Incarnate – Jodi Matthews

15745753Title: Incarnate
Series:
(Newsoul, #1)
Author:
Jodi Matthews
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 3

Goodreads

NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

 

MY REVIEW

“Im not going to waste time being angry about things I cant control. If I only have one life, I should make the most of it.”

Ana is a newsoul, the first born in five thousand years. And since the day of birth, she has been both hated and feared. Other souls have been reincarnated over and over for the last five-thousand years, and Ana’s appearence and the disappearence of Ciana instills fear into many that she may be the beginning of the end.

Raised by a bitter mother who believed she was a “nosoul”, incapable of true emotion or feeling, Ana sets out on her eighteenth birthday for a journey in self discovery. She wishes to travel to Range and implore the library for any explanation there may be as to why she was born and replaced Ciana. Along her path to self-discovery, she meets Sam, who shows her that she isn’t the nosoul her mother claimed her to be, but a newsoul. Tensions rise when dragons attack, and everyone knows that one attack will lead to others. Many blame this sudden attack on Ana’s arrival in Range.

Overall, I had mixed feelings about Incarnate. There are many aspects I found creative, such as the world building and how Ana is the first soul born in five milennia. The narrative flowed well, and Ana is a fighter, but there were things I had a difficult time accepting. If these thousands of humans have been reincarnated and remember everything from their previous lives, why haven’t in five milennia have they came up with ways to dominate over the dragon and sylph that attack them so frequently? Even Sam has died thirty times by dragons, but no one has developped much of a defense system?

Not to mention, I often worried about the romance between Sam and Ana. No, not the fact he’s technically five thousand years old to her meagar eighteen years of existence. He’s been reborn over and over, and many have stated that he had lovers in the past, even Ciana, whom Ana replaced. It made me wonder if he only loved Ana because she’s the first new thing thats ever happened to him in several lifetimes. I won’t even go into the fact that reincarnation isn’t gender specific and Sam has been a woman in several lifetimes and everything is all wibbly wobbly.

Most of the book is spent on the romance building between Sam and Ana, rather than her trying to find things out. And the end was lackluster, as if that was the big reveal? That’s it? It feels like Jodi freaked out about her ending and had no great idea as to Ana’s background so she made it as simple as possible and leaves us with a boring resolution.

I grant this three stars for the world building and the beautiful cover. But honestly, it didn’t make me feel anything at all, really. I’m not sure if that’s worse than raving mad and hating it, because at least then I feel something toward it. It’s okay. I won’t be screaming in joy to read the sequel nor will I be ripping my hair out raving stark mad about how much it annoyed me.

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The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

15745753Title: The 5th Wave
Series:
(The 5th Wave, #1)
Author:
Rick Yancey
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

Goodreads

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

MY REVIEW

“But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”

Do you like alien invasions? What about intense action and mild romance? Or maybe you like apocalyptic novels? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions (or all of them), then this is the book for you! Told in multiple pov’s ranging from protagonist Cassie to a broken soldier nicknamed Zombie, this story is compelling from each.

1st wave: Goodbye cell phones, cars, planes, television and electricit.
2nd wave: Adios coastal cities that are now underwater.
3rd wave: Sayonara to a hefty percent of whats left of the world’s population. Birds are spreading a horrific, epidemic disease.
4th wave: Trust no one. How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
5th wave: Well… Read to find out?

Cassie Sullivan believes she very well may be the last person on Earth. She hasn’t seen another human being since her first kill of a gutted, dying soldier in a corner store outside of what was once civilization.

Unbeknownst to Cassie, she’s being hunted, stalked, by someone she called a Silencer. Silencer’s are those that were once as human as you or, well, you, (don’t stare at my third eye and tentacles, please), who were invaded by a silent intruder in the womb. A Trojan Horse, if you will. This Silencer has been waiting to pick off Cassie for a long time, hoping that her human survival instincts compel her to seek out other survivors.

Elsewhere, we have Zombie, whom once was just a teenage boy that harbored guilt that he left his baby sister to die. Now, he’s a soldier, training to eradicate the infected on the eve of the 5th Wave.

Other mentionables are Sammy, Cassie’s younger brother, who was taken, and sweet farmboy, Evan Walker, who nurses Cassie back to health and may be hiding a deadly secret.

