Showing posts with label Young Adult. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Young Adult. Show all posts

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John GreenTitle: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Innocent
Source: bought
Published: September 22, 2009 by Speak

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

amazon | goodreads

Reviewed by: Monica

Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now by Ann BrasharesTitle: The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Unknown
Source: library
Published: April 8, 2014 by Delacorte Press

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

amazon | goodreads

Reviewed by: Monica

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: library
Published: January 10, 2012 by Dutton Books

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

amazon | goodreads

Book Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash Into You by Katie McGarryTitle: Crash Into You
Series: Pushing the Limits, Book 3
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Innocent
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: November 26, 2013 by Harlequin Teen

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To by Katie McGarryTitle: Dare You To
Series: Pushing the Limits, Book 2
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: May 2013 by Harlequin

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Blog Tour Book Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

The Collector Blog TourBlog Tour Welcome to The Book Vixen’s stop on the 2013 Belongs to Dante blog event hosted by YA Bound. Here’s my review of The Collector by Victoria Scott:

Guest Review & Giveaway: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia HandTitle: Hallowed
Series: Unearthly, Book 2
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Source: bought
Published: January 2012 by HarperTeen

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games | Catching Fire | Mockingjay
The Hunger Games Trilogy
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: borrowed/bought
Published: October 2008 | September 2009 | August 2010 by Scholastic

Synopsis for the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarryTitle: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Innocent
Source: NetGalley
Published: August 1, 2012 by Harlequin Teen


No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Guest Review: Stunning by Sara Shepard

Stunning by Sara ShepardTitle: Stunning (Amazon)
Series: Pretty Little Liars, #11
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: Young Adult
Source: publisher
June 5, 2012 by HarperTeen

Full of darker secrets, juicier scandals, and deadlier plot twists, the latest arc of the #1 New York Times bestselling series continues to deliver fast-paced, tension-ridden drama.

After Alison DiLaurentis tried to kill them, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna tried to get their lives back on track. But these girls just can’t stay out of trouble. First there was their disastrous trip to Jamaica, and their summer breaks were no less eventful. Now a new A is stalking them, taunting them with the very secrets these pretty little liars have been trying to forget. But this A doesn’t just want to blackmail the girls—this A is out for blood.

Sara Shepard’s fan base only gets bigger as the hit ABC Family Pretty Little Liars TV show continues to draw new readers to the bestselling series. Everyone will be dying to find out what A does next....


Book Review: Last Stop This Town by David H. Steinberg

Last Stop This Town by David H. SteinbergTitle: Last Stop This Town (Amazon)
Author: David H. Steinberg
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: mild
Source: review copy from author
Published: March 2012 by Monkey Business Press

The debut novel from "American Pie" series screenwriter David H. Steinberg. It's the last weekend before high school graduation, and as they prepare to go their separate ways, four life-long friends spend a wild and raucous night in New York City that forces them to face their fear of growing up... and growing apart.

West Hartford, Connecticut. Growing up in the suburbs is a mind-numbingly boring experience for most teenagers, and high school seniors Dylan, Noah, Pike, and Walker are no exception. They spend their days testing how fast they can drive on the local residential streets, bribing homeless dudes to buy them beer, and attending crappy house parties. So when Dylan proposes that they spend their last weekend of high school in New York City attending an underground rave, the guys are ready to make some serious memories.

In New York, though, the guys have run-ins with a drug dealer with a penchant for fire extinguishers, a Chinese restaurant owner with a score to settle, an Albanian street gang, con men, hookers, performance artists, and a gaggle of hot, degenerate, rich girls. Over the course of one incredible night, their outrageous journey gives the guys a bonding experience they'll never forget, as they learn that part of growing up means they're going to have to face their futures on their own.

(Parental advisory: Contains strong language, drinking, drugs, and sexual situations, all involving teens.)

Book Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

TempestTitle: Tempest (Amazon)
Tempest, #1
Julie Cross
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Published: January 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars (Amazon
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: won
January 2012 by Dutton Books

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

CinderTitle: Cinder (Amazon)
Series: Lunar Chronicles, #1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA
Source: bought
Published: January 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future

GUEST REVIEW: Ruthless by Sara Shepard

bookTitle: Ruthless
Series: Pretty Little Liars, #10
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: Young Adult
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: December 2011 by HarperTeen

For years scandal has rocked Rosewood, Pennsylvania—and high school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have always been at the center of the drama. They’ve lost friends, been targeted by a ruthless stalker named A, and narrowly escaped death. And it’s not over yet.

Aria’s love life is on the fritz. Emily’s exploring her wild side. Hanna’s kissing the enemy. And someone from Spencer’s past—someone she never thought she’d see again—is back to haunt her.

