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Sunday, September 29, 2013

For One More Day Review

For One More Day

Written by Mitch Albom
# of pages: 208

Average Rating: 4.02/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to goodreads

As a child, Charley "Chick" Benetto was told by his father, "You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both." So he chooses his father, only to see the man disappear when Charley is on the verge of adolescence. 

Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life.

He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother who died eight years earlier is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened.

What follows is the one "ordinary" day so many of us yearn for, a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain the family secrets, and to seek forgiveness. Somewhere between this life and the next, Charley learns the astonishing things he never knew about his mother and her sacrifices. And he tries, with her tender guidance, to put the crumbled pieces of his life back together.

My Thoughts

"People figured I crossed the line...The truth is, there is no line. There's only your life, how you mess it up, and who is there to save you."

I am a huge fan of Mitch Albom, as The Timekeeper might be my favourite book that I have ever read. He did not disappoint with this novel, because I actually cried. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, but this novel is so well written and anyone can relate to this. Personally I can't imagine living without my mom, so this book helped me realize how crucial every minute of life is. I felt such a connection to Chick because I have felt the same way about things, and he went through a lot of character development in this novel, making it a book to be cherished. The only reason that I could not give it five stars was because it wasn't as great as The Timekeeper, but I would give this four and a half stars if I could. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

School Spirits Review - GUEST BLOGGER

Review by Alyssa from acreads

School Spirits

Written by Rachel Hawkins
# of pages: 297

Average Rating: 3.93/5
Alyssa's Rating: 3/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 

Alyssa's Thoughts

School Spirits is the first novel that exists as a spin-off to Hawkins' very popular and well loved (well, at least by me) Hex Hall series. In an attempt to avoid spoilers like the plague, I'm not going to get into how our main character, Izzy, and Hex Hall's MC, Sophie, are connected... because, seriously, that would give away a lot. Just suffice it to say that School Spirits exists in the same universe, after the evens of Hex Hall

Hawkins gives us insight into a different aspect of her universe - enter Izzy Brannick... one of the last members of the all female kick ass Prodigium fighting family. After a near fatal encounter with a vampire, Izzy's mom decides that she needs to uproot her daughter to a very, very small town named Ideal... There, Izzy can take a breather from intense monster hunting and try to re-group over a seemingly boring ghost case. Along the way, Izzy learns a lot about her self, her family, and the super natural happenings in Ideal. 

I enjoyed Izzy's character because she was a nice change of pace. She was kick ass, unapologetic, and while she did get a little swoony over the male MC, she didn't go completely boy crazy and allow her romantic interests to distract her from the task at hand. It was also interesting to see the universe from a non-Prodigium point of view. If you've read the Hex Hall series, you know that the Brannicks are very anti-magical folk. 

However, it's the plot that kind of got to me. I felt as though Hawkins could have easily extended the story line into another book or two.... but instead, it was wrapped up in a fashion that felt too easy for me. 

All in all, I did enjoy the story... but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the original series. If Hawkins decided to create another story from Izzy's POV, I will definitely pick it up - no questions asked... but I'm not going to expect to be blown away by it.

Did you enjoy School Spirits? What did you think was up with Dex?!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Boy21 Review


Written by Matthew Quick
# of pages: 250

Average Rating: 4.10/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to goodreads

Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he’s called “White Rabbit”, the only white kid on the varsity basketball team. He’s always dreamed of getting out somehow with his girlfriend, Erin. But until then, when he puts on his number 21, everything seems to make sense.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. A former teen basketball phenom from a privileged home, his life has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he now answers only to the name Boy21—his former jersey number—and has an unusual obsession with outer space.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, “Boy21” may turn out to be the answer they both need.

My Thoughts

I wasn't very interested at the beginning of this novel because I couldn't seem to get into the plot. There is much character and setting building so you get a good feel for the characters, as well as talking a lot about basketball. I am very glad that I continued with this story because I really enjoyed it.

Not a lot of people talk about this book, so I think it is very underrated. This novel portrays a very realistic lifestyle, that can teach a lesson to people living in situations such as this. Not only that, but the message of this story can invoke hope in different readers on different levels, making it a perfect read for anyone. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Top 5 Books I Bought in DC I'm Excited to Read!

So today I came back from my trip to Washington/Virginia, and I bought a lot of books while I was down there. Soon there will be many hauls, but today I wanted to show you guys which five I am the most excited about!

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Summary according to goodreads
In Baum's land of Oz, animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. Green-skinned Elphaba, future Wicked Witch of the West, is smart, prickly and misunderstood; she challenges our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

My friend Phil from Stack of Hardbacks has only good things to say about this book, so I can't wait to get into it!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

More Than This by Patrick Ness

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Cujo by Stephen King

A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave--and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Recently Read - Short Story & Graphic Novel

So recently I read another graphic novel, but also a short story. I had some opinions on these two books, but not enough to write a full review on both so here they are together in one post!

The Dark by Lemony Snicket
# of pages: 40
Average Rating: 4.06/5 vs My Rating: 4/5

Summary according to goodreads

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo. 
Laszlo lives in a house. The dark lives in the basement. 
One night, the dark comes upstairs to Laszlo's room, and Laszlo goes down to the basement.
This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.

My Thoughts

I got this book as an ebook from the library, and I was able to read it in about 15 minutes. The pictures in this short story were amazing, beautiful, and added a lot to this story. The author did a great job of writing a story that was kind of creepy, but had a relatable underlining meaning. 

Blankets by Craig Thompson
# of pages: 582
Average Rating: 4.08/5 vs My Rating: 2/5

Summary according to goodreads

Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.

My Thoughts

I did not enjoy this graphic novel as much as I have enjoyed others. I had heard good things about this one, and it was actually recommended to me by a viewer. I can see where the author was coming from with this book, but it just got kind of weird at times for my tastes. I am not opposed to religion, but I thought all of the references took away from everything else that was going on in the story. This was a very interesting coming-of-age story between brothers and lovers, but I was not blown away.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Recently Bought - Amazon Bargain Books

Hey all! So since I've started my YouTube channel, I've bought a lot of books which has led me to do unboxing videos. Sadly, I don't usually know what the book is about when I get it so by posting this on my blog, I can also give a description!

I found some cheap books on Amazon, and I just had to get them while I had the free-trial of Amazon Prime! This is what I got:

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her hacking skills to stay anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in a warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life in no uncertain terms. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John

When sixteen-year-old Luke's book, Hallelujah, becomes a national bestseller, his publishing house sends him on a cross-country book tour with his older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. But when irresponsible Matt offers to drive Luke's ex–soul mate, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. On the trip, Luke must loosen up, discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves.

Told with Antony John's signature wit and authenticity, and featuring smart, singular characters who jump off the page and into your heart, this story is a spiritual awakening and rockin' road trip in one.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Foiled Book Review


Written by: Jane Yolen
Art by: Mike Cavallaro
# of pages: 160

Average Rating: 3.44/5
My Rating: 3/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to goodreads

Aliera Carstairs just doesn't fit in. She's invisible at high school. She's too visible at the fencing gym. Aliera's starting to wonder...where does she belong?

My Thoughts

I thought that this graphic novel was cute and interesting. I was able to read it in one sitting, and this was very quick to get through as it was quite entertaining. This graphic novel is sort of a coming-of-age story, but with a magicial, and imaginative twist. Although I enjoyed this, I don't think I will be purchasing it, or reading the rest of the books in the series. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Elite Book Review

The Elite

Written by Kiera Cass
# of pages: 323

Average Rating: 3.94/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to goodreads

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

My Thoughts

Many of you know that I wasn't the biggest fan of The Selection, because I found the romance to be fake, forced, and annoying. This novel was kind of different from that as it had more battle aspects, and we see more of the rebels. Since the series is classed as dystopian, I appreciated reading about more than just romance. 

In my opinion, Maxon was the only character that had any character development, but I wish America had matured. She was very annoying in this novel, she kept going back and forth between the guys, and she gave up on everything so easily and then pouted. Like seriously America? Maxon is a prince and is offering you everything! However, Aspen was no better as he knew the consequences yet kept pursuing America. I kept hoping the the palace would kick him out, so America could focus only on Maxon. 

After finishing this book, I was shaking. Why? Because America is stupid, the King is an asshole, and I love Maxon. The ending didn't surprise me that much because I knew there is a third book, but I still found myself hanging on to every word.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Casting Call Saturday - The Selection / The Elite by Kiera Cass

So this is the most amazing idea that I have ever heard. My friend Alyssa (all of her links will be below) came up with the idea of doing a "casting call" for some of our favourite books! I loved this so much that I knew I had to join in. This Saturday I will be casting for The Selection and also The Elite by Kiera Cass, because the characters are the same. 

For some reason, I had a very hard time casting America. After thinking long and hard, I realized that Debby Ryan would be a great choice. Some of you might know her from the Disney channel when she played Bailey on the Suite Life on Deck or, most recently, Jessie on the show of the same name. America is the funny girl that has come from hard times, which I think Debby can play well. She can also be serious end is very pretty. 

Prince Maxon. Oh, wonderful (most of the time) Prince Maxon. He was also a hard character to cast until it hit me - Chord Overstreet from Glee! He is a very good looking man that has blonde hair, and looks good in a suit. 

And finally Aspen. This will be my first casting where I mix two people together. When I picture Aspen, I imagine Lucas Till's face on Alexander Ludwig's (Cato from the Hunger Games) body. In the Elite, Aspen builds a lot of muscle and Alexander has the body for that. If you have read these books you will see why I picked these two. 

If you have read these books I hope you agree with my picks! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Warm Bodies Movie Review

Warm Bodies

Director: Jonathon Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2013

Average Rating: 7/10
My Rating: 6/10

Watched in September 2013

My Thoughts

I was skeptical about watching this movie because the trailer portrayed this as more of a love story. Originally, I bought this book right after I had seen the movie trailer, but after reading this book, I favoured the book.

Right from the beginning, I didn't like the typography that they used. What I mean is the font that they used when listing the movie title, director, etc, as I found it to be too feminine.

Nicholas Hoult and Dave Franco. Beautiful. I would watch the movie over and over just to watch them. The flashbacks were well done, which was good because they were a pretty big part of the book and getting to know Julie.

After sitting and watching it for over half an hour, I started to lose hope that the movie would measure up to my expectations. They took this story and emphasized the love aspect of it. Sadly this continued for the rest of the movie, and made it less enjoyable for me. It was almost too Romeo and Juliet for my taste.

The ending was kind of cute, and gave me butterflies but that was mostly because of Nichokas Hoult and his beautiful eyes. I gave it 3/5 but my mom gave it 2/5. She is a harsher critic than I am, apparently.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe Review

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Written by: C.S Lewis
# of pages: 206

Average Rating: 4.14/5
My Rating: 2/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to goodreads

When Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realize what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.

My Thoughts

I listened to this as an audiobook because I was bored trying to read it. Sadly, the audiobook was even harder to get through, and it felt like a very long four hours. I didn't find this plot to be interesting, at all, and many times I thought I was going to fall asleep while listening to it.

I had seen the movie adaptation many years ago, and I enjoyed it so I am not sure why it is so hard for me to get through the books. The main reasons that I am pushing myself to finish this bindup is because I have owned it for a long time, and I want to read all of the books I own. I will more than likely continue getting these stories as audiobooks, because the only positive thing is that I can multitask while listening.

I am fairly sure that this was a middle-grade series, but there seemed to be a lot of violence in this story. Hopefully the next books are interested!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Silver Linings Playbook Review

The Silver Linings Playbook

Written by Matthew Quick
# of pages: 289

Average Rating: 4.02/5
My Rating: 4/5

Read in September 2013

Summary according to Goodreads

Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him - the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he's being pursured by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he's being hunted by Kenny G!

My Thoughts

Since this book is about different mental illnesses that I have experienced personally, I was able to relate to the characters. Being able to relate to what was going on, and how the characters reacted made the story better in my eyes, and seemed more realistic. There were times when I felt bad for Pat and his mother, times when I was frustrated with Pat's father,  and other times when I thought Tiffany needed to calm down - but they're personality traits are what made the book special.

When I first started reading this book, I had made assumptions about Nikki and what had happened. I was wrong about what I predicted, but I was happy about what had actually happened - within reason. Both outcomes were not "silver linings", but I am happy with what played out with Pat.

This is a book that I have been wanting to read for a long time, and finally got my hands on it from the library. Sadly, I thought that I would like this book a lot more than I actually did. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Casting Call Saturday - To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones

So this is the most amazing idea that I have ever heard. My friend Alyssa (all of her links will be below) came up with the idea of doing a "casting call" for some of our favourite books! I loved this so much that I knew I had to join in.

For this weeks Casting Call Saturday, I decided to choose a book I recently read and enjoyed. I chose to pick my dream cast for To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones.

Summary according to goodreads

Her friends 
have a joke about her:
How can you tell if Colette is lying?
Her mouth is open.

Fifteen-year-old Colette is addicted to lying. Her shrink says this is because she’s got a very bad case of Daughter-of-a-famous-movie-star Disorder—so she lies to escape out from under her mother’s massive shadow. But Colette doesn’t see it that way. She says she lies because it’s the most fun she can have with her clothes on. Not that she’s had that much fun with her clothes off. At least not yet, anyway. When her mother drags her away from Hollywood to spend the entire summer on location in a boring little town in the middle of nowhere, Colette is less than thrilled. But then she meets a sexy biker named Connor. He’s older, gorgeous, funny, and totally into her. So what if she lies to him about her age, and about who her mother is? I mean, she has to keep her mother’s identity a secret from him. If he finds out who she really is, he’ll forget all about Colette, and start panting and drooling and asking her for her mother’s autograph. Just like everyone always does. But what Colette doesn’t know is that Connor is keeping a secret of his own…

Colette (main character) - Andrea Russett

What a shocker, I chose another YouTuber. Andrea Russet is a popular teenager on YouTube, who vlogs and talks about funny topics. Andrea is so funny, pretty, and witty that I think she would be perfect for playing Colette. Colette's character can lie her butt off and get away with it, she's fun, but can also be an emotional and sensitive teenager. Just from watching Andrea's videos and reading her tweets, I could envision her being in the story.

