My two best friends and I are extreme book nerds. Especially for YA books. Since we are viewed as weird in the real world, we decided to go to the Internet, where everyone is weird. It has been going pretty well. Our original blog is Crazy for YA
This book was provided to me from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.
Alive, Kate Dunlap breezed through high school with meaningless friendships and relative ease. But after an accidental overdose ends Kate’s human existence, she’s granted the opportunity of a lifetime.
Return to Earth. Save Jake Barton. Prove her worth.
Success guarantees Kate an all access backstage pass to heaven. But as she falls in love for the first time, the reformed superficial social butterfly must risk her chance at redemption to guarantee Jake’s life on Earth.
Thank you everyone for the great response to the first installment of my latest feature, Classic Conversations. I loved talking about what exactly makes a book a classic with all of you and I really hope we can continue all of these amazing conversations (hence the title) throughout the series.
Since a lot of people (including me) are intimidated, and perhaps even a little bit scared, of reading classics. And there are a ton of good reasons for this put-off, like not being able to understand the time period, writing, or what the heck is even going on in the plot. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have definitely sat in literature classes where I was completely lost on what we were talking about and just prayed that the test would be multiple choice so that I would have some chance of passing. It was a terrible experience and not one that I would be willing to repeat outside of school.
Fortunately for you I have some tips on how to understand, and hopefully learn to enjoy, classics.
Welcome to my second Sunday Street Team post! I loved participating in last month's tour for Never, Never by Brianna Shrum. I could not have asked for a better experience for my first time on the team!
This is a monthly blog tour organized by the super fantastic Nori from ReadWriteLove28. She picks an author that deserves a little more attention and we work to get that author the recognition that they deserve.
I am super excited to introduce another fabulous book to you guys this month...This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup.
This Ordinary Life
By Jennifer Walkup
Published October 1, 2015
Luminous Books, Inc
High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.
That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.
Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.
Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.
The world is a mess. Between global warming, economic devastation, world-wide poverty, energy famine, literal famine, pollution, and all of the world's other problems, no one wants to live in the real world anymore. Luckily, they do not have to.
Thanks to the genius, James Halliday, everyone has access to a free, virtual world. OASIS, like its name suggests, is mankind's refuge from itself. The intricately designed world is the most elaborate videogame ever created. People are fully emerged in whatever world they choose, everything from the classics like Pacman and Dungeons and Dragons to futuristic simulations. All you have to do is plug yourself in.
Needless to say, Halliday made a fortune by creating his own world. And now that fortune is up for grabs since the old genius has experienced his final game-over.
Staying true to his unorthodox roots, Halliday does not have a normal will. His multi-billion fortune, ownership of his company, and the rights to all of OASIS are not given to one person. Instead, the entire world has the chance to fight for it. Halliday has hidden clues in his vast virtual universe guarded by countless obscure 80's pop culture references and puzzles that would fool Einstein himself, and the first person to follow the trail and find the treasure gets to keep it. And one geeky, impoverished kid named Wade is willing to do anything to get it.
I am not an 80's kid. Not even close. But, I still really enjoyed this book, which is truly a testament Cline's characters, story, and writing.
I will warn you now: This book is FULL of 80's pop culture references.
But, I would recommend this book to all pop culture fans, even if you are not up to date with your 80's trivia. I certainly am not, but that did not stop me from fully enjoying this fantastic adventure novel. Come to think of it, I am not really a video game fan either (I have terrible hand-eye coordination that has stopped me from truly enjoying any kind of intense video game). But, you do not have to be a video game fanatic to enjoy this book (though you fanatics out their will truly love all of the obscure references). The action and adventure is not specific to the games and can be enjoyed by anyone.
The characters, world-building, and plot were the true winners in this novel, even though the trivia was a nice touch.
Let's start with the characters.
Wade is the standard geek. He has devoted his life to winning this contest so he can get out of the terrible lot of life he is stuck with. He started the novel as an naive, idealistic-to-a-fault kid who did not know how cruel the world can be, especially in a dystopian alternate future. I loved his development. He became so much more than an isolated geek and embraced his personality.
The secondary characters do not have much of a role in the first half of the novel, but I really loved all of them, especially Aech and his many secrets. Their stories resonated with me.
Even though he is not alive during the course of the novel, I feel as if James Halliday is one of my favorite characters. Even posthumously, his character is developed so much more than I have ever seen from a dead guy. He was eccentric, obsessive, and geeky as all get out, but he was also the heartbeat of the novel (which is ironic because he did not have one).
For a futuristic dystopian, the setting and world-building was surprisingly unique. I was a little bit skeptical about reading about yet another book set into the not-so-far future where the world is completely messed up. There are so many ways for this setting to go wrong, but Cline avoided almost all of them (the exception is blaming most of the destruction on global-warming and environmental stuff, which I can forgive). There was impeccable detail into the inner workings of the world. Nothing was left to the imagination. The gritty, dirty, corrupted, and downright scary was all described in detail.
Then, there was a plot so complicated and twisted that I could never guess what was going to happen next. When you read the blurb you think, "That's it? All they have to do is find some key? I could do that in my sleep with both of my hands tied behind my back." Even though I do not question your abilities, no one that I know would have been able to even come close to finishing the puzzles. It was one of the most intriguing and complex treasure hunts that I have ever read. The clues were so clever! I really wish that this book was a video game so that I could try my hand at the madness. And there is so much more to the plot beside the video game. There is tragedy, heartbreak, love, indentured servitude, masterful plans, and evil plans all outside of the OASIS.
I also love the diversity in this novel. At first, Ready Player One does not scream diversity at you, and that is one of the beautiful things about it. The diversity is subtly, but distinctly, woven into the plot and not treated as its own separate entity. It is just a part of the story. Personally, I think that this should be prevalent in every book, some taste of diversity that does not try to overtake the storyline.
Ready Player One's stunning world-building, dynamic characters, convoluted plot, and perfectly integrated diversity earned five stars, even from a 80's and video game newbie.
If you liked this review, there are many more on my original blog, Crazy for YA.
After a lot of thought and mental arguments with myself, I have decided to start yet another new feature on Crazy for YA (hopefully I will actually be able to keep up with this one).
I am proud to introduce... Classic Conversations. (Yes, the alliteration was necessary.)
For the past couple of years, my blog has focused on young adult books, like the title suggests. But, I would like to branch out a little and explore some of the other amazingness that the literary world has to offer. And, of course, my first segment of this adventure is a little foray into the world of classics.
*Cue the collective groans*
I understand that many people do not have the best experiences with classics. There are truly some terrifying stories about English teachers and their various torture methods, most of which include these victimized books.
I am not an English teacher and my intent is far from boring you to death. I want to try to show you that classics are actually worth reading. I want to ignite some awesome conversations about books and life. And most of all, I want to show you that these seemingly dull novels are really teeming with life if you take the time to appreciate them.
I know that those are some pretty high ambitions. Some might even call it impossible. But I am willing to give it a shot and I hope you are too.
So, to start this first of hopefully many conversations about the classics, I want to delve into some background knowledge about classics. Specifically, what even is a classic? Is it a dusty old tome that some dead person wrote a billion years ago? Or can it be something more modern?
Until September 13th, The Midnight Thief ebook is only 99 cents!
To celebrate the sale and the release of the second book in the series, Daughter of Dusk, I am hosting a giveaway for some great goodies!
Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! This is my first post as a part of this amazing group and I am excited to say that it is not going to be my last!
Today, I am hosting a guest post from the wonderful Brianna Shrum. Her debut novel, Never, Never, will be released on September 22. Her book caught my eye because it is a retelling of Peter Pan (which I have never read before) from the perspective of Captain Hook! As we all know, everyone has a story, even the villains.
By Brianna R. Shrum
Release Date: September 22, 2015
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does.
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
To see an amazing guest post from the author, Brianna Shrum go to the original post.
