If you're familiar with the Accidental Friends series--and liked them--you might like this book. However, this is not a good entry point for someone nIf you're familiar with the Accidental Friends series--and liked them--you might like this book. However, this is not a good entry point for someone new to the series.
Also, liking the previous titles won't guarantee that you'll like this one. While it includes all of the features that make a Dakota Cassidy novel fun--the wit, the language, and the sex--neither Casey nor Clay is unique enough to stand out as a character among the other Friends. That said, this was a fun read. It was neither riveting nor new, and I'm glad I borrowed my copy from the county library. ...more
Crusie's note at the beginning of this book identifies this as the first novel she published, and after reading it, I can say that it does read very mCrusie's note at the beginning of this book identifies this as the first novel she published, and after reading it, I can say that it does read very much like a first novel. The characters are more stereotyped than in her later works, and the supporting characters have less influence on the text.
Otherwise, this was another fun romp from Crusie. If you like her novels, I would recommend reading this one, but I wouldn't recommend it as the first of her books to read. Her later titles are much more impressive, and they're a better place to start....more
After having just finished rereading the "Boy" series, I decided to continue my Meg Cabot kick and return to a title that I had not reread in years: SAfter having just finished rereading the "Boy" series, I decided to continue my Meg Cabot kick and return to a title that I had not reread in years: Size 12 is not Fat. Unfortunately, unlike the "Boy" books, this one didn't fare so well as a reread, and lost a full star in my estimation.
The story is rather straightforward: in the tradition of cozy mysteries, an unlikely detective finds herself in a situation where she is compelled to solve a mystery. In this case, the detective is Heather Wells, a former teen singer. After gaining a few pounds, demanding to sing her own lyrics, and losing her recording contract, Heather discovered her boyfriend (a member of the boy band Easy Street) was cheating on her with a more successful pop singer. Without much education, and having had her mom steal all of her money, Heather finds a job as an assistant resident director of a residence hall at New York College. Soon, a girl dies after apparently elevator surfing, but Heather knows this girl is not the type to elevator surf, and she decides to search for the truth, even when no one will listen.
When I first read the book, years ago, I saw a number of reviews that commented on the repeated joke regarding the dorm, I mean residence hall. Every time someone mistakenly calls Fischer Hall a dorm, someone has to correct that person with the right term. If it's within Heather's thoughts, she corrects herself. Initially, I didn't have a problem with the joke; I'm an academic, and I've seen the changing language of higher education. However, it got old quickly and Cabot used it throughout the entire novel.
I still think this is a good book, but it simply wasn't as charming on a reread as it was the first time....more
In the third (and possibly last!) Bard Academy novel, Cara Lockwood has settled into her formula pretty comfortably. Miranda is looking forward to herIn the third (and possibly last!) Bard Academy novel, Cara Lockwood has settled into her formula pretty comfortably. Miranda is looking forward to her return to Bard Academy, with its secrets and Heathcliff, but things don't go as planned. Suddenly, her sister is enrolled as a freshman, and Miranda's world is invaded.
Once again, Miranda must reconcile the worlds of fiction and fact, as well as keep her teachers in line.
I find these books entertaining and fun, but the first two have not quite equaled the first book. In that one, Lockwood created a daring postmodern, posttextual world, one that combined purgatory and the power of text. Having created that world, Lockwood hasn't added all that much to it in the last two novels. In this one, as well as in book two, The Scarlet Letterman, Lockwood seems content to advance the plot rather than the world building. I find that something of a shame, as the world itself was what drew me to the books.
That said, I do find them entertaining and will continue to read any future Bard Academy novels....more
When I read The Stepsister Scheme last year, I was unprepared for Jim C. Hine's humor. The book's cover copy led me to expect some kind of slapstick aWhen I read The Stepsister Scheme last year, I was unprepared for Jim C. Hine's humor. The book's cover copy led me to expect some kind of slapstick action, and that isn't what I got. Oddly enough, I was thrilled, because the book was much better than anything I had expected. At the end of my review, I stated that much would depend upon the second book, The Mermaid's Madness Princess Book 2. After creating a situation where Talia, Snow, and Danielle were cast as the Queen's version of Charlie's Angels, book two would prove how that scenario would continue to grow--or falter.
I'm thrilled to say that this was a thoroughly enjoyable book. Once again, Hines has shown that he's a great researcher and a great storyteller. He's taken Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale and imagined it into something new, greater, and ultimately more realistic.
The novel opens with Danielle, Talia, Snow, and Queen Beatrice en route to deliver "tribute" to the mermaid (they prefer "undine") king. It's a ceremonial thing; the royals are friendly, and the tribute is nothing more than strawberry preserves. However, they discover that the king is dead--murdered by his daughter. She's insane, and she's not friendly to Beatrice at all--leaving the queen with a mortal wound. The princess trio find themselves tracking down the mermaid queen, Lirea, in a desperate attempt to save Beatrice's life.
One of my favorite features of this book was the emphasis on storytelling. Mermaids are singers, and their magic flows through their voices. With the importance of their voices in every day life, they attach great importance to oral history. Hine's novel is quite clear on the fact that history is changed by the teller, and each character's version of the story is colored by his or her perceptions of it--as well as what they want others to perceive. Add to this the fact that the princesses actions are becoming the stuff of legend, and you have a very rich, thoughtful, and funny novel....more
This is one of my favorite Meg Cabot novels, and I'm surprised I don't read it more often. I'm not too proud to admit that, as a teen, the sort of stoThis is one of my favorite Meg Cabot novels, and I'm surprised I don't read it more often. I'm not too proud to admit that, as a teen, the sort of story in this novel would have been immensely appealing. I was the sort of imaginative kid, weaned on teeny bopper magazines, that could imagine what it would be like if a teen celebrity moved to my town. (And, rumor had it, Patrick Swayze almost did move to my town--but the homeowner refused to sell the stable with the house, and the deal fell through. While Swayze was not a teen at the time, all of us just knew that if he moved to our town, other famous people were bound to visit him . . . and so the daydreaming would start.)
Part of the reason I like this novel so much is because it does present that fantasy, but, at the same time, it doesn't buy into it. Jenny Greenley, the protagonist, is far too sensible to crush on a celebrity--even when he comes to visit her school (undercover, of course) and she's assigned as his two-week tour guide. One of Jenny's friends, Trina, once referred to Jenny as "mayonnaise," and that description has stuck with her forever. Jenny knows that she's the glue that keeps her disparate group of friends together, that smooths things out so that they work. However, when Luke Striker comes to Clayton, Indiana, he upsets her vision of her town and herself. Luke, the stranger, can see what Jenny cannot. She's no bland mayonnaise--she's the special sauce. She's the nice person that can get things done and create real change at her school, if only she'll have the confidence to do it.
There are three things that really bother Jenny at Clayton High--the treatment of a classmate known as "Cara Cow," Jenny's role in the show choir (which is like an evil version of Glee), and the kidnapping of Betty Ann--her Latin teacher's doll. Inspired by Luke's faith in her, Jenny sets out to fix what she can at Clayton.
I love this book because this is Jenny's journey. While Luke's comments might inspire her, she's the one that steps forward and takes action. And, to top it off, it's just plain good fun....more
Sometimes I think Meg Cabot has access to the ur-plot for chick lit. Her novels seem to exemplify the genre. The Boy series is one of her most creativSometimes I think Meg Cabot has access to the ur-plot for chick lit. Her novels seem to exemplify the genre. The Boy series is one of her most creative entries in the series. Each book in the series expands the epistolary format of the first book to continue to tell the story of a new romance through the characters' various written outlets. In this one, readers have access to a travel journal, notes on a PDA, emails sent by BlackBerry, menus, and even legal documents.
All in all, this is a fast, fun, light-hearted read. ...more