Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau was the exciting conclusion to The Testing trilogy. I was completely and utterly unprepared for the twists and turns that the story took me down. I don’t know how Charbonneau does it, but as soon as you feel as if you know about something, you need to forget about everything you thought you knew.
In this exciting edition, we are working to dismantle an entire system with the help of friends we’ve made along the way against the enemies we’ve made along the way. I think this was the perfect ending. It answered questions while at the same time leaving things open-ended with all the possibilities that our protagonist could do. Also, leaving society to go either way at the end of the conflict is a theme that appears continuously in the story. It was a great way to close the loop. There is a prequel, but I will not be covering it here. As it was written, the trilogy was beautiful on its own, and I’m totally okay with not knowing what happened before.
After reading The Wedding, my faith in Nicholas Sparks as a writer has been renewed. This time, instead of trying to believe that relationship can take place within the span of a day, we are taken through the last year of what should be a dying relationship. This time, there is something worth fighting for.
As I mentioned last time, romance without some conflict is boring. This is sequel our conflict is time itself and people getting comfortable with how the relationship has been for the last however many years. Yes, the relationship from the previous book is brought to the forefront several times. Still, this rendition is a lot more realistic, letting the readers know it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as we were led to believe previously. There will be fights and disagreements, but love is hard work, and it’s best to always remember that.
Once again, what has to be the worst high school in existence, is up to its same old troubles. It seems they didn’t learn their lesson from the previous book about gossiping. Or maybe they did?
In One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus, our favorite high school is stuck in a game of Truth or Dare. This time, if you choose Truth, one of your biggest secrets gets out. This book is much more the typical mystery series with plot twists coming out of nowhere. Still, the secrets weren’t too bad this time and didn’t really lead you down some dark roads since there wasn’t the suspense hanging over your head. The real problem is that high school is filled with high schoolers. Another book that leaves me ecstatic that I no longer have to go through that hell on earth, but a great book overall.
It’s rare that a book really makes me think. Especially a fictional. While this book may come across as woo-woo (if that’s even a word), but at the same time, it had a compelling statement. This story is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
All the religious talk aside, it is very much about fulfilling a personal philosophy that is much bigger than oneself. I believe this is something that everyone can get behind. It also got me right in the feels because there is some truth about what the book says. It sometimes feels like the world is against you, and there’s no point when you look at the rest of what is around you. This book really just convinces you to keep going for your dreams with a really compelling and beautiful story. My dad recommended this book years ago, but I never really got around to it. So I’m happy that I finally have.
After reading the fourth book, the wizard has a name, and his initials are, in fact, O.Z. It always confused me as to whether the country was named after him or named after the country. Nope, his parents obviously had big plans for him. Also, never understood why this book was called “…in Oz” when this book does not occur in Oz for the most part.
In fact, this book talks about a journey to try to get to Oz. Dorothy is on her way to visit Uncle Henry after being by herself for a while, because ten-year-old girls don’t need any kind of adult supervision, when she and her cousin, Zeb, fall into the center of the earth after an earthquake. This time, the two are trying to get to safety from the horror movie-esque characters we meet along the way, along with some friends that we are well aware of. To be honest not much happens, just some world-building of surrounding the country of Oz and some history, that would have been great to know a couple of books ago, but this book is short and sweet. The murder trial was also exciting.
I’m back after reading Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue, and I am once again wondering why I never read these books. They are so good. In this rendition, we are in a different universe from what The Giver took place in. You don’t even have to read the first one to understand this book. I’m hoping that it continues.
One of the things that was different from the giver is that this takes place in a more stereotypical dystopian environment. Everyone is struggling for food and their place in the group. We follow a girl named Kira who is discriminated against because of her disability status. My heart went out to this girl as someone else who struggles with my own disability struggles. Watching Kira go through all of the challenges facing her was very inspiring. I had hoped she would succeed in every single thing she went after.
Here’s to the next book being good.
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau was an exciting continuation of The Testing trilogy. Instead of university entrance exams, there are program entrance exams. And of course, I’m using exams loosely. While there is a standardized test, there is more than passing classes to survive. There is the lovely ritual of messing with all the new kids. That thing that everyone just loves and in no way will go wrong.
This book does a fantastic job of flipping expectations. It was also interesting that you know more than our protagonist at many points during the book. It also fills in a hole that you were wondering about from the last book. The closure to the issue was well handled, and something that I have a feeling will come up again. Now, I need to prepare myself for the last book. Maybe this time, I will be ready for the twists and turns. (Probably not)
I’m a sucker for romance. That being said, I have some standards. Such standards include having some kind of conflict, whether an external force causing friction in the relationship or some internal conflict of not feeling good enough. That being said, The Notebook is the worst romance novel I have ever read.
For years, I was told that The Notebook was the most romantic movie ever made. In my thinking, the book should be better. It wasn’t. Now, I have adored other books by Nicholas Sparks, such as Safe Haven and The Lucky One. There was just literally nothing going on in this book. Our couple spent a day together, and we’re just supposed to believe in happily ever after? Yes, they grew old together, but their relationship, in essence, amounted to nothing. I honestly expected more from this novel. There is a sequel, and I don’t know what it will entail, but I’ll read it. See if this relationship gets any better.
Books have a way of punching you in the face, leaving you bleeding, and coming back for more to kick you while you are down. This is how Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck made me feel so many things within a short timeframe. I was one of those people who was someone who wasn’t spoiled, but this was a remarkable story.
This was short and sweet and so beautifully written. I could visually see everything with how descriptive the setting was. I would consider this must-read, but do consider the period this story was written. There is some language that is no longer acceptable.
Some have nostalgia over their experiences in high school. I am not one of them. In fact, this book encapsulates everything I hated existing for those four years that I had second-hand dread reading from each character’s point of view. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is one of the most exciting mystery stories I have read in a while.
The premise of this book is that a student is killed in detention one day, and there are four suspects. You, as the reader, aren’t too sure about what’s going on. You do know that everyone is lying. You follow all four suspects throughout the book that lying about something, but you’re never too sure of the extent of it. I do love this because not knowing what’s being lied about allows your mind to wander. To be fair, my thoughts wandered to some really dark places trying to figure out the lies. There is a second book, but I don’t know how it will stack up, especially since the setting is exactly the same. In my opinion, so far, the author is going to have to come up with a couple more lies different from those found in this book.