I am NOT a fan of contemporary books, but I love this series! Rose never lets me down. The first book, Confessions of an Angry Girl, blew me away and...moreI am NOT a fan of contemporary books, but I love this series! Rose never lets me down. The first book, Confessions of an Angry Girl, blew me away and Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend did not disappoint.
What do I love about these books? That is way too hard to narrow down into a few paragraphs. I can say that I appreciate the content. Dealing with grief is tricky for most people, and I cannot imagine dealing with the kind of loss Rose must cope with on a daily basis. It's nice to see all the angles of grief. It cannot be wrapped up with a nice little bow, and Louise Rozett does not try to do it either. That is much appreciated.
I am also googley-eyed over Rose. She is so flawed it's not even funny, yet she is so real. She has major self-esteem and trust issues, which carries over into just about everything she does. Rose is your normal teenage girl trying to fit in and stand out at the same time without ever really knowing who she is. But of course, just like in Confessions #1, she finds another piece of herself along the way. (and I must say, that piece is turning out to be pretty fierce!)
Finally, I must say that Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend has new characters that keep things pretty interesting. (That's another thing that I love about this book!) While Rose is on her road to self-discovery, there is a whole lot of drama going on in the background. The subplots are all over the place, and they all lead to the same end point. It's brilliant. I am still a bit annoyed by the older guy-younger girl romance(s) that pop up all over the place, but I try to look beyond that. (Is it really normal for a college sophmore to be dating a high school sophmore? That just seems so wrong to me... and illegal.)
If you enjoy contemporaries, you will LOVE Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (but you need to read Confessions of an Angry Girl first). You may even be like me and not really like contemporaries, but you'll still like this one. There is something for everyone here! (less)
The ending of The Darkest Minds left my heart in my stomach. But the ending of Never Fade left me with sweaty palms, a racing heart, and sitting on th...moreThe ending of The Darkest Minds left my heart in my stomach. But the ending of Never Fade left me with sweaty palms, a racing heart, and sitting on the edge of my seat. It was phenomenal! I’ve been saying this since I read The Darkest Minds, and I still stand by my claim—this is my new favorite dystopian. Move over Tris and Four, because Ruby and Liam are stealing the show. It is so hard to find a second book in a series that is better than the first, but found it I have. Never Fade was every bit as good as the first book, if not better. There were surprises and heart aches all along the way. I was sucked into this story almost from the beginning. For all those that said Ruby was the weak link in The Darkest Minds, you won’t be saying that now. She has grown so much. Ruby is now in control of her powers and takes them to a whole new level. Of course, that level comes with horrible consequences. She is strong, determined, and a serious force to be reckoned with. She’s also not alone. Vida is another strong female lead in the book, although my least favorite character. I never really cared for her. She is rough around the edges and foul, which makes me hesitant to recommend this to my school aged students. I’m very disappointed by that, too, since I rave about The Darkest Minds all the time. I could analyze the plot, but it would take away so much. This is a book (series) that you need to experience for yourself. It’s fresh and exciting, and packs a serious punch. (less)
If you are familiar with this series, then you know it is told from Ethan's point of view. I am almost always a fan of YA books with a male narrator,...moreIf you are familiar with this series, then you know it is told from Ethan's point of view. I am almost always a fan of YA books with a male narrator, since there doesn't seem to be enough of them out there. The Caster Chronicles is unique because it's a paranormal romance/mystery that is told from the boy's perspective. Not your typical teen boy book, in my opinion.
This time around in book 2, Ethan actually sounds like a boy. He does digress from time to time and starts sounding like an over emotional girl when he pines away for Lena, but at least he is showing typical boy emotions now. He ran the spectrum from anger to jealousy to lust. That is much more believable than a boy describing how hair smells and his feelings.
The plot continues to develop in this series. It's rather complicated at times and a bit drawn out. Each of these books come in at just over 500 pages. That's a lot of words! The size of the books may scare off a few readers, but know that around page 300 or so the story does start to move rather quickly. You just have to make it that far.
