Archive for the ‘Young Adult Book Challenge 2009’ Category

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Pub. Date: August 2007
ISBN-13: 9780375835339
My Rating : 4 out of 5

Book available at Flipkart , Amazon, Indiebound

From The Book Cover:

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

My views:

Its been days since I read something romantically funny and I realised I had made the right choice within 5 minutes of starting this book. If you love music and you love romance, you will not leave this book till your done.

Nick and Norah take turns telling the events that bring them together.Nick has been recently dumped by his girlfriend Tris. He hasn’t been able to get over her even though it’s more than 3 weeks now. Norah hasn’t seen her ‘The Ex‘ boyfriend Tal since he left for a kibbutz in south Africa dumping her for not being what he wants. She hasn’t got over him .

So what happens when Nick and Norah meet ? Fireworks.. A kiss that is meant to cause jealousy in Nick’s Ex turns out to be the beginning of a new bond. Both the characters are well written and the style of writing is so similar that we never once realise that it’s written by two people. What I loved the most are the music references in the book .

Another good point is the development of minor characters of the story.Tris (Nick’s Ex ), Dev( Nick’s Band’s lead singer ) are two characters to watch out for. Though the story takes place in the span of one night , all minor characters are sketched in a detailed manner. It’s important because through them we are able to understand Nick and Norah better.

It’s funny , witty and lovable . It’s a really refreshing read. Go for it..

Point to be noted : It’s reading age group is 15 years and above . Let me warn you that it has it’s share of mature content , sexual references. If you don’t care about that ,then go ahead what are you waiting for!!

Book : Sea Of Monsters (Percy Jackson And The Olympians )
Author : Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion/Miramax Kid
Pub. Date: April 2006
Pages :288

My Rating :4 out of 5

Book available at : Flipkart , Amazon, Indiebound

From the book cover :
After a year spent trying to prevent a catastropic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson—a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any “normal” friends.

But things don’t stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: The magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters—the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millenia—only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name…the Bermuda Triangle.

Now Percy and his friends—Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson—must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family—one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

My views:

The first book was good .It got me intrested in Greek mythology and also made me eager to read the second one. The second book definitely lives up to the expectations. It has our hero Percy Jackson along with his friend Annabeth Chase and a new companion Tyson going on a quest to find the Golden Fleece and also rescue his friend Grover who is communicating with him through his dreams and seeking his help. The monsters are there and so are the gods , and we also get to meet various other mythical creatures who help them in thier quest. Also Percy has a very important lesson to learn in matters of his family (Being the son of an immoratal being he has a very big extended family ).

Rick Riordan’s writing style has finally sunk in for me. For the first book I had a feeling of it being a bit ragged at places but I had no complaints with this book. It made a good read. The characters are developed well and the mystery surrounding prophecy involving Percy is well highlighted. Will have to watch out for it’s development in the next book.I also realised the author had left hints in the first book which I hadn’t noticed ,those which were important in reading this book. Over all, this book makes you want to pick up the third book as soon as you are done with this one. That’s a good thing because author has created an atmosphere in such a way that it’s too hard to resist .

The reading level might be for young adults but that musn’t stop you from picking up this book . I have already started the third one. I just couldn’t resist 🙂

Book: Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

My Rating : 4 out of 5

Book Available at : Flipkart , Amazon, Indiebound

Harry Potter fans have always wondered if they could ever love any other series as they loved HP . The answer to that is NO. Harry Potter is something you cannot replace, it was special. It will always hold that dear place in the reader’s mind but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy other fantasy series . My sister absolutely refused to read other books for a few days once she read the last book and realised that Harry Potter is never gonna make a come back but that was until she found Percy Jackson 🙂

Percy Jackson And The Olympian series is about Percy , a half blood ( heard term before ? ), a semi/demi god , who gets to know that his father is one of the Olympian gods. As if that info wasn’t shocking enough, he comes to know that his life is in danger from monsters who come sniffing for him.Percy is hurriedly taken to a summer camp, Camp Half Blood at Long Island, where half blood kids of various gods learn archery, Greek , sword fighting etc etc.A training camp for heroes. Percy who has been expelled from every school he has ever joined ,due to his ADHD and some really weird happenings ,finally realises he belongs here because all this comes naturally to him. While he discover which of the gods is his father , he also has to face his fate which has decided that he has a quest to undertake . Along with his friends Annabeth and Grover he sets forth to meet what destiny has en stored for him .

