Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Read: Oct/Nov 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover, 439 pages

Descriptions from GoodReads: Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
   One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.
   Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

Review: Oh boy, oh boy did I love this book. This is the second book in the Raven Cycle series (which was also amazing), and it was just as surprisingly gritty and realistic as the first one. I'm glad the author decided to focus more on Ronan in this book, because I felt like his backstory was held together pretty loosely in The Raven Boys.
   One of my favourite things about this series is the intricate relationship between all of the raven boys. 

Quotable Quotes:
"In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them."
"And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war."
"Dying's a boring side effect."- Joseph Kavinsky

Rating: 4.5/5

Read if you liked: the House of Anubis, the Diviners, Shiver, history, bromances (winks)

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: All The Bright Places

Taken from Goodreads

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Release Date: January 6th 2015
Read: November 2015
Publisher: Knopf Publishers
Format: Hardcover, 388 pages

Description from Goodreads:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

I had heard a lot about this book in the blog-verse, so when I saw it in my school library I had to check it out. It started a little cliche, and felt slow to begin with, with development (which had to happen). I had to second guess myself on whether or not to continue reading. I'm glad I did. Once I got past page 50, it found itself.  The writing style (while slow to start) is great, and easy to follow. It felt as if Niven knew exactly what to say. Suicide and depression are hard topics to add to a romantic YA novel, but it works. Somehow this gives depth to both characters. Just thinking about Finch and how he struggles to keep his head above the water brings tears to my eyes. Violet and Finch are a beautifully broken couple, but they discover that together they make each other better. One of the hardest things to read is how Violet tries to help Finch, but somehow she can't reach him. Niven approaches these passages with poise, and it's beautifully written. I'm sure from the review so far, that it's clear that I finished this book crying- which I did. When I reached the ending I hated it, but the more I thought of it, the more I realized why it ended the way it did. But you decide your thoughts on the ending yourself. However, this is one of my favorite reads of 2015 (so far!).

Favorite Quotes:
 “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” 
“You have been in every way all that anyone could be.… If anybody could have saved me it would have been you.” 
“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257 bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.”
-Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places
(Sorry for so many, I just loved them all)

Rating: 5/5 Stars (very rare!)

Recommended for people who enjoy: YA lit, John Green, romance, sad books, bittersweet endings

Happy Reading,

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book review: The House

The House, by Christina Lauren

Release date: October 27, 2015
Read: November 11, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books
Format: ARC, 400 pages.

Description from Good Reads:

Gavin tells Delilah he's hers-completely-but whatever lives inside that house with him disagrees, After seven years tucked away at an East coast boarding school. Delilah Blue returns to her small Kansas hometown to find that not much has changed, Her parents are still uptight and disinterested, her bedroom is exactly the way she left it, and the outcast Gavin Timothy still looks like he's crawled out of one of her dark, twisted drawings. Delilah is instantly smitten. Gavin has always lived in the strange house: an odd building isolated in a stand of trees where the town gives in to mild wilderness. The house is an irresistible lure for Delilah, but the tall fence surrounding it exists for good reason, and Gavin urges Delilah to be careful. Whatever lives with him there isn't human, and isn't afraid of hurting her to keep her away.

Review: The first impression I had of Delilah, was that she was a stalker. Really, what kind of girl, whether boy-crazed or not, follows a guy to his house? And it doesn't end there, she also had to have a peek inside through his front window. But it was a nice change to read a book with a courageous female lead (however impulsive) and an anti-social boy, instead of the other way around, which most books are. And the house! The moment this odd looking house came into play, I knew something paranormal was going on there. My guess was that there was some sort of soul-sucking demon living inside who was keeping Gavin captive, not that something was wrong with the actual house. Kudos to Christina Lauren for pulling that one off, and not writing what was expected.

Favourite Quotes: 
" What a pair they must make standing beside each other. Her fire so huge it spilled out of her and onto the pavement. His entire world so small she couldn't even see it with him looming over her." -Christina Lauren

Rating: 8/10

Recommended if you like: Monster House (the movie), Thrillers, any books/movies that just creep you out in general.

