The slant on YA books

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin 

unthinkable Synopsis from Goodreads:

This much anticipated sequel to the New York Times BestsellerImpossible a fantasy full of suspense, mystery, and romance will appeal to fans of Beautiful Creatures, Raven Boys, and Wicked Lovely. 

Fenella was the first Scarborough girl to be cursed, hundreds of years ago, and she has been trapped in the faerie realm ever since, forced to watch generations of daughters try to break this same faerie curse that has enslaved them all. But now Fenella’s descendant, Lucy, has accomplished the impossible and broken the curse, so why is Fenella still trapped in Faerie?

 In her desperation, Fenella makes a deal with the faerie queen: If she can accomplish three acts of destruction, she will be free, at last, to die.  What she doesn’t realize is that these acts must be aimed at her own family and if she fails, the consequences will be dire, for all of the Scarborough girls. 

How can she possibly choose to hurt her own cherished family not to mention the new man whom she’s surprised to find herself falling in love with? But if she doesn’t go through with the tasks, how will she manage to save her dear ones?

Bear with me as I go on a rant over this interesting novel. I will divide it into two parts: non- spoiler-y and definitely spoiler-y.

I read Impossible, the sort of prequel/sequel to this one and, while it was a strange novel, I enjoyed reading it however many years ago. I opened up Unthinkable knowing I should keep in mind that it would probably be a little weird too.

I had no idea how right I was.

It was tough to read about Fenella doing cruel things to her family, made especially more difficult due to the fact that I was already attached to them from Impossible. I had no idea who Fenella was before she started unleashing her poorly thought out destruction tactics. I could sympathize with Fenella, I really could, but she wouldn’t think over her actions at all. For claiming to hate having to hurt her beloved family so much, she sure went right for their throats as soon as the moment presented itself.

There were just little incongruities and annoyances with Fenella that all added up to frustrate me. She has been out of touch with most of the human world for hundreds of years and is being mentally tortured during most of that time. However, she comes out of the faerie world practically unscarred. She is absolutely brilliant at everything she does, even though the new technology should have bewildered her. This is explained away by her love for reading and knowledge. I understand you can certainly learn from books, but no amount of reading is going to make you a flawless driver the first time you try and operate a stick shift. 

Here there be spoilers. 

Truth be told, I could have handled all of that and still finished the book.

But then Fenella decided to kill the family dog.

WHAT? I am sorry, but no. Nononononononononono. 

no

Was it not bad enough you blew up your family’s house as your first destruction task? Now you have to go after the dog? It is just so wrong on so many different levels. There is really no way I can read a novel with a protagonist who wants to murder the family dog. I can’t remember with total clarity, but I think she even suggests recording it, or doing something equally horrific. 

That was the point where I started skimming the rest of the novel. Fenella tries to run over the dog, but unfortunately, the father jumps in the way and is hit instead.

And that was the point where I was pretty much done with this book. I didn’t even want to stick around to see what her grand finale was. 

*This rant is based off an ARC of the novel, so I have no idea what changes they made in the final copy.


I figured since it was Black Friday and all it would be the perfect time to share some e-book deals going on.

I love finding these sales because I end up trying books that I normally wouldn’t. It’s definitely one of the reasons I love having an e-reader.

Let the deals begin! 

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi – $2.99 for Kindle and Nook

unravel

I would recommend this one if you read Shatter Me because I ended up liking the series much better after reading it.

Burned by Ellen Hopkins – $1.99 for Kindle and Nook

burned

 Never tried any of Ellen Hopkins’ writing because stories told in verse aren’t my cup of tea, but if you’ve read any of her work, what do you think? 

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan – $2.99 for Kindle and Nook 

tragedy

Haven’t read this one either. Have any of you? What did you think? 

A Long, Long, Sleep by Anna Sheehan –  $2.99 for Kindle

sleep 

I finished this one about a week ago, and it was … interesting. Might be good if you are looking for a fairy tale retelling since it is a futuristic Sleeping Beauty. 

Everneath by Brodi Ashton – $1.99 for Kindle and Nook

everneath 

This is a pretty standard paranormal romance. I know I read it, but I have to confess that I don’t really remember too much of it. 

Divergent ($3.99) and Allegiant ($3.49 – Kindle) by Veronica Roth 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – $2.99 for Kindle 

Legend by Marie Lu – $2.49 for Kindle 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak  – $2.49 for Kindle

 I will update the list if I find anymore. Remember, you can also give e-books as gifts. Are there any book deals going on that I missed? Let me know! Also, have a safe Black Friday.

P.S. Please ignore the fact that the first two books are not centered. They are refusing to cooperate.

 


Bolddiscussions

Welcome to BOLD discussions. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. It’s never too late to participate; whether it be an old discussion or a new one, tell me what you think. 

It’s been a while since I have had a true BOLD discussion, so I figured I would start off with a topic that’s on everyone’s mind: book to movie adaptations (and yes, Catching Fireinspired this post).

I want to know how many of you look forward to watching your favorite book play out on the big screen. I always get excited when I find out a book I’ve read is going to be adapted into a movie, but at the same time I am hesitant because I always think the book is better than the movie and I will only be disappointed.

Do some of you prefer not to see a book to movie adaptation at all? Sometimes there are books that just don’t need to be movies. Other times, the book is so great that a movie could just ruin the mental picture you have of the setting and the characters. 

What are some of your favorite books that are being made into movies? One of my favorite books of all time is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and it is being turned into a movie. Sadly, it’s an Australian film, so I have no idea how I can get my hands on a copy once it comes out. But, the point I’m trying to make is that I want to see the movie so incredibly much, but I am really scared that the movie will severely disappoint me. It won’t ruin my love for the book, but it would change how I picture some scenes or characters. 

Even if I think the movie is going to be awful, I just can’t resist going to see it. I keep my expectations really low so that I can avoid a majority of the disappointment. (Unless I’m talking about The Hunger Games movies because those are works of beauty and can do no wrong in my eyes.) With The Mortal Instruments, for example, I kept my hopes low and was pleasantly delighted with the movie. 

Talk to me! What book to movie adaptations are you eagerly anticipating? What are some book/movie adaptations that should have never happened? Let me know what you’re thinking.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!


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To find out more about Waiting on Wednesday, check out my first post here.

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

committee

Expected Publication: May 13, 2014 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Some secrets are too good to keep. 

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend. 

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own. 

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

The Life by Committee idea sounds absolutely intriguing. I have a feeling I won’t like the protagonist, but the premise is too interesting to pass up. Plus, that cover is really pretty to look at. 

What about you? What books are you waiting for?  

 


Howdy!

My hiatus was a bit longer than anticipated, but much needed. I am back and ready to blog. I hope everyone is getting in the holiday spirit because I sure am.

On an unrelated note, can we all talk about Catching Fire? Has anyone else seen the movie? I really loved it, and think it was just as good, if not better, than the first. It seemed to stay very true to the book, although there were a few things I noticed were missing. The main criticism I can think of is that the characters in the arena could have used some more development, especially Finnick. catchingfire

I am interested to know what everyone else has thought of the movie. Feel free to discuss it in the comments because I really want to talk about it. I can’t promise that it won’t get spoiler-y so you have been warned.


How are you guys doing today?

I am going to be on a short hiatus for the next couple of days while I am away on vacation. I should be back up and running next week.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. 

In the meantime, care to give me some suggestions of topics you want to discuss? Or posts you want to see on In Italics? Want to tell me about your week? Let me know your thoughts!


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To find out more about Waiting on Wednesday, check out my first post here

To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

jennyhan

Expected Publication: April 22, 2014 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. 

 

I really just want to read this one for that cover alone. The synopsis does sound entertaining and fun. I have liked all of Jenny Han’s work before, so I expect nothing less from this one too. 

Do you plan on reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? What books are you waiting for?


The F-It List by Julie Halpern

Pages: 256 TheFItList

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 

Source: ARC provided from publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again–Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend–you do it.

Review: 

The F-It List is a book that makes me reconsider why I don’t read contemporary more often.  I can see that some people may be turned off because of the title or the cancer, but I highly recommend you give this one a try.

The core relationship is between two best friends, Becca and Alex, who are absolutely hysterical together. Every chapter made me laugh, which I didn’t expect from a book with cancer in the plot. In my opinion, The F-It List has one of the best friendships I’ve ever read.

Becca and Alex would do anything for each other, which I love reading about in friendships. This is put to the test when they try and check off the items of Becca’s version of a bucket list. I really don’t want to spoil any of the fun from discovering the items on the list, but they are all funny, immature, insightful, or a crazy combination of them all.

The relationship between Alex and Becca is far from being the only in the story. Alex meets Leo, who helps her deal with all of the crazy events of her life. Their romance was a perfect addition to the novel and a main reason I read this book as fast as I did. Both girls also have difficult relationships with their moms that are portrayed very realistically and complexly.

Some moments I was crying from laughter and others just crying. At times I forgot this was a tale of tragedies, grief, and recovery, but then it would hit me all at once. I felt ALL THE FEELS with this books. The effects of cancer aren’t glorified or romanticized, which made some scenes of the novel even more difficult to read, but were beneficial to the telling of the story.

Overall, I highly recommend getting The F-It List as soon as possible. It’s hilarious and sad and amazing.


StSBanner

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where book bloggers share their weekly book haul.

I visited my school’s library this week and was delighted to see that they have added so many new releases! I had to restrain myself from checking them all out, but I couldn’t resist getting just one. 

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

forgive
That’s what I have to share this week. What about you? What do you have to read? Let me know how your week has been!


The Vow by Jessica Martinez

Pages: 432 thevow

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: pulseit.com

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

No one has ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends? 

Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him. 

Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love? 

Review: 

I didn’t know what to expect from a book about a false marriage. I could only picture something like that Sandra Bullock movie The Proposal, and The Vow is nothing like that at all.

Mo and Annie are best friends, with really only the other to count on and trust. (Their lack of friends, or even other acquaintances, was a bit hard to believe. Mo has one friend besides Annie, but Annie has no one else.)  So, when it’s a choice between marrying each other or having Mo get deported, I could see why they made the decision they did.

The platonic boy/girl friendship is almost unheard of in the contemporary genre, so I really liked the unique perspective. On the topic of perspectives, the narration flips between Annie and Mo. The transitions between each chapter are very odd though and interrupt the flow of the story.

As much as I wanted to, I didn’t like Mo. He’s incredibly whiny and quick to play the victim. It was very, very frustrating. And, for being a supposedly intelligent guy, I found it unbelievable that he wouldn’t know marriage fraud was a felony. He even researched it before making any decisions! Also, towards the end of the novel he starts acting out of character and it really undermined the message of the book.

I found Annie much more pleasant to read. She is the one always saving Mo and seemed to be the far more loyal friend. When she meets her own love interest, Reed, I wanted her to drop Mo and say hello to him instead. Annie and Reed’s romance was so sweet that I wished there would have been more to it since it was a bit underdeveloped.

Overall, I just found too much of this book to be unbelievable. The ending was predictable and, like I said earlier, a bit undermining to what I thought was the theme of the novel. I really liked Annie and want her to have her own story with Reed, whom obviously cares for her more than Mo. The book explores some difficult themes, like racism and true sacrifices. If you do have the opportunity to read The Vow, take it. As much as the book annoyed me, it was nice to read something unlike anything I had read before. 



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