Summer has always been in the shadow of the sister she never met. Shannon was perfect, beautiful, and ambitious, but she died unexpectedly the first d...moreSummer has always been in the shadow of the sister she never met. Shannon was perfect, beautiful, and ambitious, but she died unexpectedly the first day of her senior year. Summer was born not long afterwards, as a sort of a replacement for dead sibling, but she never fully lives up to her sister, not even bothering to try. Shannon never seemed like a real person to Summer, she was just a face in a frame, a name on a plaque, a forbidden topic for her parents, and a burden over her shoulders. That is, until Summer's aunt gives her the journal her sister kept the summer before she died. Summer finally has a chance to get to know her sister, but is it a chance Summer is going to take? It becomes clear from the first page that Shannon isn't the person she thought she was, and Summer isn't sure she's ready for her sister to become a real being.
Then I Met My Sister is a good story about impressions. We all judge people based on a glance or an assumption. Sometimes its easy to think of people in a superficial way, rather to than to acknowledge their secrets and thoughts and feelings. Summer is content resenting her overbearing mother and her meek father, and doesn't really want to see them any other way, which Shannon's journal is forcing her to do. Summer thinks she is beyond judging people, when she hides behind it herself.
This is a pretty average YA novel, although it does have more substance than most. The topics, although not edgy, are not completely light-hearted either. The book makes you think, makes you acknowledge that your parents aren't just parents, and siblings just aren't siblings, they are people. They make mistakes and they can surprise you. (less)
15-yr-old Caitlyn Monahan is bored with her life in rural Oregon. She's interested in classical music, art history, period novels, not pop culture and...more15-yr-old Caitlyn Monahan is bored with her life in rural Oregon. She's interested in classical music, art history, period novels, not pop culture and boy drama. When she is offered a full-scholarship at a boarding school in France, she leaps on it. Anything that might introduce her to a more exciting life and a chance to meet her Prince Charming. However, life at the Fortune School isn't as idyllic as she would hope. Caitlyn has always been plagued by frightening and realistic dreams, which she thinks are the result of having a prophetic mother. Now her dreams are becoming more and more intense, immersing her in a world 400 years in the past, a world where powerful women are burned at the stake and young men wear armor on horseback. Caitlyn is thrown into a mystery involving the Fortune School, the de Medicis, and a handsome young man named Raphael.
I think this book is marketed poorly. Its portrayed as a ghostly romance story, but its really not, at least for the first two-thirds of the story. For the majority of the book it is a historical mystery, something I particularly enjoyed. I can see how it might be boring though, to those not interested in the genre. The novel also didn't follow the stereotypical girl-goes-to-boarding-school-finds-out-she-is-special story line. Yes, there were elements in there, such as the smug bitchy girls, but for some reason it just didn't read like standard YA. The tone was different, and it definitely held my interest.
I did not like Caitlyn, however. Her whole thing was "No one understaaaaaands me. I'm too original. I shop vintage!". She is exactly the same as every other frighteningly dull teenage girl, except her taste in music and clothing was "cultured". She was not anything special, and she lacked spunk and (to play off the book's French setting) joie de vivre. Boohoo boohoo, Caitlyn, go whine up someone else's tree. Oh, and I also didn't like how her one main goal in life was to get a guy. Realistic to a vapid teenage girl, perhaps, but it still made her seem shallow. I mean, she's going to live in fucking France and her main concern is finding a hot guy? Remind me, why is she the heroine again? Oh, cuz she is the one thats gots the powahs. Got ya.
Actually, pretty much all the characters lacked life and dimensionality. The most likable for me anyway was Naomi, but that is not saying much seeing as she was also as flat as a penny on the railroad tracks. And the romance between Raphael and Caitlyn was ehhhhhhhh. At first I was like, are they actually going to take it slow for once? How can THIS BE? And then before you know it, they were all up in each other's personal spaces saying how they can't live without each other. Damn, I should have shut off my sarcasm valve. I think I jinxed it. And then Caitlyn got all depressed and shit when she thinks Raphael dies (slight spoiler here, but whatevs). Its like YOU MET HIM LIKE THREE TIMES. And you didn't even know if he truly existed for most of them!! Way to be a Bella, Caitlyn.
Also, I felt like Caitlyn either was slow on the uptake or jumped to miraculous conclusions given few facts. Are you a genius or TSTL? Decide.
Overall, it was different but at the same time painfully disappointing. It has a different vibe from the other YA paranorms (even if this review provides examples to the contrary), but it still wasn't that great. The best aspect for me, easily, was the de Medici/Templar/historical mystery thing. I like me history. (less)
Hannah spends the first few days of her summer vacation before her senior year crying her eyes out and eating ice cream after she catches her boyfrien...moreHannah spends the first few days of her summer vacation before her senior year crying her eyes out and eating ice cream after she catches her boyfriend, Sebastian, making out with some girl at a party. Not exactly an auspicious start to a summer. What makes it worse is that Hannah's best friend, Ava, is totally ditching her this summer to become a camp counselor in Maine. Hannah, in an effort just to get her ass out of bed, gets a job in a diner along with Ava's boyfriend, Noah, and a hypochondriac redhead named...(crap, I forgot her name)....Lacey? The job at the diner is exactly what Hannah needs to get out of her funk, but things become tricky again when Hannah starts to develop feelings for Ava's boyfriend, which become more and more substantial as the summer goes on. Opening up on the dramatic first day of senior year, the truth about what exactly happened over the summer is revealed, changing the friendships and relationships of the characters forever (or at least a teenage version of forever).
Okay, I forced myself to write that painful, badly-written summary because I didn't want this review to be entirely consisted of ranting. I need at least one semi-pleasant paragraph so I don't seem like a raging bitch.
So now that that's over...... I FUCKING HATED THIS BOOK.
Sorry, I cuss when annoyed.
I have decided Barnholdt is not my cup of tea. This is the second book I read of hers, and both of them have received one star and a punch in the face. Maybe, one day, I shall read one her books again, if her main characters ever grow a brain and if the writing ever evolves from 'LIKE TOTALLY OHMIGOD'.
This book has 34 updates from me. 34 times when I absolutely could not take it anymore and had to publicly announce the stupidity of this book or else my brain would explode. I wish 34 was just the number of times I was annoyed with this book. That number is more like 1, 150, but I could not drag the book on any longer.
Hannah is an idiot. A self-absorbed, worthless idiot with no common sense and no interests beyond Starbucks and her love life. I swear, this girl was depressed about one guy or another for literally 90% of the novel. I have no patience for worthless teenage girls. I am a teenage girl, and I encounter idiots every day. But my god, this book makes it seem like being an idiot is a happy normal thing to do. Sure, everyone is gonna have some drama or another, but it is not the basis for their existence. Hannah was a boring, stupid character. I can't believe some of the things she said. It was like HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO FUNCTION, YOU DUMB TROLL. My god, get a LIFE, girl.
And honestly, she deserved every bit of what was coming to her. Her sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend (the goodreads summary says it was just a "passionate kiss" but it lies) was a long time coming. She could feel herself developing feelings for him and she purposely sought him out. For all the hell her ex-boyfriend put her through, you would think she would have better sense than that. It's not like she didn't know it was wrong, her endless fretting made it clear she knew it was wrong, but she let herself do it anyway. It's kind of like my banana complex. That probably sounds really dirty, but let me explain. *clears throat* I run into bananas. In MarioKart. I can't help myself, I drive right frickin into them. It's not like I don't see them, it's not like I don't want to win (several broken Game Cube controllers over the years can attest to how badly I want to win). But I run into them anyway. One time my brother asked me why I do it, and I didn't even have a response. The reason is probably very profound, or its something as stupid as thinking its fun when my car spins in circles.
So yeah, the whole situation between Hannah and Ava and Noah is kind of like that. But I hate that fucking saying "sometimes it happens". How horribly cliched and pussy-footed is that? "Oops, sometimes my best friend's boyfriend's penis just ends up in my vagina. It just happens.' BULLSHIT. SOMETIMES MY FOOT JUST HAPPENS TO GO UP YOUR ASS. At least, Hannah or Noah never tries to justify their actions, but they still piss me off. I felt like it all was handled in a light sort of inconsequential way. Yes, there was a scream-out in the hall and a fight in the diner, but those didn't seem like long-lasting consequences. There should have been more emotional turmoil than just Hannah moping endlessly. I don't want to get preachy about high school romance and infidelity either, so I'll end it here. But cheating still sucks, no matter how old you are or how serious the relationship is.
I just felt that everything about this book was poor quality. The writing felt like it came from the brain of an illiterate 14-year-old with no real problems except if she'll be home in time to watch Jersey Shore. The characters were either tremendously flat or tremendously annoying or both. The plot was predictable and pretty eventless.
And to top it all off, the main character thought Sting was Bono. WHAT. THE. HELL.
I think I'm done with this book now, guys. I'm just done with it. (less)
This book failed. It was about three privileged girls from different backgrounds around the world building a friendship over the course of three summe...moreThis book failed. It was about three privileged girls from different backgrounds around the world building a friendship over the course of three summers at a posh summer camp (which was really just a boarding school). Oh yeah, and it took place in the 70's. I don't know why it took place in the 70's, but WWII did play a small (and hilarious) part in the novel.
Well, I can tell what this book wanted to be. It wanted to be this beautiful, stunning story of how three girls from such different backgrounds with such different personalities are able to find common ground in the bonds of womanhood and are able to develop a friendship that is able to transcend time and life's difficulties. Eh, no. What I got was three annoying, unrelatable characters whom I never felt connected, and all the stupid shit they did at summer boarding school.
And then they become friends without ever really being that close, it appeared to me.
And then the WWII revelation at the end? I laughed my ass off. That concept would have been great as a novel of some NYT bestselling sort, but instead it is wasted on the end of this crappy book in a gimmicky way. And I smelt it from five miles away. I was like IF GARCIA PUTS THAT IN HERE THIS BOOK SHALL BE DEAD TO ME.
Book, you are dead to me.
Overall, the book was a gimmicky sisterhood-of-the-traveling-pants wannabe that wasn't nearly as significant as it wanted to be. I would say skip it. (less)