brashare_here and nowBefore reading The Here and Now, I had never read anything that focused on time travel and the consequences it can have on the future. I mean, I’ve seen movies, and I know that all kinds of crazy things can happen through just the smallest change in the past. When I picked up The Here and Now, I was ready for a mind blowing story that would completely twist my brain and make me think differently…

…but I didn’t get too much of that from this story.

The Here and Now is about a girl named Prenna who is from a futuristic world where mosquitoes have taken over and being stung by one causes a horrible disease and death. Prenna has lost her brother to this disease, along with almost everyone else she knows. When Prenna and her parents decided to travel to the past—our time now—she knew life would be completely different.

But she didn’t know that she would be living by a strict set of rules and under constant pressure to remain in hiding. These rules include no intimacy with a time native, keeping her real identity secret, and never interfering with history (which ties in with the other two rules). There are a few leaders in charge who make sure that no one breaks any of these rules through intimidation…even if it means spying, and possibly killing.

While a lot of these rules seem to be pretty simple and easy to follow, Prenna can’t help herself. She can’t stop thinking about Ethan, a guy from her class, despite knowing that she can never have a relationship with him, tell him who she is, or get too close.

Alongside this, Prenna has always questioned why people from the future have to wear glasses and take vitamins every day. The leadership claims that their eyes are damaged by time travel and the vitamins keep them healthy—but she doesn’t believe a single word.

Especially when a homeless man comes up to her and claims that he knows who she is and where she’s from. He says that he both knows what’s coming in the future, and knows a scientist who may be able to prevent the mosquito epidemic.

Prenna knows she can’t do this on her own. But with her best friend sent off to boarding school, her mum not standing up for herself, and the community doubting her, Prenna has no one—except for Ethan. She knows what she has to do: stop a murder.

I haven’t read any books that included time travel, so when I discovered The Here and Now, that was the element of the story that keenly anticipated! I was excited to see how the author would bring the concept into the story and make these two different worlds work. There was a bit of time travel stuff going on, but not as much as I expected, which was slightly disappointing. Though there was one really big twist that came out of nowhere and made up for it.

There weren’t very many characters in The Here and Now, and, sadly, I didn’t really feel much of a connection with any of them. Prenna wasn’t very open—I mean, she did give us some information about her feelings and what happened to her in the future, but I felt like I didn’t really know her. Ethan was a sweet guy who seemed to really care for Prenna, and I loved him for it. But, again, I just felt confused by how he knew so much about her. I understand that he was the one that found her in the woods, but what happened for him to know so much? Did I miss something?

Don’t even get me started on Prenna’s mum. She was the reason I strongly considered throwing the book across the room. Why wouldn’t she be on Prenna’s side? Why was she doing everything they told her to?

The ending wasn’t anything too crazy or surprising. For some reason, Prenna gets away with everything she did; the ‘leadership’ never really takes control or goes through with their ‘threats’. Overall, the story was okay, but the characters were a bit colourless, and the story only had one big twist. There wasn’t anything that kept me on the edge of my seat.



forman_yearJust One Year is the sequel to Just One Day…kind of. They take place at the same time, but in different perspectives and different locations!

If you don’t know what Just One Year is about, then here’s the quick rundown.

Allyson is on a boring tour in Europe. Not that Europe is boring, but the tour definitely is! When a boy she met the night before asks to take her to Paris for a single day, Allyson can’t help but say yes. She spends hours eating, exploring, and talking to Willem. Feelings start to form, but when Allyson wakes up the next morning, Willem is nowhere to be found.

Allyson is heartbroken and we witness the bruise that Willem has left on her heart and life in her first year of college.

Just One Year is the EXACT same thing! But instead of following Allyson’s side of the story, we’re witnessing Willem’s. Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to learn more about Willem since he is such a mysterious character, but I was pretty upset that it was the ‘same’ story.

Allyson’s perspective started by focusing on the strange relationship between Willem and herself, and it continues with Allyson’s life and overcoming this heartache. Willem’s perspective, on the other hand, starts with a little bit of a bruise, and then continues on about his life, family, and friends.

I would have to say that I was a little disappointed two times in this story: the beginning and end. The beginning, because I was expecting the story from Just One Day to continue, so I could see what would happen next, and the end, because of the same reason. I was praying that the story would take the end much farther. I guess I was just a little heartbroken that I didn’t get to see more of Willem and Allyson together.

But even with that, I still enjoyed the story. It was a bit slower, but I think I really liked that the story didn’t COMPLETELY revolve around Willem thinking about Allyson, but more about discovering himself.



forman_dayJust One Day is exactly that! It follows Allyson’s single crazy, adventurous day in Paris with a complete stranger named Willem. She meets him during a street performance while Allyson and her best friend are trying to get away from their boring Teen Tour across Europe. She doesn’t know much about him, except that he is a Dutch actor and takes parts in Shakespearean street plays.

Allyson is still disappointed about the Teen Tour cancelling their plans to Paris due to flight issues. But, having finished up the tour with her best friend, the two girls are getting ready to travel this last weekend of their trip on their own. But Allyson can’t believe her eyes when Willem is standing right next to her at the train station!

She also can’t believe her ears when Willem offers to take her to Paris, promising to have her back by the next day. And, finally, Allyson can’t believe herself when she agrees to go.

Allyson usually doesn’t do this kind of thing. Her mum practically controls her life, and has a colour-coded calendar planning out all her activities and events. Allyson has never done anything this crazy on her own…but it’s about time she does!

Allyson and Willem spend the afternoon sightseeing, eating, and roaming even the smallest streets of Paris. The two finally find a place to settle down and stay for the night, but Allyson can’t ignore the feelings that have started washing over her since the day before when she saw him perform. And throughout those hours of exploring together, those feelings have just multiplied for Allyson.

…she can only hope that he feels the same way…

But when Allyson wakes up the next morning, she wakes up alone. Willem is nowhere to be seen, and doesn’t answer when Allyson calls for him. She has no choice but to leave. She’s hurt and unsure of why Willem would take her to Paris, kiss her, and then just leave her like that.

Allyson might never truly know why…

My biggest worry about Just One Day was the layout. I had no idea how the author was going to write a whole story based simply on a single day. But, to my surprise, it didn’t work that way at all. Yes, about a third of the book is focused on the day Allyson and Willem share together, savouring the good moments. The remaining two thirds of the book speeds through the aftermath of this day.

I liked how it was organised. I was worried I would get bored quickly if the entire book took place in one day. But, in the end, we got the chance to let good parts of the story melt on our tongues while the sour parts were washed away!

Overall, I enjoyed the characters, especially Allyson! At first I didn’t understand why in the WORLD she would leave with a stranger and go to Paris for a day and night, but after meeting her mum it seemed like the obvious decision.

I don’t want to say anything about the ending, but if you plan on picking this book up soon, you have a truly AMAZING story ahead of you!



grant_Gone 2Lisa:

Cover:

I don’t really know how I feel about this cover. I guess I’m not really into covers that only have the “characters” on them; they just don’t tell me anything about the story.  So I don’t hate it, but also it isn’t anything special.

Characters:

I actually liked all of the characters. The only thing I was worried about, when reading Gone was that I would get confused with the characters, since there are so many. But that wasn’t any issue at all, since each of the character was pretty distinct and interesting!

Favorite:

I would have to say that Sam and Lana are my favourite characters. I enjoyed reading about all of them, but these two stuck out the most to me.  Lana is brave for surviving on her own for so long, and I thought her friendship with her dog Patrick was really sweet!

Sam was also a very tough guy. While many people wanted him to be the leader, and to take charge, he stayed very humble, and instead just wanted to keep to himself. Sam seems to always be there when he is REALLY needed, and I also liked that about him!

Least Favorite:

I don’t think I have one. When I first started thinking about this, I right away thought of Orc and his friends. But I also liked reading about these characters. Why? Because when things stop working and the world seems to be ending, not everyone will be calm, cool, and collected, but some kids will turn to violence. I liked seeing that side of things.

Beginning:                                                                                                                                  

I had kind of a hard time getting into Gone, because it seemed like nothing was happening. All the teenagers and parents are gone, and now the kids of the island have to fend for themselves.

