Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart (Ruby Oliver #2) Review

The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them (Ruby Oliver, #2)
photo from Goodreads
The Boyfriend List didn't need a sequel- it would've been good as a stand alone novel. Happily, it did get a sequel and it is just as good as the first. The Boy Book shows Ruby's life after all the drama of sophomore year. She's still going to therapy and now's she got a job  working in a zoo. Her only real issues are what she refers to as her leper status. Throughout the fall semester, Ruby is faced with a lot of difficult decisions. 

This was very much a life-after novel; it tackles a lot of unresolved things from the previous book, such as what happens to Noel? Do Nora and Ruby become friends again? Does Ruby keep going to Doctor Z? And all these questions and more are answered. While there is a fair amount of drama in this book and it sometimes feels like too much, it's accurate. When  I think back to when I was in high school, these scenarios actually seems plausible. 

I enjoyed being in Ruby's mind again, and since it was her telling us what was happening versus telling us what happened, I feel like we as readers were able to delve into her psyche better. I am happy we got to see Megan more- if you read my review of TBL, you know that she is the one I identified with- but in this novel, I kinda identify with Nora more, as we both like to read. I really didn't care for Cricket in this one, same with Kim. As for the boys, I really liked Noel. In fact, I think he is my favorite of the boys. 

Rather than the chapters being the names of boys like The Boyfriend List, this book''s chapters were titled with the chapters of The Boy Book, which if you read the last one, you know that The Boy Book is the book that Ruby, Kim, Cricket, and Nora wrote to demystify the strange patterns of boys. I thought this was a cute concept. 

Overall, if you liked The Boyfriend List and want to read more about the shenanigans of teenage girls, this is definitely the book for you.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WWW Wednesday #6

WWW Wednesday is a meme created by Should Be Reading. To play along, simply answer these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next? 
All links lead to Goodreads. Let's get started!

What are you currently reading?
I am about halfway through Across the Universe  by Beth Revis. I've been reading a lot of contemporary young adult recently and wanted a change of pace, so I decided on this! I'm really enjoying it thus far. It's been awhile since I read  a science fiction book that wasn't really dystopian (though it still kinda has a dystopian feel to it).

What did you just finish reading?
I finished two books this week. First, I finished The Boy Book by E. Lockhart last weekend, which was excellent and will have a review coming soon. Then on Monday, I started and finished The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, which was a lot darker than I expected and that oddly makes me want to read the next one.

What do you think you'll read next?
I still have a lot of book out from the library, now including Fire by Kristin Cashore. I am also looking forward to reading the next book in The Ruby Oliver series, The Treasure Map of Boys

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, there is a new topic and you make a list based on that topic. This week's topic is Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings. Note: I am listing them by book title rather than world name.
1. The Harry Potter series
I dare anyone not to put this on their list. Seriously, Harry Potter is fantastic world building.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Collins describes the suffering of District 12 really well, especially when compared with the excess of the Capitol.

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
I love the factions and seeing how different they are from each other.

4. Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
This one is similar to Harry Potter, but has the same great world building.

5. Anything by Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley is excellent at world building and describing everything. Everything I've read by her is excellent.

6.  Warriors series by Erin Hunter
It's about cats! And I really enjoy the simplicity of the setting.

7. Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
This one in kinda similar to The Hunger Games, but I really enjoy the world building in this one and the distinctions between the North and the South.

8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I just read this one recently and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the different kingdoms and how Katsa would compare them to where she was from.

9. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
GWTW gives such a vivid description of every thing! During some of The Civil War scenes, I would have to take a break because some of the writing was too gruesome. I love the descriptions of the southern landscapes!

10. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
This book is very thick- and for good reason! It is packed with vivid details about travelling through Paris and the catacombs. If you like Paris, you'll enjoy this.

What are some of your favorite fictional settings/worlds? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Book Review

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
Photo from Goodreads
Katsa can kill a man with her bare hands- she's a Graceling, meaning she's been "graced" with an extreme skill. You can tell someone's a Graceling by their eyes- two different colors. Although Katsa in the king's niece, she is forced under his thumb to be his thug because of her Grace. When she meets Prince Po-someone who almost matches her in terms of combat skills- she has no idea how her life is about to change.

When I first heard about this book, I was very skeptical mostly because I didn't trust the judgement of the people I had heard about it from. So I put off reading it for a long time because of my skepticism. I don't really regret that, but I do wish I had read it sooner because it was excellent.

There is never a dull moment in this book. There is always something happening, some sort of plot progression going on. The plot itself is excellent. You definitely can't tell from the very beginning what is going to happen, though what happens at the very beginning is very important.

I liked Katsa, but I didn't love her right off. I actually disliked how rude and cold she was. It was like she was just running around, screaming, "I CAN'T BE TAMED!" which is all right by me but it got annoying after awhile. I grew to care about her about halfway through, and now I'm disappointed that it doesn't look like she'll be in the next book. I also liked Po and all the other characters. I liked Katsa and Po together.

The world building in this book was excellent. I definitely got a feel for all the different kingdoms that we visit with Katsa. My favorite was Lienid. I'm intrigued by the next book because it takes place in a world outside the seven kingdoms.

I'm thinking I will read Fire soon, but I kinda want to just skip to Bitterblue because I don't think Katsa's in next book. But I don't want to skip around in the series so I'll end up reading Fire. 

Have you read Graceling? What did you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WWW Wednesday #5

WWW Wednesday is a meme created by Should Be Reading. To play along, simply answer these questions:
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What are you currently reading?
I'm a little over halfway through Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I'm really liking it so far and will probably be reviewing it within the next week. It has definitely reminded me how much I love fantasy novels. 

What did you just finish reading?
I just finished A Field Guide for Heartbreakers by Kristin Tracy. You can see my review of it here. As you might be able to tell, I really enjoyed it. I love travel books. 

What do you think you'll read next? 
I have a lot of books out from the library, including the sequel to The Boyfriend List. I may also read the rest of the Graceling series. Or I may read something else entirely. 

What are you reading this Wednesday? Let me know in the comments. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People who like The Hunger Games

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is "Books for People Who Like X". I chose The Hunger Games because  I wanted to showcase some of the good dystopian fiction floating around and I wanted to showcase  books with a strong female character.  These are in no particular order. Also, all links lead to Goodreads. 

1.  Divergent by Veronica Roth
This is sort of an auto-recommend for me when it comes to THG. Oh, oh you like you The Hunger Games? Read Divergent. Some people will argue that the two series are too similar, but they just share some traits on what makes a book dystopian.  Plus for a female character, you get Tris, who I adore.

2. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
This book is not a dystopian story. However, the government structure kinda reminds me of a dystopian, I chose this one for Yelena, a strong female character who makes an interesting choice. 

3. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
This is not one of my favorites. However, it is a classic dystopian. It really lacks a strong female character, but is very interesting nonetheless. I may end up rereading it soon to see if my opinion has changed in the past five years. 

4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I have a soft spot for Ray Bradbury's writing style and I actually just read this recently. It's a really interesting look at a life without books (if you can imagine such a thing). 

5. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I'm actually reading this right now and a good portion of it is just Katsa running around going, "I CAN'T BE TAMED!" So while it's not a dystopian, it definitely as a strong female character. 

6.  Anthem by Ayn Rand
This is another one I read in ninth grade. However, I actually liked this one. A really good dystopian about the idea of identity. 

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry 
Another classic dystopian that I didn't know was a series until five seconds ago. I really enjoyed this one for the most part, though the ending left me hanging. 

8.  Uglies by Scott Westerfield
This is another dystopian series that is about "turning pretty" even though there is more to being pretty than physical features. I really like the first book but the series kinda goes downhill for me.

9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
This is one that I am hopefully going to read soon. I am definitely intrigued by it. 

10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
See above. These both have interesting world concepts that I am pretty sure they will deserve to be on this list. 

That's my ten choices if you like The Hunger Games. What else would you recommend? 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Field Guide to Heartbreakers by Kristen Tracy

Today was a day I had nothing to do but read... so that's what I did.

