Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Book Review

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Published: August 13th, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown

Pages: 288


Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

My Thoughts:

This was such an emotional read that I enjoyed every second of.

This was my first book by Mathew Quick, and I will definitely be reading more from him soon. He writes about mental illness in such a realistic way and because of that, I think that everybody needs to read this book.

I found myself on such a rollercoaster ride of emotions as I was reading. There were times that I laughed and times that I cried throughout the book. The main character is very relatable in his emotions of growing up and becoming an adult, but I also loved that the author did not skirt around his mental illness and just make him seem misunderstood. He was actually very sick and did and said strange things that portrayed that well. I loved everyone of the side characters as well and thought they were all well developed.

The book is written over the course of one day, but the author does a great job at providing a lot of back story through footnotes. At first I thought the long footnotes were odd and would detract from the story, but they actually added a lot to the story and I loved them. I also loved how the author went back and forth in time but did it in a way that was never confusing and the story flowed really well. The only complaint that I have about the book is that I wish it had answered more questions. I was left wondering what happened next and wish that the author would have continued the story a little bit more, but I did enjoy the book overall.

Every single teenager should read this book. I think that it would very helpful for anyone that is depressed and/or lonely since it depicts those feelings so well. It is also a great book for anyone overall since it can provide a deeper understanding of mental illness and what to look out for in other people.

4 Stars / 5 Stars


Carry On Book Review

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Published: October 6th, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffith

 Pages: 522


Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

My Thoughts:

Carry On was such a big disappointment for me.

I read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl when it first came out and absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to read more of her work, but this ultimately fell flat for me. I love Rainbow Rowell as a contemporary author, but her take on fantasy was just not for me. Although I loved the world in the book and how Rowell incorporated different popular fandoms in the book, I could not get into the story.

One of the biggest problems I had was the different perspectives. Instead of getting new information from each character and adding to the plot, I found that the multiple perspectives just made the book repetitive. One character would explain a piece of the world or an event that happened and then a little bit later another character would explain the exact same thing in detail. It was very annoying and I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over throughout the book.

The story itself was also very slow and confusing. The first three quarters of the book was excruciatingly slow and nothing really happened. The events that did take place were either insignificant or drawn out. Because of this I found myself not caring what happened at all. Then, in the last quarter of the book, everything happens and then nothing is really explained. I finished the book utterly confused and not really knowing or understanding what had just taken place.

I highly recommend everyone to read all of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, but this one was ultimately not for me. I was really looking forward to this one and am so sad that I did not like it.

2 Stars / 5 Stars


Read Bottom Up Book Review

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

Publisher: Dey Street Books

Published: April 7th, 2015

Pages: 256


A charming novel about falling in love (or like) in the digital age—the never-before-seen full story

Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City restaurant opening. Flirtation—online—ensues. A romance, potentially eternal, possibly doomed, begins.

And, like most things in life today, their early exchanges are available to be scrutinized and interpreted by well-intentioned friends who are a mere click away.

Madeline and Elliot’s relationship unfolds through a series of thrilling, confounding, and funny exchanges with each other, and, of course, with their best friends and dubious confidants (Emily and David). The result is a brand-new kind of modern romantic comedy, in format, in content, and even in creation—the authors exchanged e-mails in real time, blind to each other’s side conversations. You will nod in appreciation and roll your eyes in recognition; you’ll learn a thing or two about how the other half approaches a new relationship . . . and you will cheer for an unexpected ending that just might restore your faith in falling in love, twenty-first-century style.

My Thoughts:

This book was so much fun to read! When I picked this book up it was on a whim, and I did not realize until I started reading it that the book is told completely through texts and emails. I haven’t ever read a book like that before, so it was a fun and new experience for me. Even though it is told just through the texts and emails, the writing is amazing.

The conversations between all of the characters are witty and also very realistic. The main aspect of the book that I loved the most was the friendships. Even though this is centered on a love story, the friendships are where it’s at. The authors really depict how modern couples rely heavily on their friends to help them analyze everything their romantic interest says and does. Reading the conversations I felt like I was talking to my own friends, and I can not say enough how fun it was to read. The whole story is just a very real and entertaining depiction of modern couples, and I do not think it could have been done any better. It is also a very quick read, and so is perfect for if you are going to the beach or need a good book for traveling. Also, even though it is kind of a love story, I think it is perfect for all genders. Overall I recommend this book to everyone looking for a fun and quick read.


4 Stars / 5 Stars

Animal Farm Book Review

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Publisher: NAL

Published: August 17th, 1945

Pages: 102


Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

My Thoughts:

I decided to pick up this book since I had heard really great things about it, but had never read it. I know that many people are assigned this in high school, but I never was. I am so happy I picked this up, though. This book completely blew me away and just left me a feeling of wonderment. The story is a satire based on when Stalin came into power, and how everything slowly started to go downhill for all of the people not in power. The book really showed how some people were easily tricked into believing what they were told, and also how some just did not know how to fight back against it. It is a very short story but I engaged the whole time and a lot does happen. It is just such a profound book that I think everyone should read, no matter their age. I don’t want to give too much away since it is short, but I absolutely loved everything about this book and recommend everyone to read it. This is now one of my favorites and I will definitely be reading more from George Orwell soon.


5 Stars / 5 Stars

The Distance from A to Z Book Review

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: January 12th, 2016

Pages: 352


Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

My Thoughts:

This book has such a great premise that just sounds fun and entertaining, which is why I decided to pick it up. The story does start off well, but I just found way too many flaws with it. First off, I did not like the main character. The main reason why is that she judged people quickly and harshly over the stupidest things. Also, the relationships between the characters were just odd. Some of the relationships formed too quickly and strongly to be realistic, while others had crazy ups and downs that also did not make any sense. I was also very confused the whole time since there were so many plot holes in the story and questions that just never got answered. Even the writing style seemed very immature to me and was not enjoyable.

Although these things did bother me, there were a few things about the book that I did like. I really loved the whole french speaking aspect of the book, and I also did like some of the side characters. These are the two things that made me finish reading the book, but just over all I did not enjoy this read and would not recommend it.


1 Star / 5 Stars

Just One Day Book Review

12842115Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Published: January 8th, 2013

Pages: 320


Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.
The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

My Thoughts:

Gayle Foreman’s writing and story telling is absolutely beautiful. I found the characters, settings, and plot to be very real, amazing, and I couldn’t get enough of them.

Thinking this book was going to be a fun and light romance in Europe, I was surprised at the deeper journey of self discovery that takes place. I loved the whirlwind romance that takes place in Paris. The descriptions of Paris made me longing to buy and ticket and run there, and romance was breathtaking. I kept hoping they would find a way to continue their relationship.

The self discovery portion of the book was just as amazing in a more real and darker way. The author explores the themes of finding yourself, being who you want to be, exploring options, and breaking free of expectations. Discovering who you are is something that everyone goes through, and I loved how the author showed the main character do that.

Overall I loved the book and laughed and cried the whole time. The story is so real and holds many great personal discoveries and lessons.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars

The Different Girl Book Review

the-different-girl1The Different Girl by Gordon Dahliquist

Pages: 240

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Published: February 21, 2013


Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.

Sly and unsettling, Gordon Dahlquist’s timeless and evocative storytelling blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi with a story that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the final page has been turned.

My Thoughts:

The Different Girl was a very interesting read, but ultimately left me wanting more.

I thought the world building in the book was unique and I really enjoyed reading through the point of view of a robot. Having never read anything about robots, I though the author did a good job of making them interesting and worthwhile to read by making them surprisingly human. Even though that aspect of the story was interesting, I felt that it was the only part of the story that held any interest.

There was not much of a plot and very little events took place. I felt the pacing to be slow and the story to be repetitive. I kept wanting something to happen, but when a big twist did happen, it was still uneventful. The ending of the book as well was a disappointment. Nothing was really explained, and I still had the same questions I had at the beginning of the book.

