Passenger by Alexandra Bracken Book Review.

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Goodreads:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

If there’s time travel in it,I know I’ll love it. I have never found a time travel book that I don’t enjoy, and will never get tired of the numerous takes that various authors have on this complex subject. Passenger didn’t disappoint when it came to the topic of time travel. I love the unique way Alexandra Bracken went about it and the complex world building that was at first confusing but overall made the book what it was. We follow Etta, a violin prodigy, who is thrust into a world of time travel and is forced to search for a mysterious object alongside Nicholas who wants nothing to do with the time travelling world or the family that accompanies it. Together they go through many time periods as they try to find the object before it’s too late.

I absolutely love books where there’s a race against time so this was  a really fun read that kept me on the edge on my seat for the entire time. While it did take me a long time to read it because I was busy studying, Passenger is one of those books that you think you’re at a certain page but it turns out you’re a lot further than you actually are.Though  Passenger was pretty long, I wish there was just a little bit more as I was so enraptured.

While I really did enjoy the plot, I feel as though they could’ve focused on the places they traveled to a little more.It felt a little rushed which is understandable since they were under a deadline but they did focus a lot on unnecessary monologues and the insta-love between Nicholas and Etta. Instead of focusing on those really boring things, I think they’re could’ve been more world development or something to that effect

Characters

To be honest I wasn’t that much of a fan of Etta, and found her to be kind of boring and overall pretty annoying with very little personality. I didn’t hate her but she wasn’t the best as far as characters go. On the other hand I really loved Nicholas, and loved to see his struggles and his character development and also really liked the way Alexandra intergrated the subject of his race into the story.

As I stated before I really really hated the insta-love because it was unbelievably quick and just felt so stupid. You guys are on a deadline, you can fawn over each other later?? I think that maybe in the romance had developed even just a little bit later, I would’ve liked it a lot more. I don’t hate them together and I do think that they have some chemistry but it was just a little overwhelming especially when they barely knew each other.

All in all I really enjoyed the book and I’m excited to read the sequel as the ending was pretty intense. I’m excited to see how Bracken wraps it up in the last book.

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The Books That Helped Me Get Through High School.

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I have just finished my physics exam, and then I have two other exams and then I’m done. I’m graduating next week and I can’t believe it.These past five years( quebec is stupid and high school is from grade 7 to 11) have been insane and I’m not going to lie and say they were amazing but I am going to miss it. High school was really hard for me, not academically wise but more socially and without books I don’t know what I would have done. Since  I’m going to be a high school graduate in mere days, I’ve been reflecting a lot and I thought that today I’d do a post that showcased the books that really helped me and made me feel less lonely.

 

Grade Seven

 

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Would a list be really complete without my favorite book ever?I first read this book in  grade seven and it honestly changed my life.If I had to pinpoint a time where my book obsession morphed into what it is today,I’d have to say that The Book Thief changed the way I read books.I really hated grade seven and just felt so tired of everyone around me but I think that having The Book Thief as my favorite book made everything feel better.

Grade 8

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Grade 8 was the year that I homeschooled because I thought school was too easy( boy was I pretentious) Grade 8 was also the year where I really discovered a lot of shit about myself, one being the fact that I have social anxiety.I always knew that I was shy but  I never knew that it was anything more than that, but after reading some descriptions I realized that I have hella bad anxiety. While I know some people find Fangirl to be kind of problematic, I really identified with Cath as a character as she had personality traits very similar to mine which made me feel less alone.It was nice seeing a character with social anxiety, though I’m unsure if it was ever charactarized as such. Though  if I read it now I’ probably wouldn’t like it that much, I loved it back then and remember being really sad one day and just picking Fangirl up and then I felt a lot better.

Grade 9

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After grade 8 I had to go back to school which I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Obviously I was a melodramatic brat and it really wasn’t the end of the world. School still sucked but that was life. Solitaire was another book  whose main character I really identified with. While I recognize the fact that this book was kind of problematic and Alice Oseman was definitely grown as an author, I still really love this book. I love how pessimistic Tori was and  how relatable she was as a character. I just remember reading this book intensely in class while everyone was watching a movie and how much I loved it. Solitaire was one of the first books where I really related to the teens portrayed in it and kind of made me feel a little bit better about who I was .

