Andi's brother is dead. Andi's father left. Andi's mother is not coping with either of these things at all and Andi isn't doing too much better. All t...moreAndi's brother is dead. Andi's father left. Andi's mother is not coping with either of these things at all and Andi isn't doing too much better. All the Qwells Andi takes don't always ease the pain and sadness. Her father comes into her life one day to set her mom up in a mental institution and take Andi to Paris with him on business so she can do her school outline, so she doesn't flunk out. Andi is not at all excited about this idea and even Paris can't make her feel better, until she finds the diary. The diary belongs to one Alexandrine Paradis who lived to centuries ago in the middle of the French Revolution. Andi is intrigued by the parallels in their lives and is obsessed with finding out how Alex's story plays out.
This was a very slow book to get into. I nearly put it down when I was about 50 pages into it. I don't know if it was my mood or what, but I could just not empathize with Andi at all in the beginning. But, I was really interested to read about the diary that she finds and I always enjoy historical type fiction. This book was very historical and it was interesting to have some insight into the French Revolution that I did not get from school work. I really liked the relationships that Andi creates. Paris does seem grunge-y and romantic the was Jennifer Donnelly portrays it in the novel. Andi is obsessed with music, which is what her thesis is about. She plays music, she sings, she hangs out with people who play or sing. Music helps Andi relax and makes her a little happy and helps her express herself in the only way she feels she can. I'm very glad I kept reading, because the more obsessed Andi got with Alex's diary the more obsessed I became. I loved hearing Alex's tales of woe and triumph. It was great when Alex surprised herself with how much she really cared for the royal son, even though she told herself that she would not and did not. The ending was very strange and I'm still not sure which reality I believed happened. Of course if you haven't read the book it makes no sense what I'm talking about, but just don't feel alone if in the last few chapters you're saying "What?!?!? well which is it, was it real or was it all in her head?" This was a great novel about learning how to deal with the pain of having loss someone and feeling like it was all your fault. Although at times I wanted to just strangle Andi, she was a pretty decent (very depressed) teenager, who was just struggling with the weight of a lot of crap on her shoulders. I suggest that if you like historical fiction or novels that are heavily laden with music check this one out.
First Line: "Those who can, do."
Favorite Line: "My cell phone goes off, buzzing against my cheek like some horrible giant bug."
Whitley Johnson has finally graduated high school. Though she is glad to be rid of that place she can't help but attend the big bash at some guy's hou...moreWhitley Johnson has finally graduated high school. Though she is glad to be rid of that place she can't help but attend the big bash at some guy's house. She graduated with at least a thousand kids so it's not like she knows everyone. She ends the night in a boy's bed, the host apparently. He wants them to keep in touch, but Whitley wants to be rid of this one night stand and get on with her new life. This summer was supposed to be like all the other ones with her father. They were supposed to chill buy the condo's pool and talk about college, since Whitley is attending her father's alma mater. Unfortunately, Whitley's dad has other plans. In the car her dad tells her that he doesn't have the condo anymore but a house. He doesn't have some flimsy girlfriend, but a fiancée and she has two kids. Whitley doesn't think this summer could get any worse, and then she meets her soon-to-be stepbrother. She's trying to make the best out of the situation at hand, but she ends up getting out of hand. Whitley just wanted things to be like they always were, but maybe it's time things change.
Awesome. This is Kody Keplinger's third book and she has not lost any steam. This book was just so fantastic. A few weeks ago I reviewed Jackson Pearce's Purity and mentioned that I had a hard time relating to that father/daughter relationship; I had no problem relating to this one. Whitley's father is more of a buddy than a father, and has a hard time making time for her. Whitley is drunk so often that she doesn't even seem to realize how much this is true. She puts him up on a pedestal which puts a strain on her relationship with her mother. It was a bit depressing watching her father ignore her and then her finding out some unfavorable things about him. He sort of is a giant jerk though at least his wife-to-be is a good person.
It was interesting reading about a character with zero friends. Whitley didn't seem to even have casual acquaintances, though she went to all the parties. It was good to see Whitley's character change throughout the course of this novel, while still remaining the same girl at the core. She grew a lot having a real family around and that means something. There was a cameo in here of a couple of other Kody characters you might recognize. It was a nice surprise.Whitley does end up finding a friend in Harrison, though she fights it every bit of the way. She also has a friend in Nathan, whether she likes it or not. I loved both of these characters. Harrison was just completely fabulous, forcing Whitley to befriend him despite her desire for friendship. Then Nathan was just great because he kept calling her Whit, even though she despised it.
If you have not read a Kody Keplinger book it is because either a.) you don't like good books or b.) you're crazy (can't be that you don't like realistic fiction). Check this book out this summer, it is a definite hit!
First Line: "Hangovers are a bitch."
Favorite Lines: "I spent the next several days avoiding Nathan as much as was humanly possible. This involved lots of the silent treatment and cold-shouldering, mixed with a little bit of immature 'Did you hear something? Must have been the wind,' whenever he tried to get my attention in the presence of others."
