Can I just say, I loved this book !? It was funny, suspenseful, and just an all-around great book. Over the past year I have become a big fan of a stoCan I just say, I loved this book !? It was funny, suspenseful, and just an all-around great book. Over the past year I have become a big fan of a story switching between male and female protagonists throughout the story. This book definitely made it in my top 10 list! This is the classic story of a girl-turned-ghost who just happens to find the one person that can see her. It's a story we've all heard before but not quite the way Stacey Kade put it! The conflicting personalities of the main characters made the book funny and enjoyable....more
I am so sad to see the end to such a wonderful series. Lisa McMann’s Dream Catcher series has been a wonderful read. I am very glad that our book clubI am so sad to see the end to such a wonderful series. Lisa McMann’s Dream Catcher series has been a wonderful read. I am very glad that our book club chose to read this. I loved learning about Janie’s abilities as well as watching her struggle through the ups and downs brought on by her ability to see other’s dreams. The first two books of the series (Wake, Fade) lead to the extremely tough decision Janie must face in the third and final book. Her knowledge of Dream Catching has grown as well as her talent to control it. However, that knowledge comes with some very heartbreaking news. Janie must choose between two very difficult and painful paths. As much as I want to go on and on about how I adored the final book of this series, I just can’t make myself do it. Wake and Fade are so mesmerizing and interesting that Gone fell kind of short. There is still a lot of new information and twists and turns in Gone, but this book was missing a WOW factor for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a must-read especially if you have read the first two books, but don’t expect to be blown away. A majority of the book is of Janie while she contemplates what path she wants her life to lead. It is an inevitable decision that we knew would have to be made somewhere in the series, I was just a little bit disappointed that the decision took up the entire last book. The characters are still great and as lovable as ever. Janie’s confidence (confidence in her relationships, powers, future, etc.) goes up and down throughout this whole book; you will find yourself cheering her on through all of her internal struggles. There for her through everything is Cabel. This bad-boy gone good is just too adorable to pass up. He is so supportive of Janie even if he is a little bit unsure of where their relationship will end up in the future. In this book, we also get to meet a very new and interesting character that holds the key to Janie’s past and future. All in all, Gone is a book that had to be done. It wraps up the Dream Catcher series rather well. ...more
Wow! What an awesome book. This book contained everything that I love about Y.A. There was romance, heartbreak, suspense, and just about anything elseWow! What an awesome book. This book contained everything that I love about Y.A. There was romance, heartbreak, suspense, and just about anything else you could imagine. I am already counting down the days until the next one!...more
Sarah Dessen has done it again. She has created a book that I could fall into with complete ease. Characters that I could connect with from the beginnSarah Dessen has done it again. She has created a book that I could fall into with complete ease. Characters that I could connect with from the beginning. A town I would want to live in and people I want to be friends with because they all seemed so very real.
McLean does not have an average life. Since she is constantly moving around with her dad, she likes to become someone new in every town that she lives in. One day she is the ultimate joiner which includes clubs and student government. The next day she is a quiet drama/dancer type. The beauty of never staying in one place too long is that she got to reinvent herself with every move. However, when McLean and her dad land in this new town, McLean finds herself being….well herself.
She is thrown into several situations that catch her off guard and before she knows it she is being called by her real name and doing what she wants to do not what the character she is playing wants to do. I loved McLean from the beginning (I ALWAYS love those Sarah Dessen characters from the beginning). She has a mix of what I love from all other Dessen characters. She has spunk, she is a little controlling, she is a kind, loving person but she is also dealing with hurt and pain from her past.
McLean’s mother and father were great parents to her. They were loving and always there for her. However, McLean’s mother left her dad a few years ago for one of her dad’s greatest heroes. It is because of this that McLean decides to live with her dad instead of her mom. I love McLean’s dad! He may not be accessible all the time but he is still there for McLean when she really needs it. What I didn’t like though is that he allows her to take on so much responsibility. She sets up their house every time with all the necessary things like internet and cable, she grocery shops for them, she basically acts like a wife. I felt that her dad either failed to see it or failed to put a stop to it. Allowing her to take on so much responsiblity only helped feed her need to distance herself from the people in the towns they lived in.
