Girl-on-Train-Review

As the HOT book right now I was hesitant to read this in the midst of the current fervor, but since I need to know what people are reading, I acquiesced. This is a solid thriller/mystery that lives up to and even surpasses the comparisons to the previous “flavor of the month” thriller, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

What I liked most about The Girl on the Train is the characters and their development. The novel is told mostly from the point-of-view of Rachel, an out-of-work alcoholic whose life has been spinning out of control since her and her ex-husband began having problems (they eventually divorced after he cheated on her). But there are other parts told by two minor characters, Anna and Megan, which gives a deeper insight into not only other characters, but other sides of Rachel. After Megan goes missing, we not only get Rachel’s side of the story, but we hear from Megan herself in chapters that flash back to the time before she vanished. And like Gone Girl, we are left wondering what happened to Megan, or if anything happened to her at all.

Hawkins does a fantastic job of setting the characters up. Rachel’s downward spiral is convincing and seemingly accurate. The ending, though, does lack some intensity (trying to give a thriller a satisfying end is not an easy task), but overall I feel this is a worthwhile read. Is it worth all of the hubbub it’s getting? Well, considering SOME of the books out there, anytime a well-written, entertaining book does well, it’s justified. And this one is both well-written and entertaining enough for any suspense reader.

Facebook10Google+0Twitter2Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

Whiplash-Review

I saw Whiplash late one night at the end of a three-movie-day before the Oscars in February, so I was tired and my eyelids were fighting me when seeing movie number three. As soon as Whiplash began, sleepiness was the furthest thing from my mind. I was captivated, disturbed, angry, shocked, and afraid. The movie itself is good…not great.  But it features two stellar performances by Miles Teller as the student and especially by J.K. Simmons (who went on to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, in addition to every other award under the sun) as the brutal and almost maniacal teacher.

Read more »

Facebook2Google+0Twitter3Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

TBR7

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff pays homage to the new networks that we (myself included) rely on for love: technology.

Brezenoff packs this modern dilemma into a cheeky, geeky story of RPG, LARPing and video game lexicons. I have very limited knowledge about video games, so I was skeptic at first but also curious. After all I am a reader; I take on stacks of books and move up level by level in lexile points.

Fortunately the story itself is not in full video game mode, but it has a few contextual key points that prove that it is in fact a geeky love story. The love story is interesting because it involves a hardcore metal fan, Lesh, and the game profile he creates, Svetlana, who he falls in love with. This is the moral dilemma about modern technology that Brezenoff introduces rather skillfully: Falling in love with a CHARACTER you created! Rather creepy, but in a world of ideal relationships and teenage awkwardness, Lesh’s actions are very relatable (from a teenager’s perspective).

After all, being in love during high school is very awkward and sometimes stressful for the couple and people around them. Brezenoff incorporates these types of teen issues, such as dealing with parents, friends and cliques (Gamer geeks versus metal fans?), in his book quite well. For that, I give Brezenoff a big thumbs-up for the full slice-of-life action, but the whole plot itself is pretty mediocre and similar to modern genres of books that I’ve been reading.

If you are a writer who constantly looks out for slice-of-life, geeky books (especially if you are a gamer of some sort), then this book might fit your criteria. From a reviewer’s perspective with no knowledge of video games whatsoever, I found this pleasing but bland. Brezenoff could have added more background info about the relationship and the clique structure of “gamer versus metal fans” so as to demonstrate the difficulty of their relationship due to their different outlooks. But it is a book that is meant to end well.

Facebook3Google+0Twitter3Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

TBR5

This movie is old by now, but it is the last significant movie that I’ve seen in a while. I’m super excited for Mockingjay, but that is besides the point.

If I Stay is a tearjerker, and you cannot label it as any less. All of my family members shed at least one tear, and that says a lot since my Polish, whiskey-drinking grandma came along to watch it with my aunt, sister, and me. If I had to put a label on it, I would say that this is a romance movie but I do not have to since this is my blog, and I am glad I do not have to because it was so much more than that.

Read more »

Facebook2Google+0Twitter2Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

TBR6

The book that I am writing a review about is Panic by Lauren Oliver. It was on the list for the ALA Conference so I decided to give it a shot.

From a personal standpoint I would give this book a rating of 5/5. It was a very well written book and I absolutely loved it! I could not put the book down due to all of the action and suspense that kept going on. The characters were very well portrayed, and the ending was something completely different from what I expected it to be. It actually made me want to start reading it again!

It’s one of my favorite books now and I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to read it. I highly suggest that you go pick up a copy at the Library!

Facebook2Google+0Twitter2Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

scar-boys

The Scar Boys is currently one of my favorite books I have read in the past few years. Myself being a musician playing guitar, I could connect to this story on a personal level. You do not have to be a musician to enjoy this book though. The Scar Boys exemplifies what is like to be in a band, why you form one, and sometimes how they sometimes break up on a first hand account from the author.

Read more »

Facebook2Google+0Twitter2Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

Sekret-Review

“An empty mind is a safe mind.”

This quote underscores the main theme of Sekret by debut author Lindsay Smith in describing Russia’s culture. With a flair of YA touch and the supernatural, Smith isn’t someone who is incapable of spelling. In fact, this is intentional. The setting of this book is in 1960’s USSR, and I suppose by spelling “secret” as “Sekret” it reflects the Russian language.

Prior to reading Sekret, I was very interested in Russian history with regards to my European history class. I noticed the innumerable controversies linked to Russian history (Rasputin? Romanov? Babushkas?). This book does a good job of incorporating Russia’s mysteries during its communist years into the story and giving the reader an intimate perspective on its dark history.

Read more »

Facebook1Google+0Twitter2Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

Breakfast-Review

Do we all have a dream? As human beings, we are very much susceptible to the pits of our own idealism. Lost in an imagined world of our own wonders leads us to question: What is true anymore? Sarah Combs’ debut book, Breakfast Served Anytime, questions the availability of dreams and the intangible journey of social navigation.

Read more »

Facebook0Google+0Twitter1Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

TBR2

The Hit by Melvin Burgess began with a promising concept: a drug called Death that plagues a society in the near future. This drug provides the victim with one week of pure bliss, including anything they could ever ask for in terms of riches, power, intelligence, and romantic partners – however, after the week is up the victim dies. As the story progresses the plot becomes extremely convoluted with the addition of several seemingly unnecessary characters and a subplot of a terrorist organization that manufactures fake death. The protagonists had superficial personas, which made them unrelatable and unlikable. The fast-paced nature of the novel kept me interested in the story, but it fell short of my expectations. The idea of a world obsessed with a particularly fatal drug had the potential to be the foundation for a thought-provoking book, however Burgess should have further explored the societal and emotional effects of such a drug in order for his book to live up its potential.

– Nicolette

The book is available for check out at the Niles Public Library.

Facebook3Google+0Twitter1Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!

TBR3

Much like The Hunger Games and The Testing, The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean is a dystopian novel centered around the aftermath of a war. Living in a town torn apart by war, William “Billy” Dean is an enigmatic child whose unknown powers guide him into a world of mystery. This novel is an exceptional story suited for adults but is admired by young adults as well. With a well-paced plot, David Almond tells the story using Billy Dean’s illiterate stance so the reader can get a glimpse into his mind. You get to watch Billy grow and see his perceptions alter. Patient readers will enjoy this book to its fullest potential and will revel in its perplexity.

– Kristjan

The book is available for check out at the Niles Public Library.

Facebook3Google+0Twitter2Pinterest0tumblrEmail

Be the first to comment!