More Happy Than Not by: Adam Silvera (TW: Suicide, Depression)

Summary:

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

The Review:

Adam Silvera is an author I have heard some great things about. I know a lot of people are reading his new book History is All of Left Me, so before I wanted to read that book, I decided to read More Happy Than Not.

This is a contemporary book, which is a genre I don’t normally grab onto but I heard great things about the book, that I had to read it to see what the hype was about and book definitely lived up to that hype.

Aaron is dealing with depression mainly due to his father’s suicide and thinks he can get help. I like Aaron as a character. He likes video games, comics, and is basically a normal teenager. That’s what I like about Adam Silvera’s writing is that he writes him like a normal teenager and have him talk like a normal teenager., which is very lacking in other contemporary YA books.

Throughout the book you see Aaron go through many phases of his depression. He always blames himself being gay for his father;s suicide, which is why he wants to go through the Leteo procedure, to forget his fathers suicide and maybe try to “straighten” himself out. He is also hoping that the Leteo procedure will make him happy again.

His relationship with Thomas is also well developed, you see it start as a friendship and than in develops into something more, and he is still struggling with his sexuality, especially since there was another boy, Collin who he had a relationship with and it didn’t end well. He also has his girlfriend Genevieve, who I felt was a good character and was always there for him but she could have used a bit more development. I also like his relationship with his mother, while she only has a few brief scenes you could tell she really loves her son.

The Leteo procedure is sort of like the procedure used in “Eternal Sunshine” in which it makes people forgot memories and it specializes in trauma and trying to suppress traumatic memories.I like the concept of institute because it really makes you think if you would want to go through that procedure and will it cure your depression. It was a really great concept that the book explored.

In the end, More Happy Than Not is a great book that deals a lot with depression and sexuality and it flows in a great way. It also has a great plot with amazing characters.

Grade: 4.5/5

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Underated books

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:
January 25th: Favorite Underrated Books
–Give some love to those books that aren’t as widely talked about. Those hidden gems. Those books that maybe used to be popular but people have forgotten about and they still deserve some love.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

One of my favorite books of last year. I love the use of Chinese mythology and while it does have a small following I kinda wish more people would read this series, and the authors other work.

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

I know a lot of people that have read this series, but it is not as big as Hunger Games or Divergent when it comes to dystopias. I plan on rereading the series for a revisited review sometime soon.

The Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams Chima

Another underrated series. Sort of like a Harry Potter meets Mortal Instruments. I read the first two books and I really like the series. I always like modern fantasy novels, and this series is no exception.

Stop me if you heard this one before by David Yoo

 

I read this a couple of summers ago and I really enjoyed it. It was a nice contemporary dealing with summer love and than the reality of when the school year starts. I would highly recommend it for Perks fan.

The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

I think the series was little popular when it came out and I know I talk about the series a few times on my blog but after rereading the first two over the summer I realized how much I really liked this series and not a lot of people really know much about it. I also plan on doing a series revisited for this series later this year.

Those are my favorite underrated books. What are your favorite underrated books? Let me know in the comments below.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Polarizing Books

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:

January 18th: Favorite Polarizing Books
–These are books that people either tend to love or hate, with no in between. Pick some of your favorites that fall into this category.

Another great topic because I have a lot of books that I really like, but a lot of people hate.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

This book is sort of like Lost in terms of divisiveness. But the reason why like this series is because of the characters. All of the characters had great development and good arcs and you wanted to see what would happen to them as the series went. While I did feel that the series got weaker as it went on, I still enjoyed reading the series.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

While Mockingjay isn’t my favorite of the Hunger Games trilogy and it kinda does suffer from Return of the Jedi syndrome especially following a great book like Catching Fire. A lot of people didn’t like how dark the ending came but I like the fact that it had a bitter sweet ending.

The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

This book came out around the time of the Twilight series and vampires were everywhere. Thinking about the series I actually fairly enjoyed the series more than I thought. A lot of people don’t really like the series, mainly because of the comparison to the Twilight series.

The Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar

A lot of people know Gossip Girl mainly because of the TV show, and yes the TV show takes a lot of liberties from the books, but I actually really like the books, and it maybe cliche for me to say that the book is better. But at least the TV show actually did a good job with the character of Serena and making her not to perfect.

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

Surprised! So am I. Even after my discussion of Twilight: Good or Bad, I can’t help but say that I actually like the series. I know the millions of problems that the books has, but this book did get me back into reading again especially after the ending of Harry Potter. Even as a an adult I can still look back at the series as more of a nostalgia trip.

Those are my favorite polarizing books. What are your favorite polarizing books? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (AKA The Book was Better) By: Rick Riordan

Summary:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

The Review:

This is book wasn’t on my TBR, but I decided to read it anyway because people talk about how much they love the book and hate the movie, and I also know I am very late with this series but I heard so many great things about it that I had to give it a chance, and I really liked what I read.

First, lets discuss the charcaters. Percy is good protagonist, sort of reminded me of Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter in which he lives a mediocre life until he realizes he is destined for something more. It was also great to be introduced to the world through his eyes. As the son of Poseidon, he dealing with the fact that he is the son of the Big Three Gods.

Annabeth and Grover were great supporting characters. They did a good job helping Percy on his quest and learning more about the world around him. Grover is a satyr who was tasked to protecting him and then became his best friend. Annabeth the daughter of Athena gives him the knowledge of the Greek Gods and its ties to the modern world.

The main plot involves Percy being accused of stealing the lightning bolt from Zeus, and he, Annabeth and Grover are tasked with going to the Underworld confront Hades and find the bolt before the Gods go to war. While it does seem like a road trip book it was filled with side stops including defeating Medusa, while fighting off forces trying to kill them.

This book did a good job at mixing Greek/Roman mythology in the modern world, and it actually made a lot of sense, and even how some famous people are sons and daughters of gods and goddesses.

It was a very good first book that did a great job at introducing characters and the world around them. I will definitely be reading.

Now for my thoughts on the movie. I saw the movie before reading the book, and it may be cliche for me to say that the book was better. But the book had so much stuff the movies left out and for no sense whatsoever. Also the movie mad really bad adaptation choices which would have further ruined future adaptations. I think a TV show is in the works along with a musical, but I would have liked to have seen a great adaptation of this series.

Grade: 4/5

Hype or Like Friday: My Most Anticipated Reads of 2017

Hello Friday everyone,

The Theme for Hype or Like Friday January is New Beginnings and the Book of the Month is The Serpent King

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.
January 13th Topic: Most Anticipated of 2017 – Which books are you most excited to get your hands on this year?

Another great topic, Wednesday I already did my debut authors I am excited about and this will talk about more books I am excited for.

Warcross by Marie Lu

When you find out that one of your favorite authors is writing another series, of course you would jump for joy. The premise also looks interesting. It looks like it will be a sci fi story. I am excited to see what Marie Lu does with that genre, as both a fan of Legend trilogy and Young Elites trilogy.

The Gatlon School of Vigilantes by Marissa Meyer

This already had me sold with superheros. It also had me sold with Marissa Meyer. I loved her Lunar Chronicles series, loved Heartless, now I want to see what she can do with the superhero genre. The premise also reminds me a lot of the movie Sky High with the school of superheros divided by heroes and sidekicks.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)

I really liked This Savage Song, and I want to see where the story continues especially after how the first one ended. Victoria Schwab is slowly becoming by favorite author.

Now I Rise by Kiersten White 

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Another sequel to one of my favorite books And I Darken. I want to see how the story continues and what more twists and turns it will come up with it.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

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From the author of the Divergent trilogy. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Allegiant, I did like the other two books, I also like that this is set in space so of course I have to read it, and I hope it is a lot better than the Divergent series.

Those are books I am excited for for 2017. What books are you excited to read in 2017? Is there any books you would like me to add? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Debuts you are excited for

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is

January 11th: 2017 Debuts You Are Excited For
–There is already a ton of hype for well established authors, but here is an opportunity to discuss some debut (new) authors and showcase their books. There are plenty of debut author challenges and lists you can find if you are having trouble with this one 🙂

Another exciting topic, while this year a lot of my favorite authors are releasing new books this year, it is always exciting to see a new author write an amazing book, and than become your favorite new author.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

The Hate you Give by: Angie Thomas

Inspired by the BLM movement, this book is very topical given today’s climate. I don’t read a lot of contemporary books, but given the subject I am very excited to read this book and hopefully more from this author.

Caraval by: Stephanie Garber

This premise really intrigues me mainly because it reminds me a lot of The Night Circus and anything dealing with magic is always on my radar.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhonda Belleza

The premise reminds me a lot of Anastasia, and while a lot of readers may not like the “lost princess” trope this one actually looks very interesting. Also the cover looks awesome.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Another contemporary and diverse read, but it is also near and dear to my heart because it deals with a Haitian protagonist and it also deals with immigration.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

I will read anything dealing with pirates and judging by the premise it looks like something that could be amazing. YA has never really dealt with anything pirate related and I want to see what they  come up with.

That is my top 5 debuts I am excited for. What debuts are you excited for? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The Review:

This is the second book of the Illuminae files, in which the first book, Illuminae was one of the best books I read last year, and this book did not disappoint, in fact I think this was an excellent sequel.

Gemina follows another person Hanna, in which she is one a different space station, so this one doesn’t really follow up with Kady’s story but she does play a role in this book. She is the captain’s daughter, and she is a great character. She reminded me a lot of Jyn Erso from Rogue One with a little bit of Katniss Everdeen. Even though she is basically a “princess” she really doesn’t act like it and when stuff goes down she is on the scene trying to get the job done.

Nik, as a member of a crime family is basically Han Solo. He deals drugs to the people at the space station and has a great backstory which really adds a lot to his character. Both Nik and Hanna are an amazing couple and you get a real good sense of their relationship, especially their IMs and chat logs.

The plot was also really well done. I like that the main antagonist was a strike team, and how Hanna and Nik had to take them out individually. The leader Faulk, was a really good villain which reminded me a lot of General Zod, who always cared about his troops and making sure that they are focused on the mission. I like the idea of having a take over, while the the virus was a good plot, I like that it had an actual antagonist that you also got to follow.

This book was also a lot more action packed than Illuminae. While Illuminae focused heavily on the political aspect, this one had a lot more action scenes, which was very easy to follow mainly due to seeing the security footage.

Like Illuminae, this book is also told through unconventional means, and what I liked about was that it puts you right in the middle of the action and it feels like you are actually there witnessing everything that is happening. This book also had a lot more security footage which made it little bit easier to follow the story. Also the illustrations was done by Marie Lu, and it looks awesome.

The ending twist was also amazing, seeing Kady again was great and having here work together with Hanna added a lot to both Illuminae and Gemina. Also the possibility of other universes also makes me excited about future books .

In the end, Gemina was an amazing sequel that really pushed on where the Illuminae files will go, It gave a us great new characters and a really well done plot. It makes you want to see where the story and the characters will go.

Grade: 5/5