Ultimately, it was a nice quick read that I did enjoy, but was left feeling that the author could have done so much more with the story.

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

The Fifth Wave Book Review

16101128The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Published: May 2013

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Series: The 5th Wave, Book 1

Pages: 457


After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

My Thoughts:

The Fifth Wave is one the the best books that I have read so far this year. Everything from the characters, the plot, the writing style, and the world building was absolutely phenomenal. There was not one aspect of this book that I did not enjoy.

For starters, the world that Rick Yancey built is very unique and so different from all of the other post apocalyptic books I have read. The way that the aliens are presented is like nothing I have ever read or seen before. I loved the way the author decided to the invasion in different waves instead of one big attack. It created suspense in guessing the next way the aliens would decide to weed out the humans.

The book switches between various points of views, which I thought was also very unique. It showed how different kinds of people were affected by the invasion from kids to teens to the actual aliens themselves. I loved being able to see both sides of the invasion and also different perspectives of the humans.

There was nothing that happened in this book that did not take me by surprise. Every time I though something would happen one way it went in a completely different direction. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading and was taken aback by how many mind blowing twists and turns there were. I have never read a book like this one, and I really loved it. The surprises in it mad me not able to put the book down because I wanted to now what would happen next, and what twist would take place after the other.

Hearing all the praise about this book made me skeptical, but I was completely blown away. There is not one thing about this book that I can complain about or would change. This is writing at its finest, and I can not wait to read more of Rick Yancey’s work. I highly recommend this book to everyone and any kind of reader.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

The Farm Book Review

13542868The Farm by Emily McKay

Published: December 4, 2012

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Series: The Farm, Book 1

Pages: 432


Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

My Thoughts:

The Farm took me completely by surprise. I had not really heard anything about the book so I honestly didn’t have high hopes for it because of the synopsis. It’s a dystopian thriller with a virus that turns people into vampire type things, I mean to me that sounds like most books that have been released since The Hunger Games and Warm Bodies. So I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.

For starters, the book switches bares rations between three different people. I always love that, but what it even better was that one of those people were autistic. It was really interesting seeing the author’s take on how an autistic person sees and interprets the world around them. I have never read anything like that before, and ended up looking forward to those narrations the most.

Another great thing about the book that I love and don’t see often enough is how much detail the author put into the story. The entire book spanned only a few days, but was still fast paced and exciting enough that it never dragged on. I love when author’s are able to write out whole days of a character’s life and make it interesting instead if just skimming over most of their lives and only showing small moments.

The paranormal aspect of the book was very interesting. I wasn’t expecting it with the science fiction and dystopian themes already so strong in the book, but I really enjoyed it and though the author handled it well. With the way the book ended I am super impatient to get the next book to see what happens since the driving force of the book is shattered in a way. I wonder how the story will continue on, and can not wait to find out.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a very good story with great characters, an amazing plot, and a romance that had me on the edge of my seat. I was very surprised by how much I loved this book, and hope that more people will read it and give the series a chance.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars

Another Little Piece Book Review

12665819Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publisher: June 11, 2013

Pages: 432


The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

My Thoughts:

Another Little Piece is haunting and lovely in such a way that I couldn’t put it down. The writing is absolutely beautiful, but the story is dark and thrilling.

I was quite surprised at how bloody and disturbing the book was. There was murder, cannibalism, and a strange paranormal aspect to it. I was very connected to the main character and was on the edge if my seat the whole time wondering what she would do or what would happen to her next. I hated what she was, but loved her as a person and character.

The way the author chose to write the story was perfect for it. The whole book had a poetic and dreamy quality to it. Pairing the writing and story together made a unique mix that was just perfect. If it was not written that way it would have been like a thrilling Steven King novel. Instead it was disturbingly beautiful, and I loved it.

Even the love interest was interesting. The pair were both quirky in a very real way, but each had a different paranormal aspect to them that made them work well as a couple in a way that I would never think of being able to. Overall I recommend this book to people who love amazing writing and paranormal stories done really well.

Rating: 4 Stars / 5 Stars