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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Nightmare Affair | Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Affair is a young adult fantasy novel about a girl, Dusty, who is a Nightmare. She literally feeds off of other people’s dreams. When a girl in her school of other paranormals goes missing, she is recruited to solve the mystery by seeing the future in Eli’s dreams.  For a more complete summary, you can go here. To learn more about the author, go here.
This is definitely my favorite genre of books, so I may be a little biased in my review. I love the concept of Nightmares as actual physical beings. That idea seemed very fresh and original. However, as a whole this story seemed…familiar. I can’t quite identify the elements that were familiar to me, but they were definitely there. It is very obvious that she was inspired by J.K. Rowling and other young adult fantasy novels. With that said, there is a reason why these types of books are popular. Books that are similar to other popular books can get fans easily since the readers are looking for a book to read next based off of…

Bossypants | Tina Fey

Bossypants is an autobiography of Tina Fey’s life. It chronicles her childhood and rise to fame via Saturday Night Live. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
I’ve decided that maybe I’m not an autobiography/memoir type of person. I can enjoy them, but very rarely do I love them. I just thoroughly love novels and getting engrossed into a story. Non-fiction books just don’t typically have that same pull. Bossypants is no exception. Out of all of the autobiographies that I’ve read lately, this one seems to jump around the most. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the order of the chapters. They are not in chronological order. She talks about her childhood for a few chapters, then she jumps around between major life events later in the book. Even within each chapter she goes on a lot of tangents and its hard to stay focused on what the main point of her story is. She also spends a decent chunk of the book on just a few years of her life. I understand that those years probably…

The Rosie Project | Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project is about a guy, Don, that decides to create an extensive questionnaire in order to find his perfect wife. Don is no ordinary man. He has every minute of every day planned out and he has only two friends. He is a geneticist and believes that science can help him find his true match. Until he meets Rosie. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
This book was charming and fun! I didn’t want to put it down! I also enjoyed the quirkiness of all of the main characters. A lot of reviewers have compared Don to Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, but I wasn’t picturing that at all while I was reading. However, I can see the comparisons. They are both very intellectually minded and socially inept, have particular routines, and don’t know how to act in a relationship. Rosie is the exact opposite in every way. I also enjoyed her side of the story and seeing her come to terms with some family issues. 
It seems like a lot of books now are highlighting Asperger’s Syndrom…

Thirteen Reasons Why | Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why is a story about Hannah who leaves a series of cassette tapes for people who impacted her choice to commit suicide. On these tapes, she describes why each of those people received the tapes and how they made her life unbearable. The story is told from the perspective of one of the recipients, Clay. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
OK, so this book is about a very touchy subject—suicide. If I’m going to focus on that issue, here are my thoughts. A lot of her problems (minus one circumstance) were things that happen a lot to girls/boys in high school. I worry that this kind of glorifies suicide and that anyone who is going through similar issues might see suicide as a better solution. I also didn’t like how she blamed everyone else for her suicide. She did admit that in the end it was her choice, but she is essentially ruining several people’s lives by blaming them for her death. How does a person move on after they believe that they were the reason for…

Sharp Objects | Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects is a thriller about a reporter, Camille, who has to reluctantly travel back to her hometown to write about the murder of two young girls. Camille has an ugly past filled with death, cutting, and violence. This is the story of her discovering the mystery of a brutal town filled with evil people. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
I am always leery about reading other novels from an author that I love. Sometimes the book is too different, or too similar, from the original book that impressed me. But, wow, this book was incredible! I think this solidifies Gillian Flynn as one of my new favorite authors! It was similar to Gone Girl (read my review here) in that it was a psychological thriller—-all of the main characters are seriously messed up. It leaves you confused, intrigued, and disturbed…in the best way possible. Flynn does not write “feel good” books. If you’re looking for that, then this book is not for you. If you want a book that you compulsively read unt…

