I enjoyed reading Sophia's novel about one girl struggling with what it mReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Image is everything. But not in Ted's case.
I enjoyed reading Sophia's novel about one girl struggling with what it means to be like herself and still feel beautiful, withstanding trials involving her family and that once in a lifetime brush with stardom, and what she's willing to give up for fame and fortune.
Like when most careers start, Ted was trying to earn some money with her sister when she was scouted by someone. He tells her she has something special in her, something that will make her a star. But self conscious Ted has endured quite a lot growing up and someone telling her she has potential is the last thing she'll believe. When she realizes it wasn't fake and becomes an opportunity for her to reinvent herself and be a model, Ted wants to give it a try. But then her older sister Ava got sick, and as Ava's health deteriorates, Ted's entry into the fashion world has brought about experiences she might not be able to handle, and Ava might not have much time left.
First of all, let me just say this. I admire Ted. She might have the lowest self-esteem a teenager can have, but living all her life as a freakishly tall, stick thin kid doesn't exactly give her the boost she needs. All she wants was to feel good about herself, and she thought modeling can give it to her. What Ted went through while she was trying to fulfill her dreams made me admire models. They work hard just like everyone else, and they face rejection constantly. However glamorous life might be for them, they worry about a lot of things, weight, appearance, which I think will crush one's self confidence any given time. They're tough, and Ted had to learn that. What made me like her all the more was her love for older sister, Ava. Ted would do anything to make Ava happy, and being the selfless person that she is, if becoming a model can make Ava happy, Ted will do it for her.
I dismissed Nick as a potential love interest at first. He's Nightmare boy, and he lives up to the name. He was so condescending, temperamental and stubborn. Are artists supposed to be as opinionated as he is? But even though Nick can be harsh at times, it was because he knew what Ted was getting herself into. But no matter how bad he was with Ted, his type, the artsy, quiet type is someone who will surprise you. He's a character who surprisingly gives some great insights into the profession Ted was aiming for. Nick is definitely an unconventional guy, the type who sees the beauty in someone who isn't even aware of it. I like him for his frankness and his shyness makes him so adorable!
There is quite a mix of personalities in all of the characters you will meet in the look. Ava is definitely one you will love with her determination to live on despite the challenges. She's this bright, ball of energy, the complete opposite of Ted. Together with Ted, they set out to discover just what true beauty is. She can be fierce and she's a fighter. There's also those who are cunning and would do anything to get what they want. The Look has a wide range of characters that made the book feel so alive, it's hard not to hate and love all of them.
What I loved about The Look is Sophia's ability to convey Ted's experiences in great detail. I felt her frustrations, her sadness, her fear for Ava, her enormous love for her family, her uncertainty with herself. I instantly connected with Ted. It makes one look inside herself and think of just what being beautiful really means. Is it a state of mind? A feeling? The things you do to yourself? Sometimes we have to take that leap of faith in order for us to know what's out there for us. Ted might not be suitable for modeling, but her experiences taught her how to see herself the way everybody sees her, that she's beautiful in her own way.
The emotions were palpable in each turn of the page. This book is so gorgeous in a lot of ways. Like Ted, it just blossoms into something really good. Just when you think it's depressing, you realize that it's not. It's entertaining, it's emotional and you'll have that satisfied smile on your face by the time you finish reading it. Hopeful, sweet, and highly relatable, The Look is a book worth reading. There were tears quite a few times but The Look is a book you'd want to read over and over. ...more
Admit it, at that moment you stepped inside the halls the first day of freshman year, you have dreams of taking overReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Admit it, at that moment you stepped inside the halls the first day of freshman year, you have dreams of taking over the school. And like everyone else, you find out it's difficult. Then hilarity ensues! Freshman Year was my story!
I think I speak for everyone when I say Kelsey was once our voice when we were in high school. Most of the time funny, always whiny, sometimes bordering on crazy but one who knows how to have fun and enjoy being a teenager, Kelsey's got such a vibrant voice that is such a delight reading this story! I can not only relate to this book, I lived what's in it! Although there were moments I felt irritated with her too, and makes me wonder if she's just really fourteen. I cannot do what she did when I was fourteen. At the same time it makes me wonder what I was doing when I was fourteen. Was I really trying to rule my own little corner of the world back then?
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters brought me back to high school and showed me how much fun it was. Kelsey and her friends reminded me a lot of my own set of friends, four girls who are much different but bonded so closely together. The drama, the conflicts, the boys, the crushes, everything makes me want to just go back in time and relive that point in my life when I was starting to learn a lot about myself, about relationships. It's that wonderful time where you're in between everything, where all of it is confusing and you're trying to find your way towards being a full fledged teenager.
Meredith Zeitlin created a very vibrant character in Kelsey. It was easy to relate to her and even though some of the scenes felt a bit exaggerated, what made me love this book is the way Kelsey went through what we all went through when we were in high school. The trial and errors of love and first loves, the complications brought about by friendships and girl codes and doing the crazy things and finding our own identities and places in life. All of it is part of being a teenager. And Meredith made us get on a ride down memory lane with each chapter of Kelsey's life we read of. Also, it wouldn't hurt that with it comes along the giddiness and the warmth, pleasant feelings of having crushes and trying to figure out how relationships really work.Who said only girls were going through awkward stages growing up? Boys too, and Ben was a reminder of that.
Outrageously funny and silly, but overall a sweet read, Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is one solid debut from Meredith Zeitlin. The bubbliness and the over-all cheerfulness of the book makes it the perfect book to read if you want something funny and light to take your mind of the heavier books you read. Good debut, Meredith!...more
Cynical and pessimistic, two words that describe Piper, and maybe some of the girls out there.
How ironic this book's premise is. A girl born on Valentines Day and yet she's someone who hates the very thought of celebrating that very day, much less thinking about that dreaded four letter word: LOVE.
Piper was born on Valentines Day and yet she doesn't share the same excitement and anticipation for it as everyone else. In fact, she feels the opposite. And like everyone else who has been let down, abandoned and got hurt because of love, may they be familial or for another person, Piper has learned to despise the very day. And yet she works in a shop that sells sweets and treats that celebrate it. Now her friends pressure her to not be alone on Valentine's, but can a non believer of love like Piper date?
Piper is this smart, kind kid who is afraid, and that's all there is to it. It's quite understandable. Why get your heart broken again? Her biological father deserted her, her step father walked out on them and all she ever does was date guys who wouldn't have the power to hurt her, make her serious, make her emotionally invested. But deep down, I think Piper still believes in love. How can she care for her younger siblings and her friends and her family if she doesn't?
I wish I had such supportive friends like Piper, who makes magic infused truffles for fun and do makeovers. It makes one miss girl bonding. Despite Piper's cynic view of love, her friends are always hopeful and helpful. Though their own relationships aren't the best example for Piper, they still do their best to remain positive, something Piper should do. You see the different types of love and the complications it brings through Piper's Mom, Claire, Jillian and Jan. The moments Piper and her friends spent crushing on Ben Donovan (yes, you have to say his complete name every time!) just made me laugh out loud. It's like me during high school all over again when I see my crush!
The truffles and all types of confectioneries this book has listed made me crave for a lot of sweets and chocolates! Can you imagine eating a Bacon flavored truffle? How about Silver M&Ms? Or Piper's Consternation Hearts! (Like what's on the book's cover)
What I know is this: You do not need magic to be in love. Some say love is like magic but there is no such thing as using spells to make someone fall in love with you. Love doesn't work that way. Piper and her friends were desperately looking for dates and a new love for Valentines Day, they didn't realize that what they're looking for is right in front of them. Like Charlie, who is such an amusing character! A guy through and through, from the huge appetite to being oblivious of most girls feelings for him even when that girl is right in front of him. This book is full of so many dense people that it's such a treat finding out if and how they will eventually come to that realization that who they need has been there all along. I live for the simple but awfully thoughtful and swift moments Charlie and Piper share. Just because everyone thinks you're going to end up together doesn't mean you will. It's the key to all of Piper's problems. She has to tell people how she really feels if she wants to move forward.
Love? Maybe is a fun, cute, short and sweet fluffy novel! It's a charming story about one girl who is not as unlovable like she thinks she is and her journey to appreciate all the love she's getting. Sometimes we get burned and we become afraid, but giving a person a second chance could go a long way. It's hard, but at least we can tell ourselves that we tried once more. With lots of funny scenes and smart advices about that four letter word, Love? Maybe is a book that will warm your hearts and make you think that maybe Valentine's Day isn't so bad. Each and every character in this book provides their own unique thoughts about love and even though some of them are not good, most will make you laugh out loud and think of how we view love in our own way.
For the cynical, for those who do not believe, Love? Maybe is a book that shows how it is to love and be loved. It's a perfect read for Valentine's Day!...more
I still remember that night when I woke up and my mom was staring at the TV in shock. That was September 11, the dayReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I still remember that night when I woke up and my mom was staring at the TV in shock. That was September 11, the day of the 9/11 bombing in the U.S. I think that will be forever etched in my mind, so a book written inspired by the 9/11 events will never go unnoticed by me.
A lot of families lost their loved ones that day of the terrorist attack, like 12 year old Ben. True to the summary, this book isn't just about that, but of Ben and his friends Preeti and Jed and what happened to them that summer.
Ben is a kid you would just like to hug, a kid you couldn't help but love. He was afraid to grieve for his parents because people will think he's being overly dramatic. And for a 12 year old to think of that just breaks my heart. And the hardships he has faced dealing with his mom's eating habits, that's a lot for a 12 year old who has also lost a father to take. Also, Preeti is so funny! She sounds very intelligent for an 11 year old, and I love how she always babbles, saying she's just trying to help cousins get rid of their emotional baggages. How can an 11 year old say that?
I loved this book for a number of reason. I was first skeptical when I first read that this is appeals to younger audiences, but I am glad I gave this a chance. Even with the MG feel of the book, readers will be able to relate to it in some ways. I feel like I'm seeing a younger version of myself through Ben, Jed and Preeti. How I had fun when I was young, with a very active imagination! Also, I love how hilarious this is. I've had quite a good laugh while I was reading this book. As if that isn't enough, there's also a very cute carton illustration in the end, which made the book more enjoyable than it already is.
We Can Be Heroes is not just all about fun. It also tackles issues like racism, through the eyes of children like Ben, Jed and Preeti. It's also about family, dealing with loss and grief, done in a very entertaining way. It was evident that Catherine Bruton knew what she was writing about with the way she presented sensitive issues and topics in this book. It tackled stereotypes, races, terrorism in a very good way.
We Can Be Heroes made me feel like a kid again, made me look back at those times and reflect on how good those times were. It also made me appreciate my family in a lot of ways, and seeing the friendship formed between all three children was so heart warming, that even when times were difficult they can still have fun. Set aside a few hours of your time and give this book a chance, will you?...more
I am sure book lovers all over the world understands this, but I didn't really want for this series to end. Ever. But this is the final book, and right now I am a total mess after leafing through the last page. I felt like a chapter of my life has ended as well.
Ash just had to have the final say in this epic story, and I am not complaining. I don't think I need to explain the plot anymore. If you think The Iron Queen is such an emotional book, then prepare to have your heart trampled on while reading The Iron Knight.
The formidable Winter Prince got broken in more ways than one in this book. To be whole again, he had to be broken down piece by piece. Ash had to feel and know what it's like to be a human, to be aware of his sins, to feel the hurt he has caused, to grow a conscience, to feel what it's like to wither away when the ones he loves remains the same, to have everything he wants in his hands just to be taken away because he will eventually die if he chose to become human. All of this to be with Meghan once again and to keep his promise and be by her side.
It hurts to see the cold, unfeeling, once mighty Winter Prince go through the countless trials and struggles he had to face. We always read of male leads in books saying that they are prepared to give up everything just to be with the one they love, but it's only with Ash that made me feel like he was really making a genuine sacrifice with the oath he has made. Because he had his doubts about it, second thoughts, worries, fears. There were times when he was swayed, when he wanted to give up. The physical battles were nothing compared to the emotional conflicts Ash had to endure. And for the first time in the whole series, I am in awe of seeing how Ash's character finally unraveled. He's finally more than just the eternal brooding, stunning Winter Prince. I think I loved Ash a little bit more because of that. Will you trade immortality and power for love? Some say it's madness, but not with Ash. I am sad to see the cold facade of the Prince melt away, but I think I appreciated him more because he can finally be free to feel and be with the ones he loves. If there's anyone else in the book that deserves a happy ending, it's definitely Ash. It didn't make him less the person readers fell in love with, getting a soul just made him a person we'd love even more.
I couldn't even think of Puck properly but what certainly made me enamored with this series more is how the characters have evolved so much. Sure, Puck will always be the joker but we finally see some sense in Robin Goodfellow's character. The sarcastic jibes, the unnecessary quips and generally his talkative self is still there, but Puck finally understood and ultimately made the decision to let go. If it weren't for him, the entire series would be extremely boring. Thanks Robin Goodfellow for the laughs.
I thought we have seen all there is that the story has to offer, but there were certainly more surprises and twists in store for the readers, one final burst of shock, surprise, delight and a great wave of breath taking moments because The Iron Knight gives us all one final great adventure, and I have to say I loved every moment I've spent reading of it. Characters we don't expect to appear like the Big Bad Wolf and Ash and Puck's long lost love, Ariella, made this book a totally different experience than the rest of the Iron Fey series. And what made it more satisfying? We get to read it all through the point of view of the most intriguing character in the series, Ash. I've always wondered what goes on in the mind of the Unseelie Prince and I wasn't disappointed at all. Experiencing the world of Nevernever through his eyes was one of a kind.
I was an emotional mess when it was time to end the adventure. I cried a little during powerful moments and believe me when I say there were plenty. Things always seem a little grim for Ash. I was left breathless by the sweet yet fleeting moments of romance. But the one constant thing I did? I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I just couldn't bring myself to stop flipping through the pages and even though I dread reaching the end, I knew I had to find out how it all came to a close.
There's no doubt about it, The Iron Knight is a stunning conclusion of an excellent story. Julie Kagawa is an amazing writer and she just had to write something brilliant and beautiful to end Meghan and Ash's story. The world of the fey is something I would want to visit over and over again. Thanks Julie, for crafting such a gem of a book and a series. I feel like I'm saying goodbye to friends I have known for a long time when I finished reading this.
The one thing I am sure to say to readers who are looking for a great book: Read the Iron Fey series. You will never be disappointed, I promise!...more
I prefer to define 'stalking' as 'intense observation', or substitute that with the other phrase. Because really, woReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I prefer to define 'stalking' as 'intense observation', or substitute that with the other phrase. Because really, would you want to be labeled as a 'stalker'? The word has such a negative connotation that the way we see someone called as such changes dramatically. And in Cammie's case she is one, but she's not afraid to admit it.
I didn't quite understand how Cammie can call herself a stalker at first. I felt like everyone had wronged her. The whispers in the corridor, the snide remarks, the laughter from the cheer leaders and the popular kids all because of one reason: she is a stalker. How did she become one? Why? When Toby came into the picture, that's when I finally understood. Cammie is, indeed, a stalker. But don't they have feelings too? Don't they get hurt? Don't they get worried? It felt like exploring an unfamiliar territory while I was reading about Cammie. There were moments I felt like it was all a joke, then I felt like it was so ridiculous, and then I felt afraid. There are things that were wrong with Cammie, but they were not all bad. Cammie's 'problem' was brought on by a dysfunctional family and growing up in a very different environment where feelings are rarely showed and she was rarely appreciated. That was all she wants, attention and love. To be liked.
But let me emphasize one thing: there's a fine line between observing people and invading their privacy. When you cross that line, that's when it becomes scary and dangerous. But this is a Young Adult book, and everything is downplayed. Toby, the object of Cammie's affection, understands a person who needs help because he used to need it. It hurts to think that the one thing Cammie and Toby had in common was because they were both different, that they were outcasts, that something is wrong with the both of them. Toby, despite being the cute boy with green eyes, went through depression and was called crazy by everyone. What made me finally love both characters were how they tried to be better. Toby became Cammie's anchor and Cammie was the one person that made Toby feel normal again. Romance be damned (at first), but there's something about those moments between them where they just shared what they felt, talked about things they liked and bonded over an abandoned theater. Simple things like that can lead to building strong friendships and maybe something more.
Yes, dear readers, do not be fooled by the pink, overly happy looking cover. The Stalker Chronicles deals with a theme far more deeper than what made it look, and that's what made me like this book, the way it had surprised me. I've expected it to be a light, fluffy, hilarious tale but I got so much more. The author did such a fantastic job of showing what was beyond Cammie's notorious persona as a stalker, that she's so much more, that she can also be a girl whose parents are getting divorced, who worries if the guy she likes will like her back, and is ultimately tired of being the 'stalker' everyone thinks she is.
Cammie's witty voice all throughout the novel is another part that I liked. It's like diving into the mind of a girl who obsesses with something she likes, but in all the wrong ways. It makes you think just how much family dynamics, school environment, friends influence you. And just when you think everything in this book is all cute and fluffy if you judge it by its cover, you'll be delighted to know just how much depth each character has with their back stories. It wasn't just about Cammie, as the story moves forward along with the rest of the characters, although it could have been better if there was more tension and a lot more conflict that can drive the story forward.
The Stalker Chronicles is a heartfelt tale of one girl's life as a stalker, and who she is behind that label. Sometimes there's a reason why people act the way they do, and people need to take a step back and see someone beyond what people label them as. Thoroughly entertaining with quite a few bursts of wit and flashes of humor, The Stalker Chronicles is a good read! If you want a book that will surprise you, get this one! I tell you, there is more to this book than that cute, flashy, pink cover....more
What magic is there in the land that is called Australia? They have such a big staple of great authors who write amaziReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
What magic is there in the land that is called Australia? They have such a big staple of great authors who write amazing contemporary YA books and Cath Crowley is no exception.
I might be one of the last ones to read this book, and if I just knew how good it is, I wouldn't have waited so long. Two love stories unfolding at the same time, for faceless Poet and for Shadow. They fill the streets with their art, and each of them tells a story, a part of their lives struggling to get out from the inside. They're words, colors and paint combined, piecing together and creating Shadow and Poet's story. It's amazing how complex art can be, and yet it's something I appreciated because of this book. There's always a story behind every painting, every graffiti we see.
The characters of this book is an absolute delight to read! Leo's poems made me fall in love with the book even more. Those few short lines says a lot about his life, his family, even his budding feelings for Jazz. But what commanded my attention the moment I flipped on the first page, were Ed and Lucy's voices. Sometimes in our search for something, we look so far and wide, we don't even realize that what we're looking for is right in front of us. Lucy's search for Shadow led her to live one of the most extraordinary nights of her life and all the while she didn't even know that it was Ed she was looking for. That the part she sees in Shadow is just one side of Ed, the one he couldn't show to anyone else. But somewhere along the way, they weren't just a boy and a girl who liked each other but decided to not give it a chance because their expectations weren't the same. Through their trips in the city to find Shadow's hideouts and paintings and the thoughts they shared, they realized that maybe they could work. Maybe they wouldn't always be poor, or jobless, or stuck finding what they want to do with their lives. Maybe they can stop and think that robbing a school to pay a debt is a bad idea, that they can always use their talents to create a choice that will save them all. And suddenly the whole world opens up in front of them.
I am just amazed by Cath Crowley's writing. Her words painted a lot of things inside my head in blue, yellow, red, all the colors you can think of and they all mix to create this beautiful picture. Her words made me imagine everything that's inside her characters, with Ed, with Lucy, with Leo. Their fears, their worries, their aspirations, the things to look forward to, their choices in life, if there's hope for a better life than what they have and if it will ever change. Emotions just leapt out of the pages and I soaked in all of it. Cath Crowley's writing has such a beautiful quality in it, every single word, description and dialogue matters, I was hanging on to every word she writes. Scene after great scene will play inside your head, larger and full of life. It's there and she paints this big, vibrant canvass of the whole story with the struggles, the worries, the fears, love and affection, mystery and regrets of each character and in the end you just find yourself staring at it. Captivated by what you see and feel when you finished reading her book.
Graffiti Moon is just one of the best YA contemporary books I have read in my life. I know I've said it a few times, but Graffiti Moon is now a part of my all-time favorite shelf. It talks about the important things, the ones we can't say and the ones that are always inside of us just waiting to come out. Utterly captivating, Graffiti Moon touched my heart in a lot of ways. Hopeful, beautiful and just simply mesmerizing. This book deserves all the praises it got and a whole lot more.
Do I recommend this book? Are you kidding? Get a copy now! ...more
I will not deny that I have fallen in love with the book just after I've finished reading the summary, and along with that comes setting high expectations for it. Reading re-tellings of one of Shakespeare's most famous work has always been a favorite of mine, and reading about his brother is a new experience even for me.
Miranda wants to become Juliet. She craves for it, and she has been doing just about anything to prepare herself for the part. She wants to get it so much that she decided to cast a spell for fame, but the only problem was, the spell conjured up someone famous instead, or someone related to one, Edmund Shakespeare, The Bard's younger brother. Now as Edmund, an actor himself, struggles to make sense of how to live in a place 400 years ahead of his time, he was suddenly part of the cast as Romeo and Miranda's become Juliet. But is Edmund really not setting foot back in 1590's England?
As much as I find the plot and the whole idea behind the story, I did not like Edmund. I know boys from the 16th century do not behave the same way as boys in present time do, but all the same, he works his charm on girls excessively, gets more emotional too often and is too flirtatious even in today's standards. I felt bad for Miranda for feeling left out and ignored. You would have thought that being Shakespeare's younger brother and having several sisters, he'd know more about dealing with women. But his character, as a whole, is a bit interesting though irritating, despite the obvious and very bad flaws. Exploring Edmund's character is quite a challenge, I am not sure what to expect since very little is known about him in real life, and here he was, being written about by Douglas Rees.
Miranda's just your average teenager whose life revolves around the theater. She's got a supportive mother and an absentee father, but Miranda grew up loving The Bard's works. Who would have thought for a second that she'll fall in love with his brother? I was as frustrated as she was when Edmund was turning a blind eye towards her. Drawing strength from various Shakespeare heroines, Miranda is this vibrant girl with a genuine love for acting. Although she spent quite a lot of time obsessing over Edmund, I think Miranda was mostly the one who got me through the book.
My other problem with this is that I found myself wishing for a better ending. I don't think Miranda's feelings could have changed that easily. Granted, a year could have done wonders for her, but I'm still torn over how I should feel with the conclusion. It was sad, abrupt, and a bit unexpected. It's like you're gearing up for a resolution on Edmund and Miranda's relationship and then suddenly something completely different happens.
The Juliet Spell is a unique, romantic story with a dash of Shakespeare's infamous tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. It has familiar elements from The Bard's story, of love between two people from different places and different times. Edmund, whether the readers like it or not, will work his charms on the readers, and you'd think Miranda is a modern, unconventional Juliet worth reading about.
I really want to like this book more than I did, but I can't seem to agree with some of the characters....more