Cheesy but loveable. I wasn't too sure of this book when I first started but it grew on me more and more and by the end I was loving it. The characterCheesy but loveable. I wasn't too sure of this book when I first started but it grew on me more and more and by the end I was loving it. The characters are great and I loved all the history with them all. It is sweet and had me teary but also smiling and smirking alternately. I really liked it. ...more
Health Warning- do not attempt to read this book in a public place if you don't like looking ridiculous! I like to read in coffee shops and I think IHealth Warning- do not attempt to read this book in a public place if you don't like looking ridiculous! I like to read in coffee shops and I think I pulled a muscle in my cheek trying to keep a straight face while reading Geek Girl. It's just not possible to try and look serious and studious while reading this book- which is guaranteed to at least put a goofy smirk on your face- if not make you snort out loud.
I really liked this story, which is a sweet and feel-good contemporary, reminiscent of Louise Rennison. Did I mention it's also hilarious! I would share a bunch of my favourite quotes but there are probably just too many.
Did you know that in the old days the word 'geek' was used to describe a carnival performer who bit the head off a live chicken or snake or bat as part of their stage act? Exactly. Only a geek would know a thing like that.
Harriet is a self-confessed geek, and has never gotten the hang of fitting in, saying the cool thing or keeping up to date with fashion trends. And that's fine with her. Harriet is quirky and odd, and knows what she likes (which happens to be physics and maths) and she is insanely goofy, vulnerable and lovable. I loved her attitude and her individuality.
Geek Girl is a wonderfully fun and heart-warming story about what happens when the clumsy self- confessed geek girl is thrust into the weird world of modelling. It's a light, funny and quick read- I really enjoyed it.
More of my reviews can be found on my blog- Always Lost in Stories
All my other reviews of this series have been gushing fangirly squees about amazing these books are- and I'm sorry, but this one is going to be exactlAll my other reviews of this series have been gushing fangirly squees about amazing these books are- and I'm sorry, but this one is going to be exactly the same!
How much do I love this series?!! It says a lot that despite my massive pile of books I still had to pick this one up as soon as it landed through the door. I just love Ren and Kishan- the two brothers, and the whole magical world that Kelsey is transported to in each book. There really is nothing similar out there- this story is totally unique, and so different.
But I especially just love how emotional the books are- I really do feel right there with Kelsey throughout all the ups and downs of her journey. I'm afraid for her, sad for her and as much torn in love as she is! She is a great heroine, I love that she is so smart and inquisitive, but brave and self-sacrificing when she needs to be too.
But I also feel for Ren and Kishan as well, and everything that they have been put through. The love and loyalty, but also brotherly rivalry between them is great. This is definitely an emotional rollercoaster of a book with ups and downs, and some shocks and surprises.
It had come to point where I honestly didn't know which brother I was rooting for- I loved them both in their own different ways, but I really feel that the way the book ended was just perfect, and I couldn't have imagined any other route for the story. Everything came together in last 100 pages, and felt very satisfying.
These four books have taken me with these characters on an epic quest to break an ancient curse, through heartbreak, kidnappings, fights with mystical creatures, battles of wits, love and tragedy. It's exciting, heroic, magical and deeply romantic- what more could you ask for from a great read?! I love it! Amazing books that I will definitely keep re-reading. ...more
My two main thoughts upon finishing this book? WOW! And YIKES! This was so good. I love it when a book really moves me, and I root for the characters,My two main thoughts upon finishing this book? WOW! And YIKES! This was so good. I love it when a book really moves me, and I root for the characters, and the story stays with me all day until I can get home and can pick it up again. It is so gripping, profound and completely compelling. This book is actually told as a police report as Jenna is telling her side of the story of what happened. All the chapter headings are "Folder 1, File B" etc. And with Jenna telling her story into the police tape recorder you really got a sense of her as a person- her sarcasm and intelligence shine through, and you also get a real sense of how much she is hurting. The book has a certain inevitability. You already know what has happened, but it was interesting to read the motivatations behind it- everything is not as black and white as it would first seem- and the whole book is a justification, and a defence of their actions. It all feels like a big build-up, getting increasing more intense, and building up to something huge. This increasing tension is completely compulsive- I was hooked, and did not want to put the book down. It always feels just on the cusp of something dramatic, and the anticipation builds and builds. I loved the main character Jenna- she is so timid and vulnerable when it comes to standing up for herself, but still so brave and strong in coping with what has happened to her in the past. She is completely relatable, and I felt for her so much. She is a character starved of love, and just struggling to get through the next day, and her voice in telling her side of things is so assured. But because we only see her side of the story, and she so obviously strongly believes everything that she is saying, it is hard to know exactly what to believe. But I actually liked this- the lines become so blurred that it really comes down to the reader to make their own mind up. Jenna's story and the way she tells it completely re-defines the definition of a victim, and just goes to show that nothing is as it appears on the surface. This is a dark but beautifully written, powerful and controversial contemporary novel. I am confused and bereft, but I adored it, and I know it will stay in my mind for a long while to come. ...more
This is one of those books that is definitely best read in December when all the lights are up and christmas is in the air. Dash and Lily's Book of DaThis is one of those books that is definitely best read in December when all the lights are up and christmas is in the air. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is about 2 teenagers with very different outlooks to the christmas period. Dash can only see the mad shopper crowds, overpriced novelty gifts, and the crushed commercial madness of christmas, whereas Lily loves christmas, for the lights, the goodwill, and a chance to spend time playing games with her family. But with most of her family away travelling this year, Lily is faced with the prosect of spending this christmas alone and it terrifies her. Dash on the other hand has engineered it so that he can spend christmas alone, without any family dramas. They meet by writing notes to each other in a journal, sharing secrets and setting each other dares. Lily is the cutest sixteen year old New-Yorker I've ever heard of, roping in various members of her extended family across New York to help her with her notebook dare schemes. These dares often had me laughing out loud, because they were so funny told in Dash's very stoic voice. The best thing about this book is it's quirky humour, it's weird coincidences and meaningful mistakes. But also, for a kooky, funny book it is also very intelligently written- the humour in it is witty rather than overly silly. I loved both of these characters, and this is definitely a book full of heart. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a fun, cute read that had me giggling out loud in places. This is a cosy christmassy read that left me feeling as warm and fuzzy as a glass of mulled wine! Recommended....more
When I started this book I thought that it would be a light and fluffy story of high-school bitchiness- I couldn't be more wrong. It was quite dark anWhen I started this book I thought that it would be a light and fluffy story of high-school bitchiness- I couldn't be more wrong. It was quite dark and disturbing but no less brilliant for being so harrowing. The first chapter opens up on a drunken teenage party, and sets the stage for a scene that was very hard to read about. We are thrown straight into the drama of the story, told in Regina's own words. Feeling unable to tell her parents what has happened Regina confides in a girl that is supposed to be her friend, but instead betrays her and twists her story. Regina has gone through high-school as one of the popular girls, the best friend of Anna- the queen bee of the school, but now she is accused of sleeping with her friend's boyfriend and is an outcast from her former group- the bully now becoming a victim of bullying herself. Her former friends go out of their way to make Regina's life hell, painting her locker, destroying her possessions, and setting up an abusive website. The tension in the book builds up and up as their taunts get worse and worse, and start to descend into physical attacks. Despite Regina being a mean bully and complete bitch, you can't help but feel sorry for her and admire her courage in what she is going though, even if it is a taste of her own medicine, the rumours about