Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Talisman of El (T.O.E. Trilogy Book 1) by Al Stone

The Talisman of El is the first YA fantasy book in the T.O.E. trilogy. The author sent me this book to review. Charlie Blake has had a tough life. Both his parents have died, and he is starting a new school. He is also not your average 14 year old; he can predict death in his dreams. The night before his father died, he dreamt it. Four years later to that day, he dreams of another death.

Things take an even stranger turn when he meets the boy whose father died in that dream, Derekin. It soon becomes very clear that Charlie does not belong in this world. He belongs in Arcadia, a dimension in the center of the Earth; he belongs with the angels. He embarks to Arcadia in a mission to find out the truth about who he really is.

This fun book combines many myths into one, including werewolves, angels, demons, Greek God/Goddesses, and reincarnation. It uses lots of illusions such as the Garden Of Eden. The author managed to combine all of these and more into one comprehensive, rounded tale. Be sure to suspend your disbelief, though!

The imagery was out of this world, and I loved viewing the surface of the Earth, as well as a dimension within it. All the characters had distinct personalities and were extremely relatable. From the first sentence of the Prologue, I was instantly hooked into Charlie and his epic expedition of self-discovery. I connected with him easily and all of his obstacles seemed very realistic. I cannot wait to watch him grow.

The Talisman of El also contains lessons and themes of what a family is, and shows the importance of friendship. The light, frequent humor added tremendous value, and I laughed out loud quite a few times. The pacing shifted frequently and accurately conveyed the mood of that section. This book is a real conversation-starter, and leaves readers with lots to think about, including interpreting the incredible cover!

I highly recommend that you read this book, and I cannot wait to read the next book in this trilogy, Blackout!

Title: The Talisman of El
Author: Al Stone
Publisher: Centrinian Publishing Ltd
Pages: 398 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 3
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

The Safest Lies is a YA realistic fiction book about fear and strength. 17 years ago, Kelsey's mother was kidnapped. She barely escaped alive. Her kidnapper also got her pregnant, so she escaped with his baby inside her. 17 years later, she has still never set foot outside the house, afraid that he will come back for her and her daughter, Kelsey. Kelsey's life is ruled by fear, and she knows to not draw attention to herself for her safety. That goes out the window when she has a car accident and drives off a cliff.

Newspapers and reporters cover the story of how a classmate rescued her. A few days later, she realizes her mother was right to worry- she disappears. And soon Kelsey realizes that they are coming for her, too. In order to survive, she has to uncover the truth about who she is, and what really happened to her mother 17 years ago.

After I read it, I read the book again, because it was so good! The Safest Lies may be over 350 pages, but the print is big, and it really was a quick, fascinating read. "On the edge of my seat" doesn't even begin to describe how suspenseful and thrilling this book is. It is very memorable, and raises a lot of questions to think about. Not to mention the romance, which was a nice twist.

I loved how much faith Kelsey had in her mother. Regardless of what police think happened, she is confident that the kidnappers came back for them. She is brave and courageous, and did not want to put her friends in danger. The mystery was captivating and intense. I loved trying to guess the truth. I also liked how there were multiple climaxes. The plot was like one domino falling after another. Just one bad situation after another. With all the dots to connect, I was impressed how they all came together in the end.

The concept was interesting, too. Is fear genetically passed down in DNA or is it only environmental? If you spend all your life around someone who is afraid, do you become afraid of the same thing? The study of how fear evolves was a main point of the book, which provoked my curiosity. I loved getting to know Kelsey, and following her journey of discovery.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: The Safest Lies
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa

Children of Eden is a YA dystopian book about the aftermath of a global disaster. When Earth's global warming reached a breaking point, scientists figured out a way to make the atmosphere cooler. The problem was when the artificial atmosphere clashed with the sun's radiation, it released a cascade effect that wiped out almost all plants and animals. Luckily, Aaron Al-Baz designed EcoPanopticon, a computer program that hacked all technology and redirected it to healing Earth. The rest of humanity has to wait thousands of years in Eden before the robots can fix everything.

With limited resources, families are only allowed to have one child. Rowan is an illegal second child; her mother had twins. For sixteen years, she has been hidden away. She is more desperate than ever to see more of Eden, and recklessly escapes, resulting in a tragedy that puts her on the run.

I found the book tough to get into, mostly due to the lack of imagery and development. Instead of show and tell, Children of Eden was almost all tell and no show. Reading the book, I was hit with a ton of information at once. Reading in-between the lines was a lost cause, and all the holes in the plot did not help. The society is so complicated that a majority of the book is just explaining, which made it feel less eventful. I feel like the book was going in a lot of different directions. I think that the author tried to cram in too many ideas at once to wrap my head around. For this book to really be developed with all of his ideas, Children of Eden would have to be way longer.

The characters' development felt forced. They were whatever they needed to be in the moment. Instead of letting Rowan grow, she was molded into something different almost every chapter, which makes her feel dull and unrealistic to the readers. It also really bugged me that they made up new curse words, such as "bik." No other words changed, so it feels strange.

While there were some nice twists here and there, there is nothing super special or unique about this book. I really wanted to love it, but it was the nitty-gritty details that really jumped out. Because I looked at this from a reviewing standpoint, I found more things wrong than other people might.

However, I enjoyed the ending! I think the ending was the best part. Overall, Children of Eden got better the more I read it. Even though I had a lot of problems with Children of Eden, I did not hate it. I do want to know what happens next, so I will read the second book, Elites of Eden, which came out on October 3, 2017. (Besides, I believe in second chances.)

I do not recommend this book.

Title: Children of Eden
Author: Joey Graceffa
Publisher: Atria/Keywords Press
Pages: 278
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 2 Stars
Goodreads

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Hands of Ruin (Book 1) by Dylan Lee Peters

The Hands of Ruin is a YA scifi/fantasy book sent to me by the author. In a futuristic society, social classes are divided into different counties, all separated by huge walls. After Zigmund and Zerah's parents died, they are sent to live in a rich community with their uncle Rainart. Quickly the twins realize that their uncle is not what they thought. He possesses a type of dust called zulis that can give people magical powers from a planet called Ferren.

