Friday, August 1, 2014

July Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

Can I just say that it is CRAZY that July is already over!? Seriously where did the time go?



Nonetheless, I had an extremely successful reading month, I read 29 books. That its not too shabby, almost 1 book a day! Ok, I've got a lot of books to talk about so lets get started.



First, I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I really, really loved this book. I don't want to tell you too much about it, because it really is best to go into it not knowing too much! I will however, give you the Goodreads description:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.A revolution. An incident. A secret.Lies upon lies.True love.The truth.  Read it.And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I gave this book a full 5/5 stars because I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! I did, and you really can read this book in a matter of hours!











After a suspenseful book, I was in the mood for a cutesy contemporary, so I picked up Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I thought this book was okay. I don't know if it was because I read this book in one sitting on an 3 1/2 hr airplane ride or what, but I didn't really like it.

Basically, its about these two friends, Emily and Sloane and one summer Sloane disappears but leaves a list of things for Emily to do over the summer. There is a bit of romance, but truthfully, it left me wanting more. Also, the things on the list weren't as crazy as one would have thought. It included things like apple picking, dance until dawn, and kiss a stranger. I don't know, I felt like I had no connection to Emily or Sloane and frankly, the story was too long and boring.


I gave this book a 3/5 stars on Goodreads, because while I didn't love it, it was still an okay book.







Because I recently moved at the beginning of the month, I had most of all my books packed and read so the only book I had to read was one that had just come in the mail, Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King.

It is really just a book about a boy named Lucky and his dysfunctional family. This was an overall good book. I really enjoyed A.S. Kings writing style and I enjoyed the story line. There is some history, not a ton though, I promise you won't get bored. And there is humour and bullying and everyday family problems.

I enjoyed this book, so I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads. It lost a star because on the cover, it says something about they know Lucky's secret and they know yours too. I felt like his secret wasn't really made out to be a big deal, and I didn't really clue in to what the big secret was even though it was going on throughout the story. It just felt like I got to the end and it was like SECRET TIME!!








Next, I still didn't have my books yet, but I did get a preorder book in the mail. It was Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I thought this book was good, but not great and I feel like this isn't my favourite Rainbow Rowell book.

I mean, it was really good, but I just didn't love it as much as I did Eleanor and Park or Fangirl. Maybe its because this is an adult fiction and those were YA. If you are thinking about reading this one, I would read another Rainbow book first, because I don't think that this is Rainbow's best. 

The story was entertaining and the characters were fairly relatable, but I just didn't think it was as good as other Rainbow Rowell books.


I gave Landline a 4/5 stars on Goodreads. You can read my full blog post review here.






After Landline, I picked up a book I knew I was going to love, I read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. This was a funny, witty, entertaining read that I really enjoyed. I really liked the the writing style and the main characters voice, and how it was written as though the main character was writing it himself.

I liked how this wasn't your average lovey-dovey cancer romance story. I mean, the last cancer book I read was TFiOS so this was like the polar opposite. 

I took a star away because I felt like this book jut didn't do it for me in the romance department. I know from the get go it was said that it wasn't going to be a romance story (and if you wanted one, go pick up a different book, seriously!) but part of me really wanted it to turn into a romance story.





Next, I read Life before Legend by Marie Lu, because I wasn't sure if I was going to pick up the Legend Trilogy or not and I figured since it came with the box set, that I would try it out. 

I felt like this novella was kinda pointless. Its 41 pages, and I mean, it was cheaper to get the 3 hardcover books in a box set but I didn't feel like there was much purpose in the short stories. I didn't learn anything vital to the story, and once I got to that part in the actual book, I thought that the explanations written there were fine.

I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads. It wasn't a necessary addition to the storyline, but it was still well written.










Next, I read Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo. I thought it was an okay book, I mean its nothing I would run out to get or really want to reread, but it wasn't a terrible book, it just wasn't amazing. I after finishing it, it's nothing to really remember. 

The main character is a 15 year old girl who is in love with a 21 year old guy. And he might have feelings for her. Not only is this super creepy, it is also a little hard to relate to and hard to accept. Maybe if he was 18?? Just a few years younger, it would have been a little more plausible. Normally something like this doesn't really bother me, but it seemed like every chance the author got, she reminded us of the age difference. 

