Okay, I was never expecting much from this book, especially after I saw that it had been optioned for a film by Disney. But I was hoping for some Jame...moreOkay, I was never expecting much from this book, especially after I saw that it had been optioned for a film by Disney. But I was hoping for some James Bond/Cody Banks/Spy Kids action.
This book is about Cammie Morgan, a student at the elite Gallagher Academy, which is essentially an all-girl school for spies. Cammie is a pretty normal student at Gallagher, besides the fact that her mother is the headmistress, and she has a reputation for being "the Chameleon." Cammie knows fourteen languages and how to kill a man with a piece of uncooked spaghetti, but when it comes to boys, she's clueless. However, some boy advice will come in handy when she starts up a secret relationship with a normal boy- who thinks she is just a normal girl.
This book was cute. Nothing more than that. It had some humor, not enough to make me laugh out loud, but enough to keep the mood light. That's the thing, I thought this book was TOO light. I never really bought in to any conflict. Don't you think in a book about spies, there should be some bad guys? Essentially, this book is about a girl who meets a boy. The spy stuff is just kind of tacked on. Cammie seemed more like a normal girl than a genius. But she did have a level head on her shoulders. But of course, all her friends wer super-model gorgeous while she is average looking. And she is the one with the boyfriend. Right. The characters and plot were all just a bit bland for me. Not much action to speak of. That was a tad disappointing. But there was some genuine guy advice, which readers will appreciate.
I don't know. It's cute, light, and I'm sure tweenage girls will eat it up. I won't read the sequels though unless they fall into my hands. (less)
When I first saw this book, it looked charming. Nothing earth-shattering, of course, but charming.
This book is about Sarah, the shy best friend of the...moreWhen I first saw this book, it looked charming. Nothing earth-shattering, of course, but charming.
This book is about Sarah, the shy best friend of the beautiful Brianna. Sarah has always done her best to be the perfect friend for Brianna, whether its being there when Brianna's parents screw up again or just making Brianna feel needed. But one thing is threatening their friendship: Sarah seriously likes Brianna's boyfriend, Ryan, and that feeling is only magnified when Ryan and her kiss. Now Sarah must make a decision. Who's more important in her life? The cute artistic guy she's liked since eighth grade?, or her demanding best friend?
I liked this book. My favorite thing about it was Sarah's parents. They were adorable, quirky, and caring. YA fiction seriouly needs more parents like these. I even liked Brianna's depth. It would be one thing if she was just a bitchy mean girl, but she's a bitchy mean girl with reasons for her bitchiness. I also liked all the little awkward moments between the characters, because they were all too realistic.
Now there were things I didn't like. Amongst them the writing style. It was a little too informal and conversational, like it was straight out of the thought-process of a teen. I wasn't too big a fan of the narrator either. She was a little too meek and her constant fretting about the kiss could get annoying. I wanted to shake her sometimes, and yell at her to stand up for herself. And I still have one question left at the end of the book. Why did Ryan go out with Brianna in the first place if he liked Sarah so much? If the answer is in there, and I missed it, please let me know. I also found the character roles a little bit of a cliche. I think I've had enough shy-girl-with-beautiful-best-friend-discovers-herself stories for a while.
I did like the ending. It surprised me.
Overall, a cute little book. It reads quickly and there is a little message wrapped up in it. (less)
Let's get this straight. I did not read this for Lauren Conrad, I read this because of Lauren Conrad. I was intrigued. I despise reality TV, and I tho...moreLet's get this straight. I did not read this for Lauren Conrad, I read this because of Lauren Conrad. I was intrigued. I despise reality TV, and I thought Lauren Conrad was a thoughtless bimbo, so I wanted to see how this all transferred to bookform.
This novel, the first in a trilogy, is centered around Plain Jane, and her bestie, Scarlett, who move to LA to start their new lives. Soon afterward they meet a TV produer, who wants them to star in what he calls "a reality version of Sex and the City". They accept, and the rest of the book is how they handle the immediate fame, and all the drama that goes with it.
Jane isn't written to have a vibrant personality, but is written to be "relatable", the same reason given to her being cast on the show. Jane is almost a little too naive in some parts. And while Jane may be the main character of the series, there are plenty of chapters that give us a reprieve from her, as they center on other characters. I like Jane's best friend Scarlett a whole lot more. Scarlett is a beauty with brains. If one looked at her sexual escapades alone, they might call her a slut, but somehow her intelligence makes it all okay. She also naturally clashes with the Hollywood lifestyle in general, and resists the show's demanding producers the most. Another girl cast in the show is the spoiled bitch, Madison, who is used to getting whatever she wants, even if she has to go through other people (mostly Jane) to get it. My favorite scene with her is when she intially decides not to immediately publish the incriminating photos of Jane. I thought this was a nice attempt at depth. The fourth and final girl is Gaby, who doesn't have much of role in the novel except to play the token airhead. This girl is at the intellectual level of Jane's goldfish. Throw in a manipluative producer, a playboy, a gay friend, a cute crush, a boss to rival Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, and a hardcore editor, and that pretty much sums up the cast of L.A. Candy (the book, not the show). All of them are shallow and cliched, but ain't that reality TV? The plot was typical too.
Despite myself, I enjoyed it, but this is the closest I ever want to get to Hollywood. This writing is nothing spectacular but better than I was expecting from Lauren Conrad, assuming she actually wrote it. Overall, not bad for a guilty, light beach read. (less)
Hailey Kendrick has a seemingly perfect life. She gets good grades, is Vice President of her class at a prestigious boarding school, and her boyfriend...moreHailey Kendrick has a seemingly perfect life. She gets good grades, is Vice President of her class at a prestigious boarding school, and her boyfriend is one of the most popular guys at school. She is the type that always colors in between the lines. But after an argument with a father leaves her angry and upset, she commits a random act of vandalism with an unlikely conspirator. She is caught, but her co-conspirator is not, and she finds herself taking the fall. As a punishment, she is forced to do janitorial service with a snarky townie, and the whole entire school is put on probation. Hailey has no choice but to watch her life change, as her boyfriend and her grow farther apart, her friends ignore her, and she loses the trusts of her teachers. Hailey is forced to begin coloring outside the lines if she wants to stay true to who she is.
God help me, I really liked this book. I do not like books like these. I hate cutesy books with their morals and their predictability and their cheesiness. I should have hated this one too. But the thing is.....I didn't....Am I turning into a sap or what?!
I blame it on the novel's charm. Yes, it was predictable and slightly cheesy, but it kept my glued to the pages. Honestly, I don't what adhesive got me stuck there, but it sure did work. Hailey was likable and at times, quite hilarious. She was awkward in all the right ways. I actually cringed for her, like the time she fell down the stairs. That would sooo happen to me. Right when she was trying to make a silent exit too *shakes head in laughter* Hailey was a relatable character, I think I mean to say. Also, her relationship with Drew was so cute! But not cheek-pinching cute. *glares at Arlene*
At the end of the book, I was actually grinning. GRINNING. My God! The cuteness, the humor, the sweetness had me looking like the Cheshire Cat!
I'm going soft! Quick, someone tell a dead baby joke!
Overall, I did like this book. Quite a bit, actually. I read one Cook previously (Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood), and I enjoyed as well, although not as much. In these two books, I can sense a formula. She takes a well known novel (In this case, The Scarlet Letter), gives it a modern day makeover, and infuses it with DIsney charm. And for some reason, it all works.
If anyone calls me soft after this, I shall stab them with a fork. (less)
Okay, I will start off by saying this isn't my first Meg Cabot book. I knew what I was getting into. I knew I wasn't about to engage in literary gold...moreOkay, I will start off by saying this isn't my first Meg Cabot book. I knew what I was getting into. I knew I wasn't about to engage in literary gold when I opened this book. Anybody who would expect that needs a reality check because....well, look at the cover. It's pink and purple for crying out loud.
This book was very quick and entertaining. It's fluffy, girly brain candy. I always have trouble rating books like these because my wanna-be intelligent self is like "you're too good for these books, go read Chaucer instead", while my teenage girl self enjoys them. Alas I am a conflicted soul.
I went into this all haughty, believing it to be all too predictable, and it was for the most part. Meg Cabot leaves little hints before hand so you know what's going to happen before the narrator does and then repeats it often enough for the especially dense. But then came the twist....those things always make me feel like an a-hole.
The narrator is likeable enough. I didn't want to drown her, which is something special considering most of the heroines in YA nowadays. But then she committed the Ultimate Offense in my mind- claiming some guy is your soulmate after two days. Ugh, I HATE characters like that, especially when they are in high school. Hey, the guy who sits next to me in math class is pretty hot, but that doesn't mean I want to spend eternity with him. I guess I let it slide this time because these characters are reincarnated and have know each other for centuries, which is plenty of time to get to know someone (but do we ever really know someone hmmm?).
Some of the plot points were pretty ridiculous and had me holding back chuckles of disbelief. I know...you guys are probably like "Well, it is a fantasy set in highschool, what did you expect?". To that I say IT'S MY REVIEW AND I GET TO COMPLAIN IF I WANT TO.
The characters weren't as fleshed out as they could have been. Particularly Lance. Poor Lance, he is practically brushed aside in this retelling. And did Jennifer HAVE to be a cheerleader? (guess what color her hair was). I also would have liked to see some other Arthurains characters and more (dare I say it) education. This book barely touches the surface of the tale it's based on. And for those who enjoyed the book and want to read more Arthurian fiction- whilst still be entertained- I recommend The Once and Future King
The writing is nothing challenging and is meant to be read quickly. No moments of beauty here. Just straight-to-the-point-prose with the occasional dash of humor.
I have to give it up to Meg Cabot. She sure knows how to get people to read her books. I knew I wasn't going to love this book before I went into it, and yet I read it anyway. God help her fans.
For a moment I was considering reading the sequel before I discovered it was THIS. What the hell is that? The frame with Ellie in the pool is practically porn for nerdy teenage boys. (less)
A nice, light read that is relatable to every teen girl. This book is about Jenny, a high school junior, trying to get over being dumped by her "perfe...moreA nice, light read that is relatable to every teen girl. This book is about Jenny, a high school junior, trying to get over being dumped by her "perfect" boyfriend, while also trying to publish her controversial article in the school newspaper. A fun, girly book.
Fluffy and sweet.....like cotton candy. This was a great beach read. It was entertaining and light with likable characters and a few laughs. Don't expe...moreFluffy and sweet.....like cotton candy. This was a great beach read. It was entertaining and light with likable characters and a few laughs. Don't expect any deep thinking, just some fun. (less)
I've never seen Sex and the City, nor have I read the books or seen the movies. So I went into this with an open mind (well, not completely open).
And...moreI've never seen Sex and the City, nor have I read the books or seen the movies. So I went into this with an open mind (well, not completely open).
And I was pleasantly surprised. This book really wasn't half bad. It's nothing intellectual, but its fun enough. Actually, it reminded me a lot of my mom and all her high school stories. And that's not necessarily a bad thing since my mom is "cool". So it was interesting. (less)