Book has a great deal of mythology which makes the reading fun and informative more so for kids . Legends are interwoven in present scenario with finesse. It’s the first one in the series and it does make you want to read the rest of them. There are places in the book where the narrative is jagged and you feel lost but the storyline makes up for that.The plot about prophecies and a powerful villain who is plotting to rise to power does give a sense of de javu but that’s where the similarities end. The book does stand apart in a league of it’s own. It’s more of bravery than magic.

Book:13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author:Maureen Johnson
Publisher : Harper Collins
Paperback: Oct 2006,
Pages : 318pg

From the book jacket:
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and her artist, a playwright/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith, go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous — though utterly romantic — results. Ginny isn’t sure she’ll see Keith again, and definitely doesn’t know what to think about him.

Could the answer be in the envelopes?

Ginny doesn’t know it, but adventures in Rome and Paris are in envelopes 6 and 8. The rules are that she has to open one at a time, in order, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that she discovers things about her life and love one by one. Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

My Views:

Its fast, its funny , its entertaining, in some places its enlightening. Ginny Blackstone’s journey from New York to the beautiful locales of Europe is a story of growing up , understanding and discovering oneself. Ginny’s aunt Peg has given her 13 envelopes to be opened during various phases of the journey and through them Ginny learns about life and love and more importantly about her aunt Peg , who is now dead.

Ginny , who hasn’t ever travelled alone embarks on this journey with just a backpack of essential stuff sans any electronic gadget ( no phones, cameras ,laptops, music player or books) and a packet containing those 13 envelopes. What is written in the letters ? I am not give out everything here ,even though the book jacket gives out a lil too much..It’s worth the wait when you read the letters written by Peg just as they are supposed to be read. One after the other.

The best part of the book would be the travel. Europe is described really beautifully. It has made me want to visit those places so much..London, Scotland, Paris..

The style of writing though in third person never fails to keep you glued to the book. Ok, some places you do feel that it could have dealt with Ginny’s feeling in a more detailed manner but we can over look that. It is still a great book. If you get a chance to read it, please do.

Book: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Author: Judy Blume
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 1993/02/01
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Number of Pages: 160

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret By Judy Blume

“No one ever told Margaret Simon that eleven-going-on- twelve would be such a hard age. When her family moves to New Jersey, she has to adjust to life in the suburbs, a different school, and a whole new group of friends. Margaret knows she needs someone to talk to about growing up-and it’s not long before she’s found a solution.”

The sixth grader Margaret Simon , on the threshold of puberty finds that she has too many questions and doubts. The one she has chosen, to ask her questions is none other than God. Her liberal parents have given her the choice to choose her religion when she is old enough to do so( That’s because , they belong to two different faiths .Margaret’s father is Jewish and mother is Christian). Till then Margaret is just struggling to make sense of it all. Having grandparents of two different faiths has left her thoroughly confused . They are not making it any easy for her by trying to coerce her, towards their respective sides.

Along with it she has the usual preteen problems , not wanting to be the last girl who gets her periods in her school group , wanting to have a curvy figure like the older girls and also wishing for a boyfriend 🙂

The best part of the book is that it’s truthful. I remember being that age and all the emotions a twelve year old goes through. Book makes a real good read .Margaret is totally adorable. Her opinions and arguments are very well reasoned . I wish I had read this book during my preteen days but better late than never..