Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Title: Insatiable

Author: Meg Cabot


Who Should Read It? People willing to put away their serious for a minute and read Meg Cabot doing a romantic comedy esque social commentary on vampires. I can see it not being for everyone, but I thought it was fabulous!

What I Have to Say:
It's really hard for me to review Meg Cabot books for many reasons. First, because I just love her, and in my mind, she can do no wrong. So, even if she does do wrong (which, I'll admit, she maybe did a little bit in this one), I just don't notice, or at least don't want to admit it. Second, because I just want to gush and squeal and say the same thing about EVERY SINGLE ONE of her books.

And that same thing is - Meg Cabot has done it again!

While Insatiable in no way takes a fresh, new, or exciting look at vampires, it did manage to be adorable and make me forget that, ultimately, I am SO OVER vampires (though with the books I've been reviewing lately, you might not know it). Cabot herself seems to know that there is WAY TOO MUCH vampire out there lately, and through snarky, sees-when-people-are-going-to-die Meena, her can't-seem-to-get-it-together brother John, and the ever so hot Lucien Antonescu, she actually seems to be making fun of the fact that she caved and wrote a vampire book.

All of her characters are fun and quirky and lovable, with slight personality disorders, which just makes them even more lovable. the romance is sickening and sappy while at the same time making fun of sickening and sappy. The plot is completely over the top, but researched in such a way that you're like "Oh yeah," and you suddenly find yourself believing in vampires and dragons and crazy when none of the other vampire books you've read ever made you feel that way. And then you laugh at yourself because you fell for the extreme.

This book is a hilarious social commentary on the vampire craze, and it should be read as such. It's not trying to be serious, but it does seriously kick butt.

Summary:Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them. Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does). But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for. The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own. And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . If she even has one.

Cover Story:I just noticed the tattoo. I'm SUPER tired of YA books where the cover girl is missing her head. I wonder if this, too, is supposed to be some kind of social commentary.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Title: Along for the Ride

Author: Sarah Dessen

Who Should Read It?Sarah Dessen mold: teenage girl with family problems (and thus problems of her own) falls in love with boy off the beaten track and must overcome obstacles to make the romance happen. Sound interesting? Then this book is for you.

What I Have to Say:
As is often the case for Sarah Dessen, this book was absolutely ADORABLE! Heart-wrenching, cutesy, deeply intense, adorable. Dessen has this way of reaching into the reader's heart and finding the teenage girl within, and Along for the Ride is no exception to this. While Auden's teenage-girl situation is quite a bit different than mine was, I found myself transported back to the dramas

I loved Auden, with her intelligence that was limited only to books. I loved how selfish and self-centered she was without even seeming to notice. I loved how much she grew throughout the book and, ultimately, began to turn into someone I might actually like. Turned from someone I could have related to as a teenager to starting to be someone I could relate to now (for the record, I would have MEGA trouble relating to my teenage self). I loved Eli I loved Maggie and Leah and Ester and Adam. Even the secondary characters were given enough depth, enough personality to make them interesting. I love the life-lessons that Auden manages to learn, which to me today seem totally obvious, but which were definitely much less obvious to my teenage self. For me Dessen is a master of creating wonderful, believable teenagers, and, in Along for the Ride, she has not failed.

I also love the way the story progresses. Dessen has taken an extremely rare situation and turned it into something that can be FELT by everyone. Somehow, in Along for the Ride, I felt like the plot didn't move along smoothly or have shocking, unexpected happenings, I felt like the plot actually grew. And the growth of the plot was more than appropriate, as the theme of Along for the Ride seems to be "growth." Growth through friendship, growth through romance, growth through family, growth through new experiences, growth through growth.

Along for the Ride had me laughing and in tears all at the same time, and for totally different reasons than I would have expected when I started reading. I felt like I myself maybe grew a little bit through the reading. It's a fabulous book with a fabulous story, and I highly recommend it. It's a great vacation read (I read it lying by the pool in Turks and Caicos), but I think it's also the perfect read for a cold winter night by the fire, dreaming of summer. Definitely check this book out!

Summary:It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend. In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Cover Story: Tooooootally off. Not into it at all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: the Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

Title: the Dark Heroine: Dinner With a Vampire

Author: Abigail Gibbs


Who Should Read It? I honestly wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and I'd even advise people against it, as it is awful. But I know there are a LOT of fans of this book out there, so I recommend reading my review then reading a couple other more positive reviews and making the choice for yourself.

What I Have to Say:
Let me start off with a quick one sentence review: This book was awful.

It is VERY rare that I read a book that is part of a series (or a trilogy or that just has a sequel) and, at the end, decide that there is NO POSSIBLE way I will read the next book in the series. Usually, no matter how much I dislike a book, there's always at least that SMALL possibility that, somewhere along the line, I'll end up reading the next one.

the Dark Heroine: Dinner With a Vampire, is an exception to that. I have NO desire to read the next one, and I will remember this book forever just so that I remember not to read it. That sounds harsh, and I know it is, but this book lacks every quality ever known to a good book.

First, I felt like Gibbs is still trying to figure out her writing style. Some parts were so long and overly drawn out that they nearly put me to sleep while other parts were so extremely compact and filled with pointless action that I wished they were putting me to sleep, just to get it over with. Her characters, while trying to be full of spunk and umpf, were completely lackluster. When they did, occasionally, do things to make them stand out, it was mostly to make me sincerely dislike them. Violet, the main character, is annoying, petty, and delusional (She thinks that only vampires do bad things, never humans. Um, seriously? Everything about her screams annoying, snotty, bratty spoiled rich kid), and yet we are SUPPOSED to like her. Oh, AND she's vegetarian. Which normally, being a vegan, I would think was awesome. But I wish she weren't, because she gives a terrible name to vegetarians everywhere, and the fact that she is doesn't become nearly as much a part of the book as it should.

And then there's the fact that the love interest regularly tries to rape the main character, and this is written about as if it's totally okay. And she falls in love with him for it. I feel like there are ways to treat falling in love with your rapist, and this is TOTALLY NOT IT! (Yet somehow, when someone ELSE tries to rape her and drink her blood, he deserves to die. Yeah,. . .)

Lastly (though not really, just lastly for this review), there's the plot, which was supremely awful and awfully developed. I kind of got the feeling that she herself didn't know what the plot was going to be until somewhere around the last chapter of the book. Which means there was no buildup to it, because the author herself didn't even seem to know where she's going. And when finally the plot reveals itself, it's in such an underwhelming way that you expect that there has to be something more. There never is. It's undeveloped, boring, and full of holes.

Seriously, don't ask me how I managed to finish this book. I really don't know. I feel like screaming DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!!

Summary: A chance encounter on a darkened street draws Violet Lee into a world beyond her wildest imaginings - a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth, of beautiful mansions and lavish parties, where a decadent group of friends lives for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape... no matter how hard Violet tries.

All the riches in the world can't mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.

Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds - but it's a passion that comes at a price

Cover Story: I WISH the cover were less cool, then maybe I wouldn't have ready it.

Note: I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

My Contests

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