Smart and smiley and refreshing original. Loved so much about this: the premise and the twisty, brilliant and daring way everything some together. WilSmart and smiley and refreshing original. Loved so much about this: the premise and the twisty, brilliant and daring way everything some together. Williams is an outstanding author marching along to the beat of her own drum.
I have been dying to get my hands on the 3rd book of the Rephaim series ever since Haze officially turned the Rephaim series into my favourite angel sI have been dying to get my hands on the 3rd book of the Rephaim series ever since Haze officially turned the Rephaim series into my favourite angel series ever. My expectation for Shimmer was crazy high, I missed those characters and so needed to hang out again. I was coming off the back off a major book slump when Shimmer finally arrived -- making my hopes even higher for the perfect reading escape (also placing pressure on Shimmer to deliver). You guys, it 100% does not disappoint.
Shimmer starts minutes after where Haze left off -- and things are straight-up intense and complicated when the outcasts and the Sanctuary Rephaim are reunited. Decade old tensions are coupled with immediate danger, torn loyalties, serious shock and high emotions. Shimmer takes us back to the Garrison where Gaby was once held as prisoner, but this time she's more sure of herself. I love how much Gaby has grown as a character over the series and she really comes into her own in this instalment. She's fierce despite her exhaustion, brave despite her fears and relentless in standing up to face so much opposition on all sides. She's loyal and cares deeply and you can feel her fragile edges under it all and I just want everything to work out okay for her. I also loved finding out more about past-Gaby (Gabe) from her Sanctuary friends -- and it's nice to see so much of it is better than she was hoping for. I am also loving revisiting old Sanctuary memories -- like Gaby and Rafa's adrenalin junky motorbike days <3
Shadows opened with Gaby discovering the mystery of her past, and Haze hinted that those secrets were tangled in something far, far greater than just Gaby's immediate world. Now Shimmer really starts to crack open the whole Rephaim history and it's not just Gaby's world that has been rocked but all the Rephaim's, outcast and Sanctuary alike. Revelations gain momentum and seeds of doubt snowball into serious life-changing doubts and realisations.
Weston manages to take crazy, complicated tensions between the myriad of characters and keep them all in balance -- all while unveiling secrets and ramping up mysteries. I love how with insight revealed it takes me back to earlier days (books) and shines a little light from a different perspective regarding characters motivations and relationships. It's a complex and intriguing group of characters and even the ones I didn't really feel that sympathetic towards are somehow worming their way into my affections. I love Gaby and Rafa is (clearly) amongst my fave YA love interests ever and Jude is incredible (and he also has some intriguing sexual tension happening with another Rephaim ;)). But it's the whole cast of characters that have me bewitched. Micah and Daisy (definitely looking forward to more of these two in #4), Zach and Ez, Jason and Maggie, even Taya and Mya and the Pan Beach Butler boys and co -- all make me feel like I'd love to hang out with the gang (although I'd need to brush up on my fighting skills -- non-stop sparring and fighting with that bunch of proud and kick-arse angels).
The tension is palpable and the pacing is sharp making Shimmer the most fierce and kick-arse book in the series so far. Zarael and his crew are formidable and unrelenting, seemingly even more nightmarish and ever-present than before. While the pacing had my heart thumping and those pages flying I missed some of those quieter moments where you can just breathe a little. Weston knows how to unleash all hell and then somehow take it up a notch, twist it around and flip it inside out. This time I felt more grounded as Jude is alongside Gaby -- he has her back, straight up. The dynamic between them is tight and I loved all their scenes together, so much.
Rafa is hot and enigmatic in Shadows, damn sexy in Haze and in Shimmer he takes it up another level. So, fair warning -- prepare yourselves :).These two, Gaby and Rafa <3. All that slow burn sexual tension of the first two books really pays off and I have a feeling the best is yet to come.
Bonus features: Weston has this really fun (and entirely useful) who's who of her world -- little mini character bios -- making it easy for readers to become reacquainted with the characters (and to refer back to if need be). Shimmer also opens with this genius little prologue where Gaby brings the reader up to speed covering the events of Shadows and Haze.
