Book reviews

Book Review | Yellow

Title: Yellow

Author: Megan Jacobsan

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Publisher

Release Date: 1st February 2016

Synopsis 25698127

Yellow is a YA murder mystery with a slight supernatural edge, but at heart it’s about the redemptive power of kindness. Publishing in February 2016, it’s a beautifully written coming-of-age story about family, first love, finding your place and uncovering the secrets of the past.

If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her. He makes her popular, he gets her parents back together, and he doesn’t haunt her. Things aren’t so simple however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.

 

Yellow was such a sweet little book but it was also so much more. It’s a story about friendship and growing up and the darker aspects of life all set amongst the beautiful backdrop of rural Australia.

Our protagonist Kirra is the lowest of the mean girls and she has an ongoing struggle with bullying and trying to find herself  throughout the novel. Her mother is also an alcoholic so she has to deal with that at the tender age of fourteen.

Kirra’s character development was done stunningly well in the novel. How she becomes comfortable in her skin and finds that self-confidence. I also liked that for once, the main character was this shy girl, Kirra isn’t your typical broody outcast but she’s this quiet teenager who’s got a lot to say.

Other teenage aspects such as friendship and first love are also explored. More specifically toxic friendships and the impact it can have on you.

The novel is written in this very raw and honest voice. The author paints a very authentic picture of the messed up life Kirra is living. As for the murder mystery element, I don’t want to delve into spoilers however, I think it can interpreted as facing your inner demons and just the darker side of things really.

What I like about this novel is that every character has a story to tell, they all have a past and they all have a plan of where they’re headed, they all get to shine in the limelight of this novel. In all honesty, Yellow didn’t leave me with an impression however, it was a simple, sweet book that I think I’m almost going to cherish.

Rating

3

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Cover to Cover

Cover To Cover | The Fifth Wave

In light of the film being released (my review over here) I decided it was a good time to analyse the different editions of the book available out there.

The English Edition

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I believe it’s not the kind of cover that leaves an impression on you but it also isn’t unappealing either. I like the colour scheme and the lighting involved. The shadows definitely do a good job of creating mystery.

The Film Tie-In Edition

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The first thing that pops into my head after seeing this cover is that it’s a typical dystopian adaptation cover. However, it is better than some other adaptation covers I’ve seen out there.

The Finnish Edition

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This cover has a very science-fiction feel to it, obviously because the book is science fiction I’m guessing. I like the target on the girl but the big 5 seems to be bothering me a little. The colour scheme of the cover is good too.

The Croatian Edition

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This cover looks cool! It reminds me of the Under The Never Sky series. I like the gradient, scenic effect and yeah it’s an overall pleasing cover.

The Chinese Edition

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This gives me like destruction feels. It’s hardcore and almost brutal, what with the font and everything. Definitely a note worthy cover.

The Verdict 

If I were in a bookstore I would most likely be picking up the English edition because it has a clean cut feeling to it however, the Croatian edition would be a close second?

What’s your favourite cover?

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Book news, Favourites

Top 10 Books of 2015

It’s that time of the year again where we look back and pay homage to all the books that left me feeling awed, curled up in a ball crying or wondering what next I would do with my life since I’d finished the book.

In no particular order here are Infinity Reads’ Top 10 Books of 2015

NOTE: The book titles link to my reviews if you’re interested

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 

Perhaps the first book I’ve ever read that tackled mental illness and got me interested into reading diversity.  All the Bright Places was beautiful in all the delicate ways it handled mental illness and created unforgettable characters. And there’s a movie happening!

Winter by Marissa Meyer

The epic conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles series. It was 800 pages of every emotion I could ever imagine from pride to joy to hatred.

Heir of Fire by Sarah.J.Maas

This book was, with lack of a better word to describe it, on fire. There was so much adrenaline and character development.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes 

Another unique book that explored issues such as blind faith and painted such a brutal world in all its goriness.

An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An epic fantasy read that was exotic, smart and a great start to what I believe will be an epic series.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield 

Another unique book. Gosh 2015 was a year of trying new things wasn’t it. I highly enjoyed the concept of a book within a book and the supernatural elements were very cool.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margarot Atwood

Okay I need to stop saying this. But this book was also very unique. It evokes thinking in the reader about issues such as feminism and oppression and women’s place in society.

Am I normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

A recent read this also tackled mental illness but in a more honest, down to Earth manner. The protagonist has one of the most distinct and memorable voices that I’ve ever heard.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan 

Of course it won’t be a top 10 without Uncle Rick making an appearance. Back with the same old witty humour, education on mythology and unforgettable characters The Sword of Summer is the beginning of one epicly funny series about Vikings.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah.J.Maas

Another epic book in the Throne of Glass series with all its plot twists, unique characters and fantastic elements.

What are some of your favourite reads of 2015?

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Book reviews

Book Review | Sweet Damage

Title: Sweet Damage

Author: Rebecca James

Genre: YA Thriller

Source: Allen & Unwin

Page Count: 336 pages

Synopsis 

I still dream about Anna London’s house. In my dreams it’s as if the house itself has sinister intentions. But in real life it wasn’t the house that was responsible for what happened. It was the people who did the damage …’

When Tim Ellison finds a cheap room to rent in the perfect location in Sydney it looks like a huge stroke of luck. In fact the room comes with a condition, and the owner of the house, the mysterious Anna London, is unfriendly and withdrawn. When strange and terrifying things start happening in the house at night, Tim wonders if taking the room is a mistake. But then his feelings for Anna start to change, and when her past comes back with a vengeance, Tim is caught right in the middle of it.

A thrilling rollercoaster of a story – read it with the lights on!

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Plot

This was majorly a plot driven book. I like how the author manages to keep you interested ALL the way throughout the book. In the beginning there is this intrigue about who Anna is and what happened to her, but even by the very end there are still elements of interest that make you want to keep reading. Oh and don’t even get me started about the plot twists. Some of them are a bit far fetched but they work well in the context of the book

Characters

Anna is a very well constructed character. The book does a very good job of portraying mental illness and really explaining what it’s like for people going through those things. And I like Anna’s character development of how she is determined to get better by the end.

A majority of the book is told by Tim’s perspective but I feel like Tim was mostly the observer, it’s hard to explain but it just felt like he was a plot device to basically just introduce readers to Anna’s story. But he does play a major role in Anna’s character development and driving the plot so…(awkward contradiction much)

The rest of the characters in the books are also developed well in the sense that the book explains their actions and how their past has made them into the person they are today

Writing

The book is told in dual perspective by Anna and Tim (mostly Tim though). Anna’s pov is in italics and Tim is just normal font but if it weren’t for the font difference I don’t believe I would be able to distinguish their voices.Writing isn’t the forte of this book as it is quite simplistic but the plot more than makes up for it

Rating

4

 

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Discussion, life

Discussion | Could YA Have A Negative Influence?

Recently. I’ve noticed that the best friend has started saying this particular line to me quite often:

“It’s not like that. You read too many books. Gosh”

This is usually in reply to my random perspectives on life.

Which got me thinking. What if the books I read have started influencing me? I mean what if they’ve warped my perspective about something?

Now of course, considering I read so many books it’s a given that they’d influence me in some way or another. But what  if they’ve started affecting my take on life, like majorly?

Let’s take love for example, literally every fictional novel I have ever read has some kind of romance in it. And I’ve noticed that, particularly in YA, love is this huge philosophical thing, it’s exaggerated really but being a teenager and being easily impressionable, I see it as this huge powerful event that’s gonna knock the wind out of me and the universe will collapse unto itself or something.

So has my reading resulted in me forming unrealistic expectations of love? Have I formed an idea that true love looks like Augustus and Hazel or Anna and Etienne?

That’s the other thing about YA, it sets this unrealistic bar for what boys should be like. I mean, let’s be honest, we’re all looking for an Augutus Waters or Chaol Westfall to stride in and sweep us off our feet.

I’m not trying to single out YA as the culprit of unrealistic expectations,  I mean everything from TV to Disney Movies to Instagram has us forming unrealistic expectations about everything, not just love.

I guess at the end of the day, we have to remember that, that particular representation of love in the novel is the author’s idea and experience.

And the best way is to just not be so gullible,get out there and discover your own idea of love or anything really through experience.

Apologies if this post was a bit vague or sounded too much like an “inner ramblings of a teenager” rather than a bookish discussion. But yeah it’s been plaguing me

Do you think books set unrealistic expectation?

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Book news

March Breakdown

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March, the month of crazy assessments and running around like a headless chook questioning your life and why you decided to stay in school. March was a pretty crazy month let me tell you that but we got through it!

NOTE: Just click on the book titles which will take you to my review of that particular book (only if you want to)

Books I read

Heir of Fire by Sarah.J.Maas

The game was stepped-UP

Splintered by A.G.Howard 

Let’s give it a second thought before jumping into a dark gory re-telling of Alice in Wonderland

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This year’s most compelling and serious book. The 1984 feels were strong

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Escapism gone wrong anyone? but can’t wait to watch the movie!!

Around the book-o-sphere

Paper Towns movie trailer

AH AH it’s happening again! perfect adaptations of John Green’s books are giving me feel overload. I was honestly doubtful of Cara Delevigne playing Margo but omg after watching the trailer I was like “of course. She’s the only one who can pull this off” CANT.FREAKING.WAIT

Queen of Shadows cover reveal

They are so beautiful. I prefer the left one cuz i feel like there’s too much red in the right one but Caelena looks more badass in the right one. Hm idk.

Winter Cover Reveal

I swear this is like cover reveal month but look how gorgeous…

It bugs me how the Apple in Winter isn’t the same shade of red. I’m an art kid I’m picky with my colours okay!

The Fifth Wave Book Three

So I only found out this month that book three of the fifth wave finally has a title! And it is…

There are a lot of ways this could be interpreted. Trust me I could spend decades so let’s move on

Posts you loved

Just quickly here are the posts that received the most attention throughout the month of March

Top 10 of 2014 | Top 10 Books of 2015

Book Review | Heir of Fire

Top 5 Wednesday | Books I’d Save in a Fire

Lifestyle Haul

March Book Haul 

Currently Reading

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

How was your month of March?

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Book reviews

Book review: The Infinite Sea

Author: Rick Yancey16131484

Pages: 300

Genre: Young adult-science fiction

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Summary:

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

The prequel, the fifth wave was absolutely mind blowing- it was thrilling, graphic and action packed. Much like the prequel The infinite sea also contained the same thrill and adrenaline however, it was turned down a notch making it a step down from the previous book. Now, I’m not bashing the book, believe me it was a good sequel but for some odd reason I didn’t achieve the same satisfaction from this book as I did from its predecessor.

In terms of progress, this book seemed to drag because of the fact that the characters weren’t travelling as much. This did constitute to less action and more dialogue between the characters. The serious but humorous discussion happening between the characters throughout this book added personality and depth to the characters.

My favorite character would have to be Ben, he seems so genuine and honest. I also like the fact that he can make light of any situation while taking control of everyone as well.

I cannot get over Rick Yancey’s writing. Sure, this is a sci-fi thriller but he adds that little poetic twist to it making it melancholic and flowing. There were a LOT of metaphor in The infinite Sea and I love metapors! much because of the fact that everyone interprets them differently and it’s interesting to discover everyones take on what the author is trying to imply.

The Infinite Sea travelled more deeply into the reason why the aliens are invading Earth, a question I hadn’t thought about much. I have a theory but I’m not sure whether anyone would be interested in reading it, let me know?

The ending left me a little confused, I mean are Teacup and Razor dead or what? And where is Ringer gonna go? so many questions! I guess I’ll just wait one more year until The End releases.

Rating

3

 

~Infinityreads

 

Film review

Film Review: If I stay

Director: R.J.Cutlerif-i-stay

Stars: Chloe-Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos and Jamie Blackley

Genre: Drama

The highly anticipated film adaptation of Gayle Forman’s If I stay  surpassed all expectations. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

I absolutely adored the book and recently reviewed it here. To be honest I wasn’t anticipating the movie too much because I was convinced that no adaptation could impress me more than The Fault In Our Stars film but let me tell you. I was wrong. If I stay is phenomenal

Characters

Chloe-Grace Moretz is slaying it in the young-adult adaptation world. Her portrayal as Mia Hall in the film was acceptable however, in my opinion Mia’s character has an immense amount of depth and strong emotions. Chloe did an average job of being this emotional girl but it required more depth and she just wasn’t fully immersed in the role. But I have to say, she slayed that rock chic look. And I also wonder whether she can actually play the cello.

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My first impression of James Blackley as Adam while I was watching the trailer for If I stay was: He’s too soft. I imagine Adam as this hard-core (but not too hard-core) guy with this laid back attitude. And Blackley did surprise me. Throughout the film he did a great job of being that hard-core guy especially while performing his musci but he was also this sweet guy. So great job James Blackley!

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The rest of the casting was great, Mia with her ex punk rock parents and her grandparents with Teddy aw bless him. The film succeeded in capturing the close bonds in Mia’s family and I was feeling the feels when the turmoil hit.

One thing that did bug me was Adam and Mia’s relationship, It was adapted well for the most part with all the cute teenagery moments and what not but I was a bit confused about their break up. It didn’t even seem like a break up, it seemed like this fight that got interrupted by Mia’s accident and I’m not even exactly sure WHY they were breaking up. The film didn’t execute the break up to a satisfactory level I believe.

And what’s with Adam’s back story of being left behind by his parents? Pretty sure that wasn’t in the books but it did give insight into his nature and decisions so I’m cool with that.

Music

As you may or may not know, Mia is a cellist and Adam is part of a band so music played a vital part in this film. The music choice was great. That is all I have to say for that, it was great. Mia’s cello pieces were on point and rejuvenated this love for classical music inside me and on the other hand Adam’s rock performances made his character stronger. I was a bit disappointed that Say Something didn’t appear throughout the film since it was in the trailer and would’ve blended in beautifully with the film oh!

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Plot

With adaptations I understand that the film doesn’t follow the book word for word. For the most part I feel like this film stayed true to the book and what it represented, that you don’t take your family and friends for granted and you never know what’s gonna happen. This, I believe is a powerful message that was executed powerfully by the film.

I was a little skeptical of how the creators of the film would show the difference between present day and Mia’s memories since the book/film goes back and forth between present and past. Much to my surprise the present situation and Mia’s memories of past events were very distinguishable which made me very happy.

Okay so I am a rather picky person so bear with me but I would’ve liked to see a back story to most characters as is the case in the book. For example, the fact that Mia’s best friend Kim does not get along with her boyfriend Adam at the start and Mia is conflicted about this but during Mia’s accident they come closer as the circumstance calls for it. I thought little stories like this told from Mia’s perspective in the book connected me that much more to these minor characters. But you can’t have everything hey?

If I stay definitely impressed me in terms of movie adaptations and I know at some point in this blog post I sound like I’m complaining but really I’m just a picky person, I really did enjoy the film. Hoping to see the sequel in cinemas sometime soon!

Rating

4

 

 

Book reviews

Review: The Scorch Trials

Author: James Dashner7631105

Genre: Young adult-Dystopian

Pages: 360

Summary:

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive

 

Super short review because it might be repetitive after just reviewing the Maze Runner.

It took me a while to properly get into this book as it was extremely slow paced at the start. You know when authors spend 5 pages describing a bedroom, it was kind of like that.

But once the adventure began I did not want to put this book down. It was such a step up from the first book. There was lots of adventure and it was fast paced and thrilling.

Again, the story line of this series is so intriguing and I’m always hungry for new information. But then this new information always ends up making me even more curious and confused but thats okay! its still so cool.

I had the same problem with the characters as in the previous book (read my review here, trust me you want to) . There was just no depth, I think part of the problem is that there isn’t much background to the characters because of them losing their memories and therefore, I just don’t know much about them I guess. There were a few new characters introduced toward whom I have mixed feelings because they did weird things that confused me,

The end bit was stuffed up, I just did not know what to think. Like who am i supposed to believe now? what is happening?

Rating

3

Book reviews

We were liars: Review

Author: E.Lockhart      16143347-e1397585781962                        
Pages: 240
Genre: Young adult

Summary:
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island
A brilliant damaged girl,  a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends-the Liars whose friendship turns destructive.  revolution.  An accident.  A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth

Initially I wasn’t going to write a reviee about this book because it was short and I guessed it would just be some book I could pass the time with.

But I cannot stop thinking about this bloody book!

I finished it in 2 days and I am incapable of thinking about anything other than the characters and events that concurred throughout we were liars. I guess you could say I am obsessed

Haunting, tragic and gripping we were liars is a coming of age novel beating catcher in the Rye according to me.

E.Lockhart has a unique way of writing that just grips you from the first sentence and you are sucked into this void of strong emotions. Elements such as personification and metaphors make this novel so memorable.

I really liked that E.Lockhart used fairy tales to get certain points across which really make you think.  I wish more novels were like this.

The mysterious, haunted veil of perfection built by a family dwelling upon lies come down with a twist you will never see coming with a realisation that will change everything.

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to discuss the book more openly because I really don’t want to give the story away.

I HIGHLY recommend it. Just trust me you wanna read this. If you like golden retrievers and summer and mysterious private islands you better pick this book up.

Also this was an impulse post written from my phone (talk about professional) so apologies for any typos or whatever.
Rating

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~infinityreads