Monday, July 30, 2012

The Perfect Boy : Review

The Perfect BoyThe Perfect Boy by Hailey Abbott
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ciara is a bit of a "player" and has the reputation to go with it. She decides she's done being a player and goes to stay with her dad in Santa Barbara for the summer. This is where she plans on finding "The Perfect Guy" and is convinced that this guy is AJ, a childhood friend who has transformed from nerd to hottest-boy-around. She teams up with Kevin, another childhood friends who has gone through a similar transformation, and they come up with Operation Woo-ha. The plan is to get AJ interested in Ciara and Maggie, nice-girl-turned-wild-child, interested in Kevin. The problem is that Maggie and AJ seem to be interested in each other. Ciara is so sure about AJ being the perfect guy that she is willing to do almost anything to get him, even if that means betraying her friends. Ciara discovers that her perfect guy may not be whom she's thought all along.

This book really didn't do it for me. I pushed through the first half and once I realized that the second half wasn't any better, I skimmed through it in about an hour. The whole thing just dragged on and on and there wasn't much of anything happening. The narration was a bit dull, the story wasn't convincing, the characters seemed very one dimensional, despite the author's efforts ( I felt like every time Ciara said something about her parent's divorce or AJ about his fame, they were just saying it because maybe that's what people say when they are in those situations, I didn't feel like they actually meant it or that they were genuinely feeling those things. I didn't believe any of it) and.... Well, it just wasn't up to par with the better YA romance novels.

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Book Review: When It Happens

When It HappensWhen It Happens by Susane Colasanti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Warning: This review may contain hints of spoilers

Half-Way Point Impressions:
Sara is a romantic who has her own idea of the perfect guy and desperately wants that guy to be Dave. Dave is a popular kid who is dating Sara but might be doing it for all the wrong reasons. Dave might also be huge poser, pretending to be a certain way to fit into the cool crowd even if that way is not at all who he is. Tobey really likes Sara and is trying to figure out how he could get Sara to like her. Tobey also knows what a jerk Dave is and why he really wanted to be with Sara.
Sara has a troubled home life, in the sense that her dad isn't really in the picture and her mom doesn't really care much about her. Sara's mom seems to be someone who is dating someone different every other week and Sara is tired of. At one point in the book Sara even says that she wants someone to want to be with her (or something along those lines). Sara is also one of the smart kids.
Tobey is in band and is also smart but a huge slacker. He really wants his future to be about music and nothing else. He really likes Sara and hates that she likes Dave because he knows more about what kind of person Dave is that Sara does. Tobey recognizes that he could easily tell Sara the truth about Dave to get on her good side but he doesn't do this because he wants Sara to like him for who he is and not just because he's better than Dave.
As Sara dates Dave she seems to like him less and less and once she finds out that Tobey likes her, she finds herself becoming more attracted to Tobey, a guy she barely knows, than Dave, the guy she's dating.
I'm interested to see where this story is going to go from here.

You know what I liked best about this book? The fact that even though there was a main story line (the relationship between Sara and Tobey) there were other things going on in the lives of the characters that didn't necessarily serve a direct purpose to the main story. What I mean to say is that there were other things going on in Sara and Tobey's lives that didn't have much to do with their relationship. This made them seem very real. For example, Tobey's conversations with his dad about college, or Sara's relationship with her mom who was there yet not there. Sara's issues with her mother didn't necessarily reach an epic climax where all was good and now they have the perfect mother-daughter relationship. There might have been a slight, miniscule improvement but definitely not the happily ever after kind. I like these kind of things in a story. I thought the book was about Sara and Tobey's romance but now I'm thinking its more about Sara, Tobey and their friends in their senior year of high school.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ramblings of a Logophile.: Cover Reveal: Lengths by Steph Campbell and Liz Re...

Ramblings of a Logophile.: Cover Reveal: Lengths by Steph Campbell and Liz Re...: A couple weeks ago Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt made this announcement. And it was an amazing announcement. It went a little some...

