Thursday, June 4, 2015

Leaving Jetty Road by Rebecca Burton

I picked up this book because of the back cover.

I know, I know, "Don't judge a book by its cover," but there was a quote from the book on the back cover, if that's any consolation.

"There are two kinds of people in life: the swimmers and the drifters."

That's the beginning of the quote, and the first sentence of the entire book.

I was intrigued. Am I a swimmer or a drifter? It seemed like this book might inform me. So I took home with me a killer novel about coming of age in the modern world.

It's down-to-earth, gritty, and real. The characters after a while of reading aren't characters any more - they're people. Real people with real problems and real dreams and real hopes and real obstacles.

Considering the last couple of books I've read have been purely imaginative, it was a nice change.

A quick plot intro:

Three girls, best friends. Nat, Sofia, and Lise. Sofia is the friend that boys are drawn like flies to. (She also happens to be my favorite, although never a narrator of the story). Lise is the studious one, who is set to go to an amazing law school, as soon as senior year is over. Nat is, well, Nat. She is supportive, fun, and an all-around goody-two-shoes (at least at the beginning of the story).

Since Nat is the main narrator, we never get to see her from another's perspective. While that's all fine and dandy, being inside of her head can be tiring. She's very critical of herself and never likes to draw attention to her good qualities.

The story describes Nat's first real experience with love and Lise's struggle for power and control. It is a strong novel that made me think about my own experiences. I highly recommend it to fans of realistic fiction, and anyone else besides.

My rating: 4/5

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This book was SO GOOD!!!

I can't even begin to describe the feelings I experienced when I reached the last page.

When I picked up this book, I wasn't expecting it to be a "can't put it down" type. From the back of the book, I saw a cool concept and expected a quick, fun, distracting read.

Not even close.

This book follows the story of a red-blooded girl named Mare. She's living in a world where silver-bloods dominate. The discrimination is intense - at the beginning of the book, it seems like the only jobs silvers hold are a sort of police officer or arena fighter. Both equally deadly.

Mare discovers while working in the royal palace nearby that she's got powers, just like the silvers do. Did I mention that the silver-bloods all have inhuman powers? For example, "oblivions" can blow up everything they touch. Or a "greeny" can make plants and such grow. "Magnetrons" can control metal, it seems.

Mare can control electricity, and later, learns that her powers differ from the silvers' powers.

Basically, the royal family makes her pretend to be a silver in order to quell the ensuing panic. She literally gets painted white. She gets engaged to a royal prince, Maven.

The older prince, "Cal", is the first she met, though. And while Mare tries to ignore it, she's definitely got feelings for him. But her loyalty to Maven keeps her from acting on it (mostly).

At first, I would have said my favorite character was Maven. And while there's still possibility there, and I still feel sorry for the poor guy, that plot twist messed it up a ton. (I'm trying to avoid the biggest spoilers here).

So I guess I don't really have a favorite character for this one. They're all equally flawed yet brilliant. Excellent work, Ms. Aveyard.

Least favorite character would have to be Queen Elara. She's totally heartless. And just plain awful. And, well, she doesn't even seem human. Which technically, I don't think she is, but then, this blood thing is kinda confusing so...

Anyways, this book has been one of my favorites to read and I highly recommend it.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Wow. Creepy much?

This read was weirdly realistic. It follows a girl named Ruby during the future, where a disease kills most of the kids of the US and gives weird powers to the surviving children. Obviously, the government descends into a lawless dictatorship that is not enforced very well. Except in the case of the special children.

They call them Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue. (Oddly, the first five colors of the rainbow.) Red have extreme super powers: explosions, flames, and whatnot. Orange have a sort of mind control, while Yellow can control anything electronic around them. Green are extremely intelligent and often have photographic memories. Blue can levitate things.

They place the children into camps and sort them by color. And then they take away the ones that are "dangerous" (Red, Orange, and Yellow). A lot more kids die, and most of them are turned in by their own parents, which is downright depressing.

The "camps" remind me of concentration camps. The children are under strict rules and support themselves and the people in charge of them.

I'm not going to spoil the ending, but it's a bit sad. And there are a lot of surprising parts in the book, where you quickly understand what's going on.

It's not all sad. There are some sweet, happy parts in it. My favorite is the scene with Ruby and Zu in the abandoned Wal-Mart.

A well-written, smooth, enticing read.

Favorite character: Chubs, all the way. He's so caring and tries to hide it. Adorable.

Least favorite character: Probably Ruby, actually. She's really gullible, and doesn't notice the things that are right in front of her. It's kind of annoying. And I disagree with about 75% of her decisions throughout the book, especially the last one she makes.

However, I couldn't put this book down. Definitely reading the next book in the series. :)

My rating: 4/5

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Hi everyone!

So I just finished Wuthering Heights.


The artistry of the words really impressed me. I'm amazed at how flawlessly Bronte captured human nature into words.

The book itself is really dark and strange. I didn't much like the plot, but the ending was (somewhat) satisfactory.

It's not a romantic book. It's a tragedy, to be quite honest.

The elder Catherine really bothered me. Her persistent whining and tantrums got on my everlasting nerves.

The younger Catherine was much easier to bear, although she is a bit spoiled. (a bit more than a bit.)

My favorite character was definitely Hareton. Poor guy!

I literally got terrified every time I saw Heathcliff's name in the book. I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened. He does some awful things and none of the other characters could really do anything about it.

I'm not going to go into detail about the plot because spoilers! but overall it was a dreadfully scary book.

However, I for one enjoyed it. It's kind of like the first season of Supernatural; scary but entertaining.

If you enjoy reading classic novels that are dark and realistic, this book is for you.

My rating: 4.75/5