Book Review: The Young World by Chris Weitz

13590919The Young World by Chris Weitz

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: July 29, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he’s secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.

The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park…and discovers truths they could never have imagined.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Little, Brown 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.

opinion

It seems that dystopian novels are booming and taking over the YA world. What’s sad about this is that the take over doesn’t seem to be slowing down by much. The Young World as a whole, is predictable as well as typical. However, shocking as it is, I had a bit of fun reading it. But only Jefferson’s chapters.

The reason why I only liked Jefferson’s chapters is because Donna consistently gave me headaches with all of her info-dumping about meaningless shit and utter annoyance. I just don’t understand how she can be a badass yet an extremely ditzy person also. Adding onto that, the characters in general could have been a lot better developed. They’re all the same, unoriginal and typical from other dystopian books. Also, they’re all teenagers yet they act like they’re ten with all of their bickering. Moving on, the romance between Jefferson and Donna is so contrived. Even though it doesn’t take over the story, it’s still boring and unneccessary.

Despite all of this, I did like Jefferson’s perspective because they’re a lot different from Donna’s as well as the writing is smoother and realistic.

The Young World is surprisingly an entertaining read despite the fact that it’s pretty much your typical dystopian book. However I would only recommend this one to people who absolutely love dystopian stories and forever will for the rest of their lives.

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

18812437Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: July 29, 2014

Pages: 352 (Hardcover)

good good

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

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

opinion

 

Cute and inspirational, Let’s Get Lost is the perfect summer read that’s actually about summer. I’ve never been one to indulge in unrealistic contemporary novels but when I started this one, I couldn’t help that I loved it. Road trip stories are usually fun but this one is heartwarming as well.

The book starts off a little boring. Instead of going with the flow, it’s trying too hard to be meaningful. Another problem that I had is the main character, Leila. I wanted to know more about her when she picked up the other characters. For almost the whole book, I was left in the dark about her and then when I did get information, it was too late for me to actually care.

Moving onto the things I did enjoy like the amazing description for everything. Like I can really picture everything. This goes well with the writing that’s well done despite the fact that it’s written in third  person. I found it easier to relate to the characters which I also found to be properly done and realistic. They’re unique and fun to read about. Throughout the book, I liked how Leila mentions the other characters also, making sure to connect all of their stories.

Let’s Get Lost isn’t just a book about a road trip to see the northern lights. It’s about being lost and then finding yourself. It’s a great book that I recommend that everyone to read and hopefully enjoy before the summer ends.

4 Dreamy Clouds

4 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

18170549The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Publisher: Scribner

Genre: Essays, Fiction, and Non-Fiction

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Pages: 240 (Hardcover)

good good

 Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Simon & Schuster  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 was sent a copy of this book for review, I’ll admit, I was nervous. I never never read anything that isn’t young adult and fiction because I find it either too hard to relate to or too boring (History has never been a strong class for me). But I took a plunge and even though it took me forever and a year to finally finish it, I’m glad to that I did. It’s a moving art piece and even more so on their own. However, with each different section, I found my interest waning and waning until I had a hard time paying attention.

The book I believe is sectioned off into three pieces: Essays, fiction, and non-fiction. My attention started decreasing during the fiction part. I found Winter Break cute but completely pointless. When I finished the story, I was scratching my head trying to figure out why the fuck I cared about some girl and her long distance relationship and her parents not being in love. I didn’t care because nothing made it stand out to me which I found happens a lot in her short stories and more specifically, her characters. The characters throughout her stories are all right but I couldn’t  actually connect with them. They fell flat for me and I was quite disappointed by it. Moreover, for some reason, non fiction and I don’t click whatsoever so I had the hardest time getting through that part oh her book.

In addition to all of that, I did enjoy the essays and most of the fiction. There’s just something about her writing style that’s both enchanting and interesting that I couldn’t get enough of. I also liked how Keegan uses different formats and techniques to tell her stories from young adults to seniors and from a regular to emails. Her characters do have different lives and I enjoyed the diversity that she brought to them. Another thing that I enjoyed is the light humour that presents itself in a few stories to make things less serious.

The Opposite of Loneliness is an enjoyable read. There’s at least one story or essay that speaks to each reader. I recommend this one to anyone looking for something new to read and is willing to step out of their comfort zone for the first time. Although the characters are quite unique there are a bit underdeveloped but I liked how different each story is. I know I enjoyed it and I’m a little less terrified of stepping out of my comfort zone now.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

Album Review: Rose by The Front Bottoms

download (8)Rose by The Front Bottoms

Record Label: Bar None records

Genre: Pop punk

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Songs: 6
good good

 The Front Bottoms are an American acoustic-indie-punk band originating from New Jersey that formed in 2006. The duo have since released two albums: The Front Bottoms and Talon of the Hawk. As well as one EP: Rose. Band members are: Brian Sella (Vocals, Guitar) and Mathew Uychich (Drums, Bullhorn, Megaphone).

opinion

The Front Bottoms truly grow on you. I remember listening to them for the first time at a friend’s house and I hated them. Their music was too strange for me, especially the singing which killed it all. Luckily, I couldn’t get one of their songs out of my head and I decided to search them up. This band might take time to love but no matter how long, love always goes their way. Rose seems to be a tribute to the old times, and to the fans. It’s obviously something that they’re proud of and happy to release and although I wouldn’t recommend starting with this EP, it’s still fairly great.

