Dina Dyer?

Hello! (again)

Yes, it’s rather peculiar to get not only one, but two blog posts from me in such a short amount of time. Considering this, though, I hope you remember what I wrote yesterday. If not, here I am to remind you, only this time I have actual proof; I made my new blog available for the public not too long ago, so you can now go visit it and maybe subscribe? I also just published a post titled “A Big World?” where I write a little about what I will be doing this week and traveling. All fun stuff, I promise. The official name of my blog, I guess, would be https://dina-dyer.squarespace.com, so there you go!

As I said in my previous post, I’ll be posting on a variety of stuff and topics. And, not to forget, I may or may not have a Mara Dyer-inspired “About Me”-page…

Signing out…

– Dina

Moving…

Hello, my dear followers!

I have not been posting much of anything on this blog lately, as I’ve been busy with school and other stuff. Quite frankly, I haven’t either been feeling up to posting that much bookish stuff, so I simply decided to not. Blogging isn’t fun if you have to force yourself to write, and I don’t ever want it to be like that. I don’t have any new reviews for you at this time, but I came to tell you that I will most probably be moving to a new blogplatform soon. On this blog I will also be posting anything else that is on my mind, and my main goal will be that the blog reflects well on my personality and the stuff that is important to me. With that comes mostly literature, philosophy, society, poetry (not that I will guarantee you any of my own) and my own writing process and how I am progressing! It won’t be a “my life”-blog, but that doesn’t mean you will not get any updates on my life 🙂

The new blog is not for the public just yet, as I will be working on it and also moving some of the book reviews from this blog to my new one (only the ones I think are best and have made themselves worthy)! As soon as it goes online for your eyes as well, I will be sure to let you know and provide a link to it!

Thank you for your patience and support, I really appreciate it and am glad to welcome you into a new chapter in my blogging-life!

The Review: Don’t Even Think About It – Sarah Mlynowski

“Don’t Even Think About It” is a young adult, paranormal/science-fiction book by Sarah Mlynowski. It was published May 1st 2014 by Orchard Books, and the kindle version has 338 pages. I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in trade for a review.

This is the story of how we became freaks. It’s how a group of I’s became a we.

When Class 10B got their flu shots, they expected some side effects. Maybe a sore arm. Maybe a headache. They definitely didn’t expect to get telepathy. But suddenly they could hear what everyone was thinking. Their friends. Their teachers. Their parents. Now they all know that Tess has a crush on her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. Some of them will thrive. Some of them will break. None of them will ever be the same.

Don't Even Think About It

I want to start of this review with noting that this author had a very fun, interesting and great idea for a book. The line “It’s how a group of I’s became a we” stayed with me long after the first time I read it. I kind of connected with that. I was once in class with 12 other students that were different, but so interesting and lovely in their own way. We heard from teachers how knit together we seemed and knew ourselves that we were in this together. We knew that until the end of the year, we would be a ‘we’. That was an amazing feeling, and this book made me think of that. How it’s wonderful how people can be thrown together, only by coincidence, and just click.

The difference with this story is that it didn’t start out that way. They were just kids, on their own, and hoping to make it out just fine. But suddenly, before they almost know it themselves, they have to deal with this huge thing. Together. You see their lives slowly changing throughout the book and them getting used to living like they have to now. Having said that, like in any situtation, some don’t deal with it as good as others. But those parts were what made me like “Don’t Even Think About It” the most. It’s not the mind reading, or the scandals, or the romances. It’s that these kids were in it together, even if they didn’t want to be. It made the story so much more realistic.

A big negative was the writing. It just didn’t correspond well with the kick ass idea, and was a huge downer. What kept me going for the most part was my curiosity on how in the world this could end without going all “apocalypse and aliens” on us, because it was clear from the beginning that that is not what kind of book this is. Despite the poor writing, I had no problem laughing out loud at the funny parts and I may or may not have shed a small tear at the end.

