Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Title: Slammed
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: YA fiction/ Romance
Rating: 4/5 Stars

“It's not just lies they're referring to. It's life. You can't run to another town, another place, another state. Whatever it is you're running from-it goes with you. It stays with you until you find out how to confront it.”

Layken is an 18-year-old girl who has to move to Michigan with her mother and 9-year-old brother after her father passes away.  Even though she has came to terms with her father’s death, she is a girl filled with emotional turmoil. She is a character that you root for, wanting her to overcome her battles and stand strong.

She immediately meets Will, her next-door neighbor and his brother Coulder. For me, the relationship between Lake and Will starts off too quickly. Even though I do understand that their connection is needed right off the bat because of the situation that they get into, I feel that there was no way they could have been that deeply involved with each other to put so much at stake.

Will and Lake have a tough relationship. They both want each other, but they are being pulled apart by something they have no control over. They are forbidden to be with each other, but their feelings for each other keeps on pulling them back. Throughout the book, their feelings for each other grew on me, and I was cheering for them all the way.  They overcome obstacles that they shouldn’t have to face at such a young age. With another unexpected secret about to be discovered, Lake needs Will more than ever to help her get through the hand she’s been dealt.  

I loved that Will is a responsible, mature adult. He takes care of his little brother, and he never once complains about the burden or the difficulties he goes through. He puts his little brother first in everything, which is both a good and bad thing.

The writing in Slammed is wonderful, and the poetry is absolutely beautiful. I have always loved reading poetry, and this blew me away. The author was able to take a few lines and turn them into something absolutely moving. This story had me laughing, smiling, and even crying a little bit more than I thought I would. It is an emotional ride that leaves you breathless and wanting more. A must read. 

“I got schooled this year
A boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with.
And he taught me the most important thing of all...
To put the emphasis
On life .”

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Finds - March 8, 2013

Friday Finds showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your to be read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased)

All summaries are from goodreads. 

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

On remote Rollrock Island, men make their living--and fetch their wives--from the sea.

The Witch Misskaella knows how to find the girl at the heart of a seal. She'll coax a beauty from the beast for any man, for a price. And what man wouldn't want a sea-wife, to and to hold, and to keep by his side forever?

But though he may tell himself that he is the master, one look in his new bride's eyes will transform him just as much as it changes her. Both will be ensnared--and the witch will look on, laughing.

In this magical, seaswept novel, Margo Lanagan tells an extraordinary tale of desire, despair, and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also of unspoken love.

 How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

 If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - March 5, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: grab your current read and go to a random page. share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on the page (don't add spoilers!). Share the title and author too so that other TT participants can add their book to their tbr lists if they like your teaser! 

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

"I will still in that ballroom, still chained to that wall. 
I was still alive. I was so tired. (pg. 58)"

So I'm not real big on vampire books much anymore because they have gotten so popular, but I decided to give this one a try. Hoping it will not disappoint! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA Fiction/Romance
Rating: 5/5

Part of me doesn’t even want to review Eleanor and Park. I know nothing that I type will ever express how meaningful and beautiful this book is, but it deserves to be reviewed. Even if no one even reads this.

Eleanor meets Park on her first day of her new school on the bus, where he offers her the seat beside him. Right from the start, the other student’s don’t like her. Eleanor is big. Eleanor has thick bright curly red hair. Eleanor wears men’s shirts and scarves tied around her wrist and weird things in her hair. First, Eleanor and Park don’t talk. At all. Very slowly, a connection forms between them through their love of comics, mutual disrespect for the idiots on their bus, and their love of great music. Their relationship is unlike any other.

“As soon as he said it, she broke into a smile. And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside him. Something always did.”

Eleanor comes from a broken family. She has an abusive stepfather, a mother who is too afraid to challenge him, and little brothers and sisters who are caught in the crossfire. Eleanor’s life isn’t easy, and from the moment Eleanor was introduced, I just wanted to cry. And I did, throughout most of the book.

Eleanor and Park is an emotional, touching book. Personally, it touched a nerve with me because I felt like I understood her. My family is relatively normal, but I know what it is like to be an outsider. To be made fun of because of being overweight. Eleanor felt like she was not worthy of someone loving her, of someone wanting her.  And I get that; I understand that more than I want to. I felt like this Eleanor and I were just two birds of a feather. Eleanor wanted to be different, and she made sure she was. That didn’t mean it didn’t hurt any less.

Park is not like any other male character I’ve read about. The one word that describes Park? Sweet. Park is the sweetest male character I’ve ever met. Park is an outsider and not at the same time. He is Asian and quiet. Wears black a lot. He’s different from the rest of the students, but he is a part of them, also. He comes from a loving family, making the gap between Eleanor and him even wider. 

“Nothing was dirty. With Park. Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

Eleanor and Park’s relationship is very special to me. They’re so cautious. Eleanor has a hard time opening up; she doesn’t trust easily. Eleanor is temperamental and sarcastic, which sometimes takes their relationship back a step. In a way though, it’s just them. The way they are with each other.  It makes Eleanor and Park, Eleanor and Park.

The ending. Oh, god. What can I even say about the ending? It was around three o’clock in the morning when I finished this book, and to say that I was a bundle of emotions was an understatement. The ending is realistic…. but the author definitely adds more confusion than needed. I’m not sure confusion is the right word. Lets just say that the author definitely rubs it in your face that she is the only one writing the ending.

Eleanor and Park is a love story, but it’s much more than that. It is about life. It is about a side of life that many people don’t like to acknowledge. The writing in Eleanor and Park makes your heart break. It breaks it and then the author sews it back up, and then she breaks it again into a tiny more million little pieces. It’s raw. It doesn’t hide behind the YA label; it puts everything out in the open and lets you deal with the cruelty of the world.  It doesn’t shelter you from it. This book takes your breath away, and while you’re trying to catch it, it takes it away again.