Middle:

Things start to turn violent, when the kids try to create rules and regulations that they are used to. But obviously some of these kids will abuse the leadership they were granted. Besides that, there are a lot of kids just like Sam, Astrid, and Little Pete, who have these special abilities.

End:

WOW! Is all I can say!

Overall Thoughts:

I’m a little sad that it took me so long to get into this one, but it was well worth pushing through! The middle and ending were SO fast paced and action packed, that I can’t wait to start reading the second book, as well as the rest of the series!

 

grant_gone 3Bel:

Cover

A mist of toxic green is the backdrop to the title mostly embossed, besides the ‘o’ which is just an absence of the mist. Very eerie.

Characters

I would imagine most kids would be resilient, and this cast a great job of keeping it together.

Favourite

Albert. A Life saver on many occasions.

Least Favourite

Drake. Whacked in the head.

Beginning

Everyone 15 and over disappears on a day that is otherwise seemingly normal.

Storyline

The fall out of having only 14 and unders running the show. Survival of the fittest at its creepiest.

Ending

Not what I was expecting but thrilling none the less.

Thoughts

This is a YA version of the Dome by Stephen King. It also reminds me somewhat of Lord of the Flies. I found the book to be fast paced though there were some gruesome parts that I had to close the book and come back to it after my stomach had settled. Once you get past those bits, it’s a book that really is difficult to put down.

Quote

“Window seat, window seat, window seat. Astrid calming Little Pete down.

 



scott_waitingRight before reading Waiting on the Sidelines, I had to let out a big sigh and a couple of eye rolls. I was sick and tired of the same old ‘love’ story where the popular guy (with all the beautiful girls he could ever want swarming around him) falls for the not-so-popular average girl. Not only that, but he completely changes his ways for her, and becomes this ‘really good guy’.

BORING! I’m done with that!

Waiting on the Sidelines was that…but SO MUCH more!

The popular guy is this story is Reed Johnson. He’s a star footballer in his small town and has a lot of pressure and expectations weighing him down. Not only was his older brother a star quarter back, but so was his dad.

The not-so-popular girl in Waiting on the Sidelines is Nolan. She’s a complete tomboy. She loves wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs and has never worn any makeup. Nolan doesn’t fit in. Unlike most of the kids who attend her high school, she doesn’t live in a big mansion; instead, she lives in a trailer at the end of a dirt road, and she drives an old beat-up car that she absolutely loves.

Reed is used to girls trying to catch his attention by doing the dumbest things, but those girls don’t include Nolan. While she does admit he is very cute, Nolan isn’t stumbling around to be near Reed. He quickly notices this, and it’s what attracts him to Nolan.

High school seems to be running smooth for Reed, but for Nolan it’s been a struggle. She had no idea just how hard high school was going to be…but there might be one guy who can make it all worthwhile.

It’s true that I had my doubts at the beginning of this book, but those were quickly thrown out the door. While this book may have the general underlying script that I described above, it was so much more.

Reed acted like a normal teenage guy. Yes, he did start changing slowly throughout the book, but not all at once. He still made mistakes, he was still fooling around with girls, and he still acted the same way he did before he met Nolan. It took quite some time (the book takes place over four years) for him to finally open up to Nolan.

On the other hand, Nolan puts all her love and trust in Reed, just to have her heart broken repeatedly over the four years of high school. She knows she’s lucky to have a guy like Reed because of his gentle side, but Reed quickly learns that he is even luckier to have a girl like Nolan.

Reed and Nolan were amazing characters. They were real and acted like normal teenagers would. But I also really liked Reed’s dad and his housekeeping lady. While Reed’s dad was rich, he didn’t let the money get to his head. His relationship with Nolan, even when she was going through a rough patch with Reed, was really sweet! I loved him. Reed’s housekeeping lady was the mother he didn’t have. She was there when he was sick, when he was hungry, and even when his dad was working.

This was one of the sweetest and most heart-breaking stories I’ve read in a long time! All the emotions and feels I had for Waiting on the Sidelines were absolutely crazy! I was all over the place and constantly rooting for Reed and Nolan! Reed knows how to be sweet, and knows how to take care of Nolan, which I really liked.

While the entire story was a crazy rollercoaster of emotions (and tears), the ending was perfect! I’m excited to read more of Ginger Scott’s writing!



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