Jun 9, 2015

Review | I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Let me start by saying, I liked it. But I didn't love it like so many did. I think part of the reason why is because I did listen to it instead of reading a physical copy, and that sort of pulled some of the magical feels I think I would've gotten instead. For some reason, I don't want to make this review too long either, so let me get straight to it.

I'll Give You the Sun is a powerful story about a twin brother and sister. It is set in two different timelines, Noah telling the 13 year old version, and Jude narrating years later at the age of 16. Many things happen to both of them, both that could've been prevented and that couldn't have, which causes their strong friendship and bond to break. It was kind of weird to read both perspectives because I felt that the younger version was moving too slowly and I wanted to know how they got to their present situation.

I liked both Jude and Noah, but found them both a little peculiar and wasn't sure how to grasp their realities. Noah sees everything like art, while Jude talks to her dead grandmother. They both adore each other immensely so it was kind of heartbreaking to see their friendship falter for so long. I am not sure how I felt about the writing, other than I did feel that the story sort of dragged on. 12 hours (almost 13) was a long time when I felt it could've been told in about 7 or 8 hours instead. From others I've read that the Chapters were extremely long, which I didn't really notice since, again, I was listening to it.

Yes, I enjoyed it. No, it didn't make me feel the way most people felt. I would recommend it but I would say warn you that it may not live up to the hype. Or maybe for everyone else, it does.

Take a Listen:

Jun 8, 2015

Review | How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Title: How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: October 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

Thoughts:This is a book that sat on my shelf for years. I don't really remember what it was that made me want  to read it but I've been meaning to get to it forever. When I picked it up, I had no idea what it was about anymore. So How to Say Goodbye in Robot really caught me by surprise, because I had no idea what to to really expect from it. Not sure how I even feel about it now, really, because it was so...different than anything else I've read.

Bea and Jonah are a pair of outsiders, basically. Bea is new and has the opportunity to befriend a couple girls but instead becomes friends with Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, who doesn't have any friends. I'm not sure if I liked either of them, but I liked seeing them develop and their friendship develop, although it felt so weird most of the time. I think I might be too used to every other book where the relationship eventually turns into something romantic, but Bea and Jonah's relationship never really does. They care for each other, very much so, and sort of depend on each other more than the other cares to admit. But romance? Nope, not really.

The other characters, parents and...others, were all extremely unique but also not exactly likable. It's also a little rare, I think, to see parents thrown into such negative light as both Bea and Jonah's parents were, both for very different and somewhat disturbing reasons. It did add to the uniqueness of the story though, which led to a somewhat confusing and somewhat surprising conclusion.

Standiford's characters and plot were unique, but her writing didn't really stand out to me in any particular way. I'm not sure if she's written anything else since the release of this one, and I'm not sure if I would be willing to pick up another book of hers. I wasn't really sure what to rate this book, so I gave it an average 3 stars. Mostly because it was unique, because it has a surprising ending and, just because. I don't not recommend it, but I also don't recommend it either. Again, not really sure how I felt about this one, other than relieved that I finally read it after so many years of having it on my bookshelf ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jun 4, 2015

Review | The Distance Between Us by Katie West

My twelve year old cousin let me borrow this one and after letting it sit on my shelf for a few months, I decided to pick it up. It was exactly what I needed to get me out of the reading slump I was in. Light, fluffy, funny, and with just the right kind of romance that had my giggling in class (seriously!) I got through The Distance Between Us quicker than I have gotten through any book in such a long time! It was the perfect contemporary romance .

The characters and the plot have been done a million times over: A poor sarcastic girl who doesn't trust rich people but falls for the rich, handsome guy because he turns out to be a really nice guy despite what she's believed all her life. We've all read that one before right? West was able to offer a few unique qualities to each character, to the story and how it all wrapped up nicely, which made it not completely predictable. This is was exactly was I was hoping for when I opened up the book and I was glad to not be disappointed from beginning to end.

The Distance Between Us is pretty much a perfect book to read right now that summer is finally here (at least for us SoCal residents) and definitely an amusing and fun read that will have you hooked. Caymen and Xander are the perfect set of characters to develop and it was fun getting to know them, along with the best friends and parents that didn't disappear once the romance begins. It has the right amount of drama and cutesy scenes to make any contemporary lover swoon even a little bit. So if you love sweet romance and happy endings, The Distance Between Us is definitely for you.
“Note to self: Caymen is very good at sarcasm.”

“If you’re recording notes for an official record, I’d like the word ‘very’ stricken and replaced with ‘exceptionally’.”