Posts Tagged ‘Young Adult’

If I stay by Gayle Forman

Posted: November 17, 2009 in Reviews
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Summary :

What if you had everything:

A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?
Quirky hip parents who totally got you?
A musical talent that could take you anywhere?
What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take?
Follow your first love–music– to New York City?
Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family?

What if one day, you went out for a drive…

And in an instant everything changed?

What if suddenly all the other choices were gone?

Except for one–the only one that truly mattered?

What would you do?

A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands


It was quite a while since I read a book which moved me to tears and this book  did just that. Mia was a character I connected  to instantly and the main reason for this was  the beautiful narration by Gayle Forman .There were times when I was reading this I actually pictured Mia going out with her boyfriend Adam , having those jitters playing her cello in front of experts , having a great time with her parents and little brother  and finally seeing all this slipping from her hands right in front of her eyes.

The narration moves alternately between past and present giving a depth to the characters which helps us to understand them better, understand Mia better. It was a very ordinary story told in such a way that I had no other choice but to love it and recommend it every body I know.

Mia , is definitely one of the best central characters I have read this year. She is an unsure teenager at places and in some she is someone who knows what she wants in life. It felt good to see  a girl her age so responsible , when these days YA books show them to be troubled and damaged.

Mia being surrounded by people who love her , people who do everything possible to make her feel that they need her with them , even though they know how difficult it will be for her to pick up from where life as left her shattered. The strength they provide her emotionally and how every person  related to her, lives through the worst phase of their lives while trying to give her hope , not knowing if she is even understanding  them , makes it a must read book. A book about understanding the value of family , love and friendship , more importantly it’s a book  about  having hope of a tomorrow .

Advice : Try reading late at night , so that you won’t be seen crying like a baby.

Highly Recommended

My Rating : 5 out of 5

pinkseOk, I  have returned to reviewing books in my usual format now. It’s more fun this way :)Though I might occasionally go back to those quick reviews when I am too far behind in writing reviews. 😉

I love reading YA books , a habit I picked up after I started blogging ,even though I am well past the age for YA .Its a pleasant change as a spacer when I am reading classics or some heavy-duty textual stuff . I had this book with me for quite some time now but it was never picked up but when I finally got to it last month ,I finished it straight in one reading.

Secrets Of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita revolves around teen actress Kaitlin who feels that she deserves a chance to see how a normal teenager lives. With the help of her friend Liz Mendes she transforms herself into this totally non glamorous looking British girl and joins Liz’s school. But wait ,it can’t be all that easy. Not the least when you are a major Hollywood celebrity and have rivals who can do anything to spread a wily bit of rumour to shatter your career.

The best part of this book is Kaitlin Burke herself. She comes out as an adorable teenage girl, who loves Star Wars enough to fill her room with memorabilia of the movie but star enough never to reveal it in public ( she is the teen of the year after all !)

Her nemesis Skylar is another character you will enjoy reading about though not in a like able way. She is a total opposite of Kaitlin and can go to any extent to dethrone Kaitlin. Its been a rivalry she has carried on since their first day on the sets of their prime time soap opera Family Affairs ,where both girls play sisters.

Though the other characters like that of her parents are not that well detailed ,it never hampers the story. It is a right mixture of glamour , fun and innocent romance that makes it such a great read. I will have to pick up the sequel to see what happens next.

If you looking for a book to cheer you up and bring a smile on your face ,grab this one.

My Rating : 4 out of 5


just listen

Book: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Category : Young Adult

Protagonists : Annabel

Summary of the book from Goodreads

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything; at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf ‘s Department Store. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Things I liked about this book:

Like other Sarah Dessen’s books , Just Listen deals with many sensitive and important issues . Anorexia and it’s effects not just on the person but also on the family  has been portrayed in a touching manner. It’s not just Annabel’s sister Whitney who is going through a bad patch of life but her parents and sisters too have to suffer seeing her go about refusing food , resisting therapy and throwing tantrums. More  painful was that they  failed to see the signs of the condition popping up .Something they could have stopped if they had intervened earlier.

“Everything’s all right,” she said. “Don’t worry.”
Looking back, I don’t doubt my mom believed this at the time. I learned later how Whitney had
completely reassured her, saying she was just overworked and overtired, and while she had been
working out more and eating less because she had found she was a little bigger than the girls she was going up against for jobs, it was by no means to extreme levels. If Kirsten thought she wasn’t eating, she maintained, it was because they kept totally different hours, as Kirsten worked nights and Whitney worked days. Personally, she’d said, she felt that there was more to this than just concern. Since arriving in New York, Whitney had clearly been working more than Kirsten ever had, and perhaps that wasn’t sitting well. Maybe she was just jealous.
“I am not jealous!” I heard Kirsten say, her voice angry, a few minutes after my mother went downstairs.
“Don’t you see, she’s tricked you. Open your eyes !”