The characters in the book are, to say the least, many. I liked that they were diverse, not only on the outside. They all had different priorities, opinions, and dreams. The author didn’t seem to forget which character was supposed to have which personality, and didn’t bring out their thoughts with judgement, which is always a plus. Though, it happened that I was confused with who was speaking, or rather, thinking, in some scenes. An interesting thing was that the reader was never sure about who the villain really was, or if there even was one. It created a tension between the lot of main characters, which I could feel through the pages.

By the time I finished this book, I had a reoccuring feeling that the author didn’t take fully advantage of the idea she had. There were so many more things I think she could have covered in this book and more plotlines to have figured out by end. Overall, it was a fun adventure, though I feel like the author didn’t take it as seriously as she should have, as it leaned a bit more on the contemporary side than science-fiction. I ended up giving “Don’t Even Think About It” 3.5 stars on goodreads.

– Dina

The Review: What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True is a young adult, romance and contemporary novel written by Huntley Fitzpatrick, who also wrote My Life Next Door (link to review). The hardcover has 416 pages and the book was published April 15th 2014 by Dial Books.

Gwen Castle’s Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice.

Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

What I Thought Was True

What I Thought Was True does not as much revolve around a happening, as it does a situation. This might be a little difficult to understand, but Gwen and Cass are in a place where things are a little awkward and definitely not where they want to be. But as anyone else, they have to deal with. They have to struggle through this, and maybe, if they happen to be so lucky, get something from it. This was a aspect of the book that I liked, but also found causing some issues to the storytelling. That’s why it is always a bit risky starting a story after the thing that is meant to occupy the characters has already happened. Did I think the author did it well? Yes, definitely, but there where scenes and parts of the plot that didn’t make it as good as it could have been.

“He was right. I should come with a YouTube instructional video. Or a complete boxed set. How the hell can I expect him to figure me out when I don’t even get myself? And worse, I’m a total hypocrite.”

Gwen Castle, the main character, as a person might surprise some readers. Even though I don’t like lables, she is not the typical girl you read about in young adult books. She has made mistakes, which we learn a lot about, and like any young woman she doesn’t deal perfectly well with them. I found the fact that you clearly could see how her experiences and mistakes had an affect on her behavior and thought process today. Still, she might not be the most likable character, but was genuine, angry and hopeful.  The love interest of this story, Cass, was easy to ally with and I understood the concept behind him as a character. I surely enjoyed his relationship with Gwen, however flawed and fragile it might be. Additionally, the fact that it was flawed and because of what they had gone through, made it much easier and rewarding to root for them.

“Deixe que as histórias de outras pessoas sejam contadas por elas.
Other people’s stories are their own to tell.”

Just as in Huntley Fitzpatrick’s previous book, My Life Next Door, the family dynamic is amazing. Gwen, her mother, little brother, cousin and grandfather live together, and I loved how real their situation and relationships were. Gwen and her brother’s relationship to their father was both very heartbreaking and very honest. The way no one in the family was left without their own story and past gave a very clear image of life, wisdom and that all is not about and does not only happen to one person.

“I finally get that sometimes we hold on to something – a person, a resentment, a regret, an idea of who we are – because we don’t know what to reach for next. That what we’ve done before is what we have to do again. That there are only re-dos and no do-overs. And maybe … maybe I know better than that.” 

At the end of the book, there were some unanswered questions, especially about Cass. They weren’t of course mayor, but still had some impact on how I felt finishing the book. The conlusion felt a bit rushed and things were quickly dealt with, which didn’t make much sense with ideas and information that were provided earlier in the book. All in all, I did like this book. I didn’t think it amazing, but I will definitely be reading more books by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

I gave What I Thought Was True 4 stars on goodreads, and do recommend it to readers of contemporary romance. It is a light read, but still managed to provide depth to both characters and plot.

– Dina

 

Book Haul: March & April 2014

Yet again, it’s time for another book haul! I got 6 books during these two months, and I didn’t really expect any more. Though, at the end of May I will be on my way to England! It will be my first time there and I am very, very excited! I bet it’s going to be an amazing experience, along with great people. In addition, going to England means more books, and I think I am going to come home with my suitcase full of them.

