26. February 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Fiction, Kristy, Teen Books · Tags:

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven , 388 pages, read by Kristy, on 02/06/2015

18460392I decided to read “All the Bright Places” because I had heard from several people that it is just like “The Fault in our Stars.” And I love “The Fault in our Stars”! I can see how people relate the two: “The Fault in our Stars” is about the struggles of two teens with a physical illness, and “All the Bright Places” is about the struggles of two teens who have emotional issues.

“All the Bright Places” is well written and brings up important issues like bullying, suicide, and bi-polar disorder. Despite this, I just didn’t get into the book the way I had expected to. It was a slow read for me. But I can tell that the author had a lot of enthusiasm for this story and her characters, which I can admire. I liked the author’s note at the end, describing Niven’s personal experiences with mental illness and suicide.

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kristy, Paranormal, Romance, Teen Books

The Young Elites by Marie Lu, 355 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/29/2015

TheYoungElites.jpgAfter the blood fever, an often deadly sickness, spreads through the land, many infected died a painful death. The ones who don’t die are left with peculiar markings. Some of the survivors develop magical powers, including the protagonist of the novel, Adelina Amouteru.  When Adelina escapes from her cruel father, she finds herself in the midst of the Young Elites, a group of magical youth who seek to take the throne.

The Young Elites is a dark, sexy young adult novel that never has a dull moment. I loved watching Adelina develop her dark powers and her relationship with Enzo (the leader of the young elites).

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Kristy, NonFiction, Self Help · Tags:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō, 213 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/20/2015

22318578In an attempt to de-clutter my home for the new year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Though there were some tips that I found unnecessary (fold you socks like a sushi roll!), I did take to heart a handful of Marie Kondo’s tricks. She advises that people clean by category (first clothes, then paperwork, then miscellaneous, etc) which is actually easier than room by room. She also advises to only keeping items that spark joy in you. Her process has led to me getting rid of about 1/3 of my possessions, and my house feels much more peaceful. It’s definitely worth a read if you wish to organize your closets and your life in general.

03. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Kristy, NonFiction · Tags:

Haunted Air: Anonymous Halloween photographs from c. 1875–1955 by Ossian Brown, 216 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/14/2015

9462270Haunted Air is a book that displays a wide array of old Halloween photos from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. These photos are both creepy and entertaining! It’s fascinating to see how children (and impoverished adults) dressed up for Halloween all those years ago.

Down Size: 12 Truths for Turning Pants-Splitting Frustration into Pants-Fitting SuccessWritten by Ted Spiker, author of several health books, Down Size is a book about the “twelve truths about successful weight loss.” I did find some of these truths to be useful, but Ted’s constant self deprecating humor left me feeling uncomfortable. Down Size seemed geared more toward overweight men with a competitive streak. Since I am not a man and I’m not into competitive physical activities, I didn’t glean as much valuable information from this book as I had hoped.

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Kristy, NonFiction

I work at a public library: a collection of crazy stories from the stacks by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Kristy, on 12/31/2014

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, Sheridan showcases the oddities that have come across her circulation desk: encounters with local eccentrics; bizarre reference requests; and heart-warming stories of patrons who roam the stacks every day.

(goodreads.com)

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kristy

El Deafo by Cece Bell, 233 pages, read by Kristy, on 12/23/2014

20701984Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

(goodreads.com)

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books

Legend by Marie Lu, 305 pages, read by Kristy, on 12/21/2014

9275658What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

(goodreads.com)

02. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Specials by Scott Westerfeld , 384 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/28/2014

24765I greatly enjoyed the last book in the Uglies Trilogy. I love how Tally transforms in each book, and seeing her as a fierce and beautiful Special was intriguing. The end of the book wrapped up the series quite nicely. I can’t believe I waited so long to read these books! They are definitely one of my favorite dystopian series to date.

26. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Kristy · Tags: ,

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen , 290 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/20/2014

ChompI had a blast reading Chomp. I picked it up on a whim without knowing anything about the book, and I’m glad I did! Wahoo Cray and his family are quite abnormal. Mickey Cray, Wahoo’s father, is a professional animal wrangler, and Wahoo is obviously an animal charmer just like his father. When Mickey is injured, they Cray family goes into serious debt. To alleviate this debt, Mickey and Wahoo accept a job working for Expedition Survival, a phoney survival show.  Derek Badger, the spoiled, doltish star of the show, keeps Mickey and Wahoo busy with his idiotic stunts and crazy antics.

I loved all of the personalities in this book. The characters, especially Mickey Cray, were well developed. Chomp had both deep and humorous moments, and it was a quick and delightful read.

13. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kristy

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 4 by Konami Kanata, 152 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/13/2014

In this volume of Chi’s adventures, Chi moves to a new home. At first she isn’t thrilled with the place, but she slowly warms up to the idea. Chi meets fellow animals in her apartment complex, and I can foresee that these animals will play a big role in some of her next adventures.

Like the last books, Chi’s Sweet Home Volume 4 was fun, simple, and delightful. These books always put me in a good mood!

08. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The One by Kiera Cass, 323 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/08/2014

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I’m not sure why I went ahead and read The One since I thoroughly disliked The Elite. It was a bad choice. The One is basically a repeat of books one and two of this series. America is still unsure about her relationship with the prince, the castle is still constantly attacked by rebels, and character development is still awkward and stilted. This series was such a bore/snore/waste of my time!

06. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

The Elite by Kiera Cass, 336 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/05/2014

16248068While the Selection was fun and fluffy and romantic, The Elite was just annoying. America is one of the few Selected left, and she is trying to figure out whether she would be a good princess. She goes back and forth about this and about her love for both Prince Maxon and Aspen roughly a billion times. If one doesn’t give her attention, she gets huffy and falls into the arms of the other. She is wishy washy about pretty much everything. The plot was slow and boring, and nothing really happened except a few of the Selected got booted. Her rotten attitude in this novel made me very much dislike America.

03. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Children's Books, Fiction, Kristy

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 3 by Kanata Konami, 152 pages, read by Kristy, on 10/25/2014

7639935Chi’s new friend, Kuro the bear-cat, teaches Chi how to act more like a cat and less like a human. They go on many adventures together, catching the landlord’s attention. They nearly get captured multiple times. Sadly, Kuro is eventually caught by the landlord and he and his owner are forced to move away. Chi’s family decides to move as well in order to keep Chi with them.

03. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Kristy

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 2 by Kanata Konami, 160 pages, read by Kristy, on 10/22/2014

7338279In the second volume of Chi’s Sweet Home, Chi begins broadening her world. Chi’s rambunctiousness nearly gets the Yamada family caught for keeping a kitten in a no-cat apartment, and Chi makes a friend with a large, bear-like cat.

03. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kristy

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 1 by Kanata Konami, 168 pages, read by Kristy, on 10/21/2014

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 1Chi’s Sweet Home is easily the cutest thing I’ve ever read. Chi, a tiny kitten, gets lost from her mother and siblings, and is found and taken in by a small family- The Yamadas. The Yamada family is comprised of a mom, a dad, and little boy named Yohei. Yohei and Chi have an instant connection, and the Yamada family keeps Chi despite living in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets.

Though Chi initially misses her cat family, she slowly forgets about them and learns to love her new home and family. Chi is constantly getting into trouble, both exhausting and amusing her new family.

The cuteness and humor of this little graphic novel is overwhelming and amazing. Love it.

03. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Award Winner, Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, 448 pages, read by Kristy, on 10/31/2014

Uglies follows the story of Tally, a youth who lives in a dystopian world where everyone turns “pretty” when they reach age 16. This extreme plastic surgery changes people from normal to beautiful, but at a terrible cost. At first Tally both craves and embraces her society and the opportunity to become pretty, but she learns how corrupt the government is. Tally decides to defy her society, which opens up a new world of friendships, romance, and unexpected tragedies.

Uglies is the first book in the Uglies trilogy, and it brings up many themes ranging from corrupt governments to self acceptance.

I found this novel to be thought provoking, but perhaps not particularly believable. I’m excited to learn how Tally faces her mounting challenges in book 2.

02. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Graphic Book, Humor, Kristy, Memoirs, NonFiction

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, 200 pages, read by Kristy, on 09/29/2014

SistersWhile I think I liked “Smile” a tad better, I had a blast reading “Sisters.” I love how Raina’s graphic novels are so humorous but realistic at the same time. I can relate to many of the situations her characters encounter.

The tidbits of the the past added to this novel helped me to understand the

​unique ​

relationship that the sisters have. It also showed the struggles of the parents trying to raise 3 children in a tiny apartment.

Cute little novel. Can’t wait for the next!​

 

01. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Teen Books

The Selection by Kiera Cass , 336 pages, read by Kristy, on 09/25/2014

While this book was by no means a literary masterpiece, it was nice and fluffy and a fun read in general. The main character gets drafted to be one of the 35 selected girls from across the country to compete for the prince’s hand. However, she is in no way interested in the prince because she has a love back home. The Selection felt rather Hunger Games-ish without the bloodshed and with lots of estrogen.

If you’re looking for a book with substance, turn away. But if you want an easy, fluff-filled read with lots of romance, this is the book for you.

03. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Kristy, Romance, Teen Books · Tags:

Matched by Ally Condie, 369 pages, read by Kristy, on 08/30/2014

Matched, the first book the the Matched series, concerns a futuristic society where the government (“The Society”) controls nearly every aspect of human lives. Cassia never questions this way of life until her Matching goes awry. Cassia slowly begins to question everything, which gets negative attention from The Society and completely changes her perception of the world.

While this book was well written, I found Cassia’s constant thought stream to be a bit boring and redundant. I would have enjoyed if more action was added and if more characters were fleshed out. 

On the plus side, I love the covers of the books in this series. The cover was what drew me into the book in the first place.