Loved exploring the beginning to this series again, especially from Rush's perspective! I was, however, a little creeped out by the way he referred toLoved exploring the beginning to this series again, especially from Rush's perspective! I was, however, a little creeped out by the way he referred to women as females--as if they were animals. Other than that, this was a fun and quick read! (I could probably re-read this series countless of times!)...more
There is a certain kind of book that always stays with you, whether you've finished the novel, or are just taking a forced break from reading. Sam CruThere is a certain kind of book that always stays with you, whether you've finished the novel, or are just taking a forced break from reading. Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls by Tellulah Darling is one those books. Not only was this extremely risqué for the young adult age group, it was also something that challenged the norm of what we expect from guys and girls in this particular age group.
I loved Sam because he's this player who has a soft spot for the local abandoned kitty, and I loved Ally because she truly goes through great character growth. Both characters are imperfect and without even knowing it, they both end up helping each other. The reason why I think Sam goes beyond being your typical male character is because he isn't hit by instalove or insta-attraction. Sam is a seemingly flawless guy, but even from the get-go we see how scared he is of commitment. At the end of the day, Sam isn't anywhere near as perfect as he thinks he is and though I wanted to smack him for being so dumb, I also understood the struggle he was going through.
Ally grew a lot as a character. She went from being this totally dependent and frumpy girl, to a babe who found her voice. I like that she grew some cojones and stood by her choices. Unlike other female characters in some YA contemporary novels, she doesn't whine about the situations she's brought into, but instead finds a way to better herself.
But it's not just the two main characters (who share the narrative voice of the novel) that made Darling's novel a must-read. The secondary characters were very entertaining. Their little quips and side comments about certain situations make this novel so much better. With that being said, the dialogue of the whole novel was brilliant. Fast paced, sharp, and intelligent, the conversations between the characters really drew me in (and I'm a huge sucker for great dialogue!) The jokes were on point and the POP Culture and literary references blended with the comedy. For example: "One penis to rule them all, one penis to find them, one penis to bring them all and in the darkness bind them" (Darling, 22).
Oh yeah, I should probably mention the fact that a) This is for older YA readers and b) I couldn't stop laughing. Seriously, this is one of my favourite books of the year. I don't even know why it took me so long to read this!
I recommend this one to fans of The Duff by Kody Keplinger. If you've read that book, then you know that Darling's novel is pretty open about sex and having strong sexual relationships. Details aren't really given (because hey, teenagers), but it's still a theme--so, if you're a younger teen, be prepared. There's also cussing, which is normal for older teenagers.
I stress again: This was a fantastic book and I think anyone looking for a humorous, romantic, contemporary YA read will enjoy this!
I received a free copy of The Accidental Siren for review purposes.
The Accidental Siren by Jake Vander Ark is a young adult debut set in Lake Michigan that follows twelve year-old James during the summer of 1994. This particular summer is unforgettable for young James since it is the year he experiences his first love. Beautiful and surreal, twelve year-old Mara is the object of every boy’s dream, yet her attraction goes beyond reality and touches on the supernatural.
Vander Ark successfully recreates 1994 for the reader by using references to popular artists, films, and trends of the time. He openly warns the reader of the prejudices that were still active in the early nineties; racial discrimination being an important subject in this novel. The Accidental Siren also explores the difficulties of growing up. James, a prepubescent boy when we meet him, struggles with his weight, hormones, and changing body as the summer progresses.
James, as a protagonist, is unreliable. As the frightening conclusion approaches, he does nothing to show us that he is affected by what he’s learned about Mara. At times, as is pointed out within the story, the reader is left wondering if James is in fact relaying the truth, or if everything we’ve learned from him is all an illusion caused by obsession.
There are moments where Vander Ark’s characters appear unrealistic. However, an older version of James reflects on particular events in certain chapters, reminding the reader that this is an adult’s retelling of a childhood memory.
Written in beautiful prose, Vander Ark’s tale warns of the perils of obsession. The setting is described using flawless metaphors that paint James's world in the reader's mind. The plot becomes more haunting with every chapter, effectively dragging the reader deeper into the story with every twist and turn.
Jake Vander Ark's debut is a wonderful book to read not just because of how original it is, but because the writing in itself is something magical that the reader can't detach him/herself away from....more
I received a free copy of Tempered by Fire from author H.E. Birss so I could review her debut nThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I received a free copy of Tempered by Fire from author H.E. Birss so I could review her debut novel. I was a bit nervous as the day that I would receive the novel neared because I didn't know what to expect. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.
Birss introduces us to a magical, and rather dangerous, world full of multi-dimensional characters who mimic real teenagers, rather than just making them in the likeness of perfection (as so many Young Adult authors tend to do in order to make their readers love the male/female protagonist). While some of the characters are very attractive, the personalities are all diverse and entertaining (especially the protagonist's cynism).
"Like most girls her age, all Hailey Catherwood wanted to do was get out of high school alive. However, thanks to an interloping fairy, that might not even be an option anymore… Unlike most girls her age, Hailey has the Sight - the ability to see into the fairie realm. When a hot-headed Fire Sprite shows up and tricks her into one months servitude, her life is suddenly overrun with blue-skinned kelpies, sabre-toothed monsters, and monocle-wearing squirrels. An evil fairy queen further complicates matters, pushing Hailey into a magical mess as she is forced into a quest that she’ll, regrettably enough, never be able to forget."
While I loved the story, there was just one issue that I found in this novel, which I admit I was warned about, but I am always honest in my reviews.
1. The editing. I know that Birss wrote and published her novel rather quickly, but I am a bit of a stickler for editing. Whereas all of you who read her novel in the future will probably skim over such occurrences in the story, I make note of this so that future readers who do determine their experience on issues like editing can go in and try not to focus on the errors, but on the magical story. I would hope, however, that this becomes less of an issue in the next two installments in the series, since I think that this story has a lot of potential for being a hit with young readers.
1. Very fast paced!
2. I liked that Hailey, the protagonist, thought for herself. She didn't let the guy decide what she was doing. It's rare to see female characters rely so little on male characters, so this was refreshing. Also, her attitude was reminiscent of Kody Keplinger's protagonist in The Duff, which kicked ass.
3. The budding romance wasn't your typical, "Oh, you're hot, I want you, I need you," a la Twilight, but it was stormy and resistent. Even though (view spoiler)[ the characters slowly fall for each other, they don't relinquish the way they are, which is a fresh way to look at relationships in young adult novels. (hide spoiler)]
4. The descriptions of the creatures in the magical world that Birss has created are wicked. To give you a hint: There are flying noses AND a hot blue guy.
5. The adventure. I can't be the only one who wishes that my sometimes dull, monotonous life could be turned into a whirlwind of fun, danger, and romance. That's exactly what Birss offers in her novel, and honestly, isn't reading a type of escape? Why not escape into a magical world like the one created in this novel?
This was definitely an entertaining read, even with its flaws. I've seen debut novels before with the same editing errors that made me stop reading them. Why did I abandon those and not this one? Easy. This one had a compelling plot-line that was not hindered by the editing. This is the type of rare debut novel that is fantastic as it is, but could be phenomenal as the series grows. I'm excited to read the sequel and I hope for the best of luck to the new writer in our midst!["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"]>...more
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks is the second novel I read by him. I don't know what it is, I don'tReview first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks is the second novel I read by him. I don't know what it is, I don't know how he does it, but he is a genius when it comes to grabbing a reader's heart and not letting go until the conclusion. Mind you, I kind of cheated because I watched the movie first, but trust me when I say that it is well-worth the read.
I finished this book while out grocery shopping and I remember putting it back in my bag, finished, and with a tiny piece of my heart. The romance is so tender and the prose so precise, that I felt deflated somehow knowing that I wouldn't be reading the story of Logan Thibault and Elizabeth Green anymore.
As for the story itself, it develops just as slowly and sensually as the budding romance between the two characters. Yet, Spark creates an antagonist that completely counters the romance of the novel with his chauvinistic and sexist notions of his ex-wife and child. In a way, Keith Clayton, the antagonist, makes the story whole, shattering the illusion of a perfectly, happily-ever after romance. I noted that his character also grows the most in Sparks's novel. His anger increases, his actions became more stealthy, and his hate is so severe that I felt his evil intent through Spark's use of choice words--that's one hell of a skill.
Yes, the story develops slowly at first, but then it quickly commences as all of the characters become more and more intertwined. I usually don't read adult novels that feature romance as their main genre, but the beauty of Sparks's novels is that he manages to merge romance with suspense, and every other little touch that would make a reader addicted to a storyline. But, I devoured this book simply because it was good old-fashioned storytelling. Beautiful words, realistic characters who were nowhere near perfect, and the sense that something life-altering was about to occur at the end of every chapter happily satiated my hunger for a well-written story.
I recommend The Lucky One to those who are looking for a romantic, but not sappy read. If you've read Nicholas Sparks before, but have bypassed this one--don't. You should read it. Maybe you'll be like me and it will have you laughing and smiling simply because two characters fall in love....more
Miranda Kenneally does something I love with her second novel, Stealing Parker. She makes it a compaReview first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Miranda Kenneally does something I love with her second novel, Stealing Parker. She makes it a companion to her debut novel, Catching Jordan, adds in little snippets about Jordan, but lets the novel sit on its own. Fun, light (despite the creepy aspect, though the coach is my age...awkward?), and extremely addicting, Stealing Parker is a homerun of a novel... give, or take a few minor issues.
Parker is a bad girl. But she's only that way after her mom's scandal rips her family apart.
What I liked was how Kenneally hints at why Parker is the way she is at the beginning of the novel, adding in little standalone lines that should make the reader think. That's one of the great things about this novel: Kenneally doesn't just tell the reader what's up, she nurtures the secrets, lets them slowly tease the reader, then offers one last clue so the reader can put everything together. That takes trust in the reader. A LOT of trust, and I respect her for it.
Parker was a reliable narrator. She was a careless and slightly boy-crazy girl that changed at the appropriate time. The pacing was good, so her character growth was believable and the reader can trust her to make the right decisions. Or at least, the right decisions for her.
The romance? The book is, let's see, twenty percent about friendship and the same for family, the rest is about romance. Though I loved the romance, I wish I could have learned a little more about Parker's family, or at least, I wanted to know what happened afterwards. But hey, it is Parker's story.
Religion plays a huge role in this novel and it kind of caught me off-guard. In all honesty, I'm not the biggest fan of books depicting religion as the way a person chooses to live his/her life because it feels like it is being pushed on the reader. I believe in God, don't get me wrong, but no matter what religion it is, I find it disconcerting when a novel tells me what a good Catholic or Christian girl is. (A novel that drove me crazy with this was All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin)
But the novel was so much fun, that I didn't let it annoy me. If you love romance, sports, and fun quick reads, then you might want to check this one out!...more
This review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7 Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral is a young adult novel that tells a story throThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7 Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral is a young adult novel that tells a story through a scrapbook full of photographs, chat logs, and notes. The moment I saw this book I knew it was something special. The cover alone shows the emotion that the two characters share before things turn sour.
“After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As readers flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, they see a girl on the precipice of disaster.”
I found it easy to get lost within these pages and watch Glory's descent into madness.
Since it's my first time really reviewing books like this one, I'm going to jump straight into the positives and negatives.
1. The ending made me a bit confused. I know that the synopsis on the back of the book says that the ending should hint at Glory's madness and that it should question whether everything that has happened actually happened, but honestly, I only grasped a bit of what was intended. I had to think about it after I read the book and even now, as I write this review, I'm still pondering the ending. But if a novel affects me like this, would this truly be a negative aspect?
