Saturday, January 28, 2012

Never to Sleep

Never to Sleep
by Rachel Vincent

Sophie Cavanaugh has had to deal with far too much family drama.  Her cousin is definitely not normal and it's hurting Sophie's social game.  As she is getting ready to claim her spot as the first ever junior captain of the squad, she's suddenly faced with something completely amazing and something else completely nightmarish.

If she can survive one, maybe she can claim the other...

Unless it's all just in her imagination and she's just as crazy as her cousin seems to be.

Final thoughts:  TOO SHORT!  Sophie's story (a very short novella) was great and I want to read more.  The fact that I have to wait until summer to read Vincent's next Soul Screamers story is torture and I'm not yet sure if this is helping to tide me over or making it worse.  MORE!

Rating: 5/5

New Girl

New Girl
by Paige Harbison

She's the new girl at Manderley and she only wants to fit in.  Unfortunately, from the moment she walks through the doors to her new boarding school for her senior year, she's reminded constantly of HER.


She'll never be as pretty.  She'll never be as popular.  And she'll never have Max, no matter how much she tries.

But Becca is gone.  She's been missing since the end of the previous year.  And while no one wants to believe she's dead, most don't really believe she's alive.

So the new girl must live in her shadow or fight for her right to be there.

Final thoughts:  Yet another surprise retelling.  I don't know why I'm not paying attention to the publisher's notes.  It was when the new girl was dressing for the Halloween party when I finally put together the pieces that this was Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca.  Sometimes I feel really dense.  And once again, I'm faced with a truly poor retelling.  This is simply bad.  If, like Rebecca, we'd only seen things from the new girl's point of view, it might have been ok, even suspenseful, but we kept slipping over to Becca's vision and that was just a mess.  It got truly messy by the end of the book when the author seemed reach a point where Becca's POV just wasn't good enough and we got treated to three other people's views for just a few pages.  No one in the book seems to have a reason for liking Becca.  She's extremely manipulative and the two guys who seem to care at various point also seem to know exactly what she's doing.  There's also far too much drinking, drugs, and casual sex.  The final discovery at the end was junky and haphazard.  It also doesn't bode well that even the publisher spells the name of the school differently from the author on the book's description.

Rating: 2/5

Monday, January 16, 2012
by KE Payne

Imogen Summers has a great boyfriend; everyone thinks so... except Imogen herself.  Recently, Immy has been thinking that there might be more than just hanging out, the occasional kissing, and the nightly walk home.  

Isn't dating supposed to be exciting?

Things change when Immy finds an online site about her favorite TV show, which includes two lesbian characters as the leads.  In the chat room and forums, Immy finally feels free to say what she wants and she finally feels like maybe she's not completely different than all the other people around her.

When Imogen meets a girl in the forum named Fickle, she also feels that she may finally get what everyone else is talking about when they use the word "love".

Could it be that Immy isn't the straight girl she always thought she was?  Could it be that her thoughts have never been with the guys she's dated because she's never really wanted to date them?

Final thoughts:  This was an OK book about coming out, both herself and to others (though never to her family, which is disappointing).  However, it was a little stilted and Immy's self-discovery was awkward.  There is definitely a struggle for those who are dealing with this issue, but Immy's emotions seemed strangely controlled most of the time and then extremely wild at odd times.  This book is a good conversation starter for those who are trying to figure themselves out, but there are other, better books out there for LGBTQ kids.  My other struggle is that this is set in England, so the English is a little different.  It didn't completely detract from the book, but having to translate slang like Soz (sorry... which is used on almost every page) and words like trainer (shoes) and jumper (sweater), got a little distracting.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, January 6, 2012

Epic Fail

Epic Fail
by Claire LaZebnik

Elise and the rest of the Benton clan move from Massachusetts to Los Angeles when her parents are hired at a very upscale prep school where it's actually surprising if you're NOT the child of someone famous.

Upon arriving, Elise meets Derek Edwards and is both immediately smitten and completely turned off.  Her sister, Jules, falls for the super-cute, super-nice Chase, who is Derek's best friend.  In order to help her shy sister date Chase, Elise must hang with Derek so they can all go out and do things together.

Derek's the hottest thing at Coral Tree Prep and knows it, but doesn't seem to care.  He also doesn't seem to care about Elise, until she starts hanging out with Webster.  Then, the sparks fly for more than one reason.

Can Elise keep all of her sisters on track, while falling for a guy who she can't even figure out?

Final thoughts:  When I started to read this, I'd forgotten it was a modern Pride and Prejudice, but it didn't take long to figure out.  It's almost a point-by-point recreation, except for the high school updates and the lack of a marriage proposal (it's a date to the semi-formal instead).  It's so very obvious in so many ways.  Elise Benton = Elizabeth Bennet.  Derek = Darcy.  Chase = Charles Bingley.  Webster Grant = George Wickham.  Layla = Lydia.  Georgiana = Georgia.  And more...  It's ok, but not amazing.  The characters are a little flat and Elise's parents are frustrating with their strange rules and odd timing for forgetting and enforcing those rules.  This could have been much better, but it wasn't really bad, either.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan
by Miranda Kenneally

Jordan Woods is the star QB of the high school football team.  They're on their way to way to a championship season if everyone can keep their heads and stay focused.

Of course, that becomes a bit of a problem when Ty shows up.

Ty was the QB at his school before he was forced to move to Tennessee.  He's talented.  He likes to be in charge.  He's used to being in charge.  And he's completely gorgeous.

That last one wouldn't be such a problem if Jordan weren't the first female QB with legitimate college prospects, who had also previously been completely oblivious to boys and completely focused on football.

Now Jordan has to contend with a real threat to her position on the team, a real threat to her college hopes, and a real threat to her love life.

Final thoughts:  This is a mess of a book.  Ty is the enemy; now he's a good guy, just misunderstood. Nope! He's a bad guy... nope, just has a past.  Jordan has never even kissed a boy, is suddenly worried that some people might think she's a slut, and then immediately loses her virginity without even thinking about the consequences to her reputation.  She's going through such angst that she ditches school, and football practice, multiple times, even though football is her LIFE! (or so she says).  There's the constant problems with her dad, which are suddenly resolved somehow.  Overall, cutesy, but not great.

Ranking: 3/5


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