Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday, Dear Rich Girl Happy Birthday to ... Oh, wait, Nevermind.
On the day of Ariel's 16th birthday p...moreHappy Birthday to you Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday, Dear Rich Girl Happy Birthday to ... Oh, wait, Nevermind.
On the day of Ariel's 16th birthday party weekend starts, she is buzzing with excitement. She has managed a private concert from a heartthrob rock star, her father has made all the arrangements to have the entire weekend be all expense paid, all about Ariel.
Sera does not want to go to Ariel's party, her ex-best-friend's party weekend. She's been a social pariah for the past 9 and a half months. She is not looking forward to the pranks that her fellow classmates are sure to pull on her, but her family is making her go.
...and then all hell breaks loose. The body guards that were hired to protect Ariel, her classmates, and the rock star, turn on Ariel. The armed guards turn on Ariel and her very very rich father.
I found myself surprisingly enjoying this book. I found myself actually caring that Ariel and Sera mended bridges. I wanted to know why they burned those bridges in the first place. I wanted to know who lived and who died. I wanted to see the kids grow into themselves and fight back. I wanted to read this book. Basically - I couldn't put it down.
Where it really lost stars were the love interests. Everytime one of the girls got all ...girly ... over one of the guys, I got taken out of the story. It wasn't a "we're scared, hold us, fuck us," that I would have believed. It was sappy chick-lit crap.
Overall, a pretty damn good entertaining read.(less)
Charley's father passes away and instead of leaving her money or properties in California, like she was anticipating, he leaves her a sugar cane farm...moreCharley's father passes away and instead of leaving her money or properties in California, like she was anticipating, he leaves her a sugar cane farm in Louisiana, where he worked as a boy. I can only imagine Charley's reaction to be something like this:
A modern black woman who has spent her entire life in urban California, inherits a sugar cane farm in Louisiana, drops everything, and moves out (dragging her 11 year old kicking and screaming) there to try her hand at it. May I refer you to the above gif?
That was, in a nutshell, my reaction to the first few pages of the book: a good, old fashioned, dafuq moment. However, once I worked past my incredulity that a woman would do that, even one whose husband passed 4 years prior, I found myself begrudgingly really enjoying the book.
I found the family dynamic of Charley, her grandmother, aunt, and brother pretty interesting. I found the can farming even more so. I really enjoy the idea of someone stepping out of their comfort zone, overcoming great adversity and succeeding, even marginally in making themselves comfortable or happy. I know it sounds like a horrible cliche, and I suppose it is, but gorram, I found this book a rather comfy fit for a porch read - which is indeed where I read the bulk of it.
Sometimes the race aspects of the novel seemed a little forced and occasionally detracted from the story itself of triumph. But it did make for a much richer cast of characters. So, you win some, you lose some.
One of my issues with the book was actually the ending. The ending had a lot more to do with Charley's brother than I would have anticipated, considering there was so little build with him until the last third or so of the book. And then it just ended. I wasn't left satisfied with the ending. Sure, I've been less satisfied, but I felt like the ending was missing some "umph" that would have really made this book something special.
Overall, an enjoyable read however. I'd suggest it as a beach read or a poolside read, since we are finally reaching that season!(less)
Dear modern guilty pleasure YA books, why does the third book always suck? Seriously. What the fuck is up with that?
Okay, so first of all a brief summ...moreDear modern guilty pleasure YA books, why does the third book always suck? Seriously. What the fuck is up with that?
Okay, so first of all a brief summary. Chloe is a "typical" (we'll come back to this) teenager who finds out her biological mother and she herself is a cat person known as the Mai. Tada! Told you it would be brief.
So, while book 1 and 2 were full of entertainment value. I had to regularly pretend that Chloe was 18 or 20. There was just waaaaay too much sex for me to be comfortable reading it in a "she's 16," sort of way. It was sort of pedophiliac in a few scenes, the one outside a club still makes me cringe just thinking about it. I know 16 year olds have a lot of hormones and most of them (so it seems) are not virgins, but goddamn, I don't need to read about it in graphic detail. I'm 27 - it made me uncomfortable and I'm regularly a horny fuck. I'm no prude, I swear. Sex is part of life, and therefore should be a part of literature, but goddamn, this just made me squirm and not in a fun way.
