My Bookshelf: Lola and the Boy Next Door

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Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Young Adult/Romance

Amazon Summary:
“Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.”

Jeers:

  • There was very little sympathy for Lola’s birth parents. People fall on hard times, it happens, and not everyone addicted to drugs is a terrible person.
  • I hated how long things dragged on with Max (the hot rocker boyfriend).
  • I think school is a much bigger deal in young people’s lives but she took away from that in order to force St. Clair and Anna in at the movie theater rather than just having standalone books.
  • The gift Cricket gives her at the end is like beyond what anyone could accomplish and is setting impossibly high standards (okay so I’m a little jealous but whatever).

Cheers:

  • I thought that the story was wonderfully 3D and I liked all the characters.
  • I loved Cricket, though I have no idea why he was actually into Lola.
  • It was a very sweet story and I enjoyed reading it.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes. I’d say read Anna and the French Kiss first, since the setting of Paris is way cooler than San Francisco (in my opinion) but all three books can be read in whatever order and you won’t be that confused. It’s really sweet and really captures the confusion of youth.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Lola-Next-Door-Stephanie-Perkins/dp/0142422010/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

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My Bookshelf: Along for the Ride

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Title: Along for the Ride

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: Young Adult/Romance

Amazon Summary:
“Nights have always been Auden’s time, her chance to escape everything that’s going on around her.

Then she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and he becomes her nocturnal tour guide.

Now, with an endless supply of summer nights between them, almost anything can happen. . . .”

Jeers:

  • If you’ve read a lot of Sarah Dessen’s books this is going to be exactly the same.
  • Auden’s dad was a huge asshole from start to finish and that wasn’t really taken care of or addressed properly.

Cheers:

  • It’s a nice light-hearted read.
  • The characters are unique and the detail in the story really brings things to life.
  • I’ve read this a bunch of times and I’m still not sick of it. I think Sarah Dessen does a really good job of writing books young girls can identify with.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes, if you like stories about teenage girls finding themselves. If you like one Sarah Dessen book you’ll probably like them all, but if you read too many you start to see how similar they all are. As long as you’re not looking for high-brow literature, you’ll be fine reading Along for the Ride.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Along-Ride-Sarah-Dessen/dp/0142415561

My Bookshelf: Tales of The Madman Underground

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Title: Tales of The Madman Underground

Author: John Barnes

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Amazon Summary:

“September 1973: The beginning of Karl Shoemaker’s senior year in stifling Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl’s been part of “the Madman Underground”- kids forced to attend group therapy during school. Karl has decided that he is going to get out of the Madman Underground for good. He is going to act-and be-Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative. Karl has two after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother . . . and a huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored rollercoaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl Shoemaker.”

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • I did not want Darla and Karl to end up together. I don’t know if that’s even what happened, but Darla is fucked up and I didn’t like her.
  • There were a lot of people and I sometimes got confused on who some of the less central characters were.

Cheers:

  • Literally everything else.
  • The writing was good. The characterization was good. The plot was good.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes. I loved this book so much that I let a friend borrow it. She then kept it in her trunk for 4 months and it ruined it. It was a signed copy. I didn’t read it since then because it’s in shit condition, but I finally did and I’m glad I did because I forgot how much I loved it. (But if anyone wants to know why I have trust issues and won’t let people borrow my books, this is why.)

Amazon link:

 http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Madman-Underground-John-Barnes/dp/0142417025

My Bookshelf: Godless

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Title: Godless

Author: Pete Hautman

Genre: Young Adult

Amazon Summary:

“Fed up with his parents’ boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god — the town’s water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever that means) Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting — and dangerous.
When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly. Jason soon realizes that inventing a religion is a lot easier than controlling it, but control it he must, before his creation destroys both his friends and himself.”

Jeers:

  • Basically nothing, other than I didn’t like how shitty things went for Jason.

Cheers:

  • I really love this book. I loved it when I first read it and it’s just as good rereading it. I connect with it deeply.
  • It’s written well. You really feel like you’re there, even if it’s set in the summer time and you’re reading in your house than ran out of propane and is not currently being heated.
  • Jason is a great character. Well-rounded and realistic.
  • Just every part of it is fantastic. I’m sure that theists as a whole are probably less amused with it, but as an atheist, it was easy to relate to and funny.

Would I recommend it?:
YES! Not really much more to say. I love this book and want everyone else to love it.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030VVOHO/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0

My Bookshelf: Beastly

fassTitle: Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy/Romance

Amazon summary:
“I am a beast. A beast! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll,stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.”

My summary:
Beauty and the Beast in New York.

Cheers:

  • It was realistic and well-written.
  • I enjoyed the beast’s thoughts. Sometimes a character’s thoughts are terrible and add nothing to the story, but this wasn’t the case.
  • It was an enjoyable story. Nothing deep that you haven’t seen with every single “Beauty and the Beast” story, but it was still enjoyable.

Jeers:

  • I hated the weird text chat thing. So weird and unnecessary.
  • Not related: This has absolutely everything to do with the movie and not the book, but I hate that the movie beast and the book beast looked different. I think the movie beast was a lot better at making a modern day beast, though obviously it failed in making Lindy unattractive because Hollywood can’t possibly make a movie about genuinely unattractive people.

Would I recommend it?:
Yeah. I’ve been meaning to read this for years, literally, because my friend gave it to me with a huge bag of books in high school, but I just never got around to it. I watched the movie and remember liking it enough, but I felt like I might be a little old for the book. Still, I enjoyed it, and it’s been out long enough that it shouldn’t be hard enough to find a really cheap paperback. It’s literally just the story of Beauty and the Beast though, nothing new, but since I love the Beauty and the Beast that was fine for me.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Beastly-Alex-Flinn/dp/0061963283

My Bookshelf: Wake Series

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Title: Wake/Fade/Gone

Author: Lisa McMann

Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal

Amazon summary:
“Janie Hannagan gets sucked into other people’s dreams. It’s an ability she always kept secret—until she met Cabel, and found herself with the best (secret) boyfriend ever. But Janie and Cabel are about to find out just how dark Janie’s future as a Dream Catcher is… and whether Cabel will be a part of it.”

My summary:
Janie gets sucked into people’s dreams. She can’t control it until she finds someone like her to guide her in her dream-catching. She meets a boy and begins working with the police to untangle the dreams of criminals. She has a lot of shit to deal with, having grown up on the wrong side of town, and it gets worse when her dream-catcher mentor reveals what it really means to catch dreams.

Cheers:

  • I like that Janie isn’t one of those run-of-the-mill middle class white girl narrators. Well, she’s white, but she’s poor as fuck with an alcoholic mother.
  • It’s pretty well written. Obviously, it was a best-seller, so it isn’t a piece of shit.
  • It’s a fun read. I’ve reread it a few times and don’t get tied of it.

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • I feel like Cabel cries too often. And it’s really weird when he does, like the author doesn’t want to write a weak male character so she doesn’t go into any detail other than to say he’s crying but she needs him to cry to make him more likable.
  • I hated how it was present tense. Some of the time it just didn’t work, I don’t think.
  • The end seemed rushed. Like just all of a sudden she was going to AA meetings and then she planned to enter her mother’s dream? I guess where it ended worked, but it could’ve used another chapter or two.

Would I recommend it?:
Yep! The whole series is fun. The relationship between Janie and Cabel gets a little unrealistic at times, but for such an interesting plot I think it can be forgiven. Get used copies with the above covers, though. The new ones look stupid.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1442428260/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1416974474&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=09SNGECKW3J5MMJY9TN6