Monday, June 28, 2010


written by YA writing goddess Meg Cabot

Man, I missed Meg! I was so excited to see what would happen in the final installment of this series, especially with the semi-cliffhangery ending of the 2nd book. It wasn't one of my favorite series by Cabot, not by far, but it held my interest, and I did keep reading, and I'm glad I did so. Right off the bat, my first thoughts before reading were a hope and a prayer that Meg would include Christopher through the whole book, instead of just bringing him in for a satisfying romantic conclusion, and I was very glad to see this hope come true, as he is my favorite character of the series. I did feel that he acted strangely out of character at random times, but it was still nice to see more of him, and I liked how his and Em's relationship evolved and grew through the duration of the novel. Overall, it was a good novel, I was glad to see it be very high-paced. I wasn't really a fan of everyone randomly pairing up at the end of the book and I felt like it may have cheapened Em and Chris's relationship a little bit, but hey, it's Meg Cabot, can't read her books without expecting amazing mindless fluff in massive amounts, right? I think the whole big scandal and resolution with Stark could have had more...epicness, for lack of a better word, to it, but was still happy with the way the story was resolved.

Rating: 4/5

Also in the series:
Being Nikki

I got this book from...:Barnes & Noble

Saturday, June 26, 2010

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead
written by Julie Anne Peters

It is kind of difficult to review this one without touching on what happens at the end, so read at your own risk, I suppose?

I kind of have a thing for books with characters dealing with depression and other mental illnesses, since I have seen so many people go through similar situations. I am really glad to see the genre rising in popularity, written both well and not-so-well. It's amazing (and at the same time, sad) to see how an author can put themselves into that kind of mindset and come out with a great work of fiction. My point, I suppose, is that these books are what teens need, just as there's recently been an explosion of fiction featuring LGBTQ teens, teens have to know that there are others, even if they just exist in a book, dealing with similar issues, reassuring the readers that there is still hope. While Julie Anne Peters writes an incredibly touching story about a teenage girl struggling with extremely severe, debilitating depression, it's difficult to tell whether her story is one of hope. Reality, yes. Obviously, teens have dealt with and sometimes lost the battle to depression. Others have survived. So yes, the story's resolution is very realistic in its vagueness. And there's definitely the idea that not all books need to end happily. But the very first thing I wrote before even opening the book was the idea that I really wanted there to be a definite conclusion. I didn't want a cliffhanger ending, or an ambiguous ending. I wanted the girl to either die or survive. And I didn't get that. So I loved the narration. I loved the writing style. I wasn't a big fan of the romance novel interludes, but I still read through them. The ending just ticked me off though. I feel like the readers deserved to know what had happened.

Rating: 5/5 for writing, 3/5 for plot

Is this just me? Did anyone read this in a particular way, where they believed she definitively lived, or definitively died? I'd really like to hear other peoples' interpretations.

Also by Julie Anne Peters: Luna

I got this book from...:Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Be More Chill

currently [re]reading: Jinx by Meg Cabot

Be More Chill
written by Ned Vizzini

Oh, Ned Vizzini. I had such high hopes for this. It's Kind of a Funny Story blew me away, and I expected much of the same from this. Maybe it's because of high hopes that the story fell flat? Good things first, the story was narrated in a very honest, teenage boy-ish perspective. The main character was funny in a subtle, sarcastic way, and the book reinforced that age old idea...that boys and their minds are absolutely gross. =P Jeremy, the main character, is your typical awkward gawky teenager, who lives a pretty ordinary life, no big traumatic drama going on, so naturally, the point of obsession for his a girl. And in order to get that girl, Vizzini unfortunately falls back upon the old overdone in-crowd, fitting in story. He gives it a technological/supernatural twist with a device called the "squip", which can be inserted into human beings as a sort of guide to achieve coolness. From the point where Jeremy gives up his individuality, the story takes an immediate turn for the worse. It becomes the cliche predictable story that everyone else has already done to death. Everything about this story just feels annoyingly staged. It would have been interesting if the squip had been an actual dimensional character, but it's not, it's just a book about this clueless kid taking instructions from a machine. There are some interesting real-world parallels to be made here, but those parallels have been done before, there's nothing new here. Reading this book passed the time. The writing was good, I had nothing better to read, but it would definitely not be my immediate pick. I do have Teen Angst? Naaah... sitting on my bed right now, and I'm still really excited to read it, but I would pass on this book and read It's Kind of a Funny Story instead.

Rating: 2/5

I got this book from...:Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh