Month: November 2014

[Review] Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Lies We Tell OurselvesAuthor: Robin Talley

Publication Date: September 30th, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Number of Pages: 384

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.


[Review] Noggin – John Corey Whaley



Author: John Corey Whaley

Publication Date: April 8th, 2014

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Number of Pages: 356

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Sci-fi (ish)

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.


Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their Own Book

Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their

Own Book



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.


There have been a number of times where I’ve liked the side characters more than the main characters so this post is dedicated to them!

Okay I was going to try to limit my additions from the books I’ve mentioned on this blog x number of times but it’s just not going to work.


[Review] Don’t Look Back – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Don’t Look Back

Don't Look Back

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publish Date: April 5th, 2014

Number of Pages: 369

Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller, Romance

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?


“Don’t look back. You won’t like what you find.”

Page 39

Slightly disappointed but still very happy with this book.

Let me clear some things up.

I was disappointed because the “murderer” didn’t end up being who I wanted it to be. Not because of any technical qualms I had with the novel. On the inside, I kind of knew that it wasn’t going to be that person but I still wanted it to be like that. Even so, Don’t Look Back was an incredibly enjoyable read.

The amnesia aspect of the novel is done really well. I felt like Armentrout really captured the frustration of remembering and the feelings that someone gets when they are that close to getting a shred of their memory back before it just dwindles out of reach yet again. Samantha’s inner turmoil was described fantastically.

Character-wise, I thought that the book was alright. I never really ended up liking Carson – I found him kind of aggravating at times, but I really really liked Samantha. Samantha was quite complex and her character growth by the end of the book was great. The side characters were all very two-dimensional. Most, if not all of the girls that were part of Samantha’s original “clique” were very flat (in other words, very shallow and often portrayed as being very bitchy). The same goes for some of the side characters. Their personalities were never really explored beyond the surface. Even Cassie, one of the crucial characters (even if she was dead), was flatter than I’d like her to be.

The plot of the story could be seen as boring. In my opinion, although there were many down moments, the suspense was what made me want to keep reading. Every time I turned a page, I felt like Samantha was gonna be shot (and to be honest, I kind of wanted it to happen just for more action). Armentrout did a really good job of building the mood of her scenes.

I loved some of the ideas brought up in the book. Now that I’m thinking about it, I loved the idea of being able to start over with a new slate. Obviously, not many people get the chance to do that, but I liked the idea that if you really tried, you can change your habits and life and that based upon others, you can shape a lifestyle that you are happy with. Don’t Look Back also touches on family and important values. The heart of the conflict in this book were the goals of the characters and how they wanted to keep the secrets they had delitescent.

4/5 Stars

Top Ten Books To Reread

Top Ten Books to Reread



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.




This is going to include anything that I DNF’ed the first time through or stuff that I genuinely want to read again. And yes, I know there aren’t ten but there just aren’t very many books I really want to reread.

I’ll probably be eating my words two years from now.


1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I enjoyed reading this the first time through, but alas, I read it for a school summer reading project. I was consistently sidetracked by other books and to be honest, I don’t really remember much from it. So yes, this warrants a reread.

2. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I will be the first to say that I did not like this the first time I read it. Maybe it was Megan’s personality or the fact that Kagawa’s writing and I did not click. Either way, I’m willing to give it another try.

3. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Could not get into this one any of the two times I tried to read it. I heard that the series gets better in the second book and that her other series is better. At this point, I kind of want to try reading it again.

4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins

I read this a long long time ago and at the time, understood none of it. I didn’t realize that it was about crystal meth and well, now I do. People have said that this book caused them to really think about themselves and the harmful effects of drugs, which I, at the time, obviously did not feel. I’d like to reread this book, this time, with an understanding of the subject matter.

5. The Harry Potter Series

I loved this series when I was reading it. I love the planning and detail Rowling put into the novel. I’ve only read the series in it’s entirety once. If I ever had time, I’d love to reread the whole series just so I could pick up on all of the tiny details I missed my first time through.

6. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Very very interesting book although it is hella long. I read this earlier this year for a school project and due to a deadline, was unable to enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I really want to read this again on my own time so I can enjoy it more than I did.

7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I picked this book up off of the shelf because of it’s interesting spine. Oftentimes, what ends up intriguing me isn’t the book cover, but the spine because well, I like perusing the shelves for any old books that stand out to me. I loved this book a lot. I know some people didn’t like it, but I loved the descriptions it had about the video game world and it reminded me of the third (I think) Spy Kids movie. I really want to read this one again.

