Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Same Difference

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Feeling left out since her long-time best friend started a serious relationship, sixteen-year-old Emily looks forward to a summer program at the Philadelphia College of Art but is not sure she is up to the challenges to be faced there, including finding herself and learning to balance life and art.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I had quite a few problems with it and am split on a lot of aspects, for example the main character, Emily. At times, she was so easy to relate to and understand, but at others I just wanted to shake her and make her stop imitating others and start being herself. Her journey was portrayed well, but in my opinion, Emily's progress in finding who she is happened too late in the book. At first, she imitates her friend Meg, and later, after going to art-school by herself, she imitates her new friend Fiona. That imitating Fiona instead of Meg was portrayed as progress, though, seemed wrong to me. Only in the very end does she try to be herself only.

I personally don't mind extremely self-conscious characters, but I've heard a lot of others say they're annoyed by main characters who are whiny and doubt themselves too much. If you don't like those kind of characters, this book isn't for you - there's a lot of whining and a lot of self-doubt. I don't usually mind that, though, as it's something I can relate to.
The other characters were okay. They were really well-written, but as people, both Meg and Fiona got on my nerves. How both of them blamed Emily and tried to manipulate her was annoying, especially from Fiona - she's supposed to be so different, but she can only be different if those around her like how she's different. I appreciated her character more, though, when we learned about her insecurities towards the ending.

The writing was great and vivid - it was so easy to imagine I was there with Emily, and teenage life was described realistically, both in her home-town and at the art-school. I loved how art was used to show Fiona's growth, and the aspect of the art was interesting in general.

The romance between Emily and Yates was okay. I loved Yates as a character, but I didn't like the romance as part of the main plot all that much. I would have preferred if Emily didn't have a love interest, as this would have helped her be only herself and not try to impress others as much.

Another problem I had with this novel was the predictability of the plot. From the first few chapters on, the reader knew (well, at least I did) how the storylines with Meg, Fiona, Yates, etc. were going to go, and except for the very end, there were no unexpected twists, which left me a little bored with some of the storylines.

Overall, this was an okay read. The writing was great, but the plot too predictable.If you like reading about insecure, self-doubting characters, you should read Same Difference, but if you're easily annoyed by those characters, I don't recommend this one for you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

100 Followers Giveaway Winner!

Thanks for entering my 100 Followers Giveaway, everyone! I got 226 entries altogether, and the winner, selected by Random.org is...

#10: Maggie @ Maggie's Bookshelf

Congrats! She chose Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

Waiting on Wednesday #10: The Beginning of After

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that "spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."

So this week I'm waiting on...

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Publication date: September 6th 2011

Goodreads description:

Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new world in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel's life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

I love the cover design, and the story sounds great, too - with me, you can't go wrong with a blend of grief, moving on with your life, and romance!


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma — so she’s been told — and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This book was really different from what I though it would be. The description I posted makes you (well, at least it made me) think it's about a girl who loses her memory after a car accident, and I thought the main topic would be identity and figuring out who you are as a person and all of that. What I didn't know, though, was that it takes place in the future, where medicine and technology are more advanced, and - I don't want to give too much away, but the main questions were how far you should go to save a life, and whether someone with a recreated body is still human - those kind of questions. The question of identity was still part of the novel, it just didn't play an as important role as I'd thought.

Because of those differences, this book was hard for me to get into, at least in the beginning. I thought what Jenna does and does not remember was kind of random - for example she remembers the basic language, but some normal words she doesn't know anymore. I'm no expert on this, but I think all the information about language and communication is in one part of the brain, so I'm not sure how that's supposed to work. But please correct me if I'm wrong! I did enjoy the definitions of certain words in between, though.

Anyways, later I understood what she does and doesn't remember - it was constructed to fit what the reader knows. For example, Jenna knows what we today think is normal for society, but she doesn't know the recent developments in technology, science and medicine, just like the reader. While I enjoyed discovering everything along with Jenna, those differences were a little too constructed to be realistic, in my opinion.

The writing was pretty good and most of the metaphors and choice of words were beautiful, but a lot of parts were too melodramatic, especially the parts written in verse. The dialogue was also a bit strange at times - sometimes the topics switched so quickly that it seemed more like a conference where you have to discuss certain points than like a normal conversation.

The characters were okay and most of them were interesting to get to know, but at times they seemed more like plot devices than actual people, each representing one opinion. I'm not sure what I can say about Jenna as a character, as (like Jenna herself) we don't really know who she is for most of the book, but I can say she was easy to relate to and usually understandable. I loved the relationship between Lily and Jenna. The romance between Jenna and Ethan was cute for the most part, but happened too quickly, in my opinion.

*I tried to make this as un-spoiler-y (I know, great word) as possible, but the next paragraph contains vague information about the ending, which could be considered spoilers.*
I was pretty disappointed by the ending. The book raised lots of interesting questions, but in my opinion, if a book really wants you to get thinking about a topic, it should raise those questions without answering them, leaving that to the reader to decide for himself. I don't want to give too much away, but in my opinion, the ending was too partial to leave those questions open. The ending seemed to be justifying the use of every possible technology to save a life - one of the characters who was decidedly against such measures suddenly changed her mind, making it almost seem like that's the lesson to be learned from this book, which I thought was strange.

While my review sounds very negative, I did enjoy this book as a whole - the plot kept me interested and raised some interesting questions. However, I had quite a few problems with the execution, especially how constructed the plot and also the characters seemed. The writing was okay. I recommend this to you only if you're really interested in the topic.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In My Mailbox #8

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where you can talk about the books you bought or received this week.

So this week I got...

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

With her father imprisoned, 15-year-old Meredith thinks she could live out her high-school days safely, but when he is released early for good behavior, her security is shattered. A popular youth baseball coach, her father has abused Mer as well as other boys and girls. With strict orders that he not be left alone with his daughter, he is returned to the condo complex where she and her mother live. In contrast to Mer's terror, her mother is giddy with delight at his return, and together the reunited couple plans to conceive another child. Yet in the shadows and stillness, Mer's nightmare begins anew.

I've heard great things about Laura Wiess's writing, so I'm excited to finally read one of her novels!

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Craig Gilner is a gifted 15-year-old boy who works hard to get into a fiercely competitive high school, then crumbles under the intense academic pressure. Blindsided by his inability to excel and terrified by thoughts of suicide, Craig checks into a psychiatric hospital where he finally gets the help he needs. Vizzini, who himself spent a brief time in psychiatric "stir," invests his novel with great emotional honesty. A graceful, skillful, and witty handling of a sensitive issue, this is an important book we heartily recommend for older teens.

This is another one I've read great reviews for, and it sounds interesting, even though I don't really get the title...?

Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after. So why is she so unhappy?
It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: She's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things (like sex) because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect boyfriend?
But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in -- and as Lauren's craving for Evan, and moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce -- Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice...before one is made for her.


Even though this one doesn't sound as powerful as the other books I've read by this author - Love You Hate You Miss You (review) and Living Dead Girl (review) -  I loved Elizabeth Scott's writing in both, so I hope I'll still enjoy this one.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I am now on Twitter!


I know I'm so totally late in joining Twitter, but, honestly, I didn't see the point before. But since everyone's on Twitter, and I've heard so many book-bloggers say it's great for networking and stalking authors (always fun), I decided to join!

PaperbackTreasures was too long as a name, so I went with PbackTreasures, which I know sounds stupid, but oh well. You can find my Twitter account here. So if you're on Twitter, too, follow me, and leave your link in the comments and I'll follow you!



On My Wishlist #10: Lipstick Apology



On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City where you can talk about a book you want to read but haven't actually bought yet.

My pick for this week is...

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

When Emily Carson's parents die in a plane crash, she's left with nothing but her mother's last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: "Emily, please forgive me."
Now it's fall and Emily moves to New York City where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal.
Debut author Jennifer Jabaley has written a wonderful, feel-good romantic comedy with real emotional depth. Full of lovably wacky characters, Lipstick Apology is a heartwarming story about the true meaning of forgiveness.

I've seen this one around a few times, and it sounds great! I love the title, and the story sounds like a perfect mix of grief and romance - perfect for me. I hope I'll get to read it soon!

What's on your wishlist this week?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow Friday #7 / Book Blogger Hop #7

 

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Parajunkee's View. Each week, one blogger is featured, and this week it's Rebecca at Confessions of a Page Turner (I love that name for a blog!)


It also asks a different question each week. This week's question is: "Give us five book related silly facts about you."

1. I always have a book with me, even if I'm just going to the corner store, and I read everywhere - on the bus, between classes, in the bath tub...it's kind of getting on my friends' nerves, though, when I'd rather read than talk to them...

