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