mercredi 27 janvier 2016

My Kind of Crazy - Robin Reul

Goodreads summary:

Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.

My review:


Talk about a successful read! This was a fun, surprising and interesting book that made me forget all about the real world while I was lost in its universe.

The first thing I noticed about it was how realistic and authentic it was. Instead of reading about an attractive and popular character who's lucky in life, we discover a boy who lives a bit like an outcast, talking to a few people and trying to be unseen by his father most of the time. He doesn't have much luck at all, especially when the only time he's trying to be noticed by someone, a girl he wants to go to prom with, he sets her lawn on fire. I thought it was quite funny, but I could also relate a lot, because who hasn't tried to do something unexpected and ended up ruining it entirely? Hank's reaction was also realistic, which made me like him immediatly. While I can't really say this about everyone in this book, he never pretended to be anyone else and seemed to accept who he was more than most teenagers I know, which I appreciated even more, since his authenticity and sincerity made him easy to seize. 

I know this novel might sound like your typical funny, quirky and cute YA story, it's far from that. It deals with a lot of issues, like mental health, but also ones that we all experience, like lack of communication with relatives or stereotypes. It was very well done and I learned a lot from it. I loved how there was never a "bad guy" in the end, because misunderstandings happen more frequently than we think and it's more realistic like that. I was happily surprised by the absence of the typical cheerleader/jock who's a bully but everyone seems to love anyways (I don't know about you, but while tons of YA novels have these characters, I've never met such stereotypical people), because it seems like all the characters in this book are more than they appear to be (just like most human beings).

I had a really nice time reading this book and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a lot of people!

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


mardi 26 janvier 2016

Blood, Ink & Fire - Ashley Mansour

Goodreads summary:

Imagine a world without books…
In the future, books are a distant memory. The written word has been replaced by an ever-present stream of images known as Verity. In the controlling dominion of the United Vales of Fell, reading is obsolete and forbidden, and readers themselves do not—cannot—exist.
But where others see images in the stream, teenager Noelle Hartley sees words. She’s obsessed with what they mean, where they came from, and why they found her.

Noelle’s been keeping her dangerous fixation with words a secret, but on the night before her seventeenth birthday, a rare interruption in the stream leads her to a mysterious volume linked to an underworld of rebel book lovers known as the Nine of the Rising. With the help of the Risers and the beguiling boy Ledger, Noelle discovers that the words within her are precious clues to the books of the earlier time—and as a child of their bookless age, she might be the world’s last hope of bringing them back.

Blood, Ink & Fire is a gripping, evocative tale that asks, who would we be without books?

My review:


This book made me shiver only by reading its summary. As someone who reads every day except for a few day-long reading slumps, I can't even imagine not being able to read. I knew I had to read this book to see what it could be like.

While the part about not being able to read was clear, the rest of this universe was pretty vague. I couldn't get an idea of what the world looked like, how it's ruled or how life in general is. We only see a day in Noelle's normal life before she's thrown into this big adventure to take Fell down, which doesn't let us really see what it's like to live with Verity, the program that watches them and tells them what to do and when to do it. I know we learn what immersion does to the population, but I couldn't really understand how Valers agreed to do it, because it didn't seem like it was really explained to them. Also, many things are different from our society, but I can't really see the explanation behind them, because they don't seem like improvement to me. I wish I had been able to learn more about this interesting world, because it looked like a poor imitation of The Giver's to me (sorry, but I had to say it).

There were a few characters that I really liked, like John, but I feel like we should've seen more of them. I think the big problem here is the fact that it starts pretty much into the action of this story instead of showing a bit more normalcy before truly beginning. This also made it hard for me to believe that Noelle would leave her house like she does after receiving John's gift in the very beginnning, because the instructions it contained weren't really clear to me and I would never expect someone who lives in a world strict like hers to do everything she does in order to meet her friend for an unknown reason. It was very brave of her, since she risked pretty much everything when she did that, but I think there should've been more of a build-up leading to that.

I loved many parts about books and "boolos", which is the word used to refer to book lovers. It's the whole reason why I read this book, so I hoped there would be some and I was glad to discover a couple of them. Noelle's ability to read was fun to read about, especially when she first started reading, because it impacted her a lot and she loved it from the very beginning. In that way, I could see a lot of myself in her.

Many readers could find an amazing book in this, because it certainly has great ideas. It might not sound like it in this review, but I actually had a nice time reading it, so I would recommend it to people who aren't too picky about world building in dystopian novels.

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


lundi 25 janvier 2016

The Boyfriend League - Rachel Hawthorne

Goodreads summary:

The Ragland Rattlers

$1 Night

$1 baseball cap with home team logo
$1 program
$1 hot dogs
$1 drinks
$1 popcorn

But how much to get the hot pitcher to notice you exist?

My review:


Sooooo cute! I still don't understand a thing about baseball, but I'm pretty sure it's because I'm a lost cause.

This is a really fun and nice book to relax yourself. I loved the characters, their chemistry, their passion for baseball and the interesting plot. While I must say I didn'f really like the idea that started the story, which was to find a boyfriend for Dani and her best friend, I liked seeing their characters develop and realize that their initial plan had some flaws. They started as kind of superficial, since all they cared about was having a boyfriend, no matter who he was, but actually getting one made them grow a lot and I enjoyed reading about them. There's also development when it comes to Dani's family, since she sees her sister as a superficial beauty pageant when the story begins, but she realizes there's a depth in her she had never suspected.

I've seen this many times, but I love reading about passionate characters. Whether it's about music, literature, arts, sports or maths, I'm often inspired by passionate people. I loved reading a baseball themed book, even though I could never share this passion, but I must admit I wish I had seen a bit more of this passion in Dani. While she talks about how she has baseball posters in her room and how she used to play with her dad, it all seems to stop when she starts thinking about having a boyfriend, because all she can think about then are beautiful abs, arms and faces. I know she's a fan of the sport, but I don't think it's well represented.

I thought Dani and Jason's relationship was adorable. It's very realistic and I could see their chemistry pretty much from the beginning. I love that they have so many things to talk about and that they care a lot about each other ever since they met. I do wish their relationship had been a bit less parent-friendly, because although it was the best thing to do, it felt a bit too perfect for me (parents-wise) and it left me kind of frustrated (which is the big deal, haha!).

I had a really nice time reading this book and I'm definitely still a fan of Rachel Hawthorne!


mercredi 13 janvier 2016

Something Real (Something Real #1) - Heather Demetrios

Goodreads summary:

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

My review:



Well, let's just say it was really stupid to wait so long before reading it.

I'd avoided reading despite loving Heather Demetrios's other novel, I'll Meet You There, because I don't really like reading about celebrities. Authenticity is one of the qualities I value the most, so I was afraid I would be faced with characters that didn't have any, but I couldn't have been more wrong. While I can't say that with Chloe's mom and her stepfather, the rest of the family and their friends were some of the most realistic and amazing characters I've read about. Some, such as Lexie, start off as superficial characters, but I realized later that it was just a way to protect themselves from the horrible life they're living. I sincerely love all of them and I'm going to start reading The Lexie Project right now to see more of them.

I loved seeing Chloe grow. I loved her from the beginning, but it was evident that she had issues bigger than her anxiety and depression (which are both portrayed very realistically). She struggles to be brave and she has a tendency to run away from her problems, which she grows out of in this book. I absolutely loved her determination at the end of the book, which made her such a fierce and inspiring character. While it might sound crazy, there were times when I could really relate to her, even though I'm the farthest from being a celebrity you can be. I understood her and I despised so many character that this was probably an unheathly read for me, but I guess we all love to channel our anger into fictional characters once in a while.

The only slight issue that I had with this book was the love aspect. While I loved Patrick's determination, his protection and his love for Choe, I struggled to seize him as a character. He was very confusing to me and although I loved him for how important he is to the main character, I couldn't like him as an individual. Since this isn't a love story, it's not that important in this book, but after loving the romance in I'll Meet You There, I couldn't help but be disappointed a little.

I got much more out of this book than I expected, so I would absolutely recommend it to everyone. Don't wait so long like I did!


Lying Out Loud (The DUFF #2) - Kody Keplinger

Goodreads summary:

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with - secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross. Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand - a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually 'like' him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

My review:


OOOOOOOH I ACTUALLY LOVED THIS! I've been meaning to read this for a long time, but I never got around to it. I'm glad I finally did!

As someone who values authenticity and honesty, I knew this book could be something I either love or despise. I was seriously hoping that I wouldn't read about a shallow character who never improves, but I knew from The Duff that Kody Keplinger is great with character development, which is why I went into this book not too scared. I didn't really understand Sonny's lying habit at first, which annoyed me, but this book was so addicting that it didn't even matter to me. I'm glad that this whole crazy thing about pretending to be Amy when she's talking to Ryder online started out as an honest mistake, because I don't think I could've taken it if it had just been out if jealousy or a joke.

I loved Sonny and Ryder's banter. Their chemistry is evident and I loved seeing them realize they had been wrong about the other person. They're both interesting characters with an interesting (to say the least) relationship and I can see why they want to be together, unlike some YA novels. They both help each other out and it makes a major improvement on their lives. Since I loved their relationship so much, I found it hard to continue reading at some point, because I had no idea how it could end well and I was kind of terrified.

I broke down when I learned Sonny's story. I knew something huge must have happened to her to make her want to lie so much, but I never really knew what to expect. Her dad being in prison was already something big, but I didn't expect to be so affected by her story. I cried and cried and cried, but I think this part of the story might have been my favourite. I couldn't stop reading and I loved how Amy and Sonny tried to save their friendship. I had hated how Sonny had been treating her best friend, but I know for a fact that it made both of them grow up a lot and I loved them even more at the end of the story.

In this book, you won't find a perfect, lovable character with an amazing life, but sometimes, it's even better that way.


vendredi 8 janvier 2016

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

Goodreads summary:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

My review:



I absolutely loved the pace of this book, because it made me crave for more all of the time. I felt like it was a video game, because I could never stop reading, just like you can't stop playing. It was a surreal experience between reading and playing that made me experience the story as if I had been playing instead of Wade. I think this is going to make the best movie ever.

I adored all the references, even though I must've known less than half of them. The author is as big of a fan of old movies, songs, TV shows and video games as Wade himself, which makes the reading experience incredible. I just love reading books from authors who know their stuff, and this was definitely one of them.

I think this book has amazing characters. The top players had an amazing chemistry and the battle scene was absolutely insane. I found myself loving their friendship (or more) and I wish I could read more about them, because they're just so smart and nice and incredible. I want them as my new best friends, basically.

Overall, this is freaking amazing. I would highly recommend this book.