Sep 30, 2015


Dreamland is one of Sarah Dessen's books that I had yet to read. I knew I would love it because I have loved everything that Sarah has written. I had heard this one was darker compared to her other books. Dreamland is such an important book and Sarah, as always, writes a complex story in the most honest way.

Wake up, Caitlin

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

I so wish I had read this book sooner. I wish I had seen this side of Sarah's writing sooner because it is so good and brilliantly written. I wish I had meet these characters sooner. It's the same Sarah Dessen but deeper. There hasn't quiet been a character like Caitlin in any of the books I've read of Sarah's. Caitlin is the kind of character that to see her be knocked down over and over really gets to you.

Rogerson is bad news. You know he is bad news yet like Caitlin you find yourself liking him, falling for his...not charm but something. There is something about him that pulls you in. And then in a blink of an eye you are reminded why you felt so cautious about this character in the first place. Sarah Dessen wrote this character really honestly. Every mannerism, the way he spoke, everything about the way he was felt very true.

When it comes to a book written by Sarah Dessen you expect to like a lot of the side characters. It's hard not to when Sarah can craft their own little story into the bigger picture. I don't know how to explain it exactly but anyone who has read one of her books knows what I mean by this. Dreamland was no different I loved half of the characters in this book from Boo to Matthew.

This was a really quick read for me because the moment I started reading I couldn't stop. You get so caught up in Caitlin's narration. I loved everything about this book but most of all I loved that ending. Those final sentences were so beautiful. The more of Sarah's stuff I read the more I adore her as a writer.

Dreamland is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me for being such a fantastic book! If you haven't read this book yet or any of Sarah Dessen's other books I suggest you get on it. Her books are amazing. Each one is different yet beautiful in it's own way.

Sep 18, 2015

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite movie in the series of films. As of now it is also my favorite book. I enjoyed the first series, the second fell flat for me but this one had my attention much more especially towards the ending.

Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It's assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney's ghoulish predictions seriously?

Harry, Ron and Hermione are back at Howgart's and if you thought they couldn't get into anymore trouble you were wrong. These three attract trouble from a mile away.

These three have definitely grown up some since the last book and because of it I had a much easier time falling into the story. I don't know why this is but it's true. Harry is still the same great character but only older and better. Hermione and Ron are better and still favorites of mine. Though Ron and his grouchiness towards Hermione drives me crazy.

I will say that I wasn't quiet hooked on the story until much later in the book. It wasn't that it wasn't good but it was very easy for me to read three chapters and then put the book down. But then once I hit the 300 page mark I couldn't stop reading.

Remus and Sirius Black are two new favorites for me. I really loved these two character for different reasons. They brought something to this book that I think the first two were lacking. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is but they made the story better.

J.K Rowling has a way of dropping tiny hints and then bringing everything together so effortlessly and believable in a span of the last few chapters. I love that about her writing. Even if the first half is slow you know if you keep reading the end will make up for it.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is getting 4 out of 5 birds from me! I probably won't start the next book right away but I do intend on reading it soon. That's one thing about this series is you can read one book, read something entirely different and then pick right back up with the next one without feeling lost.

Sep 11, 2015

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones is one of those books that I don't know if I would have realized was around if I hadn't watched the movie. Seeing the movie made me want to read the book because I was curious about the story. Not only did I really like the movie but the book was something I enjoyed as well.

 The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family's need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

Sebold creates a heaven that's calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive -- and then some. But Susie isn't ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

Susie's life was ended in a hole in the ground in the middle of a cornfield. Typically I cringe when bad stuff happens in books. It's really easy to cringe and keep reading hoping that it gets better. There was something about this first chapter in The Lovely Bones that made me pause and cringe a lot. I had to process what I was reading, step back for a second and just kind of hope that the chapter was a quick one. I don't mean this in the way that it was a bad first chapter but that the way it was written felt way, way to real for me. Vivid in the sense that I'm never going to forget the characters in this book and that first chapter. It will stick with me and it will remind me that you can't be so trusting with people, even people you kind of know.

It's going to be really hard for me to talk about this book because it's written in a way that makes it really hard to talk about afterwards. I loved the way it was narrated but to talk about how it was narrated is difficult for me. As far as main characters go I really enjoyed Susie's voice. From the opening sentence I liked Susie. She doesn't beat around the bush, she tells it how it is and to be able to read about her life before and after the horror was really interesting for me. Considering she is killed at an age where she's just starting to really live life she isn't very jealous or bitter about those who are still living. Yeah, she's angry and she wants her killer found but she doesn't let that anger take over ever. She just looks after those she loves while anxiously waiting for her killer to get what he deserves.

The heaven that Alice Sebold has created was interesting to me. A part of me thought it would be more present in the book but Susie is so focused on watching her family that the glimpse we get of her heaven isn't all that much.

There are so many characters in this book. Susie watches a lot of people. And everyone she watches I grew to like. Her killer being the exception. I haven't ever loathed a character as much I loathed the one who killed Susie. You learn quick who kills her and that is something that I did like about this book. It wasn't a mystery who killed her but it was about watching how someone like her killer can go on living after the murder and how her family goes on living without her.

Susie's family was complex and each family member handled their grief differently. I loved her family and I especially loved Lindsay and Buckley. I understood why the mom did a lot of the things she did and I understood why the dad couldn't let go despite knowing the details he just couldn't let go.

Something I will say about this book is the ending wasn't what I expected and it left me a little bit disappointed with how things turned out with one specific character. I can't hate the way it ended for that character though because it was written realistically. Personally I just feel that the character did not get what was deserved and I can't explain without totally screwing up the ending for everyone. Just know, to me it was to easy of a conclusion for said character.

All and all this was a solid read for me. It kept me engrossed and it's written in a really honest way that often makes you cringe and think about things, but also in a way that is just really good. The Lovely Bones is getting 4.5 out of 5 birds from me! I enjoyed this and am really curious about the other books written by this author. I will say if you are going into this book expecting it to be like the movie it is very different but in a good way. It made it really easy to keep the movie and the book as two separate things.

Sep 7, 2015

The Perks of being a Wallflower

Have you ever just read a book that spoke to you the entirety of the story? So much so that you have to sit back, soak in what you read, and then reread and realize just how much you never want to forget that line or the next line that you read that speaks even more volumes. The Perks of being a Wallflower is a book that everyone needs to read at different times in their lives. Now just happened to be the time I really needed to read it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Charlie is a wallflower and he notices things other people don't and he keeps quiet about a lot of it. I haven't ever related to a character the way I connected with Charlie. I very much felt a lot of the same things Charlie did growing up and even now I still struggle with a lot of it. He struggles with figuring out how he can he be happy and sad at the same time. He's figuring out what it's like to actually have friends. He is one of my new favorite characters to ever be written. He's real and honest dealing with shit that a lot of kids deal with today. That's the most important thing about this book. It will forever be relevant.

Because of the way this book is written it makes it ten times easier for you to connect with Charlie. It's written in letter format and in such a real way that you feel as if these letters are written to you. At first as I was getting closer to finishing the book I couldn't help but wonder who Charlie was writing the letters too. And then I read the last few lines and it dawned on me that the letters are written in such a way that you feel as if the whole time, without realizing it, they were being written to you the reader.

I don't want to say to much about this book because it is one you need to read to understand how much it can effect a person. After finishing it I immediately wanted to read it again. That doesn't happen a lot. I read a book and I know at some point a few years later I will read it again. The Perks of being a Wallflower wasn't like that. I want to read it again now and I want to focus on some of the stuff that really stuck out to me.

Sam and Patrick are two characters that I adore and it's funny because right now in my life I have a Sam and Patrick. You don't really read a book and go "Oh that's characters best friend is so like my best friend." It isn't even that Sam and Patrick are like my two friends but the friendship that they have with Charlie feels very much similar. They are my people I guess is the best way to put it. It's really important to have a Sam and Patrick at some point in your life.

The Perks of being a Wallflower is getting 5 out of 5 birds! This book handles tough topics in a way that is honest and doesn't sugar coat any of it. I loved that. I loved the style that it was written and I loved the characters. If you haven't read this book I recommend you do. Maybe you don't feel like reading it right away. I know I didn't when I first bought the book a while ago. But I decided recently to read it and it happened to be the best time in my life to read it. Whether it's today or a year from now read this book because it's revelent and it makes you realize you aren't the only one who's thoughts can prevent you from actually participating in life.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Immediately after reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone I started reading the next book in the series. I had a much harder time reading Chamber of Secrets for many different reasons.

 All Harry Potter wants is to get away from the Dursleys and go back to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby - who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself.

Harry Potter is back at Hogwarts for his second year despite being warned not to go back. Harry is still the same smart, brave, curious kid he was in the first book. He learns some new stuff about himself that causes him to question things.

This book was a lot slower for me and it took me much longer to finish it than it probably should have. I'm not sure what it was but a lot of the events in the book felt like filler to me. I hate to say that but a lot of the times there is a book in a series that kind of fills the void before things get real good. Now there was some stuff that happened that I think sets up for the next books but a lot of the other stuff just didn't move along quick enough for me.

One thing I did like was the relationship development between Ron, Harry and Hermione. Ron and Harry hit it off right away in the first book but they didn't so much enjoy Hermione's company at first. In this one they really start to appreciate her book smarts and company in general. Me being a Hermione fan was glad about that because Ron could be a bit of a brat to her in the first book.

I wish there had been more Fred and George in this book. They are my favorite and they weren't as present in this book. Ginny hasn't grown on me yet but she's also a really young character in this book so I have a feeling by the next few books I will start to like her better.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is getting 3 out of 5 birds from me. Despite it being a slow read I still intend to keep reading this series because I've heard the books get much better after this one. Also I am really excited to read the third book because it's my favorite movie in the series. I'd definitely say start reading these books if you haven't already because they are enjoyable.