Friday, January 24, 2020

Echoes Between Us Review

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Author: Katie McGarry

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Number of Pages: 384

Publisher: Tor Teen

First Thoughts:

I quite honestly thought this book was going to go a different way by just reading the summary. But boy was I wrong. What looked to start as a typical ghost story turned into something much more Psychological. It was a deep down psychological and emotional story. it had parts that really grabbed me and parts that set me with unease. I saw that a lot of readers thought this was a great story but it didn't hit me right. 

Summary:

Veronica is trying best to keep the secret that she has a brain tumor. As innocent as she portrays the tumor to be, she thinks it would turn her world upside down if anyone besides her dad, a few friends and doctors knew about it. She especially doesn't want the boy that just moved into the apartment under her house to know. 

Enter Sawyer, the picture perfect all star swimmer. But Sawyer has a secret of his own. One that is slowly consuming him, one that only he knows about. But Sawyer is one of the popular kids at small town high school. Secrets are bound to be told.

Veronica and Sawyer start on a journey of self-discovery, where they are bound by a school project and the ghosts that Veronica is determined to prove are real. But will their two secrets be revealed and if they are will Veronica and Sawyer be ready to own up to them?

Plot:

I thought this book would be more syfy and less emotional roller-coaster. It started in a typical manner, an opening scene of a breakfast between father and daughter. And Veronica has an obsession to prove, one she tells herself has to be real because if it wasn't meant something much worse. There's constantly a pull of emotions as characters come in and out throughout the story. It adds more dramatic pieces and slowly the plot thickens and causes the reader to want to want to read more; to stop only until the book ends. I mean the plot was good, took a turn I didn't anticipate but for an average reader, I think they'd like this book. My opinion is that it started off rocky but snowballed into something better by the end. I still have mix emotions about the story line. There was some dark scenes in this book, scenes that could cause a reader to want to put the book down. (at least that's what it did to me at parts.) Overall I can see how attractive the plot would be to most readers but like I mentioned above it didn't settle well with me.

Romance:

The relationship between Veronica and Sawyer was unexpected in the way that they would fit together. To me they had personalities that would clash and yes it did at times. It kind of seemed too easy to pair the two, like it was predictable in that way. But in the end it was okay, not the shining aspect of the story.

Characters:

Veronica was hard to connect with to me. She had a whole a lot of barriers up that made it hard for the reader to connect with. But as I got to know exactly what Veronica's life was like and how hard it was for her to deal with life's problems made it more connectable. But Veronica was a complex character, she had all of these beliefs that she thought were real and had such a tender heart. When I did connect with her, I became a fan of her. She was weak at times and others the bravest of souls.

Sawyer was a more rough kind of character. His personality had sharp edges that made it hard to understand. But as information was released throughout the story it was easier to understand him.

The rest of the secondary characters were introduced well and gave a good spectrum of personalities. Like Veronica's dad, he is not one of my favorite characters but then you get someone like Veronica, whose whole life is like balancing on a tight rope above a tank of piranhas. Definitely an interesting piece of the story.

Transformation of the Character:

Veronica definitely transformed as the reader was able to understand her. She had so much against her but those obstacles just pushed her over the edge. She had to break out of her "cocoon" because the alternative was way too dark for her. Sawyer did his own kind of transforming, I felt you didn't get his whole transformation by the end of the book but you were able to see some transformation. 

Description:

The scenery was well crafted to allow the reader to imagine each part, allowing the imagery to be pasted to our minds. There were some intense moments and the reader was able to really imagine the scene as it played out. One of the best scenes was the where Veronica and Sawyer first went out looking for ghosts by the bridge. That scene really made the reading experience terrifying and fun. The emotional part of this book was well described, I found myself on the verge of tears at parts. It really grabbed the reader and allowed them to understand what the character was feeling and thinking in some serious situations.

Style:

This was written in first person, it allowed the reader to understand what was going on in the character's mind. The emotional connection was better suited for first person. This was meant to be a deep and emotional book and it wouldn't have made such an impact if it was in 2nd or third person. This was also written in two point of views; Veronica's and Sawyers. I loved that it was two different point of views, it allowed a wider range of emotional connection. As for the writer's writing it was well written and enjoyable. As much as I have bashed this book, the writing itself isn't one of the reasons I had a hard time of connecting with the story. The author has a way with words that causes the reader to want to continue reading even though it doesn't connect with the reader.

Quote of the Book:

" "What's important is that you're comfortable with your body and how you decide to use it. If you want to kiss the boy and he wants to kiss you, you kiss. If you don't want to kiss the boy, you don't. Kissing is magical, but it's not magical enough to make your wounds heal. Only time can do that.""

Last Thoughts:

Even though I had parts of the book I didn't like doesn't mean I hated the book. It had it's moments. I think I really started to connect with the story when the characters became more serious; more realistic. I enjoy this author's writing and will continue to read other stories by her. I really; truly hope you will enjoy this book, maybe it's me; maybe I'm the reason it wasn't my favorite. Worth a try, happy reading!

Rating:

3 Blooms!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Burning Shadow(Origin #2) Review

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Date Published: October 8, 2019

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Number of pages: 432

Publisher: Tor Teen

First Thoughts:

Eeekkk! I love this series! It's not often a series takes me by surprise like this one does! I remember reading the first book "The darkest Star." I had no experience with this series's world. I wasn't expecting much from it but after reading "The Darkest Star" I was pretty hyped up. What caught me by surprise was, I had forgotten that another book in the series had come out last October. It wasn't until I stepped in Barnes and Noble's for the first time in months, that I had remembered. (Last year was a hard reading year for me.) And just like with the first book, I devoured this one too.

Summary:

Evelyn nicknamed "Evie" thought her life was going to finally get back on track, if only she didn't have gaps in her memory. Add in Luc, an Orgin and her life just becomes even more tangled. 

To make things worse, a mysterious illness/deaths are rising. And guess whose at the wrong end of the stick? Yep, the Luxen. But is it really them that is causing this "flu" like illness? Or is it something much more sinister?

Evie must try and figure out the missing pieces in her memory before the past tries to catch up to her. And things are happening to Evie, things she rather push to the furthest place in her mind. Things no "human" can do. 

Will Evie solve her memory problems? and will the mysterious Luc finally reveal some secrets of his own? 

Plot:

There were some predictable areas in this book and then some surprises! But the ending was a mixture of them both. Not going to spoil it for you but it definitely had a plot twist at the end. I loved that there were moments of comic relief because this book packed a lot of emotions! And not to spoil too much we did have to say goodbye to a few characters...it made me almost cry. But besides the intense emotions there was also some funny moments. Without them I don't think I could've finished this book as fast as I did or finished it period. This book was packed with action so it doesn't bore the reader. And there was some mystery to this book in the form of unexpected occurrences. Like I mentioned above, I could predict what would happen if not exactly then pretty similar. But there's nothing like a surprise. I love being surprised in a book and this book had a few. 

Romance:

There definitely were some heated scenes. Especially from Evie and Luc. I know, I know, anyone could've predicted there would be something between the two of them. It was quite predictable, it was fated in my opinion that they would end up together. Quite honestly I thought they were together in the first book (like an actual couple) but apparently they weren't. Anyways if you don't like some "heavy" breathing romance scenes (no sex), then I would caution you to read this series.

Other than Evie and Luc's budding relationship there were other couples and I enjoyed reading about them. Nothing like seeing young love!

Characters:

Evie is a fun but at times frustrating character to read about. She has this great personality but also at the same time blocks herself from achieving things. But she's still fun to read along with and Luc, honestly can be worse than her. But Evie is a complex character. She sometimes puts roadblocks in front of her when there shouldn't have been any to start with. She definitely tries hard, she honestly doesn't want to harm anyone(well any innocent people or otherwise). But I also think were not seeing all there is to know about Evie. Which I know makes a book so good. (who wants to read a book where we know everything about the main character in the first half of it?!)  

Luc is definitely a firecracker. He likes to rile people up for situations he can't control. He has this dedication to protecting others especially Evie. He thinks he's in control of things when in reality he shouldn't have that control to begin with. But he is definitely fun to read along with as with the other secondary characters.

Transformation of the Character:

Evie is still evolving in this book and I quite honestly believe she will continue to evolve until the end of time. She's complex like I mentioned above and with that comes details we may never find. She still has this problem of facing her problems. She can't seem to push past them, she likes to let it fester like a thorn under the skin. She rather push it to the very back of her mind until she explodes. So she does has some growing up to do.

As for Luc and the others they evolved some, Luc more than the others but he definitely has awhile to go also.

Description:

The detail is very much one of my favorite things about this book. The way a Luxen looks when in it's true form is very well described. And the emotions?! Phew, I sometimes had to step back for a bit because it was so well described that it was powerful. The scenery was well described also, they way she described the characters and surroundings allowed the reader to get a pretty good idea on how the characters interacted with it. Best part by far, is the way she describes things that pipes the readers interest. It's all about the way to draw the reader in, to catch their attention. This is what the author did and excelled at.

Style:

This was written in first person, which allowed the reader to get a better grasp on what was happening and to understand the story line better. This was also written in only Evie's point of view so really, the main focus of the book was on her and the ever-changing things infecting her life.The author's writing is also a big "wow". This author has a way with words that invite the reader in and allow them to be snared, making it hard to put the book down. She is by far one of my favorite authors because of her excellent writing.

Quote of the Book:

""You never struck me as the type to ever be afraid," I said, being honest.

"Usually I'm not, but when it comes to you..." He trailed off, looking away. A muscle flexed along his jaw. He inhaled deeply.

"We'll figure this out.""

Last Thoughts:

Loved this book and hopefully come October I'll remember this time to pick up the next book in this series called, "The Brightest Night." I would totally recommend this book to YA readers, and if you still haven't checked this series out, you so should!!! Thank you's to the author for creating such a creative and thrilling world, till next time....

Rating:

4 Blooms!

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Vanishing Season(book 4 of The Collector Series)

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Date Published: May 21, 2019

Author: Dot Hutchison

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Number of pages: 317

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Warning! Book 4 of this series! Should read books 1-3 first to truly enjoy this book.

First Thoughts:

Sad to see an end to this series. Though in all honesty it ran it's necessary course and ended just right. I will miss the sparky and real characters. I will miss these amazing thought-out cases. It all started in a butterfly garden, where girls had tattoo butterfly wings on their backs, the very first case in this series. And it ended in a very emotional and very heart-pounding case. If you like the other books you will definitely love the characters in this journey. If you haven't read any of the other books, can I suggest you read them?! Anyways, let me wipe my eyes, blow my nose and start this review!

Summary: 

FBI agent Eliza Sterling is on a case that she has to solve before another girl's fate ends badly. With the help of her fellow group of agents this should be easy right? Well it's not easy solving a case that might involve Agent Eddison's missing sister. Eddison is doing his best to contain his emotions as this case rapidly increases as it becomes apparent that the abducted girl isn't the only one involved in this case. They have to rush to find Brooklyn before it's too late.

Eddison's temper and emotions are spiraling out of control but can Eliza bring Eddison back from this darkness in time to help solve the case or will he be more of a liability? With the help of her fellow agents theys rush to solve this case of both abducted Brooklyn and the missing girls that formed over years. Will these girls cases finally get solved or will Eddison drag all the agents down with him.

Plot:

Just like with the other three books, the case is a tough one to solve and read. It still surprises me that something like this book has probably in one form or another come to past in reality. 

I love books that are like this. The good guys trying to make a imprint in this world. The plot really becomes deep in parts and makes the reader want to comfort the agents who are battling the bad guy(s). It deals a lot with the agents trying to solve this case that actually evolves to more. It becomes a man-hunt to solve who could've taken Brooklyn and why. And why is it when Eliza gets closer to touch deeper in the case she's pushed 3 steps back? Eliza is determined to solve this case and others, so that she may one day see a happy ending. 

This plot was up and down and dealt with a lot of emotions. Though it necessarily didn't make me cry it still was an emotional roller-coaster. And the cases were thoroughly picked apart by Eliza and her fellow FBI agents. Definitely a good plot that had only a few dry spells. And by dry I mean slow and kinda boring. But overall it was a pretty good plot.

Romance:

Eliza and Eddison are dating and their relationship was definitely tested in this book. With Eddison's little sister's case possibly being connected to Brooklyn's his anger slowly builds. And with anger comes things you wouldn't normally do. Eddison's anger towards the world comes to come against Eliza. I have mixed feelings about their relationship. With what Eliza dealt with, I'm not sure I could've stayed. With my past especially. Overall this wasn't the best part of the book.

Characters:

Eliza was such a strong character. She had so much thrown at her. When we met her in the previous books she was kind of a "just there" character. She supported her fellow agents but you couldn't see her true colors until this book. We got to see her step up. See her finally get rid of that wedding dress from her first almost wedding to a previous guy. But man I literally cheered when she did that. I think I might of yelled when it came across that part. In this book she was the lead on this case. She took it by the reins. but by no means was able to solve it by herself.

Eddison another primary character was an emotional character. He was kinda a weak character in this particular book. But I guess you would be weak when your missing little sister became a possible connection with the new case. 

The other agents were good in their own parts. The visiting "butterflies" were fun to see and it allowed the reader to be okay with the series ending.

Transformation of the Character:

Eliza blossomed in this book as I mentioned above. She really shone in this book and it made me excited to see just how much she did bloom. I thought she was weak in the other books but when it came time to help put relief to Eddison's torment she really grew up. 

Eddison on the other hand transformed in a different way. He had a different kind of hurdle. When a case hits close to home you're bound to have a harder time with the case as than the other agents. He had to come to terms that his little sister may have been a part of this case. He gets super emotional and moody. He doesn't really try to get better in my opinion until the case comes to a conclusion. Not going to spoil it but he definitely wasn't that transformed like Eliza.

Description: 

There was definitely good descriptions in this book. The findings of bones and how they were found and described was phenomenal. The author really did her research. It seemed so legit that I doubt it was made up! And how she described Eddison's emotions really got to me. It was like I was right there with him. Even though I mentioned I thought Eddison was a weak character doesn't mean I didn't like him. I honestly can't blame him for how he felt because I would feel the same way. But the author really got the reader to engage with the book and it's description. It was like I was actually there! One roller-coaster of a book ride!The scenery was well polished and pulled at the reader. Really liked this part of the book.

Style:

This was written in multiple P.O.V.s but mainly Eliza's. I liked the way the author chose to choose when necessary to add in the other point of view. Eliza's point of view was definitely important but it was definitely in the best interest of the book to add in other point of views. Especially when it came to understanding exactly what was going on. Also this book was written in first person. It allowed the reader to connect with Eliza. There's only so much you can get out of third person or even second person. But as this story being a FBI book, you needed to get in the head of the person really into the case.

The author's writing itself was beautiful. Really caught the readers attention. Not rocky but at times sharp. Definitely would recommend her writing. 

Quote of the Book:

""Faith? You're not out here all alone, are you?"

She stopped on the sidewalk and looked up. "umm...that depends," she hedged. "Are you going to tell my mama?"

The man smiled. "No, I won't tell her anything.""

Last Thoughts:

Man, I miss this series already. Though I'm trying to take a break on FBI books. I need something more light. A "happy" book if there really is any. I would totally recommend this book to anyone who likes pyschological thrillers or FBI based stories. Of course, if you liked any of the first three books then you would definitely be down for this book. Be ready for your life to be changed!

Rating:

4 Blooms! 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Darkest Star Review

The Darkest Star (Origin, #1)

Date to be published: October 30, 2018

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Number of Pages: 368

Publisher: Tor Teen

First Thoughts:

I literally devoured this book in a matter of a day or so. I literally couldn't put this book down (that's how good it was). If you loved Jennifer's Lux series you're going to love her Origin series just as much! The characters are just not feisty and yummy but they're really mysterious and devour-able. The Lux are at it again and you won't want to miss what else they have up their sleeves! 

Summary:

Evie's life is turned on its end the night she meets Luc in the one place she's not supposed to be; a club where Luxen mingle with humans. There she meets Luc who is not only mysterious but comes to her aid when the club is raided.

Soon the two's lives become intertwined. No matter how hard Evie fights it, it only seems to bring Luc closer. As the days start to add up, Evie's life gets more and more uncontrollable. She learns things about her past and Luc and soon she has nothing to control anymore. Will Evie recover from what she's learned in time to face the real problem? The problem that no one saw coming?

Plot:

Jennifer did a great job on keeping the reader entertained the entire book; not once was I bored. I was itching to turn each page faster; wanting to absorb Evie's world. This book took place after the war between the humans and the Luxen. We learn even more about the Luxen and the characters past and present.  I will admit, I wasn't this absorbed in the Luxen series as I was with this one. You don't have to read the Lux series to start this series! You can start with this book, it pretty much tells you all you need to know to get this book. You can always go back and read the Lux series later. Also, this book had so much going on, new and old characters introduced, elements new and old but it still drew me in. It was heart breaking at times and laughable at others. But this book really dealt with mental strength for Evie. She was put through some terrible things and yet had to decide whether to come out stronger or let it devour her. The ending left me wanting more and there will definitely be more in this series and I can't wait to devour them too! I want to know what happens next! Lots of twists and also some predictable parts too but it didn't seem to bother me. I still enjoyed reading it.

Romance:

Okay, the tension between Luc and Evie was sexual and high! Though almost the entire time Evie was fighting it! So it was frustrating at times to see the two interact but also realastic. I mean realistically speaking you're not going to thrust yourself at a mysterious stranger; someone you just met! He could be a serial killer for all you know! If you're smart, you'll take things slow and that's how the romance in this book played out.

Characters:

Loved, loved, loved Evie and Luc together. The two of them together were a hoot! I literally laughed at them since the beginning. They clashed yet were inseparable at the same time. Without one the other just didn't make sense. Luc has got to be one of my favorite characters of the year so far! He had the perfect attitude and personality. Jennifer did a great job creating him; allowing him in this world at the right moments to make the book more exciting and memorable. Some of Evie's friends like Zoe were good characters too. And Heidi. They were both great supporting characters! They were perfectly introduced into the story at the right moment to help give Evie a supporting hand. Luc's fellows were just as great as he was. I cannot emphasize how much the characters made this book so enjoyable and fun to read! 

Transformation of the Character:

Evie definitely did a lot of transforming in this book; she literally had to. Not only did her life depend on it but so did others. I don't want to go into too much detail on this; I do not want to spoil this book for you...at all. But she did transform and I imagine she will blossom even more as this series progresses.

Description:

I liked that Jennifer described the scenery in a way that it kinda foreshadowed what was to come. She was poetic at times and hilarious at others. By hilarious I mean she described the scene in a way that put the reader at ease but also strung her up by her toes at the same time. It left the reader both frustrated but happy at the same time. The description was brilliant. The way the luxen were described gave the reader a idea on how to identify them later on. Also if you hadn't read the Lux series this was a huge help. 

Style:

This was written in first person and in one point of view. I liked that Jennifer kept to just writing in Evie's point of view because it drew out the answers. It allowed the reader to guess and ponder what it could mean. Evie was ignorant for a lot of the book so it allowed that to happen. Being written in first person allowed the reader to get inside Evie's mind and see exactly how she was going to react to some of the situations. Jennifer's writing was just as eloquent and fun to read as ever. I've been attracted to her writing ever since I picked up her first book. She has a way with words for sure. Her writing draws the reader in....

Quote of the Book (Subject to changed. Read a advanced readers copy):

" "I don't want to talk to you anymore."

"Good...I can think of a lot more interesting things to do in a tiny, dark space that would pass the time."

My muscles locked up. "You try something and you will regret it." "

Last Thoughts:

There's so much to like about this book, the humor parts, the serious parts and best of all the Luc parts. Definitely hands down one of my favorite books by Jennifer. I seriously encourage you to go and pre-order this now. If you liked her Lux series you're going to LOVE her Origins series too! Totally recommend this to sci-fi and Lux readers! Also, if you loved Jennifer's writing in another book, you'll going to love her writing in here! She was utterly brilliant!

Rating:

5 Blooms! Fully Bloomed!



Friday, September 28, 2018

Cut and Run Review

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Date to be Published: October 9, 2018

Author: Mary Burton

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Number of Pages: 336

Publisher: Montlake Romance

First Thoughts:

I just became aware of this author just a couple of months ago and I am officially addicted to her writing. I always like a good mystery with romance thrown into the thick of it. This has the right amount of action and suspense. Plenty of moments of surprise. If you're into diverging yourself in a world of solving crimes and finding time to find the good in life this is the book for you!

Summary:

Faith is a medical examiner who finds herself immersed in a world of crime that is tightly connected to her life in more ways than one. She soon embarks not only on a journey of trying to solve a crime but unraveling her lineage. 

Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden is a hard-edge man who is hell bent on decoding  clues until he solves the crime. He's all about his job and he's not looking for love. But this latest crime has him in the sights of a beautiful woman named Faith.

Soon the two join forces together trying to not only solve the hit and run of Faith's possible twin sister FBI agent Macy Crow but the trail she left behind before her hit and run. 

The clock is ticking down and bodies are piling up, will these two decode the clues before the killer comes after them?

Plot:

I loved this story, it had a lot of ups and downs that left the reader reading late into the night. There were plenty of twists and surprises along the way to keep the reader entertained. There were scenes of crime and scenes of redemption. Lots of scrambling and a race against the clock. You can really get a sense of the urgency in each scene. There were parts where it allowed the reader to take a breather and have a little comic relief. If you're into murder mysteries excitement this is down your alley. There were a couple of predictable scenes, like I guessed some of the things from nearly the beginning of the book but the main mystery of all; the person who did it, was a surprise to me. So it didn't deter me from enjoying the book.

Romance:

Ahh, romance. There was some sexual tension between Faith and Hayden. They even had a interesting past and soon the two are fighting to keep things how they were before but love's cupid keeps drawing them closer. Though this wasn't the major part of the book, it was beautifully in-twined and created a great atmosphere for a mystery romance.

Characters:

Faith was an interesting character. It didn't take me long to get connected with her. Though she was a bit naive in some scenes.  But she was strong emotionally in others. Hayden was a little cold to me in the beginning. It took me awhile to get connected to him; to even root for him. Which is a little odd because all of her previous books I've read from Ms.Burton I've always immediately or close to immediately connected with them. Macy Crow was a secondary character but she added texture to the story that allowed the main plot to flow. The serial killer was a great mystery and loved reading from his mind. *shiver*.

Transformation of the Character:

Faith in a way transformed but it wasn't as noticeable as others have been in the past. It was subtle and fluid. Hayden's transformation was more noticeable and I enjoyed seeing him grow into the man he was meant to be. 

Description:

The information was well researched and though I'm no medical examiner or law enforcement officer it really rang true to me. The description of the autopsies and the way the clues were left really left a realistic feel to the story. The scenes of the crimes were tastefully done, done enough to get the point across but not too grisly. I just really enjoyed how each scene was described from the scenery down to the clues. They were all important factors to the story. The way the characters minds were described were well established too. It allowed the reader to understand what was happening and why it was happening. Just the description of the characters themselves allowed the reader to really picture how they appeared and identify them later on without a single name being uttered.

Style:

This was written in third person and multiple point of views. Being written in third person just allowed the reader to see a wider view of each scene and get to understand the information in a better perspective. And being written in multiple point of views allowed the reader to understand the story better. To get all the pieces of the story and put it together into a giant puzzle. Very well thought out. And Burton's writing is a real treat. Very easy to get lost in her writing and pass the hours. This book will be finished before you even really even grasped everything that was written in the story.

Quote of the Book:

"Two buzzards circled overhead...Like him, buzzards didn't have an elegant reason for being. Like him, they cleaned up mess death left behind."

Last Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book and will continue to look forward to other books written by Mary Burton. She has a way with mysteries that has really grabbed my attention. Totally recommend this to any reader in for a fast and unbelievable read! Highly recommend to go pre-order this book now!

My Rating:

4 Blooms!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Any Second Review

Any Second

Date to be Published: November 20, 2018

Author: Kevin Emerson

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Number of Pages: 400

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

First Thoughts:

This was such a deep and dark book that dealt with issues both psychological and physical. I don't know what's been going on lately. I've been picking up books that deal with psychological and mental issues. I mean it's not necessarily bad but it kind of gets you messed up. Does that make sense? This book may have not cut me as bad as "The fall of Innocence" but it still sliced me open. 

Summary:

Eli and Maya come from two different worlds but yet are made of the same mindset. Eli was kidnapped at the age of 11 and then 5 years reappears in the form of a bomb in the middle of the mall surrounded by his own mind and what he was brainwashed to do.

Enter Maya. Always been plagued by anxiety but is at the mall with her father waiting in line to get his picture re-taken on his driver's license. She see's Eli in a kids wolf mask holding his thumb down on a bomb. Soon the two's world collides and they're both drawn together in keeping the bomb from exploding; saving not only their lives but everyone else's.

Flash forward 8 months. Eli and Maya have not seen each other since that fateful day and now are thrown in the same school. Both their families not wanting to do with the other but the tension flies with the two. Eli's captor has yet to be found and Maya's anxiety has only gotten worse. To top that off there's a certain threat looming over their school. Can they heal not only themselves but save others from their fate.

Plot:

The main focus of the book is the survival of Eli and Maya's mind. They both have a tormented mind and are living on the outside. They both make bad decisions but each one learns from them or at least tries to. The threat of "Gabriel" Eli's captor is what drives Eli to the point of fear. He has all of this brainwashing from him (5 years worth). He keeps thinking what Gabriel would think and hardly has thoughts of his own. He lives in fear almost the entire book, which was devastating at times to read. And Maya, she lives in the constant play-over of the almost detonation of the mall bomb. She resorts to picking her cuticles and pulling her hair out. It was really fascinating to see how each character adapted to what their life gave them. Some were braver than others while others could barely keep their heads above water. The plot itself, was pretty much predictable. I guessed the twists before they were revealed and I knew pretty much how this would end. Though the ending left me with a few questions unanswered. Were we as the reader supposed to draw our own conclusions? Or perhaps there's another sequel in the works? It's always hard to know for sure when reading an ARC. 

Romance:

The romance wasn't a thing in this book. Don't get me wrong there were relationships but this book wasn't about that. This book is all about trying to heal and be comfortable with who you are. So romance definitely wasn't the focus of this book.

Characters: 

Eli was a weak character to me but was considered one of the protagonists (or antagonist in his mind). I know he went through a lot but it wasn't like he was really trying to get better most of the book. He annoyed me at times too and was so naive. But again he was taken as an eleven year old and grew in a very sheltered life for five years. So, of course he's going to be naive. But then again there is such a thing as common sense. Some of the things he was witnessing should've been addressed immediately and I would hope an average person would address them right away. Maya was a pretty good character. I could relate to her in some ways when it came to her anxiety. We both just had different ways of dealing with it. She was weak at times as well but stronger in some areas. I still don't think we got her whole back story before this story even started but I guess that was meant to be. The other secondary characters like Eli's first friend and Maya's friend were brought in and out at the right moments. Though the parents left me yearning for a few better traits....but Eli's sister was one of my favorite secondary characters because she brought the relief the reader needed at just the right moments.

Transformation of the Character:

Both Eli and Maya did some transforming, some more in some areas than others. But I think out of the two Maya did the most transforming. She had so much stacked against her (the main thing being herself). But by the end she seemed to be different in some areas but same in others. Eli on the other hand seemed to struggle with this part of the book.

Description:

The description was well thought out. The imagery of Eli and Maya's emotions really painted what it was like being them. To feel what it was like being in extreme sensory situations. The feeling of feeling desperate and out of control when nothing seems to work to rope you back in. Mr.Emerson painted a kaleidoscope of emotions in this book and allowed the reader to experience emotional situations that the reader might never have been in before. The description of the scenes was well thought out and I could detect some foreshadowing at times as well. And the psychology of the book could've used a little bit more research. I feel like some areas in Eli's perspective could've used some more detail. Like perhaps Eli reacted in certain situations a little too dramatic or maybe not dramatic enough. Of course, I'm no psychologist so my opinion on this area could be off.

Style:

This was written in first person and in Eli and Maya's point of view. Being written in first person allowed us as the reader to experience and view the character's perspective. I really liked that Mr.Emerson did this. I think if it had been written any other form, we wouldn't have been able to understand Eli and Maya's world. To be able to see how they perceived themselves around others. And the back and forth of Eli's and Maya's point of view allowed the story to flow and be experienced at it's optimal level. Mr.Emerson's writing was really well thought out and unique. I've never read any of his previous books so I went into this blind in that perspective. But I enjoyed it and think I would definitely enjoy reading more of his writing.

Quote of the Book:

" "Innocence is ignorance. And the ignorant are complicit. You are not longer one of the sheep, are you?"

I shake my head..."I am a wolf.""

Last Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book and look forward in seeing what others think of it too. There's so much for this book to offer so I hope some of you take a chance on it. It definitely provided me with insight to a person's soul and the crippling side affects of anxiety (and let's be honest I really do know the crippling side affects of anxiety). But this is definitely a book to read if into the concept of psychology. When November 20th comes, go download or order this book, it sure will break you and put you back together in a new way; a way that will leave you more beautiful and stronger.

My Rating:

4 Blooms!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Fall of Innocence Review

The Fall of Innocence

Date Published: June 12, 2018

Author: Jenny Torres Sanchez

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Number of Pages: 448

Publisher: Philomel Books

First Thoughts:

Caution! Trigger for victims of PTSD, Sexual Assault and Mental Illness!!!

There are no words to express how deep this book cut down to my soul. There isn't a pretty way to put how torn up I got after the last word was read. If you're looking for a happy and simple read, this book isn't for you. There's so much texture and real life scenarios that it made it all the more real. This book really messed with me emotionally and I think those are sometimes the best kind of books....

Summary:

Emilia DeJesus was a victim of sexual assault when she was a young kid. But now in her later teens things begin to change. She remembers parts of it and thought she knew for sure who the assailant was but soon that all comes to surface when new evidence is brought forward. Soon Emilia's life is turned upside down and her life becomes this big pool of water where she can hardly get her head above surface. She soon starts to find a place of her own that she can control, while her life is torn to pieces. Even her current boyfriend, brother and mother try to get her through her life but will it be in time to save Emilia before it's too late?

Plot:

Emilia is the main focus of this story and her struggles to come to terms with her assault. And on top of that though it's not discussed in detail her mental illness in the form of hallucinations and depression. What I couldn't understand was why her mother couldn't get her the proper care she needed. Coming from someone whose been in a psych ward her illness should've ended with her there as well. If I was her mother I would definitely push the subject for the safety of my child! I mean that is one major plot hole. But other than that it was very realistic and devastating to read. In a way the end result was the climax and that it ended in such a way it was hard to grasp what really happened! Definitely spooky in the sense of her mind but enlightening in a sense I learned how her mind worked. I've been interested in psychology for a while now and it was fun to learn the inner-workings of Emilia's mind. Lot's of turns and pivots but enough slow moments to allow you to gather yourself and move forward. 

Romance:

There was romance in this story but it wasn't really the main focus. Yes Emilia's boyfriend did everything he could to help her but I think Emilia herself wasn't focused on their relationship. It was heartbreaking to read such dedication of her boyfriend and how far gone Emilia was at points. But other than that I wouldn't say this was a romance novel.

Characters:

Emilia was  a character I could understand but not all the way relate to. I'm not as far gone in mental illness than she was in the book. But Emilia was complex and full of texture, meaning she had so many angles and details to her that I'm still not sure I fully grasped them all. But I liked her in a way that she was trying to fight all her demons. The friend she met in the story was an interesting choice. The friend was a friend and not a friend at the same time. They were both wrapped up in themselves to understand each other. I'm still trying to determine whether the friend added to the story or just was there. Emilia's support system like her brother, mother, and boyfriend were very nice to meet and read alongside them. They definitely made the story the way it was meant to be. They made the reader to understand that Emilia had people that cared about her and wanted to see her pull through and create a better life for herself!

Transformation of Character:

This is a tricky part of this book. In a way I think I saw some transformation in Emilia and downfalls in other parts. So yes and no she transformed. As for other characters? I think in a way the mother and boyfriend transformed. They learned a lot from Emilia and therefore, became someone new.

Description:

This was the best part of the book! The eerie way the author described each scene was remarkable. The description was like poetry, so poetic and beautiful. And the foreshadowing was well placed and executed! The crows were a huge symbol in this book and it lead to eventually the climax. It was remarkable to see such vivid and realistic detail that it seemed like I was there. The description of Emilia's mind, like I mentioned earlier was really interesting and well described. The psychology alone in this book was well executed. Also, the triggers in this book were well placed but hard to read. The author had to have had either done a lot of research or experienced it herself for her to get it the way she did. It seemed so real.

Style:

This was written in third person and multiple point of views (POV's). I liked we were really able to experience everything alongside Emilia herself; to experience each and every critical moment. And to also be in the major characters point of views to see how they responded in critical moments too. As for the the third person, it really gave the reader a way to relate or understand Emilia and the other character but also take a step back at the same time.The author's writing was captivating and enjoyable to read. Though the reading was difficult at times to read, it really was hard to put down!

Quote of the Book:

"She looked at herself in the mirror again, at the judgmental image staring back at her."

Last Thoughts:

Though this book isn't for everyone, I very much enjoyed it. It has been one of my favorite psychological reads of the year. I can't wait to experience what other books Ms. Sanchez has in store for us! So, if you think you're strong enough to read this book, I would totally recommend you go download or pick up a copy today!

Rating:

4 Blooms!!