Shy girl who's spent most of her high school career in her charismatic best friend's shadow has to learn to speak for herself when her best friend3.5
Shy girl who's spent most of her high school career in her charismatic best friend's shadow has to learn to speak for herself when her best friend disappears without a trace. Really predictable plot, but as in Matson's previous work, the book's strength is in its characters, solid writing, and emotional authenticity. Give it to girls who are struggling to find their voices, or those who are always being overshadowed by others, and I bet it'll feel like a comforting hug from a big sister to them....more
This probably would have been a 4 if it had an ending. I didn't realize until after getting to the last chapter that it's apparently #1 in a series. NThis probably would have been a 4 if it had an ending. I didn't realize until after getting to the last chapter that it's apparently #1 in a series. NOT COOL. NOT NECESSARY.
Lara Jean isn't your typical high school junior. Her closest friends are her 9-year-old sister Kitty, her older sister Margo, and Margo's boyfriend Josh. She doesn't party, instead spending her Friday nights knitting and baking. She's never had a boyfriend, but that doesn't mean she's never been in love. She has - five times - and has the unsent love letters to prove it. But when the secret letters are accidentally mailed to the boys she wrote them about, her whole world changes.
I was so excited for this one, and enjoyed most of it, although I did find Lara Jean a little unbelievable as a character... There were some cute parts, and I was looking forward to a cute romantic ending, but instead I got an ellipsis. I don't want to be harsh, but there is a reason rom-coms aren't usually trilogies. Just give the reader the boombox scene (or the girl buys a plane ticket because she realizes she doesn't need any man scene) and wrap it up.
Still, I would recommend this to fans of Sarah Dessen. While sex factors into some of the subplots and there's a small amount of language, this would be fine for most teens....more
Caymen's mother has always told her not to trust rich people. Although wealthy customers keep their porcelain doll store in business ("having money meCaymen's mother has always told her not to trust rich people. Although wealthy customers keep their porcelain doll store in business ("having money means collecting useless things like porcelain dolls," apparently), Caymen's father was a rich man who abandoned her mother upon learning she was pregnant, leaving her mother understandably bitter. When hotel heir Xander Spence walks into her life, Caymen knows they are from two totally different worlds, but she can't help falling for him. Will they be able to make it, or will their differences pull them apart?
It's the last day of Year 12 classes, and Lucy and Jazz are planning an all-night adventure to celebrate. While Jazz is looking for love (or at lea4.5
It's the last day of Year 12 classes, and Lucy and Jazz are planning an all-night adventure to celebrate. While Jazz is looking for love (or at least someone to make out with) Lucy has her heart set on Shadow, a graffiti artist she's never even seen. Though Lucy doesn't know who he is, his art has convinced her that they are meant for each other. And if Jazz's psychic feelings are right, this could be the night when she finally meets him.
It's the last day of Year 12 classes for Leo too, and although his friend Ed dropped out of school 2 years ago, the guys still plan to celebrate...before robbing the school so that Leo can pay back the $500 he owes to the town's resident psychopath. When they run into Lucy and Jazz at an all-night cafe, Leo decides he wants to get to know Jazz better. Unfortunately, Ed and Lucy already know each other all too well; They went on a date once. He grabbed her arse. She broke his nose. But what Ed doesn't know is that Lucy's obsessed with Shadow, and what Lucy doesn't know is that Ed is Shadow.
This is one of those books that's stealth good. It's funny and relatable and suspenseful and descriptive and has a lot of stuff going on despite being short, but it all feels so effortless. The characters' banter is laugh-out-loud funny without being over-the-top, and while the writing is great, at no point did I feel like Crowley was doing that "Hey everyone, look at how I'm WRITING!" thing that authors sometimes do. The weakest part was the villian, but luckily he wasn't in it very much. The audiobook narrators did a great job. Good for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist fans, guys and girls who are into art, and those looking for a quirky romance....more
The year is 1999. Hired by a newspaper's IT department to screen employee emails for inappropriate content, Lincoln gets hooked on reading the email eThe year is 1999. Hired by a newspaper's IT department to screen employee emails for inappropriate content, Lincoln gets hooked on reading the email exchanges between Beth, a movie reviewer, and her best friend Jennifer, a copy editor. As he begins falling for Beth - who he's never even seen in person, and who has a serious boyfriend - he feels increasingly guilty about invading her privacy, but can't figure out how to stop.
Beth and Jennifer's e-banter was pitch-perfect, I loved all the turn-of-the-millenium details and references, and the cast of characters was great (especially on the audiobook version, where the narrator gave them voices with plenty of personality). Lincoln himself was a little bland for my tastes, but I guess that is the danger of a man whose defining characteristic is 'niceness'.
(view spoiler)[The end got a bit mushy, but romance fans will probably love it. I'd definitely read a sequel to see what Doris, Justin, and the D&D gang are up to, how Mitch and Jennifer are liking parenthood, etc. (hide spoiler)]
A good read for those in their late 20s/early 30s, who fondly remember those halycon days of Y2K. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Eleanor is an overweight, weirdly-dressed, red-haired freak that the kids on the bus call Big Red. Park is his school's resident "Asian Kid," not pickEleanor is an overweight, weirdly-dressed, red-haired freak that the kids on the bus call Big Red. Park is his school's resident "Asian Kid," not picked on by the popular kids, but not part of their group either. Over the course of their sophomore year, brought together by a love for music and comic books, these two misfits fall in love, and try to stay together in spite of family issues that threaten to pull them apart.
I really liked Rowell's Attachments and was looking forward to this book, because misfit romance soundtracked by the Smiths is usually totally my thing. I'm not sure if my expectations were too high or if I just wasn't in the right mood, but when I finally read Eleanor & Park, it was a bit of a let down. I really liked elements of the book - Eleanor's struggles with poverty, Park's insecurity about being an Asian male, Park's parents (wonderfully voiced by the audiobook's narrator) - and there were several moments that rang almost painfully true. But Park was basically Lloyd Dobler (right down to the punk rock t-shirts and kickboxing skills) and the story was pretty much a gender-switched version of The Mountain Goats' Sunset Tree album. If you're writing about doomed but hopeful teenage romance, those are probably two of the best cultural touchstones you could echo, but I guess I just wanted something really fresh and new. However, teens who aren't old and jaded like me will probably love this book. Also, now I'm going to go listen to This Year.
Overall, Eleanor & Park is a well-done teen romance. Misfit girls will adore it, and fans of Simone Elkeles might like reading about Eleanor's family drama. Maybe guys would even like it because of the dual narrators? ...more
With Between the Lines, a collaboration with her teenage daughter, Jodi Picoult has joined the ever-growing list of popular adult authors who have relWith Between the Lines, a collaboration with her teenage daughter, Jodi Picoult has joined the ever-growing list of popular adult authors who have released a teen novel. Unlike some of the other recent releases however, this one is actually good. That's not a giant surprise, since her adult books have always featured strong teen characters and have been popular with teen audiences, but I've found her recent work to be a little formulaic, and am glad to see this new audience, genre, and/or writing partner seems to have reenergized her writing.
After accidentally kneecapping her school's head cheerleader, Delilah becomes a social outcast. Since she only has one friend, she spends most of her free time lost in a book. She's read her favorite fairy tale so many times that she knows it by heart and has even developed a crush on the handsome prince who's the hero of the story. If only he was real...
Picoult is a great storyteller, and this tale is an amusing and unique take on paranormal romance. Great for girls who love books (and the boys in them) and readers wanting a light summer read....more
Anna's father (a thinly-disguised Nicholas Sparks) decides to send her away to boarding school in Paris. She doesn't want to leave behind her family,Anna's father (a thinly-disguised Nicholas Sparks) decides to send her away to boarding school in Paris. She doesn't want to leave behind her family, friends and crush, but when she meets handsome British/French/American Etienne, she realizes things in France might not be quite as bad as she'd feared.
The premise sounds like a total cliche, but the book was actually pretty good. It did a great job capturing that "everyone else in the world knows you LIKElike each other, but neither of you will say anything for fear of messing things up, and so you both continue pretending to be 'just friends' even though there's obviously more going on" thing.
Good for teens who want romance and/or an exotic locale. Relatively clean, just an F bomb or two....more
Although Alice's life might seem normal from the outside, she has a secret - her mother, the famous romance novelist Belinda Amorous, is undergoing trAlthough Alice's life might seem normal from the outside, she has a secret - her mother, the famous romance novelist Belinda Amorous, is undergoing treatement for bipolar disorder. Alice has gotten used to taking care of herself while her mother's in the hospital, but when she meets a guy who tries to convince her that he's Cupid (yes, THAT Cupid...), and who asks her to write his life story, she begins to worry she may have inherited her mother's madness.
Self-aware and kind of meta (for example, the characters' names are totally Betty Neels-esque), but ultimately Mad Love is just a romance novel. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, and girls who want a clean love story that touches on both serious issues and paranormalcy will probably adore it, but when the main character started lamenting the constraints of the genre, I'll admit it made me hope that Selfors wouldn't stick to the formula. Unfortunately, she did, and what could have been a really cool story ends up being merely conventional....more
America has finally found a way to end war, hatred, unrest, and many of the other problems that have always plagued it, because it has finally foun3.5
America has finally found a way to end war, hatred, unrest, and many of the other problems that have always plagued it, because it has finally found a way to cure the disease amor deliria nervosa, also known as love. Once a person turns 18, they receive the cure (essentially a partial lobotomy), choose their mate from a list of pre-approved candidates, begin working at the job the government suggests, and settle down to live a content life, untroubled by passion or any other strong emotions.
Seventeen-year-old Lena is counting down the days until she gets her procedure. After seeing her mother driven to suicide by love, she knows that the disease is a destructive force that only ends in death. But when she falls in love with a boy named Alex, she is forced to reconsider everything she's ever believed. Is being in love truly a fatal disease, or is it the only way to really be alive? Is it better to love people and feel pain because of them than it is to remain numb? Is the cure, and the promise of a happy life it brings, worth everything she will give up?
I wanted to like this more than I actually did. I think Oliver is a great writer, and I especially loved the introductions to each chapter, but I just wasn't as invested in the book as I expected. I don't think I ever really bought into the premise, and I didn't like that the ending left an important subplot unresolved. It was a good read, but I didn't like it as much as Oliver's first book or any number of other futuristic stories.
There are a lot of interesting ideas in the book, and it would probably work well as a discussion book. Good for teen girls who want to read about forbidden romance and those who liked the Hunger Games because of the love triangle, not the action....more
Liana rattles around in a big house with her mother, a school counselor who substitutes baked goods for meaningful conversations, and her father, a hyLiana rattles around in a big house with her mother, a school counselor who substitutes baked goods for meaningful conversations, and her father, a hypochondriac who's only home a few days a month. To fill the emotional void, she kisses boys. Lots of boys.
Hank is a guitar genius with Asperger's Syndrome. He can list dozens of songs about girls named Jenny and knows what kind of guitar was used on every hit between 1950 and 2003, but he can't figure out how to relate to people or have a normal conversation.
After finding an anonymous note calling her a slut, Liana starts to reevaluate her life. She decides to spend her summer focusing on the astronomy internship she's doing at a local college and vows that she won't kiss anyone, no matter what. But then she meets Hank...
This is a solid romance, although it sometimes feels like a geekier Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Hank is a great character - not an over-the-top caricature, but a hapless, funny, sweet guy just trying to figure things out. Liana's mix of passion and intelligence is great to see in a teen novel, but the writing in her chapters could have been tightened up. The plot is nothing special, but the supporting characters, especially Hank's long-suffering Punk Rock mother & Frat Boy player brother, keep things moving along when the story could otherwise devolve into endless navel-gazing from Hank and Liana.
Overall, a good read for teens who like music, science, or misfit romance....more
After her popular boyfriend announces that he’s gay and dumps her, Viola is miserable. She feels like she’s become invisible, and wishes more than anyAfter her popular boyfriend announces that he’s gay and dumps her, Viola is miserable. She feels like she’s become invisible, and wishes more than anything that she could fit in the way she used to.
When she accidentally summons a genie who promises her three wishes, she finally has her chance. There’s only one problem – as she and Jinn, the genie, get to know each other better, she starts to fall for him. Viola wants Jinn to stay in her world, but if she makes all three wishes, he’ll disappear forever.
A bit too Twilight-y in parts, but overall, this was solid enough chick-lit....more
Completely and utterly unrealistic, but for some reason I liked it anyway. Told through emails and letters, this is the story of "brothers" T.C. and ACompletely and utterly unrealistic, but for some reason I liked it anyway. Told through emails and letters, this is the story of "brothers" T.C. and Augie, the former a rabid Red Sox fan whose mother died when he was six, the latter a gay-but-he-doesn't-know-it fan of all things Broadway. Despite not being related by blood, over the years they've managed to mesh their families into one big extended family. As they start growing up, the time comes to figure out if there's enough room in that family for others, including Ale, the prickly new girl in school, Andy, a jock who just might have a crush on Augie, and Hucky, a deaf 6 year-old who lives in a foster care facility, and is sure that one day Mary Poppins will arrive to take care of him.
The three main characters, especially T.C., are more mature than their ages would dictate, the parental figures' positivity, selflessness, and acceptance is completely over the top, and the portrayal of high-school romance is pretty disingenuous, but despite all its flaws, it's a really sweet book. Good choice for when you're in the mood for a fluffy escapist fantasy....more