Gemma is a 16-year-old from London. She and her parents are at the airport in Bangkok, preparing to catch a flight to Vietnam, when she meets a man, T...moreGemma is a 16-year-old from London. She and her parents are at the airport in Bangkok, preparing to catch a flight to Vietnam, when she meets a man, Ty, who steals her away and changes her life forever. Stolen is a letter written by the victim to the captor. Gemma's letter reveals what happens between her and Ty during her captivity in the Australian outback.
Throughout the book, I had conflicting feelings towards Ty. Which were kind of similar to the way Gemma felt about him. Ty was patient with Gemma and kind to her. I believe he did care deeply for her. But he had some serious issues. There were glimpses of instability and moments where I thought that he could be capable of hurting her. I also think he was a bit delusional, and I don't believe he was completely honest about every single thing he claimed to know about her.
So I was a bit surprised when I realized that I was starting to sympathize with Ty, just like Gemma, by the end of the book. We got to know Ty and learned some of his story. But it made me wonder if I was sympathizing with him because I was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, which was brought up in the book. Or was it something else? I'm not sure. It's really a confusing feeling.
Overall, I thought Stolen was a unique and captivating story. Even though I want to know what happens next with these characters, I'm not sure I'm ready to know. Not yet, at least. I think I need to get over this Stockholm Syndrome-ish feeling first. :((less)
August 14, 2011: No! More! I can't let these characters go. :'(
I have a feeling this will always be my favorite book ever.
January 22, 2010: O_O
I check...moreAugust 14, 2011: No! More! I can't let these characters go. :'(
I have a feeling this will always be my favorite book ever.
January 22, 2010: O_O
I checked this book out from the library, and I'm seriously going to buy my own copy now. I can't even describe how this book made me feel. This was just... The most freakin' amazing book I've ever read. I loved it so much.
I really don't know what else to say because I'm still in Wow... This was so awesome! mode. o_o(less)
I love Thomas. Out of all the boys in Saving Francesca, it was definitely Thomas who stood out to m...more My review can also be found on my blog Collections.
I love Thomas. Out of all the boys in Saving Francesca, it was definitely Thomas who stood out to me. Really happy to know more about him and his situation, including the rest of his family's. Melina Marchetta is always so great with family and friend relationships.
I also loved the parts with Thomas and the other characters from Saving Francesca, especially Tara, the girls, and Will Trombal. Awesome friends and hilarious moments. The new characters were great as well. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the violinist (I kept expecting Me? to come up, but I guess that isn't his standard response anymore. haha), Heckle & Jeckle, and the Asian. I was fangirling every single time they were mentioned. Could not help myself. ;P
Like every time I finish a Melina Marchetta novel, I wish it didn't have to end. But I love that there's always hope in the end and that you just know it will all eventually work out for the characters. Seriously can't wait to read Marchetta's next book. Love them all!
(And I'm with everyone who says that we need Jimmy's story! PLEASE!!)(less)
Wow.. I loved it! Marchetta's novels are amazing. I wanted to cry when I read the last line in the book because it had such a hopeful and satisfying e...moreWow.. I loved it! Marchetta's novels are amazing. I wanted to cry when I read the last line in the book because it had such a hopeful and satisfying ending. It really was a great feeling.(less)
Melina Marchetta is my favorite author EVER. I will read anything she writes. When I found out that...more My review can also be found on my blog Collections.
Melina Marchetta is my favorite author EVER. I will read anything she writes. When I found out that she was releasing a children's book, I knew I wanted to read it. And when I found it was about Danny Griggs, the little brother of Jonah Griggs (my favorite male character of all time) from Jellicoe Road (my favorite book in the entire world), I knew I had to get my hands on a copy! Sadly, Australian books are hard to come by and shipping is pretty expensive to the US, so I thought it would be awhile before I ever got a chance to read it. But then a miracle... FishpondWorld.com! Three weeks after ordering it I finally received it in the mail. I read it as soon as I could, and it was worth the wait! I just loved it!
