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Walk the Edge

Walk the Edge (Thunder Road, #2) by Katie McGarry
on March 29th 2016
Genres: Chick Lit, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 426

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Reaction Upon Reading: I hope there is another book to come in this series!


Synopsis:

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.


“For once in my life, I’d love to be myself around everyone else and be accepted for who I am instead of staying silent for fear of people mocking me.”


I am obsessed with this book trope. I love high school romances and I love stories that involve a MC and they have been combined! I am also a sucker for multiple perspective. It is one of my favourite elements of fiction.

This was my latest audiobook. I listened to ‘Nowhere But Here’ on Audible and fell in love with the two voice actors. I was really nervous that the voice actors for ‘Walk the Edge’ weren’t going to live up to the first two, but I thoroughly enjoyed each voice actor! I liked the southern twang of the girl who voiced Bri and the gruff ‘I don’t care about the world’  voice of Razor. It made each voice actor seem authentic and true to the story.

I enjoyed this book more than first (which is surprising because I loved the first book). I think this is due to the fact that I feel like there was a bit less outside drama that affected the couple. Razor and Bri still wanted each other the whole time. Yes, they had to deal with her family, Kyle and the club, but them as a couple was a fortified unit!

I also thought this book focused a lot more on the relationship than the club. Don’t get me wrong I know the plot hinges on the involvement with the club but it felt like it was way less than the first book.


“The boy everyone sees but nobody knows is with the girl who everybody knows but nobody sees.”


Likes:

  • The romance that is building is a slow burn
    • Which as painful as they can be, I always like more in the end because nothing is rushed and it makes the connection seem that much more real 
  • The romance between Bri and Razor is a ‘saving’ type of romances
    • Both of them are trying to save/rescue each other from their situations – Bri from her home life and Razor from not trusting the club
    • ‘Nowhere but Here’ was the forbidden romance and I like that there is a difference between the two books
  • The irony of the final climax and the way it is connected and woven into the story as a whole
  • The cover
    • Seriously so beautiful! 

Dislike:

  • When an author decides to give the reader a recap of the first book and how it links to the second book
    • This is a serious waste of my reading time! Who picks up the second book in a series without reading the first book. If people do this why are they rewarded with a recap and I am punished with knowledge I already have. This really irritates me
  • When Bri is blackmailed why did they never think to go straight to the school – he would have lost all credibility and any chance of a scholarship for his behaviour. Problem solved!

“This is heartbreaking and consuming and addictive. It’s terrifying and peaceful, crazy and serene. It’s a million things in one brief moment and it’s something I don’t understand and never want to live without.”


Do we get to see Oz and Emily?

Yes we do, and it is just the right amount. They aren’t shoehorned in at every possible moment. Their appearances feel natural and authentic. Oz is Razor’s friend, brother and school yard protector. He is always looking out for Razor and has his back when he needs him most. He keeps him in align and is a constant reminder for why he needs to trust the club. Emily returns on a visit which aligns perfectly with the party thrown for Razor and the cover she needs to show up in town. I loved the way she supports Bri and shows her honesty and friendship when she didn’t have to. She was the Emily we saw in the first book, opinionated and wild spirited.


“I’m in love with you. This isn’t a memory, but a promise, do you hear me?”


Reactions, Ramblings & Questions:

These occur before, during and after reading
  • I know the accident with Razor’s mother is going to be some integral plot twist
    • I am currently trying to work out what on earth it could be
    • I predict that this ‘cover up’ of the ‘accident’ is a positive reason to protect Razor and his mothers image or possibly a secret 
      • Nailed it! 
  • Bri has the worst family imaginable
    • Where the hell are her parents?
    • Why are her siblings so god damn nasty
    • What kind of family leaves the teenager in charge for two weeks
    • I love her chapters when she is interacting with Razor and hate them when they involve her family 
      • I almost want to skip ahead! 

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What did you think of this story?

Leave your comments below

Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

Since You’ve Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
on May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 449

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Reaction upon Reading: Why do so many people love this book?


“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what. The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home. And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”


Synopsis:

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?


“It just gets hard, always being someone’s second choice”

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Likes:

  • Emily
    • She takes the list for more than what it is and grows as a person 
    • She make quality relationships outside of the list

Dislikes:

  • Long chapters!
    • I like short ones where I can just quickly finish one more before bed…not this book. I hate stopping in the middle of a scene but sometimes I just had too
  • Slow
    • This book took a very long time to get going
    • I didn’t really connect with any of the characters so I didn’t care too much about the build up 
  • The most overused trope in a high school/college romance
    • Boy has long term girlfriend who the whole town believes is perfect for each other. He is put in a situation where he plays knight in shining armour for the quiet/shy/reserved girl. He starts developing feelings for her and discovers she is who he wanted all along…but wait HE STILL HAS A GF! 
  •  Sloane
    • In what world would a best friend leave without saying anything and then actively choose to not answer her phone or have any communication with her friend?
    • I don’t feel sorry for Sloane when the reason is revealed to why she left, it felt like karma

“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”


Reactions, Ramblings and Questions:

  • Slow and boring!
  • But…is Dawn still friends with her?
  • What about Collins?
  • Do the friendships she spent all summer investing actually pan out
  • Where is the closure?
  • What happens next?
  • Nothing feels resolved at all

“4. Date someone who’ll wait to make sure you get inside before driving away.”

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Overall Feelings:

I started this book without even reading the synopsis. I had seen it on tons of blogs and on instagram with people saying it is one of their all time favourites. I figured why not give it a go. Well… I can not understand why this book has so much hype surrounding it. Morgan Matson is an author I constantly see being praised for her writing but this one just fell short for me.

Maybe I am getting to old for high school books…no, I take that back. I love them when they are done well. This one was was riddled with cliches and overused stereotypes. I was hoping the book would end with Emily realizing her own self-worth and discover that Sloane was not a great friend. She puts things on the list that are dead no to Emily like the ‘Penelope’ task. What?!? There are far to many things that just didn’t make sense. Emily was an amazing friend…almost a door mat and this book just didn’t resolve any of those issues.

Yes it is a cutesy summer read about friendship and love…but it is also slow and incredibly frustrating.

I don’t want this to turn into a rant so I am going to end my review here. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. It just wasn’t for me.


“And I was realizing that it was pretty terrible to be sitting in silence with someone who you always used to have something to say to”


What did you think of this book?

Leave a comment below.

Rating Report
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: three-half-stars

Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
on September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 433

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Reaction Upon Reading: How can it be over?


“Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I’m a complete disaster.”


Synopsis:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?


“How do you not like the Internet? That’s like saying, ‘I don’t like things that are convenient. And easy. I don’t like having access to all of mankind’s recorded discoveries at my fingertips. I don’t like light. And knowledge.”


Likes:

  • Cath
    • Lives in the world of fan fiction – Simon Snow 
    • Cath isn’t ready to be apart from Wren 
    • She struggles with new situations and change 
    • She changes so much throughout the book and becomes such an admirable young woman
    • I love that she never submits to peer pressure of the ‘expectations’ that are out there for a freshman in college 
    • The biggest moment for Cath in my opinion is sticking to her word when Reagen asks her to be her roomate again next year. Old Cath would have gone running to Wren but she is an inpdendent woman now! 
  •  Wren
    • She is independent and ready for adventure
    • She gets lost when trying to find who she is without Cath
    • She makes mistakes and we see her try and resolve these – she isn’t as remorsful as I would have hoped but I think that is realistic reaction for someone her age
    • Everything she goes through is so realistic of the college experience
    • She still reads ‘Carry On’ when they are fighting – probably my favourite Wren moment 
  • There are two plot lines happening at the same time. Cath and her experiences at college run alongside the fan fiction she writes about Simon in his magical world.
  • I like how the events that happen in the fan fiction feel like they are motivated and written from the experiences that Cath is having
  • Reagan
    • She is like the bad-ass friend that every girl needs
    • She is there when Cath needs her and gives Cath enough space to feel like she is herself 
    • I loved how she notices things about Cath like when she wasn’t eating and she showed her the dining hall
    • She refuses to let Cath be pathetic
  • CATH – WREN = Catherine
    • How did I not work that little gem out myself?

Dislikes:

  • I wanted more
  • It ended so suddenly that I have so many questions I want answered
    • Did she write the piece of writing for class? What was it about?
    • Is her Dad okay?
    • Why was Wren so mean and closed off? What drove her to drink like that? What happened between her and Courtney?
    • What happens over the summer when Levi goes home to the ranch?
    • What happens to Simon and Baz?
      • Oh wait I will be reading ‘Carry On’ for that!
  • Why isn’t there a sequel for Cath and Wren?
  • As much as I love this book, there is something that holds it back from being a 5 star read. It is missing that something that makes it memorable. I have the same feelings towards ‘Eleanor and Park’. I love Rowell as writer but something is lacking for me to go and say and say ‘You have to read this book, it will change your life’

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”


Reactions, Ramblings and Questions:

  • The start of the book makes me anxious. The first interaction is so erratic.
    • I don’t do awkward
  • I didn’t realize until I started to read this book that Carry On is the fan fiction in a whole other book!
    • Carry On is going to be my next read and I went on to Etsy and bought cute Levi and Cath bookmarks for my collection too – can’t wait for them to arrive 
  • Is Simon a gay version of Harry Potter – it all feels very same same
  • I use to write fan fiction when I was 13 – 16
    • I adored the online community and how they would give such amazing praise and feedback
    • I wrote fan fiction for my favourite TV shows – One Tree Hill and The OC
    • I always wanted to write fan fiction for Harry Potter but I felt like that was such a big fandom and I didn’t think I could have done it justice, so instead I read everyone elses
  • I read the book on my tablet and picked up the hard copy to make a bookstagram post. I opened the cover and found an image of the characters
    • So happy I did otherwise I may never have come across that
    • Reagan is so not what I pictured at all 

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”


Levi and Cath are perfection. This book is perfection!

I finished the book and couldn’t believe it was over. I still have so many unanswered questions. I felt like it was leading up to this big moment. What I realised, once I put the book down, was that the whole thing was a slow burn. Nothing was rushed or forced, everything happened, just like it would in real life. It was raw with emotion and the content was gritty. The issues Cath & Wren faced were issues anyone could be going through.

I love that it wasn’t just centered around some college romance but around issues that were much bigger. Identity, broken families, abandonment, family, friendships, trying new things, change etc…

Rainbow Rowell writes amazing, honest, real characters. They could be me or you.

Rainbow Rowell has mastered YA Contemporary genre.


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Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
four-half-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
on April 5th 2016
Pages: 336
Goodreads

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Reaction upon reading: Warm fuzzies!


Tell Me Three Things

One – I love Julie Bauxbaum and her beautifully crafted story

Two – I am a sucker for the high school romance book trope and devoured this in one sitting

Three – Girls in High School are the absolute worst


Contemporary YA is fast becoming my favourite genre.

From the get go I was hooked

Jessie Holmes loses her mother, she counts down the days, hours and minutes since her world changed forever. Her Dad remarries a rich woman and shifts their lives from Chicago to sunny California to move in with her and her son. This isn’t some cliche falling in love kind of story. It is a coming of age story about loss, grief, friendship, identity and moving on.

It all starts with an email…elaborate hoax or compassionate classmate?

It ends with an insta-love and so many warm fuzzies.

2


“Just because you’re strong doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help sometimes. Remember that.”


Likes:

  • This book is funny
  • The banter between Jessie & SN is brilliant
  • The subject lines for the emails are hilarious
    • It is like two separate conversations happening at once
    • The joking relationship is formed through the subject line and the serious one is formed through the email itself
  • The writing style
    • It is written in a way that makes you feel like you are being spoken to
  • Jessie is relateable and real
    • She isn’t some unobtainable character, she is a normal high school aged girl dealing with real life sturggles. She deals with these in a non predictable way. I loved watching her grow and react in a non cliche way
    • I probably should have been able to guess who it was from the beginning – I know who I wanted it to be – but there enough clues and counter-clues that kept me unsure and guessing
  • The dear reader note at the end of the book was beautiful, it explains why the book felt so authentic and raw

Dislikes:

  • When she thought she had guessed who it was and was trying to drop major hints without actually asking the guy – So annoying
  • GEM
    • Why do girls like Gem need to exist?
    • Why did Ethan not stick up for Jessie in class when Gem tripped her over? He clearly doesn’t like the way they behave and yet he does nothing

“Perfect days are for people with small, realizable dreams. Or maybe for all of us, they just happen in retrospect; they’re only now perfect because they contain something irrevocably and irretrievably lost.”


Reactions, Questions & Ramblings

  • I thought I was up with the texting lingo, clearly not I had to look up what FWIW meant
    • It stands for ‘for what it’s worth’ just incase you were wondering like me
  • So many possbilities for who SN is
    • The step-brother, the Batman ‘Ethan’, Liam the bookstore owner’s son or Caleb?
  • I feel like going back home is a dumb idea. Jessie has changed so much, she will go back to Chicago with a new outlook and it won’t be what she remembers. Her BFF Scarlett also seems way to wrapped up her BF Adam
  • What kind of name is Agnes?
    • #random
  • I would like a Liam and Dri spin off
  • I wanted to give this book a 5 so badly
    • I reserve my 5 star ratings for books that leave me with a resounding sense that I was part of something brilliant when I finished it. This book was great, but it was great in that it had a happy ending and made you feel like you were part of the love story

“I’m from Chicago. I think can handle the Valley.”


What did you think of this story?

Leave your comments below

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

This Raging Light

This Raging LightThis Raging Light by Estelle Laure
on December 22nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
two-half-stars

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

I chose this book on recommendation from my local bookstore. I was told it was extremely popular and that they had ordered thousands of copies in. I hadn’t heard of the book but I loved the cover, so I figured why not.

The only word I can use to describe this read is RANDOM. I was hoping this would be a nice quick/light read, in between series. This was a quick read but it was anything but light. This review is going to be a jumbled mess, because that is how I feel after reading.

Where do I begin…

The main character is Lucille and she has been through a world of pain in her short life. Her Father is in jail for a crime he committed against her Mother, her Mother has fled and left her two daughters to fend for themselves, there isn’t enough money or food and Lucille has to get a job to support her and her 9-year old sister, all while keeping this giant mess a secret. Lucille fears if others find out her and her sister will be separated and placed into foster care. She initially believes her Mother will be back but as time goes on she starts to realise her life and responsibilities are changing rapidly.

It is so wrong for the girls to be left on their own, but I was sincerely rooting for them to succeed. I didn’t want the Mother to come back. She has burnt her bridge, silly selfish woman. This book was just so frustrating. Eden is a terrible best friend, Digby is terrible love interest, the strange person/people who were breaking in to commit acts of kindness was treated as way less creepy than they were and Lucille worked ridiculous hours and dressed beyond her years to try stay afloat. Lucille was a mess – Obviously with good reason – but who wants to read about that. Not me! 

The book just ended so abruptly, that I literally exclaimed ‘What the hell’ out loud after reading. I mean was anything resolved? What happens next? Surely that can’t be how the story ends?

Overall I wouldn’t recommend this book…to anyone.

5


Loves:

  • I really enjoyed that each chapter was a day
    • Some chapters took huge leaps. Day 28 to 49 was a huge leap
  • liked the little sister, she was funny

Dislikes:

  • I like the cover but I do not understand the cover choice, the colours or any of the meaning behind the choices.
  • Why is the book called ‘This Raging Life’
  • The characters have the most Random names
  • The ending…or lack there of
  • Eden has got to be the worst best friend
    • I understand the logic of siding with your twin and worrying about his happiness, but what best friend doesn’t want their bestie to legally become their sister?!
  • Way too much was going on. The novel was way to short to have that much drama!
  • I didn’t like Digby. I really wanted to, he was weird, the dialogue between him and Lucille was cringe worthy and lets not forget he cheats on his long term girlfriend repeatedly.
  • Too predictable
  • I thought it was going to be an ‘All The Bright Places’ change my life and give me all the feels kinda book – NOPE

“Music carries the weight of being human, takes it away so you don’t have to think at all, you just have to listen. Music tells every story there is.”

two-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
half-star
Writing
one-half-stars
Pacing
one-half-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: two-stars

With This Heart

With This HeartWith This Heart by R.S. Grey
Published by Createspace on April 6th 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 318
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
three-half-stars

If someone had told me a year ago that I was about to fall in love, go on an epic road trip, ride a Triceratops, sing on a bar, and lose my virginity, I would have assumed they were on drugs.
Well, that is, until I met Beckham.
Beck was mostly to blame for my recklessness. Gorgeous, clever, undeniably charming Beck barreled into my life as if it were his mission to make sure I never took living for granted. He showed me that there were no boundaries, rules were for the spineless, and a kiss was supposed to happen when I least expected.
Beck was the plot twist that took me by surprise. Two months before I met him, death was knocking at my door. I'd all but given up my last scrap of hope when suddenly, I was given a second chance at life. This time around, I wasn't going to let it slip through my fingers.
We set out on a road trip with nothing to lose and no guarantees of tomorrow.
Our road trip was about young, reckless love.
The kind of love that burns bright.
The kind of love that no road-map could bring me back from.
**Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.**

Sick girl + Mysterious boy = Steamy road trip

This book was not at all what I was expecting. I read the blurb (well the first few sentences…I should have read the entire thing) and thought I was going to get some ‘Fault in Our Stars’ contemporary romance. This book is definitely not that, it is a steamy new adult story, full of explicit scenes!

The cover is beautiful, this is originally what drew me to the book – plus I had read ‘Scoring Wilder’ which I absolutely loved. 

Beck is this quirky, non conforming, sweetheart with a desire to break out of the mold he has built from himself. Abbey is this young, naive, sheltered smart ass that wants to explore the world and live up to the heart she has been given. Together they have this smart-ass, sweet, hormone charged relationship.

“He was a handsome guy in a baseball cap and I was a cynical girl picking out an urn.”


“So you’re a stalker?” I asked with a hard stare.

He smirked, a knees-turning-to jelly kind of smirk. “I prefer gravitationally linked to your presence.”

2


Loves:

  • It is funny
  • The story for the most part felt realistic
  • I liked the character development. You saw Abbey grow in confidence and character throughut the story
  • I really enjoyed Beck’s character. He had this carefree personality and confidence – He didn’t care what others thought about him!
  • I loved the beginning of the book the most. There was element of mystery that each character had more story to tell but they weren’t ready to open up yet. The story didn’t feel rushed and I was just enjoying learning more as the plot unfolded – normally in situations like that, I would want to speed read to get the answers
  • Love the title and the cover!
  • That grand gesture at the end – corny and beautiful 

Dislikes:

  • Originally I had written a note in my phone to say I was impressed that there wasn’t any overplayed cliches and then towards the end of the book it got cheesy and way to predictable. It felt like any other story I had read about a sick girl
  • Abbey’s self consciousness got annoying. Her banter was brilliant, I just kept getting frustrated in her lack of belief in herself
  • I am all for swearing in a book if it adds to the plot or depth of characters, but dropping the ‘C bomb’ is just never going to be acceptable in my books. It is an ugly word that makes me shudder when I hear or read it

I can’t give this book higher than a 3.5 because it just didn’t stand out from any other New Adult story I have read. It’s such a shame because I was loving the first third of the book. I thought it was going to be cool and quirky with something unexpected, but alas, I was wrong. I don’t really know where I envisioned the story going but for once I was really hoping to be surprised. I did enjoy the grand gesture at the end and I was proud of the growth both characters made, but to get a 4 or even a 5 for me you need to leave me feeling something…anything.

1


“Love will make you reckless. It can drag out parts of you that common sense and fear usually keep hidden away. Because love is selfless and selfish.”

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Series: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on February 21st 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 359
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Ari...

The unfiltered thoughts, feelings, wonderings and ramblings as I read ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’


This is a beautiful coming of age story that follows Dante and Aristotle, two friends on the path of discovery who they really are.


  • How amazing is this cover?
  • I love an underdog story and Aristotle sounds like an underdog
    • I think this is of his own choosing though, but never the less I am rooting for him
  • Enter Dante
  • I love that Dante is obsessed with his parents, how many 15 year old boys would ever admit this or feel this way about their parents
    • My brother is 15 and he just hangs out in his room and grunting is his form of communication
  • The relationship between Dante and his father actually had me laughing out loud. He called him a wise ass and then sat in his chair, brilliant!
  • Dante comes across like an old soul, while Aristotle seems to have lost all faith in the world and is happy to just be invisible and alone, or so he wants us to think
  • Okay seriously Dante is funny, like laugh out loud funny
  • Insrutable
    • Even I needed to look this one up, if I had been patient I would have got to the page where it was defined

      ‘Boys die of boredom while reading poetry’

  • Dante has TBR desk!
    • I need one of these
    • No wait, I lie. It would just become this messy ever growing pile 
  • I need a word journal
    • I want a little book I can write words I find when reading and sentences that stand out
    • I encourage my students to keep one of these, yet I don’t keep one myself, terribly modelling!
    • I am going to get one this week
  • Oh Dante is getting cuter and cuter
    • I hope when I have kids, their friends bring over gift for me…in the form of book mwahahahaha
  • I wonder how it would feel to be Aristotle. His friend has come over and won his dad over receiving 2 smiles. He has made more of connection with his father in the 2 minutes he has met him that what Aristotle leads us believes to be their relationship is
  • Is this a LGBT book?
    • I am getting the vibes it is, I have not even read the synopsis. I just judged it on cover alone. Naughty! Naughty! 

      ‘I knew that he would never grow up and say stupid things like, a girl is like a tree’

  • I like the idea of adopting other cultures. Imagine a world where we take the best part of each culture and don’t use just one culture to define our identify, but we use a bunch to define who we are a positive citizens
  • Oh what a life you could lead if you had one parent as your complete and utter ally
    • Dante your dad is the best! 
  • a 15 year old boy to care that deeply for an animal is amazing. Some would say it was just a bird! We need more Dante’s in the world

    ‘I felt alone, not in a bad way. I really liked being alone’

  • Dante is able to see right through Ari’s facade, I like that
  • Ari seems content to be sad and lonely, even though he claims not to be sad all the time. Yet his is jealous of Dante’s self assured attitude
  • I wonder if Ari’s brother would accept Dante
    • I hope so
    • Ooooh and his family…I am getting nervous 
  • I am 8 years older than my sister and 10 years older then my brother, I could never look at them and think that they were born a “little too late”

    ‘When do we start feeling like the world belongs to us?’

  • Someday…
  • I wonder why Ari’s brother is in prison – it must be bad if no one talks about it
  • Dante is a giant marshmallow
  • I like the dialogue, it sounds like good hearty banter
  • There is a lot of swearing. I was hoping I could recommend this one for my school library…nope

    ‘I wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand’

  • Why is Aristotle so dark and cruel inside? What has made him this way?
  • Oooooh Ileana you just showed so much kindness. I love people like you. Just because someone gives off an ‘I don’t care’ attitude doesn’t mean they don’t need peoples kindness and compassion from time to time
  • I love how it can go from silly banter to the deep inner thoughts of Ari. The way the story twists and turns is very fluid. Light moments bleed into the the darker ones.
  • Just googled the ‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hooper painting
  • Ari why must you be so difficult? Dante is a friend, write him back!
  • Oh more paintings to google
  • There was no excitement for that kiss
  • I think that Gina might like him, or she knows he’s gay and is trying to let him see he isn’t alone, that he has a friend in her
  • Well that all happened very quickly – she kissed him, has a boyfriend, drops out of school, gets married because she is pregnant. Silly girl, I liked you!
  • The worlds most casual kisser…bah, if only – someone always catches feelings
  • I love Gina and Suzie, seriously such amazing friends
  • I want to drive to the desert and lay in the bed of a truck stargazing – add to bucket list
  • Ari, Ari, Ari – why do you fail to see how many people in your life love you?
  • Dante, I feel for you. Unrequited love is awful, but unrequited love with your best friend is the worst kind.

‘Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere’

  • Ari stop being a dickhead!
  • I feel like Ari’s relationship with his father has improved astronomically since the start of the book
  • Oh the feelings! Warm fuzzies
  • Now I am mad. I truly don’t understand why men/boys feel the need to beat up someone when they discover they are gay. I just don’t understand what their purpose is or what they are trying to gain from it. If you do this, you are a monster. It absolutely breaks my heart that people have to suffer such ignorance.
  • TEARS
  • Dante is always confessing secrets and is always sad after his revelations
  • Oooooooooh I could just gobble up this ending!

