Jul 17, 2009

Review | Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Gossip thrives amid the Mercedes-Benzes, mega mansions, and perfectly manicured hedges in the exclusive town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania. Behind their big Gucci sunglasses, beneath their perfectly pressed Polo's, everyone has something to hide, especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna. Spencer covets her sister's gorgeous new boyfriend. Aria is having an affair with her English teacher. Emily is infatuated with the new girl at school. And Hanna is using some ugly tricks to stay beautiful. Deeper and darker still is a horrible secret the girls have shared since sixth grade--a secret they thought was safe forever. Then the girls start receiving threatening messages signed by someone named "A." Could "A" be Alison, the ultra-popular girl who disappeared three years earlier? Alison was their best friend. She knew everything about them. But if Alison isn't "A," who is? And how could anyone else know so much about the bad girls they've become? Suddenly, their secrets--the big ones, the little ones, even the long-buried ones--no longer seem so secret. Suddenly, nothing is safe in Rosewood.

Thoughts: I can't remember why I really picked this up since I thought I would dislike it very much. I didn't expect the girls in the book to have distinct personalities and I wasn't surprised when it was full of clich├ęs. But I actually found myself enjoying it because of the clear differences of each girl and the dark secrets they all had. It was well-written young adult novel, full of suspense which gave me chills a few times. Its a book full of drama and a few eerie moments, and I can't wait to pick up the next few to find out what happens next.

happy reading :)

Jul 16, 2009

Review | 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares

Summer is a time to grow...
Polly has an idea that she can't stop thinking about, one that involves changing a few things about herself. She's setting her sights on a more glamorous life, but it's going to take all of her focus. At least that way she won't have to watch her friends moving so far ahead.
Jo is spending the summer at her family's beach house, working as a busgirl and bonding with the older, cooler girls she'll see at high school come September. She didn't count on a brief fling with a cute boy changing her entire summer. Or feeling embarrassed by her middle school friends. And she didn't count on her family at all. . .
Ama is not an outdoorsy girl. She wanted to be at an academic camp, doing research in an air-conditioned library, earning A's. Instead her summer scholarship lands her on a wilderness trip full of flirting teenagers, blisters, impossible hiking trails, and a sad lack of hair products.It is a new summer. And a new sisterhood. Come grow with them.

Thoughts: 3 Willows is a great book, both charming and wonderful. It centers on the challenges of friendship and growing up in a well-written and fun read. The different points of view of each girl, as they struggle through changes within themselves and their friendship is unique, and Brashares narrates all three stories without much confusion. Each girl is simple and different, and explained with such detail that you are likely to find one to relate to, if not all of them. This book is separate from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but anyone who has not read the Sisterhood books can enjoy this book greatly like I have, since I haven't read any of them either. I will defintely pick up more of her books soon because I really loved her writing style.

happy reading :)

Jul 9, 2009

Review | Smack by Melvin Burgess

Like so many teenagers, Tar and Gemma are fed up with their parents. Tar's family is alcoholic and abusive, and Gemma feels her home life is cramped by too many restrictions. The young, British couple runs away to Bristol in search of freedom, and finds it in the form of a "squat." This vacant building is also occupied by two slightly older teens who share everything with Tar and Gemma (including their heroin habits). For a while, everything is parties and adventures, but slowly Tar and Gemma find themselves growing more and more dependent on the drug--whose strict mandates are even less forgiving than those of the parents they fled. As Gemma says, "You take more and more, and more often. Then you get sick of it and give up for a few days. And that's the really nasty thing because then, when you're clean, that's when it works so well..."

Thoughts: I read this book in high school, and I remember being shocked by such a powerful story. It is written in several stories, of everyone who meet Tar and Gemma, two fourteen year old runaways. They, along with two older teens, go through many struggles on the streets after leaving their lives at home and soon find themselves dealing with an addiction: heroin.

This book is well written and the different points of view made it more interesting to read and easier to follow the different events. I thought the characters and the writing style made this book very realistic without the lecturing, and I recommend to everyone.

Jul 8, 2009

Review | The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler

 Fern will never pass for normal. Fern communicates with her dog, blisters just moments in the sun, and has correctly predicted the daily weather for more than two years. Even so, she's always seemed to be a normal twelve-year-old girl...until one day when Fern closes her eyes in class and opens them seconds later on a sandy beach miles away from school. When Fern disappears again, she begins to realize exactly how different she is.

With the help of her twin brother, Sam, Fern struggles to gain control of her supernatural powers. The arrival of a sinister vampire in town--who seems to have an alarming interest in Fern's powers--causes Fern to question her true identity. Who is she? More importantly, who can she count on? Soon Fern finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old battle--one that could destroy Fern and endanger everyone she loves.

Thoughts: From the beginning, I really enjoyed this book, and not just because it was about vampires. Although I really picked it up because of that reason, it was a little different than most vampire books I've read recently since its not a romance.
This book seems directed to younger teens, since the main character is twelve and her biggest problems consist of being weird and not fitting in with the kids at school.
I really liked that the author mixed vampire history with mythology as well, making it quite interesting to learn about. The character and plot were all developed very nicely and the book flowed nicely.
There were a few chapters that were a bit slow, but overall it was a very fun and quick read that young adult lovers can enjoy. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but I think this book is great as a stand alone.

Review | I Want You to Want Me by Kathy Love

 Erika Todd moved to New Orleans because she needed a change --and, well, yes, because that's what the fortune teller said she would do. Not that she'd admit that to many people. But so many of the psychics predictions--about her work, even finding that stray black cat--have already come true. Now all the lonely sculptor needs to meet and fall in love with the prophesied dark-eyed prince...
Reclusive musician Vittorio Ridgewood has a new neighbor he's been trying to avoid. Sure, she's gorgeous, but she's coming on strong, and the last thing the 200-year-old vampire needs is to get involved with another mortal. Especially since several of his former human paramours have lately been turning up dead...
Sensing the relentless beauty needs someone to watch over her, Vittorio agrees to sit for a sculpture, and their attraction to one another quickly ignites. But is passion even this hot worth dying for?

Thoughts: I Want You to Want Me is the second book from Love's 'Fangs' series. A humorous, sexy and romantic read that I enjoyed. I didn't read the first one, but I was able to read this one without any confusion, as it stands alone very well. The characters are developed rather quickly and the story is fast paced, with some mystery and a little suspense. Although it is a "vampire" book, Vittorio and his brother Ren are lampirs, and thus they only take humans energy and not their blood, so there is in fact no gore. Very much like the romance novels I enjoy, except with demons and psychotic lampir mothers.