Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: May 5, 2009 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 276
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 1/2 genies

Characters: 5 genies

Setting: 5 genies

Plot: 4 genies

Honourable Mention: To Susannah. For being the embodiment of summer, and pretty much perfect.

***OOH, possible spoilers ahead guys, watch out!

Well. So that was...

I feel a lot like this:

Because I am sure of two things:

1.) I freaking love this series. And Conrad. I really freaking adore him, more than Jeremiah I am happy to say. Ah, to be young and fictionally in love...

2.) This is my new favourite series.

And three, because I'm just boss that way:

3.) Reading this series takes my mind away from the horror that is snow all around, and while I'm reading this all I imagine are rainbows, the ocean and glorious warmth. Basically by endeavouring to read the rest of the series, I'd like to delude myself longer.

What I'm getting at here:

Is that this is a well-rounded and great book. I was so hesitant to try it because the other beachy novel on my CR shelf is stale and quite frankly, irrelevant to me at the moment. This however, this was relevant! It had so much heart and such soul...I love Belly, and Beck's boys.

You know at the back of books where the book blurb is all like, "...A true tale of touching inspiration and growth?" Well I feel just like that! I feel like donning my creep glasses and jacket and writing something inspirational too! You know what! I will:

One step at a time, my friends, this book has touched me. Severely.

Summary (brief): Belly is this awkward teenager I couldn't help relating to because at her age I was just as clueless, if not more! She turns pretty one summer and everything changes, her two life-long "friends" begin to act differently and tensions rise as further complications threaten to ruin the tradition of Summer. Let me start off by saying Cousin's beach is a place I most definitely have to go!

I started off reading this with a bit of a raised brow because I didn't know if the importance Belly and everyone held for this place would rub off unto me or not. I knew that I really wanted it to and am all kinds of crazy mad-glad it did. Some authors can try to capture the idea of summer, but what Han actually does is that she grabs a hold of the very definition, transforms it and personifies it into a person. And one.

Both Belly and Susannah were summer personified to me; summer at different stages. Belly is at the beginning, like a beach inexperienced or sand yet to be tread--she's smooth canvas. Susannah on the other hand is the shore at twilight and she symbolizes something we have yet to ever see, the end of summer. She doesn't get there in this book but the gradual decline taking place is made very evident, and yet through it all she's this picture of dignity, something to behold. I kind of love this woman.

Women if you factor in Belly and Han, the author, because I adore them too. This book was so good that I left thinking I would nick-name my baby Belly somehow.

Yeah, I know!

It was just this awesome ride and reading it was such a privilege, I cannot begin to explain. I have nowhere to begin because I am at a loss for words, all I can say is that I have been thoroughly pleased. And for once (those of you who know me will know just how much of a breach from character this is) I cannot focus solely on the men, I just can't It would be an insult to do so, because despite the fact that they were major and wonderful parts of this book, they just didn't seem to matter more than the overall story.

What mattered were Susannah and Belly and their growth because there was so much happening here. So much character development took place that it was crazy and incredible at the same time! This feeling of watching someone learn and transform into something better than what they once were is what drives me to read, I hardly see enough of it in real life.

There were things I wished were better resolved, say Cam and Mr. Fisher, I wanted to know the reason for the impending divorce, and I also thought the adorable geek that is Cam deserved at least an explanation! No fair, Bells.

Other than that I am good. So good that I already have the second book sitting around somewhere waiting. I'll try reading a bit of Endless Summer again but if nothing comes of it, I'm dropping it like a hot potato.

Because every book should be as good as this one.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: November 15, 2011 by Harper/Harper Collins
Pages: 352
Source: Library Loan
Format: Hardcover
Purchase At: The or 

Goodreads Summary
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.

My Thoughts

Wow, I think I should have officially finished this yesterday? But I never wanted to, so I made myself read slower on purpose, so my time with the fabulous characters and their heartbreaking stories could be lengthened. I love Juliette and I love Adam. Goodness, I have never felt so protective over a YA female protagonist before; nothing can happen to this girl, I love her story and I love her. She is broken and she is beautiful and Mafi is absolutely brilliant for having created her. I am a huge fan of these women both!

There have been a lot of comparisons to this and X-men; it becomes clearer why so closer to the end of the book, but I'd thought to say something in regards to the matter. I have long since had an on-going love affair with Gambit from X-men. He is my love and the sole reason I and Rogue never clicked, because she was the one thing standing in my way. That and reality of course, but leave a girl to her dreams! There have been many others since then, and since the barrier prevents us from being together, I have let Gambit slowly go. There will always be love in my heart for him, I will just never touch him.

*Sniffles* And where am I going with this, you might ask? Well, Shatter Me is kind of like X-men lite/rebooted; or at least it was very much this way in the first book, minus the Gambit-goodness. (HOW COOL IS IT THAT THIS IS A TRILOGY BTW?! BOOO-YAH!) Anywhosezen, Juliette is special. Not because she's incredibly sweet by any standards and just a great person. People have treated her like crap for years because whenever she touches someone, they go through this intense trauma - it really wasn't explained how it feels for afflicted individuals - but basically as long as contact between her and that person remains, they consistently weaken until death. Yikes, I know! Her parents won't hold her, kids stay far away, and after she kills someone unintentionally, Juliette is banished even farther so that she will never hurt anyone again.

Seems pretty straight forward, right? Nope. I came in expecting a lot of things - for Juliette to be angsty, bitter and hardened - my expectations were not met, they were destroyed completely and blown out the window. Allow me to repeat myself, this girl is so nice! Dang, I dealt with a mean Queen B. the other day and now all I want to do is go back and hug the broad and be like, "You know what? It's alright, because I don't care. Go ahead and be mean but all I know is that I'mma hug you like Juliette would if she could."

A little much? Eh. I love the girl, she's golden in my books. She's called a freak for most of her life and then locked away in an asylum, forced to eat minimum and sludge at best, bathe with slimy soap and listen to the screams of everyone else in the institution. That would break me I think and when I come out I'd be like, "screw this world, I'mma drop it!" But she didn't do that, even though she could.

jaw drop Pictures, Images and Photos

That, folks, is something.

The setting is dystopian and very near-future in that it deals with portraying the world after our excesses have taken its toll and we're left with grey clouds, dying animals, unbearable heat and deceased people. It struck so close to home, I think I got chills. This is entirely possible; a world where everything once taken for granted vanishes and we are left with less than the minimal, we must do everything to stop this from happening. But of course a post-apocalyptic world never could be complete without a villain.



Oops! Sorry, wrong guy, I'm thinking Legally Blonde! No, this Warner was bad as they come. He wanted to take advantage of Juliette's insecurities and turn her into a weapon because he needs her to take over the world. There are rebel forces doing what rebels do best, rebelling, and well, what better way to take care of that little problem than kill them? Am I right?!? Warner agrees. Somehow I ended up not hating him half as badly as I could have. Maybe it was Juliette rose-tinting him? Or his twisted past making him somewhat more forgiveable? Not sure what it was exactly, but then again, Adam had one just as bad and he turned out okay. *Sigh* Oh Adam... Dang Adam. I've got to get me some of that!

If I love Juliette, then I melt for Adam. He is very much so beyond words, actually. The two of them together was just magic to behold because she's never been touched before and he's so...electric. Haha, no pun intended! I love that their connection has history and that they knew a great deal about each other before falling in love. I really appreciated the back-story. Honestly, I just absorbed the pages with them together, lapped everything up; I wanted more and more. Mafi is a very gifted story-teller. Her words are always metaphors but consistently beautiful.

Whether it be for Juliette and Adam, or Mafi's brilliant writing alone, come this September I am picking up the next book! Cannot wait!


The Truth And Nothing BUT...

Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Those books received from Authors and Publishers will be stated clearly as such, as will the ones purchased by myself. There is no shady business going on; no coercion, bribery or compensation has or will ever be received in exchange for any reviews. These thoughts are mine, wacky as they may be, and my honest opinion is all you can truly expect. Still reading? You should be off checking out those awesome reviews ;)