Review Rendezvous: 10/21/17

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, contemporary, thriller
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 285
Publish date: January 5th, 2016
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository

This is Where it Ends

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This week we have another book with pretty heavy subject matter. I’m going to preface this by saying I mean no harm to those who have been affected by such violence. I know this is very sensitive and I’m trying my hardest not to overstep my bounds.

I found this book through Booktube yet again, and I must say it was quite the compelling tale. There are a few holes, but I’ll get back into that later. Nijkamp manages to stretch out the entire time of the shooting by head hopping between characters. I can’t say I’m entirely a fan of that move, but in this situation it works so that you can see the many sides of the situation.

The main drawback that I had with this book is that it does not go into the shooter’s motivation. He kinda comes off as the “I’m bad because I’m bad” type of villain. one-dimensional villains like that don’t lend themselves well to novels, and in this setting, it’s fairly insulting. The motivation of a school shooter is not something to be taken lightly, and to demean the situation by not offering more of an explanation is a bit harsh.

I did finish this book quite quickly, as it grips you from the second you open the cover. I do applaud Nijkamp for being able to write about the topic, because certainly authors (myself included) would shy away from the challenge. I would suggest it as a good read, not the best but still very good in my opinion.


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Review Rendezvous: 9/23/17

Judge by the Cover by Melissa Abigail
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 341
Publish date: January 2nd, 2017
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository


Haruna Mitsukai is an overachiever with dreams of attending the University of British Columbia.

Ryu Debiru is a bad boy whose only desire is to escape this ridiculous prison called “life.”

Both attend Shady Glenn Academy and despite their similar “hafu” identity, they couldn’t despise each other more.

Years of avoidance come to an end when a major assignment on Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice pairs them together. 

Just as everything reaches a breaking point, revelations about an old East Side mansion called “Heaven” causes Haruna to question everything she thought she knew about him. 

As for Ryu? Well, all that glitters is most certainly not gold.

This book took me a bit to get into, but it wasn’t as bad as others I’ve read that started out the same way. The first thing that struck me was exactly how superficial the main girl could be. It’s hard to get into a book when the character coms off as unlikable to begin with, but the good news for Haruna is that she grows and develops as the book progresses.

We also get a bit of Ryu’s perspective in the book. I will say, while the split perspective might work, it’s almost as if Ryu is the more worthy character to follow. Not much really happens to Haruna over the course of the book, besides her working on the project and some internal development. Ryu, on the other hand, has quite a bit more to think about. I can’t get into exactly what without giving away spoilers.

There is a good setup for more in the following books, however I can’t say that there is much happening in the first three-quarters of the book. The growth that the characters go through is important, and that’s what makes up the first portion, but when most of the action happening is introspective, it slows down the progress of the book.

I was provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 5/24/14

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 352
Publish date: July 3, 2012

52 Reasons

Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. 

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

Most of the time I stay away from the girl-ish, romance-y books. Yeah, sure, I do like a little romance, but at the same time I don’t like it to be the main part of the book. This one in particular does be a larger romance plot line, but I liked the premise quite a bit. Spoiled, rich kid + fast food and other oh-so-glamorous jobs? Definitely intriguing.

I enjoy the way that Jessica Brody describes her characters an breathes a life of their own into them. Lexington’s sass doesn’t feel like some surface, token quality stuck there because she’s just a rich heiress, she actually believes herself to be all that.

The whole dynamic between Lexington and her ‘babysitter’ Luke is also highly amusing. First she hates him for being assigned to watch over her (which I probably would too), then she tolerates him, and then it blossoms into more.

Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot. I sat down the afternoon after I got it and read through the whole thing in a matter of hours. You should totally go and get it 🙂

(Also, feel free to check out the book trailer here, it’s really good as well.)


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Review Rendezvous: 3/29/14

Why hello there my dear readers. It’s a bit later than usual on the post today, but I have a fake baby project for school, so I’m using that as my excuse. Anyways…

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance, a bit of fantasy
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 470
Publish date: October 25, 2010

Before I Fall

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

This was one of those books that I thought I wouldn’t like in the beginning. I mean, it took me a bit to get into, however once I finally did, I got to the end and had to reread it. One of the only things that detracts from it, unfortunately, is the language. I get it, it’s portraying teenagers in a high school setting, but really? Was the foul language necessary?

Moving on.

Oliver’s story depicts Sam, a typical, preppy, popularity-seeking mean girl. She goes into the book with a lot of flaws, which is part of the reason I didn’t like it at first. Sure, I’m not a fan of the mary-sue ‘I’m so perfect, everyone look how perfect I am’ character, but to see one who needs such work? Ouch.

I realize now though, that was the point when Oliver wrote it. She needed a contrasting character to show how different Sam changes over the course of the book.

This one is a story based on character growth, which is a lovely thing to see every once in a while. Yeah, it’s present in other stories, but often its blended with the storyline. They’re always on some quest or doing something. This, besides Sam trying to understand why she died, is all about her growing up and maturing.

The ending is one of my favorites and my least favorites. I can’t say much about it, but it’s one that makes me go ‘Yes! No! Did she really just-? What?’, and then reread the whole thing again.