Willow Thursday, Apr 21 2011 

Book Title: Willow
Author: Julia Hoban
Number of Pages: 329
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: April 2, 2009

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow’s parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it—Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.
Told in an arresting, fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl’s struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy’s refusal to give up on her.

I do wish people, who talk about cutting like it is no big deal, pick this up immediately. Specifically, Hoban leaves no doubt in mind the pain that caused Willow to desire a different kind of pain found only in a razor. Hoban did a phenomenal job at exposing the reader into the mind of a girl stumbling in a world of pain.

Guy seemed too perfect with the kindness leaking through his pores. He cared about Willow to a great extent. When in the real world, how many guys do you actually know that would stick around when one of the first things you know is that she hurts herself. I understand that everyone feels guilty–Willow felt guilt over killing her parents, and Guy felt guilt when he realized what Willow was doing to herself–still I lack the ability to really understand why Guy stuck around.

After reading the book, I felt the book was not the best but definitely not the worst. Parts of the story irritated me, but I will not mention them for spoiling the book for readers.

Favorite Quote: “Well, sometimes I worry that my whole life will be based about what’s comfortable and easy. I’ll care too much about what makes me feel good to ever really reach for anything. And then I worry that even if I do, I won’t succeed.”

Listening To: The Truth About Heaven by Armor For Sleep
Thinking: Hmm.. really tired.


Perfect Chemistry Friday, Oct 22 2010 

Book Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Number of Pages: 360
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 1/01/08

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Brittany Ellis keeps her facade as a “perfect” girl, so she can feel like she can actually control something in her life. Alex Fuentes is part of a gang, but does he really want that? Brittany and Alex are assigned to be chemistry partners, but will they be able to be civil to one another due to their different social statues? Soon enough, their relationship will certainly begin to brew some actual chemistry between the two.

“Perfect Chemistry” definitely exceeded my expectations! While I picked up this book at the local library, I did not realize that I would be in for more than a modern Romeo and Juliet story. Actually it was a story with depth hidden in the pages. Even though this is a cliche story line, Elkeles managed to twist in some factors that made her book extraordinary and rememberable.

One thing that bothered me about this book was the ending. It definitely gave you the warm, fuzzy feeling. But what if something had happened differently? I personally like to imagine the ending drastically different, but the mass population will enjoy the actual written ending. Not my sadistic ending.

Listening To: Imperfections (Acoustic) by Days Difference
Thinking: oh so tired.

Almost Home Saturday, Sep 18 2010 

Book Title: Almost Home
Author: Jessica Blank
Number of Pages: 245
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release Date: July 14, 2009

There is Eeyore, just twelve years old when she runs away from her priveleged home, harboring a secret she’s too ashamed to tell anyone. Rusty is a sensitive gay teen who winds up alone when his older boyfriend ditches him in Hollywood. Squid has gone through too many foster homes to count. There’s Scabius, a delusional punk from Utah who takes the “me against the world” motto to dangerous extremes. And Critter is a heroin dealer with movie star looks and a vulnerable heart. Laura should be home studying, but she can’t face another one of her mom’s boyfriends.
And then there’s Tracy, the damaged thread that ties them all together, irrevocably changing each life she touches.

Whenever you imagine Los Angeles or Hollywood, you think of glamour and billionaires. Not the homeless teenagers.

These simple but yet so complex teens spend their time growing up on the streets of LA. All they share in common is their history with dysfunctional families, the place they call home, and Tracy. This two-hundred and something paged book is the stories of the seven teens told in seven chapters. The characters face more than you could every imagine. A glimpse into their world will leave you feeling torn.

If I had to use two words to describe this book, I’d pick intensely blunt. The books gives you a real portrayal of the struggles of being a homeless teen. Even though “Almost Home” is fictional, the characters are beautifully raw on the inside and out. It will forever be a remainder that not every one out there is lucky enough to have people that care about them and a home.

Wrecked Saturday, Jul 31 2010 

Book Title: Wrecked
Author: E.R. Frank
Number of Pages: 246
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 24, 2007

Dear anyone who cared about Cameron,

I was the driver of the “other” car.

The police and my mother and my father and plenty of people are saying that I didn’t kill her. But I know I did. That’s what her parents must believe. And my brother, Jack. He always sees what’s true. I want to tell him how sorry I am about the accident. I want to say a lot of things to him and to everybody — like how Cameron was smart and beautiful and kind in a way that isn’t all that common in high school. Like how much Jack loved her and how sometimes I can hear him crying through the wall at night. I want to say how bad everything can get.

In one split second.
Upside down and shattered.
Just like that.

Anna struggles to recover from an accident that killed her brother’s girlfriend. She soon finds out that she has something called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not only is she coping with PTSD, but a terrible father whose anger is quite frightening. She eventually sees a therapist who helps her through it all. I found the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) which is the form of therapy Anna went through to cope with the flashbacks of the accident very interesting. Anna’s flashbacks of old childhood memories were attention grabbers too. Those two kept me reading this book.

What first catched my attention to this book is the hyptozing green eyes. Those eyes captured my attention instantly, so I ended up checking the book out and reading it. The writing in this book was not anything spectacular. The writing style may have been intentional, so that the reader could connect with Anna’s fustrations. But it just annoyed me. I would have preferred the narrative to have been in Jack’s view because he was a much more likeable character then Anna.

Listenin’ To: Ocean and Atlantic by Mayday Parade
Thinking: I’m definitely need to work on my book reviewing and writing skills.

Coffeehouse Angel Friday, Aug 21 2009 

coffeehouse angel - CopyBook Title: Coffeehouse Angel
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Number of Pages: 276
Publisher: Walker & Company
Release Date: August 21, 2009

When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she leaves him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over, never expecting this random act of kindness to turn her life upside down. The adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is actually a real guardian angel on a break between missions, and now he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Fame and fortune seem like the obvious requests, but after two botched wishes, Malcolm knows Katrina is hiding something from him. But how can she tell him the truth, when her heart’s desire has become Malcolm himself?

In the town of Norbdy, there is a Scandinavian coffeehouse where Katrina works daily at because her grandmother owns the shop. A new, modern coffee place, Java Heaven, opens right next door stealing all of the business from her grandmother’s coffeeshop. They’re barely hanging on ignoring paying their bills which soon leaves them with not too many options.

But one morning, Katrina stumbles upon what she thought as a homeless guy in the alley outside of the coffee shop. She feels scared. At the same time, she feels the need to put out some coffee, pastries, and chocolate-covered coffee beans for him, so he won’t starve. Little did she know that she’s stumbled upon an angel who tells Katrina that he’s in town to deliver a message. He won’t leave Katrina alone till he can grant her the thing she most desires for doing an act of kindness. A little problem is that she doesn’t know what she desires most. Her first two desires that Malcolm, the angel, gives her are based on the top desires people wish for. However, she’s not destined for fortune or fame since something/someone got to those first before she did.

In the end the questions revolving around my head–what will her most desired item, and will it be granted? When the message is delivered, will Malcolm never come back?

Coffeehouse Angel is a light, sweet book about love and friendship. All the characters inhabited in Norbdy were relatable due to their funny, quirky personalities. The supporting characters were more than boring and one-dimensional like in most books. They had a liveliness in them that made them a joy to read about. You feel like you really know the main and supporting characters, and your wishing for Coffeehouse Angel not to end.

Listening To: A Day Late by Anberlin
Thinkin’: hmm, doesn’t think this review gives Coffehouse Angel enough kudos.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming Monday, Jul 20 2009 

the-secret-of-prince-charming1Book Title: The Secret Life of Prince Charming
Author: Deb Caletti
Number of Pages: 322
Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 7, 2009)

Maybe it was wrong, or maybe impossible, but I wanted the truth to be one thing. One solid thing.

Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist — after all, she’s the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men.

It doesn’t help that she’s gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her formerly absent father. He’s a little bit of a lot of things: charming, selfish, eccentric, lazy…but he’s her dad, and Quinn’s just happy to have him around again. Until she realizes how horribly he’s treated the many women in his life, how he’s stolen more than just their hearts. Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half sister she’s never met and the little sister she’ll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father’s wrongs…and in doing so, begin to uncover what they’re really looking for: the truth.

Bad relationship stories is all Quinn hears from the women she calls her family. Her family of only women warn her greatly of the bad points in men and love. But Quinn refuses to think that all men are plain bad, after all her father shows back in her life after no contact for years. She thinks that’s quite enough to think otherwise about guys. When her so-called-perfect boyfriend dumps her, she spins into reality. She also discovers a secret about her father may possibly be more than his charming self around the ladies. Could he really possibly a cruel womanizer? She’s joined by her half-sister, Frankie and her younger sister to find out the truth and make her father’s wrongdoings right. When opportunity comes along, they jump at the chance and go on a road trip. Also taking a musician with them since he needs the ride to one of their stops.

TSLOPF shares a bigger message than what you would think along with the hearts that broke. The first third of the book went by really slow. And I got confused between the little stories from some women in Quinn’s father’s past in between the story, and then you going back into the story. Yeah, it’s just confused me for awhile… The tagalong musician seemed a little too good to be true and becoming Quinn’s new romance interest. The writing quickly changes speed when the road trip begins bringing along action, fun, && overall more adventure.

Record Spinnin’: The Letdown by The White Tie Affair
Thinkin’: i’ve lost my spunk for writing..

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