Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Changing My Wardrobe by Deb Hanrahan

Title: Changing My Wardrobe
Author: Deb Hanrahan
Publisher: Philyra Publishing, May 16, 2011
Pages: Paperback, 258
Buy it on Amazon

From Goodreads: Incoming freshman, Lindsey Ames, wants to take Italian, and she wants to join the National Honor Society. She wants a new image, and she wants better clothes. She wants Avery to stop tormenting her, and she wants Marco to ask her out. She wants Jocelyn to go away, but she wants Grouper to be happy. She wants to save Teeny’s reputation, but she doesn’t want to lose everything. Will Lindsey find the courage to stand up to her enemies before it’s too late?

My Rating: (3/5)

I really enjoyed reading this book and it took me right back to high school. Whatever clique you fit into or group you mesh with, your friends are the biggest part of high school that you’ll ever remember. I can say this with confidence because I’ve graduated from high school and college, and I know the difference.

The main character and I may share a name (different spelling) but I can completely identify with her. Lindsey is shy and likes to stay out of the limelight while her best friend Teeny lives for it. And in true high school form, they both have a common enemy who is relentless.

Changing My Wardrobe is real on so many levels because it clearly shows how easy it is for teens to get out of hand. Just merely existing in a “good girl” high school bubble isn’t enough to survive high school, as Deb Hanrahan shows. While I was not expecting the ending to Changing My Wardrobe at all, I do know that the ultimate ending made me think and reflect on the entire scenario. Lindsey isn’t a perfect martyr or hero. She’s actually a great representation of what a real girl would look like in the midst of such high school crap. Overall, I love her character, but I wish I was more prepared for the surprise ending.

And oh yeah, I like the characters so much I want a spin-off!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award spotlights up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. A big thank you to Melissa from Reading by Moonlight for nominating moi! And now, I shall pass the torch:

The rules of the award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and past the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all- have bloggity-blog fun!

My nominations in random order are:

Laura @ The Reading Nook

Give ’em a shout!
xo ~ L

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where bloggers get to share books they received during the week.

This week the library amazingly had even more books ready for me! I swear they all had a lot of holds on them before me… I’ve been trying my best to read the ones I already have because my goal is to never, ever renew.
Anyway, this week was all about the library: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (which looks VERY worn in, hoping that’s a good thing), Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (very excited about this one), I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (I love this show so I figure maybe I should read the books! Hopefully it doesn’t give away too much about A… Does anyone know if the show is a play by play or completely different?), and finally Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I’ve seen this book come up a lot lately on blogs so I’m hoping it’s as good as the cover is beautiful. 
That’s it for me – what’s in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: Cinder & Ella by Melissa Lemon

Title: Cinder and Ella
Author: Melissa Lemon
Publisher: Cedar Fort, expected date: November 8, 2011
Pages: Hardcover, 280
Source: NetGalley
Buy it on Amazon

After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you’ll never forget.

My Rating: (2.5/5)
If you love fairytales and you’re always looking for a new one, this may be the book for you. This story is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story, but really the only thing in this novel that bears resemblance to the original is the name of two of the characters. Otherwise, it seemed to be a completely new story which I have to admit was a little disappointing to me since I was expecting the same story but with new twists.
In true fairytale style, the writing is very objective and linear in that it explains what’s going on but doesn’t give much insight to what the main character (Ella) is feeling. It’s all very polite and proper so I couldn’t get a feel for Melissa Lemon’s personal style of writing and it lacked the unique traits that many other YA authors have.
The best parts of this book were at Cinder and Ella’s house, away from all the prince and castle drama. I loved Katrina and Beatrice, the two troubled and difficult sisters, and I found their behavior so ludicrous that it was pretty hysterical and I think they actually stole the show from Cinder and Ella. I would love to see a spin-off just on those two sisters alone.
Overall, if you’re a die hard fairytale fan, give it a shot. If you like Cinderella as one person, the way she’s always been, well… you decide.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books, May 1, 2011
Pages: Hardcover, 496
Series: Divergent #1
Buy it on Amazon

From Goodreads: Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

My Rating: (5/5)

This is my new favorite series; I can tell already. Ever since I read The Hunger Games, Matched and The Maze Runner, I’ve been feeling a little “meh” about finding a new awesome dystopian trilogy. But no fear – I’ve found it! 
Divergent was a thrilling read from the beginning to the end. I actually had to slow myself down while reading so I could delay the awesomeness and bask in it as much as possible. Seriously. For example, I love the factions. At first I thought, how could only five factions define all of humanity? (Well, I found out it couldn’t, but that’s beside the point. Er, I mean it is the point.) Each faction is vastly different and each one provides a different community or way of living than the next which is probably my favorite thing about dystopian novels. I love exploring the worlds authors create and imagining how society could have possibly evolved this way. The almost insane, brave and courageous Dauntless provided a striking contrast to Abnegation’s uniformity and generosity. I believed Veronica Roth’s new world and found it equal parts stifling as well as exhilarating. I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the other factions as the series goes on.
Tris is a dynamic protagonist: she’s not perfect and she’s definitely not bad, but her character does seem to lie somewhere in the middle seeing as she’s constantly torn between going with her gut and doing what’s right, or being a follower and saving her own butt while others are in trouble. I think I like her and I’m hoping she gets emotionally stronger in the next book.
Now can we talk about Four? Four is one of the best boys to pine for in 2011, if such list does exist. He’s brave, strong, sexy? (I never got a good feel for what he looked like but it didn’t matter because his personality is a-blazing!) and oh yeah, he doesn’t treat Tris like a delicate flower about to wither at any given moment. I found the growing connection between Tris and Four to be just as important and engaging as the faction drama revolving around them. 
To say I’m looking forward to the next in the series is a huge understatement. Veronica Roth is a debut author and SHE’S ONLY 22. Yup. Go get Divergent!