Goodbye Days I Review #65

“Our memories of our loved ones are the pearl we form around the grain of grief that causes us pain.”

Image result for goodbye days uk

Goodbye Days

Title: Goodbye Days

Author: Jeff Zentner

Pages: 416

Publisher: Anderson Press

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?

REVIEW

I think my rating for this is more of a 3.5.

Goodbye Days was a good book. There were loads of amazing aspects and parts of it: the supportive and emotional male friendships (which are a rarity in YA), the way that grief was explored and characterization was amazing.

It tells the story of a boy called Carver who (in a way) somewhat causes his friends death. This book is essentially Carver’s ‘journey’ through living with his grief, the impact it has on his mental health and how he has to learn to live in a world without his three best (and only) friends.

I think that the idea of a ‘Goodbye Day’ was what made this book. It could have fallen very flat, and although it did actually take a while to get to them when they did come, the Goodbye Days were intriguing if anything. They provided a way to both learn more about who had once been Carver’s best friends, while also seeing a wide spectrum of grief.

Carver as a character was slightly annoying if anything. I appreciated a lot of the things he said and did – and to me, he was a somewhat accurate representation of a teenager. However, at times, he did seem a bit pretentious and far fetched for me. I really liked his friendship with Jesmyn and what came later on – he really did grow as a character as the book went on.

I’d also just like to point out that I really don’t think there was any need for the extent that this book took suicide jokes. Of course, as a teenager myself, I know that loads of people do actually use them – it’s not uncommon. But there was literally no reason for them here to be completely honest.

Overall, I did quite enjoy this (it did make me tear up once or twice) but I think I just felt like there was something missing from the story. There could’ve been more but it just fell a little flat for me.

HOPE YOUR NEXT READ IS GREAT! 🌱

Library of Souls I Review #41

“No one can hurt you as badly as the people you love.”

library-of-souls

library-of-souls

Title: Library of Souls

Author: Ransom Riggs

Pages: 464

Publisher: Quirk Books

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

 

REVIEW

I think that as the ending to a trilogy that I enjoyed this book could have probably had a better ending – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it was still a very good book!

This book starts in a flurry of adrenaline and adventure as the story picks up from Hollow City’s (amazing) cliffhanger. The peculiar children are on their quest to save their beloved Ymbryne, Miss Peregrine before they age forward due to being outside of their loop for too long.

Story and event wise this book was a lot darker and gory compared to the previous novels. The introduction of Devil’s Acre brought a whole new perspective on Peculiarities to the story which I found to be extremely interesting. However, as is needed in most dark YA’s, there was a great comic relief character. Sharon, the satire boatman we meet in this book, provided an amusing juxtaposition to the atmosphere around him throughout the last quarter or so of the book.

The majority of this book was intriguing and fun to read – but when it got to the end I feel like the story fell a bit flat. The way the story ended seemed sort of unrealistic and unattainable it just didn’t seem feasible… I feel like this series would have done a lot better with a different ending and I would have given it a higher rating but I still did enjoy this book a lot!

 

Am I Normal Yet I Review #38

“Everyone’s on the cliff edge of normal.”

am-i-normal-yet

am-i-normal-yet

 

 

 

Title: Am I Normal Yet?

Author: Holly Bourne

Pages: 434

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?

REVIEW

I desperately wanted to love this book so much more. Not to say that I didn’t think it was a good book – I just found myself not loving it as much as I expected to.
Am I Normal Yet is a book told from the perspective of a girl who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and has just come back to school after being sectioned due to her OCD and anxiety getting to the point she hadn’t left her house for 8 weeks.

I’m a huge advocate for mental health and feminism in YA literature – and honestly if that was the only basis I was rating this book on it would have easily gotten 4.5 stars. Bourne completely eradicates the idea of romanticizing mental health in this book, and for once not everything gets completely better at the end. The representation of mental health is raw and at times extremely sad but ultimately realistic.

The feminist aspect of this book was another thing that made just that much more realistic. It was amusing to see Evie and friends learn and grow through their ‘Spinster Club’.

However, as much as I did enjoy those two aspects I unfortunately wasn’t as big of a fan of the writing. I found the fact that all of Evie’s direct thoughts were written in a different thought and in big letters really disrupting when reading and honestly didn’t see the point. I can understand that they were there to make it clearer that these were exactly what Evie was thinking but I think I could have figured that out myself – especially as it is in first person anyway.
I also found some of the characters predictable and stereotypical which wasn’t the best.

Otherwise, I honestly do think this is an important read and one that a lot more people should read. It conveys an extremely important message, and whether I liked the writing style or not doesn’t take that away. I can really appreciate what Holly Bourne has done in this book and it really has given me a different perspective to the way I view some things in my life.

The Unexpected Everything I Review #37

“Keep people at arm’s length and your feelings to yourself.”

the-unexpected-everything

the-unexpected-everything

Title: The Unexpected Everything

Author: Morgan Matson

Pages: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

REVIEW

The Unexpected Everything is what I would call a coming of age story – just set a bit later into the teen years. The main character Andie is constantly learning and developing throughout this novel as she realises that maybe not everything is as easy as pretending to be someone you’re not.

I didn’t dislike this book. I just feel like with all of the hype surrounding Morgan Matson and her novels I went into this book with really high expectations and until about the last 50 pages I didn’t feel like they were really met. However, I can see why people have hyped this book up so much – for someone who is a big fan of romance and contemporary novels will surely love this book. It has all the elements of good romance and I did actually like Matson’s writing style I just feel like this plot wasn’t for me.

As I started this book I initially thought that it sounded a lot like what I classify as a stereotypical ‘chick flick’ with no character development or interesting happenings – but thank god this was not the case here. Andie shows very clear character development as she experiences life in a different way to the way she’s always lived it.

Clark, the love interest in this book, was adorable I have to admit I really liked reading about him. Andie’s friendship group were amazing as well – their relationship with each other was what everyone aspires to have however it wasn’t a fairytale perfect friendship. Like every realistic friendship there were flaws which ultimately just made their interactions texts to each other just that much better to read about. It’s clear Morgan Matson has no problem with writing lively characters that are fun to read about!

There was less romance than I expected (get it – it was ‘unexpected’) but that certainly wasn’t what made me give this book a three stars – it was more the fact that I couldn’t find myself feeling invested in the events throughout this book and just didn’t connect a lot with the plot. Otherwise, I think this book was enjoyable for the most.

 

 

Captive Prince I Review #33

“It was like watching a man smile as he surrendered himself to drown in deep water.”

captive-prince

captive-prince

Title: Captive Prince

Author: C.S.Pacat

Pages: 289

Publisher: Berkley

 Official Synopsis

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

 

Review

I went into this book knowing only one thing and that being that this included some sort of slave trade that was at times sexual. I wasn’t very sure about this theme going into this book but it turned out to be a plot that was much deeper and well thought out than I had anticipated it to be. This book certainly didn’t have some sort of sex on every other page which was something I appreciated because that wouldn’t have left a lot of room for other plot lines!

I initially found it extremely hard to get into this book and for the first 50 pages or so I didn’t understand a lot of the things going on because of how the story began. There was a lot of info dumping but I guarantee that around the 50 page mark a lot of things picked up.

For one we got to explore a lot more into the two main character’s personalities as at the beginning they did come off as very generic and superficial. However as the plot continued to thicken so did the story surrounding the characters. Relationships between others developed and a lot more information was introduced and explained.

I think that the reason I gave this book a 3.5 stars instead of four was the writing style. Trust me – it’s clear that C.S.Pacat has a lot of experience and skill when it comes to writing but I feel like it just wasn’t for me.

Either way I think that the plot for the next book sounds extremely promising and the characters have certainly intrigued me enough to continue on with this series sometimes soon!