Now Quoting: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sàenz

12000020.jpg Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers on February 12th 2012

Page Count: 359

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance, coming-of-age, LBBTQ+

Format: Hardcover, library copy

Would I recommend? Absolutely! This is one of the most beautifully-written and realistic novels I’ve ever read, and definitely one of my favorites from 2015. You can check out my review here if you’re interested. 🙂

My Rating: ★★★★★


This Printz Honor Book is a “tender, honest exploration of identity” (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

-Goodreads.com synopsis

I read this book around the time I started this blog (8 months or so), and I adored it so much it still gives me goosebumps whenever I think about it. It was such a beautifully-written novel that I could have chosen dozens of quotes to feature in this week’s ‘Now Quoting’ post, but I chose the following quote because it particularly resonated with me.


“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn't end up with you.” 2.jpg

I don’t really know why this quote resonated with me so much. I guess it was just because it was so well-written, and so incredibly relatable. I have countless questions I ask myself every day similar to the ones this quote asked, and I think it’s amazing that Benjamin Alire Sàenz was able to capture this in his writing.


Have you read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe? What did you think? What are some books that you’ve found particularly quotable lately?

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books on July 3rd 2012

Pages: 292

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Romance

Format: Hardcover, Library Copy

Would I Recommend: Yes, yes, yes!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair….

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.

-Goodreads.com description

“For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.”

You know those books that leave you extremely depressed, not because you disliked it, but because you know you’ll never be able to write something as beautiful and unique as the one you just read? That’s how this book left me. I was left in complete awe of what one amazing, fantastic person could do with the 26 letters in the alphabet.

I very rarely read fantasy novels (or, let’s be honest, anything out of the contemporary genre), but I knew I’d love this one just by reading the synopsis. Sure, it’s a fairytale retelling, which I’m usually not a huge fan of, but the synopsis suggested it deals with deeper themes: heartbreak, fate and loyalty, to name a few. And, to my delight, I certainly wasn’t wrong.

This book is narrated by Tinker Bell, who doesn’t play a huge part in the story, but it was still fun to see the story unfold through her eyes. I had no idea the book was in her POV when I started it, so it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we’re only what we’ve done and what we are going to do.”

I fell in love with Tiger Lily, the main character, from the very first page. She was everything I love in a heroine: enigmatic and closed off, wild and reckless, serious and dangerous, intelligent and passionate. She is the most unique, complex character I’ve ever encountered, and by far my favorite. Jodi Lynn Anderson captured her character in such an amazing, flawless way that perfectly encompasses the uniqueness of human nature. She obviously isn’t perfect; Anderson definitely lets her flaws show through, and that’s probably the thing I loved most about her. She was described as not being pretty, but strange and exotic. She was described as not being selfless, but as a competitive, proud girl who gets what she wants. She was described as not being understanding, but as someone who needed to be understood.

Alright, enough with my rambles about Tiger Lily….now I’ll do my best to describe Peter. He wasn’t exactly the naive, playful, reckless character that I had expected, but I still adored him nonetheless. He seemed older and more mature and serious than I expected, but I could see why Anderson recreated him this way. I felt that he and Tiger Lily fit together much better in the way she described him.

“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.”

When I first started this book, I knew what was going to happen. I knew the heartbreak, loss, and betrayal that awaited me. I knew that a plot twist was coming up, and there was absolutely no way of avoiding it. I mean, you could practically tell from the first line of the synopsis! Even then, there was absolutely nothing that would prepare me for the feelings I went through while reading Tiger Lily By Jodi Lynn Anderson. The only book I think I’ve ever cried so hard while reading is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

I loved Peter Pan and Tiger Lily’s relationship, somehow even more than I loved the characters themselves. They were absolutely adorable and perfect for each other, and my heart had broken for both of them by the end of the novel. Peter and Tiger Lily’s strengths and weaknesses aligned perfectly, and I couldn’t help but root for them as a couple.

Though this book is fantasy, it reads more like a contemporary, which is probably part of the reason I loved it so much. I wasn’t bored during any part of this book, but I know some people who might be. If you want a fast-paced, thrilling story, this isn’t the book for you. If you want a light, fluffy, fun contemporary, this book isn’t for you.

“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win.”

I know this review was a bit rambly and I apologize for that, but you should get the general idea. I absolutely adored this book, and it was one of the most unique, beautifully-written, spell-binding books I’ve ever encountered. This book sucks you in and spits you out a different person. It inspired me, enthralled me, frightened me, and changed me in a way I don’t think any book ever has before. I would wholeheartedly recommend this read to anyone and everyone.

Tell me your thoughts! Have you read Tiger Lily yet? If not, do you think you might be interested in it now? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

9378297Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Published by Tom Doherty October 17th 2011

Pages: 316

Genre(s): Horror, Romance, Paranormal

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4.5 stars

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

-Goodreads.com description

I KNOW, GUYS. I KNOW. This is my first review in…..such a embarrassingly long time that I’m not even going to tell you. Since I haven’t written a review in a while, I might be a little rusty, but please bear with me!

If you’re looking for an amazing YA horror novel, look no further. Anna Dressed In Blood has it all: the spookiness, the romance, the terrifyingly-descriptive writing style. And it’s perfect for Halloween!

The Characters: The protagonist of this book is Cas, an incredibly brave and loyal, but still realistic, character. What makes Cas so special? He has inherited a unique ability: he kills the dead. Just like his father did before him, before he was found brutally murdered.

Alright, on to Anna, the other main character. Yes, the girl on the terrifying cover with blood dripping down her beautiful white dress, AKA “Anna Dressed In Blood.” Anna is dangerous, powerful, and ultimately deadly. She’s full of vengeful fury, and she won’t stop until she gets what she wants. Even if it means killing anyone who gets in her way. Especially if it means killing anyone that gets in her way, for that matter. Until, for some reason, she doesn’t kill Cas. Though Cas is a truly wonderful and relatable character, it’s really Anna who takes the center stage.

The Plot: Terrifying. Seriously, truly terrifying. Anna Dressed In Blood had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, and it’s full of vivid and gory imagery. I actually had to take breaks in between chapters because it got too intense for me, and I never read it before bedtime because I was scared of having nightmares. So, basically: this book was awesome!

The only thing that I didn’t enjoy as much was the romance. It felt really insta-lovey and forced, and I didn’t really see the characters gradually get to know each other like I wanted them to. In fact, I didn’t even know the characters actually liked each other until they were suddenly kissing each other – Wait, what?!! However, I don’t think that took away much from the novel since I loved it so much as a whole.

The Writing Style: Kendare Blake is an amazing novelist, and she’s certainly not afraid to write some extremely disturbing or gory scenes. Her writing is vivid, descriptive, and flows perfectly. Cas’s voice sounded authentic and realistic, and was actually really funny in some parts, which helped lighten up the dark mood.

Quotes:

“She’s my purpose and we’re going to save each other. We’re going to save everyone. And then I’m going to convince her that she’s supposed to stay here. With me.”

***

“I’ve seen most of what there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination. Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”

***

“I can feel that photo of Anna staring at me from sixty years ago, and I can’t help myself from wanting to protect her, wanting to save her from becoming what she already is.”

Final Thought: Basically, if you want an amazing YA horror novel perfect for Halloween, read this RIGHT NOW. I promise, you won’t regret it. Unless you do, which would make me really sad. XD I loved this book, and definitely won’t be forgetting about this one for a long, long time.

Bonus: I just found out that Anna Dressed In Blood is going to be a movie! Stephanie Meyer (yes, that Stephanie Meyer) is going to be producing it, which I’m not too happy about, but it’s still going to be amazing! Find more information about the movie here.

Happy reading! 🙂

Mini Reviews: Throne of Glass and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.5 stars

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

-Goodreads.com description

 My Thoughts:
I loved this book so much! I wasn’t very interested until after the first 100 pages, but after that, I couldn’t put it down! I normally steer away from fantasy, so I wouldn’t normally read something like this, but once again, I gave into the hype monster and I’m so glad I did. The characters were all so unique and interesting, the plot was complex and layered, and the writing was amazing. I loved the main character, Celaena, with all her flaws and strengths. I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!
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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Rating: 4 stars

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

 -Goodreads.com description
 My Thoughts: 
This book was so unique and honest in the way the author told it. The main character, Leonard, was one of the loneliest people I’ve ever met. He’s weird, incredibly smart, and deeply flawed. Through his eyes, we experience this 24-hour period where he plans to kill himself and his former friend. This book is sad, no doubt, but it’s also very important and I think every teen (or adult) should read it. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why, Falling Into Place, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
So, as you can see, I really enjoyed both of these. Have you read either of them? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 😀