Book Review: Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

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Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Published Date: August 2016
Genre: Contemporary, YA,
Series: Stand Alone
My Source: Own Copy
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary:

“Katelyn Ogden was a lot of things, but she wasn’t particularly explosive, in any sense of the word.”

Mara Carlyle’s senior year at Covington High in suburban New Jersey is going on as normally as could be expected, until the day—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to spontaneously combust without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason—Terrorism! Drugs! Homosexuality! Government conspiracy!—while the seniors continue to pop like balloons.

Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it with tell-it-like-it-is insight as she tries to make it to graduation in one piece through an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice cream trucks, “Snooze Button™,” Bon Jovi, and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard the President of the United States use over Skype.

***Note: I finished this book in January and wrote some key notes about it, but I didn’t sit down and write my review until February. Days after the Parkland tragedy. I contemplated whether I should post this review for this kind of book so soon after this event. And because I was going back and forth, I didn’t publish the review until now. While it’s not about a shooting, it is a story focusing on high school students dying. This book is a comedic coming-of-age piece, but current events can make this book difficult to read. I will leave my original review below because overall I still feel the same way about it. The book while frustrating at first, I really enjoyed. But I do want to take this moment to say that you may wish to wait to read this book if you need more time to process things that have been happening recently. It does get a bit graphic and I just wanted to give a friendly warning.***

Let me start this review by saying I have the most confused feelings about this book.

Mara was definitely a character that I had to get used to. At first, her sarcastic personality was annoying me because she was sarcastic ALL THE TIME. And when I was getting some pretty important exposition, she would make a sarcastic comment and I just wanted to shush her. There are also times when she jumps from one thing to the next. There is a character Dylan who shows up. On one page, he’s barely mentioned. Thirty pages later, he comes back and he’s important. I wish I got the confrontation/conversation between Mara and Dylan that led to him becoming an important character. I was just sort of forced to accept Dylan in the story. Still, even with these issues, I grew to like Mara more. Do I have major love for her? I wouldn’t say that, but she became a better character for me as the story continued.

There’s so much I want to talk about with this book, but I don’t want to spoil anything. I was frustrated with this book, but I’m okay with that. I didn’t get all the explanations I wanted, but I’m also okay with that. I’m still trying to figure out if this book was showing that friendships don’t last forever, or if it’s saying you have to work harder to make them last. Or both?

So, I’ll give this fair warning. Don’t expect to come out of this book with everything solved, explained, and pretty with a little bow on top. It ends with a lot of uncertainty. Maybe that’s to symbolize how life is uncertain. You’re not sure what will happen, so you have to live the best life you can. The last few pages ends on a heart-wrenching scene though. Alone or left behind…I’m not sure which is worse.

I want to give this four stars, but I feel so much and I don’t know what to think. Would I read this again though? Yes.

3.5 or 4 Stars (I don’t know okay!!) ~ A good book that has a nice YES factor to it. / Oh man, this was a great book. Will be recommending.

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Monthly Recap! (February…and January)

Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s already March. Two months have already flown by, and I’m still not sure about all my goals I want to accomplish this year.

Anywho, here’s a recap of the books I read the last two months!

January

Roomies by Christina Lauren
Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

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February

#Famous by Jilly Gagnon
Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde

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Total of Books for Beat the Backlist Read: 4
Reviews Written:  1

I know! I know! “Nicole, why haven’t you written and submitted your reviews yet?” Well, I’ve written them, but I just haven’t edited and posted them up yet. I also am hesitating about putting up my review for Spontaneous because of the nature of the book and what’s been going on lately. I’d love your opinion on if I should put up the review. I don’t wish to seem insensitive at this time, posting about a humorous book of high school kids dying/exploding. I do have a disclaimer as part of the review, but again, still hesitating. Thoughts?

Anywho, I’ll be sure to update this page with the links to my reviews once I post them. Goodreads links are with the book covers.

How are you doing with your reading goals? If you’re part of Beat the Backlist, how is that going for you?

Until next time, my fellow adventurers!

Unboxing: Harry Potter LootCrate-Feb 2018

Hey everyone! So I decided to write a little blog post after unboxing my J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Loot Crate (which I’ll just be calling Harry Potter Loot Crate to be a bit shorter).

So, the Harry Potter Loot Crate subscription is through Loot Crate. With this subscription you get a box every odd number month of the year (so 6 boxes a year). Sadly, the January box was delayed so that is why I’m receiving it now, so this is really the January box.

This is my second time receiving one. The November box was also delayed and came in December, so I’m not having super luck with receiving my boxes on time, but that’s another story (and another post!).

Let’s get into January February’s Unboxing!

Theme: The Ties That Bind

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So, what do we have here? Well, we got the Wand Collection which is pretty neat. It lists and shows the wands for a number of different characters and gives information about them (what they’re made of for example). An excellent addition to my HP library.

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The Rowena Ravenclaw Diadem Pin. So glad I got this one since I’m a Ravenclaw. It’s really hard to read what it says along the wings though, but I’m sure it’s meant to say “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.” Honestly, the “man’s greatest treasure” seems to be the only legible part. But still, pretty cool!

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I finally own a Ravenclaw house tie! You have no idea how happy I am to have one. After seeing other unboxings, I’m assuming this is the item that depended on your house choice when you subscribed from the box. So while I did get two Ravenclaw items this month, that is not the case for everyone.

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And finally the Black Family Tree Tapestry Shawl/Scarf. This thing is huge and I sadly didn’t have a second person around to hold it open for me to take a picture. What a neat item to have. I’ll probably only wear it as a scarf, but yes, a great item this month.

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Here’s a picture of me wearing it so you get a vague idea what it looks like as a scarf. My bad camera is making it look gray, but it’s more of a dark green, so the picture above this one looks more accurate.

And that’s that! I’m pretty happy with the items I got this month. I hope you liked this post, and we’ll see another unboxing in March (hopefully! Fingers crossed no delays).

Until next time, my fellow adventurers.