When I got into the office this morning, one of my co-workers asked me the same question she asks me e...moreMore reviews like this one at: Nicole About Town
When I got into the office this morning, one of my co-workers asked me the same question she asks me everyday, ‘Nicole, what book are you reading right now and describe it in one word?’ My reply: ‘I just finished reading Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley and honestly, it was haunting’. Even now sitting down to write this review two hours later, I’m still not even sure where to start. I guess you could say that I am in complete and total awe of this amazing book; complete and utter wonder at the incredibly detailed and believable story woven throughout the novel. And let’s be honest, I’m a little creeped out as well by just how realistic Pretty Girl-13 was from beginning to end.
There was so much going on with this book, that I don’t even know what to tell you. Is it a book about a girl who was abducted and returns three year later with no memory? Yes, and I honestly thought that was all that this book was going to be about. Not so. There is so much more going on in Pretty Girl-13 and all are dealt with so well. Pretty Girl-13 introduces the concept of ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, also referred to as DID, and that is where the real story begins. We get explanations about DID that aren’t too clinical that the reader gets bogged down with information, and we get demonstrations of the various ‘alters’ that are inhabiting Angie’s psyche and the parts they have played in keeping her alive. Quite honestly, Pretty Girl-13 gave such a great introduction to DID that it’s something I’m interested in researching further at some point.
Liz Coley deals with several horrifying and sensitive topics very well in Pretty Girl-13. The topics of psychological issues, and their triggers, and abduction and abuse of a child are really weighty topics to be tackled in any novel, let alone a young adult novel. There are always the worries of either getting too detailed for the audience or trivializing the entire experience to worry about. Pretty Girl-13 does none of those things, it absolutely nails those topics and issues for the target audience. Like Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman, Pretty Girl-13 is one of those books that should be read by both parents and teens alike.
This is the first book I have read written by Kate White. I have to say, if they are all like this, then I need to read more of her work.
The Sixes, like The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon, is a book about a murder and secret society of mean girls. Actually girls aren’t just mean, they are sociopath’s. Sociopath’s with far, far too much time on their hands.
Phoebe Hall is a famous writer recently a part of plagiarism scandal. As a way to lay low and recover from this scandal she is offered a place teaching a writing class at Lyle College by her long time friend who is now the head of the school. Shortly after her arrival, a girl is found drowned in the river just off campus. During the investigation into her death, the school administration gets wind of a secret society of girls that may be operating on campus. Desperate to contain possible damage to the school, Phoebe is tasked with using her journalistic talents to investigate The Sixes.
Phoebe’s investigation, predictably, stirs up a hornet’s nest and makes her the target for this group of mean girls on crack. It’s actually scary the complete lack of respect for authority or personal safety that The Sixes show in their bid to intimidate Phoebe from finding out the truth about them. In the course of investigating The Sixes, Phoebe unwittingly becomes involved in the investigation for the killer that appears to be haunting Lyle College, its students and Phoebe herself.
Kate White has done a phenomenal job in weaving all the different back stories together into one cohesive and dynamic thriller. I guarantee that this is one ending that you won’t see coming.
I was got an ARC of this book from the lovely Jen from Rayment's Readings, Rants & Ramblings and I am so glad that I did. Getting the ARC actually...moreI was got an ARC of this book from the lovely Jen from Rayment's Readings, Rants & Ramblings and I am so glad that I did. Getting the ARC actually pushed me to read book one in the Infernal Devices Series, Clockwork Angel. After reading book one and enjoying it, I immediately picked up the ARC of Clockwork Prince and dived right in. Seriously, I have no idea how I am supposed to wait for book three now.
All of the things that I loved in Clockwork Angel were brought right back and doubled in Clockwork Prince. The setting, the characters, the history and story were just developed so beautifully and at such a great pace. The story just unfolds effortlessly and hooks you right from the very first page. Clockwork Prince is definitely one of my favourite books of 2011.
Remember how in my review of Clockwork Angel I said that I didn't like Will? Well let me revise that statement to say that I didn't like Will in that book, but loved him in Clockwork Prince. I found that learning there there was a motivation and reason behind his behaviour made him much more likable. In fact, by the end of the book you actually begin to see him for what he really is; a seventeen year old boy trying to make the best of a bad situation to the best of his ability.
Tessa still annoyed me, but it was nice to see her experience some personal growth. Jess still made me want to light myself on fire every time she appeared. There really is no other character, that comes to mind, that has ever made me giddily anticipate the moment they finally get what is coming to them quite like Jess does. Jem finally showed some grit and determination. There was some steel i his spine and fire in his eyes and it really made me like him that much more. And of course Magus Bane is still made of awesome and win.
Clockwork Prince is a fabulous follow up in the Infernal Devices Series. If Cassandra Clare keeps writing like this she will continue to cement her place in the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere.(less)
This book had been sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time. On a whim, I decided to pick it up for what I thought was going to be some 'light' reading. Yeah, so not a good call. While I would consider this book an 'easy' read it is definately cannot be considered a 'light' read. Want to Go Private? reads as a cautionary take depicting the alienation and grooming of a vulnerable teenager by an online predator and her journey to heal.
The story is told mainly from the prespective of th emain character Abby. There are instances where a portion of the story is told by one of the cast of supporting characters. Watching Abby go from a happy, but insecure teenage to a victim is pretty difficult. Want to Go Private? is pretty detailed and in my opinion fairly accurate in showing jus thow Abby was being groomed and not even realizing it. There was something so disturbing about watching Abby descend down this path unaware while you, the reader, is fully aware where this is headed.
Reading Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littmas was like watching an episode of Dateline's How to Catch a Predator, but in reverse.(less)
Have you read this book yet? If your answer is no, then why not?
Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books that you read that leaves a lasting impression on you once you are done.. I personally have recommended it to pretty much everyone who has asked me the question “do you have any recommendations for a good book to read?” in the past month and a half. In fact, I sent my copy home with one of my assistants when she went on vacation. This is one of those books that I wish they would make part of the regular high school curriculum. There is so much to be learned from this book and so much relevance to a teenager’s life, no matter what decade it happens to be. I wish this book had been around when I was in high school. It would have explained so much to not only me, but my peers as well.
Not everyone who reads this book will like it. In fact some will hate it and some will tell you that it’s not believable. In my opinion, they are missing the point.
For me, the book wasn’t so much about suicide as it was about demonstrating the consequences of of our actions. To me, the book was about the fact that we are all connected as people and have the ability to influence each others lives, good or bad. The book was about recognizing that what seems like it’s no big deal to you and me, can mean the world to someone else. The book at it’s core, for me, is about recognizing that my actions and my words just aren’t about me and that they have the ability to hurt or to heal; enlighten or deceive.
That is the reason why I will read this book again and again and continue to recommend it to anyone who asks.(less)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is absolutely masterful and after having read it, I can say that it has been without a doubt my favourite book of 2011. The Night Circus is one of those books that you come across very seldom and it's one of those books that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. The kind that you find yourself picking up and reading more than once, and every time you do read it again, another facet of it's brilliance is revealed.
The prose is lyrical and almost poetic and with that same sense of fluidity Erin Morgenstern has created a world that leaves the reader with a longing to experience it for themselves. The book is a feast for the senses. As you are reading you feel the silk of a dress worn by one of the performers, taste the food at one of the midnight dinners, or smell the caramel in the air as you walk from tent to tent exploring all of the delights that the circus has to offer.
I personally don't understand the comparison to the Harry Potter series. To me, the only thing that they share in common is that they are both written by extremely talented women, on paper, and they both deal with magic! That's it. To say that The Night Circus is the second coming of Harry Potter does a great disservice to both stories. The Night Circus is not a series, but rather one stand alone book. It is a richly written tale that uses the circus itself as a backdrop. It is not a book about magic. It is not a book about vanquishing the most evil wizard of all time. The Night Circus, at the end of the day, is a love story.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is to me, much more than a book. It is an experience to be savoured and treasured by all of those who read it. (less)
So when I really started to get into book blogging and reviewing, this was one of the books that I really, really wanted to read. I was originally dra...moreSo when I really started to get into book blogging and reviewing, this was one of the books that I really, really wanted to read. I was originally drawn to the cover of the book and that is what originally prompted me to choose to read a synopsis of the book when I was browsing on the GoodReads website. (I confess, the cover is usually what draws me into any kind of book). In my experience with YA books, they can be very hit or miss. There is usually no happy medium with them and in my opinion fall into either the good or the bad categories.
Well, let me just start off by saying that Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is a hit and can definitely be placed in the good pile.
What I really love about this book is that even though it falls into the paranormal YA pile, it is not super unrealistic and overly melodramatic. There is a steady build up in the story and you never feel like you are either being overwhelmed with information or not receiving enough at any given time.
I love that the main character Emma has faced adversity and heartbreak. What I love even more is that she hasn't let that same adversity and heartbreak break her or crush her spirit. She continues to soldier on rather than giving up and going all woe is me, she makes the best of the life that she has now found herself in through no fault of her own. Does it mean that she doesn't experience sadness or upset due to her situation? No, it doesn't. Rather she finds constructive ways to deal with her life and what is going on around her.
Cara Lynn Shultz does sarcasm and self-deprecating humor right. It's not forced, it's not contrived, and it comes across as genuine and a part of the character's personality. It's used correctly as a tool to illustrate the depth and versatility of the character rather than for comedic effect. Although, I did find the description of one character's tan absolutely hysterical. I mean, what is it with this whole tan/fake tan thing? I mean when did it become acceptable to turn your skin into something resembling cured leather?
The book was an easy read and the characters were likeable, some more than others. I honestly think that the story works fairly well due to it not being too outrageous. I mean who hasn't experienced a feeling of deja vu before? Who hasn't experienced moments of premonition or insight of some sort? Who hasn't met someone and felt an instant connection to them that they just couldn't explain?
All in all, this was a good book and it was worth the read.(less)
Let me just start off by saying that I love books by James Rollins. Specifically, I love the books in his Sigma Series. Having said that, I think that...moreLet me just start off by saying that I love books by James Rollins. Specifically, I love the books in his Sigma Series. Having said that, I think that this book is one of the best in his Sigma Series. Over the course of the series, you are introduced to characters who have pretty much reappeared throughout every one of the seven books. What I especially love, is that no one character is the main focus of the novel where he/she single-handedly solves the worlds problems and holds off the evil foe. Each of the main character’s in this series has their specialty and individual talents and they use them to form one hell of a team.
In the Devil Colony, James Rollins brings the Sigma team back to their home turf and as such the majority of the action takes place in the U.S. In this novel, we get more of a look into the shadowy organization that has been a thorn in the side of Sigma and the U.S. intelligence community. At the same time, Rollins provides a bit of history lesson on the founding of the U.S and ties a 200-year-old mystery to events happening in books modern setting.
There is plenty of action, and intrigue, and the suspense is enough to keep you flipping from page to page to see how it all plays out. Plus, I love all the various explanations and lessons that happen in the course of the story unravelling. As someone who works with engineers and physicists on a daily basis, I wish they would explain things as clearly to me as it’s done in the book. The concepts are fairly advanced, but the way they are explained makes them relatively easy to understand on a fundamental level.
One thing I was very pleased with is that the characters continue to develop and show hidden depths with each book in the series. The way that Rollins’ describes them and the situations that they are in, had me imagining that I was there as well watching everything unfold as it was happening. I have yet to come across another series or author that combines action, adventure, suspense, mystery, history, and various other scientific concepts and principles in such a way that they are not leaving the reader either out of their depth or feeling like the author has dumbed down the concepts for them to understand.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a well thought out book with plenty of suspense and intrigue.
*This is number 7 in the Sigma Series of books. While you can probably read them out-of-order, I wouldn’t recommend it as there is a natural progression in both character development and overall series plot.*(less)
Ok, so this book has become my recent obsession. You see, I have this thing for war books, specifically modern war books. Generation Kill is one of th...moreOk, so this book has become my recent obsession. You see, I have this thing for war books, specifically modern war books. Generation Kill is one of the better modern war books that I have read in a long time. It's not a cautionary tale, or even a tale about the difficulty of military life. This is just simply the story of the First Recon Battalion of the United States Marine Core and their experience in the opening days of the war in Iraq.
Told by Evan Wright, a staff reporter at Rolling Stone Magazine, the book originally started as a series of articles back in 2003 called "The Killer Elite". The articles spawned the book and more recently the critically acclaimed 8 part HBO series (here's looking at you Alexander Skarsgard and Rudy Reyes).
The book itself is actually quite funny, and more often than not, without even trying to be. I frequently found myself laughing out loud while reading it. This of course has now lead to everyone on my train route thinking I'm insane for finding anything funny in a book titled "Generation Kill". All in all, this is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone. I guarantee that after reading it, you will have a hard time not telling everyone to "stay frosty".(less)
This has got to be one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. The book is comprised of a collection of essays and personal stories. It is...moreThis has got to be one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. The book is comprised of a collection of essays and personal stories. It is actually a book that I can see myself reading over and over again as the years go by.
All of the essays are funny, some more than others. Of particular note are "God Will Give You Blood to Drink in a Souvenir Shot Glass", and "Rosa Parks, C'est Moi?". (less)