The characters are so real and flawed, trying to survive and willing themselves to find something to live for, and none of them are willing to lay down and let the aliens win. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy or check this out at the local library! It’s even being optioned for a movie!

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

15745753Title: Eleanor & Park
Series:
Standalone
Author:
Rainbow Rowell
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

Goodreads

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

MY REVIEW

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

1986. The Space Shuttle Columbia is launched. Voyager 2 makes its first encounter with Uranus. Eleanor, an overweight redhead steps onto a school bus and sits next to Park Sheridan.

Park is a half Korean boy who lives a fairly nice life, with two loving parents and doesn’t know what its like to go to bed hungry or share his bedroom. Eleanor Douglas shares her room with her three brothers and younger sister, living in a highly dysfunctional family in a small, run down home with no bathroom door.

While these two may live within walking distance of another, they come from different words. From the moment Eleanor stepped on the school bus for the first time, she was already an outsider, with her flaming red hair and odd thrift store clothes. When no one offers her a seat, Park angrily tells her to sit down next to him, and proceeds to ignore her for the duration of the trip. For days and weeks, the two ignores each’s existence despite sitting six inches from one another to and fro. One day, Park catches her reading his comics over his shoulder, and begins to lend her his comics. They bond over music, with Park making mixtapes for Eleanor to listen to. Eventually, they even begin holding hands on the bus.

That’s whats so great about this novel – there isn’t some insta-love between the characters that you find in your typical high school romance novels. These flawed characters are very much opposites and over time, develop an reluctant friendship that eventually leads to love. And even then, everything is not all lovey-dovey and cutesy, and the two fight and argue a lot and kiss and makeup, just like almost any other teenage couple.

Overall, I liked this, even if it didn’t have more plot than two teenagers falling in love despite all their differences and the world trying to keep them apart. If you’re looking for a realistic romance of high school and first love, look no further.

Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson

7719248Title: Tiger Lily
Series:
Standalone
Author:
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

Goodreads

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

MY REVIEW

“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win.”

Oh my. Where do I even begin? Jodi Lynn Anderson, you deserve all the awards. This novel is sheer brilliance – a novel in which we hear the tale of Tiger Lily, as told by Tinker Bell. While Tink herself cannot speak, as faeries have no language, they can sort of read minds and emotions. Tiger Lily has been part of Tinker Bell’s life for a long time. Tink is viciously loyal to Tiger Lily, even if she cannot speak and the outcast Tiger Lily never really acknowledges her, there are precious moments in which Tink is surprised by how Tiger Lily cares for her, even saving her when she becomes waterlogged.

When the lonely Tiger Lily meets Peter, the story delves into their friendship and eventually, their romance. After all, before Wendy came along, he belonged to Tiger Lily. This isn’t the cute rainbows and sunshine Disney Peter Pan, and there are instances of murder and suicide throughout the work. To the others in Tiger Lily’s tribe, Peter is a murderous and ruthless killer. Tiger Lily sees that these stories are in fact just that, stories. After their chance encounter, Tiger Lily seeks him out and the pair quickly fall in love. During the day, she lives her life in the village, where her impending marriage to Giant taunts her, while at night, she lives the life of the lost boys in the burrow.

As I hungrily devoured this book, I was led through a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s happy and sometimes joyful, but others make you cry and hate certain characters for being human and changing their minds. This isn’t the cutesy happy ending in fairytales. The characters you root for don’t get what they want, and people get hurt and people die.

Anderson’s Neverland is magical place, but it carries its weight of darkness that is filled with pain and heartbreak. However, happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Yes, I just went Dumbledore there. Sue me.

My Boyfriend Merlin – Priya Ardis

16000235Title: My Boyfriend Merlin
Series:
My Merlin Trilogy (Book 1)
Author:
Priya Ardis
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 3

Goodreads

In this modern Arthurian, 17 year-old Boston high schooler Arriane, aka Ryan, DuLac just found out the guy she’s been crushing on, hot biker Matt, is a little older than he was letting on. In fact, he is really Merlin—the Merlin, King Arthur’s Merlin, the greatest wizard who ever lived. Frozen in a cave for over fifteen hundred years, he’s woken for a purpose. But Ryan’s not impressed. Tired of being a relationship loser, she’d rather kick his legendary behind.

