Tag Archives: 4 starts

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin


Overview (via Goodreads):

If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. 

She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancée. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.

After her remarkable debut, Gabrielle Zevin has crafted an imaginative second novel all about love and second chances.
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a 2008 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Product details (via Goodreads):
288 pages
0374349460 (ISBN13: 9780374349462)
URL: http://www.memoirsofa.com/Memoirs_of_a_Teenage_Amnesiac.html

Literary awards:
My opinion:
I felt very curious about this book because of the title, but also because I read and reviewed this other book of the same author two years ago and I loved the way Zevin writes along with the creative ideas she can come up with.
This book was fun and creative, like I expected. I just wanted to keep reading it. If you like Young Adult books you should read this one. The simple writing and the original plot made it a light and pleasant reading.
Naomi, the main character, is a seventeen-year-old teenager with a past that you’ll get to know while you read it and sometimes you find about her past at the same time as her.
She is sympathetic and I felt myself feeling sorry for her, or happy for her, or angry for her. It’s good to read a book with characters that you can relate in some way. In this case, I don’t identify myself with her; I just think she is really well built, like this could be the story of a real person living next door, and I loved to read about her adventures in the discovery of helsef.
Like in our lives, people come and go; some can come back again, others won’t. Things have a time. We have to understand when to grow ourselves out of a relationship, a job, a situation that is not comfortable or healthy for us anymore. Naomi struggles with this.

While you read about a teenager that could be any teenager, you read about a very particular person that has to deal with things that most people won’t recognize in their lives. It’s not a sad book. Like a good book, it has some sad parts, but you can also have a good laugh and overall it’s a positive book.
Zevin as a way of taking the writer to another world: the world that she describes on the book and where the characters get alive. She doesn’t need to be detailed in describing what’s around so that you can picture it in your mind. It’s just the way she writes and the plots she creates that allow you to make that trip.
If you read and enjoyed Elsewhere I think you’ll like this one as well.
My rating:

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse – my review

Overview (via Goodreads):
In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life — the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.

152 pages
First published in 1922

Author’s page in Goodreads:
Hermann Hesse

My opinion:

I read this book some years ago in the beginning of my own spiritual discovery. Before started reading it I expected something completely different. Some people I met at that time were always saying I should read it and it made me feel interested and curious.
This book traces Siddhartha’s journey for enlightenment; a story of a soul’s quest to get rid of his ego. I think this is a book that everyone can read, not only people interested in religion or in a spiritual quest. Have an open mind and don’t expect anything. 
Don’t expect this to be an easy to read romance.
Siddhartha is a rare book. It plants a seed deep in your heart and it grows inside your soul. I want to read it again because I think I’ll have a different understanding about what it says.
The writing is incredible, lyrical. I have to be honest and say that I got confused in certain bits and had to read it a second or third time. However, it doesn’t make it less beautiful or less interesting.
Many people have a bad opinion about this book. Like everything, some people will like it and some people will hate it. Some people will be disappointed, other people, like me, will be happily surprised and have a great experience while reading it.
The author is a teacher. I read one other book he wrote; there’s a specific one I really want to read. The second book I read was what I needed to be sure I want to read more of this author. His words reach my heart and unlock it. For me, he is a spiritual guide, but not all people have to read his books having the same perspective as I do.
My rating:

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins – my review

It took me so long to write this. I am sorry, Karen. Better late than never. I had so much work and so much to study, so many new things in my life, I had to stop blogging for a while. But I am back now. I am sorry to all my readers as well. I hope you can forgive me for my absence.
Lots of love,