Gay 1

I had no idea when I originally picked this up that it was an LBGT book. I was pleasantly surprised. What a beautifully written well crafted story. Being a teacher, I kept thinking about how amazing this book would be to give to my students who are struggling with finding their own identity. It has such powerful messages of acceptance, love, forgiveness, diversity and honesty.

It is something I would definitely by for my classroom if my students were just a year or 2 older. Because it has quite a large amount of swearing and talks of masturbation, it would probably upset a few of my parents. Nevertheless it was written in a way that I couldn’t put it down. The chapters were nice and short, there was no part of the book that I felt was unessesary. Every aspect was crucial to the development of Aristole and Dante.

Lets be real, I could use an Aristotle and a Dante for a friend.

I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I gasped and I booed. Just brilliant!

Well played Benjamin Alire Sáenz.


“I renamed myself Ari.

If I switched the letter, my name was Air.

I thought it might be a great thing to be the air.

I could be something and nothing at the same time. I could be necessary and also invisible. Everyone would need me and no one would be able to see me.”


 

Side note: I just discovered there is going to be a sequel *runs around screaming*

four-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
four-half-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Nowhere But Here

Nowhere But Hereby Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen Genres: Contemporary
Format: E-Book

 

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Thunder Road #1

Platform: Audiobook

Voice Actors: Marguerite Gavin & Sean Pratt

Overall Rating: four-stars

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Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


Character:

  • Emily
    • 17 year old, innocent, overprotected by everyone in her life and grown up in a world that consisted of fears.
    • I liked Emily. I thought her character was funny, strong when necessary and the growth and changes she made throughout the story were paced well.
  • Oz
    • 18 year old, desperately wants to be patched into the Reign of Terror and work for the family business.
    • Love that with all his rough exterior and stigma of being in a biker gang, that he had a love of working with special needs children
    • I like the way he looks – in my imagination
  • Emily’s Mother – Meg
    • Probably my least favourite character
    • She was annoying, full of fear and overbearing
    • I understand why her character was written this way, but the fact that I loved Emily’s Stepfather a whole lot more than her mother says a lot.
  • Emily’s Stepfather – Jeff
    • The best stepfather a daughter could ask for!
    • I love how all of Emily’s fear of being curious about Eli stems from not wanting to hurt the man that ‘chose’ to love her
    • He was
  • Emily’s biological father – Eli Mckinley 
    • He tried so hard to be a good father!
    • I adored this character, he put up with so for his family and always had Emily’s best interests at heart
    • Anyone would be lucky to have him for a father
  • Emily’s grandmother – Olivia Mckinley
    • Oh man that first scene at the wake – Brilliant!
    • Loved her crass language and the way she always spoke her mind
    • I loved that she was trying to give hints to Emily, but I do wish she had just sped it up by spilling – I don’t think anyone would have been mad at her, given the circumstances.

Loves:

  • The Cover
    • It will look great in my library
  • The chemistry and tension was so well written there was no need to bring sex into the story
  • The push and pull between Emily and Oz
  • Sean Pratt’s voice acting of Oz was outstanding
    • That southern accent
  • Olivia has a Grandmother was so crass and hilarious – I loved it!

Dislikes:

  • The club was all about being a family, love and respecting one another and yet the women were not treated equally. This seemed like a rather large hole in what the author was trying to achieve
  • Not telling Emily the truth took far too long, I got sick of the back of forth between Oz, Olivia (Grandmother) and
  • Marguerite Gavin’s voice often sounded robotic and didn’t do the Emily that they story had developed justice. She didn’t sound sweet, 17 or authentic.
  • Emily why were you so blind/dumb throughout the 1st half of the book. You saw and heard tons of evidence to disprove your Mother’s story and still you did not believe. Annoying!

Ramblings:

  • I really thought the next book in the series was going to focus on Violet and Chevy. Razor’s will be a great story, hopefully Violet and Chevy is still to come.
  • View Spoiler »

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Photo Credit

Kendall Jenner // French Model // Cover Images