What I Thought Was True Review

August 14, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★½

What I Thought Was True ReviewWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Pages: 422
Source: Library
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To
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four-half-stars
From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

As you can probably tell from my review of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s first novel My Life Next Door, I loved her debut. She continues the trend of solid main characters, strong supporting characters, and a breathtakingly descriptive setting on an island. The book is beautiful and unique to say the least. Although far from being a light read, this makes a great summer read that I definitely recommend.

Gwen is entering the summer before her senior year and she desperately wants to escape from the year that she’s had. Hoping to breakaway from her typical summer of working at her dad’s pizza parlor, she takes on a job of taking care of Mrs. Ellington, an older woman from the island. She then comes face to face with the yard boy: Cassidy Somers, the one boy she’s trying to forget. The rest of the summer consists of Gwen coming to terms with the fact that what she thought was true about the people in her life might not be true at all.

In this book, the characters were one of my personal favorite parts. Gwen was a character that you couldn’t help but sympathize with. She was misunderstood and viewed as “easy” by her peers, but she was simply just misunderstood. It broke my heart that she didn’t see her true value, but she slowly gains more confidence and grows as a person throughout the book. Cass was an amazing and genuine guy, even though I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first. The supporting characters are extremely well developed including her cousin Nic, his girlfriend who is also Gwen’s best friend Vivien, her little brother Emory, and the hilarious Mrs. Ellington. Mrs. Ellington brings humor to the table with obsession with graphic romance novels that she makes Gwen read out loud. All of the characters are complex and easy to relate to.

The book goes through the flashbacks and reveals what really happened between the two very very slowly, but in the end, Cass still redeems himself. The relationship between both of them is obviously tense at the beginning until at least the middle of the novel. However, it does become a lot better and more romantic. I found myself frequently looking back at My Life Next Door and comparing the two main love interests. I didn’t think anyone could be as incredible as Jase, but Cass was certainly just as polite and caring. He treats Gwen and everyone he meets with tremendous respect. He also teaches her little brother Emory, who isn’t autistic but he is definitely different from other kids his age, how to swim which is totally swoonworthy.

What I Thought Was True was a pretty lengthy book, but I found that I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I was drawn in from start to finish. I kept on reading because I wanted to see what it was that Cass did to Gwen that was so bad. I won’t ruin anything, but it turns out that it was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. The flashbacks occurred at random times, some of them seemed rather out of place. All in all, I think this was a brilliantly written book that further proves that Huntley Fitzpatrick in incapable of writing a bad book.

four-half-stars

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The Heartbreakers Review

August 12, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The Heartbreakers ReviewThe Heartbreakers (The Heartbreaker Chronicles, #1) by Ali Novak
Published by Sourcebooks on August 4th 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
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three-stars
"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."
Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD... for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like...
Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Ali Novak is a fairly popular author on Wattpad. Honestly, I’m a pretty big fan of the work she’s published on there. This book is specifically appealing due to the easygoing romance and also a steady plot that gradually progresses throughout the novel. The characters are also all very well developed and will land books of their own as apart of The Heartbreak Chronicles.

Stella, Drew, and Cara are triplets. Cara has non-Hodgkins lymphoma and is constantly in and out of the hospital. Drew and Stella decide to do something special for her 18th birthday and get an autograph from her favorite boy band, the Heartbreakers. Next thing you know, Drew and Stella are hanging out with the band and Stella gets a one of a chance opportunity to go on tour with the band as a photographer. Stella falls in love with the lead singer, Oliver, but she must decide if she’s willing to take all the baggage that comes with dating the biggest heartthrob in the world.

I think all of the characters are well written but I was particularly drawn to the members of the Heartbreakers. Each of the boys had a quirky personality that made you want to know more about them. There’s Alec, Xander, Oliver, and J.J., who enjoy pranks but they are also a close group and they truly support one another.

My biggest problem came from Oliver and Stella because of the insta-love that went down. I didn’t like that the two were kissing instantly after they first met. It just didn’t feel realistic in the slightest to me. However, the romance does gradually get better, despite some moments from Oliver that made me question him. Oliver isn’t my favorite book boyfriend by any means, but I still couldn’t resist him. He’s definitely swoon-worthy in many different ways.