But none of that compares to what happened last spring break. It’s their darkest secret yet and guess who found out? Now A is determined to make them pay for their crime, and the only thing scarier than A is the fear that maybe, just maybe, they deserve what’s coming to them.

Reviewed by Terra:

First of all I am so glad to be here at The Book Vixen.  I've been following this blog for some time now, and it is a privilege to be here doing a guest review! So thank you!

I must say, this is one of the best PPL books I've read.  When I first started the books, I was a little weary because I thought they were a little too childish for me.  Since reading all of them they have become my guilty pleasure reads.  Like chocolate for me.  I love the way Sara writes, how she describes every detail.  She brings you into the story and makes you feel like you are there, trying to solve the mystery of A with the rest of the Rosewood girls.

With what happened last Spring Break in Jamaica with the fab 4; Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, they thought their troubles were over and left in a different country.  Out of sight out of mind right? WRONG!  Since their return to Rosewood things have gotten worse and the girls have gone on a downward spiral.  Emily has a little surprise of her own, Spencer tries anything to get into Princeton which does a number on her mental state and friendship.  Aria deals with the blackmail of the new exchange student and losing her boyfriend.  She also has to deal with the return of Ezra.  Hanna gets stuck in the middle of something terrible trying to help out Spencer as well as another heartbreak while helping her dad with his election.

*Sigh* So much drama and so little time! Tailing the major problems with the girls, up pops another A! That's right! But you already knew that. This time A hits below the belt and she knows things that no one should know about like the incident in Jamaica.  The 4 girls were there with themselves, Noel and Mike.  That's it! Along the way they did meet a girl named Tabitha but what happened there was supposed to be secret.  With Tabitha supposedly dead, the girls are racking their brains on who could possibly be sending them the anonymous texts.  Unless...Tabitha never really died that day Aria pushed her off the cliff.

In comes a new friend, Kelsey.  Spencer has every right to keep her distance from Kelsey since she is the reason that Kelsey was locked up in Juvie.  Keeping her secret, as all the girls have with their time apart.  But when Kelsey gets out and ends up meeting Em at a party with her older sister Beth, she brings out the "bad" side of Emily.  Emily had a much needed release at the party after her big "secret" and became friends with Kelsey.  Spencer learns about their new friendship and tell Em that she is bad news, and ends up telling her that she had Hanna help her with getting Kelsey put away.  Well wouldn't ya know it, the fab 4 gals from Rosewood are getting more and more violent texts from A and whenever they see Kelsey it's right when they happen to get a text.  Let's pin it on her right?  One thing, when they get the texts, they all hear a faint giggle and see the flash of blonde hair and that yellow sundress.  The yellow sundress they last saw in Jamaica.

The story kept me guessing, is it Kelsey, is Tabitha back, is it Noel or Mike?  Who the heck is A?! Right when you think you know for sure, you never do.  Towards the end of the story the girls find themselves back at the looney bin where the REAL Ali was, and where Hanna had bet who she thought was A, Iris. Quite a bit of twists and turns, and I don't want to ruin the whole story for you, but like I said, it was one of the best for me.  I love the books that make me comment out loud while I am reading.  I can't tell you how many times I said "Ohhhhhhhh snap!" or "Ohhhhhhhmygosh!"  This 10th installment of the PPL series was a fantastic, fun, thrilling, read that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Loved it, and I loved seeing the girls go through some more REAL LIFE problems instead of just getting in trouble with their parents.

If you are one of the few that haven't read the PPL series, get out there and get it! It's a fun mystery read! (Not to mention a fashion dictionary.  I can't tell you how many times I googled a brand, LOL) Happy Reading all, and thank you again to The Book Vixen for inviting me over!

Terra’s Rating:

4 Frogs

REVIEW: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Genre: Young Adult
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Published: November 21, 2011 by Razorbill

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

The Future of Us

Why I Read this Book: Ever since I read Thirteen Reasons Why (my review), I’ve been waiting for Jay Asher to pen another book. If you haven’t read TRW, you need to. It will change you, it will move you, and it will make you cry. It will have an everlasting affect on you. It’s been about 2 years since I’ve read it and I still think about TRW. And since reading Tangled (my review), I’ve been wanting to read another book by Carolyn Mackler as well. So when I found out these two authors collaborated on a novel, I was itching with anticipation to get my hands on it.

