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.

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The Vast Fields Of Ordinary By Nick Burd

4.8/5-This book was amazing. It hit so close to home for me and I loved the humour.

(Summary)

It’s Dade’s last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a “boyfriend” who won’t publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade’s shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away. Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet – and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But when tragedy struck, will Dade be able to let go of his past and start fresh?

(My Opinion)

The plot of this story is similar to other books about gay teens but there were so many twists and surprises that set this book apart from the rest. The best character had to be Alex Kincaid himself! He was mysterious, loved sex, did drugs, and knew how to party. What I learned from this book was that, if you pushed the one you love away for long enough, they won’t be waiting for you and they will move on. Also that having to watch as they become happy with someone else could lead to drastic things.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending. I truly don’t know whether I liked it or not, it seemed like something was missing about the ending.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. Like other gay books, I loved the struggle Dade had to go through to figure out if he truly wanted to be with Pablo or move on. The way Nick Burd wrote this book was beautiful, I could follow it like I was watching a movie. Nick Burd did a great job with forming the relationship between not only Dade and Alex, Dade and Lucy, but as well as Dade and Pablo. What made me cry was near the end, the tragedy was shocking. I wasn’t expecting it yet I was expecting something at that level. The Vast Fields Of Ordinary is an amazing book for anyone who is going through a struggle with their sexuality and with friends.  I want Nick Dade to come out with another book so that I can read it and hopefully fall in love with it.

Divergent By Veronica Roth

4.7

Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Dystopian

Age Range: 14+

Release Date: May 03, 2011

Pages: 487 (hardcover)

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).

On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

She renames herself Tris during the initiation while struggling with love, trust, and friendship. She tries her best to keep to herself about a secret and threats that could ruin the perfect society that she lives in. When Tris is put to the test to save the ones she loves, will she pull through and save them or fail and lose them?

4.7/5 I’m still shocked that I actually really enjoyed this book. This book is one of those book that makes me never want to underestimate a book again.

At the beginning of the story, it was so boring that I had to stop a few times because I couldn’t take just how slow-paced it was. It wasn’t until somewhere in the middle when it finally picked up (only a bit) and I started enjoying the book. What I didn’t like about this book is that it reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games because even though this book is in a different place, I felt like the idea was very similar. I also didn’t like how emotional Tris got throughout the better half of the book. Veronica Roth wanted to make it clear that Tris was a very strong girl. And, yes, even though Tris does face very hard, very unbearable things throughout it, I still felt that she also cried when it was over something small and I would roll my eyes at her. A lot.

The ending of Divergent really surprised me because I actually wasn’t expecting it ( I had a hunch but that was it). What I liked about this book is that Tris got to experience new things while still learning old things as well. The different names and traits of each faction was a bit hard for me to remember, but once they stuck, I realized just how much I loved them.The names are so very clever. I loved how they had to follow a certain dress code and a certain way of life that was different for each faction. So much happened in the ending that it made me pay more attention because I knew that something big was going to happen. The ending to this book is amazing and I laughed a lot in the middle and near the end.

Even though I found Veronica Roth’s book to be slow, she made up for it with a smashing ending that not only put Tris’ strengths to the test but also the strengths’ of the people she loved and cared about too. I recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t mind slow books with great endings with characters that are easy to get attached to.

Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay asher

4.5/5 This book is different than the rest of the suicidal books I’ve read because Hannah Baker is already dead.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

What I don’t like about this books is that even though one point of view was written in italics and the other one wasn’t, I still kept forgetting who was talking and who wasn’t because in some parts it would be a line from Hanna and then right after, a line from Clay. And I felt like Clay’s reason wasn’t as intense as the other reasons Hannah explains. It seemed like nothing actually, but I liked the other reasons.

What I do like about this book is how Hannah feels about every reason, and how she starts every reason from the beginning to the end so that everyone who was listening would know and understand the full story about what happened. The thought that went into every reason is amazing, Jay Asher really wanted this to be realistic and somewhat sadistic towards readers (I got pretty paranoid after reading one reason that I just could open my blinds). The characters are original and really do seem like actual teenagers who do weird things. Also, when Clay talked about the signs for depression and the ways he could have helped her, I loved how it was vague yet specific at the same time so that this book could also be something for people to relate to and also look to for answer on how to tell whether someone is depressed or not.  Jay asher’s first novel is a for sure read for anyone who loves reading about realistic teens doing horrible things to themselves and to others. And finding a way for it to never happen to someone they know.

Rumble Fish By S.E. Hinton

4.5/5 This story truly gave me an insight look into the lives of teens just like me, but who have been left off worse than I am.

14 year-old Rusty James wants to grow to be just like his older brother, the motorcycle Boy. With them looking a lot alike (even though nobody else thinks that) Rusty James has already started smoking, drinking, gang fighting, and playing pool for money just like his older brother. He wishes he could tune out of the world like how the Motorcycle Boy can. 5 or 6 years after leaving his old life behind, he runs into Steve, his old best friend at the beach. When he gets invited to dinner, Rusty James has to really ask himself if he’s finally ready for the bad memories to resurface again.
What I don’t like about this book, even though I understand why S. E. Hinton did it, is the grammar. The grammar pissed me off for most of the beginning and some of the middle until I finally just let it go. It was then that I started loving the book a lot. I also didn’t like how the most important thing in the book went down. I was confused while I read that part and I didn’t know who was who. I wish S.E Hinton wrote that part more clearly for me.
What I love about this book is how much description she put into the book about the characters, the life, and Rusty James feelings. The characters were so easy for me to love and relate to with them learning about themselves and figuring out what they really want in life. Amazing book and I recommend it to everyone who is willing to read a great book with bad grammar/spelling.

White Cat By Holly Black

4.7/5 This book is amazing. I absolutely loved how Holly Black wrote this book. White Cat is about a seventeen year old guy named Cassel Sharpe. In this series, curse workers are people that are usually working with crime families and make normal people nervous to be around. Since no one can be sure who is a curse worker and who isn’t, everyone is forced to wear gloves all day and all night.

Cassel comes from a very long line of grifters and curse workers. His family is very good friends with one of the biggest crime families in New jersey- the Zacharov’s. But, he decided to run away from the crime life because of the murder of his best friend Lila Zacharov three years ago. He killed her.

Cassel believes that he is the black sheep in his family because he doesn’t have a curse. When he leaves his old life behinds, he goes to a very private, very rich boarding school called Wallingford where he starts having strange dreams about a small white cat. When he almost dies because of one of the dreams he decides to ask his family for answers. But is he really ready to hear them?

What I didn’t like about this book is that it was a bit rushed in the middle and how easily he trusted people I thought would have taken a much longer time for him to trust.

What I love about this book is how huge his mouth is, and his love towards Lila even after all that time. I love how committed he is and how he does the stupidest things to get what he wants. This book is just amazing. Good job, Holly Black.

Peak By Ronald Smith

4.87/5 I’m so glad that my sister bought this for me for my birthday! I never knew I could get so worked up and…absorbed by this book! This book made me shudder, flip out, burst out laughing, and get so furious with people in China (more importantly, the soldiers that are rude and evil to people in Tibet).

15 year old Peak is stupid. And he knows that while climbing the side of a New York Skyscraper. A SWAT team has to come and get him down. Instead of him getting put in Juvenile detention for dangering the lives of many people, he is sent off to live with his father. The source of Peak’s climbing addiction. His father is now one of the camps that gets people on the top of Mount Everest. Peak really shouldn’t climb it but he has to climb some of it to meet his father, and what turns into a forced time for Peak to finally meet his dad and know who he is. It’s more time of climbing and learning about why he loves to prove people wrong.

What I didn’t like about this book is that it was pretty short. I would have thought Ronald Smith would have made it a bit longer, and put more details about Peak himself.

I love love love how much of a smartass and dumbass Peak is in this story. I also love how real this story is about how Tibetans are prisoners in their own country because of the Chinese soldiers. This story was so realistic about how much Peak hated his dad but still forgave him because he’s the only dad Peak has. I will definitely read another book like this one by Ronald Smith just because I love stupid, sarcastic boys.