Archive for August, 2008

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The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

August 31, 2008

 Title: The Luxe

 Author: Anna Godbersen

 Rating: ★★★★★

 Number of Pages: 433.

 Edition: Harcover

 Extra Info: Series-Sequel: Rumors: A Luxe Novel

 

 

Contains: Drama, Historical Fiction, Relationships, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 10

Plot: 9

Writing: 9

Wow Factor: 9

 Summary (courtesy jacket flap): Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups. This is Manhattan, 1899.  Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden future. With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city’s gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan’s most celebrated daughter disappear… In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
NFL Baltimore Ravens from Fanzz

My Review (no spoilers): OMG OMG OMG. The Luxe was an exceptional book and I am glad I spent my $17 on it because I got my money’s worth and more. My favorite character is Elizabeth, hands-down. Elizabeth has the most heartbreaking dilemma in the book. What comes first? Family or true love? I felt torn and not even I could put myself in Elizabeth’s shoes to decide what to do. The characters were very different (some high-class and some low) and they were all facing different problems (love, family, and money). It made me think to myself how glad I am that I wasn’t born in their time. At first I was really surprised, the vocabulary is certainly something bigger than I’ve been challenging myself lately but then I just got used to it. I loved that it was told in third person, because then it was like I was up-above them (in a pretty little blue cloud, also) and hearing their thoughts about everything. Every chapter flowed amazingly, I was never bored. Actually, most times I kept telling myself to stop reading (when it got to really high climaxes) and was supposed to be sleeping. The plot is very unique for I have never read a historical fiction novel… there wasn’t many “true historical facts” but you can still sense you are no where near our time. The ending was magical (and such a cliffhanger!), I need Rumors ASAP. I can’t stop writing because I have so much I liked about this book to say… but I would like to speak my mind about the spoilers. So just know YOU HAVE TO GET THIS ONE! (May I add, I shed a tear or two at the end because it was so great?)

 

My Thoughts (contains SPOILERS): OMG OMG OMG (okay, I think that’s getting annoying, hehe). I’m just so blown by this book. I loved Will and Elizabeth together. I felt so bad that they just couldn’t be (well, up until the end when Elizabeth runs off to find Will. I want more Diana/Henry interaction in the next novel for they are a beautiful couple (or not really a couple since he was supposed to marry Liz). Also, I’d like more Lina/Tristan action in the next book. I really want Lina to get told off by Will that he doesn’t like her… even though I sympathize with her. It’s just she has to see Will is in love with Elizabeth and that’s all there is to it. The parents in this book are so ugh… they don’t care about their kids really, just their family fortune and staying at the top of the world. Penelope, oh how I disliked her, especially when she got together with Lina. I felt like yelling at her “can’t you see Henry is in love with SOMEONE ELSE?!”. I loved the “letters” in the beginning of every chapter because they got me predicting what would happen. I got very involved in this book and am soooo glad that Rumors is next. I love love loved it.

Have anything to say about the book? Leave the entry a comment with your thoughts. Remember to advise if you’re adding spoilers in your comment. 🙂

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List of Books I Read in August 2008

August 31, 2008

List of Books I Read in August 2008:

  1. Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker (4 stars)
  2. Lost It by Kristen Tracy (4 ½ stars)
  3. Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott (4 stars)
  4. When It Happens by Susane Colasanti (4 ½ stars)
  5. I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder (3 stars)
  6. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (5 stars)

My Favorite is The Luxe by Anna Godbersen although Lost It by Kristen Tracy was a Fresh Surprise. When It Happens by Susane Colasanti had a great Love Story and Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott had me Gasping For Air. Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker makes me want to Read the Whole Series and I Heart You, You Haunt Me was a Realistic Touch to a Paranormal/Fatasy Topic.

Overall, August seems to have not been a very can’t-stop-reading-month but unlike most months, the stars are pretty high… Go YA!

What have you read this month that’s coming to a close? Were they any good? Which was your fave?

