Sunday, March 5, 2017

My New and Improved Blog!

Quick Update 

Hello my amazing readers! I know I have been gone for awhile, but it is only because I have been super busy with school, reading for my school's battle of the books, and debate. But seeing as that battle of the books and my final debate competition are approaching quickly I am able to get this blog up and running again! A few things will be changing though because I myself have changed as a person. My book reviews are going to written differently, before they were more like book reports and instead I want to change them to more my opinions on the books. I will be doing some blog posts that are just general opinion pieces and writing about my life, mainly about what is going on with my reading life. I hope to post more frequently, but because of this many of my posts will be shorter. I am going to branching out and writing some reviews on some classics and some more challenging reads. I also need to get the message out to all of the authors that contacted me previously about reviewing your books my computer freaked out and deleted my emails containing the PDF formats of your books as well as the notes and drafts of the reviews for your books so I need you all to please contact me again so that we can work this out because I would still love to review your books! Well that just about wraps everything up so happy reading!
-Becca   

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Vegetarian by Han Kang Book Review

Spoiler Free Review: 

The VegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
My rating: ❤❤
The Vegetarian by Han Kang is the most confusing book I have ever read. I read this book as an effort to expand my reading and I was very disappointed. The basic plot line is advertised as a young women who becomes a vegetarian in order get rid of her traumatizing nightmares of blood, violence and meat. While this is the first 60 pages the other 120 pages are an inconsistent mash up of horrible perverted characters and extremely confusing events. After reading this book I was left feeling unsatisfied and unknowing of any of the characters fates. While this book was relatively short each sentence felt three times as long as what I normally read and the whole thing felt like a run on short story. The only redeeming factor of this novel was the descriptive tone the author used. I wish I could say that I enjoyed the writing but sadly the fact that the plot was so confusing clashed with the poetic description and just created chaos for the reader. Honestly the main problem I had with this book was the fact that it was utterly unrelatable to me. This book contained adult characters, a foreign culture and setting as well as many beliefs that I don't share. The characters made so many decisions that I don't understand or agree with and this caused many problems for me as a reader. Overall I was very disappointed in this book and I would not recommend it to anyone who does not already enjoy worldly adult novels and especially not to anyone who only reads young adult such as myself. Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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Recommended Mindset for Reading 

 Not everyone has the same taste in reading so even though I was seriously disappointed with this book that does not mean that others will share my opinion. I think my main issue with this book was the fact that I'm a young adult and I have nothing in common with any of the characters. So I would recommend this book to adults. Now before you get all mad and on your high horse saying that you can handle just as much as an adult, please just stop and hear me out. Not only does this book contain highly displeasing adult content it also contains themes that just can't be comprehended by young adults. The Vegetarian is really only going to be enjoyed by people who can understand its concepts and characters. For this reason I would highly recommend to wait to read this book until you are sure that you can fully appreciate it. I honestly wish that I wasn't given this book for review now and had instead waited to read it until later in my life when I could have enjoyed it instead of being horrified by things I don't understand. If you are an adult then by all means read away. This is not the kind of book to try and read in a day so don't be deceived by its short length. I would recommend reading another easier book with a happier tone at the same time just as a way to balance out your emotions because this book is heavy. Knowing that the majority of my readers are teenagers and young adult fanatics I would not recommend this book to my average reader and only the extremely open minded should take on the challenge that is The Vegetarian by Han Kang.  

Full Review:

Initial Reaction 

I honestly hated every minute of this book. I was horrified and disgusted by the plot and especially the characters. That is all I have to say about this because my reaction was the same through out the whole book and it was not good.

Character Analysis 

To be honest with all of you I finished this book about a month ago and I don't even remember the characters names. The fact that the characters were so perverted just killed the book for me. Because each character only had sixty pages written from their perspectives I didn't feel connected to them at all. Also the characters were all adults and seeing as that I am 15 and I am not married and have no children there was nothing I could relate to with these characters. Because I fundamentally don't understand any of the characters in The Vegetarian I sadly can't analyze them and honestly even if I did understand them I wouldn't even want to try.

Themes/Symbolism

While I may not have understood much of this book I was able to recognize that there were many themes present throughout the story. The main theme that I picked up on was mental health and how it affects families. I think that The Vegetarian shows a worst case scenario on how mental health can affect others because everyone in this book handles mental health horribly. A mother abandons her child, a main character starves herself to death (possibly I didn't understand the ending see below), a man rapes his sister-in-law and a husband abuses his wife for choosing to stop eating meat. And yes I know a lot of these things are metaphors for the struggles that women face in an abusive relationship and the freedoms that are being taken from all of us but I have to say that most of the metaphors in this book didn't make sense to me. I think the problem was that there were too many metaphors which just made the book all the more confusing.

Plot 

The plot in this book made literally no sense and I couldn't understand any of it, enough said.

Ending/Resolution 

Seeing as the ending is part of the plot I have the same thing to say about it. I have no idea what happened. Something about wanting to slowly starve yourself to death in order to be a tree. I actually don't know if the main character died or not. If someone could actually tell me what happened that would be much appreciated. This is really all I have to say about this book because I didn't understand enough of it to write any more.

Thanks for reading I love all of you so much! -Becca                

Friday, September 2, 2016

Contemporary Romantic Comedies

Some times we all just need to sit back, relax, and grab a good romantic comedy. The problem is finding the right one to fit your mood. So whether you need to dig yourself out of a reading slump or you just need to laugh out loud, don't worry I got you covered.

1. Reading Slump Killer

Anna and the French Kiss can get you out of any reading rut. Its adorable story line is easy to get into and a great way to get over another book. If you aren't in a reading slump this book is also great if you love foreign romances and Stephanie Perkins completely understands how to create the balance between romance and comedy. Whether you are in a reading slump or just love romantic comedies this book is the perfect match for you!
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Anyone looking for the perfect romantic comedy will love the adorable and hilarious romance that is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Anna is not happy about being shipped off to a boarding school in Paris. Not only does she not know any French she also doesn't know anyone at her new school and arriving senior year is not common. But it looks like her new school might also hold the perfect guy for her, perfect except for the fact that he already has a girlfriend. Will Anna be able to get the love of her life before the school year ends? Anna and the French Kiss is the kind of book you can always come back to and enjoy it as much as the first time you read it. I love Stephanie Perkins writing style because it is so lighthearted and it just adds to the romantic feel of the book. The characters in this story are the perfect balance between easy breezy romance novel and drama filled coming of age story. They each have little quirky traits that make them feel real and I especially loved Anna's love of films. Anna and the French Kiss is something I highly recommend for young adults looking for a good romantic comedy.

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2. Hilarious Retelling 

Sometimes we just don't want to give up our classics, but we know we can't just keep rereading Pride and Prejudice. Luckily there is a solution, Bridget Jones Diary. Based off of the hit Jane Austen novel Bridget Jones diary keeps some aspects of  Pride and Prejudice such as Mr. Darcy and basic plot events and remakes the rest of the story in a hilarious and definitely more mature way. This book is the perfect medicine for a bad day because I can assure you Bridget Jones day was much much worse.
Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

This laugh out loud comedy will have readers clutching their stomachs and shaking their heads in sympathy for poor Bridget Jones in the hilarious retelling of pride and Prejudice that is Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding. 30 year old singleton Bridget Jones just can't seem to get her life together. With her controlling self centered mother and smug married friends unable to see why she isn't married yet and her horrible job and even worse crush on her boss Bridget already has too much on her plate when her mother pushes her towards the stuck up and intolerable Mark Darcy at the annual turkey curry buffet. But as secrets and lies are revealed Mark Darcy might just be the best thing that entered Bridget Jones life. This book is just completely hilarious and such a fun easy read. I loved how the whole story truly is told in diary format because everything is just funnier seen through Bridget's eyes. Helen Fielding hit the ball out of the park with the elaborate mess that is Bridget Jones. The plot line of this book defies all logic and is completely unpredictable with so many twists and turns that its a wonder how the book still feels realistic. While this is an adult book it is also great for high school students and any one looking for a great comedy.

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3. Quirky College 

College is the epic romantic comedy setting because you are just gaining your independence. Exploring new things and getting to know yourself are great themes in any book and Fangirl does them perfectly. Filled with friendship, romance, and new responsibility Fangirl hits all the marks of a typicall romantic comedy while still being completely unique. Whether you want the nostalgic feels of just staring college or you are preparing for it in your future Fangirl will satisfy your college drama needs.
FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

All readers will find themselves being able to relate to something about this quirky, heartwarming coming of age tale that is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath is a girl full of worries and starting college is at the top of her list especially now that her twin sister Wren decided she doesn't want to room with her. Now Cath is stuck with an unlikable roommate whose boyfriend is always hanging around and Cath is so overwhelmed she can barely leave her room. Luckily she still has Simon Snow the extremely popular book series that Cath writes fanfiction about. But when things start to go wrong with both her father and Wren can Cath handle the pressure? This book was amazing. I swear I could stop my review right there because that is really all you need to know. I felt so much of myself in Cath from being a total fangirl to having anxiety about everyday life. The plot line of this book was so different from what I expected though I should have known by now that all of Rainbow Rowell's books will wow you. This story has the perfect mixture of drama, comedy, friendship, and romance with real, deep characters. Fangirl is a must read for all fangirls and everyone else who enjoys a good book.

