The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher Usborne in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Apparently I’m boring. A nobody. But that’s all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you’re very welcome.

Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.

From the bestselling author of Soulmates comes a fearlessly frank take on school, cliques and crushes.

Source: Goodreads

 

My review:

You might remember that I read Holly Bourne’s debut novel, Soulmates, last year and that I loved it. So when I heard about her new book, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, I was of course interested in reading it, especially since the summary sounded great.

And while I didn’t love this book as much as I loved Soulmates, I still liked it as it was very entertaining and serious at the same time.

The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting reminded me of the movie Mean Girls because it also dealt with high school popularity and dramas, and since I love the movie, I definitely liked this aspect of the book. And while I had to laugh out loud many times because the narrator Bree is hilarious, sarcastic and witty, the novel also dealt with serious issues such as bullying, forbidden relationships and self-harm.

Bree was a great narrator and I definitely felt for her because she didn’t fit in at her high school and didn’t have any girl friends. But as soon as she becomes more interesting and changes the way she looks, the popular kids start noticing her. But Bree soon learns that even the popular girls aren’t as perfect as they seem and that each of them has her own secrets and issues.

What I didn’t like about the book was the romance because the love interests weren’t really great in my opinion. We have Bree’s best friend who is a nice guy, but Bree isn’t really in love with him. Then we have the typical popular guy who just uses girls, and then we have Bree’s teacher who seems like the only person who can really understand Bree. But none of them really suited her and thus, I didn’t like Bree’s involvement with any of these three male characters.

So the romance let me down a little, but the setting made up for it. I just loved that this book was set in England since I like to read books that are set in the United Kingdom.

All in allThe Manifesto on How to Be Interesting was an entertaining YA novel told by a very clever narrator. The book deals with difficult themes and manages to deliver an important message at the end of the book, and that’s why I really liked it!

Rating:

3.5 out of 4 stars

Note: I would like to thank Usborne for sending me this great review copy!

Andreea

 

 

 

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Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she’s been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her “delusions,” Claire can’t seem to escape the wolf’s eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she’s ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella’s trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister’s disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella’s past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

Source: Goodreads

My review: 

I’ve discovered this book on Netgalley and since I loved the sound of it, I requested it. Due to the high rating on Goodreads I hoped it would be a great book. And I am so glad that I read Of Scars and Stardust because it was everything I had hoped for and it totally met my high expectations.

I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn’t put this novel down. I read Of Scars and Stardust in one day and after I have finished reading it, I thought about it for a very long time and I couldn’t go to sleep because I kept thinking about everything that happened in this book. I couldn’t get that ending out of my head, I analyzed things over and over again, trying to understand what really happened. I wish I could say more about the ending, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

I loved the beautiful writing style and the haunting descriptions because they gave the book such a creepy and oppressive atmosphere. Everything that happened was so suspenseful and I tried to figure things out, and even though I had an idea of what might be going on, I didn’t see certain things coming.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot because again, I don’t want to ruin this thrilling story for you, but I think that just like it was the case with We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (one of my favorite books), it’s best to know as little as possible before you start reading this novel. All you need to know is that Claire is an unreliable narrator (you know how much I love unreliable narrators) and that’s why you need to question her words and actions. While I was reading Of Scars and Stardust I constantly asked myself what was real and what wasn’t, since I couldn’t trust Claire and I loved this fact, because that way, I paid so much attention to everything since I wanted to finally know the truth.

I loved Claire’s relationship with her sister Ella, loved reading about Ohio and I liked the sweet romance between Claire and Grant because it wasn’t dominant at all, since the story concentrated on more important things.

Wolves play a huge role in Of Scars and Stardust and their vivid descriptions were eerie and scary. Andrea Hannah’s beautiful, almost poetic writing style underlined these images and I could definitely picture these dangerous creatures, following Claire’s every move.

Of Scars and Stardust was a wonderful YA thriller full of suspense, secrets and surprises. The twists and turns kept me entertained, the atmosphere gave me the creeps and the ending made me question the whole book. I totally recommend this book to everyone who loves thrillers and stories like We Were Liars. I will be definitely rereading this novel in the future!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars (I couldn’t give the book 5 stars because the ending didn’t answer all of my questions)

Note: I would like to thank Netgalley and Flux for sending me this amazing e-Book for review!

