Review: Twin Souls

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader;

First, I would like to say there will be some spoilers included. Now, on with the review below if you would still like to read.

Continue reading “Review: Twin Souls”

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Site Update

Dear Reader

I’m currently trying to work out the layout of my blog here on WordPress, mostly because I am actually a Livejournal fan. (I’ve gone to the dark side and tried Tumblr, but I don’t care how many cookies and cat videos they have, they simply aren’t all that talented at making a “blogging” space. Comment feature, anyone?) I’m still working out the kinks here and as you can see, my header and background, etc. might need a little work.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to take a picture of *my* bookshelf soon and use that as my header, but for now, I’ll settle for the generic image I got off the internet from a bookstore (I think Barnes & Noble, but it’s difficult to say now).

That being said, if anyone has any recommendations as far as graphics are concerned, please, feel free to share. I haven’t been in the graphics department for years now and am more than a little rusty. (Does anyone else remember when Photobucket had the best online photo editing out there? Because now it’s terribly lame and I’m always searching for a better site to use. And I’d rather spend money on books than on a graphics program – don’t I have PSP something rather out there somewhere?)

Hopefully, I’ll get the site set up to my liking soon!

Thanks for your patience and bothering to check out my site at all! Very appreciative!

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

Review: NEED by Joelle Charbonneau

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader;

Mostly, I really enjoyed NEED. I’m not a huge fan of alternating POV narration, but this is surprisingly well done and after a few chapters you get used to it.

The story itself is about a social media website that promises to give you whatever it is you need–for a small price, of course. But that price is so small, so insignificant that you won’t even think about what it *really* means until it’s too late. Far too late.

Our story is centered around Kaylee, unreliable after a bout of lying to try and save her brother (he needs a kidney, this is definitely not a spoiler), and how she feels deserted by her entire town and her family. She quickly realizes that people are capable of terrible things, but that maybe she’s not as bad a person as everyone else assumes–or is it all circumstance?

The reason I enjoyed NEED was because I felt like it was an interesting (if maybe a bit unrealistic in the scope of it) look at the psychology of a town and an individual as well as anonymity and how the internet changes our behaviors. That being said, it was also an interesting story. You were invested in the characters, you wanted to figure out what was going on before they did and you were definitely rooting for Kaylee at the end.

Now, I thought maybe this was a bit over the top. I’m not sure something like this could really and truly happen, at least not to the extremes it went to by the end, but I can see the possibility of it on a small scale. I thought sometimes things got a little preachy – this is right, this is wrong, I should never have… – but that only showed up in a couple of internal moments. Mostly, you saw that things were wrong. You knew people were going to rationalize it. And it’s not that hard to see someone actually doing it.

The writing style was easy to read, gave us just enough to be horrified, surprised, lost, confused, etc. as necessary while still pushing the story along quickly. For the most part, I didn’t feel like it was dragging or anything, though about halfway through I thought we were farther along.

All in all, I think a lot of people aren’t going to enjoy this because they feel like it’s too “ridiculous” and feel like this would never *really* happen, but the story is good and if you can suspend your disbelief for a spell, it’s worth picking up.

Would recommend it.

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Title: NEED
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
ISBN: 0544416694
Language: English
Approximate Length: 352 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
I had a Kindle version.

Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader;

I had forgotten about this book, honestly, but it is one of my favorites. Emotional, well written but easy to read, it makes you FEEL things, as the good books do, and I am happy that I gave it a shot.

I enjoyed that the book was realistic in the sense that there was no paranormal stuff (as I get a little bored with that sometimes), but it was still unusual. The Mockingbirds are a cleverly literary named group that acts as the student run justice system at a boarding school. They handle the stuff that no one else does and they get results.

It’s an interesting look at things like the honors system, a type of “self-governing” body, and how sometimes you have to take things into your own hands – or allow them to be taken into someone else’s. I also feel that this is a beautiful example of how being scared and being brave and doing things that need to be done even though they’re hard, even though you’re scared. And it made me feel better. Bad things happen, but good things can happen afterwards, and that’s the sort of hope and message I got from this book.

Really quite lovely. I would only mention that it might be triggering for some, so be wary, but it’s not graphic and it does have a hopeful ending.

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney
ISBN: 0316090530
Language: English
Approximate Length: 339 pages
Stars: ★★★★★
I had a softcover edition with a white cover.

 

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader;

I give this book five stars because it was the book I have been waiting for, and I wasn’t expecting it when I picked this one up.

The premise sounded good to me, but I figured it was going to be like most of the YA books regarding dystopian societies and/or zombies: disappointing. These two facets happen to be my favorite genre types (besides werewolves and witches) and that’s what makes me so sad when I read the majority of books in these genres. They never live up to expectations.

Well, this one did and went far beyond them.

Wren is a detached, aloof main character who’s opinion of herself is so biased yet so convincing, we believe it completely right up until the end. At first, you just get tired of her naivete, but it’s so realistic that it grows on you and by the time you’ve finished the book you feel like you’ve seen her in two ways: the way she sees her and the way everyone else does. It’s pretty striking.

The other characters weave in and out of the story, hooking you until you’re invested in just what’s happening to them. Then you add in what they are, what people are trying to make them into, and this (fairly cliche) concept of where they belong in the world/how they can be received, and yeah, it’s a pretty powerful novel.

It’s nice to have a strong female lead character who saves the guy, but is not so strong that she’s without vulnerabilities. And I do love a good story about someone who tries not to care about what’s happening around her, but then gets thrown into it anyway.

I loved this book, I felt that it was well written, I felt invested in the characters, and I was pretty happy with everything – even the end.

I will definitely be getting book 2 as soon as I can.

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Title: Reboot
Author: Amy Tintera
ISBN: 0062217070
Language: English
Approximate Length: 365 pages
Stars: ★★★★★
I had a hardcover with the jacket missing, gently used.

Review: We’ll Never Be Apart by Jean Emiko

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader;

This was what I like to call devastatingly beautiful. I got a whole bunch of books in the last week or so, and when I was ordering (because I could only get so many) I was pretty on the fence about this one. In the end, I picked it up because it was being sold for cheap since it was used and I decided I would give it a shot.

I’m so glad I did.

Jean has written a beautiful, terrible story here that works up emotion and thrill as it goes. It’s a pretty easy read, too, the style straight forward and engaging while still holding on to its secrets. I thought there were parts that were sort of obvious, but Jean does a good job of making you second guess your suspicions throughout so that when it finally reaches the conclusion, you’re pretty surprised or at least have felt like Jean’s taken you on a wild ride.

Alice is lovable; Chase is the bad boy with an underlying sweetness that you can’t help but root for, and Jason is darkly sexy. I liked that the romance was there, but not overpowering, and that in the end there is all of this hope and possibility without being corny… and right alongside that hope is the promise that it’ll still all come crumbling down. There isn’t strictly speaking a happy ending, but it’s a There’s Hope ending which is sometimes just as good if not better.

The story made me cry a time or two, being unexpectedly deep.

I enjoyed the psychological aspect and that it wasn’t terribly over the top. I thought it was a beautiful representation of sanity and madness and how we never really know which one we fall under.

I would definitely recommend this book, though I would warn you that it is sad, intense at times, and you should be aware that though this is a quick read, it’s heady. But so beautiful. I’m definitely glad I’ve read it.

Additionally, I’ll mention that many people will probably “see it coming” and to them I say, “Yes, yes, and you knew what was going on in The Sixth Sense the whole time, too.”

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Title: We’ll Never Be Apart
Author: Jean Emiko
ISBN: 054448200X
Language: English
Approximate Length: 279 pages
Stars: ★★★★★
I had a hardcover edition.

Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader;

I think it is incredibly hard to find a good Zombie novel (World War Z aside), mostly because they more or less follow the same plot line. I think it’s even harder to find a good YA Zombie novel. That’s why this one just blew me completely out of the water. I thought it was incredibly well written and impressively riveting. I didn’t want to put it down.

