A Lot Like Dreaming

I like this book but hate that one. I listen to good music but awful music gets stuck in my head all the time.I enjoy a great conversation so talk to me!

 

My blog: http://alotlikedreaming.wordpress.com/

Last Night I Sang to the Monster - Benjamin Alire Sáenz Zac's story is quite interesting, it hooked me in from the very first page and I couldn't look away. All of his struggles and pains and monsters are quite complex and unique and quite relateable. All of the characters are realistic and interesting. Last Night I Sang to the Monster has many messages throughout the book but one of them I really like is: Change isn't for everyone and some people don't want it. And you have to be okay with that.Full review to come.
If He Had Been with Me - Laura Nowlin The beginning is pretty interesting. If it weren't for the very long,pretty boring retelling of Autumn's life with Finny and the writing wasn't so weird and too formal for my taste, I might have finished this. The relationship between Autumn and Finn is interesting and I'm still curious about it but I don't think I could stomach the writing just to figure out what happened that night.
Clean - Amy Reed Not a bad book! I only wish that Jason's story was told more. His is so interesting and sad.Full review to come.
Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo 3.5 or 4 starsOh, boy. This book right here, has such a sad depressing ass scene near the end. I actually cried, it's so heartbreaking. But I liked this one even though it's not as great as the first one, it's fun when things aren't moving too fast and Alina isn't being annoyingly crazy. The Darkling is as sexy as ever too.Full review to come.
The Bone Season  - Samantha Shannon 2.5 StarsI can see why there's so much hype around this book! There's a lot of action and drama and all that fun stuff packed in here. And I really like this novel, I do. The Bone Season held my attention for a lot longer than I thought it would, but unfortunately there is just so many things that I can't overlook and allow me give this book a higher rating. Nonetheless a lot of people will still enjoy this, maybe even love it. I'm just not one of those people who can overlook things easily.The first thing that I can't stand about this book is the abundance of information. And it's also not only a few pages long, throughout the book, I had to skip everything about Paige's past life and albeit important, information on all of the different types of clairvoyants and such things just to make sure my head didn't explode. There's just too much info-dumping which leads to the disorganized plot. A lot of things happen in the book, like I mentioned before, there's a lot of action but it's all over the place and a bit confusing at some parts. Another thing that frustrates me about The Bone Season is the protagonist, Paige because she's not only predictable but crazy as well. She is constantly getting into trouble for no good reason except to get killed, and then she gets everything handed to her. There's very little proof that makes me like Paige even in the slightest because of the way she acts and receives everything because she's 'special'. I really dislike her character.Samantha Shannon does a fine job building a believable world though. With everything that's happening, I fell in love with the setting and the atmosphere, everything feels like it's happening right in front of me and I couldn't stop reading. The story is also well written, it's smooth and exciting. I love the way that Shannon hooks readers in with simple yet complex writing. A lot of the characters are well-developed, especially Arcturus. He's really complex and layered with lots of passion. Even when I didn't want to, I felt myself loving him.The Bone Season is a novel many people will love, no doubt. There's tons of action and friendships and pain with a little bit of romance that takes the backseat. But there's a few things that stand in its way of being an amazing start to a seven book series. Still, I recommend this to anyone who likes a lot of action and a well-developed world and don't mind an abundance of information. Or are willing to skip half the book to get to the good parts. Hopefully there'll be a lot less info-dumping in the next book and Paige grows up a lot more.
Gated - Amy Christine Parker I was honestly expecting a lot more from this. Maybe it's because I've watched and read a lot of articles and documentaries about cults and religious groups that I was expecting a lot more. Especially from Lyla, I was hoping that over time, her character would change, not already be changing. Amy Christine Parker does a fine job pushing the limits, showing readers what the inside of a cult might look like but I felt like she could have pushed it more and made it more...darker? Sinister? Sadistic? Something like that.Getting into the book is a bit tough, everything feels very stiff and boring. I couldn't relate or feel anything for the characters nor did it grab my attention like I wanted it to. The romance in gated feels very contrived and unrealistic to me with how everything ends up, almost like a happily ever love story. It also has an insta-love type of feeling to it and I don't like insta-love at all. I wish there was more information about Pioneer and his tactics, what's wrong with him and how he became this way because he changes and there isn't enough information to leave me feeling satisfied about it.Nonetheless, I love Pioneer's character. He's scary and well-developed, going from sweet and trusting to something else in such a short span of time. The pacing is also very well done, most of the novel didn't feel rushed or too slow and the suspense builds up to make a gruesome ending. As far as endings go, Amy Parker does bring her game and gives readers something insane to read about, it's gory, confusing, and definitely dark. I love it. I had to close the book a few times just to get a hold of myself!Gated is not a bad book, it just falls short of my expectations around a topic so serious like this one. But I know that a lot of people will like this book because of the genre that it's in and to have an insight of how easy it is for some people to take advantage of others when they're most vulnerable and will believe just about anything.
Proxy - Alex London 3.5 StarsOh, Alex London, You had my attention from the first page, then lost it and then snatched it up again. The characters are well written and nicely developed, giving readers a protagonist they will love (Syd, I love that boy) and one to hate (Knox needs to get high-fived in the face. With a frying pan.) Unfortunately, the explanation behind the world building comes a little too late as well as the reasons for Knox being such an ass all of the time. Nonetheless, I really liked this one and can't wait for the next.The novel lost my attention during the middle, although it had a lot of action and suspense and just, aweness (for a lack of a better word) with Syd and Knox, I felt bored and found myself skimming the pages to get to the better parts. Syd and Egan are best friends but at many times, their relationship felt contrived to me and I couldn't believe some of the things that Egan does in order to help Syd out. With that being said, it's obvious that some things in this book feel too nicely done for my liking.Syd is an awesome character, not only is he a character that I wanted to beat up all of the bad guys, I also wanted him to get the guy and have that happy ending that he so totally deserves. Even with him being the 'chosen one' it didn't make too much of an annoying statement. I really liked the idea for the novel as well with and how it really uses the lesson, Everything has consequences to its advantage, London does an excellent job of portraying that. The book also doesn't have a lot of romance in it which I loved! There was only enough that I think the author will bring it out some more in the next book but didn't let it overtake the story. Proxy has a great ending also. I was expecting the whole thing to be predictable but then it wasn't. The ending is really open, readers won't be sure of anything.Overall, quite a great read that I think a lot of people will enjoy. I recommend this to anyone who loves science fiction novels with an excellent message about life. I'm hoping that the sequel to Proxy will blow me away better than this one!
Prep School Confidential - Kara Taylor 3.5 StarsThis is such a fun novel! I couldn't put it down, it's an easy read with lovely characters and great pacing. Some things are predictable, I knew who the killer was only after reading about Isabella's death but there are a few surprises that kept me at the edge my seat as well. So many things going on in the book that I think Kara Taylor did a fine job organizing.Prep School Confidential has a few flaws that I couldn't overlook. Throughout the novel, there's quite a few clichés concerning the new girl and the mean girl and quite a bit slut shaming. Some characters like Remy feel really choppy and underdeveloped. Readers are told that she's nice and strong, etc. yet, there are only a few instances that proves this and she doesn't feel as real as I wished she should. Also, Isabella plays a huge part in the novel, both dead and alive. After her death, readers are told that Isabella was actually a completely different person but I didn't feel it. The information given is lacking and albeit there are points given that show that Isabella had a dark side, they could have been elaborated on.The writing is so fun! It's light and laid back which makes it for a amusing read (even with murder in it). The romance in Prep School Confidential is so laid back and relaxed, nothing felt too contrived or fake to me and I loved it. I could see Anne with either one of them. Most of the characters are well written and beautifully developed, I felt satisfied with Anne and the obstacles she faces.Overall, this is something I was not expecting. I went in hoping that I didn't want to punch every character and that the clichés were a small amount. Even with the clichés, Kara Taylor managed to entertain me with her tale of murder, mystery, love, and life without getting on my nerves too much. I recommend this to anyone looking for a great summer read to pass the time with some heavy tones but an overall light read. Now, I can't wait for the next book to come out!
