Showing posts with label Young Adult April. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Young Adult April. Show all posts

May 1, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This is one of the most talked about young adult books that are around right now. I just knew that I had to end Young Adult April with it because I seem to be the only person left that has not read it.
I knew the basic premise of the book from hearing about it around the internet, but I didn’t know all of the little details.
I knew that there was a young love story line, and I knew that it was really sad, but I didn’t know why.

The main protagonist, and the character that dictates the novel’s point of view has cancer. More than just that, her lungs are not very strong and they often fill with fluid that has to be drained. Because of this, she has to walk around with an oxygen tank everywhere she goes. This is not very appealing to people that do not understand her relationship, so she has not gotten much attention from the boys.

Then Augustus comes into her life and everything changes. It is almost as though she has something, or someone, to fight for and live for. He understands her and her situation because he also had cancer. He lost a leg from it and has to wear a prosthetic. Even though he is an attractive boy, the fake leg turns off many people.

So, Hazel and Augustus are perfect for each other. They understand each other, and their personalities complement the each other’s perfectly. They even get the other one to read their favorite books. It is a sweet modern day teenage love story, but those can never end easily.

I really liked Hazel. Her attitude was so sarcastic and sassy that it was funny to read at times. It made the book really enjoyable.
Augustus was a sweet and charming young man. He had a way with words that allowed him to charm everyone around him.
They were both extremely likable characters and very quirky in their own ways.

I was really surprised by how short this book was. It made everything feel a bit rushed. There was not really any time for their relationship to form; yet all of a sudden they were in love. It is obviously playing on love at first sight, but even with that, it still felt really rushed. I feel like there could have been more time to develop the story.
Even though I knew what was going to happen in the end, I was not prepared to read it.

And yes, I did cry a little.

4/5 Stars. I wish it would have been a little longer.

Memorable Quotes: "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."

"'Always' was a promise! How can you just break the promise?"

"'That's the thing about pain,' Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. 'It demands to be felt.'"

"I will not tell you our love story, because -- like all real love stories -- it will die with us, as it should."

"'Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.'"

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 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"

April 4, 2014

Dented Cans by Heather Walsh

Dented Cans is the story of Hannah Sampson’s functionally dysfunctional family.

Her father is an accountant. Despite making a fair amount of money, he was very cheap. He also buys dented cans because the prices on they are always marked down, and it gives them a cheaper meal than they would have had before. His is a bit OCD and makes sure everything is spotless. Even the phones are basically soaked in Lysol.

Her mother worked at her little brother’s school. She is very serious. She doesn’t laugh at jokes much, and always seems to have on a straight face.

Hannah’s first mission is to buy a car. She reads the car ads religiously trying to find the right car at the right price to fit her budget. Once she finds one, she must try to talk her parents into letting her buy one. This is no simple task because of how cheap they are with their money.

One dilemma hanging in the air is the family trip to Disney World. The idea is brought up at the beginning of the book, and the two oldest kids – Hannah and Ryan – are not too thrilled about going. They have already been there, but their youngest brother, Ben, was too young to remember.

Ben is now eight years old, but he is different from other kids. He makes a lot of sound effects and doesn’t talk much.

Ryan seems to be a normal teenager, but he is the complete opposite of Hannah academically. Hannah strives for perfect grades, and just getting a B on her report card upsets her. Ryan scrapes by with lower grades and isn’t too concerned when he winds up with a D in Spanish. He claims that the teacher sucks and everyone else got bad grades as well.

They are definitely not a normal family, but they get by.

Then the trip to Disney World finally happens.
Hannah and Ryan do not want to be there. They would rather be off doing their own thing: Ryan – playing some video game, Hannah – studying her SAT vocabulary words.

Ben is sort of indifferent to the whole trip. He enjoys some of it, but most of the time he is off in his own little world.

On the way home, Hannah’s mother reveals a family secret that changes the way the kids view their parents. It is a pretty touching scene but also very sad at the same time.

I enjoyed reading this novel. It made me laugh at times. Hannah’s personality was entertaining at parts, and her conversations with Ryan added some humor as well.

It was a pretty easy read. The chapters were a little lengthy, but they seemed to go by fairly quick.

I could see there being a sequel to this.

4/5 Stars