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4. Nerdy Coming of Age Story

We all love to root for the underdog and An Abundance of Katherines is chock full of underdogs. Sometimes we want our characters to have some brains and you can always count on John Green to supply them. Complete with anagrams, random historical facts and a gaggle of math this book will satisfy your inner nerd while giving you a great romantic comedy. If you like your romantic comedies a little heavier on the comedy then this is the book for you!  
An Abundance of KatherinesAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

John Green has done it again and this time with more math! Readers will fall in love the hysterical coming of age story that is An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. If Colin knows one thing, its Katherines, considering he had been dumped by 19 of them. If being an almost genius had taught him anything it was that everything can be solved with math and while on a wacky road trip with his best friend he started developing a theory to explain love and help him finally find it. This is my favorite John Green book and its only partially due to the fact that I love math! I loved so many things about this book and I think my favorite aspect of it was how funny the whole thing was. Colin views the world in such a comedic way that this book hooked me from the first page. The characters in this book were hysterical and I was laughing out loud every time Hassan said something. The anagrams in this book were just another hilarious part of the intriguing personality that Colin has. This book was very honest and even though the plot felt completely unrealistic the characters were written with such an truthful feeling that felt logical and real. An Abundance of Katherines is the kind of book I think every young adult should read and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some comic relief.

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5. Friendship and Romance Soup

Have you ever had a friend who you relied on everything for who suddenly disappeared? No? Me neither but thanks to Since You've Been Gone I feel like I have. This book is the perfect blend of friendship and romance so I like to call it friendship and romance soup because I love this book as much as I love soup (Which is a lot by the way). Having both a suddenly ended friendship and a friendship turned romance this book is pretty heavy on the friend feels. Luckily it has totaly hilarious characters and a book boyfriend who you would want to take home to your parents to balance it out!
Since You've Been GoneSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Readers will find themselves laughing out loud while being inspired to finally pull out that bucket list in the heartwarming book about true friendship that is Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Emily can't imagine how she survived before Sloane, becoming Sloane's best friend pulled her out of her shell and into the world. But when Sloane disappears leaving only a bucket list behind, Emily must team up with some unlikely friends to cross off each item and bring Sloane home. I honestly loved everything about this book. In being forced to choose my favorite thing about it then I pick how quirky the characters are. Morgan Matson does such a great job creating in depth personalities for each of her characters and I felt like they were real people who I had spent a lifetime getting to know by the end of the book. The plot of this book was so unique and made me feel like I was a daredevil actually doing the crazy things that Emily was doing. Emily's personality really resonated with me and I think that other teens will be able to relate to it as well. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

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Happy reading! I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did!- Becca

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Kiss Of Deception by Mary E. Pearson Book Review


Spoiler Free Review: 

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Readers will be will be kept guessing and on the edge of their seats throughout the engrossing fantasy novel that is The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Princess Lia is a first daughter being forced to hold up centuries of tradition by having an arranged marriage to a Prince she has never met. In an attempt to live the life she always wanted she steals away to a small town on her wedding day. But Lia isn't the only one in disguise both the prince she was arranged to marry and the assassin sent to kill her are there for her both with their own missions, but can they follow through when romance starts to bloom? I loved how many plot twists this book had, and there were so many events I didn't see coming. The dramatic irony in this book was spectacular and the way the readers were kept guessing about who was the prince and who was the assassin kept the book very interesting. I especially loved the overarching theme of deception because it made the book feel almost like a mystery. I was disappointed in the lack of romance in this novel, but overall I felt that it was a very good read. I would recommend this novel to anyone of the young adult age range.

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Recommended Mindset for Reading

I would recommend reading this if you are in the mood for a fantasy that you have to unravel. With an overall feeling of mystery this book is perfect if you are the kind of person who loves to be kept guessing and hates predictable endings and characters. With strong female main characters all over the place readers who love to see women fight for their rights and have minds of their own will be very happy with this story. While the mild romance might not be for me it is perfect for readers who like romance to be in a book without the book revolving around it and getting to mature. This book is very fast paced so be prepared with the other books in the series because you will not want to wait to read the rest of the story!

Full Review:

                                                    Initial Reaction

I truly liked almost everything about this novel. The plot line was compelling and unique and the characters were unpredictable and real. I loved all of the deception and lies and I actually spent most of the book thinking that Rafe was the assassin and Kaden was the prince. I am usually very good at predicting how characters are going to act and the ending of books but this novel took me completely by surprise. I was disappointed at how much build up there was to the romance in this book when got so little actual romance. But I did enjoy how Lia's story isn't dependent on romance. Overall I am so happy I picked up this book.