A Field Guide for Heartbreakers
Photo from Goodreads
Dessy and Veronica arrive in Prague to attend a writing workshop. However, the two girls have wildly different ideas- Dessy is trying to heal her broken heart by diving in to the workshop while Veronica wants to flirt with all the dudes and help heal Dessy's heart. However, it becomes clear that all is not going according to plan with the boys' mixed signals and their ability to cause tiffs between friends.

This book looks like it would be a cute romance about two girls who travel abroad, meet hot guys, and eat ice cream. But it's not nearly as light as it appears to be. This book deals with much larger issues like relationships between parents, trust, and how to deal with suit mates.

The plot of this book was really cute, and I think accurately showed how two teenage girls would spend a month abroad. Both the major conflicts ended nicely; although I thought the main antagonist's motive was a little silly until I took a step back. Then it made a little sense. Overall, the plot was very interesting and kept me reading.

I really liked both Dessy and Veronica as characters. I identified a little more Dessy, but I think that's because as readers we are seeing everything through her eyes. I liked Veronica too, though I found her a little too much at times. You definitely see growth from them both.  The minor characters in this novel were also excellent.

I loved the fact this book was set in Prague; in fact, that's what drew me to this book. I also appreciated the fact that despite the fact that Dessy and Veronica were remarkably different people, they could put their differences aside and be really good friends.

Overall, I'd recommend this as a fun travel read that makes you think about relationships.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #1)
photo from Goodreads
Ruby Oliver's life has definitely taken a turn for the worst. Over the past ten days she has, lost her boyfriend, her best friend, all of her other friends, and had a few panic attacks. Now her parents have her going to see a shrink to work out her problems. At her shrink's request, Ruby goes on to make The Boyfriend list- a list of boys who have at one point meant something to her in her life. And thus, the boyfriend list is born.

I listened to this book for the first time back when I was fourteen and grounded. I thought it was adorable then and really enjoyed. Unfortunately, by the time I realized that there was more to the series, I had promptly forgotten everything that happened. I then decided that now was the time to reread and see how much I remember.

I adore Ruby. She is hilarious and someone I would love to be friends with. However, the character I most identified with was Megan, the girl who drove Ruby to school. I hope we see more of her in the series. I also  really liked Nora, as I felt some connection to her, especially towards the end. I didn't feel any sort of connection to Kim or Cricket.

As for the plot, I remembered a lot more of it than I thought I did, but I remember being shocked at some the first time I read it. Just shocked. Overall, the plot is good and all the conflict isn't necessarily resolved by the end of the book, hence why turning it into a series is a good idea.

One thing I think actually makes this book good is the structure. I like that each chapter was devoted to a boy on the boyfriend list and her therapy sessions, and still included actual plot progression. There wasn't any chapter that was completely devoted to unimportant things- every thing was important.

I would recommend this book if you want a fun contemporary read that isn't one of those "love-at-first-sight" books, but still has a romantic element.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WWW Wednesday #4

WWW Wednesday is a meme created by Should Be Reading. To play along, simply answer these questions:
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as part of the Nerdfighter's Summer Book Club. I'm about halfway through it and it is really interesting. I forgot how interesting Bradbury's writing style is. 

What did you just finish reading?
I just finished reading The Boyfriend List  by E. Lockhart as part of my Kate's Book Club Summer Reading Challenge. As I type, it dawns upon me that I had given myself until the end of July to complete and have five books left to read.  Anyway, a review of The Boyfriend List should be up by Friday, if not tomorrow. 

What do you think you'll read next? 
Either one of my summer reading picks or one of the dozens of books I have out from the library. 

Post your answers in the comments! Happy reading! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I decided I would do "Top Ten Books I Would Recommend to High School Students". 

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
THIS BOOK! I think that high school students would like this book because it is a story of young love. It lends itself to being part of the "literary cannon".

2. Paper Towns by John Green
This is one that I would recommend if you are on the verge of graduating high school because it deals a lot with some of the emotions associated with that and relationships. 

3. The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This is one I would more recommend for girls, and maybe middle grade at that. This is an excellent series for girls who want to think.

4. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This book is a memoir, which isn't usually my cup of tea, but it is really excellent. A good book for students who are stepping outside their usual genres.

5.  A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Another very interesting book. This is one I read for school and actually enjoyed.

6. The Book Thief by Markcus Zuask
Another I read for school and enjoyed. Though ti is rather lengthy, it a fast read and explores a lot of interesting themes.

7. The Little Prince  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Though this is a children's book, it explores a lot about love and life.

8.  Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar
This is one I would recommend to people just starting high school, as it gives a really interesting portrayal  of that experience. 

9.  Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
This also may be more of a middle grade book, but it is super adorable and for people who like fairy tales.

10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I am actually reading this right now and I think it would be an excellent book for high school students, whether you think it is about censorship or not. 

These are my picks, though these are just general choices. What I would recommend to high school students depends on that student. What do you think high school students should read? 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley Review

Where I Belong
photo from

Corrine is living the dream- shopping at Barney's by day, going out to the hottest clubs by night. She even has her own horse and is going to start at an elite boarding school in the fall. However, when her father is laid off and makes a bad investment, she is shipped to a tiny town in Texas to live with her grandparents she barely knows. She goes from a posh boarding school to a public high school, from never having to work a day in her life, to shoveling manure. Corrine is determined to get back to where she belongs- to New York City.  However, when Corrine makes an unlikely friend and discovers a cute boy at work, she realizes that being in Texas may not be all bad. 
This book was so adorable! I liked Corrine from the beginning, even though she was a bit of a complainer once she actually got to Texas. All of the characters is this book were really well-written, from Corrine's little brother to her best friend from the city. I will admit that I really liked her Texas friend in this book, I thought she was just adorable. There is some romance in this book, but ti is not the driving force in this book, and the reader is left on a romantic cliff-hanger. This book also gives the important lesson of how your parents had a life before you were born, which a lot of kids have difficulty grasping. Overall, I really liked this book. The only things I didn't like was the ending because it didn't seem very realistic and the romantic cliff-hanger is still bugging me.

Overall, I would definitely recommend if you like fun, contemporary reads or if you think that God blessed Texas with His own hands.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People Who Like X Author

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by The Broke and the BookishToday's Top Ten Tuesday is "Top Ten books for people who like X author". Rather than just pick one author, I chose to recommend books based on one author. 

If you like J.K. Rowling and want another youthful hero story, I recommend Knightly Academy by Violet Haberdasher.

If you like Jane Austen and want to read a spin off of her work, I recommend An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan.

If you like Stephanie Perkins and want to read a European adventure romance, I recommend 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

If you like Suzanne Collins and want to read another dystopian series, I recommend Divergent by Veronica Roth.

If you like Libba Bray's Great and Terrible Beauty series, I recommend Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.

If you like Gail Carson Levine and fairy-tale retelling, I recommend anything by Robin McKinley.

If you like Megan McCafferty and are looking for another series about the perils of adolescence, I recommend the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

If you like the Nancy Drew series and want another good mystery, I recommend The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.

And that is all I have you lovely people today! This Top Ten Tuesday has been difficult! Happy reading!

Monday, July 2, 2012

June Wrap-Up

I think I am going to start doing wrap-up posts at the end of each month because I like to keep track of what I read each month. This, dear reader, will make you realize I don't review every book I read. There are many different reasons for this, and we will discuss those another time.

I read eleven books in the month of June, which is pretty good considering I worked the entire month. It is certainly more than I read in May (five) and more than I expected to read.

So without further ado, here's a list of books I read in June.

1. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
I really liked this one, but I think I prefer the first one.
2. Alice in Lace by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This one was cute and was one of the few in the Alice series I hadn't already read.
3. L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
This was a light summer read.
4. The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery by Philip Pullman
A good mystery as an alternative to Nancy Drew.
5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
A Southern epic.
6. Nancy Drew: The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene
This one was good!
7.Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
A great re-read! Looking forward to reading it in the fall!
8. Past Perfect by Leila Sales
This was super cute.
9. Alice in Charge by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Another great Alice book, this one dealing with bigger issues than the one I read earlier this month!
10. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Not bad, though the ending was spoiled for me before I started the book.
11. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
SO GOOD! Super excited for the next one to come out!

Good bunch overall! I'm excited to see what July has to bring!