April 30, 2014

Pop Kids by Davey Havok

Being a huge AFI fan, I could not pass up reading Davey’s first book. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this.

Told from the point of view of Score Massi, Pop Kids tells the sex-driven story of a group of kids and their underground parties in a rural California town.
Obsessed with Pop Culture and looking perfect, Score is a protagonist unlike any other that I have ever read about.

The characters were all pretty likable when they were supposed to be. They all complemented to story well, and even if one was taken out, I feel as though the story wouldn’t have been the same. They all added to the novel, which you don’t always see.
I enjoyed how each character was well developed. I feel like I know a lot about all of them. You start seeing all of the Filmgreats as your friends as you read the book.

I was really pleasantly surprised with how well this book was written. I haven’t read any other fiction novels written by vocalists/songwriters so I thought maybe it would have a bit of a weird pace. But, that did not happen at all. It had a great flow, the chapters were short, and Davey did a great job at keeping my attention the whole way through.

In typical Davey form, there was a lot of attention paid to minor details, which just enhanced the experience. I could tell he wrote it because it was written almost how he talks. It made it even more entertaining for me.

One criticism I have was the ending. It was just really confusing. Score had an interesting way of presenting his thoughts throughout the novel, but the last few pages just didn’t really connect. I couldn’t figure out what was going on or what he was feeling. That being said, I believe that there is going to be a second book, so I hope the ending gets explained a little bit.

There is a lot of slang thrown around, and most people in the book go by two different names. It is hard to put together at the beginning, but it makes more sense as it goes along.

I was very unprepared for this book to be dominated by such a sexual storyline. I was not expecting it. But, even though it was driven by sex, it was not a raunchy book. It had a lot of background storylines going on as well that made the whole book tie together neatly.

4/5. If would be a 5 had the ending made a little more sense.

and I just have to add the image from the back of the book 

Accused: A Retaliation Novel #2 by Yasmin Shiraz

Trigger Warning: This book contains a rape storyline

April 28, 2014

Gravity (Movie Review!)

I am a little late to the party, but I finally watched Gravity.
The previews were always pretty intriguing. I mean, if you are curious as to why a whole movie preview is basically just Sandra Bullock grunting in space. 

This movie should be renamed to “Literally Everything Goes Wrong”
Because that would describe it more than Gravity.

I love Sandra Bullock as an actress. She nails every part. She is hilarious, she can be series (I mean, The Blind Side. ugh perfect).  I love basically every movie she is in (Yes, even The Net). This one really failed to grab me at the beginning, and I couldn’t really tell why it won so many awards.
I am guessing it was either for the suspense of it all or because of how nice it looked. Really, it looked beautiful.
I just didn’t really understand the story line. The whole movie is basically Sandra trying to fix literally everything that has gone wrong.

And then she was making dog noises in space.

The ending also leaves a lot of questions to be answered. It was emotional at times. She mentions having a daughter that had died, but then she was never really brought up again except when her friend died. 

It was an intense movie, but for all of the praise it got, I was expecting it to be better.

April 24, 2014

Travelphan by Ryan Astaphan

Travelphan is a memoir for a mature young adult audience. By mature, I mean there is a lot of sex.

Travelphan documents Ryan’s struggles with injuries and his decision to take a trip to various places overseas including India and China. His intentions are to sort of find himself and try to train to be an athlete again.
The road is not easy, but he keeps his head high and he takes the readers through the good times and the struggles.

It starts off by detailing his life in the states and his experiences with sports. He ultimately ended up injuring his knee multiple times and had to have surgery. It was never the same after that and was pretty weak.
His decision to travel had a lot to do with wanting to get back into shape and start training again.
First, he stops off in India for a spiritual journey. I feel like his stop off here really gave him the mental strength to continue on to China and go through with the training.

Travelphan is written in a journal format. The chapters, or sections, were really short. It made reading a lot easier and more interesting. There were some that weren’t even half a page.
It felt like I picked up his journal right out of his room and started reading it. It was interesting, but I have always liked books that are written like that. Both fiction and non-fiction like this one was.

Despite some of the sexually explicit content, this was actually a very inspiring read. I haven’t torn my ACL, but I do have knee problems, and reading about Ryan pushing through his struggles was inspiring for me to do so as well!
It was fun, it was very interesting at times, and for a YA-directed memoir, it was written pretty well.

