Hands up if you have a crazy, uncontrollable TBR pile that’s making holes in the roof?
I’m down to the last 11 books! Woo!
Hands up if you have a crazy, uncontrollable TBR pile that’s making holes in the roof?
I’m down to the last 11 books! Woo!
Now I know I’ve been very absent this last year but I’ve recently decided to join Booktube! I will continue blogging, but my content will be a little different from what I used to do. I will be posting full length reviews and uploading my videos here as well. From now on most of the features I do will be filmed.
Otherwise I’m very excited to be back! I missed out on so much!
Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Published: (this edition) August 2014 by Orchard Books
Genre: Romance, Contemp/Fantasy
Rating: An impressive gust! Four birdies
I received an ecopy of Between the Lives to review from Netgalley – this in no way effects my opinion
Between the Lives was creepy, awesome, interesting and meaningful. This is my first read from Shirvington, and I’m impressed! I really enjoyed this book and its quirkiness. The only downside for me was that the romance was a little rushed, but otherwise, I have nothing but good to say!
Between the Lives follows Sabine, who literally lives a double life. She resides in two different realities, where she is the same, but her situation is not. She “shifts” every 24 hours at midnight into a her other life. The story takes place after Sabine realizes a difference in her lives that could change everything.
First up, I really loved the concept and I totally congratulate Shirvington for writing it so carefully. I love the idea of having lives in two different realities and being aware of them. I could see so many opportunities for plot holes and inconsistencies, except there weren’t any. Nope. They were carefully avoided or they were explained in detail. Which is awesome! My mind kept trying to pick at things, but it couldn’t. Leaving me to read in peace.
I really enjoyed the characters in Between the Lives, though some were a bit cliché. It’s hard for me to say if Sabine was developed or not, because, she was two different people. But then again, even though she was different, it was because she forced herself to be different, and it’s that underlying voice that we get a real picture of. She’s the same person with this ideal that she has to be a certain way in each world; not understanding that she can just be herself.
Meaning! This book was more than just your action packed, tell-a-story book, but it held meaning and depth which I just love. Life should be treasured is one meaning, whilst the other I saw was about being yourself. I thought both were explored and portrayed really well!
In saying this, I didn’t believe the romance in Between the Lives. It was there, but I think it was a little too rushed to have the depth it was meant to have. I almost believed it, but I needed a little more connection and a little slower/ more gradual climax for total impact.
Otherwise, Between the Lives had just enough description to satisfy my needs, and I liked how each world was complex, how everything wasn’t perfect or bad. Her journey to deciding which life is better is interesting and sets up some great questions! I didn’t quite connect with the romance, though the plot, characters and messages the book explores are great! I definitely recommend Between the Lives!
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Published: May, 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: Blew me away. 5 birdies.
My first Morgan Matson book! Can I just say, I’m really happy that Kayla from The Thousand lives recommended this? Such an adorable coming of age, grieving, healing, adventure, romance book! It was light, but serious. And I could totally and completely empathize.
The book starts at the beginning of a road trip with college boy Roger, after a horrible accident splits Amy’s family apart. I honestly had no idea what to expect going into this book. I first thought it would just be a cute, fun romance. But oh, was I wrong. It was so much more and loved it all the same.
I’ll begin by saying that I was surprised at how much I could not only sympathize, but empathize. I’m lucky in that I have never had a close family member or friend pass away. Only a few pets, which I suppose is still traumatic. So whenever I read a book that deals with extreme grieving, I get a little wary. Because I almost never, ever quite understand. I can imagine it, but without ever having gone through it myself, I never fully understand what people must be going through.
This book was different though. I found myself crying uncontrollably and I felt like I understood Amy. The way in which she acted was totally believable. I feel like I might act in a similar manner if this happened to me.
Matson, what have you done to me?
I was so surprised by this. Especially since the rest of the book was so distracting. Like, I want to travel to America just so I can go on a road trip. I just don’t think it would be as fun in Aus.
Along with Amy, I really liked Roger’s character. I didn’t understand him as much, but he still felt real to me. Kind of like that elusive, but laid back, down to earth boy. Dreamy.
And I loved how little a role the romance played in the end. I was worried that it would be one of those cases where “love healed me”. But no – Roger certainly helped, yes, but it was not because they had some epic romance going on. He was just supportive. The detour is what really aided in Amy’s healing. All the people she met, places she had seen, state motto’s she recorded. She discovered life again through the simple things.
And I adored the scrapbooking parts between chapters. Such a cute addition!
SPOILER – highligt paragraph to view.
I just wanted to add that the “accident” really resonated with me. Ever since I started driving, I have this fear of lights. I hate them. I hate coming up to a green one when it changes because I’m so bad at judging distances and if I have enough time to stop. I’m scared of being the one that runs the light. And I’m scared of leaving the intersection and colliding with someone else running the light. Maybe that’s one reason why I cried so hard. It was like, my worst fear come to life.
My emotions are so mushy about this book. There isn’t really anything I can fault. I loved the characters and concept, and for the first time, can emphasize with grief. And I now have a strong desire to road trip it. In America.
