Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

13455782Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

Synopsis

“No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.”

Jen’s Review

You can’t touch me,” I whisper. I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him. He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him. Please touch me, is what I want to tell him.”

I loved loved loved this book. So much so much so much. You should need must read it!

Okay, sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I guess Tahereh Mafi’s writing style rubbed off on me a bit. It was so different unique strange. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Actually, I mean it in a very good way. I thoroughly enjoyed Mafi’s fun take on formatting. I wasn’t at all fazed by her lack of commas and periods, repetitious sentences and crossed out words (I’m sure her Word document would beg to differ; I bet the entire thing was underlined in green squiggly lines).

Besides Mafi’s crazy weird cool style, her story was interesting captivating addicting. Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t the most original concept. I mean, a girl who can’t touch people without hurting or killing them? Sounds just like Rogue from X-Men, right?

However, Shatter Me wasn’t X-Men. It was too pretty poetic artistic. So many of Mafi’s lines would literally make me sigh out loud. She definitely has a way with words and painting them in a beautiful, imaginative way.

As far as her characters went, I found them to be a likable, complicated and endearing group. The protagonist, Juliette, was a big bag of polar opposites: quiet yet loud, weak yet strong, passive yet aggressive. And Adam, the love interest, was what every girl wants in a boy: gentle, protective and hotttt…Oh yeah, I’m still cooling off, ladies. Adam definitely qualifies for my Book Crush Club. And, if I’m being honest, Warren–the antagonist of this dystopian tale–might too. I know it’s weird and wrong, but his bad boy psycho complex personality was too interesting to dismiss.

I only have one complaint about this entire book: Adam’s eyes. Did you know they’re blue? No? Well, you will after Mafi tells you about them a hundred times. “Adam stares at me so long I begin to blush. He tips my chin up so I meet his eyes. Blue blue blue boring into me.”

Blue blue blue…

Despite the countless ooey-gooey descriptions of Adam’s blue blue blue eyes, I adored Shatter Me. And I highly recommend it. I do I do I do. So go go go to the bookstore and buy it. Now now now.

Okay, I’m done.

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

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Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

13206760Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis

“Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.”

Jen’s Review

I couldn’t wait to leap straight into Cinder‘s sequel, Scarlet. In fact, I had it on my desk and ready to go before I’d even finished Cinder. I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait a single day to keep this magical tale going.

Now, at first, I was put off when I discovered this second book in the Lunar Chronicles was based off two new characters, Scarlet Benoit and Wolf (aka, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big, Bad Wolf). I just wasn’t happy to put Cinder and Prince Kai’s adventure on hold. I wanted to know what happened to them–now! However, my fears were instantly quieted. First of all, Marissa Meyer soothed me by interweaving Cinder and Prince Kai into Scarlet and Wolf’s story. Second, I LOVED Scarlet and Wolf, perhaps even more than Cinder and Prince Kai. They were so likeable, so entertaining, so passionate. And Wolf…growl. I might have a new book crush, ladies 😉 Just like CinderScarlet was fun, fast-paced and addicting. More addicting than Cinder, in my opinion.

Trust me, Marissa Meyer knows how to write a story, build its momentum, and keep her audience thirsting for more. Which I am! I’m already counting down the days to Cress, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles.

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

Read more about Scarlet here.

Book of The Month: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

11235712Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis

“Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”

Jen’s Review

Okay, I admit I’m arriving late to the Lunar Chronicles party. For almost two years, I’ve seen this book on shelves with its striking red heel and fancy font, but I never thought to pick it up. I didn’t even consider reading the synopsis. Why? No idea. It was just one of those books that screamed for my attention, but I ignored it. And I’m both horrified and grateful I did: Horrified, because I was missing out on a wonderful, innovative, magical story. Grateful, because I was able to jump straight into its sequel, Scarlet, and now only need to wait about a month for its third book, Cress.

From beginning to end, Cinder captivated me. Completely! I zipped straight through its imaginative pages, loving nearly every inch of its original plot, endearing characters, and entertaining twists and turns. I even enjoyed its sci-fi base, and I’m not a sci-fi fan, especially when it involves cyborgs, androids and intergalactic politics and wars. But, Marissa Meyer has a gift for taking futuristic elements like robots and outer space and making them fantastical, romantic and adventurous. And addicting! I couldn’t pry my eyes or mind away from Cinder. It was always there, begging me to pick it up and keep going. Which I did, even when I was supposed to be focusing on last minute holiday errands and chores.

If you like stories that take classic fairy tales and give them a unique twist, Cinder is for you!

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

Read more about Cinder here!

Book Review: Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin

17297135Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin

Synopsis

“LOUD. There was an accident. Ember knows at least that much. She was driving. The car was totaled. She suffered back injuries and brain trauma. But she is alive. That’s the only thing left she can cling to.
AWAKE. Eight months later, Ember feels broken. The pieces of her former self no longer fit together. She can’t even remember the six weeks of her life leading up to the accident. Where was she going? Who was she with? And what happened during those six weeks that her friends and family won’t talk about?
LOST. One by one, Ember discovers the answers to these questions, like a twisted game of dominos. And little by little, the person she used to be slips further and further away.
In the wake of her critically praised young adult psychological thrillers,Tighter and All You Never Wanted, National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin has created another triumph. Loud Awake & Lost is an unflinching story of loss and recovery.”

Jen’s Review

I was lucky enough to win a copy of Loud Awake and Lost from Bookish.com. And what a book to win!

Now, as many of you know, I’ve been getting most of my books from the library lately due to budget cuts. And, to be honest, most of the time I don’t have a hard time returning a book once I finish it. I think, “Nice read, but not a keeper.”

But then there are the dreaded times I must take a book back that I don’t want to. The times when I feel like I’m abandoning a loved one. Dropping them off on the side of the road and saying, “I’m sorry, but I must let you go. I must! Goodbye, my love…” (sniff, sniff). Loud Awake and Lost would’ve been one of those books. So, thank God I get to keep it! There will be no difficult farewell in our future. I get to proudly display it on my bookshelf.

Adele Griffin’s contemporary young adult novel had me hooked from the first page to the last, and has kept me hooked for days since finishing. It’s a book that has many layers–layers you’re constantly peeling away in hopes of discovering more. More and more and more. And with each layer peeled, there’s a surge of relief and joy, as well as pain and sorrow. I appreciated Adele Griffin’s unique take on the topic of self-discovery. To think of finally figuring out who you are and what you want to do/be in life, only to have it erased, is staggering. And Ember’s rocky path to relocating those lost pieces of her new self and putting them back together is a difficult, yet wonderful one.

Loud Awake and Lost is truly one of the most bittersweet stories I’ve read in a long time–bittersweet in a good way. It’s haunting and mysterious and one hundred percent captivating. And I totally, totally recommend it, especially if you enjoyed books like If I Stay and Where Things Come Backor even The Unbecoming of Mara DyerRead it!

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

Read more about Loud Awake and Lost here!

Book Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

11178225Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Synopsis

“It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.
She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.”

Jen’s Review

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction. I tend to find them drowning in nitty gritty details, too many dates and names, and general boringness…But every now and then I find one that I love from beginning to end. And Out of the Easy is one of them.

Ruta Sepetys is clearly an expert at taking real-life events and spinning them into tightly woven, fast-paced and well-told stories. She knows exactly how to create emotionally driven plots, stomach-dropping twists and, most of all, believable characters who pop off the page. When they cry, you cry. When they fall, you fall. And when they pull themselves back up and take a stand against their enemies, you stand with them. It’s a true gift that very few authors have.

I have found that Ruta Sepetys’ books give the reader not just a story, but an experience–an experience that’s both touching and memorable. So make sure you experience Out of the Easy. And if you haven’t read her other book, Between Shades of Gray, experience that one, too! Trust me, you’ll never forget it.

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

Read more about Out of the Easy here!