A recipe for disaster,


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What About Wednesday: Time Travel

Hello all our readers! It's Wednesday so you know what that means! This week we thought that we would have a special time-travel edition!

Lauren's Picks:
1. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
2. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
3. Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Ola's Picks:
1. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
2. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline Le'Engle

Marianne's Picks:
1. Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon
2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Stay tuned, on Friday Ola will have a new review!

-Your Friends at The Autumn Bookshelf

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: Rules For 50/50 Chances

Taken from Goodreads

Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Release Date: November 2015
Read: October 2015 (I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this novel)
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Format: Paperback ARC, 342 pages

Description from Goodreads
A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.
Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

This book was a great number of things. At times it's light and at others it hits a little deeper. Rose (our main character) has tough decision to make - whether or not to find out if she will get her mothers Huntington's disease. It's a touchy and hard subject, but McGovern approaches it with a gentle touch, really showing all the sides to this disease. She tries and shows the good in it, and through Rose we see that the illness is not all there is to life. With Rose we see her flourish during the bad times, whether being with Caleb (her potential boyfriend) or dancing ballet. It's hard for Rose to see her mother deteriorating, but for such a (at times) sad subject, McGovern really shines a light on it. 

Favorite Quotes: "... the music starts, and then I give in to it, and nothing else matters. And then I'm soaring." -Page 262

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Recommended for people who enjoy: Sarah Dessen, romance, YA, fiction, contemporary literature

Happy Reading,

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Review: Dark Shimmer

Dark Shimmer, by Donna Jo Napoli

Release date: September 8, 2015
Read: September 2015
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Format: ARC, 368 pages

Description from Goodreads
Dolce is a monster. A giant, a freak.
Dolce is a princess. She walks like royalty—until dark shimmers make her fall.
Dolce is a mamma. She has found her true family.
Dolce is beautiful. But beauty can’t hide the monster inside.
Dolce is the Wicked One.

   In this haunting and irresistible story, award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli explores belonging, beauty, and how love can transform us.

Review: Starting dull but ending in a bang, Dark Shimmer has many things: round characters, lovable creatures, a history, but it does not have a good beginning. It is slow, quite uninteresting and not too exciting. It doesn't make you want to read more. Then the plot began to roll and, by the time I realized it was based on a fairy tale, I was intrigued.

Favourite Quote: "I didn't lose my temper today. I lost myself." -Dolce

Rating:  2.5/5

Recommended if you like: crime novels, Don't look back by Jennifer L. Armentrout, semi-mystery

A recipe for disaster,


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Graceling

Taken from Goodreads

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Release Date: October 1. 2008.
Read: Fall. 2012
Publisher: Harcourt

Format: Paperback, 471 pages

Description from Goodreads:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... 

Review: I was told to read this because of my love for high fantasy. I was a little skeptical, but I decided to read it anyway. What I got was a mixed bag. The idea that some people have "Graces" (where they have a special power) is very interesting and unique. But I sorta had a small problem with Katsa (the main character). She seemed a little whiny at times, and it made me hard to feel sympathetic for her. But the story line made up for it. It was exciting, and took many twists and turns. Her counterpart Po is a great gentleman, willing to protect Katsa and his niece Bitterblue at all costs. It's a great adventure story line, but personally I like the sequel/prequel Fire better.

Favorite Quotes: “When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?” 
― Kristin Cashore, Graceling

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Recommended for people who like: YA, fantasy, fiction, romance, adventure

Happy Reading,

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What A(BOO)ut Wednesday

It might not be Halloween anymore, or even October, but if you're still craving those ooks and spooks, here's a couple books that'll certainly deliver.

Mari's Pick:
1. Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
2. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
3. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

Lauren's Pick:
1. Sea of Shadows by Kelly Armstrong
2. The Witches by Roald Dahl
3. Made For You by Melissa Marr

Ola's Pick:
1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
2. Guardian by Natasha Deen
3. From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender

P.S. If you are torn between whether to listen to creepy music or Christmas music in November, check "Tuning Out" by Bastille. 

Keep on creepin' on guys!