Tag Archive | YA

Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: October 16th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

My Review:

So Shatter Me is my favorite series ever, yet it took me a while to read this one. Why, you ask? Because contemporary is iffy for me. Most of the time I like my contemporary light and fluffy. But this was time! Oh, and breakdancing is awesome!

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Here’s where things get tough for me. I was seventeen and in high school in 2002. I remember everything as clear as day, so I was confused by several things. First, the texting? I don’t really remember anyone texting back then. It was mainly AIM and landline phone calls! Also, I feel like most of us still had CDs vs MP3 players! Also, if Shirin’s family didn’t have a lot of money then how was she always using this cell phone that didn’t have unlimited minutes or texts? Why not just use the landline????

Next gripe, I felt this book was over dramatic. I don’t want people to think that all schools were racist like this. In fact, if teachers would have acted like this to any student at my school, they would have probably been fired! Right after 9/11 kids at my school were NOT like this about Muslims and I live in SE Texas. In fact the only separation we ever had was between the preppy kids and the metal kids, but it was more of a “let’s just hang out in our own social circles!” This book kind of reminded me of the movie A Walk to Remember, when popular dude dates nerdy girl and the kids in school get all hostile toward Mandy Moore’s character after they start a relationship. It just baffles my brain and doesn’t seem real.

It was super hard for me to connect to Shirin, and I was so sad about this, but the fact was that she was just as prejudice as these other kids. Yes, she had been through a lot, but she was just so very angry. I’m just a big fan of showing kindness over that anger! Ocean, for example, was nothing but sweet to her, and at first she was pretty mean to him! Also, she mentioned in her head that he should be with a blonde. Why a blonde???

As for side characters, I seriously loved Navid and his group of friends. They were so cool and awesome and I literally wanted to breakdance with them! I will say that Shirin does grow as a character by the end, and I really loved that! Ocean, dear Ocean was so sweet but he got a bit over dramatic, too! I just don’t even know what to say except I still feel confused here, but I seriously love Tahereh Mafi’s writing more than anything.

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Can you clearly remember where you were during 9/11?

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Review: Storm and Fury

Title: Storm and Fury

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Date of Publication: June 11th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

My Review:

I loved being back in this world. Yes, this is a spinoff series but I highly recommend reading the other trilogy! You know what the best thing in the world is? Gargoyles!

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Okay, so I’m going to start out and say I did not like this one as much as the first trilogy! While I didn’t love it, I definitely liked it, though! This book is pretty big, like 535 pages! I think if the first half had been cut about 100 – 150 pages it would have helped because things really get going in the second half!

Another issue is I liked Trinity, but I loved Layla more from the other trilogy, and again, it was hard for me to not compare the two. The cool thing about Trinity is she has a disability with her eyesight but she doesn’t let it get the best of her! Those aspects were so amazing! Also, we do get cameos from characters from the other books and that was incredibly exciting!

Let me talk about Zayne for a minute because he’s such an adorable gentleman. And yes, there was some swoony scenes and yes, I’d give those all my stars. *Throws stars at that right now*

There are some great action scenes as well and addicting writing! Armentrout always knows how to sprinkle in the perfect amount of humor. I love how it ended because it’s open for the next book but not the deadly bomb of a cliffhanger. So I’m so very interested to see what happens next!

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Have you read the Dark Elements Series?

Review: Places No One Knows

Title: Places No One Knows

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Date of Publication: May 17th, 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

Waverly Camdenmar spends her nights running until she can’t even think. Then the sun comes up, life goes on, and Waverly goes back to her perfectly hateful best friend, her perfectly dull classes, and the tiny, nagging suspicion that there’s more to life than student council and GPAs.

Marshall Holt is a loser. He drinks on school nights and gets stoned in the park. He is at risk of not graduating, he does not care, he is no one. He is not even close to being in Waverly’s world.

But then one night Waverly falls asleep and dreams herself into Marshall’s bedroom—and when the sun comes up, nothing in her life can ever be the same. In Waverly’s dreams, the rules have changed. But in her days, she’ll have to decide if it’s worth losing everything for a boy who barely exists.

My Review:

I have loved every book I’ve read by Brenna Yovanoff! I’ve loved getting lost in her worlds, getting lost in her characters, and getting lost in her beautiful words. Seriously her words are a string of art!

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Marshall was by far the best character. I felt for him and his emotions. I could feel his love for Waverly with every fiber in my being. I could just truly feel his character! Waverly had to grow on me, though. Her struggle was trying to be perfect. I feel like in life, we’ve all had to fight that little demon. But I wanted to shake her at times and scream that Marshall was right there and to break out of her shell! However, her character truly grew into a blossoming flower!

Seriously, anything written by this author I will buy! Her books are super character driven, which gives me starry eyes! And I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! And the ending to this one was perfecto! Yet, I was yearning for an epilogue!

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Have you read any books by Brenna Yovanoff?

Review: Letters to the Lost

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Date of Publication: April 4th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

My Review:

I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book. I’m so picky about contemporary, especially if it doesn’t have quirky areas. But I read an ARC of Call it What you Want by Brigid and really liked it. So I was like, let me give this bad boy a try!

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Declan, my poor boy Declan, had so much going on his life, his past life! He needed someone there to hold his hand, to be a true parent! And Juliet, it took me a few chapters to really like her, but then I did! There was so much below the surface to her! And now, I think Rev might have been one of my favorite side characters ever. There is still so much to discover about him, which luckily the next book is about him!

The words were beautiful, the letters were so touching, and the emotion really had me feeling things. I honestly can’t wait to read the next book. The only thing I wish there would have been was an epilogue, only because I wanted more of the characters after it was over!

 

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If you could write a letter to anyone, who would it be?

Review: Unspoken

Title: Unspoken

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Date of Publication: September 11th, 2012

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Goodreads Summary:

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met… a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My Review:

I seriously loved this book! It had a cute and unique concept with Kami and Jared being able to pretty much talk to each other through their minds since they were born! And seriously, Kami was the most adorable thing ever!

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Kami was quirky with an awesome personality and would say things how they were! Not only would she word thing how they were, but she would put a humorous spin on it! And Jared? He was loyal and tragic and amazing! He deserves a big ol’ hug!

The writing in this one was just so addictive, good, quirky, and how many more times can I say awesome! I can’t wait to start book two because that freaking ending!

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Have you read this series?

Review: Stain

Title: Stain

Author: A.G. Howard

Date of Publication: January 15th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins…

After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest … disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

My Review:

I’ve loved every book from A.G. Howard, and this one was just as gorgeous! Beautiful writing and lush descriptions! It honestly gave me Grimm Fairy Tales vibes except with a unique and new spin!

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There were four main POVs and each one was intriguing! Each character added more depth to the story, giving it a more roundabout tale. Also, the sun and the moon theme was so utterly perfect and I loved, loved, loved the friendship, the journey, the romance, the emotions!

This is one retelling that I would be ecstatic to see as a film. There was so much loveliness in the story that I’d seriously love seeing it brought to life! Can I just say that I want Lyra’s eyelashes!!!!

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What’s your favorite retelling?

 

Review: Shadow Me

Title: Shadow Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: March 5th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

My Review:

Oh, yes, it’s Kenji’s turn for a novella! And being inside his head was even better than expected! He’s funny, he’s emotional, he’s giving while being perfectly flawed!

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The novella pretty much goes along with book four, but seeing things from Kenji’s perspective puts a whole new spin on things. And after reading this, I want a whole book just being inside his head!

Tahereh can write such amazing characters, and this only makes me want the fifth book even more. The world has become a mess, and I want to see what these characters do to help stitch it back together!

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Have you started this series yet?