Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: Mental by Justice Serai

6:20 PM

Title: Mental 
Author: Justice Serai 
Release date: April 7th 2015 
Pages: 218
GenresContemporary, Young Adult
My rating: 4/ 5 stars
Source: Xpresso Book Tours


Hope is an illusion meant to convince the broken to keep on living. 

That’s me. Broken.

My father pays heaps of money for doctors at the Norfolk Psychiatric Center to fix me. I’ve spent six months of my prime teenage years at this residential facility – a place for teenagers who’ve gone mental.

That’s me. Mental.

Just when I begin to feel myself fade away, a boy with a wolfish smile and mischievous eyes reels me in. Julian is broken too, but he believes in me enough for the both of us. Through him, I begin to experience this thing called hope. Doctors can’t fix me, my parents can’t either, but maybe it’s not me who needs fixing.

After all, mental is only a state of mind. It all depends on who’s doing the thinking.


After a baptism accident when she was a little girl, Lucy lives in fear of things like the colors red and orange and the number 6. She suffers from schizophrenia and is a patient in a psychiatric ward. She is trying to get better but things just aren't that easy. She feels like a constant disappointment to her parents and feels guilty for the things she has put them through. 

It was very intriguing to read from a character with schizophrenia's point of view. Lucy, was such an intricate character with so many feelings suppressed inside of her. Every word of hers was riddled with pain and It was very easy for the reader to see that. She suffers so much because of her own mind and it's sad to see how not many people understand her. Especially her parents. I found them to be a little bit ignorant and insensitive toward her daughter's illness. To me they could have been a bit more open minded. 

As for the romance in this book, which did play a big part, I found that it didn't really work well. I mean, the romance itself was fine, it's just the way in which it happened that didn't really appeal to me. Primarily due to the fact that it was sort of an insta-love situation. Julian just happens to show up in the ward and calls Lucy pretty once and they instantly fall in love. It just didn't feel all that genuine to me. However, I did like the fact that Julian really tried his best to help her and he seemed to have her best interest. 

Lucy really grows as a character. Especially towards the end. She realizes that, while it is important to have support from others in order to make the best out of her recovery, she can't rely on other people and depend on them. She accepts the fact that the only one who can save her is herself. And to me that was one of the most important things. 

This book turned out to be very moving. The writing was lyrically beautiful and fluid. And it portrayed this terrifying circumstances in a very real way. It really gives you a sense of hope. I really hope that this book doesn't go unnoticed because it deserves appreciation. 

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #7: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

6:33 AM

Title:  The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication date: October 6th 2015


What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

                                                              Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

My thoughts:

I have only read More Than This by Patrick Ness and even though I will read his Chaos Walking trilogy eventually, MTT was just enough proof of his undeniable talent. One book was sufficient enough for me to fall in love with his writing. I am dying to read this book. Looking at that release date gives me something reminiscent of a mini heart attack.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

3:37 PM

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Pages: 528
Publication date: October 23rd 2012
My rating: 45 stars


Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 

She's wrong.
(taken from goodreads)

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

6:58 PM

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 295
Publication date: March 1st 2012
My rating: 55 stars


Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight. 

 (taken from goodreads)

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway "Where the Staircase Ends" by Stacy Stokes

12:24 PM

Title: Where the Staircase Ends
Author: Stacy Stokes
Publisher: Month9books
Pages: 245
Publication date: April 14th 2015
My rating:  4/ 5 stars


After her best friend orchestrates the lie that destroys her reputation, Taylor wants more than anything to disappear from her life. But when an accident turns this unspoken wish into reality, instead of an angel-filled afterlife, Taylor must climb a seemingly endless staircase into the sky.

Instead of going up, the journey plunges her into the past. As she unravels the mystery behind her friend’s betrayal, she must face the truth about life and find the strength to forgive the unforgivable -- unless the staircase breaks her first.

               Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD

I'm glad I got the opportunity to read and review this book. It was a completely unique and refreshing read. And although at first I didn't think I was going to enjoy it all that much, I became undeniably hooked.

The author made a fantastic job at depicting the twisted little world that is high-school and the minds of teenagers and the damage they can cause. Taylor, our main character gets in an accident after wishing to disappear. Her attitude totally plummeted due to the wrong-doings of her best friend. After her accident she wakes up and finds herself in a vast space surrounded by nothing but sky and before her a massive endless staircase.

She starts to call out for someone but is only answered by the lonely echo of her own voice. She begins her journey and climbs up the endless stairs. Along the way she encounters what appear to be ghost-like figures of the people she knows and they each bring a different memory. Each one bringing back moments and memories about how the whole dilemma with her best friend started.
I truly loved how fast paced this book was. It begins to pull you in instantly. And I'm sure most of that engrossment was not only because of the story, but because of the authors writing. It was absolutely amazing! It made the story flow perfectly and uniquely. The majority of this book is composed of flashbacks and I find that for me that tends to be a problem because it can sometimes get confusing, but not in this book. It was very well-written.
Also, the characters in this book were very well written and articulated. Each one's voice was distinct and easy to tell apart. They all had different traits that made them equally interesting. The only thing I wish would be different is the backstory on the characters. I felt like I wanted to know more about them and to have just a little bit more to hang on to, but other than that this was a very great book with a really lovely and valuable message. I think that not many books succeed at giving out accurate representations about high-school, but this one definitely did. It also emphasizes the importance of forgiving those around us and ourselves.
I really hope more people hear and find out about this book and ultimately end up reading it because it really does deserve the attention.  


Winner will be drawn May 8, 2015

·         Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes (INT)


Stacy Stokes attended the University of Texas at Austin and The Wharton School of Business.  She grew up in Dallas, TX, and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband.  WHERE THE STAIRCASE ENDS is her first novel.

Author Links: 

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: "Love, Lucy" by April Lindner

2:36 PM

Title: Love Lucy

Author: April Lindner
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 305
Publication date: January 27th 2015
My rating: 5/ 5 stars


While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.


This book follows Lucy Sommersworth, a talented girl with a passion for acting and the thrill that comes with being on stage. Unfortunately, her father, a stubborn business man, doesn't allow her to fulfill her dream and instead makes a deal with her so she never auditions for a play ever again and accordingly majors in business when she goes to college. In exchange for agreeing to her father's conditions, Lucy heads off on a trip to Rome with her mother's friend's daughter. It isn't exactly what Lucy had in mind, but it was the most appealing of the options given. 

While in Rome Lucy meets an amazing street-singer, dark, mysterious, and coincidentally American guy named Jesse. They had somewhat of a rocky start, but it's not long till they both can't hide their mutual attraction. This book is divided into parts, so that makes up for the first one. After that, Lucy must face the fact that she has to return home to the States. Meaning that she has to leave Jesse behind. 

The rest of the books is basically Lucy living her life in college and dealing with all the things that start happening. New love interests, breaking promises, making decisions and figuring out who and what she wants to be.

I must say I was really surprised by this book and how much I actually enjoyed it. I think it was very well written romance story with a bit of depth to it. To me the main character was very endearing. I actually found times where I was relating to her a lot. And I really appreciate when authors can create relatable characters. It makes the story a lot better. Although she could get acutely annoying sometimes. Not so much that I didn't enjoy the story, but I figured I ought to mention it. Anyway, Lucy wasn't the only character I liked, I found all the other characters to be very well written as well, and there was sufficient description of all of them. 

I also enjoyed the romance aspect in this book. I think it was lovely and cute. Like in most YA contemporaries, it wasn't the most feasible, but what would be the point, right? It was dreamy, adorable, and steamy and overall lovely. I couldn't have asked for more. Another thing I loved was the imagery and how it felt like I was actually in Rome! I just love it when books to that. When I finished the book I was left with this sudden urge to pack my bags and leave to a far away destination. Wanderlust, anyone?

As for the problems with this book I only had one and it isn't all that major, just a little something I felt could have been a lot better. What I'm talking about is the pacing. Like I said, this book is written in parts and I felt like a couple of them were a bit rushed. Particularly the first one. As I was reading it, I noticed that a lot of things were omitted. I mean, I can see how many of them weren't all that crucial to the story, but it wouldn't hurt to have a bit more info thrown in there.

Overall I really did love this book. I fell in love with the story and how it really made my heart melt and my feelings to go all over the place. I would highly recommend it to those who like a good romance, books about traveling, Audrey Hepburn references (yay!) and fairly quick reads.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.


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