Sunday, 28 February 2010
Bea thinks she's the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world. She's not pretty or popular or funny, unlike her mother who had Bea when she was 17. The only glamorous thing about Bea is the French father who left before she was born and lives in Paris.
She yearns for la vie Parisienne every moment of her dull existence. So when Ruby Davies, the leader of her school's most elite clique picks Bea as her new best friend and asks her to go on holiday with them, she's wary but delighted. If nothing else it's two weeks away from her over-protective mother.
But when the gang arrive in Spain, Bea is crushed to realise that Ruby and her posse have simply been using her. Bea wreaks vengeance on her so-called friends, and plans to decamp to Paris to find her father. But when she falls asleep on the train and wakes up in Bilbao, she meets a group of American students who are backpacking around Europe and bonds with them straight away, especially the gorgeous Toph who helps heals Bea's hurting heart.
Though Bea has a shock in store when they finally get to Paris. The 'City of Lovers' really works it magic on Bea and Toph who spend a week wandering the sun-dappled streets of Paris, talking, holding hands and falling in love. When it comes time to go home to confront her Mum about her mysterious father, the new version of Bea is determined that she'll never go back to her old, boring way of life - she's no longer Nobody's Girl; she belongs to herself and to Toph...
But with an ocean between them, will he wait for her?
I'm a huge fan of Sarra Manning, so I was expecting this to be good and, of course, it was! Living in London myself, I could really relate to Bea and her worries- going to an all girls' school means there's constant gossiping, and there's always that one group of girls who seem to think they're better than everyone else. I liked how Bea wasn't begging to be in the 'popular girls' group- it just happened to her, and once she was in she didn't want to leave. The progression from Bea-the-loser to Bea-Ruby's-best-friend was entertaining to read. I especially enjoyed the scene where Bea's new 'friends' are trying to find her someone to make out with, and the guy they find turns out to be gay as Bea gains an ally at the parties Ruby and the others take her to.
I detested Ruby as a character, especially because I know a few girls like her who think the world of themselves when they're really not that great. Luckily though, they're not my friends or my enemies. Ruby was a horrible person, yes, but she was extremely realistic, as were the other girls who fawned over her.
Once they were on holiday, the book become more entertaining. I loveeed the scene where Bea threw Ruby's clothes out of the window and wrote everyone's secrets on the whiteboard; I really admired her for doing that.
I thought that the scenario with the American 20-year-olds inviting a 17-year-old to come to Paris with them was a teensy bit unrealistic but then again, if that hadn't happened, then Bea wouldn't have spent time with Toph etc. So it was a bit implausible, but a good thing all the same. Reading about Paris was lovely! Sarra Manning described it extremely well, and it made me want to go to Paris again (last time was three years ago). It was so much fun reading about Bea and Toph experiencing it together, and falling in love... one thing I would have preferred though would have been for Sarra Manning to show a bit more interaction between them while they were alone like what they talked about together, and how that made them fall in love with each other.
The lesson of the story was predictable but appropriate- to be yourself, and not to change to get others to like you, because people can end up liking you a lot more if you just yourself.
All in all, it was a really fun read, sweet and romantic, and I loved how a big portion of it was set in Paris! It definitely made the story more romantic.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
(I know I'm incredibly late, I just haven't had the chance to blog for a while cos I've been incredibly busy over the last few days!)
Last week I received:
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (it finally came out here in the UK!)
Nobody's Girl by Sarra Manning (read it at the weekend and it was soo cute and sweet. The review's coming soon!)
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
At once an homage to one of America's greatest writers and a page-turning psychological mystery that is equal parts horror, humor, and romance, NEVERMORE is the story of Varen -- a Poe-fan and goth -- and Isobel -- a cheerleader and unlikely heroine.
When a Lit. project pairs the two together, Isobel finds herself steadily swept into Varen's world, one that he has created in his notebook and in his mind, one where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel slowly learns that dreams can be much more powerful than she'd ever expected, and that pain and despair come in all sorts of shades. As labels of "goth" and "cheerleader" fade away, she sees more in Varen than a tall, pale outcast, and a consuming romance is braced against the ever-clearer horror that the most terrifying realities are those within our own minds.
When Isobel has a single chance to rescue Varen from the shadows of his own nightmares, will she be able to save him -- and herself?
This looks really interesting, especially with the Edgar Allan Poe and psychological elements. It seems to be much more than the typical (although I do enjoy reading them :D) popular-girl-and-unpopular-guy cliche. Can't wait to read this!
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
THE LOVE AFFAIR
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.
THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.-Amazon.com
This does sorta seem like your typical YA-Supernatural novel (the dark, brooding, exceptionally attractive boy hiding a 'dark secret') but the foreign location and the fact that she used to be called 'The Beast' make me intrigued. I do hope though that the makeover is gradual, and not once of those takes-off-her-glasses-and-is-suddenly-beautiful things.
What is everyone else looking forward to reading?
Sunday, 14 February 2010
From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.
A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.
Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.
They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
I found this an extremely enjoyable read. It was a bit short (256 pages), fast-paced and action-packed (especially the second half of the book) so no time seemed to pass at all as a I read it. The characters were believable, and I liked the setting of St. Sophia's too, as I've been to Chicago so it was nice reminiscing about Madison Avenue.
At first, Lily annoyed me a bit especially when she began following Scout because I'm not a huge fan of overly-inquisitive characters (I know it gets us readers the answers to certain questions but I know that if I met someone like that in real life I'd be so frustrated). But as the book progressed, I began to like Lily. I was especially fond of her new best friend Scout, who was spunky and loyal and who stood out the most compared to the other characters. A character who particularly intrigued me was Sebastian and I hope to read more about him in the second book (I would explain why but I don't want to give away too many spoilers).
The romance was quite minimal, but at least it was present, and I have a feeling it will be explored much further in the next book, especially with the way things were left off between Jason and Lily.
I like the concept of 'Reapers' and 'Adepts', especially the idea that their powers would start to destroy them if they hung onto them above a certain age. This made it more interesting as I wondered whether certain characters would be able to relinquish their powers in the future or go over to the 'dark side.'
So many questions were raised- what were Lily's parents really doing in Germany, what was up with the headmistress of the school, why did Sebastian do what he did...? There weren't too many questions though, that a reader would get annoyed- just enough to pique one's curiosity and make someone want to read the next book when it's out.
If you're a fan of slightly-supernatural high-school reads with realistic characters, I would definitely recommend it. However, if you're looking for something with a lot of romance, which touches a lot on the supernatural part, then maybe this book isn't for you.
Monday, 8 February 2010
(Yes I am aware it's not Sunday but I was SO busy yesterday so I didn't have anytime to blog.)
So last week was quite uneventful compared to the week before. I just bought two books: The Journals of Sylvia Plath and Ruined by Paula Morris- I really like its cover! (Right, if you were unable to tell :P)
I started reading Ruined and it's not bad, but not as engrossing as I'd expected it to be. The hero, Anton, doesn't really appeal to me- but I guess I should save all of this for a review.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Go here to see the cover.
Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampire High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left…
Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae’s hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world.
In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She’s always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess’s own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite’s loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey’s fate hangs in the balance.
Three girls… playing with fire… if they don’t watch out, everyone will get Burned.
The Season by Sarah Maclean
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!
I'm aware this is already out in America but alas here in the UK it's not out 'til June. I can't wait to read it because I love historical fiction, especially Regency romances, and (this is superficial) I love the cover! It reminds me of The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, but better because it seems less focused on social-standing, and of course it's set in London!