I love YA urban fantasy and dystopian. I also read some middle grade and historical fiction. I apologize for any spelling errors. If any of my ratings/Posts don't match up its because I just imported them from Goodreads and need to adjust them.
I'm on Instigram as Readinglife.
That was a much longer hospital stay than I anticipated, and a much more disastrous one. My surgery was more difficult than the surgeon expected, so first they decided to keep me til Thursday, which sucked badly enough, considering I had been expecting to come home on Tuesday afternoon. To make it worse, while I was raising my bed so I could eat my food (delicious jello and chicken broth, -_-), my iPod charger, which I had tied to the bed so it wouldn't fall, ripped and broke. So I was internet-less all of yesterday. Which spurred my decision to beg and beg my surgeon to return home early.
Thankfully he agreed.
I came home to a lot of loving messages, and this...not so loving one. So random. I don't know where these people find me.
Here’s the basic difference between having a girl as a best friend as opposed to a guy.
When you’re best friends with a girl and you blather on and on, she kisses you to make you shut up.
*barf* I don't bloody think so.
If you have a really really cute guy friend and you guys have been close for so long but oh my god he's so hot and you think you're in love with him but does he like you and what about that time he checked out that other girl and oh my god you guys stay up all night talking and you're like *this* close and he makes your heart go aflutter because he's so *sigh* handsome and does he really see me the way I see him and I know he's dating my friend, but it's so awkward, and he'll never love her the way I love him, do I love him?! Oh my god, why can't he just see we were meant to be?!??!111ONE! and you feel like maybe you guys should declare your feelings *bluuuuuuush* and see where it takes you?!?!1
Then you might like this book.
If not, you might find it incredibly nauseating, as I did. If you do have a friend like I described above, do yourself a favor, grow some balls, tell him, and just get the fuck over it, please. Don't waste your time languishing over what Could Be and what Could Have Been. There's more to life than that.
Friendcest! I don't have a male sibling, so incest has never seriously icked me out, but I guess you could say that for me, this book is the equivalent of incest. I call it "friendcest." You see, I had a male best friend in high school.
We met in 9th grade, but didn't talk much. I had gotten over a terrible friendship breakup with my childhood BFF the previous summer, and swore to myself I would never be friends with anyone ever again (I was 15, ok?!). He sat behind me in French class the first day of 10th grade, and as they say, the rest is history.
This is almost verbatim the conversation that facilitated our friendship:
Him: I always thought you were the quiet genius in the corner.
Me: *bursts into wild laughter*
We talked every night on old-school AIM. We had almost nothing in common but our hatred towards society (we were teenagers, ok?), and our love for mocking stupid people (we were teenagers, ok?!). We boycotted prom night and chatted on AIM instead. We joined clubs together. We wrote obscene poetry during English Honors II together involving Queen Guinevere and Lancelot (we were reading The Once and Future King). I made fun of his love of country music. He made fun of my love for feminine-looking Japanese rockers (it was a phase). He taught the squeaky-clean baby Khanh to swear (I know you guys are grateful for that).
I loved Harry Potter. He hated Harry Potter (and refused to read the book). And for our graduation present, he gave me the first Harry Potter DVD. I nearly bawled my eyes out.
And there was never anything remotely romantic between us. Which is why this book made me rather queasy, because the entire message of this book is "I'VE HAD FEELINGS FOR YOU ALL ALONG, I JUST CAN'T SEE IT."
This book does nothing to dispel the myth that guys and girls can't be just friends. Really, it's not about platonic friendship at all. It's the story of a boy and a girl who were meant to be all along, but just can't see it. I found it irritating, I hated the theatrics, I hated the cheating, I hated the selfishness, and I hated seeing the people hurt in the process of the Twoo Wuvvers(tm) as they leave broken hearts behind in their journey to discovering that they were Soul Mates(tm). For me, it was pretty terrible. It was filled with nothing but teenaged melodrama and hysterics. There was no depth, and the entire book left me tremendously bored because it was SO FILLED WITH FEEEEEELINGS.
Platonic Friends, My Ass: The story started in middle school, when baby Levi and baby Macallan met. They almost instantly became BFFs, but that didn't last very long. The overwhelming feeling in this book is that Levi is the most obvivious idiot in the world. He goes around thinking, man, I'm the luckiest fella in the world, he's blissfully carefree, not knowing what's lurking underneath. Man, what I wouldn't give to be a guy.
This was why Macallan was the greatest friend in the world. I hadn’t seen her in ten days, yet she wanted to be sure I saw my girlfriend.
Well, guess what? You can't have your cake and eat it, too. The thing about Levi and Macallan is that we know all along that they have underlying feelings for each other. It was almost never platonic in nature.
I didn’t know what bothered me more: the fact that my best friend had been keeping something from me or that she was currently flirting with some guy.
Innocent Bystanders: Levi and Macallan are best friends, the trouble is that they're way too close. I said it was never platonic, and boy, do we see it in their respective relationships. Levi has a girlfriend. Macallan has a boyfriend. And both of them completely ignore their dates to talk to each other. They are self-absorbed, they are selfish, they are uncaring of anyone except themselves. For example, when they go on a double date, Levi and Mac can't stop talking to each other.
Ian cleared his voice loudly. “So, Carrie, I think we need to intervene before the Levi and Macallan Show takes over. Once they get started, they don’t stop. Ever.”
Ian and Carrie are Mac and Levi's dates. And to top it off, they're so absorbed in talking to each other that they don't even notice that their dates have left.
Danielle could read the nonverbal exchange Levi and I shared. “Let me guess. You didn’t realize your dates left.”
She shook her head. “You guys are too much.”
“Clearly,” Levi and I said in unison.
Levi = Sweet, Sweet Fantasy, Baby: Half the book is from a guy's perspective, but it almost doesn't feel that way. Levi is cute, but he's not a boy. He is entirely too feminine in his observations and his actions, despite his protestations and his manly grunts and his desperation to gain guy points with his macho Wisconsin guy friends.
This book tries really, really fucking hard to be cute, and it doesn't work, and it does so by making Levi the most adorbs thing in the whole fucking world. Like the moment when Levi is filled with joy at receiving a coupon for a homemade meal from Macallan. Like the moment where Mac takes Levi to her mom's grave, and he proceeds to have an entire fucking conversation to her dead mother. WHAT THE FUCK?
“Um, Mrs. Dietz, I’m Levi. I’m sure Macallan has told you all about me. And, well, none of it’s true, unless she told you I’m awesome.”
"Thank you, Mrs. Dietz, for raising your daughter the way you did. She’s awesome and I know that’s because of you. I wish I could’ve met you, but I guess I have in a way. Because of Macallan. And just so you know, I’ll do my best to protect her. And be there for her. Even if she does have the worst taste in football teams."
*snorts* That's cute. It's also wildly improbable. I don't buy it.
To top it off, Levi is filled with observaaaaaaaaations about how Macallan looks.
Macallan’s hair in the spring and summer was my favorite; in the sun it was almost bright red with an orange undertone. But if we went inside it looked like it did in the fall.
Bleeeeeeeeeeeech. Her hair looks like the fall: said no guy EVER. And I hate to presume, but I can't see a guy thinking this deeply and overanalyzing everything in excruciating fucking details.
I hated that something was getting in the way of their friendship. And that something was me.
Dun Dun DUUUUUUUUUUUN: Do you like teenage drama? Petty jealousies? Catfights? Oh-my-god-does-he-like-me conversations? Oh-my-god-you-are-no-longer-my-friend conversations? Cheating? Love triangles? That's pretty much all this book is. It's a bunch of teenagers acting very teenaged and nothing else. There is no depth to any of the characters. The side characters, like Macallan's best friend, are shallow bitches who flirt and flit from boy to boy. There is no deeper subplot. I didn't feel like there was a deep driving force to any of the main characters, because the only thing they're fucking worried about is (in order of precendence)
There are no deeper complications. There is no true character maturity. This was a shallow, nauseatingly predictable book.
I don't know if you caught my review of this book but it wasn't flattering. I wound up DNFing it but I have met the authors.They are great people and so I am once again going to attempt to read this.
I am a huge fan of dystopia. I have read practically everything from The Hunger Games to The Giver. I also spent a good chunk of my childhood obsessing over Percy Jackson and all things Greek Mythology.
Add in some LGBT issues and you have the literary equivalent of a triple layer chocolate cake. (fun fact-there will be a shortage of chocolate once the year 2020 hits)
Easily one of my favorite books, Love in the Time of Global Warming is a fascinating mixture of Myth and Sci-fi. I will admit that the world building is a little sketchy but I’m not too picky about that stuff.
What really captured my attention was the gorgeous prose and unique premise. There have been dystopia’s influenced by the myths (The Hunger Games) but this was the first straight-up retelling I’ve come across.
Here are the parallels I found:
The Lotus Hotel needs no explanation
Venice=Penelope (weird. ’Cause Pen’s full name is Penelope but she’s playing the role of Odysseus. Who’s trying to get back to his family, mainly Penelope…)
Mom=Grandfather (The Grandfather dies before Odysseus gets home)
Beatrix= Circe (Both try to keep Odysseus/Pen and his/her crew/friends)
Tara=Calypso (Gives Odysseus/Pen a place to rest)
The Return was like the one in the Odyssey-reclaims home and reconciles with family
It was really fun trying to find all the parallels. I’ve read and watched retellings of the Odyssey for fun and in school. Recently, my class watched O’ Brother Where Art Thou-a depression era retelling.
Usually when there’s and LGBT character, it becomes a huge part of their storyline but Block didn’t do that. Some may find that infuriating but it shows that they are still people and there is more to them than their sexual orientations.
Definitely worth checking out!
Six Reasons Why I love YA fiction: *not trying to put down adult fiction
1: Because I'm a teen and I can relate
2: Most of them aren't about a boring divorce or some adult matter, YA is filled with the unimaginable stuff like Angels and Vampires. So it's more of an escape from life.
3: The covers are just downright GORGEOUS... I mean I know they say don't judge a book by it's cover (or movie), but ehhhh
4: Funner (wait is that even a word?) fandoms, I really don't see people fangirling over adult books.
5: Anything can happen, anything.
6: The authors are crazier than you are.
Some adult fiction is fine, I guess. But it's just not really my thing. I don't like it when people say you need to expand your 'horizons' in reading or that I have to read this book or I'm not a fangirl. Why can't I read what I love?
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
I don’t care what the cover says to you or what you think about Libba Bray or what you’ve heard about her or even this book.
This is the one book you cannot read a review of and form a good opinion on. You have to read it for yourself.
This book is not a teenage girl version of Lord of the Flies
Beauty Queens is hilarious and downright ridiculous at times but is balanced out by the realistic portrayal of young women and society’s expectations.
This is the second book I have read by Libba Bray. The first one was A Great and Terrible Beauty. And while not the worst thing I’ve ever read, not exactly the best experience I’ve had.
So I am quite pleased to say that even if you wanted to smack the Gemma books (or worse) you will love Beauty Queens.
Beauty Queens has several strengths and improvements. Bray had improved as a writer drastically, and the diverse cast provides insight and comedic relief that the Gemma Doyle series lacked.
The addition of unlikely and downright ridiculous helps to keep things from getting depressing. One of my favorite scenes was the one where Petra has to pee on the pirate and Sinjin is all “ohhhh”.
While on the subject of the pirates, I liked that not everyone got a happy ending in the romance department. The twist with Duff surprised me, but it was different from what you’d expect. The betrayal and the aftermath (Duff trying to win Adina back) just made me want to kill the guy. Regarding their relationship, I’m glad that Adina made Duff use a condom. There are so many scenes in YA where the characters do it and there is no mention of condoms so the acknowledgement of condom’s existence pleased me (don’t ask why).
I liked that no matter what; Adina refused to take him back. Another common occurrence in YA-or any novel featuring romance really-is a jerk love interest who is portrayed as a good guy. So that was another win for Beauty Queens.
The climax was a little jumbled but not so much that I had to reread things. It was mostly the switching of POVs each chapter.
When the girls confronted Ladybird Hope on Barry Rex Live I noticed that they said sorry once or twice which irked me because they had agreed to stop saying sorry unnecessarily.
I loved the epilogue. It was so uplifting. Only quibble was that Shanti’s parents found her husband but it said that he was awesome so if she’s ok with it it’s all good.
The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I guess more time in this world but I didn’t mind Cittagazze. It actually reminded me of Charn from The Magician’s Nephew. (Both worlds are barren and seem to by dying).
I think part of the problem was the large cast. I loved seeing Serafina and Lee but that doesn’t change that fact that a lot was going on in such a short amount of time. It was rather like reading Volume 9 of Fullmetal Alchemist-hectic but still good.
The parts where we learned more about Dust were absolutely thrilling. I just love that moment a character realizes that the square peg doesn’t go in the round hole and everything clicks into place. Just brilliant.
Once it was revealed that Lyra was Eve, it seemed like it should have been obvious. (Maybe it is but I was surprised because I’m not familiar with the Bible?). I liked how all the pieces fit together in retrospect.
The ending was unbelievably anti-climatic. It didn’t really feel like an ending. If felt like a dead end to a road going nowhere.
Another thing that bothered me was the repetitive explanations. I understand that each character has a different amount of knowledge and needs to be filled in but we the readers don’t need to read it every single time.
Dang it Pullman, I wanted more of Lyra! Lyra is entertaining and carried the entirety of The Golden Compass much better than Will carried his portion of The Subtle Knife.
Will was just so boring. I didn’t see anything important about him other than the letters. If he had been a secondary character, I probably would have liked him better. His POV just dragged the story down.
Dr. Malone was particularly well drawn for a secondary character only introduced in this book, and a good chunk into the story too.
Lee and Serafina didn’t get too much in the way of character development but their POVs did flesh them out a little, didn’t drag like Will’s and helped to advance the story.
In Conclusion: A pretty weak sequel. Started out strong but dwindled faster that a kids stash of Halloween candy.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
A lot of today’s realistic fiction is about teenagers falling in love and dealing with angst and whatnot. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it was nice to see something different.
Panic is a wild ride, right from the start. Heather and Dodge provide engaging narratives. I didn’t actually care for Dodge. He had his moments but was otherwise much too self important. When Dayna was playing chess (or was it checkers?) with Ricky, Doge threw and internal fit because oh my God my crippled sister is happy despite being crippled and just why is she so happy and enjoying her life while the guy who injured her is out there with a bunch of cash?
Maybe because she isn’t as caught up in the past as you are?
And then there was that whole Dodge-Nat- thing. Dodge, her love life is her business. She doesn’t need your approval on her boyfriends (but yeah she probably shouldn’t have been sleeping with an older guy but whatever her choice).
Heather was much better. I loved how much she doubted herself in the begging and slowly came into her own. It was an amazing experience to read about.
But my favorite aspect of the book was the relation between Heather and Nat.
Whenever two girls fight in fiction, the book and author are shamed for having girl on girl hate. And its usually for a good reason. (constant bickering or snide remarks with/about each other, ridiculously over the top reactions to the other) but Panic deserves no such condemnation. Because teenage girls-and boys-do fight. And then they make up. And repeat. That’s what happens when you put two individuals together. Conflict is bound to happen. But that doesn’t mean that they have to be enemies.
I loved Nat and Heather because they were there for each other, but they fought several times but when one needed the other, they would forget their argument and reconcile, and not in a cheesy, dramatic way. It was a silent healing of the rift. And it was beautiful.
The game Panic itself may have been a little farfetched but then again, it could totally happen. It’s like a really dangerous drinking game (if the game part requires several illegal things).
So all in all defiantly worth reading. 4 out of 5 stars.
this book/play will forever haunt my nightmares, will live on as a black mark on a otherwise great English class experience
and can some one PELASE explain why the heck THIS IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE REMEMBER SHAKESPEARE FOR?
Once I finish PANIC, I' going to read either A Wizard of Earthsea and Sabriel. One problem-I can't decided which to read first! A little help please?