Review: The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab ~ Sister/Sister Part ONE

I really want to make a "Sister Act" pun but this book deserves better

I really want to make a “Sister Act” pun but this book deserves better

Only one element needs hacking

Only one element needs hacking

  Verdict: How many teen novels can you think of that explore the spiritual concept of “grace”? Or indeed address matters of spirituality at all without seeming, well, preachy? The Opposite of Hallelujah is unique in that it takes a teen’s spiritual development as seriously as it tackles issues about a teen’s romantic and family relationships. This is not a perfect book, but it thematically is a refreshing one to read.

Perfect for: Thoughtful readers who want realistic fiction with a unique perspective and plot. Readers who like reading about family relationships as much as they like reading about dating.

SummaryEleventh grader Caro is a dedicated student who, after a rocky time in middle school, finally has established a good reputation, good friends, and is even starting to party and date some boys. But she feels that her whole world is threatened when she learns that her 27 year old sister, Hannah, is returning to live with her family.  Caro barely remembers her sister, because eight years ago, Hannah entered a reclusive convent many miles away.   Continue reading

Review: Every Day by David Levithan ~ Day 13118: I wasted my day on this book GAH

My love of this cover is in proportion to my dislike of what's inside

My love of this cover is in proportion to my dislike of what’s inside



Verdict: It’s a LitHacker first, y’all, a book that cannot be hacked. Nothing can save this book from itself, except for it being completely rewritten. I was intrigued by the description of the book’s unique premise, but ultimately I thought it was actually quite an offensive book. I am going to have to restrain myself with explaining why because I took far too many copious, angry notes as I was reading. Good news for The Help: it is now officially off the hook for being my least favorite book ever read!

Perfect for: Look, I know I’m in the minority here – look at other reviews and you’ll see most people really liked this book. People who like other David Levithan books, people who like romantic comedies, or people who appreciate books having an interesting premise might like Every Day.

Summary: Each day the sixteen-year-old narrator, A, wakes up in a different sixteen-year old’s body. Continue reading

Review: Reached by Allie Condie ~ Hacking with All My Love

Don't Worry: No Glass Orbs were Harmed in this Story. Just plot and effective narration.

Don’t Worry: No Glass Orbs were Harmed in this Story. Just plot and effective narration.

Some redeeming elements; major hacking needed

Some redeeming elements; major hacking needed

Verdict: This could have been a really excellent ending to the “Matched” Trilogy, but got bogged down narratively. Read my hacks below to see how this book could have reached its potential. Get it? Reached? Sorry, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted and I’ve got to get a few puns out of my system…

Perfect for: I mean, the only people who will read this one are those that invested in Matched(#1) and Crossed(#2). If you generally like YA dystopias, you should give Matched a shot.

Summary: I often describe this dystopian series as “The Giver with Romance”. Continue reading

Review: Ask the Passengers – by AS King ~ Ask yourself “Why haven’t I read this amazing book yet?”

Wait, I set it up so I can only give 5 hearts?

Wait, I set it up so I can only give 5 hearts?

No Hacking Needed <3

No Hacking Needed ❤

I’ve come out of retirement (aka working full time and not having a summer vacation to read and blog) to post about this lovely, wonderful book. I’m going to make this one short and sweet, but more reading and posting to come in the next two weeks…yay!!!

Verdict: Pure love.

Perfect for: Fans of AS King’s other books.Fans of philosophy and gray areas. Fans of love (not in the romance novel sense but in the sense of Love. L-O-V-E. And how it is a human essential.) Fans of books that know how to handle family and friend dynamics in a realistic way. People who are teens. People who used to be teens.

Continue reading

Review: Notes from Ghost Town – by Kate Ellison ~ more than a murder mystery

A murder mystery with a lot of gray areas – like, LITERALLY

Good story – Let’s hack it and make it great

Verdict: An atmospheric YA mystery with ambiguous supernatural elements and a bit of a love triangle (sorta). It was pretty good! I am reviewing an ARC so there are some aspects of the story that may change before the book is published. (the book’s cover is not even official – I had to take a pic with my phone). As far as the story goes,  I have some suggestions! (of course)

Perfect for: Contemporary and mystery YA fans will both find something to like. It’s cool that I can’t think of anything to compare this book to. Read the summary and tell me if you can think of any books with a similar premise. kthx!

Summary: While Liv is away at an out-of-state high school art academy, her best friend and was-almost-boyfriend Stern is murdered, and all evidence points to Liv’s schizophrenic mother. The bulk of the book happens months after the murder, just weeks before Liv’s mother will go on trial. So much has changed in those months: Liv has a new house and a new step-mom and step-sister; she is back at her old public school and all her peers look at her funny; she is forced to go to rich people’s parties and mix with snobby rich teens because her dad is in business with a wealthy real estate developer; she is reckless with drinking and hookups; and, oh yeah, she’s completely lost the ability to see colors other than black, white, or gray. And one more thing…. Continue reading