Character Analysis 

With all the deception and disguises in this book it was hard to see character development until you actually knew who the character was. Until Lia was kidnapped I was under the impression that Kaden was the prince and Rafe was the assassin. I think that this is what Mary E. Pearson wanted us to think because the characteristics of Rafe and Kaden matched the stereotypes of an assassin and a Prince. Things like Rafe being hot headed and hot and cold too Lia gave me the impression that he was the assassin. And Kaden knowing the words to the prayers made me assume that he was educated such as a prince would be as well as the fact that he was calm and most of the time sweet. When I found out who was really who it was like their personalities had switched. Kaden became the gruff hot headed one and Rafe became very sweet and selfless. With both Kaden and Rafe I think most of their growth as characters was spurred from their love for Lia. Before he met Lia, Kaden had no trouble killing, but after he becomes softer and his biggest turning point was sparing Lia's life. Rafe just wants to confront Lia and has his heart set on hating her but once he falls in love with her he will do anything to save her. While I loved both Rafe and Kaden as love interests I have to say I favor Kaden because I am a sucker for the misunderstood villain. Kaden's personality reminds me of Aaron Warner from the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. They both have very strong loyalties and make others see a different person than they really are. I can't wait to see how Kaden and Rafe evolve over the next books.

Lia had the most amount of growth out of all the characters. Her realization of her gift and role in the "prophesy" were spurred by growth in confidence and self-acceptance. I loved how Lia's growth as a character isn't because she found someone to love her but because she loved herself. Lia felt that she could not accept herself and that she was not truly herself because she did not have the gift. There were many examples of how Lia tried to be someone else or change who she was such as when she tried so hard to scrub off her wedding kavah even when only one part was left.
"You'll always be you, Lia. You can't run from that."    
This reoccurring quote really embodied Lia's journey and how she can run as far as she wants but she will always be herself. And this really rings true because even when she was in hiding she was still herself and that was why her gift started to surface. Because I don't have anything in common with Lia I didn't feel super connected to her. The one thing I really related too was her desire to see the good in others. While she is quick to judge, Lia tries to see the good in people and this is seen when she helps Eben kill his horse because she believes that no child should have to do that.

Setting/World 

The setting was a big part of this book because one of the main things Lia wants is to find somewhere that feels like home. Lia is the princess of Morrighan and she grew up in Civica. She is engaged to Rafe who is the prince of Dalbreck and she is kidnapped by Kaden who is an assassin for Venda. While all of these characters are from different places they are united in Terravin. Lia describes Terravin as her home before she even arrives there.
"I knew we were close now. It was something about the air, something about the light, something I couldn't name, but it streamed through me like a warm voice. Home. Home. Foolishness, I knew. Terravin had never been my home, but maybe it could be."
It is in Terravin where Kaden and Rafe fall in love with Lia and I think this is because they are able to forget about their homes for once. Morrighan and Dalbreck are already on bad terms and are most likely going to war eventually and Morrighan and Venda are already at war but the characters are able to put this aside in Terravin.

There was a lot of world building in this book that while at first was a little confusing soon became quite interesting. All of the kingdoms different histories and religions connected back to this one story of the first daughter. While we don't get to see what is believed in Dalbreck we do get to see the telling's of the tribe of Gaudrel. We are told parts of the story through little snippets before each chapter and all of it put together when Lia decodes it. One thing that I found interesting was how the story of the first daughter in Morrighan had a very happy and uplifting feeling to it while the last testaments of Gaudrel were very sad and depressing. I still do not understand the word completely as is expected for reading the first book in a series but I felt it was very creative and not like anything I had ever read before.

Themes

There were several overarching themes in this book. One of the main ones was deception and trust. All of the characters in this book are in disguise and don't know the true nature of each other. One thing that Lia states pretty early in the book is how she could never forgive someone for deception and how important trust is. Lia grew to trust Kaden in Terravin but once he betrayed her trust she gains a whole new perspective of him. Everything in this book grew into a very complicated web of lies especially when some of the lies turned out to be true such as Lia having the gift. There is a lot of lying in order to protect someone you love in this novel. Lia lies to Pualine in order to protect her feelings and Kaden lies about Lia in order to save her life. The title "The Kiss of Deception" refers to the kiss between Rafe and Lia when Lia does not know who Rafe is. But even through all of the deception the characters are able to learn more about themselves and I think that the author was trying to say that being true to yourself is the most important thing.

