Friday, January 8

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five.... In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens - until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also to come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wring, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. and as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest friendships and families.

Again, I was rendered speechless by a work of the amazing Jodi Picoult. I'm not even going to try to write about my feelings. Because it will just end up sounding like a ....a...umm. See? Speechless. But I will say this. Picoult has encouraged and forced me to look at things from a different perspective as I've learned that I am hasty to pass judgment on others. Definitely a must read.

alright, so i'm back and it feels great.

Genius Squad by Catherine Jinks
Sequel to Evil Genius

Cadel Piggott. Looks like an angelic 8 year-old, but behind those innocent eyes lurks a genius. Yes, he is a computer hacker and despite his small size he can change other people's lives with a stroke of a computer keyboard. He attended the Axis Institute where they taught everything, from embezzlement to perfect disguise, to poisoning without a trace. But a series of events lead him to find out that he is not who others made him believe to be. So now he is under constant supervision living in a foster home and worrying about his future... Want to know more? Read the book.
I don't know if I succeeded in making you guys interested, but i tried. Loved this book. Apparently it's a trilogy, so I will definitely check out Genius Wars.

Sunday, September 20

Circle the Soul Softly by Davida Wills Hurwin

This morning was supposed to mark the official birth of my new identity. New house, New father- well, sort of- new school, new girl. This one is funny and knows what to say. I swear she's in here. I just don't know how to get her out.

An elite school. Glamorous students who have fancy cars and mansions for homes (and all the haughty attitude to go with it). This is Katie O'Connor's fabulous new life since her family's recent move to Brentwood - a perfect opportunity for a fresh start, at least in theory.
The only time she can overlook the hostility of her classmates is when they share the stage for plays. Onstage, directed by her awesome drama teacher, Tess, she has the confidence and talent that she cannot seem to muster in her everyday life. And it doesn't hurt that one of Katie's fellow actors is smart and cute and interested in her. But beneath the glossy surface, there are secrets buried deep, even in Katie's own past.
Nightmares and dark memories continue to plague Katie's consciousness, and in order to deal with the present, she needs to come to terms with the past. If only she could remember it.
Great book. I could not figure out what was wrong with Katie until basically the end of the book. She was sexually abused by her father when she was 8 years old. But through the years she has sealed the memories away, still, it continues to haunt her. She's become a stranger to herself.
In her new life, she meets David and falls for him, but she begins to push him away. The memories of the "monster" turns her into stone, terrified to the point where she doesn't feel any emotions. She has to face the truth and work through her problems.

Claws by Will Weaver

For sixteen- year- old Jed Berg, life couldn't be sweeter. He;s gotten his driver's license, landed a major girlfriend, and made number- one singles in varsity tennis. His dad has even begun to let him drive his 1969 Chevy Camaro - he;s the envy of every guy at school. Then Ted meets his nemesis, a strange punk chick who seems to know everything about Jed- and about his family. She has a secret to share, a secret so unsettling it triggers a chain of dreadful events.
Overall good writing, but the ending flops. I mean, why build this character from the beginning and kill them off like that. It spoiled the whole book for me.

Tuesday, July 21

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Both Sebastian and Maria live in a world ruled by fear. Sebastian, a lonely seventeen- year-old, is suffocating under his dominant father's control. In the ten years since his mother passed away, his father has kept him "safe" by barely

allowing him out of their apartment. Sebastian's secret late- night subway rides are rare acts of rebellion. Another is a concealed friendship with his neighbor Delilah, who encourages him to question his father's version of reality. Soon it becomes unclear whether even his mother's death was a lie.
Maria, a young mother of two, is trying to keep peace at home despite her boyfriend's abuse. When she loses her job, she avoids telling him by riding the subways during her usual late-night shift. She knows her sister Stella is right: She needs to "live in the truth" and let the chips fall where they may. But she still hasn't been able to bring herself to do it. And soon he will expect her paycheck to arrive.
When Sebastian and Maria wind up on the same train, their eyes meet across the subway car, and these two strangers find a connection that neither can explain or ignore. Together they dream of a new future, agreeing to run away and find Sebastian's grandmother in the Mojave Desert. But Maria doesn't know Sebastian is only seventeen. And Sebastian doesn't know Maria has children until the moment they leave. Ultimately, Maria brings one child her daughter. Can she really leave her little boy behind? And if no, what will it cost her to face her furious jilted abuser?
Another great masterpiece by Catherine Hyde, the author of Pay it forward. I was blown away by this book. I'm just speechless. I mean, there is nothing to review about. It's just perfect. Definitely recommend it. And coincidentally a day after I read this book, my family decided to go on a trip to Palms Springs. And on the way I saw the windmills. They were beautiful.

