Yay for completing my first readathon 🎉 I’m impressed with how much I was able to read but the best part was reading as a community. The book community is so nice and encouraging which makes reading that much more enjoyable. My reviews for the books are going to be shorter to keep this post from being ridiculously long.
Books read: 5
Reading challenges: 5/7
Pages read: 1,253
*Read a book with a person on the cover & read a book in one day
Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Genre: YA Fiction
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
I really enjoyed the first half of this book. From the first chapter I was really rooting for these two characters and spent the rest of the story admiring how strong the main character, Carey, was.
There were two huge faults with this book though. The first being the random romance that appeared in the last two-thirds of the book. Then something was explained and it didn’t feel that random and she refers to him as her best friend. I was like thank you for not rushing into something after everything you’ve been through. Then, the next line, she is gushing about her love for him and to be honest, I just skimmed through that paragraph because I hate when books do that. People can be best friends and have intimacy and understanding without immediately falling so in love with each other. This is my big problem with YA books but maybe for some you it’s not that big a deal haha.
The second fault this book had was the big secret that Carey had. Once we got to the end it was pretty easy to guess what it was but my real problem with it is I still can’t figure out why it was such a big deal! I mean yeah, it’s a big deal, but in the grand scope of what was happening in that situation I don’t think it was this terrible thing she was making it out to be the whole book. Even when she told someone her secret they basically told her it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Overall, I think this is a really great read and it definitely kept me enthralled enough to finish it in one day.
*Read a hyped book
Title: Into The Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
This book wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be. Although, now I can’t even remember what I thought it was going to be lol My favorite thing about this book was the characters. I love multiple perspective books and this book sure had a lot of them! In fact, I marked this book down a point because it took me about 50 pages to get into the story due to the constantly changing narratives. Once I got a grasp on the plot and the story I was totally hooked. Another downside was that two of the character perspectives we got, maybe even three, were completely irrelevant to moving the plot forward and just took away from the story.
*Read a book about a character different from you
Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Berlin, 1942 : When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.
But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
This book. This book y’all. I still don’t know how I feel about this book. I already lowered the rating from a 4 to a 3. I’m thinking about maybe even giving it a 2. I honestly can’t get over how naive (if I’m being nice) or completely unrealistic (if I’m being honest) the main character was. I have an 8 year old son and while he doesn’t understand big concepts like racism and we live in a world where the news shows us devastation on the daily, how did Bruno never realize what was really happening in the camp? He seriously, all the way up until the end, thought it was a village. Even though he saw people that were beyond thin and even saw soldiers shooting people he never got it??????? I think even my 5 year old would understand the basic premise that something was seriously wrong over there.
I understand why the author wrote Bruno like that, to give the reader a very clear look at the differences between the two boys, but I still feel like it would have made more sense to have Bruno understand that the camp was a bad place where bad things happened. Even the ending could have still worked because Bruno was very loyal to his friends and he would have helped Shmuel to make up for previously letting him down.
Title: Every You, Every Me
Author: David Levithan
Genre: YA contemporary
In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.
I don’t really have too much to say about this one. It was a good book but from the synopsis I was expecting more. It is kind of like a twisted coming-of-age story. I did like the pictures and they definitely add to the story. The ending was ok and a tad weird haha. The best part of this book was the author’s note where David Leviathan reveals that he wrote each part of the book when he would receive new picture(s) from the photographer, Jonathan Farmer. The book flows together really well and I never would have guessed he wrote it that way.
*read a book outside (this one i kind of cheated because I read most of it in the car on the way home from the beach)
Title: The Wave
Author: Todd Strasser
Genre: YA fiction
The setting of the book is Gordon High School in Spring 1969. The plot revolves around a history teacher Mr. Ben Ross, his high school students, and an experiment he conducts in an attempt to teach them about how it may have been living in Nazi Germany. Unsatisfied with his own inability to answer his students’ earnest questions of how and why, Mr. Ross initiates the experiment (The Wave) in hopes that it answers the question of why the Germans allowed Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power, acting in a manner inconsistent with their own pre-existing moral values.
The reason I liked this book so much was because it is based on a true story in Palo Alto, CA which is near where I live. I do want to look up how much of this story is true though because the experiment only lasts 9 days in the book and that doesn’t seem like enough time for people to start acting so extreme.
I also liked how this gave yet another perspective into Nazi Germany from the German POV which, until this readathon, I have never read before.
Those are all the books I completed for booktube-a-thon. If you participated, how did you do? If you not, what was something you read last week?