YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Posts tagged ‘read this book’

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Things aren’t pretty for Emerson Watts.
Em was sure there couldn’t be anything worse than being a brainiac the body of a teenaged supermodel.

But it turned out she was wrong. Because that supermodel could turn out to have a mother who’s gone mysteriously missing, a brother who’s shown up on her doorstep demanding answers, a former best friend who’s intent on destroying Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his lost love, and a British heartthrob who’s written a song about her that’s topping the charts.

How can Em balance all that with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. Johns – especially when she’s got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side…

Not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren’t really airheads after all…especially one model in particular.

But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki.

What can I say? This is Meg Cabot after all. Last year when I read Airhead, I loved it. This year, Meg Cabot blew me away again. Being Nikki was fantastic. The novel was fast paced and filled with wonderful characters and a great plot! I love everything about it. Being Nikki was absolutely BRILLIANT. There are some new characters introduced in this book as wells as a mystery! The mystery was very well planned and it all fit perfectly at the end. I had a hunch in the beginning and I was right. Being Nikki is a roller coaster ride in Em’s new life together with scheming people and a crazy plan to bring down Stark Enterprises as well as finding a missing person! Get ready for a heart-pounding ride with Meg Cabot’s new book.

I have nothing but praises for this book so I shall end the review by saying this: if you loved Airhead, then I suggest you immediately run to the bookstore and buy Being Nikki! You will love it and when you’re done, you will groan when you realize the next book won’t be out till 2010.

Lights, camera, Nikki! Get Being Nikki today on Amazon.

Gold star!

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Beautiful Disaster by Kate Brian

Caution: This review may contain spoilers if you have not read the Private/Privilege series.

    After wasting away in a mental institution for a year and a half, Ariana Osgood is finally back where she belongs. She has a new look, a new name, and a new life — all thanks to her former friend Briana Leigh Covington.

    Now enrolled as a junior at the exclusive Atherton-Pryce boarding school just outside of D.C., Ariana sleeps in Frette sheets, flirts with the captain of the crew team, and gossips with the most beautiful girls on campus. She killed to get back her life of privilege. Just how far will she go to keep it?

    From the author of the bestselling Private novels comes a series about the dark world of wealth, secrets, and privilege.

I loved the first book in the Privilege series and was hoping this book would be just as good. Beautiful Disaster met my expectations in some areas, however, some parts were slow and you just wished something exciting actually happened. Unlike the first book, BD was not as suspenseful. The book is set in Arianna’s new school in which she assumes a brand new identity and look. Without revealing too much, I shall put it this way. There are moments where I want to skip everything and jump straight to the end to know what happens. But knowing Kate Brian, I will miss out a lot if I skip those pages. ;] So I forced myself to read everything and it was quite satisfying. I won’t say the ending surprised me because I was pretty dubious about someone’s intentions from the start. In Beautiful Disaster, Ariana makes readers sympathize with her more and readers will find themselves rooting for Ariana!

Kate Brian does it again. She successfully ends the book with a cliffhanger which will assure you readers that there are many more Privilege books to come. And leaves you breathless for the next book, Perfect Mistake coming October 27, 2009. Overall, I would say that Beautiful Disaster was good, but not very fantastic. Still, I enjoyed it and definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

Preorder your copy of Beautiful Disaster on Amazon today. In stores June 2, 2009.

Silver Star

Here’s Kate Brian’s reply to my review. OMG!!

Kate_Brian @readingthisbook THANK YOU! And thx for the positive review on your site! I KNOW you’re going to love all the suspense in Perfect Mistake!

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients’ personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view.

On the eve of the hospital’s demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it’s an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents’ diner. For the others, it’s a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

I was really excited to read this book and it did not disappoint! I loved it! I gave Deadly Little Secrets an average score when I read it last year but Project 17 gets 9/10! Unlike Deadly Little Secrets, Project 17 is not predictable at all. You have no idea what to expect. And there’s a mystery too. The book is set in Danvers State Hospital, a real place located in Danvers, MA. That is something I love about this book. It’s set in a real place! The book started slowly and it wasn’t till page 65 when they enter the asylum. But once they are in, it’s I think I am going to talk about my feelings of each character individually. Here we go..

