When this book showed up in the mail along with a few others from HarperTeen I had noMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
When this book showed up in the mail along with a few others from HarperTeen I had no idea what it was about. I honestly had never even heard of it, and since I'm not a big contemporary reader I was a bit skeptical. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only is this book adorably fun, but it's a great summer read! Gigi and her friends, Bea and Neerja, have been holding themselves back from enjoying high school by spending all their time doing homework, but they've finally decided enough is enough! This is a great story about overcoming social anxiety, the pressures of succeeding, and learning to enjoy high school while still getting good grades!
Gigi is so smart, yet so dumb sometimes which definitely had me face palming a few times. She doesn't have the best taste in boys, although I thought she did for awhile! And her need to succeed has her oblivious to the social world around her. I absolutely ADORED her! Not only was she hilarious, but she was pretty too! I loved reading a story about a girl who was not only smart, but also pretty because I feel like that can be kind of rare in YA. Usually, it's the hot popular girl vs. the mousy-haired book nerd but there's no in between. It was so refreshing to read about someone who was pretty and proud to be so brilliant! Bea and Neerja were also incredibly awesome. Bea especially. I would definitely love to have girls like that for my friends!
The story itself is nicely paced, while staying fun and entertaining. It's told from Gigi's POV and she's got a pretty hilarious mind, I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. Beware, there is a love triangle but it is definitely done well. I even found myself having a hard time choosing between the two boys, or even figuring out if they had feelings for Gigi at all! Strohmeyer does an awesome job of putting the reader in Gigi's shoes, because I really felt like I was her. When Gigi felt anxious, I felt anxious for her. When she got excited, I found myself with a huge grin on my face! I'm so happy I had the chance to pick up this book, because it was just so fun!
Overall, I absolutely LOVED Smart Girls Get What They Want! I was so happy to read about a Smart Girl going after what she wanted and putting herself out there on the social chopping block. High school isn't easy and it was great to see a group of friends who could stick together and make the best of it, while maintaining their 4.0 averages! If you're looking for a fun, exciting, cute, and just plain awesome summer read, Smart Girls is the way to go!!...more
I've always been a fan of Jane Austen's novels; her writing style is just impeccable aMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
I've always been a fan of Jane Austen's novels; her writing style is just impeccable and she can make a woman weak in the knees with her romantic yet prideful men (and women.) Diana Peterfreund does not disappoint when it comes to this gorgeous novel based off of Austen's Persuasion. I have to admit, I haven't read Persuasion yet, but it is on my book bucket list. That being said, I don't think you need to have an appreciation for Jane Austen, or have read Persuasion, in order to adore For Darkness Shows the Stars. This novel blew me away with how amazingly written and heart-wrenching it truly is. Peterfreund drew me in with her elegant writing style and hooked me with star-crossed lovers; not to mention that gorgeous cover!
Elliot is such an admirable protagonist, always putting the good of the people before her own happiness. She's truly reminiscent of a Jane Austen heroine; she's loyal to her family, devoted to her work, and willing to put all others before herself. I loved how compassionate Elliot was when it came to the people who work for her. They may have been her servants, or "posts," but she did not put them beneath her and her deepest friendships developed with these people who are not in her caste. I loved her relationship with Kai, because it's developed throughout their childhood, but the novel starts off four years after Kai has left Elliot's farm. We learn about Kai and Elliot's childhood relationship through old letters at the same time we learn about who Kai and Elliot are now. Although sometimes I really wanted to hate Kai, in the end he always had my heart.
Peterfreund's writing style is absolutely magnificent. With For Darkness Shows the Stars she takes me back to reading Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but with a modern twist. The story starts slowly, building on relationships and developing characters, but it was never so slow that I lost interest. In all honesty, I blew through this book, attempting to devour it at record speeds. It became increasingly harder and harder for me to even put it down for short periods of time. I loved the progression of the plot and the incorporation of letters which slowly reveal back stories and plot twists, adding more and more depth to the overall storyline.
I'm still reeling from the emotional turmoil that For Darkness Shows the Stars put me through. Peterfreund had me laughing, crying, and screaming over the course of 400 pages. Despite my lack of familiarity with Persuasion, I don't think that having read it would have influenced me to enjoy it more, I just would have been able to make the connections between both books. Even if you have never picked up a Jane Austen novel, you don't need to in order to fall in love with the story that Peterfreund creates. For Darkness Shows the Stars broke my heart and put it back together repeatedly, only revealing Kai and Elliot's destiny at the very last moment. Fans of romance, minor sci fi as well as dystopian elements, and Jane Austen will devour this one! ...more
When I first read the synopsis of this book (a girl who dies and then comes back to liMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
When I first read the synopsis of this book (a girl who dies and then comes back to life to save the world?!) I was hooked. I went in to Unraveling knowing I was going to love it to death. And I absolutely did. Not one of my expectations was let down, and I am seriously hoping that Elizabeth Norris writes a sequel to this one, because I need more Janelle! And I need even more Ben!!!! All of the characters were so well written and Norris' writing style is just so beautiful. I know this is just a debut, but I can't wait to see what else Elizabeth Norris comes out with!
As I said before the characters are all really well written. While I didn't relate to any of them, I felt like I knew them. When disaster struck, I cried my eyes out. When some of the more romantic things happened, I smiled like an idiot and also cried my eyes out. Janelle is an amazing female protagonist; she's strong, smart, resilient, and incredibly selfless. She cares about people with her whole heart and she goes above and beyond to take care of her own. Ben is a great love interest, but I definitely wish there was more of him! The romance doesn't really set in until half way through the story, which is about 250 pages or so, and I just wanted more Ben!! Their relationships IS a bit insta-lovey, but I dealt with it because I was so in love with him, myself :)
The writing is fantastic, and the story is wonderful! I was constantly on the edge of my seat while reading Unraveling, and I could not for the life of me predict anything! Whenever I would sit back and think, "Oh this guy did it!" 20 pages later I would be proved completely wrong! Elizabeth Norris did a wonderful job creating something unique and fast paced, and I loved every minute of it! There is a quite a bit of swearing, so if you're uncomfortable with that then you probably don't want to pick this one up. However, I wasn't bothered by it, because I felt like it made the characters more realistic.
Overall, I absolutely loved Unraveling and I had a hard time putting it down. Fans of sci-fi. mystery, thriller, and adventure will fawn over this story-line. I was a bit confused sometimes, but I think the entire novel was just so well done. Usually I have a hard time reading books that are this long, but I found myself to immersed in the story that the length just didn't bother me. I can't wait to see what Elizabeth Norris comes up with next!!!...more
If A Need So Beautiful is a look into the purity of good, than A Want So Wicked opens our eyes to the damaging effects that evil has. A Want So Wicked is from Elise's point of view (not Charlotte's,) and we learn more about Onika and her past which is definitely something I enjoyed. I loved A Need So Beautiful, but A Want So Wicked tore me up inside; there's a depth of emotion to this story that was a bit lacking in ANSB. It was heartbreaking watching Elise's life shatter and piece itself back together as she realizes who she truly is.
Elise's definitely a different character from Charlotte, but I still found myself drawn to her. Also, Harin is back and hotter than ever! I really fell in love with him a second time around. There's a new love interest named Abe who was positively charming in the beginning until I realized he was actually very creepy. There was something really off about him that I didn't quite understand. I think the most interesting part for me is the connection I saw between Elise and Charlotte. While Elise has her own personality, there were qualities about her that reminded me of Charlotte and I loved how Young combined the two girls into one cohesive character.
The story line itself was pretty similar, but still different enough to keep me interested. I loved learning more about Onika and how/why she became a shadow. There's a lot more backstory given in A Want So Wicked that helped piece a lot of things together. The plot was really unpredictable, I completely did NOT see that ending coming!!! I'm really hoping there will be another book in this series to tie things together, I can't wait to see what's going to happen to Elise and Harlin!!
If you haven't already picked up this series, I definitely recommend it. Just make sure you read A Need So Beautiful first!!! Overall, I really loved A Want So Wicked much more than A Need So Beautiful. I'm always a fan of the darker side, so getting to see that made everything much more enjoyable. The characters are as amazing as ever, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next! Fans of angels, demons, romance, and intrigue will want to pick this one up!!...more
When I first read the synopsis for this book I was so excited I couldn't contain myselMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
When I first read the synopsis for this book I was so excited I couldn't contain myself. Sadly, I have really mixed feelings about it now. The beginning was really slow, I didn't feel like much was happening, or a lot of stuff was happening but it was overly described which just served to bore me. Enough was happening to keep me interested, and about 250 pages in things finally started to pick up! The ending was a complete cliff-hanger and now I'm just dying for the next one!
Kira is a great protagonist; she's strong, independent, smart, and sassy. I really liked how she took initiative to basically save the human race, despite the fact that she's only 16. She never took "no" for an answer, which definitely reminded me of me :). Her friends are all really fantastic people who completely support her no matter what kind of crazy thing she wants to do next. Although her boyfriend, Marcus, tries to tell her what to do a lot, he has good intentions and he was definitely a sweet-heart. I do wish there was a little more romance between the two, since I'm a big YA romance junkie, but at least there wasn't some stupid love-triangle.
The writing is really in depth, and there is a lot of thorough world-building going on, but sometimes I felt like it was too much. I tended to skip over a lot of paragraphs, simply because I was getting bored with whatever was happening. The story is also really medical, since Kira is trying to find a cure for RM, and I had a hard time following what was happening with that most of the time. Science and I do not mix, so it was hard for me to focus on all the medical jargon and testing and what not. The story really picks up in the last 200 pages though and a lot of stuff starts happening and things are revealed and people DIE! By then, I was screaming and reading furiously and I just had to know what was going to happen!!!
Overall, I liked Partials enough to continue reading and eventually I was really into it. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get into the story, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The ending is definitely an incredible cliff-hanger and I can't wait to find out what Dan Wells has up his sleeve for the next book! Fans of dystopian and sci fi will like this one, but if you need romance in your novels you won't really find it here!...more