Sunday, October 19, 2014

100 Sideways Miles Review

100 Sideways Miles

TITLE: 100 Sideways Miles
AUTHOR: Andrew Smith
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
PUBLICATION DATE: 9/2/2014
PAGES: 288
FORMAT: ARC
SOURCE: Amazon Vine/Publisher
MY RATING:


BACK COVER SUMMARY: Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It's how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he's a real boy and not just a character in his father's bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he's ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned--and learn how to write their own destiny.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I've wanted to read an Andrew Smith book for quite a while. Everyone seems to rave about his books and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. I was pretty disappointed with this one.  About a third of the way through the book, I started to loose interest. Not much was going on and I was quite bored. I was prepared to give this book a 2.5 star rating, but in the last fourth or so of the book there was an event that happened that brought quite a bit of excitement to the story and I decided to bump it up to 3 stars. 

CHARACTERS: The characters were okay, but not my favorite. I did enjoy reading about Finn's epileptic episodes, but other than that I didn't really feel myself connecting with anybody.

COVER: I like the cover a lot after learning what the significance of the horse means.


Friday, October 10, 2014

September Wrap-Up


In September I read a total of 8 books bringing my total books for the year to 77. Of these books, 3 of them were "real" books bringing my total books for the challenge to 57 books.

"Real Books"
A Little PrincessBelzharH2O

Audio Books:
My Story

EBooks:
Schooled (Lexy Cooper Mystery #1)The Intern, Volume 1 (The Intern, #1)ImaginaryThis is Falling (Falling, #1)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Schooled Review

Schooled (Lexy Cooper Mystery #1)

TITLE: Schooled
AUTHOR: Christa Charter
PUBLISHER: Missing Spoon Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: 11/3/2013
FORMAT: ebook
PAGES: 182
SOURCE: Bought
MY RATING: 


SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): Lexy Cooper is a Community Manager at Xenon Corporation, maker of the Xenon 24/7 videogame console and Xenonline gaming service. When a young woman's nude body is discovered on the Xenon corporate campus, Lexy's uncle, homicide detective Mike Malick, catches the case. As Malick investigates the crime, Lexy works the case from inside Xenon and discovers more about the seedy underbelly of the games industry than she ever wanted to know.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This story was pretty good. I wouldn't say that I was blown away or that it was super memorable, but I was entertained while reading it. I had fun trying to figure things out alongside Lexy. The ending was suspenseful, but not suspenseful enough. I felt like there could have been a lot more done with it to make me stand on edge.

CHARACTERS: Lexy annoyed me with the way she used her body to get what she wanted. I just cringed a little bit every time she did it. I liked Mike a lot. He was the right combination of protective and fun, and he was really understanding of what Lexy was going through.

COVER: When I first picked this up, I thought it was a graphic novel because of the cover, but it's not.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Velocity Review

Velocity

TITLE: Velocity
AUTHOR: Dean Koontz
PUBLISHER: Bantam Books
PUBLICATION DATE: 5/24/2005
FORMAT: Hardcover (0-553-80415-4)
PAGES: 416
SOURCE: I bought
MY RATING: 


INSIDE COVER SUMMARY: Billy Wiles is an easygoing, hardworking guy who leads a quiet, ordinary life. But that is about to change. One evening, after his usual eight-hour bartending shift, he finds a typewritten note under the windshield wiper of his car.

If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County. If you do take this not to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours.

It seems like a sick joke, and Billy's friend on the police force, Lanny Olsen, thinks so too. His advice to Billy is to go home and forget about it. Besides, what could they do even if they took the note seriously? No crime has actually been committed.

But less than twenty-four hours late, a young blonde schoolteacher is found murdered, and it's Billy's fault: he didn't convince the police to get involved. Now he's got another note, another deadline, another ultimatum...and two new lives hanging in the balance. 

Suddenly Billy's average, seemingly innocuous life takes on the dimensions and speed of an accelerating nightmare. Because the notes are coming faster, the deadline growing tighter, and the killer becoming bolder and crueler with every communication--until Billy is isolated with the terrifying knowledge that he alone has the power of life and death over a psychopath's innocent victims. Until the struggle between good and evil is intensely personal. Until the most chilling words of all are: The choice is yours.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is my first ever Dean Koontz book and one of the very few adult books I read this year. This book creeped me out. I would never want to be put in Billy's situation. I was definitely hooked while reading this. I wanted to know who was behind everything and how the main character was going to deal with the next crazy thing that this killer would come up with.

CHARACTERS: While I couldn't really relate to Billy, the main character, I could completely sympathize with him. 

COVER: Bright, eye catching and to the point.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Belzhar Review

Belzhar

TITLE: Belzhar
AUTHOR: Meg Wolitzer
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books For Young Readers
PUBLICATION DATE: 9/30/2014
PAGES: 272
FORMAT: ARC
SOURCE: Amazon Vine
MY RATING: 


BACK COVER SUMMARY: If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She'd be watching old comedy sketches with him. She'd be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn't be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, supposedly life-changing class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn't fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

When a journal-writing assignment leads Jam into a mysterious otherworld she and her classmates call Belzhar, she discovers a realm where the untainted past is restored, and she can feel Reeve's arms around her once again. But, a the pages of her journal begin to fill up, Jam must confront hidden truths and ultimately decide what she's willing to sacrifice to reclaim her loss.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I love reading books about boarding schools, and for some reason have this obsession with them, so I was really excited to start reading this.  The students in the Special Topics class this year are studying the works of Sylvia Plath, and because of that after reading this I really want to read "The Bell Jar." 

I love the idea behind this story. I haven't ever read anything like it and the topic was something that really stood out to me. I liked the progression of the story and I was really interested to see what was going to happen at the end of the book, but I was disappointed with the last part of the book. The ending itself was find, but the part leading up to the ending where we learn more about what Jam went through was not what I was expecting and I didn't like it at all.

CHARACTERS: I feel like there could have been some more character development. I would have liked to know more about all of the students in the Special Topics class as well as Jam's roommate. I liked all of the characters, but I felt like I didn't know them enough.

COVER: I love how the cover incorporates so many things from the book.

**Thanks to Amazon and Dutton Books for providing me with an ARC for my honest review.