I've enjoyed April Lindner's prior two retellings, but this one didn't work out as well for me. Love, Lucy is also a retelling -- of A Room With a ViI've enjoyed April Lindner's prior two retellings, but this one didn't work out as well for me. Love, Lucy is also a retelling -- of A Room With a View, a book I've never read, so I can't comment on that aspect, but I'm left wondering if ARWAV was the best choice for a YA retelling. I liked the Italian travelogue and appreciated the Roman Holiday references, but this book just didn't ring true to me, either as a self-discovery story or a romance.
Another issue I had was that Love, Lucy felt very similar to Gayle Forman's Just One Day: a sheltered girl with overbearing parents accepts a graduation trip to Italy, has a whirlwind romance with a guy she just met, then returns to college, alone and with a broken heart.
But Love, Lucy also has ... a triangolo amoroso: a love triangle. Back at college, Lucy meets and begins to date the (perfectly nice) Shane but hides the fact she's still mooning over Jesse, who (after she has started acting weird and jealous) stopped returning her emails. So Lucy decides she will move on, tells Shane they're exclusive, then pretty much treats him like dirt.
When I thought about it, it wasn't even the triangle that bothered me, it was Lucy's sneaky and passive aggressive behavior. She's from a rich family and is constantly bemoaning her strict, controlling parents who also happen to bankroll all the things she loves -- her trip to Italy and (presumably) the voice and dance and acting lessons that have helped make her into an talented musical theater actress. When Lucy's father bribed her to give up her theater dreams in exchange for the trip to Italy, she agreed, promising to major in business.
What happened next is Exhibit A on why parents shouldn't try to control kids by bribing them or withholding money. Lucy agrees to her father's deal, happily enjoys her trip, then secretly tries out for a lead in a college production of RENT. When her father discovers what she's done and threatens to cut her off financially, she calls home and begs her mom to change mean Daddy's mind. Yes, Lucy's father comes off as a jerk and a tool, but Lucy acts like someone who is used to having her cake and eating it too. And, without spoilers, that's the way she behaves in the romance as well -- she doesn't seem to want to give up either guy and seems genuinely surprised when one of them tells her that's not the way it works.
"You can't have us both, Lucy."
"It feels to me like everyone's always trying to tell me what to do," Lucy said, her voice peevish. ....more
I really enjoyed this author's debut book, Six Months Later, and was very excited to read this!
Like Six Months Later, Gone Too Far is a contemporary/sI really enjoyed this author's debut book, Six Months Later, and was very excited to read this!
Like Six Months Later, Gone Too Far is a contemporary/suspense/revenge tale that takes place in high school. (I mean, most YA takes place when the characters are attending high school, but most of this book actually takes place in school.) While Six Months Later felt a little sci-fi, this book is more firmly grounded in reality.
The main character, Piper, is a senior who dreams of being a globetrotting photojournalist, but for her final year in high school, must resign herself to being on the yearbook staff. One day, she's running late for class and finds a mysterious notebook. The book has secrets about all Piper's classmates, but with the students' names written in code. Piper's mildly intrigued, until one student's secret is outed, resulting in suicide. Then Piper is contacted by text by an anonymous person who asks her help in getting revenge. Piper agrees and texts back the name of the person she deems most responsible for the girl's death. And so begins her uneasy partnership with a person who may or may not have a hidden agenda against the mean/popular kids in school... But can Piper trust this anonymous vigilante?
If you're thinking this book has a strong PLL (Pretty Little Liars) vibe, it does. The anonymous texts, the bullying, the secrets -- all of this reminded me a bit of the show. The book did take a while to set things up -- I'd say I wasn't fully invested until about a third of the way in -- but once Piper becomes a full accomplice of Mystery Texter, with unforseen consequences, things get considerably more gripping. There's a romance that I thought added a nice touch to the book and just when I was worried that the characters didn't have enough depth, they got more :)
I'm pretty good at guessing culprits, and I was sure that I'd picked out this one based on some random details that didn't seem essential to the story (view spoiler)[ the weird yearbook advisor who's close to their age seemed like a perfect culprit to me, (hide spoiler)] but I was happy to be completely and totally wrong. I did think at the end, things got a little bit clunky as the loose ends were wrapped up, but all in all I did enjoy this once the plot got going.
The "mean girls" and high school hijinks in this one won't be for every reader, but I'd definitely recommend it to those who are looking for a book with a PLL vibe and/or YA revenge story.. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A cute, feel-good holiday-themed book. The opening chapter hinted at more romance than actually materializes, so don't go in expecting a lot of swoon.A cute, feel-good holiday-themed book. The opening chapter hinted at more romance than actually materializes, so don't go in expecting a lot of swoon. I'd say this has a young YA, Disney channel feel -- charm, cute grocery store antics, lessons about judging (and misjudging) people, etc. A perfect light holiday read! ...more
I've enjoyed Cat Patrick's sci fi books so decided to try this, but after about reading 37%, I'm not sure this is for me. Since I am a fan of the authI've enjoyed Cat Patrick's sci fi books so decided to try this, but after about reading 37%, I'm not sure this is for me. Since I am a fan of the author, I'll try to describe the part I read, and maybe it will be for you ;)
Court is sort of ... an alt-history contemporary fairy tale. The premise felt rather like Vampire Academy, but without the paranormal vampire stuff. In Court, this secret royal court exists in Wyoming. (Just like VA has their court in Montana.) And there are dukes of things like Natural Gas, Coal, Wind, Oil and .... Tourism. I didn't really get that. And without any vampires, I didn't really get why these royals needed to hide out from the rest of the world. They were sort of like a religious cult without the religion. In the part I read, they were just there being secretive for no reason I could figure out.
The POV characters are Haakon, the heir to the throne, who has to become king when his father is murdered. There's Gwen, who is betrothed to Haakon, but likes to sneak around and play ice hockey. There's Mary, and I wasn't sure what her role in the story was in the part I read. And Alexander who was.... I can't remember. Either guarding Haakon or spying on him or maybe both.
The book DID have potential conflict -- the murder (which was kept secret) and the fact that Haakon and Gwen are betrothed but each getting it on with someone else, but in the part of the book I read, none of this conflict had really started to brew. Nothing much happened. Haakon told Gwen she had to marry him and then slept with someone else. Mary complained. Gwen played hockey and flirted with some guy. It just wasn't grabbing me.......more
This was EXACTLY the book I needed this past weekend. Though I'm a big fan of The Amazing Race -- which some of this book is definitely modeled on --This was EXACTLY the book I needed this past weekend. Though I'm a big fan of The Amazing Race -- which some of this book is definitely modeled on -- I haven't found much success with YA books that take place on reality shows. A lot of books like that use the reality TV premise to create a lot of manufactured drama.
Yes, there was some drama in this, but the good kind. And I loved that this book used the backdrop of reality TV to write a moving, character-driven story that raises interesting questions about the nature of "reality" on TV ... and in life. Plus, its a sister story AND a girl power story. Really, (heh!) what's not to like about that?
If you are a fan of reality TV -- and that's fine with me -- there are some hilarious made-up shows in the book.
PS If you're curious, my only other favorite reality TV YA is Something Real by Heather Demetrios. Highly recommend that book and this one!...more