Saturday, May 30, 2015

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews




Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews 

Publisher: Amulet Books 
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Genre: Realistic Fiction


Page Count:295
Age Range: 13+



Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg's mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia-- cue extreme adolescent awkwardness-- but when a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is make a film for her, which turns into the World Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives. 

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight. 

My Thoughts:
Okay everyone so I do not know if you remember my Audrey, Wait review from a couple weeks ago. I did a list review (remember, I list what I like and don't like about the book) which is what I am going to do today!! I know you are all super excited about this!!!

Anyway let me start. 

So this book literally had me laughing out loud. In public. At work. Yeah, probably a bad idea to start this book there but I am over it. 

This book is pretty much about boy (Greg), his friend Earl, and this dying girl named Rachel. Greg has figured out the perfect recipe at how to stay on the outside of high school. He is part of all social groups, but not part of any of them. He has a problem trusting people...his only friend he has, he calls him his "coworker" (in making movies). When his mom makes him befriend a girl who has just been diagnosed with leukemia, he has to abandon his invisibility and make a new friend.

Okay, list time.

Pros:
1.) This was absolutely hilarious. Like I was dying x 10000000000000000. The book hadn't even started and I was already laughing hysterically. "A NOTE FROM GREG GAINES, AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK" was too much for me. Let me give you a snippet.
"When I first started writing this book. I tried to start it with the sentence 'It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.' I genuinely thought I could start this book that way.... In desperation I tried messing with the punctuation and italicization, like: It was the best of times? And it was the worst of times?!!!" 
Like it was this kind of funny. Jesse Andrews just has a certain type of humor that comes through the pages that really gets you going. It has such a twisted sense of humor and I love it.

2.) It does not try hard. Since this is a book about a girl with cancer, I just kept comparing it to The Fault in Our Stars. This book was NOTHING like the John Green book. At the beginning of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the author literally writes that this book does not have any life lessons about cancer and that he "probably became stupider about life". Jesse Andrews is not trying to get you to have a deep connection to this book, and I love it.

3.) It is so unique and different. Not just the story, but the organization of the book was so crazy. Each chapter had a freaking awesome title like "Let's just get this embarrassing chapter out of the way" or "The Gaines Family: a Summary". Andrews also uses organization from a screenplay, bullets, lists, etc. It was not typical organization and writing which adds to the experience of reading this book.

Cons:

1.) Too short. I felt that the book was not able to develop as much as it could and reach its full potential. It could have been so much better if there was just a little bit more substance.

2.) Plot was there but not showcased. Yes there was there was a plot but it really wasn't the big part of the story. It was more a background of everything else that was going on.

3.) It ended. I wanted it go on forever and forever :D :D : D


Overall, this book is an experience. You are not just reading a regular book. You are going on a ride that will make you laugh than squint at the pages with confusion. Read this, it will make your life better.

Rating: *****
Cover Rating: Perfect, just like this book
Recommendations:
1. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
2. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
3. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Favorite Quotation: "I am the Thomas Edison of conversational stupidity"

Now, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, May 25, 2015

I Read YA :D



Hello everyone! So as most of you know, I Read YA Week was last week from the 18th to the 22nd. I wanted to participate so bad and decided I would compile all of my responses in one whole post and give my impressions of the whole event as I watched from my computer. I hope you were all able to get involved last week!
If you are interested in the original post about the event, here is the link to the website!!
I Read YA

Love for YA (Day 1):
I think the reason why I love YA is because I am able to connect to the characters and escape my own world. I can become the incredible wizard, girl next door, or scary assassin. YA fiction allows you to be anyone you want to be and explore so many cultures, places, or types of people. These books have gotten me through the past six years of middle and high school, and it has definitely made me the person I am today. I also believe that YA fiction allows the readers to think out of the box and just think in general. Nowadays, teenagers/ young adults are spend so much time on Netflix and on the their phones performing such mind numbing tasks. YA brings these teenagers and allows them to actually think creatively. Also, boys. YA boys are freakin amazing.

YAAlliteration (Day 2):

America and Aspen always asserted attention although another attained affection. 
HAHA my attempt at alliteration for the Selection by Kiera Cass

WOW (Day 3):
(Upcoming YA releases)

THERE ARE SO MANY YA BOOKS THAT ARE COMING OUT SOON AND I AM SO EXCITED. Okay, I think I am calm now. JUST KIDDING I WILL NEVER NOT BE EXCITED ABOUT THIS.
1.) Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry (May 26th)
2.) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (September 1)
3.) Reap the Shadows by Annette Marie (Fall)


TBT (Day 4):


Maximum Ride hands down was the book that got me into reading YA. I first thought of Maximum Ride when I saw this question but I did have a secondary thought of Harry Potter. But, I think that Harry Potter just got me into reading in general while Maximum Ride got me into YA.

Recommendations (Day 5):

So since this is a book review blog there are many recommendations on here but I will give you a top 3 of the most recent books that I have read and loved.

1.) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (review will be up this week!!)
2.) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
3.) Chase the Dark by Annette Marie

EVERYONE GO READ SOME YA!!

Sincerely.
a Book Nerd

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Top 10 Summer Books

Hey guys!!! So I thought I would rank my top 10 favorite summer books. Many of these I read when I was in middle school during summer breaks and I loved them. I would definitely read these if you are on vacation or anytime during the summer.

10. The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper. Easy peasy and cute.
9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This is such an easy book for the summer.
8. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. Such a simple and cute book for the summer.
7. Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols. Suspenseful, exciting, and romantic. Perfect summer book.
6. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Yes. Yes. Yes. Read it now.
5. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. If you like music, romance, and friendship relationships then read this.
4. That Summer by Sarah Dessen. When is a Sarah Dessen book not amazing for the summer?!?
3. Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols. Such a cute romantic book if your are looking for a break.
2. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. This is such a good beach read. Easy, fun, flirty.
1. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. Classic. If there is any summer YA book, this is it.

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J Maas 
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date:May 5, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 419
Age Range: 12+ 


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When nineteen- year- old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherouos magical land she only knowns about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor in not an animal, but Tamlin- one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hositility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Fayre must find a way to stop it...or doom Tamlin- and his world- forever.

My Thoughts:
Okay you all known I love Sarah J Maas. The first time I read Throne of Glass I almost passed out with happiness. Let me just tell you all that I love her so much more after this book. It was suspenseful, cute, exciting, and just overall perfect. Maas did a great job with this book ad it was more than what I was expecting. You really get pulled into the world that Maas created. Once you understand the dynamics of the characters and the world, you can really appreciate the actions and thoughts of each and every one of the characters.

This book is about a human girl named Feyre who lives in a world dominated by fairies. Humans are looked down upon and sometimes used as slaves. Feyre is pulled into the world of fairies when she kills a fairy lord's man. She must live on the property of Lord Tamlin to fulfill her punishment. Her original thoughts on fairies are thrown out the window when she starts to get close to Tamlin, and his right hand man Lucien.

I loved this book because of the story. Maas weaves a web and a whole different world filled with all types of fairies. I first started to love fairy stories after the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I was first expecting something like this, but this book  takes a whole different route. I was always guessing as to what was going to happen next. One thing I really love about Maas is that she does not write what the readers want. She writes what the characters would actually do and what is realistic for that specific world. In Throne of Glass, the events that took place made sense even though I was not always hapy with them (you know what I am talking about if you have read Crown of Midnight). In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Maas does not change this. I was unhappy a couple of times with what happened because I wanted everything to have a perfect ending, but of course this is not realistic.

Let me talk about Feyre now. Man did I love her. I kept comparing her to Celaena (Throne of Glass) which was not a good idea from the beginning because I am obsessed with Celaena. I think the main difference between the two is that Feyre is so loyal. She made a deal with her mother and she must take care o her family even though they do not give a rat's butt about her. Celaena, on the other hand, has ever really had a family to take care of or any real attachments that were in her way. Of course Feyre had her faults, like any other person, but she works on them ad shows her strength against Amarantha at the end.

Overall, you should read this book. End of story.

Rating: *****
Cover Rating: YES
Recommendation:
1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
2. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
3. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins


Now, what do you think?


Sincerely.
a Book Nerd

Saturday, May 16, 2015

April Conclusion

Alright guys so I thought I would kind of wrap up the last month with some of the books I have read, am looking forward to etc.