her completely untrue. Courtney Summers writes about a group of teens who have sex, drink, take drugs and skip school, but despite this they are still vulnerable teenagers with confidence problems who just want to fit in and be admired. Regina has a serious eating problem, and Kara worries about her weight. They act confident and superior to the rest of the school, but underneath they are just desperate to be accepted. Afraid to be on her own Regina approaches the people at the back table at lunchtime, dubbed "the garbage table", and the bottom of the social ladder. Michael has never cared about being popular, and is happy to spend time on his own, unnoticed in the corner. But when he does start to open up he is a very sweet person, and believes Regina's side of the story. A victim of Regina's bullying in the past, I found myself really hoping that he could get over the events of the past and be the support that Regina needed. Michael was the surprise of the story and I was surprised to find how much I grew to like him, his unlikely friendship becoming a light in a dark time. Despite not wanting to get involved in any conflicts he can't help but be put in the middle at times, and is forced to choose between sticking up for Regina and taking abuse himself or to not get involved at all and let Regina deal with it on her own. This is Mean Girls taken to the next level. It is a tense emotional read which highlights an important social issue, and gets right into the minds and hearts of the characters- showing in a very real way the hopelessness, terror and loneliness of being the victim of bullying, and the malicious cruelty of those who perpetrate it, by the extreme level that they take it to. This book is shocking and horrifying, but feels so terrifyingly real that it's also a work of genius. I loved this book and these characters, and would recommend this story to any fans of a gritty contemporary YA story. This is one of those books that is hard to read but impossible to turn away from. ...more
I love LOVE this book! This is a very tongue-in-cheek novel- definitely not to be taken too seriously- about a group of teenage beauty queens strandedI love LOVE this book! This is a very tongue-in-cheek novel- definitely not to be taken too seriously- about a group of teenage beauty queens stranded on a desert island. I was actually snickering out loud most of the time while reading this novel, at it's ridiculousness- but also admiring of it's bold commentary on so many issues, like the shallowness of most of society in it's attitude towards beauty. Try to imagine the novel that would be produced when a brilliant author falls asleep whilst channel hopping between the Sandra Bullock film Miss Congeniality and the first season of Lost, and then writes down the bizarre dream that results. This is Beauty Queens. The girls are stranded on an island following a plane crash, with no help, and a rummage through the wreckage of the plane reveals only several sets of hair curlers, leg wax, teeth bleaching kits, and a suitcase full of ballgowns. With no food to be found all one girl can think is "awesome- I'm going to be so skinny!". Assuming that rescue must be imminent, they at first opt to work on their tans, and practice their talent for the pageant, instead of trying to find food and shelter, and a way to get rescued. They do eventually pull themselves together, and with the help of practical no-nonsense Taylor and smart wannabe journalist Edina they get organised, find food, build huts and a system for collecting water, and get along quite well. It is the humour and the range of wonderful characters that really makes this book what it is. Pink and sparkly Tiara is the silliest, dumbest and potentially most unlikeable of all the characters, but she gets the best one-liners! Like saying that she thinks her toy dinosaur touched her "down there" when she is high on hallucinogenic berries, or demanding that girls should stay pure- before admitting that her talent was "Christian pole-dancing", or it used to be, before she gave it up when she was 12. I have so many favourite moments from this book, that it's difficult to pick the best one. Like the time when the pirate gets stung by a jellyfish and none of his friends will help him by peeing on him, so the mid-sex-change beauty contestant whips it out and does the business to a stunned audience of pirates. I think of this book and I think of Taylor setting her traps and pacing the island with her AK47 slung over her shoulder. This novel is completely off the wall crazy sometimes but so so funny! Someone should definitely make this into a TV series. I have read some funny books but this one had me laughing so much- not just the occasional smirk or snicker but all-out guffawing. There are so many different stories from all the myriad different characters and so many different threads of the story all inter-weaving together perfectly, skillfully managing to mock corporate america, reality TV, bible-bashing fanatisism, homophobia, and a plethora of other issues. Despite showing us the complete ridiculousness of the shallowness of the beauty pageant world you still end up loving all these girls and rooting for them through snake attacks, quicksand, giant waves and reality-tv "rockstar-pirate" induced heartbreak. The final showdown against "The Corporation" (inside the volcano- of course, where else would the secret hideout of an evil corporation be!!) shows that you should never underestimate a group of pretty girls! And who knew that by mixing leg wax and teeth whitener you could produce a powerful explosive? This is an absolute genius of a book! I would give it 6 stars if I could! I finished this a couple of weeks ago and I still chuckle when I think about it. I loved these girls and their stories and unique personalities, and this is the kind of book that I would re-read over and over again. I have so many favourite bits, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone with a quirky sense of humour.
Book 3 in the Wings series This was published under the title Illusions in the US and other parts of the world. Laurel and David have been happy togetheBook 3 in the Wings series This was published under the title Illusions in the US and other parts of the world. Laurel and David have been happy together but are starting to plan ahead to what they will be doing after high school. Laurel is undecided about whether to go to college, or, whether to continue her studies away in Avalon. When Tamani shows up as a new student at school Laurel is even more confused, and David and Tamani battle jealousy, and start off a series of rivalry and on-upmanship against the other. This is definitely a mid-series book, as it has that "filler book" feel to it, where nothing is still really resolved. Most of the story revolves around Laurel's struggle to work out her feelings for the two boys, and the love triangle between them is the main focus of the book. Laurel can't decide if she should pick sweet dependable David who has been her boyfriend for two years or intense Tamani, who is at least of the same species. Laurel cares strongly for both of them and cannot imagine either one of them not in her life, and both boys care passionately about Laurel. Laurel must be protected at all costs, since she is to inherit the land which the gate to Avalon lies in, and Tamani manages to persuade the faeries that he is the one to protect her. Tamani's duties as Laurel's guardian, and undercover student take up most of his time and energy. He is watching Laurel constantly and leading the team of sentries outside her house. A distraction is thrown into the mix in the form of Yuki- a faery grown up outside of the teachings of Avalon- a Wild fae. Since it is unclear where Yuki's allegiance really lies and how much she truly knows about her heritage, it is up to Laurel and Tamani to watch her and try to befriend her, and see if the suspicion that she is possibly linked to the troll attacks is founded. This book does however tell us a lot more about the faery world, and some of the background stories, myths and legends of Tamani's world. It seems to take a sprinkling of every faery story ever written with the legends of King Arthur and Guinevere, and also Queen Titania all mixed in together, along with the author's own unique take on faeries as plants. We also find out more about the caste sytem of spring/summer/winter faeries, and some of the politics and plotting behind the scenes. Nothing at all is resolved by the end of the book, neither Laurel's choice of relationship, the threat from the trolls, or Yuki's role in everything, forcing us to wait again for the next book in the series to find anything out. But this is a decent continuation of the series and will probably appeal more to younger readers. ...more
Sequel to Dark Heart Forever This book follows Jane again in her obsession with her green-eyed werewolf boy Luca, in a story filled with werewolves, vaSequel to Dark Heart Forever This book follows Jane again in her obsession with her green-eyed werewolf boy Luca, in a story filled with werewolves, vampires, angels and a crossing into a parallel world called Nissilum. It also comes complete with a love triangle, plenty of action, a mystery, heartbreak, magic, betrayals and political intrigue. Should be the perfect book for me right? Why just 2 stars? I think this book was sent to straight to publication without being edited. Aside from the numerous glaringly obvious spelling and grammatical mistakes, the continuity in this book is awful. For instance, in one chapter Raphael notices Jane wandering into the palace kitchens at a party and thinks that she is up to something, but then Jane is off somewhere else, then chats to Raphael, and only very much later does she wander through the kitchen looking for Soren. Another time, Jane and Vanya are barricaded inside the house because Lowe is violently protesting outside, but then in the very next chapter Lowe is at home with Luca having a nice cosy chat. IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!! I could almost forgive these kinds of mistakes in the first few chapters where Jane first meets Soren and the narrative leaps about through time without explaining anything- fair enough, we are hurrying through their meeting to just get to the meat of the story and are allowed to just assume that some conversation took place. Jane is going to Paris. Jane is in Paris. Jane meets Soren and he asks her if she wants to go get a coffee. She says yes. It is suddenly the next morning and Soren is ringing her up. Jane is back home in England again. WHERE WERE THE INTERACTIONS IN THE MIDDLE? Another thing I noticed- sometimes it is said that Soren's parents were murdered when he is 6 years old, and then later on, someone says that they died when he was ten. (WHICH IS IT?) I tried to quickly find the quotes to back this up (and haven't yet), but I did find the first time Soren tells his own story and listen to how confusing this is- "There once was a good boy. A boy born into a hard-working law-abiding family, who raised him to be good-mannered, considerate and honest... The boy lived happily until he was ten years old when something happened to destroy everything he believed in... On his sixth birthday, a man came to the door..." (p172) HOW CONFUSING IS THAT?! And finally- the shifting perspective. Most of the chapters are told in the first person from Jane's point of view- it is Jane herself telling the story. But some of the chapters also focus on either Luca or Raphael and these are told from the third person perspective. This is absolutely fine once you get used to this shifting style and you can think 'right, we are focusing on Luca now'. Except in chapter 41 where both Luca and Jane are in the scene and the author can't seem to decide if she is following Luca in the 3rd person or Jane in the 1st person and jarringly shifts perspective WITHIN THE SAME PARAGRAPH! I personally think that this is a really amateurish mistake, and really bewildering for the reader. The first book left me so confused because I genuinely couldn't decide if it was genius or complete rubbish- but this is just bad. Aside from the bad writing the story itself is only ok. The different scenes making up the jigsaw of the story didn't really fit together, and some parts just felt irrelevant. Luca was moody and mean at times, Jane needs to stick up for herself more, and I still have no idea whose side Raphael is on. I don't think I have accidentally let some spoilers slip in this review, but because the book is so bad my advice is to just avoid it like the plague. ...more
The Sky is Everywhere is an absolutely beautiful book for 2 different reasons. Firstly- it's just a beautiful book. The text is blue, and almost everyThe Sky is Everywhere is an absolutely beautiful book for 2 different reasons. Firstly- it's just a beautiful book. The text is blue, and almost every chapter is accompanied by a real colour picture of a note from Lennie scribbled on a scrap of notepaper, the back of an envelope, on a coffee cup, on a bench, a tree, or the inside cover of a book. Lennie loves to doodle and write poetry, and then scatter these notes to the wind, and it is so great to actually see these scribbles in such a life-like way on the page. Most often they are random thoughts or memories about her sister Bailey. They are just a refreshing break from what is happening in the story, and provide us with a deeper understanding of Lennie's memories and her bond with her sister- and showing us why her loss is even more raw. Which brings me on to second reason why this is such a beautiful book- it is so utterly heartbreaking and touching. Lennie's older sister Bailey has just died suddenly and inexplicably from a heart failure, and Lennie and the rest of the family are falling apart without her. Shy, bookish, band-geek Lennie, the quiet half of "the Walker girls" is suddenly alone, and desperately struggling to cope without her exuberant big sister- the girl who was always laughing, who had such grand plans, and who demanded that they must paint their bedroom bright orange. But the book is not just a tear-fest it is also so sweet and very funny. Some of Lennie's private thoughts just had me laughing out loud, and Uncle Big's weird pot-head behaviour and kooky Gram's bizarre beliefs made the characters so 3-dimensional and lovable. New-kid in town Joe Fontaine has never met Bailey, but is instantly interested by Lennie and tries to draw her out of her funk and engage with her love of music. But Bailey's devastated boyfriend Toby (the only one who can really understand what she is going through) keeps coming around to share memories of Bailey and as Lennie and Toby offer comfort to each other they also grow closer. Suddenly Lennie must deal with her confusing feeling for two different guys in the midst of her overpowering grief. I have barely skimmed the surface in this review of what this book is about, and barely mentioned some of all the wonderfully quirky characters in it- I can only recommend that you check it out and read it yourself. This book is so sweet and must surely appeal to everybody with a heart. Verdict- Excellent....more