Thursday, January 5, 2017

Book Review #671 - Nightmares! (Nightmares #1) by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller


Eleven-year-old Charlie Laird is desperate for a good night’s sleep - or even just a nap. Ever since he moved into his stepmother’s mysterious purple mansion, Charlie’s life has become a living nightmare.

A terrifying witch haunts every second of his sleep and now the dread that fills his dreams is creeping into the waking world. As President Fear and his fellow Nightmares feed off the unease that is spreading rapidly across the town, the Nightmare world threatens to take over.

Only by finding the courage to face their deepest, darkest fears can Charlie and his friends conquer the creatures of the night and save the day.

My Rating: 3/5

I haven't read a fiction book written by a celebrity before and so I was a little skeptical of the writing quality. I would say that the writing was rather patchy but it was better than what I had been expecting. 

Charlie, the protagonist is going through a hard time. His father has remarried and both his father and younger brother seem quite happy to have his new step-mother replace his real mother. 

Charlie is also not happy that his father decided to move them into the step-mother's house as not only does it not hold any memories of his mother but the new, creepy house starts giving him nightmares. 

Because of the lack of sleep and resentment towards his family, Charlie is quite mean to them through the first portion of the book. The authors did a good job at not making Charlie too unreasonable whilst expressing his feelings. I found that I didn't hate Charlie here like most readers seem to have. 

When Charlie's nightmares begin, this is where the story really picks up. When Charlie has a nightmare, his soul goes to the Netherworld. When Charlie's nightmares escalate and seem very real, Charlie opens the portal between the Netherworld and the waking world. 

This portal leads Charlie on an adventure that enables him to face his fears and conquer them. He meets many different types of creatures along the way including the son of Medusa. 

This book conveys strong messages of confronting your fears and the importance of family. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Review #670 - Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven


Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

My Rating: 5/5

Given how much I enjoyed All the Bright Places, I picked up this book before even reading the synopsis.

The book has duel narration shared between two outcasts.

Jack who can't recognise faces (even his family) and keeps this fact secret from everyone. 

I found his condition really interesting and it was obvious how much research was done on it to convey it so strongly. 

The other narrator was Libby. While Jack has become good at hiding his problems, Libby cannot as she carries it around with her as Libby turned to food when her mother died and subsequently put on so much weight she was bedridden.

Whilst I loved Jack and Libby's individual stories and struggles I didn't care much for them as a couple. I thought they were both perhaps too strong for a split narrated book. 

There were a lot of pop culture references throughout which is not something that I usually like but I found that I liked the Supernatural references throughout.

Jack's condition was interesting but I never really understood why he didn't tell anyone about it. I know he didn't exactly have the best relationship with his father but his mother seemed approachable.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, just not as much as All the Bright Places. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review #669 - The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass


The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

My Rating: 3.5/5

America was a fun, witty character in the first book however her indecisiveness in this book made her lose most of her charm. 

She took her time choosing between Maxon and Aspen and now it appears that the love triangle has developed to a square. 

The only thing that happens in this book that advanced the overall plot at all was that there was a hint at political unrest in the country and the corrupt nature of the caste system. 

America's family made an appearance, but her father was rather suspicious and I think he is likely hiding something. 

The amount of attacks the rebels made on the palace increased so much in this book that I feel like it's building to something major - like with the first book I was hoping that Aspen would get killed as that would solve so many issues. 

It seemed like America had only just now worked out that the other girls in The Selection are there for the same reason she is and the other girls were were given some attention accordingly. 

The Selection part of the story is moving slower than I thought it would. I mean only 2 more girls were eliminated in this book - as much of an antagonist Celeste is, I hope she stays around longer as she causes all the drama. 

The king is building to be the major villain of the story, which might mean that America potentially could end up on the rebels side of the impending conflict. 

Overall, whilst America annoyed me endlessly, I developed so many theories of where the story is going that I desperately need book 3 as soon as possible.