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suchanovelidea

Such A Novel Idea

Attachments

Attachments - Rainbow Rowell This book was super adorable. This is definitely one of my favorite audiobooks thus far.

My Last Kiss

My Last Kiss - Bethany Neal I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.


3.5/5 stars

I love the cover of this book, because I feel like it properly emotes the right kind of message. The book is very fractured -- as is Cassidy's after life. It's very jolting for her to be dead, but still among the living. One moment she is in the present, and the next, she's swept away in a fragmented memory of the past.

I also loved that Cassidy had no idea what had happened to her -- that she had to relearn the past few weeks of her life. And in doing such, she had to learn about her friends and family in ways she never knew or understood when she was alive.

I've read a book about a girl who comes back as a ghost and can only see and interact with a boy who died a few months before her. I've read a book about a girl who can only be seen by a boy that never met her in life. I've read a book about a girl who is never really seen, but experiences life with those who knew her. I've read a lot of books about dead people, from the POV of the person who died. This book was different, because her boyfriend was the only person who could see her. I was happy this book was able to stand out in a crowd of ghosts that could be seen. I loved the vivid descriptions of what happened to her when she touched something other than Ethan. I also liked that this wasn't focused on their relationship, but on figuring out the truth of why she died and why she was still there. While other parts of the story seemed cliche and high school, this is where the book excelled.

The very first chapter of the book is Cassidy & Ethan's first kiss. You are thrown in the middle of everything and if you don't read the synopsis, you'd think this was a contemporary romance. However, the first chapter comes and rips all that away. Cassidy is killed in a horribly tragic way - by being pushed over the edge of an old bridge on the night of her birthday party.

It took me a few chapters to really get my bearings and see where we are in the story and what was happening. I kept having to flip back and re-read, because things are moving so quickly. However, once I understood the pattern, things seemed to slow down and make sense.

The morgue scenes were both disturbing and fascinating. I can't imagine watching a doctor cut my dead body open. It was such a raw and emotional scene, and while insignificant to the story on a whole, I thought it was an interesting addition to the book.

This book was lovely, haunting, messy, confusing, heartbreaking, and suspenseful! It is a very quick read and the mystery of it all kept me going. Honestly, I love how it all ended -- and the ending definitely left me pondering life, love, death, and what happens next.



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First Impressions

3.5/5 stars

An enjoyable mystery that left me thinking about life, death, all that is in between, and all that comes after.

Review soon!

Prejudice Meets Pride

Prejudice Meets Pride - Rachael Anderson I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ahh, I love books like this! If I could sum this book up in one sentence it would be: This book was an adorably clean romance that gave me lots of laughs. I am kind of a sucker for Pride & Prejudice remakes, so I usually venture into adult fiction when I find one. And I especially loved this one, because it was well-written and wasn’t full of sex.

The cover is beyond adorable and the synopsis was pretty endearing, so I think I would have been interested even if it wasn’t a P&P retelling. However, that just sealed the deal for me.

So the story is this: Emma is helping her brother take care of her nieces after his wife is killed. She gives up a dream job and moves to Colorado Springs. It’s very Raising Helen. So, she gives up her life and has to deal with the fact that she is now ‘mom’ to two little girls. She doesn’t like relying on anyone, but now that the circumstances have changed dramatically, her pride hinges on the lives of more than just her.

Enter Kevin, the swoon worthy neighbor. Kevin seemed like an ass in the beginning, but he wasn’t. He was rather adorable and Kevin + Emma just made my heart flutter. They were an amazing, well-rounded couple, that I really enjoyed reading.

The characters in this book were so well executed. Even the minor characters had a personality that jumped off the page — you won’t get flat anything in this book. The writing was tight and well done, and it made the book fly by. The pacing was also well done and I never got bogged down.

Overall, I just can’t wait to see where this series goes from here.

For this review & more, visit Such a Novel Idea.

