Sunday, January 31, 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (mini-review) + Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (mini-review)

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Page Count: 465
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars!
Source: My friend Annelise!
Blurb: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

REVIEW: Holy crap, this book is near perfect. I loved living in this world WAY more than I did in Shadow and Bone... but this gives me more motivation to read Siege and Storm finally after all this time of it being left at 60 pages... I'll probably go back to it in the next month or two.

Six of Crows follows Kaz, Nina, Wylan, Jesper, Inej, and Matthias as they go to the Ice Court in search of a man who can create jurda parem something extremely powerful, especially in relation to Grisha.

Not only is this book fast-paced and character driven, the plot is just as fantastic as the rest. The heist aspect is freaking bomb as hell. I loved learning about the Ice Court and the information that different characters knew, and how they helped each other out.

Kaz Brekker's backstory was the most heartbreaking thing... I loved it, I loved learning about him, and although he was not my favourite character of the book, he was definitely up there.

Inej' backstory involving Heleen was... it made me shudder... Inej, being the Wraith is badass and strong and I cannot wait to see more of her in the next book Crooked Kingdom.

Jesper and Wylan are my favourite ever, Jesper and his sarcasm and wit, Wylan with his innocence and also wit, with kindness. They are officially my OTP and I love them with all of my heart. If they do not get together by the end of Crooked Kingdom... I will cry. They are too adorable.

Nina and Matthias are just heartbreaking and I understand them. Matthias comes off as a hardass military type, and throughout the novel he stays that way but also grows, he learns how to understand, how to empathize. Nina is a Heartrender, and just ahh. She is a sweetheart, but also terrifying and she was really interesting to read in her POV.

The villains are fantastic and I loved learning about Pekka Rollins and Van Eck, they were intriguing and intricate and they had lots of interesting motivations.

Bardugo did a great job in tackling the different POVs in 3rd person and I really enjoyed her third person narrative waaaay better than Passenger which I also recently read (not that I didn't enjoy Passenger, because I did...)

This is one of the most intricate fantasy novels I have read in quite awhile and it rivals some of my last years favourites such as Queen of Shadows and An Ember In The Ashes in regards to the complexity and beauty.

Consensus: Six Of Crows shows Bardugo's improvements in writing and style since the Grisha trilogy. In the novel she allows us a glimpse into the heads of some of the darkest and also downright hilarious characters I have read in a long time. She makes it easy to care for each of them making you bite your nails at every turn wondering if your favourite character will survive. Bardugo's an impressive author and the way she tells this story is enamoring.

Passenger (Passenger, #1)
Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Page Count: 496
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Time Travel
Rating: 4 Stars!
Source: Purchased
Blurb: passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

REVIEW: I loved Etta, and I loved Nicholas, I loved the time travel, and I loved the other characters.
I loved the storyline. I loved almost everything from this book... Yet often times I found it lacking and I am not really sure what it was. It might have been the third person narrative, and that is the only thing that I can think of as I loved everything else about the story. I understand why it needed to be written this way, but I LOVED Bracken's first person in The Darkest Minds.

I think I expected a little too much here, and this book did not lessen my love for Alexandra Bracken in the slightest... As I said just a little bit ago, I think the third person really threw me off... It felt more empty than TDM. I know I shouldn't compare the two but, I just felt off about it.

I loved Etta's journey, and though I did think that she was almost a little to strong for what she knew about travelling, I can forgive that because it felt natural as Bracken explained it, the Linden lineage really made things click.

The villains were well written and I really enjoyed the fear that they created in our MCs.

Nicholas was everything I didn't know I wanted in a character. He's African American (YAY DIVERSITY) and he is indebted to the Ironwoods and this alone brings in a lot of backstory that unwinds itself throughout the novel.

Is this my favourite Alex Bracken book? No. Is this her best writing? Maturity wise, yes. Connection wise, no. Will I read this book again? Eventually. I had to with TDM to truly appreciate it. Will I read the sequel? Of course. And I will read anything that Bracken writes, and I will be honest in my opinions even if I love her writing and don't want to be mean.... That's not what reviewing's about.

Consensus: Passenger weaves an intricate storyline into the lives of two somewhat ordinary teens Etta and Nicholas. The time travelling is exquisitely written and we automatically care for these characters. Although the third person narrative made the story lack a little, it made up for it in all other areas.

From The Soldier by Cody Roecker (Poetry by Me #2)

Dear Elizabeth Mansur,

By the time you receive this letter,
I pray that things will get better.
But right now I am slowly dying
of insanity and guilt, not sickness.
And I am so sorry.

The pain we must inflict every day,
for survival, eats my insides away
like a termite hollowing out a fallen log.
We are protecting our country,
but I need you to know
that I am so sorry.

I didn't think this would happen
and It pains me that
I must be the one to deliver
this painful news.
Your family's house in Afghanistan
It burnt down to the ground today.
And I am so sorry.

We have found the burnt remains
of your father and two sisters.
Your mothers body has yet to be recovered.
I am so sorry.

I know that nothing I could say
would be of any help.
Just know that we offer our condolences
and our hearts go out to you.
We are so sorry.

From, The Soldier

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Will Stand by Cody Roecker (Poetry by Me #1)

My head throbs
Because of the cruelties
That are evident in my country

My eyes burn
Because of the hardships
That people in my country face

My ears bleed
Because of the cries that
I hear in the distance

My legs shake
Because  I feel weak
Due to the death all around me

My arms break
Because I try to save
All of the lives that matter

My heart shatters
Because they aren't punished
For the brutality or the murder

My resolve strengthens
Because I won't stop
Until justice is served
Or the doors of death welcome me

Personal Update: A Little About Me!

So, if any of you have been keeping up with my blogging, I promised myself to post once a week, and I am sticking to this ideal, by letting you know a few things about me!

Hello, I am Cody Roecker and I am a senior in high school in Hillsboro, Oregon. I want to go to Emerson College in Boston for Writing, Literature, & Publishing. I will probably go to Portland Community College for two years first, to save money... but that's where I hope to end up!

I just finished reading Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (It was a WILD ride!) and am currently reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. (IT IS SO GOOD SO FAR. OMG)

My favourite colour is this:

My favourite food:

My favourite animal:

I want to be a published author for a living, and I think I can do it. I started this blog because I have a love for all things involving books, writing, reading, reviewing, everything. I want to work for a publishing company, and write on the side until I can become a full-time writer. I read and write, even a little every day because it's my dream and I want it to come true.

I am still getting the hang of blogging, and I hope you are enjoying this if you are reading it! Have any questions, just ask! Comment below! I am super friendly I swear!

If you want to follow me on any of my other mediums feel free:

@CodyRoecker on Twitter
@that_creativeguy on Instagram
Cody Roecker on Goodreads

Sunday, January 17, 2016

eARC Review: Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate (Out March 2016)

Title: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Page Count: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars!!
Blurb: Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

Review:  "I think I'm beginning to understand how hearts fit together. Not like diseased carnations that lean against their crutches. Not like vines that twine tight, throttling their hosts. But like two trees [...] Hearts fit together like hands. Not by necessity. By choice."

Consensus: The ability of Riley Redgate to successfully develop these seven characters with unique voices truly attests to her capabilities as a writer. Being her debut novel, Seven Ways We Lie, allows us to experience rich characters and an intriguing storyline, and writing that allows us a glimpse into the beauty she will continually give us. Being this good as a debut author is INCREDIBLE. I cannot wait for more Riley Redgate novels.

Beginning my thoughts on books I loved as much as this one is always difficult... But I will begin with the characters as this is what the book is focused on: the seven characters we grow to care about in the end.

Kat Scott: Thespian girl, who frequently gets angry, and has secluded herself from her sister, and her family. She is headstrong, and intense, and reading from her POV made me angry, and allowed me to release some pent up anger, and realize the pettiness of such anger at times. I truly appreciated her growth throughout the novel.

Juniper Kipling: The other characters call her the "Golden Girl" She is popular, and practically perfect... But she holds secrets of her own, as all of our characters do. Her parents have almost stopped caring what she does, she doesn't get in trouble... This bothers her so she starts rebelling in many ways... She is intriguing and her chapters made me incredibly happy... and not for what was contained in them... but because of the way it reads. Juni's chapters read like poetry... they are incredibly poetic, and I enjoyed them immensely. They definitely stood out in relation to the other characters because of this drastic shift in writing style... This may be showing her intelligence. I enjoyed her storyline.

Olivia Scott: This girl, it is known from the beginning that everyone sees her as a slut, and she acts as if she doesn't care about it... Clearly she does... Boys think that they can get in her pants if they are kind to her... but this is not true... Olivia is so much more than it seems on the surface. She is one of the most compassionate people in this entire novel, and that is masked over by her reputation. Her and her sister aren't really speaking, but it is apparent that she cares... Her family's story in general was great to read, and it had a lot of depth which I enjoyed.

Valentine Simmons: Oh, our wonderful recluse, who also is the one who sparked the conspiracy of the teacher-student relationship. He doesn't have friends, and he doesn't have crushes, and he almost seems to not have feelings... but my goodness is he one of my favourite characters in this novel... He really drives this story, and I am trying to avoid spoilers... I love him. That is all.

Lucas McCallum: Good lord, popular boy, dated Claire Lombardi, smiles to hide his fears, oh... he also harbors a secret: He's pansexual. Here we start with him... oh he's also a drug dealer. Because we have to keep things mildly interesting... Ha. His storyline weaves its way into the others so well, and it is great to see his growth and development into loving himself, and taking pride in that.

Claire Lombardi: Queen of comparing herself to others. She is best friends with Juniper and Olivia, and is consistently jealous of them. She continuously talks of her "lesser" qualities, and wonders why Lucas McCallum ended their relationship. She tries her best to be involved, running the Student Elections, the Young Environmentalists and many other things she really doesn't have time for. She was annoying as all hell, but in the end, it makes sense, I understand it, and I forgive her.

Matt Jackson: Stoner boy who smokes to escape from the world. He has a three-year-old younger brother named Russell who is a sweetheart. His mother seems rather strict, and his parents often fight, as do the parents of many other characters it seems. He has the biggest crush on Olivia Scott, and he buys his drugs from Lucas. His character grows in ways that I truly enjoyed.

Plotline: The plot is completely driven by the characters and I really enjoyed where it went, and everything was important, in my opinion. There were a lot of defining moments, such as an English project on Dante's Inferno. This book was just beautiful, and enjoyable, and unique and great.

OH. THE DIVERSITY. OMG. YES. This book was diverse. Sure, we have some incredibly white girls, but we have a pansexual, and other attractions (not going to say which... you're gonna have to read it to find out...)


Thursday, January 14, 2016

eARC Review: The Truth by Jeffry W Johnston (out February 2016)

The Truth
Title: The Truth
Author: Jeffry W Johnston
Page Count: 240
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Thriller (?) Intense
Rating: 3.75 Stars!

Lie, torture, kill—there's nothing Chris and Derek wouldn't do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he's trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek's little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris's story won't change. It can't. There is far too much at stake…

Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn't deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother's killer is the only way to the truth, than he'll go to extremes. But Chris's truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

Review: There is very little I can say about this book, except I really enjoyed it. Chris, Devon, and Derek... our three main characters... were all insanely believable from start to finish (at least for me)

I understood each one's motivations, and I felt for them and that's really all you can ask for. The story was intense, and it kept me on the edge of my seat! I cringed a few times, and I was worried for everybody's safety.

I enjoyed the build up in this book, I enjoyed the character dynamics, I enjoyed the character motivations, I liked Chris' inner monologue, once we got a little into the story.

There were a few loose ends at the end of the book that left me questioning a few things, but that is okay.

Now was this the best book I ever read? No.
Will I ever reread this? Probably not...
But did I enjoy it, and am glad I read it? Definitely!

