Sunday, April 12, 2015

From What I Remember, this book is phenomenal!

Book:  From What I Remember
Authors:  Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (Hey Disney!  This book has movie adaptation written all over it! And you already have the screenplay writers, so get on that!)
Source: My library
My grade: A+

KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??

MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong. 

Initial reaction
What a SWEET kick-off to my summer reading season! I really did not expect this book to be THIS good! Why did I wait this long to read it?

Cover storyOk, this cover is a little too cutesy for me, but at least it matches the story. This is the paperback cover. I like the hardback cover a little better, but not much.

What’s the story?
I don’t even know where to start since everything about this book rocked! So, let me start by saying that I loved Kylie! Girlfriend has got it going on! In fact, I would say that the characters are one of the great strengths of this book. They could have easily been flat, one-dimensional cliches, but somehow they weren’t. I mean, I’m not saying that they didn’t at times delve into that territory, but they always bounce back as MORE. I loved being able to see this story from so many of their points of view and I think that’s actually what helped them be more than just “the school hottie”, “the valedictorian”, “the gay best friend” and “the mean girl”.

One caveat on the characters--Jake’s point of view was interesting, but a little jarring. I have to say that it was the only thing that I found to be anywhere close to a flaw in the novel. While it was interesting to see what the little brother with Asperger’s was like, sometimes it messed with the flow. But not enough to keep me from ripping through this book as fast as humanly possible.

The story was fantastic. It was non-stop, over the top action that was pure entertainment! After reading the book, I read the author bios and I was not surprised to see that they both write for film and TV. This book has “awesome movie” written all over it! I also enjoyed the movie quotes at the beginning of each chapter--it was a total bonus and a really nice touch.

Obviously, this is a happy book with a lot of fluff, but sort of like a Snickers bar, there is some substance hidden in with the sweet. In fact, I am finding it hard to tear myself away from this world and this story. I just love these characters so much! I kept waiting to reach a point where my brain said “Ok, enough is enough! This is too unrealistic/cliched/sweet/predictable/etc., etc.”, but that moment never arrived. Every time, there was an interesting twist or turn or one of the characters said something or did something I wasn’t expecting. Sometimes it was crazy and sometimes it was downright normal, but it always seemed to just fit.

I could sit and wax poetic about this book all day. Just suffice it to say that this was one of the most enjoyable and entertaining books I’ve read in a while. Do yourself a favor and read it too!


Don’t judge me for this soundtrack, ‘kay?

Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin

Sorry about this one, but this book is about a straight-laced girl who gets her crazy on during a trip to Mexico with the resident school hottie. Couldn’t be helped!

Last Friday Night by Katy Perry

Roar by Katy Perry

Good girls by 5SOS

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

Glitter in the Air by Pink

Loca by Shakira

Brave by Sara Bareilles

The Words by Christina Perry

The Final Grade
My final grade is an A+.  This book shocked the hell out of me and completely knocked my socks off!  I would LOVE to see this one as a film adaptation, but regardless, I'm pretty sure I'll not only read it again, but I'll start  handing it out like candy in my library!

Friday, April 10, 2015

I'm positively glowing In the Afterlight of this book!

Book: In the Afterlight
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (Hey Disney, since you own this book, why don’t you get busy turning this series into a movie??)
Source: Purchased then borrowed from my library
My grade: A+++++

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Initial Reaction
Oh book, how I love and hate you at the same time! I love you for being so wonderful and I hate you for ending! Why hasn’t everyone in the world read this series????!!!!!!

Cover Story
I love the covers in this series. They’re attractive and they don’t scream paranormal teen romance or anything like that. I can happily read this book in public and proudly display the cover…….as I wax poetic to random strangers about how freaking good this series is!

I do need to add, however, that I’m not crazy about the titles. It’s a little cheesy how you can put them all together. But that’s just a thing……

What’s the Story?
I don't know whether I should leap for joy because this book was so good or weep tears of sadness because the journey is over.........this book was a perfect end to what has turned into one of my favorite series ever. No lie. I try to make every kid that walks in to my library check this series out. I don’t know what I need to do to make them understand! The ones that take my advice come back just as excited as I am!

There are so many things that I loved about this book, but it’s going to be hard to get them here without spoilers, so I may not be able to adequately express the greatness of this book. Alexandra Bracken is a genius. This book has a kick-ass plot with tons of action, but it also has fantastic characters. Ruby and Liam are incredible, but the supporting characters are just as great! The characters were still wonderful in this book and the action was non-stop! I was sitting on the edge of my seat for most of this book. And I loved it!

I don’t really know what else to say here, people. If you have not read this series, run right now to get the first book.


Hurt by Johnny Cash 

I’m in Here by Sia

Breathe Me by Sia

I Will Remember You by Sarah McLaughlin

You and Me by Lifehouse

We Are Pilots by Shiny Toy Guns

The Final Grade 
My final grade for this book is an A+. I loved this ending and I loved the whole series. I’m serious about Disney getting this thing made as a movie. And I can’t wait to see what Alexandra Bracken has in store next. Although I must say that I wouldn’t cry if she decided to write more about Liam……..I mean, The Darkest Minds world. Just sayin’......