Book Review: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Publisher: Greenwillow

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Pages: 225 (Hardcover)

good

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places.

This will be a short and sweet review. Despite my feelings and how relative large the negative part of my review will be, I did enjoy Ask me How I Got Here. It’s cute, funny even. It’s not at all like most young adult books because it doesn’t waste time on unnecessary details. Still it does need work, things are not fleshed out. But I liked it. It’s a solid read.

The characters aren’t fleshed out well enough. Juliana comes into the story and into Addie’s life. It’s not a smooth transition and seems like she was added into the story as a second thought. There are also connections made between Addie and The Virgin Mary, however I was expecting more from it. I was expecting their stories to line up not perfectly, but better. Especially with their relationships with men, their emotions towards family, etc. As I read through all of my notes for this one, my biggest problem is with the characters. It sucks when a novel, beautifully written in verse fails to translate enough emotion through the characters. Claire and the brother should have been better. They fell flat and were not able to support Addie, the protagonist as much as they should have.

I loved Addie’s voice. No bullshit from her. It’s beautiful as she uses references from the Bible to explain her life through The Virgin Mary. Although I’m not at all religious, the way Heppermann weaves this into the story is lovely. I really enjoyed it.

Ask Me How I Got Here is an in between novel for me. It’s not bad but it isn’t particularly good either. If characters play the largest part of a novel for you, this might not be a novel for you. Nonetheless, it’s a story that’s not really talked about, especially in young adult. Teenagers do indeed get abortions, shit happens. Which also aides in my overall opinion of the book.

3 Mediocre Clouds

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Book Review: Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone#3) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone#3) by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 422 (Hardcover)

good

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

The Shadow and Bone series has it all (or did). Great dialogue, gruesome fights, and some of the finest humour out there. With this said, I had very little expectations for Ruin and Rising the third and final novel in the series. The Darkling plays such a large role in this series. Not only as the villain but as an ally and a lover, and I just…I didn’t see his importance here. To be completely honest, I didn’t see anything, no growth from the most beloved characters. Although I admit, Bardugo is the queen of twists and turns, I got very few twists except that one fucking huge one that made my eyes water.

Because in all actuality, what the hell happened? There was so much tension, so much build up in the first book that completely fell flat by the end of this one. This love triangle is just getting out of hand. It’s stupid and I hate it now. Bardugo used a great twist and something unique, to tie everything in a nice, sloppily done bow. How the war goes down is just not logical. It really isn’t. Moreover, the actual ending is not anything special. It’s so unlike the story that I think a lot of her fans are having an extremely hard time with it.

Nonetheless, Bardugo did put in one large plot twists, showing her brilliance through beautiful writing. I do like some of the secondary characters a lot more than before. Like Zoya, who has a great sense of humour and Nikola–everything about him, he’s kind of amazing.

It’s the classic ‘last book in the series’ syndrome. Many second books are cursed with being boring but the last book is always cursed with leaving many readers unsatisfied. And I am apart of that group of readers. I actually had to re-read the war because it was so fast, so clean, I just couldn’t believe it. Shadow and Bone is still an amazing series, just keep your expectations of this book low.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

Click here to see my review of Shadow and Bone.

Click here to see my review of Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone#2).

The Fixes by Owen Mattews

The Fixes by Owen Mattews

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 528 (Hardcover)

good good

Five…

Eric Connelly is about to combust.

Four…

His senator father is forcing him to spend the entire summer working a mind-numbing law firm internship. He won’t stop lecturing him about the importance of upholding “the Connelly name.” He doesn’t know the definition of “blowing off steam.” But he’s about to find out. Because Eric is ready to blow.

Three…

Then Eric meets Jordan Grant. Super-rich, semi-famous Jordan Grant. The guy of Eric’s (secret) dreams. Jordan likes Eric. And, well, Eric likes that.

Two…

Jordan comes with a group of friends—the Suicide Pack, they call themselves—and they’re sick of the shallow hypocrisy of their exclusive beachside town. So they cook up some simple “fixes” to right the wrongs that the wealthy elite have committed. But as the fixes escalate, some members of the pack start to panic. Intoxicated by Jordan’s attention, Eric stays calm. Until Jordan starts to build the bombs.

One…

The question is not whether the bombs will go off—but who will be left standing when everything goes up in flames.

The Fixes is an interesting novel and I must admit I had a lot of fun reading it. There’s this loose stream of connectivity between the book and the narrator and I didn’t mind being pulled out of the story every other chapter or every other line because the remarks were just too funny and it would have been even better I swear if there just weren’t so many fucking holes. Like what’s up with Jordan’s family? Is he a psycho like his dad? Does his dad know how fucked he is? I sometimes hate how much I critically think but everything has to connect. There are just too many holes.

