Book Review: Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky

17393016My Rating: 5 stars

Series: 3rd book in the Awaken trilogy

Date Read: August 18, 2014

Source: Review copy from Netgalley

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group

Genres: Young adult, dystopian, romance

Summary (taken from Goodreads): In the final installment to the trilogy begun with Awaken, Maddie returns home to make her final stand against Digital School, and uncovers deeply guarded secrets about her family an new truths about herself.

reviewIt took me awhile to gather my thoughts on this book. This is, by far, one of the most difficult reviews I have written. This book brought endless ideas and questions to my mind. This series, as a whole, has had such an impact on me.

When I opened the book, the first thing that hit me was the writing. It’s been so long since I read the second book, and I forgot how beautiful and thought-provoking the writing style is. The first page reminded me. It started off by comparing Maddie and those she cared about to the elements, herself being water. It was beautifully written and combined with the rest of the story perfectly.

Then there were the characters. It amazes me how unique, how human, how well thought out they all were. I loved watching the story unfold and seeing the changes in them, especially Maddie. She really found herself throughout the series, and especially in this book. There was a decision she made at the end that would usually bother me, and I saw it coming. I expected to disagree with her, but instead I saw her reasons. I agreed with them, and when the time came I was hoping for the same outcome as she was. I found myself behind Maddie one-hundred percent, cheering her on. She grew confident in herself and her decisions, and so was I.

Overall, there’s no way for me to give this less than five stars. It’s one of those special, rare books that deserve more than that, because it will stick with me – and I feel that I’m not the only one who will feel that way about this series. It says so much about technology, about the world, and about people.

linksThis Book on Goodreads

First Book in Series (Awaken) on Goodreads

Author’s Website

Follow Author on Twitter

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Nothing! I am in the middle of Since You’ve Been Gone (still!) but won’t be finishing until my TBR clears up some. I really love the book and want to take my time with it, no rush.

What did you recently finish reading?

17393016Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky

This series means so much to me. After this book, I have named it my favorite series ever. Still Point is the last in the trilogy and it comes out September 2nd – which leaves plenty of time to catch up with the first two books, if you haven’t! I highly recommend it. Here’s a link to the first book, Awaken.

Also, if you need more convincing, my review for this will be up tomorrow. It’s safe to read because I was sure to keep it spoiler free for the entire series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

I’m beginning a buddy read for this one tomorrow and I’m so excited! It was difficult not to read this early, but I really didn’t have time. It’s a good thing I was made to wait!

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is a link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read.

69363821. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

So many people love this book; I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t read it yet! It’s recommended everywhere and I need to read it soon, but every time I try something else gets in the way. There are just so many books!

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2. Between Shades of Gray by Rita Sepetys

Again, I’ve heard so many good things. It doesn’t seem super popular, however I really think I would enjoy it and there have been so many good reviews on this one.

3. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

I’ve heard a lot of good things about A.S. King in general lately, but for this one I just decided to include the book of hers I plan to read first.

4. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This is another one that I feel like everyone else has already read. As soon as I finish up some of my current series, this one is on my list of series to start!

5. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Another series I haven’t been able to get into yet. I’m always behind on series because I’m so picky about when I read them. (I hate waiting for new releases!)

6. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

I’ve heard great things, and I plan to get right on this – the moment I finish the Harry Potter series. I don’t like reading two of an author’s books/series at once because I tend to get confused.

7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Again, everyone recommends this. I love retellings, too. I’m very excited to get into it once I get my TBR pile down some.

8. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

I’ve been meaning to get to this one for so long! It seems amazing, so hopefully I can get to it sometime soon.

9. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

I really, really want to read this one. I don’t know much about it, but I have heard so many great things.

10. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

This one’s pretty new, but I’ve already heard a lot about it. Definitely seems like my type of book!

Book Review: Ghosting by Edith Pattou

21558973My Rating: 4.5 stars

Date Read: July 11, 2014

Source: Review copy from Netgalley

Publication Date: August 19, 2014

Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing

Genres: Young adult, poetry (novel in verse)

Summary (taken from Goodreads): On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.

review againI began Ghosting with high hopes and was met with disappointment within the first few pages. My thoughts about the book at first were that it was an average novel in verse, without anything special to hook me to the story. I believe it was about 50 pages in when I decided that, actually, it might have been a decent introduction. By the end, I made a few connections back to the start that made the slow beginning feel worth it.

This book deals with a very important issue, however it’s a bit tricky for me to dive into it without giving spoilers. So this is all I’ll say: there is a shooting in the middle of the book, and it is dealt with perfectly.

It is not very often that a book changes my view on anything. During Ghosting, I actually paused a few times to think. A couple of lines made me stop, but this one from Maxie especially: “Did we get what we deserved?”

She asks this after overhearing people say it at a drugstore. And if their story had been on the news in real life, I may have thought – or even said – the same thing. Of course I would have felt bad for those involved, those hurt. But at least a small part of me would be thinking that they did wrong and were acting recklessly, that they should have known it could happen.

I did not think this during the novel. I didn’t once blame the characters for what happened to them. And next time I hear a similar, real-life story, I know I will think differently about it.

This really comes down to how the situation was handled. Even less likeable characters were shown as human, with good sides and bad. They felt real and, while dealing with such an important topic, I feel this was very important to the book.

Overall, the story wasn’t perfect, but I feel it came very close. I know there are those who feel disconnected from novels written in verse, and I do feel that they will be much less affected by this than I was. But if you do like reading verse, this is an excellent, thought-provoking read.

linksThis Book on Goodreads

Author’s Website

Follow Author on Twitter

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a weekly event started by Should be Reading where you share the books you’ve found throughout the week. These don’t have to be purchases, just books that you added to your TBR.

Here are the books I’ve added to my TBR this week:

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Dream On by M. Kircher

When Em’s father is killed, her mother loses herself in dreams. Like Em, she can stay in these dreams for as long as she chooses. In order to support them, Em begins to write the dreams her mother has into books. When Gabe, a huge fan of the author he thinks is Em’s mother, enters the picture, he’s determined to find out the truth. Together, they will enter the dream world of Em’s mother and try to convince her to wake up.

This one sounds so cool – the only reason I haven’t read it yet is because I’m waiting for my review copy from the author. When it comes, it will be first on my to-read list.

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Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

I don’t know so much about this one, but I adore the cover. It comes out in December and I’m super excited about the release, so hopefully it turns out to be a great one!

Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddMy Rating: 3 stars

Series: None

Date Read: August 12, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genres: Young adult, contemporary

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

review againI liked the idea behind this book. The characters were alright as well, although not my favorites. I feel that they, themselves, were realistic enough. But the way this story played out really bothered me.

From the start, I had a difficult time believing Panic could exist – yet alone go on for years. It’s a game the whole school knows about. Each student is forced to pay a dollar every day of the school year, which goes towards the winnings. I know very few high school kids with that kind of money – especially those like Heather and Dodge, our two main characters, who seem to be barely getting by.

They would all have to be working, which I feel is unrealistic. And if you are harming kids to get this money out of them, someone will find out. Parents will wonder why. Not every single person in this school can have an uninvolved parent.

Still, I could have gotten past all that. I did get past it a few times, and I really enjoyed the story as a whole. But so many inconsistencies came up. The characters seemed to forget things, which was so strange to me. It wasn’t part of the plot, the forgetting – it’s just that something would happen, they would fight or worry about it, and that was the end. No resolution was shown or even explained. This was the part that really ruined the book for me.

Also, to say it without spoilers, the end wasn’t any different from the rest. Things were left alone, with no consequences, even though there had to have been some.

Overall, I think you’ll like this one better if you don’t mind that the story’s not realistic. If you are willing to believe it all could happen, you’ll get more out of this one than me. I just couldn’t see any of this happening in reality.

links

This Book on Goodreads

Author’s Website

Follow Author on Twitter

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

22756190

This is Falling by Ginger Scott

I recently read another of Ginger Scott’s books and loved it, so when I saw this one up on Netgalley I knew it was the perfect time to check out more of her work. This one is first in a series of companion novels, I believe, and I’m liking it so far!

What did you recently finish reading?

 Panic_HC_JKT_des4.indd

Panic by Lauren Oliver

This one wasn’t as great as I hoped. It was kind of weird and some of the plot seemed to disappear throughout the book, like the characters forgot what just happened or something. My review for this one will be up tomorrow!

What do you think you’ll read next?

17393016

Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky

I’m not sure this will be my very next read, but it will be read soon. Although I’ve waited forever for this book – and was SO excited to receive a review copy – I’ve been putting it off. I’m a bit sad that this series will be ending.

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is a link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read. Because I recently went through my Goodreads TBR and deleted books I wasn’t sure about, I’m not sure I can actually find ten that fit – instead, I’m going to list the books that have been on there the longest, and so I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to them.

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1. Paper Towns by John Green

I’ve tried reading this so many times, but I never continue past the prologue. The thing is, I have no idea why. I like the prologue, and I’d probably like the book as well. But I always pick up another book before chapter one.

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2. What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

I have wanted to read this for so long. When I found it for free on iBooks, I thought it was a perfect time to get into it. However, this was ages ago and now I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to it. My excitement for the book has left and the only thing keeping it on my TBR is the fact that I own it and thought at the time that I would read it that month – of course, this was back in June.

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3. Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

I have a problem with Lauren Barnholdt books. I’ve read two, one being the companion novel to this one, and I really enjoyed them both. But whenever I try to pick up another one, especially this one (which I was SUPER excited about prior to its release), another book comes up. Or I’m just not in the mood. It’s awful because these are such quick reads, but for some reason I can’t pick them up.

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4. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’ve heard so many good things about this one, but it’s difficult for me to get into. The series is so many books, and they haven’t all been released yet either. It’s so much more commitment than just one book, and for that reason I’ve put it off. I recently won a giveaway for a few of these books, however I still couldn’t seem to begin this one.

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5. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

I wouldn’t be interested in this one, really, except I read another book by the same author and loved it. Immediately, I added this one to my TBR. And then I forgot about it. I also put it off because, much as I enjoyed her other book, it was also quite sad and I’m not sure whether or not to expect the same from this one.

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6. Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

This is another one that I’ve tried reading again and again. Nothing is wrong with it, I’m just always in the mood for something different.

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7. Rippler by Cidney Swanson

It took me forever to even buy this one. When I found the series cheap on Amazon, I bought it right away – only to have it sit in my Kindle app. It’s especially difficult for me to get into series right now, as I’m in the middle of so many, but it feels like this one’s been waiting around so long.

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8. On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This one has been on and off my reading list since around the time I started my Goodreads account. I’ve now decided that it stays permanently on until I (finally!) some day read it. The only good thing about this book is that I haven’t purchased it yet.

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9. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

This one has been on and off my TBR as well. Every time I read another good review, it gets put back on. I’ve come close to buying it so many times as well, but I always find a different book that matches my mood/regular genre more.

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10. A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

I like the concept behind this book. It’s also super short, but I’ve never read more than a few pages. The beginning never hooks me and I always end up putting it back down, even though I’m sure once I got into the book I would like it.

Book Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

12294652My Rating: 5 stars

Date Read: August 8, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: June 14, 2012

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young adult, contemporary, romance

Summary (taken from Goodreads): “One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

review again

I heard a lot of good things about this book, yet I waited a long time before reading. I’m thinking the main reason for this is that I didn’t believe it would be as great as everyone else seemed to think. I was ready to be disappointed.

That didn’t happen. The book hooked me from the very first sentence. I was so disappointed not to have more reading time than I did, because I just wanted to sit down and read the whole thing at once.

The characters were a huge part of what made this story great. They weren’t typical young adult characters. While some of them – a snobby, materialistic rich mother; a jealous best friend; a rebellious teenage sister – were pretty common tropes, they also had their own unique traits that made them real.

An easy writing style and a (somewhat) lighthearted story made the book a wonderful summer read. I was not let down at all by this one. It was fantastic.

links

This Book on Goodreads

Author Website

Follow Author on Twitter

A Brand New Look

I have no idea if anyone saw my earlier post – if you did, forget what you saw! I found a much better design that I’m hoping you guys will like.

As you can see, I have made major appearance changes to the blog. A new theme, new buttons (!!!), a new header… And more to come!

I’m going to sample the newest buttons for you guys. These will separate my review posts like so:

review againLet me know what you guys think! I’ve been working awhile on making this right, so I’m pretty excited and would love any advice you have. Leave any likes/disikes/questions down in the comments!

linksPretend there are

links here, just to

give you an idea.

There will be links

to Goodreads,

author websites,

etc. in my reviews now!

extras

There are also a lot more, content-related updates coming in the next couple months that I cannot wait to share with you guys!

I’d also like to say that if you guys have any ideas at all for this blog, I’d love to hear them! Reader opinions mean a lot to me and I would love to incorporate your ideas and have your feedback as I continue to expand, make changes, and try new things.

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