Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Twenty Boy Summer Countdown

Jordyn at Ten Cent Notes is having a count down to the release, on the 1st June, of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

She's featuring many excellent things including a true story, of love and flip flop loss, by your truly.

So if you'd like to go read it hop over

here



Sunday, 24 May 2009

Review - Perfect Fifths

Perfect Fifths - Megan McCafferty

Spoilers for the first four


The final installment of the Jessica Darling series. I've been ambivalent about these books. Some parts I adored, some parts not so much. I loved all of Perfect Fifths. If the whole series was like this book it would be one of my all time favourites.

Fourth Comings left me feeling deeply melancholic. Mostly due to one of Jessica's final statements before she turns down Marcus proposal.

And yet I know I am too young, that we're too young, for me to live my life only as it relates to you. If you had asked me to marry you the night you first told me about your acceptance, I would have embraced Princeton as part of a larger plan that involved me. I probably would have reacted differently.

I might even had said yes.

Alas, you didn't ask me then. You made plans for your future without me in mind, And that's okay. But how can you now ask me to arrange my life around you?


I know she made the right choice but I wished they'd found a way to be together and live their own lives.

Perfect Fifths begins three years later as Jessica literally runs into Marcus in the airport on route to Bridget and Percy's wedding. It's the first time they've meet since she turned down his proposal and sparks fly.

When Jessica misses her flight and is standard at the airport for 18 hours. She and Marcus take the opportunity to reconnect.

Perfect Fifths still has the trademark humour of the other Jessica Darling books but it's written in a completely different style. Instead of Jessica's journal entries, it's told in third person, allowing us to finally glimpse what is going on in Marcus's head.

I thought the style change worked perfectly for this final encounter between the two. I also loved all the different techniques that Megan used to keep the book, which really only features Jessica and Marcus of them, interesting.

The section written in straight dialogue was skillfully done. I always knew who was speaking and it allowed for lots of information to flow between the two. The awkwardness of that first conversation was really captured.

The haiku section was so perfectly Marcus and section five which uses some favourite quotes from the last four books was brilliant.

So five stars for Prefect Fifths. It's a great end to the series.


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Fourth Comings

Fourth Comings - Megan McCafferty

The fourth book in the Jessica Darling series. I nearly gave up after Charmed Thirds, which I found far to rushed. All of Jessica's college years packed into one book. The ending hooked me though and made me want to read Fourth Comings. All the endings of these books have been fantastic.

Fourth Comings is set over just one week in Jessica's life. As she tries to decide whether or not to accept on/off boyfriend, Marcus Flutie's marriage proposal.


I really liked this one. It's my favourite so far. Jessica grew a lot as did the other characters. Who all try and give advice on what she should do. My favourite piece coming from Hope, Jessica's best friend, who we eventually meet in this book.

"You don't have to agree with me, but I think the heart of who we are stays pretty much the same," Hope said, "What changes is how those core traits manifest themselves over time."


I also liked the way it was written; as a diary to Marcus explaining her thoughts and how she eventually decides what answer to give.

I've just started Perfect Fifths and am loving it too, so far.



Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Super Heroes

Diana Peterfreund is having a very fun give away.

To win a copy of Dull Boy by Sarah Cross you just need to go and tell her your superhero name, BUT for an extra entry you can create your superhero. Don't sit down at this site when you're busy it is highly addictive.

This is Solstice

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Can you tell I kind of wanted to be Wonder Women when I was little?

Originally I was going to give her the power of being impervious to pain (with my due date looming this seems like a pretty good power to me) but then I thought maybe if you can't feel pain you can't feel pleasure. Which would be sad but might make for great Superhero inner turmoil.

Anyway her powers are linked to the seasons so in Summer she can shoot fire from her hands, in Winter she can freeze things etc. Obviously she can also kick serious serious ass and is a master sword fighter.

Super Cool Contests at Presenting Lenore

Lenore of Presenting Lenore is having two very cool contests

http://presentinglenore.blogspot.com/2009/05/penguin-fantasy-prize-pack-win-9-books.html

AND

The Penguin Reality Prize Pack - Win 9 books!

Head over there now to enter.

The two I am most excited about

Along for the Ride. If I win it may break my Sarah Dessen quirk (I nearly bought Lock and Key the other day then didn't).

And

Fire by Kristin Cashore

I am SO excited about Fire because I seriously adored Graceling.

So fingers crossed

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tuesday Teaser - Tap and Gown

teasertuesdays3.jpg Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)


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So many things he was willing to sacrifice to get the success and security he wanted. Things he had sacrificed: friends, romance, money independence. So many things I knew he'd accept at any cost. But not me.

Tap & Gown - Diana Peterfreund

Tap and Gown is out today - yay!

And even though I've read it (review here) I'll still be buying it, so I have the complete set.

In celebration Diana has lots of cool things happening on her site. Including the secret stories (sigh) and character profiles. It's definitely worth checking out.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Book Review: Evernight by Claudia Gray


Evernight by Claudia Gray.

Description: Evernight

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed
.

Review: I picked Evernight in the library. Partly because of the cover partly because it was in the "If you like Twilight" display.

One Hundred pages in and I liked it. It was entertaining but it wasn't a "I can't put it down book. You have to read this!" type book though.

Then around page 120 everything changes and I don't think it left my hands until I'd finished it.

I have read reviews that have criticized the twist saying it makes Bianca an unreliable narrator. I loved it though. It completely caught me off guard and that rarely happens when I'm reading.

I ordered the sequel straight away and devoured it too.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Review - Suite Scarlett

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson.

Description:
Scarlett is the third of four children in the Martin family. The Martins live in and manage a shabby hotel in NYC that dates back to the 1920s. When Scarlett turns 15, she is put in charge of one of the hotel's 27 rooms- the Empire Suite. Into this room moves Mrs. Amberson, a failed 1970s starlet who has returned to New York to write her memoirs. Soon, Scarlett is taking dictation, running around town with Mrs. Amberson, and getting caught up in her Auntie Mame-meets-Bianca Jagger adventures.

In the midst of all this, Scarlett falls in love - or so she thinks - and it takes Mrs. Amberson to help her see the light.
(from Goodreads)


Review:

This is my first Maureen Johnson book. Although I did read her short story in Let it Snow, and loved it.

Suite Scarlett is funny and fast paced and full of great characters. I loved the relationships between Scarlett and her siblings, sweetheart Spencer, beautiful Lola and recovering cancer patient Marlene. They felt very real and made me want a to have lots of children just so they could enjoy a similar bond (I'm sure that'll wear off though).

Mrs Amberson is also a great character, quirky and annoying and bewitching. I'd quite like to grow up to be her. Well for a day or so at least.

I'm looking forward to more Martin family adventures in Scarlett Fever.

Also I really loved that The Algonquin got a name check. I stayed there last time I was in New York. It's gorgeous and had a white cat sitting on the front desk. I'm not sure why they give you an apple when you arrive though. Chocolate would be better.

Some photos:

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The wall paper in the corridor is New Yorker Cartoons.

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Each door has a quote by Dorothy Parker.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Sunday Salon - Is it just me?

Usually when I read a book I like I track down the authors other books and read them too. I think most people do.

But occasionally I love a book so much. I just can't bare to read anything else by the author because I don't think they can match what they've achieved with my beloved book. I'm sure I'll be disappointed.

So I've only ever read The truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, despite hearing wonderful things about her other books.

I haven't looked at Phillip Pullman's Sally Lockhart books because I can't imagine he could create a world as vivid as Lyra's again.

And now despite having renewed it three times at the library I haven't opened Jellicoe Road by Melina Machett.

So I am alone in this weirdness or does anyone else do it too?

Friday, 1 May 2009

Review - Perfect you

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott



Description: Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast.

Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.

And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen - but only if she lets them...


Review:

Perfect you is just a perfect book.

I can't really put it much better than Melissa De La Cruz does on the front cover "I absolutely loved this book! It's funny, sad, and wise, and will make your heart ache in the best way."

I think Elizabeth Scott may be one of my new favourite authors.

Kate's a very relatable narrator. She's been hurt and she's lonely and her family is in crisis. So her doubts and anxieties, which lead to her creating even bigger problems for herself, seem realistic and understandable.

If you have ever been dumped by a friend then you'll relate to Kate's confusion and hurt. The scenes between Anna and Kate were perfectly done. Letting go of a friendship, even when that friend is treating you horribly, is hugely painful.

And if you've ever liked a boy but been unsure whether he really likes you back then you'll relate to Kate and Will's fledgling relationship.

And if you like books about growing up and learning to accept that life contains both good and bad moments then you'll love Perfect you.