A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

I found out about this book over on The Calico Books last year (you can check out her review here) and have been meaning to read it ever since. I finally picked it up this month and I’m so glad I did. This book is super sweet and cute.

Summary:

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together….

-Goodreads

Favorite things:

All the POVs. There are 14 different point of views in this book and none of them are the main characters. At first I was a little iffy about this, but as soon as I started reading it I was hooked. It was such a refreshing way for a romance novel to be written. All of the characters were so different, and it was fun to watch them ship Lea and Gabe.  Also, there is some diversity in the characters in this book.

The bench and the squirrel. These two were some of my favorite povs. The bench was just so creepy. It makes me kind of second guess siting on a bench now. The squirrel was so adorable, I loved him.

It was funny. The book was so quirky and funny.

The whole thing was just sweet and light. This book isn’t heavy, it’s not one that you really have to think about. You can just enjoy it. It was a good book to get me out of reading slump and the perfect book to read on a rainy day.

A favorite quote:

“Sometimes it’s better to say something stupid than nothing at all.”

The quills:

Cursing?

Some, I’d say it was PG-13 at most

Physical romance?

No

Gore?

Nope

Will you cry?

Nope

Overall rating?

Three out of five hedgehogs

The Author:

Sandy Hall, she has a couple of other books out. I plan on reading Signs Point to Yes at some point.

Website

Twitter

Have you read this book? How do you feel about this many POVs?

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Vitro by Jessica Khoury

I didn’t realize until after I finished reading this book that this is actually a sequel in a trilogy. The first book being Origin (which I haven’t read). I’m pretty sure you can read them in any order because they each follow different characters in different situations, they just all have to do with the same organization, Corpus.

Summary:

On Skin Island, even the laws of creation can be broken.

On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives–and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus’s dangerous research.

Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.

-Goodreads

Favorite things:

The concept. The thing that I loved about this book so much was that it took something that happens everyday and took it 100 steps farther. Embryos are made in labs everyday and then either used, frozen for later use, or used in experiments (like stem cell research). In fact we can even test embryos to see if they will have genetic problems and some scientist are trying to figure out ways to “edit” those embryos to make them better. I don’t know that we will ever take it as far as the scientist do in Vitro, but they could try which is what makes this book so great and slightly scary.

Skin Island. The atmosphere is really well written in this book. I loved the feeling of the old deserted resort turned secret lab. I wish there had been a map or brochure type thing in the front of the book, that would have been a nice touch. The only thing that annoyed the tar out of me was how many times it was mentioned during the first 50ish pages. Everyone Sophie talked to was like nooo you don’t want to go there, no one ever goes there, no one will fly you there, etc. I got it, it’s a dangerous, mysterious place, no one talks about.

The ethics. This book dealt with some really ethically heavy topics and I feel like it did it really well. It also gave you some things to think about.

Not so Favorite things:

The romance. I feel like the romance was ok but it wasn’t what I was rooting for. It just never seemed to be that big of a deal. Even though Jim was risking his life for Sophie I felt like he was doing it out of obligation not love.

The characters kind of fell flat for me. Sophie and Jim were just kind bleh. I got tired of Jim constantly kicking himself for helping someone else, and Sophie was making bad choices the whole time.

Something felt off with this book the whole way through and I can’t figure out what it was. I can’t tell if the plot was too back and forth, or maybe it was all of the paragraphs with Jim wandering around the island. Ultimately, the whole time I was reading it I couldn’t help but think this book could be like 50 pages shorter than it is. There were times when it felt repetitive and like it just rambled.

Some favorite quotes:

“Tell me, who is the monster? The creation or the creator?”

“If people could fall apart, why couldn’t they fall back together?”

The quills:

Cursing?

I don’t remember there being any cursing, but I read it over the course of a couple weeks.

Physical romance?

Nope, in fact I’m not even sure that there was a kiss in this book.

Gore?

There was a tiny bit towards the end but you could skip over it if wanted.

Will you cry?

Probably not.

Overall rating?

Three out of five hedgehogs

Overall the book was good but I’m not singing it praises.

The Author:

Jessica Khoury, she seems to be pretty active on Goodreads.

Website Goodreads

 

Even though I wasn’t 100% in love with Vitro I plan on going ahead and reading Origin (the first book), because everyone says it’s really good and better than Vitro

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Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaimam

Welcome to another mini review in my Middle Grade Monday series. This book was one of the funniest middle grade books I have read to my class. This book is the perfect book to read aloud. Even though it is geared towards middle graders I thoroughly enjoyed this book it was a quick read. I could see myself picking it up to read on my own.

Summary:

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: thummthumm. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.

-Goodreads

Review:

I don’t even know where to start with the things that I loved about this book. If I had to describe this book in one word it would be delightful. The illustrations were incredible, they were entertaining and on every page. The plot of this book was just as beautiful, it was constantly twisting and completely unpredictable. The characters that the dad runs in to are hilarious and goofy. I would give you examples but it would ruin it for you. Just trust me they are the best.

