scavenger hunt tag

Books, Classic, Novel, Tag, Young Adult

Hello my lovely friends

I was tagged by the charming Fadwa @ Word Wonders to take part in the Scavenger Hunt Tag! I love going on scavenger hunts and if there’s one involving books, I’m all in 🙂 Fadwa has just the most darling blog, so please go check out all her amazing content!

I don’t see any rules for this tag, and it’s pretty intuitive, so I’ll go ahead and get started!


Find a book with the letter ‘Z’ in its title or the author’s name.

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Though I haven’t read this one, the synopsis always piques my attention each time I read it.

The Godfather – Mario Puzo

The epic tale of crime and betrayal that became a global phenomenon.

Almost fifty years ago, a classic was born. A searing portrayal of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor. The seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and the allegiance to family—these are the themes that have resonated with millions of readers around the world and made The Godfather the definitive novel of the violent subculture that, steeped in intrigue and controversy, remains indelibly etched in our collective consciousness.


Find me a classic

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I loved this classic and garnered so much knowledge about poverty, wealth and love.

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Young, handsome and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby is the bright star of the Jazz Age, but as writer Nick Carraway is drawn into the decadent orbit of his Long Island mansion, where the party never seems to end, he finds himself faced by the mystery of Gatsby’s origins and desires. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life, Gatsby is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon, this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.


Find A Book with a Key in the cover

Incarceron (Incarceron, #1)

I’m so glad that I had the chance to do this tag and rediscover this series I so enjoyed as a young girl. I loved this book, and hope to revisit it someday!

Incarceron – Catherine Fisher

Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons.

A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists.

But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born


Find something on your shelves that isn’t a book.

I would take a picture, but I’m in the midst of packing, and everything is quite bare. On my bookshelf, I carry not only books, but photographs, stationary and make up. I promise to show this to you all some day as soon as I get settled in!

 


Find a book with an animal on the cover.

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My childhood favorite series, I read all these books multiple times, and watched all the movies! True fan here :p

The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S Lewis

‘They say Aslan is on the move. Perhaps he has already landed,’ whispered the Beaver. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delightful strain of music had just floated by. And Lucy got that feeling when you realize it’s the beginning of summer. So, deep in the bewitched land of Narnia, the adventure begins.

They opened a door and entered a world–Narnia–the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Lucy is the first to stumble through the back of the enormous wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old country house, discovering the magic world beyond. At first, no one believes her. But soon Edmund, Peter and Susan, too, discover the magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. And in the blink of an eye, they are changed forever.


Find a book with a girl on its cover.

Whispers in Autumn (The Last Year, #1)

This book I grabbed during my huge eBook haul. I love the combination of orange and blue on this cover, and find it just captivating.

Whispers in Autumn – Trisha Leigh

In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.

And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.


Find a non-YA book.

The Help

Though I have yet to watch the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. One page to the next, I found myself laughing, crying and just falling in love with each character.

The Help – Kathryn Stockett

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step….

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.


Find a book with stars on its cover.

The Little Prince

A classic with a cute illustration on the cover. I love reading this short story, and have always loved this darling cover.

 

The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.


Find a book with golden letters.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

This series was one of the first that I started reading since I started this blog. I really enjoyed, and this book will always bring back great memories.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Philipp Sendker

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.


I Tag:

CW @ Read Think and Ponder

Teacher of YA

Ola @ Ola Reads Books

Melanie @ Mel to the Any

The Jouska

And anyone out there ready for an adventure!


Have you gone on any scavenger hunts lately? Or read any of the listed books? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Books, Contemporary, Movies, Novel, Review, Young Adult

 

:: author:: Stephen Chbosky :: published: 2010 :: my rating: 4/5 :: genre: novel :: young adult :: contemporary :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends!

I’m trying something new today and posting a movie and book review all rolled in one post! I recently watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, something I had been meaning to do for some time, and because I had finished the book fairly recently as well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Lets go ahead and get started 🙂


Synopsis from goodreads:

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Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.


My Review: (No Spoilers)

The first time I read this book, was during my pre-teen years when I can’t say I was emotionally or mentally prepared to broach the topics presented. However, after revisiting the book, I was better able to grasp and appreciate the topics and issues that were being addressed. If there was were issues with the book, it would be the following.

  1. There was too much going on in the book. I felt like Chobsky tried too hard to include too many topics, and often times it felt overwhelming. Although this could have been done on purpose, I still felt myself having to stop periodically and just think. 
  2. I had to remind myself that Charlie was only a freshman and that this book took place in high school. 
  3. I had trouble understanding why Charlie was unable to identify any emotion other than sadness and regret. Although this is how depression works, I felt that this cycle of whining and inability to understand his situation to be monotonous.

However, I loved how real the book was. How it illustrated mental issues, and the realistic perspective into the struggles adolescents have.

First lines in the book:

“August 25, 1991
Dear Friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don’t want you to find me. I didn’t enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.

I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.

The movie, was equally as good, and I found myself falling in love with Emma Watson and surprisingly, I felt like Charlie became so much more real to me. The movie, however, expounded upon the drug culture, and I found myself thinking that this seemed to be more of a college setting than that of high school. This could be in part because my high school experience was so much different, but it was difficult to grasp that these kids were merely high schoolers, as they had so much terrible history behind them.

Characters:

I believe that Chobsky’s characterization and descriptions of the characters were the highlights of the book, and what made the book so lovable. By the end of both the book and the movie, I felt as if I knew each character at a personal and deep level. Each were multifaceted and brought so much dimension to the book.

Charlie is the embodiment of all that adolescents are afraid to admit and be. Innocent and honest, he works as the perfect narrator, providing insight into all the ugly and terrible things that accompany growing up, while also showing the beauty of friendship and love. Suffering from childhood trauma, and depression, Charlie is simply trying to make his way through high school as a normal student. Not only does Charlie have an ugly past that always threatens to ruin his social life, Charlie finds himself to be smarter, and more insightful than the rest of his class. Although his complaints and inability to function correctly in society grew to be annoying, I could understand and empathize with his plight.

In the movie: Charlie is everything I imagined him to be in the book. I had trouble grasping what sort of exterior Charlie exuded at school, and the movie helped me to realize that even with his conflicting interior, he was just that kid in school that we never talked to. This prompted me to realize that these people suffering from problems are all around us.

Contrasting sharply to Charlie’s naivety is Sam. Patrick and Sam take Charlie under their wings, and teach him about life. I believe that it is Charlie’s interactions with these characters that develop him, and expose him to the reader. I won’t say much about the supporting characters, as I found myself enjoying reading and learning about them the most.

The Plot:

There are a series of love stories in this book, all very different from each other. I loved this aspect of this book, as the reader is shown the pain and hardship that accompany any sort of relationship. There were relationships that didn’t work out, a LGBT relationship, one without love, and an abusive one as well. This helped me realize that it’s not always happily ever, and that in the world, there is always a lot more under the surface.

Though I won’t say much about the plot, as I found the characters to be what made the book amazing, I never was bored, and found myself devouring each page to discover more about each character.

Final Thoughts:

This story provided moments to cry, learn and empathize. This coming to age novel taught me a lot about mental health, as well as allowed me to realize that some of the thoughts and issues I was having was not exclusive to me. I was able to better grasp the value of friendship, and what love is. I recommend this to everyone and anyone!

Both the book and movie were wonderful, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to reread and watch.


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Have you watched or read either The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

review: Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Books, Contemporary, Novel, Realistic Fiction, Review, Romance, Young Adult

:: author: Deirdre Riordan Hall :: published: 2016 :: my rating: 4/5 :: genre: novel :: romance novel :: realistic fiction :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends!

First off, I’d like to announce that I have finally taken it upon myself to make a twitter account! Make sure to follow @_kimmiegg to stay caught up 🙂

Anyways, I’m back today with a review on a book I was not expecting to read. I had not heard of this book, nor had it been on my TBR list, but upon accidentally stumbling upon it, I found it to be a fun read. Maybe it was the cover, or my infatuation with pearls in general… Whatever the case, this was a easy, light read that I ended up enjoying.


Synopsis from goodreads:

Run fast and run far, unless you’re fearless. Unless you’re courageous. I’m not, but I’d like to be.

Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.

This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me.

When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn’t hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn’t straightforward.

I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.

Through the friendships she forms at school—especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive—she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother’s failures, which direction will Pearl choose?


 My Review: (no spoilers)

From the start, this book was jarring. It begins with Pearl sneaking back home, in order to avoid the wrath of her intoxicated mother. What follows is a detailed description of the mentally and physically exhausting act of taking care of a once famous rock star, drug addicted mother while discovering ones identity. This book caused me to deliberate on how much of my life was the result of my upbringing (nature v nurture anybody?), and the resilience someone needed in order to break free from their parent’s bonds.

Characters

The part that I could relate to with Pearl, the protagonist in this book, was her constant confusion about guys and life in general. I felt as if there was dimension to her, which I appreciated. Brought up in an unstable household, with no permanent residence or father, Pearl constantly finds herself moving to accommodate her mother’s new boyfriend or drug addiction. Furthermore, Pearl struggles to root her identity in her mother’s legacy and demise. I found Pearl’s inner conflict of hating her mother, and wishing to hold a part of her very realistic and painful.

Pearl’s relationships are all a tad complicated. Because she is constantly moving, she has no steady friends, and it isn’t until she joins the elite boarding school that she finds people to regularly socialize with. These relationships help fortify what we know about Pearl’s personality, and I believe the author did a great job of showing Pearl’s multifaceted character through these relationships. One character that I just could not stand was Sola, the mother hen that was the embodiment of Pearl’s mother.

Plot

The plot flowed very easily, and I was surprisingly ok with the ending. Although it was a bit too perfect for me, there were still some loose ends, and it was nice to see where Pearl ended up. I found Pearl’s situation, oftentimes to be also too perfect at times. Things would always work out in ways that wouldn’t normally have worked in real life. Throughout the book, I never struggled with being bored, or confused, which was nice.

HOWEVER, this book is riddled in drugs and sex. It doesn’t stop with her mother, but seems to follow Pearl everywhere. No matter how much Pearl hates the drug culture, and how much the drug culture has hurt her, she isn’t able to remove herself from it. At times, I had to remind myself that Pearl was still in High School and not in college. This could be due in part that this takes place in a boarding school, but also because every student seemed to be obsessed with drugs and making out. Although this concept is essential to the ending of the book, I found it frustrating sometimes to see her following exactly in her mother’s footsteps.

Ending thoughts:

Overall, I thought this was a nice, easy read (I finished in two sittings), and it did keep my attention. The biggest aspect that I disliked THE MOST about this book was how cheating was portrayed as a way to make a relationship stronger. Coincidence or not, I had just finished reading this book, when the lovely Reg from She Latitude posted her Top Ten Turn Off’s in the Book. (Most of which I agree with) Number eight, on her list is cheating. I find cheating in real life and books alike to be frustrating. When the two parties get back together, I’m always infuriated, and when the allusion is made that a relationship can get stronger though such a betrayal, you can imagine how livid I am. This aspect of the book can be seen as almost the sole reason I dropped a star.


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Have you ever read Pearl? What did you think? What is a book you will be reading next? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Thursday Quotables: 6.23.16

Books, Novel, Thursday Quotables, Young Adult

//book: Stargirl // author: Jerry Spinelli // genre: novel // young adult //  goodreads

Hello my lovely friends! Today, I will be taking quotes from one of my childhood favorite books. This book was my go to read, and I remember reading it over, and over, and over again, without ever getting bored! I loved the free spirit the girl possessed, and was enchanted by her personality. ALSO, THIS BOOK IS ABOUT TO BE TURNED INTO A MOVIE! It is yet to be announced when it will be in theaters. (I’m super excited… can you tell?)

Synopsis from goodreads:

From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. Until they are not. Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her – normal.

More than a love story, this novel deals with the pains of being “normal” and the suppressing power of trying to fit in. Stargirl possesses the magic of being unique, kind and grateful. Her quirky personality, captures the interest of the entire school, until the school discovers that her spirit is “too different”. Leo, is then forced to choose between a girl he loves and the in-crowd.

The most beautiful part about Stargirl, is her ability to appreciate and connect with others. She memorizes birthdays, names and small things that others would probably ignore. She is willing to do most anything for anyone. Stargirl is comfortable with being an outcast, and only attempts to change in order to appease the boy she likes (Leo).

She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.

This is such an accurate description of the essence of Stargirl. She was truly a girl that no one could understand, nor pin down. In their attempts to mold her into something “normal” she would simply slip away, and continue to be who she wanted to be. Of course, the school’s inability to understand who she was, ended up causing her downfall.

He stared at me. “She liked you, boy.” The intensity of his voice and eyes made me blink.
“Yes,” I said.
“She did it for you, you know.”
“What?”
“Gave up her self, for a while there. She loved you that much. What an incredibly lucky kid you were.”

Not only was Stargirl genuine and true to herself, she was able to understand the true meaning of love and the sacrifice that accompanies it. Instead of worrying about what others thought, Stargirl placed a higher importance in those that she loved, and those that loved her. In an attempt to please Leo, Stargirl gave up herself. This is the biggest sacrifice that one can make. I believe that Stargirl not only showed the importance of being unique, but of giving love.

I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl…. And… I see. I hear. But not with eyes and ears. I’m not outside my world anymore, and I’m not really inside it either. The thing is, there’s no difference between me and the universe. The boundary is gone. I am it and it is me. I am a stone, a cactus thorn. I am rain. I like that most of all, being rain.

When Stargirl demonstrated to Leo the power of meditation, I was amazed by her tranquility and tried it again and again and again. I must say, I never succeeded in becoming nothing, but I was able to understand the power Stargirl possessed to hold such power over herself. She was able to become nothing, one with nature and the universe. Her connection with nature is very apparent and beautiful throughout this book. And I think we all need a glimmer of that in our lives.

“She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh.

I hope we all meet someone like Stargirl one day. Someone who teaches us that it’s ok to stand out, to be different, to love, to laugh. The impact she made on Leo’s life is amazing, and to realize how easily he gave her up cautions us to be mindful and more understanding of the people around us. Sometimes the one we push away, is the one who has shaped our identity the most.

This book truly helped me to realize the detriments of conformity and convinced me to be kind, even if it may be unconventional. The power of peer pressure, and the scary truth behind conformity was also brought to my attention, and each time I put down the book, I was reminded to always be kind, thoughtful and genuine to each and every person I met. This is a must read for anyone of any age, as it deals with important topics in a manner that is engaging and thought-provoking.

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Review: Vicious

Books, Novel, Young Adult

FireWC

:: author: V.E. Schwab :: published: 2013 :: my rating: 5/5 :: genre: novel :: fantasy :: young adult :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends! Today, I want to share with you a book that I couldn’t put down. This novel was part of my June TBR list, and I cannot wait to add more books by V.E Schwab. Vicious demonstrates the fragility of friendship, destructive  nature of power, and the influential detriments of knowledge.


Synopsis from goodreads:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


My Review (No spoilers, I promise..):

From the beginning to finish, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

Filled with extraordinary humans, superheroes and suspense, this is not your typical young adult novel. The plot developed beautifully, and the ending was amazing. (Now I normally hate the endings of books because something is always missing.. But Schwab tied up loose ends, and did it with flair!) This book touches on friendship, betrayal, ambition and jealousy in such a realistic manner. Although the individuals in this book are far from normal, their down to earth personality and emotion makes this book more relateable.

Victor, the main character in this book, is seeking revenge towards a friend he feel has betrayed him. Initially, Victor’s motive for revenge seems amiss, and it is not hard to believe that this guy has some problems in the social realm. Luckily for him, during his university years, Victor is able to meet a young man, Eli. Eli is different from those around him, and soon a friendship ensues. This relationship is obviously very fragile as it is built on a sense of admiration and bitter jealousy. It is particularly interesting to see how Victor is drawn to the potential of evil Eli holds. When Eli discovers the mechanism to turn humans into EO’s (extra-ordinary). This opportunity for power eventually tears the relationship apart as each try to understand their newfound powers.

Schwab does a wonderful job in painting a fine line between good guys and bad guys. My personal favorite aspect of this book, was the portrayal of how ambition to be a hero, can ultimately make you a villain. It helped me to realize that often the worst of humans believe they are working towards the benefit of society, when in reality, they may be doing the opposite. The contrast Schwab creates by traveling back and forth in the lifetimes of each character, gifts the reader assist with the character development, and allows a greater understanding between each character and reader.

The characters are well developed, and each has a dark side that is hidden beneath their calm facades. Each had a vulnerable side as well that made their faults more forgivable. Definitely a twist on the normal hero-villain story, this book is a must read for anyone in need of a good book.


Favorite quotes:

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

One of the main ideas in this book is the creation of monsters.Once humans are able to function outside of the “normal” realm and are handed immense power, they can easily become monsters. The idea that as humans, we are able to become monstrous, and how easy it is to create a facade for ourselves is not only true in this book, but in real life.

“You’re the hero…,” she said, finding his eyes,”…of your own story anyway.”

Eli works so hard to achieve what he believes is necessary in preserving the human race. He understands the destructive power of the abilities they have created, and wants to shield the world from the danger. The saying that “two wrongs don’t make a right” is proven by Eli’s actions. Ultimately, everyone is the hero in their own stories.

PLEASE PLEEAASEEE READ! You will not regret picking up this novel!


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