Thursday, November 26, 2015

Infinity Lost: By S. Harrison

Hey readers, I hope all is going well. I think that you guys will enjoy this quick read. Those of you who enjoyed Maze Runner or Divergent may like this one:)  I recommend this book to the 12 and under crowd.

This book pertains to the character Infinity Blackstone otherwise known as "Finn".  She is the daughter of a billionaire CEO who owns a huge Technological company. She has never really met her father.  She is raised by a man named Jonah who is her educator and a father-like figure with whom she spends most of her childhood.  She is an intelligent child who spends most of her life being homeschooled. Finn eventually convinces Jonah to send her to a boarding school where the story is being told.

While Finn has lived the first 17 years of her life without any dreams, recently she has been experiencing weird flashback dreams. These dreams that she has are memories, but are slightly altered. She begins questioning events from her past and wonders how they really played out. Additionally, throughout the book Finn desperately wants to meet her dad. When her roommate "Bit" hacks into Blackstone Technologies to get their school to receive a field trip to the place, it sets the whole story into motion.

The author's writing jumbles up a mix of the past and present in this boarding school. There is a love interest in this book but it comes off as a bit forced and there is no real depth to any of the character relationships.

I do think that this is a riveting read for the 12 and under crowd. While I do believe that the science fiction aspect of this book was creatively up to par, some of the scenes and the plot line were not thoughtfully developed. At some parts, I also found the plot to be predictable

All that said, I do recommend this to my younger tween readers. If you like this one it is supposed to be a trilogy!

Your Friend
Rae Sparks

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Before I Die: By Jenny Downham

Hey readers, I have a new book for you This isn't the most upbeat book but definitely a page turner. Have a box of tissues and be prepared to get in more than one good cry.  It is definitely a good book if you liked Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher or If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

This book, while the ending is predictable, really isn't about the ending but what went on inside that was truly amazing. I may have broken down more than once during this book.  It's about Tessa Walker who is 16 year old girl who has been diagnosed with Leukemia. She may have only months to live and between constant hospital visits it is hard to do much living. She wants to get the most out of life and thinks of stuff that she always has wanted to do. So, ultimately, Tessa creates a list of things to do before she dies with her friend Zoey.

What really makes this book special is the relationships between her dad, brother, boyfriend and mom. The whole character of Tessa amazed me. Her emotions and thoughts were correctly portrayed so I felt like I was there with her. This author's writing allows for the sadness of this book to be properly portrayed balanced with romance and curiosity. This book was beautifully tragic and also made me think at the same time. Without a doubt, I would recommend this book for everyone. Even if this isn't the type of book you normally like to read, read it.

Your Friend
Rae Sparks

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Eleanor and Park: By Rainbow Rowell

Hey Readers!  I'm here to share with you a new and improved version of The Fault in our Stars.  It's called Eleanor & Park.  For those of you who read that sad heartbreaking John Green book, you know the depression that comes after reading it. Eleanor & Park has the romantic side, but it is realistic and one can connect better with it.

This story's perspective is switched off between Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is a 16 year old girl who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a big redhead who is coming into a new school. She is bullied by a girl named Tina who makes fun of her size. One day, when Tina is being rude to Eleanor on the bus, Park tells her rudely that she can sit next to him. For the first few days there is an awkward silence between them as Park pretends that she isn't there and just reads his comic books. After a few days, Park notices that Eleanor is reading over his shoulder and soon it becomes a routine of reading the comics on the bus together, but still not exchanging conversation. After a while Park starts giving Eleanor some books to take home with her. While Eleanor is bullied at school, she also has many issues to deal with at home. She has four siblings and a mom who is constantly abused by Richie, their father. They all struggle with having enough food and clothes. To add onto it all, Eleanor struggles with body image and wears baggy clothes because she is self conscious. While there is a lot going on behind the scenes with Eleanor in this book, the main aspect is Eleanor and Park's relationship and it is definitely not a bore.

This story is filled with romance and many prevalent issues such as domestic violence and body image. I think that it is a book that everyone should read especially for all of you who loved the fault in our stars. It is 10x better! I hope you enjoy!