Bonus feature I would have loved: Sneak peek of the first chapter of Burn (haha, joking.. kinda, not really...;)). THE ENDING... it's not a cliffhanger, per se, but it is the perfect set-up for book 4 (the series conclusion) and if I was dying to have Shimmer, I am even more so for Burn. The last scene just gave me such a rush -- and I am desperate to pick up where it leaves off -- Burn is going to begin with a real game changer and I am so along for the ride.
I haven't been this pumped for a series since those early Hunger Games days when I needed to get my hands on Mockingjay (and now The Rephaim series supersedes that). I love this series immensely -- for the characters, the up-all-night addictive experience, the slow burn sexual tension, the secrets and mysteries and twists, the kick-arse, real-stakes action and for that unique Aussie vibe.
I am completely enamoured with this series and these characters and absolutely recommend Shimmer - one of my fave reads of the year so far (and Shadow and Haze, for those who have not yet started -- bump them up your TBR!). ...more
truly extraordinary, beautiful and quietly heartbreaking. What a stunning book with an ending that took my breath away. I will be thinking about thistruly extraordinary, beautiful and quietly heartbreaking. What a stunning book with an ending that took my breath away. I will be thinking about this book for a long time. So very highly recommended. Aussie YA does not get much better than this <3 ( full review to come)...more
I started The Accident on the day it arrived and was rewarded with that elusive feeling all book lovers seek after: picking up a book you know nothingI started The Accident on the day it arrived and was rewarded with that elusive feeling all book lovers seek after: picking up a book you know nothing about and realising within pages that it is going to be a new favourite.
The first thing I loved about the Accident was the prose. Hendrick's prose is gorgeous, literary and emotive, some phrases/ideas/sentiments are just so well captured I had to pause and read them again, let them rest with me, before moving on. Likewise, the dialogue is so authentic I felt like I was eavesdropping rather than reading fiction.
The characters are flawed and vulnerable and wonderfully layered. Hendrick knows how to up the stakes, raise the tension and she is not kind to her characters (things are tough, things get tougher). They just bleed onto the pages in such an intimate and unpretentious way it was impossible for me not to ache for them.
Right in the middle of my photo wall is a text collage I spent hours making from newspaper headlines. You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Gandhi said that; it used to fire me up, and now it only makes me feel tired. It's just not so simple anymore. (page 9).
(A resounding yes to Sarah's thoughts, right down to my memories of making similar collages, things are not so simple after tragedy strikes.)
The plot: Things are not what they seem. The story is presented from three different POVs. Each POV covers a different time period. Sarah's chapters occur Later, Will's After and Eliat's Before. And the chapter's alternate so the story unfolds like so: Later, After, Before, Later, After, Before, Later, After, Before (and so on). Our three narrators paths are seemingly separate for the longest of times and I was continually trying to unjumble events, decode and predict everything. I think I made things more complicated for myself by trying to outsmart the book, haha. My advice: relax into the story and trust the author who has it all figured out. Also: the ending was not what I assumed it would be (loved that!). Once I arrived, I was able to look back and rethink things, figure things out. It's a smart and thoughtful book.
This is not a cruise-y, relaxing book for a rainy-day read. It's a little dark in places, introspective and beautifully hopeful. It is not a book full of cliffhangers, high moments of drama or raging tensions - yet it is effortlessly compelling, quietly, sneakily, powerful. Also, it feels so Australian -- the Sydney setting made it feel like home.
I love the idea of three separate story strands coming together in a butterfly effect and I ended up loving this book. I'm really excited for it (and for other readers to discover it) and I think it's the perfect example of a crossover book -- The Accident will speak to teenagers and adult alike. Also, take a look at this quote from (fabulous and awesome author) Vicki Wakefield: 'A sophisticated, surprising and beautifully written novel about tangled lives and consequences. from the first pages, I knew how this story would end. I love being wrong.'
The Accident really struck a chord with me and I am still thinking about it. I'm really impressed with the quality and brilliance we keep seeing come from Text publishing. Readers of young adult fiction in Australia today are truly blessed....more
I loved paula's debut, Shadows, so, so much (despite it not sounding like a me kind of book). It was addictive and intelligent and sexy as anything. II loved paula's debut, Shadows, so, so much (despite it not sounding like a me kind of book). It was addictive and intelligent and sexy as anything. I was stalking my mail box for the sequel to arrive and, you guys, the wait was more than worth it. I loved Haze even more than Shadows.
Straight up: I read this within a 24 hour period, finishing it at 4am. Those are the kind of reading memories I love, being so into a book I cannot turn my light out until I turn that last bittersweet page.
Haze leaves off straight after the events of Shadows and I was instantly pulled back into Gaby's world. The plot takes you to places you will not expect. Not just in terms of plot twists and revelations but Weston manages to incorporate so many vivid and unique settings -- from fictional Pan Beach (Queensland coastal town) to Dubai, to the island of Patmos, to Melbourne, to the cornfields of Iowa and beyond... I felt like I was travelling the world, the sights and sounds are dazzling. (Also! Bungee jumping in Switzerland. I KNOW.)
This Aussie book has everything I love about Aussie YA: there is something in the water and Weston has so tapped into it. Her characters are three dimensional. The prose is eloquent without being flowery. Weston writes with so much vitality, life springs from the pages. The dialogue is snappy and authentic. Emotions run high and ring true. The action is swift and tense and believable. There's a lot of arse-kicking, on both sides. The danger is real, the stakes are high and the Rephaim deliver. I'm still reeling...
[Let's take a moment here to pause...]
He brought the swoon in Shadows, smouldering and sexy and dangerous and completely enigmatic. In Haze, Weston turns the heat up *fans self* while also peeling a few layers back. There are these little peeks into his soul, when his guard is down, that show so much more than meets the eye. I mean, could he get any hotter? Those glimpses of vulnerability and compassion slew me.
Gaby and Rafa are everything I love about romance. They are still sizzling on this crazy slow burn which just kills me. Sparks fly and the sexual tension is palpable. At the same time, Weston shows seasoned restraint, she adds depth, creates tension, gives these delicious moments to get your pulse racing and then amps up the mystery between them again. She knows when to tease and when to reveal and it's a delicate, maddening perfect dance between those two and the readers.
There are so many shades of grey in Gaby's world. Who can she trust? Who was she before? Her relationships with the other Rephaim are constantly shifting. I love that. I love how Weston keeps us on our toes with the history and loyalties between Gaby and everyone else.
My favourite plot-lines are concerning Gaby and her past: her brother and her search for him. Rafa and their history. In these moments I ache for Gaby, tough but vulnerable, lost and thrown into this crazy world of non-stop action. She barely has a chance to come to grips with everything amongst the chaos that is erupting around her. I want so much for her to find her answers, to find her happiness, to feel like she has a place in her world.
The rights to this four book series have been sold to both the UK and the US. I am so pumped there are still two more books to come. I have no idea where Weston will take us next but I know I am so on board with whatever she has planned. I cannot recommend this series enough.
p.s. Be on the look out for more Foo Fighters. p.p.s. That cliff-hanger! Way to end on this crazy, adrenalin moment... ...more
It has been a long time since I have fallen so hard for a contemporary YA novel. I have barely heard of any buzz surrounding Laura Nowlin's debut. I oIt has been a long time since I have fallen so hard for a contemporary YA novel. I have barely heard of any buzz surrounding Laura Nowlin's debut. I ordered it on a whim, not really sure what to expect. I liked the cover, the premise sounded like my kind of thing and I always like the chase of finding a YA book free of preconceived hopes and praise.
I was unprepared for just how good this book is, easily my favourite YA book of the year so far and it now sits on my favourites shelf.
Nowlin is a born storyteller. And this book differs from other YA books as it spans over three years of Autumn's life (told in the present, but it also encapsulated much more than that with memories and flashbacks). I love the time span of this novel, it stretched ahead of me and wrapped itself around me and I was entirely absorbed into Autumn's world.
This is a YA coming-of-age love story, but not in that swoony, predictable way. It hit me harder than a just the regular dreamy smile for the hot guy next door (and Finny is a hot boy living next door): I felt it right through to my stomach and to my chest constricting as I watched August and Finny together. The things left unsaid, the memories swirling around them, hope's dashed, future's uncertain.
Nowlin so perfectly captures that teen voice: the misunderstandings between teenagers, the things unsaid, the dreams, the doubts, the wildly good times and also snatches of depression. I love Autumn as she felt so real. no aspect of her was gimmicky. She was fully nuanced, so gorgeous and bold and different without ever falling into a YA cliché and I loved seeing the world from her eyes. She was the perfect blend of confident and unsure. Nothing was black and white: I loved all the shades of grey in her feelings and everything that was going on in her world. I loved her for her fairytale hopes all mashed up with trying to face reality. For her love of reading and her uncompromising stance on who she was, even as she was trying to figure out the very same thing.
And, oh, how I love the history of her relationship with Finny. There are a lot of flashbacks and memories and I never grew tired of it. I felt included in their lives. Finny himself is now one of my most favourite YA boys, not just as a gorgeous love interest, but for who he was.
If He Had Been With Me has it's own unique vibe. The prose sometimes has it's own jaunty little rhythm, other times passages are so so poignant and heartfelt that my chest constricted. The writing was deeply personal, holding nothing back.
With such a lush scope of three years plus, Nowlin explores so many experiences: friendships, cliques, first love, divorce, mental health, sex, all those gorgeous moments caught between the mystery and promise of adulthood looming ahead while thinking back on childhood.
The thing about this book is it just kept getting better and better. For me, it was like meeting a new friend, and liking them, and then getting to know them until they become one of those lifelong besties that you cannot imagine life without. I liked Autumn so much from the outset, but she grew on me, exponentially so, as did her friends, her mum (and aunty) and, of course, Finny and now I just have this love for them and I know I won't ever be forgetting this gorgeous, beautiful and achey story.
For discussion: I would have preferred the book without the prologue chapter. The writing itself pulled me into the story, that and the promise of what was to come - I did not need such a dramatic hook. I also am not a fan of the blurb that's on GR. I think it changes the reading experience (luckily, I did not read the blurb on that site - which is also used on most bloggers review posts, amazon, etc - and only read the back cover of the book). The ending felt rushed, then abrupt. I think I needed a tiny bit longer to linger in the story, to make sense of it all, but I understand what Nowlin was trying to do.
I can't stop thinking about this story. I am crazily excited to fall this hard for a debut author and cannot wait to read more of Nowlin's work (understatement). I have a new absolute favourite book, so much passages bookmarked. I have so much love for this book and hope it falls into many hands. I envy those readers their first time reading experience waiting before them. LOVE
(Confession: I stayed up until 4.30am to finish this one. My only regret is it's already over...)
Perfect theme song: the Special Two by the ever lush Missy Higgins
The thing that most sucks me into C K Kelly Martin is how she gets right under he character's skin, and she has done it again in Come See About Me witThe thing that most sucks me into C K Kelly Martin is how she gets right under he character's skin, and she has done it again in Come See About Me with Leah. The prose is pitch perfect, this elegant blend of simple and straightforward with some poetic turns of phrase sprinkled throughout. Martin is a talented writer, for sure, and there's nothing like sinking into a book from the first page thinking 'this is going to be good'.
And it was good.
From the blurb, you know it's a grief book, coupled with sexy times.
My gosh, C K Kelly Martin brings the angst and depression and sorrow and longing and utter devastation with such expertise. I really felt that. On the flip side, if there was one thing I would change about the book, would be that, although it felt 100% realistic, the first 20% where Leah was drowning, I started to feel like I was drowning, too. But, if the pacing feels a little slow at the beginning, hang in there, because it is so worth it. Just a few more chapters along, and suddenly I couldn't put the kindle down.
You guys, it would be remiss of me to just get all SWOON and SEXY regarding Liam. Because he is so much more than that. I love all the shades of grey in his character and in his relationship with Leah. Liam is Irish and gorgeous and has some unique background/occupation not often seen in the YA scene making him completely intriguing. He is also complicated, messy, older. And Leah's relationship with him is complicated, messy and definitely older.
A word about the sex: It's sensual and steamy and completely hot (as in HOT). Without the bounds of being a YA book, Martin is able to explore more sexually, and the scenes are essential to the relationship and so gorgeously and evocatively done. The scenes weren't just some steamy filler, guys, they had depth and emotions and all kinds of excitement and confusion that comes with a sexual relationship in your early twenties. Caution: The sex scenes are not fade to black, and are for mature readers, not young teens (IMO).
Where was I before I was distracted by Liam? ;)
Oh, I was glued to the pages (after making it past the little 10 - 20% slow hump). Coming to the climax and resolution, I had this sudden panic attack. So bewitched by the story, it had slipped my mind that this is a Martin Book, and her stories often have these bittersweet (read: painful) endings. The suspense in those last chapters nearly broke me. Which is a true sign of my love for the characters, my gut clenching for them. No spoilers here, but absolutely everything I felt while loving in this world was worth it and I thought the ending was perfect.
This is what I want you to know: C K Kelly Martin is truly one of the talented writers for this YA generation. She brings what feels like the truth with a heartbreaking and hopeful clarity. Come See About Me is a New Adult novel, set outside of high school, with sex scenes more explicit than regular YA stuff. I was sucked in, swallowed up and mesmerised by this story. I read it over the course of one blissed-out ache-y day and one month on, I am still feeling the emotions of this read.
I find it hard to pick favourites, but I think Liam and Leah is my fave C K Kelly Martin couple so far x...more
Oh, so did I mention my favourite read in June was a paranormal YA book?
For this contemporary girl, I am surprised by how much I fell in love with thiOh, so did I mention my favourite read in June was a paranormal YA book?
For this contemporary girl, I am surprised by how much I fell in love with this book. (Although it shouldn't have surprised me, as author Paula Weston has the loveliest online presence. That, coupled with the publisher being Text Publishing*, had me diving into this book the day it turned up in my mailbox).
[*Note: Text Publishing are an Australian publisher which consistently publish brilliant and unique YA books, such as Leanne Hall's This is Shyness, Vicki Wakefield's All I Ever Wanted and Tim Pegler's Five Parts Dead (to name a few)]
Things I loved about this book:
1. The New Adult vibe. Gaby is out of school. Flatting, working. Her mates and other characters are older too, in their twenties. I truly love this vibe: it's is not teenagery, but more fresh and mature. It has broad appeal to teenagers, young adult and adults alike.
2. Best. Meet-cute. Scene. Ever. You guys, I am a fan of the meet-cute and this one involved some sexy, steamy ZING right off the bat. Me = glued to the pages. Just thinking about the meet-cute scene now has me grinning. See point 10 for more on Rafa (absolute hotness that he is)
3. For a contemp loving girl, I need character connection, and this book delivered. Gaby's voice captured me in the first chapter. She's startlingly real. Her personality is shadowed by her grief, but in perfect balance - the grief does not overwhelm her, or make her woefully grief-y as a narrator (you know what I mean). Also, she is a librarian, nicely done. <3
4. Grief-type YA novels can seem overbearing sometimes, not so here. I think because the setting was so fresh (Australian! Beach-y! Sleepy coastal town!) and Gaby was too genuine in her ache, she was not wallowing, lamenting or draining to read about. She has a freshness and vibrancy about her in spite of her circumstances.
5. The paranormal aspect. Oh, this is SO not the average YA paranormal scene. It's set older and while the summary may have common elements, the story is not common at all. I love how the story unlayered with little mysteries, shrouded in memories and dreams, making it less about a paranormal being and more about what on earth is going on. Definitely intriguing.
6. Foo Fighters. It will make you crave them.
7. Cool elements that I cannot say for spoilers. One thing that a paranormal novel has going for it above contemporary reads, is the way authors can get creative with world-building. In particular, I loved one element that spiced things up. There are some fantastic action scenes, kick-arse mixed up with flailing and defeat. There's action and gore, genuine danger and real fear. As for the actual paranormal world, it has enough depth for you to see the research (intricate and layered world-building) but does not swamp the reader. Thanks for that :)
8. Intriguing characters. I LOVED THIS. No one is straight up, face value or playing a part. There are shades of grey all over the place and I think this is what made the characters seem real.
9. The novel was fun (always important ;)). Addictive and intelligent. Not dumbed down for readers. It's paced beautifully. It masterfully walked a fine line of mixing up internal conflict with external, past and present, while always moving the story forward.
10. Rafa. Mid-twenties. My gosh, he is complex, sexy, dangerous, genuine and non-clichéd. He is hard to read, enigmatic, gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get to know him more in the sequels. He's antagonistic and gruff and the dynamic between him and Gaby is brilliantly done - more understated than overbearing, which makes for a more suspenseful and genuine read.
11. The plot. I won't say much. It's not like I expected and it won't be what you are expecting, no matter what that expectation is. I think a lot of elements gave Shadows a unique vibe: the setting (Australian), the characters (older), the amnesia and mystery elements, all the shades of grey, the angel lore feels ancient and fresh.
12. So, Shadows does not fall into the genre of funny LOL's. But there were some one-liners and dashes of humour that will break out the grin, perfect tension relief.
13. It's a series, but in a non-cliffhanger-y way. It wraps up its own story, leaving readers satisfied, but ready for more of the world. Bring on Book Two!
I don't know why I am chatting about this book in a list, it just came out that way.
Most of all, I hope you can see I loved this book. I read it in one day, sneaking back to my bedroom any chance I could. Gaby's voice hooked me from the first chapter and stayed with me after the last page. I so endorse Claudia Gray's blurb: Scary, sexy and suspenseful. ...more
Flat-out love has an effortless writing style which makes for a breezy, quick read. The writing is sharp and quietly quirky and the characters are reaFlat-out love has an effortless writing style which makes for a breezy, quick read. The writing is sharp and quietly quirky and the characters are really quite different to any I have come across in YA recently.
It's hard for me to think of comp books for Flat-out love as it really was rather unique (not only in plot, but also in writing style). The vibe of this book was more about family than romance (I had assumed it would be more about the first love/long-distance crush bit).
I figured out the gist of the secret/mystery about half-way through, although I still was waiting for that moment of confirmation. I think it's complicated writing a story where information is withheld from the reader ~ and when the revelation is revealed everything makes sense in hindsight. The danger with this strategy is things that occur as you're reading can seem inconsistent, plot-hole-y or unlikely. Things like that always seem to niggle at me ~ and even though when everything finally unravels (in the last 10%) it all makes logical and perfect sense in the new context, I still spent the majority of my reading time with the book feeling slightly irked. So ~ my advice ~ just go with the flow.
I have mixed feeling about the premise in general:
I liked the premise and thought it was very well handled emotionally. I actually felt quite bereft in the end, as a reader invested in characters and relationships and also on behalf of the characters and their sadness.
On the other hand, I really tried to invest my efforts in rooting for certain relationships and I felt a bit blindsided in the end ~ MAJOR SPOILER: (view spoiler)[ and the Finn on the screen just could not merge into Matt at all for me, so even though Julie and Matt in the end are sweet, I felt like my own love interest was killed off. And I was rather invested in him. So, yeah, I don't know ... sorry, feeling vague here. I hope you get the gist (hide spoiler)]
Other things on my mind:
It was written rather well in third person. Very close third, you would almost think you were reading first person.
I think it could have been a bit sharper at 10k less (just given it more edge with timing some of the tension, etc) ~ it occasionally felt rambly with many conversations that showed some characterisation but didn't move the plot forward.
I liked the Flat Finn idea. Reminded me (loosely) of Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl ;)
The social media was a fab way of moving the story forward and making it fun to read. It was not derivative at all (as some YA books using facebook, etc can be)
In conclusion: I had a good time reading this (although I do think my expectations were rather too high) and am curious to read more work by Jessica Park. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions is a charming, breezy read for people who love their romances light (occasionally cheesy), flirty and clean3.5 stars
My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions is a charming, breezy read for people who love their romances light (occasionally cheesy), flirty and clean.
Sarah has a thing for romance novels and is the kind of girl who daydreams about love and romance. The main plot line is about Sarah wanting to be "the heroine" in her own romance story. She dated a jerk in the past which has left her feeling insecure and like she is always destined to be the leading girls side-kick friend without her own man. Enter Ben ~ "hot as a Greek god" ~ who readers will easily see is captivated by Sarah. Sarah is oblivious yet hopeful and makes some stupid assumptions along the way.
At 180 pages it's a light and fast read. The pages just fly by. There's not too many surprises in the plot ~ it's one of those books where you know the outcome but read it to enjoy the ride. And it is enjoyable ~ there's little bursts of humour and cute embarrassing scenes and also plenty of little swoon-y 'awww' moments.
I was drawn to this title looking for a chick-lit, fluffy read ~ but I was pretty keen due to the fact it is set in college with older YA protags who have finished school. However, it felt very innocent and still similar to high school aged reads.
