Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review: Monster High by Lisi Harrison

As I am unable to come up with a good synopsis of my own, here's the one from Goodreads:
   "They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Dodgers), but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Merston High School, and the town will never be the same.
Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normie" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.
She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normie be trusted with her big secret?"
    I'm not gonna lie: I only picked up this book because when I saw a vampire Barbie (Draculaura) in Walmart, I was blown away. No, that is not an exaggeration. It was like someone had finally answered my dreams. And then I found out there was a book and I had to read it, even if I knew it wasn't gonna be amazing....boy, was I surprised. It turns out that the plot has a fast start and a gripping, page-turning awesome that no one could have expected. The characters are ones you'll come to love. With a great lead in to the next book, but still a satisfying ending, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the next book!
              256 pages, young adult
    Level of Romance: Isn't high school always about romance?
    Rating : 5 out of 5

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Five Mini Reviews for your Reading Pleasure

So, instead of giving excuses for my nearly month-long absence, I'll just jump right in and say, "I'm Back!" While I may have been a little MIA, I did read, so here are the reviews that I owe you, compressed into one post. Enjoy!
Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass
Young Adult, 251 pages
When she gets into a dodge ball accident in P.E., 16 tear old Tessa finds herself in a coma-induced "heaven" that looks exactly like the mall her parents work at. She receives a bag of items that she'd bought at that mall, all of which relate to a memory. These memories will help her answer the question she's been asking herself.
   Overall, a quick, fun read written in a quirky free verse. Tessa is a sassy character that all readers will identify with. Filled mostly with memories of Tessa's past, the pages fly by.
Level of Romance: None, Tessa is too busy flipping through her memories and stuck in a coma, sooo...
Rating: 5 out of 5
 The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Young Adult, 192 pages
Colt and Julia were secretly together for a year. Then Julia dies, and Colt is forced to internally mourn because to the public, he didn't even know the girl he loved. He is haunted by her memory and things only get worse when her diary falls into his hands. He has to  choose between bringing himself to read the diary, reopening the wounds he'd been healing; and living without the answers that the journal could hold. Julia meant so much to him, but is it time to move on?
 Another quick read, and despite the fact that it sounds like another book revolving around a high school relationship, it's not. It's more about Colt's reaction to Julia, her absence, and knowing the rest of his life will be without Julia. But it's so much more than that. There is an element of social prejudices between the wealthy and the "poor". Most of all, it's about moving on and admitting you have to do so.
   Level of Romance: Little, Colt is trying to mend; it's more about the effects of a relationship on a person and society.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Faking 19 by Alyson Noel
Young Adult , 210 pages
Alex is a senior in high school with a daddy complex. Her best friend M suggests that they go to L.A. for the weekend to escape the boring Orange County suburbia they are normally stuck in. Partying in Los Angeles means older guys with money and glamorous dangerous things like drugs, drinking, and sex. Alex and M begin relationships with some boys of the less wild type, but Alex will learn not everyone is what they seem.
A good read, but often the narrator, Alex,  talks to the reader and awkwardly breaks up the flow of the story. Surprisingly filled with life lessons and not as shallow, or even as prime-time-drama-show-ish as the synopsis printed on the back will make it seem.
Level of Romance: It's about relationships, so...I'm gonna go with a lot.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Crackback by John Coy
Young Adult, 201 pages
Miles Manning isn't the best anything. He's got zits, his grades could use some help and girls rarely look his way. The one thing going for him is football. He's a starting player on the school team, but it's not enough. His father is still pushing him to do better and pretty much driving his life. His best friend is trying to shoot him up with steroids, saying it'll make him a better player. Is it worth it?Mile will have to decide what he's willing to do to be the best. 
Not as dull as I thought it would be. It puts football in layman's terms for those who aren't exactly fans of the sport. It's not just about football, either. It's about being yourself and taking control of your life; about defining yourself. Miles has a believable teen voice and he's a great character. At times the plot seems to be stuck in the early nineties because of the mannerisms of the characters but it doesn't hinder the story. 
Level of Romance: Miles does fraternize with a girl, but it's nothing overly romantic. 
Rating: 5 out of 5 
 Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Young Adult, 208 pages
Lacey is all set to start her summer job at the public library, while her mother is about to start her own job at the local grocery store. The thirteen-year-old Lacey hopes that her mother's problems have settled because she seems so much better and without this job, they're flat broke. But as the day grows old, all the memories come back, telling the story of how this plan obviously couldn't work and how it quickly got out of hand.
With a slow start, I was almost going to give up on this. But about a third of the way in, a true conflict and some answers are presented to the reader and the plot takes off, gluing you to the pages. Mental illness and some other heavy subjects are featured in this book, so don't expect a frivolous tale of a girl. Definitely worth the read and the drudging through the first part.
Level of Romance: Lacey's got enough problems, she can't handle a guy too.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I hope you enjoyed these short and simple reviews and expect a new full length one soon. Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Monster High

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  
Here's what you do...
-Grab your current read
-Select 2 or more sentences from a random page (no spoilers)
-Do include the title and author so we can add it to our TBR pile.
  Monster High by Lisi Harrison

"Viveka and Viktor waved back, the worry behind their eyes undermining the smiles on their faces." (Page 81)