Thursday 30 December 2010

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pub.Date: September 29th 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 376
Format: hardcover
Source Of Copy: borrowed from the library

Micah will freely admit that she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents, and she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as naturally as breathing? Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them—and herself—that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have readers see-sawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly.

Liar is a book that make you think. In my opinion, it's a kind of story that challenges both the writer and the readers.

One of the highlights of the book is its unpredictable storyline. I'm totally clueless about what happens next from page one to the very end. Liar carries an atmosphere of darkness, sorrow and a little creepiness that you can't help but feel attracted to. Told in shorts, out of order chapters that allow the readers to travel back and forth from the hurtful accident, it deepens your curiosity, making you unable to put the book down.

What I love the most about Liar must be the fact that once you pick it up, you're trapped in a whole tangled web of lies and truths. You can never if Micah is spilling her heart out or trying to mislead you. You believe everything she says. But once she admits that she has not once but so many times lied to you, you're trying to work things out in your head as the story proceeds to distinguish lies and truths. Like I said, it's a book that makes readers think.

Micah is the kind of characters that you rarely meet. She's wild, dangerous, full of secrets. But she's also vulnerable and yearning for love. The twist in her identity takes me aback in an unexpected way. It drives to story to a whole new directions.

Much as I love Liar, I still feel something missing. Maybe I need a more satisfying or clear ending or perhaps I just couldn't get to know Micah enough. Above all, though, I consider this book a good read. If you want something new, something deep and challenging, you definitely have to pick this up.

Rating: 4/5

Monday 20 December 2010

Mini reviews: Kissing Booth/Chasing Brooklyn/Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Publisher: Point
Pub.Date: January 1st 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: requested and received from publisher

Lisi has never been kissed. Sure, she could practice on her guy friend, Johnny, but he’s like a brother to her! So when it comes time to pick a theme for the Spring Carnival booth, Lisi suggests a "Kissing Booth," hoping it will give her the chance to get a cheek-kiss from her crush, the handsome, popular Brett. But on the day of the carnival, as rumors fly and kisses are stolen, Lisi discovers that the person she should really kiss may have been right in front of her all along.

Suitable for those who want to kill time since it's a quick, fast-paced read. The storyline is okay but the development is a bit messy. The book, in general, is abrupt and forgettable. I don't deny that it has some nice parts (about Mo's getting distant) and lovely characters (Johny, for example) but I can't get myself to enjoy it. I won't recommend it for anyone but if you're bored and want something to read, you can grab it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub.Date: August 26th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 192
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: borrowed from the library

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

The book starts and ends in one night and is really impulsive and unpredictable, making it unique. I can see why it was chosen to make a screen production of since every detail is very movie-like. I love the character interpretation & development but I wish it could have lengthened a bit. I feel like I don't know Nick and Norah enough even though they're both interesting.

If you love the movie, you should pick it up. Warning: there are a lot of swearing in this book.

Rating: 3.5/5

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub.Date: January 5th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 412
Format: hardcover
Source Of Copy: borrowed from the library

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

This book, in my opinion, is an upgraded version of I Heart You, You Haunt Me. It's darker, it's deeper, it's softer and sweeter also. I love how the author focuses more on the alive characters than the ghosts. Their connection is great and the emotion exploration is adorable. You can't help but wish the best for Brooklyn and Lucca. The story ends in a way similar to Lisa Schroeder's debut book but more satisfying.

I would totally recommend this to everyone, especially fans of Lisa Schroeder.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pub. Date: May 4th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 268
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: requested and received from the publisher

Lani and Erin are lifelong best friends — and total opposites. Lani’s a down-to-earth Taurus; Erin’s a fiery Leo. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. They’ve always had wildly different tastes, from pizza toppings to guys.

That is, until Erin starts dating Jason.

From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can’t deny the amazing connection she feels with him. It’s like they’ve known each other their whole lives. She’s not sure if he feels it, too — but even if he does, he’s off-limits. Lani’s determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than hurt her best friend.

Then Erin goes away for the summer — and Jason seems to appear everywhere Lani turns. How long can she keep running from the guy who just might be the love of her life?

I'd always wanted to read a book on such a subject and when I found out that Susane Colasanti wrote one, I was thrilled. After lots of attempts, I finally got a copy. And it didn't disappoint me.

The author has a really nice approach to the matter. It seems a little bit scandalous to me as I read synopsis, but she makes everything flow naturally and gently. What readers love, in my opinion, is not the issue of stealing-your-bestfriend's-boyfriend-or-not, but the exploration of what Susane Colasanti calls the unknown. Horoscope, palm reading, fate, everything contributes to create a seemingly mysterious, deep and relatable story.

Something Like Fate appeals to me with its neat narration and well-planned plot. It's sweet, nostalgic and romantic with quite a few twists. The intensity of the story doesn't live up to my expectation, but I also get more that I hope it will offer. The story focuses not just on the triangle love but many more meaningful things.

I love Lani. She's a cute and thoughtful character. She reminds me my relatives and friends who were born under Taurus. Upon reading the book I find myself hoping nothing but a great ending for her. Her connection with Jason is natural but not too good to be true. As for Jason, he's an ok character to me. I think I like Blake a little bit more.

Bottom line: a good read about love and friendship and fate. Suitable either for you or both you and your best friend.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday 30 November 2010

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB Dec 2010 - A Matched Made In High School by Kristin Walker

Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: February 4th 2010
Age Range: young adult
Pages: 277
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: requested and received from publisher

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can't get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona's long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer.

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

I'd been waiting a long time to read this book because it received nothing but praise and admiration from the bloggers as well as readers, and finally I did get my hands on a copy. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. A Match Made In High School is unique, fun and totally unpredictable.

What primarily makes this book special, I believe, is its plot. Kristin Walker has introduced a new happening that we hardly see in any reads focusing on high school life - Marriage Education program. With this she adeptly brings in more drama, more complex situations and of course, more significant characters. I specifically love how the course goes due to Fiona's funny journal entries and how the couples pretend to earn money and manage their budget.

A Match Made In High School makes you really appreciate high school and all the fun it offers for 4 years. The narration makes the whole thing feels stimulating, hilarious and positive even though there are sticky circumstances and our characters are not happy all the time. Actually, it is fun at first and gets more serious as the story nears the end, yet never loses the hopeful and fun atmosphere.

Fiona. Let's see. She reminds me a lot of Audrey because both are crazily hilarious and witty and sarcastic. She's someone I'd love to befriend or better, be best friends with. Her transformation and personality development are truly enjoyable. I also love Sam, a really cute and thoughtful kid. Quite a lot of male characters may prevent you from guessing which one is the one but I think it's more exciting that way. Todd is my favorite and I'm glad he turns out cool.

Overall, if you have attended high school or will do, you HAVE to read this book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Breathless by Lurlene McDaniel

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub.Date: May 12th 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 165
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: from the publisher

What is the toughest request anyone can be asked to fulfill?

Travis Morrison is a champion diver and one of the most popular kids at school. On the first day of summer vacation, while boating on the lake with his friends, Travis attempts a silly stunt dive that goes wrong. He fears he has broken his leg. Instead, his trip to the hospital reveals he has a rare form of cancer, and to save him, the doctors tell his parents they must amputate. In an instant, Travis’s life and the lives of everyone around him are forever changed.

Travis is determined that he and only he should decide the course of his life. He has a plan, but he can’t carry it out alone. Will he convince one of his friends to fulfill his most important request?

Lurlene McDaniel tackles a controversial subject, probing the issues of personal choice and quality of life.

A good book depicting a rare subject in young adult titles, Breathless makes a great read for everyone who wants something thought-provoking and meaningful.

The highlight of this book, to me, is how Lurlene McDaniel creates a calm and collected atmosphere even though the characters are facing the fatal choice of life. Even from before the accident happened to the really end it was never depressing or too hard to handle. It makes the story more realistic and less dramatic compared to those of the same genres.

I like the fact that the story keeps switching from character to character so we can look at the matter in many ways. Having said that, I also find that I don't have enough time to understand any of them (if you pay attention to the info listed above, the book is only 165 page long). Travis though, makes a good impression on me. How he reacts to the situation is totally brave to me. He's someone that I won't forget.

Breathless ends in a way that I never expect. Even thought there are a lot of twists in this story, the ending still surprises me. It seems shocking yet still very peaceful.

Bottom line: pick up this book, I think it would be good for you.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 20 October 2010

It's Not You, It's Me by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: June 9th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 192
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: requested and received from the publisher

Zoe loves Henry.

Henry dumps Zoe.

Zoe wants Henry back—at any cost.

Zoe’s two best friends come up with a plan to help Zoe get what she thinks she wants. The plan: make Henry jealous.

But the plan takes a surprising turn. . . .

Spanning thirty-one days in the cycle of a breakup, Kerry Cohen Hoffmann’s humorous and poignant novel depicts a girl whose single-minded focus on her ex-boyfriend has pulled her far from the person she most needs to win back—herself.

A cute book about heartbreak and self redefinition, It's Not You, It's Me surely makes a nice quick read. However, the story may appear annoying to certain readers.

Girl dates boy. Girl loses boy. Girl wants boy back. The plot is pretty simple and predictable. Writing with third respective, Kerry Cohen brings in a slight difference from the majority of young adult books these days. Her voice is neat and cute, making you feel like you're reading a book half teen half middle grade. Everything is planned out clearly and easy to follow.

However, it fails to deliver.

Zoe is a naive character that lot of girls can relate when in similar situations. But she's a bit over the top. That's the problem of the book. Zoe is too obsessive with Henry it's irritating. While readers can sympathy with her heart damage, they can't help but feel tired of her unreasonable stubbornness and stalkerish actions.

