Day: August 24, 2014

Making this Blog

Making this Blog

So I’ve decided to make my first post that’s not about books (because why not?).

Yesterday, I finally caved and decided to make a blog, even though I probably should have been doing homework and studying for the quizzes I have. But procrastination > work. I thought of this name pretty easily compared to how long I usually take on figuring out titles. Usually I take way too much time thinking of a title and end up with something that sounds dumb when I look back on it.

WordPress is so confusing. I spent two hours frowning at the screen, picking a theme, customizing it, and figuring out how to use the stupid thing. In the middle of my lovely struggle, I decided to try out Blogger. Blogger was even more confusing (I know nothing about coding) and so I switched back over to WordPress. Maybe I’ll try out Blogger when I learn how to code (which will be a long, long time away). Since I’m cheap and my parents most certainly are not interested in paying for a prettier blog, I used this template thingy and picked some pretty generic colors. I was hoping that I could add some maroon or burgundy in (those are my favorite colors) but alas, I could not. I took a break in the middle and went downstairs to eat some watermelon whilst also complaining to my mother about how much I suck at using WordPress. She called me an idiot and asked me why I didn’t use something that I could code. I said that I couldn’t code. She rolled her eyes and continued to eat watermelon. Then my brother and I had a peach-peeling contest. I had a headstart but he still won. I stand by my claim that my peach was bigger, not as juicy, and therefore, the skin was harder to peel

After I finished eating, I went back upstairs to struggle with this blog. I didn’t know how to make an unclickable page. Took me a good thirty minutes to figure out. If anybody can tell, I’m about as tech savvy as a colonist from the 1600s. After I finally got the blog to look like a blog, which took me more time than I care to admit, I started to put up some of the reviews I’d written. I think I revised my Anna and the French Kiss post a total of 14? 16? times. I don’t even know. I just know that I probably shouldn’t have pressed publish when I wasn’t done with it XD I would link my Goodreads account, but some of my earlier reviews are so bad that they’re scary. I pretty much picked and chose the ones that weren’t nearly as bad and were long enough to warrant a post. Posting these reviews took long enough because I kept fiddling with the look of them. I gave up on making something with two columns and just put everything down so it wouldn’t have awkward spacing. Repeated that with a few other reviews and decided to go to sleep.

Hopefully, WordPress gets easier to use over time.

In the Shadows – Kiersten White, Jim Di Bartolo

In the Shadows

In the Shadows

Author: Kiersten White, Jim Di Bartolo

Publish Date: April 29th, 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel, YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.


Review

Can I just say that I loved the art? But great art doesn’t always mean that the book is just as amazing. I found that the drawings didn’t communicate very well because I was extremely confused throughout the course of the book. The pictures would often look as if they had skipped a scene and I struggled to find a connection between the two stories up until near the end of the book. It made the reading experience less enjoyable. The connections are disjointed and jostle the flow of the book. In the Shadows lacked the storytelling aspect. The writing was bland and the plot was even more so. It lacked flavor and dragged a lot. It seemed like a lot of nothing was happening. Honestly, the back story and plot isn’t explained at all until the last fifty pages. It’s all rushed. The romance in this book was also shallow. It could have been something great, but instead it had the feeling of a summer fling.

Characterization wasn’t terrible but it could have been better. It felt as if the characters had certain personality traits pasted on them but that these traits weren’t constant. Some were obviously more strongly developed than the others although there were five principle characters. For instance, Minnie, Thomas, are significantly better developed than Charles. The execution of what could have been a great idea was sloppy and boring. Opposite the main characters, the villains were about as threatening as pansies. I didn’t feel any suspense or tension about what was happening; it was all told in a way that eliminated all the emotion.

And the writing gets it’s own paragraphs because I have lots to say about it.

FIRST OF ALL. The worldbuilding sucks. It’s downright terrible. It’s like the author took a historical setting (which is 18-something? Might be earlier. It doesn’t specify the exact date of the sections at the boarding house) and then stuck some type of supernatural/fantasy idea behind it. All of the worldbuilding is thrown into the last fifty pages (some of which were pictures) and as a result, is a discombobulated, non-descriptive mess. You get a small tidbit at the beginning, some scattered here and there in the middle, and the rest of it in the end. Badly developed, very unbelievable, and unsatisfying.

SECONDLY. The writing is choppy and repetitive. The flow is awkward. I see the same word used two or three sentences in a row. The sentences are broken up. Sometimes this works. Other times, it sounds awkward. Everything about the writing just screams awkward. It’s like being in a conversation with someone you just met.

I wish I had just skipped this one. I expected so much from it but was disappointed. When it was over I was literally like, “That was it?” The sweet, funny ending didn’t make up for the rest of the book. It worked, but at the same time, there were many elements missing that would have made it better. There was little to no actual content in this book. If you enjoy graphic novels, perhaps you would like this one, but otherwise, don’t bother.

Side note: I did like the title of the book. It seems so generic but then once you read the book, it all makes sense!

2/5 Stars

This Side of Salvation – Jeri Smith-Ready

This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation

Author: Jeri Smith-Ready

Publish Date: April 1st,2014

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined…


Review

The story opens up with the after party of prom. The party is reported by the cops and David and his sister Mara return home to find that their parents have disappeared. The two believe at first that they have been Rushed and are in heaven upon finding their clothing laid out in bed. But on closer investigation, they realize that there are some other aspects manipulating them and what has happened.

From here the story progresses in a before-and-after format, skipping back to nine years prior to what David refers to as “The Rush”. Starting from here, David tells the story of how his family began to spiral downwards and how his parents came to join a cult. Originally, his family was completely normal. That was, until his older brother, John, died while in the military. His father became a drunkard and David’s family was in turmoil for years. Then, one day, his parents discovered God and changed. No longer did his father drink, but instead he preached, speaking in Bible quotes. His father acted as if he had never had a second son, but only David. It was his own strange way of coping with the death of his firstborn. David’s life was completely changed. His parents were difficult to communicate with and his sister, Mara, ended up completely ignoring them altogether. As his parents change churches and eventually join the cult founded by Sophia Visser, David questions his faith and belief in Sophia as well as God and by now, he will do anything to have his old family back.

At first, I was not too into the book. I, personally am not a religious person at all and because of this I went into the book thinking that it was going to be about they were saved because most books that I have seen dealing with the Rapture were dealt with in this way. And at first, that was what the book seemed to be like as I first began reading it.

I was completely wrong.

The book was told from the point of a view of a Christian that did not believe in the Rapture. While his parents were dedicated to planning for the Rapture, David was more focused on living in the present and for the future that he might have if the Rush did not happen. It used the idea of the Rapture to write a story about a boy that was recovering from his brother’s death and finding himself. This Side of Salvation is not focused on the religious aspect so much as it is on the characters and their growth and this was something that I loved about the book.

David was an amazing protagonist and I absolutely loved his sister, Mara and his best friend, Kane. Their relationships were genuine and part of the best aspects of the book. The relationship between Mara and David was realistic. They called each other names, argued, did all the things that siblings did, and most importantly, had each others backs in the end. David and Kane had the type of best friend relationship that every person deserves to have.

The characters were so realistic. They are well developed and relatable. David acted like a teenage boy. His emotions and thoughts were characteristic of what a boy his age would do. His confusion on his values and beliefs made the book that much better.

The before-and-after format effectively tells the story, and foreshadows multiple scenes in the book. And while the book was slow in the beginning, it quickly picked up as more is revealed about what exactly happened to their parents.

While This Side of Salvation may not appeal to those that believe in the Rush, it’s definitely worth a read for those that don’t.

5/5 Stars

The Here and Now – Ann Brashares

The Here and Now

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Author: Ann Brashares

Publish Date: April 8th, 2014

Genre: Dystopian, YA, Sci-fi

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year


Review

The premise set up by Brashares is a paradox. It doesn’t make any logical sense.

