Saturday, November 29, 2014

Firecracker: Review


Author: David Iserson
Age range: 13-17
Content: Moderate romance, no sexual content, mild language, mild violence
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Pages: 336
Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books

Synopsis:
Astrid Krieger lives in a rocket ship prototype in the backyard of her parent's estate. She only loves her grandfather, a rich politician who makes his millions building nuclear warheads. All is well until she gets kicked out of elite private school, Bristol Academy, for cheating. Astrid suspects someone close to her wanted her out and betrayed her, so she seeks revenge. But first she has to deal with her punishment which is being forced to attend public school. 

Review:
I don't know what a "tragicomedy" is. Nothing about this story seemed all that tragic. But it was pretty funny. I liked this tragicomedy. 

I decided to read this because I love New Girl and I love SNL. And, if you didn't know, the author of this book is one of the writers of the show, New Girl and SNL. 

I liked it. It was a very quick read and hilarious. It was a premise I'd never read before with a protagonist unlike any other. Instead of being down-and-out with a lot of heart, Astrid started off, heartless and on top of the world. I loved her sense of humor and the way she saw everything. She really did change over the course of the story, too. Sometimes with characters as strong-willed as Astrid, writers have a hard time evolving them. 

The writing was funny and detailed and interesting and easy to read. The plot wasn't predictable, but it ended logically and realistically. Nothing about it was spectacular or revolutionary, but I liked it. Overall, I do recommend this book to anyone, really. It'd be a good travel book since it's not an emotional roller-coaster or anything. 

Okay, I think I'm done. This is my last post for the month of November. I hope you enjoyed this short, yet sweet review and I will be back next month. Have an awesome day. Bye.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Peeps: Review


Author: Scott Westerfeld
Age range: 13-17
Content: Moderate romance, no sexual content, moderate language, moderate violence
Genre: Teen Science Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 288

Synopsis:
A year ago, Cal Thompson was more interested in meeting girls and partying than attending biology class. Now, after a chance encounter with a mysterious woman, biology has literally become Cal's life. Cal was infected by a parasite that has truly horrifying effects on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but his ex girlfriends are all infected. All three have turned into ravening ghouls he calls, "peeps." The rest of the world knows them as vampires. It's Cal's job to hunt them down and catch them before they have the chance to infect anyone else. 


Review:
I literally read this in 2012. I thought I'd reviewed it already but apparently not. I reread the book a few days ago and I'm ready to review. So, um, here.

I liked this book. Much more than I liked Afterworlds. It was interesting and easy to read. I liked how the alternating chapters were detailed sections about different types of parasites. It was like mini biology lessons. The dialog was funny and sharp. Though, it annoyed me how often Lace said "dude." Like it got ridiculous, she was saying it every other sentence. Cal was cool and funny. It was one of those books that feel like there's only two characters, even though, in actuality, there's a lot.

The plot was pretty good. A little predictable and a little brief. Most of the book was the history and background of peeps being explained. It ended at a weird time. I think there's a sequel. But I feel like this first book could have been a little longer. It ended right when stuff was starting to get interesting.

This reminded me of Ashes, Ashes and the first Divergent book. Cool, teen science fiction. Quick to read. Not super emotional. This would be a good travel book.

Overall, I liked this book. I liked it a lot more the first time I read it. The second time, I liked it just fine. I just noticed little things that were kind of irritating or seemed unfinished.

Okay. I'm done. I think I'm just going to do three posts this month. Everything's been kind of hectic recently and I've got a cold. Like I'm struggling to even get my essential schoolwork done, let alone this. So I will be back soon. Bye.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Afterworlds: Review


Author: Scott Westerfeld
Age range: 12-18
Content: Mild sexual content, moderate romance, mild language, moderate violence
Genre: Teen Fiction / Teen Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 608
Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books

Synopsis:
Darcy Patel has put everything on hold to publish her first teen novel, Afterworlds. After arriving in New York with no apartment or friends, she questions whether she made the right decision. Until she finds a group of seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wing. 
Told in an alternating chapters in Darcy's novel, a suspenseful story about teenager, Lizzie, who slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and dead and as Lizzie floats back and forth between the two worlds, she discovers that many unsolved and terrifying stories need to be recoiled. 

