Book Review: Every Day

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

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Title: Every Day

Author: David Levithan

Published: August 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Time it took me to read: 22/01 – 05/02

Rating: 4 out of 5

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“A” wakes up in a different body each day. It’s been like that every day of its life. It is neither a he or a she, black nor white nor Asian nor Hispanic, it is no ones child or sibling. It is a parasite that lives one day of someone’s life and then moves on to the next while leaving the previous person slightly dazed about the last day’s events. The only thing that is constant in A’s life is that he only ends up in bodies in the general area (up to 4 hours away from the previous person) and they always the same age he is.

We meet “A” when he wakes up in the body of Justin, a regular, nothing special, boy. On most days, he tries to get through the days as the people he possesses usually do. Except today is different. He doesn’t know what exactly but somewhere during the day he asks Justin’s girlfriend to take off for the day. Skip school and head to the beach. He connects with Rihannon, Justin’s girlfriend, in a way that he has never connected with a person before. Even after he left Justin’s body, he can’t seem to stop thinking about her. He has to see her again.

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I found this book on goodreads when browsing around for new things to read. It stood out to me. The premise is quite unique I think, and I had to read it as soon as possible.

I really liked this book. It wasn’t life changing or anything but it was different and interesting. I kind of hope that the author will decide to write a sequel because there is much more to say about A.

What I like most was the description of all the different people whose body he borrows for a day. All shapes and sizes, genders, colors, sexualities. Everyone had a different story. The only constant in the story is Rihannon.

A’s relationship with Rihannon was not necessarily what made the book great for me. I thought she was a little too accepting of the whole body changing thing. I did like Rihannon though, she was an actual realistic girl. She is the type of girl who you’d like to be your friend. It was how A lives ‘it’s’ life that made it a good read. The concept on it’s own was so original that the story didn’t even matter that much. Is that weird?

Anyway, I recommend this book for everyone who is looking for something new and different with an interesting twist. I rate it a 4 out of 5. I’m really liking David Levithan, I first discovered him through his collaboration with John  Green in the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Also a book that I really recommend.

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Book Review: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

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Title: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Author: Kody Keplinger

Published: September, 2007 by Little Brown/Poppy

Time it took me to read: 26/01 – 27/01

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Bianca is a regular, 16 year old girl with gorgeous friends who like to dance and flirt with boys while she downs Cherry Coke at the bar while hanging out with the middle-aged bartender named Joe. This is all fine and dandy until one night the most popular and beautiful boy in the school comes up to her to talk. Wesley is known as a womanizer, he sleeps with everything that moves. But he doesn’t approach Bianca for that reason, he talks to her because she is the DUFF – the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. He informs her of this and tells her that the only reason he is even over there is because she has hot friends and hot friends like it when they talk to their DUFF friend. But Bianca is not the type of girl who takes shit like this and flings the remains of her Cherry Coke right in his smug face. Well done, Bianca.

But then things start to get hard in Bianca’s life. Her mother files for divorce, which makes her alcoholic father relapse even though he hasn’t had a drink since before Bianca was born. And even the guy who broke her heart at 14 comes back to town with his fiancée. Bianca desperately needs a distraction and so she flings herself at the person she hates the most; Wesley. It’s a friends with benefits thing and Wesley is not the type of person that would reject a girl. It’s a win-win situation, right?

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This book caught my eye the very first time I sat foot in the library, even before I had a library card and when I was just there to have a look around. It was under the ‘Friends and Other Enemies’ section sandwiched between Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. I don’t know what it was exactly, but it spoke to me. It was calling me from the bookshelf. But of course I couldn’t check it out yet so I had to wait. But I never forgot.

When I did check it out, I was afraid that it was going to be a very cynical and badly written book about the ‘ugly friend’ that somehow by some miracle attracts the fancy of the popular guy despite being the DUFF. Turns out that it was the complete opposite, thank goodness. Bianca is actually very smart, loyal and strong. She is unfamiliar to the concept of the DUFF until Wesley tells her about it and doesn’t necessarily sees herself that way.

The relationship with Wesley is her idea and she is not ashamed of what she’s doing. She needs an escape and he can help her with that. She takes control of the situation. She is not a victim or necessarily innocent.

It is well written and I absolutely love the ending and the way both Bianca and Wesley grow throughout the story. I love that it’s not a straightforward love story and that her friends play a big role in her life. It hits all the marks for me. I read this book in one day and I would read it again and again.

Besides the story, it’s also well written and funny and sarcastic and lovely. It’s not world class literature but I don’t care about that. I found it very enjoyable. I rate it a 4 out of 5. I recommend it to you if you’re not squeamish about somewhat graphic sex-scenes and casual intimate relationships. Also physical and alcohol abuse. This book is about empowerment though, and finding yourself in a time of struggle.

Have any of you read it? I had never heard of it before I saw it in the library so I wonder if it’s somewhat well known/popular?

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

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Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published: February, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press 

Time it took me to read: 09/01 – 15/01

Rating: 4 out of 5

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In 1986, two teenagers met on a bus. Eleanor, the misfit with strange clothes and fire engine-red hair, and Park, the only Asian kid in town. When Park first sees Eleanor, he thinks she’s weird. I mean, someone who dresses so weirdly and puts strange stuff in her hair is basically asking to be noticed. He doesn’t want the weird girl to sit next to him on the bus and attract attention to him, too, but since that’s the only seat, he doesn’t have a choice. But as the weeks go by, he notices that she likes the same things as he does: comic books and music. They start talking, and he loans her his comic books and makes her mix tapes. And even though Eleanor isn’t always as nice as he would like, he starts falling for her. Until he can’t think about anything else.

Eleanor isn’t a happy girl. Her parents are divorced and she’s now living with her mom and horrible monster of a step-father. She needs to be really careful around her house because there is always the fear that Ralph, the step-dad, will throw her out like he did before. They dumped her on the neighbors couch and didn’t pick her up for a year. Now, she’s sleeping in 1 room with all her brothers and sisters and has to bathe right after school when Ralph is still at work because the bathroom doesn’t have a door. In short, her life is looking pretty bleak. Until Park offers her an out.

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I want to rave about this book so badly. Have you ever had that feeling? That feeling you get when you’ve encountered a book that has everything that makes a book good and you want to rave about it until everyone in the world has read this book.. but you’re just not feeling it? Does that make sense? It’s like, I recognize that it’s a good book and that it’s pretty great but I just don’t feel that connection to it. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t like it! I liked it a lot actually. I just didn’t feel like devouring the pages.

Anyway, everything about this book is good. Park is good, Eleanor is good, the story is good, the ending is heartbreaking. It’s all just.. good. I liked Eleanor’s back story a lot and I was very invested in how that was going to turn out. I thought that Park’s troubles at home were a bit too much. I mean, it came pretty much out of nowhere and it didn’t really play a role. It make me feel like, why is this part of the story? It didn’t contribute.

What I definitely did love about this book is that the love story is like none other. It’s not love at first sight, it’s not the popular guy falls for the beautiful but doesn’t know it shy girl, it’s not a remake of ‘she’s all that’. Eleanor is not very pretty, and she’s not even necessarily nice, and yes she is weird, but Park falls for her regardless of her weirdness. And then their relationship is not perfect. Eleanor has to deal with her home situation, and Park has to deal with his friends not understanding and his mother not approving. It’s hard and there are struggles that you don’t really see in the average YA books. That’s what makes the book great for me.

I rated this book a 4 out of 5 because the book basically has everything it needs to make it great, but not enough of book magic to make me absolutely love it. I definitely recommend it though! Give it a shot and tell me what you think.

Book Review: Struck by Lightning

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

(Goodreads)

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Title: Struck by Lightning

Author: Chris Colfer

Published: November, 2012 by Brown Books

Time it took me to read: 19 September – 20 September 

Rating: 3 out of 5

Carson Phillips is a high school senior with high ambitions. It is his life’s goal to be the youngest ever editor of the New Yorker and to be published in all the big newspapers. But unfortunately he’s from a small town called Clover where the high school is filled with High School Clichés and the former beauty queen turned guidance counsellor has never even heard of Illinois and he’s dying to get out. To escape from his depressed, alcoholic mother, absentee father and that horrible little town. He will do anything. Already president of the writer’s club and the editor of the school newspaper, he is looking for another challenge to spice up his college application. And thus he starts a literary magazine. But, being tragically unpopular and even a little (a lot) hated by the student body, Carson finds it difficult to find people interested in contributing. So how will he convince them? Well.. let’s just say that operation Clovergate is a go.

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Okay so I read this book in less than a day but I found it really hard to review. I’ve had this same problem with the Percy Jackson Series. I read a book and I think it’s pretty cool/great but then I just can’t get myself to write about it. I think that’s because even though it’s entertaining and fun to read, I don’t have a lot to say about it. You’ll notice that I never got around (or I just didn’t do it) to reviewing the rest of the Percy Jackson books. Boo me. But I am going to review this one because of reasons.

So let me just start off with saying that I hate Christ Colfer. I hate his beautiful, talented face. Seriously. The boy is literally my age and he has 3 published best-seller books, a star role on one of the biggest TV shows today and a stellar voice. And he gets to make out with Darren Criss. Hate Hate Hate Hate. Eugh.

No but seriously, Struck by Lightning is a fine book. It’s entertaining and funny and cynical (which I love). But it’s also for the younger readers. I am sorry to say that it’s not especially thought-provoking or life changing. You read, laugh and forget about it. It’ll be a while before I think to pick it up again.

It got a lot better towards the end when Carson turns to look at himself and at his own behaviour. I especially loved the Literary Magazine that was part of the book itself. You’ve gotten to know these characters as the people who Carson hates and is mistreated by but then you get to look inside their minds and lives a little bit and you get to see things from their point of view. That was really cool. A good bit of writing if you ask me.

The very best part is the ending. I won’t spoil it for you, don’t worry. The ending is divided into two parts for me, one is related to his family, the other is the actual ending. When I first saw the movie (which I did before I read the book, yes shame on me) I got so so so so so so so angry with what happened with his family that I felt the need to actually write out a speech of what I wanted Carson to say to that particular person. Do you ever get that? That feeling when you come across something in a book of movie that is so unjustified that you get angry when the protagonist doesn’t get as mad as you want them to? I’ve only had it this bad when I read New Moon and Bella didn’t get angry with Edward. Bleh. Anyway, it was horrible. Especially when you arrive at the true ending of the book. It’s all just so unfair. I do admire Chris for having the courage to end it the way he did.

I have to say that I thought the movie was a little better. Especially since Chris played the role of Carson himself. It was very obvious that he got to play him exactly the way that he envisioned. I think Carson’s characteristics came across better on film than they did on paper.

I rate this book a 3 out of 5 because it was pretty good and entertaining but no more than that. I recommend this if you enjoy a light read to take your mind of things.

I do have to say that it was a quote goldmine.