Jan 28, 2010

Review | Leftovers by Laura Wiess

Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it's like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she's forbidden to see. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today.
Are you ready?

Thoughts: I thought this book was fantastic.

I've read Wiess' Such a Pretty Girl. I remember I read it when I was a cashier at a big department store and it was a slow day. I remember I was done with it before my shift was over. I remember it was great. So I needed to read this one too.

From the first page, its intense and completely captivating. I couldn't put it down, and while I had no idea where it is going, I needed to find out. It is written in alternating points of view, as both Ardith and Blair describe the events that lead farther into the story until it heads to their final, desperate act.

I love the way it was written, with enough information to keep me hooked, but not enough to reveal what would happen next. I was caught by surprise with every turn of the page, and was witness to how both girls were forced to change and grow up from innocent and naive, to disturbed and angry.

The ending is not predictable but yet I got a sense that I somehow knew it was coming all along. It was brilliant, intense and scary because it left me feeling that it was possibly the "right" thing after all.

This book is a dramatic and disturbing story of two girls who are pushed to the edge, and it will keep you turning pages until the end. I would definitely recommend this book to older YA readers, and adults.

Jan 26, 2010

Review | Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis."
What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

Thoughts: I'd seen this book at many bookstores, heard of it from many people who read it for school, but I really had no idea what it was about. It was one of those books I must've read about once and stored the image of the cover into the back of my mind, because when I saw it at the library, I couldn't remember anything about it, except that it was on my TBR list. So naturally, I picked it up.

This is a very quick and easy to read book (or in my case, listen to.) It starts off a bit slow, but the unknown reason to why Melinda will hardly speak, encouraged me to want to continue listening to it. As soon as I heard her mention "it" though, the mystery dissolved and I knew exactly why Melinda wouldn't speak. And why Andy Evans was the one to blame. And that kept me listening to it.

Melinda is cynical, sarcastic, depressing, angsty. I didn't like her at all. But I understood her. I can't say I could relate to her or any of the characters in this book. I could relate to the situations though, and to her feelings.

This was the first book I read written by Anderson and I liked how she tackled an important and tough issue. I currently have another one of her books on my desk, and I hope I can get to it soon enough.

I thought this book was well written, although at times it seemed a bit unrealistic. The beginning is a bit boring but it gets better towards the end and I would recommend it to anyone middle school and older.

Jan 12, 2010

Review | Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Thoughts: The first thing that attracted me to this book was the amazing-looking cover. Sure, everyone was saying this book was fantastic and all, but when I saw it at the bookstore I couldn't believe how great the cover was. And even though I wasn't planning to get it that day, my best friend decided to buy it for me so he could draw the cover.

To be honest, I was expecting more. I was expecting to be blown away by the story, the characters, by everything, because of the hype the book was getting. But it didn't live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, I thought the book was amazing and it definitely made my personal Top 10 of 2009 list, but still. I thought there was going to be more to it.

I loved the plot. The whole idea of fallen angels, immortals, and humans, that was good stuff. I really enjoyed the way the book started off, even though a tiny bit slow. I thought the whole story was unique, fast-paced and I could not put it down; I was done with it in record time.

The characters were great, I really enjoyed them all, even the bad guys :) I liked Nora's personality, I loved her best friend, Vee, and her mom was pretty awesome. I really loved Patch. I'm a sucker for cocky, mysterious, bad boys like him. He was just fun. And he's gorgeous too? I couldn't get enough of him.

The way the story kept twisting and turning and becoming more mysterious by the moment had me glued to the book until I was done with it. It had some great surprises and the ending tied up the loose ends, but still left few things unanswered, in a satisfying sort of way which will be great to start off the next installment.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic debut novel. I loved the story, the ending, and the writing was great. I would definitely recommend this book :)

Jan 7, 2010

Review | The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her.
But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behavior earns her a trip to Lyle House, a center for 'disturbed teens'.
At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her roommate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behavior.
Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems? Chloe realizes that if she doesn't uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

Thoughts: Some of you might recall that a few weeks ago I wrote a post on audiobooks, and I claimed they weren't for me. The Summoning was my first audiobook, and at first I hated it. I thought I made a terrible mistake. But after a few chapters of the book, I couldn't stay away from listening to it. Maybe I got used to the narrators voice, or the book is that just that good, but I loved it.

This was a great book, the plot and characters amazing and introduced so well that you can't help but like them. I really enjoyed Chloe as a protagonist and I thought she was a great character with a wonderful personality. The other characters, especially Simon and Derek, are also great. The author's description of each one is fantastic. No complaints there.

The story is great, with mystery, action, adventure and suspense thrown in there. Along with a tiny bit of romance and lots of fantasy, this is one good book! I really can't express how much I enjoyed listening to this.

The ending is a cliff-hanger, and boy what a cliff-hanger it is! I can't believe it just ended there. It was great though, really. I immediately went to buy the second book in the series and I am so glad to have it and although I haven't started to read it, I will soon! I also plan to pick up the rest of Armstrong's adult novels because her writing is simply great. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes books about magical beings and all sorts of good stuff.

Jan 1, 2010

happy new years everyone.

hope everyone has a great new years day :)