Golden

 

Golden

Golden by Jessi Kirby

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How many people have gotten older and forgotten about the things they hoped for and dreamed about when they were young? Or given up without ever taking a chance, or settled in life because it’s easier, or they’re scared, or whatever other excuses? How many people need a reminder of who they once were?

Parker Frost will soon graduate high school and she would graduate without every doing anything risky. Valedictorian of her class and up for a scholarship from the Cruz-Farnetti scholarship, she’s supposed to spend her remaining days as senior composing the speech that will make her win the the scholarship – ticket to the standford, premed and the life she thought she wanted.

But then, she finds Julianna Farnetti’s journal. Shane Cruz and Julianna Farnetti is the golden couple… until a stormy night where they plunged into a river…and gone forever without even a body to bury. After then, their families opened a scholarship program to help teenagers with their future, a life Shane and Julianna weren’t given a chance to.

But Julianna’s journal somehow tells a different kind of story than being the ‘golden’ couple. With the secret Julianna keeps before the accident, Parker knows there’s more to the story. With that, she was ready to do a risky thing and set out to an adventure with her best friend, Kat, and her long time crush, Trevor.

Golden, for me, is one of those typical coming of age story. Typical goody-two-shoes girl but then fate comes along and she starts to “live her life” and have fun. This book extremely reminded me of John Green’s Paper Towns – finding clues and then a road trip and a certain mystery. The romance is also typica. Parker always had  feelings for Trevor but never really acted upon it until her “risky” adventures.

Yes, the book is typical but it is still very enjoyable. I happen to love these kinds of books in spite of me expecting something more. I still found myself immersed into the book and involved with the characters. The book even got me thinking about my life choices and what I want to do with my “one wind and precious life”. And I guess that’s one of the things I like about a book- it makes you feel and it makes you think. The characters are very relatable. I think most of us were in that point when we have the rest of our life ahead of us and we are facing a decision that may change it forever. We are on that point where we dread that maybe some time in the future, we may look back at this moment and feel regrets and not gratitude. That’s exactly what Parker is going through.

Overall, I think it’s a good read. It’s not a “scream while reading” and “put-down-the-book-and cry” kind of a good book but a calming feeling kind of book.

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

 

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

 

I read I Woke Up Dead at the Mall because the title and the book cover really intrigued me but I was actually really disappointed with the book.

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall is about Sarah who have just been murdered and now she needs to come to terms with her old lfe for her to move on. She and the other ghosts like her stay at the mall where there is a floor for dead people like her. However, Sarah cannot just let go of her old life especially because her killer is still free.

The concept of the book is actually pretty decent but the reason I hate this book is because of the romance. I just hate it when romance is forced in a story. You know… books can be great even if there’s no romance in it. I would have been contented with Sarah’s soul searching and her attempt to save a person from her killer. And that ending too. I usually like it when books end in a different way other than what I expected but here, the ending is just a way to force the romance again. And Sarah for me is a very flat character and she just becomes more and more annoying as the book progresses.

All throughout the book I was looking for something more but the book was not able to provide it. If you’re after a quick read, this book might be enough but if you’re looking for something interesting that will excite you, this is not it.

One Tiny Lie

 

One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2)

 

One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes in life you make a decision and you find yourself questioning it. A lot. You don’t regret it, exactly. You know that you probably made the right choice and that you’re probably better off for it. But you do spend a lot of time wondering what the hell you were thinking.

One Tiny Lie is the second book of the Ten Tiny Breaths Series by K. A. Tucker. Ten Tiny Breaths focuses on Kacey, a broken girl who keeps everyone at an arms length while this book focuses on Livie, Kacey’s straight A sister who is now starting college. Livie has a life plan- become a pediatric oncologist who will save children’s lives someday. But then Kacey convinced her to go to her first college party where she meets Ashton, the man who will help shatter her plans.

One Tiny Lie is an easy read. The words flowed smoothly. The story of book is sort of a typical young adult romance story. A perfect girl meets the bad boy (sort of) who will teach her how to have fun. The perfect girl finds out things about herself that she did not know and she’s changed forever. Plus, the boy is broken is some ways too but is just the perfect boy for her.

For me, One Tiny Lie did not offer more than what is typically read in other stories. It involved self-discovery and healing but the book failed to connect to me emotionally. I enjoyed the pace but I did not really feel anything.

I recommend this book for those looking for an easy read but if you are looking for somethign that will make you laugh or cry or both, this is not it.

