Sunday, May 26, 2019

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill is a YA science fiction book about a boy who swallows a computer. In 2015, it was made into a hit Broadway musical. Jeremy Heere is the opposite of popular and is teased every day. He desperately wants to gain the attention of the girl he likes and be cooler. So, he swallows the Squip, a tiny computer that will instruct him how to be a better, more popular person. However, even a computer might not have all the answers his society wants.

I initially thought it was a funny concept to have a computer in your brain, but the scifi aspect was extremely underdeveloped and downright idiotic at best. I hoped there would be an inspirational feel to it where all the characters learn a big life lesson about how it's best to be yourself, but I was totally wrong and this ended up being one of the worst books I've ever read in my life. I am shocked at how in the world this got made into a musical on Broadway!

First off, it portrayed girls in an incredibly sexist way and basically treated girls like a toy or an object to have fun with. I was appalled and I am extremely proud that I even finished the book. Some pages were extremely uncomfortable to read and made me horrified and outraged. As a woman, I was personally offended by this book's messages of women being nothing more their bodies. There are no moral values of any kind present in any characters. They are extremely hypocritical and homophobic- they treat the idea of gay people as worst than terrorists.

Don't read this book. However, if you do decide to read this book, take it as a lesson who not to be.

Title: Be More Chill
Author: Ned Vizzini
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 287
Series: No
Rating: 1 Star

Monday, May 20, 2019

Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith

Secrets of Hawthorne House is the first book in a middle grade and YA fantasy series about a family of magical Druids. This book was sent to me by the author. After a drunk driver kills his mother, fifteen-year-old Matt, his twin sister, and their father move to a small town in Indiana. It just so happens that they move next door to the famous Hawthorne house, rumored to house a witch. Matt doesn't believe in such fairy tales, but when he becomes best friends with Old Lady Hawthorne's nephew, Gerallt, he finds a whole new world.

I loved this book and never took my eyes off the pages! I've never heard of the Goddess Modron or the Druids before, but I certainly know a lot about them now. Magic intertwining with religion and history is fascinating! How Gerallt used his magic to defend himself from the bullies was hilarious and I found myself frequently laughing out loud! The plotline was extremely creative and I loved how it kept constantly changing and evolving into new issues. Every chapter was a new adventure. This book was like the game Wack-A-Mole but I was surprised at how everything was still blended together evenly.

Mythology aside, I loved the real life message of being friends with people regardless of how they look or the reputation that they have. The theme of acceptance is very clear and the bullying extremely realistic. I'm not typically a fan of male protagonists, but Matt has such a kind heart that he is impossible to dislike. I enjoyed the journey of these two families coming together in the hardest of times.

I cannot wait to read the next book in this series! I highly recommend this book!

Title: Secrets of Hawthorne House
Author: Donald Firesmith
Publisher: Donald Firesmith
Pages: 411
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Scarecrow and the Princess by Maggie Archer

The Scarecrow and the Princess is a middle grade fantasy book about a young prince who is cursed into being a scarecrow. This book was sent to me by the author. After Prince Harvey insults a the witch Bettina's daughter, Bettina turns him into a scarecrow. The curse can only be broken if a girl wishes him to come alive during a full moon. Luckily for Harvey, he's placed in Princess Sasha's orchard. She is longing for a friend, and may have also found the perfect husband.

This review will be short and sweet, just like the book! This magical story is very cute and sweet, teaching the importance of always treating others with kindness. While on the younger side of middle grade, The Scarecrow and the Princess is relevant and inspiring for all ages. This book is guaranteed to make you smile! This book is an extremely quick and short read that will leave you in a better mood. Even for just 67 pages, the author still put in plenty of character development and a lovely storyline that won't disappoint!

I highly recommend this book!

Title: The Scarecrow and the Princess
Author: Maggie Archer
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Pages: 67
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

38355098From the author of Bruiser comes Dry, a realistic fiction book about what happens when a California area runs out of water. The drought in California has been survivable with major conservation. But when the states of Arizona and Nevada break a treaty agreement and block water from the Colorado River from entering California, claiming they need it more than California does, the taps run totally dry. As neighbors turn on each other and thirst turns to violence, teenagers Alyssa, Jacqui, and Henry must make the tough choices and fend for themselves.

In my mind the book was perfect! The situation was alarming, but still realistic. The desperation and violence was frightening and disturbing but still justifiable and coherent. It was the perfect balance between educational and disturbing. Every scene raised intensity and I couldn't tear my eyes away!

People label this book on Goodreads as science fiction and dystopian, but I completely disagree. 1 in 9 people in the world currently don't have access to clean water and 3-4 million people worldwide die of dehydration and water-related illness a year. Running out of water is a real threat and a real issue that millions currently deal with in this exact situation.

Hopefully books like this can enlighten minds to the dangers of running out of water and encourage people to be grateful for what they have and advocate for water rights around the world. We need the EPA to enforce water quality laws, we need more desalination plants on coastlines, we need farmers to use drip irrigation and cover crops and rotational grazing. We need better wastewater treatment plants and limiting run-off and water pollution, holding industry accountable for toxic waste dumping out back in bodies of water.

I highly recommend this book!

Read my review of Bruiser, another book by Shusterman.

Title: Dry
Author: Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 390
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars
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