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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Elixir by Ted Galdi {Review}



{Synopsis: courtesy of amazon.com}: Meet 14-year-old Sean Malone. He has an IQ above 200, a full-ride scholarship to one of the country’s top universities, and more than one million dollars from his winning streak on Jeopardy. However, Sean wishes he could just be normal. 

But his life is anything but normal. The US government manipulates him, using him as a code breaker in pursuit of a drug lord and killing innocent people along the way. 
For reasons related to his personal security, Sean finds himself in Rome, building a new life under a new name, abandoning academics, and hiding his genius from everyone. When he’s 18 he falls in love. The thrills begin again when he learns that his girlfriend is critically ill and it’s up to him to use his intellect to find a cure, a battle pitting him against a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company and the demons of his past. 
Elixir is a story about identity, secrets, and above all, love.


{Review}:
received this title courtesy of Netgalley. 
I’ve been reading far too many girl-themed YA… all drama and boys, and while well written, I was excited for a change of pace.
When I began this book, I didn’t love protagonist Sean Malone.
I mean, he was kind of a pompous kid, who knew everything in the world there is to know. However, when reading this book, even though you might not be rooting for him to begin with {again, because he’s portrayed as that snobby jeopardy kid}, the author weaves a story that’s impossibly good: you literally cannot put it down.
I really enjoyed that the character of Sean, was an outcast not because of how he looked, or how he dressed…but because he was so insanely smart. I feel like there aren’t many authors that take that risk, and in this case, it definitely took.
I maybe put it down for meals, and bathroom breaks, but it was incredibly good. While the plot might seem a little unrealistic, I promise you that it’s incredibly exciting (and actually seems as though it could happen) and well written, especially appealing to the YA men out there. Bravo Ted Galdi!
{Where can I buy this?}:
Amazon: Buy from Amazon

{What would I rate it?}: 4.5/5. A solid novel, especially appealing to those YA kids who aren’t wanting the Dystopian society/love at first sight/someone’s dying types of YA we’ve been reading as of late.

{Who would I recommend this book to?}: YA males, especially those who are smart, and might feel disconnected because they’re different.

Friday, August 8, 2014

{Review} Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose

Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose
{image from amazon.com}

{Synopsis: courtesy of amazon.com}: 
Go Ask Alice was a hoax. But Dear Nobody is a true teen diary so raw and so edgy its authenticity rings off every page
"I am a freak."
The words and drawings of Mary Rose present a gritty, powerful, no-holds-barred true experience of a teen girl so desperate to be loved, so eager to fit in that she'll go to extremes that could cost her her life.
This is not a story about addiction. Or sexual promiscuity. Or cystic fibrosis. It's the story of a young woman with a powerful will to live, who more than anything wants to be heard...and loved.
This compelling, emotional account ensures her voice will not be forgotten.

{Review}:   I received this ARC courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I started this book off not sure what to expect. After reading the synopsis, I was intrigued, so I started reading.
It’s an incredible true-life journey of what a teen’s life is. At some places, you’re reading along, and you think… “Ugh…that sounds so childish…”
Well DUH!
It’s her.
Unparalleled, unbiased, completely true to life-teenage angst.
Much of the book reads like a similar diary of mine {not the alcohol and drug use, or the sex, but much of the back and forth “I love him, I hate him, he loves someone else”}… it was like going back in time. That should be one of the biggest draws for a novel like this: that it WILL take you back… to when you thought your world was crumbling and imploding around you {and in Mary Rose’s case, many times, it truly is}.
I also {because I’m ALWAYS doing this…} saw a teaching opportunity to tie this into another fiction book, and do some sort of analysis. Possibly another book where the protagonist dies, and do a comparison of the main characters. It intrigued me how strong willed Mary Rose is. And I think struggling adolescents could learn a thing or two from her.
{Where can I buy this?}:
{What would I rate it?}: 4.5/5. I liked it. I probably wouldn’t read it again, but it was pretty darn great.

{Who would I recommend this book to?}:  Any adolescent that could use a good read.