Also along the way are new characters and repeats from Beautiful Creatures. New super villians are introduced and some are redeemed. Or are they? (dun dun dun) I have to admit, Link's interesting situation has me intrigued, but that will have to wait until book 3 (Beautiful Chaos) to be confirmed. Ethan continues to grow, and now has a new understanding of his place in The Order. Good for him. Lena is still Lena: confused, stubborn, overly dramatic. She wasn't in the majority of the book--except as glimpses in Ethan's visions-- so it seemed rather rushed that her outcome developed the way it did and had so much emphasis in the final 30 pages. Whatever. I knew what was going to happen there long before I reached the end of the book.
Finally, I want to mention that the southern characters didn't seem as ignorant this time around. The small town folks were limited, with the main emphasis being on Ethan and his motley crew of Dark Caster fighters. That helps with the level of stupid for sure. I also want to go ahead and mention my thoughts on the upcoming movie since that's why I'm reading these now. I am not happy with the casting and the cheesy Southern accents. Am I the only one that pictured Ethan differently and didn't think Lena or Macon had southern accents? I also didn't imagine Ethan with one either. Tacky. And what is up with Lena's eyes? With all the emphasis on green and gold (and her ever changing colors), why does she have brown eyes? Hmm??
Anyhow, if you enjoy this series, have a go at book 2: Beautiful Darkness. I'm one of those people that has to read the entire series before a movie adaptation hits the big screens because I want to know how badly they muck things up (or not) in the movie. So, I will be continuing with Beautiful Chaos. (less)
Why did I let this series sit on my bookshelves so long before I read it? WHY?! This blew me away. The setting, characters, and plot were phenomenal....moreWhy did I let this series sit on my bookshelves so long before I read it? WHY?! This blew me away. The setting, characters, and plot were phenomenal. Loved every page.
I'm a Southern girl, so when I find a (good) YA book set in the South I get giddy. Plain and simple. Some of the descriptions were spot on, but some were a bit cliche. I was able to overlook the insulting depiction of Southerns since the authors are not from the south. I figured, what do they know really? I mean, we aren't all ignorant an incapable of putting a grammatically correct sentence together. Unlike the "Southern Belles" in Beautiful Creatures. I'm just going to tell myself that the authors made them over the top to make a point. I'd also like to know what small town in South Carolina have a rich voodoo culture. Seems like the setting for this book would have been better in Lousianna somewhere than in South Carolina. I was also a little surprised by the point of view of the narrator. It was told from Ethan's perspective. Now, I love a good male narrator, but this didn't feel like a typical teenage boy. It felt more like a highly emotional girl was telling the tale. Not believable at all in my opinion. That was a drawback. But, like I said... I was able to over look all of this because the descriptions and amount of detail that went into building the setting was so fantastic.
The characters were also great. Ethan and Lena were interesting, even if they fell helplessly in love right from the start. I really have problems with that type of story, but that's for another time. It actually worked in Beautiful Creatures since their love story was based on a family curse from long ago. I would be wrong though, if I said they were my favorites. I really enjoyed Macon and Amma. They were my true favorites. I loved Amma's quirks and the mysteriousness surrounding Macon. I also loved the dog named after Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird. Priceless.
If you love a good paranormal romance/mystery, then this is for you! It has all the spooky elements of a paranormal read with just the right amount of mystery to keep you turning the pages. (less)
I am so sad to see this series end. I am completely smitten with Henry (and James), and this is a bitter sweet moment. This very unique spin on the Pe...moreI am so sad to see this series end. I am completely smitten with Henry (and James), and this is a bitter sweet moment. This very unique spin on the Persephone and Hades myth captured my heart from book 1 (The Goddess Test). Sadly, Kate's story comes to a end with The Goddess Inheritance.
Just like the other books in this series, there is a lot of drama and betrayal going on. There is also a whole lot of Henry. (sigh) I was so happy see that he had a more active role this time around. He was present throughout the whole book, which made me very happy.
Of course, Kate is still Kate. She has matured a lot since book 2 (Goddess Interrupted). I was very impressed to see who she became. Of course, she's still pigheaded, which causes a lot of problems. That's Kate though.
