Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from book jacket) Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack- and the last little blue envelope inside- she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end. Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure- one filled with old friends, new loves, and once in a lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits... and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.
Review: I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes a few years ago so I was excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel. I thought this book was a good finish to where that story left off. The plot had a good pace and the way things played out was interesting. At first I was a little dissapointed by the way things were happening, ubt as the story went on I started to enjoy it a little more. I really liked the ending. I thought it was the perfect way for this story to end. I liked all the characters in this book. But for some reason i wasn't really able to connect with Ginny. my favorite character in this book was probably Oliver although, Keith is a close second. The two of them together are really funny. overall, I thought this was a lighthearted and fun read, but I strongly recommend reading the first book before picking this one up.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breaking Point by Alex Flinn

 Summary:(from Goodreads). Paul is new to Gate, a school whose rich students make life miserable for anyone not like them. And Paul is definitely not like them. Then, one day something incredible happens. Charlie Good, a star student and athlete, invites Paul to join his elite inner circle. All Charlie wants is a few things in return-- small things that Paul does willingly. And then, one day, Charlie wants something big--really big. Now Paul has to decide how far he'll go to be one of the gang.                                      Review:  This was a pretty interesting book. I liked the way we get to see what led up to these events and what drove these students to do it, rather than dealing with the aftermath, as is the case with most of this type of story. I thought the plot was well paced and I was hooked on the story and buzzed through this one in a day. I absolutely love Alex Flinn and this was the last one of her books that I hadn't read yet, so I was really excited to finally get my hands on a copy. I found myself not really able to sympathize with Paul by the end of the book. However, I really enjoyed getting to know him as the story developed and could definitely relate to some of his problems with fitting in at a new school. One of my favorite things about the book was that we get to see a guy who doesn't have any friends get slowly sucked in to the wrong crowd. It's such a realistic story that could happen to anyone. Alex Flinn is not afraid to tackle sotries dealing with bad situations and i hope she keeps writing for a long time to come.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Summary:(from book jacket) In Mary's world, there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will always protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. and she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?
Review: I had mixed feelings about this book. I haven't read very many zombie stories and I liked the way the story was set up in that respect. I did think the plot was slow at times and the action parts were somewhat repetitive. I didn't think the dystopian aspects of the book were that strong. For me, that wasn't really the central part of the novel. I wish that one thing toward the end had happened a little differently, but I will be interested to see where that leads. I really liked all the characters. Despite, the terrible conditions that their world is in , Mary is a very strong and determined character. She knows what she believes in and is determined to have what she wants. My other favorite characters were Travis and Jed. I really liked getting to know them and they both fought by Mary's side throughout the book and would do anything to help her achieve her goal. I think the characters were the best thing about this book. Their struggle for a better life kept me reading and rotting for them the entire way through. I am interested to  see how the sequel relates to this story since it semms to be told from a different characters perspective. Although, this one wasn't one of my favorites I am still excited to see where this story leads.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Summary: (from book jacket) Another town? Another new school? Mclean really doesn't mind. In fact, she welcomes the chance to try on a new persona. ever since her parents' bitter divorce, she and her father have been on the move, leaving the unhappy past behind them. And each move has brought a fresh opportunity for Mclean to reinvent herself. Perky rah- rah girl. Drama mama. all round joiner. But here in Lakeview, for the first time she' putting down roots, making friends, and trying to be someone she hasn't been in a long time: herself. Dave has something to do with it. He's the most real person Mclean's ever met, and he thinks he's falling in love with the real Mclean. Mclean doesn't even know who that is anymore, but she wants to find out- before it's time to move on again.
Review: I am a huge fan of Sarah Dessen and this book did not disappoint. Although, the plot was a little slow as far as the romance aspect of the story went. I liked the fact that a lot of the story revolved around family issues for many of the characters as well. It was really a story about change and self discovery and trust. I enjoy the fact that Sarah always manages to include the people and places from her other stories. its nothing thats' going to affect your reading experience if you haven't read them, but if you have its like sharing an inside joke with an old friend. I really liked Mclean as a character. I think there is a lot of things that many readers will be able to relate to, I know I certainly did. Dave was also really great. He was an honest guy who had made a mistake and was trying to make it up to his parents. Despite the fact that their relationship developed super slowly I really liked both these characters. Opal and deb were also really interesting characters to get to know. Overall, I did like this book. Sarah Dessen has impressed me once again and i hope she continues to do so for a long time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Summary: (from book jacket). Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris- until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Lights, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end  with their long awaited French kiss?
Review: I expected this book to be just another average teen romance story, but it was so much more than that. This was a sweet and charming story. The fact that it took place in Paris really set the tone for romance and fun. The plot was a good pace and I liked the fact that despite the fact that this was a story very much about romance, it also involved a lot of family and friendship issues as well. there were some plot points that were kind of unoriginal, but it didn't really bother me while I was reading.  I really liked getting to explore Paris with Anna and her friends throughout the book. I thought the characters were really well developed and unique. Anna's interest in film was interesting and I could relate to her in this book. Etienne was also a really cool character to get to know. There was a lot more to him than just good looks. Although, I didn't really get the whole name changing thing. So if you are looking for a sweet story with awesome characters and an amazing setting look no further than this. I am excited to see what else this author has put out there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
 Summary: ( from book jacket). While developing a new system to maintain the town's defenses, Claire discovers a way to use the vampires' powers to help keep outsiders from spreading the news of Morganville's "unique" situation once they've crossed the city limits. But the new system has an unexpected and possibly deadly consequence: people inside the town start forgetting who and what they are- even the vampires. And when Claire's boyfriend, Shane, and her best friend Eve, start treating her like a perfect stranger, Claire realizes she has to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment- before she forgets how to save herself...and Morganville.
Review: This is the ninth book in this series and it is also my favorite one. The stakes were higher and the story was full of plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. There were constant surprises and I am really excited to keep reading this series. I also really liked the ending which was a complete shock. I am interested to see how that is going to play out in the next book. This book had one of the best plots of any in the series and I hope that keeps up. The characters were all really awesome as usual. I liked that everyone losing their memory was almost used as a way to learn more about where these characters came from and what led them to living in Morganville. The solution to the memory loss problem is not going to go over well with very many people. For some weird reason, I still like Oliver. I really like it when he is around. My only real problem is with the series as a whole. While each book is individually awesome and tells a great story, I don't think it flows as an entire series very well. After I finished this book I read the summary for the next book in the series Bite Club, and it seems to be going in an entirely different direction then what I would expect. other than that though, this series is amazing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jerk , California

Summary: Twitch, Jerk, Freak- Sam Carrier has been called them all. because of his Tourette syndrome, Sam is in near constant motion with tics and twitches and verbal outbursts. So, of course, high school is nothing but torment. forget friends, forget even hoping that beautiful, perfect Naomi will look his way. And home isn't much better with his domineering stepfather reminding him that the only person who was more useless than Sam was his dead father, James. But then an unexpected turn of events unearths the truth about his father. And suddenly Sam doesn't know who he is, or even where he'll go next. what he does know is that the only girl in the world who can make him happy and nervous at the same time is everywhere he turns...and he'd give anything to just be still.
Review: I had mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I could really feel Sam's emotions as he struggled with his disease and stories of the father who gave it to him. I could tell that these parts of the story really related to the author's life in some way. However, I didn't like the fact that most of the book was taken over by Sam discovering his family and getting to know Naomi. There was a point where I almost gave up on this book. Although I stuck with because I was curious about where Sam would end up. The way things ended didn't give me any real satisfaction. I think I would have enjoyed this book so much more if it was a story about a high school student with Tourettes trying to fit in, instead of a guy who just graduated and is out to discover the truth about his family.. and oh yeah they all have Tourettes. The only character i really conncected with was Sam during some portions of the story. I din't really get his and Naomi's relationship if thats what you even want to call it. Overall, this book was just ok. I liked parts of it, but just didn't understand the turns it took.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin

Summary: (from back of book) Hi, I'm Stan Smith. This book is about me. It's possibly the most interesting book ever written. Here's why:
1. I work at Happy Video.
2. I wear a name tag that says STAN.
3. I'm writing a movie script about robot ducks.
4. I'm sort of in love.
5. Someone named Chad is trying to kill me.
Review: I have previously read Fade to Blue and I have to say that this book was not quite as off the wall as that one was. The plot wasn't anything special but it was entertaining. I was never bored with the story. There were several parts of the book that made me laugh and I liked Stan's scripts that were scattered throughout the book. I also liked the somewhat subtle message of breaking stereotypes that you set for yourself and others around you. I thought Stan was a really funny and great narrator. I love it when I feel like a character is speaking directly to me and telling their story rather than living in their head. His family was so funny and random and crazy. Something interesting was always going on. This simple story made me smile. Anyone who wants a light and enjoyable read should start here.