8. Shipbreaker by Paulo Bacigalupi

I read this a long time ago and all I remember is that it was good. I remember somebody named Mouse (although I’m probably mistaken) and I vaguely remember the ending. I actually have the companion novel on my shelf but I never got around to reading it because I didn’t remember anything from the first book. Shipbreaker demands a reread from me.

And that concludes my list! Are there any books you would like to reread?

[Review] The Blood of Olympus – Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publish Date: October 7th, 2014

Series: The Heroes of Olympus #5

Number of Pages: 516

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.



I’ll put this out there right now. Please don’t kill me for it.

I finished this series only for Nico.

In my honest opinion, the first series far outshines the spin-off. For one, the characters and writing were both better in the Percy Jackson series than in this one.

So now, The Blood of Olympus.

I felt like the characters were different. This might be due to my foray into YA more than Middle Grade in the past year, but this time around, I felt like they were much more childish and out of character than I remember them being. Leo’s humor was much more obnoxious (to the point that it wasn’t funny) than I personally remembered. I felt like their characters were so unlike what I remembered them being. And Nico. Although I loved finally getting to read his POV, I couldn’t help but feel like his personality was originally portrayed as being so much more complicated than it ended up being. On top of this, he kept teasing us and saying that there were characters that were going to die and we all kept bracing ourselves for the heartbreak we’d feel when one character died. We were all expecting to cry and feel the pain BECAUSE of what happened in The Last Olympian. We expected sacrifice and pain.

I got none of that.

Riordan killed off none of the seven. Leo “died” but drank the potion. His sacrifice was supposedly “noble” and enabled him to be able to return to Calypso, but as a friend, shouldn’t he at least give his pals back at Camp Half-Blood a heads up?

But honestly, this wasn’t the most prominent issue it had.

The Blood of Olympus was very very dull. It takes forever for them to get into the battles and all of the individual problems. I’m pretty sure the only thing that kept me reading were Nico’s POVs. The buildup is so big that the payoff is disappointing. Obviously we knew that Gaea was going to be raised. If not, then the big battle would not have happened. But the way that Gaea was raised, due to Percy’s nosebleed, was so anticlimatic. The entire book was anticlimatic. I was expecting something like The Last Olympian, a great long book all about the battles and desperation of war. I was not happy with the one to three chapters, from like THREE POVs, out of all of the ones in the book. The entire book felt rushed and like a cop-out compared to what everybody in the fandom had been expecting.

Speaking of which, that ending was so not okay. There was literally no falling action that showed what happened after the battle. I mean, yay for summarizing everything, but I would sincerely like to know what the characters do. Some of them had great endings, but the rest? Not so much. What happens to Percabeth? What happens to Hazel? What about Frank? Please tell me.

I understand the appeal of a dramatic ending but this is the LAST book. I need some closure.

I also had a problem with the writing. It read like a fanfiction in some places and it felt like there had been no planning. Personally, when I try to write stuff that has many characters I do try to get a description of what every person is doing, but sometimes, it just ends up being tedious. In The Blood of Olympus, every single character’s actions during a battle were described in great detail. I love having the ability to visualize everything, but in this case, I felt like it detracted from my overall enjoyment of that particular scene and ruined the feeling of the battle.

If you don’t get what I’m talking about, here is my lovely demonstration.

The giants were coming. The ground shook as they rose from their positions and advanced on the demigods.
Frank (insert action and something to do with an animal transformation)
Percy (insert lengthy action and reasons why this POV thinks he is amazing)
Annabeth (insert action something about her fierce eyes and dagger)
Leo (insert action about tools)
Nico (insert something about dark shadows and skeletons)
Jason (insert action and something about power of Zeus)

Continue that for every single character in that battle and you get a good idea of what the scene ends up looking like.

Nico’s ending is fabulous. A little OOC, but I really liked that Riordan gave him a happy ending.

Now I’m always refreshing the Solangelo tag on Archive of Our Own and

Leo’s ending is also great but I didn’t like how the book cut off right after it. I wanted to see him return to Camp Half-Blood and have a similar return to how Percy came back in Battle of the Labyrinth. Either way, he and Calypso are so adorable together.

If there is any indication of the quality of this book, it’s that my ten-year-old brother didn’t get through half of it because he was bored.

2/5 Stars