Review – Eleanor & Park

eleanor parkEleanor & Park

by Rainbow Rowell

I had a hard time reading this – all the young adult FEELS!  I had to put it down once in a while or I would get overwhelmed.  Oh my goodness.  I felt Eleanor’s embarrassment and awkwardness.  I didn’t have a home life like she did, nor was I picked on like she was, but holy cow.

Anyway, young love.  Awkward!  But SO DANG SWEET.  The point of view switches between Eleanor and Park, so you get the “he said, she said”, the full view of what is going in both of their lives and the immediacy of their thoughts.  It worked really well for me.

There are a lot of issues swirling in this book, abusive step-dads, red-headed step-children, peer pressure and bullying and major image issues.   Oh yea, and young love.  That is a big issue.  :)  There is cursing, but let me tell you, I hung out with my 12 year old niece and she was using lots of “bad words”, kids flirt with becoming an adult and think that might be how.  I think it is also a rebellion thing for some.  It happens.  And there is some mean stuff with really nasty words.  So, this is for older teens, NOT for young ones or they will learn new things.  The romance is very sweet and fine for most ages as they go slow, mainly kissing and thinking and they get a little heavy petting once, but Rowell keeps it PG in that department.

It was lovely though, very realistic and quite a bit nostalgic as it takes place in the 80s.  So honestly, it felt like it was written for Gen Xers.  Though I hear younger generations like it very much as well.

If you like love stories, young love, YA books, books with issues and want to share the love experience and bullying issues with your older teen, this is a great book.  Don’t expect all daisies and sunshine, it is pretty gritty though not too descriptive, you get enough to understand what is happening.  Though it is sweet too.  I guess the beautiful love story juxtaposes the bad stuff, making both stand out more.

I can see why people love it, and can see why those people wanted to ban it from their kids.  Though I think people banning books are ostriches with their heads in the sand…I see why they got upset.  So you decide and let me know what you think.  I think she did a great job.  I look forward to getting my hands on Fangirl one of these days.  4 mixed tapes filled with all your favorite songs, making  you feel all those emotions you had while in high school.  Bring them out and play them while reading this book!

Posted in Romance, YA | 4 Comments

WWW Wednesday 4/16

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Play along with MizB and let us know what you have finished, what you are currently reading and what is up next

charmingbeneath the dark iceI finished a few things this weekend, Charming (Pax Arcana, Bk 1) by Elliott James and Beneath the Dark Ice by Greig Beck.  Both were super fun, though totally different.

I am currently reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell which is heart-rending in its first love perfectness.  Wow, so sweet and fragile.  I also started Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole because I needed something tongue-in-cheek and funny to contrast against E&P.

Next up I think I will read Blood Destiny by Tessa Dawn though I will be surprised if I finish anything before next week since I will be hosting my family most of the week.

What are you guys reading this week?

Posted in Meme, WWW Wednesdays | 7 Comments

Review – The Last Academy

last academyThe Last Academy

by Anne Applegate

Well, I enjoyed this. It is a little bit slow but bizarre, and then it bashes you at the end with the story near the end, but it kept me reading and intrigued.  Not that there is a ton to it, it is a boarding school romp, with confusing people and creepy interactions. So, if you don’t mind a quick read yet young high school age issues with some heavy stuff at the end, try it out.

Camden is sent to boarding school for Freshman year after her best friend is super mean to her at a pool party.  The school is across the country, she doesn’t know anyone and people are kind of mean.  Also, there is a pretty dang weird, unrepentant scary dude in charge of everyone running around.  Pretty soon someone disappears and he seems to be the one who caused it, yet know one freaks out except for Camden.

So what the heck is going on?  What is this guy doing and why are the teachers sort of afraid of him?  You have to read it to find out!  It is pretty cool.  The end is a little shocking, though you kind of figure things out around the half way mark, it is still good to see Camden figure it out.  Not as dramatically as it could have been, but it was still fun.  I would have completely dug this book if I were younger and didn’t have the knowledge I do now, it would have been way more exciting for the reveal.  Anyway, three pictures of stars on a board, labeled with their names, all three disappeared before the end of term yet no one seems to care.

