Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Siren by Kiera Cass


      Kahlen became part of the sisterhood of sirens after she watched others give their lives to the Ocean. In that tragedy, she alone cried out for life, and the Ocean gifted her life in exchange for a hundred years. A hundred years of being a siren, of being a weapon to others. Kahlen always an obedient daughter lives her life as a siren doing just as she was told until she met Akinli. "Love is a risk worth taking."

     I struggled with deciding what rating I wanted to give this book. I so loved it, but there are a couple of things that bothered me as I read it. 1. Where did they get all this money to survive. I know Miaka sells her paintings, but what about the others? 2. Kahlen did not give away that much that Akinli should have suspected that something was abnormal about her. Other than those 2 issues I fell in love with this story. I've never read anything like this and truly enjoyed the magic of it all. Getting to know Ocean was wondrous, and I would have loved to learn more. I loved learning about each girl and almost wish I could have known more about their past but that wasn't possible due to the fact that it would have essentially ruined the story. It's rare to find a book that makes you contradict yourself. I loved it!

     I rated this 5/5 stars and highly recommend it.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Girls by Emma Cline

     I received this from Netgalley.

     Evie Boyd lived in California in the late 60's, and she was pretty content until she saw the freedom of the carefree girls in the park. One especially caught her eye, Suzanne. Her dark hair and her smile drew Evie in, and soon Evie follows Suzanne to a ranch that houses a cult. Russell, the leader of the cult, seems to draw women to him like a moth to a flame. Evie is no exception, but she eventually sees through the cracks in his facade. As Evie spends more time with this haphazard "family" she finds herself in a violence she didn't think would be found in this place.

     I feel like I have an unpopular opinion of this book. I really didn't enjoy it much. When I read the synopsis I was fascinated that it was set in the 60's about a cult turned violent, but as I read I became disenchanted. I just became bored with the plot. I felt like there was so much building up to the "event" but it was a very slow building. I grew tired of hearing about Evie's obsession with Suzanne, and I longed for something to happen. On a more positive note, it was written realistically. I did feel as if I was reading a young teenager's diary about her summer. I also enjoyed Emma Cline's descriptions and wording she chose. But the positive qualities weren't enough to redeem this book.

     I rated this 2/5 stars.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern


 Anna Bloom is in high school, but she doesn't really attend. More and more she stays home and becomes depressed. She thinks about killing herself, but that's all, she just thinks. Her parents have decided that she would benefit from a stay in the "loony bin." Seriously, how could they do this? All she wants to do is just stay in her room and sing along to music. What's so wrong with that?
     As Anna stays in her new "home" she finds that she can make friends, crush on a "mental" cutie, and lose weight without trying which should make her mean doctor happy. She has found a place where she can be herself and be comfortable.

     I loved this!!! I knew I would enjoy this book because I love looks into mental institutions, but this hit the spot for me. I found myself really believing the story. An interview in the back of the book says that this is the author's real story, but I wish I knew what really happened and what she added about her stay in a mental institution. Anna's voice sounded just like a teenager. Her attitude, her choice of words, and her likes and dislikes brought a genuine feel to the story. As I read I felt like maybe I would have benefited from staying there with her as a teenager! Probably would still! Hahaha!

     I rated this 5/5 and highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why Happiness Makes Me Nervous by Liza Charlesworth


      I received this for free for review from Netgalley.
     This is a collection of poetry and photography that follows a journey from childhood to adulthood.
     I enjoyed most of the photography in this book. There was poetry that I really enjoyed, poetry that I understood personally, and poetry that I just did not understand or did not like. I did like the fact that it was set up to follow the growth from childhood to adulthood. I had to keep in mind as any time I read something that my opinions would not fully match that of the author. There were times where I felt sad for the author because of how she feels or thinks. I think that regardless of liking or loving this collection, anyone can connect with the journey.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Silver Strand by LJ Clarkson


      I received this for review from LibraryThing.
     Twelve year old Isabelle is completely embarrassed when she grows a silver strand of hair that causes her to bleed pink dust, and then a magnet sticks to the hair in the middle of class. She wishes that the hair had never grown causing it to shrivel, but later she finds out that her silver strand is the source of her new magic and if she can't save it she will lose her life as well. If she can save her hair and her life in 5 days she will be able to go to Mastermind Academy to learn how to use her magic.
     I really looked forward to reading this book because it sounds amazing. I was disappointed in the story because a silver strand that bleeds pink dust, a girl that turns into a toad, people-eating dragons, and too many conveniences occurred. I definitely believe that this is geared towards 9-12 year olds, and I would probably have liked or liked this more if I were 9 years old. I just found it to be too ridiculous, and there were many times things were just too much of a coincidence to force the story together. Maybe removing some things and adding others would have made it better. I felt like we moved so fast from one thing to the next. I had no sense of what each "world" was like. Overall, I am sad that I did not enjoy this story.
     I gave it 2/5 stars.