The Worst Disasters Can Have Wonderful Consequences (Thanks for the Trouble – A Book Review)

Thanks for the Trouble
Author: Tommy Wallach
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Thanks for the Trouble

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

7/25

I’ve got some questions for you. Was this story written about me?

Parker Sante doesn’t speak, hasn’t since the car accident he and his father were in five years ago. He hangs out in Hotels while his classmates plan for their futures. It’s his favorite thing to do. Then he meets Zelda Toth who has silver hair and claims to be a little over 200 years old and decides being with her is much better. She tells him that she’s waiting for a special phone call that’ll tell her to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, which is completely crazy. So Parker is determined to change her mind by finding things she hasn’t yet experienced in all her life, which proves more difficult than he thought. He didn’t expect to fall for her and he didn’t expect this to show him

This book marks 7 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard so many great and amazeballs things about this author, that he springs some real shit on you. Oh man, yes. I’m so glad I read this.

I fell in love with this book right from the get-go. Five bolts across the board from me. I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it in five hours. I was laughing and crumbling and feeling way too many emotions. This is the kind of book that leaves you fulfilled. It really is. There are many parts that make you laugh because it feels brutally honest in a way that isn’t offensive at all. That humor also serves to help guide our main character Parker through his tough times as he grows closer to Zelda. To put this to a cheesy metaphor? This is like watching a cherry blossom bloom and wake up in the world…except it doesn’t wilt away later. It flourishes as does e everything around it. LOL.

Parker meets Zelda in a Hotel and while he’s straightforward and sarcastic, she is wispy and wise. Such a clash of opposites, yet not, was very interesting and just drew me in. And personally? Parker’s level of thinking is pretty dead on with mine. Check out some of the quotes below! I guarantee, and ask my friends, this is how I sound half the time. Parker is so refreshing and raw. Parker doesn’t speak, so when I started this I was nervous. How was he going to sound in my head if he didn’t speak? But, that nervousness vanished so quick. He was easy to latch onto and I didn’t want to let go of him. And Zelda, oh sweet Zelda, she was so beautiful. The further I read, the more I noticed the light she carried in her. It’s the kind of light that draws people in.

Thanks for the Trouble

I’ve always wanted to see San Fransisco, and Wallach did a wonderful job in setting the story there. The imagery wasn’t heavy, but flowed with the characters. I saw what Parker saw and the way he saw it. This story is done from his POV as if he’s writing this story, which he is technically. The way he sees the city and where he grew up isn’t from some wondrous perspective as if the place is shiny and magical. It’s just the feeling of meh you get when you’ve lived in the same spot your whole life. You know what I’m talking about. The lack of specialness and that’s so relatable because it’s just your hometown. I really liked that because it was so natural and real.

And speaking of stories, the addition of small short stories written by Parker was so awesome. It truly added to who Parker is and was so personal. And I get super giddy when the structure of the story is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It truly adds style and originality. Here, it made this book so unique! I’m not going to tell you what these stories were about because he does break that wall, but I will say that they’re fun and fantastical. Each chapter led up to the inevitable end, which still caught me by surprise.

Thanks for the Trouble

So, I’ve shared a couple of the tidbits I loved about this book, but no serious spoilers. I’m not cruel. I didn’t expect to love the book as much as I did. My emotions were put through the ringer. So much happiness with a dash of sadness. This book will do something to you. It’ll make you look at the world from another angle, one you never thought about.

I must say, too, I’m beyond excited to start We All Looked Up soon, so be on the look out for a review on it soon.

Quotables:

“Fuck me. This is turning into a disaster, isn’t it?” (Parker, p. 2)

“They say God gave us two ears and one mouth because listening is twice as important as talking. That makes a lot of sense to me. Of course, God also gave us two nostrils, one butthole, thirty-two teeth, and ten toes. So I’m not sure where that leaves us.” (Parker, p. 28)

“Coke without rum is like toast without butter—utterly pointless.” (Zelda, p. 44)

“Thinking of your parents being young is like is like thinking of Winnie-the-Pooh going to the bathroom: just fucking weird.” (Parker, p. 62)

“Why is it that the bad shit in our lives always seems to take up so much more mental space than the good stuff? Is that part of being a person or just part of being me?” (Parker to Zelda, p. 123)

“Live fast, die young, eat pepperoni. That’s my motto.” (Tom, p. 228)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Break Free by Ariana Grande feat. Zedd.

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If The Earth Wills It (The 100: Rebellion – A Book Review)

The 100: Rebellion (The 100 #4)
Author: Kass Morgan
Published: 2016

The 100 rebellion

My Rating: Full boltFull boltHalf bolt

There’s no such thing as peace on Earth.

Things are finally beginning to look up for everybody. After all of the hardships from environmental adjustments to other survivors of the planet’s aftermath of the cataclysm things are coming together. Now, those once deemed delinquents only sent to Earth as guinea pigs are leaders of their community. The last of the dropships have come down to Earth and they’re all getting ready to celebrate in light of reunions and togetherness with neighboring villages.

Then suddenly, the celebration is brought to an end before it begin when cultists that worship the planet attack the colonists, steal their supplies and even kidnap some of the colonists. Clarke, along with Bellamy and others set out to rescue their friends. Those captured can do nothing, but go along with these people while trying to reason with them or they may end up dead.

Their rescuers have to get to them as many lives hang in the balance. More than that, they will need to do whatever it takes to call this dangerous planet home.

The 100

Yes, I know. This is book 4 of the series, which if you read my previous review—The 100: Day 21—you know I’ve skipped a book. I’ve skipped two, actually; 1 & 3. No shame. Sometimes it just happens. Though, I do have to say, this one just like the previous, didn’t hit out of the park for me. And no, it’s not because they were out of order. Kass Morgan still does a wonderful job in keeping me informed about what’s been happening. I really love a good recap because I get nostalgic every once in a while and like to relive memories of what’s happened in the past. It really shows how far the journey has come for these characters you’ve been with since the beginning, or in case you’re starting in a random place, you get curious and go back to the beginning.

There were a few characters introduced in this addition to the series. Max, a leader of the villagers that are celebrating with the colonists. Anna, who turns out to be from one to the dropships that got lost. And lastly, Soren, the big bad leader of the cult that’s out to do Earth’s will (which is super creepy.). There were plenty of other characters, but they weren’t memorable enough for me to remember them and that really sucked. There were several times that I reminded about who our main characters were, but at this point I’m skimming past it because I’ve been told the same thing already. I just wish I’d been shown more through their actions instead.

the 100

On a side note: Octavia’s character could’ve been so much more. In the midst of being one of the ones kidnapped and trying to find a way out of this cult hell, she meets Anna. The chemistry was instant and I was amped up!  But. Yup, there’s a but. The representation of LGBT with her incredibly irked and pissed me off. It’s not because she didn’t represent it correctly in some way that it felt fake. Love is love, but it moved so damn fast and was barely acknowledged ergo representation fell flat. There was nothing aside from a glance or even romance. It’s literally Girl meets Girl –> Girl and Girl automatically dating. You blink and you miss it. There was no in-between, no discovery, no depth, making it feel utterly random, like okay, let’s just add this in for the hell of it because we need a gay character. *queue my frowny face* Now, when the circumstances are you being held hostage by a cult, I get it, but there wasn’t much to go on. I wanted to know so much more about them. This was a big moment for Octavia. I was all gushy at this prospect but got upset because it was a big poof. Maybe it was just me that felt this way…

There was still a lacking in intensity, not as much as in the previous one I read, but still. I couldn’t get attached. Each character just felt flat. Aside from how they moved forward, they didn’t move upward. There was no true growth. They were still acting like petulant children and on a planet that could eat them alive. It really bugged me! They landed on the ground before everyone else and that does put them in a better spot for leadership, but they don’t act like leaders. They still bicker and bitch and blah! I know that they’re still teenagers, but still. There’s that level of maturity and intuition you get when your life is threatened on a constant basis. They didn’t have it.

I will say that there were a few surprises at a few corners. That was quite pleasant. They didn’t toss me around and spin me, but they did catch me off guard. I’ve got appreciation for them. It was a definite upgrade from Day 21 in that area.

Shattered Memories

The tone of the characters are still relatively the same. Bland. There so much lack ing in detail. Everything felt plain. This whole world they’re in is still so brand new and it’s like the place is just shrug worthy. There’s a lack of awe. It leaves me really friggin’ confused.

Unbreakable huh

Like I said, this book didn’t do much for me. There wasn’t enough distress to make me feel like these people were in any real danger. You know that feeling you get when some serious stuff is about to happen and your heart pounds, you may even sweat a little, wondering and worrying whether your characters will make it? Its predictability made me lose any excitement I had.

Also, this could all be just because I’m picky. It hits me sometimes. Some people have really enjoyed this series. It’s one of those ones on the fence. Either you really enjoy it or you don’t. I fell on the side of those who don’t.

Quotables:

“You’re young. Strong. If the Earth wills it, you’ll be just fine.” (Protector to Wells, p. 46)

“Some people look at the world and see only what they can take from it. What they can can reap, steal, carry away.” (Soren to Glass, p. 141)

“After everything they’d been through, everything they’d survived, none of them were going down without a fight.” (Glass, p. 211)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Suspension by Lights.

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Feathers of a Bird (Shattered Memories – A Book Review)

Shattered Memories
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 2017

Shattered Memories

My Rating: Full boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

They have and unbreakable bond…an inescapable bond.

Kaylee and Haylee have always done everything together whether in full agreement or not. That’s expected from them as identical twins. Alike in every single way imaginable. Even in their DNA. It keeps mother happy.

But now they are officially apart. After Haylee’s betrayal that led to horrendous events, Kaylee is given a chance to start anew at the private school of Littlefield. Trying to bloom a new life isn’t so simple, but she’s determined to make her dark past disappear even if that means pretending she never had a twin. With Haylee haunting Kaylee’s every step and thought, she knows that being truly free isn’t that easy and Haylee isn’t through with her. Not even close.

WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This trilogy wasn’t written by the original author, but from the notes she left behind. Also, this is the final book in the series, so you may be confused and feel spoiled by the following review, hence the warning. 

The conclusion of a trilogy is meant to be iconic and the high peak where the final showdown happens and a calm sea of closure follows. Secrets that were unknown to the narrator, and sometimes to the reader, come to light and the final battle is well on its way. I am sad that this isn’t the case with Shattered Memories. While the major battle did happen—Kaylee is battling her inner turmoil while overcoming her trauma from Andrew Cabot, her kidnapper, and her sister, Haylee—there is still so much missing and lacking for me. I had trouble diving into the book like I did with Broken Glass (full review here) and even The Mirror Sisters (full review here).

I couldn’t get into the book as much as I wanted to. While Kaylee sounded like a full-fledged adult when she spoke (which was constantly pointed out), her thoughts and other dialogue just didn’t click because it didn’t sound the same. I understand that Kaylee’s life has changed forever, but the story is from her POV. What is seen, heard, etc, from that POV should match to how she speaks. Well, I think so. It’s a tidbit that made me itch. It was like switching gears and that’s jarring.

Shattered Memories

Much like the previous two books, there was a streak of repetitive and I feel repetitive for mentioning it. From what Marcy saying the same thing again and again to Mason’s continued spite for Haylee, I was just put off whenever they graced the pages. I couldn’t hold on to the story. There was a lackluster. I just feel like there wasn’t enough in regard to dealing with her kidnapping and I just wasn’t fully convinced of how realistic this was for Kaylee. There was a flash here and a flash there, but I didn’t feel it. And for something this painful I needed to. Mason’s disowning of Haylee was disturbing, too. More than anything, I would believe a father who loved his children, while being upset, would want the best help for a child that is as disturbed as Haylee.

However, the new characters truly made this book worthwhile. Well, except for Marcy. Claudia, Troy and Marcy along with a couple others come onto the scene of Kaylee’s fresh start at Littlefield. Troy, the strong, holier-than-thou, intelligent, silent and sits alone type, and Claudia, the new, but has her own dark secrets, roommate really gave flare to this final chapter of The Mirror Sisters. Both of them were able to understand Kaylee on a level that didn’t make her feel judged or freak-like and that was a nice breath of fresh air. The three of them each went through something terrible and to watch how it affected how they let people into their lives was realistic and great. And then there’s Marcy. Dear, sweet, hyperactive, loud Marcy. The constant need to live through Kaylee was strange and over-dramatic. She makes the perfect teenage girl that doesn’t have a single problem in the world. But that didn’t make me like her all that much. I just hope I wasn’t like that when I was her age. Yet, I’m sure if I asked my mom she’d say I was very much like that.

Shattered Memories

I did have a few questions that kept coming up over and over again as I read. I will warn you, they are spoiler-y because they also reference Broken Glass. I don’t usually have questions, but I was scratching my head here and there.

What happened to Mr. Moccasin? Kaylee was desperate for the kitty at the very end of Broken Glass, but he’s never seen again. There wasn’t one single mention of him in Shattered Memories.

What happened to Andrew Cabot? I know the man was arrested for what he did to Kaylee, but that’s the last I heard about him. I honestly wanted to know about the trial/sentencing because that seems very important, but it’s as if his arrest was just it, that Kaylee needed to know nothing more. Also, I was quite peeved, with Broken Glass. As Kaylee came out on the gurney at the end, Andrew was nowhere in sight. The guy is psycho and there was no screaming or threatening? I just don’t believe it, not after everything he did to her. That man was unhinged, yet silent in the end? Queue creepy, and don’t forget peeved, shivers.

Okay, so my last question is in relation to Troy, who I adore if you couldn’t tell from above. As you know, if you’ve read it, Kaylee is dealing with not only psychological trauma, but physical trauma. She got her hair chopped off and is currently wearing a wig. I am really curious to know how Troy responded. I gave a thorough read-through and didn’t get an inkling of how he felt about it. Maybe it not getting mentioned showed that he was more than okay with it.

 

Overall, while I enjoyed the newly added characters, I felt deflated from beginning to end. There was too much clashing underneath the story and that can really mess up how I feel when I’m reading, and I read for nothing more than the sheer enjoyment. I dislike potholes in a story just as much as I dislike them on my street. The book was nothing like the two before it, which saddens me.

 

Quotables:

“You don’t look like me anymore, Kaylee. You’re prettier than I am now, but Mother can’t stand that, I’m sure. Did you forget how she wants us to be? You’re killing her by being so much prettier than me. You’re the one giving her the nervous breakdown now.” (Haylee to Kaylee, p. 55)

“Psychiatry is a form of voodoo.” (Mason to Kaylee, p.62)

“Weren’t you ever taught to put your disappointments in a bag of rocks and let them sink to the bottom of the sea?” (Kaylee to Marcy, p. 188)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Breath of Life by Florence + The Machine.

 

You can also find me at

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

To Love Would Be an Awfully Big Adventure (Love & Misadventure – A Book Review)

Love & Misadventure
Author: Leav Lang
Published: 2013

Love & Misadventure - SR

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

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While I am not a person who seeks out poetry, when I do find a book of that truly reaches out to me, I’ll seize it faster than Carpe Diem. I do have a love for poetry, though I don’t read it with the same ferocity as I do with YA or supernatural fiction. That love is strong and passionate and vulnerable which also makes it scary because I’ll find myself relating to it in ways you never thought.

So when I found this book, I spent a month debating whether I wanted to add it to my ever-growing library or not. While only looking at it from the outside, it was elegant and intimidating, but on the inside it was alive with so many emotions. Leav Lang uses various things, like fairs, rides, bright lights and more, that awaken and inflame the excitement of love and adventure in us all.

Carnival

The book is divided in to three parts.

Part I: Misadventure

Part II: The Circus of Sorrows

Part III: Love

Each section bares a part of Lang that you can almost touch, and mostly certainly feel, like butterflies tickling the inside walls of her chest as they fly around your heart. Threadbare and vulnerable are most definitely likely while reading and getting lost in the words on the pages. However, there are a couple of poems that have ripped the wings off of some of those butterflies. Not to say that new butterflies have replaced those, though. Their wings are various colors in relation to the feelings that erupt from the poems.

This book of poetry is extremely beautiful in giving you the experience of highs and lows of such strong emotions. Exploring them in various prose and verses has never seemed so bright. I’m used to seeing it seem so morose and filled with sorrow. This was extremely refreshing.

 

Below are some of the poems that struck me the deepest.

An Endearing Trait (p. 23)

The scatterbrain,
   is a little like,
   patter of rain.

Neither here,
   nor there,
   but everywhere.

As I write this poem down for you to read, it is raining outside. For some reason that feels significant. This isn’t some light rain. There’s thunder and lightning, reminding me of the summer rains. This poem is one of my utmost favorites from the book and it’s for the simplest of reasons. I relate to being scatterbrained so easily and I would’ve never thought to compare it to rain. The way it can come down in large drops or small, and how it can be in one spot and not in another. More so, the way drops will come down, spread out; it was just perfect. A person can be the same way.

My mind moves so fast and sometimes I leave things behind and it just happens. It’s not something you have control over. Upon reading such a great comparison, I actually squealed happily because it’s so true and such a delightful way of expressing it.

 

Circus Town (p. 45)

From a city so bright
            to a strange little town;
            on a carousel spinning,
            around and around.

The dizzying height,
            of the stars from the ground.

The world all alight—
            With his sights, his sounds.

It’s like a rush of the bright lights and wind on a ride and the way it makes you dizzy. That’s what new love is like, or so I imagine. Yes, I must confess. I am a girl who’s never been in love. But, as I read this poem I feel like it must be quite similar, making you feel heady much like these things do and feel excited from the endorphin rush.

rollercoaster scene

 

After You (p. 65)

If I wrote it in a book,
            could I shelve it?

If I told of what you took,
            would that help it?

If I will it,
            can I un-feel it?
            now I’ve felt it?

This is one of the ones that made my heart drop a little bit. Who hasn’t ever wished they could un-feel something? Sadly, it’s impossible to take back feelings that have been had, and tainted. They leave a shadow and sometimes a pang, and the destruction feels irreparable. As has always been said though, it’s always darkest before the dawn, and before you know it you’ll be glad you couldn’t throw away those feelings you had because you could look back at everything that was good about them.

 

Beauty’s Curse (p. 95)

Her brow is drawn
            to worlds of dark;
            where arrows spring
            and miss their mark.

She’ll turn their heads—
            but not their hearts.

This poem strikes true with real life. It’s difficult to express, but beauty is often what people see first. Here, I feel like ‘she’ tries and tries, but always seems to miss out of finding love because each possible partner only sees how beautiful she is. Everything else about her gets lost.

There’s more to a person that what can only be seen.

 

Wishful Thinking (p. 99)

You say that you are over me,
            my heart—
            it skips,
            it sinks.

I see you now with someone new,
            I stare,
            I stare,
            I blink.

Someday I’ll be over you,
            I know,
            I know—
            I think.

With each new stanza, I saw the process of wishing you weren’t in love with this person who was no longer in love with you. It’s a longing you want to obliterate but can’t. You’re heart still pangs with the shadow of that love you have for that person, and as time goes on will it dwindle? Will it ever go away forever? Who knows?

 

This was truly a phenomenal book that allowed me to get lost, not so much in a fairy tale, but a wispy dream. I enjoyed the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding for certain  emotions I face in my own life very much.

I most certainly will come back to it and reread my favorite poems.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Wild Horses by The Sundays