Beautiful and important: George by Alex Gino [REVIEW]

25615902Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
First published in August 2015
Tags: Middle GradeContemporary, LGBTQIA (T)

Source: Storytel (audiobook app)
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“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her (4th grade) teacher announces their class play is going to be “Charlotte’s Web.” George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part …because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.”

“Mom, what if I’m a girl?”

A mini-review for a mini-book. It’s short and sweet and definitely worth picking up because oh my god, this book is so lovely. I adored it to pieces. I listened to it on audio, and it was such a pleasant experience. 

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Just as beautiful as the last: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater [REVIEW]

17370618The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater
Series: The Raven Cycle#2
First published in September 2013
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N

Source: Purchased
Rating:  photo five stars_zpsr2o5iiuv.png

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

This series, guys. This series. This is the type of thing I wish I could write. 

I don’t know what to say about this to be honest, because a lot of it will just be echoing my review of The Raven Boys, because the plot is still just as fantastic, the writing is just as stunning, and the characters are just as lovable. I don’t have any superlatives left. 

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Satire at its best: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray [REVIEW]

9464733Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
First published by in May 2011 by Scholasic Press
Tags: Young Adult, Dystopia, Satire

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N 

Source: Purchased

Rating:  photo five stars_zpsr2o5iiuv.png

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program–or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan–or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of
A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

I’ve said before that this book isn’t going to be easy to review without it turning into a fully fledged essay on feminism, satire, and dystopian societies. I’ve literally had this review in my drafts for months because I have no idea how to write it. I’ll just have to try to convey to you how good I think this is in a semi-eloquent manner.

If you’ve read the synopsis, it should be quite clear that this book is satire. And it’s really good satire. It looks critically at the beauty industry, sexism, racism, and overall it criticizes society’s treatment of women, young girls in particular. It also satirizes reality TV, consumer culture, and politics. For example, in the book we find out how this one key ingredient used in cosmetic products is also a powerful explosive.

Not only is the whole book spot-on, it’s hilarious and incredibly important.

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Review: Eleanor & Park

eleanor and parkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin’s Press in
Pages: 328
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
eleanor and park




Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

I finally finished this book yesterday and I liked it way more than I thought I would, since I didn’t particularly love Fangirl [my review]. 

Everyone probably knows what this book is about already, but whatever, here’s a short summary. E&P is set in Omaha in 1986 and follows the two sixteen-year-olds, Eleanor and Park, as they fall in love. Eleanor has a hard life, she considers herself unattractive and overweight and comes from a poor home with an abusive step-father. Park’s home-life is a lot better, with a Korean mother and a white father who make sure to kiss each other every day. He likes punk music, comic books and eyeliner. Eleanor and Park don’t like each other very much, until they do. 

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
– Goodreads

Like I said, I liked this a lot more than Fangirl. And I don’t usually read romance, so that was a surprise. I think what I liked so much about this was mainly the characters. I really loved Eleanor, in particular. The descriptions of her and what she’s wearing really stood out to me so that she materialized very clearly in my head. I also really enjoyed reading about her sad and chaotic home-life, it reminded me of Shameless, my favorite TV show. Angst is fuel to my soul, so I liked that. 

Park is also a good character. I liked his venture into starting to wear eyeliner to school despite his father being so against it that he refused to speak to him. 

The romance was really sweet. It might seem that they fall for each other out of the blue, but I didn’t really mind that, because I could see a build-up. There was also a build-up in the relationship itself, I don’t know how long it took before they even dared to kiss, but it was a while. Everything about it is just sweet and innocent and adorkable. 

This book does contains teens having sex (not graphic or descriptive) and swearing. To me that’s perfectly fine, but I’m just putting it out there. 

The ending is bittersweet, most definitely. I’d heard that before I started reading it, which is one of the reasons I picked it up. Sugar-sweet happily-ever-rafter romance books don’t appeal to me in the slightest, so Eleanor & Park was perfect for me in that sense. 

That said, I wouldn’t say no to a sequel that takes place when they’re both like 27 years old. 

eleanor and park
Have you read it? What do you think? 
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Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1 (completed trilogy)
Published by: Walker Books
on May 5th 2008
Pages: 497
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Thriller
Love Triangle? No
Buy: Amazon | Bookdepository
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I listened to this on audiobook (11 h 55 m), narrated by Nick Podehl

Todd Hewitt is about to turn thirteen, which makes him the youngest in Prentisstown, a small town with only men. Where all the women went is a mystery Todd doesn’t know the answer to, all he knows is that the only place women exist anymore is in the imagination of men. That already sounds creepy enough, but to complicate matters further everyone can hear each other’s thoughts because of something called the Noise germ. Just before he turns thirteen and becomes a man, something terrible happens that forces Todd to flee from his town (the only one on the whole entire planet as far as he knows) with only his dog for company. Though fleeing is difficult when the people coming after you can hear your (and your dog’s!) every thought.

And then Todd meets a girl. 

The Knife of Never Letting Go is first and foremost a survival story. If you’ve read Ness’s More Than This already then you know he writes excellent survival stories. 

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

The last time I listened to an audiobook it was probably in my parents’ car on one of our vacations when I was younger. So I don’t usually listen to audiobooks, but I stumbled upon this one and decided to just sit down and listened to it because I’d wanted to read the book for a while, but my book store didn’t have it and shipping from amazon is too expensive to me. So, I decided to go for it and I actually really, really enjoyed the ride.

The writing style in this trilogy is very much oral. A lot of words are written how they are pronounced (stayshun for station etc) and there is an accent even in the narration, like “yer” for “your”. This made the book very suitable for audio, because actually hearing the accent instead of trying to make it sound right in your head (it always sounds stupid when I try) was very beneficial to me. I also know that this writing style can be annoying to some. If you’ve tried to read this but got distracted or annoyed by the writing then I really recommend trying the audiobook because the story is worth it. I was very amused by the way the narrator said certain things. “Sheeeeep.” 

As for the story itself, phew, what a roller coaster, the plot is definitely something I haven’t read before. I liked being confused about what was going on and what had happened in the past, I love having to wait before I figure out what is going on. The story was fast paced, something was almost constantly happening, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Then I realized another perk with audiobooks. You know when you’re reading something really thrilling and suspenseful and then your eyes betray you and flicker to the bottom of the page or paragraph and you accidentally spoil yourself? You can’t do that with audiobooks, you’re constantly surprised. No need to block the bottom of the page with your hand to avoid ruining the scene. 

There are sad parts, happy parts, heart pounding parts, it has everything I look for in a book. The characters are believable too, especially Todd. And Manchee, the dog. Sweet sweet Manchee. 

I’m really looking forward to reading the next two books. I found physical copies at the library, so I’m going to try that now when I have the voice of the character in my head. I don’t have to imagine what the accent might sound like anymore, so I think I can read the rest of the two books without feeling distracted.  

I recommend this book to everyone, especially if you’re into dystopian fiction, survival stories, or just generally like a darker read. You have to be able to stomach a bit of gore  (not that much) and children in life-threatening situations.