Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover

Review: Shatter Me

shatter meShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

What it is about:  No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.  (Summary from


What I thought: 

Juliette hasn’t seen or talked to anyone in months that is until Adam shows up as her new roommate. Through her friendship with Adam, Juliette learns that she has the power to change her life. Her touch doesn’t have to be a curse.  As the story progresses Juliette begins to heal thus getting stronger and more confident. It is nice to see Juliette go from a weak character to a stronger character, and I look forward to seeing her grow in the next book.

Shatter Me is told from Juliette’s point of view, which is great because you get to know her and what’s going on inside her head in regards to everything.  However, Juliette has been in solitude in an asylum for years.  While she isn’t crazy (she is locked up because of her touch) solitude has messed with her head.  Juliette tends to repeat things.  Sometimes just a word, other times a sentence.  At times this can be annoying, however, it seems to lesson as time goes on because Juliette becomes more secure in who she is (that or I just got used to it and stopped noticing).  Also the crossing out of words is employed used a lot especially in the beginning.  These techniques help to give you an idea of who Juliette is. While not insane she is broken, and needs to heal.

Many of the reviews I read before reading Shatter Me complained about the number of metaphors in the book.  I did notice there are a lot more metaphors in Shatter Me than I usually see.  I will admit there were points where the number of metaphors in the text interrupted my reading flow because I had to reread the paragraph to figure out what was actually going on.

Shatter Me has romance, despite Juliette’s lethal touch.  It’s a dystopian novel in that the Earth has been polluted to the point where vegetation no longer grows with ease and animals are scarce.    The Reestablishment has taken over, promising to fix things, but instead they now control everything.  There are super powers (need I say more?)! There is a great bad guy in Warner’s character.  Also, there is the promise of a strong female character.


I will definitely be picking up Unravel Me to find out what happens next to Juliette.

Oh and here’s the trailer for Shatter Me:


Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

DashDash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

What it is about:  Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. (Summary from

What I Liked:

Lily and Dash are two very different people. They meet because of the red moleskin notebook.  Dash decides to see where the notebook will lead him, and in turn he makes the writer of the notebook go on an adventure too.  Lily and Dash are both alone for the holidays, because their parents have gone away (yes the convenient no parental figures around so you can get away with things you normally wouldn’t is in effect).  I like how both Lily and Dash take a chance on a stranger.  Lily does have precautions put in place though by having Dash hand off the notebook to a family member, so they know Dash is a teenage boy.

Dash & Lily’s adventure starts off when the red moleskin notebook is left on a shelf in the Strand.  I’m not going to lie here, the main reason I wanted to read Dash & Lily was because I knew the Strand played a part in the book.  Have you ever been to the Strand?  If you answered no to the previous question, are a lover of books, and live anywhere near NYC, then you need to make visiting the Strand a must!  The Strand is pure booklover bliss.

This book takes place over Dash & Lily’s Christmas break.  It was recommended I read it around that time of year, so I started it a few days before Christmas and finished it around New Years.  I discovered this really is the best time to read the book!  You’re in the Christmas mood, Lily is in the Christmas mood, and Dash, well, Dash can’t wait for the Christmas season to end.



Review: Adaptation

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

What it’s about:  Birds all across North America are crashing planes, killing thousands of people.  Reese and David are stuck at the airport with their debate teacher unable to get a flight home.  The three decide to rent a car when it becomes clear there won’t be any flights in the near future.  Events unfold and soon Reese and David are in a car crash.

27 days later Reese and David wake up in a hospital, and are only told cutting edge medical procedures have saved their lives.  Before leaving the hospital they have to sign nondisclosure agreements to never talk about what happened to them.  But what did happen to them while they were in a coma?  How did they survive the crash?


What I thought:  I read Malinda Lo’s Ash which I absolutely loved, so I was excited to hear she wrote a sci-fi book.  I wasn’t let down by Adaptation.  First of all, conspiracy theories abound in this book!  And who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory?  Reese’s best friend Julian is obsessed with the conspiracy theories surrounding the plane crashes and also Area 51.  Is he right about Reese and David having been at a hospital in Area 51?  What caused the birds to go crazy?

Romance lovers have no fear, there is romance.  Reese likes David and he likes her, but she doesn’t want a relationship.  However, all that changes when she meets Amber.  Reese has feelings for Amber, feelings she didn’t realize she had for girls.  Reese’s feelings get complicated as the plot progresses.  She needs to figure out why she feels the way she does, and who she trusts enough to let in.  While I appreciate a romance worked into the plot, (especially one with the complications of figuring out how you can feel for two different people) I did feel like the focus on the relationship was center stage too often.  This may just be because I was more interested in learning what happened to Reese and David while they were in the hospital.

According to GoodReads there is going to be a sequel to this book.  I was happy to discover that because the ending left me wanting more.

Review: Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Sorry it has taken me so long to post.  I’ve been busy applying to jobs (something I really need to do) and helping my sisters paint some rooms (something that looks more fun than it actual is).    I’ve also had some per Diem work at a local library branch.  Yay for working!  Plus I’ve been catching up on Supernatural (in fact I’m watching an episode right now), I can’t help it I’m hooked!


Edited with PicMonkeyOkay back to the reason you visit this blog….Mandy Hubbard’s Ripple.

What it’s about:  On Lexi’s sixteenth birthday she discovers she is cursed.  Every night she is drawn to the water and forced to sing.  Lexi learns of her curse when her singing lures the boy she loves to his death.  In order to protect those she loves, Lexi has shut herself off from all her friends.  For a year Lexi has been shunned by all her friends because of her icy demeanor, until Cole (the best friend of the boy she loved/killed) decides to try and break through her façade.  When Lexi finally starts to think things may get a little better, a new boy, Erik, shows up at school with a secret of his own and the promise of a normal life.

What I thought:  I understand Lexi’s icy attitude, trying to freeze her friends out in order to keep them safe.  I also understand how after a year of being shut off from her friends, Lexi finally starts to let someone, Cole, in.  It isn’t easy to keep everyone you love and care about at bay, and when someone finally tries to break your wall down, it’s hard not to accept that.

However, I didn’t fully connect with Lexi, although she was a likeable character overall.  The other characters aren’t developed too fully, but you get enough of their personality/ makeup for the story to work.

Towards the beginning of the story Lexi gets a book her mother left her.  Lexi flips through it and discovers some information about her curse; however, I was a little disappointed that Lexi never refers to the book again.   It seemed it was going to be important, but actually revealed very little beyond how the curse started.

I picked up Ripple because I noticed mermaid like books were growing in number.   While it isn’t a mermaid story per say, but it does involve a girl who is forced by a curse to swim every night.   It wasn’t my favorite book of the year, but it was a good quick read.  Ripple has romance, supernatural elements, and a little mystery, so anyone looking for those elements will enjoy it.

Zombies Oh, My! Dearly, Departed Review


Edited with PicMonkey

Dearly, Departed

By Lia Habel


So we have seen humans have vampire romances, werewolf romances, even ghost romances…so why not a zombie romance?  Well the wait for a zombie/human romance is now over.  If Stephanie Meyer showed us vampires can sparkle and drink animal blood, then Habel showed us some of the living dead can retain their humanity.

What it’s about: 

“The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them.  Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back.”   (Summary from

What I thought: 

I recently got hooked on zombie novels when I read Ashes (review here).  So when I saw Dearly, Departed was in at the library I couldn’t pass it up.  Steam punk, zombies, and a love story? Yes, please!

At first I was a little weary about this book.   I thought the premise sounded interesting, but when I first started reading I thought it was going to be a slow read.  However, it soon grabbed me and kept me hooked.  However it never did get as fast paced as some books, but it did keep me turning the pages long after bedtime.

One aspect I loved à  each chapter is from a different person’s point of view: sometimes Bram, sometimes Nora, sometimes her best friend Pam, and various other characters.  This technique really let the reader see the story from various angles so you knew what was going on in all the different places, which I appreciated.

I do wonder what Bram looks like.  The longer a zombie is dead before reanimation the less human they are, but that doesn’t mean the zombies’ bodies aren’t all decomposing.  Scientists have worked on ways to keep their bodies from decaying too fast, but based on some of the descriptions I wonder.   I suppose it takes the personality before looks aspect to a new level.  You’d also have to be careful your loved one doesn’t try to bite you!  Despite being more human, the zombies do have to fight off the urges the Laz causes in them.

According to there are going to be other books (Gone with the Respiration series). Book 2: Dearly, Beloved is expected to be published in September.  I personally look forward to it.

If you’re looking for a zombie book with a twist then I recommend picking up Habel’s Dearly, Departed!