Saturday, January 5, 2013

REVIEW The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
by Kody Keplinger
September 7, 2010
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Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

You guys, why did you not tell me how awesome Kody Keplinger is?  I blame you all for keeping secrets.  I've read 2 of her books in the last 2 days and I've adored them both.  Now I need to track down her third.

I loved seeing the world through Bianca's eyes.  Like I'm sure many other girls out there, I spent a good portion of my teen years feeling very insecure, and while Bianca is very confident, she's more than a little shaken when Wesley, one of the hottest guys in school, tells her that she's the DUFF, the designated ugly fat friend.  Then, as other parts of her life start falling apart, she just hears the word Duff over and over in her head, mocking her, until she decides to take matters into her own hands, and kisses him.  She's not looking for a relationship with him, she's looking for a distraction.  But soon things become more than that.

While I loved Bianca, every now and again I wanted to throttle Wesley, especially after he starts referring to Bianca as Duffy, even when they're in the midst of their "with benefits" relationship.  He's sweet to her, but at the same time he's completely oblivious to just how offensive calling a girl that nickname really is.

I loved that Kody Keplinger doesn't shy away from sex in her novels.  There's no worries about "consequences" as we're so used to in teen fiction, where it always seems like as soon as a teenager has sex, they're bound to get pregnant or something.  That doesn't happen, and I think it added a good deal of reality to the situation, because that's not always the case.

This book was emotional and honest and an amazing page-turner for me.  Loved it!


Friday, January 4, 2013

NEW ADULT REVIEW Easy by Tammara Webber

by Tammara Webber
November 6, 2012
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Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

 Okay, first a warning...this isn't the usual fare that I review on the blog.  This is a new adult title and I definitely wouldn't recommend it for younger teens.  Older (I'd say 17/18+ at least) teens only.  Okay?  Okay.

This is my first foray into New Adult books, a genre that's still in its infancy that I hope to see more of (there's been a gap between YA and adult titles that is just begging to be filled...after all, college is where a lot of people re-invent themselves, right?) and I'm so glad I picked this one as my first read.

Easy follows Jacqueline as she tries to recover from her breakup with the boyfriend she had followed to college.  She's been having a hard time (he hasn't exactly been subtle with starting over with other girls) and things take a turn for the worse when she's walking back to her car after a party and she's attacked (another warning... one of the guys from the party tries to rape her.  I'm not counting this as a spoiler since it happens in the very first chapter of the book, and I think it's definitely something you want to be prepared for).  But she's saved by Lucas, a guy she's never noticed before, and this sets off a string of events that plunge Jacqueline's once-normal life into chaos. 

Between her budding attraction to Lucas, and her new-found crush on her tutor, Landon, Easy has tinges of a love-triangle, which almost turned me off from it (I'm not a fan of love triangles) but then it took an amazing turn and I was hooked all the way through to the end.  I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish this one, and I don't regret a single moment.

Loved this one.  The drama, the mystery, the romance.  It was sexy but nothing super racy, which I think is just right for this kind of read. 

Great read, but once again, not for younger readers.  Hoping for more like this from the author soon!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

REVIEW Adaptation by Malinda Lo

by Malinda Lo
September 18, 2012
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Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret. 

 *pets book*  Hello my precious.

I loved this one.  I'm so glad it was recommended to me.  I'm all about the sci-fi and this would be a great book if you're not quite sure about it.  It eases you into it gradually.  It starts off with Reese and her crush David (who is rather swoon-worthy, I might add) as they're on their way back from a debate competition when all of a sudden planes all across North America are attacked and taken down by birds.  Wanting to get home, they get their teacher to rent a car to get them out of there, but things go wrong and soon enough Reese wakes up in a government facility a month later with no memory of getting there.

She and David are sent home, but then things start getting...strange.

I loved the interactions between the characters.  She has a crush on David, but when she meets Amber, a beautiful skater girl, she finds herself attracted to her too.  I liked how the book showed the reality of being a teen in the midst of all the sci-fi and mystery, how it was normal to be attracted to more than one person at a time, and the confusing feelings that come with that knowledge.

Seriously, this book you guys.  LGBT-friendly, sci-fi, Area 51, conspiracy theories and adventure?  Sign me up. (Except for the thing about the birds.  Birds kind of freak me out.  Attacking birds?  Not cool in the world of geekgirl).

Loved it.  Can't wait for book 2!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

REVIEW Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

Earth Girl
by Janet Edwards
August 16, 2012
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2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter. 

 I've been putting off reading this book because I've heard mixed reviews and I wasn't sure that I wanted to try it.  I've been led astray by pretty covers before, and for anyone that knows me you'll know why I got so attached to this cover (the colour...oh, the colour *pets the pretty*).  But in the end I decided to give it a chance and I'm SUPER glad I did.

I loved this book.  One of the things I heard in the mixed reviews was that people didn't really like the language of the book, but that didn't bother me so much.  The only thing I really noticed regarding the language was the slang the characters used, and considering they're in the future, it's understandable that they have their own slang that takes a little time to get used to. 

I loved Jarra.  Well, let me clarify...I loved Jarra MOST OF THE TIME.  There's a stretch midway through the book where she kind of has a personality overhaul and I kind of hated her during that period (I don't want to spoil you as to the reason why) but for the most part, she was great.  She's tough and spunky and is trying to prove to the world that even though she's an "ape"--a person who is considered a genetic throwback because they can't survive on any planet other than earth--that she's just as good as as anyone else.  There's a lot of stereotyping in this book in regards to "apes" and "exos", those who live on earth, and those who live in the worlds that humanity has expanded to, and that's a huge focus.  It was interesting for me to see just how different characters perceived each other through the stereotypes they'd adopted.

There's romance in this book but it's definitely not the focus, and I liked that. This was a great sci-fi read and I've heard rumours that there's going to be a sequel.  I hope they're true, because I can't wait to see more of this adventurous universe.

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

REVIEW Zom-B by Darren Shan

by Darren Shan
October 16th 2012
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When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's racist father thinks it's a joke-- but even if it isn't, he figures, it's ok to lose a few Irish. B doesn't fully buy into Dad's racism, but figures it's easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn't work, B doesn't hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks. That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers. 

 Since I started reading this book, I've heard a lot of mixed reviews.  But I'll be honest about a couple of things.  One, I didn't actually read the summary before I stared the book (the book was recommended to me by Christa at More Then Just Magic, who knows what I like so when I found a copy I just snagged it without question) and Two, I've never read anything by Darren Shan before.  So I didn't know what I was getting myself into but I was just kind of like "*shrug* zombies, I'll give it a go."  Yeah, I have a lot of internal monologue that goes like that.

So I'm not sure if I should warn you about what you're going to get into, but I'm probably going to anyway, since otherwise, how am I supposed to review this book.

B, who's the main character, is scrappy, has a bad attitude, and is racist.  (Hence the bad reviews...people don't like seeing the world through the eyes of a racist). The thing is, B doesn't want to be racist.  B's dad is racist and it has kind of just happened so as not to disappoint him.  Or get beat up, because that happens too.  B's dad is kind of a jerk.  Okay, he's a real jerk, but you're not supposed to like him anyway (I don't think).  So yeah.  Racist.  So, SO racist.  Consider yourself warned.  But the thing is, B is aware of it, and knows it's wrong and doesn't want to be that way.  And for that I couldn't help but be intrigued.  Seeing the world through B's eyes was interesting, and that was before the zombie apocalypse even really started.

So while this book might not be for everyone, I say give it a chance.  See the world through someone else's eyes, even when you know they're wrong and kind of a jerk.  I loved it.  Also?  Zombies.  And a twist I couldn't believe.  I may have squealed.  I do that sometimes.  It's a thing.

Can't wait for book 2.


Happy New Year!

Hello lovelies and welcome to 2013!  It's New Years day and a start for new beginnings.  Have you made goals for yourselves?  I know I have.

Amongst those goals are plans for this blog.  2012 wasn't a good year for blogging for me.  Too much real-life drama going on.  You know how it goes.  But I've decided 2013 is going to be my year for blogging, so I'm going to push myself to get a review up each and every single day of this year.  365 reviews.  Can I do it?  I've got my fingers crossed.

Adding to that goal, I'm also going to try to read a book a day in 2013.  Luckily for me, most YA novels aren't grand sweeping epics, so I think I'll do okay, since that is a good portion of my to-read pile.

So what about you, lovelies?  Do you have any goals for the new years?  Are they book related?  Or do you want to learn to dance?  Do you want to get in shape?  Or do you have accordion-playing aspirations that I didn't know about?

Let me know in the comments!  I love hearing from you.

Happy New Years, lovelies, and I hope your 2013 is awesome.

Love ya! 

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I'm a 32 year old YA book lover and not that interesting. You know what's interesting? Books! Books are by far my favorite thing to talk about, so leave me a comment, let me know what you think! I love hearing from other booklovers!