The Gist Laney Alexander is totally ready for her second year of college. But when her and her best friend Kiera Blake arrive at campus, they're in forThe Gist Laney Alexander is totally ready for her second year of college. But when her and her best friend Kiera Blake arrive at campus, they're in for a shock in the form of new-guy Oliver Knight. Tall dark and stunning, with piercing emerald green eyes, Oliver is gorgeous and more than a little distracting. Especially given he's in all of Laney's classes. They become closer, and he becomes all she ever thinks about. As their relationship progresses, it's clear that Oliver is much more than he seems. Laney can't stay away, but she's fighting for answers, for Oliver, and for her life. Some creatures aren't so fictional, and Laney needs to watch her back - and her neck - to be with Oliver. And she has to consider, 'What would you give to be with the one you love? Would you give it all, including your life?'
What We Think Reviewed by Living Destiny Number of Pages: 285 Do you know why I was graced with this book's presence first? It was a simple decision. Of the four of us, I'm the only one who hasn't read the Twilight series. And from looking at it, this book seemed suspiciously like Twilight. Yay for me, right? Well. No. This was not a good book. First of all, the pacing was bad. It was slow for half the book, started to get faster in the middle, and was packed with action and information in the last 80-ish pages. And it wasn't worth reading the boring first 200 to get to the action-y last 85. Bad pacing makes a bad book, and this is absolutely no exception. Then there were the characters. The main character, Laney Alexander, was awful. She was whiny and possessive and slightly paranoid. There's this one chapter where she flies completely off the handle for a small thing, and freaks out and screams and cries while at the same time wishing she weren't freaking out. It was over the top and unnecessary. I had to re-read the chapter three times before it sunk in that what I read actually happened, and wasn't just the creation of my sleep deprived mind. Her best friend, Kiera, was ditzy. That's pretty much all there is to say about her. Her other friend Carter was the same. There wasn't a lot of substance to him. He also....
Holden Caulfield is a sixteen-year-old boy who was just kicked out of yet another boarding school, for failing four classes and not applyingThe Gist:
Holden Caulfield is a sixteen-year-old boy who was just kicked out of yet another boarding school, for failing four classes and not applying himself. Deciding he can’t stand to stay at Pencey Prep until the end of the term on Wednesday, Holden leaves the school to roam around New York City for three days. During those three days he crashes around New York City, causing his own inner turmoil, and forcing himself to do more soul searching and serious thinking than partying in the Big Apple.
What We Think:
Reviewed by Living Destiny
This book was one of those read-in-class-but-not-really-during-class-or-as-a-class novels that we all get saddled with at some point each year. What I’d heard about it was mostly neutral comments from our class. Some people said their parents loved it, some said their parents hated it, everyone said they’d never read it before, and our teacher didn’t really give her opinion. So after reading the first couple of chapters as a class, we were set loose on the world of Holden Caulfield. I would rather have left it at those first few chapters.
First, characters. Holden Caulfield was an awful main character. He always complained about how people were phony and fake, and he made all these snide comments about life and society. But in reality, he was a huge phony. He lied all the time, mostly about his name and his age. Also, he would comment on how he hated some aspect of life, like how rich people always seemed snobby, but he was actually rich himself. His hypocrisy was incredibly irritating, and how I managed to make it through the entire book without screaming is a wonder. Then there was the fact that he was a huge scaredy-cat, although he pretended to just be aloof. Throughout the entire book, he talked about his old friend Jane Gallagher. She comes back into his world picture in the beginning of the book, while he’s still at Pencey Prep, and while he looks back at their time spent together fondly, he never talks to her. He considers calling her at least five times, but every time he doesn’t because “you have to be in the mood for those things”. That’s ridiculous, and is just an excuse to not call her because he’s afraid that she’s changed since the last time her saw her. He’s afraid of people changing and betraying him, or becoming fake. He just needs to accept that everyone changes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still like you. Of course he never sees this, but continues to not call Jane and only like little kids, because they’re still innocent and perfect. Holden was the only character that was in the whole story, which bothered me. I know it’s a story told from his memory, but still. He’s the only consistent character, and smaller, static characters circle around him during the entire book. I only got to know one person throughout the whole book, and since I really didn’t like that one person at all, the book wasn’t exactly enjoyable.
Next, plot. I was bored to the point that I wanted to throw the book against the wall. I usually read any assigned chapters in books a day or two before they’re due, but with this book, I put it all off until the very latest I possible could. Which was usually around nine or ten the night before it was due. The only thing that kept me reading was the knowledge that it was a graded assignment. And even knowing that, I read grudgingly. The first chapters were the most interesting, but after he left Pencey Prep to go on a little jaunt around New York City, it got horribly dull. It seemed like he really only did three different things: thought about calling Jane, got drunk, and reflected on his younger brother Allie’s death. And he did this for 214 pages. You can just imagine how repetitive it got after a while. Lucky for you, you only have to imagine, not read all 214 tortuous pages. Also, in the very first page of the book, it tells you where he ends up. It’s like, ‘Hi I’m Holden Caulfield, and I’m in a mental hospital, so now I’m going to tell you part of the glorious story that is how I came to be here.’ So now I know the ending, and there’s absolutely no suspense as to what will happen to Holden, because I know where he ultimately ends up. And it actually was only part of the story. He tells up to a point, and then says he’s not going to tell the rest because he doesn’t “feel like it”. I bet the parts he didn’t tell would have been more interesting than the parts he did tell.
This book was on the banned books list for a long time. It was only recently taken off the list, and teaching it in schools still causing controversy in some places. Hearing this before reading it, I admit I got excited. Reading a book that was illegal for however many years? Well, it’s got to be on the banned books list for some reason, and it’s probably a super intense book! Don’t get your hopes up, because I sincerely wish mine hadn’t skyrocketed. Huge let down here. I’m still not sure why it was on that silly list. I’ve heard it was because of language, but the language really isn’t that bad. There are swears, but nothing you wouldn’t hear in any high school in the country. Although I suppose it was extreme for the 40’s. My dad said it was because it incurred teenage rebellion. Hello? Rock music did the same thing in the 50’s and 60’s, but that wasn’t banned now was it? Lame!
Overall, this book was just not enjoyable. I dreaded reading it, and it sat in my locker like some evil presence, always threatening my good mood with its foul chapters. My teacher told us that this book was either one that you loved or you hated, and I hated this book so very much. It wasn’t worth reading, and the essay I’m creating from this review is not going to be worth the time it takes to cut out my witty thoughts and add in more conforming, school-worthy lines. Ick.
Real Teen Rating~ D-: If you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to read… ...more
I don't own an eBook, but this little story was included in myThe Gist:This is Wake, from Cabel's perspective.
What We Think: Reviewed by Dream Catcher
I don't own an eBook, but this little story was included in my copy of Wake, so I read it. It wasn't very long, for one (probably fourteen, fifteen pages)but it was interesting to hear things from someone other than Janie. This wasn't like some secret-revealing minibook. But it was a chance to see inside the mysterious mind of Cabel. It was refreshing and very different from Wake despite the same plot and characters.
Real Teen Rating~ B : Read it but there's no rush....more
To escape the stress of dream catchery, Janie takes a vacation with Cabel. And things are going fairly well – aside from Cabel’s disturbing dThe Gist:
To escape the stress of dream catchery, Janie takes a vacation with Cabel. And things are going fairly well – aside from Cabel’s disturbing dreams of the future – until Janie gets a few urgent calls from Carrie. And what might those desperate calls be about? Janie’s mother, of course. Go to the hospital. Your mom’s at the hospital was all Carrie would explain in her messages. So Janie rushes back home to find out what happened to her alcoholic mother to make her actually go to a hospital. But when Janie gets there, she finds out that her mother wasn’t the one in need of hospitalization. It was her father. In a dreary hospital room lies Henry Feingold; Janie’s absent father. He’s in a coma; his brain exploded. Literally. While trying to figure out the mystery that is her father, Janie accidentally/on purpose wanders into Cabel’s increasingly disturbing dreams – leading her to believe that Cabel doesn’t want to deal with her dream catching anymore. Janie can’t figure out what to do. Could her dad be a dream catcher, too? Is continuing to dream-catch really such a good idea? Or is there a better, safer way to deal with her curse? Why did her father’s brain explode? And should she stay with Cabel or leave him to save herself?
What We Think
Reviewed by Dream Catcher
Wow. The ending of that gist was extremely cheesy. I felt like one of those corny narrators that come on at the end of over-rated TV shows. Will Janie’s brain explode? Is the man in a coma really her father? And will Cabel leave her so he won’t be bothered by dreams? Tune in to the next exciting episode of Teenage Dream Catcher to find out! So weird. But I couldn’t think of a better way to end the gist. So there you go. Viola! Anyways, here we are. The third and final book of the Wake/Dream Catcher trilogy. As far as ranking the books goes this one has to be my least favorite. The best was Fade. The second best was Wake. And the worst was Gone. As far as plot I really only have one thing to say: repetitive. The same things happened over and over again. She broke into her dad’s house. She visited her dad in the hospital. She cried over Cabel. She broke into her dad’s house. Visited him at the hospital. Then cried about Cabel some more. It took me forever to finish this book not because of the length (a slightly-below-average length 214 pages) but because of how boring listening to Janie whine was. “I’m going to mourn over the father I never had. Now I’m going to leave Cabel so I can live alone in a moldy cottage deep in the forest. Wait, no! I just remembered I LOVE CABEL!” Argh, enough already! I got the point the twentieth time you said that. But I guess that has more to do with character than plot….ah it’s all related somehow. Whatever. But since I brought up characters….they weren’t likable. Now, in any of the books, I had never thought of Janie as a strong character that I genuinely liked. She was always just kind of there. In this book, she had that annoying quality of just being there and not doing much…but she had also figured out how to whine like there was no tomorrow. I can cut her some slack because losing your eyesight and use of your hands would really stink. But seriously. Enough is enough. Yes, the characters have to be believable so some complaining should be tolerated, but at the same time, your characters have to be likeable. Constant whining and complaining is the best way to make the reader dislike the character. Moving on from Janie, Cabel was generally okay despite the fact he cried way too much for my liking. The first few times I felt bad for him. But after a while my patience wore thin. No offense dude, but maybe this is why she’s thinking about leaving you in the first place! All she ever does is watch him cry. WHERE HAVE ALL THE SANE CHARACTERS GONE? Overall I think just the first two books alone would have been fine. This one really wasn’t needed. Only one half-answered question was fully answered. But until I started reading this book, I had thought every problem had a solution and every question had an answer. Apparently not. But yeah, in my opinion this book was pretty superfluous ( I love that word). Okay, so this review might make it seem like I really hated this book. But I didn’t. I finished it, didn’t I? In comparison to the others in the trilogy, this book wasn’t good. But without comparing it to anything I find it very average. Which isn’t good, but isn’t horrendous either. To end on a good note, the cover and the title were (as always) perfect and dramatic. So read this finale to the Dream Catcher trilogy because….eh. I tried to think of a witty pun having to do with the word gone….but I couldn’t come up with anything. Oh, well. Read the book and be done with it!
It began when she was eight. Janie Hannagan was sucked into the embarrassing dream of a business man who was trying – and failing – to impressThe Gist
It began when she was eight. Janie Hannagan was sucked into the embarrassing dream of a business man who was trying – and failing – to impress his co-workers with his new presentation. After Janie was finally released from the hold the dream has on her, Janie sees the same business man, getting off the same train she was on. She knows that something isn’t right. Things only get worse as she gets older. People fall asleep more often in school, and she can’t do anything to stop it. One minute she’s reading calmly in study-hall. The next she goes blind and numb and she knows she’s been forced into another person’s dream, against her will, with no way to get out. She just has to wait for them to wake up – then her vision returns and she’s released from the dream. Despite the hardship with sleeping people and their dreams, Janie’s senior year goes by in a blur. Almost everyday after school she works at Heather Home – an old people’s nursing home – to raise money for food and clothing and – hopefully – college. Janie stresses about her grades - which need to be nearly perfect so she can get a scholarship. Carrie Brant, Janie’s only friend, knows nothing of Janie’s “gift”. But Janie knows she can’t do anything about that. She has to face the dreams alone. On top of that, Cabel Stumheller - former drug addict and loner – changes his look and slowly becomes a part of Janie’s life. Janie knows that the most important thing in her life must be her grades…but things change as she grows closer to Cabel and is forced to learn more about her dream catching. But Janie tries to juggle it all – her friendship with Carrie, her alcoholic mother, her ability, her job, and her new, conflicting feelings for Cabel.
What We Think
Reviewed by Dream Catcher
I saw this in the bookstore awhile ago. And I do mean awhile ago. So I put it on my 2010 list was excited to eventually read it. Living Destiny beat me to it, and told me it was a great book. Good, I’d thought, good books are good. A very intelligent thought, I know. But still, I was sincerely excited to read. I don’t know what I was expecting. The best book I’d ever read? Certainly not. But a book I would look back on fondly? Yeah. Well, it was good…but I didn’t love it. The whole idea – concept – of everything was amazing. So cool. Getting sucked into people’s dream. I love it. It’s incredibly unique and fascinating. I’ve always loved anything to do with dreams (probably why I wanted to read this book so much), so Janie’s whole gift was completely awesome, in my opinion. Moving on to the title. Wake, like most one-word titles, is the first thing I noticed. It was interesting and mysterious. It made me want to find out what the book was about – so it fulfilled its purpose. So that was good. When I saw the name of the trilogy I laughed. Then I thought, well this must be the series for me! Though I’ve never really heard it refereed to as the Dream Catcher trilogy, its also a good title. The cover is another plus. All black except for the title and splash of color that is a picture of a pillow. How fitting. It’s also really dramatic. I like dramatic and mysterious covers. Maybe I’m the only one, but I only read the inside flap if I like the cover. As you can see, this cover got me to read the inside flap (or back of the book). So that was great. *Sigh* Now, onto the topic of plot. Sadly, there wasn’t much of one. I mean, there was an idea…but where was it going? It was kind of hard to write a gist for this book, because I didn’t want to give away too much, but I wanted to make it sound like it had some defined plot. If anything, though, the plot was very, very basic. I would have preferred a little more than that. The characters were pretty average. Janie (who swore ridiculously) was at times likable and strong. Other times she was a little oblivious, which is always annoying, but I got over that. I’ve read worse characters than her lately. Cabel was my favorite character. He was really sweet, and very mysterious. Though at times he could have the weirdest mood swings, he made up for it at some point or another. So on characters, McMann gets…a B+. That’s pretty good, I think. And that’s all her characters were: pretty good. So I think I’m being fair. And finally, the writing style and writing quality. The style itself is very sarcastic for third person. I found this very realistic for a troubled teenager’s point of view, so I really liked it. It was fitting and kind of funny (in a good way). Now, the writing quality was a little disappointing. Sure, she used a lot of similes (and I do mean a lot) and the description of the dreams was clear. But, since it’s written in third person, McMann really had to define who she meant when she said “she”. Sometimes I felt myself wondering who said what, or who did what. I’d read it a few times and then finally understand it. But as a published writer, I think she should get that straight before she publishes anything else. Also, sometimes I couldn’t tell if comments were sarcastic or not. I wasn’t sure if Janie was thinking something seriously. But that was only occasionally, so I managed to overlook it. Overall, this was a pretty good book, but not one I would rave about. I’m really only giving it such a high grade because I thought the dream part of it was executed nicely. And it was very unique, which, like I’ve said, earns respect. I realize I’ve used the word “good” a lot during this review. Sorry. But I think I’ve managed to convey that the book was just good, not amazing. But there’s really nothing wrong with a just good book, right? They can’t all be the next Great American Novel.
Real Teen Rating~ B : Read it, but there’s no rush. ...more
The Gist Gwendolyn Reilly just got the worst news of her life. Her boyfriend is coming back from California. The problem there? He has gotten incrediblThe Gist Gwendolyn Reilly just got the worst news of her life. Her boyfriend is coming back from California. The problem there? He has gotten incredibly hot since she last saw him three years ago, and she has gotten - well - fat. Her nickname, Dough, is accurate. Wish, her boyfriend, has no idea that the girl he left as a best friend and starting dating over email has gained seventy pounds and is ostracized at school for being poor and fat. It doesn't help Dough that her mom owns a bakery, and she works there. Who could resist all the baked confections? Dough's sister Evie can't either, though Evie stays stick-skinny, which isn't fair. Dough isn't ready for Wish to come back, isn't ready to start junior year, and isn't ready for the new hired help in the bakery, a convict-looking boy named Christian. But, she starts to learn, nothing is what it appears on the surface.
What We Think Reviewed by Living Destiny Number of Pages: 244 The entire 244 pages of this book, I was thinking one thing. STOP COMPLAINING!!! The main character, Dough, is always complaining. Reading almost turned into the Charlie-Brown-adult-voice in my head. Whine whine I'm fat whine whine I'm poor whine whine no one likes me whine whine. Guess who happens to especially hate whiny people? Me. I can not tolerate people who complain about their lives (or anything really) but don't do anything to fix it. Just change it or shut up! Nope, Dough liked to complain a lot, but really didn't do too much to remedy her weight situation. She just gradually grew to be not as bothered by it. But she was still fat at the end. The plot of this book was....
The Society is perfect. The Officials plan out everything. What you eat and where you work. Who you love, and even when you die. Not making yThe Gist:
The Society is perfect. The Officials plan out everything. What you eat and where you work. Who you love, and even when you die. Not making your own decisions is a small price to pay for having a long, healthy life, and the people blindly follow the Society’s rules. Cassia Reyes has complete faith in the Officials’ choices. And there’s no reason she shouldn’t; her life has been wonderful so far. At seventeen years old, Cassia is ready to be paired with her ideal match-for-life at her Matching Ceremony. She isn’t surprised when she’s Matched with her best friend, Xander Carrow. Her life continues to be wonderful. But when she sees a second match, things get confusing. Suddenly thrust into a world of rebellion, corruption and lies, Cassia learns that The Society isn’t as wonderful as it appears. Her life is turned completely upside down, and she’s forced to make a choice between what is true and what is perfect.
What We Think Reviewed by Living Destiny We got this book a month or two ago as an ARC. (For those of you who aren’t savvy with the book lingo, ARC stands for Advanced Reading Copy). I remember being really excited, because it was a new book to read that everyone else had to wait to read. Yes I’m a dork. But then I had to wait to read it (because North and Dream both got to read it before me). So then I was annoyed, and found myself thinking ‘this book had better be worth the wait’. Well guess what? It actually was.
So, the plot. It reminds me a little of The Giver. It has the same story of the perfect world, where the secret flaws are revealed to the protagonist. It’s nice to get a view of the future that isn’t all perfect technology, but isn’t total chaos either. In this book, the future seems perfect. There are problems, but not many people know about them. It’s like a false sense of security. Creepy, but interesting. I thought the link to poetry throughout the story was nice. It was strange to see how they only saved one hundred of all the arts. I can’t imagine how they would choose what to keep. If I had to be the one to choose, I might...