All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This was originally posted on My Trending Stories

All the Bright Places

  • Title: All the Bright Places
  • Author: Jennifer Niven
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
  • Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fiction
  • My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

For a long while, I had All the Bright Places in my notes but kept skipping over it. I thought it would just be another one of those John Green coming of age books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in love with Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. I just kept putting off All the Bright Places for some reason. So when I finally started it, I was in a state of “What is this piece of beauty!?”. It totally caught me off guard.

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The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you Anna for nominating me!

Rules:

  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person that has nominated you
  • Share 7 different facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

7 Facts About Me:

  1. I became best friends with a German exchange student last year and now we send each other letters back and forth.
  2. I was on the big screen at a Yankees game. (heck yes)
  3. I have an older brother that’s studying in Spain this semester. (lucky him)
  4. I think Stranger Things is the best T.V show ever made. (It’s like a mix of the Goonies and Super 8!)
  5. Our house got eight feet of water in hurricane Katrina. (and we were there for it all)
  6. I’ve busted my head open spinning on a barstool. (what a lame way to get a hole in your head)
  7. I rode a horse through a lake in a swimsuite. (lol)

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising #1)

  • Title: Red Rising
  • Author: Pierce Brown
  • Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
  • Publication Date: January 28th, 2014
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction
  • My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Red will rise indeed! So I’m a die hard dystopian fan, especially when there are kick a** characters involved. But I’ve never come across one quite like Red Rising. Usually dystopian novels start off with the main character suspecting there’s something wrong with their society or, just right off the bat, they know they’re being oppressed. But in this book, Darrow doesn’t question how he lives. He comes across quite content and, of course, in love with his wife, Eo. Soon though, everything changes when Eo is taken from him. This is the part where the story takes a turn. Darrow is filled with the need for revenge and fights to make his wife’s dream come true.

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1)

  • Title: The Name of the Wind
  • Author: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Publisher: Penguin Group DAW
  • Publication Date: March 27th, 2007
  • Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Epic Fantasy
  • My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Whew! Now that was an EPIC story. I feel like I just read the whole life of a child, which I basically did. Talk about adventure, first love, humor, darkness, magic, dragons, war, music……I mean I could go on for days. There’s nothing this book didn’t have! It had me laughing, crying, jaw-dropping, and occasionally gave me the urge to throw it at a wall. Do you ever read those stories, where at times, you have to stop reading because you’re afraid to go on? Yup…this was one of those! But boy I fell in love with this book. Oh and it was actually a recommendation from my brother.

The Story

Holy cow! Who comes up with this stuff?! Patrick Rothfuss is who! So here’s the gist. A young “innkeeper” is visited by a scribe who wants to write his life story. The actual Name of the Wind story doesn’t take place until the “innkeeper” starts talking of his past, all the way back to when he was a child. In fact, before he begins, he tells the scribe that his story will take three days. Yeah that’s right….the first book is only the first day of the “innkeeper” telling his story. I told you it was EPIC! As in extremely long. But still worth it! So basically the whole book is a flashback, but it does sometimes come back to the present, which are the interludes. The “innkeeper’s” story seems so real and believable! From the magic and poverty to the music and university, you feel for the boy and all that he encounters. The author creates a whole world of towns, cities, religion, beliefs, dialects, cultures, old folklore and songs. Oh my gosh I thought the songs were the neatest thing! Hidden in each song was a story or lesson. And the way the author described the music being played made me feeling like I was actually there listening to it.

The Characters 

How to describe Kvothe? Not daring in a reckless way but does what the situation calls for which usually turns out to be daring and awe worthy. He’s extremely intelligent for his age, but it makes many enemies throughout the story. During all of his adventures and crazy encounters, I had to keep reminding myself how old he is. So much happens at such a young age! I found that his determination is what kept him alive and also his ability to act. The acting was one of my favorite things about this book! Kvothe uses his past in theater to carry out many of his insane doings. He’s very prone to getting in trouble, so his talented acting skills come in handy. I actually laughed out loud at a lot of those parts in the book. He can make witnesses or bystanders think he’s something grande when he’s really just putting on a show. But their are parts where he really is just a powerful person who can use magic in incredible ways. It kills me though how whenever he does the right thing, he gets punished for it. But his creativity is always his way out. Each character in the book played a part in Kvothe’s rise to fame. Whether they taught him or fought him, Kvothe gained knowledge through all of them. Education, life lessons, old stories, fighting skills, languages, how to act in different cultures, street living,. The characters provided it all, while Kvothe observed and listened. Denna kind of got on my nerves. She was always disappearing and leading Kvothe on a goose chase. How many times is he going to look for her? But I did like how they interacted and their witty comments to each other. They’re a perfect pair.

