Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Empty - K.M. Walton

This book needs to be read by everyone. It should really be a mandatory book to be read by anyone who is in high school. I am not in school and I was still able to relate to parts of this book.

Adele, Dell, is a junior in high school with a best friend, Cara, who is on the quest to become a popular girl. Cara no longer seems to notice Dell or understand her and is simply out for herself at this point. Several incident occur in the beginning of the book that show Cara is desperately trying to get the 'cool kids' Taryn, Emma, Melissa, and Sydney, to notice her. Dell has this deflection tactic where she acts like a sumo wrestler and moo's like a cow so that people laugh with her, not at her. After doing this bit for Brandon Levitt, the popular boy who dates Taryn, Dell and Cara are invited to Melissa's house for a party.

Spoilers ahead... Now, I remind you this is an extremely good book. Beyond words can describe how deeply this book was able to reach me. KM Walton was able to write in a way that at times I felt like I was Dell, and it was me who was living this hellish life. The book is truly touching so have a box of tissues ready.

Dell is on the softball team, mostly you find out because it is the only thing that really makes her feel like her dad ever cared about her. She is cut from the team after her first game due to her weight an inability to actively participate.

After school Dell goes through the motions of caring for her younger sister, Meggie, while her mom is in a drug induced stupor at work or around the house. Her father messages her letting her know he is engaged to his new girlfriend and that it is not his fault she is over weight. After more binge eating to hide her feelings Dell leaves to go to the party with Cara.

At Melissa's house Dell is ditched by Cara almost immediately for two other girls. Brandon, that 'super hot popular guy' talks to Dell and asks her to come upstairs. After a lot of beer drinking and flip cup reffing Dell finally makes it up there where Brandon shows her a youtube video of a sumo wrestler falling and not being able to get back up. Once it ends Brandon starts kissing Dell and she asks him to stops. It goes further and further until Brandon rapes Dell. Ashamed and guilt ridden Dell leaves the party and does not mention the incident to anyone, not even Cara.

Cara continues to go on her power trip for popularity and Dell continues to spiral downward into depression. Her eating continues and her mothers drug use is starting to effect her moods and how she is toward Dell. The only thing holding Dell together is the smell of her younger sister Meggie. Cara's hot and cold emotions toward Dell confuse her when Cara signs them both up for the talent show. Dell decides to do it so that she can make Cara happy and convinces herself that Cara must care if she signed her up and wants everyone to know she has an amazing voice.

Right before the talent show Taryn starts spreading the rumor that Dell raped Brandon. Dell has an out burst in the hallway in which she ends up breaking her toe. Determined to go on Dell takes several of her mom's Valium to deal with the pain of her broken toe so that she can make it to the talent show to sing. Dell is very intoxicated at this point but still manages to sing like a pro and everyone cheers for her. In the end some a-hole in the audience moo's and in a drunken stupor Dell does her impression and everyone laughs except Dell. Cara, who egged Dell on to do the sumo thing, is ecstatic when they are invited to another party but does not even put up a fight when Dell declines the invite and just wants to go home.

Once home Cara continues to text Dell from the party advising her that the pictures from the night have been uploaded online. Dell finds pictures of herself singing and feels great about her self, but the happiness only lasts a moment. She sees many comments for Cara telling her she was amazing and looks great. This makes Dell want to scroll down to her own comments where she sees people calling her a Whale and tagging her in all the pictures as a Whale. Cara quickly takes all of the photos down but not before Dell has seen them.

It is at this point Dell feels most alone. She was just looking for anyone to reach out and fight for her but there was no one there. She was all alone and she makes the decision to kill herself so that the pain will come to an end. She feels a burden to her mother, who has no money, no job, and has to keep feeding her overweight daughter. She thinks her father no longer wants anything to do with her since he has only seen her one time since the divorce. And her best friend has new popular friends that she has always wanted. Gathering more of her mothers pills she drives back to the auditorium where the story concludes mid sentence. We do not know if Dell took the correct amount of medication which she states several times that she is afraid she doesn't have the right amount due to her large size.

I wish I knew what happened. This book was really moving to me. Words hurt.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Author Book Signing

The Princeton Barnes and Noble hosted a book signing event where part of the proceeds to book purchase went to save a local library. Needless to say I was in my glory with my stack of books. I convinced Corey to drive me over 2 hours up the road to meet Amy Ewing, the author of The Jewel. We hung around for about 2 hours (me stalking the shelf like a weirdo) waiting before we had to head back home. Here is a group of authors. I personally purchased Pandemic, Providence, Empty, and A Tragic Heart.

Here are the messages that the authors wrote in my books :)

Now although I did not get to meet one of my new favorite authors I did get a happy ending!! After we finally made it home Corey took me for a walk in the local nature trail and proposed to me *yay* Now I get to start my own happy ending. And start planning my literary themed wedding!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Styclar Saga: Lailah - Nikki Kelly

Currently reading :)
Nothing to special about the cover. I'm more of a fan of less is more.
My boyfriend loves batman, so I was so excited to see this as the first quote before the book started!

Ok it took me about 2 days to finish this book but that does not mean that it was not good. This book held a lot of suspense in it. The main character, Lailah/Cessie/Francesca, has a weird 'dark guardian angel' following her that seems to appear when ever she needs help. The beginning is hard to get into, but that is only because you are left just as confused as the main character. With each flash back of memory that Lailah has you become more interested and curious as to what she is and where she came from.

Now, Lailah comes across a vampire, Jonah, who is of course hot like all vampires are described. With the saving of Jonah she comes into contact with Gabriel. I am bias because I am a sucker for true love and I just wanted her and Gabriel together right away. As the book goes on though you start to feel for Jonah. Jonah is a vampire trying to redeem his soul through the help of Gabriel. Something in Lailah makes Jonah act more human than he has before and he is so sweet and cocky all at the same time. I don't like that he openly is with other girls which makes me love Gabriel more.

Gabriel in this book is so shut off and secretive. It gets frustrating especially knowing how Lailah feels about him automatically. You eventually learn why is was the way he was but sometimes things may just be too late. The book ends in a complete cliff hanger that I don't want to ruin because this is an up and coming author. So seriously go read this book because it was unlike anything I have read before. I love original plots and deep characters. It gives me hope that there is a magical world out there somewhere that has yet to be discovered.

This author came to be up and coming through this site called the Wyatt App. This is the second book I have read that is a product of this site and I am again not disappointed!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Perfect Ruin - Lauren Destefano

Well I am done already, and if you have ever read a book by Lauren Destefano I am sure you can understand why. This novel is slow, yet fast paced at the same time. The character growth is slow but the plot progresses quickly. You start with Morgan, a 16 year old girl who has a dysfunctional family. She has a best friend, Pen, who also has a dysfunctional family. After a mysterious death their perfect world, or island in the sky, starts to go crazy. Heightened security has the girls on high alert and soon you find out things are not what they seem in their perfect world.

Daphne is the girl who is murdered within the first chapter of the book. Soon after you meet her sister, Amy, who is seen posting her dead sisters essay all over town for everyone to read. Next thing you know the local flower shop catches fire. Now all we are told as the reader is that it is believed to be a boy named Judas, Daphne's betrothed. You think that would be weird in the book but it actually works. The people put together really seem to be meant for one another. Especially our main character, Morgan, and her boyfriend, Basil. So back to the story...

Morgan finds Judas and tries to help him, which kindles her friendship with Amy. Story progresses where things get worse and worse in the city and people start showing up dead. Morgan and Basil get home from school and she immediately checks on her mother who appears to be sleeping. Morgan is overcome in pain so Basil takes her to her bothers apartment.

Back story on her brother, Lex, he is an ex-pharmacist, who has a wife, Alice. Lex tried to jump over the edge of the Island after Alice had to have her pregnancy terminated for being out of turn. He was left blind from the incident and almost died. From that point forward Lex hated the government and the King.

