Friday, October 9, 2015

Finding Audrey by Sohphie Kinsella

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Anxiety Disorder, Family
Pages: 288
Type: Standalone
Published: June 2015
My Rating: 3.5
Synopsis: An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
My Review: 

This was the first ever book I read for my goodreads book club so I think this book will always have a special place in my heart. We read this book for September and I had a lot of fun!

Anyways, for the book itself.

I had a good time reading it. I was fairly unsure about what to expect since Sophie Kinsella has only ever written adult novels. I love those, no doubt, but what about YA? With these thoughts I went in and I have to say I wasn't very disappointed.

Kinsella used the same humor that she has always used. Fun and quirky. I liked the characters that she created since they were all unique in their own way. You can distinguish between them quite easily.

For example, you'd think that two gamers would be pretty much the same character wise. Like, Frank and Linus but no, they were poles apart. They were very different; Frank is kinda harsh while Linus is softer. Frank seems kinda immature but Linus seems very mature.

I did like who Audrey was in the story. She definitely grew a lot in the whole duration of the novel and I really appreciate that. I did think she was kinda annoying at times though. She seemed very selfish but she knew that she was selfish and she tried to correct it and that's awesome. I think that self-realization is very important in a person's growth and it played an overall major role not just in Audrey's life, but in her entire family's.

Now, for the things that I didn't particularly enjoy:

The overall idea that I think radiates from the book is confusion. I don't think Kinsella really knew what she was going to write about. The story was quite poorly developed because while reading I really didn't think that Kinsella knew the back story herself.

It seems like she had a big bomb planned and she was progressing towards it but she didn't really know what the bomb was yet. And then when the time came to reveal the big secret, she just didn't know what could fit and be dramatic enough for the story.

So the ending was obviously very unsatisfying. I was very meh about it.

Apart from this, I also felt that Kinsella really didn't have a lot to add to Audrey's situation so she kept throwing in Frank and the situation he and their mom were in. This topic I'm pretty sure went on for at least a quarter of the book. The story started with Frank and his problem and it ended with Frank to some extent.

It is extremely annoying as I'm here to read about Audrey, not about how Frank's computer is going to be thrown out of the window. Like, I get that he is comic relief, but the situation never really needed all that comic relief.

So yeah, overall, I did enjoy the book but these problems definitely stood out to me. I liked it, but I definitely don't think that this is Kinsella's best work. Read it if you would like a novel that is fluffy, but is potentially a sad story.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Laveder by Leslye Walton

Genre: A Fiction
Pages: 301
Type: Standalone
Published: March 2014
My Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth — deep down, I always did.

I was just a girl.


Going into this particular novel, I think I can confidently say that my expectations were like, pretty high. I'd heard people talk about how much they loved it, but I honestly had never watched or read any reviews on it and so I just didn't know what the book was all about. It's kind of funny how I had high expectations for a book that I knew nil about.

So... Were my expectations fulfilled? Yes, they were. Was I beyond satisfied in the end? Yes, I was. Did I devour it wholly and completely? Yes! I did.

This novel will tear you apart from page one. I promise you. It will suck you in and never want to let you go. Once you start, you have to reach the end. There is no way out. It is a one-way road, people.

I fell in love with just about everything in Ava Lavender's life. But. What stood out most prominently to me in this story was the writing style. It is extremely poetic. What could be written in five simple words, is stretched out to seven flowing words. The words and sentences and paragraphs just weave into each other and there they sit.

What someone would usually write:
A carpenter walked into the room.
What Walton would write:
The smell of wood and strength indicated the entrance of a carpenter.

By the way, that example is not from this book. It's just my interpretation. But you see what I'm trying to get across? Exactly.

Walton is a genius, if you ask me. I can't believe that this book is her debut! Also, before I forget, I L-O-V-E the title of this book. It's so nice and I don't know, I like long titles. Also, the cover is gorgeous!

I'm diverting now.

OK, talking about the story line. It's definitely very vague, not to mention, unique. What's been told to you is extremely minimal and puzzling. But as you go along with the story the puzzle pieces start fitting together and everything makes so much more sense! It was very unusual and just plain awesome. :)

I enjoyed the characters a lot. They had so much depth and definition to them, it kinda fried my brain. In a good way, though. :P

The book didn't just focus on Ava Lavender, it talked a lot about Ava' mother, Vivane and before that, Emilienne, her grandmother. I loved how it wasn't just your typical story. I also found the way the romance played out to be very interesting and realistic. Since the book didn't focus on romance heavily, and there isn't just one love interest, it proved to be quite a surprise at times. What is unexpected just happens and you don't know if it'll be alright.

Overall, I think that the book is phenomenal, I wish I'd picked it up earlier! If unusual, out-of-the-box books are your type, then definitely check this one out.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters

Pages: 250
Type: Standalone
First Published: 2003
My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship?


Alright. So I have no clue why it's taken me so long to put this post up, but it has. And ok, maybe I know why I haven't. Maybe just a little. ;)

Anyways, so I actually happened to listen to this book. I was in the mood for something LGBT and this seemed to pass the mark. I read it over the span of a couple weeks, and I have to say, I was quite the fan.

I enjoyed it very much! The story line was decent with a usual boy meets girl story, except the 'boy' was replaced by 'girl'. I enjoyed all the characters in the book; they were all unique in their own way. I loved who Holland was as a person and I understood her need to be who she really is and not someone who is a lie. I thought that Holland's character came out very strong and empowering yet at the same time she wasn't dominating.

I absolutely loved the devotion she had towards Cece. I think that love of any kind; be it straight or homosexual, is still love. And I 100% am never going to discriminate between homosexual people and straight people. I just think that humans are humans, no matter if you're poor or rich, if you're black or white, if you're gay or straight. To me what matters is the personality. The characteristics of the person. As they, don't judge a book by it cover. That saying is to live by. Seriously. It's amazing.

Anyway, I loved the writing style of Julie and how everything came together. Unfortunately, since this book was written, back when there was no number besides 0 in the tens section of 2000, I couldn't relate as much. I would give the book 5 on 5 for its content but since I'm reading it now, when being gay is much more accepted and in the open and legal, I can't relate as much.

Overall, I loved the book. It was a good read and I recommend it to anyone interested in reading some LGBT that isn't too heavy and nor is too light.