Some times, if you’re lucky, a book comes along that has a gripping premise- the type of synopsis that makes you desperate to know how things turn outSome times, if you’re lucky, a book comes along that has a gripping premise- the type of synopsis that makes you desperate to know how things turn out. And once the mystery sucks you in, it’s almost impossible not to finish it all in one sitting.
Stead tells a down-to-earth coming of age story while managing to incorporate the seemingly impossible- time travel. How a plot device that is so far-fetched manages to seem natural against the ’70s neighborhood backdrop is a feat in itself. And boy, it is ever effective. You can follow Miranda’s story and her struggles, all while being hooked on the puzzle behind the mysterious letters and where they’re leading up to.
While it’s a Middle Grade novel, the story is so ingenious and clever that it’ll appeal to audiences across the board. There are so many little details that play an important role later on impacting the plot in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. If you don’t pay attention and just enjoy the story as is, the ending will grab you by surprise without leaving you majorly confused. Reading it a second time through makes it even more fun to see how the mystery unfolds; it also makes it a little bittersweet as well… nevertheless, while the book is quite short, you’ll want to read it again and again.
With the time travel gimmick, only the rest of the story could be just as quirky. The interactions between the characters are funny while staying somewhat believable, and I’ll just say right now that Marcus was my favorite character. I’m also going to mention that I just love the title:When You Reach Me sounds a little melancholic and has just enough of a mysterious tone to it to fit the story perfectly.
The plot seems to lose a little direction throughout the middle of the story, but it brings itself around for an amazing conclusion. Let’s just say that the ending is absolutely jaw-dropping, as a whirlwind of crazy events happen right after another, so quickly that it’ll probably leave you in a catatonic state. I gasped, I cried, I felt irrevocably sad and, at the same time, a little touched.
Then I turned back to page one and read it all over again....more
If there’s one thing that bothered me about the sisterhood of the traveling pants, Its this- their friendship is too perfect. I love those books, butIf there’s one thing that bothered me about the sisterhood of the traveling pants, Its this- their friendship is too perfect. I love those books, but things come so easily to them when they’ve been besties since birth.
Three Willows explores the foundations of friendship- and our girls don’t share a bond at all. They have fascinating personalities that are nothing like Tibby, Carmen, Lena and Bee.
Most of the book follows the girls’ individual summers and their trials. It isn’t picture perfect- it’s realistic. I was actually gratified to read some scenes. They were perfectly plausible. Authors don’t tend to delve in the ugly truths of relationships.
Jo is trying to please the popular crowd, Anna has to reluctantly spend time at a wilderness camp and Polly enters the modeling business.
In tight spots, the dialogue and actions weren’t meant to be completely hurtful. Jo’s treatment of Polly was particularly jarring. It was almost cruel, but it was it’s realistic nature that made me feel empathy.
It begs the question: deep down, wouldn’t we all act the same way?
The old crew make some cameos- there are some references to them and what they’re up to. These were nice to see but never got in the way of the main story!
Friendships are unstable. I know best friends seem close as sisters. Nothing seems to be able to separate them. But in real life, people change, grow, adapt. It’s so gradual that you don’t realize how far apart you are until you really need each other.
In Three Willows, Brashares’ writing has undergone change for the better. The ending was touching- (okay, so maybe I cried a little xD). It left hope for the future, for new beginnings. I hope this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Polly, Anna and Jo. They’ve still got a lot of growing to do!...more
Final Verdict: A spunky female lead drives this indulgent novel on in a twisting plot full of secrets and surprises.
Delving into the world of secretFinal Verdict: A spunky female lead drives this indulgent novel on in a twisting plot full of secrets and surprises.
Delving into the world of secret societies and elite universities was a real treat. Secret Society Girl is also brimming with humor, thanks to its admirable cast of characters. It helps that there is a most charismatic lead!
And what better protagonist could you ask for? Amy Haskel is as refreshing as they come, with a voice that’s amazingly fun to read. While some of her pop culture references grew a little numerous, I really enjoyed the ones that I was familiar with. Secret Society Girl won’t appeal to all audiences, but it’s perfect if you like a hip, ambitious, no nonsense female lead.
Rose & Grave (the mother of all secret societies) is said to be networking with all the most powerful people in the nation; there’s plenty of info on the goings-on behind the elite societies. This is most certainly a book that you’d enjoy if you like that sort of thing, but it may not appeal to everyone.
Secret Society Girl is compulsively readable and I found it hard to stop reading after each chapter. The hilarious narrative is broken up by fun little quips and lists that really help ameliorate the tone and mood of the story. Overall, it’s a refreshing read, and I’m really looking forward to reading more of Peterfreund’s books (the drastically different themes of Rampant have got me interested)!
The Cover: Pretty good. I can’t imagine Amy wearing such preppy clothing; it just doesn’t seem to suit her unconventional personality. Score: four out of five...more
The book starts off with a bank robbery- and this is where Zusak’s writing really shines. The dialogue is clever and snappy, and the narrative has anThe book starts off with a bank robbery- and this is where Zusak’s writing really shines. The dialogue is clever and snappy, and the narrative has an almost poetic quality to it. In the first few pages, the book already explores several aspects of writing- irony, humour, and quirky characters. If there’s one thing that I absolutely love about this book, it’s how readable it is; I never once had the urge to skim through a paragraph or had to slog through a block of text.
Here’s the intro: “The gunman is useless. I know it. He knows it. The whole bank knows it. Even my best mate, Marvin, knows it, and he’s more useless than the gunman. The worst part about the whole thing is that Marv’s car is standing outside in a fifteen-minute parking zone. We’re all facedown on the floor, and the car’s only got a few minutes left on it.”
The first lines are fantastic. There’s that poetic repetition, and that humour in that they’re being held up by a gunman and all Marv has on his mind is that his car is exceeding the parking time limit. The lovely language is consistent throughout the book, which truly makes it a joy to read. It’s extremely hard to put down; everything just flows so wonderfully.
Ed is such a loser that you can’t help but root for him (haha, sorry, Ed). His voice is humorous, thoughtful, and unique. The dynamics between him and his friends are also very well written. I am the Messenger will keep you hooked on every last word until the reveal at the end. And the identity of who is really sending those messages is quite a surprise....more