Category Archives: HannahW

The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker, book review by Hannah White

Book Review from Goodreads.com :

Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ – rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.

 

            “1,143 days since I’d smelled the sea, heard the splash of waves. 1,141 days since I’d had candy, even longer since I’d tasted the smoky sweetness of a s’more. Too long. 1,640,160 minutes since I’d run, since wind had tousled my hair, since I’d seen another person apart from my family.” Counting time was the only thing she could do. Sherry had spent 1,141 days in a bunker, hiding from what government had called rabies, until they ran out of supplies. In Susanne Winnacker’s intense The Other Life, Sherry has to grow up quicker than she ever imagined. These Weepers kept me second guessing with their timing and pacing, conflict, and actions.
            “Dad leaned on the door frame. “You’re grounded for another week, young lady.”” I really enjoyed the timing and pacing, because at the beginning of every chapter, there would be a flashback of a time that she hadn’t been in the bunker; a time that was good or sometimes bad. Times that she missed. I could definitely feel how much she missed her best friend, and how she missed everything that she no longer had the advantage to experience. In the beginning of the story, she’d counted the days out of the time that they had spent in the bunker that her parents had argued. She counted the days for everything, even whenever she had finally eaten an apple, 1,123 days. I mostly enjoyed the fact that she had kept up with the days that she’d gone without things, and exactly whenever she’d tell us how many days. She didn’t think much about the things she’d gone without until she had a chance to experience them again. Sherry forgot the things she was privleged to do.
            There was lots of conflict in the story as a whole, but the climax had the most conflict in my eyes. Everyone had been keeping their secrets to themselves, because they were afraid that the others would look at them differently or start to hate them because of the things that they knew. Throughout the story, they had been convinced that the whole world was infected with rabies, that the military and everyone else but the people still hidden were gone, and they even believed that there weren’t many people in bunkers. The climax was seeing the helicopter fly overtop of them, knowing that they seen the signs for help they gave, and flew on. Tyler was known for not speaking, and they didn’t even know his name, they just assumed it was Tyler because he had it as a tattoo. Everybody had already told their stories, and the second the helicopter flew over without stopping, Tyler shared his. Turns out, the area three states in the USA was off limits; danger zones. The world was continuing to live, while three states were frozen with a virus that they didn’t even ask for. It was a twist in the story that really caught me off guard, and I never expected a thing.
            Last but not least, the actions were also a big part of the reason why I really enjoyed the Other Life. I’m not one to read action novels, and I won’t lie, the only reason I chose this book was because I needed to read a different genre that was on my list for class, and this one just so happened to be about zombies. There honestly wasn’t that much action in this story, it was more of the suspense that foreshadowed. What little bit of action there was, made me want to keep reading even whenever it was 3am on a school night. Whenever Sherry and Joshua went into a Weeper’s nest looking for Sherry’s father, that’s whenever I realized that this book was very detailed and suspenseful, and that’s what kept me reading. Susanne had described everything that happened, and it made me feel like I was there. I remember while reading, Sherry and Joshua had three survivors from the nest, and I was so into it that my aunt had come in there and asked me what I wanted for dinner, and I jumped out of my bed. That’s what good books are all about, whenever there’s so much action and detail that you feel as if you’re there.
            I really hated that this book had to end so fast, because it was 254 pages that I’d read over and over again if I didn’t have other books I needed to read. I’d definitely recommend this book to anybody who’s interested in the Walking Dead, zombies, or action in general for that matter. Susanne Winnacker has won me over with her timing and pacing, conflict, and actions, and I really hope she doesn’t let me down when reading her other novels, because that’s something I’ll definitely be looking for.

Fallen by Lauren Kate: book review by Hannah White

From Goodreads.com :

 

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce

 

he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

“What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?” What if a kiss could kill the one you love? What if you were cursed to see your beloved die every seventeen years? We have our hearts broken a radical amount of times in our lives, but mostly by different people, right? Imagine having your heart broken by the same person every seventeen years, but for a reason that you can’t fix with a million flowers or a billion kisses. Lauren Kate’s supernatural series Fallen has heartily won me over with it’s inspirational characters, astonishing plot, and dramatic theme.

Everyone has that one character that they can connect with on a personal level, those kind of characters that inspire us through personal experiences. Luce has an unusual story that curruptly haunts her on a level so strong that it terrifies her into not even wanting to speak of it. Something so unfathomably deep picks at her mind the second she wakes up to the sheep she counts before bed. She’s a one man army fighting with the shadows in her head, but she thought she was the only one that was in the battle. Her private thoughts eat at the core of her soul from overthinking, and I can relate to that more than anyone would understand. Then there’s Daniel, the boy who shelters himself from the world as if it’s not there; as if nobody deserves to be capable of having any sort of knowledge of him and his story, because he doesn’t want anybody being risked. He loves Luce unconditionally time and time again, and it never gets old to him, but she doesn’t know that. He makes Luce seem insane when she’d confront him about having the feeling of knowing him some time before; Daniel was the perfect liar with a perfect front. They’d known so much about each other, but with the fear of foolishness and irrational truth, they fell in love quietly, then all at once.

The main reason I found the plot so amazing is because it’s not a story that you read every now and then. I’ve never read anything with this kind of conflict. Daniel was cursed for all of the wrong reasons. He lived forever but that wasn’t the lousy part of it all. What really made me love this book was the fact he watched her die every seventeen years. No matter how hard he’d try to hide from her, she’d always find a way to him. It was fate, and I really enjoy that, because whilst reading this book it’s like I could feel the connection between the two of them. Books like this makes me wonder why life can’t have love like that. Now a days, everyone is constantly arguing and never loving. When Daniel explained what the shadows were to her, that they couldn’t hurt her, that’s whenever the fight broke out, and I could genuinely feel the hurt in her as I read the chapter when she had to leave him to fend for himself. It broke my heart imagining all of the things that could happen, because romance novels is always difficult for the reader. It’s basically us forcing ourselves to feel every emotion that the narrator has. The confusion, the lust, the pain; we can feel it all and it tears us apart. That’s why I enjoy reading so much, and especially with Fallen. Readers can live all of the lives they want and resume to which ever they decide to feel next.

What made the theme so dramatic in this book makes me refer back to the conflict of the story. I feel like there was more than one theme of Fallen, substantially because the story began sluggishly and for the most part of the book I never understood exactly what was happening or what the climax was going to be. So when the climax came, it blew me off of my feet. The only thing that I could gather in my head entirely whilst finishing this book, was that I should never expect something particular from somebody simply because I feel as if I know them personally. There wasn’t an exact theme, and I’ve come to that conclusion because it jumped around; it had no basic theme. It was a great book, I have to admit. Most reviews I’ve read hadn’t enjoyed it and I can see why they hadn’t, because it reminded me a lot of the Twilight series by Stephani Meyer. Not many people like the Twilight books, but I enjoyed those a lot, as well. I’m a sucker for romance and supernatural. This book didn’t entirely add up, so hopefully whenever I order the next book to the series, it’ll make more sense and I’ll be eligable to explain further.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and my goal is to finish the series, because the ending really leaves you guessing. I would definitely recommend this book to any Twilight fans or anyone who enjoys romance or supernatural books for that matter, mainly young adults. I would also like to recommend this book to anyone who’s trying to venture into detailed novels, because this book has definitely had a wonderful setting thankfully to the descriptive view that Lauren Kate has shared with us. It wasn’t my favorite book, but it made me want to know more, and that’s good enough for me. I can honestly say that Fallen is a great book thanks to it’s characters, plot, and theme.

An Abundance of Katherines, reviewed by Hannah White

An Abundance of Katherines

by Hannah White

From Goodreads.com:
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” We all have that one stage in life that we want to try to do something to be remembered; if not, that’s what our life goal is intended to be. In John Green’s book, An Abundance of Katherines, Colin Singleton is a child prodigy who had his heart broken once and based his entire life upon being with only girls of the same name. John Green’s second young adult novel has really set it off with it’s interesting conflict, exciting plot, and unique characters.

The main reason I found the conflict so interesting in this book is because it was real. It wasn’t a fake little story that someone told to make it seem like a happily ever after thing. The thing about John Green’s book is there’s always that chance of it being real. In this book, the problem was that Colin couldn’t get over Katherine XIX, who had really been Katherine I. Colin was a prodigy, meaning he was an unusually gifted or intelligent (young) person, so basically, he was more than your average nerd. Everyone knows that most beautiful bright girls doesn’t go for the nerds, they go for the jocks. This prodigy was too focused on finding a way to be remembered than his relationships, as every Katherine had attempted to explain to him. The thing with these types of situtations is that everyone in existence will be forgotten eventually. One thousand years from now, nobody will remember who held the world record for the most touchdowns in one season. My favorite thing about this book most definitely has to be the conflict, because it’s as if John Green can rip into every teenagers heart and pour out our feelings as if we poured them out for him. We all seem to struggle with some devasting heart break at some point in our lives, and this book was the best way to show teenagers that everything gets better; only if you allow it to.

I enjoyed the plot mostly because it wasn’t something that happens in just every book. The story was layed out perfectly, and it was never something that you’d expect to happen like you can in most stories you read. Usually it’s “the guy gets the girl” or “she dies”, but in An Abundance of Katherines, things happened that you’d never expect to read in a young adults book. You’d think that simply because we’re not exactly what you’d consider adults, that John Green would treat us as if we didn’t understand what was happening in the story. My favorite part of the plot was whenever Hassan, Colin’s best friend, and Colin went hog hunting and came across a hog that was charging right at them, and they chickened out and wouldn’t shoot at it, so instead, Colin shot a beehive and they had to practically run for their lives so they wouldn’t get stung to death. It was funny and relatable, and it was just a very well written out book.

