Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door

 Lola and the Boy Next Door
written by Stephanie Perkins


Dare I say it, move over, Meg Cabot, there's a new writer in town!  As you might recall, I didn't particularly enjoy Anna and the French Kiss, the predecessor of sorts to Lola and the Boy Next Door.   I was in a very small minority of people who didn't think the book was that great.  I do not feel the same way about Lola, not at all!  Although it does stem back to the YA trope of "the boy next door", I felt like there was enough originality to the concept for the book to stand up on its own, and I loved it.  I know Stephanie Perkins has mentioned that she draws inspiration from Meg Cabot, and that is certainly seen in this book.  The way the story was told maintained a level of suspense throughout the storytelling process and left me completely engrossed, reading the book in one sitting.  Sure, some of the story was predictable, but the writing was great, the characters were the epitome of fresh, and it all came together to create a new YA fiction classic.  My one small complaint would be Cricket's slight, erm...perfection?  He reads as an altogether 2-dimensional character, and don't get me wrong, he's freaking adorable, but no person can be that perfect.  Still, I loved him, I loved all the characters, I loved the slightly-more-than-cameos we got from Etienne and Anna, and I can't wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After

Rating: 5/5

 I got this book from: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Sunday, November 13, 2011

James Dashner

The Death Cure
written by James Dashner

No, really, what did I read and why?  James Dashner, what, what, what are you doing?  There are a few cool reveals along the way, but as far as books go, this was not a satisfying conclusion to a trilogy.  We get answers, but the one thing I wanted to know most of all (Thomas' past) remains a mystery.  It felt like most of this book was pointless action that dragged on for no reason, so even though there were things happening, it felt like nothing was happening at all.  The plot was not advanced.  It was violence for the sake of violence.  Theresa and Thomas were, at this point, the only two characters I cared about, and Teresa barely showed up at all in the entirety of the story.  The ending was rushed, and yes, I enjoyed the few twists we got at the very end (the last page), but come on.  This was a story that needed answers and plot twists and instead, we got epic battle scenes that I didn't care about in the slightest.  This is not a movie.  This is not that kind of book.  More LOST, less epic ending of oh, I don't know, Harry Potter saga?  When there's a book that I've been looking forward to for a long while, it really sucks to end up ultimately disappointed.  I wish the story had been condensed into one book, because The Maze Runner was truly one of my favorite books, where the last two books were just pointless battle scenes one after the other.

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

Annnd because I just realized I never published my review of The Scorch Trials...

I always struggle with the second book in a series.  So much time is spent just stretching the story out to fit the designated three-book series format.  This silly trope of introducing a love triangle in the second book in a trilogy just needs to go.  Better yet, let's throw love triangles out altogether, is that something we can do?  I spent a large portion of my time reading this book alternating between wanting to chuck it and screaming "WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS BOOK?" at it.  I understand that the book was set up for the reader would have those unrelenting questions and want those answers desperately, setting up a pretty effective marketing model, but I'm sick of the same story format repeating itself over and over again in YA trilogies, and I want to be engrossed in a book without asking why it's stretched so thin and seemingly pointless.

I got this book from...: My friend, Laura!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Are We There Yet?

 Are We There Yet?
written by David Levithan

I've kind of been on a David Levithan kick lately, which has been fabulous.  I got the opportunity to hear him speak on a few panels at LeakyCon this past summer, and have decided that the man is pretty much a genius.  I loved the idea behind Are We There Yet? because so many books nowadays have a romance as the main driving force of the story.  That's a fun thing to read about and can be very touching, but at the same time, we all have other types of relationships in our lives as well.  As a person with two brothers, I found myself relating to so much of what this book was about.  The story takes place in Italy, and eventually, a love interest is introduced, and to be completely honest?  I felt those things were kind of unnecessary.  They were elements introduced to drive the plot along, but the book summary heavily hints that it is this girl that forces themselves to re-think their lives, and while she is a factor, as is the entire trip to Italy, it seems more to be about these two brothers who are finally forced to be in an unfamiliar place with only each other to depend upon.  That's the heart of the story, and I wish more time was spent there, rather than wandering around Italian eye-candy, be it landmarks or people.  

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