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Joana In The Sky With Books

I'm Joana, medical student, compulsive book buyer and book blogger. I blog mainly about YA fiction

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Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Morgan Matson
Vigilante Nights
Erin Richards
The Seven Gifts
John Mellor
Going Vintage - Lindsey Leavitt This review can also be found here

I have been dying to read this book and I'm so glad I did! Even though it's very common for me to love all the books I read it's not so common for me to find a book where there isn't one single thing that I would change. Going Vintage is one of those books.

I found it really easy to connect with the main character, Mallory, who I think is very loveable. All the other characters are really well written and they all seem to have their own story (instead of just being there as "props" on Mallory's). I really liked Ginnie (her younger sister) and Mallory's friendship. Ginnie seemed to always be there to help Mallory with her crazy plans, even if it means going all 1962. Oliver was another great character. He was really unpredictable and well...absolutely hillarious! I also liked that he had his qualities but he also had flaws.

What really took me by surprise was the plot. It has a couple of nice twists and even though it's not very heavy and emotional it's not superficial either. I thought it was very easy to read and once I started, I was hooked!

I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a light, really sweet and funny book!
Over the Rainbow - Brian  Rowe

You can also find this review at Joana In The Sky With Books

I know that I am usually not a big fan of fantasy novels but there was something about this one that sounded different. And I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. I think the story os very unique and different from everything I have ever read!

I think that the pacing of the story is very good and towards the middle it becomes really action packed and I couldn't stop reading until I found out whether or not the characters made it out alives.

I tried but I didn't "click" very well with Zippy (the main character)...I think that she was supposed to be smart but sometimes her actions were a bit irresponsible and crazy (even though she always succeeded in what she was doing). I also hated her father (but that is understandable). And I really liked the rest of the characters.

One of the interesting things in this novel are the little chapters from a few years before, that allowed me to understand Zippy's life better and also her relationship with her family.

Pity Isn't An Option (Cozenage) - Jessica L. Brooks

This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

One of the things I liked the most about this book were the main characters! They were beautifully written, they sounded real and were very likeable! The secondary characters were also very unique and they all had distinguishable traits and interesting back stories.

I also think that the world was very believable and so was the way people reacted to the government.

In my opinion the story moves really slow and only in the last quarter of the book something really exciting happens! The rest of the book shows more the daily life of the people and their struggles (especially the main characters) so when Heath disappears after he was drafted, Jonas and Hattie come up with a plan that was quite entertaining and I found myself rooting for them to be successful!

The ending isn't very happy but even though it is a bit of an open ending it leaves you with a sense of closure. I would still love to read a sequel and perhaps get to know the characters even more.

All in all, I think this is a great contribution to the dystopian genre. The world and the characters are very well thought out but the pace can be extremely slow in the beginning.

The Art Kids - Kate Spofford This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

I received this ebook from the author at the Making Connections group in exchange for an honest review.

This book was such a nice surprise! I like to think of it as one of those unknown gems that is out there!

Although, I do have to admit that in the beginning the characters were pissing me off a lot little bit. I think it's great that you don't drink, don't smoke and don't do drunks...but you don't need to be so condescending...I also don't know if writers just use the whole "different cliques" situation to add drama to the story or of it really happens in American highschools (it certainly doesn't happen here in Portugal)
I did like that Sophie realized that she was wrong for judging people without knowing them and makes an effort to change.

The first quarter of the book moves a bit slowly and you don't really see where the story is going. That's when I started noticing some strange things and from then on I couldn't put the book down because I had to find out whether or not my theory was correct. (It was, in case you were wondering...). It is still an huge plot twist!

I feel like the characters were beautifully written and sounded very real. There were times whe Sophie would think or say certain things and I could completely imagine myself thinking and saying them too.

When I started reading this I had no idea I would fall so much in love with this novel. Everyone should read it!
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell You can also find this review at Joana In The Sky With Books

I was dying to start reading this book! And I am so glad I did!

First of all, I absolutely fell in love with the main characters. I love the fact that Eleanor is overweight because it usually doesn't happen (and she doesn't loose any weight throughout the book) and Park is Asian (again, it's not very common). I just thought they were really interesting, smart characters and their relationship is the cutest thing ever!

The pacing wasn't too fast and it took time for them to get to know each other and to fall for each other which was great (no insta-love!) but sometimes the story seemed to drag a little bit longer than necesary.

I also liked how in the end you see a different side of Tina and Steve (that maybe they're not as bad as they seemed). I'm just sad that we don't hear a lot of DeNice and Beebi since they seem to be Eleanor's only friends (except for Park of course).

I just hated Richie, Eleanor's stepdad! And her mother was really annoying too. Maybe I'm too young to understand her point of view but I think that your kids well-being should be the most important thing and I seriously don't think Richie was a good stepfather.

This is a book that I definitely recommend! The story is amazing and the characters are different and unique.
Mockingjay  - Suzanne  Collins This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

I am not even sure where to begin so I am going to leave here my reactions while reading the book:


I think that in comparison to the other two books this one fell a bit short. I was just in a state of confusion throughout the book (maybe because Katniss was too).
But I do have to admit that you could really connect with the characters and feel what they were feeling (at least before the last chapters)!

Now, is time to talk abou the last chapters, without giving anything away, the only word I find to describe them is anti-climatic...you spend three books waiting for something to happen and then it doensn't really happen as you were expecting...that really disappointed me.

I did think this series was really original and I really liked Suzanne Collins' s ideas...even if I didn't like this book as much as the other two.

I would still recommend it though, especially if you read the other books in the series and perhaps, what I thought was a very anti-climatic moment, you may find it a nice plot twist!
Catching Fire  - Suzanne  Collins

This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

I have to say that this book was quite unexpected (mainly because I have been avoiding movie trailers like the plague)!

I think that the first half of this book moves a bit slowly but then it's action packed until the end. I like how we get to read about some districts rebelling against the Capitol and the impact it has on the main characters' lives.

I also loved that we get to see a little bit more of Katniss and Gale's reltionship, as well as Katniss and Peeta's. It's easy to understand how conflicted and confused she is and it's nice to see Peeta always trying to help her with her nightmares and supporting her. (Seriously, I wish I had Josh Hutcherson climbing in bed with me...)

Katniss's mother is also more present in this book and we can finally see the woman she was before her husband's death.

The new characters are also really original and really well-rounded and as usual, everyone is important to the story.

In conclusion, I think that this is a great sequel to the first book and it didn't disappoint me at all. On to the third book!

The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

First of all, I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book. I have heard so much about it and I loved the movie so much that if I hadn't won it in a giveaway I would have borrowed it from my flatmate as soon as possible!
I think that this is one of the cases where I am glad I watched the movie first because, strangely enough (since I read so much) I am terrible at visualizing so it was easier for me to imagine the whole thing in my head.

Moving on, I don't think there was one thing about this book that I didn't like. I think Suzanne Collins created a fascinating and actually believable future.
I also loved how different all the characters were. They all had different pasts, different personalitys and none of them was a cliché which can happen sometimes in YA novels.
Katniss and Peeta, as main characters, are very likeable and believable because they are not perfect. They both have flaws, which makes them human. As for the side characters, I think they are all beautifully written and are important to the story.

I know that people in general are getting tired of love triangles, but I think the one we have in The Hunger Games is very well made, it fits the plot and it gives the book a nice touch.

All in all, I would recommend this book to well...everyone! I am really excited about reading the next books in the series!
Call Me Crazy - Quinn Loftis You can also find my review at Joana In The Sky With Books

Tally Baker is a 17-year-old girl who is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and is admitted into Mercy Psychiatry Facility. There she makes friends with an inconvinient and mischievous old lady named Candy and she meets Trey Swift while he is visiting his mother.

This book was such an emotional rollercoster...I laughed, I cried, I swooned and I felt like punching a wall! It has everything!
I found the interactions between Tally and Candy to be hilarious and helped to soften the story a little bit sometimes. I also liked that by the end we can see Tally's parents trying to understand her more and trying to be more present and become a part of the support group she needs.
Natalie also seemed to be a great friend and never gave up on Tally so it was nice that she also had a little love story going on which helped her become more 3-dimensional.

Then there's Trey...tall, dark, handsome, caring and protective Trey...do you see where I am going with this? I loved how gentle he was both with his mother and withTally. How he took care of her and gave all of his love to her. I found myself stopping just to sigh and swoon at how sweet that 6'3 guy was. Now, with that being said, one of the things that confused me a little bit was how quickly everything went. I do understand that at a young age (look at me talking as if I hadn't just turned 19 last month) things always happen really fast but here they happened a bit too fast.

Still, if you can look past how fast their relationship got serious, this is an amazing and really enjoyable book.
Looking for Alaska - John Green This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

I'm a bit conflicted about this book. I liked it a lot...just not as much as I thought I would.

I liked the concept and the story. I liked how Miles "Pudge" has the courage to leave everything (which wasn't much, but still...) behind and move to another state to look for the Great Perhaps. In his new school he meets Chip "The Colonel", Takumi, Lara and Alaska. I like the fact that none of them were stereotypical and were quite interesting. And the things they got up to at the school (and in a way made me want to go to a private boarding school...I need to find my Great Perhaps). I have to say that I had some problems with Pudge but mainly with Alaska. For some reason I cannot find it in me to feel any kind of sympathy for her (I know, I'm a terrible person), I understand that her life wasn't the best but I hated the way she acted sometimes.

Maybe my lack of connection with Miles and Alaska was the only reason why I didn't see this book as heartbreaking as most people did. Now, this doesn't mean that I didn't like this book. Like I said before, I liked it a lot but I was just waiting for me to start crying my eyes out like I did on The Fault In Our Stars but that just didn't happen, so that kind of disappointed me. But I do recommend this book though, since I'm sure my problem with Alaska is a bit of a personal thing.
Shudder - Samantha Durante This review can also be found here

This one definitely moves at a faster pace than the last one and it's more action packed as well. I did miss the big twists that existed on Stitch (even though there are still some twists...which depending on the person I guess can be more or less surprising).

I also liked that you can see another side of the main characters, a more humane side. We see Isaac's insecurities and Alessa's fears which gives them more depth and makes them seem more real.

I thought the changing POV's were very interesting and brought new sides to the story. I know that some people don't like when there are many point of views, but in my opinion they work well here.

The writing is very easy to follow and the world that Samantha created is very believable and creative. I think that this series is great both for lovers of dystopian fiction and for people who, like me, had never ventured into the genre. All the other elements from other genres (paranormal, sci-fi, even a little horror) make this book absolutely unique! Can't wait for the last one!
Stitch  - Samantha Durante

My rating: 4.5/5
This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

Alessa is a freshman in a public college. After the death of her parents she got severely depreesed which caused her grades to drop and prevented her to enter the private college of her dreams. Nonetheless, she starts to adjust to her new life in her new sorority house, where she meets her best friend Janie. As things start to get better, Alessa starts seeing a ghostly figure and dosn't rest until she finds out who he is, why is he there and how can she help him. But things aren't always what they seem...


Loved it. I have to say that when I first started reading I felt it was going to be a very predictable book, mainly because I didn't read the last sentence on the blurb...which was probably a good thing because the twists were a very pleasant surprise!
The book does move a bit slowly at first but once some of the secrets start unravelling it is impossible to put the book down!
I also thought that Alessa was a very strong main character not just physically (which is only shown towards the end of the book) but especially mentally. Even though she got depressed after her parents' sudden death (which is understandable) she still picked herself up. Besides, after some of the secrets are revealed we start to figure out just how strong she is.
One thing that I wasn't a great fan of was the amount of times some things were explained after the secrets are revealed...I am aware though that things had to be explained more than one time to fit the story, but it still felt a bit repetitive to me.
All in all, I think that the author was able to create a fantastic new world, the twists and genre changes were very well handled and the characters were likeable. I definitely recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one!

Uma Morte Súbita - Alberto Gomes, Manuel Alberto Vieira, Marta Fernandes, J.K. Rowling I have to say that I was one of those people who bought the book just because J.K. Rowling wrote it and in the begining I was really disapointed. Of course I was aware of the fact that this wasn't going to be anyhting like Harry Potter so that wasn't the problem.

The problem I had with this book initially was that it moved too slow, there was no story and it would take me 2 hours to read 30 pages. Besides, I also had a bit of a problem with the portuguese translation: when it came to the swearing and the adult language, it didn't feel real...it wasn't even about the words chosen, it was the way they were phrased, no one really speaks like that (maybe they sounded real in the original english version...)

I have to admit that I considered giving up on the book, but I decided to give it a shot and continue reading and now, I'm quite happy I did! Like I said, it starts really (and I mean REALLY) slow but once you reach the middle it starts getting a little bit more interesting, there's some story and you find out a lot about the characters and you start to understand why they sometimes act a certain way.

It's also in the second half of the book that you find a lot of redeeming characteristics for most of the characters (which you will probably hate in the first half),while for some others, that you probably had some sympathy for before, you'll just hate them.

The more I knew about the characters and their lives, the more I realised how complex and three-dimensional they were, which sometimes can be very difficult to portray in a book.

Therefore I give it 3 stars because I absolutely loathed it in the begining but it started to grow on me towards the end.