Saturday, July 31, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Summary: ( from back of book) At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago, everyone knows that south siders and north siders aren't exactly compatible elements. So when head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, the results are bound to be explosive. But neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all- love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart?
Review: I really enjoyed this book. It had suspense, action, and romance all packed into one. I liked the fact that the book alternates point of view between Alex and Brittany. It made it a lot more enjoyable to see inside both of the main character's heads.
 I liked the fact that though Alex and Brittany lead completely opposite lives they are more alike than it seems. As the story goes I really began to see the difference between the way both character's were viewed by others and the way they really were. Both character's are constantly being judged or stereotyped based on their appearances. This gave them something in common and they began to realize there was more to the other than meets the eye. I loved the romance aspect in this book. Two very different people falling in love created drama and suspense that kept me hooked until the end.
  I loved both Alex and Brittany. They both had to make a discovery about themselves and change the way they were leading their lives. Despite the fact that they both had believed they were doing the right thing. Being together made them realize this about themselves and I definetly enjoyed that aspect of it. They were both such interesting and unique characters. There were a few things that happened in the book that I didn't like but, can't say anything else about it with out spoiling.
 This book was really good and anyone looking for romance with an edge should pick this one up.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Compound by S.A Bodeen

Summary: (from back of book) Safe or Sorry? Eli and his family have lived in the underground compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to desrtoy their sanctuary- and their sanity- Eli can't help but wonder if he'd rather take his chances outside. Eli's father built the compound to keep them safe. But are they safe- or sorry?
Review: I picked up this book because it was reccomended for people who liked The Hunger Games, I read the summary, and decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. This book is really good. throughout the story the plot doesn't move all that quickly, but I was constantly making new discoveries about their life in the compound that kept me reading until the end. I liked the way that Bodeen made living in a place like the compound a realistic idea. The characters dealt with things that would really be a problem for people if anyone had attempted to live like this. Bodeen almost made it seem possible. There were also a few things that brought an added level of suspense to the story. As, the story progresses you really see what sacrifices must be made if Eli and his family are going to survive in the compound.
 Eli is a really self centered at the beginning of the book. As he deals with life in the compound and everything he misses from his old life had becomes less close to the rest of his family over the years. I really came to like him though and thought he really changed toward the end.
  The climax of the story was tense. I continued to be surprised up until the very end. There were alot of things happening at once and it was suspenseful and exciting. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book as much if there hadn't been always been that shadow of doubt as to whether they are doing the right thing.
  My only problem was that I wish there had been more information about what happened at the end. I felt like it ended a little bit to soon. Overall, though this book was good and you should really pick this one up if your looking for a suspenseful read.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody

Summary: (from book jacket) Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It's a mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know- do good things and you will be rewarded. do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what's coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act. But when Mason Brooks, Maddy's boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue wrestling with Miss perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them- except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School- it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That's why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma club- a secret, members only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they're modifying Heather Campbell's acne cream as part of "Operation Butter Face" or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie's and Jade's own slimy exes, they know they're just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They're taking care of one another. Sometimes, though, it isn't wise to meddle with the universe. because it turns out that when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good. even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground.
 Review: I first became interested in reading this book after I watched the trailer for it. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. I felt like the whole story was unrealistic and shallow. The things that Maddy and her friends were planning for they're exes were a little more than harmless pranks and caused some serious trouble. Because of that, I found the story really hard to relate to.
 I thought the characters in this story were annoying. Maddy was so set on being popular and trying to get into the good parties as if that was the only thing that mattered. She was constantly thinking and talking about Heather Campbell and how perfect she was and how much she wanted to be like her. Why couldn't she just be happy with what she had? ( easier said than done I know, but still). Her friends Angie and Jade seemed to be a little more down to earth and I liked them better until towards the end of the book when they were both acting like complete idiots. Another thing was, I was under the impression that these girls knew how Karma worked. Do good things and you will be rewarded, to bad things and you will be punished. So these girls start totally humiliating several students and don't expect for they're luck to turn. To me it seems like they should have seen it coming. There were also a few points in the story that were pretty predictable. I wasn't surprised by what was coming and that also has a tendency to take away from the excitement of a book. So, I didn't like this book but that does mean that you won't. If it sounds like you might enjoy it then you should read it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

 Summary:( From book jacket) There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave. Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that's haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten south, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves in to the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
 Review: I absolutely loved this book. There have been so many beginnings of new series that I have read lately and many of them were just OK and not all that great( of course there were some that were and I will keep reading the ones that weren't). But, this book was so good. I was a little wary because of the fact that it's over five hundred pages i was afraid it might drag, but it didn't. I really enjoyed every minute of it.
One thing i really liked about it was that the traditional roles in these types of stories was reversed. First off, the entire book was told from Ethan's point of view. Another thing was neither one of them was described as being amazingly beautiful. It made them more relatable. They seemed more like average teens with beyond average problems. the whole thing was actually really refreshing.
  The characters in this story were all really enjoyable. They were all so well written and developed that you really get to know even the more minor characters. There were a lot of characters and they were all so different. I especially loved Lena. She is full of determination and power and fierceness, while also just wanting to be a teenager. She was really a coll character to get to know throughout the story.
  The ending was really amazing. Even in the middle of the climax of the story Garcia and Stohl are still throwing out major lot twists that change the story so much and add that much more intensity and excitement.
Even though, the plot does move kind of slowly in some parts it is never boring. You should pick this up if you are looking for the start to an awesome fantasy series. I can't wait for the sequel Beautiful Darkness  which comes out this October.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Summary:( from back of book) Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left- the most important one she'll ever make. Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
Review: This book was really great. It follows Mia as she makes the most important decision she will ever be faced with. It was really sad and yet it was kind of uplifting. I can't really explain why I felt that way but this book gave me a feeling of hope. This story is really enjoyable and will make you think about life a little differently.
I absolutely loved all the characters in this story. Mia was a really smart and brave character. I really enjoyed reading about the difficult choice Mia faces and the journey she takes as she makes her decision. My favorite character in the story was Adam. He was awesome. His determination to help Mia was really cool. He was really different from your average guy in young adult literature these days and I really liked him.
 Another thing I liked about the story was the music aspect. There were alot of music references both real and made up and it added something extra to the story. I love it when a character in a book has a passion for something and in this case it is music.
This book is a really great story full of amazing characters. If it sounds like a good read based on the summary then don't hesitate to pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Summary: (from back of book) There are two sides to every breakup. This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college and driving cross- country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.
Review: This book was just OK. I expected this story to be a little more of a dramatic love story than the cute, light read that it was. Don't get me wrong there was definitely some drama going on, but it just seemed really unexciting. The idea of going on a road trip with your ex should have been wildly dramatic and maybe even funny. But, it just fell kind of flat. I mean personally I didn't think Jordan's secret was worth all the trouble. It was the premise of the whole story and since the story alternates between Courtney and Jordan's points of view readers know about it way before Courtney does so it even loses the element of surprise. Jordan should have just told Courtney as soon as he found out. I also didn't really understand why he had to break up with her about it.
  The characters in this story were really annoying. Both Jordan and Courtney were really immature throughout the book. There were a few points in this story where they were both being really stupid. They both needed to grow up a little and deal with their problems. I didn't really feel a connection with any of the characters in this book and that was really disappointing.
  Despite all of that there were a few things I did like about it. First of all, I liked the fact that parts of the book took place in the past during the time when they were still dating. It was fun to find out more about their relationship and how it progressed. Another thing I liked was the road trip. Road trips in themselves are always entertaining. Even though this one was full of unnecessary drama, it was an element of the story that I liked.
  So, I'll say you should pick this one up if your in for a light read if your looking for something more intense then don't bother.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Summary: (from back of book) When Alexis's little sister, Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks nothing of it. Kasey is weird kid. Period. Alexis is considered weird, too, by the kids in her high school, by her parents, even by her own goth friends. Things get weirder, though, when the old house they live in starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves, water boils on the unlit stove, and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough for the girls to see their breath. Kasey is changing too. Her blue eyes go green, and she uses old fashion language, then forgets chunks of time. Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle, doll loving child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister- but what if the green eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore.
