I have a confession. I love Jersey Shore. I mean, freaking LOVE it. I don't know why, but I can't get enough of this fist pumping, hair poofing, GTL-i...moreI have a confession. I love Jersey Shore. I mean, freaking LOVE it. I don't know why, but I can't get enough of this fist pumping, hair poofing, GTL-ing mess of a show. If you're like me and have no idea why you love Jersey Shore as well, then A Shore Thing will be a great summer read for you.
A Shore Thing may be a fictional story starring Gia and Bella, but it reads like any episode of Jersey Shore starring Snooki and J-Woww, the obvious inspirations for the characters. In A Shore Thing Gia/Snooki and Bella/J-Woww get a house on the Jersey Shore for the summer to party and hook up with hot guido gorilla juice-heads, but nothing ever goes smoothly for these two. I had a lot of fun reading about all of the crazy antics Gia and Bella got up to and I also loved how they were able to charm their way out of pretty much everything.
A Shore Thing isn't a perfect book by any means, the plot is ridiculous at times but always predictable, the writing can be a little clunky, and let's be real this isn't going to be winning any great literature awards anytime soon, but it does address topics like confidence and body issues, friendships and healthy relationships, and what it means to be independent women, and it does it a lot more smoothly than I expected. If you're looking for a funny summer read with a heart A Shore Thing may be just right for you. (less)
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is the first book written by the duo Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and it has a witty, punk rock feel that makes...moreNick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is the first book written by the duo Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and it has a witty, punk rock feel that makes it a quick yet poignant read. It has that same kind of teenage expectation and excitement you get from The Breakfast Club and My So Called Life. (For serious though, there's enough angst to fill the grand canyon and ride a boat across it). There's plenty of teenage antics and some sexy times, but there's also a deeper context too. It's a story where two strangers can come together and have an immediate connection and share parts of themselves that they usually keep bottled inside. It's about letting go of the past and realizing that this time, with this person, it doesn't have to be that way again. (less)
I don't know how to rate this book. I love the cover, so it gets at least 2 stars for the art alone. But then it loses stars for the completely ridicu...moreI don't know how to rate this book. I love the cover, so it gets at least 2 stars for the art alone. But then it loses stars for the completely ridiculous science/economic/social inconsistencies that make the premise for the life of the characters. But then it gains stars for the characters themselves, which I really loved. It also gains stars for the descriptive and impressive writing style. I'm torn!
*********UPDATE WITH SPOILERS*********
ok after much consideration here's how the star math goes. (Don't read if you don't want spoilers)
+2 for the cover art -1 for the illogical end of the world scenario -1 for the illogical "virus" that comes from genetic manipulation +1 for pretty dresses (whatever, don't judge) +1 for addressing polygamy in a way that isn't 100% vile +1 for a female character sticking to her ideals -1 for not consummating the marriage (doesn't make any sense) +1 for Jenna being a bad ass prostitute +1 for elements of subterfuge and conspiracy theory (just what exactly was going on in that basement?) -2 for then not answering questions raised by said subterfuge and conspiracy theory. +1 for making me want to read the next book in the series.
TOTAL= 3 stars
Overall, this book is an awesome romance/stockholm syndrome book, but a really shitty science ficiton book. However, I think the positives of the narritive outweigh the pretend science.
***UPDATE re-read 6/25/2013***
I Just finished re-reading this after 2 years and I still agree with my original review. The writing is very well done, but the science fiction and dystopian society is inconsistant and really takes me out of the story. Also (view spoiler)[ I forgot that then went to the movie theater at the end of the book. I do NOT understand that in the slightest. You've spent 300+ pages trying to escape and the chances of you getting caught (and killed) are really high so you decide to hang out at the movies only a couple of miles from your captor's home? DOES NOT COMPUTE. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Ugh this book. It's really bad you guys. The characters are boring or stupid, the plot is a scattered mess, and the writing is full of really bad desc...moreUgh this book. It's really bad you guys. The characters are boring or stupid, the plot is a scattered mess, and the writing is full of really bad descriptions and terribly lame jokes. It's just not good. The only reason I didn't give this a 1 star is because the ending was moderately interesting and City of Ashes didn't fill me with blinding rage like my other 1 star reviews. I think the best way to review City of Ashes is to talk about the characters, because there really isn't much plot to speak of.
Let's start with Clary and Jace. They sends shivers of disgust down my spine. Seriously, every time I read anything with Clary and Jace together I felt like I needed to take a shower. With a Brillo pad. and some bleach. I don't get squicked out by many things, but incest is one of them. I honestly feel like this whole brother/sister thing isn't true and is just added in for some tension that will be revealed later to not be true when it's inconvenient.
Simon. He pissed me off so bad at the beginning of this book. Look, just because you're a "nice guy" doesn't mean your girl "friend" has to like you back or should consent to your advances! Like seriously, if the only reason you're being nice to a girl is because you think she'll one day wake up and realize she's been in love with you the whole time, you're not a very nice guy!
***spoilers but I have to rant***
When Simon all of a sudden was a vampire I was seriously just like whaaa?? That came out of left field! They like leave the Seelie court and Simon storms off then it literally cuts to him being almost dead and changing. We don't get any kind of transition, it was just like Simon's a vampire now ok?
The Inquisitor is totally the Dolores Umbridge of The Mortal Instruments. She basically exists to get in the way and to be as antagonistic as possible without any reason (ok we kind of get a reason at the end of the book, but in my opinion it's not justified. How did this person get elected to such an important position if they're unable to be rational or objective? SMH)
Other random thoughts:
The faeries in this are rather weak. Seriously, the biggest mischief you can get up to is forcing a brother and sister to kiss? Boring! The snark that I enjoyed in City of Bones is completely gone. These characters do not sound like teenagers, they just sound lame. Magnus has that creepy I'm-a-900-year-old-supernatural-being-who-creeps-on-18-year-old-mortals vibe going on *cough*Edward Cullen stalker*cough* (Seriously though, I feel like Clare put Alec and Magnus together because she can't bare to have one of her characters be single. They so do not work together, they are awkward and in my opinion it really drags down Magnus's character, who could be really awesome if Clare let him). Clary is such a special snowflake. I really hate how her special rune power seems to have no limitations. I had to get through 75% of this book (roughly 340 pages) for anything interesting to happen and to really see any development in the main story arc. That is not good friends. Not good. So yeah. To say I was not impressed was an understatement. At this point I'm only reading this series so I can know what other people are talking about and because I own most of these so I might as well read them before I get rid of them. (less)
Tris & Izzie is a first on a few different levels for me. It's the first book I've ever read on my new Kindle, the first book I've ever received f...moreTris & Izzie is a first on a few different levels for me. It's the first book I've ever read on my new Kindle, the first book I've ever received for review from netgalley, and my first ever one star review on this blog. It's very rare for me to give out a less than two star rating, but there is nothing remotely redeeming about this book. I'll try and hold in my negativity, but there's gonna be some snark and sarcasm. Even I'm not that good. (oh and p.s. this review may get spoilery, so if you really care (but why would you) you have been warned.)
First let's talk about the few things I did like about this book. The cover is beautiful and it's what drew me to the book in the first place. Not like I could see the pretty cover on my Kindle, but I could imagine it. Ok, the other things I liked about this book are.....um....well there was....I liked the part where.....did I mention the pretty cover?
Let's talk about the characters. Every single character in this book has bi-polar disorder. One minute they're professing their undying love for each other and then not even ten pages later they're punching each other in the face. No seriously, a boy punched his girlfriend in the face. And she was cool with it. I'm sorry but if my boyfriend punched me in the face I wouldn't be ok with it, I would be lying on the ground sobbing in a pool of my own nose blood. Izzie is probably the worst. She decides that her BFF Branna is too depressed and mopey and the best way to fix it is to give her an irreversible love potion with a guy they met literally TEN MINUTES AGO. AND this was after Branna said she didn't want a love potion, that she wanted her love to be real. Wow, some friend no? And then when Mark (Izzie's "perfect" boyfriend (he's the one that punched her in the face)) almost drinks the love potion instead of Branna what does Izzie do? Drinks it instead. She doesn't, oh I don't know, pour it ON THE FUCKING GROUND!? No she has to drink it and then she acts all pissed off about being in love with a boy that's not her boyfriend. Hum, maybe you should have thought about that before you decided to trick your best friend?
These characters play musical chairs with their relationships. They swap partners faster than the cast of Jersey Shore, I'm not exaggerating. Mark goes from being in love with Izzie to Branna in literally five minutes. Izzie goes from loving Mark to thinking that she never really loved him and that he and Branna are a much better match, even though earlier in the book she was super pissed that Branna had a crush on her boyfriend. Tristan is just an idiot.
AND THEN there's the "magic" in this book. It makes no sense other than to provide a greater enemy than this weird-o love square. It's poorly supported and even more poorly executed. The enemies and fight sequences are frankly, lame. The ending made me want to gag it was so happily ever after. I wish it had been like the real Tristan and Isolde and everyone had just died.
Sigh. Ok, end rant. As a side note, if the author/publisher/editor/anyone involved with this book ever reads this, I don't mean to be a douche. Promise. But I just really disliked this book (ok loathed may be a more appropriate word), and I'm not going to try and sugar coat it. Hope you're ok with that. (less)
I picked up a copy of The Reader after watching the beautiful movie version (in which Kate FINALLY got her Oscar. About time!). Sadly the book did not...moreI picked up a copy of The Reader after watching the beautiful movie version (in which Kate FINALLY got her Oscar. About time!). Sadly the book did not live up to the movie at all. It read like a technical article. It was cold, stiff, and unemotional. The best part of the book was when Michael was a teenager, and even then I had a very hard time connecting emotionally to the characters. Once we move on to the trial the book completely lost me.
I think that this book is best for the people who lived during the time the book was published. It is an interesting look at the group of people trying to come to term with the crimes of their parents generation. There was so much opportunity with the idea of this book, but while the movie executes the themes in a way that will just crush your heart, the book falls far, far behind. This is one of those rare moments where I would say skip the book and watch the movie. Further, you MUST watch the movie, it is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen.(less)
The Time Traveler's Wife is a unique love story that uses a fantasy premise of unintentional time travel to analyze completely real topics of death, i...moreThe Time Traveler's Wife is a unique love story that uses a fantasy premise of unintentional time travel to analyze completely real topics of death, infertility, loss, and love. The non-linear timeline is a wonderful and interesting way to tell this rare love story.
I read somewhere that this book was like two books crammed into one. One book was an amazing love story that could move you to tears and the other book was a boring list of grocery items, punk bands, book titles, and abstract painters. I think this book just tried to be too much all at once. I little more careful editing to cut out some of the sulfurous detail would have made this book a home run.
As it is The Time Traveler's Wife is still a great romance that really touched me. I really liked how the time travel added a new dimension to their relationship. Claire knows what has happened and Henry knows what will. I also really liked the aspects of this book that dealt with child bearing and infertility. I thought that was really interesting and it dealt with those topics in a very strong way. I also really liked Alba and her interactions with Henry. She was my favorite character; touching, sweet, and gentle with her parents.
Overall The Time Traveler's Wife is a beautiful love story that sometimes gets bogged down in the details. I still highly recommend it for anyone interested in an adult novel that deals with all of the pain and happiness associated with loving someone.
Sidenote, I listened to the audio book and I thought it was really well done. The actor for Henry was especially talented. I really enjoyed the emotion shown in the audio book.
Another sidenote, the movie was a great adaptation of this book. It took all of the important parts and made a great representation of the heart of the book. Well done.(less)
The Forest of Hand and Teeth gets one star for the description of the zombies (though not their explanation) and one star for the awesome title. That'...moreThe Forest of Hand and Teeth gets one star for the description of the zombies (though not their explanation) and one star for the awesome title. That's about it for the positive aspects of this book.
There needs to be an explanation for why the zombies exist, and the science has to make sense. I am a stickler about there being science in science fiction and that science is based on fact. If a virus causes the zombies I need to know how the virus is spread, where it originated, if it had an intended purpose or if it was just an accident, how it works in the body, ect. I also need to know how the zombies specifically act in this story. Are they fast or slow? Are they thinking and planning zombies or mindless one? Do they live until their bodies wear out or do they have to feed to survive? I need to understand the cause of the zombies and how they act and why they act the way they do.
There needs to be an explanation for the way society deals with the virus. How do they adapt and what strategies have they developed to protect themselves from the zombies? If there is a government still in place, why does it work, why do the citizens live the way they do, and what are the motivations of the governments decisions? The heroes/heroines need to be smart. They need to have an understanding of their enemy and survival needs to be their main focus. They have to be imaginative, determined, and ready to fight. That's the only way to survive a zombie apocalypse.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth had none of these elements. There was no explanation for the existence of zombies, just that they existed. There seemed to be some knowledge hidden by the "government" of the village, but it was never revealed even though there were many opportunities for the main character to do some sleuthing. There was almost no history about the zombie outbreak and how the village came to exist. I got absolutely no understanding about how the zombies worked and how to best defeat them.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth was way too focused on the completely illogical romantic drama. If the villagers believed that they were the last of humanity in the entire world, why would they force women into becoming nuns? Shouldn't every viable womb be used to keep the population up? I can understand forcing teens to marry in order for this to happen, but if a girl cannot find a match when she is 16 it made no sense for her to be forced into a life of celibacy. Polygamy would have been a more logical system. The particulars of Mary's relationship were also similarly mind boggling. The teens involved inflicted a lot of unnecessary stress upon themselves. They should have all just gotten together and talked about it. A round table would have saved them all a LOT of problems.
I also really hated the attitude taken towards the zombies. There seemed to be absolutely no protection and preparation beyond a few vaulted platforms and a chain link fence. And where did all of the technology go? This book read more like historical fiction than science fiction. If it were me, people would be training every day in combat and survival skills, and they would all have the knowledge about zombies that was available.
I'm surprised that these people lasted as long as they did because there was no preparation for a breach in their defenses. They always seemed to be taken by surprise by a zombie attack, even though they had weeks to prepare. The characters needed to get their priorities straight.