2. When I buy books in the same series or by the same author, they need to be by the same publisher and in the same binding. It's kind of annoying - if I start a series late and buy the first one in paperback, then I have to wait until the next one is released in paperback before I buy it. Oh, and some authors have a few books published by one publisher and a few by another and I absolutely hate that, even though I know it's stupid.

3. I really hate it when the spines of the books I own have cracks, so I only open them as little as possible. If someone borrows my books, though, and they don't do that...well, I get kind of upset, even though (again) I know it's ridiculous.

4. I hate e-books. Reading on the computer just isn't the same as having an actual physical book in your hands, and I hate how so many now read so much on their Kindles or whatever.

5. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I love book covers. I wouldn't buy a book just because I like the cover, but if the plot sounds interesting and I don't like the cover at all, I won't usually read it, even though I hate that about me.

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word.

This week's question is: "If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

That's a hard question - there's so much to chose from! But if I had to chose, I'd probably take one of Sarah Dessen's books. I know I'm being superficial, but the girls are always so relatable and normal, but they always get the perfect guy. And if I had to chose from Sarah Dessen's books, I'd take The Truth About Forever, because, well, I sort of have a crush on Wes - he's just so perfect!


That's it for my answers! What about you? Leave your answers or links in the comments!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Living Dead Girl

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Goodreads description:
Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.


When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I honestly don't know how to describe this book - it was dark, emotional, disturbing, heartbreaking, unforgettable, powerful, intense, horrifying, haunting, devastating, scary...I could go on, but I don't think any of these adjectives really describe what Elizabeth Scott makes the reader feel with this book - it's...just wow. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, but you're not supposed to - it's about abduction and abuse, and I don't think anyone would say they enjoy reading about that kind of suffering.

The writing in this book surprised me - the only other book I've read by Elizabeth Scott is Love You Hate You Miss You (review), and while the writing in both of these was good, it's completely different. The writing in this novel is poetic, simplistic and beautiful, and that's not at all what I would have expected after Love You Hate You Miss You, in which the writing was much more descriptive. Maybe this story needed such a simple style, though - none of the really disturbing parts are described, and the reader has to imagine all the terrible details, which I think makes this book even more powerful.

While there were only two real characters in this book, they were both really well-developed. Alice was a great, relatable character, and I felt all of her pain and despair. Her voice was great and it was interesting to read about the things she notices about normal people, things all of us take for granted but she can't have anymore. That made me thankful for the life I have.


I also enjoyed how she sometimes used the first-person-narrative, sometimes talked about herself in the third person (as in, "Once upon a time, there was a girl who...") and sometimes addressed the reader with "you". This made the story feel even closer to me and all the more devastating.

In the beginning, I kept hoping she would escape, but, much like Alice herself, I later saw the hopelessness of the situation, and (even though I hate myself for it) I hoped her pain would end one way or another. While wishing she would die is terrible, it really shows how horrifying her situation is.

Ray was a great character as well, in a very disturbing way. I appreciated hearing about his backstory and how he was sexually abused by his mother, and while of course that doesn't justify what he does to Alice, it at least offered a type of explanation.

While this book is hard to talk about and just as hard to read, I definitely recommend it. It's brutally honest, disturbing and heartbreaking, and it will definitely stay with you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #9: Wherever You Go

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that "spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."

So this week I'm waiting on...

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Publication date: November 14th 2011

Goodreads description:

Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend? As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side? Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob, Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light.

I love the idea of combining dealing with greaf with the ghost-aspect, and I think it'll be great to see how Rob reacts to Holly dealing with that grief. Plus, the cover's really nice! I can't wait to read it!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Fall for Anything

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:


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 seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daugh-ter 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. Culler 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 are some questions better left unanswered?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My thoughts about this book are basically the same ones as for Some Girls Are (review). Again, the novel was really well done, but I can’t say I loved this book. It was heartbreaking and devastating, and I know I can't really criticize that - I mean, the book is about suicide; of course it's not going to be a happy story. But I just wanted it to be a bit more hopeful, more uplifting. There was no hope in this novel whatsoever, and it didn't offer any solutions - again, the author probably didn't want to solve the problem, and of course there is no simple answer, but it was just so depressing!

The writing, as in Some Girls Are, was spectacular. I absolutely love Courtney Summer's simplistic style. It made Eddie's pain all the more real, more raw and easy to relate to. Eddie was a great character - she was so easy to understand and relate to, and I felt each of her feelings. At times, though, I just wanted to shake her and make her reach out to Milo.

