Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Lena Duchannes [barcode] small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen [barcode] her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I really liked this one. I thought sometimes it could get a little boring and the characters could be pretty annoying and sometimes it was predictable but seriously, even with all that, I really liked it. It was a good story, and the characters were great when they weren’t annoying. I’m excited for the next one.
The Truth About Style
With her unique talent for seeing past disastrous wardrobes to the core emotional issues that can lead to sartorial crises, style sevant Stacy London has transformed the looks and lives of hundreds of guests on TLC’s hit TV show What Not to Wear. Now, for the first time in print, London not only shares the principles of how to dress well and why you should but also examines the reasons why so many women don’t.
In The Truth About Style, London moves beyond the often intimidating season trends of fashion, which so often leave women feeling inadequate and judgmental about their own bodies, to the more valuable and enduring concept of style: a way to dress that enhances and celebrates who they really are. She opens the book by sharing her own history and struggle with self-esteem on the path to her discovery of the healing power of style and learning to find self-esteem on the path to her discovery of the healing power of style and learning to find self-confidence. These hard-won truths form the core of The Truth About Style: a series of case studies featuring nine real women, each of \whom faces a particular issue that many women confront when shopping or opening their closet doors. Drawing upon her own experiences to assess the hurdles that have held them back, London leads them through detailed “start-overs,” in which she helps them select looks that not only flatter them physically but reflect and celebrate their personalities.
If you have ever despaired of finding the right clothes or being able to love the body you have, The Truth About Style will be an inspiring, liberating, and often humorous guide to finding your truest self-expression.
This book seemed like it was going to be great. It’s an awesome format, with lots of pictures and each chapter following a different person, so I thought that would work really well, but it fell a little flat.
There was just something about it that kept me from staying interested? But that may be because I’m super stressed, whatever.
It was still pretty good and, like I said, good format
Cassie has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s ever known and a path no one else has ever dared follow - between perfection and passion.
Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.
I’ve read the next book in this series, so now it’s harder for me to review this one! It’s a really good series. I love the story, love the writing, love how the characters are actually imperfect. I do have one problem, and it’s really more of a problem with the sequel so I’ll tell you about it when I do that one! (:
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Gemma Doyle isn’t like other girls. Girls with impeccable manners, who speak when spoken to, who remember their station, and who will lie back and think of England when it’s required of them.
No, sixteen-year-old Gemma is an island unto herself, sent to the Spence Academy in London after tragedy strikes her family in India. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma finds a chilly reception. But she’s not completely alone…she’s been followed by a mysterious young man, who warns her to close her mind against the visions.
For it’s at Spence that Gemma’s power to attract the supernatural unfolds; there she becomes entangled with the school’s most powerful girls and discovers her mother’s connection to a shadowy group called the Order. It’s there that her destiny waits…if only she can believe in it.
A Great and Terrible Beauty is a curl-up-under-the-covers kind of book…a vast canvas of rustling skirts and dancing shadows and things that go bump in the night. It’s a vividly drawn portrait of the Victorian age, when girls were groomed for lives as rich men’s wives…and the story of a girl who saw another way.
This story is pretty great and I like how witty and smart the characters are and the way it is written, I just have a couple of problems with the book in general that stopped me from fully enjoying it.
My biggest problem was that she seemed to just write whatever was convenient instead of paying attention to the setting that she had already given the book. It was not written at all the way that any other story with a Victorian setting that I’ve read has been written; it was like she threw in Victorian references when it was cute to do so.
It was also pretty predictable, which I’m never a fan of but there were parts that I definitely didn’t see coming at all.
If I Lie
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: She kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Shunned by everyone she knows, Quinn loses her friends, her reputation, and her identity. Because Carey’s not just any guy - he’s a Marine who’s serving overseas, and beloved by everyone in their small military town.
But Quinn didn’t cheat. She could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets she’s vowed to keep - secrets that aren’t hers to share. So she stays silent and waits for Carey to come home.
Then Carey goes MIA, and Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.