Grade 10

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Though grade 10 was like a year ago, it seems like ages ago. I really do think that I’ve changed a lot in the past year, and definitely for the better. Grade 10 was a year where I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and for a good five or six months I really convinced myself that I wanted to be a mathemetician, I eventually realized that while I love math, it wasn’t a job that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. While Lola and The Boy Next Door isn’t the exact book that helped me a lot, this genre is something that I reach for a lot in that year and also previous years.Contemporaries helped me to imagine a different and more fun life than the one I had and contemporaries like Lola made me feel really happy when nothing else would.

Grade 11

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The Lies of Lizzie Lovett was one of the first books I got for review and really starting this blog and reviewing books has really helped me fortify my passion and made me realize that I want to work with books for the rest of my life. This year was one where I discovered a lot about people around me and realized that the people in my class aren’t that bad.I spent so much of my high school career thinking that I was better then them because I read and I  was so “smart” and I  never really stopped to think that I was being stupid.In the past few months I’ve really grown to appreciate the people that I went to school with and interract with them a little more. I’m really glad I did because I really enjoy talking to some of them.  I would’ve never thought that I would go to prom and I guess it’s crazy how some things change. I still hate a lot of them but I will miss a lot of them. High school was hard but this year wasn’t so bad.

 

What were the books that got you through high school?

May Wrap-Up

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Note:All Diverse Books are marked with an asteriks

1.Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie Macdonald

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I liked: How everything was revealed and the alternating between past and present

What I disliked: The ending was fucking weird and disgusting and just gross.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon* Indian Mc and writer

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:5/5 stars

What I liked:The adorable rom-com feel to it and all the amazing characters

What I disliked: Honestly nothing but of course there was the classic cringe/second-hand embarrassment moments

3. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket and 4. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

Goodreads

Goodreads

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The dark humor  and the resourcefulness of the child

What I disliked: The repetivedeness of it all and how the unwilling the adults were to listen.

5.The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson

Goodreads:

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked:The boarding school setting,the backdrop of debate and the mystery

What I disliked:The autism rep was kind of iffy

6.The Leavers by Lisa Ko* Chinese Mc and writer

Goodreads

Review

My Rating:4/5 stars

What I liked: The subjects that were addressed and the characters.

What I disliked:The writing was stilted at times

7.Noble Genes by Rune Michaels*Mc’s mom has deppression and bipolar disorder

Goodreads

My Rating:3/5 stars

What I liked: The seriousness of the subjects discussed and the portrayal of mental illness

What I disliked: The ending. This is the second book I read this month with an ending like that and it’s just so fucked up. I hate it.

What Did you Read This month?

The Leavers By Lisa Ko Book Review

 

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Goodreads Summary:One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

My Rating:4/5 stars

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Plot:

The Leavers is a dual perspective novel following Deming and Polly. Deming  is Chinese American and was abandoned at the age of 11  by his mom,Polly, and was then adopted by white people and was renamed Daniel and basically americanized.The chapters alternate between Daniel who’s trying to figure out what he wants to with his life and we also see Polly’s story and her past and  also the reasons as to why she abandoned Deming.

The Leavers was such a touching novel that explored immigration and family really well. I think it shed a lot of light onto the subject and it’s especially a pertinent novel with everything that’s going on. It was also executed really well as it could’ve been kind of confusing with the alternating between past and present and two different perspectives but it wasn’t at all.

While I did find it to be a really touching and important novel I did find it was a little lacking at times. The dialogue and writing were a little stilted in certain parts which kind of ruined the whole emotional aspect of it all. It wasn’t badly written but at times it felt kind of obvious that I was reading a book which some people may like but I really don’t. Despite that fact I do think that it was an amazing read.

Characters:

All of the characters in the leavers were really developed,and while I didn’t like all the characters,I felt for each and every one of them. Lisa Ko really  demonstrated the flaws of humanity in a subtle way. We really see how the mistakes people make can affect so many people but that it’s also important to learn from them and not stay stuck in the past.

I loved seeing Deming’s struggle as he tries to figure out his future and as he’s still trying to cope with the fact that his mother abandoned him.I also liked seeing Polly’s story and her explanation behind her abandoning of Deming and while at first I didn’t like her that much I grew to really like her character. She had her flaws but I still liked her,

The leavers had also some good side characters but I wish that some of them could’ve been expanded on a little more. I think it would’ve been interesting to see a little more insight from Deming’s adoptive parents because I know that they’re not bad people but we really didn’t get a lot about them for me to form an opinion on them and I think that they were a pretty important aspect of Deming’s life.