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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Illuminae

Illuminae Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Illuminae was a long and interesting sci fi book.

Summary from Goodreads:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

This book was very long. It was way too long for my tastes. I don't like sci-fi enough to make it through 500 pages too often. This book started out really slowly. The first 300 pages were really slow, and confusing. After that, it got really fast paced, and good.

This book has two main characters, Kady and Ezra. I liked Kady a lot better than Ezra. She was awesome, tough, and determined. Ezra kind of seemed whiny and stuff.

There were many good things about this book, but also many bad. Here is a list of pros and cons.
-ending fast paced
-great character building
-descriptive world

-too long
-confusing plot

Overall, this was a good book, but not one for me.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Between the Lines

Between the Lines Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Between the Lines was an adorable fantasy/realistic fiction mashup.

Summary from Goodreads:
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

I loved this book on almost every level. It was very fluffy, yet hard to put down. This was my first Jodi Picoult book, and it really didn't disappoint. It was a book I wasn't sure whether I wanted to read because I am not a huge fantasy or fairy tale fan. I was also skeptical of what a realistic fiction/fantasy mashup would look like. What it turned out to be was a cute book. I read it is like one day, because it was easy and sweet.

I totally could relate to Delilah. Books were her solace and her comfort. When I was younger, I was like her and had a few comfort books. Except for the fact that for her, it's only one comfort book. This book is "Between The Lines." Delilah reads this child fairy tale almost every day. It is just for fun, until one day when a book from the character starts talking to Delilah. She realizes that the characters have lives of their own, and are like involuntary actors.

The boy she is talking about is Oliver. Oliver is sweet, caring, and perfect. I don't know what is is that makes me love him, but I just do. He is also patient with Delilah when they are trying to get out of the book.

The only complaint that I have is that I think they spent a little too much time figuring out how to get Ollie out of the book. They also resolved the book pretty quickly.

Overall, this was a great, sweet, YA fairy tale that gave me happy feelings.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review: All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All the Bright Places was an interesting novel about mental illness.

Summary from Goodreads:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

I was kind of skeptical to read this book at first. It had gotten so much hype, but I didn't like the part of the summary that said, "Theodore Finch is fascinated by death.'' I wasn't real sure that that would be my type of book. But when it popped up of a competition book list, I finally decided to read it.

I have heard so many rave reviews about this, and it disappointed me. It was very depressing and theological. However, I did like the beginning off this book. It started out in the bell tower, where they both tried to kill themselves. As I progressed through the book, I felt like Violet was misrepresented in the beginning. She was said to be a really popular girl, but she seemed nerdy and depressed.
Violet had lost her sister in a car accident, and she believed she was at fault. Otherwise, she was halfway likable.

Finch was strange. He was supposed to be quirky, but he actually had a mental illness. He was nice and sweet to Violet, but was also kind of strange, like knowing about a bunch of poets.

The romance was one of the redeeming qualities in this book. Once Violet warmed up to Finch, they were a very cute couple.

This was a okay book that reminded me a lot of The Fault in Our Stars.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: Switching Gears

Switching Gears Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Switching Gears is a good book about families and biking.

Summary from Goodreads:
Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she loved in secret for years, seventeen-year-old Emmy Martin turns to her passion for mountain biking to try to fill the empty void in her life. But just when things start looking up, Emmy discovers her mom has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Confused and angry that her parents didn’t tell her sooner, she throws herself into mountain biking like never before.

When Cole Evans, the rich boy who usually doesn’t care about anything but himself, offers to train her for the biggest mountain biking race of the season, she accepts, determined to beat her nemesis, Whitney, and prove she’s good enough for a sponsor. The more time she spends with Cole, the more she realizes he’s different than she’d expected, and, to her surprise, she’s falling for him. Torn between the deep feelings she still has for Lucas and her growing ones for Cole, she knows she must choose a path: one offers her the chance to love again, while the other is blocked by the overwhelming heartache for the boy she lost.

As she drifts further away from her family and closer to her dream of being sponsored, a terrible accident threatens any semblance of peace and happiness she has left. Instead of closing herself off to the people she loves, Emmy must learn to rely on those she has pushed away if she’s going to have any chance of getting her life back again.

I really liked Emmy's character. She was kind, caring, and always knew what was right. However, she got really jealous and crabby.

This book deals with the competitive side of mountain bike racing. Emmy is a good biker, but she keeps losing to other teens in her town. When she meets Cole, she trains with him. The look at competitive biking was cool, and I enjoyed reading a book with a non-mainstream sport.

The romance was very good. Cole was sweet and gentle to Emmy, which is just what she needed. He truly loves her, and it isn't the main aspect of the book.

Emmy's mom was diagnosed with early Alzheimer. Emmy is having a hard time dealing with that. She thinks her mom will forget her, and kind of shies away from her. I hadn't heard of early Alzheimer's before this book, and it taught me a lot about it.

This book gave me a lot of feelings, both good and bad.

(view spoiler)

Overall, this is a really good book about many topics.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sun is Also a Star was a pretty good book.

Summary from Goodreads:
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I thought this book was written in a very interesting way. It was mainly written between two characters, Daniel and Natasha. There were also a few chapters where minor characters were telling the story. One of those sort of minor characters was the universe. It was a strange way to do it, but helped the book out.

This book was kind of like a Romeo and Juliet. It is a love tragedy that taks plac over a very short amount of time (instalove). It mad ethe day really slow, but interesting.

I liked how Natasha and Daniel were multicultural. Daniel was Korean, and Natasha was African American. This made the book seem more like Nicola Yoon.

Overall,, this is a good book, but I liked Everything Everything more.

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