There was a lot of female empowerment in this book. Lia being forced to marry a man she doesn't love takes off and starts a life for herself. Even when she is being kidnapped or attacked she still remains strong and never relies on a man to do all of the fighting for her. All of the legends revolve around the first daughter who was chosen and is more powerful than everyone else. Both Venda and Morrighan were named after their first queens. The women in this world don't have to rely on men and I really liked that because it is different from a lot of fantasy novels I have read.

Ending/Resolution 

The ending in this book was very very well done. Because this is a series not everything is going to be resolved and there has to be some sort of hook or cliff hanger that get you to read the next book. This book managed to tie up a bunch of loose ends and still leave a cliff hanger. It felt natural to end after they reached Venda and there was no dragging in the ending. I loved how they end right as Rafe shows up because it makes you want to know what his plan is and how he and Lia are going to escape. I have no complaints with the ending only that I want to get my hands on the second book as soon as possible!

Dislikes/Confusions 

There was only one thing I disliked about this book and that was the lack of romance. The title has the word kiss in it so I think I was justified in expecting a little more kissing. This is probably not a feeling that most readers share because not everyone is a romance nut like I am. That was really the only thing I was unhappy with in this book. While I did really enjoy reading this book it didn't wow me.  The plot has lots of similarities with other fantasy novels and the writing wasn't spectacular enough to cover for that which is why I rated it as a solid four stars.

There were plenty of things I was confused about throughout this book such as who was the prince and who was the assassin, but nothing that didn't make sense in the book and couldn't be answered in the next novel. Overall Mary E. Pearson did a good job with making the book make sense and stay organized and having her characters stay in character.

Closing Thoughts 

Overall I really liked this book and I really enjoyed reading it. I can't wait to read The Heart of Betrayal and write a review on it! As always thank you for reading and remember to comment, follow, and subscribe to email notifications for more reviews! -Becca              
    
             

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson Book Review


Spoiler Free Review:

I'll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Readers will find themselves overwhelmed with emotions while reading the heart wrenching, brutally honest, coming of age story that is I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. The story starts out with Noah and Jude, twins, so close they consider themselves two halves of the same soul. But when tragedy strikes their family Noah and Jude's world turns upside down leaving them both heart broken and turned against each other. Told from Noah's view from the past and Jude's view from the present one magnificent story of many twists and turns is melded together leaving the reader not fully understanding until the very end. This book was so amazing I was unable to put it down. One thing that I loved was how art had such a strong presence in this novel. Jandy Nelson's writing style has so much symbolism and is chock full of metaphors and this gave the story almost a poetic feeling to it. Though with the fast moving plot line her writing sometimes overwhelming and a little confusing causing me to have to go back and reread. Overall this novel was entirely original and amazing and something that I feel everyone should read. This book does contain some mature content and may not be appropriate for all readers.
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Recommended Mindset for Reading

I would recommend reading this if you are in the mood for a romance with deep meaningful characters. This book is perfect for fans of books with strong LGBT main characters and those who love friendships turned love. If you love coming of age stories and you don't want to start a series or adjust to a new world than this book is perfect for you! You should be prepared to not want to put this book down!

Full Review:

Initial Reaction 

I have to say this book took my breath away. I have never read anything quite like it before. While some parts felt slightly predictable most of this novel was a whirlwind of plot twists and combating emotions. Because I plowed through this in one day I went from wanting to cry to laughing out loud hysterically. When I got to the end I didn't want it to be over because I felt so connected to Noah and Jude and I have this intense desire to know more about their story. Immediately after I finished reading this I wanted to grab my sketch book and start drawing and simultaneously start writing about my feelings. The content of this book was so inspiring and thought provoking and even though I am nothing like any of the characters it felt like it resonated with me perfectly.

Character analysis

The character development in this book was very interesting because of the way the story is told. Because Noah's perspective is in the past we don't see as much of his growth as a character and in some ways it made the ending feel slightly rushed because we don't see him working through and eventually overcoming his problems. When Noah finally tells Jude and their father that their mother was leaving them and that he had lied I wish had been able to see inside his head to understand better how he had changed in order to finally come clean. When he bursts into the studio and symbolically starts the resolution it just felt fake like he just randomly made this dramatic growth in character. I think that Noah's main growth as a character is realizing that he is gay and trying to understand himself. His change in confidence is shown when at the end of the book he grabs Brian's hand in front of his father symbolizing that he finally trusts his father and has come to terms with who he is.