Henry Whelp is the son of the Big Bad Wolf, who is doing time for killing Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Henry doesn't know why his dad d...moreHenry Whelp is the son of the Big Bad Wolf, who is doing time for killing Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Henry doesn't know why his dad did it and he desperately doesn't want to end up like him. Henry's been stuck in a reformatory for animalia inside Dust City. Dust city used to have real fairies, with real fairydust, but since the fairies vanished all that's left is black market dust. When someone ends up dead unexpectedly at the Reformatory, Henry is brought into question. Henry goes to see his dad and find out the truth of what happened that faithful night and what happened to all the fairies.
This was a very interesting novel. I loved all of the fairy tales that were woven into the story. Each character was really a fairy tale character, and it was fantastic. Henry and Fiona as well as some of the other characters seemed a little unrealistic at times. Of course, they are wolves and such in a fairy tale city, so they aren't very realistic to begin with, but sometimes they just felt a little awkward or off. Maybe it is just me. Besides the characters sometimes being a little out of character this was a really fascinating read. It is a new look at the old Red Riding Hood story, from the Big Bad Wolf's side of the story. This novel really talks about how things aren't always as they seem. There is a definite "big brother" feel to the novel, that there is this big company that sort of controls everything and everyone. If you are a big fan of fairy tales, make sure you read this book it is a great edition for fans of the genre.
First Line: "Once upon a time, fairydust came from where you'd expect."
Favorite Line: "Earthwood Cemetery is an oasis of green at the heart if the city." (less)
The tree plague is slowly spreading. Soon there may be no more trees left, despite what the scientists originally thought. Now people are getting very...moreThe tree plague is slowly spreading. Soon there may be no more trees left, despite what the scientists originally thought. Now people are getting very sick and the doctors can no longer cure them. These two things may be related. Kelsa goes to bury her father's ashes, and meets who she thinks is a boy. The strange boy turns out to be Raven, the Trickster spirit. He enlists Kelsa help to save the world, by saving the magic that flows through it. At first Kelsa thinks he's crazy and that it would be crazy to go along with him. Though maybe, what he's saying is the truth and she can help rescue the world.
This was certainly an interesting story. Honestly, when I think of the term Science Fiction I always picture Dragon in Space. I know that this is not really true, but I can't help but immediately assume that is what I will be reading about. With that taken into consideration, I would barely call this novel sci-fi. It is set in a high-tech future, but nothing seems overly sci-fi-y. Mostly there is just the Native American folklore, and a modern feel to the whole story, despite the new technology. One thing I didn't really like about this novel is how much story there was. I know that sounds a bit silly. This story has too much story, but I tend to like a bit more dialogue in my YA. If Hilari Bell could have worked the stories into the characters speech that would have been a lot better in my tastes. This was a very interesting book, about what can happen when humans don't share beliefs in the magical realm. The humans basically destroyed the Earth, and even though they are trying to be better, that by itself is not enough. Raven was kind of a brute to Kelsa at times, but I guess he was just grouping her with all the other humans and she had to suffer through his general distaste for them. If you like books about magic that are set in the future, and have quite a bit of saving the world in them I would make sure to check this one out. Buy it today!
First Line: "Raven had spent too long on the hunt."
Favorite Line: "The black asphalt blended perfectly with the black basalt, and the informative signs weren't obvious." (less)
Lizzie and Hope were sisters, and with only a year between them they were also best friends. One day their Momma told them that they were to look out...moreLizzie and Hope were sisters, and with only a year between them they were also best friends. One day their Momma told them that they were to look out for each other, that was their job. But when Hope walks and and sees her dear sister with a gun pointed to her face, Hope doesn't know what to do. Lizzie get sent to a hospital and the doctors set to work in order to find out what would make Lizzie want to kill herself. While Lizzie is in the hospital, Hope sets out to search her memories of how her sister became so unhappy. As she glimpses through her past she starts to reaize that some secrets aren't best kept.
This book was so depressing. Dead kittens and suicide attempts. Two things that really make your bottom lip stick out and quiver. I enjoyed the southern setting of this novel, it made it a little more intense as opposed to them living in a big city. Each of the characters play their parts so well and as the story progresses you start to really feel for Hope and Lizzie. This is another novel in prose poetry, which I really just love because it seems to put just the right words together to craft the tale. With so few words used each must be carefully picked or else the novel will fall short. Carol Lynch Williams(hereon refered to as CLW*hehe*) succeeded admirably in making this novel very real. CLW writes on a topic most people don't face everyday and she tells it with a young, true, heartfelt voice. If you don't mind reading super depressing books this is certainly a great read, so well-written. I have not, as of yet, read The Chosen One, but I certainly will now. CLW is an author to look out for and I hope there are more gut-wrenching novels to come. This review had to be very general, as I did not want to spoil even one page to the readers.
First Line: "In one moment it is over."
Favorite Line: "The clothes are way in the bottom, in something that looks like melted ice cream and wilted lettuce." (less)
There was a time when Dani considered herself just another, normal, girl. However, after the crisis her father became a different man and with that th...moreThere was a time when Dani considered herself just another, normal, girl. However, after the crisis her father became a different man and with that their lives started to change for the worse. When her father finally accepts the fact that they aren't doing very well in Buenos Aires he moves them all to America. Here Dani and her family must start over. Dani has to think and speak in a foreign language, she has to leave behind all her friends and her boyfriend and try to make new ones. She finds friends in very unlikely places and learns what it means to be connect with someone through a similar experience.
This was an enjoyable read. I really appreciated the little snippets of Spanish thrown in here and there. It would certainly help you if you know some basic Spanish, but if you don't it doesn't detract from the story really. At times this book was really slow going(maybe I just didn't feel like reading) but I always wanted to know what Dani had to face next. I can't imagine having to up and leave your country and have to go to a place where everything is different. I really enjoyed reading about Dani and her life. It was nice to see the similarities and differences between her culture and American culture. Though she was suffering on this very global scale, she still had all the suffering that comes with adolescence. She was teased and had crushes and boyfriends and had to make new friends in a new place. This story really shows how sometimes you should really find out what is going on with a person to make them the way they are before instantly judging them. If you like contemporary fiction that speaks of other cultures then this book is certainly for you.
First Line: "Normal kids were happy when the bell rang at the end of the school day."
Favorite Line: "I wondered if this was how a snake felt right before it shed its skin and slithered along without everything that identified it before." (less)
Even though Lenah is Queen of her coven, the coven she hand-picked members for, she longed to be human once again. Thanks to Rhode, her soul mate, thi...moreEven though Lenah is Queen of her coven, the coven she hand-picked members for, she longed to be human once again. Thanks to Rhode, her soul mate, this has become possible. She had to hibernate for 100 years for the ritual to work and many things have changed since the early 1900's. Fitting in at her new school is only a small challenge compared to what else Lenah must face. Rhode told her coven that she would awake again on Nuit Rouge, which is only a few months away now. When her coven finds that she did not come back, since they are bonded to her they will seek her out. As a human Lenah has found a lot of things to care about besides herself. It is much easy to feel for people when you actually have emotions other than sorrow. Now that she's human though, can she protect her new friends from her old ones?
This was an interesting take on the vampire classic. A vampire turned human is a fresh direction for paranormal and was finely executed in this debut novel. At first I was hesitant to read this, because of the overload of vampire novels, but I am glad I did. Maizel took a simple teenage story about fitting in and added the despair of centuries of nothingness to it. Maizel's writing style was different than what I have read in the past, I can't say if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but it worked. I did appreciate her use of Justin Enos' full name to show how Lenah was completely infatuated with him and was a nice device. It is disappointing knowing this is going to be a series for two reasons. 1. When you know a book has a sequel you never worry about the main characters being in sticky situations, you just assume that they are going to be fine because you think they have to be. 2. That perfectly fantastic ending you just read kind of turns to crap because it's not really an ending anymore. I could have done without the popular cliché. Yes, they were popular, yes life is so hard for them and all the unpopular people hare them. Ick. They didn't act popular enough to justify actually being popular. Popular means that people like you, so if everyone hates you, you're not really popular. I did like that this book was mostly set in New England, I love reading about familiar territory in novels. If you like paranormal romance, check this one out. Infinite Days has some cool twists and a splash of history that mat just have you hooked until the (kinda) ending.
First Line: "I release you...I release you, Lenah Beaudonte."
Favorite Line: "All I felt were dazzling gold, diamonds of light."(less)
Caitlin has Asperger's Syndrome and she has lost the one person who understood and was helping her "not act so weird". Her brother, Devon, was always...moreCaitlin has Asperger's Syndrome and she has lost the one person who understood and was helping her "not act so weird". Her brother, Devon, was always helping her by telling her what not to do. When he gets shot in a school shooting though, he is gone from her life forever. Now Caitlin has to find her own way to make friends and find closure, even if she needs a little help from her counselor.
This was a very touching novel. I had mistaken this for The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney, which is a very different story. I was not disappointed by this one though. This novel really got inside the head of someone who looks at the world a little differently than most people. It talks about loss and how much it affects everyone in a community and how some people have a harder time getting on afterward. Kathryn did an excellent job capturing the children's grief and Caitlin's journey into finding closure. I loved the relationship with Caitlin and her father. In the book she compares them(after her brother has) to Atticus and Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird. Her father is definitely strong like Atticus because you can see how hard it is for him to cope with the loss of his wife and son while taking care of Caitlin. He is very patient. This book should be a must read for any middle school or high school student. It has so many good aspects that will help people not only understand Asperger's but also to understand how everyone feels grief a little differently.
First Line: "It looks like a one-winged bird crouching in the corner of our living room."
Favorite Line: "I push my head farther under the sofa cushion but it doesn't swallow me up like I want it to."(less)