The plot was pretty quick in this one. I managed to finish it in a little over 4 hours because it was so gripping. In true Kate fashion, she managed to be wishy-washy throughout 2/3 of the book, which really made the plot drag on. I was starting to get frustrated with the whole circular plot feeling, but then things picked up. I was catapulted into a hard-core battle of the wills. It was gripping and heart breaking all at once. Choices were made that had disasterous affects. Some of those choices were gut wrenching... leaving me twisting my face in disgust. You won't want to miss it!
As far as finales go, this was pretty solid. I was pleased with the ending, even if it left me a bit queesy in parts (due to a certain someone's choices). If you have read the other books in Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test series, do not let the finale go unread! (less)
I didn't expect this to have such a MG feel to it, but it was okay. I am such a sucker for fairytales that I was fully able to enjo...moreIn one word: cute.
I didn't expect this to have such a MG feel to it, but it was okay. I am such a sucker for fairytales that I was fully able to enjoy a story that was a little too squeaky clean to be YA.
I found this to be a fun read, but not really remarkable. I loved that the main character was so fierce. She really did not need anyone to save her. She was fully capable of taking care of herself. But of course, it wouldn't be a fairytale if it stayed that way. Enter Fred. Such a dreamy bloke with a great sense of humor and a heart of gold.
Of course, not everyone is what they appear to be. Right? Right.
That's all I'm really going to say about that. This was a fun, light read. Nothing heavy or thought provoking. Certainly not life-altering. Just fun and enjoyable. There was one little surprise that I didn't anticipate, but I won't tell you what that was!
If you enjoy fairytales, this is a perfect addition to your book shelf. (less)
This is officially one of my favorite mythology series. Goddess gave a very satisfying conclusion to the Starcrossed series. There wasn't much I did n...moreThis is officially one of my favorite mythology series. Goddess gave a very satisfying conclusion to the Starcrossed series. There wasn't much I did not enjoy.
By now, if you've read any of these books, you are feeling pretty committed to the characters. Well, that does not change in Goddess. In fact, I felt more invested with this book than I did in the second one. I still flip flopped between being Team Orion and Team Lucas. I just couldn't decide. I love them both. I can say, though, that I felt pretty satisfied with the choice Helen had to make. But I was not overly happy about was the path some of the characters took. I am not a fan of killing off my favorites, no matter how they fit in the grand scheme of things.
Something else that I noticed about Goddess that caught my attention from the start was the way the story was actually told. I was used to alternating points of view between Helen and Lucas, but this time around multiple characters were telling the story. That was really hard to pull off! I have to say though, the author did it wonderfully. Everything flowed and made sense. In fact, I think the story was stronger because of this unique set up.
Of course, what would this series be if there were not twists and turns along the way? Goddess will not disappoint you in that department because it will keep you guessing. Even if you figure out some of the larger plot points, I promise that there are still enough unexpected surprises to keep it fresh. (less)
I have put off reading this book because I did not want it to end. I am a bit saddened that there is not more Vincent and Jules, but what a great way...more I have put off reading this book because I did not want it to end. I am a bit saddened that there is not more Vincent and Jules, but what a great way to end this series!
Lots of things are going on in If I Should Die. There is A LOT of back story for revenants and numa. We also meet a few other characters (or at least I think they are new because I forgot them in the other books!). At any rate, they have a more prominent role in this book than they did before.
But what really got me this time around was Kate and her sister, Georgia. They have both undergone some serious character growth. In the other books, Kate comes across as whiny and weak. Not this time! She is a total kick butt heroine now. Her destiny is a bit obvious, but that's ok. I enjoyed it. Then there is Georgia. The self-centered hussy is gone. She's reserved and concerned about people other than herself. She was a great supporting character for Kate.
What did bother me, however, is the lack of Jules. I love Vincent and Ambrose, don't get me wrong. But there has always been something about Jules. He's so broken and distraught about his feelings for Kate. I was really hoping he could find his happy ending, but instead he vanished. Poof. I was pretty upset by that. I think Jules needs his own series or at least a companion novel.
