Emery (named after the emery board one finds in a nail salon) has just been told that she...moreFeel free to read the full review on Musings of a Book Lover.
Emery (named after the emery board one finds in a nail salon) has just been told that she is now considered obese by the family doctor. Sure, she’s tried diets, but the call of “Coronary Highway” is too strong. Who wouldn’t want to eat two double cheeseburgers, a large fry and a diet coke (It is, after all, the Standard American Diet)? Well, everyone in Emery’s dysfunctional family doesn’t eat that way.
Her botox-injecting mom wants to sign up the family up for a reality television show that features Emery losing 50 pounds in 50 days. Emery wants no part of this because she doesn’t mind who she is. Her boyfriend, Ben, is a gentle giant, and they are both so not the Highland Beach norm of over-processed humans with their augmented body parts and fake faces. However, when Emery sees that they are about to be kicked out of their house, Emery realizes that half of the prize money can save the family home. Emery agrees to be a part of the madness of a reality tv show.
While I found Emery as somewhat vulgar, she was trying to help others at the same time. You got to see some good insights from a 16 year-old through her vlog posts on self-acceptance. That is one aspect of this book that I quite enjoyed. I liked how Emery talked about trying to find acceptance because of her weight. It was empowering what Emery learned along the way about herself and how she shared it with her audience.
The ending also did not tie up the loose ends and was rather ambiguous. Emery had a chance to set things straight with her self and her family, but she ran away instead. This reader was left with several questions that went unanswered. Just like “reality tv,” the story is unrealistic. There were a few nuggets of truth (which was nice) in a heaping pile of dysfunctionality! This book premise had great potential, but I feel that it fell short.
This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. (less)
I am glad that I spent an hour reading the manga version and not the full book, as I was rather disappointed in the concept of the story. I had hped f...moreI am glad that I spent an hour reading the manga version and not the full book, as I was rather disappointed in the concept of the story. I had hped for more with all of the hype I had heard about this story.(less)
Quick read where I got Mad at America a few times, but in the end, I cannot wait until "The One" comes out to see what happens. I hope that America ge...moreQuick read where I got Mad at America a few times, but in the end, I cannot wait until "The One" comes out to see what happens. I hope that America gets more involved and we learn more about the Rebels. Will Maxon have America help him find a solution to this problem, or is it simply going to be more "unknown" attacks and we really learn nothing outside of America's obsession over two boys!?(less)
I didn’t have the deep sense of loss when one of the characters died, because I didn’t have...moreFor the full review, please visit Musings of a Book Lover.
I didn’t have the deep sense of loss when one of the characters died, because I didn’t have a vested interest in the character. I didn’t cry at the funeral because the events switched so quickly. Even though the book was about cancer – which is a very sad topic – I was so overwhelmed by the cynicism of Hazel, who does not want anyone’s pity, that you don’t feel sorry for her. She’s an angry teen, and I understand why she is, but she is also very selfish. She doesn’t really see the love that her family has for her – just their sacrifice and how shattered their lives will be when she is gone.
The book is realistic, I am sure, especially about the end stages of cancer, or any other terminal disease. However, it is a story of a girl who hates life, wants so desperately to find out the ending of her favorite book that she is willing to hijack someone else’s Wish, only to be disappointed in the end. Augustus is a more believable character and I liked him far more than Hazel. He had character, real feelings and wasn’t afraid to feel despite everything.
Every Day is a book that follows ‘A’ who wakes up in a different body and a different life every day! A is someone who is comfortable as a boy or girl, has no hang-ups on same sex or heterosexual relationships, but just relationships. But the story is way more than that. It is a story that will touch on drug addiction, deep depression, and loss of a family member, love, and obesity. At times I felt like I was reading a Star Trek, Next Generation story, it was much deeper than that. A had always believed that he should not vary a person’s routine because it was not his place to take over the person’s life, because what difference would one day make, after all?
But one day is all it took for A to fall in love with the girlfriend of the first guy we are introduced to in A’s bizarre existence. A is able to access feelings and information from his ‘host.’ It takes time and effort, but he can do it. We are first introduced to A as Justin, a jerk of a guy who is messy and cranky. He goes to school and senses the girlfriend hovering off on the side. A is struck by the sadness and yet hope that is within this girl. A accesses and realizes that Justin hasn’t been the best of boyfriends, and A throws his ethical compass out the window, and does something that the host would not do. This begins the story where we pick it up.