The Writing

Ahhh the writing was so poetic and beautiful! Tons and tons and tons of metaphors that were oh so good. It’s written how a fantasy should be written! Everything seemed so dreamlike but real at the same time. It felt like one of those old storybooks you read to your children, filled with the adventures a boy makes while finding his way in the world. And the songs were so neat! Almost like poetry with stories and old folklore woven into them. I loved how the rumors about Kvothe were true but not true. His actions were spectacles that had people gushing about him when really there was a secret hidden behind it. He’s just a fantastic performer who knows how to put on a show and make people think what he wants them to think. Or sometimes there isn’t a secret. His magic is just that good. Sometimes I felt like the author was writing down his own thoughts, the ones he’s been keeping in his head for a decade but won’t tell anyone incase he sounds crazy and then he figures they’d be perfect in his fantasy book cuz you know, fantasy accepts the crazy. The interlude of Kvothe trying desperately to describe Denna’s beauty was hilarious, especially when Bast interrupts to point out her crooked nose. The gorgeous writing style of this book really made me fall in love. Rothfuss has a lot of amazingness in his head. 722 pages worth.

“I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.” 

― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

 

So yeah. Immerse yourself in Kvothe’s story.

 

The World of Readers

I’ve been MIA for a while and I apologize. This has been my busiest week out of the school year and it’s really kicked my butt. Talk about tests, projects, college dinners. It’s been crazy. But I got through it (with very little sleep) and now I’m back! So as I sit here, sleep deprived and utterly exhausted, I want to talk about an issue that I’ve been noticing and that I’m sure many of you have been noticing too. I was hanging with friends tonight at an ice cream shop and I couldn’t get this out of my head. So here I go thinking out loud.

It seems that as the years go by, the world of readers gets smaller and smaller. It’s so hard these days to find someone who loves to read or has a passion for it. Or there is just a very small number compared to the rest of society. Thankfully, my friends have an appreciation for books but they’re only an extremely small portion of my high school. And I go to a public school, so it’s about a total of 2,000 kids. Okay I know there is more kids at school that enjoy reading, but they are deeply outnumbered by those who could care less. So if that’s just at a high school, then think about the whole world. Now that’s a lot of people who don’t read.

I find this realization pretty sad. Lots of people think reading is for the outsiders or ones who have nothing else to do. I’m sure you know the stereotype. But what they don’t know is how much knowledge, art, and creativity they are missing out on. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like people who enjoy reading are the more intelligent ones. Books make you learn even if you don’t realize it! Every time you read, ideas and information are being passed on to you. It’s an ongoing cycle.

The world of readers is slowly dwindling and it’s a problem. We have so much technology and other activities these days that who would want to open a book? Our children might grow up never knowing what reading for fun is. That’s incredibly depressing. So I guess I’ll give some words of encouragement. Read! It gives you power and puts you above others (it also increases your ACT score lol). I certainly don’t want our children or our children’s children to never experience that feeling of finishing an amazing book. You know what I mean. Since I’m feeling inspiring, I’ll end this post with a quote.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot

Feel free to share any opinions or comments about this subject. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun

  • Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
  • Author: Jandy Nelson
  • Publisher: Dial Books
  • Publication Date: September 16th 2014
  • Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Coming of Age
  • My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

I finally get to review this book even though I read it late last year! But it’s still fresh in my head, because it had such an impact on me! How do I put my love for this book into words? Probably a lot of exclamation points and the word “amazing”. I’m going to try really hard not to do those things! Dang I already failed.

The Story

So the book goes back and forth between twins Noah and Jude, while Noah’s story is the before and Jude’s is the after. I personally love this idea, because it leaves you wondering why the change between them? Noah’s story gradually reaches the present time, which is where the action and tell-all happens and also where you fast-pace read. Word of advice, don’t read too quickly (like me) to where you have to go back and reread it. Just slowly take it all in to really experience the AHHHHHH mom Continue reading