This book started a little slow for me, but managed to pick up and become pretty intriguing. While I'm not into medieval history and the storyline is...moreThis book started a little slow for me, but managed to pick up and become pretty intriguing. While I'm not into medieval history and the storyline is pretty far fetched but I liked the main character Ellie. She was funny, strong, and super intelligent (I guess it helps that both of her parents were professors). I really enjoyed her relationship with Will was fun to read, and I think Cabot built up their chemistry very well. I should say that this is the first book I've read by Cabot and while it wasn't life altering, I wouldn't be averse to checking out another. Actually hoping there would be a sequel to AH but it seems they was a Manga comic trilogy afterwards? Weird.
Definitely a light read, but a fun fairy tale too.(less)
My third official Dessen read. Another one I could not put down (yes, I was sneaking it under my desk at...moreOriginally reviewed on Rather Be Reading Blog
My third official Dessen read. Another one I could not put down (yes, I was sneaking it under my desk at work!) but I was surprised to find myself a little bit disappointed by this one. I’m seeing by now that Dessen likes to write about girls who are battling with their own definitions of love and accepting it into their lives. No, that that’s a poor storyline. It never is, but I wanted more exploration into the secondary characters. In particular, Dexter. While I adored him, he remained very one-dimensional to me and I wished we could have learned more about what made him tick.
Don’t get me wrong, The Lullaby is still worth reading but I enjoyed Playing with the Moon and Lock & Key more. There are some telling moments with Remy’s mom in the book that are intriguing and touching, and actually become a huge part of Remy’s growth throughout the pages. What I like about her is that Dessen doesn’t make a boy the answer to all of Remy’s problems. Each of these young leading ladies need to figure out their own issues, and because that takes times, all the answers are not found out by the time you reach the end.
I applaud Dessen for never taking the easy way out and tying a pretty bow on the plotline. (less)
While many can’t relate to being an accomplice to robberies since she was five years old, there is a...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
While many can’t relate to being an accomplice to robberies since she was five years old, there is a level of truth in Stealing Heaven. The pressure of parents as well as the hardship of having someone in your life who always does things impeccably. The difficulty in standing up to your parents and feeling free to discover life on your own. Danielle struggles with all of these issues one way or another throughout this novel.
Her desire to feel settled and have a place to call home are so strong when her and her mother reach Heaven. She starts to make a friend, Allison, who actually wants to know about her and her feelings. She even meets a guy named Greg who wants nothing more than to spend time with her. But of course, he is a cop.
While normal to most teenagers, Danielle doesn’t know what to do with these newfound experiences because even though she is enjoying them, she is betraying her mother, who has planted them there to steal silver from Allison’s family. Her own morals and future are constantly being tested as she slowly begins to break away from the life her mother built for her.
While the book was riveting, I did think that it wrapped up too soon and I wasn’t too satisfied with the developments in Danielle’s mom’s life. Or the lack of development in her situation with Greg. But you are rooting for Danielle to make the right decision and realize just how much unhealthy power her mother has had over every aspect of her life.
A quick and entertaining read, I couldn’t put it down. (I also think this would make a great movie with a few changes, of course.) I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of Elizabeth’s work. (less)
I know you aren’t supposed to choose a book by its cover but How to Say Goodbye in Robot is probabl...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog:
I know you aren’t supposed to choose a book by its cover but How to Say Goodbye in Robot is probably the best-looking book I’ve picked up all year. Brilliant hot pink pages pinpoint each month that goes by during Beatrice’s senior year at a new high school. At this point, Beatrice is used to moving around a lot as her dad finds better and better teaching positions at colleges but her mom comes off a little bi-polar and obsessed with chickens. This is where the title comes in — Beatrice’s mom calls her a robot when she fails to feel anything for a dead gerbil. She starts to question whether her mom is right — is she detached from her emotions?
At school, Beatrice strikes up an unlikely friendship with Jonah, dubbed as Ghost Boy by the rest of his graduating class. While this move is not the best for her social standing at school, Bea and Jonah begin to depend on each other. They also listen to a late-night radio show filled with some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever come across. In no way is this your typical high school YA and I think that’s why I loved it so much. Instead of being obsessed with clothes, the popular crowd, or falling for each other, both of these characters are struggling with real problems and seeking solace in each other. Kind of. Jonah likes to push Bea away, and she has trouble dealing with that. He gets jealous when she goes on dates, ignores her for a long periods of time, and then jumps back into her life.
It’s not healthy. Not even close. But I could relate to the hope that Bea clinged to. That Jonah would realize how much he needed her, how much their friendship meant in the grand scheme of things… this novel is very well-written. From start to finish, it’s better than a lot of the adult fiction I’ve been reading. (Although, unfortunately, this seems like a growing trend.) The tone is melancholy yet down-to-earth. I felt Jonah and Bea were some of the more relatable YA characters I’ve come across, at least when it came to my own middle school and high school experiences.
I can’t sit here and psych all of you up for a happy ending. The way things went down may have been the best thing for both characters but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.
By the way, any book that opens with Truman Capote quote — it’s got the goods. (less)
Entering a world where majorettes are a “big deal” in high school and being considered “popular” is...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog:
Entering a world where majorettes are a “big deal” in high school and being considered “popular” is a new concept for me. See, I was majorette in high school. Sure, we were a part of the marching band and performed at the football games. But the cheerleaders were considered the “real” entertainment (and hence, the more popular ones).
There were never too many girls dying to be majorettes. Frankly, unless you were downright dangerous with a baton you probably made the squad. Despite all of that, being a majorette was the best part of my high school experience and there was nothing like putting on my tall majorette boots and short uniform and shaking it for a crowd. The high was unbelievable.
So, immediately, you can see why I was so psyched to read Jennifer Echols’ newest romantic comedy. It totally brought me back to those four years I sat in the stands at the games, cheering for the football games, freezing my tush off, freaking out before a halftime performance, and even the utter fear of tryouts.
From the book description, I gathered that the plot would focus on this “love” triangle between Gemma, her best friend, Addison, and the football kicker, Max. That would have been all well and good but I am happy to report that the book dove into several other themes.
It was all about personal discovery. Gemma has just lost A LOT of weight in a short time. She’s constantly dealing about how she feels about this change in her appearance and about how others treat her because of this change. It seems like a lonely place to be when her best friend couldn’t be any less supportive if she tried. (Does anyone else see this growing trend of nice girls having shitty best friends?)
The best part is -– Max can relate. He’s very sensitive about his ethnicity (he is Japanese) and his best friend (Carter, who had just about zero effect on me) keeps dogging on him because of his size and how he is not really “part of the football team.” While I’m not always a fan of two characters that have relatively the same problem, it worked here. Both their predicaments were caused by different situations, and both characters found their own way of dealing with it.
As for the love triangle situation, I was kind of frustrated. I went from just wanting to scream at Gemma to communicate because she had to be misjudging the situation and then realizing, I had no idea how this could all end because Robert – her love interest from earlier in the book – kept popping up. I think even though it hurt sometimes, Gemma learned a lot about herself when she was “going out” (a.k.a. making out) with Carter – how she gave into things she didn’t always want just because she felt she should, and deciding just what she deserved. For a comedy, there’s a good amount of heavy to be found.
I also have to applaud Jennifer for making football UNDERSTANDABLE. I didn’t mention that after four years of watching football and being the daughter of a HUGE football fan, I still know absolutely nothing. I swear, football and calculus – there is no place for either of them in my brain. But I actually GOT IT. It was also kind of great that Gemma had some football knowledge.
So as you can see, there is a lot to really like about this book. Sure, it’s not as sexy as some of Jennifer’s other books, but that was okay. The two main characters were well-developed, I absolutely loved the setting, and the problems were genuine and relatable. And most importantly, the ending was not entirely typical which is always the sign of a worthy book.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find my baton…(less)
As soon as I finished this book, I texted Magan: “I think I wrote this book my senior year of high s...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
As soon as I finished this book, I texted Magan: “I think I wrote this book my senior year of high school.” I’m serious. I was feeling lukewarm about Scott after reading Stealing Heaven a few months ago, and I’m so glad I decided to read Bloom next. I was not disappointed. Not at all.
