If Only/Grace by Richard Paul Evans

I have been in a reading slump all of August, in fact until the 28th when I read this book I hadn’t read a single book in August. One of my friends sold me this book as a surprised. She told me the genre but that was about it. I don’t think I would have just picked this book up on my own so I was a little hesitant, but I liked it. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad at all, it was just one of those “alright” books to me . It did keep me up reading way later than I expected it to, and I finished it in one sitting.

Summary:

” If only I could stay with you forever. I would.

Eric is having a hard time adjusting to his family’s move from California to Utah. Then one night he discovers a girl Dumpster diving behind the burger joint where he works. Her name is Grace. She’s a classmate and a runaway. Eric and his younger brother, Joel, decide to hide her in their backyard clubhouse.

While the adults are concerned about the looming Cuban Missile Crisis, and the boys’ father recovers from illness, Eric grows closer to Grace—but can their new relationship survive the harsh realities of life? Not everyone can get a happy ending, but maybe Grace and Eric can create their own.” – Goodreads

Favorite things:

The pattern. Pattern isn’t the right word but I really liked how the book ran. At the start of each chapter there was a sentence from Grace’s diary, then the rest of the chapter was from Eric’s point of view. This was pretty refreshing to me. I liked that I got to see a tiny bit of Grace’s inner thoughts without having to jump to her point of view.

The foreshadowing. I knew ahead of time the thing we find out in the middlish of the book, but the ending I didn’t see coming. However, there is a tiny bit of foreshadowing for it that I didn’t even realize was in there until I was flipping the pages to pull quotes for this post and I happen to catch it. If you have read the book comment below and tell me if you caught it.

Grace & Eric. I really loved Grace and Eric, not just as a couple but as individuals. My heart hurt for both of them and I wish things would have ended differently. However, I do like how you get to see how the pain changed his life, it was a good reminder.

The message. I really liked the overall message of the story. I won’t go in to full details because of spoilers.

Not so Favorite things:

I think if I could go back I would have read the original publication of the book. It was originally published as Grace and when I went to Goodreads I realized that the people who read Grace (instead of If Only), had pulled some quotes that had not been in my copy. Quotes that would have been helpful to have like.

“There is pain in bringing out these memories. I suppose I don’t really know why I feel compelled to write at this time, only that I am. Maybe I want those closest to me to finally know what has driven me for all these years. Why, every Christmas, I occasionally slip away into my thoughts to someplace else. Or maybe it’s just that I still love her and wonder, after all this time, if I can still find grace.”

or

“As I begin to write, a part of me feels as if I am awakening something best left dead and buried, or at least buried. We can bury the past, but it never really dies. The experience of that winter has grown on my soul like ivy climbing the outside of a home, growing until it begins to tear and tug at the brick and mortar.

“My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age and I pray I can get the story right. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have.

Who was she? She was my first love. My first kiss. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She was a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her”.

Neither of these were anywhere to be found in my copy and it makes me wonder what else I am missing out on. I think I’m going to try and find a copy of the original publication and read it to compare.

Why did they do this? I’m not really sure.

A favorite quote:

“How do you really know when you’re in love?”…”When you don’t have to ask.”

The quills:

Cursing?

Nope.

Physical romance?

A couple of short kisses.

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

I was still crying for a good ten minuets after I read this book, you’ve been warned. It crushed my heart.

Overall rating?

Three out of five hedgehogs.

It wasn’t bad it just wasn’t amazing. I am also pretty upset that they seemingly took out whole paragraphs when they republished it, thus changing the experience.

The Author:

Paul Richard Evans

Website

 

Have you read this book? If so what edition and what were your thoughts?

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The Last Star by Rick Yancey

If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy don’t read this review. I don’t want to ruin who lives and dies for you. If you want spoiler free reviews of the first two books you can check out my review for The 5th Wave here and The Infinite Sea here

The Last Star was everything I wanted and more. The conclusion was great, heck the whole book was great. The plot was fast paced and kept me on my toes. I am still sad that I won’t get to read more about these characters but I feel like it ended nicely and I’m satisfied.

Summary: 

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human – goodreads

Favorite things:

Sam.I loved that  you could really see how much everything has changed Sam. He can’t remember his ABCs yet he can build a bomb, he has grown up too fast and it’s sad.

All the couples. So there is one couple that people seem to be really upset about. They keep talking about how there was never anything between these two characters and that Yancey just put them together because it had to be, but this is just not how I saw it. As much as I hated it these two had chemistry from the start and I have seen them getting together the whole time. So in a way I was kind of happy they finally got together.

The characters. I loved them for the same reasons I have in the first two books. They all have such great personalities and I have really enjoyed watching them grow and change.

The ending. If you have read the book you will understand why I have mixed feelings about the ending. That being said, it was really satisfying ending and I feel like it was a good conclusion for the trilogy.

Some favorite quotes:

“For some, death is the midwife to faith. For others, it is faith’s executioner.”

“Some things, down to the smallest of tings, are worth the sum of all things.”

“You don’t run from the people who need you. You fight for them. You fight beside them. No matter the cost. No matter the risk.”

The quills:

Cursing?

There is a fair amount of cursing, it’s not full of it; but there is use of the f word a little more often than I would like.

Physical romance?

There isn’t a whole lot, but there is some and there is a fair amount of discussion about it.

Gore?

A little, but it’s not terrible.

Will you cry?

Probably, I was very close to crying but I held it together.

Overall rating?

four out of five hedgehogs

The Author:

Rick Yancey, who you can follow on his website.

He has a pretty awesome and up to date Facebook page.

 

If you have read The Last Star, what do you think about it? Were you satisfied? Also, did you feel like Cassie was a tiny bit inconsistent in this one? I’m on the fence about it myself.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

This book is witty, fast paced, fun, and unique. The story is told in so many other formats than just your generic chapter format. I really enjoyed this book, it’s everything I wanted it to be and more, (pun intended).

Summary:

Madeline has a rare disease that makes her allergic to everything, the only company she has is her mom and her nurse, she has never been outside of her house, and she has to go to school online. Madeline for the most part is content with this, (she doesn’t give herself any choice but to be), that is until a new family moves in next door and she sees Olly. She immediately wants to know more about him, she starts to fall in love with him, and then everything just goes downhill from there.

Favorite things:

Format. I was so excited when I opened the book and saw all of the unique medians that are used. There are pictures, charts, texts, and emails to name a few. I loved these so much it make the book much more fun to read and it fit in so well with the plot and the characters. To be honest, the format alone could have made me adore this book.

Olly and Madeline. This might just be one of the cutest relationships. They are so different and witty. I loved reading all of their interactions, it was very easy to really see the two characters personalities through the emails and messages. The relationship it’s self is just so sweet cheesey, I enjoyed it.

The plot. I liked 90% of the plot in this novel. The whole thing was fast moving and kept you interested and always wondering what would happen next. Then we got to the ending and things went from “fast paced” to “who hit the fast forward button?” I didn’t mind this too much, but I know some people were pretty upset by it.

Instalove. I know, I know “no one likes instalove, instalove is unrealistic.” But here is the thing, I don’t mind a little bit of instalove. Especially not in this case. Madeline has been locked in her house, which would make her have very little social skills, not to mention the fact that she hasn’t seen many people offline. So in my humble opinion it makes sense that she would fall for the first guy that she has any real life interaction with, granted I didn’t expect her to take things as far as she did. There is my thought on the topic, take it or leave it.

The Quills:

Cursing?

It was pretty  minimal, but what is there I would call PG-13

Physical romance?

Yep, their innocent relationship doesn’t stay that way. It’s not what I would call explicit, and it’s pretty minimal (like I think it was only discussed for a page, maybe two).

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

No.

Overall rating?

Four out of five hedgehogs

I really liked this book and how different it was, that being said there were a few things that just don’t add up. I won’t go into details because of spoilers.

The Author:

Nicola Yoon, she writes her first drafts by hand in notebooks, which I think is so neat. Also, her husband did the illustration for Everything, Everything.

Be sure to check out her website and her Twitter.

What are your thoughts/feelings towards instalove in general? Have you read Everything, Everything, if so what did you think about it?

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I read this book for the first time the month after it came out a few years ago, and then I reread it now since the movie came out and because the third book is coming out soon.

I’m not going to do a summary of this book, chances are by now you have already heard about. However, if you want one you can follow the Book Outlet link to the book here. (Where it is only $6.99 for a hardcover copy at time of posting).

Favorite things:

The humor. All of the characters are sarcastic and they have this great kind of dry humor. There were several times in the book that I found myself actually laughing, even though I was screaming “Nooooooo!” in my head.

The POV (point of view) changes. I have to admit, at first this threw me for a loop. I hadn’t expected it and the first chapter from each characters POV was a little confusing since I didn’t know who was talking. But after the first page or so I knew what was going on. I loved how Yancey changed it every part instead of every chapter. It gave me so much more time to get to know and have a feel for the characters voice before changing to a new one.

Cassie. She’s strong, stubborn, and just very real. Yancey has done a great job with that, there were so many times while reading this book that I was thinking “That is something that I would say if The Others were attacking.” Sometimes she does stupid things, but who wouldn’t in the apocalypse?

The guys. No spoilers as to what role each of these guys play. Evan and Ben are so caring my heart melted several times. Sammy (Sam), is such a cute five year old and little brother. I loved the part from his POV.

 

Some favorite quotes:

“The stars seem a lot closer now. Closer than the three hundred trillion miles that separate us. Close enough to touch, for me to touch them, for them to touch me. They’re as close to me as his breath had been.”

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.”

“Even the most sensitive person can get used to the most insensitive thing. Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”

“Some things you can never leave behind. They don’t belong to the past. They belong to you.”

 

The quills:

Cursing?

There is a fair amount of cursing, it’s not full of it; but there is use of the f word.

Physical romance?

Kissing mostly, I’d say it was PG-13. Nothing too bad in my opinion.

Gore?

Not really. People are dying, lots of people have died and there are some parts that might make you want to cry, but it’s not what I would call gory.

Will you cry?

Maybe, I didn’t. You might.

Overall rating?

Five out of five hedgehogs

But I will say that there is a part towards the end that’s a little odd. I can’t say what it is or it will spoil things, but if you have read it you know what I’m talking about.

The Author:

Rick Yancey, who you can follow on his website.

Unfortunately, I have not gotten to meet him yet. The day I finished reading The 5th Wave for the first time I closed the book and went to the website to see if he was on tour with it still. I missed meeting him by three days. Three. Days.

He has a pretty awesome and up to date Facebook page.

Extras:

This book has been made into a movie, you can watch the trailer here. At time of posting it is still in theaters go and see while you can or you’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD, and who wants to wait that long?

You can follow the movie on its Facebook page.

 

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