Jun 10, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
did not like it
Aren’t ghosts supposed to have some sort of agenda? I really hope mine isn’t to haunt my boyfriend’s bedroom. That is way too clichéd.
Aren’t ghosts supposed to have some sort of agenda? I really hope mine isn’t to haunt my boyfriend’s bedroom. That is way too clichéd.Sure, you could compare this to The Lovely Bones, in the same way that you could compare Twilight to Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's pretty much the same thing, really, with a few minor differences. The "few minor differences" being:
1. Red tunas. Ok, fine, the technical term for a misleading clue ia a "red herring" but the clues in this book are so fucking obvious and dumb and loud that I've coined a new term for it. Hence, red tuna
2. This ghost is even more of a vapid idiot than the one in The Lovely Bones
3. This ghost gets into one bloody painful mess of a love triangle between the most wonderfulest boyfriend ever who just doesn't geeeeeeeeeet her, maaaaaan and a pothead stoner with a heart of gold
4. Family? Lol. Family? Screw family, it's all about friends, y'all. She has a sister? A brother? A family. Oh, yeah, yeah, she does. She mentions them sometimes. Mostly the fact that her mom is a huge, raging psychotic bitch
5. The dumbest friends ever, in fact, the most vapid group of high schoolers who ever existed
6. There is not a single truly likeable character in the book. I'm dead fucking serious. Her classmates are morons without sympathy. Her family pretty much ignore one another when, if, they're mentioned at all
Really, there's not much introspection. There's no literary value. There is an idiot of a girl who gets to spend time with her boyfriend, while fighting off the feelings for another guy...while she's a ghost. Don't. Just don't.
I think I’m supposed to do something while I’m here. It doesn’t make any sense that I’d be given a free pass to haunt about and chill with my boyfriend.17-year old Cassidy is dead. How does everyone think she died?
“Well, I heard some guys saying she tried to go skinny-dipping in the river and froze, which is downright ignorant to suggest. Then Kristy London started telling everyone she saw Cassidy throw up at dance once because she was bulimic and that’s why she committed suicide.”Cassidy was found dead under a bridge, after a night of inebriation. Everyone seems to think her death was a suicide, even her own family. Even the police, since they seem to think she killed herself after, oh, roughyl 5 seconds of investigations. So realistic.
So nobody knows how Cassidy died, since nobody was there. Hell, not even Cassidy knows how she died, because she was drunk as fuck.
I was definitely drinking at the party, but was I drunk enough to forget everything that happened?But all hope is not lost! Cassidy may be dead, but she's not yet "moved on." She is still here, on earth, as a ghost. Nobody can see her, until, miraculously, her boyfriend, Ethan could! She's been left here on earth with a purpose! How shall Cassidy spent this one wondrous chance?!
I cast away that dangerously hopeful thought and look up at Ethan, deciding to take advantage of what time I have left with him.Will she use that time to discover how she died? Not exactly.
I’m momentarily distracted by Ethan’s navy blue boxer-briefs. They’re the only thing he’s wearing.Is she going to spend her remaining time on earth observing her family extensively, seeing that they're her family, who have raised her and loved her for 17 years? Um...
He exhales, long and loud. I lean forward, hoping for a whiff of his breath even if it’s sour, morning scented, but there’s nothing. I frown.Is she going to spend that time going back to the scene of her death, seeing if there are any clues to be picked up, any memories she can glean from going back to such a pivotal place? Weeeeell...
I’m sure my afterlife mission isn’t to hook up with my boyfriend—especially after what I just remembered about Caleb—but I can’t ignore the allure of his touches.Ok, fine. This is a teenaged girl, after all. It's only fair that she spends a quarter of the book, or half the book thinking about her boyfriend. But what about the remaining half? How will she spend the rest of her time on earth?! Clearly, she has been put here for a purpose. Ghosts don't just wander around after death pointlessly. Surely there is a bigger picture here.
Yeah, there is. His name is Caleb, andOH BOY, CASSIDY IS GOING TO INVESTIGATE THE ROLE THAT HE PLAYED IN HER DEATH.
I bend down right in front of him, meaning to study his face for some proof of guilt, maybe attempt a ghostly trick to will a writing sample out of his obnoxious orange backpack, but the only thing I can think about is his mouth closed around mine. My eyes wander to his lips.Or, you know, just think about kissing him. Investigation. Kissing. Same thing, if you think about it.
Cassi-die now plz:
I squared my shoulders and inched up my chin as if I was above his affection. I wasn’t, but I was so mad I wanted him to think I was, to feel bad about it.The word vapid is actually spelled "C-A-S-S-I-D-Y." The definition of her name is Captain Obvious since she has the uncommon knack for stating the fucking obvious.
She sets a pad of monogrammed stationery on top of her notes from last week and adds Mica’s name to a short list of classmates, all of whom attended the party.Her grief is of the woe-is-me everything is about me me me. OK, she's dead. I know that. I should be able to empathize with that, but her sadness...the way it is written, so very much self-centered, just makes me laugh.
Sadness rolls over me, knowing that I’ll never again be the person she turns to for comfort.She is the equivalent of a mentally-challenged ghost. She knows she can't be heard, yet she insists on talking VERY LOUDLY and ENUNCIATING VERY CLEARLY in the hopes that someone will be able to hear her.
“Aimée,” I say very slowly as if overenunciating will allow her to hear me, “look under that binder.”It is the equivalent of talking VERY LOUDLY INTO THE EARS OF A DEAF PERSON. It just makes you look like a motherfucking moron.
Her investigation into her death can be best summed up in one hyphenated word: "half-assed". She withholds clues, she ignores clues, she ignores uncomfortable flashbacks, like her memories of flirting and kissing another boy who is not her boyfriend. She lies. She omits information that would help the one person who is able to see her investigate her death.
If I tell him I think I was with Caleb he’ll definitely ask why. I’m not ready to go there with him. It’ll ruin the small piece of us we’ve recaptured, and I can’t bear losing that again.Almost all her memories are of emotional conflicts between her love triangle. They are frustrating, they are foolish, they give me no respect for Cassidy whatsoever.
The Side Characters:
After he leaves, the cafeteria clears out, but conversations still echo off the walls. She was totally drunk … I heard she froze to death … Who kills herself over a breakup? I mean, really?Seriously, there is not one single likeable character in the entire fucking book. Her family are portrayed as idiots. Her father is a doormat. Her mother is a psycho with a midlife crisis who pretty much has no reaction over her daughter's death besides for the fact that it might give her something to do. Cassidy has a tremendous amount of contempt for her mom, and her entire family is portrayed so briefly, so poorly, that there is absolutely no sense of familial love whatsoever.
Instead, we are focused on her friends, and man, they are motherfucking idiots. Cassidy may be vapid, but she appears to be a product of her school, because her entire fucking school is filled with brainless teenagers without an ounce of sympathy. Literally nobody gives a fuck about her death but her friend, Aimée. The entire student body doesn't need counseling, they use her death as an opportunity to gossip, to make small-talk, to talk shit about Cassidy now that she's dead. It would have appeared like Cassidy had no friends at all after her death, and it is so strange, considering we don't get a sense of that at all from the flashbacks of her life before death.
Truly, the side characters in this book, the entire fucking cast, doesn't seem realistic at all. There is no emotional connection to anyone, anything.
The Motherfucking Love Triangle:
Aimée rolls her eyes. “I can’t believe he was high at eight-thirty in the morning. I’ll never get what Cassidy saw in him.”DING DING DING. We have a love triangle here. And it's not an obvious type. It's the I-will-keep-you-guessing-until-the-bitter-fucking-end type.
Ethan is the nicest boy in the world. He was her first kiss. He was her first love. They have been dating for three years.
He took my hand, and I was certain, in that moment, that I would never kiss anyone else for as long as I lived.Until, inexplicably, she falls for Caleb, a stoner who pops pills under the guise of Tic-Tacs.
Caleb, who is never NOT stoned.
Caleb opens his eyes in a lazy, delayed reaction that tips me off that he’s high. Again.Caleb, who is a bad boy with a Tragic Past who totally deserves our sympathy, right
"...you had changed when your parents split up and you started getting high all the time..."Caleb, who gives her a special Brownie laced with marijuana. Such a fucking gentleman. How could a girl ever resist?
“Speaking of, I made you a little somethin’ somethin’.” He reached into his bright orange backpack and pulled out a brownie wrapped in pink cellophane and about ten different colors of ribbon.And she cheated on Ethan with THIS loser? No, thank you. Sure, Ethan is so fucking effeminate that he barely even counts as a boyfriend, but he's still a far better catch than Caleb. And we're left wondering until the very end who she will choose.
I do not tolerate cheating. There are books in which cheating is really, really well done, in which I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for the cheaters.
This is not one of those books. ...more
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Jul 03, 2014
Jul 04, 2014
Jul 03, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
really liked it
Usually, I'm the one person who hates a book that everyone else has loved. For once, that's not the case. I seem to be the only person who loved this Usually, I'm the one person who hates a book that everyone else has loved. For once, that's not the case. I seem to be the only person who loved this book, and I can't understand why. This book is awesome. And for some reason, the reviews have been like 1-1-1-1-2-1-1 across the board. Huh.
One of my friends who have read this book described it as watching a train wreck. Yep, that's exactly it. It's watching a psychological train wreck as it unfolds, and I love every moment of it.
The main character in this book is a psycho bitch. She really, truly is. There's no kind way to put it. She's insane, she should be on medication, but surprise, surprise, like so many mentally ill people, she refuses to take her meds. The result is a psychological wreck from which you cannot look away.
I've worked in a mental hospital before. I've worked in an emergency room in downtown LA before, and so trust me when I tell you that the craziest people I know are neither hospitalized nor institutionalized. They live and walk among us. They're the sociopaths. Manipulative lovers, friends, those who will simply take things too far. Those who will take advantage of us. Those who will wring every ounce of sympathy out of a situation. Those who I like to call "emotional vampires" because they will suck the life out of you.
This is a book about one such person.
1. An amazing, realistic portrayal of mental illness. The emotional manipulation. The lies. The self-hate. The sense of knowing that one is sick, but not being able to control yourself or your thoughts. The sense of wrongness.
2. An excellent depiction of cheating. It deals with cheating in a manner that I felt was sensitive, that made me, who hates the matter, supportive of the people involved.
3. A nice guy. Seriously. I felt like the love interest within this book was awesome. He struggles a lot, dealing with a girlfriend who is mentally ill, and I supported him despite everything.
4. No slut shaming. The teens in this book sleep with each other. They cheat. I never got the sense of shame, of self-hate, of recrimination by others that there is something shameful in sexuality.
If you like psycho characters, if you revel in other people's suffering, this is the book for you.
“You haven’t gone off your meds or whatever, have you?” he asked quietly.Once upon a time, Carter and Lilah were a fairytale. They have been dating since 9th grade, one of those rare couples who have stayed together throughout high school, supporting each other through thick and thin. Once upon a time, Lilah was a bright, sparkling young woman, filled with joy and life.
“You’ve got a spark in you. Like a drive, you know what I mean? I’m always so worried about doing the right thing that I wouldn’t have dared do that without you.”Once upon a time, Lilah was normal.
It is now their senior year of high school, and the fairy tale looks more like a fever dream.
you haven’t gone off your meds or whatever, have you?” he asked quietly.Lilah is sick. She is mentally ill. She needs to take her medications. She is self-destructive, she is paranoid. She has few friends, because slowly, she has driven them away through harassment and paranoia. A once-promising swimmer, Lilah has since been kicked off the team.
In her manic exhaustion, she searched down the phone numbers not only of Melissa, but also of the Coral Gables coach and the principal of the school. She’d called them so many times that they’d reported her to Coach Randolph and Lilah had been kicked off the team.Carter still loves her, he still cares about her, but it seems like he's staying together more out of duty than love.
She quickly covered her cuts with her hand. “I thought you were going to leave me. After what I did,” she said.Lilah has slowly withdrawn into herself, but Carter manages to gently talk her into attending a party thrown by one of his best friends.
The party was a disaster. Lilah has a tendency to blow up minor events, and this party was no different.
She knew he wasn’t criticizing her—he was just trying to be funny, or cute or something. But she couldn’t help but feel like he should have just said thank you.Small things add up, and before she knows it, Lilah has gone down on one of her downward spirals.
So she took another swig of rum and Coke. She couldn’t get drunk fast enough. It was the only way she knew how to escape the feeling that everyone here was laughing at her behind her back.Before long, Lilah ends up on a roof, drunk, almost fallen to her death before she is rescued by Carter. Lilah's friends volunteer to take her home, leaving Carter there, wondering what the hell just happened. Exhausted and frightened as fuck, but finally able to relax.
Whether or not he wanted to admit it to himself, it was the first time he breathed all night.But he's not alone in his contemplation. A girl is there, Jules. They start talking, and before they know it, Carter realizes that this girl is funny, she's smart, she's beautiful. She is normal. And despite himself, Carter can't help feeling the attraction.
He relaxed a tick. He couldn’t help it. She was so comfortable with herself—you could see it in her posture, in her easy conversation, in the way she was able to look at the things outside herself without worrying about how they related to her—that she put him at ease.Then he gets a text from Lilah.
“WHYD U MAKE ME GO TO THAT PARTY?” it said.Really, was it any contest?
This story is about Lilah, and Carter, and Jules. It is about a young man struggling to do the right thing, a young woman who just wants to be with him, knowing the challenges.
“It’s okay. I don’t expect you to all of a sudden be my boyfriend. I understand. You’ve been with her forever. I don’t want to be the girl who broke up the class couple.”And the trouble girl standing in between them.
What she felt was fear. And rage. And a despair so huge and heavy she felt like it might smother her, weigh her down, pull her into the ground, where she’d be buried forever.Lilah:
She struggled with all her might to stop the tears from falling down her cheeks. She understood that he felt he had been wronged. But didn’t he understand that she’d been wronged, too? She ached all over from how badly she’d been wronged.Lilah is the mentally ill, emotionally manipulative main character, and I thought her character was brilliantly portrayed. She is not without sympathy. Lilah is seriously sick, she needs her medication, but she cannot be relied upon to take them. Lilah knows that there's something wrong with her. She is completely understanding of the fact that she is not right. She has reason, she sees reason, it's just that often, her brain overrides common sense.
She regretted every single thing she’d done, and her regret made her hate herself and her self-hatred filled her with an uncontrollable need to hear Carter tell her that everything was okay.She has been with Carter for so long that he has become her life. He has become her identity, and she will stop at nothing to get him back. I thought her hurt and anger and lack of self-control was well-written.
“No. You don’t get to decide when I calm down.” Another surge of rage and she went at him with all the strength she contained. When he held her off with a stiff arm, she clamped her fingers into his arm and dug into his skin with her nails. He’d hurt her; why shouldn’t she hurt him back?Carter:
She’s so anxious, though. She needs me so much.” He furrowed his eyebrows. “And she holds on so tightly that she doesn’t realize she’s...killing us.”I bloody loved Carter. Yes, he cheats on Lilah, but there is so much guilt within him.
I know it's a stupid thing to say about a guy who cheats on his girlfriend, but I felt like Carter has so much integrity. I don't think it's a stretch to say that a lot of guys would just dump a troublesome girlfriend, particularly one during the volatile years of high school. Carter doesn't do that. He remains with Lilah. He feels a responsibility for her. He watches over her. He is more of a babysitter than a boyfriend at times, and he bears his tasks with such earnestness. I truly felt bad for him.
The thing with cheating is that you have to make the cheaters to be likeable, deeply sympathetic people and I felt like this book did that exceptionally well.
“So, look. Things with Lilah are—I don’t even know what they are. We’re going to talk later this afternoon. So, we’ll see. I need to figure things out in my head . . . and . . .” He blushed. “I mean, I should get my shit together before I start messing with yours. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to Lilah. You know what I mean? I shouldn’t be starting new things with new people when I’m in the middle of a great big confusing thing already.”There are a lot of insecurities, a lot of moral struggles, a lot of guilt. and I was wholly in support of Carter the entire time.
Jules: Oh, sure, she's a drama hipster, but I liked her a lot despite the fact. Maybe it's because she, in her own way, is damaged. She, too, is insecure. She is so refreshingly normal in contrast. Jules knows that Carter and Delilah are complicated. She didn't want to get caught up in the middle, but her attraction for Carter overreaches that common sense. Still, Jules is not clingy. She is reasonable. She gives Carter space to deal. She is not desperate to be loved.
“I get it. Hey, I don’t want to get involved in some crazy cheating thing, either.”And have I mentioned that she has an awesome, awesome mother?
“Did you hear me?” she said. “It’s not your fault. You don’t have to own problems he’s created for himself. Okay?”...more
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Jun 23, 2014
Jun 24, 2014
Jun 23, 2014
Jun 17, 2014
it was ok
"The first time, you can’t believe how much it hurts.”
"The first time, you can’t believe how much it hurts.”This is from the prologue, and no, these girls are not talking about losing the big V.
This is an extremely hard book for me to rate. On the one hand, I enjoyed the writing. On the other hand, there was nothing remotely scary about it, and overall, I felt like I was led on a merry trail filled with red herrings that looked like Jenny McCarthy screaming that vaccines are evil.
It was filled with teenaged pettiness, and it wasn't scary in the least. It did creep me out, but not in the "Omg this is scary!" kind of way, more like the "Oh, dude, the dad is so totally gross in a sorta Kevin-Spacey-in-American-Beauty-kind of way, like did he seriously say THAT about his little girl's best friend? Eww!" kind of way.
Wow, that was a long sentence.
Almost nothing happens in this book. Don't expect creepiness. From the cover, I totally thought this was going to be similar to the Japanese horror sort of books where a long-haired, scary as fuck girl crawls slowly up the foot of your bed as she slowly grins at you through blood-filled eyes. But no. Nope. Nothing like that at all. Not for a single moment did I remotely approach the feeling of fear.
So here's the good:
1. The writing is quite good, bravo, Ms. Abbott
2. Family dynamics is great, even if the brother and the dad totally squicked me out sometimes
Seriously, nothing happens in this book.
The Summary: There are three narrators in this book, father Tom Nash, a science teacher at the local high school, and his children, Eli and younger Deenie (Denise), both in high school.
It is a quiet town, it is a dead town, and it is a quiet, unevent high school life until a girl starts foaming at the mouth.
Her desk overturned, clattering to the floor.That was Lise, Deenie's best friend, and everyone in school has their theories. Some dumber than others, from a grand mal seizure, here referred to as grand male by the brilliant young ladies at the school.
“She had a grand male in Algebra Two,” Brooke announced, eyes popping.To pregnancy.
“Is she pregnant?” whispered Kim, her tongue thrust between her wired teeth.To a sexual parasite.
“He had a big house on the lake and he gave her all this great red-string Thai stick. He leaves for the Philippines, she wakes up with trich. That’s a sexual parasite. It crawls inside you.” She reached down for her bag, tangled with fringe. “So.”To Toxic Shock Syndrome...
Have u heard of toxik shok? tampax can kill uThen another girl falls sick, and the town runs rampant with theories.
Yeah, that is literally it.
The Characters: The one thing that stands out about the main characters in this book is the level of creepy sexuality within the family. I don't mean in an incestuous way, but I thought it was pointlessly sexual at many points.
We have a creepy, sad dad. Tom Nash. A middle-aged schoolteacher whose wife has left him for a more exciting life and a married lover. A man who has seriously creepy observations about his teenaged daughter's friends. Lise, Deenie's best friend, whom he has watched grown up.
He’d known Lise Daniels since she was ten years old and first started coming to the house, hovering around Deenie, following her from room to room. Sometimes he swore he could hear her panting like a puppy. That was back when she was a chubby little elfin girl, before that robin’s-breast belly of hers disappeared, and, seemingly overnight, she became overwhelmingly pretty, with big fawn eyes, her mouth forever open.And recalling how Lise looks in a swimsuit.
Tom felt his face warm. Last summer he’d seen Lise in a two-piece. From across the town pool, from behind, he’d mistaken her for one of Deenie’s swim instructors. Carla, the graduate student in kinesiology who always teased him about needing a haircut.It's not out of place. I mean, I know perfectly well that middle-aged men (and let's be honest, most men in general) have sexual thoughts about pubescent women, but I just found it very creepy and odd reading about it in a book where it felt out of place.
His son Eli, is somewhat a school stud. All the girls line up for him, he gets constant texts to hook up, and he is oddly conscious about his sister's sexuality. I don't get the sense that it is incestuous, and again, I understand that this sort of dynamic will probably exist between siblings of similar age, but not having a male sibling, I can only imagine. It's still pretty weird.
There’d be those moments he was forced to think about her not just as Deenie but as the girl whose slender tank tops hung over the shower curtain. Like bright streamers, like the flair the cheerleaders threw at games.And when he's having sex in the room next to his sister, he's conscious of her, in the next room.
Since then, he could only ever think about his sister, one wall away. And how he hoped Deenie never did things like this. With guys like him.So why not just avoid the situation, man. And he sees sexuality in his sister's eyes, the way another boy would see her.
But she didn’t realize what they saw, looking back at her: a girl, lips slightly parted, her head tilted hungrily. What they saw was I’m ready. Let’s go.Again, I don't have a sibling, but I can't say I've ever looked at my sister in any kind of way and imagine a guy interpreting sexuality through her facial expression. It's far too much.
And geez, Eli's stud status is so overemphasized in this book. He gets a ton of texts from girls wanting to hook up and sending him PIXXXX.
Eli Nash looked at the text for a long time, and at the photo that had come with it. A girl’s bare midriff.His dad notices that he ignores the flocks of girls coming after him, and makes a note in his mind that it makes his son even more popular. He has to fend off the number of girls who just want to spread their legs for him.
Did she want him to text her back, invite her over? To sneak her into his bedroom and nudge her shaky, pliant legs apart until he was through?Hell, even his sister Deenie falls victim to Eli's promiscuous ways. It's pretty gross, she receives lewd text messages meant for him.
One of the texts had said—Deenie never forgot it—my pussy aches for u. It had to have been the worst thing she’d ever read. She’d read it over and over before deleting it.She also overhears him having sex in the next room. Ugh.
Once, a few weeks ago, she’d heard a girl’s voice in there and wondered if it was porn on the computer until she could tell it wasn’t. She heard the voice say Eli’s name. E-liiii.I understand that sex is a normal thing, but in this book, it just felt squicky and out of place. There was really not much point for it in the narrative, other than a break from the constant monotony.
I just really don't have a lot to say about this book. It was tremendously dull. All the characters were pretty dumb. The teenagers are nitwits. The mystery was a letdown. There's a tremendous amount of misogyny, too, because both the Tom and his son Eli don't seem to have a good opinion about any females in the book besides their daughter and sister.
He could tell she was the kind of woman who told men what they wanted to hear. That didn’t strike him as a bad thing, even though he knew it should....more
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Jun 22, 2014
Jun 23, 2014
Jun 22, 2014
Jun 05, 2012
Jun 05, 2012
did not like it
It was possible that Sahalia hadn’t realized she was pretty much sticking her butt in our faces. And maybe she hadn’t known just how sheer that shirt
It was possible that Sahalia hadn’t realized she was pretty much sticking her butt in our faces. And maybe she hadn’t known just how sheer that shirt would get.Just by the weakness of the storyline and the nonexistent/unexplained setting alone and the extremely feminine and unconvincingly male narrator, this book is pretty fucking bad and best described as a "clusterfuck." When you add in slut shaming of a 13-year old girl, who almost gets raped because her would-be-rapist thought she was asking for it, that's when I fucking see red. But it's ok when the entire group, which has been slut-shaming her for her provocative dress for the entire fucking book suddenly tell her "it's not your fault you were almost raped."
No, that's not forgivable. It doesn't justify drawing the poor girl as a character to be reviled for the entire fucking book. Fuck that shit.
There is so much female hate in this book. It is a survival scenario in which the competent females in the book are portrayed as maternal nurturers instead of people who can actually hold their own.
Josie was a natural.The girls are meek. They do what they're told. It doesn't fucking matter if they're competent. A girl is going to be a babysitter while the boys take care of business.
“Alex, help Jake. Figure it out. Astrid, keep the little kids out of the way.”The girliest boy in the group, naturally, is relegated to the role of cook, no matter how atrocious he is at it. The leadership roles are taken over by those who happen to have an Y in their chromosome, no matter if they're jealous, drunk, high, or future rapists.
And then there's the slut shaming of the 13-year old girl, Sahalia.
Sahalia is a 13-going on 30-year old, who dresses like a "hooker."
She had on a giant pair of men’s overalls, cut off at the knee. Under them she was wearing very little. A lace bra and matching lace panties. You could see the bra through them because the sides of overalls are totally open. You could also see the lace cutting over her hip. You could almost see where it connected with the thong part in the back.It doesn't matter if the entire world is collapsing.
Sahalia was wearing what I can best describe as a costume. A sexy carpenter costume. Maybe a sexy farmer.Sahalia will always manage to find the skimpiest possible outfit to wear.
Now her behind is facing us, and they are short shorts she is wearing. So we can see … too much. We can see skin under the leg of her shorts. The creamy skin of her inner, inner thigh.Sahalia has an attitude. She doesn't like authority until a guy yells at her and tells her what to do.
“I can carry a stupid sledgehammer,” she sassed.Other girls slut shame her because to them, Sahalia is a little slut who dresses the way she does so she can attract male attention.
“Enough!” Josie said. “We get it, okay? You’re sexy and you want to have sex with these guys. We get it. But, honey, it’s not going to happen because you are thirteen. Thir. Teen. Do you understand what I’m saying?”So it's just the final fucking straw that Sahalia almost gets raped, and her would-be rapist tries to blame her for it.
“She’s crazy, that girl,” Robbie said. “She kept talking about how none of you think she’s a grown-up but how she is, and she wanted to prove it to you, and honestly, I was trying to get her to put back her nightgown on when that other crazy girl came with the gun.”In the end, Sahalia's group believes her and supports her, but that support feels entirely forced when the entire fucking book, they've been criticizing her behavior, her dress, her desperation, and her rampant flirtation.
Fuck that shit.
Now for the actual plot. It's fucking horrible. This book is a YA novel with characters straight out of a Middle Grade book, and that's actually an insult to Middle Grade books because of how fucking poorly-drawn, clichéd, and one-dimensional the characters are.
The Premise: Let's take all the fucking apocalyptic scenarios in the entire fucking world and throw them together. Hail the size of a bucket? Yep!
Hail in all different sizes from little to that-can’t-be-hail was pelting the street.An earthquake? Sure! A foreshock, even!
And here’s the hilarious part—it was a FORESHOCK. Apparently, that’s what happens when you’re about to experience an 8.2. It’s an earthquake so big it sends messengers ahead.A volcano?! Yeah! A superfuckingvolcano that would make Mt. Krakatoa tremble (no pun intended).
The western face of the entire island had exploded with the eruption of the volcano. Five hundred billion tons of rock and lava had avalanched into the ocean.Five hundred billion tons! How the fuck did they measure that, I wonder?
A tsunami? You got it!
The explosion had created a “megatsunami.”A chemical mushroom cloud? Sure, why not!
We have breaking news. There are reports coming in of a leak. A chemical leak. Chemical warfare compounds.And while we're at it, let's just throw in some pseudo-science paranormal shit, too.
“The compounds attack based on blood type. People with blood type A will develop severe blisters on all exposed skin. After prolonged exposure, the internal organs will begin to hemorrhage, leading to organ failure and death.”What the fuck is this? That's just...not plausible at all. Blood types have played a minor role in disease, but it's mostly concerning diseases like malaria and dengue fever...it's not that far in the future. Concerning all the clusterfuck of disasters that have been thrown at us, this seems to be too much of a stretch.
The entire premise is pretty unbelievable, too. It's 2024. Some years in the future. I know we can't prevent volcanic explosions, or earthquakes, but wouldn't we have an inclination if such a massively disastrous event would be happening? In this book, it all happened out of the blue, and everyone is shocked. The background is completely unexplained, and for some reason the government runs the internet airwaves. We have enough trouble getting people to use Microsoft and Apple Cloud technologies, and enough trouble getting all the internet providers to participate. The idea of a state-run internet is completely absurd, so close to the present.
Super Wal-Mart: The kids are trapped in the book's equivalent of a Super Wal-Mart, which is a store in which you can buy baby diapers, drugs, clothing, guns, and tractor parts all in one store. It's massive. It's the size of a football stadium, and really, a bunch of kids can live there in years if electricity holds up. And that's the problem, the power seems to work. The store has everything, and the kids are just a bunch of stupid brats running around inside a store, arguing with each other, getting drunk, and holding largely pointless elections.
“Guys, I am the QB,” he said. “That means quarterback! The quarterback is the guy on the team who calls the shots and makes sure everyone plays their best. And I’m gonna be a great QB for this team. Us. That’s why you should elect me the leader!”Lord of the Flies, this ain't. It's such a juvenile story, slapdashed together, without a sense of urgency and danger, despite the millions and billions of death happening outside.
There is hardly any mourning for the dead, hardly any thoughts to parents and siblings and dead loved ones, or maybe living loved ones who may be suffering. The narrator is only focused on the present, and the present involves romance and sex, the apocalypse is just a convenient event to get close to a crush.
The Characters: Oh, the fucking tropes. The main character is a guy, Dean, but nicknamed "Geraldine" by his bullies. I can see why they did, Dean is one of the most unconvinging male narrators I've ever read, I mean what kind of teenaged boy worries about a CNN reporter's makeup when she's reporting about a volcano destroying the world?
Her eye makeup was all smeared around her eyes and I wondered why nobody fixed her makeup. It was CNN, for God’s sake.There's the jock, Jake. The All-American girl and object of desire, Astrid, bad-boy jock Brayden, boy-scout and survivalist, Niko.
They hunted for their own food and had no electricity and used wild mushrooms for toilet paper. That kind of thing. People called Niko “Brave Hunter ManThe whore, Saharia, the Sainted-Mary Josie, the dull as hell "good guy" main character, Dean, his all-book-smarts and no common sense little brother, Alex, and a bunch of the most unbelievable, annoying little grade school fuckers that I've ever met. I've never been a fan of children in survival scenarios, and this book is no exception.
There's the 7-year old evangelist, Batista, who never, ever stops preaching the word of God.
I had already overheard him reprimand Brayden for cursing (“Taking the Lord’s name in vain is a sin!”), tattle on Chloe for pushing Ulysses (“Shoving is a sin!”), and inform the other little kids that not saying grace before eating was a sin (“Before we eat, God wants us sinners to give thanks!”).5-year old Chloe, who never fucking stops whining.
“Turn it to Tabi-Teens,” Chloe whined. “This is bo-ring!”And 5-year old Max, that fucking Max can recite passages from any fucking conversation he's overheard.
“My mom once took me in the ladies’ room,” Max volunteered. “And there was this lady in there crying and she had a ice cube and she was rubbing it on her eye and she said, ‘If Harry hits me one more time, I don’t know what I’ll do,’ and then this other lady came out of a stall and she said, ‘If Harry hits you one more time, you give him the end of this to suck on!’ And she puts a real, actual gun down on the sink. Made of metal, I am not even kidding. And then my momma turns to me and goes, ‘Tell your daddy to bring you to the men’s room.’”The Romance:
“Oh man, getting laid is so awesome,” Jake said, scratching his head. “It’s just absolutely the best thing ever. Once you get it, all you can think of is getting it again. Sometimes I’m having sex and I’m worried about the next time I’m gonna have sex!”This book reads like a Middle Grade novel, which is why it's so fucking weird when all the sexual content start popping up. There's the episode when Sahalia almost got raped. There's the incident where Astrid takes her top off for a boy. There's all the sexual discussions that would be laughable if it weren't so out of place. And then there's Dean's FEEEEEEEEEELINGS for Astrid. The perfect Astrid. His observations about her are so obsessive and feminine it's like nothing but Astrid exists. Apocalypse? Whatever. Astrid. Kids are freaking out because they were just involved in a bus accident? Astrid's hair!
Astrid looked beautiful talking to them, hearing about their favorite kinds of pizza, with the wind picking up the tendrils of her hair and bringing a flush to her cheeks.He dreams about Astrid in his darkest moments.
What I wanted was Astrid. She looked so good to me I wanted to take her, in a dark and terrible way.He stalked her and watches her while she undressed.
Astrid’s body was so beautiful my throat closed up.She's hurt? Doesn't matter! Still beautiful!
And there she was. So beautiful, laid out on my knees. She had her eyes closed, and for a moment, I just looked at her. Dirty face. Lips drawn together, chapped and rosy. Eyes red rimmed. The rise of her cheekbones. Eyebrows and lashes golden honey–colored. Some brown, dried freckle-dots that could be blood on her jawline.*gag* You expect me to LIKE a main character who stalks his crush, who watches her undressing without her knowledge, who gives little thought to anyone BUT the beauteous Astrid as the world explodes in flames?
Fuck this book. ...more
Notes are private!
May 29, 2014
May 29, 2014
Aug 09, 2011
Sep 13, 2011
did not like it
I’ll have to decide: join Romeo or let the specter of my soul take me. I know I should be afraid for my future, but all I can think about is Ben.Thi
I’ll have to decide: join Romeo or let the specter of my soul take me. I know I should be afraid for my future, but all I can think about is Ben.This book mocks the original Juliet's weakness, only to have the newly improved Juliet just as fucking dumb as the original.
So the original Shakespeare version, Juliet met Romeo, fell in love, and died for love within three days. In this retelling of Juliet's story, before this book starts, Juliet still ran away with Romeo, and then said Romeo stabbed her and ate her like a zombie. Flesh and blood dripping from his mouth and everything. It was pretty neat.
Flash forward 700 years in which Juliet is older, wiser, more wary of the perils of insta-love? Fucking nope!
One would think a reimagined, powerful, supernatural Juliet would have learned a fucking lesson or two: nope!
This book was terrible. Here is why:
- A stupid, stupid main character who makes the same mistake as the original Juliet, made worse by the fact that she was KILLED the first time. She's ruled by her passions, there is no reason in her behavior.
- Insta-love, a love triangle between the new, improved zombie Romeo and new boy Ben Luna. Ben. Ben. GEE, I WONDER WHO BEN COULD BE?! It's not like he has a character with a similar name in Romeo and Juliet or anything!!!11
- Terrible side characters: basically, the stars of the book are Juliet and Ben. Nobody else need apply.
- Poor setting: The whole we're gonna give you renewed life so you can play Cupid? No.
- Poor female characters: Her best friend, her "mother," both uncaring, cruel, callous bitches, depicted as inferior to Juliet (insta-love Juliet) in every way.
- The premise: weak as Ben and Juliet's insta-love. The idea of a love ambassador is pretty bloody and neat until you take into consideration the fact that it doesn't make any sense at all, and I'm not talking about the suspension of disbelief and the supernatural element. I'm talking about the fact that the reasoning behind the soul mate thing makes no fucking sense.
He turns and our eyes meet, and that sense of knowing him hits, catching me in my empty gut. For a moment, the sadness and pain in his eyes is my pain, and I desperately want to make it better. I want to reach for him, hold him, whisper into the warm crook of his neck that everything is going to be okay, that I’ll make it that way.(Psst, that's the first time they meet)
Day 0.5 (because it takes place when the day's practically over):
Juliet is awake! Well, kind of. This ain't Shakespeare's Juliet...well, she's the inspiration for it, but the Shakespearean version was a falsehood, told to the dude by the sneaky, conniving son of a bitch that's Romeo. The real Juliet died at age 14, in 1304 Verona. Killed by the man she loved. And now Romeo is kind of a zombie. He reincarnates from one life to another, living constantly on earth as an immortal Mercenary, whereas Juliet only gets to come back to earth once in awhile, as an Ambassador. Think of her as Cupid, she makes sure that a pair of true lovers end up together, or else they will fall prey to the forces of darkness and one of them will die a horrible death like she did. At the hands of Romeo. Did I say that Romeo is a zombie? He's a total zombie.
...flesh in his teeth, blood dripping down his chin.So now Juliet has been given an assignment, she's given the body of Ariel Dragland, a stunningly beautiful, extremely thin platinum-blonde high school outcast with self-esteem issues and mommy problems. Yeah, an outcast, because she's a little bit scarred from being burned as a child.
So here's Juliet/Ariel. On earth. Almost dead from a car accident, and OH CRAP THERE'S ROMEO, now in the body of a boy named Dylan. Juliet/Ariel runs like fuck, Romeo is chasing after her (he's a fast zombie), and OMG YAY A CAR. She runs into the car, and is struck down by insta-love. The rescuer is a high school boy named Ben Luna. The attraction is immediate.
I’m suddenly very aware of him, as well, of his front warming my back, his thighs shifting beneath mine. I clear my throat, blushing for the first time in so long the strangeness of hot cheeks makes me blink.Ben is Mexican-American. He likes to uses randomly inserted Spanish words.
“Then this really isn’t your lucky night, chica."I almost typed "Mexican words" for a moment before I caught myself. Lol. We all have our brain farts.
So crazy zombie Romeo/Dylan is after Ariel/Juliet. They go to the same high school. Hooray! Doesn't matter. What's important is BEN. BEN. She feels such...familiarity with him, she feels an intense longing for him, despite knowing Ben that night for all of 1 hour.She wants to kiss him as he drops her off.
I stay and let him come closer, closer, until I can feel the heat of his lips and imagine just how perfect they’ll feel, how perfect he’ll taste, how—She can't stop thinking about him for the rest of the night.
I fist the damp wipe in my hand, reining in the part of me that aches for this boy with the big brown eyes.Famous last words.
Ben is Mexican.
"Dulces sueños, Mermaid.”Day 2: So Juliet's still got a job to do, right? She's got to find the designated couple of soulmates and make them fall in love or else one of them will die a horrible horrible death. Nobody wants that, except for Romeo. Awesome. So where are they? As it turned out, one of the couple is Gemma, Juliet/Ariel's best friend since second grade. The one girl who has befriended Ariel despite the entire class neglecting and making fun of her. There's an aura over her head. Gemma is 1/2 of the soulmate.
And then I turn back to Gemma...lost in the rosy glow surrounding her chest.And the other 1/2 of the soulmates?
Ben. Something in my gut twists and for a moment I’m dizzy, weightless, as if the floor has been ripped from beneath me, but I don’t know which way to fall.Well, awesome! Best friend in love and designated to be soulmates with the guy who saved her the other night. What could be better? Well, for starters, JULIET CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT BEN.
I shake my head. This has to stop. I can’t go to pieces every time I see his face. I have to pull it together, be a good influence, make sure he commits to the love of his life and lives happily ever after.But it doesn't. Juliet can't stop thinking about him. Romeo is on her ass. And Ben is still determined to prove to us that he's Mexican.
Ben laughs. “Dios mio. Fine, crazy woman.”Day 3: GEMMA. THAT BITCH. SHE'S SO NOT WORTHY OF BEN. I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE HER TO BEN.
Gemma’s thoughtless at best, mean-spirited and selfish at worst, and I want so much better for Ben.What?! Where the fuck did that come from?! Ok, so Juliet's in love with Ben. Romeo's still there declaring his undying (that was a zombie joke) love for Juliet if only she'd give him another chance. And Ben? After three (ok, 2.2?) days of knowing her, this is how he feels.
“I’m not doing this right, and I know I sound crazy, but...I love you. I could see myself loving you for a long time.”Well, that escalated quickly. Three days. Three motherfucking days.
“I love you. I want to do everything with you. I want to marry you and have kids with you and get old with you. And then I want to die the day before you do, so I never have to live without you.”
NOOOOOOOOOOO. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY. Do your fucking job, Juliet. Need I remind you of what would happen if you don't unite the soulmates?
These two are my job, and if I don’t do it, one of them will die. Either they commit to each other or one of them commits murder and becomes a Mercenary. That’s the way it goes. Every. Single. Time.Fuck you, Juliet, you stupid bitch. YOU HAD ONE JOB.
Ben is still Mexican.
“Dios mio,” Ben says.Juliet:
How can I think of loving someone again? How have I let this happen? Even if it weren’t forbidden, haven’t I learned my lesson?Apparently not. Juliet is a motherfucking moron. She's techniaclly over 700 years old, but she hasn't spent all that time on Earth.
I’ve seen centuries pass, but I died when I was fourteen and have spent less than twenty conscious years on earth.20 years. That's a long time as an adult. Time spent being Cupid, making soulmates meet. She's been betrayed by love. She's seen the harm love can do. She knows the consequences of destined soulmates NOT falling in love, and she doesn't learn a motherfucking thing. She fell into insta-love with Romeo and elopes. He kills her. One would think she would know better not to fall into insta-love again. After THREE MOTHERFUCKING DAYS. She knows that the soulmates who aren't together will end up in a horrible death. SHE IGNORES THAT FOR HER OWN MOTHERFUCKING INSTA-LOVE. Gemma doesn't deserve him, says Juliet, the worst fucking Cupid ever.
Not only that, she's determined to destroy the only friendship thar her borrowed body, Ariel, has. Gemma is her only friend. Ariel suffers from crippling shyness. Ariel has no other friends. And yet Juliet as Ariel sees fit to steal away her best friend's soulmate.
She and Gemma are so different. It’s amazing they’ve stayed friends for as long as they have.That would be such a fucking cute sentiment if Juliet didn't steal away Ben under poor Gemma's nose.
Oh my god, the love. THE LOVE. Juliet is so fucking purple-prosey-lovey-dovey. She can't contain her fucking emotions for Ben, a boy whom, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but SHE'S KNOWN HIM FOR LESS THAN THREE DAYS. By the end of day 2, she's ready to declare her love. It's pure insta-love. There is no emotion behind it. She feels the familiarity, the desire, that's it. One little word from him is like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH MOTHERFUCKING CHERUBS SINGING FROM HEAVEN. Juliet is easily impressed.
Romeo might have praised my loveliness with lyrical poetry, but he never made me feel as beautiful as Ben did when he said four simple words.Puh-please. Is that all it takes to get her to drop her panties? Be a little better than that. Have more fucking depths than that. Am I to believe that Juliet is a motherfucking Immortal Warrior? Fucking no.
The Girl Hate:
"You’re the one who messed up when you got pregnant when you were nineteen."Way to be a bitch to your own mother. Well, to Ariel's mother, but it's Ariel who's going to have to live with the consequences.
This book hates women. Juliet/Ariel's mother is a careless person. Unfeeling about her daughter's feelings. Terrible at showing her love, even if Juliet acknowledges that she does love her daughter.
She means that she cares, no matter how bad she is at showing it.Her best friend Gemma, is also another careless person.
The hard light in Gemma’s eyes fades, and for a second I can see that she cares. Or that she wants to care.So none of the female side characters in this book is careing and loving and nice at all. To be fair, none of the guys in this book are any good, either, but the female characters are prominent, and I hate the female hate in this book.
Gemma is a bitch. She doesn't deserve the angelic Ben.
Gemma is a vindictive, selfish, spoiled girl who doesn’t deserve Ariel and certainly doesn’t deserve Ben’s love.Every attempt is made in this book to paint Gemma in a bad light, including making her the beautiful outcast rich girl, to making her a slutty character who plays around with boys like they were toys (and therefore deserves her heartbreak).
Ben! The Abusive Romantic!:
“He was only protecting her.”Oh, I'm sorry, did I accidentally read a New Adult novel? Ben is violent. He's beaten up people before. He's gotten arrested for it. But it's ok, because Ben was doing it for the sake of other people. He only beats up the bad guys ~_~ Therefore his violence is TOTALLY justified.
Ben flirts with Juliet/Ariel while dating her best friend.
I would almost swear that Ben is flirting. With me. Right in front of his soul mate. Which is so bad that bad can’t even begin to describe it.Uh, yah, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Ben, who speaks with the eloquence of a thousand John Mayers.
“I know you,” he says, with a quiet assurance that threatens to make my tears start all over again. “I know you’re strong and as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. I know you like to eat and hate Shakespeare—at least the love stories—and would do anything for a friend. I know you’re an artist, and you made a wall of bricks look like it should be hanging in a museum."Ben, who is Mexican.
“Olvida la escuela,” he says, anger in his eyes....more
Notes are private!
May 22, 2014
May 22, 2014
May 22, 2014
Sep 13, 2011
Sep 13, 2011
it was amazing
Actual rating: 4.5 stars and a unicorn.
“Kind of funny when you think about it, us believing we had to protect a dude from you,” Tall said. “In a fewActual rating: 4.5 stars and a unicorn.
“Kind of funny when you think about it, us believing we had to protect a dude from you,” Tall said. “In a few weeks we can all grab a cheeseburger together and laugh about this. A hot chick like you couldn’t possibly be a vampire. Seriously, though, you might want to cut down on the black garb.”Any book with a stalker unicorn and an alpha-female vampire with a sadistic streak is bound to be a fucking winner. This book is fa-bu-lous. *snaps fingers*
- A motherfucking sparkly twinkly stabbing stalker unicorn, HELLO?!
- A strong female vampire lead who slowly discovers her humanity (who's a master at power plays)
- A Mafia-like vampiric society
- A sweet love interest who's a decent human being, and a love triangle that doesn't hurt because it's not really much of one
- A hilarious portrayal of high school that points out the clichés within the cliques
- A tongue-in-cheek style of writing, chock full of deadpan humor (no pun intended)
- Actual female friendship! Hallelujah!
The unicorn stood between the dumpsters. He sparkled like a horse-shaped disco ball. His traditional spiral horn beamed like a toy light saber.Pearl is a vampire. She is merciless (and in The Family, she's got to be). She drinks blood, she's even got a favorite drink. His name's Brad. He works at the ice cream shop. He tastes best after he's had mint-flavored ice cream.
“Shh,” she said. “Nearly dawn. No time for talking.” Snuggling against him, she continued to feed him ice cream. He swallowed mechanically, as if her proximity erased all brain function. Pearl pressed closer and pushed his straggly hair back away from his neck.But all that was before she got stabbed by an unicorn. A motherfucking unicorn. They're not supposed to even exist! Naturally, nobody believes her. Her family (The Family) just laughs at her. Pearl's Family is like a vampire Mafia. Her mother is cold (as well as cold-blooded). Her father is a "businessman." But all in all, it's a fairly normal family...just a little deadlier than most. She's got a fussy aunt. She's got an idiot cousin. She's got a crazy uncle.
...his propensity to chew off birds’ heads was much more unsettling than the puckering on his cheeks.But the family has more to worry about that the possible sighting of an unicorn, the King of the vampires is coming to town, and her family is their host. So yeah, bigger things to worry about here.
But then, weird things start happening...Pearl starts feeling empathy for her food (aka Brad the ice cream boy).
I should release him, she thought. Let the puppy run free.She sees her own reflection---and my fucking god...she can step into the sun without dying in a blaze of fire.
Colored light tinted her pale skin, and Pearl raised her arm and turned it over to watch the stained-glass light dance over her blue veins and bring hints of color into the whiteness, as if her skin were Formica.The Family isn't too happy to find out about this, but there's the problem with The King coming to town. They have to provide the entertainment. They have to provide the food (aka HUMANS OM NOM NOM). And now their daughter, Pearl, can step into sunlight and not die a fiery death. Hm. HMMMMMMMMMMM. This may be useful.
“You want me to find the king’s dinner in daylight?” Pearl guessed.Because there's nothing more delicious than a schoolful of teenagers ^_^
So Pearl's going to go to high school for the first time in her life, huzzah! She already knows a couple of kids, too, there's sweet, friendly Bethany, and super nice guy with a hero complex, Evan.
He’d chosen a chair by the window. Sunlight streamed in, illuminating the dust to create distinct rays so it appeared as if he were highlighted by a halo of angelic light. If he’d been trying to stage it to catch her eye, he couldn’t have planned it better.The school is...interesting, and for a vampire used to dominance and power play within the vampiric hierarchy...it's a piece of cake. There's your usual cliques, there's the Queen Bee...of whom Pearl isn't the least bit scared.
She watched as Ashlyn strode across the cafetorium with all the confidence of a vampire...and Pearl wondered if that was it, if it was the confidence that she radiated that was the source of her power.Pearl is fucking awesome. She's got the strength. She's got the looks. She's got the swagger. She's got the confidence. Within the first day, she's insulted and upstaged an aggressive teacher, she's scratched Queen Bee's car, and Greenbridge High School doesn't know what hit it.
“Are you kidding?” Bethany said. “She’s, like, a hero!” With shining eyes, she turned to Pearl. “You are exactly what this school needs.”Everything would be perfect if she's starting to...feel things for the pesky fucking humans. Everything would be perfect if she weren't so busy that she doesn't have time to eat (drink, rather), or sleep. Everything would be perfect if SHE WEREN'T BEING STALKED BY A FUCKING UNICORN.
As the sun sank into the horizon, Pearl trudged home without having seen a single sparkly hoofprint or rainbowed poop pile. It wasn’t as if she’d expected unicorn wuz here graffiti...Okay, yes, that would have been nice.Pearl's hunger soon gets the better of her...and in the midst of gaining control, Pearl makes a mistake. And now, it seems like her meals---aka, her human friends---are the only ones to whom she can turn.
Hating herself for what she was about to say, Pearl blurted out the words: “I need help.”In the end, who will Pearl become? The bloodsucking, cold-hearted creature of vampire lore...or someone who's only too human?
She swallowed hard and tried to force the achy feeling to stop. No matter how lovely the words were, these people didn’t understand, and she couldn’t stay.The Setting:
Upstairs was the perfect suburban home: couches and TV in the living room, marble counters and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, and color-coordinated lacy bedrooms. Downstairs, hidden from human view, was a catacomb of tunnels and rooms that included sleeping chambers, training rooms, torture rooms, a few storage areas, and the treasury.This is a modern US setting in which vampires exist unbeknownst to humans (and so do other supernatural creatures, like zombies, but they're rare. Unicorns, naturally, are just imaginary, duh!).
This vampiric society is dominated by powerful families, Pearl's family, the Sanges, are dominant in their region.
Their clan was rising in prominence. Daddy owned real estate throughout western Connecticut, including multiple businesses in Hartford, and Mother had a head for business that rivaled any CEO’s.Her father is a "shark." Her mother is ruthless.
You didn’t sit down to tea with someone you were about to punish, but then she’d once seen Mother wait an entire week before slicing off the toe of a distant relative who had crossed into their territory without permission.And their entire family, however eccentric some members, are to be feared. Of course, they're not without their sense of humor. Like family dinner nights, in which the food...is human.
Their dinner had been presented on a bed of lettuce. Carrots had been stuck in candelabras on either side of the boy’s torso, and his hands had been positioned to hold a decorative cabbage as if it were a bride’s bouquet. He wore a bellhop uniform.Their society is dominated by power, power play, and mind games of dominance...which makes Pearl's personality so much more interesting.
Pearl didn’t want to adjust. She wanted humans to revert to being merely meals again. She wanted to stop pretending to fit in. She wanted to return to being the ordinary child she was born to be, not a special miracle charged with this impossible task.I fucking loved Pearl. She has such a strong personality, without weakness as a vampire who sees humans purely as food, which makes her all the more realistic when she finally...due to the stupid unicorn...starts feeling emotions. Pearl is exceedingly intelligent, you don't get to be an idiot being raised in a family in which survival of the fittest is the motto, and therefore, Pearl is so, so tough and cold initially. She's been raised that way, and she can read people like a book. Which is how she knows to interpret the cliques and power structure at her high school.
Others around her nodded wisely, and a few laughed outright. Pearl realized what she was seeing: a shift in power. Ashlyn had shown weakness, and others were jockeying for her position. She wondered how malleable the social hierarchy was and how far Ashlyn would tumble.Pearl is confident. She is strong, she is beautiful, she is powerful, and she knows it. When a girl threatens her relationship with Pearl's vampire boyfriend, Jadrien...well, Pearl knows how to stake her territory without saying a word (no pun intended).
...She elected to simply wait the girl out.And just like that, the power structure is shifted. Pearl is so confident and strong in her identity, that I loved seeing her finally expose her vulnerability when she realizes that humans, unlike her vampire compatriots...are not going to stab her in the back. She doesn't have to constantly watch herserlf.
Pearl left the office feeling dazed. Mrs. Kerry at the front desk waved at her as she half walked and half stumbled back toward class. Glancing over her shoulder multiple times, she watched for an attack that never came.The Romance:
“What’s wrong with me?” Pearl asked. How would she ever undo what she’d done?There is a love triangle in this book, and it doesn't hurt. The romance is so light that it's barely there at all, in the context of an YA book. Pearl is "betrothed" but not formally, to a vampire boy named Jadrien. They have fun together, he is a smooth talker, they're not best friends. Jadrien and Pearl have a playful, flirtatious relationship, they train and fight together.
“Surrender?” she said.Their relationship---like most in the vampire community---is fraught with tension, power plays, and mind games.
“I’m tired of games, Jadrien,” she said. “I play them all night and now all day. But you know what?” She stepped closer to him. “If I have to play...I play to win. You should know that about me by now.”And it's just Jadrien who will be her future until she meets Evan. The human boy who is unexpectedly kind. Who understands Pearl more than she expected.
“How about you?” she asked. “You seem to have everything under control. What are your issues?”Their relationship is well-built, well-drawn. There is no insta-love. There is distrust in the beginning (he is food, after all). The romance is not overwhelming in the least.
Overall: Such a lovely book, the humor is spectacular. I had a blast reading it. There are imperfections in the book, but overall, I enjoyed it so much that nothing else mattered. ...more
Notes are private!
May 24, 2014
May 24, 2014
May 21, 2014
Dec 28, 2010
Dec 28, 2010
really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5
The strange staring contests. The lack of parents. And the missing blood. Oh God, the missing blood. How could I be so stupid? TheyActual rating: 3.5
The strange staring contests. The lack of parents. And the missing blood. Oh God, the missing blood. How could I be so stupid? They’re vampires, or at least under a number of severe delusions.This was a hilarious read. It's partially a parody on Twilight and other generic vampire books, so expect quite a few insider vampires jokes. If you're expecting a DEEP DARK SCARY YA VAMPIRE NOVEL, stop here. This book is 75% lulz, it doesn't take itself seriously at all. There are stupid, dangerous, and silly vampires who are completely out of touch with modern high school life and refers to Twilight as a manual.
Marisabel just shrugs, rolling on her back to stare up at an open copy of Twilight.It is light on romance, and the main character is realistic, funny, and likeable. She's a snarky journalist wannabe with as much curiosity as there is blood in her veins. The side characters (the humans, at least) are kind of shallow, but considering this book is a parody, it's fine. This isn't War and Peace, I just want a book that would make me laugh, without any elements like slut shaming and abuse/stalking that would piss me off. This book did the trick.
I can imagine the expressions that flicker across my face; there’s the “Crap, she is a vampire,” followed by “Crap, I am not supposed to know she is a vampire,” followed by “Crap, I think she just realized that I still know she is a vampire.”Sophie wants to be a journalist. This is the year she will become editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper. Only her journalism teacher think she takes her assignments a leeeetle too far.
“Like I said, I love everything you’re doing, but our school paper is generally supposed to be less investigative and more...”She's assigned the boring-as-fuck job of interviewing the surprising number of new students that have shown up at her school over the summer. Four of them. They stare at people at length. They're really strange. They live together. They have really weird names, like Vlad and Marisabel. They're not too willing to give her any information about themselves, and Vlad is oddly fascinated with Sophie's stepsister, Caroline. Of course, he doesn't give Sophie the time of day, which SUCKS, because she's supposed to interview him. Sophie's got competition for the editor-in-chief position. She NEEDS to get this article together.
The more Sophie finds out about the new students, the stranger they seem. It helps that Caroline won't stop talking about him.
Vlad is hot. Vlad is cool. Vlad has a silver Hummer with tinted windows and he offered to drive Caroline around in it. Vlad is rich. Vlad’s parents are away on business in Europe, so he has the house to himself. And yes, he’s delighted that they let his friends come stay with him this semester so he wouldn’t be lonely.Hm. HMMMMMMMMMM.
The new students don't act right. They're overheard saying really strange things.
“They already like me, Neville,” Vlad says. “Did you see how many of them congratulated me afterward? Look, this is called a ‘fist bump.’ It is more accepted now than a handshake.”They walk with unnatural grace.
Vlad is making his way across the cafeteria. He moves silently and with an easy grace, an achievement when you take into account the cheap tile that makes everyone in sneakers sound like farting mice.And then there's the weird mystert of the missing blood from a blood drive.
To further complicate things, Sophie's childhood best friend, James has returned. He's living next door. Alone. James seems to know a little bit too much about the new students, and since they were friends, Sophie confides in him.
“Not only won’t they talk to me, they scare the crap out of me. They’re not normal students. I overheard a very strange conversation yesterday. And Vlad’s dating my sister. And possibly dating his sister, too.”Sophie's investigational skills will finally get the better of her, and she'll come to discover a shocking, horrifying secret.
WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT THAT THE STRANGE SCARY NEW PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO ACT NORMAL ARE VAMPIRES. Like, what the FUCK, man?! The freaking vampires aren't at school for no reason, they're here on a mission to find a girl.
“She’s said to be the great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of some dumb baby of some musty vampire family named Mervaux.”And she's going to have to decide who to trust. Can she trust James, her old best friend who might have something to hide?
For one crazy, hurtling second I heave a sigh of relief; if forced to choose, he is the better option. But then again, I would also rather drown than be eaten by snakes.But whatever happens, Sophie is smart, intelligent, she's a fighter.
I attended a weekly karate class with the same fervor as a nun attending Mass. It was three years before my sensei told Marcie that he was afraid I was there for the wrong reasons. I believe the word “bloodthirsty” was used. Right before the phrase “I think you should get her checked out.”And she's completely prepared for whatever the vampires have to throw at her.
After a moment of deliberation, I grab the wooden spoon and a knife and do my best to file it into a point. Two thousand years of folklore can’t be that wrong, right?The Vampires:
She is gorgeous in a dark, moody way, with thin black brows and long chestnut hair that breaks into a natural wave at her shoulders. If ever there were a girl meant to sit in a smoky café and tell you about the guinea pig that died tragically when she was four, it’s her.*Stifles laughter*
Yeah, they're as you'd expect, and they're all sorts of hilarious. From the bumbling Neville, to the cold determination of icy blond Vlad, to gorgeous, mournful Marisabel, to...Violet. Who is absolutely batshit crazy.
“Can I ask you a question?” Violet asks. “Let us say that you liked this boy. You liked him so much that you didn’t care that your family and friends said that it would end badly. You think he admires you as well, so you give him everything that he could ever want. But what does he do? Does he stay with you forever? No! He ignores you and goes off to live who knows where.” Her voice cracks, and she lets go of my arm to flounce back into her seat. “I am at a loss,” she hiccups, holding the handkerchief to her mouth. “Do you think I should give him a lock of my hair? Maybe he is unaware that I still care.”Honestly, the girls are a lot more fun than the guys. They're hysterical in one moment, calmly cool the next. The guys are just plain awkward. This book plays on all the vampire tropes, and it's absolutely hilarious. I loved seeing the "vampires" interact with one another. I loved leader Vlad's frustration as it seems like his plan and his "friends" aren't going anywhere as planned.
“Can you believe them? Neville does nothing but attach himself to any organization that will have him, and Violet...yesterday Violet asked if I wanted to participate in a ‘quiz’ that will tell me what my ‘best fall look’ is,” he says. “What does that even mean?”Sophie:
“And you’re stronger?”Meet Sophie, whose knowledge of vampires is restricted to Twilight. She's not dumb at all, but she's just silly enough to be endearing. Sophie is intelligent, she's a natural investigator and journalist, but she's not Too-Stupid-To-Live. She runs when there's danger. Sophie fights back when needed.
I’m just about to start my return creep across the yard when a figure darts through the far hallway. For a second my shocked brain scans for a “Stop, drop, and roll” sort of acronym that explains what to do when you’re about to be caught spying. I decide on RLH—Run Like Hell.What I love about Sophie is her sense of humor. Sophie has a deadpan internal narrative that made me giggle, she constantly makes snarky observations.
“Wonderful,” Vlad says, and then probably follows it with something else ridiculous (“Your hair is like sunlight in space” or “Let’s greet the dawn with kisses”).She's not altogether rational, she relies on gut instinct sometimes, against reason, but I understand her choices. Altogether, Sophie is an awesome narrator.
In reality our relationship consisted of hair pulling (age six), doll vandalism (age eight), and relentless teasing about my freckles (age eleven). Not exactly Romeo and Juliet, but try telling Marcie that. Luckily he moved away to New York before either one of us had to drink poison or kill a cousin.The romance in this book was really light, and thoroughly adorable. There is no insta-love. Sophie and James have known each other almost their whole lives, until he moved away...and turned into something else. James isn't your standard Edward Cullen. He does shit like climb through windows in the dark of night, but Sophie proceeds to kick the crap out of him when he does.
Now I channel all of my anger and lingering fear into one mighty upward chop to the nose. When he covers his face, I bend my knees up and use my legs to pop him off of me before rolling sideways and scrambling to my feet, my legs still shaky from the adrenaline.*cheers*
They're an equally matched pair. James respects her. She respects him. James is never a creeper, and although he's made difficult choices in the past, I understood why he made his (really stupid) choices, and I really liked them as a couple.
“It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. You can’t kick me more than I’ve kicked myself.”Overall, great book, with likeable characters and a lot of humor. Recommended. ...more
Notes are private!
May 17, 2014
May 17, 2014
May 06, 2014
May 06, 2014
did not like it
“Daddy, no!” I shouted.Meet Eros, the Greek Goddess of Love. She never stops fuc
“Daddy, no!” I shouted.Meet Eros, the Greek Goddess of Love. She never stops fucking wailing. This is one of the worst books based on Greek mythology that I've ever read. To make matters worse, it's told from THREE POVs.
People usually get wiser with age, for example, I used to be afraid that monsters would munch on my toes while I slept. That ended when I was 20, so clearly, I gained some wisdom over 10 years. One would think that after several fucking millennium, a fucking Greek goddess would have developed a few fucking brain cells in her dumb fucking head. One would think the goddess of love would know better than to fall into desperate, desperate love after knowing someone for all of six fucking months.
In Greek mythology, Eros is supposed to be the Greek god of love (not to be confused with his mother, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty).
Instead, we get THIS.
This is Eros, aka Cupid. Aka the little naked dude on cheesy Valentine's Day Cards that shoot arrows into people's hearts and make them fall in insta-love who is now turned into a stupid teenaged female. Needless to say, Eros has played an unseen and unnamed role in much of YA literature.
In this book, Eros is the Greek goddess of love, and she shows no more intelligence than a particularly stupid 16-year old girl, and by saying that, I think I might be insulting all the 16-year old girls out there, because there's no denying the fact that Eros is a stupid fucking moron who's probably been indulging in too much Bacchanalia.
Orion was my soul mate. Orion, who had bedded Eos and dallied with Artemis and gotten himself killed by her and her awful brother, Apollo. Orion, the notorious egomaniac, the most reckless thrill seeker who’d ever lived, a mortal I was still getting to know. He was, in many ways, my polar opposite, but he was my one and only home.The Ancient Greek goddess of love, Eros, has fallen in love with Orion (as in the constellation dude) after a few months. He is her sooooooooul maaaaaate, man. No matter what anyone else says about him, dude, Eros knows that he is THE ONE, man!
After several tremendously long months of courtship, Eros declares her undying love for Orion!
“I’d rather die than live without you.”And BOOM! Daddy Ares (the god of war) appears. Orion shits his pants, because, well, hello? You don't fuck around with an angry father, and you particularly don't fuck around with an angry father who IS THE GOD OF WAR.
A deafening crack of thunder shook the ground beneath our feet, sending us staggering together into the nearest tree trunk.(DADDY! NO!!!!!! Eros wails)
(DADDY! NOOOOOOOOOOO! Eros wails)
DON'T MESS WITH ARES, MOTHERFUCKER.
And since Eros is such a wonderful daughter, she tries to shoot her father in the back.
With a bow in my hands I never failed. With a bow in my hands I was the purest version of myself. I pulled back and let fly. The hunting arrow zipped through the air, headed directly for its target. Headed for my father’s heart.She shoots her dad. To protect her boyfriend. Of six months. Such a filial thing to do.
Long story short, Eros isn't supposed to be fucking around (literally) with a mortal. She's in deep deep shit. Zeus (here referred to as "The King," and "Your Grace," and "Your Majesty," like what the FUCK, man?!) sends Eros to Earth as punishment. Her mission to get back into grace and to save Orion's life?
“You will be banished to Earth without your powers. You will be, essentially, a mortal. You will then prove your worth to me by forming true love between three couples with no godly tricks up your sleeve,” Zeus continued. “Only then will you be allowed to return to Mount Olympus.”Simple, right?! I mean, Eros has only been watching humans and making them fall in love for thousands of years. How hard can this be?!
First: choose a name that blends in.
At the very top of the page in front of me was a space for my name and my birth date, which had been left blank. At least the king had given me that, the chance to choose my own name.Um. Ok, True.
Fine. It's fine. Really. It's just a name. We can deal with the name True. Ok, next, be subtle about it all.
“Do any of you have girlfriends?” she asked.Ok, it's fine. It's her first day in school. Eros, aka True has been watching humans for thousands of years. Surely she can blend in with them, you know, dress like how they dress.
She was wearing a white sweatshirt about ten sizes too big and pink shorts that showed almost every inch of perfect leg. But craziest were the brand-new, shiny, red-and-purple cowboy boots. Which I think she was wearing with no socks.Um, well. I'm sure that's fashionable in some parts of the world. It's fine, whatever her name, whatever she chooses to wear, as long as she's got her eyes on the prize. As long as she's got a subtle way of fulfilling her mission that's not going to draw any attention whatsoever.
“I’m going to find you a girlfriend,” I repeated, taking another swig of iced tea. “I’m really good at matching up couples. It’s a special talent of mine.”Fine, that's just, like, the second day of school or whatever. Just give her some time! Eros is smart, she'll surely use her millenium of experience to match couples up.
“Another setup?” I whispered.WHATEVER. Just as long as she blends in as a high schooler. She'll fulfil the mission eventually.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” I shouted.Needless to say...
This was a nightmare.-_-
The Greek Gods:
“Lmee ’lone,” she muttered. Her breath smelled like rotten grapes. I maneuvered her back onto the mattress and flung the covers over her legs. Her hair was matted in places, and puddles of drool marred one pillow.That...thing, ladies and gentleman, is Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. This book gives us the most one-dimensional portrayal of Greek gods and goddesses that I've ever encountered. Zeus is pockmarked. Ares is petty and only seeks to curry favor. Aphrodite is a drunken slop of a mess when she doesn't get what she wants. One of the most powerful goddessses in the Pantheon, and she's a wreck when she's on earth. Aphrodite does nothing but drink herself into oblivion. She sobs. She wails. She screeches.
Artemis is..."the most vile. She has the bark, but not the bite.” Apollo is a nasty, childish idiot. Selene is "a bit of a dimwit." The Greek gods are rarely mentioned in this book, but when they are, they are stupid, foolish, flat characters.
Eros AKA True:
I leaned forward, horrified. Was that a pimple on my chin?*waaaaaaaaaaails
Oh, for fuck's sakes. One would think that an immortal goddess who has been living for thousands and thousands of years would be less of a motherfucking dumbass. Wah I have a pimple. Wah I don't look perfect. Your motherfucking boyfriend of three motherfucking months is going to die, because you tried to fucking KILL YOUR DAD. ISN'T THAT CUTE?
Despite watching humans for thousands of years, she hasn't a fucking clue how to blend in. She doesn't know how to dress normally.
It was me on vomit day, wearing the band jacket over the long, gauzy dress and jeans Then me in my overalls on Wednesday, that itchy plaid vest I’d sported on Thursday, and finally the purple sweatpants and striped shirt I’d worn on Friday.Despite watching humans, she doesn't know how to blend in at all. She steals. Everything. A scarf.
We passed by an open bag on a chair and I saw a pretty plaid scarf peeking out from inside. I grabbed it and tied my hair back from my cheeks.A pair of sunglasses.
I looked her up and down through the silver-framed sunglasses I’d taken from an open locker.Other people's food.
That iced tea looked good. Refreshing. I picked up the bottle and gulped down half of it. Charlie stared. I placed it down and sighed. My head throbbed a bit more dully.And she steals food from EVERYONE. This is the new girl in school we're talking about.
She leaned away from me, sliding wary eyes in my direction. I picked up one of the doughy sticks, dipped it in the vat of maple syrup I’d been provided, and took a bite.Are you fucking telling me you don't know how people behave after watching them all this time? Are you fucking telling me that you don't know how to tell personalities despite having matched people up and observing them for thousands of years. Are you telling me you don't know how to blend in as a NORMAL person and keep attention from yourself?
I reached past a tiny girl with blond curls and took a carton of milk and a brown roll.Are you telling me that a Greek goddess who's such a judgmental asshole who calls EVERY GIRL SHE DOESN'T LIKE A BITCH is such a terrible judge of character?
After shadowing Veronica this morning, I was certain of one thing: The girl was a two-faced bitch.Are you telling me that a Greek goddess of love can be such a woman-hater?
The honors English teacher looked like a Hun and had the personality to match. You’d think she’d be happier, considering she was sporting a gold wedding band and had a picture of herself and her handsome husband framed on her desk. People around here obviously took true love for granted. I would have liked to have seen how she would behave if she’d had that big hunk of masculinity ripped away from her for the gods knew how long. Maybe it would soften her a touch.The Romance: I have to stop. I have a headache. I can't even go on about the fucking mess that is the OTHER romance in this book. Hint: it's about a girl who is
...bogglingly beautiful. So clearly clueless to it. So obviously sweet and shy and vulnerable."...And...
..."Not-Justin-Bieber was standing there, holding my books out to me in a neat stack. Except up close he looked nothing like Justin Bieber. His cheeks were more square and his eyes very, very blue. He was hotter than Justin Bieber. By a lot."Die, book. ...more
Notes are private!
May 15, 2014
May 15, 2014
Mar 26, 2013
Mar 26, 2013
did not like it
Actual rating: 1.5
"‘Don’t whine to your spouse about your daily troubles. He’s had a harder day providing for you and your children.’ This is what yoActual rating: 1.5
"‘Don’t whine to your spouse about your daily troubles. He’s had a harder day providing for you and your children.’ This is what you’re aspiring to? To be some guy’s house slave?”This book is vapid, at best. It's cute, sure, if you don't really want to think about it too much. There was a lot lacking from this book, mainly, depth. The main character comes off as a whiny, selfish child who can't stop crying, instead of an actual young woman growing up and trying to overcome her heartbreak in a realistic way. It tries too hard to be cute, and the "vintage" premise was executed so halfheartedly that there was really no fucking point.
There is a love triangle involving two cousins, a insipid, whiny 12-going-on-16 main character, who can't stop thinking about ME ME ME ME ME ME. Her sister. Her mother. Her grandmother. They need to pay more attention to poor wittle Mallory.
If she has time? Doesn’t she get what I’m telling her? [Grandma] has changed, and not for the better. I know she’s still dealing with the loss of Grandpa, but we’re all dealing with something, and she should be more aware of that. More aware of me.This is what I want to do to the main character.
This is the story of a girl who decides that life would be REALLY, REALLY AWESOME IF SHE WENT VINTAGE. That is, live life as she would if she had been a teenager living in 1962.
Let's see, let me rack my brain. What was life like in the 1960s?!
- Sexual inequality! Women made 2 cents (a rough estimation) for every dollar a man made. Why hello, there, Don Draper, how you doin'?!
- Segregation! If you're black, get back! To the back of the bus, that is. Don't touch the white-only drinking fountains!
- War movements! The Vietnam war and shit, give peace a chaaaaaaaance, man! All those war protests in Berkeley and throughout the country? Whatever.
Mallory? Fuck all that shit. For her, the 1960s means wearing pretty vintage clothing and be secretary of a pep club! Not the president, just the secretary. That's the woman's place, after all!
"I am so over this decade, this century.”Mallory has the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. Jeremy is a dream come true, even if his cousin, Oliver is pretty awesome, too! I mean, right in the beginnig, we get this lovely little passage about dear ole Oliver.
I don’t know much about Oliver, but who does? I think that mysterious aloofness is part of his image. He was nice enough to give me a birthday card that night with a twenty-dollar gift card to Outback. Outback? That’s the way to get in good with your cousin’s girl.It's not like it's a hint that Oliver's going to be the future love interest while she's still dating Jeremy or anything, no! *rolls eyes*
AAAAANYWAY. Jeremy's the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. I mean, he's good-looking, he makes fun of how much she eats.
“Really? You’re hungry?” he asks. “Even after Pizza Hut?”He makes her do his homework for him. This guy is a keeper. Best. Boyfriend. Ever.
So it comes as a total blow when Jeremy does something like cheat on Mallory with an online girlfriend. That's right, Jeremy the Amazing Asian Tool has a SimCity-like account, where he's been slutting it out with an avatar named BubbleYum. Mallory is furious. She "hacks" into his "FriendSpace" account, exposes him for the cheating cheater he is, and breaks up with him. And then she gets tons of hate messages blaming HER for their breakup.
Clearly, technology is to blame. Evil, evil technology.
“If Jeremy didn’t have a computer or the Internet, he wouldn’t have met BubbleYum. If I didn’t have this cell phone, strangers couldn’t text me threats. Technology is the reason my life is falling apart.” My voice rises. I’ve never felt this passionate about anything before—the world, or my world at least, is suddenly so much clearer, like everything before was a big surface float, and now, for the first time, I’m diving into the deep end of life.Uh huh. So dramatic. Much passion. Wow. Solution = go back to the past, specifically, 1962. Mallory finds a list that her 16-year old grandmother made in 1962, and seeks to emulate it.
Junior Year: Back-to-School Resolutions:Uh. Ok. It doesn't quite turn out as planned, because the only thing Mallory has down pat is the clothes. Sixties dresses are so cute! Other stuff...doesn't work quite well. For one thing, she really didn't think the situation through at all. Like how the fuck is she supposed to give up the Internet when she SIGNED UP FOR A CLASS ABOUT THE INTERNET.
“You knew when you signed up for the class that most of this unit involves the Internet.”And she throws a fucking fit when her sister Ginnie actually makes her follow through on her promise and bans her from using technology.
Another Post-it note where my alarm clock used to be.Who cares about historical accuracy, anyway! Block all the bad stuff out!
I check out the Industrial Revolution books, but don’t bother with the sixties stuff. I’m worried history will only discredit my sunshiny hypothesis.Uh huh. Way to make a plan and not follow through with it. Not to mention, Mallory cheats on both her "vintage" vow and her paper---she plagiarizes from the Internet.
I type Industrial Revolution right onto the main page search engine, and instantly a million possibilities pop up. Thank you. Thank you. Ask and you shall receive. I could probably type in Completed Industrial Revolution Paper and find five reports to combine into one.So really, what's the fucking point?
It's ok, though, no matter what she does, dear Oliver will always thinks she's so quirky and beautiful and adorkable.
“Because I like being around you.” He’s still looking out the window, and I wonder if he’s focusing on one object when he says this and what that object is. “I probably shouldn’t, but I do. And I can’t say why. I mean, I can think of a bunch of reasons why.”Mallory:
The way he describes me, like I’m this vapid girl who doesn’t care about deeper things … that’s so off.Except, it's not off. Mallory behaves like an idiot child.
She cries over hula figures. To clarify, these things you put on your dashboard.
Reaction (over-reaction?): "He has three hula girls on the dash, three more in the back. I wonder what they think behind those vacant smiles, their plastic shells. These are women who will never wear a shirt, who must spend their existence dancing on demand. There’s something so sad about that, about me, about this situation, that the tears come hot and fast."
Mallory is immature. She doesn't think things through. Her reaction to the most minor fucking thing is to pat herself on the back.
I should push a little more than usual, make this something worthwhile. I’m here already, right?She sets a challenge for herself, to "go vintage" only she constantly whines about it, and constantly cheats on it. And her "living dangerously?"
I just need to figure out living dangerously, which might involve eating the cream cheese and sausage mixture Ginnie is presently concocting.Pfffffffffft. To take a phrase from my friend Emily May. This is Sunday School rebellion. It's sad, pathetic, and so insipid it's not even cute.
She doesn't really want to think about the deeper side of the sixties, all she wants to see is the pretty pretty clothes and simple times. She hates it when people don't pay attention to HER. She expects people like her mother and grandmother to know just how she's feeling, and leave her alone when she wants to be left alone and give her attention when she wants it.
“It doesn’t sound fine. Are you sure you don’t want to talk?”Her Mother:
She thinks she has a right to know my everything just because she had a forty-hour natural labor with me. My life would be so much easier if she would have just taken that stupid epidural.
There is a constant attempt at villifying her own mother that I just don't quite get. From what I read, her mother is just the right amount of attentive, only our dear little
When we walk into a store, guys always check out my mom first, taking in her tight body and large chest before noticing that she’s in her forties, not twenties.Her mother is a hard working mom who is the family breadwinner. She is a caring mom, and Mallory, in her selfish way, can't see it. She constantly complain about her mom not understanding her, when she's doing everything she can to shut her out whenever her mother asks her any sort of question about her life. Mallory comes off as nothing more but a selfish, stubborn, childish girl.
The Romance: There is a love triangle between Mallory, her ex-boyfriend Jeremy, and his cousin, Oliver.
Why am I thinking about Jeremy?She is. She constantly thinks about Jeremy after their breakup, which is annoying, but believable.
I look down at my wedge, and notice the head of lettuce looks like Jeremy’s head, that the bits of bacon could easily be his eyes, the tomatoes his mouth, and—But meanwhile, she's got feelings for Oliver, too. Jeremy is doing everything he can to get Mallory back, while Oliver plays the kind, understanding, all sorts of supportive friend who wants to be something more.
In order for me to understand the romance, I have to support the characters. I liked Oliver, despite his "hipster" ways, but I can't, for the life of me, understand why the fuck he's in love with the utter birdbrain that is Mallory.
Overall: this book is the equivalent of a 6-year old refusing to eat bacon for a week after reading Charlotte's Web, and the main character has the same mental age. Not recommended. ...more
Notes are private!
May 10, 2014
May 11, 2014
May 08, 2014
Mar 01, 2013
Mar 01, 2013
it was ok
“So you’re cool that he only showed interest in you once you got all glam?”The book's title is rather misleading, f
“So you’re cool that he only showed interest in you once you got all glam?”The book's title is rather misleading, for one, there's no "revenge." For another, the sorta-but-not-really-"revenge" of the "girl with the great personality" is to become hot.
I get it. This is an YA book, and in the scheme of adolescent thinking, beauty is everything. I'm trying not to offend any high schoolers here, but generally, the teenaged mind seeks the most simple explanation, and in this book, the solution for lack of popularity with the boys, for not having your parents' attention, for lack of a boyfriend, is in a person's looks, or lack thereof.
Again, this is just my own experience, but in my high school, nobody really cared about dating or getting a guy or becoming hot, which is why I found it so hard to connect to the main character from the way I felt as a teen. The teenaged years are never good years, I think it's the same across the board. Upon reflection, the adult version of us will realize that it takes more than good looks to win a guy, and even the most beautiful person can be so tremendously alone, seeking for love in all the wrong places. Happily married supermodels are quite rare, it seems.
I was an socially awkward teen who didn't know how to talk to people. I was gangly, awkward, flat-chested, and never once in my high school life did I feel like I was a failure at life because I couldn't get a boy. Throughout high school, I didn't have a single date. I never got asked to a single dance. And I never thought the problem was because I wasn't hot or pretty enough.
I could barely string together two words in public (and look at me now!). I didn't have a great personality, because I was kind of the depressed angry sanctimonious little snits once you got around to talking to me, and I realized that. I had more to worry about than how I looked, because, like the sanctimonious little snit I was, I was too busy worrying about the existential crisis of life (true story, I carried around Sartre like the fucking Bible).
So forgive me if, from my own experience, I found the main character rather hard to relate to. I know that this is an YA novel, but I want the situation and the character to be framed in a way that I could understand the character, even if I couldn't relate to her. This book didn't do that for me.
The kind of "become hot, get a boyfriend!" message is kind of a shallow one. Because this is a growing-up type of book, the main character overcomes, but it's still a really, really shallow message, made furthermore by the complete lack of character transformation. The main character likes the fact that she's hot and she's got boys looking at her BECAUSE she's hot in one moment, only to throw a hissy fit that she feels like she's only seen for her looks and not her personality in the next 5 minutes.
It's contradictory, it's hypocritical. This book has:
- A caricature of a pageant family. Think Honey Boo Boo, complete with the grossly obese, obsessed mom living vicariously through her youngest daughter's success in pageantry
- A shallow main character without the "great personality" in the first place, as far as I can see
- Fat AND thin shaming. Her mother is shamed for stress-eating and becoming obese. A thin, beautiful Mean Girl is accused of having an eating disorder.
- A very shallow portrayal of beauty. Those who are beautiful must be shallow, those who aren't beautiful must be worth more in character
- A love triangle that pissed me off more than your average love triangles
Most trouble usually starts with a boy. But he’s not just any boy. No, he’s possibly the most amazing, hottest, and sweetest boy ever known to teenage kind.Lexi is a cool girl. She's got a lot on her plate, like an overbearing pageant mom, and an unbearably bratty 7-year old baby sister Mac, the competitor in said pageants. Mac is the pretty one. Lexi has always been the girl with the "great personality." And it kind of sucks.
When a guy uses great personality to describe a girl, it’s the polite way of saying fat and ugly.Except she's not fat. She's not ugly. She just can't get the boy of her dreams, Logan to notice her. Ok, the other part of why she can't have Logan may be due to the fact that Logan is the happy boyfriend of the school beauty queen.
But Lexi's fed up with being ignored.
I know that once I leave high school and go to college, it’ll be different. There’s got to be someone out there who’s willing to give a girl with a great personality a shot.But she'd fed up with biding her time. She wants her future now. She has a gay friend named Benny who's pretty sick of being ignored by the guy of his dreams, too. They make a plan, change themselves, change their lives.
A makeover and a dress? There is a very good chance no one will even recognize me on Monday.It works. The only problem is that it works too well, and instead of attracting the boy of her dreams (who has a girlfriend), she attracts the attention of Taylor, the school football star, instead.
Is Taylor in love with the person Lexi is underneath, or does he only see her newly-improved appearance? Will Lexi stop thinking of one guy while she's with another?
“I should be jumping for joy that I’m with somebody as amazing as Taylor, but now all I can think about is that Logan is going to be there. And that he might dance with me.”The Family: This isn't the sort of family you can usually relate to in a contemporary YA novel. Lexi's family is all sorts of weird. For one thing, her mom is a woman hell-bent on making her 7-year old daughter, Mac, into a tiny pageant queen. Her mom also has problems with overspending, she goes so far as to slap Lexi, to call her ugly, to constantly snub Lexi in favor or the adored child Mac, she steals $4,000 from Lexi, and she has a problem with overspending (which makes them constantly in debt) and with overeating, which is why she is grossly obese.
While I know genetics are partially responsible, I also know that she gained over a hundred pounds after Dad left. She stopped taking care of herself, and just kept eating. The only thing that would get her out of her rut was pageants.Her mother is just so outrageous, she's the epitome of everything that one can caricature from a reality show, and I expect a little more realism from a book.
Taylor didn’t pay attention to me until I glammed up. But so what? I was a drab version of myself — why would he want to be with someone like that? It’s no wonder guys would never give me the time of day.The trouble with Lexi is that her journey into looking better devolved into shallowness. We started off with Lexi KNOWING she is a good person, if only people would notice her beyond her fairly plain appearance. After she started making herself over, Lexi became a different person. She makes justifications when guys start noticing her, she starts feeling like she should have tried to be more beautiful all along.
“Well, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to show up in sweats and no makeup and see how he reacts? Did you ever think that maybe I like to dress up? That I like to wear makeup?”She starts lying to herself and ignoring the completely pragmatic advice of her best friend, who's just well-meaning and giving her the big overall pressure. Telling her to not be so quick to rejoice that a boy who has never noticed her before suddenly sees her now that she's "glammed up."
“He never really paid much attention to you, and then you become a fancy version of yourself and suddenly you seem to matter. It’s a little insulting.”She starts ignoring her best friend, Cam, she of the sage advice, for her new bf.
Cam agrees and, yet again, assures me that she’s okay. But I feel like I’ve let her down. I did the one pageant thing I swore I’d never do: Step on whoever to get to the top.Because she doesn't like Cam's way of giving her the cold truth. Which makes it all the MORE baffling when Lexi starts getting pissy at Taylor and accusing him of liking her only for her looks when she was completely ok that he apparently noticed her improved appearance a few weeks ago.
“Oh, come on. You didn’t show any interest in me until I started dressing like all those Glamour Girls at school. Don’t pretend you care about anything but how I look.”The Romance:
“Oh, so you realized that I was at the table.”So Lexi got herself a new boyfriend after her glamorization. Taylor may be a jock, but he's a pretty awesome guy. He's nice, attentive, sweet. The only trouble is that Lexi is constantly dreaming of her crush, Logan, while she's with Taylor.
Logan has a girlfriend. Lexi now has a boyfriend in Taylor. She still has feelings for Logan.
I try to shake off the jealous feeling that’s overwhelming me. I thought that as Taylor and I got more serious I’d stop obsessing over Logan, but old habits (and delusional fantasies) die hard.She never, ever stops thinking about Logan throughout the entire book, and shall I emphasize that she's still dating Taylor?
I don’t even know if I like Taylor. He’s gorgeous, so I’d be stupid not to. But because I’m pathetic, all I keep thinking about is Logan. I was hoping that once I had a real date with a real boy my Logan delusions would end, or at least subside.And she can't stop comparing her fantasies of the Best Kiss Ever with Logan while Taylor's taken her out on a date and didn't try to make a move on her.
“Wait a second.” Benny snaps me back to reality. “So because he didn’t shove his tongue down your throat, you’re convinced that he’s not into you? Has the thought ever crossed your mind that he’s being a gentleman?”So in conclusion, Lexi thinks she's an awful person for having feelings for two guys at the same time, one of whom is the sweetest guy ever.
“Oh, it’s … I think I’m an awful person.”And I would have to agree. ...more
Notes are private!
May 30, 2014
May 03, 2014
Jan 01, 2010
it was ok
"Oh, really?" Rosanna rolled her eyes dramatically, "How convenient that you decide to change the rules after you go on a date with the hottest guy i
"Oh, really?" Rosanna rolled her eyes dramatically, "How convenient that you decide to change the rules after you go on a date with the hottest guy in school! Maybe it shouldn't be called the Lonely Hearts Club -- maybe you should call it the Rules Will Change When Convenient For Penny Club!"In the ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata, fed up with all the warmongering, the women of Greece to withhold sex in a revolt to try to end the Peloponnesian War. If those intrepid women's mission to give up romance and love had lasted as short as the one waged by the main character within this book, the war might still be happening right now.
Because Penny Lane's vow to GIVE UP ALL THE BOYSES lasts all of 5 minutes. Yay. Bravo. Much endurance. Very patience. Such stoicism. Wow.
This book was terrible. I don't think Elizabeth Eulberg's YA comtemporary books are for me at all, because this is the third such I've read with disastrous consequences.
1. The heroine shows all the signs of being a contemporary Mary Sue including having a special name ("Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes"- The Beatles). She is beautiful without knowing it. ALL THE BOYSES FALL FOR HER. Etc.
2. The portrayal of teenaged females as completely shallow character whose lives revolve around that of their boyfriends and crushes
3. A theme of BOYS ARE NOT EVERYTHING that completely, utterly fails
4. An extremely juvenile way of viewing a group of people, in this case, boys, as EBIL EBIL EBIL creatures. It's so fucking 3rd grade.
He was a guy. A guy guy. As far as I was concerned, he probably had the dead bodies of small children and puppies hidden in his locker.The Summary:
"Are you even kidding me? Every time you're around Ryan, you flirt up a storm."Penny Lane is done with boys. D. O. N. E. So she says. Her boyfriend Nate just dumped her because she won't put out.
And now that she's newly single, Penny is starting to see how HORRIBLE EVIL BAD boys are. I mean, they ruin everything they touch. They turn perfectly good, smart girls into mindless, devoted idiots, slave to their selfish EBIL EBIL EBIL needs. From the hipsters to the musicians to the jocks.
I couldn't help but wonder why it was that a guy could find two good girls to date at the same time, when we girls couldn't even find one decent guy.Anything with a penis = trouble.
And it's not just the boys that are the problem, it's the girls, too. The girls at her school are so fucking shallow.
"The guys in the Elite Eight aren't the problem," Morgan said. "Those girls are so shallow and have zero -- and I mean zero -- things to discuss outside of their boyfriends."So, fed up with boys, Penny decides to form the Lonely Hearts Club.
I would stop torturing myself by dating loser guys. I would enjoy the benefits of being single. I would, for once, focus on me. Junior year would be my year. It would be all about me, Penny Lane Bloom, sole member and founder of The Lonely Hearts Club.Famous last words.
Word gets out, and the girls at school think this is a fab, fab (not to be confused with the Fab Four Beatles, with whom Penny's parents are obsessed) idea. Before she knows it, Penny is famous, and practically all the girls at her school are joining it. Giving up boys! Enjoying time with each other! What could be a better idea!
Well, for one, Penny's starting to notice her best friend Diane's ex, Ryan. Diane and Ryan are THE couple. A jock, a cheerleader. Super popular, they've been dating since 7th grade. That's a long fucking time in grade school years, and they've just broken up.
And now Penny's got her eyes on Ryan. So much for her vow of chastity, or, whatever. They go on a date. Or, well, not a date, because SHE'S NOT WEARING A FUCKING BLACK TOP
Rita and I had joked that guys always wore that on a first date while girls always wore jeans and a black top. Since I wasn't wearing a black top, this was clearly not a date.Except Ryan sees it as a date.
"First date?"And then, well, maybe it's time to relax the rules.
"I started this club because I was sick of guys. But as the Club has grown, I've noticed that it's more about focusing on ourselves, and that we're really good at that. So now I think maybe our focus shouldn't be on never dating a guy, but on keeping true to your friends. if one of us wants to go --"Are you fucking serious?
All members agree to stop dating men (or, if referring to the male population at McKinley High, "little boys") for the rest of thy high school existence.Those be the rules of the Lonely Hearts Club. It's a pretty neat little club, because although it's not true for everyone, relationships tend to bring out the worst of us sometimes.
"And then when we do find someone we think is special, we forget about our friends." I tried not to look at Diane. "Or we change something about ourselves to please a guy instead of doing what makes us happy or what we know is right. Why do we do this? Why do we even bother?"But this book vilifies relationships so much. It portrays all the girls within the book as desperate for boys, dependent on boys, and despite the fact that this book is about staying away from boys, it almost fails the Bechdel Test because almost ALL THE FUCKING CONVERSATIONS ARE ABOUT BOYS.
And it just fails in the premise. Not only does it has a very silly, juvenile attitude of Boys Have Cooties, the purpose of the book, that of making life more about girlfriends and yourself, just completely gets glossed over because Penny still cares so much about what guys think.
I spent more time than necessary hanging up the coats. the entire time I sensed Nate's eyes on my back. And I enjoyed it.And not only that, the founder of the club completely goes against the club's rules.
I am on a date with Ryan Bauer.And NOT ONLY THAT, she ends up taking her little crush...way too far -_-
I blushed. I needed to take it down a notch before I started making decisions about our china pattern.For fuck's sakes...
Penny Lane is Making Me Scratch My Eyes Out: No, that's not the lyrics to the actual Penny Lane song, but it should be, because that's how Penny Lane makes me feel. She is a fucking Mary Sue, y'all.
She is beautiful without knowing it. Her beautiful cheerleader friends are all jealous of her and she doesn't know it.
"I've always been a little bit jealous of you."Because she can eat eeeeeeeeverything. So many times in the book, her friends are all jealous of Penny Lane's body and how effortless it takes her to maintain it. All the other girls in the book are on a rabbit-food-starvation-camp diet except for her. And she has no idea.
She thinks she looks freakish but Penny's also got a great sense of style, without knowing it.
"AND you have the coolest style. I choose what I'm going to wear based on what magazines tell me. I look the same as everybody else. But you have your own funky style that nobody else could pull off You always have."Every girl in the book adores her with the exception of a few. They don't fucking mind if Penny date their ex-boyfriend. Fucking gag me please.
"You and Ryan are Diane's closest friends. She wants you both to be happy!"Such generosity! So unbelievable!
All the boys fall in love with Penny. There's Ryan, of course, there's also ex-asshole Nate, and beloved asshole jock Todd. Naturally, she spurns them all. Except Ryan. RYYYYYYYYYYAN.
Overall: Cute premise. Utter failure. ...more
Notes are private!
Jun 15, 2014
May 03, 2014
May 01, 2014
May 01, 2014
did not like it
Even when I was little, I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. Sure, I had the clothes and the shoes and the general skills to win superficial populari
Even when I was little, I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. Sure, I had the clothes and the shoes and the general skills to win superficial popularity points. In the last couple years, I’d managed to get involved in stuff like debate and student government, but I’d never managed to be, well, normal.I've read a lot of terrible YA detective novels and this book would fit in perfectly among those unholy terrors. When I saw a YA criminal-investigation book by an actual attorney, I had high hopes, hopes that were, needless to say, dashed to the ground.
I do not doubt the author's credentials in the least. I do not doubt her intelligence, I'm sure she's 1000x smarter than I am (they don't give law degrees to idiots), but this book was absolutely terrible.
The YA detective novel is a difficult thing to write, the author has to:
- Make the situations believable
- Give the main character credibility in her actions
- Portray her methods realistically, this is, after all, an under-aged character we're talking about)
- Not make the actual police and prosecuting attorneys look like incompetent, bumbling fools.
This book failed on all fronts.
Totally normal girls don’t wear four-inch Prada heels to the library, or stalk criminals, or wear four-inch Prada heels while stalking criminals.17-year old Ruby Rose is something else. She's got a 4.0 GPA, she's a gray-eyed blonde, she can fit a cellphone, makeup, several small kittens, in between her breasts (known as "The Cleave")...
I felt for the picture of the girl hidden in The Cleave. Next to my other important stuff—cell phone, lip gloss—she was there....and she's famous!
My virginity wasn’t exactly a secret. One of those trashy magazines had even broadcast it in an article called “Ruby Rose: The Virgin Vigilante.”Ruby's SWAT sergeant father was killed in action, and ever since his death, Ruby has been determined to mete out justice on his behalf. In her Prada peep-toe shoes.
Ruby Rose isn't your average 17-year old, no sir. She's got a closet (named Gladys) full of designer shoes that she can consult for help.
I needed a few moments with my oldest and dearest friend: Gladys—aka my shoe closet.She's got a Black SUV called Big Black...
Big Black, my overly tinted SUV and current best friend.Not to mention, at the tiny age of 17, Ruby Rose somehow fucking got a license to carry a concealed weapon. Of course, that license to carry is meaningless without a gun, right? Oh, she's got one, too, named Smith.
I looked down at the shimmering weapon—aka Smith, my .38 Special Revolver with built-in laser sight that I’d gotten for my Sweet Sixteenth.Is there anything Ruby Rose doesn't name?
Ruby Rose can kick! She can fight! She can shoot! She's trained---at the ripe old age of 17---in the SWAT obstacle courses. She can hack into the Orange County Police Department's criminal system!! And all she wants to do is bring justice to the criminals who have escaped the system! But not kill them, no.
It's not ok to kill: Ruby Rose doesn't believe in killing.
“Liam, it’s never OK to kill,” I said flatly. I had good reason to do it, sure, but that didn’t make it “OK.”Right. So it's just a little confusing when she kills not once...
I pulled the trigger.Not twice.
I aimed for the largest target area and pulled the trigger. His chest ripped open and his body lost momentum. He would never fight again.Not three times.
I renewed my grip on the knife and slashed once as hard as I could, until I felt the blade slide through tissue and hit bone. He went limp.Oh, god, I lost track of the number of people that Ruby-I-Don't-Believe-In-Killing-People killed.
“Things have long been out of control, Liam. I have killed, or been responsible for...” I stopped to count with my fingers. “Seven deaths now. Seven!”Killers don't faint! Definitely not. Ruby Rose is SO competent, right? She's killed so many people (while not believing in killing), she's trained her entire life to be a bad-ass motherfucker by her police dad. So naturally, in these situations, Ruby Rose would never do anything so silly as to...faint...right?
A falling sensation rushed over me, and a sickening crack echoed through my skull.Shit. Ok. That was just once. That was just a fluke reaction in a school cafeteria, a visceral reaction to something. Surely she would never lose control of the situation and faint again...
And I was losing consciousness.Fuck! Ok, that was a bad example. She got caught unaware and poison-darted on the beach because she was canoodling with lover boy. She will NEVER, EVER faint again. Seriously. Never.
My world quickly spun out from under me. Swirling. Darkness. Pain. The last thing I saw was Liam, still on the ground, soundlessly calling out my name.OK, THAT WAS SERIOUSLY NOT HER FAULT. I mean, what kind of teen vigilante would expect a criminal to come up behind her and get caught unaware anyway. Who does that?! That's the last time. EVER.
A jarring pain stabbed through my chest, and a coughing fit brought me back to reality.That was...I don't know. I mean, whatever. Let's move on now >_<
Fine. The fainting thing was a bad example. Despite all her fainting, Ruby Rose of the 4.0 GPA is supremely intelligent. Not idiotic in the least. A teen vigilante so well-educated, so well-prepared as Ruby would never do anything dumb.
He’d done it again. He wanted to toy with me. And I’d been stupid, impatient, and impetuous enough to walk right into his trap.Crap. Ok, that was just one example. Surely, having killed so many criminals, having tracked so many of them down, Ruby would never...
Ha, I was insane. I was about to sneak out of my nice safe home and go looking for a rapist to convince him to help me. Real smart, Ruby. Best idea ever.Fuck.
I give up.
The Setting: This book takes place in Huntington Beach, California, in Huntington Beach High School. It could have fooled me. I grew up 5 minutes away from Huntington Beach, California. I still live around there now. I didn't get any sense of place, any sense of location at all in the setting. There were places that were just names. The Huntington Beach Pier, Pacific Coast Highway. I love those places. I drive down there. I take long leisurely summer drives down PCH for sushi with my little sister. I went to high school in Huntington Beach. It's a beautiful town. I'm not quite sure what school Huntington Beach High School has become when in the book, teenagers have "group sex parties" and teachers ditch class to go surfing on high surf days. It's fucking Huntington Beach. People go to the beach year-round. HBHS students are stoners, at worst >_> (can you tell my high school was rivals with them?)
This book might as well have taken place in any generic beach town anywhere in the world. I didn't feel any authentic sense of the city.
Ruby Rose: Bafflingly inconsistent. She doesn't believe in killing, but somehow she still does it. She's intelligent, yet she constantly walks into fucking stupid situations, and allows herself to be baited into killing people (which is against her beliefs! Gasp!). She's SOOOOOOOOO fucking perfect, yet she constantly puts herself down. Really, it sucks that her father died, but do you really expect us to relate to a 5-million-dollar-trust-fund blond-haired silver-eyed, buxom 4.0 GPA high school student who's got a closet full of designer shoes, who drives a GMC Denali.
Who's got the attention of the hottest boy in school, a cheery best friend, the ability to shoot and kick-ass in karate, and a District Attorney mother (whom she hates for some fucking reason)?
Excuse me while I play the world's smallest fucking violin for Ruby. Trouble doesn't come looking for her, she seeks it out, and she cries fucking crocodile tears when things don't go her way.
Oh, and her mother. Her poor District Attorney mother. Her cougar mother who checks out her boyfriend. Her Botoxed, Restylaned mother. How dare she seek out a career as a politician. How dare she not ignore her own ambition. Fuck that bitch, right, Ruby Rose?
The Writing: Oh my god, so much name-dropping. From TMZ (SO MANY MENTIONS OF TMZ)
“How about that I killed somebody,” I said. “I’m a Vigilante Teen Assassin. At least that’s what TMZ called me."To UGGs (I can hardly keep track of the shoe brands in this book).
To the extremely silly technological references that just sounds completely fucking absurd, even to an actual geek like me. People who like computers don't actually think in computer-speak!
- “So what about Taylor?” I asked, wondering why my brain had brought her up at a time like this. It was like my logical brain had a firewall and was trying to override the invading emotions.
- I wasn’t drinking her Very Cherry Kool-Aid. And I definitely wasn’t getting the message she was trying to send. Like the physical contact had created a spam filter and her message was just going to the junk file.
To the long, pointless, rambling extended metaphors.
I stared at his lips. Were they telling the truth? Or were they like chocolate—promising happiness, providing a few moments of heaven, then ultimately betraying me, going behind my back and putting junk in the trunk?The Romance: Liam. Handsome Liam. Liam who might be a killer.
It didn’t seem like a fair choice. Chocolate had total power over me—there was no denying my addiction to the dark, creamy crack. Those few moments of bliss were always enough for me to disregard the consequences. So, even if Liam was only chocolate, I wanted to taste a piece.The Romance: Liam. Handsome Liam. Liam who might be a killer.
“I nearly killed my father,” he said point-blank, staring at his hands as if they might still have blood on them.Oh, but it's fine that he beat the crap out of his dad! It's just self-defense!
“Protecting yourself would be calling the police, not taking a baseball bat and putting your own father in a coma for seven days.”*slow clap* Good fucking job, Ruby Rose.
Recommended for people who love stabbing themselves in the eye. ...more
Notes are private!
May 08, 2014
May 01, 2014
Sep 18, 2012
Sep 18, 2012
really liked it
"This is Karma. I’m a bitch. Can you think of anyone who deserves a bitch slap?"
"This is Karma. I’m a bitch. Can you think of anyone who deserves a bitch slap?"*sheepishly hands over her "Get Out Of Jail Free" card*
Technically, I'm not supposed to like this book. There are no end to clichéd characters, there's not so much a love triangle as a love star or whatever shape there is with way too many pointy ends (my Geometry teacher would be so proud), because it seems like everyone's hooking up with everyone else. If you're a parent, this book is going make you want to home school your child for the rest of high school, if not their life.
But fuck it, I had a blast. This book was terrifically fun. Here's why I liked it, despite its flaws:
1. The setting: Northeastern US coastal island. For me, that's the equivalent of catnip
2. REVENGE, BITCHES! Because, really, who doesn't love a good tale of GETTING EVEN
3. No slut shaming:, there's rampant sex, but there's never slut shaming
4. Diversity: ok, fine, there's just one Asian main character, but that's one more than most books have! Thank you, Jenny Han!
5. A surprising amount of darkness: really, really wild teenagers. They hook up, they use drugs, they drink, they're horrible people---they're, erm, teenagers, with all that entails. This book deals with issues like date rape, underaged sex, bullying (in the true sense of the word), and suicide.
6. Who cares about a love triangle or whatever when I can't keep the hookups straight?!
It wasn't perfect by any means (and dude, what's with the paranormal thing at the end?!), but really, I had too much fun reading to care.
Today I told that girl in the bathroom that Reeve would get his, that karma’s a bitch. I meant it when I said it, but now I’m not so sure. I’m sick of waiting for karma. Karma can suck it.It's been a long time since Mary has been back to Jar Island, her ancestral home. She had to leave years ago, due to certain...events. Mary was never a confident person, she's shy, she's socially awkward, but something happened a few years ago that broke her down. She had to leave the island. Now 17, Mary has chosen to return. Why? She hopes to catch the attention of a boy.
Will he recognize me, I wonder? Part of me hopes he doesn’t. But the other part, the part that left my family to come back, hopes he does. He has to. Otherwise, what’s the point?Ah, but it's not what you'd expect. That "he?" It's a boy named Reeve. Is he a former lover? A crush? Hardly.
He...used to torture me when we were in seventh grade. He basically got everyone in our grade to hate me. He’s the reason my family moved away.Kat is a tough girl, a loner, a girl who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Kat is big, bad, and bitchy. She smokes, she's a punk, she absolutely hates the rich townies and preppies at her school.
They make me want to barf, every last one of them. They get away with murder on this island. They just do what they want to do, and screw everyone and everything else.But it wasn't always like this. Kat used to be one of the "in-crowd," best friends with the most popular girls in town. Her former best friend, Rennie now hates her guts, and spreads rumors about Kat whenever she gets the chance. Kat tolerates and ignores the rumors, until one day, she snaps.
I freaking spat in Rennie’s face. Pretty much the trashiest thing I could ever do. The lies Rennie’s been telling about me since freshman year, I just proved them true.Because there's only so much a girl can take.
Lillia is a good student, a good daughter, a loving sister, the benevolent second queen bee in the school who holds a dark secret and shame. She is Rennie's best friend, a cheerleader. Lillia, Kat, and Rennie used to be a trio of best friends, until something tore them apart. Now Lillia is one of the most popular girls in school, and Rennie's sole best friend, but she knows too well what a bitch Rennie can be. But Lillia's got more to worry about than just the conniving Rennie; her innocent baby sister Nadia is entering the dark world of high school, and Lillia has failed to protect her from her two-faced childhood friend, Alex.
I never should have left her at that party. This is my fault just as much as it is Nadia’s. Maybe more. I’m her big sister. It’s my job to look out for her, to keep her safe.Wonderful! Now we're all set up. The summer's over, the school year's just begin...and it blows so bad. Mary doesn't know Lillia and Kat. Lillia and Kat now barely talk to each other. They all meet, by chance, in the girl's bathroom. Two of the three are crying. For the guys out there, in case you were wondering, Many Mysterious Things go on in girl's bathrooms.
Well, that's a bonding moment if there ever was one, but who's to trust someone you just met? Gradually, they all learn about how certain people in their lives have been fucking them over. Mary wants revenge on the guy who's bullied her throughout middle school.
Before Reeve, I was one of the smart girls, especially in math. I was the shy but friendly one. I was a little socially awkward, sure. But after Reeve, I was the fat girl.Kat wants revenge on her former best friend, the one who's been making her life hell for years.
Rennie has spread a hundred rumors about me over the years—how my dad is a meth dealer and he’s grooming my brother, Pat, for the family business; how I once tried to French kiss her at a sleepover. All kinds of lies, just so she could have something interesting to say.And Lillia? A certain guy named Alex has been sleeping with Kat AND Lillia's beloved (and very, very young little sister).
...this fake chivalrous Alex also cheated on Kat by taking advantage of my little sister.The new girl. The cheerleader. The loner. A triple threat. Revenge is a bitch, and so are they.
“We have to be more than careful,” I say. “No one can ever know what we’re up to. What we do together lives and dies with us.”MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The Revenge: The three girls do some seriously cruel shit in this book, and I have to say that the sadistic part of me loved every single fucking moment. They set fire alarms, they give someone a rash, they break windows, they do very, very illegal things. And I don't even care. If you wanted a carebear book, look elsewhere, this book has pissed off people getting revenge on some very unpleasant people who may or may not deserve it. It's not a book for carebears.
The Characters: The book is told through three POVs, that of Mary, Lillia, and Kat. I didn't have any trouble telling them apart.
Kat is the "bitch" out of the three, her voice is the strongest, she is easily identifiable through her toughness and her tendency to be terribly blunt and sometimes profane. I didn't have a problem with her bitchiness at all. None of the characters pissed me off. Kat is not too clichéd to be true; she's tough, but she feels like a genuine character who can actually think and not be one of those Big Bad Girls who are mean and bitchy just for the sake of maintaining her tough-ass image. She is blunt, she is the ringleader, she puts them all together, she gives her allies strength.
“He’s not worth it,” she says. “None of these people are. Trust me.”Mary is the quietest, the shyest, which makes a hell of a lot of sense, considering she used to be fat and bullied. She's pretty now, even, but the damage remains, and she remains unsure of herself. It took Mary a lot to be able to walk around school with her head up, despite the fact that she's not the "fat girl" anymore. I really loved her reaction to Reeve; she hates him, but she can't help wanting him to notice her and how she's changed as well. It's a naive hope that's realistic, knowing what she's been through.
I was crazy to think that Reeve would ever apologize for the terrible things he did to me. I always hoped, somewhere deep down inside, that I mattered to him. That he cared about me. That he was sorry for what he did.Lillia is the double agent, with a foot in both worlds. She's best friends with Rennie, hangs out with the jock and cheerleader crowd, she's wealthy, beautiful, and friends with wrong-girl Kat. Lillia is most concerned about her sister, she acts more like a mother to Nadia. There was a whole lot going on with Lillia, she's got a tremendous amount of guilt and shame, both from her perceived responsibility to her sister, and from a very sick event that happened to her.
I kissed him back. I liked it. Then I didn’t. I said no. I think I said no. Didn’t he hear me?The Assholes: They have more depth to them than I originally expected, but man, at times, the Mean Girl in the book felt really cringe-worthy. Rennie and Reeve are some of the baddies in this book, and they talk like this, at times.
He drawls, “Rennie, honey?”I said AT TIMES, because thankfully, this type of silly speech doesn't persist throughout the book. But I did feel that Rennie was outrageously Mean Girl at some points; she completely played out the Evil Cheerleader Captain with great aplomb, from telling a girl her thighs are the size of Texas, to telling another that she has a skin problem.
“There can’t be any weak links whatsoever. That means if your friend is slacking, you let her know. Like, just as a for instance, Melanie, you need to commit these three words to memory stat: ‘cleanse,’ ‘tone,’ ‘moisturize.’” Melanie’s eyes fill up with tears, but she quickly nods.The Romance: @_@;;;
I don't even know how to describe it, so let's not even go there. It's not bad, it's just a very interesting twist of the plot.
Overall: Tremendously fun, if you suspend your disbelief by a few foot. Just don't try it at home. ...more
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Apr 28, 2014
Apr 28, 2014
Apr 27, 2014
Oct 07, 2014
Oct 07, 2014
This is a well-written YA mystery, but from the blurb, I expected more darkness and more excitement. I enjoyed it, but I found it lacking on the promi This is a well-written YA mystery, but from the blurb, I expected more darkness and more excitement. I enjoyed it, but I found it lacking on the promised darkness and suspense.
1. A well-developed group of best friends, male and female
2. A realistic amount of romance
3. Psychologically complex characters
4. Great small-town atmosphere
5. A well-written love triangle based on friendship, and a light amount of romance
6. A male narrator who is neither an asshole, nor a girl in disguise. He has a crush on a girl, but he never sings odes of unrealistic poetry about the color of her eyes or her hair
1. The mystery---from the premise, I expected more of a paranormal twist; this is more of a Monkey's Paw sort of premise. There is only one "strange" element in this book. If you read this, be warned that this is not much more than a well-written psychological mystery
2. The pacing: it is a slow book
3. It's still a love triangle
4. The binoculars: even when explained, it's a pretty flimsy premise that felt pieced together from bits and pieces of pseudo-science
“I saw my dad,” she said shakily. “In our house. There was blood everywhere.” Natalie stopped, breathed quickly, like she could barely suck in the air. “I think he was dead.”It all started with their last trip into the Vermont woods. Riley and his friends are taking one last trip to their favorite part of the Vermont woods before winter---and the stress of senior year hits. With him are Natalie, Tannis, Trip, and Trip's girlfriend, Sarah. Sarah, whom Riley adores, unrequited. During a game of Truth or Dare, Sarah and Riley go into a cave...instead of sharing a secret, they find a box containing a pair of binoculars that are anything but ordinary. Instead of magnifying what's in front of them, they show Riley a vision...
There was someone beside me in that bed.Riley is not alone, his friends see visions as well. They're not sure what the visions represent, or if they're, in fact, visions at all? Was it a mass hallucination? A psychotropic drug transplanted on the binoculars? Do the binoculars show visions of the future? Or is it something else?
“Maybe it was, like, our hidden thoughts,” I said, watching her reaction. “Our deepest wishes or worst fears or some thing.”Whatever it is, not all the visions are as benign as Riley's. His friend Natalie sees her father's bloody death.
And it's a death that actually happens. Natalie's father is killed, and she is a suspect. Natalie's father is a troubled man, and all her friends know it. They can't help but think that maybe Natalie had something to do with it, and apparently, so do the police. And what is the binocular's role in all this?
“What if this is like that and somehow it changed Natalie?” I said, then added, “We have no idea what we’re dealing with.”The Mystery: The premise of the binocular is more of a slightly-paranormal force that drives the plot along, rather than anything paranormal or malicious itself. The binoculars are psychological mindfuck, as the teenagers in this book try to determine the visions and what they mean. In that sense, it works quite well. Think about it, if you were to have a vision of yourself lying dead on the floor, what would you think? How would you try to change it? Would you try to change your life while thinking that it's a vision of the future? Would you try to change the paths that would remove you furthest from that future? Or would you do nothing, thinking that it's your mind playing tricks on you?
In that sense, it works well, but for me, I guess I wanted more than that. I wanted more meaning, I wanted more darkness, I wanted to be scared and thrilled. This book did neither for me.
It was one of the things I hated about Buford. Everyone knew too much about everyone else.Small-town Vermont. A dead-end town. Growing up in Buford, Vermont, you have two choices. Get the fuck out, or have no future. It's not a big industrial town, it is a small town of 1200, that depends on the winter and the skiing tourists. Like any backwaters location, there is a drug problem. The police force isn't that great. You will likely have known your classmates since kindergarten.
The townspeople each have distinct, authentic character, however little they appear in the book. From the relaxed police officer...
Some guys probably were excited by the idea of “real” police work, but Bob wouldn’t be one of them. He had a little girl and a pretty wife and seemed content to shoot the shit with the townies and write the occasional parking ticket....to the wonderful AP Physics teacher who instills passion in learning despite his four-person class.
The Characters: I really loved the teenagers in this book, they each had complex psychological profiles, and I didn't feel like they were tropes at all. From Natalie, the champion skiier with a trailer trash family she wants to protect, to car-loving tough-girl Tannis, with an unexpected amount of passion and reason for her steely exterior.
"I’ve watched how it is for my mom, stuck in the house—every minute she’s not working, that is—washing and cleaning and cooking and then washing and cleaning and cooking again. She’s been doing it for twenty years, and my mom’s awesome, but she’s never done any of the stuff she wanted. Live in a city, fly on an airplane, do a job where she gets to wear a suit. Kids are a straight-up dead-end boring job, and it is definitely not for me.”Outside of the five best friends, there are other side characters who are sympathetic, too. The adults are well-portrayed. They're not flawless, they're not dumb; they are humans who make mistakes, and they are people who have lives outside of their children.
The Romance: There is a love triangle in the book, and it didn't bother me that much. What made the romance bearable is the lightness of it, and the fact that the people involved are friends, first and foremost. They've known each other since they were twelve. Riley wanted to date Sarah...but his friend, Trip, got to her first. Imagine about to tell your best friend that you're about to ask a girl out, only to have your best friend tell you that he's asking the same girl out. Riley played the bigger man, he let Trip date Sarah without ever confessing his feelings...
And the rest, as they say, is history. Trip went with her, I stayed home, and from then on I got to watch the two of them—my sometimes best friend and the girl I’d been crushing on—fall in love. Un-fucking-believable.There's the friendship. Sarah and Riley are friends, they talk to each other, they have their close moments, but it takes awhile for their relationship to develop into romantic potential. And when they do, there's so much guilt involved that I can't hate them at all.
“Oh God, Sarah.” I pulled back, away from her. I kid you not, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. “I can’t. God knows I want to.”Overall: A solid book, with great characters and good writing. The plot is slow, and the paranormal element very light and somewhat unbelievable. Recommended, with reservations.
Quotes taken from an uncorrected galley subject to change in the final published edition. ...more
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Apr 19, 2014
Apr 20, 2014
Apr 19, 2014
Apr 15, 2014
Apr 15, 2014
it was ok
There are certain lines that you do not cross, and coveting your beloved sister's ex-boyfriend is one of them. That's why this book made me gag a litt There are certain lines that you do not cross, and coveting your beloved sister's ex-boyfriend is one of them. That's why this book made me gag a little.
This book was purposeless. There was no ending. There was no romance. There was no character growth (and the main character was pretty dumb to begin with). I don't usually read contemporary YA novels, but when I do, I have certain expectations. I want sweetness, I want a character that matures, and I want some really cute romance. Yeah. Me. Wanting a cute romance. It happens!
That was what I wanted out of this book. I don't think it's too much to ask. I didn't get much of anything, so really, it felt like I read this book for no reason at all. I am left completely unsatisfied. Why did I waste my time?
1. There is no ending!!!!!!! If you want a definite conclusion or an HEA, get the heck away from this book.
2. The main character (Lara Jean) is silly, childish, and privileged in a sheltered upper-middle-class kind of way. She never really matured.
3. There was no true romance. There is a halfhearted love triangle. The romance is a literal "contract," a pretend one to make an ex-girlfriend and a former crush jealous. They are friends, nothing more.
4. The main character has long since been crushing on her big sister's ex-boyfriend. Excuse me while I throw up my recently ingested dinner.
5. There is almost no female friendship in the book. Lara Jean has a best friend (Chris) who is an outrageous, loud slut, and they so rarely talk and that their relationship feels pointless and artificial.
"[Josh] is into you.”Lara Jean has been in love with Josh for a long time. They've grown up alongside each other for the past five years; her dad and sisters all adore Josh. There's just one problem with her little crush: Josh is dating her older sister, Margot. Margot is about to leave for college, so she decides to do the decent thing and break up with him. Josh is left brokenhearted. Lara Jean sees him crying. She thinks...
If you were mine, I would never have broken up with you, not in a million years.Lara Jean is a romantic. She has had a few crushes in her life, and she has written love letters to all of them. There has been five.
And now there's a problem: someone has sent all her crushes the love letters that she wrote them (if you can't guess who it is, we seriously need to have a talk). This is problematic...because Lara Jean wrote a letter to Josh. And Peter.
This is a nightmare. Peter Kavinsky is holding my letter in his hand. It’s my handwriting, my envelope, my everything. “How—how did you get that?”To a teenaged girl, to any girl or woman, really, this is truly a mortifying experience, having your crushes find out is just an unimaginable humiliation. When Josh finds out, Lara Jean has no choice but to save face. She pretends to be dating one of her letter recipients, Peter. It turns out that Peter is in need of a little distraction himself.
“Let’s just do this for a little while.”Peter has recently been dumped by his girlfriend, Genevieve. He wants to make his ex-girlfriend jealous, Lara Jean needs to pretend that Josh means nothing to her. They enter into a dating contract. But then Lara Jean finds himself liking Peter...but is Peter truly over his ex-gf? And what happens when Josh realizes that he might have feelings for her after all?
“Ever since I got your letter...I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.”Lara Jean: Inoffensive, silly, stupid at times, and incredibly boring. Lara Jean reminds me of some of my baby sister's friends. She is so starry-eyed with innocence that I just wanted to slap some reality into her. She is stupid at times, she runs a stop sign, she takes some stupid risks involving her own baby sister and a car seat, she would probably buy the London Bridge from you if you offered it to her.
I have a sudden revelation. I lower my voice and say, “Wait...can you read?”She never really matured throughout the novel. Her maturity at the end of the book equates to "I can order pizza for my dad and sister while my older sister is out of the country now!" She has the sort of wide-eyed innocence that makes me think, "Child, the real world is going to chew you up and spit you out one day." I want a certain toughness in my main characters, not a starry-eyed fluff of an overprotected, privileged upper-middle-class girl. Her definition of maturity includes admitting to her mistakes...
I brighten up and then I remember how Margot said I’m in charge now. I’m pretty sure taking responsibility for one’s mistakes is part of being in charge.Lara Jean feels like a 13-year old.
Your sister's EX, REALLY?!: I don't know about you, but I find the thought of dating my sister's ex pretty fucking nauseating, and I'm willing to bet that my sister feels the same way about my ex-boyfriend. Let's get one thing straight, if you're going to be in a relationship with someone, there's going to be some touching involved. You're going to go beyond first base.
The last thing I need when I'm kissing a guy is thinking about my sister kissing the same pair of lips. The last thing I need when I'm *ahem* a guy is knowing my sister has probably done the same thing to him. The last thing I need when I'm sleeping with a guy is to be thinking "Has my sister been in this bed? Under these same sheet?"
Gross. Gross. GROSS. No, thank you.
To top it off, do you really want to be dating a guy who was thinking about you when he was dating your sister? What does that say about his behaviors, his morality? What does that say about his character. Is he going to do the same thing to your OTHER sister 10 years down the road? (Lara Jean has two sisters) Do you really want your sister's leftover? Do you really want to date him knowing that he's had sex with your sister? Why would you even consider that? What kind of a sister would you be? I don't care if your sister broke up with HIM. It's still a betrayal of the worst sort.
Female Friendship: When I read a contemporary novel, one of the things I look forward to is a realistic, true portrayal of female friendship. Instead, I have this:
I wish I’d made more friends. If I had more friends, maybe I wouldn’t have done something as stupid as kiss Peter K. in the hallway and tell Josh he’s my boyfriend.What Romance?: There really is no romance in this book. There is barely anything but Lara Jean mooning and daydreaming that she and Josh were Meant To Be, if only he could see it. Her fake relationship with Peter....petered out. Lara Jean may find herself liking Peter more and more every day, but there's the fact that Peter is not over his ex-girlfriend.
He doesn’t know it, but when Peter talks about Genevieve, he gets a certain softness in his face. It’s tenderness mixed with impatience. And something else. Love. Peter can protest all he wants, but I know he still loves her.Lara Jean is supposed to be developing a true relationship with Peter, but how can she, when it's clear that Peter has a tremendous amount of emotional baggage.
Peter shakes his head. “What Gen and I have is completely separate from you and me,” he says.I was truly disappointed by this book. I wanted a sweet romance. I wanted to be swept away. I didn't get anything, and the ending left me reeling with disappointment because, while it was not a cliffhanger, nothing ever got resolved. ...more
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Apr 17, 2014
Apr 19, 2014
Apr 16, 2014
Feb 25, 2014
Feb 25, 2014
it was ok
Here’s the basic difference between having a girl as a best friend as opposed to a guy.
Here’s the basic difference between having a girl as a best friend as opposed to a guy.*barf* I don't bloody think so.
If you have a really really cute guy friend and you guys have been close for so long but oh my god he's so hot and you think you're in love with him but does he like you and what about that time he checked out that other girl and oh my god you guys stay up all night talking and you're like *this* close and he makes your heart go aflutter because he's so *sigh* handsome and does he really see me the way I see him and I know he's dating my friend, but it's so awkward, and he'll never love her the way I love him, do I love him?! Oh my god, why can't he just see we were meant to be?!??!111ONE! and you feel like maybe you guys should declare your feelings *bluuuuuuush* and see where it takes you?!?!1
Then you might like this book.
If not, you might find it incredibly nauseating, as I did. If you do have a friend like I described above, do yourself a favor, grow some balls, tell him, and just get the fuck over it, please. Don't waste your time languishing over what Could Be and what Could Have Been. There's more to life than that.
Friendcest! I don't have a male sibling, so incest has never seriously icked me out, but I guess you could say that for me, this book is the equivalent of incest. I call it "friendcest." You see, I had a male best friend in high school.
We met in 9th grade, but didn't talk much. I had gotten over a terrible friendship breakup with my childhood BFF the previous summer, and swore to myself I would never be friends with anyone ever again (I was 15, ok?!). He sat behind me in French class the first day of 10th grade, and as they say, the rest is history.
This is almost verbatim the conversation that facilitated our friendship:
Him: I always thought you were the quiet genius in the corner.
Me: *bursts into wild laughter*
We talked every night on old-school AIM. We had almost nothing in common but our hatred towards society (we were teenagers, ok?), and our love for mocking stupid people (we were teenagers, ok?!). We boycotted prom night and chatted on AIM instead. We joined clubs together. We wrote obscene poetry during English Honors II together involving Queen Guinevere and Lancelot (we were reading The Once and Future King). I made fun of his love of country music. He made fun of my love for feminine-looking Japanese rockers (it was a phase). He taught the squeaky-clean baby Khanh to swear (I know you guys are grateful for that).
I loved Harry Potter. He hated Harry Potter (and refused to read the book). And for our graduation present, he gave me the first Harry Potter DVD. I nearly bawled my eyes out.
And there was never anything remotely romantic between us. Which is why this book made me rather queasy, because the entire message of this book is "I'VE HAD FEELINGS FOR YOU ALL ALONG, I JUST CAN'T SEE IT."
This book does nothing to dispel the myth that guys and girls can't be just friends. Really, it's not about platonic friendship at all. It's the story of a boy and a girl who were meant to be all along, but just can't see it. I found it irritating, I hated the theatrics, I hated the cheating, I hated the selfishness, and I hated seeing the people hurt in the process of the Twoo Wuvvers(tm) as they leave broken hearts behind in their journey to discovering that they were Soul Mates(tm). For me, it was pretty terrible. It was filled with nothing but teenaged melodrama and hysterics. There was no depth, and the entire book left me tremendously bored because it was SO FILLED WITH FEEEEEELINGS.
Platonic Friends, My Ass: The story started in middle school, when baby Levi and baby Macallan met. They almost instantly became BFFs, but that didn't last very long. The overwhelming feeling in this book is that Levi is the most obvivious idiot in the world. He goes around thinking, man, I'm the luckiest fella in the world, he's blissfully carefree, not knowing what's lurking underneath. Man, what I wouldn't give to be a guy.
This was why Macallan was the greatest friend in the world. I hadn’t seen her in ten days, yet she wanted to be sure I saw my girlfriend.Well, guess what? You can't have your cake and eat it, too. The thing about Levi and Macallan is that we know all along that they have underlying feelings for each other. It was almost never platonic in nature.
I didn’t know what bothered me more: the fact that my best friend had been keeping something from me or that she was currently flirting with some guy.Innocent Bystanders: Levi and Macallan are best friends, the trouble is that they're way too close. I said it was never platonic, and boy, do we see it in their respective relationships. Levi has a girlfriend. Macallan has a boyfriend. And both of them completely ignore their dates to talk to each other. They are self-absorbed, they are selfish, they are uncaring of anyone except themselves. For example, when they go on a double date, Levi and Mac can't stop talking to each other.
Ian cleared his voice loudly. “So, Carrie, I think we need to intervene before the Levi and Macallan Show takes over. Once they get started, they don’t stop. Ever.”Ian and Carrie are Mac and Levi's dates. And to top it off, they're so absorbed in talking to each other that they don't even notice that their dates have left.
Danielle could read the nonverbal exchange Levi and I shared. “Let me guess. You didn’t realize your dates left.”Levi = Sweet, Sweet Fantasy, Baby: Half the book is from a guy's perspective, but it almost doesn't feel that way. Levi is cute, but he's not a boy. He is entirely too feminine in his observations and his actions, despite his protestations and his manly grunts and his desperation to gain guy points with his macho Wisconsin guy friends.
This book tries really, really fucking hard to be cute, and it doesn't work, and it does so by making Levi the most adorbs thing in the whole fucking world. Like the moment when Levi is filled with joy at receiving a coupon for a homemade meal from Macallan. Like the moment where Mac takes Levi to her mom's grave, and he proceeds to have an entire fucking conversation to her dead mother. WHAT THE FUCK?
“Um, Mrs. Dietz, I’m Levi. I’m sure Macallan has told you all about me. And, well, none of it’s true, unless she told you I’m awesome.”*snorts* That's cute. It's also wildly improbable. I don't buy it.
To top it off, Levi is filled with observaaaaaaaaations about how Macallan looks.
Macallan’s hair in the spring and summer was my favorite; in the sun it was almost bright red with an orange undertone. But if we went inside it looked like it did in the fall.Bleeeeeeeeeeeech. Her hair looks like the fall: said no guy EVER. And I hate to presume, but I can't see a guy thinking this deeply and overanalyzing everything in excruciating fucking details.
I hated that something was getting in the way of their friendship. And that something was me.Dun Dun DUUUUUUUUUUUN: Do you like teenage drama? Petty jealousies? Catfights? Oh-my-god-does-he-like-me conversations? Oh-my-god-you-are-no-longer-my-friend conversations? Cheating? Love triangles? That's pretty much all this book is. It's a bunch of teenagers acting very teenaged and nothing else. There is no depth to any of the characters. The side characters, like Macallan's best friend, are shallow bitches who flirt and flit from boy to boy. There is no deeper subplot. I didn't feel like there was a deep driving force to any of the main characters, because the only thing they're fucking worried about is (in order of precendence)
There are no deeper complications. There is no true character maturity. This was a shallow, nauseatingly predictable book. ...more
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Apr 12, 2014
Apr 15, 2014
Apr 12, 2014
May 13, 2014
May 13, 2014
it was ok
“You know what I think?” I said. “I think whoever killed Erin knew about you and me and her.” I carefully sidestepped the term love triangle, since I
“You know what I think?” I said. “I think whoever killed Erin knew about you and me and her.” I carefully sidestepped the term love triangle, since I didn’t want to go there.Girl, you went there.
This wasn't a terrible book, but it was completely generic, lackluster, and half-assed in every way. There's kind of a love triangle, and there's kind of cheating, but not really, because the two main characters kind of made swoony eyes at each other and literally nothing else for 99% of the book. There was no romance. Don't come in here expecting a love story of any sort. It's emo teenaged wangst, and that's it. Despite the tantalizing hint of a grand romance, there really wasn't anything of the sort, and trust me when I say that I'm the first to jump up and yell "THIS BOOK HAD TOO MUCH ROMANCE IN IT!" This book just had no love.
The mystery is half-hearted. It was solved with an overreliance of deus ex fucking machina in which the main character is privy to everything that the police knows. There was a not-terribly-Mean Girls clique. There is a half-hearted stalker. There are people who would blurt out very convenient information with the slightest of provocation. There is a love interest who might be the killer, and who is luurved by the main character, but he's roughly as dangerous as this bunny.
He is just so uninteresting and completely dull in every way that I just didn't really give a flying fuck when the main character is all "I KNOW ALL THE EVIDENCE POINTS TO HIM BUT HE DIDN'T DO IT BECAUSE I KNOW HE DIDN'T DO IT. NYAH!"
This book also has a somewhat offensive portrayal of Christians. Let's get one thing straight, I'm not Christian,fuck , I'm not the least bit religious. I'm against organized religion in general, and even I felt like this book portrayed Christianity in a very negative light. The type of Christianity portrayed here is the far-right, very religious type with daddy-daughter "Weddings" and "Purity Rings" and fanatically religious Mormons. This book doesn't name the religion outright, but it's pretty fucking obvious that this book talks about Mormonism. If you're easily offended by that, don't bother with this book.
I would never see Erin again.Lily Graves is just having an average day, cleaning up the cemetary in a Morticia Addams-style gown when the school Queen Bee and her archenemy, Erin Donohue shows up. Erin goes batshit crazy, blames Lily for her breakup with school jock/boyfriend of three years, Matt and proceeds to scratch and claw the fuck out of Lily.
...yanking my black hair, slapping, biting, and finally digging her nails into the delicate flesh of my forearm.Erin finally leaves, with a :DDDDDD bye! See you Monday! ^_^_^_^_^_^ (the "bitch!" is implied), only Lily will never see Erin again, because that night, Erin commits suicide.
Or so they say.
It turns out that not all is well with the picture-perfect Erin. For starters, Erin's boyfriend Matt has been engaging in a secret flirtation with Lily. It all started with a tutoring session, which leads to driving lessons...on his lap.
“You honestly want me to sit on your lap?”Well, one thing's for sure, she'll know when he releases HIS clutch...all over her thighs.
I don't know about you, but teaching someone to drive a manual shift while sitting on his lap is all sorts of stupid and dangerous. From personal experience, if a somewhat decent looking girl with a decent face with a nicely cushioned arse sits on a guy's lap, it's going to end in an erection 92.8% of the time. But Lily is charmed! She learns to drive! Hopefully not with HIS stick shift, but whatever.
Erin found out about Matt & Lily, she's furious. She told everyone. And now she's dead.
Naturally, the main suspect is Matt. When a woman disappears, chances are it's one of the main men in her life who did her in. Also naturally, Lily doesn't believe Matt's guilty at all. She sets out to prove his innocence.
“Let it go.”The thing is that evidence keeps mounting against Matt.
For one thing, Matt didn't even need tutoring---he lied about his parents and he lied to his parents---Matt wasn't going to fail his classes at all. So why did he have Lily tutor him?
“What if I told you, Miss Graves,” Zabriskie continued with a touch of glee, “that there wasn’t a chance that Matt Houser would have been benched this season?”And then there's the issue of Matt arguing with Erin on the night she died.
“The guy Mrs. Krezky saw arguing with Erin that night sounds exactly like Matt. Short brown hair, Potsdam Panthers jacket, and everything.”And then it turns out that Erin was pregnant. Matt was her boyfriend. It's not rocket science to assume he's the father.
I tried not to think about Matt having sex with Erin.Matt is a suspect, Lily is being told by everyone to stay away from him. Naturally, she can't.
“Matt is a boy with...”—she bit her lower lip—“bad intentions, I think. The more distance between you two, the better.”The Side Characters:
We’d dubbed them the Tragically Normals, because they were truly living the ultimate high school experience. Good grades? Check. Lettering in sports? Check. Nice cars, cute boyfriends, adorable girlfriends, clear skin, ideal physical proportions? Check, check, check, check, and check.Clichéd, clichéd, clichéd, clichéd. We have here the Mean Girls and Boys. They're bright, shining on the outside. Outstanding students, young pillars of the community who are secretly assholes to everyone beneath them. They're petty, they're foolish, they do illegal things, they're hypocrites, they get away with it.
There's the stoner, who says stuff like “You know, when I was at that pit called Potsdam High, you were the only one I thought might be able to understand my interests, seeing as how you too were mocked and ridiculed for yearning to be among the dead.”
There's no depth at all to the side characters.
Deus ex fucking Machina:
TO: Robert R. Amidon, Chief of PoliceTo be fair, I'm not quite sure if this qualifies as deus ex machina, but the plot is helped along by so many convenient excuses, it's hard not to label it as such.
Lily's mother is dating the chief of police. Thanks to that convenient little fact, Lily constantly gets tips from the police that she's not supposed to know. She works at the family mortuary so she's got details on the body (Erin's) that she's not supposed to know or see.
It was odd to see Erin this plasticized and defenseless, her newly washed red hair in a halo around her vacant face, her mouth glued into a pleasant smile. On closer examination, I noticed her inner thighs were riddled with scars, as were her waist and breasts.Total conflict of interest, but whatever, right?
To top it off, everyone gives Lily the information she wants.
“Talk to me.” This was my one window of opportunity and I had to make the most of it. “What happened at Erin’s house Saturday night?”Mean girls? Check. One little interrogation and they're blurting out their heart's secrets to her. This is entirely unrealistic, given that the Mean Girls (or "Pathetically Normals") are Lily's sworn enemies.
The Suspects: Never entirely well-thought out at all. Random suspects are thrown out of thin air, others seem to be complete red herrings that aren't subtle and witty as much as they're tremendously annoying for the reader.
“This you, Lily Graves?”Lily Graves is one of those teenagers who wear all black in school and is fascinated with death. It doesn't really make her any interesting to me, because I was one of those morbid teenagers myself. My problem's not with the fact that she tries to be different, it's the fact that she has no personality and no purpose for looking and dressing the way she does. She is superficial, despite the fact that she criticizes others for being superficial. She's a normal teen who chooses to dress differently, that's all. I didn't feel that there was anything particularly special, interesting, or especially likeable about her.
The Romance: I really can't bring up any quotes about the romance, because despite the fact that this book is based on the rumor of a romance between Matt and Lily, there was none.
Matt is not a nice guy. We're led to think he's a nice guy, but he's not, because he cheats on his girlfriend of 3 years with Lily. It's a mental cheating, but he's trying to get to know her WHILE he has a girlfriend.
“I did it because...because I wanted to get to know you, and I was too stupid to think of any other way.”HELLO, YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. Matt kept on dating Erin until the very end. He didn't have the courtesy to break up with her, having acknowledged his attraction to Lily. It's not a decent thing to do.
Despite his cheating, there is an absolute lack of romance in this book. Lily and Matt do absolutely nothing but make sad puppy dog "I DIDN'T KILL HER" eyes at each other. If you're going to give us a tragic couple, make it worthwhile.
Overall: A halfhearted attempt at a mystery that just bored me to death. ...more
Notes are private!
May 14, 2014
Apr 09, 2014
Apr 15, 2014
Apr 15, 2014
really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5
Just sex. Am I never going to be anything more than somebody’s strategy, a destination marked off on a road map and then passed thrActual rating: 3.5
Just sex. Am I never going to be anything more than somebody’s strategy, a destination marked off on a road map and then passed through for someplace better?This book came as a surprise. I expected a light summer read, and I got a whole lot more than that. This is not a fluffy book. It's quite a bit darker and more serious than my anticipated YA Contemporary brain candy (because sometimes I just don't want to think). I have to admit it was rough going at times, because this book did frustrate me somewhat with its slow pacing.
I thought this would be the simple love story of a boy and a girl growing up and falling in love; it's not. It's about a boy and a girl, there's love and maturity, yes, but it's also about family and friends, morals, ethics, regrets, and possibilities. It deals with sexual promiscuity in a way that never slut shames, it deals with infidelity in a sensitive manner, in a way that I found acceptable...and I am by no means a fan of cheating. This is a book about parents, siblings, cousins, neighbors. It has a strong sense of setting and community.
This was not a light read, but it is a good book. I found the book frustrating at times, but overall, nothing in this book gave me a headache. The writing is solid, the characters were well-developed, the plot and pacing needs work.
1. A beautiful setting, a Northeastern seaside town, with a lot of class (local vs. tourist) conflicts. I have to admit my bias for the book because of the setting, I have a tremendous soft spot for the Northeastern US coast, and that's a huge reason for why I chose to read this book
Can you blame me?
2. A believable heroine, flawed, hurt, ashamed of herself, unsure of the future
3. No slut shaming, despite the heavy topic of the book, and a nice female friendship
4. An absolutely adorable love interest
5. A believable family dynamic, with a lot of serious family issues
6. Adults are present and active in the kids' lives. They are not relegated to the background
1. The withholding of information: it got to be pretty frustrating at times. We know that something is bothering the main character, we have a sense of what it is, because of her shame, but it is so slowly revealed
2. The length: this book is far, far too long, without much of a plot in-between
3. The flashbacks: while they're crucial to the story, I felt they were often confusingly placed. I found myself rereading some parts, because I wasn't sure whether or not they were actual flashbacks
4. Too many subplots: they were well-written, but I felt like I was far too involved in the lives of these people, it feels like a silly complaint, but I want more simplicity than this
Heaven by the water.Guinevere (Gwen) Castle spends her summer slinging burgers for the rich locals and the tourists at the family restaurant. They are locals of Seashell Island, and they are far from rich. It's a tough life for the locals, there's almost no work outside of beach season, and there's a lot of resentment between the year-round inhabitants of Seashell and the rich tourists who "summer" there as a verb. There is no future for Gwen if she stays in Seashell, short of cleaning houses for the rich locals like her overworked mom.
To make it worse, Gwen can't get away from her mistake, from her reputation.
In another year, I’ll graduate. I can go someplace else. I can leave those boys—this whole past year—far behind in the rearview mirror.It's the last summer before senior year, a year that'll make or break her chances of leaving the only life she's ever known. There's going to be changes, for one, Gwen's not going to be working at the family burger stand, she'll be "companion" to Mrs. Ellington, an elderly lady who's sweet, charming, with a penchant for dirty romance novels (I have a feeling that'll be me in 50 years).
“‘Then he took her, as a man can only take a woman he yearns for, pines for, throbs to possess,’” I read softly.And then there's "José," the yard boy...or as she better knows him...Cassidy Somers, her Kryptonite.
The yard boy is everywhere on island, all summer long. Cass will haunt my summer the way he preoccupied my spring.The "yard boy" isn't exactly a yard boy, he's a rich local, working at a summer job at his father's behest. Cassidy is someone Gwen knows, rather intimately, in every sense of the word. Gwen and Cass have a past; their current relationship is fraught with shame, distrust, and misunderstanding. This summer will force them together; they will have to confront what happened between them last spring, no matter how reluctant Gwen is to discuss it.
He jams his hands into the pockets of his suit, turns away from me. “Fine, Gwen. Gotcha. And you’ve got me figured out. Clue me in on this, then. Why do I bother with you? Why not just ram my head against a brick wall? It would be easier and less painful. Why are you so freaking—burned, that, that nothing I do counts! How come it’s so clear to you when some made-up fictional characters are massively stupid and you can’t see it at all when it’s you and me?”It would be so easy if Cass and Gwen could have their Happily-Ever-After and leave it at that, but this is not just the story of a boy and a girl. There are family concerns, money is always an issue...and how to get more is always a question lurking in the back. It's always a battle between the Haves and the Have-Nots, here on Seashell Island.
“Just think about it, Guinevere, smart advice from your old man.” Dad takes the pole from me, securing the hook. “Embroider it on a pillow. Spray-paint it on your wall. Just never forget it: Don’t be a sucker. Screw them before they screw you.”There is an beloved younger brother, not quite autistic, but not quite right either. One missed moment, and he will disappear to god knows where. There are questions about ethics, how far will you go to get money, how much can a person overlook? There is the story of a cousin and a best friend, meant to be, or are they? One final summer that will change them all.
What you’ve always had doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll always get. What you’ve always wanted isn’t what you’ll always want.The Setting:
Maple trees arch and curl their branches over me, making the path a tunnel. The air smells earthy and tangy green. These woods have been the same for hundreds of years.I've always been drawn to the Eastern seaboard setting, and this book gave me a much-needed fix of that small-town beachside atmosphere. The place is well-described, there's no question about that, but what makes the town feel alive is how well-drawn the tension feels between the wealthy residents and the local townies who work for them.
We get woods at our back and can only squint at the ocean; they get the full view of the sea—sand tumbling all the way out to the water—from their front windows, and big rambling green lawns in back. In the winter it’s like we year-rounders own the island, but every spring we have to give it back.There is a huge socioeconomic gap between the wealthy and the poor on the island, and it's pretty obvious. The wealthy are sometimes condescending, not always, to the servicepeople running the island, providing the services for them. Most of the island's income comes from tourist season, but the rest of the year the locals (like Gwen's parents) have to pick up odd jobs to pay the bills. There is minor racial tension, played out into humor, like the lady who calls all her workers Josés and Marias, no matter if they're white or Mexican. Not all the wealthy are assholes, not all the poor are nice. There is a realistic portrayal of the island's inhabitants.
The Main Characters:
The realization is quick, sharp, and shattering like that bag striking the wall.A wholly sympathetic heroine. Hard-working, a good daughter, and a loving sister to her special-needs brother. Gwen is not perfect, she's got that type of reputation. She is not promiscuous, but she's made some regrettable mistakes in her life. I like the fact that while Gwen is ashamed of what she's done, she never slut shames herself, and she never slut shames others. We've all done things (and people) we have regretted later on, and I can definitely sympathize with Gwen.
I like that she has a sense of morality. She faces several moral dilemmas throughout the book, pressures from her father, and an employee. I felt like she handled them in a realistic manner, she is not a perfect character, and I loved that about her.
I liked her stubbornness, it frustrated me a bit at times, but it made her a realistic character, and I appreciated the fact that she eventually matured and realized her errors.
He was right. I should come with a YouTube instructional video. Or a complete boxed set. How the hell can I expect him to figure me out when I don’t even get myself? And worse, I’m a total hypocrite.2. Cass:
"I can’t claim to know you”—he pauses, has the grace to turn red, then forges on—“but I know you don’t put up with crap. That made me sick.”A complete gentleman...even if Gwen doesn't think so. The misunderstanding between Gwen and Cass overshadow the book; we know that Gwen both likes him/lusts after him while resenting him, but the reader never got a sense that Cass is anything but a great guy. He is wonderful with her brother, he gets upset, but only when Gwen drives him (and me) to the limits with her lack of communication, he puts up with Gwen's occasional BS, and he's not at all an asshole, despite being a privileged, wealthy townie. He's not afraid of hard work, he never feels like a girl in disguise, and I really, really loved Cass. He never criticizes Gwen for having a past, he never judges her for it. He's a patient guy, he's willing to wait, and we all need a Cass in our lives.
“It’s not about a jumbo box of condoms,” I say.Final comments: The pacing is slow, it really is. I feel like the book could be cut down by 100 pages without losing much relevance, because much of the book is about Cass and Gwen working together over the summer and getting reacquainted. While that's great, I could use less of that because I lost patience at some points. There are also a few small side plots, that of Mrs. Ellington and Gwen's cousin and best friend who have been together forever, Viv and Nic.
There is a lot going on in this book, but if you have the patience, I think you will find this book to be enjoyable. At the very least, nothing will give you a headache. ...more
Notes are private!
Apr 23, 2014
Apr 25, 2014
Apr 07, 2014
Sep 16, 2014
Sep 16, 2014
it was ok
She thrust her right hand forward.
She thrust her right hand forward.*rolls eyes*
Let's say you can buy a Dior purse for $50, in a spectacular find on clearance. Let's say you can also buy a knockoff Dior purse for $50. If they're pretty much the same value, wouldn't you want to get something that's more...authentic? Better? Designed and proven to please? That's the case of this book. There's no point in reading it when there is a superior version in Burn for Burn.
The trouble with Get Even is that it's a silly, weak, watered down version of the most excellent Burn for Burn. Furthermore, it's more unrealistic, in the amateur vigilante sort of way. If you just want to be entertained, sure, go for it. If you want a more realistic scenario actually involving revenge...go for the real thing. This is inferior to Burn for Burn in every way.
Furthermore...the premise is rather silly and contradictory. There is a group formed by the four girls in the book. They call themselves "Get Even" (as in...don't get mad...). Their mission is to publicly shame and humiliate bullies...and while nobody likes assholes, doesn't it just bring the anti-bullying group down to the same level of the bullies by humiliating them? I could compare it against the death penalty (and get a lot of flak for it, I'm sure) by saying it's like putting someone to death for murdering someone. I just don't like that sort of message. I feel that Burn for Burn was less blatantly hypocritical in that sense than this book ended up being.
The characters are similar, too...
The Summary: You have four "friends" each as different as can be.
The overweight, socially ostracized, intellectually brilliant Margot.
Margot understood the degradation, the knowledge that every set of eyes was on him, judging his overweight body, murmuring “fat ass” under their breath while they tacitly assumed the obesity was his fault.The popular, beautiful Asian girl Kitty (I guess I should appreciate the diversity, but this still feels like Burn for Burn).
“Now, to introduce a short video presentation by the leadership class, your student body vice president, Kitty Wei.”Politician's daughter, hipster wannabe Bree, who doesn't give a shit about her parents' political ambitions.
John might fantasize about how cool it would be to have a superstar politician and heir apparent to the governor’s mansion for a dad, but for Bree, the reality had been sixteen years of being reminded that she was the black sheep of the family who didn’t conform, didn’t appreciate her advantages, didn’t understand how important it was to maintain her dad’s carefully groomed image as the perfect family man.Beautiful aspiring actress Olivia, with a carefully groomed outer appearance and a secret shame.
Olivia crouched next to her bed and groped around underneath until her hand rested on a large Tupperware container wedged behind some old shoe boxes.So. Four girls who hang out in completely separate circles. What could they possibly have in common? Well, for one thing...they are the four members of DGM.
DGM is the bane of their school, Bishop DuMaine. They're well-known for pulling pranks, particularly on "bullies" who deserve it. Like a coach with a reputation for humiliating his students. His revenge from DGM is complete and utter public humiliation. Like showing a video clip of his audition for a reality TV show in front of the entire school body.
“I’m Richard Creed,” he said, his best shit-eating grin plastered across his face. “But you can call me Dick.” He wore a blue wifebeater two sizes too small, and his bulky arms looked as if he’d oiled them up with an entire tub of Crisco. He jabbed a thumb at his chest. “And I’m here”—he paused and pointed to the camera—“to give you three reasons why I’m going to win America’s Next Fitness Model.”DGM is considered to be such a threat to public safety that there's even a school investigation squad established of handsome young hunks, called Maine Men designated to uncover the culprits of DGM.
Well, all's well and dandy until someone gets murdered, and DGM gets the blame for it.
“‘The apparent murder weapon was found at the scene,’” Margot continued. “‘Along with a moniker for a local organization. No suspects are being held at this time. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call detectives at the Menlo Park Police Department.’”Will the members of DGM be able to get over the silly love triangles omg I'm dating my DGM member's ex-boyfriend omg insta-love omg my best friend might be in love with me drama to coordinate their super secret hand signals in order to find out the whodunnit and get the attention off themselves?
“Ronny’s a predator,” she said. “And we can stop him from hurting someone else.” Kitty thrust out her chin. “Don’t get mad!”The secret super special secret society here just feels fucking silly.Instead of a more serious premise, we have pretty much a club with special hand signals and chants. What the fuck, man?
Here's the difference: whereas in Burn for Burn, we get to watch the characters slowly come together in a quest for revenge...Get Even already comes pre-formed, and fuck if it isn't silly as hell. I mean, they have their own special group hand-shake power-chant. They have ALL met before the book. Their secret group of friends (who don't appear anywhere near each other on the high school social ladder) have already pre-formed, and as such, we don't get any of the interesting dynamics that develop between them initially. This book feels shallow and silly and unrealistic.
Burn for Burn worked better. We got to know the characters. We got to really FEEL their need for vengeance, that was why the premise felt realistic. That was why the premise worked. That was why I got fired up for revenge.
This book is not about revenge as much as it is about vigilantism and I can't say I support that. Yes, it sucks that there are bullies in school, and yeah, it sucks if you're a victim, but I am a firm believer that karma works, and I am a firm believer that teachers and authority figures actually know their shit, and yeah, high school sucks. Trust me, I remember it well, but this, too, shall pass, and in my opinion, taking it out on the bullies, while it feels good, takes us down to the level of the bullies themselves.
So that is why I can't fully support nor do I found the premise in this book enjoyable and believable. It just doesn't work for me.
The connection between the girls are hardly there.
“Are you sure,” Bree said drily, “you like your face that way? Because I could rearrange it for you.”They're just people who happened to join together for the same cause. There is no dynamic, no compelling backstory, no true sense of an alliance, above all, no true friendship.
But when it came time to choose an outreach program for the project, all four of them picked the same one—an antibullying awareness group.Womp, womp, womp. It's a dull letdown, and a dull premise that never meshed. I never got a sense of satisfaction from the book, in whatever justifiable (or not) acts of revenge perpetrated within this book.
The Characters: They feel clichéd. Yeah, I know it's a high school book. I know that it should be clichéd to a point, but there's a way of writing characters to make characters feel...real, and this book didn't do it for me. The main characters don't feel real. The people at the school don't feel real. They're more or less standardized high school tropes, like the mean girl Queen Bee.
A commotion rippled through the gathering crowd, as Amber Stevens pushed her way to the front, smiling gleefully in Theo’s direction. “What a pig!”To the evil headmaster, to a druggie whose nickname is...Ed the Head.
“Ladies!” A gleam of braces and a whiff of strong and probably needless aftershave were the only harbingers of the skinny sophomore who spun onto the bench between Peanut and Jezebel.A peddler of everything from homework to junk food to running a gambling ring. The jocks are overly jock-y. The cliques are severely defined. There's nothing that feels realistic about this book.
I mean, sure, you could read this book. It's entertaining enough if you don't think about it, but why bother, when Burn for Burn is so much better?
All quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof subject to change in the final edition. ...more
Notes are private!
Jun 02, 2014
Jun 10, 2014
Apr 05, 2014
May 20, 2014
May 20, 2014
it was ok
“Don’t talk about school.” For a second, I imagine going back as someone other than Jason Chase’s girlfriend. My heart starts to race. Who would that
“Don’t talk about school.” For a second, I imagine going back as someone other than Jason Chase’s girlfriend. My heart starts to race. Who would that girl even be?This book would have been more appropriately titled Overly Attached Lainey.
Love is a battlefield! What could be better than an epic strategy of using Sun Tzu's The Art of War to get back a lost boyfriend? How could one possibly go wrong? For starters, have the main character be the most pathetic, clingy, desperate 17-year old in the whole world whose only identity in life is that of being someone's girlfriend. And then have her refer to said master, Sun Tzu, as "Dead Chinese Warlord" for the rest of the book.
Sun. Motherfucking. Tzu. It's not a hard freaking name. It's silly, it's disrespectful. It's like me calling George Washington as that Dead White General. Sure, you can do it, sure, it's technically correct, it's entirely your prerogative to call the man who wrote one of the most famous manuals on war Dead Chinese Warlord. Just don't expect me to fucking like you for it.
This book had quite a few faults, in my opinion:
- The main character is the equivalent of the Overly Attached (ex)Girlfriend meme. She has no personality. Her only identity is in being so-and-so's girlfriend, in being so-and-so's friend and shadow
- The book is about 100 pages too long. Almost nothing relevant happens in the second half of the book.
- It mocks alternative lifestyles and makes a lot of jokes about whores and sluts
- There's no true female friendship. Her one awesome friend tends to disappear until it's convenient for her to appear again. Her other best friend is almost nonexistent for most of the book, and only serves as a bitchy, cruel, slutty foil to the angelic (if desperate) main character
- There's a love triangle that is expected, but is completely lacking in chemistry, as in all of a sudden OMG I WANT TO KISS HIM
It’s not like my whole world ends every day.”Glinda Elaine Mitchell (aka Lainey) is a 17-year old whose entire world revolves around her boyfriend of 2.5 years, Jason Chase. At the beginning of summer, Lainie gets unceremoniously dumped by Jason in front of her family's coffee shop.
Sobs force their way out of my throat. I feel like I’m trapped in a disaster movie where everything is shriveling into darkness and ash. Sunflowers are being uprooted. Puppies are being trampled. Whole cities are crumbling to dust.Lainie's entire identity rests on being Jason's girlfriend. She is a school soccer superstar, she's good at school, she's one of the more popular kids---but Lainie feels she is nothing without Jason. Lainie can't stop thinking about him, worrying about him, making up imaginary scenarios about him.
A few days later, I have a dream about Jason lying in a ditch, calling out to me for help. It’s four o’clock in the morning when I sit up suddenly in my bed, positive he’s in some kind of trouble. I should call him. I mean, what if he’s really hurt somewhere?Thankfully, she's got a good friend, Bianca (sometimes "Bee") who tries to give Lainey some good advice.
“Don’t do it, Lainey.” Bee yawns. “Nothing says pathetic like a middle-of-the-night text message.”
With Jason, life was bliss. Lainey is nothing without Jason.
“It’s more than that, though. I can’t imagine my life without him. It’s like I try, but nothing makes sense. Everything was perfect, and now everything is crap. I need him back. I need everything to go back to the way it was.”Lainey goes crazy when Jason doesn't answer her texts. Because that's sort of the point in breaking up with someone.
“You know what? I’m going to text him.” Before Bianca can stop me, I’ve got my phone out and I’m rattling off an “Is this about your dad?” text.
Lainey wants to talk to Jason by any means necessary. Including stalking him.
"I know he has a ride-along shift so I can catch him if I go by his dad’s place in the morning.”And despite all this, she doesn't think she's clingy. Is she?
"You need to stay away from him at least for a few days, give him space, don’t be clingy.”Bianca tells Lainey to stay away from Jason. It's a good strategy. Give him some time to think things through, miss her, want to get back together with her. Lainey can't stay awau because Jason is her life.
A strangled sound works its way out of my throat. “Three weeks without any contact from Jason would seem like several lifetimes. No way."Because of her breakup with Jason, her summer is absolutely ruined. Hell, the next year is ruined.
The only thing that’s kept me sane without Jason the past couple of weeks is all the plotting and scheming in the name of getting him back. I try to imagine what my life would be like if it doesn’t happen. Days spent watching him from afar in the hallways, agonizing about whether to run toward him or away from him. Nights at home alone, wondering who he’s with.Finally, Bianca has a brilliant idea. All's fair in love and war, therefore, it's perfectly reasonable to use war strategy to win Jason back. Enter Sun Tzu's The Art of War. She will use the book and the strategy within and recapture the enemy---Jason.
“It’s by a Chinese military strategist named Sun Tzu. It’s mostly about war, but people have applied it to all kinds of scenarios—business, law, college, sports, relationships.”Yeah, apparently dead Chinese dude can help. She employs the strategy, while finding an unexpected ally in Micah the mohawked bad-boy who works in the coffeeshop. He wants something, too. Micah has recently been dumped by his girlfriend, Amber. They're going to pretend to date each other to get their exes back.
And they absolutely have to succeed, because Lainey can't imagine a future without Jason.
How am I supposed to explain to him I won’t be okay if our plan doesn’t work? That without Jason I’m not even sure who I’d be anymore.But in the process, will Lainey fall for Micah instead?! Fighting off the Mongol hordes is easy by comparison to the battles of the heart!111!1 Har har har.
There’s nothing wrong with my life. Well, there won’t be once I win Jason back. Most girls would trade places with me in an instant.Pathetic. Desperate. Sad. Lifeless. No self-esteem. Her entire fucking identity is caught up Jaaaaaaaaaason, and this book was so painful to read. For half of the book, it's JASON JASON JASON then all of a sudden, BOOM, Jason, Micah, Jason. Yay.
Lainey is annoying. She doesn't stop talking. She's the kind of girl who "talks nonstop" and feels the need to constantly fill in the silence. People fall for her, and I just don't get it. This is one of those cases where I look at Jason who dumped her, and I roll my eyes and give him an understanding nod, saying "You got yourself out of here just in time, man, that chick is craaaaaazy."
She is a good student, she is a soccer star. She is awesome! And yet Lainey sees no other identity to herself besides that of being a popular guy's girlfriend. She makes fun of people. She mocks the goth/punk/alt kids at the coffee shop and at the other venues she goes to. She constantly calls people hookers and sluts, and she thinks the sun shines out of Jason's anal sphincter.
JASON JASON JASON:
I purse my lips. “Jason isn’t a dick. He just found some other girl he likes better.”Oh, do tell me again how Jason's not a dick? Jason is a fucking loser. He's a handsome guy, but he's a douchebag. He starts sleeping around the second after they break up. He ditches class. He's a terrible student. But Jason could be a serial killer and Lainey would still excuse him for it.
Jason is a bad-boy poster child. Cheats on tests. Skips class whenever he wants as long as it’s not soccer season.” She pauses. “Gets caught with weed in his locker?”And knowing that Jason is such a motherfucking douchebag just makes me despise Lainey even more for being such a doormat for him.
“You’re like this punk-rock baker,” I say, shaking my head.While Lainey is busy trying to win back the elusive Jason, she's finding time to fall in love with Micah. Micah, the asshole mohawk-wearing-chain-smoking-juvie-convict-coffeeshop-hipster-pierced-gangsta who listens to music that sounds like...
"...a bunch of cats being crushed by a steamroller"Who, naturally, has a heart of gold. Their attraction is so completely lacking in chemistry, and I cannot understand Micah's attraction to Lainey unless it's one of those opposites-attract thing, and even then, WHY, MAN?!
“You’re about as alternative as skim milk, Lainey.”She's clearly obsessed with a guy who's no good. She's an idiot who has no appreciation for anything that's not mainstream pop culture. She's an idiot, and their attraction to each other is so completely out of the blue for me.
And Micah? He's not exactly Prince Charming, he's a douche in disguise.
“Does he think I’m a hooker?”HOOKER HOOKER HOOKER: There is a whole lot of slut jokes in this book, and I found it completely unacceptable. People casually refer to each other as whores, sluts, hookers, they make references to pimp. Lainey calls people sluts, and in turn, is called a slut for the way she dresses.
“Nice dress, Lainey.” She rolls her tongue ring across her lower lip. “How are things on the corner?”Final notes: The book mocks people with alternative, goth lifestyles. One of her coworkers is shamed by Lainey for her baldness (a choice). People with an interest in dominatrix/punk lifestyles are mocked and they refer to everything in submissive/dominant vocabulary. Pretty girls are assumed to have fake boobs and hair. It's altogether an offensive portrayal of anything that's not main-stream pretty. ...more
Notes are private!
May 20, 2014
May 20, 2014
Apr 05, 2014
Mar 11, 2014
Mar 11, 2014
Actual rating: 3.5
He proceeded to do some moves I can only assume are part of a war dance in some lost tribe of the Amazon. There were a mysterious nActual rating: 3.5
He proceeded to do some moves I can only assume are part of a war dance in some lost tribe of the Amazon. There were a mysterious number of elbows involved, and a face that was probably meant to be sexy but looked more pained.Some things are universal, and a horrible dance partner is one to which we can all relate ^_^
This book was all sorts of adorable. This is what I look for in an YA contemporary. Light romance, adorableness to the extreme, silly and realistic teenagers, and a very likeable narrator.
No slut shaming. No love triangle (despite the premise), and really, just cuteness all around. My only complaint is with the Head/Tails alternate scenario premise. Why? What was the point? It's an YA contemporary, let's leave it at one single possible timeline, ok? This isn't a choose-your-own-adventure book. The alternate scenario is just pointless.
The Summary: Heart LaCoeur has a horrible name, ok? Let's get that out in the open. It means "Heart the Heart." It's Prom time, and she's got no time for that nonsense, no sirree. Heart is going to prom with a group of her friends, guys and gals. They call themselves the "No Drama Prom-a" crew.
So Heart's set to chill with her pals. She's got an awesome vintage dress. And it's going to be just great!
Until Heart gets more on her plate than she planned. For one thing, her brother volunteered Heart as his friend's prom date without her consent.
“Eh.” He shrugged and swallowed the last of his pizza. “Anyway, he already had tickets to prom, so I said you’d go with him.”And to make it even messier...
Ryan beckoned me closer with a jerking head motion. “Listen...I was wondering...would you want to go to prom with me? As friends.”WELL, FUCK. Heart doesn't want any of this. She tries to turn them both down, but there are problems.
“So...” He drew an elaborate, invisible design with his finger on the lab table. “Just pick someone and be done with it.”Seriously, it's not that easy. For one thing, Troy is the most pathetic, broken-down jock in the world. He just got dumped by his girlfriend, hence why he needs a date, and he's more teddy bear than tough guy. How can you turn down someone who looks like this?!
“If you don’t want to, that’s cool.” Troy looked down, and I swear to God, I thought he was going to start crying. Ginormous, six-foot-four, two-hundred-and-fifty-pound Troy Rafferty was going to break down in the french fry line.NOOOOOOO. You'd have to have a heart of ice to turn him down.
So Heart goes to turn her friend Ryan down, only it doesn't quite work out either.
He smiled and laughed nervously. “I just feel like I should be honest with you,” he said. “I didn’t want you to think that I was asking you because...that we...that I...” He took a frustrated breath and let it out in a short huff. “I’m gay.”*HOWLS WITH LAUGHTER*
So now Heart's stuck between a downtrodden, depressed teddy bear of a jock, and a gay guy who wants her to be his beard. NOW do you see her problem?
So Heart tosses a coin. Heads or Tails. Heads, Troy wins. Tails, Ryan wins. And thus, we get to watch Prom Night unfold in both scenarios. There will be torn dresses, drunken kisses, terrible dancing (Hint: gay guys are terrible dancers, too).
There will be horrible kissing experiences, designed to incite jealousy in an ex-girlfriend.
There was nowhere to turn when he laid a wet, alcohol-soaked kiss on me.There will be relationship counseling.
“Ugh, maybe you are gay after all.” I crossed my arms.And maybe Heart will realize who she should have gone with all along.
He laughed. “You’re having...thoughts?”Heart: Yeah, she's got a crappy name, and a crappy mother. Don't hold it against her. Heart feels like a realistic teenager. She is normal. She is not "quirky" or strange, she's got a sarcastic sense of humor sometimes, she tends to get snarky, and her internal dialogue gets to be kind of silly sometimes. The point is that Heart never pissed me off. Like this internal monologue about the utter horribleness of her name, Heart.
Sometimes, people ask me what it’s like to be named Heart, but how am I supposed to answer that? I mean, how would you answer if a fish popped out of a lake and asked you what it was like to breathe oxygen? Apart from freaking out that a fish was talking to you, of course. You don’t know what it’s like to breathe anything else. You’d probably be like, “I don’t know. It’s okay, I guess. What’s it like to breathe water, Talking Fish?”I would understand if you found her annoying, but I thought she was pretty cute.
Despite her name, Heart is a skeptic. She's not a skeptic in the sense of I WILL NEVER EVER EVER LOVE AGAIN BECAUSE MY MOTHER ABANDONED ME AS A CHILD. No. Heart is a skeptic in the sense that she believes in romance, she believes in love, but she is willing to take it slow. She is pragmatic. Rational. She is not a believer in fate.
“I don’t believe in fate.” It was automatic. My response since I’d decided not to let my maternal genetics and my porn-star name choose my future for me.She is a NORMAL girl. She loves her friends, she is kind-hearted. Heart knows that a beautiful girl can be kind, too. She never, ever slut shames, and she calls out bad behavior when she sees it.
“Did you see the way Olivia went off? God, that girl would do anything for attention.”From confronting a bunch of mean-girls in the bathroom, to talking to her brother's beauty-queen friends. She never, ever judges someone for her looks. She defends the beautiful girls when she hears them being trashed behind their backs, and doesn't expect any rewards for it.
I had a feeling they’d both heard plenty of gossip about themselves over the last four years. You don’t get to be a senior looking like custom-ordered perfection without earning a little jealousy along the way.Heart really did win over my heart.
The Other Characters: What made this book so fun to read was the fact that the teenagers feel like real people. These boys and girls could have been my friends when I was in high school. They joke around with each other, boys and girls can be friends without drama, they're a group of mixed boys and girls who just have a lot of fun with each other. They like each other, they laugh with each other, they have fun! And I had a lot of fun with them. They do silly things, they play lighthearted pranks on each other, they do dumb things. Nothing is ever outrageous.
This book really defies the steoretype that all pretty girls are bitches. There are numerous beautiful girls in the book, cheerleaders, prom queens. They may be beautiful, but they are portrayed as people, too. They're just normal girls who just happen to look pretty. There is never an attempt to hate them or to slut shame them. I love that about this book.
The Romance: There is only one romantic interest in this book, and it is predictable as heck. That's not to say it's not sweet. It's the friends-into-lovers trope, and it is so light and well-built, that I found it to be completely understandable. I rooted for the two. I wanted them to be together. I wanted to see them get past their misunderstandings, and I cheered for Heart when she got pissed off and told off the boy of her dreams because he was kind of an asshole.
“Uh-uh. I had no idea how you felt about me. None. And you know whose fault that is? Yours. If you wanted to ask me to prom, you should have frigging asked me. You don’t get to whine about it just because somebody else had the balls to do what you didn’t. I’m done apologizing to you.” I poked him in the chest. “I didn’t do anything wrong. Get over yourself.”I love Heart's slightly cynical attitude. She's not one of those I-believe-in-soulmates people. She doesn't want to rush into things, and that's just fine with me.
“And you have to promise we’ll take it slow.”...more
Notes are private!
Apr 04, 2014
Apr 06, 2014
Apr 04, 2014
Apr 01, 2014
Apr 01, 2014
did not like it
Dear Kurt Cobain,For me, this book was pointless, puer
Dear Kurt Cobain,For me, this book was pointless, puerile, and pretentious, with a character who is the passive, dull YA contemporary equivalent of Bella Swan or Luce Price.
It’s hard to be myself, because I don’t know exactly who I am. But now that I’ve started high school, I need to figure it out really fast.The main character was simultaneously too naive and juvenile, while never letting me forget that behind this character, there is an adult writing this book.
On my first day...I used my favorite outfit from middle school instead, which is jean overalls with a long-sleeve tee shirt and hoop earrings.I could not bring myself to care about the extremely dull character, who has no character and no personality of her own, who comes off as a girl who's only too willing to be pulled along by peer pressure.
The next thing I realized is that you aren’t supposed to bring your lunch. You are supposed to buy pizza and Nutter Butters, or else you aren’t supposed to even eat lunch.This book goes nowhere. It is a diary of a high school girl, Laurel, who's lost her sister, May. Laurel's despair over May's death is tremendously subtle, and so suppressed that I can hardly tell she's grieving at all.
I guess I am not doing this assignment the way I am supposed to. Maybe I’ll try again later.No shit.
The point is that there was no point to this book. If I wanted to read about a main character that I can't relate to, whose grief isn't even present, who falls in love too easily, who lets herself be completely bent by peer pressure, who can't really relate to her family...WHY DO I NEED TO PAY MONEY FOR IT? If I wanted to read the diary of a really immature young woman, I can just go onto Tumblr or DeviantArt or Livejournal (does anyone use Livejournal anymore?) and browse through any amount of adolescent frippery for free. And I can stop when I want to!
The Premise: This book is written in a series of letters to dead characters, musicians, poets, actors. It reads like a slightly less silly version of a 12-year old fangirl writing letters to One Direction or Justin Bieber.
Dear Amy Winehouse,And 95% of the book is about Laurel, not the artists. To be fair, I didn't want it to be, because the information I got from these artists from these silly, juvenile "letters" aren't anything I wouldn't have gleaned from 5 minutes on Wikipedia or Daily Mail UK.
The Actual Letters: A few paragraphs on the artists themselves, and then a million pages (or so it felt like) of a teenaged girl rambling on about:
1. Skyyyyyyyyyy. Skyyyyyyyyyy <3333333
I especially like to watch this boy, whose name I figured out is Sky. He always wears a leather jacket, even though summer is barely over. He reminds me that the air isn’t just something that’s there. It’s something you breathe in.2. Her family, dad, mom, crazy Bible-thumping Aunt Amy
3. Her lesbian friends
4. Her cool older friends who are like, so awesome, and, like, so into each other, and like, so into music!
Dear Janis Joplin,5. Her sister. I guess.
The "letters" follow this pattern for the entire fucking book:
I think you're really cool because _______. I imagine that you must have been like _________ growing up. I think your dreams must have been like the wings of an angel sparkling with unicorn horns and butterfly dreams that never got fulfilled.
Today I went to lunch with my friends. I thought about Sky a lot.
Then I talked to my friends. Then I watched them kiss. Then I pretended that I didn't see them kiss. I went home to talk to my really sad dad, and I reflected upon how sad he is and how much I miss him. And May. But I'm not going to think about May. I'm not going to tell you anything about how she died. I'm going to let you have the impression that I love her even if I don't say it. I'm going to give you the impression that I care about her without ever implicitly mentioning her.
Sky is really hot.
______, you must have been so cool to know while you were alive.
AN. ENTIRE. BOOK. LIKE THIS.
Laurel: She reminds me a lot of Lara Jean from Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, which is to say, she's innocent as fuck, she's naive as fuck, and even if she's old enough to get to 3rd (and then some) base with her boyfriend, and drink, and do illegal shit, she's just there for the ride. Laurel is not a leader. She is a follower. She does things because people tell her to. If this book were an YA paranormal, Laurel would be the equivalent of Bella Swan because she fucking does nothing in the book unless someone drags her into it.
She is a good girl, an innocent girl who drinks and do stupid stuff like ask strangers to buy her alcohol because her (cool) friends tell her to. And she really, really wants to be friends with them. She is desperate to be loved, and I couldn't give a flying fuck about that. Spare me your dull I-have-problems-that-I-won't-talk-about mental issues; I want a girl twisted and torn by grief, I don't want a passive little fluffy bunny, even if that bunny occasionally indulges in some cannabis-laced carrots.
Inconsistent Writing: I could not get immersed in Laurel's character because she has such an inconsistent voice. In some parts of her narrative Laurel sounds like a 12-year old.
- I liked everything about it. I liked waiting in line with everyone. I liked that the girl in front of me had red curls on the back of her head that you could tell she curled herself. And I liked the thin crinkle of the plastic when I opened the wrapper. I liked how every bite made a falling-apart kind of crunch.
- When I got the shirt, secretly I had hoped that Sky would notice me in it and see who I could be. Maybe he’d feel a pang of regret over losing me.
- It had my name on the back. It was perfect. He had sanded the wood down so it was smooth, but the grains don’t go away. I told him it was my favorite present I’d ever gotten. He looked proud.
And then she starts spouting off philosophical crap and imageries out of freaking nowhere, and I'm left wondering who am I reading, the character or the author trying to write a poetic teen who's not convincing in the least?
- Her house is a different kind of empty. It’s not full of ghosts. It’s quiet, with shelves set up with rose china, and china dolls, and rose soaps meant to wash out sadness.
- There is something fragile like moths inside of him, something fluttering. Something trying desperately to crowd toward a light. May was a real moon who everyone flocked to. But even if I am only Sky’s street lamp, I don’t mind.
- I think Hannah must be afraid like I get afraid, the way I did when I heard the river yesterday, the way I do when I don’t even know what the shadow is, but I feel it breathing.
Laurel's narrative voice just did not work for me. I can't take a 12-going on 40 year old poet.
The Romance: Zero spark. Zero chemistry. About as convincing as the romance between Leonardo DiCaprio and whatever barely-legal Victoria's Secret supermodel he's dating now.
Everyone loves Laurel. Out of nowhere, the most popular guy in school asks her out, and not only that, she got the attention of Sky, the loner who never talks to anyone.
And although he has license to stand with the cool kids, he still doesn’t fully belong anywhere and hasn’t relinquished his title of Mr. Mystery. Hence the throng of girls who are always leaning in and touching his arm. But of course, my money’s on you.”He's a cool loner, the one who never cares about anyone, until he meets Laurel. It is insta-love for her, and Sky falls for Laurel remarkably fast, considering Laurel never does or say anything fucking remarkable. But I guess 17-year old boys are easily impressed.
“You’d be a really great writer,” I said.Final Comments: The grief over May's death just isn't there. Sure, Laurel is supposed to be really, really sad about May, considering she died, but I never felt her sadness. It is a matter of telling, not showing. You could argue that Laurel is suppressing her grief really well, but why the fuck would I want to read a book about that? It's the equivalent of reading a romance novel where the main character absolutely refuses to fall in love against all reason. I know those books exist. I don't like them!
Some truly bad things happen to Laurel in this book, and guess what? I don't care. I want to care. I'm not a callous person, but you have to make me FEEL something for the character. I could not relate to her. I could not sympathize with her. I did not like her. I can't bring myself to hurt for her when she is damaged.
Not recommended. ...more
Notes are private!
May 02, 2014
Apr 03, 2014
Sep 02, 2014
Sep 02, 2014
did not like it
This is one of the most shallow, insipid YA paranormal books I have ever read. It is filled with descriptions of clothes, descriptions of beautiful, w This is one of the most shallow, insipid YA paranormal books I have ever read. It is filled with descriptions of clothes, descriptions of beautiful, wealthy people, meaning-filled loving gazes, and not much more than that.
I might get more complexity from the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine.
He looks up as we pass, and for an instant, our eyes meet, and it feels like the world slows on its axis.Most voodoo books I've read have been, well, doodoo. This book totally sucked, too, but here's the difference. It's still a steaming pile of poo, but it's shit that doesn't stink. It's shit that has no personality. Instead of a fresh, steaming pile of crap, this is fecal matter that's been dried, dunked in bleach, and then encased in plastic because all the character (however stinky) that made the poo interesting in the first place has been completely removed from it.
This book is as whitewashed as voodoo gets. It's an insult to the original religion.
1. A special, different main character
3. A love triangle between a mysterious (and light-skinned black boy!) and a nice, sweet boy-next-door type (shocking!)
4. The most flavorless Southern atmosphere I have ever encountered within a book. This is the South, but don't worry, there's nothing that resembles it in our town, because it's a fucking magical town that looks like a picturesque New England town, y'all
5. Voodoo that has been sanitized within an inch of its life. It's closer to a bastardized version of chanting underneath the moonlight Wicca than anything remotely like the original African/West Indies religion.
6. More clothes than magic. More brand-dropping than paranormal. Chanel. Bling. Furs. Bring on the wealth.
“Look, I’m all for the idea of bringing a bunch of hot college guys to town, but are you sure we should be opening the gates if a bunch of magic-haters are out to kill us?”We're the Dolls and we are. Fab. U. Lous.
We are the Queen Bees of Pointe Laveau high school. We are the descendants of Voodoo practitioners, our families rule the town, and we do anything we please.
We can have anything we want. Good grades. Fabulous clothes. Immunity from teachers’ punishments. Control over everything. Lust and love from whatever boys we choose. It’s all ours. Doesn’t that interest you?”We are stunningly beautiful, all of us.
Across the group of mourners, two impossibly beautiful girls are staring right at me. One is a beautiful honey blonde with perfectly tanned skin. The other, who’s even more stunning, has glistening cocoa skin, a perfect model’s body, and mounds of wildly gorgeous ebony curls.We rule the school. Pointe Laveau is within Carrefour, Louisiana, a town for the ultra-rich. Even among the wealthy, we are the elites.
We wear the most stunning clothes, and we hope you like seeing clothing descriptions because they are on practically every page. But we're worth it, our clothes are all designer, and they deserve to be shown off.
She’s paired her oxford with a set of Chanel pearls featuring a diamond-encrusted, interlocking double C. Her high-heeled Mary Janes are studded with what look like diamonds, and her hair is artfully mussed.The school has a dress code? Oh, you don't say. Guess what, we don't give a flying fuck.
Fuck classes. Fuck the drinking age. Alcohol in school? Why the eff not.
“Gin and tonic?” Arelia asks eagerly as she smoothes a corner of the blanket. It’s cashmere, I notice. “Or would you prefer champagne today?”Our lunches are catered. We don't eat in the cafeteria like the bourgeoisie. Everywhere we go, we are trailed by an adoring crowd of admirers.
Not only are they undoubtedly the most gorgeous girls in school, but they’re being trailed by a crowd of adoring-looking guys as they sweep into the cafeteria in a cloud of expensive perfume.Our version of Voodoo involving dancing around a circle to open the protective gates of our community in order to meet boys.
“Dandelion and mojo beans, sandalwood and lemon balm, we draw your power. Spirits, open the gates of Carrefour on Saturday night.”Eveny, we welcome you to our circle. First on the itinerary to become a voodoo queen: a makeover.
"We’re getting you a haircut and a makeover on Thursday after school. We’ve already scheduled an appointment for you at Cristof’s Salon.”Eveny:
The thing is, I’ve always felt a half step different from everyone else.Meet your main character, Eveny. About to turn 17, she is your typical special, different main character with immensely powerful power who doesn't do jack shit to earn it. A descendant of a powerful Voodoo Queen, Eveny holds tremendous powers...powers of which she doesn't have a fucking clue. Powers that she has never learned. Power that she has never earned. Powers that comes through her only through the lucky accident of her birth. Give me a break.
I hate characters who have no merit. I hate characters who inherit everything by the basis of luck. Eveny is wealthy because of who she is. Eveny is powerful because of her bloodline. She never fucking has to earn anything. She never works hard for anything. I have zero respect for her. She knows The Dolls are shallow, and yet she feels a connection to them anyway, she slums with the poor kids, she can similarly chill with the rich kids. She dangles a guy along while lusting after another. Eveny is a character without character.
“It’s like one big country club,” I say.Expecting an authentic, drowsy, languid, atmospheric Louisiana setting? You're shit out of luck.
You want hot weather? Swamps? Fuck you. The privileged gated community of Carrefour in which Eveny lives is magically climate-controlled. There are flowers and temperate climates year-round. There are McMansions everywhere. Designer boutiques. French bakeries. It's like fucking Beverly Hills. There is no local flavor, unless our precious precious fucking Eveny decides to slum it out and go into the slump for a crawfish boil. And even then, the crawfish is frozen. What kind of self-respecting Louisianan eats frozen crawfish?
There is almost nothing of the Southern atmosphere that I love so much. The gated community of Carrefour might as well be anywhere, and indeed, it is described as looking like an "Atlantic seaside resort." Fuck that, seriously. The town is so tremendously wealthy, and the wealthy areas, not the actual, realistic South, is where we spend most of the time. There was no fucking point to this book being in the South, besides the fact that the setting is used as an excuse for the fuck-up sanitized version of "Voodoo" within this book.
And speaking of "voodoo."
"At one time our ancestors were very powerful practitioners of voodoo. But in 1863, they, along with Peregrine’s and Chloe’s ancestors, struck their own deal with the fates because they felt voodoo was getting too commercialized."This is what passes for voodoo in this book. It's practically Wicca in its cleanliness. It's herbs, dancing, a few cute little voodoo dolls. Now, I know that voodoo isn't the bloody sport that it's portrayed as in the media. I know that it's not all animal sacrifice. I know it's a peaceful religion, I don't expect gore and magic and screaming. I, however, expect more than....
...some sort of sorority ritual.And more than...
“There are a few things to know: First, all charms have to start with asking Eloi Oke to open the gate so that we can talk to the spirits. Second, they all have to involve herbs or flowers, because we channel our power from them. Third, they always have to be specific. Like you can’t say, ‘Make all the boys fall in love with me.’ Instead you’d have to ask for your own beauty enhancements, or ask for the love of a specific guy. Or both.”The Romance: There is insta-love. There is a love triangle. Eveny falls into insta-love with a...
“But I mean the one with the blue eyes,” I mumble.Are you kidding me? Can't you just make the love interest, you know completely black? Why does he have to be light-skinned? Why does a black guy have to have blue eyes? Oh, I get it, it's striking, but I can't help but feel so severely disappointed that what feels like copping-out on the issue of a person-of-color love interest.
Oh, and the love triangle. That fucking love triangle. Between the light-skinned black guy Caleb whom every girl in town lusts after, and nice guy Drew, whom she just can't bring herself to care about, despite the fact that he's obviously in insta-love with her.
I wish I weren’t thinking about Caleb. I wish I hadn’t spent the last twenty-four hours daydreaming about being pressed up against the solid chest I’d collided with outside the library.As if I didn't make it quite clear: so not recommended.
All quotes were taken from an uncorrected review copy subject to change in the final edition. ...more
Notes are private!
Jun 24, 2014
Jun 25, 2014
Apr 01, 2014
Dec 02, 2010
Dec 02, 2010
did not like it
“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I’ve never felt
“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I’ve never felt this way about anybody before—”What's the saying? Once a cheater, always a cheater? Oh, the fucking hypocrisy.
There were many things I wanted to do to Anna Oliphant throughout this book. Some of them involve a bottle of choloroform, a shovel, and an unmarked grave. Mostly, I just want to bring Anna in front of the US Congress as an example of how the US educational system has grievously failed our students. To be frank, Anna Oliphant is a motherfucking idiot.
Yeah, I guess you could say this is a sweet romance, but it's not the good sort of sweet. It's the "Oh my god, why did I eat that entire package of Oreos? I DON'T EVEN LIKE OREOS!" sort of sweet. It's sickening, and best in small doses, and I still feel like I need an internal cleanse after spreading the reading of this book over several days. The good thing about it is that this book isn't the sugar-free type of sweet, so there were no anal explosions. It wasn't the worst contemporary I've ever read, but this book was tremendously annoying and I simply do not understand the hype. I know many of people enjoyed it, and I can see why. Anna is the sort of character that grows on you, much like mildew, or herpes. Once you get used to having it, it doesn't really bother you much anymore.
I'm not opposed to romance. I love romance, but I read this book hoping to be swept away by a romance. Instead, I was sucked into a whirlwind of idiocy.
Oh, the Stupidity!!:
The only French word I know is oui, which means “yes,” and only recently did I learn it’s spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e.
People like Anna Oliphant is the reason why everyone hates Americans. Anna is 17, and she is a moron. She is the epitome of the stupid, ignorant, egocentric American. For fuck's sakes, she thinks there are motherfucking mimes on every fucking corner in France. She thinks that people go watch mimes as an everyday pastime!
I’m going to be sick. I’m going to vomit that weird eggplant tapenade I had for dinner, and everyone wil hear, and no one will invite me to watch the mimes escape from their invisible boxes, or whatever it is people do here in their spare time.I'm sorry, but I'm inclined to judge anyone who doesn't know that oui is spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e. It's one of those foreign words that isn't even fucking foreign because it's so fucking common. Oui is yes in French. Si is yes in Spanish. It's one of those words that's so fucking commonly used that you have to be a complete birdbrain not to know!
Anna is terrified of anything foreign, although to me, France really isn't that foreign or exotic, but I didn't grow up in Atlanta. Is Atlanta really that ass-fucking backward? Is Atlanta really completely isolated from the rest of the world, despite being one of the biggest cities in the US (Anna's words). Do they not have paninis in Atlanta?
“Where have you been all my life?” I ask the beautiful panini. “How is it possible I’ve never had a sandwich like this before?”Not only is she ignorant, she has no survival skills. Anna is in Paris, attending a school for Americans. Fucking everyone speaks English, the French teachers speak English. Anna is terrified of getting food in the cafeteria and avoids the cafeteria for weeks because she doesn't know how to order food.
Let me tell you a brilliant way of ordering food, in any language. You smile, you make eye contact at the desired food, you point, you nod. It's motherfucking universal.
I hate to say it, but if you're a pretty girl, you can get anyone's help (most likely a guy, but often another girl, too) just by looking cute and helpless and tilting your head at an angle (guilty as charged). It ain't feminist, but it works when one is desperate, and the fact that Anna doesn't have the fucking common sense to do this instead of hiding in her room for weeks like a motherfucking pussy doesn't bring her up in my estimation. I'm not judging Anna for being shy. Anna is not shy. I was a shy, shy teenager. Anna is incompetent. There is a difference between incompetency and shyness.
After weeks and weeks of going to classes, of learning French...Anna doesn't know how to fucking spell "please" in French.
Mer is next in line, and I transcribe her speech phonetically.That's suppsed to be une place, s'il vous plaît.
Her impression of Paris is one with like, blah blah Marie Antoinette and that really short dude, like, I think his name is Napoleon? You know, like, the one on the horse in that painting by that dude? And oh my god, the Moulin Rouge, and that cute little movie with the little girl in the yellow thingy! Madeline!
And this is a chick who wants to be a film critic when she grows up.
My dream is to study film theory in California. I want to be our nation’s greatest female film critic.Although judging from the way she thinks, I think she's more suited to a career writing for the tabloids, the type with the sort of "PRESIDENT OBAMA CAUGHT IN INTERPLANETARY ORGY ALONG WITH PUTIN AND MERKEL" headline rather than as a film critic.
I wonder if Matt is a better kisser now that he has someone more experienced to practice on. He was probably a bad kisser because of me.Anna, Anna, ANNA!!!!!: So beautiful without knowing it!! So perfect! So adorably fucking clumsy! She even looks gorgeous when she falls flat on her fucking face!
I've seen this before. And it ain't cute. Spare me the whole adorkable thing. I don't like Zooey Deschanel, and I don't like Anna. It just looks like she's trying too fucking hard, and the cute but oh-so-clumsy trope is just so fucking overplayed right now. I wash my hands of it.
It's not blatant, but the relationships between the girls in this book are meant to portray Anna as the good one, the best one, the most adorakablest girly girl in the whole wide fucking world. Rashmi is "Rash." Cute. I don't think so. Mer is just a little chubby. Volleyball player chubby, but it's ok ^_^; Amanda the slut, Amanda the bitch. And Anna. Anna is just so good because you know, she feels really bad that Etienne likes her, so she does everything she can to make Mer not jealous. It's not Mer's fault that she's not good enough for Etienne! And boy, Saint Anna keeps reminding us that she's a good person!
And poor Ellie. Poor Ellie, Etienne's girlfriend. But surely, it's ok for Etienne to cheat on Ellie with Anna if she looks like a slut, right?
Slutty nurse. I don’t believe it. Tiny white button-up dress, red crosses across the nipples. Cleavage city.CHEATING IS OK IF YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS A BITCH: That's the message that this book sends. Oh, that Ellie. That stupid, stuck up Ellie. Ellie who thinks she is better than everyone else. Surely it's fine if Etienne seeks comfort elsewhere if his girlfriend is a cold fish, a stuck up snot, right? No. I don't fucking think so. How about you break up with her FIRST? Just because a girl is a jerk doesn't mean she deserves to be cheated on. I do not appreciate the way this book sends the message that it's morally acceptable to cheat on a girlfriend who neglects you! But it's morally acceptable to cheat on her if you feeeeeeeeeeeeel bad about it, right? Fuck this shit.
THE CHEATING: And yes, it is cheating. What do you call this?
"I said you were beautiful. I slept in your bed!”Ok. Etienne has a girlfriend, Ellie. Etienne holds hands with Anna. He is still with Ellie.
It’s nice holding hands. Comfortable.You know why? Because you wouldn't like it if Etienne held hands with another girl if he was dating YOU. Fucking hypocrite.
Friends don't sleep in each others' beds.
I mean I didn’t SLEEP sleep with him. Obviously. But I slept with him.And that boy has a girlfriend. And then you do it again. While he still has a girlfriend. While you have an almost-boyfriend.
You make eye contact and blush at each other in a theatre. While he has a girlfriend.
You kiss each other. While he has a girlfriend. While you have an almost-boyfriend.
You flirt with each other. While he has a girlfriend. While you have an almost-boyfriend.
I don't see this relationship lasting very long. ...more
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Mar 31, 2014
Mar 31, 2014
Apr 22, 2014
Apr 22, 2014
did not like it
Over the next hour and a half, twenty more dragon names cross my computer screen. All ignore me.
Over the next hour and a half, twenty more dragon names cross my computer screen. All ignore me.DNF at 58% because there's just no point in continuing. This is the worst book about dragons that I've ever read.
I still have enough to rage about, as it is. This is a book about a girl who --for lack of a better description-- becomes a dragon telemarketer, at least, that's where I stopped.
This book is one of the most plotless, nonsensical books I've ever read. Dragons? DRAGONS? My left shoe has more personality than these dragons. I think I gave this book a fair shot. If there's absolutely crap world building by this point, then why should I continue?
This is a book about dragons vs. the government, sprinkled with reality TV, catfights, whore-name-calling, and a magical makeover. There was no world building, a terrible main character who SCREAMS AND YELLS AND OMG DADDY FUCK YOU I HATE YOU and YOU'RE A STUPID LITTLE SNOT, DUMB FUCKING LITTLE BROTHER with all the signs of being a special chosen snowflake later on for no apparent. It's all telling and no showing and as emotionless as Nicole Kidman's face after a Botox binge. I've been warned that there's slut shaming (thankfully, I didn't get to that part, but I stopped right after a catfight, so I've no doubt there was going to be some unholy feminist rage later on had I continued further).
The writing was unremarkable, so much so that I took almost no notes on this book. There was nothing that stood out. As such, you're going to have to endure a review with remarkably few quotations from the book (for me, that is).
The Summary: 15 years ago, dragons came to earth. They're terrifying, destructive monsters, killing over 80 million people. For some fucking reasons, we conquered them. The dragons, Reds, Blues, Greens in color, are now sent to, like, dragon zoos. No idea what happened to the rest of the world, or the rest of the US, because we're living one military city, Mason-Kline, and it is as if nothing else exists outside of it.
Melissa Callahan is a stupid teenager who does stupid things. When we start the book, she and her friends have broken into a dragon compound (where's the motherfucking guards?!) and taken some stupid Facebook frat boy/douchebag style photo, posing on top of a Blue dragon (respect, yo!). A hot boy appears, says something mysterious to her. She hears a mysterious dragon voice in her head! Boy disappears. Melissa's like "Huh."
Her dad finds the stupid photo of her mounting the poor sleeping dragon. Melissa gets into trouble. She flips her dad off, she yells at her dad, she yells at her brother. Her brother runs off in tears. All of a sudden, there are dragons eeeeeeeveryfucking where, breathing fire and shit on people. The military comes in, they subdue the dragons, but not before the dragons do some major damage. The dragons carry her off to some kind of dragon camp. Hot boy is there. He tells her that dragons are really nice people, they just want to live in peace. They talk a lot. Melissa still thinks the dragons are murderers. They talk some more, and I don't know what the fuck they talk about because I can't remember a single fucking thing about their fucking conversations.
Melissa gets captured somehow. She, for some fucking reason, gets a makeover where she turns into a blond beauty. There was no point to this, because she gets sent to some kind of rehabilitation camp with a bunch of catty girls who call each other "whores," where she pretty much uses her TELEPATHY MAGIC SPARKLY UNICORN POWER to tune in to dragon radio and call dragons to recruit/trick them as needed.
Lester hands me a different call script. A single page with two paragraphs of text. One for introduction, one for rebuttal. Only one fill-in-the-blank (my alias) and one handwritten note (Growl as you speak).
Where's the fucking world building?!: As I said, 15 years ago, dragons came to earth. I don't know what the fuck happened, apparently, neither do the dragons. They're destructive, they killed over 80 million people (that's 1/4 of the current US population) before they were stopped. How were they stopped? They can't see the color black, but how were these dragons stopped? What happened to the rest of the US? Why are the dragons confined? Why aren't they locked up or completely destroyed, instead of being in research zoos. Why are they left completely alone otherwise? Why are they so poorly secured that a bunch of drunk teenagers can break into a dragon holding area?!
These dragons have killed 80 fucking million people! Why aren't we more careful with them?!
80 million people have died! What happened to the rest of the world?! What happened to the government? Why are we living in a military town? Why is the fucking military town so poorly secured that it takes one little dragon attack to demolish the whole town. IT'S A MILITARY TOWN. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE MORE SECURE.
The dragons breathe fire! They breathe ice! Why are they so fucking docile all of a sudden after HAVING KILLED 80 MILLION PEOPLE? Why are they allowing themselves to be imprisoned with their full powers intact AFTER HAVING KILLED 80 MILLION PEOPLE? Why are we even giving them a chance AFTER THEY KILLED 80 MILLION PEOPLE? How many fucking dragons are left on earth anyway?! We don't know anything! What kind of weapons did we develop that's so special and awesome to defeat the kind of fire-breathing, smoke-spewing dragons THAT KILLED 80 MILLION PEOPLE?
They're like cuddly happy warm little carebears happy to talk to telepathic humans who are on their side. The humans who befriend and talk telepathically to these dragons aren't normal people, they're fucking dragon fanboys. Furthermore, these dragons are tremendously fucking boring. They don't say anything of importance. They don't remember anything. They're pretty much useless, which makes me wonder HOW THE FUCK DID THEY KILL 80 MILLION PEOPLE?!
From what I read, there were no point to the dragon colors. They might as well be like brown or golden puppies, because despite the distinguishing colors, there were little difference between them. There was no dragon lore, since the dragons don't remember anything about where they came from.
Don't get me wrong, I love dragons! I've loved dragons ever since I was a child. If you're going to give me a book about dragons, don't make them boring! Make them destructive, sure. Make them bloodthirsty, cruel, demonic. Awesome! Don't make them boring! Pokémons are cuter and more interesting than these creatures. That's just a fucking travesty.
All of a sudden, we have these reality TV shows where dragons are hunted. The guys who hunt them are celebrities, like those in Dog, the Bounty Hunter. REALITY SHOWS, WHAT THE FUCK?! It's been 5 years since the war against the dragons ended. 80 MILLION PEOPLE DIED. It's like having a reality show about hunting the Taliban after 9/11. It's a fucking dumb idea, and you can't tell me that this sort of shit would fly in an alternate universe.
Where's the mourning? Where's the emotion? All the emotions in this book is ANGER ANGER ANGER ANGER KILL THE DRAGONS UGLY DESTRUCTIVE ASSHOLES versus the insurgent OMG MAGICAL HAPPY BEAUTIFUL LORD MASTER DRAGONS. Where's the wonder? Where's the history? Is there any sort of introspection about the legend of the dragons in our mythology and lore versus the cold, hard reality at all?
The dragons can talk. They might as well have been mute. They're all telling and no showing, because there was nothing to them. They're like lions who have been bred and raised within a zoo. Powerful potential. Interesting to look at. No personality. No complexity. They eat. They breed. They get fawned over. Oohed and aahed by the humans with twinkles in their eyes who have conveniently forgotten that THESE DRAGONS HAVE KILLED 80 MILLION PEOPLE.
Roar about us dragons, roar about your god, roar at yourself if you must, roar as loud and long as you can until there is nothing left to roar about. Send all the badness away.^ Says the dragon. What the FUCK does that even mean? So this is the equivalent of dragony purple prose.
The Makeover: What the fuck?!
I thought I recognized the girl in the mirror before, but this one I’ve never seen. Her hair’s blond and falls in glorious curls around her shoulders. Eyebrows are also dyed, what remains of them. Smoky eye shadow. Enough foundation to fill a grave. Skin a shade between gold and bronze. Midnight-red lipstick to offset the silver circlet nestled in her hair.After Melissa is captured and imprisoned and given crappy food and put into solitary confinement with a single nasty toilet that doesn't flush...all of a sudden, she gets a fucking makeover. And then given some kind of...I want to say Hunger Game-esque pin? Is that where this book is headed? I don't know, I don't care.
I was confused as fuck, and I'm still confused as fuck. Without any ceremony, she's thrown in front of a camera. It's a reality show. They're going to make a documentary out of her. They put her underaged brother on camera. They're filming everything. It's the dumbest fucking thing in the world.
When [my father]’s past the fire pit, I give him the finger, turn around, and march right up Dragon Hill.Melissa is a little snotty, bratty, shrieking, perpetually unhappy and angry bitch. I hate using the word bitch, I really do. I hate a word that specifically targets a girl or a woman as petty, snippy, perpetually angry, ball-breaking for no reason at all, but it is so perfectly fitting for Melissa's personality.
“Strong spirit, fragile mind.” His expression grows serious. “I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill recruiting trip, but when I met her, she absolutely floored me.”
James is a fawning insta-lovey-dovey nitwit of a yelping puppy. There was absolutely no point to the romance whatsoever. There was zero chemistry.
I'm gonna go reread my beloved Dragonriders of Pern series so I can erase this book from my memory. Hell, Puff, the Magic Dragon makes more sense plot-wise than this book. ...more
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May 18, 2014
May 18, 2014
Mar 26, 2014
Jan 01, 2014
May 06, 2014
did not like it
My sister’s a slut. It’s common knowledge she’s already had sex several times, and according to gossip she gives okay hand jobs but is excellent at f
My sister’s a slut. It’s common knowledge she’s already had sex several times, and according to gossip she gives okay hand jobs but is excellent at fellatio.This book is about a cold-hearted teenaged girl with serial-killer aspirations who has a sister who is a 15-year old whore-in-training. It is terrible. It is slightly better than the absolutely atrocious Dear Killer, but considering how bad Dear Killer was, it’s not saying much.
It’s like me saying, I’d rather sleep with 60-year old Arnold Schwarzenegger than Sylvester Stallone.
I'm so sorry.
Or would I rather eat the flesh of a hyena after it’s taken a roll in a zebra carcass that’s been rotting for a week during the heights of an African summer or give a elephant a rectal exam without wearing gloves. They’re both deplorable options that nobody ever should be forced to make.
This book is the story of a vigilante, cold-hearted serial killer who hunts down…serial killers. Oh, zee irony! It features such abominations as:
1. Slut shaming of one’s own little sister
2. A Too-Stupid-To-Live serial killer who is supposedly smart, just fucking brilliant and above all the rest of her peers at school (really!)
3. A love triangle between a 25-year old veterinarian (the main character is 17) and the high school hottie who’s got the insta-love for the MC
The #1 thing that bothers me about this book is the slut-shaming and vilification of the few girls who appear in the book. For example, her little sister, Daisy. Daisy, who is blond, popular, who does decently in school…Daisy, who is a giant fake.
Her popularity is milked from others, her blond hair is fake, her okay grades come from cheating, and she plays the I’m-your-best-friend game a little too well.Daisy, who is repeatedly…
I walked in on her having sex last year. She didn’t miss a beat as she kept riding the guy and glanced over to me in the doorway.Presented…
She’ll end up pregnant. Watch. Or with an STD.As…
After you provide him with your outstanding fellatio services? I want to ask, but nod my head instead.A slut.
I speculate on Daisy’s reasons behind giving so much head. I suspect she doesn’t want an STD or to turn up pregnant. But does she realize she can get an STD in her mouth? Does she realize how nasty it is to be swallowing all that spunk?Presenting your own little sister as a slut. That’s a new fucking low. I have never, ever encountered a book that does it to this fucking extent, and I am absolutely disgusted by it.
The one sole intelligent girl in the book, her best friend, Reggie, never makes a physical appearance. The only other significant girl in the book is Belinda, a jealous, short, stock black ex-girlfriend who is the biggest bitch in the world. She keys cars. She has no shame. She emails photos of her having sex to the main character.
The second one shows them kissing, tongues and all.Slut shaming is disgusting, female vilification is disgusting, and I am sickened by this book.
I step down and scramble through dirt and leaves, looking for my pick. I’m such an idiot.Lane is a brilliant soon-to-be-17 year old. She has always been fascinated with serial killers. She wants to be one. And what better targets for a serial killer with an FBI-agent mom than…serial killers themselves?
If it is my destiny to be a killer, I’m going to need a type. And today decides that my type will be criminals—specifically, those who have managed to avoid punishment.Using her naturally brilliant skills, she starts to track down killers, murderers, would-be-criminals, and hunts them down like any good vigilante.
She’s so good at it (despite said fumbles above) that the media nicknames her…
…the Masked Savior.”But there’s a new serial killer in town, and The Decapitator has got his eyes on her. He begins sending her notes…threatening Lane and her family. Lane feels a sense of thrill. As he pursues her, will Lane be able to find the killer?
More importantly, can she do it while her cold, cold, rational, unfeeling heart…
I just don’t have emotions over the usual things, and to me that has its advantages.Start fluttering over men like…Dr. Issa, the hot 25-year old veterinarian.
We click in this interesting way I’ve never really experienced before. Like there’s this magnetism between us that carries the possibility for a powerful explosion.And hot fellow high-school student, Zack, who seems irresistibly drawn to her, who seems to be a poor replacement?
There is no softness, no teasing. There’s only tongues and hunger. Fortunately, I like it. Unfortunately, I’m thinking of Dr. Issa.And more importantly, can she find the killer before her poor little 15-year old sister falls pregnant from her slutty ways?
I don’t bother telling her to shut up. What a slut.What a stupid bitch of a sister.
All I know is that I’m different. Always have been. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know something was off in me.Lane is different, special. She is nicknamed “Slim” because of how slim she is. Naturally, she thinks she’s average, with her 5’8 height, her slimness, her wild red hair. In the real world, we’d call her a runway model.
Lane is so smart. She’s in the gifted program at school. She is so different. Dr. Issa sees it.
“Lane, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like you.”Zach sees it.
“You’re intelligent. Independent. And, clearly, you’re not here to impress anyone.”Zach, who was supposed to be dating her sister Daisy. Who came over to talk to Daisy but but ends up asking Lane out instead.
It’s almost like Zach came over to socialize with me and Justin.Zach, who only has eyes for Lane.
Cold Killer, My Ass:
People who lack emotion and fantasize about violence. Intelligent people who on the outside seem normal.She’s smart. She’s brilliant. She’s calculating. She’s cold. She loses her fucking temper.
Yes, I guess I did beat the shit out of her. Rewind the clock and I could’ve handled things differently. Talked to her. Hit her once, not multiple times. I’m irritated with myself for allowing my temper such free reign.The Romance:
This is messy. It’s all I can think of as we have sex. But I roll with it. I do it. I get it over with and get in the shower as soon as I can.Moan. Gasp. Give me more, baby. Oh yeah. That’s the spot. Yawn.
Honestly, it’s not the worst book out there in terms of romance because whatever romance there is is so devoid of emotion. The romance and the love triangle is so detached as to be completely robotic. The sex is mechanical. This book is the emotional equivalent of using a Ti-83 calculator as a dildo.
What does bother me about the main romance is that it doesn’t ring true at all. Her crush on Dr. Issa notwithstanding, there are zero sparks between Lane and Zach, which is as it should be, because as she claims, she has no emotions…but it still annoys me because Zach falls in love with Lane for any little thing she does.
“What made you drink?”Spare me.
Overall: you could read this book, or you could go punch yourself in the face. The latter might be less painful, and the pain wouldn’t last two hours, the length of the time it would take to read this fucking mess. ...more
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Jun 18, 2014
Jun 19, 2014
Mar 23, 2014
Mar 18, 2014
Mar 18, 2014
really liked it
I’d always heard that when you truly love someone, you’re happy for them as long they’re happy. But that’s a lie. That’s higher-road bullshit. If you
I’d always heard that when you truly love someone, you’re happy for them as long they’re happy. But that’s a lie. That’s higher-road bullshit. If you love someone so much, why the hell would you be happy to see them with anyone else? I didn’t want the easy kind of love. I wanted the crazy love, the kind of love that created and destroyed all at the same time.They say it takes a bitch to know one, and it will come as no surprise to many people that I found myself loving this book.
I love the lies. I love the manipulation. I love the bitterness. Or rather, I hated the main character. I hated her manipulation. I hated how she used people. I hated her doormat of a love interest.
But the thing is I loved hating them.
You are not meant to like these people. Make no mistake, Alice is a horrible, horrible person. What this book does so spectacularly is its ability to portray someone who feels real. Someone deeply flawed, someone so complex that you cannot help understanding them and sympathizing with them while hating them with every cell of your being. This book was so tremendously well-written.
Think about it. If you're going to die, and there are people in your life who deserve what's coming to them. Fuck, I know what I would do. I'm going to be a fucking bitch and do all the shit I could never have gotten away with otherwise before I die. It's called revenge, and it tastes as sweet as a plate of dark-chocolate covered orange peels, served to me by a half-clad Tom Hiddleston.
Whoo. Excuse me. Yum.
This book is not purely about revenge, it is about an immature girl, so caught up in a lie involving her family, that---in typical teenager style---she lataches onto that as an excuse to act out, to be a jerk. The cancer is merely the catalyst to her anger.
You're not going to like Alice.
The Summary: Some people feel that their life begins anew when they receive the news that they are recovering from terminal cancer.
Dr. Meredith took a deep breath. “Alice.” His brown eyes found mine, and it was only me and him. He exhaled. “You’re in remission.”While most people would rejoice at the prospect that they're going to LIVE, Alice is most unhappy about this. You see, she has lived the last year of her life knowing it was her last---including doing some rather unsavory things. It wasn't an entirely angelic year. There's no Make-A-Wish-Foundation final Disneyland trip with posed family pictures of Mickey Mouse shit here.
You see, last year, there were some people who wronged Alice. And before she dies, she's going to make them pay.
Harvey is her best friend. They have literally lived their lives next to each other, their parents are best friends, and Harvey and Alice have grown up alongside each other. Harvey adores her. Every pair of best friend has a ringleader, and the leader of their little duo has always been Alice. He can see nothing, no one but her.
On that cold night in January it all slipped into place for me and she became my everything and my everyone. My music, my sun, my words, my hope, my logic, my confusion, my flaw.Alice treats Harvey like a dog, meaning she knows he'll always be there for her, she knows he will come when she shouts "Fetch!"
“Harvey,” I said, my voice low. “Trust me.”Everyone has the sort of people who become a pebble in the shoe of life. Alice has several, namely Luke, the asshole ex-boyfriend---the one who revealed a secret, and Celeste, a lifelong nemesis and rival. Alice wants to get even, and get even, she does.
I can't say they don't deserve it. Luke is an asshole. He is homophobic, he is an abuser, he is a cheater. And he's about to get what's coming to him.
Luke hauled ass out of the locker room and ran for the ladder to the projector, which ran up the back of the bleachers opposite us. To Alice’s absolute delight, he wore nothing but a towel.Alice doesn't just use Harvey, she abuses him. She pushes him, using his love for her to enlist his help in executing her revenge.
I shook my head again and Alice took my hand, pulling me to her.NOW:
“What do you want, Celeste?”Now, Alice is going to live. And it completely sucks. She has to face up to all she's done at school. She has to face the hostile glares, the people she's alienated.
We stopped in front of the last case. Every surface was covered in cloth. Old, dying flowers had been thrown across the surface. There were candles; those idiots could have started a fire. And pictures of Alice. Her eyes had been crossed out and things like bitch or whore had been written across each print.Now, she has to face what she had with Harvey. Their moments of tenderness, as he held her while she was dying. Harvey was fine for Alice when she had no future, but now that she's going to live, she can't bear to face him. Now, Alice plays with other boys, so she doesn't have to admit what she feels for Harvey.
Pushing away my memories of Harvey, I shoved Eric’s shoulder back and straddled his lap. This wasn’t scary or complicated like being with Harvey. This didn’t have to mean so much.Now Alice has to face up to everything she's done. She has to confront her family. She has to come to terms with the fact that she has her whole life ahead of her.
Will Alice's future be one without her best friend?
I laid my head against him and he wound his arm around my shoulder. “What’s going to happen to us, Harvey?”Alice: The characters in this book were so well-done, and I loved how Alice was written, while hating her. Alice is not a likeable character. She is selfish, she is a teenager. She blows things out of proportion. At the beginning of the book, Alice finds out that her mother is having an affair. That one single event becomes the stimulus for everything she does in the book. It becomes her drive for revenge. Teenagers can blow one single event out of proportion, and as frustrating as it is to the reader, that becomes her driving force. Cancer gave Alice a free pass to her anger.
I hated her selfishness and her manipulation as I reveled in horror as I read about what she did. She uses her best friend, Harvey, as she sees fit.
After a moment, he threw his arms up and said, “God, what the hell, Al? This is so screwed up. You don’t talk to me for a year and now—no, this is ridiculous.”I loved her anger, I loved her self-hate, because a person cannot act like this and not be utterly fucked up on the inside. Alice doesn't know how to be kind, it's like her mind thinks one thing, and she does another. She willfully sabotages every remote bit of kindness that comes to mind.
“I—I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to sound that way.” I almost said it, that I was sorry for how I’d acted and what I did, but instead I said, “Do you want to write up your own apology and I can sign it? Would that work better for you?”Alice hates her mother's actions---what she sees as a desecration of love.
This feeling that the world was so pleased to call love destroyed people every day and it would do that to me too. It would disappoint and deceive and manipulate. But then, the part of me that was dying thought, What would it matter? If I wasn’t going to live long enough to have to worry about the aftermath of it all, what did it matter?I loved it when Alice snaps. Like all good characters, there's a moment when everything comes to a climax, and boy, was it worth it to see Alice fall to pieces.
“You should’ve left us then. Ripped the Band-Aid off. Because the lies are destroying us,” I said, my voice catching on every syllable. “You ruined me. You made me this way. This.” I motioned to myself, my chest heaving now. “Is your fault. And now it’s too late to fix it.”Harvey: Initially, he got on my nerves. He thinks the sun rises and sets on Alice. For most of the book, he puts up with Alice's bullshit without a fight. In his effort to get over Alice, it almost feels like he's using someone else, as he's pushing himself to like someone for the sake of liking someone. Harvey doesn't know how else he can move on, even as he realizes that he can never totally escape her.
I wanted to lie to her and tell her that I didn’t like Alice in that way, but I couldn’t. “I don’t know. But I’m not on a date with Alice. I’m here because I like you. That’s not a good answer, but I won’t lie to you.”But as much as he is a doormat, Harvey isn't an ass. He's just a guy who's hopelessly entwined within Alice's web.
“Yeah.” I was an ass. I knew from the moment I asked Debora out that I wasn’t over Alice. I was too selfish to even bother wondering how this might end.The Other Characters: I loved everyone else. All the side characters were brilliantly portrayed. There is a authentic dynamic between their relationships, and every single character feels human.
There are minor characters, like Debora, the really nice, smart girl who captures Harvey's attention---whom Alice instantly, irrationally hates. She is so fucking nice and my heart broke for her involvement in Harvey and Alice's twisted version of love. I loved the relationship between Alice and her mother, both with strong personalities. They are two negatives sides to a magnet: put them together, and they will repel each other.
Most mothers don’t talk to their daughters like that, but my mom and I had never been most mothers and daughters. I remembered reading about wolf packs when I was younger. Each wolf pack could only have one alpha, one chief. This was the very unfortunate truth of my mother and me. We were two alphas who could never coexist in peace. The only time we had was when she thought I was dying.This was such a frustratingly amazing read. If you wanted adorable characters you could love, run far away. If you want devastatingly believable, hatefully flawed characters, you need this book. ...more
Notes are private!
Mar 18, 2014
Mar 19, 2014
Mar 18, 2014
Jan 01, 2014
Mar 11, 2014
did not like it
"Liv...it’s a name, a verb, a command. A notion of mortality. That’s a name ripe for some epic poetry. If I could write, I’d write you one, a poem.”
"Liv...it’s a name, a verb, a command. A notion of mortality. That’s a name ripe for some epic poetry. If I could write, I’d write you one, a poem.”In YA literature, I often find myself wishing I could kill the main character.
This book did me a favor: it DID kill off the main character. Sadly, it didn't help. My headache persisted.
You see, the girl still lives on, as an extremely irritating ghost, a tiresome, ceaselessly self-centered narrator.
This book is categorized as "paranormal" only by technicality. It is nothing but nauseating, mindless wish-fulfillment. There is a girl who died in a well. If you are hoping for Anna Dressed in Blood or Ringu, you are sadly out of luck.
The Big Bang Theory is wrong. The universe was created from the birth of Olivia Bloom. She is the center of the universe. Multiple ecosystems spawned from the fertility of her poop. The sun shines out of her asshole. This book is about nothing, nobody, but Liv.
This book is less:
The only thing terrifying about this book is the astoundingly quick insta-love. There is a girl who is accepted to a most prestigious academy through no intelligence. She is picked up to her school by a white-gloved chaffeur and whisked off to her beautiful Gothic boarding school by a limousine. At her school, she is served by waiters at mealtime. Her things are unpacked, her room cared for by unseen servants. She has the most popular, most handsome boy in school pining for her since the moment they first lay eyes on each other. He will do anything for her. She instantly makes another guy friend who will also do anything for her.
Including go to jail to help solve the mystery of her death. It's no big deal. What's more important is Liv, the dead Liv.
“I appreciate the effort, man, but let it go,” Gabe said, sincerely. “You know what’s most important right now: to learn the truth and bring justice. For her.”No classes. No female friends. Stupid female rivals. Hot guys who adore her AND befriend her. This book is truly the epitome of idiotic, simpering wishfulness.
Part I: The Wish Fulfillment; Liv is an orphan. She lives with her foster parents. Don't worry, her foster parents aren't worthy of any mention in the book; they are placeholder only.
Liv somehow gets accepted into the ultra-prestigious Wickham Hall. It's "the best prep school in the country." We have no idea how the fuck she gets in, except it's something vague about her art. Because her brains it ain't.
My grades certainly didn’t get me into Wickham Hall. I assumed it was my portfolio.The school is beautiful. Stunning. The students are dull. Every single girl is a clone, except for Liv.
They dressed the same. Their hair was almost identical. Their skin was milky with the occasional bout of freckles. Their noses even turned up in the same way. But mostly, they all talked the same.Liv, who stands out. Liv, who is the object of ostracization because every single girl hates her.
Liv, who immediately falls for the most unattainable boy in school, Malcolm Astor.
That’s when I noticed him. He was standing next to the headmaster, still looking at me even though the others had turned away. Our eyes met, and I quickly looked away. But I could feel his gaze linger. I desperately willed my face not to flush, my lips not to purse. Suddenly I was aware of every single muscle in my face.Malcolm Astor, who immediately singles Liv out for his specialized attention, the most prestigious First Dance at the school ball.
I looked up, mouth full of bread, to see what had happened and...he was there.Not only is there Golden Boy Malcolm, but there is brooding, dark Gabe.
He was skittish and intense, but his brown eyes were gentle. Still, I wanted to keep at least three feet away. He was almost exactly how I’d always pictured Vincent Van Gogh—in other words, pretty crazy.Two boys, ever so different. *rolls eyes*
Classes, fuck classes. What classes?
It's apparently a boarding school (and a prestigious educational institution) in name only, because it seems that all Liv does is paint and continue her courtship of Malcolm.
This is a paranormal book, after all, but the only thing I found abnormal about this book is Malcolm's perfection and their courtship.
They kiss within 10% of the book. They go on romantic dates. There has never been such an idealized teenaged boy as Malcolm. He takes her on trips to dark, romantic gravestones. He makes her a playlist.
Malcolm let go of my hand and took out his iPod. He clicked it on and then handed it to me. A playlist called Liv, Forever was cued up.Malcolm then takes her on a romantic sun-dappled tour of the school based on that playlist.
And we walked along a sun-dappled path, comfortable like two people who’d known each other forever.*gag*
Malcolm offers to be her fucking canvas.
He turned to me. “Draw on me.”Of course it is.
Oh, wait. Isn't this supposed to be a paranormal novel? Oh, here it comes. SHE DIES!
My head whipped back from its force. And that’s when everything went black.Part II: I'm pretty when I'm dead; And the wish-fulfillment continues. You see, Liv is pretty, even when she's dead.
My body was cold and dull. Plump with death. I looked almost serene. My dark hair spread around my head, kind of like that famous painting of Ophelia floating in the river. Funny, I’d made so many self-portraits and yet I’d never really looked at myself and realized I was actually kind of pretty.Her so-perfect lover weeps over her, ever so dramatically. She is loved when she is lost.
He kneeled on the ground next to my body and kissed my cheek.Crime-scene contamination, be damned.
Liv is dead. So beautiful. So young. So tragic. Like the a sad, sad night lit by stars.
I was separate from the world. I had become the star, hadn’t I? That tragic, lonely thing.Like a fallen angel, beautiful in her fragility!
I imagined myself an angel. I kind of was, wasn’t I?For someone dead, she sure is full of herself.
Apparently, she's a ghost now. Liv is dead! Murdered! Ohnoes! Now we must investigate her death. But however will she do that?! Enter Gabe also known as walking, talking deus ex fucking machina because he can hear ghosts. Together, the three of them will investigate her death! Liv will use her supernatural abilities as a ghost to discover who killed her!!!!!!!!!!!
Part II: Love after death
I waited and waited until there was enough condensation for me to write a single sentence. It took every ounce of willpower to ignore the pain in my fingertip. But I did it.Or she could just use it to write a note to her lover. Same thing, really.
The Setting: WHAT SETTING? ARE WE IN HIGH SCHOOL? You wouldn't bloody know. There is not a single instance of actually attending any class outside of art, in which they're pretty much fucking free to do what they want. It's supposed to be a beautiful Northeastern United States setting with pretty leaves, pretty buildings...and that's it.
There are no relevant students because the only person the book is concerned with is Liv and those connected to her.
There are no academics because Liv doesn't give a fuck about academia.
There are no classes because it would interfere with Liv's social life and her courtship with Malcolm.
There are a lot of walking around on the beautiful campus...because it's a beautiful campus.
It was mid-afternoon so there were no stars, of course, but the leaves were every possible orange and the clouds were perfect puffs.It's not so much a school campus, as it is vacation resort.
The Mary Sue: There is room for only one relevant female in this book, and there is no doubt that star is Liv Bloom. Liv is one of the most useless, self-centered character I have ever encountered. She is a heroine of the Bella Swan sort because she is completely, utterly worthless in every way but her love interests can't see it. She is an artist, but we don't really see much of that, nor is she a credible one, because her art is, well...herself.
A self-portrait. Almost all my drawings are self-portraits. They don’t necessarily look like me—in fact, they rarely do—but they represent me.Yet somehow, everyone thinks she is fucking perfection. Her new art teacher raves over her talents. Talents of which we are never convinced.
“You are so talented. Do you understand? Your skill is exceptional. If you unleash and add true emotion to your work, it will sing, Olivia! It will fly!”Her new boy toy knows that she is the one approximately 15 minutes after meeting her, after knowing nothing about her.
“I think I’ve been waiting for you my whole life.”The Artistic References: Listen, I like art as much as the next person. I studied it for years when I was younger, but there is a way to appreciate art, and shoving it down the readers' throat isn't it. There is an incredible amount of artistic name-dropping in this book. Klimt. Pollock. Modigliani. Yue. Van Gogh. Rothko.
But then images started to emerge from the darkness around us. At first they were pleasant: a Titian cherub, a Chagall angel. But then one of Bosch’s devils appeared. And Munch’s screaming terror. Francis Bacon’s agonizing Pope. And one of Basquiat’s jagged skulls.It feels forced. It feels false. It feels like the book is trying too hard.
The Romance: This book is filled with the most romantic, the most unrealistic of fantasies. The perfect golden boy, the "Abercrombie & Fitch" boy. The one who recites poetry to her underneath a moonlit, star-filled sky.
There was an opening in the canopy of trees where we could see the brilliant moon. And stars. Hundreds of them. He took my hand. He held it strongly—with commitment. We lay there silently for a long while until he spoke.Fuck curfew. What curfew. Is this even a school?
The romance in this book is so incredibly unrealistic. It truly is insta-love. They fall for each other within 10% of the book. The Big L word is said before 33% of the book is through. The hearts go pitter and patter, but true to the art theme in this book, it has to sound good in an artistic manner.
I was dying inside. Brain exploding like a Pollock. Heart melting like one of Dalí’s clocks.Malcolm is completely unrealistic. he is too perfect to be true. He cries.
And he cried. He didn’t have that embarrassed look guys usually have when they cry, like the way my dad had struggled against his tears. Malcolm let go, without shame.Repeatedly. Unashamedly. I'm not saying that men can't cry, I'm saying that Malcolm's image in this book is too romanticized, too idealistic to be realistic.
Malcolm talks to his dead lover's ghost. He speaks words right out of the scripts of a chick-flick romance.
“You know what I wish?” he asked.The romance is completely, utterly ludicrous. As is the entirety of this book. ...more
Notes are private!
Mar 12, 2014
Mar 12, 2014
Mar 12, 2014
Apr 08, 2014
Apr 08, 2014
it was ok
Once again, my chest tightened, and there was that weird fluttering sensation that was like butterflies. But it couldn’t be butterflies. I did not ha
Once again, my chest tightened, and there was that weird fluttering sensation that was like butterflies. But it couldn’t be butterflies. I did not have butterflies over David Stark.25% of the way in, I was sure I would give this book a 4, but I ended up wanting to fling this book at Harper's head. This book may be really, really cute, but overall, it's just an overextended love triangle without much of a plot. Nothing of importance happens in this book.
This was not a bad book by any means. I absolutely adored the main character, the relationships and the friendships were wonderfully written, the high school kids were just plain cute. But seriously, there was no fucking point to the love triangle, and I wanted to bash my head in every time the WONDERFUL BESTEST BOYFRIEND EVER Ryan clashed with BROODING HIPSTER ASSHOLE (with a heart of gold) David.
Not since Unearthly has a love triangle been so dragged out to agonizing nonresolution until the very fucking end. There was no fucking point to this love triangle. Why did it need a love triangle? Why could she not protect one guy and be his friend while remaining with her current boyfriend?! Why?!
If you don't mind the love triangle, I would recommend this book, because it was seriously sweet, as in the "I just ate a half pound of French chocolate truffles, but who cares, bitches, they're TRUFFLES!" sort of sweet. It was the good kind of sweetness. This book is so lighthearted and cute. But that love triangle, man!
“So, Harper Jane Price. Are you ready to accept your destiny?”It's silly, but if Harper hadn't forgotten her lip gloss, this never would have happened.
Harper Jane Price, Southern Belle extraordinaire, is perfect. She has a great life (let's not talk about her dead sister), a loving, wonderful boyfriend Ryan, fantastic friends, adoring parents, and a bright future.
Southern Belles are beautiful on the surface, sure, but what you might fail to notice upon first glance is that they have a backbone made of steel. Harper is one of those "I don't know how she does it" type of gal. Great grades, school president, popular, admired. Until the night it all starts to unravel. Until the night she forgot her lipgloss at the homecoming dance. Because then she had to borrow her friend's lip gloss. Because she stepped into the bathroom, only to encounter her school janitor, Mr. Hall, bloody and battered.
His breath was coming out in short gasps, and there was a dark red stain spreading across his expansive belly. There was no doubt in my mind that he was dying.Before dying, Mr. Hall breathes an ice-cold breath of air into Harper's lungs (ew), and whispers to her...
“Look after him, okay?” he said, his eyes looking glazed again. “Make sure he’s...he’s safe.”WTF?! So there's Harper, in her Homecoming outfit (which cost over $1k), hovering over a dead man. SHIT. And to make it worse, at that moment, her history teacher barges in. Not only does he insult her...
“I really can’t think of a worse choice,” he said, still smiling, “than the bimbo who wrote a paper on the history of shoes for my class.”But he tries to kill her!! He doesn't exactly succeed, because somehow Harper finds the strength in herself to kick his ass.
The sword was still poised in the air when I came to an abrupt stop and sunk the heel into his throat, right under his jaw.He really shouldn't have called her a bimbo.
So crap, what the fuck is all this?! Before he died, Mr. Hall muttered something about a "Pal," and some vague shit about protection. After Googling this shit, Harper theorizes that the "Pal" means Paladin (Thank you, World of Warcraft, really!). So the only thing Harper has to figure out now is who she's meant to protect.
Mr. Hall hadn’t been a superhero. He’d been a Paladin, and that was . . . different, right? And what—or who—had been his noble cause?She'll figure it out eventually. Meanwhile, there's school to deal with. Not to mention asshole hipster extraordinaire David Stark. Everyone has a thorn in their life, and David Stark is Harper's pain in the ass. He's the only skinny-jean wearing hipster in the entire school, and ever since childhood, David's mission has been to take Harper down. Currently, he's on the school paper, writing vicious articles about her, and this latest one is the last fucking straw.
Under the picture of me and Bee, there was a smaller caption: Homecoming Queen misses crowning under mysterious circumstances. My eyes darted over the rest of the article as my heart started pounding. “...hiding in the boys’ room...violently ill...tension between the ‘Queen Bee’ and her underling, Bee Franklin...this reporter...”Harper Price is PISSED, and she's going to murder that asshole. Except she can't.
Whatever the reason, my right hand shot up to slap David Stark across the face.Well, fuck. It turns out that Harper is a Paladin chosen to protect David. And as much as she hates him, she can't hurt him. In fact, she has to protect him with her life. What will become of Harper's life? Her relationship with her friends, her wonderful boyfriend? Is she prepared to give it all up to protect David?
I withdrew my hand. “No, thank you.”Well, we all know that it's not that simple. But Harper already has so much on her plate. How is she going to deal with David...while trying to maintain her relationship with Ryan?!
“But you’re always arguing with him. Or talking about him. Or competing with him. And sometimes I wonder how you can be so obsessed with someone you supposedly hate.”And Ryan is so understanding. He's trying to understand WHY she's spending so much time away from him. Harper is so busy sneaking around with David talking about being a Paladin that she just doesn't have any time for the perfect Ryan anymore. And Ryan really is perfect.
“I love you,” he said at last. “You know that. But it’s...it’s like we’re speaking two different languages most of the time. Harper.” He tugged on my hand. “If there’s something going on with you, you can tell me, okay?”Even as he suspects something's going on between David and his girlfriend...
“You guys seemed pretty...intense yesterday,” Ryan said, dropping my hand.THAT'S THE ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK.
The Premise: The Paladin thing is just...strange. This is pretty original, in that I've rarely seen the concept of the Paladin used, and to be honest...it doesn't quite work. It's just a protector, nothing more. Someone assigned to protect a person, and the concept was not convincing. The mythology behind it wasn't well-drawn enough to be truly attractive, and overall, I just found the concept rather baffling. This book completely lacks Hex Hall's magic in that sense. It is an urban fantasy that's too light on the fantasy, with almost no relevant action at all.
Harper: She is just a fabulous narrator.
The quintessential Steel Magnolia. She reminds me a little bit of Mac in the Fever series. Before you go running away, I have to make a case for Harper. She is young, she is 17, and she is so utterly competent. Think of Harper as Mac 4.0. Harper has none of Mac's immaturity, on the contrary, Harper is astoundingly capable. She is cheerleader, class president, Homecoming organizer, she's in the Future Business Leaders of America, she's got great grades, she's got a gentle nature, she holds it all together. Most of it had to do with the fact that she's trying to get over her sister's death. Harper organizes away her grief with perfection. So much that her parents worry about her.
And the next time I did school stuff in the middle of the night, I just did it in my closet with the door locked. Honestly, what is wrong with this country when striving for excellence means you need antidepressants?I absolutely loved Harper. She is never judgmental, she is a Southern Belle with none of the annoying characteristics, and honestly, I hate to generalize, but if you've got an Y chromosome, you're probably not going to like this book because Harper is so adorably girly.
THE MOTHEREFFING LOVE TRIANGLE:
Ryan was a good guy. He always had been.
Harper has a boyfriend, Ryan, and he is absolutely perfect. Handsome, smart, he has supported her throughout her family tragedy. He has stood by her while she joins 1000000 school committees, waiting patiently for her to make time for him. She's been in love with Ryan since 3rd grade, and it took her 6 years to get him. They've been dating for a couple of years, and Ryan is an absolute darling. He is an utter gentleman.
He lowered his head and kissed me, albeit pretty chastely. PDA is vile, and Ryan, being my Perfect Boyfriend, knows how I feel about it.He gets along with her friends.
“Ladies,” Ryan said, nodding at Amanda, Abigail, and Mary Beth. “Let me guess. Y’all are...plotting world domination?”Her parents adore him. He truly is a wonderful guy. He's concerned about her, about all the pressures Harper places on herself.
And Harper adores him. Until David Stark steps into the picture.
She and David have known each other since they were children, too, it's a small Southern town, y'all. Harper and David have been each others' nemesis their entire lives, since the cradle, almost.
He and I had loathed each other since kindergarten. Heck, even before that. Mom says he’s the only baby I ever bit in daycare.It followed through to middle school.
“I’m sure you’d hate to miss everyone’s felicitations.”He's taken to writing vicious articles attacking her leadership in school, and implying that she was pregnant. But the instant Harper gets "assigned" to protect him...suddenly, something fucking changes!
For one horrifying second, I thought he was going to kiss me. I wasn’t really sure how I’d react if he did.AND SO THE APOCALYPSE BEGINS. Who will it be? Will it be Ryan, lovely boyfriend Ryan who's waiting patiently on the side while Harper gets all her school shit and secret Paladin shit together? Or will it be David?!
Still, I had to admit, yellow was a good color on him. It brought out the gold in his hair, and—SO WHO WILL SHE MOTHERFUCKING CHOOSE?! Wonderful, neglected Ryan, or asshole-with-a-heart David? And will she ever stop being a motherfucking terrible girlfriend?!
“But, God, Harper, sometimes I feel like your whole life is a checklist, and I am way down at the bottom. And, you know, every once in awhile, you throw me a bone to keep me happy.”...more
Notes are private!
Apr 08, 2014
Apr 08, 2014
Mar 12, 2014
Oct 30, 2012
Dec 18, 2012
it was ok
“Let me make sure I understand—you want me to lie to my dad, turn my back on my species, my people? Do you really expect me to trust an Ancient over
“Let me make sure I understand—you want me to lie to my dad, turn my back on my species, my people? Do you really expect me to trust an Ancient over my own family?”I have no words.
This is your typical teenaged-heroine-saves-the-world book that really doesn't have anything new to add the standard range of YA tropes:
- The main character is really smart (but makes tremendously dumb choices)
- Her love interest is a stalker (but it's ok, because he's just protecting her while she's taking off her clothes)
- There's no point in kicking some ass when you have a boy there to protect you (even if you're more than capable of doing it)
- The human race is full of assholes
- There's going to be a love
- Evolution doesn't work, because futuristic humans are really, really stupid
- Aliens are horrifying dumb despite their supposed age, technology, and sagacity
For example, this is how they disguise themselves:
“But they aren’t like us. If you look closely you can see their skin is neither white nor brown, neither light nor dark. See,” she says, tapping the screen, “it’s almost golden."According to that definition, I'm pretty sure 90% of my Goodreads friends are aliens. Oh, but they have swirly blue/green eyes. WHY NOT JUST UN-SWIRLY THEM THEN? They can make themselves look human but they can't get fucking normal eyes? Maaaaan.
I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to think. All I know is that I’m in trouble, maybe even we’re in trouble, yet all I can think about is the way he just said my name. Ari. He says it like I’m more than just a girl who everyone recognizes but no one sees.Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ari Alexander. One day, she will be your military leader.
Lock your doors. Hide your children. Fear for your lives.
Let's start at the beginning. It's the year 2140, World War IV has passed, and humans are pretty much fucked because everything went BOOM during a nuclear war (always the nuclear war. Always). Thanks to radiation and shit, the earth is pretty much a wasteland; Mother Nature doesn't really have much in her womb anymore. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN. Enter the aliens, or, as we call them, Ancients. The Earth's remaining population is suffering from all sorts of evils like famine, disease, and Justin Bieber (there's one in every generation); instead of letting us rot in our own shit, the Awesome Ancients decide to help us out! They're gonna fix the earth, make it so that we can plant again, give us time and space to grow and rebuild. All we have to do is let them go on top of us for a few hours a night.
Get your mind out of the gutter, it's just a simple exchange of bodily fluids, ok?
OK, LET ME REPHRASE THAT. They're sucking out our antibodies. There's nothing sexual about it. But MAN, their bodily fluids taste awesome!
A single drop of liquid hits my lip, and reflexively I lick it away. My taste buds explode with flavor. A perfect mixture of sweet and sour, warm and cold.ALIEN SEMEN, YUM! I'm just kidding. Really.
Ok, time to get back on track.
Ari Alexander is 17. She is going to be a Commander (military-type thingy) when she grows up. It's a position that will pass onto her through the current Commander, her father. Ari has been raised her entire life to be a fierce combatant, a future leader, one who will serve and protect her country.
And she totally sells out to the aliens in about 5 minutes. One night, Ari couldn't find the Patch that'll make her unconscious before the aliens go on top of her, and as a result, she remains awake. She sees the Alien, only...she knows this alien. He (it?) goes to her school.
It—he—hovers above me as light as air. A bright glow encircles him. His eyes are closed. A sweet smile rests on his perfect face.Jackson goes to her school. This isn't good, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. There are rules about this, the aliens are not supposed to be on Earth without permission. They're sure as fuck not supposed to be in school with her.
This is a HUGE security breach. Ari should notify her dad, the Commander, who will then notify the Prime Minister, who will notify the world's leaders, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. But Jackson's not a bad person (or so he says). He's just trying to prevent war from happening between humans and aliens. In order to do that, he needs to enlist Ari's aid.
What is Ari going to do? Is she going to tell her dad, the experienced military man? Or is she going to take the word of someone who's lied to her all along?
And is she going to be able to save two entire species while falling in love? ;_;?
"Did you completely allow your feelings to overcome your logic?”The Aliens: Also known as: DUMBASSES.
Ok, as I mentioned above, the humans and aliens are at war. Secretly. Neither side knows that the other side is planning to annihilate each other, except for Jackson and Ari, who are trying to be the middleman (it took me awhile to figure out, this book made it really, really confusing). Apparently, the aliens need Earth because it has water, and they need human antibodies in order to go down to Earth and get water, with the caveat that one day they will Coexist with us on earth.
Uh, so why not just kill us earlier, and be done with it. Seriously, why the fuck not?
I don’t know if Jackson overestimates the Ancients or underestimates us, but I do know they have abilities and advanced technology far beyond anything we’ve even considered.The aliens SAVED humans when we were falling apart, why not just, you know, take our antibodies and then KILL EVERYONE. Easier, right? You can't tell me that these aliens developed all this technology, all this intelligence, all these skills while being completely peaceful people. And now they're apparently willing to kill the people of Earth in 2140 because we're rebelling, so why not just save the trouble and kill us off while we were at our weakest? What's the fucking point of allowing us to rebuild and improve our technology, give us back our food, clean our water, etc? You don't want your food putting up a fight, man.
Dumb fucking aliens.
The Humans: Also known as: THE OTHER DUMBASSES. It's 2140. There's hardly any food, you have to eat food pills instead. An actual meal can cost a normal person a month's salary. Yet we've got advanced technology so that we can aspire to Bite The Hands That Feed Us. We don't have countries anymore, we have continents, and a Presidential position for each of the continents. African President, European President, Asian President, etc (no idea how that happened). Forget about States in the US, those are, like, poof!
And apparently we've regressed (somehow) to a hereditary system. We have three major sectors, the Chemists, the Parliament, the Engineers (no idea how that got established), basically the people who make shit, the people who rule over shit, and the people who protect the people who rule over shit. Leadership positions, such as the President and the Commander are hereditary, meaning they're passed on from parent to child (irregardless of sex). Ok, that kinda works, except for...
The Australian Trinity has since been dissolved, thanks to the last leader being unable to have children to continue the legacy of the founding Australian leader.What. The. Fuck?
Are you telling me that we're so fucking stupid in the future that YOU CAN'T JUST ELECT ANOTHER PRESIDENT? Hell, they did it in Medieval times? A king dies without children, EVERYONE FIGHTS FOR THE FUCKING THRONE (so sorry, Joffrey). And a thousand years in the future, WE'RE LETTING AN ENTIRE CONTINENT PRETTY MUCH GO TO PICES BECAUSE WE CAN'T SIMPLY ELECT AN HEIR?
I have no words for this stupidity. PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE, YOU FAIL ME.
Trust a Pretty Face:
"I know you don’t trust me, and I don’t blame you, but at least wait until I can explain.” He bends down in front of me so we’re eye to eye. “Can I count on you to keep this a secret? Just please—”For someone who's been spoonfed military strategy and combat skills with a tough-as-nails dad her entire fucking life, Ari is a fucking moron. Why the fuck does she trust Jackson 5 minutes after she discovers that he's an alien who's been hiding under her nose?! Her dad is the military expert, where's the loyalty? Where's the family trust? Why the fuck are you choosing to believe in someone who's supposed to be your potential enemy, the source of much fear and suspicion? Someone from a species you're been scared of your whole life? Don't be a fucking idiot. In the real world, would you trust a spy? Someone from an enemy nation? Someone you KNOW is capable of killing the entire human race, if not just you? No!
The Characters: Are without character. Really, they're so fucking bland. Jackson's kind of an asshole, except he's not really. He uses his "I'M AN ALIEN" excuse to be in her room all. the. fucking. time. He's kind of a playboy, but not really. He's kind of nice, but not really. Ari is kind of kick-ass, except she falls in love a lot, and then she keeps having these awkward moments with Jackson when they're supposed to be having secret spy meetings. I can't even find much to mock about them because they're both just so insufferably fucking dull.
The Romance: *takes a deep breath* Ari is engaged to Lawrence, who likes Ari a lot, but might have a crush on Gretchen, who's Ari's best friend, who can't really help the way she feels, but Ari is secretly in love with Jackson, who is supposed to be dating MacKenzie, who has loved him but he doesn't return her feelings.
That's a mouthful. I can't even mock the romance because, once again, it is so DULL, like the characters. There's no spark whatsoever. There's a halfhearted hint of a love triangle between Ari and Jackson and Lawrence but I don't give a flying fuck because they were so boring. Honestly, there's more chemistry between me and the 70-year old retiree who hogged my machine at the gym today.
Overall: A book with a questionable settings, really boring characters, and an action-packed second half that somehow manages to bore me out of my mind. ...more
Notes are private!
Apr 26, 2014
Apr 27, 2014
Mar 11, 2014