I was a teensy bit disappointed, hoping it would fit more into the older YA bracket. I don't mind the occasional sweet-romancey book ~ but this one really does match the title: it has a fun 'ridiculous' quirky vibe, and it really does centre around the romance side of things. At times, it was a bit too cute for me. As a love interest Ben was a regular nice grinning guy ~ a gentlemen and a little bit charming but not particularly memorable as a leading male for me (and he's another YA guy who plays the guitar :D).
I enjoyed the funny little narrations comparing her life to romance novels and discussing meet cutes and "what would happen right now if I was starring in my own rom-com scenarios."
I would have *adored* this book as a teen ~ and think it's a perfect fit for girls who like cute, charming romances. It also has a fab (but not preachy) little message with confidence and being yourself. I was pretty impressed with the "voice" and effortless style that Becca Wilhite writes ~ a little bit funky, a little bit sweet and with lots of heart.
*I also think the cover matches the vibe/tone of the book. Swirly and smiley and daydreamy and a little bit fun....more
I automatically wanted to read this book regardless of the premise because I really love the way C K Kelly Martin writes. (Not that the premise was soI automatically wanted to read this book regardless of the premise because I really love the way C K Kelly Martin writes. (Not that the premise was so bad, just that I plan on reading her books regardless of the blurb)
C K Kelly Martin captures the teen voice so authentically and without any sentimentality ~ it really is refreshing to read. Her books just feel honest.
Likewise ~ I adore her prose. It is neither overly literary or simply commercial. I love the way she tells her stories ~ her sentences often have a perfect rhythm and her dialogue flows so effortlessly.
I loved Mason's voice in this story. He's charming and aching and 100% teen man-child. I find it easy to crush on a male POV done well and this ranks up at the top for me among YA fiction.
As for the actual story. Gosh ~ I was so into it (really, I read it in one day) but at the same time, it didn't entirely sit well with me. I found myself wondering a couple of times just what the book was really about, what Martin's intentions with the story were, what that first original nugget of idea was that sparked the whole thing. I am concluding it really is just about one guys first experiences with sex/lust and how messed up it can make everything. It is tastefully done, gorgeous and genuinely heart-breaking (as I expected it would be having read her previous two books) but... sigh, I don't know. I think I would have handled it better if Mason had been bumped up to 18 years. Which, I guess, would undermine the premise...
I was left wondering at Collette's motives (her being 23 and getting it on with a 16 year old boy). I wish it had been made clearer (apart from her finding him "beguiling" and being unable to resist). Baffled :/
I loved all the high school theatre stuff. Adored the conflict in Mason's family ~ it was such a great backdrop for the sexual/relationship dramas ~ and it never felt melodramatic or cliche.
I have enjoyed all C K Kelly Martin's books and this one is no different. I am finding it hard to balance my immense enjoyment of Mason and appreciation of the gorgeously-flowing story against my distaste for some of the events in the book :/
In the end, I'm going all four stars. I was hooked and I just admire her so much as an author... (and I have a crush on Mason ~ not a perverted one, LOL ~ just on him as a person, in all his confidence and insecurities and hopes and dreams and failures...)
Shame about that cover. Ugh. Who are they marketing this to?> It's intelligent lit and absolutely would appeal to teen guys to read. I don't think they would get past the cover though (I even felt embarrassed reading it near my 9 year old son, haha)...more
I wanted to read it for AGES. Set in college. With an older protag. It sounded fun and maybe a little bit mad crazy. Which is how I love my books to bI wanted to read it for AGES. Set in college. With an older protag. It sounded fun and maybe a little bit mad crazy. Which is how I love my books to be...
When I finally got it, I started reading and couldn't put it down. Sneakily, (despite my, erm, new years resolution Reformed Sleeping Habits Commitment) I stayed up until 3:30am to finish it.
It's probably an odd book to find un-put-downable. It's not because I was sucked in to the plot, or waiting for some major twist/secret to be revealed. It's because I was JUST HAVING SO MUCH FUN reading it. It was compulsively addictive.
And KINDA SWEET with this FUNKY VIBE. It's FUNNY (oh, I so love books that make me grin) and often cringe-worthy and honest and, dear God, I was also in a state of swooning and sweating over Nathan. Boy, talk about a new fictional crush. Phew...
Leigh felt like every-girl. I so loved her with all her flaws.
It's not a deep book. It's not going to blow your mind. It won't have you on the edge of your seat. You can kind of see the ending coming. You get things before our spunky, OCD protagonist does. Okay, sometimes way before she does. You sometimes want to scream some sense into her. But you just love being taken along for the ride. (I've slipped into second person POV here :)
I haven't really said what it's about. Mainly it's just about Leigh and her first year of college, classic coming of age stuff. Growing up and freaking out and wanting to lose your virginity and figuring out what you want to be and how to get there, yada yada yada.
It's an older YA read ~ a few older themes but still done in a squeaky clean kinda way.
My fave part? The road trip with Nathan and thanksgiving back at home.
Psych Major Syndrome @ goodreads
Recommended: This one is for fans of Rebecca Sparrow and Kirsten Murphy's Raincheck on Timbuktu. It's like a witty, fun-filled blend of these three books (below) ~which are favourites of mine.
Others have recommended it for fans of Meg Cabot and Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts series. I can see why ~ it's reminiscent of both their work. I personally loved it more than Sloppy Firsts and Meg Cabot's work. It's got a bit more of a funky edge. Think, throw in a little bit of Beatle Meets Destiny...
and now I'm getting carried away... haha.
So I recommend it for fans of contemporary.
For when you're in the mood for a rainy day comfort read.
In the mood for grinning and swooning and just relaxing into a slightly crazy, fun story.
I'm not ashamed to say I've already re-read parts of it, curled up in the hammock the next day (after pulling my all-nighter).
It's a new favourite of mine because books like this just make me happy ...more
Funny and true and sophisticated and charming and brilliantly Australian. Reading this book just felt like a breath of fresh air. I comple4.5 stars :)
Funny and true and sophisticated and charming and brilliantly Australian. Reading this book just felt like a breath of fresh air. I completely fell in love with it, it struck a chord with me and I know this book will resonate for a long time. In fact, I already can't wait to re-visit it.
It's told from Amelia and Chris's POV - but not in alternating chapters - more in chunks - first from Amelia, and then from Chris. When it swivels to Chris's POV it rewinds in time which was brilliant, as I was anticipating up-coming events but from his perspective - loved that angle, kept me flipping the pages.
I don't want to say much plot-wise as when I went into it I didn't really know what to expect and I loved approaching it like that...
Amelia spends a lot of time crushing on Chris, which is understandable because, hey, I was crushing on him too :)
As for Chris? He is such a well written character, from Amelia's POV and from his own. His struggles with his future and mates and Uni and living at home and with various girls just felt so real and I adore him in a similar way to how I feel about Tom MacKee from Melina Marchetta's The Piper's Son and Saving Francesca.
Really, it wasn't just the story but the themes in this book that spoke to me: that hopefulness and angst that teen girls have, being naive yet day-dreamy. The perspective that a few years brings with Chris and how that age gap really does feel like an impossible thing. That feeling of being in your early twenties and not knowing what the heck you're doing with your life.
Maybe some people won't realise the power of this book - but underneath such an unassuming storyline there is magic in there. Magic. And I have heard this book compared to finding a new hidden talent such as when Melina Marchetta first bound on the scene with Looking For Alibrandi. Yeah, absolutely - Laura Buzo has the same talent for characters that feel real and a voice that comes straight from the soul of a teen.
I think some of the best contemporary novels are the ones that don't strive to be LOUD and edgy and OMG all the time but that have the confidence to quietly bleed emotion and genuine characters on to the page.
The prose was seamless, beautiful and engaging. I'm crushing on the writing.
The ending was so startling and bittersweet that I realised it's been a while since I've read such a perfect and lingering ending. Endings are important, hey? This one made me ache and took my breath away and guaranteed a permanent place for Chris and Amelia in my heart.
I didn't want it to end. I still want to imagine Chris and Amelia out there and re-visit them in their twenties and thirties and when they're old so that their story doesn't have to end for me. So, yeah, if laura's keen on a sequel I'd absolutely be there! :)
I recommend this to: guys and girls, fans of Melina Marchetta (and also fans of Kirsten Murphy) and readers who love an unpredictable and original heart-felt coming-of-age and love story. ...more