REVIEW: falling into place by amy zhang

31 October 2014

TITLE: Falling Into Place // AUTHOR: Amy Zhang // PUBLISHER: Harper 360       
 On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.
Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher. -goodreads
Liz Emerson is not the kind of MC reader's connect with, sympathize with, or feel compatible in any way towards, so it was with Surprise that I closed this book, sat back and though: I enjoyed that. I'm don't often read *stereotypical* contemporaries, and while this did contain bundles of cliches, I enjoyed Falling Into Place because of its lyrical and stripped back writing style. The side-characters could have been explored a lot more in my opinion, as we are left not really know much about them except for their problems. And everyone has problems in this book, which annoyed me at first but as I got swept into the writing I didn't mind anymore. Overall, the book was a very worthy debut indeed - and I am extremely jealous the author is a teenager and already has a published, bestselling book. Give it a try why don't you.

book palette: eleanor and park

26 October 2014

Eleanor and Park is undoubtedly one of my favourite of Rainbow Rowell's books, which is saying something as they are all favourites of mine.But this one speaks to you when you read it, both Eleanor and Park's voices nestle right up close to you, whispering messages in your ear. You can see Park with his headphones in the bus, you can feel what Eleanor is feeling. The book breathes and pulses with life and honestly, if you haven't read it yet then I am judging you with my fierce side-eye.
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.
... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. -goodreads
“It was like their lives were overlapping lines, like they had their own gravity. Usually, that serendipity thing felt like the nicest thing the universe had ever done for her.”- Eleanor & Park

[je t'aime] review: Isla & The Happily Ever After

21 October 2014

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: August 14th 2014
Source/Format: For Review/Finished Copy
Summary: Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series. -goodreads
My third Stephanie Perkins novel. The third time I have fallen in love with her books: but this time, not - head over heels. I harbor a fondness for her books not because they are written with spectacular prose like most of my favourite novels: I'd be both lying and telling the truth if I said  the style it was written in blew me away. Because normally, I adore books with thickly layered words that fill me up and overflow inside my mind. Rich images, graphic descriptions. However none of Stephanie Perkin's books are written like this - they are simple, yet they affect you just as vivid imagery might do. The writing is realistic to the plot: it is a contemporary love story, it is written with less words than more and that is why I like it, the style lends itself to the plot perfectly; it allows you to submerge yourself in the simple lives of beings that fall for each other so un-simply. It creates the perfect juxtaposition between the writing and the power of their love.
However, Isla and the Happily Ever After was definitely my least favourite. I liked it, but it didn't stick with me. This was the plot that felt the most fluffy and full of air. Throughout the whole book I never really understood why Josh liked Isla, and I never felt connected to Isla as I had done to Anna and Lola - in all honesty: she felt a bit bland. But while this book was not my favourite of Stephanie Perkin's books, it is still one of my favourites - as all her novels are.
"How did my parents live before texting? Before the internet? I’m used to knowing things and all of this unknowing is driving me mad."

REVIEW: The Fifth Wave & The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

