Write This Book by Pseudonymous Bosch

I feared this may happen. I knew reading was a dangerous business, but now it’s not safe for writers either! You see, the author of this book is missing. Well, maybe not “missing.” A certain author whom I won’t name (okay, me) has abandoned his book and has left his readers hanging out to dry. This is a crime, I admit, but there it is. Most of this book, well, I just haven’t written it. And I’m not going to, either.
Why? Oh, I have my reasons. Big. Grown up. Author. Reasons. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal them yet. Let’s just say a life is at stake (mine) and leave it at that. So will you do it? Pretty please? You’ll do it? Thank you! But please hurry! Time is of the essence and you can’t wait any longer. You must WRITE THIS BOOK!


This imaginative companion to the New York Times bestselling Secret Series teases, prompts, and leads readers through the steps of writing a story. Bosch’s signature rip-roaring voice delivers an engaging narrative (for the reader to help complete!) and interactive puzzles and games. Readers get the chance to create their own story while enjoying a satisfying mystery as well.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here with another review! Once again, this book was by one of my favorite authors when I was younger, Pseudonymous Bosch!

“The good thing about writing fiction is that you get to make everything up. The bad thing is that you have to.”

Stars (Out of 10): 8/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I really enjoyed this quick little break from my ordinary, more intense reading. Pseudonymous Bosch was one of childhood authors, and I always loved the footnotes and writing style in general of his, and this book was no exception. If anything, this book had even more footnotes, and even more of his personality seeping into it. I loved the book just for that, and not even considering the potentially invaluable information the book can hold for younger readers. Since this is not an ‘ordinary’ book, this will also not be an ordinary review.

The Good: Has some pretty good information, and is also extremely funny and engaging for readers! Even though I already was taught the same things in my high school English classes, I still enjoyed it, and see it’s worth for younger readers wanting an interesting way to learn about the writing process, or test out their skills using the “assignments” within the book!

The Bad: It is not a “real” book. It has a semblance of a story, but that is not the main point of this book at all. Most of it’s qualities rest in teaching people to write better, or give an insight into how Pseudonymous Bosch writes.

What this book can teach: This book covers most of the basics of writing, from POV (superbly explained by calling 3rd POV an observation, “he broke the glass,” 2nd POV an accusation, “you broke the glass,” and 1st POV a confession, “I broke the glass.”), to genre, using direct examples of Gothic, Fantasy, and Classic Crime in combination with Mystery to show the difference a genre can make on a book. It also speaks of the technical aspects of a book, from title to epigraph to copyright page (and of course, the importance of pseudonyms). However, even if you know all that, the little assignments can be pretty cool writing practice, and the book is even just interesting because of Bosch’s humor. A combination of funny footnotes, interruptions from Quiche the bunny, and “procrastination pages” that are way too true about writers, had me hooked the entire time, even if the information was all just repeat.

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

“Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?

After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here with another review!

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.”

Stars (Out of 10): 8/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I am officially in love with these series, and now both Magnus Chase and this series are tied for my favorite Riordan series. Almost everything I disliked about having the conceited Apollo as a narrator was changed in this novel, and I completely feel and cheer for Apollo now, rather than kinda being eh about the whole thing like I was for book 1. If anyone felt put off by parts of book 1, I heavily recommend to at least read this next book and see if you still dislike the series, as this was definitely a step up from book 1 and made me really enjoy the series.

The Good: Holy character development, this series is a fantastic example so far of how to properly make your characters change and learn. Additionally, love the hints at the old crew, had a super interesting plot, and also seemed to really well weave into current events (mentions of Pokemon Go + exploding Note 7’s made it truly feel like these demigods are in our world.)

The Bad: I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the silly jokes (such as ones related to farts and other body related humor), but I guess it is middle grade! But this book did see an increase in other humor, which I enjoyed more.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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This Is Not The End By Chandler Baker

I wonder if for the rest of my life, I’ll be haunted by beautiful days.

On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.

The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.

Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.

The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.

Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.

Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can’t move on?”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Meaghan here again with another review! This time it’s another ARC Allison and I received at ALA, and read together a few days ago!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

Stars (Out of 10): 4/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I had high hopes for this book, really high hopes. A book about resurrection and a difficult choice? There are tons of way to draw excellent meaning and philosophical ponderings from that. I hoped for a book that would make me think, make me feel, but it almost felt like this book took the easy way out for the plot. (I’ll explain why down in spoilers.)

The Good: Ohhhh boy what a twist guys. What a twist! Also, Lake stood up for herself. I loved that. But alas, a gasp-inducing twist and a usually great main character cannot raise this book past two stars when it is riddled with annoying cliches and stinging disappointment.

The Bad: Cliches and disappointments^. Additionally, every adult was bad, and Lake had no one to turn to but new guy Ringo (shocking!) I’m sorry, but the romance was just unnecessary. I loved Ringo as a character, he was great, but the timing of it all was off. Also, while I liked the ending, the beginning and middle were eh, and I found myself reaching for Schwab’s “A Gathering of Shadows” often, kinda wishing I had devoted myself first to that book, rather than this one.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

“Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey all! Meaghan here again! I’ve been reading, just haven’t been posting the reviews here… Whoops! Influx of reviews to come to clear out the backlog!

“Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.”

Stars (Out of 10): 10/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: My main interest in this book was in the cover. I’m just gonna be honest and put that out there. I thought this would veer too much towards Urban fantasy (a genre that can easily suck, and I just rarely have good luck with), so I was a tad wary. But I loved it! The beginning reeled in me and left me unable to read anything else, as it stole all my interest. It flew by, and the only reason it even took me three days is because I honestly had too little time for it in the beginning.

The Good: My favorite thing was definitely the characters, and how well the world was built. Even the evil characters were written fantastically, and I felt myself either liking or being intrigued by each and every one. (Also the plot was fantastic and well rounded, and leaves me wondering where the rest of the series is going to go!)

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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This Is Not The End by Chandler Baker

I wonder if for the rest of my life, I’ll be haunted by beautiful days.

On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.

The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.

Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.

The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.

Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.

Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can’t move on?”

-Synopsis from Goodreads

 

Hello! Allison here with another ARC.

This ARC was provided to me by the publisher in January at ALA Midwinter 2017 in exchange for an honest review. Quotes, characters, and actions in this book are subject to change. Thank you to the publisher for this opportunity.

Stars (Out of 10): 4

Overall Thoughts: Okay, when I first read this description, I was like this sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Reading it, though, I was frustrated. I had to force myself to read it. This book is full of cliches, some of my least favorite ones too. Don’t get me wrong, the potential for a good story is all there despite the cliches, but a good story never comes. This book had an amazing concept, but a poor execution of said concept.

The Good: The plot twist at the end almost made me give it three stars. It had amazing foreshadowing and put a lot of the book in perspective.However, upon thinking back on it, my love of this plot twist does not extend to my feelings of this book. Despite some good parts, I still can say that I did not like the book.

The Bad: Like I said: good concept, bad execution. There are unnecessary characters by the bucket loads. There are cliches upon cliches. There are parts that are just frustrating and unnecessary in general.There are messages sent in this book that I am not entirely comfortable with.

*Spoilers down below*

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

“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.”

Synopsis from Goodreads

Hello! Allison here with my most anticipated read of 2017 and most likely my favorite book from 2017.

Stars (Out of 10): 10

Overall Thoughts: Honestly, this has got to be the best Cassandra Clare book out there. I was hooked from start to finish. The book was so complex but came together so beautifully in the end. It did not suffer the second book curse at all, it was amazing. I loved Lady Midnight so much and Lord of Shadows just blew me away.

The Good: The characters are just so well developed. One of the reasons this is my favorite Shadowhunter series is because the characters are not trying to save the world, but everytime they try to get out of saving the world, they just get more and more involved in it. They just want to save themselves and the Blackthorn family and they just get stuck in this huge political mess. There are so many plots in this book and, at first, it’s overwhelming but they all end up coming together in the end in such an interconnected way. Furthermore, Kit Herondale’s POV is honestly the best, least complicated POV in this book and I just died laughing everytime he had a POV. This book is just all my favorite things come together.

The Bad: This is just a me thing, but Julian and Emma had the most boring POVs toward the middle of the book. If you diehard ship them, their POVs would be amazing, but I kid you not, I found myself skimming so many times and then would have to go back and figure out what I missed. Also, if Julian uses one more metaphor, ONE more metaphor, I will end him.

Major spoilers begin below!

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The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

“Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?

After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .”

 

-Synopsis from Goodreads

 

Hey guys! Allison here. This time it’s not an ARC, but one of my most anticipated releases of 2017.

Stars (Out of 10): 8.5/10

Overall Thoughts: Rick Riordan does it again in yet another amazing, humorous story that is just getting better and better. One of the best parts of the Trials of Apollo series is that, so far, the books have been very contained. They often stick to one location per book with a group of recurring characters. I can’t explain why, but I feel that benefits a story like this better. The characters are a driving force behind the Trials of Apollo and it’s amazing.

The Good: The characters are amazing and are so developed! Apollo’s character development is astounding. What he did in the end blew me away. I didn’t think he could grow so much. It’s just beautiful. The Trials of Apollo also keeps up the habit of embracing diversity, from a same sex kiss to a lesbian couple to Apollo’s amazing very bisexual thoughts. On the other hand, The Dark Prophecy begins to embrace a darker side. It begins to border the young adult genre in certain scenes and I love it! It’s shocking and keeps me hooked.

The Bad: The humor sometimes get’s a little bit too much. At least, it’s not my type of humor at some points. Some parts were underwhelming, but that may have been due to my high expectations of some plot points.

Minor spoilers begin below!

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One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

 

-Synopsis from Goodreads

 

Hello Allison here! I gobbled up this book in one day. I could barely put it down. This book is a must read for 2017!

I would like to start off by saying that I received this arc from the publisher in January at ALA Midwinter 2017. Thank you to the publisher’s for this opportunity. This means some details might have changed by the time this book was published.

Stars (Out of 10): 10/10

Overall Thoughts: There is no question why this book is being hyped up so much. It is a fantastic mystery. I’m used to plots like this where it’s like “Who did it?” but really it’s some random character. This book doesn’t do that. There are hints all throughout the book. This isn’t just oh Suzie from down the street was the murderer all along. There are actual hints that if you pay close enough attention, you will solve the murder by the end of the book. For that, this book already deserves 5 stars. Also, it amazingly takes stereotypes (and I mean complete stereotypes) and completely twists them around by the end of the book.

The Good: Everything. The plot is intricately constructed in a way that is seamless. Every action has a consequence. The characters are so dimensional and just are so interesting. You want to know their secrets so bad and when they finally come out, some being more predictable than others, it’s amazing. And some of them have more than one secret, which is all the better.  Also, my least favorite trope gets subverted multiple times! The characters actually tell important people their secrets before someone else tells their secrets. This is so much better than the person being like “Hmmm better not tell anyone this. I hope this doesn’t blow up in my face later…”

The Bad: The epilogue almost paints Bronwyn and Nate to be the protagonists when in fact, all four characters are. Likewise, the beginning of the epilogue (like the first two pages) doesn’t really fit the characters at all. Otherwise, no complaints from me!

The Characters: I love my Murder Club children. Every character is just so much more than their stereotype. Bronwyn is a lot more than just the smart girl. She knows what she wants, she is driven, and she doesn’t judge once you show your true colors. Nate is beyond just the drug dealer stereotype. He knows what he’s doing is wrong, but he does what it takes to survive. He is also willing to change for the better. Addy deserves a ribbon for most character development. The person she started out as and the person she ends as are so completely different that I would never have believed you if you told me what she would end up like. Cooper is so so relatable. He is trying so hard to be perfect, beyond perfect really. Everyone sees him as so perfect but he’s really just trying his best and he has so much more in him. The best part about these four characters together is that they build upon each other, changing each other’s views. Nate teaches Bronwyn that people who do bad things aren’t always doing them for bad reasons. Addy and Cooper teach the rest that the popular person isn’t always perfect. Just lots of lessons learned.

The Plot: The plot is so intricately crafted, but I don’t want to spoil too much. Let’s just say pay close attention and you will find out every secret of each characters and the biggest secret of them all: who killed Simon.
Favorite Character: The Murder Club ❤

Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

“A thrilling new YA novel from master of suspense James Patterson, who’s created a frightening new future: a world where teens are taken, imprisoned and forced to fight for their survival. Where 17-year-old Cass will do whatever it takes to save her twin sister from Death Row.

There were no charges. There was no trial. There will be no escape.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca’s told to fit in and shut her mouth… but Becca’s never been very good at either. Her sister Cassie was always the perfect twin.

Becca’s only hope is that her twin sister will find her. That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed:

They took the wrong twin.”

-Synopsis from Goodreads

Hello! Allison here. Now that school is over, I am finally ready to read to my heart’s content!

I would like to start off by saying that I received this arc from the publisher in January at ALA Midwinter 2017. Thank you to the publisher’s for this opportunity. I want to mention now that this means any complaints I have may already be addressed in the completed version (ex: the ARC is only 296 pages while the actual book is 368 pages)

Stars (out of 10): 6/10

Overall Thoughts: The best way to summarize my thoughts is “cliche, but entertained”. This book gets straight to the point in James Patterson’s famous way of writing. Despite being your usual dystopia, I was hooked to the point that I could barely put it down. I felt like I was watching a movie as the action went on. If you have read Patterson’s books before, you’ll definitely like this one.

The Good: Despite being the usual dystopian universe, there are some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. The book gets straight to the point with very little downtime. Every scene, at least in the first three quarters, has a point to it. For this reason it was an easy read. The characters were realistic in the way that they reacted to their situations, because honestly, if you were kidnapped you wouldn’t just be like, “Yes, let me do everything you say”. You would pull a Becca and be like “What is going on? Where am I? What do you mean don’t do this?”

The Bad: This book felt like it was missing something, and that’s because it is. There is a reason there were around 70 pages added to the final edition. While there is romance, it is badly done. There is no build up, especially for Becca’s love interest. While Cassie and her love interest get a little more build up, they just aren’t given enough time to explore the depths of their relationship. Likewise, the characters felt flat in some ways. They felt like they were instruments of the plot rather than the plot was their instrument to play and change as they like. It should be the character’s personalities and motivations that make the plot. You shouldn’t be able to answer a question “Why did that character just do that?” with “Because the plot said so.”

MAJOR SPOILERS BEGIN BELOW

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The Wishing Heart by J. C. Welker

“With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel’s been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her ailing heart.

But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni’s vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical being in the city wants the vase for himself.
Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker.

But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline’s freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel’s heart…”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review!

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author (as well as Netgalley) for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

Stars (Out of 10): 8/10 stars

Overall Thoughts: I have a really bad habit of judging books by their cover. So while I was intrigued by the plot, I did not have high hopes because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the cover. (That, and recently the urban fantasy genre has not been working out for me.) But oh boy, this book was fantastic! It had a great, but not too overpowering, romance, interesting characters, great twists, and everything I love about books!

The Good: I really grew to like all the characters, and felt their actions, for the most part, were realistic. Additionally, I really liked that this book had representation, but did not make that the most major part of the characters. Anjeline and Rebel, while LGBT, still were their own people and did not have personalities defined by their sexuality, which is how diversity and representation should be.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

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