Showing posts with label young adult romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label young adult romance. Show all posts

November 11, 2015

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Synopsis:
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.
I am so happy that this book captivated me from start to finish. I so badly wanted it to be better than Lola and the Boy Next door, and IT WAS! So, I was thrilled.

We are back in Paris for this novel like the first one. I think that may have been part of what made a big difference. The second book was just so unlike these two that it didn’t feel like the same series at all.

In this one, we meet Isla who has been in love with Josh for years. Once they begin talking, she becomes aware that he has feelings for her as well, and it goes from there.
These books seem so much more romantic and sweet since they take place in Paris, a city that is known for romance.

I enjoyed Isla and Josh more than Lola and Cricket which made it even easier to read this one too. They had great chemistry right from the beginning, and it was hard to not get completely lost in their story.

This was a great 3rd book. I think it is only supposed to be a trilogy, but I find myself hoping for more books in this series.

5/5 stars

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September 2, 2015

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – PART TWO

Synopsis:
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the 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.
I wrote a part one to this review when I was almost half way through the book. That can be found here.

I think I stopped at the right part when I wrote the first review. That is because I actually enjoyed the second half of the book. I really didn’t like the first half, but it was driving me a bit crazy that I didn’t finish it since I have the 3rd book in the series. So, I decided to go back and give it another try and I am glad I did.

If I hadn’t, I would be under the impression forever that this is a horrible book, and it isn’t. It just takes a long time to get going. The characters take a lot of getting used to. But, once you reach the second half of the book, it turns into a pretty sweet teen romance book.

I would recommend finishing the book if you like cheesy teen romance books. That’s what you will get here.

Final half grade: 4/5 stars.
OVERALL grade: 2.5/5 stars.

Memorable Quote: “There’s something about blue eyes. The kind of blue that startles you every time they’re lifted in your direction. The kind of blue that makes you ache for them to look at you again. Not blue green or blue gray, the blue that’s just blue.”


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April 11, 2014

Gravity by Abigail Boyd

Missing girls. A budding romance. And a town that is hiding secrets.

Gravity starts off as just another YA book: A girl protagonist with a best friend who talks about boys and make up.

Then it turns into something a lot deeper.
Ariel’s best friend Jenna goes missing, and no one knows what happened to her.
Not only that, but other girls around town start disappearing as well.

All of a sudden Ariel is tormented by horrible nightmares where she sees blood, Jenna, and other terrifying paranormal creatures.

Ariel makes friends with one of the school’s “outcasts” Theo. She is Ariel’s neighbor, and they begin to spend a lot of time together. She feels a bit guilty making a new friend because Jenna is still missing, but having someone to talk to and relate to is a huge plus for her.

Ariel’s dad runs an art museum in Hell. He loves art and encourages Ariel to take art classes every year. He is excited to meet Theo because she loves to draw and is actually very talented at drawing.

Ariel’s mother has a very time consuming job. When she isn’t working, she is obsessively cleaning the house. She doesn’t allow shoes on the carpet, and has signs up around the house in case anyone forgets.

Henry is the new boy in town. He is drawn to Ariel, but their relationship is a little awkward at first. Ariel has never had a boyfriend, let alone had many guys interested in her. She doesn’t know how to talk to them, so it leads to many awkward interactions.
That was definitely one of my least favorite parts of the book. I felt so much second-hand embarrassment for her it was a struggle to read at times.
As their relationship develops, I found myself really rooting for them.
I feel like there was still some parts left unexplained about Henry. I hope his story is revisited in the next book.
I want to know why his family is so mysterious.

Ariel has a feeling that something not quite normal happened to Jenna. She has always been interested in the occult and other paranormal things – how could you not living in a town called Hell?
She enlists the help of Theo and Henry to conduct a séance at an old orphanage. It is being turned into a haunted house, so they have to try to do it when no one is around.

Things just start getting weirder from there and they don’t know who they can trust.
Ariel’s own father doesn’t believe her when she tells him that she hears THUDs in her walls.

After a fire breaks out at the school, Ariel and Henry decide they must get to the bottom of things. They go searching for a security DVD to see who started the fire. When they find that it is broken, they decide to go to the source of the fire to figure out what was trying to be destroyed.
Will they finally learn what has been happening in Hell?

One thing I really liked about this book was the fact that it didn’t rely on the paranormal aspect to be interesting. The paranormal aspect was one of the main points of the story but it just added depth to an already intriguing plot.
I find that some books can rely too heavily on it to the point where it becomes monotonous and feels like there was no real thought put into the story.
You can tell that there was a lot of thought put into the plot and characters to make this a really strong novel.

As I started getting towards the end, I felt like it sort of lost itself. It seemed as though the book was heading one way, and then decided to turn around and go in a completely opposite direction.
It wasn’t a twist in the story; it was more of how it played out. I thought the end result was going to have a lot more paranormal occurrences to it. It seemed that the book was building up to be that way, but instead it only came to light when Ariel was seeing the dead girls . . . and the THUDing.

4/5 stars. I have to keep in mind that this is book 1 in a series, but I feel like more could have been explained in the end. If it continues into the next book, that is great. But, it did leave this one feeling a little unfinished.

Also, any book that has a strong fall/Halloween theme is likely to win me over somehow. Its my favorite season :D

Things I would hope for in a sequel:
·      Revisiting suspicions surrounding the principal
·      Henry’s family
·      The reference to “one of us” that surrounded the ‘popular’ kids. I feel like it didn’t only mean that they had a lot of money and influence on the town.
·      WHY the girls were going missing.

Memorable Quote: “Take it from me – don’t fall in love so easily. I learned that the hard way. You have to cut that part right out of you.”




Read ahead for spoilers

April 7, 2014

First Love by James Patterson

First Love is not what I would consider a normal Patterson book.
Yes, he has a lot of young adult novels.
Yes, he has some romance novels.
But, this is a cross over between the two, and I didn’t really feel like I was reading a Patterson book at all.

That being said, it was not bad. I actually really enjoyed it.

First Love is basically a new-age Bonnie and Clyde story. Two high school students, Axi and Robinson, decide to leave their small town on the West Coast and travel all over the country.
Doing something like this is completely different for Axi because she is known as a good girl who gets good grades. No one would imagine she would skip the last part of her semester to steal cars and take off around the United States.

That’s right, I said steal cars.

Axi’s original plan was to take a bus from destination to destination. She had the whole trip mapped out, and everything that they would need was packed in her bad.

Robinson had a different idea. If they were going to run away, they were going to go all out. He decides to hotwire a motorcycle as their first vehicle, and they speed away towards their first destination.

Their trip was going great; they were getting closer than ever . . . and falling further in love with each other. Then, the worst thing happened.

Cancer.

Axi and Robinson originally met in the hospital. They both had cancer, and upon deciding to go on this trip, they were both in remission.

But as their trip progressed, they realized Robinson was becoming seriously ill again. The cancer was back, and it wasn’t going to let go of him this time.

This book turned from a happy love story to one of fighting through emotions and finding strength when you only want to fall apart.
It was a roller coaster of emotions, and it was written so well that you didn’t expect what was coming.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it to be a really addicting story. It was hard to put the book down when I started it. That is pretty typical for a Patterson book, but as I said before, I didn’t feel like I was reading a Patterson book.

Overall, it was a really sweet love story and an otherwise crazy plot of two kids on the run from their lives at home.


4/5 stars

Memorable Quote: "Maybe the compulsion to run away was genetic. Mom did it to escape her grief. My dad escapes with alcohol. Now I was doing it . . . and it felt strangely right"