Saturday, September 20, 2014

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke || Book Review

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue See (Between #1) by April Genevieve Tucholke

Publication Date: August 15, 2013
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 360
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Book Depository

You stop fearing the devil when you're holding his hand...

Children are disappearing. Groups of young boys and girls form small armies to hunt for a monster. People are seeing things that shouldn't be there and doing things that shouldn't be done.

And it all starts when an irresistible guy named River West shows up in Violet White's sleepy, seaside town.

Is River somehow connected? Is he just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or is he something more? Violet's grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.


I was...disappointed to say the least. Once again, the hype surrounding this book was what crushed my final thoughts. I was so excited, so intrigued to read this book because it just sounded haunting and brilliant and beautiful. It wasn't what I got.

Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed this book and it was interesting but at the same time it wasn't what I expected. I've heard people call this book creepy and scary and while it is, it wasn't creepy enough for me. I believe it's because I've seen so many horror flicks at night to last a lifetime already that many things don't creep me out.

In summary, Violet White and her brother, Luke live in this old, tattered mansion by the seaside in a city called Echo. When they run out of money, they decide to rent out the guest house which drives River West to Echo. Strange things happen in Echo and it all started when River showed up. Coincidence? I think not. I enjoyed reading about Violet and River and even Jack, the little red-haired kid. You'll love the characters and the plot because it's different. Described as a gothic tale, why wouldn't it be different?

I think I was just disappointed at the fact that I wasn't creeped out as much as I would have liked to be. Still, I would definitely read the next book in the duology just to see where everything ends.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall || Book Review

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes&Noble |Book Depository

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hand out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.

But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Eve the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and Gave were meant to be together.

fall in love with falling in love in this irresistibly romantic, completely original novel!


I found this book to be a light and fluffy read. After reading Allegiant and We Were Liars, I went into a reading slump. I mean, these two books made so depressed that I wallowed in my own self-pity. How disastrous. But when I took a trip to Target and saw this book there, I said, why not? I'm a huge fan of cutesy contemporary and this book fit into all the right categories. Plus, it was only around $7 so it was practically a steal.

The books tells the story of Gabe and Lea's relationship and how it evolves but from fourteen different perspectives. We have the baristas, the bus driver, the waitress, Gabe's brother, a bench, a squirrel, plus so many others. While reading it, I thought it was arbitrary to include the squirrel and a bench...but somehow it worked. And you're going to have to read it in order to understand how it's even possible.

I enjoyed reading about Gabe and Lea and their awkward moments and the maddening moments when I wanted them kiss but they were to chicken to do anything. The only thing I wished was that it was also told from their perspectives. You get fourteen perspectives, yet none of which were in the main characters. Regardless, I'd read this book again after a very heavy book or if I'm in a reading slump. It was cute, romantic, fluffy, and the same type of college interactions I wish I would have. (I'm so much like Lea, it's not even funny.)

So, next time you want to fall in love with falling in love, pick this book up and you won't regret it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart || Book Review

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover

A beautiful and distinguished family.A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Non-Spoiler Thoughts:

Everyone says to go into this books knowing nothing about it. So that's what I did. I stayed away from anything and everything regarding We Were Liars and I'm so glad I did. This was not what I had expected. I didn't know what would happen and for a while I was confused. The ending gets to you and just wraps everything up, like a nice little gift that ends up breaking your heart. In a good way. No, not in a good way but still being so amazed to what just happened.

When reviewers and people said this book was beautiful and haunting, they weren't lying. You don't know what's going to happen and the synopsis in the book is so vague it merely creates questions, forcing you to read the book. It was a fast read - only took me a day - but E. Lockhart writes in a way that makes you feel like you're reading a 600 page novel instead of a 250 page novel. But it isn't bad because the amount of information packed into the book is so captivating. You get sucked into the novel and you don't want to stop reading and then you start crying because it's so sad and beautiful and sigh.

As much as I really want to tell you what this book is about, I don't want to spoil it just yet. Just know that this book was beautifully well written and captivating and hauntingly brilliant. I recommend this book.

Now, if you haven't read the book and want to proceed not knowing what this book is about, please make your way to another book review of mine or feel free to exit. If not, please continue on to hear about the specifics. Thank you.

Spoiler-y Thoughts:

Oh, my god. This book destroyed me. Our protagonist, Cadence Sinclair Easton, comes from an old-money family who's grandfather owns a private island. Every summer, the extended family visits the island for a vacation. Cadence, along with her cousins Johnny and Mirren and friend Gat, have called themselves the Liars and have been inseparable since the age of eight. I would have thought that this book was going to be about them fulfilling dares and getting into dangerous circumstances but I couldn't have been more far from the truth.

