Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review | The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the WorldThe Love That Split the World
By: Emily Henry (@EmilyHenryWrite)
Published By: Razorbill on January 26, 2016
Genre: Sci-Fi
Pages: 396

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”

The Love That Split the World is a beautifully written sci-fi contemporary fantasy romance hybrid. I absolutely adore hybrid stories, I just think they're so unique and amazing. (but also sort of a pain to shelf on goodreads but that's beside the point). TLTSTW was unique and incredibly thought-provoking.

The narrator of the story, Natalie, is Native American, which already has me nodding, as DIVERSITY!!! She's just a typical girl, which makes me so happy because realistic stuff! She's a feminist, and isn't afraid to stand up for herself. Unfortunately, the romance is just...ugh. It's an instalove, and you can pretty much tell who it is just based on the blurb. One of my favorite things in this novel is the Native American stories. Native Americans are one race that are pretty rare in YA, so reading their mythology and stories interesting.  

Problems? Typically, I love flowery writing, but Henry's writing just felt over the top. The pacing also caught me at times, the beginning being extremely slow, and dragging on. I nearly wanted to stop, but the ending (which I still have an iffy feeling about). The ENDING.

Overall, TLTSTW was a cool hybrid story involving time travel, and great adventures! If you love a good romance, character diversity, and feminism, pick up this novel!

Let's discuss! What did you think about The Love That Split the World?

Final Rating: 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Review | Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

*image via on instagram

Passenger (Passenger, #1)Passenger (Passenger #1)
By: Alexandra Bracken (@alexbracken)
Published By: Disney Hyperion on January 5, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 486
Goodreads // Book Depository

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.

“It's our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.” 

Sadly, the highly anticipated and hyped Passenger, unfortunately, did fall a tiny bit short for me. If it had been a normal YA novel, I may have loved it, but this just did not meet my expectations. *cries in corner* Despite this, Passenger was still chock-full of of fun and adventures. I had lots of fun reading this, and I'm extremely excited for the upcoming sequel, Wayfarer.
Passenger follows Etta, an aspiring violinist (or maybe she already is one). I loved reading about the violinists that my mother is obsessed with. (I play piano, but my sister plays violin, so I get to hear about them.) Suddenly, she gets whisked into this world of time travel, and stuff happens. When we first arrive, we meet Sophia Ironwood, who strikes me as a bit funny. 

Speaking of characters, let's talk about Etta. I knew she was going to kick butt and stuff (come on, this is YA), but she's a genuine person. Reading how she gave up all her social life, a boyfriend, and everything just for violin just broke my heart. She may not be the strongest YA heroine, but I truly do admire her. Nicholas was also a surprising character. For one thing, he's a POC, which I don't find very often in the love interests in YA fantasy, but he felt a bit dull comparing him to Bracken's previous male interest. Too much time was spend describing him, and not enough seeing him in action. The romance in this novel is driven a bit too quickly for my taste, as they sort of fall in love at first sight, but it's enjoyable, and not the main aspect, so I'm fine with it.

Can we just admire the plot, because the plot is just SPOT-ON. Bracken weaves together a brilliant story that was surprising and very well done. Time travel novels, most of the time, having me half sleeping by the end, because they're just so confusing. Either the fact that it's explained too much, or it's just not explained at all. All the questions, I had answered. *claps*

Although this novel is slow paced, similar to the Darkest Mind's trilogy, it was a beautifully done adventure with an amazing, intricate and well thought out plot that captures the beauty of time travel in a clear way. I am more than excited for the coming sequel!

Let's discuss! What did you think about Passenger?

Final Rating: 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Series Review | To All The Boys I've Loved Before Duology by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before Duology
By: Jenny Han (@jennyhan)
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 288 // 337
Goodreads // Book Depository

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

PS: I Still Love You:
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

“You'd rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

I just guess I just hate fluffy, romantic, flimsily-written contemporaries. I just happen to be a fantasy person. This duology was HIGHLY praised and claims to be romantic and awesome. I was expecting something more exciting, and I was, yes, expecting a love triangle, but this series came out to be a huge disappointment. Yes, I did read the second book, but after what happened in the first book, who couldn't? Han's writing also consequently happens to be pretty darn addicting.

Let's be positive and happy and discuss what I liked! I loved the family dynamics and how prominent her family and siblings were in her life. My friends and I often bake, and I liked the baking aspect of this novel. Lara Jean (LJ because I don't want to type) is always baking cookies and delicious treats, and they just make me so hungry! The novel didn't exactly embrace the Korean culture of this novel very well; it must be since her father is white and her mother passed away that they don't focus on this. I would have really enjoyed that detail if it was written well.

However, LJ is such a pain. She's naive, immature, and did I mention SPOILED? She's sixteen, and probably way more immature than I am. Her narration makes me want to cringe how much she whines. After all the pretty drastic events that occur in this novel, she doesn't mature at all. She's still the baby she was in the beginning. And does it just feel like LJ is a bit clingy? A tiny bit? 

The romance was a hopeless mess. It was like this "love triangle", if you even want to call it that. I like to refer to it was a love mess. It's OBVIOUS who she's going to get together with, and although I like him, he just feels plain and a simple cookie-cut main interest. I don't even understand how they got together. SPOILER: Did I mention that the other guy is her sister's EX? Do you know how revolting that is? *shudders* In the second book, there's ANOTHER love mess thing.

Plot? What plot? Uh, they literally just get in fights and do nothing and LJ seems like she has nothing going on in her life. She has no activities, and it just seems she just stays at home and does nothing. The first book's plot was decent, but the second book's "plot" was stupid and did not help the story at all.

Let's discuss! What did you think about the To All the Boy's I've Loved Before Duology?

Final Rating: