Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we give our top ten favorites to certain topics.

Top Ten (or Nine ) Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

1. A Tale Dark and Grimm
Okay, I am a sissy. And even in this book I was a bit grossed out and horrified. The plot wasn't all that great either, which led me to just feeling disgusted the entire book.

2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Confession: I couldn't sleep with this book in my room. The pictures of the guys without irises or pupils just creeped me out waayyy too much.

3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
I actually enjoy most classics, because they have a timeless, relatable, and classic feel to their story. But Tom Sawyer was so hard for me to get through. I was bored to death half the time, and I'm pretty sure I almost fell asleep.

4. Shiver
There is nothing particularly annoying about this book besides the fact that i just chugged through it. It took me forever to read, and I kept wanting to put it down for another book.

5. The Hobbit
I cheated here. After 7 months since I have started the book, and reread the beginning 3 times, I still have yet to get into it, or finish it. What do you think? Should I try again?

6. The Boyfriend List
I don't even know what the point of this book was. It was a girl whining about a harsh break up and blabbing about other boys. 

7.  An Abundance of Katherines
Don't get me wrong, I love John Green. He is incredibly witty, satirical, cynical in the best way. But a book needs more than just wit or satire. And I feel like this book was just a collection of witty comments with a bad plot.

8. The Madman's Daughter/Her Dark Curiosity

Word of the day: Vivisection. AKA dissecting an animal when it is still alive. Both of these books are absolutely wonderful. I love the plot, love the suspense, but when the depictions of vivisected animals come up...Blech.

9. For Real
Talk about a cheesy cheeseball covered in cheese dust. This book has no real point, makes me want to groan, and throw it across the room.

How about you? 

Winger Review

Title: Winger
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

Blurb: (from goodreads) Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Me: I have never laughed so much in a book. ever.

The Ups: It was so funny. Like not even funny, funny. I laughed until I cried at least 2 times in this book, which is pretty amazing, if you think about it. I usually don't even laugh out loud too hard, just give a little chuckle. But the humor in here is priceless. Just the situations that Ryan Dean gets into...gosh. I mean the book starts off with:

"I said a silent prayer. Actually, silent is probably the only kind of prayer a guy should attempt when his head's in a toilet." 

Is there anything better than this? I think not. My personal favorite moment was when he was at the airport and his bandage fell off his balls so he had to go into a special security area and get completely examined...YES. (you probably think I'm crazy, but that's why you have to read the book.)
Also, Ryan Dean was just absolutely lovable. Not cute, per se, but relatable and kind of pathetic in a way that made you connect to him and his friends. Annie, Joey, Casey, JP, Seanie, all of them felt like people I could name in real life, people that walk around the hallways of school all the time. And that's another thing that made this book real special. It's that every one in it felt like my friend, someone I knew really well, someone I loved. 
I think that's what made the ending even more crazy for me. It put me into shock, into one of those frozen moments where you refuse to acknowledge reality. It was horrifying and shocking and gosh, it was beautiful. I really liked how the "climax" happened really near the end too, I think it was a different format that was really interesting to read.

The Downs: Despite all the humor and such, since the book's climax was a bit towards the end, I found myself getting really bored in the chapters right before it. I wanted to skim over pages and I kind of grew tired of Ryan Dean's voice after a while, until the ending.

Rating: 4 kisses! 

Top Ten Books on my Fall to-read list

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, where we post 10 of our favorite things in each category. 

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Read List

1. Hush, Hush
I've heard too much good things about this series to let it go. 

2.The Giver
Just now reading the book as an excuse to watch the movie...Whoops.

3.The Scorch Trials
I need, need, need to read this. I still haven't gotten over the ending of The Maze Runner!
4. Before I Fall 
Panic was amazing, and I hope to get that quality out of this one.
5. Unwind
One of my friends told me she stayed up all night reading this, so it's a must!

6. Out of the Easy 
Thanks, Ms. Fritch! 

7. The Spectacular Now
It was a book? Whattttt?

8. 100 Sideways Miles
I'm reading Winger again and I need more from this author.

9. Reality Boy
I'm sorry. I'm obsessed with A.S. King. I just can't get enough. 

10. Steelheart
Another recommendation, and I've actually seen the author.
11. Side Effects May Vary
I've literally been wanting to read this forever, so I'm gonna cheat and stick it in here. :)

Pick these up with me? 

Please Ignore Vera Dietz Review

Title: Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

Blurb: (from goodreads) Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Me: Can I say I finally have the honor to review this book? No other author than A.S. King could have broken my heart so gradually and painfully through humor and truth and the inevitable.

The Ups: First of all, the entire "my best friend died." is used way too many times in young adult novels. I get it okay. You're sad. Cry cry. Tear tear. Boohoo. But A.S. King knows how to make the reader feel every single real emotion that runs through a characters head. The feelings are never overdone, never cheesy, sometimes too real it gets bland, but it immerses you into the reality of her stories. Other authors, when writing about the death of a loved one from a character's point of view, feel the need to somehow show the depression and the desperateness through depicting every moment, making the characters break down and then have super sad monologues about how much they need someone. This book however, masks the idea in dark humor and true honesty that even though Vera really doesn't completely go through an emotional "ride", per se, it breaks your heart and ties you with the characters more than any other book.
It's just written phenomenally. Vera is an amazing protagonist. She is constantly avoiding her destiny, trying to get something out of her sucky life, and grieving and feeling and loving...without knowing it. She never gets annoying, too dramatic. or too helpless. Charlie and Ken Dietz were my two other favorites, because both of them had such beautiful stories and desperate lives, but a certain light to their lives as well.
 It amazes me how I can get through that and Vera doesn't really break down once, but I was bawling from the second half on. 

The Downs: I don't know. There is a certain sensation right now (I literally just finished it) that leaves me empty and hollow and feeling like it wasn't completely resolved, but that's life. And A.S. King tells it like it is.

Rating: BMS! Dang, A.S. King. 

Love Minus Eighty Review

Title: Love Minus Eighty 
Author: Will McIntosh
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopian 

Blurb: (from goodreads) Years in the future, dead women in cryogenic dating farms await rich, lonely suitors to resurrect them and take them home. LOVE MINUS EIGHTY follows interconnected lives touched by these dating farms. There's Rob, who accidentally kills a jogger, then sells everything to visit her, seeking her forgiveness but instead falling in love. Veronika, a socially-awkward dating coach, finds herself responsible for the happiness of a man whose life she saved against his will. And Mira, a gay woman accidentally placed in the heterosexual dating center near its inception, desperately seeks a way to reunite with her frozen partner as the centuries pass. In this daring and big-hearted novel based on the Hugo-winning short story, the lovelorn navigate a world in which technology has reached the outer limits of morality and romance. 

Me: I. Am. Mindblown. Most futuristic novels share the same high technology and advanced systems and whatnot. But this view on future romance is something really new.

The Ups: First of all, this cover is sheer beauty. Not that you can see it or anything, but if you get the book, you'll see what I mean. And that's what made me pick up the book. The cover. 

How can you not be mesmerized by the idea of dead women literally "frozen" and desperate for dates to keep them from being "thawed"? It's such a crazy, messed-up, yet somehow pretty possible idea. I just really enjoyed imagining this world. Will McIntosh really described it so well, and it was crazily fun to figuratively create the world inside my head. The thing is, his predictions are not so far-fetched. We, as humans, naturally have a fear of death. Or maybe not a fear, but a certain want to keep living, to fight with everything. And when a loved one dies, there are people desperate to bring them back to life. And that's what this book does. It shows how desperate people can be, how far we go for it. 
I loved the romance. Love's hard. It takes a certain amount of effort, Love Minus Eighty really shows those struggles and yet the beauty of it in a masterly crafted futuristic world. Rob and Veronika and Winter and Mira, they were willing to fight through it, to showcase their flaws.
The ending wasn't perfect. Nathan and Veronika weren't perfectly happy, the romance between Rob and Winter worked out, but didn't come to a complete resolution. Mira hadn't quite been revived. There was a conclusion, but it also left me questioning, wanting answers.

The Downs: I feel like Mira didn't get enough time in the story. I think that she had the potential to display her pain, to showcase the desperateness of any bridesicle, and especially her struggle being gay but hiding it to stay "alive."
I get the entire concept of her getting "turned off" and then coming back to life, but I think that her story fascinated me and I would have wanted to see more of her character.

Rating: 4 kisses!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we list Top Ten things on...Tuesdays. Big shocker. 

Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED To Read More

1. Lauren Oliver

I read Panic recently and haven't read Before I Fall, or the Delirium series.

2. Markus Zusak
I read The Book Thief and fell utterly in love (who didn't) and would really like to read The Messenger.

3. Suzanne Young
I read The Program, got obsessed and I would love to read the second book and her other books as well.

4. Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray was such a beautiful novel that will probably be remembered as a classic novel for a long time. I need to read her other stuff!

5. Andrew Smith
Winger, as some of us may know is utter beauty. Hilarious and touching, I want to read his other books to get that quality again.

6. Siobhan Vivian 
The List was so goooodddddd. I've met her before too! She's so sweet.
7. James Dashner
I'm cheating a little bit, I admit. I've read two. But I need to finish The Maze Runner series!

8. Ransom Riggs
I'll admit I totally wimped out and couldn't even sleep with the book in my room. But the second one to Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is something I do want to read. 

9. Megan Shepherd
The Madman's Daughter was an addicting novel and I need to read more...!

10. Melissa Landers
Alienated was a really cool sci-fi/romance novel and I am hooked. 

Check some of these authors out? 

