Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: SIX MONTHS LATER by Natalie D. Richards

Author: Natalie D. Richards
Publication date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: an ARC provided by the author for an honest review

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? 

And why can't she remember?


First line: I'm sitting next to the fire alarm, and my best friend is going down in flames. 

Apparently, I've been on a twisted book kick, gravitating more towards books that have a "figure me out" synopsis. I still started this one with trepidation, but there was no need, I didn't suddenly grow immune to twisting plots or mysteries. 

Imagine it's late May, junior year is ending, and you decide to take a quick nap in the library. What's the harm? Of course, you can see the harm when you wake up and it's snowing outside. Additionally, when you wake up, you suddenly realize that there's a lot that's happened in those six months. Oh, like, your best friend hates you, your parents think you're an amazing student, you're dating the guy you've had a crush on for forever, and you have this mysterious relationship with the "bad boy" in school. Bye, bye, sanity. 

The Good: 
  • The writing. Natalie Richards does a great job of conveying Chloe's panic without being over the top or annoying. I didn't feel as if the plot started veering off to a subplot, like romance, but I felt like Richards made Chloe realistic with her reactions.
  • The mystery. There were a few things I guessed at in the beginning, but for the majority of my questions, I was mainly left in the dark until the end. We're given a few answers to satisfy us, but enough mystery is left to keep us coming back for more. 
  • The flashbacks. When they're not overdone, I personally love flashbacks. As she's regaining her memory, and spending more time with Adam, she has flashbacks, showing her a little peek into the forgotten six months. They didn't overwhelm the story nor were they useless, making it exciting when she had another flash. 
  • Chloe. While I didn't fall in love with all the characters, I do have to give props to Chloe. She wasn't a whiny, annoying girl who makes your head throb, which can be the possibility in these kind of stories. She was resourceful and determined to uncover the truth, not being naive in who to trust as so many YA main characters typically do. I easily could imagine myself doing the same things to find out what happened to me in the last six months. 
The Meh: 
  • The romance. Right off the bat, I had a bad feeling about Blake, a feeling I think everyone who has read this book had. However, while I wanted to like and cheer for Adam, I couldn't. He was okay and definitely the better choice between the two, but did I like him? No. Did I hate him? No. He was meh. Personally, their whole romance was meh. While I really can't say anything more about either "love" interest, I do have to give at least one point in favor for Adam being the "bad boy" because that alone gives the possibility of swooning. Note: Anyone else think of the "I'd like it if he could be wicked, but wouldn't" Anne Shirley quote? 
  • Maggie. Another character I really wanted to like, but she fell too short for me to do so. Unfortunately, it's hard for me to explain why because that would involve me revealing spoilers. But I felt Maggie was unjustified in her actions and was too unforgiving considering the circumstances. 
Verdict: A suspenseful, keeps-you-guessing debut that didn't disappoint and it had a really amazing concept. 

Note: Blogger keeps messing up my fonts/spacing. Please excuse this. Does anyone know how to change the line spacing?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #21

Hosted by Pen to Paper
Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publication date: January 24, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray (HarperCollins)

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Why I want: 

1. I love fairytale retellings. You all know that. But with reoccurring Beauty and the Beast retellings, I love to read the new ones, finding which version I like best. Besides, Beauty and the Beast rocks. 

2. Assassin falls in love? Yes, please. She's been training to kill him and then she falls in loooove. Let the swooning commence.

3. That cover. 

What are you wishing for this Wednesday? 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Part I, first sentence: The air in the room tastes sterile. 

Imagine the rate of teen suicides exponentially increasing. The government frantically tries to tame it down by forcing teens to go through a special kind of therapy. This therapy wipes away your past. You know a few key things, but most of your past is declared "harmful" because, hey, you were sick. All of it had to contribute somehow, right? But before you get to that point, you have the hanging threat of being dragged away by handlers, foreboding men in white suits who keep an eye out every day. You have to do a checklist at school every day, asking if you feel lonely or if someone close to you has committed suicide. If that's not enough, you basically have to hide every negative feeling inside, big or small, and never ever have a rough day. Anything can get you flagged. 