There's a legend about an evil monster called the Gorgon that lives in the gully at the St. Raph's schoolyard. If any ball happens to fall in the gully, it's lost forever because no one will ever dare risk facing the Gorgon. But after Danny Griggs accidentally hits a classmate's soccer ball (the lucky soccer ball signed by Harry Kewell that will help them win the grand final!) into the gully and gets called a gutless wonder by the school bully, Danny decides he's going to stop being afraid and venture into the gully. With the help of his friends and his older brother Jonah, Danny hatches a plan to retrieve the ball from the gully and along the way learns to overcome his fears and the importance of friendships.
The Gorgon in the Gully had the humor and friendships Melina Marchetta is awesome at, but in a much more innocent form (the characters are little kids, of course!). It was such a cute read. I mean, c'mon, mini-Melina Marchetta characters? So adorable! All the characters were great, and Danny was my favorite! He's a sweetie, and I loved how he wanted to be courageous even though he was terrified. I do think he's a whole lot braver than he gives himself credit for. I loved the relationships Danny had with his friends and how he made new friends, and I also loved reading his interactions with his mother, Jonah, and Jack, his mother's boyfriend. Danny was really such a nice character to read about. :)
This story actually takes place during the same time as Jellicoe Road, so I think you'll appreciate it even more if you're a Jellicoe Road fan. Especially if you love Jonah Griggs. He was in this a lot more than I expected. And yes, I had a HUGE stupid grin on my face ever single time he was mentioned. I didn't believe it was possible, but I love him even more now!
Really, I could go on and on, but since this is a short story, I don't want to end up spoiling everything. This is a book about friendships and overcoming fears, and it's definitely a great read for children. I also recommended it to Melina Marchetta fans, who need a quick Melina Marchetta fix before the next book release! :D(less)
Good Oil is told from the perspective of 15-year-old Amelia Hayes. It's about her life. From school...more My review can also be found on my blog Collections.
Good Oil is told from the perspective of 15-year-old Amelia Hayes. It's about her life. From school to her family and to her job at the local supermarket. But it's mostly about Chris Harvey, Amelia's 21-year-old co-worker. Chris is funny and friendly, and even though there's a six year age difference between them, he's the guy Amelia is in love with.
The story also includes diary entries written by Chris. There's more to him than just the funny, easy-going guy. He's not happy with his life at the moment. He doesn't particularly like his job at the supermarket. (view spoiler)[He's desperately in love with a girl who he has no chance of ever being with. (hide spoiler)] And he's living with his parents in his last year of uni and doesn't have a clue as to what he plans to do next.
I think we all can easily relate to Amelia. We've all had crushes on someone who seemed like the perfect person for us. But our feelings usually disappeared after we really got to know that person. Or maybe not. That's why I liked Amelia. She still liked Chris even with his flaws. Because, although I liked Chris's character, I'm not sure I could have continued to like Chris as more than a friend after finding out some of the personal things about him. (view spoiler)[Wanting to be with a guy who is in love with some other chick? No thanks. Not for me. (hide spoiler)]
Like Amelia, Chris is a character I think some of us can relate to. A lot of teenagers and young adults get to a point in their lives where they're not sure which direction to go. Choices need to be made soon or time will continue to pass by with nothing ever being accomplished. I'm pretty happy with the decision Chris makes at the end. I think it was the right one.
As for Amelia and Chris's relationship, I admit I felt a bit lost during some of the conversations they had about certain literature because I'm not familiar with those books. But I liked their interaction. They got along well. They both were comfortable around each other and seemed to enjoy the discussions they shared with each other. I even forgot there was a six year age difference between them, and it just made me want them together even more.
Good Oil is a quick read, and the ending of the book doesn't give complete closure, but I'm satisfied with the way it ended. It's a coming-of-age story about two people who are in different stages of their life, and I would recommend it to those who aren't necessarily looking for a perfect resolution.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
"...we watch the dirty silk of the factory smoke float across the sky."
I loved that there was a lot of graffiti and mentions of glassblowing in Graffiti Moon. Photographs of urban decay featuring old, abandoned buildings and factories are my favorite form of art to look at, but graffiti is a close second. Whenever I see graffiti sprayed on the wall of a building or painted on the side of a boxcar moving along the railroad tracks, I always wonder, 'Who made that? When did they do it? Why did they do it? And where are they now?' It just blows my mind, and it's one of the reasons why I loved this book.
Lucy wonders about the graffiti made by the artist who calls himself Shadow. She finds Shadow's work to be extremely inspiring, and she is determined to figure out his identity so that she can meet him in person. She wants to tell him everything she feels whenever she sees his work...and what she feels for him because of it. But she's been searching for Shadow for awhile now and it seems she misses him by mere minutes every single time. Then one night, Lucy and her friends meet a few guys from school who claim to know Shadow. One of the guys is Ed, someone she has a history with and doesn't want to be around. But she's willing to endure Ed's company for the night if hanging out with him means finally meeting Shadow.
I have read one other book by Cath Crowley (A Little Wanting Song, which I loved!), and she has already made my favorite authors list. I absolutely love her writing. Her characters are extremely likable and funny, and they have such great relationships. I could easily relate to Lucy, and she was spunky and just completely awesome. Ed... I adored him. I want my own Ed. Lucy seems to have gotten the wrong impression of him because I think he's actually the kind of guy you want to be around. In the book, Ed takes Lucy on an adventure through the city to see more of Shadow's graffiti. I thought the atmosphere and the setting were perfect. It made me want to be there with them, hanging out and exploring the city at night in search of amazing graffiti.
Like I mentioned, I always have questions whenever I see graffiti, and I felt Lucy and I shared the same curiosity. Who is this mysterious guy who fills her with so much inspiration? And where is he? Since Graffiti Moon is told in alternating point of views between Lucy and Ed, Shadow's real identity is quite obvious to the readers. However, I didn't feel it lessened the mystery or allure of Shadow, especially since Lucy truly has no idea. I always wonder if someone will live up to my expectations when I meet them, and for Lucy it's even more crucial because she's falling for Shadow. I was holding my breath for the moment when Lucy finally figures out who he is. Will he be like the Shadow she's imagined? Or will she end up being disappointed? I think moments like that are pretty priceless.
I cannot wait to read more novels by Cath Crowley because this was another book that I didn't want to end. I highly recommend Graffiti Moon to YA contemporary and Aussie fans. If you can't get a hold of this book and you desperately want to read it, don't worry. It will be published in the US on February 14, 2012 from Knopf Books for Young Readers. The cover is amazing, by the way. Be sure to check it out!
My mini-review can also be found on my blog Collections.
I give up. I really wanted to write a review, but it's been MONTHS. And I think I have finally...more My mini-review can also be found on my blog Collections.
I give up. I really wanted to write a review, but it's been MONTHS. And I think I have finally accepted that a review just ain't gonna happen. It's always so hard writing reviews for books I loved. I tried though. Here's what I had when I started a review:
There were a lot of things I loved about this book. The writing and the characters, especially. I don't know anything about surfing, so I admit I wasn't always able to visualize what was happening during those parts. But, I just went with it and it didn't effect how I felt about everything else. I just wish the book didn't have to end. Carly was very easy to like. I've never been through, and I personally don't know anyone who's been through, what she has, but I could sympathize with her. I felt like I understood her anger and shame and fear, and I think the author did a wonderful job with Carly's character.
So there ya go. I also would like to add: I can't wait to read more from this author!
When I finished Saltwater Moons last night, I had mixed feelings. There were a lot of things that happened that brought out my anger, but I j...more3.5 stars
When I finished Saltwater Moons last night, I had mixed feelings. There were a lot of things that happened that brought out my anger, but I just could not stop reading. I thought the story was intriguing, the setting was nice, and I really liked the writing. (All the Australian books I've read so far have great writing.) Those must have been the reasons why I couldn't put the book down because I know some of the characters weren't the ones who kept me going.
I couldn't sympathize with the main character Sun. I just wasn't able to fully understand her actions and behavior. She allowed the situation between her and Mark to continue... And for what? She knew what type of person Mark was, so it was pretty obvious where the relationship was headed. She also knew that she had feelings for someone else, Mark's friend Tycho. Now, I might have gotten annoyed with Sun, but I don't believe she was a horrible character. She made mistakes like any normal person. I do believe she learned something and gained strength from all this, but I just don't get why she put herself through that. I wish she had the courage to confront Tycho in the first place instead of allowing Mark to take over.
I didn't like Mark. All the things he said to Sun... I'm sure she's not the first girl to hear those words from him. And every time he was with her it never seemed like he was ever completely there. His behavior might be his way of coping with his stressful home life, but I don't believe that's any excuse. As for Tycho, he didn't get nearly as much page-time as Mark, but from what we did get, he sounded like a nice guy. He definitely wasn't perfect though. At least he sounded better than his friend. I honestly wondered what he thought of Mark & Sun. Because, to me, it was obvious Tycho was interested in Sun and shouldn't Mark have known that? But I guess Mark's too selfish to care. And Sun wasn't strong enough to stop it from happening.
I know it may seem like I didn't like this book, and I know it might not make sense with me saying that I have mixed feelings, but overall... I actually did. I just didn't enjoy the decisions and behaviors of certain characters. So would I recommend this book? Yes. And if the author were to write more books, I would definitely be interested in reading them.(less)
In Burn Bright, seventeen-year-old Retra escapes from her strict and isolated life in Seal...more My review can also be found on my blog Collections.
In Burn Bright, seventeen-year-old Retra escapes from her strict and isolated life in Seal South, an area walled off from the already enclosed land called Grave, to Ixion. Ixion is an island with never-ending night known for it's pleasure. It's where young people go to run away from rules and to enjoy freedom. The freedom to have fun and party all the time. Retra isn't looking for pleasure though. Her sole purpose in going there is to find her older brother Joel, who left to Ixion two years ago. But before she starts her search, she quickly learns that the island is a much darker and dangerous place than she could have imagined. If Retra wants any hope in finding her brother, she has to survive Ixion first.
What I liked about Burn Bright was Retra's character. Even though Retra was timid and naive when she arrived in Ixion, she wasn't completely helpless. She had a determination that came out when it was really needed. It gave her the strength to survive Ixion and to eventually overcome some of the fears caused by the sheltered life she grew up in. I found her development believable, and I was glad there wasn't anything I disliked about her. Although I thought Retra was a good character, Rollo and Suki were my favorites. I felt like they, especially Rollo, stood out among the rest of the characters. Suki was a strong fighter, and Rollo knew a whole lot about the secrets in Grave and Ixion than he first let on. Both were pretty funny and made great friends, and I liked how they did what they could to try and help Retra.
Some of the relationships Retra had with other characters, though, took some time for me to accept. I didn't get why she was drawn to Markes, a guy she met on the barge to Ixion, other than the fact that he was nice and good-looking. Another was the connection she felt with Ixion's Guardian leader Lenoir. They both seemed drawn to each other, and I couldn't figure out why. Lenoir also tended to give Retra puzzling information about Ixion, and he was a complete mystery. I still don't know what he is exactly and what he's trying to accomplish in Ixion.
Which brings me to the world in Burn Bright. Retra was lost in Ixion in the beginning, and I have to say that I was just as lost as her. Probably even more. It was strange and confusing to understand at times, especially the way things were done and the certain words used in Ixion. There were a lot of times where Retra asked questions, and she either didn't get answers or the answers were too vague for me to wrap my head around. Like when Retra had Confession. The confession Retra went through was not anything like the confession I know. It took me awhile to understand the purpose, which might have been because one of the Guardians (or Ripers) messed up Retra's first confession experience. I wish I had just went with it like Retra seemed to do. Maybe then I wouldn't have felt like I was missing details. By the end, however, I felt like I understood things that I was left wondering about throughout the book. Not everything was entirely clear though. I think the reason might be because it's a planned trilogy. I'm sure the next books will have more answers.
Other than the confusion I felt, I liked Burn Bright overall. It was definitely a unique story, and I thought it was well-written. Hopefully I get the chance to read the rest of the trilogy because the ending left me wanting to know more about that world and what happens next with Retra and the rest of the characters.(less)