Archive for October, 2016

The Fault in Our Stars

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“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Greene is about a girl named Hazel who has cancer. Hazel struggles to make lasting connections with people until she goes to a meeting for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and she meets Agustus. The two of them hit it off right away and quickly become best friends and fall in love with each other.

This book is another one of my favorites. John Greene does an outstanding job of writing from Hazel’s point of view. Hazel and Augustus’ relationship feels so real to the reader and you instantly fall in love with them. This book is filled with friendship, love, laughs, and a few cries.

I know this book has been popular for a few years already, but it’s still an amazing book. The book was adapted into a movie a couple of years ago and I think they did a fantastic job. The main reason why the movie was so close to the book was because John Greene was with the cast and directors the whole time while filming.

“The Fault in Our Stars” will hook you in right from the beginning and will keep you hooked until the end. This book will definitely tug at your heart strings!

If you want to read more about the book or John Greene, please visit http://www.johngreenbooks.com .

Published in:Book Review |on October 22nd, 2016 |No Comments »

Perfect Chemistry

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Today I will be reviewing “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles. This book is about a senior in high school, Brittany, who is assigned a new lab partner in Chemistry class. Brittany is known as a good girl and student and is assigned to Alex, who has the reputation of being a bad boy because he is in a gang. Alex makes a bet with his friends that he can get with Brittany, even though she has a boyfriend. At first Alex is just getting to know Brittany for the bet, but it quickly escalates into an actual interest in her. Alex and Brittany’s lives will never be the same and they can thank their chemistry teacher for that.

This book is written in the first person point of view and each chapter alternates between Brittany and Alex’s point of of views. It has 368 pages and was published in 2008. I read this whole book within a day, because it hooked me right from the beginning. Simone Elkeles does a fantastic job at hooking the reader right from the start. I personally love how the author alternates between the main characters because it allows the reader to feel more connected to both characters. You really get an insight of exactly what each character is thinking and how they react to everything throughout the book. This is one of my favorite books and I have read it multiple times. The plot is very interesting, especially if you are into the whole bad boy and forbidden love thing.

If you love this book, Simone Elkeles wrote two more books that are about Alex’s brothers and their love lives. I have read those books as well and I really enjoyed them. If you are interested in this book and/or more of Simone Elkele’s work, her website is http://simoneelkeles.com/ .

 

Published in:Book Review |on October 14th, 2016 |No Comments »

Desire of the Soul

Welcome back to Books R Us! For this post, I’m going to do something a little different than my usual posts. I mentioned in a previous post that I am currently writing a book and I gave some advice on how to start your own writing. I am going to post my first chapter of my story, Desire of the Soul, on this post. It is an early version of it and I just wanted to share my writing with you and maybe help you think about your own writing. So here is the first chapter; it is still under work but I hope you enjoy it.

Full Summary:

Angela Ward was an ordinary teenage girl. Until the day she witnessed a murder. Now her life is spinning… in circles as she’s enters the Witness Protection Program. She gets stuck in the small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. But life isn’t all too bad…there is that cute jock at her new school that is interested in her. What about the cute, young cop that is protecting her? Will Angela’s life, and heart, ever be safe

This story is dedicated to my family and friends. I love you all.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Oh wait, it was yesterday when it all happened. Yesterday was my eighteenth birthday. My best friends took me to a club for people who are eighteen through twenty years of age. It’s the hottest place in Chicago to go to for people my age.

The music was blaring, my friends and I were dancing, and we were having a great time. I decided that it was time for a bathroom break, so I excused myself from my friends and walked to the bathroom. After I was done, I checked my cell phone and saw that I had one voice mail from my mother. I tried listening to it inside, but the noise was way too loud. I walked out of the back door of the club to find I was standing in an alley. I listened to my voice mail again and it was my mom reminding me to have a good time. I smiled down at my phone. Gosh, I love my mom so much. I thought.

When I looked up from my phone, I saw a guy down the alley. He was pacing back and forth and from what I could make out in the dim lighting, he was pretty cute. I started walking towards him to go talk to him when four men stepped out of the shadows and in front of the cute guy. I stopped in my tracks, and so had the guy. He was now facing the men, who were all in professional suits. I quickly, and quietly, ran over to the dumpsters near them so I could watch and listen to their conversation. I know it was eavesdropping, but I was curious!

“Did you get us what we had asked for?” asked man number one.

“I…I had a problem with the delivery…” said the cute guy. I named him Surfer in my head, because he had surfer hair.

“What do you mean you had a problem? I thought the purpose of the assignment was very clear.” said man number two. The third man cracked his fingers and it echoed through the dark alley.

“I want out. I don’t want to be in this business anymore. It’s too stressful and way too dangerous for me. I can’t handle it anymore. I quit.” Surfer said to the men.

“No one quits this business. You’re in it for life.” said man number four.

“Well, I quit.” Surfer turned around and started to walk away from them. Man number four pulled out a knife but man number one shook his head and pulled out a gun. I swiftly took out my cell phone and dialed 911.

“Hello, 911 emergency, how may we assist you?” asked the receptionist.

“Hi, my name is Angela Ward, and I’m behind the club, Nightlife, in the alley and there are four men here with another guy and there are guns and knives involved.” I frantically whispered. The gun fired at Surfer and he fell to the ground. Tears rolled down my cheek while blood started to stain Surfer’s clothes and the ground around him.

“Stay calm, ma’am. Police are on their way.” the receptionist said through the phone line. “Don’t hang up until the police get there.” she said to me. I whispered an “okay.” I looked at my hand and saw that it was shaking. I looked back towards the crime scene and I saw that the four men had vanished. I got up from behind the dumpsters and ran over to Surfer, while still on the phone with the receptionist.. I knelt down next to Surfer and started crying harder. I grabbed his wrist and felt for a pulse. Nothing. And then that’s when reality started to sink in. I just witnessed a murder…and I’m holding a dead person’s wrist. I dropped his wrist but stayed knelt down next to him.

“Hello there little lady.” said a deep voice from behind me. I knew that voice. I recognized it as man number four’s voice. He was the man with the knife.

“Put your phone on the ground and stand up.” ordered the man. I followed his orders and could feel my heart beating fast in anticipation. “Now turn around and face me.” I slowly turned around and faced him. He still had the knife in his hand and was ready to use it at any second.

“What’s your name?” he asked me while clenching his hands around the knife’s handle.

“Angela. Angela Ward.” I answered him quietly, hoping he wouldn’t cut me with the knife.

“Well, Angela, did you see everything that happened here?” he motioned to Surfer on the ground and the alley. I nodded a couple of times. “Then we’ll just have to get rid of you.” he grinned and closed the distance between us. He grabbed my wrist and pressed his knife against my neck.

“Please…no…” I begged, barely a whisper. The man continued to grin and put just a tad bit more pressure against my neck with his knife. I closed my eyes. This is it. I thought. I’m going to die. My friends are right inside of the club, having a good time, and have no idea what’s going on right now. Are they even wondering where I went? What a great way to die. I said a few prayers in my head as the man pressed a little bit more against my neck.

Just as it started to really hurt, police sirens and lights showed up at the end of the alley. The man took his knife off of my neck and said to me quickly, “Angela Ward, we will find you, and we will finish what was started here.” and then he took off running in the other direction as police officers ran down the alley towards him.

I sat down on the ground, found my phone, and then leaned up against the wall. The ambulance had arrived and started dealing with Surfer’s limp body on the ground and crime scene investigators were putting up yellow tape around the alley.

The rest of the night was a blur. The main things that had happened were my friends found me outside while I was leaning up against the wall and I called my mother and she came down to the club to take me home. But before I could go home, I had to answer a few questions down at the police station about what had happened. So I told them everything. Especially the part where the man told me he would come and kill me. After that, I was able to go home, but Officer Ernie Black told me that he would stop over at my house tomorrow to do more talking with me and decide what we were going to do. My mom took me home and I crashed right away. I didn’t even take my shoes off before I fell asleep.

The morning was also pretty hectic. I woke up at around nine-thirty and picked at my breakfast food for twenty minutes before I decided that there was no way I could possibly stomach any food right now. Officer Black came at ten o’clock and he asked me heaps of questions. I answered them to my best ability and then he asked to speak alone to my parents. So I went to my room and thought about everything that had happened. An hour later, I was called back downstairs and that’s when they broke the news to me. I was going into Witness Protection Program until they caught the men who had killed Surfer and threatened to kill me. I was leaving tonight. They were sending me off to a town called Peshtigo in northern Wisconsin. I had four hours to pack and say goodbye to my family. While I’m in Peshtigo, I’m not allowed to have contact with anybody from Chicago. This means I can’t talk to my parents or my best friends until this whole situation blows over. My parents were in charge of creating a story as to why I moved away. I went to my room and started packing my belongings.

I pulled out my pillow and leaned it against the plane window. I was sitting next to Officer Black on the plane ride up to Peshtigo. He was going to be one of the cops guarding me while I was there. It was going to be him and another police officer named Paul Barker. He was a younger police officer, just graduated from the police academy. They wanted a police officer that was a little bit closer to me in age so I would feel “more at ease.” Both officers would be staying in the house with me that the program had rented.

We landed a few hours later at an airport a few miles away from Peshtigo. When we got off of the plane, Officer Black loaded all of my things into a car that he rented for while we’re up here. I stayed silent while in the car ride to Peshtigo. I didn’t really have anything to say and was still exhausted from the chaotic day I’ve had. I was being torn away from my family and my friends. My life was gone. And they expected me to start a new life here and pretend nothing had happened…yeah right. That wasn’t going to happen. I did not want to be here but I also didn’t want to be in risk of being murdered down in Chicago.

As we drove into Peshtigo, I took in all of the sights here. It is definitely a lot different than Chicago, that’s for sure. The sign said that Peshtigo had a resident count of around 3,357 people. I was going to die here in this small town. The most exciting thing around is probably the Peshtigo River that runs through the town. I have to spend my senior year in a small town where I’m guessing everyone knows everything about everyone. How do the police expect my secret to stay hidden in this place?

Officer Black pulled up to an average sized house that had one story and a basement. Officer Black told me that Officer Barker would be here later tonight. It was 5:30 pm and tomorrow I had to go to school here. Its mid-February, so I’m a new student transferring half way through senior year. I have a feeling that I’m going to get a lot of attention because of that. After an hour of putting everything in its place inside of the house, it was time for bed. I said my goodnights to Officer Black, who insisted on me calling him Ernie, and crawled into bed. Just like last night, I passed out right away.

Published in:Writing |on October 8th, 2016 |No Comments »

Beautiful Disaster

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For this review, I will be reviewing the novel “Beautiful Disaster” by Jaime McGuire. This book is written in the first person and is about a young woman, Abby, who is starting her freshman year of college at a university far away from home. She is in desperate need to start a new life and leave her past behind her. Abby and her best friend meet two guys whom they become pretty close with later in the book. Abby’s best friend dates one of the guys throughout the book and Abby has a love-hate relationship with the other guy. Travis. Travis is known as the campus player who is only into one night stands and scoffs at the thought of commitment. Throughout the book, Abby and Travis develop a friendship and then it eventually leads to more. The two of them have an interesting and complicated relationship. I won’t give away what happens with their relationship, so if you want to know more, you’ll have to read the book for yourself!

I really enjoyed reading “Beautiful Disaster” and have even read it a few times. McGuire does a fantastic job of hooking the reader right from the beginning. Her writing style is very easy to read and it did not take me very long to finish reading it. There are four hundred and thirty two pages in this book and I think that is the perfect amount. It’s enough pages to make sure that everything that should happen, happens. This book is addicting to read; you won’t want to put it down until you’re finished.

I love the characters in this book as well. Abby is an amazing main character and she is very smart and funny. Her relationship with her best friend is also really nice. They have such a great friendship and a lot of readers can relate to their friendship. Abby’s relationship with Travis is very interesting and I’m sure some readers can also relate to it especially if they have a complicated relationship with a guy or girl in their life. This book is also relatable for readers who are starting their college career.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a complicated love story that also incorporates the true meaning of friendship and the self. This book is also the first book in a series. The second book is the same story, but in Travis’ point of view with several extra scenes. I also recommend that book! If you would like more information on this book and/or series, here is Jamie McGuire’s website: http://www.jamiemcguire.com/ .

Published in:Book Review |on October 6th, 2016 |No Comments »

Writing Your Own Story

Hello, welcome back to BooksRUs! For this post, I will be giving a few tips on how to start your own story. I wrote in my About Me page that I am currently writing my own story. My story is about an eighteen year old woman whose life was turned upside down when she witnessed a murder outside of a nightclub. She is sent into witness protection services and has to start her life over. She meets a couple of really nice people at her new high school and the two agents protecting her aren’t too bad either, especially the guy who isn’t too much older than her. My story is about how this young woman deals with the trauma of starting her life over and it’s about falling in love.

So now that I gave you  brief summary of my story, which is still a work in progress, I am going to give you a few tips on how to get started on writing your own story. So first of all, you have to think of a plot for your story, which is obviously the most important step of writing. If you are completely stuck on what to write, here is a website that generates random plots: http://writers-den.pantomimepony.co.uk/writers-plot-ideas.php .

After you decide on a plot, the next step is to develop characters. Here is another website that can help you develop character names and personalities and it even has a plot generator on it too: http://www.shortstoryideas.co.uk/characters.htm . I have personally used this site a lot for writing short stories and I recommend it!

After you have a plot and characters, it’s time to start writing! I usually set up a plan of how I want the story to go, but otherwise I just start writing and see what happens. Once you feel comfortable enough with your writing to post it, there are several sites online where you can post your stories.

I hope you found this helpful and good luck to any of you who are thinking about writing your own story!

Published in:Writing |on October 1st, 2016 |No Comments »