Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart

Hello! Sophie here again! Today I will be writing about Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius. I kept seeing this book in my Instagram feed and thought I’d take a chance on it. I can’t say I was totally disappointed but I could kind of see where the plot was heading sooo…

An overview for you:

Fallon Dupree comes from a family of inspectors. Her parents are health inspectors, whom she believes ruin lives, and her brother is a fashion inspector of some sort. So Fallon is headed off to high school in Grimbaud, a city famous for its atmosphere of love and their love charms, especially from Zita, a charm maker whose love fortunes always come true. Fallon’s parents and brother both attended school in Grimbaud and got their fortunes there, too, and are happily married. The Duprees have a history of being fated to fall in love with their high school sweethearts and then marrying young. Fallon is just as excited to fall into her family’s footsteps when she is fated to never fall in love. Of course this is a bit of a bummer, I mean who would want to know that you’ll die alone with a thousand animals (personally, I’d die surrounded by books but ya know, you do you), and at fourteen nonetheless. As school picks up, Fallon falls into a club of misfits who also landed unsavory love fortunes. There she discovers there may be more to Zita and her charms, and they are determined to free the city from her ironclad grip.

Okay, so that’s Fallon’s story for ya. Only partially of course, I wouldn’t want to give away the whole story now, would I?

I got through this very fast. I liked the characters but Anais, Fallon’s friend kind of bothered me. From an analytical standpoint, I could totally draw parallels between Zita and some other well-known monopolists. (Rockefeller, Carnegie, just to name a few.) I mean she had that town wrapped around her darned little finger and enjoyed it. I also could see allusions to Greek mythology with the story of the Minotaur which was pretty cool. It was well written but Fallon kind of annoyed me. But I also kind of liked her too, so I have a love-hate relationship with this book. There is a sequel coming out, I don’t know when, but I’ll have to read it. There were some loose ends at the end of this book and I am curious to see what will happen to the characters. I also liked Bastion. He was a cool dude, but a little to brooding for me. I hope to see Fallon grow up a little bit in this next novel too, she was a bit juvenile (weren’t we all at that age? I know I was and that was only two years ago :O)

Alright, I hope this review helped! Let me know in the comments if there are any books you’re looking at in particular for a review. Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

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Posted in Reviews, Sophie

A Long Lost Book

Hiiiii! Okay so my sister ordered me this off Amazon for me and when it came in the mail I literally squealed. I have been waiting anxiously since the announced publication. Especially since I love Harper Lee. Enough to name one of my cats after her. (She’s adorable btw.) Go Set a Watchman has been my long-awaited book for a long time now and I was so excited to read it. I had to bring it with me to band camp so I could finish it and I finished after lights out (I’m a hard-core rebel, I know) and it was so good. Except the ending I was a little let down about. Whatever.

Here’s my overview:

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is twenty-six years old and on her way back to Maycomb for a visit from New York. Things are starting to stir up and trouble is brewing in her beloved town. During her visit she discovers things about her past she never knew about and has revelations about people she holds dearly.

Sorry for the short description but I don’t want to reveal to much and that’s about as much what the book jacket gives you.

I really am kind of undecided on this one. I really love To Kill a Mockingbird and my sister loves it so much she named her first daughter after Scout. This took the characters I love and my preconceived notions about them and turned them on their heads. Remember this is set in the 1950s so the American Civil Rights movement is just starting to stir up trouble, especially the NAACP. *Just a note; the NAACP was and is an African-American special interest group. They helped Rosa Parks with her case and took several legal cases to the Supreme Court like Brown v. Board of  Education which declared separate schools were not equal in quality and started to upend segregation’s mentality of “separate but equal.” (Forgive me for the brief history lesson, I took U. S. History last year and thought a little background into the story might help.)* Anyway, back to the book! So Scout discovers things about herself and we are kind of surprised at her naivety at some things but I still liked her. I wanted to smack her in the back half of the book but nevertheless she absolved herself in the end. Two new characters are introduced in this book too. Okay, Uncle Jack isn’t new but he is  a more developed character and I liked that. He was a really cool old guy. We also meet a love interest for Scout but throughout the novel she refuses to marry him. Which was interesting to me but I could see her reasoning a bit but she was really hard on him. I am not exactly where their relationship is at the end of the novel and wish there was little bit more specificity in the matter. We also get to see Atticus again but as an old man. I actually liked the new facet of Atticus’s character because it shows that we can’t idolize people. As John Green says in Paper Towns, “What a treacherous thing to believe a person is more than a person.” Very powerful words I would say, don’t you think?

Okay, okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Music, Green Women, and Wuthering Heights

Hey, I haven’t written in weeks I know, but I’ve gotten really busy. Reading even more books. Hahah but really, I’ve had to catch up in my summer homework (ick). SOO this review will  be about one of my new favorite author’s books The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Really guys, she’s pretty sweet.

Okay! Here’s a description:

The Lennie plant is decaying. The real Lennie is also struggling with the grief that assaults her after her sister drops dead during a play rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet. As she tries to pick up the pieces of the life she thought she had, Lennie finds solace in her sister’s (ex?)boyfriend Toby. And then things get a bit sticky. But then in walks musical genius Joe Fontaine (what a babe) who challenges Lennie to really go for what she wants in life.

Really though, it’s a freaking awesome book. So go read it. Now!

I know that was really short, for me especially, but that’s the best description I am willing to give without giving too much of the plot away.

Alright, since I really love Jandy Nelson, my opinion will probably be a little biased but even if it wasn’t her, this is a freaking awesome novel. I loved how I could relate to Lennie’s musical taste and her reading habits. (Sidewalk reading? Yes, please!) Anywayy, I also loved that it involved an older novel to help develop the story. I also just love Wuthering Heights but same difference right? Okay so this is gonna be a short one.

Chat again soon! Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Love Games

Hi, there! I was recently on a road trip, and what better way to pass the time (11 hours there, 12 on the way back) than to read, right?! I had been wanting to read this for a month or two so I got it from the library when I saw it: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. I was so excited, particularly by the concept behind it. (It kind of reminded me of Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.)

Alright, here is my overview:

Love and Death are locked into games that are, well, deadly, not only for the players but for the world, too. For years, each has chosen one player – Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Helen and Paris. Each time, Death wins and Love despairs at each tragedy.

Fast-forward to 1937 and Love and Death are back at it. The Game is reaching its peak and the players are getting close.

Flora Saudade is a strong, young woman, who can’t seem to stay out of the sky. Flying is where she can be herself – no matter that she’s African-American – and she is determined to be the next Amelia Earhart. In order to reach her dream, she must sing in the night club that she owns with her uncle.

Henry Bishop, a white boy, lives with a wealthy adoptive family amidst the Great Depression. He has his future ahead of him with a college scholarship and a prospective girlfriend that will secure him into his adoptive family and their society.

For Love to win the Game, they must choose each other above all else.

Okayyyy, enough of an overview? I thought so too. Long story short, I think it was an awesome book.

I really loved this book. Throughout the book I couldn’t decide if it would be a cliche ending but it wasn’t and that was awesome. I liked how Love and Death were very developed characters instead of just being narrators unlike The Book Thief (I love that book too, no hate). I especially liked the ending and seeing how they ended up. I wish I got to know for sure what happened to Ethan. But we can’t always get what we want ya know?

Okay, happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Another Good Sarah Dessen

Hello! I haven’t been on posting lately, but here I am!

I feel so behind in posting because I’ve read like 2 or 3 books since this…yes, 3 books. I realllllly liked them. More to come on those though. (Btw the title of this is The Moon and More.)

Okay, so Sarah Dessen is like the Debbie Macomber of teen chick lit. And I’ve read most of her books, but you know they’d started to get a little too predictable and I got a little bored. I only bought the book because I was in the mood for some good female teen drama, just you know, binge on that stupid stuff. I bought it and thought “Oh well, it’ll end the same, boy gets the girl, teenage angst, yadda yadda yadda.” But I actually got really into it and it definitely took me surprised.

Here’s my summary:

Emaline has just finished her senior year of high school. She’s coasting in her seemingly perfect life into college – all she has to do is get through the summer. She has a wonderful boyfriend, a loving family, and a job at the family business – a rental business in her tiny, coastal town of Colby. Then, as she’s doing runs for said job, she runs into these particular out-of-towners. They’re New Yorkers and are there shooting a documentary about a former artist-turned-recluse who lives in the town. The director, Ivy Mendelson is a force to be reckoned with, and her assistant, Theo is unique and different and has that not-from-here air about him. Emaline is skeptic but sympathetic of Theo, but a tentative friendship develops.

So yeah. That’s all I’m going to say about that in a summary.

*CAUTION REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*

I honestly didn’t expect the ending that I got and I really liked that it surprised me. The turn of events that led Emaline to end up the way she did. I thought her dad problems would get resolved. Like that she and her dad would have a moment and that they would actually you know, have a good relationship. I thought that she would get a) get back together with Luke or b) stay with Theo. Yet Theo turned out to be a big jerkhole and I’m glad they broke up and that he didn’t get the job with Clyde. I’m glad that she didn’t end up with either guy and that she was given the chance to stand on her own two feet for college. It’s good to know that Sarah Dessen still has some tricks up her sleeve and isn’t as predictable as I thought.

Alright, happy reading!!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Two Best Friends That Anyone Can Have

Hi!! I’m glad to see someone is viewing these, so I don’t write in vain.

Today I finished Oliver and Althea by Cristina Moracho. I like this book especially because of all the twists and turns it takes the reader on. I honestly did not expect the ending I got.

Here’s my summary:

Best friends since they were six, Oliver and Althea know each other frontwards, backwards, inside, out. Their friendship has held strong for ten years, and lately Althea has grown to realize what her relationship to Oliver means to her – something a little bit more than that. This regrettably coincides with Oliver’s new, strange disease; he has episodes where he falls asleep for weeks on end, broken up only by bouts of wakefulness in a zombie-like state. It’s Oliver, but not Oliver. After his third incident right at the close of his junior year in high school, all he wants is things to go back to normal. But things have rapidly changed in the two months that he was asleep, even Althea is different. There is something that she isn’t telling him, a decision that she knows will cost her his friendship. After her secret gets out, their relationship is predictably shattered. Without so much as a goodbye, Oliver heads north to New York City for a sleep study that will hopefully help him with his disease. Althea gets into her car to follow him and try to repair their relationship.

Okay, that was super long. But I hope it was good enough to catch your eye.

I really liked this book. I didn’t quite know what to make of it but I had picked it up from the library on audiobook. After I started I tried to guess what would ruin their friendship but I was wrong, but partly right. (If you read it, I you will understand what I mean because you will get the characters.) I was really surprised at the ending. I really thought there would be something more definitive but it kind of left you hanging. I honestly liked the style of writing. It was light, but Althea wasn’t perfect. And it’s irritating when the main characters are perfect and the plot it super predictable. I was sad to get to the end. I really wanted more of the story. Does Althea go to school again? What about Ethan? (I totally ship them.) What about Kentucky/Will? I hope I haven’t spoiled the book. Which I hope this has been vague enough.

Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

A List

Hello, hello! I just finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It was pretty good, to say the least. So I started this a while ago, but I never got the chance to actually finish it so I finally checked it out from the library (on audiobook).

My brief(-ish) rundown of it all:

Clay Jensen is in love. Okay, maybe not love, but totally crushing from a distance. But there is a slight problem – his crush, Hannah Baker, committed suicide about two weeks ago. He and Hannah weren’t exactly friends or even acquaintances, but her death hits him deep. One day after school, a few weeks after her suicide, Clay finds a brown paper package on his front steps. Inside are 7 tapes, 13 tracks in total – the final words of Hannah Baker. Each track is addressed to a person and tells him/her why he/she is one of the 13 reasons she killed herself. Bewildered and intrigued, Clay follows Hannah’s final wishes with the tapes and desperate to know how he had a hand in her death.

Alright, I hope that was pretty decent.

I genuinely liked the story. It was a bit confusing at parts (probably because I was multitasking while I listened to it so part of my mind was elsewhere). Anyway, I really liked the concept. But let me be clear, I don’t precisely think it was fair of Hannah to blame all these people for her death. That is a heavy weight to bear and it’s really easy to not take any responsibility in situations that are serious and tough. Grief really changes people in different ways, really different ways and putting this sort of responsibility on people it could have really spiraled out of control.

One thing I really wanted to know were the different reactions of the other people. I was kind of surprised of Clay’s reason, but I promise I won’t give any spoilers. We do get a glimpse of Marcus but I wanted to know what Courtney Crimson or Jessica Davis thought or reacted. Although, I thought it was a good book I wasn’t terribly impressed with it. Out of five stars on Goodreads, I gave it 4 I think. I don’t know, it was just okay to me.

Anyway, happy reading!!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

Matchmaking Advice

Hello there!!

Today I will be writing about Emma by Jane Austen. I have recently just finished reading/listening to it (via my awesome Discman, I don’t care what you think!). My favorite classic author, besides Harper Lee, is Jane Austen and the first book of hers I read was Pride and Prejudice, though I am determined to read it again because I didn’t quite understand the whole thing.

Here is my summary of Emma:

Emma Woodhouse is 21 years-old and has determined never, ever to marry anyone and leave her father in a deplorable state because of his unease to change. After her governess-turned-friend, Miss Taylor, had recently been married to a neighbor and settled in Randalls, Emma was happy to have her companion so near, but found her world to be changing quite rapidly. In needing a confidante that could occupy her time that the new Mrs. Weston could not, Emma sought out Harriet Smith. By taking in Harriet, who had little claims to good society because of the mystery of her birth parents, Emma contrived to play matchmaker. Through this she encounters many miscommunications, hurt feelings, and good humor in it all. Yet in spite of her swearing off men, Emma accidentally finds herself in some quagmires herself with this thing called love.

Alright, all in all, it was a well written novel. I didn’t quite like it at first. Emma was too narcissistic for my taste but as she evolved as the book progressed and I found myself kind of rooting for her. She sees her own faults and does her best to make up for her follies, especially where she unintentionally hurt her friends feelings. I loathed Mrs. Elton. She was very stuck up and vain and I abhorred her. Please note the story is set in 1800s rural England, so there’s a reason that Emma and all the women characters are so confined to their homes and other things that are supposed to amuse them. Until I read the SparkNotes on this, I wasn’t sure what to really make of the book. I now understand the main themes and it makes a lot more sense than it did before. It is tougher to read, for me, because classics are harder to digest for me. I really enjoy them, though, and it helps a lot for me to hear them to understand them better. (I read a little too fast I think.) Anywhoo! during the story, I could totally tell something was going on between Jane and Frank, but I wasn’t quite sure the degree of their acquaintance. I will say that the foreshadowing of this is not terribly obvious but does indicate many things, so keep an eye out for that. OH! One last thing, I found Miss Bates a bit of a bore, but she is a sweet woman. Like wine, she is an acquired taste. It was a bit difficult to make up my own mind about the characters with the narrator spouting his/her own judgments, but it allowed for many multidimensional characters.

Okay, I’ll stop blabbing. Happy reading!!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Reviews, Sophie

If You Could Tell Your Younger Self Something…

Hi there! I’ve been trying to write as I read and honestly, since it’s summer, I’ve been eating my way through books and constantly am always picking up new books before I’ve even finished the stack I brought in. Today I finished the last audiobook I checked out from our wonderful library and therefore decided to bring back 3 more because why not, right?

Anywhoo, I just finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell. (I love her, I must read all of her novels.) I liked it throughout the entire thing. (Though after just finishing I’ll Give You the Sun it was super hard not to compare Rowell’s to that one. But still, it was good in its own way.)

Here’s my summary:

Georgie McCool is a successful, independent, eccentric, married woman in her late thirties. She has built her career as a tv script writer with her best friend, Seth, whom she has known since her freshman year in college at UCLA. She is undeniably in love with her husband Neal and their two daughters, Alice and Numi (full name: Naomi). Since they had gotten married, Georgie has known how her career, her lifestyle grates on Neal’s nerves. After 14 years of this, their marriage is on the rocks and when Georgie gets her big break – her own show with Seth – she has to take it. But in choosing this, she has to skip Christmas in Omaha with Neal and the girls at her in-law’s. When she suggests they skip it this year, Georgie knew Neal would be angry – but she was not prepared for him to pack up with the girls and leave her in LA. Faced with spending the holiday alone to get ready for her important meeting she ends up at her mother’s house. In an attempt to contact Neal, she has to rely on a clunky old landline and ends up getting him… 15 years earlier. Is this a sign? Is she supposed to fix her marriage before it even happens?

Okay!! So it was super great. I really did like it a lot. It was filed in the library under the ‘Adult’ section but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle (I’m in high school). It reminded me of the novel Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski, in which the main character Devi breaks her phone and it inevitably calls her own number 4 years before. Rowell writes dialogue really well. I like to hear books especially because of the different intonations of the characters’ voices.I can’t wait to read Carry On and Attachments by Rowell. Oh my goodness I’m quite in love with her writing.

Alright, I’ll let you go now.

Happy reading!!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Maiya, Reviews

Mind of a Bird

For a first post by me, I racked my brain for what book would get this ceremonious title. I settled on one of my absolute favorites: a biography of a behavioral scientist by the name of Irene Pepperberg.

If you were in my 9th grade English class, you’ve heard me mention/rant about this book.

Quick Summary:

40 years ago.. a woman with a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University walked into a pet shop. Her name was Irene Pepperberg, and she scooped up an African Grey Parrot, and named him Avian Learning EXperiment, Alex for short. He would go on to change the way people perceived birds. This book tells Irene’s story, from her childhood through all of her scientific studies and work with Alex to the aftermath of Alex’s death. Although it may not seem the most fascinating book, it is written in a way to be an intriguing and inspiring story.


Super Quick Summary: If you like birds, science, awesome women, and good writing, this is the book for you.

Signing off,

Maiya