The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow

 

When will sick children learn that the Cancer unit of a hospital is not the best place to fall in love? I mean, honestly, I’ve never read a story that started out like that and ended well. 

I clearly bought this book judging by the cover and it really wasn’t the worse decision I’ve ever made. It didn’t make my favorites list but it gave me something to do, as I am the last one of my friends to move into my dorm, I was desperately in need of something to do.

This book is about Francis, a dramatic teen with cancer, that falls in love with Amber, an obnoxious teen with cancer. Now, you may be thinking ‘Lauren, this fictional character has cancer! Don’t you think he has every right to be dramatic about that?!’ To which I would have to answer yes he does. When diagnosed with cancer, I believe you are allowed to cry and scream and hate the world as much as you want. However, how can you juggle obsessing over a girl on top of that? Talk about exhausting. I just don’t think waiting for a girl to text you back would be at the top of your priorities, but as I have never had a fatal disease I do not know. 

Aside from Francis’ drama and having it be kind of a remix of TFiOS, I liked it. Amber was such a great character and her personality holds true until the end. She is loud and obnoxious and really just tough. Her family is crazy and I adore Francis’ mother and brother. Honestly, they make the story. What I didn’t like was how Francis and Amber treated the other two teens in the Unit. At one point all I could think was how does putting down what some else likes make you cooler? I just really didn’t like the ‘you’re not like other girls’ type of attraction Francis had. 

3 stars though, it was decent

Starry Night by Isabel Gillies

IMG_0735

Last night I stayed up later than I was originally planning on to finish this book and boy was it worth it. Starry Night is a great work of young adult fiction that combines art, friendship, love, and struggles. I highly recommend it.

Starry Night is about a girl named Wren and all of her friends. Although Wren is the main character, all the Turtles (the name of her friend group) really have quite a few problems. Honestly, in high school, who doesn’t? The story really starts at a Party at the Met, where Wren’s father works. That’s when Nolan and Cy Dowd come into the picture and that’s really where the drama begins. What I love about this book is that the Turtles make bad choices, a lot of them, but that doesn’t mean that they are bad people or even bad kids. They’re all learning, but just because they run off into the night to dance or to party or just to “feel infinite” (quoting Perks of Being a Wallflower here), doesn’t mean they don’t have to own up to their actions. So many works in the YA genre glorify being a crazy kid but rarely do they actually show what happens after that. This book shows consequences without making it seem like the world is this huge and scary place that you need to be afraid of.

If there is anything you should take away from this book it’s this. If anyone is trying to keep you from your big dreams, whether it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, whatever, you don’t need them. Whoever it is trying to hold you back will still be there for you if they love you. When you’re young you need to be selfish about what you want, it’s you’re time to figure life out. This book is a good example of when you don’t put yourself first, it’s like choosing your classes based on what your friends chose; you’ll always have your interests, you may not always have your friends.

I wish I read this book while I was in high school, I feel like I could have gotten so much more from it. So I definitely recommend it.

Happy Reading!

Inferno by Dan Brown

Oh wow where do I even begin with this book? I never would have picked up this book if it were not for my wonderful friend, Mitchell. (Thanks Mitchell!) Having never gotten into the DaVinci Code, Dan Brown wasn’t even on my radar. I didn’t even actually know Inferno was part of a series until I looked into it more.

Anyway, I don’t usually read mysteries. I haven’t really found any that I liked until this book came into my life. The characters were all interesting, the plot is crazy, and all the art facts jammed into this story make the reader feel as though they are more intelligent for reading it. I really loved it, I felt like I was on the adventure with Mr. Langdon and all his colleagues. I never would have guessed half of the events that happened and honestly I loved every second of reading this book. From the second I read the first paragraph I was hooked and I read it in three days. I simply couldn’t put it down and I wanted to know what happened so bad that I didn’t really want to sleep. Brown really does a great job of keeping the reader interested, there really wasn’t a dull moment.

I would like to take some time to talk about how this book was part of a series. First of all, I NEVER read series out of order so this was weird for me. But there was not one point in the story where I felt like I was missing something because I hadn’t read the others. Also, for being the third (or fourth?) of a series it was awesome. Sometimes in series, the authors get lazy and don’t do such a good job. This was not the case for Dan Brown and for that I am so grateful.

In conclusion, this was one of the best books I have read in a long time and I give it a full five stars, I don’t have anything to complain about (I know right!). I recommend it and I am definitely going to try to read the rest of his books.

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Faulkoff

IMG_0463

I suppose since I can’t sleep tonight, now would be a good time to tell all of you about the book I finished this morning after a long night of reading last night when I also couldn’t sleep.

Anywho, Playlist for the Dead was an awesome book. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from it but I was pleasantly surprised anyway. I loved the cover art, even if I think the title is a little bit corny.

This book deals with loss in a way that I haven’t actually seen before. A fresh perspective on something sad is rare for me because, as all of you know, I have a terrible attraction to books that make me want to cry. Playlist for the Dead is about a boy named Sam who is dealing with the loss of his best friend Hayden, after being the one to find him. Sam and Hayden always only had each other and after Hayden dies, Sam feels even more alone.

Okay, so that sounds like every single other book that has been written about someone losing a friend, but hear me out, you can’t lose someone you love and not feel like that. It’s the personalities of the characters and the means each one uses to feel normal again. It actually covers how every person involved feels like they are the one to blame.

At Hayden’s funeral, Sam stands up to Ryan, Hayden’s older brother who relentlessly picked on him. After that, Sam’s life gets even more hectic. He meets a strange a beautiful girl, Astrid, and begins to think Hayden is trying to communicate with him through a video game. Sam struggles to find new friends, get through school, and figure out why Hayden left him the playlist. When bullies start getting what’s coming to them, the whole school begins to suspect Sam and as much as I want to give you a play by play of what happens in this book, I want you to read it more so I’ll leave it at that.

I thought this was a really good story and had some very interesting plot twists, I definitely would recommend it to anyone who was as disappointed in I Was Here as I was. It won’t change your life (probably) but it is worth a read. Four Stars

The Terminals by Royce Scott Buckingham

Only the badass die young

IMG_0384

When I read that line on the cover of The Terminals, I thought to myself that the book I was about to read was either going to be really good or terrible. It turned out to be neither.

This book’s hero is a teenage boy named Cam who is unremarkable, especially when compared to his steroid laced teammates. Cam, like the other teenagers, is diagnosed with a brain tumor that is supposedly fatal. Like the other teens, He is given the choice to die in a hospital room or to work as a special agent of sorts and to spend the rest of his short life living dangerously for the good of the world. Cam experiences more doubt than the rest of the team when he starts receiving secret notes, this only increases when some of the missions don’t go as planned.

Like I said earlier, this book was neither remarkable nor terrible. The concept was good, but the story itself wasn’t engaging. I liked the idea, I really did, what I didn’t like was the characters, and the actual events. There was one point where a mass amount of main people died and I literally did not care at all. If people die and you don’t feel anything, something needs to change.

Where to begin with the characters… Let’s start with Cam. Like I said fairly unremarkable, however he rises up and leads this group of teens who have superhuman strength and wit. Tell me how that is plausible, please. Also i don’t think Cam has real feelings, he was attracted to every female character mentioned at one point or another and I would imagine that if the task at hand is saving the world, romance would be a little hard to find time for. Next is Zara, she is there to be the sexy, badass female. I think that Buckingham attempts to add depth to her by giving a short backstory about a boy she once loved, but it really seemed awkward and misplaced, like it didn’t really fit. I really only liked Ari and Wally and they aren’t even like remarkable characters. I only liked Wally because he vaguely reminds me of a cousin.

Three out of five stars. I’ve read better, and I’ve read worse.