Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers


Jan 11

Review * The Sun Is Also a Star

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review * The Sun Is Also a StarThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on November 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

What I Thought…

• OMG! THIS BOOK! So many feels!

• I’m honestly not even sure where to begin. I feel like this book turned my brain into complete mush and I am having a hard time having coherent thoughts. There is just so much to talk about and it’s all amazing.

• Natasha and Daniel were amazing. Natasha is an illegal Jamaican immigrant and while Daniel was born in America, his parents were not. They were modeled after the author’s own relationship which is all kinds of awesome. I loved learning a little bits of information about the Jamaican and Korean cultures, and how they are the same/different here in America. Their families came here for different reasons in different manners and that really shaped the lives of their children.

• At first I wasn’t too sure about the style it was written in. Natasha and Daniel are the two main characters but throughout The Sun Is Also a Star there are other POV’s and little tidbits of information relevant to the story woven through the story. These parts really came to grow on me, especially the informational ones. We learn about the theory behind eyes, and how it came to be that African-American hair care stores tended to be owned by Koreans. It was all so fascinating!

• There is a lot of discussion in The Sun Is Also a Star over destiny/fate and science. I know that I fall somewhere in the middle of both and I loved that Natasha was full of the science of things and Daniel was full of “meant to be”. It was a good mix and I enjoyed how they shifted a little bit in how they feel about things.

• I think my favorite part of the story was how everything was woven in and you see how their chance meeting affected others lives and how those lives affected them. The intertwining was so smooth and really hits home how one small thing can make a difference in the life of someone else.

• Both Natasha and Daniel have someone in their family who is less than awesome. For me, Daniel’s brother was THE WORST. Ugh.

• I also liked how Yoon gave us a little snippet of the futures of not just Natasha and Daniel but also some of the other lives in the story. I really liked the ending, even though I wanted to punch a certain person in the face for his actions because things could have turned out differently, but then again, I think that ending would have been too cheesy for me and this one was better.

Overall if you haven’t read The Sun Is Also a Star yet run to the bookstore pick it up and read it now. It was AMAZING!

Kimberly


Jan 02

Review * Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Reviews 3 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren MorrillBeing Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on January 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

What I Thought…

  • If you like The Parent Trap, Being Sloane Jacobs is for you. It’s super cute and fun and adorable.
  • I was worried that I would get Sloane Devon and Sloane Emily mixed up as they share the same name, however Morrill does such a wonderful job with the dual narration. Both Sloane’s have such different voices that it was easy to tell them apart (plus one was at hockey camp, one was at ice skating camp).
  • Sloane D and Sloane E run into each other (literally) in a hotel in Canada while they are staying before heading to camp the next day. Sloane D (hockey player) is having a hard time playing and living up to the expectations that she is a hero while Sloane E (ice skater) isn’t sure she wants to return to ice skating after her collapse due to a sensitive family issue. Neither Sloane wants to deal with what’s going on in their life so switching sounds like a great idea.
  • The Cutting Edge is one of my favorite movies of all time. If you haven’t seen it – run, go now! It’s about a concussion riddled hockey player that can’t play hockey so he starts figure skating. It’s amazing. Watching Sloane D go from hockey player to figure skater was that kind of awesome. Watching Sloane E go from figure skater to hockey player was even more awesome.
  • I absolutely loved how both Sloane’s came into their own by pretending to be each other. Both Sloane’s had family and personal issues that they were running away from and stepping into someone else’s shoes helped them learn about themselves and find who they really are.
  • The boys for Sloane E and Sloane D are cute and fun, but romance isn’t at the top of the list in Being Sloane Jacobs. There were a couple of really cute moments between Sloane E and her boy of choice.
  • The ending was the wrapped up in a bow kind, but fit the story perfectly so no complaints!

Kimberly


Dec 03

Review * Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Review * Meant to Be by Lauren MorrillMeant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on November 13, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

What I Thought…

  • Everyone was right, this is a cute book!
  • I absolutely adored Julia. First of she is a total book nerd! She knows the value of carrying books around at all times (Side note: I’m writing this review right now, instead of reading, because I forgot my ereader at home and I don’t have any books in my car so I am completely bookless. Fail). She shows the proper love and care for books and bookstores make her swoon. She takes notes in books. She likes to organize. She follows the rules. A lot of the things she did and ways she behaved reminded me of me back in the day.
  • I also loved Julia’s voice. She was funny and insecure and smart all rolled into one. The perfect combination.
  • There were a couple of small surprises here and there but for the most part it was fairly predictable but in cute books like this I really don’t mind. In fact in all books I pretty like knowing the end game of who is going to end up with whom. It’s the how they get there that is fun for me.
  • I loved the adventure they had going around London. Someday I will go here.
  • The nickname “Book Licker” is not ever ok. It drove me absolutely nuts that this was what Jason called Julia.
  • Jason was pretty hit or miss for me. There were sometimes where he was just so sweet and cute and others were I pretty much just wanted to slap him. It’s my personal opinion that he was a little too mean. I’m just not sure I could like a guy who could be that mean.
  • Meant To Be has the cutest chapter titles!
  • There were a couple of other logistical things about the kids being in London that kind of bothered me. There was only one teacher for 20 kids, so not gonna happen. Kids allowed to wander off in pairs throughout London, not gonna happen either. But since Meant To Be is so cute I can easily forgive.

Notable Quotes

“There’s a difference between preferring books to parties and preferring sixteen cats to seeing the light of day.”

“I have my own e-reader, but I hardly ever use it. I need to fold down pages and flag passages with sticky notes. I need to experience books, not just read them. I never go anywhere without a book in my bag, and to travel across the ocean, I’d packed more than my fair share.”

“Why does every1 think a girl who prefers bks to ppl must be in want of a life? –J”

“I don’t use airplane bathrooms. As a rule. And I really don’t like breaking rules. (It’s kind of one of my rules.) I mean, if I’m going to plummet to my death, it’s not going to be with my pants around my ankles.”

* I debated for a long time between 3 and 4 stars because  I just couldn’t stand the Book Licker nickname, but ultimately Julia’s book nerdiness won over and I went with 4!

Kimberly


Aug 20

Review * The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Reviews 14 ★★

Review * The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on October 6, 2009
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is empty.

But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas' arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up- the first girl ever to arrive at the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home... wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable.

And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers- if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

What I Thought…

  • First Impression: Not impressed.
  • The Maze Runner is not awful.  I did finish it, and I read it fairly quickly.  The plot is different, and there are some sci-fi elements to it.
  • Thomas was an ok character, but I didn’t really connect with him at all.  Part of that could be attributed to the fact that he didn’t have a past.  I’m not really sure.  Minho was my favorite character.  He was a little bit crazy but had a pretty level head.  He was also a little underhanded and I liked that.  I think I would have liked Teresa if there would have been a little more of her in the book.
  • The best part of the book for me was the how the boys interacted with each and formed their society and how they dealt with everything that cropped up.  For being a bunch of teenage boys they were a pretty well run society, they had many problems but had an organizational system in place.  They all went about their business and did their jobs just like in a traditional society.
  • One thing I didn’t like was that they had all these made up words (usually used in place of traditional cuss words) and it just felt unnecessary to throw that into the mix of the confusing plot line. Though by the end of the book I was reading them in my head as the cuss words that I believe they replaced.
  • The biggest downside to The Maze Runner was that I had no idea wtf was going on throughout most of the book.  200 pages in and I was still seriously confused, and not in a good way.  I don’t mind books being mysterious, if I’m reading a murder mystery I don’t want to know who did it in the first couple of chapters, but I don’t like to be confused at what’s going on.  Does that makes sense?
  • The Maze Runner started to get more exciting a little after page 200 and I held out hope that all would be well at the end.  Now I know that it’s part of a trilogy, so I didn’t expect a perfect happily ever after ending, but at the end of the book I was still left with all the same questions that I had throughout the book AND there is another question posed at the end.  So at the end I am still confused!  The answers that are given are such non answers that it drove me nuts!
  • I still don’t know if I want to finish the series.  Part of me wants to because I want the answers!  The other part of me doesn’t want to because I don’t want to waste my time reading a book when there might not be any answers.

Overall… I just don’t know.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been this unsettled over a book.  I didn’t like it, but I didn’t not like it either.

Kimberly