That was one of the things that I really didn’t like about the book.

The other things
The characters are really badly developed. Only two are somewhat developed (albeit, crappily)and those are Prenna and Ethan. I couldn’t connect to any of them. The dialogue was awkward, the characters were flat, and many of their actions made no sense. Might I add that Prenna is one of the dumbest main characters I have ever read about. She has been warned numerous times that changing major things in history could result in bigger consequences than she is aware of. Does she listen? Of course not! She goes on to save a few people from dying, and although it didn’t affect too many things, it was something that really, really bugged me personally. Additionally, Prenna doesn’t seem to ever think about what she does or says (evidenced numerous times throughout the book). The adults in the book were extremely weak. They had no backbone whatsoever. Prenna walks all over them. She’s rude and they don’t do anything about it!

ONTO ETHAN.
This guy. Oh my god. He is supposed to be a normal kid who just so happened to be there when Prenna time-traveled to the past. Instead he can do almost anything, somehow manage to save Prenna (WHO THE CRAP WOULD PUT A TRACKER IN A SHOE? I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT I WOULD RUN FOR THE HILLS IF SOMEONE DID THAT TO ME. DOES PRENNA THINK THIS IS CREEPY? NOPE. SHE LOVES HIM EVEN MORE FOR IT.) every time she does something stupid (which happens a lot). He is also poorly developed but not as annoying as Prenna.

The romance in this book was so forced. One second, Prenna is talking about Ethan like an acquaintance, the next she is referring to how she loves him. It came out of nowhere, had no buildup, and in the end, their relationship still felt the same way that it had at the beginning of the book. AKA, no chemistry.

Plot-wise, the book wasn’t much better. They are trying to save the world and prevent the plague, but then they go on a swim to the beach. A few chapters were dedicated to their trip in which NOTHING OF IMPORTANCE HAPPENED. It did nothing but attempt to develop the already terrible romance in the book. The author added in lots of scenes which had no relation to the overarching conflict but only to the romance (such as Ethan teaching Prenna card games). As a result, the plot was weak and unrealistic. Many plot points were brought up and then quickly ended(which made them really unnecessary as they didn’t help the plot progress at all).

1/5 Stars

 

The Forbidden Stone – Tony Abbott

 

The Forbidden Stone

Author: Tony Abbott

Series: The Copernicus Legacy #1

Publish Date: January 7th, 2014

Genre: Middle grade, Adventure, Sci-fi, Mystery

Summary

The Copernicus Legacy has everything middle-grade readers love-an international adventure, a compelling friendship story, and a mission that draws on history and astronomy. Readers who loved Percy Jackson will be eager to follow our heroes on this six-book, six-novella journey and excited to enter a sweepstakes to participate in a real-life scavenger hunt hosted by Tony Abbott that lets the reader become part of the story.

It all began when four friends-Wade, Lily, Darrel, and Becca-received a strange, coded email from Wade’s uncle Henry shortly before the old man’s sudden death. They set off for Germany to attend the funeral with Wade’s father, Roald, and discover that Uncle Henry left them yet another baffling message that they suspect is the key to figuring out how and why he died.

The message leads to a clue, and the more clues they discover, the farther they travel down a treacherous path toward an ancient, guarded secret. Soon they are in a breathless race across the globe, running for their lives as a dangerous shadow organization chases them around every corner. Their only hope of saving themselves-and the world that they know-is to find twelve magical relics from a hidden past that will unlock the Copernicus Legacy.


Review

Did not like. At all.

I hated the writing. I hated the ellipses. Oh the ellipses. Nobody should ever use that many ellipses in a book. It was awful. Turn a page. Ellipse. Read a paragraph. Another ellipse. THERE WERE TOO MANY ELLIPSES.

“Darrell, on the other hand…” (page 176)

“The tram made another s-l-o-w stop. Three passengers got off. Probably going to sleep. How much longer…?” (page 177)

“‘Are you ready?’ she whispered. ‘This exact kind of dagger is called a pug…pugnale…pugnale Bolognese-‘” (page 179-180)

“Her heart stopped. ‘Yes…?'” (page 183)

“‘Uh-huh. Really? Was anything…I can’t right now, we’re in… we’re out of town. Yes. Yes. Please. As soon as I can. Thank you.'” (page 185)

“‘In case…of what?’ asked Lily.'” (page 148)

“‘This is like…,’ Lily started, then stopped when she flashed her light on the walls below. ‘Uh-oh…'” (page 148)

“‘Oh my gosh,'” said Lily, staring out the window as the station receded. ‘What…what…what are we going to do?'” (page 199)

“‘Don’t get caught?’ Lily frowned. ‘Ohhhh, man…'” (page 199)

DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?! I ASSURE YOU THAT I DID NOT INSERT RANDOM ELLIPSES. THIS IS HOW THE BOOK WAS PRINTED.

Not only this but there are multiple grammatical sentence structure errors throughout the book. It was choppy.

But what I really detested about the book was the characters. Every single one of them was a Mary Sue/Gary Stu. I don’t care if Becca is slightly insecure. She’s still a Mary Sue. Somehow, all of them are smart in some way but then they don’t know what a substitution code is? How old are they? In what universe does a fully grown adult allow children to coerce him into flying all of them to a foreign country? In what universe, will ANYBODY be able to find five tickets on a plane to Europe in ONE DAY? The universe practically revolves around them. Becca was the worst. She knows five languages. She knows all type of history facts. She knows science. She knows friggin’ everything. She’s quiet. She’s nice. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HER. Lily might not be smart, but she is a “fantastic researcher”. But please explain to me how she can get WIRELESS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY SO EASILY. DID I MISS THE MEMO ABOUT HOW SHE GOT 4G IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY? IT’S REALLY EXPENSIVE THERE. DID YOU KNOW THAT? WOULD YOUR PARENTS BE WILLING TO PAY FOR WIRELESS? OH YEAH OF COURSE THEY WOULD SINCE THE ENTIRE FRIGGIN’ UNIVERSE REVOLVES AROUND THESE FOUR KIDS. DID I MISS THE FACT THAT SHE SOMEHOW MANAGED TO CONNECT TO WIFI IN A TAXI? I’M FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT TAXI’S IN EUROPE DO NOT COME WITH WIFI. AIN’T NOBODY GOT MONEY FOR THAT. PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME. HOW IS HER LAPTOP OR TABLET NOT DEAD YET? HOW? Wade is annoying. He knows science and is just as smart as Becca, but then he always feel as if she is superior. Darrell isn’t supposed to be smart, but then of course he also knows some of the lovely facts that would benefit them on their journey. It doesn’t make any logical sense. They are said to be smart but then do some of the stupidest things I have ever read. If you are trying to maintain secrecy and “stay off the grid” as you have said, DON’T POST BLOG POSTS ABOUT THE ADVENTURE. I’m pretty sure that if they KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE and WHAT YOUR PHONE AND SUCH IS, the they can PROBABLY FIGURE OUT YOU HAVE A BLOG. Secondly, WHO WIELDS A DAGGER AND TAKES IT OUT IN PUBLIC. AGAIN, SECRECY. If you take out a very expensive-looking, dangerous weapon, what normal person isn’t going to notice? Please gain some common sense.

 photo no_zpsfce4cd3b.gif

The plot is inane. Again, since the world REVOLVES AROUND THESE CHILDREN, they can do anything without getting in trouble. They somehow have endless pockets and can come up with fantastic plans that miraculously work. Paired with the terrible writing, the book dragged to the point that I stopped just past the halfway point. I had to force myself to read it. I applaud myself for getting that far.

Lastly, before I finish this lovely rant, the scientific facts are wrong. I appreciate the research, but use more accurate sources.

1/5 Stars

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publish Date: January 1st, 2010

Genre: Chick-lit, YA, Romance

       Can Anna find love in the City of Light? Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?


Review

SO CUTE. LIKE MY FANGIRL FEELS CANNOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS.

I’ve passed up reading this book many, many times due to the fact that the cover made it look like one of those brainless chick-lit books similar to The Clique or something. Fast-forward three years and I am now just hearing all the hype about it (I’m probably really late). I’m pretty happy that I did though, because I know I probably would not have enjoyed this book as much as I did, had I read it when I was younger.

Anna and the French Kiss is a romance novel, through and through, much like the title suggests. It centers on Anna Oliphant(obviously), a seventeen-year old American teen. She’s really excited to attend senior year at her Atlanta high-school when suddenly her father drops the bomb. He’s making her attend her last year of high-school in Paris. Anna is devastated and goes into the year less than happy with the arrangement. Drama ensues. Awkward language barriers terrify her. How will she make it through the year?

This book was just a lot of fun to read. It’s funny. It’s cute. It’s relatable. It’s sad (sort of?). I can definitely see why people call it one of the “classic chick-lit” books. Sure, there were cliches and Anna might have been a little dumb, but it was an enjoying experience. At least they didn’t kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower. The book follows Anna’s experience attending SOAP, the School of America in Paris, and how she grows and learns from it. The plot is pretty much what one would expect from the book. Girl goes to foreign boarding school. Girl is confused. Girl meets group of friends. Girl meets cute boy. Drama happens. Girl gets together with boy. Girl is happy at the end of the year and doesn’t want to leave. It’s predictable but I feel like in this case, it’s okay. It’s a light, fluffy read meant to make people smile (and it definitely succeeded).

THE CHARACTERS. OH MY THE CHARACTERS. Anna had to be one of the cutest, most likable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about (Although I don’t know if I’d want to be her friend in real life. She’s like the type of girl that acts popular. The type that I laugh at and judge because of all the drama in her life).

description

Popcorn for the drama anybody?

She was naive, hypocritical, all of that stuff, but her internal monologue was realistic (to the type of girl she’s representing that is) and hilarious. She has the immaturity, the self-consciousness, the mental aspects of a teenager. I know that a lot of people have said that Anna is an annoying, dumb character, but let’s be honest. There are lots of girls just like Anna in the world. Lots of them grow up. Kind of like how Anna did at the end of the book. I loved how Anna changed by the end of the book. She was less immature, her views broadened by her experience in France. She came to understand people and relationships more as well as the fact that everybody makes mistakes. It’s not a huge transformation, but I liked how there was evidence of change. Etienne St. Claire was a piece of work. He had a lot of personal problems that he kind of sort of dealt with (extremely ineffectively). While I didn’t hate him, I didn’t really like him either. I enjoyed his conversations with Anna but I didn’t like the way that dealt with his baggage. He was a much weaker character than I thought he would have been. The other characters weren’t characterized very much. They were mentioned, shallowly characterized and then ignored for parts of the book. I wanted to get to know Rashmi and Meredith more but they weren’t characterized as much as I wanted them to be :/ I hope that this isn’t the case in the other books in the series.

The romance in this book is so cute X3
I do wish that Etienne had broken up with Ellie prior to dating or even pursuing Anna. If there is one thing that I abhor, it’s cheating in any way. I do understand the circumstances he was under though. Aside from this, I adored the romantic moments in the book. They weren’t forced and the insta-love wasn’t too bad. There was attraction but love didn’t come until later, which was something I appreciated about the book. It only made the romance better. My favorite moments were the Winter Break trip and the Thanksgiving one. And I’m super excited to read about Isla and Josh. I have a feeling it might end up being my favorite. It’s one of those books that you can read and know that it’ll make you happy when you’re sad.

Will be picking up Lola soon. Can’t wait to finish the series!

4/5 Stars

Complicit – Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit

Author: Stephanie Kuehn

Publish Date: June 24th, 2014

Genre: YA, Thriller, Mystery, Realistic Fiction


Review

WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?

I didn’t put the summary on this post because this is a book you have to go into not knowing ANYTHING.