Of Scars and Stardust comes out on the 8th of October 2014.

Andreea

 

 

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch’s senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor’s got a dangerous secret: he’s a boy. His compound’s been destroyed, and he’s been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he’ll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary’s never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn’t suspect Taylor’s secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound’s boundaries.

Source: Goodreads

My review:

After hearing about The Only Boy on Instagram, I checked it out on Goodreads and the summary intrigued me so much that I requested the e-Book from the author, Jordan Locke.

Mary’s and Taylor’s story was really captivating and it was told from their viewpoints, thus allowing us to get a glimpse inside their minds, which I found very fascinating, since Mary and Taylor were such interesting protagonists.

Mary and the other girls on the compound have never seen a boy before. They have been taught that men are dangerous and violent, and that they were responsible for most of the bad things that ever happened to our society. So when Mary learns that Taylor, the new ‘girl’, is in fact a boy, she is shocked and scared at first. But then she gets to know him better and she begins questioning the Matriarch’s rules and the strict life on the compound. She also falls in love with Taylor, but so many obstacles stand in their way and they are torn apart so many times, that I wondered if they would ever get their happy ending.

Taylor was likable too and I wanted to learn more about his past and to understand what it must have been like for him to pretend to be a girl. But when Mary and Taylor were separated, I didn’t always like Taylor’s actions, especially while he was living with the Earthers. I cannot get more into this, since I don’t want to spoil the book.

What I loved about The Only Boy was the fact that the author showed us how cruel women could be and that even though girls were taught that men were violent and dangerous, women could in fact be just as vicious and cruel.

Also, the rule about touching was very interesting and I loved reading about it. Touching is forbidden on the compound because of the plague so women don’t comfort their children when they are hurt or cry. The Matriarch’s daughter is a bully and very cruel, and the conclusion that could be drawn from this fact is that the Matriarch never touched her daughter, never held her whenever she needed comfort, thus her daughter became this violent and bad person because her mother never showed her any love and affection.

All in all, I really loved The Only Boy because it was different from other dystopian novels and because it dealt with interesting issues. It also made me think about our society, about parenting, violence and ultimately, about love.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Jordan Locke for sending me her book!

Andreea

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #1

Since I’ve seen Magen’s It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? posts at Corry the Book Crazed Girl so many times before, I thought I’d also share with you what I’m currently reading from time to time, because I always enjoy hearing about what you guys are reading too.

So here’s my first It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post!

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Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!
Hosted by Book Journey
 
 Here’s what I’m reading:
 
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
 
 
Source: Goodreads
 
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So far, I really enjoy this book as it’s cute and the romance is just to my liking!
 
What are you reading?
 
Andreea

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.

Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen -year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

Source: Goodreads

My review:

Since Lisa at Turning Pages raved about If I Stay and Gayle Forman’s other books a couple of times, I decided to finally buy it. Also, I wanted to read it because as you might know, the movie will come out soon and therefore, I wanted to read the book before the movie will be released.

I don’t know why it took me so long to buy this book. I guess I was afraid to read it because I knew it would be an emotional read and that I would probably cry while reading it. It was the same with The Fault in Our Stars. I read it last year, but initially, I didn’t want to read it for the same reason mentioned above.

Anyway, I am so happy that I got to read If I Stay because I loved every page of it and needless to say, it’s now one of my favorite books! Also, the movie tie-in edition is so beautiful and in a way, I guess it was good that I’ve waited to read this book because I now own this gorgeous cover.

So now, let’s talk about this fantastic book. If I Stay was emotional and heart wrenching, but of course I knew that before I started the book, just as I knew I would cry while reading it. The book deals with death, but it’s also a story about love, family and the choices we have to make in life.

I absolutely loved the fact that family played such an important role in this novel and that Mia had such a great relationship with her parents and her family in general. Often, relationships between teenagers and parents are portrayed as difficult and negative in YA literature. And while there are many teenagers out there who have issues with their parents and feel misunderstood, I felt it was so refreshing that Mia’s relationship with her parents was so good, because I’m sure that there certainly are teenagers out there who have a similar relationship with their parents like Mia had.

What I also loved about If I Stay were the whole flashbacks Mia had because that way, we got to know so many characters and thus, I grew fond of each of them. I really loved every single protagonist because everyone was so likable and seemed so real to me.

I also liked the fact that Mia’s and Adam’s relationship wasn’t perfect and that they had their problems too. Before the accident, Mia applied to Juilliard and we don’t find out if she’s been accepted or not. Thus, we don’t really know what will happen to Mia’s and Adam’s relationship, but I guess we’ll find out in the sequel.

The whole concept of the book with Mia looking back at her life, reflecting about a future without her parents and brother, and thinking about whether it’s worthwhile to stay, or if it’s better to let go, was just very intriguing and fascinating. I could really put myself in her shoes, because I wouldn’t know how to choose either.

All in all I truly recommend this book to anyone because it was such a fantastic emotional novel that made me cry and think about life and my loved ones. If I Stay made me feel grateful for being alive and reminded me that we need to enjoy and savour every day, since it might be our last!

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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I can’t wait to read the sequel Were She Went soon because I am so curious to find out what will happen to everyone!

What about you? Have you read this book too? Did you cry like I did?

Andreea

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Warning: This review may contain spoilers!

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

Source: Goodreads

My review:

After I have read and loved The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, I searched for similar fantasy novels. I don’t read too many YA fantasy books, because as you know, I rather read paranormal books, but since The Bone Season was so awesome, I wanted to read more fantasy. And that’s how I heard about Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

I’m probably one of the last persons who hasn’t read this trilogy, but I am glad that I finally picked up the first book because I really loved it. I should have read it sooner and should have trusted my Goodreads friends and all the people who have recommended this trilogy to me.

So let’s talk about the things I liked about Shadow and Bone. First of all, I loved the whole setting of the book because it had a unique feel to it. I just loved to read about this intriguing world the author has created and I wanted to find out more about the Grishas and their powers.

Alina was a great protagonist, very likable and I am curious to see how much she will change in the next two books. At first, she is overwhelmed by the unexpected turn her life has taken, but then she accepts her power and is determined to do anything in order to safe Ravka.

The Darkling was very mysterious and I didn’t know whether Alina could trust him or not. I was intrigued by him and I can’t wait to read more about him.

Mal was a great character too and I loved how his relationship to Alina developed. I liked the fact that they have known each other since they were little and that it takes Mal some time to sort out his feelings for Alina, because when he finally realizes that he’s in love with her, he’ll do anything in order to protect her.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book were these foreign terms the author used. They were very confusing at first, but I got used to them eventually. Also, the world building is great, but at the beginning, it was a little confusing.

All in all Shadow and Bone was a great and suspenseful YA fantasy novel with a gorgeous setting and intriguing and mysterious characters. I am definitely looking forward to reading the sequels in the near future.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars

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How about you? Have you read this book? Did you like it as much as I did?

Andreea

If I Stay Movie Trailer

Hello, everyone!

Today, I want to talk about the If I Stay movie trailer. Have you already seen it? What do you think of it? I think it’s great and I can’t wait to watch the movie. I haven’t read the book yet, but I just bought it, as you can tell by my header.

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I think this movie tie-in edition is gorgeous and I am so excited to finally read it. I feel like I’m the last person who hasn’t read this novel yet.

Have you read it yet? Did you like it?

Tell me in the comments below.

So here’s the movie trailer, in case you haven’t watched it yet:

Andreea

Welcome to my new book blog!

Hello, book lovers!

If you’re here, you’re awesome. And it also means that you just read my last post on my book blog, The Moonlit Bookshelf. Either way, I just wanted to welcome you, my fellow book bloggers and book lovers! I am really grateful that you are willing to follow me here too on my new book blog.

Here, I will post book reviews, will talk about book-to-movie adaptations and other bookish stuff. I will also let you know what I’m currently reading and what’s on my wish list.

I hope you’ll have a great time here!

I still need to get used to WordPress, thus it may take some time until this blog will look the way I want it, so please bear with me.

Andreea