There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.
The thing about this book is that I can't quite put my fingers on anything. I can't say I lThere is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.
The thing about this book is that I can't quite put my fingers on anything. I can't say I like it, but I don't dislike it either. I can't say it's a good book, but it's not a bad one either. I don't care much about it, but I've read it three times (trying to find something to like). I can't say John Green disappoints me, because he certainly doesn't. I just DON'T know how I feel about The Fault in Our Stars, whether the book or the movie. The story just doesn't work for me.
When I read it in March 2013, my feelings leaned toward the negative end of the spectrum. So here was the book everyone's been raving about, the book I supposed would change my life in some ways, and I expected nothing short of amazing from John Green anyway. And there I was, failing at feeling anything. Finishing the book thinking: well that's it? That in itself, not necessarily the story, was a huge, underwhelming disappointment. I felt like I'd been majorly cheated. I concluded that TFiOS is the most overrated book in the 21st century.
Though this time I had no expectations whatsoever, I still held the same conclusion. I started rereading again because I just wanted to find out exactly why it failed with me the first two times, and I still came away with no satisfactory answers. So I'll just stop trying to rack my brain and begin to tell you frankly how I feel, and maybe figure something out along the way.
First of all, I think a considerable amount of the hype surrounding TFiOS is cancer perks. I'm not saying anything bad here; I'm just pointing out that I think the book wouldn't have been so hyped about, hadn't it been for the fact that it involves cancer. I understand that cancer is an extremely relatable subject, and that naturally makes the book popular. (I like reading about subject matters that I can relate to as well, and I tend to like them, too.) I don't know how to put it nicely, but I feel like TFiOS is a pretentious book about cancer and uses the fact that it's a love story about people with cancer to manipulate readers' feelings and then bask in all the sympathy and tears it can get from them, which are people's natural reactions to cancer. I don't know what John Green's intention was, but I felt that the book tries to manipulate me the whole time. All I heard in my head was "OMG I'm gonna write a cancer book and people are gonna cry so hard and they're gonna love all the feels!!!!!!!!" That was a huge turn-off.
There were times when I liked Hazel and Augustus, but most of the times I didn't. Let's start with Augustus--to use Isaac's words--what a self-aggrandizing bastard. So. Pretentious. Apparently, he can't say anything without making it sound like a soliloquy, like he's prepared a speech for every occasion and memorized them so that when the occasion arises, he can recite the speech flawlessly on the spot and end it with a smirk to make the girl go even crazier. What's that you say, you fear oblivion? I don't see you trying so hard for the world to remember you, sorry. And what's with all these "metaphors"? How is a cigarette a metaphor for a "killing thing"--it IS a killing thing, no metaphor involved. Dear Gus, a metaphor is when you say something is another thing, whose similarities are not easily arrived at until you really analyze and think about them. Like in Carol Ann Duffy's poem "Valentine," an onion is a metaphor for love because it makes you cry or whatever. No, that pretentious act is not metaphorical, it's symbolic. It symbolizes defiance and the need to control, I get it. It just bothers me so much. For someone who complains about people's wrong use of literality, Augustus isn't good at literary terms either.
Hazel, however, is more bearable. I liked her at times when she shows her firm stance in reality and not grand daydreams, especially when she tells Augustus off about how this is the life you get now live with it. And she annoyed me really bad with her overly girly moments. I guess that's all I have to say about Hazel. She didn't make much of an impression on me. And oh, I didn't for a minute buy that they really loved each other. I didn't. Sorry. It just felt too forced.
I understand that they're supposed to come off as smart above their years, with their philosophical pondering and existential concerns and deep understanding of life and all, but honestly, I just didn't believe it. It didn't feel like them speaking THEIR thoughts. Augustus and Hazel feel more like quote-making machines, whose inner ramblings and dramatic monologues and soliloquies are literary devices through which John Green can deliver his most contrived yet gorgeous lines aiming right for the tear ducts--with expected responses of agreement such as "OMG so true!" or something along that line or real crying, for that matter. (Though I'll admit I highlighted those quotes, too. They're beautiful as standalone quotes, not suited for dialogues of teenagers.)
And yet, I understand why they're written this way. What I appreciate about TFiOS (I'm not so hateful, people) is that it's the most literary of all John's novels. I mean, almost everything can be analyzed to imply deeper meanings. For example, Augustus wants to be remembered by the world, hence: fear of oblivion, the air of self-importance, aggrandizing bullshit--all this so he can validate his significance. Hazel's obsession with An Imperial Affliction and how it ends represents clearly her concern for her parents after she dies. Many literary references and intertextuality appear in the novel. Like T.S. Eliot's "Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock," which Hazel knows by heart and can recite from memory, can illustrate the pointlessness and mundaneness of living, or even Hazel's "disturbing the universe" by falling in love with Gus despite her not wanting to be a granade. Or Hazel's continuing William Carlos Williams' "The Red Wheelbarrow" can reflect how she wishes she could've prolonged Gus's life. The motif "star(s)" occurs throughout the novel and in its title, but I haven't really given it much thought yet.
Although my experience reading TFiOS this time didn't improve much from the previous times, I can now rest in peace knowing that the reason I didn't enjoy the book was not because I was prejudiced or I expected too much, but because it was written in ways impossible for me to enjoy. That's not to say the book is bad; it seems to have achieved its purposes with other readers alright. It is as guilty for my not liking it as my programmed to reject anything that feels artificial is. I'm not upset like I was last time. After trying 3 times, it's clear that it just doesn't work. I made peace with the fact that we're not meant to be. The fault is neither in TFiOS nor in myself that I felt underwhelmed....more
Sometimes it's hard, impossible even, to know how much magnitude a choice holds until it is al(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)
Sometimes it's hard, impossible even, to know how much magnitude a choice holds until it is all over.
Duncan Meade enters the Irving School a senior this year. As a school tradition, each senior gets their own dorm room without having to share it with anyone. On the first day of school, each senior will go to the senior hall and find their room; and in the room, there will be "treasures" left behind for them from the previous senior who lived there. Duncan has one fear: he is afraid to find out if the smallest room in the hall belongs to him. And of course, it does. The treasures the previous owner, Tim Macbeth, leaves behind for Duncan is a note and a stack of CDs. Those CDs play the recordings of Tim's story for Duncan as the "meat of your Tragedy Paper," which is the Irving School's senior English paper to be handed in at the end of the school year.
The Tragedy Paper started out, for me, as intriguing; I was curious to see how the connection between Tim Macbeth and Duncan Meade would play out. Would it be, you know, like Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which Macbeth kills Duncan? Or would Tim Macbeth share the same tragic flaw with Macbeth, and Duncan the receiving end of that flaw like King Duncan? Or what? Of course, I was expecting the use of these two names to have some significance. I have been taught in Literature class that a text alludes to something like this, it is saying something implicitly, and you should find what it infers. But it looks like this book falls flat in that department, because as far as I know, the only function of this allusion is only to tell the reader: Hey! This book is a tragedy because its two main characters are named after the two in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth! Hmm. Right now, in my head, I can even see my beloved Lit teacher hold up her index finger in a warning manner, and hear her say her favorite disapproval: "Nonono."
Again, I don't seem to share everyone (who's read it)'s enthusiasm about this book. Some say that it's "deep" and "profound," but I honestly don't see how that can be. It's not like I suck that much at reading between the lines and critical thinking; how about it's just meh? 90% of the book is about Tim told, narrated by Tim's recordings which Duncan listens to; while Duncan's part takes up only about 10%. And this makes me wonder why it has to be written this way. Not only does it bother me that the book doesn't just simply tell Tim's story--which already is the focus, if not the entire meat, of this story--it has to have Duncan as a medium (why bother?), but it also irritates me that, knowing very well Duncan's function is only to hang around and play the CDs so we can listen to them as well, the book tries so hard to have Tim affect his romantic life--in a way trying to make a connection between them when it's strained and uncalled for. If there'd been some believable and close connection between them for the recordings to have their natural effects, I would've believed it and appreciated it more.
In the end, I'll say that The Tragedy Paper is not a bad book, but there are a lot of things that I personally didn't like. The ending, for instance, felt too contrived in the way that it is steered into a tragedy pattern, which I understand since I get it, the point is that this book is a tragedy; but I still didn't like it that much. And the effects Tim's story has on Duncan are to me a little too unbelievable. I'd love for it to have more substance, and if the switching between two points of view is going to be this unbalanced and the connection this strained, how about no switching at all? I'd be happy to read Tim's story alone as the whole book without Duncan having a voice in part of the narration. That's just me. For the most part, I enjoyed Tim's story and wanted to see how it was tragic and how it would end, but once I did, I felt greatly underwhelmed. Still, as I said, it's not a bad book. It has good potentials but it's just not my cup of tea. 2.5 stars.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review....more
I have no father. I have no mother. Then you came along and everything changed.
Uses for Boys majorly caught me off guard. I started this book thinking it would be just another YA Contemporary about troubled teenagers. In the beginning it does feel like one; but then the story takes a totally different turn from what I expected, and led me along a road I would've never taken if it I had known any better.
Anna grows up with no father. In her early childhood, her mother would tell her again and again that Anna is all she ever wanted, and Anna loved the idea. It was bliss, until her mother starts going out all the time to chase after new husbands, one after another, and then she has no time for Anna anymore. Growing up with no father and as good as no mother, Anna turns to the people who give her attention: boys. All of a sudden boys start talking to her, saying that she's pretty, flirting with her, and Anna goes along with it, giving them all they want, one boy after another, just so she can have their company.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it's quite entertaining. If it were dull, I would've hated it, but it wasn't, so I went through it pretty fast. It has an easy narrative style, like a person talking, rather than a well thought-out piece of writing like other novels. The story is divided into a lot of parts, and each parts come up pretty randomly, so it isn't always predictable. And that's agood things. But on the other hand, the subject matter is quite discomforting. The book talks about sex pretty bluntly, and I feel weird reading this in the words of a thirteen or fifteen year old (I don't remember which one). For a young girl her age, Anna is very experienced with boys, (view spoiler)[having slept with 4 or more (I lost count), not to mention that she got pregnant, and had an abortion (hide spoiler)]. I didn't enjoy watching someone let her life slip away like that for no good reason other than to feel loved.
Her mother is partly to blame, I get that. Negligent parents do a lot of damage to their children. And we can see how Anna's mother affects her pretty clearly. She would say that she cares, but then she never shows it. What kind of mother lets her child quit school and move out at 13 to live in a boyfriend's apartment? As hard is it is to imagine, I know there are parents like this out there.
In a way, I think I understand that this book just wants to "tell it like it is" with no fancy fabrications, no glorifying, no denouncing. That would explain why the narrative is this way, and why Anna doesn't acknowledge any of her actions to be anything (not the right thing, not the wrong thing, not a mistake, not anything) other than things she feels like she has to do. Trying so hard to impress, Anna willingly falls victim to her so-called friend and boyfriends, and this is very common among teenagers. Like Anna, they're not always likeable, and don't always know right from wrong. We can judge all we want, but it's also important to understand them, why they are the way they are and why they do the things they do. To me, Uses for Boys is a story that speaks of real teenagers with problems. Even though the book falls short of plot and denouement, it's quite an easy and enjoyable read, unless you're put off by dark, discomforting stories with (too) many sex scenes.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
There was only one reason I could ever feel that way with anyone. I belonged to him. It was then that I knew. WithoutTHIS REVIEW ON B'S BOOK BLOG!
There was only one reason I could ever feel that way with anyone. I belonged to him. It was then that I knew. Without a doubt in my mind, without worry of what others would think, and having no fear of mistakes or consequences, I smiled at the words I would say.
Who would've thought that I would like Beautiful Disaster as much as I do? I'd read a lot of negative reviews; but then I'd also noticed even more positive reviews. Curious, I started reading, expecting the worst, expecting to turn a page and start hating it, but it never happened. Actually, I ended up liking it -- which totally caught me off guard. I finished this in three sittings with sore butts and a slight backache. I literally couldn't stop reading. This has to be one of the most addictive books I've ever had a chance to read!
I blame it on my inner hopeless romantic. I am drawn to the ideas of love that is no good and can't work but can't be stopped. I don't even know where I got this from; it's like a chronic disease -- I can't seem to shake it. For some very strange reasons, I am in love with the idea of hopeless love, just as I am in love with heartbreaks. Though I'd hate to have to deal with this kind of love in real life, I love to read about them. And Beautiful Disaster offers me no less than that, and still a lot of fun.
It's easy to see why some readers do not like this novel. It has some of the elements that I don't like at all. To illustrate this, I hate clingy boyfriends. The kind that has been fine all their lives until they meet you and suddenly they need you to breathe. The kind that is overly jealous and will take down anyone that lays their eyes on you. The kind that goes crazy when they don't know your whereabouts and won't stop calling you until you talk to them. The kind that has your name tattooed on their skin. This is Travis, and this is insane. Normally behaviors like this would have turned me off immediately, but for some unknown reasons, I became even more engrossed in the book. I think this may be because in other books, such demeanor is simply annoying and off-putting, but in this book, it is scary like hell! It made my heart race, fearing for Abby if Travis happens to lose it, which happens quite often too. Poor minor characters who get beaten senseless. Travis's violence made me wince every time.
But I don't hate Travis. I don't know how exactly I feel about him, maybe just scared? And I definitely don't find him cute or attractive. I think he's an interesting human being who seriously needs anger management and needs to tone the over-protectiveness and jealousy down big-time. But I understand why he's like this, or at least I think I do. There's someone I know who had never been in a relationship before, and when he had his first girlfriend, he messed it all up by being -- just like Travis but without the violence -- clingy, jealous, and overprotective, because he really didn't know how to act. Could this be the case with Travis? Probably. He's never needed anyone before but when he needs Abby, it scares him, so he tries to keep her closer but it only pushes her away.
Abby, the narrator of the story, is a likeable person. I think she's smart. She knows better than to be involved with someone like Travis. Basically, he is the human form of everything she runs away from in the past to be at Eastern. But even so, despite trying to be his friend, she can't help but be attracted to him too. For whatever reasons. I found myself agreeing with a lot of things Abby says and a lot of her decisions. Travis is stupid, and he doesn't always know what he's doing, but that doesn't mean it's okay. I respect Abby for standing up for herself and leaving him when she has to. I didn't think she's being difficult, I thought she's being right. The best way out is always through, as they say.
Their on-and-off romance is more than interesting. It's many things together: heartbreaking, painful, scary, terrible, sweet, beautiful, and disastrous. I didn't always like it, but it's definitely entertaining to read. Travis is so hopelessly in love with Abby that he has his nickname for her (Pigeon, which I find a little stupid but it didn't bother me) tattooed on his wrist, which is a little extreme in my opinion, but he can be real sweet at times, too. And Abby, who's so determined not to fall for him, finds herself doing exactly that. Sometimes it seems like their relationship is doomed to fail, but the fact that it still keeps going because their love can't be stopped satisfied my inner romantic more than I can explain. It would send electricity through me (I'm not kidding. I really felt it.) and make my chest tighten, unable to breathe for a second. It was an awesome experience. Some of the words Abby says are spot-on, which I totally loved. For instance: (view spoiler)[
If I gave in, either he would change his mind about Benny, or he would resent me every time money could have made his life easier. I imagined him in a blue-collar job, coming home with the same look in his eyes that Mick had when he returned after a night of bad luck. It would be my fault that his life wasn't what he wanted it to be, and I couldn't let my future be plagued with the bitterness and regret that I left behind.
(hide spoiler)] This broke my heart. It's so precise, and I could feel the bitterness dripping from these words already. She loves him against her better judgement, and she isn't afraid to make a decision she believes is right even if it's going to hurt them. Wow, Abby. I really like her. Even though this is not how the book ends, I think I would've liked it more if it had ended this way -- bittersweet.
Having said all that, I don't think there's anything much to add. I really enjoyed Jamie McGuire's writing. It's true that I wouldn't have liked many things in this book, but because it is well-written and beyond entertaining allowed me to overlook its imperfections. Expecting the worst, I surprised myself when I realized I liked this book a lot. I almost didn't pick it up as I hesitated, and now I'm glad that I read it. I recommend this for readers of contemporary romance. And maybe older audience, because it has sex and violence in it. I'm looking forward to reading book two, Walking Disaster, which isn't a sequel but only Beautiful Disaster told in Travis's point of view. It should be interesting.
I received the digital version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"On occasion patients have dreams while in their coma. And you seem to be one of those special situations. These drea(This review on B's Book Blog!)
"On occasion patients have dreams while in their coma. And you seem to be one of those special situations. These dreams can mix fantasy with reality, and memories of people and places sometimes jumble within these dreams."
In my opinion, Reflection is, in one word, different. It was a totally different reading experience for me. A good different too, I might add. I haven't had that many chances to read books involving coma--in fact I remember having read only one, If I Stay. So reading Reflection was kind of like trying something new.
I was unsure about it at first. I'm not a fan of confusing shifting perspectives, and this book has a lot of those. Most of the time I didn't know if I was reading it as it happens the first time, or reading it as Heather recounts her memories to the doctor. I didn't know this until like past halfway through the book, when I decided that it must still be the recounting. But confusing as it was for me, I coudn't stop.
It didn't take me long to finish this book, mostly because it was so addictive. I wanted to know more, needed to find out what's happened before and what will happen after. It was all very interesting and exciting to hear Heather talk about what she remembers about her first 6 months at college. Shitty friends, good friends, her crush, etc. There were some elements that seemed supernatural, but they turn out to be her coma messing with her memories.
In a PRS [Persistent Reflective State] coma the brain responds very differently than when it's in a typical coma. The first distinction has to do with memory.Unlike a common coma where the brain is stagnant, in PRS the brain works overtime, distinguished by overzealous brain activity [...] As it does so and the memories are called back to the surface, the mind begins to then live out those experiences, as if for the first time. To the mind, these prolonged dreams, 'reflections' as we call them, are current and real, as if living a life through the mind, but with experiences that have already occured in a person's life. As the mind sorts through memories and lives them out, sometimes it mixes people, places, and even adds imaginative experiences as it would in a typical dream, filling in parts that it cannot remember.
Not knowing what is real and what isn't kills Heather, and it killed me too. I was eager to see Heather out of the hospital and find out whether the romance with Nick was real. But there are shocks along the way. For Heather, the memories of those 6 months seem like just yesterday; but for everyone else, it has been 2 years and 7 months. Everyone has moved on without her. Everything has changed.
Reflection leaves me wanting more. Its ending is a good one, preparing us for the next book. I can't wait to read Reaction and see Heather fight to win back what she has lost. This is a very good read!
I received a digital copy of this book for review. ...more
Reread: September 12 - 14, 2012 Still love it just as much the second time around.
First read: August 25 - September 7, 2012 This is a beautiful book. VReread: September 12 - 14, 2012 Still love it just as much the second time around.
First read: August 25 - September 7, 2012 This is a beautiful book. Very touching. It surprises me that I'm not crying my eyes out right now. I love it! This has to be the best assigned reading ever. Sure, it took me so long because of all these unfamiliar German words, but the reading experience was very well worth it. I could feel my heart aching and tears brimming. A poignant book about war, loss, love, and what it means to live. ...more
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.
This book is very hard for me to review.I've been trying to find the words to sayA digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.
This book is very hard for me to review. I've been trying to find the words to say about this book and it seems like I still can't find anything worth saying. I enjoyed the book, and that's about it. I don't really have any opinion on the book, partly because it isn't all that memorable to me. Not the kind of book that makes me sit and think about it after finishing. This one's more like the come-and-go to me. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, and now that I've finished it, I don't really have anything to say about it, I just let it go.
Knee Deep is about Ronnie who finds herself in a love triangle. She's been with her boyfriend Shawn forever, and he's all that she knows. Luke is their mutual best friend, who's sweet and relaxed and comfortable to be around. But lately Shawn hasn't been himself, or his "old self", the guy Ronnie fell in love with years and years ago. Her teases and jokes can make him suddenly rigid and glare at her now these days. Ronnie's tired of having to worry about him and not knowing how to act around him without doing something wrong anymore. She doesn't even know what's wrong. Shawn doesn't tell her anything except that he's stressed and his father's stressed and his family's stressed. Ronnie puts up with everything, even when glaring turns into angry outbursts and into grabbing and bruises, believing that things will get back to how they used to be if she gives him enough time. At the same time, Luke and Ronnie get to spend more time together because they're in a play together. She finds herself feeling something she shouldn't with her best friend.
This isn't the most original plot ever, but "I'm a sucker for stories that involve best friends having a chance at more." (Quoting the author. Yes, me too.) So I wanted to read this and see how it'd go. And yes, I found the same old I-feel-like-I-can-just-be-myself-and-comfortable-around-him, and the why-do-I-feel-this-way-he's-my-best-friend thing. There are a lot of sentences similar to those in the book and at one point, it really got too much. Would it be so hard to just admit that you're in love with your best friend? Instead of saying you don't know why you feel this way, or that he's just Luke? I guess I wasn't really impressed with Ronnie trying so hard to pretend to not acknowledge her feelings.
What surprises me is the abusive part, which I totally didn't expect. She should run, but she doesn't. She doesn't want to rock the boat after being together for so long. I really don't know how to feel about that. Of course, it's stupid, she should leave him, but I also understand that when you're in a relationship for that long, you're afraid to change things, to cause even a little change in how things are, and you want to hold on and believe that it'll be okay soon. Ronnie must feel like that, and we can't really blame her, can we?
I wish I can say this book made an impression on me. It didn't. I enjoyed the moment of reading, but after that this book just became one of the books I'll soon forget about. Some parts of the book bored me, but some were really good. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked Ronnie and Luke, but I didn't feel connected to them.
While reading, I kept comparing Knee Deep to Sarah Dessen's Dreamland, which is the best book involving abusive relationship that I've read so far, which I seriously loved. The violence in Dreamland is more disturbing and much stronger. It sent chills down my spine. It felt more real and cruel, and that made me so into the story. Knee Deep just falls short in comparison. I think this is one of the reasons this book left me kind of underwhelmed. It's not strong enough.
Well, I told you I don't really have anything to say about this book. Yeah, it's enjoyable. It's a good read, but that's it. Again, I seem to be the minority, as everyone else who's read this book seems to really like it or even love it. I don't know if something's wrong with me, preventing me from liking this book as much as everyone else. I find it okay, mediocre, not something special. It's not for me. Sorry for the honesty. If you're looking for other books by Jolene Perry, I'd suggest Night Sky. I certainly enjoyed it more than this book....more
"Hey, look. It's that girl. That rape girl, right?"
After Adam's raped Valerie and her mother's told the police, Valerie is labeled the "rape girl" and a liar. Her friends turn their backs on her because they either really don't believe her, or they just want to still be on Adam's side, the popular people side. Valerie is torn. She's the victim, but people treat her as if she's the guilty one. She's separated from class and can't show her face in public, while the rapist still lives his life normally as if nothing's happened. What's more, Valerie is blamed for making up a story that will keep Adam from his becoming a missionary. This is ridiculous.
While I was drawn to the heavy subject matter of this book at first, I regret to say I didn't like it. I didn't feel connected to Valerie at all. This is probably because the author didn't allow us readers to get to know her that well within the limited 126 pages. Yes, this novel is very short, and that's the problem for me. There's hardly any tension to feel at all. And although this is a young adult contemporary, I feel like Valerie's voice isn't strong enough. It sounds like a teen voice, as in a 13-year-old teen complaining about life or something like that. I could hardly feel anything from her words. If anything, I think she's only telling a story without showing us how she feels. It's hard to like a character when she doesn't really allow us to feel her emotions, in my opinion.
I won't argue that it sucks. Being raped and still getting treated like the wrong one. And having to go through all those tests, rape kits, interrogations, and everyone's whispers and stares are no fun. Your life changes even if you're the victim. I know, it sucks, it's terrible, it's infuriating, and it definitely isn't fair. But I have to say that the book doesn't portray it that well and is well-developed enough for me to like it. This isn't the best story about a rape victim either. In the end, it still remains unclear whether or not Valerie can put it behind her and move on. But honestly, I don't care about her enough to want to find out.
I received the digital version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. ...more
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review and book tour.
Girl I’ve loved, girl I’m falling for. Now that they’re both in view, the problem is clear.
This is the second book written by Jolene B. Perry that I've read. Night Sky is an addictive read, which explains why I was hooked since the very first sentence all the way until the end of the book. I enjoyed it very much.
Night Sky is told by a male narrator, Jameson. Jameson has a best friend named Sarah, but she doesn't know that he's been in love with her for three years. His heart is broken to see Sarah get together with Eric. That night while he's driving home, he spots a lost girl and offers to give her a ride home, which happens to be just across from his. That's Sky, and so begins their relationship. Sarah and Sky couldn't be more different. According to Jameson, Sky is all tall, dark and angles. Sarah is all smooth, short and soft curves. Jameson finds himself becoming addicted to Sky and craving her presence more and more, but his feelings for Sarah are still left unresolved. Being with Sky, who insists on brutal honesty at all time, makes Jameson realize that he's falling head over heels for her in a way that's not the same as his being in love with Sarah.
There are a few things about this book that impress me, but let's just start with the fact that I really like its story. I'm glad that this book isn't just about a love triangle, about a guy trying to figure out who he wants to be with, because it definitely felt deeper than that to me. There are family issues that send shudders through me. It felt so real! And there's this thing about "honesty" in this book that really makes you think. Yeah, why can't everyone just be honest? No more guessing and over-analyzing for anyone else. That would make life much easier, wouldn't it? But if you think some truth might scare someone away from you, someone you care about very much, would you say it anyway?
Initially I didn't get this honesty thing about Sky. I didn't see why it's so important, but near the end of the book I understood. And I loved that the foreshadowing is followed by such a twist. I loved that I didn't even see the twist coming and that it isn't just out of nowhere. It didn't feel forced, and it comes at just the right moment. That's one of the great elements in this book.
Another wonderful thing I have to mention is that the male narration feels so natural! Forced and unnatural narration is a big turn-off for me. At first I had my doubt, because not a lot of female writers can really pull that off. But after I've read this book, I have to say that Jolene B. Perry did an awesome job with the narration! It's so believable, the things Jameson feels and says and does are the things that guys feel and say and do. I didn't have any problems with it at all. Throughout this book I saw how Jameson gain maturity, come to terms with his problems, and finally figure out what he really wants. I found myself going along with him like it was the most natural thing in the world.
While I enjoyed Jameson's storytelling, I can't say I liked Sky. Sky is a Native American who comes with mystery and leaves with mystery. She wears next to nothing most of the time. She accepts a stranger's offer and jumps into his car; she strips down to black panties and jumps into his pool. I'm not sure if it's because of the way she's written and portrayed or because I just don't like girls like her in the first place. Although there are some things that I couldn't grasp about her, she's nice enough in the story that it didn't really bother me.
However, I think Sky, among other things, did slightly affect my overall liking towards the book. I think this book is 'good', but it's not what I'd call 'great', as I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't see any quotes memorable or outstanding enough to highlight. Night Sky is well-written with dramatic plot twists, great character developments, and natural, enjoyable narration. If you're a fan of coming-of-age stories, I recommend this book to you. There's something about it that's very addictive and the next thing you know, you might still be up at 2 AM, caught up in this book like I was, unable to put it down. ...more
I finished this so fast. Wow. This book is refreshing and I like it mainly for that. Not much else is particularly striking. Apparently I haven't writI finished this so fast. Wow. This book is refreshing and I like it mainly for that. Not much else is particularly striking. Apparently I haven't written a proper review in ages, and already forgot how to do it. So this is all you're getting from me tonight at 1.18am. For me it's a good book. Not amazing. Good verging on great.
I used to be 15 years old too, but that's almost 6 years ago. I don't remember what my thought processes were like when I was that age, but reading 15-year-old Amelia Hayes tell me about her life reminds me of what could also have been on my mind. It's the age where you are still innocent in a way, wearing your heart on your sleeves, falling hard without holding back, idealizing the future, and it's also where you realize that you emerge from the ignorant bliss of childhood to face the reality and not-so-pretty aspects of the world and start seeing that life isn't as awesome and easy as you would've liked. ...more
This is a story about a girl with a stellar vocabulary who is four years away from college and a year and a half awayTHIS REVIEW ON B'S BOOK BLOG!
This is a story about a girl with a stellar vocabulary who is four years away from college and a year and a half away from a driver's license. About a girl trapped in a hostile universe where the virginity clock is ticking down--relentlessly--with zero consideration for her extenuating traumatic, lifealtering circumstances.
Let me start off by saying that this book is not for me. From the start, I knew that I wasn't going to like it much. Throughout the book, the story failed again and again to interest me. It's just incredibly boring This is one of those books that I won't want to pick up again once I lay it down.
Which is, to be honest, quite unexpected. I know Rose has lost her father in the war in Iraq. And I tend to love books whose main character's father is dead, which I can totally relate to. But most of the time I was annoyed by Rose. Her character isn't all that believable to me. She is supposed to be angry as described in the blurb. But no, she feels pretty normal to me. Just any other normal teenager who's pessimistic and sarcastic and annoying. Rage issues? Please, what an overstatement. It's just a way to make Rose sound more interesting, I guess, but it's so deceiving. She does have angry outbursts but only no more than 3 times, and they are nowhere near rage issues. She claims to be very smart, but I really couldn't see how.
The other characters in the book are also just as, if not more, annoying. There are your typical mean girl named Regina (but is nowhere near epic as Mean Girls' Regina George), the best friend who can only talk about "doing it" without protection with her boyfriend, and the crush--oh, the unattainable crush who's with someone else but plays with Rose's heart anyway and then quits by saying he's not for her. Hmm. I'm not sure which one of them I want to punch first.
Frankly, I feel like this book is maybe for the teen age group. It really didn't do it for me. There are a lot of things that I really don't like in the book that feel immature and childish. Girl drama, crush drama, best friend drama. None of that really interests me. And in the end, I could say that the plot really goes nowhere. No character development, that's for sure. I couldn't feel the climax, if there is one. The story just goes on and on, and then abruptly stops. Seriously. I emphasize, abruptly. And then? Oh, there'll be book two! Haha, well, too bad I'm not impressed enough to want to stick around when it comes out. This is a very forgettable read for me.
I received the digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review....more
She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale: a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that hTHIS REVIEW ON B'S BOOK BLOG!
She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale: a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that's why it doesn't hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn't hurt, because she's not real anymore.
This is one of those novels I think I might like but end up not liking. I've never read any books that involve eating disorders of any kind before, so I thought this could be a new experience. But it is an understatement to say that I am disappointed.
I didn't like this book. Because of the 3rd person point of view, I couldn't get into the story to begin with. I found it hard to read and it didn't help that it really kind of bored me. But there are other things that endlessly disturb me, like the narrator's thoughts.
The narrator, Sethie Weiss, starts out an anorexic and then becomes a bulimic as the story goes on. Being extremely thin is her idea of beautiful. What really makes me uncomfortable is the fact that she glorifies her eating disorder like she really believes it. Realistic? I don't know. But definitely uncomfortable. She says she loves lying down on the floor and feeling her hipbones pressed against the hard floor, because it's telling her that there's no fat there. This girl is seriously obsessed. There are a lot of scenes where I had to turn my eyes away and scrunch up my face because I was really terrified. Especially the scene where she wants to "cut the fat right out" and "scrape out the fat" with her nails. So what does she do? She scratches her right knee, the place where she makes her scab flick off, and then she leans closer and sucks. Yes, DIY liposuction! Only she doesn't suck out the fat. What comes out is blood, which according to her, is "disappointing." If you want to her if she swallows the blood, no, she doesn't, because "for all she knows, blood might have calories."
This book makes me want to cry big time.
It might be because I couldn't relate to the main character, not having had an eating disorder and all. However I, like most girls, have felt ugly because of my fat. Sure, I used to hate myself and be depressed because of it, but I got over it. The thing is, I don't ever remember having ideas as ridiculous as Sethie's. I don't sleep with a knife under my pillow or mattress. And I sure don't play with it, let alone using it to trace my skin and thinking about cutting it to let out the fat. Which is precisely what Sethie does, among other things like throwing up and starving herself. Like I said, it disturbs me a lot.
Except for disgust, I hardly felt anything reading this book. I didn't find Sethie sympathetic, and I definitely didn't like her. There's no character development whatsoever. It's kind of ironic that, being a realistic young adult novel, there are a few unrealistic aspects. Sethie is supposedly very smart, but she also uses drugs, and lets herself be used for sex. And in the end, she miraculously wakes up. No, it doesn't work for me. If someone has been so stubborn about her behaviors, she doesn't just get up and change herself like that.
After everything I've said, as you might have guessed, I have to give it just one star. The subject matters may sound interesting, but trust me, that's really all there is to it. Unless you want to spend your time reading the wrong book and experience disturbing issues, there are other books for you. I'm definitely not going to recommend this book for anyone.
I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review....more
I received the ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher for review.
From now on, I'll make it a point to review a book right after I finish it, or maybe a day afterwards. But not three day like this. By the time I felt like reviewing Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, I had already forgot a lot of things. That makes reviewing a little more difficult. This is a bad habit I have to kill very soon. Well, enough chit chat haha.
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe is one of the very light and fun reads for teens rather than young adults. It is obviously about teenager Chloe Camden, who likes to think she's Queen of the Universe. And yes, she is. he looks like she's the girl who has it all. She's perpetually optimistic, happy, friendly, and talkative. Queen Chloe is the center of attention. Wherever she is, there's fun and laughter. She makes people smile when they're sad and makes them laugh. Chloe has two best friends whose names I had to pause 5 seconds to recall. Right, their names are Brie and Merce. Chloe says they're a perfect trio because Brie is the beauty, Merce is the brains, and she is all personality. According to Chloe, together they're whole. Chloe works part-time at a Mexican restaurant called Dos Hermanas, wearing a burrito costume and handing out flyers--a job she enjoys very much. It looks like everything's going well for Chloe, the girl who's always happy and doesn't have to worry about anything. But then one day thing start going downhill for our little Queen.
That day, while enjoying herself as a burrito outside the restaurant, doing what she does best--getting noticed by people, Brie drives by. Chloe cheerfully walks over to talk to her best friend only to be told she's so self-centered Brie can't stand it, and that she's the last person tearful Brie wants to talk to. Then Chloe comes home to find WWIII in her house. On top of all that, A. Lungren, the school counselor, wants Chloe to choose a new topic for her JISP (Junior Independent Study Project) because she deems Chloe's shoe project lacking.
For Chole's new JISP, she's to join the school's low-wattage, student-run radio station, KDRS 88.8 The Edge, which needs promotions help. Ditched by her two best friends, Chloe now hangs out with the crowd working in this radio station. There Chloe befriends Clementine, the ever-upset manager with a nose ring; Duncan, the guy who loves fixing things; Frick and Frack; and Haley, the film reviewer. They work together to save The Edge from getting shut down by the school and lack of fund. It's true that it starts out as a necessity, but then it turns into friendship as they learn to trust each other and the time they spend in the station bonds them together.
Chloe is a fantastic protagonist. I think I'd love to have her as a friend. Her personality and attitude are what's really outstanding in this little novel. I love how Chloe can still remain herself while learning to cope with problems crashing down on her. She can make the best of a bad situation. An optimist that she is, she values fun and laughter. She learns to be a better friend, to be there for her friends when they need her. She reaches out to people through her radio shows and wins their hearts all over again after the lies Brie tells to turn people against her. I really love this about Chloe.
Duncan Moore is also a great character. At first he seems mysterious, always quiet, and doesn't say much if not necessary, but after a while he opens up to Chloe, letting down his guard. Chloe learns that Duncan lives a totally different life from hers, the kind of life a great guy like Duncan shouldn't have to live. I totally feel for him. Together they fulfill each other: Duncan needs a sunshine in his gloomy life, and the little miss sunshine herself could really use a guy with a romantic heart like him.
Another character I really like is Chloe's grandmother, whom she calls Grams. Grams loves Brad Pitt and is a big fan of Brad's sexy "heinie". Hahaha. Grams is funny. Though you can't tell by looking at her, she's suffering from Parkinson's disease. She loses her temper quite often and does unreasonable things, and that causes the conflicts between her and Chloe's mom. Chloe takes care of Grams and Grams looks after Chloe. Sometimes I couldn't help but feel for Grams, too. It's sad that a free spirit like her has to be affected by the disease that's slowly changing her.
I have to say the author did a great job creating the characters and this cute story. Although it isn't that focused on the radio station as I first expected and would like it to, the outcome is great. This is a story about a girl who shines brightly, and in the meantime lights up other people's worlds as well. All in all, while there are quite a number of conflicts like friendship, family and love present, this book isn't heavy at all. This is probably not one of the deep, profound books that will stay in your heart for a long time, but it's one that you might want to read if you need to take your mind off things for a while and need a laugh. Told in Chloe's bubbly, cheerful voice, this novel is ever so light and easy and very fun to read. :-) ...more