[Review] The Runner – J.M. Johnson

Book Title:                     The Runner (Avi Bloom Series #01)
Author:                            
J.M. JohnsonThe Runner_Cover
Number of pages:    
199

Synopsis:

Ten years ago the president of the United States declared that global warming had reached a tipping point from which it would not recover. In answer to this dilemma, modern technology was shut down. The elderly and other volunteers could opt to live out the rest of their lives in a virtual world, but all others were left to fend for themselves.

Seventeen-year-old Avi Bloom lives in a world in which each family must contribute one child as a runner. A runner risks life and limb to travel from village to village delivering news and other small items. Avi is one run shy of retiring when she discovers that whole villages are disappearing, leaving only a few dead bodies and the youngest children behind. Now, Avi must find out who or what is responsible for these missing people as she goes on a journey and discovers friendship, love, and betrayal. She also discovers that the forces behind these disappearances are much larger and more frightening than she could ever have imagined.

 (re: Goodreads @ The Runner by J.M. Johnson)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • Elements of intrigue include Amish concepts and computer programming language.
  • Heroine is underwhelming in development. Love triangle exhibited through underdeveloped relationships.
  • Action sequences are fast-paced.
  • There’s a degree of wishful thinking and lacking urgency in plotting.
Initial Thoughts:

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest critique.

The premise is intriguing and certainly made me want to read this. The unfortunate thing is that while it does start off with a bang, there are avenues which lack substance in allowing this narrative to thrive in this genre.

Let me run these thoughts by you:

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] The Runner – J.M. Johnson

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[Top Ten Tuesday] – #6 – Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry (with FEELS)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. I thought this would be a fun way to share a condensed version of potential rambles and thoughts that I have.

This week’s theme:
Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry
(with FEELS)

Initial Thoughts:

I don’t read many books that prompt the water works so I’m adapting this week’s theme to involve crying…but with feels; loosely redefined as an emotional (happy or sad) response. My equivalent. These are done retrospectively from just thinking of the book title and the events I can conjure up on face value. But I’ll be extremely vague on certain fronts so I don’t spoil anything.

This list is adapted from books I’ve read during or were published in 2013 specifically.

1. Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)

Full disclosure: I decided to read the books as the movies came out so I’ve yet to read Mockingjay.

Feelsy moments: The death of certain individuals and the realization of the games design during the 75th hunger games. Although I must say that the book had a bigger impact for me than the movie. This isn’t even due to knowing what happens, it’s more about the build-up in the book that was more feels.

degree of feels: sad feels.

2. Allegiant (Veronica Roth)

Feelsy moments: Brain injury incurred from the explosion (WHY?!!!?!?!?) and the last scene of the book. Also, the Room B13 scene in Divergent is an honourable mention.

degree of feels: super sad feels.

3. Backward Glass (David Lomax)

Feelsy moments: When Kenny is introduced to Star wars and Mario (of Nintendo fame), the scene in the Silverlands, and the Prince Harming rhyme finally making sense.

degree of feels: gleeful and awestruck feels.

Continue reading [Top Ten Tuesday] – #6 – Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry (with FEELS)

[Review] When You Were Here – Daisy Whitney

Book Title:                    When You Were Here (Standalone)
Author:                          
Daisy Whitney
Number of pages:    264daisywhitney_whenyouwerehere

Synopsis:

Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.

(re: Goodreads @ When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • Predominately takes place in Japan and exposes its culture.
  • Male perspective on grieving losses, optimism, and discovering the nature of life and love.
  • Some characters are refreshing, others are one dimensional, but they’re all interwoven and linked to some degree.
Initial Thoughts:

This book was suggested to me by Savindi.

I had a brief moment after I read the synopsis: could it be that Daniel Kellerman will redeem the name “Daniel/Danny” after my experience with Daniel Kelly (re: Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas)? It’s totally not a coincidence that their names are practically identical right? Twins in another life, maybe. This is a young-adult contemporary about grieving death and meandering through clouded vision of acceptance and finding a way to move on. It has the inner workings to be one of those heart wrenching discovery reads where streams of figurative (or physical) tears eventually flow out of your sockets. But it didn’t get to that point for me.

Let me regale you with my grief:

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] When You Were Here – Daisy Whitney

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