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.