My Rating: 98%
What a fantastic summer road trip story. I have to say, I am all about three things:
First of all, the fact that the author did such a great job creating a very real trip and didn't make it too over the top is fantastic. She also played up little moments throughout Amy and Roger's journey highlighting that this adventure could (and should) happen to any one of us. I also enjoyed how Morgan Matson included a few pages before each chapter and made them into snippets of Amy's "road trip diary". It added some fun visuals and really rounded out the story.
Secondly, I loved reading about all of Amy and Roger's stops. The way that Matson describes some of the firsts that they experience is unique. She makes even the small firsts a really big deal, and I could feel the significance as a reader. Everything from wardrobe changes to a new burger was a unique experience, and it really made every moment standout. A great part of this book was that even thought it was very fun and lighthearted, it still showed the characters growing as people as they experienced things outside of their comfort zones.
Amy has made her way into my top female character list for sure. She is a little nerdy, and absolutely loves musicals. For me (as a lover of musicals myself), it was a very welcome surprise to find a character who shares the same interests as me. The little moments throughout the book where Amy and Roger made playlists together was something I found really funny. Amy keeps telling Roger that they should listen to his music, because she know he won't want to listen to musical recordings. When he finally makes her play some of her music, it's such a cute moment, and something you won't fully appreciate unless you listen to musicals yourself.
I also have to point out ALL THE LOVE I have for Roger as a wholesome character. Can you take me on a road trip? Fair warning, if you asked, I WOULD SAY YES. (Also if any one of you guys want to road trip it with me, that answer is also a yes. So much spontaneity and book loving all in one post.)
If you are looking for a book to wrap up your summer reading, be sure to pick this one up! Have you already read it? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!
The soon-to-be junior in high school,
The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them.
― Morgan Matson, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.
My rating: 73%
I received Song of the Current in the June Uppercase Box and was really excited to delve into it. It sounded like something that I had never read in the young adult genre. When I got into it, I realized it wasn't really my cup of tea, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The book started off with a bunch of exciting events all right in a row. (Okay, watching your father get thrown in prison and a beloved dock burn isn't exactly "exciting", but you get what I mean.) These first 50 pages or so really got me excited for a fast-paced action novel. But after the beginning, the story slowed down quite a bit, which I wasn't expecting at all. Sure, there were a few major events here and there, but the action-y bits scattered throughout the book were very short and sweet. The story didn't really pick back up until the very end. (And all I can say about the end of the book without spoiling anything is that it is fantastic. Totally worth sticking out the slow bits.)
Even though parts of the book were slow, I fell in love with the characters. Every single character that was introduced had a purpose and a story all their own. I love that Sarah Toclser didn't throw around characters and put in unnecessary extras just for the sake of it. The best part, however, is how deep Caro gets throughout the story. At first, she just starts out as an unassuming wherryman who hopes to become a captain. Throughout the story, her layers start to peel back, and just when you think you know everything, something unexpected is revealed, and as the reader, you are forced to start thinking something completely different.
I also just want to touch on the fact that the world that Caro lives in is so interesting and unique. The mythology that surrounds the rivers and the details that go into describing it are creative. I also have to bow down to Sarah Toclser for a minute because of the way she describes the boating aspects. They are amazing. It is so clear that she knows and loves what she's talking about, and it comes across so well through Caro.
Overall, this book was just an okay read for me, but I've heard countless people swoon over it. Hopefully you will like this book more than me, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
From her vacation,
'Magic doesn't make a man evil,' he said. 'It's just a skill. It isn't inherently good or bad. It's what's in his heart that makes him evil, the same as anyone else.
― Sarah Tolcser, Song of the Current
having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
My Rating: 92%
I absolutely adored this book. Everything from the characters to the writing style really made this book an entertaining read. It was light, big-hearted, but it also made me stop and think. The way that Will and other blind people live their lives is so foreign to most of our society, and the idea that someone would have to learn how to see is something I would've never imagined. Josh Sundquist put together a beautiful and hilarious story that really captivated me.
First off, I have to give props to the amazing Josh Sundquist for another spectacular read. If you didn't already know, this is his second book, his first being a nonfiction novel about his life as someone who has had their leg amputated from the hip. It is hilarious and sweet, just an all around awesome read. I was so excited to hear that he was coming out with another book, and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. (Seriously though, if you haven't read either of his books, you should get on that. Anyway, back to the review!)
Overall, the characters and the way in which they interacted was wonderful. Will was a fantastic main character, and I will touch on that in a second. What I was really fond of was that every single one of the minor characters had their own vivid personality and every one of them played a part in the story. I feel like that is super important, especially for a shorter novel like this one. There weren't a lot of side characters that were there for the sake of it. I thought it helped simplify the story and move it along.
I loved the descriptions and writing style. There were so many moments that were very thoughtful and helped me understand more of what kind of life Will lives. One of the best moments (spoiler free, by the way) in the entire book was when will and Cecily go to the art showcase and she attempts to describe to him what the paintings look like and what emotion they are trying to convey. Little moments like that throughout the book were what really made me fall in love with it.
Of course, I have to mention the fact that Will is now one of my all-time favorite narrators. His humor and hope really drive the plot for me. Even though we are very different, I felt like I knew him and his situation, and related to it quite a bit. I loved how he didn't let a whole lot of things bother him when they could have. Being a 16-year-old kid in high school isn't easy, and I can't imagine what hardships blindness brings to the table. But Will made it easy for me to understand where he is coming from, and nothing wins me over in a book like a relatable narrator.
This is a great book if you're looking for a quick, hilarious read this summer. Have you read it? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!
As she looks at life with a new perspective,
People who stop laughing are always the ones who get hurt.
― Josh Sundquist, Just Don't Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain
Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
My Rating: 73%
As second books in trilogies go, this book ranks fairly high. As a book in general, it is just average. It had some interesting events here and there, but overall, this book didn't have anything that wowed me. I also think that part of the blame may go to the fact that I have been reading some of the Shadowhunter books in a row, with this one being number three on the list.
First of all, I felt like there were a few subplots throughout the story that felt really unnecessary. There were some that really added to the story (shoutout to my boy Will for his amazing subplot), and then there were some that I felt could've been left out and I wouldn't have missed out on anything. I am not one for plots being over-dramatic, and I caught myself reading and thinking, "It's not that big of a deal. Get over it."
One of my big issues with this book was the fact that I kept waiting for something big and climactic to happen, and I didn't really feel like that ever happened. I know this is because it is setting up readers for the last book in the trilogy, but I was really hoping for a grander ending.
With that being said, there were a lot of things added to the story that I didn't see coming. I won't mention them for spoiler reasons, but there were things revealed about the characters and their situations that I couldn't believe. These twists and turns were what kept me on the edge of my seat and what made me not want to put the book down.
I also appreciated how Tessa grew up throughout these books. At the beginning, she was terrified of every new person she met and wasn't really very trusting. Throughout the books, she has gotten chances to prove herself and really make herself known as a strong and independent woman. She is very respected in the Institute, and those little moments of courage really add to the story.
Overall, I liked this book but didn't see anything super special in it. Let me know if you have read it already, or are planning to read it sometime soon in the comments!
From her Shadowhunter break,
It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
What did you think of Windfall? Let me know in the comments below!
While she contemplates life decisions,
We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.”
Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...
My rating: 90%
This is a book that's been on my TBR for quite some time. I'd been putting off both the last three books of The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices just because I wasn't sure what order in which to to read them, and quite frankly, it was just easier to read something else. But now that I've read it, I don't know why I put off reading this book. It was such a well-represented book, having elements of fantasy, comedy, romance, historical fiction, and action. There is definitely something for everyone in this book.
First of all, I love the Shadowhunter world that Cassandra Clare builds in the late 1800's. It is the perfect mix of Victorian Era London and the sophistication of the Nephilim society. Since I read this book after reading the first three Mortal Instruments books, I could see the parallels in the books and the different ways the Shadowhunters lived in the 19th century vs. the present world. The time period also has an effect on the way the narrator, Tessa Grey, views both the mundane and Shadowhunter societies. I really noticed how Tessa thought it was strange that the women of the Nephilim were thought of as equal, and fought alongside the men. It goes to show how far we have come in today's society.
Speaking of Tessa, I'm pretty sure we could be best friends. She is a strong and independent woman who don't need no man, and also loves books! I'm not going to lie, we're basically the same person. She will also do whatever is necessary to find her brother, who goes missing at the beginning of the story. Tessa is so courageous and intelligent, I wish I was her. She doesn't back down to anyone, and I really admire that.
My favorite aspects of this book are the small tie-ins to the original series, and it kept me on my toes. I won't go into too much detail because of spoiler reasons, but there were a lot of little moments where I thought to myself, "Oh, that's a nod to so-and-so!" or, "That's important later!" It was really neat to have all those little moments. I also loved the fact that every time I thought I had everything figured out, there was something unexpected thrown into the mix. Cassandra Clare constantly shakes things up and made me second guess things.
Overall, this book is both a great read if you have a few Mortal Instruments books under your belt, or you're looking for a new fantasy series, this book is definitely for you!
Have you read Clockwork Angel? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!
The re-established Shadowhunter,
'One must always be careful of books,' said Tessa, 'and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.'
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
What did you think of Hunted? Let me know in the comments below!
Jamming to the Beauty & the Beast Soundtrack,
I will call you Beauty, for that is what you are.”
What did you think of All the Bright Places? Are you excited for the movie? Let me know in the comments below!
The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it's the small things that count.”
Queen Victoria the Enlightened
The tale of Queen Victoria begins on a calm spring afternoon. The rain had settled, and the sun came out to stay. King Arthur and Queen Charlotte of Barda were on their way back from a neighboring country, where they had settled a trade agreement. They were a very happy couple, as the queen was expecting her first-born child any day. What she didn’t know was that “any day” had come upon them.
What did you think of Nicola Yoon's first novel? Let me know in the comments below!
As she awaits new books for Christmas,
Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it.”
Ashton is a high school girl with a passion for books. She also participates in other activities such as sports and musical groups.
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