Sure, the world has been crazy ever since the sword and the stone fell out of the sky like a meteor. But despite gruesome gargoyles, a deadly new world of magic, and the guy driving her crazy, Ryan knows that family is everything. Will Merlin sacrifice hers to save the world? Will she be able to stop him?

MY REVIEW

“Do I look like I want to be involved in your teen love saga? Ask someone who cares.”

BBC’s Merlin has been over almost eight months, and my Arthurian feels are still all over the place. So when I was sifting through books on Goodreads to add to my birthday list, I found this baby and was terribly excited. I mean, Merlin, alive, after all these years… gorgeous with a Ducati? I am a sucker for gorgeous fictional characters on a motorcycle. Don’t judge me.

Ryan DuLac is the star of this modern Arthurian, and the story begins with the Total Tremor, a worldwide tremor as a sword in the stone appears in Trafalagar Square. Halfway across the world, Ryan has just found out that the hot biker guy she’s been crushing on is a little older than he let on… Matt Emrys is in fact the legendary wizard, Merlin. It reminded me a bit of Meg Cabot’s Avalon High, where kids are brought together to Avalon Prep to compete in drawing Excalibur out of the stone.

I rate this three stars, because while it was good, there were some things that just made me go

Ryan is convinced she knows the Arthurian legend pretty well, but when Matt mentions he is a seer, she had no idea what that was. Not to mention, her last name is that of Lancelot’s but it’s never mentioned. Another instance is when she’s given an amulet and Merlin mentions that he fashioned it for a queen, but Ryan, again, could not put two and two together, because obviously Merlin didn’t make an amulet for Julie Andrews, the true queen of Genovia.

The characters weren’t fully fleshed out at all; I was disappointed that Merlin seemed to lack depth. The majority of the first book he’s just glowering at his brother, Vane, who is getting close to Ryan. The speedy progression of the plot left little room for feel, such as Ryan witnessed the death of her best friend, and the storyline plummeted over the death with such speed Ryan nor anyone else seemed to never convey any emotion, as if the gargoyles killing Alexa was the equivalent of your plate of french fries going cold.

The good versus evil dilemma was too complicated for my tastes, and things that should’ve had depth were just brushed upon to hurry things along. The pace left me uninterested in the characters, and I wouldn’t have cared if most of them became gargoyle dinner.

There were also some spelling errors here and there, which would’ve made the book overall better if an editor had gone through it.

This book gets three stars for adding a fresh twist to the Arthurian legend. While it wasn’t executed to its full potential, it did keep me occupied for a full afternoon.

Spirit Walk – Richie Tankersley Cusick

16000235Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick

Rating: 4/5

Purchase from

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Book Depository | Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

Something haunts Miranda Barnes.  It’s in the distant pleading voice that wakes her from sleep, the lingering smell of roses, and the shadows that seem to follow her everywhere. Miranda begins to understand that she has a special gift for communicating with spirits of the dead.  But this “gift” feels more like a curse, and Miranda has no one to confide in.  When Etienne, the mysterious boy from her class, offers to help, Miranda is initially skeptical, but can’t help feeling drawn to him. As paranormal activity escalates, passion  grows, and soon Miranda is caught up in both romance…and tragedy.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

After a hurricane demolishes her home, Miranda Barnes and her mother pack up whats left of their life and move to St. Yvette, Louisiana to live with Miranda’s grandfather and aunt. Miranda has never met her grandfather, even after days of living in the same vicinity as him. So when Miranda’s new group of friends question how its like to live with the Town Crazy, Miranda is thrust into a world filled with ghosts and spirits. Like her supposed crazy grandpa, Miranda is able to communicate with ghosts and spirits that need her help to move on.

It doesn’t help that there’s many spirits in St. Yvette, home to a vicious battle during the Civil War, where hundreds of spirits are at unrest. While worming on a school project, Miranda and her group of misfits team up to help some of these lost souls, particularly a soldier, Nathan, a soldier that was tortured and murdered during the Civil War, and his love, the actress Ellena Rose, who was a spy spilling Confederate secrets.

I really loved Cusick’s The Unseen series, because those were so chilling and we’re just as in the dark as the characters. Spirit Walk, however, lacks the suspense and the luster of The Unseen. A lot of it is slow, and much of the first book was just working on the school project Spirit Walk where Miranda and her friends put together a history of death and mayhem that has happened in buildings around town, and have a sort of ghost walk. If you’ve ever been to towns like Savannah, Georgia, these are fun little experiences to learn about the history of an old city.

In the second book of this two-parter tome, we find a whole new adventure with Miranda and her friends, especially Etienne. I usually don’t care much for minor characters, usually just one or two at most, but I loved all of Miranda’s friends. The typical Southern Belle, Ashley, whose voice is described as melted honey. Roo, the snarky goth chick whose entirely different from Ashley, but the two step-sisters are thicker than maple syrup. Parker, Ashley’s boyfriend and sarcastic rich boy. Gage, cute and shy, and his cousin Etienne, the drool worthy boy every YA book seems to have.

While it didn’t have the same zest as other books by Cusick, it had spirit all on it’s own.

Bright Young Things – Anna Godbersen

7719248Author: Anna Godbersen

Rating: 3/5

Purchase from

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Book Depository

SYNOPSIS

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star….

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for…and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall — together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

BYT revolves around the lives of three girls – Letty, Cordelia, and Astrid. Cordelia and Letty are two teenagers from Ohio desperate to make it in the big city. Letty wants to have her name in lights, and Cordelia just wants to find her long lost father, the bootlegger, Darius Grey. Quickly the two girls suffer pitfalls and go their own way. Letty rooms with a group of girls and gets herself a job with them at a club. Cordelia finds her father and befriends Astrid, who just happens to be dating Cordelia’s long-lost brother, Charlie.

From the first page we see Cordelia preparing to marry a bloke because she was caught having premarital sex with him in a very conservative household. From there, Cordelia and Letty pack their bags and rush to the station to board a train to New York, leaving their small-time lives behind in hopes the big apple has more to give them. However, that’s the extent of the excitement until the last fifty or so pages. The plot was dull in places but became engaging every once in a while, only to drop back into sluggishness.

The last few chapters of the book could’ve easily been wrapped up with everything nicely resolved in a big fat bow, but of course, this is a series, and must be dragged on forever. Which wouldn’t be bad – after all, I’ve been reading the numerous Morganville series for years already – but this book seemed like a filler beginning, and there was no plot, or climax, or nothing to drive it. There could have been countless drama to make things more enticing, but was left alone. While it’s a decent enough book to rate three stars, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.

The Lost Girl – Sangu Mandanna

13062488

Author: Sangu Mandanna

Rating: 5/5

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Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination – an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her ‘other’, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known – the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love – to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

Honestly, I have never heard of this book before I saw it in an Amazon recommendations and wanted it on a whim. I’m not even sure what I was expecting from this, but it ended up being more than I could’ve hoped. It is hard to believe that not many have read this, for it is amazing, especially for fans of Frankenstein. Even if there is little to no horror within these pages, it is a wonderful tale that makes you think.

The story revolves around an echo, a clone of you will, of a girl named Amarra. If anything were to ever happen to Amarra, the echo will be ready to take her place. Sure, Eva may look like Amarra, knows everything about her and is created of Amarra, but she is not Amarra.
She is herself. She is Eva. And she is real.

But Eva’s life isn’t her own. She can’t do anything her other doesn’t do and she has to do everything that her other wants to.

Echoes are illegial, especially in India where Amarra lives. People called hunters take it upon themselves to capture and kill echos, for most of the world believes these are abominations made by their creators, the Weavers, who play God and give life to bone and dust.

When Amarra dies in a car crash, Eva must take her place. She must fight to do what she wants to retain the life that is hers while doing her duty and giving hope to Amarra’s family that she is Amarra. A chain of events occurs when Amarra’s boyfriend figures out that Amarra died in that wreck, and it is Eva who takes her place. Eva is assaulted and beaten up, nearly murdered, and so on.

There’s many parallels to Frankenstein. The Weavers are the unloving creators, trying to play God by creating living beings from death. The echoes are stitched up and given life, like Frankenstein. But these echoes, especially Eva, are human. They live, they breathe, they have their own thoughts. They are real, despite made to be someones copy.

