February 27, 2012

Review of "Flipped"

by  Wendelin Van Draanen
My Rating:
 Pub. Date: February 13, 2012
Pages: 224
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Edition: E-book and Paperback
Synopsis: Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

When I first started “Flipped” I was a bit concerned because it took me a little while to get into it.  I thought the premise was cute, but for 50 pages I believed that was all the book had to offer.  I had no idea this book would have such an emotional impact.  One of the characters seemed to be pulled right out of my life and it touched me on a personal level.  I know not everyone can have this experience while reading “Flipped”, but it just amazes me how books can strike such a cord with an individual that you feel like the book was written just for you.

Why would other people like to read this book?  The characters are great.  You may not always like them, but they are so real you can’t help getting wrapped up in their story.  The love story in “Flipped” is very cute, but there are also very seriously issues, integrity and family are two big ones, which move the book past just a cute read.  I wish someone had actually told me this was more than just a love story, because for some reason that never sunk in for me. 

“Flipped” is a book that can be relatable to many readers for multiple reasons.  The situations are things that people face every day and the characters will grow on you like mold on 20 day old bread; hopefully, you’ll fine most of the characters more pleasant than mold. ;)  This really is a great book to read on your own or for a book club.  “Flipped” is proof that great things come in small packages.  

February 26, 2012

Review of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”
by Ransom Riggs
My Rating:
Pub. Date: June 7the 2011
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Source: Gift
Edition: Hardcover
Synopsis:  A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is a book that I will keep for the rest of my life.  I love everything about this book- the story, to the characters, and the marvelously selected photos.  I will admit that I did not find this to be a quick read, but I enjoyed every moment I spent on this book.  I did not mind taking my time because I wanted to absorb every detail.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is hard to describe.  It is paranormal, but it felt base in reality more than most paranormal books.  Jacob’s difficulties with him grandfather and the journey for the truth about his past were both thing many people struggle with.  They may not get the opportunity to go to English to discover more about a family member as fascinating as Jacob’s grandfather, but wouldn’t you given the chance?  I know I would have rushed a plane given the opportunity.   It had some terrifying moments with monsters that would have haunted my nightmares if I weren’t such a fan of horror movies.  “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is just such a breath of fresh air; I can’t say that I’ve read anything like it.  If you want to get a taste for the book, you could always just skim the pages and check out some of the pictures.  I’m not sure if that would spoil the plot, but at least it will give you a sense of what you are in for.  If the pictures don’t lure you into reading the book then you just completely lack curiosity.

I’m not really sure what else there is to say without giving away the plot.  “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is something best read without much knowledge, but with an open mind.  The book is peculiar, but I found it absolutely charming.  This isn’t a book for everyone, but I hope everyone at least gives it a shot.  I know this is a super short review; I just don’t want to spoil the delightfulness of this gem by ruining the plot.

February 2, 2012

Review of "Fault In Our Stars"

"The Fault In Our Stars"
by John Green
My Rating:
 Pub. Date: January 10, 2012
Pages: 318
Publisher: Penguin Group
Source: Bought
Edition: Hardcover

Synopsis: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

"The Fault in Our Stars" is my favorite book by John Green.  I had serious issues putting it down.  I stayed up WAY too late two nights in a row reading it.  If I didn't have a job, I would have read it in one sitting.  I don't think I've had a crush on a book this hard since "The Hunger Games".  

Why is this book so swoon worthy?  The character are AWESOME.  Hazel and Augustus are characters with depth and personality.  They may not have talked like your average teenager, but they've been through more in a few years than most people go through in an entire lifetime- makes sense to me.  This is especially true in Hazel's case- she is way beyond the intellectual level of most high school students and John Green shows this through her dialog.  Isaac is another great character that I kind of wish had more face time.  

Of course the book had more than just great characters.  "The Fault In Our Stars" was beautifully written with a fantastic plot.  I have to admit I had no idea what the book was about before I bought it.  I just knew that John Green had a new book and I HAD to read it.  The book is about teenagers battling cancer so it does tear at the heartstrings, but is also hilarious.  John Green is one of the masters of mixing devastating issues with humorous dialog and hi jinks.

This is a must read book!  I am just going to wrap up my review now because you just have to go out and read it.  This is a book that will permanently live on my bookcase and I will lightly nudge my future children to read.  I say nudge but I'll probably end up being like "OMG YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK OR I'LL GROUND YOU FOR LIFE!!!". Just kidding, I would probably just use reverse psychology and tell them they aren't allowed to read it.  I think this review just got weird... In short, the book is LEGENDARY.