Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

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The circumstances surrounding this book made it even more fun for me to read. I will explain. I am part of a really wicked book club on Goodreads. One of the girls running it came up with the idea of mailing a book around to people, reading it, adding a postcard from your city or town and then passing it along. This was the book and I was first on the list. Very exciting! I just hoped that I would like the book so I would not have to disappoint the person who chose it.

I was in luck. This book was awesome. The main character, Joey Magnolis, is one of the coolest kids ever. I found myself wishing I could meet him on multiple occasions. And its not just because he manages to become friends with all kinds of famous people (that happens BECAUSE he is so awesome), it is just the way he exists. His persistence and insight is amazing yet you still believe his is a kid. His letters from the president and just the way in which he communicates with the president are believable. The events in the book are so fantastical that it would be easy to just say “yah right, like that could ever happen” and walk away, yet for some reason I found myself saying “Yah, I can see that”. Well done, Kluger. 

This book made me laugh out loud, tear up and it even made me think harder about the world around me. Another successful read!

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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*THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS BECAUSE THERE IS A PART THAT I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THAT WILL RUIN PART OF THE BOOK! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*

I bought this book because I was involved in a book club on goodreads and they did a villain contest. The villain in this book won and I was so intrigued I had to read it. I was not disappointed. I actually read it in less than 24 hours. When I was halfway done I jumped on my amazon mobile app and ordered the next two and have spent the last day and a half compulsively tracking my shipment because I cannot wait to get them.

What is so intriguing about these books for me, is the idea of mind reading. Ness did such an amazing job painting a picture of a society in which people can hear each others thoughts. They can even hear the thoughts of animals, which brings me to my favorite character in this whole book.

*SPOILER BELOW*

Manchee. I love dogs. Manchee is the main character’s dog and best friend. The things that Todd (main character) hears in Manchee’s head are exactly what I would expect to hear from a dog. If my dogs could talk, they would sound just like Manchee. My heart literally broke when Todd had to leave Manchee to die. I had to put the book down, hug and kiss my dogs and take a moment before I could continue.

This book made me laugh and cry and I really loved the interesting way it was written. Definitely recommend it and am anxiously waiting for the next two installments to arrive in my mailbox!

The book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Wow. Words I would use to describe this book: Clever, funny, intriguing, heartbreaking, emotionally charged, interesting, inspiring.

This book made me want to eliminate all bad things from my life. It made me want to appreciate what I have. It gave me the realest insight I have ever had into what it would have been like to be a German child during World War Two. It made me remember what it felt like the first time I ever learned about the mass genocide of the Jewish people. It made me feel ill during some parts. But it wasn’t a bad experience, because meeting Liesel was a wonderful experience. Her love for books made me incredibly happy. Her relationship with the mayors wife was brilliant. Her love/disdain for Rudy made me remember some of my childhood friends that were boys. She made the book have a shred of happiness in an otherwise dismal subject matter.

Death being the narrator was absolutely brilliant. I hope that if there really is a “grim reaper”, he has the attitude and characteristics that Zusak gave his version of death.

I loved this book. Read this book.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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I finally got my hands on “The Night Circus” after hearing about it for a long time. It took me longer to read than most books usually do. (This could have something to do with the fact that I also got a new iPad game the same day I started the book). As I started reading, I was intrigued. It was a very interesting concept and I was sucked in. After a few chapters, I found myself enjoying the book, but not the way I usually do. Usually when I read, I am addicted. I can’t put the book down. This was not the case. I liked this book, I just wasn’t captivated by it. I read some other reviews and people complained that the time changes were confusing and they didn’t like that about it. That was actually one of the things I liked most about this book. It made it feel like a countdown to one pivotal moment and I liked that. I think everyone should read this book because it is worth reading. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself less eager than usual to pick it up off the night table.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I am having a really difficult time with this review. I definitely liked this book. But I had a lot of trouble relating to it. I also found Charlie a difficult character because some of the things he wrote in his letters sounded so juvenile and simple, and then other things were so profound. The same with his relationships with his peers. At times he seemed like a little kid tagging along and other times he seemed like the most mature of the group. Maybe that is how Chbosky wanted to make Charlie. A complex character. I guess now that I write this, I realize that this book really made me think and maybe that makes it much better than I originally thought. Maybe the whole point was for people to realize that characters and people are not always cut and dry.

I just realized I am starting to sound like Charlie as I work this out and maybe I should stop and just say… it was a good book 🙂

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

I absolutely LOVE Courtney Summers. I love the way she writes, every one of her characters and the realism of her books. I was intrigued by this book as soon as I saw it on amazon. Reading the description, it did not seem to be like her other books. A zombie book? By Courtney Summers? Strange to say the least. So after pressing ‘order’ and knowing I would have to wait 48 hours before I could dive into the book, I headed to goodreads to read some reviews.

For the most part, all of the reviews said that this book was not a zombie book. Everyone went on about how the book was great, but not a zombie book. I was even more intrigued and was thrilled when I finally got it and started to read.

I first want to say that despite what others have said, I think this was the most realistic Zombie book I have ever read. Most zombie stories involve heroes and people stepping up and fighting for their lives. This book did have a bit of that, but not really. There was no real hero. It didn’t make a zombie apocalypse glorified as so many others have done. It felt real. If felt to me like what would actually happen if zombies took over. People would lock themselves in somewhere and hope for the best. The characters were incredible and the story line was fantastic.

READ THIS BOOK!

Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

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A group of boys are thrown into a maze, one each month, for two years. They exist in a homestead in the centre of the maze where they each have a job, similar to a regular society. They venture into the maze during the day, trying to solve the puzzle in order to escape but must be careful to get back before the maze closes up and the creatures come out and eat everyone…

These books were good. I don’t want to climb the highest mountain and proclaim that everyone in the world should read them, they weren’t quite that good, but they were good.

The plot line got a little bit confusing and people who like to look too far into things and find every little thing that was not fully explored would have a hay-day with these books. I don’t think Mr. Dashner intended to write a deep insightful book, it was just supposed to be fun. I felt that the plot twists and interesting character relationships made it just that – a fun and quick read.