Posts Tagged ‘coming-of-age’

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Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

September 28, 2008

Title: Sisters of Misery

Author: Megan Kelley Hall

Rating: ★★★★★

Number of Pages: 308

Edition: Paperback

Year: 2008

 

 

 

 

Contains: Mystery/Suspense, Drama, Relationships, Romance, Coming-Of-Age

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

Characters: 10

Plot: 10

Writing: 10

Wow Factor: 10

(WOW… PERFECT 10!)

Summary: Maddie Crane has the perfect last name, making it easy for her to be socially involved with the most powerful girls in school, the Sisters of Misery. However, she doesn’t have the perfect life. Her dad walked out on her and her mom when she was just a child, leaving behind financial problems. Abigail, her mother, sticks Maddie into every social situation she can, yet barely pays attention to her. Maddie gets the change of a lifetime when her aunt, Rebecca, and cousin, Cordelia, move into Hawthorne, MA with her, Abigail, and Maddie’s grandma Tess. Cordelia is beautiful, full of life, and adventurous. Maddie and Cordelia become best friends and that strains Maddie’s friendship with Kate, the meanest of the group, and the rest of the Sisters of Misery. The Sisters of Misery do not like this intruder to their small town and they want revenge. In a turn of events, Cordelia goes missing and no one knows where she could be. Can Maddie find her in time or is it too late? Maddie will have to piece together the mystery that is her town, its past with witchcraft, and the people she thinks are her friends in the race to find her beloved cousin.

My Review(spoiler-free!): What can I say? I’m in love with this book. It literally blew me away. Completely. Utterly. It was beautiful. It was scary. It gave me this feeling of fright, amazement, and a need to keep reading… I was still up at two in the morning just finishing it because I needed to know what would happen next, flowing from beginning to end. Maddie is understandable and probably my favorite character. Cordelia’s beauty and self-assuredness make Maddie braver and make her see her “friends” with new eyes… and opened up my eyes to what Maddie has had to be involved in since she was a little girl. I was suspicious all throughout the whole novel of what happened to Cordelia and who did it. The ending was astounding. I could not believe what I was reading. It all clicked then and made it all more amazing. All the characters were well-written and in depth. The writing was beautiful, Mrs. Kelley Hall really has a way with words. I wrote down many cool words I learned by reading this book… some include: decrepit, dilapidated, siphoned, Houdini, and tourniquet. I’d never read a mystery book so good. The plot was creative and something I’ve never read about. It was interesting and I think the witchcraft involved make it all that much better. The beginning of every chapter had a little insight of what that chapter was about and the gemstone that went with it so with that and the past chapters I was predicting and always coming out wrong. You can not predict this book, but what you can (and should do) is read it! I certainly loved it and can’t wait for the sequel… The Lost Sister!

My Thoughts(contains spoilers so please don’t read it unless you’ve read the book. I don’t want to spoil it for you!): Oh lord, this book was great. I could not figure out who Cordelia was romantically involved with. I had Reed, Finn, Kate, Trevor, everyone pinned to who took Cordelia and I was aghast to learn she’d left herself because of Abigail. The ending was like “wow wow wow” I just stared at my ceiling for like five minutes thinking about everything that went on in this book. I liked Reed but at the same time I didn’t. I kind of wanted Maddie to end up with Finn because he was so helpful at the asylum with Rebecca. I did not like Abigail one bit. She was just didn’t care about Maddie really. The things Rebecca planted were very mysterious and I tried to figure them out. Megan tricked me into thinking it was all these people and never really Abigail. Kate was evil; she was just so mean. She made everyone feel bad and I just wanted her to be the one disappearing. I think Trevor is a scum for raping Cordelia, but these characters were just the way they were because of their surroundings and their past. I just really loved this book and want everyone to read it and love it too.

 

Do you want to read this book? Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Stick around… an interview with Megan Kelley Hall (the author of this book) is coming up shortly!

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Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

September 18, 2008

Title: Elsewhere

Author: Gabrielle Zevin

Rating: ★★★ ½

Number of Pages: 377

Edition: Paperback

Year: 2005

 

 

Contains: Fantasy, romance, relationships, drama, coming-of-age.

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

Characters: 7

Plot: 8

Writing: 8

Wow Factor: 8

 

Summary: Liz is a victim of a hit-and-run driver. Unfortunately, she passes away. When she wakes up she’s in a place that she can only be dreaming about. The place is called Elsewhere and everything there is kind of like Earth but at the same time not like it at all. People on Elsewhere get younger instead of older. However, it’s still like Earth in the sense that you have friends and family and a job. Betty is Liz’s grandmother whom she never met until now. Liz meets other people who become great friends. Liz may have thought at the beginning of her arrival to Elsewhere that she’d never get used to this new “life” but as time goes on, she learns she loves it.

 

My Review (no spoilers): This was a charming tale of coming-of-age. Liz is a believable character and I think I would act just like her if what happened to her happened to me. I’d be depressed and want my old life back. I really liked Betty, she’s very alive and she just wants to help Liz get used to Elsewhere. Thandi was funny and a good friend. I liked all the characters a lot. The boy in the story was really cute to Liz. The plot is probably my favorite part, I’ve never read a book about the afterlife and this was a different way to look at it. I really liked this book although sometimes I found somethings not important that I don’t want to reveal because they contain spoilers.  Whenever I was reading I was asking myself what about this and what about that. Is there crime in Elsewhere? I didn’t feel as though I had a good sense of how it worked and the whole aura of what Elsewhere really looked like. I wish Thandi was a more developed character and Thandi’s and Liz’s friendship too. I think I expected more than I got from this book. I still recommend it though. 

My Thoughts (contains spoilers): Well, I liked this book, as you can tell. It’s just I thought I would get so much more than I received. Owen and Liz and their problems were just a little weird for me. First he likes her, then he doesn’t, then he leaves her for his wife, then he takes her back. I guess the progression is what I didn’t like? I felt as though there was no point when they would in the end get back together. Also, when Liz was a Sneaker, I was just like… you’re going to be saved by Owen and come back to Elsewhere. I didn’t understand why Liz went to Zooey’s wedding after reading the letter (it didn’t make me want to go to my friend’s wedding if she hadn’t even gone to my funeral). I liked it, its just some things were iffy.

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Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

August 14, 2008

Title: Perfect You

Author: Elizabeth Scott
Released: March 2008
Rating: ★★★★ out of 5.
Number of Pages: 282
Edition: Paperback
Summary: Kate Brown’s life is spiraling out of control. First, her dad quit his job to sell Perfect You vitamins and now she has to work at the mall. Her best friend Anna, became popular and now acts like Kate doesn’t exist to hang out with her new friends. Kate’s brother is 23 and his job is crashing the couch. And, even though Kate will not admit it, she can’t stop thinking about Will. Will, who is so cute, but also has hooked up with almost everyone in their school. Kate thinks Will is just messing with her mind. Kate’s life is nothing like it was the year before and she wishes she could go back in time to when everything was alright. However, she can’t. Kate keeps expecting the worse out of life, and guess what? That’s what she’s getting… unless she changes it.
My Review (spoiler-free): Heartwarming, lamentable, and a good read. The beginning was amazing. The ending was amazing… like utterly amazing. Part of the middle wasn’t 100% amazing. This book is about friendships: I felt really sad every time Kate tried to talk to Anna and she’d notice that Anna was trying not to be seen with her. It must hurt very much to be losing a friend, especially a best friend that you’ve been talking to since grade school. This book is about love: I loved Will and Kate’s way of flirting… Kate tries to act like she doesn’t care when in her mind she’s dying to kiss him. I wish they got more scenes together in the book, though. This book is about families too: Kate’s mom and dad really made everything so much more unbelievable and dramatic in Kate’s life (wow, Kate’s dad is embarrassing). I loved Todd’s character, he’s so lazy and laid-back but has good advice. Grandma seems like the most immature of all the characters but still I think she holds the fort down. I do recommend this book, despite this, I still liked Bloom better.
My Thoughts (read this if you’ve read the book, it contains spoilers): I can’t believe parts of this book. First, I was so mad at Anna most of the book. How does she like being popular when Sam is cheating on her and Diane and Tara are annoying? It made me think how great it is to not be popular. Kate is really strong. She went through a lot in the book. The ending… wow I felt aghast. I can’t believe Kate’s mom and dad separated, it was just such a shocker and made this book much less light. I really liked her dad in the beginning, but he did choose Perfect You over them… what’s up with that? The only thing that came out of good in this book is Will and Kate. I loved their chemistry and how Will was going through some of the same things Kate was. I wish there could’ve been more of them in the book. They got 20,000 make-out sessions and only one real talk. I thought it would’ve been a more love-book, instead of a family and friend-drama + the boy stuff. But it was still a good read. Can’t wait to read Stealing Heaven!
Got something to say about the book? Comment this entry! Please remember to warn readers in your comments if your comment has spoilers by putting a simple *SPOILERS ahead* in the comment. 🙂
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Lost It by Kristen Tracy

August 10, 2008

Title: Lost It

Author: Kristen Tracy
Released: January 2007.
Number of Pages: 276.
Edition: Paperback.
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5.
It was: awesome!
Summary: Tess Whistle lives in boring Idaho. However, this year as she enters high school as a junior everything is spiraling out of control. Tess’s best friend Zena is building a bomb and planning on blowing up a poodle… seriously. Tess’s mom and dad are “born-again” when taking a course at a survival camp in the middle of nowhere. Also, Tess’s grandma begins being her primary caregiver, and she’s kind-of-not-normal… I mean, she bought Tess sexy underwear. Grandmas don’t normally do that, do they? The only thing that Tess is liking during this bizarre time is her time with Ben. Benjamin Easter and his great-looking butt have become necessary for Tess. With her first real boyfriend, she is getting more and more serious with physically, Tess will wonder through unknown territory. Can she handle it? Or will she lose it?
My Thoughts (may contain spoilers): Tess is a super cool character, first of all. She is so out there and so free-spirited. I loved the capuchin monkey idea she uses with Ben in the book. Tess’s grandma is really cool, my grandma is most definitely not like that. I didn’t like Tess’s parents. The physical part of the book is good because seldom books go through it so well-written. No curse words, no disrespect. I truly felt that Tess and Ben’s relationship was true love. I really wish Tess wouldn’t have told that lie. Zena was very wise at the end, you can tell she grew when she was taken to her aunt’s house. I wonder what happened at the end of the book… it was such a cliffhanger. I loved the book, no doubt. I recommend it. 
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Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker

August 8, 2008

Title: Violet on the Runway

Author: Melissa Walker
Released: September 2007.
Number of Pages: 220.
Edition: Paperback.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Extra information: Series: Sequels- Violet by Design, Violet in Private.
Summary: Violet Greenfield has been known as the Jolly Green Giant since grade school, standing at 6’1″ and being only 17. For that reason, she doesn’t like to attract attention (which is really hard to do at that height) although she’s always craved popularity. Nobody really knows who she is except for her two best friends Julie and Roger, who are really important to her. However, one day while working at the movie theatre, her life changes. She has been given the opportunity to become a model on the runway. And guess what? She’s decided on going. Now she has an agent, Angela Blythe, and she walks for Tryst Models. Violet is put on a plane for the capital of the world in New York City for Fashion Week, she goes to go-sees, and she poses in photo-shoots. All the while, she’s barely returning her parent’s and friends calls. Violet comes to find that modeling is not as glamorous as everyone makes it out to be. She is talked about in photo-shoots as though she’s deaf (“what’s wrong with her arms, they’re doughy?”, the boy she finds doesn’t really care about her, and her roommate Veronica Trask is the roommate from hell. The modeling world is nothing like she expected it to be.
My Thoughts (may contain spoilers): This book was cute, light, and entertaining. I am not much for a novel about the cool things models partake in but this book was completely the opposite. Melissa Walker’s way of writing Violet is great because Violet sounds like a down-to-earth girl-next-door. The story flowed very well, it didn’t drag one bit. I loved all the adventures Violet got involved in. It was realistic when she started drinking but I’m glad she stayed away from drugs. I did not like Peter and got annoyed with Angela often, but I guess that’s how their characters are meant to be. I think Veronica and Violet’s relationship was kind of rocky. The only complain I have about the book is the ending… the prom bit was just a bit too corny for my taste. All in all, I will pick up the next copy of the Violet series, Violet by Design.
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The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

July 31, 2008

Title: The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen
Number of Pages: 374, paperback.
Released: 2004.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
It was: awesome!

Summary: Macy Queen’s summer is going to be pretty low-key. She’s going to work at the library, filling in for her boyfriend Brian who is away at Brain Camp. However the summer takes a twist when she has to spring into action when the caterer her mother hired for a work dinner is in total disaster mode. The company is called Wish Catering. It consists of Delia: so pregnant she’s about to blow, Monica: slow-walking and monotone, Bert: total sci-fi fanatic, Kristy: with her scars and beauty, and Wes: the good-looking artist that Macy connects with most. What was a once-in-a-lifetime experience of catering to save her mom’s dinner turns into a job Macy truly loves… especially more than the library where she clearly doesn’t belong. Her mother, however, thinks Macy should continue what she’s been doing during the beginning of the summer: studying for the SATs and working at the library. But Macy realizes that there’s more to life than being an A+ student. Living life, for real, is so much better. Her relationships with her friends from Wish teach her that. Macy’s mother however, doesn’t concur. But what does she know if she doesn’t even grieve Macy’s dad’s death correctly, taking everything that reminds her of him from the house like he wasn’t even there? This summer Macy is going to learn a lot more than what she bargained for.
My Thoughts (contains spoilers, seriously): This was truly an amazing book. I loved Macy’s character because she is so realistic… I feel like she could be walking the streets even when she’s just a character. I felt so good when she left the library. I was like “you go, girl!”. Kristy is really cool and confident. Wes, wow, I totally fell in love with him. Him and his angel statues are beautiful. He is so sweet and so perfect with Macy. I was so aggravated at Brian when he sent the email to take a break, I was like “what the heck, what kind of boyfriend does this?”. Macy’s mom was the character that got me the angriest. I was mad when reading her parts, wishing she could’ve read the book I’m reading in Macy’s point of view. She works so much and expects so much from Macy… she’s just a teenager, let her relax. In the end I was so happy Macy and Wes ended up together because they deserve each other.
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How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle

July 28, 2008

Title: How To Be Bad

Authors: E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynoski, Lauren Myracle
Number of Pages: 321, hardcover.
Released: 2008.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
It was: blawsome. 😦
Summary: Three girls: Jesse, Vicks, and Mel. One roadtrip. Jesse is very religious, but knows that nothing can save her mama’s cancer. She hasn’t even told her best friend, Vicks. She thinks lots of what Vicks does is wrong and something God would look down upon, but she’s still her best friend and should tell her. Vicks on the other hand, is more careless and tough. She’s hard as nails and can tough out every situation put at her… but her boyfriend now is at the University of Miami and is barely returning her calls. Just flimsy, whatever texts, making their relationship suffer. Mel just moved to Niceville. She’s smokin’-rich. She lives in a huge house and looks to have everything she would want except she’s not as perfect as she seems. Her sister is the one who is pretty in her family and she’s always the monkey in the middle, making final decisions because she’s the middle child. However, a guy comes in to change her mind. This roadtrip is full of tears, angriness, happiness, laughter, and most of all, friends forever.
My Thoughts (may contain spoilers): Nice book. I really expected a lot more. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Lately I’ve just been expecting a great book of everything and haven’t read something that is utterly amazing and I haven’t come by it. Of course, this book had charm and sweetness. It was very dramatic and cute. It was predictable. Not the Brady part, which was a good reason. I feel bad for Marco with it being awkward with Vicks afterwards. I wish it could’ve been better. Jesse’s religiousness is rather annoying, I guess because I don’t believe so in depth like that. It was nice though. I liked Old Joe. I liked how Mel felt good afterwards about her looks. I liked that they wrestled a gator, it was funny. Cheesy cute ending.