Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Description (from Goodreads):
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.

She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.

She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She'd get all his inside jokes, and maybe he wouldn't be so frustrated with her for forgetting things she can't possibly remember.

She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancĂ©e. She wouldn't have to spend her junior year relearning all the French she supposedly knew already.

She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads. 

My thoughts:
It begins with a coin toss. Naomi picks heads and loses. She hits her head to stairs on the way back from the yearbook lab. She wakes up from ambulance with an amnesia.

Naomi's memories are erased from the last 4 years. She does not remember her best friend Will, her boyfriend Ace, the fact that her mother and father are divorced, why she loved yearbook... She does not even remember how to drive a car. The first new memory she has is James. James was the one who saw her coming down the stairs and hitting her head. He is the one who called the ambulance. And now, Naomi feels a lot more attraction towards mysterious James and towards her boyfriend Ace.

But can Naomi live without looking at the past. Everyone remembers the "old" Naomi; the talented tennis player and a yearbook fanatic. But what if the "new" Naomi wants to do something else? And what happens between James and Naomi? Does James have something he is trying to hide? And what happens if Naomi gets her memories back.

I really enjoyed this novel. Naomi is a funny and likable character. She loses her memory and she has to go through her parents divorce etc. for the second time. She does not remember her best friend, Will, who also seems like he has something to hide. And then there is James, a guy with mysterious background. A guy who seems to be a little messed up.

This novel was throughoutly an interesting read. I really enjoyed reading the thoughts of Naomi. She is in a difficult situation, but still she somehow figures out a way to go on. I recommend this book to fans of YA novels since this has everything you can wait from a good novel; likable protagonist, romance, drama and great plot. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Review: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Description (from Goodreads):
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My thoughts:
This is one of those novels which has been hyped ALL OVER the blogsphere. Almost every YA blogger has read Hush, Hush, and most of the have something good to say about it. So, obviously, I was really curious to see what all that hype was about. And I also had high expectations since basically 90 percent of the reviews I have read where telling how awesome this book is. And now I understand all the hype.

Nora has never been that much interested about the guys at her school. Her best friend, Vee, who I though was the most hilarious character in the book,  can, at some level be called boy crazy. It is Vee who tries to get Nora to meet guys and start to date. But Nora is not interested, until she is paired up with Patch at biology class. 

For Nora, it seems that Patch can get inside her head. And soon Nora starts to notice that wherever she goes, somehow Patch appears to the same place at the same time. Even though Nora tries to fins something out about Patch, he remains really mysterious, and Nora does not know can she trust him or not. And against her better judgement, she feels really drawn toward Patch.

When strange things start to happen, and eventually even Vee is hurt, Nora knows what something, or someone, is trying to get her. Could it be Patch? Has he done everything just to make Nora trust him? Eventually Nora discovers something about Patch, and about her own past, which changes everything.

Hush, Hush truly was an amazing read. It is one of those novels you just have to keep reading. It captures you and you cannot put the book down. Nora is very likable as a character, and I must admit that I totally fell in love with Patch. I can't wait to read the second book in the series, since Hush Hush really leaves you graving for more.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Review: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead

"The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imaging him shirtless while carrying me in his arms." (pg.248)

Published: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
Details: paperpack, 332 pages
Description (from Goodreads):
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

My thoughts:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead introduces the reader to a whole new world. World of vampires, Dhamphirs and Strigoi. Lissa is a Moroi vampire princess, the last of the Dragomir family. She lost her family in an accident; only she and her best friend, Rose survived. Rose is Dramphir, half human, half Moroi. Her mother is famous guardian; a person who has dedicated her life to make sure that Moroi are safe. Rose is also going to be a guardian; she wants to take care of the most important person in her life, her best friend Lissa. Lissa, a part of vampire royalty, is in constant danger. Strigoi, the world's most dangerous vampires are after her and the other Moroi.

Rose and Lissa has been running around the human world for two years. After the time of freedom, they are catched by Moroi guardians and whisked back to St. Vladimir's Academy at the forests of Montana. St. Vladimir's is a school for both Moroi and Dhampirs. Rose has been basically raised by the academy because of her mother's job. When they arrive back to the Academy, gossips start to spread about the reasons for their leaving the academy and how Lissa was feed during their run away. Everyone is also surprised about the fact that Lissa has not specialized yet in her magic. All her peers already have their specializations. Will Lissa specizialize, or has she already done so? 

Rose is behind the other novices. The absence of two years is showing in her fighting skills and she is weaker that the others. Dimitri, quiet and godlike Russian Guardian, has promised to give Lissa extra lessons before and after the regular lessons. Soon, Lissa notices that she is crushing on Dimitri. Does Dimitri have feelings for her? Could their relationship work despite the 7 years of age difference?

Lissa and Rose have a special bond. Lissa can go into the mind of Rose and experience what she thinks and feels. The bond becomes very helpful at times, but does Rose really want to experience everything Lissa does? It is also mystery was has caused this powerful bond. As gossip and strange things start to circle around the school, both Lissa and Rose are not sure what they should do. Is is Strigoi who tries to hurt Lissa, or is it someone from the school? 

I have completely fallen in love with the vampire world of 'Vampire Academy'. I have nothing negative to say about the book. The characters, places, plot... everything works out perfectly. Now I understand all the hype about the series. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series. 

The way Mead has written this book takes the reader inside the story and it feels like you are really there, experiencing the same things Lissa and Rose experience. Rose, a fierce and reckless girl who has previously liked to hook up with boys and party (she still does so from time to time) has taken responsibility to make sure that her friend, fragile and emotional Lissa, a Moroi Princess is safe. Both of the girls, Lissa and Rose, fall in love... but with wrong guys (at least that is what others think). Can Rose protect Lissa? Will they both end up happily with the guys they love? 

I want to thank all the people who have kept recommending these books to me. Especially Juli, you have probably told me 10 times how good these books are and finally I was smart enough to pick them up and start to read.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Description (from Goodreads):
The Final Chapter
Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him.
In this final, seventh installment of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling unveils in spectactular fashion the answers to the many questions that have been so eagerly awaited. The spellbinding, richly woven narrative, which plunges, twists and turns at a breathtaking pace, confirms the author as a mistress of storytelling, whose books will be read, reread and read again.

My thoughts:

Who does not love the magical world of Harry Potter? Who has not waited for a letter from Hogwarts? Since the first Harry Potter book, I have been in love with everything related to the books and the world of Harry Potter. Right now, my biggest dream is to travel to Florida to that Harry Potter theme park... Why does it have to be so far away from Finland?

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to fullfil Dumbledore's final task for them. The Magical Ministry and Hogwarts have been taken over by the Death Eaters, and Lord Voldemort's power over everything is increasing. What makes Harry, Ron and Hermione's task hard is the fact that Dumbledore did leave them any detailed informationg about the task. By using their intelligence and what they have learned they are able to figure out what to do. But are they too late?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows finalizes the story of Harry Potter and her friends. It was heartbreaking to finish this book, even though it was my second time finishing it, it felt like a whole "era" had ended. And now the final movie is coming out as well, I can't believe it is almost over. Like the goodreads description says, this really is one of those books you can go back to over and over again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Review: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Published: July 20th, 2010 by Scholastic UK ltd.
Description (from Goodreads):
In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past…and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves…and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love–the light and the dark, the warm and the cold–in a way you will never forget.

My thoughts:
I adored Shiver and I could not wait to read this book. I knew I would love it as well. And I did. A lot.

Sam, once a wolf, now a boy. He is in love with Grace, who has been bitten by a wolf, but she never turned to one. They seem to be the perfect couple, soulmates. But something is happening inside Grace. She gets horrible headaches and she feels like under her skin, there is something or someone who tries to get out. Sam notices it also, especially when he smells the wolf in her. 

Cole. A rockstar known to everyone. By using drugs, he has been able to hide the reality. But it was not enough. Beck changed him into a wolf, but know it seems that it does not work. Cole does not change to be a wolf even though he would like to. When he meets Isabel, there is something between them, but could it be something Grace and Sam have?

The story in Linger is told through 4 different narrators; Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel. I really liked the fact that Stiefvater decided to use all of these four characters as narrators. It gives more insight to the story and it also makes it more personal, telling the reader more about the feelings and thoughts these characters have. 

Linger was as good as I expected. Maybe even better. I can't believe we will have to wait to summer 2011 to get to know what happens to Grace and Sam and to Cole and Isabel. To the ones who liked 'Shiver', Linger is a must-read!