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Monday, September 23, 2013

Things I've Read Recently (6)

Wow, I'm still bad at the beginning part of the whole posting thing. I've been staring at this thing for five minutes now wondering where to start.

Alright, well. If you're new around here or if you forgot who I am and what the point of my blog is while I kept up my year of radio silence, Things I've Read Recently is a post series I do of mini-reviews, basically, when I'm too lazy/have too many books/not enough thoughts to do real reviews.

So, as I'm sure you've worked out by now, here's some stuff I've read recently!

Encore Edie by Annabel Lyon

Published: January 2011 by Puffin Canada
Genre: Contemporary MG
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 163
Part of a series? Apparently it's actually a sequel. Whoops. I didn't mean to do that.
Amazon / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): Life isn't easy for thirteen-year-old Edie Snow. She's the youngest kid in her new high school, she has a serious shortage of cool clothes, and her own family doesn't even understand her. Add to that a sister who's acting crazy, a boy friend who wants to be a boyfriend, and a mortifying nickname, and it's about as much as one girl can bear. To make matters worse, her mom is making her to walk her cousin Merry, who has Down syndrome, home from school every day.

Edie figures she can make new friends and get out of walking Merry by joining the school play, but putting on an ambitious musical production of Shakespeare's King Lear only ends up alienating her further from her schoolmates. With the musical on the brink of disaster, Edie realizes that if she doesn't find some help - fast - it'll be curtains for her play... and her social life.

Thoughts: I didn't actually know this was a sequel. Apparently I skipped the little About the Author at the front of the book where it, you know, told me that completely. And the "Also by this author" list. Wow. I'm actually kind of impressed by myself right now. Seriously. Anyways. APPARENTLY this stands on its own quite well. I didn't have any moments of confusion due to not reading the first book (not that I KNEW their was a first book at the time, but the point stands!) or anything. I'm sure it works quite well as a sequel, too, but I wouldn't know because I had a moment of mind blankness. Or several.

Edie is thirteen in this. Very, very thirteen at times. Very, very, very accurately thirteen. But she grows up as the book goes on, learns a few life lessons and gets kicked around a bit, and comes out a better person for it. All in all, sweet book with a good story and a main character who really does grow as a person, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this one. It'd be really good for kids around that age or a little younger, even. (Depending on reading levels.) Her cousin Merry was also portrayed really well, as an actual, you know, human being, and wasn't degraded into a stereotype or anything. Edie's reactions to her and the way she treated Merry, too, were honestly realistic for a thirteen year old, even and maybe especially in some of the moments where Edie didn't treat Merry the best she could. I really enjoyed Edie's character growth, though, as she learned to be the type of person she really wanted to be. Four out of five.

Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe

Published: December 2010 by Razorbill
Genre: YA Mystery? Thriller? Either one of those or just YA Contemporary.
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 326
Part of a series: Not as far as I can tell, but apparently I'm not very good at that.
Amazon (it's 3.60 as I'm typing this for the paperback, but there's only 4 copies and this doesn't go up for at least a week so you all might hate me a little by the time you see this) / Book Depository (actually the paperback here is like 4 dollars, too) / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run. Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface-not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

Thoughts: Hooboy. Okay. See. To be honest? The only reason I finished this is because I wanted to know who tried to kill her. Jane was annoying and flaky and shallow and ugh I just did not like this book. It draaaaaaagged so much and the romances - I didn't even CARE, you guys. Guys, that's just sad. (Guys, I want a castle.) I just... I didn't really even care about who tried to kill her (she annoyed me so much I kinda wished they'd succeeded), I just wanted to know to know, the random sexuality plot crisis in the middle of the book made me roll my eyes, the dead best friend thing was seriously overkill. I'm giving this a one. One and a half tops. Sorry. Just not the book for me at ALL. Moving on.

Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year by Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn

Published: September 2008 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Umm... YA... Thriller? Kind of? I'm not entirely sure.
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 284
Part of a series? Nope.
Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): Jenny Green is a spoiled teen "princess" and the newest junior at Montreal's Molson Academy. Jenny wants a fresh start in her new school, and she's curious to see what Montreal has to offer, most especially in the boy department. Beautiful, charming, and sharp-witted, Jenny has no trouble getting the boys to fall for her.

But when she discovers just how despicable the male gender can be - with the lying, the cheating, and the utter disrespect - she decides to make them pay...with their lives.

Thoughts: Luckily, I liked this one a lot better than the last. I'm very much biased in that I liked that it was set in Canada XD I don't know much about Montreal, though, honestly. I'm kind of across the country from there. It was really interesting reading about it, though, and I liked that a lot. And I don't usually notice setting in books unless it's really noticable for some reason.

Jenny was a little... odd. But that's probably the point when you go into a book where the basic plot is, "Men suck, I'm going to kill them all." Just know going in that this is a book where a sixteen/seventeen (I can't remember her exact age, sorry) goes on a murdering spree. Her state of mine isn't exactly going to be steady. It's a solid three and a half, for sure. Not amazing, but decent and solid and a relief after reading a book that so very much did not work for me.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Published: June 2009
Genre: Contemporary YA
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 383 of actual book, 399 with some other stuff (author's note, etc.)
Part of a series? No.
Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound

Summary (from the back of the book because I like it better than the goodreads one): Ever since her parents' divorce, Auden has been unable to sleep. She's built a routine that gets her through the night; but when the opportunity comes for her to come to spend her summer at the beach with her father and his new family, she jumps at the chance to break out of her rut.

 Life at the beach proves more challenging than Auden expects. In addition to trying to figure out how she fits into her father's new life, she also has to navigate the girls at work with their gossip and friendship and crushes. And then there's Eli, a fellow insomniac who becomes her nocturnal tour guide. With an endless supply of long summer nights between them, almost anyone can happen...

Thoughts: I really liked Along for the Ride. This was actually my first Sarah Dessen! Which is basically blasphemy in the book blogging world, huh? The writing in this is just beautiful. It's easy to sink into, it keeps you wanting to read it, it's not a struggle in anyway. Auden was a really interesting character, too. I think she's one of the first YA characters I've actually read with chronic insomnia, I think. (I heard someone in an old, old review say that Auden didn't really have insomnia because she could crash in the wee hours of the morning - usually five or six, I believe - and she'd sleep until afternoon. Well, sure, but it was summer. During the school year, that equals two or three hours of sleep a night, tops. Also, rude, dude.)

It's been quite a while since I read this one (almost two months now, I think) but I just really enjoyed it. Oh, also. This is really shallow but I really like the cover. I just think it's really cute. Highly recommend, four and a half out of five.

Alrighty! I still have more books so there will be at least one more of these posts! How are you guys liking them?

Peace and cookies,

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