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The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg – Thoughts

ImageTitle: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Pages: 375
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Genre: I’d say YA contemporary with a twist of paranormal since she is, after all, dead
My rating: I loved this and it will stay with me for a long time

I have to admit that I picked up this book solely because of the cover. I read the inside jacket flap but wasn’t sure that I wanted to read about a 15 year old girl that was gaga over some stupid boy. This book is so much more that the story of a girl who loves a boy.

Brie’s life ends right after her boyfriend, “it” guy, Jacob, tells her he doesn’t love her. She dies of a broken heart. Her heart literally breaks in half. What happens next is her journey through the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and acceptance) before she can move on. She meets the adorable Patrick and he tries to help her through the stages. When Brie visits her family and friends she sees lots of secrets. Crushing secrets.

I was amazed that this was a debut novel. The writing was just plain luscious. This story was both hilarious and heartbreaking – often at the same time.

I loved the use of song titles/lyrics throughout (and she lists all the songs in the back). I loved Brie and Patrick. I loved Jacob. I loved Brie’s best friends Sadie, Emma and Tess and how they were when they were together because it rang so true of friendships like that.

In the end, this story is about loving and letting go – of your assumptions, of your prejudices, of the way things “should” be. 

Two of my favorite quotes:

Falling in love is pretty much the same thing as being eaten alive by a grizzly bear.

 

and

I’d chosen to sit and watch the storm clouds gather instead of running for cover at the first hint of rain. And I had paid the price for waiting. Because the storm became a hurricane.

 I’ve been on a roll with reading really great books lately. I gasped, I laughed and I cried. Loved this one.

 

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Altered by Jennifer Rush – Thoughts

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Title: Altered
Author: Jennifer Rush
Pages: 323
Genre: YA
Rating: I really liked it

I am unsure where I first saw this book mentioned. I do know I would have wanted to read it because of the cover alone. Let’s be honest…that guy is hot.

I am going to use the Goodreads description of the book because I can’t summarize it myself.

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

I was so excited to get this one and it lived up to expectations but I didn’t like Anna. I didn’t understand how she “allowed” the “boys” to be kept locked in for that long without letting them go. No matter what her father ever told her. It was an interesting storyline with believable dialogue. And everyone knows how important dialogue is for me. I just didn’t.like.Anna. I liked the interaction between the characters and the action, especially at the end, was awesome. The twists and turns were well done. There were several points that I gasped out loud.

Even though I didn’t like Anna, I am still looking forward to the sequel. Jennifer Rush is adorable (follow her on Twitter) and I think she will continue to write interesting books that keep us on our toes.

 

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Friday Link Love #1

Linking up to a few of my favorite blog posts for the week…

Kat at The Aussie Zombie has a review of Just One Day by Gayle Forman. Every review I’ve seen of it has been gushing good and my library doesn’t own a copy of it. I don’t think I’d LOVE it so I hate to buy a copy so her review saying she enjoyed it but wasn’t gushing just makes me feel better. Yeah, it’s all about me after all.

Hannah from So Obsessed With wrote such a interesting review of Jennifer Gilbert’s I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag that I bumped it way up my TBR list.

Kira from Sorry Television has a sweet and funny Lat Lady Interlude. Read it and enjoy.

and if you’d like to see my name in lights (ok, not exactly lights), visit Wendy at caribousmom where she announced me as the winner of her CANADA contest. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Thanks again, Wendy!

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Thoughts

ImageTitle: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Pages: 356
Genre: YA
Series or Standalone: Series (Grisha trilogy #1)
Rating: I loved it. Excuse me while I go all fangirl on it.

My Thoughts: I can sum up this book in one word: wow. And “wow” in the most spectacular way. I had read a couple of reviews of this and it sounded pretty good so I requested it from the library. I didn’t really get that it was fantasy (I guess?) so I wasn’t sure about it when I actually read a bit of the front flap. But I had it and I loved the cover so I thought I’d give it a shot. 3 hours later I finally got off the couch because I was really stiff. That’s how much I didn’t want to put it down.

I have nothing, not one single word, negative to say about it. Well, maybe one thing…it ended. And the next one doesn’t come out until June.

S&B is the story of Alina and Mal who find each other in the same orphan house. When Alina shows a powerful gift, she is taken off to the Darkling to be trained as a Grisha. The Grisha are a group of specially trained warriors for the Darkling. The Darkling is both loved and hated throughout Ravka. Once she arrives at the Little Palace, Alina tries to fit in and learns that things might not be what she thinks. Is she a weapon or a good thing for the kingdom?

I have to say that I was crushing on the Darkling the whole time. I kept reading it as the “darling” and he sounds like he is quite easy on the eyes. The entire cast of characters was well developed. The dialogue flowed well and the plot was very good. Ravka was so well developed that I could picture it as if it were real.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. I will be buying my own copy so that I can reread it before Siege and Storm comes out. Yep, that’s how much I loved it! I am actually going to BUY a copy! Gasp. Plus, Leigh Bardugo, the author, replied to a tweet of mine on Twitter. I love that.

Thanks for letting me fangirl on this wonderful story! ;-)

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Squeal

I have an RSS feed of the new young adult books that my local library receives. Today I literally squealed when I saw they had cataloged three of my top ten books I’m excited to read this year. I have, of course, requested all three.

Am trying to decide what to spend a Barnes and Noble gift card on. We’ll be near there tomorrow so hopefully my little guy will let me look for a few minutes.

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Crash by Lisa McMann – Thoughts

ImageTitle: Crash
Author: Lisa McMann
Pages: 233
Genre: YA
Series or Standalone: #1 of series
Rating: I really liked it

I’ll use a quote from the first page as a summary:” Every few days I see it. Sometimes it’s just a picture, like on that billboard we pass on the way to school. And other times it’s moving, like on a screen. A careening truck hits a building and explodes. Then nine body bags in the snow.

It’s like a movie trailer with no sound, no credits. And nobody sees it but me”

This was a fun, action packed, and quick read. Read it in a day and really enjoyed it. Jules was a likeable character and I really liked Sawyer. Trey was One of my favorite things was the lists that Jules made. “Top 5 reasons why…” Fun!

I have only read one other book by Lisa McMann and I enjoyed this one much more. It was original and inventive and the plot moved along with great dialogue.

One thing that I didn’t like was the cussing. I thought it was unnecessary in a book that was geared towards teens.

A twist at the end makes me wonder what’s next for this series and I look forward to finding out!

Thoughts?

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