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review 2017-09-28 07:04
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Made You Up - Francesca Zappia

Title:  Made You Up


Author:  Francesca Zappia


Genre: Contemporary Romance / Mental Illness


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 428 pages


Date Read: 8/29/2017



Publisher:   Greenwillow Books



Source:  Library


Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language)

 

 

Made

5.5 stars!!!

“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.” 


For many years now, I have been hearing many good things about Francesca Zappia’s book “Made You Up” and for a long time, I had wanted to check this book out and see what all the excitement was about. So, when I finally got around to reading “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia, I was seriously on cloud nine after finishing this book, because this was seriously one of the most unique and awesome books I had ever read!

Alex Ridgemont is just your average girl trying to make it into college and get through the tough trials of high school, except for one thing: she has schizophrenia and is prone to seeing things that do not really exist and usually becomes extremely panicked whenever these delusions pop up. However, despite Alex having schizophrenia, she does not let that get in her way of trying to live a normal life such as maintaining a job and going out with her friends. One day however, Alex meets up with a mysterious and intimidating boy named Miles Richter and she believes that he may be the boy she met when she was younger. However, Alex thought that the mysterious boy she met when she was younger was a part of her hallucinations and she tries to figure out if Miles is real or not. 

Wow…just wow… This novel was simply amazing! I just cannot get over the romantic, mysterious and intensifying tone of this novel! Francesca Zappia’s writing is both witty and intense at the same time as I got immersed into the mystery plot of the story that involves Principal McCoy’s secret dealings within the school and also trying to figure out what events is Alex hallucinating and what events are actually real. I also loved the way that Francesca Zappia explored schizophrenia through Alex’s character as we get to see firsthand how schizophrenia works and how it affects the people who have it and we get to see Alex struggle with her condition as she is trying to distinguish between reality and fantasy and how she feels so conflicted because of this. I was also shocked by the huge twist that happens in the plot towards the end of the story as I was thrown off by this revelation and it took me quite by surprise! But probably the best part of this story were the characters themselves! I really enjoyed the witty bantering going on between Alex and Miles as they constantly bicker with each other, but they really understand each other’s situations and they try to be there for each other, no matter how difficult the situation gets. I also liked the fact that both Miles and Alex have so much interest in world history that the scenes where they are reciting certain parts from history, especially World War II with such ease, are truly adorable to read through! I really enjoyed Alex herself as a character because she represents the conditions of having schizophrenia and I like the fact that despite her occasional temper tantrums, Alex always tries to look on the bright side of things and tries to live a normal life, despite her condition, which is extremely uplifting! Now, Miles is probably my most favorite character in this book since he also has a condition where he cannot distinguish emotions from other people and tends to act rude towards other people, because he does not understand about how he affects other people. I just loved the fact that despite arguing with Alex through most of the book, Miles really does care about Alex and he is always trying to be there for Alex during her rough moments and seems to really understand Alex’s condition.

Made

For anyone who does not like strong language, this novel has a surprising amount of strong language for a young adult novel, including words like the “s” word and the “f” word. 

Overall, “Made You Up” is seriously one of the best books about mental illness that I had ever read and I cannot wait to read more of Francesca Zappia’s other works!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:16
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Golden Son - Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 691 pages


Date Read: 8/4/2017



Publisher:   Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)

 

 

Series: Red Rising #2


Source:  Library

 

Golden

“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.” 

It has been awhile since I had last read “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown and when I found out about the rest of the books in Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” trilogy, I just has to pick up the next book “Golden Son” as soon as possible and man, was I in for one intense and shocking ride!

Darrow used to be a Red, but when his beloved wife Eo ends up dying in the last book due to defying the high and mighty Golds, Darrow then decides to disguise himself as a Gold in order to infiltrate the Gold Empire and fulfill Eo’s dying dream to live a life of freedom. While in the Gold Empire, Darrow starts making friends at the Gold Academy and after he wins the deadly competition in the last book, he becomes Augustus’ most cherished warrior. However, Darrow soon realizes that the Sons of Ares are starting a rebellion against the Gold Empire and Darrow realizes that the only way he can take down the Gold Empire is if he causes a war between the Golds themselves. As Darrow becomes Augustus’ champion and puts his plan to action, he will soon learn about the importance of true friendship while discovering several betrayals within his army that might eventually break him.

Wow! Just wow…. After I had read the first book in the “Red Rising” series, I never would have thought that the second book “Golden Son” can beat the brutal, intense and shocking nature of “Red Rising.” But lo and behold, “Golden Son” managed to beat out “Red Rising” in terms of having the most brutal and shocking twists to ever happen in this series! Pierce Brown has done a fantastic job at writing this story as it is much more intense and shocking than the first book and I was quite surprised by the number of betrayals that happens to Darrow throughout this book as the characters that I expected to betray Darrow were not the characters that I was expecting. But probably the best part about this book is the characters themselves and how much they had developed from the first book, whether it is a positive or negative progression for them. Pierce Brown has done a great job at developing all of these characters from the first book, especially Darrow himself as he went from being a weak protagonist who was not sure about his goals in life and whether or not he can succeed in infiltrating the Gold Empire to being a strong protagonist who eventually went up the ranks of the Gold Empire and even had the courage to lead an army to take down his enemies. I also loved the progression that both Sevro and Mustang take in this book as they go through the most amazing development among Darrow’s other allies and I like the fact that Darrow and Mustang’s relationship actually progresses further in this book and I cannot wait to see more of Darrow and Mustang in the next book! I also loved the friendship shared between Sevro and Darrow as they have one of the most unique friendships I have ever read in any science fiction novel!

Golden

Anyone who does not like strong language and gory violence should be warned that there is some strong language in this book, such as the usage of the “s” and “f” word and it would probably be best to skim over these words if you are offended easily. Also, the violence is pretty strong in this book as it features massive slaughter of many people and the gory fights between the characters are told in great detail.

Overall, “Golden Son” is a truly intense and shocking second book in the “Red Rising” series that fans of dystopian fiction should definitely check out and now, I am going to read the third and final book in the series, “Morning Star” because the ending of this book is seriously killing me and I got to know what is going to happen to Darrow in the third book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:36
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy

Year Published: 2012



Number of Pages: 404 pages

 



Date Read: 5/30/2017

 



Publisher:  Bloomsbury

 


Series: Throne of Glass #1

 

 

Throne

“You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.” 

Now, I have a shameful confession to make: even though I had heard nothing but good things about Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass” series, I have never actually read the first book in the series “Throne of Glass” (although I had read “The Assassin’s Blade” first) until just recently and this book has been on my TBR shelf for many years now! Now that I finally got the chance to read “Throne of Glass,” I am seriously awed by the highly creative and intense world that I was thrown into!

The story starts off with a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien who was toiling away in the slave mines of Endovier and just as it seemed that all hope of was lost for Celaena to ever break out of Endovier, the young crown prince of Adarlan named Prince Dorian Havilliard came in and said that he will set Celaena free if she becomes the King of Adarlan’s Champion. However, Celaena must first go toe to toe with other assassins, thieves and warriors in a competition that will determine who will be strong enough to be the King’s Champion. Although Celaena hates the King of Adarlan for destroying her hometown, she does want to be set free from her hardships and agrees to the terms. However, once Celaena appears in the kingdom of Adarlan, she finds out that some kind of monster is brutally killing each Champion contestant and she will have to figure out a way to save the kingdom from this mysterious evil force! Meanwhile, Celaena starts having relationship problems with both Chaol Westfall, the stern and loyal Captain of the Guards who believes that Celaena is a threat to the Crown Prince and Prince Dorian Havilliard, the intelligent and optimistic son of the King of Adarlan who has fallen in love with the assassin. Who will Celaena choose?

Wow…. just wow!!! I cannot believe I waited this long to actually read this book from one of the most acclaimed novels ever written! Sarah J. Maas has done a spectacular job at creating this intriguing fantasy world where magic exists, but got banned by the kingdom and it forces the characters to rely on their wits and strengths to survive in this world. I was also a bit surprised at how the story seems to be like a medieval version of “The Hunger Games” as the competitors have to risk their lives to become the King’s Champion, but the story never felt like an exact replica of “The Hunger Games” as it has the main character, Celaena, entering the competition to regain her freedom rather than have the competitions be a yearly thing for the kingdom. Sarah J. Maas also did a great job at writing these characters, especially Celaena, Chaol and Dorian themselves and I loved the fact that Celaena is portrayed as a strong female protagonist who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and is an awesome fighter to boot! I also enjoyed the characters Prince Dorian and Chaol themselves, as they provided an interesting dynamic with not only themselves, but with Celaena also. I loved the fact that Chaol is the stern and highly protective Captain of the Guards who is always looking out for both Celaena and Dorian, no matter how gruff he appears to both of them, while Dorian is the carefree and optimistic prince who wants to see the good in everyone, no matter how suspicious that person is. As for the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that occurs between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, I will discuss that in the CONS section down below.

Throne

For anyone who does not like gory violence, there is a good bit of gory violence going on in this book with various characters getting murdered in a graphic manner, such as having their organs ripped out of their bodies and having their faces being skinned off.

***Begin Rant***

Alright, so this is a small nitpick that I had with this book and that is the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that happens in the story. Now, luckily, the LOVE TRIANGLE in this story is not played up too high, but there were times where I was a bit annoyed with the fact that Celaena had a hard time trying to choose between Chaol and Dorian throughout the book and I actually wished that Celaena actually chosen who she wanted to be with early on in the story rather than spend most of the book going back and forth on whether she wants to spend her time with Chaol or Dorian.

***End Rant***

Overall, “Throne of Glass” is a fantastic book that fans of strong female assassins and magical worlds will greatly enjoy and now I am off to read the second book in the “Throne of Glass” series, “Crown of Midnight!”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:26
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 6 by Marjorie Liu
Monstress #6 - Sana Takeda,Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #6

 

 

Monstress

I would like to thank NetGalley and Image Comics for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

What is this story about? 

In this issue, Maika and her crew finally make it to the Dusk Court, only to be ambushed by the Dusk Court themselves and they ended up locking Maika up in a casket in order to experiment on her. Meanwhile, the Warlord wages war against the Dusk Court, effectively cornering Maika and her crew in the process! 

Will the demon inside Maika wake her up in time to defeat the Warlord and her army?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu has done it again and this time, this issue not only has great character moments between Maika and the demon, but it is also the most action packed of the series! I loved the way that Marjorie Liu wrote Maika and the demon’s relationship with each other as it is quite unique to see the demon and Maika trying to come to an agreement to save themselves from both the Warlord and the Dusk Court and I really enjoyed the funny quips that the demon and Maika has with each other. I also enjoyed the way that Marjorie Liu wrote the action sequences with the Warlord’s army fighting against the Dusk Court as it was written extremely well and exciting to read about as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was going to win this battle! Sana Takeda’s artwork never fails to amaze me as the war sequences between the Warlords and the Dusk Court are beatifically detailed and I also loved the scenes of Maika and the demon exploring Maika’s inner memories as Maika takes on a ghostly appearance to separate herself from her memories which are in color.

Monstress

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

There are some scary images in this issue, especially of the demons that are shown in this book. I will not reveal which characters are the demons in this issue since I do not want to spoil this story for anyone, but these characters’ true demon forms are truly terrifying to look at.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Six” is a truly fantastic finale to the first volume of Marjorie Liu’s legendary “Monstress” series and I definitely cannot wait for the second volume to come out!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:20
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 5 by Marjorie Liu
MONSTRESS, No. 5 - Sana Takeda,Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #5

 

 

Monstress

What is this story about? 

In this issue, Maika, Kippa and Master Ren the Cat are cornered by a mysterious winged man who came from an organization called the Dusk Court and according to him, he was sent by Maika’s longtime friend Tuya to accompany him to the Dusk Court. Maika agrees to it, even though the demon inside of her warns her that the Dusk Court means Maika no good. Meanwhile, the Warlord is on the move and is extremely close to capturing Maika!

Will Maika and her crew be safe at the Dusk Court and will the Warlord finally capture Maika?

Read this issue to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu just continues to amaze me with her intriguing and creative writing of this series as more mystical creatures are introduced into this issue, especially the dark majestic winged man who is shown to be a mysterious character that I would love to see more of in the future issues. I also loved the way that Marjorie Liu drops in little hints that the Warlord may not be who she seems as she seems to possess unearthly powers that are different from her minions and I cannot wait to see what kind of character or creature the Warlord really is! Sana Takeda’s artwork is magnificent in this issue as all the characters are drawn in a creative way and I especially loved the image of the winged man who comes in to take Maika to the Dusk Court as he looks mysterious yet gorgeous at the same time! I also loved the cute little images of Kippa the fox child as she is just so adorable throughout the whole ordeal.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Some readers might be uncomfortable with some of the strong language in this issue, such as some “f” bombs being dropped in a few places (although it is not as bad as the previous issues). Some readers might want to skim over these words if it proves to be too offensive for them.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Five” is a fantastic issue from Marjorie Liu’s “Monstress” series that really shines out in this series in terms of great tension build up and new acquaintances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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