Saturday, July 16, 2011
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Rating: 4/5 stars
Overview: After a scandal involving her mother and a famous college basketball coach rocked her family and her old hometown, McClean decided to live with her dad. His job as a restaurant consultant requires they pick up often, and at each new place she carefully selects who she’ll be—Eliza, Beth, or someone else with a new name and different interests. It’s easier this way for McClean, who is reluctant to form any true attachments. Then at their latest stop, McClean does something she’s not done in a long while—reveal her real name. But who is this McClean and is she ready to forgive her mother, fall for the boy next door, and finally stick around?
My Review: Oh how I love Sarah Dessen, seriously, not only is she my favorite author, but I love her so much that a trampling would occur if I ever met her. Maybe some crying, ok a lot of crying. Kate, my friend, actually met her! Met her! Teasing me with photos. I cried on the inside, but thats another post. So I'm sure you lovely people have pulled yourself to this blog to hear me talk about What Happened to Goodbye instead of blubbering about meeting the author herself. So here you go, might I add, you have been warned: I love Sarah Dessen books, the first one I ever picked up was The Truth about Forever, and to this day that book still remains my favorite. I thought, (personal opinion here) that this book was, good. It took my awhile to respond to this book, because at first, I had mixed feelings. I read it about three months ago, it was burned through in the first two days. But I wasn't quite sure how to respond to it, although now I think I'm ready to give it a proper response, now that everything has sunk in: Not fantastic, not amazingly awesome, just good. Now please dont take this for me saying I dont like Sarah Dessen books, because I do! I really do! But this one, was mildly okay. I have always had a thing for Dessen boys, they are my dream men, and it wasnt like Dave wasnt! But from beginning to end I had respected the fact that McClean's story wasnt a love story. It was a story about family, and what that does and doesnt mean. Dont get me wrong, I love family stories, but I'm not one of those girls who has a major problem with my home life. So I felt like this book was geared more toward the crowd that has some home issues. All the same though, I loved her characters, Deb was one of my favorites. Dessen has always had a knack for creating characters that are 3D and easily relatable. She didnt fail to do that.
One of my favorite parts of the whole novels was near the end. (SPOILER) When Dave had written STAY on the top of the miniature roof, my heart melted and I found a little part of her book to fall in love with. There were scenes here and there that I liked, and some I didnt. When she introduced Jason again I nearly clapped, although I never really liked Jason, in this novel he seemed to fit a little closer to my heart. I loved the moral, and the plot idea, much like Dessens other books, there is something to be learned. Something to teach you a little more about growing up, and that instead of becoming something you arent, becoming the person you were always meant to be.
I adored this book, although there were some flaws and I got bored a couple times, I still loved it. I would have given this a three, but it's a Dessen book and I dont want to scare people off. It was beautiful, and I hope each and every one of you pick up a copy.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Looking for Alaska
by: John Green
Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter's adolescence has been one long nonevent - no challenge, no girls, no mischief, and no real friends. Seeking what Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps," he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. His roommate, Chip, is a dirt-poor genius scholarship student with a Napoleon complex who lives to one-up the school's rich preppies. Chip's best friend is Alaska Young, with whom Miles and every other male in her orbit falls instantly in love. She is literate, articulate, and beautiful, and she exhibits a reckless combination of adventurous and self-destructive behavior. She and Chip teach Miles to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks. Alaska's story unfolds in all-night bull sessions, and the depth of her unhappiness becomes obvious.
I loved this book. There are few books I can say this about, but this is one of them. The reason I first purchased this book was because I had heard wonderful things about it. So grabbing one from the B&N bookshelf was no hard task. Although I am not too fond of male main characters, Miles (or Pudge whichever you prefer), stuck to me. He was hilarious and awkward in a good way. In the beginning of the book I questioned its quality, sure I had heard good things about the story line, but nothing amazing had surfaced yet. That was until I met Alaska. I can say now, and from this day forth that the character Alaska has to probably be one the most interesting characters I have had a chance to read. I loved her so much! I can say she is probably my favorite character of any novel I have read. She was funny, mysterious, witty, and overall she seemed to be a fun person. I was also fascinated the way Green went about writing the novel, with the BEFORE and AFTER. I was very confused at first about what it meant, but I paced myself to not look it up on the internet and just read. In doing so I was shocked, angry, and sad at the reason behind the format. But it was also done beautifully and I cant see him going about creating the book any other way. This novel was haunting and beautiful in all the right ways. It made me want to cry, laugh, and applaud. This book is a must read! Although if your under the age of 14 I would take precaution in reading this book due to some sexual themes in the novel. Other than that, go, read read read, I'm sure you'll find it just as captivating as I found it was.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars
When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.
Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.
But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.
I've always been a sucker for coming of age books, mainly because it's the genre I want to write. So when I heard about Moonglass, (from Sarah Dessen of course) I knew it must be something special. So driving down to Barnes and Nobles in a hurry, I picked it up, eager to read it. And it didn't disappoint.
The story starts off with Anna, a girl who's mother died and has been living with her father for the past ten years. She's obviously distant, when her father tells her they are moving. Tension between her and her father builds as she later finds out the new little town they moved into, was the place that her father and mother first met. She soon starts to uncover secrets about her mother, most of it having to do with the sea glass she collects.
With numerous flashbacks, Kirby begins to tell the story of Anna.
When I first started reading this book, I was unsure about how it might turn out. The story line was solid, but the main character and a few secondary characters didn't seem real to me, a little under developed. Although as the story continued, I got a better feel about Anna and her story. The only character I had a problem with from beginning to end, was the guy. Or rather, Tyler. To me it seemed we never really got to know much about him, there still seemed to be some secrets that were untold. He seemed to be lacking in development; as if he had no back bone. And to me, the guy in any coming of age story is very important, especially when they're supposed to have an effect on the main character. Which was why this book lost that last star for me.
The story line though, was what kept me hooked. From beginning to end, Anna kept us guessing about her mother, and the stories and secrets she left behind. All the questions the readers had were answered in the end, with some very memorable quotes. It was a heart breaking story about love and loss. There are some tear jerking moments, and some laugh out loud scenes. Overall this book was worth getting, without the shaky start it might have been worth five stars. Although great none the less. It's a book I would be carrying around with me for a long time. A coming of age book that would hit close to any young woman's heart. Now go get it!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Rating: 1/5 stars
Overview: After losing her best friend, Ingrid, to suicide, Caitlin is completely immobilized. Unable to function, and refusing to visit a therapist, she begins the long journey to wellness alone. During this year of heart-wrenching, raw emotion, Caitlin finds Ingrid's journal, which not only reveals her descent into irreversible depression, but also serves as Caitlin's vehicle for renewed hope in the future.
My Review: I have respect for all books author's write, because I know what a long and exhausting process it is. And I have respect for LaCour and the characters and story line she produced. Although, I just don't think it was good enough to be made into a book. Maybe if she worked it more, changed the plot line a bit, it could have been better.
Now I must inform you that this is my opinion, and no offense should be taken. But truthfully this book was a waste of money. I don't believe that the main character, Caitlin, was believable. And frankly Dylan annoyed me. A big thing for me was I didn't care about the character's, which when I or anyone reads a book that is what makes them want to continue, because they feel for the characters and want the best for them. But I didn't feel this for any of them, even the dead girl.
I didn't finish reading the book due to the things I listed above. I did read the end though, or at least part of it, and the end was as expected. The book as a whole was not interesting. The story was just there, with no real feeling at all.
On a lighter note, the reason why I gave the story the one lone star was because of the initial idea. The concept of your best friend committing suicide is fascinating to me, and that's what drew me to read it in the first place. I read another book called The Anatomy of Wings, which was about how this girls sister committed suicide and that plot idea formed beautifully into a story. This one though, had potential, but the author didn't use it to their advantage. The story was boring and uneventful. 127 pages into it, ( By the way it is only 229 pages long), I was practically falling asleep. The concept was good but the plot was terrible. I would not recommend this book unless you were to get it from your local library.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars
Overview: When sixteen-year-old Joel Espen dies of thirst on a Boy Scout hiking trip, it shakes the small town of Haven, Utah to its socially conformist foundation. And the six teens who were closest to Joel start to view their community--and themselves--in a new light.
With his uncanny sensitivity and boundless heart, Joel made people love him. Now that he's gone, the ones he left behind are coping with their immense loss. His older, "crazy" sister pours her grief into a blog, while his younger sister runs away to New York. One friend is consumed by anger and revenge, while another discovers who she really is. Two learn to be true to their hearts--and all question who they are and what they've become.
Told from six heartbreaking perspectives on love, loss, and faith, this is the poignant story of how the life--and death--of one teen can have a profound effect on the lives of many.
My Review: I got this book for my birthday from one of my dear friends Kate Coursey ( an amazing writer, you should check out her blog called Weaving Colors) who kindly got the book signed by the author for me! When I read the back cover of this book it seemed like a perfectly depressing and morally right book. Which ultimately it was, and I love those kinds of books, so it worked out perfectly for me.
First off, I loved all the characters, Joel was probably my favorite, and some people may say that we never really got to hear Joel's story like the six other character's. But we did hear his story! In every single chapter. The book was wonderfully written, and very organized, Smith developed her character's very well, and gave them a very appropriate story line. Second, I would definitely recommend this book to everyone! It is sad, but also heart warming at the same time. Third, the only flaw I had with this book, (why I gave it a 4) was because of the ending. Don't get me wrong the ending was good! But I thought that Smith could have added a twist that no one saw coming, although I wont tell you what it is because I don't want to ruin it, but if you think you know what it is, comment and tell me what you think. It's just my personal opinion though. But overall the book was wonderful, everyone go get it!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Rating: 4/5 stars
Overview: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
My Review: OK so, I just want to start off by saying how much I adore Lauren Oliver and every book she writes, (which, so far, has only been two) none the less I have been a fan of her writing from the beginning. Which is why when I heard she was having a new book coming out, I freaked I was so excited. I bought it the first day it came out and haven't regretted reading it, Oliver never lets her readers down. First off, in Oliver's first book, Before i Fall, Samantha, her main character, isn't the most likable main character but Oliver changes it up in Delirium making her main character, Lena, a character worth rooting for. Of course it can seen to be a typical, boy meets girl, girl falls for boy even though she does not want to. And on the surface, yes that's what the book is about, this girl falling in love, when under the circumstances, she can't. Forbidden love has always been a pleasure to read among people. The thing people have to look for in all of Oliver's books is that deeper meaning, and although in this book it may be somewhat hidden you can still get the feel of how terrible and horrendous our world would be without love. Without pain no one can truly live. And Oliver teaches us this in her new book. The whole book was fantastic, the plot moved very fast, and the characters were believable. The ending was what caught me off guard, yes it was unexpected, and if I didn't know she was coming out with a sequel I would probably be on the floor right now bawling my eyes out. I do recommend this book to everyone who loves a good love story with a moral. Samantha had something to teach us in Oliver's first book and as expected Lena did also.
The only reason I gave the book four stars out of five is just because of personal preference, I'm not a big fan of lovey lovey stories, but this one Oliver pulled off well, I suppose it could be a four point five.... ha! Have a nice day everyone. And go out and buy Delirium! You wont be disappointed.