[Book Talk] The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

the-sun-is-also-a-starBook Details:

Format: Ebook
Source: Borrowed
Read: December 2016

Synopsis:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

My Thoughts

This book. THIS BOOK!

So I didn’t read a lot of YA this year, mainly because I just wasn’t feeling a lot of the titles I had tried to read, but mostly because I was reading based on my mood, which was leading me towards a LOT of romance and contemporary books.

But THIS book, I can’t even remember what led me to it – if you’ve read the book, you would say, obviously the UNIVERSE led me to read it, right? I am so happy that I sat down to read this one. Honestly, at first I wondered if I could stay with it since my head was like, “It’s YA, remember? We haven’t read much of that. You WON’T enjoy it.” But sometimes you have to go with the heart, too, and right off the bat I loved the story of two teens, Daniel and Natasha, who meet through a series of events. This is also the book that made me want to read more diversely in 2017 because this story of a young Jamaican girl and a young Korean American boy was amazing.

The thing I loved about it is the feeling of everything being connected, how everything not only happens for a reason, but it’s like the universe pushing you towards the exact thing you are to do, or the person you are to be with, or in the same sense, AWAY from something that could be harmful. And even the harmful things, or bad things, how they are supposed to happen. It really made me think about life and how things happen and how we are all part of each other’s stories. There were so many theories about the universe and love and fate and alternate universes that I just wanted to lose myself in the pages of the story and find other books exactly like this one.

If you haven’t read this book, you have to. Really. It’s amazing and Nicola Yoon is so freaking talented – you have to have her on your shelf!

[Book Talk] Lullaby (Watersong, #2) by Amanda Hocking (Audiobook)

lullabyBook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Listened: August 2016

The Watersong Quartet series

  1. Wake
  2. Lullaby

Synopsis:

Don’t miss the next chapter of Watersong, a bold new series that will enchant you, entrance you, and hold you captive under its spell

Now that Gemma Fisher has inherited Penn, Lexi, and Thea’s curse – and all the strange new powers that come along with it – she has no choice but to run away with them. Devastated that she has to leave everyone she loves behind, she’s still determined not to give in to the unspeakable hungers that plague her.

Unfortunately, they’re growing stronger every day, and she’s not sure how much longer she can resist.

Harper won’t give up on finding her sister Gemma, vowing to get her back no matter what the cost. The search draws her closer to too-gorgeous-for-his-own-good Daniel, and tests her fiercely guarded independence like never before. She’s always been the strong one who everyone else depends on…. Can she let herself depend on Daniel?

As Gemma and Harper plunge deeper into a magical world they barely understand, it becomes painfully clear that Gemma’s old life may be lost forever. But can she still hold on to her humanity?

My Thoughts

I’m never sure what I’m going to think when I read the second book in a series. YA series can be tricky because the stories tend to be broken up so much that there’s always cliffhangers and some books seem more like filler books than a full story on its own. I definitely have my preference – I’d rather read a book that seems like an entire story on its own, rather than just a part of a big story.

The Watersong series is definitely one BIG story, rather than a quartet of four stories that fit together. Therefore, this book does have moments of being the “second book” rather than something new and exciting, like the first book was. Harper is on a mission to save Gemma and we’re still learning more about these beautiful girls, these sirens, that might be beautiful, but are also very dangerous.

I liked the romance in the story and look forward to more of it in the next books, and I liked the suspense of what was going to happen. I liked Gemma’s determination to not give up everything and just become what she’s now destined to be, but thought some of her actions were foolish and not really thought out.

Still, this was a good book to listen to and I still really like the narrator (probably more so this book since Penn doesn’t talk as much in her baby-ish voice). I wish my library would get the next book in audio version since I think I prefer reading them that way. It left on another definite cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series! I do hope that the next book is a little more action-packed than this one and that we start getting some resolution to the story. I’m not sure what I would do if I were in Gemma’s situation (wouldn’t that be crazy if we could be in her shoes??) so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what she does!

[Book Talk] Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (Audiobook)

emmy and oliverBook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Listened: July 2016

Synopsis:

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life. . . . She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart. . . . He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who had kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing, and his thoughts swirling.

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will devour these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

My Thoughts

When I went into reading Emmy & Oliver, I never really got what I was expecting. I thought it might just be a simple, fun love story between two teenagers, but it really wasn’t – it was a lot more complicated than that.

When I realized that the story was about young Oliver, who disappeared when he was a young child, my ears perked up. This is the kind of story that I love to listen to or read, but I also hate reading because of being a parent. I’m realizing, almost three years into parenthood, that having children is terrifying. You’re in charge of these little creatures who, at this age, don’t quite realize that they need to stay with you to be safe. They could wander off, get hurt, get kidnapped, or worse and it’s really, really scary to read a story like this. While I enjoyed the story between Emmy and her friends, I really empathized with the parents and how they wanted to keep their kids safe after Oliver’s disappearance. As a daughter, I can see how frustrated Emmy would be, but as a mother, I can see her reasoning for being so cautious.

Anyway, this was a really good story to listen to. It wasn’t just a sweet romance (though that was a really good part of it), but it also had lots of friendship. It kind of made me think of those people who I still think of as friends, who I don’t ever see. It made me think about how we never see each other and how we all change and can so much change keep a friendship strong and true? With Oliver being taken away so long ago, how does he fit in now? Be it one year or ten years, I wonder how I fit in with my own friendships when I don’t see a friend for years. When do you go from being friends to acquaintances? How do you fit back into the same life you had when you’re not really the same person?

As I write this review now, I realize that this book made me think a lot more than I thought it did! It was still very cute, funny, sweet, and charming, but definitely one of those books that is hard to read. Maybe not so much as a teenager, because I don’t think they quite understand, but as a mother this is the kind of book I read that makes me realize how much love I have for my own kids, and how fierce that love is – and maybe all those times my parents were (then unfairly) keeping me safe, I can tell them that now I totally and completely get it.