Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

18599667 Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: June 10, 2014 by HarperTeen
Length: 336 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except…
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.”

review

If you didn’t know, I go into reading books BLIND. Meaning, I do NOT read the summaries before reading books. After reading the book, that’s when I read the summary…and let me tell you, I did not get the information that’s on the summary in the book. After reading Don’t You Forget About Me, I still did not understand what the “fourth year” was until I read the summary, and that’s really bad! The book should be the one that has the explanation of the world building, not the summary. For me, this book was just a hot mess. The world building was really bad because it was very confusing and lacked details. I think I could have enjoyed this book if the author put in more explanation of why Gardnerville, where the story takes place, is like that. Also, the main character, Skylar, is unreliable because of the pills she takes which just makes everything more confusing.

What I do like though is the sort of mind blowing ending. It kind of cleared things up a bit about the world and Piper but it was still lacking. I also like how the chapter titles are songs. I think it would be really cool to be listening to the song while reading that chapter (if you don’t get distracted easily).

Overall I just strongly disliked this book. I was itching for the book to end so I can pick up and read a new book (I hate not finishing a book I’ve started which is why I pushed through Don’t You Forget About Me). I did not care for the characters at all in this book because they just seemed flat to me. I also did not like how the story jumped from present day and then past. It wasn’t necessary in my opinion. The romance was also bad. This book is just very different. I think readers will either love it or hate it. I don’t recommend this book at all but if you do decide to pick this up just remember it’s not a fluffy read and get ready for a lot of confusion because of the weird puzzles the MC is trying to solve.

ARC August 2014

ARC August 2015

First off, wow, I’ve been gone for a month. I really missed all of you & I’m so sorry for the lack of posts. I’ve just been really busy especially since I’m part of my friend’s court for her 18th birthday (debut). We’ve been hanging out a lot and practicing our dances. Anyways…so I joined ARC August last year and it was lots of fun! I’m so excited that Octavia decided to host another ARC August. I’m so up for the challenge! Here is what I’ll try to read during the challenge:

1. Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
2. Amity by Micol Ostow
3. Feral by Holly Schindler
4. The Jewel by Amy Ewing
5. Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
6. A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney
7. Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
8. The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan
9. Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten
10. Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday

Any of you joining ARC August!? If not, you should! Let me know in the comments what you’ll be reading!

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

3 Genre: MG Fantasy
Published: November 1, 2003 by Scholastic Press (first published 1997)
Series: #1 (Harry Potter)
Length: 310 pages
Source: bought (at Target)

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He’s never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in ten years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.“

review

I got two words for this book: THE FEELS. Harry Potter is one of those books that will take you on a journey without you having to leave your seat. Not once did I get bored while reading this book. I loved all the characters (even the antagonists) especially Harry Potter. In the movie I kind of disliked him, but in the book he is much smarter and keen which made me glad. I love how Rowling was able to put so much depth in all of her characters! They each had their own personalities and flaws which made them more relatable. What I also loved about this book is the world of Hogwarts. I now understand why everyone wishes this place was real. I just love the whole idea of having a school of witchcraft and wizardry! J.K. Rowling did a fantastic job of making the place alive and entertaining.

Besides the characters and the world building, I love all the plot twists! Although I have seen the movie, I don’t remember much (thankfully) so my jaw literally drops every time there is a plot twist. Overall this book was just perfect and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series. I recommend this to everyone whether you are a child, a teenager, or an adult. If you are looking for mysteries, adventures, friendships, or a vacation from Earth, read Harry Potter now, you muggles!

5 of 5

Review: Grendel by John Gardner

676737 Genre: Classics
Published: June 2, 2010 by Random House Vintage Books
Length: 180 pages
Source: bought (at Barnes & Noble)

The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic Beowulf, tells his side of the story in a book William Gass called “one of the finest of our contemporary fictions.” 

 

 

 

 

review

Grendel was a very interesting read because if you’ve read Beowulf, Grendel is the antagonist in that story, but in Grendel, he is the protagonist. I like reading books where the antagonist from the original story tells his/her own story of why he/she acts that way (like the movie Maleficent). The first half of the book was very sad because Grendel tells us why he acts so angry towards humans and he has a very reasonable answer. I also like how Grendel is given emotions in this book unlike in Beowulf, he is only depicted as a monster. Grendel is actually quite smart. He likes to observe his surroundings and has a very caring personality. The dragon is also involved in this story and he is very wise. He gives Grendel advices about the things that he had acquired through his experiences. The only thing I did not like about this book is the 2nd half. It pretty much went downhill from there because I honestly did not understand anything I’ve read. I feel like the author was packing the chapters with empty words when he can just directly say what was happening. Overall it is a good book to read after you have read Beowulf.

3 of 5

Review: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings

13576132 Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: June 10, 2014 by Greenwillow Books
Series: #1 (The Murder Complex)
Length: 400 pages
Source: Greenwillow (ARC)

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

review

The Murder Complex is a fast-paced, dystopian book about Meadow Woodson who is trained to kill and fight by her father. I have mixed feelings for this book because of the world building. I understand that there are Leeches, Gravers, and Pirates that roam around the society to punish those who chooses to disobey the commandments, but what I cannot picture is the world. It was hard to imagine it because I think the author was focusing more on the action scenes than the world. The other thing I did not like about The Murder Complex is how the two main characters, Meadow and Zephyr, sound so much alike! This book has alternating view points so it was hard to distinguish which character was narrating even if the first page of the chapter says Zephyr/Meadow was narrating. Also, I noticed that the author tends to be redundant at times.

What I loved about this book though, are the action scenes. There were a lot of blood scenes which will make it hard for you to put down the book. Some scenes also reminded me of The Hunger Games and Divergent. I also like how there were a lot of plot twists right off the beginning. This is the type of book where you won’t pay attention to what chapter you are at because you just want to keep on reading! I was actually surprised to see the acknowledgements page because I wasn’t aware that I was already reading the last chapter. I also liked the romance during the 2nd half of the book because at first it was kind of insta-lovey. Overall I recommend it to those who loves reading dystopian books or books with a lot of twists and action!

3.5 of 5

Classics, Why So Pretty? {Discuss #17}

discuss

Besides young adult, I also enjoy reading classics (no joke) and this is all because of all the English classes I have taken in high school. So last week (June 5th) I was browsing at Barnes & Noble’s Classics Collectible Edition and I was just mesmerized by all the beautiful, leather bound covers. I decided to buy like 6 of them haha. I kind of got carried away. After ordering them, I went on YouTube because I wanted to see how they really looked like. I knew that they all did not have the same height, but I didn’t care! THEY WERE ALL PRETTY. Then, I saw this one youtuber who had the Penguin’s edition of the classics and UGH, they had pretty covers as well! They have a lot of  collectible edition but these two are my favorite: Penguin’s Hardcover Classics & Penguin Drop Caps. My crazy side says COLLECT THEM ALL and the logic side of myself says TOO EXPENSIVE (unless I win the lottery which is close to impossible lol). Also, I want to collect them (at least one edition) because the beautiful covers just motivates me more to read classics (especially the long ones)! I can honestly stare at them all day #noregrets.

So here is my question for you… have you ever had that debate with yourself whether you should collect the awe-looking, hardbound classics (or any type of book/series)?

Penguin Drop Caps Deluxe Hardcover

Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

18602796 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: April 22, 2014 by HarperTeen
Length: 320 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too….”

review

The Last Best Kiss is a really great read if you are looking for a light and fluffy contemporary story. It is realistic for the most part since the story is about a girl trying to fit in, but at the same time there are unrealistic aspects. This book is about our protagonist, Anna, who tries to fit in by turning down Finn, a very lovable and nerd-looking freshman boy whom she likes. I love how the author developed her characters because at first Anna is this freshman who would do anything to fit in, and Finn, who looks like an innocent boy who has a crush on Anna, but as the story progresses, these two mature little by little and it was just fun to read how they both have changed.

This book has those cliques but it did not really bother me since the story was focused more on character growth and romance. Sometimes Anna was a bit annoying because she was so focused on being high up on the social ladder, but I like how she became aware of how stupid she was as she progresses on in high school. I also love how Anna’s family is involved in some way. We get a peek at Anna’s sisters’ lives and her dad’s. I think her dad is a pain to be with (he’s that dad who has a favorite out of all his children) yet hilarious.

Overall this book was an easy and fun read! I recommend it if you are looking for a light summer read.

3.5 of 5

Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

18599754Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: June 3, 2014 by HarperTeen
Length: 352 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

“Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.”

review

Dang! This book is so good! This is the type of book where you’ll keep flipping the page until you realize it’s past midnight. Although told in 3rd person point of view (which is not my preference) it was so easy to relate to these characters. There are a lot of dialogues and e-mail conversations in this book which makes you forget that it’s actually being told in 3rd person. It is also a dual point of view between our two main characters, Amy and Matthew. Amy was born with cerebral palsy and as a result, she has to walk with a walker and use a voice box in order to speak while Matthew has an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

What I loved most about this book is that it’s very realistic and unpredictable. There are a lot of life lessons in this book such as life will lead us into what we least expected. I also like how Amy’s parents are involved. I understand how her mother wants to do what she thinks is for the best for Amy, but she also needs to learn how to let go. Amy is independent, smart, and brave and I admire her for that. It amazes me how she does not give up even though she has a lot of weight on her shoulders. What I also liked about Say What You Will is the friendship. This book explains that we should not have to “try hard” in order to be accepted or to have friends. The only thing I was iffy about is Amy and Matthew’s relationship.

Overall it was a fantastic read, and this is a book that is great to give to a friend, relative, stranger, whatever as a gift because there are a lot of life lessons (like I said!). I think everyone should read this book and not just young adults because it’s very eye opening and revolves around a diverse topic. This is definitely a must read if you’re looking for character development, friendship, family, and a diverse book.

Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

18599770

Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: June 17, 2014 by HarperTeen
Length: 352 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

When a death threat arrives with tee

No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

review

I have mixed feelings for this book. Based on the summary, I guess this book is about how Claire, a high school senior, learns from her mistakes and changes as a person. After reading this book, I don’t think Claire learned from her past mistakes and grew as a person. The title says it all. The narration alternates from present and past, with the past containing her first 17 kisses (I think kiss #15-17 are present) which I liked because it made it easier for me to compare how Claire was in the past with the Claire during the present (which was not much of a difference). She did changed just a teeny bit though. This book has the cliques, mean popular girls, etc. which I kind of did not like but I do understand why the author incorporated it because some people are high school are actually like that.

What I sort of liked from this book is the friendship. No matter how many times Claire and Megan (I guess Megan is like the leader of the popular girls clique) fight over something (especially guys) they realize that their friendship is more valuable than anything. I also like how they are not using each other. They have a connection and have those deep talks about family and their future. I also like how the characters’ parents and siblings are involved. The parents didn’t take a random vacation or anything like that just so the main character could do whatever the hell she/he wants.

What I did not like was the pacing of the book. I just found it slow which made me bored at times. I also did not like some of the characters, but it’s okay because I wasn’t supposed to like them. That’s how they are and I’m almost certain the author made their personalities annoying on purpose. Just remember, if you are reading this book, these girls are boy crazies to the max!

Overall this book was okay. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t fantastic either. I still recommend it but it I wouldn’t put it on the top of my tbr.

3 of 5

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

10798416 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: January 2, 2012 by Poppy/Little Brown
Length: 236 pages
Source: bought (at Barnes & Noble)

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

review

I really enjoyed reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight mainly because it is unpredictable and unique from all the Y.A. contemporary books I’ve read in the past. This book takes place in one day which kind of makes the pacing of the book slow, but interesting stuff happens which prevents the readers from being totally bored. This book sort of has two plots which are: Hadley going to London because her father is being remarried, and the other being the romance that takes place while she goes to London.

The characters in this book are very realistic because they are flawed and I know some people in real life would have acted the same way as Hadley, Hadley’s dad, Hadley’s new step mother, etc. I also like how there is a big family involvement not just with Hadley, but also with her love interest, Oliver. I hate reading books when the parents takes a vacation for no reason (such a lame excuse). I am also impressed how there is a great character development to most of the characters since the story only takes place within a 24 hour span. They all began to realize and understand their situations. The only thing that I did not like about this book is something that Hadley does which was just weird and unrealistic, but overall it was definitely a great read.

I recommend it to everyone especially if you enjoy reading contemporary books that has a different setting, family involvement, second chances, forgiveness, and nice romance.

3.5 of 5


Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!
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