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