Thursday, January 4, 2018

Where Rainbows End: By Cecelia Ahern

Hey readers! Just read an amazing book-Where Rainbows End  by Cecelia Ahern. Wow. Super sweet and definitely had me smiling while also banging my head against the wall. This novel is for my older tweens, teens and even adults!

Set in Ireland this book is filled with European humor which remind me of Me Before You.

The friendship between Rosie and Alex-a complete rollercoaster ride of emotions.

The two have been friends since kindergarten and they have stuck together through everything. They are used to sharing everything about everything with each other and have their own dreams of the future-Rosie wants to manage her own hotel and Alex longs to be a doctor.

They dream of a future together, however,-as friends (urggg). But their desires are constantly interrupted. Their lives together are right in front of them just waiting for the opportunity to be grabbed. "Like two ships passing in the night".

I do not want to give away too much so all I can say is that this friendship is anything but platonic-or at least shouldn't be.

Told through only letters, emails and texts this novel does a fantastic job of still setting the scene and truly evoking a sense of place in the reader. I was pleasantly surprised at Ahern's ability to keep the flow of the storyline.

I felt as though I was Rosie and even got a little teary eyed towards the end and I also felt frustrated at parts to the extent of wanting to break the book. So yes, I would say despite the style of writing there is still a ton of emotional and relatable content. The style of writing also enables the reader to follow a few characters storylines while still keeping it mainly from the perspective of Rosie.

I loved loved loved this book and I really hope you guys give it a try! Amazing book to take on vacation, or even just keep at the bedside. I may even give this book another go because it was just too cute/sweet/heart-wrenching.

Enjoy and happy New Year!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Fahrenheit 451: By Ray Bradbury

Hey readers, happy thanksgiving! I can't wait to share with you the latest book I have read. I started and finished this one in one night, so I suggest you see what it is about and pick it up yourself!

This dystopian novel is appropriate and should be read by those of all ages. I do not want to give too much away, so I will make this short and sweet.

The protagonist: a firefighter.

Now I know what you are thinking, firefighters put out fires and save lives. However, in this backwards world set in the distant future they instigate fires in order to burn books, and even end up killing people occasionally along the way. Montag, the firefighter, has little concept of the wrongs he is committing, and has little to no knowledge of what a book even is.  All he knows is that books are illegal in this dystopian society.

Montag lives in a society where thinking is something no one does and people walk around like zombies without feeling. They watch TV and go on "joy rides" in their cars in order to feel anything at all. When Montag meets a 17 year old girl names Clarisse, his eyes are opened to the world around him and the events to follow are that of a thriller (to me at least).

In today's society where people are constantly absorbed in their screens, this book is more than applicable. We go about our lives in our screens with little thought to the world around us, turning into zombies without emotions or original thought, just like in the novel. This cautionary tale about the loss of knowledge and human curiosity is one that is just as applicable as it was when Bradbury wrote it.

I suggest this quick read to those of all ages. Even if someone young does not have the deeper understanding of the book yet, I think that it is a book one can reread (I know I will).

Enjoy and happy holidays :)

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Turtles all the Way Down: By John Green

Hey readers! So I have been waiting for a new John Green book, and I am happy I found this one! It just came out in October and I got some flashbacks of younger me reading his books like Paper Towns or The Fault in Our Stars.  This book is perfect for my younger readers and even teen ones as well! Although this book is very different than any other John Green book I have encountered, it still has the John Green charm and genius.

What I really enjoyed about this book is the three "plots" that are interwoven throughout; a love story, a depiction of mental illness and a mystery.

The Love Story:  You have your typical John Green love story. Aza and Davis. Davis is the son of a millionaire and has his own complicated life. While Aza ...well I will explain in the paragraphs to follow.

Depiction of mental illness:  You also have something not typical of John Green novels. John Green deals with the painful reality of people living with mental illness. Aza has OCD and constantly describes how she is "spiraling" into a mess of thoughts and emotions that she cannot control. Green really included the raw truth of what many have to live with, and he did not only include the good parts.  This is what made the story real and an honest portrayal - something needed for young adults.

Your mystery.  My not so favorite subplot. Davis's father has disappeared and a reward of $100,000 is offered. Aza wants the money to pay for college and she and her good friend Daisy are determined to solve the mystery.

I did like Aza as a character, mostly because I loved how real she was, however, I could not seem to wrap my head around the Davis-Aza love saga. It seemed so superficial to me. Maybe I am getting a bit old for these tween novels but I found their relationship unrealistic. Although this book included texting (which is needed because teens communicate via their phones all day, everyday these days), I found the texting philosophical and not at all how I have seen any teenager behave.

While the premise of this book was really great, I found that the three subplots, although intriguing, made the overall plot seem as if it was stretched out too thin and failed to make much of an emotional impact on me. Without the big mystery of the father, not much of the story would be lost at all in my opinion and I think the story would be better without it.

My message is contradictory though. I loved how real the book was with mental illness, yet I hated how fake it was with the love story. Loved Green's seemingly new style, yet also found it kind of annoying and not as predictable as expected. Overall, by my standards I would give it a "fine" or a "please read it but don't expect your mind to be blown". It definitely passed the time and John Green is always an interesting and easy read to pick up in your free time.

But as I said the mental health portrayal in this book was honest and I found it to be the best part of the book. Well done John Green. Kudos to you.

I hope you guys enjoy this new Green novel! I know I (kind of) did.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks