This story was a fun and quick escape. If you can't hop a plane to Jolly England, consider it a consolation prize.
I was seeking some comfort-foodesqueThis story was a fun and quick escape. If you can't hop a plane to Jolly England, consider it a consolation prize.
I was seeking some comfort-foodesque chick-lit, what I found was a much deeper story than I first realized. Hadley is on the way to her father's wedding. As she misses her scheduled flight, it's clear that the first time she will meet her to-be stepmother will be the day of the wedding. Talk about awkward.
Being of the Lindsey Lohan "Parent Trap" generation, I imagined that something would go wrong with the wedding, or the father would suddenly realize that the to-be stepmother is a horrible person, or she'd just skip the whole wedding to hang with the sweet guy on the plane.
Refreshingly, the story took a braver approach. Through the next twenty-four hours, Hadley, aided by Oliver, the boy on the plane who is easy to talk to, realizes the importance of facing the family awkwardness, having unconditional love for one's family, and supporting the happiness of others. Wonderfully mature. And although the true statistical probability of love at first sight might be slim, the story handles meeting an amazing someone new like a pro.
I hope to read more from Jennifer E. Smith in the future!...more
This review is going to be tricky because I don't want to give away spoilers. The book is described as a what-to-read next if you're a fan of 'The FauThis review is going to be tricky because I don't want to give away spoilers. The book is described as a what-to-read next if you're a fan of 'The Fault in Our Stars' and/or 'Eleanor and Park'. I haven't read either of those titles, but I thought the concept of 'All the Bright Places' sounded fairly unique. Only slightly reminiscent of manga from the 90s, where upset characters jump from high places.
Violet is your typical girl who had a normal life until tragedy hit her family. Because of her grief, she doesn't know where she fits in anymore. She struggles with depression and a major phobia.
Finch is a misfit with a dysfunctional family. He marches to the beat of his own drummer, and most the time, enjoys being different. His zest for life comes with equal bouts of depression and fascination with death.
The two characters are thrown together by chance, forcing Finch to keep a secret for Violet. Suddenly, Finch seems to be the boy that won't go away when the two are assigned a class project together.
Overall, I feel that Niven did a really good job on Finch's character. He was a little like an unpopular Ferris Bueller with depression. Up for anything, but with a very real struggle. His character will probably stick with me for years to come.
The author's note was heartbreaking. I almost wish I'd known that Niven was inspired by true-life events before reading the book. It makes it all the more touching and tragic, and drives home the fact that kindness, awareness, and outreach are key to saving lives....more
A wannabe summer romance with the wrong boy. Secrets to save a girl from pain and to keep up an honorable family name. A creepy, heartbreaking end. FaA wannabe summer romance with the wrong boy. Secrets to save a girl from pain and to keep up an honorable family name. A creepy, heartbreaking end. Fair warning: Sad, tragic ending alert.
I first learned about We Were Liars from the Goodreads Choice Awards. Suddenly, it came highly recommended by everyone. But I was a little skeptical if I’d enjoy it. When you read a lot, you get burnt out on certain genres and plots. Summer love + the wrong boy + a Wuthering Heights influence =…seems like I’ve read that before.
Yet, for me, ‘We Were Liars’ was an effortless and enjoyable read. It has a classic, timeless, but relatable, feel: yearly family gatherings, quirky family members, slight dysfunction, and a greater sense that something isn’t quite right or things are not as they seem.
An easy summer read. Great for people who enjoy fiction with a twist. ...more
If you liked "Perks of Being A Wallflower," this book could definitely be labeled as "what-to-read-next" on the bookstore shelf. So much so, that I woIf you liked "Perks of Being A Wallflower," this book could definitely be labeled as "what-to-read-next" on the bookstore shelf. So much so, that I would be very shocked to learn that the author wasn't a personal fan of "Perks of Being A Wallflower," both novels share so many of the same elements. Whereas, "Perks" is a retro coming-of-age story, "Love Letters to the Dead" follows a teen girl as she writes to dead celebrities to work out her issues with her boyfriend and her sister's suicide.
I was initially drawn to the book because I thought writing to Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, etc., was a unique concept. I'm an average Nirvana fan, but I know several obsessed fans. I thought, perhaps, the character would be a huge fan, have OCD, or Asperger's Syndrome. However, the people she writes to were mainly her sister's favorites. Throughout the book it's as though the character is trying to take on her sister's personality. While writing to these dead celebrities, in a way, she's indirectly writing to her sister. She gets mad at them because she's mad at her sister. It's one of the ways she works through her grief.
Because of the subject matter, it was difficult read at times. It's heartbreaking enough to be taken into the mind of someone who misses their sister and hero. Yet, there was added pain with a back-and-forth immature teen relationship, friends with problems, family trouble, and abuse (emotional and physical). Not for the faint-of-heart or impatient. Probably would be helpful to teens in similar situations....more
"Love, Stargirl" was very enjoyable, but it wasn't the book I was looking for. When I bought this, I assumed that Leo, the once and future boyfriend f"Love, Stargirl" was very enjoyable, but it wasn't the book I was looking for. When I bought this, I assumed that Leo, the once and future boyfriend from the first book, and Stargirl's paths would cross again.
However, instead it follows Stargirl in her new town, as she meets new friends, helps new people, and is still hung up over Leo. The book is made up of her unsent letters to him. Personally, from the first book, I didn't imagine Stargirl to be the type who mopes for very long. It kinda made her less unique.
But, overall, it's a sweet sequel. Stargirl continues to change lives and helps people learn to improve themselves.
I'm hoping this is not the last book in the series. Even if Stargirl and Leo grow up and marry other people, I really wanted to read a scene where Leo apologizes for trying to change Stargirl's unique ways out of his own ignorance. Maybe Stargirl could have "star children" who meet Leo's kids somehow and a reunion happens....more
Amazingly refreshing! Fangirl is truly a contemporary novel for the young book nerd at heart.
The main character/fangirl, Cather, writes online male slAmazingly refreshing! Fangirl is truly a contemporary novel for the young book nerd at heart.
The main character/fangirl, Cather, writes online male slash fanfiction for a Harry Potter-esque series called Simon Snow. Although I’m not personally a fan of slash fanfiction, because I’m too much of a canon nerd, I can appreciate Cather’s obsession through the eyes of friends who do enjoy it and many random people I’ve encountered online. I think it’s safe to say there’s some slash fanfiction in nearly every fandom.
The novel takes place as Cather starts and struggles with college. Her long-distance relationship isn’t going well, her twin sister wants to ditch her to meet “cool” people, her roommate seems to hate her, her roommate’s boyfriend is annoying, and for the first time she’s balancing writing fanfiction and an actual fiction writing class.
Four stars, cause I felt that the story ended too quickly! For me, things were left wide open…almost begging for a sequel. Does Cather succeed in writing something other than fanfiction? Does she move on from her fandom? (*Trying to word this without spoilers*) Does she find a guy whom she has more in common with as college goes on? (I wasn't a big fan of her love interest.) So many questions, I felt like there needed to be one more chapter or an epilogue at least. ...more
Stargirl was a pleasant surprise. I picked it up somewhere along the long-many-hotel interview trail my husband and I went on last year. As it was freStargirl was a pleasant surprise. I picked it up somewhere along the long-many-hotel interview trail my husband and I went on last year. As it was free, at a book swap program, I wasn't expecting much. Just goes to show how wrong I can be. Why didn't I read this years ago?
The story follows an unconventional teenage girl as she switches to high school after being home-schooled for many years. It's unique in fact that it's told from the perspective of her soon-to-be boyfriend. He's not always a wise narrator, but the reader learns as lesson as he comes to grips with some of his mistakes.
I enjoyed Spinelli's easy-going writing style. Even though the story ends on a bittersweet note, Spinelli's kind and caring writer's voice made it all okay.
Overall, Stargirl's character made a big impact on me. I think we all need to strive to be more like her. Read it and you'll see.
I bought the sequel shortly after. Hoping Spinelli will add more the series in the future....more
**spoiler alert** While I breezed through Matched and enjoyed the world that Ally Condie created, I didn't like the sequel as much as the first book.
H**spoiler alert** While I breezed through Matched and enjoyed the world that Ally Condie created, I didn't like the sequel as much as the first book.
Honestly, for some reason or another, I became Team Xander during Matched. He was the main character's first love interest and had a lot of great boyfriend/husband characteristics. It was clear by the end of Matched and the beginning of Crossed that Xander wasn't going to have a chance romantically. In my mind, the heroine, Cassia, had pretty much made her decision. It made Crossed a longer read for me because I had a hard time liking Ky more than Xander....more
A quick read. "Violet Eyes" is a sweet little re-telling of "The Princess and the Pea". Not a lot of character depth to it. The book mainly focuses onA quick read. "Violet Eyes" is a sweet little re-telling of "The Princess and the Pea". Not a lot of character depth to it. The book mainly focuses on getting the re-telling of the fairy tale done. Basically, a farm girl falls in love with a prince (kinda the opposite of The Princess Bride). Afterwards she suddenly learns that she is really a princess. She was raised by peasants to avoid being killed by her kingdom's enemies. Because she is a princess, she qualifies to compete for her prince's hand in marriage against other princesses in the land.
Although this is YA, it would be perfectly fine for an advanced younger reader or to read to a small child that loves fairy tales....more
Good example of how a graphic novel based on a book/movie should be done. Beautiful art and panels add to the scenes, making it a unique but familiarGood example of how a graphic novel based on a book/movie should be done. Beautiful art and panels add to the scenes, making it a unique but familiar creation....more
All the elements I loved about "My Life Next Door" were there (beach, summer, interesting family), but for me this novel dragged. Gwen and Cass (and GAll the elements I loved about "My Life Next Door" were there (beach, summer, interesting family), but for me this novel dragged. Gwen and Cass (and Gwen and other guys in the book) have a history, but that history was slow to be revealed. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if it had been New Adult instead of YA. (edit: to clarify: from my perspective, the characters had a lot of adult responsibility to be high school students. For me, it would have worked better if this had been a summer between college instead of high school. I could have better believed the maturity and bitterness)....more
For me, "The Program" was an intense, page-turner. One of those enjoyable books that gives you just enough information in each chapter to keep you wanFor me, "The Program" was an intense, page-turner. One of those enjoyable books that gives you just enough information in each chapter to keep you wanting more.
In the world of "The Program," teenage suicide has become a global epidemic. No one can explain it. It seems to spread like a virus from teen to teen. To fight the epidemic, schools constantly watch their students for signs and symptoms. If signs or symptoms are displayed, teens are forced into The Program. The Program is an intensive, mental ward-esque therapy plan, where no one returns with any memory of their life before The Program.
Sloane, is a strong main character, and when she is forced into The Program, she doesn't go down without a fight. She doesn't want to forget her life, and especially her boyfriend, James, who she has an intense and mature relationship. She strives to find a way to beat The Program and remember.
Suicide is a very heavy and serious subject. My initial concern was The Program would be dark and depressing. However, while it does take its subject matter very seriously, its more of a thriller and mystery.
Overall, it was very thought provoking. It begs the question if depression suffers would be better off without memories. For me, it also skated around the days when forced lobotomies were common, and questioned freedoms and individual rights....more