Now that I caught us all up... because of Morgan's family history we find out she was poisoned, as was everyone in her family as well as several other people. Lex and Alice no longer take their medications from the government so they are safe. Morgan's mother and father are both dead and Lex is barely able to save his sister. Lex, Alice, Morgan, and Basil now all have to go in hiding because they are supposed to be dead. Morgan wakes up to find herself underground in a 'bird' (plane) meant to help rebels leave the floating island. In a fit of rage over her parents she leaves the bird followed by Judas to kill the King. She realizes this is ridiculous when she gets to the surface and decides to just write a message to Pen.

Pen is already at her and Morgans secret spot and the two get to talk. It is here Morgan realizes the Pen truly loves living on the Island and believes every word of the history books. Morgan decides not to tell her about the bird and just wanted to say good-bye. Before she can leave they are shot with darts by the Prince and Princess and rendered paralyzed. They are captured...yada yada yada, they escape and make it back to the bird. The group realizes it has to leave now or be killed. As they reach the end of the floating Island they find the Princess has been stowed away in the bottom of the bird with Pen's betrothed, Thomas.

Pen has a melt down about leaving the Island but it is too late and the bird is in the air. They make it to the ground where they are greeted by other people. The book ends here!!!!!!! Ugh don't worry the sequel comes out March 10th. So, not too long of a wait. I gave a crazy simplified synopsis because you have to still be able to enjoy reading it! Lauren Destefano is an amazing author and I recommend reading anything she is willing to write.

Currently reading Perfect Ruin! Now I was a huge fan of the Chemical Garden Trilogy so I am hoping Lauren Destefano will have written just as well here.

I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but this art work is simply amazing.
In side flap with more artwork.
Pretty stars in side the book.
The back of the book. I really can't get over how great this looks. So simple yet it sucks me in.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The One & Only - Emily Giffin

Well I don't know what to really say about this book other than I was really into it, and then all of a sudden I wasn't. I cannot review this book without including spoilers to accurately describe why I almost wanted to puke toward the end. Lets start with the basic plot line and go from there...

Shea, main character, lives in a small Texas town where Football is religion. You eat, breathe, and sleep, Walker Football. Her best friend, Lucy, is the daughter of infamous Coach Clive Carr, for Walker's team. Lucy's mother dies in the very beginning of the book and set the mood for the teams year that they need to win all the games and championship in her honor. Shea is a reporter that covers Walker Universities sports teams for the Post. She is dating an ex-football player, Miller, who is now a gym teacher. She is essentially in a rut going no where because she is too loyal to her football team to pursue anything else.

Now onto the story...

With the death of Connie, Lucy's mom, Lucy and Shea's mom push Shea to break up with dead beat Miller and move on in life. Coach Carr, who Shea has always looked up to and seen as a father figure, agrees with them. Taking Coach's advice she does break up with Miller and in turn Coach gives her the phone number of a guy in Dallas to offer her a better reporting job so that she can actually do what she wants. Through this job Shea means Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ryan James, who she went to college with at Walker and was home visiting to watch the game. Ryan asks Shea out and from there they become a couple.

Things get serious fast and Shea starts to notice Ryan is a little possessive. At first she sees it as just jealousy, but she also thinks it is her mind playing tricks on her because she is starting to get a crush on Coach Carr. Grosssssss. I was really hoping that was just going to be a glance over that she would get over and move on.

*Disclaimer - I am a huge Cowboys fan*

So me being the fan I am, I want Shea and Ryan to work because that would be amazing. But Shea starts talking to Coach more and more and they get closer. While her and Ryan's relationship is still growing Ryan often becomes angry at her if she is found to be talking to other guys. At the end of the book Ryan grabs her arm and belittles her in the bar in front of her friends. Ryan storms out of the bar and Shea goes home. Coach calls to check on her and she asks him to come over and keep her company. By the time Shea is done showering Ryan is in her apartment waiting for her and starts apologizing. Shea asks him to leave and things start to escalate. Low and behold, Coach Carr, arrives just in time to save the day. With Ryan gone Shea and Coach admit they have feelings for each other. *vomit* They end up meeting up later and kissing in his office.

