Colin Singleton has issues with his life. Mainly that he doesn't understand it, and as a recent high school graduate, is sure of little other than hisColin Singleton has issues with his life. Mainly that he doesn't understand it, and as a recent high school graduate, is sure of little other than his status as a failure. Utterly disgusted with his best friend's state of mind, Hassan decides what they needs is a road trip. After somehow making their parents agree, off the head, no destination in mind.
A random highway exit boasts the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who Colin had been thinking of not long before, and so begins the journey to Gutshot, TN, where the road trip becomes stationary.
After the tour to the Archduke's grave, Colin and Hassan meet Hollis, their tourguide Lindey's mother, who brings them home for dinner and offers them a job for the summer. At $500/week, the pair can't refuse.
The days soon settle into a sort of rhythm. Recording oral histories of Gutshot for Hollis in the morning, killing time in the afternoon while Lindsey goofs off with her boyfriend, and for Colin, working on the Theorem he's come up with to predict the pattern of a relationship. First he can only get it to work for a few of the Katherines. With some tweaking, it works for all but one. After further delving, he realizes he's misremembered this one, and once he adjusts the formula to show the true events, the Theorem is rock solid.
And yet...while History is easy to study (like they say, hind-sight is 20/20), the future is a different animal altogehter. And this is the realization Colin really needs to come to. That life can't be predicted, there is no certainty, and the only sure thing to do is to get out there and try.
Excellent book. Unique story, great characters, much lighter than Looking for Alaska. Definitely worth a read.
This is Green's second book, and I wasn't surprised to see that it too had been up for the Printz Award.
These characters are even more likeable, in their oddities, and the story more fun. I'm not huge on math, but the Katherine equation really intrigued me. Looking forward to whatever is next....more
Tessa Scott is dying, and there's some things she'd really like to get to before she does. Ideas scribbled everywhere around her room. On the wall. OnTessa Scott is dying, and there's some things she'd really like to get to before she does. Ideas scribbled everywhere around her room. On the wall. On scraps of paper. Her best friend, Zoey, thinks she should gather them together, make a real list, get on with it. Anything's better than lying about in bed all day. And as much as Tess would like to disagree, she eventually comes to realize she has two choices. Get on with living or get on with death. And since her life has already been cut short, isn't making the most of the rest of it the best plan?
The list is not necessarily the kind of thing a parent would love. In fact, Tessa's pretty sure that her dad will hate most of it. But it's her life. And she wants to get to experience it. After all, what's the worst that can happen?
Of course, making up one's mind to go through with something so big and actually doing it are different stories. And when Zoey comes to collect her for their night out, where they intend to take care of number uno--sex--Tess isn't so keen to leave the house. Nor is her dad keen to have her out late. Zoey cares about neither objection, and off they go. It's not exactly everything Tessa was hoping for. In fact it might be nothing she was hoping for. But it's still one off the list. And it's a start. Which might make it easier to keep going. But nothing can make it easy.
Her relationships are strained at best. Her father is at wit's end. Zoey comes and goes. She meets the neighbor boy, after a long stretch of watching him through the window, only to get close, push him away, get close, push him away.
The day she decides to say yes to everything lands her in a river, and afterwards in hospital. Her wish for fame leads to a radio interview where she divulges some details her father could have done with out. But once she's really made up her mind to go out on her own terms, there's certainly no stopping her.
Not the easiest story to read, in terms of sunshine and happy times, but it's certainly well worth the read. Tessa is someone to aspire to, when all is said and done....more
Schuyler Van Alen leads a mixed-up life. She attends a prestigious NYC school, where she doesn't fit in with her peers, except her best friend Oliver,Schuyler Van Alen leads a mixed-up life. She attends a prestigious NYC school, where she doesn't fit in with her peers, except her best friend Oliver, and though her family used to be one of the wealthiest in the city, their holdings are now few and money sparse. She doesn't know her father, her mother has been in a coma in the hospital for most of her life, and she lives with her foreboding grandmother.
When the uber-boy at school suddenly takes an interest in her, she doesn't know what to think. And despite herself, she finds herself drawn to him. A fact which his twin sister takes much issue with.
After being invited to join The Committee, an elite society everyone at school knows about, Schuyler learns some startling things about herself and her family that she isn't sure how to deal with. As it turns out, Schuyler isn't human. And her best friend Oliver isn't just her best friend. He's a servant of sorts. And the dog she mysteriously found--also not an accident.
As mysterious deaths continue to plague the Blue Bloods, a secret from deep in their past comes forth. Silver Bloods. Fiends who feed on and kill Blue Bloods. Schuyler and her friends struggle to solve the mystery, losing much in the process. Left with many questions and nearly no answers, all Schuyler knows is its her mystery to solve, and only she can do it.
A very creative take on vampires and vampirism, which will leave you eager for the next installment....more
This is a truly excellent coming-of-age/finding-self story.
Paski Archuleta's world goes topsy-turvy when her dad returns to Taos from a trip to LA looThis is a truly excellent coming-of-age/finding-self story.
Paski Archuleta's world goes topsy-turvy when her dad returns to Taos from a trip to LA looking, acting, and behaving like a person gone insane. He's dressing like an idiot, he's acting like an idiot, and to top it all off, he tells her they're moving to LA. Like, immediately.
Paski loves her life in Taos. New Mexico is the only home she's ever known. Her friends are here. Her mountains are here. Not that she has much choice.
The U-haul gets loaded, Paski makes the rounds to say goodbye to her best friends and to Ethan, and off they go.
Her first impressions of California are mixed. On the one hand, there's a lot more nature to Southern California than she was expecting. On the other, everything seems inordinately huge, and everyone drives nice, expensive cars way too fast.
Her first order of business is to ride over to her new school and check it out. Once there, she can't help herself, and shows off her mountain biking skills by going straight down a hill to get to the school yard. This earns her the attention of Chris Cabrera, who takes an immediate liking to her. A feeling which happens to be oh so very mutual.
The Chris Cabrera story line is one of my favorites, as it reminded me a lot of when I met my "one."
Chris is, however, taken by the school's richest, meanest girl. At least, according to Jessica he is. And not only is she the most popular girl--Paski has heard of her, in a roundabout way. Maybe not that she's the National Motocross Champion. But the line of clothes her mom made? Paski's heard of JessWear.
Things go from bad to worse, as her father trades in their Corolla for a huge boat of a car he plans to turn into the Squeegee Mobile, after the character he's come to LA to make into a movie. Now not only is she an apartment girl, she has a vehicle she absolutely can not be seen in.
Her first party goes wrong in about 5 minutes. First with the forced kissing of a girl she doesn't know, then with the drugged drink which turns into a but of a murder attempt as Jessica pushes her into the pool and she finds herself unable to get out. Luckily, Chris dives in to save her, and though her head and face are a bit of a mess, she'll be fine.
Just about her only solace is her bike. And after her first friend, Tina, points out the path near the school, Paski is back in riding heaven. This trail rocks.
She also joins the school paper, an activity she was part of back at home. Much to her chagrin, her first assignment is to cover Jessica's upcoming race. A fact exacerbated by the vision she's been having ever since she first saw Jessica. A vision of her broken and crumpled under her motorbike.
This is definitely a book with a lot of tension and suspense--I think I was actually holding my breath in parts, which isn't so good for an asthmatic with allergies. But I suppose it's good for the author.
Despite all the drama, danger, and insanity of her new life in Aliso Viejo, Paski manages to navigate through and come out on top. It's definitely an incredible ride....more
Witch Baby always felt out of place. With her tangled up hair and purple eyes and anger, she was never as soft and gentle as her almost-mom Weetzie, oWitch Baby always felt out of place. With her tangled up hair and purple eyes and anger, she was never as soft and gentle as her almost-mom Weetzie, or her half-sister Cherokee. Only Angel Juan could ever make her feel like she belonged. So when he tells her he’s leaving, that he needs to go to New York and be on his own, she can’t understand, and runs away. When she wakes up and realizes she didn’t get to say goodbye, she decides she’s going to follow and look for him.
When no letters follow his first postcard to her, she becomes even more frantic, and knows she has to go. She asks permission to stay in Charlie Bat’s apartment, and sets off for the city.
Upon arrival she metts Meadows and Mallard, two kindly gentlemen who take care of Charlie’s apartment during the year. They take her to dinner, but as it turns out, they’re Ghost Hunters, and are off to Ireland. Witch Baby would wallow in her aloneness, if not for the appearance of a spectral Charlie.
With his help, Witch Baby wanders the city, usually searching for Angel Juan, sometimes sidetracked by her Ghostly Grandfather, but almost always gaining a new appreciation for life.
In the end, she follows her heart, which leads her to Angel Juan, and to some realizations about the dangers of the way she wants to cling to him and keep him to herself....more
Every bit as amazing as it’s prequel, if not more so. To do this book real justice I may have to go back and read it again…for reasons I can’t reallyEvery bit as amazing as it’s prequel, if not more so. To do this book real justice I may have to go back and read it again…for reasons I can’t really go into without ruining too much, I read it a little too fast.
Picking up where we left off at the end of Twilight, Bella is now recovered from her attack, still dating Edward, and now has a job at a store in town. Life seems pretty much perfect, except for the minor detail of her still not having what she wants.
Despite her wishes, the Cullens have planned a Birthday party for her, and while she’s displeased, she tries to cut them some slack, once Edward points out that they’ve not been able to celebrate a real birthday in over a hundred years. And party-lover or not, she has to admit they’ve gone all out.
But, clutz that she is, it isn’t long before disaster strikes in the form of a paper cut, leading to Jasper having to be dragged from the house, the rest of the family (other than Carlisle) quickly following after. Once she’s been stitched up and bandaged. Edward brings her home, and his gift to her makes the night perfect despite the badness. In fact, she can’t imagine a better birthday.
But it isn’t meant to last.
Abandoned, Bella spends the next handful of months in a daze. At a complete loss, Charlie has know idea how to help her. But she refuses to leave Forks, and so all he can do is watch her struggle on.
Eventually, sparks of life return, as Bella vows to become reckless, purchases two used motorcycles, and heads down to La Push to see Jacob Black about fixing them. While there, she remembers how much she liked being around Jacob, and her visits quickly turn into a regular thing. Between them, and the sound of Edward’s voice in her mind with each reckless act, Bella begins to feel alive.
And then Jacob turns on her.
Life quickly becomes on trial after another, as Bella refuses to let Jacob go, and after a mid-night visit does some hard thinking to piece the puzzle together, much to the chagrin of his new friends. Then a cliff-diving stunt gone bad sets in motion a whole ‘nother set of events, even more incredible and harrowing.
Even more than Twilight, New Moon will leave you eagerly awaiting what comes next....more
This is the fourth of the Frog Princess books, a series that began with The Frog Princess, one of many modern-day fairy tale retellings I've read in tThis is the fourth of the Frog Princess books, a series that began with The Frog Princess, one of many modern-day fairy tale retellings I've read in the past few years. This wasn't my favorite of the series, but it was a good addition nonetheless.
In this portion of the story, almost all is right in Emma's world. She's got her true love, she's ended the family curse, and all that remains is to win over Eadric's parents so they may be married. With this in mind, the happy couple sets off to Eadric's Kingdom, Upper Montevista, to negotiate arrangements.
They arrive to discover Eadric's brother has been kidnapped. With her magic, Emma is able to conclude he's been taken by the trolls and is as of yet unharmed. Though Eadric's mother has no love of Emma's gift, she grudgingly concedes they'll need her help, and thus the two set off to save young Bradston.
Along the way they have no share of obstacles, from banshees to vampire bats, and of course the trolls themselves. But throughout it all, luck somehow stays with them.
A cute love story with a happy ending, a good choice for anyone looking for a light read or a quick pick-me-up.
I don't think this series needs to be read in order, though my general recommendation for any series is to do just that. If you're considering No Place for Magic, I'd definitely recommend The Frog Princess, which was my favorite of the four....more
After her summer in NYC, Cyd Charisse has a slightly different outlook on life arriving back in California. Happy to have her freedom, she’s lookinggAfter her summer in NYC, Cyd Charisse has a slightly different outlook on life arriving back in California. Happy to have her freedom, she’s lookingg forward to the year, which she plans to make the year of Shrimp.
Much to her dismay, Shrimp is MIA, and rumors abound about his whereabouts and whether he’ll be back or not. After running into his brother’s girlfriend, Cyd finds out that he will indeed be back, but with a slight change: his parents.
As it turns out, that will be only the first of many surprises, and it won’t be the year Cyd, now CC, expected. The uneasy peace with Nancy, the making of actual girl friends, who turn out to be not so bad, the roller coaster of CC and Shrimp. But through it all, CC learns a lot–about herself, people in general, and life....more
Bella Swan isn’t looking forward to life in Forks. Though her dad is easy to be around, she’s spent most of her life without him. On top of which, sheBella Swan isn’t looking forward to life in Forks. Though her dad is easy to be around, she’s spent most of her life without him. On top of which, she can’t stand the weather, and she knows she won’t fit in.
So when the first week of school is full of stares and whispers, Bella’s not surprised. Some of her classmates seem friendly enough, though some also seem overly friendly. All in all, things seem to be going fairly well. Until Biology, when her lab partner takes an immediate dislike to her, more along the lines of hatred.
When Edward Cullen stops coming to school, Bella assumes it must somehow be her fault, and can’t imagine what she did that was so bad. She finds out from a classmate that the Cullens are frequently absent, being big campers, and is somewhat appeased. But unprepared for Edward’s reappearance and attitude change.
While most of the school stears clear of the Cullen family, and Bella herself finds them intimidating, she’s also enthralled, especially with the ever-changing Edward. After he saves her life, it only gets more complex. The more she learns, the more curious she becomes, and the more reticent he is to tell her.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The story is great, and the characters will pull you right in. I, myself, am currently awaiting the sequel (with not enough patience)....more
Marina's relationship with her brother Lex has always been different than that of normal siblings. Therefore, it’s not a shock to anyone when she takeMarina's relationship with her brother Lex has always been different than that of normal siblings. Therefore, it’s not a shock to anyone when she takes his apparent suicide so hard. But there’s more to the story than anyone knows. At least, so she thinks.
As Marina delves deeper into the mystery, struggling to understand what happened to her brother, hidden truths come to light. But none so large as those learned when she takes off to visit her father.
This is a story of love: how it can raise you up and pull you down, heal you and break you...more
Welcome to A Christmas Carol: the Valentine's Day Version, a truly inspired retelling.
Marly has died, after a slow withering away, leaving her boyfrieWelcome to A Christmas Carol: the Valentine's Day Version, a truly inspired retelling.
Marly has died, after a slow withering away, leaving her boyfriend Ben alone. And as most of us would probably be quick to do, Ben needs to lay blame. So he blames the world, and love, and life. Love tricked him, left him. He decides it can't be trusted. And that no one else should trust it, believe in it, or experience it either. If possible, this is even more heartbreaking thatn all that the original Scrooge looses out on due to Greed.
Ben's friends don't want to give up on him though. At least, not faithful Fred. Only Ben can't let him in. He can't stand to see him with his girlfriend Sarah, a continuation of the life Ben once had. With Valentine's day approaching, Ben begins to loose his hold on himself, and starts lashing out. That night, he gets lashed back.
Marly arrives in much the same fashion as in any other variant of the tale, only this time she's a teenage girl, and her chain is a chain made up of pieces of her past with Ben. Once a perfect length, it has been made ponderous because he can't let her go. It's too much for her to carry.
Unwilling to watch Ben suffer, and give up on life, she has arranged with three spirits to meet with him. He understands that she must have gone through much to get him this chance, that she wants to save him, so he tries to keep an open mind. Yet when the first spirit is due, no longer so sure, he resorts to hiding beneath his sheet.
The Spirit of Love Past brings Ben back to earlier days. Days before Marly came into his life, the day she did--and he failed to really notice. He travels through better times, beautiful times, and begins to remember what he's shut off. The Spirit of Love Present arrives on a thrown of Valentines and love letters, and travels with him throughout his town, celebrating love, showing him it still exists, that it is in fact not far removed from life itself. Indeed, without love, life can't survive.
He sees a special night with Marly, at the apartment of a friend. He sees the same apartment, with a new couple inside, sharing a special night. The very couple he errupted in front of that very day. Already his harsh words have planted tiny poisonous seeds between them.
The final Spirit shows him a loveless world. People ill-speaking the dead, Tiny and Tim broken up, not speaking. A distraught Fred and a furious Sarah. A furious Marly, if she were still alive. His appreciation for life renewed, Ben hopes to avoid facing the truth, but isn't given the option.
Ben wakes on Valentine's Day full of joy and loving everything. A young boy runs to the Florist to buy him their largest bouquet. He goes shopping and buys presents for all of his friends, to be delivered at the Anti-Valentine's Day party. Hehas set off with a passion on his new path: one where love and life are ell-encompassing, to be treasured.
I truly hope this book will be read in schools. It's a wonderful re-visioning of a Classic, with plenty of merit of its own, and at the very least would make for a great comparative essay. I had no idea what the story was about when I bought the book--the decision was made based solely on the author. But Marly's Ghost turned out to be more than I had expected, and will sit on the shelf reserved for my Favorite Books, to be read repeatedly....more
I really enjoyed this story, but found myself frustrated semi-regularly. To me, there's nothing worse than conversation you trip over, and to keep runI really enjoyed this story, but found myself frustrated semi-regularly. To me, there's nothing worse than conversation you trip over, and to keep running head into it in the midst of an otherwise smooth tale irked me. That said, the concept was incredible, and the story told really well. Even if I feel a bit cliff-hung by the ending....more
I found this to be a very moving story. Sometimes it flowed right along, others it stuttered. Sometimes I wished it was done, others I didn't want itI found this to be a very moving story. Sometimes it flowed right along, others it stuttered. Sometimes I wished it was done, others I didn't want it to end because I knew what was coming. But given the life Henry DeTamble leads, I'd have to say that sort of movement was only entirely accurate....more