Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia // Book Review!

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

Page Number: 385 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary Borrowed)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this book! Eliza was such a great character to follow because I felt like I could relate to her so well. I loved that she earned her fame and I felt so connected to the story because it was my world: fanfiction and online friends.

I related so hard when Eliza’s parents didn’t understand her virtual world and that she has real friends online. Like that’s literally me and probably most people who have an online life.

I also loved the romance between Wallace and Eliza, it was so cute and awkward and so me and a bunch of other shy teenage girls. It was also refreshing to see a relationship that develops slow and more realistically than most insta love books where both characters know how relationships work at 16 or 17. (Cause spoiler, most teenagers don’t know how to date and are awkward munchkins, aka moi).

Eliza’s brothers were also the sweetest things ever and the way they were there for Eliza at the end of the book. The sense of sibling love was great despite the parent disconnect from Eliza. I loved that scene where Eliza’s brothers were talking about the difference between Eliza being a nerd and a geek, hmm which one am I now…?

I couldn’t believe that her parents outed her like that and that and I just knew Wallace would react that way. That’s why this book didn’t get a 5 star rating from me actually, that the end was a little predictable. Also I feel like the book could have delved more into anxiety and what exactly Eliza and Wallace’s problemos were, (Am I listening to despacito right now and in an espanol mood? Yes, yes I am).

I’m reading Francesca’s other book, Made You Up next, so I’m excited to see if it’s just as good! Edit: After reading Made You Up I feel like Zappia has a thing for parents who don’t understand their children very well….also I’ve given Made You Up a no star rating because I can’t form a conclusion on Zappia’s research on mental illness (But more of that in my August wrap up…)

Verdict:

Main character who is so easy to connect to and geekiness galore, yes please! This book was right up my alley and I recommend it for sure!

My Rating:

4.5 stars


Have you read this book?! What did you think? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare // Book Review!

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017

Page Number: 701 pages

Format Read: Hardcover (I bought this one!)


Goodreads synopsis:

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

My Thoughts:

I’ve finally read Lord of Shadows! Hoorah for me! I don’t know why it took me so long or why I kept putting it off because it was amazing!

I loved reading about my old fam from TMI and the gang from TID were also mentioned throughout and my fav Jessamine was there too!

I love the Blackthorns and how much of a family they are, and hey guess what?! I’m finally starting to distinguish all of their names!

Helen and Mark are the oldest and they’re part faerie

Julian is the kind of patriarch and duh the main character of the book

Livvy and Ty are the twins who hang out with Kit

Dru is the sulky teen who always get stuck babysitting

And Tavvy is the baby 7 year old

I think that’s all right?

Anyway the romance and fighting and general badass-ery was all there and is it wrong that this Christina/Mark/Kieran love triangle is making me want Mark to end up with both of them? Threesome anyone? Cassie Clare even mentioned in the book itself!

Yay for LGBTQ-ness in the book also! I can’t figure Ty and Kit out, are they going to end up as parabatai or a couple? I don’t know!

Emma is such an amazing human and so cool with Cortana! Speaking of Cortana, that sword is powerful!

Can we also just talk about that ending!!!! OH MY GOD! I was reading then I stopped and re-read cause I could not believe my eyes. Oh yes Cassandra Clare has still got it ladies and gentlemen. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!

Verdict:

I devoured this humongous book and loved every second of it! I’m scared that I’m going to get bored of Cassie Clare and shadowhunter writing one day though, like I did with Uncle Rick and Percy Jackson books. Whatever though, for now I still like!

My Rating:

5 stars!


Have you read this? Did you love it? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope

Aaru by David Meredith // Book Review!

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Aaru by David Meredith

Publication Date: July 9th, 2017

Page Number: 305 pages

Format Read: E-book/PDF (Review Copy)


Goodreads synopsis:

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear. 

She is sixteen years old. 

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model. 

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. 
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed. 

My Thoughts:

I really liked how interesting the concept of the aaru system was. This could easily be imagined as a reality for us in the future and I liked how there were characters who opposed the system so we saw both sides.

The main antagonist in the book was so creepy and his point of view was also so frustrating because we could never warn the main characters what was about to happen.

I couldn’t believe how well Koren dealt with everyone that happened to her at only 13! I’m older than her and would have a mental breakdown from just half of the things she went through.

Rose and Koren were such great main characters and I loved each of their chapters. Their parents I felt were a little distant and not as much in the book except for one or two scenes.

When I finished the book I wondered whether if I had the chance to be a part of aaru if I would take it. I think maybe not? Like yes of course it’s amazing that it saves young children who died from sickness or murder but to live forever in basically paradise? I feel like I would get bored.

Rose seemed to like it though so maybe it’s just me.

Verdict:

An interesting story and concept; the Aaru system has many moral and religious objections/ questions that are handled nicely throughout the book. I loved following Koren and Rose throughout the book.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Would you want to live forever? Let’s discuss!

-Calliope

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon // Book Review!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

Page Number: 380 pages

Format Read: E-book (Live-brary borrowed)


Synopsis:

This book is a contemporary about Dimple Shah who has just graduated from high school and has gotten into Stanford. Her parents are Indian and Dimple thinks that all they care about is find her the “ideal Indian husband”. When Dimple goes to a summer program called Insomnia Con she meets Rishi Patel, who is there because his parents and Dimple’s parents have set him up with her, but Dimple doesn’t know yet. The book follows Dimple and Rishi during their time at Insomnia Con and navigating through their parents matchmaking schemes.

My Thoughts:

I gave this book a 3.5 star rating because I didn’t find anything majorly wrong with it. I enjoyed it a lot but it didn’t particularly make me FEEL anything which is usually why I give books 5 stars. I just didn’t feel much emotion or extreme feelings or anything like that.

Some of the things I liked:

I liked how the book focused on Dimple and Rishi’s Indian background, and it was interesting learning about a different culture. I also liked the feminism and how independent and strong Dimple was.

It confused me so much that Rishi would go to Insomnia Con just for Dimple, he’s such a romantic, it was actually adorable. Rishi and Dimple were so cute together and though I wasn’t screaming for them to get together I did like their romance.

Insomnia Con also reminded me of a summer journalism program I did last summer with the bonding and dorms and friends made so it made me nostalgic.

Some of the things I didn’t like:

There were a lot of stereotypes with the other characters at Insomnia Con and I was surprised that there wasn’t closure at the end. I was expecting one of the girls who was part of the group that basically cheated to win to come forward and confess what the boys did, but that never happened. We also never learned the results of what happened from Dimple talking to her idol who said she’d talk to the board about the winners and their possible cheating.

Finals thoughts?

I don’t have much else to say about this book, it was good, but kind of plain. If it didn’t have the cool Indian culture aspect it could honestly be a flop of a Kasie West book, no offense. I liked the cute romance but I didn’t feel strongly about any of the characters in particular.

Verdict:

I liked it! It was cute but not exactly wow factorish which is how I like my YA contemporaries. There needs to be some kind of gasp worthy or extreme cuteness for me to give a YA contemporary a 5 star rating. I am excited to see what else Sandhya Menon writes though!

I will definitely read whatever she writes next!

My Rating:

3.5 stars (4 stars on Goodreads)


Have you read this book? What did you think? Let’s chat!

-Calliope