Okay so I started this book to try to get out of a reading funk induced by Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road (which you should also go read). Unfortunately for me, the book induced an even bigger book hangover ;__;

ON TO THE REVIEW.

Complicit was a fantastic book. Well thought-out and with excellent, excellent characterization. Jamie was flushed out well by the time I was fifty pages in and each of the other characters are characterized in some way that brings them to life. Well, the important ones at least. I kind of liked the contrast between the characterization, now that I think of it. I feel like that by leaving some of the background characters flatter, it puts the spotlight on the relationship between Cate and Jamie and also allows the reader to seriously feel and experience the way that Jamie’s mind worked. My heart broke for Cate. For such a short novel, Kuehn did a really nice job of making the characters come alive. The book starts quite slow, but if you hang in there, the ending of the book is definitely worth the read. The foreshadowing is really well done. The plot seems dull when in reality, small events are happening without the reader even realizing it. Kuehn was very subtle about it.

Kuehn did a great job of throwing the reader for a loop. Throughout the course of the book, I had about three to four different theories about what the end was about, but nothing could compare to my reaction when I actually finished it.

For me, the ending of the book was what really made it such a great read. Kuehn packs a lot into a short two-hundred and fifty page novel and because of this, the ending was a little bit rushed. Execution could have been a little more clean, and I wasn’t too happy when the book suddenly ended. It was extremely abrupt especially considering that it didn’t pick up until the end. (But honestly, by the end of the book I could care less about the writing. The plot was just so good!). I HAD to know what happened next, but it was over.

I can’t reveal too much without ruining the read. Complicit is one of those books where it’s better to go into it not knowing anything about it. But needless to say, it’s a great book, extremely unique, and worth a read for anybody.

5/5 Stars

By Title

A single asterick refers to a mini-review. Additionally, to make it easier to find, if the title begins with a “the” it is alphabetized by the second word.

(Last updated 2/14/2015)

#

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

84 Ribbons by Paddy Eger

A

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

Angelfall (Angelfall #1) by Susan Ee

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins

Another Day (Every Day #2) – David Levithan

Archived, The* (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

At the Water’s Edge by Sarah Gruen

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

B

Beastly* by Alex Flinn

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga

Blood of Olympus, The (The Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan

Boy Who Granted Dreams, The by Luca Di Fulvio

C

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Clockwork Angel, The (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Complete Maus, The by Art Spiegelman

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

D

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Doomboy by Tony Sandoval

E

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

End of Days (Angelfall #3) by Susan Ee

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

F

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

5th Wave, The (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

Forbidden Stone, The (The Copernicus Legacy #1) by Tony Abbott

Forty Watt Flowers, The by C.M. Subasic

Four (Divergent #0.1-0.4) by Veronica Roth

G

Geography of You Me, The by Jennifer E. Smith

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Graduation Day (The Testing #3) by Joelle Charbonneau

H

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Here and Now, The by Ann Brashares

I

Illusive (Illusive #1) by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Impossible Knife of Memory, The by Laurie Halse-Anderson

In the Shadows by Kiersten White, Jim Di Bartolo

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins

L

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

M

Monstrumologist, The (The Monstrumologist #1) by Rick Yancey

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Museum of Intangible Things, The by Wendy Wunder

My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

My True Love Gave to Me: 12 Holiday Stories by Various Authors

N

Name of the Star, The* by Maureen Johnson

Night Circus, The* by Erin Morgenstern

Nil (Nil #1) by Lynne Matson

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

O

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

P

Pandora Chronicles, The (The Pandora Chronicles Book 1) by Ryan Attard

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Paper Magician, The (The Paper Magician Trilogy #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya van Wagenen

Q

R

Reality Boy by A.S. King

Rebel Belle* by Rachel Hawkins

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Ring & The Crown, The by Melissa de la Cruz

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rithmatist, The by Brandon Sanderson

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

S

Saint Everything (Preview) by Sarah Dessen

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

School for Good and Evil, The (The School For Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani

Scorpio Races, The by Maggie Stiefvater

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Speak by Laurie Halse-Anderson

Summer of Chasing Mermaids, The by Sarah Ockler

T

This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Throw Like a Woman by Susan Petrone

Truth About Alice, The by Jennifer Mathieu

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han

To Kill a Mockingbird* by Harper Lee

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

U

Unbound, The (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab

V

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

Vanishing Season, The by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

W

Walled City, The by Ryan Graudin

Welcome To the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Should Hang Out Sometime* by Josh Sundquist

Winger by Andrew Smith

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse-Anderson

Witch Hunter, The by Virginia Boecker

World After (Angelfall #2) by Susan Ee

By Author

Please note that if a book has more than two authors it will be listed under “Various Authors”. If it is a combination of both illustrations and writing, it will be listed under the writer’s name rather than the illustrator. If there are two writers, it will be listed under whomever has the name that comes first in the alphabet.

A single asterick refers to a mini-review.

(Last updated 2/14/2015)

A

Abbott, Tony – The Forbidden Stone (Copernicus Legacy #1)

Albertalli, Becky – Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda

Aldin, Lisa – One of the Guys

Alire Sáenz, Benjamin – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Anderson, Jodi Lynn – The Vanishing Season

Armentrout, Jennifer L. – Don’t Look Back

Attard, Ryan – The Pandora Chronicles (The Pandora Chronicles Book 1)*

Avery, Lara – A Million Miles Away

Aveyard, Victoria – Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

B

Benway, Robin – Audrey, Wait!

Boecker, Virginia – The Witch Hunter

Brashares, Ann – The Here and Now

Brown, Jennifer – Hate List

Brown, Jennifer – Torn Away

C

Chainani, Soman – The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1)

Charbonneau, Joelle – Graduation Day (The Testing #3)

Clare, Cassandra – The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

D

Dayton, Arwen Elys – Seeker

de la Cruz, Melissa – The Ring & The Crown

Dessen, Sarah – Saint Everything (Preview)

Di Fulvio, Luca – The Boy Who Granted Wishes

E

Ee, Susan – Angelfall (Angelfall #1)

Ee, Susan – End of Days (Angelfall #3)

Ee, Susan – World After (Angelfall #2)

Eger, Paddy – 84 Ribbons

Estep, Jennifer – Cold Burn of Magic

F

Flinn, Alex – Beastly*

Flinn, Alex – Cloaked

Flynn, Gillian – Gone Girl

G

Graudin, Ryan – The Walled City

Gruen, Sarah – At the Water’s Edge

H

Halse-Anderson, Laurie – The Impossible Knife of Memory

Halse-Anderson, Laurie – Speak

Halse-Anderson, Laurie – Wintergirls

Han, Jenny – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)

Harkness, Deborah – A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

Hawkins, Rachel – Rebel Belle*

Hensley, Joy N. – Rites of Passage

Hodge, Rosamund – Cruel Beauty

Holmberg, Charlie N. – The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #3)

Hopkins, Ellen – Rumble

J

Johnson, Maureen – The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)*

K

King, A.S. – Reality Boy

Kuehn, Stephanie – Complicit

L

Lacour, Nina – Everything Leads to You

Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird*

Levithan, David – Another Day (Every Day #2)

Lloyd-Jones, Emily – Illusive

Lockhart, E. – We Were Liars

Lyga, Barry – Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3)

M

Maas, Sarah J. – Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Marchetta, Melina – On the Jellicoe Road

Marchetta, Melina – Saving Francesca

Mathieu, Jennifer – The Truth About Alice

Matson, Lynne – Nil (Nil #1)

Matson, Morgan – Since You’ve Been Gone

Mead, Richelle – Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)

Mlynowski, Sarah – Don’t Even Think About It

Morgenstern, Erin – The Night Circus*

N

Ness, Patrick – More Than This

O

Ockler, Sarah – The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Oliver, Lauren – Panic

P

Payne, Mary Jennifer – Since You’ve Been Gone

Perkins, Stephanie – Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)

Perkins, Stephanie – Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)

Perkins, Stephanie – Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)

Petrone, Susan – Throw Like a Woman

R

Revis, Beth – Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1)

Riordan, Rick – The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5)

Roth, Veronica – Four (Divergent #0.1-0.4)

Rowell, Rainbow – Eleanor and Park

Rowell, Rainbow – Fangirl

Rubin, Lance – Denton Little’s Deathdate

S

Saft, Lauren – Those Girls

Sanderson, Brandon – The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1)

Sandoval, Tony – Doomboy

Schwab, V.E. – A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)

Schwab, V.E. – Vicious (Vicious #1)

Schwab, Victoria – The Archived* (The Archived #1)

Schwab, Victoria – The Unbound (The Archived #2)

Sedgwick, Marcus – She is Not Invisible

Sepetys, Ruta – Between Shades of Gray

Smith, Andrew – 100 Sideways Miles*

Smith, Andrew – Winger (Winger #1)

Smith, Jennifer E. – The Geography of You and Me

Smith-Ready, Jeri – This Side of Salvation

Spiegelman, Art – The Complete Maus

Stiefvater, Maggie – The Scorpio Races

Stolarz, Laurie Faria – Welcome To the Dark House

Subasic, C.M. – The Forty Watt Flowers

Sundquist, Josh – We Should Hang Out Sometime*

T

Talley, Robin – Lies We Tell Ourselves

Taylor, Laini – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daugher of Smoke & Bone #1)

Tomp, Sarah – My Best Everything

V

Van-Wagenen, Maya – Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

Various Authors – My True Love Gave to Me: 12 Holiday Stories

W

West, Kasie – On the Fence

Whaley, John Corey – Noggin

White, Kierston and Di Bartolo, Jim – In the Shadows

Wood, Fiona – Six Impossible Things

Wunder, Wendy – The Museum of Intangible Things

Y

Yancey, Rick – The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)

Yancey, Rick – The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1)

Yoon, Nicola – Everything, Everything

Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road

jellicoe road cover

Author: Melina Marchetta

 

Publish Date: March 9th, 2010

 

Genre: YA, Contemporary

In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor’s the reluctant leader of her school’s underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can’t avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.


Review

I loved this book. Everything is just so well thought-out and the FEELS. Oh my gosh the feels that I get from this book.

“She stares at me for a moment, a cold angry look on her face. A look I’ve never seen before. ‘You know your problem?’ she asks quietly. ‘It’s that you’re never interested in what anyone else is feeling. What I was trying to say before you rudely, as usual, interrupted me, is that all of us are worried about you, not about this situation, and we think you should just try to get some sleep and let us take over but you don’t care because the difference between you and us is that you fly with…with…I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit Airline and we fly with a friendlier one.'”

Things like this quote are what made this book such a great experience. The characters are so realistic and amazingly written. The relationships aren’t forced and the humor is one of the best parts. When was the last time you’ve heard someone say “I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit Airline”? Everything in the book makes you feel. The awkward moments feel substantially awkward. The happy moments feel happy. The book makes you really appreciate the characters and writing. Reading about how Taylor has changed over the course of the novel was really entertaining.

Every character is developed thoroughly and I absolutely loved all of them. Taylor was a fantastic character. She was flawed, she was realistic, and she changed for the better. Each character had dimension and was believable. They had flaws, they had strengths, and each of them were distinct. The best part of the book wasn’t just the characters, but the relationships they had. There were friendships, couples, family, and everything in-between. All of it was handled so well. The characters themselves, are reason enough to pick up this book.

The plot is really great, although it’s confusing in the beginning. The book reveals the story layer by layer and it’s an amazing reading experience. As you continue to read, you’ll have moments of realization where everything begins to click together and moments where you’ll squeal over the sweet interactions. It’s just planned really well and written so that it keeps it’s mysterious feel. It’s an amazing read that will keep you intrigued throughout.

This book was heartwarming, a book that everybody should read at least once. The characters and plot will stay with you. And while it won’t make you cry, it will have the same effect on you as any tear-jerker will.

5/5 Stars