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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

I should have written this review a couple days ago, but English essay’s and geometry homework got the best of me. *sigh* On the bright side, it’s now Friday! Thank God for Friday’s.

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Number of Pages: 452
Published by: Delacorte Press
Rating: 3.5

Summery: (From goodreads) There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My Review: This book started out good. The emotions and theme came across really well…in the beginning. But as the book progressed, the more confused I became; unable to understand why Luce did the things she did and felt the way she felt. In some instances, I assumed Lauren Kate just randomly picked an emotion for Luce to feel and just hoped that it lined up with what was going on. Not that a lot went on. In the 452 pages of this book, not a lot happened. And when big events actually did happen, not enough information is given to make the reader anxious or scared.

As a character, Luce isn’t great, but isn’t bad. In the beginning, I liked her, but further into the book, she started to annoy me. As she gets closer to Daniel, her dialogue becomes cheesy. And as I mentioned earlier, there aren’t many explanations for why she feels a certain emotion or why she does what she does. I was unable to connect with Luce because of this. But her friend, Cam, had me stunned. He was kind, charming, and respectful of Luce. Whereas Daniel, was rude, disrespectful, and just plain mean. Luce kept picking Daniel because she felt as if she knew him, but in most cases, this is just a shallow excuse for feeling a strong attraction to the opposite sex. So it annoyed me when Luce kept ditching Cam for a guy who kept shrugging her off. All that aside, Cam had me more interested than anyone else in the story. From the very beginning of the book, I knew what would happen between Daniel and Luce, but Cam was a mystery to me. And a charming mystery at that.

As for the story line, as I said before, not a lot happened. And more than that, no questions were answered. The only things that were revealed as facts were the things that most guessed from the very beginning. I am going to read the sequel, Torment, for the sole purpose of retrieving answers to my questions. I understand that some people loved this book, and others hated it. I’m neither of the two. It was an okay book, though parts were definitely irritating. Anyway, the point being that there’s a fifty percent chance that you will love this book. So I do recommend checking this out at the library and giving it a shot.

Fifth book of 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Over the Top

I received this award from Jennifer G. at The Introverted Reader and lanlan at Bookworm on a White Cloud. Both are fantastic blogs. Check 'em out!

Rules for this award: Answer each question with a one word answer and then pass along to five other bloggers.

(1) Your Cell Phone? Lonely
(2) Your Hair? Short
(3) Your Mother? Beautiful
(4) Your Father? Fun
(5) Your Favorite Food? Bread
(6) Your Dream Last Night? Forgotten
(7) Your Favorite Drink? Water
(8) Your Dream/Goal? Helping
(9) What Room Are You In? Family/room
(10) Your Hobby? Reading
(11) Your Fear? Water
(12) Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Happy
(13) Where Were You Last Night? Asleep
(14) Something That You Aren't? Outgoing
(15) Muffins? Yucky
(16) Wish List Item? DVD
(17) Where Did You Grow Up? Washington
(18) Last Thing You Did? typed.
(19) What Are You Wearing? Spiderman!
(20) Your TV? Off
(21) Your Pets? Quiet.
(22) Friends? Fun
(23) Your Life? Fortunate
(24) Your Mood? tired
(25) Missing Someone? Family
(26) Vehicle? Fortunate.
(27) Something You Aren't Wearing? Coat
(28) Your Favorite Store? Bookstore
(29) Your Favorite Color? Green
(30) When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
(31) Last Time You Cried? Forgotten
(32) Your Best Friend? Bubbly
(33) One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Washington
(34) Facebook? Yes
(35) Favorite Place To Eat? Chipotle

Passing on to:
Nina at We Adore a Happy Ending
Raila at Get the Books Out of the Bookshelves
Adriane at Loves to Read
Justine at A Bookful of Thoughts
Athira at Reading on A rainy Day

Okay, so book update! I have a couple pages left in Fallen and then I will be ready to write a review! Which, If things go as planned, (though, they rarely do) I will have the review up by tomorrow or Wednesday.

Happy Reading, everyone!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

I bought this book without really thinking too hard. I was only in Barnes and Noble for a couple minutes and new I wanted to buy a book. So I saw this and bought it without much thought, other than that I knew it was one I wanted to read.

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Number of Pages: 357
Published by: Walker & Company
Rating: 4/5

Summer: (from A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Review: This book was so hard to put down. When I wasn’t able to read it, I’d be thinking about it. Just one of those books that catch your attention from the very beginning and keep you reading until the very end.

What was truly amazing was how you were able to see and sympathize with two different people living two completely different lives. Which I didn’t think was possible. When I found out that Alex was in a gang, I really didn’t think I would be able to sympathize with him at all. But I was so wrong. Looking into his world and how he sees things was mind boggling. And looking into Brittany’s world had me fascinated, too. I didn’t think I would be able to relate to someone so materialistic, but as you read on, you realize why she is the way she is and are able, in some way or another, to relate to her.

Most people I know who’ve read this book fell for Alex like no other. I’m a little disappointed that it was not the same for me. Though, there’s no denying I wasn’t crushing on him like crazy, but that was it. And I can honestly say that I don’t know why that was. Well, aside from that, Alex was a well developed character. But him alone would not have made the book what it was. It was both Brittany and him that made the book what it was. Their relationship and how they were able to become better people because of it was what made the book great.

I only have one negative comment to make: The Epilogue. It was cheesier than anything I’ve ever read in my life. Okay, that may be over exaggerating, but this was really bad. I can’t say why it was bad because that would spoil the whole book. And I’d rather not do that to anyone who hasn’t read it. But the epilogue has little effect on how much I liked the book. With or without the epilogue, it's still a book that I will read again and again.

I would definitely recommend this to any girls out there that like a good love story. Definitely not a guy book, but anyone could see that by looking at the title. ;)

Fourth book of 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Dragon Boy by Donald Samson

My dad and I go to Barnes and Noble whenever we get bored. They have a Starbucks in there and we buy drinks and just talk. It’s nice. After we finish our drinks, we usually will go look at books. One of my favorite things to do, by the way. Anyway, in the front of Barnes and Noble, Donald Samson - author of the Star Trilogy - was signing off copies of his first two books. So my amazing father bought me the first book of the Star trilogy and had it signed. Anyway, I started it a couple months ago, and I just finished it.

Title: The Dragon Boy
Author: Donald Samson
Number of Pages: 245
Published by: The Association of Waldorf Schools
Rating: 3/5

Summery: Orphaned twice by the time he was nine, he was living on the streets and did not even know his own name. He was not allowed to set foot in the one place he was determined to find work. To complete the disaster of his young life, he was in love. The object of his affections was Star, an immense, emerald-green dragon. But here good fortune finally smiled upon him:

Star was a Luck Dragon.
Suddenly he was admitted as a barn boy into the elite Dragon Compound. He was given three warm meals a day, work, and even a name. And best of all, Star took him on as his own secret apprentice.

Review: There’s no denying that Donald Samson is a good writer. His flow and overall vocabulary was great. So the writing wasn’t an issue. Though, some of the dialogue was a bit strange. Straw (our main character) would respond to a question he didn’t want to answer by saying “Oh gee”. This is just a small issue, but something that stuck out to me no less. Other than this, his writing was flawless.

My main issues with this story were the characters and the storyline. Straw was very one dimensional. There wasn’t a lot to him, other than that he missed his grandmother and was hopelessly in love with the dragon, Star. I believe the author could have done so much more with developing our main character. And the same goes for most of the characters in the book. Star (the dragon) was a character that I would have really liked to know more about. He obviously has an interesting past with Straw’s grandmother, Galifalia. Now this is portraying more to the storyline, but I would have really liked to read about the past lives of Straw’s grandmother and the dragon. It is only briefly mentioned that Galifalia made the dragon fall in love with her. But just that had me thinking about Galifalia’s and the dragons relationship and what exactly went on when they went on what is referred to in the story as ‘The Advanture‘.

Overall, this book was decent. But I would end up putting the book down and not picking it up again for weeks. Not a lot went on for the first half of the story. The last half of it is when it gets good. But this is just my opinion. If you like books about dragons and knights and such, you may like this book. I will probably end up reading the second book in the Star Trilogy because I am curious as to where Donald Samson is going with this series.

You can learn more about The Star Trilogy on the author's website here.
Third book of 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Need by Carrie Jones

A couple days ago, I went to Changing Hands Bookstore with a gift card and had a pretty hard time deciding which book to get. I narrowed it down to Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Beautiful Creatures, and Need by Carrie Jones. After much deliberating, I picked Need by Carrie Jones. Why, you may ask? Well, I decided that my brain was taking too long in deciding which story it would like to read, so I let my eyes chose. And my eyes liked Need. Such a pretty cover, don’t you think?

Title: Need
Author: Carrie Jones
Number of Pages: 306
Published by: Bloomsbury
Rating: 4/5

Summery: Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

I honestly expected this book to be average. I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The writing was decent, the characters were easy to love and connect with, and the over all storyline sucked me in. Definitely above average.

The writing was good in the sense that it had good flow and the dialogue was fun and quirky. In fact, I absolutely loved the dialogue. Each character had their own unique voice and it really made the story that much more fun to read. But I did have a few issues with the description. There were so many opportunities to use more description. For example, Zara (our main character) says that the houses in Maine look a lot different from the ones in her hometown, Charleston. But it’s left at that. No differences in the houses are described. This is one in many examples of nonexistent description. I don’t know about other people, but one thing I love in a book is good description of the characters surroundings.

Now the characters, I thought, was one of the best things about the book. Betty (Zara’s grandmother) is the coolest fictional grandmother I have ever read about. The way she talked with people and how they responded to her made me laugh out loud. She didn’t put up with anyone’s crap. But my favorite character would have to be Zara; mainly because of just how she is and how she responds to people. Zara is always thinking about others; or according to her grandmother, “Always trying to save the world.”. I think more characters should have this quality. It was refreshing being inside the head of someone who didn’t always think about themselves. Zara was a genuinely cool person. Her obsession with reciting phobias and making sarcastic remarks made her even more likeable.

The storyline was definitely something new to me. I don’t have a lot of experience with pixies, so everything in this book seemed very fresh. I didn’t know anything about the mystical creatures, nor did I have a clue as to what would happen next, which I love in a book. The overall story was well balanced and evenly paced. Carrie Jones did a great job writing it and I will most likely be reading the sequel, Captivate. Or anything else she decides to write for that matter.

Although this book is not a ‘Go Out Right Now and Buy It’ kind of book, I still recommend it for a rainy day.
Second Book of 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Love Your Header

J. Kaye's Book Blog has created an award for cool blog headers and I thought the idea was so cool. There really are a lot of really cool headers out there and they definitely deserve some recognition. You can find the details here on J. Kaye's Book Blog.

Here are just a few book blogs with amazing headers:
A Flight of Minds
Bloody Bookaholic
Life After Jane
The Story Siren
The Introverted Reader
Pirate Penguin's Reads

If you've run across blogs that have a seriously cool header, create a post and snag that picture above. Pass this award on to them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

For my sixteenth birthday, my dad went out and bought me City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. Well, that was back in November. I wanted to save it and read it as the first book I read for 2010. I’m both glad and upset that I did this. Glad, because I started the year off with an amazing read. Upset, because anything I read after this will not be able to compare. My whole year may just be ruined by failure to read another book that is as amazing as this one. Yes, yes… I’m being over dramatic, I know. ;)

Title: City of Glass
Author: Cassandra Clare
Number of Pages: 541
Rating: 5/5
Strongly Recomended

***Spoiler Alert***
Summery: ( In the final installment of the "New York Times"-bestselling Mortal Instruments trilogy, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters, to save her mother's life. Never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death.

Review:The writing, if you don’t already know, is amazing. Cassandra Clare has a talent. And of all the books in The Mortal Instruments series, I believe her talent shines brightest in City of Glass. How detailed she is in her writing is extraordinary. I had vivid images of everything that went on. Anywhere from the violent fight scenes, to the simple gatherings of the main characters.

One thing that truly makes this series special (aside from the kick-ass Shadowhunters killing demons and such) is the relationship between Clary and Jace. It’s hard to explain, really. They are both so set in their ways; mostly because they have been through more than most people in their eighties have. Even so, they are both able to grow and become stronger through each other. Not even adding the insane chemistry between them. What I truly loved was the last night they thought they had with each other. In complete honesty with one another, they found comfort. So simple and so innocent. Finally, I find a fictional relationship that I can realistically want.

The ending of this series… Well, like everything else about the books, it was amazing and definitely satisfying. I’d like to think that peace between enemy’s can be made possible. And in the Mortal Instruments series, it was accomplished. Everyone had a happy ending. Well, everyone who deserved a happy ending got one. ;)

I tried my best to keep from spoiling too much of the book. I just went over my highlights. But if you have not read this book, or any of the previous Mortal Instruments books, then I strongly recommend that you do. I promise, you won’t regret it.
First book read in 2010