I’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked up Charlie St. Cloud if it wasn’t for the movie coming out. As a general rule, I try to read the book...moreI’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked up Charlie St. Cloud if it wasn’t for the movie coming out. As a general rule, I try to read the book before I watch the movie just because the movie doesn’t ruin the book. Since I intend to see the movie when it comes out, I decided to read the book. All I had to go on was the preview for movie and when reading the book I recognized some scenes that I had glimpsed in the preview. The book overall was a good read and I really enjoyed it.
Thirteen years ago, Charlie St. Cloud nearly died in a car crash that killed his twelve-year-old brother Sam. Since then, Charlie has been able to see Sam and works at the cemetery where he is buried. In comes Tess Carroll, a young woman preparing to embark on a solo sailing trip around the world. When Charlie and Tess meet there is an instant connection between the two, a connection that causes Charlie to make decisions and feel things he never thought he would have to until then.
I really liked Charlie’s character, if I were able to pick an older brother he is definitely the one I would go for. Either that I would fall in love with him like Tess did. He was just a really likable character. He was so devoted to his younger brother Sam, despite what it did to his own life. Throughout the whole novel you could tell that Charlie was hurting and that he truly felt responsible for what had happened to Sam. But at the same time he met Tess and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to break the promise he had made to Sam but at the same time he wanted a life with Tess.
If you forget the whole ghost aspect of the novel, the other characters were also really believable and you just wanted to get to know them more. Sam was great, sure he was a twelve-year-old but so often it felt like he was so much older, especially when he was with Tess. I also really like Tess. There was just something about her that made her really easy to like, I don’t really know how to explain it. And there was also the fact that she wasn’t what she looked like.
It was more than just a love story between Tess and Charlie and a story about two brothers. There is just so much more than that to Charlie St. Cloud. The story is really well written and throughout you just can’t help but feel Charlie’s pain and longing for something more than his life in the cemetery. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and it reminded me a lot of some of Nicholas Sparks’s stories. If you want to see the movie I recommend that you read the book first and also you enjoy Nicholas Sparks’s books, you will most likely enjoy Charlie St. Cloud as well.(less)
For a while I had heard a lot about the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead but had never actually picked them up. Then a couple of weeks ago I fo...moreFor a while I had heard a lot about the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead but had never actually picked them up. Then a couple of weeks ago I found the first four books at a series for $1.99 each and decided to buy them so I could finally read them. As it turns out, all those good things I had heard were true and I really enjoyed reading Vampire Academy, the first book in the series.
Lissa and Rose have been on the run for the past two years. Rose has made it her duty to protect Lissa, her best friend. Only Lissa is a lot more than just Rose’s best friend. She is that last living member of the Dragomirs, a Moroi vampire royal family. But then the school finds them and forces them to come back to St. Vladimir’s, an academy for the Moroi and their guardians-to-be. There Rose tries to deal with life back at the Academy and protecting Lissa, their bond making it that much easier to know how Lissa feels at all time. And of course there are the extra training sessions with Dimitri to look forward to.
I’ll be honest, when I first picked up this book I was expecting more of the same as far as vampire series go. As it turns out, it’s different from all the other vampire books I’ve read and a good different. I liked how there are all the different types of vampires and how they differ from each other, it wasn’t something I’d never read about before. I really enjoyed reading Vampire Academy not just for that reason but the characters were pretty awesome too.
I don’t even know how to begin describing Rose. I just loved her, she’s so great. Her impulsiveness and sarcasm made me laugh so many times, especially considering she is always either impulsive or sarcastic. Though I think her best quality is how much she cares for Lissa. No matter what the situation, Rose always puts Lissa first, even if it means putting herself in harm’s way. She may just be a novice but she completely understands what it means to be a guardian. Lissa was also pretty cool, though sometimes I felt that she needed to stand up for herself more. I understand everything that’s happened with her family, but it sometimes felt like she was relying too much on Rose. But other than that I liked Lissa a lot too.
And then there was Dimitri. It’s pretty easy to understand why Rose falls so easily for him. By the descriptions she gives of him, he does sound pretty great. The way he’s all quiet and serious but sometimes opens up when you least expect it is what makes him such a likable character. As far as male characters go, Mason and Christian were interesting too. I felt sorry for Mason, as much as she likes Rose, she can’t help how she feels about Dimitri and doesn’t feel about him. Regardless, Mason was always great to lighten up the mood. I wasn’t sure about Christian at first, I guess I was kind of going with Rose’s feelings about him. But by the end of the book I could tell that he really was a good guy and really did care about Lissa.
Overall, I really liked Vampire Academy, I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was a great story but I found that it took a while to pick up, but that might just have to do with the fact that it’s part of a series. However, once it picked up, the book was really fast-paced and hard to put down. It was a really enjoyable read and I’m glad that I bought the first four books all in one go. I’m reading, Frosbite, the next one, as it is and I’m liking it so far.(less)
I had heart a lot different things about SPEAK before but it wasn’t until the Banned Books controversy that I decided to finally pick up the book and...moreI had heart a lot different things about SPEAK before but it wasn’t until the Banned Books controversy that I decided to finally pick up the book and read it. It was an incredible read, nothing like what I expected and I mean that in the best way possible. This book should most definitely not be banned and I strongly believe that everyone should read SPEAK at least once in their life.
Melinda no longer has friends and she no longer knows how to open up to anyone. She is content staying by herself in her own bubble and doesn’t see the point anymore. Know one knows what happened to her at that party. Everyone just thinks she called the police just to get everyone in trouble. But that is quite far from the truth, a truth that she doesn’t know how to tell anyone. Melinda just goes through school numb, trying to survive and not alert anyone to her situation. But will she be able to find her voice and speak again?
First off, SPEAK is not written in the traditional way. There aren’t really any chapters, just different short sections that relate to particular events. The closest thing I could compare it to is a diary. Melinda reports everything that is going on in her life and in the world around her but everything is said in a really detached manner, as if she isn’t affected by everything happening. Which in a way it is, since she is trying to get away from it all, she’s afraid of what will happen if she starts listening and paying too much attention to all the voices. The way Melinda describes her life makes the story that much more powerful. From the way she tells her story you can really tell that she isn’t going through something easy.
The story itself is one that needs to be read and heard. One of the reason we are so uncomfortable with subjects like rape is that no one is willing to talk about, which is something that needs to change. Obviously it’s not an easy subject and by no strength of the imagination is it a pleasant subject to discuss. I’m not saying that that is what it should become, simply that the only way to do something about the issue is to actually talk about it. In the book, Melinda knows she needs to talk about what happened to her but she doesn’t know how and that is true of many victims of rape. If a book is capable of getting people to open up then all the more power to the book and its author.
I honestly do not understand why anyone would want to ban SPEAK. Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a powerful story on a subject that makes most people uncomfortable, but that alone is not a reason to ban a book. If you don’t want to read a story about a girl trying to go on with life after having been raped then don’t. But, honestly, you should read this book regardless because it really is a book that needs to be read.(less)
A few weeks ago I discovered Simone Elkeles by reading Perfect Chemistry and I immediately wanted to read more. I ordered Leaving Paradise and started...moreA few weeks ago I discovered Simone Elkeles by reading Perfect Chemistry and I immediately wanted to read more. I ordered Leaving Paradise and started reading it right away. I wasn’t disappointed and I felt the same way I did while I was reading Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles just has a way of writing that really draws you into the story and you don’t really emerge until you’ve read the entire book.
A year ago, Caleb went to a juvenile detention facility for having been driving drunk and running into his neighbor Maggie. Today Caleb is released and Maggie is suffering through physical therapy and and has to walk with a limp, most likely for the rest of her life. Maggie and Caleb are told to stay away from each other but there is something that pulls them together, they are the only two people who have even the smallest insight into what the other is going through.
I just love the characters that Elkeles creates, they always feel so real and they jump off the page. Sometimes it feels like I could be having a conversation with them, that’s how real they feel. Maggie and Caleb were great. I really enjoyed reading from both their perspectives but I have to admit that I think I like Caleb’s perspective the best. I don’t really know why. I think as a character I also liked him more than I did Maggie. That’s not to say Maggie wasn’t awesome because she really was, I just liked Caleb better...maybe I’m starting to develop a thing for bad boys...
Like in Perfect Chemistry, the chapters had alternating points of view. I don’t know if the story would be the same if it were just from Caleb or Maggie’s point of view. I find that having that constant change in point of view really draws me into the story. Because of the way it’s written you never know how things are going to turn out until the very end, and even then you’re not sure if that’s really how things are going to stay.
The story itself was really great. There is just something about a love that’s not meant to happen than gets me every time. No matter how many times I read about people who aren’t supposed to be together falling in love, I just start rooting for them, every single time. But there is so much more to Leaving Paradise than Maggie and Caleb’s relationship. It’s about growing up, being self-confident and owning up to what you did or didn’t do. I don’t know how to describe the story without giving too much of it away but I’ll say this: the story is about making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and taking responsibility.
As good as Leaving Paradise was, Perfect Chemistry is still my favorite. Though had I read them in reverse order, Leaving Paradise may be just be my favorite. The ending sort of left me hanging so I’m really looking forward to Return to Paradise, the sequel that’s coming out on September 1st.(less)