“Front Lines” by Michael Grant Book Review

3.5 stars

Be patient.

That’s honestly the best advice I can give when reading this book. It really is a good book, but it takes some time before anything happens.

The story follows three girls during WWII: Rio Richlin, a white girl from California;Frangie Marr, a black girl from Oklahoma; and Rainy Schultermann, a Jewish girl from New York. However, this historical fiction novel has a slight twist.

Unlike what truly happened in WWII , women in this book can legally fight in the war. This is honestly what made me want to read this book. Because, well, #girlpower. And, while this element could have gone horribly wrong, I am happy to say that it didn’t.

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“The Poisonwood Bible” Review

4.5 stars

I have never felt more useless and hopeless for the future of a civilization. The amount of pain and hardship the continent of Africa has had to endure is almost too much for me to handle. I suddenly feel as if everything I own and experience I take for granted. Barbara does an outstanding job describing the tragic realities of imperialism and colonizing Africa.

Character wise, I loved how distinct the girls’ voices are within this book. We read from the eyes of five women; Ruth May, the youngest; Leah and Adah, twins; Rachel, the eldest;and Orleanna Price, the mother. My favorites were the mother and Leah as far as whom I liked the most and found had the most character growth. But, while I certainly didn’t like Rachel, seeing how privileged and ignorant her character remained, I thought, did an excellent job of representing the millions of people that thought and acted just like her, refusing to see the truth. The only character I didn’t really feel the need to read from was Adah. I found her to be a little too much of a pity-partier and too “unique” for my taste. The one character we never read from is Nathan Price, an extremely religious missionary. He truly believed what he did was right, which I found maddening. I absolutely despised him, and just how insane he was. While I know countless of wonderful Christians, there are still far too many religious extremists like him that exist.

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“Still Alice” Book Review

4.5 stars
This book was incredibly hard to read, yet incredibly hard to put down. Knowing someone in my family with Alzheimer’s and who who is also named Alice, I was afraid it would be too much for me and put it off for a while. Having seen just how awful the disease is firsthand, I didn’t think I needed to learn about it more. However, with any book that has received fantastic reviews and has been turned into a very successful movie, I decided that I had to suck it up. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time I read a book that hit a little to close to home. 
I absolutely loved this book. It was on the shorter side and I might have enjoyed reading about someone who might not be so rich and successful, but I’m honestly just so glad that someone took the time to write about this disease. It means a lot to me and I’m sure even more to those who have been more directly affected Everything felt real and honest and this didn’t feel like the typical “sad book” where I feel like the author’s only purpose is to make us cry. No, this book simply wanted to show how even the best can fall down. And,I can easily say, it did a pretty damn good job of doing so. It is certainly not an easy read emotionally, but it is definitely a book worth reading. I think everyone can learn something from this book. I know I did.

“The Young Elites

If I hadn’t already been in love with Marie Lu, I certainly would be now. “The Young Elites” was simply outstanding. In the shelves of the ever so crowded section of YA, this book stands out among the rest. Original, well thought out, and incredibly thrilling and intense, these are just some of the few things it offers.

The story of The Young Elites was much darker than I anticipated. Adelina , the story’s protagonist, wasn’t afraid to bloody her hands when need be. She carried a lot a darkness in her soul. But who could blame her for it? When she was young, Adelina contracted a serious fever that many people all over had and was left with serious scars and only one eye. Due to this, her father treated her like utter trash, what they call a “malfetto”. She did not have a good home life. When Adelina finally had enough of her life and tried to escape, she ended up being found and being taken care of by the Young Elites. Like Adelina, the Young Elites were all survivors of the fever who were left with horrible scars, but they also were gifted with special powers. She soon found out she might have powers as well, but hers were different. Her powers were one of darkness and potential terror.

One of the things that really stood out to me was how this story was full of complex characters. There was no pure evil or pure good character. Adelina was the protagonist, but she could’ve been the antagonist at times if she wasn’t telling the story. Enzo, the leader of the Young Elites was said to be one of the good guys, but even he was no sweet thing. But, what I especially loved was Teren, the bad guy of the book. He was definitely horrible, but he wasn’t just “evil” for the sake of being evil. In fact, at times, I contemplated that maybe he wasn’t the true villain. Maybe it was someone else…

I also really loved the character relationships within this book. Adelina had an incredibly strong bond with her sister that I highly respected. Given that I have a younger sister, I always love books that showcase a realistic relationship between the two. I also loved Adelina’s friendship with Raffaelle, a courtesan. It was nice to see that not every friendship with a person of the opposite sex has to turn into romance. But, that being said, I did really like the development of Adelina and Enzo’s relationship. It was not too rushed and had just enough of them together to leave us wanting more, but not too many scenes so that it made me sick.

My only real complaints within this book are that I wished there was a little bit more backstory and worldbuilding. There was some, but not quite enough to leave me satisfied. Marie Lu had crafted such a wonderful world that i was sad that I didn’t get to know more about it. I also felt that there was a slight of uneven pacing. There was some times in the middle where not much was happening, yet near the end, there was almost too much happening for me to really grasp it. Not to mention this book had an awful cliffhanger. Of course.

Other than that, I absolutely loved this book. Adelina was a great protagonist that was definitely unique, and the story kept me on my toes the whole time. Definitely recommend. 🙂


Top 5 Friday: Classics

I’ll admit that when it comes to classics, I’m not an expert. I haven’t read that many of them and I normally only read shorter ones. However, of the ones I’ve read, there are some absolutely amazing ones that have stayed with me and that I will forever cherish. Due to the fact that these are all really well known classics, I don’t think I need to add a summary, but if you have any questions involving these books, let me know. 🙂 Here are my top 5 classics.

1. “1984“by George Orwell

1984 was the first dystopian I ever read. While it has been several years since I picked it up, it still continues to be one of my all time favorites.

2. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens

Dickens and I have a rather tentative relationship. A few of his books I love, and others I find dreadfully boring or can’t even finish the book. But, this is one of the few gems of his that reminds me of outstanding talent. This one was so unlike anything I’d read and I will always love it.

3. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ll admit. I was originally skeptical of this book. I have never been the hugest fan of the 20s and prefer lots of other time periods. But, I loved this one. F. Scott Fitzgerald does such an amazing job at imagery and I could everything in my head perfectly. Wonderful.

4. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

I don’t know how to speak about this book without getting too overly fangirly, except that yes, I am one of those diehard Jane Austen fans. Oh, and that I absolutely love Mr. Darcy. (But, who doesn’t?) I like her other books, but this one is still my favorite. I have reread this book several times, seen so many movie adaptions, and watched the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. It’s kinda crazy. But, I suppose I’m a bit of a crazy kind of person.

5. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

This is my favorite classic. I absolutely adored reading this book and fell in love with the characters.

“Tell the Wolves I’m Home” book review

4.5 stars

Sometimes, when I read a book, I find myself at a loss for words. That there is no successful way to describe how much I love a certain story and can only try to attempt to get my thoughts out there. I must be having an amazing reading year because I already have come across several breathtakingly beautiful books. Due to that, I thought I couldn’t possibly read any more remarkable, heartfelt novels any time soon. I couldn’t possibly be that lucky. It appears I was wrong.

It’s almost kinda funny how this was a book I got on a whim. I was browsing in the library and came across the book. Even though I had a to-be-read pile too large already, I found myself picking it up anyway. I had seen it at target all the time, and figured I would give it a shot. I make a lot stupid decisions, but this one wasn’t.

The story follows a fourteen year old girl June who loses her Uncle Finn to AIDS in the year 1987. When I soon realized what this book was about after reading a little bit, I worried this would too much for me. I lost my Aunt to cancer last year, and it was awful. But, the way Ms. Brunt handles death and loss is so real, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters. June thinks that she is the only one who truly loved Finn, but she then meets a close friend of his and realizes that maybe they both really loved him. They also realize they need each other to heal.

This is not a fastpaced book. There are not great fight scenes or nonstop action. And at first, I found myself a little bored. It took until almost 100 pages to really get into the story. (Because of that, I couldn’t give it five stars.) But, when I did start to enjoy this book, I absolutely loved it. I felt for June immensely and I loved how real everything felt. I couldn’t stop reading. It has this very realistic tone, and it feels as if you are really there experiencing all the events that occur in this story. I just loved it so much.

The relationships that were portrayed in this book were excellent. June and her older sister in particular, stuck out to me. It reminded me a lot of my sister and me. Although in this case I am the eldest, but we still fight all the time, we still love each other, and we still sometimes have no clue what the other is thinking yet know everything about them. I also loved June and Finn’s friend, Toby, together. They absolutely broke my heart. It felt so real and honest they really helped each other heal. At times, I would feel slightly uncomfortable due to their age differences, but I would try to brush that off. (Then again, Finn and June’s relationship made me uncomfortable at times as well, but still beautiful.) Toby and June brought out the good in each other.

This is definitely one of those “must read books” that people talk about. I think this books shows a lot about love, the good parts of it and the awful parts. I really hope that people will read it and hopefully take something away from it. 🙂