Apr
30

Title: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
Author: Danielle Paige
Published: April, 2014 by HarperCollins
Pages: 452
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And—Dorothy must die.

Final Thoughts:
Amy’s home life back in Kansas pretty much sucked. She was being bullied by a pregnant girl that seemed to think Amy wanted her guy, and her mother, she was checked out to say the least. I was glad the book didn’t drag things out before escaping to Oz. I found the earlier chapters spent exploring this new take on a classic fictional world to be one of the better aspects of the book. As it progressed, my interest started to wane, taking the better part of a month to get through it. I did enjoy where it ended but found that it took too many detours to get there.

Mar
30

Title: The Sidekicks
Author: Will Kostakis
Published: February, 2016 by Penguin
Pages: 256
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: Booktopia

The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.

All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?

Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.

Final Thoughts:
Divided into thirds, each one housed a different perspective of the remaining friends of Isaac, showing us how they coped with life as a teenager after his sudden death. Without having seen the four of them together, initially it was hard picturing how they’d been friends. Although, it was pointed out a few times that they weren’t—that the three of them merely orbited Isaac, getting along with the others merely a part of being in Isaac’s life. And with him gone, their quasi-friend group quickly fell apart. I think seeing that happen felt quite realistic. Pretty much all of it did. Reading Sidekicks took me back to what is was like being young and insecure, making the wrong decisions but feeling like there were no other ones to make.

Mar
26

Title: Rapture (Fallen #4)
Author: Lauren Kate
Published: June, 2012 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 448
My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The sky is dark with wings….

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this — live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies…and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her — and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

Final Thoughts:
There was so much wrong with this book. I don’t think I’ve hated reading something so much in my life. The characters went nowhere—yes, they flew across the world using Daniel’s mighty angel wings—but their personalities just felt flat. Luce was so overdramatic, practically unable to function whenever anybody was injured or died, regardless of whether she’d just met them a few pages ago. I guess it was meant to make her seem compassionate, but it just felt hollow. And the plot holes—oh, the plot holes. I was immensely angry at this book whenever something just didn’t make sense. There were so many moments where it was like, ‘Forget we’re all here, only Luce can do this…’.

Mar
13

Title: Proposal (The Mediator #6.5)
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: January, 2016 by Avon
Pages: 97
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs – Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together – including Jesse and herself – especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Final Thoughts:
No longer in high school, Suze is now in her early twenties and living in a dorm. Being away from her family, we only learn of what’s been happening in their lives through Suze’s internal musing. Even Father Dominic, who had such a big presence in Suze’s life throughout the series, is only mentioned in passing. While it was a short story, the other books were quite short as it was, so it didn’t feel that different pacing-wise. The ghost plot actually got a bit more focus with the lack of supporting characters. Still, there was Jesse, no longer dead, apparently succeeding in life, and with his old-school beliefs, driving Suze crazy.

Mar
08

Series: The Mediator
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: 2000-2006 by Avon/Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: approx. 200 per book
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Being a mediator doesn’t exactly make Susannah Simon your typical sixteen-year-old. Her job is to ease the path for the unhappy dead to their final resting place. She finds her skills tested to the maximum. But can this girl get her ghost?

Final Thoughts:
You can tell from reading these that ghost-mediator, Suze, was pretty much the queen of sass for early 2000s YA. Never lost for words, she tells it how it is, throwing around attitude on anyone that gets in her way. I loved her for this. However, when it came to her romantic endeavours, she had a more than questionable string of duds. It seemed like whenever a new bad guy popped up on the scene, Suze would find him and end up going on a date. It helped get her tangled up in the plot, but I had to wonder what she was thinking at times.

Feb
17

Title: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: September, 2014 by Penguin
Pages: 300
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Final Thoughts:
The first book sucked me in with all of the action and intrigue, but this one just felt like a slog to get through, with nothing really happening on the invasion front for the first half. The second half, however—amazing! Secrets were being revealed, plenty of strategizing, mental and physical torment, plus there were twists galore. I really felt like we got to know Ringer a whole lot better in this instalment. But coming out of this book, it left me wondering where the movie plucked its perception of Ringer from. She is such a better character here—much more complex.

Jan
31

Title: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: May, 2013 by Penguin
Thanks: Penguin, AU
Pages: 460
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The 1st Wave took out half a million people.
The 2nd Wave put that number to shame.
The 3rd Wave lasted a little longer, twelve weeks… four billion dead.
In the 4th Wave, you can’t trust that people are still people.
And the 5th Wave? No one knows. But it’s coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs. Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.
To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.
Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.

Final Thoughts:
With the movie out already and this book having sat on my shelf unread for the past two (or is it three?) years, I knew it was time to pick this one up. Mainly because I hate trying to read a book after I’ve seen the movie and know all the twists. That being said, I am very much on the bandwagon now and can’t wait to check out the film. It threw us straight into the deep end, alone with our main character, Cassie, as she tried to navigate life in a world not exactly overrun by aliens, but a world where humanity had been all but extinguished.