Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

     Okay, so we decided to review "Saving Francesca," by Melina Marchetta. This book is about a girl named Francesca (obviously; the book isn't called "Saving Jessica" or something) who goes to a school that was previously all guys - so she's alone, with only a small crowd of other girls to call friends; a depressed mother who was formerly the most collected person Francesca knew; and a slight crush on a guy named Will Trombal who works with her to get the girls at their school more rights and may or may not like her. *Side note* the names are unusual in this book... Francesca? Trombal? that's different.

One fun quote: “Do you think I look like Sophia Loren?” I ask him as we get into the car.
“I used to tell your mother she looked like Sophia Loren.” He looks at me, frowning, and then it registers. “Oh God, some guy’s using that line on you, isn’t he?”

The cover: can a cover get negative stars? Like honestly? What's up with the cover's boring colors and not
that great drawing?

Everything that happened in this book could have really happened to a normal person. I wouldn't be surprised if Francesca was a real girl. Her problems with her mother, her frustration for her dad, her confusion over Will, her grudging friendships with the guys at St. Sebastian's, her group of friends who were all unique characters, and her struggles and realizations were all realistic. In this book more than most others, the supporting characters were well-developed. Francesca could be really likable at times, too (when she corrected Will about the author of "Anna Karenina.") Which was nice but that was the only time she showed her smart side.

Arya liked what happened with Will, though. It was realistic. And the ending was very nice, too. (This might not be relevant, but Luca seems adorable.)

Gabby was not as happy. Will just wasn't described well enough. I need to know more about him and so does Francesca. How did she even have a crush on him if she didn't know anything about him? And what we do see of him, he seems like a weak character. He didn't seem like a suitable love interest.

Sooooo. 2.5 stars.

Monday, July 22, 2013

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

      So, when we got a request for chick-lit, our first thought was Sarah Dessen. We went ahead and review "This Lullaby." It's about a girl named Remy. She has a cynical view about love, because her mother is constantly getting divorced and remarried. In her words, she has "made a career out of it." Even her father, a man she never met, left her behind, writing her a song called "This Lullaby" to explain it. Then Remy meets Dexter, who's a musician and has had even more stepfathers than she had, and he slowly starts to change her mind about love.

Cover: Well. I actually liked this cover. It wasn't spectacular, but it was original. Applause. I like how the heart isn't perfect and is slightly damaged. The cover actually relates to the story. I know! *GASP!*  

This book was beautiful. It was a simple story, but Sarah Dessen made it amazing. Remy is a believable character, and although she had a lot of faults, it was really easy to like her. She finds herself breaking all her rules for Dexter (no musicians, no food in the car, don't share anything real) and she has no idea why. Dexter, on the other hand, is easy-going and persistent, jokingly telling her she loves him. It's easy to see why Remy likes him. The characters around Remy were good, too. Her brother, Chris, who used to share her view on love but now looks down on her for them; her friends, Lissa and Jess, with different views on love that are equally believable; and her mother, who is the reason Remy lacks any faith in love.

The only problem - and it wasn't even a problem, just a slight curiosity - is why Chloe shares the same views as Remy. What happened to make her just as cynical? While the other characters had depth, we found ourselves wondering about Chloe. This didn't detract from the story, however, and it is easy to overlook.

So, 3.5 stars for this one. Sarah Dessen is an incredibly talented writer, and this is a beautiful story.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Paper Towns by John Green

    Today we decided to follow your recommendations and read/review a John Green book. Paper Towns is about Quentin (Q) Jacobsen. Q has always had a crush on his neighbor Margo. On the last days of senior year, Margo realizes that her boyfriend is cheating on her and that her life isn't how she had hoped it to be. Along the way Q realizes things about himself, his friends and the girl he thought he loved.

Cover feels: Well...that is not how I would have pictured Margo. (At least I think that is Margo-unless there is another squinty blue eyed delinquent as one of the main characters.) 

Arya liked this book a little bit more than I did. Mainly because she has a soft spot for dry nerdy humor. And because she liked the way the main character narrated the story.  I liked and disliked the book because of Margo. Margo was a force to be reckoned with. At times she seemed bratty, but I can completely relate on how she wanted to lead her life to the fullest. One of the things we thought was great was the idea that everything started with one night spent solely for revenge.  I loved the characters as I think they are the best part of this book. They seemed unique and seemed believable-we could see them come to life. This may just be because of the genre but they were well thought out and well written. The idea of this book was unique, it was a psychologically based book that dealt more with revelation about life than the typical YA book. Another good thing was the ending, which seemed realistic. Surprise! It wasn't all perfect and wrapped up with a pretty little bow. It had a unique ending, but that's John Green for you. 

This book wasn't all sunshine and rainbows though. Frankly, this book was uninteresting at times. We didn't feel attached to Q or his friends and because of that we found ourselves not really caring what happened. Sometimes the dry humor got lame and we flipped through some of the middle pages, skimming them.

We were quite disappointed from the read. From all the hype, we expected a little more. We would recommend it to people who likes books such as "Out of my Mind" or "Wonder"-although this wasn't quite as good as either of those. So a two star rating? Yep. 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan

So, we decided to review "Unspoken," by Sarah Rees Brennan! There are two novellas before the book starts and they offer insight on what happens before. The basic plot centers around a girl named Kami Glass who hears a voice inside her head. His name is Jared, and she knows enough about him for him to be a real person. When two Lynburns, people from an old family that owns most of the town, move back from America, one of them turns out to be Jared. The story spirals from there... :)

First of....we guilty admit that we judge by covers.... heh heh...The cover was nice enough, but the style has been done many times before and after. The colors were not right. Yes, I slightly like the other cover better--the yellow cover with Kami and Jared on it.

 Considering the plot idea, I think this book was as interesting as the author could make it. The writing style, however, didn't flow very smoothly at times. One moment, Kami would be talking about her newest idea, and the next, she would be debating about whether or not Jared was happy that morning. She also seemed to be quite needy. I understand that the random banter between her and her friends was supposed to be part of her character, but at times it took away from my enjoyment of the story. Also, Kami was definitely not the investigator that Brennan would have us believe. That said, the characters in this book were what made it worth reading. Kami's character wasn't anything special, but it wasn't the usual I'm-telling-you-I'm-strong-and-independent-but-I-really-don't-have-a-single-thought-of-my-own-that-isn't-a-complaint-about-how-my-life-sucks-because-this-hot-guy-isn't-in-love-with-me. So, congrats to her on that. I wish we got a SHOW not a TELL, we were told she is awesome but we never actually got proof. Also, Angela struck me as a good, untypical character that Kami saw as strong but had her own problems and feelings that were separate from Kami's. She wasn't a crutch to make Kami seem likeable and prove that she has friends. As for her brother, Rusty - I loved him. He seemed like the best character and quite frankly, he seems to be a better pick for a main character than Jared. Also, I think that we should get more description on Jared. The Lynburns were suitably evil, although not a stereotypical family, thanks to Jared's aunt. Ash seemed like an actual person, not just a robotic villain who didn't have feelings or reasons for being villainous. About Jared, on the other hand . . .

*SPOILER* I could rant about him all day, mostly just because of the ending. I can tell that he's going to be a world-class jerk in the next book, going around ignoring Kami. I can also tell that Kami will be all depressed because of this.*END SPOILER*

 But Jared is a bad-boy wannabe who is not worth her time, and she should go off and find someone better and flip people over her shoulder at will. (I liked that.) I know we are probably rambling, but we haven't done this before, so I'll end it here. We will definitely read the next one!
Right, so we graciously give the book 2.5 stars....