Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Willow by Julia Hoban
Summer Boys by Hailey Abbott
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
Yay! Another trip to the library this week!
Book Description (From Goodreads):
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
We're actors in our lives, pretendin' to be who we want people to think we are.
Finally! I’ve been waiting for a long time to read this and the moment has finally come. Just like everyone else, I absolutely loved Perfect Chemistry. It was just the right read to up my reading habit (since it has been slacking lately), for I read it in such a short period of time.
The first thing that popped into my mind was Romeo & Juliet, the infamous star-crossed lovers. Yes, Perfect Chemistry is similar to Shakespeare’s plot but it is just as different. The realities beneath the surface of Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes are revealed, bringing them only closer to each other. The tension between them is irresistible and hilarious that it is almost impossible not to cheer for them. They are just so perfect for each other.
One of the things that makes this novel what it is -- amazing! -- is the alternating POVs. It helps us get into the minds of both Brittany and Alex so we fully understand their intentions. With this, Simone Elkeles develops characters and delves into the issues such as drugs, violence, gangs, disabilities and topics like friendship and love. Perfect Chemistry is a perfect read that will pull you into the two different worlds of Brittany and Alex and will leave you wanting for more -- *cough*Alex Fuentes *cough*.
Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama.
Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie
remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.
Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.
Why are girls still so weird about asking a guy to dance? We’re not this pathetic about anything else, are we?
Ah, the beginning of high school. I remember it just like it was yesterday. Reading this book made me remember all of it, especially how I wanted so bad to escape elementary. I mean, new life and new friends? Sounds like a fresh, new start! That’s exactly what Charlie Healey wants after a brutal middle-school life of following a couple of “mean girls”.
This book was totally enjoyable although predictable. I like the relationship between Will and Charlie, who haven’t seen each other in a while and later on Charlie gets these feelings for him. Adorable, yes? (Note: These are not spoilers; they are mentioned in the description.)
There are also a couple of sub-plots that eventually come together perfectly in the end. One of the most important ones is Charlie’s being a part of the school newspaper, in which she and her friend write an article that comes with a difficult decision -- whether to keep silent about the issue of hazing or spread its awareness. Betrayal and acceptance become an important topic in this certain situation.
Wiseman’s ability to turn something serious and real into something fun and light does not come unnoticed. This novel is certainly a must-read for teens, especially those about to enter high school.
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.
But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.
Or are there?
Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.
Which is impossible.
Prentisstown has been lying to him.
And now he's going to have to run...
“But there’s always hope,” Ben says. “You always have to hope.”
Unique and thoughtful, The Knife of Never Letting Go gives an interesting insight into a world of chaos. With a slow yet fascinating journey full of encounters, it offers a dark and different version of the treatment of men and women.
Although I initially found it hard to get into the style of the narrator’s language, I eventually became used to the flow. There are also good qualities revealed in Todd (the narrator), which made me admire him. The other characters are well-developed as well, causing me to love them all. I had several unanswered questions about some of them but I’m hoping I’ll get to them when I read the second instalment. Yes, there are suspenseful and disturbing parts that stir up all kinds of shrilling imagery in my mind yet I couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried. The end result is myself slowing down or re-reading. But there was one part when I found myself crying like crazy. Tears always come for me whenever an animal is in danger and that’s all I have to say. In the end, though, we get a huge cliffhanger that is enough for me to make me want to read the next book immediately.
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Even death has a heart.
I like reading about World War II although I’ve only read one about the Jewish side. I remember it being in the point of view of a Jewish survivor. But this one explores the other side of World War II and I was so captivated that I found myself eager to keep reading until I finish.
What I found so fascinating was the narrator. It’s Death! I never really knew it until later on in the story because he doesn’t directly say it. But it’s interesting the way he told the story. His voice is satiric, which is what I love. He tells you the ending before you actually get to the ending and it gets confusing sometimes. It’s just the way he tells the story that is very clever. I admire Zusak for that!
And of course, the characters are brilliantly developed. I still can’t decide who my favourite is...so I guess I’ll have to say all of them. While reading, I became emotionally attached to them. It’s just hard not to. And then I couldn’t help but burst into tears afterwards. It touched me in a way that is meaningful, especially because Death narrates. Death views life as something that is precious, Death takes the soul out of a human’s heart and gently carries them, and Death is only doing his job that the “boss” tells him to do.
The format the book is written is one I’ve never seen before. Zusak inserts quotes here and there to help the reader in understanding what’s happening. For instance, there would be a definition for a word in German and sometimes, there’s an underlying meaning. You’d have to look beneath the surface to truly get it. It’s a deep, unforgettable book.
It’s hard not to give The Book Thief a rating of 5 out of 5. It really deserves it. But of course, there are a few warnings before reading it. Obviously, it is not a quick and light read. There is no happily ever after in these kinds of stories. And you already know what happens from the very beginning. In the end, you will cry. Still, I strongly recommend it. It’s definitely a book you cannot miss.
Nick’s just seen the girl who dumped him walk in...with a new guy. What else can he do but ask the strange girl next to him to be his new girlfriend for the next five minutes?
Norah would do anything to avoid conversation with the not not-friend girl who dumped Nick...and to get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never really totally dumped. What else can she do but answer Nick’s question by making out with him?
With one electric, unexpected kiss, the five-minute couple of Nick and Norah set off on an uncharted adventure called the “first date” that will turn into an infinite night of falling in and out (and in and out, and maybe in and maybe out) of love. Theirs is a first date of music, laughter, heartache, confusion, passion, taxi driver wisdom, and a jacket named Salvatore. And of course a killer soundtrack.
As Nick and Norah wander through the middle-of-the night mystic maze of Manhattan, they share the kind of night you want to never end, where every minute counts and every moment flickers between love and disaster.
But I guess you don't see the planets when you're staring at the sun. You just get blinded.
I love reading collaborations, I really do. It’s like what they say -- two heads are better than one. In perfect union, Cohn and Levithan create an adventurous world in which everything is beyond epic.
But I would have to warn whoever wants to read this and emphasize this twice, maybe three times: lots and lots of cursing. The F-bomb is dropped everywhere. It doesn’t appear every page; more like every sentence or so. There is also adult content that may be described a little too much for one’s liking. I wasn’t bothered by any of these, but I’m only saying.
What I really loved was the setting. It happens in the heart of the city late at night and early in the morning. It’s the time when most people are asleep and it’s just so wonderful. It’s interesting to go through the places Nick and Norah pass by together. The best part is the singing and dancing in the rain. That was a marvellous scene in my head.
The book was very different from the movie. I watched it first, but somehow it didn’t bother me at all. I love both for their unique yet similar plots. I’ve yet to watch the movie again, but I remember the humour and it was amazing. I’d say it doesn’t matter whether you watch the movie or read the book first. Either way, you’ll like it.
Book Description (from Goodreads):
On Peter Houghton's first day of kindergarten, he watched helplessly as an older boy ripped his lunch box out of his hands and threw it out the window. From that day on, his life was a series of humiliations, from having his pants pulled down in the cafeteria, to being called a freak at every turn. But can endless bullying justify murder? As Picoult attempts to answer this question, she shows us all sides of the equation, from the ruthless jock who loses his ability to speak after being shot in the head, to the mother who both blames and pities herself for producing what most would call a monster. Surrounding Peter's story is that of Josie Cornier, a former friend whose acceptance into the popular crowd hangs on a string that makes it impossible for her to reconcile her beliefs with her actions.
Ask a random kid today if she wants to be popular and she’ll tell you no, even if the truth is that if she was in a desert dying of thirst and had the choice between a glass of water and instant popularity, she’d probably choose the latter.
In Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult’s excellent style of story-telling is revealed once again. Through this, the plot gives a feel of a cause that goes on for a long period of time, and effects that in the end suddenly trigger the horrific action of a young victim of bullying.
This may be my favourite by Jodi Picoult so far. The novel starts out with what happened before the event of the school shooting, with Picoult leaving out specific details that is meant to be revealed in the end. Afterwards, she manages to delve into the topic of bullying from the very beginning of Peter’s life, explaining what one may encounter as a child. It is amazing how Picoult also writes from various points of view. What I think is important is how we see how the parents of Peter are going through, and how they may be coping. The other characters are interesting, and although there are many, we get used to them as more of them are mentioned.
Jodi Picoult reveals the truth of everyday life, as she does in all her novels. I could not help but think of my high school life after reading Nineteen Minutes. This is definitely a novel that would stick with me for a long time. Through an emotional and intelligent way of story-telling, Jodi Picoult brings out the reality of bullying and its significant effects.
"...I love pity parties. I wish I'd brought the hats. What do you want to mope about first? How it's going to take you a whole day to be popular and loved again? How you'll have to wait a couple weeks before Hollister can ship out some new clothes? If you spring for rush shipping, it might not be so long."
One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, and the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. Now her life is a waiting game. Waiting for time to heal her wounds, waiting for justice. In short, waiting for a miracle to happen.
For Shay Bourne, life holds no more surprises. The world has given him nothing, and he has nothing to offer the world. In a heartbeat, though, something happens that changes everything for him. Now, he has one last chance for salvation, and it lies with June's eleven-year-old daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets, past crimes, and the rage of a mother who has lost her child.
Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish?
When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't.
Jodi Picoult is wonderful. She always tackles strong subjects like an expert. In Change of Heart, she successfully dives into religious and political beliefs through the topic of the death penalty, exploring the opinions of many sides. It’s complicated, really, and I almost put the book down in the very beginning. But as I read more about Shay, and how much of a mystery he is, I wanted to find out in the end if his last request is fulfilled. He is the man who is convicted of murdering a child and a police officer, and waits for his execution in jail. Somehow, he performs “miracles” while in jail, and this catches my attention because of the question if whether or not those miracles can be scientifically explained. It’s interesting, yet it also touches the topic of religion, as some townspeople believe that he is the Messiah. All in all, this novel is thought provoking; Picoult leaves many questions unanswered, questions that some people would be reluctant to answer.
Book Description (from Goodreads):
Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.
Sometimes you have to be a part from people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.
I’ll begin with little fun facts that you may or may not know already. Nicholas Sparks originally wrote The Last Song so it could be transformed into a movie, keeping in mind Miley Cyrus for the role of Ronnie. Miley also chose the name Ronnie for the book, and with that, Nicholas Sparks thought it fit perfectly with the character. In my opinion, after having read the book first (yes!!!) and then watching the movie with my mom, the movie turned out to be almost as good as the book. Both versions have actually made it to my top favourites. That’s how good The Last Song is.
Written in four characters’ points of view, The Last Song takes on many different things such as family relationships, Christian views on life, forgiveness, and first love. The characters are amazing, and I was able to connect with them, making myself feel as if I was in their situation. The setting is set at a beachside bungalow, where the atmosphere is serene and I can only hear the sound of the waves crashing. I imagined it beautifully, especially as the characters take walks on the beach. Nicholas Sparks’ style for plot is something that I would have to admire and keep a lookout for in his previous novels. They are usually very touching, and all issues from the very beginning eventually conclude near or at the end. But the reason I gave this novel four stars (four and a half if that is possible on Goodreads) was because I felt that too much is going on, too much strings attached to various characters. Regardless, I still think that this is one of my favourite novels, and one that I would immediately recommend.
With the movie starring Miley Cyrus, I thought I ought to give it a try. Actually, I wanted to. From the previews, it seemed like it was going to be a good movie. While many people assumed that Miley would ruin the movie, it is worth giving it a try, because I loved the movie - I’m even considering buying the DVD. I want to watch it again! Miley Cyrus and Liam Hensworth are an adorable pair. One can easily sense the chemistry between them (and yes, I’m aware of them going out in real life). Their relationship is just what I imagined from the book. Miley did a great job playing her character (gosh, I love the clothes that she wore) although at one point when her face crumpled as she cried, I had the sudden urge to giggle instead. I’m not a fan of her and her songs, but she did alright in her performance in The Last Song, as well as the song I like called When I Look at You, which is meant for the movie.
There is one thing that I must point out and it is the difference between the father’s personality in the book and in the movie. Steve, the father, is a softer and gentler character in the book. He is the type who would do anything for Ronnie even if it hurts him. In the movie, I couldn’t help but notice how different he is. He is more like the father who would make silly jokes and the one who would discipline Ronnie instead of take all her words in to hurt himself. I suppose, though, that it would be more interesting to have a father like the one in the movie instead. Still, it irked me. Another thing was the deal with Marcus, the intimidating sort of jerk in the story. After an incident, he just disappeared completely. My mom even said, “Isn’t he supposed to seek revenge? Because he’s the type who would seek revenge.” I suppose (again) that there wasn’t enough time to include a closure for Marcus. Overall, there are differences that separate that novel from the movie. But what I liked was that it was almost faithful to the book. Some of my favourite lines were said and I couldn’t help but smile to myself, thinking of how glad I was that I read the book first.
The Last Song is fascinating in its exploration of love in all sorts of forms, reminding us how much it can affect us, and how powerful it is to have the ability to take us through in life. It is a novel that one must seriously not pass up.