Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Reviewer: J

I’m a little conflicted on how to review this book, because I loved reading it, but there were a few problems. 

For the beginning of this review, it seems fitting to discuss the beginning of the book. It was all over the place. It truck-dumps the reader into the middle of a somewhat complex plot. It took me a while to get a sense of what had happened. I wondered for a bit if I had picked up a sequel by accident!

For the first half of the book, the same flashback was repeated many, many times. Okay, it wasn’t literally the same flashback, but the message was the same every time. The main character Frances survived a near-death aquatic experience. That’s what they all were trying to say. It’s helpful the first time, but I think the other 5 or so flashbacks could’ve been omitted.  

Once this book’s plot got going, I couldn’t put it down! I discovered that it actually was quite beautifully written as the book went on. I thought the mystery elements of the book were also very enticing. And I thought Carrie Ryan did a great job at conveying character emotions. I would recommend this. 

Rating: 4 stars


Review: Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman

Reviewer: J

I won a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads, so I couldn’t wait to dive into this. I wasn’t disappointed! 

The thing I enjoyed most about this was the writing, honestly. It read like fiction, and  was beautifully written with many bigger messages and themes throughout. I could hardly put it down! However, I do wish the book was longer. Each chapter follows a different storyline, and I felt like right when I was starting to really get into the story, the chapter ended. 

I also was in love with all the historical aspects and characters throughout. I thought it was so cool that all the characters were real people! It was amazing to see the author bring their stories to life. 

Another small complaint of mine is that the pacing could be a bit slow at times, and there were some chapters where not much happened.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot! Almost Famous Women is a poignant and educational read that history nerd will love. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Want to Read Wednesday 7/29

Hey! Welcome to my (J’s) first Want to Read Wednesday! This week my theme is fall releases. 

1) Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

Release date: October 20th

Why I want to read it: I’m a huge historical fiction fan, and female WWII spies? Heck yeah! I also love books that teach me something, and this seems like the perfect fit for me. 

2) Sound by Alexandra Duncan

Release date: September 22nd

Why I want to read it: Another of my favorite genres is sci-fi, and outer space is a topic I haven’t explored much, but in the few times I have, I’ve enjoyed it a lot! I’ve also heard that this book has a very diverse cast of characters, so that’s always a plus.

3) Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Release date: September 15th

Why I want to read it: I loved Leila Sales’ book This Song Will Save Your Life, so I’m really pumped for her next release! Also, this book is about bloggers, and I can relate to that. 

4) Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Release date: September 15th

Why I want to read it: I’m obsessed with fairy tale retellings, so I’ll be very quick to read this. Also, when I was younger I adored the Winterling series by this author! 

5) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: October 6th

Why I want to read it: This is a companion to Fangirl, which I love! It also seems to have a lot of cool fantasy elements to it. 

So those are the books I’m dying to read 😛 If I missed any fall book releases you’re looking forward to, feel free to leave a comment. xx J 

Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Reviewer: E                         July 2015

This book is a thought-provoking read. (This one is adult, not young adult, but great!) 

When golden child Lydia Lee is found belly-up in the local lake, her family is shocked, confused, and filled with questions. Why? How? The Lees write her death off as an accident or kidnapping, but we discover that there is more to Lydia than meets the eye. This plot was written in a fresh and unique way, despite the new trend of “kidnapping” and “murder” mysteries. The fast-paced and action-filled story is told in different points of time- interestingly and seamlessly tying it together. The conflict in this book is strong and realistic. 

The writing was very beautiful and entertaining. Ms. Ng adds sufficient description and creates visual imagery. She varies sentence length and word choice. Also, she describes emotions and feelings extremely skillfully- I could really get inside the head of every character, which was amazing! I liked how the author made the reader the detective, because with each chapter I came closer and closer to my conclusion. 

The characters in Everything I Never Told You were fantastic. They were flawed, they were likable, they were 3D, they were perfectly imperfect. Marilyn, James, Lydia, Hannah, and Nath’s struggles to find themselves were captured in the pages. Parents can relate to Marilyn and James. Advanced children can see themselves in Lydia. 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a fascinating book that every intelligent/perfection-striving child and their parents should read. 5/5 Stars. 🙂 


Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Reviewer: J

One word: Yes! This book was amazing. With its exciting plot and strong heroine, this is a book you won’t want to miss out on. 

First off, I loved the fresh and original plot. This is a dystopian YA series that I honestly didn’t think was similar to The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. Right off the bat, I was enthralled by the post-apocalyptic, robot-centered themes. 

Also, I really enjoyed the world building. I thought the author’s take on the future was very interesting. I’ll admit, the whole “fatal disease wipes out entire world” thing seems a bit overdone, but that wasn’t a huge issue for me. 

However, the thing I wasn’t feeling was the characters. I couldn’t keep track of them — their voices sounded entirely similar. 

All in all, Partials was a great read with more positives than negatives. If you’re looking for an original dystopian book, this is for you. 

Rating: 4 stars. 

Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

 Reviewer: E                           July 2015

This is an awesome read that is very meaningful. 

It focuses on protagonist Leonard, who is planning to commit a serious crime. I connected with him right off the bat. He “replays” his life and gives gifts to the people he cares about. The plot is dark, sure, but has a compelling story. It tells about the meaning of life and that things will get better if you try to help yourself, which is certainly a message that everyone needs to hear. 

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is written in an interesting and unique format. Flashbacks, broken-up lines, letters, and anecdotes make for a great reading experience. One like no other. 🙂 I have to say that I didn’t really like the use of footnotes. It was unique, and I’m sure some people would love it, it’s not really my thing, though. 

I think every middle and high school student should read this book at one point. Four and a half out of five stars! 

PS: Thank you so so much for…

50+ followers in a week, I feel so honored! You guys are awesome!!

Review: Panic by Sharon M. Draper

Reviewer: E                            July 2015

Panic is a mediocre book with a good lesson behind it. 

It’s about competitive dancer Diamond, who would do anything to dance onscreen. And by anything I mean anything, even going to a “filmmaker” from the mall’s home and getting yourself kidnapped. Seriously, girl! The book focuses on her experiences as well as her friends’ attempts to keep living life back home. The plot was pretty flat and uninteresting, to be honest, with only a few action scenes. However, it teaches a valuable lesson of the bad people in the world and what they can do. 

The characters and dialogue in Panic were extremely stuff and juvenile. “It totally saved me. It’s like somehow he knew that dancing made me feel real.” “OMG! What if I forget?” Oh, okay. Yep. If one of my friends said that to me, I would start checking for a concussion. Literally. The angelic characters did have a tight bond and stick to their passions, which was good but unrealistic. 

The writing in this book was, I felt, very oversimplified. It needed a little more spice, you know? Some flowery descriptions here and there traded out for the heavy product placement would’ve made all the difference. Alas, Ms. Draper seems to mostly rely on telling rather than showing. The writing style in Panic was a step down from Out Of My Mind, which I loved. She does craft an inspiring tale in this book. If only real-life kidnappings were all resolved so happily. 😉 

The book is a light read with darker themes recommended for fans of contemporary fiction. Two out of five stars.