I liked how this book focuses on friendship and family. There’s a lot of information about cancer and I felt like Novak certainly did her research. I loved the relationship between Cara, Drew, and Stella. Overall, this was a decent book that made for a refreshing summer read.

three-stars

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Attachments Review

August 8, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★½

Attachments ReviewAttachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Dutton on April 14th 2011
Pages: 323
Source: Library
Also by this author: Fangirl
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three-half-stars
"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?

Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read and reviewed two of her Young Adult books, Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. Although you’re probably living under the rock if you haven’t heard of those. However, I was a little slow on the uptake when it comes to her adult titles. I didn’t know anything about this book until recently, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It’s a really creative concept and I enjoyed Rowell’s brilliant writing.

Attachments is about Lincoln who is less than thrilled when he discovers that the job as a “Internet security officer” consists of writing up reports on inappropriate company emails. The company is The Courier, a newspaper where Jennifer and Beth work and send personal emails through the company address. These emails are constantly flagged but Lincoln can’t bring himself to write either of them up. Instead, he’s fascinated with their humor and wit, especially Beth’s. Once he discovers that the “cute guy” Beth is referring to in her emails is really him, he starts to believe that maybe they could have a future together. But how could that ever happen when she has a serious boyfriend?

Lincoln is the main character that Rainbow follows. I love how we get to see his infatuation with her gradually grow. We also get to see how sensitive and romantic he is. Beth and Jennifer are also incredibly witty and hysterical characters. I love all of the pop culture references that are in pretty much every email they ever send.

The romance part of Attachments is a little bit weird but unique to say the least. It’s hard to be completely invested in the relationship between Beth and Lincoln when they have very few interactions throughout the majority of the book. However, I did like the fact that they both were immediately drawn to the other for two different reasons. Lincoln was drawn to Beth’s personality before he even saw what she looked like. On the other hand, Beth was drawn to him based on his looks. She told Jennifer that he looked like Jason Bateman, which I found funny and adorable.

This isn’t my favorite Rainbow Rowell book by any means. I found that I definitely prefer her Young Adult books, but she still managed to create a dreamy and swoon-worthy leading male, which I really liked. I gave the book this rating because her writing is so beautiful and descriptive, plus the characters were all instantly likable. While I liked that it was a unique idea, I felt like some of the writing was impersonal and that it was hard to truly get inside the heads of these characters. It was a decent read as a whole and I’m glad I finally read it.

three-half-stars

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My Life Next Door Review

August 7, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★★

My Life Next Door ReviewMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on June 14th 2012
Pages: 394
Source: Library
Also by this author: What I Thought Was True, The Boy Most Likely To
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five-stars
four-flames
"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.

Huntley Fitzpatrick has written a remarkable and much-loved Young Adult Contemporary Romance Novel with My Life Next Door. I’ve been reading a lot of these types of novels lately, but none of them (besides Anna and The French Kiss) have been able to compete with this one. It’s a book that I could read over and over again and still love it just as much. It has a certain charm that’s difficult to fully explain, all I can really say is that it’s a wonderful read.

Samantha is seventeen-years-old and she’s lived next to the huge Garrett family for her whole life. However, she has simply watched them and never talked to them before. Her mom is a politician and has raised Sam to believe that she’s above people like the Garrett family. One day though, she crosses the line and finds her life intertwined with the Garrett’s. Meanwhile, she falls in love with Jase Garrett and the summer holds many adventures and drama.

Part of what makes this story so easy to read is the well developed characters. While Samantha and Jase are at the center of it, all of the supporting characters are entertaining and hilarious. Each of them provides a certain level of funny moments in their own right. My favorite though is Jase’s little brother George, he’s adorable and not afraid to ask Samantha tough questions. There’s just some fantastic moments for this little boy. Outside of the Garrett family, I also love Tim, Samantha’s best friend’s screwed up older brother who also forms a bond with Jase. He’s getting his own story called The Boy Most Likely To, which is featuring Jase’s sister Alice, coming out later this month. In short, this is a book filled with characters that you’ll instantly fall in love with.

The relationship between Jase and Samantha is realistic and incredible to follow. It’s safe to say that I loved every second of it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the drama between them involving Samantha’s mom and her campaign manager, but at least it wasn’t a love triangle! Sam made some stupid decisions and at times I just couldn’t wait for to wake up, but Jase was perfect and patient with her. Don’t get me wrong, both of the characters are extremely well written. The growth of Samantha is quite evident as the book progresses. Jase is one of my personal favorite YA book boyfriends. He’s a total good guy, which is surprisingly rare to find in Young Adult books, a lot of them tend to favor bad boys. I love this couple, definitely one of my favorites.

To me, this book doesn’t have very many flaws. It’s a fast paced read and you instantly find yourself wrapped up in each individual characters and their personal stories. This is aimed at readers who love a good Young Adult book that is sure to make you smile the whole way through.

Quotes:
“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged. 
“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”
Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”
George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”

“Why do all the hot girls want the jocks and the good boys? We losers are the ones that need you.” 
“The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I’d be part of the story myself.” 

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

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Anna and the French Kiss Review

August 6, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★★

Anna and the French Kiss ReviewAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton Juvenile on December 2nd 2010
Pages: 372
Also by this author: Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
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five-stars
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This is an absolutely compelling Young Adult novel, one of the best I’ve ever read honestly. It’s the combination of the setting, characters, and the plot as a whole. I feel like I’m the last person on planet Earth to read this book, but I’m glad that I finally got around to picking it up. If you’re also like me and pretty much live under a rock and didn’t read this, make sure you get a copy of it soon, you won’t regret it.

Anna is a rising senior living in Georgia. She has a great best friend and a relationship that’s just about to happen. All of that is put on hold when her father ships her off to Paris to attend boarding school. While most kids would love to be sent there, she longs for her life in the states. Then she meets Étienne St. Clair, the beautiful and smart British boy who takes her breath away right from the start. The only problem is that he has a serious girlfriend.

If you take away all of the supporting characters and just leave Anna and Étienne, there’s still a nicely developed plot. The scenes these two characters share are adorable and there’s Paris in the background, what else could you possibly need? Anyway, I’m going to focus on them only just because I believe they are clearly the most significant. I enjoyed the supporting characters but I was always just waiting for the next scene between our favorite couple. I can’t stress how charming Étienne is. Perkins did a terrific job with creating this charismatic guy. Anna got on my nerves at times because she whines about literally everything, but our boy manages to bring out a different side of her. The romance in the book is masterfully crafted and I adored everything about it from start to finish.

If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I’m actually in love with this book. I don’t think it is everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t know many people who didn’t love it. So if you like Young Adult books with a charming love interest, the beautiful setting of the city of love, some hilarious drama, and an awkward yet endearing female narrator, this book is right up your alley! I can’t recommend it enough.

Quotes:

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” 

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” 

“Will you please tell me you love me? I’m dying here.” 

“I’m saying I’m in love with you! I’ve been in love with you this whole bleeding year!”

“You say that I’m afraid of being alone, and it’s true. I am. And I’m not proud of it. But you need to take a good look at yourself, Anna, because I am NOT the only one in this room who suffers this problem.” 

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
four-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: five-stars

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Ask Again Later Review

August 4, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★½

Ask Again Later ReviewAsk Again Later by Liz Czukas
Published by Harper Teen on March 11th 2014
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars
Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...

This was a cute and light read that is yet another YA book that I have no clue how I missed it when it first came out. This book won’t be good for you if you’re not big on predictable high school romance books, but it’s perfect if that’s something you really enjoy reading. I guess what I’m trying to say is that not everyone is going to like it, but it’s ideal for those looking for some light end of the summer reading.

Her biological name might be Heart, but this teen has absolutely no interest in love. Her mom was only 18 when she had Heart’s older brother, and 19 when she had her. After giving birth to her, she left her family shortly after. So Heart made a rule that she’d avoid relationships so she would never end up like her mother. Anyway, she ends up unsure of what to do when she has two guys asking her to prom. To decide, she flips a coin and gets to somehow live out both of these fantasies.

The characters in this book are absolutely fabulous. The most memorable is probably our hilarious narrator Heart, who is witty and charming all at once. None of the events that go down during prom would be as funny without Heart’s voice. I really love how sassy and likable she is from the very first page. Another character that I found myself invested in was Ryan, one of the boys who asked her to prom. Ryan becomes a close friend to Heart throughout the novel and I love all his wisdom and hilarious moments. I also loved Chase, or Schroeder, as Heart calls him. He’s also a smart and likable character and I was always eager to read any scenes that he appeared in. I’m going to talk more about him in the context of Heart (it’s pretty impossible not to).

Heart and Chase have an adorable relationship, mostly due to the fact that it grows from friendship to more. The banter between them from the very first chapter is endearing and funny to read. For example, Heart calls him Schroeder since he reminds her of the Peanuts character due to the fact that he plays piano and has the same look. He calls her different body parts like Lung, Kidney, and Pancreas because of her name. It’s a lot more adorable than it sounds, you just have to read it!

In short, I recommend this book because it can be read in just one sitting. It was a great read for me considering I’ve been reading such heavy books lately, this was a refreshing break from all of that. Sometimes reading a predictable and cute book is just what you need. I loved the authors witty and creative writing style and now I’m dying to read more of her work!

three-half-stars

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Faking Normal Review

August 2, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★★

Faking Normal ReviewFaking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperTeen on February 25th 2014
Pages: 336
Also by this author: The Lies About Truth
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five-stars
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

This book made me feel so many different emotions. It’s sad and deals with a dark subject, but it also is filled with hope and love.  I’m a huge fan of books that tell unique stories in a fresh way. Courtney C. Stevens is seriously wonderful at this. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who has yet to read it for whatever reason!

Alexi Littrell has a secret that is continually tearing her up. To deal with this, she finds comfort in hiding in her closet and scratching the back of her neck. She hurts her outside in order to cope with how she’s feeling on the inside. Bodee Lennox has his own personal tragedy, his dad recently killed his mother. Alexi’s mom was close friends with her, so Alexi also attends the funeral. Bodee comes to live with Alexi and her family for the year. Bodee and Alexi gradually get closer as she finally comes clean about her past.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that huge of a fan of the characters besides Bodee and Alexi. I thought that even her closer female friends like Heather were a little bit annoying. They accomplished what Stevens intended, just showing the life that Alexi had before she was raped. Although she tries to put on a brave face and act normal around her peers, she’s an extremely broken girl. Sometimes it makes a huge difference to me when the supporting characters aren’t all that interesting or quirky, but I didn’t feel that way in this case. Our main characters were so fabulous that nothing else really mattered.

The romance between Alexi and Bodee is perfect. Bodee is a considered “that Kool-Aid freak” by some of Alexi’s friends and even by herself before she got to know him. However, I like that once she befriended him, she didn’t try to hide the friendship from her other friends. It did annoy me that Alexi seemed to be oblivious to how crazy he was about her, but I did like the slow build-up from friendship to relationship. Bodee shows his protectiveness for Alexi from the beginning, and he also was someone that she could trust with the truth about her rape.

The topic of rape has been used in many Young Adult books including Speak and Just Listen. What makes this one stand out from both of those is the twists and turns that are not revealed until towards the end of the novel. With the other books, it’s pretty clear what happened and who did it, but this one will have you guessing up until the last page.

five-stars

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Freaky Friday: Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

August 1, 2015 Features 0 ★★★★★

Freaky Friday: Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) by Ransom Riggs
Published by Quirk on June 7th 2011
Pages: 352
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five-stars
Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE]
ACE #1

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
~

If you’re looking for an exceptional summer read from start to finish, this novel is definitely the one to grab from bookstores. It is the first novel from Ransom Riggs and doesn’t fail to disappoint in the slightest.

The book centers on protagonist Jacob Portman whose grandfather passes away at the beginning of the book. Jacob, who is close with him, feels lost and questions the strange way his grandfather died. Could he have been murdered? Was he attacked by a wild animal or worse?

After months of agony, he makes his way to England where he explores relics of his grandfather’s past. From old friends and loves, exploring a somewhat haunted house, and eventually embarking on time travel, Jacob is in for a wild adventure while discovering who his grandfather really was before coming to America. All of which involve the supernatural and peculiar children he thought were dead.

Peculiar Children also uses vintage photography throughout to further create the characters and storyline to reel readers in. Each of the photos are real and cited in the back of the book. Some showcase the peculiars exercising their power, while others simply show Jacob or another character in action.

 

 

A movie is set to debut in March of 2016. It stars Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, and Samuel L. Jackson. There is also two books titled Hollow City and Library of Souls that follow this prequel. The latter will be released on September 22nd of this year.

five-stars

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The Distance Between Us Review

July 31, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

The Distance Between Us ReviewThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on July 2nd 2013
Pages: 312
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: The Fill-In Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, By Your Side
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four-stars
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Even though this book has been out for two years now, I’ve never gotten around to reading it. Now that I finally have, it’s safe to say that I’m even more in love with Kasie West’s writing now. This book specifically is the perfect light and adorable summer read.

Caymen Meyers was raised by her single mother to believe that poor and rich people come from completely separate worlds, and she belongs to the first world. She works in her mother’s doll shop where she gets plenty of practice observing the rich people who buy the dolls. She can instantly tell that Xander Spence is beyond rich. As she gets gradually closer to him, she realizes that the two have more in common than she initially anticipated. However, it seems like the rest of the world is against the pair being together, and Caymen learns a family secret that threatens her outlook on her life entirely.

I really enjoyed the main characters Xander and Caymen. I felt like they were well developed and I loved watching their relationship grow. I think the supporting characters could have had a little bit more development because most of them were meant to be unlikable – besides Caymen’s friend Skye. So it’s safe to say that I liked the characters but felt like they weren’t memorable as a whole.

The relationship is obviously one of the big selling points of the book. It tells the story of a great summer romance that has a realistic and gradual build. The two face challenge after challenge and you start to wonder if they are ever going to get together at all. But that’s often how it works in real life and I like the accuracy of the relationship in general. Another enjoyable part was how quirky and witty the pair of them are. When together, they seem to bring out a whole different to each other and that’s fun to read about as they develop not only as a couple, but as individuals as well.

All in all, this is a book that will make a nice summer read. Yes, it’s on the predictable side, but what do you expect? It’s a summer Young Adult Romance book and if that’s something you typically enjoy, then I’m sure this book is something you’d be interested in. Kasie West is a fantastic writer and I recommend starting with this book first if you’ve never read any of her stuff!

four-stars

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Everything, Everything Review

July 30, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★★

Everything, Everything ReviewEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on September 1st 2015
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: The Sun Is Also a Star
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five-stars
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I’ve heard some amazing things about this book so I was excited to finally pick it up for myself. It turned out to be more brilliant than I was even expecting. Madeline is a witty and fascinating character and she’s
probably one of the quirkiest narrators I’ve seen in a YA book for a long time.

The book follows Madeline, an eighteen year old girl who hasn’t left her house since she was a baby due to the rare disease SCID. Maddy is allergic to pretty much everything and has to live in a bubble. Her only contact comes from her nurse Carla and her mother, who also doubles as her doctor. Any visitors that she does have are forced to go through a serious examination and decontamination. Her whole safe world is turned upside down by her new neighbor Olly. What follows is a heartwarming love story between the two as they must face these real life issues.

The characters in this book were absolutely fantastic. Our heroine Madeline has many awesome little quirks, including the hilarious spoilers that she wrote about classic novels. She also draws entertaining illustrations that will certainly amuse readers. For someone who’s never been outside of her house, she is still extremely cultured and full of wit. Now that I’ve spent time talking about Madeline, I want to talk about the super swoon worthy love interest of hers. Olly is just as smart and witty as Madeline. He also is insanely charming and I love how protective he is of the people he cares about.

Focusing on the relationship itself, Maddy and Olly gradually begin a relationship that affectionately begins through instant messaging and slowly progresses into in person meetings. I love this relationship and the life experience that Olly teaches Madeline as he becomes her first love. The roadblocks placed in front of them seemed very real to me and not at all cliche like some Young Adult romances can get.

This is a very fast paced read due to the short chapters and how it isn’t always traditional chapters. Meaning, some will just be illustrations, Madeline’s book spoilers, or emails between Madeline and Olly. It’s a book with a totally unique plot filled with heartwarming character to match. What more could you ask for from a Young Adult book? I strongly recommend picking this book up in September when it’s officially released!

five-stars

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