Here is another part I was not happy with. Lucy saw Ryan get hands on with Shea and saw the marks on her arm. Yet, Lucy still asked if there is any way that Shea and Ryan can work it out. What kind of friend is that? No kind of abuse is acceptable. But, lets continue on. Lucy and Shea have been slightly on the outs because Lucy is jealous of the relationship Shea and Coach have.

Christmas Time is upon us and the Carr family plus Shea are over Lucy's house decorating. Lucy leaves the room and Shea and Coach have an intimate moment. Unsurprisingly, Lucy walks back in the room and catches this moment causing a blow out. Shea and Coach go back to his house where she asks him to 'make love to her' because it may be the only chance. They don't, thank god, and they leave. The next day Shea is called by her mother stating Lucy is making Shea choose between their life long friendship or her love for her father, Coach Carr. Shea goes to Lucy and tells her she chooses Lucy which Lucy is of course elated over. Shea then goes to her job and tells her boss she quits/gets fired because she cannot be impartial due to her love for Coach Carr and Walker Football.

Now in my opinion Lucy is 100% right. I mean her mother hasn't even been dead for a year yet in the book... and Coach has been like Shea's dad growing up. What a sick and twisted line to cross. He is an old man and she is in her 30's. How can he do that to his own daughter let alone a young woman who looks to him for advice on life. And how can Shea even be mad at Lucy or her mother for being upset about the whole situation. Shea and Coach break it off and Shea runs off to New York to stay with her dad and get over her 'broken heart'. Lucy continues to call her and act like life is just perfect these days. Shea eventually comes home for the final Walker Football game where they win the championship for Connie.

What is disgusting is that Lucy tells Shea she finally is ok with her and her dad being together. Coach Carr gives this nice speech about how they did it all with Connie's help (you remember his dead wife) and then kisses Shea right there in front of everyone. HOW THE HELL DO YOU THANK YOUR DEAD WIFE AND KISS YOUR SORTA DAUGHTER.

The book ends there where you don't know what happens next and I really hope she doesn't write a sequel to this because I was appalled with the gross love triangle. To me it was like she was hitting on her step-dad.... You may not agree but this is my opinion... again I was skeeved out by this book and felt dirty after reading it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hollow City - Ransom Rggs

Just in from the library!! Currently reading. Review to be posted
The cover of the 2nd book. You meet this peculiar girl in Part Two.
Update 11/17 almost done! Sorry its taking so long, life is hectic right now
Not much more to go now

Well its almost 5am here and I am finally done the book. I will say the first few chapters drug along with the childish bickering, but the story gained momentum fast and did not stop until the very last page. In this book the children are set out to find a way to cure Miss Peregrine who is stuck in bird form. We come to find out almost all of the Ymbryne's have been captured by the Wight's. The children find their way into an old Loop where peculiar animals live. Their ymbryne Miss Wren has fled to London in hopes to help her sister ymbryne's who were under attack.

From there the children, who need a ymbryne to help Miss P, make a long journey to London and hit lots of hiccups along the way. When they leave the loop they come across a group of gypsies and manage to hide on the back of a wagon for several hours before they are discovered. At first the gypsies shove the children in a cage and threaten to harm them however suddenly one of the men steps forward and chooses to hide the children when the wight army comes looking for them. You soon find out the gypsy man has a peculiar son who is rapidly turning invisible. With a new found understanding the gypsies agree to help the children get to the train station. They make it but are soon taken by the wights and are forced to fight their way free.

Once free they manage to catch back up to their train where they indeed finally make it to London. London is under attack because it is still 1940 where they are and World War II is still happening. They follow clues hidden in the Peculiar Stories that lead them to St Paul's Cathedral. Here they go searching for pigeons as mentioned in the story they are peculiar and help lead the children to Miss Wren. They find the hidden loop in the crypt of the church and find themselves at a side show event where they go searching for other peculiar people. They find a boy who tells them the name of an intersection which the children follow and low and behold finally find Miss Wren. They give Miss Wren the peregrine who is their ymbryne in hopes to heal her. Now at this point the bird who is Miss P has become aggressive and been acting more bird like. The children fear this is her losing her humanity and becoming more animal.

