The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson// Review

The unespected everything

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 3rd, 2016.

Genre(s): Contemporary. 

My Format and Page Count: Hardcover// 519 Pages.

Buy on Amazon


Summary:

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

“You have to try. You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens. And even if you fail – especially if you fail – come back with your experience and your hard-won knowledge and a story you can tell. And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation… ‘Once, I dared to dare greatly”


My Thoughts:

Back in May I read Second Chance Summer which was my first Morgan Matson book. I immediately fell in love. This book just confirmed the love I have for not only Matson’s writing, but her creativity as well. There were a lot of elements in this book that did not come off as cookie cutter YA contemporary, and I appreciate this oh so much. I am not sure whether I liked it more than Second Chance Summer, but the two are definitely very close. 

Pros:

  • The Characters: It is fairly safe to assume that this will be a positive in all of my Matson book reviews. Morgan Matson has this ability to create such in-depth characters that come across as real and easy to relate with. They struggle with some of the same problems we do, such as appearance, family deaths, grades, etc. I do enjoy the fact that they also can be naive at times because I can definitely say I can be the same way. The whole friend group had their own quirks, and were not the same person. Andie, the main character, was very *everything must be planned and perfect* at the beginning, so it was interesting to watch her expand and develop throughout the course of this novel. All in all her characters are some of my favorite from the contemporary genre. 
  • The Plot: Young adult contemporary rarely touches politics, so I found this book to be pretty unique in that respect. Although the “perfect characters does have flaws, and must try to figure out what they are going to do” trope was present in this book, but it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. 
  • The Friendship: I really enjoyed the friendship element of this book. Most books show all of the useless arguing friend groups hold, but this book brought up how all friend groups, more specifically female friend groups, are not all about fights and drama. There was some arguments which I will not get into, but for the most part they were just, well… friends.
  • The Romance: (SPOILER? I DON’T THINK SO, BUT JUST IN CASE WARNING!) Unlike Second Chance Summer, I really enjoyed the romance within this book. Clark, the romantic interest, was not just some handsome, athletic dude. He was an author who was also pretty geeky. I feel that he was a relatable character to myself at least because I was never very into sports, so I always would go the creative route. I enjoyed the way Andie and Clark interacted. 
  • The Writing: Morgan Matson’s writing is very simple and easy to get into. It is great for the contemporary genre, although I would enjoy to see her try a new genre.

*** SPOILER SECTION BEGINS ***

I will now be discussing a few spoilery topics. For my rating and such scroll to the bottom!

  • Andie and Topher’s Relationship: I was really not a fan of this relationship. I felt that other than warning Andie about her dad’s speech, Topher was a pretty useless character. I did not enjoy their relationship because it seemed childish and disrespectful to their previous and future relationships. This is really the only negative of this book. 
  • Bri and Wyatt’s Relationship: I actually really liked this couple, although I did call it as soon as they were late for the scavenger hunt. I believe that Bri should have said something sooner, but Toby was way out of line in the way she reacted, and this breaking their friendship was ridiculous. 
  • Bri and Toby’s Friendship: I thought their friendship was real, and them breaking apart due to a relationship was ridiculous. They were best friends for so long, and all of a sudden they are not. I can’t even put into words how annoyed I was… 

*** SPOILER SECTION ENDS***

Overall, I really enjoyed this book like I thought I would. I will be reading Since You’ve Been Gone really soon, and I am super pumped since it seems to be the fan favorite! 

My Rating: 

5 stars

There were aspects that I discussed in the spoiler section that I did not enjoy, but they were minor and this book was great. 5/5 Stars for sure. 

Would I Recommend? 

– Not only would I recommend this book, but I would recommend anything by Morgan Matson.

I hope you enjoyed my review! Let me know what you thought of The Unexpected Everything!

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BookTubeAThon TBR!

BookTube-A-Thon is fast approaching, so I thought might as well post my TBR! I usually have a 1 readathon per month limit, but this is the perfect opportunity to get myself reading more since I have fallen behind these last couple months, so here we are!

Host’s Challenges Video-

Challenge 1: Read a Book with Yellow on the Cover.

This is actually really funny because I only own 5 books with yellow as the main cover color, and I was already reading three of those for the Biannual Bibliothon! The other I used for a challenge later in this post, but I ended up going with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum by default.

Twoo.jpg

I am actually really excited to finally read this! I have a bind up with the first 5 novels, but I will only be reading the first one for this readathon. I really enjoy the Disney movie, so hopefully I enjoy this classic as well!

Challenge 2: Read a book ONLY after sunset. 

I have only read the first two Percy Jackson novels after sunset, so I decided to go with The Titans Curse by Rick Riordan. 

The titans curse.jpg

Before this year I only ever read the first book in this beloved series, so I decided to reread that and finish the series. This is the next installment that I have to read. I am very worried because I have heard this is the saddest one, but we will see how it goes!

Challenge 3: Read a Book you Discovered Through BookTube.

There are many books I have discovered through BookTube, but this is one I have heard SO much about. The Selection by Kiera Cass.

the selection

I have had this book for such a long time, and have always wanted to read it, but I have just been putting it off. I hear about it a lot, and all I know is it follows a girl in a competition type thing to win the heart of a prince?… I have no clue, but I am excited to see what all the hype is about!

Challenge 4: Read a Book by One of Your Favorite Authors.

John Green is one of my favorite authors. I have read Paper Towns and Looking For Alaska (One of my all time favorite books), so I thought it was about time I read The Fault in Our Stars.

TFIOS

I was going to read this book for the Biannual Bibliothon, but I ended up going with something else instead. The only reason I have not already read this book is because I know what happens at the end (All though I feel it is fairly obvious either way), so I was always put off. I will finally be picking it up, though. 

Challenge 5: Read a Book that is Older Than You.

For this challenge I chose The Thirst by R. L Stine. The 3rd book in The Seniors Series.

The thirst

I read Goosebumps in Elementary School and Fear Street in Middle School, so I am really excited to hop back into the fear street world of one of my favorite childhood authors. 

Challenge 6: Read and Watch a Book to Movie Adaptation. 

I have not read the book that goes with one of my all time favorite movies, so I thought it was about time I do so! I will be reading AND watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Perks

I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH. I have committed one of the most deadly sins, that being watching a movie before I read the book, so it is time to cleanse and correct myself by reading this. 

Challenge 7: Read 7 Books.

Since the 7th challenge is just to read 7 books you get a free choice, so I will be also reading/finishing Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. 

'Me_Before_You'

I started this book either end of May or beginning of June and I for some reason put it back down. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it, but I had other things to do so I got caught up in life and did not have time to read. I still have about 2/3 of the book left, and hope to finish during this readathon!

There you have it, my BookTubeAThon TBR! I am pretty happy because I did not end up reading all 7 books in the Biannual Bibliothon, so this gives me another shot at that (All though I doubt I will do it).

Keep your eyes peeled because tomorrow I will be posting a special giveaway!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead// Review

Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Published by Razorbill on August 16th, 2007.

Genre(s): Paranormal Fantasy.

My Format and Page Count: Paperback// 332 Pages.

Buy on Amazon

(There will be a spoiler section, but I will make it VERY obvious when that territory is being entered!)

Summary:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

“Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies.”

My Thoughts:

This was one of those books I heard about on booktube, but was very dreary of. Vampires are definitely not my thing, but upon reading this book I want to read more! I was scared to read this because I had this feeling I was going to hate it, but it was so good and definitely almost lived up to the hype. It was no 5 star book, but it definitely deserves the praise is receives, but maybe not as much hype.

Pros:

  • The Setting: I love any book that has a school setting (Thanks HP), so I already had at least one thing motivating me to read this book. I enjoyed how even though they are vampires, all of the cliques and high schoolesque things still exist. Sometimes the school and its inhabitants did become a little bit cliché but this book is just pure fun.
  • Strong Female Characters: This book has not one but multiple kick ass female characters. A lot of books tend to have male characters do all of the saving, but this book expresses how a woman can do anything just as good as a man. 
  • The Plot: Although the plot was not really anything special, I did really enjoy it. Mead took a plot that is done all the time and put her own, fun twist on it. I am hoping it expands throughout the rest of the novels, though.
  • The Love Interest: There was not really any relationship in this book that was spot lighted, but I did enjoy Rose’s love interest which is something I normally am not a fan of. (A lot of YA romances are the same)

Indifferent:

  • The Characters: Before I get into this, I want to say that I did enjoy the characters. I even loved some of them, but as far as this book in the series go they were not developed as well as I would have liked to see. Rose I feel did have some development, but she continued to stay the same throughout the book, instead of learning and picking up on what had to be done. I do still believe she was a great character, though. My biggest problem development wise was Lissa. I feel like Lissa was a very boring character despite her being the main Moroi in this novel, and that she had little to know development throughout this novel. She may receive more in the future, but as of now she really needs it. I did like the rest of the characters, even though a few came off very tropey. 
  • The Writing: The reason it is in the indifferent is because I did not hate it, I just felt it wasn’t very mature. The sentence structure tended to stay simple and the same. It was not terrible, but it could use some work. (I do believe she improved in her future works, though.)

*Spoiler section begins, skip to bottom for rating!*

I do have a couple spoilery topics to discuss, so let’s begin! 

  • Lissa’s Power: I did enjoy the reveal of Lissa’s power, and I thought it was a very well done “twist”. I had some interest in the characters that previously had this power, and even though it was very obvious she wasn’t going to excel in one of the four core powers, I did still enjoy the reveal. I have no clue what I even said just now, what a mess.
  • Plot Twist: Although it was probably fairly obvious, I was SHOCKED when it was revealed that not only was her uncle the one who was coming after Lissa, but he had Natalie turn strigoi as well. I thought this ending was brilliant, and I was a bit sad because I took a liking to Natalie. 

*End of Spoiler Section*

Overall, this novel surprised me a lot. I enjoyed it very much, and will definitely be continuing in the series. There were no cons to this book, although I was iffy on a few things, but for the most part it was a solid book.

My Rating:

4 stars.png

I originally was going to give it a 4.5/5 Stars, but I do think there is a bit of room for improvement, but it was a super fun read!

Would I Recommend? 

– This is a book that I would recommend to everyone, but if you are not a vampire fan I especially recommend it to you. It is not the stereotypical vampire novel, and it may change your mind!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Biannual Bibliothon Wrap-Up!

This past week was the Biannual Bibliothon, a readathon hosted by 9 lovely ladies that spends over a complete week with the goal to complete 7 challenges. I only finished 4 of those challenges… and started my 5th. Today, I will be talking about the books I did read for this readathon! (As always, I will be discussing them in order read)

1. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy follows Rose who is a Dhampir, someone who is half vampire/half human who is trained to protect a Moroi. Rose has protected Lissa from the beginning, a very important Moroi (Vampire) princess. They are inseparable until Lissa’s powers begin to come in, and someone else is out for her. Sorry for the very weird description.

I absolutely adored this book. It is a series I have been wanting to read, so finally reading it I can say I should not have waited so long. All of the hype did dampen my feelings following reading this book, but I can say it *ALMOST* lives up to the hype. My only complaint is the characters, who seem to be very stereotypical, but I feel this may be fixed in the future books. Full review to come.

(Challenge 1: Read a book with your favorite creature)

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.


2. Amulet, Vol. 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse.

amulet 2

Due to this being the second volume in a graphic novel series I can not really say much regarding the plot, but as for the series it follows a girl who finds out she is a “Stonekeeper” and must save this universe she didn’t even know existed.

Following the lead of the first, this volume had the same cast of quirky characters as well as introducing new ones, one in particular I am a huge fan of. The artwork is gorgeous, and even though it is a middle grade graphic novel series the story is so dark and complex. I am SUPER excited to continue reading.

(Challenge 2: Free Choice)

My Rating: 4/5 Stars.


3. Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

th

This story was a massive disappointment. I am such a big fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so I expected this to be just as good, but it was not. It was definitely not terrible, but it was nothing compared to the first. The story got confusing, the plot was interesting but poorly put together… I was very interested due to it all being a big chess game, though. I don’t know, maybe it just was not something for me to read at the time.

(Challenge 3: A book you were putting off)

My Rating: 2.75/5 Stars.


4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

The unexpected Everything

This novel follows Andie, a girl who has everything planned out. She is attending a very elite medical camp, her father is a polished politician, and she has the best group of friends imaginable. She always has a plan, but when her summer plans fall through and her father is caught in a scandal, she has to figure out something new.

Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer had me crying (which is rare) and immediately became one of my favorite books. I was stoked that this was the readathons group book, so I went in excited… and it lived up to it. This book was AMAZING. The characters felt real. The plot of this story was expanded so much more than what the synopsis explains, and the love interest was VERY different from any typical YA novel. Full review to come!!!!!

(Challenge 4: Group Read)

My Rating: 5/5 Stars.


This next book I didn’t even get half way through, that being Summer Days and Summer Nights, a romance anthology written by 12 popular YA artists following love, and other things, during the summer season.

summer days and nights

I only read 2 stories from this, so my thoughts will be in the month’s wrap-up.

(Challenge 5: Read a book by a new to you author)


The two challenges I did not complete were read a different format, and read a hosts pick.

For these I had Sanctum by Madeleine Roux and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I will still read these later this month!

I am happy with the progress I made this week due to me previously being in a reading slump! Did any of you participate? Let me know!

ALSO, I will be having a very exciting announcement soon, so keep a look out for that! 😀

The Zombie Apocalypse Tag!

Hello everyone! Today I will be doing The Zombie Apocalypse Tag, a tag created by Nathan Hale on YouTube in which you choose five books, put the title of each into a hat, and randomly turn to a page, using the first name you see to answer the question!

Creators video-

 

The 5 books I have chosen are-


The first book hat was randomly chosen was Hollow City, the second book in the Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children Trilogy by Ransom Riggs.

Hollow city

1. The First Person To Die!

The first person who would die in my zombie apocalypse story is Horace.

Horace.png

Horace is a character I do not really care for much, so I would not mind this.

2. The Person You Would Kick Down To Get Away From Zombies.

I am NOT happy with this, but the person I would kick down is apparently Emma Blume!

Emma.jpg

Not only is Emma a great character, but her power would be super useful in the apocalypse, so this decision that I would apparently make is not very smart! 😛


The next book is Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer. 

3. The 1st Person To Turn Into A Zombie. :X

The 1st person to turn into a zombie would be Queen Levana.

levana.jpg

I can not say I am too disappointed with this outcome… Levana would cause too many issues within the group not only due to her powers, but because of her personality as well… Now let’s just hope she can not use glamour while deceased!

4. The Person That Would Kick You Down To Get Away From Zombies.

Cinder is the one who would kick me down to get away from zombies apparently.

cinder.jpg

Cinder is a character who really protects those she cares about, but if I was not one of those people and her life really was on the line I could see her doing this.


Next is The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

5. The Idiot Of The Group.

Dr. Rizzoli is the idiot of the group. Not much to say since he is a minor character that is only mentioned throughout.

6. The Brains Of The Group.

According to fate, Andie is the brains of our group.

Andie.jpg

This is not too terrible due to how smart she really is, but I would prefer Toby… I mean look at how smart she is with her emoji usage! 😉


Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is the next book.

cf

7. The Medic Of The Group.

The Medic of our group is unfortunately Flavius.

flavius.png

It took me a minute to remember Flavius was part of Cinna’s team, but once I realized I saw how truly screwed we were.

8. The Weapons Expert Of The Group.

Finnick Odaire is luckily our groups weapons expert!

finnick.jpg

The TRUE best male character of The Hunger Games Trilogy. I could definitely see Finnick working with the weapons, especially a trident!


Finally, the final book is The 5th Wave, the first book in The 5th Wave Trilogy by Rick Yancey.

the 5th wave

9. The Groups Best Fighter.

The teams best fighter is lil Tank!

tank

First of all, this is a CHILD, so our group must be pretty weak. Second of all, he is crazy. Smart, but crazy.

10. The Groups Leader.

Lastly we have our groups leader, Cassie Sullivan.

cassie.jpg

I love Cassie. She will go so far out of her way to save those she loves, Nugget being a prime example. I am not sure how great she would be at this role though, she is pretty hot-headed and makes impulsive decisions.


 

That wraps up The Zombie Apocalypse Tag! Let me know below any tags you would like to see me do in the future! Bye 🙂

June 2016 Wrap-Up!

Now before getting into anything else, I just want to slap myself for my wreck of a month. Even though summer started and it would be assumed I would have a lot more time, I was very busy an unable to update my blog to the extent at which I would have preferred. My reading this month was also not that great, only read 2 books, one of which was a DNF. Well anyways, let us begin!

The book I ended up DNFing this month was These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson.

These heroic, happy dead

I did not enjoy this book as much as I was hoping too. At all. It is a short story collection in which each story follows a war veteran either during or after he serves in the war. The author made each character almost identical, and the stories shared the same theme. The only redeeming quality of this short story collection was the writing style. Check out my full review!

These Heroic, Happy Dead// Review

My Rating: 2/5 Stars.


My favorite book i read this month (given I only read one full book, but that does not take away from the greatness this book holds) is Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monster by Rick Riordan.

Sea of monsters

This was the second novel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book was not as good as the first, but it was still AMAZING. It introduces an important new character, and builds onto the ones already in the series. My only problem with this book was that it took me a little bit to get into, but not everything can be perfect I guess. 😛

Sea of Monsters// Review

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.


I am hoping that July will be a much better month! I will be/have already participated in two read-a-thons, those being the Biannual Bibliothon and Booktube-a-thon, so hopefully for July’s wrap-up it will be more packed!

These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson// Review

These heroic, happy dead

These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson

Published by Tim Duggan Books on April 26th, 2016.

Genre(s): Short Story/War Fiction.

My Format and Page Count: Hardcover// 184 Pages.

Buy on Amazon


Summary:

With his harrowing debut, Luke Mogelson provides an unsentimental, unflinching glimpse into the lives of those forever changed by war. Subtle links between these ten powerful stories magnify the consequences of combat for both soldiers and civilians, as the violence experienced abroad echoes through their lives in America.
        Troubled veterans first introduced as criminals in “To the Lake” and “Visitors” are shown later in “New Guidance” and “Kids,” during the deployments that shaped their futures. A seemingly minor soldier in “New Guidance” becomes the protagonist of “A Human Cry,” where his alienation from society leads to a shocking confrontation. The fate of a hapless Gulf War veteran who reenlists in “Sea Bass” is revealed in “Peacetime,” the story of a New York City medic’s struggle with his inurement to calamity . A shady contractor job gone wrong in “A Beautiful Country” is a news item for a reporter in “Total Solar,” as he navigates the surreal world of occupied Kabul.  Shifting in time and narrative perspective—from the home front to active combat, between experienced leaders, flawed infantrymen, a mother, a child, an Afghan-American translator, and a foreign correspondent–these stories offer a multifaceted examination of the unexpected costs of war.
        Here is an evocative, deep work that charts the legacy of an unprecedented conflict, and the burdens of those it touched. Written with remarkable empathy and elegance, These Heroic, Happy Dead heralds the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.


My Thoughts:

I was extremely disappointed in this book. This book does have a lot of fans, but unfortunately I was not one of them. I do not think this book was terrible, it just was not something I had enjoyed. I did end up DNFing (Although I ended up reading the majority) These Heroic, Happy Dead, but that does not mean Mogelson is a bad writer.

Pros:

  • The Topic: War is something I will always appreciate when an author decides to take it on. It is such an important and prominent aspect of life in our world (no matter how unfortunate it is), so it takes a lot to put a pen to paper and write a piece about it that is not only respectful, but also informative.
  • The Writing: Luke Mogelson is far from a  bad writer. His writing structure is great and although this book was not my cup of tea, I would definitely pick up a book by him in the future.

Cons:

  • The Characters: A lot of the characters in this book were the same, being shown as the stereotypical war veteran. Mogelson also showed a lot of the negative lives veterans had after their time in the war, putting an emphasis on this theme when I feel there was a lot more he could have done. 
  • The Affect: Reading these stories gave me absolutely nothing afterwords, making me question what the author was trying to get across. Do not get me wrong, this might have just been me, but I did feel like I have read war stories in the past that gave me something. This was not one of them.
  • The Stories: This one is going to be tricky to explain. I did not hate all of the stories, but I didn’t love any, and only liked one, maybe two. They all seemed to have the same characters and the same theme. I was looking for a bunch of different, unique stories, but that is not what I got. 

Overall, this was not something I will ever pick up again. The structure and writing were good, but other than that I do not see any distinguishable positives. I will check out Luke’s future works because his writing was great, but this story did not do it for me.  

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review from BloggingForBooks.com.

Rating: 

2 stars.png

Would I Recommend? 

– I would recommend this book to anyone who is deeply into war fiction. Although I did not enjoy it, it also is a genre I never really read from.

 

Let me know if you have read These Heroic, Happy Dead down below!