Monday, September 23, 2013

Bunch of Mini Reviews 5: Yet Another Library Edition

Yes, folks, it's another round of mini reviews featuring books I got from my library! This edition includes two YA books that are part of a series (but not the same series...very different ones, in fact) and an adult novel I've been meaning to read for years.

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry (synopsis)
I hadn't heard much about this first book in the series but when the second, Dare You To, was released I realized every YA blogger was talking about it. Once I heard book #2 had a baseball player as the love interest, I put a reserve in at my library for book #1, Pushing the Limits.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this book. In fact, I actually thought that it was a New Adult book when I had first heard about the series. Nope, YA. The characters are still in high school. Once I realized that, I prepared myself for some overly Happily, it didn't come. Sure, the situations Echo and Noah are in are extremely dramatic, and I'd hope not many teens would have to deal with those kinds of issues, but McGarry does a good job of making it realistic and relatable.
As many bloggers like to say, this book had all the feelings. Really. I was constantly feeling up and down and sideways because I was so invested in these characters. Echo and Noah were real people to me. They were just kids. Kids who had been dealt an incredibly shitty hand in life but were just trying to make it work while also dealing with the normal agonies of high school.
I really liked Pushing the Limits. At times the situations are so hard to take but I think that's what makes it so great. Author Katie McGarry doesn't shy away from issues. She presents them head on because she knows her readers can handle it. I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Dare You To, which has Noah's friend Beth as the heroine and the aforementioned baseball player as the hero. I must say that I'm not sure how I feel about this because I wasn't too crazy about Beth and it seemed like her romance was already set up at the end of Pushing the Limits. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long for the next book to become available for me at the library!

Austenland - Shannon Hale (synopsis)
This novel has been out since 2007 and I've probably been meaning to read it since it was released. Most of you know that I'm an Austen fan so it's probably surprising that I haven't read it. It's partly due to the fact that I couldn't buy it in store. Seriously. Chapters just didn't carry it. I thought about buying it when I was in the States last year and at a Barnes and Noble but I decided to pass on it. I could have ordered it when I made other online orders but I just never did. I decided to finally request it from the library because there's going to be a movie and I didn't want anything spoiled for me. Unfortunately, I accidentally found out who is playing Jane, the main character, so I wasn't able to form my own picture of her in my head. Oh well!
I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy this one simply because I had been waiting eons to read it. Happily, I ended up really liking it. It was a quick read (it was a much smaller book than I expected!) but an enjoyable one. My favourite part about it was that it was funny - a clever funny, just like Austen's novels. I found myself laughing out loud at numerous parts. Example A:
"I wasn't aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja."
Example B:
"It's not something you tell your single best friend. It's like rubbing your nose in the poop of my happiness."
Sorry, no page numbers as I just tweeted the lines and didn't make a proper note. Just rereading those lines make me giggle again.
All in all, I liked reading Austenland. Shannon Hale didn't blow my mind with her story but it was clever and cute and had great Austen-esque touches. Plus, it had probably the best dedication ever:

What's not to love about that? Now I can watch the trailer, read the news about the movie, and check out the sequel, Midnight in Austenland. Fun!

Insurgent - Veronica Roth (synopsis)
I couldn't wait to dive into book two of this series. I rushed to the library as soon as I found out it was in but I had to put off reading it until I had finished some others - so hard to do! I had heard that the second book wasn't as good as Divergent but I still really enjoyed it.
It's very much a war book - lots of death and dealing with the aftermath (emotionally and physically). Tris is still reeling from what she had to do at the end of the first book and I don't blame her one bit. There were so many heart wrenching moments that I think were well written.
There were a few occasions when Tris' age was brought up. Sometimes she's referred to as a child, sometimes an adult (reminder: she's sixteen). I don't know if it was intentional but I'm glad it was part of the story because it helps the reader remember that she's a young girl having to deal with issues she shouldn't have to (which builds from the above point).
This review was a lot harder to write than I thought! I think it's because I don't want to give anything away and it's one of those cases where I just loved it so I don't know what to say!
There are still many questions that need to be answered as Insurgent was left on a bit of a cliffhanger. I had planned my reading of this series so I wouldn't have to wait too long for the third and final book, Allegiant, to be released but I'm already wishing the days would move faster! The book will be published on October 22 (a month yesterday!!) and I am second in line for my library...and I just checked and there will be two copies. I'll still have to wait for the book to be processed but at least I'll get it!

Happy reading :)

1 comment:

  1. Yay for good books! I read Pushing the Limits last year and enjoyed it so I'll have to check out the next one soon!


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