Book Review: Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn#3) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

10662433Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn#3) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 16, 2014

Pages: 387 (Hardcover)

good good

New Year’s Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.

After Rennie’s death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn’t left with Reeve… If Kat had only stayed with Rennie… Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.
Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

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.

opinionAshes to Ashes, the final novel in the revenge driven Burn for Burn series has final come to an end. And boy, is it a crazy ride. With the girls still reeling from the events that took place in the second book, Fire with Fireeverything seems strange. The girls are on completely different pages with each other and it’s not a good thing. Mary has officially lost her sweet girl nature that readers saw in the first and a little of the second book and is now psycho. Lillia is still an innocent flower but without being that innocent anymore, her role in many things take a toll on her and especially her relationship with Reeve. Kat seems to be the least one that’s ready to throw in the towel and I think that’s why I love her the most. She’s funny and seems to look on the bright side and keeps fighting. While they all go through their last few months of school, they all have to really figure things out and I loved how unpredictable the story gets to keep people in the dark.

Near the beginning of the book and for the whole series it seems, is that the books start off fairly slow and then slowly pick up speed until the very end. It’s a pretty good build-up however, I don’t like how long it took me to be engrossed into the book.

This series has other consistent qualities that are shown to be good things like the short chapters. In Ashes to Ashes, the chapters are so short that it’s hard to put the book down. “One more chapter,” quickly turns into, “might as well finish the rest of the book even though it’s five am in the morning.” It also helps that the writing  is addicting and the characters are well-developed that I easily knew whose chapter I was reading without even thinking about it. Adding onto what I said about the characters, they are great. They’ve really grown up since Burn for Burn and it truly shows in their demeanour and the way the speak about things. Also, the relationship between Lillia and Reeve is so cute! I liked it in the other book but I loved it in this one! It’s all ups and downs, highs and lows and sooo unpredictable. I honestly thought that in the end, things would end up different between them but I still liked how Han and Vivian decided to go with it. Moreover, the ending! The penultimate chapter especially! It’s all freaky and messed up and awesome! There’s so much suspense, will Mary forgive Reeve? Or will she make him suffer the same way she did? I loved how everything went, especially with the girls and Reeve, the way he questions his sanity and his life. I felt how realistic everything became and I was really happy with how it all ended. It’s pretty crazy, not gonna lie.

Han and Vivian have come so far with this trilogy. The girls all started out with blinded rage and naive minds towards most things to grown ups who understand just how risky it is to get revenge instead of giving forgiveness. Some people are really shitty, end of story. However, some people are shitty because they are dealt that hand and then they try their best to change it. This is evident with Reeve especially and I think that people who didn’t like him before will start to like him now. I recommend this series to anyone who loves revenge driven plots, a bit of romance, and killer twists!

4. 5 Bad-Ass Clouds

4. 5 Bad-Ass Clouds

Book Review: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

16042447Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen

Genre: Adventure, Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: March 1, 2013

Pages: 270 (Ebook)

Being Henry David

 

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything –who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or “Hank” and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of–Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

*First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Albert Whitman Teen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciated! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

I don’t understand how anyone could not love this book. The romance doesn’t overpower the message the book is trying to get across nor does it stray. I could also relate to Hank as if he were an actual person, not just a character in a fictional story. Being Henry David touched my heart in a way that not very many have. I will forever cherish this book.

Of course the beginning is odd, it takes a few chapters for the story to really get its footing with an awkward writing style (at first) and a boring, too simplistic setting. But all of this changes near the middle. I thought Being Henry David was going to be like other books where the main protagonist meets this person who is crazy and wild and follows them around like a lost puppy like in 34 Pieces of You or Then You Were Gone. But it’s not like that. Not at all. Not really.

There is just so much to love about this book. For one thing, I love the message it gives off because it really did make me tear up and feel a bunch of emotions. And it’s true, the ones who care about you will always care, no matter what. Most of the characters are very easy to relate to and easy to love because as the story progresses, so do the characters and they become stronger and better people. I even loved to hate Magpie with his creepy eyes and accent. The relationship between Hank, Jack, and Nessa seems very realistic to me, another thing that really pulled at my heart. As a teen I know how it feels to be in a hopeless state and being forced to trust the ones you are uncertain of.

As the story progresses, Hank’s memories start to come back to him. I like this part a lot because the memories are pretty stretched out which helps the book stay less predictable and is a lot more enjoyable this way. The love interest doesn’t go from ‘I think she’s cute’ on one page to, ‘oh man, I’m in love’ the next which saved me from wanting to throw the book out the window (yay!).

What an astonishing book this is! I would recommend this book to everyone. Because everyone has, during some time in their lifetime, wish they could live a different life, even just for a day. Being Henry David is just that, a teen wanting to start over only to realize that his life just might not suck.

4. 5 Dreamy Clouds

4. 5 Dreamy Clouds

Identical By Ellen Hopkins

2241059 Identical By Ellen Hopkins

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Poetry and Realistic Fiction

Release Date: August 26th 2008

Pages:565 (Hard cover)

Identical

 

Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

 

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family — on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin.
For Kaeleigh, she’s the misplaced focus of Daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites — and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept — from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is — who?

 

  (My Opinion)

It’s pretty hard to get into a story that is poem based when all you’ve ever read are paragraph based. Ellen Hopkins does a great job telling a story about dealing with your inner demons while trying to find love in a cruel world. Even though it’s pretty hard to get into, the plot is good and the characters stand out. The writing style is a bit weird at first but the main characters are so interesting that it doesn’t bother me after a while.

The beginning is boring. I feel like Ellen Hopkins is trying to make the relationship between the sisters sound and seem very mysterious which it isn’t. Also, the fact that they are complete opposites seems to happen a lot in books. I wish they had more in common for the characters to stand out more than they did.

The shocking secret that comes out of nowhere is my favourite part of this book. It will take you by surprise and leave you shell-shocked. I also like the tense parts between Kaeleigh and her dad because it’s so controlled and perfect. It’s easy to know what will happen while still leaving the reads to let their imagination run wild. The ending to this is really good too since things look brighter and clearer, I’m not left with any unanswered questions. Even though the ending is kind of typical, I’m not disappointed because there is just so much happening in the book that the ending couldn’t ruin this for me. Recommended for everyone, especially if you enjoy realistic fiction with human-like demons.

four ah 4.5 Dreamy Clouds

 

Split By Swati Avasthi

4.7/5-It took me over a month to finish this book not because it was slow, boring, or uncreative, but because I couldn’t bring myself to finish the last few chapters I had left. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. The book made me so angry at times, yet still made me laugh a lot and cry too.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret. He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret. At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. First-time novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again?

(My Opinion)

This book was amazing, most of the characters flew off of the pages because they were so  funny and creative. Well-written without too much description or explanation in the first few chapters that it was a quick and easy read. A very moving tale about abuse where we learn the different sides to his family. The idea for this novel was executed almost perfectly with a good amount of flashbacks and touching moments.

Almost perfect in my eyes. There are a lot of books that I wished were tweaked a bit better or were a bit clearer on some parts so that I could put it up in my “Forever love and cherish” book pile. Swati Avasthi’s Debut novel could have been clearer on a few of the secondary characters. I wished she made Jace’s ex-girlfriend clearer and more history about his best friend.

Such an emotional book! I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it for the longest time because I didn’t want Jace’s adventure to end. I loved how his brother, Christian acted towards Jace near the ending because it surprised me, I thought Christian would have reacted differently. Also, the flashbacks about Jace;s old life and what he liked about it and what he despised because most of them were about his father. In this book, I loved how the relationships between Jace’s brother and his new friends weren’t too fast and they were very unpredictable while the slowly blooming romance was in fact that. Slowly blooming. Holy crap, the writing style was what I loved from authors. It was so easy to read that, the words flew off the page and I couldn’t remember if the book was past or present tense because I was so caught up in the story of Jace.

An amazing novel about getting over the past and fighting to not become the monster you’ve known all your life. A total must read for everyone. Swati Avasthi’s next novel will probably be a smash hit if its anything similar to Split.

What Happened To Goodbye By Sarah Dessen

4.7/5-Mclean has gotten the opportunity that a lot of people would love to get a fresh start somewhere new. This story is the reason why Sarah Dessen is my favourite author.

(Summary Taken From Goodreads)

Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

(My Opinion)

To me, the message of this story is that, even though you run from your past, you really can’t hide from it. The plot for this book was amazing, after reading some reviews on how Sarah Dessen lacks in this book compared to, The Truth About Forever I was curious to know why. I can now say that this book was amazing, screw what anyone else says! The characters in What Happened To Goodbye are very lovable and just the other characters’ Sarah Dessen is known for writing about.

Sarah Dessen was trying to get the fast-paced writing-style she usually has in her novels into this one. I think she did a great job with it considering the pace for one of her other books. But I still felt like she could improve more with some of the secondary characters.

The fact that Sarah Dessen chose two places for all of her books to be set in is great. What makes this book even better is when she includes characters from her older books into this one. I loved that and how she put them in the most normal places too. Like in all of Sarah Dessen’s books, the message was amazing and heartfelt with a dash of love and romance in there. If she keeps this great job up, her next book is going to be a smashing hit. I would recommend this book at anyone who is a fan of Sarah Dessen’s books and/or love romance novels with an even deeper meaning than romance is everything you need, go get this book.

Red Glove (Curse Workers#2) By Holly Black

**************************WARNING! THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS ABOUT WHITE CAT IN THEM!*************************

THIS HAS SPOILERS ABOUT WHITE CAT (BOOK#1) IN THIS. IF YOU WANT TO READ THIS SERIES GO READ BOOK ONE FIRST. YOU ALREADY HAVE? OKAY THEN PROCEED!

YOU HAVEN’T, YOU SAY? BUT YOU DON’T PLAN ON READING THIS SERIES?

Okay then, you can read this review. But I’m telling you, you’re missing out on a great series….

 

 

 

 

4.9/5-Almost there, Holly Black. Almost there. Cassel Sharpe and Lila Zacharov’s relationship is amazing because once you think you know whether they’re going to be together or never speak to each other again, Holly Black pulls out yet another trick from her sleeve and you’re left in the dark. I’m starting to really like her.

(Summary)

Cassel Sharpe thought he was normal until he found out that his older brother manipulated him into doing their dirty work for them. Now, he’s fully aware that he’s a transformation worker-the rarest kind of curse worker out there. Everyone wants him to be on their side, but who can he trust? Lila has been forced to love him because of his mother and he can’t stand to be near here because he doesn’t know how she truly feels about him. When Cassel’s older brother, Phillip is murdered, he has to work with the feds. All he knows is that the killer was wearing red gloves. Can Cassel work with the people he trusts the least, keep the mob happy, and figure out where him and Lila stand?

(My Opinion)

I love this. I loved the plot and the killer, the way he figures everything out. Of course, if you’re reading this review then you already know just how much I love Cassel Sharpe. Because I love him a lot. The plot for this book is surrounded mostly on the relationship between the death of his older brother. The characters’ in this boom (new and old) and amazing and funny with surprises of their own.  The ending was great because even though it seemed like it was slowing down, it really wasn’t. I also liked the ending because it kept me on my toes about what will happen in the next book between Cassel and his loved ones.

Even though this book was amazing the agents that had to work with Cassel felt a bit like they were rushed and I’m still wondering a bit about them. It was a bit tricky for me to remember who was who since they seemed very similar.

Like I’ve said before, I loved the relationship between Cassel and Lila because it’s not like any other romance. Their romance is complicated and a constant roller coaster because they don’t know where they stand with each other. The cons and pranks that they pull off kept me laughing throughout this book. Holly Black really does know how to make things funny as hell. I also loved that I was hooked to this book from the first page It was fast paced, full of cons and romance and a dash of humour.

If you haven’t read, White Cat By Holly Black then you shouldn’t read this book. If you have, then read this book. I love this series because of the humour but also because its original and fast. I recommend this series to anyone who loves to laugh and are looking for a new character to fall in love with. The next book in this series is Black Heart which is out now!

The Rules Of Survival By Nancy Werlin

4.6/5-I never knew how interesting reading a story told like a letter could be until I read this book.

(Summary)

When, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt’s mother, it seems as if life may become peaceful for the first time. Matt and his sisters have never before known a moment of peace in a household ruled by their unpredictable, vicious mother. And so, after Murdoch inevitably breaks up with her and the short period of family calm is over, Matt sees that he needs to take action. He refuses to let his family remain at risk. Can he call upon his hero, Murdoch? And if not, what might his desperation lead him to do?

(My Opinion)

There wasn’t a time when I thought this book was boring. It was fast paced and original. The chapters were very short and easy to read. A great book for reluctant readers.  The Rules Of Survival was written as if it were a letter that was in a book format. The book follows Matt, the life he’s forced to live with his abusive, insane mother. Even though he hates living with her, he has to protect his sister. This means that he’s willing to take the blame whenever his mother is in a furious mood. The characters in the book were beautifully written and the relationship between the three siblings is very strong and protective. Nancy Werlin truly did take her time and made sure that these characters were perfect and well thought out.

The bad thing about fast paced books are that sometimes they are a bit too fast. The Rules Of Survival was like that. There were some parts in the book where I felt like Nancy Werlin was just skimming through it without really explaining what happened. I wished she hadn’t done that.

Most books that are about abuse only show one side of the abuser. This book showed many sides of Nikki as a good mother and as the monster her children were scared of. I loved that I got to read the different sides she had as well as the way the children reacted to her constantly changing moods. The writing style for this book was amazing, I loved how she could write a scene in the book and make me feel like I was actually right there with the characters.  This is a great book for anyone in a situation just like Mat and his little sisters while still being short enough for reluctant readers to read.