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Faking Normal

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Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: February 25, 2014

Rating: 5/5

 

The story follows a girl named Alexi who is trying to live her life after a traumatic event happened to her during a summer party at her house. It starts at a funeral for a classmates mother and it takes off after that, going along with her in school as a teenager. It left me feeling raw, because I got so absorbed into Lex’s issues and her pain after what happened to her, that when it ended I just wasn’t prepared.

This book is absolutely fantastic, heartbreaking and amazingly real. Courtney Stevens is a fantastic author, and her novel was just so well written. I was blown away, and this is my favorite book so far this year! Hands down! I loved how she described the trauma that happened to Lex, she didn’t make it so dramatic that it was not believable, she slowly revealed the story, and dropped the bomb on you like WOAH…woah. She lead you to believe that it was someone, then it ended up being someone I never expected it to be. I felt sad that Lex had to resort to what she does when she gets panicky and upset. I just wanted to hug her, because her vulnerably really hit me.

I just also wanted to express my hate for Lex’s sister Kayla.

HATED her for most of the story, and when Lex revealed what happened, that was when I actually started to like her.

I felt that she took the right steps towards revealing her situation to her sister and her sister took the right path in handling it.

Hayden was also a character I didn’t like too much, because he was a jerk. Some of the things he did were a bit mean, and low, and it made me dislike him. I also didn’t like how he talked to her, his attitude towards her at times just annoyed me.

But as a side-note, this isn’t a criticism of Courtney’s writing, just a character! It basically makes me love her writing even more because I got so into the book that I started hating characters!

Bodee was one of my favorite characters throughout the story! He was such a sweetheart, and I loved his protective nature towards Alexi, and I loved reading about their different ways to deal with their different situations, in terms of showing their anxiety, or finding their strength.

One of the last parts of the book that got to me was Heather. I didn’t like her very much because of her ability to get Lex to do what she wanted without consideration for her wants and feelings. She was determined to set up Lex despite Lex’s feelings towards not wanting that. But it made me sad that Lex felt the need to follow what Heather wanted. Lastly, I didn’t like Heather’s attitude toward Bodee in many parts of the book, mainly because I felt bad for him after what he went through.

But anyways, amazing book, highly recommend and I definitely will read this book again sometime soon! This book will definitely stay with me for months to come!

 

 

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Between the Lines

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Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Publisher: Simon Pulse Simon Schuster

Published: June 26, 2012

Rating: 5/5

This book is about a teenager named Delilah, who is obsessed with a children’s book titled Between the Lines. The prince in the story, Prince Oliver one day starts speaking to her, and it turns out he hates his literary world he’s trapped in, and wants a way out. He wants more than that is out there for him, more than the destiny that is set out for him in the pages of the children’s book. The story follows their relationship after he starts talking to her.

What a great book! This was my first time reading anything by Jodi Picoult and it blew me out of the water! This book was really cute, and I loved the idea of book characters coming to life. It was cute, and I loved the plot it added to this story. Oliver and Delilah are now two of my all time favorite literary characters, and the lengths they were going to to bring Oliver to life, it just made me fall in love with them even more.

I read this book in about 8 hours and I did not want it to end at all! I wish it kept going and going! I felt for Delilah in a way, because she really wanted Oliver to be there with her, and they had such a struggle trying to figure out a way to be together.

I loved the dual point of views plus the little excerpts from the story book. I felt that they added so much depth to the story and the world. The pictures going along with the fairy tale story were stunning, the artwork was perfect and again it gave me and the readers a better idea of the world and the characters featured in it. I wish more stories had illustrations, especially fantasy novels! Some of them really need them and they really add such character to the story and books.

I also loved the character of Edgar, and his choice in the end of the book. It was the perfect moment and it showed how great of a person he is. I can’t wait to read the companion book and see where his journey goes.

Let me know if you’ve read this one as well as the companion novel Off the Page! I want to hear your thoughts about it!

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A Court of Thorns and Roses

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Published: May 5, 2015

Rating: 5/5

Let me just start this off by saying I this is now on my top 5 lists of favorite books of all time. Literally of all time. I fell head over heels in love with this book and I cannot get over it! I have moments where I grab it and just read parts of it over again because it hasn’t left my mind! I cannot wait for the next one and I need it in my hands like now!!

For those that don’t know, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It follows the story of Feyre, a 19 year old young woman living with her family. She does a lot of the hunting for the family to provide for them, and on one of those trips, she kills a wolf who turns out to be one of the fae, and is taken by Tamlin, who is a ruler over the faeries, and is forced to live with him.

She learns soon about the trouble that looms over the faeries and she has to find a way to stop it from happening, or she risks losing Tamlin forever.

And oh my gosh does she find a way!

I loved her time with Tamlin, I enjoyed reading that part of the story. But I really REALLY enjoyed her time with Amarantha, who you find out about later in the story, and her adventures in finding a way to break the curse that surrounds Tamlin and his people. I just could not put the book down, and I never wanted it to end. When we got to the end and all that stuff went down…woah! Blew me out of the water! But it also gave me a case of the feels because oh my gosh! All I’ll say is that Tamlin is just amazing! What gave me the feels was who he was doing. The ending left me wishing it was already May because I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Sarah’s writing is just fantastic and it flows easily, but it keeps you hanging on every word she writes. The journey she takes us on is just one that stays with you for awhile, and it forces you to keep reading to find out what happens after each chapter and each event. I loved that it wasn’t cheesy in the romance, that it seemed realistic while being fantasy.

I highly recommend this book! You won’t regret reading it! Trust me!

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Magonia

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Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: April 2015

Rating: 5/5

First things first let me just say how amazing this book cover is! Probably the most beautiful book cover I have ever seen. When I saw the birds coming out of the feather I didn’t understand at first, but I realized as I was reading the book that they make perfect sense! Love that they incorporated them into the cover somehow.

Now onto the book!

This book was ABSOLUTELY spectacular!

I did not want it to end, nor did I want to put it down! I fell in love with Aza and Jason right off the bat! They’re relationship as friends is great, and I was so happy with their friendship through the book.

The book starts off with us learning about Aza and a mysterious disease she has that is almost like asthma in terms of her not being able to breath at times, as well as difficulty catching her breathe. No one seems able to find a cure for is, so the disease is named after her. We’re left wondering what she has, and the mystery of it all hooks you in!

She is taken up to a place called Magonia, after certain events in the book which take her away from her world to one in the clouds. A ship to be specific. And I was blown away! Her description about the different characters, the action taking place above skies on flying ships, and the locations were beautiful, and I found myself rooting for a certain character in Aza’s new life, and I got so invested in everything happening that when I read what the character was really doing, I got so angry! And for a while I got mad at a character named Dai for a few pages, but you’ll find out about that towards the end of the book! But I love the idea of what they can create with air and weather when the Magonians sing. Aza shows perfectly what they can create when they put their minds to it, it was amazing to read about.

I thought it was great that Headley added a lesbian couple to her story. They weren’t gross or anything, very sweet and in love, but also subtle. It was a great way to include it, and I hope in the next book we will learn more about them and see more interactions.

This book reminded me of Treasure Planet and really made me anting to see it, so I did excessively! If you’re a fan of that kind of stuff, with space pirates, and flying ships and fantasy creatures, you’ll devour this book! I highly recommend this book, even if you’re not into fantasy that much, the writing is beautiful and the world is amazing, the last chapter left me wanting more, I really wished the second book was done because I just want to get my hands on it. Look out in the future for a review on that book when I get it. I know it’ll be as amazing as the first one.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this before, I want to hear your thoughts about it!

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After the End & Until the Beginning

After the End and Until the Beginning by Amy Plum

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: May 6th, 2014 & May 5th, 2015

Rating: 5/5

 

After the End and Until the Beginning take place in present time, starting in Alaska and ending in New Mexico with magical elements. Juneau travels from Alaska to Seattle when she gets back to camp to find her clan missing. She lives in a clan that has been isolated from the world, and has been lead to believe that a World War III has happened so wiped out most of society, only to find out it hasn’t. She has this ability to connect with nature, and I would describe her as a shaman. She meets Miles, who is a trouble teen who wants to help his father, while also gaining his father’s approval and love.

Until the beginning picks up where After the End left off, and I loved the adventure and her continued journey to get her clan back and to help them escape. When the man who captured them revealed his intentions and his reason for needing her, my jaw dropped! It dropped so many times in these books with all the reveals that happened but this one I was like woah! Threw me for a loop! You find out much about people’s intentions for her and you’re just shocked because it really wasn’t what you’re expecting.

I have found one of my new favorite book series of all time. I was blown away by how into these two books I became after I read the first one and once I finished the second one as well! I was dying for more and to find out what happens once the ending happens! I’m happy where it ended for the stories sake, but because I’m obsessed with these books and characters I just need to read more! Once you read them, you’ll understand and you’ll get hooked! I couldn’t put them down, and once I got to a certain point in Until the Beginning, I didn’t want it to end since I knew once I finished, it’d be over, so I took a little longer to read that book than I did with After the End.

My favorite part of the book was Juneau’s character and personality. I love her drive and her focus, she was just amazing. And the sacrifices that she did in order to do what she had to do to save her tribe, made me admire her even more.

Id love to hear your thoughts on these books, let me know how you liked them both separately and as a whole duology! These books definitely make me more interested in her work, and I highly recommend these books to everyone!

 

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Wither

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Wither by Lauren Destefano

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: March 22nd 2011

Rating: 5/5

 

So I absolutely loved this book, way more than I thought I would have. I haven’t heard much about this book but what I have heard have been ‘meh’ reviews. People seemed to like it but not loved it. I loved it! The main character Rhine is one of the three wives that have been Gathered to marry a man named Linden. Cecily and Jenna are the other wives. Cecily is 13 and the youngest out of the three, and she also was the more willing of the wives. I think that was a bit weird for me, and took me a little longer to get used to.

But anyways, with the wives it was interesting to see their different personalities and their growth. Cecily really is the one that changes the most in this book. She starts out as a bubbly 13 year old and evolves into a worn down 14 year old. Jenna to me had the saddest backstory. In a way they all have sad back stories, but hers was the one that made me the most sad.

Going back to Rhine, she is a great great character! I loved her strength and her determination that she never lets go of during her stay with Linden. All she wants to do is get back to her twin brother, and throughout her time with Linden and her sister wives, she doesn’t let go of her want and need to leave to find him. She was very strong after all that happened to her in her situation, and I love that Lauren always seem to write characters with such strength in their personality.

I am hoping to finish the next two book sometime soon, I am excited to see where the next book take Rhine and Gabriel! Highly recommend it! The world was amazing and something I haven’t read very much. The world is a modern world, but very dystopian. The only continent left is North America, and when they tried to cure cancer, they altered the ages of men and women. Women only age until 20 and men until 25 years old. Because of this, men have been taking many wives to keep their lineage alive. I was sucked in from the first page, and it didn’t let me go until the very end.

Let me know if you’ve read this book, and the trilogy! I’d love to hear if you’ve like the trilogy, and how you liked it!

 

 

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Reading Party

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So my best friend came over and we had a READING PARTY! I went and picked her up from the Sprinter station (it’s a small train that goes through cities in my area), and she came over, we set up snacks (not pictured) and just read! We read for a few hours while listening to Scooby Doo Where Are you? in the background. She brought her Nook which has like hundreds of books, as well as Throne of Glass which I got her for Christmas this year. I finished Wither and got a decent way into Scarlet which I started a bit ago.

I think this kind of thing is something we’ll be doing in the future since we’re both big bookworms and enjoy doing things such as sitting for hours and reading. I might do this with other friends who enjoy reading as well since it lets us just relax, read, and maybe get other things done.

This I know won’t be the last post about reading parties I do so stay tuned for more in the future! Do you all do reading parties? Let me know in the comments!