We also see a lot of McLean’s mom. This is where I am kind of torn. I understood McLean’s feelings for her mom. Her mom hurt not only her dad but also McLean by leaving him. McLean wants nothing to do with her mom, hates having full-out conversations with her, and the thought of spending the weekend at the beach with her is enough to cause a major meltdown. While I did understand exactly where she was coming from, I was also angry with her for not giving her mom the time of day. McLean’s mom tries so hard to make things right with her, to try to make amends but McLean wants no part of it. I wished throughout several instances during the book that she would just put down her guard of hatred and let her mom be her mom again. This does show just how great of a person her mom is though. Even though she fell out of love with McLean’s dad, she still desperately wants to be a part of McLean’s life.
There were several aspects that I didn’t necessarily like with McLean’s relationships with her parents, but it was still realistic. I have felt that way towards my mom before, in fact there are times where I still do. There are also times where I take on a lot of responsibility especially with my younger siblings that most teenagers shouldn’t have to do. Sarah is so great at including very realistic lifestyles into books and she most certainly did that with What Happened to Goodbye.
Alright, now that I got the “tough” stuff out of the way, let’s get to the FUN stuff, the friends & the romance! I love the friends that McLean made during this book. Sarah Dessen did another great job of creating fun, quirky characters that helped to bring this book to life! Deb is the biggest sweetheart I’ve ever seen but she is also kind of wacky! She is truly a great friend for anyone that will give her the time of day. Oddly enough, it is McLean who introduces her to the group. Riley and Heather are two girls that could have a book all their own. They are so fun and open yet they are so different it causes for extremely entertaining bickering between the two. Plus they take McLean in without a second thought, she needs friends so they are there for her. Opal is an older woman but she is so great. She truly loves the restaurant she manages and she is so passionate about it. We get to see her a lot throughout the book and we find that she is a remarkable person. And then there is Dave….<3
Sarah never fails to make up a guy that melts my heart. Dave is so cute in a dorky way. You know those ultimate geniuses that are just too smart for their own good? Dave is one of them. Do you know those guys next door with the sweetest personalities? Dave is one of them too! He is super smart but also super funny & nice. He had a solid upbringing (if only a bit too strict) and he recently got into trouble for the first time ever. He spends a ton of time and energy trying to make it up to his parents. If that doesn’t show you a bit about his character then I don’t know what will! There is not much else to say except he is a great person, a great friend, and a wonderful person that McLean really connects with.
I will forever be a Sarah Dessen fan. Book after book by her is remarkable in its own right. What Happened to Goodbye is another one that can be added to the list! It is a realistic story about friendship, love, family, and finding yourself....more
Why did I take so long to finish this book? It was just marvelous! The story takes place in the 1920's, perhaps one of history’s most magical times. TWhy did I take so long to finish this book? It was just marvelous! The story takes place in the 1920's, perhaps one of history’s most magical times. This time period was filled with gambling, dancing, drinking, mystery, and more than anything, romance. Vixen takes us through the lives of three young girls, Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine. Gloria is the girl who has it all; money, good looks, great voice, and even a handsome fiancé. Clara, Gloria’s cousin, was sent to help make preparations for Gloria’s wedding, however, there is a lot more in her past than she is letting on. Lorraine, Gloria’s best friend is a girl who sick of being left in the shadows of Gloria. She will stop at nothing to get what Gloria has. Wow… just, wow! This book left me speechless. The characters, the imagery, the facts, basically everything about Vixen was spectacular. Gloria is a girl you could easily love. On the outside she has it all but beneath her beautiful exterior is a girl who just wants to escape. Her engagement is a sham, her family life is crumbling around her, and she just can’t seem to get thoughts of Jerome, a black musician, out of her head. Gloria wants nothing more than to shed her Ms. Innocent personality so she decides to become a flapper. She chops off all her hair, buys new clothes, and sneaks out at night to the town’s most famous speakeasy, the Green Mill. It is there that she meets Jerome and soon finds herself auditioning to be their leading lady. Clara was by far my favorite character. Throughout the whole story she was hiding all of these secrets from her life in New York and I found myself anxious to learn what she was hiding. She was an original flapper. She escaped her small, farming life to join the bright lights of New York City. There she fell in love and got her heart broken. When she shows up at Gloria’s house, she is determined to make a difference with herself. She refuses to be pulled back into her former flapper lifestyle. Things go great until she meets Marcus, Gloria’s male friend and Lorraine’s lifetime crush. Clara knows Marcus is a playboy and probably has some ulterior motives but she can’t help but fall for him. I loved the chemistry between Marcus and Clara! Now on to the character of Lorraine. Well to put it quite bluntly she was whiny, evil, selfish, and magnificent. She may have been a wretched friend who only thought about herself, but this girl sure knows how to cause DRAMA! Lorraine is driven by her jealousy of Gloria. She wants her looks, her fiancé, her voice, her life. Lorraine gets so caught up in trying to outdo Gloria that she gets herself into several messes. She shows up intoxicated to a few parties, gets thrown out of Gloria’s house twice and even does a few no-no’s with Gloria’s fiancé. Aside from the interesting, wonderful characters, Vixen is also filled with beautiful imagery. The roaring 20’s has been a time period that has been fascinating to me ever since I read The Great Gatsby my junior year of high school. I felt like I was in the smoky, hidden rooms of the speak easies, or that I was walking the sidewalks lined with beautiful, extravagant homes. I even felt like I could see the glimmer of the flashy flapper dresses. Jillian Larkin created a 1920’s masterpiece with Vixen! ...more
This book is purely fabulous! Alexandra Monir mixed so many great elements to create this novel. Timeless follows a young girl named Michele. After thThis book is purely fabulous! Alexandra Monir mixed so many great elements to create this novel. Timeless follows a young girl named Michele. After the abrupt and tragic death of her mother, Michele is shipped across the United States to live with her estranged grandparents. Did I mention that her grandparents are one of the wealthiest people in New York? As she tries to adjust to life without her mom Michele is also forced to adjust to life in New York. She now goes to a private school full of rich, snobby girls, and she is thrown into the life of luxury, the near opposite of what life was like for her in California. Besides spending time with the only nice girl in school, Caissie, Michele likes to time travel. At first it is only by mistake as it usually is but once she meets the young, handsome Philip she just can’t help but going back in time to his world. Soon Michele finds herself wrapped up in not only Philip’s time but also the time of some late relatives. She must hurry to help changes the past for the one’s she loves before it’s too late. (Cue dramatic music) Ok as I said earlier, loved this book! I will admit to being a tad bit apprehensive to read a novel about time travel. I mean it is something we ALL wish would happen in real life, but due to the cheesiness of some movies and books; the idea is thought to be impossible. Well Alexandra did a fabulous job making it seem realistic! It is all done with a skeleton key that Michele finds. It seems to practically come to life when it touches certain objects from the past. Michele is transported back to the time period of the certain item she is touching. I know that authors claim to have no control over the covers of their books but I feel that I should mention this: The key is on the cover! And it just happens to look exactly like its description; how awesome! (The whole cover in general is gorgeous by the way). Ok, now that I have gotten off topic WAY too much, back to the review. So time travel; it was done in a fabulous job. I love Alexandra’s take on it not to mention the research this girl did! You can find her sources in the back of the book. To add to the awesomeness of the time travel, Timeless also has superb descriptions of the past. Michele first travels back to the time 1910. This sounded like such an extravagant, gorgeous time period. With all the ball gowns and fancy houses, I would have loved to have seen it. Michele also joins the world of gangsters and flappers for a few scenes. Since I just read not one but two books about the 1920’s I can assure you that the description that Alexandra gives is wonderful. Last but not least Michele joins a time period of heartbreak and fear, the 1940’s. This must have been a hard time to write about due to the loss our country was facing during World War 2. I loved how Alexandra included small details like the flags that people hung on their doors symbolizing the loved ones who are fighting and the ones that they have lost. So to make that history lesson shorter, all of the time periods Michele goes to in Timeless were full of accuracy and wonderful imagery. We wouldn’t have a great book without great characters. For the brief amount of time we got to see the relationship between Michele and her mother, you could tell it was a strong one. The character of Michele alone is also a great character. She has to struggle through a lot and it is easy to see that NOTHING comes easy for her so I just couldn’t help but feeling sympathy for her. Throughout all of her struggles and her experiences in different times she really grows as a person. I loved the quirkiness of all of the relatives and friends she meets in the past; each one brings something unique to the table. And Philip, dear Philip; he is adorable! Not only does he sound cute but he is also quite the gentleman. I love the way he treats Michele with such respect! Even though I did love how sweet Philip was, there was a small something that made their relationship fall a little flat to me (just a little though!!) I am more than confident that the romance in the second Timeless novel will be amazing! Timeless is yet another great 2011 debut novel. I can’t wait to see what Alexandra Monir comes up with next! ...more
Wow! What a fantastic read. The book is completely original, there was a wide range of characters (all of which I liked), and it was purely beautifulWow! What a fantastic read. The book is completely original, there was a wide range of characters (all of which I liked), and it was purely beautiful inside and out. This story about werewolves, uses suspense, mystery, great imagery, and of course a juicy love triangle to keep readers interested; what more could a paranormal fantasy fanatic ask for? ...more
The main character, Anna, has her senior year all laid out. Job at the movie theater with her almost-boyfriend (crush that she hopes will turn into moThe main character, Anna, has her senior year all laid out. Job at the movie theater with her almost-boyfriend (crush that she hopes will turn into more), Toph, hanging out with her best friend Bridge, and just trying to make it through that last year of school before college. However, her dad, in his attempt to impress is many adoring fans (of his books; he’s an author) ships Anna off to the City of Love for her final two semesters. Anna gets it set in her mind that she will hate every last moment of living in Paris even after she acquires a new group of quirky friends.
Mer, the girl across the hall, is a super sweet tom boy. Rashmi nearly the opposite of Mer, has a very tough edge to her but when push comes to shove, she stands up for her friends. Josh is the artistic, funny, cute boyfriend of Rashmi and best friend of Etienne St. Claire. Etienne, the dashing, charismatic, totally swoon-worthy boy happens to be the one that has stolen Anna’s heart without her even realizing it. The only issue: he has a girlfriend.
Okay so now that you have an idea of what the book is about, let me tell you exactly why you should read Anna and the French Kiss:
Because I said so! As intimidating as that may sound, that probably isn’t enough to sway you to read it so listen up. This wonderfully written book is just prefect.
The setting; Paris, the City of Love, is basically the best place to have a Y.A. romance take place. Paris, a place I have never been to, became a near reality through Stephanie’s writing. I felt like I was right there along with Anna as she took in magnificent sites such as the Eifel Tower, Pointe Zero, and the Notre-Dame.
The characters, Anna and St. Claire, along with all their friends were wonderful. Anna is a perfect little mix of every teenage girl out there. She has cute little quirks like collecting bananas, she is funny, sometimes shy, lacks confidence in certain things, has great determination to achieve her dream job, and even makes a few mistakes along the way. Honestly, you could find at least one similarity between yourself and Anna. Etienne St. Claire is a boy that I want to appear in real life, right now! He sounds adorable, he is so dang sweet, and I am pretty sure that accent of his would make my heart beat a little faster. Mer, Rashmi, and Josh are all great supporting characters that add something unique to the table. A+ to Stephanie’s realistic, quirky, well-written characters.
Oh la la, the romance! The chemistry between Anna and St. Claire was tangible from the first moment they met. Etienne has his girlfriend and Anna has her almost-boyfriend but the two can’t seem to stay away from each other. When you have friendship with that much romantic tension, something is bound to happen. My favorite part about their relationship was that it was perfectly, imperfect. They fought, they got too close, they became too distant, they had their normal ups and downs, but no matter what, they were always there for each other. When St. Claire’s mom was diagnosed with cancer, Anna was there encouraging him every step of the way. When Anna had some troubles with her friends back in the U.S. St. Claire did his best to occupy her time. How could you not love these two together. They are two peas in a pod; they go together like bees and honey; Anna is the jelly to St. Claire’s peanut butter. You get the picture?
Alright, so I am going to cut this review off right there because I could honestly go on, and on, and on about how wonderful, fantastic, and superb this book is. So you need to stop reading this review and go get your copy of Anna and the French Kiss right now, I mean it! There is no doubt in my mind that you will love it as much as I did!
Three great books that follow a young girl named Amy. She repairs relationships with relatives, becomes closer with her religious roots, and even fallThree great books that follow a young girl named Amy. She repairs relationships with relatives, becomes closer with her religious roots, and even falls in love. Amy's personality is sarcastic, stand-offish, and blunt but it makes the dialogue and inner monologue in the book completely hilarious. Of course another great series by Simone Elkeles!...more