Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

I haven't written in a while (I'm lazy)... but now I am! So yay for that.

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

Review: 4 stars

Genre: teen

Matt is a jokester. He always makes his friends laugh and he talks a lot. So why is he being arrested for saying he was going to blow up the school?

Ursula an her alter ego Ugly Girl are tough. She doesn't care what anyone says about her and she likes being different. And she knows that Matt is being falsely accused.

When everyone else turns their back on Matt when he is accused of a crime he didn't commit, Ursula comes forward to help although she is not friends with him. With many twists and turns an unlikely friendship evolves between Matt and Ursula.

Its really hard to describe this book... just when you think its over, the plot thickens. Matt is falsely accused but then alienated by his peers and nothing goes back to how it was beforehand, like he thought it would. Its a hard book to descrbie because so much happens in a short time span. Joyce Carol Oates is a great writer. I immensly enjoy her style of writing. Ursula's alter ego is a very interesting aspect of the book. You can see what Ursula really thinks and what she wants herself to think. The books quirky but fun.

I also recommend Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates-- its also really great!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I was tagged by The Book Brat
so I realize everyone has already done this one, but I'm going to do it anyhow!

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence
.4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged you once you've posted your three sentences.

Ok the nearest book was Zig Zag by Ellen Wittlinger (since I just reviewed it.)

Anyways, here are the lines from Zig Zag page 123:
"He and Glen thought you were sixteen."
"They did? Did you tell them I wasn't?"

I think I actually started at the fourth sentence but whatever.

Everyone seems to have been tagged by this so if you read this and weren't tagged, I've just tagged you. Mazel Tov! (congratulations!)

Zig Zag by Ellen Wittlinger

Rating: 4.5

Genre: General teen fiction, road trips

Robin has her summer all planned out. Its her last summer with her boyfriend, Chris, before he goes off to college so they are going to hang around together. But then Chris's parents buy him a trip to Rome for the summer and Robin is angry. Really angry, since it is her last summer with him. Then Robin's Aunt Dory calls and asks her to come on a roadtrip across the Western United States with her and her two kids, Marshall and Iris. Reluctantly as Robin thinks that her cousins are snobs, Robin agrees. Robin's aunt and cousins just lost their father/husband and are going through a tough time. As the trip progresses Robin learns to deal with her family and she learns a few things about herself too.

Well, Zig Zag was a hard book to summarize. So much happens, yet in so little time, as the book only takes the time span of a few weeks. It was a hard book to put down once I started it. I think I might be a little biast, because I love books that are about roadtrips and this one was most definitely about a roadtrip. I think books about road trips are kind of refreshing and inspiring, because the characters always learn so much about themselves and they always leave you a satisfying ending.

This book was no exception. Although at the beginning, I found Robin to be a real winer and annoying because she kept moping about her boyfriend, within a few pages my mind was changed. Robin really changes throughout the story. Ellen Wittlinger's writing really etches the characters into your heart and you really start to care about them. Plus I absolutely adore the title of this book Zig Zag. I mean really, how cool!!

This book was a really great, and easy read. I really enjoyed Ellen Wittlinger's style of writing and if I have the chance I will pick up another one of her books. I recommend you put it on your summer reading list! Roadtrip stories are great. Anyone else agree?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Genre: ya fiction

Mara Valentine knows what she is doing in life. As a straight A senior student, she takes extra classes at the college so that she will be able to graduate early. She is a vegan (although she often craves cheese) and a virgin ( hence the title). But V, Mara's niece who is only one year younger than Mara is the complete opposite. And Mara can't stand her. V is slutty, smokes, and LOVES meat. So when Mara's parents invite V to come live with them when V's mom decides to move Mara is pretty annoyed. Especially since V manages to snag Mara's ex on her first day in school. Mara hates V. Then things start to change. And V and Mara eventually they realize they have more in common than they think and just maybe they might understand each other.

