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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger,
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 05 January 2016
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fantasy, Love & Romance, People & Places, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Bhutan (1910) // New York, New York (1776, 2015) // The Atlantic (1776) // London, England (1940) // Angkor, Cambodia (1685) // Paris, France (1880) // Damascus, Syria (1599) // Palmyra, Syria (1599)

First Line(s): As they ascended, retreating farther from the winding trails that marked the way to nearby villages, the world opened to him in its purest form: silent, ancient, mysterious.

You may have heard of PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken as it gotten a lot of hype in and around the blogging community. I am always wary of hyped up reads but I loved Bracken’s BRIGHTLY WOVEN (my review) and while I still need to read DARKEST MINDS I was curious about this one. The basic plot of PASSENGER involves time travel and that is one of my favorites in books so I was eager to see Bracken’s taken on it along with how she wove in the history of the various time periods. Sadly, for me, PASSENGER didn’t live up to my expectations. I found it to be very slow and it took me forever to get through it. I found it likeable enough when I was reading it but it was really easy to put down. And once I put it down there was nothing driving me to pick it back up again.

With the exception of Nicolas and Etta all the characters were pretty one dimensional especially the big bad and I just found it really hard to care about Etta’s mission. The rules of the world also seemed to be pretty fluid even though they were supposed to be set though maybe that was just a result of my reading an ARC as opposed to the finished book. I often found myself rolling my eyes at the cliches in this book and there is this one moment when Nicolas and Etta are discussing the future and I wanted to throw my book across the room at what Etta revealed as important. That in her time she and Nicolas would be able to kiss as a way to show how far things had come from his time period when you’d think the fact that there is an African-American President might be a stronger indication of progress.

Passenger Quote

The ending of PASSENGER is also a bit of a cliff hanger but by that point in the story I was rolling my eyes more that I was gasping in shock. I found much of the book to be slow and predictable and I was just happy for it to be over. I thought that events at the end were rushed in comparison to the rest of the book. I also found the story to be overly descriptive on matters that had no importance and then very cryptic on things that were. It was a very uneven story telling and while it was prettily written there was nothing about PASSENGER that wowed me as I longed to be wowed.

Even with all the pretty words that filled PASSENGER the world building wasn’t really there and I just didn’t really see the point of it all. PASSENGER isn’t a bad book but its just not a book that will stay with me nor is it a story that I will re-read. At this moment in time I’m unsure if I want to devote the time and energy it would take in order to read its conclusion, WAYFARER, when it comes out next year. If I do it will be something that I borrow from a friend as I don’t know if I’d be able to read it in time from the library. Although maybe WAYFARER will surprise me and be a faster read than PASSENGER was.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Passenger

Add Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Narrator: Lucy Gaskell, Morven Christie
Series: Code Name Verity,
Published by Bolinda Publishing on 06 June 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 7 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Ormaie, France // England – Various (mid-1930s – early 1940s)

First Line(s): I am a coward.

When it comes to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity there is a lot of suspension of disbelief that must occur on the reader end of things. For while its a beautifully written story the series of events that occur in the first half of the book just would never have happened. Not that a young girl wouldn’t have been captured and tortured by the Nazi’s but that her interrogators would have allowed her to weave her story of nonsense for as long as they did when they were trying to obtain valuable information.

There were also a lot of crazy inconsistencies throughout the narrative of Code Name Verity and I know some of it was because Verity was weaving her little deceptions but some of it just did not make sense with the time period or the history of the war. So I found myself sighing a lot. Especially when a slip of a girl, no matter how smart and talented, was able to fool so many soldiers in the German army. I get that Verity was good but again they wouldn’t have allowed her to tell her history and the history of Maddie for as long as she did as there was no value to that story. Yes it was a pretty story but it lacked substance.

Code Name Verity Quote

Despite all my issues with Code Name Verity I did like the beginning of the book. That portion of the story that was told by Verity. I liked the narrator for that section, Lucy Gaskell, and it was her narration that kept me listening even as the story annoyed me. A good narrator can make or break a book and the Gaskell certainly kept me invested. I didn’t like Morven Christie’s narration as much but I think that was do in part that I didn’t really like the POV of that section. For I’ve listened to clips of Christie of on other audios and I like that snippets so I definitely think that it was the text and not the narrator that caused my dislike.

There is a lot of bait and switch in Code Name Verity and even though I guess the bulk of the story early on I didn’t mind as much. What I did mind was how the second half was almost a whole different book with a whole different writing style. And the clever clues that were laid out in the first half were swept aside and the reader was bludgeoned with revelations and told over and over just how smart and clever Verity was. Events just took on that too good to be real aspect and so my interest in the story started to plummet.

Perhaps, Code Name Verity, just had too much hype surrounding it that I set my expectations high. But I don’t see the masterful novel that others who read it before me did. I was frustrated throughtout most of the story and often rolled my eyes at some of the revels. If I had read this in print I probably would have DNF’d after tossing the book across the room a few dozen times. But I liked the narrator so I persevered. I’m not sorry that I read it as Code Name Verity was well written I just wasn’t a total fangirl for the plot.

irishdarkblue IR - Code Name Verity

Add Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Wrath and the Dawn  by Renee Ahdieh to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

three-stars
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Audio Review: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: Mary Poppins by P.L. TraversMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Narrator: Sophie Thompson
Series: Mary Poppins,
Published by Blackstone Audio on 1934
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Fantasy, Friendship, Middle Grade
Length: 3 hours 50 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (early 1900s)

First Line(s): If you want to find Cherry-Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the Policeman at the cross-roads

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was Mary Poppins, I loved the music and the stories and the magic of it all. I didn’t realize it was a book until I was much older and then never really found the time to explore the original story until recently. Recently being after I watched the movie, Saving Mr Banks and I became interested in this story all over again. Overall, the story was ok but the book wasn’t really a book in that there was one cohesive story. Instead, Mary Poppins, seemed to be a series of vignettes and they didn’t really mesh well together. The whole thing seemed a little disjointed and lacked the magic and imagery that I was expecting.

I also HATED the character of Mary Poppins. She was vain and vile and one of the most dislikable characters that I’ve ever had the displeasure to meet. Listening to this story also made me realize just how much Disney changed from book to screen and while normally I am very opposed by this I think that in this case it was for the better. Disney pulled out all the very best of the book and put them on screen and left out those parts that just made no sense to the story. But most importantly they made Mary Poppins into a likable, lovable person.

The narrator, Sophie Thompson, was just so-so but she spoke very softly so when I listened to this one I had to have the volume turned up really loudly. If this audio was any longer than I probably would have ended up DNF’ing it. Just as I think I would have DNF’d the book if I had picked that up in place of the audio. Mary Poppins was not a good book and I have no plans on continuing with this series. In some ways I almost wish I could more easily forget this story so that the only version that I knew of was the Disney version.

irishdarkblue

Mary Poppins Quote

two-stars
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: No Place Like Oz by Danielle PaigeNo Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die,
Published by Harper Teen on 12 November 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Girls & Women, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 196
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Kansas // Oz

First Line(s): They say you can’t go home again.

No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige is a prequel story to the upcoming book Dorothy Must Die and takes place around 2 years after Dorothy returned home from Oz. In No Place Like Oz everything that Frank Baum wrote about in his books is real and Dorothy is trying hard to adjust to her ordinary life. She many wonderful things while in Oz, performed great deeds, and was well liked by all. She is feeling lost and adrift back in Kansas because no one believes what she says happened when the tornado carried her away and she begins to wonder why she ever left Oz at all. I really liked all the nods in No Place Like Oz to the original story, including the use of the silver shoes originally worn as opposed to the red ones seen in the movie, and you can tell that Danielle Paige is a big fan. I also found the story to be realistic and even understood Dorothy’s frustration on returning home.

I became lost in No Place Like Home and enjoyed Paige’s writing style and the set up that this novella gives to her upcoming Dorothy Must Die. I do feel though that without reading how Dorothy returned to Oz and how she rose to power there that I would be lost at the start of Dorothy Must Die. This novella is short but it contains a lot of information in it. It also wouldn’t hurt for a reader to have some knowledge of the original stories as well as there are references to them as the source and not the movie that most people know and love.