If you have read the other novels, you will more of the things you have come to expect from Amy Plum. The descriptions are remarkable. You will feel as if you are walking the streets of Paris along with Kate and her band of revenants. Also, the way she can pen emotions will make your heart race and give you goosebumps. It's pretty fantastic. If you are like me and have been putting off this series, go ahead and pick up If I Should Die. It won't disappoint you. And if you have not read this series, what are you waiting for?(less)
Well, I have to admit this one didn't make much of an impression on me. It had a fairly nice story to pull me along, but beyond that I wasn't feeling...moreWell, I have to admit this one didn't make much of an impression on me. It had a fairly nice story to pull me along, but beyond that I wasn't feeling much.
Let's start with the plot, shall we? I do love a good Salem witch story. With that said, this was an interesting twist to the age old story. There were witches, but probably not in the way you were expecting. For that, I was grateful.
The stereotypes and plot elements you would expect in a YA novel about Salem were in full force. You had the evil, gorgeous cheerleader type causing havoc for the unnoticed nerd girl with a secret crush on the popular boy. Not a shocker there. Said nerd girl discovers there is something unique about her and she takes full advantage of it. Again, not earth shattering. Now, crazy possessed great aunt was a wrench in the plot.
Now, the characters were just so-so. I liked Abby well enough, but I think I liked Rem more. He was mysterious and aloof, which kept me very interested. I also liked the shop owner that Abby worked for. She seemed to have an inside scoop on things that were going on, but no ties to the Salem withces. I thought that was a little too easy at times, but I went with it.
So, it was ok. I enjoyed it, but it didn't make a lasting impression. Would a younger reader enjoy it? Probably. (less)
Oh man. I am so conflicted with this one. I don't know whether I loved it or hated it. So, this review will be a bit different.
First off, why I did...more Oh man. I am so conflicted with this one. I don't know whether I loved it or hated it. So, this review will be a bit different.
First off, why I did not like the book: the ending. Normally, I am a huge fan of plot twists and surprise endings, but this time it did not work for me. I was infuriated when I read the last sentence. Majorly pissed off. Seriously. I felt like I read this whole thing for nothing because the ending did not make sense. I was left with a looooong list of questions. I don't even think I could re-read this and find answers to those questions. It was just too much.
Now, that being said, let's talk about why I might actually love this book. I heard a rumor that it was the beginning of a series. IF that is true, then we are in for some kind of awesome. IF this is book one of a new series, then I am certain the next book would answer those lingering questions in my mind. (At least I hope.) Not to mention how awesome this series might end up being.
I went into Shadowlands thinking it would be a murder mystery. What I ended up with was something completely different! I can't even tell you without ruining the entire storyline. Let's just say there is a lot of suspense that will having you turning the pages until the bitter end. (less)
I am new to the genre of graphic novels. I'm really trying to break out of my reading shell. Anya's Ghost was my second graphic novel ever, and I have...moreI am new to the genre of graphic novels. I'm really trying to break out of my reading shell. Anya's Ghost was my second graphic novel ever, and I have mixed feelings.
First off, the drawings were awesome! The author/illustrator is so talented. The characters' faces had so much great detail and expression. The color graphics made it easy to get "sucked into" this story.
Now, the plot itself... eh. The ghost story aspect was pretty clever. I did enjoy that. I thought it was a fresh take on a tired genre. Was it ground breaking or mind shattering? No. Not even close. Would younger readers like it and find it creepy enough? Probably. There was also a pretty good message about accepting who you are hidden in the mystery.
What I didn't care for was how mature this character--Anya--was for a high school student. She was drinking and smoking often. Yes, I know teenagers do that. I was one of those teenagers some of the time, but I still don't think it has a place in books. I'm just funny like that. And there is something about it being illustrated in books that doesn't sit well with me. It's much harder to glance over something or forget something that you actually see. I think taking those things out of the book wouldn't have changed the story at all. They really weren't needed. In fact, they would keep me from recommending this book to a younger reader. No sense in unneccessary exposure. (less)
Believe me when I tell you this book is slap somebody good. Seriously. I loved every page. I usually find myself reading quickly through books, finish...moreBelieve me when I tell you this book is slap somebody good. Seriously. I loved every page. I usually find myself reading quickly through books, finishing them within a day or two. But I did not do that with Falling Kingdoms. I wanted to savor and digest every detail. This story is complicated.
I picked Falling Kingdoms as a book choice for May in my YA book club that I host. The cover was catchy and I thought the kids would like something that is boasted as "Game of Thrones for teens". One of my regulars beat me to reading it and couldn't stop singing its praises. So I figured I should read it during my vacation so we could discuss early. She'll be glad to know she was right.
I was worried that the alternating points of view would not seem fresh. I hate when the characters end up sounding the same and offer nothing new to the plot. There are 3 distinct characters (and a few extras thrown in the mix) with distinct voices. The tale they tell weaves itself nicely throughout the novel until everything falls into spectacular place in a very climatic ending.
If I had to pick a favorite character, it would be impossible. Each character is different and flawed in their own way. I can tell as this story continues in upcoming books that the plot will thicken and be delicious. Because if there was one lesson learned in Falling Kingdoms, it is that people are not always what they seem.
When you pick up Falling Kingdoms and begin your quest, be warned. There are not always happy endings and your heart will be ripped out of your chest at the most unexpected times. So far, there are no neat bows wrapping this box, and that's exactly what I like the most about the book! (less)
This was one part Frankenstein and one part Romeo and Juliet. I fully expected to be slightly creeped out by one or more characters in the book, but w...moreThis was one part Frankenstein and one part Romeo and Juliet. I fully expected to be slightly creeped out by one or more characters in the book, but what I didn't expect was such a hot and steamy romance.
There are many interesting characters in Broken. Emma is a great depiction of a broken heart. He desire to try to heal from the loss of her true love--but inability to do so-- is both believable and heartbreaking. I thought the author shared Emma's despair in an almost poetic way. The supporting characters are also pretty great. Josh is as vile as they come. At first you think he's just jealous, but then you realize there is a lot more driving that jealousy. Bree is hilarious. She's a typical flighty teenager, but the perfect counterpart to Emma's highly depressed character. We also can't forget that Emma and Alex are hot. Super, super hot. It is instant sparks (both literally and figuratively) the moment the meet. I should have been creeped out by the fact that Alex is a "made man" but it didn't bother me. He felt real, even if it was very clear that he was the modern Frankenstein. He was this mysterious, brooding shadow constantly watching over Emma, and he had me turning every page as quickly as I could.
If you couldn't already tell that this is a modern twist on an old classic, I'm going to reiterate that point now. This is Frankenstein.... sort of. The obvious key elements of the story are there, except concerning the monster himself. I would hardly consider Alex a monster. You'll see how that twist plays out in Broken. If you are familiar with the original horror tale, you'll enjoy seeing the new angle Broken brings. I also enjoyed the modern aspect of science lending a hand to the twisted Dr. Franks' (Frankenstein) creation. (less)
I picked Wither for my YA book club pick in September. Since I'm off on summer break, I thought I would get a head start on the reading before going b...moreI picked Wither for my YA book club pick in September. Since I'm off on summer break, I thought I would get a head start on the reading before going back to work in a few weeks. I have heard many positive things about this series, but I really had no idea what to expect.
As the story begins, we know that the world as we know it has changed. A massive nuclear war has left all continents except North America decimated. Genetic modifications in the 21st century have caused horrific consequences for future generations. Now, girls die at the age of 20 and boys at 25. There is no antidote. In a desperate attempt to preserve life, some "Gatherers" have started collecting girls of child bearing age to auction off to the highest bidder. The lucky ones get married off to a wealthy benefactor. The not-so-lucky ones meet a much darker fate.
Enter Rhine, Jenna, and Cecily. They are each plucked from their daily lives at different ages to be married off to the rich Linden Ashby. His father, Housemaster Vaughn, is an evil snake set on discovering an antidote at any costs. These characters were interesting, but lacking in some areas. For instance, Jenna disappointed me. She spoke of hating Linden and Housemaster Vaughn for what they have done (and continue to do), but yet she hops between the sheets with Linden at any chance she gets. In one scene, it's pretty obvious she doesn't mind it either. Cecily is annoying. She's all about growing up too quickly and being a big shot, but she comes across as a whiny brat. I really couldn't handle her role in everything. Worst of all though, was Linden. He is his father's puppet and goes along with his ridiculous role in life without questioning anything. He (very) willingly marries three girls soon after his first wife's death. He has no problems with fulfilling the role of husband with girls as young as 13. That's so disgusting, considering he's 20! I just couldn't get over that.