Memoirs are interesting because, by the end, you feel as though you really know the author even though you may have never talked to them. Ryan did a good job of presenting himself, his thoughts, and his problems. It was very relatable and could be read by any audience.

I overall enjoyed it, and I am glad that he pursued his dreams to train and ultimately get a book published.

If you enjoy travel or spiritual memoirs, or even just books that read like a personal journal, I would recommend this one.

4/5 Stars

Memorable Quote: "Those who are willing to sacrifice the most will enjoy life’s sweet nectar"

April 16, 2014


I don't think I really need to explain this, the description on their website explains it all. 
Help these kids out so they can have an awesome library to go to and have the opportunity to check out their favorite books!
This is a great site and the merchandise is super awesome. 
If you can't afford to buy anything, please at least click through and share it with other people!


Now I will end with my favorite James Patterson quote:

"There are millions of kids in this country who have never read a book they loved. Never, ever, not one. That's a disaster."

Every little bit helps! Lets keep kids reading!
Thanks everyone, 

April 13, 2014

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Let me start by saying this, I did not know that this book was related to her book Impulse.
Impulse is one of my favorite books, and it is also one of the only ones to make me cry.
So when I figured out that this book was related to Impulse, I felt the impending doom of the situation that originally made me cry. (Conner)

Then… it happened and it broke my heart all over again. She is good at pulling on your heartstrings, that Ellen Hopkins. That’s for sure.

Perfect is about 4 teenagers striving to prove themselves on some level.

Andre – He is a dancer. He loves dancing, and he is really good at it. His parents have other plans for him. He is supposed to go to a good school and get a high paying job. He worries that people will think he is gay if they know of his hobby.

Kendra – She is a model, and she wants to be perfect. She wants the perfect face and the perfect body no matter the cost. She plans on using plastic surgery and not eating as her paths to success. She isn’t healthy. But, if she believes she is perfect, she is okay with that.

Sean – The jock of the group. He is a highly skilled baseball player, and he will do whatever it takes to get even better. The reader gets to see his downward spiral with his use of enhancement drugs as it takes him from a normal teenager to a rage filled monster.

Cara – After dealing with her brother’s failed suicide attempt, her parents expect her to be the perfect one. Once she starts to question her sexuality, she fears that she will not be what everyone wants her to be. Will being happy with Dani be enough for her?

Just like every Hopkins book I have read, this is a really great book telling the story of growing up and finding who you are. It is hardly ever easy, and her books give real insights to what many teenagers face today. Perfect is no different.

I really enjoyed it. All of the characters are different in their own ways, but all of their stories are intertwined.
The character development was great. They all grow and develop while learning more about what life expects from them.

5/5 If you are generally a fan of Ellen Hopkins, or if you are looking for a great YA author, this is a good place to start and a great read.

April 11, 2014

Gravity by Abigail Boyd

Missing girls. A budding romance. And a town that is hiding secrets.

Gravity starts off as just another YA book: A girl protagonist with a best friend who talks about boys and make up.

Then it turns into something a lot deeper.
Ariel’s best friend Jenna goes missing, and no one knows what happened to her.
Not only that, but other girls around town start disappearing as well.

All of a sudden Ariel is tormented by horrible nightmares where she sees blood, Jenna, and other terrifying paranormal creatures.

Ariel makes friends with one of the school’s “outcasts” Theo. She is Ariel’s neighbor, and they begin to spend a lot of time together. She feels a bit guilty making a new friend because Jenna is still missing, but having someone to talk to and relate to is a huge plus for her.

Ariel’s dad runs an art museum in Hell. He loves art and encourages Ariel to take art classes every year. He is excited to meet Theo because she loves to draw and is actually very talented at drawing.

Ariel’s mother has a very time consuming job. When she isn’t working, she is obsessively cleaning the house. She doesn’t allow shoes on the carpet, and has signs up around the house in case anyone forgets.

Henry is the new boy in town. He is drawn to Ariel, but their relationship is a little awkward at first. Ariel has never had a boyfriend, let alone had many guys interested in her. She doesn’t know how to talk to them, so it leads to many awkward interactions.
That was definitely one of my least favorite parts of the book. I felt so much second-hand embarrassment for her it was a struggle to read at times.
As their relationship develops, I found myself really rooting for them.
I feel like there was still some parts left unexplained about Henry. I hope his story is revisited in the next book.
I want to know why his family is so mysterious.

Ariel has a feeling that something not quite normal happened to Jenna. She has always been interested in the occult and other paranormal things – how could you not living in a town called Hell?
She enlists the help of Theo and Henry to conduct a séance at an old orphanage. It is being turned into a haunted house, so they have to try to do it when no one is around.

Things just start getting weirder from there and they don’t know who they can trust.
Ariel’s own father doesn’t believe her when she tells him that she hears THUDs in her walls.

After a fire breaks out at the school, Ariel and Henry decide they must get to the bottom of things. They go searching for a security DVD to see who started the fire. When they find that it is broken, they decide to go to the source of the fire to figure out what was trying to be destroyed.
Will they finally learn what has been happening in Hell?

One thing I really liked about this book was the fact that it didn’t rely on the paranormal aspect to be interesting. The paranormal aspect was one of the main points of the story but it just added depth to an already intriguing plot.
I find that some books can rely too heavily on it to the point where it becomes monotonous and feels like there was no real thought put into the story.
You can tell that there was a lot of thought put into the plot and characters to make this a really strong novel.

As I started getting towards the end, I felt like it sort of lost itself. It seemed as though the book was heading one way, and then decided to turn around and go in a completely opposite direction.
It wasn’t a twist in the story; it was more of how it played out. I thought the end result was going to have a lot more paranormal occurrences to it. It seemed that the book was building up to be that way, but instead it only came to light when Ariel was seeing the dead girls . . . and the THUDing.

4/5 stars. I have to keep in mind that this is book 1 in a series, but I feel like more could have been explained in the end. If it continues into the next book, that is great. But, it did leave this one feeling a little unfinished.

Also, any book that has a strong fall/Halloween theme is likely to win me over somehow. Its my favorite season :D

Things I would hope for in a sequel:
·      Revisiting suspicions surrounding the principal
·      Henry’s family
·      The reference to “one of us” that surrounded the ‘popular’ kids. I feel like it didn’t only mean that they had a lot of money and influence on the town.
·      WHY the girls were going missing.

Memorable Quote: “Take it from me – don’t fall in love so easily. I learned that the hard way. You have to cut that part right out of you.”

Read ahead for spoilers

April 7, 2014

First Love by James Patterson

First Love is not what I would consider a normal Patterson book.
Yes, he has a lot of young adult novels.
Yes, he has some romance novels.
But, this is a cross over between the two, and I didn’t really feel like I was reading a Patterson book at all.

That being said, it was not bad. I actually really enjoyed it.

First Love is basically a new-age Bonnie and Clyde story. Two high school students, Axi and Robinson, decide to leave their small town on the West Coast and travel all over the country.
Doing something like this is completely different for Axi because she is known as a good girl who gets good grades. No one would imagine she would skip the last part of her semester to steal cars and take off around the United States.

That’s right, I said steal cars.

Axi’s original plan was to take a bus from destination to destination. She had the whole trip mapped out, and everything that they would need was packed in her bad.

Robinson had a different idea. If they were going to run away, they were going to go all out. He decides to hotwire a motorcycle as their first vehicle, and they speed away towards their first destination.

Their trip was going great; they were getting closer than ever . . . and falling further in love with each other. Then, the worst thing happened.


Axi and Robinson originally met in the hospital. They both had cancer, and upon deciding to go on this trip, they were both in remission.

But as their trip progressed, they realized Robinson was becoming seriously ill again. The cancer was back, and it wasn’t going to let go of him this time.

This book turned from a happy love story to one of fighting through emotions and finding strength when you only want to fall apart.
It was a roller coaster of emotions, and it was written so well that you didn’t expect what was coming.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it to be a really addicting story. It was hard to put the book down when I started it. That is pretty typical for a Patterson book, but as I said before, I didn’t feel like I was reading a Patterson book.

Overall, it was a really sweet love story and an otherwise crazy plot of two kids on the run from their lives at home.

4/5 stars

Memorable Quote: "Maybe the compulsion to run away was genetic. Mom did it to escape her grief. My dad escapes with alcohol. Now I was doing it . . . and it felt strangely right"