Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star

By: Maureen Johnson

Intended Age: YA

Hardcover: 372 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
ISBN 0399256601 (ISBN13: 9780399256608)

Synopsis: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. –

OK, this book just looks nice. I love the cover, with its opalescent tone, giving it an ethereal feel. So eerie. I love how the first page each chapter is bordered by these beautiful scrolls and the font is super cool especially when the Chapter begins with the letter I (it looks like a candle)

I have heard about this book on the blogosphere for some time now and I finally got my hands on this book (just released Sept 29th) Thank you Maggie for getting this for your birthday and letting me read it!

I started this book at night and stayed up as long as I could finishing it before lunch the next day. It is truly creepy! This book could keep you up at night scouring the shadows of your room. Jack the ripper is frightening enough! Now there is a copycat killer and main character Rory has just moved to the locality of the original and now copycat murders. Maureen Johnson ups the stakes by adding a ghoulish twist I really didn’t see coming. All and all it was an awesome hair-raising tale that I highly recommend.

My only complaint is that I read this SO soon after it was published! DARN! Now I have to wait till book two of the Shades of London Series is released. AHHHHHHH! So I will now troll/cyber-stalk Maureen Johnson’s twitters for any news and updates.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am Thankful for Along For The Ride

 Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

This post is to qualify (again) for the 19-YA-Book Giveaway by author Beth Revis. I think this is the greatest idea and cannot wait to see what books people are most thankful for. 

So this summer some random chick recommended Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride to me after I finished (and LOVED) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I was told that if I loved Anna I would most definitely love Along for the Ride. She described it to me as a good “beach read.” OK so those of you that know me know I do not hang at the beach nor did I go to the beach this summer. I mean really? Beach Read? ME? Is there a murder on the Beach? Are there zombies on the beach? Are there werewolves or sparkly vampires on the beach?

So you ask what is a beach read? I define (in my mind from the Chris - tionary) a beach read as a book that is a quick read. The story completed at the end, no strings attached. A book you can slip into without over thinking. A book you can set down in the sand to fly a kite without being consumed with what will happen next.  An entertaining light read (sometimes sappy or gushy or gooey) that you would leave for the next vacationers to enjoy.  Also known as book I normally would not read.

Not long after this recommendation I was strolling through BJ’s and saw Along for the Ride. I hesitantly decided to scoop it up. Auden, the main character in Along for the Ride is a braniac insomniac who is given the chance to spend the summer with her father and his new family. She meets mysterious hunky loner and fellow insomniac Eli and together they embark on midnight “quests” both learning to let go and possibly find love. AWWWWW! 

Along For The Ride is indeed a quick read, very entertaining and the story is wrapped up in a bow at the end. BUT that bow is so beautiful on a wonderful glittery present I debated on opening it again. Immediately I wanted to jump back in those pages of fluffy sweetness! Instead I went back to BJ’s like the crazy book lady I am, I dug through the piles of books pushing little kids outta the way and found Just Listen, Lock & Key, and The Truth About Forever. I also have been known to troll the D section of the library, blocking sassy tweens in their skinny jeans to get that copy before they do. I love Dessen’s characters, they are so multifaceted and complex! She immerses you in their fears, insecurities, grief, resentments, and anxieties at the same time she takes you by hand and shows you hope, kindness, understanding, acceptance, empowerment, and true love. Seriously! How comforting.  

The situations her characters face sometimes are very intense and powerful, In This Lullaby, Annabel deals with isolation, and the shame and guilt of concealing her attempted rape, while her sister self destructs with a near fatal eating disorder. In Dreamland Caitlyn’s perfect romance become a nightmare of addiction and physical and mental abuse. I have to admit I was very worried being led down some of these dark avenues but Sarah Dessen guided me through the pain and despair into a happy world with sunshiny rainbows and closure in a very real and very believable way.

So Beach Read? Hmmmm.
Would I read this at the beach? Absolutely!  In a box with a fox! I would read this book here or there; I would read this book anywhere.
Is it a quick read? I could not put it down! So yeah I zipped right through it.
Is it a light read? Not really, I was totally absorbed in the story and characters. I mean What the heck is up with Eli?? When I did set it down for a nano-second it was to make chicken salad for dinner :) 
Would I leave the book for the next vacationer? Heck no! Try to pry it from my hands! I would however leave a nice note recommending it strongly.

I am thankful for Along for the Ride. I especially love that in each of her books there is a cameo by former characters. The settings of her books overlap, making a map of her world in my mind. Because of Along For the Ride I have been introduced to a new genre I would not have explored. I am so grateful I picked up this book. Right now have three of Dessen’s books on my TBR pile and then I will have read everything she has written to date. So Sad! * tear*  That’s OK I will read these again and patiently wait for the next one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The book I am most thankful for.

The book I am most thankful for. 

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

This post is to qualify for the 19-YA-Book Giveaway by author Beth Revis. I think this is the greatest idea and cannot wait to see what books people are most thankful for.

OK! Let me explain!

I have always been a reader! I love to read! After my daughter was born, I slowed down and really didn’t read much new, except for picture books! (Which are awesome!) As she began reading I started finding all of my favorites to share with her and began re-reading these. When at the bookstore I was always looking for a specific book knowing if she liked this, she certainly would like that. Classics. 

I never paid attention other books on the shelves or to the Young Adult section at all until Twilight.

Seriously! I reluctantly picked up Twilight to see what the fuss was about. The movie had just come out and as a mother to a tween girl whose friends were reading it; I felt I needed to read it too. I devoured this book and immediately went out and bought the rest in the series. When finished, I didn’t know what to do! So I read them again, and again, and again. My daughter started worrying about me and suggested that I find something else to read. The bookstore was overwhelming; browsing through the young adult section the covers shout at you, you cannot help but pick up the book to see what is about. I wanted to read them all! I decided as a parent I would try to read at least the first of all these new young adult series to be informed. So I read Shiver, preordered Linger and read Lament and Ballad. I read City of Bones and immediately got the rest of the series and pre-ordered Clockwork Prince. I read Paper Towns and bought everything that John Green wrote. I read Hunger Games, Catching Fire and thought I would die waiting for Mockingjay. I have found so many new authors that I love! Last year I read 66 books. This year I have read 85 so far (almost all young adult books) I “say” I read them to know what my daughter is reading, to enrich our discussions. But really I am just a book junkie that is hooked on young adult. I read book blogs, (I have a book blog-ish) I listen to podcasts about books. I have made most of my family stand in lines to get books autographed. I follow my favorite authors on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr. (I actually joined Twitter & Tumblr to follow authors & bloggers) Twilight introduced me to the incredible world of young adult fiction. I just needed something else to read to fill that hole after Twilight. Today, I am willing to read out of my genre comfort zone and because of that have found some amazing books and authors. Thank you Twilight!