79 pages of starshine and kittens and everything good. Laini Taylor has this way of taking words and arranging them in such a way that it in one insta...more79 pages of starshine and kittens and everything good. Laini Taylor has this way of taking words and arranging them in such a way that it in one instant, your heart is in your throat and in the next, someone has taken hold of your heart-filled jugular and thrown you to the ground. Only this short story with Zuzana & Mik could assuage the pain that comes with having to wait until freaking April for Dreams of Gods & Monsters. This novella is all of the happiness from the series and none of the angst. (Except I really do love the angst.) It's worth every penny of the $2.99 to spend one rapture-filled hour back in Karou's universe. (less)
Let's be honest--this is a book that is effectively designed to sell dolls for Mattel's new Ever After High line. There's a youtube series and an obno...moreLet's be honest--this is a book that is effectively designed to sell dolls for Mattel's new Ever After High line. There's a youtube series and an obnoxiously interactive website and a planned trilogy by the queen of fantasy retellings herself, Shannon Hale. I'm convinced that nobody but Shannon could have pulled this off with such aplomb. I just watched a few of the youtube videos and instead of rolling my eyes at the cheesy nature of it all, I continued to feel emotionally attached to the characters. What I'm saying is--this book is very, very good for what it is. And it doesn't try to pretend to be anything but. Yes, the story is a little sappy. The children of famous fairy tale characters all go to school together and sign a pledge at the end of their sophomore year that they will live out the stories of their parents so the fairy tales can continue. Except Raven Queen, the daughter of the villainous queen in Snow White's story, isn't so sure that she wants to be evil. Raven is awkward and angry and wonderful. She's stuck being roommates with Apple White, which had shades of Wicked to it. Chaos ensues, so on and so forth. Yes, the characters really do say stuff like "Hexciting!" and "This is fairy, fairy bad." But there are also musicians named Tailor Quick and One Reflection, so it's not all terrible. My biggest hang-up is that while the story has all of the delightful characters and lilting writing that Shannon Hale is known for, the Mattel undercurrent is very present. Apple White, for instance, doesn't so much solve problems as flirt her way out of them. Do you like precise descriptions of what modern-day fairy tale characters would wear? Well, then, this is the book for you. Honestly, though, it's worth reading just to get to know Raven and Maddie and Dexter and Cerise and the rest of the EAH crew. Most hexcellent. (less)
This Song Will Save Your Life was originally titled My Suicide Playlist and I like the old title better. I can see why they went with This Song Will S...moreThis Song Will Save Your Life was originally titled My Suicide Playlist and I like the old title better. I can see why they went with This Song Will Save Your Life, as it's much more uplifting and the character doesn't spend a lot of the book contemplating suicide. (She does spend a little bit of time at the very beginning of the story, but there's a significant time jump after that.) Plus, just look at that book cover--it's perfection with the four-letter words and L O V E highlighted. But in terms of titles, My Suicide Playlist is fantastic. Oh well.
So Elise Dembowski is sick of being the weird girl at school with no friends. She tries to make herself "cool" over the course of a summer and I had this flashback to the days when as a teenage girl on family trips to the library, I'd sneak off to a corner and read Seventeen magazine to figure out what I should reasonably know about being a teenage girl. That alone, however, is not enough to make one "cool," which Elise and Teenage Gretchen discovered. Elise finds her own path in the world of underground nightclub DJing. Teenage Gretchen did not, although I did turn out being pretty awesome, but I do still wish that I were a DJ. True story. I think I'd be really good at it.
I've always admired Leila Sales' ability to write YA contemporary lit where the main focus is not on the romance. There's kissing, for sure, but the boys are not soul mate material. My biggest issue was that most of the drama in the book came from a lack of Elise telling her parental units about the fairly major stuff happening in her life. It's not inaccurate, but I do find that it's a weak source of conflict in YA books. This Song Will Save Your Life is going to make an excellent teen movie someday. Can I call dibs on writing the screenplay?
Major props for including a recommended listening list at the end of the book. All books about music should do this. Also, I owe Leila BIG TIME for finally getting me to check out LCD Soundsystem.(less)
Oh, Junior. What a great character. Junior gives us an unfiltered perspective of what it's like to live on the rez. He's a Spokane Indian, a baller, a...moreOh, Junior. What a great character. Junior gives us an unfiltered perspective of what it's like to live on the rez. He's a Spokane Indian, a baller, a traitor, but mostly he's just a teenage boy. Major props for the cartoons, too. I wonder if we'll get a sequel someday. (less)