Review: I really enjoyed this book. It was an exciting ghost story that kept me reading until the end. This book wasn't really a very action packed until the last 100 pages or so but I was still enjoyed it. The idea behind this story is not a unique one but it didn't come across as dull or as something I had seen before.
 The characters in this story were really believable. I loved Alexis's say what you think personality and the fact that she is an aspiring photographer who still uses a darkroom. She was a really fun main character and readers will be rooting for her until the end. I had a hard time remembering that Kasey was thirteen. She came across as being so much younger then that. The way she behaved seemed really immature for her age. I also really enjoyed getting to know some of the more minor characters like Carter and Megan. Although, I have to say my favorite was probably Lydia. She was so funny I kind of wish she had a bigger role.
  Another thing I liked was the way that their house was described. The spooky old house element really added alot to the story. There were also a few plot twists that kept me reading although I have to say there was one part in particular that I thought was a little bit predictable. Apart from that there were a few surprising elements that kept me on the edge of my seat.
 My only complaint was that I felt that everything was resolved to quickly and easily. I wish there had been a little more to the climax and ending. If there had been just a little more to it.  Despite that, this book was really good and I recommend it to anyone who likes ghost stories.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Summary: (from book jacket) Micah will freely admit she's a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you. Over the years she's fooled everyone: her classmates, her teachers, even her parents. And she's always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as easily as breathing? Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them- and herself- that she's finally come clean.
  Review: I had mixed feelings about this book. There were some things I really liked about it and others that I didn't. The idea behind this story is a really intriguing one. The story where the main character is a known liar is not something seen very often. I liked the fact that it really felt like Micah was telling the story to you. In most books the reader is an invisible observer to the character's life but here Micah was talking to the reader. Another thing I liked was I was never really sure if Micah was telling the truth about what had happened. She is telling alot of the story after it had happened so it was hard to tell if she was lying. It had you guessing up until the end and it kept me entertained.
  One thing I didn't like was the major plot twist that was dropped in the middle of the story. I could tell there was something going on but I was still really surprised when it was revealed. I usually love exciting and unexpected plot twists but, I felt that it went beyond the premise of the story. I thought the summary was a little bit misleading. In all fairness, it still made for a good story it was just a different one than what I was expecting. Maybe a more observant reader would have figured it out beforehand. I also really liked the way it ended. It will keep the reader thinking after they finish reading.
  Overall, I like this book and think that if you are looking for a surprising and interesting book pick this one up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Paper Towns by John Green

Summary( from book jacket) Quentin Jacobson has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life- dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge- he follows. After their all- nighter ends and a new day breaks. Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But soon Q learns that there are clues- and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.
Review: I love this book. This was actually the first book by Green that I had read and it made me immediately go out and buy his other books. In this book Green takes an important message and puts it into a really entertaining and exciting story. This book is a mix of seriousness and humor that come together to tell an amazing story. This book has so many parts that were really funny. I often go back to read them again when I'm in the mood for a laugh.
  The characters in this story are awesome. They really help make the story what it is. These characters are one of the best things about the book. They are funny and admittedly kind of nerdy and I loved it. Their banter throughout even in the more serious moments help make this book something you won't soon forget. Green is an awesome author and if you haven't read his books you really should. Paper towns is a story about the way we imagine ourselves and those around us. This book is one of my all time favorites. Between prom dates, road trips and midnight adventures this book is for anyone who wants a fun yet serious book that will change the way you think about the people around you. Definitely pick this one up if you can.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Summary: (from back of book) Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life- boating, swimming and barbecues with his close buddies- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship would only cramp his style. That is until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the attractive redhead seems to have a grudge against him. Still, Travis can't stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor and his persistant efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage ,and family. The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heart wrenching question of all: How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?
   Review: This book is really great. Nicholas Sparks has written another beautiful love story. Ever since I read The Notebook I always pick up Sparks' books when I can find them and this one was awesome. It has the qualities of alot of Spark's other books : two people with seemingly nothing in common fall in love and then for whatever reason are forced apart. I think this one should be made into a movie next.
  The characters in this story were really enjoyable. I loved the teasing  banter that went on between Travis and Gabby and the story of how they met is hilarious. Though this book is a Spark's classic it had some unique elements to it that aren't in his other books (at least the ones I've read). I'm not going to say anything else about it because I don't want to spoil it. If you want to know more go pick up a copy. If you've liked Spark's other books you won't be disappointed.
  I have to say that this book has some really sad moments. It really had me rooting for the characters and hoping that they would be able to overcome their problems. Travis is a really cool and fun character and I felt really bad for him at some points in the book. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good romantic read.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Summary:(from back of book) My name is Danielle. I'm eighteen. I've been stealing things for as long as I can remember. Dani has been trained as a thief by the best there is- her mother. They never stay in one place long enough for Dani to have real connections, real friends- a real life. But in the town of Heaven, everything changes. Suddenly, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known- or the one she's always wanted.
 Review: I liked this book. I had read a few reviews on it and its written by an author I have enjoyed in the past so I decided to give it a try and it didn't disappoint. Dani is a teenage girl who, deep down, just wants to live the life of one. Dani just wants what so many teens have come to count on in their lives. Like have a house in one place instead of traveling around and a group of friends you can count on. I liked watching Dani change and grow as a person throughout the course of the book. I liked most of the characters in the book with one exception. Dani's mom was really annoying to me. The way she acted came across as irresponsible and annoying. I found myself wanting her to just leave at some points. This didn't take away from the story. I enjoy stories that make me feel strongly for the characters even if it isn't necessarily a good feeling. Other than that I liked the characters in this story.
   The other thing I liked was the information about Dani's past. It really gives a clear understanding of why she and her mom have chosen this lifestyle and where it all started. It made me feel a little bit sympathetic for Dani because she is living a life that was chosen for her.
   My only complaint about this book was the way it ended. The ending was really open and left to much unsaid. An open ending is ok in some cases but this time it didn't work. There were to many things that still needed to be said and it felt really sudden and unexpected. Apart from that I enjoyed this book and would if you are a fan of Elizabeth Scott's other books you should really pick this one up.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Feast of Fools Morganville Vampires Book 4 by Rachel Caine

This review may contain spoilers from the previous books in the series.
  Summary:( from back of book) In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans have learned to live in relative peace. Still, students like Claire Danvers know that after dark, studying can take a back seat to staying alive. But the tenuous good-neighbor policy is really turned on its head with the arrival of Mr. Bishop. Bad to the bone, the ancient old- school vampire cares nothing about harmony. Staying at the top of the food chain is enough. What he wants from the town's living and dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Claire realizes Bishop's plan- and the elaborately evil trap he's set for the warm blooded souls of Morganville.
  Review: Another exciting adventure in Morganville comes to a close. I enjoyed this book a lot but I am starting to have some issues with the series as a whole. This is the fourth book in the series and looking back at what has happened so far it doesn't really seem to all fit together. The characters will have a new set of problems and conflicts but most of these are pushed aside and hardly discussed so that the characters can focus solely on whatever bad evil vampire is trying to kill them. Believe it or not, that does get kind of old after a while. Regardless of that fact though, I did really enjoy it and can't wait to get my hands on the next one. The only other complaint I have is the fact that yet again someone wants Shane dead. I'm starting to suspect that Caine has continued to do that because of Claire's feelings for him. But seriously time to lay off of Shane for a while.
  Enough of the negative ,time to focus on the things I did like about it. First of all the story line of this book is really interesting. Mr. Bishop's arrival in town really set a whole new chain of events in motion . I am guessing that this book is the one that sets the rest of the series in motion and brings it to a whole new level. But, again I'm only guessing. Another thing I liked is Myrnin's part of the story. I enjoyed reading about him and his discoveries and am excited to see where that will lead.
 So far I have really enjoyed this series and definitely recommend you read it if you haven't already. Despite, the few things I didn't like this is one series that keeps me reading.