The only thing that I was slightly let down by was the reaction of my students, some of the humor went over their heads but I’m not sure if that’s because they aren’t quite mature enough yet or if it’s because they weren’t paying attention.

Rating:

Five out of five hedgehogs for sure

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Because You’ll Never Meet Me By Leah Thomas

I got this book off of BookOutlet when they had their Booktoberfest sale. I thought the cover was pretty and the title intrigued me. I didn’t read the summary (I rarely do these days), so I was a little disappointment when this didn’t end up being a romance. However, I did love the friendship between the two guys develop and I got over my disappointment pretty quickly.

Summary:

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

Goodreads

Favorite things:

Their voices. I was so impressed by how distinctly different Ollie’s voice was from Moritzs. In fact this book is one of the few I’ve read from dual POVS, that actually sounded like dual POVS. You have Ollie who is funny, energetic and just sort of goofy and brilliant. Then we have Moritz who is down right mean at times. He’s moody and kind of rough around the edges but it’s not like he doesn’t have a reason to be.

The format. You guys know I love books written in different formats. This one was written entirely in letters and I loved that.

The medical sci-fi stuff. I really wish I could read more about all of the other experiments and more of what went on at the lab in general.*

Some favorite quotes:

“Nosebleeds = Friendship Maybe friends are drawn to bloodshed. You know. Like sharks”

“If you weren’t born screaming, then you were probably born with too much optimism.”

“Even if you are powerless, your words are not.”

The quills:

Cursing?

PG-13. This book does have the f word but instead of using the actual word it had a subsiture word, fluffing. I found this to be pretty funny in some situations .

Physical romance?

Nope.

Gore?

Not a whole lot, but there was a paragraph about a dead mouse that made me cringe.

Will you cry?

I did a little bit towards the end, but I’m extra sensitive to the situation that was happening.

Overall rating?

Three out of five hedgehogs.

The Author:

Leah Thomas, she doesn’t have a website that I could find but she does seem to be pretty active on her Goodreads page.

 

* I found out after writing this review that there is a sequel that just came out in February called Nowhere Near You and I think it will go into more of this exact thing. I’m pretty excited to read it and see if it does or not.

 

How do you feel when authors mash genres together? Like in this case I feel like this book was mostly contemporary but with a big dash of sci-fi. Do you know of any other books that do this?

 

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This book met all of my expectations. It was funny, cute, and fast moving. I think this book has an excellent message that everyone needs to hear. It’s a great reminder of how every choice we make has the ability to change someone else’s life. This book also deals with some very relevant topics, like racism, and immigration.

Summary:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Goodreads

Favorite things:

Dual point of views. They were amazing. Daniel and Natasha had very distinct voices, something that I feel like is often lost in YA dual POVs novels. I especially liked all of the chapters from minor/side characters povs. I loved seeing that outside perspective and how those characters decisions really affected Daniel and Natasha’s day. My favorite was Irene, we had a total of less than 10ish pages with her, but I found myself thinking about her and caring about her almost as deeply as I cared about the main characters.

The plot. The whole book takes place over the course of 12 hours so of course it moves quickly. That being said I never felt like it was rushed.

That ending. This belongs in my favorite and not so favorite things. This ending made me cry from sadness and happiness on literally the same page.

Not so Favorite things:

There’s only one thing that I didn’t like. It’s the one question that is left unanswered. What happened to her and Bev, her best friend?

Some favorite quotes:

“I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.”

“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”

The quills:

Cursing?

Yep, the f word is used a fair amount.

Physical romance?

There are some intense kisses, but it’s all PG13

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

I shed a couple of tears and had to resits the urge to throw the book at one point.

Overall rating?

Five out of Five hedgehogs.

The Author:

Nicola Yoon, be sure to check out her website.

Her debut novel, Everything, Everything is getting a movie! It comes out this year.

Have you read The Sun is Also a Star? If so who do you think you are most like, Daniel or Natasha?

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Hello 2017, I swear I’m still here

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to finally be back from my disappearance. I have been sick literally the whole month of January. In fact I didn’t even read a single book in the month of January, (shameful I know). I have been teaching then coming home and doing next to nothing. I have however watched the first three seasons of Parenthood on Netflix.

Thankfully, I am finally back to feeling more like myself this week. I was going to post a whole 2016 recap but I think it’s a bit late for that one, so I am just going to move on and not look in the past. I am so excited for February, I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since I started this blog. I’ve got some fun posts planned for this month, and some books that I hope to get around to reading. I’m already sort of behind on my 2017 goals but I’m gonna post them anyway and try to catch up.

Reading

  • Read 50 books. Every year I try to read 100 books and every year I fail. So I decided that this year I wouldn’t set myself up for failure again. I think I may actually reach my goal this year.
  • Finally read a classic or two.

 

Blogging

  • Hit 100 followers
  • Post at least once a week
  • Receive an ARC

 

Writing

  • Start my middle grade book
  • Finish edits for my Camp NaNo novel
  • Win one of the Camp NaNos or NaNoWriMo

 

That’s about it. I know this is super sort but hey it’s a blog post right? What are some of your goals for 2017? Anyone else already falling behind?

November Recap

November was an exciting month. I updated the blog a lot and attempted NaNoWriMo. It went by super quickly and I’m so excited that Christmas is almost here!

Books I read:

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I only read one book this month and I’m glad it was this one.

Posts:

Booktoberfest Haul

Paper Towns

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

Camp NaNo Editing update

Favorite book of the month:

The Sun is Also a Star. My review should be up later this week.

Things I did this month:

I had a birthday. My birthday was great, my mom made me cheesecake and my students showered me with handmade cards. It was great.

I changed my blog, a lot. It got a new shiny URL with a name to match. I’m way happier with my blog now than I was before.

I failed NaNoWriMo. Which makes me sad, but if I hadn’t failed it then I wouldn’t have started editing my Camp NaNo book from April.

I took my class to the aquarium. It was super fun, we learned a lot, and I sort of want to write a story involving an aquarium now.

I met Nicola Yoon. It was a lot of fun, I’m still working on my post for that even though.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

I have some mixed feelings about this book. This book wasn’t what I expected it to be. It claimed to be different than The Fault in Our Stars, and it did deliver in that area. There is little to no romance involved, and what I thought was interesting is that even though Rachel (the dying girl) is the whole reason this story is even happening, I didn’t feel like the story really included her all that much.

Summary:

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight

Goodreads

Favorite things:

The formats. If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that I love books with different and fun formats. This book had some great ones. I really loved the one with the newspaper headlines summing days up. It was a brilliant way to skip time without making you feel like you just jumped a week ahead without any warning. There were times when he summed up dialog with bullet points, and there are scenes written in script format.

Greg. I liked Greg, most of the time. The rest of it I spent annoyed with him. He seemed kind of whiny. At first I liked the paragraphs when he was like this book is so terrible, and I don’t understand why you would keep reading it and on and on. When I first started reading this book I loved them, I thought they were really relateable and funny, but after a while they just got old.

The films. I loved hearing about all of their different films and film ideas. They were funny and entertaining to read.

 

Not so Favorite things:

The humor. Some of the humor was so vulgar I literally cringed. What Earl thinks is funny and what I think is funny are two very different things.

 

Some favorite quotes:

“When you convert a good book to a film. stupid things happen”

“I am the Thomas Edison of conversational stupidity.”

 

The quills:

Cursing?

Yep, I think the f word is used a fair amount, and there is a lot of profanity.

Physical romance?

No, but it is graphically talked about.

Gore?

Not really

Will you cry?

I didn’t, but I think there is a high chance that you will.

Overall rating?

3 out of 5 hedgehogs, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t one that I would recommend to my friends. I would have given it 2.5 but the different formats bumped it up to 3.

 

The Author:

Jesse Andrews here is his website.

I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t find this book to be hilarious. Do you think that vulgar humor is funny? Have you read this book? Will you read this book?

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October Recap

October was a terrible reading month, I read literally nothing. I didn’t do much, it was just kind of bleh. Halloween was fun, but I was lazy and didn’t bother with dressing up.  I can’t believe it’s already November, Christmas is right around the corner.

Books I read:

I actually didn’t read any books in October. Unless you count the Judy Moody book I read to my class.

Posts:

I didn’t post much either, October was just a rough month.

To write or not to Write (writing update)

NaNoWriMo (which isn’t going well at all)

Favorite book of the month:

Judy Moody Saves the World was as great as I remember it being. I love Judy Moody, she’s just so funny.

Things I did this month:

Not much, obviously. But I did start working on the big changes that I put into place on the blog this month.

Paper Towns by John Green

I wanted to like this book, I really tried to like it. I liked A Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska when I read them a few years ago, but after reading Paper Towns I wonder if they were as good as I thought they were.

Summary:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew… –Goodreads

Favorite things:

John Green. His writing style is as good as I remember it being. It had so many quirky, cute, and funny moments. As always the book is filled with metaphors and imagery that is entertaining to read.

The old shopping center. I think that abandoned malls and buildings are so interesting, I loved seeing one included in a book.

Not so Favorite things:

The characters in general. Ben was just so creepy, I didn’t like him. He called girls “Honey bunnies,” and then there was that scene early on in the book about how hot he thought Q’s mom was and that whole thing was just weird. I didn’t like Margo at all. To sum her up, she was a brat. Q was alright but I spent the whole book wanting to yell at him for being so obsessed with someone who obviously didn’t care about him.

This book just made me feel agitated and annoyed in general. I think it was mainly because of Margo, I could rant about Margo for a paragraph or two but I will not.

Some favorite quotes:

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

“The town was paper, but the memories were not.”

The quills:

Cursing?

Yep, the f word is used one or twice.

Physical romance?

Not really, but there is some discussion.

Gore?

Not really, but there is one scene that is pretty gross and I could have gone without it.

Will you cry?

Nope

Overall rating?

Two out of five hedgehogs

The Author:

John Green, who I’m sure you’ve heard of.

Website

Facebook

Have you read Paper Towns? What were your thoughts on it? Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t like Ben.

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