Thursday, February 23, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

By Wendelin Van Draanen
Source: Won
Book Description:
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

A quote:
"To by held above the earth and be brushed by the wind," she said, "it's like your heart has been kissed by beauty." 

Expectations: I didn’t exactly know what I was going into. I just heard there was some good talk about this novel. I had no idea it was going to be about a younger set of people. With a bit of high expectations, I was disappointed that I didn’t love it.

About Setting: The setting is a neighbourly area. Julianna and Bryce have lived across from each other for a long time. It also takes place in the school, where Julianna would sometimes bother Bryce. Those were fun scenes that I enjoyed and perhaps giggled at.

About Characters: Bryce and Julianna are both fun characters. Julianna is a girl with so much energy inside her some people would find annoying, like Bryce. It’s what he thinks of her: a crazy girl who would not stop following him around. Eventually, you get to see within her and really start to see her for who she is while on the other hand, Bryce is focused on fitting in and on appearances. It is easy to love the characters, as well as the minor ones, but Bryce was just a little annoying to me. Nevertheless, all characters were well developed and real.

About Plot: It’s told in alternating chapters, giving a peek of life through Bryce’s and Julianna’s eyes. There are meaningful messages that should be noted, such as appearances, friendship and family matters. The whole plot is charming, funny, and sensitive and the writing was simply good.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y
It’s suggested to view this book in the young-teen level. I enjoyed the novel overall, however, hence the three out of five rating. I just didn’t like it very much, which I am very sad about.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
By Richelle Mead

Source: Library
Rating: 4/5

Book Description:  Goodreads

A quote:
Dreams, dreams. I walk them; I live them. I delude myself with them. It's a wonder I can spot reality anymore

Any thoughts (Vague Spoilers Ahead):
This is the second last book? I don’t know what I’d do when the time comes and I’m...finished. I might end up re-reading the entire series. Yes, that seems satisfying.

This book was all kinds of wonderful awesomeness. The only problem I had was getting into the book. Sure, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the last book but usually I’m instantly succumbed to the epicness that is Rose’s narration. I don’t know what it is that took me a while to get into this one. Once that bit is over, though, I was fully immersed! The action and suspense and romance didn’t stop after that. It was all so good!

Rose is in far more trouble than before and I’m so very worried for her. Her future’s on the line and there are even more things she still has to get punished for. I’m glad Adrian is there for her when she needs him. I’m beginning to like him a lot, but when Dimitri comes into parts of the book, the liking shifts to Dimitri. So now, I’m truly torn up between Adrian and Dimitri, although I think I’m leaning more towards Dimitri. It seems to me that Rose and Dimitri are meant to be together. That’s my opinion only, however. It just tears me apart to have them separated and endure the pain. I may have even leaked a tear.

Spirit Bound now perfectly prepared me to enter into the next and last book in the series *cry!*. It will take quite a long time for me to get the next book, but hey, it’ll be worth the wait once I start it! I just don’t want this series to end!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
By David Levithan & John Green

Source: Borrowed

Book Description:
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens -- both named Will Grayson -- are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humour that have won them both legions of faithful fans.

A quote:
You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.


Any thoughts:
My friend recommended this one to me, explaining that it’s quite a novel that would make your heart beat as you read it. Well oh my donkey, it really did at certain times near the end! And it almost made me cry too! You know how much I love books that would make me do incredible things like that.

I’ve been recently into John Green books lately, but I’m taking the time to read his books because I want to own them (for the purpose of reading them over and over and over again). I don’t think I have read any of David Levithan’s books yet although I have heard of him and his works. Together, John Green and David Levithan make a super duper team with a one of a kind, unforgettable collaboration.

Each of the authors takes on one Will Grayson. In the beginning, I thought David Levithan’s Will Grayson was unenjoyable. He is always negative and depressed and has no real friends. I just couldn’t help but feel bad for him. So he turns to online chats and meets a guy named Isaac, who he falls madly in love with over the internet. John Green’s Will Grayson has a gay, vivacious and huge best friend named Tiny Cooper. This Will Grayson lives under the radar, known always as ‘Tiny cooper’s best friend’.

I grew to love these Will Graysons despite their situations. And they are both awesome characters. But if I really must choose my favourite character out of the whole book, it would be Tiny Cooper. He is the sun that this novel revolves around. Without him, the epic high school musical would not exist. And trust me, it is grand and fabulous all at once.

When reading this book, I: laughed out loud that I snorted, had tears in my eyes during the swing set scene, *facepalmed*, had a goofy grin on my face most of the time, and my heart beat faster than usual. The end is the best part. I had expected something else to happen entirely, but that did not occur (sadly). Still, I was not disappointed. I was all for Tiny Cooper!

Overall, I must say that this novel is not to be missed. Thanks to my friend, Ashlyn, who recommended this novel to me, I have found another favourite book written by two impressive authors.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Hold Still
By Nina LaCour

Source: Won

Book Description:
That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I’ll go wherever you go. But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone. Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life -- a life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy she shared with her best friend. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.

A quote:
Crushes are supposed to be fun, aren’t they? They definitely aren’t supposed to be so torturous.


Any thoughts:
Hold Still is a quick read but it was all the while very worth it. I felt the emotions emanating from Caitlin from beginning to end, though at some parts, it was as if Caitlin was unattached to the present life feeling nothing. It was at those times I thought it was hard to connect with her. The grief and pain still lingered around and the fact that her best friend committed suicide made it emotionally hard to take in.

It was clear that LaCour focused upon the subject of grief and suicide. She showed us more than one side of the story through Ingrid’s journal, which I found to be helpful. I felt compelled to Ingrid and her life. She is an interesting character that I enjoyed. Other characters in the novel needed more development, but I would have to say that Ingrid is my favourite.

I loved how the aspects of photography and music are included. It was easy to relate because like Caitlin and Ingrid, I love photography. It’s another way of capturing the beauty of the world around you. Through all the anxiety and sorrow, Caitlin turns to photography and music to help her go through the difficult times.
Hold Still is not an easy nor a light read. I didn’t cry, like I expected, but the book overall is moving. It is one that I would recommend to everyone, especially those who loved Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.