The whole book is literally her chasing him. The plot doesn't really go to far and in the end, not much is resolved. It ended as I was like "what? That's it?"





Ok, after a couple of contemporaries, I was in the mood for some dystopian. I picked up Captives by Jill WilliamsonI thought this book was good.

It felt like many other dystopians I have read before, and it didn't really feel unique. It had the virus/disease of Partials, the birthing process like The Giver and the fancy outfits of the Hunger Games Capitol, so I guess if you liked those books, you would like this.

I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it. There was some romance, but not as much as I would have liked and there was a lot of action scenes. I thought the ending was terrible thought, it just stopped.

Overall, I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads. I have the second one in the trilogy (?) and I don't have a burning desire to read it right away.






After getting my dystopian fix, I picked up Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler. I didn't realize that this was a sequel/companion novel, but it read like a stand alone.

This wasn't an amazing story but I didn't hate it.

I enjoyed the story line and the morals and lessons V learns throughout the book, I could have used a few less romantic "scenes", but it wasn't terrible. It was a road trip book, but not an amazing one. 

Overall it wasn't the greatest road trip story ever but it wasn't the worst.

Its not that memorable and even now I don't remember much about it. I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.








Next I read Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper. This was a quick read that I really enjoyed.

I thought it was funny and witty but also real and moving. Not quite as gripping as other books, but still good nonetheless.

I was originally drawn by the cover and once I read the synopsis I was hooked. It is all about love, and what it means to love. Seth starts a podcast where he talks about various topics and reasons behind love and spends time playing golf with his buddy.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads, because even though I enjoyed it thoroughly, I felt like the golf aspect was a little overbearing and I just didn't love some parts of it. That plot twist at the end though! Did not see that one coming!





Next, I was ready to dive back into a dystopian world. I picked up the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu, which consisted of Legend, Prodigy and Champion

I thought that Lu did a very good job of making the reader feel immersed in the story, the characters and problems felt so real. I also thought that Day and June were really well developed and I loved how as the trilogy progressed, you were guessing who the "bad guy" was, and what would happen next.

I loved Prodigy even more than Legend, with the romance and plot twists. I got to the end of Prodigy and needed Champion. There isn't a real cliffhanger from Legend to Prodigy but from Prodigy to Champion, it was almost unbearable. I marathoned the whole series, one after the other.

In the end, I gave Legend 4/5 stars, because it was good, but then I gave Prodigy and Champion a 5/5 stars each because the series just gets so much better as it goes on.





Okay, so after a major dystopian trilogy, I was ready for some more contemporary! I had ordered Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and it had finally come in so I picked that up next.

This book was really good! I loved the premise and how the story build up slowly. The romance wasn't rushed, but it didn't seem slow. I think that this book solidified my love for Rainbows writing style.

I think that this is my 3rd favourite Rainbow book, right after Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. I enjoyed the romance and the story line. It was cute and funny and witty.

I only gave this book 4/5 stars because as much as I loved it, I didn't think that it was well ended. The book kind of just ended. I mean, it has a good ending, but I could have used an epilogue or something. Rainbow seems to like that with her books though...





Next, I picked up Blackout by Robison Wells because I thought I could use another dystopian. Wrong! I'll admit, I went into this book with low expectations. I thought it would just be ok, but I was wrong. It was terrible. The plot and storyline where extremely slow and didn't really go anywhere. I had no real idea of what the world was like, and most of the time I was just so confused.

Not only is there literally 5 different characters to keep track of, but there is also these really confusing website/email messages that we don't find out their purpose until seriously page 415. There is only 432 pages in this book.

I am really not liking this book and I felt no emotion throughout this book. I absolutely do not recommend this book at all. The only reason this book is getting a 2 stars is because I forced myself to finish and got a horrible fake cliff hanger ending. It was meant to be a cliff hanger but seriously, I didn't care. 

have no desire to spend my money on the sequel, which by the way, is claiming to be "Homeland meets Marie Lu’s Legend in the explosive sequel to Blackout, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Ally Condie called “a thrilling combination of Wells’s trademark twists and terror. Fantastic!" - Maybe I should have stayed away knowing that Ally Condie liked it... and that is just offensive to Marie Lu and the Legend Trilogy!



After a horrible dystopian, I needed more contemporary! I picked up the recently released Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. 

Basically, this is a book about a girl who has cancer, and decides to complete a bucket list of sorts. But then she goes into remission and has to live with the choices she has made.

This book was so good! I thought it was the perfect balance between romance, tragedy and just everyday situations. This is a cancer book, but you don't really get the sad parts of cancer, the book mainly focused on Alice's life and after she goes into remission.

The only reason I took away a star was because the story was told from 2 perspectives in 2 time frames, Alice Now, Alice Then and Harvey Now, Harvey Then and at times it was hard to keep track of what time frame everything was happening. Other than that, a solid 4/5 stars on Goodreads.






Next, I decided to pick up Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. I thought this was a good book. It was funny and heart wrenching and sad and exhilarating all at once.

I loved the romance, I thought that the pace of it was good, not too fast, but also not to slow. 
I found this book to be extremely funny at times, sometimes even laughing out loud to myself and getting weird stares. There were times when it was a little too artsy, the references I didn't fully get, but for the most part, it was an overall good book!

I was wanting something similar to the night part of Paper Towns by John Green and I thought it was fairly similar.








Next, I picked up Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. I got this book a little early, because I preordered it and in came in on July 22nd I think. I LOVED this book!

It was AH-MAZE-ING!! I loved every page, every sentence, every word!! This truly is the book of the summer!! If you are at all on the fence, please get it! There is humour, and sorrow and just an all around adventure!

Your summer cannot be completed without this book!! It has made it's way to my top favourite books ever. It is ridiculously well written and the characters are just so well developed. 

It has a John Green feel to it, with the road trip of Paper Towns as well as the mystery of Looking for Alaska. If you like a good road trip, romance, adventure, funny, sad, just great book, READ IT! I promise you will not regret it. I gave it full 5/5 stars on Goodreads. 





Next, I read another road trip book because hey! why not! I read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I loved it! Which is actually a good thing, considering I recently read Since You've Been Gone, and frankly, I didn't like it. But this! This was amazing. I just love road trip books, and this was, as the title states, just an epic road trip book.

So many amazing adventures ensue, and I loved all the detours, romance and issues that they faced along the way. Hillary and Edmund, er Amy and Roger are great characters that seem fairly well developed.

I would have liked in the ending, if we got a little more on Charlie and the situation with Julia, the whole Julia storyline for me seemed a little unnecessary.

Regardless, an excellent summer, road trip book, highly recommend, 4/5 stars on Goodreads.





Next, I read You Against Me by Jenny Downham. I picked it up because someone recommended it if you like Eleanor and Park, and we all know that that is my favourite book.

This however, is not. The storyline is that a boy alleged raped a drunk girl after they got together with some friends at his house.  I thought this book was just ok. I wasn't in love with the storyline and frankly the characters felt a little flat. 

Also, this is written by a British author/in Britain and I didn't get some of the stuff she was trying to say. Plus, at least 4 times she wrote something like "wouldn't've" umm what? I am not an English guru but that doesn't look right to me...

I thought the ending was horrendous, literally they went for a walk and the end. 
Huh? What about the final verdict? Overall not impressed. I gave this book 3/5 stars and I think that even that is too generous.






After that disappointment, I picked up Gone by Michael Grant. I don't know how I feel about this book. I mean it was good, but I just don't have a urge to buy the rest of the books in the series. It is a 6 book series, so maybe I will hold off a little bit.

I thought this was a good book. I thought that the storyline was good, very much like The Outsiders (I think that is the book I'm thinking of, I read it back in grade 6) and the Lord of the Flies but in the future.

I thought there was enough action, as well as enough suspense. There is still some mystery, and some of the chapters were a little freaky, with the talking coyotes and all but for the most part it was good.


I think I will be getting the next one, but not super soon.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.





After Gone, I was ready for a cutesy contemporary. I picked up My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I picked this one up not knowing too much and I loved it!

I loved it so much! It was such a swoony love story and I loved how the relationship started near the beginning of the book, not like half way through. I loved the storyline and that twist! It was heartbreaking! I almost started crying! 

I would definitely recommend going into this one fairly blind, and I think that anyone who loves a good love story would love this book!

I gave it a full 5/5 stars on Goodreads and I cannot wait to read more from Huntley Fitzpatrick. Plus, I just found out on Goodreads that there is a sequel/companion novel that follows Samantha's friend's brother Tim and Jase's sister Alice! Oh my gosh! But not until 2015 :(






I was in the mood for contemporary, so I picked up Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn. I thought that it was a good book, very gripping plot for a contemporary, I don't know if I have any nails left because I was just waiting for Gemma's plan to be foiled. 