I also think there are a few unnecessary characters/happenings in the book. Like how Sam and Niles come into the picture, both making us wonder who's going to play an important part in the process of Zoe's getting Henry back. Then neither does. I also wish there will be more of Zoe's interest in writing and poetry and dancing because it's what makes her interesting, but there's so little of it.

Overall, the message the story wants to deliver is quite nice, but the whole thing doesn't go too well and is ruined by the main character. Still a nice pick if you want to something to read in your free time though.

Rating: 2.5/5

Friday 8 October 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (74)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Where She Went by Gayle Forman.

It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, powerful prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I read and loved If I Stay so getting this book is a must. This time it would be even more exciting when we get to see Adam's point of view after so many drastic changes in Mia's life and his. One thing that I hope the most is that Where She Went won't be short. Last time I wasn't satisfied with If I Stay because it ended so soon.

See Mia and Adam again in April 19th 2011, will you?

Thursday 7 October 2010

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB OCT 2010 - Baby Proof by Emily Griffin

Publisher: Orion
Pub. Date: August 2nd 2006
Age Range: Adult
Pages: 320
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: purchase

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes....a baby carriage? Isnt that what all women want? Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things. Its about feeling that your life is set and then realizing that nothing is as you thought it was- and that there is no possible compromise. Its about deciding what is most important in life, and taking chances to get it. But most of all, its about the things we will do- and wont do- for love.

This is the second time that I review an adult book on my blog. Last time it was P.S I love you which I didn't like really much. But this book, Baby Proof is a truly heartfelt and lovely read that I want to recommend to all the female I know.

The plot of the story revolves around the issue of having a baby or not. The author has an excellent way to introduce readers into the core of the problem. It's simple, straightforward yet still interesting. I feel connected to the characters and their story immediately.

The story progresses slowly as it introduces more cases of people with baby problems, letting us see the view from lots of sides. What I love about it that Emily Griffin can convince me on the spot that Claudia not having a baby is a normal and righteous thing. Having said that, as I see and understand more of the female lead, the reason for her strange choice considering children comes out naturally.

Baby Proof doesn't have many conversations, it's mostly in monologue which I don't usually like but I am, for some reason, intrigued by the story. It's a real page turner. I love Claudia and Ben, they're such realistic and nice characters. It's just a pity I don't get to see much of Ben (even less than Richard!!!)

Well, the book has an open ending which is satisfying because I don't think you should force yourself to do something out of love when you're not ready for it. But because of love you should always have a try.

Rating: 4.5/5

Monday 27 September 2010

Tallulah Falls by Christine Fletcher

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pub.Date: May 29th 2007
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 400
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the author

When Tallulah Addy sets out on an impulsive cross-country trip to rescue her best friend, she doesn't anticipate getting stranded in rural Tennessee without a dime. Nor does she guess that rescuing a dog will land her a job in the local veterinarian’s office. But there, under the wary eye of ornery Dr. Poteet, Tallulah works harder than ever before, tending to animals of all shapes and sizes—and unexpectedly, to wounds long-buried in herself. Tallulah swears she'll leave the first chance she gets, yet when given the choice, it may prove harder to keep the promise to her friend than to say good-bye to the strangers who have become her new family.

Another story about escape to find one's self. Adventurous but peaceful at the same time, the book is still a good one although it doesn't come close to its sibling - Ten Cents A Dance.

What draws me into this book is the fact that it has such an uncommon plot - a girl sets off to go find her friend and suddenly gets stuck in a strange place with no money and no one she knows. That seems to be the biggest problem here - how to survive and get to her friend in time. But the deeper issue is that Tallulah not only doesn't know how to deal with this situation, she doesn't know how to deal with her entire life at all.

The charm of Tallulah Falls is probably the life in Tennessee that Tallulah accidentally falls into. I love how the author lets us know so much about animals and the likes. Although sometimes it feels like there's too much of animal treatment here I still find it interesting to read about those friends. Also, Tallulah Falls focuses most on family and friends rather than love, so I think it's refreshing.

All the characters in this book appeal to me one way or another. My favorite has to be Maeve. Unpredictable, she can be a bitch or a best friend at the same time but too bad she doesn't appear much. Tallulah doesn't impress me as much as Ruby from Ten Cents A Dance did, however, I do sympathy with her. Kyle doesn't turn out to be what I expect, so I'm a little disappointed.

The ending is lovely. I think Tallulah has found her great escape which would be new challenge but she's definitely made the right choice. It's one of my favorite parts from the book.

Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday 23 September 2010

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

Publisher: Razorbill
Pub.Date: January 8th 2009
Age Range: young adult
Pages: 304
Format: hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher
Pretty Little Liars meets My So-Called Life in this story of four American teens in Paris and the scandals that haunt each of them.
There's rich New York girl Alex; Cali-born dancer Olivia; closeted Memphis boy Zack; and fi nally PJ, an elusive beauty from Vermont who's hiding a dark past.
Studying abroad for their junior year of high school, they run wild in the Tuileries, hold clandestine parties in their host families' luxe apartments, take over tiny crowded cafes and generally live the glamorous life.
But in the end they all must face the lies they've told and secrets they've kept when the unthinkable happens.

