Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Great - Sara Benincasa

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 2 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (Meh.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 263 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Naomi doesn't enjoy spending her summers in the Hamptons with her mother. She'd much rather stay home and study for the SATs. Everyone else is mega rich and while Naomi's mother embraces that lifestyle, Naomi herself shuns it. Then she meets the girl next door, who is anything but the typical girl next door. Jacinta invites Naomi to hang out with her, and even though it's to get closer to Delilah (someone who Naomi's mother forces her together with) Naomi finds herself fascinated with the mystery of Jacinta. But most mysteries don't stay mysteries for too long and worlds can crumble will secrets escape.

I was so excited for this one and was quite disappointed with what I got. I suppose if you haven't read The Great Gatsby you might enjoy this because it will be a while new story for you. I just felt like this was far too close of a re-telling to actually hold my interest. I just guess I wanted the author to do more with this. I wanted this story to be larger than life and it was just regular sized.

There weren't really any characters that I found myself liking and that makes it hard to really enjoy a book.

All in all I just found this title to be a bit lackluster. I enjoyed the big changes that were made, but there were not nearly enough for me to be super excited about this one.

First Line:
"My dad, who did all the heavy lifting when it came to child rearing and was far better suited to the job than my mother, gave me some good wisdom after my first summer away in East Hampton."

Favorite Line:
"She didn't look like the type who could generate scorn, but if she was anything like every other girl I'd met during my East Hampton summers, scorn was her second-favorite feeling, after boredom."

Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: The Distance Between Us - Kasie West

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (Kind of generic, but a little fun.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 312 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Caymen and her mom are very under-whelmed by rich people. The only thing they can be counted on for is spending money on things no one needs. Caymen knows Xander is rich and a first wants nothing to do with him. When he keeps showing up though, he starts to grow on her. Caymen knows that her mother will never approve though and she can't really explain why. Honestly she isn't even sure why her mother's hatred for the rich runs so deep. The more Caymen hangs out with Xander the more she realizes that you can always judge a man by his wallet.

I didn't think this one would wow me, but it did. It was a really good story. It was also quite giggle-inducing. I was often chuckling to myself at the exchanges between Caymen and Xander. It was also quite steamy between those two. Nothing too explicit, but definitely enough to make you fan yourself giddily.

It was very interesting finding out the real root of all evil (and it's not money) at least from Caymen's mom's perspective. It was not quite what I was expecting and I'm glad for that.

This novel definitely makes me want to read more by the author, though honestly I just want to re-read this one. Definitely check it out if your looking for something a little steamy, even more funny and a little tiny splash of surprise.

First Line:
"My eyes burn a hole in the page."

Favorite Line:
"Then he takes me by the waist and lifts me onto the counter."

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review: Cold Calls - Charles Benoit

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I like it.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Clarion Books
Page Count: 278 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Three strangers all get the same phone call. An anonymous voice stating "I know your secret". What does the person on the other end want? They want each person to bully another specified person and for the grand finale, record it and put it online. The bullying doesn't go so well for any of them though and they end up in counseling. Which is lucky for them, because it brings them together. With all three of them working at it, they might be able to figure out who is blackmailing them before that person shares their secrets with the world.

This was certainly a fascinating read. Mostly I just wanted to learn what everyone's secret was. I didn't think Eric's was all that bad. Definitely not great, but not as bad as the other two. Fatima's is the worst one when it boils down to the truth. Shelly makes hers horrendous, but in actuality it's not really as bad as Shelly makes herself feel.

It was a bit surprising what all the hub-bub was about. It was almost a let down, but it was pretty ingenious and realistic and just worked. This novel will definitely make you think twice about both sides of bullying.

If you're looking for an interesting mystery within a mystery, grab this one.

First Line:
"The phone rang and he answered it."

Favorite Line:
"Eric opened the stairway door and started down the hallway to the cafeteria, where he would share lunch with a stranger."
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