Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Boy Book- E. Lockhart

This is a book in which Ruby Oliver studies the male of the species and tries to get a boyfriend and ends up getting absolutely nowhere, as usual.
When we last saw Roo, she was having panic attacks left and right and had lost not only her stupid boyfriend, but most of her friends too.
Not good.  But still somehow hilarious.

Now, she's starting her junior year at school and is attempting to put her life back together with the help of The Boy Book, which she wrote with her ex-friends back before they were ex-friends.  In this book (yes there are excerpts interspersed throughout the story so you get to read it too!), she becomes quite close with Noel (a boy), gets close to Angelo (another boy), hangs out with Meghan (a girl whose boyfriend is now at Harvard so she is suffering to the max), and wait, what's this?  Is she getting an ex-friend back?!
Well, she deserves it.  She and Noel, after all, have taken it upon themselves to protect said ex-friend from the alleged pictures of her enormous hooters that Cabbie (a boy we don't like) took at a party Roo wasn't invited to because it was at Ex-Friend #1's house (yes, that damn Japanese girl who stole her stupid boyfriend then turned everyone against her).
But wait!  Ex-Friend #1 is on an exchange program in Tokyo (nowhere near Seattle and therefore very convenient for Roo)!
This means that those OTHER friends she had are more readily available since they're not busy hating on her with Mean, Nasty Kim.
And Kim's boyfriend who is Roo's ex-boyfriend is getting bored.
Even though Roo still thinks about Jackson Jackson Jackson OMG Jackson stop thinking about Jackson STOP IT oh Jackson, she would really rather make him jealous (because it is way more fun to make exes jealous when they're shitheads-and you know it).
And so she meanders around with Noel, and Angelo, and isn't sure what the hell she's doing, and tries to use The Boy Book as a guide but for some reason it's just not working too well . . . I mean, how can you figure out what boys want if you don't even know what YOU want? They're really not as simple as you'd think, and some of them don't even follow the norm ( I know this because my husband is completely different from most guys and sometimes I think he's a girl, only he's definitely a guy, so that can't be).
While Roo's parents question her sexuality and she has issues with shrinks, she also deals with an onslaught of peers and gets an internship at the zoo because she told the Zookeeper that she wasn't sure zoos were good for animals and so they thought she must be very sensitive and in touch with how animals feel.
There is plenty of miscommunication, and plenty of 'oh, how great he is at boob-groping, my my my' and plenty of 'ohhhhhhh my, is that MY EX with ANOTHER another girl? SHAME!' which is always fun.
Because, see, being a teenager is like, bizarre.  Seriously. I didn't get it at all, which is probably why I had no friends, which now I think may have made it slightly easier since teenage friends are flighty.
Hmmm.  Now I must ponder adolescent psychology and compare it to adult psychology and in all likelihood, get absolutely nowhere.

Now look:  there are MORE Ruby Oliver adventures!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Blue Bloods- Melissa de la Cruz

I decided to read this because I met the author at ALA, and she seemed cool. And I figured that if I liked it, well then there's a whole series I can read.
I liked some parts of this book, but there were things I did not like.  Such as:
1. The brandname dropping.  Sure I've heard of Chanel, but since I'm not a fashion editor, it doesn't help me visualize their clothing when she mentions who designed it.  For all I know, she could have made 75% of these designers up.
2. The entire Force family.  Mimi Force was the biggest bitch and name dropper and I really wanted her to die.  Jack was . . confused, and whenever he tried to step out on his own his bitch of a sister and jackass of a father told him not to, so he did exactly what they said. And the jackass father apparently owned New York City.
3.  The  things that don't add up.  So Schuyler, the real main character but not the only POV character, is from an established family but they no longer have any money.  Yet her grandmother runs around posh tea rooms and hotels in her Chanel (yes, that is the only designer mentioned in the book I'd actually heard of).  How the crap does she pull this off if they have no money?
4. The Letdown of an ending.  It could be compared to the villain being Professor Quirrell instead of Snape, only it just pissed me off (yes, I compare EVERYTHING to Harry Potter).
5. The fact that 'Croatan,' which is an Indian tribe, meant 'evil blood-sucking demon.' Were I of Croatan descent, I'd be mighty pissed.

