Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

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Dara and Nick were the best kind of sisters, they were best friends.They did everything together up until the accident, after that Dara wouldn’t even talk to Nick. Nick struggles through the summer with her new job and her old friends, trying to come to terms with what happened. While she is struggling with that, a little child went missing and the town is at ends looking for her.

I don’t know how I feel about this book, throughout most of it I thought both the girls were being overly dramatic. I also was not sure about her friends, any of them. Really everyone in the town seemed sketchy for one reason or another. But, there was a twist that really shocked me at the end, looking back on it, I think We Were Liars did it first and did it better.

This one was a good book, but definitely was not great. I would give it three and a half stars because it passed the time but it didn’t really seem original.

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The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders #1) by Peter Lerangis

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This book was a really tough book for me to get in to, for whatever reason I just really did not want to read it and unfortunately that feeling did not end when I actually did start reading it. I believe the problem lies in the fact that the main character is 13 and that it seemed like a knock off of Percy Jackson and The Olympians. Being 13 is not a bad thing, it just isn’t what I am looking to read. The book felt much too young to me and frankly it wasn’t a good enough story to make me want to keep reading. Being Percy Jackson is also not a bad thing, I loved that series. But I hate feeling like I’ve read the same book over and over (I have this problem with a lot of YA dystopian books as well).

In The Colossus Rises, 13 year old Jack McKinley discovers that he has gifts only a few people possess. He finds himself in the ruins of Atlantis with a strange scientist and a group of others like him, the Select. Throughout this book, the four Select children try to escape and generally cause trouble much more than they need to. They do everything, with little or no training and honestly, I still don’t know if Jack even has real powers. It really seems choppy to me, like pieces of the book don’t quite fit together, like maybe he tried to fit too much in one book and forgot about development.

So no, I guess I didn’t really like this one but it would be good to read to a 4th grader. Three stars.

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

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Wow, this book was a trip.

June and Delia were best friends from the time Delia moved to town, until June began dating Ryan and some weird things went down. Since then, Delia and June kind of grew apart. Until June learns that Delia killed herself. Suddenly June finds herself trying to reconnect with a lost girl, a girl who tried to call just before she lit the matches that killed her. June gets wrapped up with Delia’s boyfriend and begins to believe that Delia didn’t really do it herself and after that things really go South. June gets caught up with a bunch of crazy people and in a mess of lies and pretty soon it seems that she is in too deep to get out.

Wow. I had to say it twice because I am still in shock from this book. I started and finished it today, which just lets you know that it is a quick read, but my mind is still reeling trying to figure out what happened. I have so many questions left, but I believe a good book is suppose to leave you feeling something good or bad, and if you want more, that’s definitely a good thing. It was fast paced and attention catching, everything about this book was mysterious and suspenseful. I’d even go as far as to say dangerous.

I’d give it four out of five stars

I want to go on about this book forever, but I spent too much of my allotted time blabbering on about Go Set A Watchman  and I would give everything away if I talked too much. Go read it yourself, you’ll love it, especially if you liked We Were Liars.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

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I want to start out by saying that To Kill A Mockingbird will always be one of my favorite books. I am not sure of the circumstances that allowed Go Set A Watchman to come out but I was more than eager to read it although I feel bad that Ms. Harper Lee may not have wanted it read. I finally got my thoughts in order enough to share them and I am so excited to give this book review.

In Go Set A Watchman, Jean Louise is returning to Maycomb and really dealing with being too big for a small town. The Scout that we all know and love grew up to be exactly what I had hoped she would be, and throughout this book she has to deal with learning that the way that she perceived the town and the people in it isn’t actually how they are. I think this is an important book, even if it doesn’t quite tell the same story as TKAM.

I really liked reading Go Set A Watchman, I really did. But before you all go out and start reading you need to keep something in mind; this book is NOT To Kill A Mockingbird. It just isn’t, major characters and events are barely even mentioned. If you go in thinking that this book is TKAM you will be disappointed. I had a really hard time with that. It was very hard for me to let go of Jem.  I’m saying this not as a spoiler because it doesn’t feel like a spoiler. Jem is not around in GSaW and frankly I was not prepared for that, I wanted to know what became of Scout, and Jem, and Dill and I didn’t really get that but I’m okay with it. The part that really struck me was that the rape case was mentioned hardly ever, it was brought up but like once or twice. So this is definitely not To Kill A Mockingbird,  it is it’s own book and even though it’s really really hard sometimes I just had to step back and remind myself that these two are separate. Even if I want to scream loudly about the lack of Boo Radley.

The characters are very different, but most of them are very good. I absolutely loved Jean Louise, she is stubborn and modern and everything Scout should grow up to be. Atticus, however, is a different story. Whew, where do I begin? I still adore him but I am almost as disappointed as Jean Louise was when she found out where her father stood on certain issues. I really do love him as a human being though, even if he is kind of a problematic fave right now. I did really love that he is just as wise and graceful as he was in TKAM though. Jem and Dill aren’t in the picture anymore and I don’t like Henry so that’s all I have on the characters.

All and all, Harper Lee is important. She was important then and just as relevant now. With police brutality and the continuity of racial injustice I think that both books are still important/relevant today. These books are about more than Scout and Atticus, these books are about race and I think that even revisiting them for a chapter can remind us that there needs to be a change. Go Set A Watchman wasn’t as great as TKAM, but it was still good, and Jean Louise is still a great example.

I had a lot of thoughts and feelings to channel into this one post so I hope it was coherent. If anyone has any thoughts on the book feel free to share, I definitely would love a conversation about it.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

  
I will not lie, I was a little disappointed by this one. It’s a book about suicide and I did not tear up once. To be far I did not read it all in one sitting and I’m not sure if that impacts my attachment to the characters in the story. The idea behind the story in theory was very good but I wasn’t in love with the book itself. My expectations were probably too high because of how great If I Stay and Where She Went were. 

I finished this book while sitting on the hood of my car in the gorgeous sunshine and it really just didn’t fit the mood of the story. But really, as a reader it is not my job to force myself to feel for the characters. It is the author’s job to interest you and honestly with this book I just never really felt it, but I will tell you what it is about anyway.

Cody loses her best friend Meg to suicide after Meg goes to college and Cody is finishing  high school. Meg’s death comes as such a shock to her and Cody feels so guilty. While packing up Meg’s things and meeting her friends, Cody begins to realize how little she knew about Meg’s college life and she begins to discover some suspicious stuff. Soon she goes on a wild goose chase to figure out who made Meg do it. Honestly though, the end was predictable. 

Two stars.

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

When I read The Beginning of Everything by Ms. Schneider earlier this year I was hooked. She is witty, hilarious, and relatable. She reminds me of a female John Green and her latest book, Extraordinary Means reminds me of a mix between Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of this book while I was reading it, which is uncharacteristic and sad because the cover is turquoise and pretty.

Extraordinary Means takes place in a time where tuberculosis has resurfaced and no longer responds to modern medicine. Lane is sent to a sanitarium to wait out the illness where he is quarantined with other sick children. He meets an old aquaintance from camp and is immediately in awe. That’s what reminds me of Looking for Alaska, except instead of boarding school, it’s basically a hospital. Like Alaska, Sadie and her clan are always breaking the rules and living their (probably short,sickly) lives on the edge.  When Lane goes to the Lantham house, he starts to feel like he is truly living, it’s touching really. 

It really was an interesting story, personally I liked The Beginning of Everything better but I definitely had fun reading this one. It really shows what it would be like to live like you are dying, because most of them are. 

Three stars

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

  
Everything about this book sounds cliche, a high school girl feels isolated in her group of friends and finds solace in a group of misfits. Secretly though, if you get past that and actually open the book you will find that Ms. Stone wrote a beautiful, sad, interesting, and perfect story. Is it obvious that this book swept me off my feet? Because it definitely did. 

This book is about a girl named Sam who lived her entire life with a group of mean friends that she doesn’t feel comfortable with (I pictured one of them as Regina George honestly). Sam struggles with OCD and struggles to keep it a secret. This book really begins when Sam begins to focus on swimming and making a new friend leads her to a much different group of people. The only problem is, the friend Sam makes isn’t quite who Sam believes she is and Sam has to deal with this too. 

Honestly this was such a good story, I read it in one glorious sitting. I loved all the characters and I really loved Sam. She was trying so hard and she was so sweet I just really wanted her to come out on top. I have never read anything else by this author but if I happen to I will definitely read it because I want this woman to keep writing. 

Four and half stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

  
This book was great, it was The Selection meets The Hunger Games. I read the whole thing in four hours and could not put it down. It was crazy.

In the world of Reds and Silvers, Mare makes a way for herself pick pocketing and barely scraping by. All of her brothers have been conscripted or drafted for the war and her younger sister is he only one who can get a job until one day a stranger she tries to steal from gives her a cushy job. When Mare, a red, discovers she has powers that only silvers should have things get crazy.

Definitely read it. Especially if you liked The Hunger Games or The Selection.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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What a great summer book. Fluffy enough so you can relax and interesting enough so that it doesn’t put you to sleep. Plus, it’s set on an island!

This book is about Cass and Gwen and their strange love/hate relationship. The book flashes back and forth between the current summer and what happened I believe earlier in the year. Gwen has been avoiding Cass for awhile now, but that becomes more difficult as the summer begins. Cass got a job as the yard boy and is staying on island all summer and Gwen can’t help but run into him.

I love cutesy love stories. So I obviously devoured this book. Gwen was a perfect character and Cass was so sweet and Vivian and Nic were all just so good. They felt like real people and that is really important to me in a good book. If I am going to escape to some far off world, the people better at least be believable.

What I honestly valued about this book was the revelations Gwen had towards the end of the book regarding Cass. I think all too often boys get blamed for things that sometimes aren’t they way they seem so it was liberating to see Gwen kind of realize that she was part of the problem too. I just think that there were some stereotypes here that were shifted about and I liked it. I think some of that added a certain depth to a “cutesy” story.

Everyone go read this. I love Huntley Fitzpatrick.

The Heir by Kiera Cass

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This book is about America and Maxon’s daughter who is preparing to become queen. When the citizens begin to riot Maxon thinks that hosting a selection for the Queen would be the perfect distraction to take care of the people. The only problem is that Eadlyn doesn’t want a husband or a selection. She wants to rule by herself. The selection is crazy and eventful and what not but this book drove me literally nuts.

Now, this is the part that could be a little bit of a spoiler so readers beware. I would love to spill all and tell you who she picks to marry because God knows I was rooting for Kile, but unfortunately I cannot tell you because I don’t know. Yes, this book did not get to the end of the selection. This readable episode of the Princess Bachelorette ended with a very rude cliff hanger and I don’t even know if there is a fifth book!

If you have already read the first three books please read this one, I love Kiera Cass and I wish her all the success in the world. I just wanted to make you aware that you will not know who she ends up marrying because I will be honest that is the main reason I read the book anyway.