Oh, your parents can't be trusted either because they'll sometimes always call The Program themselves to "make you feel better." You can't even stay mad at them for betraying you either because you'll come back with no knowledge of what happened, just that you were "sick" and now you're "better." 

After her brother Brady killed himself, Sloane and his best friend (also her boyfriend) James have supported each other, promising that they won't allow either of them to go into The Program or commit suicide. Usually if a couple acted all "you're my everything, I love you forever and ever, I can't live without you, be with me, etc." I would be wanting to spit at the book. However, this isn't a regular relationship in a regular setting. I hate codependant relationships, but there was a need for this one. Who else could they trust? Without the other one there, their horrible home lives, the lurking doom of The Program, and the rising depression, what do they have to live for? Oddly enough, while I appreciated their relationship, I wasn't the biggest fan of James. I liked him at points, but he definitely didn't woo me.

I wish I could say when everything really starts to unravel, but that would probably be considered a semi-spoiler. I was expecting it, but was still a bit surprised when it did happened. It's when you watch a show/movie and you know something will pop out or you know that the wrong person will walk in, but your heart still constricts when it does. 

Part II, first sentence: I slowly look to my side, my vision a bit blurry as I wake.

As expected, Sloane is put into The Program. There, we encounter many suspicions. We have creepy Roger, who I wanted to stab with a needle. Loony Tabitha, who I'm still confused about. The nurses and doctors, the typical bad people that seriously make me wonder how anybody can think that the bad thing they're doing is actually the right thing. Then Realm, the cute mysterious boy, who I can't say much about. 

I never once felt at peace while Sloane was in The Program (can I just say that I hate having to capitalize both of those words? The should not be capitalized!), which was the point. Some people might disagree, but I thought the story picked up while she was in there. She had to go through the horrible journey of losing her memory, but we also got flashbacks of her old life with James or Brody. Questions and danger surrounded her constantly.

Part III, first sentence: I had trouble sleeping the first night home. 

I can't say almost anything about the end, of course. However, I do have to say that the whole concept of losing your memory terrifies me. Not remembering key things when I'm older terrifies me, so how much worse would I feel at not remembering my own life as a teenager? Probably much worse. You don't remember who you are, what you did, or anything about yourself. The only thing you do have is what your parents and The Program tells you, which you can bet are lies. 

They mentioned it a couple times, but what I thought was aggravating was the fact that it seemed like more suicides were happening because of The Program. Teenagers didn't want their lives stripped away from them, understandably, so they would rather die instead. And the reason they get depressed is either because someone close to them lost their memory in The Program, someone close to them committed suicide rather than go into The Program, or depression is so hyped up by the government that they think they are infected. How do the officials not see that? Yes, I know this is fiction.

The ending is how I thought it would play out, but I'm not displeased that I guessed it. In the beginning, I wasn't crazy for the book. My expectations started to wither, but it gradually got better until I couldn't stop reading it. 

Verdict: A fantastic futuristic novel that made me think and be invested into the story.

Have you read it? What were your thoughts on it? And what do you think of your memory being wiped clean?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR List

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
I know already that I will forget quite a few so I apologize in advance. In no particular order:

Today is the day this lovely heart-wrenching book will be sent to my door. I'll be finishing it probably this weekend, but it still counts as being in the fall.

It's told in HIS perspective! I usually shy away from male POVs, but it's a whole different thing when it's from a male I already know and intrigued in and from a story I already know I like. Book, meet my hand. Hand, grab that book and don't let go. 

Definitely one of my most anticipated 2013 releases. It was also my friend Alice's and she really liked it, making me less nervous to completely disappointing my expectations. How can this NOT sound good? 

I was surprised to find how much I really liked its predecessor (you can see my review here). Of course, this is Disney-Hyperion we're talking about and so far they have been consistently awesome. I'm selective in reading others' reviews, but I have seen thumbs-up reviews on Tamara's sequel. 

I'm pretty sure I had this in my summer TBR list as well. There's a good reason though. I realized I needed to wait until its December publication date to review it and therefore, I needed to read it later as well. I really won't be able to resist this beauty any longer. 

My sister let someone else borrow this so I have to wait, but fall is long. Hopefully the girl is a fast reader. Technically, I could search this at my library and hope it's there. I have way too many other things to do though and I am so lazy. But look! Aristocracy! From what my sister has told me, this sounds amazing.

I have recently read many raving reviews on this one. A contemporary book about a snarky, relatable character fulfilling someone else's bucket list. Sign me up.

I really liked the first book and waited WAY too long to read it and join the Redwine fan club. I am determined to not repeat history with the sequel. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.

*shamefully looks away*
I know, I failed my summer TBR list. I promise I'll read it. Pinky swear.

I honestly haven't seen a single negative review on this. Whether it's a physical copy or audiobook, some of my favorite bloggers are in love with this "oldie." Not only that, but it has also made appearances on positive Top Ten Tuesday posts multiple times. I'm intrigued. 

What are some books that you want/are determined to read this fall?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gallagher Girl Appreciation: Love, Quotes, and GIFS

Anyone who has read my blog before would know that I am an Ally Carter fan. I can find an excuse to put Ally Carter's The Gallagher Girls (or Heist Society) in pretty much any Top Ten Tuesday list. I find a way to add this series in many bookish conversations or non-bookish conversations because really, who says there's a limitation?

I don't exactly remember how old I was when I found the first book while perusing my library's shelves. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (ITYILY) came out in 2006, but I possibly didn't read it until a while after. What caught my eye first was the boarding school uniform. Once that lured me in, I couldn't race to the check-out counter fast enough when I read the word spies. My childhood friend and neighbor and pretty much anyone who knew or knows me can attest to the fact that I think being a spy would be the coolest thing ever. We used to tail people around, but being so not covert (being more Liz than Cammie). Our favorite game was using walkie-talkies and hiding all around my yard, ducking behind trees whenever a car drove by. Simply, spies fascinated me and there was finally a form of entertainment that I could enjoy that was geared towards my age range. Hooray for YA!

If any of you haven't read this series, you need to and are such sad souls, I pity you. There are so many reasons/elements to this series as to why I enjoy it so much that I could never explain it all. But I did try and here's the resulting, condensed list.

  • The sisterhood. The Gallagher girls stick together and while they're not all "best friends," they have a bond that no one can replicate.
  • The ultimate group of friends. In the midst of the Gallagher Academy is the unique four girls with varying personality traits. I love the dynamic between Cammie, Liz, Bex, and Macey. I honestly think that's what most fans adore in this series. While there's mysteries, action, missions, and boys involved, the friendship between the girls truly stands out. 
  • The previously mentioned action. It's not fight, fight, fight all the time, but there's kicking and jabbing and spy-like moves that make me want to shout, "Girl power!" or something similar to that notion. 
  • The romance. HELLO THERE. In the first book, we had innocent Josh, who had the unique trait of actually noticing Cammie the Chameleon. Her first love, first romance, and they met during her first co-op mission, which is fitting. Of course, I always wondered if there was something dark about sweet Josh because I would so not be surprised considering this is Ally Carter we're talking about. Then we have mysterious Zach, who is so frustratingly cute and dark and...yeah, I was all, "Josh who?" when we met Zach. 
  • The emotions. When there are five books and you have read them multiple times, you tend to get very invested into the story and the characters. The fifth book does things to me. 
  • It's by Ally Carter.
A few favorite quotes from Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy and Out of Sight, Out of Time.
*Apparently, I forgot to mark quotes from the other books and I lent out the first book.*

"No, guys, we don't hate DeeDee," I said.
"Of course you can't hate her–that would be petty," Liz said in the manner of someone who had given it a great thought. "But we can totally hate her."
"What he hasn't seen," said Macey, positioning me in front of the mirror, "is casual Cammie." 
I felt like Barbie's less-than-perfect friend. 
Basically the all of page 203 in Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy because there's Zach AND Josh.
The Mother Superior, however, didn't seem very concerned about ancient terror organizations. She had the look of a woman who might tell ancient terror organizations to bring it on.
"Scoot," Zach told her, and Tina smiled, sliding down to make room for the two of us on the bench.
"You're too skinny," Liz said, a girl who I swear once bought a pair of pants that were a size double zero and had to have them taken in. 
Zach must have sensed it, because he moved his hand to the small of my back and rested it there. 
"Because death is the only thing that could have ever kept him from you." 
"Did you teach me how to kill?"
"No." He shook his head slowly. "You mastered those skills all on your own." 
"Goodbye, [name here]," I said, then climbed the stairs and went to the fifth floor to die. 
"We have you, Cammie," Bex said. "We have you."
My mom didn't say anything. Tears dripped off her face and onto mine as I stared up at the woman I wanted more than anything to become. 
"Do you hear the music, Mom?"
"No, sweetheart. No. I don't hear it." She shook her head. Terror and tears filled her eyes.
"He took me to the circus. And then he died."
And then I slept.
She didn't hesitate or slow; she just threw her arms around me and said, "You're alive." She squeezed tighter. "Thank God, you're alive." 
"You're here!"
"Funny, I was about to say the same about you."
"You don't get it, do you?" Macey threw her covers off and stepped barefoot across the floor. "We're not mad because you left." She practically spat the words. I wondered if Liz or Bex might wake up, but neither stirred. "We're mad because you didn't take us with you."
"You are back, Cam." Macey went into the bathroom and started to close the door. "Which means for the first time that you left, it's okay for us to be mad at you for leaving."

United We Spy, or what a Goodreads user more accurately called it United We Cry, will be out in America in two days. September 17th. Tuesday. I preordered it months ago, but when it comes to my door, I will be at work. You better believe that I will be devouring that thing right when I get home though. I think the concept of self-control and savoring it will not even be manageable or possible. To celebrate this last addition, here is a bunch of GIFs that describe my feelings more than I could ever express with words.

What I will be like on my way home Tuesday:
I know, Mom. I will be perfectly safe.
When I get the book in my possession:

How I hope my crying will be like, especially on my break at work:

How my crying/emotional state will really be like:
I do not drink or support being drunk, especially since I'm 17.
However, this is really appropriate since it has a work desk and all.
Really, this will probably be me to a T.
I emotional eat. It's a problem.
When I read the very last word and the talked-about graduation speech:

When I try to write a review and move on with my life:

So now we wait. I've reread the series, squealed about it and about the ever-decreasing wait time with Emily on Twitter, and now have made this somewhat therapeutic post. I'm as ready as I'll ever be. The only two problems left to solve are: 1. Will I really like her next series as much or as much as Heist Society? and 2. Who will I shove my United We Spy copy at to borrow since all of my friends in person are too busy as well as my sisters? It'll be great squealing with all the internet people, but it always feels great to actually hand a person the book to borrow. 

Have you felt this way about a series before? Are you excited about the sixth, and last, installment of The Gallagher Girls

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Into Movies

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
In a perfect world where books turning into movies are actually done right, I have a running list of books and series that I would love to see on the big screen. I even talked about this subject in a discussion post. The following list will mostly contain books that might not actually be suited for the big screen, but the fan inside of me would love to see it played out besides inside my head. In no particular order:

Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
All I have to say is: Duh. Actually, no, I have more. Can't you imagine seeing one of the best group of friends trading lines back and forth in front of your eyes? Seeing all the cool spy moves that you read about in the books? The mansion? The characters? THE ROMANCE? 

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
"But there already is a Princess Diaries movie out!" No. I love Anne Hathaway and I like that movie, but that is not a true representation of Meg Cabot's series. I would like a REAL version to be made with Tina and Boris in it, all the Michael scenes, and her father, who is actually alive. While I love Julie Andrews, they need to show the true, tough grandmother as well (also, sorry, Joe, but Lars needs to exist as well). They don't have to play out all ten movies although it would benefit everyone, but they better show every single scene of the last book. 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Perfect weepy movie. The book is emotional enough, but what if we could see Mia and Adam in the tough scenes? Or the flashbacks of her family? Not a dry eye in the room would be found and Hollywood aims for that. 

Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi
I imagine this one would be hard, but Hollywood has done harder. This is the fangirl inside of me demanding to see Roar on screen. Perry, too, but I have my priorities.

Airhead by Meg Cabot
A regular girl who takes over a model's body...I'm pretty sure Disney has made similar movies so I don't think it would be out of this world for Hollywood to produce a well-done movie version of this. Just no Disney Channel. Please, no. 

Parallel by Lauren Miller
I just reviewed this one and if you haven't read my review, either go read it now or just know that I loved it. Book concussion and all the works. If this was in movie form, I think it's safe to say that nearly the whole population's mind would be blown by Miller's plot (at least, mine would even though I already read the book because the story is that good and it'd be fantastic to actually watch it). Besides, I read Miller's bio and she said she writes scripts. Maybe she could have more say than normal authors do! 

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Same reasons for the Gallagher Girls. Thieves, a lovable group of people I long to actually visualize, and Hale. I want to see the cons played out! 

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Again, I think Disney has danced around this idea as well. Girl goes instantly popular is a common storyline. However, Benway does it wonderfully and her version would not be the same. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My heart grieves for the bad movies being made instead of the good ones.
What movie audience doesn't like fairytale retellings? Seriously, all the movies being made these days seem to be retellings of some sort. (I personally can't wait for Magnificent and the new Cinderella to come out.) So just add some awesome elements such as Iko, a futuristic/dystopian world, a cyborg protagonist, and all of Meyer's wonderful world building and the box office will be a hit!

The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
Massive fangirling would ensue if this hit theaters. Girl disguises herself as a boy, becomes a knight, befriends cute guys which includes a thief and a prince, meets many awesome characters, and there's magic. Why hasn't this been made yet? In a perfect movie world, this would be my dream come true. In reality, I think I would be too scared to be excited for it. Maybe. 

Honorable mentions: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine to be done right, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is down here because it IS being made into a movie, Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi but who knows how they'd do that since she's mostly alone, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers even though they might make it dirtier, Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine, the rest of the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, any Sarah Dessen would be cool, Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen even though there's lots of narrative, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell...I should probably stop.

What books would you love to see on the big screen? Do we share some favorites?

Monday, September 9, 2013


After changing my commenting system to Disqus, I started having multiple problems. Therefore, I deleted Disqus. Unfortunately, it also deleted ALL published comments on Disqus. Of course, I now have a few choice words for Disqus, my blog, and even myself.

You can comment again and I promise it won't be deleted now. If you go back to see a reply on one of the latest posts, my apologies.

Now, if you will excuse me, I will go mourn for all the nice comments that I have received in the past couple weeks.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review: PARALLEL by Lauren Miller

Title: Parallel
Author: Lauren Miller
Publication date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARCycling

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.


First line: I hesitate, then point my gun at him and pull the trigger.

Thank you, Lauren Miller. And ARCycling. And HarperTeen. I could go on with so many thanks and it would be totally plausible to do so because I absolutely loved this book. I had been on a good roll with books lately and was terrified of ruining things when it came to reading this. Multiple things could go wrong, my mind told me. Too confusing, too boring, too scientific, too whiny, too unlikable of the protagonist or not being able to connect with analyzing was clearly getting worse since I was being this way before I even opened the book. Thankfully, this proved my worries wrong then blew any expectations out of the way, and for good measure, sunk me into a book concussion. 

Note: Book concussion: state of being. Not as overwhelming as a book coma or book hangover, but still renders your reading and reviewing senses after finishing a fantastic book. You know you were affected by a book, and loved reading it, when you feel this sensation. 

The writing wasn't a work of genius that would make people think think, "This is so eloquent and full of depth." But I felt the emotion and most importantly, I connected. Hurrah! I felt like I was immediately invested into Abby and her life. I cared. I wondered. I sympathized. It was wonderful. 

While Abby, the main character, might annoy some people with her tendency to control and orchestrate all her surroundings, I understood. I have, ahem, the tendency to control, I admit it. When I see something that should happen, I either panic or get very determined and I decide it HAS to be done. Now...or even better, five minutes ago. So I understood. I also empathized with her and how she hates that one factor completely snowballed into a life she didn't want or plan for. She made excuses for a lot of things, but I think that's normal teen (or human) behavior. I wanted to give her a hug or at least a fist in the air of solidarity, showing her that she is definitely not alone in that. 

