Monday, March 12, 2012

Paper Towns by John Green | Review

Paper Towns by John Green | ReviewPaper Towns by John Green
Published by Speak on September 22, 2009
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 305
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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4 Stars

Two-time Printz Medalist John Green’s New York Times bestseller, now in paperback!

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life — dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge — he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

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John Green is an author that continues to amaze me.  He is an astoundingly talented writer and Paper Towns does a fantastic job of showcasing that talent.  Quentin is your average nerd with a crush on his neighbor, Margo Roth Spieglman.  He becomes more than average when the day after late night escapades with Margo, she runs away. Quentin is certain she wants him to find her and so he, along with his two best friends, Radar and Ben, set out to follow the clues Margo has left behind.  Along the way they are joined by some surprising new friends and Quentin is forced to face the truth about himself as well as the girl he thought he knew.

Quentin is a mix of many things.  He is part nerd, part hero, part hormonal teenage boy.  All throughout the book he is changing though.  Margo may not have meant to but she changed Quentin in so many ways.  There were times when he was selfish and rude to his friends but he always fixed his mistakes and learned from them.  His friends, Radar and Ben, were hilarious. They were both band geeks and they definitely had some geeky quirks.  Radar was obsessed with updating his website, Omnictionary.  Ben was obsessed with girls, or as he called them, honey bunnies.  Along the way the boys are joined by Lacey who is not as flaky and superficial as they first believe.  Margo Roth Speiglman is a mystery for most of the book but she was a very interesting character.  This cast of characers is one of the best I have ever read.

The story is told in three parts and each part is interesting in its own way.  One thing each part has in common, however, is that they are hilarious.  This story is very deep at times but very funny always.  John Green has a way with humor.  A book that could be dull and dark is livened up by the humor he infuses it with. This book is laugh out loud funny.

Overall, Paper Towns is a new favorite of mine.  I wasn’t sure anything could compare to Looking For Alaska but this book definitely came close.  I highly recommend it!

Looking for more reviews of Paper Towns?
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Adoration Of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson | Review

The Adoration Of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson | ReviewThe Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #1
Published by Square Fish on April 29, 2008
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 266
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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4 Stars

Everything is different

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma - so she's been told - and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She's been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won't anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions.

What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?

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The Adoration Of Jenna Fox was not at all what I expected but it was just as good as everyone says it is.  It is  a completely unique story and while I don’t think the sequel is necessary, I am excited to read it.

First off, The Adoration Of Jenna Fox takes place in a futuristic society but that is not at all the focus of the story.  In fact, you don’t really learn much about what is going on in this world but I didn’t feel like it was necessary to know what was going on.  You are given all the information you need and not much more.  In this case it was a good thing.

My biggest complaint is about the characters.  I never felt connected to them or invested in their story.  Sure I liked Jenna and felt bad for her but that was it. I didn’t find her to be all that brave or charismatic or memorable.  It was the same with the rest of the characters.  I think Dane was the most confusing for me because nothing was ever really explained about him.

The story itself was very interesting.  It was a lot more philosophical than I expected and I liked that it made me think.  I was very confused at the beginning but everything was clear by the end.  The ending did seem very abrupt though.  I would have liked to know more about what happened with Allys.

Overall, The Adoration Of Jenna Fox is a fascinating story but one that I think could have gone a little more in depth.  I would definitely still recommend it though.

What others are saying about The Adoration of Jenna Fox:

Book Brats’ review: “While many stories are about ‘discovering who you are’, The Adoration of Jenna Fox takes this to a whole other place where Jenna has to learn who she was before she can even figure out who she will be.”

Beth Fish Reads’ review: “Pearson’s world building is very cleverly done, especially because she set the time in the near future, in which people are coping with some of the problems that are today just beginning to rear their ugly heads, such as the effects of too many GMO products on the natural environment.”

That’s What She Read’s review: “The ethical debates alone are worth the read.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

He’s So Not Worth It (She’s So/He’s So #2) by Kieran Scott | Review

He’s So Not Worth It (She’s So/He’s So #2) by Kieran Scott | ReviewHe's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
Series: He's So/She's So #2
Published by Simon & Schuster on June 7, 2011
Pages: 360
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

Ally Ryan, come on down to the Jersey Shore and forget your troubles! 

Have you recently been humilated in front of your friends and family at your former best friends birthday party? Was your almost boyfriend partly responsible for that humilation by withholding some vital information about where your estrangerd father is? Did you come home to find said estranged father sitting on your stoop? 

If so, then it sounds like you could use a vacation! The Jersey Shore is the place to be. Your mother may be living with her boyfriend of only a few months, but at least the stunt Shannen pulled has put some of your friends back in your court. Even so, you're still angry and what better way to get over Jake than to blow off some steam with local guy, Cooper. People will hardly recognize your new attitude, but the old one wasn't getting you anywhere, so who cares! 

Jake Graydon, an exciting opportunity is waiting for you in the service industry! 

Are your grades so low your parents have grounded you for the summer? Did you the girl you really like unceremoniously leave you behind? Would you rather eat dirt than see your friends again? Then a job at the local coffee shop is just the ticket! Suprisingly, Ally's father is the new manager so you get to be reminded of her nearly every day. Maybe it's time to start flirting with your best friend's ex or even taking school a bit more seriously. Especially when you finally see Ally and she's hanging around with some loser and it's couldn't be more clear that she is over you. 

Have a great summer!

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He’s So Not Worth It is a great book but one that I had a lot of trouble with. She’s So Dead To Us was one of my favorite books of 2010 and I have to say that this one did not match up with the first.  I did still enjoy it and I am, of course, dying for the next book but I did not love it like I thought I would.

I don’t want to give anything away about what happened in the first book so this review is a little hard to write.  He’s So Not Worth It picked up right where She’s So Dead To Us left off so it took no time for me to get back into the story. I still love all the characters but they did some very stupid things in this book.  I wanted to smack them all at least once!  They were so stupid!  The thing I had the most issues with was the relationships. Nobody was willing to forgive each other so instead they hooked up with other people.  It’s not something I particularly liked reading about.

The story was good overall.  I loved Annie’s diary entries about the Cresties.  They cracked me up.  I thought they whole book was pretty comical.  The whole thing with Ally’s relationship with Jake and her parents relationship was fun to read about.  Lots of teen angst was involved.  I also liked reading about Ally’s relationship with the Cresties.  I didn’t hate them so much in this book.

Overall, He’s So Not Worth It is a great, fun, easy read.  Kieran Scott is a favorite author of mine so I can’t not recommend her books.  And that ending!  Wow!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Across The Universe (Across The Universe #1) by Beth Revis | Review

Across The Universe (Across The Universe #1) by Beth Revis | ReviewAcross the Universe by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Published by Razorbill on January 11, 2011
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 398
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

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.

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Beth Revis’ debut novel is definitely a unique story but one that I had trouble getting into.  After about the first 100 pages I was hooked but it took me a while to get there.  Hopefully the next book in this series picks up faster!

Amy does not want to be cryogenically frozen for 301 years but she doesn’t really have a choice.  She loses even more of her freedom when she is woken up 50 years ahead of schedule.  Life aboard Godspeed is not what she imagined.  The leader is a dictator, the next leader, Elder, appeals to Amy way too much, and someone is killing the rest of the cryogenically frozen people.  Amy and Elder must figure out who it is and how to stop them before it is too late.

Amy and Elder didn’t really do it for me.  I didn’t understand Elder or his motives.  He said he wasn’t like Eldest, that he didn’t think like him but a lot of the time he did.  Amy was more of a free thinker but I never sympathized with her or really cared about what happened to her.  I wish they had both been more developed.  Same with Doc and Eldest.  I did like Harley though!

The plot was great once I got into it.  It seemed like nothing really happened for the first 100 pages and I was really bored with the story then.  Once the murders started though things got a lot better.  Although I did guess who the murderer was from the very beginning.

Overall, Across The Universe is a pretty good start to this trilogy and I will be checking out the next book, A Million Suns.  Maybe get this one from your library though before buying it.

What others are saying about Across the Universe:

Miss Page-Turner’s City of Books’ review: “The actual story of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is set in future and has many opportunities and inventions to offer, medical-wise for example.”

Ranting Dragon’s review: “While in no way would I really compare Across the Universeto a Golden Age classic, it has enough merits to stand its ground with ease in the modern market.”

