Friday, March 18, 2016

Eleanor by Jason Gurley


Book description(via Goodreads):


Eleanor and Esmerelda are identical twins with a secret language all their own, inseparable until a terrible accident claims Esme’s life. Eleanor’s family is left in tatters: her mother retreats inward, seeking comfort in bottles; her father reluctantly abandons ship. Eleanor is forced to grow up more quickly than a child should, and becomes the target of her mother’s growing rage.

Years pass, and Eleanor’s painful reality begins to unravel in strange ways. The first time it happens, she walks through a school doorway, and finds herself in a cornfield, beneath wide blue skies. When she stumbles back into her own world, time has flown by without her. Again and again, against her will, she falls out of her world and into other, stranger ones, leaving behind empty rooms and worried loved ones.

One fateful day, Eleanor leaps from a cliff and is torn from her world altogether. She meets a mysterious stranger, Mea, who reveals to Eleanor the weight of her family’s loss. To save her broken parents, and rescue herself, Eleanor must learn how deep the well of her mother’s grief and her father’s heartbreak truly goes. Esmerelda’s death was not the only tragic loss in her family’s fragmented history, and unless Eleanor can master her strange new abilities, it may not be the last.
 

***Many thanks to Net Galley and Crown Publishing for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.***

This insomniac's opinion:


Oh, how I loved the beginning of this novel. I was immediately engrossed and swept along into this melancholy story of deep tragedy. The writing was astonishingly lovely and I was so in love with Eleanor. 

Then, the novel took a turn and I was suddenly inside a fantastical world that I couldn't quite believe. 

I'm honestly not sure where to rate this novel. It almost felt like two worlds inside one book. 

Worth staying up all night to read?


I did. 

Rating: 


3 stars

Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy


Book Description(via Goodreads):


Cameron Spark’s life is falling apart. He is separated from his wife, and awaiting a disciplinary following an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh where he works as a Ghost Tour guide. On the day he moves back home to live with his widowed dad, he receives a letter from Canada. It is from Christie. 

Twenty-five years earlier, Cameron attends Lancaster University and despite his crippling shyness, makes three unlikely friends: Christie, the rich Canadian, Tommo, the wannabe rock star and Bex, the feminist activist who has his heart. In a whirlwind of alcohol, music, and late night protests, Cameron feels as though he’s finally living; until a horrific accident shatters their friendship and alters their futures forever. Christie’s letter offers them a reunion after all these years. But has enough time passed to recover from the lies, the guilt, and the mistakes made on that tragic night? Or is this one ghost too many for Cameron?

***Many thanks to Net Galley and Legend Press for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. ***

This insomniac's opinion: 


I really enjoyed parts of this novel. It unfolded slowly and I had so much compassion for Cameron, who seemed like a really nice guy in the midst of a series of bad decisions. It was an enjoyable read with a bittersweet and moving ending. 

Worth staying up all night to read?


Maybe

Rating: 


3 stars

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O'Brien


Book description(via Goodreads):


The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there. 

***Many thanks to Net Galley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. ***

This insomniac's opinion: 


It may sound strange but I requested this novel simply because I wrote a short story(never sent out for publication) a couple of years ago that had a very similar concept and was fascinated that someone else had such a similar idea. 

I feel like I would've really enjoyed this novel if I were younger. It had a unique concept and likable characters. However, reading this as an adult, I feel that I was much harder to please and would have liked some areas to be more believable and for the characters to be a little more well fleshed out. Still, an interesting to read. 

Worth staying up all night to read?


Yes, if you are a young person(which is who the novel was written for!)

Rating: 


3 stars

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout


Book description(via Goodreads): 


A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge andThe Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.
 
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable. 

***Many thanks to Net Galley and Random House for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. ***

This insomniac's opinion: 


I love Elizabeth Strout's writing and her eloquence shined through this novel, as well. However, much of the book seemed disjointed and was not always easy to follow. The melancholy feel of the novel and the well-fleshed out characters kept me turning pages even when I wasn't always sure where the plot was going. 

Worth staying up all night to read?


Maybe.

Rating?


3 stars