Book review: No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

22403036No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre:Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Pages: 272 (Hardcover)

good good

Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they’ve lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn’t know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn’t have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the “end of the world.” Because of course the end didn’t come. And now they’re living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl.

opinionLook, let’s just get straight to the point. Was I made by the end of this book? Not quite. Did I still have a lot of questions, like how some loser conned more than two dozen people into giving him pretty much everything? Fuck yes. But more than that, I was disappointed. I felt so underwhelmed by every aspect of No Parking at the End Times, even during the parts where there should have been a lot of religious insight,fuck, any kind of insight, I got nothing. You’re better off skimming a pamphlet on the ‘New World’ rather than read this book.

Why? Because nothing happens. And when something does happen, it’s 77% into the book, where no shits are given anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good build-up, leaving room for nothing but suspense however this is ridiculous. And when you pair a boring book and awkward writing that’s full of unnecessary words, well, the outcome isn’t pretty. Moreover, for a novel that has so much on the Now, there’s almost nothing on the Then part. The book is mostly surrounded on the decisions that Abigail’s father has made and still making, how his mistakes have caused the family to lose greatly. So when I was reading and found close to nothing, honest to God, nothing on what made him switch gears and decide to listen to Brother John, I couldn’t help but scream. Adding onto this, the characters aren’t fleshed out. Abigail, I could understand for the most part because I could relate to her but only to a point. Halfway done, I stopped caring about her as well as the other characters. They just don’t stick out, especially Brother John, who is supposed to be this magnificent man sent down from God. Obviously he’s not but I did not see the appeal of him. He always gave generic answers, didn’t read any fucking verses from the Bible despite always having it on hand, and all around, didn’t even act like he was really into it. As a con artist you have to at least fake to have your heart in it, this guy gave no fucks. Now, does that sound like a man two relatively responsible adults with two children would give everything to? It doesn’t to me, I still don’t understand where Bliss was going with him.

Nonetheless, there are some mediocre things that I didn’t mind. One of them being the Before chapters albeit short and mostly pointless because they tell only snippets of what happened, of how they got to California rather than giving the whole picture.

No Parking at the End Times might have been great since most books about the Rapture don’t really go into after the ‘event’, only about two weeks later. What made me even more disappointed is the fact that the beginning is so good. Like, guys, it’s so good. It’s intense, mysterious, and exciting. I was giddy with pleasure (that died like two or three chapters later). Would I recommend this novel? No, like I said before, I got more information from a pamphlet, hell, even the damn internet than I did on the actual Rapture, or on anything religious. This should tell you something about how badly this book is written when I have to complain multiple times about the religion aspect of it. And I don’t even like religion.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds
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Book Review: The Jewel (The Lone City#1) by Amy Ewing

16068780The Jewel (The Lone City#1) by Amy Ewing

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Pages: 358 (Hardcover)

good good

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

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

The Jewel is like a fake diamond, really. At first glance, it’s breathtaking and stunning however, the longer you stare at it, the more cracks and falseness it has.

The world setting is really half-assed, nothing is well explained. Violet, the protagonist is so dull and so naive that I couldn’t care at all what happened to her. Moreover, the insta-love is so forced and awkward that I couldn’t help but laugh. First of all, since the characters are forgettable at best, nothing happens except the usual save the girl crap which only makes the whole story awkward and stiff.

However, like I said, upon first glance, The Jewel is beautiful and intriguing. The writing is stiff yet it fits the story (since everything about the book is stiff as fuck).

Overall, this book is not worth the time. It’s interesting at first but quickly goes south. Even the ending is typical and stupid. I don’t recommend this book at all because there are much better novels to read.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

20306810Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Pages: 224 (Hardcover)

good good

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

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

I will always love short books because they can be read in an a short matter of time, like this, Kiss of  Broken Glass which only took my an hour to read. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that just because a book is short, doesn’t mean it’s any good.

The big problem, I believe is the way mental illness is shown in the book. I understand that not everyone is perfect and some people do think that cutting is ‘the coolest thing ever’ but I wanted the main character to actually change and learn her lesson instead of being a dumbass which she is from beginning to end. On top of this, the writing is stiff and I didn’t give two shits about any of the characters because of their one-sidedness.

The only upside is that I like that the book is in verse.

Kiss of Broken Glass is a really short book with boring characters, a typical atmosphere, and stiff writing. Since there’s not much time to add depth to the story, everything I read just felt like one huge info-dump. I don’t recommend unless you are in desperate need for something short.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex#1) by Lindsay Cummings

13576132The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex#1) by Lindsay Cummings

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Pages: 398 (Hardcover)

good good

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Greenwillow 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

Honestly, what is this crap? Because from all the hype, I would have thought this book would be amazing and lively and shit. It’s not, not at all despite the non-stop action. I feel like The author thought that adding a shit ton of action and fighting would make up for the story being shitty but it really doesn’t and never will.

I got bored after the first chapter because of the writing which is so awkward and choppy as well as the characters which are ALL forgettable and as creative and original as a bowl of plain oatmeal. The romance sucks ass since it’s full-blown insta-love. Like, it’s the worst case I’ve ever read which is saying a lot if you check the shelf I have just for book full of insta-love. Moreover, for someone who’s been taught to be smart and survive, Meadow sure is stupid and naive. First, she risks death to save a stranger, and then she tries to negotiate with her killer just because she thinks he’s cute. I really don’t understand how she’s made it this far.

The chapters are really short. That’s always a plus.

The idea for The Murder Complex is really cool but that’s where the coolness ends. I’m so disappointed with this one. There was so much hype and I got really excited too, but don’t let that awesome cover and title fool you. This book is dull, stupid, and forgettable.

One Lonely Cloud
One Lonely Cloud

Book Review: Sweet Reckoning (Sweet#3) by Wendy Higgins

16007855Sweet Reckoning (Sweet#3) by Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Pages: 379 (Paperback)

good good

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

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

All Anna does is cry.

description

Sweet Reckoning is so boring and I couldn’t help but be upset by it. Kaidan, the boy that I swooned over for some time turns into a complete lovesick loser in this book and I understand that he’s in love but come on! Keep it interesting! This is the last book in this trilogy and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by it.

I also had a problem with the length of the book. I’m being honest when I say that it could have been cut down by AT LEAST 200 pages. Because those first two hundred pages are completely pointless. What makes me even more angry though is how it all went down in the end. I mean, seriously? It’s boring and predictable. Ugh.

Nonetheless, I liked the writing and for the most part, most of the characters. I think that’s it though.

Disappointed is an understatement for what I felt for this book. Sweet Reckoning was supposed to be the big finale, with a shit ton and stuff happening left and right. However, it’s all just sitting around being all cute and whatever. This is still a good series, just lower your expectations when you get to this book.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds
2.5 Mess Up Clouds

Book Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog#1) by Anne Blankman

17668473Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog#1) by Anne Blankman

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Historical Fiction and Young Adult

Release Date: April 22, 2014

Pages: 401 (Hardcover)

good good

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

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

It’s extremely important for everyone to understand our pasts so that we can hopefully never repeat them again or at least to the same extent. Prisoner of Night and Fog is a great novel in the sense that it’s a retelling of most of World War two and the build-up towards it. This series is pretty much going to be the WW2 part of any history class (hopefully) and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Not only did I like the fictional, but the non fictional ones as well. I’ve never been a fan of historical fiction and much less of anything non fiction yet I couldn’t put this book down.

Although it takes a lot of work working with non fictional characters, Blankman does a great job. However,  in the beginning with the Jew that her brother wanted to beat up. The whole incident felt really forced to get the story going. Another thing that felt forced is the second half of the novel where the romance is so clichéd and contrived that I wanted to puke. Gretchen went from this badass girl who was uncertain about her family and willing to get answers to this girl who needed her ‘man’ almost all the time. The mystery aspect of the novel is actually really boring, there’s a lot of planning and searching but not enough of anything else until the end of the story.

Prisoner of Night and Fog is still an excellent book. The relationship between Gretchen and Hitler is very well done and shows the decline of their trust in one another. Moreover, Blankman did a lot of research for the story and it really shows. Small details that most people overlook play big roles in the not only this story but the actual war. Despite disliking Gretchen during the last quarter of the story, I really liked her. She was strong and brave, using her clever wit to get past the people who stand in her way.

Overall, I do recommend this book to everyone. It’s historical fiction yes, but it’s also about one of the worst cases of genocide the world has ever seen. It’s not all that gory but it’s intense and I have a lot of faith in this author to get really in-depth with the whole series.

3.5 Interesting Clouds
3.5 Interesting Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir

19532890Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Pages: 278 (Hardcover)

good good

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test.

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

I believe that Desir can write. However, I’m not sure if she can write a young adult novel that’s more than ‘okay’. The relationships are great, as well as the tension and the ending however, the writing and the middle, it’s all bad. And although I had a few problems with this novel, I didn’t find it to be horrible, I still liked it for the most part.

The problem with the writing style is it’s all telling rather than showing and makes the story dull because of it. The story itself is pretty typical: the bad boy and the broken girl with the characters feeling very off. I couldn’t connect with either of them or the way Gannon feels invisible towards almost everyone because it felt false to me instead of a genuine kind of thing.

Yet somehow, it seemed like Gannon actually had a brain and I liked that about her. The tension and build-up between Gannon and Brooks is all right, not the best because it’s done in a way that almost like a movie rather than real life. Still, I loved the way Desir builds up Brooks controlling personality. At first using little hints and then letting it all loose once readers got deep into the book. I loved how intense and scary it got at times and how dependant they get on each other. The ending is realistic, and I liked that. I liked how I could see and understand Gannon however, it was too late in the book to care enough.

Bleed Like Me isn’t a book that I would recommend to someone looking for a straightforward story because this book has a lot of highs and lows and boring parts. However, it is one that I would recommend for people who don’t mind lacking characters and waiting for the good parts because Bleed Like Me does have a few of them.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds
2.5 Mess Up Clouds