I think this is a great fluffy contemporary about revenge and moving on from your past. Very typical in terms of teenage drama, but I still thought it was good.

I am excited for the sequels, yes there are two more books on the way, Revenge, Ice Cream and Other Things Best Served Cold and the trilogy finale, Hearts, Fingers and Other Things to Cross! Both with ridiculously long titles, but hopefully still a cute story.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars on Goodreads because while it was good, I thought that it set things up a little too well for a sequel, and the ending wasn't the best.






Next, I picked up Before You Go by James Preller. I  hated this book. I thought it was so pointless.

Yes it has a car crash. Yes, there are multiple deaths throughout this book. 
No I am not some cold hearted person who doesn't care about people and death, but honestly I hated this book.

I didn't get the point at all. The characters were dry, you didn't care about them and the romance was insta love that didn't make sense. 

The book is way too short to actually be worthwhile and frankly, I think if it had been any longer it would have been a "did not finish" 


Overall, I gave it a 2/5 stars on Goodreads.









After a few contemporaries, I was ready to pick up a dystopian. I grabbed a stand alone, because I didn't want to have to commit to a trilogy right now. I picked up Dark Days by Kate Ormand

Overall this was a good book. It had a good premise, solid characters and it was well written.

Still, this one didn't stand out to me that much. I found myself wishing for more world building and a better understanding of why things were the way they were. There were some brief "this is what we learned in history class" descriptions, but nothing to really tell us what had happened.

It was not a terrible book, but it just felt a little old and similar to other dystopians.


I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.







I promptly decided that I was not in the mood for dystopian quite yet, so I picked up Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt, as well as the companion novel Right of Way also by Lauren Barnholdt. I really enjoyed TWS and the characters. ROW was a little less great though. They are both road trip novels about a broken up couple who go on a road trip together.



I really liked TWSThe storyline was good and I loved Barnholdt's writing style.



The characters were witty and funny. The story was set in Courtney/Jordan before, Courtney/Jordan the trip, and Courtney/Jordan after. It was easy to tell when things were happening and I thought that the two voices were well divided. It was nice to have the story from two perspectives, where something would happen and you could see how both characters felt.


While I also liked ROW, I thought that it was a little too similar to TWS, where a boy and a girl who are broken up, but they still love each other, some secret event has broken them up, they go on a road trip, secrets are spilled and they get back together. You know about 80 pages in they are getting back together and the rest of the story is about the secret. It is still funny and witty, just very similar to the first book.


Overall, I enjoyed both books, and gave both Two-Way Street and Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt a 4/5 stars on Goodreads. I really liked them and plan on reading more from Lauren Barnholdt in the near future (okay, maybe distant future... I am supposed to be on a book buying ban after all...)







After a few road trip books, I was ready to pick up something a little heavier. I decided on Slide by Jill Hathaway. I have to say, this book was so heavy, I debated putting it down twice. TWICE! But I decided to stick it out and finish.

Intense is probably the only word I can use to describe this book. Those last few chapters were unbelievable! So much happened, and we find out the killer which oh man I didn't see coming!

It was scary and intense but I am only giving it 3 stars because while it was good, it just wasn't my cup of tea and I don't plan on rereading it again. I already own the second one, and I think I will wait a little bit before I read it.


I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads because while the story was suspenseful, it just wasn't my favourite.






After an intense book, I picked up a book I thought I would really enjoy. I read Ask the Passengers by A.S. King which was also a heavy book. I didn't know too much about it going in and I was a lot deeper than I thought it was going to be.

I thought this was a good book. I really love A.S. Kings writing style and how she has these magical moments. I enjoyed the message of this novel, and I liked the characters. I hated Astrid's mom but also felt bad for her. I feel like there is some underlining issues that make her the way she is because I don't think (at least I hope) she would treat her child like that on purpose.

This is my third A.S. King book, and I think it is my least favourite, I liked Please Ignore Vera Dietz and Everybody Sees the Ants a little bit better. Overall a good book, I gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.






So that is it! I read a total of 29 books! 29 books this month! Crazy! Although, I did buy 39, so I guess its not that crazy!