Saturday, September 7, 2013

Broken by Tiffini Johnson

I received this book from goodreads.com first reads giveaway.  The book got here super fast, which was awesome.  In addition to the paperback version of "Broken" the author also included an information card with her author biography on one side, and a snippet from another of her books "Character".  I am currently reading several other books but I just couldn't wait to start, so I put the other books aside and began!

The first wonderful thing I have to say about this book is that it came with an advisement to readers.  I would call it a forward, but it had nothing to do with the story as far as the characters went.  It simply stated that this book was going to contain some things that might trigger unpleasantness for people who had suicidal thoughts, or had suffered abuse in the past.  Then went on to say that the author thought the readers emotional and physical well being was more important to her than reading her book and to make sure that we are safe.  I found this very touching, I thought it was just the most wonderful thing that in a world where authors want nothing more than for people to read there works, that this author wanted to make sure that she didn't cause any harm to the readers.

The first "con" I put that word in quotations because it really has nothing to do with the story at all, but I didn't like the cover art.  If I had been looking through the shelves at my local library or book store, just based upon the cover art, this would not have been one that I would have picked up without knowing ahead of time what the book was about.  That is my own personal preference and I know the saying goes "Do not judge a book by it's cover" but I think that a lot of people still do.  Especially if they are just browsing along the shelves.

*****

I have now finished reading the book.  I understand the cover art better, however I still can't bring myself to enjoy it.  Perhaps if it was a photograph of a hand holding pearls the message would come across clearer.

I thought this was a very good book.  It was sad, but it made you feel for the character.  As a reader the way the book was presented you had a 99% understanding of how it was ultimately going to end, writers are sometimes known for the twists and turns but this was pretty straight forward.

I don't think Taya was physically described until about halfway through the book, which made me feel like she was more accessible as a character because she could be any girl.  She could be you, your sisters, someone from class.  Even when she was physically described it wasn't in such great detail that as a reader you couldn't find something in common with her.

I felt very sad for Taya.  The way the mother was portrayed made me feel indifferent to her.  I wanted to be angry with her for not removing herself from an abusive relationship with Taya's father, I also wanted to be angry at her for not seeing what was going on.  Although it is made clear on both the accounts of physical abuse by her father, and by her own cutting that she kept it very well a secret.  I was angry with the father, as I think most readers would be, it takes such a sick person to beat his wife and abuse his daughter when the role of a good husband and father should be to provide and protect these people that he supposedly loves.

Although I did enjoy the book and thought it provided a good look into what some teens go through, I was disappointed that Taya didn't have the courage to go to her favorite teacher, Mrs. Simmons, and tell her what was going on.  I know she didn't believe that her mother would believe her, but I feel like the story may have been able to have a happier ending if she had just tried to talk to this teacher.  Although by that point she was being bullied by just about everyone and seemed to feel there was no hope.  I would also have liked to think that the teachers who had known she was a good student would have seen her slipping grades as a sign that something was wrong and reached out to her.  However with the class sizes these days (although not stated in the book) I know it can be hard for teachers to be able to look after everyone.

All in all I think Tiffini Johnson did a brave thing by writing this book and hopefully bringing more attention to the growing problem of teen suicide.  I would definitely read another book(s) by this author and would recommend this book to anyone who wanted a good book to really think about after they finished.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors #4) by Susan Beth Pfeffer **SPOILERS**

*** SPOILER ALERT *** 

If you haven't read this book and do not want to know what happens, please stop reading now!  Feel free to come back after you've finished the book!


These are going to be my honest comments and personal thoughts on this book.

I just recently read the first three books in this series Life As We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, and This World We Live In.  The first book I thought was really fantastic.  I thought it had a great story, good characters, and a good writing style to it.  The second book (The Dead and the Gone) had its ups and its downs.  I liked that it was written about the same event from someone elses point of view.  I liked the new characters (for the most part) and overall didn't mind reading it.  What I didn't like about the book was in my opinion it got overly religious.  I felt like I was being bombarded with religious talk on every page.  One thing that did confuse me was in the first book (Life As We Knew It) the narrator made it sound like New York city was totally destroyed by the tsunami that hit, but evidently this wasn't so.  Perhaps I just misread, or didn't understand clearly enough.  In the third book everyone gets brought together, which I thought was a stretch, but I suppose if all the survivors of this event were heading to the same places then it would make sense that they might find each other, so I was willing to let that slide and try to enjoy the book. 

So then perhaps a week passed and the newest book in the series came out, The Shade of the Moon.  My best friend read it first and she said she hated it, she didn't like Jon as a character and as a whole didn't enjoy the book.  Usually I'd say we have pretty similar tastes when it comes to reading books.  I don't think I disliked the book as much as she did, but I do think there were some problems with the book as a whole.  **spoilers ahead!**  So we find out that Jon's father dies on the way to Sexton on page like 3, and then gets brought up a few more times throughout the book.  This was surprising to me and it made me wonder if the author couldn't come up with a better way to weave the character into the story so it was simpler to kill him off.  I think it would have added a whole new dimension to the book if the father had made it, and then had to live in White Birch as a "grub" while his wife and two sons lived in relative comfort in Sexton.

The second thing I had a large issue with was that Jon was playing soccer.  I don't mean that these people don't deserve to have downtime and play games and try to have some normalcy, but this was his afterschool activity.  They talked about how hard it was to get gas, and yet they are driving these kids hours away to play soccer?  For what point?  This made no sense to me at all.  Frankly if something this catastrophic happened to the Earth and I ended up living someplace where we are wasting precious fuel on carting kids around to play soccer with other people, I think I'd find a better place to live because whoever is running this part of town does not have his/her priorities straight. 

I know a lot of people will have a problem with Jon and his selfish attitude, well his piss poor attitude in general about life.  I can sort of justify him being the way he is in the book because he was just a kid before this happened.  Then his whole family babied him in hopes that he would be able to make something of himself in the future.  Then he continued to get babied essentially when he was living in Sexton, so his sense of entitlement made sense to me.  It didn't make me like him as a character but I could at least understand where it was coming from.  I don't think Jon was a strong enough character to hold the whole book together though.  I think it would have been better written if it had switched back and forth from Jon to Miranda.  I would have liked to learn more about her perspective about how her life was turning out and how she was handling being looked down upon for no better reason than she didn't have money/power to get into Sexton.

I was really shocked and saddened at the was Lisa died.  Basically she was lynched, and by the own "government" that was supposed to be setting and example for everyone.  It was just really sad that the author wrote a book that, in my opinion, suggests if a cataclysmic event were to occur, we basically revert into a different form of slavery.  I know it isn't exactly the same, but it was definitely a different form of a class system where one was clearly taking advantage of the other.

It is unknown if the author intends to write another book.  If she did, I would personally like it to be set 20-30 years in the future where we can see what they are going through today, and flashback in chapters to hard events that they had to overcome to get where they are today.  I'd like to see if there would be a way that the world could evolve back into the somewhat civilized notion that they started with.  Another option that would appeal to me, would be to write another version of the first book but from someone in a totally different country.  Both of the points of view in the the original two books were from somewhat the same area of the United States.  I would be interested to hear what happened in other places, even places that don't have as much as the United States to begin with.  I wonder if it would be easier or harder for them to go back to what they consider "normal".

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

This book was one I just picked up at my local library, I had run out of books that were on my immediate to read list and went searching through the teen section.  This book was AMAZING!

I started reading it and could not put it down.  It was so interesting and emotional.  Angela is just a fabulous character and getting to live the story through her recovery is a roller coaster.  I wish I could put into words how much I loved this book!  This is definitely my favorite book of the year so far that I've read. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sever / Unravel Me / MORE House of Night Novellas?

So Sever (The Chemical Gardens #3) by Lauren DeStefano came out.  It was the final book in the trilogy, and honestly, I sat with the book in my lap for at least a half hour before I could bring myself to read it.  The series has just been so good, I didn't want it to end!  Alas, I did finally read it!  I'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out, I was surprised in some parts, and I thought other parts were a little stretched, but all in all it was good.  I so badly wanted the ending chapter to be like " 50 years later " so we could find out about the cure, and what was going on in the world at that time.  I wanted to know if Rhine had children!

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi also came out.  This is the second book in series (Trilogy?  I'm not sure).  There was a novella put out between the first and second books, I have downloaded it, but haven't read it.  I can honestly say I am on Team Warner.  I know he's evil, or supposed to be evil, one of the bad guys in the series for sure, but I just see him and Juliette fitting together much better than her and Adam.  This book was also really good, once I started reading it I couldn't put it down until I finished and now I have to wait another year to see how it's going to go.  I think just once an author should write the whole series and then release a new book each month, or every other month.  That would be different!  And I don't mean like James Patterson who seems to have his name on half the books released every year.

So the newest House of Night book came out, Neferet's Curse, where we finally get to see why supposedly she's so whacked out now.  I can see why the events in the book would definitely have an impact in her life, but I just can't say that I'm satisfied with just that being the reason she's crazy. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jesse's Girl Cosmetics - Julie G Nailpolish

Hi everyone!  So I just got a new nail polish!  I went to my local Rite Aid to look for the new Julie G nail collection (which they didn't have yet!) but decided to get one from the 2012 line since I was there.  I decided to get a purple color called "Royal Rebel".  You can see the website here:

http://www.jessesgirlcosmetics.com/products/view/346

The Julie G line is a nailpolish line by Jesse's Girl that is working with YouTube guru JulieG713.  Here's a link to her youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/julieg713

She has some great videos so I really wanted to check out the nail polish!  In her new video where she shows the 2013 collection, she says throughout that you can get "really opaque coverage with just one coat" and I was skeptical about this, simply because this nail polish is $3.99.  However, she's right!  Well at least with the purple one I got.  The first coat is really opaque.  I will likely use another coat anyway, but it defiantly covered the nail good.  It dried really fast too, so if you needed a simple manicure quick, this polish would work great.  I will try to find a picture to put in as to the color I got, and maybe one of the color I wanted to get.  Also I will update with how it wears!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fuse - Julianna Baggot (Book 2 of the Pure Trilogy)

Currently reading....

3/15/2013 Update....
I was really excited to read this book, because the first one was so good!  I started reading it, and it was moving along, but I think I only made it to maybe page 50 and then so many other books came out that I got sidetracked - I will hopefully pick this book back up soon!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bar Code Tattoo Trilogy

Hi all - I finished reading The Bar Code Tattoo/The Bar Code Rebellion/The Bar Code Prophecy all by Suzanne Weyn.  I enjoyed the first two, but didn't much care for the third.  I felt that The Bar Code Tattoo could have been a stand alone book, it had a good progression of events and I thought the characters evolved.  The addition of The Bar Code Rebellion to the series was good too though.  I thought that it was a good second book.  Again I felt character growth and the plot was as solid as the first.  However the third book was just blah.  It did have a plot, but I didn't think it was a good follow up to the other in the series, and I didn't feel the character growth.  The doomsday senario is worn out in my opinion, and Weyn left the book at a precarious spot.  It was very disapointing.