taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #52: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

 

 

 

 

**Finished my third Cannonball!!! I actually finished the last book in early December, but I’ve been slacking on my last couple of reviews. It was a pleasure to read everyone’s reviews this year and be part of this community.

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Cannonball Read V: Book #52/52
Published: 2007
Pages: 336

Genre: Young Adult
Tessa is dying from leukemia and decides to make a list of things she wants to do before she dies. She enlists of one of her friends to help her and eventually brings her neighbor into the fold as she grows closer to him. Some of the things on her list are what you’d expect from a teenager – sex, fall in love, etc. But most of the things on the list were kind of weird, such as shoplifting. Who wants to shoplift before they die?

I had a hard time with this book. Some parts of it were very good – such as her family dealing with her illness and now her rebellion just before she dies (she stays out all night, jumps into a freezing river, joyrides without a license in her dad’s car – just to name a few). The ending was also beautifully written. Even though you know what’s going to happen, it doesn’t make it any less emotional.

Read the rest in my blog.

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taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #51: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Cannonball Read V: Book #51/52
Published: 2009
Pages: 391

Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian

This is going to be a short review because this series has been reviewed to death already and this is a re-read for me. I wanted to read it again before I saw the movie since I already forgot half of what happened since I last read it several years ago. I’m not going to re-hash the plot, because if you don’t already know it you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past two years.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #50: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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Cannonball Read V: Book #50/52
Published: 2007
Pages: 304

Genre: Young Adult

Hannah is a high school student who committed suicide. Before she did it, she recorded 13 cassette tapes naming all of the people who contributed to her decision to end her life and why. If the people on the tapes don’t pass them along to the next person the list, a second set of tapes will be made public. The book follows Hannah’s classmate Clay and his experience listening to the tapes.

I had really mixed feeling about this book.

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taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #49: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Cannonball Read V: Book #49/52
Published: 1925
Pages: 177

Genre: Classic

On my quest to read more classics, this one was high on the list. Mostly because it’s short. It’s no secret that I generally don’t get into the classics very well for some reason. I usually find them extremely slow and boring. The Great Gatsby started out that way, but by the end I was pleasantly surprised.

If you don’t know the plotthe story is narrated by a man named Nick who moved into a small house on Long Island, NY. He notices that his neighbor always holds elaborate parties at his mansion next door, but is rarely seen himself. Eventually Nick and his neighbor, Jay Gatsby become friends and Nick finds out that Gatsby has been in love with his cousin Daisy for years. Daisy just moved back to the area with her husband. 

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #48: Born to Bleed by Ryan C. Thomas

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Cannonball Read V: Book #48/52
Published: 2011
Pages: 184

Genre: Horror

I loved Ryan C. Thomas’ The Summer I Died and I had no idea there was a sequel until recently. I picked it up despite the mediocre reviews and unfortunately came to the same conclusion: disappointing.

This books takes place 10 years after the horrifying events in The Summer I Died. ***SPOILERS FOR THE SUMMER I DIED*** Roger ended up surviving after watching his sister and best friend die at the hands of a maniac. ***END SPOILERS*** He’s obviously still very traumatized and barely functioning after he moved to southern California to be an artist. He’s out painting at a lake one day when his co-worker at the galley he works for, Victoria, and her boyfriend mysteriously vanish. After finding their car still there with blood on the ground, Roger goes all detective to track down a suspicious SUV that was there earlier and that he thinks might be the kidnappers.

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taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #47: The Green Mile by Stephen King

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Cannonball Read V: Book #47/52
Published: 1996
Pages: 548

Genre: Mystery

Having read most of Stephen King’s books, I’m not sure how I managed to never pick up The Green Mile. I’ve also never seen the movie (yet…working on that), so I went into this book only knowing the basic plot: It takes place on death row and there’s a giant guy who may or may not have done the crime that landed him there.

Paul Edgecomb is the narrator who is in a nursing home type place writing down this story that happened when he was a prison warden in the 1930s. He saw a lot of people die while working on death row, but John Coffey stood out to him. He was brought to the prison after being convicted of raping and murdering two little twin girls (but did he actually do it?). He’s a strange man – absolutely huge, but gentle and soft-spoken and seems to never stop weeping tears. Turns out, John Coffey has some special healing abilities as well.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR5 Review #46: Duma Key by Stephen King

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Cannonball Read V: Book #46/52
Published: 2008
Pages: 700

Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Another brick of a Stephen King book. Some are completely worth wading through 1000 pages (The StandUnder the Dome…shut up, I liked that one) and some aren’t (InsomniaThe Tommyknockers).Duma Key was pretty middle of the road. Good enough to actually finish (can’t say the same for those last two I mentioned up there), but not crazy good.

Read the rest in my blog.