July 20, 2008

Flawless by Sara Shepard

Flawless - Book 2 of the Pretty Little Liars series

The Pretty Little Liars Series (PLL) revolves around a group of girls Emily, Aria, Spencer and Hanna who used to be best friends with a girl named Alison. Ali had a lot of secrets on them and used them to manipulate them, one day she goes missing and the girls go their separate ways until Book 1 when the mysterious A starts to dish on what she knows, the funny thing is that only Ali was supposed to know those things.

Flawless follows pretty much the same pattern as the first book, with A threatening the girls with their secrets and the girls trying to figure out who is it, not sure in whom they should trust. I can't say much on the plot and such because well, it's a mystery! but I will say that both A and the girls are getting angrier and it seems that with each book we are taking down one candidate for A (In the first book A was believed to be Ali who is later found dead).

I won't say who is it in this book but it still makes for a pretty interesting read.




P. S. I must point out that PLL is not a series you can read out of order, because things progress from one book to the next.

July 10, 2008

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

Two PrincessesPrincesses Meryl and Addie have loved each other all their lives, no matter that the sisters are as different as they could be. Meryl is bold and brave and dreams of slaying dragons and living adventures. On the other hand, Addie is shy and fearful of the world outside the castle. But when the Gray Death comes and leaves Meryl mortally sick, Addie sets out on a quest to find a cure to save Meryl.

Adventures find Addie along the way, a dragon, spirits and many monsters, she sees and she does things she would have never imagine before, after all, Meryl is the brave one. Only that it turns out there are many kinds of brave and Addie most definitely is brave too.

Will Addie manage to find the cure in time? I can't tell you, you'll have to read to find out, but whatever time you spend reading this book it will be well spent.

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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick's ex just walked through the door with a new guy, so he asks the girl standing next to him to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes. Norah knows Nick's ex, she's her not no friend Trish and since she's avoiding an ex of her own, she answer's Nick's question by making out with him .

One kiss down and a whole night to go as Nick and Norah wander through Manhattan on their 'first date', taking about life and love and, above all, music during a night when everything could happen.

In life there are certain books that leave you with a little bit of an afterglow once you have finished, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is one of those. You race to the whole book wanting to know how the night is going to end and wishing it never did; but when it does end, you give a happy sigh and lay in bed at night, listening to the music inside your head and wishing it happened to you too.

Nick and Norah also have something that sometimes is hard to find in today's YA fiction: it's quite realistic. It doesn't end with a cute little bow, in a perfect happy ending. There are no 'meant to be's in this book, but the ending is hopeful and true.

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July 9, 2008

And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke

Kissed HerThere is something about a good romance novel that lingers, that stays with you well after you have put your book down, a sense of hope and lightheartedness. And Then He Kissed Her (book one of the Girl-Bachelor Series) is one of those books.

Emma Dove is a girl-bachelor; the 1890’s equivalent of a working, single girl of today, she works hard, is very efficient and professional; and has a secret yearning to become a published author. In fact, that desire is what keeps her working for the handsome and devilish Viscount Marlowe – London’s leading publisher – she hopes that one day he’ll find her manuscripts worthy of publishing. So she keeps Marlowe’s life running smoothly and every now and then submits a new manuscript for publishing.

Harry, for all that he’s Lord Marlowe, hasn’t lead a charmed life. With a bad marriage, which ended in a scandalous divorce some years prior, Harry turned to his own wits to make fortune and take care of the many females of his family (three sisters, his mother and grandmother). Now he’s a successful publisher and leads his life just the way he likes it: without any regard for society’s rules. In part is his lack of regard for society’s rules what keeps him turning down Emma’s books as she likes to write about etiquette, a subject he finds boring and unprofitable.

When on the day of her thirtieth birthday Emma realizes that Harry is never going to publish her books, she is hit with an epiphany and decides to take her life into her own hands, quitting her steady job and taking her book to Harry’s rival, Lord Barringer, and convincing him to publish her. But Harry wants Emma back, his life without her is chaos and he'll do whatever it takes to get her back, engaging in a battle of wits and romance. Lots of true romance.

And The He Kissed also has something that is very hard to find in romance these days: tension - at first just tension born out of two different personalities which then turns into sexual tension - and it makes for one amazing read.

There is also a large cast of supporting characters – Harry’s family, Emma’s friends from the boarding house where she lives, her landlady, etc. – who enrich the story and the lives of Emma and Harry.

This book is a true delight, a rare jewel: Funny, well written, charming and romantic in the true sense of the word. This one is a Must Read


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Head Games by Mariah Fredericks

Head Games
Ever since something happened last year, Judith Ellis feels safer playing on line than actually living her real life. That is until her real life interlopes with her on-line one. Soon she and Jonathan - who lives in her same building - go around playing a new game, one that brings them closer and lets them get to know each other in a different way.

At the same time, Judith is also growing close to Katie, a girl from her school whom she tutors. Soon Ellie is going back and forth between these two realities of hers and she begins to deal with what happened to her.

I quite enjoyed the book, Judith was a character with whom I could really identify, she was very smart and had real problems without being overly dramatic, her voice is clear, her fears are real and over all she's very likable.

Jonathan and Katie are both unforgettable characters, they are so different yet they come to mean so much to Judith and to you, as a reader, as well.



July 2, 2008

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

Sweet Far Thing
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray is the last of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, preceded by A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels.

Gemma grew up in India with a father that adored her and a mother who loved her fiercely but with whom she couldn't help to argue all the time. On the day of her 16th birthday something extraordinary happened to Gemma: she had her first vision, that of her mother killing herself before being taken by some strange dark force.

That was almost a year ago, since then Gemma and her father have come to England where Gemma attends the Spence Academy and where she has discovered the realms and the truth about her mother's past. The realms are a beautiful but terrible place where magic once ran wild, until Gemma bound it to herself.

It turns out there are still many secrets to the realms, secrets Gemma doesn't understand yet and which will prove to be very dangerous.

I liked the book, it was well written but I felt like there was a little bit too much of it, the book went around in circles for quite a bit there and it took a while before things began to get more clear.

One thing I did like was the relationship between Kartik and Gemma.

The same things bother me though, as in A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels, Gemma lets herself be pushed around by her friends Felicity and Pippa (Ann doesn't fare much better than Gemma in that regard).

But, over all it was a good book.

About the end, well, I'm not sure that I liked it all that much from the romance point of view but it was a good ending, it was sad but hopeful. Bittersweet.

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