What struck me more than anything about this story is the ability of the author, David Leviathan, to capture different existences – truly capture them. Many times I would have my mind blown by how he put in words the depths of depression that one girl felt, or the love A felt when he met Rhiannon, or what it was like to be in a body of a girl who was a real b*tch! Religion is touched on, and I can see how some people would be bothered by Leviathan’s pithy synopsis of religion.
This is the only existence that A ever knew. A would wake up in a body, male or female, but always the same age that he is. (It is strange to use a pronoun for A as A is comfortable in either a girl or boy, but for sanity’s sake, we will stick with ‘he’.) A never knew differently, he just accepted it, until he met Rhiannon. How could he be with her? Could she be with him, once she knew what A was, regardless of the body that he was in?
The story is set up that each chapter is a different day in a different body. Some chapters may be several pages long, and there have been a few that are only a few sentences. After A met Rhiannon, he would ‘kidnap’ the body he was in to get to her if it was at all possible. This became a test for Rhiannon and if she could love a different body every day, even though the person driving the body was the same.
The other aspect of this book was the side story of Nathan, one of the boys that A inhabits so that he can spend an evening with Rhiannon. Nathan, for one reason or another, remembers having his life hijacked! He wants answers, which leads A trying to find out more about himself as well.
This story was amazing, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have their mind blown away by many concepts, pithily summarized; it is definitely a book that makes you think. I enjoyed this book from start to finish and cannot wait to get a copy and have my family read it, and then I read it again! I enjoyed the refreshing style of David Leviathan, his ability to be incisive, and the interesting twists that occurred in this story. (less)
I love Sarah Strohmeyer and how she can make me laugh! When I saw that this book was coming out, I really wanted to read it, as I wanted to see how Sm...moreI love Sarah Strohmeyer and how she can make me laugh! When I saw that this book was coming out, I really wanted to read it, as I wanted to see how Smart Girls got what they wanted. The story is of three best girl friends, who all happen to be smart and at the top of their class academically. It is told from Gigi’s point of view, and a very humourous point of view it is. “My parents broke up before I was born, though since they’re both scientists, I’ve long held suspicions that I’m indeed an alien.” One night, the three girls were at Neerja’s house and were checking out her older sister’s room, where they found Parad’s year book (which she claimed she never received) and after reading what other people wrote in her year book (“You seemed really nice,” or, “Who are you?”) these three girls decided to make something of themselves at school, besides being the super smart ones that nobody knew.
Events unfolded, and Neerja tried out for the school play, Bea joined the school’s ski team, and Gigi ran for Student Rep of the school board. This book is about facing your fears and getting what you want. These three sophomore students set out to make a name for themselves. While Gigi was the only one who was recognized by the majority of the student population because she ran for a school office, all three girls found what they wanted. Each girl was quirky in her own right and it was a pleasure to read.
I appreciated how each character was different from one another. Each person had his or her own voice, mannerisms and misconceptions about other people. It was nice to see Gigi learn, even though she’s a pretty smart cookie. This is a story about smart girls wanting to have more in their lives than just studying, and actually doing something about it – taking chances, and not necessarily getting exactly what they thought they wanted, but liking what they ended up with instead.
I hope that smart girls are smart enough to pick up this book! I hope that the title grabs their attention and they read this book about three friends who stick by one another to help them succeed, as well as go for what they want. One of our own smart girls read this, even though she wasn’t in to ‘modern’ stories – and she loved it. She mentioned that particularly liked how it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, and she also liked all of the twists in it. She read it reluctantly at first (is it just another teen book, Mom?) – and then couldn’t help herself! It was a pleasure to see her curled up on the couch with a small smile on her face (rare, indeed), reading Smart Girls and really enjoying it!
review coming soon - I kept wanting to get back to reading this, but it wasn't one of my favorites. There was a loop or two thrown at you, so that was...morereview coming soon - I kept wanting to get back to reading this, but it wasn't one of my favorites. There was a loop or two thrown at you, so that was a point in its favor.(less)
Evie has learned a little more about the creature that was killing off the paranormals, but is in for a shock when she learns more about herself. The...moreEvie has learned a little more about the creature that was killing off the paranormals, but is in for a shock when she learns more about herself. The first thing being that being ‘normal’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Her boyfriend is at college, and she is living with an emo vamp who wants nothing more than to be a fashion designer. Evie also learned that the IPCA did a little more harm than she thought. But that doesn’t stop her from taking a few side jobs with the IPCA, as it has changed since the attack.
