December 13, 2012

I'm With The Band...



Here are some great lookin' books that revolve around music, be sure to check out another list by author Cecil Castelucci at the LA Times here too!

Born to Rock by Gordon Korman

Leo Caraway—high school senior, president of the Young Republicans club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student—had his entire future perfectly planned out. That was, until the X factor. As in Marion X. McMurphy, aka King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the most popular, most destructive band punk rock has ever seen. He's also Leo’s biological father.

When Leo discovers that his real father is a punk rock legend, he is disgusted. Not only is Leo not a punk rock fan, but he believes the X factor (the Maggot blood that is running through his veins) is a dangerous time bomb just waiting to explode. And sure enough it does—Leo stubbornly defends the unlikeliest of people, thereby getting himself falsely accused of cheating on a test.

Because of the blemish on his record, the once star pupil finds his scholarship to Harvard taken away. So he hatches the crazy plan of going on tour with King Maggot for Purge’s summer revival tour, all the while secretly hoping to convince Maggot to pay for his tuition. But life on the road is even crazier than Leo ever bargained for, and before the summer is out, he will finally discover the surprising truth about his dad, his friends, and most important, himself.


The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?

Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.


I am (not) the Walrus by Ed Briant

Toby and Zack's first gig could make or break their Beatles cover band, the Nowhere Men. But ever since getting dumped by his girlfriend, lead singer Toby can't quite pull off the Beatles' feel-good vibe. 

When Toby finds a note hidden inside his brother's bass claiming the instrument was stolen, he embarks on a quest to find the true owner--and hopes a girl named Michelle will help him recover his lost mojo along the way.

Rockstar Superstar by Blake Nelson

Music is Pete's life. He's happiest when playing his Fender P-Bass. He doesn't care about prestige or getting girls; it's the quality of the music that matters. Then he meets the Carlisle brothers. They can't sing and they can barely play, but somehow they have a following. 

Pete can't resist, and he joins The Tiny Masters of Today. 

When the band gets a chance at real stardom, Pete wonders if he's ready. He knows the music should come first... but who knew selling out could be so much fun?



Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can?t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.


I Wanna be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones. 

Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. 

Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?

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

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who's just walked in to his band's show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City;and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be;and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you'll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.


November 27, 2012

Beautiful Creatures Movie


Hollywood's recent recognition of the untapped potential that the YA genre holds, means that quite a few popular series are currently in production, or being shown.

While the ABC family network in the US has produced Pretty Little Liars (originally by Sara Shepard), The CW (US) has transformed two of L.J. Smith's series; The Vampire Diaries, and The Secret Circle into extremely popular television shows with great fan bases. Furthermore, Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment have transformed the 'delicious southern gothic supernatural tale' (Lorena Blas, USA Today) into a feature film starring Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes, and Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate alongside well known actors such as; Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, and Emmy Rossum.

If you haven't read the hugely successful book by co-authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, then here is a little bit of what it is about:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. 
(goodreads)

You might find that a bit mysterious, but it is great background for the trailer, which you can watch below.


I loved this trailer, it captures the mood of the novels, and provides a great teaser for the plot, with great visuals - I must give them snaps for using "Seven Devils" by Florence + The Machine aswell!

To read more about this upcoming film, here are some useful links:


November 21, 2012

National Year of Reading 2012

46% of Australians are illiterate - 46% of Australians are unable to read or write. To anyone, this statistic seems ridiculous and improbable. To readers, this statistic seems unimaginable; not being able to read would be torture for some of us. But this statistic is not a statistic, it is a group of people who are not stupid. These people who have slipped through the cracks are not just a statistic, but real, everyday people who must rely on others to complete everyday tasks. They cannot read a road sign, write an address, fill out a job application, read medication and food packets - they cannot read a book.

Because of this terrible reality, 2012 is the [Australian] National Year of Reading [NYOR]. Sponsored by Libraries and Library associations all over Australia, the aim of the NYOR is to raise awareness of the cause, and raise literacy rates. You can read more about the sponsors, aims, and background story of the NYOR here.



The great team over at Block Branding were charged with a Radio campaign, presenting the real life stories of adults who have learned to read through the national sponsored NOT STUPID PROGRAM
in which Adults [18+] can learn to read through the nation wide READ WRITE NOW program.

 You can also hear them read their full stories [extended versions]: Trevor, Margaret, & Jonathon.

Trevor is 46, Margaret is 62, Jonathon is 28: these people have faces, lives, children, partners, jobs, names - yet they can't read or write their own names. These people are not faceless, they are among us, struggling in plain sight. They are not to be looked down upon, but supported.

To promote the National Year of Reading, the State Library of Western Australia hosted an event last Friday (November 16th), to which I attended. Throughout the day, people would read aloud. Whether it was from a picture book, a poem, or a novel, all ages and reading levels joined in. A group of people from Student Edge read, and Better Beginnings read with one of their sponsors, Rio Tinto.

It was also an open mic, and lots of people came up to read. [Unfortunately, I didn't get enough pictures!]
1. Colleen 2. A great read from Lord of the Rings 3. Perma read from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke 4. Sam read a poem

There were also giant chalkboards placed around the Perth Cultural Centre, they each had a theme, and everyone was welcome to write on them... here are some of what was there.









November 11, 2012

REVIEW: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


Enticed by the well produced trailer, and hype about it in the YA world, I knew I had to purchase a copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. You might have seen my post "The Unbecoming of Me" a while back. If not, check it out - it includes the trailer and ominous letter from the beginning of the book.

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

My feelings towards The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer are somewhat divided: certain aspects indulged my flare for young adult drama, whereas other aspects left me feeling a bit muddled. 
The premise of Mara Dyer separates it from the others in the current market, pitching a psychological thriller with an apparently wicked romance. It depicts teenager Mara Dyer's descent into a PTSD induced psychosis / she is losing her marbles. 

The novel continuously raises questions of what is real, and what is not; putting you in the same position as the protagonist. However, I found the self-doubting approach that was used to be confusing at times. Maybe I was just distracted? Tired? Whatever the cause, it was odd for me to be slightly at sea during some points. On a similar tone, I found the time span of the novel to be interesting. While reading, I didn't feel a sense of time, it seemed as if the whole thing was taking place in a suspended reality; maybe because of Mara's delusions, or perhaps the isolation of the characters [Noah & Mara] in their own little bubble. 

While mentioning characters, there are two things which I must address in bullet points; clichés, and a certain Mr. Noah Shaw.

1. Clichés: I read a review at "Rhapsody in Books Weblog" and a part of the review just stuck with me. It makes complete sense, so thus I will quote it:
"You’ve got some “Blair Witch Project,” some “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” some standard scary tropes like “creepy locale,” “foreshadowing event,” “freaky doll” and “shocking secret villain” along with the usual teen triangle tropes like “hot sexy guy,” “insouciant girl,” “mean jealous girl,” “crazy jealous guy, and “repressed adolescent passion.” Taken together and mashed up with a few more oddball trope…"
2. Noah: There has been such talk about Noah, almost every review that I read has at least a mention of him - he seems to be as vital to the plot as Mara. [Maybe it should be called 'The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer & Noah Shaw'?] There has been love him or hate him reactions. Mr Shaw seems to be viewed as either a swoony bad boy, a clichéd tool, annoying, or just extremely desirable. I find myself sitting on the fence: unable to decide what I think of him. I think that is the point though, he has different facets to his personality, and it is up to Mara to discover what truly lurks beneath. [Please forgive the use of 'what lurks beneath'!]

This is Hodkin's debut, and is clearly the first part in a series. If you have not yet read 'The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer', I suggest you wait a while. To quote from the website:
"Mara's story begins with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and continues in the sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer. The third book in the trilogy, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, will be out in Fall 2013."
 I suggest this because of the major cliffhanger at the end of book 1, and the questions that are raised and are not answered [apparently] until book 2 [and for some, most likely book 3]. 

Overall, I enjoyed 'The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer'. It was a quick read, keeping me hooked - even though it was 452 pages! - and intrigued to see where it would go. 
I can't wait to read book 2, and I would recommend it for females aged 13+. If you have any questions or thoughts, please comment below!

P.S. You can read chapter 1 here

P.P.S. Here are some other reviews:


October 11, 2012

The Book of the Future

I heard about this comic [details below] and just had to laugh. It's one of those things that just makes you smile. I don't think that I need to say much more about it.


Found: on English Muse <post>, "The Book of The Future" by Grant Snider <twitter>, published at: 1. The Blog of Grant Snider (Incidental Comics). 2. The New York Times Sunday Book Review, <"The Book of the Future" published March 30, 2012>

October 03, 2012

MIA

I know that I have been missing lately. Not posting, and when I do, it's not usually reviews. My "excuse": SCHOOL! I am not going to elaborate to save you from boredom, but
it's going to be pretty hectic until about mid November. Until then, I am promising that I will post 3 to 4 times per week, with at least one of the posts being a review, and one being a set of links to interesting articles, reviews, books etc.

Bear with me for the moment, I will have a 3 month summer break in which some great things will be happening at The Book Slooth, including lots of reviews, bookstore and library features, giveaways, plus - lots more cool stuff that I can't talk about at the moment. They are still in the works, and if I told you, I would have to kill you. (kidding)

But, needless to say, I will be busy this (Australian) summer. P.S. Have you heard? It's supposed to be the hottest summer that we have had in years! I am so excited!

Here are some little tidbits to tide you over until the next post on (most likely) Friday.

1. Rachel Cohn has a new book that is due to come out Mid October. EW's Shelf Life provided an exclusive trailer and preview of "Beta". By the looks of the first page, it is quite exciting.


 2. I really must get around to reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.If you have not read it, then only read the first paragraph or two to avoid spoilers. via EW Shelf Life

3. It's Banned Books Week.

4. A quick interview with Shaun Tan

5. I am Super Psyched about the movie translation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". I have just started reading it and the trailer looks awesome! I find 0:56 and 1:18-1:28 (especially the last four or so seconds [1:24-1:28]), particularly amusing

September 18, 2012

Gothic Releases

I happened to stumble upon three good looking books - such a pity they aren't out yet! Two of them however, do come out today (18th) in America, but I'm not sure about Australia and UK. The Blessed comes out later this month; I'm definitely looking forward to these three spooky Gothic reads.


THE BLESSED - TONYA HURLEY

 From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint.What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

     Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.







THE RAVEN BOYS - MAGGIE STIEFVATER

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.



THE DIVINERS - LIBBA BRAY

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.




Tell me what you think in the comments below: are you as excited as I am? Have you read anything by these authors, or perhaps these books? What other books are you looking forward to?

September 17, 2012

REVIEW: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


Part of the reason why i liked this book was because it was set in the south. I know, lame excuse right? But I tend to have a weak spot for setting. Anywhere cool and I will read the book in a hot minute! I loved the Southern Atmosphere that Beautiful Creatures had, with pinch of Gothic thrown in!

I did like the premise of the story, although the forbidden, destined love preoccupation has become extremely popular in the last few years. However, it managed to keep my interest, and I was able to read it without thinking that I had read it before. I did feel that it dragged on a bit, and found my self distracted towards the end of the 563 pages.


I completely agree with what was said at Literary treats, so I'll quote it:

"I love that Garcia and Stohl tell the story from the guy’s perspective, and that there is no love triangle. I especially love that, while the focus of the story is the romance, there is an entire world beyond the love story, and the characters’ actions have significance far beyond their relationship. From the first chapter, I felt myself drawn into this world, and I wanted to find out more. The book did strike me as long, but the story is fascinating. It’s also really scary — I can definitely imagine it playing out well on screen, and I can just picture myself covering my eyes in the theatre..."
 I would recommend this for you if you: are a teenage girl (14+) or if you liked books similar to Jinx by Meg Cabot. 


Second Opinions & Extras

Murphy's Library
An Interview with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (scroll down a bit)
Oh! Paper Pages


 

September 16, 2012

Impress a Penguin



This is by far the best job ad that I have ever seen in my life.
I knew I loved Penguin, and wanted to work for them, for a reason!

Click on the link under the Penguin to view the offer!

Click Here

September 02, 2012

Let's Get Lost.

Now, this is a maze I would happily get lost in.

"ME: Where are you?
YOU: Over by the Harry Potter.
ME: Which one? I see... three on my right alone!
YOU: The Philosophers Stone.
ME: That really helps."











August 25, 2012

Well Hello there...

Hey there everyone!

I recently got a Pinterest page, and have some cool stuff on there. I'm looking forward to building it up, with links to good reviews or articles I find, as well as just some cool pictures for bookworms!

If you want, you can check it out here.

As a little teaser, here are some of the pictures on it!





August 13, 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jessica Shirvington

Virtue you most admire & why?
Forgiveness and loyalty. Both show a persons ability to put another first.

What happened that made you realise that you had made it as a writer?
I signed a publishing contract! But to be honest, I don't know that any writer ever feels that have really made it - we are only ever as good as our last book and you never know if there will be another one. It can be a little daunting.
 

There is so much angel mythology out there, why choose this specific set? Was there something specific about it that made you interested in it?
To start with, when I started writing EMBRACE there was very little angel mythology out there - that was part of the reason I chose it, so it was a little frustrating to see the popularity of the theme when publication came round. At the same time, it also helped, so there were good and bad elements to it. In terms of why it interested me ... I wasn't keen on writing about supernatural beings like werwolves and vampires, but the idea of angels felt really interesting. I love the types of questions they open up and the focus on a greater government, on whether we have freewill or not. It just worked well for me and helped me develop my characters in a way I wanted.

7 of your favourite things at the moment?
My family, my home, writing, reading, Crunchies (yum), coffee, skiing!

Is there anything that you want to say to your readers/ ask them?
I say everything I want to say in my stories. I hope they enjoy them, they are written to be read and meant as an escape. I hope readers get that.

J.K. Rowling and many other authors have admitted to getting frustrated with characters and have considered getting rid of them. J.K. Rowling even said that at one point, she was going to kill Ron. Has that happened to you?
If so, who and why/ why not? Not really. I get very attached to my characters, good and bad. There are some that I feel reach their time and need to go in order for the story to move forwards. But I always feel a little sad. The thing with writing a series is that you do accumulate quite a large number of characters. The Violet Eden Chapters is well over 100 characters now, so every now and then...some have to go!

If not yourself, who would you be?
 I'm not sure. I'm pretty ok with being me. It has taken a long time and I probably spent too many years trying to be more or something else only to realise who I am is who I want to be. I know that sounds boring, and it is, but I'm also ok with that. :)
 

Your heroine(s) in history?
There are many strong women to admire and learn from. Queen Elizabeth I - the lives of the royals are incredibly unique and fascinating, hers in particular. From a literature point of view I'd have to go with Jane Austen who was remarkable in so many ways.
 


Thank you to Jessica Shirvington and Hachette books for this interview. You can read my review of Jessica's first novel EMBRACE here.

August 10, 2012

Friday Roundup

Here are some cool links to kick start your weekend,  have a good one!
Isme
...................................................................................................................................

If you live in Perth, you can meet Derek Landy, don't worry - it's free!

Rebecca from Reading Wishes is having and AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

I wish I was going to BEA, and this list of the books that will be there doesn't help.

Rookie Mag is getting a book.

Interview with author Marissa Meyer

I received a copy of Throne of Glass, and am looking forward to reading it!

I knew I should have gotten this book out of the library.

James Patterson has a new novel... mmm intrigue.

Ruta Sepetys has a new novel - I know I'm excited! What about you?

Maureen Johnson won the Queen of Teen Prize.

August 05, 2012

REVIEW: Noah's Law by Randa Abdel-Fattah


Sixteen-year-old Noah is a troublemaker.
His father is a hotshot barrister.
This is not a good combination.
When Noah gets caught mucking up at school, his dad sends him to work at his aunt's law firm during the holidays to 'learn responsibility' and 'fix his attitude'. There he meets Jacinta - the cute intern who knows her way around a photocopier, and Casey - the wicked witch of the firm. Noah becomes involved in a case where a woman has been killed during a mugging gone wrong. There's a grieving husband, a guilty employer, and an open and shut case involving lots of money. But right and wrong, and crime and punishment are soon entangled as Noah realises that things are seldom what they seem.

Noah's Law is a great example of a realistic contemporary YA work. It combines the fascinating (to those who are not lawyers) world of courtrooms and stakeouts and has a unique male narrator, a rarity in the Young Adult world. [But more on that later!]
 
The characters were great, unique fun people to read about, each intertwining into the mystery and comedy of the story in their own way. I liked how the mystery of this story worked; it is one of the better of the bunch, probably because I didn't find myself frustrated when clues just fell in front of them, and murderers 'accidentally' confessed into a tape recorder. Noah actually had to do some detective work, and even though some things did come to him, it was somehow still believable. Let me put it this way - there wasn't some random, outlandish ending where they all suddenly became heroes and caught the crook.

Noah's Law is humorous, and I think part of that is due to: a) the witty writing and b) the male point of view (pov). Although I am not a guy (yes, I am sure. last time I checked at least.), I thought that the male narrator was written in a realistic, believable way that was comedic, boyish, and yet managed not to alienate certain reading groups. (namely, females).

I liked Noah's sidekicks, and as for the language, don't be daunted by the law jargon that ensues. If you have ever seen any sort of police/crime/law show that has lawyers (CSI, Law & Order, Drop Dead Diva, even!), you will have no trouble with it. 

I can confidently say that GUYS and GIRLS aged 14-18 will enjoy Noah's Law.



July 17, 2012

REVIEW: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

The latest novel by contemporary british author Sarra Manning, Adorkable is a breath of fresh air.

Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop kissing him?


This if my first Sarra Manning novel after a long amount of moaning from Katie to make me read Nobody's Girl, one of her other YA novels. I'm so glad that I did!

In my opinion, this is the epitome of a contemporary novel. It has a cool concept, (which according to Sarra Manning, does not stem from Tavi) and I really liked how that was incorporated into the plot.

It is written in alternating chapters, from Michael's perspective and Jeane's perspective. They overlap, but that just adds to your understanding of the events, and it's nice to see how they see each other, and what happens between and around them. It's one of the things about this novel that just worked!

Just everything about this novel is so cute, I just can't put into words exactly what made it so compelling -- maybe it was the romance, probably the comedy, the genuine behavior, that one quote I can't get out of my head, or just the great mood?

All I know is that it's awesome, and you have to read it if you liked Meg Cabot, Stephanie Perkins, if you're a girl and between 13 -17.

July 12, 2012

REVIEW: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body. 

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane. 

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.



Even though it's only 250 pages (exactly), Hathaway manages to have you embroiled in the plot, invested in the characters and intrigued as to what is going to happen within the first chapter. What's so enjoyable about Slide is that it combines multiple genre aspects, making it appealing to readers of mystery and contemporary, while at the same time adding in a dash of romance. 


Each aspect of the book was enjoyable, the mystery was sound and I found myself making a few predictions - some that came true and some that really didn't. I also thought it was a bit reminiscent of the movie Scream, with Neve Campbell, in some aspects. I have never read a book with narcolepsy being the backing for the plot before, so I was excited because it was a really cool concept. I thought that it was used well, and Hathaway's take on it was original and gave the book another dimension.


There were red herrings that invaded all aspects of the plot, some obvious, some not so, and this use of so many distractions just amplified the feeling that you were in Vee's head. I thought that it was really clever and made you relate to Vee and her confusion on a subconscious level. The elements of the genre were used cleverly within the story. 


Highlight from asterisk to asterisk to read my thoughts BEWARE THEY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
**
I thought that the new love interest turning out to be the killer was a really clever play on the contemporary genre and how the protagonists usually fall blindly in love with this guy that they have just met; completely trusting them for no good reason. Once again, reminding me of Scream with the ending.
**


If you enjoy a mystery, contemporary novel with a protagonist that does not wimper at every turn, and/or are a female aged around 13-17, then I think that you will enjoy Slide. 

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