The thing that I usually hate about YA romance is that they are FULL of angst. And I can't stand angst. Really...moreA light-hearted angst-free romance read.
The thing that I usually hate about YA romance is that they are FULL of angst. And I can't stand angst. Really, I was a teenager once, and I work with teenagers every day... very rarely do I see students with the amount of anguish in their lives that you find in YA novels. I like to read books that make me happy, not depressed!
I have read every book by Simone Elkeles. I have enjoyed all of her books; however, this was my least favorite. I agree with another reviewer that stated that she has really grown as an author over the course of her career thus far (really looking forward to future books!) However; it is hard to compare these titles to some of her other books, as the Ruined series is definitely more light-hearted and comical (though there are some fairly serious themes).
I liked that this book explores a topic that I do not see come up very frequently in Young Adult literature. I really like that the tensions/difficulties in Israel are introduced in a very accessible manner. Reading it has made me very interested in learning more about the history of the conflict in Israel.
Unfortunately, the characters in these books did not seem very believable. For the life of me, I couldn't understand what Avi saw in Amy (she's way too stereotypically girly to the point of being annoying), and Amy's transformation from complaining brat to caring and affectionate daughter did not seem very believable either. Also, I think that Amy's relationship with her grandmother should have been more developed.
As with any book I think that the story being told is more important than the style of the writing (and lets face it, I loved the story). My imagination is more than capable of filling in the flaws of the writing. I can fill in the blanks of Amy's relationship with her grandmother, and tone down the parts where her behavior is just completely unfathomable.
I would highly recommend to any romance lover (pun intended).(less)
Pretty soon I'm going to need a "Female Football Players" genre sticker, and make a new shelf for them in my library!
I absolutely loved this story. I...morePretty soon I'm going to need a "Female Football Players" genre sticker, and make a new shelf for them in my library!
I absolutely loved this story. I feel like both of the main characters were very well developed and the general plot was very believable.
Derek is a teenage guy; who thanks to an absentee father and the loss of his mother, he's not overly concerned with toeing the line and following the rules. (Although lets just say that the idea of mis-numbering the pigs you let loose is a bit cliched, I first heard about that prank idea around 15 years ago... still funny though.) Ashtyn is a star kicker for her school's football team. While Derek isn't concerned with earning parental approval, Ashtyn is desperate for it. She is also determined not to show weakness, which goes without saying for any girl trying to make it in a world made up of guys.
However, despite the problems in both of these teens lives, we as readers were not weighed down with their overly angsty emotions (which I see too frequently in this genre). The ending to me seemed really over-the-top, and that is my only complaint about this book. SPOILER ALERT: The extreme that Derek went to to make up with Ashtyn was kinda ridiculous. I would have liked to see Ashtyn a bit more ready and willing to forgive Derek. (less)
After reading this book, I am a big fan of McDonald's writing style. Her ironic humor really sat well with me. The characters were very believable and...moreAfter reading this book, I am a big fan of McDonald's writing style. Her ironic humor really sat well with me. The characters were very believable and did not seem forced (with the exception of Olivia... a rather minor character). And the moral of the story is shown without forcing it down the throats of readers.
So why did I give this book 3 stars? There were two things that really did not sit well with me. 1) A main character undergoes a major attitude shift in the book, but it happens too completely and too quickly to be realistic. 2) The book ends with all the issues and problems that the teens are facing being brought to light, but none of these issues is really resolved (which may be intentional), but I am left wondering... so what happens next?
The overlying theme is that you can't hide from your problems, you need to face them. The book ends with the teens finally facing the three problems they have looming on the horizon, but readers will definately want to know how the resolutions play out. (less)
I had this book on my 'to read' list for a long time, then when my internet service crashed one night I finally went to the store and bought it, readi...moreI had this book on my 'to read' list for a long time, then when my internet service crashed one night I finally went to the store and bought it, reading straight through before going to bed.
I thought the characterization was terrific. Occasionally the dialogue struck me as a little unbelievable (gang member waxing poetic about the beauty of a girl's hair). However, overall, the two main characters had a good amount of depth. And the narration style of switching between the two characters from chapter to chapter worked very well.
The ending was predictable, but even if you know where the story is going, it is still enjoyable to read. Also the epilogue was a bit cheesy.
All in all though, it was a fun book to read. I wanted to read it again as soon as I finished even though it was 1:00 AM.(less)