June 27, 2011

Hate List

Hate List - Jennifer Brown
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

This book is so hard to review, I don't think I have rad anything like it in a long time, if ever to be perfectly frank with you. This book makes you think so much about what life is worth, mistakes you made and how you treat people. Not everyone is bad just because of one incident where they made a mistake. The whole book will leave you with tears in your eyes and your emotions running roit for a few days after, I couldn't pick up another book for a long time after. Even know a few weeks after finishing the book I am still thinking about it.

I personally love the writing style of Jennifer Brown, it seems that she really knows how to captivate an audience and produe just the right amount of drama and emotions at times when the book needed it.

The plot is told by the present, newspaper articles and memories that Valarie has of better times. This works really well and incorporates different perspectives into the novel. I think that a big advantage with this book was the ending, while I could have read more about Valarie I was glad that the story ended in a way it did. It finially seemed although her life was getting back on track and people were starting to trust her again. The ending leaves it wide open to your own perspective and opinion on what happens next.

Valarie is a great character, she knows she's not perfect and tries her best to do right for herself and others, though the waty she gets treated both at home and at school were dreadful. Her parents aren't the best at their job, her dad almost doesn't care about her and her mom just worries about how Valarie will hurt others in the future, there seems to be no one to trust in her life apart from her doctor. At the shooting Valarie saved the life of Jessica, when Jessica realises that Valarie is really struggling at school she starts to talk to her become her friend, I didn't like the way Valarie handled this as she basically dismissed her straight away, yet she was proably the only person she could turn to if she wanted help.

My favourite character had to be Nick, even though you aren't meant to like the bad guy through the flashbacks Valarie had you found possably more about him than any other character in the book. He wasn't a monster the newspapers made him out to be, he was normal, he liked to impress his girlfriend, go to the movies, read and hang out with his friends. Yet there was a darker side to him, that maybe others did help to incourage, those that bullied him, made fun of him and made he life a misery of a day to day basis. He was also a victium and I couldn't help feeling sorry for him.

Overall this is a very thought provoking book and one that I will perhaps pick up in a few years from now to see if I feel the same way. The book is possably one of the best I have ever read and I hope others out there pick it up and give it a chance. I don't think it would get pciked up by UK publishers because of the content, as the plot isn't something that is an accurance in the UK however I would urge people everywhere to read it as this isn't a book about a shooting but one about how lifes are shattered and built back up!

June 26, 2011

Flash Burnout

Flash Burnout - L. K. Madigan

Saturated self-portrait: Blake, nice guy, class clown, always trying to get a laugh, not sure where to focus.
Contrast. Shannon, Blake’s GF. Total. Babe. Marissa, just a friend and fellow photographer. Shannon loves him; Marissa needs him. How is he supposed to frame them both in one shot?

 Where do I start? I loved this book, it is perhaps one of my favourite books of the year! Blake's character is like someone you haven't met, but want to know really badly.While the story is certainly a simple love triangle, tthe character more than make up fo it.

The story revolves around Blake, the self proclaimed class clown, his girlfriend Shannon who is the one he loves and his friend Marissa who is going through her own problems. This causes problems from the outset, Shannon I feel is too needy, she needs Blake around consitantly although she has an argument with him about him saying it is alright for her to go round his whenever she feels like it. Marissa life it pretty much falling apart, even more so when Blake takes a photo of her Mom passed out in an alleyway. This is when Blake realises that he cares for her, yet he can't show it because he feels Shannon won't like the fact that he is helping another girl out. It's the classic love triangle, panned out from the boys perspective. This is something I rarely see in YA, especially a YA book from a female athour.

I didn't really like Shannon as a character, I was mostly cheering for Marissa throughout, while Marissa had her problems she generally seemed although she really felt for Blake, even if he couldn't see it. I feel that the characters would have developed more if there was more focus on Shannon, you don't really find anything out about her. Her parents play a horrible trick on Blake which had me in hystrics, as it would be something I would do.

There were so many things about this book that I loved, I can't possabley name all of them, howevr I would recommend this book to everyone. Even boys! With it being wrote from the male perspective you notice things about situations that you would perhaps not, girls think totally different to guys and this book proved it! I even got my boyfriend to read and this is totally not the kind of book he would read. I honestly have nothing but positives for this book, although I do feel the ending was rushed and maybe to perfect.

June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox

So, this is the first time I've done this. In my mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren. So onto the books:

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
This book seems quite interesting it has Greek mythology themes throughout which I love! I can't wait to read this, I've haven't really heard a bad review about the book and isn't the cover amazing?

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Can't wait to read this one, it's about a skeleton detective whats more to like? I love books that contain a little bit of mystery and crime, this book seems to have everything I would want in a book.

Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson
I haven't heard much about this book, though I have seen it doing the rounds a little bit at the moment. It seems a kind of mystery with supernatural elements. I really only got it for the cover, though I think I will be reading it soon.