This book left me with mixed feelings. I really loved it, and cried like a baby when all of the big stuff went down, but I feel like there really wasn’t much to it. I felt like if Carey wasn’t MIA there really wouldn’t be any story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I also felt like the ending fell a little bit flat. I understand what the author was doing with that ending, I just didn’t really like it.
Still, great book: 4/5
The Rise of Nine
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I’d been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.
Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others…
I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we’re looking for the others - including John.
But so are they.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York - but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they’ll have to fight us first.
I can’t decide how I feel about this series. I really like the story, and I want to read more of it, but the characters are really annoyingly perfect. That’s always a huge deal breaker for me! ): Another similar one is that nothing bad ever really happens to anyone important. Some pretty bad things happen but none that would really change the course of the story and make it less predictable.
Still, I do really like the story: 4/5
Equality 7-2521 lives in the Dark Ages of the future, where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, all traces of individualism have been wiped out. But the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in Equality 7-2521, a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, he dares to stand forth from the herd - the think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin: in a world where the we reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word “I”.
I have mixed feelings about this book. Sometimes it was kind of boring, but man was the story so great. This is exactly the sort of book that I love, and it had every good quality of dystopia. I love that she was able to get that huge story across in such a tiny book. I probably wouldn’t read it again, but I’m very happy I did read it.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation.
Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend. Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside of himself that he never knew existed.
Written with raw emotion by acclaimed writer Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, his first novel for young adults, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one unlucky boy trying to rise above the life everyone expects him to live.
This book was adorable. Not terribly memorable, but a nice little read. I always love books written as journals, so that was really awesome, and I especially love when they have drawings mixed in, so it was exactly the type of book that I like reading when I want a quick read.
A lot of really really sad things happened, but it just didn’t really affect me emotionally. I couldn’t get into this story as much as I would have liked to, but that’s okay. It was still great. Very readable.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
I think that I just have problems, because my mom loved this book, but I just couldn’t get into it. I really just don’t like books from the point of view of animals or things like that. It has to be EXTREMELY well done for me to like it, and that rarely happens. I just get pulled out a lot because little things remind me that it’s actually a human writing and that makes me uncomfortable.
It was a sweet, cute book, and I did get upset what sad things happened but I didn’t even cry, so that’s kind of a let down.
Left orphaned and physically flawed in a civilization that shuns and discards the weak, Kira faces a frighteningly uncertain future. Her neighbors are hostile and no one but a small boy offers to help.
When she is summoned to judgement by The Council of Guardians, Kira prepares to fight for her life. But the Council, to her surprise, has plans for her. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, the young girl faces new responsibilities and a set of mysteries deep within the only world she has ever known. On her quest for truth, Kira discovers things that will change her life and world forever.
A compelling examination of a future society, Gathering Blue challenges readers to think about community, creativity, and the values they have learned to accept. Once again Loise Lowry brings readers on a provocative journey that inspires contemplation long after the last page is turned.
I had no idea the Giver was part of a series, so I was super excited to read this. It’s very similar to The Giver, and very wonderful. I just don’t know how I feel about how, in both books, the main character just blindly lives in this dystopian society, and then as soon as they figure out the flaws, the book ends.
I think that’s a really really great device, and at one level I absolutely love it, but at the same time, I just want to know what happens! Usually, in dystopian books, that’s just a couple of chapters. In these, it’s the whole thing. It’s hard to get used to!
I really do love these books, so 4/5
Can You Keep a Secret?
With the same wicked humor, buoyant charm, and optimism that have made her Shopaholic novels beloved international bestsellers, Sophie Kinsella delivers a hilarious new novel and an unforgettable new character. Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:
Secrets from her mother:
I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Sammy the goldfish in my parents’ kitchen is not the same goldfish that Mum gave me to look after when she and Dad were in Egypt.
Secrets from her boyfriend:
I weight one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Not one eighteen, like Connor thinks.
I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.
From her colleagues:
When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day.)
It was me who jammed the copier that time. In face, all the times.
Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
My G-string is hurting me.
I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.
Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger…
But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO. Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse. Until they do…
Reading this was like reading the Shopaholic series again, but with the major problems I had solved.
It was only one book, which I was grateful for, because I was sick of everything being all wrapped up and then all of a sudden there was no problem.
