Beautiful Beast was a really great read. Cindy C. Bennett is a talented writer who based her story on Beauty and the Beast, but in my opinion...more4.5 stars
Beautiful Beast was a really great read. Cindy C. Bennett is a talented writer who based her story on Beauty and the Beast, but in my opinion she made it her own. I really like the way the characters change from beginning to end. The characterization is really great in this story and the setting descriptions made it a delight to read. I found myself caring for the two main characters very quickly and found them to be very interesting and dynamic. I also like the constant conflict between the characters and the inner struggle that Alex faces with the 'beast'.
I was lucky enough to win this ebook in a giveaway and can't wait to read the rest of Cindy's books.(less)
So I was lucky enough to win this book in a giveaway held by Amy from Obsessions Of A Bookaholic. Thank you Amy and Mary for allowing me to read The E...moreSo I was lucky enough to win this book in a giveaway held by Amy from Obsessions Of A Bookaholic. Thank you Amy and Mary for allowing me to read The Earthquake Machine!
I LOVED this book. I was so happy to finally read another book with Hispanic culture in it! I was raised Hispanic even though I was born here; my parents were born in Chile. We've had many Mexican friends, and it was so refreshing and nice to read about their beautiful culture. I was entranced by this book from the first page. I knew it was going to be different when I read the description, and my expectations were not only met but surpassed.
Mary hits on so many labels and categories we take for granted in this book. Through Rhonda, the main character, she explores the tightly knit connections between sexism, racism, and classism. She explores gender and gender roles, the patriarchal institution of religion, and how a woman can gain power if she finds her inner voice. In the beginning of the novel, Rhonda is a young fourteen year old, but by the end of the novel she has gone through so many experiences and hardships that it would be foolish to call her a mere girl. She has matured from a doubting girl who is unsure of herself and afraid of the world to a mature person, one who has stepped between that shadowy line of young girl and young woman.
I was very pleased and surprised by the feminist tone of this novel. In this day and age, feminism is still under attack even though sexism continues to hurt women everywhere. One of the things I really admired about this novel was how Mary shows that life can be good or bad on either side of the border, especially for women. Rhonda's father is an excellent example of how a man can suppress a woman, change her drastically to a shell of a person. At the same time, though, Rhonda felt the love and protection of Jesus, who she saw as a brother.
I also commend Mary for her on point Spanish skills! I don't remember seeing any Spanish mistakes, and the dialogue felt natural and real. I could tell she put a lot of effort in making the Spanish just right.
I feel so lucky to have won this book. I hope it gains more attention and receives the popularity it so rightly deserves. It was an amazing, heart breaking journey that made me laugh and smile. It's the type of book that changes you after you've read the last page. (less)
I was so lucky to have won an autographed copy of The Disenchantments from Christine Lee Zilka over at her blog: http://czilka.wordpress.com/. Thank y...moreI was so lucky to have won an autographed copy of The Disenchantments from Christine Lee Zilka over at her blog: http://czilka.wordpress.com/. Thank you again Christine! Check out her awesome blog.
So this book was amazing! I loved it so much, which wasn't a surprise since Nina LaCour is an amazing writer who knows how to breathe life into her words. I absolutely loved Hold Still, and if you haven't checked out that book, you totally should.
I don't usually gush about book covers, but this one is gorgeous! I love everything about it, especially the super cute girl with the huge sunglasses. I felt like the cover totally represented the story from beginning to end.
What I loved most about this book: the main character, Colby. It was so refreshing to read a Young Adult novel with a main character who is male, not female. Where are all the male main characters out there in YA fiction? I know there are lots, but compared to the female ones, they seem scarce.
Colby was such a lovable character. I could relate to him so much. I found myself surprised at how easily I connected to him and his complex journey. I loved that he was a (fellow) vegetarian and how humorous he was. The ending completely threw me off and I was really excited for him. I was also proud of him, too. I know he's a fictional character, but the writing was so strong it made me feel like he was a real person.
I really liked the other characters, too. Bev, Meg and Alexa were so adorable, I'm not sure why I found them adorable but I did. I love girls in bands, which is another reason why I loved this novel. We need more girls playing guitars and screaming/singing into the mike! It made me want to take out my acoustic guitar and start strumming. I found that really inspiring.
I also liked that there was so much art in this story. There was art literally everywhere, in all its forms, from photography to wood carving. It was awesome to see how art connected the different characters.
This book isn't all rainbows and butterflies, though. I'm not going to give the plot away, but there are some serious issues in the story. Ones that continue to haunt the characters even after the last page is turned. Most of all there are trust issues. That is something that I could definitely relate to because I struggled with trust for the longest time.
I recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good read! (less)
Even though the ending was super sad(I almost cried), I thought it was realistic and honest. The entire book is sad because it reflects reality: child...moreEven though the ending was super sad(I almost cried), I thought it was realistic and honest. The entire book is sad because it reflects reality: children who are ignored by their parents and who are forced to grow up quick. I thought the story was very complex and addressed the taboo issue of incest rather well, which is hard to do since no one ever likes to talk about it.
I think Tabitha did an amazing job with the characterization because I deeply felt for the characters in this story. I felt like I knew Lochan and Maya so well. I love when the writer gets into the character's thoughts and feelings because it brings me closer to them. I also loved the switch of narration between Lochie and Maya. It brought their different perspectives of what transpired throughout the novel.
Tabitha also knows how to use descriptions very well and that brought the story to life even more. I really liked how she started the book with the detailed description of the flies on the windowsill. "I gaze at the small, crisp, burned-out black husks scattered across the chipped white paint of the windowsills. It is hard to believe that they were ever alive." Not a lot of YA writers are big on details these days, so it was refreshing to start a book in this way.
This book also made me think a lot, too. Why we label certain things taboo, wrong, etc. I also thought it was brave of Tabitha to bring up the assumption that only men can be rapists. This is completely untrue, but unfortunately society likes to carry this belief. As a feminist, it angers me that society only sees men as the rapists and abusers when women inflict pain as well. Anyone can be an abuser; gender doesn't matter in this case. Unfortunately, society likes to think otherwise.
Something I also liked about this novel was how it kept me guessing at how it was going to end. It's kind of disappointing when I can figure out the ending in books, but this one had me guessing. I knew it wasn't going to end pretty, but I kept wondering exactly how it was going to end.
Even though it was a very sad read, it was also a very good one. I hope Tabitha releases a new book sometime soon because she has incredible talent.
*I was lucky enough to receive this book through Goodreads First Reads last year in March.* (less)