Sun_InkBefore I begin my review for Ink, I just wanted to let you know that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I began this book. I had no idea how amazing the storyline or the characters would be! I had no clue just how big a decision Katie would have to make by the end of the story and what she finally decides to do.

Katie Green has recently lost her mother and, with it only weeks behind her, she is still dealing with the loss in every single aspect of her life. Many changes occur with the death of a parent, but with the death of Katie’s single mother, Katie’s life is completely shattered. Not only did she lose her mum, but also her closest friend. And as if things aren’t bad enough, Katie isn’t allowed to move in with her grandparents because of her grandfather’s health, and is instead shipped to live with her aunt in Japan.

Katie has never felt this uncomfortable. Japan is an entirely different world and Katie has been thrown right into the middle of it. She doesn’t speak the language, she doesn’t know how to eat with chopsticks, and she doesn’t like the food. At the beginning of the book, Katie is eating lunches of bento boxes stuffed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Forgetting to take off her school slippers when leaving one day, Katie decides to head back into the building and change her shoes. Being warned that there is arguing and fighting going on in the hallway, Katie ignores the advice and goes in anyway, embarrassed to have left school with her indoor slippers on. On her way back in, Katie bumps into a couple arguing and tries her best to hide behind her locker, but it’s no use; Tomohiro has already seen her.

Katie can’t make out too much of what the two are arguing about, except that Tomohiro is a huge jerk who has gotten another girl pregnant. Knowing she should keep her distance from Tomohiro, Katie is intrigued by him and finds herself following him and always looking for him in the crowd.

He isn’t the usual bad boy type, but instead he’s completely strange. There’s something about him that Katie needs to figure out, but isn’t sure why. When she catches him standing in the doorway of her classroom, the drawings on her paper start to dance and the pen in her hand explodes. She knows she has to figure Tomo out, and she needs to do it now.

Tomo is somehow connected to the Kami, a group of gods who have the power of the ink, and it runs through their veins. Katie is somehow connected to the ink, but neither of the two know why or how. But is Katie willing to risk her life? Is she willing to stay in Japan, instead of moving in with her grandparents? All for this boy?

If you haven’t seen this cover in person, you need to check it out next time you’re in a book store. It’s magnificent and truly a piece of art!

One of my favorite things about Ink was that the Japanese language was incorporated into the story. I love books that do that! I have so much fun writing down and looking up what all these different words mean and how they are used. It makes the book feel authentic to me, as if I were there with Katie in Japan.

At the start of the book, I was a bit disappointed in the main character and worried that I wouldn’t like her very much. I didn’t understand what triggered her to follow Tomo’s every move, and even stalk him to see where he was going in his free time. All I could think is “This chick is crazy! She’s completely intoxicated by this guy who just cheated on his girlfriend, got another girl pregnant, and is known for getting into trouble. Why would she even bother?”

But her obsession was justified; Tomohiro wasn’t just any random “bad boy” and Katie wasn’t just any girl crushing on him. They were connected through the ink, and needed to find out why.

But once Katie overcame her lust or infatuation with Tomo, I saw a different side of her that I really liked, just as I did with Tomo too. He was known as a bad boy, but after truly getting to know him, it’s not true. He cares a lot about Katie, and is willing to push people away to keep them safe.

Not only did I begin to love Katie and Tomo, especially together, but also Katie’s two best friends, as well as her aunt. I felt that these three brought a bit of humour into the story, and that Katie’s aunt brought her down to earth and back to what’s going on in life: the death of her mother and the grief.

The only thing I thought was missing was her parent’s back story. What happened to her mum? Where is her dad? But I have high hopes that those questions will be answered in the second book.

Overall, Ink is beautifully written and filled with the Japanese language! This story made me laugh, made me cry, and made it almost impossible for me to lay the book down until I was finished…and even then it was hard!

If you get the chance to pick up Ink, I totally recommend it! The second book, Rain, is hitting the stores June 24.



Graham_accidentsLeslie is used to nothing. She is used to getting nothing from her father, who has never even been a part of her life, from her mother, who is part of her life but doesn’t seem satisfied with anything Leslie does, and not even from her boyfriend who is supposed to cherish and adore her.

Leslie isn’t in the popular group; she doesn’t even have many friends. She spends most of her time cleaning and taking care of the household, and spending time with Keith and his friends. But when she gets up, angry, and leaves the lunch table, just to come back and realize that Keith never even noticed she was gone, it bothers her.

Getting up to leave and go outside, Leslie runs into a guy smoking behind the school. Besides the fact that his name is Dennis, she doesn’t know much about him. But he seems to always be around and by himself. While he seems like a loner and a bit of an outcast, Leslie soon welcomes his friendship and the small conversations they have with one another.

Leslie, Keith, Cain (his best friend), and Meredith (Cain’s girlfriend) all go out on a date together. Leslie sees Cain and Meredith sitting close, sharing a menu, kissing, and whispering to each other. Leslie looks at herself with Keith and realizes how little she feels, sitting next to him on the bench, looking at her own menu.

She sees how Cain treats his girlfriend and questions if she has feelings for Cain. She knows it’s not right, especially since she’s still with Keith. But what would happen if she caught Keith doing something he shouldn’t; doing something that could put their relationship on the line? Would she change her mind? Would her growing friendship with Meredith play a role in her decision?

I wasn’t very sure, at first, if I wanted to read this book. I read the synopsis and discovered that the main character was having feelings for another guy (while she has a boyfriend, and he a girlfriend). I don’t usually like that kind of girl. But there were some other things in the synopsis that pulled me in anyway; the relationship Leslie has with her mother and with Dennis.


Accidents & Incidents was beautifully written and filled with heartache, friendship, and family!

Leslie isn’t like any most teenagers. Yes, she deals with some of the main problems, but her family isn’t perfect and neither is her life. Her mom is strict and never thanks Leslie for anything she does. She doesn’t know who her dad is. She becomes friends with a guy who has his own issues, including smoking, and is struggling to keep her relationship with Keith.

Keith is Leslie’s comfort zone, Cain is the romance and attention she’s dying to have, and Dennis is the true friend she’s never had. But who is she going to pick? Is she staying with Keith because she’s in a relationship with him? Is she going after Cain because he would give her the adoration she wants? Or Dennis who couldn’t be more different from her?

Why stay with Keith if he isn’t making her happy? Why go after Cain when his girlfriend, Meredith, is becoming such a close friend? And why not Dennis?

I enjoyed watching Leslie’s relationships with Keith, Cain, Dennis, her mother, and Meredith develop and change. I liked that she thought of other people’s feelings and thought of the consequences of doing things and that she might regret later. Leslie wasn’t dumb, she thought for herself, and was down to earth.

Accidents & Incidents was beautiful. It was filled with family, love, and romance. My heart was shattered in the first few pages, and slowly mended back together by the end. Such a good read!



Clements_We hold these truths*Thank you Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy for review*

Ben and his two best friends, Robert and Jill, call themselves the Keepers of the School and they’re newest mission is to save their school, and the treasures inside of it, from destruction! They’re school is under a demolition order once school finishes for the summer break and instead will be turned into a seaside amusement park.

There’s only a few days left before summer break starts, so the Keepers decide to share their secret with more students. The three friends know that time is of the essence, and that they’ll never be able to do it all on their own.

They even get parents and a teacher, as well as a handful of classmates, to become their eyes and ears around the school. They’ll need as much help as they can get to discover and figure out all of the clues without being caught by either of the two janitors, who seem more than happy with the plans for the school.

When the Keepers finally find the treasure that’s been hidden for hundreds of years, they can’t believe what they’ve discovered. They know their only option is to call the police and the local museum even if it’s 3 A.M. and means getting in trouble. They know that there won’t be any other way to save the school before it’s torn down in a few hours time.

This is the first Middle Grade book I’ve listened to on audio and reviewed, and I truly enjoyed it! I thought the characters were smart, fun and adventurous – something I was hoping for in this kind of book. Ben, Jill and Robert really seemed to care about their school even if it meant breaking a few rules and getting in trouble.

The story was mysterious and suspenseful but still light and entertaining, perfect for any young reader just getting into books. The ending was truly amazing, and I was excited to see what the treasure Ben, Jill and Robert found would contain. And just like the Keepers of the School I was in utter shock when they found the things hidden inside of the school!

