Lola and the Boy Next Door: book review (no spoilers)

2 Feb

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Synopsis 

  • Everything in Lola Nolan’s life is going right. Her father’s may not approve of her boyfriend Max, who’s 22 while she’s only 17, but they would never say that. Max is charming and ‘hot’ and loves Lola. And Lola loves him. She’s finally completely happy. That is, until the Bell family moved back into town. Calliope and Cricket Bell. The two twins she can’t stand. Although she hates seeing Calliope everyday, the worst is seeing Cricket Bell. The past is too hard to think about, yet his presence is a reminder. Will Lola give in to her resurfacing feelings? Or will she stay with her boyfriend Max?

Review

  • My favourite character in this novel was Cricket Bell. Cricket is nerdy and lanky and just slightly awkward, but it’s endearing on him. All those little quirks make Cricket even more real and loveable than he already is. As much as i felt for Lola, i thought that she was a little bit too whiny. She thought her life was so hard and confusing but other people around her were going through worse things and she didn’t even pay attention to them. She’s a bit self centred in that way, but other than that she was a great main protagonist. I loved that she had two dads. I thought it was a modern twist. Nowadays, a lot of homosexuals adopt or ask their sisters/cousins to carry their baby. I thought it was a wonderful aspect and made the book so much more amazing. I also surprisingly liked Calliope Bell. I also have to admit that i had a mini heart attack when i first noticed that Étienne St. Clair was in this book. 
  • The plot of Lola and the Boy Next DOor was cheesy, but in the most adorable and heartwarming way. It was a good type of cheese, you know? It was really predictable and awkward but all the while i was reading i kept thinking that i wanted to be Lola. There were some tiny elements of surprise that really made the story authentic. There’s nothing more i can say about the plot. I really loved every single event and every single situation. 
  • Stephanie Perkins’ writing style is incredible. She really puts herself in her character’s shoes. If her character is a 40 year old, single woman, then that’s who she becomes. If her character is a bratty, 12 year old, she’ll make you believe that she is. She puts just the right amount of detail and doesn’t over explain. Over explanation is a huge problem that i find with most books, but Stephanie Perkins definitely does not have that tendency. 

Rating

  • I give Lola and the Boy Next Door 4.5/5 stars because i loved everything about this book but Lola kind of annoyed me. I recommend this book to everyone because it’s so amazing!
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If I Stay: book review (no spoilers)

26 Jan

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Synopsis

  • In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck… A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Review

  • The Characters in If I Stay are breathtaking. Mia is a a dedicated Cellist who loves music more than anything. She’s not exactly a geek, but she isn’t what is considered ‘cool’. She’s a conservative, quiet girl. I enjoyed the fact that the book was in her point of view. All of you who read this book are going to fall head over heels for Adam. Adam is in a band who is on the verge of breaking out and becoming massively popular. His very tough and intimidating exterior is the complete opposite of his personality. He cares for Mia a lot and you can clearly see that through how he treats her. He’s sweet and also a very dedicated musician. He doesn’t care that he and Mia are different. He loves her for the way she is and the moment that you realize that, you’ll want your own Adam. I really didn’t care for Kim. She was a fairly good character but i just found her quite irrelevant to the plot. Mia’s parents were also quite good characters, as was Teddy (her little brother). I think Teddy was the character i loved the most (apart from Adam of course). I also loved the relationships between the characters. I loved that Adam was a part of their family and i loved that he got along so well with Teddy. And i also really liked the fact that Kim and Adam didn’t really connect as friends because it showed the reality that some people just aren’t meant to become close friends, yet even though that person isn’t close to you, there’s always something you can find in common to help each other out during a rough time.
  • The plot of the story is wonderful. Absolutely incredible. Every single chapter is captivating and makes you understand Mia just that much more. The fact that there are flashbacks, then the story returns to the present is perfect because the more you read the more you really feel yourself entering Mia’s life and the more you feel yourself becoming emotionally attached to each and every protagonist. 
  • Gayle Forman has a very interesting writing style. I wasn’t particularly fond of it. I liked the format in which the book the was written but i found there were far too many details in some chapters and way too little details in others. It was out of balance and i’m not going to lie, it was a little irritating. I also found that she was repetitive. To an extent, repetitiveness can be a good attribute in an author’s writing, but for Gayle it was just annoying. The novel definitely could have been better written. 

Rating

  • I give If I Stay by Gayle Forman 3.5/5 stars because i loved the plot and most of the characters but i wasn’t really too keen on her writing. I recommend this book to fans of The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer and to fans of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

The Twilight Saga: book review (no spoilers)

23 Jan

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Synopsis: 

  • Bella Swan moves in with her father after her mother and stepfather decide to hit the road and attempt to make it bigtime in the baseball leagues. Bella’s very reluctant about Forks and living with her father in general, but instead of complaining, she musters up the best smile and does it anyways. Bella is enrolled in the local high school in Forks, and she quickly makes friends…. she also is quick to befriend the impossibly brilliant and attractive Cullen siblings. Bella’s whole life gets taken over by Edward and his life… his ways. She finds herself too emotionally attached to ever let him go, and that could become quite the problem for her. Bella’s eventful life finally leads her to what she wants. Death… and a new start, including the Cullens. 

Review

  • Some characters throughout the novels were quite entertaining and loveable, yet some characters were so irritating that every time they spoke i hoped someone would shove sand down their throat. Edward Cullen. As much as i love Robert Pattinson, the role he plays is beyond awkward and creepy. I mean, Edward basically meets Bella, then says he loves her, climbs into her window at night to watch her sleep, then leads her to her doom. That’s the creepy aspect of his character. His dialogue throughout the book was just uncomfortable and awkward. I’m not sure how Stephanie Meyer came up with normal response dialogue to it, but she did. Edward just makes every conversation so… how should i put it?… unnatural. Now Bella, she’s the reason i hate most Romance novels. She’s a very dependent female who can’t really think for herself. She never does anything without Edward and it irks me. I’m not a major feminist or anything like that but it bothers me when female characters can’t do things without their significant other’s permission and/or approval. Jacob was an okay secondary protagonist. I felt that he was a bit selfish. I know that he loves Bella and all but he just tried to ruin her love with someone else purely because of his own feelings. Just a tiny bit aggravating and self centred in my opinion. The only characters i really loved were Alice, Jasper and Emmett. Alice because of her witty comebacks and enthusiastic, exuberant personality. Jasper because of his acceptance and subtle, yet adorable love for Alice. Emmett for his ability to make a situation laughable and his *cue sarcasm* modesty when it comes to his strength. 
  • I thought the plot of The Twilight Saga was at times good and at times awful. The idea of vampires isn’t bad at all, yet Stephanie managed to make it the stupidest version of the classic Vampire legends and myths that i’ve ever come across. Not that i’m trying to be offensive to her writing skills and ability (i’ll discuss that later), but she really did completely ruin the amazing concept of vampires. The whole love aspect of it was awful and dumb. Edward’s whole life was this girl whom he’s known for what- a year? And Bella has dedicated everything and every detail of her life to this guy who can crush her with his tongue. It’s reckless and it’s as if Bella doesn’t understand how dangerous and stupid she’s being by staying with him. Yeah, love is great, but when you have to die for it? not so much. 
  • As much as i’m dissing the books, i do have to admit that Stephanie Meyer does have talent when it comes to writing. I really did like her writing style and i think she’s a great author. I thought her plot and characters could have been way better planned  and thought through, but she has a great vocabulary and a great way of describing things. Her chapters are the perfect length and i appreciate the fact that she tried to incorporate moments of thrill, horror and action. 

Rating

  • I give The Twilight Saga 2.5/5 because i liked Stephanie’s writing and some of her characters were brilliant, but the plot was so atrocious that not even her fabulous points could bring up her rating. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes sappy, quick pacing romance novels. 

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: book review (no spoilers)

20 Jan

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Synopsis

  • 15 year old Charlie has been out of touch with the outside world for a while. He’s clueless when it comes to what’s socially acceptable. Charlie starts high school and meets Sam and Patrick, two siblings that take Charlie under their wing and help him survive through the hardest of times. Charlie, with the help of his two new best friends, learns about hope, love, acceptance and depression. He experiences the dizzying highs and crushing lows of high school and life. 

Review

  • The best part of the novel, in my opinion, are the characters and the characters development and evolution throughout the story. Charlie, the main protagonist is very unaware of what is and what isn’t socially acceptable. He is always in his own little world. Charlie tends to think too much and is always blaming himself. He says whatever is on his mind, but sometimes, it’s not the best way to go. Charlie is relatable through his emotions, though the way he thinks is different. Charlie is depressed about the loss of his best friend, Michael, and feels responsible for the death of his aunt. He is haunted by past events (which i will not reveal, for it will give away the story), and those events cause him to look at the world in a different light than most. Sam and Patrick are hilarious and extremely fun characters who contrast against Charlie, and ultimately, help him mature and grow. They are exactly what Charlie needs. All the characters in this novel compliment and contrast perfectly. 
  • The plot was at times very emotional and tear-jerking, but at times funny and very familiar. Charlie goes through a series of normal teenage problems, like being in a bad relationship, losing a friend, loving someone who’s not yours to love and feeling invisible. The plot definitely made me go back to a time where i went through the exact same thing as Charlie, and then, i could relate to him in a very unusual way. It’s as if Charlie understood me and i understood him. 
  • Stephen Chbosky wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the format of a series of letters that Charlie has written anonymously. Usually when i read books in diary form, i get quite bored and impatient because the author mostly writes about his feelings and thoughts on specific events and doesn’t give enough detail on the other aspects of the story, but for this novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the letters are perfect way to retell Charlie’s experiences and really makes the book that much more amazing. 

Rating

  • I give The Perks of Being a Wallflower 4/5 stars. I recommend this book to teenagers from ages 14-17, though i would warn them to read with caution because it could be a very triggering book for those already struggling with Depression. 

Anna and the French Kiss: book review (no spoilers)

20 Jan

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Synopsis

  • Anna Oliphant has to leave her amazing life in Atlanta, including her little brother, Seany, her mother, her best friend, Bridge, and her almost boyfriend, Toph. Anna is furious with her father for shipping her to an American boarding school in Paris, though she is forced to go for her entire senior year. In Paris she meets a great group of friends, including the beautiful and wonderful Étienne St. Clair. Although, he has a girlfriend, while Anna is still hooked on her co-worker who’s in Atlanta . Throughout Anna’s adventurous and eventful year in France, she learns about heartbreak, trust, love, friendship and understanding.

Review: 

  • First i’ll start off with the characters. I thought that Stephanie Perkins’ characters were clear and fun and so precisely described that i forgot that they were only fictional. Anna is a funny, strong minded character who is neurotic about cleanliness. She’s a relatable protagonist who, like every teenage girl, wants to be loved back by the guy she likes. Étienne St. Clair is an incredible character. St. Clair is just as amusing as Anna’s character, except he’s got some advantages over her; he’s british, extremely cute and sweet. The one thing i adored about St. Clair’s personality was that he wasn’t one of those typical sentimental and unrealistic male protagonists like in most romance novels. He was realistically portrayed as a normal boy who makes mistakes, is ignorant when it comes to relationships and acts rashly. But Stephanie Perkins added an element of vulnerability to his personality that really struck me as genuine, and that was an extraordinary and fresh take on his character. 
  • The next thing i’ll be reviewing is the plot and setting. The setting of the story is mostly in Paris, but Anna does return to Atlanta at some point in the story. That was purposely added to show Anna’s feelings about Paris and Atlanta now that she’s had a taste of both. It showed how Anna’s definition of home changed throughout the story. The way Stephanie Perkins depicts Paris is so clear and precise that i could picture every scene in my head. It was incredible. As for the plot, i thought it was wonderful. Anna and the French Kiss isn’t the usual romance. This story has comedy and very uncomfortable events that most people will have to go through at some point in their lives. The situations that she put Anna and St. Clair in help the story move along and progress in a very natural and real way. Every event could be imaginable with you in Anna’s position. 
  • The last thing to talk about is the way the book was written. Stephanie really puts herself into her characters shoes and becomes the character. The dialogues weren’t phrases that wouldn’t be said by teenagers nowadays. In fact, the dialogue between her characters were written so realistically that there were times where i though ‘i remember saying that’. She captures every emotion and allows you to feel exactly what her characters are feeling. 

Rating

  • I give Anna and the French kiss 5/5 stars and a definite recommendation for men and women of all ages.