Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hollywood Ending by Lucie Simone

Title: Hollywood Ending
Author: Lucie Simone
Source: Contest at Pirate Penguin's Blog
Number of Pages: 395
Published By: Simon and Fig
Rating: 2.0

Synopsis: Trina Stewart needs cash. Fast. She's barely got enough dough to keep her fanny off the streets, let alone any spending money for hot nights clubbing on Sunset Strip. And her job teaching English as a Second Language is seriously lacking in both pay and glamour. But not just any job will do. She's after a real Hollywood job. The kind that makes her $100,000 in film school debt and ten years in Tinsel Town not seem like such a big fat waste of time and money.

But a girl can't fritter away all her time fretting over her next paycheck, can she? Certainly not when a man like Matiu Wulf, a sexy Maori from New Zealand, parks his oh-so-fine self in the apartment above hers while he takes his best shot at Showbiz. If only Matiu didn't seem so... repelled by Trina. Really, though, it's Los Angeles that Matiu finds so revolting. He's only in L.A. to get some scene design experience to beef up his resume, and then he's headed back to New Zealand to follow his dreams in peace, thank you very much.

That's his plan, anyway, until he falls hard for Trina...and Trina falls under the spell of a toothy-grinned wannabe actor who charms the pants right off her. With Matiu on a mission to win Trina's heart, and Trina on a mission to nail down that ever elusive Hollywood job, these two soon discover that when love gets tossed in the mix, life in Tinsel Town isn't all red carpets, after parties, and celebrity gossip. In fact, Hollywood can be a downright bitch!

My Review: I need to start off by saying that I really didn't know what this book was about until I started reading it. I honestly thought this book was YA. That is certainly not the case. I should have read the synopsis of it before hand, but I didn't. I feel bad because there's a lot of negative things I have to say about the story but it's not a fair judgement. You see, I'm not into chick lit, romance novels. They just aren't my cup of tea. So, keep that in mind while reading my review because just because there were things I didn't like doesn't mean that people who are into this genre won't like it.

Luie Simone truly is a good writer. She had nice flow and some of her sentences were fun to chew on. Her duologue was quirky and each character had their own unique voice. Her character development was really good as well. Trina and her best friend, Juliet were my favorite characters simply because Lucie Simone took the time to really make them real to the reader. They both had family issues that were still causing pain in both of their lives but each one took care of themselves differently in order to get through it. They reacted realistically to the unfortunate things in their lives.

There were many things that I didn't like about this book. But this is strictly because I'm not into this genre. Trina's relationships with men were too risque for my taste. She slept with a man the very night she met him. And I felt that Matiu, the real love interest in the story, was unbelievable. He was the exact formula of a fictional man that every other romance based novel uses. Rough and sexy exterior but really a sweet romantic guy on the inside. I was very bored with this man. I really didn't even feel like he was a real character. More of an idea of Trina's perfect man. Which reminds me that Trina always commented on how beautiful and muscular these guys were. I absolutely can not stand when protagonists state that the specific guy they're after is extremely sexy or has awesome pecs. Which, again, is based on taste in genre.

Although I did not particularly care for this book, it certainly doesn't mean that you will feel the same. It's all based on taste. If you like novels where the protagonist gets both the guy AND the dream career, then you'll like this book. Everybody is different.

Side note: I did get some enjoyment out of reading this book out by my pool and soaking up the sun. Reading is still reading. Even it the story may not be my cup of tea, I always enjoy the beautiful art of reading a book. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Source: City Library
Number of Pages: 290
Published By: Little, Brown and Company
Rating: 5.0
Strongly Recommended

Synopsis: "Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie—-she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

My Review: I'm just going to start off saying that Twenty Boy Summer was more than just amazing. The writing, the characters, the situations, the duologue, absolutely everything was spectacular.

Anna is a loving, selfless and down to earth protagonist. She is always there for her best friend, Frankie. Even when Frankie turns into a bit of a brat after her brother, Matt dies. I could tell you about these incredibly real characters, but in all honesty, it wouldn't do them justice. Every single character is just so well developed and complex. Personally, Frankie was my favorite character. It's very clear she has some definite problems she needs to deal with and seeing exactly how she deals with them is fascinating.

This story was just so completely honest. I felt raw reading it. I may have even shed a few tears for a character or two. Dealing with death is always going to be a sticky subject. But Sarah Ockler did a superb job. I don't know how she managed to write something this real. This honest. This complex. There's so much going on and so many emotions being dealt with. There's no way any review or summery could truly express how emotional, complex, and real this story is.

If you chose not to read this book, I promise, you are doing yourself a big disservice. This is more than just your average YA book dealing with sensitive issues. This is a masterpiece. A work of art.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Captivate by Carrie Jones

Title: Captivate
Author: Carrie Jones
Number of Pages: 273
Published by: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
Rating: 4.0

Summary from Goodreads: Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town. A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

My Review: There was a lot of things about this book that absolutely annoyed me. But the good completely outweighed the bad. Let's start off with the bad, considering I always like to end on a good note.

Zara (our main character) and her friends were constantly saying things that no one in their right mind would ever say. It was quirky dialogue gone bad. So completely unbelievable that I'd have to re-read what I'd just read to make sure I had read correctly.

In Carrie's first book, Need, I felt that I was really able to connect to the characters. But this time around, I wasn't able to really feel connected to them. First off, Zara's so called 'love' for Nick gave all us teens a bad name. Zara's hormonal lust for him drove me insane. When she thought of Nick, it was about them kissing or touching in some way or another. I could find no other reason for her to 'love' him other than she thought he was 'beautiful', 'warm' and had a great ability to satisfy her craving for physical contact with the opposite sex. Can you say 'stereotypical puppy love'?

Aside from their relationship, a lot of things, I felt, were wrong. All the humans believed that every pixie was evil. Really? Need I go into why this mentality is wrong? And Zara's continual equality speech got old fast. Men and women are not the same. Men are stronger, faster, and generally weigh more than us. Her resistance in being protected by a male was ignorant.

Last bad thing, I swear. But it's a big thing. People keep secrets. Zara kept none. She was all out there with her emotions and questions and thoughts. I cannot, on any level, relate to that. It annoys me beyond anything else. Who is like that? I don't know anyone who let's everything about them hang out like that. And in Zara's case, it left her vulnerable and easily influenced with everyone around her putting in their opinions.

On to the good! I absolutely LOVE pixies! They are so cool! The whole storyline had me captivated! I couldn't put the book down. Astley, our new pixie in the story, had me on edge. He was by far the most interesting character. He kept his secrets and only let us have a few glimpses into the whole pixie world, which had me craving for more. Carrie Jones did an amazing job with the timing of his appearances. I really don't want to get into the storyline too much because it would spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it. But I can say that this was an awesome read. I fell in love with the pixie world. I want to go to the library right now to get the next book, but I know it won't be there because it's been on the waiting list for the past month.

I realize the first half of this review was filled with bad things about the book, but I promise, the good storyline outweighs everything else. I strongly recommend this for anyone into fantasy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hello My Blog!

How long has it been? Almost a year? Well, it doens't feel like it's been that long! But it's true! Oh my. How the time races past me!
Well, where to begin?
How about the basics:
•I'm now a junior. In four months, I will be a senior! I believe the last time I posted anything, I was a sophmore.
•I am no longer a crazy over achiever! (When it comes to school, atleast) ;) Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. I just realized that I have things and people in my life who are much more important to me than school. Especially when all I need to aim for is a passing grade.
•This leaves room for reading. ♥ It was a passion of mine for a while and then I just stopped. What happened? Well, I don't know. A mixture of stress and lack of time made it hard. But I've returned to my strange obsession with reading once again.

So, those three 'basics' are really the only things to be covered for the moment. I am currently reading Captivate by Carrie Jones! It'll be the next review I post. :)

Hope all is well for everyone inhabited in the Blog World.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I’ve always wanted to read a Sarah Dessen book. So when I found this in my school library, I hopped on it.

Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Number of Pages: 371
Published by: Penguin Group
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summery: (from Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend-the popular and exciting Sophie-she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets Owen-a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with Owen's help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?

My Review:Sarah Dessen has a gift. She’s an amazing writer. Reading this book really was fun, even during the slower parts of the story. And you really can’t teach someone how to do that. It’s based on talent; which she happens to have a lot of.

Every one of her characters seemed so very real to me. Each having a very distinct voice. I fell in love with almost all of them. The only two characters I didn’t like were the ones you weren’t supposed to like; the ‘villains’ of the story, so to say. Sophie and Will were such unlikable characters. I came close to hating both of them, and for Dessen to make her audience feel such powerful emotions is amazing.

As for Owen, Annabel’s love interest, I really didn’t like him in the beginning. He loves strange music and sits alone at lunch. It seemed odd to me. But as I got to know him, I realized how cool he actually is and how much more there is to him. And the same goes for Annabel. It’s hard to understand why she does the things she does, but as you get to know her, it makes sense.

Annabel’s family was actually very complicated. I’m glad they played such a big part of the story. It wasn’t just about Annabel and her problems. It was about how a family copes when trouble comes their way. Big issues were dealt with that aren’t normally brought up all in one story; death, anorexia, rape. It added a certain depth to the story that most YA books seem to lack.

This was definitely a character-driven book. I happened to love it, but if you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-paranormal story, this is not the book for you. But if you’re looking for something that makes you feel and fall in love with the characters, then I definitely recommend reading this.
seventh book of 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010


From the lovely Nina at We Adore a Happy Ending, I received the Blogger Buddy award. :)
I'm passing this on to:
•Adriana from Loves to Read
•Sandy from Pirate Penguin
•Nina from We adore a Happy Ending (I know you've already received this award, but you haven't received it from me!)

