Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin

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Book Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published Date: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Mystery
Series: Book One in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. 
She’s wrong.

Disclaimer: This book was a gift.

Review:
Holy, freaking, crap. So. So. So GOOD!

I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. I was sure I was going to love it. Right off the bat, I was hooked. It started with a letter by Mara and then we dove into her life, both before the incident and after the incident. It was a book that kept me guessing all the way through. I never knew what to expect every single page.

Noah, holy crap he was adorable and hot. He was nothing like he was originally portrayed. He was sweet, kind, swoony and he deeply cared about Mara. I was worried that he was going to be an asshole, especially once he found out what she was hiding. I didn’t want to stop adoring him, and I hoped that it wouldn’t come to that.

Mara’s family was great. I loved that she had a close knit family that seemed to actually care about each other and be reasonably normal. So often in YA books we get dysfunctional families and while that’s not a big problem for me, it’s nice to read about families who have stuck together and whose parents are still married.

There are so many things that I want to talk about, but they are spoilery things and while this book has been out for awhile, I still don’t want to talk spoilery things for this book. So this book was awesome and everyone needs to read it. It was a bit slow in some parts, and that’s the only reason I’m giving it 4.5 stars.

Review: Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor

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Book Title: Better Than Perfect
Author: Melissa Kantor
Published Date: February 17th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

Disclaimer: I got this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I was excited to read this book because like Juliet, I was a high achiever and I had a plan at her age. A plan that I had no desire to deviate from. But that was where our similarities ended. She was overly clingy with her boyfriend, Jason, to the point that she wasn’t sure how she was going to live without him for two whole weeks while he and his family went on vacation. 

Yes, seriously, two weeks. C’mon Juliet, I think you can handle being apart for two weeks.

I wanted to have sympathy for her mom, I really did because my own mom battled depression in the past and it was hard for me to watch. But it was hard for me to have sympathy for the woman just because her husband left. I mean, get over it and move on. Making Juliet care for her was unfair as well. Juliet had her own stuff going on, and now she had to be the adult and get her mom to shower and eat.

I didn’t care for either of her parents. It felt like she had no control over her life, and that they influenced her decisions a lot more than they should have. If she really wanted to go to Harvard, she would have, but instead she begins to realize that she needs to live her own life, whatever that means to her. I would even make the argument that the only reason she worked so hard to get to Harvard was because of her parents. Not something she wanted, but something her parents wanted and she wanted their love. She was afraid that their love was conditional on her going to Harvard.
The whole Declan thing was weird. I don’t love cheating in books, but I don’t abhor it like I used to. I didn’t like Declan, but that may have been because I didn’t like Juliet either. She was so different than me in a lot of ways, and her silence on so many things drove me crazy. Her parents were so big on “don’t make a scene” that Juliet was quiet, obedient and just a very boring, one dimensional character.
This book was very slow moving and it felt like I could skip a chunk of this book and still not miss much. It’s not often that I enjoy books that are slow moving and this one was no exception.
I was excited to read this book because I loved Melissa Kantor’s previous book, Maybe One Day, but this book was such a disappointment to me. I didn’t like any of the characters and I was bored while I was reading it. So unfortunately, I have to give this book 2 stars. I would not recommend this book mostly because of the slow pace and unlikeable characters.

Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

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Book Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Published Date: February 17th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I really should have listened to my inner voice before downloading this book. I mean really, this book had EVERYTHING that I despise in books and yet, for some crazy reason, I decided to read it. Not a smart decision at all. There was a lot of religion in this book which I normally try to stay away from.

Not only did religion play a huge part in this book, but there was an astonishing amount of victim blaming in this book. I spent the entire book furious at these teenagers who were bullying Hallie. Not only were they bullying her, but there were rumors spreading around the school, and of course there was a boy, the preacher’s son who was the Golden Boy in the community.

He couldn’t do anything wrong and everything that happened that night was all Hallie’s fault. It didn’t matter that she said no. It didn’t matter that she resisted him. All that mattered was what people saw when the bedroom door opened that night. What did these kids see, you ask? They saw Hallie on top of him and he making a big show out of refusing her and pushing her away.

Of course she was the one that was punished. This was a load of sexiest bullshit. I was furious beyond belief. They even told her she couldn’t attend youth group for awhile because she was a bad influence! But of course the boy got a pass, for one reason, and one reason only, he’s a boy.

Hallie was the complete opposite of me. Instead of standing up for herself, she didn’t defend herself at all. You better believe if this happened to me when I was a teenager, I would not shut up about it. I would defend myself loudly from the beginning. However Hallie didn’t stand up to Luke until the end of this book, and that did not sit well with me at all.

I had really high hopes for this book, but I was livid throughout the majority of it and was so happy when the book was over. It was just not a book for me. There were bad messages throughout the whole thing and I didn’t like any of the characters. I’m giving this book 2 stars and I would not recommend this book to anyone.

Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

5
Book Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes
Author: Jasmine Warga
Published Date: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner. 

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I have had issues with other books that were very similar to this one, so I was worried that this one would also be a disappointment to me. What I wasn’t expecting was to fall in love with Aysel and Roman so completely. Flawed characters are my jam and these two are so flawed, yet so human, it was easy to fall in love with them.

I actually liked Roman a lot, maybe even more than I liked Aysel. Roman had his own guilt to deal with. He blames himself for the death of his younger sister, even though his parents don’t blame him, and in fact they love him fiercely. I was angry with him that he wanted to commit suicide when he had two loving parents who had already been through the hell of losing their youngest. I understood his thought process, but I was still angry with him.

Now Aysel has her own demons. Her father committed an unspeakable act in their small town. Now he’s locked away and she has pushed everyone away and no one will even look at her. Not even her own mother. I felt horrible for Aysel because what she really needed was a mom who could tell something wasn’t right and who would reassure her that she was not like her father. Being like her father was Aysel’s biggest fear, and I totally understood that feeling. I just wished she had someone to talk to about it.

They become suicide partners thanks to a website, and over the next few weeks they plan how they are going to do it. Where they will do it becomes most important because Roman has a specific, non-negotiable date in mind. April 7th is to be the day they do it.

But what neither of them expects is the thing that happens. They slowly begin to fall for each other as they spend more and more time together. He lets her in emotionally a lot sooner than she lets him in emotionally, but eventually, she too allows him in. This book that starts out feeling like “just another suicide book” turns into something beautiful and full of hope. 

I wasn’t expecting to have the feels at all in the book, but then they kinda came out of nowhere and before I knew it I was sobbing into my Kindle. This book was a beautiful book with interesting characters that I cared deeply about, and that was missing from the two previous “suicide books” that I had read.

This book surprised me in the best possible way and I think everyone needs to read this book. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, but I’m thrilled I read it and I want everyone else to read this gorgeous book. 5 stars to this book and I cannot wait to see what’s next for this author.

Review: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

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Book Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Published Date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Book 1 in Snow Like Ashes trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:

“Even the strongest blizzard starts with a single snowflake.”

Oh my goodness, why didn’t I read this book sooner? I really should have read it months ago, but I wasn’t really feeling the Fantasy genre, so I was holding off until I was ready for it. I really wanted to love this book because the cover is gorgeous, and I wanted the insides to match the gorgeousness of the outside.

I was not disappointed. At. All.

Meira was a total bad ass and I loved her as a character. She was well rounded and so awesome. I loved her relationships with Sir and Mather especially. They were both protective of her, possibly too protective. They refused to allow her to fight in battle, or to do anything physical like that. Meira and Mather have an undeniable connection from the beginning and for the first 125 pages, I adored Mather, and I wanted Mather for my own.

Until we met Prince Theron. Sa-woon!

He was hot, and quickly turned into my favorite guy in the entire story. There was much more to him and why Meira was meeting him, than initially met the eye. Meira seemed to warm to him pretty quickly, which surprised me big time. I didn’t expect the connection to be what it was, so I was pleasantly surprised when truths were revealed. 

“We have all the time you desire, Meira. I will not rush you.”

Holy hell, he’s totally swoony and I love that about him. He’s more than just a prince. He’s got a good heart, and he’s essentially trapped in Cordell, forced to do what his father, King Noam, demands.

“Don’t you want more than this?”
“Every day of my life.”

It was sad because Theron wanted so much more than to be king. He wanted to explore his artsy side. His artistic abilities included poetry and painting, but as future king, he was unable to explore that side of him.

On the other side of the triangle, we had Mather, who was also struggling with everything. He was in love with Meira, but according to Sir, Winter had to come first. Before his own happiness, even. That was rough on both Meira and Mather. They were attracted to each other, but nothing could happen between them.