So I get that Haley and Paige were friends before the pack but why? They seem completely different especially with their group of friends and moreover, why would they want to be? In the whole book they barely speak to each other about anything. It makes me wonder that they’re together just because they’re girls. I also had an issue with the suspense. Maybe it was planned out this way but the deliverance is not very smooth as it starts and stops every few pages and the climax is literally a shit show. I also want to know and fully understand the thought process that is Jordan. How did he get everyone on his side? And so quickly? I want to understand how Eric got this way and how he convinced everyone to go through with things I want to understand the manipulation behind it all.

The reasons why I enjoyed this novel is because it is good. It does allow readers to fall into the story with its clever lines and smooth transitions. This is so with the transition of Eric going from E to Eric. The writing flows in such a calm way. The ending is cool because I hate cop-outs and I’m glad this one did not have that. Despite having many holes, it does resolve things. The character of Paige and how she comes back into Eric’s life, albeit weird, shows that they really were friends.

While reading The Fixes it seemed like I was asking one thing over and over again: why?

What’s even worse is that just about nothing is ever really answered. I’m trying really hard to be a better reviewer so I’m not going to completely bash Matthews for making Eric such a puppy. Some people just feel more than others but still. Come on, why. But I still really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone. Yes, it is really long but the chapters are pretty short and sweet.

3 Mediocre Clouds

Song of the Week (Revamped) #18-Alone/ With You by Daughter

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

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Daughter are an indie folk band from England. Fronted by North London native Elena Tonra, they were formed in 2010 after the addition of Swiss-born guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella from France.

Daughter has recently changed up their tune. Although they still have their usual delicately haunting vocals, and depressing yet heartfelt lyrics, they added a poppy tune. Think….light electronic music. But still, the song is really good. Daughter will always have a spot in my heart no matter what.

Favourite part:

I hate sleeping alone
Terrified with the lights out
I hate living alone
Talking to myself is boring conversation
Me and I are not friends
She is only an acquaintance
I hate dreaming of being alone
Cause you are never there
Just a shadowy figure with a blank face
Kicking me out of his place
I hate walking alone
I should get a dog or something

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.

Song of the Week (Revamped) #16-The bells by Lowell

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

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If you don’t know this girl or this song then it’s official. You live under a rock. It’s been almost 9 months since I’ve heard it before these past 2 weeks and I clearly remember why it quickly became a favourite for me. With such a chill beat and cute yet psycho girl vibe, the creepy lyrics just reminds me of a pop grunge era. It’s sweet and strange and hella repetitive which I hate but sounds right in The Bells.

Favourite part:

Hey! Where’d the beat go?
Beat go
Where’d the beat go?
Beat go
Where’d the beat go?

The bells, the bells, the bells, the bells, and
The bounce, the bounce, the bounce, the bounce,
And the bells, the bells, the bells, the bells, and the beat

Beat go

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.

Song of the Week (Revamped) #14-Nikki by Logic

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

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Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, known by his stage name Logic, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer.

The first time I heard this song I assumed what you would. This is about a girl who stole this guy’s heart and how he’s ruined because of it. And in a sense, I’m right but I’m also wrong. Logic uses a unique and creative way to talk about his problems and struggles and I seriously respect him for it. But what makes him amazing is the way he explains the song and what it truly means. Seriously, listen to his explanation because it like opens your mind and shit.

Favourite part:

Goddamn, took me as young man
Everyday I wonder who I am, who will I be, where will I go
What will they write upon my grave?
A free man born as a king, who died as a slave
But everything he gave her was for nothing though
Oh no I can’t fade that shit I gotta let you go
You got me tripping like a flight to Vegas
All this shit you got me doing man it’s outrageous

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.

Song of the Week (Revamped) #9-Sippy Cup by Melanie Martinez

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Photo: Jeremy Witteveen | wittefini.com

Photo: Jeremy Witteveen | wittefini.com

Melanie Adele Martinez is an American singer and songwriter. Melanie Martinez auditioned for the American television vocal talent show The Voice and became a member of Team Adam.

Such a creepy song! But a great beat it is. Martinez is an artist that relies on old childhood memories (hers and ours) in order to create her songs. It’s disturbingly good. Strange and mellow and relaxing. But not.

Favourite part:

Blood money, blood money
How did you afford this ring that I love, honey?
“Just another shift at the drug company, ”
He doesn’t think I’m that fucking dumb does he?
It doesn’t matter what you pull up to your home
We know what goes on inside
You call that ass your own, we call that silicone
Silly girl with silly boys

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.