Janie's first few weeks of high school haven't exactly lived up to her dreams. All of her friends have different classes, and she has been marked as aJanie's first few weeks of high school haven't exactly lived up to her dreams. All of her friends have different classes, and she has been marked as an outcast ever since she came to school with goat poo on her shoes. Janie wants to be "normal", which is hard when your parents are hippy-esque farmers. On her journey to get to the magical land of boyfriends, football games, and parties, Janie gets a little....lost. She learns to play the bass, is arrested for trespassing, steals a giant wooden cross, and befriends a rather large boy named Monster (thats his real name). Pretty soon Janie is so past normal, she may actually be where she is meant to be.
Do not assume too much from this book. It's clean, quirky, and perfect for younger teens. It was delightful, easy, and light.
But it was nothing more than that. It was not hysterical. It was not ridiculous. It was not so truthful that it ached. It was like a water-downed Stargirl, or an unfunny Dairy Queen.
It was fine. Nothing was blatantly wrong or flawed with it, but if you compare it to other books in the same vein, it just doesn't hold up.
However, I do think middle school girls would like it. Perhaps it will give them insight on what to expect in the next few years. It's not really scandalous enough to be enjoyable for high school kids, I think, who want some more dirty drama.
Thank you, S&S Galleygrab for providing me with a copy. ...more
Andi Alpers, a troubled Brooklyn teen, is always one step away from the edge. The only thing keeping her going over is her love of music, but even thaAndi Alpers, a troubled Brooklyn teen, is always one step away from the edge. The only thing keeping her going over is her love of music, but even that doesn't seem enough at times. Two years ago her younger brother, the glue keeping her family together, died. Now her mother, a talented French painter, is suffering from a psychotic break down, and her father, a workaholic scientist, refuses to acknowledge his old family while he lives a new life. Andi is content with flunking out of her prestigious liberal high school, but her father, in a rare burst of parental concern, forces her to come with him to Paris so she can focus on working on a project that might save her grade. Her father is called to Paris because a colleague of his, a famous historian, needs his help in identifying a shriveled up heart encased in crystal that might just belong to the young Louis XVII, the son of King Louis XVI, who was guillotined in the French Revolution. While shifting through some artifacts, Andi discovers the long-hidden journal of Alexandrine, an aspiring actress and companion to young Louis, who is struggling to save herself and her charge. Whilst reading this diary, the fates of the two young women are woven together, and Andi will come to discover that internal revolutions are just as affecting as external ones.
I loved this book. It was lovely. The writing was beautiful, lyrical, and intricate. Andi was intriguing and relatable. Sometimes her constant negative attitude, especially towards the beginning, could become bothersome, but she was extremely interesting. Her sarcastic comments were often funny, and she had a lot going on underneath the surface. Her feelings, as well as her love for music, seemed to transcend the page. I loved Alexandrine too. Although she was in the book less than Andi, her role in it was just as vital. One thing I loved about this story was how everything connected. I could mentally see the puzzle pieces coming together, and it was a thrill to watch everything unfold. Also, I learned a buttload about the French Revolution, but it never seemed like I was reading a text book. I can tell Ms. Donnelly did her research, and it was very in-depth and well-done.
The only thing I did not like were the hints of the supernatural. To explain myself without giving away to much of the plot, I will say that this book is a lot like the movie Happy Feet. I do not mean to allude that there were dancing penguins in the streets of Paris. But, you know how towards the end of the movie, the plot does a complete 360, and the film is no longer about cute tap-dancing birds, but rather some heavy-handed environmental message? This book is kind of like that. Towards the end, it took a really sharp turn, and I'm not sure whether what happened was real or not. I mean, I guess it worked, but it shook me out of the story for a little bit. That's what kept me from giving this novel 5 stars.
Anyway, I recommend this book. I recommend it to fans of A Northern Light. I recommend it to fans of historical-fiction. I recommend it to those interested in a more personal look at the French Revolution. I recommend it to music lovers. And I recommend it for anyone looking for a satisfying, thought-provoking read.
An awesome read that will stay with me. I have a feeling it will help me when my history class studies the French Revolution next month. ...more
I am pretty much the last person in my group of friends to review this book, which is ironic because I was the first one to finish it. But I'm lazy soI am pretty much the last person in my group of friends to review this book, which is ironic because I was the first one to finish it. But I'm lazy so here I am with nothing to say.
Um.....I was expecting more. The writing was good and Seth was funny and real and yada yada yada but I wanted it to be darker. Is that a sick thing to say? That I wanted this kid to be more screwed up? But its true. I kind of felt like this novel was a well-written anti-climax.
I have determined that I will never love Gayle Forman as much as everyone else does. While I appreciated both If I Stay and Where She Went, I never haI have determined that I will never love Gayle Forman as much as everyone else does. While I appreciated both If I Stay and Where She Went, I never had anything but lukewarm excitement about either of them.
Forman does not tug on my heartstrings, she has never invoked the slightest of tears. This may be because I have never liked her characters. I do not like Mia. I do not like Adam. Adam is pretty much as emo as you can get. Yes, I get it. He's been through pain. If this novel were about something else, and the pain was just one aspect on the book, perhaps I could sympathize. But it was entirely about Adam wallowing and that wasn't entertaining to me. I had the same problem with If I Stay. It just wasn't entertaining to me.
There are a million reviews out there singing this novel's praises, for I am severely in the minority. Really, this review (however imprecise and concise it may be), is nothing more than my informal opinion of it. Do I think this is a bad book? No, I think it has substance and the prose is poetic. But did I enjoy this book? Not really. It couldn't engage me and I will most likely forget about it in a matter of weeks.
Go ahead, love Adam. I won't be joining you. ...more
Before this I've only read another book by Deb Caletti (The Nature of Jade), and it was just okay. Thankfully, I liked this one much much better.
ThisBefore this I've only read another book by Deb Caletti (The Nature of Jade), and it was just okay. Thankfully, I liked this one much much better.
This book was about Cassie Morgan, who has divorced parents, and a step-father who is a famous violinst. To the outside world, Dino may seem like a genius musician and composer from a small town in Italy, but Cassie knows the truth. Dino is a terrifying, selfish, insane bully, who just gets crazier and more paranoid every day. Cassie can't imagine why her mom fell for him, and doesn't want anything to do with love....that is, until she meets Ian Waters, Dino's new protege.
I really liked this book. I found Cassie to be a wonderful narrator. She was both funny and insightful. There were many parts where I was nodding in agreement or stifling laughter. Denifite quotable material. Initally though, I didn't quite like the style. It seemed a little too informal for my taste, but I quickly got over it.
I found the characters lively and three-dimensional. Except for Ian. I did not like him. He was hardly in the book, which made the romance seem improbable. I liked this book, but I wouldn't consider it a romance. In fact, it would have been fine without any romantic aspects at all. Just the family dynamic seemed enough.
I was also surprised with how everything turned out. It's not a suspenseful edge-of-your-seat book, but is certainly absorbing.
I will definitely be checking out more of Deb Caletti's books in the future. ...more
Girl meets boy. Girl dates boy. Girl breaks up with boy. Boy writes song about girl. Girl becomes famous.
YI need to clarify. This book is more of 4.5.
Girl meets boy. Girl dates boy. Girl breaks up with boy. Boy writes song about girl. Girl becomes famous.
You know, I really wasn't expecting this novel to be as unique as it was. It could have easily been annoying and cliched, but instead it was fresh and humorous. And when I say humorous, I mean it. This book was laugh-out-loud funny. So I advise you not to read this book in public. We don't want the person sitting next to you on that 5 hour flight to think you are on some new medication.
Audrey was such a refreshing voice. She was witty, vibrant, and confident. I loved her sarcasm and tone. Most authors try to impose personality traits on their two-dimensional characters, but Audrey lived it up. Instead of the author telling me Audrey liked music, she made me believe. This girl goes to concerts, blows out speakers, jams out to mix tapes, and discusses her fave bands. I also like how Audrey isn't obsessive about her appearance or too self-depreciating. Anything we know about her we find out from other characters in passing.
All the rest of the cast was equally enjoyable. I would want to sit at their table at lunch. Audrey and Victoria(like the Queen) had a very believable friendship, filled with inside jokes and shared interests. I even had a thing for Jonah, who was the perfect best friend's boyfriend. James was adorable (but not in a little brother kind of way) and I wish there were more redheaded love interests out there in bookdom. Even the parents were awesome in their obliviousness and almost-hipitude.
The writing was very, very enjoyable. While some of it seemed over-the-top, it never seemed like Benway was trying too hard. The humor was just effortless. My favorite line would have to be this: "'I'm having a life crisis. Pass me the Teddy Grahams.' He handed over the box. 'All that's left are little paws and legs at the bottom of the box,' he said. 'It's a massacre.'" The writing just rang true for me. And yes, that means there is cussing and sexual/drug references, so if you have a problem with that, then don't read this one.
Overall, a great debut from an author I'm expecting will be a star in the land of YA literature. ...more
I've read this book twice, but I liked it better the first time because I was more absorbed. This isn't my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, the narrator iI've read this book twice, but I liked it better the first time because I was more absorbed. This isn't my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, the narrator is different from the usual variety, but it was still very good. I just wished she would have focused more on the romance of the two main characters. And for those faithful Sarah Dessen fans, you will find a cameo of a character from a previous novel. ...more
Yes, I am aware of Sarah Dessen's formula, and how close this book mirrors Speak, but I love it anyway. Sarah Dessen is one of the best YA authors outYes, I am aware of Sarah Dessen's formula, and how close this book mirrors Speak, but I love it anyway. Sarah Dessen is one of the best YA authors out there. Her writing and characters are charming, and her plot isn't all fluff. I also think Sarah Dessen should go into marketing. She consistently comes up with such creative brand names that I can't believe people haven't thought of yet. ...more
I didn't like it in the beginning, and it took me a while to get into it. It did pick up though, and I managed to finish it quickly after that. AlthouI didn't like it in the beginning, and it took me a while to get into it. It did pick up though, and I managed to finish it quickly after that. Although some situations seemed surreal, the characters were realistic and edgy. The ending left too many open ends for me to be satisfied though.
I've attempted to read this novel several times, and I finally finished it. I just don't know what it was about the reading that didn't appeal to me.I've attempted to read this novel several times, and I finally finished it. I just don't know what it was about the reading that didn't appeal to me. The plot seemed slow to me, and the writing wasn't anything exciting. I also expected this novel to be about a fat kid and was looking forward to that, since there are so few novels about fat teens that doesn't involve them losing the weight and getting the guy. Unfortunatley, the character Curt stole the show, and I believe this book was more about him. I did like the narrators sense of humor though, and I sometimes would laugh out loud at his made-up headlines, despite my embarrasment. I don't exactly recomment it, but I won't discourage you if you feel like giving this book a try. ...more