Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt 4/5

First off this story broke my heart, I read it in a day in 3 sittings because I’m at Uni, but it’s a really short, sharp, sweet story. I didn’t cry but I never really do, it was bittersweet and if anyone’s read it then they know what I mean. And if you haven’t read it then stop reading this and go pick it up, don’t ruin it, it’s super short and you’ll finish it in no time, so off you pop.

Now for the detailed explanation.


There’s two main characters, Jack and Joseph, with everything being told from Jack’s perspective. Jack basically is the son of parents who have their own farm and who used to foster children. Joseph comes from a pretty tough background and comes to live with them, the catch; he’s 14 and has a child of his own.

The relationship builds between the two over a short period of time and instead of being brothers, they ‘have each other’s backs’. This is a really nice way of doing it because the story between them takes place over quite a short period of time and it would be unrealistic for them to have this undisputed bond for no reason. But you do see the relationship between them build and that’s enough for you to be satisfied.


Most of it takes place during winter and I’m not sure exactly where due to my lack of American knowledge but it’s a very cold state and this is continually repeated. The writer spends a lot of the time continuously talking about the weather and the temperature so you know of the extreme cold sets the temperature in the way of the emotions of the characters, but mainly Joseph. There is not a great detail about the surroundings but enough to allow you to imagine the general landscape which allows you to fill in the fine details therefore bringing you more into the story. I personally prefer this, I think that authors can spend too much time giving every minute detail about everything and this pulls me out of the environment and story. I can understand why people would perhaps call it too minimalistic but it works for me.


There isn’t really a plot; it’s more just the story and following along the journey of this boy trying to adjust and settle in to this family and deal with his problems but it is seen more from secondary point of view which is strange but interesting and I really enjoyed it.

There isn’t much to the story, it could be seen as filler for the momentous moments but when you think about it then you realise that sometimes you just need to go through it and be a part of it to be drawn into the story and what is happening and be able to attach yourself to the characters.


It has a really nice flow and you’re taken on a ride but it isn’t a rollercoaster. It is just an average trip and you just go along with it. Across the way you have a couple of bumps and a couple of hills but that isn’t really what this book is about.

You just go with it but not in the way that it is unrealistic and that you couldn’t believe it.


It is a very adolescents writing style but that isn’t a negative. When reading it I had a 12 year old boy’s voice, Jack, in my head and it was written in very plain and simple terms but it was endearing and pleasant still. Things moved in a very logical progression, there was no jumping back and forward which was nice and allowed you to stay with it. It was plainly written to tell a story not to be applauded for its complexity or technicality.


There was a quirk of a smile and our narrator judges how Joseph feels upon him smiling and this is a really nice way of doing it because how do we know how other people are dealing with their lives or them getting over something apart from their physical display of emotion.


It is just what it is. You know it’s going to be sad from the things people have said and if not then sorry to break it to you but you might get emotional. Embrace it, just embrace it, it’s so worth it.

I’m more than happy with the way it ended, even though it seemed sudden but in life things don’t build up. I only really knew the ending was coming because there were so few pages left.


There’s so much to say and think about in this book and for such a short story I see no reason for people not to pick it up, so if you haven’t read it and did not heed my advice at the beginning then I implore you, please. Go get it: buy it, from a library, whatever, but read it, I mean, what have you got to lose?



Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (ANGRY SPOILERS, BEWARE)

As a person, I am generally pretty positive about most books I read and value some part and take something away from it but with this it is difficult. It is so up my street and just didn’t live up to the hype or expectation, not even close.I don’t have much to say about this book as it was such a struggle. I had to go back and forth between reading and an audio book. I fell asleep 3 times while reading it. I just found it so boring which is such a shame because I love the premise. I love fantasy and creatures but it was a mess. The Stelian were introduced….. Why? Eliza’s story was terrible and I skipped the chapters because I wouldn’t have been able to get through it. I was so close to just giving it up but I didn’t and I persevered and completed it.It’s such a shame because I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bones, like I want to go back and read it and I want to recommend it to people but after that it’s all downhill and I used to think I was crazy for not continuing but I’m annoyed I did. Then Days of Blood and Starlight which is so unmemorable that I only remember Karou finding Razgut and that’s it; that’s the only important thing that happened in it.And then there was this.I can’t explain why I dislike it so much, I have The Dream Thieves and Clockwork Princess next and the whole time I would have just rather have been reading them because I know I will like them. And prior I read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer which I loved and it had its flaws but it was so interesting.  So maybe that’s the problem or it’s that I had exams and then studying but I’m not sure.

When Akavia had a knife in his stupid heart, I put my hand over my face, shut the book over and sighed an angry sigh, I was so annoyed and angry, didn’t care. I knew that I had to read on in the stupid story about what happened and I was infuriated that I was burdened with it. GET LOST!

It was slow and anti-climactic and just not what I wanted, and if you want to say that I just don’t like slow books I’ll have you know I demolished The Queen of the Tearling and the Invasion of the Tearling and they were great, they warranted it. This book just doesn’t, I want to care for the characters but I just don’t, there are too many foreign names flying about. I hate the jumps between perspectives and it ruined the ebb and flow of the whole thing.

The ending for me was also just useless, I didn’t enjoy it, it wasn’t bittersweet for me. I love endings that aren’t perfect because it’s more realistic but with this it just wasn’t right.

And the worst part? No Brimstone!!!!

He is my most loved character with the shortest time spent with him. The whole series they talk about him so all I wanted was him. I know why he had to die and not be about by why not at the end? Don’t talk about something so much and not give it to us.

I would usually have a breakdown of the characters and plot etc. but I don’t have anything nice to say, and I don’t think it was worth it, so I think I’ll just leave it there.

Laini Taylor has a new book, Strange the Dreamer, and I’ll give it a go but if I don’t like it I think I have to accept she’s not for me.


My most anticipated of 2016 (January to June)

So overall they are mostly starts to new series because a lot of the series I have read have now finished up and I’m currently trying to complete them. I would like to have new series to follow along with and that’s what I’m excited for at the minute and my anticipated books reflect this. I’m also trying to branch out and not just read the popular authors and known authors that are tried and tested because I read the Birthright trilogy by Gabrielle Zevin and it’s 3 of my favourite books and there isn’t much attention brought to them. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still read Cassandra Clare, Laini Taylor, and Sarah J. Maas but I want to mix up the authors and the genres I’m reading a little bit.

  1. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1)

lady midnight

Publication 8th March

So I’ve read pretty much everything by Cassandra Clare but the Clockwork Princess which I was saving before her next book came out so Princess will be getting read soon.

This is a story 5 years after the mortal instruments and follows the story of Emma Carstairs. And is essentially a Shadowhunter novel with new characters which is great because Nephilim are some of my favourite fantasy creatures. I have always avoided the hype for books so I should really enjoy this and shouldn’t be too disappointed as I don’t really have any expectations because I pretty much know what I’m getting with Cassandra Clare.



2. The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine, (Ravenspire #1)

shadow queen

Publication 16th February

So this is like a magic fantasy but I haven’t really seen anyone talking about it but I’m in the mood for like a fairy tale type of story because I’m finally getting round to finishing the Lunar Chronicles. It follows a girl, Lorelai, who is a princess and is on mission to kill the Wicked Queen who took her and her father’s throne. Essentially I have the feeling it is a Snow White retelling with a magical element, which I don’t know how I’ll like since I haven’t read Winter but it’s a new series and I like the sound of it so why not?





3. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan, (The Trials of Apollo #1)


Publication 3rd May

So it’s another mythology by Rick Riordan. I love his books and I fly by them and I like Apollo so I’m all good with another book along these lines. I think the Percy Jackson series I’ve stuck with longest and read it since I was 11. So that’s 8 years, which isn’t bad going.

So Apollo was Apollo and was punished but was turned into a regular teenage boy and has to survive and prove himself to Zeus. There’s not much about the story but following Apollo dealing with this is good enough in my opinion. Guess we will see what it’s more like when it comes out.



4. Starflight by Melissa Landers (Starflight #1)


Publication 2nd February

So I’m very sciencey and I like a lot of si-fi so this is up my street even though I can be quite particular about spaceship books and interstellar situations. It seems like a badass teenage girl dealing with her life as well as a conspiracy story.

I don’t need much more than that to go on so I’m excited to get around to it.






5) Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

outrun the moon

Publication 24th May

I think this is a historical fiction novel which I enjoy even though I’m not that much of a history buff.

Set in San Francisco 1906, it’s about a girl, Mercy Wong, who wasn’t to break the poverty in Chinatown all the while bettering herself through an education.

They’re hit by an earthquake and put under martial law, and I believe the story and drama ensues.





6.Yellow by Megan Jacobson

yellowPublication 1st February

So a YA murder mystery with a supernatural edge. Ok. Cool. I’m in.

So we have Kirra, 14, alone, kinda lost, no one to rely on, making a pact with a ghost.

She has to work out who killed this ghost and in return it’s like a genie in a bottle with 3 wishes.

I like the idea of it and it seems like a standalone so I’ll give it ago, my only reservation is that the main character seems a bit young for me but it’s something different for me and if I don’t try then I’ll never know.

And the cover’s beautiful.


7. Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie, ( Burning Glass #1)

burning glass

Publication 1st March

Gifted girl who hid her gift dragged off to serve her empire by protecting the Emperor from assassination and the struggles that come with her power.

I’m interested in this because it’s a debut novel I believe and it’s close enough to something I enjoy to make it worthwhile reading.








Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Overall a really enjoyable read and definitely a must read but a more detailed explanation is as follows.

Main Characters: Just like the name of the book our main character is Scarlet but also Cinder from the first novel. These two character’s stories run side by side so starting with Scarlet.

As a general consensus I like her, she is quite independent and strong and seems to be quite self-sufficient and family orientated which could be questioned when it comes to the relationship with her father. I had a serious problem when it came to her motives, she is deadest on finding her Grandmother, Michelle, but she does not consider it enough and the rescue mission is a bit too rushed. She doesn’t consider her Grandmother’s motives or reasons for not revealing information and Scarlet just goes bombarding in giving little care about Michelle’s viewpoint or either of their safety. However, she perseveres and that can’t be faulted and she just deals with things, she is very stubborn and that can be a pain because a scene drags on for too long due to this. We are forced to try and bond with Michelle but I would respect Scarlet more if she did what she was told to do because it made sense and Scarlet keeps getting herself into precarious situations due to this issue.

So moving onto Cinder, I really liked her in the first book and I really like her in the second. In too many books the hero is just meant to accept their responsibility for no reason and Cinder doesn’t do this. Yes, she finally takes up her calling and I don’t quite agree with her reasoning for it but, at least, she has the time to reflect on it throughout the story. I still like her proactive attitude and the skills she has that make her useful. Cinder is more reluctant whereas Scarlet is a lot more headstrong and jumps into the role and forces Cider to take responsibility.

In terms of how they interact with each other, there’s not a lot to go on but I don’t know how they will meld together because they are very different in terms of personality but I think Scarlet will be good for pushing Cinder and the story forward.

Side/supporting characters:

Kai- Kai in this story is weak and I would prefer we not see things from his perspective but it be closer to the first book where you learn what he is doing and thinks but the news preferences. Overall it isn’t worth it and would probably be better for it not to be included and leave that as a mystery, but due to the romantic element of the series we must see that he is still interested in Cinder even though she is a cyborg and maybe even a lunar.

Michelle- She is so minor and yet so important, there is so much in her storyline that sheds so much light on Cinder’s past and the whole underlying plot of the series. We don’t get much about her and it is more from a second-hand perspective but it works well; there’s enough to retain interest but not too much to make the whole story redundant.

Thorne- I personally am not a fan of his character but I understand his role in the story. He pushes things forward and gives Cinder a place to go as well as offering some comedic relief and be the ability to move the story forward by having the capability to do things.

Iko – Iko’s back! I like Iko, she’s a nice addition to the character set; she’s funny and cute and fan-girly and she’s not really necessary but sometimes I think that it’s ok to have a friend that you can just talk to and rely on.

Wolf – I don’t like Wolf, I just don’t. There’s not much to say about him, it’s fairly tropey and expected but being added to the set to help Cinder with being Lunar is the only important part of him.

Setting: We get to see another part of the world which I like ad get a little bit of history of what has happened in the world and the futuristic world being contrasted with the old destroyed architecture of France. This story is not reliant on the world for the most part so the world-building is not required but there is a nice gradual building that seems to be going throughout the series.

Romance: This is the weakest point for me, I hate Wolf and Scarlet, it isn’t right and doesn’t really make sense and I just don’t like it and don’t know if I would rather it be different or Scarlet be with someone else but I understand the need for wolf in the overarching goal but I would prefer them not to try and be together but I dislike the way it is done.

Story- Solid. It went by so quickly having the two storylines and they were both enjoyable to read. There isn’t much to say about it, just overall a good read.

Overall plot: It’s starting to come together and the overarching storyline is beginning to take off and I’m really excited to see it develop

Villain: I hate Levana and it’s so great. She isn’t meant to be liked and everything she does makes you angry and you just want to see her destroyed. We still don’t really see why she is the way she is so I just put it down to vanity and insecurity which isn’t a good reason but it’s all we’ve got to go on. I’m still in two minds about reading Fairest but with it being so short I think I may as well. I’m sick of the villains that you sort of like or think is attractive, this is a breath of fresh air. There is no moral dilemma, she needs to get gone.

Goal: Not yet accomplished but the end of Scarlet is really only the beginning of taking on Levana.