This is an unusual novel because the main character, Sloane (I love the name!) is so detached from everything. Her life has been hard and she’s lost so much–in such a different way from the other characters–that she isn’t all there. It means she can be braver and stronger without actually being brave or necessarily strong. It makes her an intense and interesting character and from the outside she must look a little like a zombie herself.

This isn’t a story about how everyone comes together in the worst of times and they all work together to save one another. Not exactly anyway. The characters are selfish and gritty and real. They lie and cheat and sacrifice when it’s necessary and it is slowly eating them all alive. Forget the zombies, they might not be able to survive themselves! It’s compelling and believable, something that I think is much harder to do than people realize. Sloane isn’t a hero; Rhys isn’t prince charming. Grace and Trace aren’t necessarily good or bad. And in the end, it’s all okay, because they are just human.

It was sad and a little triggery for some, but it’s good. If you can get it started (it shouldn’t be hard; this book is pretty fast paced) then don’t stop. It’s worth seeing through to the end.

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

Title: This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)
Author: Courtney Summers
ISBN: 0312656742
Language: English
Approximate Length: 326 pages
Stars: ★★★★★
I had a Kindle edition that was gifted to me via Amazon.

2016 Reading List

Dear Reader2

I have come up with a list that will hopefully take me through the year. It shall grow and change as necessary (as I get new books throughout the year, or hear of them). I have high hopes for many of these books – don’t let me down!

If you see something you think is missing on this list, feel free to suggest something! I’m always looking for the next great book. It doesn’t have to be new, and it doesn’t *have* to be in my preferred reading genre (though I’m more likely to get through it relatively quickly if it is). If I’ve read it or have reasons for not wanting to read it, I’ll let you know. Otherwise, to the list it goes.

And without further ado, here we go:

  • Remembrandt by Robin King
  • The Dead of Summer by Heather Balog (Review)
  • Twin Souls by K.A. Poe (Review)
  • NEED by Joelle Charbonneau (Review)
  • This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (Review)
  • Dead Girls Don’t by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
  • Hysteria by Megan Miranda
  • Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman
  • Breathless by Jessica Warman
  • The Lake by Annalisa Grant
  • Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
  • Stellow Project by Shari Becker
  • Croak by Gina Damico
  • Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez
  • What We Left Behind by Peter Cawdron
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode
  • The Fearless by Emma Pass
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyar
  • Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
  • Dead Girls Don’t by Mags Storey
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
  • Emerge by Heather Sunseri
  • Recon by Tarah Benner
  • Undertow by Michael Buckley
  • Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter
  • The Institute by Kayla Howarth
  • The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

I’m not reading in any particular order, and those I’ve struck out indicate books I’ve completed. I’ll try to get some links up to these a little later.

Sincerely2

E.C. Orr

2016 YA (and one that’s not) Releases

Dear Reader;

I am excited. I’m excited, because whenever a new year begins there comes with it the hope that this year, I’ll see something great. A new book (maybe even a series!) that will knock my socks off a la Divergent, the Hunger Games, or Reboot. A new year holds such promise for the future and it is undeniably excited.

So, what am I most excited for this year? Let’s start a quick list.

  • Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan (April, 2016)
  • Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs (March, 2016) – Okay, not YA, but I’m SO excited that it had to go on here, too.
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (January, 2016)
  • The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine (February, 2016)
  • Take the Fall by Emily Hainsworth (February, 2016)
  • On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis (March, 2016)
  • Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr (March, 2016)
  • Shearwater by D.S. Murphy (January, 2016)
  • Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow (January, 2016)
  • Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake (January, 2016)
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November, 2016)
  • Through the Veil by Colleen Halverson (February, 2016)
  • Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (June, 2016)
  • Asleep by Krystal Wade (February, 2016)
  • The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude (May, 2016)
  • The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (April, 2016)
  • Burning by Danielle Rollins (April, 2016)

As I hear about more, I’ll update this list (or maybe just make a new one?) and I’ll try to find some links, too.

I’m interested in each of these for varying reasons, but mostly, they just had something in the description that caught my eye and has made me intrigued at the very least, and desperately excited at the most. I hope they don’t let me down!

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

P.S. – Have you heard of any new and upcoming novels? Any awesome, little known writers? Comment below and I’ll check them out!