All of the other characters were well-written and fleshed-out. Milo was so perfect, and I loved the relationship between him and Eddie. Their past problems seemed really realistic and added another dimension to the plot. Culler was kind of strange to me. In the beginning, I really liked him, but I thought his relationship to Eddie was a little weird - saying his loss was as great as Eddie's didn't seem right. Yes, Seth Reeves was his idol and he looked up to him all his life, but he was Eddie's father. I don't think those losses are comparable.

One problem I had with the novel was that there wasn't enough information about the time before the suicide, in my opinion. I would have liked to know who Eddie was before, how her relationship with her dad was, and with her mom, too. The reader never got to know her father as a person.


All in all, this novel is extremely well-done; the characters and the writing are amazing, and Eddie's pain is raw and real. I had a few problems with the plot, though, and (like Some Girls Are), this book is really depressing and heart-breaking, and I would have preferred a more hopeful ending.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

On My Wishlist #9: Sean Griswold's Head



On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City where you can talk about a book you want to read but haven't actually bought yet.

My pick for this week is...

Sean Griwold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object—an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas—it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him. The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.

I've heard great things about this book, and it sounds cute! I hope I'll get to read it soon!

What's on your wishlist this week?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Follow Friday #6 / Book Blogger Hop #6

 

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Parajunkee's View. Each week, one blogger is featured, and this week it's Jess at Gone with the Words (be sure to check out her blog!)

It also asks a different question each week.

This week's question is: "How did you come up with your blog name?"

I honestly don't remember how I came up with Paperback Treasures...I'd been thinking about creating a blog for a while and already knew I'd want to call it Paperback Treasures for about a month before I started this blog. I have no idea where I got that name, though - it makes sense, as I somehow like paperbacks way better than hardcover books, and I love collecting paperbacks like treasures (or something like that), but I don't really know how I came up with it... Interesting question this week, though - I'm looking forward to reading everybody else's answers!
Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word.

This week's question is: "Do you read only one book at atime, or do you have several going at once?"


Well, normally I only read one book at a time - it's easier for me to really be pulled into a story that way. I sometimes read books with embarrassing covers, though (like Pretty Little Liars, for example), which I don't want people to see me reading. I know that's kind of ridiculous, but...I don't know, some of the less...how do I say this...less meaningful books I read (the chick-lit, romance-types) I'd just rather read at home where no on sees me. Then I read two books at once - the one I read at home, and the one I take with me to read on the bus, etc.

That's it for my answers! What about you? Leave your answers or links in the comments!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Goodreads description:

Born with a port-wine stain birthmark covering her entire right cheek, Terra Rose Cooper is ready to leave her stifling, small Washington town where everyone knows her for her face. With her critical, reproachful father and an obese mother who turns to food to deflect her father's verbal attacks, home life for Terra isn't so great either. Fueled by her artistic desires, she plans to escape to an East Coast college, thinking this is her true path. When her father intercepts her acceptance letter, Terra is pushed off-course, and she is forced to confront her deepest insecurities. After an ironically fortuitous car accident, Terra meets Jacob, a handsome but odd goth Chinese boy who was adopted from China as a toddler. Jacob immediately understands Terra's battle with feeling different. When Terra's older brother invites her and her mother to visit him in Shanghai, Jacob and his mother also join them on their journey, where they all not only confront the truth about themselves, but also realize their own true beauty.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


First off, I absolutely love this cover. Before reading it, I just thought it was pretty, but after reading about the meaning of the compass…wow. The cover is great.

I loved the writing from the first page on – it was beautiful and reminded me a lot of Sarah Dessen’s style. There’s just something about it that makes the words come to life.

The characters were great as well. Terra was extremely easy to relate to – who doesn’t have something about their looks they’re self-conscious about? Her low self-esteem was easy to understand and relate to for me, and I understood each of her feelings perfectly.

The other characters were just as unique and dimensional. I hated the dad as much as Terra, but also felt sorry for him at points. I also felt sorry for Terra’s mom – I wanted to shake her and make her leave her abusive husband, just like Terra. However, I thought the storyline dealing with the abuse was a bit overdramatic and used too much telling, not showing. The showing alone would have been enough to make the reader understand what’s going on, but the telling made it all a little melodramatic. The same goes for Terra’s brother’s storyline.