I loved that we see a rare side of fiction. It’s hard to imagine that the monster isn’t always some supernatural hell-bent creature or obvious evil villain. Sometimes, we are the monsters.

We stop looking for monsters under the bed when we realize they’re inside of us.- -Jordyn Berner

Once Eva is outed as an echo, even sweet Ray and Amarra’s friends turn against her and try to have her hurt, and even killed. It’s different to imagine good people doing evil, hateful things. I felt that Eva was more human than most of them.

Overall, I give this book five stars. I stayed up nearly all night reading and found it hard to put down until I finished it. Definitely a must-read for fans of light romance, Sci-Fi, and dystopian.

Paper Valentine – Brenna Yovanoff

12109772Author: Breena Yovanoff

Rating: 2/5

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Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

Hannah’s just trying to deal with the death of her best friend, Lillian, when a string of murders occur in her small suburban town. It doesn’t help that her best friend is, for a lack of a better word, haunting her. For some unknown reason, Hannah can see and speak to Lillian, even though they are separated between the living and the dead. While juggling the loss of her best friend and the emergence of a love interest in Finny, Hannah begins to investigate who is murdering girls in her small town of Ludlow.

Pros: Yovanoff has impeccable writing. She describes everything so perfectly, you rarely find your eyes scanning the text for something of interest. Brenna can write about issues that afflict human beings without turning the story into one of those Issue stories. Lillian died of anorexia, Finny had cigarette burns and scars all over him, but it never turned into preachyness nor was it taken lightly.

Cons: I was hoping for a serial killer novel, one that gripped you and held you until the very last page. However, the plot seemed to take a backseat to Hannah and Finny falling for one another. I found myself often sighing, wondering when something good was going to happen. It wasn’t until the last few pages did the serial killer really come to light. Which was surprising, considering that no one seemed to give a damn about a serial killer and went about walking around at night. In a town as small as Ludlow, there would be curfews enforced and parents would be keeping their children under lock and key.

If you’re looking for a romance with a backdrop of murder, this is for you. If you want to be riveted by a thrilling who-dun-it, look elsewhere.

Never Eighteen – Megan Bostic

8419647

Author: Megan Bostic

Rating: 4/5

Purchase from

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Books A Million

SYNOPSIS

Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life. Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go. But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

MY REVIEW. BEWARE, POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

Gosh, I really am a sucker for these stories. I know I’ll cry, and ugly sob, and possibly make myself sick and gross with snot and all that nasty stuff, but I can’t help it. There’s usually something so profound and meaningful in these books, about living life and living everyday as if it’s your last – a far cry for the typical YA protagonists who jump into harms way without a second thought and cry over some boy they’ve known three days.

Possibly the worst feeling in life is life that has been unlived, ending too early. With the disease rapidly wracking his body, Austin knows he doesn’t have much time left. Instead of giving up or making himself a bucket list, he decides to try to fix everyone in his life he knows is broken. He uses his illness as a warning to try and convince them to cast aside the unhealthy and unhappy lives their leading and immerse themselves into a life worth living – while they still have it. Because they’re worth it, and they all deserve to live a life full of love and hope.

Austin knows that not everyone can be fixed, but he’s hopeful in that aspect, having such a positive outlook by saying, “at least I have tried.” So beautifully written and thought provoking.

Austin even takes his own situations into question, and tells his best friend that he’s loved her forever. This book, to say the least, quite frankly killed me. After telling myself I wasn’t going to do this anymore – not after Before I Die and The Fault in Our Stars, I went and did it anyway. And where did that get me? Taylor Momsen raccoon eyes and trying not to sob while hiding out in a corner of a crowded library. I was full out muffled ugly sobbing by the end, as Austin came to terms with his life, and his death.

It was tragic, and beautiful. The only problem I had with it (leading to my 4/5 star rating, is the fact there was a lot of telling and not showing. I get Austin loved Kaylee. He told us every other sentence. But why? He told us that she’s his best friend, and she’s beautiful and lovely. Too much tell, not enough show. Like Sam said in The Perks of being a Wallflower, “I want them to show me, so I can feel it too.”

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