Friday, August 27, 2010

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Summary: (from book jacket) Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- his classmate and crush- who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first hand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself- a truth he never wanted to face.
Review: This book is amazing. It deals with a difficult subject and turns it in to a suspenseful book that will had me hooked until the end. This story is also told in a unique format that makes it all the more interesting.
 I really liked the fact that this is Hannah's story. We get to see inside her head and know what she is thinking and feeling as she slowly makes the decision to end her life. In most books that involve suicide either they weren't successful or another character is dealing with the aftermath so this book is also very unique in that respect. A few times in the story Hannah mentions the giant snowball of events. As I followed her story I knew exactly what she was talking about. As one event leads to the next I really saw what Hannah was going through.
  There were a lot of characters in this story and many of them only made brief appearances. However, every single one of them was so realistic. They were a bunch of high school students not really realizing how much they were playing a role in Hannah's decision. This book really shows how much and effect the smallest of actions can have on a person which many people don't realize. That is why everyone should read this book. it deals with a tough subject in a suspenseful way and all readers will be affected by the message it sends.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Summary: (from book jacket) Carlos Fuentes idolized his older brother,Alex, when he was a member of the Latino Blood. So when Alex chose to get jumped out of the gang for a chance at a future with his gringa girlfriend, Brittany, Carlos felt shocked and betrayed. Even worse, Alex forced Carlos to come back from Mexico to join him on the straight and narrow path. trouble is, Carlos just wants to keep living on the edge. And ties to his Mexican gang aren't easy to break, even hundreds of miles away in Colorado. In Boulder, Carlos has to live with one of Alex's college professors- and hr feels completely out of place. He's even thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter,Kiara, who is nothing  like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.
 Review: This book is the second book in the Perfect Chemistry series and I really liked it. The romance part of the book wasn't overly done. Carlos is working out his issues and and falling in love simultaneously and I liked the combination of the two. I was afraid it was going to be more similar to Perfect Chemistry but it wasn't.
 The characters in this book were really great. Carlos was edgy, dangerous and cocky but he also had a softer side that was hidden most of the time. I definitely see the family resemblance between the two Fuentes brothers. I also liked Kiara. She was normal she wasn't perfect and didn't pretend to be. She was just an average teenage girl with self confidence issues and it made her really relate able. I liked the fact that there Alex and Brittany were still part of the story. I was glad to see the ways that they had both changed since the last book. The only thing I found a little unrealistic was Kiara's parents. Their attitude toward her and Carlos's relationship was a little more casual than what I would expect from an average family.
 The thing that made this book really great was the message that it sends about learning to trust people and accept them for who they are.That is essentially what this series represents and I felt it really strongly in this book.
 This book is full of romance, friendship and learning to accept yourself and others the way they are. if your look for an exciting new romance check out this series.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

This review may contain spoilers if you haven't read Shiver.
Summary:( from book jacket) The longing. Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain. The loss. Into their world comes a wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.The linger. For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces-wolf and human- with love baring it's two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?                                            
Review:  This book is really great. I was afraid that it was going to be basically the same plot from shiver but it wasn't. There was a lot of tension and excitement that led up to an exciting climax. The story is told from the alternating points of view of Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel. I enjoyed the fact that you can really see the different struggles that each of the characters is going through.
  The characters in this story are really great. Grace and Sam's relationship continues to develop as they discover what they would do to stay together. Their relationship is affectionate and sweet and i like them both. Isabel and Cole's friendship is really intense and though I don't think there were really any strong feelings it was fun to watch them begin to trust each other with their secrets. Once again I thought grace's parents were really annoying and even though they were more present in this book it still didn't make them any more likable. I was also annoyed that Olivia didn't make some sort of appearance in this book. Her "disappearance" is mentioned a few times but thats it.
My only major complaint is the way the book ended. I'm seriously only talking about the last page. Everything leading up to that point was amazing and kept me hooked. But the way things were left was a little bit anticlimatic. It seemed like there was no reason for the story to have even been told beyond Shiver.I did love the plot twist that was dropped toward the end that added an extra level of intensity but i wish the story had taken a different turn. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

This review may contain spoilers if you haven't read The Summer I Turned Pretty.
 Summary:(from book jacket) Can Summer be truly Summer without Cousins Beach? It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it all started- at Cousins Beach.
Review: I liked this book alot more than it's predecessor, The Summer I Turned Pretty. There was more of a story line and plot. In this book all the characters are dealing with Susannah's death and how it has changed the time at Cousins Beach. I felt more like the story was going somewhere and there were actual problems and emotions. It really gave the story a lot more meaning.
Belly still came across as a little bit self absorbed but I liked her a lot better. She has bigger problems than trying to impress a guy and she seemed more real to me. I liked that there a few chapters that were told from Jeremiah's point of view. He is my favorite character and I loved getting inside his head a little. The only character who I absolutely do not like is Belly's friend Taylor. She is bossy and shallow and I almost wanted to throw the book across the room when she was around. There are still a few flashback scenes in this one. not as many though and it made it easier to follow along with what was going on when you're not constantly jumping back and forth.
 My only complaint was the ending. Although there were a few major plot points that were resolved. There was still a lot that was left unsaid and that was annoying. Hopefully, there will be a sequel that will explain things better. Also, the epilogue, if that's what you want to call it was really confusing and felt unneeded.
 If you are looking for a light summer series I would recommend this one.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Summary: ( from book jacket) Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They've been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah- they're totally hot for each other. But a week before their joint sweet sixteen bash,everything changes. Cam's awkward cousin Pip comes to stay, and Cam starts acting distant. Morgan is stunned when her formerly perfect boyfriend seems to be drifting away. When Morgan demands answers, she's shocked to discover the reason for Cam's distance. It isn't another girl-it's another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King. Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change, she has to decide once and for all if he really is her destiny, and if their "perfect" love can weather an uncertain future.
 Review  I liked this book. It was a sweet light fantasy read that I didn't put down from start to finish. It was a new and interesting take on fairies that I really enjoyed. I just wish there had been more information about the Otherworld and what goes on there. There is a little bit of information given but not enough for me to really imagine what that world is like.
I enjoyed the characters in this book. Morgan and Cam's relationship was really cute and sweet. I liked the fact that they had been friends their entire lives and then started dating. Morgan did come across as a little bit spoiled at the beginning of the book but she is a changed person by the end. I also really liked Pip. He is new to town and doesn't really know how to fit in with the crowd. He is also one of the most unselfish and self sacrificing characters I had ever met. He would do whatever he could to help Morgan solve her problems and that made me really like him. He was a refreshing change from most high school characters.
  One thing I didn't like though was that the story was a little bit anti climatic. The entire climax of the story that all the characters had spent the entire book trying to resolve happened in two or three pages. It was a little bit of a disappointment. Other than that I did enjoy this book and anyone who loves fairy stories will probably enjoy this one too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

 This review may contain spoilers if you haven't read The Hunger Games.
Summary ( from book jacket) Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading. And the Capitol wants revenge. Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all,she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol- a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.  Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
 Review: This book is amazing. It was so action packed and suspenseful from beginning to end. This book continues Katniss's story after she and Peeta won the games. It book doesn't have a single dull moment and kept me on the edge of my seat until I was done reading. The plot of this story is really amazing. I don't know where Collins came up with some of the more shocking plot twists. You think you know where the story is going to go while your reading it but, really ,you don't.
 The characters in this story are really great. I love Katniss and her family and friends along with a ton of new characters that are introduced in this book. I liked Finnick alot. He was kind of the don't judge a book by it's cover character and I liked him. I also liked Wiress and Beete. They were cool. It seems like I could go on all day there are so many awesome characters in this sereis. Katniss has been through alot in her life and her troubles only seem to grow in this book. She is conflicted with her feelings about Peeta and Gale and is facing a whole new slew of responsibilites now that she has won the games and has somehow become the face for rebellion. She is strong and determined and will give everything she has for what she believes is right. I have to say I hope she ends up with Gale, Petta just bugs me for some reason although I began to like him a little better in this book.
  This book also ends in one of the most suspensful cliffhangers ever. I absolutely can't wait for Mockingjay, the third and final book in the series. Defienetly read this sereis if you haven't already.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Summary (from back of book) Some summers are just destined to be pretty. When each summer begins, Belly leaves her school life behind and escapes to Cousins Beach, the place she has spent every summer of her life. Not only does the beach house mean home away from home, but her favorite people are there: Susannah, her mother's best friend, and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has been chasing Conrad for as long as she can remember, and more than anything, she hopes this summer will be different. Despite distractions from a new guy named Cam and lingering looks from Conrad's brother Jeremiah, Belly's heart belongs to Conrad. Will he offer his to her? Will this be the summer that changes everything?
Review: I liked this book. I finished it in a day, I like books about summer and this one kept me hooked until the end. I don't even really know why. It wasn't particularly action packed or intense. The whole book was consumed by Belly's boy drama. It got kind of annoying after a while and I was glad that eventually there were other issues that became the focus of attention. There didn't seem to be any real meaning to the story. Hopefully, things will be a little more exciting in the sequel It's Not Summer Without You.
 I didn't really like any of the characters in this book either. Belly was fun and exciting but after a while became mopey and annoying. Conrad's attitude had me against him from the beginning and wish Belly would like Jeremiah instead. He came across as being a lot more fun than his older brother. That was probably another reason I got so annoyed at Belly she's falling for the wrong guy. Cam was Mr. perfect goody two shoes and I didn't really like him either.
You're probably wondering why I mentioned at the beginning of this review that I liked this book. I did though,I liked the way there was a lot of back story about past summers spent at the beach. It really helped me to get to know the characters better. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Belly and the boys. The teasing and goofing off was really fun. Belly is treated like a little sister especially when she was younger. Another thing I liked was the way all the characters really loved the summer house. Even though things are changing they are determined to continue the tradition of going to the beach for the summer.
If you are looking for a light summer read pick this one up. It wasn't my favorite but, I liked it and hopefully I will enjoy the sequel even more.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: (from book jacket) The cold. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow- eyed wolf- her wolf- watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why. The heat. Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace..... until now. The shiver. For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human- and Grace must fight to keep him- even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
Review: I have mixed feeling about this book. I enjoyed it but there were a few things that kept it from being absolutely amazing. First of all, Grace's parents were really annoying to me. They were hardly even part of the story. having parents who work alot is one thing but Sam managed to stay a secret for several weeks before they met him. I felt like Stiefvater only put them in the story because she had to and then made them dissapear because she didn't really need them. Another thing was the plot moved slowly in some parts. There was to much time of Grace and Sam alone that it got a little dull after a while.
On the other hand, there were a lot of things that I did like about it. I liked the story behind how and why the werewolves change. It brought a unique twist to the story. it was different from a more traditional werewolf story and I liked it. The writing style of the story was really beautiful especially when describing the seasons or the woods. I also liked the fact that the book alternated points of view between Grace and Sam.It was good to get inside the head of both characters.
 The characters in this story were really simple. They both led simple lives that they knew what to expect from until they met each other. I thought Grace and Sam were both really fun characters to get to know and readers will be rooting for them until the end. Overall, I did like this book and can't wait for my copy of Linger to come in the mail. if your looking for a werewolf story to read pick this one up.