Illyria takes place in the 1970s Yonkers. It has a fantasy element to it with mentions of Fey and an enchanted, miniature theatre.
Madeleine and Rogan are first cousins and in love, experiencing the pleasures of the skin. Their close knit family call them the kissing cousins and as the youngest siblings, Madeleine and Rogan suffer from the teasing and sometimes, beatings from the other children. But as the children of twin boys, Madeleine and Rogan are considered practically half-siblings and their behaviour is much disapproved of.
The family has a legacy of theater but their reactions to it are a mix of disdain and fear so they aren't really exposed to it and any artist talent is not encouraged and seems to die off from disuse. Through the cousins' aunt, Aunt Kate (the black sheep of the family), the two experience the wonders of the theater and fall in love with it to the extent that they decide to audition for the school play.
(view spoiler)[Near the middle of the book, the differences between the two are more pronounced. Rogan starts to have a life without Madeleine and owns the stage with his voice and performance while Madeleine is one of those forgettable actresses. Even though the two begin to drift apart, the love they had will not be easily forgotten by the two.
Like Madeleine is a forgettable actress, I think this is a forgettable book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly good either. Reading it was kind of surreal and when I finished reading, I felt like I was waking up from a dream, not necessarily in the good way. (hide spoiler)]
This is a haunting tale and the relationship between the Madeleine and Rogan is the passion of two young teenagers. Elizabeth Hand does a great job describing the surroundings and Madeleine's voice is intense. I feel as though more artistic and open minded thinkers will be more intrigued and understand, and appreciate, this story better. ...more
In this sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Ginny's aunt sends her on a crazy road trip back to places she's been before and to places shBite Me, Book
In this sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Ginny's aunt sends her on a crazy road trip back to places she's been before and to places she hasn't, with two new travelers.
We again meet Richard, her uncle, and Keith. Richard is still pretty much the same guy and hasn't changed much but I don't remember Keith being so rude. We also meet Ellie, Keith's girlfriend, and Oliver. Ellie seems like a chipper spirit and overall, a good person. Oliver seems to be decent as well, although he's more like the brooding, mysterious guy. This story doesn't give much depth into anyone but Ginny so I didn't really connect with the others, although I liked Ginny better in this one than the first book. But even so, I really wanted Ginny to be more... warmer to Oliver and to stop obsessing over Keith. He has a girlfriend, a very nice girlfriend. And how can she love him already? She kept saying she did but I never saw it.
It's been a while since I've read 13 Little Blue Envelopes but once I started The Last Little Blue Envelope, the story came back to me. Ginny is still pretty much the same angsty teen we met in the first book, except now she's a bit more confident with herself and not as lost. Unlike in 13 Little Blue Envelopes, this story isn't as fast paced. It's a bit slower with more meaning but it's a light, breezy read.
I love this quote spoken from guess-who:
"People would say that it’s impossible to have a private pool in the city, unless you were some kind of mogul and had it on the roof of your penthouse or something. But it’s not illegal to have a really clean Dumpster, and if you want to fill it with water, and if you want to get in it . . . well, that’s your prerogative. People always say they can’t do things, that they’re impossible. They just haven’t been creative enough. This pool is a triumph of imagination. That’s how you win at life, Gin. You have to imagine your way through. Never say something can’t be done. There’s always a solution, even if it’s weird."
That's right! Aunt Peg! Even dead, she's my favorite character. One can learn a lot from her....more
Cracked Up to Be is about a teenage delinquent and like most teenage delinquents, there is a reason behind Parker's madness. Through littBite Me, Book
Cracked Up to Be is about a teenage delinquent and like most teenage delinquents, there is a reason behind Parker's madness. Through little flashbacks, Courtney Summers shows little moments in Parker's past that led to her deliberate fall from grace and finally, the mystery is revealed. But near the beginning, we learn that something horrible happened during a party and she blames herself for it and she uses her self-imposed social isolation as punishment.
I couldn't help but feel sorry for her but I liked her spunk and attitude. She tended to tease and manipulate people with her sharp tongue and wit and was also very blunt and spoke her mind, but not exactly in the good way.
Parker was on a self destructive path and stated that she just wanted to be left alone and forgotten, which was kind of hard considering her caring parents, ex-boyfriend, archrival, and the new guy. Her ex, Chris, wasn't over her, even if she did do some horrible things, so she hoped for the sucess of the relationship between him and her archrival, Becky, and even tried to replace herself as a daughter with a new dog, Bailey.
A new guy Jake comes in the beginning of the story. The first time they meet, she's nasty to him so it's a wonder why he liked her but I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. At first, Parker doesn't really like Jake and tries to get him to leave her alone but eventually, she opens up to him and Chris.
I think Becky, to some degree, really did care about Parker. Sure, she was jealous, but there were some moments where I thought she showed compassion towards Parker. Chris genuinely cared for her too. I think he misinterpreted his friendly/brother love for her as romantic love but eventually, he learns the difference.
Courtney Summers threw at us the story of a grieving, self destructive teenager but unlike most books of those I read, I genuinely liked Parker and understood her way of thinking. She wasn't going for suicidal, although she did have some moments, and just the way Parker's mind worked was intriguing. Her voice fits perfectly with her personality and her thoughts made sense, in a not-quite-twisted sort of way. Even so, I felt that something was missing from this....more
Bite Me, Book This book submerges us into the story from the very beginning. Penryn and her family, which consists of an insane mother and wheelchair-bBite Me, Book This book submerges us into the story from the very beginning. Penryn and her family, which consists of an insane mother and wheelchair-bound little sister, choose to risk running into supernatural creatures, which have taken over earth, by leaving their building during the night instead of going out in the daytime which would bring them to the more common risk of being caught by gangs. Whom have taken over the streets. Or at least seem to (I didn't really see much gangs).
Susan Ee brings us information about this post-apocalyptic world she created in manageable pieces, but sometimes I thought she over-explained Penryn's mommy issues. But Penryn's mother is very complicated. Although seemingly completely loco, and not in the good way, she had a genuine love for her two children and it could be felt through her actions.
Beware: There was some gory and disturbing scenes in this book, but not to worry, Susan Ee didn't go into too much detail on those. Still, not for the weak-stomached.
Something, not sure what, annoyed me about Penryn's voice and how she narrated the story (this book is in first person, by the way), but not to the point that I stopped reading, and good thing too because this is now one of my all-time favorite supernatural/dystopian books.
I also liked the romance in this one, which means, it was subtle and took awhile to grow. In fact, it's still growing and there was not, it seemed, a single mention of the word love between the two main protagonists, Penryn and Raffie. But through their actions, one can tell they cared for one another.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to say that I'm thankful that I did not have to wade through a hormonal teenager's inane thoughts and pondering. Too busy concentrating on survival and rescuing her young sister, Penryn didn't analyze every single thing that Raffie did and why, like most young adult novels usually do. Which I found refreshing. And very, very welcome. In fact, I barely thought about the romance between the two. But that's not to say it wasn't there. People who want to read a book with romance will like this too. Unless you're looking for the we-met-five-seconds-ago-but-now-we're-creepy-obsessed-in-love....more
Really, really liked this one. Teenage angst and all. Although, it's been about two-to-four years since I've read this buQuick Review by Bite Me, Book
Really, really liked this one. Teenage angst and all. Although, it's been about two-to-four years since I've read this but when I did, I really enjoyed it. Wes, day-um. Edward Cullen's got nothing on Wes. But then again, they're nothing alike. Either way, I loved the slow build of romance between Wes and Macy. It was so cute and innocent, as is most of Sarah Dessen's stories. And the rest of the characters were fun and Dessen really brought them alive for me....more
This story was a bit cliched. Neve was the run of the mill heroine, except with (huge) weight/self-esteem issues, and with little to no eBite Me, Book
This story was a bit cliched. Neve was the run of the mill heroine, except with (huge) weight/self-esteem issues, and with little to no experience with pleasure in the bedroom (can we stop with this cliche? please?). And Max, the sexy lady killer who had a hidden depth. Of course, they were a bit more complex than the usual light chicklit (not that this wasn't a bit light), but their romance and time together was a nice read. An enjoyable read (hence the four stars!). They were sweet with each other and wonderful together. Both had their internal problems, and by the end of the novel, they were well on their way to getting over them. ...more
This is a love story between the two characters and the problems thrown at them. Some of the situations had me laughing in my head, whichBite Me, Book
This is a love story between the two characters and the problems thrown at them. Some of the situations had me laughing in my head, which is always a good thing. The two protagonists were silly, especially Heaven, but in an adorable way....more
One Day by David Nicholls was, quite simply, beautiful, in only the way life can be. The struggles that the two protagonists went throughBite Me, Book
One Day by David Nicholls was, quite simply, beautiful, in only the way life can be. The struggles that the two protagonists went through were so nitty gritty and I could see a real person, like a friend or an acquaintance, experiencing them. It wasn't all charm and perfection. And the friendship that the two had may have had me wanting to pull my hair out, but it felt so real, as did all the feelings, both bad and good. The development of both characters, Dexter more than Emma, was drastic, but it was a slow development as it would in life. The way it was told, the same day annually over a course of two decades was unique and flowed very well. ...more
She and her companion, whom for most of this journey Grace does not know anytQuick Review by Bite Me, Book
Is it really wrong to just want to... live?
She and her companion, whom for most of this journey Grace does not know anything about, ponder this question and ultimately come up with an answer. That no. It is not wrong.
Grace had been raised as an Angel, or a suicide bomber, in rebellion to the country in which she was born into. For the people who have scorned her for her mixed heritage, she was to give up her life, but unlike many before her, she chooses not to. And thus begins her journey. This story takes place during a train ride where Grace tells us about her past and life before she decided to flee her country. At first it was on the confusing side but then, piece by piece, we get the full story and understand why she chose to do why she did....more
I just loved the world Laini Taylor created in this story. Although Karou and her surrogate, demon family were very interQuick Review by Bite Me, Book
I just loved the world Laini Taylor created in this story. Although Karou and her surrogate, demon family were very interesting indeed, I think the world Laini Taylor created was the main attraction. It was our everyday, modern world with a secret teeth-dealing, wish-granting, magical one hidden behind select doors all over the globe.
In my opinion, this first installment was not much of a story, more of an introduction. But unlike most introductions, it just pulled you in from the start and wouldn't let you go till the very end. When I got to the end, I just couldn't believe it passed by so fast! (418 pages, by the way, is not short) But time flies when you're having fun....more
Although a bit repetitive, it didn't have me wanting to pull my hair out. Samantha really developed as a person and watchQuick Review by Bite Me, Book
Although a bit repetitive, it didn't have me wanting to pull my hair out. Samantha really developed as a person and watching her repeat that last day over and over again and the different things she did each time made me feel nostalgic, in a way. Before I Fall was touching and not a story I will soon forget....more
This story is one of adventure and action but had one of the sweetest relationships in YA, in my opinion. I really felt tQuick Review by Bite Me, Book
This story is one of adventure and action but had one of the sweetest relationships in YA, in my opinion. I really felt the attraction, not just physical, between Katsa and Po, and even though they performed in the carnal acts, I still felt like their love was innocent and sweet. I was rooting for them from the very start and am curious over what has happened to them.
But that wasn't the main element of this tale, I think. The adventure and action was exciting and pulled me in. Katsa was a strong female lead but so was Po and I admired them both for their headstrong thinking and general will to live.
People have complained that Kristin's books have a 'Men Suck' type mantra but I didn't really notice it (I was too focused in the story so maybe I completely missed the message... like usual). And I still don't see it.
But for those that believe it, I think it's all about perception. As a female who wants neither a baby nor really cares for marriage for myself (although I am not against it), I am insulted by those posts. I love men (in platonic, romantic, business relationships, etc). And I understand Katsa. Especially since in her world, marriage was like a prison sentence, for women. Honestly, if it was like that in this world, I would be completely against marriage, no matter how much I loved the man. (And I'm an equal opportunist by the way. Which is like partly feminist-ic but the word feminist usually invokes in most minds, a cranky, bitter, uptight woman with a hatred towards men. Which is completely untrue...usually.)...more
I think the ending was what won me over. Not the ending, necessarily, but near the ending when Rosalinda, the awkward, kind heroine, hadBite Me, Book
I think the ending was what won me over. Not the ending, necessarily, but near the ending when Rosalinda, the awkward, kind heroine, had the ultimate revelation. It was so sad and the unfairness of it all had me practically bawling my eyes out (puppy murder and the like make me sad but dry-eyed (I'm jaded, so sue me) but worldly unfairness has me bawling with frustration).
Anyways, it was an interesting story and enjoyable enough, but not very different from most dystopians....more
I absolutely adored this charming, little novel! I thought the main character, Abigail Wood, was such a doll. But a quirky one. She was fBite Me, Book
I absolutely adored this charming, little novel! I thought the main character, Abigail Wood, was such a doll. But a quirky one. She was fun and wonderfully smashing! The male lead, Robert, was definitely swoon-worthy. Oh. And funny, too. ...more
I absolutely loved this book. I'm going to start sounding like one of those fan girls in a Justin Beiber concert, but I love love love thBite Me, Book
I absolutely loved this book. I'm going to start sounding like one of those fan girls in a Justin Beiber concert, but I love love love this book.
Back to the review. Although this book is a follow-up to Saving Francesca, also a really great book, this one can be read alone and still fully understandable and enjoyed. It was nice catching up with most of the characters from Saving Francesca. Francesca had really changed from the gloomy mood and blossomed into someone new. I almost didn't recognize her. I expected her to pine for her boyfriend Will, who's overseas, but she didn't. She was contently living her life with him gone, even if Tom thought otherwise. Very healthy relationship, I think. You could tell she loved Will but not in the obsessed way that's so popular these days. The other characters changed as well but they still had the quirky qualities we fell in love with. They are still the bunch of supporting, caring friends who just want their old Tom back.
In Saving Francesca, I thought Tom was just an introverted kid who was on the path to maturing but in this book, you saw more into him and how he really changed. The death of his uncle sent his already declining home life into turmoil. Tom is struggling through a tough time through this book and he isolated himself from his friends and family. Suddenly, after a head injury, he was pretty much thrust into his past life, living with his, now pregnant, aunt and working in the same bar as Francesca and Justine. He also starts to contact Tara Finke, the girl he can't get out of his head and who he hasn't spoken to since, as Frankie said, a 'one-and-a-half night stand' two years ago. At first, she doesn't reply back because she's still kind of pissed about the whole hump and dump thing he did, but eventually, she starts replying. Then, his life starts getting back on track, but gradually, with bumps along the road.
The whole book switches from Tom to his Aunt Georgie and back, mainly focusing on Tom though. Georgie seems like a tough cookie who's slowly crumbling in the inside, but ready to bounce back. Through Georgie's perspective, some things about the Mackee/Finch family is explained. This family is the stuff of soap operas, and the effect of Joe's death on each family member was explored. Also, another subplot is added but not to the point that it's hard to follow and messy. Sam, the ex, is back in her life.
Personally, I think he took advantage of her when she was emotionally unstable. Sure he helped, but he shouldn't have had sex with her in her unstable state. She described the sex as suddenly waking up with him next to her. Personally, I think someone should introduce Sam to the wonders of a condom because he had gotten another woman pregnant before. Seriously. I also think someone should tell Sam to shut the hell up. It's like he's trying to control Georgie. Both Georgie and Tom describe his presence almost like he's tiptoeing around, hoping Georgie won't notice he's around and kick him out, but sometimes I don't get why they think this. I don't like Sam but I don't hate him. It's like he has two personalities. One moment, I absolutely dislike him and the next, I almost forgive him for his tyranny and not-goodness. But I still don't see why Georgie loved him. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.
The Piper's Son made me want to cry, I rarely ever cry in books, in some parts and laugh, I love laughing, in others. Marchetta truly captured the raw emotion and made me truly care for these characters. This story was so beautiful and is one of very few books in which I didn't have an overwhelming desire to beat the sense into a character. I know I already said this but I really loved this book. I was so absorbed and it was a great story. I would recommend it to anyone.
Oh, I'd like to quickly mention that I love this cover....more
I really liked this book. Maybe I even love it (I'm pulling a Bianca). Bianca, the main character and Little Miss Cynical, refused to belBite Me, Book
I really liked this book. Maybe I even love it (I'm pulling a Bianca). Bianca, the main character and Little Miss Cynical, refused to believe that a teenage girl at the tender age of 17 can truly be in love. In fact, she refuses to believe to the very end. Which brings us to the ending. Which is my favorite kind of ending.
All the characters (not just the two main ones) were very well developed and had their own problems but not to the point of being in danger of being a soap drama. Kody Keplinger really brought the characters alive for me and I came to care and sympathize with them all. By the ending of the story, all the characters were working through their problems and well on their way to the allusive happy ending, but not quite there yet. There was no tidy Cinderella ending where Bianca and Wesley marry or something absurd like that, such as Bianca's mother, who was MIA for several months, coming home and rekindling her crumbling marriage (didn't happen, by the way). But even so, I was really satisfied with how the story left off.
But my favorite part of this novel had to be the characters. Again I will say, I fell in 'like' with them all. Sure, there were a few times when I wanted to strangle a particular character (*cough cough* Bianca *cough*), but admittedly not as much as in most books.
The romance... 'like' between Bianca and Wesley is, I think, believable and I really saw the connection.
Predictable, yes. Flaws, yes. But there was just something I really liked about this book that it would be dishonest if I didn't give it all five stars.
Now for more detail... Bianca's life seems to be falling apart. Her mother is touring the states and leaving her alone to deal with her father's declining sobriety. Oh, and a few other things, including her obsession over what that butthole Wesley called her before she downed her Cherry Coke on his expensive polo. Duffy. Designated Ugly Fat Friend.
To escape reality herself, she has sex with Wesley, the man slut of her school; the guy she hates. He's a son of a female-dog and an-illegitimate-son (this is a curse, not an actual description), but he's pretty darn sexy and knows how to kiss (and other stuff...) pretty darn well. Wesley helps her to escape her emotional, inner turmoil and become a physical, sensual being and pretty soon, she's visiting him a few times a week. This doesn't really help her problems though, which she, and her mother, realizes later, but it helped to run away from it all, even for just a few hours. Then comes a problem, it's not just physical anymore.
I loved Bianca and her sharp wit even if she was a bit cynical and bitter for my taste. I enjoyed seeing the world from her perspective and I could relate to her, especially when she gave names to things, like the Skinny Squad for the cheerleaders. She was an enjoyable and funny character and I admired her dedication and loyalty to her friends, even if she went off track with them for awhile.
Wesley was the classical misunderstood bad boy. He was a player and desired the 'company' of girls because of the neglect of his parents and disapproval of his grandmother. At first, he came off as an arrogant 'horn dog poop' but once Bianca spent more time with him, she saw that he was... less arrogant and more genuine than she first thought. I loved how Wesley got her to play pool and video games with him before they did 'The Deed'. Very sneaky.
"I wanted to make sure you were fine... and that he was okay, too. You didn't, like, stab the boy, did you? I mean, I totally disapprove of murdering hotties, but if you need help burying the body, you know I'll bring the shovel."
I loved her friends. They had their quirks and flaws, but who doesn't?