While Zerah learns to use her newfound powers, Ferren is facing a major and unusual threat- dark butterflies that completely destroy with a touch. Chapters alternate between the stories of Ferren and Earth.

The two stories don't overlap until the end but are equally fascinating. The imagery was out of this world and crystal-clear. Both worlds and their characters were thoroughly developed and diverse. The background knowledge was immense, leading to complete understanding of the plot and setting. The premise of the butterflies was unique, and I have never read anything like it! The tone changes frequently and keeps the reader's emotions on edge. The book ended with a major cliffhanger that topples both worlds, and I was sad when it ended!

I highly recommend that you read this book! I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book, The Hands of Ruin (Book 2)

Title: The Hands of Ruin Book 1
Author: Dylan Lee Peters
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Pages: 171 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Friday, September 29, 2017

Beast by Brie Spangler

Beast is a YA modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Dylan does not look like his age. Instead of fifteen, he looks fifty being nearly seven feet and hairy like an animal. That's where his nickname came from- Beast. He prefers to hide under his long hair and baseball cap. The bullying worsens when the school bans both. After shaving his head, Dylan goes up on his roof to relax, only to fall off and break his leg. Thus, the hospital makes it mandatory to attend group therapy, even though he swears it was an accident. 

At the therapy, he meets Jamie, a beautiful girl. Soon, their relationship evolves to become more than just friends. However, that first day in group, he was not listening when Jamie was talking about being transgender. That should not change anything, right? Society says otherwise, and Dylan is so blinded in self pity that he might just lose the only girl he has ever loved.

Beast was meant to be a contemporary version of Beauty and the Beast, but it should not be defined by that movie. It is much more. The movie was inspirational enough already, but Beast takes the powerful message to a whole new level!

This book clearly showcases society's biggest downfall, and forces readers to think about their own actions. People say that what you look like does not matter, but out in the "real world," it does. Society holds standards and expectations that are nearly impossible to hold up to. Discrimination is real, and those who read this book are forced to admit it. After reading this book, even I will look at certain people differently. Beast challenges the audience to look at the hard truths about themselves. It forcefully conveys that everybody is equal, no matter what they look like, especially what gender they are.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: Beast
Author: Brie Spangler
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages:336 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera


More Happy Than Not is a YA realistic fiction book that I found at my school library. Aaron has trouble finding happiness in life since his father died, and his family lives in extreme poverty. His friends can help him with temporary relief, but the smile-shaped scar on his wrist is a constant reminder of what he would rather forget.

Things take a confusing turn when a new kid, Thomas, shows up. He helps Aaron feel happier and start to enjoy life again. Unfortunately, the Bronx is a dangerous place to be gay. Luckily, the Leteo Institute specializes in memory altering, and has a procedure that can (literally) straighten somebody out. When a mistake leaves him with more pain than he ever imagined, he turns to Leteo to alter his memories and change who he is.

The setting of this book is amazing. Readers get a very accurate look at what life on the streets is like, and how it shapes you. More Happy Than Not openly tackles prejudice and shows ugly truths that many wouldn't dare to admit. It goes above and beyond to represent diversity and honesty. Despite the sadness, heartbreak, and negativity, hope shines through all of it. This is a pure example of how pain can turn into strength.

More Happy Than Not teaches the importance of living life to the fullest, and to always look for the positive in life. "Every cloud has a silver limning" is the heart of the book. The ending is nothing like I have ever read, and it will leave readers speechles. I can't say that I liked the outcome, but the lesson definitely showed through. Anyone who feels the need to change who they are to fit in or to be accepted must read this.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: More Happy Than Not
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: 304 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten YA Books I Want to Read in Fall 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish blog. If you want to participate, click here. This week's theme is Top 10 Books On My Fall TBR List. This is really hard because I have 234 books in my TBR list on Goodreads.

Below are the YA books I really want to read. This list contains several genres, including YA realistic fiction and sci-fi. What books do you want to read this fall?


1. The Girl Who Cried Wolf by Bella James
Anna hates school so much that she constantly makes excuses to call in sick. The last thing she expects is to find out is that she actually is sick. In between life and death with cancer, she learns what life is actually about. 
2. The Taking by Kimberly Derting
One day, Kyra wakes up in a dumpster to find that five years have gone by- and she can't remember a thing. She discovers that maybe her father was right when he blamed her "disappearance" on aliens...

3. The Vault Of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
At the Forge School for the Arts, every moment of the students lives are filmed on television. The student's schedule includes 12 hours of sleep. When Rosie skips her sleeping pill one night, she discovers that her dreams might not be hers. 

4. Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso
Taylor Truwell tries to run away. Her plan backfires when police catch her with a stolen car. Instead of facing a court trial for resisting arrest and theft, her father convinces the judge to an alternative- treatment in a psychiatric correctional facility. 

5. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu 
In The Community, there is no more pain or violence. Computer chips have gotten rid of destructive emotions and implanted calm thoughts. Zoe glitches and starts to have her own thoughts and emotions. With the glitches come telekinetic powers she cannot control.

6. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Adelina Amouteru survived the blood fever, a disease that took over the world. Most of the infected died, and the ones who survived were left with strange markings. Some are rumored to possess powers, and Adelina has the most powerful abilities their world has ever seen.

7. Being by Kevin Brooks
It was supposed to just be a check-up, but what the doctors found shouldn't be possible. Inside of Robert Smith is moving metal parts- Robert is not human. He manages to escape, and embarks on a journey to find out what he is.

8. My Friend the Enemy by Dan Smith
In Britain 1941, the beginning of World War II, Peter doesn't think about the war too much; after all, it is being fought far away from him. It suddenly comes too close to home when a German jet crashes with a young man inside seriously wounded. Even though he is technically the enemy, helping him seems like the right thing to do. 

9. Yellow by Megan Jacobson
Fourteen-year-old Kirra's life is a disaster, and to make matters worse, she talks to a ghost in a broken phone booth. Desperately, she makes a deal. She'll prove who killed him 20 years ago if he makes her popular, gets her parents back together, and doesn't haunt her.

10. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shawn David Hutchinson
Andrew's parents and sister died in a car crash. He was the only survivor. Now he hangs out at the hospital and sleeps in a closet. The sun starts to shine when he meets Rusty, a patient in the ER. Unfortunately, he learns that his life is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. 

 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Send Me a Sign is an emotional YA realistic fiction book about life with cancer. Mia is a superstitious person, and she looks for signs everywhere. A sign that she never thought she would have to look for is if she survives leukemia. Her friends would never understand, and Mia does not want to be pitied. So she keeps her diagnosis a secret and attempts to still be a normal teen, AP classes and all. All signs with treatment show a high chance of survival, but her social and family life has a high likelihood of crumbling. She used to have everything- friends, cheerleading, a boyfriend, and a supportive family.

But as her condition worsens and becomes harder to hide, she slowly loses everything that has ever made her happy. Mia starts to wonder if a life like this is worth living at all, and begins to give up. Just when it feels like she has nothing left to hold on to, she realizes that what she wanted was right in front of her the whole time.

This is a shockingly realistic, emotional view of what having cancer is like. Mia's pain and mental agony screamed out at me. I wish I was in the book to comfort her, or at least be her friend. Despite the strength she showed on the outside, she was this little girl scared and alone. She made some pretty awful decisions that come back to haunt her, and teach a valuable lesson in friendship.

While some readers will think that Mia is inexcusably self-absorbed, I will say that once again, we see that nobody is perfect. Mia clearly showcases humanity's imperfections. Out of all the books I have read, Send Me A Sign has some of the rawest emotions. Regardless of cancer, everybody will be hit hard with this book and question their own values and friendships.

I highly recommend Send Me A Sign, and I would gladly read this book again!

Title: Send Me a Sign
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pages: 384 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Loved the First Year I Started My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish blog. If you want to participate, click here. This week's theme is a throwback freebie, and this was one of the options.

I started my blog back in June 2015. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish in only two years. Below are some of my favorite books I read in 2015, with number one being my favorite.

This is easily my favorite book of all time, and I love everything about the series. I own all the books and have read them more times than I can possibly count! 


2. Gone by Micheal Grant
This is the first book of six, and this YA series was thrilling and suspenseful! The prospect of having no adults around makes this my favorite dystopian series! The powers that they gain are an amazing twist.

3. Losing It by Erin Fry
This realistic fiction book shows that you can do anything when you put your mind to it, and shows the difficulties in losing weight and being healthy. It also shows examples of how to handle bullying.

4. Numbers by Rachel Ward
I have never read a book like this, and it must have been really hard to write! I loved the internal conflict and I thought that the topic was brilliant. I was able to easily connect to Jem. Her optimism and bravery made up for the fact that the series is a little sadder than what I normally read.

5. Nothing But the Truth by Avi
This was one of the options on my school summer reading list, and I never imagined I would love it as much as I did! This funny book about patriotism is for everyone of all ages!
This is the first book I reviewed on this blog! The Running Dream calls attention to a lot of real life problems and concerns that most of us fail to notice, even when they are right before our eyes. The book showcases struggles that everyone can relate to. It is powerful and inspiring!

7. Rule of Three by Eric Walters
What I really liked was that even though it is dystopian, it seemed a little more realistic, seeing that the communities did not completely fall apart, and there was still some order. This made it easier to believe and allowed the story to really come alive. I own the trilogy, and re-read them all the time!

8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
The prospect of not being able to ever touch anyone is heartbreaking, and Juliet is incredible! Throughout the series, her character development exceeds expectations. The imagery is crystal clear, and the environmental catastrophe was well illustrated.

9. Where I Belong by Mary Downing Hahn
This is a great inspirational read for younger students adjusting to middle school! Where I Belong teaches lessons in friendships and acceptance. It also shows the power of imagination and positivity!

10. Frozen In Time by Ali Sparkes
Frozen In Time is a funny science fiction read for all ages!  Polly and Freddy's reactions to present day things are hysterical. Freddy's solutions to problems are quite odd, but they work, and they're very funny! The general idea of the book is a great idea, and fun to imagine. 








Thursday, September 7, 2017

The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

The You I've Never Known is a YA realistic fiction book about learning who you are. Arial lives with her dad, and her mom disappeared when she was two. She has never stayed in one place for more than a school year, mostly less. With her dad who is an alcoholic with a fiery temper, Arial feels as though she is walking on glass. Life gets more complicated when she has feelings for both her friends, Monica and Gabe. The task of figuring out who she is becomes more difficult when a lady shows up claiming to be Arial's mother stating that her father kidnapped her. Arial tries to figure out what to believe and who to trust, and confront her dad once and for all. 

The You I've Never Known is written in a combination of verse and prose. More often than not, I find that books written in poetry are underdeveloped. I was pleasantly surprised! Somehow the author managed to take regular text and dialogue and turn it into poetry, while still containing full sentences. I was stunned because the writing felt really strong, and even better than other books!

The part about Arial's mother did not really come up until towards the end, which I honestly did not mind. While in the description it sounds like the whole book is about the mother, most of it is about Arial and who she is, and her already chaotic life. Personally, I loved how the author built up Arial's life before her mother walked in. I think that Arial handled the situation as best as she could, and she is lucky to have such great friends to support her. All the secondary characters were completely developed and play a huge role in who Arial is. Hillary is a character that I was really interested in, and enjoyed getting to know her. I would definitely want to be her friend in real life! 

A lot of teenagers experience the daunting question of "Who am I?" This book clearly shows all of the factors that change who we are. While I would not categorize The You I've Never Known as inspirational, it does teach a lesson loud and clear to live in the moment, and to make everything you do count. The pacing was smooth and flowed like water. It is so easy to get lost in this book, and I could not put it down! I hope I have time to read it again before I have to return it to the library.

Hopkins is not afraid to bring up those heavy topics. 99% of the time Arial's dad is around, he is drunk. He spends more time with other women than his own daughter, and his humor is borderline inappropriate. Abuse is in there as well. A lot of hearts will be touched by Arial's story. (Note: Because this book heavily involves alcohol, child abuse, and contains a few imitate scenes, I would recommend it only for older YA readers.)

I highly recommend this book!

Title: The You I've Never Known
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 608 Pages
Series: No 
Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, September 4, 2017

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Nobody is a YA science fiction book about literally being nobody. A lot of people feel like they are nobody, or complain that nobody ever listens to them, but what if you actually were? Seventeen-year-old Nix is a Nobody. He has so little energy in his body that people don't notice him or remember him. Harnessing his lack of energy, he can also become transparent and fly. The Institute managed to find him when he was little, and with great difficulty, raised him to do their dirty work. Essentially, he is assassinating "bad" people. Nix goes along with what they say, until they tell him to get rid of Claire.

Nix always thought he was the only Nobody, until he meets Claire. Nix finds himself falling head over heals for Claire, and teaching her how to use her powers. Along the way, Nix realizes the real reason he was told to get rid of her. One Nobody is powerful enough, but when Claire and Nix put their powers together, they are unstoppable. As Nix discovers the truth about what the Institute's motives really are (basically world domination), the only way to survive is to take them down together.  

I would have liked Nobody more if there was less romance and more action. 80% of the book is all about them in love, which took away from the other storyline about the evil Institute. I feel like the love is situational love, not real. There is literally nobody else in the world who would look at them, so they kind of have to be together. Despite the situation of the fact that they are Nobodies, this is a prime example of instalove. (Instalove is a more extreme version of love at first sight.) This is made worse when the two characters act and talk like 10-year-olds instead of 17. The amount of romantic thoughts and dialogue threw me off track and lost my interest. However, this is also personal taste. All those Romeo and Juliet fans would probably like this more than me.

The Institute, the corruption, and their powers were underdeveloped. If I could change this book, it would be to cut half the lovey dovey. I would replace it with more about the Nobody's abilities and their mission to take down the Institute. All the information about Nulls and energy amounts are fascinating, and I think that the author focused too much on the wrong thing.

Other than all the romance, I did enjoy the book. The plot was so imaginative and thought out! I loved the immense detail and creativity. The suspense and drama was compelling, and I was anxious to untangle the mystery of The Institute and their world. The development of the setting and its imagery was well done. A lot of people can relate to the feelings these characters experience with not being noticed. I am very conflicted about Nobody.

While I enjoyed reading some of Nobody, I can't say that I like it or would read it again because of my personal taste in books. If you are a person who enjoys a lot of romance, I recommend this for you. Although I was not a huge fan of this particular book, I do want to read another book of the author's, The Naturals.

Title: Nobody
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 393 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 2 Stars
Goodreads

Thursday, August 31, 2017

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is a middle grade realistic fiction book. Ry is supposed to take a train to summer camp while his parents go to the Caribbean. During the trip, the train stops for repairs. Ry gets off the train for phone reception, and the train takes off when it wasn't supposed to for another 40 minutes. Now Ry is all alone in the middle of nowhere in Montana, with no way to get in contact with anyone. He walks a couple miles to a small town, where he meets Dell, a man who loves adventure and spontaneous thinking. Dell decides to go across the country with Ry to find his way back to his parents and missing grandfather. They meet many people along the way, and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

The story really doesn't make much sense. Common sense fell off the face of the Earth. Seriously, trust a random stranger who wants to go across the world? Drive with no map and no idea where you're going. Fly an airplane that's definitely built wrong and falling apart. Sail across the ocean just to go find your parents! Call the police, for heaven's sakes! I get it, they're in the middle of nowhere, but you don't just place your life in the hands of a random stranger. With all the people they stopped to talk to, surely one of them would have the common sense to get in touch with the FBI or something.

Aside from the suspending-your-disbelief thing, the book was pretty enjoyable. It is a relaxing book and good for leisure reading. I also really liked that every 5-10 pages or so, there is an illustration or a cartoon. There is even some images about what the dogs are doing, which was strange, but actually relevant. It also has a ton of figurative language. Practically half the book is all imagery. It was cool to visualize a town and lifestyle in the middle of nowhere. I felt like I was watching TV in some parts of As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth.

It's a very weird story, but it was still fun to read. I know a lot of people would really love this book, but I just couldn't get over the missing puzzle pieces and how unrealistic the book is. I recommend that people really good at suspending their disbelief read this book!

Title: As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth
Author: Lynne Rae Perkins
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 368
Series: No
Rating: 3 Stars

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West

The Secrets of Islayne is a unique mix of YA fantasy and mystery, which was sent to me by the author. The island of Islayne gives some of its residents the special ability to see memories, and help people remember them clearer. These people are called Luminators. 16-year-old Ronan desperately seeks to become one and join their ranks.

Just when it looks like he has the world on his fingertips, Ronan and his friends discover a shocking secret that would turn the island upside down. Ronan, Cassie, and Eli try to understand what is happening, and question everything they thought they knew about their society. Little do they know, their hunt for answers is sending them in deep waters.

I really enjoyed this book! I loved how much detail the author put into this world. I felt like this island really was real. The "power" in this book is sharpening memories and seeing them more clearly. None of the scenes in The Secrets of Islayne need to be brightened; I could see straight into the book like a piece of glass.

There were six different points of view in this story. I think that this was a very wise choice and made their world more realistic. I especially loved the few sections towards the end from the "enemy." Regardless of how the characters see the actions, readers can make their own judgments. I personally love it in books when the antagonist shares their thoughts, providing a little window into another world.

I loved that I could not guess at least half of what was going to happen. Every turn was important and surprising. The only thing that I did not enjoy so much was the romance. It felt like Disney, if you know what I mean. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my opinion it felt forced. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading this.

I highly recommend that everyone read The Secrets of Islayne!

Title: The Secrets of Islayne
Author:  Kari Lynn West
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 240 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 is the first book in a YA dystopian trilogy that I bought. In the future United States, there was another war. Most cities are down to rubble, and almost everybody lives off of food stamps. This war also destroyed all American values. Bill of Rights? Gone. Doesn't exist. Instead, the president and government created the Moral Statutes, all the things defining the perfect citizen, including sticking with traditional gender roles and national religion. People who get arrested don't come back. No more trials or fines- either end up in jail for life or executed.

Ember Miller clearly remembers what life used to be when the US was a democracy. But she has learned to hide and blend in. That is, until now. The latest changes to the Statutes include that you cannot have a "valid" kid without being married. Ember does not have a dad. This violates the 5th article, causing the Moral Militia to arrest her mother and take Ember to a rehabilitation facility where she is government property. To make things worse, the officer that arrests Ember's mother is Chase, her ex-boyfriend.

This book is a real dystopian. Everything caused by humans, no aliens or natural disasters. Instead we have brutality, lack of compassion, and rights and liberties out the window like they never existed. The thing readers don't know is why the world is the way it is. Yes, there was a war three years ago. But we don't know what country attacked us, or if we attacked them, or if it was a civil war. That is really the only thing that bothers me.

The cover is amazing! The immense detail of the buildings is extraordinary. The cover really drew me in, more than anything. Another thing I really liked was Ember's personality and values. She is definitely not perfect, and she showcases what it means to be human. She is also a big rebel. She probably sets the record in their world for the most laws broken. She is so determined, and she faces internal conflict with not knowing what to do or how to fight, she just knows she wants to protect Chase and rescue her mother. She grows in confidence throughout the story.

This book is an epic journey of taking Ember to safety. It was also sweet. Chase and Ember were together before Chase was pulled away into war. Along their journey, they discover each other again and realize that they never actually broke up and that they are still in love. This would be an amazing movie.

I recommend that you read this book, and I am glad that I bought it! I cannot wait to read the next book, Breaking Point, which I plan to buy as well!

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 384
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads

Monday, August 21, 2017

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein

If you are looking for a fascinating YA realistic fiction book about revenge, read Premeditated. A week ago, Dinah's cousin Claire slit her wrists and ended up in a coma. Then Dinah read Claire's diary and found out why. Then she made a plan: out with the piercings, bleach her black hair, and put on a school uniform. She'll go to Claire's private school and find the boy who destroyed her cousin. Vengeance will be Dinah's.

I was ecstatic to read this! As we often find out, (in books and in life) revenge is not the answer and it often lands people in a larger mess than the reason behind it. The concept of revenge isn't the best idea in real life, but it is an amazing plot line for a book! Premeditated is not super dark and depressing. It actually is quite funny at times.

Dinah sacrificed her whole life to get back at the person who trashed her cousin and made her not want to live. It is sweet how much she cares about her cousin.

None of the characters are as they seem. Every character in the book has some sort of problem and secret, and it was fun guessing them all. They were not black or white, every character was different and like a lasagna. As you read Premeditated, you were eating different layers (personalities, behaviors, etc) and learning new things about who they are. Dinah had a lot of mixed emotions in the book, including anger, grief, confusion, sadness, and helplessness.

Wow, that twist at the end! I was quite happy about how it turned out. There is no need for a sequel; this story was wrapped up in its blanket and tucked into bed. But just because it is in bed, doesn't mean I can't read it again! I'll wake it up from time to time and read it again.
I recommend that you read this book!

Title: Premeditated
Author: Josin L. McQuein
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Friday, August 18, 2017

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Underwater is a powerful, moving story about forgiveness and moving on. On October 15th, Morgan did a nice thing, and helped someone out. Unknowingly, the kind gesture made her indirectly responsible for a horrible, tragic shooting at her school. Logic tells her that she is not responsible for another person's actions, but her heart doesn't say the same. Now she is sick with guilt and panic attacks caused by PTSD and refuses to move outside her apartment. She also has to deal with scars from her father and divorce. Then one day, she gets new neighbors. She meets a boy named Evan, and with his help, she starts to realize that in order to come out of the water, and step outside, she has to forgive herself.

The author takes us into what happens after tragedy, and its lifelong impact. It opens a door for people to see what having a mental illness is like, and this book could help people become more understanding of someone's pain. Underwater also shows how emotional scars are often much more painful than physical ones. The tone of this book shifts a lot from so sad I want to cry to extreme happiness and humor! Basically, living life to the fullest is the message in this story, and it was well said.

This book also gives really good advice and coping strategies for people with panic attacks and anxiety. Morgan has posted on the walls of her apartment things to say to herself: 1. Breathe 2. You are okay. 3. You’re not dying. Regardless of any circumstance, that is really good advice, especially thought number 3. (Here's a life lesson from Underwater: Never tell somebody at a school that you are dying unless you actually are!)

The romance was outstanding, and I loved it. They had some rocky times like any relationship, and it was cool to see them progress, especially with Morgan thinking that she is a burden to him. Evan can be really sweet or really mean, and I personally thought that it made him more lifelike.

I highly recommend this book, especially for anyone suffering from trauma or mental illness.

Title: Underwater
Author: Marisa Reichardt
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Pages: 288
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Don't Mess with Coleman Stoops by Justin Lantier-Novelli

Don't Mess with Coleman Stoops is a new middle grade realistic fiction book that I received from the author. Coleman is the least popular kid in school, and the target of everyone's jokes. He's that overweight kid that raises his hand to every question and the kid that you catch picking his nose in the cafeteria. His last name is Stoops; the kids call him Stoopy. He hates that even more than how he hates himself for always finding a way to embarrass himself and play into their jokes.

So the last thing he would ever expect is for Trey, the most popular kid in school and the most mean to him, to want to be friends. He also claims that he wants to set him up with his cousin, Faith. Ignoring his gut feeling, Coleman agrees to do as Trey says, but he can't get rid of his suspicion that Trey could be tricking him.

The point of view was very unique and refreshing. Don't Mess with Coleman Stoops is told by a bystander, watching the events unfold. I like this because it eliminates all bias and shows an accurate representation of how his peers view him. This is not very popular, and I enjoyed something different.

Coleman is a very determined character, and he always does the right thing. Sure, he's gullible, but he doesn't let it bother him too much. Yes, he hates himself for jumping right into their traps, but he doesn't let that get him down. Instead he ignores them and still remains himself. For a sixth grader, he has the maturity of an adult. This felt strange at times, due to the fact that he is only 12.

The book is also an accurate representation of sixth grade. This is a great book for all middle school students and is very relatable! It shows the adjustment to middle school and demonstrates social classes very accurately. I remember in sixth grade having to get used to the idea of "popular" kids and cliques. This is a must-read for incoming sixth graders!

Don't Mess with Coleman Stoops is scheduled to be release on August 29, 2017. I recommend that you read this book!

Title: Don't Mess With Coleman Stoops
Author: Justin Lantier-Novelli
Publisher: Justin Lantier-Novelli
Pages: 113 pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Aaru (The Aaru Cycle Book 1) by David Meredith

Aaru is a YA sci-fi fantasy book sent to me by the author. Rose used to be a normal teenager. That is until Leukemia got the better of her. Now she is skin and bones, too weak to even move. All seems lost until a strange man approaches Rose and puts a machine on her head, claiming that he can make her live forever. Surprisingly, he was telling the truth. After Rose died, her brain, including her personality, was uploaded into a virtual world called Aaru.

In Aaru, members have the power to shape their own reality and live without pain forever. Of course it is almost impossible to believe that technology can beat death, so the company makes Rose's sister, Koren, their spokesperson to verify that this is real. Shortly after, readers are introduced to "Magic Man," a stalker and hacker who takes great interest in Aaru. As both the sisters' worlds become in great danger, they discover that the bond between them is the most powerful of all.

All the emotions were raw and honest. Anybody can connect to the family's situation and their emotions. The anger and angst was so powerful that I feel like it punched my heart. Regardless of the specific situation, the feelings explored are universal. People who have a sibling would especially understand and connect. The book also explored the negative, exhaustive side of fame and fortune. This is eye-opening, revealing a side of a story not told very often.

Aaru is very thought-provoking. Life after death is a huge "what if," and this book really explores a new type of question, and not religious. After I was approached by the author, I was immediately interested. This is a type of story that is completely unique and lovable. I also liked that even though the book was suspenseful and intense at times, there were a lot of light-hearted, fun moments. This book is a mixture of love, sacrifice, humor, and hope.

The character known as "Magic Man" plays a huge role, and I really enjoyed guessing who he was and what he wanted. He is the antagonist in the story and executed that role beautifully. I especially enjoyed that it was written in third person because this allowed the author to write a lot of different perspectives.

I really liked this book and highly recommend it. I would gladly read it again! I am excited for more to come in the Aaru Cycle series!

Title: Aaru (The Aaru Cycle Book 1)
Author: David Meredith
Publisher: Bowker
Pages: 305
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

We Own the Sky (The Muse Chronicles Book 1) by Sara Crawford

We Own the Sky is the first book in a YA urban fantasy series that was sent to me by the author. Sylvia can see the "flickering people." Nobody else can see them but her. She sees them around other people, too, especially artists and musicians. During chorus class, she sees another one. Sylvia later learns that his name is Vincent, and he is a Muse. Muses are minor goddesses of the arts and literature. There were nine original Muses, but when special artists and musicians die, they can choose to go to heaven or be a Muse. They inspire creation, and can choose somebody to inspire. With Vincent's help, she is able to write music and sing better than she ever could.

However, soon the original nine Greek Muses wake up to a world of the internet where anyone can be an artist. This is a problem, especially to Clio, who wants to go back to old traditions. As a war ensues, Sylvia learns the real reason why she can see all Muses, and discovers that this conflict puts her in serious danger.

This story shows the power of music, and how it truly can save a life. The purpose of music is to touch others and convey emotion. Just like reading, music is a way to escape our problems. We Own the Sky proves how life changing music can be. Speaking of music, the artists and songs that Sylvia likes are still around and popular with teens today, which also makes the book connectable on another level. There is also a band called Muse, and I thought it was ironic how their music was tied into the story.

We Own the Sky is emotional and will touch the hearts of many teens. High school life and its struggles are a big element, and I could definitely relate to a lot of it. It has a little bit of everything: magic, mythology, romance, and it even hit mental health issues.

This book was super original, and I loved learning more about Muses! I love Greek mythology. I have not read much about Muses before. Sure, in sixth grade we had a Greek mythology unit and briefly went over them, but I have never known more than the fact that they are children of Mnemosyne (Goddess of memory) and Zeus. And I still had to press my memory hard on that.

I learned a lot more fascinating information about them. It is hard to come up with a new concept, and I applaud the author for that. I asked her how she came up with the idea, and in 2006, she wrote a play called Painted. It followed a similar story line, with some of the same characters, including Vincent. In the play, it never specified what Vincent was. But while Crawford was in college, she was reading a poem that talked about Muses, and it clicked that he could be a Muse.

Watch the YouTube video that the author made talking about the book!

I highly recommend that you read this book! It comes out on August 15th, 2017.

Title: We Own the Sky (The Muse Chronicles Book 1)
Author: Sara Crawford
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Pages: 297 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games is a YA science fiction book. Fia and Annie are powerful sisters. Fia has flawless intuition; her first instinct is always right. Annie is blind, but can see the future. Ever since their parents died, Fia has always protected Annie. When the two sisters are offered a position at a special boarding school, Fia knows something is wrong, but she did not realize the mess she was in. Fia is soon used for awful criminal activity. If she refuses to follow their orders, they threaten her with taking Annie's life. She is sick of this, and is ready to fight back.

This possibly could be the worst science fiction book I have ever read. One thing I disliked was the fact that every other chapter it switched from past to present. This was annoying and distracting from the point of the story. The sad part is that I enjoyed the past chapters more than the present. Honestly, I was bored reading this. I kept reading it solely for the fact that I wanted to write a review of this. The romance was strange and felt inappropriate for the circumstances, not to mention slightly disturbing. 

The characters were underdeveloped and not likable. Fia is irresponsible and makes bad choices. Right when she gets the opportunity to make a good decision she blows it and does the wrong thing. She is immature in her choices and drinks a lot. (Warning: there is lots of alcohol consumption in this book.) 

I felt that the book ended early and was rushed. The cover is totally amazing and the description is intriguing and very misleading. Sisterly bonding and protection was really not emphasized enough and is not the point of the book. Quite frankly, I'm not even sure what the point was. There is a sequel called Perfect Lies, but I will not read it. 

I strongly recommend that you do not read this book.

Title: Mind Games
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 1 Star
Goodreads

Monday, July 31, 2017

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

At the Edge of the Universe is a YA science fiction book about moving on and letting go. Tommy and Ozzie have been dating since the eighth grade. One day, he was there. The next day, Tommy ceased to exist. Or more accurately, nobody can remember him but Ozzie. Not only is finding Tommy a huge priority, but Ozzie also has to deal with going to college, his parents' divorce, his brother going to the military, and his best friend becoming distant. He also has to deal with his developing feelings for his lab partner Calvin and a troubling secret. Furthermore, Ozzie suspects that the universe is shrinking. As more and more people begin to disappear, Ozzie must come to terms with a part of his past before his whole universe is (literally) gone.

Ozzie is very loyal and determined. He would do anything for Tommy to come back, and I loved that he persisted despite people saying that he is crazy. He also is loyal to his friends and family. Even after falling in love with Calvin, he wants to be respectful to Tommy. Ozzie had a lot of pressure on his shoulders. For one thing, his home life is not so great, and his boyfriend is gone. His "new boyfriend" is hurting because of a terrible secret, but he cannot tell anyone.

Ozzie tells a lot of crazy analogies and uses a ton of figurative language to express his thoughts. He is incredibly smart, and uses weird facts to convey ideas. He likes to go a little off topic in his thoughts, but it is amusing. There are a lot of diversity and cultures in the book, and a lot about LGBT.

The idea of the universe shrinking was a nice twist. I thought it was hilarious when states and countries fell off the map. I am not crazy about the ending because it does not exactly make sense, but wraps up the story nicely.

Warning: this book contains some mature scenes and subjects. This book is recommended for older YA readers.

I recommend that you read this book!

Title: At the Edge of the Universe
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 496
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads

Friday, July 28, 2017

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

The First Time She Drowned is a YA realistic fiction book about overcoming your past and learning to be okay with who you are. Two and a half years ago, Cassie O'Malley's mother dumped her in a mental hospital just to get rid of her, and spun lies to make sure they kept her. She did not have mental health issues at the time.

Now at 18 years old, Cassie can no longer be held against her will. Entering college, she is excited to be free and experience the world again. However, Cassie is not out of the water yet. The mental and emotional damage done to her by her mother will continue to haunt her, and secrets she has kept to herself for years and years threaten to consume her once again. Cassie must confront her past and come to terms with it before she drowns in her own memories.

The book was suspenseful, and I could not put it down! I loved the theme and the idea. This book is powerful and emotional. It will make you want to cry, laugh and scream. The First Time She Drowned is an uplifting novel about coming to terms with your past and moving forward. The title of this book is perfect. Literally and metaphorically she has drowned. The book is basically about accepting the life raft that is handed to you to come to shore and learning to trust and hold on. The past will always be there, but it is up to you whether or not you let it become your future, too.

Cassie's main character development was the element of trust. Letting somebody in to help her took a while for her to understand. She also changed in the sense of being more self-confident and not caring so much about what other people think of her. Cassie grew in the understanding that she could also make her own choices, and stand up for herself.

The First Time She Drowned was incredible, and I hope that the author comes out with more books! I will read it again, and I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: The First Time She Drowned
Author: Kerry Kletter
Publisher: Philomel Books
Pages: 352 Pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

Willful Machines is a YA science fiction book that I discovered from reading another book review blog, The Tales of the Ravenous Reader. Christy wrote an incredible review that inspired me to read this book!

Scientists create Charlotte, a robot with artificial intelligence. Things go well at first, but then Charlotte escapes. She transfers her brain into the internet and attacks the United States, demanding equal rights and for the other robots like her to be released from government captivity.

For the President, this is a nightmare and a disaster. For the President's son, Lee, well... whatever. Lee has other things to worry about, like the secret service following him everywhere and giving him no privacy. He has other things to worry about, like trying to prevent his dad from knowing that he is gay and likes another student. But when that student, Nico, is revealed to not be who he says he is, Lee realizes that Charlotte has plans for him and his family. He must decide who to trust and follow his heart.

The concept of the book is "what makes us human?" If somebody was in a bad accident and they had to get tons of robot parts, are they still human and protected by the law? When you google the word "human," there is no real definition. The main point why Charlotte was rebelling was because she wanted rights. The scientists created her to be like a human, and she got mad because she was not being treated like one. They gave her life, but took away what makes life worth living. Charlotte may be a robot, but she still counts as a character. And I say that her motives make sense. In the future when artificial intelligence becomes more prominent, human rights debates will increase dramatically.

One thing that sort of scares me is the fact that even though we have not made huge advances in this technology yet, it is highly probable that the future we see in this book could come true! This concept in books is very common, such as Revolution 19 or Bot Wars. But this is the first that I have read where the plot seems more realistic. There is even LGBT romance in this book. Being the son of the president makes it a cool book, regardless of robots. The robotics just takes it to the next level.

I want a second book!!! After this ending, I am craving a second book, but there is not one yet! There is a new mission revealed in the ending! There was the biggest cliffhanger in the world with Nico. Luckily, on Goodreads, the author responded to a question about writing a sequel with, "I do hope to write a sequel at some point--though to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure when that'll be."  So, in the meantime, he also has a book out called Tattoo Atlas, which is a similar concept.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: Willful Machines
Author: Tim Floreen
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 358
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fate of Flames (Effigies Book 1) by Sarah Raughley

Fate of Flames is the first book in the YA fantasy series, Effigies. A couple of years ago, phantom monsters appeared and started to terrorize Earth. At the same time, four girls were gifted with control of one of the elements, created to be heroes. They are called Effigies. When one dies, another girl gains the power to fill her shoes. Recently, with technology in place to stop the attacks, the four girls just became celebrities and stopped defending the people.

When the technology that has held the monsters back fails, they must come together and fight again. Maia is a quiet girl with not many friends. She admires the Effigies from a far distance, until the Fire Effigy mysteriously dies. Maia discovers that she is replacing Natalya with control over fire. Now she is tossed into battle with Bella, Chae Rin, and Lake, who hate each other. Maia must learn to control her new powers and unite the team.

The concept is slightly similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender in the sense of power being connected to the past. Maia also gains the memories of her former Fire Effigies and can call on them for help, just like Aang. Internal conflict is huge in this book. Not only does Maia have to master new powers, she has to learn who she is. Maia is amazing. She always wants to do the right thing and is inspirational. It was cool to watch her go from being super shy to standing up and fighting like a warrior. Fate of Flames has a ton of action-packed battle scenes that I really enjoyed!

The cover is also super neat and the detail is outstanding! The setting was really cool because it kept changing, but yet still kept incredible imagery for every single city.  I also really liked that it's all girls fighting for once. Go girl power!

Fate of Flames is highly intriguing and kept me on edge until the end! One thing I disliked was the romance, which was confusing. I also did not like that there was practically no background knowledge provided, and there was a lack of clarity. However, I did still enjoy the book, and really want to read the next one!

The next book, Siege of Shadows, comes out on November 21, 2017! I cannot wait to read it!

Title: Fate of Flames
Author: Sarah Raughley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 368
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads

Friday, July 14, 2017

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

The one wish seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants right now is her own life. A life where she does not have to be the parent to her irresponsible, unpredictable mother and make sure all the bills are paid. Or, at least have a home for more than a couple months at a time. Now she must struggle to live in a house with her mom's new boyfriend, whose son is Grace's ex-boyfriend, Jay. Soon she meets Eva, a girl whose mother passed away. They become fast friends, and when Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, her world opens up. With Eva's help, Grace begins to see that maybe wishes can come true, and she might have a chance with happiness.

Grace is an amazing character and deals with almost every problem imaginable. I loved her sarcasm and attitude towards her dilemmas. Grief was a big element in this book, and it was captured so clearly that I teared up a few times. Eva is really sweet and lighthearted. Eva and Grace's romance was beautiful and magical, but yet showed the true complexity of all relationships.

Hope was the main feeling that powered these girls. Having hope for something better pushed Grace forward. I also really liked Luca. He was the clown of the group, and he was always there for Grace when she needed a laugh. It is rare to have guy/girl friendships in books without being romantic, so that was great. The love relationship was amazing, and I loved watching Grace become more confident in herself with her feelings.

I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: How to Make a Wish
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads

Monday, July 10, 2017

Delirium By Lauren Oliver

Delirium is the first book in a YA dystopian trilogy that I found at my school library. 64 years ago in a futuristic United States, love was declared a contagious disease. Love, or Amor Deliria Nervosa, is the cause of all evil. Love affects the mind so that the person cannot think clearly or make rational decisions. Essentially, love makes you crazy. Without love there is no war, no suffering, no pain. A life without love is safe and happiness. The government forces everyone when they turn 18 to have a procedure done that makes it impossible for them to love anybody. Shortly after, they are matched with somebody (of their limited choice) and married. Still with 95 days left until Lena's treatment, she is excited. She watched love destroy her mother and won't let it happen to her. That is, until she meets Alex and does the unthinkable- she falls in love.

This was a really interesting concept, especially since I don't normally read romance books. In fact, I share some of the viewpoints of the society in the book. Honestly, I did agree that love corrupts the mind and makes you do crazy things, but Delirium changed my opinion. This book really made me think. I used to think sometimes that life would be better off if teens weren't so distracted by love these days, but I never stopped to fully think it through, and I realize now that my thinking is wrong. This book is inspirational in the sense that it changed my mind. Thank you to Lauren Oliver for showing me this.

This book was written differently than what I expected it to be. For the dystopian sense, I was thinking it would go a bit faster. There were times in the book when I was bored, and there were times in the book that it was amazing. There were some holes in the plot development. Part of it might just be because romance books are slower and less action. 


Delirium is not just about love, it's also about rebellion against society. Similar to books like The Program and Flawed, the society aspect was what I liked most. Lena was a very likable character, and she was brave and strong. Unlike other books, she started out believing in the disease at first. Then the development started to kick in, and readers watched as she realized that everybody was wrong. Alex was the dream boyfriend that any girl would want. Forbidden love was huge in this book, and the secret relationship was intriguing and suspenseful. The allusions to Romeo and Juliet were significant and true. This book has similar components to Shakespeare's play.

I recommend you read this book! I cannot wait to read the second book, Pandemonium. There is an ebook number 1.1 in the series told in the viewpoint of Alex and what happens to him after this. The famous Book Of Shhh that was quoted in nearly every chapter in Delirium is also out as an ebook only. 

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 441
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars
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