Review: Verify

Review: Verify

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ (1/5)

*I received a copy via the publisher in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

Meri Beckley is forced on the run when she discovers the world she lives in isn’t as truthful as she was thought it was. Months after the death of her artist mother, Meri tries to understand her mother’s thoughts in her unfinished pieces. Then one day, someone thrusts a piece of paper in her hands with one world: verify. There she discovers questions no one is willing to answer and learns a history that she didn’t know existed. However, the government is close on her tail, and she has no choice but to fight back. 

This book is a mess. I’m actually surprised that this book is being published in the state that it is in. If this was 2013, Verify could have stood a chance in the dystopian young adult market, but right now, it’s nothing new and falls exceptionally flat. I really wish I could say this book just wasn’t for me, another reader might like it, but I honestly can’t in good faith recommend this book to anyone. 

Meri Beckley discovers the government is censoring anything that doesn’t align with their views. She learns of a secret organisation whose primary role is to remind the world of the history they have forgotten, but their work is continuously halted by secret government agents which snatch members off the street, never to be seen again. Meri meets Atlas, whose father ran [org name] but went missing, and takes the risk of reaching out to Meri in hopes that her mother might’ve passed some information before her death. 

The plot’s conflict was all over the place, and it doesn’t really settle on anything. It felt somewhat stretched out to become a duology because there is no shred of resolution that felt like the first novel was finished. This world is ridiculously dull, and the lack of stakes just made me laugh. Nothing really keeps you rooting for Meri, and we’re told how to feel, rather than seeing. The book’s climax where Meri and the others spread their message all over the city felt uninspiring. Meri is hopeless, she learns of a secret organisation where certain words can trigger the police to come after you, but she continues to act reckless, and we’re supposed to believe in the space of like a week, she is suddenly a key player in this “revolution” when she’s done nothing but cause trouble.

She’s a paper lead, with no personality, no reason or spark to root for her. The secondary characters were so forgettable, existing for scenes where they’re needed and quickly discarded. A love interest that I just felt terrible for, honestly, and there was zero connection between them. I had to laugh when they kiss in the middle of their vital life or death mission. Honestly, this entire book was so underwhelming that nothing could really save it. 

Verify is set far enough in the future that the government can easily remove everyday words from our vocabulary to the point where no one knows how to pronounce them. Paper usage is frowned upon and illegal to own. In this universe, much of the world’s darkest history is erased. But the only thing parts of history the book relies on is the Underground Railroad and WW2. I would’ve loved to see Meri reflect on the history and what happened during those times. But it’s very vague and doesn’t even talk about them at all. If you’re going to use specific elements from history, the least you could do is acknowledge them in your books, rather than being vague.

Overall, I can see what this book is trying to do, in a digital era, information is distorted and unverified information has the potential to do great ruin in our lives. But this entire book was unclear and not at all enjoyable to read, which is such a shame because its premise is so important. I don’t think this book is worth reading. 

If you want to read a YA book about the power of information and censorship, I’d suggest The Great Library series by Rachel Caine. (It’s not at the forefront like Verify, and it’s more fantasy aligned)


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Book Review: Hush, Hush

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you can find the book at:
GoodReads | Author’s website | Amazon | Bookdepository
my review:
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

HUSH, HUSH is the story of Nora Grey and how her life becomes anything but average when she is seated next to the new kid, Patch Cipriano, in her Biology class.

This really isn’t much of a review. Just me complaining, really, of how extremely terrible this book was. I’m not going to even follow my usual review format because I don’t think this even deserves a well, written review. Even if I absolutely despise a book, there’s usually a couple of redeeming factors but with this, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing

  • Ok, who lets a gym teacher teach Biology? I understand if he was a supply teacher but, no, this school let this poor excuse for a teacher teach Biology. (and half the stuff he was teaching I’m sure didn’t have anything to do with Bio)
  • This is also the same coach who allowed a male student to openly harass a girl in class, in front of the entire class by telling everyone exactly how to tell when a girl is turned on
  • Nora brings it up to the teacher that he’s ignoring her basic right as a student to not be harassed like that in school. His response? Just wait it out. And then proceeds to tell her that she should tutor the very boy who is making her uncomfortable.
    • No teacher should condone the abuse Patch does to Nora. 
  • I’ve seen Patch very high on YA Book Boyfriend lists and now that I’ve read it… I’m so confused as to why? Even if he does he better in the next book, his behaviour now is frankly quite disgusting and it’s quite scary to see people crown him as an amazing love interest.
  • For a girl aiming for the big Ivy league schools, Nora shows no sign of actually caring about her grades. The idea of Nora being smart is just told to us. We never actually see how smart Nora is. (Every chance she gets it’s ruined because she’s distracted by Patch the trash)
  • Patch sends the majority of this novel just stalking and sexually harassing Nora. And it actually confounds me that we’re supposed to be swooning at this. Are we really supposed to be finding a boy who continues to make unwanted advances on a girl who has repeatedly told him that she doesn’t like him attractive? He is manipulative, abusive and just plain disgusting.
  • “If rape, murder, or any other miscreant activities were on Patch’s mind, he’d cornered me in the perfect place. ” That is what the PROTAGONIST thinks of HER LOVE INTEREST.
  • Very stereotypical female enemy. You know the drill. I think the words slut and bitch were chucked around.
  • A pathetic excuse for a best friend. I liked Vee to start with. She was almost a redeeming factor but halfway through she stopped being a best friend. No best friend would make you go out with a guy you’ve told her is making you uncomfortable. Vee is the worst and their friendship is just so BAD.
  • One example of Vee being the shittest friend I’ve ever seen:
  • “He dragged me out the front door and shoved me against the house.”
    “But he was drunk, right?”
    “Does it matter?” I snapped.
    “Well, he has a lot going on. I mean, he was wrongly accused of being messed up in some girl’s suicide, and he was forced to switch schools. If he hurt you—and I’m not justifying what he did, by the way—maybe he just needs … counseling, you know?”
    “If he hurt me?”
    “He was wasted. Maybe—maybe he didn’t know what he was doing. Tomorrow he’s going to feel horrible.”
  • I ALMOST DROPPED THIS UGLY BOOK. YOUR BEST FRIEND TELLS YOU THAT A BOY ATTACKED HER AND YOU BRUSH IT OFF BECAUSE HE WAS DRUNK? WHAT KIND OF A FRIEND ARE YOU?

I’m going to stop here because that’s all the sections that I bookmarked but I think you get the gist. I hated everything about this book and its attempt to justify harassment by covering it up as a so-called love story is actually quite worrying.

Paperback, 391 pages
Published October 13th 2010 by Simon & Schuster BFYR
ISBN: 1416989420

BOOK REVIEW: Carter Reed By Tijan (SPOILERS WITHIN REVIEW)

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by her boyfriend.

She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her.

She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.

My Review:

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

There’s so many things that I dislike about this book. The character, the story and just everything in general.

Emma, as a character, is so irritating, too demanding,and acted like a spoiled brat. She has killed someone, abandoned her equally irritating friends, and let them be hunted by the mob, while she look for shelter , to another mobster. When a mobster also happened to be your dead brother’s best friend and after seeing his GQ body, she basically forgot about the murder she JUST committed and starts lusting over him.

Also, I can’t believe this girl thinks she can have a say in all that was happening. She really believed she has the right to complain when a Mob is trying to kill her and she seeks protection; you need to sit yourself down and don’t put yourself in danger just because you feel like it, or because you were lonely. And about Carter? Im pretty sure even he was 100% done with Emma, with the disappearances he has made even when Emma begged him to stay.

Carter could’ve been a good character but he was so manipulative. But his confidence doesn’t balance out how he turned into a sappy love struck guy by the end of the book, falling in love with one of the most boring characters I’ve ever read. How he could’ve fallen in love with this girl is beyond me.

The secondary characters were undeveloped and flat, and it was impossible to connect with any of them. The writing style is not enjoyable, filled repetitive sequences and cringe lines. This book was neither romantic or thrilling, the premise had so much potential for an action-driven storyline, when in reality the story unfolded at a snail’s pace.

There was always something missing with this book. Perhaps a better backstory or Carter’s pov from the past? Added depth from the characters was desperately needed and I just wasn’t connected with the two main characters in the slightest. There is zero chemistry at all between Emma and Carter.

BOOK REVIEW: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (A.K.A Zoella)

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has – I can’t believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! – and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes…

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.

My Review:

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

As soon as I heard this book was coming out, I was quick to judge it would not be a good read and has a high chance of it being ghost-written. And, sadly, I was not wrong.

(Before anyone starts moaning saying ‘why did you even read it if you thought it was going to be crap’ I only read it because I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions without having read the book)

The characters were cliché and so underdeveloped. The story itself is predictable to the point where it was boring to read. (Typical boy meets girl, fall in love, obstacle in their way which is swiftly removed and everything is good again) No hate to other books like these, I enjoy predictable books, but this was so stuffed with a cliché of characters – the gay best friend, the bitchy ex-best friend, the romantic love interest etc. Again, nothing wrong with a cliché or two, but only if they’re written well and sadly, these characters were not. And on the topic of anxiety, this blog expresses it much better than I ever could. Especially in a section where she is mixing normal teenage insecurities with real anxiety disorder.

It’s so frustrating watching people praise her for beating J.K. Rowling’s debut sales because that means absolutely nothing. (of course there was no record-breaking debut week, but Harry Potter’s broken nearly every other record there is.) Of course, she would have record sales; she already had a fanbase of millions when her book published, and not of her literary merit. You cannot compare a ghost-written book to Harry Potter!

The reason why this book wasn’t properly looked over was that it seems anything with Zoe’s name on will sell, and, with people wanting to cash in on that success, it doesn’t matter about the quality of what’s as written. Imagine if they released this under a different unknown author? It would have had a higher chance of being forgotten about. I really wanted to be proved wrong – I tried to enjoy every word but sadly I didn’t, and I’m not surprised.

If you’re a loyal Zoella fan, love fairy lights, a good scented candle and clichéd plot, and don’t mind this book wasn’t entirely hers then this is the book for you! Sadly I cannot and wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. I’m sorry. I tried, I really did!