected insanity, betrayal, love, and above all, victory. Can you believe what I got?

Crap. If anything at all. There are contrived and stupid moments between Brynn and Gavin. Same with the betrayal between Brynn and Grier. All of it is fake and forced and stupid. Almost none of it makes sense and it tries so hard to be bold and thoughtful. Unfortunately it’s not.

The beginning of the story is just one huge info-dump about useless crap. Brynn only cares about swimming but Terra McVoy doesn’t explain her swimming or how she pushes off the wall, how she pushes herself further and all that stuff that would come along with something so meaningful. Instead, it’s all, “Van made us do 4 250 of free, freestyle, breast, and butterfly. I did them all really well, I’m the best.” It doesn’t say or explain how she felt about it. Readers are forced to assume that she loves swimming with all of her life even though it feels fake. The characters are also underdeveloped and very forgettable. I didn’t care about any of them, especially for their relationships between one another. With Brynn and Grier, their friendship is so fake, they have close to nothing in common except for swimming which Grier isn’t even that thrilled about. And as far as the relationship between Brynn and Gavin goes…

It’s worse than two toddlers playing house for the first time. Nothing. It might be the worst romantic relationship I have ever read about. Not only are they shoved together with nothing in common except swimming, but it’s done in a way that makes me feel absolutely nothing for them. They suck, their affair sucks, and their emotionless behaviours suck even more.

In Deep is a poorly written novel with close to nothing properly explained, weak characters and even weaker relationships. I don’t recommend this book to anyone because it’s too awful with no redeeming qualities.

One Lonely Cloud

One Lonely Cloud

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#53

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!

Prisoner of night and fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog#1) by Anne Blankman

17668473Favourite quote: “If you think love means secrecy, then you don’t understand what love is at all.”

 

Talker 25 (Talker 25#1) by Joshua McCune

17339959Favourite quote: “I won’t run from death. I won’t run from pain or fear. Life hurts sometimes, sometimes so much that you think it’s never gonna stop hurting. That’s a beautiful thing.”

The Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

18038539Favourite quotes:

1. “There’s a real town called everything,” Kane answers. “Especially in Pennsylvania, home of Intercourse and Blue Ball.”

2. “He said, ‘It’s not our ability to get forgiveness that saves us. It’s out ability to grant forgiveness.”

3. I sat forward and picked up a piece of the jet engine. “I think we get the world we deserve. People who love get love back, and people who hate, or fear, they get those back too.”

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

18051349Favourite quotes:

1. You have to forget about people when you can’t have them anymore. That’s the only way to be okay, I think–to forget how they looked and sounded and left Post-it notes on your desk and told you they’d come back from the dead someday. She had to get over me because there was no alternative. But I couldn’t do that with her. I couldn’t forget that she was still here and I was still here and we weren’t together.

2. They say the heart is just a muscle. They say it plays absolutely no role in our emotions and that it’s use as a symbol of love is based on archaic theories of it being the seat of the soul or something ridiculous like that. But as I quietly listened to every word she was saying to me, as each syllable shot a sharp arrow through the phone and into my ear, I swear I felt like my entire chest would collapse in on itself. I knew this feeling. They say a heart can’t really break because there’s nothing to be broken. But see, I once had to leave everyone I loved, and it felt this same way. Maybe Jeremy Pratt’s did too. Maybe his heart was torn to shreds and maybe that’s why it hurt so bad now, like it hadn’t had enough time to heal before receiving its next blow.

3. And of course it wasn’t okay. But that’s what we have to do, right? We have to tell people it’s okay even when it’s not.

Great by Sara Benincasa

18090059Favourite quotes:

1. “Remember that you can’t be one person one place and a totally different person in another place. Right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter where you are.”

