Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Charlie is the quiet type of girl who is awesome at singing the blues but can never get up on stage to show it. She was nine when her mom died. Her father has never gotten over it. He went from cool quiet everything under control to just quiet and never around. Whenever she tries to talk to him about something important he looks at his hands and gives her money so she'll go away. She used this so she can get some recording equipment. She works at a music store and sometimes gets singing lessons from one off the owners as well as guitar lessons from the other. The book has songs in the pages so you get sort of the feel of what she is like and what she sounds like even if it's only in your head. She has all this recording equipment but she never sings in front of people. Not even her dad.

Rose is always with her boyfriend Luke and friend Dave. Luke is always getting in trouble and Dave and her always get dragged down with him. Dave more than anyone because his dad has always given him a hard time... Well Rose wants more than anything to get away to the city. She got this scholarship to go to this science school but she never can tell her parents. Her parents who are going nowhere fast. Who gave up in life. She wants so bad to leave even if it means leaving Luke and Dave. She gives Charlie a hard time because all she does is stare at the group. But this "summer" which is during Christmas time??? It's Australia but I still don't understand. Well this summer she's figured out a way to get out of this miserable old town. She's going to make friends with Charlie. She'll be doing her a favor. She's going with her when she leaves.

Charlie is beyond likable. I was always angry at Rose because IF SHE DARED HURT HER! She would be in some real trouble with me. I mean she has like no friends and is just dangerously shy. Her two "ghosts" that follow her are her Grandma and Mom. She talks to them and it's so sad because those are the only two she could ever really talk to and now they're gone. Her father was killing me. NOTICE YOUR CHILD. I would be suffering too though. Seven years and I know I would be like him but seriously if I had a kid I hope I wouldn't act so stupid all the time.

God Rose. Finally I started liking you because you actually saw her. You were very irritating you know. Dave was cool. He was so sweet. I LOVE him. And then he's hurting too and you want to give him and Charlie a big old hug. I absolutely loved this book. It was beautiful. I think it's going to be in my favorites pile. It's that good. Read this book. You will fall in love too.

Rating: 5 stars

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Jennifer Harris now Jenna Vaughn and Cameron Quick used to be best friends as children. They were the outcasts. Jenna used to be bullied for her lisp and because he was chubby. She would cry a lot which inevitably gave the bullies more fuel to their fire calling her Cry Baby. She like Cameron had a tough home life. Well maybe not as much as Cameron... Jenna's mom is never home. She spent hours without her and when she really needed her she couldn't go to her. She has no father and no one else. She is alone.

Cameron has a similar situation in which he is also alone. His home life is tougher. You get a piece of it when Jenna slowly starts to tell you the story of her ninth birthday at his house with his father. And then soon afterwards he disappeared. Just. Like. That. But now he has suddenly reappeared. That boy who loved her. That boy who cared for her. That boy who made her feel safe. But now Jennifer is Jenna. She has a stepdad and she lives in a nice house, has friends, and even has a boyfriend. She's also skinny and will always watch her weight, what she wants to say (mainly that she's not always happy like her boyfriend wants her to be), and that she always smile even when she wants to cry. She is shocked when discovering that Cameron's back. He's supposed to be dead. And with him comes a whole set of feelings that she thought was left behind with her nine year old self. And now he wants to relive it.

This was a great book. When you finish it you start to contemplate life. But there is also this wanting more at the end. It had some "unfinished business" that needed to be addressed. First Jenna herself. She completely changed her name and at the end it was like she was okay with it. Maybe now that I think about it it did address it a little. It did say that maybe this was her now. But it was very vague. Also the food. She did start to eat more when Cameron came and let herself indulge in some things but it also was not really addressed. Those things could have added more to this otherwise great book. But I have to complain about the end before I continue. Well.. I have to be more specific now. The relationship at the end. It was so ridiculous how it ended. Can't say more without giving anything away.

So other than that it was quite good. There was the mystery of what happened on her birthday, her mother frustrating the hell out of me, and Cameron himself. Cameron was so weird. But I think he was always quiet like that. It was just weird seeing him in Jenna's world. The ring was odd too. It sent mix signals for the obvious reasons as well as it was kind of stalkerish creepy... Now Jenna and her boyfriend.... she spoke her mind once. Everything she said I was totally agreeing with her on. It was a pretty memorable moment that would make all women out there go "yeah!" So even though I've complained a bunch about the book know that all around it was really great.

Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Briony Larkin is wicked. She must always remember what she did. She sent a wind to knock her twin, Rose, down and she lost her wits because of it. She sent a wave to hit her stepmother which broke her spine which would have killed her if the arsenic didn't kill her first. She didn't kill herself though. Her stepmother loved life. She always protected her. Protected her from what she was. Warned her never to go to the swamp because her and the swamp are dangerous. They cause fire, water, and wind to come up and hurt everything and everyone she loves.. well she can't really say loves because she doesn't love anyone. She hates herself so how could she love anyone? It all comes down to jealousy. Jealousy of her stepmother spending more time with Rose. And for what? She ended up killing her. It ended up killing a part of her.

Now comes in the knight in shining armor right? Well sort of. Eldric the man-boy comes in with his golden mane of hair and his bad boy attitude. He becomes a friend. He actually makes her smile. He is there for her. But she's a witch. Unable to even cry much less feel that way. But why is it that he makes her want to cry?

As I got into this book I couldn't help comparing it to Plain Kate which I reviewed before. The difference was originally while I was reading that it was Plain Katey but easier to swallow. But it's more than that. The language was a bit hard to get into in the beginning especially with the self deprivation she had against herself. But I got into the story easily after that because it was unlike Plain Kate. It was about a girl who hated herself. A girl who was in pain. I just loved the story after that. I loved the tales of Wolfgirl and Lionboy. When he actually saw her it was truly magical. When she let a part of her let loose it was just fantastic. I never really thought about this till I got to the end. And oh how I loved how it just twisted into a direction completely opposite of where it said it was going. I had an inkling towards the end about what would happen but still. It unfolded beautifully.

I don't know what else I can say. Something cliched like it cast a spell on me perhaps? I guess I should go into the swamp. That's the most terrifying swamp I've ever heard of. It can just eat you up! The creatures that only she could see well.. also the Chime Girl who was no girl at all but an old woman. She had one foot in the shadow? world. The spiritual world I guess you'd say better. I just couldn't fathom from first reading this book how fantastic it was going to be. It was just that. Fantastic. I praise Billingsley with all my might! This was truly fantastic!

Rating: 5 stars

Monday, February 13, 2012

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

When Sophie Mercer was sent to monster school she had no idea what she would get into. She never thought she'd be best friends with a vampire who may or may not be killing off the school's mean girls, be haunted by a ghost who is actually her dead grandmother, or fall in love with the "pretty" boy of the school. But she did. Then a bomb was dropped on Sophie. She's a demon. And then she drops a bomb on everybody else. She wants to go through the Removal where she can get all her powers and demoness removed but the cost could be her life.

Now I'm sure you're wondering what happened with all of that. Well 6 months later she's still at Hex Hall after declaring she wanted to go through the removal. Her mom is there with Cal which sounds strange writing it now but didn't sound strange reading it so there must have been some sort of arrangement where he moved.... whatever. Her father comes to get her and she spends the summer at Thorne Abbey with...... Jenna and Cal! Yes, my friends Jenna is there. And Cal you know is just there to add to the whole love triangle thing. Hawkins sends you another of one those *gasp* moments with those two.

There are another two people thrown into the mix and they happen to be demons. "Wait. What?" you ask. "Demons are being raised?" *knowing smile*. Bwahahaha!!! Well Nick and Daisy are a strange bunch. Daisy is quiet until it's just them. The adults are just way too happy in Thorne Abbey. Creepily so. Nick is a bit wilder and you know it just by looking at him. And then of course there is the thing about Archer being in London....

So much better than the first! The other one wasn't bad at all but it even got better! The second book usually is eh compared to the first or an utter disappointed making you cry out and rant maniacally how horrible the author is and why? Why would they do this to you!? But Demonglass exceeded my expectations. My mind was blown more than once. The secrecy underneath... and then the Cal and Archer situation. I still can't decide! So many exclamation points....

Sophie again was her same sarcastic self which I am very happy about. She was what made me love Hex Hall from the beginning so I'm happy she didn't change much. She kind of grew up from the last book. She has more confidence. As you can tell from the difference in the two lovely book covers. The end is so evil! Like that's it and then I sob from wanting more. Nevertheless it was a great ending that has kept my mind occupied with different scenarios and hopefully there won't be any betrayals but I have a bad feeling that there will be which will make me rant and curse Hawkins! You know. The old standby. So you know I'm expecting Spell bound to be just as great if not better than Demonglass.

Rating: 5 stars

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sleepless by Cyn Balog

One word. Sandman. I was hooked when I saw that word. But I'll let you know a little more about it so you can be crazy hooked. Eron DeMarchelle died almost one hundred years ago in a milling accident. He is exactly as he was when he was human. A shy, sweet, dashing gentleman. He is finally able to turn back human to finish his "unfinished business" which he has no idea what it is. The deal was that he would spend a hundred years as a Sleepbringer and then get back to his life. He was able to have one of his charges his "beloved." Julia took her place after she died. He cares for her and would do anything to protect her.

Julia has always had people walking on egg shells when they were around her. At seven she had something happen to her. Something that left three marks on her cheek that she has always been self conscience of so when Griffin albeit not the nicest boyfriend ever accepts her she is happy. But then he dies. She doesn't show anything like he taught her. She doesn't even really know what she feels. And then there's Bret his best friend and he's like Griffin's twin. He starts acting weird as soon as Griffin dies. And so does her dreams.

I read this one slow on account of it was a group read that I suggested may I add. So the drama felt was even more because I had to wait. And I don't know how but the pages I had to read would always end perfectly with a cliffhanger. Duh duh duh! moments. Griffin was such a mystery to me. I had no idea if he cared about Julia or anything really. I still don't know if he cares about her. It was really weird but in a good way.

I HEART Eron. He's the type of guy that holds your door out for you and you just stare at in class dreamily. He basically made the book. I tried to picture him and the way he talked with the way he was described and my brain was all in a jumble. He's supposed to be this handsome Italian born guy who talks ridiculously proper. I just can't fathom it. Bret, Griffin's best friend, was an interesting mix to the plot. He kept me on my toes. Chimire, an Original, also provided me with questions to her character. Mostly who she liked and what was her deal? I seriously liked this book. It was well worth all that waiting.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. How do you know they're not going to get it on?
"Get it...?" I begin but shake my head. -LOLOL!

Don't forget me, he seemed to say. You belong to me.

Rating: 4 stars

Monday, February 6, 2012

As Easy as Falling Off he Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins

Ry has gotten himself into a little bit of trouble. Well let's be honest a lot of trouble. He's gotten himself stuck out in the middle of nowhere after he left his train to get a signal. Why on earth would he do that you say? He just maybe forgot to read an important memo that the camp he's going to is no longer running. So what does he do? Leave his stuff on a train and goes climbing up a hill to get reception on an almost out of commission cellphone. So he heads his way to a town where he meets Del. Del loves fixing problems. And he just happens to be the one to find Ry disheveled with cuts all over his arms, a black eye, and only one shoe. But the big problem with Dell is he's stubborn. And he'll stop at nothing to get him home.

As he's adventure takes place he's parents, grandfather, and even his dogs are having their own little adventure. The parents can't communicate with him because monkeys have their cellphone, his grandfather fell down in a ditch, and his dogs trying to do something or get help (God knows what was going on in their head) decide to go home. Well something like that....

Ry was so very dramatic it was ridiculous. He was the comic relief. With all the things he got himself into it was nice having him there so I can see thing through the eyes of a normal human being. You know who's not normal? Dell. Dell just pissed me off throughout the book. Sure he was helping this guy out but no wonder you have no one with you... And I know that was just supposed to be his character and everything would turn out right in the end but you know what? I don't care. I still didn't like him. Half way through in fact I was tired of him. Which leads up to what I have to say next: This book was too long. Now I know you are going to think really? That's your problem with the book? Well to that I say yes. The book was too long. I have read books that are plenty long but this one just dragged on. Half of the book I liked and without Ry I would have stopped reading a long time ago. So for that I still say I liked it. I think others might have a better perspective of it so if you are shaking your head at me go ahead and read it. It might be just me.

Before I end the review I have to say that I really like this cover. It reminds me so much of Spirited away. (:


Rating: 3 stars

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

A year ago Brooklyn's boyfriend Lucca died in a car crash now his best friend Gabe committed what suicide? Or was it an accident? She doesn't even know because they grew apart after his death. He overdosed and she can't believe it. He was given a chance while her boyfriend was not. Now the pain is even more unbearable. Everyone keeps dying around her. People keep leaving even her mother left with her twin brothers leaving her alone with her father who can't do anything so she does it for him. Making dinner, cleaning the dishes, doing the laundry.

She writes in her journal well Lucca's journal everyday. Tells him how much she misses him. Tells him how much she loves him. She has changed after his death. She won't make art like she used to. Won't draw her flowers. Everything is grey now. And then her dreams turn gray and ugly too because Gabe comes in them and then she runs away fear gripping her. He won't leave her alone either. Why is she dreaming about him when she's supposed to be dreaming about Lucca? What does he want?

Nico is running faster than ever. Running from the pain of losing his brother. He may be all cheery on the outside but it's only a mask. Impenetrable. Not only did his brother die but his best friend and even though he feels that everyone rather have Lucca here than him he still misses him. Bad. And when Gabe dies he feels it again but more anger then pain. How could he do that when his brother is dead? Why did he have to create more pain. Now the school is up to three deaths the first being a boy named Jackson that died about 6 months before Lucca or something like that. Then Lucca comes to him. Telling him to help Brooklyn. How's he going to do that? He isn't him.

I have been waiting to read this over a year and when I finally open it I'm like "What the...?" It's all because

The book
is written
like this.
It's called
which I
have no idea
what that is.

And I was like "Oh no!" Only because then I wouldn't be able to get to know the characters more. I liked it at times because some of the things said were powerful but other times I didn't especially towards the end because it was just too much. I wanted to get to know the characters. I wish there was only some verse. Or maybe it wasn't that. Maybe it was just that the characters didn't have much depth.

The whole thing with Gabe was really engaging me into the story. But then when he finally caught up to her I was disappointed. I thought it was just dumb. Why? It was just disappointing. Nico and Brooklyn's relationship was the good part of the book. Nico was sweet to her but then that's it. It wasn't as great as I hoped. It was just okay.

There were two sneak peeks of her other books and they sound exactly the same. Sorry but I don't think I'll be reading them.

 Rating: 2 stars

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Snarky Bianca Piper couldn't be more different than her two friends. They are the tall, all legs, blond hair, bubbly, cheerleading type of people. It doesn't matter really. She's known Casey since Kindergarten after she defended her from schoolyard bullies and she has been doing the same ever since because Bianca likes to bottle things up so she worries about her. Jessica is always as sweet as can be and is unaware that her brother caused her pain many years ago.

Her real problems consist of a mother who never is home and a father who might break if she doesn't.Things start to get tough at home and her pure hatred towards the slut Wesley turns into desperation because he can offer her an excuse, an escape... distraction but when he starts to be a little more bearable and a little more understanding actually listening to her she questions whether or not she has feelings other than hatred towards the guy.

Honestly, I must have skipped the part where it says friends with benefits because that is NOT what I thought this would have. I thought they would just kiss or something... I guess my mind is a little bit innocent. Well not too much because I read it and may I add liked the book. First of all I was so happy that the problems in her life didn't feel fake. One thing I hate is when authors say how hard their characters life is but doesn't provide the emotion for it. Ahem *coughs* Perfect Chemistry...

Oh the most important thing I forgot to mention.  The DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. It's a nickname Wesley dubbed her. He explains that there is one in every group and you are considered The DUFF when you meet the description of the DUFF and you have really hot friends. He continues to say that if her friends see him with her he will win points with them and will have a better chance of getting them in bed. This little speech forces her to dump a cherry coke in his face. For good reason.

Why did I decide to read this you ask? Well you know how bad boys never change in real life? In books they do and I love when that happens. You may roll your eyes at me but I don't care. I can dream right? Wesley turns out all right in the end. There is a certain moment that you see the change and I absolutely loved it. It's a fist in the air type moment. Bianca unfortunately gets a little and I mean a little bit irritating. Her comments and the way she acted was kind of getting old towards the end but then the book ends so I didn't have that feeling for very long. Casey also kind of got on my nerves because she liked to poke around in Bianca's business way too much. She wanted to save her it felt all the time. Like she was that kindergartener that needed help from getting her pigtails from being pulled or whatever it was. I would be annoyed with her too if I was Bianca but Casey changed my mind and by the end I was liking her. Authors are always changing my mind at the end of books.

Speaking of authors. This one? Kody Keplinger? I always read the authors summary at the end of the book and really? REALLY!? You are 19 and are on your THIRD book? How I envy you... I have a bad feeling thought that Shut Out which I really want to read is going to be exactly like this one. We'll see I guess. Hopefully she stays on this promising author run.

And the end you learn a lesson. Haven't had a lesson laid out to me like that since I don't know when. So be prepared.

                                      Rating: 4 Stars