Drowning is Inevitable

Drowning is InevitableDrowning is Inevitable

Written By: Shalanda Stanley

Published By: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Read: June 16-July 14, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here.

Goodreads Synopsis

Olivia has spent her whole life struggling to escape her dead mother’s shadow. But when her father can’t even look at her because Olivia reminds him of her mother, and her grandmother mistakenly calls her “Lillian,”  shaking a reputation she didn’t ask for is next to impossible. Olivia is used to leaning on her best friend, Jamie; her handsome but hot-tempered boyfriend, Max; and their wild-child friend, Maggie, for the reality check that her small Louisiana town can’t provide. But when a terrible fight between Jamie and his father turns deadly, all Olivia can think to do is grab her friends and run.

In a flash, Olivia, Jamie, Max, and Maggie become fugitives on the back roads of Louisiana. They’re headed to New Orleans, where they hope to find a solution to an unfixable problem. But with their faces displayed on all the news stations, their journey becomes a harrowing game of hide-and-seek from the police—and so-called allies, who just might be the real enemy.

Shalanda Stanley’s breathtaking debut novel explores the deep ties between legacy, loyalty, and love, even as it asks the question: How far would you go to save a friend?

This is Shalanda Stanley’s first novel and I don’t think that it will be her last. She is a natural storyteller and has created a wonderful book. She is a master at character development. Her characters are what make the story. Olivia is a young woman who is disappearing into the shadow of her dead mother. Jamie is a sad soul living in an abusive home. Maggie is a talented artist with a drug addicted mother. Max is alcoholic from an affluent family who is living with the guilt of drunk driving accident where Olivia was hurt. Each of her characters have their own heartbreaking story that are weaved together effortlessly in Drowning is Inevitable. When an unfortunate turn of events turns their world upside down the four teens come together to protect one another. On the run from the law they must rely on each other to get through their crazy ordeal. She did an excellent job of creating real characters with real emotion who were able to stand out among the chaos going on around them.

Drowning is Inevitable was a fast paced, easy read. It was a well written story with an excellent group of characters that was full of action, drama and suspense. It is an excellent story of about discovering one’s self and that crazy path to get there. This story of a fiercely loyal group of friends will leave you heartbroken and hopeful at the same time.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted To Visit

Recommended for Fans of: Realistic Fiction and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: 



Written By: Ellen Hopkins

Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Read: August 20, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Sometimes you don’t wake up. But if you happen to, you know things will never be the same.

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act — suicide.

Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade.

Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills.

And Conner, outwardly, has the perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, himself.

In one instant each of these young people decided enough was enough. They grabbed the blade, the bottle, the gun — and tried to end it all. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other’s help, they can find their way to a better life — but only if they’re strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.

I read several of Ellen Hopkins books in junior high/high school and I remember absolutely loving them. It has been almost ten years since I have read any of her books so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy them like I used to. I was not disappointed and was so happy to find that I still think her books are just amazing.

Ellen Hopkin’s books are dark, they are not the type of book you pick up if you are looking for a light read. She discusses hard topics like drug use, sexual abuse, mental illness and suicide. She does it in such a wonderful way using a unique writing style. Her writing is written like poetry but reads like prose. It is a different style from anything else that I have read. The writing style makes the book fly by. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.

Vanessa, Tony and Conner all end up at Aspen Springs when they attempt to commit suicide. Each of their paths are very different but each led to a suicide attempt. As the point of view changes between each of the main characters we are able to learn about their pasts and take steps towards a happier future. This book was an honest and realistic account of depression and suicide. It was heartbreaking at times and full of hope at others. I highly recommend reading any of Ellen Hopkin’s books.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book From An Author You Love That You Haven’t Read Yet

Recommended for Fans of: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, and Poetry

Suggested to Read Next: Impulse



Written By: Ernest Cline

Published By: Crown Publishing

Read: July 12- August 7, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

I had heard a lot of really good things about Ernest Cline and his first novel Ready Player One but I had never read it. When I received this copy of Armada from Crown Publishing I wasn’t sure if I was going to be something that I would enjoy. I am so happy that I gave it a chance because I loved it! Armada is one of my favorite books of 2015 so far.

The characters were everything in this book. Each character was so well thought out. They each had a backstory that helped to better define who they were. They represented such a perfect cross section of the gamer world. They ranged in age, background, ethnicity, and sexuality etc. There wasn’t a single character that seemed underdeveloped or unnecessary to the story.

The relationships between the characters were perfect. The author was able to add just the right amount of romance that did not distract or detract from the story. There was the sweet and subtle romance between Zack and Lex but there was also the lustful relationships one might expect in an end of the world situation. The friendships between the gamers were wonderful. I loved how quickly they all bonded and the mutual respect that they had for each other.

The story itself was just as well developed and awesome as the characters. It was different from anything else that I have read. Armada is full of pop culture references that made the book fun and relatable. It was unique and fun and action packed. It kept a good pace throughout the entire book and I was interested from the first page to the last. I highly recommend this, even if you don’t normally read sci-fi books.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With A One Word Title

Recommended for Fans of: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: The Martian

We Were Liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars

Written By: E. Lockhart

Published By: Delacorte Press

Read: July 27-August 1, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

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 is one of those books that has been majorly hyped. Every review that I’ve read just made me even more intrigued. All of the reviews said that the twist was everything but refused to tell me anything! My amazing secret sister sent me a copy and I was so excited to read it. I was not disappointed!

The story primarily focused on Cadence Sinclair Eastman with the rest of the Sinclair family as supporting characters. Each year the rich and beautiful Sinclair family spend their summers on their private island. Life on Beechwood starts and stops with summer. Real life never bleeds into summer and life on the island never follows them home. At the end of summer fifteen Cadence is found barely clothed and soaked to the bone on the beach. She has no memory of what happened and suffers from severe migraines as a result of that night. When nobody is willing to give her any answers Cadence must struggle to find the truth on her own.

E. Lockhart was able to write a wonderful story that kept me guessing until the very end. I was anxious and edge throughout the entire book. The story was so much more than just the mystery revolving around that night, it was also about the turmoil and power struggle of a wealthy family. The cast of characters were funny and often times dark. The author wrote a story that was so well rounded. It had everything you can ask for and more.

I hate to say it, but I can’t tell you more or I would ruin the book! (I know, I am such a cliche.) The twist really is everything. 

2015 Reading Challenge-A Book That A Friend Recommended

Recommended for Fans of: Fiction, Mystery, Romance and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: Gone Girl

TBR Takedown

I am participating in my first read-a-thon! I will be taking part in the #TBRTakedown hosted by Shannon @LeaningLights. The read-a-thon takes place from July 25-31. Below are the prompts and the books that I choose.

1. First Book In A Series

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

2. Sequel Book In A Series

Days of Blood and Starlight

3. A Book Out Of Your Comfort Zone

sherlock holmes

4. A Book On Your Shelf For Over A Year

water for elephants

5. Most Recently Hauled Book

The Good Girl

Are you participating in the #TBRTakedown? If you are post a link to your blog or find me on Twitter (@bmariereads)! Have you read any of the books that I am reading for the read-a-thon? Let us know in the comments!