Not having been confident enough to tell  her part of the story concerning the day Sophie stopped being her best friend, Annabel  loses many things .Most importantly , she loses the life she used to have.  But that doesn’t make her look bad. She is just trying to protect her dear ones from getting hurt. initially though I could not judge her character or form an opinion ,I can tell you she was one of the those who starts growing on you as you read on.

Another highlight of the book was Annabel’s friendship with Owen. Their conversations were the ones I enjoyed the most in the book.

Things I disliked about the book : Nothing in particular

On my rating scale : 4  out of 5

Challenges for which the book is listed : Sarah Dessen Mini Challenge 2009

With this I complete my Sarah Dessen Mini Challenge 2009 🙂

Source : Personal Copy


Book: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Category : Science Fiction , Young Adult

Protagonists : Miranda

Summary of the book : When a meteor collision on the surface of the moon puts it in an orbit closer to earth, life on earth is never the same again. The shift in the moon’s orbit leads to catastrophic calamities on earth. Miranda,our narrator through her journal entries gives a peek into her life during that period starting from a time when everything was normal .A carefree  teenager  gets transformed into a struggler for survival against nature’s fury. Everyday brings forth new problems ,those of food shortage , health issues and depression. A story of how a single event can turn our life upside down , the unpreparedness and how will people cope with it forms the crux of this wonderfully written book.

Things I liked about this book:

The style of writing in form journal entries. Reading it in a different form would have just been like an account of what calamities occurred and who died and description of all that, thus making it a more difficult read. But this style  gives us a look in to this teenager’s mind .A mind full of doubts and questions. Doubt as to whether they will have a tomorrow or is this the last daylight . A mind that should have been preoccupied with high school gossip, boys, dresses .A mind which is now  forced to think of saving food so that they have enough for the days to come.Miranda’s transformation is seen as you reach her final entries.She is more mature , she more determined and most importantly she is more hopeful .Hopeful of a life in these difficult times.
Things I disliked about the book :

I can’t say I disliked anything  in it but it did scare me a little . I have always been scared of watching  movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon . Good thing about this book was that , it was  more about Miranda’s  survival rather than the meteor strike or the calamities. The collision was used as an instrument to tell us their story.

On my rating scale : 4.5 out of 5

I must thank Tricia for bringing this book to my notice by her wonderful review.

Challenges for which the book is listed : None

Source : Library

The Noah Confessions

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Reviews
Tags: , ,


Book: The Noah Confessions
Author: Barbara Hall
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 2008/11/11
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books For Young Readers
Number of Pages: 215

Category: Young Adult

My Rating: 4 out of 5

My Review:

I have been reading quite a lot of YA recently and some seriously good YA at that. The Noah Confessions was no exception. An accidental find at my library (which has quite a good selection of Teen books ) I was intrigued on reading the summary at the back. I must say I was little put off with the cover though.

Lynnie Russo  is as difficult to handle as is any 16 yr old when her highly  expected birthday gift of a car , turns out to be a really ugly-looking bird charm bracelet. Every person in her school gets a new car when they turn sixteen. But her father has other plans. When she fails to understand his intention at not letting her have a car , and bunks her class to take a surfing lesson from a friend , he hands over a manuscript, saying that her mother , who died when Lynnie was a little girl ,wanted her to have this. Now ,Lynnie  is stuck with 2 gifts she doesn’t really want , an  ugly bracelet and an old set of letters written by her mom to some guy named Noah when she was a teen ager.

What follows is a Lynnie’s  journey in to her late mother’s childhood and teenage. Along the way , she uncovers a few family secrets she would rather not know and some that bring joy to her . All the time thinking did she really know the perfect  mother she idolizes .

It’s a really beautiful narrative with quite a storyline. I really liked the father daughter bond , that Lynnie and John Russo share. Even though she hates the gift he gives her , she still wears it so that he doesn’t feel bad. I am yet to see a teenager I know do that.

Her are a few lines from the book I really liked

He said, “Lynnie, Mommy is gone.” It was that simple. And part of me still blamed him just because he was the one who said it. I remember going very still and thinking, Don’t cry, don’t show anything. Because if you show something  it will be real, not just for you but for him. I started taking care of him right that moment.

And I hadn’t stopped. I didn’t know how to stop. Which was why I was wearing the stupid bird bracelet and why I hadn’t cried or complained as much as I wanted to about the car. I
had to let it go. He had been through enough and I was all he had.

Now  why didn’t I give this book a 5 on 5? Firstly , it did grow monotonous somewhere half way through, got a little philosophical for a YA.  That didn’t last long. It went back to fast and interesting within 4 to 5  of pages. Secondly , the cover. Come on , they could have done better than that. It has no connection whatsoever with the story , it’s a big put off so to say.

If not for these 2 little glitches , the book is a wonderful read.

Highly recommended for teens and adults alike