The beginning of Lipstick Covered Magnet is not properly done. Sella’s voice isn’t the greatest but the singing is worse than usual. He holds the notes longer to give them a sing-song texture and it doesn’t work in his favour.I hate to say it but it’s annoying. Same with  Awkward Conversations is only a repetition of the same group of words with nothing new to bring after the first minute.

Moving onto the good stuff, the first track starts off very strong. It has a steady beat and strange with great lyrics and a chorus of voices singing along.  I love the trumpet piece displayed in Twelve Feet Deep. I also love how this song is so easy to picture, the room-mate sleeping, the skipping of class (who hasn’t done that?), and most importantly, the stupid shit that make up the good times. Moreover, Jim Bogart has a sweet duet and a soft guitar piece that doesn’t distract from the vocals. There’s a great build up which leads to a few seconds of hardcore drumming.

Overall, This album is a tribute and I do like it. But then again, I think I’d like anything they release because of their relatable lyrics, smooth beats and even smoother tempos, but most importantly the vocals. It took me a very long time to get over the out of key singing but I get it now and I think that everyone will get it sooner or later. Favourite songs are Flying Model Rockets, Twelve Feet Deep and, Jim Bogart.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Flying Model Rockets-3:14

2. Lipstick Covered Magnet-2:34

3. Twelve Feet Deep-3:45

4. Jim Bogart-3:18

5. Be Nice to Me-2:47

6. Awkward Conversations-2:46

Book Review: Dissonance (Dissonance#1) by Erica O’Rourke

17334538Dissonance (Dissonance#1) by Erica O’Rourke

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: July 22, 2014

Pages: 496 (Hardcover)

good good

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

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.

opinion

Dissonance is  a well paced story that doesn’t delve into the science behind the multiverse too much. I had a lot of fun reading about Del’s crazy life and her hardships and those of the people around her. However, I wanted to like this one a lot for than I did. I wanted a kick ass heroine who knew how to make her own decisions without help. Del is a pretty badass character and I loved reading about her but I hated how much her life surrounded Simon even before everything went downhill. I wanted her to stick true to her image or at least to her goal. Still, a great novel that’s refreshing!

The beginning is the most confusing part of all. Although there is a lot of action and interesting things happening, there’s so most info-dumping and name dropping that it all felt like a huge whirlwind that barely made any sense. The romance is predictable and I disliked almost all of it. Nothing about Simon stood out to me and I  couldn’t understand the connection that Del has for him especially when she breaks a huge amount of rules to keep him from leaving her.

Nonetheless, Erica O’Rourke has taken an idea that’s starting to be more common in YA books and added a refreshing writing style and a new perspective. I couldn’t get enough of Del’s voice! It’s so different and reckless that I found myself staying up to get the book done. The world building is well done and very tricky considering all of the different choices and things that happen. I also liked how some chapters started off with a rule that Walkers have to follow.

Even though there are a few flaws in this book, for the most part, I really liked it. It’s fast paced and fully of cool twists. The characters are fun, the worlds are great, and even though the ending is predictable and crazy cheesy, I’m extremely excited to read the next book in this exciting new series. I recommend this book to anyone who’s read and liked stories about alternate universes and fun characters.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Linked (Linked#1) by Imogen Howson

14999965Linked (Linked#1) by Imogen Howson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Genre: Science Fiction and Young Adult

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

good good

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

opinion

Last year, there were these twins in my English class and they would usually finish each other`s sentences and holy crap! It was the coolest thing ever. With that being said, reading about twins that can see each other`s lives and feel the same emotions is crazy cool. I was instantly hooked to this one. However What I got was cool twin powers, sure, but that’s about it. The writing is choppy and awkward especially since it’s told in third person. Not enough is explained and I was bored and annoyed for most of the book.

There’s a lot that goes on in Linked that have problems. One of them is the setting and the world building. It’s poorly explained and I couldn’t imagine anything that happened. None of it makes enough sense especially the science fiction part. I thought the story would have been a lot better if the story was told as fantasy and not sci-fi. Another huge problem is the romance. Holy crap, is it bad! They haven’t seen or spoken to each other in months but he confesses his love for her? I understand that when you think you’re going to die, you will do some fucked up shit but this one just didn’t make sense! Their relationship from the beginning is told as a big brother little sister kind and I couldn’t see it as anything else.

Even though I had a few problems, I did like the relationship between the girls. They’re so unique and cool, especially their freaky twin powers.

Linked was not what I was expecting. I went in excited but finished confused and disappointed. I couldn’t picture anything that happened and I couldn’t believe the relationship between Elissa and that dude and the only good thing about it is the relationship between Elissa and Lin. I don’t recommend this book to anyone unless you’re one of those people who can either read and love everything, picture everything, or just really love science fiction novels.

 

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

Album Review: I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home by Hotel Books

a3716073364_2I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home by Hotel Books

Record Label: InVogue records

Genre: Indie/Post-hardcare and Spoken Words

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Songs: 11
good good

 Hotel Books are a California based band that formed in 2011. So far, they have released one album: Call Me Human. One Double EP: I’m Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel at Home. And four EPs: Amid the Beautiful Devastation, Found Out I’m Not So Brave, 2013 Tour, and I’m Almost Happy Here.  Band members are: Cam Smith (vocals, drums), Daniel Adams (bass guitar), Jordan Leal (guitar), Johnny Blackwell (guitar), Daniel “Cowboy Dan” Colasanto (drums).

First of all, I would like to thank the PR, Earshot Media for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Using a mix of ambient music and intense, bone chilling spoken words, Hotel Books are a band that I’m giddy to talk about. Like most people, I try my best to connect with everyone and everything around me, especially the things that I love and while listening to I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home I feel so connected on such a personal level just by simply hearing the intros and the broken and raw vocalist tell the band’s stories. It’s exciting and fresh and like no other type of connection because spoken words is supposed to reach into your soul and take a part of you to make you remember how awesome spoken words is.

The record starts off with threes songs that are a bit muffled. Lose Yourself is a bit all over the place and albeit this type of form works for them, it doesn’t do so well here. Although the intro for Cult Leader is awesome and sassy, the quick and clipped guitar tempo doesn’t quite match the speed of everything else during the beginning of the song. Because of this, the song sounds off and a little panicked, trying to play catch up. Moreover, Nicole is a sweet song. As an instrumental, it’s soft and calming, with a beautiful tone to it but when paired with the harsh vocals, it gets confusing and sounds like two different songs trying to forge together but not fitting correctly.

Nonetheless, vocals in most songs are amazing as well as the lyrics. Listeners of this album will be able to easily hear the raw emotions in every song and be able to feel the love through the words. They’re sad but so beautiful, ah! Constant Collapse starts off quietly but I like the build-up, the screaming and guitar riffs are paired well with the intense drums. This song is full of so much emotion and anger and sadness and love. It’s an easy song for most people to relate to. A song about romance that was flimsy yet great turning to crap. Another great song is Dreaming or Sinking,the words are so very smooth and flow nicely in this one. There aren’t any long awkward pauses, the build-up is great and really emphasises the words that are being spoken as well as the crescendo for the volume is perfect. Adding onto that, the Bass drum is well pronounced in Two Eight One. It’s rhythmic and is in time with the vocals. The crescendo not only for the guitar but for everything, moving as a whole is perfect. Near the end, the lone guitar is creepy! The riffs are steady and moderately loud but have a huge thud to it. However, what’s creepier is Lungs which starts off with, “Scream Hallelujah until you cough up blood. ‘Cause the Devil came for our minds but left with our love.” Woah, talk about a tough life. Anyway, the song has great build-up, the drummer is obviously having fun with this one. The tempo is great, it picks up speed when the vocalist starts giving more into it by seamlessly following the lead and then slowing down when the song hits its soft spots that need as much emphasis as possible. Hotel Books ends the record off with Car Crash which is, by far, the most realistic song on the album. They truly did save the best for last. You can really imagine the crash. The pain, the fear, the strength. I get chills listening to this one. It’s a realistic look on what goes on when someone is seriously injured. They’re scared, they pray, they curse, they’re doing something and trying not to die and sometimes they don’t while sometimes, they do.

Hotel Books has strongly fabricated their beliefs of love and faith into their music. I say that it’s strongly knit because the way they connect back to their religion and love is in a way that makes the utmost sense. In Car Crash, I think that most people, even atheists would turn to god and try to strike up a deal. Or even in Constant Collapse where it’s romance and a painful love. It’s done in a way that wouldn’t make people uncomfortable but connect. Favourite songs are: Constant Collapse, Dreaming or Sinking, Two Eight One and Car Crash although throughout the album, songs are heartfelt and strong. I could easily picture myself in them.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

 

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Lose One Friend-2:58

2. Lose All Friends-2:19

3. Lose Yourself-3:01

4. Constant Collapse-3:33

5. Dreaming or Sinking-3:19

6. Two Eight One-3:20

7. America’s Next Model-3:06

8. Cult Leader-3:41

9. Nicole-3:30

10. Lungs-4:15

11. Car Crash-4:33