Book Reviews

Book Review: Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Far from the Tree“A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment. Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family,including—Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fear are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.”    — Summary from Goodreads

5

Far From the Tree is a book that I put on my Christmas wishlist on a whim.  After glancing over the summary and seeing the ratings and beautiful cover, I decided to add it to my TBR. When I picked it up, I wasn’t expecting to stay up all night until I finished it. I wasn’t expecting to become so attached to the characters as the story went on. Most of all, I wasn’t expecting to read such a beautifully written, tear-jerking YA novel based on family.

I’ve said it once before, and I’ll say it again: there are few young adult books that realistically represent and ultimately focus on family. It seems like in most contemporary novels, the family is the side plot or ignored altogether. Not in Far From the Tree.  Robin Benway constructs a beautiful scenario to showcase three–albeit different–realistic families. She was able to incorporate several real-life occurrences–teen pregnancy, alcoholism, divorce, adoption–and fold them into a story where they didn’t feel cliche but genuine.

The three main characters–Grace, Maya, and Joaquin–all have hardships they have had to deal with in their life. When Grace puts her own baby up for adoption, she learns that she has two biological siblings, so she begins to reach out to them. The reader gets to see the relationship between these siblings grow from the awkward initial conversations to the vulnerable and open cry-sessions. Watching these bonds form is my favorite aspect of the book; at one point Joaquin stands up for his Grace, and it is one of the sweetest scenes I have ever read.

The topic of adoption is also handled very well by Benway in Far From the Tree. We get to see Grace’s perspective after giving up Peach as well as her determination to find her birth mother. On the other side, we see Maya and Joaquin’s frustration and anger toward their biological mother for giving them up in the first place. Adoption has had a different impact on all three of the kids. Maya feels like she doesn’t belong in her own family while Joaquin is having trouble accepting that a family can love him after he spent his life in foster care.

Overall, this was an absolutely fantastic read. I finished it at the end of 2017, and it easily became of my favorites of the year if not one of my new favorite contemporaries ever. I adore the focus on the family. While each character has their own side story that may include romance, the relationships that are focused on are the ones within families. Far From the Tree will make you laugh and cry (and then cry some more). Even after some thought, I don’t think there is any flaw in this book or anything that I would want to change. It is perfect the way it is.

 

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Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Published On: October 10. 2017

Genre: Contemporary

5         Turtles All the Way Down

I have never experienced the feeling of reading a new John Green book. I read all of his other books years after they were published. After his success with TFIOS, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever experience the feeling of a new John Green book. But here we are. All these years of waiting–worth it.

This book exceeded all of my expectations. I thought TATWD would mimic his other novels–boy/girl meets another girl/boy, tragic life situations, young love, etc. And while there were some similarities, the overall tone of the book different from his others– rightly so due to the nature of the book.  For someone who wrote about teen cancer and death, I didn’t think I could read another book of his that was sadder and darker but TATWD is just that. It may not be the heartbreaking romance novels, but it pulls on your heartstrings in a way other books can’t.

Aza Holmes, a 16 year old from Indianapolis, suffers from crippling anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. She fears the microbes living in her body and has the constant need to change the bandaid on her finger. Aza finds herself in what she calls “thought spirals” where the intrusive thoughts about microbes, C. diff, and her overall existence took over her mind. Daisy, her spunky friend, doesn’t quite understand Aza’s fears but supports and love her nonetheless. And then there’s Davis, the boy across the river who happens to be the son of the missing fugitive billionaire.

After reading the premise, I thought that the search for Davis’ father would be the main plot. However, much to my liking, Turtles All the Way Down did not turn into a classic Nancy Drew story and instead focused almost solely on Aza inner turmoil. This book’s focus on mental health was refreshing. It didn’t offer a superficial ending where she was “healed” because it doesn’t work that way in the real world. There are good days and bad days, and even after years of counselling you can still have those bad days. It showcased Aza’s inner monologue as her logic fought with the intrusive thoughts her anxiety threw at her. Without spoiling, there is an instance where we read this inner battle for 2-3 pages until she finally succumbs to the thoughts. The amount of emotion and effect Green was able to pack into those pages was raw and beautiful.

