I love John Green and this book was one of his best. The characters in the book often refer to 'cancer books' and if you read a lot of teen/kids lit,...moreI love John Green and this book was one of his best. The characters in the book often refer to 'cancer books' and if you read a lot of teen/kids lit, you can't help but know the books they mean. While most are well meaning I can't imagine that most are really all that inspirational or comforting to people going through cancer treatment or dealing with someone in their family having cancer.
Green's characters feel real as you read about them. I did cry while reading this novel, but I was not depressed when it was finished. I was satisfied. Not "oh, ok it's over" satisfied, but the deep sign of satisfaction after a great meal that satisfies all your cravings. I'm not going to give you a summary because most of the other reviews out there will as well as the blurb on Amazon or B&N.
I would recommend this book for all the fans of twilight who think Edward Cullen is romantic. Let them read about Augustus Waters and learn how real guys are romantic. Yeah, Augustus is probably too good to be true, but I'll take him over Edward any page! I would also recommend this on a more serious note to fans of Lurlene Daniels, Caroline Cooney, or others along those lines. It was a great tear jerker for those who enjoy that without the headache I usually have at the end of those.(less)
I really loved this! This year has kinda been the year of non-fiction for me. I usually hate to read non-fiction, but this year the books have been so...moreI really loved this! This year has kinda been the year of non-fiction for me. I usually hate to read non-fiction, but this year the books have been so amazing that they surpass any disinterest I have in the subject.
Ok, so this particular non-fiction book had a leg up in that area since I am interested in traveling and life in other coutries. Casey and Steven work together to tell the story of thier time together in nine different countries the year after they graduate from college. Casey tells the story in words, clearly a talent that she inherited/learned from dad (Jon Scieszka), but her words are highlighted humerously with Steven's illustraions.
I'm not even all the way through this book and I feel like I know both of them. It would feel wierd to write this review refering to Casey as Scieszka as I might for fiction authors, because I've read about her nervous first day jitters before teaching, her disgust as finding a mystery turd in the bathtub, and her love of Paris.
Whether your an artist, linguist, wanna be traveler, or world traveler....or really anyone. You will find plenty of laughs and information in this book.(less)
This British import might sound like a stock novel if you just look at the quick summary. Boy is bullied, ends up dead, his friends are working throug...moreThis British import might sound like a stock novel if you just look at the quick summary. Boy is bullied, ends up dead, his friends are working through their grief and trying to understand what happened. But if you pass up the experience of reading this book you'll be missing some laugh out loud moments of teen boys doing what they do best; getting into trouble, hanging out, and being friends.
Blake, Kenny, and Sim have all been friends with Ross for years. Kenny since they were tots, Sim since primary, and Blake since he and his mom moved into town years ago. So when Ross is killed in a car accident and some of the people who made his last weeks alive miserable show up at his funeral, the three of them decide to take revenge and to give Ross the funeral he deserved. The one they think he'd have wanted.
This kicks off an insane weekend where the boys bond with each other, fight with each other, break friendship and strengthen it. By the end, the three friends learn that they didn't know everything they thought they did when the whole thing started and that though they understand a lot, there is just as much they won't understand any time soon. The ending is a bit abrupt, but it also suits the story in an odd way.
This book isn't a serious dramatic lesson on bullying. It isn't a funny road trip book. It somehow manages to be both and neither at the same time. Expect to laugh out loud at some of the images, or maybe that's just my twisted sense of humor. Expect it to make you think when the guys joking suddenly turns into some fairly philosophical discussions of friendship, death, and afterlife. (less)
P.K. is a normal teen who loves to rock climb and whose parents just don't understand her. She's not doing well at her school where they focus on stan...moreP.K. is a normal teen who loves to rock climb and whose parents just don't understand her. She's not doing well at her school where they focus on standardised tests and traditional classes, plus her parents don't like her non-conformist friends. So they want to send her to a nice boarding school where they believe that she will focus on classes and become a 'good' student. Her answer is to run away on a rock climbing trip, but none of her friends can go with her. Enter Critter. Critter is a patient in the psych ward and has been kept drugged up on various pills. He believes he doesn't need them and manages to skip doses and escape the hospital. The first night out he stops the gym where he and his father used to go rock climbing and there he overheads P.K. asking her friends to go with her. He volunteers when none of them will and the next morning off they go. A new take on a road trip story, the pair start out as strangers and get to know one another and for P.K. herself a bit better.
I liked this book for a lot of reasons. Short chapters and two very unique voices that both rang true were two of the first I discovered. The mix of mundane and dramatic details was another. I loved the fact that P.K. wasn't running from horrible, abusive or neglectful parents....just normal parents who loved her, but just didn't understand her or agree with her. She still loved them as well and in the end, even if everything wasn't perfect they all found a way to make peace and live with each other. Critter's story unfolds slowly as he reveals it to P.K., and is left open but hopeful at the end.
This one will be added to my list of favorites for the year, at least for now. It's definitely one that is worth the read.(less)
**spoiler alert** A Korean American teen, Joyce, is offered plastic surgery on her eyes by an Aunt who has come into some lottery money. Joyce has alw...more**spoiler alert** A Korean American teen, Joyce, is offered plastic surgery on her eyes by an Aunt who has come into some lottery money. Joyce has always been the plain sister and is tempted by the surgery which would give her eyes 'the fold'. Joyce debates the idea of getting the surgery with her best friend, Sam (a boy who lives in her apartment building who struggles with severe acne), and her older sister who has always been the pretty and smart one. Joyce's aunt railroads her a bit and makes appointments with a plastic surgeon before Joyce has made up her mind. Her sister thinks she's insane to even consider it, her best friend thinks that she is insane NOT to do it, and Sam won't weigh in - but it's clear he's been crushing on Joyce. At the surgeon's office, Joyce gets some much needed impartial information and gets to see what a difference the surgery will make. The doctor glues her eyelids into place as they would look after the surgery. The normal teen dramas happen: Joyce's new eyes are a hit and she's rocketed to the in crowd for an afternoon at the beach and her best friend feels left out, she disses Sam, realizes that the 'in' group isn't all it's cracked up to be, learns there is more to her sister than pretty, and eventually makes up with her friend and Sam and her sister.
Thoughts: Even now after at least a week of thinking about this book I am still unsure of it. There are times in this book that the stereotypes drove me nuts. But as soon as I was about to be truly fed up, Na would lift the curtain and give a peek behind the curtain. Whether it was the pretty and perfect sister who was studying to be a doctor (though it sounded from the text more like a therapist than a doctor), who was hiding the fact that she was 'in love' with her best friend and that she was afraid to come out of the close because she would embarrass the family, or the bossy aunt who everyone thinks is addicted to plastic surgery because she's vain and has had many American husbands, who reveals to Joyce what happened when her first husband brought her to America and how she was treated. The biggest twist was at the end....
SPOILER - for any who care
Joyce decides at the very last second not to do the surgery, but she keeps the glue the doctor gives her because sometimes she might want an adventure. She asks her aunt to give the money to her friend to help her get clear braces instead of regular metal ones. So does substance win over beauty? A very intriguing book which will definitely get readers talking about issues of beauty, family, stereotypes, and lots more.(less)
It reminds me of Diary of a Wimpy kid, but in a good way not in the "oh that made a ton of money let me copy it way"
Emond blends the sketch book style...moreIt reminds me of Diary of a Wimpy kid, but in a good way not in the "oh that made a ton of money let me copy it way"
Emond blends the sketch book style with diary entries that carry an authentic voice and tell a good story. The middle did tend to drag a bit for me, but I think the whole was worth it. Since it was a private diary it brings up great questions about denying the truth to yourself vs. keeping secrets from others. Don't know if it will stand up to the books that come out through the rest of the year, but I would expect this to be on many lists come the end of the year...especially reluctant readers. (less)
I really liked this book. I've seen a few kids as superheros and liked a few but thought most were kind of cheesy. By casting the main character as a...moreI really liked this book. I've seen a few kids as superheros and liked a few but thought most were kind of cheesy. By casting the main character as a villain, he is free not to be perfect from the start and I have to say even though I love the teens at my library, it's A LOT easier seeing them as super villains than heroes.
Some of the characters are rather flat and stereotypes, but it seems more intentional than a weakness in the book. I'd pair this with maybe Hero by Moore. Give to fans of the movies Sky High, KickAss, or Scott Pilgrim.(less)
Finally! I felt like I would never finish Froi when I started it.
That sounds like the start of a bad review, but I promise it's not. By the end of th...moreFinally! I felt like I would never finish Froi when I started it.
That sounds like the start of a bad review, but I promise it's not. By the end of the book I was loving it and crying for the characters the same way I did with Marchetta's previous book. As with Finnikan, Froi was a very slow start. I really wish the first 100 pages either had a bit more of the characters connecting to each other or was shortened. I didn't start really getting into the story and seeing the deeper themes of the book until the characters started to thaw toward each other. While I am all for realism and these two nations had no reason to trust one another, I do believe from the first book that some of these characters were better people than they acted in the first 1/3 of the book. It was almost like they had forgotten or had to relearn life lessons that they had learned in the last book.
That being said, once they started to connect to each other and the clues to Froi's past started to come to light the pages seemed to fly. While it took me weeks to get through the 1st 200, I think I read the last 2/3rds of the book in a matter of hours. I hated to put it down to drive home and had to resist picking it up at stop lights. The end does leave you hanging, but then it is the middle book of a trilogy. I could even have lived without the epilogue. That teasing info almost makes the wait for book three worse.
I would recommend this ONLY for mature readers. The early themes of sexual violence and brutality to women are very harsh. Once you get deeper into the book, the themes of national identity and what creates a culture emerge as well as family of blood vs family of the heart. (less)
It's no secret I love Laini Taylor's books. I have liked her books since I found Blackbringer, the first Faerie's of Dreamdark book. I wish that her p...moreIt's no secret I love Laini Taylor's books. I have liked her books since I found Blackbringer, the first Faerie's of Dreamdark book. I wish that her publishers would back more of that series, because two were just not enough. If they won't though, I will almost happily settle for Karou's story.
Taylor's newest book stars Karou, an art student in Prague with a unique family. Karou's been raised by chimaerae who deal in trading wishes for teeth. The reader's knowledge of the world, magic, and what the teeth and wishes are used for and how it works grows only slightly faster than Karou's knowledge does. I loved the characters. The descriptions of Prague make me want to go book a flight today! I'm a little over the whole angels in YA lit, but with an angel as well written as Akiva I'm willing to go along with Taylor on this one. I also like the whole backstory of the angels vs. the chimaerae. I'm interested in seeing more of the history revealed. taylor doesn't make it simple. It's not pretty good, ungly bad but nor is it just the reverse which really is just as simple.
I wasn't in love with all the flashbacks. I'm also not a huge fan of switching POV. I didn't mind between Akiva and Karou, but throwing in the flashbacks and it was a minus for me. Still a great book and I love Karou and Akiva is on probation. I guess I'm with Karou on him....I find him facinating, I just don't know if I can trust him. Worth checking out the sequal this year to find out.(less)
I really liked this book. It's a mix of a changling story and a touch of pinochio. All Macky wants to do is the one think he can't do...live a normal...moreI really liked this book. It's a mix of a changling story and a touch of pinochio. All Macky wants to do is the one think he can't do...live a normal life and be like everyone else in his small town. The town has a secret though....everyone knows it, but no one will talk about it or do anything about it.
When one of Macky's classmate's sister dies and she seeks his help, Macky can't ignore the issue any more. He's forced to face what and who he is and must make some hard choices. Yovanoff doesn't shy away from the darkness and if your looking for a story with sweet and helpful faeries this is NOT the book for you, but it is an awesome coming of age story for a boy who is not quite human.(less)
I loved this book. It was really good at making you think about how far you would go to save/keep someone you love. It also made you think about what...moreI loved this book. It was really good at making you think about how far you would go to save/keep someone you love. It also made you think about what makes a person themselves. If your looking for doing it in a book group, it would pair fantastically well with Skinned by Wasserman. When stripped to the basics the books are a lot alike, but the two authors took the story in two totally different directions. (less)
I really liked the start of this series. It was interesting and has a romance element that wasn't sappy, action that wasn't gory or dependant on explo...moreI really liked the start of this series. It was interesting and has a romance element that wasn't sappy, action that wasn't gory or dependant on explosives, and an interesting story. Problem, the end...it happened about one chapter before the writer stopped writting. I hate cliff hangers and this one so could have ended as a complete story at the end of the second to last chapter.(less)
Ok, I got about 1/3 of the way through this book before I gave up and read the last chapter. I thought that knowing what was coming be it good or bad...moreOk, I got about 1/3 of the way through this book before I gave up and read the last chapter. I thought that knowing what was coming be it good or bad would help me get through the creepier parts in the middle. Keep in mind I LOVE creepy books. Poe is one of my favorite authors. I adored Missing Girl and usually love books that can play with your mind. This one had me beat though. After I read the last chapter i went back and read a bit more, but in the end passed the book on to another fan of freaky sci-fi so i could go on to more on my to read list.
If you liked Missing Girl or Silence of the Lambs, I'd suggest you try this book.(less)