Girl Lost

Girl Lost - Nazarea Andrews I received a copy of this book via the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book both fascinated and frustrated me. Most new adult books seem to have the same ‘pattern’ to them — two messed up people fall for each other, one dates another person to distract themselves, they finally get together, something happens, etc. It got kind of boring after awhile, so I stopped reading the genre all together. However, when I saw this book A) I flipped out over that gorgeous cover. I mean, COME ON. Plus, I’m 95% sure to pick up any book with stars on the cover, so that helped. And B) The idea of a Peter Pan retelling from a NA book just sounded interesting. How would that work?

Well, it worked fabulously. The weaving of the retelling into this story was done really well. I enjoyed ‘meeting’ all the characters from the original story — I loved that our main character was Gwen (Gwendolyn Barrie), keeping the Wendy vibe, but still changing it up a bit. I loved that she met the ‘Boy’ as a child, but didn’t have a name for him beyond ‘Boy’ so when she meets Peter, it isn’t trite and overdone. Everything about the retelling was done perfectly, down to her brother Micah (Michael), her room mate Orchid (aka Tigerlily), and James (who I imagined as a swoony captain Hook from OUAT). Tinkerbell aka Belle Evans made an appearance and even the lost boys. It was just like reading in a dreamy, whimsical state, where I was floating between reality and fantasy. I loved it.

What I didn’t love was the end. The very last scene was perfect, it was a great place to finish the book. However, the scenes leading up to the memory seemed abrupt and unfinished. I am hoping that this author plans to write more, because if not, I have far too many questions to be done with this story. I think with a little more explanation, this could have been a satisfying stand-alone, but without that I’ll always wonder.

Another issue I had was some 'jumps' in the story without explanation -- like how James came into their lives. It was one coffee meeting and suddenly he is together with her room mate. I think these jumps jolted me out of the story more than anything, so some smoothing in the background information could have easily overcome this.

The NA part of the book was just like every other NA I’ve read. What really made it was the fantasy retelling weaved throughout the story. And going through Gwen’s ‘madness’ and ascent into sanity was done well. It was hard rating this book, because it did keep my attention and the story was well written, but in the end, without the retelling, it was another NA complicated love story. That’s not really the fault of this book, or this author, just my wish that this genre would begin to branch out. And the first step is doing things like this book did with the Peter Pan retelling. It was a bold move, and in the end, I think Andrews really pulled it off.

For this review and more, visit Such a Novel Idea.

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First Impressions

This was an interesting spin on a classic tale. It's the first New Adult retelling I've read and while it had a lot of the same characteristics we see in a typical NA, there was something whimsical about this book that help my attention.

The end was pretty abrupt and makes me think there will be a sequel. Full review to come!

If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur

If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur - Linda Bailey I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This was a really well-done, sweet book. It made me and my children laugh out loud several times.

The premise is what to do if you have a dinosaur in your living room. And the results are hilarious. Half-way through the book my five year old told me, "Yeah, we need a dinosaur for real."

The illustrations are well done, visually stunning and full of details. We had a lot of fun picking out all the little things drawn in the pictures.

This book was the perfect read-along for my five and seven year old and is one we will be investing in for our personal collection.

The Wizard of Oz FAQ, All That's Left To Know About Life According to Oz

The Wizard of Oz FAQ, All That's Left To Know About Life According to Oz - David J Hogan I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

I am a huge Wizard of Oz fan -- of both the book and movie. Anytime I can get my hands on something related to the world of Oz, I'm going to do it -- so naturally I picked this book up from Netgalley when I had the chance.

Overall, it was a very informative, introspective on everything and anything related to Wizard of Oz. It covered a wide array of topics and was set up much like a textbook would be. I found a lot of useful information, including what scenes were shot and never made it to the final film, disproved rumors (NO, there wasn't a suicide on set), etc.

Some of the commentary is a bit awkward and heavy-handed, but overall the book was a gem of Wizard of Oz resources. Any history or film buff will appreciate the great detail that went into this book. I don't like the title, but the cover and subsequent illustrations and photographs were priceless.