Thursday, July 16

Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont

When Catherine Morrow is admitted to the Esther Percy School for Girls, it;s on the condition that she reforms her ways. But that's before the beautiful and charismatic Skye Butterfield, chooses Catherine for her best friend. Skye is in love with danger and the thrill of taking risks, breaking rules, and crossing boundaries, no matter the stakes. The problem is, the stakes keep getting higher, and Catherine can neither resist Skye nor stop her from taking down everyone around her.
The beginning of this book was boring. I honestly thought of putting it down and starting on a different book. But then it got interesting and I wanted to understand and learn more about these complicated multi- layered characters. Now I'm not a very big fan of "preppy" books with boarding schools and he said/ she said drama. But there are always a few exceptions that blow me away. I liked this book...

Chasing Tail Lights by Patrick Jones

Christy loves to stand in the highway overpass, watching the tail lights of traveling cars and imagining where they could take her. Her father used to tell her that whenever he got lost, he'd chase the lights of the car in front of him and they'd always lead him home. But since her father died, home is the last place Christy wants to be. Instead of providing a haven from a troubled city, her family suffers from its own form of urban decay, blighted by alcoholism, violence, and despair.
Christy's always searching for someone- a guy, a friend, a stranger- to lead her anywhere, as long as its out of Flint, Michigan. But until she realizes she's looking for that beacon of light in all the wrong places, she's going to say stuck on the bad side of tracks in this dead-end town.
This book was a lot like Speak. I don't have much else to say about it. Honestly, this book was a little depressing. The theme and message was played out a little too much.

Wednesday, July 1

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate- a life and role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she really is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
My sister's keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if it means infringing upon the rights of another?
Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you?
I guess because of the cover I thought the book was going to be about ballet and dancing or something. Anyways, this book was amazing. It touches on many controversial topics and makes you really see what it means to be a family. This was my first Jodi Picoult book, and I must say, it blew me away. The plot is great, the characters developed greatly and it keeps you at the edge of your seat. The ending was great. It was sad but it really polished and completed the novel. After I finished the book I ran into the restroom and had a good cry. I recommend this book. And I definitely will be reading more of Jodi Picoult.

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

I suddenly see where I'm standing, and that's at the edge of change- really, really big change.
Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all- a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator- delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaves her a 2.5- million- dollar tip, and her life as she knew is is transformed.
At first it's amazing: a hot new car, enormous flat- screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. She laughs off the warnings that money changes people, that they come to rely on what they have instead of who they are. Because it won't happen ...not to her. Or will it? What do you do when you can buy anything your heart desires- but what your heart desires can't be bought?
This is the story of a girl who gets rich, gets lost, and ultimately finds her way back- if not where she started, then to where she can start again.
Absolutely amazing!! I inhaled this book day and night. It had a unique, interesting plot, the characters were real and it definitely makes you laugh and also think deeply about yourself. I'm loving Deb Caletti's work.

Tuesday, June 23

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell

"I've got my entire life planned out for the next ten years- including my PhD and Pulitzer Prize," claims 16 year-old overachiever Vassar Spore, the daughter of overachiever parents, who, in true overachiever fashion, named her after an elite women's college. Vassar expects her sophomore summer to include both AP and AAP (Advanced Advanced Placement) classes. Surprise! Enter a world- traveling relative who sends her plans into a tailspin when she blackmails Vassar's parents into forcing their only child to backpack with her through Southeast Asia.
On a journey from Malaysia to Cambodia ti the remote jungles of Laos, Vassar is faced with things she isn't prepared for- adventure, danger, a Malaysian cowboy-slash-bodyguard her own age- and in learning to "live in the moment" uncovers a family secret that turns her world upside down.
Vassar Spore can plan on one thing: She'll never be the same again.
Overall the plot and "moral" of the book was understandable. But some things were so unbelievable and unrealistic. Ther were some laugh out loud moments like a miracle bra that saved a life but other than that it was hard to get through.