Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Can't Ignore the Boy Next Door

My Life Next Door
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Songs for this Read: With You Around (Acoustic Version) by Yellowcard, Only Me When I'm With You by Taylor Swift, My Favourite Thing by Tonight Alive

Official Summary: The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

      This is not the typical lighthearted summer read I thought it was going to be. The plot seems a bit tired and used at first, the whole story with the girl who keeps her "wrong side of the tracks" boyfriend a secret and lives in two worlds her friend/family and then her boyfriends world. There was a lot of tension and at times the situations can get down right frustrating, but not in bad way. While I wasn't blown away with the character development,I was impressed by the evolution of the character Tim. I loved seeing Tim grow from this stoned bum to a really lovable character.
        Overall I was pleasantly surprised by "My Life Next Door" it was not a shallow read and had some great twists in the end there. I fell in love with the Garrett family, especially the little ones. In the end there was still some closure I was lacking, there were a lot of issues brought up throughout the book that were never hit again. This probably wouldn't have bothered me as much if the ending hadn't been quite so abrupt.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nobody Goes to Mexico to Drink the Water, Anyway

From What I Remember...
From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

KYLIE: Tijuana WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.


This is everything you could wish for out of teen read. The perfect book to whip through at the beach or by the pool. It's witty, cunning and just crazy funny in general. Not to mention how relevant it is, any one who has been through high school can relate to this book in some way or another. It's got a rapid fire speed plot line that doesn't give you time for air, let alone to get bored with it. And each escapade is more outrageous than the last. If the description given above doesn't peak your interest enough to want to pick this book up right away, then you're reading it wrong and should try again.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

"Dedication Takes a Lifetime but Dreams Only Last for a Night"

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Songs for this read: Simple Distance by The Workday Release, Falling to Pieces by Junior Doctor, Running From Lions by All Time Low, When I Go Down by Relient K

Sequels in a trilogy always tend to be the ones that mess the most with ones emotions. And never in a good way. Because of this they are given a bad name and notorious for being readers least favorite of a series. And usually with good reason. The middle book is always where the author decides to mess with everyones heart strings and keep the two favorites as far apart as possible so it seems hopeless. Or even worse, insert a love triangle. Yeah who would really want to read that? Deeeepressing. And while I must say I am guilty of holding grudges against certain middle books for these exact reasons, I think it's important to focus on the vital role a middle book plays in the overall plot arc of a trilogy.
As a middle book, Dreamless is more or less obligated to involve At least some of the story elements mentioned above. I used to believe trilogy authors did this simply to keep readers holding on to the next book to see if the lovers would get back together because they had some idea in their head that readers ultimately get bored seeing the couple happy and functional. Don't get me wrong in a sense this theory has complete credibility but this alone isn't enough.
While reading dreamless I realized just how much crucial character and plot development occur in the story line of the second book in a trilogy. While it is all being set up in the first and resolved in the last, the middle is wear you really find out who these people are. And that is why so often something huge drives the couples apart. Not purely to keep readers biting their nails but to let's them get to know the. Characters separate of each other. To get readers to love the characters as individuals that then make up a duo (hopefully) in the next installment.
Ok I really didn't set out to write all that but it just started flowing on the keyboard. Tying this back to this great book I read, dreamless does a great job establishing really just where all the game pieces lie in this plot. The mysteries of the first book are expanded and the epic battle royale has been properly introduced,
The love triangle is in full force and sides have been marked like lines in the sand. And while the second book curse succeeded in making me hurt for Helen and Lucas being so distant, you know the book is a keeper when you don't want to kill the girl when she isn't with her boyfriend. It is a rare thing these days ( at least for me) to find a book where you genuine like the heroine and don't just out up with for her boyfriend.
It's still a middle book so I'm not going to tell you I am in live with this book. But I will say I wasn't disappointed and that I just know the finale will be even better than both the first two combined.

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