2. My father told me once that people don’t change–they just reveal more of who they really are.

3. There’s the kind of dead from which you can bring someone back, when a heart stops for a brief collection of moments because of trauma or sickness, and you can shock it and pound it back to life. And then there’s the kind of dead that’s just final, from which there is no return, when the spirit or soul or whatever you want to call it has completely left the body, you can feel the absence of something, some intangible presence that indicates personhood.

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends#1) by Kelley Armstrong

18089962Favourite quote: “Curiosity is what lets a young mind grow and keeps an old mind young.”

(Don’t You) Forget about Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

18599667Favourite quotes:

1. The thing is, secrets are awful in lots of ways, but they almost never lie.

2. Sometimes you make bad choices to keep yourself from making other, even worse ones. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

3. “I found a quote from some guy that summed up the lucky thing pretty perfectly for me. It went like this: “Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.””

4. “Everyone falls eventually,” Piper told me. “You think it’ll hurt. But it’s falling with no bottom. You just keep going and going forever, just falling deeper and deeper. And once you stop being scared, it’s kind of fun.”

5. Forgetting the past doesn’t change it, and if we want a better ending we’ll have to go out and create it for ourselves somewhere on the other side of the mountain. Until then we have our stories. I’ll tell them to you as many times as you want. Then you;ll repeat them to all the new friends you’ll make. Most people will think you’re making them up. They might even call you a liar, and then, Wills, there’s only one thing you can say.

There’s no place like home.

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

17924987Favourite quotes:

1. The popular [crowd].

I’m not popular. I’m in band.

2. This is why I don’t date girls. They’re weird. They talk about everything and assume you want to too. I don’t get it. It’s as if their bras are filled with words.

3. “Band geeks are the original,” I explain. “Orchestra dorks are simply copying our amazingly uncool status.”

4. There are three ways to say, I love you, man.

The first one is an announcement, said at full volume and often accompanied by a swear word. It’s sort of Thank you, sort of You’re cool, with a little And damn, you make me look good thrown in. This is how kellen said it.

The second one is a diss, said with four and a half tons of sarcasm and most likely a reference to the father, son, or Holy Ghost. There’s no sort of about it. It means I hate you right now.

The third one comes wrapped in caution tape. It is said quietly and on its own, without any adjectives. There’s no ‘sort of’ to this one, either, because you mean it.

Like I did.

In the After by Demitria Lunetta

12157407Favourite quote: My eyes stung. I desperately wanted my father to be remembered.

“But no matter how much it hurt me to lose your father, it was only a tiny fraction of the pain I felt when I thought you were gone.

Book Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

17924987Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

good good

When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

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

opinion

Everyone has a weak spot for a certain genre of books. While my ‘me’ books are realistic with teens that have serious, life threatening problems, I have an unbelievable weak spot for GLBT, more specifically gay boys. I don’t even fucking know why or how this came to be but it is what it is. Anyway, moving onto the book, Fan Art is a hit or miss type of book. It’s cute and light, with some deep undertones however, it’s also judgemental and stereotypical. For me, this story was a miss that was almost a hit.

I’ll start the bad stuff off with the representation of the GLBT community. The stereotypes of what makes a gay boy gay is horrible. I was angry with the way that Jamie thinks that since he never played with dolls, never played dress up, and plays sports that it’s crazy that he turned out gay. Another thing that I disliked about Fan Art is the school part of it all.  I get that it’s all about the art but Jamie gets a scholarship to play music at a university yet there is close to no music explained in the whole book. I’m a band kid, I was excited once he mentioned he’s in band but it’s not properly explained how he practices and lets the music take hold of him. It’s just straightforward boring. The relationship between Jamie and Mason was also a problem for me because it feels a bit contrived at many times. Readers are told they’re extremely close but for a lot of the novel, I didn’t feel it since there aren’t enough flashbacks and such to support their relationship.

My relationship with Jamie is a love/hate one. I hated how harsh and stupid he is but I loved how awkward and nervous he is. He remind me of myself and I could relate to his situation because it happened to myself. I was screaming, laughing, and all around flipping out whenever something happened between Jamie and Mason. I just couldn’t stop myself. The writing is smooth and relaxed, I found myself reading instead of studying for my exams many times. Adding on to all of that, I loved that Tregay decided to add in the art works that are featured in Gumshoe. The poems and visual art pieces make the story more unique.

Fan Art is not a book for everyone. Although it is light, it has a few problems and some of them are offensive. However, I found some things to be enjoyable, like the romance and the characters despite them being undeveloped. I recommend this to anyone looking for a story to pass the time and enjoy fun albeit underdeveloped characters, art, and don’t mind a typical love story.

3 Clouds

3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachel Allen

1859977017 First Kisses by Rachel Allen

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 352 (Hardcover)

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No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

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.

opinionGoing into this novel, I was under the impression that all this book cares about is romance and boys and stuff. I mean, we are told about her first kisses after every chapter and everyone seems to be tripping over this guy, Luke. Anyway, I didn’t hate this book. However the characters are pretty flimsy and I found myself rolling my eyes whenever the girls get into fights but I didn’t dislike it as much as I thought I would have.

I hated how shallow and boy crazy the main character is. I wanted Claire to realize how little boys mean compared to your best friend. I also had a hard time believing Claire’s family life. It’s not realistic the pain and suffering that her family goes through and quite frankly, there’s really no point for it to be in the book. The romance between Claire and Luke is pathetic at best and I felt apathetic towards all. Furthermore, I wanted more from Luke! He’s the centre of the whole book with his intense blue eyes *rolls eyes* and killer smile. He felt forced and undeveloped to me. I would have liked it more if Luke opened up more about his family life and how it affected him instead of  being a  boring love interest.

Without thinking too hard about this one, this is a light novel. The message by the end of the book is all right and I did enjoy the relationship between Claire and Megan at the end of the book. The way that they realized what’s truly important to them.  The writing is so smooth! I think that if it weren’t for the writing, I would have had a harder time getting through this one. Moreover, the flashbacks, about Claire’s first kisses is well done and well explained. I could relate to some of them and feel her embarrassment. They’re cute and fun.

17 First Kisses is a really cute novel. I didn’t have a problem getting through it and it has a few fun spots. The relationships and problems are contrived and a bit annoying but the writing is cute and it helped to pass the time. I recommend this one to anyone looking for something light and don’t mind the crappy relationships and the annoying romance.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

Book Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

18599667(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

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Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except…
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

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

 

With each chapter a salute to better music, this book is an awesome read. Sure, the music isn’t a huge part of the story but it’s still intense. The magic, the town, and the people. The in between chapter at first don’t make very much sense but after a while, they start to come together piece by piece. Unfortunately, the romance is contrived and pointless. I liked the love interest but he’s too predictable with him and how things plays out. Still, I liked this book! It’s really different.

The world building is pretty flimsy and spotty. Not very much is properly explained, I was left confused and only able to imagine half of this mysterious town. But that’s not the only thing that’s badly explained, there’s the relationship between Elton and Skylar that’s beyond half-assed. Even at the end, nothing about them is explained just like with the relationship between Foot and Skylar. Foot just sort of shows up and he has this blanket and then BAM! Everything and everyone is like, “OMG! This is the missing baby!” That’s it.

Nevertheless, I did like the writing. It’s really refreshing just like the cool way the author decided to name her chapters using song titles and then matching the song titles to the chapters. After I finished reading (Don’t You) Forget About Me I went and listened to all of the songs mentioned. The only relationship that I did enjoy reading is the one between Piper and Skylar which is amazing and is explained so well and is so realistic that I was pretty shocked once the truth came out by the end of the novel. I felt the pain that Skylar felt when her family told her the truth.

(Don’t You) Forget About Me is a mysterious story about a magical town. I loved the mood and the magic but hated the relationships and flimsy descriptions. Still, I recommend this to anyone who’s looking for something creative and different to read about. Also if you need help with some old tunes to listen to.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.