Oh, The Book Feels’ review: “To be honest, it gave me the same emotions and fears that the Hunger Games series did — the whole not being in control of your existence and dictatorship and what not.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Linger (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie StiefvaterLinger by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Published by Scholastic on July 20, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 360
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

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SPOILERS:  If you have not read the first book in this series, Shiver, do not read this review because it contains spoilers from that book.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know how much I loved Shiver.  I mean, I adored it.  I couldn’t praise it enough.  In fact, I have loved all of Maggie Stiefvater’s works until now.  Sadly, Linger was nowhere near as good as Shiver and not even close to anything I expected.

Sam and Grace are finally together.  After everything they have been through they deserve to be together and they deserve a break from all the chaos.  Too bad that isn’t going to happen.  Spring is here and the new wolves are shifting back to humans.  This is the first time Sam has met them and he has no clue how bad things are.  Both of the new wolves are hiding shocking secrets about their past and who they are but they aren’t the only ones.  Grace is hiding something from Sam and by the time she admits it, it may be too late.

From the very beginning, I knew that Linger was different from Shiver.  Shiver is told from just Grace and Sam’s POV’s whereas Linger has added two new voices into the mix.  Isabel and Cole are characters from the first book who get a lot more attention in Linger.  At first, I couldn’t understand why Cole was so important but as the book went on I realized what role he played.  Isabel, on the other hand, confused me.  I don’t understand her yet but I hopefully will by the end of the next book.  Sam and Grace are still just as great as always but I didn’t feel the connection to them that I felt in the first book.  Their relationship lost some of it’s meaning when Cole and Isabel were brought in.

The plot was just as good as the first book, if not better.  Linger was definitely a pageturner.  I had such a hard time putting it down.  The whole story was brilliant, especially the ending.  I didn’t see that coming at all.  I was shocked and on the edge of my seat.  It’s a total cliffhanger and now I have to wait another year before I can read the final book.  I hate it!  I want it now!

Overall, Linger wasn’t as good as Shiver but Maggie Stiefvater is incapable of writing a bad book.  If you read and enjoyed Shiver, I recommend running out to buy this one as soon as you can.

Monday, May 24, 2010

She’s So Dead To Us (He’s So/She’s So #1) by Kieran Scott | Review

She’s So Dead To Us (He’s So/She’s So #1) by Kieran Scott | ReviewShe's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott
Series: He's So/She's So #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 25, 2010
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

Ally Ryan would rather be in Maryland. She would rather be anywhere, in fact, than Orchard Hill, site of her downfall. Well, not hers exactly—but when your father’s hedge fund goes south and all your friends lose their trust funds, things don’t look so sunny for you. Her mother moved her to Maryland to flee the shame, but now they’re moving back. Back to the country-club, new-car-every-year, my-family-came-over-on-the-Mayflower lifestyle that Ally has outgrown. One bright spot, however, is gorgeous, intense Jake Graydon. But it won’t be easy for the two of them to be together—not if his friends (her former friends) have anything to say about it. Is Ally ready to get thrown back into the drama of the life she left behind?

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She’s So Dead To Us is the first in a new trilogy from Kieran Scott. Kieran Scott also writes the Private series under the name Kate Brian and I love that series. Sadly, She’s So Dead To Us doesn’t live up to that series, though it was pretty good and shows promise for the next book.

Ally Ryan hasn’t seen or spoken to her friends from Orchard Hill since the night she left. She doesn’t know what to expect when she sees them again but she never thought they would shun her. Turns out, they all hate her for what her father did. All except Jake Graydon. Jake never knew Ally before she moved away and he sure wants to get to know her now but how can he do that when all his friends are doing their best to keep them apart?

The story in She’s So Dead To Us was okay. It was kind of predictable but not too bad. Because it was a Kieran Scott book, I had no trouble getting into it but I would have liked something a bit more original. It did a good job of setting up for the next book though. Especially with the ending. Chick-lit books don’t normally have cliffhanger endings but this one sure did.

The worst thing about She’s So Dead To Us were the characters. Ally was the only good one. She was brave and funny and I just really liked her. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Jake. He was a spineless weenie. He liked Ally but her wouldn’t talk to her in public because of his friends. And that was not even the worst thing he did. And the Cresties confused me. I didn’t get why some of them hated Ally and others didn’t. The Idiot Twins were the best! They were hilarious. I hope for more of them in the next book and hopefully some better character development.

Overall, fans of Kieran Scott won’t be disappointed with She’s So Dead To Us. It seems like a promising start to her new trilogy and I can’t wait for more.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Albatross by Josie Bloss | Review

Albatross by Josie Bloss | ReviewAlbatross by Josie Bloss
Published by Flux on February 1, 2010
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 229
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

What's so cool about nice guys?

Everyone at Tess's new school warns her that Micah is bad news—a heartbreaker. But she can't ignore her attraction to this brooding, brilliant, friendless emo hottie who can turn on the charm—or heart-shredding scorn—at a moment's notice. Starting over in a new town after her parents' split isn't easy for Tess, and Micah feels like her first real connection. But what happens when their bond suddenly feels like shackles? And Micah starts to remind Tess of her freakishly controlling father?

With Albatross, Josie Bloss takes her storytelling in a new direction by exploring the dark side of relationships.

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I really had no idea what to expect when I started Albatross. I hadn’t read any reviews and the summary didn’t give much away. I kind of liked not knowing what was coming and in the end I really liked the book.

Tess is new in town. After a rough divorce she moves to a new town in Michigan with her mom, one where she knows no one and doesn’t really care. All that changes when she meets Micah. He is unlike anyone Tess has ever known and she is immediately drawn to him. Despite everyone warning her against him, Tess begins to spend more and more of her time with him. Will Tess’ friends warnings prove to be true or will things be different with Tess and Micah?

One of the drawbacks about Ablatross was that it didn’t immediately capture my attention. It was only once I got about 60 pages in that I became interested in the story. The first part was background and it was a little boring. Once I got past that part I enjoyed the book and read it pretty quickly.

Tess wasn’t a very strong heroine through most of the book and it bugged me. I hated how she acted with Micah and how she wasn’t confident in herself at all. She finally grew as a character towards the end of the book and that was when I started to like her, when she got a backbone. And all I will say about Micah is that he was a dick. You will have to read the book to find out why.

Overall, Albatross was a really good book and really unique. It wasn’t a happy book most of the time but it had me smiling at the end. I definitely plan on checking out Josie Bloss’ other books.

Monday, June 15, 2009

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith | Review

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith | ReviewYou Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 19, 2009
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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4 Stars

Emma Healy has never fit in with the rest of her family.

She's grown used to being the only ordinary one among her rather extraordinary parents and siblings. But when she finds a birth certificate for a twin brother she never knew she had, along with a death certificate dated just two days later, she feels like a part of her has been justified in never feeling quite whole. Suddenly it seems important to visit his grave, to set off in search of her missing half. When her next-door neighbor Peter Finnegan -- who has a quiet affinity for maps and a desperate wish to escape their small town -- ends up coming along for the ride, Emma thinks they can't possibly have anything in common.

But as they head from upstate New York toward North Carolina, driving a beat-up and technically stolen car and picking up a stray dog along the way, they find themselves learning more and more about each other. Neither is exactly sure what they're looking for, but with each passing mile, each new day of this journey, they seem to be getting much closer to finding it.

Emma Healy has just had the surprise of her life. While in the attic searching for a book for her father, she discovered the birth and death certificate of her twin brother Thomas. Why has nobody ever mentioned this to her? Is this why she always feels like she doesn’t fit with her family?

With the help of her nerdy neighbor Peter Finnegan, Emma sets off to visit the gravesite of her brother on the one day that she shares with her, their birthday. Along the way they run into some snags in their plan including a three-legged stray dog who seems to have taken a liking to them.

Is this the family Emma has always been looking for or is she just running? Will she ever find the place she truly belongs?

Jennifer E Smith has created a wonderful coming of age story in You Are Here.

Emma Healy and her family were wonderful characters. Yes I include Peter in her family. He just seems like he fits there. Her family was full of wonderfully eccentric people who loved her but never really knew how to show it. Throughout the book you get to see more into them and why they never mentioned the fact that Emma had a twin brother.

Peter was probably my favorite character. He was so funny and quirky. He was in love with Emma from the start and he couldn’t even admit it to himself. He was just so awkward and nerdy. I loved him.

And then of course the stray dog who made them his. He was found at a New Jersey rest stop and just decided to go with them. He was so cute and it was so funny how he seemed to think that Emma and Peter were the strays that needed him.

Also, the whole story was just cute. That is the one word I can think of to describe it. Peter and Emma are two unlikely runaways who end up finding their true homes while they are traveling across the country.

Overall, You Are Here is the perfect summer roadtrip book. I definitely recommend it for a long car ride or even a lazy day lounging by the pool.

Similar Books:
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen