Sold by Patricia McCormick
Plan to read this book in one setting. It is an extremely easy read and you will be captivated. It is a heart-breaking story but beautifully written. Yes, it is graphic. VERY graphic. But unfortunately, it is also a very realistic story for many. The global sex trade affects hundreds of thousands each year. If you can handle disturbing and graphic, then please give this book a try. Lakshima's story is so haunting and heart-wrenching but such a great read.
The Heir by Keira Cass
I wasn't prepared to like the Selection series but once the kids bugged me into trying them, I was pleasantly enthralled. So I was rather excited to read The Heir. This time I wasn't so happy. Eadlyn is a future queen with an ego... ok I get it. But really the entire book was just passage after passage of the protagonist whining and complaining about the unfairness of her life. At least there are a few selected boys that make this book worth reading. Also, it is super predictable. From the beginning, as soon as she started fighting with Kyle, I instantly knew his name would be pulled. Cass should have stopped after book 3 or else spent more time getting this one right.
Shingaling by R.J. Palacio
A companion to Wonder, this is Charlotte's tale. If you're a huge Auggie fan and want to read more about him, the book will be a huge disappointment to you. He is barely present. If you don't mind a short book set in the same world, it's pretty interesting. It's not the most profound, in-depth book you will ever read but I found it interesting to read the events in Wonder through a new perspective.
Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Good. Great even. But I dont love it nearly as much as Maze Runner. I really missed the huge mystery and the suspense of the monsters in the maze. It's great as a survival story, but not really that great at explaining all the mysteries of Wicked. If you're hoping Scorch Trials will answer all your lingering questions from Maze Runner you will be disappointed. I am really hoping everything is wrapped up in book 3.
This time, there is a group of girls, too... and they've been instructed to kill the boys. The boys have a lengthy journey through the scorching heat with multiple obstacles. How many will make it to safety at the end?
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
I.really.don't.like.this.book. No,. I'm not into nature or biographies but the blurb looks fascinating. I mean how cool must a guy be to give $20k to charity, abandon his possessions, and walk into the Alaskan wilderness. I got about half way through thinking the book was ok, not my type, but at least a 3 star (giving it the benefit of the doubt). Then, the author kept going back and forth in some indiscernible manner instead of chronologically. By the last quarter of the book, I kept hoping that each new chapter would be the last, but there was always more. And more. And I just wanted it to end. The only good thing about this book is that it worked wonders at putting me to sleep, especially when the author gets off McCandless and starts babbling about himself and other people who had made similar "adventures". Seriously, who goes off like that with NO reasonable preparations!? UGH!
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Love it. LOVE the pics. My favorite thing about this book is its uniqueness. I didn't feel like I was just the same book over again with different characters. It's very quirky. Don't judge a book by its cover. This book comes across as a creepy, supernatural horror. It's just a little creepy but nowhere even close to scary. It's beautiful. I think the pictures and text work well together is this book.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Good, but it didn't quite have the pizzazz of the first book. While it still included some pretty cool n creepy photographs, a lot of the plot seemed very forced to make it fit around them. There were several characters and extra plot lines that didnt seem to flow at all. The only purpose seemed to be to showcase a photograph the author liked a lot.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The ultimate classic about censorship and forbidden books. Does a "fireman" burning houses that contain books really so unbelievable when books are banned from libraries every single day for things like "too dark" "talking animals" or "bad grammar" and "elaborate fantasy worlds"?
I love dystopians and I love this book. The only reason it's not a 5-star is that since it was written so long ago, the language is rather dated and made parts of it difficult to read. The fact that part of the reason the world became the way it dead was because many people had stopped reading in favor of video games, tv, and other entertainment. The book could have been written yesterday and still been relevant. Everyone is "plugged in" and everything in the world has become watered down to nothing so NOBODY could possibly be offended.
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Once upon a time an angel and a demon fell in love. It didn't end well. I LOVE this book. Just finished reading it for the second time. The second time around I listened to the audio version which was masterfully done. The intrigue, the mystery of the teeth, the captivating story line, all come together make to make a fantastic read. Unlike many other paranormal books, this book is also very well written. I love the way she crafts sentences in such an artistic and beautiful way.
Another Day by David Levithan
Another Day is the twin/companion novel to Every Day, a book about a person who wakes up every day in a different body. This book is the same story told from the viewpoint of Rhiannon. This book nearly got a 2 or 3 star rating because I kept getting so annoyed with Rhiannon and the crap she put up with from her worthless boyfriend. But, I felt that was very unfair. The writing is great, the story line is interesting. I enjoyed hearing the story again from a different view point.
Yes, Rhiannon was whiny. Yes, she was all "poor pitiful me". Yes, she took too much verbal abuse from her beloved Justin. Yes, she complained about her life at home a LOT. But, I dont think that is necessarily "unrealistic" as some reviewers have said. No, not all teens are like that... but some ARE!
It gave me a whole new perspective on Rhiannon's life -- how much her friends tried to help her, how her parents were, etc. As far as recommendations go, I'd say if you enjoyed or were at least fascinated by Every Day, you will enjoy it. The book says it is a standalone and can be read by itself, but I dont think it works that well alone. I think you need to read Every Day first to truly understand and appreciate the complexity of this book.
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
It's hard to explain why I didn't care for this book. I think it was just mainly so NOT my type of book. The two characters are Andi, a basketball-obsessed London girl and Bernardo, her 8 foot tall brother from the Philippines. The "tall" part of the title is not only about Bernardo's impressive 8 feet but also the tall tale story interspersed with the contemporary style.
The mixed style of the story didn't capture me, the plot line never did either. The characters never did evoke enough empathy from me to get me into the book. I cant say it was written badly but I just could never completely immerse myself