Book Review: Broken by C. J. Lyons

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Broken by C. J. Lyons

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

good good

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now… or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Broken is told to be a thriller, which it is, but not until the very last half of the middle does that even come to play. Is it exciting? Not the beginning but definitely the ending. If it weren’t for the twist during the near ending of the mid-section, this book would have been a boring facsimile of every book ever written about a dying girl trying to make the best out of her last days. There are the mean bullies, the love triangle, the outcast friends, as well as the overprotective parents. Luckily, C.J. Lyons ditches this lame route for a more exciting one however she does it too late to change my rating by much.

The story starts off with a bang, I was hooked and excited how a girl with a rare heart disease will make it through high school without dying. Unfortunately, after a few chapters of her first ever experience the story becomes very tedious and pointless and felt like an after school special to me. Scarlet as well as most of the other characters felt really flat also. I couldn’t connect with them nor was I rooting for them when they face tough obstacles that most people wouldn’t. Maybe it’s the fact that I have such a short attention span that I might be being too harsh on this book but I was bored for more than half of it.

Getting onto the good things about this novel, Lyons does a nice job of keeping readers guessing even if it is only for a little while. Once most of the characters are introduced, I was starting to guess which one would be the suspect before it became obvious who the suspect is. I really liked how Lyons uses her past medical history as an element in this, most, if not all of the different medical terms that are mentioned in this story are not as well-known as they should be. But I’ve read many things about a few of them (one in particular) and her execution of these syndromes and conditions are done beautifully.

Overall, this story has a bit of an off tempo that ruins the story by going from slow to really slow to fast and then really fast with barely any build-up in between. But I still recommend this if you don’t mind very slow beginnings that are pretty pointless but also has a nicely done ending. Broken isn’t a thrilling novel that’ll keep readers at the edge of their seat but it will make them second guess the people they choose to trust in their lives. I know that it did for me.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

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Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 3, 2013

Pages: 239 (Hardcover)

good good

Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months: if that’s part of the Big Dude’s plan, then it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Somebody Up There Hates You.

SUTHY has landed me here in this hospice, where we—that’s me and Sylvie—are the only people under 30 in the whole place, sweartogod. But I’m not dead yet. I still need to keep things interesting. Sylvie, too. I mean, we’re kids, hospice-hostages or not. We freak out visitors; I get my uncle to sneak me out for one insane Halloween night. Stuff like that. And Sylvie wants to make things even more interesting. That girl’s got big plans.

Only Sylvie’s father is so nuclear-blasted by what’s happened to his little girl, he glows orange, I swear. That’s one scary man, and he’s not real fond of me. So we got a major family feud going on, right here in hospice. DO NOT CROSS line running down the middle of the hall, me on one side, her on the other. It’s crazy.

In the middle of all of this, really, there’s just me and Sylvie, a guy and a girl. And we want to live, in our way, by our own rules, in whatever time we’ve got. We will pack in some living before we go, trust me.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Algonquin 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 think I knew I was going to dislike Richard from the beginning because he always repeats himself by saying, “see” or, “okay?” or “right”. It took all my strength not to jump into the book and punch him in the face. Hollis Seamon could have made this a killer book with such a sad and serious topic but instead she failed to do so. I was left underwhelmed and very upset with all the characters. And not in a good way.

Writing a realistic contemporary novel there has to be a realistic relationship between the main character and most likely the love interest. Unfortunately, the romance in Somebody Up There Hates You feels more like a fairytale than something that could happen in real life. Richard and Sylvie are already ‘together’ when the novel starts with little hints and snippets of how they met but not a full explanation of how they became so close and became a couple. There isn’t much if any character building either. All of the characters feel extremely stiff and are boring and I couldn’t connect to any of them. Another thing that I really disliked about this novel is the fact that everything is all over the place. The relationship between Richard and Sylvie, Richard’s life, all of it. Instead of reading one story I felt like I was reading ten different ones that randomly popped up out of nowhere. During many parts of the book I was left confused and uncertain about what I was reading.

One thing I did like about the book though, is the relationship between Richard and Edward. It is so cute because they depend on each other so much, whether they know it or not. I also liked Edward because he reminds Richard a lot that everyone has problems and that he’s not the only one going through a shitty time which I think everyone needs to be reminded from time to time.

Somebody Up There Hates You isn’t actually a story about a teen with cancer and how he fights through it. It’s more of a story about two teens going through a crappy time and having sex before they die. That’s about it. I recommend this only to people looking for a light read. Don’t let the summary fool you, it’s not heart-wrenching nor is it moving.

2 Clouds
2 Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Song of the Week#5-Hospital by Lydia (The Pretty Cover Edition)

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This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Day except each week there will be a different ‘edition’ and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is: The Pretty Cover Edition. Illuminate has one of the prettiest covers I have ever seen. It tells a lot with only this picture, to me, it shows struggle, strength, and love (for the umbrella). What do you guys think of it?

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Lydia is an indie rock band from Gilbert, Arizona that was formed in 2003. In 2010, the band took a year-long hiatus because of a fight that was between Steve McGraw and Leighton Antelman (the two people who started the band). In the end, before their last tour it was announced that Lydia would be breaking up. Luckily, it was only a hiatus instead. Lydia has released five albums-This December, it’s one more and I’m free, Illuminate, Assailants, Paint it golden, and Devil. Hospital is off of Illuminate.

Hospital is one of my all-time favourite songs and Lydia is one of my favourite bands so of course I have to put them on here! And just look at the beautiful cover! Hospital like the title, is about saving someone you love. It’s has a lot of meaning and sung so sweetly. I just love this song.

My favourite part is:

And all I see scares me
And no one knows it, but she, she saved me

So I’ve been sleeping with this silence in my brain
I wake up here everyday in this god damn place
I won’t wait here anymore

It’s still not quite the way it was
But you promised me this is love
So stay and watch the hospital
That’s just across the street
From your apartment balcony
I’ll never ever leave there
I’ll never leave

Oh, no one is watching now
Sing like you just might drown
But always come back home
‘Cause I never got to see you once more, no
I guess that’s all I wanted
Yeah, I guess that’s all I needed

To listen to Hospital click here.

Lyrics are here.

Favourite Album Lyrics of The Week#4

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My favourite lyrics from the albums that I’ve listened to during the week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite lyrics are!

Able Bodies by From Indian Lakes

tumblr_md53fzohwh1qjcvneo1_500Favourite lyrics:

1. If I can take it away without a choice or a say
If I can never see the sun out my window
If I can call in my sleep if I can no longer sleep
I’ll say this quick to you
I swear that I’ll be, I swear that I’ll be good

If I was taken away before I knew who I was
And I was given a name among your daughters and sons
To be love just to love I think I heard that before
But I love them I do it so to be loved some more
I would’ve loved some more

(Taken from, We Follow)

2. Loving you is never hard to do
But I’m sick in bed calling me dead soon
And if they never bring me back to you
Will you tell me the truth
Will you tell me the truth
I said will you tell me the truth

(Taken from, We Are Sick)

3. Sweet thing your eyes are too tired
Believe me you don’t wanna see the world
The world I start
I could take your picture now
Or I could leave you out and we can stay right here
We could paint a new picture now
Or we can turn it into something else right here

(Taken from, I Don’t Know You)

4. Where is my happy song
And where has my patience gone
Did they take it away
Or did I make it leave on my own

Love never takes but I’ve seen it take everything
There’s no one around when I need them the most
Until your love takes down the way
Please restart my ability to love again

(Taken from, ‘Till I Can Walk)

Illuminate by Lydia

220px-IllunnmFavourite Lyrics:

1. It’s still not quite the way it was
But you promised me this is love
So stay and watch the hospital
That’s just across the street
From your apartment balcony
I’ll never ever leave there
I’ll never leave

Watch the hospital that’s just across the street
(It’s still not quite the way it was)
From your apartment balcony
(But you promised me this is love, so stay)
I’ll never ever leave there
I’ll stay here

(Taken from, Hospital)

2. Baby just ask once more
‘Cause I saw your door wide open,
but the floor is still freezing.
Hailey, I was sick and I’m still quite unwell.
Tell me it’s you or nothing at all.

‘Cause I stole your soul
You said I’d never be able
But oh, the whole world is still on my string

(Taken from, This Is Twice Now)

3. Now I see.
Don’t you say that I’ve gone crazy.
Because I haven’t gone crazy yet.
I just lost my mind,
But I still got you.

Stay up late so you’re sure.
Sure that I wont stray too far,
But surely that got too hard.
Love is not for me,
I promise.
One more day, just one more.

(Taken from, One More Day)

4. No one could ever wait for you
And no one, yeah, no one could ever
Wait for you, I’ll wait for you

But you are the never-ending sleep
That I, I love to treat with this medicine
I get from my, my closer friends
But all I see

(Taken from, All I See)

 

Be The Light by Sweet Talker

SweetTalker-BeTheLightWebsized_mediumFavourite lyrics:

1. And I wish you would be the light at the end of this tunnel and
I’ll be the sweep off your feet that you’ll always remember
I wish you would come home

(Taken from, I Wish)

2. Everything I ever had, all that I would give for you.

I wonder when it’s running out if you’ll still know my name.
You call me crazy, I must be baby, cause I still love you, yeah I still love you.
Everything I ever had I put in and fought for you, for you, for you.

(Taken from, This Is War)