Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mini Review Bonanza!

Wow, two whole months of slacking. That may be a record for me! I'd love to blame it on a number of factors but basically the call of the beach was too much for me. So in order to catch up, I'm going to do mini reviews for each of the books I have read over the last 2 months...

May: Stand Alone's

Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie

My Rating: 3 Peaches

This book made me feel bipolar. I wanted to love this book at so many points and at other points I wanted to rip it into tiny pieces (except that it was an ebook, so I guess the worst I could've done was delete it). The relationship that grows between Callum and Harper, the struggles they face and overcome, their wonderful friends and the ending had me smiling like a fool. However, it seemed like it was just one struggle to many. I mean, seriously, these poor kids could not catch a break. On top of that, I did not like the cop-out "two years later" jump. I had a hard enough time believing that Callum and Harper hadn't fessed up to their attraction and feelings and having this time jump told me that the author couldn't keep up the facade either so she just skipped it. I am always willing to suspend belief for stories, that's part of their draw but this took me completely out of the story and I was never able to get back in. I am completely split on this book. 
 Would I recommend others read it? I won't be singing it's praises to my High School or Middle School students, but I wouldn't discourage others from it...

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

My Rating: 5 Peaches

Now this book I loved from the very beginning and it never let me down. You've got luxurious airships, dangerous air pirates, mysterious air creatures and so much action you can't put it down! On top of that, Oppel has written some fantastic characters. I would go exploring with Matt and Kate any day of the week.  Their struggles, interactions and relationships are completely realistic and connectable. Readers will easily put themselves in either Kate or Matt's shoes and love every minute. I especially think middle school boys would just devour this book but I will also be passing this name on to all my students as a must read! Plus it's a great, light intro to the genre of steampunk with little bits of steampunkyness spread throughout. I can't wait to read more! 
Would I recommend: Oh yes and to everyone with absolutely NO reservations!

My Rating: 4.5 Peaches

What! A Robin Hood retelling where Will Scarlet is a girl disguised as a boy! First off, I love retellings of classic stories and Gaughen does a fantastic job re-imagining Robin and his band of thieves, especially Scarlet. She is brave but not fearless, loyal but still has issues with trust, strong and decisive but with a heart that confuses her and breaks over her mistakes. All in all, a relatable heroine who isn't perfect and doesn't try to be. So why not a full 5? Eh, love triangles (again) and I wish there would have been a little bit more of the history. Also, I just wish there was more! I hated to see this book end. 
Would I recommend Scarlet?  Most definitely, there is some violence and references to sex but nothing that should keep this book out of the hands of middle schoolers and up!

May: Series and Sequels

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Sequel to Divergent

My Rating:  4.5 Peaches

I waited very, very, very impatiently for this book to come. I had it pre-ordered several months before it came out because I loved Divergent so much so I had super high expectations for Insurgent. It picks up right where Divergent left out and I think my favorite think about Insurgent was getting to learn even more about the other 3 factions (besides Abnegation and Dauntless): Amity, Candor and Erudite. Tris and Tobias spend time amongst each faction and learning more about them helped me to better understand Tris's world and why she is the way she is. As for who Tris is, Insurgent really added depth to her character by showing more of her weakness and how she doesn't let them slow her down. She mourns her mistakes but she also learns from them, grows from them and turns them slowly into strengths. Right along side her is Tobias and as much as their relationship struggled and fought in this book, it became that much more believable to me. Tobias and Tris don't just accept each other for how they are, but  they challenge each other to become better and stronger individuals. I think that is rare in YA fiction these days. My one gripe is the ending. It's supposed to be this huge, cliffhanging reveal and, judging by some other reviews, for many it was. However, I just didn't feel the urgency or the surprise. I can't say much more without risking spoiling it for those who have yet to read it. Despite that, I am still, again very impatiently, waiting for  the next book to come out and joining in on all the title predictions, my money's on Convergent... 
Would I recommend Insurgent? The only people I wouldn't recommend this to are those who haven't read Divergent yet because they need to get off their butts and get down to the bookstore to buy it!

Linger and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Sequels to Shiver 

My Rating: 4 Peaches and 5 Peaches

Honestly, these books started off slow and finished with a bang. The character's struggles, relationships, failures and triumphs resonated so much with me in this book. The inclusion of more Cole and Isabelle showcases a different relationship from that of Grace and Sam, one that is just as powerful and just as difficult. I love relationships that require work and actual effort and a sprinkling of snarky sarcasticness :) The evolution of Sam and Grace as individuals and partners throughout the books has left me with a completely different view of them since the first book, when I saw them as so one-dimensional. Especially Grace. I really did not like her character in the first book and now I find her completely relatable! Along with amazing character development, the action is increased and even more tense in both books. All in all, a great end to a series. I am looking forward to reading more by Stiefvater now! 
Would I recommend this series? Yep, to my high schoolers. There is some sex, cursing and violence but all in a realistic sense that adds to the story. 

Coming Soon: June Reads!

No comments:

Post a Comment