NO SHOPAHOLIC, which is awesome because that got so old.
And, the love interest is actually a real character. That did become a problem, though, because he was kind of a jerk. And I don’t mean the times when he was meant to come off as a jerk, only to redeem himself later. I mean, he was an actual jerk in the times that were supposed to seem romantic.
I liked the story, though, so 4/5
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
This (barcode) night in 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. For motives he tells himself are good, he makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own. Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love.
I really liked this book. I liked the story a lot. I liked that the characters weren’t really terribly likable. They were real, and they had problems and faults. But at the same time, nobody was really the bad guy. I mean, this man gave away his daughter, but you still sort of feel for him. There’s real psychological harm that led him to feel that was the best course of action to take.
I also really liked the format. You get a snippet of each of their lives, and then you get another snippet like five years later. The only part I didn’t really like was that huge life events would happen, and it would just be mentioned because that had happened years ago.
A Mother’s worst nightmare…
When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child” flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops. The child in the photo looks exactly like her adopted son, Will. Could the child in the photo really be her son?
A moral dilemma…
Everything inside her tells her to deny the similarity between her son and the boy in the photo, because she knows her adoption was lawful. But she’s a journalist and won’t be able to stop thinking about the photo until she figures out the truth. And she can’t shake the question: if Will rightfully belongs to someone else, should she keep him or give him up?
A deadly game…
She investigates, uncovering clues no one was meant to discover, and when she digs too deep, she risks losing her life - and that of the son she loves.
In this emotionally charged, heart-pounding thriller, Lisa Scottoline has broken new ground. Look Again questions the very essence of parenthood and raises a moral quandary that will haunt readers long after they’ve finished the last page, leaving them with the ultimate question: what would I do?
This story was really really good, but it’s very lucky that the plot was so good, because a lot of it…not so much.
I didn’t like the main character, she was super annoying and just not really realistic at all. There were a lot of continuity errors, which bothered me, and a lot of grammatical errors, which really bothered me. And, the biggest problem (which is probably the number one problem I’ve had in reviews on this blog) is that everything wraps up all nice and neat. I seriously hate that in books.
But it was a realllly good story so 4/5
Sophie Kinsella has dazzled readers with her irresistible Shopaholic novels - sensational international bestsellers that have garnered millions of devoted fans and catapulted her into the first rank of contemporary storytellers. Now her beloved heroine Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) returns in a hilarious tale of married life, toddlerhood, and the perils of trying to give a fabulous surprise party - on a budget!
Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought: Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.
Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge financial crisis.
With people having to cut back, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source - and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.
Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And…most important…will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?
I’m kind of upset. This is the last Shopaholic book that’s out right now, and this is the first one that started to kind of get good.
Becky is finally becoming a more likable character, and the shopaholic thing is better explained and doesn’t just seem like some pointless part of the book now. Luke matters in this one, and, of course, there’s a baby!
It’s still not perfect, but it’s good.
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack’s imagination - the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells, the imaginary world projected through the TV, the coziness of Wardrobe below Ma’s clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night in case Old Nick comes.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held since she was nineteen - for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But Jack’s curiosity is building alongside her own desperation - and she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
Told in the poignant and funny voice of Jack, Room is a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child. It is a shocking, exhilarating, and riveting novel - but always deeply human and always moving. Room is a place you will never forget.
Try to tell me that you didn’t fall in love with this book just by reading that description.
It was really great, a really wonderful story, and I read it all in one night, which wasn’t a good idea because I had work a couple hours after I finished it but whatever. I had a couple problems with it, but for the most part I really liked it.
I didn’t really like how it was told in Jack’s voice. It really didn’t seem like a five-year-old was saying it. It was just sort of like she was trying to hard to seem like a five-year-old at times. It did make it unique, but it also made me kind of uncomfortable and pulled me out of the story.
I also felt like it dragged on at parts. I felt like I had to wait a really long time to move from one thought or action to the next and it kind of bored me.
I’d give it a 4/5 because it was a really amazing book regardless of the slight problems I had with it.
P.S. Thank you so much, anon, for recommending this to me! If you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them! (: