Wednesday, November 30, 2016

REVIEW: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 12:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Flawed
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian-ish
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication: April 5th 2016
Cover Rating: 3/5
Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Description:
You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.


At first the story was boring, like... the first 3/4ths of it.. maybe 1/2 of it was just like come on, get to the conspiracy and the exciting parts but when things start to get exciting, it also made you pull parallels
For me, it was parallels of racism
I don't know if that is the way Cecelia meant it but if she did, damn what a genius
Pulled some hardcore stuff right there
As always, the main character doesn't know the power that she has and refuses to believe it that she has the power to bring everything down and all that mostly typical stuff which isn't bad but I mean... We've seen it
Cecelia, like I said, just did a great job and showing just how badly these people are treated though, mainly, the biggest moment for me in it was a scene towards the end in a supermarket. That was just like
WOAH
Damn good scene
I have read Cecelia's books in the past and she always tends to write emotionally powerful stuff and this is one of them
The reason this book didn't get a higher grade from me though is because as I said, it took a while for it to pick up , it was kinda boring for me at first.
Oh and funny thing about this book
I checked it out from the library and as I was getting read to start reading the book, a tattoo fell out from it, the F symbol from the cover and I was like WTF?! :D Turns out these books come with it and since I was the first person to check out the book from the library, I got the tattoo xD So yay for that
Recommend it?
Ehh,.. If you're a fan of The Program this could be right up your alley

Overall, I gave the book 3/5 stars.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

REVIEW: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 12:00 PM 0 comments
Rate: 5/5


Goodreads Description:
The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

EVERY DAY THE SAME

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.


UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? 



This is one of the few thrillers I've read in my life and it is definitely a good one. 
I had been wanting to read this book for a while back, specially since I found out it was going to be turned into a movie. It's kind of a book lover thing I believe, to want to read the book before watching a movie, or even after, but to have to do both. 
I was even more excited for it when a friend of mine read it and told me hey, you're going to like this one. So of course, I got down to it. 
I wanted to start off saying it's an easy read but realized that that wasn't going to cover it for this book. It actually wasn't an easy read.
It wasn't hard but it kept you thinking. Thinking about the main characters, the why they do things, what they'll possibly do next and of course, who is the guilty party. 
What I would mean by easy is that you get into it from the first set of pages. For me, I personally don't read a lot of adult type books, and not a lot of thrillers either, so I was a bit nervous when getting into it but. Once I started, the only thing that stopped me was my growing set of book responsibilities. 
Hawkins does a phenomenal job of pulling one into the story.
One thing about the main character, Rachel, Hawkins makes you feel as bad for her and about her as the rest of the people in her world probably do, that Rachel is simply a mess that really needs to pull herself together. 
It is totally part of the experience. 
There are bits here and there of all the characters that lead you to believe that they are the guilty party but I would have to keep reminding myself, the more obvious the character who might have committed the murder is, the less of a chance it is that it was them. 
I forced myself to think, this is deeper than that, think psychological, who here is messed up enough to have done it. 
You get deeper into the book and you find out everyone has a secret, everyone has something that makes them not what they appear to be. 
If  you don't think deep or close enough, one would miss who the guilty person is until the very end. 
And even when you THINK you know.
You might just get it wrong. 

Recommend it?
Yes, if you like thrillers, this is 100% up your alley or if you want to start with them, this is also a good one. 


Saturday, November 26, 2016

REVIEW: Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Rate: 5/5


Goodreads Description:
For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. 


As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. 



As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara's life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth--and for Tara--will ever be the same again.


Review:
Im not 100% sure what I was expecting of this book but I just know that whatever I did expect of it wasnt enough compared to how I ended up feeling with this book
I loved it, I really did, I feel like I think I know how I would react if this was to happen to us but Tara really nailed the reaction that we all probably would have. Things change when you know what is out there, and this book totally proved that with the slight or major changes that some of the characters went through. Some would use the New World as an excuse for their changes but in reality, that change was already in them, Terra Nova just brought it out of them. Tara spends a good amount of time wondering about the Tara of the Terra Nova world, just how different that other Tara is and if she is better. 
When she points out the differences that the other Tara probably has it would get me thinking of my own differences and what this other alternate person would do in a situation and where she would be at the point of our lives. 
Cults are built, relationships broken and built. There is a particular scene in which for the main characters, all of the truths come to life and they slowly try to process that and apologize, that was just so refreshing, it all happened fast and it reminded me a lot of Gossip Girl for some reason and I freaking loved it. 
For one of the characters, I actually had a suspicion of it actually, for others I had no idea. 
Tara is also trying to cope with the fact the Hale, the most popular girl in the school and Nick's girlfriend seems to be absolutely perfect and her new best friend and it is hard for her to like her completely, only to find out that she really cares for Hale.
I mention this because I was also thinking of Hale as being pretty Regina George but how both Tara and I were wrong.
There is just a lot of meaning packed in this book that I wasn't expecting but just made for a completely amazing read.

Recommend it?
100% I had been in a serious reading slump before this book and I got majorly pulled out of it thanks to this read

Friday, November 25, 2016

REVIEW: And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: And the Trees Crept In
Genre: Young Adult Psychological Thriller/Paranormal
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication: September 6th 2016
Cover Rating: 3/5


This time last year I was reading Dawn Kurtagich's first book, Dead House. The book was weird and creepy but I actually really enjoyed it. Sooo... Enjoying her first book as much as I did I knew I had to pick up her next book, And The Trees Crept In, AKA, The Creeperman. I am actually pretty sad that I wasted my time on this book. The author is obviously very talented and it took a lot of creativity to write this book, but it was just way too much for me. The authors talent is the reason the rating isn't a lot lower. My rating is actually quite generous.

And The Trees Crept In was meant to be a scary, mentally thrilling book. It was mentally something, thrilling isn't exactly the word I would us. The book seemed to be told from a historical view point but it was actually very current. There are actually a few futuristic parts too. So that confused me entirely. 

Silla and Nori have run away from their abusive father and emotionally detached mother to go live with their aunt. This creepy aunt who seems sooo old but she really can't be THAT old since she is their mothers sister. The house she lives in is her childhood home AND reminds me of the houses I have seen on the Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners show where they are trying to make these beautiful castle-type houses clean again. 

Then after a while a boy shows up. I am not going to give his name or any details about him because he is a huge part of the psychological thriller part of the book. Stuff happens and things become even more weird.

"Huh? What even just happened?" can pretty much sum up my thoughts during this book. This book can pretty much just be filed under "Slenderman Fan Fic".

The review is short because I was pretty much confused through the entire book until the very end. Not much to really say about a book that confused you. 

Overall, I gave the book 3/5 stars.







Thursday, November 24, 2016

REVIEW: The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Rate: 5/5


Goodreads Description:
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


This is actually my first ever book that I get through edelweiss and boy did I struggle at first xD
I mean the instructions to download where right there and I just wasn't getting the book on my kindle and I was getting so frustrated because I was dying to read the book! And then I realized that I had yet to add the edelweiss email on my approved list on kindle xD WHOOPS!

First Chapter:
Okay so after I finally got the book, it was late at night and I was like let me just read the first chapter. The first chapter for me is always so important, it tells you a lot about how the tone of the book will set out to be and it was good! It pulls you in! The next day I carried my tablet every where, and typically I don't like reading on my tablet but I had no choice, the book was going to be so good!

Characters:
 There are a lot of different characters that start to be introduced in the beginning, just like any other book >.> But like I was worried because it was going to be really though for me if I had to keep track of all of these different points of views from different people, but thankfully it was only in the beginning, then it was all from the two main characters, Nikolai and Vika.

Story:
 I mean right from the summary the plot just pulls you right in, from the start of the book you're already wondering who is the one that will pull the first move and the last move and I just... I'm already starting to loose my thoughts because of the emotions that slapped me in the face at the end of the book.

Feelings: 
It was late one night and I had reached the last 30% of the book and I was going to read just 10% and  the book was just escalating as the chapters moved on, I was just like okay, just ONE more chapter, ONE more chapter! And I couldn't stop. 
LET ME TELL YOU! (Without actually telling you) It was like I was slapped in the face! There is this one particular chapter that you kinda get the feeling of where it is going but when it actually gets there ! OH MY LORD! I gasped, I was in bed, lying down with my tablet and it got THERE and I was like OMG! I got up and I was just like HOLY CROWN! I could not stop freaking out over what it all meant! It was at that moment that I Was like okay, I'm not sleeping until I get to the end of this book!

....
Then it all started to just.... get sad D: 
I cant tell you about how it all gets sad because even if I try to word it in a way that tells you my feelings without telling you the actual story, I feel like I will be spoiling it, so I will just leave it at that. 

This book is amazing, that is all I have to say.

If you like Red Queen, or The Hunger Games, this is totally a book you need to get as soon as it is out.

Recommend it:
completely 100% Yes, I see what all the hype for this book was about.  


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

REVIEW: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover - Trigger Warnings - Abuse, Rape

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 2:47 PM 0 comments
Title: It Ends With Us
Genre: New Adult
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria
Publication: August 2nd 2016
Cover Rating: 4/5


I have read numerous books by Colleen Hoover. On that same topic, I have read quite a few New Adult books. They ALL have something in common. No, it's not the college-aged sex. It's the horrible, abusive, painful relationships. Nope. Nope nope nope. This book is a whole lot of nope. If ANY guy ever tries to make an excuse for abusing you by telling you a fucking sob story, you leave. If you are stupid enough to stay, if you are stupid enough to believe him OR make up excuses for him then I feel so sorry for you. You can compare your situation to others and say "It's not the same" all you want, but IT IS the same. also, NO, not EVERYONE deserves a second chance. Love doesn't cause this kind of pain all the time. You shouldn't be afraid of the person you are with. EVER!

Then here comes the bullshit where people say you can't judge someone unless you have been in their situation. I have, and have the same opinion either way. 

With that being said... Lily is the protagonist. She grew up watching her father abuse her mother. She grew up hating her father for abusing her mother and having her mother for not being strong enough to leave. She fell in love with the right boy at the wrong time and she grew up to be a very strong woman. She started her own business, started and family and thrived even though some bad crap stood in her way. 

Ryle... What can I say about Ryle. Have you ever seen Grey's Anatomy? He is an abusive version of Derek Shepherd. Neurosurgeon, McDreamy, and a genuinely nice guy. But he had some dark stuff happen in his past that changed him. His dark past doesn't excuse his behavior, though, so I really disliked him either way. Also, is his nasty temper the reason he didn't want to do anything more than one-night-stands with chicks? I think it played a major role in that choice.

Atlas makes the entire story seem like two different books. Every time Lily would read her old journals we got to see the past and it just seemed weird to me. It literally felt like two different love stories. How could one woman possibly have gone through so much pain at such a young age? That is when I started understanding more about the book and realized I have been through that much pain at a young age. I can sympathize with her. 

The other big thing about all of these NA books? Girl meets boy, boy abuses or hurts girl, another guy saves girl. The guy is normally from the girls past or a new guy that she meets and then this beautiful relationship starts. 

By the time the book ended I was just annoyed. Colleen Hoover is a great author. Her writing just flows and it's always very easy to read but the content annoys me. I know she is writing these stories so some women don't feel alone so I can't entirely hate them. But the stories are horrible and painful and I can't understand why she keeps writing the same stories with different characters. The characters in this book weren't exactly the same. You could tell the book took a lot of emotion to write so I did respect that aspect very much. 

I really loved the ending though. The heart to heart between mother and daughter made me tear up because I have dealt with some of this stuff personally. Lily making the right choice and somehow having a healthy HAPPY relationship with Ryle. I am so glad she made the right choices. I am glad it ended with her the same way it ended with me...

Overall, I gave the book 3/5 stars.



This isn't exactly an afterthought but after reading the author's note something stirred inside of me. My opinions of staying in an abusive relationship still stands and always will. But I never really touched on children growing up in an abusive home. Most abusive relationships don't go beyond those two people. Most parents only hit their significant others, never their children. Most children that have to watch a parent abused learn to hate and that hate turns into rage and sometimes ruins that child's life. So if you think staying with someone for the kids is okay then please think again. Talk to some people who watched abuse happen as they grew up. I guarantee most of them will say they wish their parents would have just divorced. I can say that, I wish my parents would have just divorced.










Tuesday, November 22, 2016

REVIEW: The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 5:03 PM 0 comments
Rate: 3.5/5
(More detailed rate below)


Goodreads Description:
When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.

Review:
Lets take a second to enjoy the nice and pretty cover....
Second over
Okay so the whole over line plot line of the book was up my alley. My problem was that from the very beginning, Gwen, got on my nerves. 
Okay so there is this bad as chick that pretty much goes to Europe to rescue her father and goes into the whole world of gangs. 

Spoiler alert, ill talk about the scene that pretty much did it for me. So there is a bully who is mocking her and well... Bullying, long story short Gwen tells her to go F herself and the mean girl slaps her and a teacher spots this.


Great, Gwen will get some justice. 

WRONG!

Gwen ends up in trouble for telling the girl off.
Lets ignore the fact that the girl was bullying her and slapped her.
Way to go adults.

There is also the scene that Gwen finds out about her dad. It just felt a bit heartless to me.

Now, the way that the book was written just felt off to me but of course, that has never put me down because I am a firm believer that there are scenes in books that just MAKE a book soooo much better.

So Gwen undergoes a transformation in which she turns into an undercover agent



IN THREE WEEKS!


I mean she becomes like the opposite of what she was three weeks before.
Like seriously this bad ass ready to kill kid. 

In what world?

This one.

Now, I'm trying VERY hard to to spoil specially because I JUST finished reading this like 5 minutes before writting this review (a few days before this post goes live) 
There are scenes in which her badassery leaves you like
But I still couldnt shake off her as being annoying, I mean I understand that the author did her the way he did to show a greater contrast to her change later in the book. 
So as to not be like oh yeah she was born this way she just needed someone to tell her she was special.
BUT I guess my brain prefers that?
Im not sure what it was about her exactly.

So all in all. 
Plot: 4.5
Gwen: 1/5


Recommend it?
Yeah, I mean there arent a lot of thriller crime YAs 
At least not many that I have come across

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