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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I'll Give You The Sun (Review)

I'll Give You The Sun
By: Jandy Nelson

Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Since Last Summer (Guest Review)

Since Last Summer

By: Joanna Philbin
Reviewed by: Jade

Rory McShane should be excited to spend the summer in East Hampton with Connor Rule, her generous, smart, cute boyfriend. After all, Rory's no longer the hired help at the Rule family mansion on the beach, and she and Connor have made it through a year of long-distance dating. But now, in the months leading up to college, Rory can't help but wonder if she really belongs in Connor's world.

Isabel Rule is still trying to get over Mike, the devastatingly sexy surfer who broke her heart last summer. Enter Evan, an aspiring filmmaker who's kind, funny, and crushing on Isabel. He'd be the perfect summer fling -- so why can't she seem to forget about Mike?

Set against a backdrop buzzing with the rich, the famous, and the wannabe rich and famous, Since Last Summer, a companion novel to Rules of Summer, is the perfect beach read.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Darkest Minds (Review)

The Darkest Minds
By: Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Played (Review)

By: Liz Fichera

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me. 

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Falling Into Place (Review)

Falling Into Place
By: Amy Zhang

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Art of Lainey (Review)

The Art of Lainey
By: Paula Stokes

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

YA Movie Review: If I Stay

If I Stay
Based on the novel by Gayle Forman.

So, I was lucky enough to watch If I Stay early. It more than does the book justice. I loved it soooo much. Within five minutes of it starting, I knew that I needed the DVD so I could watch it over and over. Before the film finished, I also made a mental note that I needed the soundtrack.

If I Stay does a phenomenal job staying true the book. It does this literally but more than that it just captured the spirit of the novel. So while there are changes, I think for the most part, I loved the changes it made. There is this one scene in particular, and I wish that scene had been in the book. It words where Forman had chosen to gloss over. I love both choices, but the words hurt cut and it was perfect for that scene and the character. 

What I liked about the movies was the the new scenes made absolutely sense and of course they deleted and changed parts too. I was okay with the deletions, because they rearranged things and simplified it in a way that made sense watching. It was more combing certain scenes then trimming it down, than just throwing it away. Which was okay with me. I liked those changes. There were only two changes that I liked the book versions more. One is minor and most people problem won't notice: It's just a line that they cut from Mia's mom. Something small, but once I realized it wasn't there I wished they'd included it. Even if it might've added less than ten seconds to the film. 

The second change that I didn't like at all. I think it took away from the scene. It's one of the very last scenes and...I wish they would've keep that part true to the book. They do until they don't. At least to me, it changes the dynamic of that scene. It lessens the moments. It's pretty noble, but what happens in the last scene of the novel is perfection. I think why I hate it so much because it feels kind of cheap, it doesn't feel as huge as it does in the book. It's still a good thing, but it's not a great act. 

I know that part probably doesn't make much sense, but I'm trying to keep it vague in case you haven't read the book, and also because I don't want my view of it to completely taint what you might think. I just want to point it out so after you watch it, you can tell me what you think. 

My last critique of the movie is that as some parts the symbolism felt very heavy handed. The mist and the sunshine. I might've cringed because I just loved the movie without all that in-your-face symbolism. It felt very elementary and I don't think the movie needed that. 

Still, even with those things: I absolutely loved this movie. I had to try not to cry, but I couldn't help it. I broke down twice. Incidentally, the same two scenes that broke me, while I read the story. Reading it was one thing. One of the scenes (the scene with Teddy) killed  me while reading it. The movie treads gently at the moment, but I'm so grateful towards it. I loved the soft touch of that scene because it made it that much more impactful to me. The other scene that got me was the one with Mia and her grandfather. I just lost all my shit. It hurt. So much. More than I could ever have imagined. 

If I Stay isn't all tears though. I definitely yearned for that kind of love and at the same time, I chuckled because it's all so funny. 

If I Stay (the movie and the novel) builds you up and breaks you down at the same time. It's the best feeling in the world. You definitely should check out the movie and definitely read the book. They compliment each other in the best ways.

Thank you so much to the people at Warner Bros!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Just Like The Movies (Review)

Just Like the Movies
By: Kelly Fiore

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson. 

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Things You Kiss Goodbye (Review)

The Things You Kiss Goodbye
Leslie Connor

Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Review)

Isla and the Happily Ever After
By: Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.


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