Friday, March 25, 2011

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I continue crying some more, I promised I'd actually get to a review on time for once.

I'm very late to the game on this one. I kept hearing about it and hearing about it, and hearing so much PRAISE about it, that I should have picked it up a long time ago. But to be honest, I think I was scared to. The title and the cover, and then the jacket as well, all let you know that this story is about a girl that dies. She dies. There's no point in letting you think that once the seven days are up, she can somehow win her life back with a good deed or two. And I knew that it would probably be very amazing. But I didn't tell myself that. No, I tried to keep myself from reading it by saying that it wasn't fantasy, and it was probably about catty popular girls and somehow still depressing because one of them dies. So, I put it off.

Then I read DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver. I was enraptured and totally caught up with this author's way of describing the world, even in a futuristic fictional one that would probably never be, I totally understood that she was, and could only be, talking about our world. Us. I fell in love with that story. And then I thought, why not? Pick up BEFORE I FALL. It might be depressing, but Lauren Oliver's already opened your eyes once, maybe she'll do it again. And I expected BEFORE I FALL to be good. I expected it to be sad, but oh so powerful. What I didn't expect?

That it would literally grab a hold of my soul and transform me. That it would literally open my eyes up to myself.

That probably sounds pretty dramatic. Probably something that a sap would say and probably not as reliable coming from an unknown source that's trying to recommend a book to you. But it's true...

I can't explain how this book has touched me. It's a personal story. All I want to say about it is that I cried during all of Sam's scenes with Izzy (her little sister) because I once had an older brother, and I wondered what he might've been thinking those couple of years in the hospital when he was spending time with his baby sister. I couldn't stop crying when Sam accepted her fate and during her last moment in her own fictional world. That's how good this story is.

I just know that Lauren Oliver has this ability to make the most amazing characters. Characters so real that you feel like you've known them your whole life. I can't stand letting Sam go. And even after I turned the last page, trying really hard to ignore the tears running down my cheeks, my fingers kept fumbling for more, not wanting to let go of her. Not wanting her life to end. And I knew how it would end all along, but like she says in the book. We still hope. We're still human...

If there's any book in the world, I could say without a doubt has helped shape me or moved my heart in some form or another, it's BEFORE I FALL. Read it and you'll know. I hope you do.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE GODDESS TEST was excellent!

It was so refreshing to read a book that was beautiful yet simplistic in it's appeal. The plot was unique for it's genre and the characters were to die for. I really loved Kate as a protagonist. She was going through some true pain with her mother dying from cancer. Based on personal experience with family members and this particular disease, I can say that the emotion there was raw enough to bring me to tears. Even Henry, who I was skeptical of at first in the prologue, really won me over.

I also loved Ava and James. They were real friends. What was so refreshing about them was that they weren't perfect though. They weren't just sideline characters that cause some trouble on the side and whatnot. They were just as immersed in the plot as Kate was. In fact, almost every character served a purpose one way or another and that can't be easy to do as a writer.

The love story was unique in it's own right, and I thought Carter's way of turning Greek mythology on it's head and really making it her own was just fine. For others, I can see how it might bother them that the Gods and Goddesses weren't as mythological legend says they are, but I didn't have a problem with this. I felt that her recreation of them was unique and interesting. Henry completely revamped Hades and made himself the complete opposite of what one might think that an Underworld-ruling-God should be. His interactions with Kate were soft and heart-aching. I felt what Kate felt for him and it's not easy to make that connection with readers sometimes. Hats off to Carter!

i have to say though, that I figured out the murderer pretty fast once I started eliminating the suspects in each chapter. Wonderful twist though!

Personally, I'll be among those vying for the sequel, GODDESS INTERRUPTED. I just have that I have so much longer to wait now.

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Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)Hereafter by Tara Hudson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

HEREAFTER is another one of those recycled plots you'll see in almost every book in the Young Adult section these days. Plot: insert supernatural girl who is "alone" in the world, meets the boy of her dreams after some life saving dilemma, they fall in love instantly, conflict = they can't be together because of some supernatural drama, annnd just for kicks and to add originality let's add in a boogey man who's more hot than scary.

I've read it all before in different shapes and forms. It's old and tiresome. When reading becomes a labor, then the book is seriously disappointing.

Lately, I've been coming across lots of books with GORGEOUS cover art, but miraculously all of the plots are the same old boring schtick that everyone's using to get published these days. The Twilight Fad. I really hate comparing any story to this book. It was a break out novel for it's genre and for readers around the world, but with the over rated phenomenon, I really don't understand why there are so many writers out there stuck on this mind set of supernatural "die for you" romance.

But I wouldn't have rated HEREAFTER this high if I didn't enjoy it a little. Despite the dated plotline, I still felt that some of the aspects in this story were sincere, and I cannot hate it for that. Amelia seemed like a good person and her relationship with Joshua was fine. I just wish that the plot hadn't been so slow. Nothing really happens until the last five or six chapters out of thirty in the whole book. I wanted more action. Less talk. Less romance that didn't really have anything unique about it.

I may or may not read the sequel, but I'm just sorry to say that this story didn't really hold any interest to me. Perhaps it will for others, but if you're looking for something completely new, I'm not sure that it's here...

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really, really wanted to get into this one. The cover is drop dead gorgeous, but unfortunately the plot and characters for me were just drop dead boring. Perhaps I've just read too many paranormal YA lit these days and I've seen too many similar plot holes. But Helen wasn't relatable for me. Her love story with Lucas was too played out. The villain was too... "muhahaha" for me (the everyday archetype). And the writing wasn't engaging enough to keep my attention.

The idea itself was so promising. There were so many ways that Angelini could've taken this. Recreating the Trojan War and adding some starcrossed love drama would have been so epic. That's what I expected. And where there were expectations, there were short comings. It's a shame.

Not that I won't give credit where it's due. The fact that there were a few lines once in a while that held my attention would have kept me reading. And believe me, I'm not one to not finish a book. However, the timing for this one just sucks right now. I have work and school and a million other books to read. But I will recommend Starcrossed to anyone who hasn't read a billion paranormal YA books and those of the younger generation that want a dramatic teenage romance to read.

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