I officially dub Morgan Matson "Queen of the Summer Novel." SYBG has Matson's wit, flawed characters, self-discovery, a non-insta-love relationship (oI officially dub Morgan Matson "Queen of the Summer Novel." SYBG has Matson's wit, flawed characters, self-discovery, a non-insta-love relationship (or two), and a friendship that (hopefully) survives the test of time, distance, and personal changes. It could have been edited down a bit more and I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind all the flashbacks or the focus on past relationships other than to hint at cracks in the friendship that ultimately weren't a big deal. Definitely a winner and an especially good summer read. ...more
I had high hopes because I LOVED Duff but this one was blech. It was a cross between an after school special (everyone's sexuality and feelings aboutI had high hopes because I LOVED Duff but this one was blech. It was a cross between an after school special (everyone's sexuality and feelings about sex are different, and all of them are ok! Lets hug and be friends) and a cheesy romance rife with forced misunderstandings that, of course, kept the main love interests apart until the very end. I thought Duff was gritty, real, and authentic. It didn't try to be anything, it just was. It was a story about a girl with real issues who dealt with them in a realistic if not "correct" way and had a believable use of sex and sexuality (though it is not something that everyone would do, it felt right in the context of the story). Shut Out tried to do too much and, in doing so, loses that sense of authenticity. Plus, it just wasn't written well. So much tell.
As I was reading I started to fold over the corner of pages where there were passages that really bothered me. By the end, there were so many folded over corners I would have to write a book to go through them all. Here are my main pet peeves: Lissa's issues of OCD/anxiety were glossed over and felt tacked on, because of course Lissa needed "a thing." I felt the OCD/anxiety issues were handled in a way that was almost insulting to people who actually have these problems, since they weren't really dealt with and in the end she was like "I'll try to be better. Yay!" Also, some other parts of the book seemed unresearched. Like how Lissa's father seemed to suddenly be qualified to be a school counselor (originally worked in construction) just because he got in an accident and is now in a wheel chair. Did I miss them mention of him going back to school and getting a degree? Also, I work at a library and I don't know anyone who can wheel a full book cart up flights of stairs. I would like to see someone try. And why wasn't anyone else working in the library at closing? Our teenage shelvers do not close the library by themselves. Who was working the desk?
Ok, I'll stop now. I've more than made my point, I suppose. I probably wouldn't have been so upset, and probably wouldn't have even read the whole thing, if it hadn't been for my love of Keplinger's first book....more
While super cute, this one didn't work as well for me as Anna and the French Kiss. I really liked all the characters but I didn't exactly like how theWhile super cute, this one didn't work as well for me as Anna and the French Kiss. I really liked all the characters but I didn't exactly like how the whole story played out. I really wanted to read the story of Lola and Cricket before "the incident" because that is when the real relationship bloomed. That is what made AatFK so great, we watched them build from friends to more, we saw their whole relationship grow. In this book, it was already there, waiting to be reclaimed, we just had to read while Lola figured out what everyone (including Lola herself) knew.
Also, I may be in the minority here, but I kind of felt sorry for Max. I thought he did go through a lot to be with Lola and I think he had every right to question who she was, she did lie to him from the beginning and continued to lie to him throughout the book. He did become a not-so-nice person in the end but I'm not convinced that was the real him. **Spoiler** (Though not really a spoiler because everyone going into this book knows what is going to happen in the end, no?) Yes, he got extremely angry and hurt, but who wouldn't when their gf lies and spends time with someone else she clearly likes then tries to hide it then breaks up with you. And, no matter how much you love someone, if you are 22 you don't really want to go to a high school dance and that doesn't mean you don't love the person you're with, you just don't want to be the creeper old guy going back to a high school dance. **End Spoiler**...more
Another enjoyable addition to the Sophie Katz series. I did think the mystery was a bit thin and I was annoyed at the constant up and down of Sophie'sAnother enjoyable addition to the Sophie Katz series. I did think the mystery was a bit thin and I was annoyed at the constant up and down of Sophie's relationship with Anatoly, but I do really enjoy the quirky cast of characters and I am definitely invested in their lives. The epilogue was quite the cliffhanger and it promises a bit more insight and, hopefully, depth to Sophie and Anatoly's relationship, plus possibly an intriguing departure from the typical Sophie mystery....more
Cute. Writing seemed kind of forced and over-done at points. Also, there were some unrealistic changes in character personalities. Overall, fun teen cCute. Writing seemed kind of forced and over-done at points. Also, there were some unrealistic changes in character personalities. Overall, fun teen chick-lit....more
If it hadn't been for the abrupt flip flop with Tammy and the plan with Sean that made no sense, both at the end of the book, I probably would have raIf it hadn't been for the abrupt flip flop with Tammy and the plan with Sean that made no sense, both at the end of the book, I probably would have rated this 4 stars. Loved Lori's voice and the interactions between all the characters. Great beach read fun....more
Cute story but wasn't really my thing. I found myself bored through the middle where, for about 100 pages, no real progress was made. I would have likCute story but wasn't really my thing. I found myself bored through the middle where, for about 100 pages, no real progress was made. I would have liked Lily to come to her senses a bit sooner so that she and Quince could have had more time to explore and build on their feelings. Instead, Lily annoyingly obsessed over Brody way too long and her obsession made her pretty mean and selfish at times. Also, I found myself puzzled over holes in Lily's father's story about his romance with Lily's mother. Lily is warned not to kiss a boy or she might set off a bond, yet Lily was conceived before her parents were bonded. Um, weird, don't you think? There were other similar questions that nagged me throughout the story.
Overall, the writing was pretty good despite my pacing issues and most readers who enjoy stories with love triangles (which I don't) will enjoy this supernatural, mermaid twist to the story. ...more
When Jarrod moves to town, Kate instantly knows there is something different about him. Kate has some magic but she can feel a magic more powerful thaWhen Jarrod moves to town, Kate instantly knows there is something different about him. Kate has some magic but she can feel a magic more powerful than she's ever known rolling off Jarrod. Unfortunately, Jarrod doesn't even know he has any power nor does he believe in magic. Can Kate convince him magic is real before something truly horrible happens to Jarrod and his family?
Old Magic just bugged the crap out of me. It is a love story but the two main characters are at odds over their beliefs so it is hard to really feel the connection. Jarrod doesn't believe in magic and he thinks Kate is crazy. Kate calls Jarrod "disgusting" several times because of his lack of self-confidence. Plus, in the middle of the book (almost 200 pgs in), Jarrod agrees to time travel to try to solve his family's curse despite the fact that he still doesn't believe in magic. The whole things seemed very contrived....more
This one started out strong. I loved Penny's voice. But then I got to the middle and I got bogged down by the "rah, rah, go team" attitude of all of tThis one started out strong. I loved Penny's voice. But then I got to the middle and I got bogged down by the "rah, rah, go team" attitude of all of the girls. It got to be too much and a bit too unrealistic. This book has a lot of great points and if I wasn't in such a slump I might have been able to power through this section but as it was I just kind of wanted to gag. I did skim the second half and enjoyed the bits I read....more