30 January 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.
My Thoughts...

This book started out fairly solid with well-crafted descriptions of lush scenery, inner-turmoil, and the shock of being the "new girl," but rather quickly devolved into something that I found myself both liking and hating at the same time.  The writing really pulled me into the story at the beginning and it was really the writing with its quick pacing that truly kept me turning the pages.

I'm generally a stickler for characters--9 out of 10 times that is a make or break issue for me with a book.  I'm not saying that I have to "like" the characters, but I have to feel something for them--even if that something is hate and loathing.  The characters in New Girl fell flat for me, which contributed greatly to my sense of disappointment with this story.  The "new girl" MC (whose name isn't revealed until the end and I won't use so I don't spoil it) is a fairly relateable character and I honestly felt bad for the situation that she was thrown into at Manderly. I felt like her reactions to most situations felt authentic.  She wasn't really my problem character.  For me, the other characters (basically all of them) fell flat for one reason or another.  The two main love interests didn't capture my imagination and I couldn't see liking either one of them.  Dana was simply crazy, and while I wanted her craziness and mystery to evolve into a genuine interest in her, it never happened for me. She was simply annoying.  And don't get me started on Becca, who I couldn't even really make myself feel sorry for even though she was clearly dealing (or, really, NOT dealing) with intense personal stuff that no one knew about.

I can't put together my thoughts on this novel without at least mentioning the sex and alcohol use. Generally, I'm someone who overlooks this kind of stuff in novels because let's face it--teens DO drink and have sex.  My issue with this particular storyline is that it seemed like that was all they really did--it seemed way overdone. And then all the sex scenes fade to black?  I know that seems like I'm taking a weird stance but if you're characters are promiscuous--it's part of their personality--then in my mind making every sex/make-out scene completely fade-to-black seems out of character.

The writing is overall not bad.  There were moments where POVs switched or time jumped that caught me off guard but overall the story flowed fairly smoothly and held my attention. Also, as someone unfamiliar with Rebecca (which this is a retelling of), I did a little research (read: I read a Wikipedia article) on the original story and in my estimation, Ms. Harbison has put together a successful retelling, moving it into a YA-appropriate setting, maintaining basic plotlines, and creating a new story that could appeal to both readers familiar and unfamiliar with the story.  I enjoyed getting both Becca and the new girl's POVs as it added depth to the story that would have been significantly lacking otherwise.  In the end, however, this book was simply not as fabulous as a read as I had hoped it would be...

28 January 2012

Discussion Post: The eBook Reading Experience


So, this semester I'm taking a Reader's Advisory class for my Master's program and this week we discussed the eBook "experience."  Our readings and discussion focused on the pros/cons of eReaders/eBooks and the "experience" as a whole--what's it like to read with and eReader (or an iPad or Smartphone or on a computer).  One research article that we read talked about the distractions often association with e-reading in general (especially on a computer).  So...I'm really curious what y'all think! Here's some of the things that we talked about:

PROs:
  • Instant gratification--Many of us expressed that it's really nice/exciting to pre-order a book that you're excited about and download it at midnight without having to arrange a trip to a store.
  • Ability to enlarge text--With anyone who has difficulty with the small print used in the majority of books, this is an obvious and fantastic improvement.  Older people who can't read the newspaper can have it delivered to an eReader and enlarge the text!
  • Portability and convenience--Anyone whose traveled with an eReader of any kind knows the awesomeness that can be taking 15+ books on vacation without the added bulk of physical books.  Also, who wouldn't love being able to carry around a book for every mood right in their purse?
  • Price--Once you get past the initial expenditure for your reading device, the books themselves offer a (slightly) less expensive option to the physical book.  Sure, sometimes $9.99 seems like a lot to pay for an eBook, but (a) you're still supporting the author and (b) it's still less than that hardcover you were coveting on your last trip to the bookstore.
  • Remote purchasing--While not many people in my class live as remotely as I do, I offered up that it's nice when you are really in the mood to read something in particular and you're nowhere near a bookstore OR a library to be able to just download the book (whether purchasing or borrowing from a library's ebook collection)
CONs:
  • Price--While you might save on eBooks (sometimes), the initial price of buying a reading device can be enough to deter or prevent someone from reading electronically.
  • Nostalgia--We all have it--that memory of first books read and first books owned and first books chewed to bits by cats (maybe just me?).  Whatever it is, many bibliophiles have an attachment to the physical nature of holding and reading a "real" book.
  • Page-flipping & other habits--While it's possible with an eBook, it's much easy to do things like flip ahead or back a few pages to see what's going on, to remind yourself of a character, or to see where things are headed.  (Or if you're crazy like me and my professor--to read the last three pages or so)
  • Sharing--While yes, you can share SOME eBooks with other eBook readers, it's not as easy.  The other person must have a way of reading the eBook AND the published must make that book available for sharing. It's much easy to hand someone a book (with your name written in pencil neatly in the front and the dust jacket removed).
  • Too much like reading on a computer--While many of us who enjoy e-reading, there was a general consensus among the non-electronic readers that it was too plugged in and connected to other things.  After you spend all day reading/working at a computer, isn't it nice to pick up a book, move away from all electronics, and curl up on the couch for uninterrupted reading time?
Beyond the pros and cons of eBooks, one of our main topics really was the "experience" (as I noted before).  What I mean by this is, can you forgive and forget the reading medium and immerse yourself in the story? It is different with a physical book vs. an ebook?  What contributes to your reading pleasure?  What's your favorite mode of reading? How has that changed (if at all) in the past few years?

So, talk! What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear what you think--both just to spark some conversation and to share some insights with my fellow students. :)

27 January 2012

YA Book Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Release Date: 24 January 2012 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.


When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?
My Thoughts...

**Can I just start by saying that many people have called this a dystopian in their reviews and I think that creates an unfair expectation for this novel.  In my opinion, this is much more apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel than it is dystopian and even then that label implies something bigger than this is (at this point in the series anyway).  It is about a disease that ravages an island community and is basically abandoned by the government.**

26 January 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord's first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain...magnetism.

And there are stories where it's hard to be sure who's a prince and who's a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)
My Thoughts...

Cover Reveal! Updated Covers for @ElanaJ's Possession & Surrender

Last year I fell in LOVE with Elana Johnson's debut novel, Possession, as you can see from my review from last summer.  Also, you should know that I adored the original cover for Possession--it's SHINY in person and I've been known to pet it, lol.  Here's what the original cover for Possession and the originally announced cover for Surrender (which I'm DYING to read):

Photobucket


They're GORGEOUS, right? I love the simplicty and beauty that they convey as well as the sense of capture--important if you've read the story, right?

SO...when Elana announced that she had a secret, I jumped at the opportunity to help reveal it! Because *duh* I loved her book. :) When she told me it was new covers, I said "WHAT?! WHY?! I LOVED the old ones. :(" But, I got this beautifully pleasant surprise in my inbox that I get to share with you!

*drummmmrrrroollll*

Photobucket

*sigh* They're beautiful! I absolutely adore the colored background with the simple item still centered on the page. I think the color enhances the images and the added contrast is wonderful. Also, the new tagline on Possession--how PERFECT is that?!  I'm a little iffy on the font, but in the end, I do really like the simplicity and clean lines.  I'm glad when they did the redesign that they kept the images. Regardless I'm just excited to be able to have Surrender on my bookshelf this year next to Possession!!

So...what do you think?!  
Leave me a comment and let me know!

25 January 2012

YA Book Review: The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams

Release Date: 3 January 2012
Publisher: Walker & Company
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon |


Goodreads description:
Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?
My Thoughts...

Waiting on Wednesday (47)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers discuss the books that they are most anxiously waiting for! (And this fabulous button was designed by my dear blogger friend Lindsay at The Violet Hour)

This week I'm waiting on...


Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
© 7 February 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.



Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
© 31 January 2012 by Tor Teen
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.


24 January 2012

YA Book Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Release Date: 10 January 2012
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! B&N | Amazon

Goodreads description:
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?
My Thoughts...

23 January 2012

YA Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Goodreads description:
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
My Thoughts...

20 January 2012

YA Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased from B&N

Get a copy! Amazon | Barnes & Noble
(currently only $0.99 for Kindle & Nook!!)

Goodreads description:
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side...
My Thoughts...

19 January 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
My Thoughts...

18 January 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (46)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers discuss the books that they are most anxiously waiting for! (And this fabulous button was designed by my dear blogger friend Lindsay at The Violet Hour)

This week I'm waiting on...



Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
© 24 January 2012 by Balzer + Bray
NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?


Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
© 28 January 2012 by Lerner Publishing Group
There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord's first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain...magnetism.

And there are stories where it's hard to be sure who's a prince and who's a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

17 January 2012

Tween Tuesday: May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Release Date: 10 January 2012
Publisher: Random House
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.


May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love
My Thoughts...

In her debut novel, Caroline Starr Rose bring to life the struggles of living on the early American prairie--the isolation, the poverty, and the unknown.  Life for May B. and her family has never been particularly easy, so when the opportunity for May to earn a little on a neighboring farm is presented, her parents would be crazy to pass it up. So May is sent to live with the Oblingers until Christmas to help the new missus get on her feet.  However, things go all wrong when Mrs. Oblinger up and leaves and Mr. Oblinger goes after her...leaving May B. to fend for herself as winter rapidly approaches.
Before Ma ties my ribbon,
I push outside and run.
My feet pound out
I won't go
I won't go
I won't go.

-p6, eARC
May B. is a fierce and resourceful young woman. I really enjoyed watching her develop as a character.  She refuses to be ruled by her learning disability--continuing to dream of someday being a teacher despite her struggles with reading.  Her determination to learn to read was also just one example of how strong she was.  When she's left alone by the Oblingers, she proves incredibly resourceful when it comes to survival, despite her initial elation at not having to answer to anyone else's demands.  When she finally leave the cottage in an attempt to get home, the reader senses that she truly feels that she has no choice.
Miss Sanders told us that lines never end,
and numbers go on forever.
Here,
in short-grass country,
I understand infinity.

-p18, eARC
As someone who has always been a bit leery of novels in verse, I have to say that Ms. Rose was immensely successful in telling her story with this method.  The novel lends itself to quick reading and an easy-to-imagine story.  What really caught my attention is that this would be a fantastic novel to give a young person who struggles with reading.  The words create vivid imagery and tell a compelling story without an overabundance of words.  The simplicity should appeal to struggling readers without making them feel like they're being given an easy book because they can't read well.
If stories were true,
I'd follow a bread-crumb path
all the way home.

But I have no heart for fairy tales
anymore.

-p90, eARC
May B. is a novel that has the potential to appeal to a vast group of readers. Whether you're looking for something to give to a struggling reader or that young fan of historical fiction, Caroline Starr Rose has created a gem that you'll love to share.


16 January 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Goodreads description:
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
My Thoughts...

15 January 2012

In My Mailbox (24)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren where we can show some love to all the books that we got in the mail or otherwise!

Hello, my lovelies!!! Welcome back for the first 2012 edition of In My Mailbox (for me)!!


For Review:


Thanks SO MUCH to Harlequin Teen & Netgalley!! :)


Thanks to Anne (PR for this gem) for connecting me with this book!


Bought:


What's in YOUR mailbox? :)

14 January 2012

YA Book Review: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Release Date: 2 August 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.
My Thoughts...

 Epic Fail was a fabulous cute, feel-good novel! Elise Benton is determined to be different from all of the other girls at school when it comes to the very handsome son of two famous movie actors.   While everyone else falls at his feet and lets him do whatever he wants, Claire treats him with just a little disdain and a whole lot of caution.  Despite his rare smiles and nice moments, she goes off with Webster Grant, who turns out to be more than a little disappointing.

This was a fun, very quick read (that I picked up and finished in the course of an evening).  Elise is a strong-willed young woman determined not to fall into the "traps" of the celebrity town that she has just moved to.  Derek is a reserved guy wary of any and all attention because most of it comes solely as a result of his parents' celebrity status.  Despite their differences and some arguments, they tend to get thrown together frequently she Elise's sister, Juliana, is fairly shy and reserved and begs Elise to join her when hanging out with Chase, her boyfriend.

While you may be wary of reading yet another Jane Austen retelling, Epic Fail is actually a fun book to read. This book relies on its characters and their chemistry to move the plot along and Ms. LaZebnik did a fabulous job with doing just that.  While I have to admit that a lot doesn't happen, the author is completely successful and pulling you into the lives of the characters and actually making you care what happens to them.  I would definitely recommend this one if you're looking for something that's quick and fun to read.

13 January 2012

YA Book Review: Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Release Date: 27 December 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Get a copy! B&N | Amazon

Goodreads description:
My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
love.


When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it?
My Thoughts...

I absolutely fell in LOVE with this book.  I was a bit apprehensive going into this one because, honestly, I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to like it and I'm not sure what impulse I was following when I pre-ordered it (honestly? I probably wanted free shipping.).  Anyway, now that I've read it, I'm really glad that I did buy this one because I loved the writing and the story and the verse format actually makes it really easy to go back and enjoy favorite moments and verses.

Even if the story was cute and the protagonist completely relateable, the beautiful words in this book would have captured and held my attention all the way from page one to page four hundred and thirty-two.  Like I said at the beginning, I was unsure about the verse format but in the end it is my absolute favorite thing about this story.  The diary format gives a lot of depth of emotion to Marcie's character and makes it easy to relate to her situation, her feelings, and her confusion.

Marcie was a character who felt entirely real to me and even if (when) her actions were wrong, I understood why she was doing it and I think that many readers will relate to her struggles. She was a very three-dimensional character for me. I felt like I knew her on much more than just a surface level. The poetry reveals a lot about her inner thoughts and feelings and says a lot about her personality.

This was such a quick read that I can't NOT recommend that you read it.  The language is beautiful.  The characters are perfectly flawed and very real.  The story itself could happen to anyone. It's absolutely fabulous--be sure to check it out. :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Don't Eat Worms kit by Lorie Davison