16 October 2014

"Be wary of internet hype," is the advice that is wrapped in paper and distributed to new bloggers and friends alike - "Too hyped," is what I heard about The Fifth Wave; and at the beginning, I wasn't even going to read it. I had a copy: I just didn't feel like reading it. It took me a year to finally decide I may as well try it out, and I'm glad I left it at first, because when I did attempt it, I wanted to read it, and I loved it. I know people who disliked it a lot. But I read it in a day, and then I wanted the next book; I wanted to know what happened next: and that's always the sign of a good book. 
Cassie is alone on the road to who-knows-where, attached to her M-16 and the frightening realization that she is alone; she is no longer the child being protected but the girl who has to protect. Sammy, with his teddy bear. Zombie, Evan Walker and a whole host of other side-characters. Each of them is introduced to you, many of them have parts of the story dedicated to their voice, yet there are never too many people to keep track of. The Fifth Wave is a hefty book, but I skimmed through it faster than I thought I would; and if this sounds like your cup of tea, Why haven't you give it a try yet?
“We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.” - The Fifth Wave [Rick Yancey]
I really like the way that Rick Yancey writes: detailed, evocative but not too muddled even though there are ample POVs. I thought this was an extremely successful sequel that didn't let down at any point, except. Cassie irked me, a little/lot. She suddenly evolved into a teenage girl edging towards that stereotypical 'teenage girl character'. I say edging however, because in my eyes she thankfully, never quite got there. But but but I HAVE A NEW FAVOURITE CHARACTER. Ringer all the way. In the first book she was much more of a side-character that we were gradually getting to know, in this book she had a lot of the limelight and I am so glad she did because she is wonderful and strong and determined and clever and fierce. And my new favourite character. As I just said. Talking of favourites, I really liked Vosche's character in The Infinite Sea, and before you all throw things at me I AM NOT SAYING I LIKE HIM AS A PERSON, I am just saying I like how Rick Yancey created him, and developed him, and moulded him into the person that I now am excited to encounter - not because he makes good things happen [far from it of course] but because can't a person like a baddie? Honestly, he's not my best friend, but I like his character. Also three things: we meet another new character [saying no more] and we learn more about the side-characters we met in The Fifth Wave: Teacup and Dumbo and Poundcake. [Why italics? Oh you'll see.]. Finally, I must mention it, although it pains me to say because then my hands twitch for the next book and my brain cackles at the 2015 notice on the 'coming soon' page for the third book at the back of The Infinite Sea. And then my book shaped stomach moans and grumbles because it is hungry for the next installment and THERE WAS A MAJOR TWIST. I didn't guess it anyway. But hey, have fun waiting for it to spring at you.
“My anger is greater than the sum of all lost things.” - The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. [Ringer]

[in memoriam] review: the memory keepers

05 October 2014

Title: The Memory Keepers
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: September 4th 2014
Source/Format: For Review/Finished Copy
Summary: "No one can take your memories from you... can they?"
Seven is a thief with a difference - he steals downloadable memories from banks and memoriums to sell onto London's black market, trading secrets and hidden pasts for a chance at a future of his own. He makes sure he keeps some special stuff back to 'surf' himself though - it's the only real form of entertainment he can afford. But one night, as Seven is breaking into a private memorium in a wealthy part of London, he is caught in the act by one of its residents; Alba, the teenage daughter of London's most famous criminal prosecutor. Instead of giving him away, Alba promises to keep Seven's secret - as long as he allows her to go memory-surfing herself. In doing so, they discover a hidden memory about Seven's past, revealing a shocking secret about Seven's childhood, the government and a mysterious experiment known as The Memory Keepers...
Now Seven and Alba will have to race against time to unlock the maze of The Memory Keepers - but can they keep themselves out of harm's way before the London Guard - and Alba's father - catches up with them? -goodreads
I feel like if I was given a piece of writing written by Natasha Ngan I would be able to recognize it unaided. This is only my second book of hers that I have read, her second book, but her style of writing  seems to be imprinted in my mind and if it is possible - I think I liked this novel more than her debut The Elites.
Natasha Ngan's characterization of Seven and Alba is much more pronounced than the creation of her debut characters. Where with her first book, I enjoyed it, this second book solidifies my love for her writing and shows me that if anything, her third book which she will write will be even stronger. I was able to connect with the characters in The Memory Keepers and I delighted in their company immensely. And having just read a book where the main character aggravated every nerve in my body, Alba was a relieving breath of fresh air.
Seven; I liked him even better than Butterfly, and maybe that's because I read The Elites so long ago, but Seven's personality was one of the main reasons why I was so attached to this story. He provided the chance of a smile amidst the grim plot-line. And - the plot line - another favourite. But I'm not going to go into it, I'm going to let you find out for yourself.
Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.