Review: Everything, Everything

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REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
306 pages. Released Sept.1st
rating: 3.5ish stars
Goodreads
(Like the picture of Kota? What a cutie)

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Okay, so I just got this book this morning (thursday morning) and finished it within five hours. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing considering the rating that I gave it..
Things I liked:
If there was one thing I can say that I loved about this book, it was the illustrations. Each chapter has a drawing of something that pertains to the life of the main character Maddy. For instance, there was a cell phone drawing of her text messages or a picture of the inside of her heart. It really made me feel connected to Maddy on a deeper level, like I was inside her brain. I think without those illustrations I probably wouldn’t have felt so close to her. You saw all these hopes and dreams, which were realistic given that she has never set foot outside.
I also thought that the relationship within the book was cute. Just cute. I wasn’t swooning over it, I didn’t jump up and down every time they interacted, but I did see the appeal in it. Maddy has never had a boyfriend (or even a friend) before & it the interactions that she and with Olly were filled with this childlike wonder (mixed with some major bottled up  teenage hormones).
I won’t say too much about the ending, but the one thing I DID like was how you understood where Maddy was coming from. You could feel right along side with her and it didn’t feel forced or fake. Honestly, I almost shed a few tears for her.
Things I didn’t like so much:  
Okay, so this is where I am going to get real with you. I think i’ve mentioned this book before in a few posts. I was excited. So excited in fact that I went out and actually bought myself a hardcover edition of this book. Which honestly, it really means a lot that I did that considering I am broke as joke & have been only buying on my Kindle ( cheap books in an instant, sometimes you can’t say no to that). Which is why I am so disappointed that after reading this book I just went, “really?” NOT the reaction I was looking for.So I’m going to break it down as to why I wasn’t such a fan:
The basis of this book was about this girls disease that prevented her from going out of the house. SO INTERESTING, right?! Honestly, I just felt like that was a little downgraded in comparison to this relationship with Olly. I wanted to delve deeper into this disease, it was such a great basis for a book…instead it was just this side conflict. Instead it felt like her Mother was the biggest set back, not the actual disease. SO much potential guys.
I don’t do the whole instalove thing, I really don’t. I love the relationships that blossom from hate or disinterest or friendship, then near the end move into feelings/love. We didn’t exactly get instalove, it was close enough and I didn’t really get the connection. I could see them being friends, but not once did I feel that build up or chemistry that would make them THE love story. In fact Maddy kind of reminded me of this little kid in love, willing to risk everything *which is usually a good thing*, but here this girl was REALLY not thinking sometimes and it was like…really. You’re going to do that, all that, for a boy across the street that you’ve known 3.5 seconds. How bout just doing it FOR YOURSELF. Which honestly they tried to make it seem like she was risking a lot for herself near the end, but honestly it all led back to Olly. Which I just wasn’t feeling. Therefore I just wasn’t feeling Maddys intentions or story.
Also, the ending just didn’t do it for me. I felt like I was reading this entire book that really had no direction and then there were just so many questions at the end.  I really wanted to know just so much MORE. Maybe I just had high expectations for this book & I just had a different picture on what was going to happen.
That doesn’t mean this was a bad book, I didn’t regret reading it at all. It was a quick read, a little sad, a little heartwarming, and a cute romance. However, is it a new favorite? Sadly, no. It will go back on my shelves and maybe one day when it’s raining I will pull it back out.

Have YOU read this book? What did you think? Let’s chat!
BTW– I’m headed out of town this weekend *very excited to see my best friend, she moved away and I have missed her terribly. Plus she gets to hang out with the boyfriend & I am super excited for them to also become friends, because let’s face it…it has to happen* So I won’t be posting any reviews until Monday, enjoy your time off!!

Review: Made You Up

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release date: May 19th 2015
Purchased from Amazon
Rating : 3.5/4 stars ( leaning more towards 4!)
What is it about?

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up

What did I think?

Wow. That was my reaction after I finished this book & honestly, I am still trying to figure out exactly how I feel. I felt a lot while reading this and I won’t lie to you, this isn’t a simple read. It’s so complex, dealing with a mental disease like Schizophrenia, and it will tug at all those heartstrings. So, just stick with me as I try to explain to you exactly how I felt about this book & why I gave it such an iffy ranking.
I genuinely liked Alex, the main character, maybe it was because she’s someone that I’ve never read about before/ never seen before in YA. She has been dealt a serious number in life, but she was funny and she was real. There were so many times she said things throughout the novel that I was just like, “that’s great”and would laugh out loud. But, the thing about laughing out loud with this book is that afterwards I just felt sad for her. She makes a joke about the hallucinations that she sees, but it just really made me feels something for her. I felt how desperate she was whenever she couldn’t distinguish between the real & the fake. The writer just did such an amazing job at highlighting the difficulties that people with Schizophrenia deal with every day. I really truly felt that I had a better grasp on what this mental illness was and I just wanted to jump in the book & hug Alex so hard. That’s what makes this book so heavy, her life is not easy at all and I just wanted everything to be okay for her.  I also had a love/hate relationship with her parents. There was a part of me that kept saying, “she just needs you to show her whats real & for you to be supportive!!” but then another part saw inside Alex’s brain & knew that she was struggling and I understood their reactions & understood why there wasn’t a clear answer for how to deal with things. That didn’t stop me from disliking them, just a little bit.
I don’t want anyone to get t he impression that this  book is heavy the entire time. It is mainly comical, as the relationship between Miles & Alex is complex & also a hilarious. The pranks that they pull on each other had me cracking up and also wishing that I had the guts to pull off something like that.Their relationship isn’t instalove and I think that a lot of people would appreciate that. In fact, they actually really really hate each other and at some points I truly believed they were going to rip each other apart. Let me just tell you, Alex is not a girl to mess around with. If she doesn’t like you or your attitude, well she’s not afraid to stick up for herself. I think that I need to add that to another reason why I enjoyed this book. Even though Alex deals with something really serious, she doesn’t take the bullying and she comes right back at people who try to give her shit. She sticks up for herself and for others, honestly I really admired her for that.

Why did I not give it such a awesome ranking? Well, it’s really hard to explain because some of the things that I loved also are tied up with the things that took away from the book. The hallucinations were so well done, but at the same time I was very confused about a lot of things in the book. There were times where I thought that everything was real, only because she did such a good job at making them real, but then it was just so far out there that I kept saying “is this really a thing?” So I kept having to go back and figure out what had just happened. Also, I loved the relationship between Alex & Miles, but at the same time Miles as a character confused me. I just didn’t get where we were going with him. He does such a 180 degree turn from how he’s described in the beginning of the book that I kept wondering how I was supposed to feel about him. (Which could have been the authors way of having us feel how Alex usually feels–confused & unsure about what is real). Also the school had me questioning what was happening in the book, I’ve just never even heard of a public school that acts the way this one does & no one questions it. I don’t want to say too much about the conflict in the story, but also that had me saying what the heck?? The story itself was amazing with Alex’s journey, that I felt the second conflict was almost unneeded and took away a lot from the story.

I could go on and on about this book, but the simple fact of it is that I had so many mixed emotions. It’s such a beautiful book, it really is, but there were just so many things that left me feeling one way and then another *which sometimes a GREAT thing in a book, just means amazing writing!!* but in this one I just found myself unsure how to feel. I would say pick this up. Its deff a book that needs to read & loved, and you should form your own opinion on it. I would even recommend it to my own friends, I still really really enjoyed reading it just cause I felt this protectiveness of Alex. Also, the dialogue in it is pretty damn funny & witty. I wouldn’t go into this book thinking you’re going to be depressed the entire time that you read it. It’s truly a one of a kind read & I want you all to give it a try!
Hopefully you were all able to follow my thoughts! 🙂
If you’ve read it, what did you think??? Also, that ending….ugh my heart. Did you like the way it ended??

