Book Review: Damaged by Amy Reed

20759617Damaged by Amy Reed

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

When Kinsey’s best friend Camille dies in a car accident while she was behind the wheel, she shuts down completely, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. She wants to be left alone during the last few weeks of high school, but Camille’s mysterious boyfriend Hunter, who was also in the car that night, has a different idea.

Despite all of Kinsey’s efforts, she can’t shake Camille, who begins haunting her in dreams. Sleep deprived and on the verge of losing it, she agrees to run away with Hunter to San Francisco. As the pair tries to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions how real her perception of her friendship with Camille was, and whether her former friend’s ghost is actually now haunting her. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing.

Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they’ve lost and accept that they can’t outrun pain.

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

Ghost stories are pretty cool. They usually have nightmares, suspense, and lots of emotion. I’ve never been one to read them since they aren’t that well done (or so I’m told). It seems that Damaged is no different. Really, I wanted to like this one more than I actually did because I’ve enjoyed novels by Reed in the past.

There’s so much info-dumping and since most of it is during the beginning, I couldn’t make sense of it all. With talks of random events and stuff, I just felt left in the dark. Moreover, the story is pretty typical with the broken girl and boy trying to fix each other. The romance felt forced at best. They have nothing in common except they both cared about Camille. Another thing that could have been better it Kinsley’s mom who could have been by far, my favourite character , she’s sassy and strange and gives the story flavour. Sadly, she’s not developed and feels like a half written page.

Still, the people they meet on their way to San Francisco are all unique especially Terry, who I found adorable. Camille is a well put together character, maybe the best developed despite the fact that she’s already dead before the story even begins. Also, I liked how Kinsley opened up at the end albeit a cliché used in almost every type of book, I still enjoyed it.

All in all, not the best book by Reed. The writing is great which helped make the boring characters bearable. Still, I recommend this to anyone looking for something that deals with ghosts and letting go.

2 Boring Clouds

2 Boring Clouds

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

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: 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

Book Review: Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

18378832Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 1, 2014

Pages: 259 (Hardcover)

good good

 

Sixteen-year-old Jack, nicknamed “Bones,” won’t eat. His roommate in the eating disorder ward has the opposite problem and proudly goes by the nickname “Lard.” They become friends despite Bones’s initial reluctance. When Bones meets Alice, a dangerously thin dancer who loves to break the rules, he lets his guard down even more. Soon Bones is so obsessed with Alice that he’s willing to risk everything-even his recovery.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Albert Whitman & 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

Eating Disorders are something that I know a lot about because they have impacted my life in such a harsh way. So I expected to be able to relate to Jack’s story yet I couldn’t at all. It all felt very flimsy and rushed, nothing is properly explained and the characters are so choppy with the ever-present insta-love. Nonetheless, I liked the ending solely because it’s not necessarily a typical one.

Skin and Bones biggest problem has to be how unrealistic it is. The ICU unit in this is really relaxed and don’t seem to care about anything until Jack’s first weigh in. He exercises and no one’s there to watch him like a hawk his first few days there. This is actually mandatory pretty much everywhere no matter what is wrong with a person, there should always be a nurse watching especially on the first few days to get them to stop their horrible habits.Like I mentioned before, the characters are a bit flimsy and barely have a back story except for their parents. Jack doesn’t seem like an actual boy either. He’s like a girl trying to be a boy because of how emotional and stuff he gets. It’s very hard for a female writing to create a realistic male voice and Shahan didn’t capture it at all. Another thing that I didn’t like is the romance between Alice and Jack because it’s too forced and odd especially at first. It never really progresses and just suddenly ends just as the foundation was sloppily being built.

The story is fairly short and the chapters are short so it’s an easy read. The ending isn’t typical and I wasn’t expecting that which is why I’m bumping this book up to two stars.

Although Skin and Bones isn’t an original story and it felt more like a pamphlet rather than a story that could happen to anyone, it’s an easy enough read that some people, who might have to try pretty hard will enjoy. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys these kinds of novels but beware, it isn’t something new.

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

Book Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

18053148Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 18, 2014

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

good good

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

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

Honestly, I’m not sure about this one. It’s not bad but it’s certainty not good. The character got on my nerves but I felt bad for them at least once. I hated most things but liked a few. I felt very conflicted and it’s safe to say that Side Effects May Vary could have been well executed and a fun read. The idea of getting a second chance at life hasn’t been done before in YA novels or at least not done enough.

My biggest problem with Side Effects May Vary are the main characters and just….Annoying they both are. Alice is a bitch who treats the only person who loves her like crap. I understand that she’s scared and all but come on, at least be a woman about it and tell him that you’re scared. Harvey albeit sweeter than sweet is such a pushover. Love can make people do some really weird things yet Harvey allowed Alice to get away with everything. It was extremely annoying to read about and I could barely tolerate the romance of it all.

Have you ever wanted a second chance to fix all the shit that you messed up? I know I do and Alice actually gets the chance to. I loved reading Julie Murphy’s writing style, although at times I felt bored, for the most part it’s lovely and I didn’t mind it.

However, Julie Murphy has a few things to learn, especially about writing from a male’s perspective because many times, I didn’t believe that Harvey’s actually a guy. I don’t know if I would recommend this to anyone. On one hand, I loved the idea of this book. On the other, I hated the characters and the romance for how one-sided it is.

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

Book Review: Let the Storm Break (Let the Sky Fall#2) by Shannon Messenger

18051183

Let the Storm Break (Let the Sky Fall#2) by Shannon Messenger

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Pages: 400 (Hardcover)

good good

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

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

Shannon Messenger chooses the prettiest titles and has some amazing covers that go well with her Let the Sky Fall series. And as a reviewer, I try my best (and mostly fail) to never judge a book by its cover and with Let the Storm Break I completely disregarded just how lovey dovey the cover is and hoped for a shit ton of action and great main characters unlike what happened in the first book. Did I get the kick-ass main characters I was hoping for?

When a book is four hundred pages, I expect a lot to happen. I expect a shit ton of action and character development and some romance. Let the Storm Break could have been cut down at least by a quarter because most of the book is just romance and nothing more. I was expecting a lot more character development and a LOT less Romance. Everything just focuses on the relationship between Audra and Vane and how much they love each other and need each other. I’ve never read such a love-sick guy in my life. Honestly, Vane, grow a pair before I slap you. His humour is also very contrived, I had a hard time believing a word that he said with his crappy sarcasm. Everything is still predictable, I knew what would happen in the end after only reading about a quarter of the novel which is sad because I was hoping that Messenger would still have a few tricks up her sleeve.

This series has very short chapters as well as smooth writing that helps makes the characters more bearable to read about. I enjoyed reading about the new characters that Messenger brings into Let the Storm Break especially Gus, who’s good-natured humour. There isn’t very much information on the different winds except for what we were told in the first book but I stilled loved this aspect of it. The Westerly language is amazing, their hope and faith and just heritage is so lovely and I felt whenever a westerly wind helps out Vane or Audra, that I was really excited.

Overall, Let the Storm Break is a disappointment. Rarely does a second novel beat out the first one for me, but I had really low expectations for this one. Honestly, all I wanted was less romance not more of it. However if you’re a fan of the romance taking over the plot then you will really like this novel. The idea of it is so captivating with the winds and how they’re all different yet so connected is the only reason why I’ll read the next book. Honestly.

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.