2. Why does Glory disappear? This is one thing that bothered me at the end because I don't think it was fully explained.
1. I am so used to prose that this was a new and slightly scary experience (at least when I first began reading it). Unlike other novels that use the concept of pictures within a storyline, Chopsticks relies on pictures, drawings, and other media techniques to tell a story. I thought this was sucessful and I loved the way they easily told a story without prose.
2. Though the ending was slightly unclear, the story was easy to follow.
3. The romance was sweet and it hinted at what was happening to Glory's mind. I loved watching everything come together until the end.
4. The hints and suggestions of lunacy were interesting to decipher. I think this is the type of book that needs to be looked over more than once to truly see the beauty of it.
5. I'm happy to say that the quality of the media presented was excellent. Nothing was grainy or low quality printing.
I'm excited to see what else Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral will produce in the future!...more
I've Got Your Number is the second Sophie Kinsella novel I've read this year and the hopeless rThis 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....more
The Immortal Rules, the first installment in the Blood of Eden series, by Julie Kagawa took meThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
The Immortal Rules, the first installment in the Blood of Eden series, by Julie Kagawa took me by surprise from the beginning to the very end. I am fairly new to Kagawa's writing style and I was very pleased at the story that she created in her tome of a novel.
Kagawa manages to take the used and (sometimes) abused vampire genre and makes it her own with a quick-witted protagonist who is, for once, the vampire instead of the damsel in distress. Fast-paced and unputdownable, The Immortal Rules is a sign that there is still hope for what once made Bram Stoker so great: an unforgettable vampire story.
Despite the albeit cheesy cover, Kagawa's story is an intriguing look into the mind of a vampire that is in some parts cynical and all parts tough.
1. The only real issue I have with this one is the predictability. Then again, it is getting increasingly hard to create unpredictable pieces of literature when so much has already been done. I just wish that the protagonist's actions weren't so transparent, though I won't lie, I was still hooked.
1. The writing style, in my opinion, is superb. I am a fan of writers who choose brisk sentences, as opposed to artsy, over-dramatic sentences that explain everything in detail. Kagawa has the ability to reel her reader into the story using words to her advantage--therefore employing the tactic of saying less to show more.
2. The adventure never ebbs. When a part of the story starts to come to a conclusion, another adventure immediately takes over, pulling the reader through yet another trip through the forest in Kagawa's novel, or into dangerous territory. Each adventure is fresh and exhilarating. Best of all, not only is the action non-stop, but the story is neither messy nor choppy, it instead flows to one heart-stopping finale.
3. The pacing is quick, clean, and epic. See number 2.
4. Okay, I won't lie, Kagawa creeped me out. Especially near the beginning.
5. The characters are well developed, even the ones that don't make it through to the end. Allison, the protagonist, is a realistic blend of strong and weak, so that her humanity still shows through her obvious undead status. Not only did Kagawa manage to make a realistic protagonist, she gave Allison depth and made her relatable (except for the whole undead thing.)
6. Whereas in other books a reader is left waiting for the action to begin, in Kagawa's novel we are immediately brought into the heart of the conflict. There are monsters, there's hardly any food, people starve and die--that's life for Allison. There's no sugar coating, there's no pretending that her life is any different for the benefit of the reader. We are brought in and boom, we learn the gritty truth about life in The Immortal Rules, and all with a single, powerful scene.
I highly enjoyed Kagawa's novel. It was fun, exciting, and I don't know how I ever felt wary of reading it. The size is disconcerting, I'll be honest, but it is well worth it. ...more
I feel like I should begin this review by stating that the reason why I read The Selection by KThis 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"]>...more
I have a separate list for books that I am weary of reading, usually because of the great revieThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
I have a separate list for books that I am weary of reading, usually because of the great reviews and hype about them. Anyone else would say: "Hey, if they're popular and have great reviews, why wouldn't you want to check the book out?" But in past experiences I've gone into books solely based on the recommendations and five-star ratings on book sites, and more often than not, I was left sorely disappointed.
Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky, thankfully, did not fall into the disappointment pile. This book was really, really good. Perhaps one of the top ten for me this year. Though the synopses of her book made me pause and contemplate if this was a book to read or pass, I'm glad I jumped the gun and read it anyway.
Let me just say that there are about four different covers for this novel, the one I've posted on this review (on my blog) is my favourite one because it shows BOTH of the characters, rather than just the female protagonist (since both her and the male protagonist have a say in the story). Rossi is a stunning writer and, cliches aside, I can see her making splashes in the YA literary world.
"WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers."
I only have one negative point about this novel:
I can't fathom how such a great book can have such a cliched and annoying ending. I've seen awesome novels greatly affected (negatively) by bad endings. I know Rossi is just building up tension for the sequel and such, but I personally think she could have taken a different route.
Also, this is such a copout for the next installment. It gives me the impression that the authors who do this (Kimberly Derting did something similar with her latest Body Finder novel, ugh) have no other way of attracting the reader's attention for the next novel because they may be running out of ideas.
Rossi's use of (view spoiler)[ending the novel with another character (usually in power) threatening one (or more) protagonist to create tension in the second book had the opposite effect on me. Her choice to have her character be manipulated by the antagonist made me wary of the next installment in the series. (hide spoiler)] I've seen it done before and it isn't always a success.
The positives, of course, are much greater in number.
1. I loved the world that Rossi creates in her debut novel. It's elaborate and creative.
2. Rossi's writing is fluid and beautiful, allowing the reader to effectively see into her imagination.
3. The character development was superb. At the beginning, Aria describes Perry as only a secluded person can describe someone new to her. Her fear and distate is so clearly stated that I felt bad for Perry, but he doesn't describe her any better. What I liked though is how slowly the two begin to see each other differently, until the point that they realize they're both just humans, whether one has special powers or not. This is powerful to me because it shows great character development and it teaches the reader an important lesson: we are all human, despite where we are raised or how we are taught. Though Aria's character at the beginning frustrates me, but her actions were plausible because of how she was raised.
4. Though it is nearly impossible to write a completely unpredictable novel, Rossi kept me at the edge of my proverbial seat. She didn't stop all the way through the novel... until the ending, but for that you'll have to reread my negative point about this novel.
Will I read the sequel to this, even though I obviously loved Under the Never Sky? I'm not sure. Again, the ending has me cringing with uncertainty as to where Rossi is going to take this monster of a cliche ending. Will I read any future works by Rossi outside of this series? Most definitely. ["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The Anti-Prom is the first novel by Abby McDonald that I've read and I will admit that it was sThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
The Anti-Prom is the first novel by Abby McDonald that I've read and I will admit that it was surprisingly fun! I was expecting a light read surrounding the adventures of three girls boycotting the prom. Instead, what I got was a novel that touched on subjects that some teenagers experience nowadays in high school. McDonald's novel also acts as a reminder that we shouldn't be so quick to judge others, and sometimes we should give more credit to people we only have assumptions about.
"Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.
They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night."
1. Meg's character was the loner of the group and her boringness seeped into her narrative. The novel is separated into three different narratives for each character and Meg's was the least entertaining one. I know that this was probably McDonald's intention, but it didn't stop it from being boring and drawn out.
2. I wasn't a fan of the ending. McDonald's novel follows how these three girls change and grow their relationships with each other, so why does she feel the need to end the story on a romantic note? I thought that was a cop-out then, and now, while writing this review, I still think it's a cop-out.
3. Bliss's character is selfish, prissy, and superficial. Sure, she changes during the adventures with the other two girls and when challenging her so called "friends", but I feel that she changes the least of the three girls and I found it a loss that she didn't change more.
1. Though Meg was boring, all three girls had different personalities. I think it's awesome that McDonald writes the narratives in such a way,since the reader can clearly see how the different characters think.
2. I have always loved one-night adventures where characters learn more about themselves and come out with a greater understanding of what their lives could be like. The idea of three girls who are relatively strangers driving around town may not be original, but it does make for a fun read.
3. The novel touched on some pretty serious stuff:
a) College and what to do with your life. b) Parental abandonment c) Unhealthy relationships d) Bullying
McDonald wins points with me for not only discussing these issues within her novel, but for exploring them and using them as building blocks for her story, rather than just glancing over them.
For some, this book may just be a quick, fun read. For others, this book acts as a sign that high school issues aren't just kept within the walls of any school in particular, but that influential authors are touching on important things like bullying. Authors like McDonald who write novels that explore issues plaguing one's teenage years, but help their characters grow from their experiences will always have me as a fan.
McDonald writes fluidly and though this novel isn't about girls who hate the prom, it does show a heartfelt story of three girls who help fix and find each other....more
Possess by Gretchen McNeil is a creepy story of a girl with psychic abilities that help her ridThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Possess by Gretchen McNeil is a creepy story of a girl with psychic abilities that help her rid people of demonic possessions. At first I was a bit skeptic of this novel, especially since it dealt with demons, exorcisms, and religion (I laughed when I watched the exorcist, so please try to understand my skepticism). But I was pleasantly surprised.
"Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity. Rule #3: Do not engage. Rule #4: Do not let your guard down. Rule #5: They lie.
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king."
McNeil's novel was a quick paced, fun read, though of course it had only a few flaws.
1. The protagonist, Bridget, was a bit stubborn and annoying. Characters would tell her that she needed to do something but she would protest instead of acting. Even near the end when she needs to pay attention, she still stubbornly fights against the facts. This annoyed me because of how naive and ignorant she was acting. This occurred several times.
2. Okay, sorry for this spoiler, but it's a pretty obvious thing: Bridget's mother and her love interest's father are in love. I'm not really disturbed with this, but others might not be so accepting of the fact that Bridget's soon-to-be boyfriend's father will be her step-father if her mother decides to marry him.
3. Though it isn't so obvious that it disrupts the story, there are some editing mishaps. Every once in a while I ran into awkward sentences that made me re-read the sentence twice to understand what was intended.
4. A bit predictable, but still a fun read.
1. The eerie tone was awesome. It was consistent and expertly done.
2. Ignoring the protagonist's annoying behavior, the other characters were intriguing.
3. The world created by McNeil is interesting because of how effectively she uses diction to create fear and intrigue for the reader.
4. McNeil's story is creepy as hell, which is incredibly hard to do effectively in a novel. But she uses a simple thing like an animal haunting a home and makes it a scary experience for the reader.
5. This isn't the first book in a series! Do you know how refreshing that is?
This was definitely one of those novels that was a surprise. If you want to get spooked, while enjoying an interesting story, then you should check this one out. I will definitely be looking forward to McNeil's work in the future....more
Reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was like reading a present version oThis review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was like reading a present version of a J.D. Salinger or Jack Kerouac novel. Sure, this may sound cliche, but it is quite obvious just who must have inspired Chbosky as a writer.
Chbosky's debut and sole novel has a rare quality to it. The novel is real, honest, and has a keen insight into life as a teenager that reflects not just on the early nineties, but on any time frame later on (or perhaps earlier). Written in epistolary form, Wallflower follows Charlie as he navigates life as a teenager and dealing with death, love, sex, drugs, alcohol, and abuse.
This novel is memorable and can easily become a reader's favourite read.
What I loved the most about this book is how unassuming it is. It tells the reader the barest of details, but offers so much more.
1. I really wish I could say there are no negatives, but I have to follow my rule of always finding something off-putting about a novel. One of the problems I have with Chbosky is how slow and sometimes tedious his novel feels.
2. Charlie is such an interesting boy who is privy to nearly everything, hence his given name "The Wallflower", so I was left frustrated at times when I wasn't told more about a topic or what is going on around Charlie. I guess this is one of the pitfalls of reading an epistolary novel (and why I'm not the greatest fan). We, as readers, are limited to what the writer of the letter/journal entry sees, hears, or experiences, rather than reading about every minute detail or beyond the narrator's point of view.
1. Chbosky manages to capture the troubles of young adulthood so honestly that it goes beyond mortification (about sex, drugs, and other taboo subjects), and delves into the truth of high-school and what it is to be a teenager.
2. Charlie reads a lot of books that reflect on what he experiences throughout the novel. Chbosky manages to tell us so much about his character via the books he likes to read, that I was in awe of his ingenuity.
3. Three words: Funny, Sad, Real. For me, as I devoured page after page, these three words defined my initial reactions to Charlie's life every time he encountered something new. I think it's a gift to be able to create something so powerful, yet elicit such a response from readers.
4. I can honestly say that this book was not predictable for me. Unlike some people I talked to, the ending was pretty clear to me, but only when I reached it. For some, you may have to read it again to catch the gist of what is going on and why Charlie is the way he is. The ending is powerful and breathtaking, despite the horrible realization that the characters experience.
5. I can't state enough how much I love Chbosky for exploring such a touchy subject. He weaves a web that ensnares his readers and plays with them by keeping those around charlie at a slight distance, so that it is mainly just the reader and Charlie, (because honestly, who else can the reader trust in this novel but Charlie?), until the pivotal end. Chbosky shows the aftereffects of a serious moment in Charlie's life that changes him forever, without actually stating it or alluding to it until the very end.
6. When Charlie realizes how infinite simple moments can be, I found myself relating and figuring out how my own life had similar moments. I liked that Chbosky made me reflect on my own life as I read Charlie's tale.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is definitely one of those books I will keep on my bookshelf and re-read when I want to be enlightened. Chbosky is a wonderful storyteller, it's really too bad he's only written one book....more
Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors and I was surprised when I realized how many books she’d wriFirst appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Sophie Kinsella is one of my favourite authors and I was surprised when I realized how many books she’d written since I’d last read Remember Me?. Thankfully, I came to my senses and now own almost all of her standalone novels (not a huge fan of the Shopaholic series). One of the reasons why I love Kinsella’s writing so much is because of her fluent use of humour and romance in stories that show female protagonists learning life lessons. But mostly, and I won’t delude myself to say that this isn’t a huge part of why I love her writing, I love the romance. Kinsella’s novels ARE Chick Lit, no matter what other fancy genre titles may be put on her stories. These are empowering stories that encourage female readers to not settle for the expected, or to not settle for less than what they deserve.
The Undomestic Goddess did not disappoint in serving as a warning to all you workaholics out there. There is a life outside of the office, life is good and relaxing living in a middle-of-nowhere town where no one knows who you are or that you barely sleep, and that there might be an extremely well-built, sexy worker waiting for you. This is what awaits you in Kinsella’s novel. So, you workaholics, ever thought what type of life you’d be living if you weren’t attached to your phone or constantly checking your emails? Then, give this one a look if you feel the need for inspiration.
Samantha Sweeting is a workaholic lawyer living in London who always gets home late, rarely has dinner with her family (unless it is a quick dinner, full of beeping cellphones and business oriented conversations), and has just made a big, big mistake. In a state of shock, she leaves her office before the crisis fully erupts and jumps on a train. To where? She doesn’t know. In fact, she’s still going over her BIG MISTAKE. When she does get off the train, she’s suddenly in a new predicament when she gets mistaken for a housekeeper interviewing for a job at a big house, when she just needed directions. Now, Samantha has to learn how to cook, clean, and do other menial housework, while keeping her identity a secret. She begins to question her life when she sees that there’s more to life than business mergers, and when she unexpectedly starts falling in love.
There were a few things that irked me by the end of this novel and that’s mainly why I’m not rating it perfectly, but other than these little occurrences, I enjoyed the story!
1. One of the issues I always tend to have with Kinsella’s characters is how oblivious and/or rude they are before their transformations. I know that they change and become better people, but Kinsella sometimes takes it a bit too far. Samantha is one of those people that I would loath to meet when I am at work at my coffee shop. Before she becomes a girl who doesn’t care too much about her “important” career, Samantha is ruthlessly rude, narrow-minded, and intimidating. There’s even a hint at the beginning that her secretary hates her. But, one other thing that I really don’t like about Kinsella’s protagonists is how naive they can be before they have their moments of clarity near the end. This is a technique that Kinsella has adopted and I can see that it is one that a) sometimes works for her and b) sometimes doesn’t. The problem with sticking to this method of writing is that the stories become predictable, so onto my next point.
2. The storyline was a bit predictable. This didn’t deter me from the story because there were still moments where I was happily surprised, but some of the choices that Samantha made and what happened to her were a bit predictable. I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone, but if you’re a fan of Kinsella you may have noted that the protagonists tend to take a huge step backwards from what they’ve learned throughout the novel near the end, right before realizing what they’ve done and righting their lives once more. Like I said in my previous point, it seems like Kinsella has stuck to this routine since it hasn’t really failed her yet.
3. One of the greater issues in the novel regarding her family isn’t really resolved. (view spoiler)[Samantha mentions a brother who had a breakdown and became a teacher several years before the events of the novel, yet Kinsella doesn’t explore this relationship further. Also, I felt deflated when Samantha’s horrible relationship with her controlling mother was left unfinished. To her credit, Kinsella did have Samantha stand up to her mother, but there wasn’t really any form of conclusion between the two. Yes, Samantha DID take control of her life back from her mother, but, at the risk of sounding cliche, couldn’t Kinsella have found a slightly better resolution between the two? This is one of the other problems I have with Kinsella’s characters sometimes, they are sometimes left as what they are instead of growing. I know Samantha’s mother was a one-dimensional character, but she was Samantha’s mother for goodness sake. (hide spoiler)] In all honestly, I was disappointed with this relationship, considering how well Kinsella has portrayed previous parent-child/child-in-law relationships.
1. Despite all of the negatives mentioned above, I am a sucker for chick lit. Kinsella’s writing is fluent and humorous, making it a quick and fun read. Unless you’re like me and look at the novel too critically. The Undomestic Goddess is no exception. I can always count on Kinsella for a good laugh.
2. Though a bit predictable, Kinsella has the gift of writing fun, feel-good stories. She creates worlds where foreign readers can feel part of the England and UK atmosphere with her witty and hilarious diction. I found myself enthralled with this small town that Samantha arrives in and the descriptions made me want to be part of that world.
3. Even if they are sometimes annoyingly naive, Kinsella’s protagonists, like Samantha, have strong voices that always mark the beginning of the story. Kinsella isn’t a writer who begins her stories with long descriptions or with an intelligent sentence. Instead, her protagonist’s voice is always the first thing the reader meets, and the personality of the character is immediate. For example, first line of The Undomestic Goddess is: “Would you consider yourself stressed?” (Kinsella). This line actually belongs to a questionnaire that Samantha is filling out and the interesting thing is that Kinsella, without having a fully developed, over-thought sentence, has already introduced the gist of Samantha. Is she stressed? Could this character be a workaholic?
Despite the issues that I found in The Undomestic Goddess, I enjoyed this novel. The problems that I did find are more a pattern in Kinsella’s writing rather than problems specific to this novel. But hey, I still love Sophie Kinsella and I can’t wait to read her future works. If you enjoy cute and fun Chick Lit with an edge (slight swearing, slight sex), then I suggest that you read Kinsella’s work. In the world of Chick Lit, Kinsella is definitely a name to keep an eye on and any fan of feisty protagonists should check out the other novels by this author!["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"]>...more
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins is a feel-good romantic novel. As expected, Perkins'Review 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....more