Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson

Release Date: Oct. 12, 2010
Pages: 389 pages
Genre: Historical
4 stars

Goodreads Summary: The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star…

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous.

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart.
Review: Beautiful descriptions of New York in the roaring twenties, lush clothes, parties at speakeasies and mansions that last all night – this book has all that, and more. The three teenage girls, Letty, Cordelia and Astrid, are quite self centered and make bad decisions which lead to interesting consequences. The boys, mainly Thom and Charlie, are not very likable, but that only adds to the soap operatic quality of this book.
What I did find a bit off is the time frame that everything happens – the novel covers a three week time span, and a lot happens in those three weeks. In Cordelia’s case, it’s a little unbelievable that such strong relationships and bonds were formed in only three weeks. Even though this is not usually the sort of book that I like to read, I liked it and look forward to the sequel.
Content: Sexual situations (not described in detail), teenage drinking and smoking but in line with the time period.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elixir by Hilary Duff and Elise Allen

Release Date:  Oct. 12, 2010
Pages: 327 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 1

Goodreads Summary:
Clea Raymond lives an extraordinary life. The daughter of renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC figure, she has been in the spotlight her entire life.
Clea has a unique gift. A proficient photographer, in all her pictures, there is little something extra, and it's not just a result of her talented eye. There is always an extra photo that she didn't take.
Two years ago, her father disappeared while on a humanitarian mission and is presumed dead, but that doesn't stop Clea and her mother from continuing to do good throughout the world. On one such trip to Columbia, she meets Sage, the guide for the trip. She feels a connection to him but cannot explain why. Was it something in their past or possibly in their past lives? Whatever has brought them together is threatening to tear them apart forever.
Review: There is a good point about this book: Clea’s sadness over her father’s disappearance and her determination to find out what happened to him is heartfelt. Unfortunately that’s where the good ends and the bad begins.
The book starts with Clea and her best friend Rayna, both 17 years old, on vacation in Europe, alone. We are told that Rayna finds a new “soul mate” every night and hooks up with this new love of her life, every night. Rayna is considered the romantic of the two and is the one who gives Clea relationship advice, and the advice it bad.
Clea is supposed to be homeschooled, but it’s like she lives alone (her mom travels on business a lot), does what she wants and goes where she wants. He mom is an extremely absentee and permissive parent. Clea jets around the world with Ben, the boy who is barely older than her that her parents hired to protect her as she is traveling and taking pictures. What parent does that?
The plot, situations and characters in this book are all flat and unbelievable. As for romance, two of the characters have sex in a parked car after knowing each other for a week. Not very romantic. As for Sage, Clea’s love interest, she spends a good portion of the book trying to figure out if he is a stalker or her true love. His character is never fully developed and most times he comes across as a jerk.
I hate to write bad reviews. I know people poor their heart and soul into writing books. Hopefully Hilary and Elise’s second book will be better than this one.
Content: Sexual situations, swearing, underage drinking

Friday, December 17, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Release Date: Nov. 30, 2010
Pages: 366
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
Goodreads Review: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Review: Let me start by saying that I really liked this book. It was just not what I expected. Matched has been hyped as the next great dystopian YA book after the Hunger Games trilogy. I was prepared for an action packed read. It’s not that kind of book.
Some things I really liked about the book:
- No love at first sight as is so common in YA books these days. Characters actually got to know each other first.
- I love the world building, I hope we get to find out a bit more about how the Society came to be in the sequels.
Some things I did not like about the book:
- Both guys in this love triangle are good guys, so someone will lose and get their heart broken. I does not seem fair. 
- As I mentioned before, I thought this story would be more dynamic, have a bit more action.
I look forward to the sequel to this book and think I will enjoy it even more now that I know what to expect.
Content: Completely clean read.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien

Release Date:  March 30, 2010
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Dystopia
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested. Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.

Review: As one of my favorite books for 2010, I wanted this to be my first review.  I love dystopian stories and this one has great characters and an awesome story line. I was captivated by so many aspects of this story: Gaia as a teenaged midwife, her love interest Leon as a soldier serving the Enclave, the very establishment that enforces such harsh rules on the residents. The writing style and world the author has created keeps you from putting this book down.  The ending is a cliffhanger and I am really anxious to see where the romance in this story goes. Prized, the sequel to Birthmarked, is scheduled to be released in 2011. Can’t wait!
Content: A clean read, no profanity or innuendo to speak of.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...