Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) – Maggie Stiefvater

Published October 21st 2014 by Scholastic Press
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Supernatural
Length: 391 pages, hardcover
ISBN: 0545424968 (ISBN13: 9780545424967)
Characters: Blue Sargent, Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, Noah Czerny, Mr. Gray, Maura Sargent

Blurb: The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

This isn’t my favorite in the series but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I’ve actually read it a bit too fast I think, to get to the final installment right away. Here, we get more of Blue’s POV which absolutely delighted me because we learned about her growing feelings towards her Raven boysshe was finally finding her own voice being a conduit of energy and all!

Aside from Blue, we also see the boys here maturing emotionally and psychologically, to think that everything here happens only in a year’s time. It’s maybe because they’ve gotten into deep in searching for the Welsh King. It’s weird how they’re all so worshipful of Gansey. I loved how the author portrayed Gansey as someone that is up there for the rest of the guys to look up to. What an odd, engaging and irresistable character!

There are also a number of funny scenes here involving Mr. Gray’s former employer Colin Greenmantle, his wife Piper and of course, the banter between our main characters especially between Ronan and Adam. I just loved the development in their relationship. It made me like Adam and made me love Ronan even more!

The whole search for the sleeping King was getting intense with evil, undesirable creatures getting in the way and I loved that as we get closer in solving the “mystery,” the author was still able to give us pleasant what ifs in case said King is non-existent or if some characters will die for waking it up.

This is another blockbuster writing from the author. It’s definitely one of the best YA series out there.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

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Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

Published September 17th 2013 by Scholastic Press
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Supernatural
Length: 439 pages, hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0545424941 (ISBN13: 9780545424943)
Characters: Blue Sargent, Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, Noah, Mr. Gray, Maura Sargent

Blurb: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Just a bit of a disclaimer here – I wrote this review after finishing the rest of the books in the series and I’ve to say that this second installment (there are four!) is definitely my favorite in The Raven Cycle. Ronan isn’t exactly my favorite character (It’s Gansey!) but I really do loved his characterization from the very start. I knew there’s something about him that’s oh-so-different even without his bad boy image.

See, Ronan’s a literal dreamer who can manifest practically everything (people included?) from the dreamland into reality. Pretty neat, yeah? The story went even deeper here in the group’s quest of finding the Welsh King. We also learned here that Ronan isn’t the only dream thief in the sleepy town of Henrietta. Very interesting right?

I guess, what I loved most about this installment is the development of each character. They are all fully realized and you’d really get a feel of everyone since the book offers multiple POVs. This one is obviously heavy on Ronan but somehow, the author was able to flesh out each important character especially the introduction of Mr. Gray. I loved Mr. Gray and I think you will too!

Now, this is just my second book from the author and I am absolutely delighted to have found her stories even if this series have been released for quite sometime now. Her understanding of the genre is totally on a relatable level. Her characters so engaging and I cannot wait to read more from her.

This second installment like the rest of the series is very highly recommended by yours truly.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) – Maggie Stiefvater

Published September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Supernatural
Length: 409 pages, hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 545424925 (ISBN13: 9780545424929)
Characters: Blue Sargent, Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, Noah

Blurb: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I absolutely adore this book! The characters, the plot and everything about it is perfection for me. At first, I thought it was kind of slow but I realized that it’s part of the beauty of the story. The pacing goes with the whole vibe of the setting – the quiet and mysterious town of Henrietta. And the characters – their just so vibrant especially Gansey and Ronan.

Okay, I think I pretty much summed up my review already but let me just add in my own words what the book is basically about – a group of teenagers searching for a magical dead / undead (nope, he’s not a vampire) Welsh king that was supposed to grant them a favor or whoever wakes him, that is.

The story is a fascinating one and I loved the tidbits of history incorporated along with the supernatural.

As for the characters – each boy (Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah) have its own individuality. As I’ve said, I particularly loved Adam and Ronan, then Noah. I don’t know why I didn’t like Adam that much. If you decide to give it a go, help me analyze why. LOL

As I’m writing this review, I’m already halfway thru the second book! I am loving it so far as much as this first book in the series! I cannot believe that it took me forever to read this!!! I highly recommend this amazing, amazing book!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

Book Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) – Victoria Aveyard

Published February 9th 2016 by HarperTeen
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Heroes, Slavery, Rebellion, Superpowers
Length: 464 pages, paperback
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 1409159353 (ISBN13: 9781409159353)
Characters: Tiberias Calore “Cal” VII, Mare Molly Barrow, Maven Calore

Blurb: If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare’s blood is red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

After the shocking conclusion of the first book where Mare and Cal found themselves betrayed, outcasted and almost dying from the manipulation of the evil Queen Elara and the newly crowned Silver king Maven, the quest to find the “newbloods” became the number one motivation for Mare to become the face of the Scarlet Guard in order to topple the Silver royals and their allies.

I did enjoy the previous book’s intro about the Silvers, Red bloods and the Red bloods with Silver abilities. Here, we get to see more of the newbloods – a number of characters with said enhanced Silver powers. The book focuses mostly on finding these ‘newbloods’ with Mare convincing them to join their cause with the help of the very reluctant Calore.

Although I loved the whole exhibition of each ability from these newbloods, I find the whole narrative of the book a bit repetitive and rather uneventful save for its latter part . We didn’t get any juicy new sub-plots. It’s like more of a set-up for the upcoming events in the series that unfortunately didn’t unfold in this book.

It is still kind of interesting and fascinating discovering the abilities of the new bloods but there was detachment from the main characters.

What saved the whole book from being horrible is the fact that it build up a premise that may or may not break the series in the coming installments.

I don’t mind reading more from this world and these characters. One thing’s for sure, Ms. Aveyard is a very pretty inventive writer. Bravo!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve actually finished the second and third book upon writing this review. For the record, I’m not a fan of the brothers. I am 100% #TeamKilorn.

About The Author
Victoria Aveyard graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. RED QUEEN is her first novel. She splits her time between Massachusetts and Los Angeles. You can visit her online at www.victoriaaveyard.com.

Book Review: Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Published May 9th 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published October 6th 2015)
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: LGBTQ, Romance, Young Adult, Highschool, Magic
Length: 522 pages, paperback
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 1250135028 (ISBN13: 9781250135025)
Characters: Simon Snow, Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Grimm-Pitch, Penelope Bunce, Agatha Wellbelove

Blurb: Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

From the number of reviews that I’ve read, Harry Potter seems to be the common denominator. Suffice to say that this was almost patterned to Rowling’s wizard boy’s adventure. Almost being the operative word since it’s so similar to Harry Potter but different at the same time.

I’m also aware that Simon Snow’s adventure was heavily featured from the author’s previous book, Fangirl and I guess the clamor was high enough to prompt the author to write a full length book about it. And I’m so glad that she did!

In all honesty, this may just be the cutest full length novel I’ve read in like, forever! I absolutely loved how the author was able to compressed everything in the story – from magic, family, to love and coming-of-age in general.

Simon’s character is freaking adorable and so as his love interest – his nemesis – Baz. I loved their history as mortal enemies from the time they’ve met until one of them figured what they’re feeling towards the other. It was sweet and downright hilarious at the same time.

Then there’s the secondary characters – all so fleshed out and all so very interesting. I especially loved Penelope. What a riot for a BFF! I loved that she’s super game all the time. I was hoping that by the end of the story, there’ll be some sort of big reveal about Simon’s past so I was a bit miffed that it didn’t happen but it doesn’t lessen my enjoyment at all. I’m even hoping for a sequel!

I easily dismissed this as a mere Harry Potter rip off of some sort but truth be told, it was not. The story was very absorbing, characters so enticing and the whole ensemble of characters is a testament on what a great storyteller Rainbow Rowell is.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Author
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

More at rainbowrowell.com.

Book Review: Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) – Victoria Aveyard

Published February 10th 2015 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 383 pages
Characters: Kilorn Warren, Gisa Barrow, Tiberias Calore “Cal” VII, Mare Molly Barrow, Maven Calore, Evangeline Samos, Diana Farley, Tiberias Calore VI, Elara Merandus, Julian Jacos, Lucas Samos

Blurb: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart

I know I’m late at the party but since my schedule wasn’t full last week, I was able to finally get my hands on this mega-hit young adult series. ‘even got me  paper back copy of it.

I’m actually not disappointed. I somehow had this preconceived ideas about it because of all the hype and most of my “reader” friends were raving about so I figured that this would be worth my time and I was fairly surprised that I find myself getting its second and third installments on ebooks after reading this first one.

Red Queen is more like the Divergent series meets The Hunger Games although what separate it from the two is the high element of fantasy the author cleverly incorporated with the story. Plot-wise, it isn’t as original but I loved the development of each characters in it.

The pacing of the story was also something to laud about the book. I loved that Victoria Aveyard didn’t drag any part of the story. She was able to really focus on what’s important in each sub-plot.

The only reason I am not giving this a five-star rating is its predictability. It was actually good-predictable but I was maybe hoping for something more original because from the get-go, I’ve already figured who will turn against our protagonist.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve actually finished the second and third book upon writing this review. For the record, I’m not a fan of the brothers. I am 100% #TeamKilorn.

About The Author
Victoria Aveyard graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. RED QUEEN is her first novel. She splits her time between Massachusetts and Los Angeles. You can visit her online at www.victoriaaveyard.com.

Book Review: Bared To You (Crossfire, #1) – Sylvia Day

Published: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: New Adult, Romance, Erotic, Abuse
Length: 334 pages, Paperback
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0425276767 (ISBN13: 9780425276761)
Characters: Gideon Cross, Eva Tramell

I started this with an expectation of getting just another version of Anna and Christian, only with different names. Here, we have Gideon who’s a billionaire and is even more intense when it comes to his ‘lady love’ (Eva) ugh. I know. It’s inexcusable to use that but he kinda creeped me out a little so I am using creepy descriptions. Hah!

Kidding aside, I actually liked this couple more. I loved that there’s a balance of power between them. I loved that Eva has such a strong personality despite her past.

I also loved the power she exudes and use against Gideon. Unlike Anna, Eva isn’t a damsel in distress waiting to be saved. She’s feisty and she knows exactly what she wants and how to get them.

One of my criticisms about the story is its repetitivenes with Eva running away from Gideon for like three times in the story and Gideon chasing after her, groveling to take him back. It also felt a bit rushed. Here, we’ve got the “other women” namely Magdalene and Corrine, then we’re introduced to the evil brother, the weird family and the whole enchilada of characters that I honestly didn’t care about.

I actually want more scenes where they are actually conversing and not just having an overflowing amount of sexy times. I mean, it is one of the focal points of this book but can they at least get to know each other a bit well and not have everything about each other be a big deal because they didn’t even bother to say hi before actually doing it.

I am not complaining but I’m expecting the second book to be more developed, plot-wise.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

AMAZON BUY LINK

About The Author
Sylvia Day is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, and #1 international bestselling author of over 20 award-winning novels sold in more than 40 countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in 28 countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Visit her at http://www.sylviaday.com, Facebook.com/AuthorSylviaDay and on Twitter @SylDay.

Book Review: The Lord of Opium – Nancy Farmer

Published: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Drugs, Death
Length: 411 pages, Hardcover
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 1442482540 (ISBN13: 9781442482548)
Characters: Matteo Alacran, El Patron, Tam Lin, Maria Mendoza, Chacho, Fidelito, Ton-Ton, Celia, Mirasol

Now, The Lord of Opium may not have the same literary awards received by its predecessor – The House of the Scorpion but it’s still as strong, story-wise.

This book started a good few hours during the funeral of El Patron and from thereon, Matt’s young life is about to really change because he is technically The Lord of Opium (still no spoiler) thus becoming the most powerful man in the world (by default).

This one is as riveting as the first book. I loved the characters of the “Lost Boys” especially little Fidelito. He is my favorite character here aside from Matt. I really connected to his character because he kinda reminded me of my 6 year old nephew.

Then there’s Mirasol. The author really knows where to give us the feels. The ‘relationship’ between her and Matt was just heartbreaking. I dare you not to feel anything for her. You’d lose.

There are tons of things here that maybe a bit too much for some I think. I mean, I loved every single details of it although some readers may find it too crowded. Nevertheless, it’s good to imagine such things and wish for a possible third book.

The relationship of Matt and Maria was finally rekindled here and I loved that Matt was finding his own identity separate from El Patron. It’s odd that he is basically the same person but different at the same time.

I just want to dissect everything about this book, including the zombie-like eejits, the drug lords, the countries surrounding Opium and more importantly – how Mattero will run it as a totally grown man! Man’ I’d kill for a third book!

Again, my friends – I cannot recommend this high enough!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

AMAZON BUY LINK

About The Author
Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine. She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963. Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to India (1963-1965). When she returned, she moved into a commune in Berkeley, sold newspapers on the street for a while, then got a job in the Entomology department at UC Berkeley and also took courses in Chemistry there. Restless, again, she decided to visit Africa. She and a friend tried to hitchhike by boat but the ship they’d selected turned out to be stolen and was boarded by the Coast Guard just outside the Golden Gate Bridge. Nancy eventually got to Africa on a legal ship. She spent more than a year on Lake Cabora Bassa in Mozambique, monitoring water weeds. Next she was hired to help control tsetse fly in the dense bush on the banks of the Zambezi in Zimbabwe. Part of the time she spent in the capital, Harare, and was introduced to her soon-to-be husband by his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. He proposed a week later. Harold and Nancy now live in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona on a major drug route for the Sinaloa Cartel. This is the setting for The Lord of Opium. They have a son, Daniel, who is in the U.S. navy.
Nancy’s honors include the National Book Award for The House of the Scorpion and Newbery Honors for The Ear, the Eye and The Arm, A Girl Named Disaster and The House of the Scorpion. She is the author of nine novels, three picture books and a number of short stories. Her books have been translated into 26 languages.

Book Review: The House of the Scorpion – Nancy Farmer

Published: September 1, 2002
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Drugs, Death
Length: 380 pages, paperback
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0689852231 (ISBN13: 9780689852237)
Characters: Matteo Alacran, El Patron, Tam Lin, Maria Mendoza, Chacho, Fidelito, Ton-Ton, Celia

I’ve read this and its sequel over a week ago and it was a bit difficult for me to write reviews for both books since they’re so epic, I’m almost at a loss where to start. Let me try my best though, to say what I thought about this incredible masterpiece. Yeah – very telling I know, but this one’s really a masterpiece.

First the characters –

I loved Matt’s character. I was with him the whole time reading the book – was rooting for this kid who’s been cloned from the most powerful man in this dystopian words where drugs serves as its currency.

His resilience is beyond admirable. For a young age, he’s been through a lot. He may have gone ‘Lord of the Flies’ on us readers but the way he came out of it was so bad-ass, it got me bawling my eyes out. This character should be in a movie, pronto.

El Patron. I find him creepy but he’s such a dynamic character I’d love to see him come to life in a film. I loved that as evil as he is, there’s still a part of him that remembers the good ol’ days when he was not the ‘El Patron’ everyone has come to know when he isn’t consume by his self-made power.

Celia – as Matt’s caregiver -she’s probably the one character in the book that is consistently with Matt all throughout. I’m just wondering exactly how old she is but nevertheless – what a great character to juxtaposed the evil surrounding Matt.

Maria who is Matt’s love interest is a bit complicated to explain. She’s got good intentions but what she’s saying sometimes contradicts her actions.

Tam Lin is an amazing father figure for Matt. Kind of reminds me of Mister Miyagi in Karate Kid.

Steven and Tom – it is odd that they weren’t given that much part in the story but their actions throughout the book effectively made me despise them.

The storyarc from the getgo is nothing short of exhilirating. What a dreadful possibility this could be, what with the climate change, the advancement of technology and the ‘powerful folks’ claiming lives like it was their gift to do so. It’s terrible but effective in the story.

The world-building is almost censory overload. I mean, reading it makes you envision them on the spot because of the author’s powerful words.

The pacing was set faster than I expected which I absolutely loved. No unnecessary scenes. Every scene in this book is pivotal to the development of the characters and the story.

I know that I’m gushing all over but it’s just that good. This is super spoiler free but I’m telling you – it is so worth reading it!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

AMAZON BUY LINK

About The Author
Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine. She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963. Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to India (1963-1965). When she returned, she moved into a commune in Berkeley, sold newspapers on the street for a while, then got a job in the Entomology department at UC Berkeley and also took courses in Chemistry there. Restless, again, she decided to visit Africa. She and a friend tried to hitchhike by boat but the ship they’d selected turned out to be stolen and was boarded by the Coast Guard just outside the Golden Gate Bridge. Nancy eventually got to Africa on a legal ship. She spent more than a year on Lake Cabora Bassa in Mozambique, monitoring water weeds. Next she was hired to help control tsetse fly in the dense bush on the banks of the Zambezi in Zimbabwe. Part of the time she spent in the capital, Harare, and was introduced to her soon-to-be husband by his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. He proposed a week later. Harold and Nancy now live in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona on a major drug route for the Sinaloa Cartel. This is the setting for The Lord of Opium. They have a son, Daniel, who is in the U.S. navy.
Nancy’s honors include the National Book Award for The House of the Scorpion and Newbery Honors for The Ear, the Eye and The Arm, A Girl Named Disaster and The House of the Scorpion. She is the author of nine novels, three picture books and a number of short stories. Her books have been translated into 26 languages.

Book Review: I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

Published: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Speak (first published September 16th 2014 by Dial Books)
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: LGBTQ, Romance, Young Adult, Highschool
Length: 400 pages, paperback
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: 0142425761 (ISBN13: 9780142425763)
Characters: Jude Sweetwine, Noah Sweetwine, Dianna Sweetwine, Benjamin Sweetwine, Grandma Sweetwine, Guillermo Garcia, Brian Connelly, Oscar Ralph

This is Jandy Nelson’s second novel which garnered tons of literary awards including the 2015 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

With that being said, let it be known that I am in the minority here when I say that this book just didn’t resonate with me. In fact, this is my least favorite read so far this year.

I just find the whole plot too convoluted for my liking. I mean, I get that there are pivotal moments in our lives that makes us see the ‘light’ or make us choose the ‘dark side’ but the whole thing between Noah and Jude, with all their secrets and their uber-competitiveness was just too much that it almost felt evil.

Jude and Noah are super competitive fraternal twins. Once inseparable, they have grown to like different things and found themselves in in the midst of family tragedy that set them apart with secrets that may or may not heal the wounds in their hearts.

I also have a bit of a tough time swallowing the fact that they’re only 13 when their story started and it concluded at 16. It felt like the author took too much of a liberty that’s too fantastical to believe. I cannot find the sense of realism in it. And I’m not even referring to their dead loved ones appearing all throughout the book. I know that the author can write it whichever way she wanted to but I guess it just didn’t work, what with all her play on the personalities of the twins.

I won’t delve deeper into the other characters because it’ll just make me think of how much older Jude’s love interest than her, then the issues about their parents and the fact that the last part made me feel like Jude was somehow venerated into sainthood. I swear, Iwas rolling my eyes the whole time.

This book just reads like it’s more of the story of Jude and her hang ups. It’s a shame because I really liked Noah’s character and thought that it’s much more dynamic than his twin sister

My apology for this rant-view, but I just want to get this out there. Again, this must be the cliche case of “it’s not the book, it’s me…” Oh, well…

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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About The Author
Jandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give You the Sun and The Sky is Everywhere, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her critically-acclaimed, New York Times bestselling second novel, I’ll Give You the Sun, received the prestigious Printz Award, Bank Street’s Josette Frank Award, and is a Stonewall Book Award honor. Both Sun and her debut, The Sky Is Everywhere, have been YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults picks (Sun, a Top Ten on Both YALSA and Rainbow Lists) and on multiple best of the year lists including the New York Times, Time Magazine, NPR, have earned many starred reviews, and continue to enjoy great international success, collectively published in over 47 countries. I’ll Give You the Sun has been sold to Warner Brothers and screenwriter Natalie Krinsky is currently writing the adaptation. Jandy, a literary agent for many years, received a BA from Cornell University and MFAs in Poetry and Children’s Writing from Brown University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Currently a full-time writer, she lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings of her novels. Visit Jandy at http://www.jandynelson.com. Follow her on twitter: @jandynelson or Facebook: Facebook.com/jandy.nelson. Author photo credit: Sonya Sones.