More Than This by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“I wanted so badly for there to be more. I ached for there to be more than my crappy little life.” He shakes his head. “And there was more. I just couldn’t see it.”

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: I loved everything!
Bad things about this book: Not sure it was the right choice for this book but I would have loved an epilogue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There’s this peculiarity in Patrick Ness’ books that I genuinely love and cherish and no matter what I’m experiencing, they resonate with me, with my soul, and I end up thinking about them almost every single day, carrying them deep within my heart. I just love them so much it hurts.

It’s now been two days since I finished the book and more than often I have found myself staring into nothing, thinking about the truth about what I read, the deepness of what’s been told, the fear I got realizing that that future might not be so unlikely. It scared the hell out of me.

Seth drowns, we read his inner monologue while drowning, how he feels, what is happening to his body. We know he drowns but then he wakes up in a deserted city, wearing nothing but bandages, he is disoriented; yet he is alive. How? Why?

“He’s died, and woken up in his own, personal hell.”

I had many theories about where Seth was. Theories I was proud of thinking, theories worth of being turned into TV shows or even movies. Sadly I wasn’t right but the different outcome surprised me for the better. I would have never thought of that and that was kind of perfect. I love being surprised. I also love predicable outcomes so it’s pretty easy to please me.

I loved Seth and I liked Regine and Tomasz a lot. Main character and sidekicks on point, together in this weird environment they are trying to figure out and survive into. The questions Seth asked himself were questions I was asking, the doubts he was having were the same I was having; I was one with the book, a part of it. There was no end to the guessing, to what the hell was that place and what were they supposed to do. It was fun how at the beginning Seth just thought he was in hell and that was it, he was just going to go with it and be okay with it. Then everything happens and nothing is as before.

“We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much of it obviously isn’t true.”

This was my fourth book by Patrick Ness and I can say without doubt that, for me, he is a genius. His stories are contemporary mixed with fantasy or sci-fi. He is an excellent writer and the way he incorporates everyday issues with fantasy elements it’s flawless. The themes he writes about are hard yet he presents them in a way it’s easy for everyone to understand, to relate to the characters; I know I want to fight more, I want to let my voice be heard, I want to change the world even if I do it starting from my little environments.

It doesn’t matter how little you can do, if you fight for what you believe, if you want to see change, if you want the world to be a great place to live for everyone, then don’t give up before starting because “what difference my voice can make?”.

“There’s always beauty,” Seth murmurs. “If you know where to look.”

Reading books by Patrick Ness makes me want to be a better person for me and for whoever doesn’t have it easy in life. Because everyone deserves to be free to be who they are without being afraid to be harmed, physically or emotionally, because of it. Because you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help if you have mental illness and you feel the world slipping through your fingers. Because you shouldn’t feel the obligation to be strong by yourself and that it’s okay to be weak and ask for a hand. Because we shouldn’t allow anyone to deny us the happiness we know we deserve. There is more than struggle out there; there is more than fear; there is more than what we think it’s unchangeable.

There is more than this and we need to fight to find it.

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A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

I was Sam of Wilds. And I was going to face my godsdamned destiny.

Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Good things about this book: Sam, the gang and DRAGONS!
Bad things about this book: Not enough Justin. I like the guy.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500%.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*A very quote-y review that may contain spoilers of the first book of the series. *

He did it again. Damned you, Mr. Klune, you don’t seem to be able to stop. You’re giving me feelings I didn’t know I needed. Oh my, if I needed them. Some more than others. Maybe I didn’t really need the excruciating fear of very possible loss and heartbreak but I decided to trust you; don’t you dare disappoint an innocent and bright soul like mine, it brings back very bad karma. You’ve been warned.

“You gotta trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
He frowned. “I trust you, Sam. But you never know what you’re doing.”

The more I think about this book, and its predecessor for that matter, the more I love its detailed descriptions, its funny and real characters, and its originality. There are not books like these ones. This series has everything I look for in books: magic, a main character you can’t hate even when he’s clearly being dumb, love in every shape, side characters that bring laughter and sunshine and rainbows, villains that made you fear for everyone’s life or that you simply want to slap real hard, very vague prophecies, and dragons. It has dragons. I love dragons.

“Holy shit,” Ryan said, sounding breathless. “You have a Destiny of Dragons!”

Sam has a destiny of dragons and it’s going to be a pain in the butt. I already know I’m going to suffer, that I’m going to have hope that’s going to be crushed by the cruelty of Mr. Klune if he decides to be mean and do something he is not supposed to do. I love my babies, I don’t want harm to come to them. I will do everything in my power, send positive vibes and everything, maybe light some candles, to avoid being heartbroken by the following books of this series.

“Sam is pretty good sometimes at what he does occasionally!”

^^Me, too!

Sam’s grandma, the queen of gypsies, makes a surprise visit to the castle to deliver bad news, prophecies made by constellation dragons, a new cornerstone for him, and ugly vibes. Woman, you don’t mess with Sam and Ryan’s relationship and expect to be loved by the crowd. I don’t like Vadoma; I didn’t like when she first appeared and showed weird visions to Sam, and I didn’t like her by the end of the book with her manipulations and refusal to acknowledge that, for Sam, Ryan is not only a cornerstone but also so much more. I hated how she kept saying she has never told Sam a lie, unlike others: well, of course you have not, you’ve been in his life for how long, one month? Easy for her to say that and it infuriated me so much.

“Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m onto you, exotic twink. Don’t think that I’m not.”

Ruv, the cornerstone Vadoma wants to forcefully pair with Sam, is not a bad guy; he’s being raised knowing he was going to be the other half of Sam, he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he sees he cannot be that because of Ryan. Sam’s magic reacts to Ruv’s vicinity but what Sam has with Ryan is not something you can replace easily. I didn’t trust Ruv at the beginning, and maybe I never did in the end, but I understand him and what he’s been through, the obligations he feels he needs to follow, the responsibilities that are put upon his shoulders. I don’t blame Ruv, I don’t hate the guy, but you mess with HaveHeart and you have a new enemy in me.

“You’re the most powerful wizard in an age. I’m your cornerstone. Therefore I’m the most powerful cornerstone in an age. It’s my destiny, after all.”

Looking for the dragons to fulfill his destiny will bring Sam and company to face new enemies and new fears. The journey will be long and tortuous, there may be loss, their bodies will be at risk and their souls will waver. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, and Kevin have each other and their bond is strong. They won’t give up easily. They have to fight for themselves and for each other. Sam needs to share the weight of his destiny or else he’ll be lost without a back up plan and with no coming back option. Sam, I beg you, open up to Ryan, to the friends you love, it’s the right thing to do.

I wanted to do what was right. I didn’t know how to do that.

The Lightning-Struck Heart was all fluff, sass, puns, a little heartbreak, and so so much love; A Destiny of Dragons is darker, more serious, and nerve-wracking; it still has all the fluff, love and sass the first one had but you won’t feel save. I didn’t. I felt like anything that could go wrong, would go wrong with nefarious results. I was never 100% sure things were going to be okay. The premises kept me from abandoning myself to the romance and comedy of the story, I felt the darkness lurking in the shadows and I didn’t relax. I couldn’t and I won’t until I read the last word of the last book.

We are better together than we ever will be apart. We are bound to each other. And nothing, nothing, will change that.

I love this book, everything about it. It gave me all the feelings, all of them. I love how cheesy Sam and Ryan are, all their kisses, double-entendre, sexy times, jokes, the softness of their love, the strength of their bond, and the absolute certainty that they won’t allow anything bad happen to one another. I want to protect them; they deserve the happiest of endings.

“And he’s blinking and looks all soft and beautiful and then he sees you and he smiles. Like all it takes for him to be the happiest he’s ever been is to see you there. Next to him. That’s… that’s what’s so great about it. That’s what it feels like.”

(Oh, my heart! I want this, Sam, I want what you and Ryan have)

I love Gary and his sassiness and I love how he is all jokes until someone wants to hurt his friends, and then he transforms into a killing machine all glares and murderous glitter! Tiggy speaks so much more allowing us to understand more about him, about the past he doesn’t want to talk about; Tiggy is all business and cuddles and I love him. A prophecy about a destiny involving dragons couldn’t make Kevin more self-centered than he already is. He is hilarious with his Shakespearian speeches and his perverted ways that make everyone feel uncomfortable. Kevin is not the only dragon around but he certainly is one of a kind.

“Sam got kissy face,” Tiggy whispered to Gary.
“Of course he does, kitten,” Gary said. “That’s what happens when you’re a slut.”

November is the month of my birthday and it’s the month the third book is going to be released. Mr. Klune, damned him, twitted saying to prepare tissues and then the tweet disappeared: does that mean tissues won’t be necessary or that I have to be prepared to lose a part of my soul? I know I won’t be ready (how can I?) but I can’t wait nonetheless.

Recommended to all. How can you not read these books? They’re great and T.J. Klune is an evil genius full of sass. 5+++ out of 5.

“My plan is to wing it.”
Ryan sighed. “Godsdammit.”

^^Perfect summary of the book

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Release by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“Ain’t no shame in a broken heart.”

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: The way Ness writes is bewitching!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, at least for me. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t put it down and this is the third Ness’s book that has done this to me. I loved it with all my heart; there is something in Ness’s books that resonates with my soul and I feel them embracing me and cuddling me. The magic touch, at first peculiar, settles into the narration almost unnoticed and unforced. All of this makes Release one hell of a book to read and treasure.

This is not the easiest of books, it is a book about life and the obstacles it throws at you; it gives you hope in a better future if you’re willing to fight for it. It is so hard to fight for something you don’t think you deserve because you’ve been “taught” that what you are goes against nature, against the will of a lord you think doesn’t really care how you live your life.

“Through prayer, everything is possible-“
“I don’t know, I’ve prayed for years to change your heart. Nothing’s happened so far.”

Adam Thorn doesn’t believe he deserves being loved. He grew up in a very religious family being the son that’s different in a way they don’t dare to say out loud. Adam is gay and his family thinks it’s merely a phase, they think what he feels is not real. How much realer can it be if it breaks his heart in a million pieces? Adam Thorn has loved and his broken heart is the result of it. Will he ever let go of the past and fight for a future worth living? Will he ever let go of the boy he gave his all to but apparently was never willing to give anything back?

Where on earth had this day come from? And where was it headed?

We follow Adam throughout one day of his life; one day that will change everything. He will wake up, run errands, exercise, go to work, help his father and say goodbye to the boy who broke his heart. It’s going to be a long day, a day of news that will test his mind and episodes that will test his heart. Today everything changes.

He starts his day going to buy flowers his mother will certainly hate, and then running to clear his mind thinking how everything he does is never and will never be enough. He wants to go away and be himself but at the same time he is struggling to find some kind of peace in a home that has conditions for you to be worth being in it.

He can’t evade and find peace at work either with a boss sexual harassing him who knows pretty well how these accusations will go away easily; after all, who will believe a 17-year-old gay boy saying his boss touches him inappropriately? Here comes the frustration, the realization that a teenage boy is helpless, unable to reach for help because the world has this unbelievably twisted conviction that teenagers can only say lies and you should never believe them.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

Adam finds his peace with Angela, his best friend. She is a tough girl and she is there for him whenever he needs it. Her family is different, open minded and kind, a safe refuge when he needs to get away from his cruel reality. Angela and Adam are a wonderful duo, ready to take the world head high. Their flashbacks show how incredible their friendship is.

“I’m always gay?”
“In every universe.”
“That makes sense. Are you always short?”
“Except in the universes where I’m Beyoncé.”
“In some universes, we’re all Beyoncé.”

I was so happy about Angela because at this point in the book I was ready to fight everyone who was in the way of my big blonde guy and his happiness. Adam deserves the world and I was more than ready to give it to him. Letting go is hard, painful, but once it’s done you’re free to live and start again. Our brain is one hell of an instrument: it tortures us when it decides on its own accord to fish memories you wanted hidden. Mastering the cohabitation with your bad memories is the way to keep them at bay and not letting them hurt you ever again. They are there, you sense them, but they don’t control you; you don’t allow them to do it.

Will Adam be ready to let go? This day will decide it; it will decide his fate.

While we follow Adam on the day his life is going to change forever, a spirit called by one single, an apparently innocent, action will leave the safety of her home to answer questions she doesn’t even know were asked. The magical realism, very similar to the one in the other Ness’ favourite of mine “The Rest of Us Just Live Here”, can seem out of place but you need to let it flow, no questions asked. It’s a parallel quest, seemingly unrelated, to our Adam’s journey, that will set in motion the end of the world, as we know it.

This book left me shaken. I related to parts of the book and sympathize with everything else. I was frustrated and angry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to have hope and believe that maybe the world doesn’t really hate us the way we sometimes think. That maybe we can build ourselves a safe heaven in the midst of our not so very perfect lives.

I loved Release and it confirmed my love for Patrick Ness and the way he writes. It’s a hit or miss in my opinion and I understand when the story doesn’t reach everyone the way it reached me. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading.

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo ☆

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“I’ve taken knives, bullets, and too many punches to count, all for a little piece of this town,” said Kaz. “This is the city I bled for. And if Ketterdam has taught me anything, it’s that you can always bleed a little more.”

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Why you should read this book: Second and last book of this great duology, a must read!

Read the summary from Goodreads here

This riview contains many spoilers!!

I don’t think I will be able to write a review about this book because it was just too perfect. I loved everything, frustrating parts, happy parts, romantic parts, let’s kill everyone parts, everything. It’s difficult because I don’t have a clear way to express my feelings. I can be very incoherent and it is bad. I start talking about superfluous things and it’s not good.

So I decided to write about what I liked about the different parts of the story. Let’s see if this thing writes itself like I envisioned.

“Do you know what Van Eck’s problem is?”
“No honor?” said Matthias.
“Rotten parenting skills?” said Nina.
“Receding hairline?” offered Jesper.

Inej is kidnapped by that hideous man, Van Eck. Hideous man, I hate him so much! The gang of merry men is plotting thousands of ways to save her. Kaz thinks so many things at once; everything that happens is either exactly how he intended or fortuitously a nice coincidence. I am always in awe in front of Kaz’s intelligence. That man (I still refuse to believe he is a teenager, in my head he is 26, they are all from 24 to 27, don’t argue with me about that) is always a few steps ahead of everyone else and the few surprises and twisted don’t affect him much because he is already thinking of all the other ways to make things work his way. He is smart and deadly, perfect combination!

“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Inej is saved and the real plan, the masterplan, is going to take place. Van Eck has to pay what he promised the gang and he is also going to pay for everything he’s done because he is a really bad man!
Twists here, twists there and I find myself afraid for everyone. Are they going to die, are they going to be badly hurt? What is going on? Why are the bad guys forming alliances?? This isn’t supposed to happen but of course it happens. It’s only half book and things are nowhere near done.

Another plan is thought (how does Kaz think these plans, anyway? I know he doesn’t sleep but still, that’s amazing) and things start moving. So many things happen and I can’t write everything down or else I start writing the whole book. I would love to do that because it’s a great book but I’m lazy and it takes a lot of time. More twists but are they really twists or are they fake twists to make us think things aren’t going as planned but indeed they are exactly how they were planned from the beginning? Come on, Kaz, share your secrets with us!

She rested her head on his shoulder. “You’re better than waffles, Matthias Helvar.”

I was sad about what happened to Matthias, one character I really loved in this book but I think I already felt he was the one who was going to be sacrificed. When I read someone maybe was going to die, the first name that came to my mind was his and it was indeed him. Too bad, he was starting to change, to grow and see things in a different way. I still want to cry, that’s not fair!

Seeing Kaz vulnerable is always painful. You see this dark figure plotting perfect plans, guiding his companions as safely as he can and then you see his fragility and all you think of is “that boy needs a hug and I’m going to give him one he’s not going to forget”. Same about Inej with her past and her insecurities. Such a strong girl, a survivor, and all you want to give her is the world and some piece of mind. It’s not much, right? They deserve happiness, all of them!

“Yes, yes, Nina Zenik is hungry. Now will someone feed me before I’m forced to cook one of you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Jesper. “You don’t know how to cook.”

Matthias and Nina. All the feelings. Matthias opening up, helping Nina with the jurda parem abstinence, with her body and power changing. Trying to make her eat, protecting her in every way he knows. A giant teddy bear! A hug for him, too! And of course a hug for Nina, she seems like a great hugger! Flirty Nina is one of the greatest gifts this book gave me! Thank you for Nina and her teasing!

“I’m teaching Matthias all about fun. He’s an excellent student. Diligent in his lessons.”
“Nina—” Matthias warned.
“Has problems with attitude. Shows room for improvement.”

Jesper and Wylan. OTP from the beginning, of course. How could they not be a very solid ship from the very first time it was mentioned they might be interested in each other? We are shown their pasts, the difficulties they had to endure and how much they still have to do to be whole. Wylan is Jesper’s rock in my opinion and he will help him be a better person. And Jesper will be Wylan’s rock, that’s pretty obvious. The first kiss was perfect and the kiss between Jesper and fake Wylan (damn you, Kuwei!) was hilarious! Poor Jesper!

“You’re stupid about a lot of things, Wylan, but you are not stupid. And if I ever hear you call yourself a moron again, I’m going to tell Matthias you tried to kiss Nina. With tongue.”
Wylan wiped his nose on his sleeve. “He’ll never believe it.”
“Then I’ll tell Nina you tried to kiss Matthias. With tongue.”

I wrote about everything and nothing at all. It’s a complete mess and since it has spoilers it won’t be helpful to convince you to read it because if you are reading this you have already read it or you have no interest in reading it (and I don’t understand why).

If someone is reading this, I’m sorry, I tried. I loved this book. This duology has a lot of elements I love in books. I was sure from the beginning that I was going to love it and I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed. All the stars from me! Recommended to everyone!

Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is so great I really think you need to read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ☆

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“Going outside is highly overrated.”

Ready Player One

 

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Why you should read this book: Because this is a journey inside one of the most wonderful virtual realities ever written.

Read the summary from Goodreads here

This is going to be one tough review to write because there are so many things I loved about this book but I have no idea how to put them into words.
This won’t be a traditional review, this won’t be a review at all; I won’t write much about the book but about what I thought while reading it. I just feel that if I start writing about the book then I would ruin all the fun for the first readers. I don’t want to be the party pooper of the situation. Just so you know, I loved it, it will stay with me forever and I will recommend it to people!

First of all I loved all the references, even the ones I didn’t get because I was too young during those years.
I was born in 1985 and I was lucky because I have a sister 6 years older than me that introduced me to so many things and gave me almost all of her videogames consoles when she was too cool for them. I am still not too cool for any of them; maybe now I’m only too lazy to give videogames much time. I was too little to know a lot of the 80s references that were used in the book not only because of my age but also because I didn’t grow up in the US but in Ecuador. Yes, we could watch a lot of US TV shows and movies but not everything, or at least that’s what I think because I don’t remember a lot of them.

“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.”

Every time the characters said something I knew I started grinning like a fool. I was so happy to relate to some of the excitement they felt! And when I didn’t know what they were referring to, I made my researches and now a lot of things are on my to-watch list. Just a few weeks ago I saw episode 0 of the new season of Mr. Robot and they were talking about Wargames and how the movie made people wonder if those hacks were truly possible and how it inspired the increment of security protocols. I found it very interesting and now I need to watch that movie: I really don’t know why I haven’t watched it yet.

Something weird is happening with my reading process. By sheer coincidence every book I read has something that I find in the book I start reading after finishing it. It’s a chain reaction I can’t seem to stop. Let’s see if this weird fate is going to repeat itself after this. This book had Vonnegut references and I came to know him from the last book I read and now there are a couple of his books I really want to read. How crazy is that? References, I just love them! I learn so many things from them.

“I was watching a collection of vintage ’80s cereal commercials when I paused to wonder why cereal manufacturers no longer included toy prizes inside every box. It was a tragedy, in my opinion. Another sign that civilization was going straight down the tubes.”

The whole looking for the “Golden Ticket”, the Halliday Egg, was intriguing and exciting. The “gunters” (the egg hunters) studied everything there was to know about the creator of the virtual utopia OASIS, to look for clues to find the egg. But OASIS is immense and Halliday liked so many things. I wonder how Wade (aka Parzival) found the time to learn, watch, listen, play and read everything. He also went to school and some of the things he liked best he did repeatedly. Are there enough hours in a day to do everything he did? That’s a miracle and Wade has my utmost admiration.

“No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.”

It’s the future (a horrible one on top of that) but it has this nostalgia feeling and sometimes it’s hard to separate the two different eras. When this future didn’t remind me of the 80s, it reminded me of our time now. People living their lives through the internet, social networks, fake personas, scams, illegality, etc. In this future you create an avatar and that’s you. You can make it real or you can alter your appearance to be whoever you want to be, not really to deceive but mainly to feel better about yourself. Real life is ugly so you need your fake life to make you happy and if to do so you reduce your nose size, make yourself taller, thinner, prettier, so be it. You have the world and you don’t even need to get out of the house. OASIS is your everything, you don’t need anything else.

I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.

So take the virtual utopia everyone lives in, add a spectacular egg hunt with a multibillionaire prize, then add a very clever anti-hero with his virtual friends who are everything but perfect, complete everything with the evil corporation run by an evil villain who wants to rule the real and virtual world, and you have READY PLAYER ONE. The perfect combination of everything fun, smart and geek that will make you wish you were looking for the egg with Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Shoto and Daito!

Are you ready?
Always, baby!

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it now and love it forever.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson ☆

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“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

Title: We Are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Why you should read this book: Because this is one of the most beautiful and moving books I’ve ever read and the world needs to know it.

Summary from Goodreads:

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

“We remember the past, live in the present, and write the future.”

This book deserves a rating of 144 stars. 144 like the remaining days our main character, Henry, has to decide whether he wants to push the button or not to save the whole world. This book is important. This book is not about aliens; this book is about life and all the collateral effect it causes. The author digs into emotions, into hard themes that, willing or not, surround us every single day. Maybe you are not aware of them, but trust me, they are there, very present in your life.

Despite what you’ve spent your entire life believing, you are not a special snowflake. Somewhere out there, another you is living your life. Chances are, they’re living it better.

Henry Denton has problems. The first time he’s been abducted by aliens he was 13 years old. They have abducted him several times, doing experiments on him then leaving him far from home naked or only in his underwear. Now it seems they are going to blow up the Earth and they are giving Henry the power to choose if it happens or not. A big red button: pressing it means the world is save. Guess what Henry’s going to do? He doesn’t want to press it. He hates the world, a world where his mother is struggling with money, his father abandoned them, people are making school a living hell and his boyfriend committed suicide the year before without leaving a note explaining why.

“What if I don’t give a shit about the world?”
“I’d say that’s pretty fucking sad.”
“Why?”
“Because the world is so beautiful.”

Henry is bullied at school; they call him Space Boy because they know about the abductions. High school boys are cruel in a way that always leaves me perplexed. I can’t seem to understand where all that cruelty comes from, why they seem to gain popularity by doing awful things to their weaker school mates. Henry is weak because the ghost of Jesse, his now dead boyfriend, hunts him. He thinks it’s his fault because he didn’t see the signs, he didn’t realize his own boyfriend needed help and was thinking about hurting himself. This situation makes him weak and an easy prey to bullies and it makes his life at home harder that how it already is. But nothing is an excuse for bullying. If Henry went to school dressed as an alien, you don’t have the right to bully him, NOT A SINGLE RIGHT! No excuses whatsoever! Let’s put an end to this nonsense!

Maybe love doesn’t require falling after all. Maybe it only requires that you choose to be in it.

One day he meets Diego, a newly transferred student from Colorado with a secret past we later found out about. It left me speechless but I didn’t blame him. How could I blame someone for doing what I was thinking of doing in his situation but I’d always be too scared to do? Henry meets Diego and it puts his life in perspective. Henry starts seeing other faces of the dice that is the life he thinks he knows. Diego will make Henry question his decision to not push the button and let the world end. But Diego can’t and won’t make that decision for him; Henry has to want to push the button or else it’ll be pointless. Henry needs help and someone needs to see it before it’s too late.

“Depression isn’t a war you win. It’s a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest.”

I struggled with Henry because I felt his pain, his indecisions. I am an over thinker like him and that leads me to a lot of anxiety filled scenarios. Henry doesn’t like people hiding things from him; all of this because of what happened to Jesse. He decided to believe his lies and not ask for explanations and that resulted in his suicide. Henry can’t let something like that happen again. He won’t be responsible for someone else’s death. The pressure of life is too much and he can’t bear it. We will never know why Jesse took his own life and knowing it won’t change the fact that he is already gone. The grief will accompany them forever, memories will be cherished but life has to continue, it’s the ugly truth: we may need a break from life, but life doesn’t stop for us. Don’t let that overwhelm you, go at your own pace like I do.

I’d let myself believe the lies because it was easier than digging for the truth.

He won’t allow himself to have feelings for Diego. Diego is hiding his past from him and Henry is still pretty lost in the memory of Jesse, feeling that he’ll be cheating him if he starts liking someone else. More importantly, with the world ending, what’s the point? What’s the point of everything? Nothing really matters. Not for Henry. With the end of the world he will free his Grandma from her Alzheimer consuming her, his mother from the money problems, his brother from bringing to this awful world another human being; and he will be free from bullies calling him Space Boy and from the grief from losing Jesse that is eating him alive. But maybe you don’t have to save the world or end it, for the sake of others. Maybe you have to be a little selfish and make that decision for yourself.

“There’s an amazing world out there for you to discover, Henry Denton, but you have to be willing to discover yourself first.”

I love Henry. I want to hug him and help him in his road to be better, to accept and move on. To have a life filled with difficult situations but knowing there are people out there to help you, that you are not alone in this. I love Henry. I love how he changes throughout the book, the more the day of the end of the world approaches, the more he doubts what he believed in the beginning. And that’s perfect. I think we have to question what happens to us but being careful about not over thinking because that leads to an infinite loop of fear from which is not easy to get out. I know that loop all too well, I hate that loop. But I love Henry. I love him very much.

People wait for the countdown to tell them that it’s okay to believe in themselves again. They end each year with failure, but hope that when the clock strikes twelve, they can begin the new year with a clean slate. They tell themselves that this year things will happen, never realizing that things are always happening; they’re just happening without them.

So I as said, this book is not about aliens. I still have my doubts about said aliens but that’s ok, I don’t need to know. This book is about all of us. This story is filled with emotions, raw and deep and hard. The world is an ugly place and we have to find a way to live in it. Whether we want to fight for what’s right, or live quietly far from chaos, the world is ours, is a big community and it’s an ugly one. So many bad things keep happening, and if you think about it for a bit you just come to the conclusion that IT SIMPLY DOESN’T MAKE A FREAKING SENSE!!

“When the days are darkest, dear, you latch on the happiness wherever you find it.”

We have to choose what to fight for, we have to look for small personal victories, at home, at work, at school and the bravest of us, will look for large scale victories and we are going to support them because we are in this together.
We aren’t going to give up on the world just because we are sure things aren’t going to end well.

“So, when you’re offered bacon for breakfast, do you refuse because you’re worried about what’s going to happen when it’s gone?”

If I knew the world was going to end and I was given the possibility to stop the end from happening by pressing a button, would I press it?

I guess you will never know ;D

Do I recommend it? Yes, and read it soon, it’s really worth it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness ☆

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“Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.”

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Why you should read this book: Because it was a nice surprise, a different book about things that are familiar to us all.

Summary from Goodreads:

What if you aren t the Chosen One? The one who s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

We could keep being too afraid to say we don’t know stuff and then the future will come and eat us anyway and we’ll regret not doing all that stuff we wished we did.

This is my second Patrick Ness book and the second one I truly loved. This man can write and he keeps getting to me with deep emotions and fantastic stories. He makes me feel connected to the characters from beginning to end, whether they make me happy, sad or angry, they are fractions of me in different periods of my life. I identify so much in their actions that I myself become part of the story. How do you do that, Mr. Ness? No, don’t tell me, but keep doing it.

“But I don’t care what you think, not about these things anyway. If you don’t think they’re real or important or you think that we’ll all grow out of this nonsense, well, that’s not really my business. I can’t tell you what’s real for you. But in return, you can’t say what’s real for me either. I get to choose. Not you.”

The thing about living is that so many things can go wrong so you worry over everything, mostly over things you shouldn’t be worrying about but you can’t help yourself and you worry a lot. Feelings generate deeper feelings, and these deeper feelings make you anxious. Anxiety is ugly, it sure is. Mikey, the main character of the story suffers from it, and he gets stuck in loops of actions that he thinks will make things better. He knows it won’t work but he can’t stop, he keeps doing it until he bleeds and cries. I fell in love with Mikey, he is a wonderful character, full of emotions, ignorant of what is going on around him, extremely sensitive, and willing to fight for the ones he love.

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

In this weird world there have being several “apocalypses”: ghosts, vampires, gods. Somehow the “indie kids” or “chosen ones” are the ones being targeted by these entities and by sacrificing themselves they have to save the world. From what I understood, these indie kids are hipsters with weird names like Satchel or Kerouac who do things ironically. At the beginning of every chapter we get a summary of what is going on with the indie kids, then the chapter itself is what is going on with the main characters during that same lapse of time. It’s a really interesting way to tell a story like, here I am having this delicious cup of hot chocolate, while backstage there is a teenager sacrificing himself to kill the king of the undead. It’s funny!

Mikey and his friends are not the heroes of this story; they are trying to live their lives until graduation hoping the apocalypse won’t kill them all in the meantime. Well, yeah, Jared, Mikey’s best friend, is a quarter God of the Cats but they are mostly normal teenagers wanting to go to prom and everything. How great can it be to be worshipped by cats and felines in general? To be able to communicate with them on a daily basis? It’ll be a dream! Jared has secrets but one secret in particular was WTH? I would have never guessed it, everyone knew but Mikey and I. Not fair but, what a revelation. Nicely done, Mr. Ness!

“It has nothing to do with not trusting you. It’s to do with what something becomes once you tell it. It’s like it’s truer. And it’s got a life of its own and it rushes out into the world and becomes something you can’t control.”

Mikey is overprotective of his two sisters, Mel and Meredith. Mel had a rough time in the past and she is still struggling so Mikey worries a lot for her and wants her to be happy and serene. Meredith is still very young, only 10 years old, and he is trying to protect her from the ugliness that can be the real world.

“We share out craziness, our neuroses, our little bit of screwed-up-ness that comes from our family. We share it. And it feels like love.”

Henna is Mikey’s crush. He loves her so much, or he thinks he loves her more than anything in the world. He is so focused on his “love” for her that he is making things difficult for himself and for his friends. Lots of misunderstandings and fights lead to many interesting revelations. At first I wasn’t really fond of Henna: she appeared to be having feelings for the new kid Nathan, but then it seems that she was leading Mikey on like he had a chance. Feelings are complicated, I get it, so I forgave her for bringing Mikey pain because I understood what she was experiencing. Nothing is more confusing than love. What the hell is love? It brings joy, it brings pain, it builds mountains, it destroys planets. It’s overwhelming.

I step up onstage, still feeling at sea, feeling like I’ve just lost sight of shore and though I’m swimming okay for now, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up.

I loved this book and I’m not giving it enough credit with this mess of a review. There are so many things that need to be said, so many quotes to be written, so many feelings to be shared. It’s hard to write coherently when you loved a book as much as I loved this one. I didn’t know what to expect, I kind of bought it blindly and now that I finally got to read it, I want to punch myself for not having read it sooner.

Again, thank you Mr. Ness for all these wonderful experiences that you are sharing with us. If I could hug you, I would!

Do I recommend it? Yes, you’re welcome.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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