Review of When They Came by Kody Boye

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When They Came is a clean dystopian, young adult novel set in the future after aliens have invaded Earth. The main character, Ana Maria Sofia Barrios, chooses to join The Midnight Guard like her older sister so she can help protect her community.

The book doesn’t have any sex or swearing in it, so it’s fine for teens of all ages. If a character swears it’s written as “I swore from the pain.” or something instead of actual swear words. Ana and her family are very close, which I liked. Her sister is nice and accepting and seems like a positive role model for her. In this world, she definitely needs that. The trope of everyone wanting something in the apocalypse is used in this book, but I think that really would happen in an apocalypse.

The action and the aliens are well described and the pacing is good. While most of the descriptions are really good, like when they’re going to houses or wherever, some fell flat. In the scene where they go outside the walls for the first time, they break into one of the houses and break glass and it’s described as “breaking like teardrops.” It was weird to me. My main issues (as a warning, this part contains spoilers) with the book were that Ana is called by her whole name (or variations of it) all the time and everyone wants to sacrifice themselves for the “special” girl. Also, when getting beamed up by aliens, she actually says “Take me to your leader.” Are you kidding me?!
Overall it was an alright book, but it frustrated me at times. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads, but it’s really more of a 2.5.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Review of “A Hard Day’s Night” by Mia Kerick

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A Hard Day’s Night is about a Beatles obsessed high school senior named Lennon who spends a “gay day” with his best friend Fin. They do all the stereotypical stuff that gay guys like based on a google search and hilarity ensues.  It’s a really quick read and the characters learn about who they really are in the process of doing these ridiculous (and expensive) things. I know it’s supposed to be a fun story, but I just kept thinking about how much money Lennon must have spent on everything and how ridiculous that was. It could’ve gone towards his college education. Some parts are sad and others are angsty. I don’t want to give much away. I liked the ending. I’ve read other books from this author and enjoyed them as well.

I got this for free from Reading Deals in exchange for an honest review and they hounded me relentlessly even before the review was due and even after I explained that I’d had a seizure and had to go through a month of tests and appointments.

Review of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

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I saw the movie version of this book and enjoyed it and I like both of the authors so I picked it up when I saw it on one of my trips to the thrift shop. I’m so happy that I did. The book is easily ten times better than the movie (in my opinion). While the movie focuses on (view spoiler)[ everyone driving around NYC looking for a drunk Caroline (hide spoiler)] the book actually focuses on Nick & Norah’s relationship, music and the adventure they have during one crazy night.
I loved learning more about the two main characters and why they were how they were. They were much more interesting and well developed in the book than in the movie. Norah definitely has trust issues and I really don’t blame her and Nick is coming off of a bad break up, but I feel like they’re a great couple anyway.
I love the descriptions of the music and the concerts in the book . I got so excited reading the scenes where they’re in the crowd watching the band and moshing and found myself smiling and reading faster. It made me miss going to shows. I like that some familiar songs (Green Day ones) are used as well as ones that are made up for the book.
If you like fun adventure stories full of punk music, New York City, love, and youth…read this book.

Review of Cast No Shadows (Curiosity Quills Anthology)

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I got this book from NetGalley (for free in exchange for an honest review) and it was a lot longer than I thought it would be. Sometimes I would read 4 or 5 stories and only get through 3% more of the book. The stories varied in length, but they were all about ghosts. They took place in haunted houses, cemeteries, back roads and other locations in New York, with a few taking place elsewhere. It took me a few months to get through this one.
To me, this one was just ok. The stories were alright, but none of them were particularly memorable and I got bored a few times waiting for something to happen. There wasn’t any blood, guts or scary moments, even in ones that should’ve been scary. I won’t be reading anything else from Curiosity Quills.

Review of The Misfits by James Howe

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This book is one that I found at the thrift shop and I chose it based off of the description and author. I’ve read Howe’s Bunnicula books, but I didn’t know that he wrote young adult books as well. This one might technically be considered “middle grade fiction” since the characters are 12 and in middle school.
The book is written from the perspective of Bobby Goodspeed and it’s about him reflecting on the time in seventh grade when him and his friends (Addie, Joe and Skeezie) ran for student council as the No Name Party. I honestly feel that their platform (name calling hurts) and slogan (“Sticks and stones may break out bones, but names will break our spirit.”) is really good. The book talks about each character and what their home life is like. Our narrator, is an overweight kid working in a tie store to try to help his dad out after his mom passed away from cancer, Addie is an over achiever, Skeezie is sloppy kid with divorced parents and Joe is gay and artsy.
I think the character were well rounded and the story was well written. I like the bit at the end that tells the reader what each character became when they grew up. I would recommend this to middle and high school students.

Review of Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars

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I won an autographed copy of this book in The Gal in the Blue Mask’s Author Bling giveaway. I loved this book! It was so good that I just couldn’t put it down and I tried twice. I really like the characters and the issues they are dealing with are important.

Polarity is quiet and shy, but she’s a very strong girl. I can’t imagine having to go through something so embarrassing. I liked the progress she made in the book and I love that she stayed true to herself despite everything that was going on. Her relationship with her parents is very well written and her mother’s condition is handled well. I felt really bad for Polarity and I’m very happy that she had her grandma, her grandma’s boyfriend and Ethan on her side. Her relationship with her grandmother was one of my favorite parts of the book. It reminded me of the way things were with my gramma and I got a little choked up reading about it. That doesn’t happen very often.

Polarity’s relationship with Ethan, who should pursue a career as a detective, develops over time instead of the “insta-love” that’s so common in young adult books. It was refreshing. He’s a really good guy and he stands up for the underdog, who ends up being Polarity. I think they made a cute couple.

Besides the main issue of the naked photo, the book tackles issues such as race, bullying, privilege, mental disorders, and adults’ perception of teens. I recommend this one to teens everywhere.

Huge Birthday Book Haul

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Hi everyone! I am really behind on posting. These are all of the books that I bought on or around my 30th birthday (11-12-16). They are from the thrift shop, Dollar Tree and a Harvest Bazaar that a local church was having. I found a ton of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books! Thanks to the great prices, all of these books only cost me $11.22 total. For 36 books! The books I got are:

  • Room 13 by Henry Garfield
  • The Scent of Shadows (The First Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
  • The Taste of Night (The Second Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
  • Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  • Blood Memories (Vampire Memories #1) by Barb Hendee
  • Hunting Memories (Vampire Memories #2) by Barb Hendee
  • Memories of Envy (Vampire Memories #3) by Barb Hendee
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • Trinkets by Kirsten Smith
  • Every Which Way But Dead (Rachel Morgan #3) by Kim Harrison
  • Cheerleaders: The First Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The Second Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The Third Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The New Evil (Cheerleaders #4) by R.L. Stine
  • The Thrill Club by R.L. Stine
  • Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine
  • The Dead Girlfriend by R.L. Stine
  • The Boyfriend by R.L. Stine
  • The Girlfriend by R.L. Stine
  • Party Summer by R.L. Stine
  • Silent Night by R.L. Stine
  • The Dead Lifeguard by R.L. Stine (Accidental repurchase. Oops!)
  • Betty Crocker’s Easy Meatless Dishes
  • Night Terrors edited by Lois Duncan
  • Strangest of All by Frank Edwards
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch #15 Harvest Moon by Mel Odom
  • Twilight #21 Evil on the Bayou by Richie Tankersly Cusick
  • More Ghost Stories
  • Railway Ghosts and Highway Horrors by Daniel Cohen
  • Pillsbury Fast and Healthy Magazine low-fat Italian!
  • Evernight by Claudia Gray
  • Tantalize by Cynthia Smith
  • Spin Magazine’s Underground USA
  • Stories of Ghosts, Witches and Demons edited by Freya Littledale
  • The Shadow and Other Strange Tales by Howard Goldsmith
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Have you read any of these books? If you have, were they good? I’ve read Tantalize and most of the R.L. Stine ones before, but I wanted them for nostalgia’s sake. Now I just need to find time to read.

If anyone is interested, I also filmed a Youtube video of this haul.