Our Own Private Universe

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three_star_rating

Our Own Private Universe

Publish Date: January 31, 2017

Publisher Harlequin Teen

Pages: 384

One of the things I loved about Our Own Private  Universe is the many topics it touch upon.  Bisexuality, safe sex, social activism and all the diverse characters made this book a fun and important read.

 Goodreads Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex.

No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual—even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki’s theory is that she’s got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

Review

There was a lot of good things this book tried to do and even though I enjoyed the plot of a young girl trying to find her own sexual identity there were things that annoyed me. The number one thing being some of the characters. I just couldn’t like Christa and I really didn’t want her with Aki. I found Christa a little annoying and judgmental. I understand that these are 15 year old girls and maybe this is a true representation of how 15 year olds act but I just couldn’t deal with her.

Another aspect that I didn’t like is the fact that the author never addresses the homophobic comments made towards Aki. I really wish that was touched upon but nothing was done with those comments and the characters never had any consequences. Another important topic that wasn’t address and I feel it should have been is religion. Now I appreciate that religion wasn’t push down our throats but I feel that Aki coming from such a religious background never once talk about the issue of being bisexual and Christianity. I feel it would have been a natural reaction to question what it means to be a bisexual christian. I think if any of these topics were addressed it would have made for great discussion amongst young teens.

Overall I enjoyed this book and everything it tried to do. I believe this is an important book for teens.

With Malice by Eileen Cook

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Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Date:June 7, 2016

Pages: 316

Welcome to another post for Killer Thursdays a segment of my blog where I talk about everything crime, mystery and thriller related. This week on the reading list was With Malice by Eileen Cook. This was a fun and easy read for me. Though I wasn’t completely blown away by this YA thriller it was a fast read that kept you turning the pages.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

 Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care, care that includes a lawyer and a press team because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

 As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

My Thoughts:

 I found this book a little to predictable. I knew where the story was going from the beginning but it still managed to keep my attention and keep me turning the pages. I especially liked the media snippets because it added more drama to the story. I could really see this book turning into a movie. It was fast pace and addicting in some ways.

One major thing I didn’t like about this book was Jill and all the other characters. I really couldn’t feel for any of them and sadly I really didn’t care much. I just wasn’t invested. I found Jill to be a brat and annoying. Throughout the book she keep insisting on this “perfect” image she had and how she couldn’t commit this crime because “she was not that kind of person” I found her need to be perfect infuriating. I also did not buy the friendship between her and Simone. I wish we had more character development, especially regarding the friendship. I really couldn’t see how they cared about each other.

As I stated before, the plot and twist were easy to figure out and I wasn’t left with a shell shock effect that I sometimes get with thrillers. For a YA mystery/thriller, it was ok and I can see a lot of my students eating this up so I think I will be donating this one to the classroom library.

Killer Thursdays + I Let You Go

Since I’ve recently started reading again mysteries, thrillers and crime I’ve decided to start something new here on the blog. I’m hoping to review, highlight and share my love from all things crime, thrillers and mysteries. I’m also looking to do something different and fun to keep this blog intresting. I’m still trying to decided how I want this blog to look and feel like, so without further ado welcome to Killer Thursdays!

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To kick off this new segment of my blog, I’ve recently finished I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh and it was fantastic read. I went into this book blind and I’m so happy that I did because it was such a fun and emotional read.

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Published Date: November 9, 2014

Publisher: Sphere

Pages: 371

Goodread’s Synopsis:

 

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

This book had everything I love in a mystery/thriller. Morally grey characters, raw emotions, twists and great writing. Mackintosh did a great job keeping the reader captivated with her descriptions of settings and the raw emotions that we see Jenna go through. I have never cried during any psychological thriller but this one tugged at my emotions. I was able to feel all sorts of emotion towards Jenna. I was angry, sad and disgusted all at the same time. All the characters in this book are flawed and unlikable but that is what makes them human. There is no one to root for. There isn’t a hero or a villain; just people that have flaws like everyone else. It was a fun ride to be on and I couldn’t put the book down even when I had to.

The plot of the story was also amazing. It never dragged or fell flat. The writing was not repetitive or formulaic. It’s amazing how Mackintosh was able to weave a story about grief, guilt and crime altogether to make this story not just about the crime but a heart wrenching emotional tale of relationships between parents and children and husband and wife. This book is not just a thriller it’s also a portrayal of human nature and all of its morally grey areas.

The Problem With Forever

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two_star_rating

The Problem With Forever

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 480

I had high hopes for The Problem With Forever but sadly I was a little disappointed. I think the premise of this book was a good one but could have been executed a little better. The topic of anxiety and PTSD is an important one and I’m glad to see YA books address this issue.

In The Problem With Forever we follow Mallory, an orphan who is suffering from anxiety and PTSD due to her foster family’s abuse. After being homeschooled for a while, Mallory has decided to attend High School where she is reunited with Rider, a boy from her childhood.

The writing was ok. I often found myself a little annoyed because it became repetitive. The characters where fine but I was a little frustrated with Rider. It took so long for him to see his own worth and recognize his own talent. I wish we had more of Riders back-story because he was going through stuff to0 and he was traumatized as well but we don’t really see his side much.

Speaking of wanting more, I wanted to learn more about the side characters. Hector, Jayden, Paige and Ainsley. I really loved these side characters and wish we had a little more of their story.

Overall this was an ok and easy read. It didn’t have a big “wow” factor but I appreciate authors who shed light on difficult topics.

Wink Poppy Midnight

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three_star_rating

 

I loved it, I hated it and now I’m so confused. Wink Poppy Midnight is the first book by April Genevieve Tucholke that I’ve read. To be honest I still don’t know how I feel about this book. One of the things I loved the most about this book is the writing. April Genevieve Tucholke’s writing is beautiful. Her writing is so poetic and you will get lost in the language and the way she structures her sentences.This book was very whimsical and atmospheric, which I do love. The only problem is that for the first half of the book nothing was happening. We learn about Wink, Poppy and Midnight but I couldn’t figure out where this book was going or it’s plot. I’m a fan of Magical Realism and maybe if I would have known that going in, I would have enjoyed it more but when I reached the halfway mark I was feeling a little lost.

Another thing I loved about this book was the characters. I loved how unreliable they where and the fact that we really didn’t know what was going on inside their heads or what they were capable of doing. Midnight was my least favorite character but it was tolerable reading his chapters.

For me this book stands between a 2.5 to 3 star book. I don’t know if it was the timing of when I read this book that left me feeling a little disappointed. I just wish there was more to the story. Eventually I am going to give this book another re-read because I do enjoy books that have metaphorical writing and the type of story you have to suspend your belief and except that you really don’t know what is happening.

20 Bookish Facts About Me

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I saw many bloggers and Booktubers do the 25 bookish Facts tag and I though what a cool way for people to learn things about you. Here are some facts about me

  1. I learned to read very late- as a child I had difficulties reading and didn’t like it.
  2. I prefer physical books- though I have an E-reader I often forget the books I have on it and grab my physical books first.
  3. I prefer hardcovers.
  4. I love reading on my bed the most.
  5. When I am reading I like to drink coffee or tea.
  6. I prefer independent bookstores (but I don’t have many where I live)
  7. I take the jacket off my hardcovers when I am reading them.
  8. I prefer series to stand-alones.
  9. Historical Fiction is my least read genera.
  10. I can’t read in a moving car but I can read on a train.
  11. For the past two years my most read genera is fantasy.
  12. I’m an adult who read YA and I’m ok with that.
  13. I am a mood reader.
  14. I own more books then I have read. (My TBR is overflowing)
  15. I listen to classical music while I am reading.
  16. If I need to stop reading, I need to finish the current chapter. I can’t stop in the middle of a chapter.
  17. I read more female writers than male writers
  18. I’m a slow reader
  19. My favorite author is Rainbow Rowell
  20. The Nancy Drew series was my favorite growing up.

So those are twenty facts about me. I couldn’t think of twenty-five lol.

Happy Reading!!!

Lady Midnight Review

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I was anticipating Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare since she announced this new series and I have to say it didn’t disappoint. I LOVED this book. I feel this was a strong first book to a new series. The reason I love this book so much is because I already knew this world. Unlike City of Bones and Clary’s journey of finding out she was a shadowhunter, we already know these character and it was refreshing to jump right into the story. It was easy for me to dive back into this world and I loved every minute. Some people were saying how slow the begging was but I really didn’t feel it was slow. For those readers who already know this world, the first couple of chapters might seem slow because of all the recap but it was necessary for new readers who might not have  read the Immortal Instrument series. So here are a few things I loved about Lady Midnight.

Emma and Christina- I love strong female characters and I think Emma was fantastic. I wasn’t sure I would love her character when she was first introduced in City of Heavenly Fire but I was happy and pleased to see her personality. I love the friendship between Emma and Christina. Christina is fierce and blunt and I can’t wait to see the growth of these two characters.

Julian- my heart was stolen by Julian. The way he loves his family and will do anything for them. He has so much love and I believe there is more to him that we will see in book two.

Writing- Clare’s writing is good. She has this ability to take you on a roller costar ride. Her twist and turns are fantastic. You think the story is going one way but nothing is quite what it seems.

Parabatai- I love that we are getting more information and back-story to this concept. This is sometimes I have always loved, the idea of parabatai and how it works. This idea that you are connected to another individual, Emma and Jules bond it intense and I loved that in this story. You feel their love and their agony over being in love with each other.

Overall, I loved this book and it just might take the place of The Infernal Devices. I can’t wait to see where this series is going.