I personally felt more connected to Jude and I think this due to the fact that she changes and grows not only when she is narrating but also when Noah is narrating. Her transition from Noah's other half, to that girl, to jealous sister, to guilt crazed wallflower, to an individual felt natural and really encompassed the whole coming of age theme. Her personality as a bible thumping hypochondriac was definitely something I had never experienced in a young adult novel before. Her hallucinations of ghosts were very interesting as well and the fact that the ghost of her grandmother and mother are her guides on her journey to adulthood made her story more unique. The fact that Jude is so superstitious yet she agrees to just give up her ways at the end of the book did feel a little unbelievable to me because it felt like a big part of her personality. Jude's main growth as a character was realizing that she can be whoever she wants to be and that she is an individual from her brother as well as that she in't that girl. I think something that was a big turning point for Jude was when she confronted Zephyr about being raped and realizing that it was not her fault. I feel that in that moment Jude was able to stop blaming herself for everything.

Symbolism 

This book had so much symbolism in it that it began to feel like everything was a metaphor. Just starting with the title I'll Give You the Sun, the sun represents so many things in this book. When Noah and Jude divide up the world they both want the sun so much and when Jude tells Guillermo Garcia that she gave up the sun to Noah he tells her no wonder she is so sad. Noah also thinks that if his mother ever died the sun would go out and when she dies its like the lights go out in their lives. Another motif in this book was using artwork to represent how the characters feel. Jude goes from sculpting with sand, to clay, to stone. The fact that her materials become more concrete and lasting shows how she changes as a character. Jude's confidence in herself and her artwork grows as the story continues. Jude's work with stone and carving herself and Noah out of it shows how they feel stuck in a stone cage and how they need to be set free not only from their guilt but also from each other and Jude represents this when she cuts her sculpture of herself and Noah in half.

There was also so much minor symbolism that was a part of the writing style itself. The poetic feeling due to the metaphors and blurring of reality reminded me of the writing style in Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. This was something I loved about the book because it just added to the overall beauty of the story. I especially loved the artistic and whimsical feeling that was added when Noah was narrating.

LGBT/Coming out 

One major part of this book as a coming of age story is Noah coming to terms with his homosexuality. Throughout the book Noah feels like he can't tell anyone about being gay because he is afraid they will not accept him. This is especially true with his father whom he feels is not open minded and is shown when he tells his mother not to tell his father that he is gay. I felt that this book did a great job with showing the struggle of coming to terms with your sexuality. Jandy Nelson did an excellent job with showing how our world view has changed and is more accepting. I am a sucker for romance of any kind and the romance between Brian and Noah was so sweet and wonderful and was just a perfect friendship turned love.

Ending/Resolution 

The ending in this book was very well written and wrapped up very well. I always love a happy ending and the last couple of pages had me smiling and giggling. There are always two main things I judge an ending of a standalone on predictability and if all the loose ends are tied up and explained. For me this book was not very predictable and the only thing I guessed was that when Jude found the note from Guillermo Garcia to dearest that he and Jude's mother had an affair. I was able to guess this just from the fact that everything in a well written book happens for a reason and the fact that Guillermo Garcia was a wreck on the anniversary of their mothers death and that she would find the book with the note about their interview I gathered that Guillermo Garcia had a more major role to play than just the mentor. Other than that the only thing I predicted was Brain and Noah and Oscar and Jude being together and those are the kind of things you are supposed to predict! As for wrapping up well I think that this novel wrapped up perfectly. I don't have any major questions that went unanswered and when I finished the book it felt right like there shouldn't be anything else.     

 Dislikes/Confusions 

There were not very many things I disliked in this book which is why I gave it such a high rating. I did dislike how quickly Jude was willing to give up her bible because it felt unrealistic. I also disliked how everyone just excepts that ghosts are real at the end because well I like my contemporaries to remain contemporary and realistic and I don't happen to believe in ghosts. There was one part of the book that I was confused about on page 168 "Ohboyohboy. His hand's holding up the fabric. I can feel the heat on his fingertips on my belly. My heart speeds up. This is inappropriate, right? I mean he's old. A dad's age. Except he sure doesn't feel like a dad."  This reaction from Jude felt wrong and confused me because at the end she does kind of except Guillermo Garcia as a father figure. This felt slightly out of character for Jude and I don't think it was needed.

Closing Thoughts

Overall this book was a wonderfull read and I am so happy I read it! This is not the kind of book that I feel I could reread over and over so it may be awhile before I read it again, but I know it will be just as good every time! Thank you all so much for reading an remember to comment, follow, and subscribe to email alerts for more reviews! -Becca
      

     

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My New Book Blog!

Hello my fellow book lovers! As this is my first ever blog post I thought I should tell you a little about myself and what you should expect from me on this blog! I am a fifteen year old girl who might be a little too obsessed with reading. I love young adult novels mainly because I find it easier to relate to characters my own age. My favorite genre is fantasy and I love fantasy science fiction crossovers. I prefer to think that romance is not its own genre but more of a requirement for all books so you will not hear me say a book should not have had romance in it very often. Though of course there are the exceptions such as Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S King. I am a self proclaimed social media addict! Once I was a social media hater who refused to get an Instagram or a Facebook and looked down on all those who chose to be a youtuber. Now it seems I am the opposite, I swear I can't sit down for five minutes and not check my phone for my miscellaneous notifications. This could also be because I am constantly posting on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Google+. The other day I sat down and filmed eight consecutive YouTube videos. Now you are probably asking yourself is this girl is constantly staring at a screen then how does she have time to stick her nose in a book? Well I would love to say that I am a master organizer who makes beautiful schedules to plan reading, my social life, my social media life, and school, but I can't. My easily manged life has do to my complete lack of a social life. While I am an extremely social person and loquacious is practically my middle name, I would still prefer a night in with a good book to a night out with my friends. One could say that I intrinsically want to live up to the nerdy stereotypes which is why I love reading and school and my glasses, but I also avoid non-fiction like its the plague and my ability to make friends is much better than my ability to understand a computer so maybe there isn't a way to easily explain my complicated personality. During the school year when my social life grows slightly I am able to keep up a healthy reading appetite do to my amazing ability to read really quickly. In the time it takes most people to read one book I could probably have read three much longer novels. This skill has served me well from finishing a whole series in a week before a movie, to getting to choose which book I actually enjoyed to write about for English because I had read fifteen books as apposed to the required to three. Marathoning books is something I love to do because it provides the same zoning out and loosing yourself qualities as binging Netflix, but without the guilt of doing something that is completely pointless. Now what does marathoning books and my ability to manage my life have to do with this blog? Well because I actually can manage my life enough to read frequently then you can expect a couple blog posts a week. During the school year my blog posts my go down to one or two a week do to homework, but seeing as how much I love writing especially about books I will be posting as often as I possibly can! I plan to post two versions of book reviews. One will be completely spoiler free and about 1000 characters. The other will be my complete reaction to the book chock full of spoilers, but unlike my youtube videos my thoughts will be organized, revised, and I won't call characters whats her face. I will post links to my booktalks from my youtube channel in my blog posts. I am warning you now that I most likely will not post both kinds of reviews at the same time. My spoiler free reviews will most likely be grouped together in lists of favorite books or separately before I have written my full review of a book but I will always have a spoiler free review with my full reviews. I will also include pictures I have taken of the books I am reviewing. I also plan on writing rants about certain books or fandoms and hopefully posting some of my own writing and poetry. I am so excited to start my journey a a blogger and I hope that my thoughts on books inspire you to read and discuss books! Thank you all for reading!
                         

Top Five Recent Romance Reads

Hello my lovely readers! In my personal experience as a romance novel addict, it can be hard to find a romance that fits the mood you are in. Contrary to popular belief, all romance novels are not the same. To help you all find the romance novel of your dreams I have complied a list of five of my recent romance reads for different moods and mindsets. Each book has my rating, spoiler free review and what kind of romance novel desire it will satisfy. Happy reading!

1. Supernatural, Hot and Heavy, Good Girl Meets Bad Boy
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins is perfect to quench your needs for a supernatural love story with a hot bad boy book boyfriend. The benefit of this book is the hot and heavy feeling to it while still remaining less mature than one might think. If you also have very strong religious views then this book is perfect for you.
Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Readers will be held spellbound while reading the captivating novel about the devious and heroic offspring of angels that is Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Good southern girl Anna Whitt is thrown face first into the world of sinful angels, nephilim, and Kaidan Rowe the extremely attractive bad boy with a startling heritage while still trying to hold on to her personal morals. Higgins’s colorful and mysterious characters keep readers intrigued and screaming at their books to know more. Higgins provides a fast paced plot and a continuous flow of conflict while also providing insight as to what really determines a person’s destiny. Anna’s constant struggle between light and dark though amplified will resonate with young adults. Readers should recognize that there is some profanity in this novel. Most fantasy enjoying teens will love both the action and passionate romance that this dark coming of age story offers. This is highly recommended for both public and high school libraries.

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2. Forbidden Love, Friendship, Large Series/World
Cassandra Clare is the queen of forbidden love and she hit the jackpot with Lady Midnight. Because Lady Midnight has both forbidden love and friendship turned love the whole book feels like a slow burning fire of romance and desire. Another benefit of Lady Midnight is that it is part of a whole bunch of books that take place in the same world. With two other finished series, two short story collections and much more to come Lady Midnight is perfect if want to get into a bunch of reading without having to get used to new worlds.
     Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Readers will find their hearts racing from the heart wrenching, action packed new edition to the shadowhunters chronicles that is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Starting five years after City of Heavenly Fire, overworked Julian Blackthorn is trying to survive through the effects of the cold peace that tore his family apart, while his fierce parabatai Emma Carstairs is clinging to the hope of solving her parents murders. When something they never thought they would see again is returned, they find themselves ruling with love that binds them over the laws that control them, but that very love might be what destroys them all. The unpredictable plot twists make this novel all the more interesting. The overarching theme of love versus law really drives the character development and action in this book. The feeling of using your heart over your head and questioning the soundness of rules will really resonate with young adults. The intensity and passion of this book make it perfect for all readers and is highly recommended.

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3. Forbidden Love, In the Dark Main Character, Dystopian
Delirium can scratch that itch you have for a great dystopian future romance. With a completely brainwashed main character and a quick burning forbidden love paired with writing almost like poetry Lauren Oliver creates an unbelievable romance perfect for anyone looking for an amazingly well built dystopian world.
      Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Readers will be held spellbound by the captivating, intense and breathtakingly romantic novel that is Delirium by Lauren Oliver. In a world where love is a disease and banned for the safety of the people all Lena wants is to lay low and get a good score on her evaluation so she can set up a good life after she is cured, but when handsome Alex bursts into her life her falling love may just be inevitable. I loved everything about this book and it is hard to pick what I loved the most but in trying to provide an explanation of how amazing this book is I would pick the excerpts from the rewritten history books and laws at the beginning of every chapter. These excerpts make the world completely believable and really well built. Romance in this novel was amazing and made me feel all the feels! I have to say I have never been more on the edge of my seat with character development than with this book. I was crying and screaming at my book trying to tell the characters what to do! Of course everything was perfectly timed in this novel and Lauren Oliver may just be one of my new favorite authors. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone because it is amazing! To see my booktalk on youtube click on this link https://youtu.be/6ZaEkyl1lvE

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4. Hot and Heavy, Mystery, Standalone, Contemporary
November 9th has the hands down best romance I have ever read. Delving into the more mature side of YA, Colleen Hoover's writing is the definition of  hot and heavy and burning desire. The characters in November 9th are brimming with emotional damage and mystery. With the whole book revolving around one specific date shrouded with mystery and darkness readers are kept guessing and gasping until the end of the book. One benefit of November 9th is how it is both a contemporary and a standalone so it is perfect for when you are not in the mood to start a new series or trudge through world building.

November 9November 9 by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Readers will have their breath taken away by the heart wrenching mysterious romance that is November 9 by Colleen Hoover. Fallon terrorized by events of her past has decided to move to New York away from her problems and her absent father. Ben an aspiring novelist with many buried secrets and when he meets Fallon on one fated November 9th they fall head over heels for each other. As the story progresses they meet once a year on November 9th and everything Fallon and Ben think is true starts to unravel. I loved the romance in this book. The writing was so spectacular that I felt like I was there in the book. The plot in this novel was so complex and amazing and all of the twists and turns were so unexpected and made the story rich and a complete page turner. I would highly recommend this book to any romance lovers. The romance is slightly mature and may not be appropriate for all readers. If there was a way to give a billion star rating I would! Here is my booktalk video https://youtu.be/y-Pdx9PLBJQ

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5. Comical, Magical, Light Romance
Sometimes we all want a break from the heavy, stereotypical romances and we crave a little comedy. My Lady Jane will tweak your funny bone and give you a light sprinkling of sweet, honest romance. Combining magic, comedy and history there isn't much space for good romance and My Lady Jane handles it perfectly. With good friendships, hysterical arranged marriages and royalty My Lady Jane is perfect to ease into the world of YA romance.
My Lady JaneMy Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My lady Jane by Cynthia Hand is the comical, magical story that you wish was in your history textbook. Lady Jane Grey is an outspoken book lover and cousin to the 16 year old King Edward. While most teenagers Edward's age would be focusing on when they will have their first kiss Edward has to deal with the fact that he is dying and he needs to set up his country for success after he is gone, which means marrying Jane off to G who is harboring more secrets than the fact that he is horse. I loved the hilarious interruptions from the narrators it made the story more engaging and less serious. The plot in this book being based off of history is very interesting and the magical elements of the story make the plot more engaging and surprisingly more believable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone of middle school to adult age and for history and magic lovers alike.

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