(Maybe slightly spoilerish ...) I was overall disappointed. Hence the 2 stars. I wanted it to be better than it was. Maybe I expected too much of it.(Maybe slightly spoilerish ...) I was overall disappointed. Hence the 2 stars. I wanted it to be better than it was. Maybe I expected too much of it. If so, I'm sorry, The List.
So, each year at Mount Washington High School, on the Monday before Homecoming, a list is put up all over school, naming the prettiest and ugliest girls in the school. It's a "tradition" that everybody puts up with. Even the faculty, unfortunately (don't even get me started on that).
I really thought I'd like this book - it was well-written, yes, and had a meaningful premise. But it just left a bad taste in my mouth. I was disappointed because the book had so much potential to be really powerful and convicting. It isn't just about pretty vs. ugly - it's about loyalty, and friendship, and the power of words in general. I felt like the book ended so abruptly, and didn't address a lot of those issues, or answer the questions I had.
Like, what did the list-maker do with the stamp? (I mean, not that anybody NEEDS the stamp to recreate the emblem - hello, copy machines & photoshop?) Did Fern and Abby work out that they're both jealous of each other, and start learning to just help each other instead of insulting each other? Did Sarah start trusting Milo, or get her self-confidence back? Did any of the nameless groups of "friends" (Candace's, Margo's) actually learn a lesson from all this, did they truly CARE about anybody? Did Candace learn her lesson, did she start being nicer to people?
And, I don't know, I get that there's something to be said for leaving some questions unanswered - I don't believe that a book has to answer every single question, that there's some things we can decide for ourselves for the characters.
But I felt like the ending, *SPOILER HERE* with the plastic tiara bit, was overdone and insulting. We've all seen Mean Girls, we get it. There were so many other powerful and meaningful places the book could have gone at the end, and how it ended was a little bit of a cop-out. Not to mention obvious - we've just read an entire book detailing how calling people pretty or ugly damages self-esteem and self-confidence on both sides of the line - we didn't need to be told, again, with an overused metaphor, "Oh by the way, only caring about being pretty is just gonna make you seem really fake." We got that already.
What about how the blind, unwavering need to constantly be told you're pretty can completely damage you from the inside out, making you so exhaustingly annoying that it's impossible for anybody to ever want to be close to you? What about how ANY harsh words, whether they're related to beauty or intelligence or WHATEVER, can make you do some pretty stupid things to try and compensate? What about, assuming someone is a certain way (like, "a slut") based on circumstantial evidence (kissing your boyfriend...?) and then punishing them for it ... that's pretty messed up.
And there's more - there's so many "life lessons" that could definitely have used a bit more spelling out, but instead, we focus on the trite and obvious "Hey kids - don't judge a book by it's cover." It's a good lesson to learn, but there's so many other good lessons that The List approached but didn't touch.
And ya know, maybe I'm asking too much of the book? But then again, why bring up all of those issues if you weren't going to address them? Why leave all of that up to the imagination?
What I love about Scorpio Races is that it was about some magic, fairy horses, but it was not at all a fantasy style book. The book was so much aboutWhat I love about Scorpio Races is that it was about some magic, fairy horses, but it was not at all a fantasy style book. The book was so much about the characters - about Puck and Sean, but also about Corr and Dove. And you get to know these characters so much, that the horses don't feel mythical, they just feel real.
It was a bit difficult for me to get into for some reason - hence why it took me a year to finally read it. It's a bit slow at the beginning, learning to know and love the island and it's traditions and it's inhabitants.
My only big complaint, I think, is that the characters apart from Puck and Sean and maybe Finn felt so fuzzy and out of focus - when certain other characters died, it was hard for me to feel properly sad because I didn't know them too well. But to be honest, that may have been my fault, reading too quickly or skimming too much. Part of me wishes I had more to read of this island. There's so much of the story that's before the events of the book, and so much after. There's so much of the story that's left to the imagination.
I both love and hate books that end a bit unfinished. I admire it, and in the end, it's the best way to write an ending. When books end by telling every little detail of the after-the-story lives of the characters, it just makes me annoyed. So this is good. But at the same time, I've grown so connected to Puck and Sean and Corr and Dove that I want so badly to know what happens next.
Disappointed. Boo. I was excited about this book, too. Sigh.
Keep Holding On is a story about bullying. Noelle is bullied by annoying brats at school,Disappointed. Boo. I was excited about this book, too. Sigh.
Keep Holding On is a story about bullying. Noelle is bullied by annoying brats at school, and she's bullied by her own mother. Her situation truly sucks. I feel a little weird saying I didn't much like this book, because it did have such a heavy, important topic. Bullying is such a big deal recently, and that's a good thing - the more light that's shed on this issue, the more people will feel safe to stand up against bullying.
But this book, it all fell so flat to me. It wasn't real, it was very preachy, and I don't think it got to the depths of the issue. There were a lot of instances that Colasanti told instead of showed. There were characters that needed developing (for example, I wished we'd gotten to know Ali more, and oh my gosh, Simon rocked so much), and the ending - Noelle's turnaround - felt rushed and not in character at all. As someone who's been bullied, and had trouble standing up for herself, it doesn't happen all at once like that. It comes in bits.
And, finally ... the romance aspect. First of all, Julian ended up being a pretty one-dimensional character. By the end, I don't know who Julian is or what he's about, so it was hard for me to trust him with Noelle in the end. Second, a lot of her "healing" at the end was based on her relationship with him, which isn't healthy. And third, why did there NEED to be a romance aspect at all? Why couldn't Noelle figure out who she was and how to stand up for herself without needing a boy to like her?? I mean, don't get me wrong - I get that after Matt, it was nice for her to realize that a boy could like her for her and not be a liar or be ashamed of her. I just didn't feel like the romance aspect of this book added anything to the story. If anything, it felt like it was added out of necessity, because it's a YA book. If it was going to be in there, it needed to be developed more.
Overall, I wanted more out of this book than it was able to give me. It's becoming a common problem with me. I keep coming back to this issue of, maybe I'm expecting too much?!? Do I want it to be deeper than it can be? But then, you have YA books like TFIOS that blow you away in terms of emotional depth, so, it's definitely possible to have a book written for teenagers that's not dumbed down. And this book was not it....more
Awwweeeesommeee. A little slow/confusing/hard to get into at the beginning. But after around 100 pages, I couldn't put it down.
Okay this review is a lAwwweeeesommeee. A little slow/confusing/hard to get into at the beginning. But after around 100 pages, I couldn't put it down.
Okay this review is a liiiitle spoilery. So tread carefully if you have not read the book. Fair warning!
I like the way you kind of learn the backstory as Taylor does, hence the confusion at the beginning. Although, she tended to be a lot slower on the uptake. It was definitely predictable at times, but not overly so.
I loved the territory war stuff, especially when you find out how it started. Loved Jonah & Taylor's chemistry, and all their banter/fighting, and then as they let their guards down, how they protect each other.
It was heartbreakingly sad, especially once you figure out about fitz. I literally cried it was so sad. :( It felt so senseless. You almost wanted it to be a serial killer so you can have something to blame, someone to hate. It feels worse when it's just a simple accident. Like all the heartbreak and the sadness and the ruined lives could not have been because of something so small, so innocent. I felt so immensely sad for Fitz.
Anyway. Extremely well written and amazing book. I LOOOOOOVED this book. Best YA I've read in a long while!...more
The thing about Abby is that she sees people in such a two-dimensional way. She sees her sister as this perfect girl that everyone adores. She sees ElThe thing about Abby is that she sees people in such a two-dimensional way. She sees her sister as this perfect girl that everyone adores. She sees Eli as a guy who's rich and gorgeous. And definitely, there are people in her life who supported her world view (stupid Jack). And it screwed up Abby big time, cuz she can't see herself as anything but not good enough. It takes her so long to figure out that people are never just one thing, that everyone has problems, etc. It can definitely make for a very annoying protagonist, but what saddens me is that it takes so very long for enough people in her life to sit her down and say, "You deserve to be happy" to the point where she kinda believes it. ...more
Ahh! I read a Christmas book in September!! That is so not like me. I'm usually the "No Christmas Until After Thanksgiving" type. But this year I've fAhh! I read a Christmas book in September!! That is so not like me. I'm usually the "No Christmas Until After Thanksgiving" type. But this year I've felt unusually prematurely festive. So yeah, 2 of my favorite YA authors were a big draw. I liked how the three stories all kind of intertwined. If they were three separate stories, I probably would have felt more cheated at the length of each story. They were good, not great. Sweet, happy ending, like a good young adult romance should be. Yay....more
Alright, so ... I'm just not going to mention what classic novel this book emulates, because I think realizing that just ruined it for me, and I don'tAlright, so ... I'm just not going to mention what classic novel this book emulates, because I think realizing that just ruined it for me, and I don't want to do that to anybody. Although, I don't really need to mention it for it to be pretty obvious, so you'll definitely figure it out if you've read the- okay, forget it, it's Pride and Prejudice.
So yeah, a modernized retelling of Pride and Prejudice in a high school setting. Have you ever watched a movie or a read a book, and then wished you could erase your memory and see/read it again without preconceived notions? That's how I felt with this book. I liked it! But I would have liked it more, I think, if it were an original story and not a retelling.
It's funny because, I got it for my kindle a few weeks ago, promptly forgot about it, and then ran across it yesterday. "Sweet!" my inner self happily exclaimed. "A book to read!" And I had forgotten the premise of it by that point. It took me a couple chapters to remember, "Oh yeah, this is the Pride and Prejudice book." And once I remembered that, all I could see were the parallels. "Oh, ______ is supposed to be Wickham" and "Oh that's why Elise's mom and sister are so effin' annoying," etc. And I couldn't help but feel like the whole book was spoiled for me from that point. I knew, basically, what would happen. I knew that certain characters would turn out to be douchebags, and certain characters would end up together, and other characters would prove their awesomeness, etc.
I guess it was a little fun to see how the different plotlines would be modernized. It just wasn't the same. Sad for me. I think anybody who's not as weird as me, or who hasn't read Pride and Prejudice (or seen one the million of adaptations of it) would enjoy the book just fine. It was good! Well-written and fun and appropriately swoonworthy. I promise!
P.S. Also, it seemed in parts like the author was trying REALLY hard NOT to say "proud" or "prejudiced" too much. She would use tons of other synonyms, but rarely (if ever - I don't remember) either of those words.
P.P.S. Also also, Elise's personality was occasionally weird to me, in the sense that her inside personality didn't always match her outside personality. When it's not dialogue - when it's just her, thinking - she comes off shy & a little antisocial. Like at the beginning, I thought she would be completely awkward every time she spoke. But then she randomly started word-vomiting hilariousness at the lunch table. It was interesting. I feel like most actual people are the other way around - wayyy more awesome and quirky and witty inside their heads than they are when they actually start talking....more