A sweet, page-turner YA with a surprising amount of serious issues: anxiety disorder/panic attacks, foster care, near fatal car accident, hospitalizatA sweet, page-turner YA with a surprising amount of serious issues: anxiety disorder/panic attacks, foster care, near fatal car accident, hospitalization, and a parent with a drug addiction. I'm impressed how effortlessly the author weaved it all in without bogging down the romantic tension!
The main character, Autumn, is definitely an inspiration for girls with anxiety. The YA world needs more characters like her. When Autumn finds herself accidentally locked in a library over MLK weekend (ah, jealous, being locked in a library is almost bucketlist worthy IMO), she feels abandoned and forgotten by her friends and family. Little does she know, Dax, her quiet, loner classmate with the bad reputation, has also been locked in the library, on purpose.
The characters bond over their circumstances. Only slightly reminiscent of the princess (Claire) and the rebel (Bender) from The Breakfast Club, in a good way. However, when Autumn and Dax are free of the library, life suddenly becomes more complicated. Autumn needs a distraction just as much as Dax. A secret friendship emerges, and soon, more.
This was my first read by Kasie West. I definitely plan to check out more of her work in the future!...more
You've probably read dozens of reviews for this book/play by now...anyhow, here's mine!
I guess, we can ignore that, months and months ago, I was immedYou've probably read dozens of reviews for this book/play by now...anyhow, here's mine!
I guess, we can ignore that, months and months ago, I was immediately disappointed to learn this was going to be a play and not a novel. I mean, I was happy to have new Harry Potter canon in any form. It just wasn't my ideal form.
Without J.K.'s beautiful descriptions, it took a little bit for the story to feel Potter-esque. But once it got going, I didn't really miss Harry as the main character so much. Once they got to Hogwarts, I was cool with following Albus and Scorpius. (Totally shipping Scorpius and Rose now, btw). I never thought I'd like a Malfoy, but Scorpius is a lovable dork.
Oddly enough, I actually ended up liking everyone but Harry in the story. Wow. Harry is old and kinda a dummy. He's "the man" now and has forgotten all the mischief he got into as a kid. Even though Harry saved Draco, doesn't have a problem with Albus being in Slytherin, and wants to honor Snape, he hates Scorpius based on rumors. Did Harry forget all the rumors that followed his path to adulthood? Anyhow, I suspended my belief. I might could have understood if Ginny didn't like Scorpius, based on her history being manipulated by Riddle's Diary and cause Malfoy was never nice to the Weasley family. I guess I thought Harry would know better. Anyhow, for the sake of the story, ok.
Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The time-turner was one of my favorite elements in the Harry Potter universe, and I was glad to see it back. Parts of the book were hilarious. The rest of the plot although shocking, felt right. It left me wanting another book/play/movie. Here's to hoping I can see the play someday or there's a movie in the works. Maybe even a movie of the play....more
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