Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

 

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publishing date: 26th February, 2013
Pages: 328

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 


Summary:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

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


My take:

I read this book because of the hype surrounding it. I don’t know what I feel. I kind of have mixed feelings for this book. It was a good read actually, it went smooth and I liked the switching narration of Eleanor and Park. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a while since I read this book so I had to search a lot and find out if people quoted something that even I liked and quoted in my copy because I lost all of my highlights. Reading those quotes made me connect to the book again on a personal level.

There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…

If you’ve ever been in love, true love, your first love, you will get what I am saying. It’s so nerve-wrecking and comforting at the same time. All those feelings leave you scared but that person drives all your fears away. First love is really a very pure experience and people who have experienced it are lucky. These quotes that I picked out are a mass acceptance because everyone seems to have loved these lines. I think it really connects with people. You go through these feelings when you are in love and it’s quite frightening until you know it is mutual, even then you need some time to digest the fact that you have such a wonderful person with you to hold and be held forever. โค ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

This book had all those feelings, the words had feelings and lots of them to be honest. Just read these lines if you haven’t and you will understand… ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œI don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.โ€

These words. โค Now that I read it again I know exactly what Eleanor meant. This fear of the person, that is giving you all these feels, not wanting you like you want them and leaving you is real. It’s only them that can drive that fear away and that’s what Park does. I love it how Eleanor opens up to Park and how Park tries to solve all her problems and wants her to experience the beauty of little things. May it be reading comics to her pace or making her a tape of the songs he thinks she might like or thinking about asking for batteries as Christmas present so that Eleanor could listen to songs… really, it’s the little things that matter in the long run. Park wins with flying colours in that aspect. Him kicking his friend’s ass for bullying Eleanor is an added bonus. I was impressed with that kick. โค

โ€œNothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.โ€

These lines by Eleanor are something that every person in love feels. How you get comfortable with things you were uncomfortable with and how you start liking them. Love does get you to a new level of comfort with a person. ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œMy girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.โ€

This reminds me of something. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œEleanor was right. She never looked nice.She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.โ€

Park really has a way with words. I don’t think he could have found better words as to describe the way Eleanor dresses. To be honest, her style is too loud for someone who doesn’t want to get noticed. The same goes for Park. The guy who was focused on not being noticed starts wearing eyeliner which will surely get him noticed, I felt like he did it to piss his dad off. I don’t know I just felt like the scene was forced.

The ending, when Eleanor realizes who the person was behind all those little mean notes she got and the night she goes to bed and finds it out had me on edge. The book made me nervous from that point. I was scared for everyone involved and the actual ending seemed bland in comparison to the climax. Eleanor spends considerable time with her dysfunctional family so at this point they were all an important aspect of the story, forgetting them completely once Eleanor is out of the mess wasn’t exactly a good idea. I wanted to know what became of her mother and siblings, how they were, and what about her stepdad? Through Park we do know that they left but that seemed like lazy writing. Instead of delving into their story, the characters just disappeared with a vague explanation.

All in all I loved the love they share and the bond they have but the story… I need more. I need to know what happened to Eleanor’s family and what became of Eleanor and Park. I felt it was kind of wrong on Eleanor’s part to not reply even once and then start the interaction after months. I know she had problems but you don’t leave the only person helping you miserable. I am not sure how I feel about the ending. I felt like there’s always hope for love and felt sorry for Park.


Why would I pick it up?

Because… Love! โค

Blog Tour | Blitz | Immurement by Norma Hinkens

Immurement
Norma Hinkens
(The Undergrounders Series, #1)
Publication date: December 16th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult

The earthโ€™s core overheats. The sovereign leader vanishes. A young girl is the survivorsโ€™ only hope โ€ฆ

What little land is habitable is patrolled by cutthroat gangs of escaped subversives, but thatโ€™s not the greatest threat facing sixteen-year-old Derry Connelly, her brother Owen, and a ragged band of Preppers holed up in a bunker in the Sawtooth Mountains. Mysterious hoverships operated by clones are targeting adolescents for extraction.

Owen, is one of the first to disappear. To save him, Derry must strike a deal with the murderous subversives, and risk a daring raid to infiltrate the heart of the extraction operation.

But will the rookie leader falter when forced to choose between her brother and a clone who ignites something inside her she didnโ€™t know was possible?

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

Someone gives a feeble clap. โ€œMagnificent! A most rousing speech to rally the heathens, Mason!โ€

My feet fuse to the floor at the raspy voice that wafts into the room. Tucker strains at his collar. I yank him back, my heart pounding.

