Sep
20

Title: Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: March, 2016 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages: 451
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows many facts:

Fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
Snakes and Ladders and Chess were both invented in the same county.
Astronauts’ hearts become rounder in space.

And for once, she knows exactly how her life should go. If only everyone else would stick to the plan…

Final Thoughts:
It’s always fun coming back to this series and the familiarity of it. There’s always some sort of drama going on, but it manages to maintain its underlying feel good vibe. It’s about modelling, but it’s not. The characters are what shine through here—and Harriet’s personality certainly does. I don’t think I could stomach Harriet in real life, but she’s amusing to read. Not always as smart as she thinks she is, Harriet can grate on your nerves with how clueless she can be. I had moments where I wanted to tell her what was going on, to think of others, but her big personality pushes through and tells the reader not to worry about things like that.

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Aug
06

Title: After You (Me Before You #2)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: September, 2015 by Michael Joseph
Pages: 407
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. And when an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

In a church basement, with the motley crew of the support group Moving On, Lou attempts to kick-start her life again. And when she meets strong, capable Sam Fielding things seem like they are going in the right direction. This is until a figure from Will’s past appears out of the blue . . .

Final Thoughts:
I went into this expecting too much. Or something different. I’m not quite sure. It IS about Louisa moving on with her life, but much of the book is taken up, or rather, derailed, by Lily, a teenage daughter of Will’s, unbeknownst to him at the time of his suicide. And yes, that gets brought up, throwing around blame, that the knowledge of her existence could have possibly changed his mindset. The book really comes across as the Lily story, with Lou on the outside, having the occasional life problem of her own as she tries to bend to Lily’s whims. This is pretty much where my problem with the book lies.

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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.

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Dec
30

Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November, 2015 by Harper Teen
Pages: 424
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

Final Thoughts:
The covers are gorgeous. They’re probably the best thing about this series. I’m two books in now, and I can’t stand Marguerite. Her personality has just driven a wedge between me and this book. While I love all of the different worlds, the adventures we get to experience, and the overall conspiracy of the series going on around them, I just can’t stomach any of this girl’s rationalities for why she does the things she does. I mentioned last time that the romance got in the way of plot, but this time, Marguerite’s obsession with her boyfriend IS the plot. If this were from anyone else’s viewpoint, I probably could have loved this series, but with all of her ramblings of fate, and loving every version of this guy no matter what, it was a struggle.

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Dec
28

Title: A Thousand Pieces Of You (Firebird #1)
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November, 2014 by Harper Teen
Pages: 368
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Blogger’s Note: I haven’t been doing nothing this past month, I’ve just been reading a fair bit of manga—Nana and Highschool of The Dead. Both were great, but really could have used proper endings. I NEED MORE!!

Final Thoughts:
The first chapter drew me in immediately—something you always want to find. With its promise of revenge, world-jumping through parallel dimensions and science-y (but not over the top) explanations, I was in. I loved the idea that their physical bodies didn’t actually pass between the worlds, but rather their consciousness did, taking over the host body of their other self in whatever world they landed in (therefore, prohibiting from entering worlds they’ve never been born into, or had died in). It was great world-building in my opinion. Still, that didn’t stop the romantic fails from bringing it down. I loved a lot about the book, but the romance—just, no.

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Dec
01

Title: Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance
Author: Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
Published: February, 2011 by Walker Childrens
Pages: 240
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Fans of romance don’t need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers-known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it’s their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can’t stand to be in the same room. Still, it’s a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It’s not until they’re far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there’s more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.

Final Thoughts:
Well, this was different. Entering the lives of two tween stars hounded by the paparazzi and under the restraint of their family-friendly contracts, this little book gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to be a celebrity at such a young age and the pressures that come along with that. I wouldn’t call it a perfect read, but I did manage to get through it fairly quick. Still, I found that my enjoyment dipped in the second half, losing a lot of the spark that the two leads had in their earlier scenes.

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Sep
12

Title: The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)
Author: James Dashner
Published: October, 2009 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 371
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Final Thoughts:
After loving the movie, I thought I would give the book a go and pick up on all of the extra details that the movie left out. Unfortunately, I found that the pages just seemed to drag for most of the first half. We spent quite a bit of time with Thomas getting to know characters and the dynamics of the Glade, but the Maze barely seemed to come in to it. The movie paced things a lot better in that regard. Still, once we got out into the Maze, things quickly picked up, leaving me rushing towards the finish.

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