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Monday, July 2, 2012

Things I've Read Recently (4)

If you're new around these parts, Things I've Read Recently are basically mini-reviews. Sometimes it'll be because I didn't have that much to say about a book for whatever reason, or it isn't the main focus of this blog (like the romance novels I love) or that the books are overdue from the library and I desperately need to return.

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Published: January 2nd, 2007 by MTV Books
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 212
Part of a series? No, it's a standalone.
Amazon link. (It's 4.80 when I'm typing this. For the physical copy, not the kindle. That is a seriously awesome price.)

Summary (from goodreads): They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.

Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.

Today her time has run out.

Thoughts: So many feelings. *sobbing* I just - her MOTHER I hated that woman so much. I wanted to light her on FREAKING FIRE. And then - zomg.

I'm sorry, I have no words and too many feelings to describe this book. I really really don't know what to say about this book. I don't want to say it was good because the subject matter of the book was so horrible, but the writing was amazing and... I honestly have no words. It was told in first person, present tense, and it this is an example of just how well that can be done. Recommended if you know you can handle this because it's... a hard book to read because of what it's about.

Oh, and can I just say how much I love this cover? I know the idea of it is a bit common now, but the flower being withered like that is just... I don't know. I just think it makes an impact.

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Published: December 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 214 in my copy
Part of a series: No, standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

Thoughts: It is a TERRIBLE idea to read this and Such a Pretty Girl on the same day. That was a really, really, really bad idea. But, ZOMG, such a good book. It was also told in first person present tense and Courtney Summers is amazing at it. Reading Cracked Up To Be has actually made me MORE interested to read This Is Not A Test because... well, this kind of writing plus zombies??? How could you go wrong? Parker was seriously messed up but she had such an awesome voice and... I just can't handle how awesome this book was. Seriously. So good. Highly recommended.

Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita

Published: May 1st, 2009 by Little, Brown
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 297 in my hardcover copy
Part of a series? Nope.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): When Sam's best friend gets her first boyfriend, she's not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other "pookie." Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn't realize is that it's not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooey s'mores.

If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn't ruin Sam's summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who's always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam-they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.

Thoughts: Okay. Here's the thing. I've had this book since... I don't even remember. Thank goodness I have a blog, huh? Ah-hah. May 2009, I've had it from. So that's 3 years, pretty much since it came out. I haven't cracked it once in all that time. And honestly... it didn't overwhelm me.

It was predictable at times, the characters were a bit flat, the writing wasn't great, there were blatent mistakes (2 kids at the camp needed daily allergy shots - I asked online and googled and everything I found said kids who get allergy shots only get them once or twice a week decreasing over time, it has to be at a doctor's office, and one woman whose daughter got them told me they had to wait in the office for half an hour to watch for an allergic reaction to the shot; another girl in the book used an inhaler and it seemed like she was using it every five minutes and I don't you're SUPPOSED to do that - I mean, it's not breath spray) and, honestly, Samantha kind of annoyed me.

Okay, she kind of really annoyed me sometimes. She was SUCH a pushover, whiny, a craft snob, she didn't have a backbone to speak of, and she never seemed to actually spend time with the kids she was supposed to be practically responsible for.

Also there was this:
pg. 153
"Warning," Cole said ominously. "They're using glue today, and lots of it. Caleb dumped a bottle all over the floor."
"I don't know why they let them do projects with it at this age," I said. "Last week, Serena glued her hand to the table. I had to find nail polish remover to get her loose." Cole laughed.
Disregarding that I'm pretty sure the "Cole laughed," part breaks grammar rules, these are six to eight year old kids. I let three to five year olds - and once in a while a 2 year old - use glue at Storytime EVERY WEEK. Liquid glue. In a small container. With a paintbrush. Granted, we're not going to let them run away with it, but you know what? They can handle it. Six year olds are first graders, generally, and if not, then they are almost definitely done kindergarten. They can DEFINITELY use glue without getting into trouble.

Not to mention, I don't know what the heck kind of glue they're using that would both run out of the bottle fast enough to make a mess without somebody catching the kid and glue a kid's hand to a table. Whatever it is, I bet it's not non-toxic.

Anyways, done ranting now. To be fair, it was fun to read most of the time. It had its funny moments. It was very very sweet. It would probably be a good beach read because it's totally not deep at all. But it didn't do it for me. Personally, I give this one about two and a half roses, but if it's your kind of book, you might like it. Not really recommended unless you think you'll love it.

Well, that's everything!

Peace and cookies,

1 comment:

  1. Great mini reviews, Laina. I adored Such A Pretty Girl and I'm so glad you read it and loved it. It is a tough book but so good. Also, I think I need to pick up Cracked Up To Be now. Sounds like my kind of book!


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