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 dSummer 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. ...more
This may be the most perfect fluff novel I've ever read. This book takes everything I hate about sappy, cotton candy novels, and does them4.5 stars.
This may be the most perfect fluff novel I've ever read. This book takes everything I hate about sappy, cotton candy novels, and does them right.
This book is effing hilarious. When I wasn't laughing out loud, I had this ridiculous grin on my face that just wouldn't go away. I must have looked like an idiot. But a happy idiot.
Anna was just.....awesome. As far as teenagers go, she really is nothing special, but its this averageness that makes her so great, relatable, and funny. In real life, I would want to be her best friend.
St. Clair was...........St. Clair. In real life, I would want to get in his pants.
Yes, this novel consisted of a teenage girl fretting about her love life. But its just awesome. Trust me. Just read it. Please.
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 boyfrienHannah 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. ...more
This book failed. It was about three privileged girls from different backgrounds around the world building a friendship over the course of three summeThis 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. ...more
Verse novels are really tricky for me. Either I think them beautiful and haunting (Glimpse and Sold), or gimmicky. This one kind of straddled the middVerse novels are really tricky for me. Either I think them beautiful and haunting (Glimpse and Sold), or gimmicky. This one kind of straddled the middle.
I was so routing for Amber in the beginning. The writing was beautiful, and her backstory was revealed slowly and delicately. Interspersing Amber's musings on the "day before", were notes and letters from her family that allow the reader to examine Amber's situation.
I even liked Cade in the beginning too, when he was just a cute, mysterious boy with a chip on his shoulder. But as the book progressed, I liked Amber and Cade less and less. The poems turned to topics like kissing, and Amber and Cade fell for each other, in my opinion, way too fast. I understand they were both emotionally desperate and stressed, but I think their romance detracted from the better self-discovery aspects of the novel.
Amber began the novel on a solitary trip to sort out her feelings and deal with her problems, but all too quickly, the book just turned to be about a boy. And the world does not need more of those.
Damn, I haven't written a review in forever. Seriously, I am like 13 books behind or something. So, I am going backwards, reviewing the freshest onesDamn, I haven't written a review in forever. Seriously, I am like 13 books behind or something. So, I am going backwards, reviewing the freshest ones first. Here goes.
This is my second Simone Elkeles book. I read Perfect Chemistry, and enjoyed it, but for some reason it took me two years to pick up another Elkeles.
I'm not sure if How to Ruin a Summer Vacation was the right one for me. Young Adult books are supposedly marketed for teenagers, but I'm not so sure about that one. Just looking at my friends here on Goodreads, most of them are women who love YA just for the escape it provides from life. Even as an honest-to-goodness teenager, I know very few of my peers actually read YA for fun. I am truly an anomaly. Maybe not here on a book site for nerds, but in real life, definitely. Anyway, what was my point?.....oh, yes. To me, Amy was annoying and stereotypical as a shallow, overdramatic American teen girl. Mehbe to "older" readers of YA (I'm not calling you guys old...just more matured), Amy provides a sense of humorous nostalgia. "Ah yes, I remember those days when I would freak out on people for absolutely no reason and cause people to cry for my own twisted sense of self-satisfaction!" But, gah, Amy was annoying She was almost a caricature, her emotions and reactions were so exaggerated. My God, my mother has my permission to beat me down with a hose if I ever acted that way. Don't get me wrong, I am pretty over-dramatic, but I don't assume I am getting drafted into the Israeli Army just because my father is taking me there on vacation. And she was so bitchy and moody and selfish and self-absorbed and lots of other whiney bad things!
Anyway, besides my intense dislike of Amy, I will grudgingly admit, there were some funny parts, and I was grinning through a lot of it. The romance was pretty heated towards the end, even though I cannot see the reason why anyone would want to kiss Amy apart from finally getting her to shut up.
It wasn't a bad book. I learned a little bit about Israeli culture (my public education failed me in that regard). The star reduction was entirely because of Amy. If you can stand her, there is a good chance you will love this book. ...more
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
I think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the frontI think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the front cover, and the synopsis does not mention that Irene is only 13. Once you open up the book, however, it is clear that Irene is young. I would not have read this book if I knew Irene's intended age, because realistic middle-grade fiction does not interest me. This book is just another example of that.
Everything I Was is about loneliness and figuring out that your parents are real people after all. When you are a kid, your parents are infallible. They are always right and do what is right. Then come the moments when your realize that they make mistakes and have faults, just like everyone else.
Irene's father has just lost his job, and they are forced to live with her grandfather as they are no longer able to afford their Manhattan penthouse. Irene's mother can't seem to grasp that they aren't rich anymore, and continues to spend and spend, making excuses up as she goes. Irene sees what her mother is doing is hurting the family, causing tension between her mother and her father, and she hates her mother for it. Irene leaves her grandfather's country home as often as she can, making friends with a family with kids her age. She finds this family remarkable, the way they laugh together, play together, how they can own so little but have so much. With a crush on the oldest boy and friends with the older girl, Irene is sure this is where she wants to stay. But when Irene's mother tries to get them to move back into a stuffy Manhattan apartment, Irene must not only face her mother's faults, but challenge them head on.
This book would have made a good YA book if all the kids had their ages bumped up and if the content was a bit edgier. I mean, if you are going to market it as a YA book, why not?
Two stars, because it was not anything special, but it wasn't terrible either. ...more
Are you surprised by the three-star rating? Are you that amazed that I actually enjoyed a summer romance book? Well, I kind of surprised myself.
I amAre you surprised by the three-star rating? Are you that amazed that I actually enjoyed a summer romance book? Well, I kind of surprised myself.
I am not a sappy-sap type. Saccharine romances annoy me to no end. And trust me, this book had some gag-me-with-a-spoon moments. And it was certainly frilly. Nothing too deep or controversial. No excessive cussing, no sex, just kissing and hurt feelings. It should have been quite boring actually, added on to the fact that there were no surprises in this book. It was simple and predictable.
So what made me enjoy this book? The atmosphere, mostly. Dalton did an excellent job in creating the feel of a small beach town. The town was close-knit, with everyone knowing everyone else's business. Anna had an expected feeling of claustrophobia in her desire to leave her town and build a new life for herself in a bustling city like New York. Yet, she never was bitter about it. She understood that despite small annoyances and gripes, her town was her family. She loved her life, and she made the reader love it too. Anna appreciated the quirkiness of her town and knew it was special. I loved the setting, from the sticky counters of the icecream shop to the feeling of cool sand on a summer night. Dalton truly invoked the experience of summer.
Also, I did not mind the characters. While they were not particularly memorable, they acted like teenagers. When realistic fiction books portray teenagers, they usually go for the edgier stuff like drinking and sex. Dalton portrays the opposing side, the side that is still awkward and childlike in so many ways. Not all teenagers are jaded and miserable, and Dalton's characters are refreshingly sweet. Anna and Will are cute, to say the least. Their first date was so painfully realistic from every misplaced phrase and awkward silence. Most dates in generally are not suave and sexy, they take a whole lotta work and a whole lotta fretting (at least from my experience). Anna was in puppy love, and understandably so. Will was an attractive, nice guy. The perfect first boyfriend. And their relationship was a healthy one, and even though it seemed doomed, I thought the ending captured the feeling of summer perfectly. Kind of like icecream, it's delicious, but can't last forever. That what makes it so special and bittersweet.
Overall, a cute summer-y read that has me wishing I was out on a beach somewhere. God, I miss summer. ...more
From the moment Caitlin first sees Lucas, she knows everything is going to change. Caitlin is 15 years own and lives on a small island town in EnglandFrom the moment Caitlin first sees Lucas, she knows everything is going to change. Caitlin is 15 years own and lives on a small island town in England. Her widowed father is a writer and a bit of a drunk, her older brother is turning into someone she doesn't recognize, and even her best friend is pressuring her to grow up. But Cailtin is still trying to figure out who she is, made all the more confusing with the appearance of Lucas. Lucas is homeless, a mysterious "gypsy", that has wandered into town, and people aren't too pleased about it, especially Jamie, the island's golden boy. Lucas is being accused of theft, molestation, and even murder, and Caitlin is the only one who believes in his innocence.
This book was intensely frustrating. I got the same feeling in my stomach as I did in To Kill a Mockingbird. The feeling of unjust accusations, and the hopelessness of not being able to protect the innocent. I wanted to waltz right into the book and speak for the characters, in a vain attempt to get them to see what was right in front of them.
Caitlin's confusion about growing up was in every paragraph. Elipses, questions, and fragmented sentences decorated her musings. And I understand Cailtin's attraction to Lucas. He was a very appealing character. Not only physically attractive, he was mysterious, suave and mature, with showing only the faintest bit of vulnerability. I also liked that what passed between them wasn't exactly a romance, but something more like an intense understanding. I even hesitate to call them friends. All the characters managed to evoke some sort of feeling from me. Even the vividly described island seemed like a character in itself.
I don't know how I feel about the ending. It needed to end somehow, but none of the things I could think of seemed right, even the actual conclusion.
This was a powerful book filled with strong writing and powerful themes. I read another book by Kevin Brooks, Candy, and felt similarly about it. Kevin Brooks is just a damn good author, one I wish had more recognition. ...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'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
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
This is the book that got me hooked on Sarah Dessen. I've read it several times in between trips to the library or the bookstore. A nice, short novel,This is the book that got me hooked on Sarah Dessen. I've read it several times in between trips to the library or the bookstore. A nice, short novel, and still one of my favorites.