From the lovely Adriana at Loves to Read, I received The Humane Award. :)
If you are one of the amazing bloggers below who have received this award, you must list a few bloggers that post lovely comments on your blog regularly and generally make your day brighter. (Yes, I may have changed the number because I thought it was too high. xD)
•Melissa from i swim for oceans
•Adriana from Loves to Read (I know you already received this award, but you haven't received one from me!)
•Jennifer G. from the Introverted Reader

Also from the lovely Adriana at Loves to Read and Raila at Get the Books out of the Bookshelves, I received the Bliss Happy 101 Award.
For the Bliss Happy 101 award you have to list 10 things that make you happy.
Here's my list in random order.
1. Seeing my dad, mom or grandmother happy makes me happy.
2. Reading a good book.
3. Visiting my home state (Washington)
4. Reading the gospels and learning more about my Creator.
5. Hiking, running, riding my bike all make me happy.
6. A cloudy, rain, windy day.
7. Music!
8. Watching my three favorite movies over and over; Pride and Prejudice, Penelope, and Stardust.
9. The moon.
10. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA. :)
If YOU, right now, are reading these words, then you have received this award from me. :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart

Picked this one up at my school library. They aren’t very well stocked, but it’s not as bad as I would have thought. Anyway, The Boyfriend List was written before The Boy Book and is apparently about the same group of characters. Well, I did not realize this until halfway through the book… I do believe this complements my intelligence quite well. ;-)

Title: The Boy Book
Author: E. Lockhart
Number of pages: 193
Published by: Delacorte Press
Rating: 3.5

Summer: (from: goodreads)Here is how things stand at the beginning of newly-licensed driver Ruby Oliver's junior year at Tate Prep:
• Kim: Not speaking. But far away in Tokyo.
• Cricket: Not speaking.
• Nora: Speaking--sort of. Chatted a couple times this summer when they bumped into each other outside of school--once shopping in the U District, and once in the Elliot Bay Bookstore. But she hadn't called Ruby, or anything.
• Noel: Didn't care what anyone thinks.
• Meghan: Didn't have any other friends.
• Dr. Z: Speaking.
• And Jackson. The big one. Not speaking.
But, by Winter Break, a new job, an unlikely but satisfying friend combo, additional entries to The Boy Book and many difficult decisions help Ruby to see that there is, indeed, life outside the Tate Universe.

My Summery: I’m sorry to start with spoilers, but it’s a necessity to understand what’s going on while reading this review. Here’s what happened before The Boy Book: Ruby dated and fell for a guy named Jackson. Ruby’s best friend, Kim, went out with Jackson shortly after he dumped Ruby. (In my own opinion, I believe Jackson dumped Ruby for Kim.) Ruby is heart broken and angry. But she tries to forgive Kim, because they are best friends. Well, Jackson asks Ruby to go to a party/dance with him for old time sakes because Kim can’t go. At this party/dance, Ruby and Jackson kiss. There were witnesses. And that’s when Ruby becomes a leper, loses all her friends, and is labeled a slut.

Okay, now that you’re caught up, I can begin. This story just didn’t make sense to me. Ruby and Kim had been friends for such a long time. And for Kim to go for Jackson when she knew it would crush her best friend did not seem realistic. But, Ruby forgave Kim. It’s what best friends do. They forgive each other when mistakes are made. Now, when Ruby made the mistake of kissing her ex-boyfriend whom she still loved, did Kim forgive Ruby? No. She made Ruby an outcast and a leper. It seems to me that their friendship may not have been very strong, though they had been ‘best friends’ sense elementary.

People at Ruby’s school labeled her as a slut for kissing someone else’s boyfriend. Again, I was confused. Maybe it’s not the same at other schools, but at mine, people aren’t labeled as a slut for kissing someone else’s boyfriend. Girl’s are labeled as a slut for *gasp* being a slut. Or by definition, “A woman considered sexually promiscuous.” I don’t think kissing fit’s the definition, but hey, every school is different I suppose.

As for Ruby, I did like her. She was a well developed character with interesting quirks. There was so much about her that teenaged girls in general would be able to relate to. Though, her parents seemed totally strange to me. At times, they made me laugh. But after a while, they annoyed me more than anything else. Ruby’s mother kept accusing her of being lesbian just because she didn’t have a boyfriend and no longer invited anyone over. That would not only offend me, but it’d get on my nerves beyond belief. She was just so out of tune with her own daughter.

All that aside, it was an interesting story and a quick, light read. Although I don’t recommend you ever buy it, I do suggest picking it up at the library if nothing else is available. It’s a good enough story with a quirky main character.

sixth book of 2010