indefinite hiatus; i may not come back to the blog, but I'll leave it up anyway if anyone wants to take a look at any old posts etc. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Echo by Francesca Lia Block

Title: Echo
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pub. Date: August 1, 2001
Length: 222 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Francesca Lia Block has charmed and amazed young audiences with tales of the mystical and ethereal. This outstanding story is no different. Following the life of Echo, an L.A. baby born to an artistic dad and a mom who's an angel, this enthralling story offers more than fairy dust and the supernatural. It tells the tale of a girl who feels doomed to be less than angelic, at least in comparison with her mother. Mom's startling beauty and aura enchant all who meet her, and Echo can never keep up. Desperate to be loved as much, and maybe find her own identity, she escapes to the boys in her life. Ultimately, she must rely on herself for the strength to survive. Simple text ands story lines do not appeal to Block, who weaves a tale with amazing grace and the flowing energy of a true genius. Images of vampires, ghosts, and fairies fill these pages, daring the reader to believe. Told from the point of view of Echo and the key players in her life, the story imparts a dreamlike quality to Echo's life. This a novel layered with pain beauty, and triumph, all which will appeal to young readers.

My Thoughts: I loved this book for obvious reasons. One, of course, being that its written by Francesca Lia Block, one of my favorite authors at the moment. Echo is a lovely little book written in a unique style, like all of Francesca's novels. And, like all of my reviews of her books, I can't resist including a quote.

 Many people say that while they love Block's beautiful descriptions etc., overall they just don't like her books because they're vague outlines of stories that could have gone much deeper. I have to agree that her novels can tend to have a bit of an underdeveloped plot line, however, I still love each one of her books I've read. I don't know why, maybe because its so different, but the way her stories are written really appeals to me. Yes, I can get a bit confused at times, but I get past that confusion and love it anyway.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: Flawless by Lara Chapman

Title: Flawless
Author: Lara Chapman
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: May 10, 2011
Length: 256 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got killer blue eyes,
gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny—all right, enormous—flaw: her nose. But even that's not so bad. Sarah's got the best best friend and big goals for print journalism fame.
On the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into her journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him too. And when Rock and Kristen stand together, it's like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do—she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?
This hip retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our flaws.

My Thoughts: I'd never head of Cyrano de Bergerac before picking up Flawless. Honestly, I've never been too interested in reading any classics because the way they are written and the differences in time periods just makes them confusing to me, regardless if I liked the plot or not. However, these modern retellings have a different vibe that really draws me to them. That being said, I really enjoyed Flawless.

The message sent out in this book was wonderful. I don't think I can even explain how amazing it was and how happy I was that I decided to read it. Flawless teaches us that we are all wonderful in our own, unique way despite our flaws and helps us to remember that you don't have to be an absolute beauty or the prettiest girl to be liked because you are judged on more than just your appearance. Sarah was a girl who constantly brought herself down because of her nose and felt no one looked past it and saw her other fantastic qualities. She was easy to relate to and very real.

Overall, Flawless was a good read but there were a few things that bugged me and kept it from being a great read. (After all, nothing and no one is absolutely flawless.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

 Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak
Pub. Date: June 11, 2009
Length: 399 Pages
Summary ( from goodreads):
It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothing boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

My Thoughts: I seem to have a love/hate relationship with Sarah Dessen books, some I really enjoyed and others I just couldn't stand. I'm always hesitant about buying her books, because even if the summary makes it sound like a good read, I may not end up liking it. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed Along for the Ride, it just didn't amaze me or blow me out of the water. In fact, it falls somewhere in the middle of those two categories of her previous works.

I don't know exactly why I didn't fully enjoy this book. If I had to guess, I would say it just seemed too average for me: it didn't do much emotion wise, the writing wasn't amazing, and the characters didn't stand out.  I don't mean to complain but it feels like most of Dessen's stories are all too similar, and that's starting to become a real downer for me. ):

Overall, Along for the Ride was a cute read, but also predictable with a story that's been done before. Yes, I did enjoy it, but I was also left wishing that Dessen would write something more unique.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Pub. Date: 1963
Length: 320 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
My Thoughts:  I have to admit that the first time I read this book I didn't like it much at all and ended up never finishing it. I felt really bad for not liking it because my stepsister and stepmother had just finished it and completely fell in love with it. But that was two years ago and looking back I realize that I was probably too young to have read it in the first place and, in result, didn't understand much of it. When I reread it earlier this year (which was in last August, but since I was blogging at the time I never reviewed it till now), I could fully recognize just how fantastic it really is.

The Bell Jar is one of those books that really spoke to me. I'm sure everyone know this book deals with depression and has experienced feeling like the ones mentioned in this book at least once, if only for a moment or two; and that you'll be able to find something relate-able in it.
This really is such a lovely book and I hope you all will give it a chance some time or another.

Mad Girl's Love Song 
by Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least then spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)