This second book in the series was filled with the same great characters, plus some new ones. It is also filled with more action, and typical teenage behavior on Evie’s part…. Well, typical Evie, that is… doing what she wants and then thinking about what she’s done. She’s smart and sassy, but begins to doubt herself a bit as she learns more of what she is and what she can do.
One thing that did bother me was that Lend was a bit more non-understanding of what Evie was doing with the IPCA. He didn’t support her in what she was doing, and the main part of that was trying to find out more of who she was and where she came from. There is also Jack, a human raised by faeries, so he could travel the Faerie Paths – and would take Evie along to different places, to do questionable things. I was kind of surprised at Evie for going along with Jack… kind of like “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
Even though there seemed to be more action in this story, it didn’t knock my socks off as much as the first book did. It’s a bit darker, understandably, but did not have as much of the ‘fun’ as the first one. I am, however, looking forward to the last book in the series to see how the battle between the faerie courts is fought, and will Lend be by Evie’s side for the battles that will be sure to ensue?! (less)
Alex Martin just graduated high school was looking forward to her summer internship at GeMMLA, that was…until Luke Reed showed up! Why would the high...moreAlex Martin just graduated high school was looking forward to her summer internship at GeMMLA, that was…until Luke Reed showed up! Why would the high school baseball star be working at the museum? Just because their moms were friendly, Alex did not like being around Jake, ever since Freshman year. But, Alex did have her best friend, Becca, working with her for the summer; now she had to convince Becca that their boss, Nick, was not a bad guy! And, no, Alex did not have a crush on her boss.
Alex got a frantic message from Nick in the middle of the night, so she went to GeMMLA early to find out what was happening. Instead of finding Nick, she finds a strange girl in Renaissance garb standing in the middle of the store room, with no sign of Nick or Luke…. And thus the fairy re-telling begins.
Alex doesn’t believe in magic – she’s more of a science gal – show me the evidence. When she hears Lilia’s story, she is still rather skeptical. But when an unexplained storm brews over Los Angeles, Alex starts to believe. This is a very smart story; it is well-written with language that has substance and intelligence. I also loved how skeptical Alex is until she ‘feels the power.’ Luke is also quite swoon-worthy in this story, a boy with heart. Becca, the best friend, is quirky and a great companion to the story.
This story makes you realize that there just might be magic in the world.. you just have to tap in to it, to believe and to see it all around you. I will read anything by Jessica Grey, as she spins tales easily, with heart, intelligence and wit.
This was a nice middle book for the series and I am looking forward to the last book. A Million Suns deals with Elder taking over as leader of Godspee...moreThis was a nice middle book for the series and I am looking forward to the last book. A Million Suns deals with Elder taking over as leader of Godspeed – while simultaneously having stopped the drugging of the masses. This leads to revolt among the ship’s denizens and Elder is having a hard time controlling the population. I have to give Elder credit for sticking to his convictions in the way he rules.
While the threat of mutiny is palpable, Amy and Elder are tracking down clues to figure out the great mystery from Orion, while terrorist acts are taking place on the ship. There is a lot of action in this story, as well as intrigue. Everyone is affected by the denizens no longer being on the opiate Phydus, and the large ship is suddenly too small for the 2000 occupants that have lived abroad this ship for a couple of centuries.
Once again, I enjoyed the aspect of the storytelling where alternate chapters are told from the point of view of either Amy or Elder. One telling aspect of Elder is that he insists being called ‘Elder’ and not ‘Eldest’ – since he is the leader of Godspeed. Those you thought were good guys, are no longer, and what you thought was known, isn’t. Without giving too much away, it is decided that it is time for those who desire to leave the ship will do so. And thus waiting until 2013 for the conclusion of the Across the Universe series.
I enjoyed how quick of a read this story was, as well as the different plots all woven together to make for a complex story. It is an interesting dichotomy to have complex yet quick. Yes, it could have gone more in-depth with concepts, but I remind myself that this is a Young Adult book that brings politics and the question of free-will to the younger generations. It is written in such a manner that the reader can see both sides of the argument, and yet see why the characters have chosen the paths that they have. (less)
Across the Universe is a book with many layers. It is a story of two young people, a story of a great voyage, a story about society, a story about lea...moreAcross the Universe is a book with many layers. It is a story of two young people, a story of a great voyage, a story about society, a story about leaders. It is also a story about mystery, manipulation and murder. The many facets of Across the Universe make this story a gem.
Amy is ‘Nonessential Cargo’ on the spaceship Godspeed which is flying to a future Earth some 300 years away from our Earth. The only reason she was part of this expedition was due to the fact that both of her parents were chosen to go to help start life on a new planet. She was even given the option to stay on Sol-Earth (our Earth), but even after witnessing the painful cryogenic freezing that her parents went through, she decided to take the journey, as they were family.
Fast-forward several years to Godspeed and the people that were on it. There is one leader for two thousand people, and he is training his replacement, but he doesn’t give the young Elder all of the information. Elder learns of another level of the ship from the record keeper and goes to investigate. There he finds the cryos – those frozen on Earth. Elder had no idea that Godspeed was transporting 100 people who have been frozen for over 250 years. Then, everything changes when one of the cryos has been taken offline. Luckily, the Doctor and Elder find box 42 in time, before Amy drowns in the defrosted cryogenic liquid.
Amy is having a hard time dealing with the reality of her situation, the reality that she was awakened 50 years too early. Elder is having a difficult time learning the correct answers from Eldest, the current leader. Together they start to uncover many secrets, all the while trying to find out who has been sabotaging some of the other frozen people from Earth. One is able to be refrozen, two others were not so lucky.
The story is written at a pace that keeps the reader completely engrossed in wanting to read just a little bit more to find out what is happening, how the story will unfold. The characters are very well written, and they all have completely different personalities and situations that they face. It is interesting how the story is written in alternate chapters between Amy and Elder, the point of view from each of these characters in the first person, so the reader starts to learn more of their take on the situation, as well as their thoughts and emotions. I think that this is part of the hook that keeps the reader engaged.
The mystery of who is murdering people also carries the story along. Who would want to do it, and what is the link between all of those that have had their cryo tube deactivated? Hints are made and it was quickly seen as to the link, and I had my suspicions on who was doing it early on. What was more fascinating was the character twists of some of the characters themselves that kept you guessing.
What I found most striking about the book were the various comments on society and leadership. All of the inhabitants of Godspeed were ‘monoethnic’ – meaning that they all looked the same so that there were no differences. All of the inhabitants had darker skin, brown hair and brown eyes. This is supposedly one of the three pillars to ruling, according to Eldest. Differences will cause strife, and Eldest was very worried that Amy, with her red hair, freckles and green eyes would cause a disturbance because she was different.
Population control in several different ways was another aspect of this book. Not only the people blindly following their leader, Eldest, but also controlled generations which were only allowed to happen every twenty years. The more Elder learned what was going on onboard the space ship, the more he started to think for himself and tried to determine what type of leader he wanted to be. Amy was a catalyst for some of this, she helped Elder to see what was wrong and brought some of her Earth sense along with her, to set Elder on the right path.
This story could almost be a stand-alone story, but I am glad that the story continues and I am very much looking forward to reading ‘A Million Stars.’ Things on Godspeed change so quickly and radically at the end of the story that you are curious as to what will happen next. How will Elder rule the people now that things have changed? Will he stay true to the course he set out on? Will he revert to the ways of those before him in order to control the populace on the spacecraft? Many more mysteries and questions are before us, and it will be even more interesting to see how the inhabitants of Godspeed are dealt with, as well as the various problems onboard.
This book is intended for a young adult audience (adult being key, as there is sexual content), but there is great world-building in this, and many social and political issues that abound that make this adult reader glad to have read this book. How does a good leader rule? How does he control his populace, and what rights do people have, especially on a very confined ship in the middle of space? All excellent questions that are looked at in this story. (less)
This delightful retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is perfect for today’s world. For those who want to know the basics of a classic with a mode...moreThis delightful retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is perfect for today’s world. For those who want to know the basics of a classic with a modern day spin, this one is perfect and stays true to the original story line.
Jane Moore has to leave after her first year of college, as her parents died in an accident and she has no money to continue with her education. She finds herself in the office of Distinguished Nannies, Inc, in hopes of finding some bearable position in which she will be paid, as well as has food and shelter. Jane is unlike many of the girls in the office; she would be the classic ‘Plain Jane’ – no iPod, makeup or trendy clothes to hide her among the masses. Though this actually distinguishes her for the part as a nanny for NicoRathburn’s, a rockstar, 5 year old daughter.
Going off to the Connecticut countryside, to a mansion with extensive grounds, Jane finds herself taking care of a fragile young girl, who quickly warms to her new nanny. At times, Jane is reminded of her childhood, and it helps her to sympathize with her charge, Maddie, daughter of a rock star and a beautiful French woman who only wanted Nico for his influence in starting her American singing career. Maddie had been neglected byher mother and that had reminded Jane of her own difficult childhood as the youngest sibling that was passed over one way or another by her own parents.
Nico Rathburn has his own secrets and is unwilling to share as he doesn’t want the truth out. He is the typical ‘tortured’ artist who is lonely, but a celebrity at the same time. He is in the process of releasing a new album and setting up a World Tour with his band. He didn’t count on having feelings for the nanny. Or having his secret known, especially by Jane, with whom he fell in love.
I felt that the characters were fairly well-drawn. They did not seem to do anything that would be out of the ordinary for who they were. It was nice to read a book that featured a child who actually acted like a child and not well advanced beyond her years. Though none of the characters really stood out or evoked much emotion. As mentioned previously, this book followed the story of Jane Eyre faithfully, but in modern context. It is a perfect book for any young adult who wants to know the basic premise of Jane Eyre, without reading the actual book…though that would be a shame, as the original has deeper characters, storyline and a greater ‘gothic’ sense to the story. (less)
While I loved the first two-thirds of this book, the last part crumbled for me. Addison Blakely is hilarious and very much a teenage girl with a huge...moreWhile I loved the first two-thirds of this book, the last part crumbled for me. Addison Blakely is hilarious and very much a teenage girl with a huge crush on the bad boy. She’s lost her best friend from childhood, due to differences, her dad is dating her teacher, and she somehow volunteered to help run the school Talent Show. Then, it seemed, that the writer realized that she was writing a Christian novel for teens, and the last third of the book was all about that, tying things up with a neat little bow.
I fell in love with the story and Addison immediately! She is such a teenager, and the author got it perfectly. She was dealing with her conflicting feelings of being both a teenage girl with a crush on the bad boy and being the perfect daughter to the town’s preacher. I love the struggle that Addison goes through, and I love how human she is! She is funny, intelligent and trying to sort out her feelings. She is always daydreaming, she carries around Jane Austen in her bag at all times, and she is trying to figure out her place in the life that she lives.
Scarlet is the second in the Lunar Chronicles series of four books. Scarlet is the main character in this book, but Cinder is ever-present in almost a...moreScarlet is the second in the Lunar Chronicles series of four books. Scarlet is the main character in this book, but Cinder is ever-present in almost alternating chapters. Scarlet Benoit is a young lady who lives with her grandmother in the French countryside, and helps out on her grandmother’s farm. When Scarlet comes home to find her grandmother gone, but her id chip left behind, Scarlet knows that something is wrong. Even though the police don’t take her grandmother’s disappearance seriously, Scarlet wants answers and she is willing to do just about anything to get those answers. That includes trusting Wolf, a street fighter, who says he can help.
While this is going on, Cinder is trying to break out of prison before the Lunar Queen Levana can take her back to the moon to execute her. Cinder is still trying to deal with the knowledge she recently learned from Dr. Erland. As she tries to escape, she finds herself teamed up with another prisoner, who may not have all of his wires connected.
While the world building in this story was worlds away better than that of Cinder (my only problem with that story), and the action non-stop, I found myself a bit disconnected from this sequel to Cinder. I was so taken with Cinder and the relationship between herself and Prince Kai. I loved the tension and felt like the characters were real. In Scarlet, however, I wasn’t that attached to the characters. To be honest, by favorite character was Iko, Cinder’s old droid. Iko had the same sense of humor and witty comments. Cinder was also good in this one as well, but it was more action and less interaction. That was all this book was about…action.
Have you ever finished a book quickly because you want to see how it ends (or if it ends the way you think it might), but are saddened that you rushed...moreHave you ever finished a book quickly because you want to see how it ends (or if it ends the way you think it might), but are saddened that you rushed it, and now you can’t stop thinking about it? That’s how I felt when I finished The Future of Us.
On the surface, it seems like a light story about a guy and a girl, who are neighbors and have been friends forever, except for the past six months when one of them wanted to take the friendship up a notch. Then, Emma gets a computer from her dad, which she sees as a “trying to by my love” kind of thing, since he is married to someone else and they recently had a baby. Josh’s mom encourages him to go next door to Emma’s house with an AOL cd that they received in the mail, because they don’t have a computer. The year, by the way, is 1996. After Emma creates her AOL account, she sees a Favorites button and clicks on it, to find something called Facebook, which wouldn’t be started until 2004. Emma signs in to the Facebook, and is stunned to find her name and picture of what she might look like in the future. It turns out that the account is hers from 15 years in the future.
What I really liked about the book is the commentary on how we share so many banal things on Facebook (in general), and how one thing can be taken completely out of context. It also focuses on how knowledge of the future can affect you. I love the possibility of different outcomes to our future that stem from simple actions (like pouring dirty water on a new carpet). This story also deals with how obsessing on the future can obscure your present life. There are so many other aspects of this story that you can sit and ruminate on, and I love this story for that simple fact.
Yes, it is a quick read and seems fairly simple on the surface. But there are a few lines in the book that really get you thinking. The characters are well-drawn and you get a sense that each person is different. Emma is uncertain of many things in her life, but her future Facebook self really gets her to think about her present life. Josh wonders if his perfect life in the future is really perfect for him.
There were a few things that were left hanging out there and not resolved, but I did enjoy the story regardless. If you are looking for a book that will grab you when you least expect it, and makes you think about your own life just a little, then look no further! It’s sweet, quick and thoughtful!
The short of the review: I was unimpressed with a story that was written in the present tense by an...moreThis book was reviewed on Musings of a Book Lover.
The short of the review: I was unimpressed with a story that was written in the present tense by an author who supposedly has been to London, and did not capture the feel of that great city, portraying two teenagers that were forgettable as soon as the cover was closed. It was difficult to see when they did fall in love.(less)
I enjoyed the irreverence of this story. It was a good story that tells you to be who you are, not who your momma wants you to be! It was surprising,...moreI enjoyed the irreverence of this story. It was a good story that tells you to be who you are, not who your momma wants you to be! It was surprising, funny, and quite cheeky (as the British like to say). Beauty Queens is a story about a dozen or so survivors of a plane crash. The plane was on its way to a tropical paradise, owned by The Corporation (which seems to own just about everything), to hold the Miss Teen Dream Beauty Pageant, brought to you by The Corporation.
Once the survivors stumble out from the wreckage and gather whatever gowns and beauty supplies they can find, these teen girls try to figure out if survival or pageant twirls should be the order of the day. One contestant spent the whole story with a tray table stuck in her head!
There is no one central character. Each girl has her own ‘mishigas’ (Yiddish for craziness or nonsense) that she has to deal with. It is all a bit over the top, but fun nonetheless! You have the ‘team captain,’ Taylor, who is always trying to make sure everyone is practicing to the best of her abilities, as well as quoting Ladybird Hope any chance she gets! You have Adina, who wants nothing more than to expose the stupidity of a beauty pageant from the inside. There is Mary Lou who believes she is cursed. Girls who are not what they seem, like Petra. We also see many of the girls coming out…of their shells; regardless of being raised on Bipolar Bears.*
*The Corporation’s cuddly combination vitamin and mood-leveling drug marketed to tween and teen girls. Bipolar Bears banish bad moods and keep you beauty-queen perfect. Sold in a variety of signature bottles. Collect them all!
Throw in an international conspiracy, a few strange plot twists, the strength of girls who have a Miss Teen Dream Can-do attitude, and hunky British boy-toy pirates, and you have a rollicking ride.
I am glad that the whole book wasn’t overly campy; and mind you, you must read this tongue-in-cheek book with laughter at the ready. It is a bit over the top and silly, but a fun read nonetheless. It is also an excellent commentary on our society and how we think girls should be. We should just shut up and let the girls decide who they want to be – without having them stranded on a ‘deserted’ island!
NOTE: Even thought this is a Scholastic book (and I was a bit shocked by this), there is a lot of transgender, homosexual and heterosexual relationships in this story.
“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book...moreFor the full review, please visit Musings of a Book Lover.
“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”
I was ready to turn the page, and I was very glad that I did. This was a delightful story of two teenagers home alone in NYC for Christmas. Dash was wandering through one of his favorite spots in New York, as he was well read, and seemed to spend so much time in the world of literature. When he went in to the bookstore, The Strand, to see if there was an older edition of one of his favorite books, he noticed a red moleskin stuck between the books with no writing on the spine. Out of curiosity, he pulled it out and had no idea what an adventure he had before him.
