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: 

Impulse

ImpulseImpulse

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

Penryn and the End of Days

angelfall world after End of Days

Angelfall & World After & End of Days

Written By: Susan Ee

Published By: Hodder and Stoughton and Skyscape

Read: August 10-15, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥


Goodreads Synopsis- Angelfall

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Goodreads Synopsis- World’s End

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Goodreads Synopsis- End of Days

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


This is the first time that I have ever reviewed an entire series in one post. I flew through the series in less than a week and I decided that instead of posting three separate reviews I would just smush it all into one post. My actual rating of each individual book is the same for each one, which I would say is about 3.5/5.

The series as a whole was a very easy read. The writing isn’t going to blow your mind, but the story will pull you in and keep you interested from the first page to the last. I was constantly surprised with the direction that the story was taking. The story was just so creative and even though it was full of angels, it never became overly religious.

The absolute best part of this story was the unique cast of characters.  Penryn and her family were so much fun to read about. Rarely do we read about people with mental or physical disabilities in dystopian novels. It is just assumed that they don’t survive, but Penryn’s family is full of fighters. There were so many different dimensions to each of the characters. Susan Ee is a master of character development.

If you haven’t read this series I recommend that you do. It is a fast and fun read!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With Non-Human Characters

Recommended for Fans of: Fantasy, Dystopia, Romance and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Armada

ArmadaArmada

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

2015 Reading Challenge Update [2]

The 2015 Reading Challenge that I am attempting to complete was originally posted on PopSugar. You can find my original post on it here. There are 50 books in total on the reading challenge, if you are a fast reader there is still plenty of time to join me!

Below you can find the last nine books that I have read for the list with links to the reviews that I have posted. You can find my post on the first eleven books here.


A Mystery or Thriller

As White As Snow

A Book Set In A Different Country

As Black As Ebony

A Non-Fiction Book

Despite the Best Intentions

A Book Based Entirely On Its Cover

loving day

A Book That You Can Read In A Day

Everything Everything

A Book You Own But Have Never Read

Every Day

A Trilogy

Legend Trilogy

Legend

Prodigy

Champion

A Pulitzer Prize Winning Book

The Color Purple

A Book Set Somewhere You Have Always Wanted To Visit

Drowning is Inevitable

I will post a review for this book closer to the date of publication.


I need your help! There are a few books on my list that I am having a hard time with. If you have any suggestions for any of them it would be greatly appreciated!

  • A Book With Non-Human Characters- Most of the books that I know with non-human characters are children’s books. I would really like an awesome book that I will enjoy.
  • A Book That Scares You- I don’t usually read scary books so I would love some suggestions.
  • A Book With Antonyms In The Title- This is just a tricky one.
  • A Graphic Novel- I have never read a comic book or graphic novel so I am not sure where to start.
  • A Book Set During Christmas- The only ones that I can think of are classics like A Christmas Carol. I am hoping to find something a little more modern, preferably young adult.
  • A Book Written By An Author With Your Same Initials- My initials are B.M.H. I am having an impossible time finding an author with the same initials. At this point I will take an author with any variation of my initials.

Are you participating in any reading challenges? Do you have any suggestions for me to read as part of my reading challenge? Let us know in the comments!