I am continually drawn to Young Adult fiction that feels like the truth> Books such as Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue and Laura Buzo's GOOD OIL4.5 stars.
I am continually drawn to Young Adult fiction that feels like the truth> Books such as Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue and Laura Buzo's GOOD OIL and Sara Zarr's ONCE WAS LOST all resound with me so strongly because their stories are subtle yet complicated, quiet yet resounding and GOD IS IN THE PANCAKES is of the same calibre.
God is in the Pancakes is a stand out read for me due to Grace, such a spunky protagonist who I couldn't help but ache for. Reading about her felt like reading about my own teen self (and many choices and mistakes she makes completely make sense to me ~ haha, tongue twister of a sentence, moving along...)
I ADORE books that have a strong dynamic with family relationships ~ and this one just felt achingly real.
Grace's relationship with her sister was brilliant ~ the complications and love and fights, the petty full-blown arguments and the small gestures that show their bond were just perfection (made me nostalgic for those good old days when my sister and I were still at home together).
Likewise, the mother-daughter relationship is captured so well (the mother is not just there perfunctorily, but is a string nuanced character of her own).
There's complications with Eric, Grace's best friend, where things are changing. And GOSH ~ it's not like it was a swooning* book so much as the kind of book that makes you feel like you have been punched in the gut because you can just feel the ache and awkwardness and attraction and complication of it all. It resonated strongly with me ~ the yearning and the fear and the confusion and the whole mess of it all. *Although Eric is definitely worthy of a swoon :D
One of the biggest parts of the book was Grace's relationship with the quirky and lovable Mr Sands, who asks Grace to help him die (!). And whoah ~ the whole euthanasia thing was head-spinny ~ done brilliantly, not preachy or easy or judgementally. It really got me thinking.
It is not Christian fiction (despite what the title may imply) but Grace wonders about faith and God and if there is anything in it or anyone out there who cares about her and the things she struggles with so much that she cannot bear to say aloud to anyone ~ and I found the exploration of this refreshing and honest
It was easy to forget that I was reading about characters in a story as I felt immersed in the lives of these people and really rooted for them. It is also worth mentioning that I found some of the plot-lines unpredictable and yet their resolutions rang true.
As for the prose ~ it's unsentimental and strong. It's succinct and will cause you to smile effortlessly (Robin Epstein is a former stand-up comedian and a sitcom writer). The humour in this book helps lift some of the intense subject matter.
Recommended: While on the surface, God is in the Pancakes may look like a quiet novel, the impact is anything but. I finished this novel with a rock the size of a fist in my gut and with tears glistening in my eyes. Ultimately, it's a triumphant and brave book ~ unique in plot ~ hopeful and funny and true....more
Mini review: This is the kind of book I would have loved reading as a young teen ~ older YA characters (love interest Parker is 19), a predictable swoMini review: This is the kind of book I would have loved reading as a young teen ~ older YA characters (love interest Parker is 19), a predictable swoon-y romance and a sweet (predictable) plot. It didn't have a lot of tension (except towards the end) but there was a fab setting and a cute guy to keep things moving along.
In terms of style and execution, it got a similar vibe to (although plot is obviously very different).
I appreciate commercial books like this for teens as they are fun addictive reads without objectionable content. I know that sounds very school marm-ish, LOL, but it's a compliment. I'd happily pass this on to my niece who's not a huge reader. It's very accessible and cute and nothing in it will pervert her young mind :D...more
As I Wake is rather unlike any book I have ever read. The cover matches the contents brilliantly, it’s smokey and mysterious, gorgeous and a little biAs I Wake is rather unlike any book I have ever read. The cover matches the contents brilliantly, it’s smokey and mysterious, gorgeous and a little bit eerie and, like the girl on the front, I felt head-achey trying to get my mind around it.
I really do love Elizabeth Scott. Every book she writes, she surprises me: she does have a signature writing style but sometimes it is funny, cute or quirky, other times heartfelt and other times barren yet full of depth. As I Wake is written in a sparse style of prose, so the reader is instantly dropped into the plot with no preamble or reasoning.
It opens with a girl in a world she does not remember, having headaches and memories of another world, another life. Nothing makes sense to Ava, and Scott puts her readers firmly in Ava’s shoes: I felt like the plot was swirling around me and it was hard to grasp all the pieces ~ just like Ava was struggling to make sense of it. Plot-wise, you have to discover for yourself but it is a little bit The Adoration of Jenna Fox, parallel universe-y, dystopia, soft sci-fi elements, a dash of contemporary high school and there’s a love story in there too :)
The whole thing has an incredibly eerie undertone. At times I felt uneasy, hopeless. Yet there were brief moments of beauty and compassion among the sadness and confusion.
Like the writing, the world building is sparse. It is very much about one girl in this one crossroads moment of her life. The world(s) are not explained, details are sketchy ~ what it strong is the mystery, the emotions, the sensations of it all. It was hard for me to picture everything, but I still felt pulled into the story.
This book may frustrate many readers. But I am firmly an Elizabeth Scott fangirl. I just love her stuff. Anyone else may not have been able to pull this off in so few words, with only splashes of detail and barely-there explanations for plot twists and turns. But I thought it was gorgeous and compelling and I honestly felt swirly while reading it, and it has a strange lingering effect now. It is odd, that’s for sure, but it worked for me :)
Conclusion: this is rather like a book you read while having a dream, all swirly and out of reach. It was a dream-like reading experience. Regarding the love story, it is more surreal and fairytale-vibe than true, but I easily slipped into it, I think it matched the whole thing superbly (and I always fall for Scott's boys. She has a swoony gift).
I don’t know if this is the book for you *shrugs* but maybe my review has evoked a little of how this book felt for me. I am going with 3.5 stars and rounding up to 4 b/c it's Elizabeth Scott (and I can be biased like that) ...more
my rating: I liked some parts and it was okay in others... 2.5
I don't do fae books. It's only after watching all my goodreads buddies dissolve in a pmy rating: I liked some parts and it was okay in others... 2.5
I don't do fae books. It's only after watching all my goodreads buddies dissolve in a pile of lust gleefully rave about how addictive this series is that I caved in and gave it a go...
And now I'm torn. All muddled up.
As a kid, I HATED Alice in Wonderland. It was creepy and not-at-all a place I would want to be stuck in. It felt like being trapped in a nightmare. I usually avoid urban fantasy as it can have this creepy, slimy underworld vibe that makes me feel like I'm back in Wonderland but with a horror cast instead.
I read to escape and get sucked into a good story ~ however, I really don't like the whole fae thing. I find those unseelie things creepy and I visualise them so well that my stomach kind of crawls. It's not really my form of escapism, hey.
So... on to Darkfever...
I liked Mac ~ she's feisty and pretty cool and her narration is fun.
There's no doubt Barrons is some sort of ultimate Alpha Male (thanks to Nic's help, I was able to visualise him just fiiiiiiiine ;) and I like that their relationship will be a slow-burning love/hate thing.
It's kind of a fun, snarky, kick-arse read that I imagine any fan of urban fantasy would dig.
I was hoping it would cure me and turn me into more of a fan of this genre, but it didn't really :)
I still didn't like the scenes with faeries, I tend to get bored in the action and want to move on to the next stage of the plot. The parts I most like are the dialogue and character interactions. Really, all this is just my personal tastes as I am a contemp girl.
And, mate, that V'lane guy (!) those scenes, ahh, were kind of gross... :D
Overall, it was pretty addictive but I can't say I loved it (or that I quite love Barrons yet either) and I'm undecided about reading the next one (I have it here from the library...)
Thanks to all my mates for recommending this and I so didn't want to let you down, haha.
Oh! And what is it with these hot guys/faeries all having long hair, hey? One even had hair to his waist, eww. Please, give your male characters a hair cut!...more
Going into this book I had little idea what it was about. (I had initially thought that with it's title and cover art it would be a little bit other-wGoing into this book I had little idea what it was about. (I had initially thought that with it's title and cover art it would be a little bit other-worldy.
but it is contemp.
Having finished it ~ it is still hard to convey a synopsis. Not a lot really happens plot wise. There is a storyline of Angela pursuing the dad she's never known, but it's not the main focus of the book. It is more about family and relationships and love and just classic coming of age.
the main thing about this book is it's energy. it's funkily written ~ kind of hippie and funny (in a clever way) and the characters are all exuberant. Mahy embraces her characters and really brings them to life.
while the characters could be cliche (a manic pixie dream girl with a best friend nerd-boy?) they don't even step in the cliche territory. instead, they felt completely like a breath of fresh air ~ it felt very reminiscent to me of the characters in (1994) ~ which, strangely enough, was written by another New Zealand YA author (and is one of my all-time fave books)
The Juniper Game really captured my imagination as a teen with it's vibrancy and characters who were a little risque. I imagine had I read this a teen it would have had the same mesmerising effect. As an adult, I very much appreciated the energy and brilliant Mahy gives her characters. I also loved the ease at which she portrays both the families. I truly felt like a fly on the wall when being in their homes ~ I had the loveliest time eavesdropping in on their lives.
Thanks for the rec Olivia!
* very random point. This isn't spoilerish at all, but it is embarrassing, so I am going to hide it: (view spoiler)[ Angela's mum is called 'dido' for some reason i kept doing this dyslexic thing and reading it as 'dildo' ~ gee, it was annoying! couldn't get the word right in my head after stuffing it up so many times at the beginning and her name just stuck as dildo. so I just read her as being dildo for the rest of the book. argh. (hide spoiler)] *hangs my head in shame*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more