Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins is a feel-good romantic novel. As expected, Perkins'...moreReview first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins is a feel-good romantic novel. As expected, Perkins's second novel is full of moments that make the reader wish s/he had such a romantic dilemma. Fun, incredibly witty, and more than just a love story, Lola and the Boy Next Door is a fun and quick read.
A couple of the unexpected twists in the novel are Lola's two gay dads. It was incredible seeing how seamlessly Perkins weaved such amazing characters into a novel that deals with accepting differences. Lola herself is extremely unconventional. But it doesn't simply stop at her appearance, but at her choices in love.
My issue with Max, Lola's boyfriend, is how disgusting he is as a character. He treats people like crap and is way too intense. Not just that, but the way he makes Lola into a weaker character by degrading her and letting herself question who she is.
Lola is spunky and incredibly creative. She's also overly stubborn. Though I loved her story and the way it concludes, the path getting to her happily ever after is full of easily avoidable moments. If you still love someone, and you think about him/her always--would you not choose him/her? But I guess for drama's sake, the story needs that extra inner conflict to keep the book going.
Perhaps my favorite character is Cricket. Sexy, unassuming, and intelligent, Cricket Bell is one of the most appealing boys I've encountered in my romantic Y/A adventures. Unlike other boys, who wear confidence like an over-powering cologne, Cricket is a stumbling, nervous wreck around Lola. Which is ridiculously cute and charming.
The pacing of the novel is awesome. I loved that Perkins does not conclude her story where most authors would, but instead satisfies our curiosity by continuing until the events beyond the book are obvious. The dialogue is sharp and witty, effectively demonstrating the characters' personality.
What irked me a bit was how easily the whole Max issue is resolved. I mean, okay, I knew he was a dick from the moment he stepped into the storyline. But still. I figured there would be more... oomph! We spend most of the novel with a confused Lola, pondering what she will do, understanding her hurt and Max's jealousy, so the fix to the situation is a very soft metaphorical and nearly harmless punch at a huge, menacing issue in the novel.
Even with its faults, Lola and the Boy Next Door is a great read for a rainy day, or just for lounging around the house. I recommend Perkin's novel to fans of her previous novel Anna and the French Kiss. Also, if you love romantic Y/A fiction and protagonists who speak their mind and have their own special quirks, then you just might end up loving this one.(less)
I feel like I should begin this review by stating that the reason why I read The Selection by K...moreThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I feel like I should begin this review by stating that the reason why I read The Selection by Kiera Cass was mainly because of the front cover. Of course, after reading the synopsis I just fell more in love with the idea of reading this Young Adult novel. I decided to read this novel despite some negative comments going around about the author's bad behavior towards a reviewer, because I care more about the book than the author's actions.
Cass's story has its own unique fun to it. I devoured this novel because it was a light, sometimes funny, and super romantic read. It did have some issues, but not enough to repel me.
"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."
1. How cheesy is it to give your protagonist the name "America" simply to make a point of her fighting spirit? I am a huge fan of using the protagonist's name to send a message to the reader, but being so obvious is kind of irksome.
2. While a lot of the characters in Cass's novel added mystery and fun to the storyline, America's mother was a bit on the undecided side. By this I mean that one moment she was all, "You are my daughter, so I will guilt trip you into a potential marriage that will make you miserable just so we have a better life", and the next she was "I understand your pain sweetie, but we love you and want you to be happy." I want to say she felt a bit bipolar, but I don't want to offend anyone.
3. Ugh, why must protagonists be portrayed as weak women pining for men who act like complete assholes? I acknowledge that it is unrealistic to make a character completely emotionless when she and the one she loves stop being together, but when a breakup happens because the guy is too chicken-shit (excuse my language) to fight for the girl he so obviously loves, I get annoyed that the protagonist yearns for him even more. Really. Oh and by the way, the whole scene (view spoiler)[ with her and him after she is in the castle is ridiculous. Girls reading books like these need strong protagonists to look up to, not women who immediately revert back to the I-love-you stage (hide spoiler)] in an already broken (and previously unhealthy) relationship.
1. I loved the storyline of America being taken to a palace to possibly meet her prince charming (pun intended). Though a bit slow at first, the story quickly gets interesting and I'm a sucker for romance. Which this has a lot of. Cass's novel was a bit predictable, but it didn't stop it from being a fun ride.
2. I was never a huge fan of The Bachelor, but even though this book is like a novelization of a season from the once popular show, it was neat seeing everything happen from the perspective of a contestant, rather than from the cliched viewpoint of the prince.
3. The ending was expected, I mean, the prince had like a gazillion girls left to pick from and under the pressing conditions (which I will not reveal) it is understandable what he had to do. I just wish Cass would have gone a little longer before concluding, but then that means that her ending was enough for me to want to read the next installment.
4. I liked the mystery that some of the characters in the novel offer, made me incredibly curious!
5. The cover was eye-candy. I have to add this to the list because it is what attracted me in the first place.
I eagerly await the next installment in the series!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Okay, I'm going to be brief about this one by simply numbering what I liked and what I didn't like.
What I didn't like: 1. The editing. Could have real...moreOkay, I'm going to be brief about this one by simply numbering what I liked and what I didn't like.
What I didn't like: 1. The editing. Could have really used it 2. The way the protagonist deals with her problems. Felt so immature, ugh, and it frustrated me
What I did like: 1. The romance (even though it was a bit controlling) 2. The intensity 3. The need to know what's going to happen next
When I first started reading I thought, hm, this is going wayyyy fast! But I see what the author was trying to do, and I get it. It's funny because after reading a post on another book about the controlling nature of boys in YA novels I couldn't stop thinking about said post while reading this relationship unfold. Now, I'm not trying to deter anyone, if you can manage to get over the horrible editing, you'll find a pretty cute story, even if it is riddled with the naive nature of the protagonist. I started reading this series because it made me think of the Perfect Chemistry series/ the Fuentes brothers by Simone Elkeles, but though it is hard to reach Elkeles's awesome writing, Reyes tries and if edited properly and if she can strengthen her characters, she might just reach that point where Elkeles stands.
I'm going to rate this a four, purely based on the fact that I was addicted and that I enjoyed the story... not because of the aesthetic value of the editing. (less)
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton is a heartbreaking novel that explores the power of love and one’s self. Stanton’s characters prove that sometimes you have to learn to be able to handle life your own way before relying on others. With that being said, this young adult novel is also a pretty clear case of insta-love connections, fantasies being realized, and incredible cruelty. The pacing made for a very fast read and the female protagonist’s hardships will shamelessly pull at the reader’s heartstrings. Basically, Stanton’s novel plays like a sad violin song that will have you tearing up.
Stanton’s novel is also the first in the Jamieson Collection, which is a series that follows three brothers who have become famous through their band. The novel is written from both Libby and Peters’ perspectives, which is both a good and bad thing. Good, because it allows us to witness what each character is thinking and experiencing, and bad, because it added to the drama of the story.
Stanton makes Libby’s character so beyond salvation that the reader may wonder how a writer can be so cruel to her own character. On the other hand, though, I have to give props to Stanton for offering Libby the ultimate salvation: Peter, the rock star. Think about: what are the chances that one of the saddest female characters in young adult fiction (for the sake of this review) meets the perfect and most selfless guys—who happens to fall in love with this raggedy girl in the span of ONE ENCOUNTER?
Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book because it was cute (romance-wise) and because the need to know what was going to happen to Libby next was too addicting, but I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t extremely unrealistic. I know the idea of girls attracting a rockstar’s attention is something that is explored a lot in romantic novels, but when it’s to the extreme seen in this novel, it becomes a bit too much.
Okay, I’m being mean.
This was a GOOD book, especially if you’re like me and shamelessly love romance in a story, but I just wish that Stanton had made things a little less dramatic and Libby a little less frustrating. She finally does grow a backbone somewhere in the book, but the reader is still taken through her weak phase—and when I say weak, I don’t mean a character trait, I mean the way she is written, meaning that she is hard to sympathize and connect with (to clear things up.)
I recommend this one to fans of insta-romance novels that feature damsels in distress and their heroic saviors who would do anything to help them out. If you like fast paced stories and drama, then this one is for you.
The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols is one of those young adult novels that can be read in o...moreThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols is one of those young adult novels that can be read in one sitting. It has its cute moments that make you go "aw" and moments that make you want to throw the book away. I've read The Boys Next Door by Echols, so I had a slight idea of what I was getting myself into. The premise looked cute and promising, but let me warn you, it isn't as it seems. I'll explain what I mean in my Negatives. Here's a synopsis that I think would better justify Echols's story:
(view spoiler)[Gemma has big plans for her next year in high school. She plans to try out for the majorette squad, she's on her way to losing the weight she's always wanted to lose, and she just wants to survive another couple of years so she can make her getaway. Then she meets Max and his friend, Carter. Just as she believes that Max, a very attractive Japanese-American, is flirting with her, Addison steps in. Addison is Gemma's "best-friend" who always seems to be abusing Gemma in some way, whether it is belittling her, or sabotaging her chances at love. Even though Addison and Max are dating, Gemma, who begins dating Carter, can't help but notice that Max flirts with her despite Addison and Carter. It's all a complicated mess. (hide spoiler)]
Okay, I know I sound like I disliked this book from my synopsis, but I actually didn't. I disliked a few things, but it was a fun and quick read.
1. The Characters. Not all of them, but some of them drove me up the wall. Especially the protagonist. I hate when protagonists have abusive friends who put them down with snide comments and deliberately embarrass them in front of others. What do I hate more? When these same protagonists don't stand up to their mean "friends" and instead call them "best-friend". I understand that this was a growing process for Gemma. I know that this whole Addison being a bitch thing worked out for the plot, but seriously, when an author has such an abused person as their protagonist then wouldn't it look like a weak person is running the show? Gemma had her best-friend, the guy she calls a good friend and had once loved until he stomped all over her emotions, and the rest of the school bullying her. And to top it all off, Echols "fixes" her protagonist by having her lose weight. I have never liked the message this sends to readers, and I never will.
2. I wanted to learn more about what happens with Gemma and her dad, but Echols (view spoiler)[ just has Gemma comment on her going to visit her dad. (hide spoiler)] It felt like this relationship was forgotten by Echols in the process of writing the book. It's almost like she was near the end and said, "Oh crap, her dad!" I wouldn't have minded meeting him and seeing how he was with the daughter he barely calls. If a character has such an intense anger towards a parent, shouldn't the author try to show both sides to the reader? Shouldn't the author resolve the issues between the parent(s) and the child?
3. I'm just going to say that this plot was transparent. I knew what would happen, but hey, it is a fun read, so didn't put too much pressure on this aspect of the novel.
4. The synopsis gives you the briefest of views into what's happening. The only hint that's given is the comment "her so-called best friend" when referring to Addison. It doesn't say how she met Max (and why she was in the vicinity in the first place, which is important). It doesn't say ANYTHING about her body-image issues, or anything generally close to what her life is like. All the synopsis says is that she meets a boy who asks her bff out, even though she liked him more than her, and oh-no's! what will she do?
1. With all the character issues written in the Negatives, I do want to mention how Gemma DOES stand up to her friend at the end and how she grows as a character later down the road. The Gemma in two-thirds of the book drove me insane, but the Gemma afterwards was strong.
2. Despite the annoying little misunderstanding (which, once you start reading the book you'll know what I mean), the story is cute!
3. The writing was straightforward and quickly paced. That's probably why I finished this one so quickly. It was well edited and had a good constant narrative voice. The novel is written in first person, past tense, which I loved.
4. I loved the fact that Max was Japanese-American. I mean, how fantastic is that? I've always thought of Japanese men as extremely attractive and to see one in a young adult novel was awesome! (I loved his family too!)
Basically, my biggest dislike with this novel was the protagonist and some of the other characters. How they treated her felt so melodramatic and I disliked that it took Gemma almost the whole book to stand up to them. But with that being said, I still liked the book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, light young adult read. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I've Got Your Number is the second Sophie Kinsella novel I've read this year and the hopeless r...moreThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I've Got Your Number is the second Sophie Kinsella novel I've read this year and the hopeless romantic in me is ridiculously happy about this fact. Kinsella's standalone novel showcases the author's talent in creating a Chick Literature novel that will not disappoint her fans. With quickly paced writing, wit, and the occasional moment where your heart stops, Kinsella manages to write yet another successful novel to add to her career. Of course, with all of this being said, I suggest you read my review of The Undomestic Goddess, also by Kinsella, to see my already mentioned complaints about her writing since I will not be rewriting it on this review.
Poppy Wyatt is getting married to the man of her dreams. It doesn't matter that his parents don't really think she's good enough for their son, or that she feels inadequate beside his intellectually inclined family. At least, it didn't matter. But something bad has happened. Poppy has lost her engagement ring and to add insult to injury, someone has just stolen, STOLEN, her cellphone, so can you blame her for thinking that she is royally screwed? But then, when she thinks all is lost, she finds a cellphone in the trash and immediately makes it her own... until a stranger begins messaging her claiming that the phone belongs to his company. Will Poppy ever find her ring? Will she ever be able to please her future-in-laws? Is her husband-to-be really who she thinks he is? And more importantly, who is this stranger messaging her?
1. Poppy's character is trying to make herself appear more professional and intelligent, so she adopts the use of footnotes from her future-in-laws. Throughout the whole novel. I know that Kinsella was just trying to keep a sense of consistency, I've seen this before in other novels that employ a similar tactic. For example, Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble series has designs of wedding dresses at the beginning of each chapter. Cabot's use of the drawings visually display her character's love of design and her knowledge of wedding dresses, and are very entertaining. Kinsella's use of footnotes did not entertain me, they were annoying. I know it offered an "insight" into Poppy's thoughts, but Kinsella could have simply added these thoughts directly into the narrative of the novel. Okay, I am a bit biased. I extremely dislike footnotes and I find them very distracting and disorienting. Since I had to keep looking at the footnote to see what Poppy thought, I kept getting more and more irritated since I just wanted to read the story.
2. The binding. I know this probably only happened to me, but as I read, the binding snapped! And I don't mean in a joyful "yay, she's reading me!" way. Even now as I skimmed the pages, the front cover hung lazily, unhinged from the book. Fun times.
3. Of course, the characters. Why must Kinsella's characters be so aloof? Why must they be so naive? Clearly, I am just talking about Poppy. Poppy's decisions lead to an ending that was not only anticipated, but was not as strong as I thought it could have been.
1. The concept of texting is used wonderfully throughout the novel. Kinsella manages to write a story that mimics how most of us communicate with friends and loved ones nowadays. I know a similar technique has been used before, but in Young Adult novels. Kinsella successfully opens up this style of writing for adults in a fun and sexy way.
2. I love Kinsella's writing. It's so fluid that I always end up getting swept away. Despite all the negative things I've mentioned, give me a Kinsella novel and I'm good to go. Her use of dialogue makes it feel like you are standing there in the story listening to the characters chat. Kinsella is clearly not afraid of making her words sound like they would if they were spoken with emotion in real life. For example, if a character is worried, instead of writing, "What will I do?" Kinsella writes, "What will I dooooo?" Effectively bringing out the personality of the character through the use of dialogue and having some fun with it too.
3. Kinsella always gives little hints as to what her characters (antagonists and protagonists) are up to. I know this may be seen as a negative, but her little hints always make me feel like a detective. One of the good things about this novel is that yes, it was a bit predictable, but not every aspect was predictable. I would have never guessed the things I learned at the end. It was a fun surprise!
I am so happy that I still have one more Sophie Kinsella novel to read in my library. I will never tire of her work and look forward to any future novels by her. I recommend this book to those who enjoy Chick Literature and find witty, English female protagonists entertaining... oh yeah, and if you're a hopeless romantic, you might want to check out this one as well as some of Kinsella's other novels.(less)
Lauren Henderson's Flirting in Italian, the first in the Flirting in Italian series, is neither a boo...moreReview first appeared on my blog: Bookaddict 24-7
Lauren Henderson's Flirting in Italian, the first in the Flirting in Italian series, is neither a book that promises an eye-opening storyline, nor is it a book that will leave you breathless with how philosophical the message of the story is. Henderson's novel is simply a fun romp of sexy Italian men in one of the world's most romantic cities.
I don't know what I was expecting when I jumped into this book, to be quite frank. My mind lingered on other novels that toyed with their settings by displaying different languages in the titles, but I was not expecting what Henderson offered me.
Violet, the protagonist, is an English teenager on the verge of going to university who finds a painting that portrays a girl who looks very much like herself from centuries before. She later learns that the painting was bought in Italy and, being from a wealthy family, she manages to score a spot in a summer course for young women in Italy. There, her adventures begin.
This was definitely one of those books that left me smiling at the end, simply because of how cutesy the characters are. But it also left me feeling frustrated because I feel like making this book the first in a series is unnecessary. I have a feeling that all of the answers could have been stuffed into the one book, but hey, why not?
Also, Violet is one of those naive characters that tries very hard to be strong, but fails. For me, Violet is still growing as a character--a young girl on the cusp of figuring out that life isn't simply black and white.
I loved the sexual attraction in this novel. It was cliche, I won't lie, but when it comes to romance I will not say "no" to the cliche. What did bug me though is how masochistic Violet appears to be. Her love interest shows no romantic emotions, hell, he at times ignores her or tells her that he isn't interested in anything serious, and though she tells herself she won't go after him, we see her flail whenever he is around.
As for the mystery, it is a strong introduction to the story. It guides us, as the readers, into Violet's new world, but then it is nearly lost. There are moments where I even forgot that there is a mystery because Henderson focuses so much on everything else around Violet. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I just wish that the story flowed better, rather than just have random instances of mystery here and there.
Would I recommend this to other readers? If you want a cute, light read that can make you giggle, then yes. This is one of those summer reads that can be read by the pool or when lazying around in the heat. If you're looking for something deeper, eye-opening, and without the slightly insulting comments on nationality and gender issues, then you might want to steer clear of this one.(less)
Rebecca Bloom's Eat, Drink, and Be Married is a sweet adult fiction nove...moreReview first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I received a copy for review
Rebecca Bloom's Eat, Drink, and Be Married is a sweet adult fiction novel that explores the relationships between four women. I'm a sucker for a good chick lit novel, simply because I like the drama and the path to redemption that women in these novels encounter. Though fairly well written, Bloom's story starts off shaky, but picks up shortly after the midway mark.
The characters are diverse and each have their own issues to overcome by the end of the novel. My greatest issue with Bloom's characters is their believability. Most of the characters have successful lives that feel unrealistic and over-the-top--An example would be celebrity status success and name-dropping to add a "wow" factor.
The first half of the novel is where Bloom emphasizes the success of her characters to the point where her story lacks credibility. But the novel quickly bounces back as the girls finally get together for Hannah's wedding, due to the story switching from a show-and-tell of who's done what, to four friends and their bond. This portion of the novel was, in my opinion, the better half of the novel. This is where readers can relate to the characters.
The beautiful aspect of Bloom's novel is how each woman surpasses a problem in their lives, whether it is a romantic, familial, or personal struggle. Eat, Drink, and Be Married is full of redemption and acceptance. The reader is shown how a past does not determine the future and how everyone deserves a second chance, no matter where s/he comes from and what his/her situation is. (less)
I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Alex Flinn's Towering is very obviously a retelling of Rapunzel with a twist--it wouldn't be a Flinn novel otherwise. Towering is an original adaptation of a tale that has become increasingly popular and it was refreshing seeing it brought to life in a new light. A fun and surprisingly quick read, Towering is a cute story to be read on a quiet afternoon. Though it is at times cheesy (as fairy tales often are), Flinn's new novel includes a surprise twist and an ending fit for a fairy tale.
The story begins with Rachel and Wyatt, the co-narrators. Wyatt hints that something dark happened in his past, while Rachel alludes to the fact that she is lonely. By having the two characters introduced this way, Flinn is setting up the obvious "Hero and maiden in distress" situation we are very familiar with in recent novels. And though she challenges this notion with Rachel being more than just a chick in need of rescue, we still see the co-dependency featured in fairy tales.
The pacing is very quick, almost to the point of lacking believability. While I loved that these two characters seem to save each other in their darkest times, I find it so awkward that it is an "insta-love" kind of romance. I mean, before Wyatt meets Rachel, he has other women on the brain. But then--BOOM! There is Rachel in all her blond, blue-eyed beauty. Oh, and she's very innocent, naive, and old-fashioned. I just find the whole situation a little forced. I mean, at least let the characters grow to like each other! Give them some time to fall in love, don't just shove it in my face.
Okay, putting that issue aside.
I liked the mystery aspect and the intertextuality, which was very intelligent and unexpected. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (coincidentally one of my favourite novels) is featured in Towering as a key to understanding what is happening to Wyatt. I love that Flinn adopts ideas from another classic novel portraying madness, and the ghostly spell of the past, to retell such an admittedly sad fairy tale. I think it's fitting and a fun little twist.
The mystery, though not completely surprising, is great. We are given clues and red herrings, and it allows you to be an active reader in the story, rather than just an observer. I like that Flinn doesn't truly start dropping hints until just after the middle of the novel, because then we can still go along with Wyatt's search for the truth.
I don't know how I feel about Rachel. It's like her old fashionedness rubs off on Wyatt. I get that she is locked away from society in some small town that barely even registers on the map, but come on. I'd expect for Wyatt's vernacular to rub off on her, not the other way around. Also, though she is told (various times) of the dangers in the real world, she easily falls for Wyatt.
Wouldn't she at least put up a fight?
I understand that she is lonely, and I more than understand Wyatt's quick taking to her, but I find these characters to be a little unreliable.
Okay, okay, I'm being mean and hard on these two poor lovebirds. I know. But I honestly did enjoy Towering. Once I got into it, it was a surprisingly quick read. I felt satisfied by the events that took place, and I knew I'd read another enjoyable Flinn novel. I just didn't think it was something that would change my life for forever. It was just a light and magical read.
I recommend Towering to lovers of fairy tale adaptations in young adult fiction, quick romance, adventure, and fun mysteries. If you like ghosts, there're a few of those too. Even if you don't end up liking the characters, you might like the storyline.
Though they're not perfect, you can always count on Alex Flinn for an entertaining read!(less)
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Snapshot by Angie Stanton is the second installment in The Jamieson Collection. This installment follows a new female character and the second brother in the famous rock band. Like the first novel, this installment is also very dramatic—but not to the extremes of the first novel. I found myself liking this installment more because the characters didn’t grate on my nerves as much. The pacing is quick and the story flows well, showing us the dual perspectives of young love.
Marti, the female protagonist, is the child of a drug addict and a rocker. I like her because she is a fighter from the get-go, always stating her opinion and following through with her need to want something better out of her life. She is also one of the reasons why I like this installment of the series more. Unlike the female protagonist in Rock and a Hard Place, she is a tough girl who deals with less dramatic and more realistic issues.
The second brother who is given a voice in this novel is Adam, the youngest. He is a strong character right from the beginning, since he is trying to find himself in a world that sees him as just one thing: a rockstar. I like him more than his older brother from the previous book because he doesn’t suffer so much from the “hero” syndrome, but he does still experience extreme moments of being the savior of the day.
One of the things I have to give Stanton credit for is her ability to make her readers weep at the horribleness of her female characters’ lives. She knows how to pull at the heartstrings of her readers and make them fall in love with the male protagonists because of their ability to save the girls.
Snapshot is your typical young adult contemporary novel that is a very quick read and can be enjoyed in the span of just a few sittings. The characters are fun (the friends) and the romance is a bit of the love at first sight type of thing, but it’s still sweet. With that being said, the romance does build a little too quickly and one of the major issues the couple encounters is resolved much too soon.
I did appreciate the idea of redemption found in this one. Stanton shows that even the most unlikeable characters can have a moment of salvation. Also, I liked that Marti wasn’t a whiny teenage girl, despite her circumstances.
If you’re looking for a quick contemporary romantic read, this is a book for you. Snapshot is especially great for summer reading and for a rainy weekend. I may not find this series to be perfect, but I know I will definitely be reading the future books in the series, simply because they’re so entertaining.(less)
I received a copy via Xpresso Book Tours for a book tour in exchange for an honest review!
Amber Lin’s How to Say Goodbye is a strange, but adorable book that follows the less than perfect lives of two exceptional teens. While one lives surrounded by people who have shown her only coldness, the other escaped a world that proved to be too dark for him to handle. Quickly paced and full of difficult romantic moments, Lin’s novel was an interesting and quick read.
Amy, the female protagonist, is a girl who is so awkward, even the narrative feels choppy when we’re introduced to her. When the reader first meets shy, quiet Amy, s/he is immediately sucked into her awkward and lonely world. It was interesting watching the narrative mimic her character growth, as if it too grew with her. Perhaps one of my favourite characteristics that Amy possesses is her ability to grow and accept that the life she’s been living is hardly a life at all.
Dane, the male protagonist, is a much more complex character than Amy. It’s not just because of how heavy his past is, but because of how easily he can push Amy away. I understand that he is a flighty character, always set to escape from anything that threatens his rocky life, but it doesn’t excuse his actions. Yes he is hurt, yes he is damaged, and perhaps his reactions to Amy during intimate moments is a reflection of all that was done to him, but I would have liked to see a bit more character growth in that aspect.
While I did, for the most part, enjoy this novel, there were a few issues that bugged me. I’m not going to delve into the third person narrative because it helped make the story a bit awkward (a near-perfect reflection of the characters themselves), whether the author intended to or not. I’ve already mentioned Dane’s actions towards Amy, but what really irked me was how Amy reacted to Dane’s outbursts. I understand her character is all about acceptance and letting things go in order to help the person she loves, but come on, if a guy talks to me the way Dane does to her, I would slap him. Maybe kick him, too. It’s her passivity that makes Amy weak and though she slowly grows out of it as the story progresses, it’s still a sore spot with me.
Another thing: what is it with these love at first sight stories? What ever happened to letting a love slowly progress, especially for two characters so unwilling to trust each other? Yes, there are MANY moments where they are unsure of each others’ motives, but please, you can’t just take a socially inept character and hook her up with a guy that has a list of issues a mile long.
Despite all of these negatives, I DID enjoy this book. It was a surprisingly quick read with a pretty great pacing. It had beautiful metaphors and similes thrown throughout the text, and the character growth (mainly on Amy’s side) was impressive.
If you like New Adult romantic literature, then you might like Lin’s novel. If you like third person, then you’re in for a treat. Likewise, if you like having a narrative that mimics a character’s weakest characteristic (and improves as the character grows), then you might really enjoy this one. (less)