30 December 2013

We Were Liars by E.Lockhart

We Were Liars by E.Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press      
Publication date: May 13th 2014
My rating: 4 stars

A beautiful and distinguished family.A private island.A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.A revolution. An accident. A secret.Lies upon lies.True love.The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it.And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

We Were Liars sure has a cryptic blurb. I wasn't really aware what I was getting myself into because this was my first E.Lockhart book I've read. I already have my eye on Fly on the Wall, one of author's earlier books. I'm kind of sick and tired of long YA novels so I'm trying to read as many +200 page books as I can. 

I'm actually glad the blurb doesn't reveal much because it would just spoil the whole twist. If you don't mind reading about every day life of a family, you'll enjoy this book. The story itself was actually flowing smoothly and I was getting really interested in this Sinclair family. 

The reason I didn't give a 5 star rating is that I had some minor problems with the choppy writing style. It was distracting at times I had to set down my e-reader for a couple of minutes every now and then. But I always returned to it because I just had to unravel all the secrets these people are hiding. By the end I was crying even though I told myself I could handle the truth.  

I won't reveal anything about the plot itself. If you find the blurb intriguing or you just want to see what all the fuss is about I advise you to pick up this book. 

26 December 2013

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Publisher: Harper Teen      
Publication date: January 7th 2014
My rating: 5 stars

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.
Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
No One Else Can Have You is one of the one of the biggest surprised of 2013.  There were so many negative reviews out there I seriously started reconsidering reading the book because let's face it. No one wants to waste time with a lousy book. 

If I'm being honest the first thing I noticed about this book is the cover. It's a a sweater with a hanged moose. I've never seen anything like it and I even showed it to my mom since she's good at knitting. Fingers crossed I get a moose sweater. Sweaters are one of my favorite clothing items. My dad can confirm that since I steal most of his jumpers. Anyway, whoever designed this eye-catching cover deserves a raise. 

I have to say the author did a great job at depicting every single character. Kippy, our heroine who didn't give up on her dead best friend,  Ruth even though she said a lot of hurtful things about Kippy in her diary. She justified it as unloading all the negative energy into the diary because Ruth couldn't share everything with her loved ones. Kippy is a strange girl and has a really unique voice and I liked her from the start. Kippy's, gentle and overprotective dad was also rather peculiar. I could go on forever about all the people in Friendship, but I won't.

 No One Else Can Have You was a character-driven book and I prefer those to a lot of action. I know some people found it incredibly boring but I loved every quirk and flaw these characters had. Isn't it so much better when you can really see and understand everyone instead of going through the motion? It's what kept my attention right from the start. If you general prefer weird books I'm sure you'll find something interesting in No One Else Can Have You

24 December 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #27

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

I've already read 5 books on this list but I REALLY, REALLY want them in my collection because I think they're some of the best books I've ever read. I think I'm going to ask my mom to get me a hardcopy of Lola and the Boy Next Door for my birthday in January ( I have to have that super pretty cover) and treat myself with Jellicoe Road after I pre-order a couple of January new releases. At least I hope I'll get it since I'm not even sure if I'll have any money.
Still need to read Everbound, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, Wings of the Wicked, Antigoddess and The Killing Woods. Hope to order them sometime next year. 

23 December 2013

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
Publisher: Ember      
Publication date: July 9th 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars

So, my girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I’m not sure I want the answer to. 
Some people would let a senior year like this get them down. Not me. I’m Sutter Keely, master of the party. But don’t mistake a midnight philosopher like me for nothing more than a shallow party boy. Just ask Aimee, the new girl in my life. She saw the depth in the Sutterman from that first moment when she found me passed out on the front lawn. Okay, so she’s a social disaster, but that’s where I come in. 
Yes, life is weird, but I embrace the weird. Let everyone else go marching off into their great shining futures if they want. Me, I’ve always been more than content to tip my whisky bottle and take a ride straight into the heart of the spectacular now.
Sutter's having the time of his life. He's skipping school, drinking and doing some light drugs (occasionally) when his girlfriend Cassidy suddenly dumps him after he was trying to do a good deed. His best friend, Ricky swiftly abandons him for his new girlfriend  even though Sutter set them up. After a night of crazy partying he finds himself on Aimee's lawn. Since he's the Sutteman he sets of to help Aimee get a social life.

The first thing I loved about The Spectacular Now is that it's not just another teen book. The ex girlfriend isn't too demanding. She actually cares for Sutter and wants what's best for him.  The best friend doesn't get 'whipped' by his new girlfriend. He just wanted a change from the old drinking and getting high days. And Aimee's not only a  nerd/wallflower. 

The brightest star of this book is Sutter. He doesn't try to be anything different from what he is. He's a party boy who loved to mix alcohol with 7UP and drink every day. He loves Dean Martin, knows how to dance and is always the center of attention. But now everyone's up for his type of party. There were a couple of scenes where people were telling him to go home. He doesn't know how to control himself and goes overboard one too many times. Surprisingly he stayed friend with all his exes and they still enjoy his company but you can tell why everyone of them decided to break up with him. He doesn't think about the long run. I know some of the things I mentioned aren't really good but Sutter happens to be one of the most charismatic narrators of today. I'm not even kidding. You need to read at least a chapter and see for yourself. He pulls you in right from the start 

The best thing about this book was the ending itself. It doesn't try to portray Sutter as a changed man. He's still Sutter only with more life lessons. At least I try to think he learned something.  He doesn't try to think about the future. He still wants to live in the now and I think I can understand that. After all, not everyone's the same. But I still can't help but to want him to change. Be better, finish school, find a job and settle down with someone. Isn't that what's suppose to happen in the end? But I guess, things don't always work the way we want them to in real life. 

17 December 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press      
Publication date: February 26th 2013
My rating: 5 stars

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
First thing you need to know about Rainbow's books- they're cute but  not overly sweet. Just enough warmth combined with colorful sprinkles. Rainbow's basically offering us a delicious cupcake every time we pick her book up. 

Eleanor & Park is the second Rowell book I read. I read Attachments last October and even though it was a bit weird (because of the sort of  stalker-ish guy) I loved every part of it. In my short review I said her work is 'a Stephanie Perkins of adult sweet romances'. 

In a world of insta-love Rainbow delivers a stellar story about two misfits. During their bus rides they start to read comics together and listen to Park's Walkman. Eleanor lives with her mother, stepfather and 3 other siblings. Her stepdad is a abusing bastard, mom is just taking it and her siblings are tattle tales. On the other side we have Park and his biggest concern is to learn how to drive a stick. 

I'd love to give you more insight about the whole story itself but I'm afraid I'll reveal way too much so you're just going to have to trust my word for it. After all, I'm not one of those easily impressed readers. Hell, check my average GR rating. It's embarrassingly low. 

Aside from the great story you can also rehash on your knowledge of 80's music by listening to E&P playlists HERE.  

It's hard to explain Rainbow's magic. You're either her fan or not. Her books are on my auto-buy list. If you don't mind reading a slow and steady young adult contemporary romance and love authors like Sara Zarr, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Ockler or Sarah Dessen. Basically, any author with an S in the name  will do. :P 

14 December 2013

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Plume Books      
Publication date: September 4th 2004
My rating: 2 stars

Living in Toronto for a year, Elena is leading the normal life she has always dreamed of, including a stable job as a journalist and a nice apartment shared with her boyfriend. As the lone female werewolf in existence, only her secret midnight prowls and her occasional inhuman cravings set her apart. Just one year ago, life was very different. Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. Torn between two worlds, and overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, her only option for control was to deny her awakening needs and escape.
But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her "family," she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. She has made her choice. Trouble is, she's increasingly uncertain if it's the right one.
An erotically charged thriller, Bitten will awaken the voracious appetite of every reader, as the age-old battle between man and beast, between human and inhuman forces, comes to a head in one small town and within one woman's body.

As a long time Kelley Armstrong fan I was excited to start her adult urban fantasy series in hopes of being engrossed with all 13 book. I was hoping to find another engaging story about werewolves with a couple of ahem steamier scenes. 

I've been reading this book for days and I came to the conclusion- I've read another version of Bitten. Not the one everyone else was reading, that's for sure. Obviously, I read the most boring version available while everyone's been having a blast and giving 5 stars to their books. 

I just can't deal with the cheating, lousy chemistry between the two main characters and the boring story line in general. Hell, Elena has more chemistry with the alpha Jeremy, who's her father figure than with Clayton Darlin' Danvers. 

I've read both Kelley's YA trilogies and while the writing style was similar, all the magic was gone. It was one dull scene after the other. I'm not sure if it's mine, the book's or the author's fault.