Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stealing Heaven

Stealing Heaven
written by Elizabeth Scott

And Elizabeth Scott is back with yet another story featuring a teenage girl stuck with a dysfunctional family--in this case, one that makes its living through burglaries. It is a wonderful story of transformation, featuring an older teen, which I really like seeing as I'm getting older and starting to have a bit of difficulty identifying with younger teen characters. I found myself internally cringing for the main character throughout the whole novel, knowing there was no way this would end well--which just shows how well the story was written, making someone who steals an identifiable and likable character! As usual with E. Scott, there is realistic, honest dialogue. It's a simple story, typical with the author, but powerful and holds the reader's attention. The end twist to the story was completely shocking but at the same time, logical. I absolutely loved that the end held so much hope and promise, even for someone with such a twisted family situation. Great book!

Rating: 5/5

Also by Elizabeth Scott:
Living Dead Girl
Love You, Hate You, Miss You
Something, Maybe
The Unwritten Rule

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

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
written by Abby McDonald

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is about self-proclaimed environmentalist, Jenna, who gets thrown into a summer living with her godmother in the middle of the woods. There, she learns a really great lesson about what environmentalism is really all about. The thing I really appreciate about this book (other than the really great timing of reading it, as I'm currently taking a short class about environmental literature) is that it's not overly preachy like it could have been. While some stereotypes are portrayed towards the beginning of the book, about typical, sign-carrying, protest-loving environmentalism, this image really takes a sharp turn by the end of the book, by which point, environmentalism is shown as a lifestyle change, and one that might not be the best to make for everyone (for instance, the negative economic impact of jobs being cut in favor of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is shown, and this largely affects some of the characters' lives). It's a very open-minded book that emphasizes the need for balance. The reader is truly given all sides of the issue, and then told to make a decision. By the end of the novel, the message really is about getting out in nature and just having fun. Environmentalist issues aside, the writing is wonderful, with a very honest, down-to-earth, authentic narrator. I really liked the size of the cast of characters--it wasn't too narrow-focused, but there wasn't a character overload, where it's hard to keep track of who is who. While some of the relationship stuff wasn't as great as I thought it could be, with a severe lack of communication between Jenna and Reeve, as well as unnecessary secrecy, it was still a good read, and I really encourage people to use this book as an introduction to what true environmentalism is all about. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Abby McDonald!

Rating: 5/5

I got this book from...:LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Sisters

Summer Sisters
by Judy Blume

This is a post written by someone who adores Judy Blume and has read all her children's and teen novels. Having read her other books, I was really expecting a novel with actual substance, rather than just fluff fiction. The strange twisty drama I got was nowhere near my expectations. It seemed so juvenile for such a prolific writer, and this was supposed to be an adult novel! It was filled with...oh, for lack of a better phrase, trashy drama. The fact that it was slow paced and pretty dull, teeming with pointless filler, did not make a stronger case for this novel. Not to mention, whoever wrote the summary on the back of the book pretty obviously never bothered to actually read the book, so details on the ending were revealed before I even opened the book, and some of the material from the back summary never even occurred. Just do yourself a favor and stick with her more substantial teen books.

Rating: 1/5

I got this book from...:What's On My Bookshelf

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
written by E. Lockhart

This was my second time reading this book. It's always a great read, but I've found it to be a pretty forgettable one as well, oddly. One of the bigger advantages this book has is its quirkyness: it's quirky and off-beat without being annoying, leading to an astoundingly funny and clever story told by a very authentic narrator. The one thing that stuck out to me the most through this read and the last was the astounding similarities between some of the characters in this book and their Harry Potter Marauder parallels, because that is just the default way I think. The book is a great combination of amazing writing and a fascinating subject: secret societies. Who hasn't been completely intrigued by the idea of those, right? I felt like the ending could have been sped up a little bit, to allow for more time dedicated to the ending, as I did feel the ending to be a last minute cramming of final details. I also thought it would be really neat to see what became of Frankie's brilliance in the future. I would have liked to see some resolution to the Frankie's love life, and I really did think she and Alpha's mischievous personalities would make a great match. I wonder if this book would lend itself to a sequel...=)

Rating: 4.5/5

Also recommend:
The Spell Book of Listen Taylor--by Jaclyn Moriarty

Also by E.Lockhart:

Ruby Oliver series:

I got this book from...:Paperbackswap