Stephanie S. (skywriter319) - , - Reviews

1 to 20 of 963 - Page:
13 Little Blue Envelopes
13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 144
Review Date: 3/6/2007
Helpful Score: 9


Romantic, interesting, tender, and enviable: Ginny Blackstone's journey of geographical and self discoveries in 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES is one that we all dream of. Who wouldn't want to be sent on a backpacking trip across Europe and do things we've never thought we were capable of doing?

Ginny's free-spirited artist aunt, Peg, died from a brain tumor. After Peg's death, a package containing 13 sealed blue envelopes is delivered to Ginny. They send her on various missions across the seas in foreign lands. All of a sudden, Ginny finds herself lugging a heavy purple-and-green backpack onto a plane and into the London flat of a man named Richard.

Peg's instructions in the envelopes further mess with Ginny's once passive existence as they instruct her to, for example, find a struggling artist whose work she admires to give money to. How does Aunt Peg seem to know that Keith, the artist Ginny chose, would be so cute and steal her heart like that?

Despite the crazy, un-Ginny-like adventures she's having, Ginny still has doubts every once in a while of what the heck exactly is she doing in Europe. Will Ginny ever come to terms with the fact that she IS capable of everything her aunt had once done?

13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES is more than a fun ride through several European countries. It's a journey of self-discovery for Ginny, as a shy girl learns exactly what she is capable of. For those of us who do not have a wild aunt who will send us on an adventure through Europe, we can live through Ginny. I have read this book twice, and both times I could not put it down, preferring to lose sleep rather than wonder about what happens to Ginny.


13 Little Blue Envelopes
13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 5/8/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Romantic, interesting, tender, and enviable: Ginny Blackstone's journey of geographical and self discoveries in 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES is one that we all dream of. Who wouldn't want to be sent on a backpacking trip across Europe and do things we've never thought we were capable of doing?

Ginny's free-spirited artist aunt, Peg, died from a brain tumor. After Peg's death, a package containing 13 sealed blue envelopes is delivered to Ginny. They send her on various missions across the seas in foreign lands. All of a sudden, Ginny finds herself lugging a heavy purple-and-green backpack onto a plane and into the London flat of a man named Richard.
Peg's instructions in the envelopes further mess with Ginny's once passive existence as they instruct her to, for example, find a struggling artist whose work she admires to give money to. How does Aunt Peg seem to know that Keith, the artist Ginny chose, would be so cute and steal her heart like that?

Despite the crazy, un-Ginny-like adventures she's having, Ginny still has doubts every once in a while of what the heck exactly is she doing in Europe. Will Ginny ever come to terms with the fact that she IS capable of everything her aunt had once done?

13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES is more than a fun ride through several European countries. It's a journey of self-discovery for Ginny, as a shy girl learns exactly what she is capable of. For those of us who do not have a wild aunt who will send us on an adventure through Europe, we can live through Ginny. I have read this book twice, and both times I could not put it down, preferring to lose sleep rather than wonder about what happens to Ginny.


13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale
13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale
Author: Shannon Delany
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 8/5/2010
Helpful Score: 3


Shannon Delanys 13 TO LIFE introduces nothing new to the heavily saturated paranormal romance YA department, but fans of this genre will find in it a likably strong protagonist and a mystery thats worth reading more about.

The main character, Jess, is a respectably strong character with a healthy dose of common sense and independence, traits that are, sadly, sorely lacking in numerous other books in this genre. I could understand her martyr-like behavior, her attempt to stay away from Pietr for her friends sake even though neither of them can deny their attraction to each other. Jess puts on a tough front to hide old hurts, which I could sympathize with. It made me side with her through frustrating decisions or bad attitudes.

Backstory, however, was shaky at best. Jess journalist interest in wolf attacks in a nearby town felt forced: I wanted to know more about her interest in the matter, because I never like when something feels placed into the story simply to clue us, the reader, into something the protagonist hasnt figured out yet. There was also an enigmatic tension between Jess and a friend of hers that, once again, felt rather unnatural. It has a lot of potential to explode into an emotional scenario, and so I hope that in the future Shannon Delany will build on that.

For the most part, 13 TO LIFE felt like a long setup for a series. Very little happens until the last 15 or so pages, and once again it felt very contrived. If youre looking for a quick paranormal romance that doesnt require too much thought, 13 TO LIFE might intrigue you. Otherwise, youll just catch yourself borderline rolling your eyes at the amateur writing tropes used throughout this debut.


32 Candles
32 Candles
Author: Ernessa T. Carter
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 7/19/2011


Growing up in small-town Mississippi with an abusive mother and classmates who make fun of her, midnight-skinned and wild-haired Davidia Jones makes her escape into Molly Ringwald films. Davidia dreams of her own Molly Ringwald Ending one day, in the form of the most popular boy in school and her crush, James Farrell of the Farrells of Farrell Fine Hair, sweeping her off her feet in front of the whole school. But after a particularly bad school joke, Davidia decides to head west, to LA, where she renames herself Davie and transforms into a sultry lounge singer.

However, Davies past catches up with her in LA when, 16 years after high school, she crosses paths with James Farrell again. A lot has happened in the meantime. Will Davies history prevent her from ever getting her happy ending?

I have been hearing unequivocal love for this book for, oh, about two years or so before I finally had the opportunity to participate in a blog tour for 32 CANDLES. First stop: dive into the book that a small but important contingent of the blogging population has been raving about ever since its publication. And I wasnt disappointed. I so wasnt disappointed, in fact, that 32 CANDLES is easily one of my favorite books of 2011 so far, and one of the most adorable books I have ever read.

The star of the show is Davie Jones. Neurotic without going overboard, self-reflective without it getting in the way of pure entertainment, and unapologetically weird, Davie stands out from the slew of debilitatingly neurotic female protagonists that usually feature in romantic comedies. Davie is like a black Bridget Jones without the weight obsession, which, lets admit it, got frustrating real quickly. Davies weight obsession equivalent is her endless fascination with James, which in her high school stage was admittedly a bit scary. But somehow Ernessa Carter, through the voice of Davie Jones, makes everything okay. We dont judge Davie for her neuroses; we love her all the more for them.

No romantic comedy is complete without a swoon-worthy romantic interest, and James has got the role down pat. He is a perfect black man, and yet somehow his perfection seems like a perfectly natural part of his character, instead of a fictional construct forced upon readers that screams I am perfect! I am perfect! without ever actually showing us why. So, another point in 32 CANDLES favor. Yay!

Im sure there are many other reasons I can go on and on abouthow the secondary characters take on lives of their own; or how the plot, while twisty and turny, wraps itself up in the most delightful and unexpected of waysbut I hope it suffices to say that 32 CANDLES will retain a permanent position on my shelf, as something I will reread whenever I want a dose of a good ole romantic comedy that wont ever fail me. Brava, Ernessa Carter, and I want more!


32 Candles: A Novel
32 Candles: A Novel
Author: Ernessa T. Carter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/19/2011


Growing up in small-town Mississippi with an abusive mother and classmates who make fun of her, midnight-skinned and wild-haired Davidia Jones makes her escape into Molly Ringwald films. Davidia dreams of her own Molly Ringwald Ending one day, in the form of the most popular boy in school and her crush, James Farrell of the Farrells of Farrell Fine Hair, sweeping her off her feet in front of the whole school. But after a particularly bad school joke, Davidia decides to head west, to LA, where she renames herself Davie and transforms into a sultry lounge singer.

However, Davies past catches up with her in LA when, 16 years after high school, she crosses paths with James Farrell again. A lot has happened in the meantime. Will Davies history prevent her from ever getting her happy ending?

I have been hearing unequivocal love for this book for, oh, about two years or so before I finally had the opportunity to participate in a blog tour for 32 CANDLES. First stop: dive into the book that a small but important contingent of the blogging population has been raving about ever since its publication. And I wasnt disappointed. I so wasnt disappointed, in fact, that 32 CANDLES is easily one of my favorite books of 2011 so far, and one of the most adorable books I have ever read.

The star of the show is Davie Jones. Neurotic without going overboard, self-reflective without it getting in the way of pure entertainment, and unapologetically weird, Davie stands out from the slew of debilitatingly neurotic female protagonists that usually feature in romantic comedies. Davie is like a black Bridget Jones without the weight obsession, which, lets admit it, got frustrating real quickly. Davies weight obsession equivalent is her endless fascination with James, which in her high school stage was admittedly a bit scary. But somehow Ernessa Carter, through the voice of Davie Jones, makes everything okay. We dont judge Davie for her neuroses; we love her all the more for them.

No romantic comedy is complete without a swoon-worthy romantic interest, and James has got the role down pat. He is a perfect black man, and yet somehow his perfection seems like a perfectly natural part of his character, instead of a fictional construct forced upon readers that screams I am perfect! I am perfect! without ever actually showing us why. So, another point in 32 CANDLES favor. Yay!

Im sure there are many other reasons I can go on and on abouthow the secondary characters take on lives of their own; or how the plot, while twisty and turny, wraps itself up in the most delightful and unexpected of waysbut I hope it suffices to say that 32 CANDLES will retain a permanent position on my shelf, as something I will reread whenever I want a dose of a good ole romantic comedy that wont ever fail me. Brava, Ernessa Carter, and I want more!


The A-List (A-List, Bk 1)
The A-List (A-List, Bk 1)
Author: Zoey Dean
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 158
Review Date: 3/4/2007


A guilty pleasure, deliciously good. This looks to be a good series, but sadly the sequels don't really match up IMO.


Abandon
Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 4/15/2011
Helpful Score: 6


ABANDON is the first book in Meg Cabots latest YA trilogy, a retelling of the Hades and Persephone Greek myth. Unfortunately, I have found myself less and less satisfied with Cabots books, and ABANDON, while marginally better than Cabots Airhead series, still uses too many of her usual writing techniqueslittle forward action, a heavy emphasis on flashbackto endear itself to me completely.

I like Pierce: she is, in my opinion, a little mellower than many of Cabots protagonists. And at the beginning of ABANDON I was reminded very much of earlier Meg Cabot books that I loved, such as All-American Girl. Pierce displays a sense of poise that may or may not be the result of her constant encounters with near-death experiences, but nevertheless is very appealing. I even have a tiny little crush on John, whos protective but not overbearingly so, and really very sweet in his interest in Pierce.

It was the way the story was presented, however, that didnt gel with me. Practically every other chapter is a flashback. Granted, they are very important flashbacks, explaining how Pierce first encountered John and showing her subsequent (unwanted, but lifesaving) encounters with him and the troubles he has caused for her. However, why does the story have to be presented half in flashback? Pierces backstory was so much more interesting than her present story of being the new student at her school, making new friends (or nemeses) of questionable characterization, and slowly uncovering her familys very melodramatic secret. Why couldnt the story simply be presented chronologically? I think it mightve made for a more engaging read, instead of my being frustrated that, once again, Meg Cabot was resorting to cliff-hangery comments that are supposed to pique readers interest and have us reading frantically to figure out whatever happened, but instead feels like trickery, a manipulation of our emotions.

Overall, though, I think ABANDON will be a great read for younger readers, particularly those who have read much of Cabots books or other paranormal reads. It has an interesting pair of lead characters and decently good writing. I just couldnt fully get behind the awkward story structure.


An Abundance of Katherines
An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 68
Review Date: 4/8/2009


Colin Singleton is a recent high school graduate, washed-up child prodigy, anagram-lover, inexperienced storyteller, and has just been dumped by the 19th Katherine he has dated. With a broken heart, he and his quirky, fat best friend Hassan go on a road trip in order to get away from it.

However, they end up not going very far before they take up residence in middle-of-nowhere Gutshot, Tennessee with Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis. Hollis assigns them all to interview Gutshot residents. Colin spends most of his time trying to perfect a mathematical formula that would be able to predict the outcome of relationships.

He doesn't realize, though, that his friends have their own problems too. Hassan can never take anything seriously because that's his way of dealing with life, holding it at a distance. Lindsey puts on a different personality for different people: her boyfriend (also named Colin), the "oldsters" at the nursery home, etc.

AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES is one of those rare books that is more than the sum of its parts combined. It's about acceptance, storytelling, self-confidence, finding someone you can show your private habits to. Oh, and it's also about footnotes. Lots of footnotes. With his characteristic wit and insight, John Green delivers another must-read winner.


An Abundance of Katherines
An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 4/8/2009


Colin Singleton is a recent high school graduate, washed-up child prodigy, anagram-lover, inexperienced storyteller, and has just been dumped by the 19th Katherine he has dated. With a broken heart, he and his quirky, fat best friend Hassan go on a road trip in order to get away from it.

However, they end up not going very far before they take up residence in middle-of-nowhere Gutshot, Tennessee with Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis. Hollis assigns them all to interview Gutshot residents. Colin spends most of his time trying to perfect a mathematical formula that would be able to predict the outcome of relationships.

He doesn't realize, though, that his friends have their own problems too. Hassan can never take anything seriously because that's his way of dealing with life, holding it at a distance. Lindsey puts on a different personality for different people: her boyfriend (also named Colin), the "oldsters" at the nursery home, etc.

AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES is one of those rare books that is more than the sum of its parts combined. It's about acceptance, storytelling, self-confidence, finding someone you can show your private habits to. Oh, and it's also about footnotes. Lots of footnotes. With his characteristic wit and insight, John Green delivers another must-read winner.


An Abundance of Katherines
An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 3/6/2007
Helpful Score: 3


Colin Singleton is a recent high school graduate, washed-up child prodigy, anagram-lover, inexperienced storyteller, and has just been dumped by the 19th Katherine he has dated. With a broken heart, he and his quirky, fat best friend Hassan go on a road trip in order to get away from it.

However, they end up not going very far before they take up residence in middle-of-nowhere Gutshot, Tennessee with Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis. Hollis assigns them all to interview Gutshot residents. Colin spends most of his time trying to perfect a mathematical formula that would be able to predict the outcome of relationships.

He doesn't realize, though, that his friends have their own problems too. Hassan can never take anything seriously because that's his way of dealing with life, holding it at a distance. Lindsey puts on a different personality for different people: her boyfriend (also named Colin), the "oldsters" at the nursery home, etc.

AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES is one of those rare books that is more than the sum of its parts combined. It's about acceptance, storytelling, self-confidence, finding someone you can show your private habits to. Oh, and it's also about footnotes. Lots of footnotes. With his characteristic wit and insight, John Green delivers another must-read winner.


Across the Universe
Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 56
Review Date: 11/4/2010


ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is a heartpounding sci-fi/mystery by debut author Beth Revis. Whether or not you are a fan of science fiction, youll be pulled into the mysteries that the Godspeed contains, and this future world that Beth has so stunningly created for us readers.

Perhaps most impressive about this book is the development of the ship, Godspeed, and its inner workings and secrets. From reproduction to crop control to emotional stasis, the people who run this ship have created an eerily controlled dystopian environment. No concept is too complicated for a non-science person to understand. It creeps you out yet keeps you glued to the pages.

Amy and Elder are enjoyably well-rounded. Amy is headstrong but not annoyingly so, as many female protagonists have a tendency to be when faced with dramatic situations. Elder, likewise, is a sweetheart, with both his vulnerabilities and leadership. Other characters occasionally fall a bit unbelievably flat, such as Eldests unconvincingly one-dimensional villainy. Still, the pacing moves the story along nicely. Beth Revis makes use of the actual space on the page and crafts her sentences to appropriately reflect the amount of tension in the situations, adding to the mood.

The conclusion of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is explosive yet satisfyingly so, leaving you wanting the sequel. This book just might convince many readers to be interested in science fiction. Im looking forward to seeing what happens to Amy, Elder, and Godspeed next!


Adaptation
Adaptation
Author: Malinda Lo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 10/17/2012


Malinda Lo takes her readers way outside her previous fantasy genre with her third novel, ADAPTATION, which I suppose I would describe as sci-fi lite. While the events of ADAPTATION were at times hard for me to immerse myself in, Lo adds a refreshing LGBTQ element to her story that may encourage readers typically reluctant to pick up sci-fi to give this a try.

Part 1 was mind-blowingly awesome. Scary eventsbird strikes downing planes, people forgetting their humanity in the face of their impending mortality, Reese and David struggling to make it home as transportation unravels around themunfolded in an ominously quick fashion reminiscent of apocalyptic movies. I hardly breathed as I followed Reese and David through a road trip fraught with danger, one that led them right up to the accident that changed their lives forever.

And then the rest of the book becomesweird, and awkwardly paced. Obviously theres a speculative element to the story, as the story hints of weird things occurring to Reese and Davids bodies and mindsthough nothing is confirmed until the end of the book, in a manner that seemed rather far-fetched despite all the hints that were dropped throughout. In Part 2 and beyond, ADAPTATION loses the steam it had been so excellently accumulating, and becomes a plodding and seemingly endless period of rising action where little happens and the characters run into more and more questions but dont get any answers. Why is this so often a symptom of YA novels, for which I thought good pacing was key? Little (with the exception of one thing, which I will discuss next) happens in the middle third or so of this book, and the effect of cramming all the information-revealing actions into the last few chapters of the book was that I was left unpleasantly disoriented and unprepared for the shocking curves the story threw us at the end.

I have mixed feelings about Reeses romantic conflicts in ADAPTATION. On the one hand, what Lo always does well in her stories is give lesbian interactions and relationships the full consideration and respect they deserve. This is especially significant in a current publishing world where heterosexual romances often seem written into a story for the sake of having a romance, not because the MC actually learns anything through the experience of a romantic relationship. It adds some well-appreciated novelty to the typical YA love triangle trope. On the other hand, the balance between ADAPTATIONs romantic and sci-fi plotlines felt unevenmost especially in the nothing-happens-sci-fi-wise section of Part 2and the two seemed to come too easily together in the end for me to believe that these characters and their predicaments could exist outside the realm of fiction.

And that, I think, is my ultimate feeling toward ADAPTATION. Its a technically precise YA thriller with LGBTQ aspects, but its uneven pacing never let me forget that I was reading a YA novel that would probably better enthrall a younger audience that may not yet appreciate the shockingly possible dystopian worlds of books like 1984 or The Hunger Games. It fits the current trend of YA sci-fi-ish thrillers with more-or-less plausible premises that nevertheless rely on their assumption of your investment in the books mystery to keep reading.


After
After
Author: Kristin Harmel
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 2/14/2010


AFTER is a gentle and sweet read about death and love. The book doesn't cover any new ground, but it makes for a quick, pleasant read.

The characters' dilemmas regarding, grief, friendship, family, and love are realistically complex. Grief affects people differently, and in AFTER we get to see many different facets of it: Lacey's younger brother's silent withdrawal, her older brother diving into a relationship that she can't understand, her mother flinging herself into work and neglecting the rest of the family. The different situations, breakdowns, and verbal showdowns that Kristin Harmel portrays in this story are rendered accurately and sensitively.

However, many of the characters' interactions with one another still felt rather forced to me. While I appreciated and could even understand Lacey's uncertain feelings toward Sam, it is not well explained why Sam had such a persistent interest in her. And, unfortunately, there really was nothing new in this book: there are already a number of YA books on grief out there.

AFTER is a quick but ultimately forgettable read that may perhaps best be enjoyed by readers who either understand what Lacey is going through or are looking for an easy and quick read.


After
After
Author: Amy Efaw
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 9/10/2009


Devon Davenport is a straight-A student, a soccer star on both her high school and club teams, with aspirations for college and the Olympics. So why is she being held in jail on charge of attempted first-degree murder...of the baby she supposedly didn't even know she was carrying inside herself?

As Devon goes about her routine in the detention center, she continuously talks with other adults--as well as herself--in order to try and figure out what was running through her mind for those past nine months, up until that fateful morning when she had given birth and tossed the baby in the dumpster behind her apartment building. What unfolds is a shocking exploration into one teenager's mind--a mind that is perhaps not much different from any one of ours.