I really enjoyed this book. Although it was a very quick read, it was enjoyable. Carolyn Mackler manages to suprise you when you least expect it throughout the book. It was funny and quirky. I also liked that this book wasn't so over the top sappy with a happy ending. Sure things turn out well but realistic. The characters change a lot throughout the story. I don't want to spoil anything but I highly suggest this book for a quick read.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Sweet Far Thing By Libba Bray (book review)

I'm feeling a bit lazy... and most people have probably heard of this book. If you haven't here is the product description I pasted here off Amazon (no copywrite infringement intended):

"IT HAS BEEN A YEAR OF CHANGE since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for. "


now for my (quick) thoughts:

Rating: errrr 3.75 stars

Genre: Historical fiction, ya lit

Okay so I absolutely loved A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels. Libba Bray did not dissapoint. She writes her magic into this book. I did find however, that it was extremely long, and I was relieved when I had finished it. There is no doubt it was a good book though. Fans of this trilogy best check it out asap!
Sorry for this quick review.

Frenemies by Alexa Young

Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: pre-teen, ya fiction

(this is the book I won over at WORDforTeens and it was signed too!--Thanks again!)

Avalon and Halley have been friends FOREVER. So now they are throwing a big friends forever bash. After all, they live next door to eachother and their families are friends too. BFFAE and thats never going to change, right?

So what happens when the summer apart leads them to make new seperate friends? They both give each other's new friends a big NO. So they decide to get rid of their friendship and hang with new people. Avalon and Halley battle eachother out over their school fashion column. But they still want that party!

Things get ugly--how could they not when your best friend knows all your secrets and will use them against you?

Frenemies was hilarious. Alexa Young hooks you from the beginning with her characters. With fashion to creating new friends this book has all the potential to be the new Clique- type series.
And readers will love the cliffhanger at the end. I would suggest this book for the middle school age. Cute read! You can check out Alexa's blog here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Never Let Me Go By: Kazuo Ishiguro-- Book Review

Rating 4 stars

Genre: Fiction, Cloning

Never Let Me Go is a story about Kathy's expierences in her young adult life. She grew up in a private boarding school, Hailsham , where from a young age the students are told what they will be doing in the future. From the day they are brought into the world their life has been planned. At Hailsham Kathy makes friends, and deals with the cliques and problems of day to day life. She makes two close friends, Ruth and Tommy. The teachers at Hailsham are slightly odd, as it is not a normal school.

After they have graduated Hailsham they move to another place to prepare for their fate. Eventually Kathy, Tommy and Ruth go their seperate ways in life. Yet eventually they reconnect although they are at different stages of life and it is different from when they were children. Kathy tells of the many memories she had growing up, and what it is like for her to reconnect with her childhood friends.

My short summary could not possibly describe this book fairly. Never Let Me Go was an interesting book which brought up many issues such as free will. It was hard for me to read because parts were extremely sad. This book brings out a lot of feelings and emotion. Kazuo Ishiguro writes beautifully and has woven himself an amazing story.

(This book is more adult than ya fiction but it is a worthy read)

Monday, April 7, 2008

6 random thingssss

Well, I have been pretty busy, but I got tagged for this 3 times, so I figured I better do this
These people tagged me: The Ravenous Reader, The Book Brat, and Em's Bookshelf

1/ you link back to the person who tagged you.
2/ post these rules on your blog.
3/ share six unimportant things about yourself.
4/ tag six random people at the end of your entry
5/ let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs

ok 6 random things... this should be easy people always call me random...hmmm

1. My hair is always up. clips, hairties whatever, I can't leave it down or it distracts me.
2. I know 2 languages, English and Hebrew--I'm currently reading Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging in Hebrew.
3. I love the color orange, its so cool.
4. I used to try and read while walking to school, but I realized it was dangerous and my friends would get mad at me for ignoring them (Oops!)
5. I laugh really easily, for absolutely no reason
6. I'll tell you a secret though, my mom thinks I'm special (guess the movie!)

um pretty sure everyones been tagged for this one already, and I'm a bit late, so if you want to do this again go for it! let me know if you do!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just In Case By: Meg Rosoff

Rating: 5 stars (OMG!)

Genre: teen, young adult fiction

David Case lives a pretty normal life. But one day his baby brother tries to jump out the window and David Case catches him just in time. That is when he starts believing that Fate has it in for him. So what is the solution for a guy who wants to save himself from fate? He changes. Starting with a change in name, to a change in dress 'Justin' Case does his best to run from Fate. He creates an imaginary greyhound. He falls in love with Agnes Bee, a young woman who loves taking photos of him. As he tries to run from his own fate, Justin winds up in all sorts of places, but he must realize that he can't avoid himself and fate forever.

Wow. This book was fantastic. Meg Rosoff is an unbelievably great writer. Just in Case is spooky yet real, and absolutely amazing. Meg Rosoff switches narrarators in the book between Justin, Fate and Justin's younger brother. Justin's emotions are so real, and his conviction that fate has it in for him so strong that the story was easily believable. Whenever I had to put the book down, I found it hard to tear my eyes away from the page. When I say this was a great book, I mean it. Kudos to Meg Rosoff!

I'll be on the lookout for more of her books.

Bratfest At Tiffany's (Clique #9) By Lisi Harrison

Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Girly Girl, ya fiction, 9-12 (or me)

Bratfest at Tiffany's is the continuation of the famous Clique series.After a long summer, OCD is becoming BOCD as the Briarwood boys are joining the Octavian girls for a new school year, together. Everyone is thrilled about the merge...that is everyone except Massie. Massie knows the boys will take her spot at the top, and she doesn't want to give it up and become a LBR. So she convinces Alicia, Dylan, Kristen and Claire (or should we say Kuh-laire) that they have to go on a boyfast. That means no boys, no crushes or they are out of the Pretty Commitee. But, is that what they really want?

Lisi Harrison, has of course created another great Clique novel. This is a perfect continuation to this series. When I first started reading this series when it first came out I was closer to the characters ages, and this series was a favorite of mine. But now, I think its a cute and pretty outrageous series (aka easy easy read) but I still love them! I love the problems that they deal with because they can be related to any age. Obviously, this is no hard-core book but a great beach read (yes almost summer!). Cheers to Bratfest at Tiffany's!
On a sidenote- I heard that this is being made into a straight to dvd movie...not that there is much info about it available, I know its staring Ellen Marlow as Claire and Elizabeth McLaughlin as Massie, as well as everything else on imdb. But not much more info available and I'm curious...anyone know anything??

Friday, March 7, 2008

Uglies By: Scott Westerfeld

Rating: 4/5 stars ( which is high, 5 has to be truly spectacular)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Well to be perfectly honest, this book has been on my to be read pile for quite a while, I picked it up a few times and started it but became sidetracked. I only just got around to finishing it now, but I'm glad I did!

In Tally's world, the only things that matter are being Ugly or Pretty. When you turn sixteen, you are changed from an Ugly to a Pretty, and its all that Tally's been waiting for. After her best friend is turned pretty, Tally must wait three long months to join him in his new city. It is at this time, when she makes friends with Shay. Tally can't wait for them to become pretty, and go to parties with all the other pretties. But, Shay doesn't want to be pretty, and when she runs away Tally is told by the Special Circumstances that unless she finds Shay she won't become pretty either.

These are tough choices for a girl of sixteen because whatever she decides will change her life. Along the way, she learns secrets about the past, and lessons about herself.

After the first few pages of Uglies, I was hooked. Although the book at first glance, seems shallow, with all the talk about uglies and pretties and its odd title, I found as I read along I was mistaken. Tally is definetly an interesting character, as I found myself laughing at some of her thoughts, while others were a bit annoying. Yet, the world she lives in is fascinating. Scott Westerfeld vividly creates a world governed by futuristic technologies and a whole new lifestyle, from hoverboards to full body plastic surgery. This was a very cute read, and I hope to lay my hands on the next book in the trilogy, Pretties, pretty soon!
I'm interested in knowing what others thought of this book...if you read it leave some of your thoughts here :]

Monday, March 3, 2008

Book Review: Blood and Chocolate By: Annette Curtis Klause

I just finished reading Blood and Chocolate. It was pretty short, it only took me part of the day...and I hear there is a movie as well.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Werewolves...

Vivian is not what you would call an ordinary girl. Or, for that matter, an ordinary human. For generations, Vivian's family has been a family of werewolves. Together, with their pack, they migrate from rural area to rural area to live as they wish. However, after a series of events which leave the pack without a leader and Vivian without a father. It is for this reason that they move to the suburbs.

Tired of hanging with the Five, Vivian begins to feel lonely and craves companionship of others. Then, she meets Aiden and falls in love with him. Aiden likes magic and werewolves and Vivian finds herself wanting to tell him about her. But, there is trouble in the pack as well and Vivian has a part in it. Confused by emotions and what she thinks is right, Vivian must decide her fate.

Blood and Chocolate was an interesting and fast-paced story. Annette Curtis Klause intricately spins a web of feelings of a young woman/werewolve. Although I found some of the other characters bland, the main characters were developed well. While I don't mind a cute romance story, I am not really big on werewolves, so I guess I'm a bit bias when I say this wasn't my favorite book --as there was quite a bit of werewolve action going on. But overall, Blood and Chocolate is a real engrossing story which I would recommend for those who love a good werewolve romance.

Monday, February 18, 2008

after checking out all these other sites...

Wow, so although I started this blog last year, I never really got the feel of the book review blog-o-sphere (or whatever its called...) but now after checking it out I've found some really great sites! Some sites even offer competitions, which are pretty cool.

Some great sites with competitions that I have noted:

The Page Flipper-this is a great site with cool reviews, and she is hosting monthly competitions for free book giveaways! This month she is giving away a 5 book prize pack. Check it out!

TeensReadToo - Loads of awesome books given away from here as well!!

I might be missing some but for now check out these...I'll post some others asap

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Book Review: The Salem Witch Tryouts By Kelly McClymer

Rating: 2 stars -- unless you are 8-12 years and then I'd give it 4 stars
Genre: Fiction, YA Fiction

Most people with happy lives don't want to uproot themselves and move to another place. Well this is no exception for Prudence Stewart. Head cheerleader to-be, with a cute crush, good grades and a great BFF, this is one girl who does not want to leave her life. Except, Pru is a witch, and so is her mom and brother and the time has come for her to get witch training. So where to go but across the country to Salem, Massachusetts?

Not only does Prudence leave her life behind, she has to create a new one, with other witches. Plus to top it all off she just HAS to make the cheerleading squad!

Megan McClymer's: The Salem Witch Tryouts is a cute and funny story about a girl trying to fit in, after a big move. Although I found it relatively predictable, and not so original, I would recommend it for a girl ages 8-12. If you aren't, there are plenty of other better books out there in the world.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Book Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Biography, Memoir

Jeanette Walls didn't have to be very old to realize that her family was odd. One of her earliest memories is of cooking hot dogs when she was three and setting herself on fire. After a skin graft and while she recovers in the hospital, she explains how much she likes the 'quiet and order' there and how different it is from her home. This is just one memory, in a series of many compelling memories that tells the story of her life.

Born into a family with a father who was a drunk, and a mother who wished she could be free of responsibility, Jeanette learned to be self reliant from a very early age. Due to the fact that her father was an inventor, a man who disliked normal society, and could not keep a job for long, and her mother would only do what she wanted, Jeanette and her siblings often had to find ways to keep themselves from starving. Although when there was money there were good times, the money didn't often last long, and so their family would often struggle to pay for things like the electricity bill. Moving from place to place throughout her childhood, this memoir tells of the hardships her family suffered, and how she worked her way up to where she is today.

To say the least, Jeanette Walls' The Last Castle is extremely powerful. While I was hesitant to read it, as I am not a real fan of biographies or memoirs, I'm glad I did. The Glass Castle belongs in a group of its own.

Rating System

Well I wanted to make this cool rating system, but then I realized that unfortunatly, I am not particualarly good with computer imaging. Therefore I am stuck with the classic star system.

The BookBopper Rating System

1 star- not recommended at all
2 star- not so great
3 star- okay
4 star- good
5 star- great, highly recommended

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Restart

Well, its been a while since I last posted, and I have recently decided I am going to restart this blog again. That means a new rating system and of course, more books!

Books I should be finished with soon
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

Looking forward to starting a new!