Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review : THE RIVERMAN BY AARON STARMER




Title : The Riverman
Author : Aaron Starmer
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date :  March 18th 2014
Source : Netgalley
Rating :  4.5 /5

AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY

"To sell a book, you need a description on the back. So here's mine: My name is Fiona Loomis. I was born on August 11, 1977. I am recording this message on the morning of October 13, 1989. Today I am thirteen years old. Not a day older. Not a day younger."

Fiona Loomis is Alice, back from Wonderland. She is Lucy, returned from Narnia. She is Coraline, home from the Other World. She is the girl we read about in storybooks, but here's the difference: She is real.

Twelve-year-old Alistair Cleary is her neighbor in a town where everyone knows each other. One afternoon, Fiona shows up at Alistair's doorstep with a strange proposition. She wants him to write her biography. What begins as an odd vanity project gradually turns into a frightening glimpse into a clearly troubled mind. For Fiona tells Alistair a secret. In her basement there's a gateway and it leads to the magical world of Aquavania, the place where stories are born. In Aquavania, there's a creature called the Riverman and he's stealing the souls of children. Fiona's soul could be next.

Alistair has a choice. He can believe her, or he can believe something else...something even more terrifying.






My thoughts

We've all used our imaginations during our childhood ,current children still do and future ones will do the same. As we grow older were confronted with reality and the fantasies , forts build out of pillows and blankets and playing with stuffed animals stops and fades away. Of course authors never lose this marvelous thing. Though some are better then others . The riverman is a tale of the girl who imagined, the boy who wants to believe - beliefs and at the same still remains sceptic and that mysterious evil that steals all .Both real and imaginative .

You should not judge a book by its cover but I do anyway , from time to time and requested The riverman on NG for that sole reason .So glad I got approved. The riverman is about Fiona loomis and Alistair Cleary who were once close friends when they were younger . But now at the age of 12 in 1989 , they have drifted apart like some friends do when growing up. On a particular day in October Fiona needs his help to save Aquavania and stop the Riverman. Ooh , how I like Alistair . In A very skeptic way Alistair listens to her and tries to play along and helps her . He tries to figure it out but can't figure it out if it's real or not and starts to believe , still a skeptic thought remains. The story of Fiona loomis in Aquavania is written anecdotally and in the 3rd person. In this way it does not feel like there was any info dumping and it could be seen as the detachment from Alistair from what Fiona tells him.

Characters

The main characters are Fiona , Alistair and Charlie , who's Alistair best friend. I will mention my thoughts of them briefly.

Alistair is the one I could so relate with. He feels like an outsider and is friend with Charlie not because Charlie is that good of a friend but because it is convenient and Alistair is scared that he will lose that only friend if he demands Charlie to be better friend . When they hang around they only do what interests Charlie and that is playing video games. Alistair has certain maturity to him but you can still see he is still a child. I loved his eye for detail and observation. Also he's a kind kid that gets in though situations in this book but still keeps his head in the mid of it.

I've had some difficulty with Charlie. He's the resident cat lady or rather cat boy and gets bullied because of it but he does not give a kaka about that. I've had sympathy for him but along the way my liking for him changes. A mix between hatred , confusion and sympathy after the things he did and a accident that happened to him . He will be an interesting character to watch in the other two books of this trilogy.

And finally Fiona . She is very mysterious and once you think you know her , she does something unexpected . And this puzzling ambiance of her makes Alistair fall in love with her but at a steady pace. You don't really get to know Fiona at all but only see glimpses of her and this quote explains her perfectly .

She left reminders of herself, but she didn't leave herself, and I was sick of it.

I hope we get to know more of her in future books .

Ok , I was never really scared of the big kahuna . The riverman only appears at the last 30 pages but the tension is creepy and unnerving. I don't know a lot about him but I put him the same class of that of count Olaf.

The setting

Yes we get to know about Aquavania , it is fantastical and anything you can dream of can happen it but what drew me in the first place starting from page one is the town of Thessaly. I've always loved the small town feeling in books maybe because of the reason that Paramaribo , Suriname has that same atmosphere. Thessaly has that close knit community and even has a Christmas tree with lights that represent every Thessaly originated battle perished soldier. That's really cool is you ask me. This is middle grade book but an amount of darkness is present. There are mentions of sex, trailer parks, drugs , vandalism and even an scene were someone tells about murder that was committed. This book is not for the smaller of the smalls but more for upper middle grade and even an upper YAer or Adult can read it .

A younger person will enjoy the marveling Aquavania and an Adult has an coming of age book to come too. This book tells you about death in some way or an other , that living in a fantasy world or using your imagination is fine and dandy but that you should break from that and be in the present as well. I can't wait for the sequels and hoping to get ahold of Mr starmer previous books. I hope you will enjoy this mysterious , magical , grounded and smart middle grade book that people from different ages will get something out of. I will not easily forget about

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Out Of The Pocket by Bill KONIGSBERG



Title: Out of the Pocket
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: September , 18th 2008
Source: bought
Rating: 3.5/5

Star quarterback Bobby Framingham, one of the most talented high school football players in California, knows he's different from his teammates. They're like brothers, but they don't know one essential thing: Bobby is gay. Can he still be one of the guys and be honest about who he is? When he's outed against his will by a student reporter, Bobby must find a way to earn back his teammates' trust and accept that his path to success might be more public, and more difficult, than he'd hoped. An affecting novel about identity that also delivers great sportswriting.



My thoughts

( I could not find real american foot ball audibles* ,so I created one)

B24 B 22 C 10 ,Hut Hut Hut .

( an audible* cry out )

American football is one of the four major sports in 'Merica . As I'm from South America , specifically Suriname , I have never experienced or seen a live match on TV . I've only come in contact with this sport through American media. Ok now a bit on the sport !

American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football)down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Most points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.*source ; Wikipedia *

Now that we know what american football is I can share my thoughts on this novel . I know little or nothing at all of the sport .Out of the pocket has been the first American Football centric novel I've read ,I do have others on my radar or on my shelf but this is the first. So I can not say if the author represented well enough but I could feel as if was a part of the team trough Bobby's eyes . I could feel the comradery between the team mates and the rush of adrenaline on the green during a match . Bobby Framingham has it all ,he is the school's star quarterback , popular and dating a cool weird chick. Ok kinda dating . But he's is hiding something , his attraction to men . His not coming out because it could damage his future foot ball college career . Involuntary coming out of the closet changes his carefully crafted cocoon. He's outed by a school reporter .

Ok that's a quick rundown on the Out of the Pocket . ( it's really paraphrased version of the synopsis , hahaha) ok now on the characters , pacing and all that jazz.

The characters

Bobby has a great voice trough out the book. A great friend and team mate who would have had my back in a match if I was one of the characters in this novel. It took me a quarter of the book to emotionally attach to him with this said it does not mean he was annoying or anything. He felt like nothing special but at end of Out of the Pocket I felt for him dearly . And I like how he handled the situation caused by the outing and how dealt with the kid that outed him . Bobby was of course furious but calmed down did nothing stupid and handled it well. Up to bro . ( tiny 5'4 roro tries to hive five him lol ) . I don't know or can't remember but I envisioned bobby to be 5'9 ^^.

The remaining cast of characters were okay. Nothing special but the ones that sticked with me are his parents. They were in his life. A lot of times YA novels don't have present parents and if they have some the parents often take a back seat in the scheme of things ( hope I'm using the expression correctly ). Bobby is very consumed about his parents and especially his father and after I thing that happens they grow closer. Coming out and an other thing started the growth. *I hope I have an great coming out experience when I come out. My dad thinks it a face and mum does not know yet* . Ok enough of my life drama ( you're here for the review gosh darn it lol , tnx for the eventual comments of what I just shared )

The plot and such
Out of pocket is written in first person past tense. The things that made it special in my opinion were the sports articles appearing at certain moments in this book. I loved one in particular. Just saying


2nd.The other thing that I loved to read about was the football terms , I've was never interested in American football. I must watch one now . Name your favorite team in the comments and do say so why ^^ .

One thing I did not like and which dropped the rating with 1 1/5 star was the notion being gay is okay as long as your not effeminate. I don't know if this is intentional but it appeared at least twice in Out of the Pocket. It's only okay when you're a jock/ athlete .AKA very masculine . I'm not effeminate but I would get crushed at a football match . I'm more like the artsy skinny kid but this rubbed me the wrong way. In the past I felt like effeminate gay guys gave the gay community a bad rep but I now I don't think that way anymore . That's who they are . Ok back to the review . Later on Bobby come to same conclusion but I did not take way what already was done . Maybe I'm bitter or hypocritical but effeminate statement should not have happened. Also the new upcoming romance has an open ending I which I don't like. I wish it did't ( the open ending )

My final thoughts

I've had this book on my wish list since 2011. By then it was already 3 yrs old . Every time I had the opportunity to buy it I did not. I was planning to buy it early 2012 when I would win cash again but my access to the internet was cut 2013 so I was not able to. Now 2014 it is out of print . I bought a kindle version with the sum of credits I had left and some I had recently won at the time . It is freaking $ 14 . Overpriced and I did not love it 100% but still happy I gave it a try. I hope you all give it a try . Library lend it or find it at second hand bookstores . $14 dollars is not worth it for the kindle . Time flies for sure . When this book was published not a lot of current day athletes came out but recently that has changed. Ranging from nfl players to a WWE superstars and even Olympic divers like Tom Daley and Matthew Mitcham ( he's 26 or soon to be and he's so adorable , search him up on YouTube his ukelele videos brighten up my day immensely ) . I can't wait for openly straight but hopefully I won't wait till it's out of print

*audibles: Audible, a tactic used by quarterbacks in American football to change a play at the line of scrimmage











Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard



Title: Unhinged
Author: A.G. Howard
Series: Splintered, book #2
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source: gifted
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.


Hi all, your fateful netherling guide is back * he twirls around in a sickly green mist and reappears in a gothic attire resembling to a tattered rag clown * Did y'all miss me , heh?
A lot happened in Splintered . Yesiree bob , a lot, a lot. Stuff happened and we were acquainted with lovely mad creatures and quite few will be present on todays trip* toot toot*
So what has happened to Morpheus * cat scratch *, Jeb*swoon* and Allysa . Let's take a look.

The plot: we were rather soon head first in wonderland in the previous book but don't expect that in this book. Character growth, motive and secrets are more important in the sequel . Some people found some parts dragging and were bored , so it is better seeing the sequel as a whole other book. A different book but still the same .(my first attempt was difficult for this reason but after I figured this out I liked it more at my second try ) There are still enough maddening wonderland madness in unhinged for those that are wondering. I have re read Alice in wonderland and trough the looking glass months before I picked up unhinged and I I feel like that more of the looking class is incorporated in the sequel. More of wonderland was used for it's predecessor ( is that the right term , O well ). Maybe to avoid repetition. I don't know. Splintered had a nice rounded up ending and I asked me self how Miss. Howard would continue the story . I can quite surely say I'm not disappointed.

Ok ,that's enough reviewer. Let's talk about the characters ect ect . It is quite hard being a half half . Don't you all agree. Hihihihi hahahahahahaha ( the human and other half constantly butting against each other)

We have more chessie . I'm referring to the Cheshire Cat for all that don't know who that is He's far more prominent in unhinged. A happy Cheshire grin from me. I love how he interacted with Morpheus, Allysa and other characters

Ok now onto The Boys. I'm undecided on what team I'm on at the moment. Both had heartfelt moments with Allysa and also did some or had some dastardly moments. I will not go in to detail but boys. You . $&$@!? I know it is not completely there fault but still . I want them to be both happy. Now sedge way into the romance triangle part, it was fine but not my favorite part of the book. I liked it more in Splintered because the good and the bad boy were recognizable but in unhinged both qualities intermingled. That is good in away because people are not one thing.* the naughty streak comes out * will any of you write Morpheus /Jeb slash . The ship name could be Jebpheus . If any of you does it , gimme a tweet will ya * giggle*

Now onto Queen Allysa . I can imagine the stress of keeping parts hidden from society but she was selfish at moments. I still liked her but even more so when the secrets were revealed, how she acted when they were revealed and how she did not fall apart after the incidents in the end. Any toot else Where toot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So we are coming to an end. This review is shorter for obvious reasons: Spoilers. I hope you all liked this review and comment away away away ( echoing ) I hope to see more character growth, more madness in Ensnared. And hopefully they will be alive, it is okay that they will be more than a little scarred but they need a pulse when I'm at the end. The title is ensnared and I'm anxious to see how it continues. I love youuuuuuuuuuuuu.Tooot, Toooot , Tooot ! ( you will know what I'm referring to when you're finished with unhinged )


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Pivot point by Kasie West


Pivot Point
By Kasie West
Published by Harperteen
Publication Date:  February 12th 2013
Source: Won
Rating: 4.5/5

AMAZON / BOOKDEPO / GOODREADS

Synopsis: Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.


My thoughts

Expectations: Although there was great excitement for this title months before the release date I still wasn’t that intrigued to read it. The reviews that started to pop up hinted of 2 guys and one girl and I’m sick of most love triangles. That disgust is in fact the main reason why I did not want to read it. WHY did I act so freakin’ stupid?

Cover : It is an interesting cover were the same girl stares at her reflection as if it were a mirror. And if you can say it’s similar to a mirror the shimmering particles could represent glass of a just recently shaken up life, both possible lives. Maybe I’m over thinking but when I read the synopsis that’s what comes to mind when I see the cover.

Book: There have been titles in adult and young adult fiction, in which paranormal beings are presented, that are able to do amazing mental feats for example telekinesis and seeing the future. I liked how Miss West tweaked it to where it became a secluded society were people’s mind excelled the rest of humanity or in their term Norms. The powers are more scientifically explained than just let’s give them powers without a reason how they got them. Some books do that very same thing ‘the not explaining’. The not explaining is a pet peeve of mine. Addie Coleman can see in the future but not the way that is often perceived as cliché. She can see her own future and no one else’s and only when she wants the see the cause of actions she could take. The process of seeing it called the Search. So it is like being at a crossroad and seeing both paths of your life from that point on. Her parents announce they are getting a divorce and she must pick a parent to live with. In both possible future lives she will encounter love and loss, Addie must decide which one it will be.

Kasie West writes in a way you want to read everything she writes even her grocery store list. I meant that jokingly. Her writing is not super prosy or poetic but it lures you in. I don’t know how to explain it but it just fun to read. For me at least I loved how multiple moments in each possible life connected each other but from different vantage points. For example were Addie meets someone who is in fact very important in the novel and in each possible life, she learns his secret and further in the story she discovers the same secret in a different way altogether in another possible life. When the intense parts come around you begin to beg that nothing horrible happens to some of the characters you’ve come to love. In the end you feel some empathy to a person that manipulated her emotions to that particular person. And also saddened that the relationship with another person in, I have come to love, will be different than the one in the search. Secondly what I found unique is how Miss West at the start of every chapter gave it a title. Naming a chapter is often done but the title is a vocabulary explanation from a dictionary.

The characters are very enjoyable in this novel. I will only mention a few that cannot make me verge over the edge of Spoilerlandia.
Addie Coleman is the girl that’s always meticulous. For example she copies her study material from the school computer in case of a power outage which has not happened in 20 or more years in the compound. She is very kind but wants to remain in the background. A cool gal to gang around with.but she is very loud and exact opposite of Addie. How they became friends cute. I read somewhere that in the sequel there will be chapters from her point of view.



There are parents present in Pivot point. They appear often and I’m glad that they aren’t parents that are just characters for plot purposes. Addie’s parents are good people and parents who are noticeable in the novel. It is sad that they have problems but relationship problems happen in real life and gives it a more realistic touch.

There is a kind of a love triangle. But how is handled is to be admired. There is a romantic interest in each possible life and remember the opposite boys don’t know of each other because nothing in the search has happened yet. In each life the romance is at the beginning stage. It is attraction and liking each other but not actual love yet. Also in both cases Addie does not fall head over heal it is a slow going process that could have been real and only one of those romance will be real. At the end of the novel you find out what path she picks and the loss with it. The end has influences the romance that existed and the one that did not

I’m happy I entered the giveaway at Cuddlebuggery.com and that I won. Otherwise it could be a possibility that I would never want to read it. I wonder what will cause the Search in the sequel. Pivot point is a book where a teenage girl must pick a path at the middle of a crossroad. The choices we make in the past define us in the future.





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