Four stories within a book about 4 exchange students for those who want to read about adventures of finding one's self.

Beautiful Americans starts refreshingly with everything set in Paris, the city of romance. Four different American teenagers with four different backgrounds are thrown together in a web of love, friendship and their own hidden past.

Lucy Silag's writing is fun to read. It changes upon the characters, making a variety of moods for the story. I love how she throws everyone together and naturally build bonds among them, even if some relationships are love-hate type. Four of the main characters are colorful, though some of them make good impressions, some of them fail to make the readers fall in love with them.

PJ's story. It's my favorite, since there's something really dark about her and it suits the atmosphere of Paris - vague, unclear. She seems very lonely and sad and always loses herself into thoughts of the past. I think her story has the most potential to develop to something big and intriguing.

Grace's. Good girl gone bad (or sort of not as good as expected). I like the changes in her after her injury and her encounter with Thomas. However, I'm still not sure if I like her or not. She seems very indecisive.

Alex's and Zack's. I don't enjoy their stories real much since it focuses much just on the love side. I would love to get to know more of their characters, something deeper which I think we can find in the next books of the series.

Overall I like this book and I'm probably going to check out the next two ones. It's one of those books I can imagine being brought to big screens too.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (73)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers.

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.

Courtney Summers books always intrigue me because there's something very different, very dark and realistic about them. Even though I've yet to read any of her works, I'm unfailingly excited whenever a new book by her comes out. I'd love to read more of family these days so this book caught my eyes immediately. I have a feeling there'll be lot of twists in Fall For Anything, which is totally amazing. And no need to mention that the cover is stunning right?

What will Eddie fall for? Check this book out on December 1st 2010

Sunday 19 September 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub.Date: August 1st 2009
Age Range: young adult
Pages: 392
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Scholastic Press

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

These days I'm feeling lucky because all the books I pick up to read turn out to be just as great or even better than I've ever expected. While Grace is impressive in an empty way, Shiver is breathtakingly gorgeous and mysterious. Fans of paranormal? Fans of romance? I think you've just found the perfect book.

If you sick of vampires and want to read about another different creature, then Shiver can totally satisfy you. It's basically a book about a forbidden love between a human and a werewolf, which is full of actions, romantic moments and myths. With this book, you don't just learn more about the wolves; you learn more about human as well.

This is the first time I've read a book by Maggie Stiefvater whom I've heard plenty of compliments on and I have to admit that she makes me fall in love with her writing just after a few chapters. The atmosphere built for Shiver is perfect. It's dark, chilling, dangerous and secretive. The whole winter theme contributes a huge part to the success of the book. It's the first thing that draws me in. Also, Maggie Stiefvater's narration in both perspectives is amazingly neat and beautiful. There's a dreamy feeling to it, making things half real and half unreal. The plot is very unpredictable. I like the fact that I can't even once tell what's going to happen next. And of course, there are many twists to surprise the readers.

I love Grace. She's a character that seems as fragile as a snowflake but when needed she's stronger than anyone else and can actually fights for what she lives for. Sam is uncertain, which makes him even more attractive. Their connection feels so unconvincing yet it's still powerful as well. Other characters have great impressions on me but I'd love to see more of them in the future, especially Olivia. I think I have a love-hate relationship with her.

To make it really short, you have to read this book as soon as possible. The next installment has also come out, to pick up both books as well. I'm sure that Maggie Stiefvater won't disappointany reader with this series.

Rating: 4/5

Books Book Books! You can win lots of books

Once again, our book giveaway princess, Princess Bookie, has something very awesome in store for you. A contest Craze Will be starting a week from Monday (September 27th) over her blog! It will last two weeks this year with the major blowout contest day on October 9th. Each day there will be a special contest or a little mini challenge to participate and win!

There's also a mystery pack of ARCs for one of the lucky promoters of this contest. Sounds perfectly awesome right? Head down to her blog to find more info on this!

Friday 17 September 2010

Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Publisher: Dutton
Pub.Date: September 16th 2010
Age Range: young adult
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Dutton
A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate

This book is definitely one of the harderst that I've ever reviewed. Elizabeth Scott totally blew me away with how she twisted one heavy subject into one another, leaving me full of questions and emotions.

Grace is a story about a terrorist, called an Angel in her society, a society which believes that death is the sacred destionation of life and should never be questioned. Grace refuses death and that's how the story begins, that's where the auhor starts to challenge the readers to go on a thought provoking ride.

A quick review on how Elizabeth writes in this book, still the same laid back voice that makes everything flows smoothly. I've said it once ot twice before but I still want to repeat how she needs no flowery words or too complicated sentence structures to make me fall in love with her writing. It's just simple and honest. Hence, I'm rather impressed at her ability to bring such a subject alive.

I've never read about terrorism before, let alone from a point of view of a suicide bomber. I wasn't sure if I could handle a book on that matter and thankfully Grace makes it easier. Rather than exploring the terrorism - the conspiracy, the practice, the consequence, Grace focuses more on the people involved, their belief, their doubt, their choice of life. In one's respective, it's brave to live but in one another's, it's cowardly. That's the main message of the book and I think it will totally make you question what's the true values of your life and what you're living for.

Kerr and Grace are both young people with difficult lives and past. They're struggling to understand themselves, to understand life and trying to make the right choice for what they believe. They're dark, almost empty it feels life I've been sucked dry just reading about them. To me Elizabeth Scott has succesfully created these two characters because while they might or might not be liked, she makes sure they're impossible to forget.

By the large it's a book worth reading and dwelling on. Recommended to everyone.

Rating: 4/5

Friday 10 September 2010

Mini review: Frenemies & Fakestatic by Alexa Young

Pub.Date: May 1st 2008, January 1st 2009
Age Range: young adult
Pages: 304, 256
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the author - Alexa Young

Best friends Avalon Greene and Halley Brandon have big plans for eighth grade. Not only are they coediting their school's fashion blog, but the celebration of their forever friendship is sure to be the blowout party of the year. But when the girls begin to disagreee about . . . well, everything, these two besties turn into full-blown worsties.

Halley and Avalon are reunited, and it feels so good. Or does it? As they begin weaving a tangled web of deception (with the best of intentions, of course), they discover just how hard it is to fake your way through anything—especially friendship.

The story is all about a love - hate relationship between two best friends. Halley comes back from camp and suddenly the 'sisters' don't find each other as close as before. Conflicts, backstabbing, revenge, everything is to ruin the friendship that they've had for years.

I think Alexa Young's writing is really enjoyable. Something about it sounds witty and fun and light hearted and I especially adore the fashion advice column that Snark A & Snark B took turn to run. I'm totally clueless about fashion but to me it's still real interesting to read. As for the plot, it is okay. Things like that probably happen all the time but sometimes I just wish that the two girls would stop hurting/using each other. They seem great together and all the things they are fighting over are not worth it.

Bottom line: If you like books like Gossip Girl or freniemes series, you definitely should check it out.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (72)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Across The Universe by Beth Revis.

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.

A book that seems different - love and murder in spaceship? Totally something I've never read in any YA books. I expect a lot of romance and action. And science too, I guess?

I'm sure its not just me who finds the cover stunning.

What's to expect across the universe? You'll see on January 11th 2011

Sunday 5 September 2010

Paisley Hanover Kisses And Tells by Cameron Tuttle

Publisher: Dial
Pub.Date: July 8th 2010
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: from the publisher

The election results are in—and totally UnExpected. Now the UnPops are picketing, the Pops are preening, and Paisley’s sophomore year is a bust—again. But when best frienemy Jen’s reputation takes a beating by viral text, Paisley’s pity party is over. She rolls out a new undercover plan to save Jen’s rep, and in the process, follows her heart into a crazy complicated love triangle. Then as if things weren’t confusing enough, Paisley’s archrival—super cute, super nice, super popular Candy Esposito—steals Paisley’s UnPop popularity! First Paisley gets mad; then she gets smart. Can she use Candy’s newfound UnPopularity to save Jen’s reputation—and pull off the biggest coup since Miss UnPleasant turned the Pleasant Hill High social hierarchy on its big fat head? Hello double-crossers, good-bye double standards! Paisley Hanover is back—pucker up!

The second book in the Paisley Hanover series; witty, fun and relatable.

Picking right up the story from book 1, Paisley Hanover Kisses & Tells continues to focus on the election and how Paisley increase power of the Unpops. With the same hilarious and sort of weird narration, the book surely satisfies fans of Miss Unpleasant and/or those that hope for a revolution at high school.

Just like, Paisley Hanover Acts Out, this book is fast-paced and eventful. Every chapter brings in something new and Paisley can't stop dealing with/creating more trouble for her life. Like the unexpected result from the president, her old bestfriend almost broke up or how she got herself into a love triangle.

What to love about this book? Probably the crazy but fun spot. But the main attraction, of course, is the characters. Each and every character is very intriguing (even Paisley's parents or Charlie). Paisley, as stated in the first book review, is a character readers will want to befriend with for her insanity and awesomeness at the same time. Her trouble in love life makes her even more believable in this book. Other characters are just as fun and I'm glad to get to know more about Hutch this time. He's not that bad after all.

The only complaint I have is the lack of Miss Unpleasant's thoughtful articles in this book. They were so interesting to read in the first one. Hopefully we'll see them back in the next book.

Rating: 3.5/55

Wednesday 1 September 2010

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB SEPT 2010: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub.Date: May 18th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 489
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher

Salvation has its price.
The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever."

Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead...."

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?

Again I chose a Vampire Academy title for the book review club this month. This sensationally heart-throbbing, adventurous and romantic series has turned me into a vampire lover, and if you pick it up, I'm sure you'll be the next.

I think I've complimented plenty on Richelle Mead's writing so I'm going to keep it short this time. Her narration is perfect - fierce, strong and never lacks emotions. The pace is balanced - slow or fast depends on the situations. She has successfully created a world that makes you feel almost no different from our ordinary one, yet it's so mysterious and interesting you keep being sucked into it. Focusing on vampires only and no other creatures, but with myths and legends it's just as compelling (or even more compelling?) than any complicated paranormal read could afford to be.

Spirit Bound, to me, is the best Vampire Academy book that I've read so far. There has been a lot of ups and downs in this installment. It's eventful, it's surprising, it's shocking. It gives you hope then puts you into a confused state. Things have started to get harder now that Rose has a license to kill and has to face the ultimate choice of her life. Unlike book 4 where there's just a lot of reminiscence at first, this part goes straight to the actions and there are no shortages of fights in the rest of the book either. One more thing I like about not only this book the whole series is that I tend to get annoyed when there are so many characters but with Vampire Academy when someone new is introduced, it gets me excited and they aren't random people either, they have personalities that attract you one way or another.

The most satisfying feature of Spirit Bound aside from the thrilling plot is the character development. I won't say it in detailed in case it ruins all the fun but you will surely be pleased with how Richelle Mead dealt with her characters. They still keep the passion, the strength, the silliness and recklessness of youth, but they also have become mature through certain happenings. Sometimes it's irritating because you don't know why they act like it, but then it all makes sense if you put yourself into their places. Their relationships surely played an important part in this book too, some changes are welcomed while others may break your heart. And above all, Vampire Academy characters never lost their significant trademark(?) - they're all fierce and inspiring. The one that grows on me the most through this book is Adrian. But I won't say why because you have to find out yourself.

Overall it's a great book that you can read and reread and never get bored. But if you haven't picked it up yet, I suggest starting it in the middle of this December (when the next book is about to come out) because you won't like the huge cliffhanger that the author is going leave you with.

Rating: 5/5

Sunday 29 August 2010

Mini reviews: Ash by Malinda Lo & It Started With A Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Pub.Date: March 4th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 291
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

If you love fairy tales or retold stories of those then this is a must read. Honestly I've read a lot of modern fairy tales, including a version of Cinderella, but nothing has come close. The success of this book lies in the fact that Malinda Lo has naturally created an atmosphere that could only be found in fairy tales, yet it's darker, edgier and more vague with magic and all the likes. I don't know how to put it into words but it's like you're reading the original version of Cinderella at the same time a whole different interesting story. The characters are very well built too. Nobody is naturally evil, they're either mean or have different views on life. Things make perfect sense and I also adore the love between Ash and Kaisa. It's just simply serene and beautiful.

I have to say that this book doesn't leave me in awe but it's so well written there's nothing to complain about.

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Graphia
Pub.Date: September 13th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 312
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: from the publisher
Self-proclaimed nobody CG Silverman sees her move to an upscale new school as her chance to be somebody different. Her devil-may-care attitude attracts the in-clique, and before CG realizes it, a routine game of truth or dare launches her to iconic status. While this rebel image helps secure CG’s newfound popularity, it also propels her through a maze of unprecedented chaos, with each new lie and every dare opening doors that, in most cases, were better off left shut. CG is on a collision course with disaster. Will she be able to keep up the façade? Or will the whole world find out she’s a fraud.

A typical story with a twist. It's straightforward, it's daring, it's fun and therefore it makes a nice quick read. Each chapter brings on something new and makes the story more complicated than ever. The characters are rather realistic so you can totally relate - some are stranger, some are awful and some are super cool as well. I enjoy it a lot so if you read the synopsis and think this book is fun, go for it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (71)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Throat by R.A Nelson.

Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't leave a job undone.

A vampire story set in outer space. What else could be more intriguing than this? The plot sounds totally awesome and I was left in awe by R.A Nelson's writing in Teach Me so I'm sure (and hope) that Throat will be a hit in 2011. I practically can not wait any more minute to get my hands on it.

How can Emma survive her life as a half vampire who is hunted? Follow her journey on January 25th 2011.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Sunday Special (36) US cover vs Vietnamese cover

As promise, a continuation of last week's post ^^

Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin.

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlun & Nicola Kraus.

Enjoy looking and commenting. More to come in the next few weeks!

Friday 20 August 2010

The Fortunes Of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Publisher: Simon & Schuster USA
Pub.Date: March 25th 2008
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: March 25th 2008
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from publisher - Simon & Schuster USA

Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all - a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaves her a 2.5 million-dollar tip, and her life as she knew it is transformed.

At first its amazing: a hot new car, enormous flat-screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. She laughs off the warnings that money changes people, that they come to rely on what they have instead of who they are. Because it won't happen...not to her. Or will it? What do you do when you can buy anything your heart desires -- but what your heart desires can't be bought?

A slow paced book about a rare topic that you might want to pick up on your free time. Not an mind-blowing one but one of the best Deb Caletti books I've read so far.

