Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Wintergirls

Title Wintergirls
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre YA Contemporary
Pages 278
Recommended by Book Club

First sentence So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.

Lia and Cassie were best friends. They shared everything. Even their deadly eating disorders. Lia is anorexic and Cassie was bulimic. When Cassie is found dead in a hotel room alone Lia is haunted by her ghost and her struggle with anorexia comes to a crescendo. 

What is has going for it
I'm not going to lie, I ate this one pun intended. Although, as you can tell from the first sentence in the book, that there is a lot of talk about food. Metaphorically and just plain descriptive this book talked so much about food I was stuffing my face and screaming at Lia to just eat!!! I actually cheered when she ate all the cupcakes! Laurie Halse Anderson has a very poetic style of writing that sucks me in and makes me flip the pages in a trance. I had no desire to read this one. I'm not one for eating disorders but once you start reading about Lia you just can't stop. I was engrossed. It was like watching an accident you just can't look away from even though it's not pretty.

What's lacking
Hmmm, I feel like I'm rambling and maybe being a little confusing. Did I like the book? No, not really. Yes I liked the writing style, that can't be helped, but the book was so depressing! I don't have a lot of patience for girls who have these problems and even if they don't say it...they blame everyone else. I felt like the author wanted us to believe that Lia's parents were so awful that she was driven to it. Well guess what? Life sucks and pretty much everyone has messed up parents. That doesn't mean we all have to go around blaming all our issues on them. At some point you have to just say, "yep, I've had a pretty crappy life and pretty crappy examples but I'm going to step up and take some damn responsibility for my actions!" Phew! Now that I have that off my chest. The other thing that drove me nuts was the book made me so hungry I probably gained 5 pounds reading it. See? Look at me! I can blame others for my issues too! :p

Favorite moment
When Lia eats all the cupcakes.

Yea or Nay?
Meh, maybe read it for the writing? Just be prepared to eat everything in sight.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Perfect Lies (Mind Games 2)

Title Perfect Lies (Mind Games 2)
By Kiersten White
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Pages 232
Recommeded by Me

First sentence Annie.

Fia and Annie are back. There lives are about to collide again. With Annie longing to be useful and willing to do anything to save Fia and Fia trying to bring down the Keane Foundation, things are about to get tricky.

What is has going for it
I went into this one expecting to be so confused. Everyone said it was crazy and all over the place. I think it helped that I finished the first book in the series not too long ago so I remembered who everyone was and what was going on but I didn't find it confusing. I loved it! I was totally immersed in the story. Watching and waiting for the two sisters to meet again and their lives to collide. I found myself liking Annie more and more in this one and disliking poor Fia. Funny, because I liked Fia better in the first one and kinda hated Annie. I guess that's what good writing can do for you. I'm not sure if there's going to be anymore books in this series or not but though things ended good enough I'd love to see more of these sisters and join in on their adventures.

What's lacking
I can see how this one could confuse the hell out of some people. Its all over the place timeline was a tad confusing and it doesn't tell too much back story if you don't remember the first one. I know if I hadn't read the first one for a year I would be so lost. Still, I can't help but love these kick ass girls and their wild adventures.

Favorite moment
Watching Annie discover who the man she loved was. Like we didn't see that coming. Sigh!

Yea or Nay?
Yes, if you like crazy fun stories, read this series.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Body and Soul The Ghost and the Goth 3

Title Body and Soul (The Ghost and the Goth 3)
By Stacey Kade
Genre  YA Paranormal/Supernatural
Pages 316
Recommended by Me

First Sentence Malachi the Magnificent , Consultant to the Stars, had a storefront in a dingy, rundown strip mall between a sketchy looking Laundromat and a closed-up nail salon with a big, bright orange health department sticker plastered on its door.

The conclusion to the Ghost and The Goth series find Alona still trapped in Lily's body searching for a way out and Will determined to help. When the two run into a controlling ghost determined to take over Lily's body as well, Alona isn't so sure she wants to give up the body after all.

What it has going for it
This series has the silliest covers and almost sillier story lines but please, I beg of you, don't dismiss them. I love this series and this book was a lovely conclusion. I love watching Alona become softer and more selfless throughout the series and watching Will become more in control of his life and ability. Any book or series where the characters don't just overcome some obstacle but actually mature and grow is a book/series I'm probably going to love. And it doesn't hurt that I just adore Will and love the stories that unfold in each book. I loved how the books all intertwined as well. Sigh. I just love this series and am so sad to see it end.

What's lacking
I know, I know. You probably think I'm going to say nothing but the truth is. There was one little thing that left me scratching my head in irritation. There were some answers that we never got. Is the series really over? Sigh. I wanted more answers about Will's father. Oh well.

Favorite moment
How Will tests Lily to see who's in her body.

Yea or Nay?
Yes. Just yes!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

March Wrap Up

Oh my. March was an embarrassing month of reading for me. Oh well, here's what I read.

 Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles 2)
Wild ride with new lovable characters and old favorites.

The End of your Life Book Club
Great Discussions and love of reading throughout.

Yeah, that's it. That's all I read in March. Sigh! Favorite was Scarlet. Now let's see if I can do a little better in April.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: The End of Your Life Book Club

Title The End of Your Life Book Club
By Will Schwalbe
Genre Non Fiction
Pages 336
Recommended by Book Club

First sentence We were nuts about the mocha in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's outpatient care center.

The true story of a Will Schwalbe who, when his mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, starts up an unofficial book club for the both of them. As his mother battles the cancer they discuss books and the wonderful joy that is reading.

What it has going for it
This book tore me very hard in both good and bad directions. On the one hand, I loved things in it so much that I actually made notes on post its and placed them in the pages. I love books about books. I loved hearing about books that they were reading. Some I'd read and some I haven't and some I haven't even heard of. I also love books that discuss books. One of my favorite books and movies is The Jane Austen Book Club. I love the things they discuss and bring up about Austen's work. Things I'd never thought of. This book has the most interesting discussions in it about books. Some of my favorite discussions were on whether happiness is a choice or not and about courage. It also made me ask myself the question: What would I be reading if I were dying. Would I forgo silly, light books? Interesting indeed. Mostly I loved this book and the ideas it presents about thoughts that come from reading.

What's lacking
And then there was the other part of the book. The biography of Will's mother. While interesting, and I pray I don't get struck by lightening for saying this, it came of a little to flowery. I don't know. He just made her sound like some sort of saint. Some sort of Mother Teresa. Yes, we all love our mothers and most of us think very highly of them but did he really need to make her sound so damn perfect? Nobody's perfect and by making her sound so it made the book seem a little less realistic. It made the book lose some of it's credibility. Which, as it's a non fiction, is saying something.

Favorite moment
I really liked the question about what type of books we would read if we knew our time was short.

Yea or Nay?
Meh. As much as I liked the discussions in this one. I still don't think I'd go around shouting about it. If it sounds like a fascinating read (like it did to me) then you'll probably like it.