Friday, June 28, 2013

Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac Review


       "Above all, mine is a love story.
       "And, like most love stories, it involves chance, gravity, and a dash of head trauma.
       "It begins with a coin toss.”
       After falling down a flight of stairs, high school junior Naomi Porter loses all of her memories after seventh grade. She can’t remember her parents’ divorce. She can’t remember her boyfriend Ace. She can’t remember why her best friend Will calls her Chief. She can’t even remember why she likes Will, how they met, or why they've put so much effort and care into becoming editors of the school yearbook. She can’t remember James, the boy who rescued her from her dive down the stairs and stayed with her all the way to the hospital. But, that’s not actually out of the ordinary, since they've never met.
       This is very much a book in three parts. Those parts are titled, “I was”, “I am”, and “I will”, as Naomi figures out who she was with her memories, who she is now without them, and who she will be once she’s resolved those two realities.  This is a story about love, trust, self-searching, angst, broken people, and the perfect school yearbook. It is a story about the leap we all have to make, from seventh grade to adulthood. It is a story about the people we meet along the way, the ways we love them, and the ways we move on when we inevitably change.
Plot: Original but comforting, beautifully paced
Characters: Loveable and well developed. Realistically flawed, in that way that hurts a little bit.
Writing: Good. Clear and thoughtful, like Naomi.
Ending: Perfect beyond words :)
Content: Teenaged drinking, mentions of sex and stuff related to sex, but nothing explicit.
Overall: I wanna curl up on the sofa and snuggle with this book. I love it so much.

       One last thing. One my favorite aspects of this book is the way the love interests change. It’s not a love triangle! Instead, it shows a very realistic evolution of several kinds of relationships. Rather than being forced to choose between two guys with contrasting merits, Naomi is presented with a different choice as each boy-man-creature enters the scope of her life. Much truer to the real world, where, let’s face it, most of us will never be pursued by even one man with that particular combination of smolder-y eyes, a dark past, and the torso of a Greek god, but all of us are going to have to live with our exes, and occasionally deal with the very real fallout of being close to damaged people. Gabrielle Zevin's writing and storytelling is thoughtful and profound, and I'm going to look for more of her books as soon as I get through the mountain of novels I already have.

~Cheers, and happy summer!



Friday, May 31, 2013

Break Review

"It's been about six months since I've had something in a cast. Kids at school laugh and call me a klutz. This girl Charlotte carries my books. My parents are baffled. Will cries. Jesse keeps getting sick.
You're broken, and you're fixed.
And you're better."


Break is Moskowitz's debut, but it's the third book I've of hers I've read, so I kept comparing this one to her more recent releases and I've decided this: the writing in this one is definitely not as gripping and shockingly unique as it now is, BUT this is also one of her better ones I think.

All you really need to know about Break is that it revolves around a guy whose new found mission in life is to break every bone in his body. I can't tell you why because that would make me a bad person, but just know that main character, Jonah, does not really have the best home life. His parents are constantly distracted by their own petty fights, as well as Jonah's brother Jess's awful allergies, and his baby brother's constant screaming. So Jonah breaks his bones. Obviously.

As you may be able to tell, Jonah has his share of issues that we learn more and more about with each passing page. The way he went about dealing with his emotions never felt over-dramatic or alarming, and to me that was almost scary.

But as intense as Break can sometimes be, it's full of good side characters, a handful of good jokes, and an abundance of hope, all of which makes for a really good book.

Plot: Totally unique and dark.
Characters: Lovably screwed up.
Writing: Awesome, as usual with this author.
Ending: Fitting.
Content: Some just general dark thoughts, as well as swearing.
Overall:
Pretty dope.
Hannah Moskowitz is basically a cult leader in the YA community, if you ask me. And I'm a proud cult member. (Also, this book totally fits with this song.)

Jessica

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Books I Thought I Would Like More or Less

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie and because I missed this topic a few weeks ago, I decided to do it today.

The five I thought I'd like less:

Looking For Alaska--I know that now this seems laughable, but I was not a big contemporary reader back in the dark ages. I picked this up on a random whim. And now.

Audrey, Wait!--I thought this would just be a light read but LOVE.

Grave Mercy--Me and historical fiction don't often mix well. But this. book.

The Ruby Oliver Series--I didn't realize it while I was reading this series, but I learned so many lessons from this book that I use every single day and I because of that I love it more each time. Perhaps a reread is in order?

Anna and the French Kiss--That (original) cover was such a huge turn-off. I'm so grateful for the bloggers that reviewed this and convinced me otherwise.

The five I thought I'd like more:

Other--A homeschooled protagonist and an original world with a POC love interest? Should've been
great, but fell flat.

One of Those Hideous Books Where The Mother Dies--I love verse novels! But I could not connect to this one at all.

Ultraviolet--I liked R.J. Anderson's Faery Rebels, and this one sounded really different and cool. But...it just got weird.

Like Mandarin--Since my new stance on contemporary (meaning that I love it) I expect to love all of them. But this one just wasn't for me.

This Girl Is Different--Another homeschooled protagonist! But this book just tried too hard. Why are there no cool books with homeschooled MCs?

Jessica

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Just One Day Review

Gayle Forman's newest is vastly different from If I Stay and Where She Went, both some of my very favorite books. While I don't think this is "as good" as those, I still loved it and am still proud to call Forman one of my favorite authors.

Alyson's story opens in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare and the last stop in her crappy European tour/graduation present. When she takes a chance and sees an independant Shakespeare company, the next 48 hours of her life take a shocking twist. And so does she, as she says yes to things that she never would've before, because of Willem.

But what happens after?

Just One Day is a novel of love, both in the classic loving-a-boy way and in the not so classic finding-the-you-that-you-love way. Both of these story-lines were equally successful.

Alyson was a character that you found yourself rooting for no matter what, even when she was depressed and down on herself for stupid things. Dee-Dee was one of the funniest, most unique side characters I've found in a long while. And I found myself just as fascinated by Willem as she was.

Plot: At first I thought it was going to basic, but it turned out to be more complicated and I really appreciated that.
Characters: Dee-Dee is the greatest. And so was everyone else.
Writing: As great as it was in Where She Went.
Ending: WHAT ENDING. AH. I NEED JUST ONE YEAR NOW.
Overall:
Lovely.
Gayle Forman is not just a one-trick pony, guys.

Jessica

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (5/22/13)

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.  
Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.
Coming out on July 11!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Ten Favorite Covers

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is favorite covers of the books you've read. Here are mine:










Jessica

Friday, May 17, 2013

Crash Review

I've been a Lisa McMann fan for a fairly long time now. There hasn't been a YA book of hers I haven't really liked. Unfortunately I think Crash is the first.

Jules keeps seeing a vision of a car crash play out on a billboard. Not just any crash--a plow crashing into her family's rival restaurant. So when she tries to tell Sawyer, the employee/son/Jules longtime love, he blows her off. But the visions just get more and more intense. Jules is beginning to think she's crazy, like her depressed hoarder dad, or her grandfather that committed suicide. But what if she's not?

Frankly I just felt like McMann went around in circles throughout the book. The first half is just Jules going, "oh no, what does it mean, why me, am I crazy," and such. Yeah, I get it. Move along please.

I would've much rather McMann focus more on the family element of this book. She created some nice characters in Trey and Rowan, and the line of depression in her family added an element of urgency to the story. I would've liked to have more of that than wondering what was going on for 150 pages and swooning over Sawyer, who didn't seem like he was that great.

Anyway, there wasn't many fantastic things about Crash, and it was all very average in the end. However, I will say that I found myself very invested at the climax of the story. So I guess it did something right that I was unaware of.

Plot: Meh. Could've been great but was just a lot of filler for book 2.
Characters: I loved her siblings.
Writing: Not bad.
Ending: After the climax, everything got very over-dramatic.
Content: Some swearing and mentions of sex.
Overall:
Meh.
People seem to be split 50/50 on this book. I am part of the 50 that was unimpressed.

I received my copy as a surprise from SimonTeen for review. Thanks!
Jessica