Medha’s review of Heartless by Marissa Meyer

18584855Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

This book is a romance novel. When I picked it up, I thought that that was just part of the story, but turns out that it is really about 95% of the story. If this doesn’t right to you, this book is not for you. If the romance doesn’t draw you in, other aspects of the story don’t really show up until the last 150 pages or so. There is very little action or adventure; it’s mainly an emotional drama. The first 300 pages were a bit slow for me, since it was really only about the love triangle between Cath, Jest, and the king. But the ending was good, and most of the noteworthy moments of the story really only happened in the last one-third of the book. The back half almost made the entire thing worth it, though because it was actually pretty interesting. It really showed the origin of the evil Queen of Hearts, and why she was so HEARTLESS. I really love hearing about villains (Maleficent, anyone?), so that was a really nice touch. Especially when you realize that it’s often the most dreamy, the most passionate that get hurt so many times that they become cold. Basically, the first two-thirds are all about this love triangle, which I didn’t particularly care for. But the last one-third is where the read got good.

Medha rates this book 3.5/5

Joyce’s review of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

03bgPablo Neruda’s collection of poems in his book, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, contains twenty love poems originally written by Neruda in Spanish and translated into English by W.S. Merwin. The book also includes illustrations by Jan Thompson Dicks. Neruda’s creativity, authenticity, and passion are evident in each love poem. His expressions of sensuality display his prowess in literature. In The Song of Despair, Neruda writes, “The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.”

I would recommend this book to poetry readers because Neruda’s work is classic, yet fresh and exciting. Readers can annotate his poems and practice their poetry analysis skills. For people who have never read poetry, Neruda’s poems are not overly difficult to understand, so this book would also work for them. However, the illustrations depict the female body, which may feel awkward to some people.

Joyce rates this collection 5/5

Sahana’s review of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

51yegliy1ml“I feel like a curtain has dropped away and I’m seeing people for who they really are, different, and sharp, and unknowable.” Before I fall by Lauren Oliver is spell-binding stand alone that holds you captive till its very last words. On the outside, Samantha Kingston has the perfect life– popular friends, hot boyfriend, decent grades, and so forth. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the inside. Swept in popularity, Samantha is an active bystander to her friends’ victimization of the other not-so-popular students of this high school; she doesn’t think her boyfriend reciprocates her feelings and isn’t sure about her feelings for him either; she does not have a standing relationship with any member of her family. Yet horrifyingly, Samantha does not see anything wrong with her life. A tragic car accident after a party gone wrong opens her eyes to the flaws and gives her the chance to mend them by making her relive different variations of her death day over and over again. Will Samantha find a way to put an end to this recurring pattern? Will she mend her broken life ? Right her many wrongs? Find out.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good high school drama with a light supernatural twist. Anyone who enjoys in-depth characters with a good character arc would enjoy this book. If you are looking for a light read, I would not recommend this book. A warning to note: there is mild swearing, drinking and smoking in this book. Overall, I really liked this book and maybe you will,too.

Sahana rates this book 3.7/5

 

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

7766027This book is about a young teenager trying to make a name for himself in a world where many people are wary of him because his father was a serial killer. Jasper, or Jazz, as he is mostly called in the book, was a witness to most of the crimes his father committed and hence knows how to commit a murder. When a serial killer returns to their little town, Jazz is forced to solve the mystery – and prove his innocence to the town and himself.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy murder mysteries or mysteries in general. It is a very thrilling book – I could not put the book down! If you are a Sherlock fan, this is a wonderful book to read with a healthy dose of emotion. If you are not a fan of violence or blood, this may not be the book for you.

This reviewer rates the book 4/5

Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People Who Play Them by Jamie Madigan

51qh8ost0fl-_sx331_bo1204203200_This book is split into four parts: who plays video games, who makes them, who sells, and the games. Through a funny, down-to-earth voice, the author illustrates much of the psychology behind video games.

Bold titles, a summary at the end, and interesting content all captured my attention. Although I had first borrowed it because I wanted to understand why brother liked video games so much, I soon became captivated by the book, mostly because it was also quite funny. A lot of the scenarios and experiments were familiar along with the psychology behind it. If you enjoy a light read and nonfiction, you would definitely like this as well.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

Natalie’s Review of A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

51elwm-u2nl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Evelyn is the nurse to Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. Together, they hide from society, combat social prejudice, and try to solve a ghostly mystery.

This book is for people who enjoy reading about social issues and the supernatural. However, those who like mystery may be disappointed by the ending.

Natalie rates this book 3/5

Medha’s review of The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

24921954This book is set in a futuristic society. The story revolves around a skyscraper in New York City. The only catch is that the building has one thousand floors. The higher up you live, the more powerful you are. People have little reason to leave the Tower; numerous parks, schools, country clubs, and homes are nestled inside. The book follows five protagonists switching between their lives and point of views. Three of the main characters are ‘highliers’ while two live on the lower floors.

This book was a good read. Usually, I find different POVs jarring, but the final culmination made it worth it. Also, there are five POVs, so keeping track of what is going on is key. To actually enjoy this book, you need to believe in true love. Like the destiny kind. Because … SPOLIERS (maybe? It’s pretty obvious once you get into it … but just in case …) READ AHEAD AT YOUR OWN RISK 🙂 . . . . . . . . Avery, honey, you can’t elope with your brother, even if he’s adopted. This made the book a very awkward read. I don’t know if I would pursue a sequel. It was hard enough to watch Avery push Watt and Leda away because she was in love with her brother (it really doesn’t get any less weird, no matter how many times I say it). Maybe this would interest people are into psychology or the-heart-wants-what-it-wants stuff (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just didn’t click for me 🙂

Medha rates this book 3.5/5