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Lauren Wilkerson

Old soul with a thirst for literature & ravishing reads.

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The Fallout
S.A. Bodeen
The Twelve
Justin Cronin
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Review: Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Blood Wounds - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Blood Wounds was definitely not what I expected. This was my second contemporary YA novel that I've read and reviewed. Once again, it didn't hit the spot for me. It wasn't horrible by any means, but I just don't think the contemporary genre is for me.

Willa goes through so many emotions throughout this book. I sympathize with her numerous times. She tries to find herself by looking into her past. From my own experiences, I knew it wouldn't end very well if she tried to find her niche in the world by comparing herself to her family. You are your own person, no matter what your background, past mistakes, your heritage.. none of that matters. That being said, I was curious what Willa would find and how she would react to what she would find out about her parents and grandparents. It is a huge, shocking secret that she does find out, so I can't say much about that without spoiling it for you.

The book was interesting enough. It was short and to the point, which is always a plus for me. I don't care much for when authors beat around the bush and Pfeffer definitely didn't do that.

Review: Pearl by Jo Knowles

Pearl - Jo Knowles

I'll admit, this book was nothing like what I thought it was going to be. It was definitely contemporary fiction, which I don't care too much for, but it was short enough for me to tackle. It seemed like the entire book took place in the span of a few days. First we get to know Bean, who we immediately find out isn't wanted. And by not wanted, I mean she shouldn't have been born. You find out in just the first couple of pages how much her mom doesn't care about her and how Gus tries to get Bean's mom to straighten up.

This will be a short review, because it was a short book and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I didn't enjoy it much, but I can blame that on the genre. I think people who like contemporary YA should give Pearl a read though.

Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight - Sophie Jordan

I'll admit this is my first book about dragons. And yes, I do own Eon, but haven't gotten to it just yet. At first, cover lust made me pick up Firelight, then after reading the summary from Goodreads, I thought, what the heck and picked it up from my library.

Turns out to have been an awesome choice! Jacinda is a girl who's constantly stuck between things. Between being a Draki or being human or being with Will or Cassian. I feel for the poor girl! And any book that makes me feel for a character, well I'll just say they have my attention. I really liked how descriptive Jordan was of how the Draki would morph in and out of human form. I couldn't picture it until I read how they do it. Then of course there was a bit of a love triangle between Will, a guy who seems to be in tune with Jacinda's every thought and Cassian, the prince and next in line for leadership with her pride of Draki people. I like a good love triangle every once in a while and this one hit the spot!

I really think a movie should be made of this series. I'd be all over that! So overall, I really enjoyed Firelight and I just finished Vanish, which is the second in the series. And now I can't wait for the next book!

Review: Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

Zel - Donna Jo Napoli

The first book I ever read by Napoli was Bound. It was a quick read, but I really enjoyed it. So I looked around on Goodreads and found out that Napoli has written quite a few books that are twists on the fairy tales we all know and love. So the first one I picked up was Zel.

Zel, which is short for Rapunzel, is a teenager just coming of age to marry. She meets a young nobleman at the market and they kind of click. Zel's mother gets wind of the situation and locks Zel into a tower so she can have her daughter all to herself. This book was so short that I'm afraid saying much more will spoil it. I will say that the ending definitely surprised me, but in a good way. After finishing the book, I felt content and happy... just like fairy tales are supposed to make you feel!

An afterthought... I was wondering why the girl on the cover was holding a head of lettuce. Weird, huh? If anything, shouldn't she be holding a flower or an animal? I found out that Rapunzel is a kind of lettuce and that lettuce is what she was named after!

Review: Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Cloaked - Alex Flinn

After reading Beastly, also by Alex Flinn, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on another modern fairy tale novel. This one didn't quite hit the mark for me though. I thought it incorporated way too many fairy tales into one book. It was still fun to read... light and humorous, but I guess I just had my hopes up.

The main character of the book was extremely likable. He's just this regular teenage boy, working from morning til night at a shoe repair store, trying to help his mom pay the bills. I just wanted to give him a hug! But he had his dumb moments as well. Some of the most likable characters seem to always make the wrong decisions. Maybe that's why we like them so much? Because we feel sorry for them.

I would recommend this book to YA readers who want a little adventure and to have a little fun with the twist on classic fairy tales.

Review: Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Grace - Elizabeth Scott

I enjoyed this book. It was very short and I finished it in maybe an hour or two. Definitely a YA book if you're just considering the length. But I had to wonder, why is this even considered a YA book? It had a couple of scenes that were much adult, but the author didn't go into detail much at all. You just assumed what happened, but I wonder what a 13 or 14 year old might assume?

Grace was definitely a character I could relate to. She is torn between what she has believed in her whole life (which is death) and what else might be lurking in the world for her (life?). I have been in a pickle during many situations where I had to weigh the cons and pros. Grace's choice to not sacrifice herself for a cause that she believed in startled me at first. I believe in a lot of things and it made me wonder which ones I'd be able to sacrifice for.

After Grace chooses to live, she endures a pretty hectic train ride for the entire book. She had dyed her hair and worried about it fading away because it was so hot, she had changed clothes to look like a typical girl, and she had even perfected smiling when she normally couldn't and crying when she should. She had been told her whole life that she lived to die honorably by setting off a suicide bomb. She obeyed orders and always prayed. But now she makes her own decisions. She makes the ultimate decision to live.

Review: Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez

Salvation City - Sigrid Nunez

The flu pandemic has swept away so many lives and has drastically hindered the lives of the ones still breathing. Thirteen year old Cole's parents pass away from the pandemic and he is left orphaned in a hell on Earth sort of shelter. Cole is then adopted by a pastor and his wife, who live in Salvation City, Kentucky. Well there's one thing the book already has going for it.. I live in Kentucky. Then we watch how Cole struggles within himself whether or not the world is black or white, good or evil. Or I guess I should say whether Salvation City is is good for him and the outside world is the bad.

I had a few problems with Salvation City, all of which revolve around how the Christians are portrayed. I am not in anyway debating Christianity or Theology or any beliefs. I just want to voice how some of the Christians that Nunez describes in this book are startling. A pastor whose life is dedicated to God, but who is also an alcoholic? I understand being a Christian does not mean you are holier than thou and perfect, but that specific part of the book bothered me. It just didn't make sense.

Overall, Salvation City has beautifully written prose emphasizing the emotions, thoughts and lastly decisions that a thirteen year old boy has made in a world full of turmoil. I expected this book to be more focused on the dystopian aspect rather than the character connection, but alas, I enjoyed it.

Review: The Oracle of Stamboul by Micheal David Lukas

The Oracle of Stamboul - Michael David Lukas

I won this book from a goodreads giveaway and let me just say.. holy moly. It came in this awesome book case and the presentation of the book overall was just amazing. But it's whats on the inside that counts, right? This book did not disappoint. I was enthralled from the beginning to end.