By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape—before her time runs out?
Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I am generally not a huge fan of distopian books. Hunger Games, Divergent… those are only lukewarm for me. But Wither? Wither is an amazing book. I was hooked just reading the summary, and the book did not disappoint. Every character is interesting and deeply thought out. They all have their flaws and they all have their virtues. You understand why every character is doing what their doing, and the entire book feels real and genuine, which is a big plus in my books.
The story is not a nice one. Many people die. The virus that attacks girls when they become twenty and boys twenty five is terrifying and real, and Rhine makes constant note that she only has four years left to live. You see the virus take over people and while everybody is searching for a cure, it really feels as if there is none to be found.
The best part of this book is the relationships between everybody. Because every character is created in such an in-depth way, they relationships between them all are real and interesting as well. Three girls are married to Linden Ashby. Rhine, Cecily and Jenna. The three new sister wives create a very strong bond between them. Together they create plots to escape, and they really do look out for each other when the going gets tough.
So in conclusion, I loved this book. It’s not a life changing novel by any means, but I couldn’t put it down, and I’ve already bought the second book to start reading next.
Five Stars Out Of Five
I only have one book left to read to complete my goal of reading 52 this year (The book will be Howls Moving Castle, just so you all know). And as this year draws to a close, I’m starting to think about all the books I want to read next year, and I think I’ve decided something.
Next year will be the year of re-reading.
I don’t mean every book I read will be something I’ve read before, but I have big plans for this. I’m going to read all of Harry Potter (it’s been at least two years since I last read them!), the Series of Unfortunate Events, all of John Green’s books, Bridge to Terribithia, Where the Red Fern Grows, Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Time Travelers Wife, Artemis Fowl, Marley and Me, Annie On My Mind and anything else I can find in my bookshelf when I get home!
Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….
Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?
Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?
Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.
Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
I’m ashamed to admit that this is actually the very first Ellen Hopkins book I’ve ever read. Something about an entire narrative written as poetry turned me off of the idea, even though I’ve read books (and enjoyed books) like this before. But I saw such amazing reviews for Tilt, and everyone who has ever read an Ellen Hopkins book has said such good things about them that I decided I had nothing to loose by reading it.
And I’m so glad I did. I loved this book. The fact that it’s written as poetry does nothing but give the book a beautiful poetic flow. Each character is written so well and the way the stories intertwine really helped tie the three separate stories together. At the end of every characters “chapter” there is a one-page poem told from the perspective of someone close to them, and important to what is happening in the plot at that time. It was another fantastic way to help explain to us (the reader) what everyone’s motivations really were, and what was happening outside of just what the three main characters were seeing.
My favourite of the three stories was definitely Shane’s, and I’m not just saying this because I’m a huge fan of gay lit. He had so many close encounters with death in his life. His little sister is dying, his boyfriend has HIV… he starts to question the world, god and life in general, and it’s fascinating to read. Alex sticks with him through all of this, and even then, Shane still contemplates how their relationship may end the moment Alex goes off to school. It’s hard to tell if Shane was the most logical of the three main characters, or the most cynical. The other two definitely believed that they were invincible, capable of handling anything, but Shane knew better then that. He faces death every single day, and it hardens him, and forces him to think in a way that 16-year-olds really shouldn’t think. It’s hard to read his stories sometimes, because you can see and feel him struggling with coping with everything that’s happening – and while the same thing is happening with the other two characters, I guess I blame them for the situations they got themselves into. Shane never asked for this. He never asked to love his sister so much that it destroyed him. He never asked for the only person who would hold him and help him to have HIV. Everything that happened to Shane was a series of misfortunes that he can’t be blamed for.
My favourite character in the whole book though is Shane’s little sister, Shelby. She has a total of two poems written from her perspective, but both of them are the epitome of innocence and love. In a book based entirely on horrible, negative things, she is a shining beacon, speaking about love and happiness. She doesn’t even understand the concept of sadness (as addressed in one of her poems) and seeing her take on the things that are happening around her are just two rays of sunlight in this dark, depressing novel.
So to reiterate, I really loved this book. It was dark, but infused with characters and stories that really made you think. People who you expected to be bad turned out good, the things you expected to be good turned out bad, and it really just shows you how much of life is up in the air. I was interested in every second of this book, and every time I sat down to read, I read for hours.
4.5 Stars Out Of Five
Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
It’s fucking Fight Club. What could I possibly say? This is without a doubt, one of the best books ever written. It’s flawless. I’m going to be honest and say that I actually read this book a couple months ago, so it’s not fresh in my mind, but I do remember loving the crap out of this book.
The whole thing has such a tone and such a feeling to it. Just like all of Chuck Palahuik’s books, there will be multiple times that you sit there questioning why he even bothered to write a thing like that it’s so absurd, but that’s exactly what makes his books so legendary. He has such a brilliant (insane?) mind that comes across in his books and leaves you reeling in his beautiful writing and amazing characters and plots.
And the ending of this book! It is like nothing else I have ever read. Your jaw will drop as you read it, and you’ll be left questioning every other thing that has happened. You’ll want to read it again just to test him, and be amazed at what you find.
The book is bloody and gory and messed up in more ways then I can explain, but it will leave you speechless, and I recommend it for every human being on the planet (maybe over the age of 16).
Five Stars Out Of Five
Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this book. I just put it down not an hour ago, and I’ve been trying to come up with an accurate description about what it left me with since then.
The romance in the book is cute, that’s for sure. Battle was a character I fell in love with right along with Nic, with her gorgeous hair and habit of biting her hangnails. Both characters were lovely and realistic and I really liked how their relationship was crafted, as well as the way every other relationship in the book was as well.
What I really liked was that the book’s main focus wasn’t on Nic stressing out about her sexuality. In fact, most of that felt natural and easy. There were a couple points where she asked herself if she were gay or bisexual or what was going on, but she didn’t worry about it too much, and when her and Battle started getting close, she just let things happen. There were a few people that picked on her, but most of her friends and the people around her happily excepted her and Battle’s relationship as it began to unfold, which is nice and differs from a lot from many other coming-out teenager stories.
Where the book fell flat for me I suppose was in the actual plot line - what was actually going on. The answer is nothing really. They’re all off at school, and they go to class, and they eat dinner, and they go to their rooms and talk, and then they go for a walk, and then they go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Because the relationship was handled so lightly, I felt like there was no real drama to the book. There was a part in the middle where their relationship went rocky, but I felt like it got back on track pretty easily, and it didn’t really effect anything at the end of the day.
So overall, I did like the book, and if you’re looking for a quick, cute read, it’s defiantly good for that. I just didn’t feel there was a whole lot of substance behind the story.
3.5 Stars Out of 5
The Casual Vacancy By JK Rowling
First of all, just like I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, if you’re going into this book simply because you’re looking for another magical adventure by JK Rowling, then turn back now. When she says this book is an adults book, it is an ADULTS book, filled with sex, drugs and everything else that could make your grandmother faint.
So now that we’ve gotten through those warnings I feel confident in saying that I actually really, really enjoyed this book. It started off a little slow for me, but as I got farther into the book and as I began to understand who all the characters were, I found myself getting more and more engrossed with the town of Pagford. Having the book written jumping between each of the families of Pagford was a brilliant choice. At the end of the day, this book was simply just a story about this town, and you truly began to feel like you understood everything about it the longer you read. The characters were captivating, and (since I have some strange love affair with gritty, dirty things) the stories behind each of them were fascinating, and watching them develop in front of your eyes was really what made this book for me.
I was skeptical going into this book, but in the end I really loved it. And though I probably wouldn’t have read it if it hadn’t been written by JKR, I’m glad I did. Even if you are a Harry Potter fan, you can still get plenty from this book, just so long as you’re ready to hear the women who gave you Dobby and Hedwig discuss rape and addiction.
Four Stars Out Of Five
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This book is one of the most amazing books I’ve read since The Fault In Our Stars. You will laugh and cry and get furiously angry, but at the end of the day, all you will want to do is hug every human being and tell them all how beautiful they are. This book. This is a book I would want to read to my children. It has such a beautiful moral to it, a moral that they don’t try to shove down your throat, but is there and beautiful. As Auggie says, he’s just him. He’s just a kid trying to be a kid and he’s the most beautiful, strong kid I’ve ever read about.
I loved this book. I dreamt about this book. The characters are so well constructed and grow so much over the course of the book. It’s lovely and I cried forever at the very end. I felt like Auggie’s mom, watching this boy whom I’ve always known was so beautiful, finally be recognized for it.
This is a book that so highlights why the world should read. It’s so that you can experience things like this, see the world through this boy’s eyes, and understand in a way you never could if you didn’t read.
Beautiful book, beautiful story, beautiful characters.
Five Stars Out of Five.
Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass
The ending of this book was so BRILLIANT. It totally threw me for a loop and the way the insanity was written was very clever and really made me feel as if I were going insane as well. I loved, loved, loved the last 30% of this book. The problem was in the first 70%. The whole first half of this book was so boring. It took me so long to get into. It was just two girls struggling with boy troubles, and nothing really seemed to matter much. I didn’t really care about them. I thought they were both being stupid and childish, and I was really disappointed in the book in the beginning because I had had such high expectations going into it.
But then the last bit happened.
So I’m torn, because this book did leave me with a crazy ‘what the fuck’ grin on my face that I absolutely love from books, but the first half was so dull that if I didn’t need to keep on track for my challenge, I would have put it down.
I suppose the ending did mostly make up for it, but I do wish the beginning had had more of the elements that the end did, because that part was amazingly well written and put together.
3.5 Stars Out of Five