Posted in Fiction, Paranormal, YA | 3 Comments

WWW Wednesday 4/9

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Time to play with our host MizB from shouldbereading where we answer What we have finished, What we are reading and What is up next…

between two thornsmorning gloryI feel like a reading fool this week, yay!  I finished Morning Glory by Sarah Jio which was nice present and past collide mini-mystery as well as Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman which is a super fun fantasy AND I read The Last Academy by Anne Applegate.  That was a boarding school something is seriously wrong here YA book.

charmingI am currently reading Charming (Pax Arcana, Bk 1) by Elliott James and loving it!  Very witty, funny and interesting urban fantasy with a conflicted (aren’t they all) male lead.

Next up is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, I promised it to someone and need to get a move on!

What are you guys reading this week?

Posted in Meme, WWW Wednesdays | 16 Comments

Frivolous Fridays April 4th

Happy April everyone!  Just wanted to share a little creature I saw last weekend.  They supposedly shoot blood out their eyeballs to get away from predators. Luckily I didn’t freak him out too badly, he just tried to run away really fast and looked totally crabby.  Little horned lizard guy…


Additionally, my dad lives in Arizona and sent me this happy bloom picture, just had to share!  Look at all those flowers ready to bust out singing!  So Happy for a FRIDAY!  Happy weekend everyone  :)

cactus bloom


Posted in Fiction | 11 Comments

Review – Asylum

asylumAsylum (Asylum, Bk 1)

by Madeleine Roux

Male protagonist in a creepy summer college program where all the kids are housed in an old sanitarium.  Dude, it was great.  The story moved fairly quickly. There was a little love interest, some crazy characters and tons of creepy things happening.  Even the town feels like it is under the “creepy miasma” the sanitarium throws out there.

The story moved along at a pretty decent pace.  A few things felt a tiny bit clunky but I was having so much fun it didn’t really bother me.  I liked the characters and if they did anything stupid at least the story moved fast enough so I wasn’t in a tension limbo for too long.  The pictures simply added to the color and creep factor.  They have a heightened sense of drama and let you see a little more by adding to the descriptions of things.  But they didn’t seem to force the story in any direction, which I appreciated.

The only thing that surprised me was the how.  I won’t say what happens exactly, but I had a hard time suspending disbelief and I don’t know why, because I can usually roll with just about anything!  So, it was wonderfully tense, scary and freaky and it seemed like there could possibly be more story in some form or another.  She could stick with these characters, or pull a new set in.  I am curious what it will be.  3.5 stars with old lobotomy stitches across their foreheads.  They don’t smile much anymore, but they are relatively harmless to themselves and others…

Posted in Fiction, Paranormal, YA | 5 Comments

WWW Wednesday 4/2

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Play along with MizB from Shouldbereading and tell us

1. What you recently finished. 2. What you are reading now and 3. What is up next.

Portrait of young  coupleI finally finished On Dublin Street by Samantha Young.  It was cute with some sexy times, an emotionally stunted girl and a sexy, alpha male get together.  I also finished Spell Bound (Hex Hall, Bk 3) by Rachel Hawkins which was a fun paranormal trilogy, boarding school, lots of paranormals and some bad guys raising demons.  Nothing too ground breaking, but quite enjoyable.

between two thornsI am currently in the  middle of way too many books, but I am actively working on Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson.  This is a crazy paranormal which I am both enjoying and yet it bugs me.  I will admit I am scattered so I don’t catch as much as I usually do and in addition I think some things are disjointed.  Tons happen, lots of silly fights and jealousies which make me roll my eyes.  I think it could have been smoothed a lot more, but I like the characters even though they do some dumb stuff, I guess their fighting and snarking and jealousies make them a bit more human even though they are paranormals.  I am also reading Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman which is lovely.  But there is a lot going on there too.  I am 100 pages in and just finally seeing all the players so even though I like it, I am leisurely making my way through.

beneath the dark iceNext up I really want to try to get into Beneath the Dark Ice (Alex Hunter, Bk 1) by Greig Beck.  It looks crazy good! “Terror from the deep”.  A blend of paranormal, science and military thriller.  Love those.  :)

What are you guys reading these days?

Posted in Fiction, Meme, WWW Wednesdays | 22 Comments