Another great character was Jacob – he was adorable! I loved how his past connected him to Terra, and their whole relationship was great. The whole Erik-Terra-Jacob love-triangle got on my nerves, though. I understand that Terra staying in a wrong relationship was necessary to portray her low self-esteem, and there wouldn’t have been all that much action if the author had left out that storyline, but I guess I’m just sick of love-triangles. That part of the novel seemed clichéd and too…constructed to fit the main plot perfectly, making Erik more of a plot-device than an actual character.

I really enjoyed the analogy of the maps, the compass, etc. – that fit the plot perfectly. It was also interesting to hear about Terra’s escape in art.

While it was interesting to hear about their trip to China to some extent, it was a bit too preachy, too go-visit-China-now! for me, and that took from the authenticity of Terra’s voice.

This is a book I would definitely recommend. The writing is beautiful and the characters are complex. While I had a few problems with it, the story and especially the ending are inspiring and really portray the definition of true beauty.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #8: Bumped

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that "spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating."

So this week I'm waiting on...

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Publication date: May 1st 2011

Goodreads description:

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job. Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from. When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

I've seen this book around other lots of times, but I never read the description - I thought it was just another teen-pregnancy-novel, which, honestly, I'm getting kind of tired of. But then I did read the description, and it sounds great! It sounds like the perfect mix of dystopia and a character-driven plot, which I love.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: Freefall

Freefall by Mindi Scott
(Amazon / Goodreads)


Goodreads description:


How do you come back from the point of no return?
Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend, Isaac, alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time when Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn't wake up. Convinced that his own actions led to his friend's death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth soon realizes he isn't the only one who needs saving . . .


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book – it made me feel sad and happy within a few pages. I was expecting it to be very dark, dealing with Isaac’s death and alcohol abuse, and it did portray Seth’s grief and struggle beautifully, but most parts of this book just made me happy – the humor was great and made me laugh out loud. It reminded me a bit of Looking for Alaska by John Green – serious and emotional at times, light and funny at others.

Usually, it’s kind of hard for me to relate to a male main character, but Mindi Scott’s characters were great, so that wasn’t a problem. Seth was a realistic, likeable character with believable challenges. All of the characters were beautifully written and three-dimensional – especially Rosetta and Kendall were believable, complex characters, and their relationships were realistic as well.

My favorite part of the novel was the romance between Seth and Rosetta – it was just so cute! All of their scenes made me smile. Their relationship evolved very naturally. I particularly appreciated that the author mentioned, but didn’t focus on the rich-girl/poor-guy aspect, because that storyline really annoys me when it’s overdone.

I also enjoyed the scenes during the IC class – I want a class like that!

When I read the description of this book, I thought Isaac’s death would play a much bigger role than it did, and while I enjoyed the other storylines, I think the book could have used a few more flashbacks, etc. – I never felt like I knew him as a character. I enjoyed how Seth worked on his grief with Kendall, but didn’t think it was all that realistic how little everyone else cared about Isaac’s death.

I was a bit disappointed by the ending – it was a good ending and made me smile, but I wanted to know more, especially about Rosetta and her progress with her issues.

I definitely recommend this book! It really makes you feel something – the main character’s good and bad feelings. While some parts were underdeveloped, in my opinion, the characters and writing were great, making this debut definitely worth reading!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #7

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where you can talk about the books you bought or received this week.

So this week I got...

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma — so she’s been told — and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?

This book has been on my wishlist for ages, and I finally got around to buying it this week. The concept seems interesting, even if it's not all that new, and I love books about figuring who you are, so I'm excited to read it!


Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Goodreads description:

Raised in a religious - yet abusive - family, Pattyn Von Stratten starts asking questions - about God, a woman's role, sex, love. She experiences the first stirrings of passion, but when her father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control. Pattyn is sent to live with an aunt in the wilds of Nevada to find salvation and redemption. What she finds instead is love and acceptance - until she realizes that her old demons will not let her go.

I loved Ellen Hopkins's style in Crank and Glass (review), so I'm excited to read another one of her books.


Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Amazon description:

Emily's life reeks of the ordinary: she lives in suburban New Jersey in a posh gated community and hangs out at Starbucks with her friends in a town where most of the buildings are old, and if they're not, they're eventually made to look that way. When Emily heads to Philadelphia for a summer art institute—complete with an eclectic cast of funky classmates and one dreamy teaching assistant—she faces the classic teen dilemma of whether to choose the familiar over the new and exciting, while figuring out who she really is: Emily from Cherry Grove or Emily the aspiring artist? Vivian serves up the story with vivid description and dialogue; the author's talent for scene-setting and evocative imagery is especially effective for a story about a girl just discovering her eye as an artist and herself as a person.

I've heard great things about Siobhan Vivan, but I haven't read any of her books yet because of the embarrassing covers. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover, and all that, but... Okay, I don't have an excuse. I do judge books by their covers sometimes. This book's cover is nice, though. If I enjoy Siobhan Vivian's writing, I might be able to ignore the covers and read her other books anyways.

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy into the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI, and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town goes missing, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.


This is another author I've heard a lot about but have never read, so I'm escited to read this one. And, I hate to talk about covers again, but I love this cover - there's just something about it; it's both beautiful and depressing at the same time.


What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On My Wishlist #8: All Unquiet Things



On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City where you can talk about a book you want to read but haven't actually bought yet.

My pick for this week is...

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.
Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.
Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

I love the cover - the contrasts are great, and the look in that girl's eyes - wow! The plot sounds interesting, too, so I hope I'll get to read this book soon!

What's on your wishlist this week?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Follow Friday #5 / Book Blogger Hop #5

 

Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Parajunkee's View. Each week, one blogger is featured, and this week it's Ashley at Bookaholic Does Blogging (be sure to check out her blog!)

It also asks a different question each week.

This week's question is: "Just like Ashley said (love it) "Ashley the girl..." who are You the Boy/Girl, instead of You the Blogger?"

Okay, Hannah the Girl.... I'm 16 years old and I live in Bonn, Germany with my parents and my little brother. I'm in 11th grade, and I'm hoping to move to the US for college in one and a half years. Besides reading and blogging, my hobbies include writing (although I haven't done that much writing since I started this blog - blogging is extremely time-consuming!), swimming, rowing and generally goofing of with my friends. I also enjoy watching movies (my favorites are  romantic comedies - yes, I'm a typical teenaged girl), and listening to music (mainly Alternative, but I like lots of different genres). In the afternoons, I work as a supervisor for 5th- and 6th-graders doing homework.  Hmm, I think that's about it for Hannah the Girl!

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word.

This week's question is: "If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"

Great question this week! Here are some of the books I hope to buy soon:


Matched by Ally Condie (Amazon / Goodreads)
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler (Amazon / Goodreads)
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (Amazon / Goodreads)
Saving Zoe by Alyoson Noel (Amazon / Goodreads)
Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee (Amazon / Goodreads)
Stolen by Lucy Christopher (Amazon / Goodreads)
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas (Amazon / Goodreads)

That's it for my answers! What about you? Leave your answers or links in the comments!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Double Review: Crank & Glass

Crank by Ellen Hopkins
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Glass by Ellen Hopkins
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description for Crank:

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina - she's fearless. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul - her life.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

I was wary about Ellen Hopkins‘s books at first, as I hadn’t read any novel told in verse before. I do like poetry, it’s just that it takes me ages to analyze and really understand it, so I didn’t think this could be something I could just read to enjoy. There was no need to worry, though – the first few pages were hard to get through, but after that, I was hooked. I loved the sparse style, leaving out anything irrelevant to the story and making the reader pay close attention to every word. The writing was beautiful and captivating – hypnotic, even.

The story itself was painfully honest, frightening and fascinating. Even though what was happening was terrible, I couldn’t stop reading and finished both books quickly, despite their length.
Kristina was a completely realistic character, and so were her relationships with her family and love interests. In Crank, I could easily relate to and sympathize with her, as she was fighting the addiction and trying to do what’s best for herself and those around her. In Glass, though, I stopped sympathizing with her bit by bit, and towards the end, I really hated her. She was so selfish, becoming a ruthless dealer and criminal, and it was heartbreaking to see how she ruined not only hers but also her son’s life with her addiction. Usually, I need to be able to relate to a character in order to enjoy the book, but hating Kristina didn’t make me enjoy Glass any less – it just showed her journey and what and addiction can do to a person.
Knowing that this story was inspired by the author’s daughter’s experience makes these books even more powerful and emotional.


Needless to say, this book isn’t suitable for all ages, but l think this is an important book everyone should read eventually. The content is shocking, riveting and powerful, and the writing is just plain beautiful. I’ll definitely be reading more of this author’s books soon!
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