If you skipped over the summary (which I hope you didn't) and jumped right into my thoughts here, let me say this: Defy the Stars is not only a novel-in-verse but also a retelling of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Not only that, but I've been secretly on the lookout for a self-published novel-in-verse for kindle that don't cost an arm and a leg (there are few and far between verse novels available for kindle). I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I knew I had to give it a try.
At first of the book seemed to fly by. I loved the role of music in the novel and how different Julia seemed from the original Juliet. Also, it was really fun seeing all the new characters pop up and trying to place them in the original story. This is though, a story that can stand apart from it's original. It's different yet the inspiration is clearly there and it started to take on a shape of it's own that made me slow down and look more closely at all the little details. That level of retelling is exactly what I was looking for.
In the end Defy the Stars was a very different book than I expected, sometimes giving me more than I hoped for and other times surprising me in ways I wasn't sure sat well with me. For instance, the drug use. I don't mind reading about all sorts of gritty things but I found the reasons for Reed's and Julia's exploration of drugs disturbing. Mainly that was because it seemed too real for me. I could see all too easy how Reed would find solace in drugs and Julia find they enhance her all too controlled life. I wanted something much better for them. However, after some consideration and time away from the book, I find this book growing on me. I keep coming back to it and looking at it from different angles, finding new things surprising me every time I think about it. Now I think this is a beautiful retelling of a tragic story. It isn't less tragic but it has a voice of it's own that has really made me think and digest things differently.
On a side note: The verse format worked really well for the kindle. It's nicely done and not hard to read at all which I was worried about.
This book is about a girl who after going on a road trip to California gets stuck in a freak snowstorm in a car with her step-mother she doesn't get aThis book is about a girl who after going on a road trip to California gets stuck in a freak snowstorm in a car with her step-mother she doesn't get along with and her new baby sister she is immensely jealous of. It is a survival story. It is also a story about mending relationships.
This is my first read by Lisa Schroeder, an author who has written many novels-in-verse. I have had I Heart You, You Haunt Me on my to-read list forever but found Far From You at the library instead. I decided to give this one a try as well.
I really loved Lisa's verse. It was easy reading yet she managed to say so much with a short amount of space. I didn't care too much for the main character Alice at first. She seemed a little bit of a brat but once I got to know her story more throughout the book it was a lot more understandable.
The book took a little while to get going for me. However, once it turned into a survival story I almost couldn't put it down. I liked the addition of the angel that Alice sees. I wasn't really sure if it was all in Alice's head or if the author was trying to say something else, for afterall, Alice is a spiritual girl who likes to go to church and write songs to perform there. I liked seeing how Alice, Ivy, and Alice's stepmother survived this ordeal and their strained relationship at the beginning of the book made the ending even more satisfying....more
A short story in verse, Say Not What If was crafted in an extremely compelling and insightful voice. Following a man who is misleadinly told by "the kA short story in verse, Say Not What If was crafted in an extremely compelling and insightful voice. Following a man who is misleadinly told by "the keepers" that in order to get back his life he must take the life of another - and they want a child. Unfortunately he is caught after doing so and goes to jail where he awaits death row.
The whole story of this man reads like a train wreck that you just have to stop and see what happened and how big of a disaster it really is. The story moved quickly but at the same time a lot happened. The book explores many issues like death row, family, lost time, and regret, without losing it's edge. The most compelling scene in my eyes was when the judge must decide if the death penalty is an ethical choice. There are debates from both sides and both are considered fairly. It was dramatic and very well written.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It has been a while since I have read it and I still get excited every time I see it on my shelves. I hope to find someone to pass it on to or re-read it many times later on. My only complaint was that fifty pages of rhyming lines became too tiresome for me although I was amazed at Mr. Friedman's skill in that regard. I wished I could have slowed down and enjoyed it more but the story was a page-turner and I didn't want to stop.
Being a contemporary novel-in-verse with the focus on a love story I had a hard time passing this one up. I love novels-in-verse but I find it difficuBeing a contemporary novel-in-verse with the focus on a love story I had a hard time passing this one up. I love novels-in-verse but I find it difficult to discover ones that aren't historical, issues related, or paranormal. I was hoping that this one would be a little light-hearted as well.
Let's start with this. Although not as light-hearted as I'd hoped, the love story was quite delicious. In fact, in Love and Leftovers you are treated to not one but two romances the main character Marcie experiences. Even though you may be rolling your eyes right now saying "oh no...not another love triangle!" it wasn't really like that all. In Love and Leftovers it isn't two guys fighting over Marcie but a miscalculation in character that leads her to cheating on her boyfriend while living in another city.
Both J.D. and Linus were loveable guys in their own ways. The two romances were quite different so it's not like you are getting two similar guys and Marcie just can't choose between them. One delivers her the passion and touch she so desperately wants and the other the emotional friendship she also needs. That made it hard for me to watch the two of the guys getting caught up in her mess and made me loose respect for her a little as well.
There is also very interesting drama going on with Marcie's mom and dad. This had a lot to do with the plot and I found it just as interesting watching events unfold with them as I did with the boyfriend situation. It was just one of the many reasons why I had a hard time putting this one down, especially towards the end.
In the end I'm so glad I was able to read this book. It was very entertaining. I didn't feel like anyone was preaching to me or trying to teach me something, although I'm sure many readers will learn something as Marcie herself ends up learning very valuable lessons. This is a great book and one I'd recommend to anyone who wants a quick read with some substance behind it.
I was really happy to finally get a chance to read Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe. I don't know what took me so long, especially since it was a book II was really happy to finally get a chance to read Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe. I don't know what took me so long, especially since it was a book I pre-ordered and came out way back in October of last year.
Audition turned out to be one of those books I wish I could have appreciated more. I don't have much knowledge of ballet (or dance) except for what I've seen in movies and tv. I never had the privaledge of being involved in any sort of program and had never really learned much about it. Because of that I felt quite lost at times throughout the book. The descriptions of the movements and using ballet as a sort of metaphor were written quite beautiful. Unfortunately, most of these are never truly described and those that were became lost on me. I just could not picture what was being described, even though the words flowed so nicely.
On the other hand I did enjoy the character growth and social aspect of the story. Getting to know Sara's host family, especially Julio was a nice touch. Sara's fear that she wont be accepted into the group of ballerinas because of where she came from was real touching as well. Then there was her school life which seemed at times much happier than her ballet life. Remington, though, Sara's love interest and the guy she ends up dating throughout the book really infuriated me. With the way he treated Sara I had wished she would have stuck up for herself more. I suppose in a way that was the point but he wasn't a character I loved to hate. I just hated him.
Overall, it was a nice story. There were things I liked about it and things I didn't like. The verse added to the effect of the story well, especially because ballet is such an artistic endevour to begin with. I'm glad to have it in my collection, although I feel as though there are many more people out there who will understand the story better than I did.