Books Bought:
1. Shadow and Bone Series by Leigh Barduco
2. Invaded by Melissa Landers
3. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
4. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
5. Love and other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
6. Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Books I'm Excited For: 
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
2. Those Girls by Lauren Saft
3. Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
4. The Heir by Kiera Cass
5. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
6. Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson

This past month we also learned a ton about the new Shadowhunters show (including super exciting casting news!)

If this was all April, I cannot wait for May and June!

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: The Passion of Marie Romanov by Laura Rose





Title: The Passion of Marie Romanov
Author: Laura Rose
Publisher: Memoir House
Publication Date: April 28, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 228 
Age Range: 13+ 


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
"July 17, 1918- from the writings of Marie Nicolaevna Romanovna, age 19. Midnight, in bed with her sister Anastaisa (Shvybz), in teh Ipatiev Mansion in Ekaterinburg, during the last night of their lives. So much of my story unfolds by moonlight. This is a tale of midnight wakings and forced marches before dawn. Since this nightmare began, I do not dare undress, even to go to bed. I wear my dressing gown, my hair is prepared, and my shoes are set beside me. I have no idea when we will be summoned to rise. We have moved, as in the worst of dreams, slowly toward this place. There is no logic other than the sleepwalker's obedience- to follow instruction which we cannot resist: an actual lunacy. Now, I have control only of this- my record of what happened to us, to me. I have committed a single sin, my one terrible transgression. I pray to be absolved. In this recording of memory lies all meaning to my life. Let my will prevail in this, my ultimate wish, to salvage something of value from this tragedy. The rest, as my mother says, is in God's hands. When I look back, as I must in the short time alloted to me now, I can see the exact moment when our lives changed: at last light, on the thirteenth of March, 1917." Here, in startling new historical detail, based on original diaries and letters, is the Romanov tragedy told from the point of view of the Tsar's third daughter, Marie, Anastasia's closest, older sister. Marie's sory is unique- only Marie crossed the frozen Siberian river with her parents, and only marie shared the full 78 days and nights in 'The House of Special Purpose'

My Thoughts:
Okay so you already know how I feel about this book if you have read one of my earlier posts. But, in my Historical Fiction post, I talked about the book only to the part I was up to. Let me tell you, it gets so much better towards the end. The whole book leads up to the ending which does not disappoint, even if it breaks your heart a little (or a lot).

So this book is about Marie Romanov, duh did you see the title? Most people only really know about Anastasia, whether that is from the movie, history class, or just from friends. I think that maybe even Rasputin is more known than any of the Romanov family. Anyway, I have always been interested in this time of history, especially this family. So, this book was a perfect fit.

The book starts about a year or so before the family got assassinated and goes until the day or so before. The readers get an idea of how the family was feeling and what exactly was happening. Unlike some other historical fiction books this one was very accurate (or from what I know). There were certain parts of the book when I had to google people, events, or just random facts. Not only was I entertained while reading, I was learning (so much fun I know)!!

I loved Marie. I loved Marie so much. She was so loyal and strong for her family. When her mother needed her, she was there. Even though her mother never paid her so much attention, Marie still helped her at any given moment. The family dynamics was so interesting in this book. The pairs of sisters and poor little Alexei. Olga & Tatiana and Marie & Anastasia were best friends and sisters. When they are put in this horrible situation, they all handle it differently but they are always there for each other. Olga suffers terribly after a run in with the guards and although she does not recover, her relationship with Tatiana helps her through it.

Now let me give you a fair warning. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. At one point you are laughing, the next time you are crying. You get so attached to all of the characters and you hope that what you know will happen will not. You are also at the mercy of Laura Rose's use of suspense. Let me tell you that the ending had me gripping at my kindle and making myself read. At one point I had to get up and walk around because I was so nervous.

Overall, if you are a fan of historical fiction you will love this one and if you are not a fan of historical fiction than you will still love it. The story of this family will always stay with you. 


Rating: *****
Cover Rating: I like it 
Recommendation:
1. The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller
2. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly 
3. The Romanov Sisters by helen Rappaport 

Now, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 10 Reasons: Shadowhunters

Okay so I do not know if you all know that I am a huge Mortal Instruments fan. I started reading them when I was in middle school and have read the series so many times the pages have stains and rips. When I heard they were making a movie, I was super excited but let down not only by the cast but by the movie itself. So, I am hoping that the TV show will be AMAZING. But let us see. So, I am going to be making a Top 10 reasons why I am excited for the TV show because it is starting to look really great.

10. Do you guys know Christine from Poland Bananas Books? Watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v4K4g6Xs08 
9. ABC FAMILY. Most of my favorite shows are from ABC family so I think they will do a great job!
8. It is starting next year! So we only have to wait just a little bit of time!
7. According to the internet and Christine (PBB), they will be increasing the age of some of the characters which I  think is a good idea.

6.ISABELLE: Emeraude Toubia
5. SIMON: Alberto Rosende
4. Dominic. Freakin. Sherwood. Just look at this picture please. Perfect Jace
3. ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES. Anything can happen! They can make unique twists and mix together books! Super exciting.
2.IT IS A TV SHOW!! That means that it is not just one two hour movie... it can go on forever!
1. Finally a TV show about a book series that I like :D :D

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo




Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 368 
Age Range: 12+ 


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Surrounded by enemies, the once- great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulder of one lonely refugee. 

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals dormant power that saves his life- a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched by everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha... and the secrets of her heart. 

My Thoughts:
Okay I am just going to start by saying that I absolutely loved this book. It was not what I seemed, but a 100 times better than I thought it was going to be. It was suspenseful, entertaining, and heart wrenching. Although it was a tad hard to follow at some points, if you kept reading it made sense in no time.

The book is about a girl named Alina, an orphan, that has only been close to one person in her whole life. His name is Mal, and he is her best friend. He has always been the popular, good looking guy while she is the loner that no one really chooses to talk to. When she is put in a life threatening situation, she shows a unique power that could save her whole world. Before I discuss the book I should give you some background on the world they are living in. They live in the country of Ravka, which is surrounded by enemy territory due to wars. In her world, there are people called the Grisha. They are people with special powers, anything from summoning darkness to manipulating wind. Alina is the Sun Summoner, and her power balances out the power of the all powerful and all knowing, Darkling.

Now I am just going to come out and say that this book is very heavy fantasy. I know so many of my friends will not pick up a fantasy book if it gave them buckets of cookies (crazy I know). So, if you are not a fan of fantasy I do not know if this will be the book for you. You really have to put all of your realities and facts outside before you start reading. Many times while I was reading I had to have suspense of disbelief because so many things in the book would just not make sense in our world. It may be difficult to read at times because there are so many words and phrases that are so unique to us that we have to learn and become familiar with.

I thought that the plot line was very well written. All of the cliff hangars and suspenseful builds came at the right time (even though they killed me at the moment). Bardugo did a great job writing this book in the way that made the readers want to read more. Every page was building up to something (especially the ending!!). 

I know in my last review I talked about characters and how I will not usually like the book if I cannot connect to the characters, or understand where they are coming from. This book was filled with characters was were heartfelt and genuine. I am a huge fan of Alina. Although she was your typical YA fiction protagonist, she did not feel that she was invincible. She constantly doubted herself, just like any other real teenage girl. I also thought the secondary characters, Mal, Zoya, or the Darkling not only enhanced Alina's personality but build on the story line.

Overall, I would recommend this to any fantasy lovers or anyone in for a really great story. But I am just warning you, you will be spending so much time because you will just want to read the second and third right after!

Rating: *****
Cover Rating: SO COOL
Recommendations:
1. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski 
2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 

Now, what do you think?
Sincerely,
a Book Nerd 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Historical Fiction?!?!

Goooooddd morning everyone!!! 

Get ready for a fun rant. Let me rephrase that. Get ready for a positive fun rant. 

I have never been a huge fan of historical fiction. I mean, I had read some that I liked but it was not a major genre for me. However, I am on a historical fiction craze right now. It all started with the book the Passion of Marie Romanov (there will be a review coming soon :D). This book, about Anastasia's sister was so good and I learned so much that I started just reading as much historical fiction as I could. I think that is one of the reasons why I like historical fiction so much. I get to learn about so many time periods and different types of people. When I finished Passion of Marie Romanov I was so interested in the time period that I watched, like, three different documentaries on the Romanov family. So, I just wanted to tell you all that there are some really great historical fiction novels out there. I feel like it is a genre that is swept under the carpet. So, everyone go read some historical fiction!

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd