Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic By Emily Croy Barker

The Thinking Womans Guide To Real Magic by Emily Cory Barker

Title: The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

Author: Emily Croy Barker

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Source: eArc via Edelweiss

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

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Summary

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.

Review

Occasionally, I pick-up a book that is getting great reviews and has an interesting premise, but it is not for me. The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker is one of those books.

The book starts by introducing us to Nora, who is not doing well in either her professional nor personal life. Her long-term boyfriend dumps her and announces he is marrying another woman. She is forced to interact with him at a wedding of all places. Then during an innocent hike, Nora stumbles upon another world.

The next quarter of the book should have been interesting. Filled with world building and magical creatures, instead it is a dull plod in which nothing happens. If I had not received this book for review, I would have put it down at this point. It was obvious at this point in the book, that The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic was not for me. The book is blurbed to be for those who enjoyed A Discovery Of Witches. This should have been my clue that the problems I had with A Discovery Of Witches might be present here. Mainly, that both books are overly long and lacking in action. Sticking with the book did lead to the much more interesting second half, but I generally do not think reading should be a chore and it felt like one until I got to where the action began. I wonder if it is this category of Adult Fantasy aimed at women where the authors do not seem to focus on world building and the characters feel flat. In 576 pages, I did not really know Nora until the very end. Understanding her motives and her life before being trapped in a different world, would have gone a long way to making me more interested in The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic. I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters and never felt strongly about any of them.

Overall, I would say The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker is an OK book. It would be better if it was trimmed down and there was more action throughout. The character of Nora should have been more fleshed out before the very end. I only started to feel that I knew her in the last twenty pages of the book. In a book of this length, that does not have many characters, there is no reason for this. If you enjoyed A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness, you may enjoy The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. If not, I would skip it.   

I was provided a copy of The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic but all opinions are my own.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

Review: The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Title: The Son Of Neptune (The Heroes Of Olympus #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Publication Date: October 4, 20111

Series: The Heroes Of Olympus

Source: Purchased

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Related Reviews: The Lost Hero

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Summary

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Review

I’m not sure what more I need to say in a review other than Percy Jackson is back in The Son Of Neptune. Percy is one of my favorite Middle Grade characters of all time and the world that Rick Riordan creates first, in Percy Jackson And The Olympians, and now in the Heroes Of Olympus series, is just wonderful. I recommend setting aside a day or two for this book because it really is impossible to put down.

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan picks up with the prophecy we learned about in The Lost Hero. Finally, Percy is back from being missing and ends up in a camp similar to Camp Half-Blood, but with a twist. This time it is a Roman camp. I really enjoyed learning about the differences between the camps, such as the way the campers are housed by legions as opposed to godly parent and the differences in the fighting style.

In The Son Of Neptune, we get to know two new heroes who both have interesting back stories, Hazel and Frank. Their stories unfold as they work with Percy on a quest. In the typical style of Rick Riordan, they learn what they are really made of by being brave and selfless in the face of great adversity.

The Son Of Neptune ties together the overarching story of The Heroes Of Olympus which will ultimately bringing the Greek and Roman demigods together for an epic battle. I cannot wait to see where the story goes next. I highly recommend The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan, it is a fun, action packed read, that is full of great characters and an interesting overarching story.  

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

 

Some Quiet Place By Kelsey Sutton A Review

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Title: Some Quiet Place

Author: Kelsey Sutton

Publisher: Flux

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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Summary

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton is a unique novel and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Sutton personifies emotions, which the main character Elizabeth can see, but is unable to experience. Instead, Elizabeth feels nothing and goes through the motions of living. It is as if she is acting the role of a teenager, a daughter, and a friend. This is especially heartbreaking in a scene where her only close friend succumbs to cancer and she is left feeling nothing. Being filled with a nothingness does not escape the attention of those around her. Her father reacts with cruelty and violence while her mother dissociates.

Kelsey Sutton does a great job of showing the desolation in Elizabeth’s life. Her horrible home life, where she take whatever abuse is thrown at her, and the horrible way she is treated by the kids at school. The world she creates is dark and sad with small spots of light. I am not a big fan of paranormal fiction but Some Quiet Place has a unique kind of sweetness to it. It may be because the emotions are so much a part of the action but you cannot help but hold your breath hoping that Elizabeth will feel something.

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton is a well-written unique story that fans of paranormal fiction will enjoy. Some Quiet Place does live up to the beauty of its cover. I highly recommend Some Quiet Place and am looking forward to reading book two, Where Silence Gathers.

I was given a copy of Some Quiet Place on Netgalley but all thoughts are my own.

Cover images and summary from goodreads.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal A Review

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Title: Far Far Away

Author: Tom McNeal

Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale

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Summary

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn’t even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he’s able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it’s been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn’t been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings. . .

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is very unique. It has the feel of a fairy tale. It is difficult to place the time when the book takes place and this timeless aspect is very well done. The book is full of quirky characters, none more that Jeremy Johnson Johnson who is obsessed with fairy tales and whom the ghost of Jacob Grimm is a pseudo-father figure. 

The town of Never Better has that otherworldly feel to it. Filled with odd characters that are mostly likeable, especially the very spunky Ginger Boultinghouse. Ginger and her adventures take Jeremy down a path that is both dark and dangerous. The towns secrets are eventually revealed and we start to see people as they are.

Overall, Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is very enjoyable. The story itself is compelling and the writing is very strong. The problem I had with Far Far Away is how annoying Jacob Grimm is. I did not enjoy this ghost narrating much of the story and could not bring myself to like the character at all. Eventually,  as more is revealed about Jacob, he becomes a bit more likeable but overall I could have used with less of him in the book.

Far Far Away will be a delight for fairy tale fans because it does an excellent job of capturing the feel of a fairy tale. The darkness that lurks beneath the surface. The ending is quite exciting and I truly enjoyed the later third of the book the most. Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is a solid choice for fairy tale fans and those that like a story that is a bit dark but not scary.

 Cover images and summary from goodreads.

Blog Tour & Review Dirty Little Secret By Jennifer Echols

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Title: Dirty Little Secret

Author: Jennifer Echols

Publisher: MTV Books

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

Source: Blog Tour

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Summary

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Review

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols has a lot of great elements in it. The Nashville setting, especially the scenes in the clubs, are interesting. It really gives you insight into what it takes to become big in a town full of talented musicians. The love story between Sam and Bailey get’s pretty steamy and I enjoyed how Jennifer Echols handled the sole sex scene. It is spicy without ever veering into cheesy territory.

I would have liked to have more of the family dynamic, especially between Bailey and her parents. It really does seem unnecessarily cruel when they ban her from playing her fiddle because of a few youthful indiscretions. I am not a parent, but it does seem like parenting 101 that when your child is making public, out of character mistakes, that they are often looking for attention. The fact that her parents instead decide to ignore her and focus solely on her sister, seems to cruel.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols does touch on Sam’s dysfunctional relationship with his father. A man who never made it in Nashville, even though he is obviously talented. His character is almost used as a cautionary tale of what can happen when your dreams don’t come true and gives Sam some extra dimensions. Sam is interesting that he does have serious problems at home but is so focused and driven to success that he is willing to do anything.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols is a solid read that music lovers will enjoy. There is humor and romance plus the added depths of dealing with familial dysfunction. I enjoyed Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols and look forward to reading some of her other books.

Author

Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Playlist

I put a mix of older country, probably what Bailey and Sam played in the mall, with songs that capture a few important moments in Dirty Little Secret.

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I was given a copy of Dirty Little Secret but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blog Tour–Review–Giveaway Saving Ben By Ashley Farley

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SavingBen

Title: Saving Ben

Author: Ashley Farley

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date: January 31, 2013

Source: Blog Tour

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Mystery

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Summary

Life is sweet for Katherine Langley. A freshman at the University of Virginia, she is free from the drama of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage and ready to focus on studying to become a nurse. Her brother, Ben, belongs to the hottest fraternity on campus, and her new roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath.

When Katherine’s obsessive-compulsive overprotective brother succumbs to Emma’s charms and falls dangerously off-track, Katherine must save Ben from himself. Lives are threatened and someone disappears on New Year’s Day. The only evidence left: a single set of footprints in the snow.

From the university campus to a cozy cottage on Carter’s Creek, Virginia, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.

Review

Saving Ben by Ashley Farley is really two stories. The first is the sibling relationship between Katherine and Ben. They are very close and always haven been. The second story is about Emma, who at first seems to be sweet and a little wild, but turns out to be someone with serious problems.

