I received this book for free from Publisher, Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: scythe, by neal shustermanScythe by Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster on November 22nd, 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Simon and Schuster
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

THIS BOOK IS PHENOMENAL.

when i received this title in the mail – having known nothing about the story or read anything by the author – i wasn’t sure if i’d like it. i sworn off dystopian novels after reading one too many but this one sounded so interesting. so i decided to read the first page and i knew, right off the bat, i would love this novel.

i love everything about this book – the writing, the plot, the characters, everything. my love for this book came in quiet waves. i started off being really intrigued, but that soon became something more. the plot began to build (love all the twists and turns it all has – nothing i was expecting!) and soon enough i was flipping through pages and rooting for characters and screaming at situations. i also love how there was a romance in the story, but it was very slow-burn and wasn’t the main point of the storyline. it was so small that i almost thought there was no romance at all! but the chemistry builds and it becomes more obvious as the story progresses.

the main reason why i love this novel is due to its recurring themes. i find it hard to see meaning/a purpose in some dystopian novels aside from an entertaining story, but SCYTHE was different. when you’re forced to kill people as your job (or you’re learning to kill people), your humanity becomes questionable. when you live in a world where there is no pain and your life is immortal, you see how detached we can become. nothing is at risk. is that really a perfect world? it made me really think about what it means to be alive and what it means to be human. it made me question the meaning of life and death.

the one thing i will say is it was a bit hard to reaaaaaaally connect with characters at first because the book is written in an omniscient POV. the story would jump around from person to person, making it easy for me to stop reading and do something in my daily life. also because of this, i didn’t feel the need to continuously read. BUT, this is my first time reading a book with this type of writing and it didn’t bother me too much. the writing itself was beautiful and i often found myself wanting to annotate.

all in all, this book is amazing. i wasn’t expecting much from it and now it’s one of my favorite reads of 2016. not only is the story well thought out, but i also gained a lot of perspective on what it means to be alive. and that, i think, is something really special.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.6

thanks for the trouble review

I received this book for free from Publisher, Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: thanks for the trouble, by tommy wallachThanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Fiction, Friendship, General, Love & Romance, Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher, Simon and Schuster
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

“I’ve got some questions for you. Was this story written about me?”

I shrugged.

“Yes or no?”

I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty. It brought a bloom to her pale cheeks and made sharp shelves of her cheekbones.

“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.

I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote I can’t on my palm.

Then, in tiny letters below it, I finished the thought: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

thanks for the trouble

THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE is light-heartedly intellectual.

i began THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE knowing little to nothing about the plot, nor did i read any other reviews. all i knew was that it had a nice cover, was fairly short, and was recently released. i think it’s better to go into this book knowing nothing, aside from the facts that 1) this book talks about people with disabilities, 2) and suicide/depression, and 3) it’s a strange contemporary-fantasy hybrid thing. BUT, that’s not reaaaaaally what the story is about; those are just triggers you should be aware of. this book talks about those things fairly lightly and i didn’t feel suffocated or weighed down by these topics.

the storyline wasn’t the main aspect of the novel; the whole book felt a bit like a series of blog post recaps, following the main character’s journey. however, this isn’t your normal character-driven book. it felt like i was living and breathing and experiencing everything through parker, our narrator. it’s also a little weird since parker isn’t always the narrator. there were chapters that were simply short stories, entirely unrelated to our main plot (but still somehow related). these were written in third-person POV but it still felt like parker was reading/telling to story to me. there’d also be chapters written in second-person POV and it still felt as if i were parker/with parker. (everything else was written in first-person.) in this way, i had a very strong connection to the narrator; he was part of the pages and i was following along with him, and in that sense, i was a part of him.

“Where there is no fear, there is no bravery.” (245)

the voice in the writing style is very prominent. do you ever read a book and know right from the first chapter that you’ll love the book? that’s how TFTT was for me because the writing speaks off the pages. this is probably why i connected with parker so well; it actually felt like he was talking to me. but the style was really unique because there were paragraphs that were so chill and there were paragraphs that were so thought provoking and metaphorical. it was enjoyable and relaxing to read, but it also made me THINK. i want to reread it, overanalyze these paragraphs and pages, fill the margins with notes, and THINK.

“Staying the same is a kind of death.” (186)

THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE is very special. i don’t think there will ever be a book out there even remotely similar to the plot or characters or writing or anything. yes, there will probably be parallels (magical girl comes in and sweeps boy off his feet), but that’s kinda where the similarities will end because this book is VERY STRANGE. but because of that, i liked it! the pacing was good; the characters were quirky; the themes were strong; the ending and overall impression left me feeling complete. i love this novel, and positive reviews always frustrate me because that’s all i can say. I REALLY LIKE THIS BOOK. it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly what i need.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.5