Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

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Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Format: e-book

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness?

What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results.

Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school.

Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.


My rating: 4.5 stars.

I can say one thing: My love for this grew a lot since the beginning.
I liked the characters and the thought that the author was trying to convey.
Perhaps because of this thought, this book is one of the most realistic dystopia I’ve ever read.
And the characters! I really love them and I cannot lie.
Rory is very smart and amazing girl. I like that she knows what she wants and does not deviate from that. Such a heroines are always aroused my respect.
North… Well, it’s North. On the one hand he is the typical YA book male character, but on the other he’s not. Barista, hacker… Well, I think a lot of persons will be in love with him.
And Hershey. I love these kind of girls. I like that the author does not expose her in too negative light. She did not deserve this.
This book is full of puzzles, mazes, conspiracy and adventure.
I ‘m really glad that my hands flew to the book. Dystopian novels are my weakness, and this one was no exception.


Here is my fan-art for this book:

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Interview: Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere

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So, all those who subscribed to my blog, you know how I love the debut authors. They are wonderful and lovely and I’m always so glad to chat with them.
Now I present to your attention author, whose book I want more than chocolate cake. (Seriously, I’m ready to fight with the lion and the flood for the ARC. So if you have it, I warn you: keep your eyes open).
I sincerely hope that you will enjoy all the things I’ll show you today!

*drum roll*
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Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.


1) Were there any funny stories while you worked on The Girl from Everywhere? Or maybe, at that time, the book had a different name, which now makes you smile?

Actually, the story of the title was pretty funny. My working title was The Good Ship Temptation, which kind of made it sound like a mish-mash of a jolly good English novel about sailors who keep hailing the queen, and a hardcore romance novel. Neither of which is right. So, I came up with five options for titles and held a poll among my friends. THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE won by a wide margin of Facebook “likes.”

2) What inspired and/or helped you in the process of writing?

My first inspiration is always coffee. The second is a good doughnut. Music comes in third. But beyond those, I took inspiration from the books that my father liked to read to me when I was young. He would read everything, from the Epic of Gilgamesh to Egyptian history to native legends–which of course inspired the fact that the ship can travel to mythological as well as historical places.

3) Can you share your most favorite quote from your book? If it’s too spoilery, then your favorite quote from another book.

One of my favorite quotes from my own book is: “The one thing I could never buy was more time.” Because that’s true of all of us!

4) How long did it take you to write your novel? What was easier to write: the beginning or the ending?

It took me about a year to write, and I feel like most of that was rewriting the beginning. Beginnings are tough for me because you have to grab people right away but also build an entire world from scratch. It feels like pulling an elephant out of a hat. But I have a document of all the cut material from the book and it’s about 600 pages long. So i wrote almost a thousand pages in a year, and most of them were wrong.

5) If right now someone told you that he can perform any of your three wishes, what would you then wish for?

I’m a big believer in social justice, so I’d wish for an end to oppression. Then I’d wish for a cornucopia–Althea’s Horn–the endless bounty that could feed the world for free. Lastly, I’d wish for the ability to fly because WHO WOULDN’T?

6) If you could, would you write a letter to Nyx? If the answer is yes, what would be the main theme of the letter?

I would write a letter, and I would tell her that even though it may not seem this way, her father–the captain–loves her, and so do I. We are both her creators, and we haven’t given her the easiest life. But she is the best of both of us, and we know she can meet whatever challenges we throw her way.


I’m so excited about this book, that I made a fan art to it!
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Thank you, Heidi! You’re amazing. I’m very glad that I have the opportunity to communicate with you.


6qtnLTl6Heidi grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko’olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark.
She holds an MFA from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing, of all things, and she’s written books and lyrics for shows including The Time Travelers Convention, Under Construction, and The Hole. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their pet snake, whose wings will likely grow in any day now.
Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (ARC)

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Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Format: eARC

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: All the Oreos.

I am more than confident that I can’t express all my love for this book in this review. This book is not just one of my favorite in 2015.
It’s one of my favorites ever.

So I decided not to write this review as usual and make a list with the reasons why I have so much love for this incredible book.

REASON 1.

Oreos.

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Don’t tell me you don’t like these stunningly delicious cookies. I love it as much as Simon do, so I couldn’t resist.

REASON 2 IS

Simon.

He has the most amazing and unique voice in the history of YA literature. I don’t know anyone who read this book and hasn’t fallen in love with this guy.

REASON 3 IS

Blue.

I can’t speak about his personality because of spoilers. But people, you need this character. YA need this character. Trust me.

REASON 4 IS

Simon’s parents and friends.

To overcome all the difficulties, no one helped Simon more than his family and his friends. I am absolutely in love with Leah, Simon’s sister and Simon’s mother. They are beautiful and strong women, and I found them very interesting to read.

REASON 5 IS

Bieber.

Yeah, you got it right. He is a wonderful… dog.


This is not an exhaustive list, but I know that I’ll have lots of other opportunities to praise this book.
Just… Go ahead and read it, guys. It’s adorable and cute and awesome.


Here is my fan-art for this book:

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Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (ARC)

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Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Format: eARC

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black–black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 5 golden stars.

I read this book exactly after watching The Fault in Our Stars. So I can say with confidence that this book reminded me of it… or not.
They are similar because the main characters are nerdy teenagers. They are teenagers who have experienced a lot, and I really like their personalities, despite the fact that literature is full of such characters.

Madeleine is an eighteen girl with STID. Her favorite pastime is reading books. Her favorite book is The Little Prince, and I’m ready to adore her only for that. She leads a book blog, but mostly she ripped apart of boredom. But here’s one guy with a family moves into the house next door, and everything changes.

To be honest, I knew the denouement of the book from the beginning, for the simple reason that it is the easiest and most acceptable option, but that did not stop me from enjoying it.

This book is so beautiful. Literally. Those words are exquisite.
And I am pretty sure you will be charmed by its design as I do.
These wonderful pictures I will remember for a long time and by the way, this is one of the most amazing ideas for the book to illustrate it.

I highly recommend this book to all fans of diversity in the literature, because this book is definitely worth your attention.


Here is my fan-art for this book:

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Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

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Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.


My rating: All the stars.

“Sometimes I wonder if my heart is like a black hole–it’s so dense that there’s no room for light, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still suck me in.”

How can I properly write a review for this book? This is unreal because I cry all the time, when I think about it.
This book is very deep into my heart. 

“You’re like a grey sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.”

Same thing with this book. It shouldn’t be beautiful, because it is about teenagers who conceived suicide.
But it is. Beautiful in every sense, because it made me think about life and all the things that I used to ignore.

I so much want to thank Jasmine for this book.
Because I understand it.
Because I’m in love with Aysel and Roman. They are broken, but at the same time, strong characters. Even if you have a black hole instead of a heart, you still love them.

I so adore Aysel that I can say with confidence that she is my favorite character. With her black humor, which is sometimes similar to mine and love of physics she has taken a special place in my heart.

I just want to make every person in the world to read this book, so they finally realized that it is impossible to ignore teenage problems. That they are just as serious as any other. And if you notice signs of depression in your child, you can’t ignored them.
Depression is a serious illness such as cancer. Because of this, people die.

Please do everything you can to these people ended their story as well as Aysel and Roman.

And read this book. You fall in love with it, I promise.


Here is my fan-art for this book:

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Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

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On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.


My Rating is complicated, but let’s think it 5 stars.

“Please,” he whispers. “remember the sky.”

I don’t even know how to describe this book.
This is a very complicated book. Complicated because of all. The main theme. My feelings about this. The MC and the other characters and…
Difficult. Heart-crashing. Nerves-exhausting.

The theme of suicide is a sore subject for me. I’m ready to read a lot of books about it and every time end up reading with the crumpled heart.
I love Amy for the fact that she was not present all in the bright colors.
She showed everything as it is.
She showed the worst traits of people.
She showed that people are just people, and despite the all the bad things we can forgive and we can love.

This book is extremely bright. Even if you don’t like it, it will make you think about your life and about what you do with it.

It happened so that I know a girl like Liz. She behaves just like Liz. Doing the same things.
But I was never able to judge her, because I know that whatever she does, it’s printed on her. I know that she was deeply unhappy. I just hope that she will never begin to plan suicide. Because no matter how bad you are and how many mistakes you made, you deserve to live. You were born. You can live your life well. You just have to want to do it. You have to admit that you need help.

Please read this book.
It’s so important. It’s difficult and sometimes disgusting.
But it’s important.


Here is my fan-art for this book:

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Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


My rating: 5 stars.

“Caymen?”
“Yes?”
“You look terrified. Does this scare you?”
“More than anything.”
“Why?”
“Because I didn’t bring my mints.”
“And now the real answer . . .”
“Because I’m afraid that once you catch me, the game’s over.”

This book is very nice. I’m a fan of such romantic books with smart characters and lack of clichés. Heroes are very nice and the atmosphere of the book clearly on top.

Caymen (pronounced just like the islands, yes) is very sarcastic and intelligent heroine. I always laughed at her jokes, because they reminded me of my own sometimes. And it’s great, because I like to establish a connection with the characters.

And Xander one of a dying breed of cute guys in Young Adult (I just got tired of the abundance of alpha males and bad boys). He loves his family.
He wasn’t rude. He didn’t sleep with half of the school. He cares about Caymen.
In short, he’s a nice guy.

I also love the theme of the social classes, because for some reason it’s close to me, and I can understand Caymen and her mother.
And her mother is wonderful. Not everyone will be able to what she did. This whole situation reminds me of Gilmore Girls. I constantly draw parallels with this show and even images of characters in my head merged with the actors.

This book is very sweet and short, and I can’t talk about it for a long time, but it’s really worth reading.


Here is my fan-art for this book:

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