This was a pretty enjoyable read. It could have been a lot better, though. I didn't realize going into it that it was part of a series, so maybe I mis...moreThis was a pretty enjoyable read. It could have been a lot better, though. I didn't realize going into it that it was part of a series, so maybe I missed something by not reading the first novel in the series.
It was quite a humorous novel, and I liked that it didn't take itself too seriously. Like I said, it could have been a lot better. It was very, very boring at the beginning. There were also certain chapters (the Abby Normal ones) that I felt could have either been better or just scrapped completely. Those chapters were annoying and just felt like filler.
There was also a problem with how the story was put together. There were so many plot and subplot lines and they, again, just felt like filler. It was hard to keep up with what was going on sometimes. And some of the story was not developed enough.
I wish that this had been better. I really wish I could give it a better review than I've given it, but this is what it really deserves.(less)
Gossip Girl, the first of the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar, was surprisingly fun to read. It didn't seem like my type of book when I firs...moreGossip Girl, the first of the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar, was surprisingly fun to read. It didn't seem like my type of book when I first ran into it a few years ago, but I finally decided to give it a chance.
Even though I knew that they would be different, I was quite surprised by how different the book is from the television based on the series. Of course, that doesn't take away from either. (I'm new to both, so I'm not really "biased" towards or against either.)
The writing was fairly good, and the characters were pretty well-developed. I felt quite drawn in by the ease at which they were presented. The only thing that really bugged me was that everyone seemed to turn a blind eye to things that struck me as being serious to ignore (i.e. Blair's budding/full-blown bulimia). I know that sometimes people tend to brush these kinds of things aside, but it seems like eventually someone would say something. Even the wealthy/powerful aren't typically that oblivious.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it that enjoys young adult fiction or chick lit, since I think it fits quite well into both categories. I also thing that this might be a good beach book if you're into reading on the beach.(less)
I've never read a book by Weisberger before, though I have seen the popular movie based on her debut novel. I didn't know if she would actually have t...moreI've never read a book by Weisberger before, though I have seen the popular movie based on her debut novel. I didn't know if she would actually have talent or if she was just another snarky person whose success came from vilifying people she knows. Well, I figured it out. She does have some talent, and if she works on it, she might one day write truly great stories.
She did a great job with the characters. I felt bad for Brooke at times during the story, but also felt that she was just as much to blame for her relationship problems as Julian. She was as uncompromising and had just as many unrealistic expectations as her husband. Of course, I could just as easily say that about many real world people who expect their friends and family to be perfect or to always do the right thing, and who view themselves as being infallible. Basically, they were very human. The fact that Weisberger made the characters so human was actually charming. Most writers don't do that.
The actual story development was the part that I felt was lacking. Weisberger was telling a story about how a relationship basically falls apart and how you realize how much you love someone who can't always be there, but she would skip ahead and never complete some scenes. It was almost like reading a summary of what happened, instead of a story. That part was the most disappointing thing. If she could have made the story more complete in that one aspect, then I think it would have been a lot better.
The book was far from perfect, but chick lit is never exactly highbrow entertainment. There were parts of the story that were lacking more than others, but it was a fairly fun (sometimes sad) read. It could have been better, but it could have been worse. Overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to someone who wanted a book that didn't require a lot of thinking.(less)
It wasn't very far into this book when I realized that I didn't really like it. I kept trying to convince myself to just enjoy the story or, at least,...moreIt wasn't very far into this book when I realized that I didn't really like it. I kept trying to convince myself to just enjoy the story or, at least, not to get too down on it so quickly. I was hoping that it would redeem itself somehow, but I don't think that it ever really did.
The narrator, a fifteen year old girl nicknamed Keek, is stuck at her grandmother's house during the summer with a case of chicken pox because her parents didn't get her vaccinated for that or any other communicable disease. As the story goes on, the reader finds out that her mom is off in California with Keek's aunt because the aunt has just given birth to Keek's baby cousin three months prematurely. You also find out that Keek's parents are getting divorced, which Keek is convinced is her father's fault because he had sex with Keek's twenty-three-year-old best friend. By the time I was fifty pages in, I was not only convinced that the character was a whiny, selfish, slut-shaming, Sylvia Plath-obsessed brat. It felt like her pseudo-rebellion of dyeing her hair pink and black and her obsessive love of Sylvia Plath fed into her own feeling that her life was worse than any other person in the universe, I was also convinced that her mother was immature and a bad parent, not just for leaving her extremely sick daughter, but for going to California, where she would be spending time around a premature baby that is fighting for its life and might accidentally expose it to an infectious disease. I was also judging both of her parents for letting her hang out with a twenty-three year old--an eight year age difference when you're fifteen is kind of a big deal.
Keek was not only shameless in her bashing of anyone who might have even the slightest sexual inclinations (except herself), she was also pretentious and seemed to be unaware of anything outside of her little world. I know that there are fifteen year olds out there who are like this, but that doesn't mean I like reading about a character who is anything like those teenagers. She is obviously very, very immature, which kind of makes me wonder why a twenty-three year old would even want to hang out with her.
The story had no real plot. The characters were all very shallow. It seems more like it's a Mary Sue-ish fanfiction of The Bell Jar than anything else. If I ever hear or see the words "sofa" and "king" next to one another again, I just might scream. I wish that I hadn't read this book because I think I could have found a much better use for my time. The only thing that could possibly redeem this story is if the author came out and said that it is really a satire on how some people in suburban settings are just completely out of touch with reality and how they raise their children to be just like them.(less)
We have yet another piece of Twilight fanfiction to become a book. This one is actually one of the better ones that I've read in that new pseudo-genre...moreWe have yet another piece of Twilight fanfiction to become a book. This one is actually one of the better ones that I've read in that new pseudo-genre. It reminds me of romantic comedies. Honestly, if this were a movie coming out in the early 90s, someone in Hollywood would have cast Hugh Grant as Simon, even if Simon should look more gorgeous than Hugh. (Sorry, dude, it's true.)
The book was cute and very funny. I laughed a lot while reading it. It wasn't like the writer was trying too hard to be funny. The humor and jokes in the story just felt natural. I also loved how Caroline anthropomorphized her cat's behaviors and actions. Clive became yet another character, instead of just being a prop in the story. And I really enjoyed the interactions between Simon and Caroline. They were much more realistic than most relationships in romance novels.
I didn't like all of the texts that were in the stories. They were cute and funny, and they helped move the story along, but it was a bit hard to keep up with who was saying what. Is it too much to ask for something like that to have a way to distinguish who is saying what? I spent more time trying to figure out who sent what text than actually reading those texts. Maybe I'm lazy, but it seems like something like that should be a bit easier to read through.
I don't know the author's background, but I often felt like the book had more of a British style to it. The characters didn't exactly "sound" American. Some of their choices for slang were just more like what you'd read in a book featuring characters from across the pond. Even the name choices came across as more British than American.
Now, even though a lot of people would shy away from this book because it is, as I mentioned, a former piece of fanfiction, I would recommend they check it out anyway. It's a cute read. It's very enjoyable and I definitely think that even non-Twilight fans would find something to love about this book.(less)
While I liked the book and I'm a fan of the author, I felt like this book wasn't really worth it. Like I said, I liked it, but it was so short. I know...moreWhile I liked the book and I'm a fan of the author, I felt like this book wasn't really worth it. Like I said, I liked it, but it was so short. I know, it was supposed to be a novella, but it felt too short to even be classified as that. It seemed like the development of the story could have been helped if it had been fleshed out. I just expected more from it, I guess.(less)
When it comes to rating a book, I always have the hardest time picking ones and fives. This book might have gotten a higher rating had...moreOh. My. God. No.
When it comes to rating a book, I always have the hardest time picking ones and fives. This book might have gotten a higher rating had I not read the story twice before from the same author in this same series. If you've read the story of Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox, you've already read the story of Cami Camlin and Trenton Maddox. Not only do both stories involve siblings (both the Maddox and Camlin families in this book) and "heroines" with cringe-worthy alliterative names, they also involve the same timeline. When I say the same timeline, I mean that literally. The book might involve Cami and Trenton's relationship, but it revolves around the events in the lives of Travis and Abby. And some scenes are yanked from the first two books.
In addition to plagiarizing her previous books, McGuire also did a copypasta job within this book. She would repeat phrases multiple times within the book. I don't know if she didn't realize that some people actually try to pay attention to details or what. I just know that it was very annoying to read the same thing over and over again.
The writing on this book was awful. I've read worse from other (less known) authors, but McGuire has become a pretty well known New Adult author, so more should be expected from her. Between the references to saffron skin (no, there weren't any Oompa Loompa cameos), having "small D cups" and subtle curves, and russet eyes (they can happen, but they're extremely rare), the descriptors were absolutely awful. It was like she decided to go a little hog-wild with the Thesaurus. If you've ever seen the episode of Friends where Joey writes the letter to the adoption agency, then you probably will understand how bad it was. Actually, this was worse because sometimes the descriptors verged on racist,
The book had no plot. Aside from getting Cami and Trenton together, there was no real advancing of the story. Even with them, it was seriously lacking. Like I mentioned already, the timeline revolved around Travis and Abby. This limited the actually telling of Cami and Trenton's story. There were cute moments (i.e. ones that involved Olive) and funny moments, but there just wasn't enough to justify this being a novel in its own right.
Oh, and the big reveal at the end? It wasn't worth all over the melodrama. It could have been revealed much earlier. It might have worked better if this book had had a plot, but since it didn't, it just fell flat.
Now, of course, since it's another Maddox family book, there are issues with violence, hair-trigger tempers, emotional abuse, and a lack of boundaries. I almost felt like I was reading a case study on dysfunctional relationships. If you add in the abuse that is actually acknowledged from Cami's family, then this book might be a little too triggering for people who have been in abusive situations.
I hope that if McGuire continues to write books about the Maddox family that she actually takes the time to develop a new story. She might have the potential to be a good writer, but she hasn't really shown that so far. Yeah, she successful at what she does, but that doesn't mean that her books are worth reading. This book was definitely not worth reading. (less)
I'm having a hard time deciding on a rating for this book. Yes, it was great and wonderful and funny, which should mean that I give it an automatic fi...moreI'm having a hard time deciding on a rating for this book. Yes, it was great and wonderful and funny, which should mean that I give it an automatic five stars, but I'm not sure if it deserves it. It was a pretty quick read, except that I didn't feel like reading it all in one setting--different from how I felt about Wallbanger.
My first issue, which you may have already guessed, was the book length. It was a bit shorter than I hoped. I, like the lovely miss Caroline, felt rushed and overwhelmed by everything that was going on and how quickly it was happening. I don't like when what should be a light-hearted book has overwhelming feeling.
I also don't like when it feels like a book is merely an outline of what it is supposed to be, which is one of the things that I was feeling toward the end of it. I wish that the next two installments in the series were devoted to Simon and Caroline, since I feel that there were some issues with their story that weren't developed enough. At the very least, it would be nice if the other two stories were about Mimi or Sophia and their beaus, because I feel like readers have more involved in those stories than they might have in the ones with the new characters. That's not the direction she went in, though, and it's her series, so I'll deal.
And, like I said, it was funny, but it wasn't as funny as Wallbanger. That book had me snorting and laughing and giggling all over the place. While this book was funny, it wasn't that kind of funny. And I only gave that book four stars when I read it, so the lack of massive amounts of hilarity should have me giving this book a four or less.
There were also some editing issues. I don't know whether to fault the author or her editor on this. For example, when describing Simon pulling up her pink nightie, she said that he had it up to her shin. I'm pretty sure that a nightie doesn't reach one's shin, especially if that same nightie was short enough for him to see her panties underneath it. I'm pretty sure that chin was what she meant, but it said shin and I couldn't help but feel like someone really missed the ball on that one.
Overall, it was a cute and sweet story, but it just lacked something, so I'm downgrading it to a four. I shouldn't feel bad about that, but I do. I really wanted this book to be worthy of a five star rating, but it really wasn't. Maybe the next two books will be. I hope they are because I really adore the way that Alice Clayton tells a story.(less)
This novella is a continuation of the drama that is the Chloe Mills/Bennett Ryan relationship that started in Beautiful Bastard. It is better than tha...moreThis novella is a continuation of the drama that is the Chloe Mills/Bennett Ryan relationship that started in Beautiful Bastard. It is better than that book, but it still felt like it lacked something, aside from content. Seriously, if you're going to release a novella, put a little more into it.
So what exactly was missing? Mostly, I think the writers left out much of the wit that made the first book somewhat entertaining. I remember feeling like they could have had a better book because they had quite a bit of comedic talent. In this book, I didn't feel that way. The story was more developed than the last one, but without the spark, I felt like I was being deprived of something very vital within the story. I hope that the other novellas in the series are better than this one.(less)
I received an ARC from the publisher of Big Time through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very qui...moreI received an ARC from the publisher of Big Time through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very quick read and I think that young people will enjoy it. It was obviously meant for a much younger audience, so it was a little too easy of a read for me.
It's basically a story about a girl who wants to go on a Canadian version of American Idol. When things don't work out exactly how she hopes they will, she almost gives up her dreams. Notice I say almost, which is very cool because I think it can show pre-teens and teens that resilience and bravery are very important in making your dreams come true.
I do think it was a little short. There were under 200 pages, which could be enough for a lot of kids to read, but might be too little for some bookworms. There was a good deal of Canadian slang, which was interesting, but was to be expected since this was a book set in Canada written by a Canadian author.
The content was a little dry, but that might also be because of the age group that it is written for. I would definitely recommend it for kids who are in the 10-14 age range which is the group that I think it is probably meant for. There isn't any profanity or adult content. There are some rude moments with the book's version of Simon Cowell and some little bits of high school age drama, but nothing that is explicit or obscene in nature. It was just childish people acting childish.
If a kid is interested in music, reality talent shows, or just exploring their dreams, then this is probably a good book for them. (less)