This was... different. In a lot of ways. There were things I loved and things I really, really didn't. Review to come.
Oh Isla, when will we get to see your cover?
I'm hoping it'll have navy blue. That would look pretty on my shelf. Anna in purple and green, Lola in pink and teal, Isla in navy blue and... peach! Yes, navy blue and peach with a cute redhead on the cover. *Sigh*... when will 2013 get here?
OMG. May 7th. MAY 7TH EVERYBODY.
I'm more excited for May 7th 2013 than I am for my 2013 birthday. Psshh, birthdays, they happen every year. New Stephanie Perkins books? HAPPENS NEVER.
"September 7th 2013"
WHAT? Nooooo! :'( I'm heartbroken!
No. No. No. No, no, no.
THEY MADE OVER THE COVERS OF MY FAVOURITES SERIES.
This doesn't happen to me. No, no, no. It happens to series I don't like or don't care much about. I've never had to stress about having different-looking sequels on my shelf. And now it's happened to my favourite series ever. CRAP DAMMIT.
It's pretty. It's okay. But I wanted another cover like LOLA's. That was so pretty :(
Could it be? Could March 13th 2014 be the REAL release date? Could I really have ISLA in my hands in just over two months? (less)
I read and really enjoyed Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, so I knew she could craft a great story and a beyond-amazing setting going int...moreI read and really enjoyed Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, so I knew she could craft a great story and a beyond-amazing setting going into Wanderlove. I anticipated that I'd like Wanderlove a lot for those reasons.
And hot damn, I was right. But I didn't quite anticipate what this book would do to me.
So our protagonist is Bria Sandoval. She just graduated from high school and just broke up with a controlling boyfriend who didn't deserve her at all and why the heck couldn't she see that, come on Bria, you're way too good for him and gahhhh.
I effing loved Bria. I don't say this often about YA protagonists. I've been known to get hives at any inkling of angst from a Too Stupid To Live heroine, which are all too common in this little book community. Bria is the oppose of TSTL. Even when she annoyed me, like in her memories of her idiot boyfriend, she wasn't being stupid. She was being real.
That's what I didn't anticipate about this book. How it would remind me of myself in so, so many different ways.
This book is about traveling. Backpacking in Central America, to be precise, which is not a place I've ever dreamed of going. Hot, sticky, tropical climates and hot, sticky, dirty backroad methods of travel are definitely not my thing. But it doesn't matter, because Wanderlove really did awaken wanderlove in me.
When I was fourteen, I got the chance to go to France with my French Immersion school. I leapt at the chance, got a job, and worked for a year to pay for the ten-day trip myself, no help from Mommy and Daddy. Five years ago this month, I went, had a fabulous time, and returned with my appetite whetted, ready to jet off again the next chance I got.
My family isn't big on traveling. We do road trips -- I've been all over most of my province squashed in a car with my brother and sister -- but I had never even been on a plane before my France trip. The chance for me to go somewhere else hasn't come yet, even five years later. Soon. I've scraping my pennies together to go to England, but then my car broke down and I had to buy a new one and some health-related stuff happened in my family and it's been one delay after another for the past year and it's looking like maybe I can go in September. It's feeling really far away, like it might never happen.
And that's what Wanderlove reminded me: that I want it so, so bad. I want to get out of here, go somewhere different, learn new things and see beauty. I was starting to forget that, in the wake of financial trouble and delays and things getting in my way. I had almost forgotten that the enormous desire to just go is all I really need. As long as I have that, I'll find a way.
So, yeah. My review of Wanderlove is actually a ramble about my own sad little life. Ah, well. That's the mark of a good book. I was too wrapped up in what it was making me feel and what it was giving to me that nothing else mattered. It's a great story. Great writing. Kirsten's illustrations are gorgeous (although I wish there were a lot more of them), and even though Central America never really appealed to me before, I keep finding myself Googling pictures of the locales in the book and sighing, thinking "maybe, someday."
In short, it's really good. You should read it. Escape inside it's pages and then work towards Bria's journey of discovery yourself, one day. (less)
I'm torn between wanting to give this book five stars, because I enjoyed it and read it in one sitting and found it to be very insightful and deep, an...moreI'm torn between wanting to give this book five stars, because I enjoyed it and read it in one sitting and found it to be very insightful and deep, and giving it one star, because I really, really, really hated the way it all turned out. It actually makes me angry. Three stars it is, I guess.(less)
I had this read to me a lot when I was very little, and I loved the illustrations at the time, all the detail in them. I recently was going through a...moreI had this read to me a lot when I was very little, and I loved the illustrations at the time, all the detail in them. I recently was going through a lot of boxes of old books and found it again, and ended up sniffing and wiping away tears by the end of it. Read it at 20 is a very different experience from reading it at 4!(less)
I must confess: this is a review of a book I did not finish.
But there are reasons I did not finish this book and I think they need to be talked about....moreI must confess: this is a review of a book I did not finish.
But there are reasons I did not finish this book and I think they need to be talked about.
I waited a long time to read Shatter Me. I was aware of it before it even had a title, before it had a release date, months and months before it had a cover. I read the author's blog and I find her such a charming person. Regardless of what the book was about or what the cover looked like, I knew I was going to buy it and read it anyway. I support authors like that.
And the internet made no small deal about this book! Probably everyone in the entire YA world was clambering for an ARC and, if they didn't get one, giving the early reviewers the stink-eye. There was a much-hyped book trailer, a much-hyped cover (revealed on MTV!), and some really early rave reviews. The stage was set.
So, does it live up to all that crazy hype?
My answer is no.
Let me explain. From the reviews I read, I knew going in the writing was going to be lyrical. I read a few excerpts that let me in on the style of the novel. In my opinion, it was too much. Way, way, way too much. Every other sentence has a long, rambling metaphor that is beautiful on the surface, but soon becomes too drawn-out and convoluted. At first you're going right along with it because it sounds pretty, but by the time you get to the end of the sentence the meaning is completely jumbled. You start the sentence with a dreamy expression, but by the end your face looks all "WTF?"
I love metaphors. I do. I use many of them myself. Markus Zusak said once in an interview that he thinks each page of a novel should have a gem. That's my theory on metaphors and other pretty devices, too. One per page is nice. One item of beauty per page is perfect.
One. Not ten. I swear, every other sentence of Shatter Me is one of those pretty sentences. It just gets tiring to read and slows the pace down to a molasses-like trickle.
I only got about a quarter of the way into the book before calling it quits, so that's almost too soon to comment on the romance, as it barely got started. But that's just it: I quit so early on because nothing was happening. Adam is the most boring character ever written, I really can't think of a thing to say about him, and Warner? Um, is he supposed to be a love interest? Because I got serious creep vibes. Serious creep vibes. If a guy seems to have put you in prison just to test your abilities and see how you'd react (um, V for Vendetta, anyone??), you do not get involved with him. You do not. I got predatory vibes from him all the way and I can't imagine how that could ever have changed enough for Juliette to want to get it on with him.
Juliette herself is fairly blah. She has the ability to kill people by touching them, apparently, but by a quarter of the way into the book, that ability is barely explained. Mafi skirts the issue, describing Juliette's feels about the power and how her parents and other people reacted to her having the power, but never fully explained how the power worked or what exactly it does. Do people drop down dead when she touches them? Or do they get sick and die gradually? Do they asphyxiate? Or what?
Despite all the hullabaloo, Shatter Me is so messy it's not even funny. It feels like trendbait to me. I never got the feeling that it was a real story. I could never really get past knowing the specifics of the novels creation -- knowing that Jodi Reamer represented it, knowing that it got released the same year as it sold (practically unheard of). I don't think you're missing anything at all if you skip this one.
Two stars because it isn't utter tripe. It has good intentions. It's just mediocre.(less)
More like 4.5, but I'm rounding up. A few things bugged me, such as the ending (view spoiler)[the kidnapping was wrapped up a little clumsily... why d...moreMore like 4.5, but I'm rounding up. A few things bugged me, such as the ending (view spoiler)[the kidnapping was wrapped up a little clumsily... why did Gerald take Jody? What did he do to her? Why did he kill himself? (hide spoiler)], but the thing that rubbed the wrong way was their attitude toward public school. Okay, your family is short on money and your kid goes to private school. Seems like the first thing you would do to save money is to put them in public school, and that would be a big sigh of relief. That would save thousands and thousands a year. But Samara and her dad felt like it was the end of the world, and tried to ask for money from the congregants so that Samara could keep going to private school, saying they were "desperately in need"? No, you're not in need. Public school isn't the end of the world.
Aside from that, this book is great. I'll definitely read more Sara Zarr.["br"]>["br"]>(less)