Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jet Set by Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman

Goodreads Description: "I'm Lucy Peterson, and let me tell you I don't fit in at my new boarding school in Switzerland at all. Caviar at every meal, white-tie affairs (because black-tie is so last season), trips to Geneva to pick up the latest couture, and real live royals lurking around every corner? None of that is really my speed. I'm just your average American teen, here on scholarship, ready to kick some academic and tennis butt so I can have my pick of Ivy League colleges.

Only now I'm falling all over myself to impress my crush, who just happens to be a prince, I've gotten myself tangled up in a tabloid disaster literally and the "It" clique on campus has decided that I am worthy of their evil scorn. What have I gotten myself into?"

My Review: I liked this book because it was set in Europe, and I'm a sucker for books set in Europe---especially books set in grand, fancy locations in Europe, like this one. The book was actually pretty cliche to read; I could guess basically the whole plot ten pages into the book. But it was still a fun, fluffy read. I liked the main character; she wasn't a passive twit, she actually stood up for herself, which was refreshing. The only BIG problem I had with this book was the dialogue. It was WAY too formal and fake. I understand that these kids are elitists and fancy and rich and stuff, but even Lucy---an army brat from the States---talked this way. They never used slang and they always said really strange, way-too-formal sounding phrases. And the conversations sounded unnatural, for a bunch of teenagers. But otherwise, it was an okay book.

Cover: Okay, I like this cover. I know: it's TOTALLY tacky and gauche, but hey, it's eye-catching! You've gotta give it that! And it's cheerful. I also like that part.

Overall Grade: B-

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ghost And The Goth by Stacey Kade

Amazon Description: "After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck as a spirit in the land of the living with no sign of the big, bright light to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser outcast. He alone can see and hear (turns out he’s been “blessed” with the ability to communicate with the dead), but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.

Alona has never needed anyone for anything, and now she’s supposed to expose her deepest, darkest secrets to this pseudo-goth boy? Right. She’s not telling anyone what really happened the day she died, not even to save her eternal soul. And Will’s not filling out any volunteer forms to help her cross to the other side. He only has a few more weeks until his graduation, when he can strike out on his own and find a place with less spiritual interference. But he has to survive and stay out of the psych ward until then. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and the weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?"

My Review: This book was just okay, in my mind. It was partially amusing to read, but quite honestly, Alona's Queen Bee-act got old REALLY fast and Will was kind of boring, in my mind. There wasn't nearly as much humor as I had expected, and there were a LOT more technicalities (about the "rules" of the dead, and so on) than I had foreseen. The plot WAS semi-interesting, I guess, in where I wanted to find out what Will's deal was and what would happen to Alona in the end and---yes---I wanted to know HOW Alona and Will could ever be together (seeing as how one of them was DEAD...). And speaking of Will and Alona's relationship---I found it forced and cheesy. A lot of people loved this book, but call me heartless---I really didn't. It was okay enough to pass the time, but it's not something I would ever read again.

Cover: The cover IS nice, I've got to admit. It kind of shows the humor of the situation (not that there was much humor in the book, in my opinion...).

Overall Grade: C-

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twisted by Sara Shepard

Goodreads Description: "It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The Pretty Little Liars have more secrets than ever - twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild.

Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship.

Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore … eventually."

My Review: First of all, I'm aware that this is what I call a "sell-out book"---a book an author writes after the series is DONE, just so they can continue their fame and get some more money. And my opinion of an author always goes down after they write a sell-out book. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the I enjoyed Twisted! I liked the flashbacks to Jamaica. It gave the book a fresh spin; a different setting than the town of Rosewood, which was getting a bit tired and boring. And while I was rolling my eyes a bit at some parts---Shepard enjoys using plot cliches that she knows work---I was, at the same time, wondering just WHO Tabitha (a mysterious girl they met in Jamaica) truly was. I hated how the girls fell apart after a tragedy AGAIN---why can't they just STAY friends? But I liked how different, fresh characters were added. Klaudia, the exchange student, was delightfully nuts to read about and Spencer's soon-to-be (or soon-NOT-to-be?) step-family was pretty amusing to read about. I cringed at Hanna's parts (let's just say she made a really stupid rookie mistake) and Emily's parts were just weird. Which means that it was a normal Pretty Little Liars book! I actually enjoyed it, though. It made me want to know what happens next and I read through the book fairly quickly. It had its flaws, but what doesn't? Overall, a good PLL book.

Cover: Every four books, the PLL series gets a re-vamp. I like what they did with the words and the doll this time; it's better than the last four books. The name is fun, too.

Overall Grade: B+