Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

18339662We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Pages: 227 (Hardcover)

good good

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

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

opinion

We Were Liars relies heavily on its setting to tell the story and despite the rating I really liked this one. It’s different from the other novels I’ve read with the writing style and the atmosphere. If it weren’t for the setting and the fact that it’s so well put together, I think that this book would have been boring and typical. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading about this, Lockhart made the writing work and held my attention for most of the book. 

My biggest problem is how Lockhart dealt with the truth. She could have went in a ton of different directions yet she didn’t. And I had to lower my rating because of that. I skimmed a few reviews so I already had a vague idea of what happens or what ‘they’ are and I think that that’s well done.The characters delicately use the information of the past to remind our protagonist yet in a way that wouldn’t trigger another episode and keep readers guessing as to what really happened. However well the characters react, I still didn’t actually like them. They’re all rich and spoiled and whiny especially the mothers. I didn’t understand Cadence’s mother and felt that Lockhart left her unfinished or undecided because she’s mean and then she’s loving in a way that doesn’t make enough sense. 

Although I disliked the characters, I surprisingly liked the writing style and I really hate the poetic writing with close to no dialogue at all but it fits the story, giving it a unique style in a pretty confusing way. I also liked the stories and variations that are included because they’re different, dark, and exciting and I loved how the variations connected with the chapter that it’s featured in. Like I mentioned before, the setting really makes We Were Liars and I can’t stress enough how important a setting is regardless and the author does a fine job with it.

All in all, I liked this book, truly. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys reading about rich people complaining about being less rich and writing that’s more poetic and boring than anything but the mysterious setting and creepy truth does make up for it. At least, it did for me and for anyone who enjoys confusing stories and a different way of a story being told and don’t mind weak characters.

3 Clouds

3 Clouds

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#51

favourite

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

Don’t Even Think About it by Sarah Mlynowski

17560541Favourite quote: That’s our story.

How we became a we.

And that’s what we are these day. A we.

When you’re a group that can hear each other’s thoughts, the line between and We gets kind of blurry.

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddFavourite quote: The Bravery was in moving forward, no matter what. Someday, she might be called on to jump again. And she would do it. She knew, now, that there was always light–beyond the dark, and the dear, out of the depths; there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.

There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid.

Book Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

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Don’t Even Think About It by  Sarah Mlynowski 

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 11, 2014

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

good good

We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.

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

opinion

Can you imagine ever reading someone’s mind? I mean, there has to be at least one person that you thought, “Man, if I could only know how they feel about…” that would just solve a few of your problems, right? Well, Don’t Even Think About It is like that. Sarah Mlynowski takes readers on a light-hearted ride into that What if world and shows us the good as well as the bad.

Unfortunately, this book is all it’s cracked up to be. Sure it’s entertaining and stuff (I’ll get into it later) but many of it is half-assed. The characters feel so flimsy and their relationships even more so contrived. I couldn’t bring myself to believe any of them, especially between Cooper and Mackenzie. They all felt like they’re in grade five rather grade ten by the way the talk about their crushes as well as the way they talk to each other. Another problem that I had with Don’t Even Think ABout It, was the ending and how unrealistic it is.

It’s still such a fun story though. I loved the writing style, the “we” tense is something new to me and I only read it briefly in Two Boys Kissing and I enjoyed it. It made me feel like one of them. The mind reading was the best part of the novel, people think all the time and I loved how Mlynowski showed this by adding random thoughts as well as serious one to the bunch. I read how certain thoughts relieved as well as crushed the characters and how this strange yet awesome ability changed their lives in more than just one way.

Mylnowski creates a hilarious world with realistic thoughts and albeit the characters are a bit one-dimensional, I enjoyed reading their powers and all the things they could do because of them. I recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a novel that doesn’t involve too much thinking. Because you may never know who’s listening.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

Book Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

17797364And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Pages: 240 (Hardcover)

good good

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

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

opinion

 

When I read a novel where the main character has gone through some serious shit, I expect a few things. I expect a relatable/likeable character who has quite a few flaws. I expect a lot of emotion and confusion and above all, a lot of sympathy. I expect to love this book and feel as if I am apart of the story, that, this horrible thing that happened to the protagonist actually happened to me. I want to be in their shoes. And We Stay gives me a narration that left me more tired than anything.

And We Stay is written in the worst possible way. It’s third person present tense for crying out loud! It’s so simple and detached, the events that Emily goes through didn’t feel real to me in any way. Everything is told instead of shown and I couldn’t feel anything towards Emily and her life, even when she has sudden flashback about Paul, Albeit beautifully done, felt too simple and boring for me to care about too much.

Jenny Hubbard does know how to write beautiful poetry though. At the end of each chapter, readers are left with a beautiful poem that’s probably the most touching thing about the novel. The idea for this story is also very creative and intriguing. It was the mention of a shooting that initially drew me to the story and I enjoyed the few flashbacks where Paul is mentioned and the shooting because they are so very interesting.

Overall, Emily’s life is horrible. And my biggest problem with the novel isn’t the actual story idea but the execution of it. If the story was told in first person and maybe if it was all told in verse, it could have a great novel. I absolutely love gritty novels about horrible events that happen to teens. The story idea is awesome but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone because I felt so apathetic towards most of it.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#41

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

favourite

 

Tandem (Many Worlds Trilogy#1) by Anna Jarzab

15829686Favourite quotes:

1. “When you’re deep undercover like that, you learn pretty quickly that facts aren’t people. They’re just facts. That’s what makes what you’re doing–what I did–so difficult. Friends, family…they can just tell when something’s not right, even if they never figure out why.”

2. “If there’s anything I learned from my mother, it’s that power makes you just as vulnerable as it makes you strong. People want to use you for it, or take it from you, all the same.”

Book Review: Ostrich by Matt Greene

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Ostrich by Matt Greene

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: August 27, 2013

Pages: 336 (Paperback)

good good

This is Alex’s story. But he doesn’t know exactly what it’s about yet, so you probably shouldn’t either.

Instead, here are some things that it’s sort of about (but not really):

It’s sort of (but not really) about brain surgery.

It’s sort of (but not really) about a hamster named Jaws 2 (after the original Jaws (who died), not the movie Jaws 2).

It’s sort of (but actually quite a lot) about Alex’s parents.

It’s sort of (but not really) about feeling ostrichized (which is a better word for excluded (because ostriches can’t fly so they often feel left out)).

It’s sort of (but not really (but actually, the more you think about it, kind of a lot)) about empathy (which is like sympathy only better), and also love and trust and fate and time and quantum mechanics and friendship and exams and growing up.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Ballantine Books/Random House Publishing for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This book doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t really go in one direction, just kind of in a criss-crossing place that left me with a confused, ‘huh?’ look on my face by the end. To be honest, I’m still not even sure what the hell I just read is about days later. However,(thanks for the tips, Alex) I don’t mind the confusing storyline and the fact that it doesn’t really have a point. I’m okay with this because like Alex, I get carried away too easily. I think about useless things that shouldn’t matter too much and over-analyze them which is what made me love Alex and the way he thinks things over.

Even though I liked the main character, I can’t say I liked all of the info-dumping on things I didn’t care about at all or even remotely made sense to me. There is such an abundance of information that at the end of a chapter, I felt utterly confused and couldn’t remember what was happening in the story before I got all the information on this or on that. With that being said, it’s obvious that some parts of Ostrich are disorganized and confusing with the story being mostly about himself and his relationship between Chloe and his parents.

Some of the things that I liked about the novel are that Alex is not your typical pre-teen trying to fit in. He’s just himself with his obsession over languages, pets, and words just to name a few. It’s nice seeing a character that like to question everything around him and find out the answer for everything. Another thing I liked is the writing and how straightforward it is. Reading about Alex and all the things he’s learned and is still learning made it easier to accept the writing style being of a pre-teen. The relationship between Alex and Chloe is just so cute. They’re confused and young and weird which makes the relationship that more real. When I was thirteen everything was weird, especially boys even though I spent most of my time with them. I understood Chloe and her tactics to spend more time with Alex by doing the dumbest things to become friends with him.

Matt Greene does a nice job of creating a story about nothing and trying to make it into something more. Recommended for anyone looking for a light novel before it’s time to crack open the textbooks *shudders* and start school. This is not a bad novel, just don’t think too much about what’s going on and focus on Alex’s weirdness.

3 Clouds

3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

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Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: July 23, 2013

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

Undercurrent

In Undercurrent, Paul Blackwell’s fast-paced YA thriller, sixteen-year-old Callum Harris survives a plummet over a waterfall, but wakes to find himself in a life that’s totally different from the one he knew.

His parents were separated. Now they’re together. His brother Cole was a sports star. Now he’s paralyzed. And Callum, who used to be quiet and sort of unpopular, is suddenly a jock with two hot girls after him.

But there’s one difference that matters more than all the others combined: His former best friend wants Callum dead. And he isn’t the only one.

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

opinion

Confusing, exciting, and fun, Undercurrent is a novel that readers will enjoy! The story isn’t perfect, it has some problems with the secondary characters that makes it a bit tough to like them. But it’s a fun story about alternate realities and how one choice can make or break you. Literally. 

While we’re learning more and more about Cal, the writing for the story is more telling instead of showing during the first half. In the second half, the writing gets better, with more things being showed rather than told and it’s smoother. It takes Cal longer than it should to figure things out and come up with a plan. The secondary characters in Undercurrent feel quite stiff and boring, they don’t stand out or grabbed my attention. Also I wish that some characters had a much bigger role than they had, like the teacher and what makes him so special.

Even though Cal does take some time to figure things out, I love his character. He’s very sweet and caring and persistent, especially when it comes to his friend, Willow. Somewhere during the middle of the story, things start to pick up and start to happen, people get hurt and tension is thick in the air. And by the end of the novel, everything is so intense it’s crazy! Paul Blackwell does an amazing job describing the ending of the story. He gives readers a well-developed back flash and explanation as to why Cal’s life has been turned upside down and a killer cliffhanger to end everything off.

Undercurrent is a fun ride. The ending is left open and it’s exciting, the idea of alternate realities is a creative idea that I really enjoyed. I recommend this to anyone looking for a new science fiction novel or something different in the YA genre. I can’t wait to read the next book!

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

3.5 Dreamy Clouds