Review:
Happy November! 
Whew, it's been a while, hasn't it? Before I start my review, let's have a little bit of a catch up. So if you're only interested in my thoughts on the book, I suggest you skip to the next paragraph. Firstly, I'm 16 now. I've officially been 16 for 16 days. (Totally did not do that on purpose... sure.) I've also started working as a cashier at a cafe/bakery. So that kind of monopolized a huge chunk of my time. School, as well. That's quite important. Things have just gotten... not a lot busier. But definitely considerably busier. I'm going to try to keep up with five posts a month, but, as you can tell, I'm already slacking. I've found it's not writing the reviews that I'm having trouble with. It's finding time to read five books. So maybe I'll do more non-review posts or go down to three posts a month or something. I don't know. We'll see.

I've read a few other books by Scott Westerfeld. Like Peeps (which I just realized I never reviewed, even though I read it literally last year. Good one.) He's also the author of the Uglies series (which I have not read) and the Leviathan books (which I have also not read). Although I haven't read much of his work, I've heard amazing things about it. My point in telling you this, is that I went into this with very high hopes. I was expecting this book to be killer. And, well, it was not.

I mean, I liked the concept of a teen author writing a teen book and then having the narrative flipping from the actual story to the teen author's story. It was like two books in one, which was kind of cool, I guess. A little hokey, but cool. Honestly, both stories were so crappily written, it was disappointing. Both of them seemed like rough drafts written by a teenage girl. I feel like it wasn't quite finished.

It was mostly the dialog that irritated me. It was so juvenile and cheesy. Which surprised me, because I remember thinking how funny and sharp the dialog in Peeps was. I wasn't a huge fan of the characters in this one either. They were kind of one-dimensional and run-of-the-mill. Darcy didn't develop very much. Lizzie just kissed Yama a lot. The two romances, I felt, were shallow and happened very abruptly. There wasn't very much hesitation for Lizzie or Darcy, just a lot of kissing. The Afterworlds thing with the Hindu gods and stuff was cool, but I feel like it could have been executed better and the plot could have been more complicated. I don't know. The whole thing could've been so much better. The writing in this book was absolutely nothing like the writing in Peeps. Like if I didn't conscientiously know that the same guy wrote both books, I never would have guessed on my own. They're so different from each other. Afterworlds being remarkably crappier. 

Overall, I did not like this book. It might be suitable for younger, greener readers who want to conquer a huge book or something. But it just didn't float my boat and I won't be reading it again. 

Okay. I think that's all. I'll be back eventually with a post that may or may not be a review. Happy fall. Happy winter. Happy whatever. Bye.

Friday, October 31, 2014

I'm a halloweenie...

 ... because I didn't read enough books for this month. Sorry, sorry. Don't kill me. 
But here's cute pumpkin gif in place of a review. Enjoy.
Happy Halloween, everyone. Eat loads of candy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2): Review


Author: Rick Yancey
Age range: 13-17
Content: Mild romance, no sexual content, moderate language, high violence
Genre: Teen Science Fiction / Teen Action and Adventure
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Pages: 320
 Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books

Synopsis:
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world in which the fundamental trust is no longer enough to bind them together. As the 5th wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, Ringer, and Evan are forced to confront the Other's ultimate goal.

Review:
I literally just reviewed the first book, like, yesterday or something. Which you can reach here. It was fairly lengthy and most of my thoughts on this book are similar to my thoughts on the first book. So today's review will be shorter, sweeter, and much more to the point.

Second books are usually my favorites of series. This one is no exception. I liked it better than the first. It seemed shorter and easier to read because it was devoid of droney backstory. The narratives were different. Rick Yancey added in Ringer's perspective to the mix which I thought was a nice change. And a lot of new characters were introduced. Mostly because a butt-load of characters died, but the new characters were still good characters.

Honestly, just go read my review of the first book. I rambled long enough about the book and who I recommend it to. I realize this post is kind of a crapshoot and I'm sorry about that. But hey, it happens sometimes. So I'm going to go. Happy 4th post of October. Byeeeeeeeeee.