Category Archives: 3 stars

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Cute. That’s the word I kept coming back to when I read this book. Not pulchritudinous. Not horrendous. Cute.

I guess I expected more from a title and a book jacket that promised an intense and zany romance.  Seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan meets British Yale student Oliver on a plane ride to attend her divorced father’s second wedding. She’s not happy about it, but something about Oliver makes her open up. Within 24 hours they form a close bond and Hadley comes to terms with the dysfunction of her family, as well as the boy who she’s known for less than a day – even when it’s felt like forever. Continue reading

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Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

“It was one of those moments when you’re waiting on someone to say something important or funny or just do anything to break you away from the sad thoughts that overwhelm your mind. Thoughts like never having enough money to move away or not getting into college. Thoughts like having to come back to take care of a sick parent and getting stuck here all over again. That’s what happened in Lily. People dreamed. People left. And they all came back.”

Winner of the Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature and the William C. Morris Debut Award, Where Things Come Back didn’t blow me away. Continue reading

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time revolves around Christopher, an autistic teen who discovers his neighbor’s dead dog one night. He is a genius in that he knows all of the prime numbers up to 7,057 and can solve logic puzzles quickly and efficiently; however, he can’t stand the colors yellow or brown or the thought of different foods touching on his plate. As Chris investigates the death of the neighborhood dog, he stumbles upon something that may change his life.

I loved how Mark Haddon maintained the consistency of Christopher’s voice and how he didn’t sacrifice the integrity of his character to make him any more likable. Continue reading

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Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Here’s my preface: I know some people are naturally heavier than others. I’m aware that some people have medical issues. I know, as cliche as it sounds, that what’s on the inside matters much more than what’s on the outside.

But Butter was just so frustrating. I don’t want to sound insensitive or make it seem like I’m a jerk who hates obese people, but this book had me on the edge. Continue reading

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The Stranger by Albert Camus

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

On a plot level, reading The Stranger is as exciting as watching your grandmother eat potatoes. It’s a simple story about a nondescript man who does things randomly and routinely, and he eventually goes to trial for an incident caused by the heat.

Though I didn’t care about the characters or the plot, The Stranger did prove intellectually stimulating. Continue reading

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Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Overall, a cute, funny, not-so-serious story about two siblings fighting for a mysterious guy who might have supernatural abilities. Here’s a quote I liked:

“I stared out at the dark orange field surrounding us, and my heart was in my ears now, whump, whump, whump, and I had this totally moronic sequence of thoughts: Something gay is about to happen here. This spot will forevermore be the place where you had your first gay encounter. People will live here one day, in a nice big house, and never know they’re living on a sacred ground of gayness.”

Judy and Kyle Renneker, sixteen-year-old fraternal twins in a family of nine, have competed with one another throughout their lives. Judy has always been a jerk, and her latest scheme involves seducing an attractive, religious boy by pretending to be Christian. Kyle recently came out to his family and more or less desires a boyfriend. Things get shaken up when Garret Johnson, a strange and slightly vampiric guy their age, decides to reside in the attic of their house for a short amount of time.

Patrick Ryan could have taken Gemini Bites in many different directions. Continue reading

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Legend by Marie Lu

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

June has always loved the Republic. Encompassing what used to be the west coast of the United States, it thrives on its trial system – all ten-year-olds must take a test that determines their fate. June is the only person to receive a perfect score of 1500. Day, on the other hand, failed his trial. Born into a slum sector of the Republic, he’s always had a defiant streak. A fierce care for his family keeps him grounded, and when his brother Eden contracts the Plague, he’s forced to steal some of the Republic’s cure. This action ties him and June together in a way that will make them question the true intent of the Republic.

I liked Legend. Continue reading

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How to Read Novels Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

I love reading books about books. How to Read Novels Like a Professor has excited me and made me more enthusiastic to start my next novel. For those who do not have much experience in learning about what constitutes a novel – for example, I’m only a high school student – Foster’s book would be a great place to begin. He provides a fantastic list of rules (which you can find in this review) and uses a wide array of examples from novels published decades apart.

However, because I have already read his book How to Read Literature Like a Professor, I felt that I already knew and was rereading some of the sections in this book. Continue reading

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A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

A Raisin in the Sun details the story of a working-class family struggling to make ends meet. The Youngers are then faced with a difficult decision that brings their colored heritage and the lives of their ancestors to the forefront.

Although this book and Death of a Salesman have some similar themes, what makes A Raisin in the Sun much better is its dynamic dialogue and the conflicting desires of its characters. Continue reading

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Life of Pi will make you think.

Initially, I was unimpressed. The book jacket promised a survival story about a boy on a boat who has to contend with not only the elements, but a ferocious tiger too. However, the book began with copious reflections on religion and random musings about animals. I understand that the author probably wanted to set up the story and provide some initial food for thought, but the only thing I appreciated out of the first 100 pages was the idea that people can believe in more than one thing (whether it be religion, or just conflicting ideas in general) and still be a good person. Pi practices multiple religions, but he has good intentions and a pure heart.

I liked the second part of the book. I did not love it, but I liked it. Continue reading

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