Consoling Angel was a quick enjoyable read with an interesting premise. What a sweet way to deal with death of a loved one and the aftermath of gettin...moreConsoling Angel was a quick enjoyable read with an interesting premise. What a sweet way to deal with death of a loved one and the aftermath of getting over that death in a book.
This is a novella, so there is not a huge amount of character development. However in the short span of the story I loved getting to know Mira. Mira is dealing with the loss of her father and throwing herself into everything she can to pretty much ignore it. She carries her Dad's and her shared love of all things James Dean as her one way to hold onto him which I thought was sweet. Then the plot really starts and Mira falls asleep and dreams. I loved the dream aspect of the plot and how everything happens and the explanation at the end. Every aspect worked well together and kept me turning page to find out how this story would turn out.
For a short novella, there is a lot to process in a good way. Denise Alicea doesn't overload you with too much but gives just the right amount of plot and character development to fit into the novella framework. But the nice thing is you don't feel shorted by the shorter number of pages. The story fits perfectly into the novella framework and was one I really enjoyed. I look forward to more reading of Ms. Alicea's work in the future.(less)
Mutilate My Heart is an interesting tale. I loved the rock star with a twist angle. I enjoyed the characters and it made for a quick, fun read.
Becca a...moreMutilate My Heart is an interesting tale. I loved the rock star with a twist angle. I enjoyed the characters and it made for a quick, fun read.
Becca and Carli are fun characters. This is mainly Becca's story but Carli is along for the ride as well picking her on band member from Mutilated Arteries. I loved Becca's love of music and devotion tot the band. I love music as well so it was fun to see a book from this point-of-view. Becca doesn't have a lot of development, but it takes place over a short span of time and the main focus is the plot. Sketch also made a great character. A fun, yet down-to-earth rock star and new member of the band.
Becca and Sketch and Carli and Corpse's whirlwind romance are the real focus of the book. And there is a twist. But the book is fun and fast-moving. The plot was interesting, not too predictable and different. The fast-pace made me keep reading and almost finished it in one sitting.
If you want a book that focuses on music, rock stars and some romance, this is just the book for you. If you enjoy a paranormal twist this is fun too. I loved the book and look forward to seeing where this series goes.(less)
This book is a lot of fun. It is a little crass but you know that from reading the blurb so it's not shocking. But if you get past that (and I had no...moreThis book is a lot of fun. It is a little crass but you know that from reading the blurb so it's not shocking. But if you get past that (and I had no problem with it, it really works within the plotline of the book) it is such a fun book to read. It's the perfect YA romantic comedy.
Sam's point-of-view is first in the book and honestly I didn't think I would like him. Yes he explains he is the typical teenage boy, but he kind of comes off as a dog. But set him with Ally as her best friend and Sam becomes something more. He's a real friend, he's good to Ally, he doesn't try to change her (until she asks) and he's incredibly protective of her. So Sam immediately became a good guy in the second chapter. Ally is sweet, nerdy and has had a somewhat boring boyfriend for the last two years. Now that somewhat boring boyfriend has dumped her for another girl so Ally wants to change, not to get boring boyfriend back but to get her self-esteem back up and in a way to get back at the male species. She wants to become the female equivalent of Sam and enlists him to help her.
Makeovers ensue and then mayhem ensues. Ally becomes like Sam even when they eventually get involved, but now Sam is acting like a girl and it's really confusing for both of them. Hilarity then ensues and the book just keeps on moving. I won't give away any more. I will say that once you start reading it's hard to put down. Yes it's predictable, but that is the fun. There are still bumps and lots of other things along the way that make the book extremely funny and enjoyable to read.
Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is funny, cute, romantic and just plain adorable. Tellulah Darling has managed to make sex and teenagers amusing and real with characters that are easy to relate to for both sexes. Who doesn't want a best friend like Sam or Ally? Who doesn't want to transform themselves like Ally? Who doesn't want the perfect soulmate? It's just incredibly cute and well-done. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Ms. Darling.(less)
After a stellar reading month in October, I've been a bit of a reading slump. But Crushing Summer was just the book I needed to get me out of my readi...moreAfter a stellar reading month in October, I've been a bit of a reading slump. But Crushing Summer was just the book I needed to get me out of my reading slump. Providing me with teen drama, a twisty plot, a great protagonist, best friends with secrets, two interesting boys and a meaningful message, this was a perfect book for me.
There is no secret that I love Young Adult novels (and this one is YA, despite the NA classification above, the kids are still in high school) and Crushing Summer was a great one. First there is Chloe, the main character. A girl heading into her summer vacation but she really wants things to change, she wants to live life beyond what she has lived in her small secluded town in California. However she doesn't expect to nor does she expect the summer to go the way it does. First there is the almost drowning that brings intense and brooding (or so it seems at first sight) new boy Casper Alice into her sights. He's almost emo in the way he dresses but Chloe quickly finds herself attracted to him even though they just met. He seems attracted to her even though on the surface they couldn't be more opposite. This was my first love in the book. She really was attracted to him, she wasn't acting out bringing that boy home for attention, she liked his looks even though he wasn't her typical type and she wasn't ashamed of it. Next there is her best friend Heidi who Chloe loves dearly but who has also been acting strange for awhile. Finally there is Cage, love interest number 2, who Chloe has known as she goes to school with him, but until the night of The Assignment she has never really talked to him, but suddenly he seems very interested in her. He is her type, and he's the boy most girls would love to date, but is Chloe most girls?
I can't even tell you how much I loved Chloe, from the beginning of the book until the end there is so much more to her than meets the eye. She doesn't like the status quo, she doesn't like bullying and she strives to be different. She's smart and she obviously reads as evidenced by this quote, which is one of my favorites from the book:
I stood up and made my way over to my armoire, pulling the doors open and wishing with all my heart for Narnia. Hey you never know. It could happen.
Another reason I love her is she seems wiser than her years:
I moved down the stairs quickly, dropped my purse on my vanity table and flopped onto the bed. I was asleep in less than a minute. The weight of knowledge hangs heavy on the heads of it's carriers. I had no idea whose quote it was, but it rang true. Too true. For once in my life, I felt like I might be better off if I knew nothing at all.
And she'll stand up for what she thinks is right:
"Maybe when it comes to scrubbing floors or picking up dog crap, you're right. There are some things in life we have to do that we might not like. But beating up fifteen year old girls isn't one of them. Attacking and belittling people isn't a necessity."
As far as plot, The Assignment was definitely an interesting thing to center the novel around. It's crazy and it's scary. It mimics cliques and friendships in high school but to a frightening level. I honestly think if teens could read this book it might make them think more about their actions, but maybe not. I like that Chloe does think about hers and tries to make others think about theirs. She's scared to death when she witnesses the mob mentality in full effect and she often likens what she is seeing around her to Lord of the Flies except without the death. And she's fully right. I found the actions of others in this book to be completely frightening examples of the mob mentality, but look around you in the news. It is completely real. And all though on a smaller and less violent level it is real in middle and high schools. I think Crushing Summer really brings this to light in a less-than-real, yet real situation like The Assignment. I love how the author uses a completely entertaining and frightening story to show how harmful bullying and mob mentality is. And one of my favorite moments in this book (and this isn't a spoiler) is this insight from Chloe:
As long as were were being mean, we were free, but it was a false sensation, like a bird in a large cage It gave the illusion of true freedom, and it was a dangerous way of thinking.
Also as far as plot there is also romance, both Cage and Casper have interest in Chloe, but it's not an annoying love triangle. It's real and it's interesting. And she doesn't play them, so if love triangles aren't your thing, don't let that scare you off of this book. There is more here than meets the eye. There is also friendship. And there is learning what love and friendship really mean. This book is interesting on so many levels. It brings to light so many different things and I think teens can really relate to them. I think adults will enjoy this book as well, because it can either help them understand their growing teens or it will remind them in good and bad ways of their teen days.
There was so much I could relate to in this book. And while the premise of The Assignment really seems out there, it really isn't. The Assignment happens every day, just not in the same organized summer experiment like it was in this book. The suspense is also great. I spent the entire book trying to figure out what was going on and who Chloe could really trust. I did see part of the conclusion coming but there was part of it that totally caught me off guard.
I found Crushing Summer to be a fascinating book. My only issue with Crushing Summer was it was a little predictable, but not completely, and truthfully what novel isn't after you've been reading many books for many years. But I really love what the author did do with it. From the very first page I felt like I was right there and involved. I love how the author created a great character in Chloe, a girl who had skated along as part of the group before, but finally finds her footing and comes into her own in this book. And the supporting case was each special or evil in their own right. Every part of this book came together for me and really worked. I was almost sad when it was over, but the ending was fitting. And the book was excellent. Great job C.M. Stunich. I look forward to reading more of your books in the future!(less)