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Thursday, November 21, 2013

[REVIEW] Sorta Like A Rock Star by Matthew Quick

Sorta Like A Rock Star

Author: Matthew Quick
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published: May 1st 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism--and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?

With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. The world is Amber's stage, and Amber is, well...she's sorta like a rock star. True? True.

“Life goes on. Whether we choose to enjoy it or not. So you might as well find a way to enjoy the parts you can. You can’t just give up on life, Amber.”
- Old Man Linder

First of all, I like the way it is written, like the author is not writing a novel but just telling a story to a friend. The sentences are way longer than normal, but somehow they don’t sound wrong. The style is unique and spontaneous and I like that.

I love the optimism. I love that despite their poverty, Amber is still a cheerful and bright and generous person. She still tries to help other people even in small ways. She brings smiles and kindness to them even though her own life is not all rainbows and ponies. Amber inspires a lot of people – old people, people who do not even speak English fluently, people who are labeled freaks and losers, people she doesn’t even know. She doesn’t curse, doesn’t speak bad words, and is a good Catholic girl. Wow, I really like this girl. Too good to be true? Not quite.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[REVIEW] Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us

Author: Kristin Halbrook
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Published: January 29th 2013 by HarperTeen
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Maybe I'm too late. Maybe Zoe's dad stole all her fifteen years and taught her to be scared. I'll undo it. Help her learn to be strong again, and brave. Not that I'm any kind of example, but we can learn together.

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can't run fast enough.


Maybe it'll take Will years to come to terms with being abandoned. Maybe it'll take forever. I'll stay with him no matter how long it takes to prove that people don't always leave, don't always give up on you.

NOBODY BUT US is a heartbreaking debut novel. It made me sad and angry. It made me hopeful. It made me believe that no matter how terrible things have been in your life, there will still be good things waiting for you. 

Will’s and Zoe’s lives are both fucked-up and I wish no one has to go through all that, but I think their own disasters are part of what brought them together. Maybe it’s a huge part, even. I believe Will recognized a kindred spirit in Zoe and it drove him to get to know her. They were both abandoned – in different ways – by the people who should be taking care of them. They were both hurt and scarred but that did not prevent them from seeing the beauty and goodness in each other.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

[REVIEW] Asphodel by Lauren Hammond


Author: Lauren Hammond
Genre: YA Fantasy, Mythology
Series: The Underworld Trilogy, Book 1
Published: December 20th 2011 by S.B. Addison Books
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Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.

I’ve never met a more pathetic goddess than ASPHODEL’S Persephone. She’s so clueless about everything, it was so frustrating! You’d think that because she’s a goddess, she’d at least know her and the other deities’ history. But noooo! She doesn’t know that pomegranate is the fruit of the dead, she doesn’t know that Charon doesn’t ferry anyone across the River Styx without payment, she doesn’t know a thing about Hades except what her mother told her, of which half was crap. Seriously, Persephone? Just because you’ve been away from Greece the last five thousand years doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant of your history. Maybe Demeter should be the one to blame since she took Persephone away from the home of the gods, but hey, how ignorant can you get to know little to nothing about your own ancestry? And as if Persephone wasn’t enough to make me want to strangle myself while reading this book, the other characters were on different levels of annoying. Demeter was this control freak of a mother who doesn’t trust her own daughter enough to tell her the truth. Zeus was being Zeus – the absentee father who only interferes with his children’s lives when things were looking bad for him. Hades was surprising, though. It’s no secret that the reason why Hades wants Persephone was because he’s lonely and wants a queen. But he’s as moody as a PMSing girl. One moment he’s cold and cranky, the next he’s sweet and gentle. Talk about unpredictable. I also don’t get Adonis. Obviously, he’s not what he appears to be, but why the hell is he there? I guess that’s what sequels are for but I’m not gonna find out why because I’m not reading the next book. Fans of ASPHODEL might want to kill me for saying this but hey, if you haven’t read this book yet, don’t even bother.

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