Monday, December 19, 2011

Faithful by Janet Fox

Summary: (from back of book) Sixteen year old Maggie Bennet's life is in tatters. Her mother has disappeared and is presumed dead. The next thing she knows, her father has dragged Maggie away from their elegant Newport home, off on some mad excursion to Yellowstone in Montana. Torn from the only life she's ever known, Maggie is furious and devastated by her father's betrayal. But when she arrives, she finds her self drawn to the frustratingly stubborn, handsome Tom Rowland, the son of the park geologist, and to the wild romantic beauty of Yellowstone itself. And as Tom and the promise of freedom capture her heart, Maggie is forced to choose between who she is and who she wants to be.
Review: I didn't enjoy this book. It's set in a time period where a woman's only place in society is to be the property of men. Although, I did enjoy the time and setting of the book. I thought the plot was slow in a lot of places. I had also figured out the major plot twist regarding Maggie's mother really early on, which made it slow and predictable. My main problem though was that I didn't like Maggie as a character. I thought she was shallow, annoying and clueless most of the time, although I do have to say I liked her a little more towards the end. Tom was by far my favorite character, he seemed absolutely clueless to the social structures of society which I really liked. I think I would have liked this story a lot more if had been set in a more modern time period, although it wouldn't have really worked the same. i appreciate what the author was trying to do, it just wasn't my favorite.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Summary:(from goodreads). Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming
Review: I was a little bit sceptical of reading this type of science fiction type story. but I liked it way more than I thought I would. Despite the many sci fi elements this book also seemed to have many dystopian elements, which is what I really enjoyed about it. I was surprised by how well this world was put together and I liked discovering the many differences in the way these ship dwellers live their lives. I also liked that the story switched between Amy and Elder's perspectives. I think this let's the readers get to know and love both characters and sympathize with their problems. I liked the the right and wrong answer to solving the problems of the ship is not so straightforward. It made me excited to see what will happen next. There were some surprising plot twists that kept the story moving nicely. I was also glad that the setting was developed enough that made it a good read. Considering that I didn't have high expectations for this book I really enjoyed it. I will definitely continue with this series.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin

Summary: from back of book) Pure, unplanned, perfect. Those were Nick's summer plans before Sasha stepped into the picture. With the collateral damage from his parents divorce still settling and Dani (his girl of the moment) up for nearly anything, complications are the last thing he needs. all that changes though, when Nick runs into Sasha at the beach in July. Suddenly he's neck deep in a relationship and surprised to find he doesn't mind in the least. But Nick's world shifts again when Sasha breaks up with him. Then, weeks later, while Nick's still reeling from the breakup, she turns up at his doorstep and tells him she's pregnant, and Nick finds himself struggling once more to understand the girls he can't stop caring about for, the girl who insists that it's still over.
Review: This book dealt with an old topic in an new way. In books that deal with teen pregnancy the story is not usually told from the male point of view like this one was and I really liked that. This was a short, quick read and I was surprised by the way that things ended up happening. I think that this book was a good story that dealt with this topic. I also thought the characters reactions were very believable. I really liked reading this story form Nick's point of view and he was my favorite character. I liked Sasha as well but I thought she was kind of annoying at times. Her reactions didn't seem quite as realistic for some reason. Overall, I thought this book was really good. Although not much happens as far as plot. It is definitely a character driven story.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

Summary:(from back of book) Hidden Secrets. After seventeen year old David is forced to stand trial for his girlfriends death, he is sent to live with his aunt and uncle and their young daughter, Lily, to avoid the media frenzy. But all is not well at his relatives house. His aunt and uncle are not speaking to each other, and Lily seems dead set on making David's life a torment. And then there's the issue of their older daughter Kathy. who died under mysterious circumstances a number of years back. As things with his family grow more and more intense. David starts to wonder: Is he the only one who's hiding something?
Review: This book was a very interesting read. It was a pretty creepy story and I was hooked on the story until I finished. I liked the mystery aspect of the book and was disappointed when not all of my questions were answered. I wish there was more information given on what happened to Emily. A large part of the story is focused on that I never really got the full story. I had guessed one of the big plot twist pretty early on, but I was still surprised to have it confirmed, that was probably the creepiest part about the book. I also thought the characters were really well developed, especially David. I really felt his pain as he was dealing with the aftermath of everything that had happened. Lily was also very well written and unique. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a good mystery type story.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Summary:(from book jacket) Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this and yet she can't quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic disorder, she's trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. Thats' why Jade keeps the live zoo web cam on in her room, and that's where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby. His name is Sebastian and he is raising his son alone. Jade is drawn into Sebastian's cozy life with his son and his activist grandmother on their Seattle houseboat, and before she knows it, she's in love. With this boy who has lived through harder times than anyone she knows. This boy with a past. Jade knows the situation is beyond complicated, but she hasn't felt this safe in a long time. She owes it all to Sebastian, her boy with the great heart. her boy who is hiding a secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right and what feels right.
Review: I thought this book was a really sweet and awesome story about love and family and the many different relationships that are made throughout a lifetime. I rarely see books about a teen father raising a child and it was a nice change. I also really liked the way that the elephants tied into the story. It made the book that much more special. However, I thought the plot moved pretty slowly during some parts and I didn't really see the chemistry between the characters and was kind of annoyed at how they met and quickly became friends. I did really like all the characters though. Jade is awesome and her growth throughout the book was great, and Sebastian happens to be the sweetest guy ever. Although, both characters have their own issues they are dealing with, being together seemed to make them both stronger. I have read and loved other books by Deb Caletti and although I did enjoy this one a lot it just wasn't my favorite. I found some things to be kind of predictable and Sebastian's secret was really annoying. Overall, I thought this one was pretty good.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Summary:(from book jacket) Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends-everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she's somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one. Mandy Kalinowski understands what it's like to grow up unwanted- to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she's sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It's harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her. too? As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, an nothing is as easy- or as difficult- as it seems.
Review: This is the first book I have ever read by Sara Zarr and I really enjoyed it. This is a very emotionally driven story line and I couldn't put it down until I was done. I think what really made the story special was how well developed all of the characters were. Every interaction or conversation between characters felt so real. I thought both Jill and Mandy's emotions while each dealing with their problems was very well written and realistic. I really enjoyed reading from both of their perspectives. I think this story would have been to one sided without that. I also really liked Dylan's character. He was so sweet when others would have given up. This is a really good contempoary novel that will draw you in to the story and make you fall in love with these characters.