Today, I am happy to announce my stop on The Way to Never blog tour. A couple of months ago, I also participated in The Beginning of Never blog tour. If you want to see my review of the first installment of this series, then click here
The Way to Never
By O. E. Boroni
Published July 25, 2015
When falling out of love, refuses to become an option…
Nathan Roque first met Lenora Baker, a beautiful, exasperating, and bitter girl when she was just fifteen years old. He fell so deeply in love with her that he suspected that in his lifetime, nothing else could ever mirror the kind of commitment that she drew out of him. But she is left heartbroken when an unfortunate incident drives them apart.
Thirteen years later, he sets out to reach out to her when he can no longer resist the consuming thoughts of her that have haunted him for so long. However, the same demons that caused him to let go of her in the first place are still holding him back. But when he is thrust into a situation where he has no choice but to become professionally involved with her, a Pandora’s Box of angst, resentment, and passion is unleashed.
Now they are forced to make the decision on how to proceed. But will it justify the one that they made in the past, or will it mock it?
To read my review and enter into the giveaway, see the original post.
The glass is always half-full, right? That is the classic answer to the age old question if a half a glass of water is half full or half empty. It labels you as a optimist, which is not a bad thing.
I think that the glass is entirely full. If you really think about it, the glass is half-full of water AND half-full of air. Hence, the whole glass is full with something. It is definitely not the standard answer, but it is the one that I relate the most too.
Along with this cliche, I am also a fan of every cloud as a silver lining, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, andthings will always get better. I try to live my life by these cliches that have been said so many things that some people believe that they are starting to lose their meaning. For me, these words have been a lifeline, something to constantly remind myself that living a happy life is possible. So, I try to incorporate optimism into every aspect of my life. I have also found a lot of optimism creeping into my reading life.
To find out how I have been using optimism as a tool to improve my reading life, see the original post.
This is a weekly list meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish.
I love a lot of authors. Just look at my Goodreads if you need proof. But, there are some coveted authors that I read more than others. Some might call them favorites (I like to call them addictions), but I devour all of their books, no matter what they write.
See my whole list on the original post.
Who knew that one ruined elixir could start a life of infinite danger? Iolanthe certainly did not, or she would have never attempted to fix that stupid potion.
Controlling lightning and calling it to strike the potion seemed like a good idea at the time, it was a pretty important potion, but it caused all kinds of unwanted, and potentially fatal, attention to be cast on Iolanthe. Apparently, she is the greatest elemental mage of the generation, and everyone would like to take advantage of her. That would have definitely been good to know before she called down that darn lightning.
Prince Titus was one of the many people surprised, impressed, and envious of that lightning strike. No one has been able to bend lightning to their will since the golden age of mages, which was hundreds of years ago. The powerful mage that accomplished this feat might be the only person who can help the prince fulfill the prophecy proclaimed by his mother. In order to complete his destiny, the prince must battle the corrupt, and immensely powerful, Bane who controls the prince's realm with a iron, bloody hand.
In order for the plan to succeed, the mage and the prince must be willing to sacrifice everything to their cause. Unfortunately, Iolanthe and Titus do not exactly see eye to eye on this whole destiny thing.
Elise is naturally precocious. She loves to challenge herself with massive projects and she succeeded with almost all of them. But, she failed at the most important project of them all.
Elise was going to make herself popular. With a whole summer ahead of her, endless ambition and a burning desire to be anyone but herself, she launched into this project with more zeal and determination than any other. But all of her preparation was for nothing. Apparently, it is not so easy to change yourself, especially if you are loser destined to be perpetually tormented, teased, and taunted by everyone you meet.
This loser was sick and tired of being a loser and would go to extreme measures to ensure that she would not have to endure another day being the most hated person in the world.
Through those extreme measures, Elise finds herself outside an indie warehouse party. The music is great, the boys are cute, and no one knows her as loser Elise. Without the pressure of being herself, Elise might just find everything she was looking for.