Monday, June 13, 2011

Where She Went

by Gayle Forman

I read Gayle Forman's first book,  If I Stay, earlier this year... and it has stayed with me over the past few months. It's a touching story of life, love, and the grief that comes when you are left behind. So here I should issue a warning that if you have not read the first book in the series, reading this review will definitely reveal some SPOILERS for you. MAJOR SPOILERS. Okay, take a breath and here we go!

Where She Went takes place a few years after the first book, after Mia has gone to school in New York and Adam has made it famous as a rock star. After being separated for that time, their lives intersect for one night in New York. Secondary to losing Mia, Adam lost all joy in life, despite his apparent success. Reading from Adam's perspective is so compelling, and your heart breaks for him as you read his story. You follow him through the loss and pain after the accident with Mia's family, through her recovery and his life without her, and finally to the moment when they come together and face everything between them. My review? I love this book. I read it in under four hours, and was completely consumed by the world that exists around Mia and Adam. These books are so beautiful, and draw the reader in so completely, that I feel like giving a copy to everyone I know. They're written for a young adult audience, but deal with such complex issues that I am confident readers of all ages will find something to love.


by Veronica Roth

If you have been living under a rock, then you might not know about the wave of futuristic dystopian society novels that have been hitting the young adult section. The pinnacle of this genre is perhaps the well-known Hunger Games series. (Side note: If you have NOT read this book series.... turn off your computer right now and get yourself to the nearest bookstore, library, or friend's house to get yourself a copy! ... I'm not kidding. Do it. Right. Now.) For those of you still reading this entry, Divergent is a mix of the Hunger Games and The Giver. Which makes it fantastic. In this society, you are born into one of five factions that dictates your lifestyle, personality and actions. At the age of sixteen, however, you have the choice to stay with your faction, or choose a new one to join. For Beatrice, the initiation experience leads to her leaving home and re-naming herself Tris. As she deals with changing factions, she learns about herself and the commonalities/differences between the different factions. Through it all she finds a strength in herself that she doubted she possessed. This, plus an intriguing hero and the discovery of an underhanded plot to destroy the current factional system adds up to a dynamic book that had me staying up way past my bedtime. So while you're out getting yourself a copy of the Hunger Games, make sure that you pick up a copy of Divergent too!

Just Like Heaven

by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn's latest, and much anticipated, novel debuted at #2 on the New York Times Best Sellers List. There's a reason. What I really love about Quinn is that she not only writes brilliant romance, but her books are hilarious! Sometimes her characters make me laugh so hard, that I draw stares from the non-readers around me. But trust me, she is hilarious. Since I have such high standards for Ms. Quinn, I was a little nonplussed by her last novel which lacked her signature strong relationship. However, Just Like Heaven marks a return to the more vintage Julia Quinn Bridgerton-series style writing. Our hero and heroine have known eachother since early childhood, and after facing death and revealing secrets, come to realize that they truly love one another. And during all of this, they eat a lot of sweets, attend/participate in a horrendous musciale, and finally escape the loneliness they each face in their lives. My one critique would be that the reader is expected to accept the strength of their relationship based on reports of the past, while not much relationship development actually occurs in the course of the story. But Quinn makes it entirely believable and manages to have me laughing again. This is definitely a must read if you are a fan of her work.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To Taste Temptation

This book took me about six months to finally finish up. An upper class English woman can't bring herself to marry the "classless" upstart American, until their lives are at risk and she finally realizes her mistake. True love prevails. End story.