Review: Everything, Everything

  
Review for “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon (to be released in September 2015)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is damn near close to perfect.

I am in awe of first time author Nicola Yoon and her extraordinary talent. It is rare I find a YA book that I truly like, and this was one of those books. From the time I began reading this, I could not put it down. The main character we follow is Madeline, a teenage girl with an extremely rare disease (SCID, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) that makes her allergic to everything in the outside world. She has lived completely indoors since she was young in a kind of artificial, “bubble-like” existence: filtered air, specially cooked foods, and no outside visitors. The only people she communicates with are her mother, her doctor, and Carla, her nurse. Madeline has resigned herself to her housebound fate until she glances out of her window one day and discovers a family moving in next door. She is immediately drawn to the teenage boy living there, Olly, and from there her entire world changes.

I won’t say any more about the plot here because this book will not be released until September 2015 and some of you have to wait for it. But I will say that this book was throughly engaging for me. The romance wasn’t cheesy like a lot of YA books, but completely organic and it fit perfectly in the story. There are also charts, graphs, and illustrations that added a certain special touch to the book that teens will enjoy. 

I’m giving this five stars. It’s not often that I do this, but I actually stayed up until 3:20 am on a school night finishing this, and I don’t regret a moment of it. Beautiful, beautiful book!

[I received this advanced publisher’s copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.]

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Review: Made You Up

  
Review for “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia (2015)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting YA novel about a teenage girl living with paranoid schizophrenia. One of the first books I’ve read in a long time that takes the unreliable narrator in an entirely new direction I’ve never seen it venture into before. Alex, the main character, is somewhat unlikeable…but man, this girl is a stick of dynamite. She never wallows in pity, whines, or even asks you to understand her. Her thoughts are honest and laid bare in such a way that I came to trust her, even when I knew that her observations may or may not be real. Three pages into this and I loved her immediately.

I won’t give any spoilers to the actual story here, because that would completely ruin the beauty of this book. If you are interested in books that thoughtfully (and tastefully!) explore mental illness, then read it for yourself.

One of the reasons I love YA so much as an adult is because it’s one of the few genres that seems to be tackling current issues in new and profound ways. I’ve read many books about mental illness in my lifetime, but lemme tell you, nothing like this before.

Do read this. You won’t be disappointed.

Review: Burn Girl

  
Review for “Burn Girl” by Mandy Mikulencak (2015)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Before I start this review, lemme celebrate a bit by telling you all that this is my first ARC from Net Galley!!! Yasssss!!!

Ok, now that that’s over, I’ll start my review. This title is scheduled to be published on Sept. 1, 2015. Spoilers abound, so umm…

“Burn Girl” is the story of Arlie, a teenaged girl who is disfigured in a meth lab explosion as a child. After her mother dies as a result of a drug overdose, she goes to live with her uncle in an Airstream trailer. Interspersed throughout the narrative are glimpses into Arlie’s sad childhood–her mother’s drug dependency, her friendship with her close friend Mo, and the devastating explosion caused by her stepfather Lloyd. Through Mo, her uncle, and a love interest at her new school, Arlie gradually learns to accept the love she’s missing in her life. 

The premise of this book was good but the slowness of this book made it a three star read for me. The beginning is great–you’re thrust right into the action as Arlie as she discovers her mother deceased. Unfortunately, the story rapidly loses steam from there with slow storytelling and even slower pacing of events. The action does pick up in the last 50 or so pages, but the subplot in the end didn’t seem “right” to me. Why in the world would a man go after his teenage stepdaughter for a ginormous sum of $50,000? Uhh, ok.

Not a bad book, despite its flaws I’d recommend it to teens who are looking for something beyond standard YA subject options.

[I received this ARC via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.]

Review: A Monster Calls

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Review for ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“And by doing so, he could finally let her go.”

The last ten words of this book had me crying like a baby, y’all…

Ok, I’m lying. I cried MORE than a few times. Because this book is one like no other I’ve ever read. I don’t give five stars easily, but this one is in a whole ‘nother universe of AWESOMENESS.

I’ll write a better review later. All I can say for right now is: DAMN.