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 great since most books about the Rapture don’t really go into after the ‘event’, 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

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2013 Book Challenges: August Edition

I really have to make these last four months count! I’m so close to finishing most of my challenges. I CAN TASTE THE VICTORY!

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 9

Total: 73

Sweet Peril (Sweet#2) by Wendy Higgins

The Uprising (The Forsaken#2) by Lisa M. Stasse

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn#2) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Insurgent (Divergent#2) by Veronica Roth

Ostrich by Matt Greene

The Pledge (The Pledge#1) by Kimberly Derting

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

Sylo (Sylo#1) by D.J. MacHale

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 1

Total: 14

Ostrich by Matt Greene

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:2

Total: 15

Insurgent (Divergent#2) by Veronica Roth

The Pledge (The Pledge#1) by Kimberly Derting

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 4

Total: 18

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn#2) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Ostrich by Matt Greene

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 4

Total: 6

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn#2) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Sweet Peril (Sweet#2) by Wendy Higgins

The Uprising (The Forsaken#2) by Lisa M. Stasse

 

How are you doing with your challenges? Post links in the comments!

2013 Book Challenges: July Edition

*Does happy dance* I have finished one of my challenges! Finally! Goodbye, Début author challenge! Even though I’ll probably continue to read other Débuts just because.

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 11

Total: 64

Freaking out by Polly Wells

Beyond Parallel by Matthew Turner

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

Proxy (Proxy#1) by Alex London

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

The Bone Season (Scion#1) by Samantha Shannon

Siege and Storm (The Grisha#2) by Leigh Bardugo

Clean by Amy Reed

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Running Lean  Diana L. Sharples

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 6

Total: 13 (I’m done here! YES!)

Beyond Parallel by Matthew Turner

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

The Bone Season (Scion#1) by Samantha Shannon

Running Lean  Diana L. Sharples

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:2

Total: 13

Clean by Amy Reed

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 5

Total: 14

Freaking out by Polly Wells

Beyond Parallel by Matthew Turner

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Running Lean  Diana L. Sharples

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 1

Total: 2

Siege and Storm (The Grisha#2) by Leigh Bardugo

How are your challenges going? Send me links so I can check them out!

Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Genre: Fantasy and New Adult

Release Date: August 20, 2013

Pages: 480 (Hardcover)

The Bone Season

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Bloomsbury USA 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 can see why there’s so much hype around this book! There’s a lot of action and drama and all that fun stuff packed in here. And I really like this novel, I do. The Bone Season held my attention for a lot longer than I thought it would, but unfortunately there is just so many things that I can’t overlook and allow me give this book a higher rating. Nonetheless a lot of people will still enjoy this, maybe even love it. I’m just not one of those people who can overlook things easily.

The first thing that I can’t stand about this book is the abundance of information. And it’s also not only a few pages long, throughout the book, I had to skip everything about Paige’s past life and albeit important, information on all of the different types of clairvoyants and such things just to make sure my head didn’t explode. There’s just too much info-dumping which leads to the disorganized plot. A lot of things happen in the book, like I mentioned before, there’s a lot of action but it’s all over the place and a bit confusing at some parts. Another thing that frustrates me about The Bone Season is the protagonist, Paige because she’s not only predictable but crazy as well. She is constantly getting into trouble for no good reason except to get killed, and then she gets everything handed to her. There’s very little proof that makes me like Paige even in the slightest because of the way she acts and receives everything because she’s ‘special’. I really dislike her character.

Samantha Shannon does a fine job building a believable world though. With everything that’s happening, I fell in love with the setting and the atmosphere, everything feels like it’s happening right in front of me and I couldn’t stop reading. The story is also well written, it’s smooth and exciting. I love the way that Shannon hooks readers in with simple yet complex writing.  A lot of the characters are well-developed, especially Arcturus. He’s really complex and layered with lots of passion. Even when I didn’t want to, I felt myself loving him.

The Bone Season is a novel many people will love, no doubt. There’s tons of action and friendships and pain with a little bit of romance that takes the backseat. But there’s a few things that stand in its way of being an amazing start to a seven book series. Still, I recommend this to anyone who likes a lot of action and a well-developed world and don’t mind an abundance of information. Or are willing to skip half the book to get to the good parts. Hopefully there’ll be a lot less info-dumping in the next book and Paige grows up a lot more.

2.5 Clouds

2.5 Clouds

Book Review: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

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Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: March 5, 2013 (Original date: June 1, 1996)

Pages: 224 (Paperback)

Rats Saw God

For Steve York, life was good. He had a 4.0 GPA, friends he could trust, and a girl he loved. Now he spends his days smoked out, not so much living as simply existing.

But his herbal endeavors — and personal demons — have led to a severe lack of motivation. Steve’s flunking out, but if he writes a one-hundred-page paper, he can graduate.

Steve realizes he must write what he knows. And through telling the story of how he got to where he is, he discovers exactly where he wants to be….

opinion

A beautiful story about love and how messed up it can make us. Told from the perspective of Steve York, a teen going in a downwards spiral from really great to not-so-great. The beginning is fast paced and funny but somewhere during the second part it slows down a lot.  The characters are original and very likeable I fell in love with Doug, Steve, and Sarah right away. Overall,this is a great read.

There is only a few flaws that kept Rats Saw God from being a five-star read for me. One of those things is that it’s really disorganized with the past and present stories. Instead of taking readers to the past for an explanation for something that affects Steve in the present, Rob Thomas takes readers to the past of something that doesn’t have any real connection to anything in the chapter. Another reason it didn’t make my favourite shelf is because during the second half, things slow down by a great deal to an almost snail-like pace which made the story seem boring even though it shouldn’t have been. And even though I love Steve, he’s a great character, during the second half of the story, Steve becomes this lovesick puppy that is not as funny as he was during the first half.

Stories with a male protagonist, I expect there to be tons of humour and sarcastic content. I don’t know why, I just do. Rats Saw God delivers and surpasses my expectations with very funny, realistic characters and a relaxed, sarcastic writing style. Steve, as a character really grows and learns a lot throughout the novel that it’s hard not to feel empathetic for him. The relationship between Doug and Steve is strong too, with their love for nothing (a.k.a. Dadaism) and video games, it’s a lot of fun to read about them.

Rats Saw God is quite a moving novel about love, life, and growing up. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun read with a serious undertone. And really, this novel is a story within a story, which is a bonus.

Four Dreamy Clouds

Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) by Kara Taylor

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Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) by Kara Taylor

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Pages: 304 (Paper Back)

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1)

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

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

opinion

This is such a fun novel! I couldn’t put it down, it’s an easy read with lovely characters and great pacing. Some things are predictable, I knew who the killer was only after reading about Isabella’s death but there are a few surprises that kept me at the edge my seat as well. So many things going on in the book that I think Kara Taylor did a fine job organizing.

Prep School Confidential has a few flaws that I couldn’t overlook. Throughout the novel, there’s quite a few clichés concerning the new girl and the mean girl and quite a bit slut shaming. Some characters like Remy feel really choppy and underdeveloped. Readers are told that she’s nice and strong, etc. yet, there are only a few instances that proves this and she doesn’t feel as real as I wished she should. Also, Isabella plays a huge part in the novel, both dead and alive. After her death, readers are told that Isabella was actually a completely different person but I didn’t feel it. The information given is lacking and albeit there are points given that show that Isabella had a dark side, they could have been elaborated on.

The writing is so fun! It’s light and laid back which makes it for a amusing read (even with murder in it). The romance in Prep School Confidential is so laid back and relaxed, nothing felt too contrived or fake to me and I loved it. I could see Anne with either one of them. Most of the characters are well written and beautifully developed, I felt satisfied with Anne and the obstacles she faces.

Overall, this is something I was not expecting. I went in hoping that I didn’t want to punch every character and that the clichés were a small amount. Even with the clichés, Kara Taylor managed to entertain me with her tale of murder, mystery, love, and life without getting on my nerves too much. I recommend this to anyone looking for a great summer read to pass the time with some heavy tones but an overall light read. Now, I can’t wait for the next book to come out!

3.5 Cool Clouds

3.5 Cool Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

2013 Book Challenges: June Edition

I FINALLY HAVE ONE FOR THE SOPHOMORE CHALLENGE! YES!

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 9

Total:53

The Archived (The Archived#1) by Victoria Schwab

Winger by Andrew Smith

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Archlight (Arclight#1) by Josin L. McQuein

Kindness For weakness by Shawn Goodman

Taken (Taken#1) by Erin Bowman

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 2

Total: 7

Taken (Taken#1) by Erin Bowman

Arclight (Arclight#1) by Josin L. McQuein

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:0

Total: 11

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 4

Total: 9

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Winger by Andrew Smith

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Kindness For weakness by Shawn Goodman

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 1

Total: 1

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

How are your challenges going? Send me links so I can check them out!