I have been a Caletti fan for a long time. She's an exceptional writer, and her books always have keen observations and a quirky, relatable cast of chI have been a Caletti fan for a long time. She's an exceptional writer, and her books always have keen observations and a quirky, relatable cast of characters. The Six Rules of Maybe was no exception. It was so adorably Caletti, but the problem was, it was nothing more than that. All I enjoyed about this book were the characters and writing.
The plot, unfortunately, was dull and meandering. The initial set-up is like an indulgent Lifetime movie, full of drama and potential family blow-outs. But Caletti actually treated the situation realistically, making the story true to life, but it felt robbed of its deliciousness. If the background cast of characters hadn't been so absorbing, there would be no meat to this novel. Caletti's strength lays in the development and personalities of her characters, making her books seem more like character-studies.
But I certainly did enjoy this novel. Scarlet, Hayden and Zeus (yes, I'm mentioning the dog) were adorable and flawed, and even the characters you weren't supposed to love, like Juliet, had redeemable qualities. This book is about personal costs and family. Is another person's happiness worth more than your own? Are nice people always doomed to be trod on by those more selfish?
So, in all honesty, 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the Caletti-ness of it, but it wasn't her best one. Strong on character, weak on plot....more
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
This book confuses me. It is loaded with contradictions.
Sometimes I liked Brooke, sometimes I didn't. She was supposedly a genius (albeit a reluctantThis book confuses me. It is loaded with contradictions.
Sometimes I liked Brooke, sometimes I didn't. She was supposedly a genius (albeit a reluctant one), but then she goes and does something as infinitely stupid as moving to a whole new city for a boy. A boy she has only had one conversation with. It just confounded me. What kind of person thinks that is a good idea? And then she actually thought about telling Scott what a stalker she was, before they even developed a friendship. Once again, who thinks that is a good idea? It just defies all common sense. I was very much prepared to hate Brooke, but by the end of the book, I had a small affection for her. Very small.
Brooke was supposed to be this cynical genius, but I never got that impression. I found her quite flippant. She supposedly didn't trust people, but that conflicted with her faith in her "knowing", a gut feeling that told her that Scott (the guy she moved to NYC to be with) was her true love. It just didn't make sense that someone who was supposedly torn up over her parent's divorce was so willing to drop everything for love (or obsession rather).
I wish Colasanti had just left romance out of it. This book would have been more enjoyable if Brooke was just moving to the city on a self-discovery mission instead of for some boy. The most relatable aspects of the book for me was Brooke's indecisiveness over what she wanted to do with the her life. I'm a senior in high school going through all that crap now, so I could relate. I wish this book was just about that. Leave Scott out of it.
The writing was easy and breezy, although it wasn't particularly fun. It was just a quick and light three or four hour read. Some people looking for some light distraction will like it, but those looking for some realistic fiction with depth will be disappointed. ...more
It's Violet's junior year at the Westfield School, a competitive all-girl prep school. Violet has a few goals to accomplish. She wants straight A's, pIt's Violet's junior year at the Westfield School, a competitive all-girl prep school. Violet has a few goals to accomplish. She wants straight A's, producing the best lit mag the school has ever seen, and for the perfect Scott Walsh to fall in love with her. This would be daunting on one's own, but Violet has her best friend Katie to back her up. However, something is different about Katie. She isn't content being the perfect Westfield girl, where everything is just so easy for her, and this isn't something Violet easily understands. With all this drama and pressure, will Violet survive her junior year?
Okay, hearing the book was set in a ritzy school, as well as the cover and title, I was expecting some smutty prep school story, filled with backstabbing bitches and girls that sleep around. It turned out to be completely wrong. Well, that stuff might have been going on, but behind the scenes. Violet isn't some quiet girl that every guy inexplicably falls in love with, like I expected, but she's an ordinary girl. I saw so much of myself in Violet it was scary. She is an overachiever with no experience with boys, who has an extremely awesome sense of humor. I liked how Violet actually proved to be intelligent instead of the author just telling us she's intelligent. If ever there was a female president, I nominate Violet I-forget-her-last-name.
This book was extremely funny in a honest way. There where times where I laughed so hard, the bit of pretzel I was chewing flew out of my mouth and hit the computer screen. Gross, I know, but also extremely telling as to the hilarity of the novel.
This book was truly a story about friendship, but it wasn't sappy. I hate sappy little stories about "true friends" and will avoid them at any cost. They piss me off. It's all like "Really?? You would die for each other??" Would you care to test that?" *I pull out a machete* But Violet and Katie's friendship wasn't like that. It was filled with inside jokes,a long history and a shared sense of humor, with just a touch of rivalry. It seemed real.
There really wasn't a plot though. It seemed that each chapter was like a short story in it's own right. Extremely funny short stories. I'm still laughing at the "Family Jewels" chapter. Most of the first half was just building up the setting and backstory, where the second half had more plot.
Overall, an extremely funny, charming novel that I was not expecting. I absolutely adore Violet and her voice, and I wish the book would continue. I was quite upset to finish. I have a feeling this won't be the last book I read by Ms. Leila Sales. ...more
Well, I didn't like this book as much as the first one. I also have to admit I'm liking the TV series a little more and it kills me to say that becausWell, I didn't like this book as much as the first one. I also have to admit I'm liking the TV series a little more and it kills me to say that because I'm sure TV will one day eat my brain (if it hasn't already).
I just couldn't ignore some of my complaints about the series this time around. I mean, the mystery part of it is still really really good. I have absolutely no flippin' clue about what will happen next. But I'm not liking the girls as much. Is it me, or are they becoming even more air-headed and flippant?
It just annoys me when Shepard goes into insignificant detail about clothing, throwing out brand names left and right. I have nothing against brand names, but that is only because I have zero to none knowledge about them. I do not know the difference between Gucci and Prada and Marc Jacobs, and I have no idea what Chanel Number 5 smells like. So please stop reminding me that I am poor and fashion-ignorant, Ms. Shepard, if you'd be so kind.
It's also hard for me to believe what these girls supposedly did in 7th grade. I probably still ate glue in 7th grade (exaggerating, but you get my point). I don't do the stuff they did when they were 11 now, and I'm a senior in high school. Well, this might be because of my limited social life, or it could be that Ms. Shepard wants these girls to appear overly glamorous. But alas, maybe that really is how the other half lives....
Despite my personal qualms, this series is like a big greasy bag of chips. Even though you know they are bad for you, you can't have just one. (or two....or three....or eight)...more
I was so eager to read this book because I loved Vizzini's novel It's Kind of a Funny Story, which I found to be both funny and perceptive. This bookI was so eager to read this book because I loved Vizzini's novel It's Kind of a Funny Story, which I found to be both funny and perceptive. This book was more of it's immature little brother (although it technically is older).
The concept of a geek swallowing a supercomputer to become Cool is an over-the-top twist to the classic "dweeb becomes cool" story that fodders so many high school rom-coms. And although the premise is funny and ridiculous, I was waiting for the book to become serious. It was often crude and bizarre, but it was never serious. I'm not a big fan of teenage-boy humor, either, so this book had very little to offer me.
Overall, my experience with this book was very similar to my experience with The Deathday Letter. Both feature average teenage boys under bizarre circumstances, both feature narrators who are desperate to get laid, and both are annoying silly when I just want them to be serious.
This book just wasn't for me. It wasn't bad, but if you are only ever going to read one Vizzini novel in your life, make it It's Kind of a Funny Story....more
Sixteen year old Amal makes a momentous decision right before the start of a new term at her snotty private school: she will wear the hijab. The hijabSixteen year old Amal makes a momentous decision right before the start of a new term at her snotty private school: she will wear the hijab. The hijab, an outward expression of her Muslim faith, will put new pressures onto Amal in addition to the normal teenagers-stressers of school, boys, and the popular crowd. Amal struggles to juggle her religious beliefs with high school drama, and is determined to define herself on her own term's and not on the judgment of others.
I know. That was a sucky summary. But its late and I'm tired and I just got done watching Titanic for the sixth time. I'm in a game with my friend. Every time Titanic is on cable, we have to watch it, talking to each other over the phone during the duration of the film as proof. The first one to break is subjected to mockery for the rest of their life.
Does My Head Look Big In This? is written by an Australian author, which was enough incentive for me to pick it up. Not only does it count towards Nic's challenge, rarely does an Aussie book disappoint. Unfortunately, this one kind of did.
I do not know much about Muslims, their religion, their culture, or their traditions. I know the stereotypes, but my public education is seriously lacking in the areas of cultures and religions. I only know one Muslim personally, my best friend's boyfriend, who is a sexist tool (I have no idea why my friend puts up with him), so I don't exactly want to discuss his religious beliefs with him over a cup of tea. I especially don't know the female perspective. This book, although it tried to provoke empathy, hardly educated me. Although Amal makes it clear to the reader that her decision to wear the hijab was completely her choice, and that the more fanatical Muslims that we see on the news are a product of their culture, not their faith, Amal never does go into depth about what are her beliefs. What does the hijab represent, for that matter? Its such a big deal to Amal, but I have no idea why. The depth of the religion was never explored.
Also, this book was very preachy and contrived. There were situations in this book that were created just so that Amal could preach to the reader about how hurtful is is to be judged, both in the areas of religion and physical appearance. It felt like one of those awkward product placements on Days of Our Lives. I felt like I was getting bashed over the head most of the time.
Amal, although she had a good sense of humor, was too....girly for me. She and her best friends were so teenager-y. "Like, did he ask you out?" *giggle squeal giggle* "That lipgloss is soooo good on you!" *giggle squeal giggle* "You look sssoo gorgeous! Stop eating carrots!"........gah. I'm a teenager, but I've never been like that. The reason as to why I do not have a boyfriend? Perhaps.
Overall, the book had a good message, but it wasn't particularly enjoyable enough to be impressionable. Some girls will eat it up, but I was kind of annoyed. ...more
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 SloOh 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. ...more
The narrator of this novel, Ashley, is a self-proclaimed "normal" high school senior who has no desire to go to her prom. However, she gets roped intoThe narrator of this novel, Ashley, is a self-proclaimed "normal" high school senior who has no desire to go to her prom. However, she gets roped into making the prom happen when her best friend and prom enthusiast, Nat, needs her help when a teacher steals the funding. Ashley is an average kid with average problems, but her wit and insight, along with an eccentric cast, really make this book shine. Don't be fooled by the girly title and cover, this is a book you don't want to miss. I've read it twice now, and its just entertaining. ...more
Typical underdog high school book. Not exactly realistic though with the upperclassmen always beating up the freshmen. Filled with good, geeky humor tTypical underdog high school book. Not exactly realistic though with the upperclassmen always beating up the freshmen. Filled with good, geeky humor that will be appreciated by everyone.
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
This book taught me alot in the way of animal nature and stuff like that, but it was kind of an average "discovering yourself" teenage book. The charaThis book taught me alot in the way of animal nature and stuff like that, but it was kind of an average "discovering yourself" teenage book. The characters were realistic, and Jade was a good narrator filled with humor and honesty. The one thing I did not like though was the poor sentence structure filled with one too many commas....more