Here’s the thing. You are in a relationship. It is deemed perfect on the outside. The person seems perfect on the outside and you just feel stuck. Your needs are not getting met. You meet someone else, or reunite with them in Lauren’s case and bam. You just cannot deny you are unhappy with your current situation anymore and you just want to be swept away.
Immediately I thought of:
1. Jo Dee Messina lyric: “Oh, one day you get what you want / But it’s not what you think / Then you get what you need." 2. When Dawson’s super cool aunt tells Joey about meeting someone that makes her feel alive and making a hard decision. (Yes, I take Dawson’s Creek lessons to heart.)
I feel pretty bad for Lauren. She likes to read and play the clarinet in jazz band but she feels the need to keep both of these a secret because of the group that she is involved with in school. That’s a lot of pressure. Not to mention, pretending everything is perfect in your relationship and at home when you dad is never even around to have dinner with.
Bloom does a great job of accurately painting Lauren’s insecurities (even though I wish she would just admit who she is and what she likes); even the development of the secondary characters is well done. At times when Scott could have ventured into cliches, she didn’t. All I can say is: yay. The chemistry between Lauren and Evan is intense and all- encompassing.
Most of all, I liked how Scott wrote Lauren as a character who was concerned she was repeating the mistakes of her parents. It’s the reason she sort of stayed still and didn’t make any rash moves. She played it safe. It’s amazing how much pressure she put on herself, even without the help of her parents.
I was left wondering though: did Evan really have to be a character from her past? One way or another, they were sort of siblings at some point. Would the story have progressed any differently if he was just some new guy in class?
You tell me. Add this book to your to-read list. Please? (less)
I really wanted to love this book, especially because I was practically drooling over the sexy Going T...moreReview first published on Rather Be Reading Blog
I really wanted to love this book, especially because I was practically drooling over the sexy Going Too Far and of course, because Magan couldn’t stop raving about this one. But as you can probably guess, I wasn’t feeling it.
Sure, the chemistry between Hunter and Erin was hot. It was sizzling on the page. But then Erin would drone on again and again about how he took what was rightfully hers and blah blah whine whine. It ruined it for me. I was excited to finally read a book about kids in college (I actually had to go back and reread the beginning to make sure I got that right) but Erin was so unbelievably immature for a girl who could write with such sexual maturity. Instead of feeling for her, I almost felt like she got what she deserved and even by the end of the book, I wasn’t sure if she truly learned anything or grew as a character.
The ending, especially, was one of those where I threw my hands in the air and yelled IS THAT IT to the sky (or actually the ceiling of the bus I was taking back to the airport). I don’t necessarily like when a finale is explained to death but at the same time, I’m not sure what happened.
This might be surprising but the highlight of this book for me was the writing workshop environment, one I was very familiar with during college. It’s a very personal place, sometimes a difficult one and sometimes the most fun place to be. It’s like a huge therapy session where you confide parts of yourselves with strangers. I know in my classes I said a lot that I might not have even told my closest friends or family. I think Echols certainly nailed this portion of the book.
As my second Echols book, I can say right now: her books are addicting. And while this isn’t my favorite of hers or one of the top books I’ve read this year (or ever), I’d say it’s worth reading to get a full scope of her material. And also because Hunter is a hot guy who knows how to kiss. (Or so I’ve read.) (less)
There seems to be a growing trend in young adult fiction I’ve been reading. Taking the popular girl...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
There seems to be a growing trend in young adult fiction I’ve been reading. Taking the popular girl main character and giving her a conscience. Sometimes this frustrates me because I was never the popular girl. I was the bookworm. The majorette in band. A CVS worker who liked to work in the shampoo aisle. The creative one. The existing moment that makes me relate to a character that is so unlike me, who is in fact the people I usually completely write off, is very small. Miniscule. Yet here I am connecting on an intense level with a girl like Paige. Rich, gorgeous, popular, mean to the small people. To the point where I am wondering if there are other girls I went to school with who maybe felt constricted by their status, the pressures of their moms who are always trying to relive their younger years, who really had no idea who they were.
It’s not like I was automatically on Paige’s side either. She’s in a horrific car accident because her or one one of her best friends drank too much (the real story unfolds along the way) and her mom is glad to ship her off to Paris for the summer where she works as a nanny. This gives her mom time to wipe up the mess and ensure her daughter’s (and her family’s) gold-star reputation. Paige returns to a world turned upside down. Her best friends (Lacey & Nikki) are giving her the cold shoulder, and her boyfriend is more interested in being there for Lacey. At this point, Paige’s thoughts and worries could definitely be seen as a bit selfish… what did I do… don’t they realize that I’m upset too… but you know what, I seriously would have been thinking the same things.
It takes a fantastic writing class and some new friends to push Paige onto this journey of discovery. Mr. Tremont sounds like the kind of writing teacher that I would have loved to have had in high school. I was lucky to have a few of them in college like this, but holy crap, wow. I loved how he talked about writing being this difficult thing. He was completely inspiring, and I can see why Paige was so intrigued by him and this other part of herself that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was inspiring to me. Especially because her own writing is the device she used to figure out what happened in that car accident last spring and make sense of it and her surroundings and the expectations that have become a burden instead of something she thought she wanted for so long.
The new friends – Shanti & Ethan – would, of course, normally be out of Paige’s general circle of friends a year ago. And I liked how they sort of tiptoe around each other when it comes to making this commitment to be real friends. Paige even acts like a real bitch at some points, and while I hated that about her, it was true to her character and made even more sense when she disentangles herself from her own norm and shies away from the spotlight.
The Princesses of Iowa is so rich in story, and the intensity is built up so perfectly. It’s like a house of cards that could break at any time. And I couldn’t put it down. It gets scary and frustrating but Backes succeeds in tackling some very sensitive and serious storylines very well. Her characters are well-developed and real and even disappointing and surprising. What hit home for me the most was Backes’ belief in the power of writing and expression. That in itself is such a truth in my own life and she nailed it. Many many times. And all I know is that I will be buying a copy of The Princesses of Iowa when it is released on May 8th. I already have a place in my bookshelf waiting for it.
”It’s your writing you guys. Follow it wherever it takes you. All you need to do is tell your truth.” (less)
Quick note: Just completed my third read of this and I was struck mostly by the great family dynamics (Mike is a great older brother, even J...more3.5 stars.
Quick note: Just completed my third read of this and I was struck mostly by the great family dynamics (Mike is a great older brother, even Jordan's dad means well, and yay for a supportive mom who also has a voice in the household) and the strong friendships (JJ, Carter, Henry). Jordan is such a headstrong character who has a lot to learn about life, herself, and love and I think she makes a lot of mistakes in this book but I'm totally okay with it.
It’s difficult to read a book about 9/11 without thinking about where I was when it happened. I feel...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
It’s difficult to read a book about 9/11 without thinking about where I was when it happened. I feel kind of shameful about it now, to be honest. I don’t think I ever really took the time to understand what all of it meant. I was a junior in high school, sitting in my English class when someone walked in to tell us a plane hit the Twin Towers. School was pretty much over as we knew it. No one was doing much in class. Everyone was on their cell phones. Rules had zero effect. I remember going home all day and being unable to get in touch with the boy I had been talking to because signals were down. I lived 10 minutes away from New York City, and many of my friends had parents who commuted. One of them waited all day and all night until her dad finally made it home. From one of the main roads in my hometown, you could see the skyline – suddenly filled with smoke that didn’t lift for a long, long time.