Instead, TATWD focused on Aza and her relationships, which to me was the most heartwarming part of the story. Her friendship with Daisy was so realistic. They loved and cared for each other fiercely but they had conflicts. Daisy would get frustrated with Aza’s anxiety but at the end of the day was always there for her. And then there is her relationship with Davis which is unlike any other romantic pairing I have read in YA fiction. They understand each other on deep level and have very enlightening conversations but (spoiler) it doesn’t work out. Neither can give with the other needs at that moment. It’s a story of first love that is different from any other. I highlighted this quote because it really captures the essence of their relationship:

‘You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person, and why.” 

That is just one of many beautifully written lines you will find in Turtles All the Way Down. Sure, it may not have an epic romance per say or an exciting mystery. However, this book packs a powerful punch with its realism. Ava’s struggles are present in many people in the world today. Struggling or not, I believe everyone can find a piece of this book to relate to or find comfort in. It’s just that good.

 

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published On: September 2, 2014

Genre: Fantasy

5         Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

As you may know, I have jumped on the Throne of Glass series, and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. Right now, I am up to date with everyone else, and have to wait for Queen of Shadows (which is thankfully only a month away!). If you haven’t read this series, or just the book Heir of Fire, do not read any more of this review, because you don’t want this great series to be spoiled!!

Where do I even begin to write a review on such a wonderful book? Normally I try to break reviews down into characters/plot/writing, but there are three different storylines going on in this book. I’m just going to discuss all of these, because I have so much to say

First we have the Manon storyline. I’ll be honest- I really didn’t care for her chapters. I wasn’t really hooked until closer to the end of the book. I constantly wanted to go hurry up and finish her chapters so I could get more of the exciting bits in other character’s perspectives. But I will admit, as they went on, I grew to like them much more. This was a perfect developing storyline for the entire series, and I really can’t wait to see how the King’s plan unfolds. IT was mentioned that the Thirteen weren’t eating the weird meat, which was used to control the witches, so I want to see how they act since they aren’t influenced by the King. Also, after I finally figured out what the heck a wyvren was, I enjoyed the dragon training much more.

Then we have the “what’s going on in Adralan” chapter that were split between Chaol, Aedion, Dorian, and a couple from Sorscha. I really loved these chapters, because we got to see everything in Adralan and two familiar characters. I, like many others, was EXTREMELY annoyed by Chaol! I mean I understand that your job is to protect the kingdom, but if the flipping the PRINCE supports Celaena, I think you can to buddy. Eventually he came to his senses. Then we have Aedion, who was the jerkiest Jerk ever, until Oh wait, he’s not a jerk at all. The full-out loyalty that Aedion showed to Aelin was so adorable, and I really really hope he gets out of jail and we get our Aedion/Aelin reuinion. Speaking of him being in jail, that was just one of the may terrible things that went on in the end. I mean I loved Sorscha and Dorian together, and they both deserved happiness, and her head is just cut off. Not only that but now Dorian has that collar on! I CAN’T HANDLE DORIAN BEING A SLAVE. Nope. Nope. Nope. We need to save him and fast, before the worst father of the century does something.

Finally, we have the glorious Celaena chapters. Basically, these were always my favorite to read, because it’s Celaena. She travelled to visit her aunt Maeve, and she has to do all this training to prove her magic. Enter in Rowan, the meanest trainer ever, that I absolutely came to adore. The relationship that formed between Rowan and Celaena was so awesome. You could see their respect for each grow each chapter, and their friendship just became so important. They have all these adventures together and they really grow close, close enough to where she frees him from Maeve and he performs the blood oath to Aelin. I can’t wait to see this duo further into the series, and I’m oddly excited for Rowan to meet Chaol and Dorian.

Heir of Fire was just brilliant book for developing. Every single thing in this book, had some ties to development.

  • Celaena learns to control her power and finally accepts her role as Queen
  • Chaol discovers that he actually want to support Celaena and Dorian’s magic
  • Manon is part of the King’s army for the endgame climax (I can’t wait for her and Celaena to meet!)
  • We learn a lot more about Terrasen and Aelin’s background
  • The world is expanded and we learn about all kinds of different monsters/creatures
  • WE LEARN WHERE A WYRDKEY IS

I could go on forever about how great of a 3rd book in a series this is, but I’m making myself stop. This book was the first time we really stepped out of Adarlan, and the first time we saw a glimpse of what was to happen. Sarah is planting all these seeds now, and I can’t wait to see them blossom.

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Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern Review

Author: Cammie McGovern  Say What You Will

Publisher: Harper Teen

Published On: June 3, 2014

Genre: Contemporary

3 1/2Say What You Will

As you may know, for the last part of July, I have done a buddy read for the book Say What You Will. For the next few days there will be discussion posts about this book, but first I wanted to start off my review. Here is the goodreads summary if you want an idea of what this book is about.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

I will say I do have some mixed opinions about this book. There were some things that I loved, while other things that I didn’t. This book truly was very unique to me despite it’s flaws, and it wasn’t what I expected. From all the talk about this book, it sounded like it would take The Fault in Our Stars route, but it most definitely didn’t.

The characters in this book were very diverse and unique and that was the thing I loved most about this book. Cammie dared to be different by writing about a cerebral palsy patient and someone affected by OCD. They way she portrayed Amy and Matthew was truly wonderful. I loved how simple their relationship was in the beginning and seeing how it grew overtime. During this book, I learned a lot about two disabling disorders, and it was very interesting to see what these two had to go through.

The whole idea of having other students help Amy at school so she could make friends was amazing. At first, I thought every but Matthew would blow Amy off, but they really were there and I wish we would’ve had more development with them.  Overall, I loved the beginning of this plot, but as it went on, instead of getting better, it got worse.
Many people say they started disliking Amy when she started throwing all the tasks at Matthew to help his OCD. While it seemed very harsh in the book, I suppose that is a way you have to deal with it, and it really showed how much Amy cared about him to help him. Matthew was always so insecure and would just shut down, and while it was frustrating, I thought it accurately showed him as a character going what he was going through. The two had major miscommunication problems, and so many things could have been fixed if they would just talk.
The big “twist” of Amy being pregnant was when it started to go down hill for me. It sort of came out of nowhere and was really out of character. Everything afterward sort of dragged, and I feel the ending would’ve been much better if that twist was never enacted. There was all kind of build-up about the relationship of Amy and Matthew, and it ended very abruptly. There were many pages left in my book because of a preview, but I thought it was still part of the story. So when I came to the last page, I didn’t know it was the last page because there was no closure.
Finally, the main thing with this book was the 3rd person perspective. There were so many emotional parts of the book that you could see, but you could never really feel the emotion. I wanted to be inside the character’s heads as they went through all their hardships, but instead we just got an oustide glance.
Overall, I thought this was a great read, but there were many flaws. It was still a very intriguing read, and I would recommend it because the first half of the book is beautiful. If only it had continued like that the rest of the way.
P.S. I still have many thoughts on this book, so don’t think this is the end for the buddy read 🙂
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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published On: August 15, 2013

Genre: Fantasy

5         Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Crown of Midnight is a the sequel to Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass, which I adored with all my heart. If you have not read Throne of Glass or Crown of Midnight yet, what is wrong with you do not read this review. It will have some serious spoilers for the series that you will want to experience while reading. Normally at this point I would give a little non-spoilery summary, but even the summary could give things away if you haven’t read the first book, so I’m just going to avoid that. Go read the books, then you can come back and discuss.

If you would have told me that this book would manage to be even better than Throne of Glass, I wouldn’t have believed. Now I know that I was wrong to not believe you. More often than not, sequels are a bit of a letdown for me, but this one was extraordinary. There are so many things to discuss, but this review can only be so long, so I will I finatry to divide everything up as best as possible.

Crown of Midnight opens up to Celaena doing her Champion-work for the King, and it is revealed that she isn’t actually killing the people she is supposed to (which wasn’t a surprise, knowing Celaena). It was all going along fine until she got the order to kill Archer Finn, who was said to be a traitor to the King. This was really the beginning of the plot as we learned more about the rebel group and the treacherous things the King has done. At this point, we start learning a ton about magic, especially the wydrkeys used to create the portals. There are three keys total, and if you possess them all you can basically rule the world. At this point we aren’t sure where they are or how many the King has. Sarah J. Maas puts a lot of detail and explanation when explaining her world, and it just makes it so much better.

The characters are still the characters I loved in the first book, just enhanced ten times. Celaena managed to become even more epic as a character. Before I delve deeper in the characters, I must say this: Celaena and Chaol’s relationship. I have loved Chaol and his connection with Celaena since the beginning. These two are absolutely perfect, and their scenes together are adorable. But just because I love Chaol, doesn’t mean I don’t love Dorian! I may not like him as much with Celaena, but he is still an awesome character. He develops so much in this book with his magic, and I can’t wait to see where it takes him. Now for the feels, because Nehemia. I was so heartbroken when she died, especially when we find out she planned it to push Celaena toward the main goal.

The entire scene where Celaena finds Nehemia is a devastating scene. This is one of the first times we truly see Celaena crack. I mean she almost killed Chaol, who she deeply cared about (she killed like the entire rebel group for him). Thankfully Dorian’s magic saved the day and we still have Chaol with us.

While there were are many great scenes in this book, my favorite is hands down the climax. Celaena goes in the tunnel to open a portal to talk to Nehemia and all hell breaks loose (literally). Chaol, Dorian, and Celaena are all present and everyone learns some interesting facts to say the least. The twist of Celaena being Fae shocking me, but what shocked me more was her knowing about! We have spent two books in her head and nothing. After learning about it though, small instances and lines throughout the books all made sense. There was actually quite a bit of hidden foreshadowing that I never caught.

You think that Celaena’s faeness is the big twist about her in this book, but Maas proves us wrong. Let’s just say we may be calling Celaena Aelin in the future. At this point I was ready to believe anything, so Celaena being the lost princess of Terrasen was pretty normal. All I could think was that in my favorite books, the character ends up being a lost princess, because hello Cinder!

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. Celaena’s relationships with everyone grew so much and we got to know a little more about our mysterious assassin. I know this review was an absolute mess, but that’s probably because I have too many emotions and read this about a week ago. I’m truly loving the direction this series is going!

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Throne of Glass Review by Sarah J. Maas

Author: Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published On: August 7, 2012

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

I honestly don’t know how I will make it through this review without babbling about how great this book is, but hopefully I will be able to control myself. For those of you who don’t know what Throne of Glass is about, here’s my little summary that I can give to you without spoiling.

Celaena Sardothien is the most well-known assassin in all of Ardalan. When Prince Dorian offers her freedom from the worst prison ever, she knew there was something bigger going on. He said he would give her freedom on one condition: if she competed in the King’s competition to find the next royal assassin. There she will have to face 23 deadly competitors in competitions, and if she wins, all she has between her and freedom is three years of service. Things were going great until the other competitors started showing up dead everywhere. Will Celaena be able to figure out what’s brutally killing the assassins? Or will she be the next victim?

There you have it. If you haven’t read Throne of Glass yet, DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS POST. Seriously, this is a book you want to read for yourself, so run to your nearest book place and go read.

Oh, how to begin a review of a book like Throne of Glass. I am tremendously mad at myself that it took me this long to get on this train. But now that I’m on it, I’m here for the rest of the ride. This book really outdid itself when it came to introducing characters, setting a series plot in motion, and building a new world. With each page, you grow more and more attached.

Sarah J. Maas has created some very interesting characters. Celaena is the pinnacle of awesome, butt-kicking female protagonists in young adult books. She can fight better than all the men in this book and is very sassy with he remarks. The two guys in this book, Dorian and Chaol, are also great in their own ways. This story actually has a love triangle I can get behind. While I am an absolute Celaena/Chaol supporter, I still loved her time spent with Dorian. Her interactions with the two are really nice, especially as you see them growing closer to one another.

The whole idea of the competition for the King’s champion was to say the least, very wonderful. Chaol made Celaena hold back when she was with the guys, but when she finally showed her real skills, they knew better than to misjudge this little lady. It was easy to call that it would be her vs Cain in finals, but the whole thing with him and the portals made up for it. The scene where Celaena is fighting Cain and the beast is so intense you are almost ripping pages to keep going. I really liked how the competition wasn’t everything to this book, because we also go to see a side of the magic in this world. Everything from Queen Elena visiting to Nehemia and the wydrmarks really gave a small taste of what was yet to come in the series.

There are so many lovable parts of this book, but here are a few I especially enjoyed…

  • Chaol very slowly realizing how he feels about Celaena
  • Celaena’s sassiness with Kaltain
  • The constantly switching point of views
  • The last battle verus CaiI re
  • When Celaena proves herself to her competitors

Throne of Glass was a great starter book in what I will presume to be a great series. With every page you love the characters and this story even more. There are aspects of action, mystery, competition and romance that insure for an exciting tale. I absolutely loved Celaena’s personality and watching her defeat the obstacles set in her way. I can’t wait for more!

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Author: Morgan Matson   

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published On: May 4, 2014

Genre: Contemporary

I’m not sure if I will be able to capture the perfection of this book with words, but I’ll try. For those of you who haven’t read Since You’ve Been Gone, this review may have some spoilers, so I would suggest reading it and then coming back. However, I will leave those of you who haven’t read the book with a short summary.

Emily wasn’t the bold type. She didn’t go to parties and wore the same sort of outfit. That is until she met Sloane. With Sloane at her side pushing her to do things, Emily was a new and improved version of herself. They were the best kind of best friends. The summer they had planned out was going to be epic, until Sloane disappears. No calls. No texts. The only thing she left behind was a list of crazy adventures for Emily. Some were easier, some were harder, but they all pushed Emily to things she normally wouldn’t do. As Emily goes the summer checking things off the list in hopes of finding Sloane, she meets amazing people and has great experiences. Maybe the summer wouldn’t turn out as bad as Emily thought.

I wanted to wait until Summer to read this, but I couldn’t. The concept was very appealing to me and it looked like a super fun contemporary. This book has humor, adventure, friendship, and even some romance. Reading it puts you into this extreme state of happiness. (If you can’t tell I really loved it) Enough with the gushing, let’s talk about the book.

The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the characters. I loved how close Emily, Frank, Dawn, and Collins grew over the summer. They were all helping with the list and had some amazing experiences together. You could see them grow closer and closer each chapter. A prime example of the developing friendship is Frank and Emily. They meet and Emily doesn’t really feel comfortable around him at all. But with each running session we seem them warm up to each other more, and then we have then staying up all night just talking. That scene on the beach was their true icebreaker. I guess you learn a lot about someone when you stay up all night with them. Since You’ve Been Gone had one of my favorite aspects when it comes to relationships: a budding friendship. When I read romances, my favorite thing is watching the two become friends. I do not care for love at first sight or anything. This book was great at it, and they didn’t even get together until the very end.

Another thing about this book that made it stand out was the extra things. The playlists and the constant flashbacks were great. We don’t meet Sloane really until the end, but we already know so much about her character just from Emily’s memories. Speaking of the end, I was really scared we wouldn’t get Sloane. I don’t know why I was thinking it, but I was so scared that they would never really find Sloane, but just a letter that explained what happened.

Overall, this was a pretty predictable book, but still very enjoyable. We knew Frank and Emily would get together, and we knew that when Frank went to New Jersey it was to break up with Lisa. However, it’s still entertaining to watch characters that don’t know what is going on. One of the best scenes is when Frank and Emily are in the car driving to Sloane, and it is just pure awkwardness. The last time they were together, Emily ran away from him (literally). In the end, they finally talk and everything turns out.

This was a super fun contemporary, and it makes me want to read more summer books! Winter is finally over and now I want to read all kinds of cute little romances! This was actually my first Morgan Matson boo. I’ve heard that this is her best of the three, but I still think I want to read her other books. Has anyone read them, and do you think I should?

 

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Author: Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: December 18, 2012

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Goodreads Blurb:  

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. Continue reading “The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken”

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Author: Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Knopf

Release Date: January 6

Rating: 4 out of 5

“All Finch wanted in life was to be dead. One afternoon while teetering on the ledge at the top of the school, he meets Violet. She, like Finch, just wants to die. As they start working together on a school project that requires to wander around Indiana, they grow closer than they would have ever thought. On their journey, Violet learns about all the things that there is to live for, and wants to have a happy life with Finch. However, Finch is still set on dying soon, and convincing him otherwise will be hard.”

Oh. My. Gosh. I’m not sure how to explain how much I enjoyed this book. Before I actually read it, I had seen some negative reviews and figured it would be one of those “eh okay” books. I was definitely wrong with that prediction. I can see why people may not have liked it, but to me, there are so many things to enjoy about this book.

First off, the characters. Finch was a very unique and interesting character, and I haven’t read a book in a while with someone like him. The way his mind worked and how he acted with so many different personalities was fascinating to read. Violet wasn’t as interesting, but I still enjoyed her story and seeing how she dealt with things. However,I was super frustrated with her when she was very secretive of her relationship with Finch and how she hid him from everyone.

The story started off good, but it definitely picked up and got good after the assignment was assigned. I loved seeing these two characters grow close throughout their whole adventure. I myself had two favorite wanderings that they visited. The first one was the roller coaster because it sounded really fun and made a fun scene in the book. The second was the “Before I Die” wall because I had prior knowledge of it and I was really important for them to see that.

While the main characters of this story were great, there were definitely a fair share of jerky characters as well. First off, everyone in the school besides Finch’s two friends were absolutely horrible. In their people, they listed the top most suicidal person and told Finch to go jump. I mean who does that? Besides the school, we also have to recognize FInch’s dad. He beat the kids, left them because he didn’t like them, and then invites them to see his “new and improved” family.

The relationship between Violet and Finch was something I loved in this book. It was obvious and very expected, but they still started with a bumpy path. The way they talked to one another was adorable. In fact, one of the best scenes is when they are on the roof shouting Dr. Seuss quotes.

It is time to start talking about the ending. When Finch locked himself away, I was starting to get worried. For awhile after he left, I thought that was how it would end without us never truly knowing what had happened to him.  As soon as I had seen the post-it note with a violet drawn on it, I knew he had died. (SPOILER FOR DIVERGENT…. It reminded me of how Veronica Roth stopped saying whose perspective it was in after Tris died…. END OF SPOILER) Once Violet went to the Blue Hole we got to see what really happened.

Overall, I think that this is a great book and I think many people would like it. If you are someone who likes Looking for Alaska or sad love stories, this is a perfect book for you. It is very emotional. Sometimes you are laughing along with the characters, and another you are ready to cry.

 

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I Was Here Review by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Release Date: January 27

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

“After Meg drinks a deadly chemical in a hotel room, Cody is left to wonder why. She learns that the best friend she thought told her everything had actually hid many things. I Was Here is a story that shows the emotional  journey one girl takes to know her friend after she leaves her.”

 
I thought that I Was Here was overall a pretty interesting story. There were things I loved about it, things I wish didn’t happen, and things I wanted more of. This review will have many spoilers, so if you haven’t read I Was Here by Gayle Forman, I would suggest reading it and then coming back!

 
One of the best things in  this story is the surprising things you learn about Meg. Everything from the cats to Ben Mcallister, all these things that Cody learns helps us create Meg as a character. Normally when I read a book, I can kind of get of sense of where the plot is going and predict what might happen. In no world would I have ever seen the “suicide support group” twist coming. When this is revealed the whole entire book gets much darker and it starts to get better.

 
While first reading it, I wished that the reader could see more of Meg. Even if there was just a chapter before everything had happened. However, as I went on, my decision made a complete switch. Gayle Forman was able to paint this picture of Meg and give us her personality even though she is not physically in the story. All we know about her thoughts on life are just implied. We never truly see into her mind and what was going on when everything was happening, which is very true when it comes to real life.

 
One thing I didn’t care for was the Cody/Ben romance. I understand that they were both connected and as characters, they had to change over the course of the story. However, I don’t think it was necessary to add the romance. They hated each other at first, so if they grew into really good friends throughout the plot, they still would have had changed feelings. I Was Here had bigger things to focus on, and the romance was a distraction from it.

 
Unfortunately, when reading this book, it didn’t feel like a Gayle Forman book. I can’t explain this in the best way, but Gayle’s writing style in If I Stay made me fall in love with the book. Not only this, but I was also more connected to the If I Stay characters, and I cared more about what happened to them. It’s not that I didn’t like Cody or the other characters, they just didn’t seem very real on paper.

 
In the end, I thought that I Was Here was a pretty good book. I mainly loved it because it took a turn I never saw coming, and left you feeling kind of creeped out. Every part with the All_BS user was calm but very creepy. He just had this effect on people, and for a moment, I believed that Cody might be suicidal as well. That to me is what made this book. The main reason I picked this up was because it was a Gayle Forman book, but many people that like books that deal with dark issues like suicide, they would really enjoy I Was Here.