Writing a story featuring a protagonist that readers might find hard to sympathize with maybe be rewarding eventually, but it is certainly difficult. Attempting to unravel the complicated minds of a teen girl who has committed an atrocious act is even more challenging. I'm not sure how successful I thought Efaw's attempt at this goal was, but I appreciated her effort nonetheless.

As I mentioned above, Devon is hard to like. Not just because of the deep denial she'd immersed herself in--a denial so thorough that she nearly killed a helpless baby. She also has a personality that does not easily appeal to people. In much of the beginning Devon is often listless and unresponsive to others talking to her, to the point where I wanted to reach into the story and shake her, hard, by the shoulders.

AFTER moves through lengthy and ever-present conversations, encounters, and periods of thoughtfulness. Because so much of the book occurs inside Devon's head, it's best for those who are patient enough to reap the rewards of dealing with a difficult, unlikable protagonist. I would almost consider it more an intense character study than a novel. In fact, AFTER often blurs the line between fiction and reality. You might often feel uncomfortable while working your way through this book. AFTER is not afraid to shake you up and make you wonder about the effects of fiction on reality, and vice versa.

AFTER is a difficult but moving read, and a great choice for adult readers--especially fans of writers like Jodi Picoult--looking for something they can love in YA fiction.


After the Moment
After the Moment
Author: Garret Freymann-Weyr
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 11/9/2009


AFTER THE MOMENT is a subtle exploration of the power of different kinds of relationships in one young man's adolescence, a dramatically poignant love story that will perhaps appeal best to adult fans of doomed romance novelists like Nicholas Sparks. Personally, however, I had trouble connecting with the characters as well as believing the story arc.

The story is told from the point of view of an older Leigh, which I think contributes to the distance I felt from the characters. They were living out their tragedies and dramas in a snowglobe, to which I was only a polite audience. The supporting characters, while well-meaning, never felt quite fully developed for me: the adults were either dispensers of inexplicable wisdom or else emotionally unavailable, and the preteens and teens often did not act their age.

Perhaps all of this would have been fine for me had the main storylineâLeigh and Maia's romanceâbeen believable and likable. As it is, however, it's hard to see why Maia is the source of so many guys' interests. I felt like there was a disconnect between her tragic sideâa truly heartwrenching and relatable mix of maternal neglect, self-destruction, anxiety, and self-blameâand the part of her that attracts nearly everyone around her to her.

It is obvious to me, though, that Freymann-Weyr cares very much about the psychological workings of adolescents, and I think that AFTER THE MOMENT is not a flop of a story, but rather a poignant tale that was marketed to the wrong audience. Certainly Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts fans will appreciate the gentle and affecting romance between Leigh and Maia. If you're an adult reader looking for a slow but sweet read, or a teen with lots of patience and a penchant for intense romances and enigmatic heroines, consider AFTER THE MOMENT for a stirring and relaxing weekend read.


The Agony of Alice (Alice, Bk 1)
The Agony of Alice (Alice, Bk 1)
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 7/11/2008


Alice is motherless, and going into her new school's sixth grade. She desperately wants to fit in and act more grown up, but without a mother, how does she know how to go about it? She decides that the best way to do this is to be in the sixth grade class of Miss Cole, the beautiful and graceful lady she wants to emulate.

Instead, she gets stuck in Mrs. Plotkin's class. Mrs. Plotkin is dumpy and has no physical attributes to her name. Alice can't believe her luckâ¦until it gets worse! When she tries to fit in, it seems as though she's humiliating herself instead. Like how she is rude to Mrs. Plotkin in an effort to get transferred to Miss Cole's class. Or when she wears too much perfume to try to emulate Miss Cole. Or when she walks in on a boy in his dressing room, only for him to turn out to be Patrick, the safety patrol in her class.

Will the humiliations ever end? Or will Alice just learn to accept the good with the bad, and thus begin to grow up as a result?

This is the beginning of a marvelously realistic series about a girl going through puberty, social changes, love, family, and friendship. Alice is sweetly vulnerable yet lovingly feisty, a girl caught in the web on the way to being a teenager. Every girl will be able to relate to Alice on some level.


