Monday, July 27, 2015

Accidental Haitus: I'm Still Here! (Plus Update!)

To everyone who sometimes checks out my blog, hopefully more of you in the near future, I am still here!

I just finished reading Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman and will be posting that review close to October as too early of a review could be bad.
Anyway, I have nothing but praise for that book, because it is absolutely fantastic, my goodness.

I have been slowing down my reading as I have to do some poetry reading for school in the fall for my AP Literature class and have to Rewrite the US Constitution for my AP Government class! Lots of work to be done!

I thank you all that support me in my endeavors, I appreciate it immensely.

- Cody Roecker "Roecker Reviews"

P.S I love you all

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

eARC Review: Awake by Natasha Preston (Out August 2015)

I received and e ARC of this from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Awake
Author: Natasha Preston
Page Count: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller/ Suspense
Rating: 3/5
Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it...because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

Review: With this description, I began this with high hopes. I loved The Cellar by Natasha Preston and was looking forward to something new from her. The concept is interesting. The cult thing is super super creepy. Scarlett and Noah are both likable characters. The instant love is still super frustrating to me because of how UNREALISTIC it is! 

Frustrations aside, this was a well written book. Well written but super frustrating to me for so many reasons. There are books I have liked less but rater higher but this book is just something that has made me angry, not angry, but i'm trying not to use frustrated too much. 

The first quarter of the book was difficult to get into because it began as a sappy romance-heavy young adult novel. But after that first quarter we finally delved into the actually storyline, Eternal Light this freaking creepy cult that is probably the best part of the story.

Natasha Preston has a way with creating justifiably crazy people who so deeply believe their convictions and makes it so we all believe that they believe it as well, It transfers very well to the reader. 

As I continue the book from the dual perspective of Scarlett and Noah, everything finally begins to make sense. Preston ties everything together extremely well and I commend her for that.

The idea for this story is slightly better than the execution of it. About half way through I would have rated this book a 2.5 Stars probably. But the more you get into it, the more you care, the more you actually want to know what is going on with these characters and where they all end up. It's suspenseful and great. I admire Preston's mysterious writing and the way she builds up to big things happening. That is a strong suit of hers.

The characters' flaws all make sense and there isn't a character I think is unrealistic for their specific situation. The characters are indeed extremely well written.. with exception to maybe Imogen, but you don't see enough of her for it to matter.

Near the end of the book, I was biting my nails in suspense. My goodness. As I approached the ending I was breathing heavily and freaking out.  Seriously, it was very intense. 

The ending above all, tied everything together and made me like this book more than I did and allowed me to look past the many blunders included. I can now proudly say that I can rate this book 3 Stars. Almost 3.5 but not quite there. 

I will still be reading Natasha Preston when she writes more. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

eARC Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Out September 2015)

I received this eARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Everything, Everything
Title: Everything Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Page Count: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating 5/5
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Review: Everything (, Everything) about this book is beautiful. Simply put, it is near perfect. The concept is so simple yet so interesting. The story follows Maddy who has SCID, a rare disease which prevents her from leaving her house because she is allergic to everything. This leads to her having a very sheltered life. When a new boy, Olly, moves in next door, her life is flipped over and she begins to experience things she never thought she would ever get to. 

This is my favorite contemporary novel I have read this year and one of my favorites of all time. This is my second favorite debut second only to EMBER. You cannot really compare the two except for the fact that they are both amazing and just great. 

The storyline is beautiful. I flew through this book in one day. I didn't want to put it down. Truly, My heart was en-captured in this story. I immediately loved Maddy and every character I encountered from there on out. She is just lovable and relatable in a twisted way. She is someone I feel like I knew so well from the moment she first spoke. That is so difficult to do, and I am so proud of Nicola Yoon for doing so. 

There is so much hype surrounding this book and I can honestly say that it is well deserved. The writing is simply elegant.

Before I even go further into the contents of the story lets just talk a moment about the illustrations. 
David Yoon (Nicola's husband) did the illustrations throughout the novel.. THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. They really bring the story home for me. It connects everything so well and they are so witty and comical and tragic. (Not all at the same time of course) So amazed by the talent of these two.

The characters were probably my favorite part of this novel. There was not one character I completely hated. I had a strong dislike toward one character, but that is it. Everyone else was lovely despite their many faults. Carla was probably my favorite character. One thing she told Maddy was "It's not your fault. Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it." and I loved that so much. 

A few other quotes I loved include "Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love."
"Love is a terrible thing and its loss is even worse."
"There's more to life than being alive." 

That is just a little snippet of the beauty of Everything, Everything.

Seriously, this book is fan-freaking-tastic and I believe every person should purchase this book as soon as it releases. Pre-order it!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

BookReview: We Were Liars by e. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Page Count: 225
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5/5 Review: This book has left me on the edge of my seat the entire time because the entire time I was trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't. The writing is amazing. I really enjoy the way e. Lockhart creates this unreliable character and you never know who you can trust and what is truly going on. 

The suspense in this book is utterly unbelievable. I am enamored by everything that was going on.The plot was intriguing and enough to keep me reading. 

The main character could be annoying with her borderline obsession with another character, and with everything that was going on, it makes sense. 

When you get to the end and everything is told to you, it all comes together really nicely. 

I enjoyed this book, however, the plot twist wasn't as grand as I was expecting. It's partially my fault for listening to what everyone had to say about this twist but I wasn't surprised, I sorta expected it. So that left me a little disappointed. 

The Sinclair family reminds me a lot of Season 1 of Revenge on ABC which I granted only watched half of... anyways, it had that upper-class East Hampton's vibe to it which was interesting. 

If you enjoy being confused but intrigued, I would pick this up.It's a very quick read and will keep you interested. 

I will be reading more books by e lockhart in the future. 

Until next time! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles Book 3)


Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Count: 550
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 5/5 
Cress is the third installment to the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and was expecting a lot with this; I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL. Cress was beautifully written and it EXCEEDED my expectations that I had for it. 

Cress follows Cress who is trapped in a satellite in space. She is a lunar shell and has been kept there by Sybil Mira for seven years now. All of her time alone has allowed Cress to become and excellent hacker. She has a goal of getting rescued, and she knows exactly how she wants to do it. 

Cress is a lovely character and I love the connections to Rapunzel because they are there but they aren't screaming at you. Some of the aspects are very apparent and others you have to look for deeply and that is a very very nice touch. 

I love Meyer's writing style and the way she writes in third person is one of the best I have seen in today's author pool. She has a way of weaving story lines together like nobody else. It is quite amazing to witness. 

Meyer has written a masterpiece that includes action, romance, sci-fi, and so many aspects that really bring home the story. I adore her strong female characters. It is so difficult to find well-written strong female characters that are the main focus of the story, and she does this incredibly well! 

The best thing is that her characters are very different! HALLELUJAH! Actually differentiated characters. It is such a nice change from normal novels today. 

This book didn't have too many slow moments, and if there were, they were brief. I flew through this action-packed book. I, as an aspiring writer, recognize the difficulties of writing certain types of scenes, but especially fight scenes. I am astounded by Meyer's ability to describe them in such a vivid way. 

Even though I am still behind on this series, I could not be more excited for Winter this fall! I have no doubt that it will be an epic conclusion to an already amazing series! 

I one-hundred percent recommend this series to EVERYONE, but especially those who like retellings of fairy-tales and science fiction  and fantasy twists. It is refreshing and different and I seriously commend Marissa Meyer and her capabilities as an author

eARC Review: Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger (Out September 2015)

I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Title: Are You Still There?
Author: Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Page Count:288
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense
Rating: 3/5
Are You Still There delves into so many deep and dark places. 

 The story line follows Gabriella after a bomb threat at her school. She is stuck in the bathroom during this time. This begins the series of psychological games played on her. 

 Gabi is such a strong character and I was very intrigued as she started to unravel the mystery. The great thing about this book is the suspense it holds throughout. I absolutely loved the Strangers' Manifesto that was sprinkled throughout the novel. It was my favorite part of the entire novel. Without it, I probably would have rated this a three. But the addition was intriguing and creepy and very real. The 'Stranger' was such a unique and intellectual individual that I found myself begging for more insight from him. I applaud the author for creating such a real person with psychological problems. It was so realistic. 

 I also really enjoyed Janae. She was just plain awesome. She was one of my favorite characters. I found myself not caring too much about all of the characters. I cared about the Stranger and Janae and felt a little bit for Gabi and her sister, Chloe. That was the hardest part to read, when I wasn't connecting to the characters. There were more moments that I connected than didn't but it was still difficult in those moments,

 This novel was very interesting and I would definitely read more by the author. Although this isn't my favorite book, or even close to it, for the year I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

eARC Review: Another Day by David Levithan (out August 2015) (Companion to Every Day)

I received an eARC of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Another Day
Author: David Levithan
Page Count: 300
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
Rating: 4.75/5 Stars 
Another Day is everything we want from a companion novel to Every Day. This novel is beautiful and poignant. There is something special about the way David Levithan constructs characters and weaves together a story line. It is something incredibly special.

 Getting to see Rhiannon's perspective gives us all a better understanding to A. The other side of the story is just as heartbreaking as the first. The emotions expressed throughout were so real. It's amazing how uncomfortable I felt with some of the relationships in the novel. (I am avoiding saying the specific one so I am not spoiling anyone)

 Another Day is not as breathtaking or as fantastic as Every Day but it lives up to the expectations that is being set for it. If you loved Every Day, you will love this. It does seem repetitive at times, because of how easily it is to remember details from the first book, but it really doesn't matter that much.

 This book tackles so many issues and I think that is why everyone will truly love it. A couple main points the book is making is 'Why can't we love someone for the inside and not just the outside?' and 'Does gender really affect the capability to love someone?". I honestly believe in this time of day, it is very important to tackle topics like this and bring a better understanding to everyone. David Levithan has written another masterpiece. I am so glad that I got to experience it again. I will definitely be buying it when it come out.

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles Book 2)


Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Count: 452
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction; Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 4.25/5

This sequel to Cinder follows Scarlet Benoit as she struggles with the disappearance of her grandmother. She is determined to save her grandmother. As she is searching for clues she encounters a street fighter named Wolf. He has information that she needs to save her grandmother and the two embark on a quest to save Grand-mere. 
Cinder begins the novel attempting to break out of prison. If she succeeds she will become the most wanted fugitive in all of the Commonwealth. 
The dangers they both face are imminent. They must fight for what they want and what they believe in. Little do they know that their destinies are intertwined. 

I really enjoyed this book. I didn't love it, but their was not enough for me to dislike it. It was very slow starting out. It took me a long while to get into the book, but once I did I was so glad I had continued. 
This book is action packed and less predictable than Cinder, ( I enjoyed Cinder slightly more even though I gave it less stars) but in regards to the overall story line, I feel Scarlet had a leg up. 
Scarlet is bad-ass and lovable, as is Cinder, and seeing the world from both points of view was quite interesting. Scarlet was written better in this novel, as the focus was more heavily on Scarlet, but that being said Cinder was also strong. 

I think the problem I had with the book was its super slow first 100 or so pages. There were a few moments during them that the plot would move along quicker but for the most part, I found it hard to continue picking up.

The good news is: It got better! By the end I had been reading for a long time trying to finish the book because it all got so intense. The action was definitely the best part, and sort of seeing from Levana's point of view was so unexpected and interesting. 
This was a book that has elements worse than Cinder and many elements better than Cinder. If you enjoyed Cinder in the slightest, I would pick this up. It is a good read. Not the best, but still worth your time.

I will have another review up as soon as I can. 
Thanks for reading! 

6 Months: Starred Reviews 1-30

(Originally published 6/5/2015)
1. The Cellar by Natasha Preston 4.5/5
2. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken 5/5 
3. Stupid Kids by John C Russell (play) 4/5
4. Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph (play) 5/5
5. Next to Normal by Tom Kit and Brian Yorkey (musical) 4.75/5
6. In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken 5/5
7. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige 3.5/5
8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 4/5
9. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga 5/5
10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer 4/5
11. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald 4/5
12. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 3.75/5
13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews 4.5/5
14. The Rimers of Eldritch by Lanford Wilson (play) 3.5/5
15. The Program by Suzanne Young 1.5/5
16. Boneman's Daughter by Ted Dekker 3/5
17. Origin by Jessica Khoury 4.25/5
18. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 5/5
19. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes 5/5
20. Children of A Lesser God by Mark Medoff 5/5
21. More Than This by Patrick Ness 5/5
22. The Beginning of Everything 4/5
23. Talon by Julie Kagawa 3/5
24. Ruined by Paula Morris 1/5
25. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 4.5/5
26. The Help by Kathryn Stockett 5/5
27. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater 4/5
28. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 4/5
29. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson 2/5
30. I Was Here by Gayle Forman 3/5

These are the books I have read so far this year. I've been busy with finals and end of the year things, so I haven't had time to write full reviews. I will be writing one for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer as soon as I finish it. If you would like a full-length review of any of these books, just request it and I shall write one and explain why I gave it the stars I gave! 
Thank you all for visiting my blog. Have a wonderful night! (or day!)

Book Review: An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember In The Ashes 
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Page Count: 446
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating 5/5 Stars 
An Ember In The Ashes follows Laia who is a Scholar, people who live under the rule of The Martial Empire. She disguises herself as a slave in order to save her brother from a crime he has committed. The other focus is Elias, who is one of the top soldiers in The Martial Empire. The catch is, he doesn't want to be a part of this place anymore, and he plans on deserting. Two people from completely different walks of life. Their stories intertwine through the hardships they both face and the choices each of the must make.

I received this book as an ARC a couple weeks before its release on April 28th,2015. I let it sit for a little while before I picked it up.
First of all, the cover is BEAUTIFUL.  I mean.. LOOK AT IT! It means so much to the novel looking back after reading it, it makes it better once you've read the book, but on its own it is still gorgeous.

 Second of all, Tahir's writing is phenomenal. Sabaa Tahir has created a world in which we never want to leave. She has taken Laia and motivates her with her brother being stripped from her life and she is forced to endure unspeakable things to attempt and save him. She is a prime example of female strength and everybody can take tips from her. I admire her strength and willpower. The other main character is Elias Veturius and he is very interesting. What sets him apart from most other fantasy novels is the fact that he isn't a prince or someone of high standard, well he is, but in a very different way. Elias doesn't like where he is in life, because he has to deal with his mother who he very much dislikes because she is a very strict person. He has heart and its admirable.

Usually,I have a hard time saying that a book is really good, or that it's really bad because I strongly believe that there are at least a couple good qualities in each book, or in the case of this one, some bad ones. Sabaa Tahir writes strongly. The fault that I find with this book is that there is a love triangle threat looming from the very beginning. It's one of the very few predictable things about this book, which can be compared to a lot of YA fiction that has been released in the past few years such as Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or Splintered by A. G. Howard. I always find it sad when an author slips into a love triangle for their characters. Usually this makes me dislike the novel to some extent, and although I did find it annoying in a few places, IT WASN'T AS BAD AS I WAS EXPECTING. She finds a way to write it without killing you with the characters being so indecisive about who they love. It was there, but it wasn't shoved down your throats or anything, which is a plus.

The side character like Helene and Spiro are so incredibly important. So are Chef and Kitchen-girl. Everyone plays such a pivotal role in the plot-line and it is incredibly difficult for an author to do that and it is fantastic that she managed it! Usually I find that authors throw in character just to throw them in, just to fill the dead space that can be created at times. I don't believe she has fallen into this trap.

I do not say this lightly when I say that this is the best book of 2015. There is no question at this point, it is exquisitely well written, the plot continually moves and rarely has a dry spot, and the characters are flawed enough and relateable enough that it is very easy to fall in love with them and immerse yourself into their problems and into their world.

The plot is very fast-paced and it will definitely keep the attention of any Young Adult reader and of anyone who reads fantasy novels, period. Even if you usually only enjoy adult fantasy. The style of the writing isn't like anything I have read before and that makes this story even more appealing to me

. This is a wonderful novel that leaves you begging for more. As of right now it is a standalone novel, and after reading it, I NEED A SEQUEL. Go ahead and read it yourself and you will understand why a sequel is a necessity. We need more Sabaa Tahir and her wonderful writing.

I love this book. Everything about it is great. I definitely recommend this one. Tahir is an author that could very well reach the super stardom of J. K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and all of the other YA writers of this time. She could easily surpass them in years to come. This was a fantastic debut novel. Great job Sabaa!

- I will post below links to the authors website and ways you can purchase this book.

Tahir and EMBER

Places to purchase: 

Blog News: From Weebly to Blogspot

Hello Everyone! This is Cody Roecker. I have decided to move my blog from to blogspot because I want to allow the ability to follow me and my reviews!

I will within the next few days add all of the reviews I have done so far, as well as add some new ones for some books I will hopefully be done with by then. Including We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and Awake by Natasha Preston (which releases next month!)

I appreciate all of you who have checked out my blog before and will continue to now! You guys are all wonderful people and I appreciate you all immensely!