Book Review: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

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Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: March 5, 2013 (Original date: June 1, 1996)

Pages: 224 (Paperback)

Rats Saw God

For Steve York, life was good. He had a 4.0 GPA, friends he could trust, and a girl he loved. Now he spends his days smoked out, not so much living as simply existing.

But his herbal endeavors — and personal demons — have led to a severe lack of motivation. Steve’s flunking out, but if he writes a one-hundred-page paper, he can graduate.

Steve realizes he must write what he knows. And through telling the story of how he got to where he is, he discovers exactly where he wants to be….

opinion

A beautiful story about love and how messed up it can make us. Told from the perspective of Steve York, a teen going in a downwards spiral from really great to not-so-great. The beginning is fast paced and funny but somewhere during the second part it slows down a lot.  The characters are original and very likeable I fell in love with Doug, Steve, and Sarah right away. Overall,this is a great read.

There is only a few flaws that kept Rats Saw God from being a five-star read for me. One of those things is that it’s really disorganized with the past and present stories. Instead of taking readers to the past for an explanation for something that affects Steve in the present, Rob Thomas takes readers to the past of something that doesn’t have any real connection to anything in the chapter. Another reason it didn’t make my favourite shelf is because during the second half, things slow down by a great deal to an almost snail-like pace which made the story seem boring even though it shouldn’t have been. And even though I love Steve, he’s a great character, during the second half of the story, Steve becomes this lovesick puppy that is not as funny as he was during the first half.

Stories with a male protagonist, I expect there to be tons of humour and sarcastic content. I don’t know why, I just do. Rats Saw God delivers and surpasses my expectations with very funny, realistic characters and a relaxed, sarcastic writing style. Steve, as a character really grows and learns a lot throughout the novel that it’s hard not to feel empathetic for him. The relationship between Doug and Steve is strong too, with their love for nothing (a.k.a. Dadaism) and video games, it’s a lot of fun to read about them.

Rats Saw God is quite a moving novel about love, life, and growing up. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun read with a serious undertone. And really, this novel is a story within a story, which is a bonus.

Four Dreamy Clouds
Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

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This Is Not A Test By Courtney Summers

3.8/5-This book made me laugh a lot but I didn’t feel sorry for the characters. I wish I did but I didn’t for any of them. Zombies were a nice touch for this story.

(Summary from Goodreads)

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

(My Opinion)

This Is Not A Test is a book with zombies in it. But it’s not really about them, it’s about the fact that Sloane doesn’t want to live anymore and she can’t seem to find the right time to leave the world. The characters in this book were okay, they weren’t great because some of them seemed rushed and not well thought out and there wasn’t very much action. I liked the idea for this story and the chapters were short and mostly easy to read.

When you read about a book that has zombies in it, you expect a lot of action and guts and gore and other shit. But you don’t get much of that in this book. Even though the book wasn’t about the zombies, I was expecting a lot of action at least since Courtney Summers included them in. But you only find action near the end. In the middle is drama, drama, and more drama. There were some parts of this book where I didn’t even understand what I was reading. Sloane was a very complex character, I’m not sure if I liked her or not because there were times where she was fine and cool but then there were the times where, she would just do the dumbest things. And then just not make sense at all.

The chapters were very short and I finished this book in a day because of it. I loved how just awkward and forced the characters were to get together and stay together for such a long period of time. It was funny reading what the six teenagers did with no privacy. Especially the relationship between Sloane and Rhys because it was awkward while sweet. I liked that Sloane was depressed but not too over-the-top that it was annoying or too uncomfortable to read about. Courtney Summers put a few great twists in this book that had me guessing, especially about her sister because I didn’t know what to expect when it came to Sloane’s sister, Lily.

This book is for people who like zombie books but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re into hardcore zombie books because there wasn’t that much action in it. It’s also a good read for people who liked books that have teenagers that dislike each other and have secret motives.

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.