This Is What Happy Looks Like Book Review

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Audience: YA

Genre: Love Story, Romance, Coming of Age

Page count: 405

Perfect Strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet- albeit virtually- when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two seventeen-year-old’s strike up an e-mail relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country, and don’t even know each others first name.

In a witty and unforgettable correspondence, Graham and Ellie share details about their lives, hopes, and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything: Graham doesn’t know the secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is unaware of Graham’s life in the spotlight.

When Graham seizes an opportunity to spend time in Ellie’s tiny hometown of Henley, Maine, he takes their relationship from online to in person. But can two people from such different worlds be together despite the odds

Non Spoiler Review:

This love story revolves around the two protagonists: One, is revealed to be extremely busy, and with an extremely easy reputation to ruin. The other, an ordinary girl, though perhaps not ordinary enough.

If you enjoy the romance and the unpredictability of life, even unexpected, then This Is What Happy Looks Like is a story you might enjoy. It has a sweetness and simplicity to the core of it, along with friendship and family trouble.

However, there is no other subplots, unlike The Fault in our Stars, such as pondering about death, or serious questions, straying from the focus of romance. I tend to enjoy this more, even though This Is What Happy Looks Like did have the seriousness of conflict over Ellie’s family, and a decision, however, based on her romance.

Spoilers ahead! (only two or three)

Like I said in the non-spoiler review, it was a sweet story. The unknown romance between a celebrity and a town girl. Not because of Graham being a celebrity, but for being him. Who doesn’t love that? I thought it was a cute, but almost too unrealistic story for me. I thought it was sweet, and I really did like the characters. I felt upset by how Graham felt about how his parents treated him. Not badly, but as if he were overly important. Over emails, they get to know each other through clever conversations.

To me, almost not clever enough?

I liked the story, and I guess I’m still getting used to full on romance stories. I love romance in these science fiction and fantasy and dystopian books where they are loving each other against these impossible and unrealistic odds. In This Is What Happy Looks Like, it just seemed so much easier and focused on love and less on life, though there were valuable life parts in there. I did like Ellie’s decision that she makes on her own, she’s a good role model, to choose her own safety over someone she loves, it must be hard. She’s not heartless, and she is brave enough (or forgetful enough) to walk Graham along the beach, risking her identity. What frustrates me the most is THAT SHE DID NOT TALK TO HER FATHER. She had a chance to do something that she wanted to face on her own. She had the chance to have a bit more heroine inside of her.

I don’t know, maybe it’s me getting used to this kind of writing? I enjoy love stories, I swear, but I think this still might be out of my range.

The description and detail however was mesmerizing!!!!!!!!! I wish I could write with such detail, and such a tone that makes you want to draw and paint whatever Jennifer Smith was describing because beautiful or not it was fascinating.

I have conflicted feelings about this book. But you heard me.

Rating: 2 2/3 stars!

Have you read this? What are your thoughts? Have you read any other love/romance novels? What do you think of them?

Advertisements

13 Reasons Why Book Review

Author: Jay Asher

Audience: YA

Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Psychological  Thriller, Coming of Age, Tragedy (source: Shmoop)

Page Count: 288

Clay Jensen Doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town…

… and what he discovers changes his life forever.

Non Spoiler Review:

If you love a great suspense novel, 13 reasons why is for you. If you like a change in the series of plot events, this book is also for you. There are so many reasons to love the way this book is set up, and to appreciate the tone and the characters. The influence of small actions, as the author says “making a snowball” in our lives is just represented in such a tragic way. We begin to think about our actions, and the consequences. 13 Reasons Why is a book for those who need to know that there are reasons to live, and for those who are looking for the real troubled young one.

Spoilers Ahead!

Oh gosh I simply loved this book! It was a page-turner, even though you already knew what had happened: Hannah Baker had killed herself. It wasn’t an issue of what she was going to do, where she is hiding, or trying to save her. It was listening to the tapes trying to know what happened, which makes it all the more mesmerizing.

The convergences of all the ideas and the cause and effect are written in perfect order, and there was nothing exactly out of place, except for Clay. I found it hard to have to incorporate something that could have gone right into a series of wrong actions.

I feel the whole setting of a small town with small and rusty diners was almost… necessary. It added to the whole feel.

Overall, this book definitely deserves a…

4 15/16 Stars!

Have you read 13 Reasons Why? Would you consider reading it? Are there any other suspense or murder/suicide stories that you would recommend?

The Candy Book Tag

candytag

So the amazing SAM @ BOOKISH SERENDIPITY tagged me ages ago in October for this! I’m sorry it took me so long, but I’m getting round to doing it!

She made the CANDY BOOK TAG all on her own will you please give her applause! ūüôā

In celebration of Halloween, candy just seemed fitting. Candy is also fitting year round. So what is the Candy book Tag? Well, there are types of candy, of course, but here’s the hard part: connecting and telling which book reminds you of the candy!

  1. Apples!

They are healthy, sweet, juicy and have a perfect crunch. Also very happy.

This story is just what I needed for a new fresh perspective of life. It did have it’s sweetness and happiness, but it was also healthy. I would definitely choose Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets to the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

2. Milk Chocolate

Something for everyone.

The first installment of the Percy Jackson series (and the whole series) is just perfect for anyone to enjoy! It has a great plot, characters, the humor is excellent. Just great Rick Riordan.

3. Black Jellybeans

Why do these exist!!!!!!????

Well, there was an assigned reading in 4th of 5th grade that I hated the book! It was something about an alien, and it just didn’t work for me.

4. Chocolate Kisses

Best romance.

This was easy.

5. Gummy Spiders

     Or     

These creep you out!

Okay, so Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt is actually more like a 15 page story, but it is creepy as heck. I just… I can’t really describe it.

The idea of animals taking over their farm in Animal Farm by George Orwell just weirded me out and the ending and the murderous things the animals do to each other (the idea to parallel human actions during WW II and the Cold War) just made me think and shiver to how horrible of a planet Earth was and still can be, and makes me watch my back.

6. Jumbo Lollypop

It took you forever, but you finished it!

Or really, any other classic. This was only 300 pages but it was LONG!

7. Cotton Candy

Something you loved as a kid, and probably still do

It has got to be this! I love Dan Gutman’s The Homework Machine, they were serious in a way and just awesome in all ways.

I tag…

Evi @ Where Books Never End

Nirvana @ Nirvana’s Pocketful

Kayleigh @ Miserable and Magical

Shim @ Magic and Writing

and……. YOU!

These are the rules!

  1. If you want to participate, write your post, using the seven candies listed above. You can use the badge I made, or create your own.
  2. Tag approx. 5 other bloggers.
  3. Let them know, and ask if they want to participate,

So I hope you enjoyed this post because I certainly did!

Have a great week!!!!!!!

-Isa

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Review

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Audience: YA

Genre: Bildungsroman, Contemperary, LGBTQ

Page Count: 359

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself. But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, the develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other-and the power of their friendship-can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

Non-Spoiler: The genre Bildungsroman is the genre of writing the life of being in teen years, and the ways of growing up during that time. I believe this is very right. Ari and Dante are both teens, living in the 1980’s. Told from the perspective of Ari, the both struggle to find their identity. I believe, that this is a great book for people who are looking for a poetic, yet contemporary read that is captivating. The dialogue between the main two characters is perfect and realistic. Not only is the troubles of friendship seen in this story, but it’s identity, culture/race, and setting. This is definitely a must-read.

From page one, you see the deep conflicting thoughts, and you relate to this in one way or another. The characters are so great, and the point of view is told flawlessly.

Spoilers Ahead!

As soon as I read the first page, where Ari is bored in summer, and talks about the radio in a gloomy tone, I was captivated. The tone/mood of this whole book is something that I have never really read before, because everything is a poetic gloom, with intriguing thoughts, and new events.

The internal conflict in the characters is greatly written. I began to ship Ari and Dante for a while and then it did occur, almost unexpectedly. Having to cope with knowing your brother is in jail must be difficult. Ari, very dark skinned and Mexican, almost silently wishes he wasn’t so. Dante, on the other hand says, that he wishes he was more so.

The LGBTQ influence in the story is greatly carried out. I think showing that it’s not strange, and that it’s everywhere was an important aspect of this book, especially in the setting of the 1980’s. With this, the pressure of being a brother, and traditionally Mexican, where in Mexico, being LGBT is not approved of, this book is really fantastic at expressing that even this didn’t stop Ari and Dante.

I love the irony and heroic parts in this book, and it was simply a great read.

Rating: 5 stars

What did you think of the book Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe? (it’s a long title)

Wow…

Typing speed

I never expected to type this fast guys.

I think it’s a lot easier because the program actually gives you what to type, on the other hand writing stories and essay is more like:

Anyways, that’s a little update on my life!

Who’s loving LEGEND OF KORRA AHHHHHHHHHH!

I see so much symbolism and plot twists and amazing women! Especially Opal! I’ll have to get back to you all on this, because this was a silly post. ūüôā

-Isa

Legend of Korra Season 4 trailer, and fandom updates.

ARE YOU WATCHING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????

Gah, I am so excited for season four! The ending for season three was so sad I SWEAR! I cried for a few days whenever I thought about it.

YES, I AM STILL READING ARISTOLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE BECAUSE I AM A SLOW READER!

And I have an excessive amount of homework.

Have any of you read Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods? I saw it and was super excited, but I only got to page 5. BoO is almost here!

Let’s see what else… Ah, yes, Big Hero 6 is almost here, and the new trailers are making me even more excited!

AND THE BIG NEWS!: ONCE UPON A TIME SEASON I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT BEGINS TODAY FOR ME! AHHHH, THEY BROUGHT IN ELSA FOR SOME REASON, I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY SHE WAS A DANGEROUS THING IN RUMPLE’S LITTLE CAVE THING.

I’m sorry, but I’m a huge fan of this show. So much, that I want to cry whenever I hear the name Neil.

Well, I have to say, that I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting here or on my other blog as much because of school. I joined cross country, and it hurts to run so much, and then I have to go straight to swimming, and then I also have this orchestra thing and piles of homework. In a couple weeks, big things are finishing up though, and I’ll be able to come more often.

I missed the blogosphere! I will write again soon!

-Isa

The Giver Book Review

The-Giver-9780440237686

Author: Lois Lowry

Audience: J, or YA

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 179

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community.
When Jonas turns twelve he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it’s time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Non-Spoiler: I think that this is an excellent book for people who want to read a book with deep thought, and love science fiction. Seriously, the depth of this book made me want to break down and question everything in life. The whole Utopian/Dystopian was excellently created. Also, history and social sciences play a great role in this. Suspense too.

Lowry just captured the setting. The Community has everything set in place so that there are no choices, and therefore no fights or wars. This is just set up so well, and it makes you ponder a lot of other things.

I just can’t believe I waited this long to read it, it should have been my first read.

The characters are excellent, I think the storytelling was too. Great read.

(minor) Spoilers Below!

This was phenomenal. This… I just can’t. We had to read it in class for a Utopian social study thing. It was this, or Animal Farm by George Orwell (which was amazing).

So, I was waiting ages to get this and read it, and over the summer I finally managed to.

Well, this book just had the depth I really needed. Just the whole idea of not thinking love was an exact word… and not knowing color. Something as simple as color, or choice of words, or food or age. It’s amazing.

The characters. They as characters didn’t catch my attention, other than the whole connection to Rosemary. Which made me gasp. But their roles in the story and their affect on each other were greatly placed, and Jonas learning what love, color, joy and pain were was just a fantastic story to read.

The suspense and irony about knowing more than the characters was great, and so was the setting.

All in all, I just loved this book.

What do you think about the Giver?

 

No Safety in Numbers: Book Review

12971664

Author: Dayna Lorentz

Audience: YA

Page count: 263

When a biological bomb is discovered in the air duct of a busy suburban mall, the entire complex is shut down and all those inside are quarantined. At first, there’s the novelty of being stuck in a mega mall with free food and gift certificates. But it isn’t long before supplies start dwindling and widespread panic surges through the place. Of the thousands trapped, four teens, each with his or her own story, are anxious to escape and help their loved ones survive. But it isn’t easy to stay calm when the truth is deliberately kept secret. Marco, Lexi, Ryan, and Shay are about to find out that in desperate times people can change… and not always for the better.

Non Spoiler: If you like survival stories, this may be a good read for you. This was an interesting read. I had always wondered what would happen if left almost unsupervised, what a large group of people would do. In this book, this is taken into account. There will be groups, and there will be competition. Especially when it becomes a matter of survival, things get crazy.

Spoilers Below!

I enjoyed the diversity in the four main characters, Marco, Lexi, Ryan, and Shay. Not only ethical, but socially, in schools, and around people. One is a popular football player, one just moved from another school, and has a sister. Another is the senator’s daughter, and one is picked on and bullied. When put to the test, all have different reactions, which makes me wonder what I would do.

The story, the whole idea of it, seems almost unrealistic. Fantasy, is of course, unrealistic, but this takes place in a modern day mall. It just doesn’t seem to me that a whole mall would be quarantined because of (what we find out is) a sickness, a serious flu. Would the government really do that? Would people break out in riots? Maybe that’s good writing, good story telling, to make the reader question the situation. There’s only so much people can handle. The senator tries to take things into her own hands, when the government abandons the mall(would they do that?) but, especially in the next book, her control weakens.

The romance subplots are okay. Shay and Ryan become a couple, and it gets in the way of Shay and her sister. It is a bit of a focus, but in this story, I wish it would focus more on the story, the flu, and who put it there.

I’m almost done with the second book, No Easy Way Out, and I have the preview of No Dawn Without Darkness on my Nook. This series keeps you guessing, even if it goes slow, and you can never know what people will resort to next. Nobody knows who put the bomb in the mall, or whether or not they will eventually get out. I just want to know. I don’t need to know. I just would like to.

It went a little slower than I expected, and there was something missing, I just can’t say what. It was interesting, and incorporated social structure, and human nature as well.

Rating: 2 1/4 stars.

Top Authors Whose Books I Own

toptentuesdaySo, yeah, it’s almost Wednesday again, but I’ll make this quick.

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

10)  Jeanne DuPrau: The City of Ember and The People of Sparks

9)   Marissa Meyer: Cinder and Scarlet.

8) ¬† Lucy Maud Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables. I’ve read half of the first one, but this style didn’t really suit me. (Or I was just to young, I think I’ll try again.)

7) Roald Dahl: The BFG, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach (some of my favorite childhood books)

6)  Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games Trilogy.

5)  James Dashner: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The 13th Reality: The Void of Mist and Thunder. I WAITED A YEAR FOR THIS TO COME OUT AND MORE TO FIND AND BUY IT!

4) John Green: The Fault in our Stars, An Abundance of Katherine’s and Looking for Alaska.

3)  Veronica Roth: Divergent Trilogy.

2)  J.K. Rowling: I own 3 Harry Potters, I plan on completing my collection.

1)  Rick Riordan: I own many of the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, not all, sadly enough.

 

Barely any of my series are complete! It’s all scattered… Oh well. I usually have my favorites. I like borrowing as well.

So there you go! Another Top Ten Tuesday!

-Isa