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Young Adult Book Bloggers (8.39.08): What Vanessa Reads: Second Edition

August 30, 2008

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Young Adult Book Bloggers is a place for young adult book bloggers to give each other blogging tips and recommend great books to read.

~~

Name: Vanessa

Website Name: What Vanessa Reads

Website URL: whatvanessareads.wordpress.com (visit me!)
MySpace URL: myspace.com/whatvanessareads (add me!)
LOTR Message Board: likeomgteensread.com (click Here where it says Looking for the Message Board? and JOIN TODAY!)
Hey YABB!

It’s my second edition… yay! What’s up bloggers? Hope you’re getting lots of reading done (and that those reads are great). Here’s an update from me.
Blogging News (and a contest!): I reviewed I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder. Read it here. I am hosting a contest to win a marked-up copy (with little comments throughout the book) of I Heart You, You Haunt Me. Please click here to read the rules and comment the entry to enter. The Luxe is a review that will come very soon, I haven’t finished the book yet… but I can tell you it is VERY good. So wait around for it.
Like OMG Teens Read News: OMG! Our Newsletter will debut and be published August 31! I can’t wait for everybody to be able to see it. I don’t think I’ve talked about it here but the Like OMG Teens Read Newsletter (LOTR) is a newsletter all about YA literature. It contains YA news, book reviews, a quote of the month, the current month’s Book of the Month’s coverage (a review and summary on the book), books turned into movies reviews and updates, an Author of the Month, an author interview, a list of books coming out next month and lots lots more. Would you like to subscribe to our monthly Newsletter? Please e-mail us telling us this at likeomgnewsletterstaff@ymail.com and we’ll sign you right up. The newsletter is written by members of our message board (link is at top of post). If you would like to write in our Newsletter please join our message board and we’ll give you all the info. I hope you like the Newsletter!
Our September 2008 voting for Book of the Month is going on as I speak on our message board. *drums* Here are the nominees:
  1. Being by Kevin Brooks
  2. Got Fangs? by Katie Maxwell
  3. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
  4. Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall
  5. Memoirs of a Teenaged Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
  6. Why I Let my Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Woods

If you’d like to be a part in our voting (and other topics) please join our growing message board of over 130 members and 4,000+ posts. We love new faces!

Reading News: Yes, sadly I am still reading The Luxe. It is a 440 page book, but that should be no excuse. As I’ve said before its amazing, so I’m taking it 30 pages at a time. I am also taking it at 30 pages at a time because of dear old school who doesn’t seem to want me to read. Anyway, after this book I think I’m going to be reading Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin and also LOTR’s Book of the Month for September.
This post is longer than I intended so I’m sorry if its a lot to take in… hehe.
Keep reading!,
Vanessa
whatvanessareads@hotmail.com

-Cross posted at youngadultbookbloggers.blogspot.com and whatvanessareads.wordpress.com

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Contest! OMG! (I Heart You, You Haunt Me)

August 28, 2008

My first contest… woohoo!

Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving wonderful comments (they certainly make me happy). 

So I’m hosting my first contest… I’m thinking of keeping it going for every month but am making no promises. Here goes:

What: A marked-up copy (with comments I wrote in it) of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder. Click here to read my review of it.

Who: U.S residents only, sorry. 😦

Why: Because who doesn’t love a free book?

When: From August 28, 2008 to September 30, 2008. Winner will be announced October 1, 2008 in the afternoon or evening. Bookmark this website (like I do when I join contests) and check back on Oct 1 for the name of the winner. If you win you will receive an e-mail telling you what to do next. If you don’t reply my e-mail by Oct 5, 2008 I will choose another winner.

Where: Here at whatvanessareads.wordpress.com.

How: Follow these rules and you’re good:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Include:

  • name
  • your blog URL if applicable so I could visit you 🙂
  • e-mail address (very necessary, I will not go crazy looking for you in the blogosphere.)
  • your answer to this question: What is your favorite genre in books and why?

2. For extra entries (tell me in the comment if you did any of these and which, leave links if necessary): 

  • 1 extra entry: put me on your sidebar or make a blog post including my contest.
  • 1 extra entry: tell a friend about this contest, and have them say they were referred by you on their comment.
  • 3 extra entries: make some small banners like the ones on my right sidebar (Like OMG Teens Read, Teen Tuesday, etc) but for What Vanessa Reads (if you need more ideas for this contact me).
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I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

August 28, 2008

Title: I Heart You, You Haunt Me

Author: Lisa Schroeder
Rating:  ★★★
Number of Pages:
Edition: Paperback
Contains: Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance (very little…), Relationships, and Drama.
Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):
Characters: 7.
Plot: 7.
Writing: 8.
Wow Factor: 5.

 

Summary (courtesy Amazon.com):

Girl meets boy.

Girl loses boy.

Girl gets boy back…

…sort of.

Ava can’t see him or touch him, unless she’s dreaming. She can’t hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she’s crazy, but she knows he’s here. Jackson. The boy Ava thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. He’s back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

My Review (no spoilers): Very quick book. Seriously, its like something you read in an hour. It wasn’t something that was horrible (because it was quite good) but it just wasn’t super amazing. I think the reason for Jackson’s death is rather odd. I would never do what Jackson did to die… c’mon now, common sense. Jackson is what any girl wishes a guy to be. Sweet, funny, witty, laid-back, go-with-the-flow and it was very sad to put yourself in Ava’s position. I understand why she kept trying to connect with Jackson, even though he was dead and a ghost. Ava is going through many emotions in this book: love, hate, regret, guilt, etc. The free verse was perfect for this kind of book. I felt as though I was in one of those cafes where they snap their fingers while someone reads their poetry. I thought the reason Jackson was around was kind of corny. I still loved the poetic-way of how the book told Ava’s tale and it kept me reading it. I liked how it finished and how Ava was different as a character by the last line. The poetry is beautiful, the metaphors are equally beautiful.

My Thoughts (contains spoilers): Spoiler time! First off, what was Jackson thinking? Jumping off a cliff like a crazy person. No siree, that’s not for me. Second, the Lyric bit was predictable (at least for me). I feel kind of bad for Ava’s friend (I think her name is Jessa?) but in the end Lyric doesn’t sweep Ava off her feet. He was cute as a character although I never wanted Ava to become romantically involved with him because I still wanted Jackson to come back. I wish Jackson could come back. Nick was weird, acting all nice when he had cheated on Ava. Ava’s friends were like down-to-earth real friends which was cool. I hope Ava can move on from this tragic event and stop blaming herself. Overall it was good, but the thing is is that it was just that: good… nothing higher.

 

By the way… head on over to my contest here to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book! 🙂

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Booking Through Thursday (8.27.08): Stories

August 28, 2008

 

Booking Through Thursday #3



Website: btt2.wordpress.com

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?

Nope, its definitely not only you. I think that a book’s actual story/plot is like 70% of the actual book. If you don’t have a good story you have nothing. Having a good story will keep reader’s on the edge asking themselves what will happen next and gasping when incredulous things occur. One time I was reading Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and I am not even kidding when I say it was 4 in the morning and I was sitting on the floor reading… because I could not stop! Whenever I would tell myself to stop reading (hello, Vanessa, the book isn’t going anywhere) I would start predicting things that would happen next. I wanted to know what came next and wouldn’t stop until there was no more… 

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Teaser Tuesday (8.26.08): The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (yes, still reading it)

August 26, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My current read: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (I know its the same as last week but I’m not done with it!)

Note: I’m only gonna flip open through the pages I’ve read (I don’t want anything spoiled either!).

First teaser: There was only one pair of bright eyes at the table, and they were back to studiously avoiding his.

Second teaser: “It’s wrong to be gossiping like this.”