usually i don't bother buying a book which practically landed in my lap for free (netgalley arc!). usually. this isn't one of those occasions, even th...moreusually i don't bother buying a book which practically landed in my lap for free (netgalley arc!). usually. this isn't one of those occasions, even though i skipped parts of it, i think this is a book that deserves to be heard of. so i additionally bought the e-book copy of this, to contribute in a small way.
the honesty and realness of the situations played out, is what actually made the story so different and original from any other book with ya-characters on the market. (view spoiler)[ feeling pangs of sorrow on behalf of théoden. (hide spoiler)] i bow to you, andrea! ["br"]>["br"]>(less)
born in april 1996, tavi started blogging at age eleven – then rapidly became a bona fide fashion icon. in 2009 she was featured on the cover of pop magazine and was invited as a special guest to ny fashion week. (..) she’s currently the editor-in-chief and founder of rookieag.com and writes thestylerookie.com and has written for several [magazines]. [ted.com]
the female lead jeane is all about being your own person and not succumbing to peer pressure. michael, the male lead (view spoiler)[bonus: he's half asian (hide spoiler)] on the other hand is what everyone wants him to be. adorkable alternates between two povs: jeane (view spoiler)[the tavi-lola hybrid (hide spoiler)] and the school's jock michael lee, as their slap-slap-kiss relationship changes to something more.
the best part is probably the healthy pro-sex & body image messages it sends out to teen girls and how really it is okay too, because girls have "wants and needs and desires". jeane is comfortable in her own skin and embraces all her flaws. can't say that either character completely won me over, but anyway -- here's an extract from michael's pov:
(view spoiler)[i hadn’t had performance anxiety either, although i’d been worried that once jeane was naked i wouldn’t fancy her. she was kind of chubby but a bit flat-chested out of her clothes, and that shouldn’t have been sexy, but it was. maybe it was because jeane’s clothes were so hideous that looking at her naked was the better option.
or it might have been because jeane was comfortable with her own body. not once did she moan about her thighs or her pot belly or about how fat she supposedly was like every other girl i knew, even the really skinny ones because they wanted you to say, ‘oh, fat? i think what you meant to say is that you’re really fit.’ that wasn’t jeane’s style and anyway her skin was soft and smooth and i liked that she had proper muscles in her arms and legs. sometimes when i’m with a girl, even just hugging a girl, they can feel so fragile and frail that i’m frightened of breaking them.
glory is a piano prodigy. after her mother died, she retreated into her music. her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at carneg...moreglory is a piano prodigy. after her mother died, she retreated into her music. her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at carnegie hall and across the globe. brilliant and lonely, glory is drawn to frank, who moves in next door frank becomes glory’s connection to the world—and her escape from reality. before long, glory is unable to play anything but the song "chopsticks"; f and g notes moving closer together, and farther apart.
artsy people will probably find the aesthetics to their liking. i know that is what drew me to this book.. what makes this different from other novels isn't the story but its execution, which ranges from letters, doodles, notes, instant messages, post cards, invitations, newspaper articles and music/music sheets depicted in photo format. an intimate snapshot of two desperate teens. [ video ][ chopsticks app ]
actually it reads as if the author wanted to pay homage to smith and wrote this book, to do so. a mysterious thriller, complete with eerie happenings in this school for 'special' children.
plot: the protagonist, faye is sent to a reform school run by dr. mordoch, because she's different. each morning faye and her group (called "family") wake up with red-stained hands from the night before. wth happened?
the painter w/ visions, the loner dude, the jokers and rebels. we have the hidden pasts and the secrets lurking behind every nook and cranny. dictatorial authorities punishing them for every deed done the wrong way etc etc.
etienne's attempt to convey the message of protecting our earth and the nature was slathered on rather thickly and destroyed the so far created suspense and enjoyment of harbinger.
on a positive note: to celebrate the book's release, 24 artists were commissioned to illustrate some of the scenes from the book. look at these lovelies:
“What can you give your parents and Toby for Christmas?” Suzie had asked me a few weeks earlier.
“I don’t mean a traditional present. More like, some way to honor them. Or honor the gifts they’ve passed on to you, as a person.”
I’d thought long and hard. It was the toughest shopping list anyone could hand me, but I wanted to do this.
For Toby, I emailed Emily Heinz to tell her I wanted to come back to help her run the Tutoring Club, and asked her to look for a student to match me up with.
For Dad, I bought an intermediate crossword book and started on the first one, with the goal of eventually completing every puzzle without looking at the answers.
For Mom, I began work on my first-ever portrait of someone I didn’t mind mangling in the process: myself. So far it was just a sketch of the shape of my face and my hair, done while leaning over a mirror on my bedroom floor. Don’t erase too much as you go, Mom said in my head. Let your hand channel your impressions of what you see.
sure sense of mood and tone, the actual storyline left me rather indifferent to any of the characters. confusing mess of a book. unintelligible...more1.75/5
sure sense of mood and tone, the actual storyline left me rather indifferent to any of the characters. confusing mess of a book. unintelligible slang and fairly heavy use of symbolism. should probably read it again.
i feel like i should hide behind a bush before y'all are coming at me with pitchforks and everything. the first quarter was a definite 4 stars,...more2.75/5
i feel like i should hide behind a bush before y'all are coming at me with pitchforks and everything. the first quarter was a definite 4 stars, but (especially) later as the story unfolds it was kind of eye-rolling how a lot hinges on her supposed 'soulmate' and she (view spoiler)[ decides to run to the man/alien she's never met based purely on the bunch of dreams she had with him playing the male actor, so he can save her or whatever (hide spoiler)]. which i should probably understand, as terra, the female lead grew up into a pretty screwed up family, but maaan i wanted to slap her so many times i lost count ...
other things that DID work for me are that terra is into art. i dig that. and that she's a botanist. and it's a space opera of sorts. you see, i have a weakness for these kinds of things. also, the characters had lots of onion layers and i had to grudgingly put aside my hate for a couple of characters and empathize with them. some wonderful descriptions of terra doing her thing:
hardly anyone knew about my drawings. my father always told me it was a waste of time. art was a luxury. it did nothing for our lives on the ship. it wouldn't help us once we reached zeheva. i was doing nothing for tikkun olam. and sure enough, my first efforts were terrible, the pencil all smeared, then erased, then heavily layered in again. but over time i'd gotten better. the lines were looser now, more expressive. i'd learned to block in broad shapes first before squeezing in the details. now when i sketched out the crocuses that poked their heads up through the snowy ground, or the vines that twined through the oak trees beneath the dome, the final outcome actually looked close to what i'd intended. [6%]
some passages baffled me though, like these e.g.:
but a thin birdsong was the only thing that answered. [11%]
our house was blue gaps of silence punctured by the white light of the arguments my father and i had [..] [39%]
new terms (for me): talmid • asherah • l'chaim • tikkun olam
no matter the quibbles i had, i'll be sure to pick up north's sequel as soon as it comes out!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A half white, half black teen finds herself in a conflicted situation when she sees her pregnant mom's boyfriend hooking up with another woman. Responsibility falls into her hands. Keep the lie or face the facts and confront the truth? As Jaz decides to keep this dirty little secret, her relationship with those around her gets more and more strained.
IF I TELL addresses racism, mobbing, teen pregnancy, single-parent upbringing, postnatal depression and breaking the unwritten rule.
This is a book for colored people. Or just people unjustly discriminated through no fault of their own. I'd even go so far, as to say that it's for all the people (/slash assholes) out there, who've ever said something nasty to someone with a skin color different to their own. Racist remarks are always hard to handle. Even if the racist in question isn't attacking you personally, it doesn't make it ok or less bad.
Discrimination. Racism. Stories like these can never get too old. That's the sad thing. They're timeless.(less)
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other...more
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other more and more. when one day, she gets tangled in the murder of a stripper, things start to change. (pene)lo(pe) obsessively tries to solve the case, as the police doesn't even really try to look behind the curtains, which in turn makes her the target of the killer who's still on the loose. of course lo finds out more than she bargained for.
what sets this book apart is most notably that the author made her main character a person with an anxiety disorder (ocd). for those who lost a loved one, there's the familiar pattern of not knowing how to handle the grief, guilt, anger and depression. growing apart as a family. and finding a way back.
"after school, i've been picking bus lines at random, finding new places to explore. mostly i go to other parts of the suburbs, find the high school or the baseball hat store at the mall or a restaurant my brother might have liked"
overall, the book was surprising in its subtle writing, which i appreciated a lot and made my rating higher. she didn't try to make a melodrama out of a drama, which happens more often to authors and their books than i'd like to admit.
random quote "i barely know anything about him, but he seems so familiar --as though i could flip through childhood photo albums and he'd be in every picture."
i'm having (fondly remembered) flashbacks:
"a warmth fills me, like it used to on saturday mornings when i was a kid and i'd wake before anyone else to watch cartoons, wrapped in my fuzzy pale blue blanket, waiting for everyone else to wake up, too"
random quote "a rush fills my whole body as i do, clears up my head, makes me feel instantly like everything in the whole world is okay, like the universe and solar system and every big, holy planet and blade of grass and flake of fresh-fallen snow are rotating and growing and falling just for me right now. when i find where it belongs, where it fits, everything will be whole: i will plug up the emptiness, the swirling, sucking drain of the universe spinning into chaos."
all the while reading ultraviolet, my finger's were poised to click on the 4stars, but after reading more than half the book, it turned out completely...moreall the while reading ultraviolet, my finger's were poised to click on the 4stars, but after reading more than half the book, it turned out completely different. r.j. anderson just threw a sucker punch. i was left stunned. the included (view spoiler)[space opera (hide spoiler)] really wasn't necessary, the romance was lukewarm at best and i might've liked it more without it.
anyway. it doesn't matter.
i love how she made the protagonist a synthesist. it was such an original, fresh story i was invited into and i felt privileged. it was completely new territory. there's no way one can rate it lower.
Once upon a time there was a girl who was extraordinary. She could hear colors, and see sounds, and taste the difference between truth and lies. But hardly anybody knew that, and she preferred to keep it that way.
you can take in the experiences of allison's senses alongside her:
I’d been trying to get over my habit of judging people by the color and taste of their names, but it was hard when my instincts were so often right.
Dark chocolate, poured over velvet: that was how his voice tasted. I wanted him to follow me around and narrate the rest of my life.
tragic, bleak and gloomy are the words that comes to mind when reading the ticking. it is a work of surrealist fiction in a graphic n...more click to enlarge
tragic, bleak and gloomy are the words that comes to mind when reading the ticking. it is a work of surrealist fiction in a graphic novel format. a wonderfully clothbound hardcover book with gold leaf engravings and can be read in a matter of minutes.
growing up on a remote island and raised by a single parent who wants him to cover up his face everytime someone visits, you'd think that edison might strive to be different - when in fact it is anything but.
yes, he knows he is not beautiful.
but when an opportunity would have allowed him to alter his appearance, he tells his father that he does not want to change the way he looks. as readers we come to understand that it is the father himself who cannot cope with his son being different. ed, on the other hand can see beauty everywhere and appreciates things not for what they should or might have been but rather for what they already are.(less)