Review: The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord

Title: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published: March 2015 by Bloomsbury
Ranking: 5 STARS!!

What’s it about? (Summary taken from Goodreads, check it out here! )

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

What I LOVED about it:
1. The main character: Let me first start out by saying that I really loved Paige as a person. She’s been through such a rough time,  losing her first boyfriend to drowning, and she deals with it in such a real way. It’s this interesting mix of, “he was my first boyfriend & I only was really dating him for a little bit” & “oh my god we are so young and he’s just gone”. Her reactions to things make complete sense & there were so many times I just wanted to hug her and let her know it was okay. I love that she takes hold of her own life though & starts making this list of things to do. She goes into everything with “beginners mind” (what she calls it throughout the book) and I really admired her for that. I wish that in High School I had gone into a lot of things with that mindset instead of being scared to take a risk. I think that’s what made her so likable, how flawed she is & how just completely normal. She doesn’t just jump into things and is like “woah yeah this is great!!”, she’s only human and she second guesses herself a lot and still stays true to who she really is! Yay Paige!!
2. The Best Friends: Emery Lord is Queen of THE BIFFS. Seriously, if you haven’t read her other  book (Open Road Summer) you need to. She writes friendships where I’m like, “wait…where were these girls when I was in High School and dealing with stupid petty drama?! I needed real friends then too!”  There are four of them in the group (including Paige) and they are all so different, but in a  way that makes sense why they are biffs. Plus, they admit how they don’t always get along & they get into stupid little fights that we all get over so quickly!  I also liked how Lord shows how realistic having that many friends in a group is, how there is always that one person that you’re a little closer to but the group still works as a whole. It’s so sweet all the things that they do for each other & they just know exactly how to react to the others problems. Plus, Paige is pretty kick ass in a certain part when she has to save one of her biffs & she does something she never normally would do. It just shows how far you will go for friendship! Plus, I loved her number one friend Tessa, she’s the kind of girl we all wish we could be or the person that we just wish would be our friend cause she’s that chill!
3. The Romance & “Bro”mance: I’m a huge believer in being best friends with your significant other & the slow build up of relationships in YA.  *there may be a bit of spoilers here…but I am trying my hardest not to give anything away!* I LOVED LOVED LOVED the romance & the friendship with both boys in this novel. Ryan Chase is the boy that every girl would love & honestly I was going to be super disappointed if he fell into his stereotype. Most boys like Ryan Chase get portrayed as jerks in novels & playboys, but I knew that Emery Lord wouldn’t let me down here! Ryan is ADORABLE! Seriously. What a sweetie & I fell in love with him instantly. He’s just a good guy and he deals with Paige so so well ( even when she acts a bit nutty around him). Which brings me to his dorky, adorable, sweet cousin Max who I instantly became a fan of. He’s EXTREMELY smart & he knows it, but he isn’t shy or embarrassed about who he is. Dorks get this bad wrap in YA novels & usually are subject to bullying ( not saying this is a bad thing and that it doesn’t happen, it totally does, but it’s nice to see a story where a nerdy kid actually owns himself & has no problem showing that in high school. Confidence =key ). The banter between Max & Paige is freaking awesome and I love how supportive he is of her when she tries new things. He pushes Paige and shows her just how truly great she is if she just had confidence in herself! Paige isn’t really sure about Max in the beginning and she sort of judges him at first, but they turn into such best friends. I won’t say anymore, but these two alone make the novel 5 stars!

Overall, this is one of my favorite books this year! I’ve already read it twice and it gets better the second time around. Emery Lord writes fantastic stories filled with kick ass friends, boys, and main characters who are exactly who they should be. High School is rough and it’s so refreshing reading a book where the main characters are comfortable and who accept each other, faults & all.

Have you read The Start of Me & You? What were YOUR thoughts? If you haven’t read it yet, WHY NOT!? Go out there and pick up a copy, you won’t regret it!
Let’s chat!

Review: The Infinite Moment of Us

REVIEW: The  Infinite Moment of Us, by Lauren Myracle
Amulet Books, 316 pgs
Borrowed from library
Rating:3 stars

My first review…let’s see how this goes!

What’s it about? (The summary below is all from the Goodreads page for this book, check it out here: The Infinite Moment of Us)

For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now… not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them…”

What did I like?
1. The writing: Woah. That’s just what I have to say for that. Myracle has a way of writing that can make sitting on the sofa seem like a beautiful nirvana. There were just some lines in this book where I had to sit back and think to myself, “damn that’s something.” I’m always amazed at how well some authors can describe scenes and that’s what happens in this book. Especially through the main character, Wren’s eyes. It was the one thing that I loved completely about the book, no matter if something annoyed me it was always softened by the way that she was able to write!
2. The best friend: If you want to know one quick way for me to like your book, put a solid best friend in it. Tessa did that for me & more, in fact sometimes I just wanted to skip scenes of Charlie & Wren entirely just to get more Tessa and Wren time. Wren is not the easiest of friends, she worries a lot, has overbearing parents, and  seems to get caught up in herself a lot (it’s okay, we all do!). Tessa takes all that and is still super supporting.  She never once abandons Wren or gets annoyed with her whenever she’s acting super ridiculous. I think another reason that I am such a sucker for this friendship is just the way that Myracle takes the “boy crazy” best friend road. Tessa is  pretty, boy obsessed best friend but she’s  AWESOME at being a FRIEND. She doesn’t just throw advice at Wren because it’s what she would do, she knows Wren truly & completely & tells her what  is best for her. I would totally want Tessa as a biff.
3. Family: I will admit right here and now, that Wren’s family is completely messed up. Yeah, I wanted to punch her parents most of the time and I didn’t agree with anything that they did BUT I also loved that. It completely explained who Wren was as a person & it was great to see her grow throughout the story even if her parents are completely ridiculous. It was believable and that was what hit it for me!

What didn’t sit well with me….

Okay, I know I just had a bunch of great things to say about this book…..but why did I give it such a low ranking? I wanted to like it, I REALLY REALLY did! Lauren Myracle is a great writer in the Young Adult community & the plot seems like something I would LOVE…..but this just was such a let down. It’s one major thing:
1. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WREN & CHARLIE!
Yes. Now you see why I had to give it such a  low ranking. The ENTIRE reason this story exists, just did not do it for me. Were there some amazing swoon worthy parts? YES. Did I care what happened between these two by the end of the novel? No. I honestly couldn’t have cared a less because they got me THAT MAD. I feel like a horrible person for being so mean about this, but here I promised honesty.
**some of this might be filled with spoilers, you’ve been warned** Okay, I just wanted to smack their heads together so many times (Wren and Charlie) . I just felt like a lot of times they weren’t really convincing me they were all that in love. I read all about their connection, but I never really got it. Wren always would talk about how much she loved Charlie (that was great!) but then when it came to certain decisions in her life she just always expected him to change for her…plus she never really seemed to accept his family. She was jealous, which I think was meant to explain more about her family then her being a horrible person, but all I kept thinking the entire time was “seriously. You’ve known the boy for 2.5 seconds and you’re going to ask him to choose between you AND THE FAMILY HE NEVER HAD BUT NOW HE HAS??? ” Also there were so many times where Charlie kept info from Wren and then would talk about how incredible she was. Mostly I just wanted to be like, dude you need to figure life out because if you truly thought she walked on the moon you wouldn’t be keeping any of this from her! I just felt like  a lot of their actions didn’t scream love. It might have been that I thought Wren was just a little immature with the whole thing.
Was the novel beautifully written? Yes. Did I love some aspects of it? Yes, but I just couldn’t get past the relationship between Charlie and Wren.
I wanted to love this …I really did.

Have you read this yet? What did you think? Am I just not the one getting it?

Let’s chat!