Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN: JANDY NELSON


When you love a book like I loved Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, you can get a nervous fluttery feeling in your tummy when you finally have your hands on her second book a whole 4 and a half years later after you feel in love with her writing.

In I'll Give you the Sun, she clearly proves that she is lives in kind of an author land of beautiful writing that is not easily visited by anyone else who writes books. This book is so beautifully written, and that you cannot argue with. It is well thought out and smart. You can see in the first few pages why it took Nelson years to write another book. But did I love it? Maybe.

I had a few issues with it, the main one being I wish she had made the characters at least one or even two years older. Sometimes it just felt too mature to believe the characters were as young as they were supposed to be. Then, even though it was pretty much done perfectly, I didn't like the past/present time switch. I rarely do like any type of voice change or time change because I just like to keep reading the story I'm reading. In this, each time I had to switch to the brother or sister I was annoyed. Lastly,  I thought maybe the writing was too pretty and perfect. I know, hard to imagine having a problem with something being too pretty or perfect, but there were so many beautifully writen lines and descriptions I sometimes couldn't digest them because it was like I said...just TOO much.

So if I had to pick, I would still go with preferring The Sky is Everywhere. But I can't imagine anyone not feeling something wonderful by reading this. And I wish and hope and pray that I don't have to wait another 5 years for her next book, but if I do I know it will be worth the wait.

BOOK BLURB:
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.


Read more about it HERE.

Monday, November 3, 2014

LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES: SHANNON LEE ALEXANDER


Read this book if you have ever wondered what it would be like to be loved, adored, worshiped, and have your spirited lifted by a geeky boy. Our hero in this male POV novel is so stinking loveable and likeable and funny and charming that absolutely nothing could have happened in this book and I would have still enjoyed it. One of my favorite heads to be in as a reader ever.

BOOK BLURB:
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).


You can read more about it HERE.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ONE PLUS ONE: JOJO MOYES


This is the kind of book that I just see a lot of people liking. It just has these fun, loveable, flawed characters that are just interesting to read about. It isn't a "dumb" book, but it isn't isn't a hard read either. It is just that kind of novel that sucks you in and entertains you and makes you believe in happy endings despite the crap of life.

BOOK BLURB:
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

Tiny bit of swearing, a little romance. Overall, not overly adult in nature.  

You can read more about it HERE.

Monday, October 6, 2014

JUST LIKE THE MOVIES: KELLY FIORE


This isn't a life-altering, earth shattering kind of book. But it is sweet, clean, and pretty adorable. It is just fun, and I like just fun books...do you?

BOOK BLURB:
Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.

While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?

Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.


Read more about it HERE.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ANATOMY OF A MISFIT: ANDREA PORTES


I've been going back and forth debating on if I should put this on my blog. In the end I can't deny that I really enjoyed this and honestly once I got into it I was wishing it was much longer. At first, I was NOT digging it. The style was a little run-on-sentency (yeah, I know that is not a "real" thing), and our main girl was NOT likable. But something that I couldn't put my finger on kept me reading. Pretty soon I was just into the book. I thought it was different and interesting. And suddenly our unlikeable heroine was pretty darn likable to me.

Now, at a point close to the end I was wondering how this was all going to go down. I'm of course not going to spoil anything but I will say this: The very ending is one of the most satisfying endings I have ever read.

My one issue with this book is that Portes says at the end that she wrote a book for herself at that age. And, I'm not sure it is really appropriate for a 15 or 16 year old. The content aside (which is pretty harsh), it just had a feel of book about teens written for adults. It might be the nostalgia factor since it took place when Trapper Keepers were in, or it was just that it had a more mature writing feel; one that I am not sure a teenager would get. The things our MC says are kind of above her years in sass and cultural references, and I am sorry but I just couldn't believe she was only 15. However, she is a character that is trying to act older, and sometimes the vulnerability of her age shines through, and that is when I liked her the most. 

There is a ton of swearing with a ton of casual Lord's name in vain swearing. Lots of talk teens drinking, and sleeping around, but nothing in detail.

BOOK BLURB:
Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

You can read more about it HERE.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER


So we all waited for a long time for this one and I am happy to say that in my opinion it was worth the wait. I loved this from the very first page and I LOVED returning to beautiful Paris for another year of higher education.

I loved Isla, I loved Josh, I just enjoyed this. It isn't as perfect as Anna and the French Kiss, but it was great in it's own way. It is a more mature book than both Anna and Lola content wise just to give readers a heads up. 

BOOK BLURB:
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and ne
w.

Read more about it HERE

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: MHAIRI MCFARLANE




Yesterday I was talking with my friend Suzy about this book and I looked on Goodreads to see what I had written about it and I realized I had forgotten to review it! Do you ever do that? I'm sure I do it more than I realize, I read too much.

With this particular book, I think I forgot because I planned on sharing how much I enjoyed it on the blog, and I kept putting it off and I forgot. Well enough about my scatter brain self and now on to why I liked this book.

McFarlane's writing style is pretty specific to her. She likes to make lots of jokes that honestly distract me quite a bit. But I like her stories and honest characters so much I don't mind being a tiny big distracted. If you are a British chick-lit fan (and if you actually read my blog you should try a few if you haven't read any before), then I would read Mhairi's first book You Had Me At Hello and then if you love it then you will probably love this too.

BOOK BLURB:
The new novel from the bestselling author of You Had Me At Hello. What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here's Looking At You. In essence it's an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Aureliana's major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like...Full of Mhairi's trademark laugh out loud humour, Here's Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

You can read more about this book HERE.