I really hoped Rhine would be better, but she was only so-so. I liked that she kept to her original plans, but... It seems she had feelings for both Gabriel and Linden, but she never did much to interact with Gabriel. She always doubted herself and her feelings. For this type of book, there really needed to be a stronger female lead. I felt like a third row passenger while reading this book. I was not actively involved in the story, but there was just enough to keep me from zoning out completely.
I was impressed, however, with the writing. This was a debut book from a young writer that has obvious talent. I am exited to see how her writing develops and improves as this story continues to grow.
Do I think this is one of the greatest dystopians I've ever read? Not really. But I am glad I picked it for the September book club because I think the younger girls will enjoy it. (less)
I selected this book for the YA book club with the high school students at my school. We focused on nonfiction a...moreThis topic is way too relevant today.
I selected this book for the YA book club with the high school students at my school. We focused on nonfiction and historical fiction for April, and I thought this would be a great topic/book to discuss.
As I started reading some of the stories (I admit I read the authors I was familiar with first), I realized how poignant these tales would be. Some seemed fictionalized, but certainly believable-- while others were painfully penned from life experiences.
I think it's so important for younger readers to realize they are not alone. Bullying is real, and it is a huge problem. Like one of the authors wrote, it does not end in high school either. I think we often forget that some people never stop bullying others. In fact, one story (by Carrie Ryan) mentions a teacher (!!!) picking on a younger Carrie Ryan's speech. I thought this was especially horrible! As a teacher, I cannot imagine insulting a kid in such a way about something they cannot control. It is like the ultimate evil.
I think Alyson Noel penned it perfectly when she described the bullying she encountered from her peers as a "systematic form of social terrorism that consisted of snide looks, passed notes, and whispered insults". Luckily though, she did not let her horrible experience stop her from ultimately using those experiences to write her novel Art Geeks and Prom Queens. Authors, like R.L. Stine, also used the feelings of terror they experienced from their bullies to recreate the feelings their characters (and readers) experience in their books.
The theme of this novel resonates throughout Dear Bully: Bullying is horrible and the victims are not alone. I never want readers to forget that, because it is too easy to feel outnumbered and small in the midst of such a horrible storm. A huge thank you is owed to the authors that shared their personal stories to help create this anthology. (less)
When I started this book, I was completely confused. Seriously. The new lingo and the cryptic nature of the story itself had me thrown for a loop. In...more
When I started this book, I was completely confused. Seriously. The new lingo and the cryptic nature of the story itself had me thrown for a loop. In fact, I really didn't care for the story much because of it. But, since I picked this book for December's Dystopian themed YA book club topic, I had to finish it.... and I am glad I did!
The book starts off a little slow in my opinion. Thomas is in The Glade but he has no idea what's going on. As the reader, you have to piece the puzzle together along with him. The author gives subtle clues here and there through slipped messages or fuzzy memories. But just like Thomas, you have to decide what to make of it.
The characters didn't make a lasting impression on me. There really wasn't anything mind blowing or special about them. Seriously. Ok, two of them had telepathic powers, but that didn't even impress me. It actually felt a little weird, but given how bizarre this book was as a whole, I decided to just go with it. I will note that the creatures lurking in the maze were terrifying. I have never read anything like that before! It makes the minotaur of the Labyrinth seem like a fuzzy puppy in comparison.
After I finished reading The Maze Runner, I discovered there was a prequel. Thank goodness! I highly recommend reading The Kill Order before you start this book. I had so many questions while I read The Maze Runner. Some were answered, but most were not. I think the prequel will help set the stage and explain why the maze was actually created. The ending of The Maze Runner tried to explain it, but it was too rushed. The best part of the book was crammed into 30 pages at the end.
Which brings me to this book's saving grace: the ending. WTH. Holy crap. I was expecting some twist ending, but not exactly what I got. I really wish I could share what happened, but it would give away too much. Know this though, the "flare" that is discussed came up at Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. And no, it wasn't because of this book. My dad was discussing "survival tactics" due to EPM or CMB attacks... and so "that" flare was also mentioned. I was a little unnerved to think that about the amount of destruction that could be caused by an act of nature. And of course I mentioned that "I have a book for that"-- interest piqued instantly.
I think boys might enjoy this book. It seems pretty geared toward them since the MC is a teenage male living with other teenage males in a maze. There is a good amount of gore and violence, so that also seems fitting. The other books in the series might be promising too. I am interested to see what happens, but I'm leery to read on. I hate sequels that feel stale, and that might happen with book two. I already know what the premise is, so not sure how the author can pull of any surprises. I don't know though, the titles do catch my attention, so I may try to squeeze them in at some point. (less)
I'm going to upset the cosmic balance when I say that I did not enjoy this book. Gasp! I know. This is proof that sometimes there are books that aren'...moreI'm going to upset the cosmic balance when I say that I did not enjoy this book. Gasp! I know. This is proof that sometimes there are books that aren't meant for everyone. This is my example.
I will start by saying that I thought the way the book was written was very unique. I didn't know the two authors shared the story-- and by that I mean, one wrote Lily's perspective and the other write Dash's. Considering that they weren't sitting together writing this out, it was nicely done.
I also thought the red notebook idea was a nice touch. It made for a great adventure of the literary sort. I enjoyed reading the clever clues and seeing where the story would go. I also appreciated that these characters were not perfect and living in a sugary snow globe. They had flaws.
So why did I not like this book? I don't know. I honestly can't give words to adequately capture my feelings. I couldn't connect with the characters because I have nothing in common with either of them. I'm not sugary sweet like Lily and I'm not completely "snarly" like Dash. I enjoy Christmas and believe in God. I think that may have been my biggest hurdle. I try to be open when I read, but when something is so 'in your face' from the start, it's hard.
For someone that can handle that, this would be a fun read. It's light hearted enough with just a touch of somber relationship drama. It is not, a holiday read, so don't be fooled by the back cover. I'm not even sure I would call it a romance. It's an interesting combination of many things. (less)
I know there are mixed reviews out there on this one, and honestly I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. On a small level, this is the story of two siste...moreI know there are mixed reviews out there on this one, and honestly I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. On a small level, this is the story of two sisters that suffer the devastating effects of becoming nouveau rich. On a much larger and deeper level, however, this is a story of sibling rivalry… and that story is dark and troubled.
Thea is the younger sister tired living in Alex’s shadow. She has developed this image of what her life should be like and it eats away at her. It consumes her, really. Thea’s story sucks you in from the beginning. She is so screwed up that you can’t help but continue to read because you want to find out where that train wreck is heading. And what a train wreck she is! Is she crazy? Yes, but that’s an understatement. Border line psychotic? Oh yeah. Pathological liar? Mmm, yep. An endangerment to herself and those around her? Right again! Like I said, complete train wreck.
While Thea’s highly disturbing story unfolds, the mystery surrounding Alex’s neurosis also unravels. You can tell that Alex was once this amazing person (that probably wasn’t too likeable), but her unfortunate “event” has left her scared and damaged. So is so damaged, in fact, that she is allowing herself to fade away—literally. She’s got a plate full of issues to handle too!
So yes, I thought the story behind these two sisters was very interesting. Compelling even. I was captivated for the most part. But the other characters did not hit the mark for me, and I think they took away from the book as a whole. For starters, Alex’s boyfriend was a douche bag. Barf. I understand the purpose he played, but geez. Then there was Xander… I really liked Xander, but the whole Alex-Xander “thing” was too rushed. It happened so quickly. In one paragraph the entire orbit of this book changed and I wasn’t fully buying it. Sorry. I’m happy with the ending. I think it worked, even if it left a lot of questions unanswered. I can certainly say there is no neat little bow ending to annoy you, and that is commendable.
Overall, I think what could have been a phenomenal story was rushed in places, which ultimately took away from the force of the story between the covers. It was still a good read for older YA readers, but not my favorite in this genre. (less)