The main theme in the book surrounds destiny. It's said in the beginning that you can take different paths, but you will still have the same destiny. Different journey, same destination. Now, I won't even try to explain the plot. I had a semi-hard time keeping up in the beginning, but no worries, it's completely addicting so you won't care. Basically...okay, no, I really can't explain anything. 

There were many things I loved about this book, but there were a few key things that popped out to me. 

  • How Miller weaved everything together. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, conflicts Abby had was the fact that anything her parallel past self did, it would change her parallel present self suffered from it. A stupid walk on a construction site, an alarm going off late, butting in, all changes something later on and Abby has to quickly catch up because she's the only one that's lost and utterly confused. Not only that, but I figured out that any character Miller writes in is not for pure fluff, they really matter. The ones with names really have a part into Abby's story and I loved that. 
  • I thought a lot...and enjoyed doing so. Sometimes too much thinking can make me a little annoyed with a story, but I appreciated that I did in this one. I'm not just talking about the complicated parallel universe, but the lesson beneath it all. I wondered what choices I make throughout the day, which might seem insignificant to the big picture, can affect my life. Of course, I probably shouldn't put on any unnecessary pressure when it comes to decisions considering I suck at deciding things. Added points for Miller also pulling off all the scientific/physics stuff without being boring.
  • The narrative. I mentioned this above, but I really loved the narrative. Narratives, especially in first person, are so important in a book. Ms. Miller, you rocked it for me. 

With that, I did have a few negatives. 
  • The ending. OH MY GOSH WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? Picture this. I promised myself that I would go to bed no later than 11pm to train myself for work and school. I reached a good stopping place and put the book down. Then made several trips to go get it, constantly talking myself out of bringing it to my bedroom. Fast forward: I stayed up until 1am finishing it. I reached the end...then stared at the page slack-jawed. Some people might say that she ended it perfectly. I am not other people. I wanted to throw the book across the room. Note: Upon further review, I am 50/50 on whether or not the ending could be classified as a negative. I hated it, but it necessarily wasn't a bad thing. 

    The ending.
  • I can't go into this too much, but I wished she showed more of Josh. He was a critical part in her life (which I guessed, but didn't fully realize at first). I loved him and all, but I felt like something was missing for me to really love him as I read. 
  • Along with destiny, one of the main struggles in this alternate universe dilemma was who Abby would end up with. Who was her soul mate? Bleh. I don't believe in soul mates. Blame it on my upbringing, my senior pastor, or my realistic, analytical side. I know the term "soul mate" is very common in fiction, especially YA. However, I always roll my eyes when they play that card in books. I believe that certain people are more right for each other than another person might be. I believe my parents are meant to be together, but they do not "complete" each other. I won't continue preaching on how I feel about the subject. Just know that this element of the story made my eyes roll. 
Finally, I needed explanations. 
  • Tyler. What happened to him? After parallel past Abby kept messing up the past, I really felt bad for Tyler. He went from key character to...why is he here again? I wanted to know more! SPOILER Did the ending suggest that he and Caitlyn got back together since Abby switched back to reality? I'm confused! END OF SPOILER. 
  • Caitlyn and her relationship status. The spoiler really connects with Caitlyn as well and I'm just confused. However, I did like her role as a best friend throughout all this. Points for her!
  • Everything. 'Nuff said.
My sister said she thought she heard there was a sequel coming out. I don't see how that's possible with the ending. I mean, I guess it could be possible and it would help some, but a whole book? Anybody else heard of that? 

Mainly, I loved how Miller made me completely enthralled. Bravo. 

Verdict: A captivating story that just blew my mind. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #20

Hosted by Pen to Paper
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publication date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Point

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Why I want: 

This concept has been done before, but I don't think Eulberg will be doing it in the same way. I think I'm already in love with the story and I haven't even read it. The idea of two people from opposite genders can be just friends best friends is something I am enthralled with. Of course, I can see this going two ways: 
  • Actually leaving their friendship platonic, but making me ship them together SO MUCH.
  • Pushing their friendship into romance and predictability and making me mourn for the potential of the story. 
Anyways, I really can't wait to read this one. Also, the cover is cute. Who doesn't love swings?

What are you wishing for this Wednesday?