Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

It's the holiday season again and to celebrate I decided to read the latest offering from co-authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.  This book is set in NYC during Christmas-time.   It's protagonists are Lily, a Christmas loving girl, and Dash aka Snarly.  One day, while in his favorite bookstore, Dash finds a red notebook with Lily's first dare to him.  He accepts the dare in the notebook and so starts his and Lily's adventures.

As with the author's first two co-authored books (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List) the book is told in alternating chapters by the male and the female main characters.  So, we really get to know both Dash and Lily from their own perspectives and from each other's perspectives.

I liked this book even more than Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.  I am not sure if is because of the holiday time, or because I related that much to Lily, but I just could not put this book down.  In Lily I've found another literary soul mate.  The first being Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables.  Lily describes the moment she realized she was the "weird girl" in class, and I knew exactly what she was talking about.  She loves animals, loves the holidays, and just wants to believe.  There was just a connection between me and that character that I couldn't get over.  I was walking around my boyfriend's apartment with my nose in the book.

I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more by these co-authors.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1

Word of warning....THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!  But seriously folks, if you haven't read this book (it's been out three years now) you kinda are asking to be spoiled.  For goodness sake, RIP Dobby is trending in twitter right now.  So, if you have not read the last Harry Potter book, get off my blog and go read it.

Ok, with that out of the way....like a good little book-nerd I was at a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1.  Aka the longest book related movie title since Precious:  Based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

The final book in this series has been broken up to make two movies.  I am sure this was just a marketing ploy, but I don't care!  Cause finally we are going to get a Harry Potter movie that doesn't feel overly rushed.  Well, you know, except for The Half-Blood Prince movie that dragged so badly I thought I was going to die of old age in the theater while Harry and Ginnie batted their eyelashes back and forth at one another and Hermione and Ron sulked about each other the whole movie.

I will readily admit that this is probably the only book in the series I have not reread.  So, I will not be as super snarky about this movie as I have been with previous movies.  I am not sure of all the specifics of the story, and did not worry as much about if the movie was directly following the plot.  I also was not shocked by some of the deaths that I knew were coming.  And yes, there is lots of lots of death.  The word is in the title people, it's happening.  Voldemort is all up on his power and is ready to rip through the magical world and take over.  He's kill people, for realz.

Some of the deaths were really upsetting.  Dobby's death in particular actually did make me tear up in the theater.  They cut down on some of the camping, and the just plain exposition that's in the novel that makes the last book in the series drag.  A lot of stuff does happen that can be kind of confusing.  And I would say that if you haven't read the book you'd probably be slightly confused.  But, on a whole I seriously enjoyed this movie MUCH more than the last movie.  I was so excited to really enjoy a Harry Potter movie again.  Maybe if I plead enough they can remake the 6th one before the kids get too old?

I am now really looking forward to the last movie in the series.  Although I know that it will make me cry.  One of my super ultimate favorite people dies.  RIP to Fred in the next movie.  I dunno how George makes it without him.  I will say though that I can't wait to see the finale Snape reveal.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

This novel is verse is set during the Salem Witch Trials and deals with the girls who accused the women and men in the town of Witchcraft.

I hate to do it, but I give up.  I am 100 pages into this book,and it is seriously dragging.  I sort of like a few characters, but not enough to keep reading about them.  I find the time period fascinating, but honestly this book is just kind of boring.

I've heard mention of this being on some short lists for things like the Printz and stuff, to which I think that I either should NEVER ever serve on an awards committee like that, or that I seriously NEED to be on one of those committees.

I did serve on an awards committee once before, and seriously the amount of reading required is insane.  But, I dunno, I still tend to be kind of outspoken about what I think when awards time comes around, and usually, the books I love get the shaft.  We'll see what happens this year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hunger by Jackie Kessler

Lisabeth is anorexic.  She doesn't want to admit how deeply she's gone, and how badly the disease has taken its toll on her relationship with her friends, family, and boyfriend.  One night she decides to end it all, and before she can finish downing her pills Death delivers her an option, she can continue to live if she takes on the mantel of the fourth horsemen of the Apocalypse.  She must become Famine.

Once again, I really was excited for the premise of this book, and I couldn't wait to read it.  I also love the cover, but I really though this book did not completely live up to its potential.  I don't think there was enough lead up for Lisa and her situation.  I also think that the characters were kind of simple.  The end did get pretty awesome though, and the dedication after the story, the fact that Lisa was sort of a based on a real person that the author knew at one point in time, that was amazingly touching. 

I do think that many teen girls will be able to relate to Lisa.  I can really see where she is coming from with her eating disorder, and I can even see part of her issues reflected in my normal thinking.  So, I can see how this book would be good for girls with anorexia and other eating disorders.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Griffin thought he'd scored the mother-load; an unattended Escalade with the keys in the ignition?  Awesome!  Unfortunately for Griffin, he doesn't realize that Cheyenne is in the back seat of the car he is stealing until it is too late.  Now he hasn't just stolen a car, he's also kidnapped a girl.  Kidnapped a blind, sick, teenage daughter of Nike's president none-the-less.  Now Griffin must protect Cheyenne from his father's criminal friends while she is held hostage for ransom.  All the while Cheyenne is struggling to find a way to escape and save her life.

This novel is told in alternating voices between Cheyenne and Griffin.  The concept is extremely interesting and I could not wait to read this book.  I even wrote to the publisher in hopes of getting an ARC.  Maybe I got my hopes up too high or something, but I just didn't find this book to be as exceptional as many others did.  I really liked Griffin's character, but the tension never really got there for me.  Also, the ending seemed rushed and just too easy.  I really had to suspend belief a few times with this book, and I don't know why but it didn't sit well with me.