Monday, December 29, 2014

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen- Book Review


Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!!!

Background: Maya, the author and main character of Popular, decides to embark on an experiment for her 8th grade year (appropriate for me, an eighth-grader). Normally, Maya was a social outcast, a loser, a nerd, and an overall non-popular girl. When she is given a popularity guide, Betty Cornell's Teen-Age Popularity Guide of 1951 to be exact, she decides to spend her last year of middle school becoming popular by following a book written 60 years ago. There are some ups and downs during her year, but throughout lessons are learned and friends are gained.

In other words, we learn through this story how a teen girl, Maya, goes from this...:

...to THIS:

Review: I will start out with this: Maya has guts. Some serious guts. She goes above and beyond what any middle-schooler would do to become popular. Wearing dresses, panty hose, pilgrim shoes, and a strand of pearls. I wasn't sure to expect from this book, but I was sure as hell blown away by Maya's bravery and courage, an also, kindness. When I first picked up this book (figuratively, I read it as an eBook), I think I was expecting life lessons that would eventually end up with the girl getting the hot guy. The thing is though, this isn't a novel, it's a memoir. Written by a 13-year-old girl. That fact just makes this story so much truer to real life. This book will (well, at least should) be loved by generations of outcast teens (which we learn, everyone thinks that they are). I wish I would have gotten the hardcover version of this book so I could hug it and lend it out to everybody I know.

Recommend?- Yes, yes, yes. A million times, YES. No matter what age you are, this book is a must read. Even if you are iffy about the writing of a 13-year-old, I swear it's funny and just downright fantastic. READ IT READ IT READITREADITREADIT.

I recently learned this book is being turned into a movie!! There is no doubt in my mind that I will be seeing it several times just to buy it on blu ray. Also, Maya has made a deal with Dutton for another book (I've heard an actual novel :)). Which I will also be buying the day it comes out.

I LOVE THIS GIRL'S WRITING!

Thanks for reading!!! Please comment with feedback, positive or negative! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events: #1, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler- book review


A Series of Unfortunate Events: #1, The Bad Beginning Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Background- This is a book for children that can still be loved and enjoyed by teenagers adults. Granted, it does take a certain kind of person to like this book. If you have read the book or watched the movie, you know this is basically a book about child abuse taken to the extreme. The Bad Beginning starts out on the beach where a banker named Mr. Poe tells them that their parents have just been killed in a fire that destroyed their home. Then a lot of bad things happen (unfortunate things, I should say).

Review- I gave this book only four stars because it is filled to the brim with definitions that could be helpful to parents and kids, but not to me. The author has a lot of parts in the book that he directly talks to the reader to better explain something that has happened in his book. In other words, A Series of Unfortunate Events is written in a way that is directed at children, and acts as a parent defining words and explaining the story. Which for kids is fantastic but it probably just wasn't for me. The story is great, though, and if you just ignore the definitions and explanations then it automatically becomes an adult book. Well, an adult book with a plot semi-suitable for kids.

Recommend?- For children or for parents with kids, if you can ignore many sentences well you may like it too! Though, you could also just watch the movie, they are in fact very similar. Actually, never mind, I think I liked the movie better, just because no author just talking to you which is better for NON-children.

Thanks for reading!!!! Please comment with feedback!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan- Book Review


Will Grayson, Will Grayson Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Background: There are two completely different Will Graysons living in Chicago that meet oh so coincidently in a porn store. One is straight, with a gay best friend and one is gay AND goth (or something, emo?). Then there is a play about the straight WG BFF's life story. This is basically a book about teenage issues and is a perfect sum of what you would think a book by both John Green and David Levithan would be.

Review: It doesn't have much of a fantastic plot, but is actually, surprisingly, a very enjoyable read. I didn't know what exactly to expect going into this book. I have read both Green and Levithan on their own so I knew a bit of what to expect, but still didn't know what to think. This is actually the second audiobook I've ever listened to, and I think the performers made this book for me. If you are skeptical about reading this book, I would go with the audiobook every time. There is a hell of a lot of songs, and the performers did a fantastic job. Overall, I think I enjoyed Green's writing (straight WG) better than Levithan's. Levithan's writing is pretty dark and may be a bit too much for some people, while Green's deals with dark issues but manages to be humorous.

Honestly I think I enjoy John Green more, I like humor, it goes with every mood. Darkness doesn't. Not to say I don't like David Levithan, I do, I just can't read that kind of writing ALL the time. On the bright side, they are both VERY quotable people.

Recommend?- Only for a certain type. If you don't like homosexuality and/or cursing you most likely would not enjoy this book. Though, if you don't mind those, if you have some extra time on your hands, I would read this book.

Note: I am new to blogging and would love positive or negative feedback on my posts.

Thanks for reading!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver- book review

Before I Fall Rating- 4.5 stars (out of 5)

Background- Samantha Kingston has a perfect life, popular in school, boyfriend, and is good-looking. Also, parties and drinks. On Febuary 12th (Cupid Day), Sam is in a car wreck after a party, and is killed. The interesting bit, though, is that Samantha wakes up again the next morning, but it is the same day, and she knows how it goes. Then like you would expect, she lives out 6 more days of the same day, making discoveries about her life she never realized existed.

Review- I only gave this book a 4.5 because it is SO long. There is a lot of background and details that just are not nessessary. If you have read Delerium by Lauren Oliver, though, it is not that slow. This book deals with real-life issues, but with the twist of coming back to life and getting a second chance. Sam makes all the wrong choices in her life, then makes some more mistakes and finally realizes what she's been doing wrong this whole time. Oliver has a fantastic teen voice, and this is coming from a teenager. Even though I am not one who likes to party, I could still relate to some of these issues that the characters are having. I wish this book could be more popular because it does give you many realizations and definitely makes you think about how we are living our lives.

Recommend?- Yes, especially for teens but this is NOT a children's book. As long as you don't mind hearing about teen parties for a little while, this could be a book adults might like, too.

Note- This is my first blog, constructive criticism is appreciated.

Thanks for reading!!!!!