Overall I think this author had too many ideas and couldn't wrap them up. None of my questions were answered or even hinted at having answers and it felt like the author cared more about the love story than the survival story. The Forest of Hands and Teeth focused too much on creating a complicated love square and didn't focus on the more pressing issue at hand, the fact that zombies were trying to eat some brains. The zombies seemed like an afterthought added in to make a romance story more marketable. (less)
I love treasure hunt type stories. Like, really really love them. When I was a little kid I would make up treasure hunts for my younger siblings and I...moreI love treasure hunt type stories. Like, really really love them. When I was a little kid I would make up treasure hunts for my younger siblings and I would spend HOURS drawing maps, hiding clues, and creating decorated boxes for the "treasure" (usually some apples or something, what I was only 6, don't judge). I've always daydreamed about finding a hidden passage, a secret diary, and some sort of clue trail of my own. I just LOVED the idea of finding a secret message tucked into the stacks of my favorite bookstore. It is my ideal adventure.
I absolutely loved the two main characters, but I think I connected more to Lily. I loved her kooky style and her brother and her dog and her freaking majorette boots. I also loved how she was the one to initiate the journal. She is more bold than me, because while I dream about finding a secret, she creates one and puts it out into the world.
Overall Dash and Lily is an adorable romance. It's an excellent tale about how the idea of a person may be different that who they really are, but that doesn't mean they still aren't right for you. It has a great theme that fairy tale prince charmings and princesses are wonderful, but they're only fairy tales. Real life relationships aren't as perfect, there are things that will frustrate and annoy you, but they're real and that is magic.(less)
Fun, light, and fluffy. I liked that the main love interest was a strong man without being an alpha male jerk and I liked that the main girl was smart...moreFun, light, and fluffy. I liked that the main love interest was a strong man without being an alpha male jerk and I liked that the main girl was smart and independent with out feeling forced. I would have liked a little more about the murder conspiracy plot but overall a fun story.(less)
OMG less than one month away! So excited, I want it yesterday!
I like it, but I have to admit I'm not in love with it. I do like the simp...moreOMG less than one month away! So excited, I want it yesterday!
I like it, but I have to admit I'm not in love with it. I do like the simplistic nature of it and maybe once I read the book I'll like the cover more. That certainly was the case for Paper Towns so I'll keep an open mind.
I do have one massive problem with the cover though. Why the HELL is Jodi Picoult quoted on the cover!? First of all, Jodi Picoult is a lame-o lifetime movie-esque adult author, not a funny-as-hell-while-still-being-extremely-poignant YA author. Second of all, just because Jodi Picoult wrote a shitty book about a teen with cancer that got turned into a fairly successful movie, she's the go-to default author on the subject? I'm sorry but if The Fault in Our Stars is even one tenth similar to My Sister's Keeper I may just have to punch a baby. (oh and for the record, the movie of My Sister's Keeper is totally different from the book and has much more believable characters and a way more logical ending...go movie people you got it right). I'm really disappointed by this blurb and I hope this isn't final and the publishers will wise up and put someone else on the cover (or no one, that's ok by me) but I doubt it.
Update 1/10/12 Since my amazon preorder wouldn't be shipping until Friday, I went and bought a new one because I couldn't wait. And look what I got...
Update 1/12/12 I need to put a disclaimer on this review that I highly doubt this review will adequately describe just how much this book means to me. I've always been a fan of John Green's work, but The Fault in Our Stars takes him to a new category. There are definitely still the elements that make it a John Green book, such as teens that have a better vocabulary than most dictionaries, references to obscure books, music, and lots of poetry, and in-depth analyses of the meaning of life. But with The Fault in Our Stars, he does this better than any book he's written before. Yes these teens are maybe too smart, and yes I had to look up a word more than once, but never the less this book looks at death, love, and illness in a way that is so REAL.
First I want to give you a little background on where I'm coming from, and why Hazel in particular touched me on a very personal level. When I was 14 (just about to enter high school), I had to go to the doctor for a routine checkup. I had some basic bloodwork done, then went home to await the results. I got a call at 1:00 AM that night saying I had to go to the hospital right then and there. It turns out my platelet count (they're in your blood and cause it to clot) was so low I was considered a "medical emergency" (An average count is 150,000 - 500,000. I was at 7,000). On top of that my red blood cell count was HALF of what it should have been. I spent that first of what would be many weekends in the hospital with doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me.
They eventually diagnosed me with ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) which is basically where my immune system attacks my platelets for no reason. But I went through months before the diagnosis where they thought I could have anything from ITP to a bone marrow disorder to leukemia. Yes, I went around for about three months thinking I had blood cancer. Not very pleasant for a girl just starting high school. Luckily for me I didn't have luekemia, but I was still in the hospital 1-3 times a week for two years. I was on a very aggressive steroid treatment as well as periodic IVIg treatments that not only didn't really fix my blood problem, also caused me to gain 80 lbs, have severe mood swings, and lead me to some pretty hard core self image and depression issues.
After 2 years my doctors decided I had to go to a more drastic from of treatment by way of splenectomy. Word to the wise, if you can avoid having abdominal surgery, I suggest you do it because it hurts like a bitch. If that didn't work we would have had to resort to forms of chemotherapy, which totally scared the shit out of me. Luckily the splenectomy worked and after a couple weeks my counts leveled to a perfectly healthy 300,000 which was way better than expected. I'm basically cured and I don't have to take any medication or do anything special now. I just have to be aware of my immune system because I am missing a spleen, so I can get sick more easily than other people. But compared to having blood cancer? I'll give the spleen freely, again and again.
Ok, I'm telling you all way too much information so you can understand where I'm coming from when I say this book hit me on a very personal level. John Green does an excellent job capturing the feeling of being sick. From puffy steroid face to midnight hospital runs to being afraid that your death will ruin the ones you love, John Green covers the realities of illness with sensitivity and honesty. He really gets what it's like to be sick, and to be so sick that you could die. It doesn't fall into that sappy lifetime movie-esque melodrama of so many other cancer books.
I also just LOVE Hazel and Gus. So much. And I won't spoil the plot, but I totally did not expect what happened to them in this book, and I am so glad it didn't go the way I was expecting it to. I loved how their relationship forms and how they understand each other. What's really great is these characters are people, not just their disease. Plus the banter back and forth is adorable while their serious conversations made me think about my life and what I really valued. I particularly loved the lesson Gus learns about wanting to leave a mark on the world, a legacy, something to be remembered by after he has died. I think we all feel like that, but is the whole world knowing who we are really what's important? Isn't having people who love you and loving them back enough? I also loved their "infinity". I don't want to say more than that, because I don't want to spoil, just tell you a little bit about why I love this book so much.
While I'm not happy with the cover nor the blurb (I get why Jodi Picoult is on it, I just hate the fact that she is) I hope people outside the YA and nerdfighter community will pick this book up. The Fault in Our Stars should be read by everyone who has ever felt like their life was less valuable due to something they cannot control, anyone who has ever wanted to be seen as more than "that cancer girl", and anyone who has ever had to come to terms with the finality of a human life.(less)
I read The Sky is Everywhere because my friend Gabrielle Carolina really loves this book, and I can totally see why. By far the best thing about The S...moreI read The Sky is Everywhere because my friend Gabrielle Carolina really loves this book, and I can totally see why. By far the best thing about The Sky is Everywhere is the writing. WOW. Nelson's writing style is one of the most compelling and unique of any that I've experienced in YA. The story itself isn't uncommon, a girl loses her sister and is trying to put her life back together after her death, but it is the way in which this story is present that makes it so special. I could completely relate to Lennie, even though I have never gone through the tragedy of losing a sibling and best friend, how Nelson writes Lennie's thoughts make her totally relatable, hilarious, and heart breaking. Also, I loved the note convention used at the beginning and end of the chapters. I loved that the poems were printed on paper, cups, wrappers, trees, whatever was around. I love visuals in books and these really lend to the story and make it way interesting.
I also could totally understand why Lennie has feelings towards two different people. With Toby she's looking for someone who can understand her pain and make it go away. It's not so much that she actually loves Toby, quite the opposite she has tremendous feelings of guilt, but at the same time she is drawn to the person who can understand.
And then there's Joe. Let me just say that a man who can play an instrument well is dead sexy. He's the boy who can actually help heal her. I think it's so important that he moved to town after Bailey's death. He doesn't know pre-death Lennie, and loves her as she is now. I loved how he helped draw the music out of her and healed her with his. He helps her accept what happened and helps her see that life will go on and that she can go on, not forgetting her sister, but remembering all of the beautiful lessons she taught. (My only criticism of Joe is that he fell in crazy love with Lennie a little too fast. I would have liked to see the beginning stages a little more, so the healing love they experienced at the end would have been more supported).
Overall The Sky is Everywhere is a beautifully written book about losing a loved one and finding out that love can heal. (Word to the wise, the UK hardcover edition has full colored photos of Lennie's poems. I really wish I could get my hands on a copy, if anyone knows where I can buy it, please comment!)(less)
How have I not reviewed this yet!? Mega fail on my part! I read Stephanie Perkins's other book, Anna and the French Kiss, and while I enjoyed it, I wa...moreHow have I not reviewed this yet!? Mega fail on my part! I read Stephanie Perkins's other book, Anna and the French Kiss, and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't in OMG LUV like so many other readers. Well, I can say that with Lola there was a lot of OMG LUV. Much more than with Anna.
Firstly let's discuss this PERFECT cover. This is what all book covers should be, a reflection of the story within. We know exactly what this book is about because of the cover. We know it's about a girl with a cool fashion sense, the setting is in San Francisco, and we even get Cricket's bracelet/writing on his hands habit and that their relationship is based around their bedroom windows (they're sitting on a window sill).
There are so many aspects of Lola that I love. I really enjoyed Lola's zaney fashion sense. I am not like that at all (I'm such a tomboy) so it was fun to live vicariously through Lola. I also loved the setting and her family situation. It's so refreshing to see a same sex couple in a completely normal life. Her dads are regular dads, they live normal lives and react like any father would. I have to give major props to Stephanie Perkins for making Lola's parents an important and stable part of her life. I also loved how Lola is a companion novel to Anna, and we get to see some of the characters we love from Anna, but from a completely different perspective.
One of the best things about this book was how I could relate to every character. I have been in Lola, Cricket, and Max's positions in different relationships. I've been in a relationship that isn't working and gotten feelings for someone else, I've been head over heels for someone with a girlfriend, and I've also suspected a boyfriend of cheating (and I think he probably did) and turned into a green-eyed jealous monster. It almost felt like this book was my love life in novel form lol.
Ok now let's talk about Cricket. Oh Cricket, you are soooo my type (way more than St. Clair). Let's see. Tall and dark? Check. Engineering and Science? Check. Shy in a you-don't-know-you're-beautiful way? Check. Hopelessly romantic? Check. Cricket is everything I look for in a YA romantic interest and he totally captured my heart. Lola and Cricket's relationship is believable, it's a slow building love, and it seems completely real. (Writing this review some 8 months after reading it makes me want to pick Lola back up again! Oh why do I have so little time...) (less)
I can't believe I actually liked a Cassandra Clare novel. I never thought I would see the day. This is my fifth Cassandra Clare book and the first one...moreI can't believe I actually liked a Cassandra Clare novel. I never thought I would see the day. This is my fifth Cassandra Clare book and the first one I can say I honestly enjoyed. Even though the main plot didn't really go anywhere (much like Clare's other middle books City of Ashes and City of Lost Souls) I wasn't bored, unlike the other middle books.
Honestly, the character development in the Infernal Devices is so much stronger than in The Moral Instruments it feels like two different authors. I don't understand how engaging the characters of The Infernal Devices can be and how flat and dull the characters are in The Mortal Instruments. There are a lot of writing faults in The Infernal Devices. The word "startlingly" is used way too much! It's like Cassandra Clare thinks that everyone in Victorian England walked around jumping at literally everything they see "ooh your eyes are blue!", "ooh you are handsome!", "ooh your skin is pale!". Just stop, seriously, it's so bad. I also feel that Will is incredibly anachronistic. I know he's supposed to be a rapscallion, but the way he talks is just too modern.
I thought the romance was really well done. I mean, this is of course the over used love triangle trope, but The Infernal Devices is actually successful because we don't know who Tessa will choose. Both Will and Jem are viable options and we as readers actually have to read the rest of the series to see what will unfold. So even though Will was a huge idiot (seriously, didn't he ever think to I dunno, talk to someone about his issues? Why would he just take everything he was told as the truth and believe it blindly? I don't understand) and I don't thing Jem (my boo) has a snowballs chance in hell, I'm excited for clockwork princess.
Overall The Infernal Devices series is turning out to be leaps and bounds better than the Mortal Instruments. If I may be completely truthful I would recommend just skipping the Moral Instruments all together and starting with Clockwork Angel. You get the same characters and plot, but more interesting versions. (less)
Anna and the French Kiss is just a cute story. It's a story about a girl who is thrown into a completely new setting where she is exposed to new exper...moreAnna and the French Kiss is just a cute story. It's a story about a girl who is thrown into a completely new setting where she is exposed to new experiences, meets new people, and even falls in love.
I really enjoyed this story. The flirtatious interaction between Anna and Etienne was just adorable and so much fun to read. The romance is certainly the strong point in this book, and it's done very well. The character interactions and development were very well done as well. I thought all of the characters were relate able and believable. No one was completely bad and no one was perfect either, which I really appreciated. Finally I LOVED the setting. I've never been to the Paris part of France (I have been to the Riviera area like Toulon and Nice) and Anna and the French Kiss really made me want to travel there. Everything was described so well I thought I was actually there. I just wanted to stroll down the street visiting various monuments while eating a delicious baguette.
My only real criticism has nothing to really do with the book or the writing, but just my general frustration with the characters themselves. I think that if they had all just sat down and talked a lot of the drama could have been avoided. I kept thinking, oh my gosh, why didn't you just TELL her/him/them!? Also, I know a lot of people are head over heels for St. Claire, but I was not attracted to him. His description was not my type and the picture of him in my head wasn't attractive, so I didn't have that attraction to him like most people. I think that if I knew Etienne in real life I wouldn't have been attracted to him or been friends with him.
On the other hand, I LOVED Anna. I loved her love for old movies, we could have totally bonded over that. I am a movie freak too and it would be so much fun to have a movie marathon with Anna. She goes through a lot of drama and a lot of really crappy things happen to her, but I loved reading about her growing as a person and learning from her mistakes. She is not a perfect person, and I can really relate to her.
Overall, Anna and the French Kiss is an adorable book set in the romantic streets of Paris. It's a perfect light romance that is sure to charm and become a favorite.(less)
I don't know how to feel. I hated how Jem was treated. Not what happened, but how he was brushed off, both by characters and the author. All of his ma...moreI don't know how to feel. I hated how Jem was treated. Not what happened, but how he was brushed off, both by characters and the author. All of his major plot points happened "off screen". it was infurating.
With that said I did like what happened with Will. I think I liked Tessa's relationship with Will and Tessa's relationship with Jem, but not both of them happening at the same time. Maybe I don't like Tessa...and maybe I don't like her because I see so much of myself in her, and she is flawed.(less)
Look at this cover. Look at it. It is phenomenal. Seriously, take off the words and I'd hang that on my wall. But sadly I cannot say the story inside...moreLook at this cover. Look at it. It is phenomenal. Seriously, take off the words and I'd hang that on my wall. But sadly I cannot say the story inside the book was as wildly exciting as the cover. I rarely think that books are overwritten, but There were so many plot twists it got to be too much and I found myself figuring out everything long before they were revealed and rolling my eyes.
The biggest problem in Across the Universe is world building, as is often the case with lack luster science fiction. I did not understand why there needed to be a society of people to maintain the ship in the first place. Couldn't there be a group of frozen technicians who are awaken at certain intervals? Couldn't most of the ship's functions be run by computers? Also, what was the point in the mission at all? I don't remember if that was explained but I never really knew why Amy and her parents were frozen in the first place.
I found myself really disliking Elder and Amy, the two main characters. I felt like there wasn't anything special enough about either of them to make them stand out and I couldn't relate. Amy was particularly bland. I came away from the novel knowing she was different because she had red hair, liked track and field, and spent a lot of time whining about her parents, her ex-boyfriend, and how different life on the ship is. I got a bit of a better feeling for Elder, mostly because he had the opportunity to develop as he learns more about Eldest and the deceptions of the ship's government. What really bothered me about these characters was how terrible things could happen to them but then they'd get over it in a matter of minutes. Amy, in particular, had some very unbelievable reactions. The romance between these two was boring and poorly paced. By the time they finally meet we're a third of the way through the book and I found it very difficult to care.
There were some good themes in Across the Universe, namely does quality of life matter if something can survive? It questions government control through various means: medicinal, class structure, and religion. It was like Revis had these great ethical themes that were bogged down with poorly built science fiction and tiresome romance.
Across the Universe looks like a beautiful romance set in outer space, but don't let that cover fool you. The book plods along with a clunky and more than slightly creepy romance and while there are some huge plot twists, they're hinted at with extremely obvious clues and then solved with extremely convenient solutions. This would have been a one star read, but that stunning cover is worth a star all on it's own. (less)
ok I can't do it. This book is just awful, and I can't finish it. I made it about half way and while a lot of people told me it would get better in th...moreok I can't do it. This book is just awful, and I can't finish it. I made it about half way and while a lot of people told me it would get better in the second half, I'm sorry this book is almost 900 pages. If you have literally zero plot in 400+ pages then it's not worth finishing. I think this book needed a much firmer editor. Just in the first half I'd say 50-100 pages could easily have been cut, largely due to the complete lack of story. The whole first half of the book goes like this:
Claire - 'Cuz we are living in a post WWII world, and I am a 1940s girl....
****MAGICAL TIME TRAVEL ROCKS ACTIVATE****
Evil Englishman - ARRRR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape save!
Claire - 1700s Scotland!? dafaq?...ooh a kilt...OK!
Other Scotsmen - ARRRR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape Save!
Roadway Bandits - ARR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape Save!
****300 pages of them living in Scotland doing nothing except living in Scotland****
Sexy Scotsman - Now we have to get married because...reasons!
Claire - but I'm already married...oooh a kilt...OK!
Evil Englishman - ARRRR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape save! Wife Beat! ARRR RAPE!
Claire - I'm mad I hate you...ooh a kilt....OK!
****Loch Ness Monster (no really)****
That's literally it.
The thing about this book that really grinds my gears is the general acceptance of rape. Basically the main character lives in constant threat of rape from everyone. The villainous Englishman, the Scottish clansmen, and even her (second) husband. It's one thing if the villain is doing the raping, it makes him more evil. What I completely don't understand is when the romantic interest does the raping or threatening of rape and we as readers are supposed to find it manly and sexy. I'm sorry, but threatening your wife with assault is NEVER attractive.
ANOTHER THING. So many people have defended the rape in this book because it's "historically accurate" and "that's just how things were back then". It's true that women didn't have many rights and were treated like property, but that DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. Rape is ALWAYS wrong, even if it's the 1700s and even if it's your husband. For Claire to be so accepting of it and for other readers to still find Jamie attractive and heroic is just disgusting. We need to stop making excuses for rapists and abusers, regardless of time period, culture, childhood, or whatever else you want to try and use. (less)
Perfect Chemistry is a modern day West Side Story. It's a classic tale of two star crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks defying social nor...morePerfect Chemistry is a modern day West Side Story. It's a classic tale of two star crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks defying social norms to be together.
I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, when Alex and Brittany both had preconceived notions about each other's motivations. I liked that as the reader I had insider knowledge and knew just how wrong each was about the other. I also really enjoyed some of their sweeter moments as Brittany and Alex learned the truth about each other (the wedding scene in particular was excellent). I also really enjoyed Alex's relationship with his family and how he tried to protect them from the gang while still appearing loyal. He walked a fine line, and it was really interesting to read.
There were a few parts of the books that weren't bad, but did leave me a little disappointed. Once Alex and Brittany recognized they liked each other it got a little cheesy and cliche for my taste. I tend to be a pretty cynical person so sometimes I didn't fully believe the character's motivations. Also Alex is in a gang but I didn't feel like there was enough gang violence. Gangs are really serious, and I can't help but feel there should have been more intimidating Alex into doing more bad things. I didn't feel like the gang was as in control of Alex as they should have been. And let me just say that I know this book is YA, but this is a romance people, I needed a little more in the sex scenes! Lots of good making out, not enough doing it.
The one thing that bumped this review down from a 4 star to a 3 star is the epilogue. I felt like the book had a good, concise ending until I read the epilogue. That took the book into ridiculously perfect happily ever after territory and I just couldn't take it seriously anymore.
Now don't get me wrong. I still really enjoyed this book, I just think it wasn't quite what I was expecting. So many people raved about it so I think I set myself up for failure. Perfect Chemistry is a great book for people looking for a forbidden love/Romeo and Juliet type story.(less)
The mermaid chair was the first book I read by Sue Monk Kidd, being attracted to her books after seeing the movie of The Secret Life of Bees. While I...moreThe mermaid chair was the first book I read by Sue Monk Kidd, being attracted to her books after seeing the movie of The Secret Life of Bees. While I really enjoyed the movie, my first step into her books was sadly disappointing.
I found the plot of The Mermaid Chair to have great themes, but poor execution. It's a story about how relationships can fizzle out after a while and the temptation to find that spark in someone new. It's also about how the sense of duty and propriety can prevent a person from choosing their own happiness. But at the same time The Mermaid Chair is also about how people can have a life changing experience with a person even though they only know them for a short while and that meaningful relationships don't have to happen over twenty years. I just didn't like how these themes were displayed. There is very little room for the reader to draw their own conclusions, for the author will spell out each and every (obvious) symbolic meaning.
The biggest problem was my inability to care about the characters. On one hand I can totally understand Jessie and the choices that she made, having been there myself, but in reading her thoughts all I could think was that she was selfish and shallow. I didn't feel any sense of empathy towards her and couldn't bring myself to understand why she felt the way she did about her husband. I also didn't believe her "love" with Whit. It was definitely more of a case of lust and using a lover to hide from depression than true romantic love.
(view spoiler)[I want to make it clear that I didn't mind the affair, I can actually completely understand why she did that and her emotions behind it. I just didn't like how it seemed like she was fooling herself by calling it love. I wish she has at least cared enough about her husband to let him go first. He seemed like a honest man and didn't deserve her betrayal. Why are we all so afraid to admit our unhappiness to the people we care about before we do something that will end up hurting them way more than just telling the truth? (hide spoiler)]
Whit was probably the best character. I could really identify with the choices he made in going to the monastery and his inner conflict trying to decide to stay or go, both from the monastery and his relationship with Jessie. I like the theme of taking that cave time to heal from something bad, but then also realizing when it is time to come out of the cave and begin to create a new path in life. The religious aspects and events that can totally shake the foundation of your faith and make you question everything you've always believed to be true was very interesting and well handled.
Overall I really liked the themes in The Mermaid Chair, and some of the setting and imagery was very nice, but the deliverance of the themes in general fell flat and unemotional. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)