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review 2014-05-12 19:59
Surprisingly good
Some Fine Day - Kat Ross

To be quite honest, this book came off as a surprise because I didn't expect it to be good. I didn't expect it to have a rich world-building that makes sense, well-researched facts and information, have a heroine that is so kick-ass that she could probably beat KatnissEverdeen, have mostly women leaders, writing that's decent and captivating in some ways and a romance left mostly on the side, while dealing with much heavier subjects. So to say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into would be an understatment of the year.

 

I have a problem now where I don't exactly know what to say. I'm having a hard time trying to actually structure this in some kind of way and write a review at least half decent.

 

This book could've gone wrong. After all, it's dystopia and there are so many of them today that I don't even bother to read them. And unfortunately, most of them aren't even worth mentioning because they have zero research, zero accuracy and stupid main characters that think they are smart. Well, let me tell you something, this book has none of it. It's also not a happy book - not even close. There are rare glimpses of humour but they are so rare that they're almost unnoticeable.

 

The main character, Jansin, isn't quirky, nor sarcastic, nor witty, but she's smart, she's serious, she doesn't complain, and cares more about the others than herself. She doesn't try to make herself pass as average. She doesn't go around complaining about the way she looks. Actually, she even likes herself. She's strong-minded and knows what she wants. She's not afraid to stand up for herself and do what she thinks it's right. She's not afraid to shot a man down or fight with a guy thrice her size only with her hands. She knows when she does something wrong. She knows when she does something stupid. And you know what? I liked her a lot. She may not be all of the things I said above (a little bit more above), but I wouldn't expect her to be like that when she's training to go to a fucking military and was learning her whole life to act a certain way. Still, her beliefs change throughout the book, she becomes more observant to the world she lives in and freer that she's been before. It's amazing, watching her change and take a hold of her life. The only problem that I may had with her is that sometimes she sounded almost too wise for her age. I definitely didn't sound like that when I was 16 (which really isn't that far away) but then again, I didn't grow up in her world so I can't exactly be the judge of her. I really liked that the main focus was on her and her only and even though there is romance, it's done smoothly and without over exaggeration. There's no instalove(lust), no 'I love you's shouted from the rooftops and horny teenagers thinking more about how they want to shag each other than possibly saving the world. Instead, we get two strong-minded people who will do everything to escape the horrible world they've been thrown in. It's simple, without them being all over each other (not counting the end. Like literally, *spoiler alert* they had their first kiss at the end of the book, when they were safe, which was like me going: Hell yeah!!!!")

 

Those two characters, Jansin and Will, aren't afraid to kill, to break into the buildings, to risk their lives, to threat the others and I liked it. I liked their self-dependence, I liked their determination and I liked their simple love, crush, whatever. They didn't get me all worked up and almost throwing my tablet across the room. Instead, I enjoyed them. Simple as that.

 

One more thing that make this book even better, is how women were handled. They are leaders here, bad or good, it doesn't matter. We have a female Captain, a female that is the head of the Academy in which Jansin is training in, a female that is one of the most important people in the research program/science lab/for the love of god I can't remember exactly what, and a female, in this case our heroine, that kicks butts of the men twice or thrice her size and stands up to them without a fear. Females. Females rule this book and the feminist in me loved it in every way possible. That doesn't mean that the men aren't involved, because they sure as hell are, but when we're talking about positions in society, females are mostly on the top. It was fucking great and I applaud the author for it.

 

Moreover, the thing that is, sadly, rarely found in dystopian novels, is the technology development. Fortunately, we have it here! I couldn't believe it, honestly! It doesn't matter that we went underground, and even though some stuff stayed the same, we have things that are different, better and upgraded, something that will definitely happen in future. Also, the way people live underground was believable. The author here actually thought about oxygen, water, food, fire, rain, weather altogether, to make us see that people there aren't living there by some freaky miracle, when we all know it wouldn't be so easy to live underground. Like I said, this book is well researched and that could've been seen from every angle. The global warming thing wasn't laughable and the way things turned out weren't unrealistic as such. A masochistic part in me wanted to give this book 3.5 stars only because the ending wasn't burtal (I'm merciless, I'd just kill everybody off, don't hate me), but I decided that that's me being unrealistic and dumb so I rounded it up to 4 because there wasn't much that I didn't like.

 

I don't know if there is a sequel prepared for this or not, but there is definitely space left for it. Even though things wrapped up nicely, I still think there would be some things to develop even more, even some of the characters. All in all, a great, dystopian read that I really enjoyed. I'll make sure to follow this author in the future.

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review 2014-05-03 19:53
Mean Girls 3.0
Just Sing - René Gilley

This book... What do I say about this book? I've felt like I was reading a bad book remake of Mean Girls, only far less enjoyable and fun. This book tries really hard. It tries really hard to show real life morals, what's right and what's wrong, the right to follow your dreams, importance of a family and acceptance... and it fails in almost every aspect. Instead of topics mentioned above being a main focus of a book, we get our main characters Lily pining half of a time over her hot new neighbour and thinking about how hot he is and how she reaaaaaally wants him to kiss her, and the other half of the time reminding us how her ex-best friend Melanie is a bitch and a slut for wearing tops and shorts and... yeah, no. Look, Mean Girls makes it fun and funny and mate, I laughed every time I watched that movie but I'd never taken it seriously and was always looking at it as a hilarious (but even a true) way of portraying high school. But this book doesn't even try to make it hilarious. Okay, yes, I know Lily's dealing with family issues, her career issues (um yeah) and a hot boy, but maaaaaaaate, you don't have to slut-shame right and left and make sure to point out how you are better than every other girl and how much of a bitch Melanie isssssss. This book didn't want to be funny, I get it, but you shouldn't have thrown Mean Girls vibe into the mix then.

 

I don't even know what writing here was, to be honest. It was, at the same time, overly repetitive, and was lacking some much-needed descriptions. Reading a "he said this, she said that" and "I did this, he did that" over and over again gets boring. It's always telling, no showing. I couldn't connect with characters in any possible way because there was no emotion whatsoever behind any of it.

 

Another major issue I've had with writing particularly, was dialogue. It was so awkward and out of the place 99% of a time and every other sentence, characters seemed to drop the bombshells on each other (and on us, readers), that I'd stop reading and ask myself "Where the hell did that come from?" For example:

 

Dr. Cohen gestured to some chairs by Jack's desk. "Let's all have a seat." His serene demeanor was soothing, and I started to calm a bit. We all sat, but I couldn't keep my eyes off Dad.

"Lily, I screwed up. I've hit rock bottom. I'm going to rehab."

 

The hell? Where the fuck did that come from? Give me some intro, some guiding in this bombshell you're dropping. But better yet, Lily isn't even surprised! She's just happy! Like she had expected it all along, even though her dad never seemed to want to recover or whatever.

 

Then we have this fucked up, confusing writing that seems to go on in almost every YA novel. Like, using words that make no sense, or making impossible things possible.

 

His jaw muscles twitched and his eyes looked stormy.

 

How the fuck did his eyes look stormy?Somebody, please, explain, because I've never seen the storm in anyone's eyes. Not even my mother's, and she can be an angry, angry woman.

 

My heart still hurt like hell.

 

Um, I think you should get that checked because, you know, I would get worried if my heart hurt like hell for so long. Maybe your heartache isn't a heartache because, um, heart isn't really broken and it can't really hurt from it. I mean, seriously?

 

The amount of unrealistic situations in this book also worries me. From the way Lily gets to the singing school, to the way her family issues get easily solved, from loving/unloving mother, from probably-cheating-somehow-boyfriend-but-you-won't-find-that-out-until-the-book-two crisis, to girls' war. Look, I get it, this book was going for an inspirational card, but let's be honest, if you want your dreams come true, it won't always be easy, it won't always go smooth. And maybe some would argue that this book shows that because Lily doesn't make her dreams come true from the first try, but the bumps that she meets along the road are barely there, and she dwells on them from about half a second before going back to thinking about Aiden. And after all, she gets everything done just like that and it pisses me off to no end. I'm quite sure that my family wouldn't be all "Yes! Yes! Go, go! Follow your dreams! Sing, just sing!" if I asked them to study in private school made for singing or whatever, just after I've done my share of "Please, please, pweasseeee! I'll pay for everything!!" To make things even better, Lily unbashfully shames all the singing competitions even though they make half of a music industry, doesn't own a phone, or has any of the social sites, and doesn't know that "that TV show with that high school choir" is called Glee even after actually watching it. It makes me wonder how the hell she would even make it in music industry with being as asocial and, well, as oblivious to the today's music industry as she is.

 

Then there are also her issues with apparently, shorts-wearing, top-wearing girls, and basically every fucking girl she comes in touch with. Because, you know, she's better than anyone and she's going to be a singer one day so who the fuck cares, right? And every girl who even looks at her Aiden is a slut, and Lily has every right to get jealous when he kisses another girl, even though they're not dating. She gets to act like an idiot, and Aiden always has to apologise no matter that they are not dating, that they're just friends. I don't even know why Aiden puts up with her. Of course, I could not know that when all I know is that he's hot and has daddy issues. Oh, he also has dimples (mentioned at least 34829423 times). Basically, none of the characters were built in any way. Mean girl is a mean girl, love interest is a love interest, and MC is perfect. Side characters are barely there. They're mentioned here and there, when the author remembers them, and they're just there to have some plotline.

 

This book lacks depth and actual emotions. We are always told how the character feels but I never got to feel whatever emotion the character was feeling. It was annoying, unrealistic, and unpalatable read. I won't pick up the next book in the series, no matter that there are one million cliffhangers at the end because I'm just not interested.

 

Now, excuse me while I do my I'm-sick dance along with Ed Sheeran's "Sing". I need fun in my life.

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review 2014-04-12 15:48
Fragile Line - Brooklyn Skye
Fragile Line (Entangled Teen) - Brooklyn Skye

HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.

 

Okay, so, basically, this is impossible to review without any spoilers because synopsis don't give much away. In fact, this review will probably be one big spoiler so if you don't feel like finding out some of the main points in the book, read no further. Just know that I am so amazed that this book kept the same pacing and the same quality to the very end, as well as it didn't make any awkward plot twists and added something completely unnecessary. The boys in the book were sweet. Like, actually fucking sweet. Both of them. And I don't think the romance in this book can be called a 'love triangle' because the book is fucked up so it doesn't follow any pattern the other YA books do. (Okay, this part will not be included in my NetGalley feedback. Too much cursing, I am sorry.) So basically, it was a four star book for me at the beginning and it stayed the four star book till the end. Now onto the full, spoilerish review where I can reveal my madness completely.

 

-

 

 

This is how you do mental illness!

 

 

And this is how you do romance!

 

 

I probably need to calm down because this review will be full of gifs and rainbows and puppies if I don't (okay not really but you get the point, I guess). To be honest, I hade no idea what to expect from this book at all. Hell, I didn't even know what it was exactly about. I just knew that the synopsis sounded interesting so I decided to give it a shot. Well, let me tell you, it surprised me. Mental illness thing surprised me because it was not mentioned even once anywhere. I'll admit that, after a while, I guessed what was wrong with her but it definitely didn't ruin any part of a book for me. Because as the book kept going, it kept throwing even more surprises into the mix (that actually made a lot of sense, shocking I know) and it left me wanting more after it'd ended.

 

We have our main protagonist, Ellie, who's dealing with blackouts that last from short to long periods of time. And she can't remember any of it. Sometimes she wakes up in her bed, sometimes she's in the woods, and most of the time, there are the events that happened or the things she'd said to her family and friends she can't remember. I could feel her pain. I could feel the struggle she was having inside of her head. I could feel how hard it was for her to deal with it and figure out what was wrong with her. What with her being adopted at a young age and not remembering first six years of her life, it can be quite hard to handle.

 

Her parents are always there for her though, as well as her younger sister, even though she doesn't tell them anything about what's going on with her. To be honest, I liked their relationship, though I wish there was a bit more of it. Maybe it was a little bit underdeveloped but I understand that this is not a book about family, so it's understanding, I guess. Sometimes, her parents' actions made me furious and sometimes I agreed with them. It shows that all of us can make mistakes and should never be judged by any of them.

 

Now, onto the romance. Can you actually believe that we have one couple throughout the whole book? We get a couple that's been together for six months and they are together at the end of the book, too and I was so shocked by this because I was expecting Ellie to have some sort of complex feelings towards the other guy because that's what every book these days does.

 

So, we have Ellie and Shane who've been together for six months and still going strong. They want to have sex but Ellie keeps blacking out while, well, you know, trying to actually have sex and then waking up in her own bed. Later, she finds out that she basically ran out of Shane's door and yelled at him and all that jazz. Well, you would expect from a teenager like Shane to freak out and break up with Ellie (which is a case happening in every YA novel) but no. He proves me wrong again when he stays understanding and stays with Ellie, assuring her that it's fine and that they can do it when she's ready. And seriously, the guy is so sweet I thought that maybe he wasn't real or something. You can't help but to love him and want to squish him or something. I wish there were more actual guys like him (in YA literature and in real life).

 

Then Ellie blacks out for three days, wakes up in another guy's apartment and shit goes down from there. Shane breaks up with her because of the picture she apparently sent him while she was gone, she's grounded till the end of the year by her parents and she has weekly visits to the therapist (which was why her parents thought she was gone).

 

She then starts to get to know Griffin, the guy at which apartment's she woke up in, and the guy she's apparently involved with. He's a tattoo artist, he keeps calling her Gwen and she doesn't understand a thing. And you know, you would expect from the guy to be the broody, mysterious type or something, but no, he's sweet as well! He's likeable and sweet and cute and 'hot' is not the only thing in Ellie's mind. In fact, she doesn't develop any feelings for him, expect for the friendship ones. He's understanding all the time and, even if he gets mad sometimes, he stays the same guy that we've met at the beginning and it seriously confuses me because I like both guys equally and I was half-sad, half-happy after I've finished this book.

 

I was also happy with an overall result. This book has some serious messages we need to take in consideration. The main character was likeable and relatable. She wasn't slut-shaming other girls or being sexist. I don't count jealousy and, even when she was jealous, there was none of it. She's grown throughout the novel and became someone else - someone stronger than before. The romance was done excellently. It wasn't the main part of a story but it still played the big part in it. It was realistic, it was sweet and it was done without love interests that made no sense. The mental illness part was exactly how I wanted it to be done. It is hard to find a book these days that handles it well and this one definitely did that. My only objection is that some characters weren't developed enough. I wanted to see more of some of them. But I can look past that because there were many more good parts than bad ones.

 

All in all, I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat. It made me feel a bit numb, a bit sad and a bit happy afterwards and I believe I'll remember it for a long time.

(spoiler show)

 

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text 2014-04-09 21:04
26% done
Fragile Line (Entangled Teen) - Brooklyn Skye

If this continues like this, I could easily give it 4 stars. I hope I hadn't spoke too soon.

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