Book Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

17460553Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: August 26, 2014

Pages: 560 (Hardcover)

good good

“There is no God, no benevolent ruler of the earth, no omnipotent grand poobah of countless universes. Because if there was…my little brother would still be fishing or playing basketball instead of fertilizing cemetery vegetation.”

Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.

Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.

No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens, happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.

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

opinionEllen Hopkins is honestly, one of my favourite authors and whenever she comes out with a new book I get so fucking excited. And believe me, I was extremely excited for Rumble despite the religion aspect of it because I knew that Hopkins would deliver it in a way that would make sense and not feel like something was being shoved down my throat. However, what I wasn’t expecting was the complete lack of intensity and emotion that all of her other novels held. For most of it I was bored out of my mind skimming the pages full of Matt’s relationship with Hayden.

Matt is so whiny. Compared to Four from Allegiant, he’s better but not by much. All that seems to take up his time is Hayden and how touch and go it is. If she doesn’t want to hang out with him he gets mad. If she doesn’t kiss him back as passionately as he wants her to, he gets mad. If she makes a new friend or goes to her church group, he gets mad. If she doesn’t text, he gets mad. Pretty much Matt gets mad at just about everything that Hayden does and then complains about it and then rushes to say, “I’m sorry. I love you. You’re amazing.” After the first few times I let it go. Around page 300 I had enough of this bullshit. I wanted there to be more mention on Luke and the relationship they had together. From what is mentioned about him is great, well described and heartfelt but it’s not enough to actually make me believe it as much as I wanted to. Another thing that I disliked is the way Matt’s thoughts start to change in the end. It happens at the very end and I was so mad about this. If the event happened sooner in the book, it would have been perfect, Matt would be able to experience something that isn’t anger and belief that there is no God. I wished it happened sooner.

Nonetheless, whenever Matt is not complaining about Hayden, there are a few good things going on. Like I mentioned before, the parts about Luke and his struggle as well as Matt’s struggles with it are fairly well done. I also liked the religion part of the book because it’s well down without feeling like I was being drowned in it. I also liked Matt as a character whenever he’s not fuming over Hayden. He’s well-developed otherwise, with strong traits and a troubling past. I enjoyed reading his story (and his story alone) because it’s quite relatable. Everyone experiences regret and I liked how Hopkins did this.

Rumble could have been so much better. Ellen Hopkins hasn’t been one to surround readers with too much romance before but with this one, you can smell it from a mile away. I hated this part of the book which is why I’m giving it a low rating. Despite this though, I still recommend this to people who like Ellen Hopkins and have enjoyed her previous books. Just beware of the romance and how much of the book it actually takes up.

3 Mediocre Clouds

3 Mediocre Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

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Song of the Week#60-Apricots Apricate (Alligators Alligate) by Summon the Octopi (The Instrumental Edition)

song of the week

This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Day except each week there will be a different ‘edition’ and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is: The Instrumental! I’ve never been the biggest fan of instrumentals because I always anticipate for when they vocalists starts singing, especially when I’m not really doing anything else at the time but listening to music. But with Summon the Octopi’s slow yet steady beat and heavy bass, it’s hard not to just go with he flow and allow the instruments to just take over. It’s soothing and competitive without words so with them, I’m positive it would blow minds. Literally.

 

Listen up and submerge into the instrumental post-rock world of the Octopi. A one dude band from Berlin, Germany writing, playing and recording all instruments creating a sonic collage of buzzing abyss, delicate romance and intricate grooves that will keep you on your toes, auditorily dissecting the vast influences that acted as ingredients to this truly unique recipe.

When I got an email about this band and the music video for this song, I knew it was going to be pretty weird but I didn’t think it was going to be that weird. Full of random things like worms (gag), monkeys, jelly fish, New York in all its fineness, as well as other things, these song and video have nothing to really do with each other. But it does grow on you, maybe a little longer than the actual song will but it will (probably).

You can watch the music video here. 

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: Feral by Holly Schindler

19346468Feral by Holly Schindler

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Mystery and Young Adult

Release Date: August 26, 2014

Pages: 432 (Hardcover)

good good

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

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.

opinionFeral is a story about two girls told in third person. This, right here, is my first problem with this book. Lately, a lot of mystery/ thrillers are using third person which is great if you have a bunch of characters but Feral  only has two. Two! More accurately, one and a half so there’s no point for it. If the first thing about the novel pissed me off, can you imagine how many other things did also?

A lot, that’s how many.

Not a lot happens in Feral, which makes it a half-assed novel in my books. Seriously, from 10/15% all the way to like, 85% it’s all just boring high school crap. Moreover, the killer is beyond obvious. It’s so obvious that my cat could have figured it out ! The second they come into the story, the author doesn’t even try to hide who it is, instead, she leaves such obvious hints about it to make sure that everyone knows who it is. IN COMING SPOILER!

 

 

In addition to this unrealistic bullshit, Serena gets turned in a cat, (I’m assuming for the first time in her life) yet she gracefully knows how to walk and hiss and be a legit cat without ever stumbling, falling, freaking out, or anything at all that would even remotely suggest that she has no idea what she’s doing as a cat. Ridiculous.

End of spoiler!

The characters are really forgettable and annoying. They barely do anything at all but complain. The whole town is boring. Nothing happens and then there are all of these random ass cats that doesn’t even add the creepy feeling that Schindler is trying so fucking hard to achieve.

Somehow, however, I had managed to find a couple of nice/mediocre things this book has like Serena’s perspective as a dead person is pretty cool at first. I also liked Claire’s past and how big or a role it plays in the story.

Holly Schindler could have made Feral into a much better book if only she made it more realistic and all around more creative and suspenseful. I don’t recommend this one to anyone because of how completely pointless it is.

One Lonely Cloud

One Lonely Cloud

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