Have you ever read one of those books that filled your mind with a myriad of feelings that you found it difficult to breath due to the emotional weighHave you ever read one of those books that filled your mind with a myriad of feelings that you found it difficult to breath due to the emotional weight of it all? Well, I have found that beauty and sadness in reading BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver.
As I started to read BEFORE I FALL I admit to not liking Sam, the protagonist of the story, in fact I despised her. She exuded the typical behavior of a stuck-up popular high school girl, but as the story evolves so does Sam and you bear witness to her spectacular journey. The miracle of change, redemption and realization of what matters most in life.
BEFORE I FALL begins with Samantha Kingston reliving the events of the day before the crash that takes her young life. At first you get to know Sam and her friends, and you have to withhold the urge to slam the book on them as you witness their antics and cringe for they are not likeable. The day winds down with all of them attending a party that ends with a deadly crash. Yet, that is only the beginning of this amazing story.
After the crash Sam is somehow suspended in time forced to relive her last day in a sort of purgatory. In fact, she relives the day she dies seven times. At first she cannot seem to understand what has happened to her. Then with each day, as she approaches situations differently, events change and she learns more about herself and those around her, friend and foe. Then Sam realizes what she is supposed to do, why she has been given this gift and although the road is filled with self-doubt and heartache she does not quit until she has that last "perfect" day.
I bet you wonder how a day can be relieved seven times without seeming redundant and boring and that is due to the amazing skill that Lauren Oliver has. Each day that was played out reveiled a new twist and turn that slowly changed your feelings towards Sam from dislike to admiration. I could not stop reading. I had to know how things played out and was transfixed and moved until the very end.
BEFORE I FALL was one of my all time favorite reads and if you enjoyed IF I STAY, ELSEWHERE and THE EVER AFTER then this book is the perfect read for you and even if you haven't read those books you should read BEFORE I FALL for it will stay with you forever.
Upon finishing SEA by Heidi R. Kling, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of hope, love and heartache.
Heidi has written a wonderful summer read tUpon finishing SEA by Heidi R. Kling, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of hope, love and heartache.
Heidi has written a wonderful summer read that not only has a special romance set in an exotic locale, but showcases how hope can fuel the human spirit and how love can change the path in which we take our lives.
SEA is a story about Sienna Jones, a girl that was once daring and fearless with life until her mother disappears in a plan accident while on a mission overseas. Now Sienna is withdrawn and afraid of taking chances, yet despite her fears she reluctantly agrees to assist her father in post-tsunami Indonesia for two weeks. Once there, Sienna is drawn to the orphans that so desperately need her but it is one particular orphan named Deni that has captured her heart. It is not long before they begin on an mission of hope that produces some unexpected heartache and joy and Sienna will never be the same again.
I liked this romantic and compassionate story that demonstrated that we may cross paths with people that can have powerful outcomes in our lives regardless of how long or how little they are in it.
"I wanted to tell him that you can meet someone and they can change you life forever, even if you have known him for a short while, that when you leave, you're a different person than before you met him..."
Actually 3 1/2 stars I will begin by saying that HEX HALL gave me some good chuckles at teen angst and OMG! situations that tinged my cheeks red. It waActually 3 1/2 stars I will begin by saying that HEX HALL gave me some good chuckles at teen angst and OMG! situations that tinged my cheeks red. It was a good mixture amid the darker tones of this novel that weaved its magic among the pages. I was thoroughly surprised by some of the plot twists and turns and intrigued by the term Prodigium and it's world building concept. And although other series exist dealing with "paranormal" students, HEX HALL is worth the read for it's uniqueness and wicked mystery. HEX HALL is centered on Sophie Mercer a smart teenage witch that has had a few issues with her abilities and her last spell lands her at Hecate Hall a.k.a Hex Hall. Her Warlock father pulls some strings to get her to attend Hecate, a reform school, in hopes of helping Sophie adjust to being a Prodigium: witches, faeries and shape shifters. And before the day is over she is crushing on the hottest guy in school, made enemies with some witches that want her to form their coven (no thanks), and being a roommate with the most despised being on campus...who literally sucks. Sophie does not get to enjoy campus life for long before some strange occurrences plague her school, attacking some students and all fingers point to Sophie's roommate. Yet, as that knowledge is disheartening another dark force threatens to destroy all the students within Hex Hall, especially her. Rachel Hawkins did a fantastic job with her debut novel. I read HEX HALL in a day, it was a quick read that kept me intrigued enough to keep reading although not fully capturing my heart. The cliff-hanger ending will leave you wanting more. So, if you enjoy your reads with a bit of mystery and wickedness then this could be the read for you. ...more
What can I say except that Carrie Ryan is brilliant. She has the unique ability of creating literary magic and with THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES she surpasseWhat can I say except that Carrie Ryan is brilliant. She has the unique ability of creating literary magic and with THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES she surpassed her previous debut effort of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH with a story that was more stunning and compelling.
I could not think that I could enjoy a story of zombie mayhem as much as I did with this story, but I did. THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES is a well crafted, riveting story filled with passion, terror and mystery. I was gripping my book, white-knuckling it from the first word to the very last and I could not stop reading. The world that Carrie created had sucked me in and I was it's mudo.
THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES takes place years after Mary escaped the forest to find her beloved ocean. Now we have Gabrielle, her daughter, and her life after "the return". Gabry has only known the saftey of living in Vista, she would never test the borders that keep her town safe from Mudo. One night her friends decide to go across the borders and against Gabry's better judgement she follows, but it was because her heart pulled her. Catcher, was the object of her affection and her best friend Cira's brother, she knew they were meant to be. They kiss and Gabry cannot believe how perfect life can be then in an instant everything changes. Unimaginable and hideous chain of events occur and overnight Gabry looses everything she holds dear. Catcher and some others are missing and the rest imprisoned for illegally crossing the border while Gabry escaped and now she is home wracked with guilt for running away. Soon, it is made clear that her friends will dearly pay for their mistake and if Gabry does not make due on her promise to Cira she will be locked up with them. Will Gabry have the courage to enter the forest and find Catcher? Will she be able to trust the handsome stranger that reluctantly helps her? or will she be able to follow her mother in the forest of hands and teeth to unlock her own mystery?
I have to admit I was hesitant about reading this story. Although I had enjoy Carrie's writing style in TFOHAT I did not care for the protagonist (Mary) and there were a few issues with the story that I felt needed better explanation. I was very relieved in reading THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES because many of those questions were answered and I got a better understanding for that world. I like the addition of characters in this read, it rounded out the story and gave it new perspective. The only issue I have with this story is the love triangle between Gabry and the male interests in her life, it was reminiscent of Mary's situation although with Gabry I could understand their love for her.
If you enjoyed THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, you will adore this story for it is an amazing companion novel and now I am chomping at the bit for the conclusion for the cliff hanger was HUGE in this book. I cannot wait to read more about these fascinating characters and what will happen next for Gabry and her adventures. ...more
Actually 3 1/2 stars Upon reading the synopsis for this novel I was intrigued with the concept of a girl being left behind as her parents flee the counActually 3 1/2 stars Upon reading the synopsis for this novel I was intrigued with the concept of a girl being left behind as her parents flee the country to escape being imprisoned for embezzlement. The subject matter of financial ruin during these unstable economic times are timely. So, I grabbed this book and devoured it in a day, and days later my mind still goes back to this page turning read.
THEY NEVER CAME BACK centers on two characters Cathy Ferris and Murielle Lyman. Cathy is attending a specialized language program when one day she is spotted by Tommy Lyman, who confronts her during a crowded lunch hour insisting that she is his missing cousin Murielle, whom the family lost track of 5 years ago. "And who is Murielle?" Cathy asks, but it is too late. The accusation is made and the whole school is abuzz. Unfortunately for Cathy she has to deal with not only the entire school but a persistent FBI agent who wants to use her as bait to capture Cade and Rory Lyman.
The story is told in alternating perspectives from Cathy and Murielle's point of view and it gives understanding to where these characters are coming from. My heart ached for Murielle and her feelings of loss and abandonment and then for Cathy who embodied the life she has now has and the decision she would have to make. There are other minor characters that give it added life and that asks and answers those questions that we will make during this read.
I enjoyed this mystery by Caroline B. Cooney and would recommend its quick pace and intriguing story to anyone. It will leave you pondering on what you would do if you where in that situation.
In David Levithan's LOVE is the HIGHER LAW the characters were all in New York city on that fate full dayREVIEW
Do you remember where you were on 911?
In David Levithan's LOVE is the HIGHER LAW the characters were all in New York city on that fate full day just as he was. David wanted to create a novel that those too young to experience that world altering day could witness through the lives of three teenagers: Claire, Peter and Jasper. They really don't know each other before that day but then everything changes and their lives intersect in the most of beautiful manner of the human spirit reaching out when all seems so very lost.
Every chapter is told from the individual characters point of view and you witness Claire's vivid fear as she walks the streets at night unable to sleep and feel safe. Peter is moved by music and it is his love for it that seems to motivate him and propel him through some of the darkest times. Jasper is glued to the t.v. watching Peter Jennings and trying to sort through the fact that he slept through most of the attack.
The personal experiences of the three become intertwined as the story continues. All three are surprised at how directly they feel the emotions of the event. The life they once took for granted, the city they've always known as home, and the atmosphere surrounding them have them asking questions that have no real answers.
LOVE is the HIGHER LAW is a short but poignant story that brings an ache to my heart upon remembering that day. The lives that were lost, along with the innocence of a nation that believed itself invincible. I also remember the pride, camaraderie and love the many embodied along with the hate and fear. This book is an emotional ride that will stay with you long after the book has been read.
"Gone is not forgotten, but our lives cannot be a memorial. This city cannot be a memorial. This city has to be a city. Our lives have to be our lives" ...more
THE HEART IS EVERYWHERE is a WOW of a novel!!! I adore this book for every single word between it's mesmerizing pages and wish that I could have my meTHE HEART IS EVERYWHERE is a WOW of a novel!!! I adore this book for every single word between it's mesmerizing pages and wish that I could have my memory wiped clean so that I may enjoy this amazing novel all over again.
Jandy Nelson debut effort showcases an amazing talent that has a strong YA voice that will make you laugh and cry over this beautifully intense story.
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is a story about a Lennie, a girl that is dealing with the sudden death of her beloved and vivacious older sister Bailey. A loss that is not only felt by Lennie but by her Grams, Uncle Big and Toby, Bailey's boyfriend. Lennie feels untethered with her loss, so filled with grief that food tastes like ash and the only solace she wants is the inner sanctum of the room they once shared. Then she begins to talk to Toby and together they are able to draw comfort in each other from their loss and sorrow. Soon feelings begin to surface and as Lennie tries to process them a new boy comes to town and he turns her world around with his musical talent and bat bat bat of his eyelashes. Both guys are different as night and day and both are important to Lennie's healing process but there can only be one Heathclif to her Catherine and in one crazy moment it all begins to unravel. Lennie must find it within herself to live her life out of her sister's shadow and become her own person while dealing with her grief that will always be a part of her.
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is heart wrenching and emotional, powerful and deeply engrossing and once I began I could not put it down. I loved how Lennie's feelings where expressed through her revealing poems and how she easily wore her heart on her sleeve. It was so very refreshing and amazing I could not get enough of Lennie's voice. I was hooked from the very first line and I had to know how it all played out and I was not disappointed. ...more
I must begin this review by giving Julie Kagawa tremendous props for putting a new and original spin on a classic Shakespearean tale.
THE IRON KING isI must begin this review by giving Julie Kagawa tremendous props for putting a new and original spin on a classic Shakespearean tale.
THE IRON KING is a well paced adventure full of story time goodness: A doomed romance, wicked faeries, a cat made of awesomeness and a place where modern invention flourishes all melding together to create something special.
This faery tale of Ice and Iron centers on Megan Chase a girl that cannot seem to fit in at high school. Thankfully she has her best friend Robbie to help make life easier, until an unwanted visitor comes into her home respresenting something unimaginable. Megan learns that she is the daughter of Oberon, King of the Summer fae and that in order to get her baby brother back she must travel to the realm of the never never. While there Megan finds herself trapped amid faery politics, danger and romance with a prince whom would rather see her dead than kiss her. Talk about having bad luck! Megan soon travels to the land of the Iron King with the most unlikely of companions, bonds and promises are made, but will it enough to save Megan's brother and defeat the Iron King? Perhaps?.....
I love a good faery tale and THE IRON KING was original with it's modern day feary spin and it had some memorable characters such as Grimalkin, the cat with killer wit and panache. I also admired Megan's tenacity and strength but disliked the amount of hoops she had to go through to reach her goal. That being said I enjoyed this debut novel from Julie Kagawa and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting adventure and originality. Now I cannot wait for it's sequel THE IRON QUEEN out later this year. ...more
A year unlike any other in Colt's existence. This Secret year that he had spent with Julia. Messages placed in lockers, meetings at theTHE SECRET YEAR
A year unlike any other in Colt's existence. This Secret year that he had spent with Julia. Messages placed in lockers, meetings at the bridge, stolen kisses that would soon lead to the backseat of a car. Moments of life filled with passion that would cool in the warmth of the sun, because Colt and Julia were NOT a couple. She already had a boyfriend
Colt could not define what he had with Julia. He only knew that he wanted to be with her and she with him. And It was enough for Colt, until repeated broken promises and hurtful words spilled forth to sting his soul. Colt wondered if he and Julia would ever be a couple to the world, if she truly wanted him or if she was just playing with a boy from the flats. Questions that would forever remain unanswered when Julia dies in a tragic car accident days later.
As Colt tries to remain indifferent to the news of Julia's death he is silently mourning her, unable to confide in anyone. The pain of what he is enduring is unbearable but he already knew how to keep a secret. Until, one day when Julia's brother approaches him with a stunning revelation; Julia's diary of their secret year. Yet instead of devouring all her words at once Colt decides to read it entry by precious entry. Savouring the words that flowed out from her while trying to move on.
Relying on the diary to help make sense of everything Colt forges on with teen life trying hard to forget the girl that was never his, but secrets never stay that way for long...
Bravo to Jennifer R Hubbard for creating a novel that I CANNOT stop thinking about days after reading it. I am a true fan of the male protagonist point of view and Colt's voice was true and clear to me. I got a good sense of who he was and his desire to comprehend what his relationship with Julia meant and why he needed to know. He harboured guilt about her death and believed he could find his peace in her diary. I understood his pain and the fact that he could not easily get Julia out of his mind. That realistic approach was refreshing, because the heart is slow to learn.
The supporting cast of characters are well fleshed out giving this story depth and Colt's dysfunctional family added a bit of color to the pages. I adored his brother who seemed to be the voice of reason during the times when Colt needed it most.
The Secret Year is an amazing book dealing with love, loss, pain and the truth that can set you free. A must read for 2010 and once you read it you will want everyone you know to read it so that you can all talk about it. Yes, it is that good. ...more
Actually 4 1/2 STARS Alright! I just finished this novel and let me tell you, It is made of A W E S O M E! THE BODY FINDER, debut novel by Kimberly DerActually 4 1/2 STARS Alright! I just finished this novel and let me tell you, It is made of A W E S O M E! THE BODY FINDER, debut novel by Kimberly Derting has everything you could want in a page gripping read. It's wicked suspenseful, creepy and the sexual tension will knock your socks off (without causing anything more than a good blush).
THE BODY FINDER centers on Violet Ambrose, a girl that has the uniquely morbid ability to locate those that have been murdered: She can sense the echos that are left behind and the imprints they leave on their killers. When Violet begins her Junior year at school she finds her feelings for her childhood friend, Jay developing into a full on crush as if she did not have enough to deal with already. Violet does not have time to disect these consuming feelings when a serial killer begins to terrorize her hometown. Violet knows that she is the only person that can locate and stop him, but can she find him before she is the next victim?
Kimberly Derting has crafted something wonderful with THE BODY FINDER. I truly enjoyed this novel and although it is the beginning of this new year, I believe that it is one of the best reads for 2010. The suspense and tension throughout this novel was pitch perfect and the unique twist on the alternating point of view creepily effective. A must read for 2010 ...more