I enjoyed this prequel and it does get me excited for Dorothy Must Die but I think that because it does rely on the original stories that it does take away a little from the novella as not everyone is going to know them. They’ll see references to the silver shoes and wonder why and wonder why we don’t hear reference to red shoes until Dorothy receives the mysterious package on her birthday. I am more sold now though on Dorothy Must Die than I was before and really like how this novella sets it all up. Just be sure to read it before Dorothy Must Die so you understand how things came to be.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Short Story Saturday, Young Adult0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford

Short Story Saturday: Diverse Energies – Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest BradfordUncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford
Series: Diverse Energies,
Also in this series: The Last Day, Freshee's Fogurt, Pattern Recognition , Gods of the Dimming Light , Next Door, Good Girl, Pocket Full of Dharma, Blue Skies, What Arms to Hold Us, Solitude, Diverse Energies
Published by Tu Books on 01 November 2012
Genres: Anthology, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Pages: 35
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

 

Short Story Saturday is a feature here at Ticket to Anywhere where I start to read some of the various anthologies I have, one story at a time. Starting with Diverse Energies which the book synopsis describes as  “In this stunning collection of original and rediscovered stories of tragedy and hope, the stars are a diverse group of students, street kids, good girls, kidnappers, and child laborers pitted against their environments, their governments, differing cultures, and sometimes one another as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds. Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future beyond Earth with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fiction. Includes stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. Le Guin, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Daniel H. Wilson, and more.”

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Cincinnati, Ohio –  (1984, 2048, 2058)

First Line(s): The world changed around Iliana, but she never changed with it.

So far, Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford has been my favorite story in the Diverse Energies Anthology. I liked Bradford’s take on time travel and was really invested in her main character Iliana and the struggles she was  dealing with as she saw the world change around her but she was the only one who saw the difference. Uncertainty Principle is one that I wish could have been a full length novel as I wish there had been more detail. The ending felt a bit rushed but it wasn’t an unsatisfying one. I liked Iliana’s story ARC and I liked how the ending was a little open ended with could allow for more from this story. I enjoyed Bradford’s writing and I think that I will be looking more into this author in the future.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Audio Review: Fallout by Todd Strasser

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Middle Grade, Review1 Comment

Audio Review: Fallout by Todd StrasserFallout by Todd Strasser
Narrator: Jeff Cummings
Published by Brilliance Audio on 10 September 2013
Genres: Historical, Middle Grade
Length: 4 hours 53 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Hudson Bay, New York (1962)

First Line(s): I wake to a hand on my shoulder. Dad’s voice is urgent. “Get up, Scott!”

I have been reading several middle grade novels that seem to defy my expectation on what middle grade should be. I usually expect the stories to be less intense and less serious than a young adult or adult story. However, recent middle grade reads has proven me wrong in this the latest of which, Fallout by Todd Strasser is a crazy roller coaster ride of emotion and what ifs. Fallout is told in a non-linear format in which each chapter moves from the present (1962) and the near past – the summer before the main events in the story. The story hinges around Scott and the bomb shelter that his father builds in the backyard. A thing that all the neighbors scoff at until there comes a day when a bomb does drop on their town.

What follows is this crazy, fast-paced story that will leave a reader a bit breathless. While the jumps to the near past do break up the story sometimes they are a needed break from the events and emotions that are going on in the bomb shelter. As the night that the bomb fell several neighbors beat and bullied Scott’s father into letting them inside. Its tense in the shelter as it was built and stocked for 4 people and now there are almost a dozen. Including the horrible, douchbag Mr McGovern who I spent the entire book just wanting to punch him in the face. A more self-entitled, self-rightous, and just all out selfish person I’ve never encountered before.

Along with a decent story what made this book was the narrator, Jeff Cummings, who does an excellent job in bringing this story to life. While some of the voices would sometimes blend together Cummings always infused just the right amount of emotion into any given scene. Cummings helped make the scenes just a bit more tense and helps bring the listener right there into the bunker with all the other characters. Cummings is one of those narrators that I will not mind listening to in other stories in the future.

Where Fallout kind of lost me was in its ending which was a bit too open ended for my liking. Yes, there is a device I normally don’t mind in a story as I do like to think about where I would like a story to go. Fallout is just one of those stories where I would have liked to have seen just a little bit more for Strasser to go just a little bit farther in the telling of what happened next. Although the way this story ends does lend itself to the potential of a sequel so maybe there will be one at some unknown point down the line. If there is, then you can be sure that this reader will be checking it out.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review: Maus I by Art Spiegelman

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Maus I by Art SpiegelmanMaus I by Art Spiegelman
Series: Maus,
Published by Pantheon Books on 01 November 2011
Genres: Adult, Graphic Novel, Historical
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Czechoslovakia (1935-1937) // Lubin, Poland (1940) // Oswiecim, Poland (1944) // Sosnowiec, Poland (1935-1944) //

First Line(s): It was summer, I remember.