Your Friend
Rae Sparks

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Girl on The Train: By Paula Hawkins

Hey readers I hope you all have had a great summer and I'm sorry it has been a while since I have posted but I have a great new read for you all!  Those of you who liked Gone Girl or a book with some mystery would really enjoy this book.

The protagonist of this book, Rachel, takes the train every day and finds herself watching and getting involved with what she thinks is a perfect couple that lives down the street from where she used to live. She has become invested in their perfection and has even  come up with names for them. Rachel calls them Jess and Jason. As she watches them she is reminded of the divorce she went through two years earlier with her husband Tom. She is still hung up on him ever since he divorced her because of her problems with alcohol. Rachel is an alcoholic who has recently lost her job. She doesn't have a home and she lives with her friend Cathy who is under the false truth that she is still employed. One day on the train Rachel sees something that shatters her perfect image of this couple that she's been observing. When later Rachel sees a picture of Jess's (AKA Meghan's) disappearance on the news she calls the police to tell them what she saw. Once she gets involved, the police start to become curious about Rachel. There is no turning back for her because she is too far in.

This book is not only told through Rachel's point of view but through multiple perspectives. Through Tom, Meghan, Rachel and Tom's new wife Anna,  this book truly captivates each and every aspect of the story line.  This book captivated me from the very beginning and I'm sure it will take you by surprise just like it did me! Do yourselves a favor and get this book ASAP!

Your Friend
Rae Sparks

Monday, June 15, 2015

Life as We Knew it: By Susan Beth Pfeffer

Hey readers! I'm here to share with you guys one of my all time favorites....Life as We Knew It.

When a series of catastrophic events change the Earth there is a struggle for food and survival.   Miranda, a sophomore student in high school is stunned and in danger when a predicted asteroid hits the moon and brings it closer to earth. The reaction was unexpected so the whole world was unprepared for this event. Miranda, her two brothers and her mom are all trying to survive this together. Throughout the book Miranda is struggling through loss, keeping her family together and saying goodbye to friends. She keeps a diary of her endeavors and through a first hand perspective the reader can feel her emotions and hardships.

This book is a trilogy so if you like this book there are two more to come! The next book is a boy going through the same event and in the third book they meet. I hope you all love this book because I know I do!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Firm: By John Grisham

Hey readers! I read The Firm which is an amazing book and I hope you all give it a try!  The Firm is a riveting book that holds within its' pages conspiracy and page turning action that will encompass any reader.

Mitch McDeere, a Harvard Law School graduate, is getting offers from some of the biggest firms in the country. His dream to work on Wall Street is distracted by a small firm in Memphis called Bendini Lambert and Lock.  Mitch is taken off guard by their offer for a high salary and other enticing bonuses. The firm encourages his healthy marriage with his wife, an elementary school teacher named Abby, and wants a focused person who is desperate for success like Mitch. When he starts working, he is determined to be the best, but after weeks of working at the firm he starts getting suspicious of some deaths that have taken place in the past. When the FBI contacts him, his curiosity is heightened and his dire need to find out the truth is overwhelming. When Mitch discovers the truth, he finds himself in perpetual danger and there is no escaping his new job... he must find a way out on his own.

Although this book is about a law firm it was not boring whatsoever. I found myself so willing to turn it's pages and I didn't want to put it down. This may be an old book but it was new to me and I loved it! I hope you all enjoy!!!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cellar: By Natasha Preston

Hey readers, I have book to share with you today that's a definite page turner!  It's called The Cellar by Natasha Preston.

Summer is sixteen years old when she goes out late at night to walk to her friend's house.  Despite her family's warnings, Summer was walking through the park and taken by a man who calls himself Clover.  Clover takes Summer to his house and locks her in his basement with 3 other girls who have been there for different amounts of time.  Clover calls Summer by the name of Lily and the other girls are called Rose, Poppy and Violet, which aren't their real names.  Summer is petrified of this man who keeps calling the girls his "flowers".

She believes that her family and her dedicated and loving boyfriend, Lewis, will save her. Summer is determined not to let Clover break her but is afraid of what might happen to her the longer she stays in the cellar.

While this story is told through multiple perspectives such as Summer, Lewis and Clover, as a reader, you are kept in touch with all sides of the story and get to really dive into the lives of these characters. This story also uses flashbacks to convey the characters past and build strong characters.

What I love about this book is that it is dark but not so dark that I am scared to sleep at night. It really wasn't too horrifying but did keep me very well entertained and glued to its' pages. What I did not enjoy is this book's ending. It was not very well developed and it ended kind of suddenly. I also felt this way through some of the parts of the book because time had passed so quickly. It was as if I blinked and all of a sudden, a few months had passed. If the author had spent more time developing the story and ending, this book would've received my highest recommendation.

Despite all of that, I still definitely recommend this book for those of you looking for a riveting read that will leave you wanting more and more.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Friday, March 13, 2015

Delirium: By Lauren Oliver

Hey readers, the new book this month is Delirium. This is a great dystopia book that those of you who liked the Giver will love.

Delirium takes place in an alternate U.S. in a dystopian society where love is disease called amor deliria nervosa. From the time that you are born boys and girls aren't allowed to be together and are segregated. Additionally,  parents aren't allowed to show signs of love to their children. Also music and books are regulated by the government. Everyone is set up to believe that love can kill them and it is forbidden. At the age of 18, it is mandatory for everyone to receive the cure. Lena has been looking forward to being cured of the disease for years because she has been subjected  to its evil by the government. Lena saw what love did to her mother and is desperate to be cured, so as to not follow in her footsteps. Just a little while before her procedure when Lena ends up meeting a boy named Alex, everything is changes for her.

I hope you all read this book because I loved it. Although it was your typical dystopian society book there are some twists that I know you all will enjoy! FYI there are two sequels to this book, Pandemonium and Requiem, and I did not like them very much but you are welcome to give them a try.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Unbroken: By Laura Hillenbrand

Hey readers, I have recently read a breath taking book called Unbroken. This book was moving and a great story and I think you guys will love it.

Unbroken is a story about Louis Zamperini, who as a child was a criminal, but became a great olympic athlete and war hero. No one thought Louis would amount to anything until his brother Pete convinced him to start running. Due to his brother's encouragement and hard work Louis went on breaking records throughout high school. Louis later made it to the olympics with training and dedication. But his olympic career is put on pause when World War 2 breaks out and he is enlisted into the army air corps. When his plane crashes into the Pacific with his friend Phil and Mac, survival is key with lack of food, fresh water and the danger of sharks. After 47 days on the rafts, only to be captured by the Japanese enemy, Louis is tortured and sent off to a POW Camp (prisoner of war camp) where no good days seem to lie ahead.  This story tells how Louis overcomes and survives these hardships and through it all, his positive spirit prevails.

I really loved this book and I think it is something everyone should get to read. Although this book was extremely long and detailed, as soon as I got through the beginning, the book sped right through. It horrified me but I found that my eyes were glued to its pages. I really recommend that you all read this amazing book!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We Were Liars: By E. Lockhart

Hey readers,
Happy New Year!  I have a new amazing book to share that those of you who liked If I Stay or The Fault in Our Stars.

Cadence, the narrator, is part of a family called the Sinclairs. The Sinclairs are a wealthy family in which everyone is smart, beautiful and goes to an excellent private school. But the family is full of greed, rivalry and fights over money.  Every summer, all of the Sinclairs go to their private island for the whole summer. There, they are served by butlers, play tennis and partake in small talk to take their minds off of their endless family issues.

Cadence's aunts are constantly arguing over trust funds, who will get their dead mom's things and over granddad's approval.  Cadence and her cousins, Johnny and Mirren, spend the summer together every year and try to escape the pressures of their parents. Then there is Gat. He is an outsider to the Sinclair family who isn't a part of their wealthy world. Cadence and Gat find themselves falling in love summer after summer. As the summers go by,  money and family turmoil increases. During summer 15 at the island, Cadence has an accident. As a result of the accident, she has amnesia and experiences migraines. Her memory of summer 15 and her accident is shattered. Cadence returns to the island two years after the catastrophe to try to put the pieces back together.

I guarantee you will not regret reading this page turner filled with love and surprises. Keep in mind there is a big twist at the end of this book that will leave you shocked! I hope you enjoy!!!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks