Category Archives: Genre: YA

Review: As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

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as you wish.jpg

Title: As You Wish

Author: Chelsea Sedoti

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary:

What if you could ask for anything- and get it? 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

<b>Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review</b>

This book is an intriguing premise. What would you wish for if you could wish for anything and get it? (As long as it doesn’t impact the outside world).

It seems like an easy answer, but unfortunately the language you use matters, and it shows in this novel as Eldon, one of the main characters tries to figure out what his birthday wish will be.

You can wish for a business, but it might not be successful. You can wish for unlimited donuts, but it won’t stop you from gaining weight if you don’t specify (no this is not an example of a wish in the book).

The struggle in this novel is extremely well written, even as Eldon is almost irredeemably arrogant and immature. But then, some teenagers are. However he is not without growth, even as he naivete takes him to some interesting places emotionally.

The characters I liked most were Eldon’s father, who is a warm, put sad character, stuck in Madison like most of them, and Merrill, Eldon’s best friend who is loyal even when he should probably walk away.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes their YA sprinkled with existential crisis’ as I definitely enjoyed this.

Extras by Scott Westerfeld

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Extras (Uglies, #4)Extras by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Slight Spoilers

If the previous books were about the world’s obsession with looks, not being invisible and the need to be something you’re not in order to feel special than this book is about the obsession with reality TV and the need to expose everything of ourselves in the effort to get some attention.

New characters abound and while Aya’s naiveté was understood I often found myself annoyed with the way in which she acted, which I suspect was the intention. She cares more about being famous, than being trusted but there is a delightful evolution from the girl she is in the beginning of the book and who she comes by the end.

This is truly an interesting novel, and shows how the world can become corrupt even when there is a perceived freedom.

I really enjoyed this novel, despite what I felt was a slow beginning and the action and pacing of it toward the middle and end was what made it for me.

I would encourage almost everyone to read this series.

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Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Very Bubbly Making, short spoilers)

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Pretties (Uglies, #2)Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is totally bubbly making.

And now that I’ve gotten my one, and hopefully only use of the slang out of this book…Here are my thoughts.

I don’t know what I expected to happen in this book but this was definitely not it and I’m not complaining about that. The thought of losing ones identity so much just to be what the world wants you to be is terrifying. But then to have it all come rushing back and realizing the circumstances behind you losing yourself are even worse.

The science behind these books is fascinating and I wish that it was explained a little more in depth though I’m certain it will be within the next couple of books.

Tally is still as interesting a character to me as she was in the first book, perhaps even more so because despite being pretty she inadvertently cures herself, most likely due to a placebo effect and believing that she was cured.

David wasn’t in this book a lot but when he was he ended up being as kind of a character as he could be given the circumstances.

This was a very solid second book in a series, and with the way it ended I’m actually quite excited to move onto the third.

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

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Uglies (Uglies, #1)Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was not a book I looked forward to reading but one I felt I needed to have on my list. I’m not really sure why but when I opened it I did not expect what I got.

And what I got was beyond my wildest imagination.

The beauty in this book is in the details of the world around them in the beginning. The way everyone is watched, but especially it seems the “uglies” those who have unique features and faces and aren’t yet up to snuff in society.

The beauty in the continuation of the book is the realization in that there is nothing wrong with being unique, and nothing wrong with being who you are but knowing that sometimes masks have to be worn in order to survive and triumph over that pigeonhole society is trying to fit you into.

The characters in this are very human, in their concerns, in their want and need to be pretty, or their rejection of all that is considered beautiful by the mainstream.

It was a very fulfilling novel and I’m certain Pretties will be the same.

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The Death Cure by James Dashner

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The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)The Death Cure by James Dashner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Slight Spoilers
This book was the hardest out of the three to read for me, largely because I was exhausted and this book which is so detail heavy was hard for me to focus on.

The most interesting part of this for me was the evolution of the characters, or in some cases the de-evolution.

Thomas has remained relatively steady, and staunch in his beliefs and unlike some I don’t believe he needed to regain his memories in order to be the person he needed to be in the end. In fact I think he needed to remain without them, keeping his main personality characteristics and building off an almost blank slate. It was great to see him struggle though considering how stuck he’s seemed in a certain mindset as he realizes that sometimes he needs to make sacrifices and that he really can’t save everyone.

This book wasn’t perfect, but the ending was what blew me away, and when a friend told me I just needed to make it to the end suddenly it was like I was motivated by curiosity to finish. I blew through the end of the book, watching conflict unfold with a growing sense of dread.

But the ending? It made so much sense to me. In fact it made perfect sense. All in all this book left me feeling very fulfilled.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel like my life has been highjacked by an author and used for fictional purposes, and yet I am perfectly okay with that.

I read this novel in the span of two hours, with the knowledge that I was probably reading what will end up being my favourite book of 2014 and it’s only the beginning of the year. What does that mean for the rest of the time? I don’t know. I’ll find something.

I would like to preface this review by saying I absolutely, positively did not want to read this book at all. It was everywhere though and I couldn’t avoid it so finally I gave in.

After all a book about a girl who loves fan fiction and a fictional world so in tune with books I’d loved (possibly Harry Potter, possibly the Magicians) couldn’t even be that good could it?

I was wrong.

Cath is a very fulfilling and enriched character, with all of her flaws laid out before her and sadly it is in her that I see my own flaws. The ability to bury ones self in a fictional world to avoid what is going on around you is seen in this book. But the realization that the world around you might not be so bad is what makes this novel great. When she began to come out of her shell I felt a sense of pride.

This book is just awesome. It’s not masterful literature and might not be considered a classic by anyone who isn’t in a fandom but it’s fun, and it’s a fast read and altogether lovely.

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Eleanor and ParkEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eleanor and Park is a book so well written about how even in youth there is a sort of classist division which needs to be struck down.

I know I might be reading too much into it but I completely and utterly fell in love with this book and everything it stood for. The ability to see beyond what’s there and to find common ground no matter what we look like is something that I wish people were more aware of.

Eleanor is not the most likeable of characters, but seems mainly to be a victim of circumstance, and when circumstance dictates that she needs to change her life in some small way, or even in a large one she does and that is what is so great about this book.

Park is a character who evolves from someone who passes judgment to realizing that not all people are who they seem to be and that your life can change if you take one simple step.

In some ways this novel was reminiscent of a John Hughes film, in that the characters spoke in a way that people actually do and teenagers are not treated as anything but human beings who might not be fully developed yet.

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