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)

good good

 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

Book Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

18635076The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Mystery and Young Adult

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Pages: 304 (Paperback)

good good

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long-buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily’s and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Balzer + Bray 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 worst kinds of books are the ones that start out promising and then just decide not to deliver anything good in the end. The Secrets of Lily Graves is that kind of book. It starts out pretty good, there’s a creepy girl who likes to hang out in the cemetery and wear black all day with a dark sense of humour. The author could have made this novel fucking golden yet decided that she wanted an idiot main character who does stupid things because she’s in love with a stupid boy. All in all, don’t read this because you will be let down depending on how much you enjoy different main characters.

My first problem with this book is when Erin is dead. Not much details are told about it yet Lily somehow knows how she died.  Lily also doesn’t even suspect that Matt could be the killer, not even for s second because she knows him for a few months  and that he never would do anything like that. This leads to my next problem with the novel-Lily. For someone so smart they’re awfully stupid. I don’t want to give anything away if you decide you may want to check this out but for fuck’s sake, why would you stand there with incriminating evidence in your hands and then try to walk away with it in plain fucking sight when someone sees you? Do you not know how people work? Do you need a brain to understand that you run and then ask questions later before someone sees you? Stupid. I also had a problem with the romance because it feels extremely contrived and fake. The feelings Matt have for Lily feels too forced to be real and it didn’t help that he says, “I’m so sorry. I won’t let anything happen to you. I’ll explain everything. I really, really like you,” everything second her gets (which is every second he’s in the story). Adding onto that, the pacing of the novel is slow and everything is boring, even when the killer is caught, things are resolved fairly quickly. The ending is actually kind of predictable and so is the killer if you actually think about it.

Although I didn’t like this book as a whole, I did enjoy the sarcasm. It’s funny, dark, and refreshing. Moreover, I liked that some things happen in the cemetery because it’s quite a different scene and gives this book a bit of originality.

The Secrets of Lily Graves isn’t the best mystery book. It’s more about the forced romance than anything. Lily felt forced to solve the murder to me than actually doing it for a good reason. The police didn’t even suspect her until she kept digging and she just met Matt, who cares about him. Overall, I don’t recommend reading this unless you’re in the mood for some good humour and nothing else.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters#1) by Michelle Madow

17160608The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters#1) by  Michelle Madow 

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Pages: 382 (Paperback)

good good

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

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

I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless. More so because I had to take multiple naps while reading this (or trying to) before I finished it. The Secret Diamond Sisters could have been an amazing novel that’s light-hearted and fun but instead what I got was mindless crap that either didn’t make sense or was too boring for me to care about.

The characters are so very flat and annoying. The say the same things over again and they all seem to share one stupid brain. I couldn’t stand any of them and what made everything worse are the romances which, for the life of me I could not give two fucks about. They’re so boring, and the love interests are so one-sided and are only there to compliment the girls and they’re just worse than a brick wall. I also really disliked the writing because it felt too simple to me and I couldn’t connect to it or anything.

I’m giving this book .5 because I really liked the idea of it. I hated everything else which is sad because this could have been a fun novel. The Secret Diamond Sisters is a huge disappointment for me. I pretty much disliked everything about it yet this novel could have been really good. I don’t recommend this one to anyone, it’s boring, annoying, and predictable.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

17934644

Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

good good

Dreamy, poetic Claire, seventeen, has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed recovering from a stroke. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets “Brent” online. Brent appears to be a kindred spirit, and Claire is initially flattered by his attention. But when she meets Max, the awkward state senator’s son, her feelings become complicated.

Max, also seventeen, has been working the worst summer job ever at the beachside Snack Shack. He’s also been popping painkillers. His parents—more involved in his father’s re-election than in their son’s life—fail to see what’s going on with him.

Working alongside Max is Barkley, twenty-one. Lonely and obsessive, Barkley has been hearing a voice in his head. No one—not his parents, not his co-workers—realizes that Barkley is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Until the voice in his head orders him to take out his gun.

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

Ever since that tragic incident that happened in Connecticut, I’ve been intrigued, no, obsessed with shootings and massacres of any sorts. So, of course when I found out that Before My Eyes has a shooting I knew that I HAD TO GET MY HANDS ON IT. So far, after reading quite a few novels about shootings I’ve been left with huge disappointment after huge disappointment

Caroline Bock is an author that tries too hard. It was sad reading about something that could have been so great fail so miserably. The writing for almost all of the story is very stiff and annoying. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters partially because of this as well as the fact that they all suck ass. Another thing that I had a problem with is the summary of the book since it says that Barkley hears a voice in his head. Where the hell is this voice?! It makes a millisecond appearance only twice where it says one word. Everything about the voice inside of his head is flimsy and pathetic.

Before My Eyes starts off great. It’s extremely creepy and odd, the writing is really proper and by that I mean there aren’t any contractions. I was instantly hooked after the first chapter which is told from Barkley’s perspective. This first chapter is intriguing and it’s the best part of the novel. I wish I were kidding but I’m not. However, the best character is the dog, King, who’s blind. Near the end of the story, King becomes braver than anyone and blindly risks his life to save others. Reading about him alone got this book one cloud out of me because he’s amazing.

Overall, don’t read this. If you’re like me and are looking for a well executed story about teenagers and a shooting you’ll have to look elsewhere. Before My Eyes is a sloppily done novel that has left me close to no hope that I’ll ever find a great teen story about a shooting.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

17797364And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Pages: 240 (Hardcover)

good good

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Delacorte Press  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 read a novel where the main character has gone through some serious shit, I expect a few things. I expect a relatable/likeable character who has quite a few flaws. I expect a lot of emotion and confusion and above all, a lot of sympathy. I expect to love this book and feel as if I am apart of the story, that, this horrible thing that happened to the protagonist actually happened to me. I want to be in their shoes. And We Stay gives me a narration that left me more tired than anything.

And We Stay is written in the worst possible way. It’s third person present tense for crying out loud! It’s so simple and detached, the events that Emily goes through didn’t feel real to me in any way. Everything is told instead of shown and I couldn’t feel anything towards Emily and her life, even when she has sudden flashback about Paul, Albeit beautifully done, felt too simple and boring for me to care about too much.

Jenny Hubbard does know how to write beautiful poetry though. At the end of each chapter, readers are left with a beautiful poem that’s probably the most touching thing about the novel. The idea for this story is also very creative and intriguing. It was the mention of a shooting that initially drew me to the story and I enjoyed the few flashbacks where Paul is mentioned and the shooting because they are so very interesting.

Overall, Emily’s life is horrible. And my biggest problem with the novel isn’t the actual story idea but the execution of it. If the story was told in first person and maybe if it was all told in verse, it could have a great novel. I absolutely love gritty novels about horrible events that happen to teens. The story idea is awesome but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone because I felt so apathetic towards most of it.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Picture Me by Lori Weber

picture mePicture Me by Lori Weber

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 1, 2014

Pages: 168 (Hardcover)

good good

When a well-meaning English teacher has overweight student Krista read aloud a poem about body image titled “Barbie Doll” in class, she ignites a simmering bullying event based on Krista’s appearance. Krista’s best friend, and witness to the event, Tessa, is suspended for fighting to defend her friend. The girl who bullies Krista seems unaffected by the incident at school and more concerned with what an older guy thinks of her. But as the three characters’ paths intersect, their inner lives are revealed. Each emerges as a much more complicated individual than their simple bully, target, and witness labels.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, James Lorimer & Company 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 isn’t a bad book. In fact, I think I would make my class read this if I were a teacher. The reasons why I’m giving it such a low rating is because of how short it is and the audience. Some of the events that occur in here are more high school than middle school and I found some things a little too hard to believe.

Picture Me is less than 200 pages. It’s hard to create a memorable story with in such a short time and unfortunately, Lori Weber doesn’t succeed. Since the story is so painfully short, the characters are feel rushed and one-sided. Their situations are only touched on and then that’s it, there’s not enough depth for me to feel anything but apathetic towards them.  I also felt that the audience for the book is wrong. Most events that go on in this lean towards high school students and I felt really weird thinking about thirteen year olds doing all of these mindlessly harsh things.

The only thing about this novel is that it’s great for reluctant readers in the sense that this novel could be finished in an hour, two at most.It touches on how bullying affects the victim and how sometimes, bullies are victims themselves. Overall, this book is a disappointment. I was looking for something that read more like a story rather than a pamphlet with realistic characters. I do recommend this to teachers but not to people who are looking for something heart-felt and touching.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

12711662All That Glows by Ryan Graudin 

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Pages: 480 (Paperback)

good good

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

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

You know when you have a huge pile of books and for once in your life, you’re actually ahead of your reading schedule? For me, this happens once every blue moon. So of course I was flipping my shit when I was ahead by two books! However, all that hard work went to shit once I started this novel. All that Glows is just so. Boring. It’s so boring that even my blogger friends who adore anything fey had a hard time caring about anything in this novel. There’s is just so much bad and so little good and I forced myself to finish this hoping that the ending will be something worth-while. What a huge disappointment that was.

The biggest problem with this book is the romance and its insta-love. Because of it, everything else fell to mush and things that should have been important to Emrys become petty compared to her love for prince Richard. From the moment she meets him, she’s flustered and slipping. Throughout the novel, Ryan Graudin boasts about Emrys being so young yet so very talented but all I saw was a girl who couldn’t keep her emotions in checked least of all her magic. An example of this is the fact that after years of being told not to do something for quite a good reason, she goes and does it because she’s tired of pretending! What’s even worse is that there’s a lot of talk and anxiety about being caught yet nothing bad happens. It seems that whatever Emrys does is okay as long as it’s for the sake of love. Hell, she does a lot of shit just because she knows she can, she agrees with the prince while she should actually be disagreeing with him! She’s an idiot. End of story.

Another thing that I really disliked about this story are all of the characters. After the very first page to the very end I felt nothing but annoyance with these characters and their idiocy. They are all very stiff and awkward and actually make no sense. The story is also extremely predictable. I knew the ending before reading it, the bad guy makes sense

Only one thing didn’t annoy me as much as everything else and that was the writing. Although it’s not perfect and it’s a bit awkward at times, I didn’t have a hard time with it. Also, have you seen that cover?! Why, oh why are all of the books with the prettiest covers this year are so shitty? It’s such a sad thing.

All that Glows relies heavily on the romance and nothing else. The plot, the action, everything is swallowed up by the huge amount of romance that goes on between Emrys and Richard. This unlikely duo has just about nothing in common, yet Graudin shoved them together anyway. I don’t recommend this to anyone. Stay away from this unless you actually enjoy stories that are all romance and nothing else.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds