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Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

Note: I received a copy via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Ollie is secluded from civilization because he's allergic to electricity. Across the world in Germany, Moritz is a boy born without eyes and relies on a pacemaker to help his heart function. These two boys form a friendship through exchanging letters and discover they're more connected than they know.

The bulk of the book communicated that the book was a contemporary read with the issues of bullying and self-worth. The exception being that I had to suspend my belief in regards to Moritz' ability to 'see' and describe peoples' body language through echolocation. The last quarter delved into science fiction territory and I felt like I was thrown into a totally different story. It was loosely connected with how secretive Moritz was being in his letters and made a jarring plot twist.

The middle of the book suffered because it was quite dull and uneventful. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I didn't connect with the characters and found their babble provided little furtherance in plot and the correspondence did feel a little pretentious at times.

Because You'll Never Meet Me was a unique and different read but I can't say I enjoyed it.

Review: The Kill Order by James Dashner (The Maze Runner #0.5)

Friday, May 22, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.

Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next.

Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.

Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.

The label Maze Runner #0.5 relates more to the chronological order of events than the order of reading. The book does spoil some of the mystery surrounding the series so it is best read after the whole trilogy.

The The Kill Order is set 13 years before Teresa and Thomas were sent down the Box to the Maze. The books follows Mark and Trina, who have survived the sun flares and the subsequent chaos that followed. It was interesting how we didn't follow the characters from the very beginning but instead, their experiences were only shared when Mark closed his eyes and dreamed about the things they went through. In the 'present' time, Mark and Trina are part of a group which consisted of Alec and Lana, an army nurse and a few other kids. I loved that there were adults in this book who weren't antagonists and brought Mark and the other kids a sense of security and made the whole situation a whole less nightmarish! Everyone was joking around in the beginning of the book but the peace is quickly disturbed when aircraft hover over the town and armed men come out to shoot darts at everyone in sight.

I felt like the whole situation with the infected felt like a zombie apocalypse, with many people losing their minds and a few select remaining clear but succumbing to it slowly. And of course, there's a cure amidst everything and Mark does everything in his power to make sure it's not the end. In saying that, it was a really terrifying and chilling read packed with loads of action. Knowing what happened in the Maze Runner trilogy, you can expect no happy ending. I did put down the book a few times because only bad things kept happening. I think this is one of the books that you have to be in the mood to read or else you wouldn't like it.

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Goodreads summary:
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

After a bullying incident in school, Audrey hides at home and suffers with anxiety being around new people. The author took a lighthearted approach in telling Audrey's story. It centered around Audrey and her support group; her parents, siblings, her doctor Sarah and a blossoming connection with Linus.

The story was essentially a sitcom and I liked Audrey's filming adventures which gave us a look into some hilariously awkward conversations and funny situations happening in and around the house. I really enjoyed the family dynamics with the bossy loud mother, the gaming-obsessed brother and the non-assertive father.

Audrey finds a sweet and unlikely friend in Linus, a gaming friend of her brother's who visits the house, who helps her to venture out of her comfort zone and integrate back into the world with his encouragements.

I felt the story touched on the very tip of the iceberg in terms of Audrey's anxiety disorder and there wasn't quite a moment which I truly understood the reason for Audrey's fears and insecurities. I guess the main reason was because the bullying incident wasn't delved into much detail. If I had more to go on (was what she experienced so traumatic?) I could probably empathise more.

Overall, Finding Audrey was a different and amusing read.

Note: I received a copy via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

Having read Dangerous Girls I had an inkling that this story would be just as twisted and suspenseful. I prepared to gasp in shock and feel disturbed by the last page and this book delivered!

Chloe Resnick is ready to leave town and her monotonous life behind but her plans are derailed when she has to stay and take care of her depressed and sick mother. One day during her shift at the diner, she meets Ethan, a guy who makes her feel loved and wanted and they soon become a couple. Chloe feels happy until Ethan's brother Oliver enters the picture and makes her question what she really wants.

I think the way the writing switches between 'now' and 'then' really kept me on my toes and made this book such a page-turner. I didn't actually like any of the characters as most of them were unsettling but nevertheless, I eagerly awaited for the truth to be revealed about who died, who survived and who was the killer in the ordeal that set the opening scene of the book.

Dangerously gripping, Dangerous Boys was a wickedly good read.

Review: Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

This book is in the public domain and can be downloaded for free here

Jerusha has been living 18 years in an asylum and didn't expect it one day when a mystery man offers to pay for her education to become a writer. In return for her education, she has to write a letter once a month addressed to mysterious man, Mr Smith, about what she learns and how she fairs at school. Instead of writing the obligatory one letter a month, Jerusha aka Judy, writes a load of letters on a wide range of subjects and addresses it to 'Daddy Long Legs' her nickname for her secret benefactor (which originated from when she caught a glimpse of leaving the asylum and saw that he had long arms and legs).

I really liked Judy's voice and the way she told Daddy about what was happening in her life. She really had a talent of writing! It was a pleasure reading through her letters and getting to know her. I really felt for her when at times she would send angry letters to Daddy because he'd scarcely reply to her letters when she treated him as her closest confidant. I thought the twist ending was a nice surprise. Daddy Long Legs was a feel-good, refreshing read.