Well, I must have liked The Compound because I could not put it down. I found myself reading the pages as fast as I could so that I could find out wh Well, I must have liked The Compound because I could not put it down. I found myself reading the pages as fast as I could so that I could find out what was going to happen. Good sign, right? The 4 stars are simply for the fact that this book entertained me and wanted me to keep reading. However, there were some flaws.
HERE COME THE SPOILERS!!
I'm not going to lie. I had a feeling from the get-go that something was amiss with the "world is ending" reasoning. I just couldn't imagine a father (who cared so much for his family's well-being that he built the most elaborate bomb shelter ever) not trying to save one of his children and having such a cavalier attitude as, "it happened, he's gone, we move on now." After that dramatic opening, the story moves forward 6 years and we begin following Eli's day to day life in the underground bunker/mansion. Eli's father has thought of everything. He has provided his family with every creature comfort to make their 15-year hiatus from the real world (which according to him has been destroyed by a nuclear bomb) as easy as possible. Every movie ever made! Workout equipment! Bedroom suites for all! However, Bodeen begins dropping hints that there is something sinister going on under ground. About midway through the story the plot really starts to move. We learn that Eli's father has come up with a grotesque solution to their pending food shortage (I still feel absolutely "ick" over that part of the story). Eli also begins to realize that he and his family have been living a lie created by their evil-genius dad. Shortly after Eli's IM session with Eddy, Bodeen rapidly begins escalating the action. This is the point where I start to have some issues. It seemed as if she was trying to rush an ending out of the story and wasn't taking the time to flesh out the story properly. One minute, Eli's dad is laying on what we assume is a near-death bed in the Compound's infirmary and the next minute he is healthy enough to be chasing Eli all around trying to stop him from opening the hatch. I was also disappointed with the fact that it was never really explained as to why the father did this. The only conclusion that I could come to was that he was considering these 15 years to be "research" for his future bomb shelter business?? Also, I was a bit bothered and icked out by the fact that the mother seemed to be a willing participant in birthing the "supplements." *Shudder* That part still seems to be unnecessary to the story and only included to make it extra creepy. Well, the story has what we are to think is a happy ending. I still expected the father to pop up out of nowhere and start spewing crazy every where. It's funny - after writing this review I keep thinking, "A 4?! I gave it a 4?" But the fact is, I really was on the edge of my seat and this would be a really easy sell to a lot of teens looking for something to read. ...more
I liked Heart of the Matter. After really enjoying Something Borrowed and kind of liking Something Blue (andFirst of all, I'm Team Tessa all the way.
I liked Heart of the Matter. After really enjoying Something Borrowed and kind of liking Something Blue (and then being pretty disappointed with Baby Proof and Love the One You're With), I didn't know what to expect from Emily Giffin's latest.
Honestly, my favorite parts were probably the ones where familiar characters from Something Borrowed/Blue popped up. It's nice to see that there truly was a happily ever after.
So, I did appreciate the alternating points of view in this book. It really goes to say that there are always two sides to every story. However, no matter what the underlying storyline was with Valerie, I just did not like her character. I would feel my stomach getting twisted while reading her parts just knowing what was inevitably going to happen with her and Nick and when it did I was even all the more bothered by it. Heart of the Matter really did seem to dissect the evolution of an affair - from the initial flirtation/crushing to the ending of it all. I just didn't feel sorry for Valerie getting, for lack of a better word, dumped.
Truly, I didn't understand why Tessa would even want Nick back. I feel that Giffin did such an excellent job with making me really loathe him that I felt a little duped at the end when he's allowed to come back as the doting husband/father again. I think that it would have made for a better ending (and left room for a Tessa-centric sequel) if the marriage truly ended and allowed Tessa to pursue a new love interest.
Hate List didn't disappoint me. It didn't exactly wow me either, but that was mostly due to the ending.
I liked the way that the story went back and foHate List didn't disappoint me. It didn't exactly wow me either, but that was mostly due to the ending.
I liked the way that the story went back and forth from present day in Valerie's life to the day of the shooting. I also really liked how many of the flashback chapters started with an obituary-like article about one of the victims.
It's easy to see both sides in this story in spite of Valerie being the narrator. While I really do want to sympathize with her (ugh, her parents are so incredibly terrible to her), it's easy to see how she let her venting and moaning get out of hand with Nick. I was actually really surprised to see how little family support she receives throughout her ordeal. Her parents truly do blame her and seem almost to decide that they aren't going to offer her any support. Her brother's character was pretty realistic, I thought. It showed that although the two of them had been close, he had come to resent her for all the attention, both positive and negative, she was receiving as well as for the fact that her actions/inactions had turned his familiar family life upside down.
My biggest disappointment with the book was the ending. It had a very, "... and they all lived happily ever after," feel to it which I just didn't feel was right for a book that was all about revenge, and hurt, and murder. It just didn't seem realistic that all of her peers would come to forgive Valerie for whatever role she played.
All in all, it was a book that kept my interest throughout. Unfortunately it is a very current subject at this point in time. However, with that, I feel that it would interest a lot of the young readers it was intended for....more
Dreamland tackles the tough, but important, story line of abusive teen relationships. After Caitlin's perfect sister Cass runs away in the middle of Dreamland tackles the tough, but important, story line of abusive teen relationships. After Caitlin's perfect sister Cass runs away in the middle of the night, her family feels lost. No one understands what could have caused such a change in Cass and struggle with getting past the fact that they truly didn't know her. Caitlin, feeling lost, finds herself drawn to Rogerson who provides her with a lifestyle that is an escape from everything she has ever known. Through Rogerson, Caitlin develops a drug habit and begins withdrawing from her family, friends, and activities. It's no secret that Rogerson can be aloof and has a strong temper which Caitlin tries to keep in check by making sure she always does what he expects of her. However, after finding herself unable to meet him after school one day, she finds herself receiving the full force of his anger when he hits her. Soon after, Caitlin finds herself frequently being abused by Rogerson - however, still believing that she loves him (and he her) she cannot break out of the vicious cycle. One night, when Rogerson takes things too far, Caitlin's secret that she's been desperately trying to keep comes out. I know that this book was published a few years ago. It's funny because I've only just began reading Sarah Dessen's novels these past few weeks and I've found myself hooked on her stories and characters! Dreamland has been dramatically different from her other fluffy, fun romances and I applaud its content. Dessen takes on a very serious subject that isn't often found in YA stories. I found this to be an engaging, and gut-wrenching story and became attached to Caitlin and her struggles. I would still list this under Jennifer Brown's Bitter End in terms of dealing with the concept of abusive relationships, it is still an incredibly important read that I will easily pass on to others. Due to content, it is better suited for older YA readers....more
This was an "eh" book. Even though it was a memoir, the story felt unauthentic. I felt that there were a lot of loose ends regarding Tiffany. Also, thThis was an "eh" book. Even though it was a memoir, the story felt unauthentic. I felt that there were a lot of loose ends regarding Tiffany. Also, the entire time I was reading it, I felt like the author just wanted us to marvel over what an exceptional, generous human being he was for taking in his troubled niece. I had a difficult time sympathizing with anyone in this story.
Very happy that I did not buy this one at B&N....more
Put this one next to Dewey on the list. A book chock full of cutesy animal stories that inevitably lead to a bawling Jodi on the couch. I made the misPut this one next to Dewey on the list. A book chock full of cutesy animal stories that inevitably lead to a bawling Jodi on the couch. I made the mistake of reading this on Christmas morning and I almost couldn't pull it together to go to dinner with my family!
Luckily, I read this before seeing the movie, that way I had a heads up to how things were going to turn out for Ol' Marley. Therefore, I fast forwarded through the ending....more
This book is broken down into different essays by prominent figures in the sports and entertainment world. Each one remembers a person who positivelyThis book is broken down into different essays by prominent figures in the sports and entertainment world. Each one remembers a person who positively influenced their life. Denzel Washington, the official spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Club of America, remembers a staff member from his local BGC that helped shape him early on in life and many of the other contributors to the book also remember a BGC staff.
It's a nice book to read. It makes you think about someone who helped influence your life as well as realize that you never know when you may be influencing someone else's....more
I always love Sarah Dessen's books. This was one of the few that I hadn't read yet and, as it was on the list of suggested reads for my 512 class, I I always love Sarah Dessen's books. This was one of the few that I hadn't read yet and, as it was on the list of suggested reads for my 512 class, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to read it. This was one of Dessen's earlier novels so you don't get any of the Easter Eggs that you'll find in her later books (which I always love). Colie is a relatable character who deals with her fair share of teen angst and self-esteem issues that stem from her days as an overweight child who was (and continued to be after her weight loss) bullied by her peers. When her fitness guru mother sends her to spend her summer with her eccentric aunt in North Carolina, she finally finds herself meeting people who appreciate her for who she is and who help teach her to value herself more. Dessen's books have a reliable formula to them often dealing with parent/child issues and a love interest that is built up throughout the story. Keeping the Moon certainly exhibited those qualities, and, while some parts were predictable, it didn't make the story any less enjoyable. Keeping the Moon is a breezy, engaging read. I read it through in one sitting eager to get to the end and see what happened with all the characters (all of who had their fair share of drama). This is an easy one to pass along to girls. Although, due to content, it is better suited for older YA readers or mature middle schoolers. ...more
Cute, fast-paced read. Remy is incredibly cynical about love. She prefers to end her relationships before they get too complicated and doesn't believ Cute, fast-paced read. Remy is incredibly cynical about love. She prefers to end her relationships before they get too complicated and doesn't believe in love. This is mainly due to watching her mom marry 4 different guys since her dad (who she never knew) passed away. However, things become complicated for Remy when she meets Dexter, a guy who goes against her type. She soon finds herself immersed in the complications that come with a relationship and not sure she likes being outside her comfort zone. This is a great, fun, romance-y read that's easy to pass along to female YA readers. However, due to content (these characters go out to the bar and drink every night in spite of just graduating high school) it is better suited for older readers....more
This book will always get to me, emotionally. It is the perfect book to address the sadness of losing a pet. The death of the family cat, Barney, is dThis book will always get to me, emotionally. It is the perfect book to address the sadness of losing a pet. The death of the family cat, Barney, is dealt with so tenderly with this book. It also teaches the importance on reflecting on the good things that you want to remember but that it's OK to be sad as well. ...more
Life As We Knew It was one of those books that I had picked up a bunch of times meaning to read. I was always recommending it to patrons looking for Life As We Knew It was one of those books that I had picked up a bunch of times meaning to read. I was always recommending it to patrons looking for a good book to read based solely on the fact that it was always circulating. I finally decided to see for myself and I'm glad I did. Life As We Knew It was an amazing, haunting story. It follows the story of survivial of a young girl (Miranda) and her family after an asteroid hits the moon. It is one of those stories where just when you think things can't get any worse, something catastrophic happens. The whole time I was reading this book (mind you, I didn't put it down all day til I had finished it), I had a pit in my stomach dreading what the outcome would be for Miranda and her family. It also makes you think about what survival skills you would have if anything like this ever happened. Now I can easily recommend this book to others with the assurance that I, myself, read it and could not put it down....more