This wasn't anything new, but I was in the mood for something like this, which probably impacted my rating, but I don't care... It was good!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (Trutwitch Book 1)

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Page Count: 416
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars!!!!!
Blurb: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.


"Because those who win wars are those who write history."

Consensus: Though not without it's flaws, Truthwitch, is a story that exemplifies loyalty, true friendship, and overall badassery. Dennard has created a rich world with vivid characters that have you flipping the pages at a rapid pace, needing to know the outcome. I flew through this book, and fell in love with the character and have no doubt that you will too. I think those that like Throne of Glass will enjoy this novel.

How can I even begin with my thoughts about this book? I am completely aware that this book has it's flaws but to be honest.... I don't care. This book is even better because it's not perfect. I love that it's not, because if it was, The next book would have to be just as good, and I don't want to be disappointed (not that I think I will because this series is going to go so many places.

I'm going to begin this review by breaking it down into different sections:

Characters: One of my favourite parts of the novel. This novel follows Safiya and Iseult, Truthwitch and Thhreadwitch, respectively. Safi is naïve, and is prone to some stupid decisions, but honestly she felt very real to me, I very much enjoyed some of her thoughts. She could become overbearing and annoying. and she had her "specialness" from the beginning, but again, it really didn't bother me.

Iseult: Is DEFINITELY in my top 3 characters for this novel, because she is badass as hell, she is loyal as all hell, she is perfect as all hell. (Not really perfect, but I love her) She is intelligent and intriguing and everything that happens to her is as result of protecting Safi, and for others, and she might be doing some of it for selfish reasons, but again, that makes her more realistic. I LOVED the interaction between her and the shadow. It gives a lot that could happen in the sequel that I am super excited for. Iseult has this vibe about her where she could become evil in time, she is dark, in her own way. Everything Susan Dennard did with her, intrigues me and excites me as we patiently wait for the sequel.

Aeduan: Blood Monk? Bloodwitch? Sign me up, I love him. He is such a rich character and I think he has a lot to offer the storyline, and his background in of itself is interesting an adds a lot to the story. His passages may have been a little weak at times, but it picked up near the end to where I am more excited about where his storyline goes that about Safi... which is weird. I mean, I normally like other characters than the protagonist best, but could he be a protagonist in the future? Who knows?

Merik: Oh my dear Prince Merik, how I love you as well. (Is there any character here that I don't love?) He is willing to do ANYTHING for his country, Nubrevna, and I respect that so much, everything that he embodies I am envious of, I strive to do things selflessly, for the good of all, and Merik exemplifies that quality. Other people talked about instalove between him and another character and to be honest, I didn't see it, or particularly care.

Evrane: Important as all hell and I love her, and she is one of my favorites because of her wisdom. I would love something from inside her head eventually.

Other Characters: Ryber offers a lot in this next book and Kullen and so many more made me so so so happy.

Plot: I touched a little on it... but it flowed really nicely, it was super fast paced the majority of the time which made it difficult when Aeduan was introduced because it slowed things down just a little bit. Overall, the plot held me intrigued and piqued my interest. Though I did predict a couple things that were going to happen.

Worldbuilding: I struggled understanding the world at times, but halfway through I definitely feel I have a good grasp now. Dennard does a good job of explaining how things work in the world, the war that had happened, and the way contracts work in relation to their witcheries. I truly appreciated everything.

One of my favourite parts was getting to see Iseult's experiences seeing Threads, it made for interesting passages, and color associations with emotions that I may not have paired together but I enjoyed how she did it!

FAVORITE SCENE: I have a few favorite scenes but above all while reading this book the Sea Shanty section really stood out to me. It connected all the sailors together, and gave a great sense of relationships and comfortability with each other. I just thought it was well written and seemed nice.

I also liked the scene between Iseult and Evrane, it was sweet and endearing.

Iseult's dreams also intrigued me so intensely. The Puppeteer will be interesting in these upcoming novels.

I just love this book, and I want everyone to read it and understand my love!!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: The Rose Society by Marie Lu (The Young Elites Book 2)

The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2)
Title: The Rose Society
Author: Marie Lu
Page Count:
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4.25 Stars

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra with her sister to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good when her very existence depends on darkness?

Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites

Review: Marie Lu is such a great storyteller, and the way she weaves her character arcs together and connects everything together is amazing, it makes me so incredibly happy. Marie Lu is just such a sweet person, and hearing her talk about The Young Elites might have upped my excitement for The Rose Society just a little too much.... I actually really enjoyed this book, but it just lacked a little... I predicted the ending, which I never thought I would do in a million years, cause it was insane.

So, The Rose Society follows Adelina Amouteru where we left her in the last book, running away from the Daggers. She is with her sister searching for Magiano, the trickster. (Who I love) and she plans to take control of Kenettra.

Raffaele has a plan with Queen Maeve of Beldain to do the same, take control of Kenettra.

This leads to a crazy, insane turn of events. This book is one of the darkest books I have ever read, ever. It is SO much darker than The Young Elites, and Marie Lu even says this in her acknowledgements. I LOVED the darkness. Getting to see Adelina's inner struggle, and deep powers that feed on fear, her darkness, it's so intriguing and fascinating and it's written so so so well.

It's very difficult for me to articulate my thoughts on this book because I love the characters, and I love the story, and I don't want to spoil things, because its so intense and everyone deserves to experience it for themselves.

I loved learning about Magiano, and his powers; Sergio and his connection to them; even Lucent's and Maeve's brief story, it was heartbreaking.

Consensus: The Rose Society delves deeper into the depths of Adelina's darkness and the way it affects her inner self and the relationships she has created for herself. Throughout the novel we find deception, darkness, and overall insanity. The characters are rich and have backstories that hold you, and this plot promises to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you have enjoyed anything else by Marie Lu, you are bound to enjoy the way she sweeps you into this world through her words.

Monday, January 4, 2016

eARC Review: Dead Boy by Laurel Gale


Title: Dead Boy
Author: Laurel Gale
Page Count: 256
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy, paranormal
Rating: 4 Stars!

Blurb: Crow Darlingson died in the 4th grade. But he’s still alive. And growing, actually. He can’t eat or taste anything, his body parts sometimes fall off (mom always sews them back on, though), and he’s only allowed to leave his house once per year, on Halloween.

Crow’s parents are separating, and despite their reassurances, he’s pretty sure it’s his fault. After all, having an undead son can’t be much easier than being one. Sneaking out at night only makes things worse, but he can’t resist the chance at a real friendship with Melody Plympton, the new girl next door, who loves mystery more than she minds the stink of his flesh or the maggots that sometimes crawl out of his nose.

Together they investigate the mysterious Meera - a monster living in the nearby park. Logic and fear tell Crow to stay away, but fuzzy memories lure him on. When Crow and Melody venture into its underground lair, Crow’s not just risking the half-life he clings to. He’s also risking the only friend he’s had in years.

The importance of friendship is crystallized as Crow and Melody face tests of loyalty, courage, and honor in this macabre middle grade novel by a debut author

Review: I requested Dead Boy on NetGalley ages ago, and got accepted, then totally forgot about reading it. I finally picked it up today, January 4th, because I had the day off from school and wanted something quick and easy, and wanted something I would hopefully enjoy more than the other books I had read this year....And I was not disappointed at all!!!

This book is adorable. Not in the way that Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is adorable, but in a cute kid way... I loved it so much.

Our story follows Crow Darlingson who is a dead boy, and lives with his mother. His mother has strict rules not allowing him to leave the house except for on Halloween... and Crow is moderately okay with this... and then Melody moves in next door, and she decides she wants to become friends with him, seeing him one night in his backyard. Here a friendship blooms, and she notices he is dead pretty early on, but accepts him for that fact. He is her proof that magic exists, and its a beautiful thing. Their friendship becomes something really special throughout the novel and the themes discussed are actually quite powerful.

This book gives an importance to friendship, as the book is based upon Melody and Crow's grand adventure fighting the Meera, a mystical shape-shifter that is responsible for granting wishes that may have something to do with Crow's mysterious death... They have to go through a variety of tasks and it was quite fun to read, very enjoyable.

The "villains" of this book were quite stereotypical, but I enjoyed them nonetheless, especially their habitat descriptions.. (you'll understand when you read the book)

This was just a fun read that I flew through, reading it in a very very short period of time.

If you are looking for something that is light and quick, but holds a deeper message, and is just overall fun, I would pick up this book! I highly recommend.

Consensus: Laurel Gale's Dead Boy follows Crow Darlingson, a dead boy, as he gets his first friend since dying. With this friend they battle a variety of tasks testing virtues, and the friendship strengthens. This book promises a story filled with mystery, magic, tests of virtue... and it delivers. Laurel Gale's debut novel shines with brilliance, and young readers and older readers alike are bound to find the magic in this novel.

Book Review: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kasey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Title: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Author: Ken Kasey
Page Count: 325
Genre: Classics
Rating: 2.5 Stars
In this classic of the 1960s, Ken Kesey's hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women, and openly defies the rules at every turn. But this defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, back by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story's shocking climax


Where do I begin with this book? I wanted so desperately to like it, I tried. I found a few moments that I actually enjoyed, but they were few and far between. I almost feel bad, this being such a renowned classic. I honestly think this may be just a me thing... but I just don't often like classic literature. I am waiting, very patiently, to like a classic book that I read.... one day it will happen.

Sadly, today is not that day.

So, I began reading One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest because we had to read it for AP Literature and Composition.... Already, my motivation to read this book had lessened due to this fact.

The book itself starts off pretty interesting with Chief Bromden introducing the mental hospital and how everyone is separated into Acutes and Chronics, those who can still be helped and those that are too far gone, respectively.

So basically this book is from Chief Bromden's POV and details his experiences in this mental hospital under the jurisdiction of The Big Nurse/Nurse Ratched. She uses many different tactics to get information out of the patients and does not hesitate to send them to a place called the Disturbed, and trust me, it is extremely disturbing, and when they go there during the last part of the book, my heart actually shattered a little bit.

This book is written in a style that makes it hard to read, because it is written in the way the character spoke during that time, and it makes it difficult to comprehend at times without reading it out loud.

Chief is an interesting character but, he didn't develop as I wanted him to until the very end of the novel. I really enjoyed his backstory and his family and learning about all of that.

The only person to ever challenge Nurse Ratched was a newly admitted redheaded Acute, named Randle McMurphy, but everyone calls him McMurphy. McMurphy is highly intelligent and brings up many points throughout the novel of the subjectivity of insanity and the different perceptions of such. He is a very rich character and overall I really enjoyed him. He does play some tricks on the other patients, tricking them into gambling away the little money that they still had left. He gets them to do some crazy things throughout the novel.

Ratched is interesting and intelligent and the banter/fighting/playing against each other was great and I loved every minute of their challenges against one another.

The side characters were interesting but some of them were completely unnecessary.

My favourite part BY FAR was the experiences in The disturbed, the pain they all felt was palpable and that was the main point where I felt guilty for these characters and I wanted better lives for them.

The ending was exactly what I wanted it to be, so that was another positive.

I guess my real problem with the book is it's slow paced style, and lack of... I don't exactly know what word I am looking for, I was just disappointed.

Consensus: Though One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is rich with characters and a battle of two alphas in a place where two alphas cannot exist, it lacks in something very important: the ability to draw the reader in and hold an engagement with them. It is muddled with different ways of speaking, and confusing plotlines, with characters not always meshing together as they should.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

eARC Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Out January 5 2015)

This Is Where It Ends

Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Page Count: 292
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, High School
Rating: 2 Stars
(maybe 1/4 more?)

Blurb: 10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival

 I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: First of all, this book begins intriguing as all hell. The premise of this book, though not completely original, is extremely interesting and I really enjoy this genre of books, and I think the YA genre is in need of a good one, and sadly, this book fell short for me.

I honestly didn't care about the characters. Claire was annoying and whiny, Autumn seemed so preppy... I actually like Tomas, he had depth, and I liked reading from his POV even if he began the story as the "bad boy" Sylv has an interesting backstory, but overall her character just lacked... Everyone but Tomas did, to be honest.

Positive: The diversity of this cast made me happy. You have Tomas and Sylvia, twins and of another race, which made me scream with joy, because this is needed. We need diverse books, this statement rings so true and this book does a good job with that. Sylvia and Autumn are dating (not so openly) and their relationship makes me happy. The diversity is great, so I truly appreciate that aspect.

Positive: The writing at the beginning, and near the end was phenomenal. Con: In between not so much. The blurb says it's told through 54 harrowing minutes, when almost have the book is a pity party for the characters delving into the intricacies of their backstories, and not on the situation at hand... Don't get me wrong, I love a good backstory, but when the backstories are the driving force of the novel, one that I think could have worked... it just didn't

Con: This book is something that I was SO excited for... It sounded so great! I was just left extremely disappointed by what was held inside of the novel.

Positive/Con: Chris. If you read this book, which I don't necessarily recommend, is great. I wish I learned more about him, because he was intriguing, but TOTALLY UNDERDEVELOPED. I mean, I know... He was just a 'side character' but I WANT TO KNOW MORE.

Positive: The cover, holy moly. It's simplicity is very beautiful.

Consensus: Marieke Nijkamp's debut novel This Is Where It Ends is wrapped in a pretty little bow, and promises a story that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. She then delivers a novel that lacks in depth and is filled with sob stories of  the main characters lives, resulting in another promising premise that fell short in it's execution.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Personal Blogging Goals: A New Year, A New Goal

As 2015 closes, and the next page opens up onto 2016 I have made a few "resolutions" but in reality, they are just goals.

Number 1: I am going to read 100 books this year, and review them all, even if the review is short, it is important I get into the habit of reviewing them.

Number 2: Make my reviews more in depth, and less spoilery.

Number 3: My goal is to publish a post on this blog at least once a week, but if I can manage two, I will do so. (School is stressing me out, man. Senior year of high school...)

Number 4: Improve my blogging as the year goes on, learn how to do new things, learn how to make my blog better, become more active on social media when it comes to blogging, get active!

I, Cody Roecker, do solemnly swear to keep up on these goals, and hopefully gain an audience :)

I love everyone so immensely much,
If you are reading this, I appreciate it.

Here's to a great 2016!

Book Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Title: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Page Count: 303
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Rating: 5/5 Stars! (Or maybe I should say Oreos? ;) )

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is quite possibly my favorite book I read in 2015 it was adorable, and cute, and heartbreaking in a strange sort of way.

I LOVED Simon. Adored him. omg. he is hands down one of the most realistic characters I have read in the looooonngggeeeeessssttt times. and I love him so immensely. He will forever hold a special place in my heart.

This book deals with many aspects of LGBTQ life that I feel is extremely important that everyone is aware of and understands because without understanding, there is no way to fix issues that are ever present in todays society (and slowly lessening, but it still needs to be discussed)

This book in general, is just so beautiful, and it surprised me in the best ways... I didn't predict everything as I often do, and I didn't hate anyone's character.

in fact Abby made me smile, Simon's descriptions of Cal made me so happy, Nick was overall simple and good. Leah, reminded me of friends in my life, and the connections were great.

the relatability of this book is unlike anything I have ever read... I have felt so many of these things, been in a few of these situations, and it just feels like real life.

Becky Albertalli is a phenomenal writer, and I will read anything she writes because if it is anything close to as amazing as this novel was, I am sure to love it. <3

so thankful I finally bought this, and read it completing it just 50 minutes before the new year.


Thank you, Becky... for this beautiful novel.

OH AND I totally smiled cheekily, throughout the last 15% of the novel. like seriously, its that adorable.

This book will hold a special place in my heart as the new year begins :)