Maus I by Art Spiegelman is one of those books that has always been just there off to the side waiting for me to read. Its a book that has been recommended to me dozens of times but one that I’ve always found hard to pick up. Any book that deals with the Holocaust is hard to pick up. And one where all the characters are drawn like mice just adds a bit of weirdness to it all. But it is also a perfect way to depict this story and I can’t imagine it any other way. Maus I is the start of the journey of Art Spiegelman’s parents. Its the story of how they met and fell in love. Its the story of how their idyllic world slowly changed and crumbled before their eyes as the Germans came into power. Its the story of the tough choices that had to be made and how somehow they found a way to survive.

Maus I is a quick read, made quicker as its a graphic novel and so pictures in stead of long descriptive paragraphs are used. As the old saying goes, a picture says a thousand words and this is the case with this story. As Maus I begins you know what is coming for the Vladek and Anja and you try not to care about them. Not because they are cruel people because you know that it will hurt more if you do. Yet despite what you tell yourself you fall for all the people that you meet in this story. Its impossible not to. Maus I is a simple story and Spiegelman tells it in a very straight forward way. He doesn’t go into long segues on the history of the time and that is both a blessing and a curse for the story. Because in order to truly appreciate some of what happens you need to have a basic understand of what was happening in Europe during WWII and the chain of events leading up to it.

When I checked Maus I out of the library I had also checked out its sequel, Maus II, which is the story of Vladek and Anja in the camps. I fully intended to jump from one volume to the next and read it all at once. However, when I finished Maus I I was unable to do that. I wasn’t ready to see just how bad tings might get for Vladek and Anja. I wasn’t ready to face just how horrible humans can be to other humans…even when these humans are pictured as cat and mice. For me, its hard to reflect back on this time knowing all that I know from the history books and from the few stories that my grandfather and his brothers have told of their time serving during the war. I used to love their stories when I was younger as they were never about the horrors that they might have witnessed. They always told these fun little antidotes like the time when my grandfather and great-uncle Jack bumped into each other unexpectedly in the Philippines. Both in different units doing different things for the Army and not expecting to see each other until they were sent back home. They have a picture of that day and it always makes me smile.

Holocaust stories also make me think of the stories that I heard about when I was visiting my family in Poland a few years back. These stories are more like that depicted in Maus I. They were invaded and suppressed by the Germans. The only real thing going for them was that they were not Jewish. They could have just sat back and toed the line and made it through the war unscathed. But they didn’t and they did what they could to help the Jews and spy on the Germans and they suffered consequences as a result. Yet they never gave up and kept doing what they thought was right. So, for me, when I read a story on the Holocaust story all these thoughts and emotions come swirling up inside and makes the stories all the more real.

Maus I is a good story and one that I think is important for others to read. And one day I will check Maus II out and manage to read that one because Holocaust stories are important to read and learn about. The further we get from when these events happened the more important it is to remember them. The more we remember the less likely we will be to repeat this horrors.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Thieves Like Us by Starr Ambrose

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Thieves Like Us by Starr AmbroseThieves Like Us by Starr Ambrose
Series: Lie to Me, Book 2
Also in this series: Lie to Me
Published by Pocket Books on 30 November 2010
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Up in Flames, Lie to Me

 

Place(s) Traveled to: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

First Line(s): Dumping the world’s worst husband called for more than a celebration. It required a symbolic act.

Lie to Me Series Order
Book 1: Lie to Me
Book 2: Thieves Like Us

Thieves Like Us by Starr Ambrose takes place about a year or so after the events of Lie to Me end. The main characters of this story, Janet and Rocky, were first introduced in Lie to Me and the drama begun with Banner Westfield is that book is not yet done. For when Janet tries to sell some jewelry that her ex-husband gave to her she soon learns that its part of a priceless collection and there are some people out there that will stop at nothing to get the rest of the pieces. Enter in Rocky Hernandex, ex-con, ex-jewel thief, and current security expert to help save the day.

I really liked the fast pace of this book and the tension between Rocky and Janet. Their relationship build up was realistic and I enjoyed reading their story. What was missing from this book though was Ellie and Jack who were conveniently unreachable as they went on an extended European honeymoon. I missed the camaraderie between Ellie and Janet and I think that Ellie’s absence took away from my enjoyment of the book. I was glad that Jack’s mother still had a role as I did enjoy her scenes but became annoyed with the overuse of Jack’s daughter.

I also felt that the title of this book was a little misleading as never once did Janet or Rocky try to steal anything. They did work to try to find the missing jewelry but the one time there was any sort of break in was when people broke into Janet’s house. Well, then there was that side plot with an old rival of Rocky’s but that only really distracted from the overall story than anything else. As it just didn’t seem to have much of a point to it at all.

Overall, Thieves Like Us is a light, romantic comedy that didn’t take me long to read at all. Its a great brain candy read and was a good break from some more serious things that I was reading at the time. While there were times when Janet’s trust issues were a bit over the top I did enjoy the chemistry between her and Rocky. They both shared some funny scenes and even with the loss of Ellie and Jack I still enjoyed the story. The mystery is nothing overly complex but as I said this made for a good distraction. If you like romantic comedies then you might want to consider this one.

three-stars
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review2 Comments

Review: Lie to Me by Starr AmbroseLie to Me by Starr Ambrose
Series: Lie to Me,
Also in this series: Thieves Like Us
Published by Pocket Books on 25 November 2008
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Up in Flames, Thieves Like Us

Place(s) Traveled to: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

First Line(s): Eleanor Coggins paused before the three-foot-high hedge surrounding the dark patio.

Lie to Me Series Order
Book 1: Lie to Me
Book 2: Thieves Like Us

I wasn’t sure what to expect from  Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose I just knew that I had read and enjoyed her newest release, Up in Flames (my review).  The opening was cute and I really enjoyed the chemistry between Ellie and Jack. Things start off with a bang as Ellie breaks into the Westfield mansion trying to find clues that will link the owner, Banner, to the death of her BFF. She’s caught pretty quickly by Jack, Banner’s recently paroled half brother, who comes up with a crazy back story for her presence. And that leads to them working together to solve two mysteries all the while falling head of heels for the other.

I enjoyed the banter between Ellie and Jack and found their whirlwind relationship to be believable. Though Jack’s over the top brother, Banner, strained credulity. He was like so many villains in B-rated movies. Complete with barely logical motives and of course pontificating all the reasons why he had to do what he did. You’d think someone born into such privileged as he was wouldn’t need to resort to such shenanigans. But of course, if he hadn’t then there wouldn’t have been a story.

Overall, this was a quick read and while the reasonings behind all the bad things where a bit over the top and cliched the events progressed nicely. Ellie and Jack really make this story and I even enjoyed Jack’s mother Elizabeth. Jack’s daughter Libby seemed a bit too forced at times and was a bit two-dimensional but it could have been worse. The mysteries were pretty easy to figure out sometimes its nice to just sit and let oneself be entertained. There were also times when I found it hard to believe that this book was set in 2008, which was the time it was written. The adult MCs had a lot of trouble with basic internet skills and it just seemed like the book was set several years earlier.

As I said this was a quick read and an enjoyable story. I liked the characters and will most likely be reading more by Starr Ambrose.

three-stars
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: That Summer by Sarah Dessen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: That Summer by Sarah DessenThat Summer by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile on 01 January 1996
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Truth About Forever

Place(s) Traveled to: Virginia

First Line(s): It’s funny how one summer can change everything.

Considering how this book came out during a time when I was an actual teenager its kind of shocking to me that I didn’t learn of it until a few years back. Growing up I was in the book store every week picking out the 3 books that my mother allowed me to get. Oh she didn’t restrict what I could buy just the quantity. I would scour the shelves looking for new books that I thought were worthwhile to read. There were no book blogs then, no twitter, no easy way to know if a book had the potential to be good or to avoid it at all costs. This was also a time with very little YA reading so I spent a lot of time in the sci-fi/fantasy section. But I would always drift over the the few shelves of YA and see if there was anything new mixed in with RL Stine’s Fear Street or the Sweet Valley High books.

As a teen I think that I might have liked this book more than I did reading it as an adult. There was no depth to it and Haven came across as a tad bit whiny. Nothing ever really seemed to happen in this book, with the exception of Haven dwelling on the past and thinking that life would be perfect if they could just return to a time before. But when you don’t know the whole story then that oh so perfect past may not be so perfect after all.

I think I would have liked this one more if there was something deeper between Haven and Sumner. Or between Haven and any of the characters. All her interactions were very separate and on the surface. Haven isn’t happy about her parents divorce but she’s fine with him getting remarried. She’s not fine with this other thing but then she is. She is a very bland, blah character and I got bored being in her head for the whole book.

The writing was good tough so I will probably check other Sarah Dessen books in the future. I just think that That Summer wasn’t for me. Though I think that its a book that will be appreciated more by younger teens. It was a quick read but in the end this one was nothing special for me.

three-stars
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