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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Espressologist Review

The Espressologist 

Written by: Kristina Springer
# of pages: 184

Average Rating: 3.54/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in November 2013

Summary according to goodreads

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

My Thoughts 

This is a young-adult contemporary novel, which led to it being very predictable at times. With some of the characters, I knew exactly who they were going to be with, what they were going to do/say, etc. Knowing what was going to happen really made this story less enjoyable, and is one of the reasons that I didn't give it five stars. 

Athough this is classified as a young adult book, it almost seemed as though it was written for a younger age group based on the language. I have read many middle grade books, young adult books and adult books, and I would say that this fits more along the lines of a pre-teen novel. 

This story had a cute plot, and it was truly an interesting idea. I am a big fan of different drinks and go to Starbucks frequently, so this seemed like the perfect story for me to read. It was a very quick read - only took me a day! You can't seem to turn the pages fast enough. This is a book that is so engrossing that you even if you have an idea of what is going to happen, you just want to keep reading anyway. 

This book was recommended to me, and I'm so glad they did! I recommended it to all of you, and even though it is a contemporary it is perfect for the winter as it takes place in December. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hate List Review

Hate List

Written by: Jennifer Brown
# of pages: 405

Average Rating: 4.07/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in October 2013

Summary according to goodreads

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

My Thoughts

It was requested that I do a review for this book, so here it is!

This book made me smile, made me yell, and made me cry. It was such a powerful story that everyone needs to read. I was very hesitant to pick it up at first because when I bought it, I had no idea what it was about. This may seem like it's going to be a depressing book - and I'm not going to lie, it is - but it was also a good realistic contemporary that made you think. Nobody ever expects something like a school shooting to happen, so how do you move on when it does?

This poor girl went through so much, and people kept making it seem like she had been the shooter. The character development was so strong in this story, and I felt like I was emotionally attached to Valerie. At times I felt like I was physically in the story, which is very powerful for an author to be able to do. I thought my family life was bad at times, but it was nothing compared to Valerie's. 

The hardest part about reading this book was knowing that things like this actually happen. School shootings are very tragic, and unfortunately very real. I watch a lot of Dr. Phil, and it was a totally different experience reading about it from the perspective of someone that was victim, than just hearing about it on TV. Although this novel is a work of fiction, it feels very real because you know that for some people, this is their lives. 

I don't want to say much about the ending for those who want to read it, but I will say that I was very satisfied. I felt that in the end all of the loose ends were tied up, I had no questions that went unanswered, and it was just very conclusive. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sinnerman Review


Written by: Jonathan M. Cook
# of pages: 185

Average Rating: 4.43/5
My Rating: 3/5

Read in November 2013

Summary according to goodreads

"Love makes sinners of us all."

In the sleepy Midwestern town of Vespers...

In the sweltering summer heat...

Julian Sane, high school teacher and cad's cad, is a man at war with himself. But a chance encounter with a former student will push him across professional boundaries and force him to confront his personal demons.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book to review, but that does not influence my opinion. 

A strong asset to this novel was that it included strong and powerful descriptions. Although this is a rather short book, it is one that you need to read slowly in order to fully grasp all of the details. 
I would suggest this novel for more mature readers, as it didn't seem to fit into my age group. I plan on rereading in the future, and hopefully I will be able to appreciate it more. As a recently-turned adult, I haven't had as many life experiences that would help me be able to relate to this story, but I'm sure there are lots of people that could. 

The main character, Julian, was very arrogant and not enjoyable at the beginning, but he went through significant character development during the story. I have said before that character development is nearly crucial in defining a good novel, so it was nice to see Julian learn how to choose the important things in life and not be so ... rude. 

Overall, I think that it is very refreshing to read a contemporary that isn't all about the happy ever after, and isn't realistic at all. This story is easy to see happening based both on the plot and the characters. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a contemporary read, but it also a good book when reflecting on life. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

He's an Asshole Anyway Review

He's an Asshole Anyway

Written by: Elliot Capner & Misga Zelinsky
# of pages: 211

Average Rating 4.6/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in November 2013

Summary according to goodreads

How to deal with being dumped according to the assholes themselves. 

The Aussie break-up book that every girl and her friends MUST read has now hit America!

Thatz rightz, we know how much you Americanz needz your Americanized wordz. So here it iz, in all of it'z glory!

Specifically, we will tell you: what he is thinking; what he is doing; what you are doing wrong and how you should act in the period immediately after you've been dumped to ensure that you win the break up.

My Thoughts

I recieved a copy of this book to review, but that does not influence my opinion. 

This book captured my attention right from the beginning. It is so honest and straight up, but it is also true in many ways. This might seem like a "joke" book at first, but it does carry some helpful advice and useful topics.

One of my favourites was "If you are going to get upset, make sure it's something worth getting upset over." This is something I am trying to live by, and I think a lot of people should too - many people overreact and cause way too much drama. 

This book included cute little cartoons and people, that helped make reading this more enjoyable. When I first read the premise of the story, I was afraid it would be boring and like every other "self-help" book. I couldn't have been more wrong.

This story made references to many things in todays pop culture, which made it so great and funny. "However, a break-up is a traumatic experience, almost as traumatic as being forced to watch an entire season od Vampire Diaries, sober."

A quote from the beginning that got my attention was, "This book isn't about understanding men, or even understanding women (quite frankly there isn't enough paper in the world for that book)." This was a very entertaining book that had me laughing many times. and I read it in one sitting. 

There were so many parts I'd like to put sticky notes in to remember, that I might have to get my hands on a physical copy of this book. If you haven't heard of this book, you are missing out and need to read it! I am so happy I got to review this, because I truly enjoyed every page.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Darkest Minds Review

The Darkest Minds

Written by: Alexandra Bracken
# of pages: 488

Average Rating: 4.30/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in October 2013

Summary according to goodreads

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

My Thoughts

This book made me anxious so many times, and while reading this I could be seen with tears in my eyes. If you followed my goodreads updates, you would know that quite a few times I could only sit there and think "oh my god". There are many quotes that I loved from this book, especially from Liam, but I can't exactly share them with you without giving away some of the story. 

I went into this book "blind" which means that I had no idea what it was about before I started reading. This novel caught my attention right from the beginning, but it took me a while to catch on. It kind of gave me the feeling of X-men, but I am a fan so I didn't have a problem with it. Around the middle of the book while making their way to East River, I found that the story got a little slow but it definitely picked up within the last hundred pages.

That ending! I'm speechless. I had been warned ahead of time which led me to preorder the sequel, Never Fade, and I am so glad that I did! Sadly I've got a lot coming up in the next couple of weeks, but once that's over I'm not going to do anything but read!

Overall this book met all of the expectations I had for it, and I would highly recommend it to any reader!