Monday, September 1, 2014

August Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I am here with my August wrap up! This month, I have been taking advantage of my library, so a lot of these books I got from there, others are mine. In total, I read 30 books! That was just a couple more then last month. Let's get started!



First, I read Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan. I really enjoyed this one, even though it is technically a children's book series, it was still entertaining and fun for anyone older.

Basically, it is about this boy named Percy who is sent away to boarding school to help protect him, but he gets kicked out again and lives with his mother. She decides to take a trip to Camp Halfblood, where he will be safer and he is ultimately accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt.

Brimming with Greek mythology, this was an entertaining, fast paced read that was fun and thrilling. I highly recommend you pick up this series, even if you are a little older than its intended children's audience. I gave Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.






Next, I read an ebook, because I was away from my books and I needed something to read. I picked up The Summer I Gave Up Boys by Kassandra Kush. This was a quick, 80-something page novella that I enjoyed.

The story follows a girl named Kaliyah, who, upon finding out her boyfriend was cheating on her, declares she will have a boy-free, drama-free summer. But then her old nemesis shows up, and he seems adamant on rekindling their friendship, or possibly more.

I enjoyed this story, it was a super quick read. You do, however, have to go into it knowing that at 87 pages, it is not going to be an amazingly developed story with flushed out characters. There just simply are not enough pages. Nonetheless, I quite enjoyed it.

I gave The Summer I Gave Up Boys by Kassandra Kush a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.





After that, I decided to pick up Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford. I thought that the premise of this book was good, just not well executed.

The ideas behind the story is that on New Year's Day, 15 year old Jeff is involuntarily committed to the psychiatric ward of the local hospital. The reason he ended up there, or why he tried to commit suicide isn't revealed until later on in the book, and frankly, I don't want to spoil anyone, but I felt like his reasons were not what I was expecting and once we found out, the author kept trying to stuff acceptance on the issue down our throats. I am not against anything like that, but I just felt like it was pushed too hard on the reader.

In the end, I gave Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.







After a slightly painful read, I decided to pick up The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I have to say, I was disappointed in this one. I don't know if its just because there was so much hype, but I just didn't really enjoy it.

I don't even think I could give this book a good summary, but there are Keepers who make sure the Histories (the dead) stay in the Archive.

I don't understand all the hype around this book. I just could not get into it. There were at least 4 occasions where I was reading it and was like I should put this down. But I didn't, I finished it and I have no desire in reading the sequel. I just had a hard time imagining some of the things happening and there was a semi love triangle that I just thought wasn't necessary. 

In the end, I gave The Archived by Victoria Schwab a 2/5 stars on Goodreads.






Next, I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Now, going into this book, I thought I was going to really like it, I had heard great things. But, I have read other Lauren Oliver before and wasn't impressed. Unfortunately, this was added to the category of Lauren Oliver I didn't like.

The concept was good, that love is a disease and you need to be cured of it. But ultimately, the writing just didn't do it for me, and although the ending was a cliffhanger, I have no desire to pick up the sequel.

I ended up giving Delirium by Lauren Oliver a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.











Next, I decided I wanted to read a contemporary and see if I just wasn't in the mood for dystopian/fantasy. So, I picked up The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle. Overall, this book was meh.

It follows this girl who is always trying to please her parents, and during senior year, she decides to make a change for her. There is a boy with a troubled past involved, and well, you can probably guess the rest.

Honestly, I had higher expectations for this book. It was slow, cliché, and just didn't do anything special for me. I gave The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle 3/5 stars on Goodreads.











After that, I read These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I really enjoyed this one. I had heard it was like Titanic in space, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have never seen Titanic so I don't know how it compares in that sense, but overall it was very good.

The story follows Lilac and Tarver, as the luxury space liner they are on malfunctions. They get in the escape pods and end up on a strange planet neither of them know anything about.

I really liked this book, I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads, only taking a star away because it has a sequel, but isn't set up well for it. I did some further research and established that the next book is set in a similar setting, but with new characters. Basically, there is no Lilac and Tarver! Which would explain the lack of a cliffhanger ending.






Next, I picked up The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman. I honestly don't remember much about this book. I know there was a love story, but it wasn't a great one, and I frequently found myself bored throughout this book.

The story was about a girl and a boy who don't have a typical love story, but I felt like there was so much emphasis on the fact that it wasn't love at first sight, I had a hard time accepting their relationship. And really, you just had to look at the cover to see how things were going.

In the end, I just didn't care about the characters and gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads, which might actually be a little generous.










Next, I wanted something action packed. I picked up Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I quite enjoyed this book, it was fast paced and I felt like it had some deeper messages that are not usually touched on in YA.

The story follows a boy named Wade who lives in these RV stacks and the world is just falling apart. People use technology to escape and spend their days in the OASIS, a virtual world. When the multi-millionaire creator dies, a scavenger hunt is set forth, to solve the "game" and inherit the fortune.

I thought this was a pretty good book. I was born in the 90s so most of the 80s references just went right over my head, but I still enjoyed the story. I gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.








Ok, brace yourselves for this next one, I read Harry Potter and the Philospoher's Stone by J.K. Rowling for the first time. That's right, I have never read any Harry Potter before.

Honestly, it wasn't terrible, I thought it was good. It was a fun and entertaining read, that had a similar feel to Percy Jackson being a childs book, with a boy who doesn't know what he is.

I don't know if I will be continuing on with the series, at least not right now. Maybe later on, if I can find it for cheap, but right now there are other books that  I want to read more.

I gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads because while it was good, it wasn't great.






After I finished that, I went away on vacation and read the entire Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, which consisted of Lux: Beginnings (Obsidian and Onyx), Lux: Consequences (Opal and Origin) and Lux: Opposition (Opposition and Shadows: A Lux Novella). Overall, I loved this series. I would give it probably a 5/5 stars overall.

Basically, this series is about a girl named Kat who has just moved into a new town that is super small and weird things start happening. Eventually, she finds out that her super hot neighbours are aliens.

I am not usually into paranormal or alien books, but I loved this series. I definitely recommend you pick it up. The romance in this book was really good, and overall, I just thought that the series as a whole was really well done.







Next, I read More Than This by Patrick Ness. This book was eerie and confusing, but also beautiful.

It is one of those books that make you think. I was confused for a fair bit of the book, but I still enjoyed it. The writing was beautiful, but it still had a deep meaning.

One of my favourite quotes from this book is "know yourself and go in swinging" and I just love the meaning of this quote.

I would pick this up, it is definitely not a favourite, but is so beautifully strange it works. In the end, I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads.










Next I read The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini. This is my second book by Vizzini and I thought it was alright.

I don't know about this book, I feel like I enjoyed it for the most part, but I didn't love it. I'm not big on the whole dungeons and dragons thing and I found some parts of the story lacking. The romance wasn't as good as I had hoped and I almost DNF multiple times.

Overall, good, but not great. I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.














Next, I read The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. This is the first in a trilogy and I really wanted to love this one, but I just had problems.

First, the narrator is illiterate so the book was written with words like "creacher" and "stayshun" which was annoying but I did eventually get used to it. It was suspenseful but some parts were hard to understand why things were happening and I couldn't really picture the world.

The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger but it didn't cause me to want to pick up the sequel right away.  Overall, I gave this book a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.











Next up, I read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I loved this book! It was such a thrilling book that even someone who isn't big on fantasy could appreciate and really enjoy.

I was about 7 pages in when I realized that I was going to love this book, and I couldn't wait to read the whole series.

I gave Shadow and Bone a 5/5 stars on Goodreads, it as just that good!














After a fantasy book, I knew I wanted a lighter contemporary read, so I picked up The Statistical Probablitlity of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. I thought this book was good, it was cutesy and lighthearted but at the same time deep and dark.

I felt like I could easily relate to Hadley and I enjoyed the story.

I gave TSPoLaFS by Jennifer E. Smith a 4/5 stars on Goodreads because while it was good, I didn't think it was anything super amazing.













Next I read The Disenchanments by Nina LaCour. I have never read anything by this author and I don't know if I will.

I felt like the premise was good, and the story had such great potential. I was good hoping for a fun, road trip book about the summer before college but what I got was a boring, and confusing story.

Overall, it wasn't a great book, and I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads.













After that, I read For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana PeterfreundThis book wasn't terrible but it wasn't good. I almost DNF multiple times, but eventually kept going. 

I thought the premise was good but I just felt like it drug on too long. I didn't really find it to be a good love story, and frankly it wasn't the best dystopian either. 

I am not familiar with Persuasion so I don't know how it compares to that story but overall, I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.













Next I read The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams ChimaI thought this was a good book, there was plot twists, and fairly well developed characters. It seemed to fly by, and wasn't super heavy on the world building or fantasy elements that are sometimes boring.

I found that I was surprised by this book, I didn't think I would enjoy it. I am not sure if I will continue on with the series, I have heard that it gets better though.













Next up, I read You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith. I felt likthis book had the potential to be so much better.

I just found that I really wasn't invested in the characters, we knew very little about them and the structure in which the story was told was a little confusing.

I liked the idea and concept but overall, it just didn't follow through. I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.















Next up, I read The Selection by Kiera Cass. have to admit, this was actually better than I thought. I didn't find America overly whiny or irritating like many people have said and frankly I enjoyed the story.

The characters weren't super special, but I did enjoy the storyline and the premise.

I did feel like something was missing however, so this book gets a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.














Next up, I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. OH MY GOSH! This book! This book had me on my toes the whole time.

I will say that I never really grasped the unreliable narrator concept. Does Mara imagine everything that happened? Or is she just imagine parts of events?

Regardless, this was a fast paced, thrilling read. I am a little weary of the ending but it was still shocking. I can only wait for the next book. I gave this book a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.











Next, I was contacted by the author to read The Kindness of Kings by Chelsea BallingerI thought this book was interesting, but some of the concepts were a little confusing. I had a hard time imagining the world, it is supposed to be a modern day society with kings and queens. I just kept picturing medieval times and then they were talking about modern technology and I just couldn't picture it.

I did enjoy the story and the characters though, I thought that the queen was a good character and the king seemed just so cruel at the beginning.

Overall, it wasn't a great story, but it was still good. I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.








Near the end of the month, I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorI'm not big on fantasy, so maybe that was my problem with this book. I thought it was good, it kept me guessing and there were plot twists, but ultimately I just couldn't picture what was going on.

And that has nothing to do with Laini Taylor's writing, it is written beautifully, but I just could not picture the creatures and I had a little bit of a difficult time understanding and picturing everything.

Overall, I gave it a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.











And finally, I finished off the month with The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. I really enjoyed this book. There were so many plot twists!! I couldn't believe the last few chapters, so much happened.

In all honesty, I am not big on vampire books. This is my second or third vampire book and I really enjoyed it. I didn't see most of the twists coming and I thought it was very well written and well planned out. 

I am taking away a star because I just felt like the romance was a little lacking, but I guess this isn't a romance novel. Overall, a solid 4/5 stars on Goodreads.









Whew! That took longer than I expected! I read a ton of books this summer, and I can't believe it is already over.