Undercurrent - Paul Blackwell 3.5 StarsConfusing, exciting, and fun, Undercurrent is a novel that readers will enjoy! The story isn't perfect, it has some problems with the secondary characters that makes it a bit tough to like them. But it's a fun story about alternate realities and how one choice can make or break you. Literally. While we're learning more and more about Cal, the writing for the story is more telling instead of showing during the first half. In the second half, the writing gets better, with more things being showed rather than told and it's smoother. It takes Cal longer than it should to figure things out and come up with a plan. The secondary characters in Undercurrent feel quite stiff and boring, they don't stand out or grabbed my attention. Also I wish that some characters had a much bigger role than they had, like the teacher and what makes him so special.Even though Cal does take some time to figure things out, I love his character. He's very sweet and caring and persistent, especially when it comes to his friend, Willow. Somewhere during the middle of the story, things start to pick up and start to happen, people get hurt and tension is thick in the air. And by the end of the novel, everything is so intense it's crazy! Paul Blackwell does an amazing job describing the ending of the story. He gives readers a well-developed back flash and explanation as to why Cal's life has been turned upside down and a killer cliffhanger to end everything off.Undercurrent is a fun ride. The ending is left open and it's exciting, the idea of alternate realities is a creative idea that I really enjoyed. I recommend this to anyone looking for a new science fiction novel or something different in the YA genre. I can't wait to read the next book!
Beyond Parallel - Matthew  Turner Usually, I don't read New Adult novels because I can't really relate to the characters. But I was intrigued by Beyond Parallel and the concept of alternate realities. It's so very cool! And this novel didn't disappoint me but it didn't impress me either. With so much going on I felt a little left in the dark during some chapters and bored or excited with others. Between chapters, six months goes by which is a lot of time for things to happen. Nonetheless, Beyond Parallel is a book that readers will enjoy.Bella and Clark are such a cute couple. The only problem I have with them is that the beginning of their relationship is the classic case of insta-love. Their relationship happens so fast and maybe this is how adults do things, I'm not sure, but it feels very forced in the beginning. It would have been nicer if readers were eased into their romance instead of shoved into it. I also don't like Bella. At all. Throughout the story, for both stories in fact, she's annoying, whiny, and very self-centred. She expects her best friend, Alex to help her through a breakup (fine), be her wingman (fine), but to also just talk about herself and then whine about it without asking Alex about his problems (No way). It's really annoying how flat and boring all of the secondary characters are also. They have little life to them. A big element in the novel is travelling and finding that special missing something or someone. The story starts off in Thailand where Bella and Clark both are and I liked that Matthew Turner used Thailand because it's a really exotic, fun place with some breathtaking sights. Beyond Parallel has two stories inside of the book, one with Bella and Clark as a couple and the other one is without Bella and Clark as a couple. For me, I really enjoyed reading about Bella and Clark being a couple because I got to read about both sides of their story instead of just one. They both start freaking out over little things and their hardships as a couple that they are forced to over come shows how realistic any kind of relationship is and I liked that.Overall, Beyond Parallel is a good read full of romance and a few tough parts to get through. Just like any relationship and although the middle is very slow and most of the characters are quite flat, I did enjoy the story. Especially the ending, it's so cute and Awe worthy! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys new adult or romances with some travelling going on.
Freaking Out: Real-Life Stories about Anxiety - Polly Wells, Peter Mitchell "When anxiety is part of your daily existence, it starts to feel normal."[WARNING:This isn't a real review. It's just my thoughts so it's only going to be a paragraph or two.]Don't you just love it when you pick up a book and it just speaks to you? And I mean literally. It just tells you your life story, the way you feel all the time and the way you react to certain things, reminding you that you're not alone and you never were in the first place? Because I do. I love when that happens and with this book, with the thirteen little, empowering stories, that's what I got.Although I could only really relate to four stories, I really enjoyed all thirteen of them. Ten stories would have been too little and twenty would have been too many for me. The stories that I could really connect with were Ben's, Caroline's, Steven's, and Stacey's. I could easily relate to Ben because I isolate myself the same way he does by making plans with friends and then just as quickly freaking out over nothing and cancelling them for absolutely no reason. I can relate to Caroline because in the past and even to this day, I find horrid ways/ideas to focus on so that I can stop thinking about my problems. With Steven, it's the same as Caroline except different because I don't use drugs a lot. But like him, I do feel like the world is out to get me. Living in a huge city like Toronto, it's easy to let your anxiety get the best of you and I feel like I'm constantly paranoid over things that I shouldn't be. And finally, Stacey, she has a huge problem with people finding any faults with her. Same as I. I used to love meeting new people and stuff like that but when my anxiety went through the roof, I stopped talking to people. I can't bring myself to talk to new people because I feel like they'll hate me or dislike me and I just cannot deal with something like that. Freaking Out by Polly Wells and Peter Mitchell is a great novel for everyone. Not just for teens but for anyone who has anxiety or knows someone who does. These thirteen stories can help spot the signs and could potentially save someone's life because mental illness is as real as any other illness. Everyone should read this book, the stories are short and straight to the point. I think everyone will be able to relate to at least one of them and remember that they are not alone and never were in the first place.
Kindness for Weakness - Shawn Goodman I was really rooting for this one. I loved the beginning, it's very strong and exciting. It starts with a flashback and then we learn about where it sort of began.But after awhile, James's story starts to get boring and at many times, he feels like a brick wall, only relying on books and other people to build his character up.There are many book references in this novel! Too many for my taste. I can deal with one or two but Kindness for Weakness has around four book references which I found too confusing to remember at times. I also dislike that the story ruins one of the best books ever--The Outsiders-- I mean, you just cannot do that. I'll let one book slide, you can tell me the ending of a Jack London book because I most likely will never read another book of his again but not The Outsiders!Not cool, man. Not cool.Short chapters help the books that I dislike a lot solely because I am more committed to finishing them which is the case with this one. Chapters are about three or four pages that literally fly by. Moreover, I liked that I got both sides of the story, not just the good and not just the bad. It starts at the beginning with one of the biggest mistakes in his life and how he came to realize many things about the people around him. The world building is pretty decently done, the Morton facility feels realistic and mysterious, a feeling that I think the author was trying to go for.Kindness for Weakness starts off great and had my attention from the very beginning but it quickly went downhill and lost it. Still, maybe I just the fact that I have extremely high expectations for novels that are me-novels and I'm very picky about everything with them. Nonetheless I recommend this to anyone who enjoys novels about messed-up teenagers like I do and don't mind all the spoilers on some great books *coughs* The Outsiders *coughs* and are not very picky about the characters either. I'm hoping that Shawn Goodman's other novel, Something Like Hope is much better than Kindness for Weakness. 

Taken

Taken - This is a great book. I loved everything about it! Especially Gray who is the epitome of Swoony. He's so sweet with the way he acts with Emma and Bree. I also loved the world building, the country is properly built and so realistic! Taken  had me guessing at every turn and is full of great surprises that will leave readers-  Taken is a really bad book. This week, both book reviews have been on books that start out awesome but quickly fall flat on their faces. The only difference between these two books is that this one is far worse than Kindness for Weakness because this one is predictable before getting to the halfway point. And with that, instead of actually reviewing this I'm going to list everything I hated and use gifs because I'm lazy and I can't. I can't review this book properly, I just don't have it in me.So, what's wrong with this book? Well:1. Characters are so boring I screamed. Honestly, I get why Bowman made Gray such a despicable character so that readers can find some redeeming qualities and blah blah blah. But the other characters are annoying.  Stiff, stupid, etc. The only one I found slightly better than the rest is Emma because she's a bitch to Gray at the end. That's it, all the others make me want to:2. World BuildingThe town of Claysoot is actually well put together. I could easily see how the community works and comes together as one. It's realistic and well described but then is ruined by the country it is in. That country is just a sloppily done mess that's built far too fast.3. The love triangleCan it even be called that? Because I feel like it's better to describe it as children playing house. 4. PredictableBefore the half way mark, I knew the ending. I've read a few dystopian so I would have easily let a few of these things go. Crappy world building? Okay, fine. But then nothing good happened the whole time, nothing held my attention and made me grateful that I kept reading. Which is why I hate this book. A freaking lot.
A Really Awesome Mess - Trish Cook, Brendan Halpin 1.5 StarsAs the title says, this is a mess. But not an awesome one, more of a sloppily done one. There is so much that's just horribly wrong with this novel that I get mad just thinking about it. Very little in this novel actually makes sense. Very little. And that made me really sad because I actually had really high hopes for this one. The book skips over really important stuff like Justin's relationship with his mother and step dad and there's more telling rather than showing in the story. It's also obvious that every single one of these characters are underdeveloped especially, Emmy. That girl is just all over the place with her problems. She's supposed to be angry (she's in the anger management group for crying out loud!) yet, not once does she spaz out and yell and hit anyone when they don't allow her to do what she wants. All of the characters have problems but they feel very half done, like the authors didn't research these problems enough or very well. And even though I don't mind romances in these kinds of stories, the romance in A Really Awesome Mess is very contrived. Everything about the relationship between Justin and Emmy feels very fake to me and it annoyed me to no end the way Emmy is around Justin, like he's her world. *Rolls eyes*But believe it or not, I did enjoy a few things about this book. I loved that Justin's dad walked in on him doing the dirty. It's funny and adds in the light mood the book was trying to mix in with the serious topics. Justin as a character starts off pretty strong and he's the only reason I kept reading to the very end because his story is one that I can relate to. But other than Justin and his problems, I didn't find anything else likeable about this novel. I'm so disappointed with A Really Awesome Mess. Books about teenagers and depression and all that serious stuff speak to me! This book has put me in a bad mood and I don't recommend this to anyone because it's poorly executed and isn't researched enough that also has a romance that could have gotten two stars out of me if it didn't have.
The Archived - Victoria Schwab 3.5 StarsThis isn't a bad book. It truly isn't, I really enjoyed reading about the Histories and the world they stay in. The problem is that The Archived didn't really bring any emotions out of me. The funny parts didn't make me laugh (couldn't even crack a smile), the sad parts didn't pull at my heart, nor did the story feel as intense as I wish it did. I just felt really... apathetic towards everything in this. And this, unfortunately was its downfall for me.There are many things in the book that I found quite predictable and not in a fun way. One of those things being the love triangle/love interests. From the very page he entered the picture, I knew who and what he was without a doubt in my mind. Another thing that I disliked is the Archive itself because only Librarians are allowed to read Histories which shouldn't be the case if it's called The Archive. The ending is so disappointing, nothing feels exciting enough to get me ready to read the sequel except for Wes and his swoony-ness. Wes is the best character in this book, flat-out! Not only is he absolutely loveable but he's also always full of new tricks and helps Mac forget about all of her problems. Um, can I have a Wes of my own, please? There's a lot of action going on in The Archived Mac is forced to fight Histories and send them back. While I was expecting her to fight one or two Histories with precise details, I was overly excited when Victoria Schwab told me about five Histories going wild. And the writing is so beautiful and smooth it's like butter. I could read Schwab's novels for the writing and boys alone because they are that well done.The Archived has an okay world building and an okay love interest but it also has a kick ass heroine and some great Histories that have the tendency to go insane. So I have to recommend this to zombie lovers because that's what I see the Histories as. And anyone looking for a swoon worthy character as well as beautiful writing. I have no hesitation believing that the second novel in this series, Unbound (I think?) is going to surpass this one.
Winger - Andrew  Smith "I found out something about words. There are plenty of words I can put on paper, words I can see with my eyes and scribble with my hand, that I never had the guts to say with my mouth."Since this year has started, I've only cried over two books. Winger by Andrew Smith is one of them. I'm not sure if it's Ryan Dean's moving, realistic voice that had me hooked, or if it was the way I could easily relate to the character and connect with them on such an intense level that made it so hard for me to accept that the book has ended. I felt for every character, even the assholes who I think I would have killed.Winger has very short chapters which makes it almost impossible to put it down. Something is always happening with this book that makes readers either cry, laugh, or both. Throughout the novel Ryan Dean and have their moments especially with the teacher, I loved reading about Mrs. Singer and all of her crazy spells that she casts on Ryan Dean. But believe it or not, the protagonist was not my favourite character nor is he the reason for all my heartbreak and sobbing. That awards belongs to his best friend, Joey who, from the second he came into the story stole my heart and soul. Every obstacle he's faced with I was right there willing to jump into the novel and kill anyone who threatened him.  Andrew Smith has written a beautiful story about some of the shit that teenagers go through that they truly shouldn't. Over words. Over labels that should absolutely nothing but of course, mean everything to some people. I fell in love with this book from the very beginning and even now, while I write this review, I am still crying over the ending.                                                                        What. A. Fucking. Ending.With that being said, I'm not going to spoil it for you. It may shock you, this ending but it also may not but it did bring out emotions from my toughest critic friends and their hate for reading. I recommend everyone to read this book and hopefully fall in love with this as much as I have. It's beautiful. It's moving. It's relaxed and tense at just the right moments. It's books like this that keep me steadily reading YA novels with messages so great and moving that just thinking about them is bringing the tears back *cries for five more minutes*. Which is why Winger by Andrew Smith will always stay in my heart and be one of my favourite books from now on.

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