I originally thought I would include a snippet from my journal during that time but there was nothing that really stood out to me to share. A few days later, I did include this quote from The Green Mile (I loved that book!):
I’m rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I’m tired of being on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never having no buddy to go on with or tell me where we’s comin from or goin to or why. I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I’m tired of all these times I wanted to help and couldn’t.. I’m tired of being in the dark. Mostly it’s the pain. There’s too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can’t.
They are not my own words but I could see how I felt they were so relevant at the time.
Sometimes I feel so outside of the events of 9/11. I didn’t personally know anyone that died. But it did make my mother reconsider my dream of going to school in the city. It did make me realize how something can happen on any given day and even though you realize that, you can’t let it stop you from living your life. I think this is why I really liked the premise of Love is the Higher Law. Most of the books/movies, etc. were focused on people who had loved ones die during the attacks, and this was a story about three people who lived in New York and were affected by it in other ways.
Now I’ve only read David Levithan’s work in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which I loved. One of my favorite reads of 2011. But I was so enamored by his poetic writing. He was able to evoke such emotion without unnecessarily over-hyping everyone’s feelings. It felt rightfully organic and there were so many times I felt so touched by the pain Claire felt or the detachment that Jasper was experiencing. One of the most beautiful scenes I have probably ever read was during one of Claire’s sleepless nights when she wanders into Union Square, where people had started a makeshift memorial for all the missing. It’s raining out, and all the candles are burnt out. But Claire and another woman work together to light every single candle standing out there. They didn’t speak more than a few words to one another, and Claire worked so diligently to feel like she was doing something.
Then you have Peter and Jasper. Two people who are flirty and free at a party before 9/11 and – two days after the world completely changes – are anything but, resulting in a disaster of a date (although Liza Minnelli is involved). I think it’s interesting to read their perceptions of one another as the chapters switch from person to person, just because these two people are experiencing the same moment so differently, and with Claire, we basically just see Claire. One of my favorite details about Peter is how much he relates music to how he is feeling. There’s a huge emotional moment towards the end of the book at a concert that had tears rolling down my face too. I didn’t even need to know the band or the song they were singing. It’s just amazing the things in life that make us connect and feel other people’s feelings.
That’s what this book is all about. Connection, disconnection, hope, fears, and the unknown. I was reading a review of Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud a few weeks ago and the critic started by saying that 9/11 isn’t something he is over or something he is ever going to be over. And it’s true… 11 years later, I feel the same way. Even if I was only 16 years old when it happened and the only World Trade Center I knew was from when Kevin visited them in Home Alone 2.
There’s a constant struggle to make sense out of these enormously horrid things that happen during our everyday lives. (Even the smaller atrocities too.) I think Love of the Higher Law is a true representation of our generation, one that has seen the effects of an event like 9/11 and how it has changed our perception of the world around us. It pinpoints hard-to-swallow and hard-to-work-through problems without being preachy or over-dramatic or pretentious or pompous. We can be strong even when we lack the understanding of certain events and the reasons behind them. (less)
I always wonder what it is about writing that actually makes me feel the same stomach flips as the m...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
I always wonder what it is about writing that actually makes me feel the same stomach flips as the main character. Is it because I have a great grip on the characters? Is the story just so engrossing that it feels real? Or is the chemistry-building just so well-timed?
I have yet to figure it out.
But Sometimes it Happens is full of stomach flipping and secret glances and they feel pretty darn real. This book actually reminded me of a younger version of Something Borrowed (which I was very obsessed with at the beginning of last year). Now I know when cheating comes up people launch into a huge tirade about morals. I don’t blame them. Cheating isn’t the right way to handle things but it still happens. Love can be messy. And sometimes you feel things for the “wrong” person and I like that this book developed that situation in a mature way.
Sometimes people do things that are complicated. For complicated reasons.
There couldn’t be a truer statement when it comes to these characters. Hannah is dumped by her boyfriend before the summer even begins and her best friend, Ava, ditches her for a camp in Maine (which is so unlike her), and assigns boyfriend, Noah, to “watch over” Hannah. Another character named Lacey pops up – she was probably my favorite – who has some problems that parallel Hannah’s. Practically all the stars of this book have these “hidden” complications that unfold as the book goes on.
While it’s not the most original plotline (but then again, what is original anyway?), Barnholdt alternates each chapter between the happenings of the summer and the first day back at school (present day). This tactic just builds up the intensity of all of these characters reuniting after such a crazy summer. The book (even though basically a love story) has a lot to say about friendship too — the details we pick and choose to share with one another, in hopes the other will continue to see us in a particular way. It’s not the easiest pill to swallow, but sometimes full disclosure ends up being in everyones best interest.
I’m happy to say that I enjoyed reading this book more than Barnholdt’s One Night That Changes Everything. I was actually surprised that both of these books were written by the same author. The tone, the voices, and the style are so different. While One Night was a fun and speedy read, the characters in Sometimes It Happens had more dimension and were more realistic. Plus it felt like there was a lot more riding on the events of this book.
So what happens when secrets are uncovered and truths are revealed? Pure chaos? There’s only one way to find out. (less)
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume many of you reading this aren’t accomplished bridge player...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog:
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume many of you reading this aren’t accomplished bridge players or know a whole lot about bridge to begin with. If you are like me, my familiarity with bridge is limited to the hands they put in the newspaper. (Have you seen those?) I’m not even sure where I got the idea where bridge was a game that “old people played” but hey the stereotype is there and it’s not an unpopular one because well, it’s all over this book.
When I first saw The Cardturner in the bookstore, I was just interested in reading about what Louis Sachar was up to. As a kid, I was a huge fan of his Wayside School series, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, and in college again, when I read Holes. (Don’t miss that one!) Like all of those stories, The Cardturner has real heart. Even when it feels a little long and slips into long explanations about bridge. (Sachar is genius though – he begins his diatribes about bridge with a whale icon. If you aren’t all that interested in the teeny tiny details, just skip ahead to the box where there is a small summary of what Sachar is trying to get at.) It is not a book that is obsessing over the hierarchy of high school or sex or a love triangle. This feels like an old school YA book with a unique background story.
The major highlight is the narrator – Alton, a high school kid who is roped into helping his blind uncle play bridge. I don’t read many books with male narrators so this was refreshing. Alton is funny. He talks to the audience, makes it known that HE is the one writing his story down. He’s also sort of a pushover, and not exactly the big man on campus. But I liked that about him. He had feelings. Even if he wasn’t so good at expressing them. It can’t be easy for your best friend to be dating your ex-girlfriend and see he is also kind of interested in your new crush.
He also seems to be searching for some kind of acceptance from his uncle. Alton is able to pick up on bridge pretty quickly, and his uncle makes him feel like a total idiot sometimes and underestimates him completely. These are some of the funniest moments in the book when he is expressing his frustration over knowing what was going on, and pretending like he doesn’t really care.
Bridge is what brings change into Alton’s life, for sure. Throughout the book, we see him steadily learn the ins and outs of this game, establish a connection with this uncle he never really knew, and make friends with a lot of other people. I also loved the dynamic between him and his younger sister, Leslie. She was probably one of the sanest people in this book since Alton’s parents were so obnoxiously annoying and only cared about one thing – money.
This isn’t the most fast paced book. In fact, it took me a lot longer to read it than I thought it would. I wasn’t addicted to it like I normally get with others. I was reeled in more at the halfway point when I got to know the characters more and things got a little bit exciting and somewhat, suspenseful. (Yes! For real.) I even shed a tear at one point. So The Cardturner is certainly worth sticking with if you can be patient. You may even find bridge to be interesting. (Honestly, it’s still hard for me to grasp the game without actually seeing people playing it but I’m curious enough to watch some videos on YouTube.)
