Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Challenger DeepChallenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, it was unsettling at times but that was only because everything was so realistic. Even during the more surreal moments, it felt true. Like when you’re trapped in a bad dream that you can’t wake up from.

That’s what mental illness can feel like, and to have the main characters real life and dream life became so blurred was both chilling and intriguing.

I will admit that I did like the “real life” scenes the most, but I was still very impressed by how imaginative the narrative became throughout the story.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

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Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet | Various YA Authors

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet.Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet. by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner.

There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

My Musings: Aw what a cute, mushy, adorable collection of meet cutes! There is a huge range of stories in here, bursting with originality and tons of diversity. Some of the stories were a little cheesy for my taste, but most left me with a smile on my face, and the characters fondly in my thoughts long after I finished the story. I think this book would make a very cute valentines day gift.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

Wicked WondersWicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: The Scott O’Dell award-winning author of The Green Glass Sea returns with her second collection: a new decade of lyrical stories with vintage flair.

Inside of these critically-acclaimed tales are memorable characters who are smart, subversive, and singular. A rebellious child identifies with wicked Maleficent instead of Sleeping Beauty. Best friends Anna and Corry share a last melancholy morning before emigration to another planet. A prep-school girl requires more than mere luck to win at dice with a faerie. Ladies who lunch keeping dividing that one last bite of dessert in the paradox of female politeness.

Whether on a habitat on Mars or in a boardinghouse in London, discover Ellen Klages’ wicked, wondrous adventures full of brazenness, wit, empathy, and courage.

 

My Musings: If you think short stories are not for you, read this book.

From the first page I was instantly immersed in the magical and vibrant worlds of Wicked Wonders. The author has this amazing talent of writing short stories that leave you with enough closure to feel satisfied, but also include an intriguing enough premise to have you musing and daydreaming about the stories for weeks on end! Only a master storyteller could make glimpses of other worlds feel so complete.

I also really enjoyed the end chapters, where the author explained why she writes short fiction and the included blurb about her inspiration for each short story in the collection. I wish more books did this as it was so interesting to read about.

Overall this is great collection from an award winning author, and while not every story includes magic, every story is magical.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One DayMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first foray into the world of David Sedaris was “Exploring Diabetes with Owls”, which is arguably one of his lowest rated books. I, however enjoyed it, and when I saw a kindle daily deal of all his books I decided to grab a bunch. I figured if I enjoyed his low rated book than subsequently his older books would only get better and better for me.

And it seems like my random haul paid off because I really loved this book. I feel like reading this in public would be a great idea for shy people who want more social interaction because strangers will undoubtedly go up to you to ask what has you laughing so loudly.

While at times the writing feels a little overly embellished, for the most part I adored this collection of stories and essays that mostly focused on David’s attempts to learn the french language and his holidays in France. It was hilarious and I can’t tell if it has made me more or less likely to try to attempt learning that language myself in the future.

Overall fun read, loved the bite sized chapters and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dry and slightly dark humour. 4.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

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The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

The ShipThe Ship by Antonia Honeywell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My thoughts are very divided on this novel. I loved the premise, a resourceful group of people decide to abandon a failing land and live on a ship in the midst of the end of the world. A ship setting for a post apocalypse book is pretty unique and rare, and it did live up to its potential in that regard.

Where I struggled with the story was with the main character, on the one hand I want to commend the author for writing a very relatable and realistic teenager…but that realism is what makes her so bloody annoying! She was constantly going around in circles, contradicting herself, making hers and the people around hers life so much harder than necessary.

However the back and forth did allow for some deep thinking, and I love when you can see both sides of a very complicated situation. The writing flowed nicely and I flew through the story. Even when I was annoyed at the main character I couldn’t stop reading because I was desperate to know what happened next. I would enjoy reading a sequel for this.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | The Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

The Unprotected: A NovelThe Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lyrical and poignant, this novel follows Lara as she goes from “anti-kids” to “ try-anything- for-one”. The novel explores what happens when everything you have ever wanted turns out to be nothing like what you expected.

The gradual build up was so well done, it shows how easy it is to get to the extreme end of postpartum depression. I think that there are aspects to this story that every mother can relate to.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

How Not to Hate Your Husband After KidsHow Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you only ever read one self-help book let it be this one. It’s almost a five for one deal in that the author has painstakingly researched and ferreted out the best of the best in various areas of psychology that is vital for a healthy marriage.

I think that many, if not most women can relate to the cover image of this book. The harried, flustered mother just trying to get by day by day with as much sanity as she started with, while her frustratingly nonchalant husband casually lives life by the seat of his pants. Probably because he has what we don’t…a wife looking out for everything!

I loved how thorough this book was. Everything that could be affecting a marriage was included in here, from chore distribution to sex life and date nights (or lack thereof), to child discipline to anger issues and ostrich syndrome (hiding your head under the sand). There really are so many moving parts in a marriage, and so many seemingly small things that can make a huge difference. I loved that they were all addressed in a very genuine and thoughtful manner.

The author was so honest in this book, I was very impressed. I think that honesty is what made this book impossible to put down. You can’t help but trust in her genuine desire to fix her marriage. That raw desire for improvement seeps off of the page and you find your own ember for change and happiness reignited.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy (This would also make a great baby shower gift!)

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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