What I Liked: Emma has no idea what ‘Facebook’ is, or why she can see what her future self writes on the internet, but she’s intrigued. I was intrigued. She checks to see where her future self lives, who she’s ‘friends’ with, who she married, whether or not she has kids – it just goes on and on and on. Can you imagine what it would be like for your 16-year old self to see your future self on Facebook? Or to realize that the smallest decisions you make today, right now, like whether or not you ditch school, can make an impact on your future? The endless possibility of ‘what if…’ questions start to come.

The Future of Us was pure nostalgia for me. I’d come across something from those good ole days and would think oh yeah, I remember that! Asher and Mackler took me back to 1996, when I myself was 16 years old and a senior in high school. I was happy to revisit those days in Emma’s shoes. Beepers were all the rage and everyone wanted one. I remember trying to sell my mom on the idea of me having one. “You’ll be able to reach me whenever you want! Just beep me and I’ll call you right back. Pleeeeeeeeeease can I get one?.”

Tyson: “I tried getting my dad to buy me a beeper for my birthday but he thinks only doctors and drug dealers need them.”

Josh: “Why do you want one?”

Tyson: “So people can reach me if they need to.”

Josh: “Are you really that in demand?”

LOL!! Weren’t we all ‘in demand’? Cell phones were just coming out. A friend of mine had one but kept it hidden and rarely used it. When she let me use it to call my mom, I almost died from the excitement. Caller ID became popular, putting an end to crank calls. The internet was born and AOL was the gateway to the world wide web (with its very distinctive, yet annoying, dial up tones and screeches). And scrunchies were worn without the embarrassment you’d have if you were to wear one today. Ah, the good ole days.

What I Didn’t Like: I only wish there had been an epilogue. Damn, I needed that epilogue. I would have given The Future of Us a 5-frog rating if only it had an epilogue.

Overall Impression: While it’s taken me a week or longer to read a single book, it only took me 2 days to read The Future of Us. I didn’t want to put this book down until I finished it. I hid in my room, locked myself in the bathroom – I did whatever it took to finish this book. These authors took a simple yet ingenious concept and turned it into a brilliant and riveting story. It was easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. This is a book that will appeal to people of all ages. In fact, my mom has this book on her wishlist! Guess who’s getting a copy for Christmas Winking smile

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 1/2 Frogs

REVIEW: Eve by Anna Carey

EveTitle: Eve
Series: The Eve Trilogy, #1
Author: Anna Carey
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Published: October 4, 2011 by HarperCollins


Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1)

Why I Read this Book: Bring on the Dystopia! 2011 seems to be the year for Dystopia reading and with the end of the world coming in 2012, I can only imagine there will be a plethora of Dystopian novels to come. Bring it! I enjoy reading YA Dystopian novels, especially ones with a budding romance, so when I saw Eve I knew I had to read it.

What I Liked: There’s an element to the story that’s not given away in the synopsis, and purposely so. When I found out about this particular element, it made an impact. My jaw dropped open.

I was so invested in Eve’s quest, her desires. It broke my heart to read that ending. It seems as though a decision has been made, by both Eve and Caleb, but a part of me hopes that it’s a false ending and things somehow change, for the better, in the next book.

The author creates an interesting world set in the future. This part put things in prospective:

Heading for the door, I stepped on a pile of green papers strewn across the titled floor, covered in sand and dust. I picked on up that read ‘100’, an old man’s stern face on it, realizing, suddenly, that it was a piece of old money. I crumpled the bill and threw it down, leaving it in the dust once more.

She crumpled up a C-note y’all!!

Now that I’ve read Eve, it reminds me of the book The Handmaid’s Tale – a book I have yet to read but am able to recognize a similar plot point based on what I’ve read from its synopsis.

What I Didn’t Like: I have to question Caleb’s motives and feelings towards Eve. There were times, like at the end for instance, when I didn’t understand his reasoning. Things just didn’t add up for me. And speaking of the ending, I wasn’t convinced of Eve’s decision. I wanted to shout at my Kindle “Don’t [removed to avoid any spoilers] Caleb!! Don’t!!!

Overall Impression: Eve moved me. I cried (quite a few times actually). But there were parts that baffled me, like the ending. A good read for Dystopian fans. The book ended with a cliffhanger so I’m anxious to read Once.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins 
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Published: September 29, 2011 by Dutton

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Why I Read this Book: I hadn’t read Anna and the French Kiss before getting my hands on a copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door but I heard such great things about Anna’s novel that I wanted to read both.

What I Liked: Lola and the Boy Next Door is the companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss. It was nice to see Anna and St. Clair make an appearance in this book. I did like Cricket more than I did St. Clair. Cricket knows what he wants and he wasn’t afraid to express his feelings. St. Clair was in a ‘situation’ that got in the way of his feelings for Anna.

Lola has quite a complex background but everything was explained so I never felt lost. I like the family structure.

I loved the scene where Lindsey, Lola’s BFF, asks why the twins (Cricket and Calliope) aren’t dressed up for Halloween. Calliope tells Lindsey that they are wearing costumes – they’re dressed up as twins. Lindsey asks if they’re fraternal or identical and Cricket replies “I have a penis.”

What I Didn’t Like: I think the relationship between Lola and Max went on a little too long. I didn’t feel the connection between them so I don’t know why they stuck together for as long as they did.

Another thing I wasn’t into was the drama surrounding Lola’s mother. I don’t think it helped the story by keeping the mom in the picture.

Overall Impression: While Contemporary YA is exactly my favorite genre to read (I’m more into riveting, life-changing YA reads or paranormal YA), I still enjoyed reading Lola and the Boy Next Door. I do need to be ‘in the mood’ to read a book like this but it was a cute, sweet story and I look forward to reading Isla and the Happily Ever After when it comes out next year.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

3 Frogs

REVIEW: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source: free Kindle read
Published: December 2010 by Dutton’s Children’s

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

Anna and the French Kiss

Why I Read this Book: I first heard the buzz about this book about a year ago. Everyone was raving about it or they were anxious to get their hands on a copy to read it. So when it came up as a free Kindle read, I jumped all over it. Now, it has been sitting on my Kindle since last November. While I was anxious to read it (and see what all the fuss was about), at the same time I was afraid to read it because of all the hype the book has received. I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations and unfortunately that’s exactly what happened.

What I Liked: Anna is likeable; she’s relatable. She’s thrown into this whirlwind adventure of being sent to a boarding school in a different country. And the best part of all – she’s a film reviewer/blogger.

The secondary characters brought interest to the overall storyline. I found myself caring about them as much as I did the main characters. And the writing and storytelling flowed in such a way that made Anna and the French Kiss a good read.

I loved the declaration St. Clair made to his best friend at the end of the book. It gave me chills. Very sweet ending.

What I Didn’t Like: I enjoyed reading Anna and the French Kiss but it didn’t blow me away. It seemed as though everyone who has read this book loved it. They rave and gush over this book, over Anna, over St. Clair, and over their relationship. But I just thought it was okay. I didn’t read any of the reviews on this book because I didn’t want to have a tainted opinion going into it but I did have high expectations and I was expecting to be blown away. Sadly, I wasn’t.

And there were parts of the storyline that were predictable, especially with what happened with Bridge, Anna’s BFF from back home.

Overall Impression: I enjoyed reading Anna and the French Kiss but it just didn’t WOW me.  It was a cute story about friends and relationships but it didn’t live up to the hype in my case. I am still interested in reading Lola and the Boy Next Door.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

3 Frogs

REVIEW: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Title: Epic Fail
AuthorClaire LaZebnik
Genre: Young Adult
Source: personal shelf
Published: August 2011 by HarperTeen

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

Epic Fail

Why I Read this Book: The celebrity status of Derek’s parents was an interesting factor in this story. I wanted to see how Derek managed everyday life having parents as famous as our own Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I was also curious to see how the love triangle mentioned in the book blurb was going to play out. Epic Fail has been described as a ‘modernization of Pride and Prejudice’ – a book I have not yet read but plan on reading sometime. Perhaps I’ll have to re-read Epic Fail once I’ve read Pride and Prejudice to better compare the two…

What I Liked: I appreciated that things didn’t end as I had expected. I had expected Elise to choose one of the guys for certain reasons and that didn’t happen (thankfully). I’m happy with whom she ended up with, and why she ended up with him. Elise is a good person with good intensions.

I liked the family values and moral code instilled in Elise and her older sister. They may not like all the rules implemented by their parents but they respect them and understand the reasoning behind them.

As much as I despised Chelsea’s character, she was quite three-dimensional. The author brought her to life in such an annoying way.

What I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like how the astronomy teacher made light of an SAT prep class; he felt that his students should come on his nighttime field trip to gaze at the stars instead of preparing for the SATs.  Clearly the field trip would be the fun choice but the SAT prep class is more important.

Elise and her older sister are asked if the new math teacher, named Benton (same last name as the girls), is their father and they reply “sort of”. I wasn’t sure what was meant by this vague response and it was never explained further in the story.

Overall Impression: Epic Fail has a little bit of everything – a love triangle, some teenage tension and just a little bit of that expected angst you’d expect to find in most YA novels. There is also a cute, sweet love story to be found in this book as well. Epic Fail didn’t blow me away but it was a fun and light read.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

3 Frogs