Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

15810401From Goodreads: Jake was just a normal kid who enjoyed hearing his mother’s bedtime stories. The stories became shockingly real when he discovered that he was a descendant of Dr. Jekyll and that he had his own Mr. Hyde living inside him. Driven by a desire to do good, he attempts to hunt down and kill the remaining Hyde monsters. Can he finish off the onslaught of Hyde monsters and keep the girl he loves safe from their retaliation?


This is a fast paced, short read focusing on the descendants of the original Jekyll and Hyde.  Jacob, the hero of this story, first learns of his ability to change between his two sides as a young boy when his mother begins to tell him the story of Jekyll and Hyde. However, his mother doesn’t stop with the final page of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novella, but rather continues the stories and lineage, explaining to Jacob that the stories are, indeed, true.  At first, Jacob is confused, but upon seeing the transformation of his mother in a fit of rage, Jacob learns the truth about his descendants, noting just how vastly different the Jekyll and Hyde sides truly are.  And though he thinks himself to be alone, our narrator soon learns that there are many more like him…

This story is the remnants of Jacob’s life, spanning from his time as a child through to his middle adulthood, including his reliance on, and disagreements with, his own personal demon, Hyde. Told through a confessional/conversational tone, readers are whisked away on an adventure that ends with the revelation that Jacob now has children of his own, and so while the story ends, there is room for more should Morris decide to pursue that avenue.  This is a well-written story that lovers of fantasy and Jekyll and Hyde will enjoy.  Three stars.

3 stars

I purchased this novella from Amazon.

16071620From Goodreads: In Every Day, New York Times bestselling author David Levithan presented readers with his most ambitious novel to date: Every morning, A wakes up in a different body and leads a different life. A must never get too attached, must never be noticed, must never interfere.

The novel Every Day starts on Day 5994 of A’s life. In this digital-only collection Six Earlier Days, Levithan gives readers a glimpse at a handful of the other 5993 stories yet to be told that inform how A navigates the complexities of a life lived anew each day.

In Every Day, readers discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day. In Six Earlier Days, readers will discover a little bit more about how A became that someone.

Fans of Levithan’s books such as Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, co-written with Rachel Cohn, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written with John Green, will not want to miss A’s adventures in Every Day and Six Earlier Days.


This is a very short novella that gives readers a taste of A’s life prior to his/her appearance in Every Day, a book I absolutely adore. Six Earlier Days doesn’t really follow a sequential order, but instead gives readers glimpses into six other days of A’s life. For those who have read Every Day, it’s similar to those days that A wakes up away from the girl s/he loves and has to live another person’s life, but it’s not the long intricate days readers get to know in the full fledged novel, but rather those short ones A talks about, if that makes any sense? The ones where readers get a couple pages, a glimpse really, of the day as A moves through yet another day as someone knew.

Really, this novella is a cursory glance at the lives A invades for just a day, allowing the reader to understand how A feels and doesn’t want to mess with the person’s routine or body. Really, my ramblings don’t give it justice. You’ll just have to read it. It’s short, and not anywhere as detailed as Every Day, so it might not pull you in completely, but if you’re intrigued, then Every Day is a MUST READ, because that novel is epic.

I personally didn’t think this novel gave much insight into A that the novel Every Day didn’t already give, but it’s a nice jog back into A’s world, and I certainly hope there is a sequel to that lovely novel because it was so epic and different, and Levithan certainly did give an opening for a sequel. We shall see.

If you haven’t read Every Day, I suggest you check out Six Earlier Days just to at least get a taste.  Three stars.

3 stars

I purchased this novella from Amazon.

16088678From Goodreads: Smart girls aren’t supposed to do stupid things.

Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she’s so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennett. He’s cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she’s endured – and missed out on – in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she’s falling in love.

There’s only one problem. Bennett is Madelyn’s college professor, and he thinks she’s eighteen – because she hasn’t told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennett – both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.


This is the story of a young girl so desperately trying to break the mold of her perfect life that her parents have designed for her that she ultimately ruins another’s life in order to feel different. Bennett makes her feel like an adult, like she has control of her life, and so she doesn’t tell him she’s 16, even though she knows she should, that their relationship is illegal, and that it could all come crashing down around her. But she’s selfish; not intentionally, but selfish she is, and in the end, the pieces shatter and she is left with nothing but a disappointed family–but she does break the mold.

Both Bennett and Madelyn were incredibly infuriating characters in this story, mainly because they didn’t think. The first thing I do when I meet someone I’m interested in is find out their age, and Bennett doesn’t do that. He never asks, even though he knows he shouldn’t be dating a student. He doesn’t verify that she’s 18, or ask around about her; instead, he throws himself into the relationship and, in this lack of thought, ends up ruining his own life. Asking someone to keep a secret this monumental means he knows what he’s doing is wrong. So he’s just as much to blame as anyone else.

Madelyn does stop to think that what she’s doing isn’t smart, but she continuously ignores the nagging feeling in the back of her mind and does whatever she wants to do. She doesn’t care who she hurts, and because of this, I have no respect for her. Yes, I understand she’s 16, irrational, and that her brain hasn’t fully formed, so she makes big mistakes, but this is calculating, and while she never means to being Bennett harm, that’s what she does because of her own selfish desires.

And her parents are just as much to blame as Bennett and Madelyn are. Their pressure and inability to really see their daughter was sickening. How does one not notice their child is suddenly dressing sexier and trying to be more mature and grown-up? She was 15 when she started community college–why force that on her? They didn’t know their own daughter, and I understand that the mother was absent a lot, and dad was all about making sure she succeeds in life, but what ever happened to allowing kids to be kids? Why force them to grow up so quickly? If you push her to be an adult all the time, when she’s not and doesn’t have all the experience and capabilities adults have, then you’re asking for trouble, in my opinion. And that’s what they got.

In the end, everyone is at fault in some way, shape, or form in this story.  Everyone.

I liked the idea that this story is told through a series of letters Madelyn wants to send Bennett after it’s all said and done, so she leads up to the fateful morning her secret was discovered, but I really would have loved to have Bennett’s point of view in there, too.  Overall, though, it’s a very well written story that will really make readers think, picking the characters apart and trying assess their cognitive abilities, or lack thereof.  The characterization is superb; I just wish I liked them more.  Three stars.

3 stars

Flux Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its official release tomorrow, September 8, 2013.

et cetera
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