While staying inside the building, which is covered in ice thanks to a peculiar girl, the children learn that peculiar's are teaming up in hopes to fight back against the wights and save their ymbrynes. The group is torn down the middle and some decide to stay back where it is safe and others choose to let Miss Peregrine decide what they should do. Emma tries to convince Jacob to go home at this point which he actually agrees to do!! I was appalled at this because he is just starting to truly understand his ability to feel the hollows.

**Spoiler Alert**
It's show time. Miss Wren is about to break the spell keeping Miss P a bird when suddenly it is not Miss Peregrine, but her brother who is peculiar and can also turn into a bird. You learn that the wights from the first book tricked the children into taking Caul, and letting them think it is Miss Peregrine. The whole time Caul sat listening to the children and learning of all of their weaknesses and abilities. Caul has the building surrounded and ends up taking everyone captive by killing the peculiar girl who makes the ice. The large group is brought to present day London when they exit the loop and are being stuffed on a train when a fight breaks out. The bendable man slips out of his cuffs and makes a run for it. The wights shoot him of course causing chaos in the subway. Emma uses this as an opportunity to fire up her cuffs and melt them off of her. She and Jacob fight several Wights before being knocked out by the blind brothers screaming. Jacob is semiconscious when he sees the Wights shoving the last of the group onto the train and Addison dragging him to safety. When Jacob comes to he learns Addison's loop had been invaded by wights and he fought his way out of it. Jacob takes a call from his father where he tells him he is alive, he loves him, and he hopes to return one day. A hollow shows up, which only Jacob can see, and some how Jacob realizes he has another peculiar ability, he can talk to and control hollows.

The book ends there which still leaves us with questions of course. I am looking forward to the third book mostly because of Jacob's life like premonition dreams. At first I was convinced they were what was going on in the real world in current time but then at the end I was convinced I was wrong. Jacob dreamed he was being burried and could hear his family and friends talking about him. I thought this was due to the fact he was from the recent times but was stuck in the past. Then, at the end of the book when Jacob takes the call from his father, you find out his parents are in London looking for him. I also want to point out that his phone had 177 missed calls from Dad. Not 1 from Mom... his mom was very strange from the first book and almost seemed happy to have both men leave her house. I predict something comes of that. Now back to the dreams... Jacob has a dream from his grandfather which was obviously him saying you can control hollowgashts. I want to know if this is some ability Jacob has or if it is something his grandfather is able to do.

Well, on to the next book!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

I started reading this book one day at work because it was available as an e-book through my local library. I wasn't sure I would even like it, but the cover sucked me in. Yes I choose books by their covers.

I will say I was instantly trapped in this book and found myself not even noticing when people were talking to me. You start off hearing these wonderful stories from Jacob's grandfather, Abe. Now as a reader you automatically think these are fake and the main character grows to stop believing in them as well. One day Jacob's grandfather Abe is killed by wild animals near his home and Jacob is the one to find him. This leaves him terribly disturbed and has to seek counseling to try and work through the incident.

This counseling leads Jacob and his father, Franklin, to the island where Abe was living as an Orphan. From here the book seriously picks up pace and you find out that yes, all of the stories were true. Also, all of the kids in the photographs also exist and they have yet to age. Jacob becomes familiar with all of the children and Miss Peregrine as well as the dangers they face. Not long after Jacobs continued visit to the Loop, the Hollows end up finding them. Hollows are what they call the bad wights because they lost their souls during a dark magic type ordeal.

The book ends with a cliff hanger and some unanswered questions. I look forward to reading Hollowed City to see what happens next. The only thing I will comment on the book is the righting style is definitely that of a younger reader however the content is more for an older reader, if that makes any sense.

Sorry I don't have any pictures, again I read it through my Kindle. The book has such good creepy photos to go along with the story.