Review: 4 to 16 Characters

4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan

4 to 16 Characters

Publication date: November 6th 2013

Publisher: Lemon Sherbet Press

Number of pages: 371

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

Goodreads synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.

pagebreaksbookcomet

Review:

I think that the general consensus of 4 to 16 Characters from people I’ve spoken to or reviews I’ve read that it was ok. Kind of in the ok to sort of didn’t like kind of range.

But for me it was just in the ok range.

In fact I liked some parts.

One of the things I liked was the main character, Jane. It’s so great that an author has finally written a book about a character who isn’t overwhelmingly strong and that aspect makes it more realistic. Although it got a little annoying at times.

What attracted me to the book was what the synopsis suggested, that the story would be about a girl with multiple different online personalities. And it was, but just a little. I would really have liked the book to be more focused on that.

I really liked the ending. It was cute and I’m pretty sure it brought up my rating.

One other thing that annoyed me was Gary. He makes fun of Jane for being online all the time but he always seemed to answer whenever Jane asked him something. Meaning he would have been online. In other words, he was a total hypocrite. But other than that, I didn’t actually mind him.

That’s pretty much all I can remember because I wrote the first edition of this review a week or two ago and it was never posted because something went wrong and therefore I lost it. So that was my review of 4 to 16 Characters 2.0.

2.5/5 comets
Minor indent. Could have been a bigger hit.

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

Publication date: April 12th 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Number of pages: 320

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed, although I wish I’d purchased. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

The hype, the hype, the cover, the hype. If you follow many blogs or watch BookTube, you will have seen this book. Probably a minimum of ten times. And no doubt you will have seen Rainbow Rowell’s other book, Fangirl, just as many times.

Honestly, I was a little skeptical. I requested Eleanor and Park because I wanted to know what I was missing out on. Quite a bit apparently. I hadn’t read the blurb prior to requesting and when I eventually read it, I was just kind of like “oh.” To me it really didn’t sound exciting.

To be fair to my early impressions, going by the blurb, there wasn’t really that much of a plot. But that’s the weird thing. I was more engrossed in this book than I have been with many others. Sure, like 90% of it was just interaction between Eleanor and Park but it was really, really enjoyable.

The writing in Eleanor and Park was so, so unique. It kind of had this quirky, sarcastic tone and just all these other little things that really brought the book together.

Then you had Eleanor and Park. So different, yet so right. Never in my life can I recall coming across a character like Eleanor. She was mean, rude, sarcastic, frustrating, likeable, lovable, quirky and unique. All at once.

I couldn’t get this book out of my head when I was and wasn’t reading it. I couldn’t wait to keep reading. In fact, the ending got so good that I didn’t even realise I was nearly finished. I didn’t really want it to end.

Not to mention the setting and time era. So cool.

I absolutely loved this book and will probably be forcing it upon people to read it. Then I will grab a copy of one of her next books.

 5/5 comets!
Bye, bye Earth! out of this world.

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads author bio:

Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Review: Just Like Fate

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

Just Like Fate

Publication date: August 27th 2013

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Number of pages: 304

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

 Goodreads synopsis:

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape–both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths–and she’s about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

If I could read this book all over again right now, I would. Well, that’s a lie because technically I could be reading it again right now but alas I have just read it and it wouldn’t be quite the same. Now I’m beginning to wonder the point in those first two sentences. Meh.

I thought the whole “if I stay or if I go” scenario because I totally didn’t know which decision she should make. That sounds horrible, if of course you know why she has to make the choice, but this is fiction of course. Not real.

In all honesty, I am currently unsure of which decision she ended up making. I know which one I wanted her to make/she should have made but I’m unsure. To most people it’s probably really obvious. But I’m one of a kind apparently.

Chris is amazing. Amazing. I could keep repeating amazing and it still wouldn’t suffice. Cute, funny and, well, amazing. He’s welcome in my books any day.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone looking for a good contemporary YA read. This is kind of what I would imagine Pivot Point by Kasie West to be like but I’ve never read it, so I can’t say for sure. But maybe if you liked that you’ll like this?

And to finish off, with a quote:

“Bully,” I say. I consider clutching my fork like a murder weapon but I’m not sure if we’ve reached the joking-murder point in our relationship.”

I think you should read this. 

4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continent. One little flaw.

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

  Goodreads author bios:

Cat Patrick:

Cat PatrickCat Patrick is an author of books for teens. Her debut novel, FORGOTTEN (available now), is about a girl who can remember the future instead of the past, and was praised by NYT bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher, as a “mindbending,” one-sitting read. The book is being translated into 21 languages and Paramount bought the movie rights, with True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld attached to star as the main character, London Lane.

Patrick’s second (unrelated) novel, REVIVED, is about a girl who’s part of a secret government program to test a drug that brings people back from the dead. REVIVED will be available in the US May 2012, and in the UK and Australia Summer 2012.

Patrick lives near Seattle with her husband and twin 3-year-olds, and is afraid of zombies, planes, and zombies on planes.

Visit her online at www.catpatrick.com.

Suzanne Young

Suzanne YoungSuzanne Young currently lives in Tempe, Arizona where she teaches high school English and obsesses about books. She’s the author of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, A WANT SO WICKED, and THE PROGRAM. Learn more about Suzanne at www.suzanne-young.blogspot.com

 

Review: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Publication date: May 4th 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 352

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew–just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she’s surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road–diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards–this is the story of one girl’s journey to find herself.

pagebreaksbookcomet


Review:

I feel like moving to America just so I can go on a roadtrip now.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is the cutest thing. There’s romance, travel, pictures, cute little notes and a ton of personality in this fun ride of a book (see what I did there?). I seriously am on the verge of mega-fangirling as soon as I see or hear this title. Why don’t I ever see it in shops here?

I loved reading the conversations between Amy and Roger. I loved how they were so prominent in the story and you just had to look at the structure of a sentence to know who was speaking. They had all these little quirks (root beers, anyone?) and I just totally loved to read about them.

If Second Chance Summer really is a sequel, I need it now. –Edit: Apparently not. But I still need it!–

Here are some quotes I adored:
(Roger mimicking Amy) “Look! A tree! I must stop and take a picture of it!” – pg 110

“So it’s 1951,” Roger said. “Gene Hackman is the coach of this Indiana high school basketball team. And they’re the underdogs. And nobody expects them to win the championship.”
“But they do anyway?” I guessed..
Roger turned to me, surprised. “I thought you said you hadn’t seen it.” – pg 211

Whoever on the cover was quoted, said that this was “a near-perfect Summer read”, if I remember correctly. Near perfect? NEAR perfect? It WAS a perfect Summer read.

I totally adored and recommend this book. Huge thanks to Francine at Always Lost in Books for recommending it. Otherwise this would have been shoved to the bottom of my contemporary TBR.

 5/5 comets!
Bye, bye Earth. Out of this world!

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads author bio:

Morgan MatsonMorgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan’s three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW “Flying Start” book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. It has since been published in five different languages and six different countries.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2014.

Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True

16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

16 Things I Thought Were True

Publication date: March 4th 2014

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Number of pages: 304

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

Heart attacks happen to other people

When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

My heart sung, weeped, broke and soared. This book soared. I loved it to bits. #thingsiKNOWaretrue

This book totally deserved it’s spot on my Most Anticipated Books of 2014 list. Now it will end up on my Favourites of 2014 list. I just love it. I actually cried (and this is coming from the girl who didn’t cry in The Fault in Our Stars) and I laughed. #thingsiKNOWaretrue

It was actually so beautiful. The ending, oh the ending, was perfect for the story. I loved all the little things, like how Morgan used Twitter as sort of a haven and I loved reading the hashtags at the beginning of each chapter (I case your wondering why I keep using hashtags in this review). #thingsiKNOWaretrue

Who could forget such a swoony romance? Adam was so amazing and I loved his outlook and the way he cared for Morgan and Amy. It was so cute and perfect and I loved it so much. Then there was Amy, who needs just as much of a mention as Adam. #thingsiKNOWaretrue

Morgan herself needs a whole paragraph. I loved her actions at the end, won’t spoil anything, and the way that she stood up for Amy like that. She had so many things going on and she remained a determined and smart character who I loved to read about. #thingsiKNOWaretrue

There were twists and the little things turned to bigger things. One minute you are relieved, the next devastated. I have never read a book about a road-trip, so that was cool, and the characters had their funny little lines now and again. Everything turned out perfectly and couldn’t possibly be any better. #thingsiKNOWaretrue

If you love contemporary, you HAVE to read this. If you loved The Fault in Our Stars, you HAVE to read this. I know people hate it when reviewers compare books with other books, but hey, it’s a recommendation. I loved this and I can’t wait to read more by this author. SO GOOD. I never read stuff this long in pretty much one sitting. Without even meaning to. #thingsiKNOWaretrue

 5/5 comets
Bye, bye Earth! Out of this world!

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads author bio:

Janet GurtlerJanet lives near the Canadian Rockies with her husband and son and a little dog named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot.

 

Review: Diamond’s are a Teen’s Best Friend

Diamonds are a Teen’s Best Friend by Allison Rushby

Diamonds Are A Teen's Best Friend (Living Blond Trilogy)

Publication date: November 21st 2013 (first published 2006)

Number of pages: 120

Series: Living Blond (1#)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

‘Nessa Joanne Mulholland, aka Marilyn Monroe’s No. 1 teenage fan, is used to moving house. This time, however, she’s relocating in movie-star style – crossing the Atlantic on board the Majestic, headed for Paris from New York City. And it really would be in movie-star style if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s bringing her cringe-fest professor dad along for the ride. (Dad’s specialisation: human mating rituals – need Nessa say more?) Oh yeah, and sharing a cabin that’s five decks below sea level and next to the engine room. Still, at least Holly Isles is on board. Yes, really, that Holly Isles – star of stage, screen and – DVD. Suddenly, things are looking up. Looking a little Marilyn, in fact, because events are strangely mirroring Nessa’s favourite movie of all time, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Watch!
As Holly Isles, world-famous actress, confides in Nessa over mocktails.

Listen!
As Nessa coaches Holly in the amazing ‘Nessa’s Lessons in Love’ – the ultimate man-catching rules to finding true and lasting lurv.

See!
Nessa fall for Holly’s too-cute nephew, Marc.

And – cover your eyes!
As it all goes terribly, horribly, embarrassingly wrong.

There’s no doubting it. This is going to be one pitchy crossing.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

Cute.

I mean it was so cute. The whole Marilyn Monroe was unique and added just that little bit more to the story. Plus the whole thing with the celebrity was super cool.

That being said, it was super predictable and that made me get frustrated with the characters. Particularly with Nessa. The way that she missed all the obvious clues towards the revealing of a particular relationship was annoying and every time you think she’ll get it – she doesn’t.

It was a good story, entertaining and definitely made for an easy read. I did like Nessa’s character most of the time because she was fun to read about.

All in all, this was a fun read. Probably better for a middle grade reader.

 3/5 comets
The Earth schook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads author bio:

Allison RushbyAllison Rushby is the Australian author of a whole lot of books. She is crazy about Mini Coopers, Devon Rex cats and corn chips. In November 2013, she will release her thirteenth book (she thinks… maths was never her forte). You can find her at http://www.allisonrushby.com, procrastinating on Facebook, or on Twitter at @Allison_Rushby. That is, when she’s not on eBay, or Etsy, or any other place she can shop in secret while looking like she’s writing…

http://www.allisonrushby.com
http://www.keepcalmandcarryvegemite.com

Review: Notable

Notable by Marni Bates

Notable (Smith High, #3)

Publication date: October 29th 2013

Publisher: K-Teen

Number of pages: 272

Series: Smith High (3# (can be read as standalone))

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads synopsis:

I take no prisoners…

I’m Chelsea Halloway and I will happily destroy your social life if you mess with me. Just ask anyone. There is no situation I can’t handle. Divorcing parents? No problem. An ex-boyfriend who wants to date Smith High School’s biggest geek instead of me? Just a matter of time before I can make him see reason. At least, until my parents decide to ship me off on a study abroad trip to Cambodia…

Now instead of being admired as the queen of the Notables, I’m stuck with a bunch of college students who don’t take me seriously, and a professor who accidentally landed himself on the wrong side of a drug lord. And it’s up to me to get us all out of the country alive–even the annoying jerk with the green eyes who won’t stop calling me “princess.”

Oh yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Review:

You could say that this book was notable. But you could also say that it was great. Personal choice, ya know?

Well my choice is great. Do you want to know why? Well, dear followers/random readers, read on indeed.

Chelsea is your typical mean girl. And mean girls have feelings too. So how does Chelsea feel about being sent to Cambodia? Not very happy.

And she is totally right. She is sent on one of the most dangerous aadventures of a lifetime. Drug dealers, violence and of course a bit of love, this was one gripping book.

I thought that Marni Bates did a fantastic job at executing the mean girl kind of thing. Yeah, sure, it was a little stereotypical, but you cares? Not me. Marni managed to prove that even though Chelsea didn’t exactly get the best SAT (think that’s it. Sorry, not American) scores, it certainly didn’t make her dumb. And it proved that not all mean girls are mean for no reason. They have wants too and they may put on a steel exterior but they are not real.

No, I am not a patriot for mean girls.

I thought that the romance was so cute! I’m glad she ended up with that person because they were just perfect for each other.

I have not yet read any of the other books in the series, but I really want to. If I am to get them, I may as well wait for the fourth book to come out. While you don’t need to read them before Notable, I can see why it would enhance your reading experience.

I would recommend this to anyone open to contemporaries, looking for a good book with a different storyline. Loved it!
4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continet. One little flaw.

Add to Goodreads

pagebreaksbookcomet

 Goodreads author bio:

Marni BatesMy autobiography MARNI (part of HCI’s Louder Than Words series) was on the New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List. I then signed a four book contract with KTeen. My first YA novel, AWKWARD, has been optioned by the Disney Channel as a made-for-TV movie and translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and Hungarian.

In my free time I can be found reading romance novels, rollerblading, singing really loudly (and off-key) in public and watching copious amounts of television–strictly for artistic inspiration, of course.