Yes! I want to read this book.
I have a theory that when the characters names are uncommon the love story turns out to be wonderful! (Take Sarah Dessen for example)

Book Review: Divergent

It's a futuristic dystopian novel in which people as divided into factions based on a certain characteristic. For example, Abnegation is for people who are (or want to dedicate themselves to being) selfless; Dauntless is for the brave; Erudite is for those who value/desire knowledge; Candor is for those who believe that "honesty is the best policy." There are 5 factions in total (I can't remember the fifth) and once you're 16 you take an aptitude tests that tells you which faction you might be best suited for and you then get to choose which faction you want to be a part of. The intention behind the factions was based on the theory that war was caused by varying opinions on what could bring peace. This way you divide people up on their idea on what brings peace and all will be peaceful. That was the intention, at least .
The story follows Beatrice Prior (AKA Tris) who chooses to abandon the faction she was raised in, Abnegation, and join the Dauntless. Most of the story follows Tris throughout her grueling Dauntless initiation in which she must learn what it takes to be brave, at the same time Tris is also trying to figure out what it means to be brave. She makes friends and enemies throughout the process and also finds someone who is more than just a friend. This someone is Four, her instructor. During this time Tris discovers that she may be Divergent, though she doesn't quite know what this means. All the information that she gathers points to the fact that being Divergent is dangerous!

Think Hunger Games.... but better. Way better!

Quick Book Reviews: Part II

This collection is made up of the series books that I read.

Fallen (Fallen, #1)Fallen by Lauren Kate
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The beginning half was pretty slow but now it's starting to get really interesting. (at the 70% point)
The epilogue was interesting, makes me want to read the next book. Overall though this book seemed like an introduction to the entire series and thus went pretty slow. Hopefully the other ones are a bit more fast paced.

Torment (Fallen, #2)Torment by Lauren Kate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(I don't really have a review on this one. Just thoughts at various points in the book)
21% - Lots of mysteries and secrets needing to be discovered. Daniel is not telling Luce everything. I wonder what his secret is? I also hope he comes back soon and doesn't stay away all 18 days, though i guess he has to because of the truce. If he isn't coming back for a while, I hope Luce starts discovering some really interesting stuff. Don't know what I think about Miles or Shelby yet.
Okay so I'm really liking this. Things are moving at a relatively fast rate, at least fast enough to keep me interested. Still lots of mysteries and tons of questions that need to be answered. I think Luce is finally starting to figure things out.
45% - I wonder what Cam is up to and why in the epilogue for Fallen he says he would never hurt Luce and Daniel knows why. What's Cam role in Luce's story. Also, why is Roland at Shoreline? awww, poor daniel
ok. what in the world is going on!
100% -next book. now.

Passion (Fallen, #3)Passion by Lauren Kate
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As cool as it was that Luce was traveling through time and living vicariously through her past selves, I didn't see the need to write an entire book on it. At the end of it, all she realizes is that Daniel's love for her is real and her love for him is too and that she would choose him. An entire book just to learn that much. Honestly it could have done the same job in a much more condensed form. The good stuff is at the very end when you learn about the curse and the fall, something I've been wanting to learn since Fallen and had to wait till the last few pages of Passion to actually learn. I'll give it 3 stars, it was okay but not that great. I really liked Torment better.
I really feel like the first 3 books could have been condensed into 1 book or even two books and had a much bigger effect than the three books do. Oh well.

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation (How to Ruin, #1)How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was ok. Didn't get me too excited.

How to Ruin My Teenage Life (How to Ruin, #2)How to Ruin My Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation (How to Ruin, #3)How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1. awwww, why avi? why?
2. ok.fine. i accept your excuse
3. amy you're crazy and ridiculous and that is what makes you so funny.
4. hotel room scene! Earth is shaking! lol
5. The ending part: hahah of course this would happen. Only to Amy.
6. This is definitely not my favorite Simone Elkeles series but i still kind of liked it. The biggest issue for me was that I didn't really feel like the chemistry between Amy and Avi was as strong as any of the other couples in Simone Elkeles books. I loved Alex and Brittany and Caleb and Maggie, those two couples are tied as my favorite. Amy and Avi are definitely at the bottom of that list for me.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

no! you cant end! not like that!
now i must go get a copy of Insurgent.
(more on this later)

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Quick Book Reviews : Part I

Like you may or may not know, I didn't post anything on here for a while and during that time I read several books. I reviewed all of them but most reviews were just a few sentences or maybe even just a rating on the 5 star scale. Instead of having a separate post for each of these I will collectively place them here.

Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2)Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really like Caleb! He is definitely one of my favorite characters. Caleb and Maggie's love story is a great one. This Simone Elkeles novel/series rivals Sarah Dessen's (and Sarah is my favority YA author, so....).

The Language of FlowersThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story was simple yet sad. I felt for Victoria in the beginning, thought she was absolutely insane in the middle but understood her perspective by the end. I was skeptical about reading this one because it's not the kind of book I normally read but it turned out to be better than I had expected.

The Lucky OneThe Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My first Nicholas Sparks novel. I liked it but not as much as people seem to like Nicholas Sparks. I guess I'm just not a Nicholas Sparks fan because I would much rather watch the movie.

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Aah!!! How can you end the book that way? Now i have to wait to find out what happens next!? Argh. This is so frustrating... but at the same time so great. The last three pages are perfection. Actually, the entire last chapter is perfect. The last word killed me. Such a good/bad cliffhanger depending on how you look at it. If you don't want to spoil the book for yourself DO NOT go to the ending until you've read everything else first. (I know some of you do that!)

Favorite Quote: "don't believe her."
You would have to get to that part to understand why.

The Peach KeeperThe Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really impressed with this book.Didn't really know what to expect because it's not the kind of book I usually read but I ended up really liking it. The writing style had a really nice flow to it and the story was nice. There were themes of friendship, secrets, finding yourself, and some superstition.
Yeah, I really didn't expect that I would be giving this 4 stars. (You might be able to tell that I'm still surprised by how much I liked the book, even as I write this review) Maybe three at the most. But this book is definitely deserving of four stars (that's really because i reserve my 5 stars for the books that I am absolutely obsessively in love with and this doesn't quite reach that point, but it's very close).

Twenty Boy SummerTwenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Catching JordanCatching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, so when I started the book I wasn't sure that I was going to like it because it seemed very stereotypical and dull. I was expecting a boy and girl meet, they have undeniable chemistry, fall in love, face a challenge, overcome challenge and happily ever after. That isn't exactly what I got. There are so many twists and turns in the book. I read it on kindle and there were so many times where I thought "Okay that's it I'm almost done with this" Then I check my progress and I'm only 50% through or 70% through or whatever. I still have a long way to go and I'm thinking what more could happen and the story kept going but not necessarily in a long stretched out kind of way. There were a bunch of turning points and through all of them I found Jordan to be easy to relate to. I mean, no, my dad is not a big shot NFL player and no, I don't play football and I definitely don't have a lake named after me but other than that...
I loved how the story progressed because it never seemed over the top or super dramatic. There wasn't a point where I was reading and then thought, "Sigh if only that happened to me... but what are the chances, cause life is just not that dramatic or coincidental." Everything that happened seemed believable and realistic. It moved at the right pace and there wasn't a ton going on all at once in the kind of way that could only happen in stories and not reality.
Catching Jordan is a great read.

Leaving Paradise: Book Review

I realized that I never really posted a review on Leaving Paradise so here it is.

Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it!
It was all that I expected and more.

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It's short. I know. I wish I'd written more right after I finished it but, whatever. I will add that Leaving Paradise is one of my favorites now and I could definitely see myself reading this one many times.

Guess who's Back!

Looks like the inner crazy reader in me is finally back!
I'm so happy about this.
I know I haven't posted in a while and that is partially due to laziness on my part but also I lost any desire to read as soon as summer started. Before summer I was reading obsessively, completing a book in a day or two. Which is kind of ridiculous considering that I should have probably spent that time studying for my classes. Oh well. I thought that once finals were over  I would just read all day, everyday for the entire summer. Instead I wasted my time on internet and tv and read not a single book until this week. Actually, I should correct that. I did read in the last month and a half but I didn't complete any book until this week.
So let me just update you on the books I've completed since the last post as well as the books I'm reading right now. ( I will do a separate post on my reviews of the completed books.)

1. Return to Paradise - Simone Elkeles
2. The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh
3. The Luck One - Nicholas Sparks
4. Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver
5. The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
6. Fallen - Lauren Kate
7. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
8. Where She Went - Gayle Forman
9. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation - Simone Elkeles
10. How to Ruin your Teenage Life- Simone Elkeles
11. How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation - Simone Elkeles
12. Torment - Lauren Kate
13. Fallen in Love - Lauren Kate
14. Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler
15. Catching Jordan - Miranda Kenneally
16. Passion - Lauren Kate
17. Divergent - Vanessa Roth

Phew! I didn't realize I read so many books. Note that Passion and Divergent are the only ones I completed this summer and Passion doesn't even really count because I started it before summer.

Currently Reading:
When It Happens - Susan Colosanti
The Perfect Boy - Hailey Abbott