During the summer of fifteen (they were fifteen years old), Cadence has an accident that leads her to forget what happened that summer. Because of this and her painful migraines, she does not go back to the island for the next two summers and she does not keep in touch with the Liars. She goes back summer of seventeen to finally learn what happened two years ago. To say I was surprised at the revelation would be an understatement. I don't know how I didn't see it coming but the Liars decided to burn down the Sinclair estate after learning that their moms kept arguing about what they will inherit. Seeing their family almost fall apart because of materialistic things, the Liars come up with a plan to burn the estate down, hoping it'll stop all fighting. In my head, all I could think about was how bad that plan was and when it was put into action I wanted to strangle Cadence. Obviously, the books will burn faster; why in the world to start the fire when you don't know where the others are? The plan was so flawed and they were under the influence of wine when they did it but it was still so aggravating. When you learn about the fire, you also learn that the two family dogs were stuck in the house. At first, I thought that was the most depressing thing and I thought that was the most shocking thing, but then it gets worse. We learn, to our dismay, that Johnny, Mirren and Gat never came out of the house. They died in that fire, the fire that only Cadence got out of. The kicker of it all, during the summer of seventeen, Cadence sees and speaks to the Liars and many have speculated on whether they were ghosts or hallucinations.

I personally think that they were hallucinations, that Cadence's mind was so messed up that she just thought the Liars were still alive. She went to the island to find out the truth and perhaps her mind created something to help her figure it out.

This book will keep you guessing from start to finish, unless you are really perceptive and totally guess what happened.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell || Book Review

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover

...Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

...He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

(This is an old review)

Do you know those books, that after you finish, you just sit there and cry because you were satisfied and dissatisfied with the ending? Yeah, this is one of those books. I was mad, absolutely mad at the ending but those are the best ones, right? The ones that you hate because they're realistic.

Finding your first love is something we all can't wait for, but losing them is something we fear. It's the unknown that gets to us, the not knowing when or for how long it'll last. For Park, he thought his love would be forever, for Eleanor, she knew it was only a matter of time.

This book tells a great story of two people falling in love for the first time. We get a sense of realism when we see that falling in love isn't as grandiose as people make it out to be. Especially if being together is almost forbidden.

At first, it took me a good two weeks to get to a quarter of the novel. But once I sat down and forced myself to read it, I finished the rest in one sitting. It was so heartbreaking and sad and just sexy. You understand what Eleanor goes through and then you feel for Park because he just wants to help her out of her horrible family situation. It was a sweet read, where, by the end of it, you realize you've been crying.

As a now, fledged out , college student, I can say that I've never experienced my first love, and sometimes I really don't care to find it, but thinking back to high school and reading these types of books make me realize what I could have missed out on. But this book took place in the 80s so I don't really think to hard about what I missed.

There isn't much I can say except that Rainbow Rowell knows how to write realistic young adult literature. With these books, you don't know what to expect because, even though they are fiction, there is this sense of realism and that realism is what kills you because you just wanted a happy ending.

And there sort of is a happy ending, where I did smile, but the plot twist is so messed up that it was hard to smile.

For those of you that want to fall in love all over again, this is a book I'd recommend reading. With elements of abuse, racial slurs, and foul-mouthed dialogue, this might not be for everyone, but it is an excellent read.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth || Book Review

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 487
Format: Paperback

"One choice decides your friends. One choice defines your beliefs. One Choice determines your loyalties – forever. One choice CAN TRANSFORM YOU."

(This is an older review)

Divergent tells the story of the future, where people are split into factions based on their personalities. Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. There is an aptitude test you take once you reach the age of sixteen that determines which faction you end up in, but Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior is told that she is Divergent – someone who does not fit into any faction. They ultimately can’t control her.

This book kept me up all night. It was such a thrilling and nerve-wracking read that made me want to jump of a roof, just like Tris. This book is filled with heart stopping events page after page that left me breathless. Veronica Roth is an incredible author, and her words and descriptions were just hauntingly mesmerizing. Divergent is a book that you can’t help but feel for the characters. Each character is deeply developed and you feel everything they are feeling from the pain, the fear and even their happiness. You become connected and you start understanding

I loved Tris because she is such a raw character. There were many scenes where she made me laugh, and where I wanted to slap her for thinking such things. Her romantic feelings for Four made me giddy and scream at the same time. There were so many instances where he was blatantly showing her how he felt but she could not realize it. This book was just a mixture of pain, suffering, and absolute amazing-ness. If you have no read Divergent, I suggest you go read it before seeing the movie.

Now that I am caught up with the book, I just hope and pray the movie does it justice. I am one of those book freaks that cannot stand when a movie butchers a book but I have high hopes for this one. The cast is golden, and even though I would never expect Shailene Woodly to play Tris I am excited to see how well she does.

I recommend this book 100%, no questions asked. It was an amazing book and I cannot formulate any other words. Now, I am off to read the rest of the series, but I’ll be back with reviews for books 2 and 3 in the series, Insurgent and Allegiant.