Pigs

Pigs - Robert N. Munsch,  Michael Martchenko (Illustrator) I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It in no way affects my opinion.

I am a fan of Robert Munsch, so I was pretty excited when Netgalley had this for download.

However, I was not very impressed with the book. It is very short and its story was not very entertaining. The book seemed a bit haphazardly put together and even for a children's book, could have used a little more development.

It also uses the phrase "dumb pigs", which was trying to prove the point that the pigs were smart, but wasn't something I was comfortable reading with my children. My daughter (5) even said, "Mommy, that is not very nice!"

No Such Thing

No Such Thing - Ella Bailey This was an adorable book that both my children and I loved.

Review closer to release date!

Can I Tell You about Autism?: A Guide for Friends, Family and Professionals

Can I Tell You about Autism?: A Guide for Friends, Family and Professionals - Jude Welton, Jane Telford I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

I downloaded this book, because of my son's diagnosis of autism. I have been looking for a book I could share with my five year old daughter to help explain what it is my son goes through on a daily basis.

This book definitely hit the high points and did it in a great way -- on one page we get a line drawing with a short illustrated comment on how "Tom" is feeling with the situation. On another we get a bit more in depth. I think this will appeal to many different age groups this way.

I thought the book could have been packaged better -- the drawings and the cover were simplistic and probably wouldn't sell as easily as a sleekly illustrated and designed book would. However, this is definitely a great resource for parents to share with siblings or friends of children with autism. Therapists and teachers (especially those who do inclusion) could also use this as a valuable resource.

Buzz Books 2014: Young Adult

Buzz Books 2014: Young Adult - Publishers Lunch I've never read a Buzz Books, but I was interested, because it had several excerpts from books I wanted to read (like TALON!) It was definitely a good decision, because I got a taste of several books I know now I want to read:

Talon by Julie Kagawa (duh!)
Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Rumble by Ellen Hopkins
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld


So much awesome packed into such a little e-book! And a few of them actually had invitations to d/l the book from Netgalley, so of course, that rocked.

Thank you Netgalley & Publishers Lunch for these exclusive excerpts.

One Past Midnight

One Past Midnight - Jessica Shirvington 4.5/5 stars

This book was incredible! Review closer to US release date in July.

Deep Blue

Deep Blue - Jennifer Donnelly I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I'm not ashamed to admit my instinct for wanting to read this book was because of the gorgeous cover. When I first saw it, I *knew* I had to read it. Not because it was mermaids, or underwater, or there is underwater cities on fire (seriously though, that part IS intriguing), but because of the gorgeous colors and the effortless look of her dress. I swear, I'm forever picking out books without reading synopsis.

When I got the chance to read and review the book, it was hard not to pick it up right away. However, once I did, I put it down a couple of times. Why? Well, it wasn't because it was bad, but due to information overload. I swear, I needed a separate dictionary just to understand what half of the book meant. I understand that it is creating a whole new world, but half the time I didn't know if it was something I could look up for context or if it was made up by the author. And that was very, very distracting, not to mention that I missed half of what was going on.

But once I got into the book, I really enjoyed it. I actually read most of it by (and in) the pool. It just felt right to read a mermaid book in the water (I did the same with Of Triton last summer!) and put me in the right context for the story.

The one thing I will say is this book is slated in the children's section rather than YA and I think that says a bit about the story. At first I kept thinking, "Ugh, this is a bit immature", but when I got in the mindset of whether a tween or younger YA reader, it really helped. I stopped reading it as an adult and tried to read from their perspective. And that completely shifted the experience of reading Deep Blue, because I had my bearings. After those two hiccups I could just enjoy the book, because it really was a captivating story.

There is little romance in this book. Like at all. There is one small backstory memory of our main character and the boy she loved, but it is such a small part of the story, it really isn't enough to even add romance to the subcategories this book falls into. There was a hint of flirting at one point, but honestly, that was never the focus. It was all on finding safety from the bad guys and getting to the place where the girls come together to fight against the destruction of their world.

The language is, like I said dense. There's some easy things to pick up (like merlfriend = girlfriend and currensea = currency), but there is a lot you have to guess at. I think the next book will be much easier to read, just for the fact that Donnelly does such a good job positioning us into this world.

There was a lot of action in this book; things are constantly happening to our main character and her friends. Sometimes it seemed like we were just floating along until the next big thing, but even in the lull moments, I wasn't bored. I wanted to know what was going to come next. I stayed engaged. It was difficult to predict a lot of what was going to happen, and that may have been due to the way the story was structured and that this world is so big and the story has only just begun. I also loved the backstory; the way that this world was created (and how mermaids came to be), the way their kingdom was created -- it was all unique and wholly fascinating. There is this really awesome thing they do with mirrors, which honestly, was probably my favorite part of the book, because of how interesting and unique it was. I really loved that the mermaid world wasn't primitive -- it was set much like our world, just underwater.

Overall, this was a charming book. A lot of things were unanswered and unfinished for the next book, but they were left open at different points in the story, rather than all at the end. We never find out what happens to her family, her friends family, or some other characters along the way. I have my suspicions and I was sad that I don't get to find out if I am right or not until the next book. However, I liked that we had a nice spacing of these cliffhangers, it didn't make the end seem so abrupt. Speaking of the end, the last sentence was just killer.

If you have a tween or younger ya reader and you're looking for something magical they can get swept away in, I definitely recommend Deep Blue. It has some gorgeous visuals, interesting lore, and a great storyline.

For this review & more, visit Such a Novel Idea.

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Initial Reactions:

Very enchanting! A wonderful start to what I think will be a great series. It is definitely (at this point) written for tweens/younger YA, but when I kept that thought in mind, I enjoyed it much more. I already can't wait to see what happens next.

Full review to come!



How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love - Ken Baker I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.

I haven’t laughed quite so hard in a long time, and it is all due to How I Got Skinny, Famous, & Fell Madly in Love. I took the kids swimming (it really is summer now!) and this was my first official pool-side read. While it isn’t all about summer, it is about California, so the sunshine definitely put me right there with Emery and her family. I highlighted so many one liners, jabs, and just hilarious comments that no one but Emery got. It was like watching a comedian in a room full of penguins. She’s hilarious, but the penguins just aren’t gonna get it. And that is half-sad, but the other half of it adds to the hilarity.

I also have a confession to make — at times I have been guilty of watching reality television shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Trust me, I’m surprised as you are. To be fair, I also love shows like Big Brother and Biggest Loser, but I’m vocal about those obsessions. It started with my husband watching the family America loves to hate on, and now if nothing else is on, I don’t mind peeking into their lives. I’m more like Emery in my thoughts on shows like this, but then again, it is a fun escape from time to time. Ironically Emery’s show was pitched as a mixture of the very three reality tv shows I like — so I found myself laughing that I picked up a book that knew me so well. I also know who Ken Baker is from E! and mostly the Chelsea Lately show. However, I didn’t make the connection between who he was and being the author of this book until after I signed up for this tour. And when I DID find out, I knew that his experiences were going to make this a great book.

And I wasn’t wrong. This is a great book — full of wit, irony, hilariousness, and a dash of social commentary. It’s a smart book and will make you think. Ken Baker understands “Hollywood” and everything that goes into it, but he’s also able to see it from the outside looking in. His journalism skills were an invaluable tool in creating this world that we can understand and appreciate for its connection to reality, but also know that we aren’t being immersed in cliques. It’s the perfect balance.

Emery doesn’t want to do the show — I love that about her. Sure, she hates the fat-shaming she gets from people, but she knows she is fat and she is afraid to talk about it. She isn’t afraid to be who she is. Sure, she’s not always happy about it, but as she said, she’d be skinny in West Virginia (ok so, I’ve never been there, but the idea is she’d be normal anywhere but LaLa land. Which is true.) I love that even though her family treats her like a science experiment, she does the show to help them. I also liked the fact that the show (aka Fifty Pounds to Freedom) is about her losing 50 lbs, which would make her 150. It’s a healthy weight at 5’6 unlike her sisters 119.2 at 5’9. I think having Emery goal to be healthy instead of like an underwear model helped make Emery a good role model.

I loved that there was a critical eye on the entertainment world. Things like “Celebrities tweeting for themselves is so 2010″ and the other intricate details about how an “unscripted” television show is actually made were interesting. I mean, we know these things are happening, but knowing it and seeing it play out are two entirely different things.

“I might be happier being a Not Fat Human. I don’t even need to be skinny. I just don’t want to be fat anymore. I am over it.”


I loved Emery — I loved her when she was sarcastic, funny, even when she was being judgmental. I loved her, because she was just so real and raw. Even when she was a bit off-character from what I came to know, I felt it was genuine, because she was a teenager dealing with a lot of stress. I don’t think I would have reacted any differently to a family like hers. And as someone who is *enter the F word here*, I know what it is like to live like Emery. And I live in Texas, not ground central of the beautiful people.

It’s funny, when I read the title to this book, I didn’t expect Emery to already have a boyfriend. However, it was an interesting twist and I think it was the right move for the book. While the title says “Madly in love” the book wasn’t focused on romance. And I was REALLY okay with that (guys, I know I say this a lot – but it is true), because this wasn’t about that. It was about a girl coming to terms with who she is as a person and becoming a stronger person.

I found myself reading this book so quickly — I didn’t want to put it down. I expected something different from this book and my expectations were exceeded. I am definitely going to be reading more Ken Baker books from here on out!

For this review & more, visit Such a Novel Idea.

There Will Come a Time

There Will Come a Time - Carrie Arcos I received a copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.

If I were to give 2014 my gravitational trend of reading materials, it would definitely be contemporary. I love contemporary for a lot of reasons — it makes you feel things really deeply in such a short amount of time, it’s real life, and it usually makes me expel all the emotions that I’m not so good at releasing all on my own. But if I were to tighten that scope, I would say so many books this year have been about death and the aftermath of those left behind. There Will Come a Time joins the ranks of those books and again squeezed my heart with its grief and hope and love.

The book starts with our male protagonist Mark — he is grieving the loss of his twin sister Grace after a car accident killed her and left Mark with some stitches. Not only has he lost a sister, but the very person who made him whole. Even though I am not a twin, I can see how deeply he feels for Grace and his possessiveness over the grief he feels.

At the opening and undetermined amount has passed — enough time for summer to come to an end, therapy to be over, and life to begin getting back to some kind of normal. But for Mark, none of those things are really possible. We see a young man who can only really get relief at the place she died — when he’s looking death right in the face. It’s a powerful image and one that stuck with me throughout the book.

“I try to feel it, that space between wanting to live and wanting to die, as if it’s tangible, someplace I can crawl into. I strain against the bridge and the air. Only my fingertips hold my weight.”

Although I felt Mark’s pain, this book did not, in fact, make me sob. It was heart wrenching at times, but the grief was something I could understand from the outside looking in, rather than from the character’s point of view, like I normally do. While this may sound like a bad thing, I actually enjoyed it. I felt more like an adult reading this book than I do most books in this genre. It didn’t take me back to that place when I was a teen. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t take away anything. I just felt like I was in a different place.

Speaking of different place, this book is set in LA. It doesn’t feel like a book set in LA. I’ve never been there of course, but this book felt like it was set in a smaller town. The scale just didn’t seem that large, and anyways, it wasn’t really relevant to the main points of the story. The big city wasn’t another character. It was kind of like Mark being Filipino. While it was interesting to see some of the Filipino culture, it felt more sprinkled into the story than an actual embrace. Both of these elements didn’t feel natural and pertinent to the main story, but rather two details added in.

I really did like the dynamicness of Mark. He was in so much pain and we could actually see him being an asshole, while saying in his mind “Why am I acting this way?” There was a realness to his character that just can’t be overlooked. And I loved the relationship with Hanna. They are very different, and yet very similar. In most books, I would expect Hanna and Mark to cling to one another, but Mark alienates her at times so well that it took me by surprise. I love the progression that their relationship took throughout the book. It was natural and felt like something that would happen when you’ve grown up with one another and lose a third to your friendship.

I really enjoyed Arcos writing — it flows well and was really easy to fall into. She had some great lines, but the entire sum was just well written. Even so, the book is more character than plot — it is about Mark and Hanna finding who they are and whether or not that is together or individual.

This one didn’t impact me as much as some of the other 2014 contemporaries emotionally (aka crying mess, sobbing on the floor kind of impact), but it was one that touched my heart. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more from Arcos in the future.

For this review and more, visit Such a Novel Idea.

Plus One

Plus One - Elizabeth Fama I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion. It in no way affects the outcome of my review.

Wow.

If I had to sum this book up into just one word, there isn’t another better for the job. First there is the absolutely breathtakingly stunning cover. The very moment I saw it, I knew I’d be obsessed. It would take a lot for me to hate a book with that cover. By looking at it, I never would have guessed the story line, but it fits just perfectly.

Can you imagine living your entire life without ever truly seeing the sun? Can you imagine never experiencing the beautiful night sky and all its beauty? What would the world look like with only one and not the other, I wonder? Well, apparently Elizabeth Fama wondered too, because she created a complicated alternate universe from that very idea.

This is a dystopian that reads so much more than dystopian. It has a lot of themes and similarities, but it was so much bigger than that box. I’ve been reading dystopian novels since 2010 (and longer if you count the classics), and this one doesn’t quite fit the mold of the cookie cutter dystopian novel. I loved that it brought feelings of other books (It reminded me of June and Day in Legend by Marie Lu, when they are together on the streets. They are so different and June gets to see life through unfiltered eyes for the first time with Day. It also reminded me of the story Deuce and Fade read together in Enclave, which ironically IS about a boy who lives in the day and a girl who lives at night. It worked in Enclave and it obviously worked here too.), but it stood on its own.

The social issues and injustices are there - they are solid. You clearly get a picture of what it is like to live in this world, not only as a Smudge (a person allowed to live at night), but as a Ray (person allowed to live in the day). The best part is watching Sol’s mind expand as she realizes that while Day’s have a lot of perks her family wasn’t afforded, life isn’t always easier. There are injustices, especially when it comes to the splitting of families, the tough decisions parents and love ones must make in this world, and law versus doing what’s right are a major selling point of the book.

This book is a clear metaphor — Days are allowed to live what we would call a normal life — in the daytime, which a schedule we are used to. If they are caught breaking the law (aka being out after dark), they are called teenage hijinks. However, a Night being out in the day is cause for jail time and felonies. Sol sees this injustice very clearly when she is imprisoned for being out during the day — even though she is in the hospital tending to a severe injury. I really liked how well thought out the society was in this respect.

While we learn about WHY this society is split slowly, (and trust me it was at the forefront of my mind constantly), in the end it doesn’t matter. Something that started as a way to save the population was grossly mutated in a twisted way to handle and control society. The book is heavy on French language, which again, I don’t know why. I mean, I loved it because it added to the beauty of the book, but I didn’t really ever know why it was that way. I understood that the characters family’s were from French-speaking countries, but I didn’t really ever get if that was a convenient part of the plot or if this society was heavy in French-speaking because of the alternate universe plot points.

Sol’s commitment to her family is unflinching and even though the book suffers from ‘lack of parent syndrome’ (prior to D’Arcy’s family coming into the mix at least), we don’t see a teen who is doing something to combat the society — she is merely trying to love and protect her family. There were times, especially in the beginning, where I kept thinking “What are you doing Sol?” She was an incredibly smart teen making incredibly risky choices just for the look of a smile on her blind grandfather who was dying. And when I thought about that, I realized what kind of character a person like Sol has — it’s a bit awe inspiring. Sure that’s not to say that her decisions were hasty and half-baked, in a desperate attempt to make that one dream come true, but her heart is something to admire.

Even though I love so much about this book, I think in terms of world-building, our explanation of why things are the way they are in this world. Yes, I got that this alternate universe (which by the way, I LOVE that this society was created from a fixed point in our past — that this was something that happened to our society because the past, not the future was changed) and that it started at the time of the 1918 flu pandemic, but the WHY of it never really took hold for me. I think there is a lot of opportunity to explain how the world got stuck this way — and hopefully we will get to see that in book two and beyond, but it is something that could have made my reading experience less confusing. I sat for chapters asking these questions and it seriously hindered me from just enjoying the beautiful words on the page. I’d also like to point out that the 1918 flu pandemic seems to be a frequent topic in the books I’m reading lately. I don’t know why it is a popular point in history with YA, because it never was before I started reading all these books, but it has given me a greater awareness of that point in our history.

I loved Fama’s writing so much. It is a bit hard to describe how she does it, but she seems to make everything sound beautiful, even when it is ugly. Even when these awful things are happening in the story, I couldn’t get over how beautiful the words were. They made my heart bloom and fall in love — with the words. Yes, I fell in love with the words. Even when I was confused or upset, I was compelled forward into the story because of those words. And when we finally make it to the romance section of the book, I thought my heart just might burst. It’s beautiful and unflinchingly perfect, but doesn’t overshadow the rest of the book at all. I also love how Fama gives us bits and pieces of the back story, sprinkled throughout the ‘current’ timeline. It didn’t seem forced or an easy way to feed us information, but natural as if Sol was sitting in my room recounting her stories of her life. The inside is as beautiful as the outside and that just made my heart happy. I also loved the language Fama uses. There are a lot of great vocabulary words and this book is definitely not ‘dumbed’ down in any way. I have an extensive vocabulary and I still found myself learning some new words. It’s smart writing and it doesn’t wield itself to anything less.

Speaking of the romance, I’m so happy that it is well developed and not insta-love at all. I mean, the characters practically hate each other, then grow to like, and then love. It’s a natural progression. In dystopian, I tend to see the stress of the world bringing two characters together quickly and intensely, and this one took its time. Sure, things get intense and passionate, but for some reason, I just thought the timeline worked well and held its own.

On another note, this is the second book I’ve read where the main character forms a relationship with someone she does not know on a school desk. It’s such a weird and wonderful idea and I was enamored by it. Even though I had seen it done with another book written this year, it still made my heart pitter-patter. I wish I could have found a friend through penciled drawings on a desk in math class. The only thing I ever found in math class was the notion that I would never, ever, understand proofs. (Side note, my brain works great in algebra, but geometry is quite literally another language that I will not quite be privy to).

Even though I have said a lot in this review, I don’t think I can properly explain how much awesome was encased in this book’s insides. Even with some minor issues, this book blew me away. I highlighted so many things that when I get a physical copy of it, my book is going to be more yellow highlighter than normal words.

For this review and more, visit Such a Novel Idea.

Creators

Creators - Tiffany Truitt I received a copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Well, THAT took me by surprise. Going into the first book, Chosen Ones, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this series. There wasn’t anything particularly bad about the book, I just got that “oh this is going to be like every other dystopian/post-apocalyptic book series I’ve read”. And yet, Tiffany Truitt was able to breathe life into a genre that has been done over and over again.

I’ve read another series with this same idea, but THIS series is the one I’ll remember. It was well written, full of surprising twists and turns, and just really captured my attention. In the first book, I was enraged by how women were treated. In the second book I was hella shocked by the cliffhanger of an end (and thankful I had book three to start rightthatmoment. And in book three, I was really excited by how everything turned out. This is a well done series and definitely worth your time.


See the rest of this review on Such a Novel Idea.