Hate List

Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And then I’d spend about an hour, my room darkening around me, wondering what the hell happened to make me unsure of who I even was.

Did you ever have a fear that the people you love aren’t what they seem? That there are other sides of them that are not the person smiling in front of you, playing with your hair and making you laugh? That they can do horrible things that you can’t imagine they could? For Valerie Leftman, this became a reality. Her boyfriend Nick whom she loved so deeply just showed up at school one day and started killing people – targeting people who were on their hate list. Several months after the incident, Valerie must come back to school and face the people who may or may not think she’s guilty as well. And every day was a struggle.

I’ve read books about suicide and consequences of bullying before but never did a book made me cry like this. I basically cried after every page… real tears. It’s because Valerie is not perfect. Some are right – she may not have pulled the trigger but she has a part in the shooting. But the best part is she knows that. And she’s trying her best to come to terms with it.

This book is a very emotional one. It stirred a lot of emotion inside of me. I felt anger and grief and confusion. But most of all, it made me evaluate my life.

Jennifer Brown made brilliant characters in this one. There are some times when I’m annoyed with Valerie but I guess that’s one reason I liked the main character. As I’ve mentioned, she’s not perfect. But the people around her are crap. Her family sucks. Her old friends suck. Her life really sucks. And I guess that’s what the book really wants- to show a person’s struggle. We are all fighting battles everyday- battles against ourselves, the people around us and our environment. But some got it worse than the others. Some people won’t notice but the worst part is someone does and takes advantage of that weakness they see in you.

And this book really sends a message about the people who have done bad things. I am not justifying any bad thing ever done but like Nick, maybe there’s more to bad people than the bad things they have ever done.

This book also sends a message about hate. And that’s why I’m doubting the five stars I gave this book. Honestly, I’m still thinking about it. I expected the ending to be different. I expected Jennifer Brown to establish what hate does to people. I expected this book to somehow teach the lesson further than what it did.

But I guess Jennifer Brown chose to send a message of hope.

I may have second thoughts about the five stars but this book is great. The stars aren’t the one this book made me doubt. Hours ago, I had a favorite book. Now this book and On the Jellicoe Road is fighting for the spot.

Overall, if you wish to read a book to really feels something – this book is a great choice!

Lady Midnight

 

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

But we loved with a love that was more than love-

For me, this line from Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee perfectly summarizes what this book is all about.

Emma and Julian are not ordinary teenagers. Apart from being shadowhunters – half-human/half-angels who protect these world from demons- Julian is responsible of raising his four siblings and Emma would do anything to avenge her parents. All of these are because of the Dark War led by Sebastian Morgestern as the Clave, the shadowhunter government, believes. But Emma knows better, someone else killed her parents and she’d go to great lengths to find out who. Lady Midnight focuses on the Los Angeles Institute and on an investigation about a series of killings. Typical Shadowhunter Jobs. But there’s a lot more at stake, secrets have to be kept and not everyone is what they seems. In the middle of all the secrets and dangers, Emma and Julian have each other, fighting side by side as parabatais. But they loved with a love that was more than love. The forbidden kind.

A lot of people are annoyed that there is another Shadowhunter book. But I say you can’t have too many. After reading the Mortal Instruments Series and the Infernal Devices series, I wanted more stories. I wanted more of the Shadowhunters’ lives and adventures. There is something unique about Shadowhunters that seem to draw me in. Cassandra Clare writes beautifully. She writes chapters in such a way that will keep you hooked, thrilled and asking for more.

But it’s not the writing style that keeps us all interested in the Shadowhunter World, it’s the characters. Yes, they’re almost all the same – a strong heroine and a hero that is both fierce and gentle that girls fall heads over heels for. But they all seem so real. Except for them being half-angel. What they say and what they feel seems like something a real person would say. That’s Cassandra Clare’s talent- she can make characters so relatable that she can make you laugh with them and cry with them. And by the way, I absolutely loved Mark. Still love Jem more though.

And I also liked how this book centered about love – all kinds of love- family, friendship and romantic love. And there’s also a lot of human emotions involved such as vengeance and desperation.

This book also teaches us that sometimes good people do bad things in the name of love. It might be wrong but a part of me completely understands that. It doesn’t justify it though.  But I still think that we all need to remember this:

NO ONE is ever the billain of their own story.

Overall, I hgihly recommend this book to people who loves reading young adult books. This book is action-packed but at the same time is full of emotion. I found myself punching pillows throughout the book. Definitely a great read especially for Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fans.