Friday, September 30, 2016

Faceless by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Faceless is an extremely inspirational realistic fiction YA book about discrimination and beauty. It teaches about being comfortable with who you are. Maisie woke up in a hospital. The doctors put her in a medically induced coma for the past couple weeks to spare her the pain of her injuries.

While Maisie was running through her neighborhood, it started to rain. Lightning hit a power line and the power line fell on her. A neighbor immediately ran out with a fire extinguisher, but it was too late for part of her body. Electrical fires spread faster than any other. She had burns all over the left side of her body, and the fire destroyed her nose, cheeks and chin.

She is lucky to qualify for a face transplant. Her parents think it is the chance for her to have a normal life, but Maisie cannot think anything other than the fact that she is wearing what belongs to somebody else, and that she is very ugly. None of her friends are the same, and neither is her boyfriend. People do not understand or recognize her. What's worse, neither does Maisie.

Maisie was a very connectable character. Discrimination and judging are things that happen regularly, and one can understand how the character is feeling. There was a lot of emotion, and I was impressed at how many thoughts and feelings there were in the book. There is a touch of romance. It is not huge, and it was understandable. While Chirag made some bad decisions and judged her a little bit, his feelings were acceptable. He was actually a great character. Chirag was one of the most perfect boyfriends you could ask for, but he was peer pressured.

This is probably the most inspirational book I have ever read! Faceless went deep into the issues that teens face. A major theme is that what is on the inside is more important than what is on the outside, and also that you should not judge a book by its cover. When Maisie went out in public or at school, people automatically treated her differently, and everyone stared and whispered. She did not always deal with it in the best way, but I admire how she got through everything. Those around her regarded her differently and judged her based on her scars. It is important to know that the person inside can be completely different from what is on the outside.

It is also important to take care of yourself, regardless of if you like the consequences or the side effects. Maisie made a bad decision, and it is important to note that you have to listen to your doctor, or at least tell the truth. Honesty was a big factor in the book. Faceless showed that honesty really is the best policy, even if the truth hurts. The details and descriptions of the hospital were really awesome, and I felt like I was there at her hospital bed, seeing everything she did.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: Faceless
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 352 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want to Read This Fall

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish blog. If you want to participate, click here. The theme for this week is Books On My Fall TBR List. (TBR is to be read). I cannot wait to look for these at my library! The following books are in order of priority. All are young adult books, except for the middle grade Keeper of the Lost Cities.



1. Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 5) by Shannon Messenger

Lodestar is the fifth book in my all-time favorite series, Keeper of the Lost Cities! It comes out on November 1st, 2016, and I will be buying it!

2. Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Chelsea can't keep secrets, and after sharing one to many, she decides to be silent and never talk as a way to learn to keep her mouth shut.

3. Relativity by Cristin Bishara

If Ruby could have anything, it would be to change time, but she always thought that was impossible. She finds a tree that is a doorway to parallel universes, and Ruby will do anything to find the perfect universe.

4. Fate of Flames (Effigies Book 1) by Sarah Raughley

Made from nightmares, Phantoms terrorize New York, and at the same time, four girls called Effigies are given the power to control one of the elements. After the technology fails that held the Phantoms back for a while, four new Effigies are thrown into battle to save New York.

5. After Eden by Helen Douglas

Ryan Westland looks normal, but doesn't remember pizza or other normal things. When Eden finds a book written in the future in Ryan's room, Eden discovers that she ruined everything.

6.  My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Brooklyn cannot remember the last good decision she ever made. She gives up deciding and lets others decide for her by starting a blog.

7. Overpowered  by Mark H. Kruger

Barrington is supposed to be the safest city in the world. It was, until a bright green light appears. The light eliminates all the birds and stops all electricity. It also gave Nica and her friends superpowers.

8. Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke

Every time someone makes a choice, a new parallel world is created. Del, as a walker, can travel through the universes, and her job is to keep the worlds in peace.


9. Extraction by Stephanie Diaz

When somebody is 16, they qualify for the Extraction testing to see who deserves to live inside the safe core of Kiel, and who is not worthy and lives on the toxic surface of the planet. 

10. Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

When the MK virus spread like a plague across the planet, a shot was created to stop this disease, but it gave an unexpected side effect of superpowers. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rescued by Eliot Schrefer

Rescued is a YA realistic fiction book about animal rights and endangered animals. When John was a kid, his dad stole an orangutan from his homeland, Sumatra, to be his pet. Raja and John were inseparable for years, but now John is 16, and his parents are divorced. Raja lives with his dad, and John lives with his mom. John has not seen Raja or his dad for years, but now his dad can't take care of Raja anymore.

His dad sends Raja to the only place that will take him, Friendlyland. When John researches, he discovers that they have a history of abuse and neglect. John sneaks into the place and gets Raja back. Eventually when he realizes that Raja is not rightfully his, he will do everything he can to send Raja back to his home in Sumatra where he belongs.

The connection between Raja and John is one of a kind. John considers him his brother. Raja clings to John and loves him. They even have their own language. The only thing that I did not like was that John seemed too mature to be 16, and that his parents did not seem to be assertive and were too carefree.

John had a lot of self-conflict. He loves Raja, but deep down he knew that he was not his to keep. I like that he fought for animal rights. This book is inspirational in showing how animals deserve rights, and that they do not deserve to be abused or taken advantage of. Rescued also shows the importance of protecting animal habitats and that animals have feelings, too.

I recommend that you read this book! Eliot Schrefer has written two other good animal books that I have reviewed.

Click here to read my review of Endangered.

Click here to read my review of Threatened.

Title: Rescued
Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Pages: 272 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Calamity (The Reckoners Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity is the final book in the science fiction fantasy trilogy, The Reckoners. When Calamity appeared in the sky, the Epics were born. After Steelheart killed his father, David joined the Reckoners. After a tragedy with Obliteration, Regalia has turned his friend into an enemy. David knew Prof’s secret and protected it, knowing that his friend could fight off the darkness. Unfortunately, battling Obliteration was too much for him, and he gave in to his Epic destiny. David is determined to get his friend back and defeat Calamity or he will die trying.

David's metaphors and similes were still hilarious and lightened up the mood of the book. The romance between David and Megan was just the right amount, not too lovey-dovey and not too boring. I liked exploring what Megan could do with her powers. I thought the settings were cool. There was a whole city made of salt!

Knighthawk was a very interesting character. He was cool, a spy helping from afar. It was kind of creepy that he was spying on their text messages, but it was helpful. His name is really interesting itself, and it fits who he is.

The ending of a series is very important to me, as it wraps up the series. However, Calamity has one of the least explained endings I have ever read! The epilogue should not even have existed, and the thing with David's dad leaves me very confused, and it pretty much destroys the whole point of the series. This was so extreme that I am labeling it as a 3-star book because of the ending.

Out of the three books, Calamity was my least favorite, but I recommend that you read this series. I am still glad that I own all three books!

Read my review of the first book in this series, Steelheart.

Read my review of the second book in this series, Firefight.

Title: Calamity
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 421
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed is the first of two dystopian YA books. Everyone that lives in Kersh is protected from the outside world where countless wars are being fought. However, you have to be worthy of getting that protection. Everyone has a twin (an Alt) that is raised by a different family. Once they get their assignment from The Board (their government), they have 31 days to fight each other, and prove their worth by ending their Alt's life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer's whole family was unworthy. She is determined to be worthy. However, when she makes a mistake that costs her friend's life, she is no longer positive she is the best version of herself.

I bought this book because it sounded interesting, and I have not read many books about twins or genetic alternates. The setting illustration on the cover of the book is great. I like the angle of her hair, which shows that she is running. I like that West is hesitant to defeat her Alt. In this bizarre society, it was refreshing to see that she was still human and appreciated life.

However, I felt that this book is missing something. I wanted there to be more of a fight, more action when West actually faced her. The other events are big and full of detail and excitement, and I was disappointed in how it worked out.

I recommend that you read Dualed, and I am excited to read the next book, Divided! I'm glad I purchased it.

Title: Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 292
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Flawed is the first of two YA dystopian books about a society where you are expected to be perfect, and one girl who decides to speak up. Celestine North is perfect. She is flawless. In her society, it is decided that in order to have a perfect society, everyone must be perfect. If you are not, then you are branded flawed, and get a burned imprint of a F inside a circle in the specific spot that represents your mistake.

She is flawless, until one day when she makes a decision to break the law and help a flawed person, a man who was sick and forgot his inhaler that day. He obviously needed help, and Celestine decided that regardless of a mistake that he made, he was still human. When she helped the man into a seat and called for help, she was arrested. Celestine was branded six times, the new record, when the last one was only three. Celestine must decide once and for all whose side she is on and what her beliefs are.

Her incident that labeled her flawed reminded me of Rosa Parks, when she refused to give up her seat on the bus. The rules for flawed people are pretty similar to those back in 1955 with segregation and discrimination of different races, except in this book it was perfect people and people that have made mistakes. Celestine realized that the flawed are still human beings. She was willing to risk everything in her life to help the man on the bus. This made this book very inspirational, encouraging others to stand up when something is not right. It also taught that it is hard to be perfect, and that you don't have to be, even if others do not like it.

There was a lot of internal conflict about what is right and humane. All her life, Celestine had looked down on the flawed, until she became one. The author was great at expressing the stress that comes along with trying to be perfect. The world and setting was very interesting and brought light to the fact that discrimination exists today all around us, even for not being perfect.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: Flawed
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 336
Series: Yes
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Icons and Idols by Margaret Stohl

Icons is a YA dystopian book, and Idols is its sequel. One day, the hearts of most humans stopped and all electricity was gone. Earth lost the war that they did not even know they were fighting. Connected underground, the Icons stop people's hearts if they get too close, all except the Icon children. 

Dol, Carson, Ro and Tima are the Icon children. They were created to withstand the Icon's power and save the world. They each have special powers. Dol is a Weeper, Ro is a Rager, Carson is a Lover, and Tima is a Freak. Dol feels sadness strongly and is slightly telepathic. Ro feels rage strongly and can channel his anger to give him super strength, and can set things on fire. Carson is sympathetic and overly nice. Tima can make people scared of her and create force fields. 

The pace of both books were slow and uneventful. The important events were drawn out and very long. What is supposed to be the climax is not really climatic at all. Both books should really only be 200 pages, not 400 pages.

Their powers are pretty much the only thing I liked. I liked how Dol was telepathic, and I also liked what Ro could do when he was angry. I wanted more powers from the characters. Ro and Tima are the only ones with real abilities. I do not like that they call Tima a Freak. That is an insult, and I am not happy at all with the choice to use that to describe her powers.

Icons and Idols are confusing. At the end of every chapter, there are notes of background knowledge, but definitely not enough. Readers are never told what an Icon is, where it came from, or given any description of how there are still people alive in the Embassy. I don't really get the whole point of the books. 

The first 100 pages or so of the first book, Icons, was great. Then it just went downhill and lost my interest. In the second book, I considered quitting the book several times, and it took a lot of patience to keep reading. The endings of both books were random.

I do not recommend Icons or Idols!

Title: Icons and Idols
Author: Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 428 Pages
Series: Yes
Rating: 1 Star