Reviews

Reviews

Recent Reads #9

  

 

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler & Maria Kalman


Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: In case you don’t know why I hate you now, here are some letters and items detailing why you suck.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: I’d like some tea.

It made me feel: Like the real title should have been Why Did We Date in the First Place.

Romance: I guess. Okay, yeah, but not from the d-bag male lead.

Highlight: The art! I love illustrations!

Read it if you like: Singing “You Oughta Know”, Old Hollywood, cooking.

Rating: One fun size bag of M&Ms.

 

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral


Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: A story of a mysterious relationship told through art, music, and videos.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Pretty! But the spine is so many colors, I don’t know which shelf to put it on! *is confused*

It made me feel: Like looking at all the little things Callaway and I have collected between us over the years.

Romance: Yes, the slightly forbidden and honest type.

Highlight: YouTube links and the like. I think lots of books might try things like this soon.

Read it if you like: Fast reads, art, the beauty of an unopened door.

Rating: One plate of flan.

 

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: I have two gay dads, a jerkface boyfriend, and a crush on the boy who broke my soul.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: I need that wig. I need it now.

It made me feel: Like I should take up making my own clothes again.

Romance: Of course. The imperfect and a long-time-coming type.

Highlight: Besides the cute, lovey stuff, the descriptions of everything. From settings to clothes, it all felt vibrant.

Read it if you like: Figure skating, the unexpected, baking.

Rating: One packet of Skittles. Taste the rainbow!

 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith


Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: I’m on a flight and have to sit by an awesome guy I’ll probably never see again.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: It’s like a Valentine!

It made me feel: Hopeful. I do like the random circumstances of life leading to interesting things.

Romance: The type that you’re not sure can work because of where it was born.

Highlight: Getting her back on the ground. I don’t like flying either. I felt jittery!

Read it if you like: Fate, being pissed at your parents, going to weddings.

Rating: One plane package of those great cinnamon cookies. Mmmm.

 

Fever by Lauren DeStefano


Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: I’ve escaped a life of forced marriage, yay! Oh, so everything sucks out here, too? Awesome.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Is she high? *reads the book* Oh… yeah, kind of.

It made me feel: Mostly icky, if I’m honest. The series circles around some sad and pervy things. But also, very suspenseful. Or suspended? How do I translate suspense into a feeling?

Romance: Yes, the very stressed type, no matter where it comes from.

Highlight: Maddie. I’d like to give this character a hug.

Read it if you like: Constant fear, jellybeans, going to the doctor.

Rating: A bag of kettle corn. Not exactly a candy, but it’s sweet, so deal with it

 

General, Reviews

Recent Reads #8

It's long overdue, but here were my last batch of books for 2011:

Shut out by Kody Keplinger

Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: No nookie for you!

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: That chick is so B.A.

It made me feel: Glad I’m not in high school anymore.

Romance: Yes. Gross overbearing type, and sweet slow-burning type.

Highlight: Mysteriousness.

Read it if you like: Sports, Sports Illustrated, face paint.

Rating: Two Reece’s Cups

 

Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: Internet predator creepers up in your face.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Spooky.

It made me feel: Dirty.

Romance: Besides the perviness, which doesn’t count, yes, some quiet type.

Highlight: The ending. Not that it ended, just how it did.

Read it if you like: Getting angry, needing to take multiple showers, and feeling inspired to protect your children.

Rating: A large piece of therapeutic chocolate cake.

 

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: Inside the mind of a 10-year-old dealing with losing a parent in 9/11.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: I might get tattoos on my hands in that fashion one day.

It made me feel: Normal.

Romance: Yes, but not where I was expecting it from.

Highlight: The Empire State Building. Personally.

Read it if you like: New York, whimsy, not feeling alone.

Rating: A cup of coffee. With sugar and cream.

 

Twilight Graphic Novels 1 & 2 by Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim

Release Date: They’re both out!

The general idea: Twilight! But with pictures!

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: When you put them side by side, they look like they’re holding hands!

It made me feel: Like Twilight did. Except there were pictures!

Romance: Yes, the forbidden type. And with pictures!

Highlight: Seeing the clothes/hair/things described in the book looking like I thought they should.

Read it if you like: Coloring, Muse, big hair.

Rating: A large cup of hot chocolate.

 

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: If you saw yourself on social media BEFORE IT WAS BORN!

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Is this cover trying to hack my account?

It made me feel: Nostalgic.

Romance: Yes. What-will-happen-if-we-do-this type.

Highlight: Tighty Whities!

Read it if you like: Saying “tape” instead of “DVR”, time travel without actual time travel, pizza.

Rating: Three Twinkies.

 

Dear Bully by LOTS OF PEOPLE!

Release Date: It’s out!

The general idea: Letters to author’s bullies. Pretty straightforward.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Peekaboo!

It made me feel: In harmony with every author everywhere.

Romance: Not exactly, but that’s okay.

Highlight: Mo Willems cartoon.

Read it if you like: Awesomeness, forgiveness… lots of other –nesses.

Rating: A big fat slice of humble pie. Not for you, though. For your bully.

 

This makes for a sad total of 36 books read in 2011. But, mind you, I read The Selection about a gazillion times, so.

 

Reviews

Recent Reads #7

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Release date: It’s out, yo!

The general idea: It’s Paranormalcy, only better!

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Evie, Evie, cute and creepy, how does your garden grow?

It made me feel: glad that I’m not responsible for anything crucial. Just a kid and some books.

Romance: It’s there and full of angst.

Highlight: SODA! And intrigue!

Read it if you like: Pink (the musician), Pink (the Victoria’s Secret brand), and pink (the color). Or if you hate gym.

Rating: a 6-pack of Sprite, drunk REALLY fast.

 

Variant by Robison Wells

Release date: October 4th, which is great. Creepy time of year, creepy kind of book. They're pretty much BFFs.

The general idea: High school with cameras. But not the MTV type. The STOP LOOKING AT ME type.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Dang it! Didn’t you get the memo about not wearing red into the Forrest of Blue?! Seriously, you ruin everything.

It made me feel: like doing the robot. *dances*

Romance: Oh yeah. The confusing type!

Highlight: Delicious tension.

Read it if you like: Reality television, mechanics, The Fox and the Hound.

Rating: Three contraband beverages sipped quietly while your roommate sleeps.

 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephenie Perkins

Release date: It’s out, hotties!

The general idea: I don’t want to be in France, but if I must, I shall make out with this hottie.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Bonjour, hottie.

It made me feel: a yearning for dorm life and hotties.

Romance: Hello, Hottie McHottiepants.

Highlight: Hotties.

Read it if you like: Hotties.

Rating: Two hot chocolates with whipped cream. Served on a hottie’s washboard abs.

 

One Day by David Nicholls

Release date: It’s out. And it's totally a movie.

The general idea: I can’t stand you! (Twenty years pass) Ok, I kind of love you…

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Do mimes vomit neon?

It made me feel: dizzy. I may have been holding my breath a lot.

Romance: Yes. Oh, very yes. The slow burn to the point of perfection/ insanity.

Highlight: Lovely, slow storytelling.

Read it if you like: The 20th century, protests, and crying.

Rating: Three inches of vodka gulped down right before the most important moment of your life.

Reviews

Recent Reads #6

 EVE by Anna Carey

Release Date: October 2011, just before the world ends! Yay!

The general idea: Think The Handmaid’s Tale. But with more jogging.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: That is one EPIC game of hide and seek.

It made me feel: Like riding a horse.

Romance: Yes, the fated type.

Highlight: Sweaty balls. Not kidding.

Read it if you like: The Distance by Cake, not showering, Schwetty Balls.

Rating: 4 Hershey’s Kisses, regular type.

 

FAMILY by Micol Ostow

Release Date: Already out!

The general idea: You know what would be fun? Killing people. You in? Awesome.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: OHMYGOSHWHATSWRONGWITHYOURFACE!?

It made me feel: Glad to be alive.

Romance: I wouldn’t call it romance. More like creepin.

Highlight: Haunting writing.

Read it if you like: Time traveling, general traveling, hiding.

Rating: 4 Hershey’s Kisses, dark type.

 

 IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: Already out!

The general idea: That my twin. We be different. We be sad.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Oh, I can see my face! Shiny!

It made me feel: Diiiiirty.

Romance: NO! Nonononononono.

Highlight:

Some

Of the

Poems

Spell

Out       e t t e r s

Read it if you like: Being angry, words, roller coasters.

Rating: 4 Hershey’s Kisses, the swirly type.

Reviews

Recent Reads #5 HarperTeen Edition!

After BEA, I was lucky enough to come home with several books from the HarperTeen fall lineup. I’ve been snacking on them between edits, and I’m finally prepared to share my thoughts on them with you. With my handy new rating system*, you should be able to figure out which books are the right ones for you. The first three on the pile are below, and I should hopefully have more for you soon! Enjoi!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011. If you want to ignore your family on Thanksgiving, this is a good alternative to football.

The general idea: No touchy! No touch! Ohohohwait! Do you want to die? No? Then NO TOUCH!

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Cover Art and I are playing a game of hide and seek. Cover Art is winning. (It should be coming out in July.)

It made me feel: Claustrophobic.

Romance: Steamy semi-orphan love. Very steamy. And very semi-orphan.

Highlight: Crossed out sentences.

Read it if you like: The X-Men, saying “Don’t taze me, bro!”, Twilight.

Rating: A heaping handful of Skittles.

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Release Date: September 20, 2011. Which is great because you should be having cold kisses by then. Get it… GET IT? It’s the fall, people…

The general idea: *sings* My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble… um, because he’s dead.

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Smurfette? Girl, you look good!

It made me feel: Glad to be normal.

Romance: Both slightly creepy necro-style and adorable breathing-people type.

Highlight: It makes you feel like you too could write spells!

Read it if you like: Bakeries, The Osbournes, Swoon.

Rating: 6 double-stuff Oreos with milk.

 The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Release Date: October 4, 2011. Just in time for trick-or-treaters! *sits pile by door with a sign that says “Please take one”*

The general idea: There’s something on my neck, and that boy is hot, but, seriously, what’s up with— *magic explosion!*

Thoughts upon seeing the cover art: Oh no! She’s snagged her dress on something! Oh wait…

It made me feel: American.

Romance: Angsty, Floaty, Arranged, Awkward, Sleepy, Bashful, and Doc.

Highlight: Weird Irish names!

Read it if you like: yelling out “I’m on a boat!”, Wicked Lovely, Sudoku.

Rating: 7 Reese’s peanut butter cups.

 

*Any book that gets a candy or dessert reference is doing pretty good, and you should probably check it out, but a book with something like alfalfa sprouts next to it? RUN! If, at any point, you see a book get rated with Raisinetes or red velvet cake, then we’ve found literary magic, people! Steal a car** to get to the bookstore if that’s what it takes.

**Don’t steal cars.

General, Reviews

Recent Reads #4

Teach Me by R.A. Nelson- Nine is a student of people. And she already knows everyone in her small town and is bored out of her effing mind. So when her new poetry teacher proves to be more than typical, she develops a little crush on him. When he returns her feelings, the two begin a full-on affair that ends… badly. Honestly, I was disappointed. When I can figure out just why everything is going down and call a line or motive chapters before it’s pointed out, I get angry. My suggestion? If you’re going to read a book about student-teacher affairs, go with Boy Toy by Barry Lyga . I mean, it’s all kind of strange territory, but that one delivers a much stronger punch to the gut.

 

The Clearing by Heather Davis- The story follows Amy as she relocates to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend. As she settles in, she discovers the edge of her aunt’s property leads through a mist and into a clearing. On the other side of the mist, Henry and his family have been frozen in time for 60+ years.  Now, while I’m not crazy about the circumstances that led to the pause of time for Henry, I really liked the story itself. It’s brief and easy to read, not too bogged down with details, and fun if you’re the type that enjoys suspending your disbelief for a while. It’s romantic and doesn’t have the predictable happily ever after, but still delivers a last burst of… joy. That’s the only word I can think of! 

 

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer- It’s no secret I’m a Twilight fan. I’ve been looking forward to the guide for a while. So when it turned out that I knew everything in the book except for maybe three really cool details, I was bummed. I guess that’s what you get for being super involved.

 

 

Harry Potter: Film wizardry by Brian Sibley- This book is so freaking cool. Now, I dig the books, but this is one of those things where the movies have brought some really great details to the story. That’s not always the case. So if you happen to love the movies, you must check out this book. There are tons of details on production and character development, not to mention your very own Marauder’s Map, Hogwarts letter, and a few Educational Decrees to hang on your wall. Just being able to pull those out makes my inner nerd swell with pride.

 

So, clearly, the HP guide was my favorite read of the month. I’m kind of bummed that nothing else seemed to deliver. My reading time is being squished out of my life, so when I sit down with a book, I want it to be awesome. I guess that’s just unrealistic, but still. I’ve got a few books set aside for May, and I’m hoping they don’t let me down.

Have you read any of these books? Got any faves?

Reviews

Recent Reads #3

I was doing more editing in the month of March, so there wasn’t a lot of time for books. But this is what I read, and some thoughts on them for your book-choosing enjoyment.

 

Radiant Shadows & Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr- You know about these books. You’ve seen them on the shelves. They’re those haunting-looking books with beautiful and mysterious titles, and I’m telling you now, they’re wonderful.  And, one of the great perks if you start reading now, the whole series is out! I’ve been into the Wicked Lovely books for years and waited so I could read the last two together. I’m so glad I did. It was great to see how everything finally unfolded. There was so much tension in this series as you have four main characters (plus plenty more) who all seem to want things they can’t have. And I’ve been torn from the very start on who would or should be able to get what they want at someone else’s expense. I’ve gotta give props to Melissa for using what should have been an obvious detail to give things the potential to work out. Faves. Two thumbs up for an awesome story, negative thumbs because it’s over!

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney- I knew that this book dealt with date rape, and I was afraid I’d be cringing the entire time, feeling dirty while I read it. But not so! Alex, our main character, deals with the sadness of what she’s been through, but is very brave in the face of her rapist. She’s not alone, of course, and I think that’s the point of the story. You don’t need to be ashamed, you don’t need to be quiet, and you don’t need to be alone. It was great to see her simply live her life. When terrible things happen to me, I wallow, and I think it’s great to watch someone (even if they’re fictitious) move forward. I’d like to give Alex a high five. Two thumbs up for kick ass girls!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer- There’s nothing I can tell you about this story that you don’t already know, but let me share what this book is to me. I have a copy of Twilight on CD, and when I go on long road trips by myself, it’s what I listen to. It’s comforting. And, while I like sitting with the book, Ilyana Kadushin does such a great job with being the voice of an average girl and a cocky vampire that it’s so much fun to hear this book. And it was great to be reminded of all the lines that didn’t make it into the movie: “Did you stab Edward Cullen with a pencil?” “Stupid shiny Volvo owner.” “Do I dazzle you?”… These were the things that made me like the story so much in the first place. And we all know that Rob and I are deeply in love, but, I’m sorry, my darling, it must be said: THE BOOKS ARE BETTER. Go back to the books people. Two thumbs up for kicking it old school.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog- I met Cyn at the writers conference I attended in March, and I bought this book there, though I’d seen it around enough before. It’s a fun, dreamy little story that flips perspectives between a teenage girl and the boy, her Sandman, who makes her sleep at night. All I can say is sleep is complicated. There are so many issues standing between some very simple wants, and I had to hold on to the very last page to know how it all worked out. My favorite part of the whole thing is this guy, Eron, has been out of popular culture for a century, and I adore that he thought “nine-one-oneing” was the new way of saying “calling”. That was fun. Two thumbs up for cute and confused boys.

 As you can see, it was a short but good list. I was happy with everything I got my hands on in March. Stay tuned! I’m giving away another one of Cyn’s books very soon! And it’s signed, people!

Have you read any of these books? Thoughts?

General, Reviews

Recent Reads #2

As I did last month, I want to share with you the books I read in February. Now, I spent a whole lotta time reworking the second book in The Selection trilogy and just got my second batch of edits for the first one. That means I wrote more than I read. So it’s a short list, but I hope you enjoy:

 

Once was Lost by Sara Zarr- This book follows Samara, a preacher’s kid, as she hits a time in her life when she’s got a lot of reasons to question her faith. Her life is falling apart and then the disappearance of a local girl, a sort-of friend, sets the community in a tailspin. I really appreciated this book, because I get what it is to not know why you should hold on to something sacred when it seems like the sacred isn’t doing much for you. My experience with my faith has been completely different in that I got to choose my beliefs in my own time, and I’ve never been in a position where I felt like I had to portray something publicly for the sake of my family, but that’s why Samara’s journey is so heavy. A lot is riding on her choices. Anyway, I dig her, and if I was a teenager and she was real, she’s someone I’d hang out with. Two thumbs up. 

 

Red Hot New Year by Diana Mercury, Denise Rossetti, Virginia Reede and Cynthia Eden- Okay, so I recently heard that if you want to learn to write good love scenes for a younger audience, you should read romance novels, take it down by ten degrees, then back up by two. I knew I wouldn’t make it through a whole romance novel, so I went the short story route instead. I’m not sure what I’ve learned, but if you enjoy reading about quivering members, this might be for you. One sideways thumb. And a raised eyebrow.

 

Delirium by Lauren Oliver- In the world portrayed in Delirium, love is illegal. It’s a disease. And that is wicked creepy. When I started reading this, the only thing in my head was romantic love, and that was enough to make me anxious, but there are so many kinds of love. Familial love, the love for your friends, your love of God… so what if your ability to feel any of that was taken away?  It’s a great question. I don’t want to go into details about the book, because I’ll end up saying too much and giving things away. All I’ll share is the end had me crying. In front of Callaway and my in-laws. So thanks, Lauren. Two big thumbs up.

Have you guys read any of these? Any faves?