Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Description (from Goodreads):
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My thoughs: 

I was thinking for a long time that should I even write a review of this novel. The reading process of it was long (and painful) and I really don't have anything positive to say about it. And the biggest thing is that I really don't even know how to explain why I did not like it. But since I want to be fair and tell my opinion, whether positive or negative, I decided that I should write something about it.

When looking at the star average of this novel from Goodreads it is obvious that some people have liked, even loved this novel. When looking at the reviews of some of my goodreads friends I see raving reviews telling how awesome this novel is. I think that is the reason why I bought this book. Now I think this one was a waste of 10 €. But well, at least the cover of the novel is pretty. 

The pace of this novel is extremely slow, the different events in the boarding school do not attach well together and the events tell nothing about the characters. The characters are very artificial, you really do not learn that much about them. The main character of the novel, Luce (I did not even remember her name anymore without Goodreads) is boring and the reader does not get to know that much about her. I was waiting for some type of description about her and her past throughout the book, but all that I remember of her is the fact that everyone though she is nuts or something because some guy died in the fire or something like that. 

Cam and Daniel, the love interests are boring and dull. Normally I right away pick the male lover I prefere but while reading this novel I got mixed up with them. Cam is all attentive and stuff when Daniel is waving his middle finger to Luce the first time they meet. And still Luce falls in love with Daniel because she fells like "she knows him". I love paranormal novels, but I think in this one the whole paranormal stuff was on the background or it was not explained well enough. 

Like I read from some review from Goodreads, this book probably does its thing for some teenager girls. But since I don't think it is all those teenager girls who have given those stars in Goodreads, this book must have something which someone (or a lot of people) find very interesting. I did not find that, of which I am a bit sad about, but like everyone knows, you cannot like everything. This novel did not do its thing for me. All I can say is that I am happy I did not buy the sequel when I saw it in the bookstore!

If you liked this novel, please explain me WHY? (:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Description (from Goodreads):
What's the worst thing you've ever done?

When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. 

My thoughts:

To begin with, I must say this one along "Some girls are" by Courtney Summers are along the best books I have read this year so far. 

'Cracked Up to Be' introduces the reader to Parker Fadley. Things have changed in her life. Previously the cheerleader captain, perfect student and girlfriend of the most popular guy in the school. Now, coming to school drunk and failing classes. But what has happened? What has caused this all?

Parker has something on her consience. She thinks that something bad, something extremely bad happened because of her. Parker wants to be alone and not to talk to anyone. All she wants is to graduate and get out of high school... but that plan does not look that probable because of her unrestricted actions in school. When Jake, a new guy, shows interest in Parker, she starts to have problems keeping up her "lonely rider" image. Why not to give a change to Jake? But can Parker be with anyone before she solves her problems? Especially the problem that keeps bugging her day and night.

Parker is very interesting character to read about. She has been a perfect student and because of that her life has been busy and very social. After a tragedy at party her world collapses and her whole personality changes. She does not care about being the popular student anymore, she just wants to be left alone.

Summers' writing style is one of the best ones I have ever read. She builds tension by foreshadowing things that will be revealed in the book later on. When it comes to Parker's secret, little glimpses of the truth are given throughout the book the final secret revealed all the way at the end. This was one of the books I just couldn't put down. That probably explains the fact that I read this book on one sitting. 

I recommend Courtney Summers and her novels to everyone who loves Young Adult novels and who are interested to read something so well written that it really, literally, makes me cry. 
I can't wait for Courtney Summers' latest novel, 'Fall for Anything' which tells about girl who's father commits a suicide. 'Fall for Anything' will probably be very hard for me to read because my own father committed suicide, but in a way, I could also say that it probably will be very therapeutic experience. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Review: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead

" Seeing Dimitri watching me, I shook of the memories and kept going with the lesson." (pg.44)

Published: April 10th 2008 by Razorbill
Description (from Goodreads):
Rose Hathaway's got serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian. 

Then a massive Strigoi attack puts St. Vladmir's on high alert, and the Academy crawls with Guardians-including the legendary Janine Hathaway...Rose's formidable, long-absent mother. The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks. This year, St. Vladmir's holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose-and her heat-are in more danger than she ever could have imagined.

My thoughts:
At Frostbite, the reader is sucked to the world of Moroi, Dramphirs and Vampires for the second time. A same clan of characters than in the first book is included with some nice new character additions. 

A sudden Strigoi attack changes the holiday plans for St. Vladimir's Academy and its students. When one of the royal families offers as five star ski resort for the school to have the holidays at, the students and their families are whisked there with the academy's personal jets. Rose has been used to spend the holidays with Lissa, not with her family. But this year, Janine Hathaway, Rose's kickass Guardian mother joins the party. But is the anything in common with the daughter and the mother? 

Rose is struggling with her emotions. She cannot get Dimitri out of her mind, but at the same time, Mason, her classmate, is clearly in love with her. Rose tries to stick to the feelings for Dimitri, but when she learns that Dimitri might have his eyes on someone else, she decides that there is someone else she can be with. These is also Adrian, a royal guy with a bad reputation. He is suddenly interested about both Rose and Lissa and they don't know why. Maybe Adrian has something in common with one of them?

When three of Rose's school mates run away from the top protected ski resort, Rose and Christian (Lissa's Moroi boyfriend) have to leave the ski resort lands to save their friends. But nothing goes as planned and eventually they notice that they are trapped and there is no way out. Can Rose, an aspiring guardian, save herself and her friends? 

Richelle Mead captivates the reader with her characters, plot and writing. The readers is sucked into the story. You feel like you know the characters; you fall in love with them, you like them, or you just hate them. I really like Rose as a character because she is independent and she does what she feels like to, but at the same time, she is really responsible towards Lissa, the Moroi she is protecting. I cannot say did I like this one more or less than the first book. They both have been amazing and I can't wait to get to the 3rd book. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: Innocents by Cathy Coote

Description (from Goodreads):
Innocents is a taut, wickedly clever descent into the anatomy of an obsession, the debut of a precociously assured young literary voice. Forcing someone vulnerable and naive into a sexual relationship is perverted, even evil. But when the perpetrator is a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl, is she culpable? And if the victim is her thirty-four-year-old teacher, shouldn't he have known better? Unforgettable, disturbing, and morally complex, Innocents takes us on a journey into the darker side of desire. It permanently unsettles our notions of innocence, experience, and power, and suggests that we are all culpable.

My thoughts:

During the summer after reading 'A Season of Eden' I started to look for novels with a teacher-student relationship. It is one of those "forbidden" topics and I think that novels written about that are always very interesting. I have read a couple novels like that in English and also some in Finnish. 

'Innocents' was very different from the similar novels I've read before, in a good way. The story is told through a long "letter" from a 16 year old girl to her teacher. In this letter the girl, the narrator, tells the story to the reader and at the same time explain things to the teacher she is writing for. The fact that this novel addresses the reader directly through use of word "you" makes the reading experience very personal, and at point, very disturbing.

The narrator of the novel is a 16 year old girl who seduces her teacher and starts a relationship with him. She moves to live with him and eventually he stops teaching in order for them to continue the relationship. He seems to be very much in love with her; he cannot believe that a girl like her is with a man like him. She fills all his desires, but he is also worried about the fact that he might hurt her. 

Pretty early on in the novel it comes clear for the reader that everything isn't alright with the narrator. She is manipulating and plays a game with her teacher. She wants to keep him in her grip despite the fact that she does not really get out anything from the sexual relationship they have. She is sick and perverted, but still, in a way, the reader feels bad for her.

'Innocents' is a very unique novel and it definitely was a one of a kind reading experience for me. It includes some very disturbing imagenery, but at the same time, in a way, it is very beautifully written. I really recommend this one for everyone. For readers of Young Adult novels, it is a very different type of reading experience. At least, it was for me.