Sunday, July 19, 2015


Title: Pines
"For every perfect little town,
there's something ugly underneath.
No dream without the

Author: Blake Crouch

First Published: 2012

Series: Wayward Pines Trilogy (Book 1)

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Available As: Paperback, ebook, audiobook

My Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

I only started this book because I saw the trailer for the TV show come on. I know right? Oops. I'll try not to give anything away or else there would be no point to the book.

Ethan was on a mission to find two of his colleagues who were last on a mission in this town not very long ago. Once there, he finds both of them - but in completely different situations. One of them (called Kate) is living a happy life with her husband, and seems to have aged 15 years. The other? Dead. This springs up a whole new mass of questions as Ethan struggles to find out what happened as well as trying to find a way out of this bizarre town.

The plot was so intriguing. Once I began the first page, it was so hard to put down! The books begins with Ethan waking up in an isolated town in the middle of nowhere, and at first, he has no memory of anything. We follow Ethan as he tries to piece the mystery together, and at the same time, trying to blend in. Everyone seems to avoiding his questions and there is no way for him to contact his family nor his office. As we sink deeper into the plot, the more questions are revealed. We don't get any answers until the last couple of chapters. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Once you finish this book, you'd think "Oh now I know everything!" but you couldn't be more wrong. Everything seems to be resolved in the first book, but then comes the second book. What more could happen? Apparently a lot more.

The Wayward Pines trilogy has been made into a one season TV show on Fox. It's pretty good, but it changes the plot around and dramatises some things. The TV show merges the three books into one season so I strongly recommend reading the trilogy first. But both the trilogy and the show is amazing!

My Chosen Quote

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

Saturday, July 18, 2015

99 Days

Title: 99 Days

Author: Katie Cotugno

First Published: 2015

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA, Romance

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook

My Rating: 7/10

Goodreads Summary

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really
glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

Molly just screwed up big time. Cheating on her boyfriend, with her boyfriend's brother? And then having her own mom turning this into a bestselling book so the whole town finds out? This isn't your dream summer. Now, with 99 days until Molly can leave to college, she just has to endure it. But is it that easy?

I thought this book falls under the category of 'Messed-up Relationships' and 'Annoying Lead Character'. Molly is having a hard time choosing between Patrick and Gabe, the two brothers that she both had a relationship with. And with all her previous friends ignoring her, she finds some new ones. Tess and Imogen treat her kindly, ignoring the past, but Molly still manages to screw it all up. She's happy with Gabe but she still goes back to Patrick. Honestly girl! Make up your mind! What is worse is that Tess is Patrick's current girlfriend. In the end, Tess breaks up with Patrick (partly because of Molly) and stops being friends with Molly. So, she's stuck with no friends.

Which is an absolutely great thing. I'm not trying to sound mean, but Molly really deserved that. She acts like the victim for most of the book, and although she deeply regrets her decisions, she still doesn't do much to solve her problems. Instead, she runs away from them. I'm sorry but Molly got on my nerves throughout the book. She just doesn't really think about how her actions may be affecting the people around her. Fortunately, Molly's character development does end up well. She finally sees her mistakes and vows to be a better friend to others in the future.

Overall, this book was really well written. Told in Molly's POV and each 'chapter' is one of the 99 days until Molly leaves for college. I loved the ending, especially how Molly makes peace with everything and she leaves to start a new life; turn over a new leaf. And that was the best part.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Beginning of Everything

"There's a big difference between deciding to
leave and knowing where to go."
Title: The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider

First Published: 2013

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, Coming-of-age

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook

My Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Ezra Faulker? The popular guy, tennis champion, prom king. Well, that was all in the past. A twist of events leaves Ezra back to square one. No friends, no nothing. Not even the teachers are as fond of him as before.

Then, enter Cassidy Thorpe: the wild, crazy, unique girl- everything Ezra needs to pick up his life and continue living. But of course, not everything turns out as planned and maybe Cassidy will teach Ezra more than he could ever learn in a lifetime.

The Beginning of Everything is told from Ezra's perspective, giving us a clear view of his thoughts, and what goes on in his mind of his. It's a Teen-Fic, if that's what you call it. Ezra slowly develops a crush on Cassidy, hanging out with her group of friends and doing all sorts of crazy stuff together. Cassidy teaches Ezra a lot about life and all the great possibilities it brings. Then, boom! Here comes the tragedy. Ezra finds out (keeping this as vague as possible to avoid spoilers) something that links him to Cassidy, something not so great.

It really depends on how you look at it, but this book does have a happy ending. Well, Romeo and Juliet may not end up together, but sometimes, love may not be the most important thing at this time of your life.

Cassidy, as a character, is like an idol for Ezra. She is the person he believes he can trust whole-heartedly and without limits. But as we progress through the book, we eventually see that we don't know a whole lot about Cassidy and her life before. The mystery just defines her as a character, especially the fact that she is hiding something. She wants to live in the moment, something we should all learn to do.

My Chosen Quote:

“Life is the tragedy,' she said bitterly. 'You know how they categorize Shakespeare's plays, right? If it ends with a wedding, it's a comedy. And if it ends with a funeral, it's a tragedy. So we're all living tragedies, because we all end the same way, and it isn't with a goddamn wedding.”

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Extraordinary Means

"And the thing about trying to cheat death
is that, in the end, you
still lose."
Title: Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider

First Published: 2015

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook

My Rating: 9.5/10

Goodreads Summary:

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down.

Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

I loved this book. Why? Because it's by Robyn Schneider (Just a tiny, minor detail). I've already read one of her other books, The Beginning of Everything. Her writing style is what sucked me in from page one. Told from Lane and Sadie's point of views, the book revolves around their lives in Latham House and their struggles to survive Tuberculosis. Most books about illnesses these days are mainly based on mental illnesses - and that's perfectly fine. It's just that sometimes, we need to read about different types of illnesses, like the ones caused by bacteria/viruses and other harmful living organisms. We have to spread awareness that there are some sinister diseases still lurking out there,

How does this book keep it realistic, you may ask? Well, no illness book is complete without death, am I right? But I'm going to stop right there, to avoid accidentally spilling the dying and the dead. The book also opened up the floodgates - I cried too many times to count. I found myself asking at many points during the book: Why did this have to happen? But the answer is right there: because that's life.

The book is filled with meaningful quotes that should definitely be jotted down. They all add to the ending of the book - which is a happy ending, depending on how you want to look at it. I found it to be a happy ending. Not for everything though, because not everyone gets happy endings.

It was a great read. For everyone out there, I recommend Robyn Schneider's books. They are masterpieces in the modern literary world. It sometimes reminds me of Jandy Nelson's writing. Beautiful books. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Catcher In The Rye

"Sometimes I act a lot older than
I really am. But people never notice it.
People never notice
Title: The Catcher In The Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger

First Published: 1951

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: Classic, Coming-of-age

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook

My Rating: 8/10

Goodreads Summary:
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.

Chosen Quote:

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”

Holden Caulfield, the depressed teenager who doesn't ever want to grow up. The Catcher In The Rye is a coming of age novel, and focuses on Holden's life, and how his actions affect the people around him and himself.

Holden really reminds me of Peter Pan, in some ways. Holden's afraid to grow up; he doesn't want anything to change. He'd prefer if everything stayed the same. He also hates all people, and would rather stay away from them. He calls everyone else 'phonies', when he is one.

The ending is very thought-provoking. Who knows if the story is really even true? How do we know he wasn't lying the whole time? The beauty of this book is that you never really know what happens, especially when Holden stated that he was a terrific liar.

So, what do I think of Holden? He's a very complex character, and only some can really relate to him. Well, I guess we all can relate to him, if we tried. He doesn't want to grow up. That's something we all feel, every once in a while.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer List

You know those Summer To-do Lists? Those bucket lists? Well, I have one too! Except, it's for the books I need/want to read.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Why? This book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years, and every time I pick it up, I put it back down. This time? No! I'm reading this book.
  2. The Shining by Stephen King. Who doesn't want a little bit of horror during the summer? Once there's a stormy night... here we go.
  3. 1984 by George Orwell. A dystopian novel. I just want to read it to compare it to the dystopian novels that are written today. It seems as if our expectations for the future are falling rapidly.
  4. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. Maybe it will expand my way of thinking about the world. 
So, these are all the books I can think of on the spot, but I'm sure there are more books to come!