Book Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

17693452Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

good good

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books 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 even know why I tried with this one. I really don’t. Everything is just everywhere and I had no clue what was going on. And I actually tried to like this one, reading until the very last page despite my many groans and screams of anger and frustration and head banging and almost throwing my E-Reader at the fucking wall.

The whole concept of Life by Committee is stupid. The whole community is insane, the rules aren’t explained well and the assignments are so juvenile and stupid. They aren’t realistic nor do they support ‘living life to the fullest’. The characters suck, Joe is as interesting as a fucking toaster. Moreover, the romance is complete shit. Nothing about it explained. They’re just fucking together. What is this, Kindergarten where people bump into each other and are like, “We’re dating now.”

On top of this, the ending is dumb and pretty plain and kindergarten like.

However, the writing is all right. There’s nothing completely horrendous about it.

Life by Committee is not by any means a good, fun, enjoyable read. If anything, it’s dull, frustrating, and childish. Don’t read this book. It’s boring and nothing is explained.

One Lonely Cloud

One Lonely Cloud

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Book Review: This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

18038539This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined…

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

I’m not a religious person and I highly doubt I will ever become one. I think that this is one of the reasons why cults interest me so much, they explore different kinds of religions, mashing them up and manipulating people to believe complete nonsense and stealing their hope and faith, some of the last things they have to offer. The idea of cults in this story is a lot different from the ones seen in documentaries and that’s what first interested me. I was looking for something different and well explained however,  This Side of Salvation isn’t that novel, it lacks depth and a solid back story but I liked it enough. It also doesn’t hurt that the cover is fucking beautiful.

The Rush pretty much takes up the whole story and although I loved reading about it, it makes everything else suck. All of the relationships between David and a family member is floppy and not well done. What makes it all worse is the relationship they all had with John is barely discussed until the very end. There’s no story there, there’s no emotion, and I felt like he was just shoved into the story to get the book to go in the direction of grief. Moreover, I didn’t like the style this book is written in with the past/present tense. Not a fuck was given about the past because all it told me was how the romance between David and Bailey came to be and odd David’s family started acting after John’s death.

This Side of Salvation has a really great idea. I’ve only read one other cult like novel and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I liked how Smith-Ready went with this and made it as mellow as possible but still keeping the parts after the Rush really interesting. It’s not the typical cult where people are completely cut off from the world, there’s a  few children brides, and some gore/abuse. David, for the most part, is a strong character because he’s really flawed yet he tries his hardest to be a good person and readers get to see him grow as a person. I loved how willing he is to give up everything he’s worked so hard for to become closer to something he believes in even if it’s just for the sake of his parents. The religion is really kept to a minimum throughout This Side of Salvation, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it and I actually learned a few things about it.

Anyway you look at this, it’s still disappointing how This Side of Salvation is executed. I mean, I’m glad that it’s not the typical cult like stuff and the first chapter is really well done, it’s exciting and gritty and had my attention instantly but the story has huge holes in some crucial places like the characters themselves and their relationships. Nonetheless, I would still recommend this, mostly to anyone who’s looking for something a bit different to read about and don’t mind some boring characters.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

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Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Publisher: Random House

Genre: Contemporary, Cults and young adult

Release Date: August 6, 2013

Pages: 224 (Hardcover)

Gated

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound’s underground fortress–the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she’d rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Random House 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 was honestly expecting a lot more from this. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched and read a lot of articles and documentaries about cults and religious groups that I was expecting a lot more. Especially from Lyla, I was hoping that over time, her character would change, not already be changing.  Amy Christine Parker does a fine job pushing the limits, showing readers what the inside of a cult might look like but I felt like she could have pushed it more and made it more…darker? Sinister? Sadistic? Something like that.

Getting into the book is a bit tough, everything feels very stiff and boring. I couldn’t relate or feel anything for the characters nor did it grab my attention like I wanted it to. The romance in gated feels very contrived and unrealistic to me with how everything ends up, almost like a happily ever love story. It also has an insta-love type of feeling to it and I don’t like insta-love at all. I wish there was more information about Pioneer and his tactics, what’s wrong with him and how he became this way because he changes and there isn’t enough information to leave me feeling satisfied about it.

Nonetheless, I love Pioneer’s character. He’s scary and well-developed, going from sweet and trusting to something else in such a short span of time.  The pacing is also very well done, most of the novel didn’t feel rushed or too slow and the suspense builds up to make a gruesome ending. As far as endings go, Amy Parker does bring her game and gives readers something insane to read about, it’s gory, confusing, and definitely dark. I love it.  I had to close the book a few times just to get a hold of myself!

Gated is not a bad book, it just falls short of my expectations around a topic so serious like this one. But I know that a lot of people will like this book because of the genre that it’s in and to have an insight of how easy it is for some people to take advantage of others when they’re most vulnerable and will believe just about anything.

Three Clouds

Three Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#33

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Clean by Amy Reed

9491739Favourite quotes:

1. How is feeling like a failure supposed to help me? The way I see it, they should invent some pill that just makes you forget whatever you want, some pill that makes you numb and functional.

2. Everybody has fucked-up families, even normal kids, even the ones who aren’t in here. There’s no magic math equation that makes us addicts, nothing that separates us from everyone else.

3. She had no idea there were so many different kinds of lonely. But she does not want your pity. She just wants you to understand what can happen when you’re a million kinds of lonely at once, when you find yourself among identical strangers you do not want to get to know.

4. Normal people can keep promises they make to themselves.

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

13411546Favourite quote: Being brave isn’t the same as not being scared, though, it means going through with something even if it totally terrifies you.

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

15752340Favourite quotes:

1. “But even lambs have to be lions sometimes.”

2. If you really love someone, you have to be prepared to do what’s necessary to help them learn and grow, even if it’s painful for the both of you.

3. Pain’s not bad. It teaches you things. I understand that. (Charles Manson)

4. If a sky this dark can still be peppered with so much light, maybe this world can be too.