However, something about it was still interesting.  The bizarre secret society, Schuyler and her pal, the socially retarded Texas cheerleader who was ridiculously rich yet somehow you still liked her, the hatred readers feel for Mimi (please kill her off, please kill her off, please kill her off!), the historical references (for the most part), the interesting way they reincarnate, the fact that they all think they're insane when it turns out they're just remembering their past lives, the mystery of who is attacking all these vampires, the fact that Schuyler isn't the same as everyone else (not even the vampires!), and of course, the fact that there was a servant of the vampires named Renfield (but he unfortunately did not eat rats and flies).

So if you're the type of person who doesn't mind clothing designers' names being thrown about willy-nilly and the bitchiness of certain characters, and you do like weird ass vampire/angel/historical theory, you'd probably go for this series. I have a feeling that I'll read more of them, despite the fact that there were things that annoyed me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fearless- Rachel Vincent

Yes, this is a review of a short story.
It's in this anthology of short stories written by popular YA authors called Kiss Me Deadly.  I haven't read them all, simply because I haven't read all the authors.
But I HAVE read Rachel Vincent's stories.
Yes, I go on and on about Soul Screamers.  So much so that I am amazed I never knew there was a Soul Screamers story in this book.
But there is!  And it's good!
This is a story of Sabine and Nash, before Nash knew Kaylee and before his brother Tod became a reaper.
This is Sabine's point of view and her tale of going to that wonderful home for naughty bad girls.
Yes, Sabine was a naughty bad girl.  But she had her reasons.  And Nash helps keep her in line, keep her sane.  She doesn't know what to do without him.
Yes, I like Kaylee more.  She's stronger.  She's not normal, yet she embraces her abnormality and tries to do good. And Sabine . . . doesn't.
But honestly, there's not a lot she can do.  She absolutely has to feed upon people's nightmares or she will die. And no one likes her because she's so creepy.
Sabine is not only creepy, but needy.  But genius writer Rachel Vincent makes you actually see what it's like to be her and I, at least, kind of felt sorry for her.  Her life sucks. No one wants her, except for some reason, Nash.
I do not think I will ever understand what goes in Nash's head. He's completely foreign and unknown to me.  I have no idea what attracts him and why he does what he does.
But after reading My Soul to Steal, I didn't like Sabine at all.  Now, at least, I see why she is the way she is.
She has nothing going for her except, apparently, Nash.  And she lost him, and once she did, she HAD to get him back.
I began identifying with Sabine.  When I was younger, I would become so fixated on some guy that I HAD TO HAVE HIM OR ELSE I WOULD DIE.  Sabine feels this way about Nash.
Basically, this story introduces you to Sabine's character, her weird morality, and her messed up background.  It leaves on a very open ending, but if you read Soul Screamers, you do find out what happens next.
Personally, it made me think that there just aren't many good men in Texas.
Good thing I live somewhere else.
Oh, and I'm married and don't have to worry about any of that anymore, of course.

Don't forget to read these, too.  Prequels rock.

                                     

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reading Across the Universe across the country

While on my flight from one side of the continent (Georgia) to the other (California), I also managed to fly across the universe.
Across the Universe, by Beth Revis has just been released.  I left my cold icy hometown for different place, just like Amy does in the book. Only I wasn't stuck in a cryogenic freezer, but on a narrow seat in coach class.
Things didn't go too well on that flight; there was too much turbulence and the TV screens were broken.  But things weren't going well on the Godspeed either.
Amy was supposed to be woken up when she reached the new planet she was going to help colonize with her parents, but someone woke her up a bit too early.

Oops.  Now she's stuck living on a gigantic spaceship and it doesn't look like they'll be landing anytime soon.  Mom and Daddy are still frozen because they'll be needed once they hit Centauri-Earth, so Amy is on her own with all the people aboard the Godspeed.
This ship is run by Eldest, a man who has complete control.  He can do pretty much whatever he wants in this fascist little spaceship society, and to him, the goal is keep everyone complacent.
Oddly enough, when I was in high school, I thought a great way to keep a society happy was to put antidepressants in their water. I do realize now that this is not such a great idea.  But this is not too different from Eldest's idea. But I won't go further into that; I don't want to spoil anything.
Amy is shocked by how the spaceship is run, how the people act, and how mangled Earth's history is (i.e., Hitler was a great leader, Lincoln ended the Civil War by sending the slaves back to Africa).  She doesn't think they act like humans for the most part.
And it's true; most of them act like sheep.  The only normal ones are those in the psych ward.
Seriously.  Psych ward is where you go if you're really human. If you're smart, or creative, or interesting to talk to, that's where you'll be.
So of course that's where the freakish-looking Amy lives.
Everyone aboard the ship who is NOT frozen looks very similar.  They're 'monoethnic,' or at least, so many ehtnicities have been breeding for so long everyone kinda looks the same.  They're mutts, and poor little pale freckled redhead Amy does not look right to them.
While many people are scared of her, others see how such a normal girl from Earth is so extraordinary aboard the spaceship.  Not only does she look different, but she knows things others do not.  She strikes up a friendship with Harley, an artist in the psych ward who loves the color of sunset, though he has never seen one, and Elder, a teenage boy who is destined to become the next Eldest.
The three of them team together in a way, trying to make sure the cryo-frozen inhabitants are not unfrozen and left to drown in cold water, which unfortunately seems to keep happening.
Amy cannot help but wonder why she was unfrozen; why she'll never see the new planet, why she can't just go back in the freezer until they reach the new planet, why everyone treats her oddly, why everyone on board is somehow not human, why someone is unplugging the cryo-frozen inhabitants and why didn't she just STAY ON EARTH?!
Fortunately, my airplane landed safely with no deaths, no drugged up inhabitants, no Hitler-is-great propaganda, and no treating redheads like freaks of nature.
Except, of course, for the ones in the book.  And I have to say, even though all these things happened in the book, it sure made my flight across the country much more enjoyable.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

ALA Midwinter- SAN DIEGO ROCKS!

So I have acquired a great many books.
A great many.
Hopefully most of them will be great, but that may not be the case.
I have also met some cool people, hung with some cool people I already know, registered to win Kindles, nooks, and iPads galore, and decided that California is exactly what I have been dreaming about.  I was right all along.  Amazing.
Oh, and on the plane across the country, I managed to read Across the Universe, and it was good, and I will write a review.
But not right now because I'm tired of carrying books around for hours. And I really wish I had a strapless bra on #tmi.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego!

So for the first time in my entire life, I am going to a Library Conference.
As an added bonus, it's in San Diego where my brother lives so I can visit him AT THE SAME TIME.
How awesome is that?
And I'm going on Thursday!
I am especially excited about the Publisher's New Book Buzz exhibitions.  Meaning I get to find out about new books.  And get new books.  And other cool stuff.
Also, I found out that there is going to be a YA Book Blogger Meetup. So I can meet people/dorks like me (fyi- not common).
I'm hoping to find out about Sweetly, local hero Jackson Pearce's new book. And even though I snagged an ARC of  Across the Universe, I want to see what else Razorbill has. Like maybe Across the Universe t-shirts. I would wear that. Or a Sweetly one.
And who knows what else I will find? Maybe this Divergent book? Maybe this Virals book?  The author of Virals will be there, after all.
And of course, I get to meet Neil Gaiman again!  Whoohoo!