ARC Review: Earth to Charlie

Title: Earth to Charlie

Author: Justin Olson

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A high school outcast spends his life hoping to be abducted by aliens in this funny, quirky novel about finding your footing in a world that sometimes feels like Mars.

Convinced his mother has been abducted by aliens, Charlie Dickens spends his nights with an eye out for UFOs, hoping to join her. After all, she said the aliens would come back for him. Charlie will admit that he doesn’t have many reasons to stick around; he doesn’t get along well with his father, he’s constantly bullied at school and at work, and the only friend he has is his 600-pound neighbor Geoffrey, and Geoffrey’s three-legged dog, Tickles.

Then Charlie meets popular, easy-going Seth, who shows him what real friendship is all about. For once, he finds himself looking around at the life he’s built, rather than looking up. But sooner than he expected, Charlie has to make a decision: should he stay or should he go?

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I had high hopes for this book, and I am telling you now—it did not disappoint. From UFO’s, to friendship, to family, to awkward teens, to a cute dog, and to some self-realizations, I adored everything about this book.

This is a DRC I received from Edelweiss.

The writing

The writing style is wonderful! It’s light and easy, but it was also beautiful and melancholic, and at times, even poetic. For me, it has the same style as Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (which is one of my favorite books out there!). When I read it, I didn’t want to put it down (but I had to because of work *cries*), I just wanted to read and read.

I also loved how the narration of the story slipped between the present happenings to these sort of flashbacks in Charlie’s life. It’s like he’s zoning out, and I, the reader, zone out with him and I get to relive his memory. Kudos to the author, because that for me, was brilliant. (*slow caps*) In a way, this also connects to the title of the book. Because apart from the fact that Charlie wants to be taken away by aliens, he also keeps zoning out into his own little bubble of thoughts and emotions.

The characters

I loved the characters! The protagonist Charlie is really damn relatable, and I guess this is the reason why I had so much fun reading this story. His thoughts and emotions were just so pure and genuine, and awkward. I could really see that he was just this high school outcast, struggling with emotions and is trying to cope with his mother’s disappearance.

Seth was likeable, too, although I really wanted more of his personality, more of his story. (And I did get some of his story, but it was only revealed near the end of the book.) He was a genuine character who contributed greatly to Charlie’s life and view on certain things. I also loved the interactions between him and Charlie, because it shows just how much of a teenager they are. They’re awkward and shy, and their friendship is so pure. I loved that.

Geoffrey, though he was only a minor character, has a special place in my heart. He was Charlie’s 600-pound neighbor, and I loved getting to know his character and his whole story. And in the end, I was really happy that he had a wholesome character development.

Charlie’s dad, on the other hand, makes me have conflicted feelings. I wasn’t fond of him at first but as the story progresses, I see his character developing and changing. There’s something about him that still irks me, though. (But I won’t be telling you anything as I do not want to spoil you, book nerds! You just have to see for yourself. *winks*)

The plot

The plot was uncomplicated, and yet the story is so poignant and real. Maybe because it was about a teenager who yearns to disappear, maybe because it’s about trying to cope with something so terrible and sad. Or maybe because it was also about finding yourself, and recognizing your dreams and your wants, and embracing the life you have. Whatever it is, it definitely worked for me (I think I cried three times reading this book *sniffs*).

There were two things in the plot though, small details, that raised some questions for me. And I hoped that it would be answered before the story ends, but it wasn’t. (Yeah, I’m a little bummed about this). But despite that, I still loved this book, I loved how the story went, and who knows maybe I will get answers on the official release.

And wow, guys, I wish I could share quotes here, but seeing as this is just a DRC, I am not allowed to do that. *cries*

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

earth-to-charlie-9781534419520_hr

I’m giving this book 4.5 stars out of 5. Congratulations in advance  to Justin Olson for this debut novel, and I can’t wait to finally have a physical copy on my hands!

Guys, Earth to Charlie comes out next year, April 16, 2019. So if this book is right up your alley, go add it to your Goodreads, pre-order it, anything! I hope you’ll love it just as much as I did.

 

PicsArt_04-04-11.40.02

ARC Review: This Lie Will Kill You

Title: This Lie Will Kill You

Author: Chelsea Pitcher

Genre/s: Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.

Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago.

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I first saw this book on Edelweiss so I requested for a digital reader’s copy, and I was approved! Although the story was really interesting—filled with lies, porcelain dolls, and fire—I found myself wanting more.

Read More »

ARC Review: Five Feet Apart

Title: Five Feet Apart

Authors: Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

My rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I got approved of a DRC (Digital Review Copy) of this book from Edelweiss! With a gorgeous cover and an intriguing concept and theme, this book immediately caught my attention the first time I saw it.

The writing

I really like the writing style of this book. Though the story mainly revolves around the fragility of life and the difficult situation of having a terminal illness, the writing style was light, easy, moderately-paced, and so, so relatable! It was relatable in a way that it shows several aspects of how a modern teenager lives—the use of smartphones, making apps, the use of social media, and the likes.

I also liked the tones of the different narrations. The point of views in this story alternate between the two main characters, Stella and Will. I loved that within these two perspectives, I was able to get a view of their situations and their emotions. With Stella, it was hopeful, and hurting, and guilty. And with Will, it was cynical and reckless. But as the story progresses, the tone turns hopeful and trusting. I loved that.

I also love that this book is very educational. I am familiar with Stella and Will’s illness (cystic fibrosis), though I cannot say that I am fully equipped with knowledge about it. As I read the book, I realized that the authors did not neglect to inform readers about this kind of illness. It made me feel like the authors did a lot of research about this illness, and I am really thankful for it.

The characters

I really liked the characters in this story as well, despite the fact that it was a little cliche for me. The main characters’ personalities are a trope I always see among girl-and-boy pairings—a reckless boy who does not do what he’s been told to do, and a good girl who does everything right. However as I read on, I realized that these characters go beyond these cliche characteristics (and I am really thankful for that!). Will is an artist who craves to see and experience the world, and Stella is a programmer/developer who just misses her family and how they were. These little things made me like them and their chemistry in the story.

I also liked the minor characters. I felt Julie and Barb’s love for Stella, Stella’s parents and their struggles. Stella’s friends, Will’s friends, and Poe, although they only had little parts in the book, they completed Stella and Will’s worlds.

The plot

The plot was also good, but it was a struggle. I struggled because I did not know what will happen to these two main characters, and what will be the end game for them. I did not know if it will be a melancholic ending, or a hopeful one, and that really frustrated me (in a good way haha!). The plot also showed me that there is a fine line between want and need, and the main characters realized that, too.

There were some subplots that have been opened near the ending of the book, and I wished the authors took the time to delve into that much further. These subplots were interesting and I really wanted to know more about them. Also, there is one plot twist that did not sit well with me, and it’s both frustrating and saddening at the same time.

All in all, the plot was good and I can’t wait to buy a physical copy of this!

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

five-feet-apart-9781534437333_hr

 

Four stars! I loved this one, and I really can’t wait for its release on November 20th this year! Also, this book is soon to be a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson in March 2019 and WOW WOW WOW. I am beyond excited!

So, there goes my second read this September, and my very first DRC/eARC from Edelweiss! I have another approved DRC lined up on my TBR and I can’t wait to read it and share it to you!

PicsArt_04-04-11.40.02