Derik: I like reading about him the most. I like his character and since the story is mainly focusing on him, I like him the most.

Liza: She’s the studious girl with good grades and all but can’t get into the school she wants. I like her but she started creeping me out whenever she said “we shouldn’t be here.”

Mimi: Mimi is a very interesting person. I always looked forward to reading her chapters.

Chet: Not much to comment about. His a typical prankster/joker.

Greta and Tony: Greta reminds me of Sharpay Evans. The spoiled and snobbish drama queen. And Tony is just like her sidekick/boyfriend. Found them both very annoying. Greta totally freaked me out when she tried to get into character and find the doll. I was wondering if she got possessed or something. Freaky!

Each chapter is told by different people but it was not confusing. I read Project 17 at night and it totally spooked me. I didn’t dare to go to the bathroom because I am a scaredy cat. In my mind, I could totally see Project 17 as a movie. It would be AWESOME if there was a movie of the book. Back to the review, the deeper you get into the story, the scarier things become. Everyone starts to lose their mind at one point or another.

There are unanswered questions too, like the talking doll, the bathroom message, etc. My own conclusion would be that they just belong to the ghosts who live there. If anyone else has read this book, I’d love to discuss it with you!

Overall Project 17 is a fantastic suspenseful horror novel that sends chills down your spine. I highly recommend it. Fans of horror books, you have to READ THIS BOOK! If you can’t stand psychological books, I don’t suggest you reading this because this book is very intense. Imagine if you were reading this book and suddenly the door slammed. Guaranteed that you will jump out of your seat. Laurie Stolarz writes exceptional horror stories and I look forward to her future horror books.

Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors

Two Juliets,
both alike in desperation. . .

Seventeen-year-old Mimi Wallingford, of the Broadway Wallingfords, has a life most girls can only dream of—complete with the starring role in her family’s production of Romeo and Juliet. But acting is not her dream, and she’s fighting for the right to trade her script for a scalpel and become a doctor.

Fourteen-year-old Juliet Capulet, of the Verona Capulets, has lived a lonely life—imprisoned by the feud that consumes her family and by her iron-fisted mother’s forcing her into an unwanted marriage. She will do anything to avoid her betrothed, even if it requires faking a boil on her bottom—or something more dangerous.

During the play’s final performance, Mimi’s wish to get away actually comes true when she and her heartthrob costar, Troy Summer, are magically transported into Shakespeare’s Verona. Now that she knows the real Juliet, Mimi doesn’t want to stand by and allow the play to reach its tragic end. But if saving her new friend means changing the ending of the greatest love story of all time, will she and Troy ever make it back to Broadway?

Saving Juliet was a delightful read. It was funny, quirky, fast paced. I found myself laughing so hard at the scene with Troy and the leeches. I won’t spoil the book for you but this book was so funny. Suzanne Selfors is amazing. It’s great how she turned Romeo and Juliet from a tragic love story into a hilarious story together with her own characters. I was worried that because I did not quite understand Shakespeare language, I won’t be able to understand or enjoy the book. But no! You don’t have to speak “thou” and “thy” to be able to read and enjoy this book! Even the characters in Verona do not speak this type of language. My only complain is

*SPOILER* read at your own risk

…that Troy’s character developed too fast. Hence, I didn’t quite like how fast the romance between Troy and Mimi was. Sure, Mimi had a crush on him at first but she did change her opinion of him. And after this trip she becomes infatuated. Maybe it’s just me but it happened too fast for my liking.

*SPOILER ENDS*

There are questions at the back of the book too, great for book discussions! So to conclude my review, if you like YA books that has Shakespeare refrences, read this book!

If you haven’t already, order it on Amazon! Visit Suzanne Selfors at her website. She also has a new book, Coffeehouse Angel, coming out July 21.

The Season by Sarah Maclean

Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn’t fit into the world of Regency London — she’s strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London Season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.

Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. It’s a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex’s heart be stolen in the process?

Romance and danger fill the air, as this year’s Season begins!

I have so much to say about The Season. At first, I was worried I might not understand the book because it’s historical fiction. But I had no problems understanding the book. The setting was fabulous. The characters were all very well written especially Alex. Sarah Maclean’s writing is simply wonderful. The way she describes the gowns, balls and scenery is amazing. I can picture the gowns very vividly in my head.

But if this book was a mystery book, it might not score very well. The story starts off with the mystery but nothing much happens until half the book. It wasn’t hard to guess who murdered Gavin’s father because there is a small number of suspects. Also, the murderer admitted he did it himself so there wasn’t any ‘shock’ of discovering who-dun-it.

Some characters were not developed enough, like Alex’s brothers. The three of them did not have distinct personalities and I would get them mixed up sometimes. However, the romance between Gavin and Alex was wonderful. I was rooting for them from the start. Gavin is such a gentlemen!

If you love historical fiction or stories with a bit of mystery and romance, read The Season! I’m hoping Maclean would write more romance novels in future set in Regency London. =) I look forward to reading her future works.

Get The Season on Amazon.

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she’s got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad’s girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar…and that’s just how she likes it.

Of course, that doesn’t help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah’s sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can’t stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she’s going crazy. Yet she’s determined to make things work out the way she wants — only what she wants may not be what she needs….

I’m so sorry for taking so long to review this book. On with my review. Embarrassing parents, Hannah I feel you! My parents, sigh, are pretty embarrassing too. I guess most teenagers can relate to that. I must say, Hannah’s mom surprised me. I’ve read another book about the character’s mom was those type of irresponsible parents who use the child’s money but Hannah’s mom was different! She didn’t accept Hannah’s money and that’s good. =)

The fast-food place where they worked at was really cute. I’ve never read a book where the characters worked at a drive in. It’s pretty cool. Finn was like how I expected, sweet and nice. In my opinion, Josh seemed like a two timer, how could he put his hand on Hannah’s face when he had a girlfriend! Well, the plot was cliche but I still bought the book. xD I must *ahem* emphasize that the book cost as much as a Benefit lip gloss. But it was worth the money. =) Oh and after reading the book, I understand why Elizabeth had the Out of This World contest to win a star! 😉

So in conclusion, yay for Elizabeth Scott! Something, Maybe did not disappoint. And it looks really pretty on my bookshelf.

Get your copy today at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I know I already missed two Spotted on Saturdays, I will try to do this week’s one. Visit The Epic Rat today for chapter 5 of the Gallagher Girl book discussions!

Purge by Sarah Littman

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

Wow. I have never read a book about a blulimic girl’s life in the hospital. It was very interesting learning about Janie’s feelings whenever she pukes. Janie is a Barfer (bulimic), that means she loves to eat food but throws up after that. There are the Starvers (anorexics) who hate eating and would do anything to avoid meals. From reading this book, I learnt that there are guys who are anorexic too! I have never known that. Remember, anorexia is not a ‘chick’s disease’. Janie’s character was well developed and I could relate to her. Her dad was irritating at times but somehow his character changed towards the end. Janie’s mom was portrayed as a weak women who depended a lot on other people. But I suppose that’s how Sarah wants her to be. I was relieved that Kelsey still care for Janie because it must be very hard if your best friend was ignoring you and you were suffering. Sarah wrote the story in such a way that she doesn’t say what happened during the wedding all at once. It’s divided out throughout the book which is good.

Purge is a very well written book on a girl’s road to recovery. Definitely recommended. Ages 13 and up (there is some sexual content).

Here’s something I found interesting (taken from Sarah’s website ): As a recovered bulimic myself, I feel very passionate about this story. I spent way too much of my life hating my body, and even though I’m about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenager, I like myself much better than when I had a “better” figure. It wasn’t an easy journey to get where I am today, but it certainly was a worthwhile one.

Part of the inspiration for the novel came from finding this picture of myself at 14. Looking at this picture as my forty-something year-old self, I thought, “Wow, I had a good figure.” But I still remember how I felt when I was the fourteen-year old girl in that picture. How I thought I was fat…and ugly.

Looking at the picture made me sad. Sad for my 14 year old self. Sad for all the other girls – and guys – who look in the mirror and hate what they see.

Order Purge now on Amazon.