quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (Review)

Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory
Author(s): Laurie Halse Anderson
Edition: Hardcover, 391 pages
Publisher: Viking Children's Books (imprint of Penguin
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source: Bought from Amazon
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - Book Depository

The Summary

For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

My Opinion

I love Laurie Halse Anderson.  I am obsessed with Speak and I love Wintergirls, so I thought I was going to really love this book as well and I'm disappointed to say I didn't.  Don't get me wrong, it was still very good.  I'm happy I read it and it is worth the read, but it was not my favorite.

Hayley, the protagonist, has been living with her father, moving from city to town to on the road, for a good chunk of her life.  Her father has been dealing, or in this case, not dealing, with the trauma he suffered from his time fighting in Iraq.  With his major PTSD issues, Hayley has had to be the parent in this relationship, and it is becoming harder as they start over again in her father's hometown.

I realize that in reading a book you don't always connect with the characters, especially if their lives are different from yours.  But in my experience I have always found something to connect to, but while reading this book I couldn't find much.  This surprised me because I am such a fan of Laurie's other books, so I thought I'd instantly fall in love.  But the characters, all the characters, rubbed me the wrong way.  I don't know if this was on purpose to highlight the major issues with how our country deals with PTSD and soldiers coming home from war, or if it was just that I didn't like these characters.  It's hard to tell, so I'm running with the former theory.

Each of the characters in this book had something messed up with them, a lot of which stemmed from hiding the pain/suffering they were feeling.  I think there is a major problem within our society that goes with "Don't air your dirty laundry", but as I wasn't raised that way, I can't really relate.  The fact that Hayley allows her father to spiral so much or that the VA allows him to spiral so much is ridiculous.  No one in Hayley's life is calling them on the bullshit.  Even with her hiding the extent of it, and them moving all the time, I feel that someone should be noticing.  But again, I think that this situation probably very accurately depicts what happens at home after living through such a tumultuous and violent experience.

I think that's really the root of my not loving this book: it made me extremely uncomfortable in parts.  The possibility of violence, the abandonment, the hopelessness, it all made for a hard read.  I think I also take it harder because that could have been my Father having to deal with that war (luckily he retired right before the first wave was deployed).  Overall, the writing was still beautiful, with Laurie's deft hand at lyricism.  The characters, while I couldn't relate, still feel real.  I feel like each of them are a real person alive out in the world dealing with these issues.  And of course the "moral", or issue I suppose, that is at the heart of all of Laurie's books is quite striking and gets at the heart of it.

While this wasn't my favorite, as I said, it is still a very important book.  I think that if you're a fan of Laurie's go in without the typical expectations.  If you're a fan of contemporary problem fiction, then I think you'll enjoy this.  The Impossible Knife of Memory leaves you on a razor's edge keeping you teetering though moments of joy and moments of pain; an uncomfortable journey to be had, but one worth traveling.


Final Rating

Book Cover: 3/5

Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 40/50: B-


Top Ten Tuesday (43)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists there at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love us to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of their bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on their post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share.  If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. 
The topic this week is:
Top Ten Romantic Quotes from YA Books

In honor of Valentine's Day, this week is a freebie, but with a romantic (or anti-romantic) twist.

I love a good quote, so I am rounding up 10 of my favorite romantic/beautiful YA quotes for you!
  1. “The words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesl would hold them in her hands like clouds, and she would ring them out like the rain.” —Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

  2. “On that cold night in January it all slipped into place for me and she became my everything and my everyone. My music, my sun, my words, my logic, my confusion, my flaw.” —Julie Murphy, Side Effects May Vary

  3. “There's only one of him, she thought, and he's right here.  He knows I'll like a song before I've heard it. He laughs before I even get to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes me want to let him open doors for me.  There's only one of him." ―Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

  4. “And I guess I realized at that moment that I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain, and that didn’t matter.–Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  5. “This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.” –David Levithan, Every Day

  6. “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” –Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

  7. “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.” –Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity

  8.  "I hated him more than anything. I loved him more than anything. Because, he was everything. And I hated that, too." –Jenny Han, It's Not Summer Without You

  9.  "In the end, it’s not the changes that break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity." –Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

    Finally, I have to end with one of my favorite quotes from one of the most beautiful written books I've read:

  10.  "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”–Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I know there was some doubling of books, but when the book's got good prose, whatta ya gonna do?

What are some of your favorite romantic/beautiful quotes?  Leave a comment below, or do your own post and link me!!


BURNING MIDNIGHT by Will McIntosh (Review + Giveaway)

Title: Burning Midnight
Author(s): Will McIntosh
Edition: ARC, 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Source: Rockstar Book Tours 
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - Book Depository

The Summary

For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

My Opinion

When I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down!  I loved everything about it except for the length!  I wanted more of this engaging world that Will McIntosh had built within Burning Midnight!  A must read YA scifi, it has everything that a good scifi story needs: action, mystery, danger, and romance!

I felt like this story was seamless.  Typically, I prefer one aspect of a book to the other, like the characters over the plot, or the narration over the characterization. But with Burning Midnight, all the aspects moved together in such a way, that it was either going to fall flat or harmonize.  And, boy, did this book sing.  I loved each character, as each one, both the heroes and the villains, add to the overall book.  The world the action is set in, is just different enough from our Earth to make it interesting, and, of course, the addition of the mysterious spheres is the driving force of the action!

Sully and his group of friends all bring something to the table.  I found Sully to be a great narrator for the events that were happening.  He has a distinct moral code, and is a good guy without a hidden agenda.  I really liked that about him.  Hunter, the biggest supporting character, works as a juxtaposition to Sully, because she isn't what you'd call a "good" girl, but definitely has her own set of morals, which lend more towards helping herself.  And there is a reason for that.  Add in Sully's best friend, Dom, the muscle, and Mandy, one of the few true protestors to the industry in the book, then you have a complete group.  While none of the characters are not fleshed out enough to make them complete dynamic characters, I don't think it was necessary.  Each character adds something to the group dynamic and move the plot along.  So even though we don't get to see each and every facet of a round character individually, I think the ensemble manages to make a "round character".

I think McIntosh makes an interesting commentary on ownership and the reality of how far humans will go to be better, faster, stronger.  But then the question is, at what cost?  With the spheres all around the world, it has given rise to an industry built on who has/who can afford the best?  If you were able to give yourself the ability to have resistance to the common cold or to move faster than an average human, what would you give up to get it?  Of course there are even bigger and better abilities out there to find, and that is what drives the plot.

I don't want to give a lot away because this is definitely an action mystery.  With two big twists that I didn't see coming, you have to read the book in order to fully appreciate the story.  I feel that Will McIntosh's debut in young adult literature was a splash!  With an interesting plot, fun characters, twists around every corner, and an epic mission, Burning Midnight is a must read for everyone this year!

Final Rating

About the Author

Will McIntosh’s debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, was a finalist for both a Locus award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He is a frequent contributor to Asimov’s, where his story “Bridesicle” won the 2010 Reader’s Award, as well as the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. His third novel, Love Minus Eighty (based on “Bridesicle”) was published by Orbit books in June, 2013, and was named best Science Fiction novel of the year by the American Library Association. His upcoming novel, Defenders has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film. Will recently moved to Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife Alison and twins Hannah and Miles. He left his position as a psychology professor in Southeast Georgia to write full time, and still teaches as an adjunct, at the College of William and Mary. Will is represented by Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company. Follow him on Twitter @WillMcIntoshSF


3 winners will receive a finished copy of BURNING MIDNIGHT

Giveaway is open to US ONLY
Tour Schedule

Week One:
1/18/2016 - Swoony Boys Podcast - Interview
1/19/2016 - Fangirlish - Guest Post
1/20/2016 - A Dream Within A Dream - Review
1/21/2016 - Such a Novel Idea - Interview
1/22/2016 - Seeing Double In Neverland - Guest Post

Week Two:
1/25/2016 - Once Upon a Twilight - Review
1/26/2016 - The Young Folks - Interview
1/27/2016 - Falling For YA - Guest Post
1/28/2016 - Just Commonly - Review
1/29/2016 - Paranormal Book Club - Interview

Week Three:
2/1/2016 - Curling Up With A Good Book - Guest Post
2/2/2016 - Wandering Bark Books - Review
2/3/2016 - The Cover Contessa - Interview
2/4/2016 - Two Chicks on Books - Guest Post
2/5/2016 - Eli to the nth - Review

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