Monday, December 1, 2014

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Very strangely indeed, the only time I feel inclined to visit my blog is after I read a Lauren Oliver book. This is very, very strange. At this rate, you will have to wait another year or so to hear from me again. Oh well lol.

Rooms begins when Richard Walker dies and his disconnected family is forced to come together again and confront their past and their secrets. The story is told through his family members' points of view as they recollect what they thought they knew. It is also told in the perspectives of Sandra and Alice, two ghosts who previously lived in the house. Their stories intertwine as they rediscover their secrets and the truth.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book and how the stories were woven together. Two-thirds through the book I asked myself, "Is there some way that this is all supposed to come together?" And it's pretty awesome and heart-breaking at the same time (not cry-worthy though) when it does.

The only critiques I have are that it was a little difficult to keep track of who was who between the two ghosts and I was easily confused because of all the characters whose names began with the letter "M". I also wish that that story had been longer with just MORE so that I could closer connect with each of the characters and really feel their struggle. The chapters are so short that the reader barely gets time to feel sad or connected with one character before the story moves on to a different point of view.

This is a strange story with some sad, sad topics. Don't let the low rating of Rooms fool you, it really isn't that bad. I assume it got such low ratings on this website because the readers are comparing this book too much to Oliver's previous works. Oh well, I still think it's an intriguing story that's worth the read. 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Hello! It has been quite a while. I find it ironic that my first post in months is about a book written by the same author as the last post. Anyways, I had to get my opinion out about this one. By the way, the Goodreads genres this is categorized under are completely wrong. It is not dystopian, it is not science fiction, and is not fantasy. In any way shape or form.

Panic is a game that started one summer in a small town. During the school year each student is supposed to pay a "tax" of $1 a day which goes into the Pot. Anyone who doesn't pay would pay the prices. After the judges and the officials involved take their cut, the remaining money in the Pot is up for competition. Judges and those involved have hidden identities and the game is hidden from the police. Graduating seniors volunteer themselves for Panic and compete in increasingly dangerous tasks to win $67,000. Heather, our main character, begins the game out of helplessness. But as the game goes on, she realizes that there is so much more at stake. Dodge, our alternating viewpoint, also has his own reasons for joining Panic. But what about when his reasons for joining change?

The best thing about Panic (the book) is the characters. There are two main characters, Heather and Dodge, and two supporting characters, Nat and Bishop. Each is wonderful in their own way with flaws and quirks that make them extremely relatable to the reader. For example, Nat is described as petite and cute and lovable, but she also has some sort of anxiety disorder that I wish the author touched more upon. In the beginning, Heather seems weak and the reader is casting a skeptical glance at her. As the story progresses, the you root for her and love her all the same. As lovely as they all were, I would have liked to see more character development. I wish that the book was longer so that I could have seen Nat come to terms with her goals, Dodge come to terms with his sister and his motives, Bishop understand what exactly he wants. The story seemed to end too quickly without explaining everything. And I don't mind ambiguous endings, but there are some things that should be completed.

The plot is very quick and fast-paced. There was never a dull moment and I had a hard time putting this book down. I always wanted to know what happened next. The writing is also simple and nice, nothing too profound. The ending was a little rushed, and I wished that it could have been drawn out more and explained. It seemed a bit oversimplified. Another thing that I think would have made it better would be a longer explanation of the actual challenges. That's what draws the reader into the story, and once again, they seemed oversimplified and ending too quickly. 

I enjoyed the psychological aspect of the book. I found myself questioning, when will it be too much? And what would I do their positions? Is what they're being asked to do worth the money?

I found it to be very predictable. On page 32, I literally predicted out loud one of the reveals in the book. It didn't really matter though and I liked it all the same. 

Overall, I really did like this book. The author did a great job of explaining the atmosphere of the small town. The characters are wonderful and the plot is exciting. My main complaint is that it wasn't longer. I feel if it were about 50-100 pages longer, a lot more could have been fit in and it could be absolute perfection. I would recommend this one! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Love makes people act irrationally. So what if it was eliminated? In this dystopian world, love is considered a disease. When you turn 18 you will have an operation that makes you immune to the disease. Lena can't wait for her operation. She has lived in fear ever since her mom committed suicide from the disease. She has never questioned anything, until she meets Alex. 

The concept behind this book is fascinating. What WOULD a world look like without love? I liked this as a dystopian book because it was a little bit different. It was very realistic and didn't have any sci-fi gadgets or hoverboards or pills or anything. It also wasn't extremely violent or rebellious. That's what makes it so realistic. If I had to compare it to another dystopian series, I would go with the Uglies. I'm not exactly sure why, but that's what it reminds me of the most. 

The plot was a little slow but the writing is so beautiful that it didn't feel that way. Lena is a winning heroine and Alex is just awesome. I really liked the way that they were portrayed. It was also a little predictable, but that doesn't take away from the story.

The ending was a cliffhanger and you know a second book was in the works, but it wasn't overly terrible. I think I'm slowly dying because I need the second book in the series. I really liked this book and I suggest you give it a try. 5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Jeff has just moved to California and is just trying to fit into his new high school. However that can become difficult once he meets Kimberlee who died last year. She's a ghost now and for some reason only Jeff can see her. Kimberlee was a kleptomaniac and has a whole cave full of stuff she stole. She convinces Jeff to help her return it. They will soon realize that it is harder to return things than it is to steal it.

After reading some of the reviews of this, I didn't have very high expectations. Most of the reviewers seemed to compare it to the Wings series and said it wasn't as good. I remember I read Wings as soon as it came out and then by the time the second book had came out I had forgotten about it lol. I think I should go back and read it. Also, at the time they were thinking about making it into a movie with Miley Cyrus as the main character. I just looked it up and apparently they still are! Haha who knew! Anyways.

For the most part, I really liked this story. I think it was a sweet, simple novel with some important messages. There were a few parts where I was rolling my eyes because it just wasn't believable. The plot was nicely paced and I really liked the voice of the main character. The only thing I have to complain about is the sex part. I really feel like it wasn't necessary to the story at all. I think that the author just wanted a more romantic aspect and threw it in. I feel like she should have just left it out.

Give this one a try if you want a clever, funny, and thoughtful book. 4 out of 5 stars.

Teeth by Hannah Moskovitz

Rudy and his family moved to an island with rumors of fish that can cure his sick brother. Isolated from his friends and the world he knew, he becomes lonely and confused. One day he meets Teeth, a half-fish-half-human who is just about as lonely and confused as he is. Rudy begins to question everything he thought he knew and has to make some difficult decisions.

This was a very unique and interesting book. First of all, I think that the description for it is a little misleading and should have mentioned that Teeth was half-fish-half-boy. But  that's my only complaint.  
I absolutely loved this book. The dialogue and the characters are perfection. They are all so REAL and haunted and amazing. 

Moskovitz's writing is absolutely incredible. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, but it is dark and humorous and sad all at the same time. It's touching and magical and jus overall awesome. The ending was heartbreaking, that's all I will say.

I also liked the many references to books including John Green and the Metamorphosis, which I just read for summer reading. I was so into this book that I read 40 pages while in the car. That's something that doesn't usually happen because I'll get nauseous or get bored or something lol. So I think 40 pages is a record. 

I personally think that there was some sort of romance going on between Rudy and Teeth. It isn't explicitly stated, but I think that its there. Also, can we talk about the cover? It's beautiful. It's the 2 fishhooks! And the background has some scales! And it's a heart! Its just too awesome.

This book isn't for everyone because its very different and strange. However, I like that kind of stuff and so I loved this. Give it a try, it might surprise you. 5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spring Break (Summer #4) by Katherine Applegate

In the next book in the Summer series, Summer heads back to Florida for Spring Break. She'll be with Seth, Marquez, and Diana for a week and it should be perfect. But on the plane she meets Austin, who changes the way she looks at her life. **SPOILERS AND PROFANITY AHEAD**

I had many problems with this book. First of all, Seth is the "love of Summer's life". They have been together nine months and are already thinking about college and marriage. A little unrealistic, but sure. Then Summer goes ahead and kisses Austin? Well Summer, that is called cheating. You are a slut and do not deserve Austin or Seth. I really don't think your infidelity should let you have any guy because you're not worth it. If you are "so happy and in love" with Seth as you claim, then you should have no problem staying devoted to him. I don't care what you say about Austin and how he's sick or whatever, it doesn't matter. A kiss is a kiss. The tarot card lady and Seth on the plane I could handle, but it seems a little unrealistic how she meets ANOTHER hot guy on her plane ride is just too ridiculous. 

Okay, now to Seth. Seth, Seth, Seth. You don't deserve Summer either. YOU CHEATED ON HER WITH HER COUSIN. And worse? You couldn't even tell her at the end of the story. You are a terrible terrible boyfriend and I think Summer should have just gone with Austin rather than be with a jerk and a liar like you. 

Diana... You are a terrible person as well. You are a bad cousin and a friend to Summer. I don't care what feelings you have for Seth, he is your cousin's boyfriend and you have to respect that. I understand that you "did the right thing" in the end, but that still gives you no excuse for what you did. And don't even try using your depression and whatnot as an excuse. There is no excuse for cheating.

Marquez... You are more of the more redeemable characters in this story. However, you get to angry and afraid and run away from all you problems. I thought you had learned this before, but apparently not. You need to grow up and deal with the shit in your life.

JT... I had kinda liked you in the last summer, but not anymore. You don't deserve any girl in your life.

Diver... You're my favorite character because you haven't done too many things wrong. You also run from your problems, but I think that you have a better reason too.

In case you couldn't tell, this book made me very angry. I found it to be unrealistic with terribly flawed characters. Also, this book is supposed to represent Summer's spring break, but there really wasn't too much other plot going on besides who cheated on who. K.A. Applegate, I still love you with all my heart. And maybe it was your purpose to anger me, but I just wanted to throw this book across the room. 2 out of 5 stars.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

A true story, the Bling Ring is about 6 teenagers with an obsession for fame who stole from celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, and Paris Hilton and then took pride in wearing the things they stole. 

The first time I heard about the Bling Ring was when I saw an ad for the 2013 movie while watching YouTube. I saw Emma Watson was playing in it and did some more research on its inspiration. It seemed baffling how they would wear the stolen items and how they managed to break into the houses so easily, so I decided to read this. It's best described as a magazine article that is 288 pages long. There's pictures, quotes, and commentary.

As a whole, I found this to be interesting and boring at the same time. There were moments I'd really get into the story and others I would consider not even finishing it. I enjoyed learning more about pop culture and how an obsession with fame has completely destroyed America. There were a lot of cool tidbits that were worth reading. The rest of it seemed to drag on and on and isn't worth your time or mind. I wouldn't recommend this. If you're interested in the case, do research on the internet instead. Also, I really want to see the movie now. 2 out of 5 stars.