3.5, close to 4 but I couldn't quite get there. An imaginative romp that somehow brings together technology and books in a way that works. The next ti...more3.5, close to 4 but I couldn't quite get there. An imaginative romp that somehow brings together technology and books in a way that works. The next time there's a book vs. e-reader debate on Reddit (r/books is rife with them) I'm shoving this in someone's e-face.
On a slightly different note, I must have a completely different idea of what fantasy encompasses, if the number of readers shelving this as fantasy is anything to go by. (less)
Well, if there’s one thing I can say for this book, it’s fast. We get a few smallish chapters to introduce...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
Well, if there’s one thing I can say for this book, it’s fast. We get a few smallish chapters to introduce us to Perry Stormaire, our narrator, and Gobi, a foreign exchange student who turns out to be an assassin when she steals Perry and his father’s car for one crazy night in New York City.
One thing I did really like: each chapter title is a college essay question that somehow ties into the theme of the scene, which I thought was kind of neat.
The likes sort of end there, I guess. Au Revior is incredibly engrossing and a very quick read — I think I clocked in at about an hour and a half — but there isn’t much substance to it, no matter how hard it tries. You can’t get much backstory that means anything in 190 pages, when about 100 of them are pure action scenes. Perry, bless his heart, tries his best to stay sane as he’s dragged along by Gobi. He’s a teenage boy with very little backbone who really wants to be in a rock band, but is trying to get into Columbia just to please his dad. Gobi is a complete mystery until we get the real story behind her murderous rampage — and her story isn’t that impressive, or something I haven’t seen a million times before.
Apart from the non-stop action, there’s not much to this book. Maybe if it was a bit longer, it could have had a bit more emotional weight to it, but all that mattered were the explosions and dudes dying. It excels at being a book aimed right for the teenage boy jugular, but falls short in every other aspect. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I needed a bit of chicklit fluff when I picked this up to read, and I got exactly that. While I give my chi...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
I needed a bit of chicklit fluff when I picked this up to read, and I got exactly that. While I give my chicklit books a lot more leeway than I do others, I didn’t quite gel with The Nanny Diaries. (And if I’m going to be honest, I wanted to read the book just so I could watch the film starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. I love them.) It was a great glimpse into the life of a Park Avenue nanny, but there wasn’t much depth to it.
I wasn’t connecting with Nanny and the family she cares for, so by the time the big climax came, I couldn’t even cheer along with her. It was a so-so book, and I enjoyed the movie a little more if only because of Scarlett’s charm and Chris Evans’s everything.(less)
Man, this reads like it was written by a sixth grader trying to imagine what a glamorous Upper East Side life is like. POV and tense changes every oth...moreMan, this reads like it was written by a sixth grader trying to imagine what a glamorous Upper East Side life is like. POV and tense changes every other sentence. Awful.(less)
While I can understand and applaud what Siobhan Vivian was trying to do in The List, it all fell completely...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
While I can understand and applaud what Siobhan Vivian was trying to do in The List, it all fell completely flat. Each year, this high school posts a list of the prettiest and ugliest girls in school, a pair from each grade. Eight girls whose lives are changed in some way thanks to the list, and we follow all eight girls.
The split narrative is ultimately what killed the novel for me. Too many girls, too many problems, too many ideas to tackle with not nearly enough time. Half the girls don’t get any resolution at all when the book ends — and it does just that, it ends. The writing itself was decent, but not enough to make me wish The List was longer.(less)
This was my first Sophie Kinsella novel (I know, right?) and I found incredibly pleasing in a Hits The Righ...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
This was my first Sophie Kinsella novel (I know, right?) and I found incredibly pleasing in a Hits The Right Chick Lit Spot kinda way. For something that required nothing but a minor investment in the characters, it was a lot of fun. The main character, Poppy, was a little too much at times (when she starts meddling, oh God, just stop and think for a second, girl) and parts of the plot wrapped up a little too neatly to make things easy for her -- not to mention the big climax that was totally written with a movie scene in mind. I see what you did there, Sophie. (less)
In this world of regular kids becoming internet or YouTube superstars, it’s easy to see where Sarah Billing...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
In this world of regular kids becoming internet or YouTube superstars, it’s easy to see where Sarah Billington got her inspiration, and easier still to relate to Poppy Douglas. From having her heart broken and pouring her emotions out on the internet to dealing with the new found fame it brings her, she’s a great character to follow. She’s incredibly upbeat, even when she’s getting her emotions all tangled up by boys, adolescence, and real life. She actually makes some decent decisions, and even when she makes stupid, rash ones, it’s easy to see why her mind took her there because everything’s so clearly laid out.
Seeing her relationship with Tyler form and become solid was actually really nice. While it seemed to move pretty fast, it fit with the teenage characters (though I have a question — did Tyler really just up and totally forget about high school to go be a rock star?) and they were really freaking cute.
Along with Poppy and Tyler are some pretty good secondary characters, from her best friend to her parents and her little brother who inadvertently names their dog ‘Poo-Bum’, if I’m remembering correctly. Poppy didn’t overshadow her supporting cast, and I really appreciated that. Hell, I even enjoyed her ex-boyfriend Cameron.
I had very few problems with the book, my only main concern being how…well, self-indulgent it felt at times. I mean, to have Poppy write a song, have that song picked up by a local band who just happens to have a hot lead singer who likes her, and then they go on to be rock stars and maybe Tyler is cheating on her with all those groupies but maybe he really does love her… I wrote stuff like that when I was 15 and passing Nsync fanfic notebooks back and forth between classes with my best friends. It could have been a bit better.
But to be honest, that kinda spoke to me more than it should have. (I’m 27 and I read YA fiction, what else do you expect out of me?)
At it’s heart, The Kiss Off is a really fun, upbeat contemporary novel. The characters are fun, the plot zips along even though it’s kind of easy to tell what’s going to happen, and I ended up reading it in one shot.(less)
While reading other reviews for this book on Goodreads and seeing the complaints that it seemed too much li...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
While reading other reviews for this book on Goodreads and seeing the complaints that it seemed too much like Sarah Dessen’s other works, I got the feeling her books are the same as John Green’s for me: your first John Green book is the best John Green book you’ll read*. This was my first Sarah Dessen book, and it was fantastic.
Just Listen deals with a plethora of teen issues, from anger management and social ostracism to eating disorders and the big event that happens to Annabel that you can figure out before the reveal if you just think about it for two seconds. But it does it in such a way that it not only feels fresh, but has an impact as well. I felt for Annabel more than I have for a contemporary heroine in a long time, and a large part of that was probably because there was much more to her life than a boy, and the boy doesn’t solve all her problems. I LOVED that most of the story focuses on Annabel’s relationships with her various family members, and that Owen (insert dreamy sigh here) isn’t everything. Yes, he does help her open up again and plays a large part in her moving forward, but ultimately, every good and bad decision, every emotional growth spurt is up to Annabel. She earns every moment.
I really want to read more Sarah Dessen books, but I don’t want her to become a John Green to me. I’m waffling on what to read next.
*So many of the same witty teens, so much of the same maturity, all with the same unique way of looking at the world. Looking for Alaska was my first and favorite.(less)
While it seems totally superficial and maybe a tiny bit ridiculous at first, I enjoyed Shut Out enough to r...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
While it seems totally superficial and maybe a tiny bit ridiculous at first, I enjoyed Shut Out enough to read it in one full sitting. It was a breezy, fun way to spend a couple of hours, and I was totally immersed in Lissa's world and what she was doing for herself and for the girls at her school.
Lissa is a smart girl, full of neuroses but still popular and surrounded by friends anyway. She's tired of a stupid feud between sports teams because it means her boyfriend makes her feel used, and her brilliant idea is to propose a sex strike. So much of this is plucked from the play Lysistrata, which Cash even points out to Lissa. (Juuuust because you point it out in the book doesn't mean you didn't yank the idea wholesale from the play, Keplinger. Just saying.)
Keplinger is a decent writer, but maybe not quite as fantastic as she could have been for writing this book. It didn't really need flowery prose or navel gazing, but something a little stronger would have made the book have more of an impact than it did when I finished reading. At times, it felt like Lissa was simply Keplinger's soapbox as she ranted about sexual stereotypes and patted herself on the back for questioning them and having Lissa's fellow classmates begin to find their own sexual identities along the way.
It was still a whole boatload of fun, however. I had my problems with parts of it, but I have to at least shake Keplinger's hand for writing a YA novel all about sex -- and not just about sex, but girls talking about and discussing what sex means to them so openly. (less)
This book follows the journey of young Cameron Post, a girl whose parents die just as she begins to discove...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
This book follows the journey of young Cameron Post, a girl whose parents die just as she begins to discover her burgeoning homosexuality. And it sounds really strange and trite when put that way, but there's so much to this novel. Cameron's day to day confusion with liking girls seems so real and present, despite it taking place in the early 90s. Eventually Cameron's religious aunt sends to a de-gaying camp, and that's where I felt the book dropped a star, in my eyes. It was great to see Cameron grow as a person, even if she was confused ninety percent of the time. Following her story as she slowly realized who she was and who she could be was a delight. I just wish it didn't feel like the book simply ended. (less)
Oh, that cover is so deceiving. Look at those pretty pinks and blues, against that calm grey background, as...moreOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
Oh, that cover is so deceiving. Look at those pretty pinks and blues, against that calm grey background, as though saying "there's nothing bad between these covers, here, have a delicious pink frosted cookie, it'll be good for you."
And then you get about a third of the way in and you're punched in the face with ALL THE FEELINGS.
The story's not even about Jennifer being a popular girl faced with her unpopular past. It's about the incredibly deep bonds that are formed when you meet your soulmate -- and it doesn't have to be romantic. When you meet your best friend, that one person who knows you most, and still knows you even though you haven't seen them in nearly a decade and you've changed. Jennifer and Cameron are soulmates, and the ripples his return creates in Jennifer new, better life are huge and so interesting to read about.
This was my first Sara Zarr book, but it definitely won't be my last. It's a really great novel about friendship, knowing those you love and knowing yourself, above all. (less)
I feel like the summary doesn't entirely encapsulate what really made this book work for me.
The letters are an important part of it, as they show the threads of Parker and her grandmother's relationship. Seeing the bond the two had anchors the novel before we begin to truly delve into who Parker is. She's a lonely, tired, going-with-the-motions woman on the verge of thirty, and she's hasn't got much to show for her life. Her grandmother is a wonderfully eccentric woman, but she's fallen ill to Alzheimer's (or something similar) and the struggle Parker goes through as she deals (and doesn't deal) with starting to lose the only person in her life who matters is agonizing and wonderful to read.
It was slow going at first, but I loved reading about Parker, from her initial denial to her depression to her slowly beginning to understand and deal with everything. She doesn't just deal with her grandmother's disease, she has her own mid-life crisis to deal with, and she's just -- she's a mess. I've never found myself wanting to walk into a book and hug the character more than I did with Parker.
Letters in Cardboard Boxes is a slow read going in, but it's so worth it for the character work alone. Parker isn't the liveliest or most interesting of people ever, but reading everything she goes through is just...fascinating. (less)