Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Review: Theodora Twist by Melissa Senate

goodreads review: “I’m going to have to come up with something really good to get you back into the public’s good graces. I have no idea what, but trust me. I’ll think of something.”

Well that’s what Theodora pays her agent $100,000 a year for, isn’t it? Theodora Twist is the girl everyone wants to be. She’s Hollywood’s hottest young actress. Producers court her, fans mob her, and the tabloids cover everything.

Emilys life is Boring with a capital B. She’s a 16-year-old nobody to everyone, including her own mother. The only thing remotely interesting about Emily? She lives in Theodora Twist’s former house. But she’s about to get Twisted.

How? On a reality show meant to clean up Theodora’s party girl rep—with Emily’s family as host. It’s just another role for Theodora. Emily is in panic mode. This isn’t just a part . . . it’s her life.

my review: At first, I thought this book was the typical cliche: snobbish celebrity teen turns normal and unknown girl rises to fame and popularity and doesn't know who she is anymore. I was half right.

Theodora's point of view at first was at first almost unbearable, but then it grew on me. I enjoyed reading Emily's point of view throughout and was glad that she remained sensible from beginning to end.

It's a quick, enjoyable read and I was happy with it. It touches on the deaths of both Theodora's and Emily's parents, issues teen face when dealing with prom dates, and how to handle fame. I think readers are able to relate to Emily's character. She's the nobody in the school, and even people in her on class don't know who she is. She only has two best friends, a one-year-old younger stepsister and a new stepfather she's not too crazy about.

Overall, for what it is as a quick read, Young Adult novel, I give it a 5/5.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reading Shakespeare: A Play a Month in 2012

I haven't read any Shakespeare plays since high school, and I think it's time to revisit some of my favorites (as well as some I haven't read which could become favorites). Reading Shakespeare: A Play a Month in 2012 is hosted by Breadcrumb Reads and here's a list of plays that we're reading:

  • JanuaryA Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • FebruaryMacbeth
  • MarchHenry V
  • AprilMuch Ado About Nothing
  • MayAntony and Cleopatra
  • JuneRichard III
  • JulyAs You Like It
  • AugustKing Lear
  • SeptemberCymbeline
  • OctoberTwelfth Night
  • NovemberOthello
  • DecemberPericles

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (and yes, I realize today is Wednesday)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser:

"He was talking to a girl with cranberry-colored hair and green eye shadow. It was clear from 180 feet away that Gleason could have been reciting the thirty-six most commonly used prepositions in alphabetical order and she would have been mesmerized."

-pg. 132 Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright

Monday, December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

goodreads summary: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.

My Review: I think the concept is great. To me, it’s a mix between The Girl who owned a City and Children of Men. I preferred reading Melody’s point of view, as Harmony’s was over-the-top preachy and I’ll be happy never hearing her say ‘Oh my Grace’ ever again. Everything about Harmony really irritated me, from her mannerisms to clothing to her thoughts that maybe, just maybe, she could convince Jondoe that procreating for money is morally wrong, and that she could come back and live with her in Goodside.

The writing was painful to get through, and having terms like “neggy,” “fertilicious,” “MiNet,” and “breedy” that didn’t make sense added to my annoyance. McCafferty made Melody and Harmony, as well as every other teenager in Otherside, completely obsessed with sex, pregnancy, and either being am/pro (amateur or professional).

My favorite character is Zen, and he is the one who makes me like this book. I understand that the book is a satirical dystopian YA novel, and she does convey the world very well, but because of the new words and the clever displacement of information, it was a bit challenging to get through. I’m really sold on the concept but even though I’m curious about what’ll happen in the sequel (THUMPED, 4/24/12) I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Dress Shopping

And in the end, through the sea of dresses, she found the one. The pearl that shined more than the rest. Shimmering in the sunlight, the pink dress of perfection had not one flaw, not one single rip. With a few discounts, the dress was within her price range. And as she signed the receipt and left the store, she felt she had the prize catch of the day.

Book Review: The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt

goodreads summary: Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he’s there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.

my review: A well-written coming-of-age story, Dana Reinhardt crafts a vivid first-person point of view story that delves into the interworks of friendships between mother and daughter and boy and girl. I liked her offbeat personality, accentuated by her pet rat, Hum, her clothing choices, and the family cheese shop.

What I was most looking forward to while reading the book was the deceased father’s Book of Lists. It’s an unusual way to learn about Drew’s father while creating an interesting plot point, but I was a bit irked that there wasn’t any conclusion to it at the end of the book. I think a confrontation between Birdie and her mother about the Book would’ve worked made the ending much more powerful.

I was immediately captured with the writing style. It wasn’t until toward the end when she and Emmett sneak away to the legendary spring that it became less believable to me. The fact that Swoozie (her mother’s friend) wouldn’t have noticed her missing while she was babysitting and the fact that Emmett was a runaway child placing so much emphasis on a legendary spring was a bit much for me. Emmett’s backstory was great, but the fact that his mother wouldn’t have looked for him and the fact that it seemed too good to be true took me out of the story.

Then, the epilogue really killed it for me. How could Drew not want to talk to Emmett after the incident at the spring? Why hadn’t Emmett contacted her after that point?

Overall, I give the book a 3/5. The writing is what saved it for me, but there needed to be a stronger ending.


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