Review for EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonThis book redefines the YA genre. This inspirational layout is different from any other book I’ve read. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is easy to read and heart touching. I think I would have given it a 6/5 if I hadn’t had already seen the movie. (Don’t be mad! It was mother/daughter bonding.)
On the note of already seeing the movie (which I also recommend), it was intriguing to see how the directors adapted the IM, texting, and illustrations from the book to the big screen.
The illustrations really allow the reader to get into the head of Maddy, the protagonist, by seeing the world how she sees it. They also break up the text in ways that make the reading very fast.

Overall, I give it a 5/5.

‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Review

And my obsession with Wonder Woman continues!

I have wanted to read this book since the second I discovered it was coming out. And I was not let down.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ shows a different Diana and Themyscira than the one that Patty Jenkins showed us in the movie. We see more of this ‘Cult Island,’ as it is called, and we learn more about the Amazon way of life, rules, and regulations. The Amazons and their culture is more developed than in the movie. I really enjoyed seeing Diana in this light, and I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t develop that any further.

In ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Diana is innocent. But she is also a kid; seventeen to be exact. She fights being the youngest of her people and being a teenager in modern day New York. That is something that I really enjoyed about the read, Diana was relatable in a way that isn’t really relatable. She doesn’t know how to work a smartphone, has never seen anything plastic, and has never flown in an airplane…but the way she feels about all of these new things is so relatable because we’ve all been there and experienced new things.

The ending was a twist that even I wasn’t expecting, and I’m pretty good at expecting twists. And that’s exactly what brought this book to five stars. The writing was well done, the characters well developed, which I enjoyed. But the twist ending worked. It didn’t seem far-fetched and fit character personalities. The twist ending was a real make it or break it moment; depending on how Leigh Bardugo handled the situation it could have gone off the rails and ruined the entire novel. But it didn’t. It tied it together really well and mended my heart (that had shattered a few pages beforehand).

Over 5/5 stars for a well-written ending that knew it’s characters.

‘The Female of the Species’ Review

Now, I don’t just give out five-star ratings. But I absorbed this book. I first spotted it about a month and a half ago at a bookstore and finally purchased it yesterday. I read the first three chapters last night before bed and finished it just a few moments ago, in only twenty-five hours.

Instantly gripping and constantly compelling, this book was a rollercoaster of a ride. At first, I was a little bit frustrated because there were parts that were a mystery and all I wanted to know was the answer. As I continued to read I was transfixed (it’s cram-before-exams week in college, to give up any time is a rarity, so you know this is an honest review). I fell for all of the characters, even those who aren’t protagonists.

I felt that the depiction of high school was a bit exaggerated, but the language and thought process of the characters seemed incredibly accurate. McGinnis did an incredible job making me care about the characters so much so that I cried at the end; she painted villains as heroes and did a good chunk of storytelling through dialogue. Though the topics of the book are a bit on the heavy side, and some passages can be triggering to some audiences, The Female of the Species is a pretty easy read, the longest chapter wasn’t more than five pages.

McGinnis did justice to the split point of view narration, developing each protagonist in their own way and making sure that none of their personalities blurred together. While reading, I never felt like any part of the book was over the top or unbelievable and writing something like this could have easily gone that way.

 

Rating: ★★★★★

‘Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing’ Review

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I really think it’s just me that makes this book such a low rating. The story is told through many different mediums, and I knew that going in. The reason I bought the book was because it was outside of my general comfort zone and I wanted to challenge myself, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. Well, I didn’t.

The main problem that I had with ToPRN was specifically that it was told through multiple different mediums. I’m sure that the authors’ intention of that aspect was that it added to the story and told more about the characters. To me, though, it was so distracting that I struggled at times to understand what was happening…I couldn’t make it through from one medium to the next.

For this low rating, I truly blame myself; I was not ready to read a book like this.

Interview with The Clarkston News

Click here to be redirected to the original interview!

 

Six years ago Susan Arnold began writing her first novel Blue Vigilante which she just self-published.
Arnold, a 2015 graduate of Clarkston High School, explained the series began in her eighth grade English class at the junior high school.
Her teacher, Robert Albee, gave the class a short story assignment.
“As we were writing, I struggled keeping the short story short,” Arnold said. “Mr. Albee, after grading the assignment, told me that he could see there was so much more potential to the story. I just kept writing and writing and turned the short story into a four-novel-long series. The writing journey was crazy.”
During the writing journey, Arnold takes readers into the world of Marybeth, also known as “Bat.”
In Blue Vigilante, Marybeth chooses to join the most feared gang in America, Black Bullet, in a rash revenge-fueled decision, Arnold explained.
During her initiation, she proves herself to be an amazing fighter, the best the gang has ever seen. She quickly works her way up the ranks to third in command.
When she witnesses a ruthless murder during a gang fight she is faced with a moral choice, leading to the decision to quit fighting for Black Bullet. But making the decision isn’t as easy as she thinks.
“As third in command, she knows too much to simply stop fighting and she isn’t old enough to drop out of the gang, so the leader, Trigger, decides the only way to solve the problem is to kill her,” Arnold explained.
Arnold finished the first book only a few months ago and mixed in writing with being a full-time student, learning how to drive, working a part-time job and that was before she graduated from Clarkston and went on to Northern Michigan University.
“Not to mention that I matured and that changed my writing voice,” Arnold added. “Though I wish that I could have published Blue Vigilante sooner, I’m glad I didn’t. If I had published the book as a 13- or 14-year-old, the pace and tone of the book would not match the rest of the series.”
She added writing the book wasn’t the hardest part or publishing – it was editing.
“It’s a constant back and forth battle between writing and then polishing, cutting and rewriting. I’ve edited and reread BV so much, that I practically know it by heart,” she said.
Arnold enjoys Blue Vigilante because it’s the first book and series she wrote and a project she continued working on.
“I have a stack of written works I started but never finished,” she explained. “Blue Vigilante captured my imagination enough to make me stick to it.Also, I think entire idea of the plot is something that hasn’t ever really been explored before, which makes it very interesting.”
The target audience for Blue Vigilante is young adults, but Arnold added anybody would enjoy reading it.
“As long as they’re mature enough to read it,” she said. “This book involves a gang, which means violence, drinking and drugs. I wouldn’t recommend the book for kids under 12.”
Arnold is attending Northern Michigan University and pursuing a master’s degree both in English Writing and Photography.
Blue Vigilante is available online.
~Staff Writer Wendi Reardon

‘The Giver’ Review

the-giver-novelI read Lois Lowry’s The Giver in two days. I only put it down when I had to.

I was instantly gripped by Jonas, the protagonist, and his love for language. The book opens with his internal dialogue as he tries to figure out if he was frightened or something else entirely. He weighs different words and emotions in his mind, finally deciding on apprehensive. Following through Jonas’ thought process, I believe, really helps the reader figure him out as a character.

Furthermore, as we read through Jonas’ thoughts, we are exposed to the culture of his community. The community itself is captivating enough to keep me interested up until chapter eight, when the story really starts to take off! The community and it’s never ending rules are so interesting and different than that of the way that we live today, that there is no way it cannot be interesting. The community is not explained outright, which I think is why I enjoyed the book so much. As the story progresses and more rules appear, they are explained, instead of all at once. That method of writing really helps the reader feel more immersed in the world.

The Giver was a quick and easy read, something that I was not expecting due to all the hype that I’ve heard about it. Lowry does an excellent job creating a book that can stand the test of time and span generations.

I like to think of The Giver as the first dystopian book before they got really popular (Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, Delirium)! Seriously, dystopian is its own genre.

Though I wish there had been a few things cleared up, such as the ending and the part about the planes (in the beginning), I really enjoyed reading The Giver and plan on watching the movie right after I write this review (and by the look of the trailer, I’ll probably be disappointed).

I give The Giver ★★★★★