Review: The End by Anna by Adam Zachary

32848923*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Title: The End by Anna

Author: Adam Zachary

Publisher: Metatron

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

ISBN: 9781988355023

The End, by Anna

Synopsis on Goodreads:
Anna’s greatest artwork would have also been her last: live-streaming her death of exposure on a remote stretch of tundra. Part love triangle, part meditation on performance art, and part archival document of a creative prodigy, this genre-bending short novel is an intelligent and emotionally resonant work from a bold and ambitious new literary voice.

This novel by Adam Zachary is a piece of art. Zachary is astounding. This story completely took my breathe away. It’s a story of Anna, an artist who’s last planned piece of art is to film her self in a live-stream as she dies of exposure. Told from the perspective of a close friend, this story gives us an intimate look into Anna’s world, her art, her sexuality, her life, and her genius. Death hangs over this whole story, infusing it with melancholy. Anna views her death with a sense of disconnect, viewing beauty in her demise rather than concern at her own thought of suicide. Her friends see her vision, but also push her to see reason. The story is wrought with emotion and a tension that lies just beneath the surface.

Zachary’s writing is clear, moving, and powerful. I could read this story again and again. I believe that I’d feel something new with each reading. The characters are raw and honest, confronting each other, questioning, accepting, loving, hurting. I fell in love with this story, and I hope you will too.


Review: The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

28763485*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Title: The Sun is also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

ISBN: 9780553496680

The Sun Is Also a Star

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Nicola Yoon is back with this wonderful and moving story of a single, but profound moment in time where two young people meet and fall in love. This is a story of epic passion and about believing in something against all odds. The timing isn’t ideal and that makes the feelings all the more desperate and full. It asks the question, if you only had one day to spend with that one person who you’re meant to be with, how would you spend it? I’m not one for believing in fate or that there is one special person on Earth for each of us to fall in love with. But Yoon presents a story that will have you believing in fate and the purest, truest love.

Natasha and Daniel meet on Natasha’s last day in the USA before her family is deported back to Jamaica. Natasha loves facts, but Daniel is a hopeless romantic. He bets Natasha that he can get her to fall in love with him using facts. Natasha is swayed into giving the experiment a try.

This book spans the course of one single day. It savours each moment exploring each second that Natasha and Daniel spend together. They develop an honesty with one another that some adults don’t have over the course of the lifetime, and the the reader is privy to each special moment. They accept each other’s faults and insecurities in this fleeting time together. They move from topics like music, to their families, immigration, deportation, the future, as they work through a series of questions that will supposedly make them fall in love. They are both incredibly beautiful people in a beautiful story that will tug at your heart strings.

I’m a huge fan of Yoon and I hope she keeps the novels coming because I haven’t been disappointed in the slightest!

Review: Scythe by Neal Schusterman

28954189*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Title: Scythe

Author: Neal Schusterman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: November 29, 2016

ISBN: 9781442472426

Scythe (Scythe, #1)

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

OMG! OMG! OMG! I haven’t been this excited about a series in a long, long time. Schusterman has created such an interesting futuristic world where death of natural causes no longer exists. I received this book for review, not expecting much at all but I was completely BLOWN AWAY. You wouldn’t think this book is extraordinary when you look at it. The cover is nice, simple, but not mind blowing. But the story inside, I hope you’ll take a chance to read this one, because it seriously has the potential to be the next big thing.

Scythes are professional reapers who bring death to the immortal. They live by a code, some sticking to it more strictly than others. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to the great Scythe Faraday, but they are quickly pitted against each other. Their world is full of corruption and deceit. They must make a way for themselves as their lives evolve into something new and unknown.

Both Rowan and Citra are interesting and well rounded characters. They are unique and come to develop their new career path in completely different ways. Schusterman shifts points of view so we get to know the inner thoughts of each character, even when they seem to not know one another. It’s a great way for us to come to understand each of them individually and to know their motivations and desires. The author does try to inject some romance (forbidden of course) into the story, which is entirely unnecessary and does pretty much nothing in term of developing the plot, in this book at least. Perhaps he intends to unfold the romance further in the future, but it certainly isn’t a will-they-wont-they circumstance here. They spell it out pretty clearly that their into one another–verbally. There’s not much imagined spark or romantic flirtation between the two. But then again, they do kill people for a living, so perhaps that heart-fluttery excitement would be a stretch.

This world is incredibly well planned and I think that we’re going to continue to see it excitingly exposed in future novels. Citra and Rowan will hopefully explore this world more in depth as they bring the Scythedom into a new era. There’s a lot more to come and that anticipation is just bubbling under the surface. I hope Shusterman is able to keep momentum in subsequent books. I can’t wait to read more!

Review: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

18813642Title: Bad Feminist

Author: Roxanne Gay

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publication Date: August 2014

ISBN: 9780062282712

Bad Feminist

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist was a surprisingly funny and entertaining read. Gay’s voice is extremely readable and engaging, and she keeps her essays short and sharp-witted. She raises great points, begins strong arguments, and keeps her reader entertained form start to finish. However, I struggled quite a bit because I don’t believe her arguments are fully formed, and it takes away from the potential for strength that each essay has. Gay wants to talk about so many tough and controversial topics. I believe she has a lot to say and I believe she has some extremely valid points. I hate to see a great discussion weakened because not enough time was given for development. Gay includes quite a few reviews in this book–many, if not all, being previously published in various media sources. In the vast majority of cases, these reviews could have been completely eliminated. I have to say, I’m glad I borrowed this book from a friend, because I would have hated to pay for a novel with contents that I could have read online for free on any review site.  I hate to give a bad review, but I had high hopes for this collection, and I was left feeling very unsatisfied.