Book Review: How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? by Yvonne Cassidy

how many letters are in goodbye.jpg
How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? | Yvonne Cassidy | Jan 1, 2014
Hachette/Flux Books | 432 Pages | eGalley provided by Publisher

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Rhea Farrell carries the scars of a childhood accident in which she lost her arm. But she also carries scars that aren’t so visible–the loss of a mother she hardly remembers, the impact of her father’s drinking, and her confusion and pain around accepting her sexuality.


When Rhea runs away, she turns to the person she always wished she could confide in–her mother. And just like she used to do as a little girl, Rhea starts to write her letters–to tell her things she can’t tell anyone else, to share her fears, to ask for help. Rhea’s journey on the streets of New York brings her deeper into her mother’s past where she uncovers buried family secrets. And as she finds out more about the woman her mother truly was, Rhea also discovers just what kind of woman she wants to be.

Review:

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be a homeless teen living on the streets of NYC in the years before the internet? What about a queer homeless teen? Or maybe a queer homeless teen with one arm? And she’s an orphan?

There’s a lot to think about in this book, as the main character Rhea has been through some major hardships. Her childhood was not exactly perfect, but when she has to give it up to live with her Aunt in Florida, she does not adapt well. She resents . . . well . . . almost everyone. When conflict erupts in her Aunt’s Florida home, Rhea sets out for NYC in search of answers and independence.  Continue reading Book Review: How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? by Yvonne Cassidy

Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Soundless_FTcover.indd
Soundless | Richelle Mead | On Sale Since Nov 10, 2015
Razorbill | 272 Pages | ARC Provided by Publisher

Synopsis:

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.


 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.


 

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.


 

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

Review:

Continue reading Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Reading Recap: What I’ve Been Reading, Part 1

So as I mentioned before, I got so behind on writing reviews on what I’ve been reading since last summer, I decided not to do them. Instead, here are some brief thoughts on what I’ve read since May.

41zqsqlcxtl

Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg

When I got this book at BEA, I actually didn’t realize that it was fiction. So many memoirs have come out recently that I guess I just assumed… Anyway, it’s a collection of stories by famous actor Jesse Eisenberg. It’s his first book, and though I was a bit worried at first, Eisenberg really comes through on these stories. The first group, I have to admit, is my favorite – “Restaurant Reviews From a Privileged Nine-Year-Old”. The stories are every bit as tongue-in-cheek witty as you’d expect from Eisenberg, and I have to say, sometimes too intelligent for my lazy brain to figure out (it’s a good thing we studied Marx in literary theory). Definitely give this collection a look.

Honor-Girl-by-Maggie-Thrash-on-BookDragon.jpg

Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

Maggie Thrash – what an awesome name – is a contributor at Rookie Magazine, and this is her first book. It’s a graphic novel memoir, and it was getting some buzz before BEA. Its tagline is “All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak.” Not having read many YA memoirs, much less YA memoirs about LGBT teens, this book instantly piqued my interest. I really enjoyed reading it. I love Thrash’s sense of humor. The only thing is that I thought the ending, though realistic, kinda left me hanging.

23830990

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This is one I really regret not writing a review for. The ARC I got opened with the most gorgeous letter from Patrick Ness, going into how he appreciates Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but never felt like Buffy. Moreover, he never felt like one of the Scoobies, either. He felt ordinary, like the majority of Sunnydale was (I guess, character-wise, that makes him Jonathan – but without the evil). So already, I’m thinking YES! This book is going to be THE BEST! Anything inspired by or related to Buffy has high chances of being the best, in my opinion. So every chapter opens with a sentence or two detailing what the “indie” kids were up to while the book’s plot is occurring – burning down the gymnasium, fighting evil, etc. Honesty, this was a great book to read following Night Vale, as I did. It’s weird, but in toned-down ways that Night Vale is not interested in. Deer with glowing eyes? Yeah, that happens – but then the characters go on with their lives. I would have liked this book a lot less, it’s possible, without that intro about Buffy. But there’s no doubt that Ness is a gifted writer, so go pick this up next chance you get, Buffy fans!

24885636

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Anything with Westerfeld’s name on it gets my attention. So this book, as far as I can remember, is about a group of teens with special abilities. When one of the group’s members gets caught up in a bank robbery, they all have to band together, and in the process they find another teen with an ability. Let me tell you, keeping all of these characters and their abilities straight was not easy. I actually had to make a list to reference as the chapters and narrators changed. It’s a good book, but long, and I wasn’t blown away by it. I’ll be interested to see how the next book in the series turns out, as the characters grow and the authors learn the best ways to work together.

