The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

Author: Melissa Jensen

Main Characters: Ella Marino, Alex Bainbridge, Frankie, Sadie

Fave Quote:“Love is one of two things worth dying for. I have yet to decide on the second.” ~Edward Willing

Synopsis

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Review

Ok. So I have been reading a lot of contemporary YA novels since Anna and the French Kiss tugged at my little heart-strings. So I decided to read one of the works of Melissa Jensen, who is in line with authors like Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins. Though I hate to say that I was a tad disappointed with this one…

So this is a light love story about a girl who likes this guy from her school, who is just perfect and is on the top of the social heap. It’s the typical Cinderella story. Jensen’s narration was great. I love the characters, especially the protagonist. I love how the books is very realistic (well, it a contemporary novel…but you get what I mean! :P) and how the love story is sweet and funny. It’s the plot which I didn’t love. I found it a bit dull, and there were parts when I got bored. Especially the “History” parts. Ella is a big fan of Edward Willing (an artist) and she’s doing research about him. So there are article parts and historical book passages. For me, that was a bit boring.

The novel also shows a “self-discovery” theme. Ella Marino thinks very lowly of herself and her family, friends, and Alex are trying to coax her into thinking otherwise. So, I think it’s good novel for all the so-called “ugly duckling” girls (such as myself, I might add) out there who just wish to be noticed, and be liked by the people whom they want to be liked by.

Rating: 3

 

 

Along for the Ride

Author: Sarah Dessen

Main Characters: Auden Penelope West, Eli Stock, Dr. Victoria West, Robert West, Heidi West

Fave Quote: “The bottom line is, what defines you isn’t how many times you crash, but the number of times you get back on the bike. As long as it’s one more. you’re all good.”~Adam

Synopsis

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Review

After reading (and enjoying) Lock and Key, I decided to read another Dessen book. So I bought a copy of Along for the Ride. And all I could say is wow. This is one awesome book.

 Summer is a season which everyone looks forward too. There are the beach trips, summer flings, and just having a lot of free time. Along for the Ride incorporated all of these things making it the perfect summer read. Dessen has a way of writing books which have a light plot but somehow has depth written between the lines. (Well, that’s based on my observation after reading a couple of her works.)

The book tackled several themes: family, friendship, love—but the one that really stood out is self-discovery. Auden, the protagonist, is a 17-year-old girl whose life revolves around academics. She’s really mature and smart for her age, having raised by intellectual parents. She didn’t exactly have the typical childhood (meaning she wasn’t the playmate type), in fact she missed out on a lot of things a girl her age should have been doing: like prom, dating, and parties. She has the chance to spend the summer with her dad, her stepmom, and her newborn stepsister in a small beach town. What she didn’t know is that in that summer, a lot of things can change, including her views in life.

Along for the Ride gives a lot of good advice, actually. Two of which really stuck to me: “When you fall of the bike, just get right back up.” And “It’s never too late.” I think those two lessons are things we should always remember… We encounter a lot of problems in our lives, and sometimes they’re too much to handle. We should remember that making mistakes or screwing up is all right—what’s not all right is not doing something about it and leaving it just that. Then there’s the other thing, it’s never too late—it’s never too late to say sorry, or to learn how to ride a bike. It’s never too late to try the things you weren’t able to do, and it’s definitely never too late to fix what was once broken. I guess the bottom line is, you don’t always have to follow destiny—sometimes you just have to meddle a bit… give it a little push. 😉

Along for the Ride was amazing! It didn’t not only give me a good story but good advice as well. This is definitely one of the books which I won’t forget. It’s simple yet with depth—the PERFECT summer read.

Lock and Key

Author: Sarah Dessen

Main Characters: Ruby Cooper, Nate Cross, Cora Cooper-Hunter, Jamie Hunter

Fave Quote: “You couldn’t make any person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it.” ~ Ruby

Synopsis

After her mom vanished in a stench of drugs and alcohol, Ruby continued to live in the family house alone. Finally found out, the introspective teenager is sent to the luxurious home of her older sister, Cora, whom she hadn’t seen in ten years. Everything there seems unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and supremely weird: her fancy new room; her lavish new wardrobe; the exclusive private school where she never quite fits in. Most mysterious of all is Nate, the friendly boy next door who seems to have a deep secret of his own.

Review

Sarah Dessen is highly acclaimed for works. I heard that she had written several young adult novels which are best sellers and have captured young readers’ attention. And so I decided to read one: Lock and Key… A book which I absolutely loved!

Lock and Key is a really interesting read. I have been looking for books to read this summer, and I wanted something light (translation: stirring clear of paranormal/sci-fi novels) and intriguing (translation: a book which will make me think) I have to say that Dessen’s novel has all the elements I was looking for. The protagonist, Ruby, is a 17-year-old whose family life is messed up. She was forced to live with her sister whom she hasn’t seen in years, and live a life which is so foreign to her. She meets a lot of new friends who helped her realize the truth about what family is. Especially her handsome neighbor, Nate, whom she builds a special bond with and with whom she realized that to be able to save yourself, you have to reach out to others.

The description of the events  and the feelings/thoughts of the characters in the book were phenomenal! The narrative was just fluid and I felt like I was right there with them throughout the whole novel. There were points in the novel where it made me teary-eyed, and some points made me reflect and think back on my life. Even if Ruby and I have different lives, somehow I related to her. (Thanks to the perfect way Dessen has introduced her) Ruby became my best friend as I read the novel. The title was vey intriguing as well. I didn’t expect it to hold such depth; the way Dessen incorporated the key in this novel is very creative.

 Rating: 5

Sarah Dessen enters my list of favorite authors. Lock and Key is inspiring and captivating! I was living in its world for three whole days and when I finished, it was like I woke up from a dream. Cannot wait to read more of Dessen’s works.

Fateful

Author: Claudia Gray

Main Characters: Tess Davies, Alec Marlowe, Mikhail Kalashnikov

Fave Quote: “My love for you is what keeps me human, Tess. And it always will.” ~Alec Marlowe

Synopsis

A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…

Review

Titanic is one of the greatest movies ever made! It’s also one of my favorite movies of all time and one of the few which captured my heart and still holds it until now. So when I heard about this book, I KNEW I HAD TO READ IT.

Fateful is a paranormal novel with a historical background. Tess Davies, the protagonist, is an 18-year-old maid who is travelling aboard the RMS Titanic with her snotty employers. She only agreed to join them on this voyage for the sole reason of starting a new life in America. She has saved up her earnings and by the end of this trip she will resign… well, of course she wasn’t prepared to fall in love with a handsome first-class man named Alec Marlowe (who is a werewolf).

This was a very captivating read. I’ve always loved the tragic love story of Rose and Jack in the Titanic movie, and for me Alec and Tess’ chemistry is just as great as of Rose and Jack’s. Tess is very strong and independent, a heroine which I’m sure you’ll be rooting for. And Alec is protective and strong, a hero of every girl’s heart. I’m completely impressed with how Claudia Gray had woven Wolf myth into the story. I found the story even more riveting and it has completely got me on the edge. Of course the sinking of the Titanic was written beautifully. I could really feel the panic and the distress of the passengers and the power of Tess and Alec’s love for each other as they try to save each other’s lives.

Rating: 5!!!

Paranormal + Titanic = AMAZING. Fateful is intense and addicting! Take the journey, fall in love, and experience the intensity of the events aboard the RMS Titanic. A MUST-READ!!!

Shatter Me

Author:Tahereh Mafi

Main Characters: Juliette Ferrars, Adam Kent, Warner

Fave Quote: All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” ~Juiette Ferrars

Synopsis

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Review

Shatter Me has a really riveting plot. I knew it from the moment I read the blurb.

This novel has a dystopian theme. The world we now live in is inflicted with disease. In simpler words, it’s dead. The re-establishment promised to make our world better; to bring back health and prosperity. The protagonist of this novel, Juliette Ferrars, is a 17-year-old girl who has a gift. Her touch can instantly cause pain to another human being…worse case scenario, she can cause death. In the beginning of the story she was locked up in some kind of prison for crazy people. Then Adam comes in, who is a figure in her past. They are brought to Warner, some psycho leader who wants to claim Juliette and use her as a weapon. The whole plot revolves around Juliette’s struggle to escape from the re-establishment.

This was a great read. I always love futuristic(dystopian-themed) novels, and Shatter Me reached all my expectations. It did not only give me a good action story, but a romance story as well. The chemistry between Adam and Juliette is undeniably amazing and Warner’s “addiction” to Juliette makes the novel a whole lot interesting. The ending will definitely have you begging for the next installment… I think I sense a great sequel coming up 😉

Rating: 4.5

Shatter Me is divine. A great ride of mystery, romance, and action. If you loved the Hunger Games and Divergent books, you’ll definitely want to read this! 🙂

Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Main Characters: Sophie Mercer, Archer Cross, Alice, Elodie Parris

Fave Quote: “I felt electrified from the top of my head to my toes, and somewhere in the back of my mind I heard Alice saying that love had a power all its own. She was right: this was magic.” ~Sophie

Synopsis

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Review

This book was suggested to me by a friend. I wanted to give it a shot because my friend had been waiting for it for weeks, and she couldn’t stop talking about it. I bought the book, though without knowing what it’s really about.

Hex Hall starts off with a funny prologue about Sophie (the main protagonist) getting into some magic mischief. It wasn’t her fault exactly… It’s just that her powers are sometimes hard to control. So she was sent to Hex Hall (a.k.a Hecate Hall), a reform school for Prodigium (witches, faeries,shapeshifters) The plot was okay, not that exciting but the novel has a pretty good romance element which will keep readers hanging on. There is also mystery which will keep you guessing and will let you really think about certain events that are somehow connected with each other. All in all, I liked it. I’m not jumping up and down about it, but I would like to give the series another shot by reading the next installment.

Rating: 3.5

Demonglass

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Main Characters: Sophie Mercer, Archer Cross, James Mercer, Alexander Callahan “Cal”, Lara Casnoff, Anastasia Casnoff

Fave Quote: “It sucks that we miss people like that. You think you’ve accepted that someone is out of your life, that you’ve grieved and it’s over, and then bam. One little thing, and you feel like you’ve lost that person all over again.” ~Sophie

“All the magic in the world can’t simplify affairs of the heart.” ~James

Synopsis

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Review

Demonglass exceeds my expectations. Sure, Hex Hall was a fun read. I enjoyed reading Sophie’s funny sarcastic comments and just love everything about her, but I wasn’t prepared for this… This book is a notch higher than the first one.

Demonglass picks up where Hex Hall left off: Sophie doing her usual school activities in Hex Hall, having to deal with the Vandy, blah blah blah. The real fun begins when her father appears and takes her to England. Sophie has her mind-set for the Removal, a process in which her “demonic powers” would be completely stripped off from her being. She takes her friend Jenna and Cal with her. They are taken to Thorne Abbey, a huge and absolutely beautiful mansion which is currently the council’s headquarters. In the novel, Sophie deals with a growing romance between her and Cal, a ghost who is haunting her (as promised), an awkward reunion with her dad, and the thought of Archer Cross (the love of her life) trying to kill her. Oh and there’s also the war that could be the destruction of all Prodigium. Yeah, Sophie’s got her plate full.

This was a really great read. Full of humor (Sophie’s remarks never fail to make me laugh) , mystery, and mythology. I was absolutely impressed and I am so getting the next (and last) book in the Hex Hall series: Spellbound.

btw, you might have to prepare yourself… the ending will have you begging for the next book 😉

Rating: 5!!!

Demonglass is exhilarating. I am completely captivated by the world of the Prodigium! ❤

Angel Burn

Author: L.A. Weatherly

Main Characters: Willow, Alex, Raziel

Fave Quote: “I’d been afraid that I’d never have this again–this sense of being so achingly alive that every nerve ending was on fire.”~ Willow 

Synopsis

They’re out for your soul.
And they don’t have heaven in mind…

Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. she has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.

Review

Angel Burn was completely unexpected. I did not think it would be a captivating read. I was not drawn to the cover but to the blurb. When I read it while I was doing my shopping at a bookstore, I just knew I had to read it.

Angel Burn focuses on the mythology of Angels. I’ve read books about Angels but this was different. In Angel Burn, the angels are portrayed as evil and a threat to the human race. They’re like aliens who want to take over the planet. Though not all of them are evil. Willow (the main protagonist) is a half-angel. She discovers her identity with the help of a gorgeous and brave Angel-killer named Alex. The plot was awesome. Very action-packed and realistic,even. It was nice to read a romance novel about Angels which doesn’t just show the usual dangers of humans and angels having a relationship. In Angel Burn, there’s suspense and action. I really enjoyed the fight scenes and the car chases. 😉

I am completely awed by Weatherly’s Angel series and am planning to read the upcoming installments.

Rating: 5

Angel Burn will have you sitting on the edge of your seats, because when a powerful half-angel teams up with the best angel killer…you can only expect action and drama in the highest level. Events continuously escalating up to the very last page;  simply mind-blowing! 🙂

Fallen in Love

Author: Lauren Kate

Main Characters: Luce Price, Daniel Grigori, Roland, Arianne, Miles Fisher, Shelby

Fave Quote: Mortals could rarely recognize their true feelings before those feelings hi them in the face.” ~Roland

Synopsis

Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.

And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine’s Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they
least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding-and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first -and last- time, Daniel and Luce
will spend a night together like none other.

Lauren Kate’s FALLEN IN LOVE is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.

True love never says goodbye. . .

Review

I bought Fallen in Love with high hopes of reading more about Luce and Daniel’s love history. Well I did but it did not exactly satisfy my hunger for it. But I have to admit that the other love stories were pretty entertaining.

Fallen in Love consists of four stories of love and tragedy set in Medieval England. All of the events happened on the same day: Valentine’s Day. The first story is about Miles and Shelby’s (introduced in Torment) romantic adventure. This was completely unexpected since I’ve known Miles to be attracted to Luce; but I like that Kate established an amorous tie between these two characters. The next tells of a tragedy starring Roland; and how he went through the joy of finding love and the pain of losing it. Arianne’s story is the most dramatic. It shows of powerful love which lead to a difficult choice. Of course, the last story is about the only Valentine’s Day Luce and Daniel got to celebrate. This was the most awaited story of all…but I was disappointed for it was short and predictable.

Fallen in Love was a good read; but I hoped for MORE. It was simply short and not enough. I still admire Kate for writing it beautifully but it wasn’t that exciting and it wasn’t very memorable. I sure hope this won’t be the case in Rapture.

Rating: 3

 

Anna and the French Kiss

 

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Main Characters: Anna Oliphant, Etienne St. Claire

Fave Quote: “What am I going to do? I’m in love with my new best friend.” ~Anna

Synopsis

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long-awaited?

Review

I decided to expand my reading list this year and give “real” young adult novels a shot. I’m used to reading sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy books because I think they’re more exciting and exhilarating; but I have to admit that reading this novel left me as much excited as reading fantasy novels.

Anna and the French Kiss is set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris! I am really impressed with Perkins’ description of the setting; I really felt like I was walking along the streets of Paree. Going back, Anna is sent to an international boarding school in  Paris for her Senior year. I know you’re thinking that she’s the luckiest girl ever, but she doesn’t think so. In fact she’s furious that her parents sent her there. She cries on her first night but was comforted by Meredith, a fellow senior. After that she bumps into one of Mer’s friends, the gorgeous half American half French Etienne St. Claire who has an English accent. HAHA confused? Anna was too. That’s where the love story begins.

This is one of the best books ever. I can see why it’s number one on the  goodreads’ list of young adult realistic novels. It’s absolutely romantic! The last few chapters were very heart wrenching. The characters are so funny and admirable that I’m sure you are going to just love them! It’s beautifully written in a very light way. It really captures the different emotions of the characters in each scenario. I had  so much fun witnessing the love story between Anna and Etienne. It’s breath-taking, the way they start out as friends and little by little they grow close to each other until that day Anna realizes she’s fallen in love. I think that’s the best part of the novel… Perkins’ had perfectly captured the feeling of being in love. It’s so real that I actually fell in love with the book. After I read it, it left me wanting more. I wanted to erase my memory of the novel so I can read it again… relive the moments and live in it forever.

Rating: 5!!!! ❤

This is the first book I read for 2012, and I have to stay that I’m up to a good start. Anna and the French Kiss is refreshing and real. This book will leave you giddy with excitement and flushed from all the romance. What’s more romantic than finding love in Paris?! It’s just magical!

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

Entry Finder