Emma and Ben begin a relationship which is pretty unhealthy from the start. In a short period of time, Ben starts to change. Katherine becomes very concern with Ben’s behavior and tries to help her brother anyway that she can. Emma not only effect’s Ben in a negative way but seems inflict damage on those closest to Katherine.

I found the beginning a bit on the slower side but Saving Ben really starts to pick-up towards the end. There is a mystery with a few twists and turns. The book errs on the side of tragic but does leave the reader with some hope. I enjoyed how Ashley Farley used her own life and relationship with her brother to shape the characters.  Saving Ben by Ashley Farley is a solid choice if you enjoy the New Adult genre and are looking for a book that is not romance centered.

About The Author

Ashley

I wrote a novel, SAVING BEN, in honor of my brother, the boy I worshipped, the man I could not save. It’s not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

I’m a wife and mother of two teenagers. I have lived in Richmond, Virginia, for seventeen years, a city I love for its history and traditions. Personal experience with my brother inspired me to become involved with the leadership symposium in my son’s school where I’ve helped bring in speakers to raise parents’ awareness of the alcohol and drug problems children face. When I’m not steering volunteer committees or working on my next novel, I can be found swimming laps or playing tennis.

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I was given a copy of Saving Ben but all opinions are my own.

 

Early Review:Ink By Amanda Sun

Ink by Amanda Sun

Title: Ink

Series: Paper Gods #1

Author: Amanda Sun

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: June 25, 2013

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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Summary

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Review

I really wanted to like Ink by Amanda Sun but found the book problematic. The kiss of death for me, and the reason why I put the book down halfway into it, is insta-love. One page Katie is suspicious of Tomo and certain that he is a huge jerk (after having spoken to him two times) and the next page he is the person who understands her best. Yes, a tragic event in both of their lives could be the catalyst for this ridiculously quick love, but I just did not believe it.

When I am at the halfway point of a book, I know it is not going well if I do not care about the characters. The characters in Ink by Amanda Sun are not fleshed out. I never got the feel of Katie, even though I spent so many pages in her head. Katie has two friends from school, who should be more fleshed out but are not. Even her Aunt, who takes her in and must have an interesting story about why she lives in Japan, is not. In Ink, I was unable to connect to any of the characters and lost interest in the direction the story was going.

Ink by Amanda Sun is a decently written book, which gives me hope that Amanda Sun may write other books that would be more suited to my tastes. When my TBR stack is towering, I just cannot spend time reading books that leave me feeling nothing but a slight irritation. I wanted to like Ink by Amanda Sun for its beautiful cover and unique location but it was not enough.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

I was given an eARC of Ink by Harlequin Teen but it did bot influence my review. All thoughts are my own.

Gameboard Of The Gods By Richelle Mead A Review

Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead

Title: Gameboard Of The Gods

Series: Age Of X #1

Author: Richelle Mead

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Adult Dystopian, Science Fiction

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Summary

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Review

Reviewing Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead is difficult. I liked the book and thought it was mostly good. (Not using star reviews on All The Stacks, it can be hard for me to explain what I mean by good. On goodreads, for example, I gave Gameboard Of The Gods three stars.) The book has a lot of potential but the problems made it a slugfest at times where I kept checking how long my Kindle thought it would take me to finish.

Gameboard Of The Gods has a solid story. Hot shot guy, Justin March, who is given a chance to get his job back after four years of exile. The catch is he has to solve the mystery behind these ritualistic murders. All solid and quite interesting stuff here. Here is my problem, it takes forever. Even with the book being overly long, I never felt I really understood what was happening. The story takes place in a dystopian world that is never fully fleshed out. We never really learn what happened to have society end up like it is. Why is RUNA, which stands for Republic Of North America which is not spelled out until many chapters into the book, one of the only places to prosper. There is talk about the before and hints that religion and genetic mutations caused a lot of it but I would have liked more specific details. I also had a difficult time picturing the world. There are areas, somewhere in North America, where ethnic groups live. They live within the country but separately. This is important because the murders involve these groups and the main characters do quite a lot of travelling. It took me until halfway through the book to get a good explanation about these groups and why they decided to live separately. The length of time it took to reveal many important plot points, like why Justin is sent into exile and what on earth is up with the talking birds that live in his head, is frustrating.

All of these issues aside, the actual story is interesting. I enjoyed the who-done-it-ness of the plot. I enjoyed how many strong female characters the books contains. Waiting so long to reveal really important information about the main characters lives, motivations, and backstory, made it difficult to care about them until the end of the book. I enjoyed the characters and the overarching world enough to read a book two. It will be read with caution and with the hope that it will be more concise.

Overall, I can recommend Gameboard Of Gods by Richelle Mead but would suggest checking it out from the library or borrowing it from a friend rather than purchasing it. See if it is something that you like before making the purchasing plunge. As I said in the beginning of this review, writing about Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead is difficult because it has lot of potential but quite a few problems.   

I did receive an eARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Review: Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Title: Twerp

Author: Mark Goldblatt

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary

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Summary

It’s not like I meant for Danley to get hurt. . . .

Julian Twerski isn’t a bully. He’s just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the terrible incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade–blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he’s still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can’t bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.

Review

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt lets the reader read the journals of the sixth grader Julian Twerski. His English teacher offers him the option of keeping the journals and writing about the incident that caused him to be suspended. Using the journal as a writing device is just brilliant. It lets the reader see into Julian’s life. It leads us to the incident that they are ultimately supposed to be about but not before the reader is ready to know what it is. To learn about his hopes and fears. Julian is so smart and funny but has the same problem many 12-year-old boys do. He doesn’t really understand girls. He sometimes makes bad decisions that backfire in horrible ways.

In each chapter, Julian tells a story of something that happens in his life. He talks about writing a love letter for a friend. Of course, this goes all wrong and the girl thinks he wrote it. Julian is unsure what to do in this situation and ends up going to his sister for advice. Julian worries constantly about no longer being the fastest kid in school. This is so important to him and it builds up to a final showdown at the Track and Field Day. Julian, as an adult, would likely look back on these two events and realize they are not all that important in the scheme of things. Yet, at twelve they are huge events and it feels real that they effect him the way that they do.

Eventually, we find out what Julian did to be suspended. It is ultimately shocking because by this point, we have gotten to know Julian. We know that he is a sweet kid that obviously made a huge mistake. It makes the story that much more difficult to read knowing that he is not just a bad kid. That he should have known better.

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt is a touching coming-of-age story that will transport you to 1969. It is well-written and an enjoyable read. I would highly recommend it to young readers (especially boys) because it is engaging and teaches a powerful lesson. Take charge, be yourself, and speak up when you know something is wrong before it is too late.

I was provided an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Title: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

Source: Purchased

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Summary

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Review

I have to start by saying, I loved every second of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I wanted to lock myself in a room with a do not disturb sign on the door until I was done (sadly, it actually took me five days to read it because I have to do things like go to work and sleep.) I loved it so much that I might even recommend that you stop reading this review and get yourself a copy of The 5th Wave and start reading right now.

All that being said, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a book I had high expectations of going in. In case you skipped over the first paragraph of this review, my expectations were actually exceeded and it really does live up to all the hype. Starting with the characters, we have Cassie, her father, and her five year-old brother, Sammy. Forced to leave their home, the goal is to get to an Air force base where they have a better chance for survival. Cassie is fierce and independent. Rick Yancey lets us in on what Cassie is thinking and she is both smart and funny. The use of humor and sarcasm throughout The 5th Wave gives an otherwise pretty dark book, some levity. Eventually, Cassie is separated from her brother and she spends most of the book plotting to get him back.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is broken down into sections that contain chapters in the voices of different characters. I loved this because it really lets you get to know the characters and what their motivations are. Not everyone is what they seem and getting to see into their heads, gives you a much better understanding of what is going on. The dire situation (hello, alien invasion and the world is ending) keeps The 5th Wave in constant motion. There is one lull for a love story but even that serves a purpose in pushing everyone forward.

I love how the different stories interconnect in ways that are surprising. There are quite a few places in The 5th Wave where I was very surprised by a turn of events. It forces the reader to be on the edge of their seat for the entire 480 pages and never lets up. Everything from the dialogue to the action is pitch perfect throughout. The only negative I can mention about The 5th Wave is the massive feeling of loss I have for having finished it and waiting who knows how long for the next book. So please, take my advice and get yourself a copy of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I promise you will not regret it.

 

Summary and cover image from goodreads.