Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Scarlet

Title Scarlet (Scarlet 1)
By A.C. Gaughen
Genre YA Retelling
Pages 287

First Sentence No one really knows 'bout me.

In this retelling of Robin Hood we get to see things from Will Scarlet's perspective. But Will isn't a boy, she's a young woman with mysterious past. With Gisbourne arriving to put a stop to Robin's band things are about to get even more dangerous than usual. Especially since Scarlet has her own reasons to avoid Gisbourne.

What it has going for it
I'm going to now list things this book has going for it from the perspective of someone who did like it. This one has it all. A steamy love triangle, adventure, danger, thieving and a bossy "Edward" like Robin Hood. What's not to like you ask???

What's lacking
Everything! I'm sorry, I knew going into this one I wasn't going to like it. First of all, I guessed the big secret long before I actually read the book. So that was annoying. Second of all the whole accent thing drove me nuts! Besides the fact that it took forever to train my brain to not correct Scarlet's English, I kept wondering why a book taking place in Robin Hood's England outside of London had a protagonist speaking like she was from the 1800's wild west?! What the hell, guys?! So annoying! Oh, and the whole Edward like love interest! Seriously?! I'm sorry, but I'm so sick of reading about these control freak, angst ridden boys and this one was bad, guys, really bad! The adventurous plot wasn't that bad but even it got to be too much for me to handle at the end. Sigh! Oh well. It was a fast read and now I can say I read it.

Yea or Nay?
I seriously think I'm the only person who didn't like this one, so don't take my word for it, but don't say I didn't warn you. ;)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review: The Marbury Lens

Title The Marbury Lens
By Andrew Smith
Genre YA Contemporary/Supernatural
Pages 358

First Sentence I guess in the old day, in other places, boys like me usually ended up twisting and kicking in the empty air beneath gallows.

Still reeling from a horrific kidnapping and escape that ends in murder, Jack escapes to London to check out a school with his friend Conner. With everything unresolved Jack is torn but when a man shows up with a mysterious pair of glasses that transport him to another dimension, a world called Marbury, Jack becomes obsessed with it. But when Conner finds out Jack starts to question his sanity. Does Marbury really exist or is Jack just finding a way to cope?

What it has going for it
Honestly, I don't remember why I picked this one up a few years ago. I remember thinking the story sounded interesting and maybe another blogger out there loved it and I decided to read it. All I know is that I bought it and just recently picked it up. It took me forever to read! My reading streak came to a screeching halt. While this book is riveting and both in this world and Marbury exciting things are happening, It was a painful book to read. So much awfulness is happening and you really just don't want to keep reading...but you sort of want to. Oh, um, I think I was supposed to be telling you things I liked. Um, well, I guess the fact that I did finish the book and couldn't quite look away was a good thing. I also was invested enough in the story to see what was going on. I did not relate to any of the characters but I did feel for them and that's something, right?

What's lacking
My biggest problem with this book wasn't the swearing and painful subject matter, believe it or not, but the fact that nothing was resolved. Yeah, there's a sequel but that's not what I'm talking about. The whole, is Jack crazy or not, thing was never really answered. Maybe it was and I just missed it??? Maybe you're not supposed to have any resolution??? All I know is I'm still unsure what the hell was real or not and that bothered me. I also was irritated with the underlying theme of despair in this book. There wasn't a single shred of hope at all! I guess the author had a similar trauma in his past and while I'm so, so sorry when I hear about this sort of thing happening in real life, I'm not sure he should be writing books for young adults. At least not books that offer no help, comfort or hope.

Yea or Nay?
If you're a masochistic and enjoy being very confused, yeah go ahead, otherwise, I don't think you're missing anything if you skip this one.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Organized vs Not

It's been ages since I wrote a discussion post so excuse the "grasping at straws" topic. So, the other day I was reading Jenni's blog and she was discussing the books she read in May, as some of us bloggers do at the end of the month, and she then mentioned how she was still organizing the books she would be reading in June. It got me thinking.

See, this is me when I finish reading a book: Close book, either smile because I liked it, or slam it down on the table and say something rather nasty to it. (I'm looking at you, The Marbury Lens) Anywho, I then stroll into my guestroom/library and replace said book then peruse my shelf for a book I'm in the mood for.
I'm a total organization freak but when it comes to reading, besides obligation books, I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" girl.

Then I started thinking about all those bloggers that get tons of ARCs and feel obligated to read the books that are being released soon so they can review them. As much fun as it would be to get free books, I think I'd go crazy having my reading choices so narrowed down. I'm such a mood reader that I have to read a book based on mood. You know?

Sigh. Not that it matters how we read as long as we read, right? I was just pondering as I often do.

What about you? Do you know what you're going to read when or do you just take it one book at a time?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Review: Waiting For Normal

Title Waiting For Normal
By Leslie Connor
Genre Middle Grade Contemporary
Pages 290

First Sentence Maybe Mommers and I shouldn't have been surprised; Dwight had told us it was a trailer even before we'd packed our bags.

Addie is waiting for normal. But Addie's mom has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, jubilation or gloom, her way or no way. All or nothing never adds up to normal.
All or nothing can't bring you all to home, which is exactly where Addie longs to be, with her half sisters, every day. In spite of life's twists and turns, Addie remains optimistic. Someday, maybe, she'll find normal. (From Goodreads)

What is has going for it
Middle grade and I don't always get along. Even if a story is great, the simplistic writing that works for Middle graders doesn't always work for an adult. That being said, there are those books that work well despite what age group they're directed towards. Waiting For Normal was one of those books. I read it for my book club but have had my eye on it for years and am glad I finally read it. It's a very fast read that keeps you entertained and invested in its characters. Despite the heavy undertones and subject matter it remains a positive, upbeat and optimistic book. Addie is a great protagonist; relatable and sympathetic, she pulls at your heart strings and makes you long for a happy ending. With the serious issues this book deals with it's a relief that it does indeed have a happy ending that leaves you feeling all warms and fuzzy. 

What's lacking
After all the nice things I said, you're probably thinking I saw nothing to dislike. You'd be wrong. While this one was optimistic and gave me the warms fuzzies, there was that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that this happy ending wasn't realistic. While I wish all kids in this sort of situations had this many positive people in their lives to help, I know most don't even have one.  However, I didn't walk away from this one rolling my eyes negatively, as I usually would, but  was inspired to be a positive person who keeps my eyes out for people to help. Because you never know when you'll be somebody's hero.

Yea or Nay?
Of course!   

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May Wrapup

May started out great for me in the reading area but the second half of the month...not so much. Oh well, here they are.

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Much better than Scarlet. Kick ass action continues. Can't wait to see how it all ends.

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Warm fuzzy inducing wonderfulness.

Dune by Frank Herbert
The read along was better than the book.

Elevated by Elana Johnson
Hated the whole thing until the end....Then I LOVED it.

Waiting For Normal by Leslie Connor
Very fast read but not very realistic. (review to come)

See? Five books isn't bad for me lately. Considering I read four of them at the beginning of the month. Too bad I couldn't keep the momentum going.

Favorites of the month were Cress, Elevated and Lost Lake. No Least Favorites this month. Dune and Waiting for Normal were not bad books just not my favorite.

Plans for June
Finish reading The Marbury Lens. This book is the book that lost my momentum. It's a tough read and I'm still wading through it. June is my birthday month so I'm looking forward to that! I also plan on getting a few more things done on the yard. Happy Reading everyone!