I finally decided to buy The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, in this beautiful, soft, hardcover edition. I can not wait to read it, since I’ve heard so many people love it. I also got around to purchasing The Shadowhunter’s Codex, a companion to the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare. I find the cover amazing, and am excited about all the Shadowhunter history in it.
Also, a book I have been awaiting for quite a while, Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano! It was on my most anticipated books of 2014, and the lovely Elle was so kind to send me a bookmark, a notebook and some other stuff all the way from America! Thank you so much, dear 🙂
I got What I thought Was True, the second book by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I am reading it right now, not much left, and am most probably writing a review when I finish.
I had heard a lot of wonderful things about Angelfall by Susan Ee, and got recommended to read it on tumblr a week or so ago. So, I thought it was about time I got around to buying it, and I am very eager to start.
For my birthday, which was in early March I got a Norwegian book named Cape Town: I regnbuens tid (In the rainbow’s time) by Tomm Kristiansen. I have always been very fascinated with South-Africa, so it seems very interesting.

– Dina

 

 

The Review: My Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door is a young adult, romance and contemporary novel written by Huntley Fitzpatrick. The hardcover has 394 pages and was published June 14th 2012 by Dial Books.

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

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My Life Next Door is a sweet, sweet, realistic, romantic and wonderful journey. I read it in two short days, and it was just what I needed. Sam and Jace had the most amazing chemistry, and I love that even though it is a young adult book Huntley Fitzpatrick is not afraid to tell the story as she wanted to. A lot of young adult writers seem to be unsure about stepping over a line when it comes to sexuality and going to the core of what the characters mean to each other, and this woman did it just right. Her writing style is funny and spontaneous, just as it is touching and fits just right to this kind of story. She told the story as raw and beautifully as it was meant to, and she did it well.

“Then we are just kissing and everything else drops away. Mr. Garret could come out at any moment, a truck full of supplies could drive right on up, a fleet of alien spaceships could darken the sky, I’m not sure I’d notice.” 

What I really found myself loving in My Life Next Door, was Jase and Sam’s relationship. Sam is not some damsel in distress and Jase is in no way an overprotective badboy. I bet we’re all getting kind of tired of that scenario, to be honest. They both have an equal role in the relationship, and Jase, as the male in this, is not the one who dominates or makes all the decisions. This makes them so real. The fact that they start of as friends, and slowly, slowly fall in love, but still have that hint of a romantic connection, makes it all believable. Another thing is that Jase blushes! Haha, yes. Just as Sam, and any other teenager, he gets embarrased over his family, intimacy and stuff. It was the most wondeful thing to read, and he still manages to come off as somewhat masculine. I truly loved it!

“The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I’d be part of the story myself.” 

There are lots of characters in this book, and by that I mean quite a bit. Like, it’s not an overwhelming amount, but enough to make me go back and memorize the names of Jase’s siblings. I did in fact do that, and they are a bunch of adorable children. Alice is hilarious, Andy is so sweet, George… I want that kid, and all the other kids I can’t take my time to talk so much about now. I could really relate to their family and situation, as I also have quite the family myself. Samantha’s friends Nan and her brother Tim were also great characters, and I like how Jase and Sam kind of take care of Tim and include him, even though he can be a bit of douche sometimes. There were some characters I didn’t like (Sam’s mom and her boyfriend), but that’s OK.

“Who are these people, and why do they think their own opinions are the only right ones?” 

I think it’s great that the story is not only about romance, but also about friendship and family. It’s about having the gut to stand up for what you believe and the people you love. It’s about telling the truth, even though you might hurt someone, when you know it is the right thing to do. I did enjoy this book, very much. However, I had some issues with the decisions Sam made at the end, which is why I’m only giving it 4 stars on goodreads. And I know people are not always going to do what I would have done, even when they’re fictional, but I found it slightly annoying.

“When I turn back to Jase, he’s again beaming at me. “You’re nice.” He sounds pleased, as if he hadn’t expected this aspect of my personality.” 

My Life Next Door is such a true, awkward and honest representation of what it is to fall in love, real love, for the first time. I felt it was a breath of fresh air among a lot of young adult contemporaries that all take the same turn. I recommend it to any young adult from the age of 14 and up, who enjoyes a romance did right, with some humor and the right amount of dramatic events.

– Dina