le book review number eighty-seven~ fat angie

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Title: Fat Angie
Author: e.e. Charlton-Trujillo
Pages: 264
Year Published: 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Personal Star Rating: 3.5 stars

Angie is the only one in her family - maybe the only one in the world - who believes her captured war-hero sister is still alive. Angie needs to believe it. It's better than thinking about last year, when she tried to kill herself in front of a packed gym. Better than trying to steer clear of Stacy Ann Sloan and her posse of ultra-mean girls. Better than dealing with her corporate lawyer mother, who wants to know only one thing: When is Angie going to lose exactly twenty-nine pounds?
Then a new girl, KC, arrives in Dryfalls, Ohio. She's beautiful, hip, and smart, and everyone wants to know her. From the minute they meet, KC sees the real Angie, not the fat girl hiding from her pain under a mountain of junk food. She sees Angie for who she really is: someone who just might shake things up - on the basketball court and in KC's life. Outrageous and touching, this darkly comic, anti-romantic romance brings us unforgettable characters on the edge.

Cover Comments:
Very bright blue it stands out. I think it was vibrant that's why i picked it up.

Title Thoughts:
Very unique title and deprecating. I think because of it's negative connotation I decided to see what exactly was being said.

I found this book to be alright. However, I don't feel like I completely know Angie after reading it. She seemed confused about her feelings and I think all teenagers can relate to that. I found the pop culture references might make the book a bit outdated in some ways within a few years. I liked that it was told in a perspective unlike any that I've read before and in some instances within the book I could understand Angie and KC and their friendship was a very integral part of the plot and she became a very important part of Angie's life. I think Angie always wanted to do better for KC and make her proud and this was very motivating for Angie to achieve her goals. I probably wouldn't read this book again but for what it was worth, it was overall pretty good.

le book review number eighty-six~ but i love him

Title: But i Love Him
Author: Amanda Grace
Pages: 245
Publisher: Flux
Year First Published: 2011
Personal Star Rating: 4/5 stars 

Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for house. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.
It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself.

Cover Comments:
I really like the cover. It is really reflective of the novel itself. The colours are very interesting, the jagged title font showcases the topic of the book. I was especially drawn to the interesting heart.

Title Thoughts:
Accurate to the book. It makes a lot of sense to have it as the title and was part of the reason I picked it up.

I found this book was really amazing. It was well written, well described, showed character growth and had such an interesting appeal in being told chronologically backwards with flashforwards to the present situation mixed in. A topic of relationship abuse, this book wasn't typical and I felt it showed the reality with characters that felt real. It showed how it changed Ann drastically over the course of the book without being "her life is ruined because of Connor and she should have known from the start to stay away from him because we don't know the start until the end". It seemed that the situation was very sad and even though at times I would be frustrated with Ann for being with Connor, I understood her reasoning and felt very sorry for her. The book showed how someone could easily get involved with that abusive life without realizing it. It showed the progression of the relationship and the abuse. Overall I was really impressed and would give it another read if I ever found the time.

le book review number eighty-five~ go ask alice

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Title:Go Ask Alice
Author: Anonymous
Year First Published: 1971
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 185
Personal Star Rating: 4/5 stars

The harrowing true story of a teenager's descent into the seductive world of drugs. A diary so honest you may think you know Alice - or someone like her. Read her diary. Enter her world. You'll never be able to forget Alice.

Title Thoughts:
The title of the book is taken from "White Rabbit". It's a very memorable title. It is also very unique and it was a big reason for me reading this book.

Cover Comments:
The cover is very shadowy. I love the font used and the layout. It's haunting and ghostly. A good reflection of the book itself.

This was a very different book from what I've ever read. I definitely found myself captivated by her story and her struggles. I find diary type books very insightful and very true to what a person is like. Journals are a place where people can write about who they really are, what they've really done, and what they really want to do without fearing judgement from others. The protagonist, Alice, was very interesting. There was one key drawback about this book - it was very dated. It didn't embrace modern society or reflect very accurately some of what the youth of today is exposed to. I found it annoying when the author repeated word's multiple times as this made it unbelievably laughable because it seems so time period of the seventies that after that decade, it seems irrelevant. Overall, it gave me something to think about and it actually made me think. It was worth 4 stars the first read, probably wouldn't read it again anytime soon and it would lose it's first time unique factor.

le book review number eighty-four~ almost home

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Title: Almost Home
Author: Jessica Blank
Hardcover edition
Pages: 245
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Year Published: 2007
Rating: 3/5 stars

From the back cover:
“The L.A. I live in is the same now as it will be afterward: alleys, underpasses, Dumpsters, trash. Smashed glass, crumbled concrete, holes in fences. It’s all about finding the cracks in things and shoving them open till they’re big enough for you to squeeze in. That’s were Critter and me crash most nights, in between buildings or up against cars, practicing, I guess, for when the whole world is roofless.”

From the inside cover:
For seven teens in Los Angeles, the street is their home.

There’s Eeyore, just twelve years old when she runs away from her privileged home, harboring a secret she’s to ashamed to tell anyone. Rusty winds up alone and broke when his older boyfriend ditches him in Hollywood. Squid has gone through too many foster homes to count – now he’s determined to create his own “sidewalk family” out on the streets. There’s Scabius, a rough, delusional punk from Utah; and Critter, a heroin dealer with movie-star looks and a vulnerable heart. Laura, smart and restless, has run to L.A. looking for something bigger than the tiny town she comes from.
And then there’s Tracy, the charismatic, damaged thread that ties them all together, irrevocably changing each person’s life she touches.
With rare candor and searing prose, author Jessica Blank, in her debut young adult novel, introduces us to seven unforgettable teens who form their own dysfunctional family, complete with love and belonging, abuse and betrayal.

First sentence:
Tracy hangs out up against the fence some days, blond hair dangling down in strings toward her tattoos, dirty hoodie sticking through the chain-link holes in little bunches, her weight curving the wire till it looks like it might stay that way.

Cover Comments:
I found the cover to be very accurate of the book as a whole. It definitely was a factor in why I decided to read this book.

Title Thoughts:
I think the title is memorable for the content inside. It is reflective of the story.

A friend of mine read this book and I saw a picture of it on her blog. It looked intriguing and I decided to check it out from the library at school. It was, in a few ways, very different from what I had expected it to be. It seemed to be somewhat realistic, but at the same time it seemed almost lacking in certain descriptive areas that I couldn't picture things the way I would have hoped. Initially I was impressed by the distinct characters, but in the middle it became a bit foggy when individuality became less apparent. The topic of runaways on the streets of Hollywood is what this story is about but we don't ever quite understand the motive for everything that happens. In a way I didn't mind that, but at the same time there seemed to be a lot of questions that were asked and it wasn't resolved in a satisfactory way. I was initially very impressed but it wasn't maintained throughout so it ends with only a rating of 3/5 stars. I almost gave it 4 stars, even 3.5 stars, but something gave me hesitation and I settled with only giving it an average rating. There were some really good moments in there, and it was a book on something I really haven't read, but there wasn't that stand-out-must-read-this-book-again-right-now moment that would get me to buy this book, or give it away to someone. I accept this book for what it is, but had hoped for something a little bit better. However, overall it was good and worth reading.

Don't forget, for updates, check me out on twitter @lebookreview.

Thank you for reading, it is always appreciated!

memorable moments thirteen~ almost home

almost home
jessica blank

memorable moments

page 2:
When Dad and Linda weren't there Brian was never nervous and he made my insides twist around like butterflies in my stomach, except their wings beat so hard I was always about to throw up.

page 3:
I thought the whole point of being a misfit was you're always looking for other people like you. Loneliness is like a vacuum: it's supposed to suck the other lonely people in like dust till finally it fills up and you're not lonely anymore.

page 6:
When we got to the top the city spread out below us big as a whole country, lavender smog cloaking the whole thing like a blanket you could see through.

page 9:
But then of course Linda comes home, thinking she can just breeze in after working til practically midnight and start rearranging everybody.

page 10:
There is nothing more annoying than the exact sound of Linda's voice when she is saying my name to try and wake me up.

page 11:
She is perfect: every part of her fits together just the way it is supposed to and ever though my chest feels weirdly tight I just want to watch her forever. 

page 12:
The next time I see Jenny Kirchner after that, in B hall before lab science, she makes this gross-out face, then leans in to the other Ashlees and starts whispering at exactly the amount of loudness that I can tell it's about me but the amount of quietness that I can't hear what it is.

page 14:
But then the fingernails pull out of my skin and the knuckles loosen around my wrists and the laughing gets quieter, like a car stereo driving away, and I crumple down to the ground and no one stops me.

page 17:
For practically thirty seconds she just watches me and I know I'm not supposed to look away so I don't.

She's beautiful. I can't really explain it... It's not anything about the pieces of her fitting together right like Jenny Kirchner or matching up with anything I've seen before. It's more about how Tracy's go all this metal in her eyes like she knows five million things I've never even heard of, but then she looks at me like I know all those things too.

page 19:
I feel like a grown-up next to Tracy waiting for our food. Or not like a grown-up really, but something different from a kid. I feel like it someone saw me they would think that I looked cool. I've only ever thought that about other people. But now I think that I could lean against the counter and look just like a picture.

page 23:
I never even heard of sleeping outdoors besides camp. And this is not camp, it's Hollywood.

page 24:
When Tracy's awake I can't watch her the way that I want to: I know she'd catch me. But now she's sleeping so hard it barely seems like she's breathing and I put my eyes on her and it feels like a kind of rest, like if I wanted to I could drink in some of her and make it part of me.

page 32:
I have never breathed a word of him to anyone and the words feel bizarre in my mouth: they've been coiled up somewhere so much farther down than that forever and now they're stretching out and up and I can feel them behind my teeth and it surprises me, like some weird food I've never tasted. I have no idea why I'm telling Tracy this or why I'd even think she'd understand. But for some reason I'm not scared. And after I get the first few sentences out from my mouth into the air she looks over at me with this kind of recognition I've never seen before in anyone, and she says "I know" and takes my hand. She holds it all the way to my house and she doesn't let me go, even when my palm starts sweating.

page 33:
When I get up close I can see her cheeks are wet and it's not from the shower because the rest of her is dry. ...and I say her name again, this time super soft like a whisper almost, and she snaps her head up and around to look at me and her whole face rearranges.

page 34:
...I realize the thing I was scared of didn't happen: I went back in the house without it changing me back to how I was... After that I decide I don't really want to go back. Or actually it's not a decision exactly, it's more of a realization. The whole last week I was procrastinating on going home like it was a math worksheet and every once in a while I'd hear Linda's annoying voice in my head yelling at me for putting things off and my heart would get all poundy knowing I'd have to do it eventually and the longer I waited the worse it would get. But now all of a sudden it's like my math teacher canceled the assignment and I just don't have to do it.

page 37:
That night and the next day and the next I keep trying to get Tracy to go to Del Taco instead of Benito's hoping we'll see those guys again across the street, but they don't show up and after a couple days I forget. Something in me is different, though, just knowing they exist. To me it means there's a whole bunch of people like her, which means the world is bigger than I knew. It means there's something out there that's not school or home or Brian but not Tracy either. It's like Tracy, but it's not exactly her. For some reason, that makes me feel a little more equal, like I could ask her questions without being scared that she'll get mad. I don't know why.

page 39:
...I look up at her and she's crying again, not like normal where you can hear it and the person moves their face, but in this weird way where her eyes are like a statue and she's hardly even breathing.

page 41:
After a minute I think we must look pretty weird, both sitting on the curb in front of Tang's picking at things and not talking, but then I realize nobody's looking at us.

page 42:
All morning I tried talking and it just made her weirder so now I've been trying to find her just by feeling it, like if I breathe the right way our breaths will touch and I can pull her close again.

page 43:
He's the only person who knows who I am in the places that you can't put into words, those places that are alive and raw and secret, and bigger than your regular life. We all have those places, I think, but we almost never see or touch them in each other because everyone is always scared.

page 49:
She elbows me at the end of her story like I'm supposed to say something. I don't know what to say, so I just go "Yup" and look up at the guy all dumb. Tracy laughs and says "He's really shy" and makes this face like they're on the same team and they're planning something about me. For a minute I get scared, and then Tracy leans back and pulls me toward her and I can tell it's really me and her on the team.

page 52:
When I open my eyes it's late and I'm confused like when you lie down for a nap during the day and by the time you wake up it's pitch black outside and the time in the middle just erased itself.

page 60:
That nervous feeling of not having something to do doesn't happen when there's another person there. Whenever the silence gets too long you can ask the other person questions and they'll fill it up for you.

page 62:
The girl says "Hey" to me, sort of too loud like she's trying to prove she's there.

page 63:
When she's not trying hard to stand up the tallest, you can see what she actually looks like: really young and like a baby bird, with all these soft spots that aren't covered up by anything. I know that feeling. I have them too. I want to tell her she doesn't have to put all that stupid hard stuff over them, that those spots are beautiful and the way to be safe is to find somebody who will touch them, not to cover them up. But she'd probably take it wrong.

page 68:
She has this way of saying the most ridiculous things like they are completely one hundred percent normal, so normal you feel stupid arguing with her or even asking questions.

page 69:
She's staring straight ahead with empty eyes; I'm afraid she's mad at me. But when I finally get beside her, panting, she snaps her eyes out of their stare and fills them up with herself again.

page 70:
If you look north you can see the curve of Malibu; the sunset silhouettes it, dark black mountains against the burning orange sky, and the pink ocean spread out in front of it forever, glistening and moving. If you look south it's all factories, some kind of chemical refinery: spidery towers stacked up all the way to the ocean, delicate and complicated as lace but ugly and stinky and made of hard metal... I feel like a different person depending which direction I'm pointed. 

page 71:
Jim made me promise not to tell and I haven't, not the whole two months I've been here waiting. That's what keeps me tied to him: the cords from me to Jim, from here to Bakersfield, are made up of a million little sparkling threads like spiderwebs; those threads are built from promises between us, the only thing that keeps me from floating away. If I tell our secret I know I'll cut those cords, and come untied, and I don't know where I'll go.

page 75:
She sits up and looks a way I've never seen her look: sad.

page 79:
I watch him... and I think: I know what your breath feels like. I wonder if he ever thinks that about me.

page 82:
But Critter's just too f-ing good-looking to be considered reliable, so things never really quieted down for real.

page 86:
That's what guys like him do, guys like dads on TV who feed everyone and give you drugs and never admit that they need anything. But they always seem like the strongest of all if you don't know better. And she doesn't.

page 97:
...it's a little...weird that Eeyore has a house, especially one she can go back to. It sort of makes her not exactly one of us. And we all know it. And it looks like Eeyore just figured it out too. And there's this long pause.

page 106:
It's like a door slides across Eeyore's face and slams shut hard enough to lock itself.

page 108:
And then I turn around to Eeyore and I say "Wanna go?" and she looks at me with the surest eyes in the world and says "Yeah."

page 114:
Pretty quick the days start blurring together. It's weird how that happens here and I think it's the weather, seventy-five degrees each day and sunny like someone set the thermostat for the city and it just runs, like a machine.

page 121:
Everything is gray and blue and flooded, like the sky is washing out the city, and we just stand there watching it.

page 125:
I watch her strut around, pretending brave and looking stupid, trying to protect herself from me but not knowing how to do it right, and all of a sudden I can see what she is. 
It's like when you wake up sudden from a dream, blink once and the whole world around you changes. Just like that, I can see her: the whole time she's been out her, she was only faking that she's one of us.

page 128:
Her eyes get all big; they fill up and spill over, but I don't care. I want to say something different to her, something like: You have something we all wish we did; stay away from us or we'll take it away; hard things are stronger than soft, and sooner or later your smooth skin will get cut through and you'll never not have scars again. But I don't know how to say that. So I just say "Go."
And she's gone.

page 138:
When you think someone's mind matches yours, when they tell you it does and you see that it's true, and then they go and do the opposite, there's gotta be a reason. Some force that pushes them to make them move the other way. 

page 147:
That one night was different though, I think because she didn't really know me and when things happen with strangers it's different than with people you know. Or people who know you, really is what it is: Tracy thinks she can keep anyone from getting to know her, and she gets pretty pissed when you prove her wrong.

page 150:
But I don't know: every time she smiles, even if it's just a closed-mouth halfway smirk, I feel like I earned something.

It's weird how fast you can spill everything to a person if you think they're listening.

page 151:
...but this night isn't normal and I wind up walking along the lit sidewalk, telling her every single thing that ever happened to me practically.

page 153:
After that I kiss her. It's like water, the feeling of it, and also like sleep, the kind that comes when you've been up three days and your head finally hits a pillow and you can practically hear every single cell sign relief.

page 157:
It's just that we both have these edges that've always scraped up against everyone around us, but somehow with each other they line up so they fit together perfect and no one gets cut.

page 165:
It's weird how things can seem just like life when they're happening but when you look back later you see it was all part of some inevitable plan that's a thousand times your size.

page 170:
It's weird, hearing what I need and knowing that it's just a lie, like wanting to be touched and having someone hit you. It stills feels good even though you bleed. It's the best you can do. And sometimes it's enough: sometimes you settle, and you start to look forward to getting hit because at least someone's hand is on your face, at least there's something else touching you besides cold naked air, at least something makes the blood rise, and the tingling in your skin keeps you warm for a while.

page 175:
It's weird, the way so many things happen but the ground stays the same, how we turn inside out, molt, grow new cells while words endure: Hair. Celebrity Auto Body. Mel's. You could call them institutions but really it's just that here in Los Angeles signs are built to withstand earthquakes, and we are not.

page 177:
It was flat and June already, and my arms smelled like sweat, the kind that's still faint enough to be sweet; no salt, just skin and heat.

page 184:
She's real, the first real thing I've ever met, and she scares me just a little. Nobody's ever scared me before.

page 187:
It makes that day a bubble, contained in itself and fragile. Sometimes I look at her and I can feel it: the Formica of the table, sick-sweet of coconut donuts, the bitter black of sludgy coffee and the glare of buzzing light, all tucked in a pocket inside me. In that bubble she's still saying things nobody knows and I'm still wordless, not knowing how to fill the spaces she opened up, but wanting to and watching her and staying with her after, following her so she'll know that I won't leave. The bubble edge around that day makes it not just a memory but a secret, and I hold on to it like I could keep it safe.

page 195:
The third morning she gets antsy, though, and calls it homesick. She starts smoking lots of cigarettes and says the city feels too big, like it could swallow her. 

Over the next few days the antsy gets worse. She's out of money, that's part of it; but there's something else too, and edge that keeps her broke because nobody will stop to give her anything.

page 198:
I could tell you that it all makes sense, but the trust is that it doesn't. It comes together, sure, in a way that makes the facts line up, provides an explanation. But it doesn't make sense at all.

page 200:
I don't think that places change you. They're too fixed, too solid to do much of anything. The things that really change you are the things that change themselves: ground opening up along a fault like and gulping down your house, people picking sides, their answers to your questions.

page 201:
It's easier to get a ride this time: I can tell which cars to hold my thumb out for and which ones will just keep driving. I know how to spot the blinders now, and I don't try to get the passersby to look my way. I just wait to see a set of eyes that's still open, unfixed, who'll stop and take me north, past home, and out of Hollywood, beyond what I can see or touch or travel, toward names I've always heard but never seen.

page 213:
I lie on the mattress a long time, eyes closed, heart pounding, before I finally drift off. Even then it's the kind of sleep that's only on the surface, skimming the tops of your thoughts while your mind's still working underneath.

lebookreview~ now on twitter!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

I decided to join twitter. This way you can get some insight while I'm reading (if anybody is interested), and not just after I'm finished the book. It will be a nice, concise way to talk about the books I'm reading or wanting to read and other lovely things. It's probably more for my sake rather than the world, but you are welcome to check me out @lebookreview on Twitter. There is a link at the bottom of this blog as well.

le book review number eighty-three~ the boy who dared

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Title: The Boy Who Dared
Author: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Pages: 202
Year Published: 2008
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Day 264
It's morning. Soft gray light slips over the tall redbrick wall. It stretches across the exercise yard and reaches through the high, barred windows. In a cell on the ground floor, the light shifts dark shapes into a small stool, a scrawny table, and a bed made of wooden boards with no mattress or blanket. On that bed, a thin, huddled figure, Helmuth, a boy of seventeen, lies awake. Shivering. Trembling.
It's a Tuesday.
The executioner works on Tuesday.

First Sentence:
"It's morning."

Cover Comments:
I really like the cover. It was a big factor in me wanting to read it. I like the dark grey blue black colors. I really like the placement of the title and the font used.

Title Thoughts:
It is very reflective of the story. I think it is very attention grabbing and memorable.

I loved reading this book. It is very well written in all aspects and was noticeably different from any war book that I've ever read. I was impressed with the plot and characters (which were based on real people). I especially liked how it was told through a German during World War II.
I am actually surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it and by how enthralled and captivated I was. I've read my fair share of war books and was hoping it would not simply be reiteration of things I'd already read. It offered new, insightful ideas and interpretation. This was remarkably different and it held my interest.
I wouldn't mind reading this again. I think my sister would like this book so I should convince her to read this one if she can borrow it from a library.
This book had philosophical elements that were entwined very neatly and subtly within and it was thought-provoking. It is not simply a "war book" it is so much more. Helmuth's family as very real. His friends and the events were told in a very real way. I greatly appreciate how it was filled with such maturity from such a young boy. I would recommend this book. Read this book, it's very good.

le book review number eighty-two~ stuart little

Friday, 19 April 2013

Title: Stuart Little
Author: E. B. White
Pages: 131
Pictures by: Garth Williams
Year Published: 1945
Publisher: Harper & Row
Rating: 3/5 stars

The famous story of a most unusual mouse

Stuart Little is a mouse in the family of the Frederick C. Littles and is a pleasantly debonair little character, with a shy, engaging manner and a  somewhat philosophical turn of mind. His size - juse over two inches - does give him some trouble now and then. But on the whole his life is a happy one. His great adventure comes when, at the age of seven, he sets out in the world to seek his dearest friend, Margalo, a beautiful little bird who stayed in the Littles' Boston fern.

I've had this book on my shelf for years. I remember my mom buying E. B. White books when I was in Elementary School. I was somewhat surprised by this book. I enjoyed it, but felt it was greatly lacking in many aspects. It was decent, but hardly memorable. The main character wasn't described in great detail and his adventures were only adequate to me. Perhaps if I had read it at an earlier age I would feel differently. I think it was a nice simple read, but I was hoping it would give me more to think about and I would feel accomplishment out of reading it. I think the story is cute in some parts, seemingly strange in some parts, but overall unique and it is a classic. I'm glad I read it only I wish I had read it when I was younger.

le book review number eighty-one~ storm thief

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Author: Chris Wooding
Pages: 310
Publisher: Scholastic
Personal Star Rating: 4.5/5 stars

"Rail and Moa are thieves in a city of chaos. For as long as anyone can remember, Orokos has been lashed by probability storms - violent tempests that change whatever they touch. When a probability storm hits, streets are rearranged, children are turned to glass, rivers break from their banks, and life suddenly becomes death. Nothing is stable. Everyone is vulnerable.
Rail has struggled with the effects of one such storm for years; when he was hit, he lost the ability to breathe freely. Moa has also seen her share of struggle - as the daughter of dead rebels, as an outcast, as a criminal. Now they have uncovered their first taste of fortune: a strange artifact wanted by the most powerful people in the city. As with most fortunes, this one comes with a price.
They mysterious object is a gift to any thief. But could it be more? Rail and Moa will have to run, fight, double-cross, steal, and dodge the storms in order to find out . . . and unlock Orokos's deepest, most dangerous secrets."

First Sentence:
"The seabird slid through the black sky beneath the blanket of cloud, its feathers ruffling fitfully as it was buffeted by the changing winds."

Cover Comments:
I like the cover, although it isn't my favourite cover in the world.

Title Thoughts:
I have a soft spot for books with the word thief in the title. The Book Thief and The Thief Lord are two books that I enjoyed immensely. Therefore, when this book was recommended to me, I was anticipating great things.

I've been meaning to read this book for a couple years. I finally got around to reading it and I was not disappointed. I began reading it and after a couple days had only managed about 30 pages. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get through it. I restarted and after getting acquired to such rich, thick description and vocabulary, I was greatly surprised. The characters had real qualities although they felt somewhat contrived and stereotypical at times. Every note I wrote during reading was talking about the description and detail. Although not abundantly filled with unnecessary words, it created very interesting and intriguing imagery. I was very impressed with the quality of vocabulary as well. The plot was a bit difficult at first to comprehend but it was very unique from other books that I've read. I can generalize the theme and criticize it in a flat, boring way, but it had quite a bit of information and the pace picked up really quickly. Perhaps a little too quickly in certain parts. I expected a few twists and turns involved with the story, but overall, it was a really good read and deserves 4.5 stars. I probably wouldn't read this book again. There is no specific reason why not, it was, after all very enjoyable, but I couldn't see myself getting anything extra out of it.

Also, check out the memorable moments from this novel: http://lebookreview.blogspot.ca/2013/04/memorable-moments-number-twelve-storm.html

memorable moments number twelve~ storm thief

memorable moments
Storm Thief by Chris Wooding

page 3:
The seabird slid through the black sky beneath the blanket of cloud, its feathers ruffling fitfully as it was buffeted by the changing winds.
The ocean was the colour of slate. It bulged and warped in angry swells. Above, spectral light flickered within the thunderheads, and the air boomed. A steady rain fell, slipping of the seabird's oiled feathers in droplets.
It was alone. Somewhere on its solitary journey towards the breeding grounds, it had lost its way. A magnetic storm was stroking the upper atmosphere, confusing its instinctive sense of navigation. The oppressive cloud hadn't dispersed for three days now, so the bird couldn't even use the sun as a guide. It glided over an endless expanse of steely waves, completely without direction.

page 7:
"So sad, Moa thought, distracted for a moment. So sad that there was once a time when the world was full of wonders like that. So sad that we've forgotten how to make them."

page 8:
"There were voices below. Muttered phrases suddenly accelerated into high-pitched, squeaky chatter and then returned to a drone, as if someone had recorded a voice and was randomly speeding it up and slowing it down, rearranging the syllables in different orders, playing them in reverse. The warped speech of the Mozgas."

page 33:
"Last night, during the storm, a seabird had flown into his room. He had been standing by the window in his little corner when it had flown in and knocked itself dead on one of the pipes.
The event had made him sad. The seabird wasn't ugly. At least, he didn't think so. Even dead it was beautiful. Its feathers were sleek and soft, and he liked the feel of it on his skin. 

page 37:
"Moa slept a lot. She preferred being asleep to being awake, for she always had the most vivid dreams: dreams of flying or of strange and mystical lands, dreams of adventure and romance. Inside her cocoon of blankets and furs, she could be elsewhere, and in her imagination she lived a life of wonders.

page 43:
"Rail shrugged, as if he could make it less important by acting like he didn't care."

page 44:
""Things will change on their own, Rail. Things always change if you wait long enough."
He tapped the side of his respirator muzzle. "I'll make my own luck," he said bitterly.

page 47:
"She looked up at him and gave him a heartbreaking smile of pure and innocent happiness. She never understood why Rail did these little things for her, these little gestures of companionship  but she loved him for it. Not in the way a girl was supposed to love a boy - at least, she didn't think so - but because it made her feel wanted. Neither Rail nor Moa had anybody to care about them but each other."

page 62:
"Probability storms threw up all kinds of weirdness, and occasionally a person might be seen with three arms, or town heads, or a coat of scares, or a forked tail. It could happen to anyone, at any time. That was why people feared them: because it reminded them how fragile their happiness was, how easily their world could be turned inside out. That was why people reacted with disgust and hate.

page 64:
"If he ran, where would he run to? He was afraid of the city, and it was all around him."

page 77:
"He never could understand why she still believed in the cause that her father had died for. Maybe it was only that she didn't want his death to be in vain, that she wanted to prove him right. Or maybe it was just because she needed something to believe."

"She looked down into the water again. "Sometimes I just want to throw myself in," she murmured  "To let it carry me out of the vents, into the sea, and over the horizon. Maybe I'd wash up on another shore."
"You'd wash up dead," Rail said impatiently."

page 81:
""Moa, he's baggage," Rail said.
"Well, now he's our baggage," she replied firmly.
Rail threw his hands up in frustration and stalked away. He knew she would not be dissuaded now. What burned him about Moa was that she was usually so passive, but she clung so tightly to her dreams, that she sometimes lost her grip on reality. It was a bird, for freck's sake. Who cared about a bird?
But it was what she wanted, and in the end he could never say no to her. 

page 82:
"Sometimes he wished he hadn't ever gotten mixed up with this girl. But he never wished it for long."

page 85:
""I don't like it," she said. "It's such a risk."
Rail peered over the parapet again, searching for another glimpse of their pursuers. "Sometimes you have to take a risk, Moa," he threw back at her.

page 105:
"Had Moa and Rail not been wearing visors, they would have seen only men and women and children, completely unremarkable except for their almost supernatural calm. They went about their business without ever saying a word, their eyes glazed. Like sleepwalkers.
But with the visors on, it was possible to see them for what they really were. They seethed aether. Greenish-yellow energy, fine as vapour, wisped from their bodies or trailed behind them as they moved. Their eyes and mouths and nostrils were like tiny torches, blazing with blinding energy. It was as if their bodies were merely shells to contain the spectral glow. When they moved their heads, fizzing particles of aether detached from them and floated away, slowly fading into nothingness."

page 118:
"The streamer slid from the building behind, a vast swathe of turquoise, and passed through them.
The moment was too fast to really feel it. It was swift as an eyeblink, a dislocation, where everything seemed suddenly wrong and they were a fraction out of step with the pulse of the universe."

page 120:
"They were breathtaking. It would be easy to be mesmerized by these beings of sparkling energy as they moved with lazy elegance in the air... Though they represented a fate worse than death to humans, Moa couldn't help being awed by them."

page 126:
"... and as Rail watched, several of the houses simply disappeared, fading like a dream upon waking."

page 146:
"But the Fulcrum inspired its own special awe and dread. Inside it, so rumour held, was the great machine that controlled Orokos, that generated the probability storms and created the Revenants. They called it the Chaos Engine."

page 158:
"A tough upbringing had left him with one rule which he lived by: to think of himself above all others. You had to be selfish to survive."

page 162:
"This whole place was built on a foolish dream, Rail thought. No wonder Moa had been so keen to bring Vago here. He wonder she was so keen to come home. She lived for dreams."

page 166:
"... I wandered for a while. I went east to find my uncle, but he had long gone and nobody knew where. Instead I found Rail. Or rather, Rail found me."

page 167:
"..."Thank you." It seemed a pitifully inadequate response, but Moa was too tired and drained to offer anything else."

page 170:
"... - but she projected a presence that made her seem much larger than she was. She had an absolute and unquestionable confidence that other people responded to."

page 172:
"These people were just like everyone else he had met. They viewed  him with mistrust at best, horror at worse. They thought of him as a dangerous animal, something less than them. Only Moa treated him as an equal."

page 180:
"... It comes down to a matter of belief. It's a leap of faith. We can stay here with our dreams just out of reach, or we can risk everything to reach them."
"Nothing's worth risking that many lives for," Rail said.
"Some things are," Kittiwake replied."

page 182:
""I want to go with her," Moa said the next day. It was so depressingly inevitable that Rail didn't bother to even respond at first."

page 185:
""... But I'm not going to be condemned here. There's more than this, Rail! And I will find it if it kills me."
"That," replied Rail quietly, "is exactly what it's going to do.""

page 186:
"None of it interested him. He barely felt the faint warmth of the sun on his skin. The faces he was were only marks to him, potential victims for pickpocketing or mugging. Even the beautiful ones, the girls with the smooth face flashing joyous smiles as they laughed and talked - even they didn't do a thing to stir him. Finch didn't have a soul that was capable of appreciating the finer emotions."

page 200:
""You seem older, Vago. Not as young as you once were," he said absently.
"It's hard to feel like a child when you see what the world has become," Vago replied.
"That's why we shelter our children as best we can," Cretch replied. "The contentment of ignorance is all too brief.""

page 208:
"Recollection as slipping towards him like a landslide, gathering momentum as it neared."

page 210:
"Then he hadn't always been this way. He had been human once, and he'd had a face and a name. Now he was a monster."

page 214:
"He sagged. "Why do you treat us this way?"
Bane laughed in surprise. "What do you mean?"
"The ghettoes, the disappearances, everything. What you do to the ghetto-folk. Why?"
Bane's laughter faded. "Because you ruin our world," he said.
Vago met his eye, and he saw that he was perfectly serious.
"We all have dreams," Bane said. "Mine is a world of order, where everything has its place and everything works, where people can walk the streets in safety. A society of citizens who are happy because they are secure and because their lives are overseen by us." His face soured, and Vago could hear the disgust and hatred in his voice as he went on. "All I want is a society of good, healthy people with enough food to go round and enough jobs to satisfy everyone. But there are always you filthy ghetto-folk getting in my way. The poor and the weak and those with criminal genes who breed more criminals. The sick and the useless, taking up our food and our space. Don't you realise how small Orokos is, compared to its population? Already our hydroponics farms are stretched to the limit. Our fish stocks deplete daily; even the sea is not inexhaustible. And with the Revenants appearing all over the city we can never be certain of any kind of steady supply. You people are leeches, draining out society dry, and we can't allow that any longer."
Vago regarded him silently.
'But we can't just kill you. The citizens won't allow genocide. So we do it quietly. We take you away a few at a time, and then we shut down one ghetto and move all the inhabitants to another. One day Orokos will wake up and you just own't be there anymore. There'll be no poor, no sick, no criminals. Everyone will be happy and content. Then once we've defeated the Revenants, there'll be a new age. An age of peace and order and perfection, like there was in the days before the Fade."
There was one last thing Vago wanted to know. "What would have happened to me if I hadn't volunteered to this? What happens to all those who are taken away?"
Bane's face was stern, rigid with conviction. There wasn't a flicker of doubt there in the righteousness of his cause. "That's the most elegant part. As I said, we don't have enough food to go round, and wasting it on ghetto-folk is foolish. The nutrient gruel that we feed them to stop them from starving and rioting . . . it's made from the people we take away."
Vago lowered his head, and his features fell into shadow. The horror of it was too much. All of it was too much."

page 220:
"Now that she felt herself and Rail splitting apart, she realized how tightly they had been entwined."

page 221:
"Finch couldn't be everywhere, it was true. But it was amazing what the promise of a little money could do."

page 229:
"... We got into this together." He embraced her gently. "I'd rather be here with you than anywhere else."

page 230:
"It was a sombre place where echoes seemed hollow, and the atmosphere was that of soulless and clinical efficiency."

page 231:
"He felt flattened and unable to pick himself up."

page 233:
"They lay together in each other's arms, and Moa, exhausted, had fallen instantly asleep. Rail, however, had been kept awake by the warmth of her body, the feel of her bony frame, and the faint pressure of her breath against his throat. How casual she could be sometimes, not knowing what she was doing to him by letting him hold her this way.
For a time, he resented her for it. He had lost all hope, and he had accepted that. But now she had reminded him of something he had all but forgotten about these past days: that he had one thing worth clinging to and fighting for, and she lay in his arms that night."

page 234:
"On the wall was a bronze plaque, on which was engraved the legend WE WILL MAKE THIS WORLD RIGHT AGAIN - BENEJES FRINE. It was a quote from someone neither Rail nor Moa had ever heard of."

page 236:
"He's a tricky one; I admire that."

page 238:
""How do you know?" said Moa, her voice quiet with the edge of hysterical anger. "How do you know that?""

page 240:
"You always wanted to change the world, Rail, he said to himself. Now's your chance."

page 241:
"...Perhaps they are sailing to nowhere, perhaps not. But I'm not going to let some ragged group of outcasts become the inspiration for a generation of rebels."

page 242:
"... Bane sat at his desk and dreamed of perfection."

"Tomorrow they would change the world. There were preparations to be made."

page 247:
"Rail had been right. She was too softhearted. She was too willing to believe the best of people, when it made more sense to assume everyone was a potential enemy until they proved otherwise. But when she said this to Rail, he surprised her by his response.
"No," he said softly. "Don't you ever think that. That's what I think, and I wish I didn't. You have faith in people, Moa; you're willing to give. I can't do that, but being with you when you do it makes my life a little more worth living.""

page 274:
"These were the colours of raw probability energy, the colours of change."

page 277:
"... and suddenly he understood her, if only a little. He caught a glimpse of her dreams, the mystical place where joy and awe lived, the invisible land that she visited when she slept. It was this feelings he was after when she talked of the new world over the horizon."

page 279:
""... We believed that a society needed law and order, and the stricter the law, the greater the order. We liked that.""

page 288:
"Finch gave a mocking salute and a rotten grin. Then he was gone, slipping through the soldiers who were crammed onto the gantry around the spire of the Chaos Engine."

page 295:
"Her faith in people was perhaps the only weapon they had left now."

page 296:
"Moa was trying shake her head, but she couldn't move it within his grip. "I don't want to die," she whispered. "Don't do this. Please don't do this. I want to live."
I want to live. It was the naked simplicity of it that broke Vago's heart and cracked open the incomplete Protectorate conditioning that had fogged his  mind. Suddenly the girl he was looking down on wasn't some filthy ghetto rat but Moa, a girl with a name, and she had been his friend once. She had been the only person in the world who had shown him kindness, when everyone else had treated him with hatred and mistrust. She had believed in him until the very end. And for all that, he had rewarded her with suffering."

page 306:
""You tow are the luckiest kids I've ever had the misfortune to meet," she declared.
"You make your own luck," said Rail, smiling with his eyes. "Nobody ever tell you that?""

page 309:
"Perhaps they were happy now. Perhaps they never made it. He couldn't say. This was limbo: a place of oblivion, a place where nothing was determined or certain. He liked it here."

page 310:
"In the end, it was all down to chance; but he knew one thing above all else.
Anything was possible."

le book review number eighty~ the westing game

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Title: The Westing Game
Author: Ellen Raskin
Pages: 216
Publisher: Scholastic (April 12th, 2004 edition)
Year published: First Published 1978
Personal star rating: 5/5 stars

Description From the Back Cover:
A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead . . . but that won't stop him from playing one last game!

First Sentence:
"The sun sets in the west (just about everyone knows that), but Sunset Towers faced east."

Cover Comments:
I like the cover, although it doesn't stand out just sitting on a shelf. However, it's subtlety is what is most drawing about it because it is a mystery after all. It is quiet and has relevance to the story in it's intrigue.

Title Thoughts:
I love the title. It's really simple, yet mysterious. It's catching and memorable.

Overview of Thoughts:
I really loved reading this book. It had clues, it had interesting people, it had really cool things. It took me longer to read than I had expected, but found it was definitely worthwhile taking my time with it.

There are 16 characters that are trying to be described in a couple hundred pages. Each one could have had more development, but that might have given the problem-solver in me too many details to solve it partway through and I would have been disappointed if I had guessed the ending. I definitely think reading this at an earlier age would make me less critical. However, the characters had qualities that were interesting and made them like real people with real stories. And in all books, there were characters I liked more than others.

The plot was very interesting and intriguing. I'm always up for a mystery, especially one that leaves me guessing until the end.

Read this book. Simple as that. I liked it and I would read it again.

le book review number seventy-nine~ Empty

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Title: Empty
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Pages: 183 pages
Personal Star Rating: 4/5 stars

From the Inside Cover:
Civilization has just run out.
It's the future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.
Nobody has expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Sage Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - but there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a society that needs to be rethought. Niki, Tom, and Gwen may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

Cover Comments:
I think the cover is very intriguing. It was definitely a factor in why I wanted to read it. I love the colours and texture and the font used was really perfect.

Title Thoughts:
The title is fitting, relevant and simple but impacting.

First Sentence:
"Gwen Jones squeezed out of her bedroom window onto the sizzling roof below."

Overview/Summary of my thoughts:
Empty. In a way the title describes the book. The switching points of view made the character development seem reliant on the other characters thoughts about the person and the actions the other characters see than the actual person's thoughts. The story seems like the relevancy was in a way limited in terms of how the media was so focused on global warming and the depletion of oil a couple years ago but now the attention in mainstream media is less involved with that aspect. The characters were somewhat stereotyped. I liked the idea of the book but it seemed like the information was forced. The articles in newspaper format gave information in a different, but not well done way. I was anticipating that I would like this book but overall I wasn't too impressed or blown away.

Gwen is interesting and different, but she isn't as unique as I would have hoped.
Tom has some aspects that are confusing at times, almost like he never really knows what he wants.
Niki is very stereotyped and doesn't ever fully escape being annoying.

It was worth reading once but I wouldn't recommend buying it. My sister bought this book a couple years ago so it was something that I would have enjoyed a couple years ago more than I liked it now.

le book review number seventy-eight~ Firegirl

Monday, 18 March 2013

Title: Firegirl
Author: Tony Abbott
Series: Standalone
Pages: 145
Personal Star Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Cover Comments:
I think the cover is reflective of the book. I like the paper chain of people - it's something that I've always found really cool. The colours are very fitting.

From the back cover:
"There is. . .," Mrs. Tracy was saying quietly, "there is something you need to know about Jessica. . . ."
From this moment on, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. Despite Jessica's shocking appearance and the fear she evokes in him and most of the class, Tom slowly develops a tentative friendship with Jessica that changes his life. Firegirl is a powerful book that shows readers that even the smallest of gestures can have a profound impact on someone's life.

Title Thoughts:
I like the title. It's simple, yet impacting. Relates to the story.

I really enjoyed this book. I bought it a few weeks ago and wasn't sure if it would be worth it, but once I started reading it during my lunch break at work, it was very captivating and I didn't want to put it down.
Realism was so prevalent in this book. It was aimed at a younger audience so it didn't take me long to finish but I think that people of all ages should read this book. Maybe they will realize that people who are "different" are still human and that bullying (even if it's not blatantly obvious) still hurts and affects people. The protagonist, Tom had the right mindset for his character age. I found Tom to have a lot of untouched personality that could have had a little more development and description. I also found it to be lacking a little in detail - the only two reasons this book didn't receive a five. I'm not sure if I will read this book again, but it will sit happily on my bookshelf waiting when I need a new perspective. I'll be passing it around (especially to my sister) to read this.

le book review number seventy-seven~ Prisoner B-3087

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Title: Prisoner B-3087
Author: Alan Gratz
Personal Star Rating: 4/5 stars

From the Back Cover:
I looked out through the cracks of the crawl space. Goeth was coming closer  all shining black leather boots and crisp black uniforms. One of his dogs lifted its ears and looked right at me.
I pulled back, away from the wall."We're trapped. We have to get out of there." I was almost choking on my own fear.
"And go where?" Thomas hissed. "If we leave, they'll find us in the barrack!"
"I don't care. We can't be caught here."
I pushed my way up and out of the crawl space. I gasped, filling my lungs. I had to move quickly. My heart was thumping, but it made me feel alive, and feeling alive made me want to stay alive.

Thoughts on the Title:
I think the title is really representative and part of the reason why I picked this book up.

Comments on the Cover:
The cover was what really drew me towards the book. I had the option of buying this book for a reasonable price but decided to read it from the library instead. The cover is what really made me want to read it.

I found this book to be really good. The book is based on the true story of a young Jewish boy and his transportation throughout concentration camps during World War II. In the beginning of reading this book, I was unsure how the book was going to progress. I found the pace was really quick and almost hard to keep up to as Yanek was moved from one camp to the next. This made the description seem hurried and rushed. I don't like rating books when they are true/ based on truth because it makes me feel like i'm rating a person's life. I found that the book seemed to be aimed at a younger audience (which was fine) but as a result seemed to lack in terms of some of the horrors that were experienced in concentration camps. Overall, I thought this book was worth reading once. I don't see myself buying this book because there are a lot of really good war books out there that I personally have enjoyed or found more meaning for me, but I do think this was a good book.

le book review number seventy-six~ when memories remain

Thursday, 7 March 2013

title: when memories remain
author: karen emilson
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
The continuing saga of David Pischke and his struggle to live a respectable life despite the difficulties he endured throughout his tormented childhood.

This is the story of a determined man whose character and strength has helped him overcome incredible odds. By telling this story, David has faced his own demons head-on and emerged triumphant.

first sentence:
"Did you kill Mike Kalanza?"

This book is a continuation of the story of the Pischke's with a focus on David Pischke's life. This added a lot more information about life after the farm and life after Domko. The way they were treated as children had a profound effect on the way they assimilated into society - expressed and incorporated into this novel. I found that with this sequel it explained in  more depth about this family and the tragedies after already enduring hell. I definitely think this is a must-read if you've read Where Children Run. The investigation aspect gave the novel a suspenseful aspect that kept you involved with the story. This book offers you a look into the lives of an abused family to learn and see what happened.

le book review number seventy-five~ where children run

Sunday, 3 March 2013

title: where children run
author: karen emilson
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
The true story of David and Dennis Pischke and how they survived more than a decade of starvation and abuse at the hands of their mentally unstable stepfather.

A frightening, heartwarming, and sometimes humorous account of the strength and adaptability of the human spirit.

first sentence:
"Quietly, Caroline slipped out of the house."

This is a nonfiction book that we were required to read in my English class. I had never heard of this book and wasn't sure what to expect since nonfiction isn't a genre that I often read. However, I found myself drawn into this novel and the story. The two boys, David and Dennis, endure such hardships that at times I found it difficult to bear. The children were treated so unfairly and Domko was so cruel. I found it hard to feel sorry for Caroline after the way she treated her children. With all the abuse from Domko, she didn't have to make them feel it was their fault. Overall, this book was really sad, but also made me angry. I think it was a really good book to expose people to the nonfiction genre and also the story  of the Pischke children.

le book review number seventy-four~ the complete tales & poems of winnie-the-pooh

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

title: The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
(Decorations by Ernest H. Shepard)
author: A.A. Milne
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Since their publication some seventy years ago, A.A. Milne's enchanting tales and playful verses have been treasured and adored by generations of children. When We Were Very Young, Milne's first book of poetry for children, appeared in 1924, followed in 1926 by Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of stories about a slightly rotund Bear of Very Little Brain. These delightful poems and tales - starring Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and the others- were an immediate success and firmly established Milne as a major author of children's books. Another volume of poetry, Now We are Six, was published in 1927. In 1928, a second collection of stories, The House at Pooh Corner, continued the adventures of the Hundred Acre Wood and introduced the lovable, bouncy Tigger.
This special volume brings together all of the Pooh stories and all of the poems in one full-color book. The texts are complete and unabridged and each of the original illustrations has been brilliantly recolored.

To begin, I realize this is a children's book. I also realize my personal star rating might be influenced slightly because I had read some of these stories when I was very young and they were really quite wonderful. I also found it on my sister's bookshelf and knew I had to borrow it. I was looking for something light to read and these are truly pleasing. I think these were worth reading and they were filled with beautiful illustrations. I think that this shows the true beginning of Winnie the Pooh for there are so many adaptations and comercialism that it's refreshing to strip it back to where it all started. When I was reading the book I could hear the narrator and the voices from the characters in the television shows and movies. Which I found comforting in a way of childhood memories. However, I can't help but wonder about the voices A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin they used when reading the stories. I think it would be really fun to read these stories aloud with someone you were close to. To sit with hot chocolate nestled in blankets. If I am to be honest and to review the entire book, I will have to comment on the poems as well. I find that when reading children's poems at my age (17) I think I try and find too much meaning and subtle things in them. I especially found that I was very critical. Also being an avid reader of poetry, I found myself looking for techniques and specific elements and such that I over-analyzed to a point where I didn't take it at face value of fun. Which if I read them again would most likely find them more enjoyable. The tales of Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Woods were very wonderful and if you skip the poetry, at least read the stories.

le book review number seventy-three~ looking for jj

Thursday, 7 February 2013

title: looking for jj
author: anne cassidy
series/standalone: standalone
personal star rating: 3.5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of the town  toward the Berwick Waters. Later that day only two of them came back.

Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago - though it's still hard for her to believe it's real. The images, the sounds and the aftermath are imprinted on her memory. Now she's trying to lead a normal life - she has a job, friends and a boyfriend whom she adores. She's making a go of things, putting her past behind her at last. But Alice's past is dangerous, and violent  and sad - and it's about to rip her new life apart.

first sentence:
"Everyone was looking for Jennifer Jones."

thoughts on the front cover:
The reason I chose this book was because of the cover. I found the paper people chain was intriguing and the fade of blue and font of the title was so perfect. It is one of the more unique covers i've seen and it definitely was the drawing factor.

Looking for jj has a great premise. I was really excited when i saw this in the library a long time ago. The cover picture stuck with me and the title was similar to one of my favourite books that I really thought I'd love this book. The idea for this book is original and captivating. It is unlike other books I've read but i do see similarities to other books i've heard about and plan on reading eventually. Although the idea was different, the main character did not seem real. I separate Jennifer from Alice, Jennifer being the "before" and Alice being the "after". At first, i really didn't like Alice. As we learn her story i began to understand her but overall, she doesn't show a lot of personality. I could picture Jennifer as a kid with her mom, but "Alice" felt like she never knew who she wanted to be. She wanted to be forgotten in the book, and she will be forgotten for me as well. Jennifer was much more memorable and the flashback story was the real captivation. The other characters were interesting enough, but there seemed a lack of relationship between characters. I think that as the book was told, it could have flowed a bit better. The memories seemed a bit discordant to how the events in "real time" were being exposed. At times they felt thrown in. I did enjoy this book but I don't think i'd care to read it again. I think I took away all that I will from this book. I'd recommend it for a bit of a thrill/ suspense/ excitement but there was a lot of sub-layers that didn't really work. Don't expect too much of this book but it is interesting and has a great premise.

le book review number seventy-two~ the end

Saturday, 2 February 2013

title: The End
author: Lemony Snicket
series: a series of unfortunate events #13
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

from the back cover:
Dear Reader,
You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of THE END. The end of THE END is the best place to begin THE END, because if you read THE END from the beginning of the beginning of THE END to the end of the end of THE END, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.
This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can't stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.
It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so THE END does not finish you.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

first sentence:
"If you have ever peeled an onion, then you know that the first thin, papery layer reveals another thin, papery layer, and that layer reveals another, and another, and before you know it you have hundreds of layers all over the kitchen table and thousands of tears in your eyes, sorry that you ever started peeling in the first place and wishing that  you had left the onion alone to wither away on the shelf of the pantry while you went on with your life, even if that meant never again enjoying the complicated and overwhelming taste of this strange and bitter vegetable."

The End. Where do I begin with The End? This book was the final book in the series so I was a bit hesitant to dive right in. My reluctance stemmed from my fear of disappointment in this final book. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Fortunately, not extremely so. I was left slightly confused and I felt like it couldn't really be the end because there were so many unanswered questions. I suppose I felt that the end wasn't exactly finished in a "clean cut" sort of way. I do think the series was worth it overall and I do think that the books were interesting and unique enough for the purpose of enjoyment, but the "denouement" was not as final or complete as I would have really liked. Perhaps I missed something integral along the way, some obscure fact hidden in the earlier books that I would have to read the series again to understand. That will have to be determined at a later point because right now, I'm simply happy I read the series but I'm almost apathetic with the way it ended. It could have been better, it could have been worse.

le book review number number seventy-one~ the penultimate peril

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

title: the penultimate peril
author: lemony snicket
series: a series of unfortunate events #12
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Dear Reader,
If this is the first book you found while searching for a book to read next, then the first thing you should know is that this next to last book is what you should put down first. Sadly, this book presents the next-to-last chronicle of the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, and it is next-to-first in its supply of misery, despair, and unpleasantness.
Probably the next-to-last things you would like to read about are a harpoon gun, a rooftop sunbathing salon, two mysterious initials, three unidentified triplets, a notorious villain, and an unsavory curry.
Next-to-last things are the first thing to be avoided, and so allow me to recommend that you put this next-to-last book down first, and find something else to read next at last, such as the next-to-last book in another chronicle, or a chronicle containing other next-to-last things, so that this next-to-last book does not become the last book you will read.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

first sentence:
"Certain people have said that the world is like a calm pond, and that anytime a person does even the smallest thing, it is as if a stone has dropped into the pond, spreading circles of ripples further and further out, until the entire world has been changed by one tiny action."

This next-to-last book in the series really shows how intertwined and connected the stories from earlier on in the series are coming to one epic finale. I'm super excited to almost be completed these miserable books because i really cannot anticipate what will happen in conclusion. As the series progressed, I'm really most fascinated by the cleverness of certain things and the philosophical feel in simpler terms. I've actually learned new things while reading this series and I'm extremely happy that I decided to finish these books, once and for all. Despite my impatience of finally getting to the last book, I almost want to prolong it so i can keep the journey going. I'm always a bit fearful when finishing a series from when i was quite young since they obviously have meant something to me all these years that i've kept the series in mind. I do know that the past few "book reviews" haven't really been much of reviews, more me saying how much i like these books and just accepting them for what they are and how i am excited to be finishing the series. But twelve books into the series, i'm basically repeating myself. Anyway, if you've made a reading goal, these books will help you get ahead. Aimed at a younger audience, these books are relatively quick to read. So, READ THIS SERIES DURING A SNOWY/RAINY WEEKEND SOMETIME.