Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange, 352 Pages

First of all, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Advanced Copy of The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange in exchange for an honest review! This book is set to be released around the beginning of October 2018.

After much deliberation, I decided to give this book 3/5 stars. I had a difficult time staying interested with this book, but I'm glad I read it because it focuses around important topics such as bullying and mental illness. The age recommendation I saw was 14+, but I'm not sure that I would recommend this book to patron's that are that young in my library, as some of the book is very graphic. I debated on giving The Chaos of Now 4 stars, but the ending knocked it down to 3 for me, I wish the author would have given me a little more!

Eli Bennett is a Sophomore at Haver High. He doesn't consider himself popular, or anything really- he's just Eli. He's getting through school by putting in minimal effort and spends most of his time in front of his computer. Eli is a teen hacker, and very good at it. He's frustrated, along with many other people in his school, when new laws are put in effect after his classmate, Jordan Bishop, commits suicide after relentless online bullying. Eli is approached by two classmates, Seth and Mouse, who also spend their time coding and hacking. They ask Eli to join their team in a coding competition, and he quickly accepts so they can get to work. Eli soon realizes that winning the competition isn't the only thing Seth and Mouse are after. The two boys had been friends with Jordan prior to him committing suicide, and their ultimate goal is to expose and humiliate anyone who contributed to his death. Things start off seemingly innocent, but quickly spiral out of control. Lives are changed forever and Eli realizes he may be in over his head.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins 448 pages

I have never read a book by Ellen Hopkins before. I found this one interesting. The story is told in verse and narrative. The narrative follows six teens living in Tuscon, Arizona. Each teen has a different idea on gun control and immigration. In the span of a week, all of their lives are changed. Someone will shot a gun and someone will be shot. Who will it be?

See, the absolute truth is people do kill people. A gun just makes it easier. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil 352 pages

I can’t believe that I finished this book in only two days. I’m actually surprised I finished it at all. The description of this book intrigued me but when I started reading, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. It’s intense, suspenseful, and gruesome at times. I just couldn’t stop! I would recommend to teens who are not afraid of horror movies. Warning: this is not for the faint of heart!

Dee Guerrera wakes up in a dimly lit warehouse wearing a ballgown. She has been transferred to Alcatraz 2.0, a prison island where convicted felons are hunted and killed live on the Postman app.  Dee's only goal is to stay alive long enough to clear her name. She was accused of killing her step-sister. Dee teams up with other teens on the island, where they are deemed the Death Row Breakfast Club. Will they be able to clear Dee's name or will the Postman's executioners get to them first?  

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage, 320 Pages

First and foremost- I was graciously granted an advanced copy of Baby Teeth by Netgalley and the publisher.

This book was honestly terrifying. I don't scare easily in terms of books, but this one really got to me. I felt the need to look over my shoulder the entire time I read this. I can't imagine being in the position of not trusting your own child, and being afraid of her. I will definitely recommend this to anyone who is a horror fan like myself.

Suzette and Hanna have an explosive relationship. Suzette, the mother, is terrified of her daughter, Hanna. Hanna has never spoken a word, but finds other ways to terrorize her mom on a daily basis. The minute her dad gets home, Hanna morphs into a sweet angel, incapable of doing the terrible things her mother claims she does. As Hanna's outbursts become worse, Suzette begins to realize something is seriously wrong with her daughter, and it could be life-threatening for her.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas, 384 Pages

First and foremost- I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review! 

I LOVED this book. I’ve been on a YA binge lately, and Kara’s books do not disappoint. The Cheerleaders is intriguing from the beginning, and doesn’t leave you waiting for the hair-raising, thrilling moments. The ending had me on the edge of my seat, and was entirely not what I expected. This is definitely another YA novel I’ll be recommending to anyone and everyone. 

After multiple horrible tragedies that took place 5 years ago, the cheerleading squad no longer exists. Still searching for clues, and not entirely believing the story of what took place that night, Monica Rayburn finds her dead sister’s phone in her stepfather’s desk. Jen’s phone contains starting information, including the phone number of the person Jen spoke to right before she killed herself. Unable to turn to her family, who basically refuses to speak about any of the deaths, especially Jen’s... Monica is forced to dig deep into the past on her own, and what she discovers is equally horrifying and life-changing.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, 342 pages

"Before We Were Yours" has been on my to-be-read list for quite a while and I am so happy that I finally got to it.  This is a fictionalized account of a family of seven children who were victims of the Tennessee Children's Home Society.  The society was real and was supposed to be a wonderful system of orphanages for children, when in fact, it was a horrible place that stole children and sold them for profit.

This is one of those books that I occasionally had to put down because I just needed a break from the heartbreak.  It was also one of those books I struggled to put down because it was such a well-written and compelling story and I wanted to know what happened next.

This one definitely puts the reader through the ringer but it is so worth it.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman, 432 pages

Swedish author Fredrik Backman is one of my favorite authors.  He tends to write sweet tales about eccentric characters who find love and validation through friends.  That is not this book.

Beartown is a dying town deep in a forest and they have one point of pride - the hockey club and its various teams.  Something bad happens to someone and the aftermath threatens to destroy the club and the town.

Yowza, this was brutal and powerful.  Racism, rape, bullying and peer pressure are all explored.  I loved this in a whole different way from my normal awe of Fredrik Backman.   There is now a follow-up to this book, "Us Against You."  Ohh, can't wait!

Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 219 pages

2018 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of the classic book Frankenstein and it is on the PBS "Great American Reads" list.  I figured it was a great time to read this classic book for the first time.

Many people, including some of the librarians I work with, love Frankenstein and their encouragement helped me finish it.  I mostly wanted to thump Victor Frankenstein on the noggin throughout the book and tell him any problems that arose in his life were indeed his fault because he panicked and couldn't love what he created.

Didn't enjoy it, but glad I read it.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Noir : a novel by Christopher Moore 339 pages

Thank you, Chris, for finally writing another book!  I know I shouldn't get frustrated, but when you go too long without publishing, I get edgy.  I need my fix! 

One thing I love about Moore's works are that they (especially the last 5 or so) are so wildly different subjects, but still deliciously his writing.  He writes paragraphs you want to chew for a while.  This was a foray into post WWII San Francisco, with night clubs, sassy dames, racial issues, and - oh, yeah - a government cover-up of the existence of aliens.  If you love 30s and 40s-style noir and really appreciate a well-turned phrase, don't pass this one up! 

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake 310 pages

I am so happy that there are several books coming out for middle graders that offer realistic looks at what it is like to be LGBTQ.  This is one of the best books yet that I've read.  It was sensitive, and didn't ever have a heavy hand.  It literally just followed a young girl as she tried to sort out why and how she was different.  More than anything it allows young people to understand two things: 1) it's okay to be different and 2) it's okay to not have all the answers.  This story was filled with warmth and characters that you really won't be able to help but love and want the best for them.  I highly recommend it to everyone 8 years+  without reservation.