Thursday, February 26, 2009

Woman in the Wall by Patrice Kindl

Anna is more than shy. She is nearly invisible. Most of the time her mother and sisters don’t see, hear, or pay attention to her. At seven, terrified of the prospect of school, Anna retreats within their enormous Victorian house, and builds a house of her own: passageways and hidden rooms become her world. As the years go by, her family forgets she ever existed. Then a mysterious note is thrust into a crack in the wall, and Anna must decide whether or not to come out of hiding. Her life may seem like a fantasy—but there is nothing more real.
Very rarely have I come across a book that leaves me with such mixed feelings. The premise of Woman in the Wall intrigued me the moment I read about it. How Anna felt and acted in the first half of the book was me at that age. If I had had a house like Anna’s, a family like hers, and her mad carpentry skills, I would have become the Woman in the Wall. I loved the first half of the book-the not-quite-reality of it, as Anna became one with the house and her existence became a myth to her family. But the second half felt like a completely different book. Anna’s immersion back into the real world was unsatisfying, too quick, and unrealistic. I have had social and anxiety problems my whole life and they are not something that goes away with the blink of an eye. Personally, I would have preferred if Anna had stayed in the walls of the house, fading away with the house itself, her existence becoming more and more of a mystery. It would have been a much more fitting end in my opinion. I would still recommend reading the whole book just to experience the beginning and Kindl’s beautiful writing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

What happens in Paris... Secrets--PJ's deep blue eyes and angelic long blond hair conceal a truth that's anything but. Will her dark past stay where it belongs in the backwoods of Vermont, or haunt her in the city of light? Passion--Always the good girl, Olivia plans to twirl her way to the top of the Parisian ballet scene. But that's not supposed to include dancing on a table all night...or stumbling into the arms of the wrong boy. Lies--With his emo-trendy bedhead, hilarious comebacks and Southern drawl, Zack could win over anyone. Too bad he's after the only one who's forbidden... Scandal--All Alex wants from Paris is to nab that berry-red Dior coat and seduce the perfect penny-loafer-wearing boy - and Alex always gets what she wants. But will her scheming pay off? Or is she risking more than she knows...? Alex, Olivia, Zack and PJ are spending a year at the prestigious Lycée de Monceau in the sparkling city of Paris. This is their chance to sip cafe au lait in Le Marais, throw secret parties in their host families' Versailles-size apartments, and have the time of their lives. But when the secrets they thought they left behind come out, everything could be ruined...
Never has Paris sounded so alluring! Lucy Silag does an amazing job bringing the city of lights to life—incorporating the language and culture into her descriptive writing. By adding the tang of mystery to each character, Silag allows her book to move beyond chick-lit, into a broader audience. I found that the characters were either you love them or you hate them. I loved the layers PJ and the snarkiness Zack, but found Olivia extremely whiny and Alex just a spoiled brat. What really kept me reading was the need to discover the characters’ secrets, which for some cases weren’t revealed until the very end, leaving an open invitation for a series. Beautiful Americans ends at Christmastime, with still half the year left, and I’m sure plenty of drama still left to unravel.
P.S. I'm at school, so I can't add my signature...:(

Friday, February 20, 2009

Angel Blood by John Singleton

There are only four of us left, Chicken Angel, Lights Out, Cough Cough, and me. I’m X-Ray. The nurses call this place the Bin. We have to get out. We have to run away before they hurt us for good. But there's no escaping Dr Dearly and his brutality - is there? Four extraordinary children face a terrifying ordeal. Their only hope is local hard-case Nail - but has he got what it takes to save them?

Wow…totally at a loss for words right now. This book has such a simple premise-four children in a sanitarium who each have some sort of abnormality (growths on their back, no eyes, photosensitive skin), but is so innovative and stunning. The reader is slowly introduced to the horrors of the children’s surroundings and cheers them on as they escape. Because the kids have grown up in this environment, they don’t understand the real world, and have developed their own sort of language. At first the lingo was hard to comprehend, but it soon added so much originality to the story that I loved reading it. Singleton managed to write a scary, thrilling, heart-wrenching, and at times humorous tale that leaves the reader breathless and moved. Angel Blood is a hauntingly beautiful tale worth every penny.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Scarlett Wakefield has two wishes: one, to grow breasts, and the other to kiss Dan McAndrew. It's not too long before both her wishes come true, but the second wish leads to something completely unexpected: Dan McAndrew suffocates to death in her arms. To escape the gossip at her posh private school, St. Tabby’s, Scarlett transfers to Wakefield, the school her grandmother founded in the English countryside, where she can start over. But then an anonymous note appears on her desk that will set her on a path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.
The premise of Kiss Me Kill Me drew me in the moment I saw the cover. The mystery surrounding Dan’s death was intriguing and original. Although the beginning and end were fast-paced and interesting, the middle dragged a bit, but the original plot and descriptive writing kept the flow going. I kept waiting for Scarlett to discover how Dan died and who was at fault. The conclusion tied up a few loose ends, but not all. Thankfully, the sequel, Kisses and Lies is available now in hardcover. I will hopefully be reading it soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae have one thing in common: they all want to die. When they meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens make a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.

This book looks so freaking good! And the cover is sweet! Basically any book with a road trip involved is going to be great. Albert Borris' novel will be released on July 21, 2009. Much too long to wait in my opinion.

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Bookshelves

I was very interested by Hope's post that showed her bookshelves (which originated at Taren's blog). I love seeing the books other people own--basically I love snooping! I've got 5 bookshelves in my room and am almost out of space. To make this a little more interesting, I'm going to state my favorite book from each shelf.
First pic is of my oldest bookshelf with my books from when I was younger. My favorite book on the top shelf is Fever 1793, I've read it probably 10 times. Favorite on bottom is...don't laugh...The Doll People. I used to be completely obsessed with dolls, so a book about dolls coming to life was amazing to me.
Here's my next shelf--probably my favorite of all. Top shelf favorite is Wicked Lovely, bottome is Desert Crossing. This next bookcase has books on only the bottom shelf, but I'm thinking I might have to clear out the others. Favorite book there is a toss up between Project 17 and A Certain Slant of Light.
Here is the fourth shelf. Favorites here are Garden Spells on top and The Missing Girl on the bottom. Last but not least, my final one and a half shelves. Top shelf fav is Hunger Games, bottom is Shelter Me.

My next two pics are books I have yet to read, so instead of my favorites, I'll tell you the ones I'm most excited to read: Bones of Faerie and I Capture the Castle.

Well, that was surprisingly fun! I hope you enjoyed my bookshelves--I definitely enjoyed revisiting all my books. Happy Reading!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My New Blog!

Bonjour! I just wanted to let you all know that I have started another blog called Musing of a Fledgling Writer--basically a blog of my random thoughts, insights, comments on today's culture, movies, books, etc. I plan to have a lot of fun with this one. So please head on over, check it out, and leave a comment! I'll update as often as I can. Thanks guys, and I promise to have a review of all 3 Gemma Doyle books by Libba Bray coming up in the next few days.