The thing that makes me like The Fortunes Of Indigo Skye more than other books by this author is that even though it's still slow, there's something very exciting about it. Less monologue and character analysis, more conversations and actions. The female lead is stronger too. Instead of blending into the background like in Wild Rose or Honey Baby Sweetheart, she's now the real center of the story.

The Fortunes Of Indigo Skye has a pretty good storyline and it comes off naturally. Everything makes perfect sense and believable. Deb Caletti's stories are usually very realistic, because even with a happening like getting a 2.5 million dollar tip, the author manages to portray it in a calm and collected way. You don't feel the excitement or the climax of the book. Things goes on and on and on until the end and that's why it's relatable. On the other hand, the book may appear boring to a large number of readers.

Indigo is an okay character to me. As stated above, I like her better than any female protagonists in Deb Caletti books that I've read. She's witty, funny and her personality is strong, making her very memorable. I like how she changes and her confusion when dealing with the sudden fortunes she's received. Also, as always, Deb Caletti has included a crowd of random characters around the lead. I was annoyed by this in previous books, but this time, surprisingly, they're very likable.

On the large, if you want to read Deb Caletti books, I suggest starting with this one.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (70)

Idea taken by Breaking The Spine

Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris.

Super-smartie Kate Grable gets to play doctor, helping out her high school football team. Not only will the experience look good on her college apps, she gets to be thisclose to her quarterback crush, Aaron. Then something disturbing happens. Kate finds out that the coach has given the team steroids. Except . . . the vials she finds don’t exactly contain steroids. Whatever’s in them is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating . . . zombies.

Unless she finds an antidote, no one is safe. Not Aaron, not Kate’s brother, not her best friend . . . not even Kate . . .

It’s scary. It’s twisted. It’s sick. It’s high school.

I'm not usually into thrilling/a little scary books like this but Bad Taste In Boys sounds unique. The plot is just so irresistible to me because it's so movelike. I really don't know what to expect of it and I guess that's a good thing. Oh and isn't the cover gorgeous?

How bad is the taste? We'll have to wait until July 11th 2011 to know : (

Sunday 15 August 2010

Sunday Special (35) It's Been A While

It's indeed been a while since I last posted something for this feature. I hope you guys haven't forgotten it yet. Last night I was browsing a Viet online bookstores and found out that over the past months lots and lots of American YA (also chick lit and romance) novels have come and been loved by tons of teens here. They've been given new looks too. So today I decide to share a few covers that I've managed to get decent pictures of.

Diary Of Anne Frank.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike.

Gossip Girl: All I Want Is Everything by Cecily von Ziegesar.

Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J Smith

The Choice by Nicolas Sparks.

Interesting hey? I don't really like the covers but it kinda excites me to see these books all over the shelves at the bookstores. There are some more but I'll save them for next week. Let me know what you think about these comparisons.

Friday 13 August 2010

As You WIsh by Jackson Pearce

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub.Date: September 1st 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 304
Format: hardcover
Source Of Copy: contest prize

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

A sweet, lovely and thrilling debut book that will warm your heart, a story with the "be careful with what you wish for" theme that you can hardly refuse to read.

I enjoyed this book. It's fun, it's lighthearted but not shallow. If you're in a bad mood and want to cheer yourself up you definitely should pick it up.

I've not read many stories about jinns or genies but I think As You Wish has a very fresh setup. Everything feels sudden yet it makes sense: how Viola summons Jinn, how she makes her wishes and how they grow attached to each other. It's written in both main characters' points of view and I find that pretty easy and interesting to follow the story.

There are so many things I love about the story but what I want to mention the most is world of jinns. How the author builds it is amazing, especially with random details like flower deliveries. I especially love how she explains why jinns and human live in separate worlds through a myth and how Jinn realize how boring his world is after meeting Viola.

I don't think Viola is a very impressive character but she still has qualities that make her shine through the story. She's sweet, she's considerate and she's funny at times. My favorite parts about her are her thoughts about wishes. It shows clearly to the readers that although we always wants our wishes to be granted, nothing will work for us if we don't accomplish the things ourselves. And sometimes it feels like you always know what you want, but when a jinn comes with three wishes for you, maybe you don't want anything at all.

My on complaint on this story is that Viola and Jinn fall in love too fast. It'd be nicer for them to get to know each other more or just be best friends at the end because somehow their love is still a little forced to me even though they're super duper cute together.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (69)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain.

A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one.
Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

Having yet to read The Dark Divine doesn't prevent me from being excited bout the next book in the series. It sounds just adventurous as any great paranormal story should be right? I fell in love with the gorgeous cover too. One thing, it'd be even better if the synopsis was less detailed.

Who's the lost saint? You'll have an answer on Dec 28th 2010

Sunday 8 August 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Pub.Date: March 20th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 198
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Hodder Children's Books

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...

A realistic yet poetic story on a delicate topic that you, regardless of being a fan of Laurie Halse Anderson, should never miss.

The story starts out like any other ones in young adult books you will find, and with a vague synopsis like this you'll probably never know what it's all about. I think that'll give a better impression and influence of the story on readers because of curiosity.

Melisa's highschool story sounds nothing special: another outcast that somewhat lost all of her friends in middle school and now she doesn't know how to belong. But there's something darker and deeper about her that prevents you from putting the book down (even if you're extremely sleepy, in my case).

The book is almost a monologue which included very few conversations that are rather awkward. It highlights the title and the message the author wants to deliver. It's nice because you can feel the numbness of the character transferring to you here and there. That's what I like about Laurie Halse Anderson. She knows how to consume readers with emotions, whether that are light or heavy.

As for Melinda, I think she's a very unforgettable character with perfect development. Her journey of learning how to actually SPEAK is totally amazing.

Having said all that, I don't think Speak appeals to me as much as I expected. Because Wintergirls blew me away, I thought Speak would turn out to be better but I wasn't strongly captivated by Melinda's story, even it's a good one.

To sum up, if you're a fan of young adult, you have to read SPEAK. And watch the movie too (because I heard it's really good)

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 4 August 2010

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB AUG 2010 - The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

Publisher: Penguin Australia
Pub.Date: March 1st 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death.

And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

Melina Marchetta is my number one favorite author. I love all of her books because they are so thought-provoking yet so close to heart and they never fail to impress me. The Piper's Son, happily, is no exception.

This book tells the story about a family falling apart because the death of a member and is trying to hard to pull themselves together again. In case you haven't noticed, in all of her books, Melina Marchetta always explore the subject of family to the core, each time deeper and with more people involved, thus the topic never gets old. Instead, I want to read to know more.

I also think this book is a upgrade version of everything the author has ever written because this time it's told in third person's respective - making everything fiercer and refreshing. You get to know not only the life of a guy that has abandoned his friends and the girl he loves because of the grief and the aunt whose life cannot be anymore complicated. All generations in one. This, amazingly, allows not only teenagers, but also readers of all ages to enjoy the book as well.

Characters in The Piper's Son? Unique but realistic. Some are totally cool when some are screwed up, but once they're introduced into the story you will find it hard to forget them. Readers that have read (and loved) Saving Francesca will be able to meet her and Will Trombal once again in this book and I can guarantee that they aren't just mentioned then disappear right after that.

I really like Thomas. His personalities and family background are just intriguing. At first I think he's sort of depressed it's hard to read, but then the pace picks up and that suddenly strengthens his character. He is, too, like every male lead in the previous books, one of the guy whose love for the girl is extremely adorable and still believable. Of course there's Tara Finke, a softer yet loveable girl that I wish to know more of.

Bottom line: if you don't get this book it's your loss. Even though it focuses much on family, the story perfectly depicts everything else in life, even little things that have never crossed your mind.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday 1 August 2010

The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub.Date: July 14th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Disney Hyperion.

For the past nine years, Helena Waite has been returning to summer camp at Southpoint. Every year the camp and its familiar routines, landmarks, and people have welcomed her back like a long-lost family member. But this year she is returning not as a camper, but as a counselor, while her best friend, Katie Bell remains behind.

All too quickly, Helena discovers that the innocent world of campfires, singalongs, and field days have been pushed aside for late night pranks on the boys' camp, skinny dipping in the lake, and stolen kisses in the hayloft. As she struggles to define herself in this new world, Helena begins to lose sight of what made camp special and the friendships that have sustained her for so many years. And when Ransome, her longtime crush, becomes a romantic reality, life gets even more confusing

Want to read stories on summer but something else rather fun, crazy, exciting ones? Then The Lost Summer should be one of your top picks. Poignant and relatable, this book provides a different for the favorite time of the year of everyone.

From first look The Lost Summer is similar to all the stories of the same topic, but you can immediately feel that the atmosphere is somewhat not the same. There's something very lonely and nostalgic about it. With Helena's new position at camp, this summer has opened a whole new world on her that she isn't sure she wants to know.

The thing I like the most about this book is that Helena's story seems like a story of a half teen, half adult. It isn't exactly carefree or wild, but it isn't just serious and full of worries. Happenings are told in an ordinary way but readers can't help but sense upcoming sadness. And the thing is that the feeling is extremely vague and cannot be explained.

Helena is a typical character, the kind that is in the progress of growing out of her shell and enter the real world. That's why it's easy to understand her but at the same time she can be quite forgettable. What she encounters/experiences, though, will stay on and provoke thoughts and emotions in you.

The lost summer is the summer Helena lost something very special, but still gained a lot. It's a beautiful story you shouldn't miss.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (68)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Not That Kind Of Girl by Siobhan Vivian.

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

Sounds typical yet still interesting because it's totally relatable in some ways. Plus I've heard that Siobhan Vivian is a really great writer but haven't had any chance to get to know her and her writing, so I hope I could read this for the start.

What kind of girl is Natalie? Find out on Sept 1st 2010