Lily and her older brother, Langston, were left home while their parents went to Fiji for a very late honeymoon. Langston talked Lily in to leaving the moleskin so that she could have a little adventure and see if it was a way for her to meet a guy, as well as get out of her comfort zone.
Little did either of them realize what an adventure was ahead for either of them. To figure out the puzzle that was set before them in the notebook, and then to execute that dare, Dash and Lily sent one another around New York during the holidays to one another’s favorite places, as well as within themselves.
Even though they had not met one another, Dash and Lily had no compunctions about baring their souls to the other through the journal and the questions that they posed on the pages with seeming anonymity. Could it be an adventure to lead to true love, or were they destined to only be friends through a red moleskin notebook?
I loved how this book was written. David Leviathan started his chapter, and then passed it on to Rachel Cohn to respond, and send David’s Dash on the next quest for the notebook. What a great concept, a story written in turn between two authors, and it was very well executed. Their writing styles were perfectly matched, and the characters were so true and human. I was definitely part of the journey of the notebook between these two characters and constantly hoping that Dash and Lily would take the next dare to see where it brought them, and if they ever were to meet. There were also two wonderful side characters, Dash’s best friend, Boomer and Lily’s Great Aunt both stole the scene when they were on the page.
This was a well-written, and quite fun, story. It takes two people who are alone for the Holidays around the town that they love, and show it to one another. These same two people reflect on themselves because of a question posed by the other. It was a delightful story that captured two teenagers looking for something outside of themselves.
This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.(less)
ZOMG! I have to wait for a sequel to a book that hasn’t even been published yet?
I would like to start out by saying that I read all different types of...moreZOMG! I have to wait for a sequel to a book that hasn’t even been published yet?
I would like to start out by saying that I read all different types of books, but mostly historical fiction or contemporary, with forays into Young Adult and fantasy and even an occasional Sci-Fi. This book brings all of these things together, a fairy tale, set in a future, with cyborgs and romance and teenage behaviours with politics and intrigue and genetics. I was sucked in to the book and avoided all contact with the outside world as much as possible to stay with the characters in Cinder.
This was quite an enjoyable read, even for this adult. Yes, it was a bit predictable, and the world wasn’t completely well-drawn out, but it was captivating and thoroughly enjoyable! It has a little bit of everything for everyone, and I thought it was well-written. I was somewhat hesitant to read another Young Adult book, as the past several ones I have read have disappointed, but this one did not. Miss Meyer, you have one adult impatiently waiting for more!
Even with the low scores on both the world building and the plot, I have to give Cinder 5 Stars for completely enthralling this reader!
This book was received from Netgalley.com for an honest review.
Saving June is a story of teenage angst, drugs, rock n’ roll, sex, suicide, and other problems that plague teens. Harper’s older sister committed suic...moreSaving June is a story of teenage angst, drugs, rock n’ roll, sex, suicide, and other problems that plague teens. Harper’s older sister committed suicide two weeks before high school graduation, for no apparent reason. Harper is left in the aftermath of her seemingly perfect sister’s decision to end her life. Harper wants answers, but she doesn’t really get them. Instead, she takes matters in to her own hands. She feels she must since she is the one who found the body on the way to school that fateful morning.
In June’s hand, Harper finds a cover of a mix cd of music that her sister never listened to, or at least as far as Harper knew. Harper and June never really saw eye-to-eye in the first place, as Harper was the one who could do no right, whereas her sister June could do no wrong. Harper’s best friend Laney helps track down the origin of the cd, and comes across that weird guy who showed up at the funeral. What does Jake Tolan know about her sister that she didn’t know?
It was so refreshing to read a young adult book that didn’t talk down to the reader, nor did it go lightly on some of the family issues that were invo...moreIt was so refreshing to read a young adult book that didn’t talk down to the reader, nor did it go lightly on some of the family issues that were involved in this book. Sheridan Wells is known as the ‘Cake Girl’ in her small Michigan town, where she has been working for years in her grandmother’s bakery, making incredible cakes for all of the denizens’ celebrations. Because Sheridan decorates cakes, as a high school student, she doesn’t have time for many other things, to include being popular in school…one thing she wished she could change only to have the most popular guy in school notice her.
And notice her, he did….once her father was going to be an ExtremeCuisine TV celebrity chef. Sheridan thought that Ethan, the ‘hot’ guy, finally noticed her for being her…the Cake Girl, even though his (ex)girlfriend is Sheridan’s arch enemy and head cheerleader! Then throw in the best friend boy friend who wants something more, and we shall see which way the chemistry experiment will go!
The characters are well drawn and seem rather true to life. I enjoyed Sheridan as she seemed like a real person. She is a typical teenager, in that she can be frustrating, unwilling to listen to her father, yet still have ‘authoritarian respect’ for him, and also have the emotions of a teenager who is a good girl at heart, but wants to break out a little bit. She still knows right from wrong, but is trying to figure out what is in her heart. She also can be single-minded, like so many teenagers I know, and not see the trees because she is only looking at the forest.
Not only do you get hooked on Sheridan and her life, but you fall in love with Mr. Roz, who helps out at the bakery, Nanny, Sheridan’s Texan grandmother and even Father Crowley who softens a bit! I think that even Sheridan’s dad was true to form…a chef who is driven to make it on to food television, and not necessarily seeing what is going on around him.
Sheridan’s mother left several years before, and it is a driving force throughout the story…Sheridan missing her mother and constantly searching for her. Sheridan was taught the love of cake decorating from her mother, and would ‘talk’ to her in her mind when she was trying to figure out what a cake was missing. This story line does progress, and lends to Sheridan growing more as a person. It was nice to see a character that was willing to listen…even if it took four other people to say the same thing for her to listen. But, that’s a teenager for you!
I appreciated how this story was written. It didn’t seem too far-fetched, which is always nice in a book geared towards young adults. It is a story of family and how that family changes and grows. It is a little about self-discovery through learning of the past. The pace is good and the writing style is a little above par in what you see in many teen books today. Even though it was a young adult book, it was a pleasant character story for adults to read as well. It was also refreshing to have an ending that didn’t seem rushed and tied up all of the loose ends… and had this reader hoping that everything would be all right!
Favorite Quotes: “Your life is yours to make the most of, or completely screw up. Your choice.”
A fifteen-year-old with a missing mother and a fame-obsessed father, forced into a phony Sweet Sixteen party – could this be any more unnatural?
“You know, a true gift isn’t something you do because it pleases other people. It’s something you must do because it fills you up inside.”
FTC disclaimer: I was given this book from Netgalley.com for review. (less)
Revolution is a fascinating story of a troubled girl from modern day who falls into the past of the French Revolution. It is a story of Andi who spend...moreRevolution is a fascinating story of a troubled girl from modern day who falls into the past of the French Revolution. It is a story of Andi who spends a winter break in Paris, researching a musician and trying to create a thesis about musical DNA. It is also the story of Alexandrine from 1795 who was trying to make a difference in a young boy’s life, a young boy known as the Dauphin. Music ties these two girls together. Yet one girl died trying to make a difference in a life, the other is healed through her actions and begins to use her talent to help others.
The premise of this book was fascinating and I really wanted to read it. I was finally able to get it from the library, and found myself a bit disappo...moreThe premise of this book was fascinating and I really wanted to read it. I was finally able to get it from the library, and found myself a bit disappointed. It is interesting how the author tried to tie in Jane Eyre, but it never seemed to fit. There is a fairy prince locked in a clockwork body, an evil sorcerer who wants to destroy the prince in order to continue(? start?) a war with the fairies, and a girl outside of her homeland that is trying to get by.
I liked the character of Nimira who was from a different land. There isn't enough of a history or a description of her to really understand why so many people had a prejudice against her. She is a strong character who is trying to figure out how to get what she wants, and to help those she loves. However, I never really identified with any of the characters. Though, I did like the character of Annalise and would have loved to see more of her character.
I liked the way the author had the automaton communicate with Nimira. That was ingenious. I understand that this is a young adult book, but that doesn't mean it has to be 'dumbed-down.' Young adults these days are pretty savvy and would understand a little more political intrigue. The ending seemed a bit rushed and could have gone into more detail, I thought. Tell more about the fairy wars and the hopes of the future.
It was a good, quick read. For those who want a light story, this is perfect. I have to admit, I kept waiting for something to happen with the fairies that were trapped in the glass dome - as the title is 'Magic Under Glass.' I thought that would have been a trigger in the story. While I did enjoy this young fantasy, I am not anticipating that I will be getting the sequel to this story.(less)