The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen

After gaining a major success as a creator of the award-winning podcast, The Bright Sessions, Lauren Shippen is ready to bring you back the thrilling story and twisted universe featuring your favorite Atypicals through her debut novel, The Infinite Noise.
Caleb Michaels is a sixteen-year-old champion running back. Other than that his life is pretty normal. But when Caleb starts experiencing mood swings that are out of the ordinary for even a teenager, his life moves beyond “typical.”

 

Caleb is an Atypical, an individual with enhanced abilities. Which sounds pretty cool except Caleb’s ability is extreme empathy—he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school would be hard enough, but Caleb’s life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of one of his classmates, Adam. Adam’s feelings are big and all-consuming, but they fit together with Caleb’s feelings in a way that he can’t quite understand.

Caleb’s therapist, Dr. Bright, encourages Caleb to explore this connection by befriending Adam. As he and Adam grow closer, Caleb learns more about his ability, himself, his therapist—who seems to know a lot more than she lets on—and just how dangerous being an Atypical can be.

 
Thank you Tor Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. The Infinite Noise will be published on September 24, 2019 and will be available on Amazon, Book Depository, and other book retailers.

the blurb

The Infinite Noise follows the story of Caleb Michaels, who had a pretty normal life as a high school footballer, until one day he discovered himself as an empath, an Atypical who could sense people’s feelings, and suddenly, life was not so normal anymore. Enter Adam Hayes, the bright yet quiet classmate of Caleb, who’s feeling was too big and deep, making Caleb overwhelmed as he found himself helplessly drowning in it. This is a story of self-discovery, a coming-of-age love journey, and maybe, one or two sessions of superhero-only therapy.

the review

I discovered the glorious universe of The Bright Sessions last month, right after reading the synopsis of Shippen’s debut. Looking at all of the exciting commentaries about this upcoming release which coming from fans of the original podcats, of course, I started listening to the first episode right that second. I’m glad to tell you that surprisingly, although it was my very first storytelling podcast, I truly had a great time. My initial intention was to listen to the whole podcast before I jump into this book, but unfortunately, I couldn’t do it in time. So, I ended up in the middle of season three when I started reading this book and here how it goes…
 
Obviously, after listening to the podcast and memorize the voice of the characters by heart now, reading them on paper was so much easier and exciting. The book was following the exact plotline of the podcast, but don’t let this intimidate you, because you totally don’t have to listen to the podcast to enjoy this story! However, I’d say listening to the podcast will help you to dissolve quicker in these characters’ inner monologues and struggles.
 
Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed the podcast, I couldn’t get the same feeling from this book. Don’t get me wrong. Caleb and Adam were my favorite characters in the podcast and it was exciting to be able to read more of their thoughts in this story, something that does not exist in the podcast.
 
During the first encounters of both of their point-of-view, it was thrilling. For Caleb, I enjoyed how he grows into his superpower. His narrative was fun to read, especially the way he used visualization to make more sense of how his power works. Meanwhile, for Adam, I’m grateful to see more of his personality through the reflection of his struggles and thoughts. But after the endless back and forth POV’s changes between these two, they started to sound almost similar and even the pace started to feel dragging, especially from the middle towards the end. It was understandable that since both of them are still teenagers and they were having difficulties to communicate with each other, they will need some time to figure things out. Yet, I personally found that it took too long for them to resolve their issues and the sole reason for their conflict was because Caleb keeps shutting his mouth in the middle of a sentence to keep his secret and Adam keep asking stubborn oblivious series of questions that stressing out Caleb.
 
And remember when I said that the pace started to feel dragging? It was especially because from the beginning until around 80% of the story, it only focused on three main characters (aside from family members and other classmates), and suddenly, it delivers other ‘important’ characters out of nowhere, that also brings other crucial plots along with their appearance. Which of course, will not be a big problem if you’re listening to the podcast already, but even as the podcast listener, I found this addition as too rushed and sudden. It was as if Shippen didn’t consider that there are readers who’re not aware of the podcast and just delivered chunk on important information without a proper warm-up.
 
Although it was an enjoyable ride, The Infinite Noise was a high-anticipated debut that doesn’t really meet its expectations. Aside from its extraordinary superhero concept and detailed worldbuilding, the character development and their genuine relationship captivated me to keep reading this story until the very last page.

the verdict

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Do you listen to The Bright Sessions? Are you thinking about adding The Infinite Noise to your next reading list?

Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan

This week has been pretty slow and I want to apologize for lack of contents on my blog. But today, I’m here with a review of Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan. I received an ARC via NetGalley from Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for a honest review. Not gonna lie, I initially hooked because of its cover (duh), but after reading many great reviews from others, I know that I have to read it too.

Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan

Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on January 8, 2019. Classified as Poetry. Received via NetGalley as an eARC.

In her debut collection, Semaan offers an upfront & moving glimpse into the true nature of healing: an imperfect, nonlinear journey”-Amanda Lovlace, bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one. An illustrated poetry collection about finding light in the darkness. Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War and the author’s turbulent family life, Child of the Moon is a powerful reflection on her journey through fear, shame and despair, and the unconditional love that helped her begin to heal from childhood trauma.

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★★★★

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

Jessica Semaan’s Child of the Moon is nothing like any poetry book I’ve ever read before. Each page is full of surprises and I love the freestyle writing of it. It’s dynamic. Some only consist of one single sentence, some feels like a short essay but I’m all in for it. This book is one wild ride. Aside from Semaan’s childhood experiences, traumas and pains, she also complemented it with sweet verses of self-love and recoveries.

[su_quote cite=”Jessica Semaan in Pain #1, Child of the Moon pg. 45″]”You want me to describe the pain. It is one year old, it can’t speak. You want me to stop the pain. It is generations old, it’s too much for me.”[/su_quote]

One thing I discovered from reading this book is a free-verse poetry can works well. I used to be a fan of properly written poetry with rhymes and highly used of metaphors. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t read as much free-verses before but now that I did, I feel so close-minded but also motivated to explore my readings.

[su_quote cite=”Jessica Semaan in Forgiveness #1, Child of the Moon pg. 94″]”And then I saw the child in you and you. Mama, Papa, you are hurting, too.”[/su_quote]

Also, the using of illustrations in this book are amazing. They’re beautiful and I found the metaphor itself transformed in each of the drawings. I like how it looks as if someone actually hand-drawn them and not doing it digitally. Maybe it is! But despite of the drawing technicality, it looks gorgeous no matter what. Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

This book will be published on January 8, 2019. If you’re looking forward to purchase this book (and support my blog!), you can purchase it through my affiliate links below!

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Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella

Another book review is here! Phew! This book has been sitting on my TBR list for around a month or so, but that’s completely my fault! College got the best of me, especially around this time of the year. Anyway, Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella is the very first ARC copy that I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That alone, is already one of the reason that makes me excited to read this book! So, let’s get into the review, shall we?

This dysfunctional family road trip is on the spectrum and off the beaten path…Ride along on a bumpy cross-country road trip with a highly dysfunctional family. On this trip an emotionally detached child prodigy with a history of therapist visits encounters a cast of quirky characters who validate his wishes to live his life independently. But none of the characters found on the road end up being as path-altering for him as his own immediate family. There are many lessons along the way. The most important being that wherever there is motion, there is bound to be friction, and within this lies the secret to wisdom and the strength to break free.

I’m always excited when it comes to a debut, whether it’s books or movies. Friction in Motion is Sy Kadella’s first novel and I have to say, it was an enjoyable read! The story started with our boy, Jeremy, who get woken up out of sudden by his father to go for a road trip (along with Jeremy’s very old grandpa). It’s summer holiday, apparently. Later on, we got informed that Jeremy’s dad and mom are fighting (not divorce, just yet), but his mom decided to leave the house for a while, and she also bring Jeremy’s sister, Beth. The three of them (Jeremy, his dad, and his grandpa) picked up Beth before they went for the road trip and this is where the actual story began.

When I first read the summary, it immediately made me think, “C’mon. How dysfunctional a family can be that made our main character wants to break free?”. Boy, oh boy, I did not expect that! Even with its slow and steady pace, Sy Kadella successfully delivered a family drama that you won’t forget so quickly. I’ve never really think before about a family drama except of my own. The thought was there, obviously, but to think that your relatives and friends got their own problems with their family, is not something that comes to my mind very often. Of course we all got our own family drama, but we all tend to sugar-coated it in front of everyone else, right? So, to be able to witnessed every single details of Jeremy’s family drama from his perspective (at least), is truly an experience. Also, it felt like I was actually there, sitting in the back of the car, having a road trip with Jeremy and his family.

Friction is Motion is not the type of book that you want to read if you expected a roller coaster drama along with some physical fights or action packs. It’s not. It’s rather casual, coming of age journey of our main character, Jeremy. We got to explore around and see things from his point of view, and when I said explore around, I meant it literally (it’s a book about road trip, what did you expected?) This is a type of book that you want to pick up on a calm Sunday morning and just read it, forget your surrounding and enjoy the flow. What I truly liked about this book, is I can immediately imagine everything without trying hard. The writing style is easy to follow, yet very rich and informative at the same time. I found myself to be surprised at little fun science facts that scattered here and there throughout this book. What a fun way to educate yourself while also being entertained! Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: Friction in Motion | Author: Sy Kadella | Publisher: Razor’s Edge Publishing Inc. | Genre: Adult FictionContemporaryLiterary | Publication Date: September 15, 2018 | Format: eBook | Source: NetGalley | LINKS: GoodreadsAmazon[/su_heading]

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

I started reading this book on August 28, 2018, and you might be wondering why it took me more than two weeks to finish it. The truth is, I neglected this book several times (due to some IRL responsibilities, ugh). I read the first few pages (which is decent, but quite tense I’d say), but I didn’t feel intrigued enough to keep going. Things started to work out a bit once I passed several chapters. And I’m referring to the plot only here. Unfortunately, the characters brought a bit of confusion, as you can’t really tell at first whether they’re a protagonist or antagonist. Which, on the other side is a good thing. However, I managed to finish it yesterday and here’s my review!

You’re waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You’re making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That’s the last thing your remember. You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident, you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend is not so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe…

The only thing that I liked about this book is the last plot twist, since the other ones (yep, there’s more than one plot twist) are predictable. It’s annoying because isn’t this supposed to be a mystery novel? Although, the last few pages of this book is definitely interesting and unexpected. I sensed some Gone Girl 2.0 inspo here. The other thing that I appreciated about this book is the writing style. I saw other reviewers that considered this aspect as the weakness of this book since it’s quite straightforward and it can feel like you’re reading a fan-fiction on Wattpad. However, I kinda like it because it’s a huge convenient since I’m not an English native.

Does she really not remember that night? Or is she simply not telling him?

Now, this is the exciting part. Let’s start with the plot. Oh God, I cringed so hard at the mainstream storyline. Car accident, amnesia, affair and two women fighting over a man (not even a good one!). It feels like a soap opera! Not to mention the bad writing of characters. The male lead is so in love with the female lead, and two seconds later he’s become this naive, weak, cheat-ass liar. He’s doubting his marriage right after his wife got into an accident because he feels like he doesn’t know her anymore and he scared. What a coward! The two female leads are at least, has a bit more of personality. Definitely not a great one, however, they’re interesting enough to make you think about what they’re actually up to.

Rating: ★★

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Abuse, death, fertility, violence.[/su_spoiler]

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: A Stranger in the House | Author: Shari Lapena | Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books | Genre: MysterySuspenseThriller | Publication Date: July 27, 2017 | Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased | LINKS: GoodreadsBook Depository (Affiliate)[/su_heading]

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Have you read this book? If so, what do you think about it? Have you read any book written by Shari Lapena? If so, how was it compared to this book? Are you looking forward to read this book after reading my review? Let me know!