Interview: Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell writes books.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl).

But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

 

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.

FANGIRL

Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end u rewriting it.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

At coffeeshops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

What are you working on now?

I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.

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Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; young adult
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating X infinity

Synopsis (goodreads):

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review:

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

Okay.

I got to The Fault in Our Stars after a long time. Mainly because it was sold out for the longest time and then once i bought it, i got side tracked with everything else. Before even starting this book i had heard the most amazing things about it and read loads of rave reviews which sort of made up my mind to not read it, because i was afraid it would not live up to the standards set. But then i read it. Half of it. I couldn’t find myself to continue because i had already guessed the ending and well i was so emotionally attached to the characters that i just didn’t want my suspicions to be proven right. 2 weeks later when i prepared myself to finish it…it was over in a day. Because i could not put the book down.

Readers beware. Those of you who haven’t read the book have no idea what you’re missing. BUT when you do get down to reading it keep a box of tissues with you. The water works just don’t stop. My mother found me crying when i was reading and she asked me what was wrong. I told her and she just rolled her eyes and left the room. I plan to make sure she too reads the book. I just couldn’t stop crying. Everything brought me to tears and no book has been able to that to me. EVER.

“That’s the thing about pain…it demands to be felt.”

Green couldn’t have summed it up better even if he tried. “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Hazel and Augustus had this chemistry that i can’t quite seem to describe. Green did an amazing job portraying it! It was so real. Both characters just  fit together perfectly, that you were rooting for them from the very beginning. It came so easily to them, almost like breathing. And while the ending was sad and tragic. It was just the right amount of breathtaking and heartbreaking all wrapped in a box, tied up with a string. ‘The one legged virgin’ totally stole my heart.

I wish i could meet John Green and tell him what a masterpiece he has written. Just amazing!

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis
Publisher:  Razorbill
Source: paperback – bought
Genre(s): romance; young adult; science fiction; dystopian

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

 

My Review:

Before the book was going to come out, the first thing, i must confess, that caught my eye was the cover. And then the synopsis. Although, i didn’t get to the book till much later into the year.

Having read nothing but rave reviews of the book by other bloggers i went against my apprehension about it being a sci-fi book even though i very much knew that it was not my cup of tea when it came to reading. The fact that it was a dystopian may have also played a part. So, i went and bought the book.

Across the Universe is told from the point of view of both Amy and Elder. I like the dual aspect. Nothing wrong in that. The story opens with Amy being frozen along with her parents, only to be woken well into the future. After that i started to lose focus.

While the book was very well written from what i can tell, i lost all interest in it. Perhaps i got confused. Scratch that, i was very much confused which led me to be frustrated. We get to feel what Amy goes through the first few chapters while she’s frozen and i have to sya i felt pretty claustrophobic while reading that. Suffocated almost and that is something that i really liked. I mean, Revis made me feel what Amy was possibly feeling and i just think much praise should be given to authors who can evoke feelings in the readers like that. Elder on the other hand i was sort of short-tempered-ish with. Somehow i didn’t like him very much. While Amy was someone i could relate to, for instance i would probably react the same way she did all throughout the book, Elder was just someone’s whose chapters i literally flicked through. And i hate doing that when i read a book.

I also think there was too much detail. But perhaps that’s what makes a sci-fi book. Somehow i just felt overwhelmed because it was just going over my head and i couldn’t make sense of it.

Review: Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

The Obsidian MirrorTitle: Obsidian Mirror

Expected publication: October 4th 2012
Genre(s): young-adult
Source: uncorrected proof

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Jake’s father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger … The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn’s estate: Sarah – a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne – who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror’s power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.

My Review:

Adventure. Time travel. Faeries.

In three words, that would be the premise of the novel.

Granted I wanted to read Incarceron for the longest of time, still haven’t, but when the opportunity presented itself i couldn’t pass it up. Obsidian Mirror was everything i had never read and i was intrigued.

Jake’s father goes missing while trying to do a secret project, time travel. And Jake is convinced that the person funding his education, his father’s best friend Venn, is behind it. So, starts a series of mysteries and accidental time travels. It’s everything rolled into one.

While there were parts where the scene dragged on for a bit, the book as a whole kept me hooked. I wanted to see something play out between Sarah and Jake (the silly romantic that resides within me and wants something to look forward to in a book) nothing of the sort happened. Although there seemed to be a hint to in at the very end. And i mean VERY end.

Although i don’t quite agree that it is young adult. Maybe on the border of young adult but still teetering in middle grade.

All in all a fun read!

 

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

 

If I Stay

Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher:   Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: ebook

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen. Stay, he says.

Everybody has to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they’re all about a future full of music and love, a future that’s brimming with hope. 

But life can change in an instant. 

A cold February morning …a snowy road …and suddenly all of Mia’s choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she’ll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. 

Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you’ve lost – and all that might be.

 

My Review:

This is the first of its kind that i have read. Although, the synopsis doesn’t do it justice, in the sense that i didn’t quite know what i was getting into when i first started reading it…till, well it happened.

If I Stay, as the title suggests is about Mia, stuck in a kind of limbo while her body is a comatose state and the question is – should she stay or should she go?
It’s something i’ve thought about too. How does one know that their loved one is waiting in between either trying to find their way back or just not. Euthanasia isn’t an easy choice, but this book isn’t about that.

Gayle Forman cleverly weaves a story around Mia who reflects on her past while watches the actions of those around her in the hospital as they pray and hope that she wakes up. Having been in an accident that rendered her an orphan and without her brother, she really has nothing left for her to live for. And there does come a point in the story where she wants it to be over. But then everyone around shows her that she has a family. Bigger than the one she lost and they’re all rooting for her.

It was such a beautiful sad story. About the loss of family, love and grief. And the ultimate question whether to stay or to go.

Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Chasing Brooklyn

Title: Chasing Brooklyn

Author: Lisa Schroeder
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary; paranormal
Source: Hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Restless souls and empty hearts

Brooklyn can’t sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe’s ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn’t Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can’t stop. He’s always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca’s ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they’re being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

My Review:

I’ve come to love books in verse. So, when i come across one, i tend to buy it no matter what. And it obviously helps if I’ve already heard about the book. There is just something about the way stories are told in verse. Rather enjoyable to read and unfortunately quick to finish.

Chasing Brooklyn is about a girl named Brooklyn and no we aren’t chasing her, at least until you get inside her dreams. You see, she’s being haunted by her dead boyfriend’s dead friend. And her dead boyfriend’s brother is being haunted by dead boyfriend. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? But, really it isn’t.

While the basis of the story was sad and about loss, you also tend to feel hopeful for the characters. As cheesy and cliched as this sounds – you become one with the character because you come to terms with their loss along with them. Their fears become your fears. Their strength becomes your strength.

Its a gripping love story. A haunting story. There are times when I absolutely love the chemistry between Nico and Brooklyn, but then come Brooklyn’s dreams and I’m scared. They were so real. Incredibly so.

Lisa Schroeder really did a commendable job with this book. Oh, and she made me want to join a triathlon too!

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened To GoodbyeTitle: What Happened to Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: Paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean’s become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean’s ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

My Review:

Whenever Sarah Dessen releases a new book my heart sores and i make it a goal in my life to get my hands on it and devour it.

‘Read her once and fall in love.’

How honest is that line up there? It’s true to every word and letter. I know for a fact that of the six books that I’ve read by Sarah Dessen, I am yet to be disappointed. She just weaves the story is such an intricate pattern that it looks flawless, beautiful and the presence of a loose thread doesn’t exist. The story stays sewn together, without the fear of coming undone.

What Happened to Goodbye is about McLean. Her parents just went through a messy divorce. Her only escape, recreating herself, which is fairly easy considering how often she and her father move from place to place due to his job. But, this time, she finds it hard to hide herself, all the while searching for whom the ‘old McLean’ was and how she got to where she is.

Sarah Dessen adds just the right amount of elements in her books, almost like the perfect cake. Add family, friendship, love, path to forgiveness and finding oneself, and put in the oven to bake. Then spread the romance and sprinkle letting-go, and you have a perfect, delicious cake that melts in your mouth with every bite.

If you haven’t already read this book, then I strongly suggest going to buy yourself one, NOW! Seriously, how could you resist? And I’m just going to sit here patiently awaiting the news of Sarah Dessen’s new novel. *fingers crossed* There has to be another novel in the horizon…THERE JUST HAS TO BE!

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; dystopian
Source: Paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

My Review:

I’ve read rave reviews about this book. And for some time now i’ve wanted to see for myself what made this book such a phenomenon. So, i went and bought said book. Also because i DID want to read it. I too, have fallen prey to the ‘chronic dystopian addiction disorder’.

When i say, ‘ i could not put this book down’, i do mean it. Divergent lived up to everything i imagined it to be and had heard about. You know how you go read a book because it was recommended to you and you’re a bit afraid because you don’t want to be let down. In all honesty, i did feel like that…a teensy bit. But so far, this year has given me fantastic books to read and Divergent gladly comes on my top 10 books that i have read and LOVED.

Tris was bad-ass. You HAD to like her. You couldn’t not like her. It was interesting reading from her point of you. Her fears, while manipulated to the situation she was in, felt relate able…as relate able as having knives thrown at is 😛
But nonetheless i had fun reading about what she was going through and how she stood strong even when i know if something like this was happening to me…i would probably have cried.

Four. I have to say that when Tris started having feelings for Four and we didn’t know who he was…i didn’t like him. I had nothing against his character just that maybe i was a bit confused about his age and found Tris and Four together…something i didn’t want to see. In my mind, when Marcus’s son was first mentioned, i wanted Tris to end up with him. And behold…Veronica Roth was thinking the same thing. Then Four transformed into Tobias (not literally) and i fell in love with him. A bit hypocritical? No. I liked and disliked the same guy. 😛

Once Divergent finished…it left this empty feeling in me and i wanted to jump right into Insurgent. GRAB DIVERGENT IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T! IT’s SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
Also after the book finished i wanted to know which Faction i belonged to. So, i took the test and…i belong to AMITY!

Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding OnTitle: Keep Holding On

Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: ARC

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

A romantic and empowering book about bullying

Noelle’s life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn’t know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle’s kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she’s terrified. Surely it’s safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself–and for the love that keeps her holding on.

 

My Review:

I think its safe to say that i’ve had quite the lucky streak when it comes to reading good books. So far, a book has yet to disappoint me.

I’d obviously read rave reviews about Colasanti’s Keep Holding On and not being a stranger to her books i knew this was a sure good one. I don’t know how to explain it, but its this feeling that you get and you instantly know that you will love this book.

This is the first time i’ve read a book about bullying and i feel that everyone out there should get their hands on this book. Why? Personally, it gave me an insight into the world of the one being bullied and what they go through daily. Thankfully, i haven’t been bullied in the way Noelle was but i did scraped. But i guess i had the strength to speak out against it. Many people do have the strength to fight it, they just don’t know that they do.

I cried. I literally cried while reading this book. It was everything i felt, even today. It was almost like Susane looked into my heart and wrote down everything that she saw. I cried for those who go through this everyday. I cried for those who feel alone and scared. I cried for those who felt that dying was the best option. I won’t deny i haven’t thought about it myself, but this book has this feel-good thing about it. It gives you strength and gives you hope. The power to change is in your hands.

The book was short, and i wished for it to continue on. I read it within hours because i literally could not put it down. It helped me the see the light, that while bullying does not happen here to the extent it happens in the US, things are pretty bad. And i want to help change it.

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)Title: Anna Dressed in Blood

Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; paranormal fiction
Source: ARC

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Review:

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story. And when you throw in a smart-ass male protagonist and his feelings for a certain ghost girl, yeah well you have that perfectly-hooked-onto-till-the-very-end-story.

I absolutely loved the story from Cas’s POV because it helped me realise that i just enjoyed reading a story from a guy’s POV. Initially, i have to be honest, i thought there might be something going on between Carmel and Cas but that quickly left my head when i saw the chemistry between Cas and Anna.
The story line really reminded me of the TV show Supernatural which made me love the book even more, if that was even possible.

This book was gruesome, creepy, violent and romantic all rolled in one. I’ve always wanted to read a horror story but i always found that the scare you get from the story rolling off of someone’s tongue never quite matches when you read. But, when i read Anna Dressed in Blood…WOW! I was hooked from the start. There were parts in the novel that were certified freaky and they gave me quite a scare. Not the kind where i refused to leave my room deep into the night. It just gave me the chills when i actually saw the whole story play before my eyes.

The way Kendare Blake weaved the whole story was fantastic. There are times when i’m reading that i know the whole story before it even finishes. Yeah, she had me sitting at the edge of my seat just wondering what the hell was going to happen next. The description was breathtaking, to say the least. It was like a well- played out movie just unfolding before my eyes.

After having finished the book, just literally, i know now what many other reviewers were gushing about. This book really does not disappoint. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel!

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffiti MoonTitle: Graffiti Moon

Author: Cath Crowley
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: ARC

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

My Review:

Fans of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist will rejoice!

This book had the perfect amount of adventure, hope, art and romance. In my opinion the book just about spoke to me. Everyone hopes to find that really cool way of finding that ‘one’ person who’ll stay with them forever.

Lucy fantisizes about Shadow, the notorious graffiti artist whose paintings speak to her very soul. And at the end of her year 12 she hopes to find him. So, she and her friends set out in the night to find Shadow and his friend Poet who scribbles words from the heart. But, just like always, you need to stop looking to actually find. 🙂

I fell in love with the way Cath Crowley described each character’s emotion. The book was divided into 3 POVs, Shadow, Poet and Lucy. We find out very early in the book who Shadow and Poet are, no mystery there, but the whole journey till the very end makes a great read. It screams adventure and taking risks (just going with the flow).

The way both Shadow (Ed) and Lucy talk about art, it makes me fall in love with it too. I see the pictures drawn on the walls by Shadow, the glass blown by Lucy. The poems were interesting. Each character finds exactly what they’ve been looking for by the end of the night. I guess, it could be a coming of age story as well.

I fell in love with the chemistry between Ed and Lucy. Truly amazing!

Do get your copy of Graffiti Moon. Its that perfect summer read!

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: McElderry
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; fantasy
Source: Bought – paperback

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

The first in a trilogy, this gritty, fast-paced fantasy is rife with the unexpected. Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty–he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas– and a plan to con the conmen.

My Review:

Honestly, addictive. Holly Black certainly conned me through the book.

I was reading in my bed. I was reading in my car. I was reading instead of studying. That is the effect of the world Holly Black has created.
I had heard so much about this book and when i found it (by chance) i knew i could never let it go. I had made up my mind that i wasn’t going to leave the bookstore without White Cat.

Cassel (who i took an instant liking to) is the youngest member of a family full of workers. For years he has been led to believe that he was the black sheep of the family (the only non-worker) but when he sees through the cracks in the foundation of the facade that his family lives, he realises that most of his life was a lie.
He is the misunderstood, wanting his chance in the spotlight guy. Who has for his whole life lived in the shadow of his brothers. Pampered by a doting mother in jail and lied to by everyone else.

This book i thoroughly enjoyed. Black has this incredible way of keeping the reader engrossed to the point where the book is traveling everywhere with you till the last page is turned. You need to read it to know what you’re missing. It was a fresh change from a female perspective. Instead here we had a male protagonist that literally hooked me to the book.

I suggest you grab your own copy and delve into Black’s world. Can’t wait to get my hands on Red Glove.

 

Review: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (Chemical Garden, #1)Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; dystopian
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

My Review:

Women die at the tender age of 20. Men die at the tender age of 25. Wealthy men have polygamous marriages to keep the population going. This is the worst possible outcome of medicine going wrong!

Wither had me hooked from the very first page! DeStefano’s writing has this magnificent pull that immediately sucks you into the world of her characters. This being her debut novel, she has done a wonderful job.

Rhine was determined and strong. She wanted her old life back and didn’t want to be a wife to a man who himself did not know the truth about the world. From the very beginning of the book she was plotting her escape, making sure that the glitz and the glamour of this artificial world did not convince her of staying.

DeStefano created this riveting world that scared and intrigued you at the same time. This actually became about why i like dystopian novels and enjoy reading them so much. The title of the book went very well with the background of the story. Science has left us to rot and in the end while we look for an antidote we’ll actually just ‘wither’ away.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

Review: Gone (Dream Catcher #3) by Lisa McMann

Gone  (Dream Catcher, #3)

Title: Gone (Dream Catcher #3)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; paranormal
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . 

My Review:

The Dream Catcher trilogy has been an amazing series. I loved it! When McMann writes, she incorporates all these vivid images and emotions that are just so raw and real, if not a little too raw.

I bought Gone the same time i bought Fade, but i didn’t start reading it immediately after i finished Fade because the premise of the books were depressing and i wanted to create a gap between that. So i read two other books and then jumped into the water again.

Gone, the title is symbolic to many things. The fact that Janie loses the father she never knew, but at the same time knew better than anyone. Gone is the choice that Janie thought she had. Gone is that happy ending she was looking for, there isn’t one in her book and Gone is (eventually) the things she knew she was going to lose.

The scary/creepy part about Gone was the dreams that haunt Janie. They were vivid and the way McMann wrote the whole dream sequence it really scared me. It was almost like i was having the dream. And unlike the last two books, the problems were internal rather than external. It was Janie’s decision, one that she would have to live with for the rest of her life. The fight was very much internal.

Overall, this is a great series and i recommend it as a whole!

Review: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule

Title: The Unwritten Rule
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; teens; friendship
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

He’s looking at me like—well, like he wants to look at me.Like he likes what he sees, and he’s smiling and his eyes are so blue, even in the faint flow of the porch light they shine, and I nod dumbly, blindly, and then grope for the door handle, telling myself to look away and yet not able to do it.

“Sara,” he says, softly, almost hesitantly, and my heart slam-bangs, beating hard, and this is what it’s like to want someone you can’t have. To want someone you shouldn’t even be looking at.
Sarah and Brianna have always been friends, and it’s always gone like this: guys talk to Sarah in order to get closer to Brianna. So even though Sarah met Ryan first, she’s not surprised that he ends up with Brianna (even though Sarah has a massive crush on him).

The three of them hang out, and Sarah and Ryan’s friendship grows until one night an innocent exchange between them leads to a moment that makes Sarah realize that Ryan might be interested in her after all. But if there’s one unwritten rule, it’s this: you don’t mess around with a friend’s boyfriend.

So Sarah tries to resist temptation. But with the three of them thrown together more and more, tension builds between Sarah and Ryan, and when they find themselves alone together at one point, they realize they just can’t fight how they feel anymore….

 

My Review:

I. Am. Torn. There is no doubt in my mind that i loved this book, because i did. I do. Want to know what i was torn about? Sarah and Brianna. I didn’t know who to like. It goes without to say that you end up falling in love with the lead character either way but in this book i actually sat there and considered the options. So, i did think.

Sarah is torn. Torn between loving the guy who is off limits and torn being the best friend. At the end of the book there is a quote that fits so well:

All the things I’ve thought about love are true. It’s beautiful and terrible and it doesn’t make things perfect. It ends things, and it brings beginnings.

This is mine.

That is literally how the book ends. Anyway, when the book started i loved Sarah’s character but like every girl, i too knew the rule. You do not date your friend’s boyfriends. And Sarah couldn’t help but be in love with him. Minus points there, or lack thereof. But then Brianna unfolded. You saw everything about her and you didn’t hate Sarah anymore.

This book was pure beauty. I loved it! Ryan has got to be the most amazing guy out there, even if some of the choices he made in the book weren’t all that great.

Don’t let yourself be driven away from the book just because its about a friend who falls for her friend’s boyfriend. There is more to it.

 

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Genre(s): fantasy, paranormal romance; young-adult; mystery; dystopian
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

 

My Review:

Something about this book drew me in way before it released and when i finally saw it gracing the shelves at the local bookstore, i couldn’t help but jump up and down in excitement. It is in these moments that my parents and friends decide that they do not know and claim the ‘guilt by association’ position.

And then my whole world changed. Shatter Me is never going to leave me and it has changed my world. It was that good. Mafi created this believable world that sucked me in from the first page and this near-to-perfect character that was bursting right out from within the pages. This book was everything i have never read and everything i want to read!

Juliette was someone you loved from the very beginning, no exaggeration. There was just something about her that drew you in immediately and held onto you like your life depended on it. The way Mafi wrote the book in her perspective and <s> cut out words </s> to show conflict and inner turmoil just made me love the book and her as a writer.
In Shatter Me Juliette, her whole life has been thought of as a monster and the first time when she comes across someone who talks to her and loves her, brought tears to my eyes. That emotion that Juliette portrayed of being unsure and maybe a little crazy (who wouldn’t be if they had been isolated from the world) was fantastic. Mafi really brought that out.

Don’t get me started on Adam. Wow! I need me some Adam. Move over Edward fans because Adam is whole lot better and he doesn’t need to sparkle in order to be loved. Mafi created the most extraordinary character to keep Juliette sane and for all her readers to fall in love with. I literally swooned when he was first introduced and even after when all fingers were pointed at him (for sometime) i couldn’t find myself to hate him.

I had finished this book last year only but when it came to writing the review, i didn’t know where to begin because i felt that no amount of words could do justice to what i felt while reading it.
I hope with my review, i have done justice to the book, even though i feel there is so much more i want to say but i can’t. Let’s just say i can’t wait for the next book! GRAB YOUR COPY NOW! THAT’S AN ORDER!

 

My Favourite Quote(s):

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. 
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”  – Juliette

 

“Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too.”  – Juliette

 

“You can’t touch me,” I whisper. I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him. He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him. Please touch me, is what I want to tell him.” – Juliette

 

“Adam stares at me so long I begin to blush. He tips my chin up so I meet his eyes. Blue blue blue boring into me. His voice is deep, steady. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh.” 

He’s so excruciatingly correct I don’t know how to respond except with the truth. My smile is tucked into a straight line. “Laughter comes from living.” I shrug, try to sound indifferent. “I’ve never really been alive before.” 

 

“Killing time isn’t as difficult as it sounds. 
I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hands tick tick tick their final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I’ve been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.”

 

“His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine. He repeats my name like the word amuses him. Entertains him. Delights him. 

In seventeen years no one has said my name like that

 

“My face is in his hands and my lips are at his lips and he’s kissing me and I’m oxygen and he’s dying to breathe.” 

 

“Sometimes a book isn’t a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. 
Sometimes it’s the only story you knew how to tell.” 

Review: The Gift by James Patterson

The Gift (Witch & Wizard, #2)

Title: The Gift (Witch & Wizard #2)

Author: James Patterson and Ned Rust

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre(s): Young Adult (Fantasy, adventure, dystopia)

Source: Bought – paperback

Rating: 

Summary (Goodreads):

When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.

But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is “The One Who Has the Gift.” While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty’s suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one… The Execution of the Allgoods.

 

My Review:

As you start the book, you are swept into the world of a fast paced story that in the end, you have trouble putting the book down. The story is interesting and well formed that you love it no matter what others might feel about it.

It’s interesting how James Patterson is always able to keep that ‘interesting’ factor alive that you never have to be told twice to buy the second book in the series. I really enjoyed reading this one as much as the first and i can’t wait to get my hands on the third and final book.

Patterson wrote this series for his son who was not interested in reading at all. I feel that this book should be given to all those who run from books. At the moment i am trying to get my brother to read this series because he runs from books of any kind. Here i am, loving books and he hates them.

In the first book i pictured Byron to be this fat kid, who bullied. You know that stereotypical image of a bully. But in this book when we see this confused, sensitive side to him i try to picture him in a more favourable way. By completely changing his appearance in my head.

Whit was rather annoying in this book with his whole crying for his dead girlfriend Celia. I wanted to smack him!

The book was short-ish and goes by super fast and you are left wanting to read more!

 

 

Review: Fade (Dream Catcher #2) by Lisa McMann

Fade (Dream Catcher, #2)

Title: Fade (Dream Catcher #2)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): fantasy, paranormal romance; young-adult; mystery
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END. 

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. 

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both. 

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared…. 


My Review:

Honestly, being a Dream Catcher is hard work and the rewards come with many twists and turns. In the sequel to Wake, McMann shows us that while what you do is worth the effort, in the end you inadvertently hurt yourself. She shows us Cabel and Janie as a couple, albeit a secret one. And then leaves with the saddest ending ever!

After i finished of Fade and went to put it away, i saw the cover of Gone beneath it and i had a light bulb moment. Now i truly understand the meaning behind the titles of the books. ‘Wake’: when Janie realises her abilities and comes to accept them, choosing to help others. ‘Fade’: when everything starts fading at the seams, leaving the future uncertain, yet very certain. ‘Gone’: (i’ve already sort of figured it out, but since this is not a review for Gone and i am yet to read it, i have nothing to say.)

In the book we finally get to see Cabel and Janie a couple, even if they are hiding it from everyone. Makes me happy to see these two connecting, because they are just about perfect for each other. The stakes, however, are even higher in this novel and when i think about Janie helping to uncover a crime, i have to think, “This girl has strength! I would never be able to do this.” And its true. Janir is really a magnificent character.

After i finished the book, i just sat and thought about what just happened. The book ends of on a sad note and even though i didn’t cry, i was on the verge. And then i went and listened to this song:  and then i was further saddened.

This book was really easy to read and i breezed through it. The fact that it’s written in diary format, makes it interesting to read, not to mention the fact that it is in third person. It’s McMann’s diary! Great read, seriously read it!

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak
Genre(s): contemporary romance; young-adult;
Source: paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. 

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

 

My Review:

Oh My Gawd! This is by far my favourite novel by Sarah Dessen. The Truth About Forever and Lock & Key come a close second third.

The thing with many of Dessen’s novels is that even though people find that they are romance novels, and yes while that aspect is very much present, her stories are about transformation and basically life. Her books hold these fabulous life lessons that actually leaving you pondering and reflecting on your life.

Her characters are by far the most fantastic in this novel. I loved Auden’s vulnerability and at the same time confusion and strength. I loved her as a character. Dessen, has this way with her characters. She makes them so real that you have no choice but to get reeled in head first and fall in love with them all.

So far, i’ve read five of her novels and i’ve been dumbfounded by all of them. When i read her books, i pay close attention to every single detail. I reread each paragraph and let the feeling literally sink in. The settings and the atmosphere that she creates is pure perfection. No other way to put it. They are all real places but somehow she gives them a new life, making them seem completely different from what they might actually appear to be. Like some people see a place under a fluorescent light, but she turns on the neon lights and sees it under that.

It had always been incredibly hard for me to find her books here, and i had got to the point where i could only fantasize about ever reading her books and kill anybody who said they had never heard of her. But i have to say the wait was worth it. Now that her books become available a year or so after their release, i don’t feel angry or sad. Deep down i know the journey i go on every time i read her books and i also know that they leave me wanting more.

When i reached the final chapter and i could tell that the book was coming to an end, i knew i didn’t want it to end. Never. Now i look forward to What Happened to Goodbye and see what Dessen has created there.

This book is my favourite Dessen book so far and i hope all of you grab a copy and see for yourself why. It’s the perfect summer read, even though i clearly got to in the winters. Oops!