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Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys
Heaven Is a Playground
Rick Telander
Not a Drop to Drink
Mindy McGinnis
Untold (Lynburn Legacy, #2) - Sarah Rees Brennan Probably 2.5 stars.
The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp 3.5 stars rounded up for the great narrative voice and that ending.If this movie came out 30 years ago, Sutter would be played by Robert Downey, Jr.

More Than This

More Than This - Patrick Ness Oh, it's Ness review-writing time?Here's the thing with reviewing Patrick Ness books: I don't want you to read reviews of Patrick Ness books. I want to Panda slap your laptop out of your hand before allowing you to read any details about Patrick Ness books. I want you to skip GO, do not collect $200 dollars and JUST FREAKING READ THEM ALREADY. Save the review browsing for after.Which might be a bit scandalous to say as a book blogger (goodbye page views!) but: 1) I don't want you to get spoiled because part of the fun of reading Ness is feeling like you are a reaction GIF brought to life, and 2) Preconceptions and Ness books just don't mix.Your brain will try to fill in the blanks and make assumptions--specifically that you can try and guess where the story is going in Part One. Patrick Ness will smile to himself, suddenly amused on the other side of the planet, not quite knowing why. Part Two comes around and you'll chuckle ruefully. That Ness, he gets you every time! But you've read a book before, you know where Part Three is going, right? RIGHT? Part Four comes along and there you are lying in the fetal position in your driveway as Ness lays down rubber doing donuts around you while screaming "MWAHAHAHAHA!" out the window.We've all been there.I always thought one of the best things about Patrick Ness was the beauty of not being sure where he was leading you but being willing to open up and experience the journey. Ness has made that thought into a book."I'll just see", he says. "That's all I'll do. I'll just see what's next."What's next takes the universal feeling of being sure there must be More Than This, focuses it into a tight close up shot of a teenage boy's dying face and then pulls it back all the way to the atmosphere. Detailed personal agonies let go to boundless breadths of emotion.I somehow didn't cry until page 381.More Than This is unconventional. It might test your patience and expectations as a reader. But, as a reader, haven't you ever read a book and wondered, isn't there more than this? Well, my dears. This is it.4.5 starsThis review originally appeared at Young Adult AnonymousYAA received an ARC of this book from the publishers.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Alvin Schwartz, Stephen Gammell What I remember most about these books are the ridiculously awesome illustrations.

Tap & Gown: An Ivy League Novel

Tap & Gown - Diana Peterfreund Ever wonder: WHAT IF FRANKIE & ALPHA WENT TO COLLEGE? That's this book.
Rites of Spring (Break) (An Ivy League Novel) - Diana Peterfreund 3.5ish
Binding the Shadows - Jenn Bennett Solid 3.5.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar - Cheryl Strayed I missed these columns the first time around and agree with the sweet peas that suggested reading only a few letters at once for the best emotional impact to terms of endearment ratio but STILL, I teared up quite a few times reading this one. Quite a few.
Cinder - Marissa Meyer 3.5 stars
The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever - Alan Sepinwall 3.5--skipped a few chapters of shows I've yet to watch but plan to watch eventually!
Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1) - Jean Webster Dearest Judy---can I call you Judy?Forgive me for jumping ahead of myself but in my imagination we are already the best of friends. I've already let Anne, Jo and Sarah know to make room for you at our lunch table. I feel like I know you so well! Reading your letters to Daddy Long Legs (DLL) was like reading your diary and I bet it felt like that to you too, with him stubbornly refusing to reply and all. (I knew he'd cave in eventually. I mean, how could he resist? You are awesome.)Your letters jumped right off the page showing how smart, resourceful and hilarious you are. I hate to think what might have happened to you if you hadn't written that funny paper about your life at the orphanage, cracking DLL up enough that even though he was a trustee of the very orphanage you were making fun of, he decided to send you to college. And to become an author no less! Forget being best friends, I might just want to BE you!Getting to read all of your new and exciting experiences in the outside world was so gratifying. I rooted for you so hard, Judy! And you didn't let me down. You approached every challenge with such pluck that I couldn't help compare it to my own attitude and sad to say, Judy, but I'm often an ungrateful brat. You'll forgive me though won't you? I love to read too. And write letters! And have adventures! I already laugh at all of your jokes. You'll be such a great influence on me, I can already tell.I heard that you had a recent opening for a penpal and well, might as well just come out and say it---I'd like to apply for the job. What do you say, Judy? Will I do?Affectionately,NoelleSee the full feature Maggie and I did about Daddy Long Legs at Young Adult Anonymous.

The Pirate's Wish

The Pirate's Wish - Cassandra Rose Clarke 3.5ish?
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey 3.5 ish Aliens are coming and everyone knows it. They've been hanging out in orbit for a week or so now, observing Earth. Waiting. Watching. And they like what they see. They like it a lot. Except here's the thing: they don't really do sharing, so nothing against us humanoids, but we've gotta go.Earth's eviction notice comes in five waves:Wave #1: Say buh-bye to electricity.Wave #2: Hope you live above sea-level.Wave #3: You thought lil' ol' bird-flu was scary? That's cute.Wave #4: Shhh...what you can't see might kill you.By the fourth wave, 95% of the human population is dead and those who remain aren't even sure who the real enemy is--or what they look like. The fifth wave is coming, battle lines have been drawn and Earth's greatest weapon is up for grabs: humanity itself.The 5th Wave is a taut, psychological sci-fi thriller that is destined to be a huge hit and deservedly so. The suspense is well-crafted and the characters' voices, particularly Cassie's, feel alive and three dimensional. Cassie, a "normal" teenager who suddenly might actually be the last human on Earth, is my favorite. She is isolated and on the run but desperately driven by the chance of reuniting with her younger brother--at much physical, psychological and emotional pain to herself. I loved reading about her struggle to stay pragmatic in the face of paranoia and her moral balancing act with the ever evolving rules of survival in the post-invasion world. I wasn't as engaged with Zombie's POV but I rather enjoyed the character when he was depicted by others. The strength of his character voice wasn't as dominant as Cassie's and while that made sense with his character's story line, Zombie's guilt (and other extenuating circumstances) gave his voice a muted quality in comparison. I enjoyed the psychological suspense the most and wished those aspects of Zombie's story had been cranked all the way up to the Ness-ian levels they flirted with. (I couldn't help but also wonder what it'd be like with a dual female protagonist POV pair of Cassie and Ringer as well...) There are several other intriguing smaller POVs that have room to grow in future installments of the series and one in particular I would have SO much to talk about if not for pesky spoilers.The POVs expertly enrich the depth and scope of the invasion and the story is such that even though you'll figure some twists out before the characters, it does nothing to diminish the suspense or emotional rewards. Sure there are some questions that surface when you think too much about certain plot points (the age demographic of the squads for one), but the overall result is so entertaining and well-written that the questions are easy to brush aside. The more the different POVs come together, the stronger the story grows with surprisingly moving results.I love backing characters into corners to see what they are capable of--and an alien invasion has a lot of corners. Let's face it. Humanity is freaking weird and that will always be our secret weapon. How strong we can be with our weaknesses. How unpredictable we are in our predictability. Humanity has a fluidity than cannot be fully foreseen or contained. You can back humans into a corner and you're never quite sure what you're going to get. The results can at turns disgust or delight, but something will always prevail.Whether that is to the benefit of Earth's surviving humans or the new invaders, is yet to be seen. But I'll definitely be reading to find out! Randomness:Read the first 70 pages for free!*I got a sort of sick relief that Florida (aka me) would get wiped out by the second wave and miss the whole bleeding-from-every-orifice third wave, but that's why I'm a lowly blogger and not the star of an amazing sci-fi action adventure I guess.**Bonus points for mentioning tampons in a dystopia! What's next--actually acknowledging body hair when all the razors are gone?Originally reviewed at Young Adult Anonymous. YAA received a copy of the book for review from the publisher.
The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong 2.5 stars but not in a bad way.
Moon Called - Patricia Briggs 3.5 This is why you don't judge a book by its cover. My friend gave me these for plane and vacation reading and I can only imagine my face when she handed them over. I enjoyed them way, way more than I anticipated.*re-read* Loved this even more on the re-read! Also, shout out to Maggie for suggesting Seth from Misfits as Adam Hauptman and the great mental pictures that provided the whole book through.
Written in Red - Anne Bishop I enjoyed this one--3.5 stars rounded up for GRUMPY PONIES. Some of the animal mannerisms and reactions were just hysterical. This is urban fantasy that feels/reads like high fantasy. Some complicated world building. Just heads up for those who think urban fantasy = smutty times: au contraire mon frere! But the possibility is there for future installments and I for one really liked the foundation of the relationship being established. I'm definitely reading the next one.