Wild | Cheryl Strayed

Wild is a memoir of Cheryl’s summer-long hike across the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). She takes this trip after a troubled childhood, her mother’s death, and her eventual divorce due to cheating on her extremely supportive husband. She also experiments with sex and heroin as she tries to pull herself back together. Her goal is to process the events in her life and find herself along the trail. For a more complete summary, you can go here. You can also learn more about Cheryl Strayed here.
I wanted to love this book, but I only kinda liked it. And, wow, this book was long. I realize it was about a couple thousand miles on a trail, but holy cow. It started to get really repetitive and dry. I would have been okay with the book being about half of the length. She could have cut out some of the stops to make the pace go a little bit faster. I honestly almost gave up on this book halfway through. She did cut out a lot of details near the end, as the last half of her trip was condensed into the…

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me | Howie Mendel

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me is an autobiography of Howie Mendel, the comedian and host of the show Deal or No Deal. It chronicles his rise to stardom through comedy, acting, and hosting. It also describes the challenges he faces in every day life with obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and germaphobia. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
For a book written by a comedian, it was filled with a lot more heartbreaking moments than I was expecting. However, the main reason why I picked up the book was because I knew it discussed his germaphobic tendencies. I also have a lot of those tendencies, so I was curious to see how he deals with that challenge. It was interesting to hear about how that, along with his OCD and ADHD, affected his entire life. It is hard for someone to come out and talk about some of their most embarrassing moments, but he did that and I think it will help a lot of people struggling with the same things. 
With that sai…

Paris Letters | Janice Macleod

Paris Letters is a blog-turned-memoir about Janice’s journey from a burnt-out advertiser in California to a relaxed artist in Paris. She decides to save up enough money so that she can quit her job and travel until she finds her new calling. The trip takes her to many parts of Europe, but finally has her settling down permanently in Paris with her new beau. The language barrier between them is a challenge, but doesn’t seem to be an issue. For a more complete summary, you can go here. To visit Janice’s blog, you can go here.
I loved the first half of the book. I am at a time in my life when I am trying to figure out what to do and where to live. Janice makes it seem so easy to let go and stop feeling stuck. She took control of her life and savings and was brave enough to move across the world. She condensed all of her stuff to a couple of suitcases and released anything that kept held her back. For such a terrifying idea that most people would never actually do, she made it all sound ve…

I’ll Meet You There | Heather Demetrios

I’ll Meet You There is a coming-of-age story featuring the perspectives of two teens trying to get out of their rundown small town: Skylar and Josh. Skylar is a seventeen year old with a full scholarship to an art school starting in the fall. She yearns to leave the town that holds her back, but she doesn’t want to leave her alcoholic mother behind with her new scummy boyfriend. Josh, on the other hand, got his chance to leave by joining the Marines, but he was forced to come back after losing his leg in Afghanistan. The only thing these two have in common is that they work at a tiny old motel in town. This creates a relationship between two people who just really need to be understood. For a more complete summary, you can go here, then go here to read the first five chapters for free! You can also learn more about Heather Demetrios here.
I loved this book. At first I thought to myself, “Oh great…this is going to be like every other young adult novel about love and summer.” But it was …

Paper Towns | John Green

Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story about a boy, Q, who has always been “in love” with his next door neighbor, Margo. One night she takes him on a crazy adventure, and the next day she disappears. Q does everything to find out who Margo really is, and where did she go? For a more complete summary, you can go here. You can also learn more about John Green here.
This is a very exciting novel that I think most teens can relate to. It deals with typical issues like love, friendships, and peer pressure, but it is more introspective than that. Green really helps the readers think about how we see others and how we see ourselves. Is the way we view others impacted by what we think of ourselves? And vice versa. It asks the readers to think about how well you really know other people. Sometimes we hold people in our lives up on a pedestal and we imagine their lives to be happy and perfect and better than our own…but that might not always be accurate. This is also a book about acceptance and tr…