*A copy of the book was provided to me by the author in exchange of an honest opinion* – Thank you again, Karen Ann Hopkins, for the chance you gave me to read and review this
 Click to Goodreads
Product details:
Title: Temptation
Series: Temptation
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Goodreads page about the book: click here
Goodreads page about the author: click here
Number of pages: 383
First published: January 1st 2012 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 037321054X (ISBN13: 9780373210541)
My opinion:
I simply loved the story. Easy to read but also very intense.
I loved the fact that each chapter alternates from the views of Rose and Noah, the two main characters. We get to know both of them really well: their feelings, their ideas, their beliefs and emotions. Seeing the story from two different perspectives is one of the best things of this book.
As usual, I am going to try to not tell you too much about the story because I don’t want to ruin the surprises for you if you read it.
Rose is an English teenager who moves with her family next to an Amish community. Noah is an Amish boy who lives next to her with his family. This books tells us about their forbidden love. As teenagers, their decisions are mostly impulsive, coming straight from the heart, instead of rational. I think the author showed really well the teenagers way of thinking. I think the author did a great job creating these two characters. I loved Rose from the beginning. She is a normal teenager with bothers that can make her life a bit of a hell. 
I don’t know much about the Amish culture since we don’t speak about it a lot in Portugal and it was very interesting to read the story about an English (non-Amish) family who moves next to an Amish community.
The story as some ups and downs. I found myself worried about that romance, about the feelings of those two teenagers. I think that when you feel this way about a book it is because the author made a really good job.

Yes, it took me too long to post this but it didn’t take me long to read and get involved. I think it is a good book for everyone who loves young-adult and romance books. Simply romantic but also very powerful.
My rating:

A Happy Accident by Evan Tyler – My review

             *A copy of this book was sent to me by the author for an honest opinion*

Overview (via Goodreads):

A Story Inspired by Steven Tyler: The first book in a three-part series
It happened by accident, a lottery of events…
In 1988, a blind seven-year-old lay in a hospital room longing for her mother, unaware that eight years earlier a chance encounter occurred that would shape her life.
American musician Bobby Carter moved to Manchester, England with one objective—to become a major player in the postpunk scene of the late Seventies. His quest for stardom steers him in the direction of Kindle Hyrum, whose feistiness is only exceeded by her raw beauty. Though Bobby’s steady pursuit trumps Kindle’s cheeky resistance—sweeping them into present bliss—past secrets, new temptations, and a series of hapless and happy accidents will determine their future…and the future of a blind child.


Set to the lyrical soundtrack of the 60s and 70s, A Happy Accident is a story of love and choice that transcends the ages

Product details (via Goodreads):

284 pages
Published December 3rd 2012
ISBN: 0988446502 (ISBN13: 9780988446502)
Edition language: English
Original title: A Happy Accident

Kindle Edition:
Published December 3rd 2012 by Amazon Digital Services
Edition language: English
Original title: A Happy Accident

About the author:
Evan Tyler is author by day, lead guitarist by night. Having written short stories since third grade in addition to playing violin and guitar, Evan always knew she would find a way to marry her two passions. Thus, her debut novel “A Happy Accident” is a perfect merger of her two loves–music and writing.

Her website: http://eptyler.com/

My opinion:

A Happy Accident is a beautiful book, romantic and perfect for dreamers. A book about love, instincts, family, dreams. And also about choices and sacrifice.
It’s wonderfully written and the characters are well developed. The musical references along the story, with names we know so well, are perfect. Kindle and Bobby (a.k.a. Ricky Stallion) are the main characters. In the end I felt like I knew them, like I was reading about two real people. They meet in the end of December 1979 and their life will change with one of Bobby’s crazy ideas. 
We see the seasons changing while we follow the main characters’ lives, and at the same time we travel to the past and to the future from time to time. All of that makes the book even more interesting. 
The beginning of the book is strong, and only later you can relate the rest of the story to it. It kept me interested from page one. But it kind of confused me for a long time while reading, especially because it talks about a grandfather that I’m not sure I know who he is. But this is only a small detail in the whole story.
Bobby is the lead singer of a punk band called The Dare, that travels from USA to Manchester searching for visibility. He is a dreamer and the type of shy and romantic guy that can rock the house we he is on stage.
Kindle works at one bar where the band plays, and also in the hotel where the are hosted. She had a sad past that, but she became and independent woman who learned how to survive and live by herself.
Their relationship made me laugh and also made me feel sad sometimes. It was wonderful to see them fall in love with each other while time passes by. I absolutely loved them from the beginning. 
I think I expected a different ending. Not better, if you know what I mean. This is the first book of the series, and the ending is the perfect opening of the second book. I can’t say it disappointed me, I just thought it would be different, that’s all.
I highly recommend it if you like beautiful stories with a little bit of tragic in between the romantic paragraphs.
My rating:

Eternal Revelations by Candis Vargo – Virtual Book Tour (Review and Guest Post)

Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Today Coffee Break is the stop on the blog virtual book tour for Eternal Revelations writen by Candis Vargo. The tour is hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Overview (via Goodreads):

As Hell reins terror on the earth, can one child bring back humanity and defeat the Devil himself? After millions of people vanish and the dead rise to spread plague over the Earth, 23 year-old Evelyn and her brother join with a small group as they fight for survival. As the plague spreads and the number of the Reanimated rise in humans and animals alike, there isn’t anything man made that is strong enough to hold them off. When Evelyn and her group find one of the only children left on Earth—an Autistic child—the Devil begins lurking in the darkness, following their every move. The remaining children are the only chance the human race has at defying the plans the Anti-Christ holds. Of all the horrors the Earth now holds, none are comparable to how treacherous the living become once their humanity is thrown out the window. Evelyn realizes survival isn’t just fighting for your life but fighting for your humanity in a world of terror. Join the journey fight for survival against the undead and beasts released straight from the pits of Hell.
Product details (via Goodreads):
Paperback: 289 pages
Published August 13th 2012
Edition language: English
My review:
*This book was sent to me for an honest opinion as part of this tour*
Wow, what a book. In the beginning I had some doubts about this one, but I ended up loving it.
The book tells us about Evelyn and her brother Jase, who try to find a way to keep themselves away from danger. Along the way they meet other people; some of them can be trusted enough to join them… some can become really close friends. But not everything is perfect and not everyone can be trusted.
This book has lots of action and some dark humor, which made it a pleasant reading. Almost from the first chapter the characters are always involved in something: fighting, planing what to do next, figuring out new things about what’s happening to them and the world. That made the book not boring at all. It’s easy to read, although it has some grammar/writing flaws.
The plot is original and full of morbid scenes. I have to read to know what’s going to happen. At least for me it wasn’t predictable at all. The descriptions are so well made that I could perfectly picture the scenes in my mind, almost like I was watching a movie, even when things happen really fast.
Ev is the perfect main character. How could I not love her? She rocks! She has (almost) everything under control all the time. She is a strong character, the type of character I don’t forget easily.
I know there’s a sequel for this book and I can’t wait to read it. I recommend it if you like zombies and supernatural, and if you want to read a book full of action scenes.
My rating:
Guest post:
The hardest thing about character development by Candis Vargo
Characters make books. Why read a book if you don’t like the characters? I’m not saying you have to like them all, but for the most part the main character is one you’re able to identify with and you like. When you’re creating a character, there’s so much more to it than just a name and a face.
Creating what the character looks like is the easiest part for me. I can come up with their looks easier than I can come up with their names. Some people will make a chart and write out everything about their characters from their looks, to their fears. That’s where I’m different.
I like to see the character progress. I like to get to know them as I’m writing and learn what they’d to in a certain situation. As my writing grows, so does my character. They go from a name, a face and an attitude to a person with likes, dislikes, and fears.
 The hardest part for me is making sure I’m keeping it all real. When writing a scene I try to think of everything about that characters personality and do my best to write the next part as though that person was my best friend and I knew exactly what they would do. Even with the characters voice, I try to keep it as realistic to life and that character as I can. I’ll find myself deleting over and over a phrase I want a certain character to say until I get it just right for their personality and in the tone they would use.
I want my characters to make the reader feel like they either do see a part of themselves in that character, or know someone who they can see in that character. They need to be just like you. They need hopes, dreams, fears and even flaws.  Maybe I’m a little over zealous with trying to keep my characters all as realistic and believable as I can, but that’s what is the hardest part for me.
Everyone is different and everyone has their own ways of coming up with their characters. I can guarantee you my way wouldn’t work for many people.  But watching my character grow throughout the story and getting to know them with each page makes me able to build my characters more realistic than if I were to just write down any random flaw or favorite for that character. But that’s just me. I’ve also never been one to stick right on with my original plot. 

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