But Louis Sachar has a way of taking a realistic story and making it feel like a fairy tale. Not necessarily with the ending you envisioned. But there are wacky characters, a blind uncle who can impressively memorize his own cards and the hands of the other players, and a “scandalous” family history mystery. It has a little bit for everyone.(less)
There’s nothing I love more than New York City and Christmas time. (Except maybe Walt Disney World.)...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
There’s nothing I love more than New York City and Christmas time. (Except maybe Walt Disney World.) Add in a bookstore and moleskin notebooks and I am pretty much in my element. Dash & Lily reminds me of a younger, less intense version of one of my favorite movies, Serendipity. Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack meet days before Christmas in a New York department store. Unfortunately they are both in other relationships and decide to leave their next meeting to chance.
While Dash & Lily’s premise is entirely different it is the back and forth, the sense of adventure, and mystery that is so familiar to me. The book is not overly romantic, but more about discovery. It is more goofy and over-the-top than some epic love story. But its innocence is part of its charm.
Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a book that has garnered such high praise from other readers; you don’t want to be disappointed. But I’m happy to say I grew pretty addicted to Dash and Lily’s story. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that each of the characters were more developed than I had expected. I loved the details of their family backstories and all the supporting characters who contributed to the story.
Still, the end just snuck up on me and many elements that contributed to the character development were forgotten. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers but part of me wondered if the book would have felt more complete if the beginning was shorter.
As the second book I’ve read where two authors alternate chapters (first was Will Grayson, Will Grayson), Rachel Cohn and David Levithan did a great job. I actually had trouble believing it was actually written by two different authors. I also suspect one of them is a huge Muppet fan and that’s pretty awesome in my book.
This also may have been the first book I’ve read in awhile where I felt more connected to the male lead character. Dash is independent and more grounded while Lily’s enthusiasm and the fact she is so sheltered makes her feel very young to me. Yet I am totally on the same page with her love of baking, Christmas lights, and carols (although I guarantee she is a better singer than I). Not to be a negative Nelly, but I did wonder (quite a bit) about how compatible these two would be.
See? This is why I need to start a campaign for a sequel because I really want to know what happens next!
If you want a book that is just plain fun, gives you an incredible tour of New York, and teaches you a slew of vocabulary words, what are you waiting for? It’s just about perfect for this time of year. (less)
As a huge Christmas fan, I was ecstatic to discover this book while surfing the B&N bookstore on...moreReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
As a huge Christmas fan, I was ecstatic to discover this book while surfing the B&N bookstore on my Nook. That being said, I was mostly a fan of Claus Lake, the setting, then the actual story. A place where people actually start preparing for Christmas in September and gladly overlook Halloween. Sounds like my kind of place! The plotline, though, is pretty unbelievable and made me wish it was a cute ABC Family movie instead of a YA novel. (In fact, I felt, at times, too old to be reading this one.)
Lexi is an ambitious girl. But it’s a little ridiculous for her to want to pawn her long-term boyfriend into the arms of another. Who in their right mind would do that? (Some might call it heartless.) I mean, if she just decided to tell him the spark was gone and they wanted different things for their future, there would have been no story. So you have to take it for what it is.
Once you do, it’s a fun, heart-warming silly story with a bunch of characters. One of my favorites was Allie, Lexi’s best friend, who concocts all these “theories” about relationships. (Keep in mind, she is single herself.) Most are ridiculous but it’s her “12 Dates” rule that gets the ball rolling on another one of Lexi’s big ideas. This isn’t much of a spoiler since it’s in most book descriptions. After Cam and Lexi break up and he moves on with Jaylene (who is always wearing little to no clothing) Lexi (surprise!) decides she must get Cam back. So instead of just talking to him… she decides she needs another plan.
If it wasn’t so lighthearted, this story would almost qualify as some sort of farcical, Lucy-esque comedy. Unfortunately, it’s not that sophisticated or unpredictable. But it is fluffy and full of holiday spirit, which are two things I can’t deny loving when it comes to taking a book along on the commute, and when life gets stressful during the holidays and you need an escape!
Just a note: The Nook version of this eBook wasn’t the best. The spacing between scenes was off most of the book.
Also being paired with Jennifer Echols’ The Ex Games in a collection called Winter’s Kiss – releasing Tuesday, January 3. (less)