Review: We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

Publication date:  March 24th 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 384

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary/Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced my review. Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Australia and the Aussie YA Bloggers & Readers.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

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Review:

If you’re one of those naturally curious, over-imaginative people, then of course you have wondered what would happen in the case of an impending apocalypse. You know, as you do. Which is why We All Looked Up would practically be eye candy for you.

With one of the best covers and book designs in book history, We All Looked Up explores the catastrophic events that finding out the end of the world was coming could potentially bring. To do this, we follow the story from the points of view of four different teens: Anita, Peter, Eliza and Andy.

Each one of these teens are very, very different from each other. My favourite was easily Anita, however. I felt like I understood her the most. I loved Andy too, though. He was just too cute. Peter and Eliza however, I could take or leave. I think the book could have been just as good, if not better, if they weren’t in it, or at least took a backseat.

Really this book could have been one big quote. I’m so grateful to have been introduced to Tommy Wallach’s writing. It’s impressive. Almost every line is deep and beautiful and therefore, quotable. I also read in the back of my copy that he has created an album based on the book? That’s pretty cool. I would love to listen to it one day.

I did have two problems with the book though. I felt like the pacing was way too slow at times and I actually began to struggle to pull through it towards the end.

And number two was that I felt like the climax never really picked up towards the end and it ended up being a little bit anticlimatic. Don’t even get me started on the ending. And this is where I move on quickly before I spoil it.

I absolutely loved the little meteor tracker in the book. It added just that little bit more quirkiness to the book. I love the cover so much. It’s actually perfect. Believe it or not, it’s exactly what I picture the end of the world to look like.

Perhaps my favourite thing about the book was how thought-provoking it was. It brought up so many points I had never even really thought about to do with the apocalypse. I won’t say them but it really was interesting.

I would absolutely recommend this book. I think most people will probably be able to pull at least one little thing from the many things in this book. For me personally, it was the themes it explored. The writing of course was a bonus and the design of the book is absolutely phenomenal.

Everyone can take something away from the deep and stunning pages of We All Looked Up. A phenomenally beautiful read that will make you question everything – from your existence to your next meal.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show!

Add We All Looked Up to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His first novel, We All Looked Up, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. His work has appeared in many nice magazines, such as McSweeney’s, Tin House, and Wired. He has released an EP with Decca Records, and will be independently putting out an LP in Spring 2014. He also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. You should buy him dinner.
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Review: Vendetta

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)

Publication date: January 1st 2015

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.

Number of pages: 352

Series: Blood for Blood (#1)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed. All opinions in this review are my own and are in no way influenced by the source of the book.

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Goodreads synopsis:

When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

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Review:

What do you get when you cross 5 hot Italian guys (well actually apparently only 4 of them were hot) with blood and revenge?

Well according to this book, the mafia.

crazy animated GIF

I’m going to be clear here: I’ve never read a book about the mafia before. They’re (unfortunately) not something you see everyday. I wish there were more because things can get CRAZY.

My first point is going to be on the topic of the plot. I actually thought things were pretty lacking in this department. No, I’m not going against what I said about crazy shenanigans in this book. But until the end, I felt that Vendetta seriously lacked plot. It really just seemed to be the same thing over and over again.

Per esempio:
DO YOU LIKE MY ITALIAN?! Thank you. But anyway –
Sophie: “I’m going to get really excited and/or nervous about a conversation I’m about to have with the 5 Italian guys who have just moved in. But I’m gonna be sarcastic to cover it up.”
Millie: “I’m British.”
Luca: “I’m going to be a complete pig to you Sophie.”
Nic: “And I’m gonna make it better again. But then I’m going to run away.”

And repeat.

Ok, that was a little mean and exaggerated, but I genuinely felt like that little scenario thing was getting repeated through out the book. Like not much actually really happened at all apart from conversations between the characters and maybe with something minor going on in the background.

But then I got towards the end and things got wild.

AwesomenessTV animated GIF

See, that’s why I said crazy. All the crazy just happened at the end and it was enough to redeem all the wrongs in the world.

The rest of the book was setting up for the finale really (and an amazing plot twist) and it did do a phenomenal job. But the thing is, you still have to read through that part to get to the good stuff.

The best thing about Vendetta was probably the writing. The characters were believable and all of them really likeable, if not a little bit predictable (see typical conversation above). There was quite a bit of humour involved, and while it wasn’t die-laughing-kind-of-funny, you could still chuckle a tad. I love that kind of things in books and that’s why all dystopians kind of seem the same to me now. A lot of them have no personality.

Another thing I really liked was the Italian involved. Just a few phrases here and there. I get upset if there are books about people in or from countries that don’t speak English and there aren’t phrases from the foreign language in there. It makes me sad.

I read a physical copy of this book and OH MY GOODNESS. I would just buy this book in the shop if I just saw the outside. The edition I read was so beautiful. It was writing on the side of the pages, a really beautiful cover and the spine is amazing.

I really liked the book but I have a deep fear that by the time the sequel comes out I will have forgotten everything that happened. But I would really like to read it. Although I have no idea where it could possibly go.

And I absolutely would recommend this book. I hope this review didn’t come off as too negative but I really didn’t intend for it to. It was a good book and worth reading.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add Vendetta to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Catherine DoyleCatherine Doyle was born in the West of Ireland in 1990. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in English. As a child she was an annoying smarty-pants with an overactive imagination. She feels lucky to have now found a healthy outlet for her tendency to make up stories. Her debut YA novel, VENDETTA, is the first in a trilogy. The novel takes place in modern-day Chicago, where Catherine’s mother grew up.

Fangirl Inspired Outfit

Trendy Thursday

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Goodreads synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

“Touching and utterly real.” —  Publisher’s Weekly

 

Add Fangirl to Goodreads

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The jeans:  (source)

The top:  (source)

Cardigan:  (source)

Hair:  (source)

Makeup: 

Probably none really, to be honest,  but… (source)

Nails:  (source)

Shoes:  (source)

Glasses: 1327605_243007371 (source)

The Atrocity of the Real World.

I found about this thing called ‘the real world’ the other day. Apparently other people have been living there for a long time.

whoa animated GIF  (source)

But anyway, I was talking with my friend at lunch and (for some reason) we were talking about this couple and I was happily like, “I ship them.” Then I was really proud because I used “cool speak” and beamed at my friend happily.

happy animated GIF  (source)

But she was staring at me like this:

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I got an answer somewhere along the lines of a confused “what?”.

Tragically I can’t remember the conversation, but it probably went little like this:

“You know, shipping.”

“What?”

“SHIPPING.”

“What?”

“Shippingshippingshipping.”

So basically I ended up explaining what ‘shipping’ means. She was amused. Then my other friend came and my friend was like something along the lines of: “Hey! Liv ships something.”

And then I had to explain the whole shipping thing again.

And then I had to explain the whole thing again to yet another unrelated person at the end of the day.

#fangirlproblems

But basically what happened was that I discovered that perhaps the word ‘shipping’ is a fangirl only thing, not “cool speak”. I was pretty crushed. I had been pretty proud.

sad animated GIF  (source)

But deep breaths later I came to the conclusion that I just speak a second language. Fangirl language.

I don’t know if it’s just people around me who don’t know the “flingo” (fangirl lingo. Just came up with that then. COPYRIGHTED. MWAHAHAHAHA) or if normal cool people elsewhere do use these terms as well. Feel free to let me know.

Oh my goodness. People who speak flingo can be “flinguists”. I love my nerdiness. NERD PRIDE.

But I can see this problem arising again with phrases like “OTP”. It’s hard being a flinguist.

 

Review: Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Publication date: September 10th 2013

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Number of pages: 445

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Won from Nara @ Looking for the Panacea. Nara, you’re still my favourite person on the planet. However, in no way did this influence my review.

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Goodreads synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

“Touching and utterly real.” —  Publisher’s Weekly

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Review:

No one told me a bunny rabbit and a kitten had a love child and that love child wrote a book.

WHY NOT!?

This book was just SO cute. And SO good.

Fangirl is the story of Cath and what she has to go through when she has to uproot her life and move to college. Cath and her twin sister Wren used to be super-close and they always had eachother to fangirl with. But that was before college. Now Wren is trying to mature a little (what a weirdo) and pull away from Cath and her old life a little.

Bascially Cath is my alter-ego. Seriously. We both are extremely (EXTREMELY) shy people. I was reading this book and was basically like ‘Oh. So this is what would happen if I lived in America and therefore went to college’ the whole time I was reading it.

I love how Rainbow Rowell always knows just how to tackle an issue. It’s actually pretty amazing. She can take something cool and make it ten times cooler. And a YA book about fanfiction is pretty cool. While I don’t read fanfiction myself, it was amazing to actually learn more about it and I actually kinda understand it more now. I never realised what a big thing it was, which sounds kinda terrible. But you can tell that Rainbow Rowell has seriously done her research.

The only other book by Raibow Rowell other than Fangirl that I’ve read is Eleanor and Park, and already I can see a common theme between the two that I am a fan of: the way that the author handles the tough stuff. She really does do a phenomenal job. Not only are her books realistic in the way they are written, but also in the way that her characters act and deal with tough times.

I’d love to say that I’m freaking out over the release of the Simon Snow fanfiction book thing that the author is releasing later on this year, but I can’t really say that I’m bothered. While the fanfiction in the book was ok, it seemed a little like the same thing every time it came up. Baz and Simon fighting everytime and then a lovey dovey moment. Meh. Unless it was the actual author of actual Simon Snow books (her name might of been Gemma T. Leslie or something? I probably got that wrong), then it was just boring but at least it wasn’t always the same. However, that being said, I actually preferred Cath’s fanfiction over the actual stuff.

I actually have so many book boyfriends it’s ridiculous but I have another now. Levi. Oh my goodness. WOW. He is actually like my dream guy (well, if I was being super picky he’d have dark hair…but…that’s weird). He was cute and funny and smart and perfect and amazing. And I ran out of adjectives. But really, believe me, he’s great. Better than great, actually.

If you still haven’t read Fangirl, then what are you doing. And I actually shouldn’t be one to judge since it took me so long to read it myself but build a bridge. Sorry, that was rude. I’m getting passionate. Shoot me. But please don’t.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add Fangirl to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

More at rainbowrowell.com.

A Small Madness Review

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small Madness

Publication date: January 28th 2015

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Number of pages: 240

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Source: Received in exchange for review (thank you so much Allen & Unwin!!). This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.

A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.

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Review:

My head hurts so badly right now. It’s expected since it was ONLY TWISTED TO EPIC PROPORTIONS.

There just aren’t words for what this book made me go through. Thank goodness for that, actually.

A Small Madness tells the story of a girl named Rose. I will warn you, that if you are really uncomfortable with the topic of teen pregnancy or particularly, sex, in books then I’m telling you now that you will not be comfortable with this book. This is a raw, gritty portrayal of teen pregnancy and the author doesn’t gloss over anything.

But that’s one of the reasons why this book really touched me.

We see how the way that the main character, Rose, is forced to deal with her pregnancy and how it transforms her. The things she does. I can’t even. It’s so heartbreaking and really does bring up themes that really aren’t dealt with enough in YA.

There are many reasons which drew me to this book. The initial being the both the topic and the writing style. I’ve never read anything before on teen pregnancy and I was pretty curious. Also, from the synopsis I could tell I would like the writing style (I love books written with that kind of detached but yet very intimate and descriptive style). I also love reading books by Aussie authors and the cover is stunning. And totally suits the tone and mood of the book. And this is weird, but it actually feels really nice.

So when I completely (unexpectedly) got this in the mail for review I completely freaked. And I may have ditched the book I was reading in favour of A Small Madness. I know. Terrible. I had just really, really looking forward to reading this ever since I first heard about this, ok? So I sat down and read, starting it late on a school night (with not much time left after homework before I actually had to go to bed) and finishing it within half an hour the next morning. I was just so, so into the story and needed to know what was going to happen.

I also read with my mouth gaping open for a short while. True story.

I just had this feeling of complete and total dread as to what was going to happen (which was thanks to the author’s brilliant writing) and knew that I wasn’t going to be completely with it until I knew what was going to happen to the characters.

Although I was not a fan of the ending. It was a little too open for my liking. I just think that while open endings can work, in realistic fiction it is particularly important to wrap-up the story and preferably provide closure.

If all Dianne Touchell’s books are like this, then I really need to look into reading them.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add A Small Madness to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Dianne TouchellDianne Touchell is a middle child who feared Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy — and any other stranger who threatened to break into the house at night.

She has worked, amongst other things, as a nightclub singer, a fish and chip shop counter girl (not with Pauline Hanson) and a bookseller. Dianne would rather talk to her dog than answer the phone.

The ‘Naturals

The ‘Naturals by Aaron Patterson, Melody Carlson, Robin Parrish and K. C. Neal

Publication date: October 14th 2012

Publisher: StoneHouse Ink

Number of pages:49

Series: Season one of the ‘Naturals

Genre: YA Paranormal

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

***This book is a Serial. Serials are stories published in episodes, with future episodes released every three weeks. This book contains four episodes out of an estimated twenty total episodes.***

The ‘Naturals
Season One: “Awakening”

A small town full of secrets. A coming darkness. Teenagers with supernatural abilities. Think you know the story?

Think again.

As Summer ends, the students at Silverwood High are getting ready to go back to school and resume their normal, everyday lives. Too bad “normal” is no longer an option.

When these teens get their very first tastes of what destiny has in store, will they embrace that destiny… or flee from it? Will they be selfless… or ruthless? Will they master their abilities… or will their abilities master them?

This is their awakening, the first step of an epic journey. But it’s only the beginning of something bigger than they could ever imagine.

Four teenagers. One town.

Four authors. One story.

The sleepy little town of Silverwood is about to wake up.

* * *

IN THESE EPISODES…

AVERY: Episode 1:
Soulful, artistic Avery is intrigued when Silverwood High’s strapping, athletic newcomer takes an interest in her. So why is she convinced that there’s more going on with this guy than a simple crush?
by Melody Carlson

MARSHALL: Episode 2:
Brilliant but nerdy Marshall is used to being the odd man out, the last one picked, and the bully’s favorite target. But his luck may be changing when he discovers that he can do something that should be completely impossible.
by Robin Parrish

HAILEY: Episode 3:
Soccer prodigy Hailey wants desperately to hide every aspect of her home life — and the anger and regrets that fill her heart. But she’s about to discover that concealing her feelings isn’t a possibility anymore.
by K.C. Neal

ISRAEL: Episode 4:
Homeschooler Israel is part of a dysfunctional family. They look normal on the outside, but it’s a carefully constructed lie that’s leaving plenty of scars. It doesn’t help that he’s having disturbing dreams and experiencing bizarre sensations.
by Aaron Patterson

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Review:

This was actually pretty good. Forget being a book series, this NEEDS to be a web series. That would be the most epic thing ever. Someone please tell me it’s been made into a web series.

I was so surprised at how much I liked this book. I liked all four episodes and was actually disappointed each time that they ended.

I guess it’s no impressive feat to say I read it all in one night. Less than an hour actually. But that might be something to do with the fact that it’s only 49 pages. But it saved me from a reading slump. You know when you can just feel them coming on?

I would totally read the other episodes as well. I really need to investigate about getting hold of them.

I’m afraid this is a tiny review. I haven’t really got much to say or to write about, apart from the fact that if you get the chance to read this, then by all means do.

Although I can’t decide whether I liked episode 3 or 4 best (Hailey or Israel).

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show. 

Add The ‘Naturals to Goodreads