The characters were really unique to me because they reminded me so much of my friends. They were well developed and seemed like they wasn’t what they made everyone think they were. It seems like everytime I read one of John Green’s book, I fall in love with the characters as if they were like my family or even my best friends, and then I just want to reread the book over and over so I can relive those certain people. But it’s like the characters changed as the story went on; they realized that things change and people get hurt, and that you can’t live your life the same way you’re living it now in fifteen years. I could honestly relate to the way Colin thought, since it was in his point of view, because he was always asking questions and thinking back to his past and later realizing that never really puts him in a good situation in the end.

Overall, this book honestly has to be one of the best books I have ever read. John Green never seems to let me down, and that’s the main reason he’s my favorite author. I would most likely recommend this book to anyone, even if it was specifically written for young adults, anybody could enjoy this if they’d give it the chance. Anybody can relate to this, and it’s honestly an amazing book to read for pleasure. The conflict, plot, and characters isn’t the only great things about this books, because there’s plenty more. I suppose it’s one of those “you have to be there” kind of things. 

Matched by Allie Condie, reviewed by Hannah White

Matched by Ally Condie
Book review by Hannah White

From Goodreads.com:            

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Have you ever complained about your parents telling you what to do or what to be? Who to become and who to marry? Everyone wants to be their own person, but that’s not how things are in Ally Condie’s book Matched, the first of the dystopian series, that has everyone’s life set ahead and planned out so everybody in the Society will live the same equal long life. This book leaves you on the egde of your seat, wondering what’s going to happen next. Not being able to put the book down from the moment I had started it, I mostly enjoyed the setting, themes, and word characterization.

I mostly enjoyed the setting because Cassia is basically rebellious, and in that book everybody’s afraid to go against the Society’s rules. She basically asks herself why they have to choose her life for her, why can’t she just choose herself? You can’t help who you fall in love with, and that’s what I like most about this. You reach your seventeenth birthday and you go to a banquet where you will recieve a box filled with information of the person you’ll be marrying and dates that will be scheduled between the two of you. They match you up with the person that they believe will be the best for you, which is honestly ridiculous. We never know right from wrong unless we base our perspectives upon our mistakes, and that’s not what Matched is. When Cassia puts her card in to learn about her new match, someone else’s face comes up on the screen other than the person they had given her at the banquet. From that point on, she questioned the Society and everything it was about. She became rebellious, and that’s my favorite part of this book, because she was doing everything she wasn’t supposed to, simply for love.

“Is falling in love with someone’s story the same thing as falling in love with the person himself?” The theme is something that I could sit down and discuss for hours on hours end, because it’s something that lots of people stuggle with even today. In this book, the main theme is basically letting everyone know that their choices will be planned ahead safely for them. Everyone follows the rules in Matched, because the Society has everyone brainwashed into thinking that if it wasn’t for them, their life wouldn’t be as great as it is. Cassia falls in love with the person she wasn’t supposed to, and that person was never meant to be matched to begin with. We’ve all been told what to do, who to see, or even what to be when we grow up. You know how in some places, royalty basically tells you who you’re going to marry, just because they’re also royal and they feel as if two royalties make it safest? The thing is, nobody in the book has a say in who they fall in love with. If you don’t follow rules, bad things will happen. Nobody can fall in love with another person on command. It takes time and it takes effort, and I never really understood why somebody would want to stay there and follow the rules if they’re not even living their own life. Everything is planned ahead for them, and if it were me, I’d want my life to be spontaneous. Not planned.

There’s not many people that can connect with people whenever it’s a dystopian novel, but Cassia’s characterization was my absolute favorite thing about this book. The way she thought and felt about things, and the way Ally worded the things she thought and felt made it that much better. There’s not many authors that know how to make the reader feel like they know the person in reality. With Cassia, I felt like she was my best friend, because she tries to follow the rules, but she realized along the way that she can’t follow the rules whenever she’s in love with somebody she’s not supposed to be, and I understand what she felt. Lots of people do crazy things for love, but with Cassia, she changed her entire life around and hurt her best friend because she fell in love with what Society thought to believe was the wrong person. Cassia came out to be immensly smart enough to figure out what they were really doing, even if she was doing it ways she wasn’t supposed to. Her thoughts were always going, and she was always either stressed or thinking about a way to help her situation, and that’s why I related to her mostly. She wasn’t selfish with anything, but she didn’t want to get up the things that she loved just because lying authorities told her to.

Overall, I really enjoyed the novel and I’m hoping to finish the series sometime soon. I want to know if Cassia finds Ky and becomes herself without somebody telling her she can’t. I would recommend this book to the kind of students who are afraid to live their own life because they’re afraid of doing something wrong or disappointing somebody they care about. Cassia is somebody that I’d like to be like, because she’s herself, and not what anybody tells her to be. I believe that Ally Condie has caught many young teens hearts throughout the book with her amazing ability to write setting, theme, and characterization in her book series Matched.