book review: the real real by emma mclaughlin and nicola kraus

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3 stars

tw: use of word r*tarded, sexual assault, targeted bullying and harassment, underage drinking

I’m not quite sure these authors are for me. The first two books I have read by them are from the Nanny Diaries. I enjoyed the first one but I wasn’t super keen on the second one. The Nanny Diaries were silly so I was hoping this one would be a bit more serious.

It wasn’t. It wasn’t as serious as it could have been. It could have really showed the ugly side of reality TV. In ways it did with the bullying Jesse faced but I wanted more. I wanted more of the backstage back stabbing and everything that comes with reality TV.

I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the writing. It was very high school esque. There was always so much going on. There were so many side characters. It was all just too much at one time. I’m old, man. I can’t keep up with the times or teenagers anymore.

Speaking of characters, I liked Jesse. She was real and acted like every teenager does. She overacted to things that didn’t need to be overreacted too. She had troubles with friendships and made dumb mistakes. While I didn’t like the writing, I liked Jesse hence why the book got 3 (three) stars instead of 2 (two).

Overall, this wasn’t great but it was a quick and easy to read book. If you are looking for a book between heavy reads and need something light, then this is the book for you.

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banned book club: the handmaid’s tale

The Banned Book club book of the month is the Handmaid’s Tale. I have really been slacking the past couple months in terms of reading the books. However, I was lucky enough that the voted book was something I had already read last year. I never posted the review on my blog so this gave me an excellent opportunity to show off my best review I’ve ever written. I hope you all enjoy this!

the review;

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Well this was certainly an interesting and thought provoking book. It made me think about how easily society can break. It made me think about how fragile we are as humans. It made me think about how quickly government can fail and a new and worse government can take it’s place.

I have a lot of thoughts, as you probably have guessed. I’ll talk about the book first before I get into my thoughts about the themes. At first, I wasn’t sure about this book. The first 15% of so was slow for me. There was a lot of things being mentioned but not explained. Luckily, I stuck it out because I had seen so many positive reviews. Everything eventually got explained and I felt better about reading this book. Although I really hate how it ended. I need closure, man.

This book follows the tale of Offred, which I think is pronounced “of fred”. She is a Handmaiden, which basically means she has to get pregnant in order to be a value in this new society. She has Commanders, that are in charge of her and impregnating her. Her freedom is extremely limited. The sad part is, she remembers a time when society wasn’t like this. She remembers what it was like to be free to dress however she wanted, smoke whenever she wanted, marry whoever she wanted and so much more.

I think that is one of the themes that really messed me up. The complete lack of freedom women suddenly had. Men were restricted too but not nearly as much as women. Women are forced to wear dresses and ridiculous headgear so no one can look them in the eye. They are treated as basically walking wombs. They have no real value in society besides birthing babies.

I couldn’t live in a society like that. Already, as a woman, I am constricted. Old men in the government feel like they have more a right to tell me what I can and can’t do with my own body. I am judged, constantly, for making the decision at 25 years old to not have kids. I even feel judged, telling people that I want a busy career, where there is no room for little ones. I feel it is silly to have to pay for menstrual napkins. I think it’s dumb as hell that women don’t get paid the same amount as men for doing the same type of work with the same education.

But reading this book has opened my eyes. I realize that even though I deal with those constrictions I listed above, I am still much better off than Offred and those women in the book. At least I can wear pants and swimsuits in public. But, I also realize that we, as a society, have so much more work to do. To make sure everybody is equal, men included.

It’s unfortunate though, that today, October 25, the USA will be going back 300 years with the inauguration of a President who is racist and sexist along with a Vice President who is homophobic. Reading this book has made me realize that we have to stand together as a country. We cannot go back in time to where no one but the white man had any sort of power. We cannot revert to what happens in this book. Where the Constitution was suspended and where men and women were publicly hung for small crimes like being a Baptist.

I think that everybody needs to read this book because of what is currently happening right now. Don’t discount as a silly feminist book. Yes, it is a feminist book, but it is so much more than that. It talks about equality for all sexes, not just females. It talks about equality for all religions and not just one.

Okay. I am done. There is so much more I could discuss about this book. I could go on and on and on. There are few books that provoke such feeling in me and this is one of them. I just urge everyone to read it. It will change the way you think about society, government and so much more.

why it was banned;

The Handmaid’s Tale has gone through the wringer in terms of it being banned. It’s even been attempted to be banned in my home state of Iowa, which doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t surprise me at all that this book has gone through an immense amount of banning, if I am just going to be completely honest. It’s not an easy book to read, especially if you are a woman. In my review above, I listed just a few reasons why.

I read this book early last year so my memory of it is not the great. I just have an incredibly horrible memory. What I do remember is the feeling of anger. So much damn anger. At some points, I was drowning in it. I wanted to know what gave the leaders of the Republic of Gilead the right to control a woman’s body. I was mad that Offred went through what she did and I was mad that she had to live with the memories of her past life and become tortured by them essentially. I was mad at the status of women and how horrible they were treated. I was honestly just plain mad.

Okay, onto the reasons as to why this book was actually banned before I drown in my anger again. One of the main topics that seemed to push everybody’s buttons is how it is offensive to Christians. Not that women were treated like utter garbage and used as a walking womb, to quote myself. But that it was offensive to Christians. That seems to show just how much women truly are valued in society. It made me feel sick when I saw that is what pissed everyone off.

Some other reasons that this book is banned: sexually lurid, profanity, defamatory to minorities, god, women and the disabled, violence, hopelessness, age inappropriate, graphic sex, and violently graphic and morally corrupt.

My thoughts on this book being banned are simple. If a book is being banned or attempted to be banned, that means it has some truth to it and truth can make people incredibly uncomfortable. They want to get rid of the thing that makes them uncomfortable. This book and by extension, the TV show, makes people uncomfortable because it reveals a world that is closer than one might think. And that terrifies a lot of people. I know it scares the hell out of me.

Overall, this is a book that, regardless of gender, it should be read. It’s a terrifying book and it still haunts me to this day but it’s incredibly important and it will remain important for years and years to come.

My information came from this Newsweek article.

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book review: uglies by scott westerfeld

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4 stars
a super special thank you goes to Destiny over at Howling Libraries for sending me this. I am forever grateful and thankful to you and your friendship!

I love this book. Just absolutely love it. This was another book I read in high school and I devoured the series like crazy. Lucky for me, I don’t remember must about it so it was like reading it for the first time. I stayed up far too late reading this book and paid the price for it quite a few evenings.

Tally is one of my favorite MCs. I appreciated everything about her because she reminded me of a regular teenager. She is very concerned about how she looks. Her entire self esteem is based on her looks, which is common in this world because when you turn 16, you have an operation to turn pretty.

All Tally’s life, she has been conditioned to think she is ugly. Reminds me of society today. Teens, especially girls, are conditioned to think we are ugly unless we have big bobs, skinny waists, etc. It’s so sad and reading how much stock Tally put into herself and her looks broke my heart. Every single one of us is beautiful. Never forget that.

This is a pretty classic dystopian. Government is supposedly alright but is actually shady. What keeps it from becoming stale is the concept of the pretty/uglies. It’s a concept I haven’t seen since and I read quite a bit of dystopian.

Overall, just check this series out. I don’t want to spoil anymore of it for you guys. I want all of you to experience this series that is so near and dear to my heart. There is a new book that is a part of this world (that I need to get my hands on). If you enjoy a good classic dystopian, this is the book for you.

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arc review: kiss of the royal by lindsey duga

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3 stars!

A special thank you goes to Entangled Teen and Netgalley for allowing me to read this eARC early. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

tw: unwanted sexual innuendos

I really debated about the rating of this book. I sat here for a good 10 minutes, thinking about how I wanted to rate this. For a little while, after reading, I just left it unrated because I wouldn’t make up my mind. The middle of the book is when it really started to pick up. The ending alone really made me want to give it 4 stars. But the beginning just felt so slow.

One of the biggest things is that I just couldn’t get fully into the book. The concept was awesome with the use of Kisses providing protection and strength. It’s seriously unique. But I just wasn’t the biggest fan of Ivy and Zach. I liked them together, just not apart. Both felt just dull with very similar personalities.

I think what my problem was that it was more fantasy driven then I thought it was going to be. I thought the use of magic was going to be like in the Kingfountain series, where it was there but it was more set in the background. So it definitely took a while for me to get over that.

One thing this book does well is the female/male friendships. Bromley and Ivy are very best friends, nay family. I love seeing this in books, especially YA. Although one could argue that there is some power imbalance as Brom is Ivy’s page. But I don’t really think that was an issue here. Ivy treated Brom like an equal.

Overall, this wasn’t bad. This rating is the highest of 3 (three) stars. As much as I loved the ending, it couldn’t boost the rating up to 4 (four) stars. But I think a lot of people who enjoy fantasy would like this book.

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maximum ride: the angel experiment by james patterson

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So I read this book back in high school. Well okay, the first time I had it read to me and I hated it. I hated having books read to me. But then I decided to pick it up and try it on my own. I loved it but I wasn’t super sold on it. Max was one of the biggest things that bothered me. For some reason, her voice felt far too young to me and she made some silly mistakes that would annoy the hell out of me.

But as I read this book a second time around, I realized that I wasn’t annoyed. I realized that Max didn’t have a childhood. She never got to be a kid. As soon as she escaped the School, she had to take care of the young flock. I realized that high school Lacy was just a brat.

This book is seriously all action. I’m talking 99% action. The flock are constantly on the go, having to always outrun some sort of danger. I was exhausted after I finished reading this. I felt like I was flying with the flock and running away with them. Not to mention, there were so many plot twists and turns. My neck was sore. Everything was just sore after reading this book.

One of the things that did put me off slightly, that didn’t when I read it in high school, was the super short chapters. We are talking one to two pages. Sometimes the chapters were only a page even half a page. I’m not sure what the point of it was but it did detract from the story a bit. The book reads very quickly so I was constantly having to turn pages, which got old after a while.

Overall, I loved this, even more than I did in high school. I’m really glad I picked this up again and I certainly can’t wait to continue my adventure with the flock. I highly suggest this book if you are looking for an action packed book or need some new characters to adopt into your family.

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just one of the royals by kate and leah rooper

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tw: underage drinking

A special thank you goes out to Entangled Teen for allowing me to read an eARC of this book early. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Gosh, this story was so damn cute. I was smiling like an idiot almost the entire time I read the book. I seriously just love cute romance stories like these. It was just what I needed after a rough couple of months.

The tension in this story was so real, it was driving me mad. Daniel and Madison clearly had chemistry but both were just ignorant of it. The miscommunication between the two was so hilarious at times. We got POV from both of them so were privy to their thoughts. Often times I just had to shake my head.

While this book was adorable, it had it’s serious moments. Madison, who is Korean American, is struggling with her parents and what they want from her. Madison wants to be an actress but her parents want her to be a doctor. My parents let us kids pursue whatever we wanted so I can only imagine how Madison must have felt. It would upset me so much if I wasn’t allowed to even think about my dream job.

This book is the second of a series. Usually books like these can be read as a stand alone. This one does mention events that happened in the first book. So it might be best to read them in order. But it won’t deter from your enjoyment if you decide to skip the first one.

Overall, this was an adorable story. I adored Madison and Daniel. I loved the tension and the wondering if they were ever going to be together. Check this out today!

alpha by jus accardo

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A special thank you goes out to Entangled Teen for allowing me to read this eARC early. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Another series done and gone. All and all, it wasn’t bad, despite the average rating. I certainly preferred some characters over others. But I’ll talk more about that toward the end, when I do a series wrap up. Beware that the series wrap up will have some spoilers. They aren’t super major but it’s best to avoid that if you don’t want to get spoiled.

The two MCs in this book were Sera and G, from the previous book. Now I didn’t mind them but I just couldn’t get into their POVs as much as I did for Ash and Noah. Sera was a fighter and she never gave up, which is something I admire. But I just couldn’t connect with her. It felt like she was just waiting for people to save her instead of trying to get out of the situation. Same with G, in the sense that I couldn’t get into his POV. He was a lot more darker than I’m used too and I think that’s why I wasn’t a huge fan of him. I’m not the biggest fan of anti heroes. It takes a special character to get me really into them. And sadly, G was not it.

In this book, Dylan was more humanized that I had ever seen him and it was interesting. Honestly, I didn’t think I would like it because I didn’t like Dylan at all. I didn’t like him as a person and I didn’t like him as a villain. But I liked it? Who am I? I don’t condone what Dylan did, not by a long shot. But the way Jus handled his redemption, talking about how some people just break when something traumatic happens. I don’t know, that really got me and I suddenly did hate Dylan so much.

series review;

This series was surprisingly good. When I first started, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Interdemensional travel? Confusing! My only experience is the Family Guy episode Road to the Multiverse. But the way Jus went about it, gave us chunks of information and broke down the concept into Layman’s terms, it made sense. The Alpha project was still a bit unclear. I’m not entirely sure what the whole goal was there.

Noah and Ash were my favorite POVs out of all the POVs that were offered. There were just something about them that worked. They clicked so well together, even though Noah was putting up one hell of a fight. Their love for each other and their will to keep on fighting just made my heart melt.

Overall, this series was good! I need to own it, simply for the beautiful covers. Seriously, props to whoever did that. But anyway, if you are looking for an easy to read interdemensional travel book with romances that will make your heart swoon, then this series is the one for you.

 

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