Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 9th, 2010
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 419
Source: Book Depository

Goodreads Amazon | Book Depository

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother.

At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger.

Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.

Jellicoe Road is one of those books.

It's one of those books that seems ordinary, but is actually quite extraordinary.
It's one of those books that forces you to push through the tough times before you can enjoy the treasure.
It's one of those books that completely changes your outlook on something; insightful, thought-provoking and wonderful.

It's just one of those books.

Jellicoe Road tells the story of Taylor Markham. Her at present, her in the past, and her even when she was all but a promise to the future. It tells of her and her life at Jellicoe School, fighting Territory wars with the Cadets and the Townies, and dealing with the hardships she's been dealt when she was younger.
But what surprised me was, that it also told of Webb, and Tate, and Narnie, and Fitz and Jude, anything and everything they had going on with them, before Taylor's time.

I can see why some people would be disappointed, when it comes to this book. Getting used to Marchetta's writing and what she's writing about does take time. Sure, I read through the first hundred pages without an ounce of understanding of what was going on, but I realised that this had been purposely done. Marchetta intentionally keeps the readers at bay while she carefully sets the scene, but it's worth it when all the pieces start to come together.

At times the story felt a complete mess. But again, it all starts to make as the story goes on. And considering 'Jellicoe Road' is supposed to be a mystery novel, I think there was sense behind its nonsense.

The characters are what drive this story. Taylor, Griggs, Santangelo, Webb, Tate, Narnie, Jude, Fitz - they didn't just feel like characters in a novel. They felt real. Their personalities were realistic, and kept firm the whole way through the book. The way they acted and reacted, was undeniably convincing, and so, made for a convincing story.

As for the story itself, it's obvious Melina Marchetta took time in carefully constructing this book. With the throw-backs interspersed throughout the book at just the right times, and whatnot. As I said before; it seems ordinary. What I loved about it, however, was that it wasn't at all.
This is the only YA novel I know, to have properly dealt with the issue of dependency, both on other people and on drugs. And the best part was, it dealt with it in such a realistic and poignant way. I've never understood the topic, why people do such things and all that, but I do now, and I have 'Jellicoe Road' to thank for that.

Would highly recommend to everyone.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: November 23, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Buy: The Book Depository

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something... unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Where to start, where to start..

Obsidian is exactly what you expect it to be. It's your typical YA Paranormal Romance, and I mean that in the most respectful way possible. There's the nerdy/shy girl who catches the eye of the dangerous, mysterious guy. A little bit of action, a sprinkle of life-threatening accidents, a whole load of romance, and there you have it! 
What I'm trying to say is that this book is just average, some good parts, and some bad.
Just.. average.

What these paranormal reads have got on their side, though, is that they're so damn easy to read! Given the opportunity, almost anyone could finish this in one sitting. The pacing is pretty quick, and I did enjoy some aspects, particularly the banter between Katy and Daemon, in the way you don't really want to admit. The whole 'alien' premise was actually surprisingly interesting, but then again, it wasn't at the forefront of the book, more or less taking a back seat in the Romance's car. 
So yes, I did actually enjoy some parts of 'Obsidian', but there was just so much I didn't like too..

My biggest problem with this book is probably how secluded I felt, and I have a theory as to why this happened. Most books nowadays, are gender-blind, meaning that no matter your gender, there's something featured in the story that will most likely appeal to you. But with this book I felt like it was so rigid in its attempts to entertain its target audience, that I was left out. 
I'll just say it flat-out, I felt like this story was directed toward girls. You could argue that the action and 'alien' aspect could interest anyone with the stereotypical 'guy's taste', but there's so little of that in the actual story, most of it consisting of the relationship between Katy and Daemon, that it sort of fails in its purpose. 

As well as feeling the book was written exclusively for its target audience, I also had a problem with the writing. Not the style, because as I said it was really easy to read, but how the character development was off at times, how the over-arching plot didn't feel concrete enough to support a whole series, those little things. They're just little things as you're reading, but when you take them all into account, it makes for a disappointing conclusion.

So altogether, Obsidian wasn't a bad read, it had it's high points, but not without the very low ones too. Which, as I said in the beginning, equates to an average book.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Title: Where Things Come Back
Author: John Corey Whaley
Published: July 14, 202
Publisher: Atheneum
Genre: YA Contemporary
Buy: The Book Depository

In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter's senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears.

Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionary's disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning that has far-reaching consequences. As distant as the two stories initially seem, they are woven together through masterful plotting and merge in a surprising and harrowing climax.

Oh man, I really want to give this book five stars. I really do. But something's holding me, a feeling I'm sure every reader can relate to with their 'near-five-star' rated books.

Firstly, Whaley's writing.
I just want to say, flat out, that I love John Corey Whaley's writing style, absolutely love it! It's one of those cases where you just want to read anything and everything by that author because you just love the way they use their words. I thought it suited the story incredibly well, and suited Cullen's character incredibly well - which is important because it's told from his point of view.
Well, mostly.

Secondly, the plot.
I thought the plot of this book was really quite simple, yet interesting and complex all the same. I didn't see the point for the second pov, thinking that it actually detracted from my becoming invested in Cullen's story. But in the end, everything was cleared up. I really appreciated that.
The plot, did tend to get a bit slow, particularly in the middle, but Whaley somehow manages to re-capture my attention with just the littlest things.

Thirdly, the characters.
I think the characters, and their lives, are probably the best aspect of this book. Not to say that all others weren't good, they definitely were, it's just that in the short time you spend reading this book, you become so invested in their lives, that it becomes the most interesting thing while reading the book. John Corey Whaley makes us feel what the characters feel, and does it so effortlessly, that I can't help but commend him on that.

Lastly, the ending.
Pretty soon after starting this book, you realise that the ending is going to be one of the most important parts of story. Or at least that's what I thought, and still do think. But it's because I thought the ending would be this beautiful thing that overwhelms me with emotion, that I'm a tad disappointed in it. I was hoping it would be more solid than it was, and though I am happy with how it ended, I just know that I'm not as happy as I could've been.

Regardless of how I sounded in this review, I really really enjoyed this book. It's definitely one to make you think.. about a whole load of things.
And I love that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore

Title: The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies #5)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Buy: The Book Depository

The worst was supposed to be over. We were reunited after a decade apart. We were discovering the truth of our past. We were training and getting stronger every day. We were even happy...

We never imagined the Mogodorians could turn one of our own against us. We were fools for trusting Five. And now Eight is lost forever. I would do anything to bring him back, but that's impossible. Instead, I will do whatever it takes to destroy every last one of them.

I've spent my entire life hiding from them, and they've stolen everything away from me. But that stops now. We're going to take the battle to them. We have a new ally who knows their weaknesses. And I finally have the power to fight back.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
Number Three in Kenya.
And Number Eight in Florida.
They killed them all.
I am Number Seven.
I will make them pay.

Let's see if I can pull myself together long enough to write this review.
I have a strong feeling I can't..

First of all, the fifth book in any series isn't like your average book. It doesn't look to develop the characters to the extent the first book does, or anything like that. That's not what it's aiming for, so that's not what I'll judge it on. What it wants is to further the over-arcing plot as much as it needs to, and to keep you entertained.
By God, this book did that!

I should probably start with the one thing I didn't love, and that was the lack of any Marina chapters in the book. I can't remember if 'The Rise of Nine' or 'The Fall of Five' featured points of view from Nine and Five respectively, but I really wanted to experience this part of the story through Marina's eyes, especially after what happened at the end of the previous book. To be honest though, around a quarter of the way through, I completely forgot about it, because the story was so enthralling. So I guess even my one negative point doesn't have too much hold haha.

Now onto the good great parts! Oh man, where to start!

As to what I said before, about fifth books in series wanting to further the story, this book definitely crossed that off it's to-do list! We learn so much in this book, not only about the Lorien rebirth and things to do with the guard, but we learn a lot about the Mogs as well, which I absolutely loved! We're given reasons behind the attack that seemed so unprovoked in previous books and surprised by secrets that are revealed! This book is clearly a crucial part of the series, not just a way to make money before releasing the book with the real story, and you feel that when you're reading!

Not a single dull moment passes in this book. When you're not reading about your favourite characters shooting down Mogs, you're learning about what happened between the Mogs and the Lorien Elders. It's so fast-paced and easy to fly through, especially because there are three alternating pov's, which make the reading experience all the better!

The ending. Oh man, oh man!
That's a cliff-hanger if I've ever read one! It definitely wasn't the best ending for readers, feeling almost unnaturally abrupt, but then again, isn't that how cliff-hangers are supposed to feel?
All I know, is that when it ended, I felt some series heart palpitations coming on! Haha

Anyway those are my thoughts for the time being. It literally makes me want to cry knowing I'll have to wait another whole year to continue the story, but I'll just have to stay strong!

Great book!
Great series!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Wrap-Up

Hey guys!

So August was a pretty good reading month for me, considering the last week of August was when school started and things started to get a bit busy! I read seven books, and wrote reviews on most of them, so without further ado here they are, and a snip-bit of my thoughts!


by Marissa Meyer

Oh man was this book good! I liked Cinder, the first book, thought Scarlet was even better, but loved Cress! All the characters together was so exciting and thought Cress' character annoyed me quite a bit in the beginning, she definitely grew on me!

Throne of Glass

by Sarah J. Maas

Review: Click here
This was definitely not the story I was expecting! I'm sort of happy I went into it with low expectations because I did enjoy it quite a bit. It was a bit hard to get into and lacked world building but was a really fun read and I can't wait to read the next book!             

The 5th Wave

by Rick Yancey

Review: Click here
Again, this was not what I was expecting! It was so much darker than I'd anticipated and I absolutely loved that part, but some parts were so slow-going that I actually fell asleep while reading a few times.. The end was definitely the best part!             


by Brigid Kemmerer

Review: Click here
Okay, this one is sort of hard to explain. It's your typical paranormal YA story, with some really cliche parts, but the overall plot is really interesting and when this book gets it right, it gets it right! I just wish it could've been like that all the way through! 

The Scorch Trials

by James Dashner

Review: Click here
This was a disappointment.. I enjoyed The Maze Runner and was eager to see where this story was going, but honestly, I'm not far off from where I was before this book, like it was the first book over again, without enough new material to justify a full book. 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K Rowling

What can I say? This is my favourite book in the entire series and reading it the third/fourth time around was just as fun! I absolutely love these characters and love seeing them grow up to be awesome people. Also, Hermione is bae.. that's all. 

Isla and the Happily Ever After

by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Click here
If you haven't read my review of this, please just read it! I didn't think this book was perfect, by any means, but I loved it! Honestly, if you're a fan of Perkins you'll like it, but the only was you'll really love it, is if you can truly relate to Isla's character. 

So yeah, those are all the books I read this month. What books did you guys read? Let's talk about them in the comments!

Thanks for reading guys,