When I first picked this book up, I thought to myself, “Ok, this book is going to be about Vera getting over the loss of her friend and trying to figu...moreWhen I first picked this book up, I thought to myself, “Ok, this book is going to be about Vera getting over the loss of her friend and trying to figure out some mystery.” Although both of these points were in the book, there was so much more to it. The chapters unfolded in different ways. For example, there were “history” chapters in which Vera narrates her history, mostly in terms of her friendship with Charlie, since she was 11. There are other chapters told from Vera’s dad’s point of view and from Charlie’s point of view. I like this technique because, although the story is mostly told from Vera’s point of view, adding brief moments from other characters makes readers see from a whole new, rather different perspective.
This method of alternating chapters between the past and the present also allows the story to unfold slowly. Now, in no way am I trying to say that plot was slow and boring, actually it was just the opposite. Instead, bits and pieces of the story are given creating suspense and intrigue. When Vera would give away one bit of information, it made me want to continue reading the book that much more. In addition, just when you think you know what’s going to happen in various parts of the book, you will be thrown off course and surprised.
What I probably enjoyed most about this book is how easy it was to connect with the characters and feel their emotions, whether it was happiness, pain, excitement, ect. During parts of the book when Vera was sad, I wanted to comfort her like she was one of my close friends. When Vera’s dad is confused and angry, I wanted to sit down with him and explain the situation Vera was going through. Although this book features a lot of sadness and pain from Charlie’s death, there are so many more feelings explored including happiness, love, disgust, angst, terror, and more.
As a side note…how would you feel if your best friend not only haunted you to get you to clear their name…but there were hundreds of copies of the person haunting you? Literally, hundreds of Charlies haunting Vera. Crazy!
This is one of those books that not only will you not want to put down until the very end, but that features so many intricate levels and layers that you’ll want to re-read it to make sure you “got” everything. Once I started this book, I just couldn’t get it out of my head and found myself up late at night trying to finish it. Once it did end, I was sad. Not necessarily sad because of the ending, but sad that the book was done and that I could no longer connect with the characters. Please Ignore Vera Dietz was beautifully written and told a great story that will appeal to a variety of readers. (less)
During one of my high school honors English classes, we were assigned to read Jane Eyre. Although it’s been about 10 years since I read it, I remember...moreDuring one of my high school honors English classes, we were assigned to read Jane Eyre. Although it’s been about 10 years since I read it, I remember it was one of the few classic novels I’ve read and actually enjoyed. When I saw that author April Lindner had written an updated version of Jane Eyre, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
One word to describe Jane--refreshing! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it seems like romance books are the hot commodities at the library. Jane features romance, but in a different way that makes it not your average romance. Rather than being consumed with the perfect romance and/or love, the romance in Jane is complicated, yet simple and delicate. It’s the kind of romance that makes your heart smile, as cheesy as that might sound. Jane’s character is a great example of a strong female who does not just give in to the man she is interested in. At times Jane’s life isn’t easy and she doesn’t know what to do, yet she stays strong, believes in herself, and works things out as they come. She is not a cheesy, “love fool” of a character and I really liked that about her.
Jane isn’t all about love and romance. This book also features a dark mystery that will capture readers’ attention and maintain it throughout the story. When Jane begins work as a nanny for rock star Nico Rathburn, she is told that she is not allowed to go onto the third floor of the house. Jane begins hearing laughing and strange sounds coming from the third floor, but can’t figure out what is going on. Although I read Jane Eyre and had an idea of what was on the third floor, if I hadn’t read Jane Eyre, I would have been completely shocked…which should intrigue readers. Other surprises and twists in the plot are given, which maintain a feel of suspense and mystery throughout the story.
Ultimately, it felt good to read a classic book rewritten to allow more readers that have never been exposed to Jane Eyre to get a feel for it. Lindner’s writing was beautifully done and the story line itself captured me from the first page and even had me kind of sad when it ended. This is definitely a book I recommend to those looking for a refreshing, romance read. (less)
Ok, I want to start off by saying that the summary of this book really intrigued me, especially the author’s note on how much society is focusing on t...moreOk, I want to start off by saying that the summary of this book really intrigued me, especially the author’s note on how much society is focusing on teen girls getting pregnant and almost making it seem “cool”. For example, shows like Teen Mom and the teens on those shows always seem to be making headlines in gossip magazines. This glamorizing of teen moms really bothers me at times, so I felt that this book would be right up my alley.
I must say, I was really let down by Bumped. The beginning of the story starts off kind of slow and jargon/terminology for this specific book/futuristic world are given, but not defined. This left me confused and broke up the flow of the book. In addition, the beginning of the book explains that one of the main characters, Melody, is pregnant. Yet, approximately 15-20 pages later readers find out she’s not, that she was wearing a fake pregnant belly that lets one see how it would feel to be pregnant. Once again, I was left confused and actually restarted the book to see if maybe I had missed something. This choppiness just kept throwing off the flow and pacing of the book.
Another reason I did not really enjoy Bumped is because the “teens’ voices” in the book seem forced and unnatural, ultimately making them seem unrealistic. This being the author’s first official teen fiction novel left me feeling like she was trying a little too hard to sound like a teen. Although I was able to get through the unnatural teens’ voices, it just brought the book down a level. As the storyline of Bumped moved along, especially towards the latter part of it, suspense and tension grew. I finally started getting more excited and interested to know what was going to happen next. I started reading the pages quicker and thought maybe I had been misjudging the book all along. Yet, I was disappointed again by how quickly the conflicts were solved, which made them underdeveloped. Sure, the suspense grew, but ultimately, the quick resolutions had me disappointed.
I am not one to not enjoy and/or not recommend books that include sexual content, drug use, or profanity, especially if they help move the storyline along. However, in Bumped all of these were included and were used in an over the top way. I thought some of this type of content could have been removed without changing the intent of the book itself. In the end, Bumped did not stand up to my expectations. The writing was poorly done and felt forced, the characters were unrealistic, and although parts of the storyline increased my interest in the book, the conflicts were too easily solved. I do think there will be a high interest in Bumped when it is released, but with the vast array of dystopian novels being published, I don’t think one stands out from the crowd. (less)
I recently put up a book display in my library’s teen section based on teen fiction books that are based on fairy tales. One of the most popular books...moreI recently put up a book display in my library’s teen section based on teen fiction books that are based on fairy tales. One of the most popular books based on this “topic” is Beastly by Alex Flinn. I purchased this book for my Nook about a year ago and although I started it, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. While recently browsing through my Nook, I came across it again and thought I would give it a second try. After reading Anna and the French Kiss, I have been in the mood for another light-hearted romance read and Beastly couldn’t have been a better choice. Based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, this updated version really intrigued me.
The main character, later to become the beast, Kyle Kingsbury is your typical stuck up, rich kid going to a highly acclaimed private school. Kyle cares about one thing and one thing only--beauty and looks. He makes fun of classmates that aren’t up to his standards and just doesn’t care about anyone but himself. I’ll be honest, at the beginning of the story I couldn’t stand Kyle and the way he acted. He was everything that embodied a “mean guy” rather than a “mean girl”. When he plans a prank on his fellow classmate, who he thinks is extremely ugly, to meet her at the school dance as his date, Kyle thinks he will get the last laugh. Going along with Beauty and the Beast, Kyle is turned into a beast for his mean prank and has only 2 years to meet a girl, make her fall in love with him, fall in love with her, and kiss her for the spell to be broken. Is Kyle able to get beyond the fact that he has been turned into a beast? Will he be so focused on looks that he will not be able to live as a beast? Will he ever be able to find a girl to fall in love with him? Not only will readers see the growth and maturity in Kyle’s character, but their hearts will smile with the romance that is contained in the book.
Beastly is a perfect example of a fairy tale most of us are familiar with and made current and relevant for today’s teen readers. Even those that know how the fairy tale goes will be surprised with some of the plot twists and turns. Those looking for a light-hearted romance read, with a sort of paranormal romance feel, will enjoy Beastly. (less)