This is the fifth book in Andrew Clements, Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series, and I hope to pick up the first four instalments soon. Great book to get a child you care about into reading!



Carleson_Tyrant's daughterWhen fifteen year old Laila’s father passed away, she didn’t know that he was a tyrant. She didn’t know that he was a dictator. She also didn’t know her father was killing people every day. She didn’t believe it: what fifteen year old would?

When Laila’s father is murdered by her uncle, Laila, her mother, and her little brother are moved to the suburbs of America. Her little brother thinks he’s king, but doesn’t know what pushed him from being a prince to being the king. The small family of three is now living in a completely different world and an entirely different life to what they have always known.

Laila is used to covering her entire body to prevent anything from showing and bringing shame on her family. Now she attends high school. She can talk to boys and does so many other things that she would never be allowed to do back home.

But things aren’t as simple as they seem. Laila soon finds out through the internet and television who her father was and what he was doing. Her mother isn’t telling her what’s going on or who these people are who keep showing up in their new home.

Laila is tired of sitting around with no food, watching her mum turn to alcohol for relief, and decides to take it upon herself to figure things out. She has to solve what’s going on and get back what belonged to her family—even if it means lying to her mum and sneaking around.

I picked up The Tyrant’s Daughter on netgalley and I went into this book without any idea what it was about, except that I loved the cover.

The biggest worry I had at the beginning of the book was that Laila is only fifteen years old and dealing with a huge amount of pressure. I didn’t want this book to become more ‘high school drama-y’, but turns out that she acted with extreme maturity! She didn’t focus too much on her new life or the boys around her. I liked that she was more worried about saving her family and her people. So no, this book didn’t have very much romance, but romance wasn’t what I was looking for in this type of book. Loved Laila for that!

Overall, I truly enjoyed the story! I liked watching Laila and her little brother open up to a whole different type of society and way of living. Her thoughts at the beginning of the book about what the girls in her new high school were wearing and how they were so exposed was extremely interesting. Laila was experiencing complete culture shock and it shows the huge differences between cultures and ways of thinking.

 

I don’t think I would have picked up this book if I had read the synopsis. I usually don’t read books that have anything to do with war, but I’m glad I did! The characters and the culture displayed in The Tyrant’s Daughter were so detailed and real. I couldn’t get enough!



Revis_Across the universe kissingBel:

Cover

Male and female faces in shadow against a white backdrop sat above a beautiful star-scape, all done in pinks purples and oranges. Quite pleasing to the eye, and speaks volumes about the contents of the story.

Characters

There is a complicated mix of characters and each of them carries their own.

Favourite

Amy, though she spends some time feeling sorry for herself she eventually gets her butt kicking self into gear and makes it work.

Least Favourite

Eldest. Creepy character.

Beginning

Amy and her parents are preparing to be put into stasis for a rather long flight across the universe.

Storyline

Amy is woken up fifty years prematurely and the situation on Godspeed is odd to say the very least.

Ending

There is more to be read in the follow up books A Million Suns and Shades of Earth so to spoil the ending wouldn’t be nice.

Thoughts

I didn’t reread Across the Universe as I’d already reviewed it in August 2012, but this is what I said back then…

The pacing of the novel was well-crafted, with much of the mystery remaining out of reach until effectively unravelled; also, as this is the first instalment in a series, there was the sense of ‘to be continued’ but never the infuriatingly feeling of details being purposefully omitted.

Beth Revis also does atmosphere superbly, and this is evident from the novel’s opening chapter, in which Amy is cryogenically frozen. She narrates each stomach-churning detail as it happens. Never before have I felt so incredibly claustrophobic while reading!!”

Quote

“More than the sound of my own beating heart, I miss the sound of a ticking clock.” Amy about the passing of time.

beth-revisKrista:

Cover

The US hardcover has an interchangeable dust jacket. One side is a brightly coloured universe with blues and pinks, but if you flip the cover over it’s a blueprint of the ship in which you can see the different levels and areas that are explored in the book. I prefer to keep the blueprint as the outer cover on my book.

Characters

The story is told from different perspectives: Amy, as she explores the ship after she wakes up, and Elder, as he does his duties. We travel through the ship and more characters are introduced, some playing larger roles than others.

Favourite

Harley: The friendship that develops between Amy and Harley and Amy and Elder are strong and come from more than simple convenience. 

Least Favourite

Eldest: I have to agree with Bel here. C.R.E.E.P.Y.

Beginning

The prologue is detailed in describing the emotional and physical process of being put into stasis. I think it was a brilliant way to start the book and grab the reader’s attention.

Storyline

Amy is awoken from her stasis many years earlier than was originally planned. She is alone, scared, and misses her parents. What she finds aboard Godspeed is not what she expected. I loved the detail and world-building that the author puts into the history of the ship while she has been asleep.

Ending

As the first book in the novel, the story builds up at the ending with surprises that continue on through the other books in the series. 

Thoughts

For me this felt more dystopian than sci-fi. I loved all the twists the story took. This book got me thinking about individuality and the concept of leadership. The love story is more than just attraction; it’s companionship and trust. And I love the fact that Amy pushes Elder to trust his instincts and fight for what he believes to be right. It’s not a story about a girl that pushes a guy to see things her way, it’s about a girl that encourages a leader to become what he was always meant to be and to think for himself.

Quote

“We’re the ones who aren’t normal. People are supposed to be like that: obedient, calm, working together. It’s us—who can’t focus, who can’t work together, who can’t do the Feeder or Shipper jobs—we’re the ones who aren’t normal. We’re the ones who have to take the mental meds just so we don’t go loons.”

Revis_millionLisa:

Cover

I absolutely love the original cover so when it went through a change, AFTER I purchased the first two instalments in this trilogy, my heart broke… into like a MILLION ZILLION pieces. I guess I just like the dorky romantic covers instead of the newer metallic ones.

Characters

I couldn’t get enough! I LOVED Amy and I LOVED Elder! They were so different, came from completely opposite worlds, but were just perfect for one another.

Favorite

If you couldn’t guess it, my ultimate favorite characters are Amy and Elder… duh! Amy was down to earth and unlike a lot of characters in the YA genre and didn’t just shrug when something crazy happened to them. Amy spent the entire book mourning the “loss” of her parents and never seeing them again – like any REAL person.

I like that she had feelings and was frustrated, and that she expressed that through the story. She needed time to absorb everything that was happening to her and going on around her, before she could move forward and decide what she was going to do next.

Elder, the soon to be new Eldest on Godspeed was dealing with his own issues. Not only are the humans from Earth being defrosted by someone, and left to die, but also he has the responsibility of becoming the leader of this massive ship on his shoulders.

He’s kind, sweet and really adores Amy!

Least Favorite

I don’t think I have a least favorite character. I mean there was a EVIL villain…but he was a good evil villain… if you know what I mean.

Beginning

Amy’s parents are asked to board Godspeed and travel three hundred years to discover a new planet for human habitation. Amy has a difficult decision to make: stay on Earth and say goodbye to her parents forever, or be frozen for three hundred years and leave behind everything she’s ever known. Is she willing to leave behind her home, and the boy she loves, to be woken up three hundred years later on a new planet?

Middle

Having unfrozen fifty years early, Amy is devastated when she is informed that she will most likely never see her parents again, or at least not until she is much, much older than them. Eldest and the doctor tell her that there is no way they can refreeze her, because there’s a HUGE risk she will never wake up again.

Now Amy is stuck on this ship with people who aren’t acting normal, who seem to be in a haze during “mating season”, and where the “crazy” people aren’t ALL that crazy. Things on Godspeed aren’t normal.

Elder is not only trying to keep up with his learning, and responsibilities, but is now also trying to comfort Amy and keep the ship under control.

And when frozen are being found open and left to thaw, Elder and Amy have to figure out who is doing this and how they even know that they existed! When one is found dead, and another is found half thawed, the pair knows they have to do something.

End

Broke my heart, put it back together again, and had my emotions all over the place! Across the Universe had me questioning every character, and everything they said and did. I would never have expected the ending, and who it was that was defrosting the frozens! SUCH a good twist!!

Overall Thoughts

I LOVE this trilogy! I have already read the second book, and really enjoyed it! I can’t wait to read the third one, to see how things end for Amy and Elder!

 

Hardcover, 398 pages

Published January 11th 2011 by Razorbill

original title

Across the Universe

ISBN

1595143971 (ISBN13: 9781595143976)



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