Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees. . . 

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy. 

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. 

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
From Goodreads.com

I had the privilege to read this book a few days ago, and I have to say that I wasn't really sure what to expect. There has been so much hype about angels lately, and I needed to read this book without comparing it to others. 
Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. I like the character of Clara and her struggle to figure herself out. It was a nice touch her not being perfect even though she’s part angel. She was a little annoying at times, and even a bit selfish, but those qualities made her seem more real as a character. After all, she’s only a teenager :) Her mom is an interesting character as well. And I love the whole “Gilmore Girls” aspect to their relationship. 
On the other hand, we have the boys of the book. Christian is a gorgeous hunk of a teenager who is the boy Clara dreams about. He’s popular without being obnoxious about it, and I have to say I love his sweet side. Then there is Tucker. The bad boy, outsider who also is a sweet and considerate guy. How do you chose between the two right? 
Recently, I’ve noticed that its always the forbidden/outsider love that wins out. Yes, we have a tendency to cheer for the underdog. In this story, both boys seem to be the right choice, however, I would’ve like to have seen more of Christian. The book starts out with a focus on him and then all of sudden he disappears before he can even become anything with Clara, and Tuck takes his place. 
The conflict was a bit minimal in this book, however, this is book one and you cant have everything played out right in the beginning. I also would love to see more of Clara’s brother in the next book. He seemed interesting, with a bit of a mystery to him. 
The ending was a nice touch, leaving the reader wanting more. I like the little twist in the end, although I was kind of expecting it. Thats what happens when you’re constantly mapping out your own stories, you cant read without mapping out others :)
Overall, “Unearthly” was a good read and a good book number one in a series. I am looking forward to finding out more about each character and their relationships. The book come’s out January 4th, 2011. Let me know what you think! 
Happy reading,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Real Life Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated, I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver

Ruby Oliver, the neurotic, hyperverbal heroine of the The Boyfriend List,The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys, is back!
Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.
Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)
Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

From Goodreads.com

      I think its about time I posted this particular review. I know that this book is not out till December, but honestly, I could not wait. 
Ruby Oliver. What can I say about Ruby? Funny, crazy, brilliant, entertaining. I can go on and on. E. Lockhart has developed a character that touches hearts everywhere. Tell me, how many of you have never experienced crazy parents? Or had a misunderstanding with your boyfriend? Or been distracted by a hunky guy next door? 
Honestly, I could not put this book down. Without spoiling any plot lines for anybody, I just have to say that there is something special about the relationships between the characters in this book.  But what I love most about that, is the fact that these characters are real. I have met each and every single one of them at one time or another. 
Ruby is amazing! She keeps you hooked in her life, making you laugh and cry all at the same time. The guys in her life are gorgeous, sweet and oh so frustrating. Her parents have problems just like anybody else, while driving her up the wall. And of course, there are friends and enemies and lists. 
Truth be told, I love Ruby’s lists. There is just something about reading them that makes the whole story that much entertaining. I, myself, am a list maker, but Ruby takes it to a whole different level.
  1. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself. This story is lively and entertaining with just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. She writes Ruby’s story as if Ruby is a real person living next door to her. I can honestly say I felt privileged reading this book, especially this far in advance. I’ve tried very hard not to give away any plot lines, but to tell you how great this book truly is. Come December 28th anyone who can relate to drama, love, and parents should go out and buy this book! 

Happy reading!

PS Thoughts???

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion. 

from Goodreads.com

I’ve heard so much about this book you can imagine my surprise when I received an email saying I get a copy. Ally is a new author to me and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My first thought when I opened my mail was, “Such a pretty cover!” A good start in my opinion. Now, be warned, this may get a bit spoiler-y. So here we go!
            I try not to make judgments on a book until I am completely finished with it, but with Matched that didn’t happen. I knew I loved this story from the beginning. Ally writes a beautiful story about a society that seems like it works. There are no problems, no big issues that show us that maybe this is not the way things are suppose to be. The main character, Cassia, is a beautiful strong girl who tells her story in first person. She is matched with her best friend, Xander, and yet another, Ky, comes up on that screen for only a moment. Now, she is torn between two people and two choices. The beautiful dystopian love story pulls you in and wont let you go. I loved the poetry in this book. I loved the struggle these characters had to go through to find their own words. I mean, how many of us have had that problem? Being true to oneself, speaking out and fighting for our right to be ourselves.
            Now, for a bit of honesty. This book does remind me a little of 1984. For those of you who read it, you will understand the comparison and yet Matched is a much softer side of a society that is trying to control the world. It is definitely a new slant on a story, and Ally does an outstanding job in portraying her ideas within. The other thought that came to my mind when I was reading Matched is that I would’ve liked to have seen more of Xander and Cassia relationship. We know they’re best friends but sometimes that gets lost in Cassia’s thoughts. Basically, I would’ve liked to have seen both relationships, Xander and Cassia, and Ky and Cassia a little more spotlighted. But then again, I am a greedy reader when it comes to my love stories. I feel in love with each character in a way that made me want to know them better. High praise for Ally on that one!
            Overall, Matched is an outstanding story of choices and love; of finding out who you are versus whom people tell you to be. Ally did a tremendous job with this book, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for these characters. I was hooked from page one and I would recommend this book to any book lover, young or not so young.

Happy readings!


PS. Your thoughts???