This book was just the type of book I needed. Something I could fully immerse myself and get lost in. Let's ju...more Originally posted at The Teen Book Guru
This book was just the type of book I needed. Something I could fully immerse myself and get lost in. Let's just say, that my visit next door? Isn't one that I'll be forgetting about anytime soon.
While I love Contemporary novels, at heart I'm a Para girl. Hand me a book with werewolves, vampires, and things that don't exist, and I'm a happy camper! With Contemps, though, I'm super picky. They have to be really good for me to like them!
My Life Next Door was so much better than your average Contemporary read. Romantic, funny, witty and sweeter than PINK Cotton Candy (YES, that good), it tugged on my heart strings and captivated me till the very end. But I'm making it sound like this book was full of (admittedly yummy) FLUFF. But it wasn't just light and happy and all, there was some serious stuff going on! There was major suspense and drama and mystery. I had no idea it would end the way it did! I didn't expect it at all---and that's über rare for a Contemporary read!
You've definitely probably heard me say this, but a good book is only as good as it's characters, right? Well I loved every single one of the characters in this book! From the goofy Garretts, to the stoned yet lovable Tim, I fell head over heels in love with all of them. Especially Jase, the sweetest bad-boy I have EVER met. He has a leather jacket! Nuff said! Seriously, guys, I think I can hear wedding bells chiming in the distance...
And Sam, our sweet and quirky MC was a perfect narrator. I really felt for her! Guys, I think I can say, without any hesitation, that her mom was really messed up. All her mom cared about was winning the darn elections! I mean, she just had no clue what was going on in her daughter's lives, and she was dating a really cheap slop. Thank doodles Sam had the Garretts!
But I can't stand not mentioning the whole Garrett family, made up of eight children and two loving, affectionate parents. Loud, affectionate and messy, the Garretts were a stark contrast to Sam's family. And while Jase was definitely my favorite Garrett, George, Jase's five year old brother (who watched too much Discovery Channel for his own good) was a close runner-up! You have not truly understood pure cuteness until you meet George. So what are you waiting for? Go and read this amazing book! And give George a big huggle for me!!
My Life Next Door, while a fairly light and SUPER fun read, is also full of serious choices, suspense, and surprising edginess. Hands down, my favorite Contemporary read of 2012 so far!(less)
Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi is a fast-paced, action-packed ride, with a passionate and intense romance. Wo...more*Read full review at www.teenbookguru.com*
Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi is a fast-paced, action-packed ride, with a passionate and intense romance. Would I say it's as good as some of the other Dystopian novels of the last few years? Probably not. But it is definitely memorable and a very exciting read. I think that because there have been so many amazing post-apocalyptic novels recently, all the others kind of have to be mind-blowing too, just to measure up to all the great ones. *SPOILER ALERTS*
Peyton Anderson is one of the 'it-girls' in her school. She has the boyfriend, all her popular friends, and of course, the looks. Chris Parker is a big-hearted nerd. A nerd who's in love with Peyton. So, obviously, there is no way they could be together. Ever --- not even if the world ended --- or so that's what they think. Peyton's dad is a scientist - a mad scientist. He's convinced that the end of the world is right around the corner, and that creatures similar to zombies are going to cause it, but no one believes him- not even Peyton. So when people start to realize that the world is coming to an end, Peyton is prepared.
Chase and Peyton are brought together under strange circumstances - they both happen to be the first people to witness the first step of the end of the world- the infection. They start to grow close to each other, and make plans to run away. But (in typical Romeo and Juliet fashion), there is a last-minute change of plans, and Peyton can't leave with Chris. This leads to a whole lot of sadness and confusion and feelings of betrayal on Chris' part, and just a bunch of sadness on Peyton's side. So imagine their surprise when they meet again after four years - and find that they are both one of the few people in the whole world who are still alive. *SPOILERS OVER*
In Tomorrow Land, there were a lot of flashbacks to when everything was normal and also how the end of the world started, which was nice, because it provided a background to the characters, and made them seem more real. It also made it easier to sympathize with both Peyton and Chris. The best part of the book would have to be the romance, for me personally. Chris was just such a sweet heart *note the past tense*, and it broke my heart to see how easily Peyton used to dismiss him. Of course, when they meet after four years he isn't the same nice, easy guy who Peyton remembered (but, come on, you have to be tough and hard to survive the end of the world!). They got together eventually, but I still felt bad for Chris. It made me wonder - are there any guys out there who are as forgiving and committed as Chris? Probably not.
Peyton was a joy to get to know as well. While I don't normally like the 'queen-bee, rules the school' type of characters, I have to say I really liked Peyton. Not only was she a fierce fighter, and not only could she kick some major zombie ass, but she was also nice and caring -- and most importantly, she loved Chris back and stuck with him through the good and bad. And at the end of the day, what else could you ask for?
Something I didn't really like was the ending. It left so many questions unanswered and really left me hanging, it just seemed a little rushed to me. But there were some really good parts in the book, and I found Tomorrow Land to be a captivating read that left my fingernails bitten to the core, and my heart bursting with hope and happiness at the wonderful romance that Mancusi so wonderfully brought to life.
**This review is based on an ARC (Advance Readers Copy)**
Even though, like all the other hopelessly obsessed, hardcore The Body Finder fans out there, I was eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, I'll admit I was worried how Kimberly Derting was going to pull off yet another amazing book... would The Last Echo follow in the brilliant footprints of the other two books before? It turned out, however, that I had nothing to worry about. In The Last Echo, Kimberly Derting gives us a book with thrills and surprises at every turn, the scariest psycho of all the three books, and more romance and heart-stopping moments than ever. I loved it.
After finishing The Last Echo, I took some time to marvel at how attached I'd become to Jay and Violet, and just the whole series in general. Jay and Violet are two people who I've come to know so well, and it's all thanks to Derting's fabulous writing. She makes the characters come alive. There wasn't (much to my dismay), plenty of Jay, but there was a lot of Rafe. While anxiously awaiting my ARC of The Last Echo, I kept praying that Derting wouldn't pull a Twilight and put in a love triangle. But, of course, there was.... and I was prepared for it. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the fact that I actually liked Rafe. Crazy, I know! I was still rooting for Jay, but I kind of pitied Rafe.
Jay and Violet's romance in The Last Echo was much more intense than before, and that showed that they were growing up and that they were heading towards a new, deeper stage in their relationship. As usual, when Jay and Violet were together, I couldn't help but smile. It was like electricity was crackling off the very pages of The Last Echo. Their chemistry was undeniable, and Kimberly Derting really is a genius for creating such a powerful, romantic, and yet natural and very realistic relationship that... over the three books, I have fallen in love with.
As I mentioned before, the bad guy, 'the girlfriend collector' is creepier than ever this time, and is set on Violet. In the past, other people have always come to Violet's rescue, but this time, it's all up to her. Is the person she's meant to save herself? And will she be able to do it? The tension kept rising until the very end, and I couldn't stop reading. I HAD to find out what happened next.
A captivating, thrilling, toe-tingling, heart-stopping read that most definitely does not disappoint!
5 Muffins - Positively Enticing!
**Thanks so much to the lovely Kimberly Derting for sending me an ARC of The Last Echo for review!!** (less)
** An advance reader copy was provided by the publisher (thank you!)**
I love how Zoe made her dreams (mostly) come true, but y'all, I'm an even bigger...more** An advance reader copy was provided by the publisher (thank you!)**
I love how Zoe made her dreams (mostly) come true, but y'all, I'm an even bigger fan of how Strohmeyer made my dreams (ALL) come true with this delightfully witty, cute, romantic read! I knew I was in for a sugarful delight, because after reading Smart Girls Get What They Want a few months ago, I was completely hooked. Sarah, you can release a book called 'brusselsprouts' and I'll be first in line.
This book had everything going for it. From the sweet, likable characters, to the ending (which I'm still reeling from), to the cute, realistic romance. Zoe was a sweetie patootie. I can't believe how positive and upbeat she was even after her mother had just died. If I was in her shoes, I'd be crying at the words 'home-made cookies'. At first, I wasn't really sure which guy I was supposed to be rooting for, because, come on, they were all super charming, but once I figured it out I felt pretty darn stupid, because it was actually quite obvious. I really want me a dose of that Prince Charming Cologne!
Even the Queen, the bossy, annoying, self-righteous step mother, grew on me! I was fully prepared to hate her guts, but I ended up laughing rather than hating on her. She reminded me of an overgrown toddler on Toddlers and Tiaras- but in the best, most pain-stakingly hilarious way possible.
What I especially liked about this book, apart from like, everything, was the fairytale theme! I'm a ginormous sucker for fairytale retellings, so this was perfecto. Guys, it's nothing like the original Cinderella story, so if you go in expecting clichés and for it to stick to the storyline, you'll be surprised and maybe a tad disappointed. But I actually really enjoyed how different and quirky it was compared to all the other retellings out there.
Being a Contemporary/High-School novel I was not at all expecting a twist in the end. But BOY did Strohmeyer get me, hook, line and all. This is one of the rare times a Contemporary novel has managed to shock me, and I have to say, I really enjoyed the whole knocking my socks off. It was... eye-opening, and definitely ego-lowering.
A scrumptious, candied read that whisked me off my feet and transported me to a whimsical land of non-stop laughter, romance, and fairy-tale magic, all the while maintaining an air of heartfelt authenticity.(less)
Woah! What was that? I just got punched in the face with a huge dose of awesome! Okay, call me out for cheesiest line of the decade century, but Alice...moreWoah! What was that? I just got punched in the face with a huge dose of awesome! Okay, call me out for cheesiest line of the decade century, but Alice in Zombieland was just that! This book didn't just feature some pretty badass zombies, but swoon-worthy male leads and a really strong and fierce heroine too. Finally, SMART zombies... that's what I'm talking about!
While this wasn't really a retelling per say of the beloved classic, by ANY means actually (I'm talking no connections whatsoever - ZILCH), it was still really fun to read. The characters were charming and witty, and the action was epic and really entertaining. For me, and this shouldn't be taken the wrong way at all, this was a really nice read that I didn't have to think too much about, like one of those typical Hollywood action flicks with cute guys, blood and gore, and a heck of a lot of fight scenes.
Right, the characters. Obviously, I loved all of them; they all had their special roles that added up and strangely correlated. Alice, the MC, narrates the story with feistiness to die for, spunk, and attitude. She was so much fun to get to know! I ended up really admiring her strong won't-take-no-for-an-answer character. Cole. OH Cole. You sexy, badass, dangerous, confusing guy. His chemistry with Alice was undeniable and their back and forth witty and humorous banter was just hilarious! Then there's Kat, Alice's best friend, who I equally loved. She's fierce, just like Alice, and so confident! Not to mention she's also a true friend. While Alice was off fighting zombies and protecting her very existence, Kat was dealing with her own problems which added surprising and needed depth to the story.
Although the romance isn't my favorite aspect of the book by any means as it was kind of clichéd at times and got a teeny bit exasperating, the zombies were awesome. Like, seriously. I'm not a huge zombie fan myself (although I do prefer them to vampires-but then again, I prefer anything to vampires), I have to admit that they were really well done! These zombies weren't your typical brain-dead, heartless creatures you so often read about in YA Paranormal books, these creepy critters had a plan and that made them scary as bazookas!
While I wasn't sure just how much I would like this upon starting it due to the annoyingly slow start, I ended up enjoying this book. Enough entertainment to fulfill your needs and kick-ass zombies (for a change), Alice in Zombieland was fun and snarky, and the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, definitely makes my to-read list!