Connor (love interest) - Mark Salling

Lately, I have been watching a lot of Glee, and I have become a fan of Mark, who plays Noah "Puck" Puckerman. There is an age difference between these two characters, but Mark can play a younger man convincingly. Mark gives off a vibe of mystery, as well as being playful and sexy, which is how connor acts in the story. 

Will (Colette's younger brother) - Max Charles

I am not extremely familiar with Max, but I did see him in The Amazing Spider-Man. I picked Max because he's within the same age, is adorable, and I see Will when I look at him. 

Marissa Shawn (Colette's mother) - Dolly Parton

Marissa Shawn is a blonde, perky celebrity who can charm anyone. Who does that remind you of? Dolly Parton. Based on the acting that I have seen done by Dolly, she and Marissa would handle situations in the same way - dealing with her kids, fans swarming, trying to be postitive, etc.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Recently Read: Graphic Novels #2

So I have been reading a lot of graphic novels lately, but I feel like they aren't long enough to write a full review on. My plan was to start pairing them, so you guys can still know my thoughts on these books!

Paying For It by Chester Brown
# of pages: 292
Average Rating: 3.6/5 vs My Rating: 1/5

Chester Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. In his 1992 book, The Playboy, he explored his personal history with pornography. His bestselling 2003 graphic novel, Louis Riel, was a biographical examination of an extreme political figure. The book won wide acclaim and cemented Brown’s reputation as a true innovator. Paying for It is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of Louis Riel. Brown calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in but a vocal proponent of one of the world’s most hot-button topics—prostitution. While this may appear overly sensational and just plain implausible to some, Brown’s story stands for itself. Paying for It offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work—from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern-day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of clich├ęd street corners, drugs, or pimps.

My Thoughts
This is the first book that I have ever given one star. Before starting this, I didn't know what it was about - but I wish I had. If I had known what this book was about or known what pictures were included, I would not have read it. There was no character development, and it didn't have a very good story line. Overall, there was nothing that I enjoyed about this book.

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel
# of pages: 267
Average Rating: 3.96/5 vs My Rating: 4/5

A page-turning adventure of a boy's journey to the land of ghosts and back. Imagine Garth Hale's surprise when he's accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don't have, and he's stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth's newfound abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather's ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.

My Thoughts
This might be one of my favourite graphic novel that I have read! The pictures were so well done and beautiful, they made the story very enjoyable. I was so caught up and interested in this story that I couldn't put it down - I read it in a two hour sitting!

* Both of these books I read from the library *

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recently Read: Graphic Novels #1

So I have been reading a lot of graphic novels lately, but I feel like they aren't long enough to write a full review on. My thoughts we to start pairing them, so you guys can still know my thoughts on these books!

Smile by Raina Telgemeir
# of pages: 214
Average Rating: 4.14/5 vs. My Rating: 3/5

FAMILY, FRIENDS, BOYS...DENTAL DRAMA?! A true story. Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girls Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached(!). And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. Raina's story takes us from middle school to high school, where she discovers her artistic voice, finds out what true friendship really means, and where she can

My Thoughts
I thought that this was a really quick and cute book that any one in middle grade or higher could relate to. I, personally, have had braces so I understand what the main character was dealing with to a certain level. It took me a couple of hours to read this book, so I am happier that I saved money by getting it from the library instead of buying it.

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
# of pages: 160
Average Rating: 3.69/5 vs. My Rating: 4/5

Dennis Ouyang has always struggled in the shadow of his parents' expectations. His path is laid out for him: stay focused in high school, become a gastroenterologist. It may be hard work, but it isn't complicated...Until suddenly it is. Between his father's death, his academic burnout, and his deep (and distracting) love of video games, Dennis is nowhere near where his family wanted him to be. In fact, he's just been kicked out of college. And that's when things get...weird. Four adorable--and bossy--angels, straight out of a sappy greeting card, appear and take charge of Dennis's life. And so Dennis finds himself herded back onto the straight and narrow: the path to gastroenterology. But nothing is ever what it seems when life, magic and video games collide.

My Thoughts
I thought that this book had a solid plot that kept the story entertaining the whole way through. I don't usually read books related to video games, because I never know if I will understand the references, as I don't play a lot of games. This graphic novel made references to old games such as Super Mario, the Legend of Zelda, and Pac-Man, making it a very enjoyable story.