Airhead
Airhead
Author: Meg Cabot
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 38
Review Date: 12/24/2009
Helpful Score: 1


When I read AIRHEAD, I remembered in full force the strength of Meg Cabot's writing. She is able to take even the most ludicrous or most overused scenarios and make them fun and interesting. AIRHEAD has Meg's usual charm and humor, though it is not really a standout novel of hers.

Emerson is a great protagonist, earnestly devoted to her video games without overdoing her âoutsider statusâ among her classmates. Nikki is a surprisingly deep and conflicted characterânot just your average bitchily perfect âqueen.â The plethora of supporting characters are just the slightest bit two-dimensional, but they all have distinct personalities, and all have their good and bad parts, which makes me content to look forward to what else they will do in the sequels.

The plot stalls for most of the book as Em slowly pieces together what happened to her. Indeed, the pace is so slow as to be very nearly infuriating. AIRHEAD seemed like a huge introduction for the rest of the series: nothing in terms of conflict and resolution occurs. It's difficult to appreciate this as a stand-alone novel. Luckily, the second book in the series, BEING NIKKI, is out already, and the third, RUNAWAY, is coming out in Spring 2010. I am admittedly still curious to find out what happens to Em inside Nikki's body, so I will probably continue reading the series to find out. After all, it's Meg Cabot, and her books are like candy: some are better than others, but you just can't stop eating any of them!


Airhead (Airhead, Bk 1)
Airhead (Airhead, Bk 1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 12/24/2009


When I read AIRHEAD, I remembered in full force the strength of Meg Cabot's writing. She is able to take even the most ludicrous or most overused scenarios and make them fun and interesting. AIRHEAD has Meg's usual charm and humor, though it is not really a standout novel of hers.

Emerson is a great protagonist, earnestly devoted to her video games without overdoing her âoutsider statusâ among her classmates. Nikki is a surprisingly deep and conflicted characterânot just your average bitchily perfect âqueen.â The plethora of supporting characters are just the slightest bit two-dimensional, but they all have distinct personalities, and all have their good and bad parts, which makes me content to look forward to what else they will do in the sequels.

The plot stalls for most of the book as Em slowly pieces together what happened to her. Indeed, the pace is so slow as to be very nearly infuriating. AIRHEAD seemed like a huge introduction for the rest of the series: nothing in terms of conflict and resolution occurs. It's difficult to appreciate this as a stand-alone novel. Luckily, the second book in the series, BEING NIKKI, is out already, and the third, RUNAWAY, is coming out in Spring 2010. I am admittedly still curious to find out what happens to Em inside Nikki's body, so I will probably continue reading the series to find out. After all, it's Meg Cabot, and her books are like candy: some are better than others, but you just can't stop eating any of them!


Alice, I Think
Alice, I Think
Author: Susan Juby
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 12/26/2006


Susan Juby paints a darkly comical portrait of a home-schooled girl's life as she tries to fit in with the rest of society. Alice is shrewd observer of the inanities of society, and she refuses (unknowingly) to fall in with them. Her uniqueness and strangeness are what make her a truly different protagonist.


Alice in Rapture, Sort Of (Alice, Bk 2)
Alice in Rapture, Sort Of (Alice, Bk 2)
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/11/2008


The summer between sixth and seventh grade, the start of junior high, is an eventful one for Alice McKinley and her two friends Pamela and Elizabeth. For the start, they all have boyfriends. Alice's boyfriend, Patrick, is extremely smart and has traveled a lot, so he knows a lot of things.

Patrick may be knowledgeable, but Alice--who has lived with her father and older brother Lester since she was five, when her mother died--couldn't be more clueless, or so she believes. She doesn't know how to do her hair so it makes her look pretty, or buy nice-fitting clothes for herself, and she certainly doesn't know how to act around Patrick. Especially the kissing thing. Alice doesn't know how she feels about it. She likes Patrick, certainly, but is she ready for him as a boyfriend?

The wonderful Alice, first introduced to us in THE AGONY OF ALICE, returns to a summer of confusion and more growing up. Readers will cheer along as this extremely likable and flawed girl lightens up our lives once more and warms us with the remembrance of what the awkward years were like.


1 to 20 of 963 - Page: