Book Review: 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

20493997100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 2, 2014

Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

good good

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

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.

opinionOkay, despite the fact that the summary makes this book seem like a huge cliché, it’s really awkward and cute. 100 Sideways Miles starts off stiff and ends sweetly with a funny twist. Andrew Smith has a unique way of creating awkward main characters in a way that makes everyone connect with them as well as root for them to get over whatever obstacle is in their way. Finn is a great character. I know that a lot of people dislike him because he acts like an asshole and blames it on his black outs but not being able to control your body, especially for a teenager who’s still trying to figure out their life, would make almost everyone pissed off after blacking out. Moving on, I did love this story even though it’s not as amazing as Winger, it’s still an awesome read.

With any type of book, I can’t stand when there’s a ton of info-dumping that happens throughout the book. It starts from the very beginning about really random or boring things that haven’t even been brought up in a realistic way yet. In the beginning, it’s more like the history of Cade and Finn, really. I also had a problem with Julia. I would have liked to have been able to know more about her and her past. She doesn’t seem as real to me as she could have been.

Nonetheless, 100 Sideways Miles is great. Finn is very unique especially with his heterochromatic eyes and relatable. Like I said before, most people would be pissed off put in Finn’s position. Cade is another great character who seems to always be horny but is pretty humorous. It’s all of the characters. They are, for the most part, relatable and interesting with their mini adventures to Aberdeen Lake and the university that are both well described and still meaningful yet still light enough to cause some humour.

100 Sideways Miles is relatable book that I think a lot of people would like despite its few flaws. It’s a light read but it’s interesting, making people realize that a lot of authors use real people in their books and sometimes they like it, but sometimes they don’t. Plus, the ending is pretty creepy and ends the book with a fun twist which is always good!

3.5 Interesting Clouds
3.5 Interesting Clouds

Book Review: Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

18852053Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: August 26, 2014

Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

good good

Leon Harris isn’t exceptional and he isn’t popular. He’s the kind of guy that peaked in middle school, when once upon a time he was in the “gifted” program and on the fast track to Ivy League glory.

Now, a high school senior, he’s a complete slacker who spends his time hanging out in a third-rate ice cream parlor with his best friend, Stan, a guy who (jokingly, Leon thinks) claims to be Satan. Committed to his sloth, Leon panics when he finds out that Anna, the love of his life aka middle school girlfriend, might be moving back to town.

Determined to get his act together, Leon asks Stan for help. Stan gives him a few seemingly random and mysterious assignments. Date a popular girl. Listen to Moby-Dick, the audiobook. Find the elusive white grape slushee. Join the yearbook committee.

As each task brings Leon one step away from slacker city and one step closer to Anna, he starts to wonder if maybe he shouldn’t have promised Stan his soul after all…

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.

opinionAlways assume that a person named Stan is actually named Satan. That’s probably the first thing I picked up from this book. Oh, and that the Dark Lord is a complete ass. Play Me Backwards is a fun book about love, friendship, and knowing the difference between being a teen and an adult. I had a lot of fun reading this, and I really really REALLY want to go on a slushee adventure now. Definitely going on my high school grad bucket list to do. This book actually made me look back to what I was like when I was fourteen and all of my goals and expectations. I’ve changed a lot in those almost four short years but not in the way that I would have thought. This is one of the reasons why I could connect with Leon and why I think a lot of other people will be able to as well.

Right off the bat though, the book jumps into an albeit humorous, very long info-dump on the relationship between Leon and  Stan/Satan and how they became friends in the first place. And it’s not the only time that readers are forced to chew down a lot of information in one bite. It happens kind of a lot but I liked that even though Adam Selzer had a has a hard time expertly putting in some of the characters’ pasts into the story without boring readers, he at least makes it funny. If it weren’t for the humour, I really do believe that I would have skimmed through just about all of the references to the past. Another thing that I didn’t like is the middle of the book where everything just seems to kind of stand still. Things happen, sure, but it’s not things that matter. I truly did not care about Leon’s relationship with Paige though it took up a huge chunk of the story.

Play Me backwards is still a fun novel. I loved the writing. I know I say this a lot, but I usually love reading books in a male perspective better than a female solely because the writing is a hell of a lot more relaxed with a dash of humour in it. The random but awesome assignments that Stan gives Leon are great. I loved how much fun Leon has going around doing them. Moreover, the relationship between Leon and Stan is well done. I loved the journey that Leon goes through to improve himself and just how willing Stan is to help him. The characters are full of personality and enthusiasm (or lack of) that’s really realistic in teens. Adding onto this, Stan is amazing. He’s mysterious and plays his part well as the Devil.

If you don’t have a bucket list already, I suggest that you start one. Especially if you’re not a teenager. You must go on a slushee adventure and do at least one disaster dinner from an old cookbook. This book inspires random, weird, and awkward but in a way that’s relatable to most, if not all teens concerning their parents, friends, and grades. It was easy for me to love the book and laugh along with it. I recommend this one to everyone to read even if it’s just to pass the time. It’s kind of a jem, guys.

3.5 Interesting Clouds
3.5 Interesting Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Dissonance (Dissonance#1) by Erica O’Rourke

17334538Dissonance (Dissonance#1) by Erica O’Rourke

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: July 22, 2014

Pages: 496 (Hardcover)

good good

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

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

Dissonance is  a well paced story that doesn’t delve into the science behind the multiverse too much. I had a lot of fun reading about Del’s crazy life and her hardships and those of the people around her. However, I wanted to like this one a lot for than I did. I wanted a kick ass heroine who knew how to make her own decisions without help. Del is a pretty badass character and I loved reading about her but I hated how much her life surrounded Simon even before everything went downhill. I wanted her to stick true to her image or at least to her goal. Still, a great novel that’s refreshing!

The beginning is the most confusing part of all. Although there is a lot of action and interesting things happening, there’s so most info-dumping and name dropping that it all felt like a huge whirlwind that barely made any sense. The romance is predictable and I disliked almost all of it. Nothing about Simon stood out to me and I  couldn’t understand the connection that Del has for him especially when she breaks a huge amount of rules to keep him from leaving her.

Nonetheless, Erica O’Rourke has taken an idea that’s starting to be more common in YA books and added a refreshing writing style and a new perspective. I couldn’t get enough of Del’s voice! It’s so different and reckless that I found myself staying up to get the book done. The world building is well done and very tricky considering all of the different choices and things that happen. I also liked how some chapters started off with a rule that Walkers have to follow.

Even though there are a few flaws in this book, for the most part, I really liked it. It’s fast paced and fully of cool twists. The characters are fun, the worlds are great, and even though the ending is predictable and crazy cheesy, I’m extremely excited to read the next book in this exciting new series. I recommend this book to anyone who’s read and liked stories about alternate universes and fun characters.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds
3.5 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Linked (Linked#1) by Imogen Howson

14999965Linked (Linked#1) by Imogen Howson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Genre: Science Fiction and Young Adult

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

good good

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

opinion

Last year, there were these twins in my English class and they would usually finish each other`s sentences and holy crap! It was the coolest thing ever. With that being said, reading about twins that can see each other`s lives and feel the same emotions is crazy cool. I was instantly hooked to this one. However What I got was cool twin powers, sure, but that’s about it. The writing is choppy and awkward especially since it’s told in third person. Not enough is explained and I was bored and annoyed for most of the book.

There’s a lot that goes on in Linked that have problems. One of them is the setting and the world building. It’s poorly explained and I couldn’t imagine anything that happened. None of it makes enough sense especially the science fiction part. I thought the story would have been a lot better if the story was told as fantasy and not sci-fi. Another huge problem is the romance. Holy crap, is it bad! They haven’t seen or spoken to each other in months but he confesses his love for her? I understand that when you think you’re going to die, you will do some fucked up shit but this one just didn’t make sense! Their relationship from the beginning is told as a big brother little sister kind and I couldn’t see it as anything else.

Even though I had a few problems, I did like the relationship between the girls. They’re so unique and cool, especially their freaky twin powers.

Linked was not what I was expecting. I went in excited but finished confused and disappointed. I couldn’t picture anything that happened and I couldn’t believe the relationship between Elissa and that dude and the only good thing about it is the relationship between Elissa and Lin. I don’t recommend this book to anyone unless you’re one of those people who can either read and love everything, picture everything, or just really love science fiction novels.

 

2 Clouds
2 Clouds