#BookReview Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I bought this book YEARS ago when I got my wisdom teeth out. Actually, my Mom bought it for me because I was drugged up from having my wisdom teeth out and there was a massive book sale. I gave her a list of books and she got them for me, and then this book sat on my shelf because I forgot I told my Mom to go buy me books when I got my wisdom teeth out.

So colour my cheery when I finally cleaned my bookshelf and there it was! I picked it up instantly, decided to ignore my upcoming exams, and settled down with this book. AND MAN I WAS SO STUPID FOR NOT READING IT SOONER BECAUSE I AM OBSESSED.

I am an adult now, but when I bought it I was a “Young Adult” reader. Some of the YA books just don’t sit with me as well now, but this book totally did. Cinderella, fairy tale, Star Wars-esque, cyborgs, science fiction, crazy evil overlords, and more! How could someone like me not love a book like this?!

My friends had given me horrible reviews of this book so I was very hesitant to pick it up, but when I took the dive I realized that I really shouldn’t have listened to them. I devoured this book in about two hours and I could NOT put it down. Marissa Meyer crafted an intriguing story that echoes our fave fairy tales and sci-fi movies, but also sits well on it’s own. Cinder is special but she doesn’t know why (like most YA novels, wink wink, nudge nudge). The Prince needs her help so she complies. Through helping him, trying to avoid a crazy super bug/infection and dealing with some major losses, she finds herself in a world of insanity.

This is a great read, but it leaves with an awful cliffhanger. I was so furious that the book ended the way it did because now I HAVE to pick up the next book in the series. Like, thanks a lot Marissa! But good on her, she did an excellent job crafting this book to the point that I seriously need the sequels. It won’t be okay if I don’t find these books on my book hunts soon.

To list some of the positives of this book, I have to say it really works well for young readers (maybe 8 and up, as a good book with their parents) but also sits amazingly well with adults. I didn’t feel like I was reading a purely YA novel, it felt like a fun fairy tale. I almost wish it wasn’t on the YA shelf in my local book store because it’s not strictly made for the YA audience, even though the narrative fits well with YA.

My negatives? Cliffhangers. I hate them, so they will always be my negative. Also, sometimes the story just felt like it happened at the right place, right time and just happened to work out in the character’s favor. It didn’t bug me at all in this book, but sometimes that trope grates on my nerves.

Overall, SO AMAZINGLY GOOD. Five out of five stars all around! This book really got me back into a reading binge, so thank you Marissa!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Canadian Retailer
Amazon.com

 

 

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#BookReview Virals by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs

 

What was I thinking putting this book off?! It has been sitting on my shelf for years and I never got the nerve to pick it up. That was probably one of my biggest book related mistakes!

Kathy & Brendan Reichs have a real hit on their hand! I have been reading the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs for years and I always wanted to get into Virals. Silly me bought the book and admired it for years, until I finally managed to dust it off and pull it into my reading pile. THANK GOODNESS because this book is a real gem and I need to binge this series. It’s just too freaking good to not read!

Now, before I get ahead of myself, readers must remember that this is a YA novel and not an “adult” novel like the Temperance Brennan series. There are fun story lines focusing around being a teenager, and people need to remember that this book was made for a younger audience. I love books like this, because I can get into the fun of a younger book. But, some readers won’t be expecting a “YA” novel – you should be!

Off to the races!!!

Tory Brennan is our lead (a distant, grand-niece of Temperance, if I am remembering correctly) and she’s just as smart as Tempe! She’s also sassy, barrels of fun, and gets in probably too much trouble in this book. She’s not a girly girl, she likes hanging with her guy friends and she likes being smart. Seriously, I relate way to much to this girl! Her gaggle of friends get into trouble on an island nearby, rescuing dogs, talking to monkeys and trying to solve murders. Typical teenage stuff, obviously.

I love that this group is smart and for the greater good. I also felt a twinge of “save the environment” themes going on. Mixing in all the fun and goofy scenarios the teens get into… I have to say I like this book. I also really love the terminology that’s used in the book. It’s not “dumb-ed” down and these kids know what they are talking about. Do they know too much? Maybe. Or they are just really smart kids.

What did I not like?
Mean girl subplots always annoy me because they are so common. I get this is a very typical trend, but I’d love it to see Tory have a girl friend who isn’t a total snob. Shockingly, there are some not snobby girls out in the real world! But, there has to be drama in this book so I totally get it. I remember in high school there were snobby girls all over the place too.

I also think that the introduction of fantasy was great, but it needed a little… more. There are more books in this series, so I’m assuming that the fantasy side will be explored more there. At least, I hope so! The little bits of fantasy just wasn’t enough for me! I want to know the ins and outs of it!

Overall, this book is lots of fun and super smart! I really enjoyed reading it and I couldn’t put it down! Books like these are why I love reading – I can whisk myself away into another world and just enjoy myself.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves YA with a fantasy twist, loves the Temperance Brennan series but wants a bit more “fun”, people who loved Bones (this SCREAMS the fun of Bones!) or if you just want a smart YA novel with fancy terminology (to teach yourself something new).

Five out of five stars!

Purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo (Canadian Retailer)

If you enjoyed this book, you might also enjoy these reviews:
#BookReview Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin

 

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#BookReview The Fourth Closet by Scott Cawthon

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The Fourth Closet by Scott Cawthon tied up some of the FNAF literature universe, but opened up a whole ‘nother can of worms.

I was a little too hooked to this book, but mainly because I am totally obsessed with the FNAF lore. The video games, the potential movie, the books! All of them are my guilty pleasure, which I will easily admit. But this book? It tops the other two. I found the first book to be intriguing, the second book to lag just a bit, and this book went flying off the handle to utter insanity! In a good way.

If you are going to take anything out of this book, it’s the strange way Scott is weaving and changing lore. The books don’t perfectly match up to the video games, but they will definitely spike your interest if you have played the games. There are easter eggs and references to so many different parts of the games that it’s almost hard to keep track of. Yet, it all works for perfectly well.

I found myself really hooked to this story and I didn’t want to put it down. It is fast paced and full of crazy twists and turns that you will need to read the first three books for. But, you could easily jump into this series if you haven’t played the games. Playing the games just makes the easter eggs in this book more fun!

If you don’t like sci-fi or thriller type books, this novel isn’t for you. The hype about the supernatural aspects of this book is unreal and goes beyond what I expected. The book is no longer just a silly YA novel, it’s full of technology and supernatural twists.

I found the ending… interesting. I’ll leave it at just that word, because the ending left me feeling like I had tons more questions coming out then going in. While I did get some answers and I thought the ending itself was a nice way to tie up the story, it really didn’t tie up the story that well. It made the story end, but it didn’t close the story as nicely as I wanted. So, maybe there will be another side series or another game or something that ties this storyline up. I hope, anyways.

Five out of five stars.

This was one of the few books I paid full price for. This whole series I was desperate to read, so lucky Scott Cawthon got my money on this one.

 

Check this book out on:

Goodreads

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Indigo/Chapters/Coles

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Check out another review by Briar’s Reviews that you might enjoy: #BookReview The Twisted Ones by Scott Cawthon

 

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And comment below – have you read any of the FNAF books? Do you play the games?

#BookReview Breathe, Annie, Breath by Miranda Kenneally

 

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is a great YA tale with a sporty focus.

I’m totally impressed that I finally found a book that centers around sports! It is quite a rare find for me, so I’m ridiculously pleased! As a former athlete, I absolutely love being able to locate a book that reflects my life. It’s always nice to know that there’s more books out there for us athletes. Throw in the fact that it’s also a YA novel and you’ve got me really interested! The YA crowd, specifically, needs some books that reflect their lives that they can sink their teeth into.

That being said, this book was not for me. I normally love a good YA but this one left me rather bored. It’s still a fabulous book and it’s fabulously written (so don’t get me wrong, I’m really impressed) but I was left rather bored. I may be moving away from the YA genre in general, or maybe this wasn’t the book I needed right now. Either way, my review reflects my opinion but believe me – this book is good even though I didn’t enjoy it.

This story follows Annie training for a marathon, and we find out about her complicated relationship history along the way. She works incredibly hard to make it towards her marathon, which is probably my favourite part of this book. Annie doesn’t give up easily and perseveres throughout the novel.

Additionally, this book carries a lot of emotion. There are some scenes that make you really feel for Annie and her situation. I liked how Miranda wrote those scenes and I applaud her for them.

My negatives for this book focus on Annie as a character. Like most YA novels, she seems to have most of life going for her. Yes, she does have some tragic parts of her life but she also gets things her way in the end. It’s a hard mix of struggle and perseverance that I felt just wasn’t met in this story. It just didn’t feel real or right for me.

Overall, I did enjoy the book but it wasn’t my favourite of the year. I think it’s a great addition to a teenager or young adult lovers bookshelf. If you’re looking for a book about sports and running with a good mix of YA drama, pick up this book!

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Check out the author, Miranda Kenneally, on:

http://mirandakenneally.com/

Twitter

Goodreads

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Comment below – have you read any YAs lately?

 

#BookReview An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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An Abundance of Katherines was an interesting book by John Green – it’s the perfect mix of YA and contemporary fiction in my mind. While it’s not his best book (in my opinion), it’s still a really intriguing read. John Green knows how to write a unique narrative and pull in the reader. Although, his books all tend to be different so you aren’t guaranteed to enjoy this book if you liked his other novels. He does an excellent job at changing genres and narratives, and making different stories every time he writes a book.

Colin isn’t the most likable protagonist, but that’s why I liked him. He wasn’t the typical YA character we fall in love with, he had his flaws. His friends were more likable, but to me it made him seem more real. We don’t all love ourselves the way we should, so sometimes the protagonist should be more “realistic”.

As for the plot, it’s has a smooth flow and doesn’t build very much. It’s more of a contemporary fiction piece that follows the characters throughout. There’s no major plot twists or devices that jumped out at me. Yet, this book still worked well in this context! With most authors, I would have given up with a plot like this, but somehow John kept me hooked. That takes a fair bit of talent!

The best part of this book is that it is full of epic quotes. John Green knows how to make quote worthy books that relate to teenagers and adults alike. I have found countless quotes that I can either relate to myself, my situation or my friends and family. That’s one of the major things this book has going for it!

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this as the first John Green book you read (unless you want to start off “weaker”). While I think it’s fantastic, it’s not the strongest book (in my opinion, yet again). Especially since this book is the type of novel that you either love or you hate (just look at all of the other reviews – it is split right down the middle). So, take a swing at this book once you’ve convinced yourself that John is truly remarkable through his other books first.

Five out of five stars – what can I say? I enjoyed it.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49750.An_Abundance_of_Katherines

Or purchase this book on Amazon: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: Young Adult July Reads Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

And check out my twitter for the most up-to-date antics about my blog! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

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This scientific dystopia is an excellent read for those who like apocalyptic stories!

The world is getting ready for the apocalypse, and Atom is at the center of it all. Him and the other teenage Genetic Systems must survive and help “restart” the earth when everyone is wiped out. Along the way, drama, romance and war ensues – all creating havoc upon the teens.

This book reminded me of a Young Adult novel – the drama and fighting definitely sat around a young adult audience level, in my opinion. I could easily see youth and adults enjoying this book. The plot itself was very reminiscent of many YA novels I’ve read – apocalypse, teenagers being the only ones who can save the world, and the YA romance tropes.

I did find the writing and conversations to be very simplistic. That doesn’t make the novel bad, but I’m a reader who likes complex words, not using “said” or the same words all the time, and lots of excitement. The writing style just didn’t match with my reading style! I feel like there is a lot of potential in this book, and maybe in a sequel (?? pretty please??) it could be enhanced to a much higher level.

I did like the plot itself – I think Aaron Denius Garcia put a unique and fun spin on it that made me want to continue reading this book. I was desperate to follow these characters (specifically Atom and Ev) to see where their adventure would go. Throwing in actual history was also a really cool part of this story, since it was looking at history from a different point of view. I also found the nuclear aspect to be extremely scary (due to the realism) in this fictional world. It did take me about half the book to get really into the story, but once I got there I was hooked and addicted. I absolutely HAD to finish this book!

I felt the book left off in a way that it could continue in some form, so I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book! I hope Aaron continues with this story because it has so much potential, it’s really fun and it has one epic story! Maybe one day a publisher will pick this book up and pimp it out to readers everywhere!

I’d highly recommend this book if you like sci-fi, apocalypse stories, young adult or just fun fiction! It’s a great book, even if it wasn’t the best book for me! I loved it and would definitely want to read more!

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

On a side note, I LOVE that Aaron signed my copy of the book AND spelled my name right! Authors (and anyone really… coworkers, family, etc) rarely spell my actual name right, and it made me so giddy!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.com – Gene. Sys.

Amazon.ca – Gene. Sys.

 

Find out more about Aaron Denius Garcia on:

Goodreads – Aaron Denius Garcia

http://www.genesysbook.com/

Twitter – @AaronDenius

 

If you read this review, comment below with your favourite YA dystopian novel!
And… give me a shout out on Twitter! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a novel I really should have read back in high school!

I found this book surprisingly fulfilling for me being an adult now reading about pre-teens. These stories are sweet and made me want to know more about these characters. I watched the movie years back, but this makes me want to watch it again for all the silly, girly feels (and I miss those ladies who starred in it <3).

The pants being a symbol in this story was a really honest yet fun take on passing the themes around in a book. I truly think it’s a smart way to make the symbol so obvious yet… not? I feel like as a pre-teen I wouldn’t have noticed the theme, but now as an adult it just warms me up!

Ann makes you love and feel for these girls in this book. It wasn’t the fastest moving story, but it still had me hooked at every word. I want to fall into these girls’s worlds and be best friends with them (or mentor them, at this point in my life).

I think this would be a great book for adults to read to their middle grade children, or introduce to their teens. It’s sweet and heartfelt – and it doesn’t bring you down. It lifts your spirits up, which is something we really need in this world.

If there are any cons about this book, it’s that it isn’t made for adults – if you are looking for an adult themed book, this isn’t it. It’s all about teenagers and their problems, in the minds of teenagers. It’s not an adult look at teens, in my opinion.

Overall, I’m in love with this series! I hope I’m able to find the rest of this series so I can fall into their lives once again.

Four out of five stars!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

Comment below – what is your favourite girl centered book?

Use the hashtag #BriarsReviews on Twitter if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

And finally, check out Ann Brashares on her website: http://annbrashares.com/