Thanks a lot Morgan Matson </3 >.< ❤
Genre: YA, paranormal (angels)
Published: October, 2010 by Angus&Robertson
My rating: Sweetly soft. 3 Birdies.
I’m in two minds about Mercy. I really liked it, but I didn’t at the same time. Mercy is obviously a story about Angels. However, Mercy is almost ignorant to this aspect of herself. Like she has amnesia. All she knows is that her soul travels between person to person, where she has a job to carry out – such as preventing the person from dying or self destruction.
I like how Mercy doesn’t really know who she is. Normally things like that are annoying, but I like the layer of mystery it presents. If she was aware, we would just have all the knowledge and wouldn’t really feel like reading. Overall, the plot was well paced and present throughout the story. It was never pushed back, paused or put aside for another event. The plot just kept rolling, making it somewhat enjoyable and non-difficult to read.
I really liked Mercy’s character as well. Despite making me frustrated at her naïve-ness, she was straight forward, no – nonsense kind of girl. She doesn’t completely understand human emotions and that is clearly portrayed in her blunt nature – which she shows despite being present in another person’s body. I was actually surprised that I liked this, even though it makes her unrelatable. But, I think Mercy was a good comparison against Ryan, the human boy character who is consumed with emotions by his missing sister.
I didn’t really believe in the romance that sort-of came about in this book. This hindered my opinion of the book a little. I also couldn’t connect with the characters to an emotional level, which is also important in a book for me. Though one big problem I had was the lack of description!
The writing style in Mercy is short and to the point. Some people may love this, but, I am a description lover. I love flowing sentences and paragraphs filled with imagery. This is a very personal thing, but I am not a fan of short and snappy stories.
Despite my dislike at this, the ending was left at such a cliff hanger with so many unanswered questions and so many possibilities that I have to continue with the series! Overall, Mercy was an enjoyable read that I had a few, personal disagreements with.
Genre: YA, romance,
Published: December 2012, by Harper Collins
Rating: Could hardly feel it. 2 birdies.
This book? I don’t know where to start. I should probably admit that it was addicting and intense, I stayed up late to read it, and I was still keyed up when it finished. But, my honest opinion is that the plot was ridiculous, the characters were flat and I couldn’t connect with anything this story presented.
Crash tells the story of Lucy and Jude, as they fall in love, have ups and downs and release their demons. Sadly, I had an issue with the characters in Crash. They were hardly characters. I couldn’t connect to them, nor understand them. A big part that played in this, believe it or not, is the dialogue. It’s like these character are hiding behind this exaggerated teen speak the author uses. Fine; a witty, slightly sexy or sarcastic comment is great now and again. But constantly? Well, that’s all the character’s became, for me. Faces with witty words.
Despite this, I had difficulty putting Crash down. Even though I thought it was ridiculous, the suspense of “will they be together? How far will it go? What’s he done this time?” kept me reading. I really just wanted to see if they would end up together and how.
The plot was all sorts of ridiculous. Firstly, it is literally JUST about Lucy and Jude. There wasn’t any side plot (or rather, the romance wasn’t a side to some bigger plot). The romance was everything, and I decided I’m just not that big of a fan. It’s okay in some circumstances; though it would have to be done extremely well for me to like it. Reason being; the lack of plot or something else pushing the story, makes it flat and puts the pacing out.
The climax was just so utterly unbelievable. I won’t give away too much. But basically,
SPOILER ALERT (Highlight paragraph to view spoiler) I cannot fathom a teen boy not just being a rapist, but a serial rapist that takes lengthy, long measures (say, a year) to plan his attack. I just don’t believe it. I also don’t believe it not being reported, or figured out. The whole incident was swept under the carpet like it was no big deal. I see red, thinking of this.
Another thing I didn’t like, was the conveniences. Lucy has all these thoughts about her and Jude’s situation, and one day, Jude just pops up and says everything she was thinking. Exactly. Not cool.
Even though everything was tense, I didn’t like all the pointless arguments and crazy, protective, constantly changing behavior from Jude and Lucy’s clean plate. It’s why I won’t be continuing this series – I feel like it’s just going to be the same stuff all over again.
Sadly, I didn’t like Crash. If you like all encompassing, drama filled love stories, maybe this is for you. But I need more than just romance in my story. And I tire easily from drama.
Today I’m taking part in the book tour for one of my most anticipated books this year, FERAL by Holly Schindler – author of A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt!
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.
As part of my stop on the Feral tour, I got to ask a interview question. That’s right. A question. As in one. As in – make this as interesting as possible, please!
So, I asked what I look for most in books: Meaning.
Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs).
Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud. Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “…a heartwarming and uplifting story…[that] shines…with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.”
FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller. Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.”
Schindler encourages readers to get in touch. Booksellers, teen librarians, and teachers can also contact her directly regarding Skype visits. She can be reached at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, and can also be found at hollyschindler.com, hollyschindler.blogspot.com, @holly_schindler, Facebook.com/HollySchindlerAuthor, and http://hollyschindler.tumblr.com/