And the third book. Can we just say anti-climactic? It built and built and built and built until it broke ... and then it just ended.(less)
Vampires Don't Need to Sparkle, People For the past ... some number of years I've been avoiding the vampire young adult novels and movies. I figure th...moreVampires Don't Need to Sparkle, People For the past ... some number of years I've been avoiding the vampire young adult novels and movies. I figure the reason for this can go pretty much unspoken. I blame the book-series-that-shall-not-be-named. Twilight. cough. hack. Even saying the name after reading the first two books in the series makes me cringe. Vampires have been completely tamed, turned into creatures that can be domesticated as long as you love them enough. What nonsense is that? Part of what makes them romantic is that they are monstrous. Dracula was romantic, but damn, he didn't sparkle. Gavriel was romantic in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, he didn't sparkle either, he bled. Thank you, Holly Black, for restoring my faith in vampires.
Tana is an average human teenage girl. She likes to party, has a douchebag ex-boyfriend who she can't seem to shake, a best friend away at drama camp, and a tag-along little sister. One night while she's at a sundown party, all of that changes. She wakes up, after passing out in a shower, to carnage beyond what she can believe. The description of the dried blood in the carpet crunching between her bare toes - definitely a winner and when I knew that this had some real potential. Someone had cracked a window to let a breeze into the locked down farm house and everyone had died for it. She finds herself on a roadtrip to Coldtown, with her vampire bitten ex-boyfriend and a slightly crazy vampire, Gavriel.
Coldtown is basically a quarantine for vampires. I adored the way that Holly Black approached vampirism. She approaches it with a combination of a disease, an addiction, and an unlocking of the inner self. In this world, when you've been bitten by a vamp, you are considered Cold. This is when the craving for human blood kicks in. Once someone who is Cold drinks human blood, they die and wake up a full fledged vampire. However, there is a catch. If a person manages to go eighty eight days Cold, without drinking human blood, they beat the disease. Of course, these 88 days are basically like detoxing from drugs, except you have superhuman strength and senses. Usually, once someone goes Cold, they bring themselves to Coldtown, or their families turn them in, because beating being Cold is so rare and difficult that it is basically considered impossible. Once you're in Coldtown, you never never ever get back out.
Truly, the only reason that this wasn't a five star book was something I couldn't quite put my finger on. The gore was delicious, the people were real, the background was fascinating, the vampires were tackled beautifully. However, for some reason that I can't put my finger on it felt like the writing lacked passion. It lacked some sort of spark that I kept hoping to find. It just wasn't there.
Overall, an amazing book that speaks volumes for the classically gory blood-soaked vampires, even in young adult. Vampires don't need to sparkle, people.(less)
Forget this Game A few years ago when this book came out, it created quite a buzz for itself. I think it was a best seller of some sort (national? int...moreForget this Game A few years ago when this book came out, it created quite a buzz for itself. I think it was a best seller of some sort (national? international? who cares). It was a book that everyone I spoke to adored; though I really had absolutely no idea what it was about, the mass outcrying that it was brilliant made me want to read it. So when it showed up in the Kindle Daily Deals for $1.99 (or something else ridiculously cheap), I jumped on it.
It took me something stupid like two and a half months to finish this book. Now, I know that this is a new blog and you all don't know me very well, but I read way faster than that! It was horribly boring. I don't know if there was something lost in translation, but it kept feeling like every time something interesting was about to happen they had to take a time out to discuss town politics. Every time the hangman was about to start the torture of the midwife who was suspected of witch craft and murder of children, they'd have to go ahead and talk about the leper house and all the families that disagreed with having it built, or the fucking wagon people. I couldn't have cared any less about the transportation business and yet I found myself reading about it and it ended up having really almost nothing to do with the plot line. And the town rivalries? Also had very little to do with the actual plot or how it was resolved.
Things finally seemed to get less boring around the 75% mark, and they finally were interesting around 80%. Unfortunately, by that time I didn't care any more. The Devil character was someone I had been really intrigued with during the first month that I read this book. By the time I found out who he was, I didn't give a shit. By the time the "big reveals" came around in the last 20% of the book, I didn't care and was simply relieved to be having the book come to an end. For a while there, I thought that this book was going to end up on a Did Not Finish shelf. Luckily, that last 25 percent of the novel pulled it out of the depths of hell and only landed it in purgatory. Therefore, two stars.
Now I'm going to move onto a book that I'm really excited to read.(less)