Tag Archives: 13+

All the Bright Places


ATBP coverHey Guys,

So today I will be reviewing All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This book was one that I saw on the shelves at Waterstones and thought that it looked like a fun read! Also, according to Goodreads and numerous news sites, it is set to become a film in 2017! Such an amazing book so let’s hope the movie reflects that. Now let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Date Published: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Overall Rating:

4.5 star

Blurb:

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.

My Review:

All The Bright Places is a captivating novel written by an up-and-coming author and describes how a simple rally of events can drastically alter the future of anyone. This story in particular follows the tale of Theodore (Theo) Finch and Violet Markey. Due to unfortunate circumstances, they meet at the top of the school bell tower. Both helping to save the lives of the other, they form an unlikely friendship and eventually love. Their bond only growing stronger with a school project, this relationship is… well… complicated…

There is so much that I loved about this story. I loved the diversity of the characters and how some who you thought had perfect lives, were actually rather complex and abstract. Finch was an amazing character to witness. The diversity in his personality and how rapidly it changed made you realize that he was scared of who he could be and what he could do. In his life, it is clear to see how the factors and decisions of his family and friends made him the person he was. Violet also was a unique character. Her life being changed after the untimely death of her older sister, pulling out of clubs and isolating herself from her friends, her character and Finch really merge well together and create an almost perfect pair. The other character I would like to mention is Amanda Monk. She plays the classic “popular high school queen” role with her own posy and her crude nicknames for anyone not inline with the status quo. However underneath all that status and popularity is an uncertain, insecure girl with no idea how to save herself. We find this out when she and Finch meet in an unusual situation which shall remain unnamed in the view of no spoilers.

As well as the depth of the characters, the plot line was also extraordinary. I felt that everything Finch did throughout the story (all the wondering and visiting unique places) told us a lot more about his personality than just meeting the character. Towards the end of the book, Finch leaves a trail for Violet to follow. This leads her to all the places he wanted her to visit and each with a little memento left by him to show he was there. Each place he led her to was somewhere that few kids their age would have been interested in visiting. Yet throughout the story of the wandering and arriving in unexpected places, Finch told the deepest parts of his personality to Violet on that final wandering through every gift he left her. This made us realize just how in-depth his character was and how much he had grown to trust Violet in the short time he knew her.

There was honestly very little that I disliked in this novel. The one thing would probably be that I felt we didn’t get to know the real reason for decisions that Finch made and I found that to be almost unfinished in a way. I knew how it was going to end after Finch sent the emails to his close friends and family, however I found them to be very abstract and without a clear reason (however this did perfectly fit his character). I feel like right at the end of the book, there should have been a way to clearly understand what happened as I found it to be confusing.

Other than that one thing though, this book was perfect. Complex, interesting characters coupled with a perfectly deep and twisting plot line made this an enticing and gripping read all the way through. I would recommend this to anyone over the age of 13 and likes romance, occasional serious issues and hidden humour. It is a great addition to the world of YA and perfect for fans of John Green (TFIOS, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska etc.), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park, Fangirl etc.), Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why etc.) and Gayle Foreman (If I Stay, Where She Went etc.). I look forward to seeing what else this new writer has up her sleeve.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon!

~Spike

Anna and the French Kiss Review


Anna and the French KissHey Guys,
So today I will be reviewing Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this book last week and it just was so much more than I expected! Let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date Published: December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Review:

This book follows the tale of Anna Oliphant, a privileged senior sent away to a boarding school in Paris where, kind of ironically, most of the kids speak in English and there isn’t much French said throughout the whole novel. Add in some not so loyal friends and a guy with looks to die for and this basically becomes the perfect teen novel. I’ve heard mixed things about this book. Some of my favourite authors such as (John Green or Cassandra Clare) have had nothing but praise for this book, though many members of online communities (like Goodreads for example) have been rather different.
***
There were a lot of things I loved about this book. I have always been an honest romantic and love reading about romances because, let’s face it, we all know how it’s going to end. For me, it’s more reading their story. In this book, the story follows a strange twisting pathway that brings us close and then far continuously until you almost hope the ending is different. Stephanie Perkins also has the amazing ability to bring humour to her writing. By around page 6 I was already laughing and the way she described many tragic novels and seeing the humour within them. This book is also extremely quotable. For example: “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home”.
***
The characters also developed, some more than others. I feel at times, Anna became very rebellious and quite emotional. At the age they are, you would expect them to have extreme emotion and this is perfectly captured by Stephanie. St. Clair also developed. He became a lot more aware of how his actions affected others around him. Meredith became more absorbed into herself part way through the novel before becoming closer to Anna than ever. Even though there were some slight character developments, none were really very dramatic.
***
However much I loved this novel, I found the thing that stopped this being 5 stars was that right at the beginning, Anna hated the opportunity to go to Paris. Don’t get me wrong, if my parents forced me to attend a school over 4000 miles away, I would be pretty annoyed. But the fact still remains, it’s a brilliant opportunity and, what does Anna spend her first days doing? Lying in her room watching TV and acting like she lost everything. In my opinion, I felt like she should’ve been a bit more courageous and asked her new friends if they could show her Paris as she’s never been before. However, as the book progresses, she does start to enjoy it more and started taking advantage of the opportunity she had been given.
***
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic romance novels, humour and some drama as well. I feel like the ideal age for this would be 13+ as there are occasional conversations of more serious matters that, to avoid spoilers, I will not get into now. Overall, I loved this book and hope anyone else who reads it will love it too.

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

Girl, Missing Book Review


Girl, MissingHello everyone,

Today I am going to be doing another favourite book review. This week I am going to be reviewing Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie. Let’s get started!

Book Title: Girl, Missing
Author: Sophie McKenzie
Date Published: December 1st 2006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Lauren has always known she was adopted but when a little research turns up the possibility that she was snatched from an American family as a baby, suddenly Lauren’s life seems like a sham. How can she find her biological parents? And are her adoptive parents really responsible for kidnapping her?

My Review:

So this book starts with a sixteen year old Lauren doing her English project. It’s kind of that classic first day back at school project titles something along the lines of Who am I? Considering as Lauren was adopted when she was about three months old, there isn’t really anything interesting that she could write. So during her research, she looks up different things which lead her onto a missing child website. Scrolling down the pictures, she reaches one that has similar sort of personal information to her own, leading to the conclusion: was she kidnapped as a baby?
This book was a lot of fun. I liked the depth of the characters and how strong the bonds of friendship between Lauren and Jam were. each individual character had an amazing personality and they all slotted together perfectly. I liked how the story flowed as a reasonable pace and that Lauren and Jam took the reader through every process that they went through. I liked this book because, as it was short, it didn’t take very long to get to the main point of the story. It kept the reader hooked on every word and I just loved it.
There were however some things that I didn’t liked. Such as when Lauren and Jam run away in America to start their mission, she doesn’t seem to be too worried about how her Mum is reacting to her disappearing in a completely different continent let alone country! I found that when they both *SPOILER WARNING* get kidnapped by the same person who kidnapped her earlier, I found this really unrealistic that a couple of teenagers would get into a car with a random stranger. I mean sure she was wearing a police outfit but it isn’t that hard to just buy one from a party shop, is it? I do agree however that without this point in the story, it could very well not have turned out the same. *SPOILERS OVER*
I did really enjoy this book overall. I’m very upset though because I had this book on my shelves and I either lent it to one of my friends and they haven’t given it back (unlikely as I asked all of them about it afterwards) or I’ve just lost it because, as with a lot of things that I lend to friends (or attempt to lend to friends) it went missing. Just like the title huh? So yeah I’m a bit miffed because I really wanted to reread it but oh well. I gave this book a 4.0 out of 5 stars because, well, it was fun! I would recommend it to anyone who loves mystery books but I do think that it may be a bit of a teen read as well so if you are a teenager who loves mystery novels then this is the book for you!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all next week!
Spike

An Abundance of Katherines


Hey Everyone,
Time for another Review Wednesday! This time I will be reviewing one of the earliest John Green Book, An Abundance of Katherines. Let’s get on with it!
An Abundance of Katherines

Book title: An Abundance of Katherines
Authors name: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: September 21st 2006
Number of pages: 229 pages
Overall rating:
3.5 star

Blurb:
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

My Review:
This book tells the story of Colin and his very weird habits. To start with, the only girls that he has ever dating all were named Katherine. Not with a C. It had to be a K. On his hunt to take a break and enjoy life while he still can, Colin discovers a theorem. One that should solve his problems for good.
I liked this book. I did like the ideas supporting the story and I liked the idea of the theorem and the road trip. I like those types of stories because I find them exciting because you never know what could happen yet it is a nice simple read. I definitely recommend this as a summer read because it is nice and relaxing and simple.
One thing that I didn’t like about this book is that it is definitely for the more mathematical minded. I like the theorem and I am going to try and test it to see if it actually did work when I get home from holiday to where my book is.
Overall I would recommend this book to ages 13+ because it does contain some swearing but other than that, a great book and a wonderful starting point into the world and books of John Green.
Thanks for reading and DFTBA
Spike

Thirteen Book Review


Hey Guys,

So today is Wednesday and it’s book review day! Here’s the most recent book I’ve read:

Book title: Thirteen
Authors name: 
Tom Hoyle 
Publisher:
Macmillan Children’s Books
Date Published:
February 13th 2014
Number of pages:
336
Overall rating:

3.5 star

Blurb: 

Born at midnight in London, on the stroke of the new millennium, Adam is the target of a cult that believes boys born on this date must die before the end of their thirteenth year. Twelve boys have been killed so far. Coron, the crazy cult leader, will stop at nothing to bring in his new kingdom. And now he is planning a bombing spectacular across London to celebrate the sacrifice of his final victim: Adam.

My review:
I bought this book with my friend when we split the prices of two books so thanks to her for choosing this one. This book is about a teenage boy called Adam. He was born at the stroke of a new millennium. The People are after him. They’re a cult that believes that all of the boys born at that time must die before their fourteenth birthday.
I did like this book. I liked the storyline and the fact that you kept swapping the points of view so the reader always knew what was going on. I liked the different scenes and how they were written, I thought that was pretty cool. All round, it was an okay book.
Now even though I liked parts of this book, I found that it was very predictable. Don’t get me wrong, some of the scenes in that book were all too shocking but most of it was predictable. When the book also swapped from POV to POV, I found it confusing at first to know who was speaking. I think that a change of font or something like that would’ve been very helpful.
Overall, I rated this 3 stars. It was a good book and a nice light read but also relatively predictable. I recommend this book to 13+ as some of the scenes are for teen readers.

As you know, I hardly ever do negative reviews but it is just my opinion. I’d love to know what you thought of this book so let me know in the comments 🙂
~Spike

All The Truth That’s In Me ~ Book Review


Hey Guys,

So I know I haven’t done a book review in a while (sorry) but  have just finished reading the most AMAZING book! I was going to review it anyway but I wanted to get this review up and going before I forget anything. Here it is:

ATTTIN Final Covers

Book title: All The Truth That’s In Me

Authors name: Julie Berry

Publisher: Templar Publishing

Date Published: April 1st 2014

Number of pages: 272

Overall rating:

5.0 star

Blurb:

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family.   Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember–even if he doesn’t know it–her childhood friend, Lucas.   But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

My Review:

So if you follow my reviews, I hardly ever do full 5 star reviews because, well, they all have something they need to work on. Now when I joined the group about the Carnegie Awards, this was one of the books on the list that I was dying to read as soon as my teacher told me what it was about. It is about a girl called Judith who gets kidnapped four years before the start of the story with her best friend. The only difference there is that Judith returned. Lottie didn’t. Upon return, Judith is greeted by ignorance and silence. This book follows her journey to make right what was wrong and  can love prevail when nothing else is left?

I loved every single flipping part of this book! I loved how in this book, it isn’t written chapter by chapter. It is written in books and in parts with Roman numerals. This gives is a sort of diary affect and more of a way to make you want to keep reading. There are four books in the copy. Each about 80 pages long. I loved Judith and how almost relatable she is. In the not so literal sense of the word, I’m sure we have all felt muted and not able to say what is right and this book highlights this point. I love Lucas (often referred to as ‘you’) and how he isn’t a typical boy that you see on the street or in other books that you read. He has a very strong presence in the book and his character is what makes it one of the most amazing books I have ever read.

The only thing that I dislike was some of the scenes that were slightly gory. It defiantly added to the atmosphere and the historical aspect to this novel but I suggest not to read this book (or at least that part ~ when you get to it, you’ll know what I mean) at night as some parts can kind of creep up on you and make you really think.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book with my 5-star rating and is sure to be up there with some of the best I’ve read! I recommend this book to anyone who has a fancy for murder-mystery/romance/thriller books and defiantly over the age of 14+.

Thanks for reading my review and let me know what you thought if you read it as well!

~Spike

Breathe Book Review


Hi Guys,
So I am determined to catch up on book reviews but since it would take forever to reread and review ALL the books on my shelf, I am going to start my resolution now by reviewing the books that I have read this year, as I read them. I know I have said this before but I am determined to stick to it. Anyway, on with the review 🙂

Breathe Cover

Book Title: Breathe

Author: Sarah Crossan

Publisher: Greenwillow

Date Published: October 2nd 2012

Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t? And what if you think everything could be different?
Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina’s a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn’s a Premium who’s never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who’s never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything. Sarah Crossan’s thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time.
(Blurb thanks to Goodreads)

My Review:
This book is written in three different peoples point of view. Alina, Bea and Quinn. Together, they live in a world controlled by the people who should be helping. Oxygen levels outside of the pod are so low, it’s almost impossible to breath. Almost. This thrilling mix of teen fiction, dystopean and sci-fi with a little bit of romance thrown in.

One of my favourite parts of this story is the whole set up. I love how this story connects with the reader as it is a story based on what could possibly happen in the future. I love how the three different characters have such diverse personalities and yet they get on like best friends. I like how the characters are always so consistent and that they act like how we would. I love how that in this story, you aren’t pulling at the pages, yelling and telling the character to do something else. They seem to always do what you would have done, but the way it is written also creates some suspense as well.

One of the things that I’m not so keen on is the pace that it moves at. I found that in some cases, it was very slow and I found it easy to stop and take a break. I can understand how this would be a good thing as it means that I can space the book out and take my time reading it. Some people could say that it moves at a reasonable pace and sometimes, I really found myself not able to put it down. I think that it is really down to a persons taste.

I would recommend this book to any sci-fi lovers as well as dystopean teen readers. Any reader who loves Veronica Roth and that style of writing will love this book just as much as I did (and maybe more)!

Thanks for reading!
Spike

Naturals Book Review


Hey Guys,
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Anyway, I read this book called Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It was honestly one of the best books I have read next to The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Anyway, I should probably get on with the review 🙂
Naturals
Book Title:The Naturals
Author:Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher:Disney-Hyperion
Date Published:November 5th 2013
Series?Yes. Book #2 comes out in November 2014
Overall Rating:
5.0 star
Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

My Review:
This book is another take on the classic typical teenage cover with a totally different reality. Cassie is a Profiler (this will all make sense if you read the book) and she lived a normal life. To her, it is all a hobby. Getting recruited by the FBI was the last thing she expected to happen and from there, it just got a lot more difficult.
My favourite thing about this book was mainly the ideas. I loved the idea of the story and all the people in it. My favourite character was Lea because her personality was so amusing. She plays the part of a lie detector in a way. I think that this gives her more of a mysterious side. She also appears very protective over her friends in certain points. My favourite part of the book has to be the Truth of Dare game. I will release one quote from this scene later on but I do not want to ruin the story for any reader. I read this book in a total of about 4-5 hours. I just couldn’t put it down.
The only thing that I have to dislike about the book was some of the murder scenes. For me, they were a bit too over the top but that doesn’t lower my review as it added atmosphere to the whole story.
I would recommend this book to any reader of the age of thirteen. I have recently discovered a passion for these sorts of books so any reader who loves secret spy books and powers will love Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!
Spike

The Academy-Introductions Book Review


Hey Guys,

So this is my book review for today. I’ve been missing out on a lot of them. There are a couple more that I want to do soon to get them out of the way. Look out for a review of Insurgent and Allegiant next. Anyway, here is the review.

Book title: The Academy

Authors name: C. L. Stone

Publisher: Arcato Publishing

Date Published: December 23rd 2012

Number of pages: 280 pages

Overall rating:
4.5 star
Blurb:

With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.

When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.

Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they’ve sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she’s forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she’s traded one house of secrets for another?

Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.

The Academy, ever vigilant.

My Review:

This book is about a girls called Sang. She has a very… let’s call it unique family. We join her in a ‘great escape’, where she meets the first boy of seven.  I enjoyed this book as you get enough information to make you feel like you know something, but little enough to make you want to keep reading it. I read the whole book on my Kindle and can’t wait to get the next one.

I liked Sang as the main character. I liked her as a character. She was very unique. I loved the difficult situation in the story as it made you feel closer to the story. I liked how the whole story worked and the whole story like on it all. The whole story kept you guessing. You wanted to know what the Academy was about. Or what the ‘looks’ we (you’ll find out what I mean if you read the book). There are hints of names thrown in, when you think you know everything. The effect meant you kept wanting to know what will happen. I laughed out loud and squeezed the book so hard during all the different scenes. Props to the author. The scenes were in perfect detail and made you feel like you were there.

I didn’t like how some of the scenes were very descriptive and the story was at a sort of slow pace. I think that it was at a slow pace so you were able to meet all of the characters. Talk about a cliff-hanger though. The copy of the first book that I got had a preview of the second one in it. I can’t wait to get the next one. I kept wishing that the story had a faster pace because of how you wanted to know more than you were give.

Overall, I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 as I can’t wait for the next one. There were a couple mistakes, as I have previously mentioned, and that is why I didn’t give it the 5. I loved it so much though, I can’t wait for the next. Now I’m just going on and on, so I’m going to end the review.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Spike

Book Review-The Fallen Star


Hey Guys,
Sunday’s book review here! Hope you enjoy!

The Fallen Star-Jessica Sorensen

Gemma went through her whole life without any emotion. She was eighteen when it came back to her. This year will prove to be one of the most confusing, difficult and evil one yet. All of this started to happen because one guy, who she had never seen before, made her heart flutter like no one else could. But Gemma had a secret that even she didn’t know about. Gemma was a Fallen Star I give this book four out of five stars. Apart from some conversion mistakes on kindle, the story line captures you in. A wonderful book Jessica and I can’t wait for the others!

The Fallen Star-Cover

Thanks for reading!
Spike