Wow. Tim Sinclair's debut verse novel on parkour is really something else. For starters, it's everything I like my verse novels to be: that deliciousWow. Tim Sinclair's debut verse novel on parkour is really something else. For starters, it's everything I like my verse novels to be: that delicious exploration of words and rhythm (not rhyme) and experimentation in typography variation. It's a visual masterpiece with so many pages set out in a unique and arresting format. Truly stunning, the pages are an artwork. There's an energy to the writing that drives it forward, at the same time, the words are put together so carefully that you have to stop and let the moment linger, before pushing ahead for more.
I can honestly say I have never read a book like it: the subject (so much action and thrills and paranoia and also this whole underground world I had no idea about). It's exhilarating and vivid -- I found myself being tempted by parkour, (haha, I can't even walk down stairs without tripping over imaginary cracks). I loved the Sydney setting and the relationships and the adrenalin in this book.
Finely crafted, Sinclair breathes so much life into this book. I have seen not a lot about Run out there and I truly hope it gets the attention it deserves. ...more
Oh, mate, I really loved this romantic verse novel from Sarah Tregay. It was fun and cute and swoony and just a delicious rainy-day feel good read.
FrOh, mate, I really loved this romantic verse novel from Sarah Tregay. It was fun and cute and swoony and just a delicious rainy-day feel good read.
From the cover and so many swoony and favourable reviews I expected it to be all that, but I didn't anticipate just how addictive it would be, and how much I would grin and sigh my way through it. So recommended. I read this on my kindle but am itching to buy a copy for my shelves (hopefully a paperback will be released). ...more
Audition is Stasia Ward Kehoe's highly anticipated YA verse novel debut.
At sixteen years, Sara leaves her friends and family, moves away on a scholarAudition is Stasia Ward Kehoe's highly anticipated YA verse novel debut.
At sixteen years, Sara leaves her friends and family, moves away on a scholarship to a prestigious dance school. Sara feels lost amongst her peers, who too often are pitched against one another competitively to form true friendship. Dancing is a constant discipline in which dancers strive for perfection with their routines and in their bodies. It is not an easy burden to bear, and you can feel the shackles and tension in the pages.
To add to those swirling feelings of homesickness, Sara fast leaves her innocence behind. Remington is a dance instructor, gorgeous, older (in his early twenties, against her sixteen years) and Sara fast becomes entangled in the addictive pull of his attention.
I feel him trace my body With his eyes Panic Numbs my fingertips Desire Makes my face burn.
Sara becomes Rem’s muse. It is not a happy, giddy love story. There are sparks, swift, all-consuming romancing, followed by a dark underside where Rem’s previously charming enigmatic vibe is swallowed up into something much more foreboding.
Audition is swirling and ambiguous and dark in parts. There were not many moments of comic relief, lightness or joy shining through. Alongside Sara, I felt plunged in a world full of pressure, doubt and the lonely struggle of an artist. The glimpse into the world of dance was insightful: often harsh, intense and yet with moments of beauty. My gosh, I felt weary just reading about it all (The physical effort and extreme commitment).
Sara’s extremely driven, yet as the story unfolds, it shifts to become more of an internal struggle. Sara frustrated me in parts, seemingly unsure, unquestioning and yet in the end I felt proud of her ~ scraping out from under the pressure to find who she really is and what she really wants, and the story is ultimately triumphant.
True to most verse novels, the prose is gorgeous in parts and extremely quotable. I think verse was a great medium to tell Sara’s story. It is most effective in that relaying of emotions and completely getting under Sara’s skin:
It seems I am living Believing Doing Almost everything In halves.
On the flipside, the sparse wording did give me a sense of weightlessness while reading. I felt burdened by the emotions of it all, yet not at all grounded in the plot, if that makes sense? It’s such an internal exploration, barely any dialogue, and I missed the sense of feeling like I was in the story alongside Sara, I was very much in her head, but not in the story. Argh, it’s hard to describe. The setting seemed vague, some of the characters interchangeable, the story more emotive than tangible.
I am a fan of the verse novel and have read many. Stylistically, this one drove me a bit crazy. Rather than just capitalising at the beginning of every sentence (like every other verse novel I have read), Ward Kehoe capitalised at the beginning of every line. Which meant she was capitalising random words mid-sentence. It drove me crazy and really broke that smooth rhythm and flow. It was quite jarring, even unnerving, LOL (with each capital, I kind of gave pause, as if the sentences were broken with full stops ~ after I while, I tried to tune out to those random capitals).
I think I have disgusted him With my childishness Even though I am more afraid Of being lonely Than of losing anything Rem could take from me.
I can see the talent in Ward Kehoe's debut, cleverly crafted and gorgeously written, yet I wish I had connected with the story more. (I felt mostly numb most of the time, even while appreciating parts of it). It just wasn't the story for me. 2.5 stars ...more
Blue Plate Special is the story of three women in one family. The format alternates between each women's POV during their teen years. The 3.5 stars
Blue Plate Special is the story of three women in one family. The format alternates between each women's POV during their teen years. The snapshot of their teen years each covers pivotal moments which shaped their future. All three of them explore love and losing their virginity.
Madeline's teen story is set in 1977, Madeline's daughter, Desiree, in 1993 and Desiree's daughter (Madeline's granddaughter) Ariel, is in 2009.
Desiree's thread of the story is told in verse, which I loved (I think her verse format conveyed emotion much more than her regular prose).
It was a really intriguing format, hey. Mainly as, even though you only see each characters perspective covering their teen years, you see glimpses of Madeline and Desiree's future when reading from Ariel (or Desiree's POV). It really worked well for me as I knew such-and-such was going to happen, yet I didn't know how/why/where and it gave a lot of energy towards the climax.
As for how I felt about the book: it was really sad and achey (The ending was quietly beautiful though). I am not sure if it was meant to have a more lingering emotional vibe, but I felt more like I was watching a lifetime drama, seeing all these things unfold. And while parts were shocking (there is a body count) ~ I didn't personally care for the characters, rather I just felt sad for how things that happened to them as teens robbed of them of so much into the future.
My favourite character was Desiree. Also, her story was my favourite (funny, that), and her boyfriend was rather sweet :) I found Madeline's story the hardest to read, I suspect it is meant to be hard and I really had the sense of being in her shoes.
thanks so much to Olivia for gifting me with this book :) ...more
Oh, how I love Sonya Sones. Curling up with one of her books is just such an awesome way to spend an afternoon. I love verse novels and hers are justOh, how I love Sonya Sones. Curling up with one of her books is just such an awesome way to spend an afternoon. I love verse novels and hers are just so easy to slip into and I think anyone who is an inpsiring writer can learn a lot from reading quality verse novels like this.
The way she uses words to so powerfully and succinctly encapsulate emotions and events is just gorgeous. I adore her characters and the events in the novel and truly feel all those intense and beautiful emotions of being a teen and falling in love and daydreaming and fighting with your parents. I so recommend her and love her and re-read her often.
I think my favourite of hers is What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know (5 stars). But I give this one 4 stars of awesomeness....more
First off, it is a verse novel. And I find most verse novels to be compelling and richly drawn. I read this curled up in beThis book, I just loved it.
First off, it is a verse novel. And I find most verse novels to be compelling and richly drawn. I read this curled up in bed on a rainy day and flew through the pages. The thing about this book is it gets cooler and cooler as it goes on.
There were parts in it where my heart just ached for Robin and Sophie. I was definitely cheering them on. And, some events in the book filled me up with warmth in the best kind of uplifting way. Other events broke my heart and had me holding my breath - I definitely felt the tension and Robin's pain.
This book feels like high school and reminds me why teenagers are so cool and such an incredible age-group to read about. It reminds me how hard it is to be a teenager - but also how awesome it feels.
By the end, I just had this happy feeling :) In fact I have a happy feeling now just thinking about it....more