ARC Review: The Takedown


thetakedownThe Takedown by Corrie Wang

Note: advanced copy received from publisher through NetGalley. (I don’t think that influences my review, but it’s fair to know.)

Summary

Kyla Cheng is a straight A senior at a fancy school in NYC. She’s one of four popular girls, her applications to the Ivy League schools are nearly ready, the hottest boy at school is her very close “just friend,” and her biggest problem is that her mom doesn’t seem to like her much now. Until a much bigger problem: a viral video of her having sex with a teacher. The video is fake, but Kyla has trouble convincing people of that. The only solution is to find the original file and delete. But Kyla’s hater is completely anonymous.

Initial Thoughts

Continue reading

Book Review: Year of No Clutter


9781492633556-PR

Year of No Clutter
Eve Schaub
Non-fiction (memoir)

Description from publisher

Everyone eats. Everyone sleeps. Everyone accumulates stuff.

The hilarious author of Year of No Sugar, Eve Schaub, returns with her new memoir, Year of No Clutter, to tackle the issue of “things.” Specifically, the 576-square-foot room in her house that is overflowing with stuff she can’t bring herself to throw away, like her fifth grade report card and pieces of plaster wall stuffed in a box.

Year of No Clutter is more than the tale of how one woman organized an entire room in her house that had been filled with pointless items, it’s a deeply inspiring, and frequently hilarious, examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.

Thoughts from Me

I didn’t read Year of No Sugar and didn’t know of the author, but when I saw Year of No Clutter on NetGalley, I knew I wanted to read it. I’m a little bit obsessed with reading about organizing and optimizing (which is not to say that I actually do these things) and dealing with a mild hoarding problem seemed like a decent read.

I was in for a surprise. Continue reading

Book Review: The Craving Brain


Title: The Craving Brain: Science, Spirituality and the Road to Recovery
Authors: Dr. W. Anderson Spickard, Jr., James B., Barbara Thompson
Nonfiction
Review copy obtained through NetGalley

Can addiction be overcome?

The Craving Brain is an informative and hopeful response to the hopelessness that surrounds addiction. Co-authored by a doctor (and recognized addiction expert) and a recovered addict, it weaves science and stories to create a full picture of the addiction journey.  Continue reading

Book Review: Take the Key and Lock Her Up


511-hbczuwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Title: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

Series: Embassy Row #3

Author: Ally Carter

See my reviews of Book 1 & Book 2

I’ve long been an Ally Carter fan, but I struggled more with this trilogy than any of her other books. As I documented in my previous reviews, I think that had a lot to do with growing out of her target age range.

Thankfully, Take the Key and Lock Her Up was a really good conclusion to the trilogy.

NOTE: Spoilers for the first two books will start immediately. Read at your own risk. Please keep the comments a safe section. I’m available via Twitter or email for spoilery discussions.

Plot Summary

Grace Blakely just discovered that she is the descendant of a long-lost princess. Now she, her brother, a hot Russian, and the Scarred Man are on the run. People are trying to kill her and she doesn’t know who to trust. Also, she might be crazy. Continue reading

Book Review: Everything, Everything


cover of book everything, everythingWhat I Knew Going In

Nothing, nothing. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon has been pretty hyped. It was promoted a lot & loads of bookish people were talking about it & it was a very popular debut novel. I somehow managed to tune out most of the hype and literally only knew the title and author’s name. It was an e-book deal for $1.99, so I grabbed it, knowing that a better deal would never come along.

What It’s About

Madeline Whittier (Maddy) has SCID, a genetic disorder that means she basically has no immune system. Because of that, she lives in a completely sterile environment with just her mother and nurse. She reads a lot, plays silly games with her mom, and studies online. It’s a pretty happy life until a family with a teenage son moves in next door.

What I Thought

I was hooked really early in this book. Because I didn’t know anything about the plot, I had a lot of fun learning about Maddy’s disease and life. From a purely intellectual standpoint, I found the premise fascinating. I don’t see many YA books about something like SCID. And Maddy is a reader! The book is full of literary references, funny charts and drawings, and philosophical musings.

I think that Everything, Everything aspires to be the next TFIOS. It’s a beautifully tragic love story about a really sick girl, full of metaphor and smart conversations and really hard stuff.

But this book is not TFIOS. Continue reading