Oh boy. So its, uh, been a while since I've written a review. Sorry about that everyone. College and whatnot has kept me busy.
So what is it about Slo...moreOh boy. So its, uh, been a while since I've written a review. Sorry about that everyone. College and whatnot has kept me busy.
So what is it about Sloppy Firsts that inspired me to write? Well, I loved it, for one. Look at that rating! Five stars, baby! And that's not because its a groundbreaking work of literature, but because its funny, true, and smart.
This is one of these books I've always heard about, but not one I actually ever saw myself reading. First of all its old. Lizzie McGuire was still on when this came out (and I did tempt myself into imagining a few of the characters in Hilary Duff's more eccentric outfits). Secondly, I misinterpreted the title and tone of the summary. I thought it was going to be about a teenage girl's sex life. Which it was of course, but it was smarter than I would have originally gave it credit for. And thirdly, this is the sort of book that requires an explanation. I have a snooty, English major reputation to uphold. I can't let people see myself reading chick-lit! (le gasp!) I read this at my job, with the cover flat down on the desk. If someone walked up that I knew, I would sit on it. Alas, I really should be more secure with myself.....but I did recommend it to my friends! Does that cancel out my previous embarrassment?
Anyway, Jessica Darling would have been my friend. At least, I would like to think so. She's sassy, smart, funny, but not intimidatingly perfect. I have a feeling we would laugh about the same thing, get annoyed at the same things. Some reviewers found her annoying and to that I say, "Well, duh". She is a teenage girl. As a teenage girl myself, I can say that we pretty much are all annoying. For one thing, it is all too easy to forget that high school is pretty much a universal experience. It is easier to mope and whine about life, believing you are the only one in the world who is this lonely. It's too easy to forget that almost everything you've experienced, has already been experienced, and that almost everything you feel, has already been felt. This book reminded me that I wasn't the only confused, lonely girl in high school. I would be reading along, laughing and musing with Jessica, and stumble on a quote that pretty much sums up my exactly feelings. I would pause, briefly wonder if McCafferty is a mind-reading alien or some kind of genius or something, before finally deciding she was a perceptive woman who remembers what it is like to wander those locker-studded hallways and not have a flying-fuck of a clue.
Jessica seemed like she could have been an actual person. She was a fully fleshed-out characters, as was the majority of the cast. Even the "popular" girls had their quirks which distinguished themselves from each other. And Marcus Flutie.....hot damn. Plus the writing style, which mirrored journal entires focusing on Jessica's up and downs of the year, was extremely effective in conveying the story of Jessica's sixteenth year. I enjoyed the main characters, and the characters that seemed to come in, then back out. Because thats what life does. People enter our lives and others leave them.
Overall, I'm really glad I walked into Goodwill that day. I went in expecting to buy a five dollar sweater and left with a great series to follow. Thank you, Goodwill and your $1 paperbacks. (less)
This book was beautiful. No, not in the writing, in the presentation. I lovvvvve pictures. I would stare at the illustrations, and kept turning back t...moreThis book was beautiful. No, not in the writing, in the presentation. I lovvvvve pictures. I would stare at the illustrations, and kept turning back to look at the map inside the cover. Even the pages were nice and snow white- especially rare since I got this book at the library. Presentation wise, I give this book an A. However, things aren't that simple.
I like steampunk. It fascinates me, and if not for my extreme dislike for the feel of metal, I would love to live in a steampunk setting. Leviathan is no normal steampunk. It contains fabulous fabricated creatures right out of man's imagination. Messenger lizards, floating giant jellyfish, six-legged hydrogen sniffing dogs, and best of all- a humungous flying whale. That's right.
Scott Westerfeld's imagination will never cease to amaze me.
Then there is the more traditional eight-legged walkers and zepplins, you know the usual. These machines are created by the Clankers-Germany and Austria-Hungary, enemy of the Darwsinists- England and France. Both sides have reasons to distrust each other. The Clankers find the fabricated creatures unGodly and the Darwinists don't believe in the reliance on machines. Then World War I happens, and that's where the story starts.
Aleksander is a prince from Austria Hungary and is on the run from the people responsible for the murder of his parents. Deryn Sharp is a girl disguised as a soldier aboard the Leviathan (the aforementioned flying whale). Of course these two main characters are very different, but there is no story unless fate drags them together.
Then some action happens and the story ends openly for a sequel. I was a bit annoyed with that actually. I knew it was going to be a series, I just didn't expect such a cliffhanger. As for the action- there was plenty of it. It was confusing truthfully, and I would have been completley lost if not for the nifty illustrations.
While I preferred Alek as a character, Deryn's story was much more interesting. Both characters, however, where written very young. I couldn't picture them as 15 year olds, but rather as pre-teens around the age of 12. That just seemed to fit their actions better and it suited the middle-school level writing. For being actioned filled, it went slow for me. I just couldn't get the motivation to read it.
If you are expecting romance (as I was), prepare to be disappointed. There was hints of it, of course, but Alek doesn't even Deryn is a girl by the end. I have a feeling any romance in this book will be drawn out verrrrrry slowly.
Overall, its not what I expected. It was an adventure novel for middle-school boys essentially. The pictures were my favorite part. As was the concept of a flying whale with people walking around in it (kinda biblical, ain't it?).
I will most likely read the sequel and have only one demand....
I am new to the whole paranormal romance genre. Being a teenager yet, I can finally read the dirty bits without giggling or tossing the book across th...moreI am new to the whole paranormal romance genre. Being a teenager yet, I can finally read the dirty bits without giggling or tossing the book across the room in an embarrassed panic whenever someone walks into the room. Yay for maturity!
Soulless was a fun read, and oddly very funny. I was cracking up. My favorite line: "The vampire's eyes were open, and he was staring at her intently. It was as though he was trying to speak to her with simply the power of his glare. Alexia did not speak glare-ish".
And the vocabulary! Carriger used words like "deleterious" and "cosset" like they were going out of style....which they kinda are, actually. Anyway, I got to employ all the vocab knowledge that my SAT prep teacher tried to force down my throat. At least it was useful for something.
I wanted to bottle up Alexia's spunk an sprinkle it all over the dull, vapid minds of most YA heroines. "See, this is what an entertaining heroine looks like! Learn from her! Absorb her personality! Stop being so dumb!"Alexia was an interesting, likable character, and I'm looking forward to her further adventures.
On to the romance......*sigh* This was the weakest part for me. It was just so repetitive. Lord Maccon and Alexia would bicker for a while, then they would jump on each like two male giraffes (yes, that happens a lot). It just got annoying. And what was with all the neck biting? If a guy started chomping hard enough on my neck so that it would bruise, I would be all "heeeellll nah". A hickey is one thing, neck noms are another. And then Alexia would try to be the proper Victorian lady, which she failed at because proper Victorian ladies do not get freaky on a chair, with their family listening at the door. Creeepin.
Also I FREAKIN GET THAT ALEXIA IS ITALIAN. CAN WE MOVE ON PLEASE?
And I like how the ending wasn't cliff-hangery. I like that I can read the next novel on my own terms, not just because the previous ending left me unsatisfied and frothing at the mouth.
Overall, I really like this one, although now that I think about it, it was a little light on the steampunk. I want more steampunnk.
Sorry for the jumpy, inconsistent review. I'm trying to multitask between doing this and watching TV. TV is winning. (less)
Jessica Packwood is just your average American teen looking for a great senior year. Everything is looking good...until Lucius Vladescu comes to town....moreJessica Packwood is just your average American teen looking for a great senior year. Everything is looking good...until Lucius Vladescu comes to town. Lucius Vladescu is a sexy new foreign exchange student from Romania- who claims Jessica is a vampire princess and his betrothed. Jessica reluctantly transists into her vampiredom with a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions and with some tough decisions to make. Jessica is an ordinary girl, is she ready for eternity with a complicated, ruthless vampire?
From the title I was expecting some light and funny satire, but that's not exactly what I got. I'm not sure what this book wanted to be. At times it was hysterical, sometimes silly, occasionally sexual, and other times heavy. I didn't know what to expect. My favorite part of the books was whenever Lucius wrote letters back home to his uncle. His commentary was hysterical. I wish the whole book was from his eyes. Jessica was okay, but not really that interesting. She was sometimes funny or witty, but most of time was pretty dry. I am kinda sick and tired of nice narrators that guys unexplicably fall for. Jessica wasn't as bad as other narrators, but that makes me for frustrated because I see what she could have been.
The book overall was pretty unique- if slightly predictable, but what isn't nowadays? The book was slow-going sometimes, and there could have been more action. Some parts were ridiculous, like the Wuthering Heights drama and the stake-thrusting mob. And (sorry if this confuses you), I wanted more! It ended too abruptly. As soon as it gets juicy in Romania, I get shut down. I was like "Nooooo!" I don't get a nice little epilogue? A postcard? NOTHING? Alas, I guess that is life...
One thing I have to point out is this random phrase that had me staring at it for like 12 minutes: "phantasmagoric edifice". Wicka wicka WHAT? And it wasn't the fancy European guy who said it either, but rather the farm girl from....I forgot where she's from. Some farm place.
Anyway, not exactly what I was expecting, but entertaining enough. If I see something else by this author, I'll pick it up. (less)
Lia and Alice Milthorpe are twin sisters that just became orphans. Their father has died a mysterious death, just as their mother did many years earli...moreLia and Alice Milthorpe are twin sisters that just became orphans. Their father has died a mysterious death, just as their mother did many years earlier. Following this tragic incident, Lia finds a tattoo-like mark on her wrist, her first clue that she is entangled in a mysterious prophecy that has a history of turning sisters against each other. Lia finds herself doubting whom to trust and what her role in the events shall be.
You know that quote "the opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference"? Well, that's how I feel about this book. I just didn't care about it at all. The book wasn't bad. When a book is bad, it works up negative feelings for me, and I end up with a ranting review of several pages. This book, however, was "meh" to the extreme.
Everything was dry, lifeless as a limp noodle. I could tell it wanted to be a gothic, A Great and Terrible Beauty-like tale, but it wasn't. Not in the least. There was no drama or tone or action. Lia had no personality and her narrtive consisted of telling rather than showing. All the characters did was sit and talk, walk and talk, ride horses and talk.
Alice was supposed to be a big bad sister that Lia was once close to, but I didn't get that impression. Alice and Lia were already distant by the beginning of the book, and perhaps if Zink had started out with them close, that would have created more tension.
There is also a love interest that doesn't even deserve mentioning.
And the Prophecy was all too easy to figure out. I was ages ahead of the characters and felt like a girlfriend tapping her foot, waiting for her boyfriend to catch up with her at the mall. There were several "surprises", but I wasn't particularly surprised.
I rarely don't finish a book. I believe in giving a book a chance. Well, I got to page 250 of this novel, and I couldn't care less about the ending. Huh. You know a book is flat when I say "couldn't care less". I hate that expression. There was this girl in middle school who said that about everything and I just wanted to punch her in the face. Anyway......
This book is a definite miss for me, which is kind of disappointing. The premise seemed intriguing, but as I didn't even finish the book, I doubt I will be reading the sequel. I am still astounded as to how people gave this book such good reviews. How did I miss that spark? Alas, my favorite thing about this book remains the cover. (less)
Derik "LaPlaya" LaPointe decides he doesn't want to end up flipping burgers at his parent's diner for the rest of his life. So he gets the idea to be...moreDerik "LaPlaya" LaPointe decides he doesn't want to end up flipping burgers at his parent's diner for the rest of his life. So he gets the idea to be a film director, his first project being a movie about a group of teenagers crazy enough to spend the night in a haunted mental hospital the eve of its demolition. Now all he needs is a cast: Mimi, the goth chick, Chet, the comic relief, Liza, the gorgeous braniac, and Tony and Greta, two drama geeks. But once inside the hospital, the teens realize this may be more than they bargained for.
First off, I am confused about the audience of this book. The writing is juvenile and the plot reminded me of one of those Disney Channel movies they play around Halloween, but there were sexual references and some cussing. So I don't know.
Some reviewers describe this as The Blair Witch Project meets The Breakfast Club, and I can see where they are coming from. Except in The Blair Witch Project I was ready to piss my pants and in The Breakfast Club I actually came to like the characters. Not so much in this book.
The reason I picked this book up was not because of the glowing (enter sarcasm here) reviews or interesting (more sarcasm) premise. It was because the Danvers State Hospital reminded me a lot of the abandoned mental hospital down my street, the Norwich State Hospital. Ghost Hunters even did an episode on it. Whether or not you think its a load of shit is up to you.
Anyway, I would have liked this book infinitely better if it was the littlest bit scary, or had a well-developed cast. Instead I got cliched, two-dimensional characters and a load of cheese.
Sixteen year old Naomi is given the chance that hardly any of us have. With her recent bout of amnesia, she is now able to re-evaluate her life from a...moreSixteen year old Naomi is given the chance that hardly any of us have. With her recent bout of amnesia, she is now able to re-evaluate her life from an objective point of view. But this oppurtunity does not come without it's burdens. She can't remember her friends, her parents' divorce and their respective new partners, her boyfriend, French class, why she likes yearbook so much, why she has birth control pills, or even how to drive a car. Naomi must decide whether or not to try to relive her old life, or to reinvent a new one.
This memory loss occurs right in the middle of high school, where people try so hard to fit in, not that Naomi remembers anything beyond sixth grade. Naomi seems to be popular- or at least her tennis-playing boyfriend is. She seems to be well-involved with the school- she is co-editor-in-chief at the school yearbook committee along with her best friend, Will. She seems to hate her mother for starting a new life with her new family and her father's new fiance. But everything is looking pretty much okay. Then why does it feel so wrong?
Personally, I did not like the narrator one bit. I just didn't "connect" with her, if you will. I had no sympathy. I couldn't care less if she never got her memory back. I thought she was kind of harsh, to be honest. Every now and then she would catch herself being bitchy, but not enough to make up for it. I didn't like James at all. I just wanted him to go crawl back in his emo corner. Usually I'm all for the bad boy type, but James was a whiner who strands his girlfriend at the beach alone, without a cellphone, on the opposite side of the country from home. Not cool dude. Ace wasn't too likable, but I don't think Zevin wanted him to be. Actually, I wanted him to be even meaner. Maybe that would give him some life. Will was probably my favorite. I thought he was cool, yet quirky. A good best friend, if not a boyfriend. The dad was cool too. As for the rest of the characters, Zevin never gave them much personality or page time.
But I never saw why Naomi hated her mom so much. Yes, she is allowed to be angry (her mom did cheat on her dad afterall), but not speaking to her mother or little sister who is completely innocent in the situation (and completely adorable)? I thought that was harsh. I also didn't understand many of Naomi's decisions, but hey, I'm not a amnesiac now, am I?
They way it was written was okay, I guess. I had a hard time pinning down the tone. In the beginning, it was humorous. In the middle, it was all angsty. By the end, it tried to get all philosophical on me.
The ending wasn't too good. Nothing really happened to conclude the book. Zevin just kinda decided to make a touchy-feely scene, plot be damned. To me, it made the rest of the book pretty pointless. I didn't see much of a difference between recent-amnesia Naomi and post-amnesia Naomi. Truth be told, I never felt compltely convinced of Naomi's amnesia to begin with. Yes, I understood she couldn't remember her friends and stuff, but besides that, she never felt that scared or helpless, like I imagine an amnesiac would feel.
Overall, it was kind of a miss for me, which is a shame because I really liked Elsewhere by the same author. I would rate it 2.5 stars.(less)