Panic Review

Title: Panic
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins

Blurb: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Me: Okay...I started off reading the blurb thinking this is crazy over dramatic and stupid, which isn't the greatest feeling to start a book with. But quite differently from my expectation, it was surprisingly suspenseful and hooking.

The Ups: It got me into it from page 1. I notice some other people say it's a little slow paced, but I have to disagree. The entire book is in such a format that it takes certain days and tells the story, so there are no awkward, boring gaps in between the action. The game sounds unbelievably cheesy, but once the story progressed, I found myself getting more from the game than just a senior tradition, but a last test, a last desperate call for these teens to find their roads. 
It was a nail-biter. I think the characters were built around a similar emotion, desperation. And desperation leads to panic, which leads to illogical decisions, which leads to chaos. Nat, Dodge, Bishop, Heather, all wanting to do what was in their small power to achieve something, willing to lose themselves in the process. And Panic, the game, is pretty dumb. Over dramatic. But in Carp, a dead town of almost-dead people, it's the only hope to get out. 
I think that the characters, the town, the settings, the challenges, they were all sort of ridiculous and unbelievable now that I stop and think about it, but in the story were incredibly real and believable. Applause to Lauren Oliver for doing that, because there are some bizarre things in here. 
One really small thing I just liked a lot was that the romance was not the classic I love him, I love her, let's tell the story from both of our perspectives as if one isn't already enough romance. It was different, a little daring, and very...imperfect.

The Downs: Happy endings are great, okay. And humans are just weird, messed up creatures as to where if they don't get a happy ending, they get pissed. To please those crazy humans and to tell a story like it is is kind of impossible. And so yeah, I get it, I like it when the main character wins too. But the ending of this was way too bright, too cheesy, too perfect compared to all the dark tension happening in the rest of the book. At the end of the day, everything doesn't just magically piece itself together. And Lauren Oliver had had a great, beautiful, completely unpredictable before-ending-scene but then completely ruined it. The last line of the book is literally:
"There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid."
I won't be afraid, then. Even when I could possibly die from shooting myself in the head with a loaded gun. I thought the point of the book was to fight through that desperation, to quench it with something else, but then it gets all motivational on me? Great.

Overall: I still think it was a great book, and really different from what I've read recently.

Rating: 4 kisses!

Authors To Watch

So, with Texas Teen Book Fest coming up, (see for my post about it here)I've been reading mainly books by authors coming. To help you a little bit, and to just give you great authors I've newly discovered, here is...Authors To Watch.

First up...A.S. King

Author Intro: 

A.S. King is best known for her award-winning young adult novels, though she writes novel-length and short fiction for adults as well. After more than a decade in Ireland dividing herself between self-sufficiency, restoring her farm, teaching adult literacy, and writing novels, she returned to the US in 2004. 

My Personal Opinion: I just got hooked onto A.S. King's books over this summer, when I realized I should probably start reading her books. Then I realized that the way she writes is the exact genre that I like to read. Realistic Fiction that shows the everyday struggles of teens trying to find themselves, she portrays it in a humourous but touching way. Her really strong suit is creating very sturdy main characters that really connect with the reader, that really touch your heart, that you really feel for. I think that her books tell us that there is a lot of struggling during these times of life, but if you acknowledge it and stay real, you'll get through it. And that's what she does. She tells the story like it is. She holds a mirror to the incredibly true stories we call real life and tells them. And can I say, she is such an AMAZING writer. 

If you haven't read my review of this yet, you can here. Basically it's my favorite book right now, and everyone should read it. Like seriously. This is so stinking good. About bullying, and really gaining self-confidence and assurance, it's hilarious and depressing and beautiful all at once. It made me laugh out loud, and cry within the same chapter. Sometimes both. 

Teaser: “The world is full of assholes. What are you doing to make sure you're not one of them?” 
― A.S. KingEverybody Sees the Ants

This one was really powerful as well.  Again, I have reviewed this I think this really changed the way I view GLBT people, or just other people in general. Astrid has a way of connecting to you, and making you realize the love and the pain that everyone goes through. 

Teaser: “I want my life to be easier than this. I mean, I know I'm not some starving kid who has to wash clothes in the Ganges for a nickel, but today just sucks.” 
― A.S. KingAsk the Passengers

I have heard so much praise for this book, but when I tried to squeeze it in between all my other summer books, I couldn't get into it. About 100 pages into the book, I think I stopped and decided to read something more urgent, but I think I'm going to try and read this again, Maybe it'll work out. Is it good enough to really try and get into it?

Teaser: “I'm sorry, but I don't get it. If we're supposed to ignore everything that's wrong with our lives, then I can't see how we'll ever make things right.” 
― A.S. KingPlease Ignore Vera Dietz

Books I haven't quite read yet: 

Book(s) coming out soon: Coming October 14, 2014
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future


Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities—but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

My Thoughts: A.S. King is a master of magic realism, and I am super excited to read this book, and get it signed by her at Texas Teen Book Fest!