24396876

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

This book was a finalist for the National Book Awards. It’s about a traumatized girl named Suzy, whose childhood best friend died in an accident. Suzy goes searching for answers, and in the process discovers how awesome and deadly jellyfish can be. Told at the beginning of Suzy’s middle school education, this middle grade novel grapples with the all too common issue, what happens when close childhood friends grow apart? It’s a very good book, I highly recommend it. Suzy’s voice is unique and interesting; I hardly put it down from start to finish.

Note: all of the books on this post were ARCs provided to me for free.

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer + GIVEAWAY

8193fkw+5wL
Winter | Marissa Meyer | Feiwel and Friends
832 Pages | Paperback (via Book Depository) | Purchased

Synopsis:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Review:

I’ve previously blogged about my experiences reading the previous books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. In short, I think they’re awesome, especially the Chronicles’ first book. Continue reading Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer + GIVEAWAY

Book Review | Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Book Review (6)

Lois Lane: Fallout coverTitle: Lois Lane: Fallout
Author: Gwenda Bond
Publisher: Switch Press
Pub Date: May 1, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Source: Purchased
Synopsis: Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy

Review:

First thing I need to say is that I was a huge fan of Smallville back when its reruns ran on abc family. The show featured the transformation of awkward (yet ridiculously handsome) farmboy Clark Kent into our All-American hero: Superman. Lois Lane eventually enters the storyline, but she does not immediately become a love interest for Clark. So when I heard about this revamp of the bustling Metropolis, home of The Daily Planet, it went right on my list. Continue reading Book Review | Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Spotlight On A Favorite: TFIOS

Yep, you read that correctly, folks – I actually like The Fault in Our Stars. This should have been semi-evident upon seeing my blog title and icon, both fashioned in the same basic style of the book cover and promotional graphics. It’s one of my favorite things.

But you know what? I would be downright terrified to admit that this is one of my favorite books if I were sitting in a classroom with my peers. So much negativity surrounds John Green, largely because of his massive online presence (vlogbrothers, crash course, mental floss, twitter, tumblr, et al.) and the fans of the original vlogbrothers YouTube account, Nerdfighters. The video blogging account which John shares with his brother has over 6 million subscribers. In the eyes of the critical, this gives John’s books an unfair advantage at success. In addition, many nerdfighters are teens themselves, and many skeptics have pointed out that these viewers are at an age where they have less experience at living than adults. Obviously true.

Continue reading Spotlight On A Favorite: TFIOS

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaI don’t even know where to begin in order to do this book justice, you guys. It’s freaking good, in all the ways you would expect it to be and more.

This book comes out on MARCH 24, 2015
link to preorder (in addition, amazon kindle is offering the first seven chapters for FREE right now! See, now there’s no good excuse not to check out this title after you read my review.)

So most of the plot takes place in a juvenile detention center for young women, narrated by Amber, an inmate. In between chapters, we switch to Vee’s narrative, a competitive ballet dancer getting ready to head to Julliard to study her craft. And Vee’s former best friend Ovi becomes the connecting fiber between the two locations when she enters the detention center after a horrific incident with Vee – an incident we know almost nothing about, except vaguely that someone ended up in jail.

Continue reading The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Okay, so I’ve been super excited for this book since I heard what it’s about. Also, since seeing the friendly twitter sparring between @scottwesterfeld and @realjohngreen (because John is written into the book – and those parts always made me smirk knowingly because they were so accurate). I put off buying it until the Texas Teen Book Festival, which was so fun and Scott was a dear to work with as a volunteer. I’m pretty sure this book is my soulmate.

Afterworlds is actually two books. (For the price of one!) One narrative line follows Darcy, a fresh new YA author who moves to New York City after signing with a publisher for her first book. The other line is Darcy’s book, Afterworlds.

For an English major with an interest in pursuing book publishing for Young Adult fiction in NYC, this book was everything I could ever have wanted – it was eerie how well it fit into my life. I actually found myself reading slower and slower because I did not want for it to end. So, can someone give me $100,000 so I can live in a $3,500/mo loft in Manhattan? Sounds like a dream. Darcy really had it made.

Continue reading Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola came in the mail two days ago, and I am not the same now that I’ve finished it. Yet another Stephanie Perkins book that kept me up well into the night because I refused to go to sleep until I had read to the end.

Continue reading Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins