Monday, June 30, 2014

June Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I am excited to share with you all my June Wrap-Up! If you are not familiar with a wrap-up, basically, this is where I share the books I have read this month and my thoughts on them.

Let's get started!

In the month of June, I read a total of  20 books. I am pretty proud of that, considering the fact that I have exams in school and other projects that needed to be done. I managed to get 2 series started and finished as well!


The first book that I read in June was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. And can I just say that this was an amazing way to start the month.

Basically, the story is about a girl named Cath and her twin sister Wren. Cath writes fan fiction and the girls are currently in their first year of college. The story follows their lives, both at college and at home with their workaholic dad.

I really really enjoyed this book. If you are concerned that with a name like fangirl its gonna be too "fangirlish" don't worry, its not. Most of the story is focusing on college and home life, and to be honest, the passages from the "Simon Snow" books, I just skipped right over. I didn't feel the need to read that part. I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads because I felt these passages weren't necessary and I wasn't a huge fan of the ending.





Next up, I read The Treatment by Suzanne Young, which is the sequel to The Program. I thought this was an amazing conclusion to this duology.

Without giving too much away, because this is a sequel, its about a world where suicide is an epidemic, affecting almost everyone from ages 13-17. The story follows Sloane and James, two teens who have experienced great loss and are expected to hold it together, otherwise they will be sent to The Program to be "cured." 

I loved this book. And the fact that this series is just the two books, shows that a story doesn't need 3 books to make it a great story. There is the end of the book, and then an epilogue with shows the character's lives afterwards. Overall, a 5/5 stars on Goodreads.




Next I read Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. I picked this one up for a bargain price, not really knowing what it was about.

I really had a hard time getting into this book. It was definitely not what I am used to reading. The language used was very 1990s and I had trouble relating to the characters who's lives were shown from grade two to grade eight. Maybe it's just because I am used to the 2014 YA novels but I found the characters childish and even when they were talking about life as a teenager, I still pictured them as a couple of 8 year olds. I think some of my "favourite" lines were when a character was referred to as "a complete doofus" and how one character didn't know "diddly-squat" I realize that this book was published a few decades back, but I honestly was surprised by the lack of profanity! The concept wasn't terrible but it wasn't well delivered. I found what seemed like important parts cut short and unimportant parts dragged out.





After Flipped, I needed some rough and tough YA fiction! I picked up Arclight and Meridian by Josin L. McQuein.

The story is about a girl who finds her self across the wall of light that no one ever crosses, and doesn't remember anything. 

Its sad because I found myself really wanting to love this book because it was basically a strict cover buy. Ashamedly, I admit that I loved the cover and thought the story looked interesting. In short, it was a bland, confusing story that couldn't really keep my attention. I had a hard time picturing the world and there wasn't a ton of details in that regard. On the cover, Pittacus Lore (author of the I Am Number Four series) said it was "Powerful and gripping" and I am forced to ask myself, did we read the same book? I found it neither powerful nor gripping.

I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads. It was okay, but I didn't love it.

Now, I also read Meridian by Josin L. McQuein. You might be asking, well, if you didn't like the first one, why would you buy the sequel. Well friends, because I did the awful deed of buying them at the same time! I know, you shouldn't do that unless you know you will love the first book. Well I am sorry. But I just got off reading The Program and I bought that one buy itself and didn't buy the sequel The Treatment and I was in agony those few days in between (I bought it online) and I didn't want this to be a repeat of that experience. 

Anyways, the second one was okay AGAIN! I was annoyed by the dual perspective that was in the second but not the first and it drug on. Another 3/5 stars on Goodreads.





After Arclight and Meridian, I needed something I knew I would like. So, I picked up Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.

This story follows a girl named Harper Price who becomes a Paladin and is tasked in protecting her sworn enemy.

I actually have a review posted for this book here, but I really loved this book. 

I gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads and would 100% recommend it to anyone. It was funny, witty, heart wrenching, and just awesome!

Also, upon finishing it, I found out that it is part of a SERIES! Ahh! I am so excited to read the other books when they come out!





Next this month I read Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King. I really liked this book, it was my first A.S. King book and I am really excited to read more from her in the near future.



Basically the story follows Vera, an eighteen-year old girl who is left in the aftermath of her best friend, Charlie's death. The story alternates between their childhood and "present day."

I also  have a full review for this book in this post and I gave it a 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

I would recommend this book to everyone! It was funny and witty and heart wrenching and ahh just amazing!






After that, I read Every Day by David Levithan. I feel like this book was good, but I felt like Levithan was trying too hard to push his views on the reader.

To give you a basic idea, this book follows a "soul" named A (yes, just A) who inhabits peoples bodies, a new one every day (hence the title). One day, A inhabits a boy named Justin and ends up falling for his girlfriend Rhiannon. Problem is, come midnight, A will be in a different body.

Now the premise of this book was good, but I couldn't help feel like Levithan was pushing his views on sexual orientation on the reader. It seemed like every time he could, he shoved something about being gay and being accepted into society at every chance he got. I am not against his views, I just felt like it was extremely overbearing at some points.

A 4/5 stars on Goodreads.





Once I finished Every Day I felt like I needed something a little more, fun and upbeat. So I picked up This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. And while some parts weren't super upbeat, the book was really good and the main character is very relatable.

The story follows 15-year old Elise. She has no friends and is the butt of every joke at school. Until one night, she stumbles upon a secret warehouse club. She meets a girl in a band who accepts her, a cute, yet mysterious DJ and a carefree spirit from England. Most importantly, Elise discovers a love for DJing.

This was a great book. It is one of those underrated yet amazing books. It dealt with everything from self-harm to first loves and every other teenage issue in between.

I gave this one a 5/5 stars on Goodreads and I would recommend it to everyone!







Next up, I was still in the mood for some contemporary, so I picked up Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler. This was my first Sarah Ockler book and I loved it!

The story follows a girl named Delilah and her life is kind of falling apart. Then, one summer she returns to the family home she hasn't been to in 7 years because of a falling out that no one in the family will talk about. Surrounded by these lies, Delilah experiences new friendships, an unexpected romance and a classic tale of self-discovery.

I really loved this book. It was a short read but it was very gripping and well written. I gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads.





After a few contemporaries, I felt like I could tackle a major dystopian series. I picked up The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and then the prequel The Kill Order by James Dashner. I don't really know how I felt about this series.

Without spoiling too much, the series focuses on Thomas as his experiences in the Glade and his life afterwards.

I felt that the series overall was just okay. I don't regret reading it, and once you get through the first half of the first book, it picks up fairly quickly. That being said, I give The Maze Runner 3/5 stars and The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and The Kill Order 4/5 stars.





After I finished The Maze Runner series, I needed something lighter. I decided to reread The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I know this isn't the lightest book, but I had been meaning to reread it and it was one of the only unread contemporaries that I had.

If you don't know what this is about (although they like made a movie and everything, are you living under a rock??) it follows a girl named Hazel who has terminal cancer. She lives life everyday the best she can, until she meets Augustus Waters.

I really liked this book. I know some people love it, and others hate it. Honestly, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if you think it something you would like, then read it. Otherwise, skip it.

I gave my reread a 4/5 stars on Goodreads. which is a little higher than when I read it originally. Maybe it was the hype that made me like it more, I don't know. Nonetheless, I really liked it!







After TFiOS, I was ready to tackle my next big dystopian trilogy that I had waiting for me. And that  trilogy was The Partials Sequence, consisting of Partials, Fragments, and finally Ruins, all by Dan Wells.

The basic idea of the story is about how humanity is falling apart after a war with the  Partials, engineered organic beings identical to humans, and how this war has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus that is seemingly incurable called RM, 16-year old Kira tries to piece together the mystery of the past and save humanities future.

I really enjoyed this series, I thought it was well written and every book was filled with gripping plot twists that made it hard to put down. I gave Partials 4/5 stars, Fragments 5/5 stars and Ruins 4/5 stars on Goodreads. I felt like ending was just okay, nothing super amazing but I would definitely recommend this series to anyone interesting in post-apocalyptic/dystopian. 





One of the last books I read in June was Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I didn't really know what to expect from this book, but I really enjoyed it!

When I got this book, I went into it thinking it would be a retelling of Cinderella but as a cyborg. In a sense, I guess it was, but it was also so much more. Humans and androids crowd the streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

I know that this book is part of a series, and I thought that they were all separate stories, revolving solely on the "princess" but it turns out that this story and the others are one larger story with the tale of the "princess" intertwined. All I can say is that it was so good. The story is futuristic, but still staying with the fairy tale notion.

I gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads because I thought it was predictable at times but I plan on getting the other books really soon.





Finally this month, I read Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

I went into this book expecting a futuristic/dystopian story about robots or something, but I was wrong. 

It is actually set in modern day and Evening (Eve) is just a scientist's daughter. She gets in a car accident and is sent to her mothers research facility to be treated. In order to keep her busy while she is healing, her mother tasks her with a project to create the perfect boy.

I loved the alternating perspectives in this book, and you could really tell which author was writing with the different perspectives. I also really loved the romance in this book. It was not overbearing, but when it was there, I couldn't get enough!

I gave this book a 5/5 stars on Goodreads and I recommend this book to everyone! It was amazing!

And that is it for my June Wrap Up! I am really happy with the books I managed to finish and can't wait for my next book!