Sunday, June 20, 2010

Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Synopsis: If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She'd know about her mom's new family. She'd know about her dad's fiancĂ©e. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.

    I read Zevin's other book, Elsewhere, and I loved it so much. So when I came across this book in Barnes & Noble, I just had to pick it up.  
    Like Elsewhere, this book deals with head trauma (you know, the amnesia). But I like the idea of amnesia. It may be really annoying to not remember things, but it's also like starting a clean slate. Which is exactly what Naomi does. She starts a totally different slate.
    Naomi is a strong and edgy character. She's a bit on the angry side during a lot of the story. But that's okay. James, on the other hand... just, oh my goodness! I have absolutely no idea why Naomi fell for him. He runs hot and cold and is somewhat a... jerk. And since when does "Jerk" equal "Sexy?" I really don't want to say anything about Will other than, "I love you and I have no idea why Naomi is so stupid and loves James instead."
    Zevin created a strong voice for Naomi and a moving plot to go along with it. I mean, some events were just not how you'd picture it, and I liked that. The ending left enough for the reader's imagination to make something up, but not enough for a sequel.
    Zevin whips up another genuis book with a twisted storyline, unique characters, and a story that will keep you thinking about it even after you finish it. I think I liked this book more than Elsewhere. I give it 4 keys.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: "Ruby, where is your mother?" Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
    Hey! It's been a while, right? Well, that's because I'm in... *drum roll please* South Korea! I'm Korean, so yeah. It makes sense. Anyway, since I'm in Korea, I don't have internet access everyday. So I'm probably not going to post again soon. I mean, I only brought three books (I know, I'm stupid) here to Korea and I've already finished them all!
    Anyway, two Dessen's in a row! Yeah, I was shopping at Target and I saw this book... and you know how bookaholics can be. This book was, I think, Dessen's longest one? So it took me longer than usual to finish it. But it was just as good! Being honest though, it wasn't as good as The Truth About Forever.
    Nate wasn't as appealing as Wes, in my opinion. But Nate was still a complex character. Ruby is just like one of my characters in a story I'm writing. Ruby was kind of edgy and I couldn't accept her as easily as the rest of Dessen's heroines. But that made me like Ruby even more in the end.
    This book was a little on the slow side for the plot, but that's because Ruby has a lot going on in her mind. Nate and Ruby's relationship didn't end how I wanted to, but if someone asked me to change it, I couldn't have.
    Intriguing characters, a deep and thoughtful message, and everything that makes Dessen famous is in this book. I give it 4 keys.

*Cover Note*: I've always loved Dessen's covers, but this has to be my favorite! It's so peaceful, yet engaging and... awesome~!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.
    To be completely honest, I was ready to give up on Sarah Dessen. I mean, my first book of her's was The Lullaby and it was good. I really liked it. Then I tried Someone Like You. I did not like it. It was boring and I hated Macon (or whatever his name was). But since I liked This Lullaby so much, I decided to give her another chance. I picked up Dreamland. Oh my goodness! It was terrible, well, in my opinion. I hated it so much. The plot dragged, Caitlin was so insanely passive, etc.
    But I'm here to talk about The Truth About Forever. I'm not even sure why I picked up this book after my unfortunate opinions of Dessen's other ones. But I did and I'm so, so, so glad. I loved it.
    Macy is a unique character. I like how this book is different since she doesn't seem to realize that she has the pressure of trying to be perfect. She doesn't realize that it's a burden, and that made the story a lot better. Well, Macy doesn't realize it until she talks with Kristy and Wes.
    Oh, Kristy and Wes! I loved their characters so much! Kristy was hilarious, I think. She's got spunk and fashion and humor, she's awesome. Wes. Oh my goodness, Wes. Wes was loveable, immensely so. As I said before, this book was so different than any other teen book out there. I liked how Macy didn't really know that she loved Wes. She really didn't. Because their love wasn't the Oh-My-God-I'm-In-Love, heart soaring love. And it wasn't lust either. It was just the kind of love that is comforting and friendly. I liked that.
    This was a very complex book. There are so many things that are going on at once, and everything is so interesting. This book will have all of Dessen's many fans wishing that the novel was longer, feeling like the characters were their best friends, and hoping to find comfort like Macy does in the end.
    I give this book 4.5 keys.

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