King Noam was a complex character and I was never sure what he wanted or who, if anyone, he was loyal to. Watching him was fascinating because I never knew what to expect.

The world was described so vividly that I could see it as I read it. That excites me. Being able to visualize what I’m reading about makes a book even better in my eyes. I was worried that this world wouldn’t be described well, but I am so glad I didn’t need to worry. It was beautifully & clearly described.

Oh, and I want a chakram

There are so many other things I want to talk about, but I cannot mention it. It’s too spoilery and I don’t want to ruin it for others. Yes, you definitely need to read this glorious fantasy novel. I loved it, and will happily give it 5 stars.

Review: When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

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Book Title: When Reason Breaks
Author: Cindy L. Rodriguez
Published Date: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
In high school I loved Emily Dickinson’s poetry so when I saw that this book had an Emily Dickinson connection, I knew I had to get it. Plus, look at that cover you guys. I mean, really pretty cover. We all know how much of a sucker I am for pretty covers. Books like this tend to be a hit or miss for me, so to say I was nervous is a bit of an understatement.

The book is a very slow moving book, and to be honest, I did get bored sometimes. I wanted some feelsy moments, but those did not arrive until the end of the book. In fact, the end of the book was beautiful & hopeful, which made me happy.

The girls are very different from each other. Emily’s family is “perfect” Her dad is a politician, which of course means no one is allowed to make a mistake or else he could lose supporters. He has someone monitoring his childrens’ activity on social media. Emily begins a secret relationship with a boy, Kevin. In doing so, she begins to neglect her friends. Abby and Sarah, and that infuriated me. I hate when friends essentially dump you because they have a boyfriend. I also felt badly for Kevin because he had to sneak around to see Emily, which I would not have been okay with, no matter what the reason.

Now, I really liked Elizabeth. She had more of a firey personality which jived with my own personality. Her father had left the family not long before, and her mother had sunk into a deep depression over this. I felt sympathy for Elizabeth, as she had to be mother and father and big sister to her younger sister, Lily. Elizabeth is still so angry at her father for walking out on her, her mother and her sister, and she’s struggling hard to handle it on her own.

This book didn’t totally win me over until the end of it. I loved the ending, it made me feel all the feels, and cry all the tears. I do think people need to read this book. I do think it’s important to stay connected to others like Ms. Davis did throughout this book. I am giving this book 4 stars and I would definitely recommend it.

Cover Reveal: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

BOOK DETAILS:
Published by: Atria Books  
384 pages 
 ISBN: 9781476786421
 On sale: April 28, 2015 
 List price: $15.00 
 eBook ISBN: 9781476786438 
 eBook list price: $5.99
Pre- Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionIndieBound (US)
AmazoniTunesGoogle (AUS)

Synopsis
It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

Excerpt
April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.
Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.
Connect with the author:

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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Book Title: I’ll Meet You There 
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publish Date: February 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. 

Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I didn’t know what to expect with this book. I’d heard from trusted bloggers that it was a beautiful book, chock full of feels. I was definitely excited to be approved for this book, but I was also a bit nervous. It was getting some major early buzz among my fellow bloggers and I could only hope that I wouldn’t be the black sheep for this book.

I absolutely love damaged characters. I know that may sound weird, but reading about flawed characters makes me happy because no one is perfect. Everyone has a flaw or an imperfection and having characters in books that are flawed is so, SO much more realistic.
I really liked Skylar a lot. She was so determined to make something of herself. She wanted to get out of the life she currently had. She was also extremely close to her mother which I totally understood as my mom and I have always been very close. So, I understood her instinct to protect her mom and try to get her mom back to the land of the living again when she lost her job. I understood Skylar’s fear of leaving her mom the way she was. It was really hard to read sometimes, but I had fallen in love with this story.

“I hate to break it to you, but your mom is an adult woman. How many times are you just gonna drop everything when she loses her shit?”

I understood this feeling as well. I kept hoping that Skylar wouldn’t allow her mother’s downward spiral to affect her. I was so afraid that Skylar would forget all about her own dreams and stay in Creek View. Skylar had put so much pressure on herself that she had lost some of herself as well.

Yet there was still one thing that hadn’t let her down. Pools. She loved to swim or even to just be in the water in some capacity. Swimming brought her peace, even if everything in the world was crashing down around her.

“Pools didn’t get you pregnant, and they didn’t die on you.Who needed anything more?”
Now, Josh Mitchell was hot. Normally I don’t go for military types, but there was more to him than just the military. Yes, he had a bit of a colorful past in Creek View. Before he joined the military, he’d had a bit of a promiscuous past.

“Yes Josh, everyone in Creek View is well aware of your sexcapades.”

When he returned from the military, missing a leg, he was different. He was hurting both physically and emotionally. He and Skylar had known each other for a long time, but it wasn’t until this summer that they begin working together at the quirky motel by the name of Paradise.

It was their trips to Dairy Queen that really sealed it for me. I could feel things changing between them and I remember hoping that Skylar’s growing feelings for Josh would not change her college plans. I had seen too many girls change their plans for a guy and that made me nervous. I loved the outrageous combinations they came up with. Josh’s was pineapple & Snickers and Skylar’s was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mint. That definitely added to the quirky-ness of this book.

“I’m fucking crazy about you!”

I loved the ending so much. I think I cried a small river by the time the book was over, and I was definitely sad when the book ended. Demetrios rocked this story and I’m excited to read her other books. I’m giving this book 4.5 stars. I wish I could give it the full 5 stars, and I’m honestly not sure why I can’t. Everyone needs to read this book.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

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Book Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Published Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA SciFi
Series: Book 1 in Firebird trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
“The Firebirds allow me to travel through dimensions, but not through time.”

That quote above is a very clear and concise description of the Firebird and reading that was very helpful to me. So many science fiction books don’t explain things well, or if they do explain them, the explanation is overly complex and makes it hard to follow. Gray was able to boil it down to the basics which was great to see and it helped me enjoy the book more because I understood what was going on.
I was worried that this book wouldn’t work for me. I love parallel universe stories, but the cover of this book was so stunning, I was afraid that the book wouldn’t match the gorgeous cover. I am so glad to say that I was wrong, and really wrong. 
A Thousand Pieces of You is slow in the beginning and normally that would bother me a lot, but I stuck with it because I wanted to give this book some time to really hook me. Right around page 60, it really began to pick up and from that point on I was fascinated by the world, or rather, worlds that Gray had created in this story.
I don’t know which boy to trust at this point. I don’t like Theo all that much and I do like Paul. I’m just not sure if I like him with Marguerite. Marguerite is a bad ass on her own and I do think she’s in love with Paul and that he is in love with her as well. I’m just not sure if the book really needed the romance or if it would have been stronger without it.
“I fell in love with one Paul. I fell in love with his unchanging soul. Does that mean I fell in love with every Paul, everywhere?”
I do think Paul has goodness in his heart, but I think Marguerite is conflicted due to the things that happen throughout the book. Things that she can’t answer. Questions that plague her mind every single day. She begins to question what actually happened to her father. She begins to second guess everything that everyone is telling her, in every dimension.
A Thousand Pieces of You is a wild ride that will take readers on an adventure through multiple universes. I really enjoyed this one and I cannot wait to see where it goes next. 4 stars to this captivating book with captivating characters. I would completely recommend this book to lovers of science fiction.

Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

3
Book Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Published Date: January 6th, 2015
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I was so, so excited for this book. I loved the synopsis and was so confident that this book would be a new favorite of mine. I hate to admit it, but I was wrong. I think I was hit by the hype-monster and unfortunately this book didn’t work for me.

I love well developed and interesting characters, but neither Violet or Finch was very interesting to me. I didn’t care for either of them all that much. They weren’t awful characters necessarily, but they definitely should have been developed more extensively. To me, it didn’t feel like the author took the time to delve into their characters. We know them on one level, but I truly feel like every character could be like an onion and if developed well, the readers can see that as they are reading.

Normally I don’t mind dual POVs, but in this case, they didn’t work for me. I couldn’t differentiate the different characters. Both Violet & Finch’s voices sounded very similar, which really bugged me. To do a dual POV well, the characters voices have to be different and they cannot sound the same or else it doesn’t seem realistic.

Now, I did enjoy the writing. It was very pretty, and the writing was the main reason I even stuck with the book. I don’t know how to describe the writing. Saying it was pretty doesn’t seem like enough. 

 I was hoping the book would improve for me and I’d fall in love with it like everyone else has.It kills me to say that I didn’t enjoy this book, but I didn’t. In a book like this, characters are so important and when they aren’t developed well, that generally ruins a book for me. Unfortunately, I have to give this book 2 stars. It just wasn’t for me. Lots of other people have loved it, so I would still recommend it. Maybe you will love it.