A shrunken man with an unnatural stoop steps into view. My skin crawls with a new level of fear. My gunโ€™s in the Crematauto, along with the rest of the weapons. I fumble around in my pocket and latch onto my switchblade. A trickle of sweat runs down behind my ears. The man standing in the entry looks freakishly old and frail. Tucker could take him down in a heartbeat, but my brain sounds an inner caution. He probably didnโ€™t come alone.

Before I even finish my thought, the doorway darkens and four armed men in black fatigues troop through. Big-shouldered, faces set like flint on necks thick as tree stumps. Schutz Clones! I tighten my grip on Tucker and command him to stay. One false move and heโ€™ll end up another carcass waiting to be incinerated. He minds me, but tension radiates through his collar.

โ€œWelcome to the Craniopolis,โ€ the old man says. โ€œMy apologies for the modest welcoming committee, but your timing is most unfortunate. Everyone is at the unveiling of our new Hovermedes prototype.โ€ His body shakes out a shallow breath, as he shuffles toward me. โ€œAllow me to introduce myself. I am Dr. Lyong.โ€

I slide my gaze in Masonโ€™s direction. His face registers confusion. Then a flicker of recognition.

โ€œWhat โ€ฆ happened to you?โ€ he asks, in a half-whisper.

Dr. Lyong jerks to a stop in front of me and lets out a long, trembling sigh. Itโ€™s all I can do not to gag. His breath smells of decaying compost.

โ€œRestructuring DNA proved more complex than I had hoped.โ€ Dr. Lyong runs a finger under his beaked nose and waves it dismissively in Masonโ€™s direction. The skin is stretched so tight over his hand I can see the grape-colored veins forking out beneath it. He barely looks human.

I canโ€™t repress a shudder.


 

Author’s Bio:

Norma Hinkens grew up among vibrant storytelling traditions in her native Ireland. A Celtic bard at heart, she wields her wordsmithing sword with as much wit and eloquence as a bard can muster. She’s a legend-loving author who takes a fiendish delight in pushing reluctant characters over cliffs to find out what they’re made of. Epic odds, seemingly impossible missions, pasts that haunt, intrigue and misadventure. She’s happiest when wrangling provocative big picture ideas that are never black and white when you turn them inside out. It’s all about the tension in the journey. She lived and worked in Germany for several years, and currently resides in California with her husband, three children and Chihuahua extraordinaire. She is the author of The Undergrounders Series, Immurement, Embattlement and Adjudgement, a Young Adult post-apocalyptic, sci-fi adventure trilogy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Blog Tour | Book Spotlight | Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. ๐Ÿ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book โ€œShade Meโ€ by Jennifer Brown , hosted by IFB Tours. ๐Ÿ™‚


Shade Me
By Jennifer Brown
Series: Nikki Kill #1
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense

Nikki Kill does not see the world like everyone else. In her eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray. Thanks to a rare phenomenon called synesthesia, Nikkiโ€™s senses overlap, in a way that both comforts and overwhelms her.
Always an outsider, just one โ€˜Dโ€™ shy of flunking out, Nikkiโ€™s life is on the fast track to nowhere until the night a mysterious call lights her phone up bright orangeโ€”the color of emergencies. Itโ€™s the local hospital. They need Nikki to identify a Jane Doe who is barely hanging on to life after a horrible attack.
The victim is Peyton Hollis, a popular girl from Nikkiโ€™s school who Nikki hardly knows. One thing is clear: Someone wants Peyton dead. But why? And why was Nikkiโ€™s cell the only number in Peytonโ€™s phone?
As she tries to decipher the strange kaleidoscope of clues, Nikki finds herself thrust into the dark, glittering world of the ultra-rich Hollis family, and drawn towards Peytonโ€™s handsome, never-do-well older brother Dru. While Nikkiโ€™s colors seem to help her unravel the puzzle, what she canโ€™t see is that she may be falling into a trap. The only truth she can be sure of is that death is a deep, pulsing crimson.


Author’s Bio:

AuthPhotoJennifer Brown is the author of acclaimed young adult novels, Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, Thousand Words, and Torn Away. Her debut novel, Hate List, received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA “Perfect Ten,” and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Bitter End received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.ย Her debut middle grade novel, Life on Mars, was released in 2014, and her second middle grade novel, How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel will be released in summer 2015. She also writes women’s fiction under the name Jennifer Scott.
Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.

Blog Tour | Review | The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner

Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. ๐Ÿ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book โ€œThe Ghost Chroniclesโ€ by Marlo Berliner, hosted by Prism Book Tours.

Letโ€™s get on with the review, shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


The Ghost Chronicles (Book #1)

 

Title: The Ghost Chronicles
Author: Marlo Berliner
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Publishing date: November 2015
Published by: Teddy Blue Books
Pages: 332

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 


Summary:

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

Michael Andrews had everything โ€“ a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, heโ€™s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why heโ€™s stuck. All he wants is to move on.

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

To make matters worse, thereโ€™s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the โ€œjoiningโ€ of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they donโ€™t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns heโ€™s being pursued. Demons are after him because heโ€™s a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isnโ€™t such a good idea.


My Take:

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

This is the premise of the book. Everything in this book seems to be written with great thought and care. Nothing seemed to be rushed or ignored. The summary of the book is a good example in itself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ How well it explains the book in few words. This summary actually summarizes the book. Kudos to the author for that! ๐Ÿ˜€

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-20-27-1

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-20-35-1This is from where the real story starts,
with the death of Michael. It is so well written that you can feel yourself at his place. The confusion that Michael goes through in the start makes you reach out for him. He slowly figures out that he will never be able to walk on earth alive again.

Seeing his family mourn for him and not being able to do anything is such an emotional scene.

 

Michael is a good kid who died at eighteen. A kid with so much potential, a caring brother, a loving son, a responsible and understanding boyfriend, a good basketball player; with no fault of his, everything comes to an end for him.
Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-20-45-1

After getting through the initial shock of being dead and trying to figure out how death works, Michael starts searching for answers.Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-20-45-2

That is when he meets Tom. Tom is also a phantom, a protector. He guides Michael throughout the book. Although giving Michael all the answers at once would have been much easier but, well, that’s not how it works, right? ๐Ÿ˜›

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-21-08-1

 

I loved this explanation Tom gives about the souls or energies, as he explains, being stuck on earth, among the living.

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-21-24-1

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-21-32-1

The way Tom explained being dead, our use of mind, being ghosts, I found it all very reasonable. Paranormal that makes sense? Too good. ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then comes the devil. Now’s the time to get you some action. The Devil logic was also borderline smart. I think there was not a single part in the book that would challenge intelligence or stoop for stupidity.

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-21-45-1

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-22-06-1Michael was sure whining for almost the whole book as if he was the only one who had problems. When Tom tells him this, I was like, “It’s high time someone told him that. Thank you, Tom.” ๐Ÿ˜›

 

All in all this is an entertaining book but not much happens in the book. The summary is the actual length of the story. The rest is all Michael whining, trying to figure out things, Tom disappearing and giving next to no information. At the end guess what happens, you are left hanging, yes, there’s going to be another book.

Why does this happen? Hello, I am hanging here, can we get the new book already? ๐Ÿ˜›

Screenshot_2016-01-09-08-22-38-1


 

Why would I pick it up?

Learning how to be dead? Yes, please! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜›


 

Author’s Bio:

marlo berliner

Formerly an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company, Marlo is currently an intern with a literary agency based in New York City, as well as, an editor at Chimera Editing. Marlo writes young adult, womenโ€™s fiction, and short stories. She is currently working on her third novel.
When she’s not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, sheโ€™s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband and two sons. This is her first novel.
Websiteย –ย Goodreadsย –ย Facebookย –ย Twitterย –ย Instagram

 

Guest Post | โ€œYou Mean We Get to Read a Fun Book?โ€ By A.J. Cattapan

โ€œYou Mean We Get to Read a Fun Book?โ€

Young Adult Literature in the Middle School and High School Classroom

By A.J. Cattapan

December 24th Post Image

 

As a young adult author and an English teacher, the use of young adult literature in the classroom has always fascinated me. When I was in junior high, young adult books were just starting to become popular. Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, and R.L. Stine were all the rage, but we saw those books in the libraryโ€”not in the classroom.

By the late 1990s, however, things had changed. Teachers were starting to see the value of incorporating young adult literature into their actual curriculum and not just as โ€œfun booksโ€ to read during independent reading time. Why?

Teachers realized the potential young adult books had to pull in even reluctant readers. Since young adult books focus on teenage characters dealing with problems and situations that many teens can relate to, middle school and high school students find them very appealing and accessible, much more so than the traditional โ€œcanonโ€ of classical books.

So over the last twenty years, more and more teachers have found ways to use young adult books in their rooms. Even more importantly, this doesnโ€™t have to happen at the expense of the classics. In fact, many reading teachers will often pair a young adult novel with a classical novel on a similar theme in order to compare and contrast them. The young adult novel often acts as a โ€œhookโ€ to get the students interested in the theme. The YA novel is usually easier to read than the classic book, so that students can kind of โ€œwarm upโ€ to the topic before diving into the more difficult text.

For example, in my own sixth grade gifted reading class, my students are required to read at least two contemporary mystery novels over the summer. Since the books are modern-day YA or upper middle grade mysteries, the students can read them easily on their own over the summer. Then when the school year starts up, we talk about how deception played a role in these mysteries. How were the criminals deceptive? Did their deception help them or hinder them? How did the detectives use deception to help them capture the criminals? Then we move into our classical texts,ย Murder on the Orient Expressย andย The Hound of the Baskervilles. Having already explored deception through young adult literature, the students are primed to explore the same theme in increasingly more challenging texts.

Social studies teachers are also making use of young adult literature in the classroom. They will use a historical young adult novel from the time period they are discussing in class in order to make that era come to life for their students.

So we wonโ€™t tell the classics that they need to go bye-bye. Just move on down the shelf a bit, and make a little room for some YA.


Giveaway

Everyone who comments will be entered to win their choice of 5 of Vinspire Publishingโ€™s young adult titles in ebook format.


About A.J. Cattapan

A.J. Cattapan is a writer, teacher, and theater lover living in the Chicago area. Her love of the theater began in the sixth grade when her mother took her to see a production of Guys and Dolls at the local high school.ย  That same year, her reading teacher introduced her to Anne of Green Gables, and the dream to become a writer began.

All things come full circle, and now she’s a sixth grade reading and language arts teacher who hopes to inspire the next generation of writers. You can follow her writing adventures at http://www.ajcattapan.com

 

 

Blog Tour | Promo Blitz | Unfearing by Shane Morgan


Check out the promo event for the second book in Shane Morgan’s YA Fantasy trilogy.ย 



Series: The Unresisting #2
Purchase: Amazon


Synopsis via Goodreads:

Natasha has finally learned the truth about herself, but sheโ€™s also discovered that having so much power comes with a price.ย 
ย 
After a close encounter with dark forces, Nat decides to trust the one person Chace warned her against, traveling to a dangerous place where no Ledarian is welcomed.ย 
ย 
Love is tested and more secrets are uncovered as Nat seeks a way to relinquish her vulnerable state and face her most powerful threat ever.




~EXCERPT~
My heart felt as if it would burst from my chest as I watched hopelessly while Ethryen ascended into midair, his fingers tightly wrapped around Chaceโ€™s neck. “Chace!” I cried, running towards them.ย 
Jesse grabbed my arm and tugged me back.ย “Donโ€™t!” he warned as Ethryen floated over the dark pit with Chace. “Heโ€™ll drop him.”ย 
“Do something!” I screamed at him, and then looked across at Ophelia and the man with long gray hair.ย 
They took slow steps forward but halted when Ethryen yelled, “Back! Or Iโ€™ll release him to the depths of this pit!”ย 
“Why canโ€™t you just give up?” Chace choked out. “Itโ€™s over!”ย 
Ethryen growled. “Itโ€™s never over!” He drenched himself in a massive amount of red flames. It seeped from his body and trailed along the rocks to the ground of the cave, blazing all around us. “Give me the amulet or watch them die!”ย 
Chace struggled to free himself, clawing at Ethryenโ€™s fiery hand at his neck.ย 
I moved forward again. Jesse wrenched me back. “We have to help him!” I shouted through clenched teeth.ย 
Ethryen glared down at me, cackling viciously. He commanded his flames to blaze higher. It flared in front of me and Jesse, forcing us back against the rocks. Jesse moved me behind him, protecting me from the flames. I tightly grasped his arm, desperate, wanting so badly to stop Ethryen once and for all.ย 
The monster spun back to Chace. “The amulet!” he barked. “Release the power to me! Now!”ย 
Chace gazed down at me with widened eyes, remorse veiling his face. Then with his left hand he started to rifle in his pocket.ย 
“Donโ€™t do it!” Ophelia urged. She tried to diminish Ethryenโ€™s flames with her own, but it was useless. The fire only blazed more, keeping us back.ย 
Fearing for our lives, Chace snatched the amulet out of his pocket and held it up before Ethryen.ย 
“No!” Dorin, the older man, and Ophelia shouted all at once.ย 
“Speak the words!” Ethryen ordered. “Now!”ย 
“Stop your flames first!” Chace bargained,ย tight-lippedย and fuming.ย 
Ethryen growled, “Do you really think you can bargain with me, boy?” He waved his free hand and the red flames edged closer to us. Our backs pressed against the rocks. Should his fire touch our bodies it would have the same impact on the others as it did on me earlier. And I wasnโ€™t sure Iโ€™d survive another hit like that.ย 
“Iโ€™ll do it!” Chace hollered fearfully, his hand shaking with the amulet. He looked down at me, and I knew what he was about to do. Chace would give Ethryen what he wanted just so he could protect me.ย 
I couldnโ€™t allow it.ย 
There must be a way to stop this.ย 

 

ย 
About the Author
Shane Morgan is an author of Young Adult and New Adult fiction. She enjoys contemporary, fantasy, romance, and horror. Shane currently lives in Rhode Island with her husband, where she spends her days blogging, writing and listening music.