Monday, April 30, 2012
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Released: April 1, 2012
Page #: 333
Source: My public library
"It happens every year before homecoming - the list is posted all over school. Two girls are picked from each grade. One is named the prettiest, one the ugliest. The girls who aren't picked are quickly forgotten. The girls who are become the center of attention. Each one has a different reaction to the experience.
Abby's joy at being named prettiest is clouded by her sister's resentment.
Danielle worries about how her boyfriend will take the news.
Lauren is a homeschooled girl blindsided by her instant popularity.
Candace isn't ugly, not even close, so it must be a mistake.
Bridget knows her summer transformation isn't something to celebrate.
Sarah has always rebelled against traditional standards of beauty, and she decides to take her mutiny to the next level.
And Margo and Jennifer, ex-best friends who haven't spoken in years, are forced to confront why their relationship ended.
With The List, Siobhan Vivian deftly takes you into the lives of eight very different girls struggling with issues of identity, self-esteem, and the judgments of their peers. Prettiest or ugliest, once you're on the list, you'll never ben the same."
"For as long as anyone can remember, the students of Mount Washington High have arrived at school on the last Monday in September to find a list naming the prettiest and the ugliest girl in each grade.
This year will be no different."
8 girls. 1 list. Lives changed - both for the better and the worse. While I was reading this book, I tried to imagine what it would look like from my high school. And it's hard! I couldn't even think of who would qualify for either - prettiest or ugliest. Just too hard.
Every year, a list is posted the week of Homecoming. It's anonymous, but everyone knows about it. Everyone talks about it. And everyone judges people based on it. This book is about those eight girls and the week after the list is posted - how their lives are affected and the choices they start to make based on their new status. One thing everyone wants to know: Who makes the list?
Not to start this review on a bad note, but I had a hard time with eight different viewpoints. It helped that the characters were so vastly different. But I was constantly flipping to the front of the book to remember which grade which girl was in. Toward the end, I mostly had it figured out... but it was a lot to keep up with.
I thought the most interesting character was Sarah - she was the Junior chosen for ugliest. She had already been sort of an outsider... a rebel. But once this list is posted, she decides to go on a hygiene strike. I guess to show them just how ugly she can get. I think we all knew "that kid" in school who would do anything to prove a point. I just thought it was interesting to see into her point of view on the whole list situation.
You would think that only the girls listed as ugliest would have concerns about their new social standing. But really, it was much more widespread than that. Being prettiest could backfire - and hard. I was sort of glad to see both sides of the fence... though I wasn't expecting to see eight sides of the fence :). And I really liked how things tied up in the end. It felt like the world might start to make sense again for all of these girls - in different ways. I can always appreciate a good wrapped-up ending.
I have read other books by Vivian, and I have loved them all. I would say this book is very interesting, but it wasn't my favorite thing by this author (Same Difference was my favorite, for sure). But do give it a try. I look forward to reading much more from them.
Other Blog Reviews:
Sarah Reads Too Much
The Book Scout
Early Nerd Special
Waking Brain Cells
Chick Loves Lit
Fabbity Fab Book Reviews
Krazy Book Lady
Sunday, April 29, 2012
- 5.1.12 The Drowned City by Paolo Bacigalupi
- 5.1.12 Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires #12) by Rachel Caine
- 5.1.12 Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
- 5.1.12 So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
- 5.1.12 Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
- 5.1.12 Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
- 5.1.12 Back and Deader Than Ever (Monster High #4) by Lisi Harrison
- 5.1.12 Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
- 5.1.12 Destined (Laurel #4) by Aprilynne Pike
- 5.1.12 This is So Not Happening (He's So/She's So #3) by Kieran Scott
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Released: July 28, 2009
Page #: 12 hour audio
Source: My public library
"Prentisstown isn't like other towns.
Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee - whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not - stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden - a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?"
"The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say. About anything.
'Need a poo, Todd.'"
Note: I listened to the audio of this book. And honestly, I can't imagine looking at the paper copy. The audio was that dynamic and wonderful. Plus, there are lots of elements to this story that I think really benefited from the audio version. I believe this book was recommended to me by a teen several months ago. I'm glad I finally listened to them!
The people of New World have endured lots of hardship - they've been through war, poverty, death, and unimaginable sickness. It's also a world where everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts. And animals can talk.... So there's that. :) But the story is about Todd. He's from Prentisstown and he's the youngest person at 12. Once he turns 13, he'll be a man. All of the women died off in the sickness and the men are just fighting to survive. Todd finds something strange while he's beyond the town - a strange silence. That is only the beginning of the amazing things he will find throughout the story.
Can you imagine being able to hear everyone's thoughts? And they can hear yours? And you can share images and feelings and everything? I can't. It sounds sort of spooky. Especially when some of the people aren't exactly the nicest in the world. Super eerie. But let me tell you, because the book is filled with so many different voices, the audio is perfect! I can't imagine seeing all of those thoughts on a page... but hearing them is intense.
Todd is a wonderful hero. There are things about him that are very rough around the edges - uneducated, illiterate, farm boy. He's been forced to grow up super fast because he's the youngest of his town. But the thread throughout the story is his ability to keep going - no matter what is going on around him. He sticks with a goal and does everything he can to take care of those he cares about. I was absolutely rooting for him the whole time. Not to mention the reader did a wonderful voice for him - made him come to life for me.
For some reason, I wasn't anticipating this book to be serious science ficiton - but it most definitely is. I mean, yes... the whole hearing people thing... but there's so much more than that. It's set on a whole new planet! Somehow, I missed that little tidbit. And when they first settled, they had a huge war with the natives. That's what caused a lot of the hardship the people face during this story. But there's so much more that you learn toward the end... that I'm not going to tell you. Obviously.
This book was amazing. The idea is so original and I cannot wait to read the second one. Actually, I just requested it from my library because I'm that excited. The ending of the book is a heartbreaker, so I can only imagine what the next book is going to be like. I had put this off a little bit because I wasn't sure what it was really about - and the books were on the large side. But I'm so glad I picked up the audio. I think it will be great for anyone who is looking for an original sci fi story.
Other Blog Reviews:
Nerd Fighters (little spoiler warning, but great review)
Turn the Page
Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
Escapism Through Books
Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Rumbold returns to his castle and--as Sunday was not present for his transformation--orders three days of festivities and invites every eligible young woman in the land. His intention is to make Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, and not the frog he was. Rumbold's father, a king with no name wrapped in a dark and sinister curse of his own, decides to take this opportunity to seek a new bride for himself, as well.
Sunday is forced to deal with the mysterious loss of her new friend, the sudden strong feelings she has for a man she doesn't know, the magical powers that have suddenly been unleashed within her, and twisted family secrets that lead her on to the adventure of a lifetime...and deep into danger."
Retelling of the Princess and the Frog?! I'm in! Not to mention that it seems to take the story a bit further - after the "happily ever after" part. I think it sounds like a wonderful story and I'm excited to read it!
What are you waiting on this week?
Monday, April 23, 2012
Author: S.A. Bodeen
ISBN: 9781606407837 (Audio)
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page #: 6 hour audiobook
Released: April 29, 2008
Source: My Public Library
"Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone.
Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can't get out. He won't let them.
Dad asked me if I wanted to see more of the Compound.
I didn't. We would have to wait fifteen years before it would be safe to go outside. Which left more than enough time to see the rest of the Compound. Our new world.
A world I would soon hate."
"Therese dribbled past me, switching hands as I'd taught her. A few months shy of twelve, she'd gotten taller in the last year, but still came only halfway up my chest. With her dark hair in the same braids she always had, the shrimp looked closer to ten."
Thinking back on this book as a whole, there is one word that stands out: Distressing. Not in a bad-book kinda way... but in a "omg, can you imagine?!?" kinda way.
Eli's father has always been obsessed with nuclear attacks. He built a massive world for his family underground for just such an occassion. One night, they are forced into their new home - leaving two of their family members behind. Six years later, Eli is now a teen and has started to question the logic of staying underground. While his father tried to plan for everything, there are some things that aren't going according to plan and they are starting to contemplate drastic measures. Eli discovers that his father is hiding more than he thought...
I almost had a physical reaction to parts of this book. Namely, gagging. Seriously, there are some things about this story that are highly disturbing. It's the story about a family pushed to the edge - their food supplies are starting to run low, they're sure that they are the only ones left... just seriously dire circumstances. I actively gagged at the description of their solution to the no-more-meat problem... and their lack-of-milk problem. As I was listening to this book, there were a few parts where I had to stop and get ahold of myself before I could go back to it. whew... so disturbing.
That aside, the concept of being trapped underground with your family for fifteen years is intense. I think it would only work in the way it's described in this book - a gazillionaire builds this fortress that is stocked with everything you could possibly need or want. Otherwise you'd be miserable - and, of course, that's exactly what they were. But it's very interesting to think of the things you'd like to have with you if you know you'll be trapped for that long.
I was a little worried that there wasn't going to be much action in this story. I mean, there's only so much that these characters can do. But once Eli starts to figure out some of the lies his father told, it becomes nonstop drama. I could sort of see where this story was going to go - once one little piece fell into place. And the author did a great job leading up to the massive ending. I thought it was really well done and I was on the edge of my seat until we got there.
I saw that someone described this book as psychological thriller - and I agree 100%. If you love intense stories, I definitely recommend it for you. I'm not sure this story is for everyone, but I think those that try it will love it. I'm now tempted to check out the other stuff by this author. I do see that there is a companion coming for this book in the next year or so - I'll definitely be checking that out. I can only imagine where that will lead!
Other Blog Reviews:
Annette's Book Spot
Yorktown High School Book Reviews
Ivy's Reading Blog
Abe Blog 2012
Karin's Book Nook
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
by Diana Renn
To be released: June 14, 2012
Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger—including Violet's and her father's.
Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery—before it's too late."
This sounds like such a fun mystery! I'm excited to sink my teeth into this one. It's been a while since I've read a straight mystery like this - so it's about time for me to pick one up!
What are you waiting on this week?
Sunday, April 15, 2012
- 4.17.12 The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats
- 4.17.12 The Last Echo (Body Finder #3) by Kimberly Derting
- 4.17.12 Liberator by Richard Harland
- 4.17.12 The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
- 4.17.12 Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
- 4.17.12 Kill Switch by Chris Lynch
- 4.17.12 The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
- 4.17.12 Snow White and the Huntsman by Universal
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Author: Veronica Roth
Page #: 525
Released: May 01, 2012
Source: ARC from the publisher
"One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so."
"I wake with his name in my mouth. Will. Before I open my eyes, I watch him crumple to the pavement again. Dead. My doing."
When an ARC of this book showed up at work, I pretty much couldn't contain myself. I had put it up on my Waiting on Wednesday post a few days earlier. I'm pretty sure the publishing gods were giving me a helping hand here. I was so excited! And I was right to be...
This is the second installment to the story of Tris and Four (or Tobias). If you haven't read the first book, I strongly suggest you do so. It's an amazing first book and I know you will love it. In this second book, Tris and Four are trying to figure out the mess that was made at the end of Divergent. Factions are... fractured. People are nervous. No one knows what is going to happen. It's a time of total upheaval. But Then some secrets start to come out - some alliances no one knew about.
Honestly, I did spend the first part of the book trying to remember all of the important characters. You aren't given much to go on - it's like stepping straight from the first book into the second. It would probably have helped me to read the last few chapters again before reading Insurgent. But once I put all the pieces back together, this book flowed like nothing else. I was really nervous that the second book wouldn't be able to stand up to the first one - but this just pushed the story even further and I was so happy.
Obviously, I'm not going to divulge the ending... but holy crap. I mean, talk about unexpected!! It makes me really excited for the next one. I just know that it will be amazing and it will answer all (or most, at least) of the questions still unanswered. What a twist! I sort of wondered about it, but I can't believe how it turned out. Whew. You'll just have to read it.
The first book is wonderful, but it really focuses on Tris and her transformation into a new faction. It's about her trials and tribulations. Only toward the end do we get an idea of what is happening elsewhere. I loved seeing into Dauntless - a place I would have never been :). But this second book opens the world up much more. You get an idea of how things work between the factions... and the factionless. I loved the traveling to each place to see how things work.
Okay, I'm done gushing, I think. At least, for this moment. As I said before, if you haven't read Divergent, you're really missing out. I have recommended it to just about everyone I possibly could - and I intend to do that with Insurgent as well. Both of them grabbed me and didn't let go till I finished. Veronica Roth may be my new fave.
Other Blog Reviews:
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
A Confusion of Princes
by Garth Nix
To be released: May 15, 2012
Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"You'd think being a Prince in a vast intergalactic empire would be about as good as it gets. Particularly when Princes are faster, smarter, and stronger than normal humans. Not to mention being mostly immortal.
But it isn't as great as it sounds. Princes need to be hard to kill—as Khemri learns the minute he becomes one—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor, and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.
Soon Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle he meets a young woman called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.
But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces that have very definite plans for his future. . . ."
I haven't read any Garth Nix books before, but this one sounds like a lot of fun. I know his books are a hit with many readers, so I'm excited to see how this book turns out. I'll definitely be checking it out when my library gets it!
What are you waiting on this week?
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic (Audiobooks)
Released: October 18, 2011
Page #: 12 hour audio
Source: My public library
"Some race to win. Others race to survive.
It happens at the start of every November: The Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. HE is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl to ever do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable listening experience."
"It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
Even under the brightest sun, the frigid autumn sea is all the colors of the night: dark blue and black and brown. I watch the ever-changing patterns in the sand as it's pummeled by countless hooves."
I truly put off reading this book for a while. I had heard some reviews that were kinda meh about it and I didn't want to have that sort of experience. But after reading/listening to it, I've decided that those people just wanted it to be like her other books. It's not, but it absolutely stands on it's own two (four) feet (hooves) and gives you an amazing story you won't soon forget.
The Scorpio Races take place on Thisby every November. It's an island where the water horses come on land during the month of October and almost terrorize the towns. But once the locals have snared some of the horses and learned to ride them, tons of tourists show up to watch them race on the most dangerous day next to the ocean. People die in these races every year - but this story is about two teens who decide to test their fate. One is the first girl ever to ride in the races and the other is the reigning champ fighting for a better life.
Man. I just realized that it's hard to sum up this story in a few words. It's probably one of the more deep and intense novels I've read/listened to in a while. Maybe it's just the connection that you form with these characters because they are so different from your average teens. And I do want to give kudos to the author for writing an awesome horse story without a bonnet anywhere on the cover... or in the story. What a relief! :)
Puck was an amazing character. At first she's super naive and trusting -until she realizes just what she's gotten herself into. The races have always been for men and many people in the community try to convince her to drop out. She also decides to use her own horse instead of one of the very un-horse-like water horses. One of her biggest concerns is being eaten. That's right... eaten.
Sean is the champion rider that has won the last four years, but this year there is a lot more at stake. His horse is one that he has gotten to know so well, there is no denying their connection. But the horse is owned by someone else... and he wants the chance to be free to live his own life. All he has to do is not just survive the races, but win. Again. He's an internal guy. Nothing shows on the outside. He's brooding and relates much better to horses than people. Until Puck, of course ;).
The whole idea of water horses was a new one for me. I hadn't heard any of the tales or anything, so I looked a few things up while I was reading this book. It's such an amazing idea. Can you imagine something as huge as a horse coming straight out of the ocean? It gives me shivers. And the author does such a great job with descriptions that I felt like I could hear them, smell them, see them... perfectly. It's such an eerie idea and it really makes this story full of magic and suspense.
I loved all of the various characters around the town. The shop owners, the boys who are friends of her brothers, Puck's brothers themselves, the American horse buyer... all of them. It just made this town feel so rich in history and life. Though, I do have to question... it seems like a small town/island. How in the world to they afford to lose that many men every year during the races? I mean, according to the races, there are a ton of people who don't make it. I do know that it's discussed as a fact of life there. But how do they continue to have people to take part in the races? That's all. Maybe I missed something about how intensely this island is populated :).
I will absolutely be recommending this book! There are lots of characteristics that make it a wonderful story and I think it will appeal to a broad range of people. I loved that the romance didn't hit you in the face - which I think is a nice change. I have already looked around to see if there will be a sequel and it looks like that's never going to happen. It's too bad, though. I'd love to see what happens afterward. Ah well. It's a great story by itself. I definitely think you should all give it a try!
Other Blog Reviews:
The Book Blog ExperienceBookpeople's Blog
I am a Reader, Not a Writer
Chapter by Chapter
Emily's Reading Room
IB Book Blogging
The Book Smugglers
Well Read Wife
The Reading Date